Letter: Congress should be bipartisan, flexible, and civil

Friday 27 April 2012 at 8:57 pm

Letter: Congress should be bipartisan, flexible, and civil

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From College Major to Career

Friday 27 April 2012 at 8:20 pm

From College Major to Career

Choosing the right college major can make a big difference in students' career prospects, in terms of employment and pay. Here’s a look at how various college majors fare in the job market, based on 2010 Census data. Some popular majors, such as nursing and finance, do particularly well, with unemployment under 5% and high salaries during the course of their careers.
(More: Generation Jobless: Young Men Suffer Worst as Economy Staggers)

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Brophy Tom, Jane, SF

Wednesday 25 April 2012 at 7:49 pm

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Aboretum La-Klunes

Wednesday 25 April 2012 at 7:48 pm

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Friday 20 April 2012 at 7:26 pm

 I have always liked Dershowitz.  Although he is a Jewish liberal of the first magnitude;  he seems to be able to use common sense when analyzing factual data

 I was always a skeptic on the Zimerman-Martin case;  i tuned it out as soon as Al Sharpton started beating the warm drum.

When torture was a hot liberal issue, Dershowitz weighed in.  Would you not torture a prisoner if one million lives are at stake.  What's wrong with you, of course you would, and SHOULD.


Dershowitz Blasts Zimmerman Prosecution: 'Not Only Immoral, But Stupid'

With ABC News’ release of the George Zimmerman photo showing blood flowing freely from his head, the question becomes whether Angela Corey, the prosecutor in the case, had access to the photo before charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder.



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Global Warming Articles - new

Wednesday 18 April 2012 at 11:28 am

RECENT ARTICLES ON GLOBAL WARMING:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~do not miss these~: 

THE CLOUD THEORY OF GLOBAL WARMING:  Developed in the CERN Nuclear Facility, and peer reviewed by 80 top nuclear physicists. This theory politically incorrect, but is so profound that the scientist, Henrik Svensmark is sure to be awarded the Nobel Prizee:




A counter argument for Anthropogenic Global Warming

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Monday 16 April 2012 at 8:55 pm


Monday 16 April 2012 at 8:38 pm



Sunday 15 April 2012 at 7:45 pm


Sunday 15 April 2012 at 07:19 am


Saturday 14 April 2012 at 6:35 pm


Saturday 14 April 2012 at 4:37 pm

President Obama’s Secretary Paid Higher Tax Rate Than He Did

gty barack obama ll 120410 wblog President Obamas Secretary Paid Higher Tax Rate Than He Did

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama today released his 2011 federal income tax, with he and his wife reporting an adjusted gross income of $789,674. The Obamas paid $162,074 in total tax – an effective federal income tax rate of 20.5%. The Obamas also reported donating approximately 22% of their income to charity — $172,130.

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Friday 13 April 2012 at 5:58 pm

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty
Our First, Most Cherished Liberty
A Statement on Religious Liberty

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Thursday 12 April 2012 at 08:04 am


Thursday 12 April 2012 at 07:58 am



Thursday 12 April 2012 at 07:50 am


Wednesday 11 April 2012 at 07:40 am


Wednesday 11 April 2012 at 07:30 am


Tuesday 10 April 2012 at 9:34 pm

America's Debt Is Greater than Entire Eurozone's (and U.K.'s) Combined Debt

The Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee will release this chart later today, clearly showing that America's debt is greater than the combined debt of the entire Eurozone and the U.K.:

As the chart shows, America's debt is currently $15.1 trillion, while the Eurozone (which includes France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, the U.K., and others) has a combined debt of $12.7 trillion. (All dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars, and the data refers to closing 2011 numbers.)

The Eurozone is larger than the United States, so America's debt per capita also exceeds the Eurozone's. According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. has a population of 313 million, whereas the Eurozone has a population in excess of 331 million.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney frequently warns that the United States should not become like Greece. "We need to rein in government and unleash the extraordinary vitality and creativity of the American people," Romney wrote in a December op-ed. "We must not wait to suffer a crisis like Greece's or Portugal's to right the ship of state."

But with charts like this, that formulation might already be out of date, considering the enormity of America's debt burden.


Tuesday 10 April 2012 at 8:49 pm

January 9, 2008

Re:  Cell Phone Research Inquiry for Middle School Student

Ava,  Your Grandpa, Chuck Lynk, managed one of those labs, the Communications Research Lab was listed as a co-inventor of the first cell phone

You have put together an excellent set of questions on the history of the cell phone!  You could almost write a book in answering the first six of them they are so comprehensive.  Rather than answering them in the order you asked them let me try to sketch out some of the ideas behind cellular telephone and its history that, I hope, will serve your needs.  (I will try to keep in mind that the audience is very talented and gifted middle school students – not engineers.)

