News/Politics 3-15-14

What’s interesting in the news this weekend?

Open thread, as always.

Here’s a few from me.

1. Sure, what could possibly go wrong?

From TheWaPo  “U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.

Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group. That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete.

“We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan,” Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, said in a statement.”

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2. More bi-partisan shenanigans from our elected officials. And of course, the DoJ refuses to pursue the matter.

From TheWashingtonTimes FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation.

The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.

But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.”

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3. Benghazi, and the investigation that was never investigated.

From FoxNews  “American personnel on the ground in Benghazi the night of the 2012 terror attack are outraged after learning that the CIA’s inspector general never conducted an investigation into what happened — despite two CIA workers being killed in the attack and despite at least two complaints being filed by CIA employees.”

“Asked why such a probe has not been launched, a CIA spokesman said: “CIA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) always reviews carefully every matter that is brought to its attention, and takes appropriate action based on a variety of factors.”

“But a CIA spokesman said the OIG has already “explained fully” to the agency’s congressional oversight committees “why it did not open an investigation into Benghazi-related issues.”

“That decision was based on a determination that the concerns raised fell under the purview of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, and that a separate OIG action could unnecessarily disrupt the FBI’s criminal investigation into the Benghazi attacks,” the spokesman said.”

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4. The best way to fight racism is with….. more racism? 🙄

From King5.com  “An attempt to fight racism at a community college may have backfired.

A group of employees at South Puget Sound Community College sent out an invitation to all 300 staffers.

The “Staff, Faculty and Administrators of Color” encouraged employees to reply to the invitation to find out the confidential date and time of what was being called a “happy hour” to “build support and community” for people of color.

The invite made it clear white people were not invited.”

With a Hat Tip to Janice for pointing this one out.

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22 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-15-14

  1. looks like they are deciding that the Malasian airlines was hijacked and diverted another direction. Praying for the families

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  2. Yeah, about that…. 🙂

    I slept in until 7 this morning, so I was a little behind on this thread. I wanted to get the others up, so I came back and edited this one after it was posted.

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  3. 4. So they sent invitation to everyone but made it clear that some were not invited? Why didn’t they just send invitations to those that were welcome.

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  4. #2 Mike Lee should insist that he and his should be investigated.

    “Proverbs 22:1
    A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”

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  5. Someone provided a link to a WORLD article yesterday. In the link, Smith states that its economic mobility not income inequality which matters. He conveniently forgets to mention that income inequality is one of the best predictors of economic mobility. He also fails to mention the distinction between economic mobility measured within one generation and inter-generational mobility. The former merely notes a 50 year old has improved since being 20 whereas the latter notes someone is better off than their parents. The Harvard study he mentions covers only a period of 30 years and then neglects to make international comparison.

    If they looked, they would find countries with high income inequality have low inter-generational economic mobility. The UK and the US have low economic mobility whereas the Nordic countries with low income inequality have high economic mobility. Thus, income inequality still matter.

    He then cites a study which notes the correlation between two parent families and local gov’t spending (schools, parks and recreation, public health) and economic mobility. What the study and Smith fail to mention is that a high income inequality rate also correlates to high divorce rate, single parent families, teen pregnancies, etc. Perhaps the study is mixing cause and effect.

    Smith then cites gentrification as part of the trickle down effect. The young people moving into older poorer neighborhoods are not the wealthy 10% from which we expect the trickle down effect rather they have a slightly higher income than those they displace, better prospects, and most important better credit. Trickle down doesn’t work — the majority of the wealth produced in America the last 30 years has been squirreled away. For the most part, those who have this wealth have not invested and have not created work.

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  6. 1. You want gov’t control of something? Aren’t things best left in private hands? Or so say the free marketers. Hence, if one was a free market capitalist, they should be relieved the gov’t relinquished control and is allowing industry regulate itself.

    3. Once one enforcement agency launches an investigation, other agencies are loathed to intervene.

    4. Self-identification is part of the philosophy of these groups and actions, hence, you need to send an invite to everyone in case you miss someone. In addition, its doubtful a group of employees has the actual data on who or who isn’t a person of color. When groups such as these attempt to form they spend an inordinate amount of time deciding who belongs or doesn’t belong and thus in-fighting paralyzes any action the group may take. Self-identification is supposed to eliminate this legalistic wrangling (one wonders if there isn’t a job for unemployed apartheid bureaucrats from South Africa here) but its highly unlikely a group such as this will accomplish anything other than to provide an outlet to gripe and complain and perhaps if they have their stuff together maybe get a grant.

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  7. Looks like some attention is being given now to the pilot(s) of the missing airliner. How sad and stressful for all the family members who are living through this. It would be amazing if the passengers were still alive, if the plane landed somewhere and they were being held hostage, but surely demands or some other communication would have been made public by now in that case.

    Strage mystery, wonder if we’ll ever know what happened. Either way, it must have been a horrific time for those onboard for up to several hours. 😦

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  8. HRW, You would benefit by taking a sabbatical and working for a year in the private sector. When you say the majority of wealth produced in the last 30 years has been “squirreled away”, where is it? In mattresses? In tin cans in back yards?

    People that save money do one of several things with it:

    1. They invest in in their own businesses, creating new jobs and products.

    2. They invest in small businesses of friends, family and neighbors, creating new jobs and products.

    3. They invest in publicly traded investments which also provide capital for business expansion.

    When Reagan signed the 1986 Tax Act, he created a relatively level playing field so that investment dollars flowed to the ventures most likely to be profitable. Since then Fascist Democrats and wimpy Republicans have created many incentives to do stupid things with one’s money, i.e. invest in moronic and/or fraudulent “green” schemes. Nevertheless, only a socialist would believe that trillions have been “squirreled away” into some mythical black hole.

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  9. I”m not railing against the small business sector. They’re a key component of any successful economy.

    Worldwide, 21 to 32 trillion dollars are hidden away in tax havens essentially dead money. The US lost $166 billion in 2102 alone. If this money actually circulated in the same way small business does there would be no need for gov’t spending to prime the pump of the economy.

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  10. I assume you are talking about money going overseas. If so, this is anything but “dead” money. Foreign banks use it to:
    A. Buy US securities;
    B. Make loans to businesses, many of which are American.
    C. Invest in equity markets, of which the US is the largest.
    Meanwhile, billions of foreign capital is coming into the US.

    The capital market is competitive, just like the labor market. If the US provides the best opportunities for bright, hard-working people, we will attract the best and the brightest. If the US creates a favorable environment for business, it will attract foreign capital.

    US Government spending doesn’t prime the pump. It rewards sloth. It subsidizes inefficiency. It is wasteful in a hundred different ways from the military to healthcare to energy to education.

    At the state level, Texas has low government spending while the Northeast has high taxes and high spending. The Yankees and their businesses are coming down here in droves. As with nations there is competition for bright, hard-working people.

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  11. Ricky,

    That doesn’t scare me as much as this.

    Our govt. violating a court order to get the names of customers.

    Here’s the original from a day or so ago.

    http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/03/12/gun-store-owner-halts-federal-raid/#axzz2w56NM4nB

    “The owner of an Oceanside store that sells various gun parts to build a rifle from scratch refused to turn over his customer list to federal agents.

    Dimitrios Karras, owner of Ares Armor, said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were investigating their business, not for what they sell, but for the people who purchase their products.

    Karras said the ATF threatened to shutter their business if they didn’t hand over the names of 5,000 customers who have purchased an 80 percent lower receiver (the base) for building an AR-15.

    In anticipation of a raid, they filed a temporary restraining order against the ATF, stopping them from confiscating their property, Karras said. The ATF has a certain amount of time to respond. If the two parties do not reach a compromise, they will be in court for a preliminary hearing March 20.”

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    But the ATF has ignored the court order and the court date to settle the matter 5 days from now, and has raided all locations. I guess they knew they’d lose.

    http://weaselzippers.us/179529-breaking-ares-armor-raided-by-atf-for-customer-files-despite-restraining-order-from-judge/

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  12. ricky — there’s no need to be at the mercy of foreign banks who hold money made in America. Ensure that money stays in the country and its spent there. There’s no need to let billions leave the country, forcing the country to behave in a certain way to get the money back.

    All economic actions, including the gov’ts, prime the pump. For example, food stamps provide a far greater multiplier than tax cuts, since the former is spent within the community whereas the latter may go anywhere. True some acts promote inefficiencies but thats a management issue which occurs in both private and public sectors.

    In terms of Ukraine, there’s really no role for the US, the Crimea is an accomplished fact. The current Ukrainian gov’t has a legitimacy problem and has very little support in the east of the country. These are all outside of American control, the most they and the EU can do is use the power of the purse to encourage the current gov’t to move in one direction or an other. Russia has a far greater interest here than the US and the US along with NATO and the EU should back off. As for foolish American behavior try John McCain;
    http://www.businessinsider.com/john-mccain-meets-oleh-tyahnybok-in-ukraine-2013-12

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  13. ricky — just checked how attracting all that capital has worked for Texas — only DC and four states have a higher rate of household poverty. Perhaps Texas would be batter off keeping the money in Texas rather than wait for outside interests to help them.

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  14. I got this from a retired AF Chaplain. a Lt Col, I knew him since college. I haven’t checked it out, but I trust the source.

    Lt. Col Matthew Dooley, a West Point graduate and highly-decorated combat veteran, was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University . He had 19 years of service and experience, and was considered one of the most highly qualified military instructors on Radical Islam &Terrorism. He taught military students about the situations they would encounter, how to react, about Islamic culture, traditions, and explained the mindset of Islamic extremists. Passing down first hand knowledge and experience, and teaching courses that were suggested (and approved) by the Joint Forces Staff College ..
    The course “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism”,which was suggested and approved by the Joint Forces Staff College , caught the attention of several Islamic Groups, and they wanted to make an example of him. They collectively wrote a letter expressing their outrage, and the Pro-Islamic Obama Administration was all too happy to assist. The letter was passed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey. Dempsey publicly degraded and reprimanded Dooley, and Dooley received a negative Officer Evaluation Report almost immediately (which he had aced for the past 5 years). He was relieved of teaching duties, and his career has been red-flagged “He had a brilliant career ahead of him. Now, he has been flagged.” –
    Richard Thompson, Thomas More Law Center “All US military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau, and Joint Chiefs are under Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated order to ensure that henceforth, no US military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive, or just too informative.” – Former CIA agent Claire M. Lopez (about Lt. Col Dooley)The Obama Administration has demonstrated lightning speed to dismiss Military brass that does not conform to it’s agenda, and not surprisingly, nobody is speaking up for Lt. Col. Dooley.
    IT’S A SAD DAY FOR THIS COUNTRY WHEN GOOD LOYAL MEN LIKE THIS GET THROWN UNDER THE BUS BECAUSENOBODYHAS THE COURAGE TO STAND UP!
    Share this if you would. Let’s bring some attention to this.

    Our USA Military is being destroyed! We will not have any protection!

    Ray Rattary
    LOUI Consulting Group,Inc.
    1102 Park Drive
    Warner Robins, GA. 31088
    478-599-0104 Ext 321
    rarattary@lcgi.net

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  15. The problem with out war on terror is that none of our officers and politicians know who the enemy is. I was that way in the early days, but I have done lots of reading since then, including the Koran. I supported the Iraq war initially, but now consider it a blunder to try to send troops to occupy any Muslim nation. We could destroy the Taliban from outside the country.
    We can’t make a democracy out of a Muslim nation.
    Their religion won’t permit it.
    Islam is not a peaceful religion. Though I know why the leaders say that. The problem is, some believe it.

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  16. Chas, I agree with you on the War on “Terror”.

    In addition, certain aspects of our culture (drunkenness, obscenity, perversion, etc.) are particularly offensive to Muslims and virtually everyone else in the world except for decadent Westerners.

    I agree with HRW on Ukraine. McCain learned nothing from Iraq, Libya and our promotion of democracy in the Arab world. As bad as Obama has been, I am thankful we haven’t had six years of a McCain foreign policy.

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