Why Hillary's Not Predestined for President

Posted by bigtex on April 23, 2015 at 7:33 PM

While it seems I'm opposing the thought of many others, it's not that I don't think Hillary Clinton can win, I just don't think she'll come up with more than 50% and win. And I wonder how others are believing she's a guarantee. There's a reason why Hillary's name is at the top of the board and it's because of the left of center journalists, media, fuel the bias in crowds which is obviously deceiving.

So while others explain why Hillary is a shoo-in and will win presidency, I'll tell you why I think she won't.

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Scott Walker Flips to the Protectionist Right

Posted by Keeley on April 22, 2015 at 3:54 PM

Scott Walker has opened up a whole new issue that's been sitting just to the right of illegal immigration and may become as big an issue as illegal immigration itself. That would be legal immigration and voters' anger over American companies supposed abuse of worker visa programs, like a few notorious cases in the tech world. In a recent interview Walker positioned himself clearly to the right of what seems to be the rest of the GOP field of candidates on the issue of legal immigration. He's changed his stance from the guy who stood up to organized labor in Wisconsin. He now feels that legal immigration is far too high and is being used by corporations to hire cheap labor and replace skilled and experienced American workers. While it is clear that he is casting his pandering net far and wide in order to haul in as many conservative delegates as he can, the question remains: is he right?

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Tom Coburn and Project FDA

Posted by Keeley on April 20, 2015 at 8:05 PM

As the newly former Senator Coburn takes a look back at his former colleagues in Congress, and a look ahead to the work he will be doing at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, the former physician is lamenting the FDA's processes. "There are drugs all over the world that can't be used here because we have a bureaucracy that doesn't bend with the times", he told the Washington Examiner in a recent interview. But the FDA takes flack from those who want more regulation and, on the other side, from those who want a streamlined approval process rather than the mulit-year billion dollar slow moving conveyor belt that exists today for any new drug to be FDA approved. It's a tough place to be in, and they seem to do a poor job of it.

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Sex and Perhaps Drugs at the DEA

Posted by Keeley on April 16, 2015 at 9:07 PM

A DEA agent has to face the danger of violent death and perhaps torture before that violent death. All in a day's work when they go to work in places like Mexico and Colombia, and other drug-riddled partially failed narco-states. They better have a very clear outlook on what they are supposed to do, and more importantly, why they are risking life and limb to try and contain - eradicate is not used much anymore - the enormous drug trade from places like Latin America and Asia into the USA, Canada, and Europe. So it comes as a bit of a surprise, to put it mildly, that DEA agents are protected by a host of bureaucratic regulations and procedures that prevents them being fired. When they attend sex parties with prostitutes in Bogota, apparently paid for by the drug cartels, for example.

That's because they're federal employees, and are afforded the same rights and privileges as a statistician at the Department of Labor for example. And that means the sex-party attendees got a 2 week suspension instead. Undoubtedly they will need sex counseling and other group therapy that does not involve possible underage prostitutes paid for by organized crime. Any additional training or guidance, as DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart put it, will be tax payer funded of course. And as for the issue of exposing DEA agents to possible extortion by drug barons and compromising the integrity, in every sense of the word, of their agency's operations in a key country like Colombia, well that's just a shame.

The DEA remains one of the few places where drug use is still seen as an unqualified evil. There are many, including state legislatures who have decriminalized cannabis, other governments, and other organizations who either lean towards decriminalization or outright legalization. That's a debate that is happening and will continue to happen. But that the DEA would be so corrupted, and have precious little recourse to solve that corruption, makes a travesty of their stated purpose. Because the other question that was not really answered at the hearings in Congress where Leonhart had to face angry legislators, is this: at a sex party with prostitutes in Bogota, were drugs also consumed? Knowingly or otherwise? And where else in the DEA's operations is this happening? How is the DEA in fact being run? Despite the fact that some information must by necessity remain sealed to the public in order for them to do their job, Congress deserves better answers when it comes to the DEA.

How Sweet It Will Be

Posted by Keeley on April 14, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Clearly, protecting Florida sugar barons and their reclaimed swamp land from the evils of competition is a must for any Florida politician serious about fundraising, and therefore getting elected. But fundraising's sweet tooth goes way beyond sugar-producing lands in FLA; from beet sugar co-op's in Minnesota to Colorado's beet lobby having had a key say in America's foreign policy decisions regarding Cuba in the years following the Spanish-American War, sugar has been spooned in the by railcar-full to ensure subsidy-sweetened protectionist policies stay in place and raise the cost of food products for consumers across the country. No surprise then that Marco Rubio has a sweet tooth and that key fundraisers from the sugar industry have helped his campaign get a jolt of energy.

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Read This Letter

Posted by bigtex on April 8, 2015 at 10:33 PM

U Michigan Cancels American Sniper.jpg

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The Virgin Rapist

Posted by Keeley on April 6, 2015 at 10:39 PM

Some students still arrive at College as virgins. Perhaps they feel the need to hide the shameful fact. Perhaps because of faith, especially at some schools, they proclaim it loud and proud. But at most secular campuses it risks making you a bit of an outsider, to say the least. Maybe not as much as a decade or two ago, but the possibility of ridicule is there. The drunken ritual of the nerd losing his virginity - this figure of comedy is usually a him - has long been a staple scene in various silly movies. And the alcohol fueled clumsy ritual lends to that comedy unfortunately. But it can turn tragic very easily. Or worse. We now live in a world where College Campuses teeter between false accusations of rape and the real thing. Rape is clearly the worse crime, and a horrific crime, but false accusations muddy the waters and destroy people's lives.

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Jumping the Gun on the IPAB

Posted by Keeley on March 31, 2015 at 6:57 PM

The tactic of going after the Independent Payment Advisory Board, dubbed the 'Death Panel', was not the best way of going after Obamacare. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, filed by the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, who characterized the bureaucratic DC committee as leading to seniors' deaths. It was an unnecessary bit of theatre. While the Independent Panel Advisory Board, or IPAB, requires a supermajority vote in Congress to override it's decisions and that means less checks and balances, its decisions are really about fine-tuning a government program - Medicare - with all it's rules and regulations, and the death panel moniker seemed an unnecessary bit of drama. Medicare is indeed a huge part of healthcare spending; in 2011 it accounted for around 47% of inpatient hospital costs while representing around 15% of the population. And that's the way it was designed to be; providing state support of the aged. Who receives it, how they receive it and how they pay for it has been a long-standing debate. Should Medicare be reformed? The answer is obvious but finding a balance between providing healthcare for seniors, and allowing choice and competition to ration healthcare spending is proving almost impossible.

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Patents, Trolls From France, and Vermont Senators

Posted by Keeley on March 27, 2015 at 5:50 PM

Patent trolls and their lawsuits cost almost $30 billion according to a study by Boston University back in 2012. Both Democrats and Republicans agree it is a problem, but finding a solution to a scourge that affects small businesses as well as large corporations is proving difficult, if not almost impossible. Why? Because any bill that has attempted to deal with patents comes with a whole host of other issues, especially those relating to intellectual property rights and piracy. PIPA and SOPA were legislative attempts at providing Hollywood and the recording industry with greater protection against piracy and naturally pitted the entertainment industry against many in the internet industry who had concerns about censorship and a lack of freedom.

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Ted Cruz's Unexpected History

Posted by Keeley on March 24, 2015 at 9:37 PM

Is anyone surprised that Ted Cruz officially announced he's running? Perhaps the fact that he did it without the near-sacred and obligatory "exploratory committee" with its poking into poll number possibilities and fondling of fundraising options, indicates that Senator Cruz is serious about changing Washington DC. Everything he's done so far in Congress has proven him to be as combative and as much a maverick as people expected him to be. But the question is, will he be able to change - in beltway terms not in heartland terms where it already is a reality - the meaning of the term "conservative"? While most in the GOP will agree that they wish to change if not eliminate Obamacare, Cruz is taking his Tea Party conservatism a step further and is also aiming his guns at corporate welfare.

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Hillary's foundation

Posted by Christine & John on March 20, 2015 at 10:32 AM

Private foundations can be more flexible than governments and partnerships between private entities and governments can be powerful. All power, however, had potential for good and evil and all of it is a corruption risk. Getting too close to the government can be a problem for businesses & foundations.

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Hillary, Meet the Press Please

Posted by Keeley on March 17, 2015 at 3:33 PM

After considering that Hillary faces no opposition within her own party - Elizabeth Warren seems to have quietly moved away from any political stage from which she may have possibly, perhaps, launched a rival bid for the nomination - it begs the question of whether she actually welcomes the email scandal. At least it keeps her in the news and allows her base - make that wealthy donors and Democratic party stalwarts as well as voters who think she deserves a shot - to try and get riled up over something, anything. Byron York described her campaign as dead, as in how much teeming competitive life could be found anywhere near any of her carefully controlled public appearances. That's in stark contrast to the packed field of GOP contenders who fight between themselves for every percentage point in the latest poll, and are continually forced to define who they are, and what kind of president they might be in front of an often hostile press. That's basically a boot camp for the latter stages of the campaign - the sprint after the party convention.

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Ferguson Won't Go Away

Posted by Keeley on March 13, 2015 at 3:34 PM

Ferguson just won't go away. We now have two police officers in stable but serious condition after being shot the other night after yet another protest demanding more blood, figuratively and literally it seems, from the Ferguson Police Department. A Justice Department report found that fines, often traffic related, were up to a quarter of the revenue for the municipality and that police officers tended to stop black drivers far more often. Not to quibble, but Ferguson is a largely black town, so the odds are that if police officers are doing routine checks, then African American drivers are more likely to be stopped. But the well has been poisoned for some time now it seems, and carefully parsing statistics on police behavior is like whispering in the middle of a bar brawl. The divide is clear and hostile between town authorities and the black population and change needs to come. Court clerks, a judge, police officers, City manager John Shaw - blamed for the for-profit fine slapping zeal of the police force - and now Chief Jackson, have all resigned.

What next? A new police chief is being sought from candidates right across the country, and media from around the world will gladly record any and all stumbles by officials and any new flare-ups in the small suburb of St. Louis. A story in the Washington Post last September outlines the dangers of not paying your traffic fines in St. Louis suburbs and the fact that drivers who are poor tend not to pay fines and registration fees nor renew their license plates because they're often short of cash. That snowballs into jail time and bail fees and a police record. If indeed Ferguson had a policy of being sticklers with fines to fill up the city coffers, then continual confrontation between police and poor residents who drive was inevitable. To the extent that the black population is closer, on average, to the poverty line in suburbs like Ferguson, racial tensions inevitably ratchet up. Perhaps a part of any answer is easing up on traffic fines, but this is now a problem that will require deft management from whoever replaces Shaw and Jackson in Ferguson. One that encompasses everything from minor violations like those very tickets that go unpaid, to police officers keeping order getting shot right outside their own police department. Like it or not, Ferguson has become a symbol. The new police chief and the new city manager will have the arduous task of turning it into just another suburb of St. Louis. That will take some time doing.

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Science Did not Believe Cassandra's Claims

Posted by Keeley on March 10, 2015 at 8:39 PM

In Greek mythology, Cassandra was a princess would angered Apollo and was cursed by him with the vice of not being able to persuade anyone of anything. As with any modern-day person named after some Greek deity or aristocrat, there is a certain amount of irony in the case of the Connecticut 17 year old named Cassandra, who refused chemotherapy when diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and was subsequently forced to undergo treatment by the state authorities. Specifically, the Department of Children and Families, or DCF, of Connecticut ensured she got the treatment she was refusing to take and she is now in the Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford recovering and with her cancer in remission. Cassandra, the teenager from Connecticut of course, was interested in exploring alternative treatments for her cancer, apparently with support from her mother.

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War of Roses or the Bastille?

Posted by Keeley on March 4, 2015 at 7:48 PM

Mainstream House Republicans, who self-identify as the true conservatives now, are furious with Tea Party Republicans, who the pragmatic House GOP members say are troublemakers who continually scuttle the legislative process. Why? Because Tea Party House members, a core of about 30 according to the party itself, stand up for their principles but then walk away from any compromise legislation. On education, and now on funding the DHS, which passed this Tuesday with overwhelming Democratic support. And on past funding battles as well. The mainstream want the rebels to do business the Washington way and are fed up, so they say, with their shoot and retreat tactics. This self-righteous anger, however, didn't stop a majority of Republican House members from voting against the clean funding bill, knowing that their Democrat House colleagues would ensure passage.

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