Moving quickly to resolve this unfortunate situation

• Sometimes “fact-checking” political claims involves research. Sometimes it just involves remembering. 2008 wasn’t that long ago.

• Fact-checking David Barton is sometimes like “sword drills” from Sunday school. Just look up the Bible verses and you’ll see that they don’t say what he says they say.

Jesus/Romney is the answer. What was the question?

• Paul Krugman stares down Paul Ryan. Krugman “Blinks”. Geek worlds collide.

• Mrs. Dushku is keeping the Faith.

• U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., is like a Republican Cory Booker. Well done, sir.

• Looks like we may have a sequel to Oz’s ElevenOnze de la Mer.

• John Aravosis asks: “Did Haley Barbour make an assassination joke about Obama?” The answer is no. Haley Barbour made a slavery joke about Obama. And everybody knows about Mississippi

• You can break into someone’s house and steal everything they own without facing arrest. If you get caught, all you have to say afterward is, “We moved quickly and have been in contact with the family to resolve this unfortunate situation and right this wrong.”

Just say those magic words and there will be no arrest, no criminal charges, no jail time. (Note: This only works if you’re a bank.)

• The standard response to complaints about school budget cuts seems to be that “You can’t just throw money at schools and expect good results.” True enough, I suppose. But it’s likely also true that Arizona’s 21.8-percent decrease in per-student spending shouldn’t lead us to expect good results either. Or Alabama’s 21.7-percent decrease, or Oklahoma’s 20.3-percent decrease, or

• Dark comedy trigger warnings: Todd Akin’s nonsense prompts a mordantly funny pharmaceutical ad and a cheerfully bleak country song.

Stay in touch with the Slacktivist on Facebook:

The Left Behind franchise is coming for your children
Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 87: 'Episode IV'
James Dobson is reliably untrustworthy
Sunday favorites
  • Mime_Paradox

    I officially nominate “Mrs. Dushku is keeping the Faith”  as the most misleading Buffy reference of 2012.

    ETA: Although I suppose the “Mrs.” should have tipped me off… >_<

  • Launcifer

    Damn it, I didn’t even see the reference until I read your comment. Guess I’d better hand in my card at the front desk.

    Seriously though, if Romney’s the (alleged) answer, then I would respectfully submit that someone asked the wrong question – quite possibly in the wrong language.

  • Carstonio

     Just who the heck is David Barton, anyway, and why would anyone with even an iota of knowledge about the Constitution listen to him? (No answer necessary.)

    I went to a Lutheran Sunday School for a brief while, and at least once the students were herded into the gym with Bibles, made to stand in a row, and challenged to find a certain book. I still remember the older man in charge calling out, “Deuteronomy” and kids dropping to the floor to leaf frantically through their copies. Is that the same as a sword drill?

  • connorboone

    That’s a basic-level sword drill.  The hardcore ones are the ability to find specific clobber verses fast.  Because, as we know, the purpose of the Bible is to use it as a weapon to clobber unbelievers and heretics with.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    In my experience, sword drills usually involve finding a specific verse, but yes.

    And often, one of the verses include “Hezekiah 13:10.”  But that may be because the person who did sword drills at my Sunday school had a twisted sense of humor.  (Note for those who may be less familiar with the Bible:  There is no book of Hezekiah in the Bible.)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

     I would like to see some progressive Christian youth practice “shield drills”, designed to allow them to counter and refute clobber-verse arguments immediately with other Biblical passages. 

    Perry and riposte!

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    The only problem with that is it becomes an argument of “who can come up with the better (often defined as more exhaustive) list of verses/passages.”  I’d personally rather discourage that kind of thinking in favor of rethinking how both the Bible and theological and moral issues are approached and considered in general.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Point.  But I like the idea of using an opponent’s own language and ideology against them.  Kind of like a conceptual aikido, the harder they attack, the more damage they do to themselves with a simple twist on your part. 

  • Seraph4377

    It’d be nice, but most progressive Christians don’t have the siege mentality required to treat their children as soldiers and knowledge of the Bible as a weapon.

    Also, it accepts the basic premise that ultimate authority is to be found by quoting the right verses.  A more effective defense is simply to say: “I don’t accept the authority of your Bible.  Do you have any arguments that didn’t come out of it?”  Most have never even considered that as a possible answer.

  • JustoneK

    I have run into a problem with that idea also – to not accept the authority of their Bible, the WHOLE thing, is tantamount with being very very anti Christian.  And to not accept the authority of any part of it is the same as not accepting the entire thing.

    It’s terribly frustrating when dealing with generally not-purposefully-bad people.

  • Seraph4377

    There is nothing anti-Christian about rejecting the authority of the Bible, unless you perceive everything unChristian as anti-Christian.  I am not Christian; I do not accept the authority of the Christian holy book.  If your only argument is “the Bible states”, then I have no reason to accept that argument.  Do you have another source?

    As for them being not-purposefully-bad people, well, as others have said, intent is not magic.  If they cause harm with their good intentions, that’s what matters.

  • aunursa

    I have fun with those who refer to “the WHOLE Bible” and demand that I accept the WHOLE Bible…

    Fundy: The WHOLE Bible proves that Jesus Christ is God.
    aunursa: Which Bible?  The Catholic Bible?  The Protestant Bible?  Or the Jewish Bible?
    Fundy: The Holy Bible.
    aunursa: Which Holy Bible?  The Catholic one?  The Protestant one?  Or the Jewish one?
    Fundy: There is only one Holy Bible.
    aunursa: [mutters] I see you’re going to make this difficult. [/mutters]  Fine.  The Catholic Bible with 73 books?  The Protestant Bible with 66 books?  Or the Jewish Bible with 39 books?
    Fundy: The Holy Bible has 66 books, all of which are divinely inspired.
    aunursa: So then you’re referring to the Protestant Bible.
    Fundy: It’s the Holy Bible.
    aunursa: Whatever.  So how do you know that Protestant Bible is correct?
    Fundy: It’s the HOLY Bible.  It’s correct because God Himself said so.
    aunursa: Where did God provide a list of which books are in the Bible?
    Fundy: The Bible itself declares that it is divinely inspired.
    aunursa: But it doesn’t tell you specifically which books are divinely inspired.
    Fundy: I have faith in God, that He would not allow a book that was not divinely inspired to be included in the Holy Bible.
    aunursa: Which Holy Bible?

    etcetera…

  • EllieMurasaki

    I have fun with those who refer to “the WHOLE Bible” and demand that I accept the WHOLE Bible.

    Next time you should ask if they mean The Safe Shopper’s Bible, Shooter’s Bible, Car Buyer’s and Leaser’s Negotiating Bible, The Self-Sufficient-ish Bible…

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

    Next time you should ask if they mean The Safe Shopper’s Bible, Shooter’s Bible, Car Buyer’s and Leaser’s Negotiating Bible, The Self-Sufficient-ish Bible…

    …the Satanic Bible…

  • aunursa

    The question that challenger Ronald Reagan asked voters in 1980 — and that Republicans are asking today — is not “Are we better off?  The question is “Are you better off?”

    [A]ll of you will go to the polls, will stand there in the polling place and make a decision. I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were four years ago? And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for. If you don’t agree, if you don’t think that this course that we’ve been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then I could suggest another choice that you have. This country doesn’t have to be in the shape that it is in. We do not have to go on sharing in scarcity with the country getting worse off, with unemployment growing. We talk about the unemployment lines. If all of the unemployed today were in a single line allowing two feet for each of them, that line would reach from New York City to Los Angeles, California. All of this can be cured and all of it can be solved.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    No, they will not. Not everyone votes based on their wallets AND YOU KNOW THIS.

  • aunursa

    By and large people vote based on their self interests.

    And this caveat: What you consider to be another person’s self-interest may be very different from what that other person has determined is his self-interest.

  • Donalbain

     An appeal to selfishness. How delightful.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

     I hope this doesn’t surprise you.

  • Daughter

     My daughter and I just finished reading an American Girl book set during WWII.  It describes things such as rationing, having victory gardens, and volunteering for the Red Cross, and the propaganda campaign to convince people that to not  participate in these things (such as by buying on the black market) was to be unpatriotic.

    As I read, I wondered whether we could ever mobilize our country to be that sacrificial for anything again. I seriously doubt it.

    Note: I think that liberals would be just as selfish as conservatives today. But the conservatives would be the ones screaming about government intrusion.

  • Seraph4377

    I think we could have been that sacrificial again, if anyone had asked us to be after 9/11.  Everyone was looking for some way to contribute, just like after Pearl Harbor.  Another reason George W. Bush is perhaps one of the worst presidents in American history: he took that transcendent moment when all Americans were willing to unify for the common good, and he used it to ask people to go shopping and create a permanent Republican majority.

    As to selfishness: the difference between liberals and conservatives in re. selfishness is that we don’t consider selfishness a virtue.

  • The_L1985

    Yay, Molly!

    I read the AG books as a kid (back when there were only 4 characters).  They’re very good at making American history more interesting and relate-able to the target age group.

    Unfortunately, I do agree that few people on either side of the American political divide see much value in giving up anything, however inconsequential.

  • Seraph4377

    Yes, I am better off than I was four years ago, by a country mile.  But that’s hardly indicative of anything; I’m one fortunate person in a resilient field in a city that recovered quickly.  One person’s selfishness is no measure of the nation’s health.  So to answer the rest of your questions:  This time four years ago, the economy was hemorrhaging jobs by the hundreds of thousands, the Dow was plunging toward 6,000, and firms that everyone had thought were eternal were dropping like flies.  We were less respected because our foreign policy was run by a stupid, belligerent cowboy and his evil puppet masters.  We were less safe because Osama bin Laden was still alive.

    Any more easy questions?

    The funny thing is that you’re so confident about November 6.  Bulletin: your guy is losing.  What kind of bubble do you live in?  Are you so completely surrounded by people who hate Obama that you believe everyone else does, too?  Or are you just that confident in the red states’ reinstatement of Jim Crow?

  • aunursa

    I think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for.

    Bulletin: your guy is losing. What kind of bubble do you live in? Are you so completely surrounded by people who hate Obama that you believe everyone else does, too?

    The polls have fluxuated over the past three weeks, based on the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention, and the breaking news of the violence at U.S. embassies.  I’ve seen some polls showing incumbent Obama with a 5 point lead, and other polls showing challenger Romney with a 2 point lead.  Polls come out daily showing Obama leading in battleground states and others showing Romney with a slight lead in battleground states.  Not only do these polls change day-to-day and week-to-week, some polls use different D/R/I breakdowns than others; some mirror the 2008 electoral demographics, some the 2010 demographics.   I’ve read analyses indicating that Romney is in big trouble, and I’ve read analyses indicating that Romney is going to coast to victory, and I’ve read analyses indicating that it is going to be a very close election, perhaps decided by one or two states.  Based on all of that, I don’t know what to believe.  I don’t know whether I should be slightly confident or very concerned.

    Therefore your suggestion that I am living  in some kind of bubble surrounded by people who so hate Obama that they are divorced from political reality is … amusing.  Perhaps it’s a projection on your part.

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

    You’ll be “very concerned” if the guy who wants to make it impossible again for millions of Americans to have health insurance loses. You’ll be “very concerned” if millions of Americans again have no way to get life-saving medical care, and/or medical care that allows them to work and live full lives, and/or emergency medical care…

    Tell me again why those of us whose lives were saved by Obamacare should give one fine damn about anything you have to say?

  • aunursa

    No one running for national office wants to make it impossible for millions of Americans to have health insurance.  No one running for national office wants to prevent millions of Americans from getting life-saving medical care.  The candidates disagree about the means to reach those ends.

  • EllieMurasaki

    No one running for national office wants to make it impossible for
    millions of Americans to have health insurance.  No one running for
    national office wants to prevent millions of Americans from getting
    life-saving medical care.  The candidates disagree about the means to
    reach those ends.

    Obama has put a mechanism in place to ensure medical care for everyone. It’s not the ideal mechanism, but it works. We know it works because it’s the exact same thing Romney did in Massachusetts.

    Romney opposes Obama’s health care plan. Why, I’m not clear on, because Obamacare was Romney’s idea to begin with, but Romney does plan to dismantle Obamacare, and Medicare, and Medicaid. Has Romney ever said what he’d replace these with? Because if Romney hasn’t advanced an alternate proposal, and I have never heard that he has, then it’s not a case of Obamacare vs Romneycare, it’s a case of Obamacare vs nothing. If it’s Obamacare vs nothing, then it’s not that the candidates disagree on how to provide health care for all, it’s that they disagree on whether it should be done.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     It isn’t actually all that strange that someone might support Romneycare but oppose Obamacare. You can believe that each state should set up its own system rather than having the same system for the whole country.

    Of course, Obamacare *does* allow states to opt out if they’ve got their own system that meets the minimum requirements, but then you get into this weird place for GOP-inclined people where “But why would a state make its own if the federal government has one?” somehow seems to make sense (Even on a personal level. Actual Conversation: “But if the government provides healthcare, the level of care for *me* will go down, because I’ll get the same level as poor people.” “No, you’ll still be able to buy private healthcare at whatever quality level you can afford.” “[Confused look] Why would I spend my own money to buy healthcare when there’s low-quality-but-acceptable healthcare being offered for free?”)

    Also, Romney, like the rest of the GOP, is taking the position “Yes, we definately need something in place of Obamacare. It might be very similar to Obamacare; we’ll concede it may have one or two good things about it. But we’ll sort that out later. the important thing right NOW is that we repeal Obamacare. We’ll work out what to replace it with in our *second* term.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It isn’t actually all that strange that someone might support Romneycare but oppose Obamacare. You can believe that each state should set up its own system rather than having the same system for the whole country.
     
    Which, fair; as I recall Canada’s provinces each have their own single-payer system and it works fine. But if one believes that state-by-state Romneycare is better than federal Obamacare, then one ought to be pushing hard and loud for every state to have its own system, which needs to be gotten into place before Obamacare is dismantled so that nobody suffers in the interim.
     
    Also, Romney, like the rest of the GOP, is taking the position “Yes, we definately need something in place of Obamacare. It might be very similar to Obamacare; we’ll concede it may have one or two good things about it. But we’ll sort that out later. the important thing right NOW is that we repeal Obamacare. We’ll work out what to replace it with in our *second* term.”
     
    Which is functionally equivalent to Romney wanting to take Obamacare away with nothing to replace it; nobody’s health problems are going to take a holiday between the destruction of Obamacare and the institution of its replacement. And which is–no ‘equivalent’ here, it is–Romney wanting to replace Obamacare with something that functions the same but for which he can take credit, which is appalling. (Elvis getting credit for musical innovations that he stole from black musicians appalls me for the same reasons.)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Which is functionally equivalent to Romney wanting to take Obamacare away with nothing to replace it; nobody’s health problems are going to take a holiday between the destruction of Obamacare and the institution of its replacement

    While the official party line is “We have to repeal it first, and we’ll work out what to replace it with that will be even better and will not cost any money”, I think most reasonable people understand what they mean is “We have to repeal it now, and hope the public just forgets about the need for healthcare reform because we really don’t give a shit about it.”

  • http://rightcrafttool.blogspot.com/ Sign Ahead

    I’m not sure that “everyone votes in their self interest” is a winning argument. It sounds an awful lot like “But mom, everyone else was doing it!” and that never worked, even when I was six years old.

  • aunursa

    I’m not arguing that everyone should vote based on their self-interest.  I’m arguing that, by-and-large, everyone does vote based on what they perceive to be their self-interest.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    I’m arguing that, by-and-large, everyone does vote based on what they perceive to be their self-interest.

    Aunursa, if I were to vote based on my self-interest, then at the next election I’d be voting for the Coalition. Definitely.

    Instead, I will probably be voting for the Greens, who I don’t actually like, because of their position on same-sex marriage (not going to affect me, as I’m straight and so are most of the people I know) and asylum seekers (not going to affect me unless the scaremongers are right about them stealing my jobs).

    And sure, I might be an outlying exception to the rule. But I’m not the only one. Exactly how many exceptions do you need before “everyone” is not the right term to use?

  • Daughter

    In a way, you and aunursa might be saying the same thing. People have multiple interests, not all of them economic, and they prioritize them differently. It sounds like you’re prioritizing a just and humane society, which, while indirect, is still in your self-interest (it’s the type of society your want to live in).  Other people prioritize having the lowest taxes possible, or having a society that reflects what they believe are their religious values.

    So I don’t think it’s very effective to tell people they’re voting against their interests, when the interests you’re referring to are solely economic. It’s condescending and probably just pisses people off. A better strategy might be to help them think through which priorities are really most important to them,* or whether the policies of the party or candidates they support are really going to achieve what they want (for example, if you’re against abortion, weighing whether it’s more effective to support the candidate who says they’ll outlaw it, or the one who wants to put policies in place to prevent the need for abortion).

    * I’m not sure whether this is always possible in our tribalized world (at least in the U.S.), but here are two stories I’ve heard. One was from the 2004 US presidential election, when a speaker addressed a mostly black crowd, encouraging them to vote. He asked them to think about how many people they knew who were unemployed, or who were serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. Then he asked them to consider whether they knew anyone who was LGBT who wanted to get married. He asked, “Which of these issues really affects your life or the lives of those you love? Shouldn’t you vote based on that?” (This was to address the Republican strategy that year of trying to use concerns about marriage equality in the black community to draw black votes)

    Another was from an Obama canvasser in 2008, who, when initially met with resistance by someone she was reaching out to, started asking him about his job his benefits, his family, etc.  She was able to have a really good conversation with him in which she pointed out all the ways the Democratic platform would help him with the things that concerned him most.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

     In that case, you might just as well say “people vote for the people who they want to have in power”. Which… yes.

  • Daughter

    No, I’m saying self-interest isn’t just about economics.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    A better strategy might be to help them think through which priorities are really most important to them,* or whether the policies of the party or candidates they support are really going to achieve what they want

    A few years ago I did an analysis of about 20 years of Australian polling that looked at what issues people said were most important to them, and what party they thought was strongest on various issues.

    While the 3rd and subsequent issues on the list varied from time to time, very large majorities consistently rated health and education as the most important issues for them when voting. At the same time, Labor consistently had a clear lead in terms of who was seen to have the best policies on health and education. So Labor would dominate the preferred party polling pretty consistently, right?

    Not so much.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Aunursa, if I were to vote based on my self-interest, then at the next election I’d be voting for the Coalition. Definitely.

    You’re an upper middle class straight married person with children in private schools? Earning over $150,000 p.a. and planning to have a baby in a couple of years? Working in a private sector job that is in no way dependent on government employees and with sufficient power to negotiate a good deal with your employer in the absence of industrial relations protection? Live in a world in which climate change is not a threat? Good for you.

    I’m not any of those things but there’s a decent chance a Coalition government would be good for my personal finances. I live in a public sector town and last time the Libs got in and slashed jobs it went into recession and house prices dropped. I’m in the market for a flat so I’m waiting until after the election, as are other friends of mine. Of course, there’s a chance that mine could be one of the jobs they cut, so I’m playing the odds…

    My family, on the other hand, being various combinations of sick and/or poor, are utterly screwed by Liberal Party policies.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    You’re an upper middle class straight married person with children in private schools? Earning over $150,000 p.a. and planning to have a baby in a couple of years? Working in a private sector job that is in no way dependent on government employees and with sufficient power to negotiate a good deal with your employer in the absence of industrial relations protection? Live in a world in which climate change is not a threat? Good for you.

    Yeah, kinda. Well – I’m upper middle class, likely to be married with kids in a few years, and working in a professional private sector job. I’m the kind of person the Coalition tend to think of themselves as “working for”. In many ways, them being in power would be good for me financially.

    It’s just that their policies horrify me – and Tony Abbott really horrifies me.

  • PJ Evans

    It sounds an awful lot like “But mom, everyone else was doing it!” and that never worked, even when I was six years old.

    Did your mother have an answer like ‘If everyone else was jumping off a cliff, would you do it too?’

  • Kiba

    Did your mother have an answer like ‘If everyone else was jumping off a cliff, would you do it too?’

    My mom pulled that on me once. “If your brother jumped off a cliff, would you?” I looked straight in the eye and said, “Well, that depends. Does he survive?”

  • Ross Thompson

    No one running for national office wants to make it impossible for millions of Americans to have health insurance.  No one running for national office wants to prevent millions of Americans from getting life-saving medical care.  The candidates disagree about the means to reach those ends.

    Yes. One party wants to provide millions of low-income families with health insurance, while the other party thinks people who don’t have heath insurance should just sell some of their stock to pay for cancer treatments. Obviously, we can’t make any judgements about which of these plans will better serve people who need health care, but can’t afford it.

  • Carstonio

    Free-market solutions for health care are inherently incapable of providing universal coverage. That’s because the goal of maximizing profits and returns inherently conflicts with the purpose of insurance, which is to spread risk among a large group so everyone can afford it. The for-profit insurers cater to policyholders who will mean the most profits, at the expense of everyone else. So when any politician from either party keeps pushing the idea that the market will fix everything, it’s reasonable to suspect that either zie is blind to how markets work, or zie believes that health care is a privilege and not a right.

  • Beroli

    No one running for national office wants to make it impossible for
    millions of Americans to have health insurance.  No one running for
    national office wants to prevent millions of Americans from getting
    life-saving medical care.

    Would you like to provide evidence for this assertion?

  • aunursa

    Your fiancée implied that Romney wants to make it impossible for millions of Americans to have health insurance and to get life-saving treatment.  Given that Romney has indicated that his plan would include the Obamacare provision relating to preexisting conditions — as he says his plan in Massachusetts did — the burden of proof is on her to provide concrete support for her assertion.

  • Carstonio

    It doesn’t matter what Romney or anyone else intends. What matters is that leaving health coverage in the hands of the market results in care being a privilege.

  • Daughter

     Nope, Romney later clarified his remarks, stating that those with pre-existing conditions who had had uninterrupted health insurance coverage couldn’t be turned down. Which had been the status quo in many places prior to Romneycare or Obamacare (although those same insurers often had provisions that stated that while the person wouldn’t be turned down, they could get no coverage for their pre-existing condition until they had been covered under the new plan for 6 to 9 months. So a diabetic in that situation could be covered if she broke her leg next week, but not for her diabetes, a condition that needs ongoing monitoring and care).

    I’m in this situation. My husband,who has pre-existing conditions, works as a contractor, so he gets no benefits. He was covered under my insurance plan at work, but when I lost my job, he lost his coverage as well. I’m in a new job that only covers employees, not family members.  Thanks to Obamacare, we were able to enroll him in the state high risk insurance plan for those with pre-existing conditions.

  • PJ Evans

     That’s what Romney said last time. What he said the time before was different, and what he says next time will probably be different.
    He has about as much backbone as a toasted marshmallow. And less character.

  • Lori

    Given that Romney has indicated that his plan would include the
    Obamacare provision relating to preexisting conditions — as he says his
    plan in Massachusetts did — the burden of proof is on her to provide
    concrete support for her assertion.  

    Please provide a link to Romney’s detailed plan for providing coverage for per-existing conditions without the ZOMG COMMUNISM!!!!! mandate? Please note that the Massachusetts plan has a mandate and yes, it includes penalties for not having coverage.

    aunursa is never going to get this, but other people might. You aren’t going to get coverage for pre-existing conditions without the mandate. The math just doesn’t work. Insurance companies are not going to provide coverage if people can wait until they’re sick to buy it and then drop it once they’re better. Not going to happen. That’s why Romney’s plan in Massachusetts included  a mandate.  Because when Mitt was heading a slice of the reality-based community instead of running to be head of a group whose theme song ought to be “Lunatic Fringe” he wasn’t obligated to pretend not to understand how for-profit businesses work or that he’s unable to do math.

    Romney can “indicate” any damn thing he wants, but unless he releases a detailed plan (which he has not) we are not under any obligation to give his indications an weight, especially when they flatly contradict both math and Mitt’s previous plan. So no, the burden of proof is not on her. It remains firmly on the guy claiming he’ll repeal and replace “Obamacare”, but who declines to give any details on what the “replace” part will look like.

  • PJ Evans

    unless he releases a detailed plan (which he has not) we are not under any obligation to give his indications an weight

    That, right there, sums up all of the things Rmoney and Lyin’ Ryan have said. Lots of talk, but all the details are ‘wait till after the election’.

  • JenL

     

    Your fiancée implied that Romney wants to make it impossible for
    millions of Americans to have health insurance and to get life-saving
    treatment.  Given that Romney has indicated that his plan would include
    the Obamacare provision relating to preexisting conditions — as he says
    his plan in Massachusetts did — the burden of proof is on her to
    provide concrete support for her assertion.

    Given that Romney has made many comments that he has immediately walked back, I’m not sure “Romney has indicated” means all that much.  Not to mention, last I knew, Romney still wanted to repeal the whole thing, then replace certain sections – so there’s no guarantee that section would be replaced, but there would at minimum be a gap during which there was no longer any protection.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If I put FiveThirtyEight in one tab and the NYT’s electoral map gizmo in the next, and put everything that 538 says is 90% or better chance of going Obama in the left circle and everything 90% chance or better of going Romney in the right, it’s 237 Obama to 167 Romney. If I move the states with an 80% or better chance of going somewhere to that somewhere, 253 to 191. The states in the middle at this point are Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

    If Obama wins Florida, or Ohio, or Virginia and New Hampshire, or Colorado and Iowa and New Hampshire, or North Carolina and New Hampshire, then Obama’s won the election. Romney has to win Florida and Ohio and Virginia and North Carolina and at least one of Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire in order to win. He could do without Virginia or North Carolina, but he’d have to take all three of Colorado, Iowa, and New Hampshire in order to do it.

