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Comment Re:What about the rights of those injured by firea (Score 1) 1163

As is common in the anti-gun crowd stats, deaths and not homicides are generally used to show how evil guns are. Your own link has a link to FBI stats showing that while deaths began increasing, homicides continued decreasing. Why the discrepancy? Suicide stats show that at around the same time of the uptick suicide rates began to clime again and the primary method of choice for suicides in the US is of course, guns.

These same anti-gun stats groups also attempt to link access to guns to suicides but studies comparing suicide rates between countries with varying level of gun access show rates generally unaffected by gun access. Depressed or desperate people find a way.

The assault weapons ban was also generally a meaningless piece of legislation as there is no such thing as an assault weapon, or it's probably more accurate to say all weapons are by definition "assault weapons". Most of the restrictions in "assault weapons" laws target cosmetic components of guns are are easily bypassed with a few mods by the manufacturers. Grip and stock styles and choice in optional mounting brackets did not affect the behavior of the actual gun or change its lethality but looked great for politicians trying to get their faces on TV.

Passing real legislation to fund and improve validation systems which can properly link databases together so that mental health restrictions and other red flags are visible in a timely manner during background checks just isn't the same as being able to hold up an M16 lookalike on camera and talk about how your new law "pulls machine guns off the street" even though machine guns were never legally available in the first place (but what constituents don't know doesn't hurt you in the polls).

Comment Re:Meanwhile... (Score 1) 317

It used to be between $50-80 but it's been $100 for a while now. I believe it's even mentioned in the Interac commercials that play every now and then.

My grocery bills are routinely in the $90 range and I always tap to pay. It's amazing how annoying it is when you just go over the limit and have to take the 10 seconds to insert your card and type the pin.

Comment Re: Alert! (Score 1) 370

Continuing with that analogy.

Of those 100 'doctors' you consult, 15 are podiatrists, 25 are ophthalmologists, 6 are audiologist, there's a handful of anesthesiologist there are also a large group of non-doctors who happened to have been using some hospital lab equipment at the time when you came in for a checkup and finally you have about 18 (including 2 of the nays) actual heart doctors. Of course those heart doctors all have different levels of training because in the country you live there is no formalized requirements for claiming to being a heart doctor (some may have not even gone to medical school).

So the consensus (for what that's worth) is you lifestyle is affecting your heart. So you ask, quite reasonably, what is the #1 thing you should do to help yourself in the future.

30 say - reduce your stress levels at work and home.
34 say - eat healthier (but they suggest 20 different incompatible diets)
26 say - get more exercise (but the suggested amount varies from taking a 30 minute walk every other day to doing a solid hour at the gym daily).
5 say - get more sleep
2 say - align your chakras (hey, who let those chiropractors in?)
the 3 say - genetics are the main cause of your issue but eating better and doing some exercise, while not harmful, is always a good idea in general.

Then you ask how much each change will affect your life expectancy and no 2 estimates are the same; ranging from very little to you'll become immortal (seriously, who let those chiropractors in?).

Finally, deep in thought trying to crunch all the numbers from all the 'experts' and their related costs, you walk out of the hospital and are immediately hit by the ambulance.

Comment Re:Why no mention of gulf coast?? (Score 1) 59

Probably because most other places had competent City and State governments in place who knew how to handle the crisis. NO went to hell because no one knew what to do and took forever to even officially request federal aid and even then tried to retain control over things they had no clue how to handle.

People forget than FEMA is not a first response organization. They are suppose to come in to assist already established State and Local teams, take over centralized command if the locals are not capable and to help spread around federal funds where needed. They can do a lot of stuff but it all comes down to what the local governments allow them to do and what aid they can get at the local level.

Comment Re:I can tell from the comments (Score 1) 382

Florida's issues are generally man-made in nature but they have a lot less to do with climate change than greed. Bulldozing natural flood plains and marshes to build new oceanview condo developments tends to leave the water with fewer choices as to where to go.

In the University town I went to there was a store that had a flood sale every year because they had to make sure their bottom shelves were empty during the spring thaw when a foot of water routinely went through the store. Was it because of global warming? No, it was because the idiot town planners built a terrible bridge across the main waterway and whenever the ice started to melt it blocked the flow causing the river to go up over the banks. A few years after I left they redesigned the bridge to actually allow large chunks of ice to pass underneath and lo and behold, no more flooding.

Comment Re:3mm is the key (Score 1) 382

Over 60% of the 'subsidies' the oil and gas companies get in the US are from 3 programs; the national oil reserve, farmers fuel exemption and the home heating oil credit.

The oil reserve is simply the government buying oil and storing it in tanks for later use. The farmers exception is because gas used for farm equipment is not subject to the regular taxes used to pay for road maintenance (since they don't operate on roads). Finally, the home heating credit is to help pay for heating oil for homes in the northern part of the country for lower income families. Feel free to demand each of those programs be stopped.

Most of the rest of the credits are standard business practices of R&D expenditures, investments and depreciation write-offs. In many cases thee write-offs available to the oil industry are actually below the standard business levels because they are capped at a lower percentage.

Comment Re:She deserves to be in prison (Score 0) 303

1) From Hillary's team and only Hillary's teams accounts the material wasn't marked classified and apparently wasn't classified till after the fact and even that state may be in question.


From every other security specialist the documents described by the IGs and the FBI investigators were possibly mislabeled (not marked classified in the subject line) but were always classified. Some were described as 'born classified' which usually includes secrets provided by other governments or specifications of US Nuclear capabilities. I'd guess that's the main reason Hillary has gone from claiming none of her emails "contained classified material" to "were labeled as classified".

Comment Re: Here's hoping she's charged (Score 1) 676

Certain aspects of the law were changed in 2014 but she was already in violation of other aspects that have been in place for a very long time. The laws about federal records require all records be turned over to the archives in a timely manner. There is no indication that until subpenas started flying she ever intended to send her emails to archives (and 2 years is hardly timely).

Some of the post Hillary changes were to set a hard timeline on transfers to archives (about 30 days), require the records be sent in an electronic form and grant a few more powers to the national archivist. These changes did not fundamentally change existing law.

Besides all that, State Department policy from 4 years prior to Hillary's term already barred the use of personal emails for classified information use.

Comment Re:What a clusterfuck (Score 1) 676

In fact at the time she took office this was directly against policy. The State department policy restricting the use of personal emails for government business was published in 2005, 4 years before she took office.

The law itself wasn't updated till much later but she was still in violation of part of that law which was in place during her tenure. The law required all work records (all email sent as SoS related to State business is considered work records) to be sent to archives for proper storage in a timely manner. Over 2 years later and only after a federal subpena would not be considered timely to anyone. That law was later revised to actually set a official timeline of about 30 days which was the only real part of the law that was changed AFTER her time in office.

Comment Re:What a clusterfuck (Score 4, Interesting) 676

The 'retroactively classified' was simply a pr lie Hillary's team has been pushing from the beginning.

2 IG's reviewed a small handful of her emails and found information that was always considered classified by various intelligence agencies. These latest emails supposedly contained the type of information that goes beyond general classification of 'top secret' to the point that only people officially 'read in' are allowed to view it.

Comment Re:This order is worthless without funding (Score 1) 223

The neo-cons/tea partiers had nothing to do with Obama's budgeting woes. Between the House and Senate his proposed budget has only been able to get about 3 positive votes in the last few years. Most years the Senate under Reid simply refused to bring it to the floor for a vote it was so laughable. Only Republican pressure managed to get it to the floor where it managed to get 1 "yea" vote in 3 years.

Only the House actually bothered to do their duty and propose a budget each year. The Senate, once again under Reid;s leadership, generally just ignored all budgetary requirements and simple kept passing short term continuing resolutions which lead to the almost annual face off and threatened government shutdown.

The way the process is suppose to work is the President proposes a budget (usually after some discussion with leaders from both parties which was not going to happen under Obama since his own party members claim he never talks to them), both the House and Senate consider the Presidents proposals and write their own budgets (this can be anything from a direct copy of the Presidents or completely fresh). Then after both house pass a budget they two version go into reconciliation to see if a common ground can be found. While not legally binding, this finalized budget then gives way for appropriation bills to be passed in both houses to fund each budget concern.

For most of Obama's 2 terms things have not worked out that way. The presidents proposals have been seen as a joke by both parties in both houses, the Senate is fine with zero planning and the House passes their own budgets that had no real legal standing and since they know that, can effectively just be a Republican wish list with little or no Dem input.

Comment Re:Oil companies will spend up big on Republicans (Score 1) 574

The top 3 'subsidies' for oil are:
1) The national oil reserve
2) farmers fuel exemption
3) Home heating oil credit

Those together make up over 60% of all the 'subsidies' big oil receives.

You can debate the need for the oil reserves but that is often considered a national security issue.
The farm credit excludes farmers for paying road and highway taxes on equipment not driven on roads.
The heating oil credit is used to pay for oil for low income families.

Unlike green subsidies which are mostly focused on the producers, the bulk of oil subsidies are for the consumers. Farmers will still need to buy fuel for their equipment and families in the northern states will still need heating oil. All ending those subsidies will do is cause both of those groups to have to pay more while having little impact on big oils bottom line since the additional cost will all go to the government anyway (which will then have to be given out as some other form of subsidy/welfare payment to keep costs of food down and help people not freeze to death).

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