Lesson not learned

Everyone finds a lesson in the Republican midterm tsunami.

One message was that so-called comprehensive immigration reform and broad amnesty have little national public support. Polls have long shown that, but so do last week’s election results.

Do you miss him yet?

From the WSJ.

Jonathan Gruber’s ‘Stupid’ Budget Tricks

His ObamaCare candor shows how Congress routinely cons taxpayers.

Geez … Greece in the lead.

It would help considerably if somebody was flying support out of Kurdistan.

Kurdish forces choked off a road used by Islamic State jihadists to resupply their forces in the Syrian border town of Kobani, marking the first gain against the militants there in weeks.

Reuters reports that with the help of the Iraqi Kurdish forces who were able to cross into Syria through Turkey in late October, Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) in besieged Kobani were able to block the road that runs along the side of the strategic hill of Mistanour.

Kobani is located on the Syria-Turkey border and has become strategically important in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS and a test of the jihadist groups resilience.

On this day in history. – Local

Approaching the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains during his second exploratory expedition, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike spots a distant mountain peak that looks “like a small blue cloud.” The mountain was later named Pike’s Peak in his honor.

Thank You, Jonathan Gruber

The epic search of the Greek philosopher Diogenes for an honest man is finally over. His name is Jonathan Gruber, and he is an MIT economist once known as an intellectual architect of Obamacare, although his status is being rapidly downgraded by the law’s supporters with every one of his uncomfortably frank utterances about President Barack Obama’s signature initiative.

Video surfaced of Gruber saying at a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania last year that the law was written in a deceptive, nontransparent way to exploit “the stupidity of the American voter.”

Gruber swiftly went on MSNBC to explain that his comments should be discounted because he was speaking “off the cuff.” Then two other videos surfaced of him saying much the same thing at different venues. Calling the American public stupid appears to have been one of Gruber’s favorite rhetorical tropes. At one of his appearances, his audience can be heard laughing appreciatively.

A little less liberty with every law or regulation.

… But the meeting was about that Obamacare, and the mood went from jubilant to about as dour as its been in this office for a long time.

We were getting downgraded. All of us. The folks with babies, the folks sending kids off to college and the folks just starting out in life. Down two levels, too. See, health care is complicated, so the folks here in Washington made it simple for us Americans: There’s now four levels– bronze, silver, gold and platinum. To simplify, for small businesses like us, they made everything else — including a better plan — illegal. And we were going down two. …

… It’s the brainchild of the privileged, and millionaire intellectuals who think we workers don’t understand what’s good for us, and it’s meant to help. Affordable Care Act, it’s called. …

It’s like it’s a conspiracy … or something …

During her Friday program on the “Fox Business Network,” Melissa Francis made a truly scandalous revelation. “when I was at CNBC, I pointed out to my viewers that the math of Obamacare simply didn’t work. Not the politics by the way; just the basic math. And when I did that, I was silenced.” Francis eventually brought on Charlie Gasparino another FBN employee who used to work at CNBC who told of the time the network’s anchors where called into Jeff Immelt the head of GE’s office (GE owned CNBC at the time) for a discussion whether or not the network was being fair to President Obama and his economic policies.

Francis began her program with two of the recent Jonathan Gruber videos where he talks about in crafting Obamacare, he picked verbiage that would fool the stupid Americans. Francis who has a degree in economics from Harvard, followed the clip with her account of being taken out to the woodshed at CNBC explaining that the basic math of Obamacare didn’t make sense”

Still not solved.

Violent protests erupted Wednesday in the capital of the Mexican state of Guerrero over the still unsolved Sept. 26 disappearance of 43 students in the town of Iguala, Agence France-Presse reported.

Protesters in Chilpancingo broke into the empty legislature and reportedly burned the library and the chamber where local lawmakers hold sessions. They also set fire to an office at the state Education Department, a day after they had torched the local headquarters of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s party.

A local newspaper, meanwhile spoke of “vandalism” and “psychosis” as it relayed Wednesday’s streak of violence.

Cracking the code.

For 13 centuries, the Virupaksha Temple in Pattadakal has been one of the most recognizable landmarks in Indian art — a towering layer cake of elaborate, hand-carved friezes populated by a bevy of Hindu deities and symbols.

Now Cathleen Cummings, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UAB Department of Art and Art History who specializes in Asian art history, has shown that these figures are more than just architectural decoration. “For a long time, there was an assumption that the sculptures on the outside of Hindu temples didn’t necessarily mean anything as a group,” she says. But “it seemed to me right away that there were certain, very conscious choices being made as to where deities and specific forms of deities were placed.”

Boehner ups the ante.

Boehner reportedly wants to act quickly if Obama uses executive action, as promised, to allow more illegal immigrants to stay in the country — an idea that has been discussed before.

The Post cited Several Republicans who spoke on the condition of anonymity, cautioning that any decision by House GOP leadership would be made after consulting rank-and-file members if Obama decides to issue executive orders on immigration.

Boehner announced plans to initiate a federal suit against Obama’s use of executive action in late June.

It still won’t be read but …

… its a good idea.

Facebook translates its privacy policy into plain English

It’s all lies.

Doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome.

Federal regulators are attempting to lower credit and lending standards for home mortgage loans during a time when there is little demand for housing, some experts say, a move that could create another destabilizing bubble if the economy improves.

I don’t think that it’s going to sell.

Even though i involves a payoff. Of course you’re the one who has to come up with the money for his payoff.

Sliddeshow.

Even a little bit helps.

Even very brief running—just 5 to 10 minutes a day—can help people live longer, according to new research.

“Running is one of the most convenient and popular exercises,” says Duck-chul “D.C.” Lee, an assistant professor in kinesiology at Iowa State University.

“Running is good for your health—but more may not be better. You don’t have to think it’s a big challenge. We found that even 10 minutes per day is good enough. You don’t need to do a lot to get the benefits from running.”

Or they could continue spending … and join Greece.

It’s tough when you been promising give-aways for 200 years.

The recent large protests against Belgian government’s austerity measures may spread across Europe as the continent continues to experience high unemployment and weak economic growth, experts have told Anadolu Agency.

With the Belgian government declaring it will raise the retirement age from 65 to 67 by 2030 and force the long-term unemployed to work in return for benefits, 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets to vent their anger against the imposed “austerity measures” in Brussels on Nov. 6.

The demonstrators were also protesting against government plans to cut spending on healthcare and delay the indexation of wages in relation to prices.

Belgium’s economy is expected to grow little more than one percent this year.

Holger Schmieding, the chief economist at Berenberg, a German multinational financial institution based in Hamburg, said: “Belgium is finally doing what it has to do to make its public finances sustainable. We are likely to see further protests, as we have in other countries over time.”

Why am I not surprised?

Immigrants and their U.S.-born children make up more than 40 percent of new Medicaid recipients at a cost of $4.6 billion, according to an analysis of government data.

The Center for Immigration Studies, a low-immigration advocacy group, released a report early Thursday that found both legal and illegal immigrants and their minor children made up 42 percent of Medicaid growth from 2011 to last year.

Exit stage left. …. And then farther left …

It’s tough when you been promising give-aways for 2000 years.

One has to be struck by the financial market’s present equanimity about Europe’s deteriorating economic and political outlook as reflected in very low European sovereign bond yields. The reason for astonishment is not simply that all-too-many indicators suggest that a highly indebted European economy appears to be heading for a triple-dip economic recession and for a prolonged period of Japanese-style deflation. Nor is it simply that European politics continue to fragment at an alarming rate in major European countries like France, Italy and Spain. Rather, the immediate reason for surprise at the market’s equanimity is that Greece, the very country where the European sovereign debt crisis started in 2010, appears to be soon heading for another period of widespread doubt as to whether it will be capable of remaining a euro member.

After the mid-terms … what are they thinking?

Dems warn Obama: Don’t back down on immigration

Maybe we should offer a little help.

Iraqi Kurds Assert Economic Independence

Despite opposition from the Iraqi central government, the Kurds have managed to increase their sale in oil revenues by 60% and assert their economic independence.

In the wake of a dispute over the oil revenues with the central government in Baghdad, the KRG is asserting economic independence from the rest of Iraq. After Maliki ceased paying the region’s share of the government’s budget, the KRG started operating its own oil pipeline to Turkey, completely bypassing the central government in Baghdad.

He still had room to go left?

Obama veers left after red wave

President Obama has taken significant steps to the left since his party’s devastating losses in the midterm elections.

In a surprise, he announced a major deal on climate change with China during a trip to Beijing Tuesday. That followed another unanticipated move — a Monday statement pressuring the Federal Communications Commission to adopt new net neutrality rules for the Internet.

The moves are helping to rally a dispirited Democratic base while re-establishing Obama’s political leadership after he was sidelined during the midterms.

I’m sure that leadership in the West will get right on this.

NATO has observed columns of Russian military equipment including tanks, artillery and combat troops entering eastern Ukraine in the past two days, the military alliance’s supreme allied commander said Wednesday.

“Across the last two days we have seen the same thing that OSCE is reporting. We have seen columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defence systems and Russian combat troops entering into Ukraine,” US General Philip Breedlove said in Sofia.

“We do not have a good picture at this time of how many. We agree that there are multiple columns that we have seen,” he added.

Observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported on Tuesday seeing a convoy of 43 unmarked military trucks — five towing Howitzer heavy artillery pieces and another five multi-launch rocket systems — travelling into the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

It was the latest in a string of recent sightings of unmarked trucks and heavy weapons heading towards the frontline in rebel-controlled areas.