web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘majority’

Krugman’s Lament

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Originally published at The American Thinker.

Paul Krugman laments but does not condemn the voting public for getting it wrong. We are, after all,  “… often misinformed, and politicians aren’t reliably truthful.” So it is at least not our fault when we get it all wrong. Get what wrong?

Well, Krugman wondered whether the public was clueless about whether “the deficit has gone up or down since January 2010.” He got one of his pals, Hal Varian, to run a Google Consumer Survey on the question. And guess what? We got it wrong, “A majority of those who replied said the deficit has gone up, with more than 40 percent saying that it has gone up a lot. Only 12 percent answered correctly that it has gone down a lot.” So, according to Krugman, under [in spite of?] Obama the deficit has gone down a lot since 2010.

The amount of the deficit in 2010 was 1.3 trillion. The amount of the deficit in 2011 was 1.3 trillion.

Obama’s 2011 deficit same as 2010: $1.3 trillion

That means big things must have happened in  2012, right?

For fiscal year 2012 the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion

Wow. Did we get that wrong. For Krugman the move from 1.3 trillion to 1.1 trillion is “down a lot.”

Now maybe Krugman had the projected government deficit for 2013 in mind. That is projected to be .7 trillion.  But he didn’t ask that did he? He didn’t even ask if the deficit for 2012 is lower than the deficit in 2011. He just asked if the deficit has gone up or down.

But which is it Mr. Krugman? You’ve been telling us that deficits don’t matter. If they don’t matter why should we, the clueless misinformed, pay attention? But now you seem to be suggesting that a reduced deficit is a good thing and that you and the Obama administration should take credit for the reduced deficit in 2013 – forced sequestration, condemned by you and the Obama administration, had nothing to do with the 2013 drop in the deficit?

So if deficits go up it doesn’t matter but if they go down it’s a good thing? Well, count me among the clueless.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/08/krugmans_lament.html#ixzz2cRV1ZhGB
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

Nothing ‘Reasonable’ about Mideast Divide

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to swallow a painful and embarrassing concession to please the Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry had his moment of triumph.

In announcing the start of a new round of Middle East peace talks, Kerry has seemingly justified the way he has concentrated his efforts on an issue that was not in crisis mode and with little chance of resolution while treating other more urgent problems such as Egypt, Syria, and the Iranian nuclear threat as lower priorities.

But now that he has had his victory, the focus turns to the talks where few, if any, observers think there is a ghost of a chance of that the negotiations can succeed despite Kerry’s call for “reasonable compromises.”

The reason for that is that despite the traditional American belief that the two sides can split the difference on their disagreements, as Kerry seems to want, the problem is much deeper than drawing a new line on a map.

Ironically, proof of this comes from a new poll that some are touting as evidence that both Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution. The poll was a joint project of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. It shows, among other often-contradictory results, that a majority of Israelis (62 percent) supports a two-state solution while 33 percent oppose it. Among Palestinians, 53 percent support and 46 percent oppose the two-state solution.

But the question to ask about this poll and the conflict is what the two sides mean by a two-state solution. The answer comes in a subsequent query:

We asked Israelis and Palestinians about their readiness for a mutual recognition as part of a permanent status agreement and after all issues in the conflict are resolved and a Palestinian State is established. Our current poll shows that 57% of the Israeli public supports such a mutual recognition and 37% opposes it. Among Palestinians, 42% support and 56% oppose this step.

In other words, Israelis see a two-state solution as a way to permanently end the conflict and achieve peace. But since a majority of Palestinians cannot envision mutual recognition even after all issues are resolved and they get a state, they obviously see it as merely a pause before the conflict would begin anew on terms decidedly less advantageous to Israel.

There are many reasons why the peace negotiations are likely to fail. The Palestinians are deeply split, with Gaza being ruled by the Islamists of Hamas who still won’t even contemplate talks with Israel, let alone peace. Kerry has praised Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, but he is weak and hasn’t the ability to make a peace deal stick even in the unlikely event he signs one.

Though Netanyahu went out on a political limb to enable the talks to begin by releasing scores of Palestinian terrorists, Abbas has shown in the past that he will say no, even when offered virtually everything he has asked for. Netanyahu will rightly drive a harder bargain and refuse to contemplate a deal that involves a complete retreat to the 1967 lines or a Palestinian state that isn’t demilitarized. But it’s hard to imagine Abbas ever recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.

The real problem, however, isn’t about where negotiators would draw those lines. As the poll indicates, even after Israel withdraws from almost all of the West Bank (reports indicate Netanyahu is ready to give up 86 percent of it), a substantial majority of Palestinians still can’t fathom the possibility of mutual recognition and normal relations.

How can that be?

The reason is very simple and is not something Kerry or his lead negotiator Martin Indyk (a veteran of numerous diplomatic failures who hasn’t seemed to learn a thing from any of them) can fix. Palestinian nationalism was born in the 20th century as a reaction to Zionism, not by focusing on fostering a separate identity and culture from that of other Arab populations. That doesn’t mean Palestinians aren’t now a separate people with their own identity, but it does explain why they see that identity as indistinguishable from the effort to make Israel disappear.

In Hebrew: ‘The Majority’

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

הָרוֹב

An important part of what חֲנֻכָּה Hannukah - represents is the victory of the few over the many.

The common spoken-Hebrew word for many is הַרְבֵּה, but in a more literary sense or when referring to majority, the word is רוֹב. The ר.ו.ב (r.w.b) root is the same as that of the word for rabbi -רַב - and means greatness.

Whereas in English, we talk about the vast majority, in Hebrew we say: הָרוֹב הַמֻּחְלָט the absolute majority 

or הָרוֹב הַמַכְרִיעַ the decisive majority

or, to simplify: הָרוֹב the majority

חַג חֲנֻכָּה שָׂמֵחַ! Happy Hanukkah holiday!

Visit Kzat Ivrit.

50 UN Members Did Not Support Palestinian Upgrade

Friday, November 30th, 2012

I agree that this is a little like the joke about the police commissioner who boasts that while there has been an increase in crime incidents in the city, there are millions of citizens who have not committed any crimes in the past quarter — nevertheless, a measure of sanity among the world’s nations must be acknowledged and even praised.

The UN General Assembly today voted 138 to 9, with 41 abstaining, to upgrade the PLO’s observer status to the same level held by the Vatican, that of a “non-member state.”

An email sent out last night by UN Watch notes that although the number of Yes votes may appear large, in fact it amounted to the usual automatic majority for any resolution attacking Israel — and the proposal actually won 28 fewer votes than a pro-Palestinian resolution adopted last week, and fewer than is usually received by such resolutions.

Moreover, as UN Watch also reported — in a Tweet reposted by Canadian Cabinet Minister Rona Ambrose among many others –  the PLO won 38 fewer than the 176 votes the U.N. General Assembly gave to genocidal Sudan when recently electing it to a principal U.N. body that oversees human rights.

Let’s be grateful for small favors. Think of it, there are 50 whole nations out there that are not sure they want Israel to be erased from the map, and 9 of them are actually against the idea at this time!

Although mostly symbolic, the statehood designation, as President Abbas boasted last year in a New York Times op-ed, paves the way for the “internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter,” enabling the PLO to pursue claims against Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Incidentally, just so you wouldn’t be completely overcome by euphoria, the UN Human Rights Council is planning to release a massive report in early 2013 — by a commission of inquiry modeled after the one that produced the notorious Goldstone Report — which is likely to recommend the ICC prosecution of Israeli officials for “war crimes” in connection with the settlements.

Democrat Senator-Elect Simcha Felder Will Caucus with Republicans

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Brooklyn Democratic State Senator-elect Simcha Felder has decided to caucus with the GOP, placing doubt over the Democrats’ ability to control the Senate, the NY Daily News reported.

Felder, who represent a new, mostly Orthodox Jewish district, announced the switch following a Tuesday meeting with Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos.

Felder said that by joining the Republicans, who are in the majority until the new Senate goes into session next year, he will be able “to serve the people who elected me, and advance a legislative agenda that best meets their needs.” These include economic development, jobs and tax relief.

His move leaves Senate Democrats with a 32-31 majority come January. Two races have not been decided yet, and the Democrats are leading in both.

If the Republicans take either of those seats, they will have the majority, thanks to Felder’s defection. And that would be without factoring in breakaway senate Democrats who formed their own conference and have worked closely with the Republican majority the last two years.

The Independent Democratic Caucus, comprised of four Senators who worked with the Republicans this session, are yet to announce whose wagon they’d be riding come January.

Senator Skelos was delighted to welcome Felder to his ranks. “Senator-elect Felder will be a valuable member of our conference as we work to address the concerns raised by his community and continue to move this state forward,” the Republican Boss from Nassau County said.

According to the Daily News, Senate Democrats still expect Felder to return to his roots once their party wins the two disputed seats.

“The voters sent a clear message on election night that they want the Senate led by a Democratic majority,” said Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy. “We are confident that when the Senate convenes in January, there will be a Democratic majority and we look forward to working with Gov. Cuomo to achieve the progressive agenda he has laid out.”

In that case, it could mark the final demise of the NY State GOP, with both houses and the governor’s office residing in Democratic hands, as well as both U.S. Senate seats and a majority of the House delegation.

