Benghazi-gate…What Did They Know & When Did They Know It?

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So Petraeus testified behind closed doors and lo and behold:

Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified in a closed-door hearing Friday morning that his agency determined immediately after the Sept. 11 Libya attack that “Al-Qaeda involvement” was suspected — but the line was taken out in the final version circulated to administration officials, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.

Who took it out?

Who then decided to send Rice out with that misinformation?

Now if we had a Republican in the White House during this whole affair you know the media and the left would be howling for blood. It would be front page news for months on end.

But now? Not so much.

Funny how that happens.

It gets better:

Petraeus’ testimony both challenges the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the attack was a “spontaneous” protest over an anti-Islam video, and according to King conflicts with his own briefing to lawmakers on Sept. 14. Sources have said Petraeus, in that briefing, also described the attack as a protest that spun out of control.

“His testimony today was that from the start, he had told us that this was a terrorist attack,” King said, adding that he told Petraeus he had a “different recollection.”

Petraeus hides an affair, now he hides the truth it seems as well.

Is there a Bernstein and Woodward amongst our MSM ready to break this story wide open?

Seeing as how our colleges are now leftist indoctrination centers I kinda doubt it.

Example number 1…reporter Joy-Ann Reid:

The administration was given an assessment by the CIA. Susan Rice was the person who went to the public and gave that assessment to the public. When that information changed, the information was given to the public that was new. So I am really not sure what it is that Mr. Fournier and othe

rs are looking for because I don't know that there’s anything beyond that.

…So the issue is the word terrorism weren’t used to the public satisfaction? I’m not sure I understand what the scandal is.

I'm not sure what the scandal is?


First, the attack itself. Why wasn't more security not authorized when they begged for it. During the attack why didn't Obama send in help during a 7-8 hour attack? Afterwards, even when they KNEW that this was a terrorist attack they deliberately lied to the American people and tried to blame it on a video, and that it was all a protest that got out of hand. How about the CIA annex itself? Was it used to jail and interrogate suspected terrorists?

And now we know that someone redacted the official story and changed it.

Who did it?

Roger Simon has a theory up from a reader:

Consider this possibility … the talking points came from the CIA, and they were altered by the campaign people in Chicago. The coverup has been about hiding the sharing of classified information with campaign officials who don’t have the proper clearance. This sharing of information could also be the source of the earlier leaks such as the virus in Iran’s nuclear program.

I’ve always wondered why David Axelrod appeared on news programs to talk about the administration’s official policies when he was a campaign official. Those of us old enough to remember Watergate will recall the mixing of official administration business with CREEP (Committee to Reelect the President) activities and the Democrat’s outrage at the time. Perhaps we are seeing the results of a similar improper mix.

Roger Simon continues:

I suspect too that, if true, this is more than just an “improper mix.” Legal lines may have been crossed here with a political campaign redacting or helping to redact classified material it should never have seen in the first place.

What may emerge is a kind of government by cabal, a super-government composed of David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, and possibly a few others who operated, in the service of the president, above and beyond our legal and constitutional systems — all the time thinking what they did was for the better good of our country.

Watergate anyone? Of course as we all know, no one died during that scandal.


Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

194 Responses to “Benghazi-gate…What Did They Know & When Did They Know It?”

  1. 151


    @Wm T Sherman:

    Well, I was a bit taken aback with his “self” re-distribution statement. Remember, Larry is a physician who took the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. Evidently, he feels that increasing state income taxes on lower middle income wage earners in California is not harmful, nor is creating an environment where those people have no option but to leave California, which would certainly create a hardship.

  2. 152


    Wm T Sherman
    I hope to think I’m right by the way I read openid mindset that the other are different,
    nothing against openid but he has a touch of me and mine are better humans because we have the wealth,
    and that give me the right to devaluate you and you and you.

  3. 153

    Wm T Sherman


    Larry applied the self-deportation terminology, originally applied to illegal aliens, to his fellow citizens of the United States living in California — not his elite social set, of course. He meant the worthless knuckle-draggers that in his view are stinking up the place. And he put the re-purposed terminology in the mouths of conservatives. Threw in an offshoring/outsourcing shot as well. Deft. Not.

    Wll you know what they say in Real Estate – it’s all about lebensraum, lebensraum, lebensraum.

    I wonder if Larry has any patients from among the class of Untouchables he believes do not belong here. What would they think of this point of view? Maybe he has found a way to avoid dealing with them. Seriously Larry, if you are going to post here under your own name you have nothing to fear from us — only from your own words.

  4. 154

    Oh, good grief, Sherman. You are basically arguing for…what? The responsibility of the state to provide a job for everyone who wants one, regardless of qualifications, skill, education? California has too many people. Far more people than any other state. California has a lot more people than Texas and much less inhabitable land. And the desirable places to live are among the most desirable in the country. So our cost of living is sky high. Houses cost 4 times as much here as they do in Texas. Our taxes are 1.3% higher than the average of the USA.

    So what is the solution? We are supposed to pass a law quadrupling the minimum wage? Build out every last park and beach? Then where is the land left to build roads to accommodate all the cars?

    California not only ratified the Kyoto Treaty, we were the first state to embrace ObamaCare, with its Medicaid expansion and we were the first to get to work on establishing health insurance exchanges. That doesn’t sound like a “mass die off” to me, does it? California provides a humane safety net. But it can’t provide a job for every skill level and education level which exists. People either need to prepare themselves to fill the work which exists or they need to go somewhere there are jobs which match their skill and education level. This is a very conservative principle and I can’t believe that you guys are actually arguing otherwise.

    Your simple minded “solution” is to cut taxes and cut regulation. Well, tell me how doing either one will do anything at all to mitigate our crushing overpopulation, our crushingly high cost of housing, and our crushing freeway congestion. These are huge problems which we spent decades trying to solve by building ever more roads and building up ever more of the open space which is now all built out (O.K. Retire, look on a Google satellite image of the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area and tell me were we have room to build more houses and build more roads to carry people who live in those houses).

    It’s RIDICULOUS. No one wants to live in the Central Valley who doesn’t want to farm or ranch. No one wants to live in the Mohave Desert. There’s just no more room here! It’s not a “green space” thing. This isn’t Portland Oregon. Anyone who lives here understands that. It’s not just a matter of housing (which is bad enough, as there’s no more room to build more housing). Once you’ve built the houses, you’ve got to transport the people, and California has the most extensive, advanced freeway system in the world, and it’s not nearly enough. We can’t build freeways fast enough to keep up with the growth in traffic.

    And you guys think that the whole problem would be solved by cutting taxes and reducing regulation and ruining our coastline to drill low quality oil which has to be transported out of state to refine and shipped out of the country to burn.

    I recently read that most of that Canadian oil which is supposed to be transported by Keystone is going to have to be shipped to Europe to make diesel, while we continue to import the light, quality grades to refine into gasoline. Same thing for that ND oil. It does nothing to make us “energy independent.” What will do a lot more than that to make us energy independent are the improved fuel economy standards.

    Why on earth do the venture capitalists favor CA over TX by a margin of more than 10:1 if our future is so bleak?

    Again, what we have is a population surplus. Too many people came here in the past, seeking utopia. The state tried for decades to absorb all those people and build out infrastructure and housing. But we just reached the saturation point. We just don’t have sufficient jobs for every skill level and education level which is represented by the population.

    Now the following statement, coming from a conservative, is a true doozy:

    Who grows your food? Who builds your homes? Who pumps your gas, bags your groceries, stocks the shelves of those grocery stores, works the retail shop like the ones on Rodeo Drive? You see, you will become a truely failed state if you try to eliminate the low/middle income earners by “relocating” them to another state.

    Where on earth do you get that, and what on earth are you trying to suggest? We don’t have a shortage of people, we have a surplus of people. So we have lots of people to grow food, build homes, pump gas, bag groceries, stock shelves, and do retail sales. The trouble isn’t that we don’t have enough people to do these things; it’s that we have more people than we need to do those things.

    I’m trying to figure out what you are talking about. You are saying, perhaps, that people who work in those jobs don’t get paid enough to live here? Well, yes, that’s a big problem. You can’t have a good life in California with many of those types of jobs and only a single wage earner. So what’s the solution? Quadruple the minimum wage? Well, that’s a great conservative solution. Or what — exactly? How do you bring down the cost of housing to the levels where they are at in Texas, which are a quarter of what they are here? That’s the main thing that you’ve got to do to make living in Huntington Beach CA to be affordable. It’s got nothing to do with taxes or “regulation.”

    I’ve been a small business owner here for more than 20 years. What’s the regulation? I had to install light switches which turned off the lights when people weren’t in the room. I had to convert two regular parking spaces into a handicapped space. I had to enlarge one toilet to accommodate a wheelchair. I have to buy workman’s compensation insurance. BFD. If I can’t do stuff like this and make a living, I’m a very poor businessman and frankly deserve to fail. I also have to buy the cleanest gasoline in the country at a premium price, but it’s totally worth it to have blue skies, rather than orange skies. And so forth.

    People that don’t like California will just leave California. Those that like it will stay. What on earth is the big deal? We’ve got too many people. We are solving our own problems by paying more taxes and doing so because that’s what we voted to do. We’ve supported the rest of the country to the tune of a $50 B tax remittance surplus per year for decades. We are not on life support. We have not asked for any sort of a federal bail out, nor will we ever, save for perhaps getting our fair share from FEMA, just as other states do, when natural disaster strikes.

    With regard to SAT scores and ACT scores (again, you, Retire05 brought this up, I didn’t), you asked for a chart from an authoritative source…very well:

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  5. 155

    Nan G

    Any CA public university student who is above the poverty line for a subsidy actually pays an extra 1/3rd on his tuition.
    That extra money goes to defray the costs of his fellow, but poorer, students.
    The fact that the nearly poor student must take out a loan (and pay it back) while he subsidizes his fellow poorer students is usually lost on all students involved.
    Add to that, out-of-state students at public universities also are increasingly subsidizing in-state students.
    Their tuition is higher than in-state—two and a half times as much for out-of-state than in-state students in the University of California system.
    Pays for a lot of ”poor” kids to go to college.
    Freshmen who are taking introductory courses are often taught in large groups in giant lecture halls with help from low-paid teaching assistants also subsidize juniors and seniors whose classes cost more due to small class size, full professors and so on. (Try classes averaging 200 students cost about $56 per student to teach at public universities, compared to $560 per student in classes averaging 20 students.) Yet all are charged the same amount so that underclassmen subsidize upperclassmen.
    Jerry Brown had an opportunity to make public university fees “fair,” as Obama is all about.
    But he passed.
    Property taxes from people in CA should go to pay for universities where their children are WELCOMED.
    Instead, CA’s system favors foreigners and out-of-staters who PAY MORE.

  6. 156

    Wm T Sherman

    Larry, the government can’t give everyone a job. They’re no good at that. What they can do however, is the opposite: damage the economy and make it very hard to get a job. That’s a much easier task.

    Because of the policies of the Left, we have:

    -Large numbers of people on welfare, many who are comfortable being on welfare.
    -Millions of illegal immigrants – who partake of welfare and social services.
    -Pettifogging intrusive regulations that make it difficult to open or run a business.
    -Large numbers of lavishly-compensated state employees to carry out the above.
    -High taxes to pay for the above.
    -Agriculture shut down in half the Central Valley.
    -New energy taxes in the form of Cap and Trade.
    -An impractical mentality hostile to building refineries and power plants.
    -High priced and inefficient public shools that fail to educate or even graduate thousands of students.
    -Business uncertainty over what Salvador Dali inspired rule they’ll come up with next.
    -Bubble-dwelling elitists like you who advocate for the above, vote for the above, donate money to politicians who carry out the above.

    As I understand it, your preferred sequence is, (1) vote to create a dozen parasitic drags on the economy (“management by a technocratic elite”), (2) vote to bring in millions of illegals to use public resources and compete for jobs (“compassion”), (3) declare anyone without an advanced degree to be surplus population (“look on my works you puny, and despair”).

    You live in a bubble Larry. You understand way less than you think you do, and appear to be surrounded by people who never contradict you. A lot of M.D.s are like you when dealing with things outside their fields: always certain, often wrong.

    California is a paradise for you and you friends. People who grow food and make things should get the hell out because you don’t like the way they smell. I get it.

  7. 157

    Hi Sherm,

    Just as a thought experiment, can you bear with me for a moment?

    Your position seems to be that there can never be a mismatch between population, housing, infrastructure, and employment, given an efficient private sector.

    Can you concede the point, on a theoretical basis, for purposes of discussion, that there could be a situation where you put too many people into a given region of the country and this drives up housing costs to insane levels and creates an insane amount of traffic congestion and this increases the cost of doing business and increases the cost of living and this creates a problem that employers can’t pay employees enough money that said employees can afford to live within a reasonable commuting distance? Now, on top of this, there is an imbalance between the types of jobs which are available and the skill and education set of the people available to fill those jobs? That, at a certain point, there is an excess of underqualified people (underqualified for the available jobs)? So you have more people than you need to work as clerks in stores, work in construction, wait tables, etc. And no amount of tax cutting or de-regulation will solve the basic problem of too many people, too expensive housing, and clogged roads?

    It’s at least theoretically possible, right? That, at a certain point, you can’t solve the problem of overpopulation by cutting taxes and deregulating?

    Those are the biggest problems facing California. Too many people. All the desirable land built up. All the roads that can reasonably be built having already been built…and expanded and expanded yet some more (as an aside, I regularly drive on the busiest road – volume of traffic per hour – in the world, according to the Guiness Book of World Records (the section of the 405 between the 605 connector and the 22 Freeway — traffic flows brilliantly, because there is at one point, about 10 lanes in each direction, when there isn’t construction going on, which there now is). Cutting taxes and deregulating just won’t solve these problems. Nor will building ever more roads. At a certain point, the whole region gets totally clogged with people and goes “tilt.” And people start to leave. That’s what’s happening now, and it’s part of the overall solution and I don’t know of any conservatives who think it’s a bad thing that people who want to find improved conditions are self-deporting themselves to other regions of the country. It’s what I’d do myself, if my skill set didn’t match the needs of the local economy.

    Your last sentence was entirely uncalled for. It’s got nothing to do with that and you know it. You are taking my words and twisting them to make it out to be something it’s not.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

  8. 158


    I have a bizarre work schedule, but I will plan on being there if humanly possible.

    I watched your daughter swim and I was impressed. I am a man who has judged the movement of horses all his life and I can tell you a great deal bout a horse after watching one stride at a walk. I don’t know much about humans or swimmers, but your daughters stride (swimming stroke form for a horseman) was balanced and smooth in the beginning and at the end it looked exactly the same, that was remarkable. Like I would say about a horse, she traveled like a sewing machine. You are an accomplished swimmer as well, but you will never have her form, but I suppose you realize this fact. I come from the country where the water is barely above freeing in the summertime and most people can’t swim. I taught myself to swim and watched out for many friends when we crossed wild dangerous rivers on horses. (I was considered the expert swimmer in those days, LOL) I am overweight and muscled up to the extreme from working with horses. (Teenage body builders often ask about my secrets of bodybuilding LOL) I won’t be able to keep up with you and I will probably need to tread water for rest occasionally, but I will give it a go. My last swim was in the middle of the Bush years, it has been close to eight years, so don’t expect too much from a man who is more comfortable on a horse than in a pair of swimming shorts. My Australian Crawl looks more like a drunk Canadian falling down a ski hill. I am mild mannered and have no ill behaviors or bad habits.

  9. 159

    Nan G

    Larry, I don’t know how we got so far from the Benghazi story, but so be it.
    Imagine for a second that Arkansas or Oklahoma had California’s high taxes and cost of living.
    They would empty out in the blink of an eye!
    When CA was booming we had clogged freeways.
    When CA is in a lengthy recession we also have clogged freeways, although less so.
    We have frittered away BILLIONS on Metro rails, pensions, unionized gov’t workers, and soon TRILLIONS on a high-speed train-to-nowhere.
    Taxpayers are the ones who are leaving.
    All the stinky-rich live behind gated walled communities where they don’t experience the homeless, the destitute, the desperate.
    We, in the real world, wonder when our tent cities under EVERY freeway overpass and river-bridge will begin sprouting public health nightmares like dysentry, West Nile, malaria or worse.
    Do you ever go check on the ”facilities” created by those tent-dwellers, Larry?
    Pure excrement, straight onto the ground by the thousands daily.
    Think a lid will stay on that disaster-waiting-to-happen?

    Ah, but you don’t see them.
    So, you think they aren’t a problem.

  10. 160


    You say the housing problem in California is NOT a green thing. But that “green” thing has contributed to the housing prices in California, even if you don’t want to admit it. The cost of building a house is not much different in Chicago, Houston or Huntington Beach. Lumber, wiring, PVC, concrete, sheet rock, etc., are pretty much uniform in cost all across the nation. It is not the cost of the house, but the land use restrictions that drove up the price of the lot the house sat on. I have suggested you read Dr. Sowell’s book, The Housing Boom and Bust to have it explained to you, but you seem disinterested in any opinion other than your own.

    You also make the claim that there is no more room to build roadways. Odd you should say that, when New York, much smaller than California, has more roadways than California. Again, land use restrictions and that “green” thing choking off traffic is California. You say no one wants to build in the desert. I think thosands of people who live in Las Vegas, which is in the middle of a desert, would disagree with you. You also say that no one lives in the Central Valley who doesn’t want to farm, yet, you avoid talking about the San Juaquin Valley where lots of people wanted to farm but the EPA shut off their water and California rolled over like an old dog and did nothing to protect that valley.

    Perhaps you would like to explain why the extreme rise in housing costs in California started in the ’70’s, if tied to income levels, when the mean income for California then was very close to the national average? To try to tie housing costs to income levels is pure bunk. And I think you are smart enough to know that, but not honest enoough to admit it.

    Now, to your Public Agenda chart: are you incapable of finding resources that are not tied to some left wing organization? Almost everyone of Public Agenda’s Board of Directors are tied to some left wing organization, including Covington and Burling, Eric Holder’s former law firm, that represents a number of Gitmo detainees, pro bono, of course, and secured the release of the Ouigers from Gitmo, at taxpayer expense, of course. I tried to find the source Public Agenda used, for college bound students only, but alas, could not. Yet, I provide you with name of my source, which is part of the U.S. federal government, that tracks students and breaks the test scores down by 4th, 8th and 12th grades, and you dismiss it.

    No, Larry, government entites cannot create jobs, yet you voted for, and constantly defend, a man who claims it can. All government can do, and such is the case in California, is get in the way. You object to drilling for oil that would bring revenue into the state of California, because it would tarnish your “view” and consequently, you pay more for gas because it has to be transported to you. Same with refineries, and power plants. NIMBY mentality is rampant in California, and personally, states should cut you off until you decide that people, not views, climate and geology, are more important. News flash, Larry, the skies are just as blue off Galveston Island as they are off Santa Monica.

  11. 161

    Wm T Sherman

    Your position seems to be that there can never be a mismatch between population, housing, infrastructure, and employment, given an efficient private sector.

    That is not my position. It is my assertion that the state of California guaranteed a gigantic mismatch by distorting the operation of free markets and by simply making it really difficult to do business here. The mismatches are far larger than would have occurred otherwise because the unplanned decentralized flow of information and resources that a market economy depends upon has been disrupted by failed attempts at centralized control and by outright looting of the economy.

    I am not against necessary regulation, nor government doing things that are best done by government. But, we’re not talking about that.

  12. 162


    @Wm T Sherman:

    What we now seem to be talking about is Larry’s attitude that although many of the residents of California love the “climate” and “geology” just as much as he does, and perhaps they can track their families back to the days before California was even a state, if they can’t afford to live there, due to the mindset of the upper class such as himself and onus taxation, then those people just need to “self” re-distribute to another state, in other words, get the hell out, never mind their love of the state or family heritage.

    Yet Larry will tell you how he supports Obamacare because it is good for the nation (you know, those people who don’t have insurance that he wants to get the hell outta California because they can’t afford to live there).

    Tell me there is any logic in how a progressive thinks.

  13. 164

    Hi Retire,

    You are intentionally distorting my position. You know exactly what you are doing. But you make yourself look ridiculous in the process.

    if they can’t afford to live there, due to the mindset of the upper class such as himself and onus taxation, then those people just need to “self” re-distribute to another state, in other words, get the hell out, never mind their love of the state or family heritage.

    The problem with California’s economy is that there are so many people that housing is unaffordable for people with middle class incomes. Because of this, people can’t afford to live in places where the jobs are. Therefore, they have long commutes on the most congested roads in the nation, despite California having built the nation’s most sophisticated system of roads, with by far the greatest carrying capacity. As a result of explosive population growth over many decades, there is now no more capacity to grow population or even to maintain the population which is currently resident,

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the measly 1.3% tax “penalty,” relative to the average in the nation and it certainly has nothing to do with “regulation.”

    Because of the above factors, there is a mismatch between population, housing, and employment. No amount of tax cutting would solve this problem; in fact, it would make it worse. Standard & Poor’s just praised the tax increase voted into law by California’s residents. They are the one who do the bond ratings quoted by Retire and Nan. And they think that the solution to California’s financial status is rooted in the tax increases we just passed. Retire and Sherman disagree. They do not set bond ratings.

    California is currently overpopulated. It is, by any standard, the most overpopulated state in the nation. The solution to the problem is neither tax cutting nor decreased regulation. The solution to population maldistribution, on a national basis, is rooted in conservative market economics, including redistribution of labor to improve the match between employees and employers. Market economics doesn’t respect personal wishes or heritage. Most conservatives accept this as being axiomatic.

    I’d like everyone who reads this to note that it has been the chief goal of both Sherman and Retire to demonize me on a personal basis, as opposed to focusing on the issues in question. Nan doesn’t do this. Skook doesn’t do this. Most of the others who provide comments on this blog don’t do this. Only a selected few seem to relish the presence of a stray liberal, whom they can attack on a personal basis, from the safety of a conservative bubble blog, typically hiding behind pseudonyms, to deal with their apparent frustration that a Democrat just won re-election.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  14. 165


    Good God, Larry, stop your whining. You take anything that people say to you, that disputes your opinion, as a personal slam. Grow the hell up. You are too old to play the aggreived victim.

    So tell me, Mr. Let Me Drag My Kids And Your Mother, Nan, Mata and Sk00k Into The Conversation (because you are trying to garner support for your idiocy), just exactly what do you think I have said to you that was so detrimental? The fact that you consistantly use left wing sites for resources, the fact that I consider you to be so far left you are an enemy of this nation, the fact that your arrogance that if people can’t make it in overly expensive California they should “self” re-distribute? Or maybe it was my pointing out that you don’t respond to the points I make by using the federal government for test scores or that California refuses to build power plants and refineries or drill off shore for its own oil?

    So you think California is over populated, which you continue to say over and over and over again, and you seem to be stuck on that talking point while not disputing anything else, except that is, the federal test scores of students. Not to mention that you seem to think jobs follow housing, when it is EXACTLY the opposite.

    Now, come back when you want to whine some more. For a learned man, you sure are a sniveler.

  15. 166

    Hi Retire,

    You raised the issue of California’s allegedly unfavorable credit rating. In the context of all your arguments, you certainly place much of the blame for this on our allegedly high tax rates. I point out that our taxes are only 1.3% higher than the average for the nation. I further point out that the most important credit rating agency (Standard & Poor’s) had their analysts evaluate California’s recent self-imposed tax increase and their analysts applauded this tax increase, stating that it was the lynch pin for California’s long term recovery. You raise the issue of the credit rating, but you ignore the opinions of the agency which issues the rating, when they are shown to contradict your own line of reasoning.

    You make the charge that California’s SAT and ACT scores compare unfavorably with those of Texas. I present data which show the opposite. You don’t like the data. I show you the same data, from another web site (which shows a table of all SAT and ACT average scores from all the states, and which confirms California’s superiority). You dismiss this as coming from a “liberal” site, but offer no data of your own to support your original assertion that Texas has the superior SAT and ACT scores. Instead, you change the goal post. You now refer to “standardized tests” of 8th and 12 graders. Well, you were the one who made the assertion about the SAT and ACT scores. You were wrong. But you won’t admit it. You never admit when you are wrong. You were also wrong with your interpretation of what the credit ratings meant, in terms of the points you were trying to make, with respect to taxes and regulation. But you just moved on and refused to acknowledge the bombshell that the credit rating agency resolutely endorsed the tax increase.

    “Land Use” and housing costs. You assert, illogically, that the big problems for CA are taxes and regulation. I assert that the big problem is that we are the most overpopulated state in the union and our housing costs are unaffordable, simply because of the core market economy principle of supply and demand. You make nebulous references to Sowell, but cite no studies or data which are germane to your assertion that California has 4 times the housing costs of Texas because of land use restrictions.

    Very well, I’ll give you data directly germane to what we were talking about:

    Warner and Molotch’s (1992, 1995) surveys of several localities in Southern California confirm that growth continues unabated in cities adopting various growth control measures.

    On the other side of the ledger, Segal and Srinivasan (1985) relied upon interviews with regional governmental staff to develop a measure of the proportions of regulated and unregulated developable land from 1975 to 1978. Fifty-one metropolitan areas were included in a model of housing supply and demand. Their results suggested that towns in which more than 20 percent of vacant land was regulated had significantly higher housing prices, by a factor of about six percent.

    Try as I might, I can’t find any data more specific than these. What data exist range from showing that restrictive zoning policies have no impact at all on growth or show that restrictions on vacant land raise housing costs by a grand total of 6%, in the geographic regions under discussion. If you can point to any data germane to the great population centers of California, which of greatest relevance is the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area, kindly cite these data; otherwise my own cited data constitute the best evidence and refute your assertions.

    I’d love to hear from Curt on this. And/or Richard. Do you think that, in the absence of government imposed land restrictions, our housing here in So Cal would cost only 1/4 as much, to make our housing as affordable as that in Texas? Do you think that there is an underutilized capacity for road building, to alleviate our crushing congestion and the worsening of this congestion, which would occur through massive construction projects, necessary to bring our housing costs into line with those in Texas?

    Lastly, Retire, why did you just call me a “sniveler?” I’d really like to know that. I don’t call you names like that. Until you continued to goad and provoke me, beyond the patience of most people, I dare say, I treated you with unfailing respect and courtesy. Why do you do this stuff? I mean, really? Can you explain it to me? I’d just like to understand.

    I just want to discuss and debate issues. Can’t we just do that? Please, can’t we just do that? If you want to call this “sniveling;” then, so be it. I can take childish stuff like that, if it makes you feel better. But I won’t tolerate insinuations of racism (the “smell” of people — that may have been a line from Sherman) or implications that I think that poor people deserve their fate. You know that I don’t believe that and you know that this was not what I was saying. I was discussing economic forces, for which the match between labor skills and employers is just as important as the match between demand and supply of goods and services. And you twist that into some form of sick character assassination, aided and abetted by Sherman.

    Seriously, do you people really need to do this to accomplish your goals? Shouldn’t the ideas of conservatism be sufficiently powerful to triumph over the ideas of liberalism? You seem to lack confidence in your ability to make convincing arguments on the issues themselves. You seem much more comfortable attacking people than in attacking their ideas. Every time you shift from attacking the person’s ideas to attacking the person, you are showing your lack of confidence in the ability of your own ideas to carry the day. You really should consider this.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  16. 167

    Hi Nan, I see homeless people almost every week; and not from my car, I pass right by them (they often wave to me), literally within an arm’s length, on one of my running routes (North through Santa Ana and into Anaheim). Although I’ve encountered far scarier (and miserable – cold driving rain in the winter) people in Houston.

    There are homeless people literally everywhere. It’s a national disgrace, but homeless people also exist in Europe, which is far more “socialized” than America ever was or is now.


    At least the homeless in California don’t freeze to death. There are far worse places in the world to be homeless than here. Motivated by your comments on this, I just did a little reading. I found the following information to be…, well, … informative:

    Meanwhile, news about California’s latest non-homeless resident:

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  17. 168



    Larry, no one “freezes to death” in North America or the U.S.?

    Really! They actually die of hypothermia and then freeze. Homeless people in the Northern states surely die every winter from exposure to the elements. Without vitality and basic necessities, homeless people must die horrible deaths.

    Edit: I misread your statement.

  18. 170

    Re: homeless freezing. Nan& I were discussing So Cal, certainly not North America in general. I just made the flip remark that at least “our” homeless didn’t risk freezing. While I’m sure this isn’t literally true in an absolute sense, I’m sure it’s true in a relative sense. Relative to more severe climes.

  19. 171



    Aye, that old tried and true theory of relativity. The odds of survival for the homeless are proportional to the mean temperatures.

    I am a fiscal Conservative and I have compassion for the homeless, is that relative? I don’t have answers, but I try to be nice to everyone who isn’t rude. My heart aches for these unfortunate people and I have tried to think of solutions for hundreds of hours while driving and working. That doesn’t fit into the liberal view of a typical Conservative. I don’t know how other Conservatives feel, because most of the wealthy horse owners I work for are Liberals.

    In fact Larry, Mitt’s horse valued at $100,000 is a fairly cheap horse in that league. Yet, there was the indignation over a cheap horse in a sport dominated by Liberals and where the average horse is 80 to 100 grand. Actually, all the Olympic discipline sports are dominated by Liberals, but the majority of people who seem to service the industry are Conservatives, probably fiscal Conservatives like me.

    A little off topic, like the rest of the commentary, but I am writing an article on Carbon that you will probably enjoy. I enjoyed taking one of my customers on a magic carpet ride while she learned about Carbon, an evil element in her initial opinion. Too many of us are quick to speak of the evils of Carbon without a basic understanding of organic chemistry. You can bamboozle people with Carbon horror stories, but unless people are aware of the basics, they are unarmed. However, being completely ignorant of the properties of Carbon has yet to disqualify anyone from pontificating about the evils of carbon in the atmosphere, but it is fun to lead them on and drop them in the soup once they are disoriented.

    Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and own brother of Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all

  20. 173


    In post #166, you said:

    “You raised the issue of California’s allegedly unfavorable credit rating. In the context of all your arguments, you certainly place much of the blame for this on our allegedly high tax rates.”

    Er, no I did not. Once again, you are putting words in my mouth that were not there. What I said was:

    Another California claim to fame: the worst credit rating of all 50 states.

    I did not attribute that to anything, as you claim. And it doesn’t matter what S & P may think that [somewhere in the future] the actions taken by Governor Moonbeam might help the California economy, the fact remains that California has consistantly maintained the lowest credit rate of any state in the nation. Until S & P changes their rating, it is what it is.

    You said:

    “You make the charge that California’s SAT and ACT scores compare unfavorably with those of Texas..”

    Again, you are claiming I said things I did not say. A very, VERY nasty habit you seem to have. What I did say was that it doesn’t matter how great the university system in California is if the kids cannot get the scores to get in.

    Checking with the NIE, Texas, the state that Larry seems to think is nothing more than pickup trucks and cows, consistantly scores better with elementary, and secondary, test scores than California.

    Please, note I used “test scores” not SAT/ACT, as you falsely claimed. And in that comment, I provided my source, the NIE which is part of the federal government, which you promptly dismissed by ignoring it.

    “Why are there such great variations in the price of land from one place to another, in the first place? Moreover, why did the price of housing suddenly become radically more expensive in California in the 1970’s, when it was not before? Surely the amount of land in California did not change radically during that decade.

    In a sense, it did. It changed politically.

    The decade of the 1970s saw a rapid spread of laws and policies in California severly restricting the use of land.**

    ** Amazingly, some supposedly sophisiticated people apparently believe that were was an actual shortage of land in places iwth high housing prices: “Those areas are crowded,” a Wall Street Journal reporter said, even though more than half of San Mateo County, California, for example, consists of open space and similar land use restrictions are common in other communities with extremly high housing prices. The comment is from James R. Hagerty, “After Big Run-Up in Real Estate, Some on Coasts Are Cashing Out,” Wall Street Journal September 22, 2004, pp.A1 ff.

    The normal transfer of land from one use to another over time often stopped by such laws andpolicies, so that a farmer who quit farming was not allowed to sell the land to someone who might build houses on the site. Instead, the former farmland could be forced to become “open space” by various restrictions place on its use. In this and many other ways, large and growing amounts of land in many coastal California communities became “open space” — more than half of all the land in San Mateo County, for example. This artificial scarcity of land of course drove up the price of the remaining land in the county, creating the conditions in which modest-sized homes became literally million-dollar homes in that county.

    Thomas Sowell The Housing Boom and Bust pp. 12-13

    Then you go on to try to recruit the opinions of Curt, and/or Richard. You continually subscribe to the pack mentality, unable to face your adversary one on one. Why is that? Again I ask; are you that insecure that you need back up like a Los Angels gang banger?

    Why did I call you a “sniveler?” Because you are. Sorry if my honesty bothers you, but I call it as I see it, and am willing to take the hits that come with that philosphy. And if you don’t want to be thought of as an arrogant, egotistical elitist, you should have thought about that when you outlined your philosophy of “self” re-distribution of those who you think should leave California because they can’t bear the burder of your states onus tax policies and extreme regulatory conditions.

    I have taken you on a number of times based solely on your far left wing (Socialist) attitude. You also treat others as it they are just too damn stupid to understand what they are saying, so you feel the need to explain it to them, i.e. credit ratings. It is a fault I find with most progressives; they [you] think you are the sharpest knives in the drawer. That is the truest definition of elitism.

    But your comment that expressed your opinion that if people in California can’t take the oppressive policies of higher taxation should just “self” re-distribute to other states has to be the most insulting thing I have ever read any of the progressives (Socialists) on this forum say. You let the veil slip and we got to see you in all your Socialist/Elitist glory. You can afford your “climate” and “geology” and if they can’t, well that’s just too damn bad. They need to leave the state and migrate to another state that they can afford. IOW, let the taxpayers of other states worry about them.

    I find you a most disgusting man, Larry, and nothing you have said in the last couple of days has improved that image.

  21. 174

    Common Sense Larry,what you miss is that the socialistic vote-buying of illegals is unsustainable here in Southern California. Visit any jail, hospital, public school, or welfare office and then it will be self-evident that what has occurred is that California has failed to protect its borders from illegals and then they drain our taxpayer-funded services to the point of bankruptcy. The sad part is that there is NO political will to properly manage this problem. Rather, our politicians see this a political issue by which they can exploit common sense and replace it with idiotic unsustainable schemes. To say that illegals are NOT draining our support systems is just plain ignorant. You know it happens and you know why. We must first protect our borders and then ensure that those who seek welfare are eligible to do so.

  22. 175

    Hi Retire:

    Quoting you (above, #173)

    Please, note I used “test scores” not SAT/ACT, as you falsely claimed.

    From your #145, I quote you:

    One of the major problems California has is with education. So while Larry touts UCLA and UC-Berkley, it doesn’t matter how great your universities are if your elementary students don’t have the ACTs and SATs to get into the school.

    Sometime over the next couple of days, I’ll get back with reactions to the rest of #145.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  23. 176


    Sometime over the next couple of days, I’ll get back with reactions to the rest of #145.

    Don’t bother. I’m rapidly becoming less and less interested in the things you say, considering your habit of trying to put words in my mouth and totally ignoring points I make (San Juaquin Valley, power plants, refineries, less roads than the State of New York, the stats from the Institute of Educational Sciences).

    Oh, and btw, the SAT/ACT scores you quoted, they were for “college bound” students, not the general student population. Just another attempt on your part to spin actual facts provided by the federal government.

  24. 177

    Hi Retire,

    Your strategic retreat is duly noted.

    The following is truly curious:

    Oh, and btw, the SAT/ACT scores you quoted, they were for “college bound” students, not the general student population. Just another attempt on your part to spin actual facts provided by the federal government.

    The reason why it is curious, is that this was the context in which it arose. Again, quoting you:

    One of the major problems California has is with education. So while Larry touts UCLA and UC-Berkley [sic], it doesn’t matter how great your universities are if your elementary students don’t have the ACTs and SATs to get into the school.

    To the best of my knowledge, both UCLA and UC-Berkeley are, indeed, colleges. Non-college bound students presumably don’t take SATs or ACTs. Again, you were the one who raised the issue. You stated that it doesn’t matter if California has great schools if the kids don’t have the SATs and ACTs to get into them. California’s great universities are overwhelmed with in state applicants, who do, indeed, have superior SATs and ACTs, compared to their peers in Texas.

    Here’s the data for all students who took the test, not just “college bound” students. Again, California’s results were superior to those of Texas.

    As noted, I’ll return with reactions to your latest, when time permits.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  25. 178

    More Mitt news:

    Pumping his own gas, and now this…

    I’m definitely starting to like Mitt the person more than I liked Mitt the candidate.

    Last Thursday, I was driving down in Mitt’s new neighborhood (LaJolla), when I saw something I’d seen many times before from the I-5 Fwy, but never paid much attention to:

    You can see most of this beautiful building from the LaJolla Village Road exit area of either the Southbound or Northbound I-5.

    I was wondering why Mitt chose LaJolla over Rancho Santa Fe, which is were most of the landed gentry who like their privacy choose to live, when they set down roots in San Diego county. I’m guessing that he’ll be spending a lot of his retirement time in the service of the pictured institution. Just idle speculation.

    – Larry W/HB

  26. 179


    Your Commonwealth chart is deceptive. It lists Illinois (with its notoriously bad educational system) as ranking first in SAT score. That is because only 6% of the Illinois student population takes the SATs. In California, the percentage is 53% SAT tested students compared to 58% in Texas. Using your chart, the students in Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Kansas, South Dakota and Kentucky all excel over California. Nevermind that all of those states test less than 10% of the student population.

    So once again, major fail.

    The level of education obtained by students in each state is judged by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a division of the Institute of Education Sciences, an agency of the federal government, uses ALL students, not just college bound students, for their statistics. But you already know that, that is why you want to ignore their findings. It doesn’t aid in your chest thumping.

    I am really, REALLY getting bored with you, Larry. Don’t you have some anti-war protest to go to? Or perhaps a march to protect the Delta Smelt?

  27. 180

    Hi Retire,

    I was assuming that you could do simple 8th grade algebra.

    53% of California students took the test. The average SAT score was 1523.
    58% of Texas students took the test. The average SAT score was 1436.

    Now, if an additional 5% of California students had taken the test and not gotten a single question correct, their average score would have been 600 and the average scores for California students would STILL HAVE BEEN HIGHER than those for the Texas students.

    With regard to the NAEP stuff, that’s what I mean about you changing the goal posts. You specifically cited the SAC/ACT. I responded — proving that CA students do better on these tests than do Texas students. You have tried to do everything possible to explain away these findings. You didn’t like my first web site. I gave a second web site. You said that this only applied to college bound students. Well, duh, you raised this in the context of getting into UC Berkeley or UCLA. I then found data from a third web site, which took the data directly from the college board, and which included all students who took the test. Then you tried to explain it away by noting a truly trivial difference in percent of students who took the test. I now show that this doesn’t explain away the CA superiority. So now you want to cite a different test.

    Why don’t you make a gracious concession on this one small point, which was a point which you were the one to raise; not me. In a similar situation in the past, I graciously acknowledged new data you brought to the table to clarify a previous dispute and then proceeded to move on. Just do that, and you’ll enhance your general credibility. No one expects you to be infallible and no one expects me to be wrong all the time.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  28. 181

    Richard Wheeler

    Larry Great video of your daughter’s swim. Did she compete in college? Don’t forget Irish vs. Trojans Sat 5pm. Obviously, Wolverines vs. Buckeyes is big.

    I’ve spent time in Dallas in the summer. NO THANKS.

  29. 182

    Hi Rich,

    Notre Dame are having (using British syntax) a real luck of the Irish season, aren’t they? My own personal opinion is that they’d get absolutely pounded by Alabama, but they’ll have to get by a Matt Barkley-less USC first (not as good as some teams they’ve already beaten — notably Stanford). Probably will be ND v Alabama going for crystal.

    Michigan/Ohio State — should be a national holiday, it’s so important.

    With a nod to Retire, I’d like to see Texas vs A&M in the Cotton Bowl. There is some seriously bad blood between those two, especially with the latter splitting for the SEC.

    Thanks for the comments about my elder daughter. She did swim in college, for a university in Cambridge MA which shall go unnamed. Currently a 3rd year med student, where she gets up at 5 AM many mornings, to swim before clinics begin. Younger kid a D1 college rower; just accepted for admission to a first rate med school here in CA starting next summer.

    – Larry W/HB

  30. 183

    that’s all the creepy ignorant tweed for MITT ROMNEY, you could copy to show us?
    I question your bad taste, to come in CONSERVATIVE LAND WITH THAT,
    it tell me of how the fools have rush to make such a choice on the election day,
    I hate to think that’s all you have to show from CALIFORNIA STATE,

  31. 184

    Hi Bees,

    The Romney links I provided were from the NY Daily News, which had endorsed Mitt Romney for President. I don’t think that they were at all in bad taste. They showed an appealing, human side of Mitt.

    – Larry

  32. 185

    I was talking of the tweeds mostly negative,
    hell they don’t even know MITT ROMNEY
    for a perfect stranger,

  33. 186


    I was assuming you could do simple 8th grade algebra.

    Well, there is no assuming you are an ass. That has already been clearly defined. Yet, you whine how people insult you. HYPOCRITE.

    Now, let’s add an additional 5% to the California number. If that additional 5% were to flunk the SATs miserably, it would not increase the state average, but would, in fact, decrease the state average. Seems you are trying to equate algebra using unknown quotients.

    So here is where we stand; you think your state of California, with all its problems, is soooooo much better than my backward, red neck state where we cling to our guns and God. Fine. That gives me great solace knowing that you are such a damn elitist that you would not be caught dead moving to my state. You are one less Socialist I have to worry about self re-distributing to my state. The truth of the matter is you still refuse to address any subject I mentioned, while you search for sites that back your claim that Loonafornia is sooooo much better than Texas. Nevermind that Illinois beat out your kids on SATs and anyone with two grey cells bumping together understands that the Illinois educational system is pathetic.

    You also know that we are polar opposite on both philosophy and politics, that I don’t like you, and consider your political viewpoint detrimental to the nation, yet you continue to come back, time after time, desparately trying to have the last word, and showing me what an ill-informed rube I am that needs your intellectual superiority to steer me in the right direction on all subjects.

    I am through with this conversation. You can claim that I have “strategically retreated” but the truth of it is that I have just so much patience when dealing with arrogant, egotistical, elitist jerks who thinks I should be worried about my credibility with them (or are you presuming to talk for others, dragging someone else into the fray?) when my only desire is to never have the displeasure of meeting you face to face. You have used up that patience and you are free to now claim coup if it makes you feel better about yourself. It certainly is cheaper for you than a shrink.

  34. 187

    Now, let’s add an additional 5% to the California number. If that additional 5% were to flunk the SATs miserably, it would not increase the state average, but would, in fact, decrease the state average. Seems you are trying to equate algebra using unknown quotients.

    ‘Tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak up and erase all doubt.

    Readers who do recall 8th grade algebra will understand the math presented in #180, even if you don’t.

    Regarding personal insults, you didn’t just fire the first shot, you fired the first 20 shots (and I am greatly understating this, as readers will also note).

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  35. 190


    YOU ARE as funny as the MASH PROGRAM

  36. 191


    OKAY, I will explain

  37. 193


    SKOOK do you mean your quote ?
    or the MASH STORY,
    your QUESTION is the same that openid, ask me if MITT ROMNEY WOULD COME BACK AS A CANDIDATE,
    WOULD I vote for him,
    that’s why I found your own question funny,
    I thought you had seen his comment a couple of days ago.