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w.heinlein 167 posts  |  Last Activity: 7 hours ago Member since: Oct 8, 2007
  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Feb 2, 2015 1:21 PM Flag

    You are absolutely right! Walker would crush Hillary evenm more than Sarah Palin crushed Obama.

  • Reply to

    Mutt Romney not running in 2016

    by ursofulofkrap Jan 30, 2015 4:39 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 31, 2015 2:35 PM Flag

    It's all about money and staff. The smart money wants Jeb Bush because they think he can beat Hillary. The smart operatives don't want to work for Romney.

    If Bush is the nominee, he'll attract lots of independent voters, maybe enough to beat her (assuming the Dems pick her) but he'll lose the far right wing of the GOP. His name recognition will both help and hurt, as will hers.

    It's all too dynastic for me. Who do we get next? Chelsea against Jenna?.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 31, 2015 12:05 PM Flag

    I like Jonathan Turley a lot, though he would vehemently protest your description of his as a "liberal". He is a classic conservative civil libertarian--which is more or less the way I'd describe myself if anybody cared to ask. In November 2014, Professor Turley agreed to serve as lead counsel to the United States House of Representatives in its constitutional challenge to changes ordered by President Obama to the Affordable Care Act. The litigation was approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to seek judicial review of the claims under the separation of powers. The authority invoked by the President to support his administrative changes to the ACA derives from a view of executive power that also underlies his executive order suspending deportation proceedings for several million undocumented people living in the United States. However, Obama isn't alone in making those kinds of claims of Presidential authority nor is he the first President to create an "executive amnesty" program. Several of his Republican predecessors have done essentially identical things without being challenged by Congress. If the Supreme Court ends up deciding either the ACA case or the deportation case against the President, its decision will necessarily clip the wings of all future Presidents of either political party, a result that I would heartily applaud.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 30, 2015 6:36 PM Flag

    It's true that Obama can't stand Bibi and vice -versa, but point me to any action by the USA (other than the effort to reach a diplomatic detente with Iran) that has undercut Israel. I don't think you can find one with the possible exception of our support for the Syrian opposition in the early days of the anti-Assad uprising. Israel may have preferred Assad, bloody tyrant that he is, to any possible successor, but that doesn't mean we have to.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 30, 2015 2:00 PM Flag

    I don't think so. Bibi is a pain in the tail, not just to Obama but to almost every other head of state he deals with. Obama has been a good friend of Israel, just not a friend of Bibi. They disagree on one very big question, how to deal with Iran. Bibi is convinced the only thing to do with Iran is to bomb their uranium enrichment plants (which are very hard targets that might require a nuclear weapon to destroy), Obama thinks there's a diplomatic path to a less hostile Iran, one that doesn't threaten Israel. They aren't going to agree on an approach to Iran, the disagreement is too profound. From the safe distance of California, I favor the diplomatic approach. If I lived in Tel Aviv, I'm not sure what I would think.

  • Reply to

    A Little Bit of History

    by w.heinlein Jan 29, 2015 7:24 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 30, 2015 10:36 AM Flag

    Will wonders never cease! I agree with every single word in your post. the

  • w.heinlein by w.heinlein Jan 29, 2015 7:24 PM Flag

    When you look at a map of the modern "middle east" you are looking at lines drawn by British and French imperialists after the first world war, culminating in the Cairo Conference in 1921. The imperialist powers decided what new countries would be created (Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies among others) and, more remarkably, who the rulers would be. Forgotten, or nearly forgotten, individuals like Sykes, Picot, T.E. Lawrence and the remarkable Gertrude Bell, essentailly created the middle east out of their own heads. Bell wrote in her diary in the late 'teens that she was "busy creating kings and countries" and she was not lying. Modern day Iraq and Jordan were essentially her creations. Most people in the west either never knew or have forgotten this history, but it is very much alive in the minds of contemporary Arab rebels both Islamists like ISIS and westernizing reformers like the leaders of the "Arab spring." As much as these groups despise each other, they are united in the belief that it's time for the residents of the region to create their own history. That's why when ISIS troops entered Syria some months ago, they stopped to take pictures of themselves crossing the so-called "Sykes-Picot" line. It was a way of announcing to the world that they didn't any longer accept the verdict of 1921 and were prepared to change it by force of arms in necessary. For nearly a century, the west has attempted to enforce the political order it created at the end of WWI. Doing so has left us choices among secular tyrants, corrupt monarchs, and religious fanatics, with not much in between. Dubya carried on the imperialist tradition of middle east meddling; Obama has tried to change it. Neither has been successful.

