How long must I dream?

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What is the meaning of a concept of sanity that excludes love, considers it irrelevant, and destroys our capacity to love other human beings, to respond to their needs and their sufferings, to recognize them also as persons, to apprehend their pain as one’s own?”

“It’s been five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months plus five months since Charles Krauthammer told us … ‘Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.'”

“If that opinion were right, we would have to accept that our 18th-century constitution is not the enduring marvel of statesmanship we suppose but an anachronistic, crippling burden we cannot escape, a straitjacket that makes it impossible for us to achieve a just national society.”

“This case is about reacting to the other side and taking an opposing position.”

“Honesty requires that we recognize that a wealthy minority is being lavishly over-compensated by both the private sector and government policy and not because they have worked harder.”

“Whether it’s tax credits, domestic nutrition programs, foreign assistance, or international food aid, these programs work.”

Payday lenders also have contributed $162,500 to a super PAC backing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has pledged to repeal Dodd-Frank.”

“A Romney administration’s revenue agenda would look a lot like President George W. Bush’s, just more so.”

Mitt Romney served as Eliza Dushku’s bishop when she was growing up.”

“When we remember history with gay friends, I think it’s pretty easy to see that we don’t want to be counted among those Christians who have organized themselves against homosexuals.”

“We aren’t talking about changing church teaching, but witnessing to church teaching, demonstrating the gospel of inclusion.”

“This is not to say that the writers of the New Testament specifically envisaged a time when their books would be collected together and form something like what we now know as the canon. I doubt very much if such an idea ever crossed their minds.”

“They want the free counsel you get from the preacher and as expected, they are getting their money’s worth.”

That’s the deeper problem with the ‘sex will be great if you wait’ dynamic that some seem to be advocating in the church world. It buys into the idea that sex is about ‘me.'”

Ray D’Arcy wasn’t wrong.

Here is a play waiting to be written: “Since he couldn’t save her, Lane began patrolling the cliffs daily, looking for other distraught souls at the end of their (proverbial) ropes.”

(Roy Orbison was born April 23, 1936.)

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  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Charles Krauthammer has always had a credibility problem. That and he looks like the bad guys from “The Dark Crystal”. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NR2MMC4EJXJWJMLH6IF457XL64 Alex B

    OMG the comments on the field negro post. So much “I’m not racist but [something really, really racist]”

  • LouisDoench

     I can’t read his comment section, it’s just a cesspool.

  • Lori

     

      I can’t read his comment section, it’s just a cesspool. 

    Yeah. I understand his reason for allowing unmoderated comments, but I can’t read them.

  • aunursa

    From the Ronald Dworkin NY Review of Books piece…

    But they apparently misjudged the dedication of the ultraconservative justices, whose questions in the oral argument have now convinced many commentators that on the contrary, in spite of text, precedent, and principle, the Court will declare the act unconstitutional in June, by a 5–4 vote.

     I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.  Regardless of some people’s disinterest in opinion polls, a 62% majority of Americans believe that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.  Other polls indicate that a majority hope that the Court will strike it down.

    And many of the commentators are the same ones who claimed that the challenges had no chance — before though the lower courts split in their decisions.  These same commentators promoted the penalty-is-obviously-a-tax argument, even though nearly every court rejected that argument (even the ones that upheld the mandate on other grounds), and all nine justices appeared skeptical.  Clearly those commentators who initially declared the law obviously constitutional lack credibility.

    If the Court does declare the act unconstitutional, it would have ruled that Congress lacks the power to adopt what it thought the most effective, efficient, fair, and politically workable remedy… for the sole reason that in the Court’s opinion our constitution … denies our national legislature the power to enact the only politically possible national program.

    The Constitution does not grant Congress the authority to solve a problem via an unconstitutional method on the basis that alternate constitutional methods that Congress could have chosen are politically unpopular.  If it were otherwise, can liberals imagine what legislation a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Congress would enact with such power?

    Congress met that heavy burden by establishing, in its findings, that a national program of health care for everyone is desperately needed and that a mandate is essential to the program it designed.

    One flaw in that reasoning is that a mandate is not essential to the establishment of a national program of health care.  For example, Congress could have established a national program of health care funded by a tax increase.  A second flaw is that a mandate is not essential to the program Congress designed, but rather essential to avoiding some of the unintended consequences of the program.

  • hapax

     

    Regardless of some people’s disinterest in opinion polls, a 62% majority of Americans believe that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.

    If we based legal opinions on opinion polls, segregation and miscegenation laws would still be “unconstitutional.”  For crying out loud, the same percentage of  USians can’t even date the writing of the Constitution to the correct century

    Since, based upon the totally scientific sampling of the people I talk to on a daily basis, far more than two thirds of Americans believe that the word “literally” means “metaphorically” , no, I really don’t care what opinion polls say about the constitutionality of any question.

    And until you are invited to argue a case before the Supreme Court, your postings on this topic haven’t done much to make me respect the authority of your legal arguments, either.

  • JK

    If we based legal opinions on opinion polls, segregation and
    miscegenation laws would still be “unconstitutional.”  For crying out
    loud, the same percentage of  USians can’t even date the writing of the Constitution to the correct century!

    To be fair, “unconstitutional” has pretty much meant “bad” or “unpopular” for the past several decades. I do admit, I’ll be very entertained by watching conservatives try to defend a charge against judicial activism while hoping that Obama doesn’t take a leaf from Gingrich’s playbook <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/gingrich-send-us-marshals-to-arrest-uncooperative-judges/2011/12/18/gIQAlYUg2O_blog.html"by having the justices who rule against him arrested.

    (No seriously, it has been fun watching conservatives accuse Obama of bashing judges for offering what is frankly extremely mild and generic (though ill-timed) criticism, when they literally haven’t stopped launching even more vicious attacks against the federal bench since Brown v. Board. Or Engel v. Vitale. Or Roe v. Wade. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.)

  • aunursa

    The purpose of my posting the poll was not to argue that the mandate must be unconstitutional because a majority of Americans believe it is.  Obviously the constitutionality of a law is determined by judges, and not by a majority of citizens.  The purpose of the poll was to refute the idea that “the mandate is unconstitutional” can be considered an ultra-conservative” position.

    Reasonable people, including legal experts, may disagree about whether or not the mandate should be ruled constitutional or unconstitutional.  But to declare that the “it’s unconstitutional” argument is “ultra-conservative” tells us much about the author and very little about the legal foundation of the argument.

  • hapax

     

    The purpose of the poll was to refute the idea that “the mandate is unconstitutional” can be considered an ultra-conservative” position.

    You obviously missed my point about the meaning of “literal.”

    I don’t know about the poll’s internals, but what these results tell me is that a large proportion of USians don’t know what the heck “unconstitutional” means — except from “This thing Fox News tells me is BAD” — and don’t even know that they don’t know it.

    The characterization of “the mandate is unconstitutional” is, indeed, based upon an ultra-conservative theory of legal interpretation, among those who understand that words do, in fact, mean something.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Considering how many Americans seem to think the First Amendment protects their right to free speech in any area, any medium, any time, I suspect that the opinion poll regarding the insurance mandate is…

    let us say…

    less than informative on the matter.

  • aunursa

    The characterization of “the mandate is unconstitutional” is, indeed, based upon an ultra-conservative theory of legal interpretation, among those who understand that words do, in fact, mean something.

    You made one small error.  I’ll fix it for you…

    The characterization of “the mandate is unconstitutional” is, indeed, based upon an ultra-conservative theory of legal interpretation, among those who understand that words do, in fact, mean something whose positions on the spectrum are so far to the left that anything to the right side of moderate is seen as “ultra-conservative.”

  • LouisDoench

     I don’t think there’s a way around this:

    We cannot ignore the political dimensions of this case. The Republican
    Party and the candidates for its presidential nomination relentlessly
    denounce the act, perhaps largely because it was one of President
    Obama’s main domestic achievements during his first term. They hope that
    the conservative justices will declare the act unconstitutional; they
    think that will help them defeat the president in November.

    I don’t for one minute think that the people bringing these suits are sincere in their arguments. They are merely attempting to prosecute their politics in the Supreme Court.

  • aunursa

    Why do you think they are not sincere in their arguments?

    And if their arguments are not sincere, why have the lower courts split on the validity of their arguments?  If their arguments are not sincere, why did every judge* — liberal and conservative alike — buy their argument that the penalty is not a tax?  Why did the judges reject the government’s argument on that issue?  Why did all nine of the Supreme Court justices appear to accept that particular argument, if it’s insincere?

    * with one exception

  • Tonio

     My own stance on the insincerity is that the mandate was originally proposed by the Heritage Foundation, and the likely opponent to Obama once supported it as governor but now opposes it.

  • aunursa

    The Heritage Foundation is one of hundreds of conservative organizations, and does not speak for all conservatives.  You wouldn’t judge the sincerity of a legal theory advanced by liberals based on a prior position taken by a single liberal organization, would you?

    The presumptive Republican nominee supports the 10th Amendment, which allows states to pass laws in areas that the federal government may not.  (And as a side point, my understanding is that a number of parts of the MA health care law were opposed by the governor, and were enacted by the Democratic legislature over his veto.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Key difference between liberals and conservatives: getting conservatives to all  move in the same direction is like herding cows. Getting liberals to do the same is like herding cats. Conservatives, in my experience, may disagree on which of ‘money to burn’, ‘burn the gays’, ‘burn the abortionists’, and ‘burn the environment’ should be top priority, but there’s general agreement that all four are priorities. Liberals, meanwhile, are torn over whether to get everyone’s (for varying values of ‘everyone’s’) standard of living up to a reasonable point or to reduce standards of living all around to preserve what we’re living on. To name a single instance of conflict. So until you produce evidence to the contrary (the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud do not count), I’m feeling comfortable assuming that one group of conservatives can speak for them all. And assuming that a single liberal group speaks for more than that single liberal group is a stupid assumption.

  • aunursa

    Getting a legislative minority to move in one direction is like herding cattle.
    Getting a legislative majority to move in one direction is like herding cats.

    Evidence?  2003-2006.  The Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.  Many conservatives blame Bush for increasing the budget deficit and for failing to enact many of their legislative dreams, such as the privatization of social security.

    If Romney wins and enjoys Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, then you will find that the Democrats in the minority will be remarkably united.

    And the idea that the conservatives’ top legislative goals are anti-SSM, anti-abortion, and anti-environmental legislation (or even that these goals are shared by all conservatives) is laughable.  Certainly they are high priorities for some legislators.  But they are low priorities for other Republicans, based on idealogical reasons (they do not entirely share the “conservative” position) or political reasons (they have higher priorities, and/or believe that these issues will harm the party.)  If the Republicans win the presidency and legislature, it will be because voters trust them to address a certain problem, and that problem is  most certainly not related to any social issue.  And the Republicans know that.

  • hapax

     

    If the Republicans win the presidency and legislature, it will be
    because voters trust them to address a certain problem, and that problem
    is  most certainly not related to any social issue.  And the
    Republicans know that.

    If the Republicans win the presidency, it is because the number of people who go to the polls who remember how Republicans have driven the economy off a cliff Every. Single. Time. are outnumbered by the number of people who just can’t stand seeing one of those n*****s in the White House.

    And I know it, and you know it, and every single USian who isn’t lying to zirself knows it.

  • aunursa

    Obviously Republicans hate black people.  That’s why they can’t stand Clarence Thomas.

    No wait, it’s the Democrats who hate Justice Thomas.  Must be because they hate black people.

  • Lori

    Obviously Republicans hate black people.  That’s why they can’t stand Clarence Thomas.

    And the fact that there were house slaves and that those slaves generally had full sets of clothing and were sometimes taught to read proves that plantation owners weren’t racists.

    No wait, it’s the Democrats who hate Justice Thomas.  Must be because they hate black people.

    Your first statement was tough to beat and yet this one manages to be even more illogical.

  • aunursa

    So you’re calling Clarence Thomas a “house slave”?  Oh the irony!

  • Lori

    So you’re calling Clarence Thomas a “house slave”?  Oh the irony!

    Were you always this bad at processing logic or did you willfully give up on it when you decided that rooting for the Conservative team is the only thing that matters?

    I will spell it out for you (and whoever “liked” your comment): The fact that a group of white folks treats some particular group of black folks well does not mean that the white folks aren’t racist.

    Did I type slowly enough?

  • aunursa

    The fact that a group of white folks support black candidates who share their views and oppose against black candidates who don’t share their views does not mean that the white folks are racist.

    The fact that a group of black folks support white candidates who share their views and oppose against white candidates who don’t share their views does not mean that the black folks are racist.

  • Lori

     

    The fact that a group of white folks support black candidates who share
    their views and oppose against black candidates who don’t share their
    views does not mean that the white folks are racist.

    You really don’t get it do you?

    No, the fact that a group of white folks support  black candidates who share their views & oppose those who do not does not mean that those white folks are racist. It’s all the other racist bullshit that they do that makes them racists. The point that I and others have repeatedly made and which you seem unable to grasp is that supporting the occasional (full metal nutbar) black guy who values money as much as they do does not mitigate the rest of their racism. They’re still racists.

  • aunursa

    Now I get it.  They’re racists because you say so.

  • Lori

     

    Now I get it.  They’re racists because you say so. 

    The more you go on this way the more I come to believe that option 2 is the correct answer: you are a racist trying to cover for other racists.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Look, you’ll understand aunursa a lot better once you realize that every post is just a rephrase of “Liberals do it too! Gotcha!”

    Racist republicans oppose black democrats because they are racist and we call them on it, so, aunursa pretends to think that the ONLY reason we called them on being racist is that their victims were black, and therefore decides it’s fair game to accuse democrats who attack republican ASSHOLES who JUST HAPPEN to be black of being racist. Because aunursa’s only goal is to be able to say “Nya-nya! You did it too! Gotcha!”, and that precludes acknowledging that we might have another reason for accuding the republicans of racism than “the victim was black”.  Over and over, the same pattern: Republicans do X because of Y, we call them on it. Democrats do X’ (which is NOT X, but is in some minor way similar) for reasons entirely unlike Y, and aunursa shouts “SEE! DEMOCRATS DID X! THEY ARE JUST AS BAD AS REPUBLICANS! ONLY WORSE BECAUSE THEY ARE ALSO HYPOCRITES!”

  • Lori

     

    Look, you’ll understand aunursa a lot better once you realize that every
    post is just a rephrase of “Liberals do it too! Gotcha!”

    Oh, I know. I just keep hoping that he’ll up his game a teeny, tiny bit or at least pull out something slightly more interesting. Obviously that’s not going to happen and I need to just let it go.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    To be fair, aunursa was discussing the fact that Repubs field black and Hispanic candidates and Clarence Thomas is very obviously Republican.

    What aunursa fails to notice is that this kind of thing is the political analogue of what the union folks call “surface bargaining”: failing to substantively engage in any meaningful way, instead just creating the appearance of such.

    Clarence Thomas is famously reported to have credited his success to affirmative action. How curious that he is now so eager to curry favor with the poltiical right that he opposes it today. (I suspect that he is banking on lucrative jobs once he finally retires)

  • hapax

     

    Obviously Republicans hate black people. 

    If this is meant to be a response to my comment, the amount of Reading Comprehension FAIL  on display here automatically disqualifies you from ever offering an opinion on interpreting any text (including the Constitution) ever again.

  • aunursa

    If the Republicans win the presidency, it is because the number of people who go to the polls who remember how Republicans have driven the economy off a cliff Every. Single. Time. are outnumbered by the number of people who just can’t stand seeing one of those n*****s in the White House.

    You’re right.  I misread your comment as saying that (specifically) Republicans hate black people.  Clearly you were saying that Romney voters in general hate black people.

    Because they wouldn’t be so aroused if a (hypothetical) President John Edwards had given them the same disasterous policies (stimulus, PPACA, auto bailouts, etc).  The only reason that they could possibly vote against Obama is that his father was black.

    Because given a choice between a black conservative and a white liberal, they’ll choose the candidate who looks like them every single time.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Would they have been calling for Edwards’s impeachment before the newly elected president was even sworn in?

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/22/10809050-jobless-claims-figures-just-keep-getting-better –yeah, I’ll believe the stimulus was a disastrous policy. You get to provide cites on why the Affordable Care Act and auto bailouts were disastrous.

  • aunursa

    Would they have been calling for Edwards’s impeachment before the newly elected president was even sworn in?

    12/13/2000 – Impeach George W. Bush
    11/8/2000 – Impeach George W. Bush
    Petition: Impeach George W. Bush – comments indicate it was started during December 2000

    Next?

    You get to provide cites on why the Affordable Care Act and auto bailouts were disastrous.

    CBO: 3 to 5 million will likely lose employer health care coverage, possibly up to 20 million. 
    Study: PPACA will add $340 billion to debt in first decade. 
    CBONew 10-year projected cost of PPACA is $1.76 trillion (53% higher) 
    CBO: New estimate: PPACA to cover 2 million fewer people by 2016 than previously claimed
     
    If the PPACA is such a success, why didn’t Obama and the Democrats hold a celebration for its second anniversary?  Outside of deep-blue congressional districts, why aren’t they citing it as their landmark accomplishment?
     
    ABC: GM invests $400 million in French auto company that lost $123 million last year 
    GM stock drops 46% in 2011 
    Yahoo Finance: Chevy Volt ranked 3rd Worst Product Flop of 2011

  • Lori

     

    12/13/2000 – Impeach George W. Bush11/8/2000 – Impeach George W. BushPetition: Impeach George W. Bush – comments indicate it was started during December 2000

    Next?

    People were calling for Bush’s impeachment because of how he got the job. If you strain yourself you may recall that there was a wee bit of controversy about that. Jesus, you’re an idiot.

  • aunursa

    Really? So calling for impeachment before a candidate actually assumes the office might be because of a reason other than aversion to the candidate’s race?  Thanks for clarifying.

  • Lori

     

    Really? So calling for impeachment before a candidate actually assumes
    the office might be because of a reason other than aversion to the
    candidate’s race?  Thanks for clarifying.  

    So now you want me to believe that you can’t tell the difference between “might be” and “is”? Given your demonstrated lack of rational thinking skills I guess that could be the case, but do you really want to advertise it?

  • aunursa

    I guess you must because you never get any smart or less offensive and you never stop talking.

    The more you go on this way the more I come to believe that option 2 is the correct answer: you are a racist trying to cover for other racists.

    Aw, gee.  That’s so Lori of you.  I like you, too!

    {{Hugs}}

    ;-)

  • Lori

     Aw gee. Pulling out the cutsie-poo. That’s so aunursa of you. All the post needed was a poll.

  • EllieMurasaki

    12/13/2000 – Impeach George W. Bush

    As Lori said, and also ‘Democrats do it too’ != explanation for why Republicans do it.

    CBO: 3 to 5 million will likely lose employer health care coverage, possibly up to 20 million.

    As long as they’re insured by somebody, who gives a fuck? In fact the fewer people dependent on employers for health care coverage, the better.

    Study: PPACA will add $340 billion to debt in first decade.

    Compared to…what?

    Meet Joe Random. Joe’s an average guy, eats a bunch of eggs and bacon, doesn’t exercise much. Joe also has clogged arteries.  He doesn’t know this, of course.

    Scenario 1. Joe is flat broke. Too broke to buy health insurance. Joe is aware of the need to eat right and exercise, but heart disease doesn’t run in his family, so he doesn’t think he’s at risk. Joe has a heart attack. Emergency room costs run the taxpayer (’cause Joe can’t pay) a couple thousand dollars.

    Scenario 2. Joe is covered by the Affordable Care Act. Joe therefore has insurance. Joe goes to the doctor; taxpayers eat a couple hundred dollars tops. Doctor says, Joe, eat right and exercise or risk a heart attack. Joe, not being stupid now that it’s personal, shapes up. Joe never has that heart attack.

    Multiply similar scenarios by, say, one million of the many many million currently uninsured. 1,800,000,000 million dollars saved. That’s rather more than the $340 billion spent.

    If the PPACA is such a success, why didn’t Obama and the Democrats hold a
    celebration for its second anniversary?  Outside of deep-blue
    districts, why aren’t they citing it as their landmark accomplishment?

    One, it’s not accomplished until the court challenges are over with. Two, if state-by-state insurance  mandates are so much better, why isn’t Romney trumpeting the success of Romneycare every chance he gets?

    As for your auto links, stock prices have nothing to do with the real world, electric cars will have limited range until there are enough of them to make catering to them a moneymaker (which means, until there are enough of them bought, nobody will buy them), and while you’ve got me on the French car company, you haven’t said what the current GM employees would be doing for jobs now had GM not been bailed out.

  • Lori

     

    Clearly you were saying that Romney voters in general hate black people.

    Are you actually this dim, or are you just this childish?

    Your constant attempts to deny that racism is a major force in GOP politics do not make you seem post-racial, or whatever the Right is trying to call it these days. At best they make you seem naive or intellectually dishonest. At worst they make you seem like a racist trying to cover for other racists.

  • aunursa

    Can you provide quotes from black Republican candidates to support your claim that they are discriminated against by the Republican Party?  Or are you suggesting that only those blacks who don’t share the goals of the party are discriminated against, thus undermining your claim that the Republican Party has a racism problem?

  • Lori

     

    Can you provide quotes from black Republican candidates to support your
    claim that they are discriminated against by the Republican Party?  Or
    are you suggesting that only those blacks who don’t share the goals of the party are discriminated against, thus undermining your claim that the Republican Party has a racism problem?

    What is wrong with you? The GOP’s racism problem is not that they discriminate against black Republican candidates. It’s that they discriminate against black people. (And they’re not too crazy about brown people either.)

    Both groups are tolerable when it comes to whipping up hate based on social conservative issues, but otherwise they’re still second class. The fact that the GOP trots a few black & brown faces up on the dais at the convention doesn’t change that. The Southern Strategy was a real thing and it is not a coincidence that GOP support is still strongest in the Old South. Racist dog whistles are a real thing, even if you want to pretend not to hear them (or are so willfully tone deaf that you actually don’t). There’s a reason that the “blah people” don’t tend to vote GOP.

    If you can’t deal with the reality of the party to which you give your endless, poll-loving, knee-jerk support that’s your issue.

  • Tonio

    What’s wrong, in part, is that Aunursa is is wrongly treating racism as simply about individual prejudice and whether specific groups of whites are guilty or innocent of being prejudiced. It cannot be said often enough that racism is really a systemic concept involving privilege and hierarchy. Herman Cain didn’t offend the racial pecking order because he was openly contemptuous of intellectualism. Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas are themselves intellectuals but their positions amount to perpetuation of social and economic privilege.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also: Dinesh D’Souza.

  • P J Evans

    Getting a legislative minority to move in one direction is like herding cattle.
    Getting a legislative majority to move in one direction is like herding cats.

    Wrong. The Democratic Party is a coalition party already; it’s cat-herding. The Republicans have been pretty much monolithic for the last 30 or so years: that’s why getting them pointed in one direction is like herding cows.
    Hadn’t you noticed that the GOP acts like a bloc even when they don’t need to do so? And that the Democrats are never a monolithic voting bloc?

  • aunursa

    The GOP is monolithic?  Obviously, that’s why conservatives so frequently complain about all the RINOs in Congress. Because they all march lock-step and never disappoint the right wing.

  • Lori

     RINO complaints are good fund raisers. That doesn’t change the reality of voting compliance among GOP lawmakers.

  • aunursa

    Have you got an empirical study to back your claim that Republicans are more unified than Democrats?

  • P J Evans

     Check the votes at http://thomas.loc.gov/
    That’s the Library of Congress site where they track bills. (It’s pretty obvious which party is more unified, when you’re looking at actual votes.)
    This one, for instance: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll074.xml
    or this one:
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00082

  • aunursa

    You’re pointing to a single year, which cannot be used to determine whether one party is more unified as a rule or because of the majority/minority situation.  Do you have an empirical study that includes enough years to cover each of these scenarios?

    (a) President R, Congress R
    (b) President R, Congress D
    (c) President R, Congress Split
    (d) President D, Congress R
    (e) President D, Congress D
    (f) President D, Congress Split

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re right, aunursa. You’re absolutely right. I forgot ‘burn the sluts’ and ‘burn the unbelievers’.

    And if—IF—the Democrats lose Congress in November, getting them to work together will still be like herding cats, because there will be ‘let’s be bipartisan!’ Democrats and there will be ‘screw bipartisanship’ Democrats. And if the Republicans win Congress in November, getting them to work together will still be like herding cows, because they’re all in agreement that the 1% needs more money and it won’t hurt to give the religious right enough of what they want to keep them voting Republican instead of staying at home.

    Personally I’m convinced that if any Democrat loses an election this November,  it will be entirely the fault of Citizens United, fueled by racism and the 0.01%’s money, not the will of the people.

  • aunursa

    Personally I’m convinced that if any Democrat loses an election this November,  it will be entirely the fault of Citizens United, fueled by racism and the 0.01%’s money, not the will of the people.

    Sure, because no Democrat ever really loses an election.  The only reason there are any Republicans in office are because  of (you may select more than one) …

    [ ] vote fraud
    [ ] voter intimidation
    [ ] racist voter ID laws
    [ ] disinformation campaigns
    [ ] PAC money
    [ ] Citizens United
    [ ] the media failed to label all Republican statements as false
    [ ] voters are misinformed
    [ ] voters are too ignorant to understand the issues
    [ ] voters are too forgetful
    [ ] voters are too stupid to act in their self-interests
    [ ] voters are evil
    [ ] voters hate women
    [ ] voters hate blacks

  • EllieMurasaki

    The only reason there are any Republicans in office are because of (you may select more than one) …

    You left off ‘there are no viable third-parties’, so when voters want to throw the Democratic assholes out of office, their only choice is to vote the worse Republicans back in.

  • aunursa

    As if it’s not bad enough, California passed an initiative that limits the state and local candidates for a general election to the top-two vote-getters in the primary.  So that means that general election voters will never even get the chance to select a Green, Libertarian, Peace and Freedom, American Independent, or other lunatic third-party candidate.

  • EllieMurasaki

    WTF. I thought my state was bad–the governor doubled the percentage of voters a party had to have to qualify for the ballot, so unless the Mystate Green Party’s nearly doubled its registered voter count between then and now, we’re off the ballot, and probably so are a bunch of the other third parties.

  • P J Evans

     The Republicans in California liked that one: they think it will get more of them into office. Although based on their actions over the last twenty or so years, they aren’t going to get any farther than if it was the usual closed primary.

  • aunursa

    The vote was bipartisan and supported by Democrats and Republicans alike.  In some districts, it will result in 2 Democrats on the ballot, and in other districts, 2 Republicans.

  • P J Evans

     All the actual voter fraud I’ve heard about in the last several years  has been committed by your beloved conservative Republicans. Otherwise the rate of occurrence is somewhere in the noise, that is, it’s pretty nearly non-existent. Note that it’s always the conservatives complaining about it, and passing more and more restrictions on who can vote, particularly when those restrictions affect primarily the elderly, minorities, and students, most of whom are (surprise!) more likely to vote for non-conservatives.

    You might want to turn off Fox and CNN, and check real news sources.

  • Lori

      All the actual voter fraud I’ve heard about in the last several years  has been committed by your beloved conservative Republicans.

    Even that pissant James O’Keefe didn’t actually commit voter fraud. Because it’s not worth it.

    In fairness, I do agree that if we continue to have so many extremely close elections for significant offices someone will eventually decide it makes sense to try to shift the outcome via fraud since it would take relatively few votes to do it. Discriminatory voter ID laws aren’t the solution to that though and fear of fraud is not what’s driving those laws. If history is anything to go by when the election-changing fraud does happen it will be the work of some GOP dirty trickster. If I was forced to bet on it, recent history would lead me to put my money on someone with a connection to ALEC.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You say that like you don’t think Bush stole Florida in 2000, aided and abetted by the US Supreme Court.

  • Lori

    The Florida election in 2000 was quite a different kind of election theft than organizing a group of people to commit voter fraud because you know it’ll only take a couple hundred votes to swing that outcome. Florida 2000 was the GOP old boys’ club looking after its own, which is a different problem.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Okay, fair enough, Lori. Though FSM help us when people actually take advantage of the fact that voting machines are not uncheatable like slot machines…assuming nobody already has…

  • Lori

    Oh absolutely. I flat refuse to vote via the new voting
    machines and having them print out a receipt won’t change that. Too easy
    to hack.If that’s the in-person voting set-up I vote absentee.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Canadians, for the most part, still vote on pen and paper with manual vote counting. Surprisingly, we manage to get the results announced within 5 or 6 hours of the poll closing time. ^_^

    Even our automated municipal voting system where I live is fundamentally paper-based. You must mark up a ballot and then it goes into a bigass old machine that inhales the paper and counts the votes. Since they’re self-contained relics from likely the early 1980s, there’s no way to remotely “adjust” the vote counts from the comfort of one’s own home.

  • aunursa

    particularly when those restrictions affect primarily the elderly, minorities, and students, most of whom are (surprise!) more likely to vote for non-conservatives.

    The elderly are more likely to vote for non-conservatives?  That would be a surprise to the 53% of voters age 65+ who voted for John McCain in 2008 and the 54% age 60+ who voted for George W. Bush in 2004.

  • Tonio

    Don’t assume that I’m liberal or conservative, and don’t make that assumption about anyone else, either.

     

    The Heritage Foundation is one of hundreds of conservative organizations, and does not speak for all conservatives.

    Of course it doesn’t. My point is that the concept has been in the political discourse for some time, and in place in at least one state, yet it did not provoke controversy from the people who now attack it so vociferously.

    10th Amendment, which allows states to pass laws in areas that the federal government may not.

    And don’t expect anyone to believe that the level of emotion in this debate is  simply over the federal versus state distinction. I’ve heard far, far too many opponents mislabel health care reform as another welfare program. And with a very few exceptions, the opponents of the mandate also oppose a single-payer approach.

    Market-based solutions for health care coverage cannot and do not work because health care itself doesn’t operate the same as other markets. Insurance shouldn’t be about earning a profit in the first place, because the profit motive by insurers inherently conflicts with the goal of affordable health care for everyone. Insurance only works if enough people pay into the pool for spreading the risk. That’s a big reason for having the mandate in general. Remember that the only reason that the mandate was even proposed during the reform push was because advocates knew damn well that any single-payer proposal would be wrongly greeted with cries of Marxism.

  • aunursa

    I most certainly will conclude that you (or anyone else) is a liberal or conservative based on the ideas that you (or anyone else) offer.

    I’ve heard far, far too many opponents mislabel health care reform as another welfare program. And with a very few exceptions, the opponents of the mandate also oppose a single-payer approach.

    While conservatives would oppose with equal vigor a single-payer plan, none of them would argue that such an approach would be unconstitutional.  It clearly falls within Congress’ power to levy taxes.

    The primary reason for the level of the emotional reaction to the mandate is that, as Justice Kennedy suggested, it fundamentally alters the relationship between the individual and the federal government.  Never before has Congress claimed the authority to require every American to purchase a product from a private company.

    The great thing about the Tenth Amendment is that Massachusetts residents who don’t like Romneycare are free to move to any of 49 other states.  That’s a reasonable option compared to the choice of leaving the United States for those opposed to a federal mandate.

  • hapax

     

    While conservatives would oppose with equal vigor a single-payer plan,
    none of them would argue that such an approach would be
    unconstitutional.

    I am sorry to use vulgar language, but there is nothing else appropriate. 

    That is absolute bullshit.

    Conservatives have been arguing exactly that since  Ronald Reagan in 1961. 

  • Lori

     

    Conservatives have been arguing exactly that since  Ronald Reagan in 1961.  

    Doesn’t count. Nothing that the GOP did before aunursa’s post-9/11 panic-based conversion counts. The things that the GOP has done since then don’t count either. Because Liberals are unpatriotic, that’s why.

  • P J Evans

    The presumptive GOP nominee supported an all-but-identical law in Massachusetts, one which includes that mandate you’re so sure will be found  unconstitutional. Which means that if he’s against it, he’s either lying about his views at some time, or a big, big hypocrite.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    BUT BUT BUT TENTH AMENDMENT INTERSTATE COMMERCE WHAAAAARGARBL.

    Basically think “whatever half-assed legal sophistry can be marhsalled to explain why Romney the Governor would do the opposite of Romney the President”.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    There’s actually nothing hypocritical about believing that state governments are allowed to do things that the federal government is not, and that an individual mandate is one of them. 

    (I’m not personally convinced that the individual mandate is constitutional, as it seems to me that it would indeed fall under the powers reserved to the states. But I also believe that ensuring that all citizens have health care falls not just under the things the federal government is allowed to do, but under the things it is *mandated* to do, so my it-will-never-happen fantasy outcome is that the supreme court strikes down the mandate, but orders that “But you still have to give all people whatever health carethey need, even without insurance, for free, and you can’t pass the cost on to the taxpayer, so basically insurance industry, you just have ot suck up the cost, all because you couldn’t be decent fucking human beings. You’re welcome.” And then we all cancel our insurance and get free health care anyway, and get to laugh at the insurance company CEOs when they ask us if we can spare a dime.)

  • aunursa

    Perhaps you missed the part about the Tenth Amendment, which allows Massachusetts to enact a mandate that would be prohibited for Congress to enact.  Romney has been very clear in stating his views on the constitutionality of a federal mandate vs a state mandate.

  • aunursa

    Here’s another example
     
    It was wrong for President Bush to use presidential signing statements to bypass Congress because he is evil, but it’s fine for President Obama to use signing statements to bypass Congress because he’s working for good.

    And another

    “The dog polling: 35% of voters say the story of Shaemus makes them less likely to vote for Romney.  And I say this every time it comes up, that the … conventional wisdom on this has underestimated this story, and woefully so.”

    versus

    “This admission by the president that he ate dog meat as a child is in a book that he published in 1995.  There has been no umbrage about this for 16 or 17 years. The question then becomes… ‘Were Republicans pro- dog meat eating until they discovered this flip in the book?’ It raises the level of absurdity to something exponentially…”

  • Kubricks_Rube

    1) The first link, while sympathetic to the President’s situation, includes this warning:

    Government by executive order is not sustainable in the long-term. Nor is it desirable, whether you agree or disagree with those orders.

    I’d hardly call that “signing statements are evil” flipping to “signing statements are fine.”

    2) On the dog thing, there is a fundamental difference between the actions of an adult and the actions of a child. But beyond that, these are not really partisan issues. As a liberal, I vote for the candidate that best represents my public policy vision while having (what I perceive to be) the best chance of getting elected. If I learned that Obama tied his dog to the car, I’d be disappointed and it would lower my opinion of him, but as long as he was still the best option from a policy standpoint, I’d have to vote for him anyway*. I would be ashamed to do otherwise. And similarly, I would expect a conservative to find the Seamus story disappointing and embarrassing, but by no means would I expect it to change your vote in the general election.

    *I’m sure there are lines a candidate can cross that would make it morally impossible for me to vote for them, but I doubt they’d remain on the ballot or that the election would even be close if something that bad came out.

  • aunursa

    I agree with you.  The dog stories are non-issues.  My point is that a popular liberal commentator believes that a very old story about a Republican candidate is important, but a very old story about a Democratic candidate is not important.  (He dismissed the Obama dog story because the story was 16-17 years old, not because of Obama’s age at the time he ate dog meat.)

  • P J Evans

    That 62 percent depends on how the question is asked. Polls have also found that 62 percent (or thereabouts) support the healthcare law.

    The big problem is the mandated insurance. Not the rest of the law.

  • aunursa

    That 62 percent depends on how the question is asked. Polls have also found that 62 percent (or thereabouts) support the healthcare law.

    Survey question: “Do you think Americans should or should not be required to have health insurance?”

    Surveys have shown that majorities have favored various parts of the law.  I have not seen any recent poll showing that a majority of Americans support the law as a whole, and certainly not the mandate.

  • Lori

     

    Survey question: “Do you think Americans should or should not be required to have health insurance?”

    Were there follow-up questions to determine how many people understand the concept of the free rider problem? Were people asked if they knew that the Tea Partier who was an original party to the case was herself, in Right wing parlance, a willful moocher who ended up defaulting on medical bills?

  • aunursa

    Here’s another survey released by the Kaiser Foundation, which supports the PPACA.  Respondents were clearly made aware of some of the popular elements of the law.  And yet by a 51%-26% margin they still said that the Supreme Court should rule the mandate unconstitutional.  And 53% personally view the mandate very unfavorably, and an additional 17% somewhat unfavorably.

  • Lori

    Here’s another survey released by the Kaiser Foundation, which supports the PPACA.  Respondents were clearly made aware of some of the popular elements of the law.  And yet by a 51%-26% margin they still said that the Supreme Court should rule the mandate unconstitutional.  And 53% personally view the mandate very unfavorably, and an additional 17% somewhat unfavorably.  

    Why did you post yet another f’ing poll as a response to me? It has nothing to do with the questions that I asked. Do you actually not realize that or were you hoping that I wouldn’t notice?

  • aunursa

    It  was meant to be a reply for someone else.  I apologize for the mistake.

  • http://www.thewardrobeandthewhitetree.com/ CaroleTurner

    Thanks for the link love. I’m glad MPT posted a link to your site on his “25” list, this is good stuff.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    The Catholic Church has been covering up the rape of children in Ireland for decades  and Ray D’Arcy sad ‘fuck’ on the radio.  The Catholic Church was more outraged by Ray’s language than by the rape of children, with full props to Tony Campolo.

  • Lori

    I named my Ken dolls ‘Mitt’

    Bwah! Out of the mouth of babes. I have a soft spot for Eliza Dushku and that just reaffirms it.  The comments on the article reenforce another of my long-standing beliefs—don’t real the comments.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    I’ve had a longtime crush on Dushku as well, but the article really makes me admire her mother. She sounds REALLY interesting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I am shocked to hear that Mitt Romney has a plan to raise taxes on the poor and cut them for the wealthy. Wait, no, that sounds pretty much exactly what he has been promising since he started his campaign. To a certain extent, all politicians are plutocrats but Romney takes the cake for how enthusiastic he is about it. He doesn’t have pretend to be a populist. This is just a joke, but it’s the kind of tone-deaf thing that you can imagine Romney doing.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I think “plutocrat” is too weak a word at this point for Mitt and his Republican buddies. We need to look up some insults people used for aristocrats in the 18th century. Taxing the poor, but not the rich, was customary for aristocracies. It’s what made them what they were. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

     Mitt could stand to learn from another Republican.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    What do the abstinence warriors do about the many, many people who had (quite enjoyable) sex before marriage with multiple partners and who have awesome sex within marriage? Do they just… ignore us? Think we’re lying? Okay, maybe I shouldn’t say “us”, as I am not technically married yet, but I’ve lived with this guy for 5+ years, and I think my predictions about what our life will be like after the paper is signed are pretty accurate.

    And what do they do about those people who waited until marriage and then found out they weren’t sexually compatible at all? Or that their partner was a selfish weasel? All the people I’ve seen talk about this were women, so maybe they simply don’t count? 

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    And what do they do about those people who waited until marriage and then found out they weren’t sexually compatible at all?

    I know this one. It’s “If they’re the only person you’ve ever been with, then it is definitionally the best you’ve ever had and you will have no standard by which to judge that it isn’t good sex. You’ll just assume that people have been exaggerating how good sex is. And shut up.”

  • JoyfulA

    Carole Smith Turner goes on and on about how pastors make lousy marriage counselors but couples are too cheap to pay for therapy that might actually work. She describes all the willing and misguided incompetence and thoroughly demolishes the genre. Then she gets a lavish praise comment that witlessly echoes the incompetent pastors. Poor Carole!

    (Disclosure: I have done marriage counseling and was good at it but didn’t like it. I accidentally took a paradoxical approach. Also, I requested and received premarital counseling from my pastor because it seemed dumb for a recent widow to fall for someone she chatted with on a blog, and the counseling was excellent.)

  • Guest

    I read once that people who were happily married before their spouse’s death are more likely to fall for someone else sooner than someone who wasn’t, because the marriage has positive associations.

    Not saying that was your situation; it just didn’t seem dumb to me to fall for someone else. (And my condolences on your loss).

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The only reason the Repubs are even trying for this “omg the mandate in ACA is unconstitutional” thing is because it’s an easy target to aim at for kicking the props out from under the ACA in a piecewise fashion. It lets Republicans claim “Hey, we’re looking out for YOU” to people who think they’ll be forced to pay, when in fact the exemptions are pretty widespread, for example nobody earning under a certain threshold is required to get insurance*.

    It’s also a rather sick joke because the Repubs have helped create the very economic environment in which working people can’t – literally cannot – afford to buy health insurance.

    —-

    * See, for example, subsidies to health insurance premiums as noted in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act#Effective_by_January_1.2C_2014

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also? I find it hilarious how much concern there is for the powers of state governments except when it comes to state criminal laws regarding drugs, particularly if the state law(s) involved provide weaker sentences and/or effective decriminalization compared to federal laws.

    At that point, it’s all speed ahead for the Feds and the DEA. (>_<)

  • JonathanPelikan

    It’s almost like Conservatives aren’t holding and adhering to legitimate principles across more than the narrow ‘win-the-argument’ focus of any particular moment.

  • aunursa

    Not to excuse Republican flip-flops, but the Democrats are not ones who place principles over politics.One of many examples: “How did liberals end up supporting the Obama administration’s continuation of George W. Bush’s secret war on terrorism?””[I]n December 2008, 52 percent of Democrats were in support of closing Guantanamo Bay — in February 2009 just after Obama took office and promised to close the facility the number jumped to 64 percent.””[Today] 53 percent who self-identify as liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — [support keeping Guanatanamo Bay open].””It’s not hard to draw the conclusion that Democrats who strongly opposed Bush-era policies on civil liberties are a tad less outraged today at the same decision because their party’s president is in the White House.”

  • Lori

    Oh look, aunursa’s two abiding obsessions combined in a single post—polls and “the Democrats do it too”. 

  • aunursa

    aunursa is so predictable?  Coming from you Lori, that’s rich.

  • P J Evans

     Sure: we know that you’re going to post stuff that bears no resemblance to reality, all the while trying to make conservatives look good and liberals look bad. And it won’t work any better the next ten times than it has the last thirty.

    Predictable. And not worth reading, really.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    See, this is a perfect example of why polls are so unhelpful in these discussions. The poll you linked to does not simply ask whether respondents support keeping Guantanamo Bay open. It asks that, but in the context of “decisions of the Obama administration,” which in reference to Gitmo means not pushing an issue that Congress made clear they would not support him on. As a liberal Democrat I would have answered that question with a “yes” despite my opposition to keeping Gitmo open. I realize that not everyone approaches polls in this way, but I’d wager that people with strong political views on either side are particularly likely to answer questions like this through the prism of political reality rather than ideals.

    Also, the article you linked describes “the president’s decision to keep Guantanamo Bay open.” Since the President lacks the authority to close Gitmo without Congressional approval- after signing an order to close Gitmo, the Senate voted 90-6 to not fund the closure- this article is a good example of the type of misinformation you seem to dismiss as a factor in elections.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    It might be helpful to remember when “states’ rights” became a totem for right-wingers in the United States.

    Enslavers in the United States insisted they had the right to enslave people because of a combination of states’ rights and the Bible. Remember what enslavers were protecting: their ability to rape, murder, beat, destroy families, force others to do backbreaking labor, and get richer by doing these things.

    Many states refused to return escaped victims to their enslavers. Enslavers threw fits, and eventually pushed through national laws forcing states like Michigan and New Jersey to behave as if they were branches of the Alabamian police force. In the name of “states’ rights.”

    One of the major issues that caused enslavers to commit treason by attempting to sever the country was the expansion of slavery. Non-slave states were against it. Slave states, in which the power was entirely in the hand of the enslavers, were for it. Both sides knew that slavery had to either expand or die. One suggested compromise was to let the people of the territories in question vote on whether or not to allow slavery where they lived. Non-slave states were kind of okay with that. Slave states would not accept it. They wanted to force other territories and states to be slave states, whether the people of said states wanted it or not, even the white male people whom they claimed were the ones who should run things.

    And then, in the name of “states’ rights”, when a man was elected who said that he would not outlaw slavery, but would not force it on new territories and states either, enslavers fractured the country. 

    Enslavers did not give one tiny damn about states’ rights. Nor do their ideological descendants, as shown by their ideological descendants’ politics regarding things like marijuana. They want what they want, they think they have the right to force what they want on everyone else so that they can get richer and satisfy their desire for power, and they will do and say anything that they think will further getting them what they want. And they will be smug about it, because they think “I get exactly what I want no matter whom it hurts” is the way the world should be.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Exit polling indicates that 90% of eligible blacks consistently vote Dem.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ok, seriously? People are wanking about the dog meat thing? How about maybe he and his family were so fucking poor they couldn’t eat meat fit for human consumption?

    That’s what the “eating dog meat” line indicates to me. And that’s pretty freakin’ awful. :(

  • aunursa

    Nobody cares about the Obama-ate-dog-meat story.  It’s only a counterpoint to the feigned outrage over the Romney-put-Shamus-in-a-crate-atop-the-family-car story.

  • P J Evans

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he ate dog while he was living in Indonesia; different culture, different standards. Which I expect you to know and understand, even though a lot of your fellow conservatives are just sure that the way it’s done in the US is the Only Right Way.

  • aunursa

    I don’t care either if he ate dog meat either while he was living in Indonesia.  I don’t care either if Romney strapped a crate with Seamus to the top of his car for the family vacation.  It’s no different from thousands of flyers who ship their dogs in crates in the baggage deck on airplanes.

    What I and you and voters care about are the real issues today that affect our lives.  I’m glad that we can agree on that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    CBO: 3 to 5 million will likely lose employer health care coverage, possibly up to 20 million.

    That’s 0nly half the story anyway. The other half is it’s likely that the people whose employers no longer cover them will have access to replacement coverage, either through expanded Medicaid or through subsidized premiums.

    Also, I’m surprised nobody in the executive branch has figured out yet how to open up the health insurance open to federal employees so anyone can buy into that plan if they want.


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