Thursday, August 12, 2010

Political Digest August 12, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

New Ideas From Dead Economists
Book Recommendation.

I want your money!
Looks like a must see movie. Watch this trailer!

For Obama, All Politics Is Local . . . Except When It’s Not
Excerpt: I noted a few days ago that the Obama administration claimed to be taking no position on the Ground Zero mosque, with Robert Gibbs explaining that the president would not want to meddle in local affairs. Now it emerges that the Obama State Department is not only footing the bill for Imam Feisal Rauf’s fling to the Persian Gulf region; it has also posted Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s speech in vigorous support of Rauf’s Ground Zero project on its website (here). Our friend, FDD’s Claudia Rosett, first broke the story about State’s funding of Rauf’s travel. Claudia thought it passing strange that the guy had suddenly disappeared from sight in the middle of this controversy, and State gave her the runaround for three days over whether it was picking up his travel tab. But our government’s promotion of the sharia-touting imam as an emissary is now being reported by the New York Post (which also has an editorial about it — see here and here). Meantime, there now seem to be significant questions about whether the project’s proponents have been playing it straight regarding the real estate involved. It turns out that they do not own at least half the space. It is owned by Con Edison. The Post reports that Rauf’s confederate, Sharif El-Gamal of SoHo properties, purchased a 99-year lease that Con Ed holds (for $700K), but not Con Ed’s ownership interest. This raises at least three intriguing points. (This is getting to beyond crazy. Taxpayer dollars to support a Moslem activist to travel around the Middle East? Who still won't disclose exactly where the many millions of dollars to build the Ground Zero Mosque will come from? Unbelievable even for this Administration. --Del)

Mixed results for party establishment in Colorado Senate primaries
Excerpt: Appointed Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet's solid primary victory over former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff provided a much-needed piece of good news for the Democratic establishment in Washington who had lined up heavily behind the incumbent. Despite being heavily outspent by Bennet, Romanoff had closed considerably in the closing days of the contest -- riding an outsider message in a political climate very ready to hear it. But, Bennet's superior organization and money edge asserted itself on primary day as he jumped to a high single-digit lead and never was seriously challenged. According to Bennet allies, Romanoff overplayed his hand (and lost momentum) with an ad that accused the incumbent of having "looted" Coloradans out of millions of dollars. President Barack Obama had traveled to the state to raise money for Bennet, participated in a tele-town hall in the waning days of the race and lent his name image and voice to direct mail, robo-calls and ads. (Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Romanoff and recorded a robo call for him.) Still, that Bennet, who ran a solid campaign with an experienced and tested team, faced the real possibility of defeat last night is evidence that voters are still very skeptical about keeping the status quo in Washington. (It's worth noting too that voters -- not just in this election cycle -- have tended to resist the idea of electing appointed Senators, a hurdle Bennet also had to overcome.) While the DC-based political establishment got their wish with Bennet, national Republicans saw their preferred candidate -- former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton -- narrowly lose to Weld County prosecutor Ken Buck for the right to face Bennet this fall. The Buck victory may be painted by some as yet more evidence of the Tea Party influence within the GOP -- Buck did have more of that sort of support than Norton -- but is better understood as an outsider beating an insider. Norton, recruited into the race by national Republicans, never seemed to get her feet under her in the race and misjudged a climate looking to punish rather than reward establishment candidates. In short, the jury remains out on just how anti-establishment this political year is and will be. There is clearly an anti-Washington sentiment in the country but Bennet proved last night that a good campaign that grasps the dangers of that environment early on can overcome it.

Robert Gibbs was right to criticize the 'professional left'
Excerpt: I'm with Gibbs. At times I've found White House press secretary Robert Gibbs to be unnecessarily irascible, and maybe his lashing out at the constant grumbling of the "professional left" wasn't the best tactic. You want the base worked up -- but for you, not about you. Nonetheless, his basic point was spot on: The complainers from the left are, in some combination, myopic, forgetful and deranged. (An in other breaking news that no one knew, the Americans have defeated the British at the battle of New Orleans. ~Bob)

Despite charges, Rep. Charles B. Rangel says he won't resign
Obama could resolve this by giving him a cabinet position. Heck, what’s one more tax cheat in the administration? Excerpt: In a defiant, dramatic and highly unusual speech, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) defended himself Tuesday against ethics charges by lashing out at the committee holding his trial, poking fun at President Obama, ridiculing conservative House Democrats and refusing to go away quietly.