  • Reply to

    Disabled roles swell under Obama

    by springer_1994 Jan 28, 2015 7:49 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 28, 2015 3:53 PM Flag

    I hate to tell you this, but you are making things up. Back in 2012, Bill O'Reilly went on the air with accusations like yours about how the Obama administration was intentionally making it easy for people to file disability claims in order to create more voters dependent on government blah blah blah, the usual horsebleep. At the same time, the CBO (which, I am sure I must remind you, is a non-partisan body that both political parties rely for unbiased research) issued a study of the increase in disability rolls. The CBO found that the increase arose from an aging population, a surge in women workers, changes in the law in the 1980s and a terrible economy in which disabled people couldn't find jobs. The biggest jumps in the disabled population came from aging Baby Boomers. From 1996 through 2009 -- "the approximate period during which the baby-boom generation entered their 50s -- the share of disabled worker benefits awarded to older workers (age 45 and older) rose from 67 percent to 76 percent," the report said.
    Meanwhile, the share of benefits going to younger workers -- between the ages of 25 to 44 -- fell from 31 percent to 22 percent."Baby boomers' aging would have boosted enrollment in the DI program even if no other factors had changed," the report said. More women have entered the workforce since 1970, creating a larger pool of people who can become disabled. Finally, change in the law during the Reagan administration that allowed more people with mental disabilities and musculoskeletal problems to qualify also increased the number of people on disability. In 1990, such people accounted for 38 percent of workers in the SSDI program. In 2010, the number had risen to 54 percent.

  • Reply to

    Disabled roles swell under Obama

    by springer_1994 Jan 28, 2015 7:49 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 28, 2015 3:09 PM Flag

    But the rolls aren't soaring! They are growing half as fast as they grew under Bush. Can you not grasp elementary arithmetic?

    And by the way, what changes are you referring to? Can you document your claim? Put up or shut up.

  • Reply to

    Disabled roles swell under Obama

    by springer_1994 Jan 28, 2015 7:49 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 28, 2015 3:02 PM Flag

    Try to stick to a topic, difficult as that may be for you. You posted numbers that (according to you) showed that disability cases were soaring under Obama. YOUR OWN FIGURES showed this to be at best a misunderstanding and at worst a deliberate deception, as the disability rolls are growing less than half as fast under Obama as they grew under Bush. The point of the rest of my post was that this decrease in the rate of growth wasn't so much the result of Obama's actions as it was the result of the end of the Iraq War, during which hundreds of thousands of vets sought assistance returning to civilian life. Now that the war is over, that flood of injured vets has dwindled to a trickle, which accounts for much of the decine in the rate of caseload growth.

  • Reply to

    Disabled roles swell under Obama

    by springer_1994 Jan 28, 2015 7:49 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 28, 2015 1:10 PM Flag

    An increase of 49.7 percent over 12 years (2003-2015) is 4.1% a year. An increase of 31% over 6 years (2003-2009) is 5.2% a year. An increase of 14.3 percent over six years (2009-2015) is 2.4% a year.

    In other words, the numbers you posted demonstrate that the disabled rolls are growing at less than half the rate under Obama than they did under the last six years of the Bush administration.

    This shouldn't come as a surprise. The Bush years included the Iraq war and the beginning of American involvement in Afghanistan, which together sent tens of thousands of severely disabled soldiers back to the USA where they joined the ranks of disabled beneficiaries.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 28, 2015 9:35 AM Flag

    That's like saying a newborn and an old man are the same; the old man is just the newborn over time.

    But at least you seem to recognize that because climate is the time integral of weather, reasoning from a single data point (It's snowing in May!) is an obvious logical error. Langosta makes that mistake every time he posts about climate change.

  • w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 27, 2015 7:31 PM Flag

    You are a piece of work. On the one hand you complain (without any basis, I might add) that posters you don't agree with are ignoring "facts". But when Bloomberg and the CBO post facts YOU don't like, your reponse is a loud and smelly cyber-fart. If you want to run with the big dogs, you gotta stop acting like a weenie...

  • Reply to

    Income Inequality The Result, Not The Cause

    by trueallday Jan 25, 2015 10:00 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 27, 2015 1:43 PM Flag

    I tried posting this yesterday but the system just wouldn't let me, so I'll try again but with different words. Why is the middle class shrinking? If you look at the last 50 years, the answer is clear: the middle class is getting smaller because the upper class, defined as households with annual incomes over $100k, is getting much bigger. In other words, people are moving up. Upper class households tripled from 7% of the total households in 1963 to 22% in 2013. Great! But if you look just at the years since 2000, the trend has reversed, with poor households increasing and upper class households decreasing. The middle class has kept shrinking, but this time it's because people are moving down. So what will tomorrow look like? Your guess is as good as mine.

  • Reply to

    We told you so...........

    by springer_1994 Jan 27, 2015 7:24 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 27, 2015 1:35 PM Flag

    $50,000/person over 11 years (2014-2025) is less than $4500/year, a reasonable price for good insurance.

    I suspect your beef is not with the price tag but with the idea that well-off people should subsidize the purchase of health insurance by less well off people. That's a perfectly respectable position but you shouldn't hide it behind a bogus claim of inflated costs.

  • Reply to

    Income Inequality The Result, Not The Cause

    by trueallday Jan 25, 2015 10:00 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 25, 2015 2:40 PM Flag

    Inequality is a complex topic and disucssions often get bogged down in semantic confusion. It's necessary to distinguish different kinds of inequality in order to have a meaningful conversation. For example:

    --Merit-based income inequality ("pay for performance") is highly desirable and necessary in a healthy society. If you earn more than I do because you work harder and smarter than I do, that's a good thing.

    --Income inequality is different from wealth inequality. I once worked for a billionaire whose income was $1/year. The companies he owned didn't pay dividends and he paid himself that $1.00 salary. But he was a billionaire. Which brings me to this question: if I'm being fairly and adequately paid, why should I care if Bill Gates is worth $100 Billion? Or that he can pass that wealth on to his kids?

    --Discussing income inequality without discussing transfer payments is nearly pointless. To the income earned by a poor family you need to add the value of government-provided benefits. These include unemployment insurance, Social Security payments, EITC, food stamps, Medicaid, WIC, AFDC, and myriad other programs benefitting the less-well-off funded mostly (or entirely) by the well-off. Even with government-provided help, the poor are still poor but they aren't as desperately poor (for the most part) as a narrow focus on earned income would suggest.

    --Inequality of opportunity is less discussed and in my opinion far more important than inequality of income or wealth. A child born to parents in the bottom third of the income distribution has about a 90% chance of staying there, even if his nominal income is higher than his father's. Taxing the rich simply to give money to the poor may help the poor avoid illness and starvation but it doesn't help them raise their children out of poverty. Reducing inequality of opportunity is difficult, expensive, and controversial but it is worth the effort.

  • Reply to

    Richard Muller in his own words--1

    by w.heinlein Jan 21, 2015 6:06 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 22, 2015 6:14 PM Flag

    According to you, there's no actual proof of the of human causation. So I have to ask: what would you accept as "proof"? A study of another planet that resembled earth in all respects except it doesn't burn fossil fuel?

    In the case of cigarettes and cancer, we have never conducted a rigorous study because to do so would be both immoral and logistically impossible: "Here, kids, smoke two packs a day for 25 years and then let us biopsy your lungs. And you other kids, never touch tobacco for 25 and then we'll biopsy your lungs too." But do you really have any doubt that cigarette smoking causes cancer? And if you are willing to admit that cigarette smoking causes cancer, then you should admit that human activity causes global warming, because the evidence supporting that conclusion is as strong, if not stronger, than the evidence supporting the conclusoin that cigarette smoking causes cancer.

  • Reply to

    The dumbing of America

    by springer_1994 Jan 21, 2015 7:46 AM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 22, 2015 3:22 PM Flag

    Last ime I ws on the beach in San Diego, it was full of Republicans....

  • Reply to

    Richard Muller in his own words--1

    by w.heinlein Jan 21, 2015 6:06 PM
    w.heinlein w.heinlein Jan 22, 2015 3:20 PM Flag

    The "idiot" is a MacArthur Fellow and one of the most distinguished physicists in the world. And you are...?

  • In our papers we demonstrate that none of these potentially troublesome effects unduly biased our
    The historic temperature pattern we observed has abrupt dips that match the emissions of known explosive volcanic eruptions; the particulates from such events reflect sunlight, make for beautiful sunsets and cool the earth’s surface for a few years. There are small, rapid variations attributable to El Niño and other ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream; because of such oscillations, the “flattening” of the recent temperature rise that some people claim is not, in our view, statistically significant. What has caused the gradual but systematic rise of two and a half degrees? We tried fitting the shape to simple math functions (exponentials, polynomials), to solar activity and even to rising functions like world population. By far the best match was to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice.

    Just as important, our record is long enough that we could search for the fingerprint of solar variability, based on the historical record of sunspots. That fingerprint is absent. Although the I.P.C.C. allowed for the possibility that variations in sunlight could have ended the “Little Ice Age,” a period of cooling from the 14th century to about 1850, our data argues strongly that the temperature rise of the past 250 years cannot be attributed to solar changes. This conclusion is, in retrospect, not too surprising; we’ve learned from satellite measurements that solar activity changes the brightness of the sun very little.

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