The Moderate Voice http://themoderatevoice.com An Internet hub with domestic and international news, analysis, original reporting, and popular features from the left, center, indies, centrists, moderates, and right Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:38:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 August Was Hottest August Ever Recorded Per NASA Data http://themoderatevoice.com/198881/august-was-hottest-august-ever-recorded-per-nasa-data/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198881/august-was-hottest-august-ever-recorded-per-nasa-data/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:38:23 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198881 Living through 2014 has given many of us the sensation that after years of record warm years this could be an exception. Of course even if this was the case, one year would not change the overall trend, and certainly add no credence to the phony conservative claim of a hiatus in global warming. We can be mislead because having a generally cooler year in some areas does not mean the same is true globally. I was a bit surprised to find that the past August was the hottest on record and 2014 is still turning out to be one of the warmer years on record according to NASA’s data. The Hill reports:

The globe just experienced its hottest recorded August, according to new data released by NASA on Monday.

While last month is ranked the No. 1 August by temperature, the difference among the top five is fewer than .03 degrees Celsius, NASA said in an email to The Hill.

All together, summer 2014 ranked fourth out of the warmest summers on record.

The small difference between the top five Augusts, however, reveals that long-term trends are more significant when it comes to tracking global warming, according to NASA.

“August 2014 was a very warm month globally, and the 2014 is shaping up to be a very warm year,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

“In the broader context, these continuing high ranked months and seasons confirm and add to the long-term trend in temperatures that have been seen in recent decades,” Schmidt said.

Originally posted at Liberal Values

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FCC receives 3+ million comments on #netNeutality, takes another look at mobile http://themoderatevoice.com/198878/fcc-receives-3-million-comments-on-netneutality-takes-another-look-at-mobile/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198878/fcc-receives-3-million-comments-on-netneutality-takes-another-look-at-mobile/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 04:21:27 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198878 The FCC received 1,776,471 emails and 1,297,691 electronic comments on its network neutrality proposal from late April to September 15. On Wednesday, the agency released daily and weekly data totaling 3,074,162 comments..

FCC Net Neutrality Comments

FCC net neutrality comments submitted via email; weekly data.

FCC Network Neutrality

FCC net neutrality comments submitted via electronic system ; daily data.

The comment period officially opened on May 15, but the email account was established April 24. This explains the different start dates on the two charts.

The first bump in daily online comments chart followed John Oliver’s June 1 show; the show itself became “news.” From May 14 – May 31 (18 days) there were 28,055 electronic comments. From June 1 – June 7 (7 days) there were 85,135. That’s a big bump.

 

In case you need a reminder – what we are talking about is PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION. Here’s John Oliver:

Click here to view the embedded video.

Usually we think of regulation as proposing restrictions: in this case, however, regulation requires openness.

Even Adam Smith, who the right uses in their free market rhetoric, abhorred monopolies and would endorse keeping the Internet open and neutral.

Americans have traditionally believed that the “invisible hand of the market” means that capitalism will benefit us all without requiring any oversight. However, as the New York Times notes, the real Adam Smith did not believe in a magically benevolent market which operates for the benefit of all without any checks and balances. (WaPo, 2010)

“Checks and balances” is another way to say “regulation” when there ain’t enough competition to do the job.

Another look at mobile

Perhaps due to the overwhelming public response to the issue, yesterday the FCC began revisiting mobile data and its exemption from network neutrality. The NY Times elaborates:

Removing the wireless exemption from some net neutrality rules would be a change in the commission’s stance since May, when the regulator laid out a set of proposed rules called “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet.” In that draft, the newly proposed rules would subject wired Internet service providers to “commercially reasonable practices” of network management.

Wireless companies — who also, by the way, provide broadband to your home via wires and fibre — object.

More from the NY Times:

In July 2012, Verizon Wireless agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle an F.C.C. investigation into whether it was blocking its customers from connecting to an application that allows consumers to use a wireless phone as a modem to connect another device to the Internet, a practice known as tethering.

AND

In August 2012, AT&T said it would not allow customers with unlimited data plans to use Apple’s FaceTime application on its cellular data network. After several public interest groups threatened to file a complaint with the F.C.C. that the company was violating the open-Internet policy, AT&T announced a new policy to support FaceTime use.

Verizon, surprising no one, issued a statement opposing extending net neutrality rules to mobile. As usual, the frame is “how heavily broadband should be regulated.”

And the telcos have contacted their Senators.

Net neutrality would amount to the FCC taking “control” of the Internet, said Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican. “Without government regulation the Internet is growing,” he said. “So what’s the problem? What is broken? What is it that needs to be fixed?”

Great rhetoric, never mind that it’s a bunch of hot air (“liar, liar, pants on fire” kinda hot air).

It’s a good think Hatch wasn’t around when telephone service and electricity had yet to make their way to rural America.

I’m certain he would have opposed the federal loans that made cooperative ventures possible. That’s right, the big corporations didn’t want to run those wires because they could make more money in high-density urban areas.

You know.

Like Verizon abandoning the West and focusing on the Northeast corridor.

:: Follow me on Twitter
:: Cross-posted from WiredPen

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Scottish Opponents of Independence Slightly Ahead In Polls http://themoderatevoice.com/198876/scottish-opponents-of-independence-slightly-ahead-in-polls/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198876/scottish-opponents-of-independence-slightly-ahead-in-polls/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:57:05 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198876 (Reuters) – Scottish supporters of staying in the United Kingdom are 4 percentage points ahead of secessionists with just a day to go before Scots vote in an independence referendum, three different opinion polls showed. The United Kingdom’s fate remains uncertain as the three surveys – from pollsters ICM, Opinium and Survation – showed support for…

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Wisconsin GOP Candidate Jacob Dorsey Drops Out of Race After Offensive Tweets http://themoderatevoice.com/198874/wisconsin-gop-candidate-jacob-dorsey-drops-out-of-race-after-offensive-tweets/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198874/wisconsin-gop-candidate-jacob-dorsey-drops-out-of-race-after-offensive-tweets/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:15:28 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198874 dorsey-tweet (1)

Wisconsin Republican state assembly candidate Jacob Dorsey, 19, is totally sorry for disparaging blacks and gays on social media, The Gazette reports.  He dropped out of the race after admitting he made offensive comments on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Here’s more from Talking Points Memo:

In December 2013, Dorsey tweeted “f*gs need 2 leave my favorite state alone” after a judge decided not to stay the ruling that struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban, according to the NOManiancs blog.

Now, Dorsey admitted that he made other offensive comments on Twitter and YouTube, which were discovered by the NOManiacs blog.

In comments on YouTube videos, he used the words “f*gs” and “n*ggers.” In one comment he said “N*ggers trash cars. I’m not selling my town car to one…” according to NOManiac’s screenshots, which were also posted on the Janesville Community Facebook page.

Seems to me that Jacob Dorsey is apologizing because he got caught. He isn’t apologizing because his behavior is offensive and plain racist. Get ready, the election cycle is heating up and more venom will be spewed by the haters.

This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

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Election Forecasts Now Improving For Democrats To Retain Control Of Senate http://themoderatevoice.com/198870/election-forecasts-now-improving-for-democrats-to-retain-control-of-senate/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198870/election-forecasts-now-improving-for-democrats-to-retain-control-of-senate/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:05:42 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198870 Various forecasts for who will control the Senate are now tilting in the direction of the Democrats, with most still agreeing the race is very close, continuing a trend I noted at the beginning of the month. Some of the predictions more favorable to Democrats have been those which concentrate more on polls as opposed to historical trends and other factors. Nate Silver had previously discounted many of the polls, noting both the low number and often poor quality of polls available. Silver is now reconsidering his prediction, decreasing chances for Republicans to take control of the Senate from 65 percent two weeks ago to 55 percent.

Others have even more favorable predictions for Democrats. Electoral-vote.com, based purely on polls, now leans Democratic. The Upshot gives the Republicans a 54 percent chance (51 percent yesterday). Election Lab gives the Republicans a 50.1 percent chance (with Democrats a 51 percent chance yesterday). The Princeton Election Consortium even gives the Democrats a 78 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.

In changing his prediction, Nate Silver looked at factors such as the Democratic ground game, and believes money might be the most important factor.

Charlie Cook looked at the same factors:

Two things may be keeping Republican strategists up at night: money and the Democratic ground game. Perhaps the biggest untold story of this election is how so many Republican and conservative donors, at least those whose last name isn’t Koch, have kept their checkbooks relatively closed. In many cases, GOP candidates are not enjoying nearly the same financial largesse that existed in 2012, and in some races, they are well behind Democrats. While Republican candidates, national party committees, and super PACs are hardly starving, their Senate and House campaign committees have not been able to keep pace in fundraising with their Democratic counterparts. Their super PACs do not have nearly the funding that they had in 2012 (even allowing for the absence of a presidential race this year). And, in a number of key races, Democratic candidates, party committees, and their allied groups have been on the air significantly more than Republicans. GOP strategists have privately said that if it were not for spending by organizations affiliated with the Koch brothers, they might well be in really bad shape.

Many Republican and conservative donors appear to be somewhat demoralized after 2012. They feel that they were misled about the GOP’s chances in both the presidential and senatorial races that year, and/or their money was not well spent. In short, they are giving less if at all, and it has put Republican candidates in a bind in a number of places.

Another reason things might not turn out for Republicans is if the highly touted Democratic Senate ground game comes together. Clearly the Obama campaign and Democratic allies had a superior voter-identification and get-out-the-vote operation two years ago. Earlier this year, Senate Democrats announced the Bannock Street Project, a $60 million program with the goal of putting in place 4,000 paid workers to use techniques perfected and put to work in 2010 by DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet in his race, and again two years ago by the Obama campaign. While some Republicans have scoffed at the likelihood of Democrats being able to mount such an effort, they concede that the Democratic ground game was superior two years ago. In midterm elections, if Democrats can crank up the turnout among young, female, and minority voters, then their chances of success this year increase.

The GOP might be paying for its divorce from reality when Republicans were predicting victory in 2012 despite all the polling data showing that they were delusional.

Electoral-Vote.com also looks at how Democrats are spending their money more effectively, along with factors such as the culture war issues  now favoring the Democrats and the Republicans big demographic problem–a considerable decrease in the low-information, non-college-educated white males who provide such a large percentage of Republican votes (emphasis mine):

Republicans used to use cultural issues like same-sex marriage and abortion to rev up their supporters and get them to vote. Now the shoe is on the other foot. It is the Democrats who are talking about cultural issues and scaring the voters with them. Not only has same-sex marriage gained enormous popularity in the past five or ten years, but Republican support for limiting birth control (such as in the Hobby Lobby case) is scaring women and driving them to the Democrats. Much of the Republicans’ problem has to do with shifting demographics. In 1980, when Ronald Reagan was first elected, white voters without college degrees made up 65% of the electorate. In 2012, that number was 36%. Ever since Richard Nixon began his Southern strategy, Republicans have been basing their campaigns on getting older white men without college degrees to back them. They still do, but there aren’t enough of them any more and it is beginning to be a real problem, hence the action in many states to limit who can vote (voter ID requirements) and when they can vote (shortening early voting periods). This year in states as diverse as Colorado and North Carolina, Democratic candidates are claiming that the Republicans are out of the mainstream. Such an approach was unthinkable 10 years ago, when it was the Republicans making these claims about the Democrats.

What Democrats in red states are also desperately trying to do is make the race between them and their actual opponent, not between President Obama and their opponent. In a new ad the Democratic candidate for the Senate in Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, literally says “I’m not Barack Obama” while shooting a gun. Then she shows a photo of her opponent, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), waving a gun with her saying he doesn’t know how to hold it. The Republicans, in contrast, are running against Obama everywhere. Obama himself is not sitting idly by. In October he will begin serious campaigning, although he may be limited to states where he is relatively popular, such as Colorado, Iowa, and Michigan. And of course he can show up in New York and California any time he wants to in order to raise money for the DSCC.

First Read points to how the gender gap continues to help Democrats.The Washington Examiner looked at how Democratic super PACs have been more effective in their use of advertising money.

The Republican playing field has also been narrowing, with states such as Michigan, and now North Carolina moving firmly in the direction of the Democrats. Having Kansas be unexpectedly in play also makes a huge difference. An election which initially looked highly favorable for Republicans now looks to be even.

Various forecasts for who will control the Senate are now tilting in the direction of the Democrats, with most still agreeing the race is very close, continuing a trend I noted at the beginning of the month. Some of the predictions more favorable to Democrats have been those which concentrate more on polls as opposed to historical trends and other factors. Nate Silver had previously discounted many of the polls, noting both the low number and often poor quality of polls available. Silver is now reconsidering his prediction, decreasing chances for Republicans to take control of the Senate from 65 percent two weeks ago to 55 percent.

Others have even more favorable predictions for Democrats. Electoral-vote.com, based purely on polls, has the race even. The Upshot gives the Republicans a 54 percent chance, essentially a toss up. Election Lab gives the Republicans a 50.1 percent chance. The Princeton Election Consortium even gives the Democrats a 78 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate.

In changing his prediction, Nate Silver looked at factors such as the Democratic ground game, and believes money might be the most important factor.

Charlie Cook looked at the same factors:

Two things may be keeping Republican strategists up at night: money and the Democratic ground game. Perhaps the biggest untold story of this election is how so many Republican and conservative donors, at least those whose last name isn’t Koch, have kept their checkbooks relatively closed. In many cases, GOP candidates are not enjoying nearly the same financial largesse that existed in 2012, and in some races, they are well behind Democrats. While Republican candidates, national party committees, and super PACs are hardly starving, their Senate and House campaign committees have not been able to keep pace in fundraising with their Democratic counterparts. Their super PACs do not have nearly the funding that they had in 2012 (even allowing for the absence of a presidential race this year). And, in a number of key races, Democratic candidates, party committees, and their allied groups have been on the air significantly more than Republicans. GOP strategists have privately said that if it were not for spending by organizations affiliated with the Koch brothers, they might well be in really bad shape.

Many Republican and conservative donors appear to be somewhat demoralized after 2012. They feel that they were misled about the GOP’s chances in both the presidential and senatorial races that year, and/or their money was not well spent. In short, they are giving less if at all, and it has put Republican candidates in a bind in a number of places.

Another reason things might not turn out for Republicans is if the highly touted Democratic Senate ground game comes together. Clearly the Obama campaign and Democratic allies had a superior voter-identification and get-out-the-vote operation two years ago. Earlier this year, Senate Democrats announced the Bannock Street Project, a $60 million program with the goal of putting in place 4,000 paid workers to use techniques perfected and put to work in 2010 by DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet in his race, and again two years ago by the Obama campaign. While some Republicans have scoffed at the likelihood of Democrats being able to mount such an effort, they concede that the Democratic ground game was superior two years ago. In midterm elections, if Democrats can crank up the turnout among young, female, and minority voters, then their chances of success this year increase.

The GOP might be paying for its divorce from reality when Republicans were predicting victory in 2012 despite all the polling data showing that they were delusional.

Electoral-Vote.com also looks at how Democrats are spending their money more effectively, along with factors such as the culture war issues  now favoring the Democrats and the Republicans big demographic problem–a considerable decrease in the low-information, non-college-educated white males who provide such a large percentage of Republican votes (emphasis mine):

Republicans used to use cultural issues like same-sex marriage and abortion to rev up their supporters and get them to vote. Now the shoe is on the other foot. It is the Democrats who are talking about cultural issues and scaring the voters with them. Not only has same-sex marriage gained enormous popularity in the past five or ten years, but Republican support for limiting birth control (such as in the Hobby Lobby case) is scaring women and driving them to the Democrats. Much of the Republicans’ problem has to do with shifting demographics. In 1980, when Ronald Reagan was first elected, white voters without college degrees made up 65% of the electorate. In 2012, that number was 36%. Ever since Richard Nixon began his Southern strategy, Republicans have been basing their campaigns on getting older white men without college degrees to back them. They still do, but there aren’t enough of them any more and it is beginning to be a real problem, hence the action in many states to limit who can vote (voter ID requirements) and when they can vote (shortening early voting periods). This year in states as diverse as Colorado and North Carolina, Democratic candidates are claiming that the Republicans are out of the mainstream. Such an approach was unthinkable 10 years ago, when it was the Republicans making these claims about the Democrats.

What Democrats in red states are also desperately trying to do is make the race between them and their actual opponent, not between President Obama and their opponent. In a new ad the Democratic candidate for the Senate in Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, literally says “I’m not Barack Obama” while shooting a gun. Then she shows a photo of her opponent, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), waving a gun with her saying he doesn’t know how to hold it. The Republicans, in contrast, are running against Obama everywhere. Obama himself is not sitting idly by. In October he will begin serious campaigning, although he may be limited to states where he is relatively popular, such as Colorado, Iowa, and Michigan. And of course he can show up in New York and California any time he wants to in order to raise money for the DSCC.

First Read points to how the gender gap continues to help Democrats.The Washington Examiner looked at how Democratic super PACs have been more effective in their use of advertising money.

The Republican playing field has also been narrowing, with states such as Michigan, and now North Carolina moving firmly in the direction of the Democrats. Having Kansas be unexpectedly in play also makes a huge difference. An election which initially looked highly favorable for Republicans now looks to be even.

Originally posted at Liberal Values. Predictions updated since initial posting.

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‘Zionists Planned ISIS’: Justice Official’s Tweet Reflects Wider Problem (Het Parool, The Netherlands) http://themoderatevoice.com/198839/zionists-planned-isis-justice-officials-tweet-reflects-wider-problem-het-parool-the-netherlands/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198839/zionists-planned-isis-justice-officials-tweet-reflects-wider-problem-het-parool-the-netherlands/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:24:40 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198839 Yasmina-Haifi-caption_pic

What should be done? We in the West have a right to free speech, but free speech can be a dangerous thing. It isn’t a new problem, but in the Netherlands they are dealing with a particularly acute case. Last month, Justice Ministry official Yasmina Haifi tweeted that the Islamic State was part of a ‘Zionist plot’ to blacken the name of Islam, and was promptly suspended from her job with … wait for it … the ‘National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism.’ For the news magazine Het Parool, member of the Christian Democratic Party Ibrahim Wijbenga writes that Haifi is far from alone. Wijbenga warns that misguided Muslim advocates of the Islamic State are using democratic guarantees of free speech to press for the creation of a caliphate, and hence, the demise of Western democracy.

For Het Parool, Ibrahim Wijbenga outlines the challengeof ensuring a free society – specifically free speech, when a sizable portion of the population appears to be embracing ideas and beliefs enimicable to that society:

Highly educated Muslims act as victims and pour oil on the fire of radicalization. Tough measures are needed now, writes youth worker and Christian Democratic Party [CDA] member Ibrahim Wijbenga.

 

Last Wednesday on a program hosted by Jeroen Pauw, Christian Democratic Party chief Sybrand Buma refused to debate Okay Pala, spokesman of the Hizb ut Tahrir [a pan-Islamic group that advocates a caliphate unifying all Muslim states - video below]. Buma doesn’t want to give these fanatics a podium from which to preach their anti-democratic-caliphate ideology. Rightly so: a discussion with followers of Hizb Ut-Tahrir is futile, convinced as they are of their own correctness.

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

Pala presenting himself as a spokesman with extreme ideas is not an isolated case. An increasing number of extremists are openly embracing his views. In the past they would have takes the trouble to disguise their identities and hide their faces but now they appear without reservation in the media, invoking their freedom of expression and talking to all and sundry. Indeed, if their platform is denied they suddenly become the “misunderstood Muslim” being discriminated against and whose free expression is being curtailed.

 

“Apparently, some things that aren’t allowed to be said on this subject,” suspended Justice Ministry official Yasmina Haifi tells NPO Radio 1. She was in the news due to her tweet: “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name.” She hasn’t taken back her words: “I have taken the liberty to express myself and apparently I have to pay the price. I think that officials also have the right to express themselves,” was her first reaction to the commotion.

READ ON IN ENGLISH OR DUTCH, OR READ MORE GLOBAL COVERAGE OF THE IRAQ-SYRIA CRISIS AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.

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Who Is Doing What to Fight ISIS http://themoderatevoice.com/198867/who-is-doing-what-to-fight-isis/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198867/who-is-doing-what-to-fight-isis/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:09:32 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198867 The U.S. on Monday launched new airstrikes over Iraq against fighters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS. The bombing struck IS forces near Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq and, for the first time, near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, reports NBC News. The same day, France began reconnaissance flights over Iraq…

Who Is Doing What to Fight ISIS

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Martian Meteorite Yields More Evidence Of The Possibility Of Life On Mars http://themoderatevoice.com/198861/martian-meteorite-yields-more-evidence-of-the-possibility-of-life-on-mars/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198861/martian-meteorite-yields-more-evidence-of-the-possibility-of-life-on-mars/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:00:53 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198861 Katie Brewin/Aeron Haworth, The University of Manchester A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the…

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Senate Trending Democrat? http://themoderatevoice.com/198829/senate-trending-democrat/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198829/senate-trending-democrat/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 07:19:36 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198829 Nate Silver revises his prediction for the Senate majority in the November mid-terms on Five Thirty Eight.


When we officially launched our forecast model two weeks ago, it had Republicans with a 64 percent chance of taking over the Senate after this fall’s elections. Now Republican chances are about 55 percent instead. We’ve never quite settled on the semantics of when to call an election a “tossup.” A sports bettor or poker player would grimace and probably take a 55-45 edge. But this Senate race is pretty darned close.


Whatever the reason, the GOP’s path to a Senate majority is less robust than before. They still look pretty good in the “path of least resistance” states. But while West Virginia, Montana and South Dakota are extremely likely pickups, Alaska, Arkansas and Louisiana are not sure things. Meanwhile, Republicans have fewer top-tier backup options, as states like North Carolina and Colorado have trended away from them. Republicans may need to decide whether to consolidate their resources. It won’t help them if they lose each of Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and North Carolina by a couple of percentage points — and in the process blow a state like Arkansas.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2014/09/senate-swings-democrat.html

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Changing the culture of Chargers football (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/198855/changing-the-culture-of-chargers-football-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198855/changing-the-culture-of-chargers-football-guest-voice/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 04:05:11 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198855 Harvin2 (1)

Changing the culture of Chargers football
by Thomas Powell

When Tom Telesco arrived in San Diego he talked about changing the culture in this city and on this team. Sunday was a prime example that his mission has started. The Chargers have seldom been a team to win a BIG game. Either through turnovers, penalties or bad decisions (coaches and players) they struggled with “closing” the game out, especially the defense. They would be close, but couldn’t finish the game with a win.

Then Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks came. Even the weather in San Diego became a factor. With temperatures reaching 120 degrees on the field, the Chargers used their no-huddle offense to tire out the Seattle defense with little time for switching their players on and off the field. The stands were packed full of Chargers fans outnumbering the green of the Seahawks fans.

The Chargers were facing the Super Bowl Champions and the Legend of Boom. The Chargers response to that? Meh, they didn’t give a damn. San Diego’s gameplan was they will dictate the game, no one else. The time of possession, the physicality of the game, the execution, and then when all that was done they imposed their will on the Seahawks. Period!

Whether it was Keenan Allen juking Richard Sherman out of his jock strap or Ingram and Freeney bringing the pass rush off the edges, the Bolts came out to play. And they did just that. The Seahawks had no answer for Danny Woodhead and the Chargers quarterback bleeding in the blazing hot sun, going all surgical on the Seahawks defense. How about the San Diego fans basking in dangerous heat conditions pushing out maybe the loudest game in Chargers history at the Murph! Yeah, I said the Murph! Reporters were tweeting out about the amount of noise coming out of that stadium from the Chargers diehards.

At that point the whole change in the culture slogan got it’s icing on the cake. In the final minutes of the game, the Charger defense was on the field. They needed a stop to achieve a win. But this time they do it! The fans go nuts! After roasting in the scorching hot temps they would be leaving with a victory to be proud of and smiles on their faces.

Every part of this game, from the stands to the field, was different than years past. These are not the San Diego Chargers of years past. The culture has changed. Mission accomplished and lets all hope it ends with a Super Bowl victory. The last team to hold that trophy just lost to the Chargers by 9 points!

Cross-posted from the Chargers fan blog www.BoltBlitz.com

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Hillary Clinton needs to tell us her vision http://themoderatevoice.com/198853/hillary-clinton-needs-to-tell-us-her-vision/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198853/hillary-clinton-needs-to-tell-us-her-vision/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 04:04:26 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198853 images

WASHINGTON — Judging by her weekend appearance in Iowa, it looks as if Hillary Clinton is indeed running for president. Now she has to answer one simple question: Why?

“It is true, I am thinking about it,” she said Sunday at the final Harkin Steak Fry, an annual cholesterol-boosting fundraiser that retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin has hosted for the past 37 years. Given the context, this was pretty close to an announcement of the Clinton 2016 campaign.

She was in Iowa, whose first-in-the-nation caucuses kick off the presidential primary season. She was accompanied by her husband Bill, who did his best to play the supporting role of a candidate’s spouse, although second fiddle is an instrument he has not quite mastered. She greeted the crowd by announcing, “Hello Iowa, I’m baaaaaack,” stretching the word for emphasis.

The last time she barnstormed through Iowa, it did not go well. The 2008 caucuses were supposed to ratify her status as the Democratic front-runner and show her challengers the futility of their puny efforts. Instead, she finished third behind Barack Obama and John Edwards. The Clinton machine lost the air of inevitability that had been its greatest asset — and turned out to lack a compelling message that could compete with Obama’s promise of hope and change.

Now Clinton begins another campaign — perhaps — in which she is seen as the inevitable winner. She has said she will make a firm decision “probably after the first of the year.” But if she has reached the point of dropping broad hints, she needs to begin telling the nation how and why she proposes to lead.

The election of the first woman as president would be a great milestone, but a glance at the headlines — economic and social dislocation at home, terrorism and war abroad — suggests that voters will not likely be in the mood for symbolic gestures. To win the nomination, let alone the general election, Clinton will have to lay out her vision of the way forward.

Her memoir of the years she spent as secretary of state, “Hard Choices,” offers little guidance. My view is that Clinton did an excellent job as America’s chief diplomat, but if she has an overarching philosophy of foreign relations, for some reason she left it out of the book. We know that President Obama believes in multilateralism and the sparing use of U.S. military force. We know that some critics believe we should be more interventionist and others believe we should be more isolationist. “Hard Choices” doesn’t really tell us which way Clinton leans, though her record suggests a slight nod toward the hawkish side.

In the book, Clinton rejects the idea of choosing between the “hard power” of military might and the “soft power” of diplomacy, sanctions and foreign aid. Instead, she advocates “smart power,” which seems to mean “all of the above.” When I hear officials talking about “smart” this or “smart” that, I hear a buzzword that is often meant to obscure policy choices rather than illuminate them.

Clinton’s message on domestic affairs is also unclear. At the Iowa event, she sounded what is sure to be a major theme for both Democrats and Republicans in the coming campaign: the need to ease the plight of the beleaguered middle class.

“Today, you know so well, American families are working harder than ever, but maintaining a middle-class life feels like pushing a boulder uphill every single day,” she said, adding that “we can build a growing economy of shared prosperity.”

If this indicates she is beginning to formulate a populist appeal, she will find that territory already staked out by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — a non-candidate who nevertheless had sign-carrying supporters in the Iowa crowd. Warren’s blistering critique of structural economic inequality is popular with liberal Democrats, some of whom see Clinton as too cozy with Wall Street.

When Warren is asked about her intentions, her standard formulation is “I am not running for president,” using the present tense — which doesn’t definitively rule anything out. It seems likely, in any event, that (BEG ITAL)someone(END ITAL) will challenge Clinton from the left.

After Clinton’s brief speech, her husband tried his best not to steal the show. Bill Clinton tossed out lines that can only be called Clintonesque — “We have got to pull this country together to push this country forward” — and implored Democrats and Republicans to find ways to work together.

Centrist pragmatism as a campaign theme? In American politics today, the middle is a dangerous place to be.


Eugene Robinson’s email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com.(c) 2014, Washington Post Writers Group

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Cartoon: NFL http://themoderatevoice.com/198851/cartoon-nfl/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198851/cartoon-nfl/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 04:02:31 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198851 David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star


See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Cuba: Endangered Species? http://themoderatevoice.com/198848/cuba-endangered-species/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198848/cuba-endangered-species/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 04:00:06 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198848 People and skyline of La Habana, Cuba, at sunset

If you want to experience this Caribbean island and its culture while both are still authentic, don’t wait for Washington to drop its anachronistic embargo. Go now.

After 54 years, a US embargo designed in part to discourage Americans from traveling to Cuba still clings to life, defiant in the face of logic, failure and common sense.

Still, it seems inevitable that this foreign-policy T-Rex will go the way of all dinosaurs. And when it does, Americans will be able to visit Havana as easily as they now can visit Moscow, Beijing, Tehran or the capital of any other nation whose policies have Washington “throwing shade.”

It’s just a matter of time.

There is a school of thought, however, that says you shouldn’t wait for that. Especially if you want to see Cuba in her most authentic form.

For all our love of travel, we understand that mass-market tourism can have dramatic — and not always positive — impacts on the culture of a nation, on its atmosphere, its “vibe,” if you will.

And ultimately, on its authenticity.

There are still people in Mexico who can tell you what places like Acapulco, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Huatulco or Manzanillo were like before the sprawling resorts, high-rise hotels, upscale restaurants and trendy nightspots swept over the landscape.

It’s all lovely, comfy, glitzy, sexy and fun — but is it real? This is an ongoing discussion, even argument, within the travel industry.

Mass-market tourism has an unfortunate way of turning wonderful destinations, especially the tropical locations with long coastlines, into over-sized cultural theme parks. Disneyland with booze and beach towels.

What’s worse, says this school of thought, is that as the landscape changes under the influence of mass-market tourism, so do the people. As mass-market tourism changes their world, they pour into the service jobs that tourism generates.

In many case, that means putting on a sort of cultural “show” for the masses of tourists. It all feels artificial, less a cultural experience than a mercenary exercise.

And sometimes, as they deal with ever larger numbers of tourists, genuine local warmth and hospitality become casualties.

Mass-market tourism is not a villain. Nobody intends for these things to happen. But happen they do, quite often.

And I’ve met more than a few people anxious to see Cuba before it all happens there.

Some, like JoAnn Bell of the Road Scholar educational travel company, will tell you that it’s already started.

But I promise you, the changes she’s seeing already are only a forestaste of what’s in store.

Now, it’s not as if nobody visits Cuba today because of the embargo. The country has had substantial numbers of visitors from around the world for many years.

But those numbers will pale to insignificance when Washington lifts its embargo against Havana.

American visitors will descend on the island like a human tsunami,a replay of the Oklahoma Land Rush, only with airliners, cruise ships and pleasure boats instead of covered wagons.

Some impacts, like the ones elsewhere that we’ve mentioned above, are easy to anticipate. Others are beyond imagination. All will be profound. Both for better and perhaps worse, pre-embargo Cuba will neither look or feel like post-embargo Cuba.

So if you have any desire to see what Cuba is like before that tsunami arrives, you might want to seriously consider planning a visit in the near future.

If you want to do that legally, there are licensed travel organizations in the United States offering cultural “people-to-people” visits and tours to Cuba.

If you’d rather thumb your nose at the embargo, there are travel outlets in Mexico and Canada that will help you do that, too. And thousands of Americans do that every year.

Either way, if it’s a culturally unspoiled Cuba you want to experience, time may not be on your side. Because the moment the embargo comes down, that Cuba is likely to become an endangered species.

LICENSED CUBA TOUR OPERATORS
Cuba Trips.org
Cuba Explorer
GeoEx
Globus Journeys
IETravel
InsightCuba
Road Scholar

Cross-posted from I’m Black and I Travel!

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US could send advisers into combat against Islamic State: Dempsey http://themoderatevoice.com/198846/us-could-send-advisers-into-combat-against-islamic-state-dempsey/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198846/us-could-send-advisers-into-combat-against-islamic-state-dempsey/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:00:22 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198846 The US military’s top officer on Tuesday raised the possibility that American troops serving as advisers to Iraqi forces could eventually be sent on combat missions against Islamic State extremists. “To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL (IS group) targets, I…

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How many Republicans does it take to change a light bulb? http://themoderatevoice.com/198834/how-many-republicans-does-it-take-to-change-a-light-bulb/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198834/how-many-republicans-does-it-take-to-change-a-light-bulb/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:08:29 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198834 gops change light bulb

They’re back with their “star” witness (as noted yesterday).

Michael Calderone / The Huffington Post
Fox News Aired Nearly 1,100 Benghazi Segments Across 5 Programs, Study Finds

NEW YORK — Benghazi is back in the spotlight this week, as the House on Wednesday begins its select committee hearings on the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks. But given that conservative media have claimed for more than two years that the Obama administration orchestrated a cover-up of critical information about the attacks, it’s not like Benghazi ever really went away.

Fox News, which has led the cover-up charge in conservative media, aired 1,098 evening television segments on Benghazi between the night of the attacks and the formation of the select committee in early May of this year

Yes, as I began to get into yesterday, the whole “Sharyl Attkisson scoop” is for a story more than a year old (May, 2013) that added nothing, but hyped the Issa House Hearings and was the subject of a Faux Nooz kaffeeklatsch this morning on something called “Outnumbered.”

attkisson

Once a reporter, Attkisson is now a paid shill for Rupert Murdoch

When they went to the all-women-and-one-bald-guy couch yak, it was FIRST noted that “Sharyl Attkisson broke this story,” which is, of course, a bald-faced lie. Attkisson, was, at BEST, acting as a Darrell Issa/Faux Nooz press flak, hyping the upcoming Kangaro0 Court. As I noted, even the “poems” she quotes from the ‘whistleblower’ were already covered by Josh Rogin in The Daily Beast on May 20, 2013.

But in case you wondered whether Sharyl Attkisson — publishing her “tell all” book on CBS not covering Benghazi via Rupert Murdoch’s Harper books — is in cahoots with her new employer, wonder no further. This was as coordinated as any Rose Parade, albeit less colorful and tediously MUCH MUCH longer.

Stonewalled Autographed by Sharyl Attkisson PremiereCollectibles

From mid-August:Already selling “collectible” autographed  copies
of a 
book that isn’t even out and may not even be finished.
How much “integrity” does that take? 

But look at the fixity of the propaganda:

Fox News aired 244 segments suggesting “the Obama administration did not initially refer to the attacks in Benghazi as ‘terror’ or a ‘terrorist act,’” according to the study. The truth is that Obama referred to the attacks the next day as an “act of terror,” a fact Republican nominee Mitt Romney seemed unaware of during a famous presidential debate exchange in October 2012.

[...]

The reality is that journalists covered the Benghazi attacks on the ground in real time and in the immediate aftermath. A number of journalists even reached the prime Benghazi suspect before the U.S. government did. The New York Times conducted a months-long investigation of the attacks, and other news organizations contributed reporting that advanced the public’s understanding of what happened that night….

And The Daily Beast covered the “whistleblower” and blew some big holes in his story of victimhood long before Sharyl Attkisson’s report, released on The Heritage Foundation’s fake “news” blog, along with her new BS title “Investigative Correspondent.”

attkisson bio from heritage foundation

The Daily Signal is a wholly-owned subsidiary “news” outlet of
Jim DeMint’s new, aggressive version of The Heritage Foundation

The REASON that the polls aren’t moving  is, quite frankly, the Faux/GOP machine has created a self-referential narrative in which the viewer/reader is constantly enj0ined from reading, viewing or listening TO ANY OTHER POINT OF VIEW OR NEWS OUTLET.

cult Key_Point_7

from CultWatch

This is, of course, the sign of a cult. A political cult, of course, but a cult nonetheless, as is the continual need to engage in personal attacks and destruction of the reputation of all persons with whom the cult of GOPpiness disagrees.

The truth can always stand questioning. The Faux Nooz/GOP approach is that their truth MUST NEVER BE QUESTIONED.

cult Key_Point_3

from CultWatch

To any thinking person, or anyone concerned about the health of the Republic, that ought to be extremely disturbing. And, to any thinking person, or anyone concerned about the health of the Republic, that is old disturbing news.

To paraphrase Joe Biden, the GOPs increasingly form all their sentences with a noun, a verb and “Benghazi.”

ben ghazi

But, having conditioned so many dogs so lovingly for so long, Rupert Pavlov and his minions HAVE to ring that bell.

The bell in this case? “Benghazi!”

Key_Point_8

from CultWatch

The rationality of the charge, even after so many dead Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq and, perhaps, Iraq again, is questionable.

The necessity of creating this smoke screen to mask the utter failure of the GOP in the arena of governance is also clear.

Benghazi - Judicial watch

Judicial Watch, like the Republican Congressional Campaign
MAKES MONEY off the literal corpses of the dead Americans
But THAT’S OK? Right. Some “patriotism.”

But, in the face of a propaganda machine to rival anything Joseph Goebbels ever dreamed of, the fact that the p0lls remain stuck in utter contradiction to Americans’ approval of this, our WORST congress in history, is a damning testimonial to the effectiveness of that propaganda machine.

Benghazi “hearings” start in a couple of daze. [sic]

I’m planning on not watching.

wrestling chair bash

More intellectual and less fake than the House Committee hearings

I’ve already got professional wrestling on my television package, and wrestling, by comparison, is far fairer and much less manipulative, even though, like Benghazi off-Broadway, the outcome is also pre-determined.

Courage.

========================

 Mr. Williams has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.

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Right Wing Recycles Old Benghazi Attacks http://themoderatevoice.com/198835/right-wing-recycles-old-benghazi-attacks/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198835/right-wing-recycles-old-benghazi-attacks/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:07:45 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198835 Hillary Clinton appears to have unofficially begun her campaign in Iowa over the past weekend, and the response from the right is loud and clear: “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.” The right wing Heritage Foundation put out an old, meaningless story by Sharyl Attkisson which made it to the top of Memeorandum thanks to all the right wing blogs repeating it.

Even Glenn Beck’s web site, The Blaze, did a better job of giving the other side of the story:

The State Department on Monday rejected a report saying that senior officials purposely withheld sensitive documents from the group that was investigating the 2012 attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Earlier in the day, the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal reported that senior officials worked to identify and withhold potentially damaging documents from the Accountability Review Board, which was investigating the incident. That story said former Deputy Assistance Secretary Ray Maxwell watched State Department officials and even some top aides to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sift through documents.

But when asked about that report, State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf rejected the entire story, and said the ARB had open access to all documents.

“The ARB had full and direct access to State Department employees and documents,” she told reporters. “Any accounts to the contrary, like that one you mentioned, are completely without merit, completely ill-informed.”

“These reports show a complete lack of understanding of how the ARB functioned,” she added.

Harf said the ARB had the authority to collect documents directly from “anybody in the department,” and said everyone in the department was told to provide documents to the body directly.

“That’s what happened,” she said, adding that ARB’s own cochairmen have said they had “unfettered access to all the information they needed, period.”

Otherwise reporting fell along ideological grounds as expected. Fox reported this as being news, and Media Matters debunked the story:

…Attkisson’s report has several flaws. It is based solely on conjecture from Maxwell, who does not claim and cannot prove that any documents were withheld from the ARB in its investigation, but rather only speculates about the fate of the documents that were reviewed.

The State Department has already denied Maxwell’s speculation in a statement to Attkisson – State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach called “the implication that documents were withheld ‘totally without merit,’” emphasizing that the “range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information.” Other allegations that the ARB investigation was biased have been repeatedly disproven.

Maxwell himself is a dubious source. He was placed on administrative leave after the Accountability Review Board’s investigation found a “lack of proactive leadership” and pointed specifically to Maxwell’s department, saying some officials in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs “showed a lack of ownership of Benghazi’s security issues.” A House Oversight Committee report released findings from the classified version of the ARB report, which revealed that the ARB’s board members “were troubled by the NEA DAS for Maghreb Affairs’ lack of leadership and engagement on staffing and security issues in Benghazi.”

Disgruntled over being “the only official in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which had responsibility for Libya, to lose his job,” Maxwell spoke to The Daily Beast in May 2013 in an attempt to “restore” his “honor.” Maxwell, who had filed official grievances regarding his treatment, expressed anger that Mills – the same staff member Maxwell speculated was involved in hiding potentially damaging documents — “reneged” on a deal to eventually bring Maxwell back to the NEA after his leave.

While Maxwell has previously been interviewed by the ARB, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Oversight Committee, the Daily Beast, and Examiner.com, this is curiously the first time this allegation has been made public. FoxNews.com reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) had confirmed “that Maxwell told him and other lawmakers the same story when they privately interviewed him last year.” The claim is absent from the House Oversight Committee’s Benghazi Attacks: Investigative Update Report on the Accountability Review Board, which was based in part on Maxwell’s 2013 testimony.

Attkisson, too, has been roundly discredited and is well known for her shoddy reporting, both during her time at CBS News and after leaving the network. Attkisson supported CBS’ disastrous Benghazi reporting, for which the network ultimately had to apologize and retract. And CBS executives reportedly saw her as “wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue.”

Fox’s adoption of this story as a major new development is not surprising given the network’s history of relying on discredited Benghazihoaxsters and using “bombshell” to describe everything but new developments in the story.

There are plenty of real reasons to criticize Clinton, but the right wing is hardly going to criticize her for being overly hawkish, conservative on civil liberties,  or for being too cozy with Wall Street. Instead they have to resort to continuing to raise the disproven Benghazi attacks.

Initially posted at Liberal Values

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Undoing the Tyranny of Political Parties http://themoderatevoice.com/198832/undoing-the-tyranny-of-political-parties/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198832/undoing-the-tyranny-of-political-parties/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:38:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198832 15606205-mmmainHere in my state of Oregon most municipal and local elections are already non partisan.  Oregon’s ballot measure 90 will carry that to a new level if passed in November.  As an unaffiliated voter (Independent) I have not been able to participate in the primary elections.  I am part of at least  a third of Oregon voters.  I have no illusions that this will make third party candidates more viable but it will make it possible for those of us who have been excluded to have a vote.

With Ballot Measure 90, Oregonians can challenge the exclusion of over one third of the state’s voters while, at the same time, fight rising partisanship in the Congress, and increasingly in our country. E pluribus unum, the concept of “Out of many, one,” is being made meaningless by the partisan divide.

The current closed system in Oregon confers a second-class status on more than 650,000 independent voters who are barred from first round voting. Measure 90 opens the election system, giving an equal shake for all voters. What’s more, it goes beyond the borders of Oregon.

A national nonpartisan movement is underway, and Oregon can make that movement both more visible and more sustainable. Measure 90 is a local initiative with national implications.

Both the Democratic party and the Republican party resisted Oregon’s vote by mail and they like open primaries even less – it’s never easy to give up power.  If for no other reason if you live in Oregon mail in or drop off your ballot with a yes vote on ballot number 90 to at least begin the end of the tyranny of political parties,

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Generational Inequality http://themoderatevoice.com/198830/generational-inequality/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198830/generational-inequality/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:41:29 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198830 moneybagsA small number of individuals currently control a disproportionate amount of the wealth in most democracies. In America, the ultra-rich .01% of the populace has 11.1% of the nation’s wealth, with the top 1% owning 39.8% of the wealth, an astounding $32.6 trillion. These numbers do not consider assets held in offshore accounts which would skew the percentages even further. The richest .01% has quadrupled their share of America’s wealth since 1980, a time when they were already quite rich. To a major degree, government policy has been responsible for the affluent being able to accumulate this grossly unequal share of assets, while the middle class has stagnated financially and poverty appears to be intractable. (Just a small portion of the money held by the ultra-rich could completely eliminate poverty in the United States.) Income inequality in the U.S. is greater than in any other nation in the developed world by a significant percentage.

And wealth creates wealth. The more disposable income and excess capital an individual has that is not required for living expenses, the more extra money he or she can accrue through investments. Then, that additional surplus money can be reinvested along with the original sums, creating greater and greater wealth for that individual and his or her family. Thus, those with large amounts of disposable income become wealthier each year. And if governments are unable to restrict this accumulation in some fashion, the wealth is transferred from generation to generation, continuing to grow with each cycle, assuming the heirs are reasonably intelligent and not dissipated. To a certain degree, in democracies the ultra-rich have achieved the same status the nobility were accorded in feudal societies, living in castles with servants and bodyguards, their every desire gratified.

Unfortunately, the result is that over time, democratic states may be transformed into plutocracies, where a small group of affluent people control the government and all the important political decisions, as wealth is also equated with power. Affluent individuals are able to influence the outcome of elections through campaign contributions. And in addition, they can donate huge sums of money, tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, or even billions, to nominally independent groups that sponsor political advertisements and mobilize citizens to vote in certain ways. This provides the ultra-rich with the ability to induce legislatures and executives to do their bidding. The consequences are usually lower tax rates and fewer regulations on businesses.

Thomas Piketty in his book Capital in the 21st Century noted- “When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the 19th century and seems quite likely to do again in the 21st, capitalism generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based. There are nevertheless ways democracy can regain control over capitalism and insure that the general interest takes precedence over private interests, while preserving economic openness and avoiding protectionist and nationalist reactions.” Thus, one of the major objectives of democratic societies must be discovering how to lessen the concentration of wealth in only a few hands with continuous generational transfer, and achieving this end in a rational fashion.

And can societies suppress the sentiments of class privilege that inevitably develop as individuals and families amass wealth and power. Though this is not commensurate with the ideal of democracy, it is unlikely to be changed. Mickey Kaus noted in The End of Equality- “in their isolation, these richer Americans not only are passing on their advantages to their children, but are coming to think that those advantages are deserved; that they and their children, are at bottom, not just better off, but better.”

Inequality is inherent in capitalism, where those who are smarter, or those who work harder, will accumulate more wealth and have the advantages that wealth brings. There is nothing wrong with that. The challenge for democracy is cut down on the generational transfer of this wealth so that a plutocracy does not eventually develop. For a democratic society to flourish, equality of opportunity, a meritocracy, must be maintained, rather than control of the state by those with inherited wealth. Can it happen when lobbyists pressure Congress to meet the needs and interests of the most affluent segment of the population, and the wealthy themselves use their wealth to help elect those politicians who will bow to their wishes? It will not be easy.

Resurrecting Democracy

www.robertlevinebooks.com

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Realism About ISIS http://themoderatevoice.com/198700/realism-about-isis/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198700/realism-about-isis/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:55:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198700 Kevin Drum suggests that poll data may show surprising realism among respondents about the threat posed by ISIS on Mother Jones.

Hawkish Republicans have been running around for the past month insisting that ISIS terrorists are a direct threat to the United States, and therefore we have to fight them in Iraq so they don’t come over here and start killing helpless women and small children en masse.

 

But apparently hardly anyone is buying it. Only 18 percent of Americans think that fighting ISIS will reduce the odds of a terrorist attack on US soil. And there’s not a big difference between the parties. Even among Republicans, only 23 percent think a military campaign against ISIS will make us safer at home. That’s a refreshingly realistic appraisal.

 

But why? Is it because the Republican fear campaign is so transparently unhinged? Or is it because of President Obama’s unusually low-key approach to the ISIS campaign? I’d like to think it’s at least partly the latter. I’m not very excited about any kind of campaign against ISIS at the moment, but as a second-best alternative, it’s at least nice to see it being sold to the public as a case of having to eat our vegetables rather than as yet another exciting bomb-dropping adventure in defense of our national honor. It’s a step in the right direction, anyway.

Cross-posted from the Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2014/09/realism-about-isis.html

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Heavily-backed Koch candidate is losing more and more http://themoderatevoice.com/198827/heavily-backed-koch-candidate-is-losing-more-and-more/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198827/heavily-backed-koch-candidate-is-losing-more-and-more/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:20:09 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198827 brownback250x375_400x400
Heavily-backed Koch candidate is losing more and more:

We’re talking about Sam Brownback, Kansas governor who appears to be losing to his Democratic challenger, Paul Davis.

Conservative dominance in a state long known for moderation (and, before that, populism, socialism and violent abolitionism) has in many ways been the work of Davis’ opponent. Brownback, the son of eastern Kansas pig farmers, got his start in politics as state agriculture secretary. He went to the U.S. Congress in 1994, turning one of Kansas’ congressional districts from blue to red and contributing to the first GOP majority in the House in 42 years. Two years later, when Bob Dole ran for president, Brownback won his vacated Senate seat, thanks in no small part to a last-minute $400,000 ad blitz paid for by an organization linked to Wichita’s billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

As a senator, Brownback became nationally known for his opposition to abortion, gay rights and gangsta rap. He also helped train the next generation of Washington conservatives. In the 1990s, future vice presidential candidate and GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan served as Brownback’s legislative director. After a failed bid to secure the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, Brownback returned to Kansas in 2010 to win the governorship in a landslide, carrying 103 of the state’s 105 counties. In the race, he outspent his opponent by 406 percent. Many expected him to sail on to a second term and then resume his quest for the presidency.

Yet Brownback trails Davis in recent statewide polls by as many as 10 points. ...AlJazeera

The Koch brothers’ money is spread unchecked right across the map. It’s America’s own ebola virus. Pete Gallego, a first-rate Democrat running to keep his seat in the House, gets almost daily assaults-by-$$ in attempts by the Kochs and other national interests to push him out of his dry district along the Texas border, a largely “red” area where he has been popular and effective.

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

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Kent State scolds Urban Outfitters’ red-splattered sweatshirt http://themoderatevoice.com/198825/kent-state-scolds-urban-outfitters-red-splattered-sweatshirt/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198825/kent-state-scolds-urban-outfitters-red-splattered-sweatshirt/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:09:52 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198825 15-kent-state-sweater.w529.h352.2x (2)

Kent State University and many on the Internet criticized Urban Outfitters Inc. on Monday for selling a sweatshirt with its college logo and what appears to be splattered blood, saying it evoked memories of the 1970 shooting where four students died. “This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts…

Kent State scolds Urban Outfitters’ red-splattered sweatshirt

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Cartoon: Smart Ass Watch http://themoderatevoice.com/198821/cartoon-smart-ass-watch/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198821/cartoon-smart-ass-watch/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:05:08 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198821 Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com


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Finding the right words for the fight against ISIS (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/198819/finding-the-right-words-for-the-fight-against-isis-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198819/finding-the-right-words-for-the-fight-against-isis-guest-voice/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:02:00 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198819 153722_600

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. . . . The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.” — William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming” Republicans were berating Secretary of State John Kerry last week for calling the fight against ISIS a “counter-terrorism operation”…

Trudy Rubin: Finding the right words for the fight against ISIS



See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Clinton’s bubble separates her from voters http://themoderatevoice.com/198817/clintons-bubble-separates-her-from-voters/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198817/clintons-bubble-separates-her-from-voters/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:10:34 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198817 INDIANOLA, Iowa — Hillary Clinton is trapped in a bubble. She’s been guarded by the Secret Service since 1993. She hasn’t driven a car since 1996. When she shakes hands with voters — as she did Sunday in Iowa — she’s often separated from them by metal barriers. In some ways, Clinton is a prisoner of…

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Can Congress be responsible? http://themoderatevoice.com/198814/can-congress-be-responsible/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198814/can-congress-be-responsible/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:54:26 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198814 shutterstock_131100503

WASHINGTON — There was a moment in the last quarter-century when the Congress of the United States made the nation proud. It did so across all its usual lines of division: Republican and Democratic, conservative and liberal, hawk and dove.

In early January 1991, the Senate and the House staged searching and often eloquent debates over the first President Bush’s decision to wage a war to end Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait. The arguments, a prelude to votes on resolutions endorsing military action, were almost entirely free of partisan rancor and the usual questioning of adversaries’ motives.

The war was so successful we now forget how divided Congress was. In the Senate, the vote was 52-to-47, with 10 Democrats crossing party lines to embrace the Republican president’s policy. The House backed the war resolution, 250-to-183. Roughly a third of Democrats voted yes.

Far from leaving the country torn and bitter, the debate brought us together. No one on either side pretended that the choice was easy. And staging congressional consideration of the decision to act in Kuwait after the 1990 election meant that short-term political strategies were not dragged into a debate about longer-term global strategy.

One person who remembers that earlier debate is Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the House minority whip, so it’s not surprising that he has proposed that Congress hold a full debate about President Obama’s strategy against the Islamic State after this fall’s elections.

In an interview last week, Hoyer said he believes the president already has the authority to act. But voters have a right to expect Congress to take a stand on a matter this serious, and he added that “we are stronger if we are acting in concert in a bipartisan way.” Hoyer proposes a two-step process involving, first, quick congressional approval of Obama’s proposal to train and arm Syrian rebels, and then a broader debate about the president’s overall policy after the country votes on Nov. 4.

Hoyer’s idea is wise for another reason that a practicing politician probably can’t voice: A post-election vote accepts that politics is what it is. We can get all moralistic about this. We can sermonize that politicians should always vote their consciences and should never, ever think about their own fates or the fate of their party. But to say this is to demand a degree of selflessness from men and women in the political trade that we never ask of anyone else — with the exception, of course, of our soldiers in combat.

And let’s face the fact that most politicians and the vast majority of our citizens typically feel a much larger investment in matters outside the realm of foreign policy. Most care primarily about the impact the elections will have on taxes, spending, economics or social issues. When politicians debate war policy, they shouldn’t be worrying about electoral outcomes that will affect all these other concerns in the next Congress.

A post-election debate would make it easier for Republicans who support the president’s policy to say why, and for Democrats who oppose it to ask the difficult questions his approach invites. Both sides could more frankly weigh the costs involved against other priorities.

The major objection to Hoyer’s plan is that delaying a full debate is itself irresponsible and the president shouldn’t be acting without a new congressional vote.

Here again, the parallel with 1991 is instructive.

Without congressional authorization, Bush had already sent 500,000 American troops to Saudi Arabia to prepare for war. He insisted he did not need Congress’ approval to put them into action. His request for a resolution was essentially a courtesy. It came just a week before the deadline he had set for Saddam to withdraw from Kuwait — and, as it happened, just nine days before the war started.

There is reason to admire Bush for waiting. Politically, he might have profited from making the war an issue in the 1990 midterm campaign. He preferred to wait. The second President Bush demanded a congressional vote on the Iraq War in the fall of 2002, before the midterms. This almost certainly helped Republican candidates and drew additional votes for his policy from Democrats fearful of bucking the president so soon after Sept. 11, 2001. But the result was a politicized debate that did not help build consensus. This came back to haunt the 43rd president.

We need a responsible Congress to begin the search for a sustainable foreign policy. An unconstrained debate after this fall’s campaign is the place to start.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.(c) 2014, Washington Post Writers Group

graphic via shutterstock.com

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Mike Peters Guest Cartoon: Obama and the Middle East http://themoderatevoice.com/198812/mike-peters-guest-cartoon-obama-and-the-middle-east/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198812/mike-peters-guest-cartoon-obama-and-the-middle-east/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:41:46 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198812 MP-2014-09-12

OF RELATED INTEREST:
Reality impinges on Obama’s Middle East strategy [Commentary]
Barack Obama’s Iraq plan is sound but the Middle East is a graveyard for good intentions
Obama has a chance to reset American leadership
Arab Nations Offer to Fight ISIS From Air

Mike Peters is recognized as one of our nation’s most prominent cartoon artists for his outstanding work as both a political and comic strip cartoonist. His favorite expression “WHAT A HOOT” certainly sums up his outlook on his life and work which are inexorably entwined. Mike’s warm, easygoing and zany demeanor is evidence that his personality matches his creative talents. As so eloquently phrased by a colleague — “Mike is the Peter Pan of the cartooning world; he’s boyishly charming, good with a rapier and doesn’t spend a lot of time on the ground. And he doesn’t seem to want to grow up”.

The Comic Strip Mother Goose & Grimm appears in over 800 newspapers worldwide and consistently places in the top 10 most popular ratings. Licensees distribute Grimmy products all over the world, and the Grimmy TV show continues to air in several countries. Mother Goose & Grimm is included in the Toon Lagoon theme park at Universal Studios that opened in July 1999.

This copyrighted cartoon is licensed to be run on TMV and is from his website. Reproduction elsewhere is strictly prohibited.

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We Jews also have our fanatics (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/198810/we-jews-also-have-our-fanatics-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198810/we-jews-also-have-our-fanatics-guest-voice/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:19:43 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198810 We Jews also have our fanatics
By Ira Sharkansky

 Ira Sharkansky

Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM — Not all the religious fanatics are Muslims.

One can think of candidates under the umbrella of Christianity, but here our concern is Jews.

Two cases recently in the headlines provoke shame or something else, depending on one’s sense of responsibility or cynicism.

One is a bearded, well-coiffured man whose trial on sexual exploitation and slavery ended after four years of delays. There were guilty verdicts for rape and other varieties of sexual exploitation involving several wives and lots of children, but the court could not find sufficient evidence of slavery. The verdict did not pass without criticism. The slavery claimed was not chains and whipping, but emotional bondage or extreme dependence by a man who claimed religious authority.

Another case has produced police investigations and arrests, but may be months or years short of a trial and verdict. It involves a charismatic who persuaded his female acolytes that having sex with Arabs (who would pay him for their services) would advance their status as Jews and bring forward God’s promise of salvation.

We don’t know how many other charismatic Jews are somewhere under the rocks, employing one or another of the elements that imaginative creators have produced under the heading of Judaism over the course of perhaps 2,500 years.

There was a group of women who dressed in layers of covering, dubbed by the media “Taliban women,” led by a man claiming the title of rabbi who preached the severe discipline of children, then fled to South America to avoid charges of abuse.

Psychologists have pondered the weaknesses that make individuals vulnerable to such leadership. Among the findings are a lack of education, backgrounds of abuse, new converts or newly religious Jews. Yet some of the victims have been well-educated and have made impressive appearances in the media.

Beyond extremist sects, there are many more Jews whose beliefs and practices range close to or across the borders of what the rest of us consider conventional.

We can argue about the rankings of what is more or less conventional, and in whose eyes..

Among those living here but outside the communal tent are the ultra-Orthodox who deny the legitimacy of Israel, whose rabbis consort with whatever aggressively anti-Israel leaders are willing to host them in Ramallah, Tehran, or elsewhere.

Somewhat less extreme are those ultra-Orthodox who ignore Israel’s Independence Day and Holocaust Memorial Day, reject all compromise with respect to having their young men do military service, or including in their schools anything other than sacred texts. Not for them is the teaching of mathematics, science, or language, certainly not history, social studies are anything that smacks of evolution.

Somewhat closer to the conventional are the ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox rabbis who accept education that prepares their young people for supporting themselves and their families, provided that the sexes are kept separate in school and then at work.
Among the extremists are those whose demands for sexual segregation insist that women ride at the back of the bus and use separate sidewalks.

There are Orthodox rabbis (i.e., not ultra-Orthodox) who endorse military service, but demand that soldiers not be exposed to female superiors or colleagues, or the sounds of women speaking or singing.

Another issue that links some Orthodox with ultra-Orthodox is the stringency to be employed in conversions to Judaism. This may mean not only the strictest concern to screen and educate those wanting to become Jews, but to insist on a continuation of religious observance after the conversion. Unlike those of us born Jews, a convert might find the cherished status canceled if observed eating non-kosher food or violating the prohibitions associated with Sabbath.

None of this passes quietly in the Jewish State. We have a long history of figuring out how to evade the demands of those who would regulate us according to ungodly standards. Individuals who the Rabbinate does not accept as Jews or allow to marry in Israel can marry who they will, outside of Israel, and be recognized as married by Israel’s Interior Ministry. This provides all they need with respect to economic rights of both partners and their children. Furthermore, Judaism has a history of accepting as “married” a couple known to be living together, without benefit of a marriage ceremony. There is a problem if the woman is married to someone else, but not if the man is married to someone else. That, too, can be evaded if neither partner is religious, and does not feel the need for rabbinic approval.

The rabbis themselves have a long history of working around laws of the Torah. Death penalties pretty much disappeared from rabbinic rulings two centuries or so before the Common Era. Prohibitions against interest or commercial profit also went the way of “clarifications” added to God’s laws.

Styles have changed with time and place. The Talmud recognizes the importance of local customs. Ancient synagogues have been found without the separation between men and women demanded by more recent rabbis who claim to operate according to Orthodox traditions.
We all pay more for our food than comparable products elsewhere due to kashrut, inspectors who must be paid to plod through our supermarkets inspecting the shelves, and the manipulations required of shana shmita, i.e., the requirement that the land rest every seventh year.

Family custom combines with religious law to determine what each religious Jew accepts as kosher.

Early some mornings I have been the Jewish equivalent of the Shabbas goy, helping out the Arab manager of a neighborhood coffee shop who needs a Jew to turn on his oven, in order to keep to the standard of kashrut demanded by religious clients.

For some religious madness, such as those charismatics in the headlines, we have the police and the courts. For other demands, we have evasions or maneuvers sanctioned by generations of rabbis.

We also have Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) to counsel us

“That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” (1:10)

“be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” (12:12)

One can see in Eccleasiates a wide range of what has become honored as Judaism. Some see the book as showing the influence of Greek philosophy, and suggest that the following was added in order to gain the book’s entry to the Hebrew Bible.

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing.” (12:13-14)

Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University. He may be contacted via ira.sharkansky@sdjewishworld.com. Preceding is republished from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Association (SDONA).

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Civil Asset Forfeiture System Leads to Abuse http://themoderatevoice.com/198803/civil-asset-forfeiture-system-leads-to-abuse/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198803/civil-asset-forfeiture-system-leads-to-abuse/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:55:07 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198803 Civil Asset Forfeiture

Civil Asset Forfeiture System Leads to Abuse
By Nadin Abbott

SAN DIEGO, Calif.–East County Magazine was informed by a reader in Santa Ysabel about seizure of $4,500 during a Sheriff’s raid locally. A member of the household was arrested on drug charges, Sheriff’s records indicate. But a relative claims the money belonged to the suspect’s father–savings that the older man intended to use to purchase a car.

This highlights a growing nationwide problem identified in a September 6, 2014 Washington Post story that revealed seizures of over $2.5 billion in cash by law enforcement in recent years–sometimes from innocent bystanders.

A Virginia motorist and restaurant owner whose business involves cash transactions was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction with no drugs involved; officers seized over $17,000 in cash, causing the man to lose his restaurant, the Washington Post reported.

There is strong incentive for local law enforcement to seize your cash, since in cases turned over to the federal government, local or state agencies are allowed to share in the gains, keeping 80%, while the federal government takes 20% of cash or other assets seized, Arizona Law Review has reported.

Post 911, Homeland Security urged federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to be more aggressive in searches, leading to seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from people not charged with crimes. The legal battle to get cash returned can be costly, making the victims losers even if a portion of the cash is ultimately returned.

Under federal forfeiture law, “innocent owners can have their property seized when it is used by someone else to commit a drug crime without the owner’s permission or knowledge.”

The policy started with the war on drugs, when Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. This was the first time that forfeiture of property from a drug offense, or a theoretical drug offense, was codified.

The theory was to punish drug dealers and prevent them from enjoying the fruits of their labor. Originally it was limited to the drugs themselves, manufacturing, storage and transportation of drugs.

In time this was also expanded to money and other financial instruments. It also was expanded into a system where federal authorities and state authorities can share in the seized goods.

The burden to take goods was previously on the government to prove probable cause, which is the lowest of standards for the state to prove. When the Civil Assets Forfeiture Act (CAFTRA) was enacted in 2000, the test was raised to “preponderance of the evidence.”

Still, the system provides law enforcement with a perverse motive to confiscate property since 80 percent of those who lose their property never challenge it. Even when owners do challenge the laws, local agencies can turn the drug case over to the federal government and keep the majority of the seized assets.

In California the issue is rife with problems, and the American Civil Liberties Union has urged municipalities to curb actions. For example, in 1999 they urged Sacramento city officials to reject a proposed ordinance that would allow police to seize, claim and sell the vehicles driven by people accused of using them to solicit prostitution or buy drugs, even if those charged were later found innocent.

The Arizona Law Review concludes, “The war on drugs is at an all time low in popularity. It is time to reform laws and not to encourage law enforcement agencies to continue these practices.”

Moreover, the legal article states, when police take money from people knowing that victims rarely take steps action to recover their property due to the prohibitive cost of legal action, this reduces trust between law enforcement and the people they are supposed to serve.

“Effective law enforcement requires trust,” the law review article concludes. “These laws are a corrupting influence.”

Preceding provided by East County Magazine, a member of the San Diego Online News Association (SDONA).

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Hubris Is Alive and Well http://themoderatevoice.com/198806/hubris-is-alive-and-well/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198806/hubris-is-alive-and-well/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:48:56 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198806 Wrong Way

Some economists saw the Great Recession coming. Certainly Robert Reich did. But, as Paul Krugman writes in this morning’s New York Times, an army of economists missed the boat. They did so for a number of reasons:

Clearly, economics as a discipline went badly astray in the years — actually decades — leading up to the crisis. But the failings of economics were greatly aggravated by the sins of economists, who far too often let partisanship or personal self-aggrandizement trump their professionalism. Last but not least, economic policy makers systematically chose to hear only what they wanted to hear. And it is this multilevel failure — not the inadequacy of economics alone — that accounts for the terrible performance of Western economies since 2008

During those decades, economists focused on idealized models. And,

starting in the 1980s it became harder and harder to publish anything questioning these idealized models in major journals. Economists trying to take account of imperfect reality faced what Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff, hardly a radical figure (and someone I’ve sparred with) once called “new neoclassical repression.” And it should go without saying that assuming away irrationality and market failure meant assuming away the very possibility of the kind of catastrophe that overtook the developed world six years ago.

Some economists — like Joseph Stiglitiz — got the post crisis right. However,

all too many influential economists did — refusing to acknowledge error, letting naked partisanship trump analysis, or both. “Hey, I claimed that another depression wasn’t possible, but I wasn’t wrong, it’s all because businesses are reacting to the future failure of Obamacare.”

There was a great deal of historical evidence to support the notion that counter-cyclical spending was necessary to reboot ravaged economies:

but European leaders and U.S. Republicans decided to believe the handful of economists asserting the opposite. Neither theory nor history justifies panic over current levels of government debt, but politicians decided to panic anyway, citing unvetted (and, it turned out, flawed) research as justification.

And, so, those who got it wrong led the way. It was not the first time this happened. It happens whenever hubris is given full sway.

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Germany Bans Islamic State After Hundreds Of Residents Enlist http://themoderatevoice.com/198801/germany-bans-islamic-state-after-hundreds-of-residents-enlist/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198801/germany-bans-islamic-state-after-hundreds-of-residents-enlist/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:28:01 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198801 Germany on Friday banned the extremist militant group Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, as the country faces the challenge of stopping hundreds of Germans from joining the group. The move is just one step away from declaring the group a terrorist organization. The ban will come into effect from 10:00 a.m. GMT (6:00 am EDT)…

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Cartoon: Dogs of War http://themoderatevoice.com/198798/cartoon-dogs-of-war/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198798/cartoon-dogs-of-war/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:46:14 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198798 Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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The NSA makes Watergate break-in look like kindergarten http://themoderatevoice.com/198795/the-nsa-makes-watergate-break-in-look-like-kindergarten/ http://themoderatevoice.com/198795/the-nsa-makes-watergate-break-in-look-like-kindergarten/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:11:13 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=198795 The NSA and the British agency GCHQ have broken into Deutsche Telekom, according to der Spiegal. Their goal? Map the Internet.

The initiative is called Treasure Map:

[E]very single end device that is connected to the Internet somewhere in the world — every smartphone, tablet and computer — is to be made visible.

The article continues:

Because Netcologne is a regional provider, it would seem highly likely that the NSA or one of its Treasure Map partners accessed the network from within Germany. That would be a clear violation of German law and potentially another NSA-related case for German public prosecutors. Thus far, the only NSA-related casecurrently being investigated is the monitoring of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

More at The Intercept, Reuters and The Register.

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