First of all there is a cellular radiotelephone SYSTEM in which the cellular PHONE or HANDSET operates.  The PHONE is what everyone sees and touches and uses so it is most often identified with cellular telephony.  But it is the SYSTEM, the organization of the base sites (radio transmitters, receivers, antennas), the controllers and switches, and the operating logic behind the scenes that gives the system its CELLULAR identification and makes it possible for the PHONE to work.  The SYSTEM also defines what the PHONE must do and what it must be like.  There are or have been many cellular systems around the world (there are currently two major systems in the U.S., different from each other and requiring different phone designs in each one.)

The inspiration for the invention of the cellular SYSTEM was necessity.  (Remember the old saying “Necessity is the mother of invention”.)  The U.S. and other countries in the world were finding that they did not have enough RADIO SPECTRUM or CHANNELS available to meet the projected future need for mobile telephone service and other services called Land Mobile Radio Services, LMRS.  (LMRS generally serves police, fire departments, utilities and private business usage.) In about 1969 or 1970 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which regulates the use of spectrum in the U.S. started an inquiry called Docket 18262 that would make available 115 MHZ of spectrum they would reassign from television service for the use of LMRS and public radio telephone service.  That’s about 20 television channels taken from the high end of the television band.  While that was more spectrum than these two services already had, it was seen that it would eventually prove to be inadequate if used in the same way as in the past.  So the FCC asked industry to study and propose new techniques to improve the efficiency of the use of that spectrum and propose new systems.  Two major participants in that planning and in putting forward proposals were AT&T (at that time the only telephone system in the U.S. – a private monopoly) and Motorola Inc. (a private company very much involved in LMRS).  The FCC did not say how they would divide that 115 MHz of spectrum between LMRS and telephone and that created some differences of opinion and some competition between AT&T and Motorola because their primary interests were in different areas.  That competition made the years from 1969 through 1985 very interesting!
The invention of the cellular telephone SYSTEM can best be described as an evolution.  Think of that 115 MHz of spectrum as a loaf of bread that has to be shared between all
the people who want some of it.  You can slice the bread thinner and thinner as more users come forward (that is called using narrower channels per user); you can share the slices of bread in some way (something called trunking); and you might be clever and think of ways to “reuse” the loaf – sort of like creating duplicate copies of it.  That last point is the really unique feature of cellular systems – you figure a way to use some of those channels in one location (a cell) and then reuse those same channels in another location (another cell) some distance away.  The trick is that the distance between those same channels must be large enough to keep usage in the first cell from interfering with usage in the other.  (If you and another classmate each try to have a conversation with a friend while sitting next to each other you will both hear both conversations.  However, if the two of you and your friends go to opposite ends of a room and carry on the conversation you will not “interfere” with each other – you will each be reusing the audio “spectrum” in different “cells” – and your conversations will be private.)

That’s the basic idea behind a cellular radiotelephone SYSTEM.  I say it evolved because television channels and all radio systems had used that principle for years.  There are TV channels 2, 5, 7, etc. in Chicago, which I will assume, are also used in Dallas – Fort Worth.  The difference is that those “cells” are very large in area, covering an entire metropolitan area – over 50 miles in radius – and they are used in widely separated cities.  To make cellular radio telephone systems work and to meet all the projected demand in the future those cells could be no more than 5 miles in radius and be capable of being reduced in size through division of the cells to smaller and smaller radii, as small as one-half mile or less.  This meant that the height of the antenna towers would have to be 100 feet or less (television antennas are often on towers or buildings over 1000 feet high).  A city would thus be covered by a honeycomb of small cells, much like a pattern of small tiles covers a large floor.  In fact, the picture of six-sided tiles, hexagons, which was often found in flooring or in the honeycomb hive of bees, was used as the planning model for cellular coverage.  A channel, which was used in one cell of one-mile radius, might be reused in another cell less than 5 miles away.  As the size of the cell was reduced, to one-half mile say, the distance to the first reuse of that channel was also reduced, to less than 2.5 miles.  That’s a lot closer together than is the case with TV channels and allows for reuse of the same channel many times in a city.

This ability to reuse channels very often over a metropolitan area satisfying all the demand for usage is what made the proposals meet the FCC’s objectives.  It also meant that there would have to be techniques developed in the SYSTEM and the HANDSET or PHONE to LOCATE the phone in a particular cell, to SIGNAL that PHONE information telling it where it was and what channel to use, to HANDOFF that phone to another cell and another channel as it moved out of range of the cell in which it began its call, and to CONTROL the operation of the entire process.  Engineers at AT&T and at Motorola worked on these problems along with the definition of the basic radio parameters and over a period of many years came up with solutions.  While I said all of this started in 1969 the motto at Motorola at that time was “stay alive ‘til ‘85”.  This was because over that long period of time a great deal of investment had to be made to develop all of the system and find a large number of paying customers.  It wasn’t until 1983 that the FCC made all of its decisions and operating systems, and paying customers could come on line.

AT&T was a very large monopoly and the Bell Telephone Laboratories was its engineering research and development organization.  Motorola was a much smaller business – AT&T’s annual profits were bigger than Motorola’s annual sales.  They were at least 20 times as large.  At Motorola the work was started in what was then the Applied Research Labs of the Communications Division.  Your Grandpa, Chuck Lynk, managed one of those labs, the Communications Research Lab, and I reported to him.  Another engineer reporting to him was Don Linder.  While I had responsibility for the SYSTEMS aspects of the development, Don had responsibility for the development of the first PORTABLE PHONE.  That was the biggest difference between AT&T’s approach and that of Motorola.  AT&T kept talking about a MOBILE PHONE, one that would be as big as a suitcase, fit in the trunk of a car, and is used only in the car.  Motorola’s experience in LMRS showed that users wanted to use a phone anywhere, at any time; the SYSTEM would have to accommodate low-power, hand-held, lightweight cellular PORTABLE PHONES.  At a time when your Grandpa and I were involved in demonstrating all of our system development to the FCC and Congressional staff in Washington, DC (at a place called the Watergate – just after it had made news for a political trick that eventually brought an end to Richard Nixon’s presidency) two of Motorola’s top managers reached the decision that Motorola would have to demonstrate a portable system to the FCC to convince them of our point of view.

That event led to a very concentrated activity focused on the development of a PORTABLE RADIO TELEPHONE SYSTEM proposal and of the PORTABLE PHONE.
Motorola concentrated that activity into roughly a five-month period – a very demanding schedule.  It ended with a filing with the FCC for a portable cellular telephone system, which we called Dyna.T.A.C., using New York City as the model for its implementation, and a demonstration of a portable phone in New York in the spring of 1972.  While that phone would eventually not work in any of the actual cellular systems developed over the next dozen years, it captured the attention and the imagination of everyone, especially the FCC.  The system planning and the filing were an area where I had the major role.  The development of that phone and the team of Motorola engineers led by Don Linder who worked so hard on its creation were honored this past year as one of the “unheralded” engineering events that has affected our lives.  Motorola also filed a patent application that became U.S. Patent #3,906,166 for a “Radio Telephone System” issued on September 16, 1975, that was one of the basic methods of accommodating portable cellular phones.  Inventors’ names on patents are always listed alphabetically so the patent is referred to as “Cooper, et al”.  One of the top executives that urged us to develop this system was Marty Cooper and his name went to the top of the list – the other executive was John Mitchell and his name is in the middle of the list.  Your Grandpa’s name, Charles Lynk, and mine, James Mikulski, are on that list of inventors.  We sure did a lot of important work.  Motorola engineers continued to work on the development of portable cellular phones and systems for use throughout the world over the next 25 to 30 years and continue to do that even today.

James J. Mikulski, co-inventor of the first cell phone April 3, 1973


Tuesday 10 April 2012 at 8:36 pm


Tuesday 10 April 2012 at 8:19 pm



Tuesday 10 April 2012 at 7:59 pm



Tuesday 10 April 2012 at 7:53 pm


Tuesday 10 April 2012 at 7:15 pm


Monday 09 April 2012 at 07:15 am

White House has diverted $500M to IRS to implement healthcare law By Sam Baker - 04/09/12 05:15 AM ET Tweet

The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president’s healthcare law.

The money is only part of the IRS’s total implementation spending, and it is being provided outside the normal appropriations process. The tax agency is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate.

Republican lawmakers have tried to cut off funding to implement the healthcare law, at least until after the Supreme Court decides whether to strike it down. That ruling is expected by June, and oral arguments last week indicated the justices might well overturn at least the individual mandate, if not the whole law.