New Poll: Aryeh Deri Delivers Three Extra Seats for Shas, Weakening Likud

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

A poll conducted by Dialogue (supervised by Professor Kamil Fox of the Tel Aviv University’s statistics department) and published today in Haaretz shows that Aryeh Deri’s return to the Hared-Sephardi party Shas will bring the party an additional three mandates (they currently have 11), while causing the Likud to go down to 24 from its current 27 mandates.

These figures are based on a presumption taht former prime minister Ehud Olmert will establish a centrist party together with Kadima members Shaul Mofaz and Tzipi Livni as well as the fledgling Yesh Atid party’s Yair Lapid. The poll also assumes that Aryeh Deri will head the Shas slate alongside Eli Yishai (which, as of Wednesday night, he does).

According to the poll, conducted before Deri’s official return to Shas, in the aforementioned case, the right-wing block will not lose its majority of 63 mandates, while the Likud would be reduced to only 24 mandates, with Shas increasing to 14. In this scenario, the Olmert-Livni-Lapid party would receive 25 mandates, the Labor party 17 and Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu 13.

The poll also shows that the Likud-Liberman-Haredi bloc would maintain its majority in any possible scenario, no matter what combinations of left and center parties it faces.

The poll also shows that in a scenario where Livni would join forces with Labor Party chairman Yachimovich and Deri out of Shas, there would be a slight shift in mandate distribution showing Likud with 27, Labor – 24, Yisrael Beiteinu – 13, Shas – 11, Yesh Atid – 10 and Kadima – 7.

To Tell The Truth: An Unlikely Scenario

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Despite public surveys that show the general public largely opposed to negative campaigning, the overwhelming majority of candidates in contested races have refined this strategy almost to an art form.

And why not? After all, many of these same polls also conclude that this type of campaigning – whereby the candidate too often distorts his or her opponent’s record while spewing venomous personal attacks – works, as seeds of doubt regarding the opponent’s fitness for office are planted in voters’ minds.

But imagine if Barack Obama and Mitt Romney discarded this strategy in favor of saying what they really think and what they offer the American people.

Under this unlikely scenario, here is what I’d like them to say. We’ll begin with President Obama:

I have been accused by some political detractors of supporting economic policies that have a distinct socialist bent.

Well, if governing with compassion by advocating the creation of a society that benefits the American people by equalizing the social status of all Americans makes me a socialist, I proudly plead guilty.

If ensuring that as many Americans as possible have the basic necessities of daily living, even at the cost of taking more from those who have made it and giving that share of the pie to those who, for whatever reason, have not, makes me a proponent of income redistribution, I will proudly wear the title of the “Robin Hood of American politics.”

If the cost of solving today’s economically challenging times is to spend beyond our means, a strategy nobody really likes but one that is sometimes necessary, then I will propose in a second term more stimulus spending and more entitlement programs. Yes, there are times in a nation’s life when the government must spend, even when resources are scarce, to protect the have-nots.

I realize that some describe this policy as an irresponsible means of spending other people’s money and mortgaging the fiscal future of the next generation. But, if reelected, I will continue my policy of deficit spending to rescue America from an economic catastrophe that I inherited from my predecessor – something I apologize for reminding you of yet again.

The protection of Social Security in its current form from insolvency and the maintaining of Medicare and Medicaid for our nation’s seniors and disabled are areas I will pay particular attention to in a second term. And if adequate resources in the national treasury are lacking to fix these impending problems, I will yet again tax the wealthy Americans among us.

And my justification for this is simple: If the ultra-conservative chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, concluded that it is within the government’s right to force one American to provide health insurance for his or her fellow American through higher taxes – as he ruled recently when the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of my universal health care legislation – then surely Congress and I can see to it that certain Americans, namely high-income earners, pay whatever is necessary to secure a better future for the most vulnerable among us.

If a judicial champion of conservatism like John Roberts says that any type of taxation can be left to the discretion of the executive and legislative branches of government, its imposition on anything those branches deem necessary to improve America’s human condition should logically be supported.

And speaking of government’s legal right to impose necessary revenue enhancers on taxpayers, government must have the same right to impose mandatory regulations – similar to my administration’s health care legislation’s rules – on businesses that unfairly profit off the backs of American workers. And my administration, in protecting workers’ rights, will determine what constitutes unfair profits and act accordingly.

My general philosophy of good government at work is this: The longstanding general business principle of putting greed over equality and profit over compassion must go by the wayside. For as President Woodrow Wilson once said, “we are all caught in a great economic system which is heartless.”

* * * * *

In the national security and foreign policy realms I will continue to punish the guilty, as my order to kill Osama bin Laden and my policy of using drones against terrorists in Pakistan has demonstrated. But my overall goal remains what it has always been: a secure international peace that will stand the test of time, through the values of decency and humaneness that made and that keeps America great.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/to-tell-the-truth-an-unlikely-scenario/2012/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: