More smart people saying smart things

Adam Serwer: “What to Make of Mitt Romney’s Birther Joke?”

I suspect many Republicans who continue to subscribe to the birther lunacy do so because it bothers liberals and because it’s an act of symbolic defiance of a president they dislike. The problem with birtherism, however, is that the underlying assumptions driving it have always been broader than the president. Birtherism is more than just a conspiracy theory about the president’s birth. Its underlying principle is a rejection of American racial pluralism. The refusal to believe — in the face of all evidence to the contrary — that Obama is an American reads to many as saying black people don’t really count as American unless they talk like Herman Cain or Allen West.

Charlie Pierce: “The America Paul Ryan Forgot: A Vision of Freedom, by Way of Free Government, by Way of the Morrill Act”

We are now in the middle of a strange political campaign in which the very existence of a political commonwealth seems to have been made into a matter of open debate. There are places that we all own together. There are things that belong to all of us. Yosemite belongs to us. So do Iowa State and Cornell and Purdue, and everything that is taught in all those places. The government is one of those things. So are the national parks. So are the land-grant universities, born 150 years ago this summer, and delivered by a guy who doesn’t even have a statue in the hall of statutes he helped to create. Knowledge, Justin Morrill believed, knows no class, no race. It is part of of what belongs to all of us, because none of us, not one of us, built anything by ourselves. We decided that question once before. It is to our discredit as a country that we’re arguing about it again.

Jana Riess: “Can You Be a Christian and Follow Ayn Rand?”

An affinity with Ayn Rand is something I came to expect from my atheist father — who, inspired by her writings (and the disco-era bestseller Looking Out for Number One), emptied our family’s bank account, abandoned his children, and drove off into the sunset to “self-actualize” in 1984.

Not a terribly surprising script. What does surprise me is when I hear fellow Christians try to reconcile Rand’s utter selfishness with the teachings of Jesus.

John Fugelsang: “Paul Ryan vs. Jesus vs. Ayn Rand”

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Smart people saying smart things (2.12)
Smart people saying smart things (1.21)
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Smart people saying smart things (2.24)
  • aunursa

    Mother Jones is counting “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate” as a lie.  Our host  no doubt would add that Romney lied about his birth certificate despite being in possession of the correct facts on the matter.

    And if Romney & Ryan win, on November 7th many of you will wonder why the independent voters don’t take you seriously.

    (Actually you should wonder, but you won’t.  You’ll blame it on Faux, Scalia, Koch Bros, Rove, Bush, stupid evil racist voters, etc.)

  • JustoneK

    Stepping up the asshole game today, are we?

  • Nathaniel

     I know, but I think it’d be better if we start ignoring the goddamn troll. I’ve personally pledged to stop responding to the dude entirely, and if others could do the same, I think the content of the comments page would improve tremendously.

  • JustoneK

    Does talk about a troll count as response?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > You’ll blame it on Faux, Scalia, Loudmouth Limbaugh, The Evil Karl Rove, Dubya, stupid evil racist voters, etc.

    Instead of blaming it on Mother Jones, as we ought to?

  • http://www.crochetgeek.net/ Jake

     What, you’re taking them to task for a sidelong swipe rather than the thrust of the article? The article isn’t about whether Romney’s claim was actually truthful; that’s just a pointed little barb thrown in for spice. The thrust of the article — which I didn’t think was terribly well-hidden — is that the reference to birth certificates is fundamentally an appeal to the worst and most self-deluding aspects of the Republican base.

  • Carstonio

     

    The thrust of the article — which I didn’t think was terribly
    well-hidden — is that the reference to birth certificates is
    fundamentally an appeal to the worst and most self-deluding aspects of
    the Republican base.

    Yes. Another example of Not Getting It. Almost as if “racism” has no existence other than as political invective.

  • aunursa

    My comment in no way prevents you or anyone else from discussing the main point of the article.

  • Wednesday

    Anursa, I would frankly be surprised if Romney has never actually been asked to provide his birth certificate for something. It’s a form of identification, and it’s a necessary piece of documentation for U.S.-born citizens to obtain a passport for the first time. If he doesn’t have a passport, then he’s almost certainly had to provide his birth certificate as proof of identity for something else, because for things like getting a driver’s license in a new state you frequently need either a passport or a state-issue photo id and a birth certificate. So technically speaking, he’s almost certainly made a false statement, and that’s probably why Mother Jones counts it as a lie.

    Now, I do know Romney is pretty likely meaning “I have never had my legitimacy as an American citizen challenged in the context of my political candidacy on the basis of my race and my parents’ citizenship” rather than actually, literally meaning that he has never been asked to show his birth certificate. But that’s still not a cool thing to say, because it’s basically a dogwhistle to the racist parts of the GOP base. “I know some of you see me as Other because I’m Mormon, but remember, at least I’m not black.”

  • RickRS

    We know he has a passport; he just got back from his “piss off the Brits” tour.

    Or does the unbelieveable wealthy travel without passports?

  • Lori

     

    And if Romney & Ryan win, on November 7th many of you will wonder why the independent voters don’t take you seriously.  

    Mark this down everyone.

    If R&R lose the election aunursa owes us all a detailed thought piece on why they didn’t get independents’ votes. Said analysis must be free of Democrat blaming and focus entirely on Romney’s & Ryan’s failures.

    Until then I honestly don’t see any benefit to discussing anything remotely political with him.

  • AnonymousSam

    Until then I honestly don’t see any benefit to discussing anything remotely political with him.

    FTFY.

  • Lori

    I honestly wouldn’t go that far. His contributions in the LB threads are usually worthwhile and interesting. He’s just worse than useless when it comes to politics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

     I’m not sure if the pros outweigh the cons, though.

  • Lori

    That’s a fair point. I think it’s generally worth it to reenforce the positive though, so I’m fine with engaging him in the LB threads and ignoring him on politics.

  • aunursa

    If R&R lose the election aunursa owes us all a detailed thought piece on why they didn’t get independents’ votes. Said analysis must be free of Democrat blaming and focus entirely on Romney’s & Ryan’s failures.

    First of all, any post-election analysis would include not only what the challengers did wrong but also what the incumbents did right.  And second, after the 2008 election, most Republican and conservative analyses that I read placed the blame on Bush, congressional Republicans, and themselves.  They were philosphical and reflective — not bitter.  If Obama does win reelection, most Republicans and conservatives will not blame MsDNC or the Democrats or George Soros or Bill Maher or the “stupid, evil, anti-Mormon voters.”

    All that said, I promise that if R&R lose, I will give you an explanation.

  • Ross Thompson

    And second, after the 2008 election, most Republican and conservative analyses that I read placed the blame on Bush, congressional Republicans, and themselves.  They were philosphical and reflective — not bitter.

    Apparently all that philosophy and reflection led them to the conclusion that they need to keep on doing the same, only more so. How that’s supposed to be interpreted as “we were right, it’s just that the voters are too stupid to realise it” is beyond me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Lipton/100001171828568 Jeff Lipton


    Until then I honestly don’t see any benefit to discussing anything remotely political with him.”

    I haven’t seen the benefit of discussing anything remotely political with him since just about forever (starting with his defense of torture, I think).

  • aunursa

    Hi Jeff,

    Nice to see you, too.  Most commentators attack my arguments rather than distort them as you so loved to do.

    Take care.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Don’t hold your breath, please. You’re an awesome person, we all like you…I’d rather you not die. 

  • Sagrav

    Well, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are both sources of right wing propaganda and outright falsehoods.  So yes, they are partially to blame for Republican electoral success.

    Karl Rove is a right wing political operative, and he is running one of the largest right wing SuperPACs that’s funded by the flood of corporate and billionaire money caused by the Citizens United ruling.  So that also includes Scalia (and his conservative Supreme Court cohorts) in the list of people responsible for Republican electoral success.  

    George W. Bush was responsible for the unnecessary tax cuts and unnecessary war in Iraq that helped to bloat the federal government’s deficit.  the Republicans then turned right around and started laying the blame for the deficit on the Democrats who dared to even try resolving our economic woes with the stimulus.  The American people bought this argument, so George W. Bush’s influence has assisted Republicans elections even after he left office.

    As far as “stupid evil racist voters” go, they’re a reliable voting bloc that consistently supports the Republican party.

    So… yup.  Every single one of those people and organizations have helped to tip the scales in Mitt’s favor.

    Let me ask, with company like this hoard of liars, greed heads, racists, hypocrites, and blind ideologues, why do you still support the Republican party?  Unless you are wealthy enough to reap the rewards of yet another tax cut for the upper class or are a single issue voter (anti-choice, for example), you have nothing to gain from Republican success.  Under their rule, income inequality has increased dramatically, we have gotten ourselves involved in wasteful military misadventures, our social safety net programs have been eroded nearly to the point of uselessness, and we have theocratic demagogues using government money to spread their medieval beliefs.  What pleases you about the damaged world they’ve made?

  • aunursa

    Let me ask, with company like this hoard of liars, greed heads, racists, hypocrites, and blind ideologues, why do you still support the Republican party? … What pleases you about the damaged world they’ve made?

    I don’t answer loaded questions.

    Unless you are wealthy enough to reap the rewards of yet another tax cut for the upper class or are a single issue voter (anti-choice, for example), you have nothing to gain from Republican success.

    In other words, why do people support the Republican Party when it’s clearly not in their self-interest?

    Who the @#*% are you to decide what is in my self-interest?  Who the @#*% are you to decide that a poor voter or a minority voter or a female voter who supports Republicans has nothing to gain from that party being in power versus the other major party?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

     Let me rephrase it in a less loaded manner. Why do you support the Republican party? What pleases you about the world they’ve influenced?

    Also, since nobody can figure out what’s in another’s self-interest, could you explain how Republican success benefits yours?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

     Honestly, what do you expect him to say? Admit that he’s a sadist and that he supports the GOP because they will increase human misery? That’s pretty much the only valid reason I can think of for belonging to a satanic death cult.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I have very little tolerance for today’s GOP, but a lot of people do support them for reasons other than sadism and/or the desire to increase human misery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

     I have very little tolerance for today’s GOP, but a lot of people do
    support them for reasons other than sadism and/or the desire to increase
    human misery.

    Name three. All the STATED reasons for supporting the GOP are all lies and misdirection. They’re not really pro-life. They’re not really fiscally conservative. What else is there that doesn’t fall under my “they’re all sadists” theory.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Name three.

    Tom.
    Lisa.
    Robert.

    Of course, I’m not a telepath… I suppose it’s possible they’re all sadists, and I just don’t know it. But I don’t find that a terribly likely theory.

  • Wednesday

    Well, my aunt and uncle are fairly wealthy and really like their money, to the point that they feel the taxes they pay are morally equivalent to the restitution Haiti was forced to pay France after the successful slave rebellion freed the colony from French control. You know, the restitution that may have permanently damaged the country’s chances of economic prosperity. So they’re motivated not by sadism but by extreme, short-sighted self-interest and disinclination towards empathy.

    And I do mean extremely short-sighted as well as extreme self-interest. They’re Jewish and in a part of the country where Republican In Office is increasingly synonymous with Real True Christian (and all the attempts to push RTC theocracy). Supporting those Republicans is going to measurably harm their children and their grandchildren, who are also currently Jewish (or being raised as such).

    Supporting those Republicans is also going to measurably harm their uterus-having grandchildren (of which there are three), and any LGBT grandchildren (of which I don’t know how many there are, and admittedly may be zero. But they don’t know how many there are either). But that doesn’t matter because having to pay taxes is oppression, just like Haiti!

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

    Name three.

    Fear. Fear. Fear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    Sort of! My expected answers are one of

    1) I think I’ll get rich someday
    2) I just really don’t like women and the poor
    3) I guess I haven’t given it much thought and I’ve just been following Fox News
    4) I really do think the upper class are our betters

    However, he might say something insightful or worthwhile! It’s possible.

  • Daughter

    More likely, he’ll say something like, “the Republicans believe in small government, personal responsibility and hard work” and he agrees with that. (I’ve read enough of aunursa to think that he’s onto Republican hypocrisy about “family values,” so I don’t think he’ll mention that).

    The problem with this assertion (and even if it’s not aunursa’s I’ve heard it plenty of times by other Republicans) is that Republicans are rarely about reducing the size and costs of government, just about reducing the parts of government that help ordinary people.

    As for “personal responsibilityand hard work,” it’s a fallacy that Democrats don’t believe in those things. But Democrats also recognize that people often need support in order for responsibility and work to enable them to succeed and prosper. And furthermore, we don’t deny (unlike many Republicans) that most people who are successful today, if they weren’t born into wealth, often benefitted from the very same supports they want to deny to other Americans, ranging from Social Security survivor benefits (Paul Ryan, I’m looking at you), to federally backed student loans, to the GI bill, to federally-supported research, federal contracts, and on and on and on.

  • Daughter

     Moreover, if anyone wants to argue that plenty of people succeeded in the U.S. without a hand-up before the New Deal, that’s not really true either. The Charlie Pierce article Fred linked above describes several 19th century federal laws that supported the success of ordinary Americans, including the Homestead Act, which allowed people who were willing to uproot themselves and do the work to acquire free land out West and become independent farmers, and the Morrill Act, which created our system of state colleges and universities and made higher education possible for average people for the first time.

  • aunursa

    Actually, you are right.  I am a sadist, and I support the GOP because they will increase human misery.  Well done!

  • aunursa

    Why do you support the Republican party?

    The primary reason: Both parties support the principles of liberty and equality.  Both when those principles collide, the Republicans are more likely (not always) to favor liberty, while the Democrats are more likely (not always) to support equality.

    Republicans think that the Democrats are wrong.  Democrats think that the Republicans are evil.  Having been on both sides, I know how each side thinks.

    Also, in no particular order, each party’s position on: Israel, Nanny State policies, immigration, health insurance mandate,

    Also, since nobody can figure out what’s in another’s self-interest, could you explain how Republican success benefits yours?

    The policies that Democrats favor result in government transferring wealth from the haves to the have-nots.  As Senator Obama said, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”  I disagree with that philosophy, and I believe that it leads to a result that is unsustainable.  I believe that policies that the Republicans favor will result in job creation, which itself results in greater opportunities for workers and an increase in wealth at all levels.  I would rather receive a paycheck from a low-paying job than receive a social security or unemployment check from the government.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    As Senator Obama said, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for
    everybody.”  I disagree with that philosophy

    Economics says you’re wrong.

    and I believe that it
    leads to a result that is unsustainable.

    Over what sort of timescale? Britain’s still doing fine, and we’ve had a comprehensive welfare state since 1945 (and a more patchwork one since the 1910s).

     I would rather receive a paycheck from a low-paying job than receive a
    social security or unemployment check from the government.

    As would virtually everybody else. It’s just that I’d like to be sure that if I couldn’t find a job, I wouldn’t starve.

  • aunursa

    Over what sort of timescale? Britain’s still doing fine, and we’ve had a comprehensive welfare state since 1945 (and a more patchwork one since the 1910s).

    I’m glad to hear that.  Much of Europe is not doing as well.
    The Collapse of Europe’s Welfare State Exposes its False Hopes — Is America Next?

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    You do realise that the austerity cuts causing the problems that article highlights are EXACTLY the same bullshit that Romney and Ryan are pushing so they can keep cutting taxes on the 1%? They’re dumb in Europe, they’re dumb in Britain and they’re dumb in America.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I’m glad to hear that.  Much of Europe is not doing as well.

    I didn’t know that Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Germany were all doing so terribly. So much for the European welfare state I guess.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I didn’t know that Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Germany were all doing so terribly. So much for the European welfare state I guess.

    Australia’s doing awesomely.

  • Donalbain

     And also remember, America needs to be more like Israel!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Yes, it really shows you what a bad idea strogn social protections are when things are so bad in Europe that they might have to raise the retirement age to 65 and people might have to work perhaps as much as 40 hours a week and only be guaranteed a year of parental leave and a mere three weeks of vacation a year, and minimum wages will have to be cut back to where they’re only just enough to live on..

    Our perfect capitalist system is the reason things will never get so bad as that over here.

  • AnonymousSam

    And in other news, abolishing minimum wage would improve the market even more by creating a million bajillion jobs! Our system is SO FUCKING WONDERFUL, there are people who just sit around thinking up brilliant ideas to improve it even more!

    Just wait! In a few more years, they’ll guarantee us ALL jobs and we won’t even have to wear clothing or shoes, just these AWESOME collars!

  • Ross Thompson

    Republicans are more likely (not always) to favor liberty, while the Democrats are more likely (not always) to support equality.

    How are “liberty” and “equality” different? Or did you mean that Republicans favour liberty for old, rich, white guys, while Democrats also want to give liberty to the poor, gays, women and blacks?

    When Republicans stand opposed to marriage equality, you’re more concerned with the liberty to tell people who they’re allowed to marry, than the liberty to marry who you want? When Republicans want to impose draconian immigration policies, does the liberty to not see any brown people trump the liberty not to be arrested for not carrying your birth certificate while being too tan? When Republicans roll back SNAP, does the liberty to feel smug trump liberty from starvation?

  • Fusina

     Say what you will about the French Revolution, they did come up with one of the best slogans ever. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The whole “guillotine everyone we hate” didn’t work for me, but the rallying cry does. And I don’t care what anyone says, the Republicans are not for liberty–at least not the sort in the Declaration of Independence, which I confess to taking to mean everyone regardless of what T. Jefferson may or may not have meant.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    How are “liberty” and “equality” different? Or did you mean that Republicans favour liberty for old, rich, white guys, while Democrats also want to give liberty to the poor, gays, women and blacks?

    When people start talking about “liberty” like this I assume it means they’re into negative freedom but not positive freedom. In practice, freedom for the powerful and bad luck to anyone else.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Also, the idea that Democrats most often than not choose equality? Pigs arse. They are very, very, very, very far away from endorsing anything remotely resembling communism.

    I expect what aunursa means is that Democrats choose to consider equity slightly more often than Republicans.

  • fraser

    Unfortunately, I’ve argued with people who, faced with the fact that Obama hasn’t done anything socialist, inform me that of course not. He’s waiting for a second term, then he’s going to nationalize the banks and bring back classic 100 percent socialism.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Interestingly enough, I’ve had that exact same argument except pointing the opposite way. Viz,

    “We must vote for the (Australian conservative) Liberal Party) because of abortion!”
         (Leaving aside whether or not I share said person’s hoped for policy goals re abortion) “The Liberal Party and the Labor Party have identical policies re abortion.”

    “That’s just because they know that they won’t get elected with a policy of restricting abortion. But this is a white lie as far as the Liberals are concerned. They’ll change their policy once they’re elected.”

         “They were recently in government for 12 consecutive years and made no effort to change abortion laws.”

    “They will do so this time. Also, I do not acknowledge your previous point shut up. The babies!”

    Five minutes later I see the exact same person running the exact same argument with someone else. It hurts my brain.

  • PJ Evans

     And their other argument, that he’s waiting for his second term, and then he’s going to confiscate their firearms.

  • Lori

     

    Unfortunately, I’ve argued with people who, faced with the fact that
    Obama hasn’t done anything socialist, inform me that of course not. He’s
    waiting for a second term, then he’s going to nationalize the banks and
    bring back classic 100 percent socialism.  

    And Take All The Guns. Don’t forget Take All The Guns.

  • Beroli

     Very often, right-wingers say things about Obama that make me feel very wistful.

    “And you’re saying this firebrand radical socialist is President? Awesome! Oh…drat.”

  • Monala

    In response to such charges, one columnist quipped, “If Barack Obama is waiting for a non-guaranteed second term to enact his evil agenda, then he has to be the stupidest evil dictator who ever lived.”

  • aunursa

    How are “liberty” and “equality” different? Or did you mean that Republicans favour liberty for old, rich, white guys, while Democrats also want to give liberty to the poor, gays, women and blacks?

    Liberty is freedom.  Equality is the state of being equal.  In terms of politics, there is equality of opportunity, and equality of outcomes.

    There are many political issues in which the concepts are at odds.  A tax increase denies the taxpayer the liberty to spend that money as he wishes, but its distribution may increase the opportunity for someone else.  In terms of health care/insurance, liberals want to ensure that everyone has the same (minimum) coverage, while conservatives want each person (and company) the liberty to make such decisions for themselves.

    Are there some issues in which the liberals are the ones on the side of individual liberty?  Sure.  The generalization is just that, a generalization.  And some of the issues you mentioned involve other considerations. For example, increased immigration involves national security and affects the economy and the ability to states and communities to provide social services.

  • Lori

     

    Republicans think that the Democrats are wrong.  Democrats think that
    the Republicans are evil.  Having been on both sides, I know how each
    side thinks.  

    Your first sentence absolutely refutes your 3rd sentence. I won’t bother to provide examples for you because you’re happy having your head in the dark of your own behind.

    If anyone else would like examples proving the aunursa is grossly mischaracterizing the differences between the parties while claiming once again to have the inside scoop on both, let me know and we’ll talk.

    The rest of the post isn’t worth engaging with.
     

  • aunursa

    Lori, you keep saying that my points are not worth responding to … and yet you keep responding to my points.  I wish you would make up your mind.

    ;-)

  • Lori

     

    Lori, you keep saying that my points are not worth responding to … and yet you keep responding to my points.    

    My mind is made up about you. You’ve provided ample evidence about yourself and I’ve processed it, as I imagine the rest of the regulars here have.

    I do hate to see your bullshit go unchallenged though because I know we have non-regulars who pop in and I’d hate for them to think that we all agree with you or worse, that the things you say are actually true. Because we don’t and they’re not.

    Maybe one day I’ll fully resolve that problem in a satisfactory way. Until then I’m wining it. If you don’t like it you can always just stop saying stupid shit and the problem will be solved.

  • aunursa

    I know we have non-regulars who pop in and I’d hate for them to think that we all agree with you or worse, that the things you say are actually true.

    I don’t think any visitor would ever come here and conclude that you all agree with me.

    If you don’t like it

    I have no problem with your responding to my comments.  I just found it curious in light of your multiple comments in which you determined that my comments are not worth responding to.

    Anyway, it’s Left Behind Friday … so I’m done.  Anyone else who’s reached this point can get the last word.

  • Lori

     

    I don’t think any visitor would ever come here and conclude that you all agree with me.  

    Because we respond to you. That was my point.

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

    Thanks to your doctors and the people who will pay for your surgery. Barack Obama is not treating you and is not himself paying the entire cost of your surgery.

    I know you’re not stupid. I demand that you stop treating me like I am. 

    Thanks to the doctors? Really? You’ve obviously never needed medical care and been unable to afford it. The doctors are being paid.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    As Senator Obama said, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”  I disagree with that philosophystatement of fact

    Fixed

  • EllieMurasaki

    I believe that policies that the Republicans favor will result in job creation, which itself results in greater opportunities for workers and an increase in wealth at all levels.
     
    What is your explanation for the fact that Republican policies have demonstrably led to the wealthy accumulating more wealth rather than to the wealthy handing out more paychecks?

  • Turcano

     It’s funny because you think Republicans favor liberty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    Thanks! See, it’s great to just say what you feel. If it’s ok, I’d like to discuss your points.

    1 – Giving the rich more money doesn’t tend to lead to more jobs – it often ends up offshore in the Caymans. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/21/global-elite-tax-offshore-economy

    2 – We have had low tax rates and the Bush tax cuts for about twelve years now. This is as great a regulatory environment for businesses as we’ve ever had, yet things are getting worse. If Republican policy leads to prosperity, why is this so?

    3 – I disagree with your assertion that Republicans promote liberty, for two reasons. One, two people are not equally free if they are not equal – if I need to work two jobs to help my family out and you don’t, I won’t do so well in school as a result, and my opportunities as a result will suffer. Two, Republicans have clearly taken action to restrict the rights of women to control their own bodies, and to restrict the rights of left-leaning people to vote.

    4 -Well, it depends on what you mean by Nanny State. See, government does all sorts of things, like hiring the cops that protect you and paving the roads you drive on. Why are some things bad, why are some things good, and what metric do you use to determine which is which?

    5 – I assume you’re pro-Israel? Why is this so, and what does this have to do with America?

    6 – For a country that was birthed by immigrants violently taking over, I suppose people are wary of the same. However, lack of easy immigration leads to exploitation, such as migrant fruit pickers who can be deported if they don’t work for their horrifically low wage.

    7 – Many other developed countries have government-provided healthcare, and they’re all doing well. Additionally, our current system has us (Americans) paying far more than other countries on healthcare, and we are not the healthiest people in the world.

    Could you respond to each, please? Thanks!

  • aunursa

    Could you respond to each, please? Thanks!

    I would be happy to discuss any of these points with you.  If you would like to do so, please email me at aunursa (at) comcast (dot) net.

    That goes for everyone else’s regarding your respective points, too.  Especially those who paradoxically (1) blame me for monopolizing the discussion or hijacking the thread, and then (2) blame me for skipping out on further debate.   ;-)

  • EllieMurasaki

    In what ways is it in your self-interest, or the self-interest of your black lesbian friend, or the self-interest of your friend with enough disabilities to be unable to work (or to work only a job that is unwilling to pay as much as minimum wage on account of not getting as much work out of your friend as they would if they’d instead hired an able-bodied person) but not enough or severe enough disabilities that the government’s willing to sign Social Security Disability checks, or the self-interest of your friend who is struggling to get enough money to parent the kid she’s got and who certainly can’t afford to parent another kid or (given that more’n half the household income is her boyfriend’s paycheck and the lease is in his name) to stop sexing her boyfriend, or the self-interest of really anyone who isn’t your exceedingly rich straight cis white male friend, to have Republicans in power?

  • The_L1985

    “Who the @#*% are you to decide that a poor voter or a minority
    voter or a female voter who supports Republicans has nothing to gain
    from that party being in power versus the other major party?”

    Someone who is aware of facts.  The facts are that Rmoney’s economic plans are very good for the richest 1% of Americans, and very, very bad for everyone else.  Obama’s economic plans may not be perfect, but they’re not nearly as bad.

    As far as the moral issues:

    – Gay marriage is already legal in 7 states.  To ban gay marriage in those states is extremely unlikely, as there’s no way to overturn those laws that isn’t very obviously discriminatory against gay couples.

    – Making it harder for people to buy or afford contraception increases abortion rates and teen pregnancy rates, as does abstinence-only sex “education.”*  These are proven facts.  States and countries that ban or discourage contraceptive use all have sky-high abortion rates.  States that require abstinence-only “education” have the highest rates of teen pregnancy, teen motherhood, and abortion.  Study after study by such unbiased organizations as the CDC have proven this.

    – The GOP will never, ever actually enact the outright ban on abortions that they keep promising, because then they won’t have it as something to use for next term’s campaigns.  “Something bad could happen” doesn’t get the votes nearly as well as “Something bad is happening RIGHT NOW in America!!”

    Basically, there are exactly two “good” things anyone could possibly get out of the Republican party:  a tax break if you’re exceedingly wealthy, or a smug sense of moral superiority.  That’s IT.  Is that really worth it?

    * I had abstinence-only.  My school never taught me how my own reproductive system worked.  I consider this to be gross negligence, as people need to know how their own bodies work in order to make good medical decisions for themselves and understand a doctor’s advice.

    Every single thing that I know about sex, contraceptives, or the human reproductive system came from outside reading or the Internet–not a single word of it was mentioned in school beyond “STD’s and pregnancy are possible consequences of sex.”

  • aunursa

    aunursa: Who the @#*% are you to decide

    The_L1985: Someone who is aware of facts. The facts are that Rmoney’s economic plans are very good for the richest 1% of Americans, and very, very bad for everyone else. Obama’s economic plans may not be perfect, but they’re not nearly as bad.

    Those aren’t facts.  Those are predictions.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Is that the best you got? Maybe every economist who’s looked over Romney’s plans are wrong? Why not just got ahead and call Paul Ryan a wizard, it’d have the same level of credibility.

  • aunursa

    Maybe every economist who’s looked over Romney’s plans are wrong?

    Are you referring to the liberal economists?

  • Ross Thompson

    Those aren’t facts.  Those are predictions.

    Tomorrow, the sun will rise over Cincinnati at 7:06am. This is a prediction, because it’s about a future event which hasn’t yet occurred. And yet, it’s also a fact that no-one seriously doubts.

    The type of budget that Romney and Ryan are talking about has been tried before, and has always been disastrous. The fact that their budget will also be disastrous is based on two predictions: 1) That they’re not going to massively change direction once elected, and 2) That the rules of economics aren’t going to suddenly reverse themselves just because a Mormon gets into power.

    Now, I’ll grant you that with Romney, you can never quite rule out #1 being wrong, but you need to be willing to ignore a lot of history to think that the policies they’re using to get elected are good ones.

  • aunursa

    So you’re equating astronomy (or is it meteorology?) with the effects of economic policies?

  • Ross Thompson

     

    So you’re equating astronomy (or is it meteorology?) with the effects of economic policies?

    In that they both concern things that will happen in the future, but that we know enough about to make accurate predictions? Absolutely.

  • Daughter

     So… no responses to info about how European countries that haven’t practiced austerity are doing well. No responses to points made about Obama telling birther joke =/= Romney telling birther joke, but rather Obama telling a Mormon joke (and whether you think that would be OK). No comments about why, despite evidence that Republican fiscal policies don’t work, you still think they do. No comments about the many, many examples of conservatives calling liberals evil.

    No, instead you critique a less than accurate analogy. Wonder why?

  • Lori

     

    No, instead you critique a less than accurate analogy. Wonder why?  

    You’re talking to a person who saw the GOP light during the reign of Bush the Lesser and is claiming that he votes GOP because of liberty and the economy, with no mention of the pants-wetting fear brought on by 9/11.

    Let’s all let that sink in. Bush 42. Liberty. The economy.

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

    “Fear is the original sin… Almost all the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something. It is a cold, slimy serpent coiling about you. It is horrible to live with fear; and it is of all things degrading.”

    ~ L.M. Montgomery, The Blue Castle

  • aunursa

    So… no responses to info about how European countries that haven’t practiced austerity are doing well. No responses to points made about Obama telling birther joke =/= Romney telling birther joke, but rather Obama telling a Mormon joke (and whether you think that would be OK). No comments about why, despite evidence that Republican fiscal policies don’t work, you still think they do. No comments about the many, many examples of conservatives calling liberals evil.

    I’m sorry that I cannot respond to every point made by every commentator.  If you wish to continue the discussion, you are free to email me at the address I listed above. 

  • Monala

    No, you can’t respond to everyone, unless you’re spending all day on Slacktivist.  But at least you can respond to the substance of someone’s argument, instead of the form.

  • The_L1985

    They are facts, based on the plans themselves.  We can, and many people have, LOOK at exactly what each plan says, calculate taxes for people in each income bracket, and determine whether each group is taxed MORE or LESS than they are now.

    Being a prediction does not magically render a statement false.  I predict that the sun will rise tomorrow, at a time slightly later than that at which it rose today, and earlier than that at which it will rise on Saturday.  Barring some sort of dramatic, literally earth-shattering astronomical event, my prediction is absolutely guaranteed to come true.

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

    They did not even explain where babies come from or why women have menstrual periods.

    *jawdrop*

    They explained those things to us in fifth grade. Then in sex ed in 9th grade (twice a week during gym class), along with “no means no”, “consent isn’t possible when someone is drunk or otherwise incapacitated”, “consent means honesty and no manipulation”, “here are the statistics on sexual abuse”, “here’s what to do and where to go if you are sexually abused”, “here’s what orgasms are” (including a video that had a camera inside the woman during piv sex with a man during which they had mutual orgasm, it was awesome), “here’s the Kinsey scale”, “mutual masturbation can’t get you pregnant and is also very safe disease-wise”, “here’s how you use condoms correctly”, “being an asshole to people who aren’t straight is not okay”, “memorize all these sexually-transmitted diseases, what they do, their treatments, and their history, have fun with the tests”, “memorize all these methods of birth control and how successful they are statistically”, “memorize your entire reproductive system and the male reproductive system and be able to label and explain every part on a test”…

    And then we learned about the human reproductive system AGAIN in 10th grade biology — which, unlike sex ed, nothing could get you out of unless you dropped out of school entirely. Thank the gods I went to school in the late 80s and early 90s.

    Sex ed and home ec are the two classes in my life that I’ve used basically every single day. Besides literacy and the most basic mathematics, nothing else has come close to as useful and necessary. While I can imagine not knowing how to cook, I can’t imagine not knowing how my own body works on such a necessary level. They didn’t teach you about menstruation and reproduction?! Despicable. 

  • AnonymousSam

    I had Sex Education in two different schools. Sex Ed in School A consisted of an anatomy lesson. “This is a penis. This is a vagina. Here are the parts of each. You figure out the rest.” We had the class twice over a period of two weeks and the actual processes of sex, repercussions, physiology and the like were never touched upon in any capacity. Both classes ended with a lengthy discussion on how abstinence was the only sure way to avoid AIDS.

    Sex Ed in School B was even worse and consisted of a video which featured several awkward teens trying to appear sweet and innocent for the camera, struggling to explain how abstinence made married sex awesome.

    That was my sex education from school: “Don’t have it.”

    My class had over thirty pregnancies before graduation.

  • Lunch Meat

    This is pathetic, but I can top that. For 6-9th grade, I went to this tiny, tiny private Christian school that was more like a homeschool co-op than anything else. Our “sex ed” was one day in 7th grade. (They might have done more in high school, but I sort of doubt it.) They sent all the boys to the other side of the building and locked the classroom door. Then, they had the bright idea to have the high school girls teach the 8th graders, which I think was supposed to teach them leadership? Or something? Whatever, the effect was that they were giggling so hard we couldn’t understand anything. I think they drew a uterus on the chalkboard, but I don’t remember if they actually told us what it was. They gave us each a little toiletry bag with sanitary pads in them. They didn’t really tell us how to use them or what to expect. And that was it. Until I was in high school and found the Internet, I thought sex was what happened when two people were naked in the same bed. Like, automatically or something, no movement or effort involved.

    Am I bitter about the effect this had on my wedding night? You bet I am.

    (I’ve asked my mom why they never told me anything else, and she told me that they thought I knew everything since I read every book in the house, including the kid ones about reproduction. Which, those were intriguing, but they didn’t really explain anything.)

  • AnonymousSam

    My significant other can cite an even better one. Apparently the
    “education” in the schools here are as such that one can be led to have
    the impression that “penis” is the technical term for a girl’s rear end.

    And
    I thought it was bad that I didn’t realize there was penetration
    involved in sex. My understanding of it up until my early-mid teen years
    was that it involved rubbing crotches together (it wasn’t until I was
    around 14 that I learned about ejaculation, much less where it went),
    and babies just sort of happened. Somehow.

    Oh yes, I’m glad I
    stayed a virgin throughout my school years. I’d hate to think what kind
    of explanation they’d have given me for pregnancy. It’d have probably
    involved storks.

  • Carstonio

    Do many people honestly believe that teens would remain unaware of the existence of sex if they weren’t informed about it? Or are they simply uncomfortable with the whole subject?

  • AnonymousSam

    I think their assumption is that parents know better than anyone when and how to teach children about sex and they were only providing classes out of an obligation to the state, so they weren’t about to make it comprehensive if they could help it.

  • Lunch Meat

    parents know better than anyone when and how to teach children about sex

    Ha! Even if parents do know more about sex than their kids’ friends (not always a guarantee in less functional relationships), they don’t know better about how to teach it–there’s a reason we have special training for teachers! And few of them are actually comfortable talking about it.

    I don’t understand why sex ed is different from any other subject for education.* Couldn’t you just as easily say “All these kids’ parents probably do math at work, so we’ll just leave it to the parents to teach math”?

    Even if kids aren’t “supposed” to be having sex in high school, they’re still going to do it eventually! When else are they supposed to learn?

    *I do understand, it’s because the powers that be don’t want anyone to enjoy sex or have it any more than the bare minimum. But I don’t understand why this logics to other people.

  • AnonymousSam

    Actually, um… we actually do have politicians who think that home schooling is the proper way to educate children, some of whom would like to get rid of public schools altogether. FWIW, School A required me to have a parental consent form signed to attend their Sex Ed class.

    When else are they supposed to learn?

    While consummating their Christian heterosexual marriage, duh.

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

    When else are they supposed to learn?While consummating their Christian heterosexual marriage, duh.

    OUCH. 

  • AnonymousSam

    Well hey, if you don’t believe sex should be enjoyable or often repeated, the thought of two people awkwardly fumbling under the sheets while they try to adhere to social and marital expectations probably doesn’t strike you as nearly as much of a bad thing as it does people with common sense.

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

    If it were just confused fumbling it wouldn’t be so bad. We all go through a certain amount of confused fumbling anyway, no matter how much sex ed we’ve had. But having your first sexual experience with  someone who does not understand the need for foreplay, has no clue how to start going about it, and is probably embarrassed by the idea sticking his penis in your vagina is a perfect way to cause severe and traumatizing pain to women.

  • AnonymousSam

    That’s assuming the male has any idea where he’s supposed to stick it. Or that he’s supposed to use his sticker for anything at all — I knew a few girls (my SO did as well) who thought that pregnancy comes from kissing, which paints a rather sad picture of how their first encounters would turn out.

    A random search of “can I get pregnant from kissing” turns up depressing results.

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

    It just occurred to me that there may be people here in the same boat, or who want to help people who are. So here’s a link to help out:

    http://www.scarleteen.com/

  • Lunch Meat

    But having your first sexual experience with  someone who does not
    understand the need for foreplay, has no clue how to start going about
    it, and is probably embarrassed by the idea sticking his penis in your
    vagina is a perfect way to cause severe and traumatizing pain to women.

    I was extremely lucky–I have about the most respectful, considerate husband imaginable, and he did have sexual experience and knew what to do. Still, I didn’t have any idea what to expect. I knew it would hurt (which all of pop culture describes as “it hurt a little and then it went away and then it started to feel good–in what universe?) but I had no idea that I was supposed to do stuff beforehand to make sure it would even fit. Worst pain I’ve ever felt that I can remember.

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

    I didn’t have all that much pain, though it did hurt and I was sore for a week. Overall it was a great experience though. Great enough that we did it twice more the next day, when it still hurt, but was also really, really fun. 

    Before I had a boyfriend, I couldn’t even get a tampon in, so I think my experience being good was due to actions and not anatomy. I’m sorry your experience wasn’t good.

  • Lunch Meat

    When else are they supposed to learn?
    While consummating their Christian heterosexual marriage, duh.

    Which is really useful if your goal is to create women who are terrified of sex.

  • AnonymousSam

    It isn’t?

  • hidden_urchin

    Which is really useful if your goal is to create women who are terrified of sex.

    That reminds me of this post at SCCL:

    http://www.stuffchristianculturelikes.com/2008/08/12-saving-your-first-kiss-for-your.html

    Raise your hand if the last paragraph made you cringe.

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

    I suspect the lack of sex-positivity in Canadian and USian culture is a big part of it. When culture on the one hand sexualizes a lot of things, but on the other, makes a bunch of rather unconnected no-nos about the whole subject, it doesn’t create a very comfortable space for adults to explain to children what sex is about and why it is important to understand it properly.

    Example: On the one hand it is easy to view pictures of women or men whose clothes leave virtually nothing to the imagination, but on the other, Justin Timberlake OMG HDU YANK THE PIECE OF CLOTHING OFF JANET JACKSON – well, the shitstorm that came down after that would make you wonder if people really have any sense of due proportion anymore.

    I like to make this analogy:

    You wouldn’t treat an expensive 800 MHz NMR spectrometer like a kleenex. You’d read the instruction manual for the software, and for the proper procedure to shim the magnets and how it establishes the “lock” to correctly give you the frequencies you want (does it use TMS? Or does it use a deuterated solvent? etc) and so on.

    In short, you would learn everything you needed to know before you used it. And if you still weren’t sure, you’d ask an expert.

    Sex is like the expensive 800 MHz NMR spectrometer. When used and done properly, it’s amazing like sliced bread.

    But if used improperly, a whole raft of unintended consequences can happen, and that usually makes people rather upset.

    I really wish more people grasped the importance of treating sex as a thing that really does merit a proper instruction manual and expert training.

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

    Actually, at least in the U.S., Janet Jackson was the one who was blamed for Justin Timberlake ripping a piece of clothing off her. He got away absolutely scot free. 

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

    Oh, god, that’s even worse. Blame the woman for the man’s actions. (>_<)

  • AnonymousSam

    You’re right. To the point that I didn’t even remember Timberlake being involved in the incident at all.

    Holy shit!

    Considering TEH EVUL NIPPUL is still cited as the harbinger of the downfall of society’s morality, that really says something for just how much our culture hates women, doesn’t it?

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

    My class had over thirty pregnancies before graduation.

    My class had two, out of about 125 girls. One was a girl who skipped school almost all the time. The other was a girl whose parents didn’t let her take sex ed. There were two girls in our class whose parents didn’t allow them to take sex ed. I was friends with the one who did NOT get pregnant, and she ended up getting sex ed second-hand anyway, because sex ed was the #1 topic of discussion at lunch while the rest of us were taking it. I’m sure she would have been much better off if it hadn’t been filtered through a bunch of 13 and 14-year olds.

  • AnonymousSam

    My graduating class had a lot of people (though to be fair, I imagine quite a lot of them didn’t actually make it to graduation — the drop-out rate in that area is significantly higher than the national average of about 25%), probably around a hundred-fifty girls. Of them, I personally knew four who had gotten pregnant by the time I left school myself and another three who I knew by acquaintance or as “that bitch” (I said it before, my area generated a lot of woof woof woof).

    One of those three had actually had an abortion in seventh grade. The clinic gave her a bag of condoms and told her how to use them (which, from what I gathered, really was telling her something she’d never heard about). She brought the bag to school to show them off and was promptly suspended for the rest of the school year. A boy who’d asked her for one was suspended for two weeks.

    So yeah, our school had a very unhelpful attitude toward sex education. By constantly acting like it was some horrible, shameful thing they couldn’t talk about if they’d wanted to, all they did was make kids curious to see what it was. The vast majority of people I knew in school were parents before they had their first job.

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

    The vast majority of people I knew in school were parents before they had their first job.

    Wow. What a completely broken system.

    The vast majority of people I still know from school — well, that’s skewed. All my friends graduated and went to at least community college, though actually I don’t know of anyone from our entire graduating class went did not go on to at least community college. There must have been a couple people. But anyway, none of them had kids before their late twenties. Actually the past couple years have been the time when the ones who wanted babied almost all started having them. They’re all 34-36. The one guy I know from school whose oldest kid (of two) is starting school this year has older kids than anyone else I went to school with and still know.

    It wasn’t a rich or liberal school district by any means, either. Just not a terribly poor or hugely right-wing one. It had its problems. But at least it was interested in what actually worked, in keeping kids as safe as possible while they were in school, and in producing people who had as many tools as the school could practically give them to be competent adults.

  • Carstonio

    Maybe it isn’t broken, it just has far different goals. Given the number of homosexuality opponents who argue that it threatens the survival of the human species, it’s possible that many, many people subconsciously believe that every fertile human has a duty to procreate. The systems described here work well if one assumes that the goal is to keep turning out babies as soon as teens’ bodies are ready. They are horribly inefficient if one assumes that the goal is for teens to use their sexuality knowledgeably and to control their fertility.

  • The_L1985

    Class of ’02, Alabama. You just barely missed being uneducated.

    Also bear in mind that I went solely to private Christian schools until 10th grade, and went to CCD every week. By the time I went to the awesome artsy school that had a 1-day presentation on safe sex, the damage had already been done. It was at least 2007-2008 before I developed a sane perspective toward sex.

    And if I hadn’t gone to the artsy school…I would have gotten more of the same garbage as before, and would have graduated completely ignorant. (Again, I learned about my reproductive anatomy OUTSIDE of school.)

  • Tricksterson

    Which begs the question rhen, and I’m not asking it to be provocative, I’m genuinely curious, why do you support the Republicans in general and Romney/Ryan specifically?

  • JonathanPelikan

    “Who the @#*% are you to decide that a poor voter or a minority voter or a female voter who supports Republicans has nothing to gain from that party being in power versus the other major party?”
    Someone with a fully functioning fucking brain, that’s who.

  • The_L1985

     Frankly, if he is a single-issue voter, and abortion is that issue, he’s still not well-served by the Republican Party.  The GOP won’t dare ban abortion outright, even though it’s part of the party platform.

    It’s too good at rallying the base.  “The Democrats might possibly bring back this thing we banned” doesn’t appeal to emotions nearly as well as “Democrats are killing BABIES!”

  • Daughter

    Didn’t Romney’s sister say something like that a couple of days ago?

    Ah yes, she did.

  • The_L1985

    It doesn’t help that Mitt Romney is king of the flip-flop, either.  ;)

  • fraser

     I have heard that argument many times, but I’ve never seen any shred of evidence. At every opportunity they bring up new regulations, new technicalities (like Arizona’s decision that fetal age starts with the last missed period so that they reach the age of unabortion sooner) and do everything to create a de facto bloc.
    Let’s not forget we still see them rallying the troops with “Obama is a Communist/socialist/marxist” even though the Cold War has been dead for 20 years. We still see Repubs painting themselves as the macho military types even though Bush blew off his National Guard service and “Even Jimmy Carter would have made that decision” Romney never did even that much. The NRA has spent the past four years screeching that Obama is about to take everyone’s guns. Even if abortion were banned tomorrow, Romney and Ryan would be pitching that if we let Dems back into office, the Evil Satanic Baby Killing would resume.

  • The_L1985

     You do realize that there are far more Democrats than Independents, and that even among registered Independents, far more of us are going to vote for Obama than for a 3rd-party candidate, right?

  • aunursa

    You do realize that there are far more Democrats than Independents, and that even among registered Independents, far more of us are going to vote for Obama than for a 3rd-party candidate, right?

    Your information is incorrect.  According to the latest Gallup poll, there are 29% Democrats, 26% Republicans, and 42% Independents.  If we include “leaners” (independents who lean toward one party,) there are 44% Democrats and 41% Republicans.

    By comparison, during the 2008 election it was 37/28/33 D/R/I; including “leaners” there were 51% Democrats to 40% Republicans.
    IIRC in 2008 Obama won the popular vote by a 7% margin. You can do the math.

  • Tricksterson

    I hate to take the aunursa route and quote a poll buut a recent Economist poll has about 40% of Americans considering themselves independent as opposed to about 30% of either party.

  • Lori

     

    I hate to take the aunursa route and quote a poll buut a recent Economist poll has about 40% of Americans considering themselves independent as opposed to about 30% of either party  

    The vast majority of those people consistently vote either Dem or GOP in every election. The large number of people who call themselves Independents has a lot more to do with self-image and dissatisfaction with the major parties than with actual voting behavior. The are Democratic Independents and Republican Independents, but very few people who can really go either way in a significant election.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    You’ll blame it on Faux, Scalia, Loudmouth Limbaugh, The Evil Karl Rove, Dubya, stupid evil racist voters, etc.

    Dude, one in six voters think Obama is a Muslim. One one in four correctly identify him as a Protestant. Despite him talking about his faith all the damn time. This kind of dickheadery never happened when the President was a white guy with an Anglo-Saxon name.

    52% of GOP primary voters in Mississipi think he’s a Muslim, and only freaking 12% think he’s a Christian. My God!

    You like polls–how do you interpret the repeated polling evidence that large numbers of voters, especially Republicans, are off with the fairies as far as this simple matter of fact is concerned?

    I’m pretty comfortable with saying that a sizeable proportion of the American electorate is stupid and/or racist. Why aren’t you?

  • aunursa

    According to a recent Gallup poll, only 11% think that Obama is a Muslim.  And guess what?  Some 32% of adults don’t know what Romney’s religion is, and 9% think that Romney is some religion other than Mormon.

    how do you interpret the repeated polling evidence that large numbers of voters, especially Republicans, are off with the fairies as far as this simple matter of fact is concerned

    Perhaps some of it has to do with his upbringing and his “funny” name.  Obama’s father was raised in a Muslim family, and Barack Jr. spent his early years in Indonesia.  Does some of it have to do with racism?  Yeah, sure.  But it’s not that simple.  And not knowing Obama’s or Romney’s religion doesn’t make voters stupid, it makes the ignorant of that aspect.  There’s a difference between stupid and ignorant.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    According to a recent Gallup poll, only 11% think that Obama is a Muslim. And guess what? Some 32% of adults don’t know what Romney’s religion is, and 9% think that Romney is some religion other than Mormon.

    Not sure why you brought a Romney comparison into things because it doesn’t make people less wrong, but OK–at least do an equal comparison.

    According to your Gallup data, more than half of people polled correctly identified Romney’s religion compared to one-third who were correct about Obama (and I’m including people who named Protestant denominations of which he is not a part to be generous). Only ONE IN FOUR Republicans  were right about Obama. Republicans, btw, were less likely to be uncertain and more likely to be flat-out wrong.

    And not knowing Obama’s or Romney’s religion doesn’t make voters stupid, it makes them ignorant of that particular detail. There’s a difference between stupid and ignorant.

    There is a difference between stupid and ignorant. And when we’re talking about something that has been the subject of a great deal of media attention for five years, and which Obama has personally spoken about more than any other American President in history, to be wrong about that? I’m happy calling that stupidity–or affected ignorance, which is worse.

    You’re honestly holding the line that the vast majority of voters are making careful, thoughful decisions about their political allegiance, when the evidence shown to the entire rest of the world is of tribal lines and crass, studied ignorance? How on earth do you expect anyone to buy that?

  • Carstonio

    Sine there are many, many Americans who use Muslim and Arab like they’re synonyms, it’s likely that many of the “Obama is a Muslim” folks are using the term to mean ethnicity and cultural background instead of religious affiliation, or they don’t see a practical difference. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Sine there are many, many Americans who use Muslim and Arab like they’re synonyms, it’s likely that many of the “Obama is a Muslim” folks are using the term to mean ethnicity and cultural background instead of religious affiliation, or they don’t see a practical difference.

    Assuming that’s the case, it strengthens the case for stupidity. One, Arab is not the same an Muslim, and that’s hardly an esoteric point. But two–how in the holy hell could anyone who doesn’t deserve the label “stupid” think Obama is Arabic?

  • EllieMurasaki

    White comes in lots of different shades–English, Scottish, Irish, Italian, French, so forth–but only a moron would think there are different shades of brown.

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

    And at least 2/5 of those shades of white you listed were seen as non-white in the U.S. about a century ago. Nothing to do with actual skin color, either, but then it never is. If it were, we’d be talking about pink and brown, not white and black.

  • Carstonio

     While I don’t disagree in principle, I wasn’t suggesting that such people indeed see Obama as Arabic. Instead, it’s more like Ellie’s excellent point that they don’t make distinctions when it comes to brown.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Funny how it’s perfectly okay in your book for people to demand to see Obama’s birth certificate, but when someone starts talking about Romney’s…Oh, we’re special and nobody takes us seriously! 

  • aunursa

    Funny how it’s perfectly okay in your book for people to demand to see Obama’s birth certificate, but when someone starts talking about Romney’s…Oh, we’re special and nobody takes us seriously!

    I have never said nor suggested any such thing.  I cannot recall having ever written one sentence about the validity of the Obama birth certificate controversy, other than to label those who reject Obama’s Hawaiian birth as idiots.  Clearly you are confusing me with someone else.

  • JonathanPelikan

    You’re seriously stepping up bravely in defense of “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate”? Go fuck yourself.

  • Carstonio

    (Cars)tonio’s Broken Record Theory…as I read this post, I hear Ani DiFranco sing “White people are so scared of black people.” (The old Ron & Fez radio show used to play that line from the song as a recurring bit when slamming racists.) This stuff is a rejection of American racial pluralism because these people perceive that pluralism as threatening white exceptionalism and white entitlement. At least, that’s how I describe it. In their minds, blacks are not just lazy but thieving, looking to steal what rightfully belongs to whites, whether it’s home possessions or political power. The fascination with pseudo-Randism makes perfect sense in light of that hateful belief. Rand’s ideas work in this context as a long, elaborate dog whistle. 

  • St. Jebus

    @Aunursa If Romney has a driver’s license, then someone, at some point, has asked to see his birth certificate. Calling it “most likely a lie” is accurate, if slightly pedantic.

  • Onymous

    For that matter it’s not like the GOP/DNC/CIA/FBI/DOD/DOJ/DHS/NSA is going to let some one hold a major (sen/rep/pres/gov) office in this country with out at minimum a cursory background check which will include things like birth certificates to make sure it is even legal for them to run. You do not let some one become president because “well you look over 37, and you sound american”

  • aunursa

    In 2010 President Obama said, “I will not rest until the BP Oil Spill stops.”  But the record shows that the president did, in fact rest before the spill was stopped.  In fact the president rested, and even slept — several times while the oil spill was churning over 100,000 barrels a day into the Gulf of Mexico.  Therefore, Obama lied.

    Is that an actual example of President Obama lying … or making a promise that he never intended to keep?  Am I justifying Romney’s “birth certificate lie” by saying, “Hey, your guy lies, too?”  No, it is not, and no, I am not.  Not every statement that is factually false is a lie.

    But please, don’t let me stop you.  Go ahead and cite this one as Romney 534th lie.

  • JustoneK

    “Not every statement that is factually false is a lie.”
    There aren’t a lot of alternatives here.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    “Not every statement that is factually false is a lie.”
    There aren’t a lot of alternatives here.

    “Superman was born on the planet Krypton shortly before its destruction.”
    “God told Noah to build an ark.”
    “That’s the most beautiful baby!”
    “That guy’s voice sounds like a tomcat being pulled through a two-inch diameter pipe.”
    “I swear, if I have to listen to one more absurd political argument today my brain will ooze out of my ears and form a puddle on the ground.”

    Those statements are all factually false, at least the majority of the time they are said. I do not consider them all lies. More importantly, I don’t consider them all equally problematic.

    As it happens, Mitt Romney lies a lot, in often-problematic ways. But I can make that claim and still endorse a nuanced understanding of truth and lies.

  • Carstonio

     My suspicion was that “Not every statement that is factually false is a lie” was simply an attempt to use intent as magic.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    My suspicion was that “Not every statement that is factually false is a lie” was simply an attempt to use intent as magic. 

    For my part, the intent is often what matters when it comes to rhetoric. If the intent is to deceive or mislead, as it often is in political speech, I don’t really care very much whether the claims being made are literally true.

  • JustoneK

    Technically that first statement is entirely true in your example list.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    When I wrote that comment, my cynical side warned me that the most likely response was hair-splitting analyses of the truth-values of my examples.

  • JustoneK

    I’m a pedant.

  • The_L1985

     Except for the part where Superman doesn’t really exist.

  • JustoneK

    The information about him is still entirely true.  The fact that Krypton the planet doesn’t exist either makes the entire statement a lie or misinformation?

    We’re getting into religion talk again.

  • The_L1985

    “We’re getting into religion talk again.”

    No, we’re not.  The members of the various world religions believe said religions to be true in some sense.  I doubt you’d find anyone over the age of 5 who believes that Superman is anything other than a work of fiction.  There’s a difference. ;)

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Not every statement that is factually false is a lie.

    This is true. Perhaps that’s why the Mother Jones article doesn’t call it a lie. Instead Serwer uses the factual falseness of the claim to show how contrived Romney’s setup was in making his birther joke.

  • The_L1985

    “Not every statement that is factually false is a lie.”

    There are 3 kinds of statements that are factually false:

    1. Statements that you thought were true.  This is called misinformation, and while it isn’t lying, it’s a really bad sign in presidential candidates.  If you’re going to make important decisions about something, you have to know the facts.

    2. Promises that you intended (and probably tried!) to keep, but didn’t.  These are called wishful thinking, and damn near everybody is guilty of them.

    3. Statements that you know are factually untrue when you say them, or promises you fully intend to break.  Both of these things are deliberately dishonest.  We call them lying.

  • Daughter

    Jokes and humor would fall into a 4th category, but knowing when to make appropriate jokes is an important skill in a public official aiming to represent all USians.

  • aunursa

    There are 3 kinds of statements that are factually false:

    1. misinformation
    2. wishful thinking
    3. lies

    Interesting.  Into which of these categories do fiction, nursery rhymes, jokes, legends, and hyperbole fall?

  • Tricksterson

    Oh no, those are all true.

  • leftofabbie

    You are mistaken.  I had a driver’s license long before I had access to my birth certificate.  I’m 64 and never had to produce it (back in the 1960’s) to get a driver’s license or a marriage license, to register for college in the early 1970’s; not until I applied for a passport  (in the 1990’s) did any authoritative licensing body or educational institution require my birth certificate for verification for anything.

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

    I had to produce a birth certificate and two other forms of identification to get my license renewed when I let it lapse. (It fell through the cracks when I threw my back out.) I need a driver’s license or state ID for a marriage license. Getting the birth certificate was also a pain. It’s a good thing I signed the lease and one of the utility bills is in my name, because I have no clue how I’d have gotten ID otherwise.

  • leftofabbie

    The point I was making is that fifty years ago, your birth certificate wasn’t a requirement for proving that you were who you said you were.  I realize that has changed since then.  I’m sure Romney had to produce his to get his passport, just as I did.  

  • AnonymousSam

    I’m in the same boat as Lliira; I’ll need to show my birth certificate in order to renew my license or get a state ID, along with many, many other pieces of ID. Since they’re actually demanding more proof of identification than I actually have (and I don’t mean what I have access to, I mean existing pieces period), I can’t get either one until I get my documents reviewed by a specialist to make sure that I’m not actually a terrorist. They’re in no hurry to help me get that set up.

    It’s been a frustrating three years now.

  • leftofabbie

    I can empathize; it took a notarized affadavit from my mother and my certificate of confirmation from my church to get my original birth certificate changed to the correct information; a long and costly process, but I finally have it.  Now I have the passport as well, so things are much simpler.  Good luck in your endeavor to get yours issued to you.  It’s more blowback from 9-11, thanks to George W. Bush for being on the watch for us.  (sarc)

  • AnonymousSam

    Ugh, that’s going to be even more fun. I had my name legally changed about a decade ago, and while I still have all the legal documents to prove that the name on my birth certificate changed to the name I use now, I just know someone is going to look at both of them and decide that my name is actually Muhammad ali-Mahal Muhammad and QUICK GET THE SHOES THOSE SOCKS MIGHT HAVE A BOMB

    Never mind that I’m pretty sure my family line has nothing but Caucasian blood for the last ten generations and the furthest out of the country I’ve ever been was southern Ontario.

    I’ve been off the grid for years now, not out of choice, but because my best efforts have had no luck in convincing the government that I belong here. I have no doubt that in the wrong neighborhood (say, Polk County), I’d be locked up on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant/terrorist/same thing.

  • leftofabbie

    Think positive, you have to realize that the wheels grind slowly in the state and federal bureaucracies!  They do eventually come through, however.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

    Get a pie filter or a disemvoweller or just ban the dirty animal. Otherwise, don’t blame me when I finally lose it and tell that rancid, Klan-loving sack of shit what I have barely restrained myself from saying nearly every time he’s opened his vile cake-hole. Namely, descend to his putrid level.

  • Dmoore970

    Aunursa, maybe the proper questinon is what Romney did have in mind when he said said that no one ever asked him to see his birth certificate.  I can think of at least three possibilities:

    (1)   It was meant as a harmless joke.  That is not a lie, even if it is not technically accurate.

    (2)   It was meant to say that ao one has ever questioned Romney’s legitimacy as a candidate, and to imply that the fact that so many people have questioned Obama’s legitimacy suggests that there is something seriously wrong and vaguely illegitimate about Obama.   In that case, I think it is at least implying a lie.  Now matter how much you may dislike the Obama presidency, it is just as legitimate as any other presidency.

    (3)  It was meant to suggest, without saying, that he believes in birther theories.  In that case it is not technically a lie, but it is encouraging the audience to believe (and to think that Romney believes) something that he knows very well is false. 

    Furthermore, what matters is not just what Romney meant, but also how the audience took it, and how Romney intended the audience to take it.  As I understand it, instead of laughing, the audience cheered. That means the audience is not just taking it as a harmless joke.  The audience is taking it to mean that the Obama presidency is, in fact, illegitimate.  Encouraging audiences to believe that the President — any President — is illegitimate just because the audience doesn’t like him is both deceitful and dangerous.  Of course, Romney may not have meant it that way, but he certainly has not been discouraging that sort of thing.

    If you have any other interpretation, I would love to hear it.

  • aunursa

    Of course it was a harmless joke.  Obama has joked and made light of the ridiculous birther claims, but his opponent isn’t allowed to? 

  • Daughter

     It was a joke, but that doesn’t make it harmless. Obama can joke about birther claims, because he’s the subject of the joke. Romney can’t, and claim to be “just kidding.”

    In the same way, Romney can joke about Mormonism, but a Mormon joke would be offensive coming from Obama. You can joke about Judaism and have it be harmless, but I, as a Christian, cannot.

  • Dmoore970

    So it’s a harmless joke.  Then why did the audience applaud instead of laughing.

    As for the argument that conservatives think liberals are misguided and liberals think conservatives are evil, I’ve heard that many times.  I have also heard Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and countless others ranting about how evil liberals are, and conservatives seem to lap it up.  Why is that, now?

  • aunursa

    I don’t follow Limbaugh or Beck.  I haven’t heard O’Reilly or Hannity characterize Democrats in general as evil.  Perhaps you can supply a quote and a link.

  • Daughter
  • Daughter

     And I missed one I wanted to include, Michael Savage calling Obama “the most dangerous, most divisive, most evil – I’ll use the word evil – president in the history of America.”

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/michael-savage-obama-most-evil-president-ever/

  • aunursa

    So many comments.  Alas, I cannot respond to all of them.  To anyone who wishes to continue the discussion: you may contact me at aunursa (at) comcast (dot) net.

    * * * * *

    Daughter: Yeah, there are conservatives (some of whom are pretty obscure, that I hadn’t heard of them) who label Democrats as evil.  Michael Savage I find so vile and disgusting, that he is one of two conservative commentators that I refuse to listen to his voice.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Beck said something along the lines of “Obama is evil.”  But no quotes from Limbaugh, O’Reilly, or Hannity?

    I have also heard Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and countless others ranting about how evil liberals are

  • Donalbain

     I wouldn’t be surprised if Beck said something along the lines of “Obama
    is evil.”  But no quotes from Limbaugh, O’Reilly, or Hannity?

    http://www.amazon.com/Deliver-Evil-Defeating-Terrorism-Liberalism/dp/0060582510

  • Monala

     Here’s Limbaugh talking about why he thinks liberals are evil: http://newscorpwatch.org/limbaughwire/2009/10/06

    And someone has already supplied a book Hannity wrote calling liberals evil.

  • Donalbain
  • Tricksterson

    What if Obama had made a “harmless joke” about Mormons, say about the “magic underwear” or polygamy?  Would you be as willing to laugh it off?

  • PJ Evans

     Possibly it was aimed at the people who know his father was born in Mexico to parents who were US citizens – and who moved there because they were also polygamists.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     Who the @#*% are you to decide that a poor voter or a minority
    voter or a female voter who supports Republicans has nothing to gain
    from that party being in power versus the other major party?

    Someone who has examined the two parties’ platforms and extrapolated what they would lead were they to gain power. It’s really easy this time, because only one of the parties thinks that all people in the country are fully human.

  • Shane

     Except unborn babies.  One of the parties is fine and dandy with not counting those as human. 

    The other says (And only says) that they are.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Since the choice is between treating fetuses as fully human and treating women as fully human…I’ll take the women, thanks.

  • Baby_Raptor

    That would be because they aren’t. And even if you think they are, you have no right to dictate what any woman does with or thinks about her body. And the fact that you think that you should have that right says loads about you…None of it good.

  • delurker

    Another comment thread taken over by aunursa and the people who engage him. The fact that he plays cute on the LB threads does not justify his shitting on every other thread.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    Agreed – I wouldn’t shed any tears if he was banned. However, everyone gets to practice their argument-shreddin’ skills, so it isn’t a total loss IMO.

  • hagsrus

    The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney

    Interesting story here:
    http://tinyurl.com/cn33556

  • erikagillian

    Not feeding trolls can create problems too, one being that lurkers have no way to know that what the troll is doing is acceptable to the rest of the people here or not.  As a mostly lurker myself I have been turned off places that have those policies because there was no way for me to know.  There are other problems but I’m having a brain fog day and can’t remember at the moment.

    Which leads me into my other point, as someone who has been on social security disability, for an invisible disability, and unable to work for the last 15 years:  Even for someone as lazy and as disinclined to work as I was (I had to work, just wish I hadn’t had to so much) work is a *big* part of the way we think about ourselves, part of our self worth.  I am generalizing here, but I believe this is true of most people. 

    I had a couple of years where I had to fight not to think of myself as useless and horrible for not working.  Not because I’m against nannystates, I’m for them, but not having a job, not having something I could show I was good at, not being *able* to even volunteer?  It was so damn hard.  Going out and getting paid for doing something is a great esteem booster, someone values what you do enough to pay you.  The ability to make money also can represent independence, another booster of self. 

    I’m sure there are people who  enjoy not working, for reasons ranging from ‘just’ lazy to never having a job that was a decent place to work  to having jobs that were torture to work all the way up to the never worked because I never had to.  Heck, what about all them ‘working at home’ mothers!   But for most people?  Work is part of us, whether we know it or not.  And to say from a privileged position that people are just lazy?  Yeah, fuck you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    Which leads me into my other point, as someone who has been on social
    security disability, for an invisible disability, and unable to work for
    the last 15 years:

    {{Invisible disability fistbump}}

    I want to be able to work. My doctors and I have been putting forth a lot of effort trying to get me into a position where I can try to work. I too am really sick of not being independent, of feeling like I am not contributing to society, and of assholes who are willing to let me die of renal failure because they don’t think I “deserve” the government-funded health care that keeps me alive.

  • TheFaithfulStone

    I believe that policies that the Republicans favor will result in job
    creation, which itself results in greater opportunities for workers and
    an increase in wealth at all levels.

    All of our best models predict that this is untrue.   It’s fine by me if you want to argue that your ignorance is just as good as somebody else’s knowledge, but it’s not really facts.  I can BELIEVE that the next time I roll the dice it will be my turn, and I’ll get that seven and the new pair of shoes I need.   But the fact is that I am precisely as likely to roll a seven on my next throw as I was on an previous throw.

    The facts are that Republican economic policies if implemented as desired are more likely than naught to cause economic widespread economic hardship and continuing problems than would otherwise be the case.  This isn’t really advanced economics, it’s just simple aggregate demand / supply calculations.

    Given your stance as this preeminently rational person – and not at all like one of us deluded liberals, who TOTALLY doesn’t vote for Republicans because they play into his self-image of self-reliant, hard nosed pragmatist, I expect you to discard this reason for voting Republican forthwith.

    It still leaves you with plenty of reasons, so you don’t need to feel sad, and you won’t need to face any uncomfortable facts about yourself, your opinions, and the concrete impacts of your theoretical freedoms.

  • aunursa

    The facts are that Republican economic policies if implemented as desired are more likely than naught to cause economic widespread economic hardship and continuing problems than would otherwise be the case. This isn’t really advanced economics, it’s just simple aggregate demand / supply calculations.

    No, the study of economics is not some simple calculation.  It’s not simply a statistical analysis.

    “The only function of economics forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”
    – John Kenneth Gailbraith

  • erikagillian

    I’m not sure who first made the comment now, but abortion is functionally banned for a lot of the country right now, with things like distance to clinics and all the stupid rules causes women to be unable, especially poor women, to get abortions before it’s too late.  Which is the reason for those rules.  And now they can have people say they’ll never truly ban abortion on a national level and have it be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that they have already done so for most of the country, at least the poorer parts, and will continue to nitpick it till it’s gone but for the rich.  It’s never been truly illegal for rich women, since they can go out of the country.

  • Carstonio

    Liberty and equality aren’t opposites. The latter is about equality of opportunity, and equality in the eyes of the law and of society’s institutions, and these are essential for liberty. It doesn’t mean the paranoid straw man of redistribution that’s been offered here. Equality means reducing entitlement and privilege, with no preferences shown for people of certain incomes or ethnicities or genders or orientations or religious affiliations.

    The ideology being pushed by Romney and Ryan and Akin represents neither liberty nor equality. It’s a false type of liberty that wrongly assumes that the world is inherently just, instead of recognizing that some injustices are within human power to redress. It treats life as a competition, rigs the game in favor of those who are already ahead, and then insists that everyone deserves their position whether they’re ahead or behind.

     It’s an elaborate rationalization for promoting an oligarchy of rich white straight Christian men. Oligarchical societies are obviously not equal, but they’re also not free because the resources and institutions of such societies end up geared to preserving the position of the privileged minority. The US South was a feudal society for centuries, and after the Civil War the landed aristocracy maintained its position by turning the resentments of poor whites against blacks. Romney is engaging in the same kind of misdirection – basically the rich taking money from the middle and the poor while telling their victims that it was the fault of the blacks.

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

    Hey aunursa: thanks to Barack Obama, I’m on my way to getting health insurance and then surgery. Your beloved Republicans tried everything in their power to keep me a slave to pain.

    Thanks to Mitt Romney, I’m doing everything I can to make sure I get that surgery before November, because I know that if he wins the election (not bloody likely), he will do everything he can to make sure I stay in debilitating pain for the rest of my life. He’ll also make sure to do everything he can to make sure I’m blamed for the fact that I can’t work because of my unbearable pain, keeping what I need to even survive from me. Because of my disability, I wouldn’t even be able to be a prostitute.

    Barack Obama has taken steps to try to help as many people like me (many in much worse situations) as he could with the Republicans fighting him with everything they’ve got every step of the way. Directly thanks to Barack Obama, I won’t lose the use of one of my feet, my pain will be reduced, and it’s possible my pain will even be completely gone. I will likely be able to work again.

    On the other hand, Mitt Romney wants to take steps to ensure that I will stay in debilitating pain and will lose the use of one of my feet to the extent that it might have to be amputated. He wants to take steps to make sure I’m always in horrible pain and can’t work. It’s not personal — while I’m sure he’d dislike me if he knew me, I don’t think he’d actually take a crowbar to my back. But that’s the inevitable outcome of what he wants to do to people. I’m relatively lucky; other people, whom Obama’s policies would save, would inevitably die if Romney had his way. And you continue to play your little games. I can’t even be angry any longer; you’re like a Disney villain at this point. A particularly incompetent one who loses to Donald Duck.

    How much liberty do you think someone in a body that’s always in debilitating pain has, hm? How much pain and suffering does there need to be in order to justify people with millions and billions of dollars giving up a tiny bit of their horde in order to help people who are disabled and/or ill? People who are Americans. How can someone claim to love America, but scoff at the idea that this should be a country where no one’s life is agony because they can’t afford a common surgery, where no American child dies because her family can’t afford medical care, where no American veteran ends up on the street?

  • Jenny Islander

    This should be on a national news blog.  (Ob. nitpick: “hoard.”)

  • aunursa

    Directly thanks to Barack Obama, I won’t lose the use of one of my feet, my pain will be reduced, and it’s possible my pain will even be completely gone. I will likely be able to work again.

    No, not thanks to Barack Obama.  Thanks to your doctors and the people who will pay for your surgery.  Barack Obama is not treating you and is not paying the cost of your surgery.

    Mitt Romney doesn’t want you to be in such pain and to lose the use of your feet.  He would take steps to get you the surgery you need … but it would be as part of a sustainable health care system.  Unlike the PPACA which will collapse.  As well as Medicare and Social Security.  Romney and Ryan want to have the difficult discussions on how to preserve medical coverage for you and every other American.

  • Beroli

     

    Mitt Romney doesn’t want you to be in such pain and to lose the use of your feet.

    I would love to see you support the claim that Mitt Romney cares about Lliira, or anyone outside his personal circle. That he isn’t, in fact, completely knowingly taking an “I got mine, screw you” stance toward most of the country.

    Of course, you aren’t going to even try, because 13 minutes after making the assertions I’m responding to, you flounced from the thread, and if anyone brings it up in another thread, you’ll stonewall as per your usual.

  • Lori

     

    No, not thanks to Barack Obama. Thanks to your doctors and the people
    who will pay for your surgery.  Barack Obama is not treating you and is
    not himself paying the entire cost of your surgery. 

    Seriously? Are there other places you hang out, either online or IRL, where people think that this sort of thing marks you are smart or clever as opposed to totally ridiculous and/or dumb?

    He would take steps to get you the surgery you need … but it would be as part of a sustainable health care system. 

    Ah yes, the replace part of “repeal and replace”. Mitt has an alternate plan that’s way better than the ACA and won’t “collapse” and he swears he’ll tell us all about after he wins. A rational person in Llirra’s position would obviously bet her health on that.

  • Donalbain

     Ah yes, the replace part of “repeal and replace”. Mitt has an alternate
    plan that’s way better than the ACA and won’t “collapse” and he swears
    he’ll tell us all about after he wins.

    Its a secret plan!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3sj-TSbWjs

  • Donalbain

     Ah yes, the replace part of “repeal and replace”. Mitt has an alternate
    plan that’s way better than the ACA and won’t “collapse” and he swears
    he’ll tell us all about after he wins.

    Its a secret plan!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3sj-TSbWjs

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

    The Byzantine, Kafkaesque maze of the US health insurance system is one of the biggest blocking factors against me desiring to take a job in the USA. I have made a personal vow that if I ever get sick in the USA I will go back to Canada before I dare set foot in a doctor’s office. Period.

    As non-wealthy as I am, I have one thing that not even the wealthiest American can claim to have: easy, non-prejudicial access to health care without the need to worry about paying for it. And that’s worth more to me than all the extra money I could be making down south.

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

    I have made a personal vow that if I ever get sick in the USA I will go back to Canada before I dare set foot in a doctor’s office. Period.

    Smart move. 

  • VMink

    There’s an interesting post I read recently from another Canadian who works in the government office that manages health care.  They’re looking at the US election slightly concerned; if Romney/Ryan are elected, and their stance against making abortions illegal is not just a shibboleth but they actually bring it about, then there could be a bit of a rush for Canada by people needing to get abortions because they’d be impossible to get in the US.  I’m pretty sure that Romney/Ryan want to keep abortion as some kind of spectre hanging over, but it’s not something I’d take Vegas odds on.

    If there was anything remotely resembling a safe way to see how the Dem and Republican economic plans would comparatively work out in specifics, taking into account rational and douchebag actors, cruft, overhead, etc. etc. etc, then I’d say to test them.  As it is, even just ‘trying out’ the plans that Ryan has put forth would result in quite a lot more misery than I’d be comfortable imposing on anyone else.  Yes, the social safety net in all its various forms needs repair and needs to be made *more* sustainable and flexible and open for growth; the solution is not to throw it out and cast off all the people who are relying on it.

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

    there could be a bit of a rush for Canada by people needing to get abortions because they’d be impossible to get in the US

    They’ll still be possible to get. Some good, principled doctors will perform abortions anyway. Other than that, people will find shady providers and will perform them on themselves. Lots and lots of women will die and otherwise injure their bodies permanently who would not have if abortion were legal — but women will still get abortions. Until the right-wing figures out a way to disallow women access to our own bodies, that is.

  • Turcano

    In other words, he has a secret plan to fix the healthcare system.

    Edit: Gamnit, got ninja’d.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     I suspect it’s one of those 3 part plans:

    1. Repeal ACA
    2. ???
    3. PROFIT! (For the insurance companies, natch)

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

     No, not thanks to Barack Obama. Thanks to your doctors and the people
    who will pay for your surgery.  Barack Obama is not treating you and is
    not himself paying the entire cost of your surgery.

    This kind of unselfconscious dickbaggery is why I hate you.

    You
    are an out of touch pompous windbag who has the nerve to think himself
    the authority on all things QUILTBAG and when directly told that his
    statement is incorrect, has not the least inclination to apologize.

  • aunursa

    [DELETED]

  • The_L1985

    Hey genius: Who’s responsible for the ACA again? Because without it, that surgery wouldn’t be happening.

    You do realize that there are millions of Americans who suffer from debilitating medical conditions and can afford neither treatment nor health insurance, right? Please tell me you’re not that willfully ignorant.

  • hagsrus

     This is extremely good news, but if it’s not being too intrusive, may I ask about the process of  getting the insurance and how the ACA affected it? There’s somebody I’m trying to explain things to, and having a real-life example would probably ease the struggle a bit!

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

    I would not be able to get insurance that would cover anything related to my disability without the ACA, full stop. Because of the ACA, I will be getting that insurance.

    I can’t detail the process because in my case, it’s “have a fiancé who does almost everything so all you have to do is sign things and make one phone call, for which he has written down what you should say.” Between pain and painkillers, I would not be able to do this on my own. I will poke him to explain the process here.

  • Beroli

    Hi, I’m Lliira’s fiance.

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created a program called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, which will exist until the full Act goes into effect in 2014, insurance companies can no longer refuse to cover pre-existing conditions, and the program is no longer needed. It (quoting from their website) “provides a new health coverage option for people who have been without
    health coverage for at least 6 months and have a pre-existing condition
    or have been denied health coverage because of their health condition.”

    Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple (in Florida; some states are better than others) as the first clause makes it sound; their actual forms require a letter from an insurance company stating either: 1) that they won’t insure you, 2) that they will insure you but with a not-your-preexisting-condition rider, or 3) that they will insure you but with a premium at least twice their standard premium. So we’re having to go through more paperwork with an insurance company before we can actually send PCIP their paperwork. The people I spoke to at PCIP assure me that the insurance company cannot legally refuse to provide such a letter (unless they want to say “Yes, we’ll insure her at our standard rate and cover her preexisting condition,” which of course they do not).

  • hagsrus

     Thank you. I fervently hope it will all work out!

  • Fusina

    In good news, the Texas court has thrown out a voter ID law there.

  • JustoneK

    So, what I’ve gleaned from this thread:  aunursa is an utter asshole who hates the idea of being thought of as an asshole.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

     Usually, utter assholes don’t, and claim persecution when you call them that.

  • Lori

    AFAICT he has no problem being thought of as an asshole. In fact, he seems to court it. What he has a problem with is the notion that we think he’s an asshole not because we’re wrong or foolish or mean or just don’t understand how the world really works, but because he actually is an asshole.

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

    What I find interesting is it’s always “the welfare state” that is “unsustainable”, “collapsing”, and so on

    But nobody ever says the same thing about military spending.

  • Hawker40

    Hi, Sam.
    Because of circumstances, I attended both a Catholic high school and a Los Angeles Public School.  I was invited to both schools 5 year reunion.  A quick reading of the handout indicated that both schools had the same number of girls technically pregnant during graduation (12), based on birthdates of children occurring in the same year, class of 1981.
    Given that the public school graduating class numbered over 2000, and the Catholic school numbered about 100, and assuming both classes were 1/2 female, the odds of pregnant at graduation would be .6 per 50 for the public school, and 12 per 50 in the Catholic School.
    Guess which school taught abstinence education…

  • Emcee, cubed

    My public school sex education in the early-mid 80’s consisted of:

    1. 8th grade health class. It was a three day section. Day 1 consisted primarily of the teacher spending half the class on a lecture about taking the material seriously, and anyone making jokes would get detention. The rest of the class was mainly anatomy: this is the male reproductive stuff, this is the female reproductive stuff (in this way we got to learn about testes, urethra, etc. for the male, and the ovaries, uterus, and fallopean tubes of the female. It was strictly about reproduction, not sex, so we didn’t learn about the clitoris, the prostate, (I think even the vagina wasn’t specifically mentioned.) Day 2 was a test on what we learned on day 1. And Day 3 was watching the after-school special about where babies come from. (Which is great for biology, but doesn’t deal with sex. I think we’d all already seen it on television anyway.)

    2. 10th grade health class, This consisted of a single day. The teacher handed out index cards, and told us to write down any questions we had about sex. He then went through the cards and answered the ones he felt like answering. Yes, this was about as helpful as it sounds.

    Luckily, during 7th grade, I was going through religious education at our local UU church. The curriculum was About Your Sexuality, and was one of the most comprehensive sex ed courses I’ve ever seen. We dealt with a number of topics, such as masturbation and homosexuality, birth control and STDs (this was ’81 or so, so AIDS wasn’t on the radar yet.) I learned more there than I did at even college level courses. Probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.

  • PJ Evans

     Your 8th grade class sounds like mine. (Although I will say that they made sure all the girls got the basic booklet on menstruation.) I don’t remember anyone getting pregnant before graduation, but there were a lot of people I didn’t know. And the school I actually graduated from (and which I don’t claim as mine) had at least one pregnant-and-married female before graduation.

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

    You know, the people being purposely dense about Romney’s birth certificate crack are obviously struggling to avoid admitting that they may believe, in some way, that Barack Obama is not a legitimate President only due to his skin color.

    A far stronger case could be made for George W. Bush not being a legitimate President due to the dodgy election results involved, especially in 2000.

    And let’s not forget how many Republicans blew their stack over Clinton becoming President and doing everything they could to cast him as an “illegitimate” President, though they couldn’t attack him as well on that front because he had a commanding lead in the popular and electoral votes, and was a Christian white guy.

    But they attacked him anyway – his “unconventional” wife – his occasional philandering – his willingness to be around black people – all that was used against him in any way possible.

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

    There is a Republican mythology of “we don’t need affirmative action anymore and blacks are all just shiftless and lazy and they are TOO TOTES TREATED THE SAME HDU SAY OTHERWISE WHITE PRIVILEGE WHAT WHITE PRIVILEGE LA LA LA LA”

    The thing I find absolutely bizarre is that Mitt Romney committed the equivalent of heresy against that shibboleth by admitting in front of the NAACP, in public, that blacks still have it worse off compared to whites.

    It really makes me wonder if he believes anything at all other than in his money.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Anyone else notice that when Herman Cain was on The Daily Show, he claimed that the reason polls showed Romney getting 0% of the black vote was because the throngs of black conservatives were at work when they called?

    I’m a bit amazed at the brazenness of the race-baiting wrapped up in that.

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

    Wow. It takes some chutzpah to imply that.

    Hell, aren’t something like 50% of blacks now in the ‘middle class’? They didn’t get there doing nothing. (-_-)

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Imply? He freakin’ SAID IT: http://thehill.com/video/campaign/246649-herman-cain-polls-show-blacks-voting-for-obama-because-romney-supporters-were-working

    “They were working, so they didn’t answer the phone when they took the
    poll,” Cain said Wednesday night on “The Daily Show.” “Believe it or
    not, some black people have jobs, and careers, and they run
    businesses. They didn’t take that into account.”

  • PJ Evans

    It really makes me wonder if he believes anything at all other than in his money.

    As far as I can tell, it’s all about money, even when his wife is talking about how she doesn’t think she’s rich, and hey, he turned down a job that would have paid umpteen-million-dollars per year, and so on.

  • hagsrus

    “…the reason polls showed Romney getting 0% of the black vote was because
    the throngs of black conservatives were at work when they called…”

    So the phones were only answered by white people lazing around at home?

    Or did he mean that they knew where the black conservatives lived but didn’t have the sense to call during working hours?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    He meant “Don’t worry, Republican Base, I too think that black people are lazy and vote democrat out of their laziness; those Respectable Negros like myself whoactually do work for a living are obviously republicans.”

    In other words, he was playing into racist stereotypes about black people while carving out an exception for black republicans

  • Monala

    And the comments show that many people agree with him. As an African-American, I HATE this. I hate that we are forever stereotyped and misjudged by people who will forever deny their racism.

    A columnist once noted that if one-third of black Americans are poor, that means that two-thirds are NOT poor. If one-fifth of black adults are unemployed, that means that four-fifths are EMPLOYED. If 10% of black men have been incarcerated, that means that 90% have NEVER been incarcerated. And so on. In fact, there is no negative stereotype about African-Americans (with the  exception of out of wedlock births) that is not FALSE for the vast majority of black people.

    I’ll take my own family, and that of my husband. We’re both African-American, and if you take our entire extended families (parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and spouses of the same), that’s at least 100 people. All of us, except for four white spouses, are African-American. All the adults work, except for those who are retired after decades of work, and three people who can’t work because of disabilities (two of whom developed disabilities later in life and worked until then). None of us are rich, but none of us has ever been on welfare. None of us has ever been incarcerated. None of us dropped out of high school. Only 7 children were born out of wedlock, and all but one had their fathers actively involved in their lives. How many ordinary, non-wealthy white families in America can say the same?

    I don’t know all the extended families of our extended families  (e.g., cousins’ cousins, in-laws’ relatives, and the like), but I know some of them, and this applies to them, too.

    Oh yes, and we’re all liberal Democrats. So fuck you, Herman Cain.

  • AnonymousSam

    I’m sad to say, racism is alive and well in the United States, and worse still, it’s rapidly becoming mainstream and socially acceptable all over again.

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  • Fusina

    Don’t click the link, it is an ad.  I didn’t, but I did google them.

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