“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

Friday, November 01, 2013

The US media is no longer feeling the magic


  1. You are forced to sign up for this program and they are doing an Experian credit check on you?

  2. What happens if you can’t pass the credit check? They fine you for having bad credit and no insurance?

    Down and out in America.

    1. I imagine that Experian just verifies your identity, and personal information, Deuce.

    2. Wait, you have to be able to prove who you are? I thought dimocrats were against having to show or prove ones identity?

    3. Hegelian Dialectic,

      Democrats are opposed to identification only during elections.

  3. Cheer up folks.

    Just got this happy song from Mat -

    A happy song:

    Don't have a clue as to what they are saying, but they aren't somber.

  4. End the OccupationFri Nov 01, 02:14:00 AM EDT

    While exercising Israeli sovereignty over the Gaza Strip

    Five Israeli soldiers wounded in attack during operation in Gaza
    Troops were on an operational mission to destroy a tunnel dug by Palestinian militants when an explosive device was detonated against them.


  5. Pentagon chief criticizes states over ID cards for same-sex couples

    WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel criticized nine U.S. states on Thursday for refusing to issue identity cards to same-sex spouses and said he expected the adjutants general for the state militias to comply with lawful directions and Pentagon policy.

    Hagel, in remarks prepared for delivery to a Jewish rights group in New York, also announced the United States has agreed to sell Israel six vertical liftoff V-22 Osprey aircraft - the first U.S. ally to receive the plane.

    Hagel said the Defense Department moved to begin issuing identity cards to the spouses in same-sex couples following a Supreme Court ruling this year that cleared the way for them to receive the same work-related benefits given to heterosexual couples.

    "Several states are refusing to issue these IDs to same-sex spouses at National Guard facilities," Hagel told the Anti-Defamation League. "Not only does this violate the states' obligations under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality."

    Refusal to issue the cards at state militia facilities means couples may have to travel long distances to federal bases to obtain the cards there, Hagel told the centennial dinner of the Anti-Defamation League.

    "This is wrong. It causes division among the ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DoD (Defense Department) has fought to extinguish," Hagel told the group in remarks honoring his predecessor, Leon Panetta.

    The American Civil Liberties Union applauded Hagel's remarks, saying he made "clear that this resistance to the equal treatment of all married military couples is not only grossly unfair, but also a violation of federal law."

    1. The Pentagon abandoned its "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military during Panetta's tenure as defense secretary.

      When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on June 26, the department began issuing identity cards to ensure the spouses in same-sex couples would receive the benefits to which they were entitled.

      Before the first cards were issued in September, the state of Texas announced it would not issue the cards at National Guard facilities.

      Eight other states have taken similar stances in recent weeks, a senior defense official said: Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia. Across the nine states, 114 Army and Air National Guard sites are not providing cards, the official said.

      Hagel told the Anti-Defamation League he had directed General Frank Grass, the National Guard chief, to meet with adjutants general from the nine states to deal with the issue.

      "The adjutants general will be expected to comply with both lawful direction and DoD (Defense Department) policy, in line with the practices of 45 other states and jurisdictions," Hagel said.

    2. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/pentagon-chief-criticizes-states-over-id-cards-for-same-sex-couples/articleshow/25040938.cms

    3. Why would Israel want the Osprey? ...guess the DoD had to find somewhere to park them...

  6. IRS eases rules on healthcare flexible spending accounts
    U.S. officials allow FSA account holders to carry over as much as $500 to the next year. But the change is not mandatory for employers.

    Workers faced with forfeiting unused money in their flexible spending accounts for healthcare expenses may be getting some relief under a new federal rule.

    The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service changed the use-it-or-lose-it rule for flexible spending arrangements, or FSAs, to allow account holders to carry over as much as $500 from one year to the next without penalty.

    Many workers have been reluctant to put money into the plans for fear of losing whatever they don't use, resulting in long-standing complaints about how the pretax FSAs work.

    Typically, they must estimate before the year starts how much they might spend on healthcare, and employers regularly deduct money from their paychecks before taxes. Any amount left over at the end of the year would go back to the employers.

    With less risk of such forfeitures now, experts predicted that more workers, particularly lower- and moderate-income employees, would take advantage of the deductions for everyday medical expenses, such as co-pays, over-the-counter drugs and other items not normally covered by health insurance.

    "We are always looking for ways to provide added flexibility and common-sense solutions to how people pay for their healthcare," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday.

    Treasury officials began taking public comments on the change last year, and they said the response was overwhelmingly in favor of giving workers more leeway.

    The new rules go into effect immediately, but they aren't mandatory for employers. Firms can decide whether to make the change and when to make it.

    In a recent survey of large employers, 86% offered FSAs for healthcare expenses, but only 23% of workers participated, according to Mercer, a benefits consulting firm. In all, federal officials estimated that 14 million American families use the spending accounts.


  7. The Health Care Mash --


    1. November 1, 2013
      Stick a Fork in Obama
      By William L. Gensert

      We are only three and a quarter years away from transforming the United States of America. We may never get back to where we once were, but we can sure roll back much of the mess Barack Obama has created through his misguided policies and serial incompetence.

      With ObamaCare's ascendancy and impending crash, America will be on the cusp of transformational action. The misery the ACA will bring to almost every American cannot be overestimated in its ability to incite anger -- and, anger has consequences and repercussions. The failure of the ACA has the potential to make 2014 a wave election for Republicans. In 2016, we may see a true conservative as president.

      America put men on the moon. Now, with 3 ½ years and a half a billion dollars, we can't even build a website. This is how much Barry and his ilk have degraded the brand. We used to be the shining light on the hill. Now, we are darkness at the end of the tunnel. Barack Obama has been the worst thing that has ever happened to the Oval Office, and in the end, ObamaCare will seal his fate as a failed president.

      Three and on half years ago, who would have thought that the most emblematic part of the Affordable Care Act, would be the website? Yet, they already have more than a half a billion dollars in for something that doesn't work at all. Just imagine how much they will spend to fix it. Healthcare.gov, when fixed, will probably have cost the nation's taxpayers upwards of a billion dollars

      That's the thing about Barry, before his election, the national conversation about budgets and deficits was always about "billions of dollars." Since January of 2009, it's all about "trillions of dollars." Now we are talking about websites in the "billions of dollars" category. That's Barry, always breaking new ground.

      Yet, it is not over. America is holding all the cards. Republicans have always had a tendency of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but it's looking fairly safe they will play this one right.

      The path forward, almost always begins by going in the wrong direction. There would have been no Ronald Reagan without Jimmy Carter. The Republicans need to find a new Reagan. Like the "Gipper," he will have to be a fighter and the gloves will have to come off, because ObamaCare has given Republicans the best opportunity to halt the progressive onslaught in a generation.

      America, at last, will be listening.

      Ronald Reagan gave us 25 years of prosperity and freedom. It's high time we fight to get that back. Before the last election, I told friends that if Barack Obama won reelection, his second term would destroy the Democratic Party and progressivism for a generation. By the end of his reign, Americans are going to be so tired and soured on Obama, his anointed successor will not stand a chance of becoming the nation's next president.

      Barack Obama has become a leader who does not matter -- the stimulus was all Pelosi and ObamaCare was Pelosi and Harry Reid, et al. What idea was ever his? Can he point to one thing where he was deeply involved? He has been our golfing president. He is so incompetent and uninvolved that it is believable that he did not know the problems with healthcare.gov, the integral component of ObamaCare, a program he proudly put his name to.

    2. Well...after the IRS targeting of political opponents, the NSA spying on everyone -- including the tapping of the German Chancellor's cell phone, the Fast and Furious dead, Solyndra and all the other crony capitalist backroom deals, the Pigford payouts, his $6 trillion addition to the national debt, the 13.6% U6 unemployment rate, the increase in food stamp and disability rolls, the Benghazi dead and the cover-up, the Syria embarrassment, the racial divisiveness, the doubling of the price of gasoline, and now, Healthcare.gov, people are starting to realize a thing or two about Mr. Hope and Change.

      If you think people hate the website, wait until they get a load of ObamaCare itself. If I did not have such a visceral dislike for the man, I would almost feel sorry for him...it's going to be a long three plus years for Barack Obama.

      Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal writes:
      "Barack Obama may have spent a lifetime failing up, but eventually it's just failure. He has presided over five years of sickly economic growth, inadequate job creation, a doubling of the food stamp population and now this -- ObamaCare."
      The Obama presidency is dead -- killed by Obama himself in a fit of vanity and hubris. With it, goes the entire progressive movement. It won't be long before people begin to understand what ObamaCare will cost them and how it will affect their healthcare. Avik Roy in Forbes Magazine estimates 93 million people will lose their current coverage.

      It is altogether possible there will be more people uninsured in 2014 than there were uninsured in 2009 when the ACA passed on a purely partisan vote, promising universal coverage.
      With every cancellation letter received, an angry American will remember Obama telling the nation repeatedly: "[I]f you like your insurance plan, you will keep it."

      Republicans, having made a futile stand in attempting to defund ObamaCare, have immunity. Barack owns this baby. They can spend most of the next year in the run-up to the midterm elections picking apart ObamaCare with impunity -- control of the Senate is within their grasp.

      The shutdown of our government, while seemingly detrimental to Republicans in the short run, will be a blessing going forward. The MSM did conservatives a favor by making sure every American knew that the Republicans shut down the government in an attempt to defund ObamaCare. As the ACA touches the lives of every American and the anger builds, they will remember who tried to stop it.

      The nail in the coffin of progressivism is ObamaCare. After all, it is a law that penalizes almost everyone, while simultaneously ruining the nation's healthcare system. So staggering will its failure be, and its failure is inevitable, Hillary Clinton may be forced to run in 2016 as a small-government conservative.


  8. Report: Google, Oracle, and Red Hat tapped to fix Healthcare.gov

    In a move that could be described by the cliché "better late than never," it appears the U.S. Government has finally reached out to the experts to fix the beleaguered Healthcare.


  9. Ho,ho,ho --

    Muslim cleric issues fatwa forbidding travel to Mars
    Spock_2267.jpg"To call me an Islamophobe is not logical"

    Still no fatwa against the idea that Muslims should wage war against and subjugate unbelievers.

    Anyway, NASA chief Charlie Bolden said a few years ago that Obama wanted him "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering." Just don't take them to Mars, Charlie.

    "Saudi sheikh Ali al Hemki declares fatwa against manned missions to Mars," from News.com.au, October 31 (thanks to Blazing Cat Fur):

    A SAUDI sheikh has issued a fatwa against anyone wanting to travel to Mars.
    A member Saudi Arabia's board of religious scholars Sheikh Ali al Hemki has criticised the Mars One project which is attempting to organise a commercial mission to the red planet and has drawn expressions of interest from more than 200 thousand people worldwide.

    The Ah Hayat newspaper quotes him as saying the mission does not conform to "responsible Muslim" practices.

    "These experiments will lead to the destruction of those who try," and so should be done with animals, not people," he said.

    "Believers should not should throw themselves into their own hands into perdition. "

    "Be not cast by your own hands into perdition" -- Qur'an 2:195

    While 477 Saudi citizens have applied for the mission, only six have so far been accepted....
    Posted by Robert on October 31, 2013 8:06 AM

    1. Surely this is a happy development. Having stepped on the surface of Mars they'd claim it forever as their own, like Andalusia.

    2. Personally, I like the idea of American boot prints all over the Muslim Moon God.

    3. There is no "They".
      Who claims Andalusia?

      What are their names?
      What country are they from?

      How can they make their claims a reality
      How many carrier battle groups, beach assault craft and infantry divisions do they command?

      You are making more spurious, you ignorant fuckin' fascist.

  10. By the way, Lois Lerner is in deep legal do-do.

    She sent the FEC private confidential IRS info on some conservative groups and that is a definite felony.

    She may do some time one of these happy days.

    1. Will the "just following orders defense" work?

    2. do-do?

      What are you, six years old?

      Why don't you use the vernacular of an adult.
      Are you are child?

      Do you still pee-pee your pants?

  11. 1. They call you an "extremist, radical, racist, Teabagger, heartless capitalist, or FoxNews cultist."
    2. They declare that "you're a 'hater' or you're angry."
    3. They ignore the facts and evidence you present, and challenge your "motivations" instead.
    4. They accuse you "insulting" any liberal, progressive, or leftist that you criticize, and remind you that you have no right to question.
    5. They question your intelligence, experience, education, ethnic background, and/or religious beliefs.
    6. They denounce you as "intolerant and judgmental."
    7. They demand that you "get off your high horse."
    8. They claim that you "lack empathy for others", that you're "selfish" or "evil."
    9. They accuse you of not loving ordinary people, and hating the poor, the children, the elderly, and the disabled.
    10. They denounce you for not being a "true" Christian.
    11. They insist that Christianity proclaims and supports socialism and communism.
    12. They tell you to shut up!
    13. They condemn you for judging others. They lecture you that Christians are not allowed to judge others. (Think about that judgmental accusation for a second... Ironic, isn't it?)
    14. They become enraged and call you angry and hateful again when you apply their own standards of judgment to their own comments and opinions.
    15. They blame you for being belligerent and hardheaded.
    16. They're outraged that you continue to speak/post and stand your ground.
    17. They insist they're not progressives or leftists, despite the evidence you provided to the contrary.
    18. They declare themselves "moderates" and call you a "right-wing extremist."
    19. They presume to know your mind and heart, and tell you what you think and why.
    20. When you expose their fallacies and logically defend your arguments with more objective information, they quickly change the subject or suddenly claim that they're too busy to waste time with you.
    21. They almost immediately proceed to misrepresent your actual views on an entirely new issue, attempting to distract and place you on the defensive. They assert erroneous opinions and ascribe them to you; then demand that you explain yourself.
    22. When you ignore this diversionary tactic, they accuse you of being too stupid or cowardly to answer.
    23. When you stay on topic, they pretend that you're the one who misunderstood what they were saying and doing. They tell that you can't debate logically.
    24. They complain that they can't tolerate you any longer. (See note 6 above... Yes, the irony is lost on them!)
    25. They de-friend or block you from Facebook to prevent future interactions with you. (De-friend means they are very annoyed. Block means they really despise you and fear your very presence anywhere on Facebook. They run and hide to avoid you permanently.)

    1. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/11/twenty-five_signs.html

      26. They lie
      27. They curse and swear
      28. They issue threats

    2. 29. They call you an anti-Semite for opposing a nationalist movement in land that hasn't had a substantial Jewish presence since it was turned into a Roman colony in 134 CE.

    3. No, Ms T, they call you an anti-semite for being one....

    4. The first commander of the Warsaw ghetto was Józef Szeryński, a Polish-Jewish police colonel. He changed his name from Szenkman and developed an anti-Semitic attitude.
      In ghettos where the Judenrat was resistant to German orders, the Jewish police were often used (as reportedly in Lutsk) to control or replace the council.
      One of the largest police units was to be found in the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst numbered about 2500. The Łódź Ghetto had about 1200, and the Lviv Ghetto 500.

      The Polish-Jewish historian and the Warsaw Ghetto archivist Emanuel Ringelblum has described the cruelty of the ghetto police as "at times greater than that of the Germans, the Ukrainians and the Latvians."

    5. Fudd Hunters InternationalFri Nov 01, 09:55:00 AM EDT

      Anti-Semite, a term developed by German Jew hater that the Ashkenazi made their own.
      Embraced, cherished and have used ever since.

      It has a name, "Farmer Fudd Syndrome".

    6. When Mark Twain toured Jerusalem in the 1867, it was populated almost entirely by Jews. It was also a slum. The Romans did not entirely depopulate Judea as you imply. By the way the revolt did not end until 135 BCE, and a clear Roman policy was not evident until 136 BCE.

    7. We can assume that Józef Szeryński was an Ashkenazi, but did that make him a Jew?

      Or just an Ashkenazi?

      When did the two become conflated, what was the year?
      Where did this conversion occur, geographically speaking?

    8. End the OccupationFri Nov 01, 10:05:00 AM EDT

      The Invention of the Jewish People is a book written by Shlomo Sand, an Israeli professor of history at the University of Tel Aviv.

      The author wasn’t probing a belief system but Zionist fabrications of a spurious common lineage for people of the Jewish faith.

      Sand argues that the idea of Jews having a common ethnic identity is implausible because, as with Christianity and Islam, Judaism was originally a “proselytising religion”.

      The notion of Judaism as a “race”, rather than a religion of various races, is without foundation.

      The recent study by John Hopkins geneticist Dr Elhaik confirms that the common genome structure of the European Jew gravitated towards an origin in old Khazaria.

      “The majority of Jews do not have Middle Eastern genetic component,” he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

      Founded on a mélange of myths and manufactured historical tales, Israel has failed the archaeological test of time and is now exposed by DNA science.
      Today’s genetics prove unequivocally that in 1948 “the children of the original Jews” were replaced by converts with no roots in the Middle East.

    9. .

      And more importantly, who gives a shit but some slimy asshole from Arizona?

      Is that big boy talk enough for you, rat?


    10. On average, all Ashkenazi Jews are genetically as closely related to each other as fourth or fifth cousins, said Dr. Harry Ostrer, a pathology, pediatrics and genetics professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the author of "Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People" (Oxford University Press, 2012).

      Maternal DNA
      Richards and his colleagues analyzed mitochondrial DNA, which is contained in the cytoplasm of the egg and passed down only from the mother, from more than 3,500 people throughout the Near East, the Caucusus and Europe, including Ashkenazi Jews.
      The team found that four founders were responsible for 40 percent of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA, and that all of these founders originated in Europe. The majority of the remaining people could be traced to other European lineages.
      All told, more than 80 percent of the maternal lineages of Ashkenazi Jews could be traced to Europe, with only a few lineages originating in the Near East.
      Virtually none came from the North Caucasus

    11. “A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day.”


    12. True enough, that the Romans did not depopulate Palestine.
      But the Ashkenazi had and have no roots to Palestine.
      It was not the Ashkenazi who were there, in Palestine prior to the Roman occupation.

      The Ashkenazi are Europeans, not Middle Eastern.
      The Ashkenazi have no hereditary claim to the Exodus, Moses or Israel.

      Sephardim and Mizrachim are originally from the Middle East, have their genetic roots there.
      The Sephardim and Mizrachim are the "O"riginal Jews.

      Or so it appears, genetically.

  12. Deborah Cavallaro is a hard-working real estate agent in the Westchester suburb of Los Angeles who has been featured prominently on a round of news shows lately, talking about how badly Obamacare is going to cost her when her existing plan gets canceled and she has to find a replacement.

    She says she's angry at President Obama for having promised that people who like their health plans could keep them, when hers is getting canceled for not meeting Obamacare's standards.

    "Please explain to me," she told Maria Bartiromo on CNBC Wednesday, "how my plan is a 'substandard' plan when ... I'd be paying more for the exchange plans than I am currently paying by a wide margin."

    Bartiromo didn't take her up on her request. So I will.

    The bottom line is that Cavallaro's assertion that "there's nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act," as she put it Tuesday on NBC Channel 4, is the product of her own misunderstandings, abetted by a passel of uninformed and incurious news reporters.

    I talked with Cavallaro, 60, after her CNBC appearance. Let's walk through what she told me.

    Her current plan, from Anthem Blue Cross, is a catastrophic coverage plan for which she pays $293 a month as an individual policyholder. It requires her to pay a deductible of $5,000 a year and limits her out-of-pocket costs to $8,500 a year. Her plan also limits her to two doctor visits a year, for which she shoulders a copay of $40 each. After that, she pays the whole cost of subsequent visits.

    1. This fits the very definition of a nonconforming plan under Obamacare. The deductible and out-of-pocket maximums are too high, the provisions for doctor visits too skimpy.

      As for a replacement plan, she says she was quoted $478 a month by her insurance broker, but that's a lot more than she'll really be paying. Cavallaro told me she hasn't checked the website of Covered California, the state's health plan exchange, herself. I did so while we talked.

      Here's what I found. I won't divulge her current income, which is personal, but this year it qualifies her for a hefty federal premium subsidy.

      At her age, she's eligible for a good "silver" plan for $333 a month after the subsidy -- $40 a month more than she's paying now. But the plan is much better than her current plan -- the deductible is $2,000, not $5,000. The maximum out-of-pocket expense is $6,350, not $8,500. Her co-pays would be $45 for a primary care visit and $65 for a specialty visit -- but all visits would be covered, not just two.

      Is that better than her current plan? Yes, by a mile.

      If she wanted to pay less, Cavallaro could opt for lesser coverage in a "bronze" plan. She could buy one from the California exchange for as little as $194 a month. From Anthem, it's $256, or $444 a year less than she's paying now. That buys her a $5,000 deductible (the same as she's paying today) but the out-of-pocket limit is lower, $6,350. Office visits would be $60 for primary care and $70 for specialties, but again with no limit on the number of visits. Factor in the premium savings, and it's hard to deny that she's still ahead.

    2. Cavallaro told me a couple of things that are worth considering. First, . . . . . . .

      Another Obamacare Horror Story Debunked

    3. SO, she can go on the website, and buy a Better Plan for $99.00 Less per Month.

      12 X $99.00 = $1188.00 per year

    4. Maria Bartiromo - Financial "Journalist???"

  13. To pick up from where we left off last night:

    Rufus wrote:
    "Now, I'm doubly confused. First, I don't understand why we're having this argument, and second, I can't understand why you obviously think you have, somehow, "won" it.

    Whatever, take the pot. I'm tired of it."

    Let me try to make it clear to you. I objected to your comment:

    "Rufus IIThu Oct 31, 08:44:00 AM EDT

    Remember, they (The Federal Reserve) can Sell those bonds just as fast as they're buying them."

    You are suggesting that the QE functions just as the traditional overnight lending that the FED does where they can 'mop up' excess cash in the system by calling in their loans from the banks. The FED has no mechanism to force institutions to buy those bonds and MBS's. They can offer them for sale but that is far different than actually selling them. They can easily buy bonds by printing up the cash to buy them but the reverse is not as easy - they have to find a willing partner for the transactions.

    1. So, Ash, did you get around to reading ...

      The Supply Side Nightmare Scenario?

    2. Yeah, and I just wrote a response and hit publish. Hopefully it will appear...

    3. Ash, for some reason you are stuck on some kind of weird, end-of-times scenario, and I'm not interested in playing. BTW, the Deficit is plunging, and the 10yr is down to 2.54%.

    4. No rufus, I have made no such assertion. I have simply objected to your naïve statement that " (The Federal Reserve) can Sell those bonds just as fast as they're buying them" They can't and how to 'unwind' QE is a perplexing question that I have seen no easy answer for.

      Good to see the deficit shrinking and the 85 Billion purchase per month appears to be keeping interest rates low because the US would be screwed if interest rates should rise.

    5. ...from the Board of Governors of the Fed...

      CPI: "The most common type of core inflation measures excludes items that tend to go up and down in price dramatically or often, like food and energy items."

      So, again, food and energy costs are removed from the calculations used to determine inflation. The message: If you do not eat or drive, the impact of inflation will be greatly reduced. Remember that Social Security recipients.


    6. That is why they call it "core inflation" allen, because it excludes volatile items. They also track, and use, a broader definition of inflation.

    7. If we are going to discuss the CPI, let's look to those that formulate it, not those who utilize it, to discover what is in it.

      United States Department of Labor
      Bureau of Labor Statistics

      How is the CPI market basket determined?

      The CPI market basket is developed from detailed expenditure information provided by families and individuals on what they actually bought. For the current CPI, this information was collected from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys for 2009 and 2010. In each of those years, about 7,000 families from around the country provided information each quarter on their spending habits in the interview survey. To collect information on frequently purchased items, such as food and personal care products, another 7,000 families in each of these years kept diaries listing everything they bought during a 2-week period.

      Over the 2 year period, then, expenditure information came from approximately 28,000 weekly diaries and 60,000 quarterly interviews used to determine the importance, or weight, of the more than 200 item categories in the CPI index structure.
      What goods and services does the CPI cover?

      The CPI represents all goods and services purchased for consumption by the reference population (U or W) BLS has classified all expenditure items into more than 200 categories, arranged into eight major groups. Major groups and examples of categories in each are as follows:

      FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
      HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
      APPAREL (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry)
      TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
      MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
      RECREATION (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
      EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
      OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses).

      Also included within these major groups are various government-charged user fees, such as water and sewerage charges, auto registration fees, and vehicle tolls. In addition, the CPI includes taxes (such as sales and excise taxes) that are directly associated with the prices of specific goods and services. However, the CPI excludes taxes (such as income and Social Security taxes) not directly associated with the purchase of consumer goods and services.

      The CPI does not include investment items, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and life insurance. (These items relate to savings and not to day-to-day consumption expenses.)


    8. Okay, the "just as fast" was a poor choice of words, and may not have conveyed the intended meaning.

    9. If I remember correctly, Core inflation is, right now, actually running 0.5% Hotter than "headline" inflation on a YOY basis.

      Core 1.7%

      Headline 1.2%

    10. The CPI goes down in September of 2013 in Estados Unidos

      The annual variation rate of the CPI in United States in September of 2013 was 1.2% , 3 tenths less than the month before. The monthly variation rate of the CPI (Consumer Price Index) has been 0.1%, and thus the accumulated inflation in 2013 is 1.9%

      We must highlight the increase of 3.1% % in the prices of Clothing and footwear, until its interannual rate reached 0.8%, which is in contrast to the decrease in the prices of Transport of -0.5%, and an interannual variation of -1.6%.

      In this page we show you the progression of the CPI in United States. You can see the inflation in other countries in CPI and see all the information about United States in United States's economy


    11. Consumer Price Index up 1.6 percent from January 2012 to January 2013

      February 22, 2013

      The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 1.6 percent before seasonal adjustment. The 12-month change has been slowing since its recent peak of 2.2 percent in October.


    12. All that matters to me, Ash, is that it is used by the Fed to determine inflation. It is also used to determine COLAs.

      "A rose by any other name..."

  14. I'll try again Rat but this post will be shorter than my last. The disappeared one.

    The author seems to suggest that the problem, "The Nightmare", is caused by the cheaper workers overseas (China, India, Russia et al), or in other words, their greater productivity, coupled with their propensity to save. I don't believe their better productivity and thrift is the cause of the flood of cheap capital but rather the effect of the debt fueled easy monetary policy in the west.

    The solution is not, as the author seems to suggest, a reversion to protectionism, but rather the US needs to increase its productivity and sell stuff to them as well.

    1. I am no concerned with the author's solution, Ash, but the seemingly reliable description of the challenge.

      Do you think that is accurate?

    2. "and sell stuff to them as well."

      Oh. Well, okay, then.

    3. Productivity is affected by governmental regulation. In China, you may not be able to breath the air or drink the water, but industry will not suffer the consequences of polluting. Productivity can also be harmed by industrial espionage and pirating/counterfeiting - look again to China for example.

      Yesterday, instead of pointing the finger at China, the US Treasury decided to lay into the Germans with a broadaxe. The Germans are not amused,

    4. Germany rebuffs US criticism of its growth model

      Possibly, the Germans were offended by a lecture from the village idiot.

    5. Yeah, those Germans are folks to be respected.

      They saw noting
      They heard nothing
      They knew nothing

      and now the Palestinians pay the price.

      Well, now that we look at it, Germans are pretty clever.
      Much more so than US.

      You're right, allen.

    6. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/snowden-tells-german-lawmaker-he-is-willing-to-testify-in-nsa-scandal-a-931237.html
      NSA Whistleblower: Snowden Open to Testifying in Germany

      The German government is publicly working on a way to get him to Germany without fear of extradition.

    7. Are there problems? YES! Does the author accurately portray them? I'm not so sure and I don't pretend to have easily defined questions with correspondingly easy answers.

      Is the problem "oversupply"? ...

      ...not really. There are still a lot of starving people in the world and that is the first hurdle to clear - the basics of sustaining life. The problems most of face in the west are pretty minor to those that are starving. Cars and TV's too cheap? nah.

      I think much of the problems in the West stem from an economic model dependant upon growth undercut by stagnant demographics. I don't think the answer is monetary growth, or continued population growth, but rather a re-structuring where lack of growth does not spell dire consequences for many.

    8. desert rat,

      We are talking the economics of 2013. I know you are chomping at the bits to turn the thread to Israel. Not to worry, you will find a way.


  15. Best Post of the Day, so far, goes to: Quirk!!

    QuirkFri Nov 01, 10:06:00 AM EDT

    And more importantly, who gives a shit but some slimy asshole from Arizona?

    Excellent post!

    And Ash is holding his own too!!!!