“While President Obama and his Senate allies continue to spend more tax dollars implementing an unpopular and unworkable law that may very well be struck down as unconstitutional in a matter of months, I’ll continue to stand with the American people who want to repeal this law and replace it with something that will actually address the cost of healthcare,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee for healthcare and is in a closely contested Senate race this year.

The Obama administration has plowed ahead despite the legal and political challenges.

It has moved aggressively to get important policies in place. And, according to a review of budget documents and figures provided by congressional staff, the administration is also burning through implementation funding provided in the healthcare law.

More from The Hill • Another Obama health law faces court challenge • Inviting Bill Clinton on campaign carries risk, reward for Obama • Juan Williams: Four cases will determine high court’s standing • RNC video previews strategy against Obama ‘hypocrisy’ • NRA, Club for Growth attack primary-threatened Sen. Lugar • The man who wants to be the Marco Rubio of Texas • DNC chairwoman says GOP ‘rooting for economic failure’

The law contains dozens of targeted appropriations to implement specific provisions. It also gave the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a $1 billion implementation fund, to use as it sees fit. Republicans have called it a “slush fund.”

HHS plans to drain the entire fund by September — before the presidential election, and more than a year before most of the healthcare law takes effect. Roughly half of that money will ultimately go to the IRS.

HHS has transferred almost $200 million to the IRS over the past two years and plans to transfer more than $300 million this year, according to figures provided by a congressional aide.

The Government Accountability Office has said the transfers are perfectly legal and consistent with how agencies have used general implementation funds in the past. The $1 billion fund was set aside for “federal” implementation activities, the GAO said, and can therefore be used by any agency — not just HHS, where the money is housed.

Still, significant transfers to the IRS and other agencies leave less money for HHS, and the department needs to draw on the $1 billion fund for some of its biggest tasks.

The healthcare law directs HHS to set up a federal insurance exchange — a new marketplace for individuals and small businesses to buy coverage — in any state that doesn’t establish its own. But it didn’t provide any money for the federal exchange, forcing HHS to cobble together funding by using some of the $1 billion fund and steering money away from other accounts.

The transfers also allow the IRS to make the healthcare law a smaller part of its public budget figures. For example, the tax agency requested $8 million next year to implement the individual mandate, and said the money would not pay for any new employees.

An IRS spokeswoman would not say how much money has been spent so far implementing the individual mandate.

Republicans charged during the legislative debate over healthcare that the IRS would be hiring hundreds of new agents to enforce the mandate and throwing people in jail because they don’t have insurance.

However, the mandate is just one part of the IRS’s responsibilities.

The healthcare law includes a slew of new taxes and fees, some of which are already in effect. The tax agency wants to hire more than 300 new employees next year to cover those tax changes, such as the new fees on drug companies and insurance policies.

The IRS will also administer the most expensive piece of the new law — subsidies to help low-income people pay for insurance, which are structured as tax credits. The agency asked Congress to fund another 537 new employees dedicated to administering the new subsidies.

The Republican-led House last year passed an amendment, 246-182, sponsored by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) that would have prevented the IRS from hiring new personnel or initiating any other measures to mandate that people purchase health insurance. The measure, strongly opposed by the Obama administration, was subsequently dropped from a larger bill that averted a government shutdown. Tweet View Comments


Friday 06 April 2012 at 5:02 pm

In the Climate Casino: An Exchange

this article warms the cockles of my heart.  William Nordhaus, Economics Professor, Yale argues in favor of global warming

16 experts, among 300 distinguished professors emeritus of physics and related temperature fields refute his argument. 

joe, see below, more comments from Brophy later

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Friday 06 April 2012 at 11:47 am

NFP Big Miss: 120K, Expectations 205K, Unemployment 8.2%, "Not In Labor Force" At New All Time High

Tyler Durden's picture

March NFP big miss at just 120K. Unemployment rate declines from 8.3% to 8.2%. Futures slide, for at least a few minutes before the NEW QE TM rumor starts spreading. The household survey actually posted a decline in March from 142,065 to 142,034. Considering Birth Death added 90K to the NSA number, the actual number was almost unchanged. And as always, as we predicted when Goldman hiked its NFP forecast yesterday from 175K to 200K saying "if Goldman's recent predictive track record is any indication, tomorrow's NFP will be a disaster", Goldie once again skewers everyone. Finally, Joe LaVorgna's +250,000 forecast was just 100% off... as usual.

The unemployment rate drops to 8.2% for one simple reason: the number of people not in the labor force is back to all time highs: 87,897,000.

Birth Death: