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Comment Re:Capitalisim [sic] (Score 5, Informative) 225

They're a cash grab for scanner makers, who are politically connected to the TSA.

eg Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security secretary who shilled hard on the "need" to install full-body scanners, then later acknowledged that his consulting agency had a client that manufactured the machines. That is the kind of corruption one would expect in a third world tinpot dictatorship.

Comment Fundamentally flawed (Score 2) 80

...to the extent that betting markets are an accurate predictor of political outcomes

But that is the fundamental flaw : betting markets are not an accurate predictor of any kind of outcome. The prices in a betting market are set and moved by the bookmaker according to the bets placed; the odds move according to what the bookie stands to win or lose based on the current bets. Sure, the bookie makes an educated guess when setting the intial price, but after that, the price is entirely driven by bets received.

Imagine that there were such betting at the last election. If Rove dropped hundreds of millions to back Romney, what do you think that would do the betting price? The odds would be "predicting" a Romney landslide, but it would be no more a predictor of reality than all those blowhard pundits.

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Comment Re:We should retaliate! (Score 5, Informative) 306

We could give that neighbouring country chemical and biological weapons

citation needed

How about the Senate report on U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual-Use Exports to Iraq, amongst whose findings is "The United States provided the Government of Iraq with "dual use" licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi chemical, biological, and missile- system programs, including:(6) chemical warfare agent precursors; chemical warfare agent production facility plans and technical drawings (provided as pesticide production facility plans); chemical warhead filling equipment; biological warfare related materials; missile fabrication equipment; and, missile-system guidance equipment"

Is that fact straight enough for you?/P

Comment Re:So what's the big deal? (Score 1) 836

When McCain was vetting Romney and others as prospective vice-presidents in 2008, Romney provided several years' tax returns to the McCain campaign. Those who saw those returns have said publicly that there was nothing there that would have disqualified Romney

McCain saw the returns in 2008. The amnesty was in 2009.

Comment Re:So what's the big deal? (Score 2) 836

I'd much rather see talk about what each candidate intends to do with the presidency, rather than "vote for me because that other guy's a real dickhead".

I totally agree with your sentiment, but I still think there's a huge difference between "the other guy's a dickhead" and "the other guy engaged in illegal behaviour"

Comment Re:So what's the big deal? (Score 2) 836

[2009 Tax Amnesty passed by] 111th Congress. You know, the one that had Democrat majority in both the House, Senate

Lol. So it's the Democrats fault!? The whataboutery-foo is strong in this one. You think they should not have permitted the amnesty? And put the criminals in prison?

if it's amnesty, then how is what happened then exactly illegal?

I guess you don't understand what amnesty means? To re-cap : following a leak by a whistle-blower, Swiss bank UBS gets sued by the US to release their full list of tax criminals' names. The IRS is more interested in the money than putting thousands of the rich and/or famous behind bars, so offers an amnesty - those tax evaders who voluntarily fess up, report their fraud and pay what's due are not prosecuted.

The tax evasion was and is illegal. Amnesty from prosecution does not magically make the previous behaviour legal. And even if it did, the issue for Romney, if the allegation is true, is that he willfully and deliberately committed massive tax fraud, knowing at the time that it was illegal. That is massively damaging whichever side of the fence you're on. (And by the way, I don't really have a horse in this race because I'm not permitted to vote in that election. If I could vote, I cannot imagine that I would be persuaded to vote Obama).

Comment Re:Romney waived a red flag (Score 1) 836

I dont think it really matters WHAT is in the tax return TBQH

Really? Even if that return shows that Romney took advantage of the Treasury's 2009 amnesty for those illegally evading taxes through the use of off-shore banks? Knowing that presidential candidate has a history of illegal behaviour would seem to matter quite a bit to me.

Comment Re:So what's the big deal? (Score 5, Insightful) 836

Obama is rich, too

A fine example of whataboutery. The issue is not that Romney is wealthy - it's a matter of public record that his wealth is double that of the last eight presidents combined - but that he may have been illegally evading taxes through the use of off-shore banks, and took advantage of the 2009 amnesty.

Comment The suspicion is there WAS illegal activity (Score 3, Informative) 836

I mean, unless Rommney has done something illegal, who cares what his tax returns are?

That's the core of this : the suspicion is that Romney was one of the many thousands who took advantage of the Treasury's 2009 amnesty for those illegally evading taxes through the use of off-shore banks.

Comment Re:The Queen and PoW have a veto over UK legislati (Score 1) 526

The Sovereign is mainly a 'rubber stamp' on legislation

That's the official line, but you obviously didn't read the piece at the link I provided : there is currently a legal battle over the release of the confidential internal manual which details how the consent of the Crown and the Duchy of Cornwall is obtained before bills are passed into law and what criteria ministers apply before asking the royals to amend draft laws. So, yes, "mainly" a rubber stamp, except when proposed legislation may affect the private interests of the Crown or the Duchy of Cornwall. In those cases, the royal veto can and is applied.

England is a Constitutional Monarchy

No it isn't. You probably meant to write "the United Kingdom is a Constitutional Monarchy", and that's certainly the official status. But there is no Constitution in the UK (unless you count the human rights stuff that's come from the EU), so the reality boils down to "the UK is a Monarchy".

Comment The Queen and PoW have a veto over UK legislation (Score 1) 526

Now, of course, he is going to have to consult with parliament on some issues â" but remember â" he only needs to consult.

huh?

Actually, it's the other way round : parliament has to consult the Queen and the Prince of Wales before introducing new legislation, to ensure there is no harm to their private interests. This little known Royal Veto has been described by constitutional lawyers as a "royal nuclear deterrent".

Charles' support for homeopathy is well known - he argued in favour of homeopathy before the World Health Assembly in 2006, endorsed a company peddling homeopathic "cures" for polio, and in 2010 was accused of secretly lobbying ministers for homeopathy to be provided by the NHS.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.

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