House Democrat distances from Obama, Pelosi in TV ad
So ask him, “Will you vote for Pelosi for speaker?” If the answer is yes, he’s part of the problem. Excerpt: A House Democrat in Indiana is using images of President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a new ad separating himself from his party's leaders, a potential preview of the blueprint targeted Members will employ in the coming midterm campaign. In the ad, Rep. Joe Donnelly, who opposes the Obama Administration's lawsuit against the stringent new Arizona illegal immigration law, strikes several conservative notes on the issue. He supports more border agents, penalizing businesses that hire illegal immigrants, deporting illegal immigrants convicted of felonies and eliminating "amnesty." "That may not be what the Washington crowd wants, but I don't work for them. I work for you," Donnelly says, as images of Obama, Pelosi and House Minority Leader John Boehner come on to the screen. Democrats and Donnelly's camp sought to downplay the use of the Democratic leaders in the ad, pointing out that it also includes Boehner and saying Donnelly's independence is well-established. "It's not a mean-spirited comment," said a source close to Donnelly, who requested anonymity to discuss campaign strategy. The source added: "We're taking a shot at Washington, generally." Still, it remains highly unusual to slap images of your own party leaders in an ad and talk about how you disagree with them.

It’s Come to This: Democrat Bashes Obama/Pelosi In Campaign Ad
Excerpt: Recently the L.A. Times reported that the White House warned Democrat incumbents to avoid talking about the Party’s “accomplishments” as they campaign for office this year. In an effort coordinated with the White House, congressional leaders are urging Democrats to focus less on bragging about what they have done — a landmark healthcare law, a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street regulation and other far-reaching policy changes — and more on efforts to fix the economy and on the perils of Republican control of Congress. It’s probably a very good idea for Democrats to avoid talking about their failed economic “accomplishments,” their unpopular Obamacare policy “accomplishments,” and their confusing and growth-stifling banking regulation “accomplishments,” not to mention their “accomplishment” of keeping us at an unemployment rate hovering around 10%. But I don’t think the White House actually wanted Democrats to campaign against President Obama and Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Someone might have wanted to mention that to Indiana’s 2nd District incumbent Democrat Congressman Joe Donnelly. Donnelly felt the need to tell his constituents that he works for them and not those darned ol’ Washington insiders. And as he sternly told his voters this fact, his ad displays a photo including Speaker Pelosi and President Obama! Just last March Donnelly was given the opportunity to deliver the Democratic weekly Radio Address. After that ad one suspects that his privileges might be revoked. Of course, the whole thing is interesting on many levels. We have what we are told is the most popular American president in years, one who won a great electoral victory not but a year and a half ago. Yet now members of his own party are campaigning against him. But there is another amusing thing here. Even as this Donnelley fellow runs against the Obama/Pelosi agenda, he helped that agenda to come to fruition by voting in favor of many of its policies. Especially Obama’s healthcare policies. Donnelley voted with Democrats 88.4% of the time.

Where Are Gore's Hurricanes?
Excerpt: Global tropical cyclone activity (comprised of hurricanes and tropical storms) continues to remain at its lowest level in at least 30 years, according to data from the Florida State University. For nearly two years now, global tropical cyclone activity has remained at its lowest level since at least 1979. According to Florida State hurricane researcher Ryan Maue, it is possible that current accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) is even lower than the extremely low tropical cyclone activity of 1979-1980. “Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone data is spotty prior to the introduction of reliable satellite monitoring, thus the ACE represented at the beginning of the 1980s is likely underestimated due to missing data. Thus, it is possible that the current global collapse in TC [tropical cyclone] ACE is comparable to lows experienced prior to 30-years ago,” observes Maue on the Florida State University Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies Web site. “Since Hurricane Katrina (August 2005) and the publication of high-profile papers in Nature and Science, global tropical cyclone ACE has collapsed in half. This continues the now 4-consecutive years global crash in tropical cyclone activity. While the Atlantic on average makes up about 10% of the global, yearly hurricane activity, the other 90% deserves attention and has been significantly depressed since 2007,” Maue explained. “Northern Hemisphere year-to-date ACE is nearing 50% below normal. The Western North Pacific is at 17% of normal (of the past 30-year average),” Maue noted. Be on the lookout for slightly edited versions of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in the Wal-Mart DVD bin. (I have a tee shirt that compares my tiny carbon footprint to Al’s massive one and says, “If you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough!”

Respect Your Elders -- They Keep The Roof Over Your Head
Excerpt: This week marks the start of Japan's Obon holiday in which families take time off to pay respect to their ancestors, a tradition conveying the importance Japanese families attach to their deceased relatives. But some have been clinging on to their ancestors' memories and pensions rather too assiduously, says the Financial Times. In one case, the corpse of a man who would be 111 years old was kept in a Tokyo house for nearly 30 years. The authorities are reportedly investigating his family on suspicion of pension fraud and negligence. The Japanese press has since tallied nearly 60 instances of centenarians registered with local authorities to receive pensions but whose whereabouts are unknown. The macabre findings have refocused attention on the ability of the Japanese government to cope with its ageing population, particularly its capacity to pay their pensions, says the Financial Times: Part of the problem is that economic stagnation and deteriorating employment conditions have reduced the ability of the younger generation to support the elderly. The proportion of "working poor" or people earning less than $23,000 annually is rising every year. Meanwhile, there are as many people on the waiting list for nursing homes as there are living in them. "The entire welfare system in Japan has depended on a growth model that has stalled," says Richard Ronald, a lecturer in urban studies at the University of Amsterdam. "Dependency on the pensions of older household members is not surprising considering the poor income prospects of younger generations." Commentators say that identifying fraudulent claims is made more difficult because there is no single official body responsible for benefits. There are also laws that prevent authorities carrying out thorough checks on individuals. (not just a Japanese problem. The birth rate has collapsed below replacement in Europe, which responded by bringing in Muslim “guest workers,” a cultural suicide strategy. Our birthrate is just about at replacement at 2.1 live births per woman. That’s thanks to our Mormon and Hispanic citizens, plus the illegals, not the rest of us.)

Comment on the Blog
“I was just honored enough to have someone share your piece "I'M Tired". It is so well written, I will read it many times. It is good to know someone of your stature "gets it." May God bless you in your work.” --Anon. (Can’t be from Mom as she’s no longer with us. And I don’t think they have e-mail in heaven, though probably in hell. ~Bob)

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation
Excerpt: Did you know there is going to be a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation? The authority comes from the new health reform law. And it appears to give the Health and Human Services Secretary enormous discretion to try almost any new idea she finds interesting. If this doesn’t strike you as a bit strange, you need to recall that in the entire 45 year history of Medicare and Medicaid these two insurance programs have almost never been the first to do anything. In fact, most significant changes in Medicare and Medicaid have come years after the rest of the market has already tried them out. Medicare was probably the last major insurer in the country to cover prescription drugs. And even today it doesn’t cover (for all practical purposes) telephone or e-mail consultations, text messaging and a raft of other services private insurers are implementing. Still, give Congress credit for one thing. It is acknowledging there is a problem. By some estimates as much as one in every three health care dollars is wasted. If so, why aren’t entrepreneurs developing systems and products to do away with all that waste — just as they do in other markets? As I pointed out in previous posts at Kaiser Health News and at this blog, in a third-party payment system no one has an incentive to eliminate waste. There is a lot of innovation. But it’s the wrong kind of innovation.

Former congressman Dan Rostenkowski dies at 82
Hard to grieve for another corrupt denizen of The Swamp. Excerpt: Dan Rostenkowski, a product of the Chicago Democratic political machine who rose to become one of the most powerful members of the U.S. House of Representatives before he lost his seat and was jailed on felony corruption charges, died Wednesday at his home in Wisconsin. He was 82. The son of a Chicago alderman and ward committeeman who trafficked in political favors, Mr. Rostenkowski entered Congress in 1959 with the backing of Mayor Richard J. Daley, patriarch of the city's machine. As the mayor's man in Washington, Mr. Rostenkowski delivered billions of dollars of federal largesse to Chicago, including $450 million to repair the city's John F. Kennedy Expressway and $4 billion for the Deep Tunnel project to keep sewage out of Lake Michigan.