    The 93 Million ObamaCare Lies
    November 1, 2013 By Matthew Vadum 4 Comments

    Print This Post Print This Post
    U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act in WashingtonThe Obama administration has known for three years that when the employer mandate is enforced in 2015 up to 93 million Americans will be forced out of their employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

    This means President Obama has not only been lying to Americans for at least three years, reassuring them that they would be able to keep their current healthcare plans, but that a massive chunk of the nation’s insured will be hurt by his signature healthcare reform that leftist Democrats unethically rammed through Congress in the dead of night.

    The disturbing 2010 analysis of insurance market upheaval conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was revealed yesterday by Avik Roy of Forbes magazine.

    As one commentator puts it, employers still have to decide by September 2014 if they will “pay the fine for non-coverage and force their employees into the individual exchanges, or absorb more of the skyrocketing premium costs we’re seeing this month.”

    Employers “may opt for an in-between solution of private exchanges, but even that will force employees out of their current plans, contra[ry] to the Obama promise that Americans can ‘keep their plans.’”

    Such decisions will have to be made ”just weeks before the midterm elections. Take the headlines and outrage we are seeing now for the impact that ObamaCare has on the individual market and perhaps as many as 12 million Americans, and then multiply it by six as employers make the rational decision to get out of the health-insurance business altogether. The delay of the employer mandate may end up being the worst decision made by Barack Obama except for the hyperpartisan pursuit of ObamaCare itself.”


    1. Only person that would think that, about the post by Q, would be a racist, a fascist, possibly a rapist ...

      Definitely a post only a Farmer Fudd could love.

    2. Wrong-O, hallucinator.

      You are universally despised now, and mocked, and deserve it well.

    3. desert rat wrote, "Only person that would think that, about the post by Q, would be a racist, a fascist, possibly a rapist ..."

      You amaze me.

  16. Whackadoodle is using something like 8 aliases these days.

    The personality is shattering.

    1. More than that.
      There is an entire ensemble cast, for this show.

      It's the Hegemony of Character.

      Fighting fascism wherever we find it.
      Which is where ever we want it to be.

      We are the Hegemony.

      We insect, we sanction, we do what we must do.
      No option is off the table.

      We will never surrender to the fascist oppressors.



    2. "I am opposed to writing about the private lives of living authors and psychoanalyzing them while they are alive.

      Criticism is getting all mixed up with a combination of the Junior F.B.I.-men, discards from Freud and Jung and ...
      a sort of Columnist peep-hole and missing laundry list school...."

    3. Give me a break, Ernie. You wrote about the private life of Scotty Fitzgerald, Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein, and many another.

    4. It is easy to see that Farmer Fudd has spent his life alone.
      Never delegating tasks to others, never leading a squad nor platoon of men.
      Never built a house or worked with a crew.

      No, Farmer Fudd never wrote a real script, never developed a movie or a stage play.
      Never wrote a storyline, that stretched beyond his own limited viewpoint.

      The very possibility of it, he tells us, is just shattering to his concept of self.

    5. .

      It appears the rat's various personas are indulging in internecine conflict amongst themselves for isn't the rat the very personification of the thing old Ernie opposes, the twerp who writes "about the private lives of living authors and psychoanalyzing them while they are alive."

      Of course, one would have to question Ernie's standing with regard to opinions on psychoanalysis given the means of his ultimate demise.


    6. Re: Hemingway - Midnight in Paris (movie) Hemingway is unmercifully portrayed in two hilarious dimensions.

  17. >>>>desert ratFri Nov 01, 11:22:00 AM EDT
    More than that.
    There is an entire ensemble cast, for this show.

    It's the Hegemony of Character.

    Fighting fascism wherever we find it.
    Which is where ever we want it to be.

    We are the Hegemony.<<<<

    "We" are the crazy, the marginalized, the hallucinated, the internet bully, the liar, the threatener, and everyone wishes you would just go away.

    1. Not at all.

      It playing the cast, for the audience.
      Drawing out the true nature of each of your characters.

      It is a form of direction by both overt and covert manipulation.

      Multiple levels of head game. Engaging each participant on their own
      I'm playing three-dimensional chess, you're learning to play checkers.

      Like Spock playing chess, against himself.

    2. Fudd Hunters InternationalFri Nov 01, 11:46:00 AM EDT

      Ebb & Flow, the game goes on.

    3. We are not going away Fudd.

      Not until you apologize to Deuce and desert rat.

      Just admit you were wrong when you accused them of criminality.
      That Deuce did not destroy evidence in an attempt to hinder a FBI investigation
      That desert rat never admitted to any capital crime, to include murder.

      Admit the mistake made, you don't even have to say you are sorry you made it.

    4. Take responsibility,

      Admit to the truth.

      Life will be better, for you, when you do.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. .

      Da rat be bat-shit crazy.


      What is even funnier is that through all his self-absorbed narcissism, his conceit and egomania, he forgets the first rule of negotiations, the first person to change his initial position usually loses. Perhaps, an indication that even he grows tired of his silly repetition and woeful rants.

      The rat has already lost, he just doesn't know it yet.

      (Although his latest demand does give him a better chance of taking some off-hand future remark from another poster, ignoring the context, and twisting its meaning in his through-the-looking-glass way and declaring victory as everyone else here shake their head in disbelief. It is his MO. As I said, the da boy be bat-shit crazy.)


    7. Never accused Deuce of criminality. He an honest and honorable man, unlike you.

      Recall bitching about some of his political opinions, Lincoln for instance.

      "That Deuce did not destroy evidence in an attempt to hinder a FBI investigation
      That desert rat never admitted to any capital crime, to include murder."

      I agree Deuce didn't destroy evidence.

      You did.

      WiO and I both remember well what you said.

      My immediate comment was: A self confessed criminal.

      Take it up with WiO. I'm tired of your b.s.

      Nowadays you've added that you are a professional asshole.

      Here is a statement I agree with:


      QuirkFri Nov 01, 01:06:00 PM EDT

      Da rat be bat-shit crazy.


      What is even funnier is that through all his self-absorbed narcissism, his conceit and egomania, he forgets the first rule of negotiations, the first person to change his initial position usually loses. Perhaps, an indication that even he grows tired of his silly repetition and woeful rants.

      The rat has already lost, he just doesn't know it yet.

      (Although his latest demand does give him a better chance of taking some off-hand future remark from another poster, ignoring the context, and twisting its meaning in his through-the-looking-glass way and declaring victory as everyone else here shake their head in disbelief. It is his MO. As I said, the da boy be bat-shit crazy.)


      You have no cred left, Whacky. Everyone thinks you're bat shit crazy. Give it up.

      Just go away.

  18. Demand (an "economic term,") and "Need" are Not the same thing.

    eg. A poor, starving person may "Need" food, but if he/she doesn't have the money to buy it, there is no "Demand" in the Economic sense.

    1. When we were discussing food supply and waste, starting with allen's link, one of the interesting pieces I found ...

      An African representative who said there was plenty of food.
      But that many of the people couldn't afford it.

      That the challenge had changed.

    2. Yes, here in the west, most of in business are finding a lack of demand. I'm not convinced that is because of an oversupply from China.

    3. Governments have used the distribution of food as a weapon of oppression since there have been governments. See: Joseph and Pharaoh.

      Today, if memory serves, it is reported that 40% of food goes to waste.

      Wherever there is starvation, say, Syria, supply and demand are meaningless metrics. Assad has chosen to starve his adversaries into submission. See Stalin and the Ukraine.

  19. "All a man has is pride. Sometimes you have it so much it is a sin.
    We have all done things for pride that we knew were impossible.
    We didn't care.

    But a man must implement his pride with intelligence and care. "

  20. I know I've been going on about fiscal drag a lot lately, but a) it's been historically large, as I'm about to show, b) it's a big reason we're stuck in the current econo-slog, and c) I'm not nearly as repetitive as the folks who go on so loudly and incorrectly about how badly we need to cut our near-term deficits. Moreover, as the picture shows, they're winning.

    The Treasury today released the data for the fiscal year 2013 budget deficit, which amounted to $680 billion, or 4.1 percent of GDP, down about $400 billion from last year's deficit, which was 6.8 percent of GDP. The 2.7 percentage point drop came from 1.5 ppts higher tax receipts and 1.2 ppts lower outlays (both relative to GDP).

    That's the largest one year decline in the budget deficit since 1969. The deficit is down 6 percentage points of GDP since 2009 -- the largest four-year decline since 1950. We're engaged in a level of budget austerity that would make a European policy maker proud.

    insert pretty chart

    I probably don't have a lot of budget hawk readers by now, but just in case, let me assure you that as a card-carry employee of the CBPP, I claim solid street cred re sustainable fiscal policy. I am, in fact, the founder of the CDSH club (cyclical dove, structural hawk). You don't reduce your budget deficit, especially not this quickly, until the economy has much more velocity than is currently the case -- when firms are hiring, wages and incomes are rising (and not just at the top), unemployment is falling for real (not due to labor market withdrawal), investors stop sitting on their mountains of cash reserves, and there's a bit more inflation afoot. Nor do you jam the Fed's aggressive monetary policy with fiscal headwinds.

    It's Halloween night and . . . . . . . .

    Stuck in the Slog

  21. During the 2012 campaign, former President Bill Clinton was amazed that President Barack Obama seemed to be catching break after break, while GOP nominee Mitt Romney seemed to stumble constantly.

    "He's luckier than a dog with two dicks," Clinton would often tell his pals, according to the new book "Double Down" by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.

    Meanwhile, Clinton thought Romney was a good guy who had fallen into the wrong line of work.

    "He really shouldn't be speaking to people in public," Clinton reportedly said.

    The book also reports that Obama couldn't stomach spending too much time with Clinton, even though he realized he needed him for his reelection battle. From an account of the book by The New York Times:

    When the two of them golfed together in September 2011, an effort aides hoped would bring them closer, they did not even finish 18 holes. Mr. Obama succinctly expressed his view of Mr. Clinton to an aide after coming off the course at Andrews Air Force Base. “Obama grimaced and replied, ‘I like him ... in doses,’ ” the authors write.
    Earlier in the year, “Clinton held Obama captive in the presidential limo” outside a fund-raiser at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, the authors write, grabbing Mr. Obama’s hand as he reached for the door. Instead of having a one-on-one meal together that night, as was planned, Mr. Obama, unable to “handle any more undiluted Clinton,” invited aides from both of their staffs to join the dinner and talked to them about their children, rather than talking about politics with his predecessor.

    Two-Dicked Dog

    1. ...good catch, Rufus II...not hard to understand Mr. Obama's point of view...It would have been more entertaining to the public had the book been titled, TWO-DICKED DOG...but...

    2. I can only imagine Hillary's reaction on hearing Bill had grown a "second" dick. :)

    3. "What's the difference!?"...probably not... :-) That was a good one, Rufus.

  22. While off topic, I found this short article interesting and enlightening.

    ‘Israel loaned Soviet jets to US for testing in 1968’

    Way back when, Clint Eastwood made a movie about the stealing of a Soviet super jet. This was in the days when the CIA would have us believe that the Soviet was just a single invention away from out classing us strategically.

  23. On topic, just below the surface a strong undertow is developing, which threatens to drag Mr. Obama out to sea into a perfect storm. Even liberal journalists are giving hints of fear of a man who believes he has no limits. This has the feel of the days of J. Edgar Hoover, when unauthorized and unregulated snooping brought terror and potential ruin to those who crossed him - including presidents.

  24. Talking about your "unforced errors."

    Medicaid spending will increase 1.7% Faster in states that Do Not take advantage of the government offer to expand Medicaid.

    You're gonna What?

    That doesn't even consider all of the other money going into the Hospitals, Clinics, Doctors' Offices, etc.

  25. Having ticked off a good many of our allies already, the Obama administration just cannot help itself. Mr. Obama should take care, Israel knows a good many things, any one of which might wreck havoc.

    "Can you imagine if things were reversed and somebody did that to the U.S.?"

    Here’s Why Israelis Are Once Again Angry With Obama: ‘Absolutely Perplexing’

  26. The starving out of Muadhamiya and other areas is happening without any of Washington's red lines being crossed or any public outcry in other countries -- and even without propaganda efforts to conceal the problem. "Let them starve for a bit, surrender and then be put on trial," a member of the newly-formed paramilitary "Defense Committee" from Assad's Alawite faith told a reporter with the Wall Street Journal in early October. This map shows where children are starving in Damascus.

    Cut Off: Starving Syrians Hope to Live Through Winter

    1. .

      Obama never wanted to get involved with Syria. It was hawks in his administration and the GOP and our 'allies' without the balls to act on their own that were pressuring him to get involved. He was looking for a way to backtrack on his red lines comment. First, he tried to dump it on Congress. Didn't work but he was given an out with the chemical weapons fix.

      The fact that they have nothing to do with what is actually going on in Syria, that it is merely a diversion, doesn't matter as long as it plays well in the press and gives the impression that someone is doing something.

      Now, if these irksome news stories about people dying would stop coming out everyone could settle in and enjoy the holidays.


  27. I like Juan Williams a lot, and I am beginning to feel sorry for him. He is on Fox News every day, the one defender of ObamaCare, and he has precious little good material with which to work. Always out argued, out facted, out quoted, he trucks on, Obama soldier to the bitter end.

    And while putting up a good fight though always losing he doesn't seem to get too pissed off.

    One must admire the man.

  28. Top Hospitals Won’t Be Treating Many Obamacare Patients
    Published Fri, Nov 1st, 2013 Floyd Brown, Chief Political Analyst

    Capitol Hill Daily predicted that the eventual outcome of Obamacare would be a two-tiered medical system – one system for the wealthy, and another system for most Americans.

    Obamacare health plans, Medicare and Medicaid recipients will get one level of care akin to what socialized medicine affords in Britain and Canada. Meanwhile, those with private insurance off the exchanges will have a completely different experience.
    It seems the new system is already taking shape, considering the revelations that many of America’s best hospitals aren’t letting in the Obamacare masses.

    You see, the Obamacare plans are risky for insurance companies. They don’t have good data on who will actually show up and buy plans. It’s assumed by the biggest insurance companies that the clients in the Obamacare pool are likely poorer, with larger medical problems. They assume these are the people that couldn’t get insurance because of preexisting conditions.

    To hedge their risks, insurance companies are asking providers to accept smaller reimbursements. Therefore, only the hospitals and doctors that need business are accepting the smaller Obamacare reimbursements. The best hospitals, the ones that don’t need more business, decide to opt out, effectively shutting their doors to Obamacare patients.

    A Dim Future
    The system is so convoluted and byzantine that you pretty much need a PhD to decipher it. First, the hospitals negotiate with insurance providers. The insurers get reduced pricing from the hospital in exchange for sending in large numbers of clients. These networks of hospitals and doctors are the result of intense negotiations, and they’re usually built out over years.

    Now, as a result of Obamacare, things are changing. Most of the firms assume the young and healthy people that are needed to balance the Obamacare budget won’t show up. So they’re asking providers to accept smaller and smaller reimbursements.

    But if you’re the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic or Cedars Sinai, for instance, you just don’t need to accept smaller reimbursements – or you can’t afford to. So you opt out. This is also how Medicare works, and it’s no coincidence that if you walk in the front door of the Mayo Clinic, you’ll be greeted by a sign that says “We don’t accept Medicare.”

    A Watchdog.org study of the top-tiered hospitals found they’re not easily accessible to the Obamacare insurance exchange participants. For example, in Ohio, the Obamacare exchange includes a dozen insurance companies – yet the state’s premier hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, accepts only one of those dozen firms. If you’re buying on the exchange in Ohio, make sure you read the fine print!


    And in the end the nation as a whole will be worse off than before ObamaCare.

    1. Ho, ho, ho --

      'Healthy Ho's Party': Sex workers sign up for Obamacare......drudge

      A high risk profession.

      Insurance companies don't wanna go broke.

    2. A little like selling whole life insurance to a suicide bomber.

    3. They are handing out Obamacare exemptions like condoms at Bubba Clinton's bachelor party.

  29. It's THIS bad -

    A Truly Wicked Blow: Jimmy Carter Hammers Obama for Ineptness
    Peter Wehner | @Peter_Wehner
    10.31.2013 - 6:10 PM

    I’ve been quite critical of President Obama over the course of his presidency. Earlier this week, for example, I wrote a piece in which I accused Mr. Obama of mendacity. So I take a back seat to no one when it comes to leveling harsh judgments against the president. But even I, an Obama critic, believe there are some lines one should not cross, some things that should never be said, some blows that are too brutal even for American politics.

    I had in mind what Jimmy Carter, who ranks with James Buchanan and a few others as among America’s worst and most inept presidents, said about Obama. When asked by Parade magazine how he would evaluate the Obama presidency so far, Carter said this:

    He’s done the best he could under the circumstances. His major accomplishment was Obamacare, and the implementation of it now is questionable at best.

    This is, as Guy Benson points out, a withering indictment from Mr. Malaise. And on first blush, I thought, an unfair one, at least given the source. Who is Jimmy Carter to indict anyone on grounds of incompetence. And yet the more I reflect on it, the more I think Mr. Carter may be on to something.

    What exactly are the impressive achievements of President Obama? The revival of the American economy? Surging job growth? The success of the stimulus package and the number of “shovel ready jobs”? Moving us toward energy independence? Reducing the debt? Reducing poverty and the number of Americans on food stamps? His oversight of agencies like the IRS? The Fast and Furious program? Ending America’s political divisions and unifying his countrymen? Perhaps his skillful handling before, during, and after the terrorist assault on the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi? His successes in Syria? Egypt? Iraq? Iran? Peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis? And don’t forget his signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act, which may rank among the worst major government programs in modern American history, a failure in both conception and implementation.

    So it may be that Jimmy Carter has a right to sit in judgment of Barack Obama. Which is among the worst things that could be said about America’s 44th president.


  30. So the 43rd best President of all time is dissing the 44th.

    1. Perhaps the two should have a Lincoln/Douglas type debate and settle the matter once and for all.

  31. They love us, they love us not, they love us...

    Obama says al-Qaida now more active in Iraq

    I thought al-Qaida was a thing of the past - all quiet on the western front.

    1. Drone took out Taliban CEO in Pakistan. Seems to be the way to go.

    2. Taliban, Inc. is flexible on the matter of leadership: simply, the last turban standing is boss. With a program that is limited to shooting little girls with books and basically screwing up anything that works, the business model could not be simpler. It's fool proof.

  32. This is interesting -

    November 1, 2013
    D.C. Court Backhands ObamaCare
    J.R. Dunn
    The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals -- the second most powerful court in the country behind the Supreme Court -- today released a decision that may well act as the killing blow against ObamaCare.

    Two Ohio businessmen, Francis and Phillip Gilardi, the owners of Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics, sued the Department of Health and Human Services after the passage of the ACA on the grounds that its provisions requiring contraceptive coverage for their employees forced them to act against the tenets of their Catholic faith.

    The D.C. court found in the Gilardi's favor, concluding that, "the contraceptive mandate imposed by the Act trammels the right of free exercise -- a right that lies at the core of our constitutional liberties -- as protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."
    Three similar cases have been decided, and adding the D.C. decision gives an even 2 -- 2 split. This virtually guarantees that the question will go before the Supreme Court.

    With the Supreme Court as it exists today, this tends to reduce matters to a crapshoot (particularly if Chief Justice John Roberts is worried about his "legacy"). But the majority of the Court is Catholic, making it unlikely that the justices would vote in favor of illegitimate restrictions against their own Church.

    If the ultimate decision favors the Catholic Church, this effectively means the end of ObamaCare. Roughly a third of the American hospital system is operated by the Catholic Church, and a refusal of the Church to submit to ObamaCare would mean nullification of the statute, even if problems with the website, internal contradictions with the law, growing public resistance, and the Obama administration's difficulty with tying its shoes each morning are somehow overcome.

    1. The Church would refuse to comply with the contraception and abortion stuff, but don't for a minute think the Church isn't in the tank with Obama on socialized medicine. It's not all or nothing.

    2. Given the behavior of politicians as that impacts the Catholic Church, the only leverage the Church has, but has not used, is denial of the sacraments and/or excommunication. Neither Church doctrine nor admonishment seems to have had any effect. Whether the threat of hell would garner the desired response remains to be seen.

    3. Interesting situation in the Supreme Court though.

      On today's Court there is not a single WASP.

      Where's my Justice?


  33. Hundreds of women in Kenya are protesting because a teenager was gang raped, and the only punishment for the suspects was they had to mow the lawn in front of the police station. Mow the lawn. The Old Testament has a fine of fifty shekels for rape. Those guys got off easy.

    1. And in Moslem lands the woman would be mowing the lawn in front of the police station.

    2. After they got flogged for using provocative eyeliner.

    3. Sad but true.

    4. The victim has already been stoned, I presume. She won't be much use as a landscaper.

      Despite seeing such perversions of decency and justice over the decades on a near daily basis, we must all remember that there is nothing wrong with Islam.

    5. Teresita Redinger: The Old Testament has a fine of fifty shekels for rape. Those guys got off easy.

      There is no authentic "Old Testament". One would think that someone such as yourself, who tells us of your study and love of the Jewish faith, that claims over and over that she is NOT an anti-semite would learn that the usage of the term "old testament" is insulting, demeaning and ignorant.

  34. ...excellent book review examining the future of income inequality...

    Average Is Over—But the American Dream Lives On

  35. Ah the islamic jihadists verses the islamic nazis...


    Polio outbreak in Syria threatens whole region, WHO says

    (Reuters) - Polio has broken out among young children in northeast Syria after probably originating in Pakistan and poses a threat to millions of children across the Middle East, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

    The crippling disease, which is caused by a virus transmitted via contaminated food and water, could spread especially fast in Syria, where civil war has led to falling vaccination rates.

    Twenty-two children in Deir al-Zor province bordering Iraq became paralyzed on October 17 and the polio virus has been confirmed in samples taken from 10 victims. Results on the other 12 are expected within days.

    "This virus has come over land which means the virus is not just in that corner of Syria but in a broad area," Bruce Aylward, WHO assistant director-general for polio, emergencies and country collaboration, told Reuters in an interview.

    "It... is putting the whole Middle East at risk quite frankly," he said by telephone from Oman.

    Will Assad allow for the UN to give out vaccinations... With the Jihadists accept western voodoo medicine?

    1. Not only is food distribution used as a weapon of oppression, so is medical care. A cautionary note may lie within that last.

    2. Only Allah knows for sure, that;s fer shur.

      Texas State University has around 34,000 students. Being hosted by the Vandals tomorrow at home. I am looking forward to another gridiron slaughter. I was thinking of driving down to it but heavy rain is predicted and it should be on TV in Idaho.

      Quick prediction:

      TSU 52

      Idaho 17


    3. By the way, Vandal fans, Idaho rejoins the Big Sky Conference next year. We should never have left. Having learned that lesson, we will be in a more competitive group, and I will go back to rooting for my team rather than against them. We will be playing the likes of the two Montana schools and such like.

      Was hoping for that perfect 0-11 season this year, but was not to be. We beat Temple by two points.

  36. "Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense has provided its first official figures for casualties from drone strikes, and they are surprisingly low. In the 318 drone strikes the US has conducted since 2008, when the program really hit its stride, 2,227 people have been killed, and only 3 percent, or 67 people, were civilians."

    There is nothing more dangerous to a military operation than a "reporter" with a laptop, FAX, and agenda.

    "Pakistan Sharply Reduces Civilian Casualty Estimates from Drone Strikes"

  37. Why Scandinavian women make the rest of the world jealous

    By Lynn Parramore OCTOBER 31, 2013 (nice name, that)

    Icelanders are among the happiest and healthiest people on Earth. They publish more books per capita than any other country, and they have more artists. They boast the most prevalent belief in evolution — and elves, too. Iceland is the world’s most peaceful nation (the cops don’t even carry guns), and the best place for kids. Oh, and they had a lesbian head of state, the world’s first. Granted, the national dish is putrefied shark meat, but you can’t have everything.

    Iceland is also the best place to have a uterus, according to the folks at the World Economic Forum. The Global Gender Gap Report ranks countries based on where women have the most equal access to education and healthcare, and where they can participate most fully in the country’s political and economic life.

    According to the 2013 report, Icelandic women pretty much have it all. Their sisters in Finland, Norway, and Sweden have it pretty good, too: those countries came in second, third and fourth, respectively. Denmark is not far behind at number seven.

    The U.S. comes in at a dismal 23rd, which is a notch down from last year. At least we’re not Yemen, which is dead last out of 136 countries.

    So how did a string of countries settled by Vikings become leaders in gender enlightenment? Bloodthirsty raiding parties don’t exactly sound like models of egalitarianism, and the early days weren’t pretty. Medieval Icelandic law prohibited women from bearing arms or even having short hair. Viking women could not be chiefs or judges, and they had to remain silent in assemblies. On the flip side, they could request a divorce and inherit property. But that’s not quite a blueprint for the world’s premier egalitarian society.

    The change came with literacy, for one thing. Today almost everybody in Scandinavia can read, a legacy of the Reformation and early Christian missionaries, who were interested in teaching all citizens to read the Bible. Following a long period of turmoil, Nordic states also turned to literacy as a stabilizing force in the late 18th century. By 1842, Sweden had made education compulsory for both boys and girls.

    Researchers have found that the more literate the society in general, the more egalitarian it is likely to be, and vice versa. But the literacy rate is very high in the U.S., too, so there must be something else going on in Scandinavia. Turns out that a whole smorgasbord of ingredients makes gender equality a high priority in Nordic countries.

    To understand why, let’s take a look at religion. The Scandinavian Lutherans, who turned away from the excesses of the medieval Catholic Church, were concerned about equality — especially the disparity between rich and poor. They thought that individuals had some inherent rights that could not just be bestowed by the powerful, and this may have opened them to the idea of rights for women. Lutheran state churches in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland have had female priests since the middle of the 20th century, and today, the Swedish Lutheran Church even has a female archbishop............for more see:


    1. "The good news is that things are getting better for women in most places in the world. But the World Economic Forum report shows that the situation either remains the same or is deteriorating for women in 20 percent of countries."

      Miss Parramore doesn't say exactly which countries, though she does mention Yemen, but I bet we can all make an intelligent guess.

      Egypt, with its military back in charge, is a bright hopeful spot, I hope, in an otherwise miserable Islamic world.

    2. Anon,

      Place no confidence in the literacy numbers reported by the US; the government cooks the books.As Georgia has learned since introducing graduation proficiency testing before highs school graduation, vast numbers of our straight A students are incapable of composing a single short paragraph. Until it was discovered that several hundred Atlanta educators were "correcting" the answers to competency, Atlanta was the Florence of the South. Now, not so much. We have one school superintendent suing the Governor for considered removing the accreditation of the largest school district in Georgia.___Believe nothing the government spouts.

    3. Will keep in mind. Definitely don't trust government numbers on much of anything.

  38. Back on the topic at hand -

    November 1, 2013
    The media in panic that Obama is the 'nowhere man sitting in his nowhere land'
    Silvio Canto, Jr.

    There are lots of media people humming The Beatles' "Nowhere Man" these days, especially the line "Nowhere man please listen you don't know what you are missing, Nowhere Man the world is at your command."

    There is a lot of panic because the investment is in serious danger, or a devaluation is likely as they say in currency markets. The latest RCP poll average is approval 44% and disapproval at 52%.

    We remind you that most of these polls were taken before Americans started getting insurance cancellations and President Obama's "you can keep your policy" line came under scrutiny.

    The media is concerned that President Obama looks detached, aloof and any other word synonymous to disconnected. They don't understand how the smartest man to ever take the oath knows so little of what is going on around him. ("He's as blind as he can be, Just sees what he wants to see, Nowhere Man can you see me at all?")

    According to news reports:
    "A string of embarrassing episodes for the Obama administration that the president didn't seem to know about until the public did is raising questions about why he wasn't in the loop and who should have told him.

    Knowledge that the IRS was excessively targeting Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations during the 2012 election cycle arguably would not reach the president's desk before the news media learned this spring.

    But reports over the past week weeks that President Obama was not aware of the National Security Agency monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone nor of the technical problems that plagued the ObamaCare website ahead of its Oct. 1 launch suggests he is taking too much of hands-off approach or perhaps not surrounding himself with people who can keep him informed, critics say.

    Also this week, NBC reported first that the administration in 2010 that ObamaCare was written in such a way that the president's promise about Americans being able to keep their health insurance plans could not be kept."

    Maybe John Lennon's "Nowhere Man" has finally been found. He is Barack Obama, or the man "making his nowhere plans for nobody".