New Jersey Says Prudential Financial's Payouts Are Acceptable
Excerpt: New Jersey insurance regulators say they have concluded Prudential Financial Inc. properly handled life-insurance benefits in a controversial matter involving a solider killed in Afghanistan in 2008. The insurer's payout methods in recent weeks drew national attention from media outlets, lawmakers and regulators after a Bloomberg Markets magazine article questioned an industry practice in which insurers put death benefits into a money-market-like account with a checkbook for withdrawals rather than writing beneficiaries a lump-sum check. The July 28 article suggested that insurers benefit at the expense of the families of soldiers and others by holding onto their insurance proceeds. (See TOJ posts of 30 Jul for original story "Veterans Affairs to Investigate Fallen Soldiers' Death Benefits" and 4 Aug for follow-up and comments "Response to Fallen Soldiers' Families Denied Cash as Insurers Profit" Ron P.)

Gains in Bioscience Cause Terror Fears
Rapid advances in bioscience are raising alarms among terrorism experts that amateur scientists will soon be able to gin up deadly pathogens for nefarious uses. Fears of bioterror have been on the rise since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, stoking tens of billions of dollars of government spending on defenses, and the White House and Congress continue to push for new measures. But the fear of a mass-casualty terrorist attack using bioweapons has always been tempered by a single fact: Of the scores of plots uncovered during the past decade, none have featured biological weapons. Indeed, many experts doubt terrorists even have the technical capability to acquire and weaponize deadly bugs. The new fear, though, is that scientific advances that enable amateur scientists to carry out once-exotic experiments, such as DNA cloning, could be put to criminal use. Many well-known figures are sounding the alarm over the revolution in biological science, which amounts to a proliferation of know-how—if not the actual pathogens. "Certain areas of biotechnology are getting more accessible to people with malign intent," said Jonathan Tucker, an expert on biological and chemical weapons at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Geneticist Craig Venter said last month at the first meeting of a presidential commission on bioethics, "If students can order any [genetic sequences] online, somebody could try to make the Ebola virus." (All the way back in the 50s, biologicals were considered potential "poor man's nukes." This is because the investment of space and money are (relatively) minimal compared to the handling of nuclear materials. Some of the more exotic diseases, anthrax for example, are difficult to handle, but notice that even though the FBI has declared the letter-delivered anthrax attacks of 2001 "closed" with the naming of a now dead scientist, virtually everyone who knew the man scoffs at the idea he did it. Also, the FBI never found the laboratory used to weaponize the spores, and it couldn't have been done at the man's normal workplace, he was a government employee and security was very tight. The advances in bio-science may give us wondrous cures of ancient scourges, but it also makes it possible for J. S. D'Ragman to cook up a plague in his cellar. Don't live in fear, but be aware either--or both--can happen. And will, given a long enough time span. Ron P.)

The Point of No Return$Xarg&
Excerpt: For the Obama administration, the prospect of a nuclearized Iran is dismal to contemplate— it would create major new national-security challenges and crush the president’s dream of ending nuclear proliferation. But the view from Jerusalem is still more dire: a nuclearized Iran represents, among other things, a threat to Israel’s very existence. In the gap between Washington’s and Jerusalem’s views of Iran lies the question: who, if anyone, will stop Iran before it goes nuclear, and how? As Washington and Jerusalem study each other intensely, here’s an inside look at the strategic calculations on both sides—and at how, if things remain on the current course, an Israeli air strike will unfold. It is possible that at some point in the next 12 months, the imposition of devastating economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran will persuade its leaders to cease their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is also possible that Iran’s reform-minded Green Movement will somehow replace the mullah-led regime, or at least discover the means to temper the regime’s ideological extremism. It is possible, as well, that “foiling operations” conducted by the intelligence agencies of Israel, the United States, Great Britain, and other Western powers—programs designed to subvert the Iranian nuclear effort through sabotage and, on occasion, the carefully engineered disappearances of nuclear scientists—will have hindered Iran’s progress in some significant way. It is also possible that President Obama, who has said on more than a few occasions that he finds the prospect of a nuclear Iran “unacceptable,” will order a military strike against the country’s main weapons and uranium-enrichment facilities. But none of these things—least of all the notion that Barack Obama, for whom initiating new wars in the Middle East is not a foreign-policy goal, will soon order the American military into action against Iran—seems, at this moment, terribly likely. What is more likely, then, is that one day next spring, the Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran—possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft. (It’s so crowded, in fact, that the United States Central Command, whose area of responsibility is the greater Middle East, has already asked the Pentagon what to do should Israeli aircraft invade its airspace. According to multiple sources, the answer came back: do not shoot them down.) In these conversations, which will be fraught, the Israelis will tell their American counterparts that they are taking this drastic step because a nuclear Iran poses the gravest threat since Hitler to the physical survival of the Jewish people. The Israelis will also state that they believe they have a reasonable chance of delaying the Iranian nuclear program for at least three to five years. They will tell their American colleagues that Israel was left with no choice. They will not be asking for permission, because it will be too late to ask for permission. (...) If the Israelis reach the firm conclusion that Obama will not, under any circumstances, launch a strike on Iran, then the countdown will begin for a unilateral Israeli attack. “If the choice is between allowing Iran to go nuclear, or trying for ourselves what Obama won’t try, then we probably have to try,” the official told me. (Relatively well balanced article. I agree with almost everything except the issue of timing. Goldberg thinks the Israelis won't do anything until next spring. I doubt they'll wait that long. The first time we heard the Iranians were 1 to 3 years away from having an atom bomb was 2 years ago. Ron P.)

Press Conference
Tea Party people talking about racism.... but a rather special group of people. I recommend it highly. –Del

“History Repeats” from a blog reader
I am currently rereading "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". I came to a point where the Nazis have consolidated their power and I found a brief one paragraph summary of one effect of this "one party rule". From the late 30s.............................. “No one who has not lived for years in a totalitarian land can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime's calculated and incessant propaganda. Often in a German home or office, or sometimes in a casual conversation with a stranger in a restaurant, a beer hall, a cafe, I would meet with the most outlandish assertions from seemingly educated and intelligent persons. It was obvious they were parroting some piece of nonsense they had heard on the radio or read in the newspapers. Sometimes, one was tempted to say as much, but on such occasions one was met with such a stare of incredulity, such a shock of silence, as if one had blasphemed the Almighty, that one realized how useless it was even to try to make contact with a mind which had become warped and for whom the facts of life had become what Hitler and Goebbels, with their cynical disregard for truth, said they were.”….Just substitute "American" for "German" and "Obama and Pelosi" for "Hitler and Goebbels." Still seems accurate doesn't it? --R )

What Handouts To Cut by Walter Williams
Williams is second only to Sowell. Excerpt: Because of failure to heed the limitations of the U.S. Constitution, which has produced runaway federal spending, our nation sits on the precipice of disaster. Former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Erskine Bowles, White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, co-chairmen of President Obama's debt and deficit commission, in a Washington Post article "Obama's Debt Commission Warns of Fiscal 'Cancer'" (July 12, 2010) said that "(A)t present, federal revenue is fully consumed by three programs: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The rest of the federal government, including fighting two wars, homeland security, education, art, culture, you name it, veterans -- the whole rest of the discretionary budget is being financed by China and other countries." The commission added the current budget trend is a disaster "that will destroy the country from within" unless checked by tough action in Washington. The tough action required is spending cuts in programs, including the so-called nondiscretionary, eating most of the federal revenues. According to the Census, around 80 percent of Americans 65 and older own their own homes compared to 43 percent under 35. Twenty-three million households, or 37 percent of all homeowners, own their homes free and clear, and most of these are seniors aged 65 and older. According to the Federal Reserve Board's 2007 "Survey of Consumer Finances," the median net worth of people 65 and over is $232,000, those under 35 years have a net worth of $12,000 and for those 35-44, it's $87,000.

State Department: Taliban is not a terrorist organization
Shooting ten unarmed healthcare aid workers is, what, patty cake? Excerpt: A new State Department report designating terrorist organizations notably excludes one group: the Taliban. The U.S. has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for almost a decade aimed at “defeating the Taliban,” Taliban members repeatedly have threatened and killed American citizens and lawmakers have increased pressure on State to add the Taliban to the list. Earlier this summer, a group of congressional Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton urging her to begin the process of categorizing the Taliban as a terrorist group. In June, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand of New York and Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey proposed legislation that would immediately add the Taliban to the terrorist list.

The Obama presidency increasingly resembles a modern-day Ancien Régime
UK Paper. Excerpt: What the great French historian Alexis de Tocqueville would make of today’s Obama administration were he alive today is anyone’s guess. But I would wager that the author of L’Ancien Régime and Democracy in America would be less than impressed with the extravagance and arrogance on display among the White House elites that rule America as though they had been handed some divine right to govern with impunity. It is the kind of impunity that has been highlighted on the world stage this week by Michelle Obama’s hugely costly trip to Spain, which has prompted a New York Post columnist Andrea Tantaros to dub the First Lady a contemporary Marie Antoinette. As The Telegraph reports, while the Obamas are covering their own vacation expenses such as accommodation, the trip may cost US taxpayers as much as $375,000 in terms of secret service security and flight costs on Air Force Two. The timing of this lavish European vacation could not have come at a worse moment, when unemployment in America stands at 10 percent, and large numbers of Americans are fighting to survive financially in the wake of the global economic downturn. It sends a message of indifference, even contempt, for the millions of Americans who are struggling just to feed their families on a daily basis and pay the mortgage, while the size of the national debt balloons to Greek-style proportions. While the liberal-dominated US mainstream media have largely ignored the story, it is all over the blogosphere and talk radio, and will undoubtedly add to the President’s free falling poll ratings. As much as the media establishment turn a blind eye to stories like this, which are major news in the international media, the American public is increasingly turning to alternative news sources, including the British press, which has a far less deferential approach towards the White House.

Obama's state capitalism: A failure of modesty
Excerpt: “The pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated.” Those were the carefully chosen words of the Federal Reserve Board after its meeting Tuesday. Translation into English: We wuz wrong. So were a lot of people, including departing White House economic adviser Christina Romer, who wrote that the Obama Democrats’ February 2009 stimulus package would hold unemployment below 8 percent. It wasn’t just administration spokesmen who expected a solid recovery. California economist Bill Watkins in recalls a conference last fall in which all the other economists presented rosy scenarios and only he forecast extended malaise. He was relieved that his colleagues didn’t pelt him with tomatoes. It’s easy for Republicans to make partisan hay of all this. They can point out, as Bush administration economist Larry Lindsey does in the Weekly Standard, that the congressional Democrats’ stimulus package was not the timely, targeted and temporary measure recommended by national economic director Larry Summers. They can add that the threat of pending regulations interpreting the health care and financial regulation bills and of pending tax increases as the Bush cuts expire have created a climate of uncertainty in which consumers don’t consume, banks don’t lend and businesses don’t create jobs. All true. But in this summer of unrecovery it’s still important to understand how so many smart people got so much so wrong. One answer comes from economist Arnold Kling writing in Kling argues that the collapse of the housing market and the financial crisis disrupted what had been “a sustainable patter of specialization of trade” and that we need to let the market economy develop a new one. (Unfortunately, the Obots have a religious-like faith in big government and central planning, and will always find excuses for it regardless of how bad things get.)

Harry Reid: ‘I don’t see how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican’
With a granddaughter of Hispanic ancestry, I find Reid’s remarks suggesting they can’t think for themselves racist but typical. Excerpt: I wonder what Republicans Brian Sandoval (overwhelming favorite to be Nevada’s next governor), Marco Rubio, Quico Canseco and Susana Martinez have to say about this comment from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid?

Company job openings drop for 2nd straight month
Business is hunkering down, afraid of what Obama, Reid and Pelosi will do to them next. ~Bob Excerpt: Company job openings fell for the second straight month in June, a sign that hiring isn't likely to pick up in the coming months. The data comes after a weak employment report Friday that showed businesses aren't adding enough new workers to bring down the unemployment rate, currently 9.5 percent. Wednesday's report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, suggests that won't change anytime soon. The survey counts job openings on the last day of the month. Those openings may take up to three months to fill, economists say. That means Wednesday's report provides a rough signal of how many jobs will be created over the next several months. The Labor Department says job openings at businesses fell to 2.54 million in June from 2.6 million in May. Overall openings were unchanged, at 2.9 million, as government openings ticked up. The government figures have been distorted in recent months by the ending of hundreds of thousands of temporary census jobs. June's total openings are 26 percent above the low point of 2.3 million in July 2009. That may seem like a lot of available jobs, but they are still far below pre-recession levels of about 4.4 million openings per month.

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