    Of those seven states, the only one that’s pink on the FiveThirtyEight map is North Carolina.

    Romney’s toast.

  • aunursa

    Romney’s toast.

    Our Republican Candidate is Toast

    Since Labor Day, the media have released about 20 polls on the presidential race. Three show a dead heat, one shows Romney leading by a single percentage point, and the rest show Barack Obama leading by one to 10 points. In the latest polls, Obama leads by an average of five points. It’s fashionable at this stage to caution that “anything can happen,” that Romney is “retooling,” and that the numbers can turn in Romney’s favor just as easily as they turned against him. But they can’t. The numbers are moving toward Obama because fundamental dynamics tilt the election in his favor. The only question has been how far those dynamics would carry him….

    Yes, in principle, Romney could win. The stock market could crash. Obama could be caught shagging an intern. Romney could electrify the country with the greatest performance in the history of presidential debates. But barring such a grossly unlikely event, there is no reason to think Romney will recover. Ultimately, reasons drive elections. . . . [L]ook closely at the trends beneath the horse-race numbers, and you’ll realize why it’s practically impossible to turn those numbers around. Obama doesn’t just have the lead. On each underlying factor, he has the upside as well.

    Depressing, right? Well, maybe not so much.

    See, if you click the link, you’ll see that my quotation is not quite accurate. I substituted “Romney” for “Bush” and “Obama” for “Gore.” Yes, the quote is from William Saletan, [on September 14, 2000], explaining why Bush couldn’t possibly win.

  • Seraph4377

    And he didn’t win.  The election was stolen.  2000 is longer ago than 2008, but we do still remember it.

    Still, if Romney had even a tenth of Shrub’s charisma, or if Obama was as much of a boring placeholder as Gore, you might have a point.  But since neither is the case…

  • aunursa

    Hey, if you don’t accept 2000, look back to 1980.  The race was very competitive until the final week, when Reagan pulled ahead and won the popular vote by 10%.  At any rate, if you’re going to claim that Romney cannot win because he’s less charismatic than Bush — Bush??? — or that Obama is unbeatable merely because he’s more likeable than Gore, then there really isn’t much for me to say.

  • Seraph4377

    Oh, good.  Feel free to shut up, then. 

  • Daughter

     Oh come on, aunursa! The widespread negative opinion of Bush on the right until occur until late in his second term, and except for those on the hard left, most non-conservatives didn’t feel that negatively about him until the Iraq war.   Don’t you remember the “who’d you rather have a beer with, Bush or Gore?” meme that was so prevalent in 2000?

    In contrast, almost no one likes Romney now, even before the election.

  • aunursa

    Oh, I’m sorry.  I didn’t realize we were discussing likeability.  I thought we were discussing charisma.

  • VMink

    Odd question here: What’s the difference in this case between charisma and likeability?  They sound kinda the same to me? Not saying they ARE the same, just that I’m just missing the difference (which is, well, not uncommon for me.)

  • The_L1985

     …The two are closely linked.

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

    I dunno, I got the definite feeling that prior to 9/11, Bush was already being regarded as a lackluster, possibly illegitimate President, who was rapidly destroying any goodwill he’d built up as a “compassionate conservative”.

    September 11 2001 was the best gift Osama bin Laden ever gave George W. Bush.

  • Daughter

    True, but there wasn’t active dislike of him until the Iraq War. But the point remains: he squandered good will. Romney’s never really had it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I dunno, I got the definite feeling that prior to 9/11, Bush was already being regarded as a lackluster, possibly illegitimate President, who was rapidly destroying any goodwill he’d built up as a “compassionate conservative”.

    I’m pretty sure my mother never said a word about Bush, good or bad, before 9/11. Which, given the amount of complaining I remember her doing about Obama and both Clintons, probably says something.

    (First political memory: Mom saying, after the 1996 mock election results came out, that it was a shame that Okaloosa County schoolkids weren’t the ones who decided who got to be President. Okaloosa County is rural Florida with an Air Force base in the middle; of course Dole won. Given that lack of electoral influence, I’m not sure if I should regret how I voted or not: being the clueless seven-year-old kid of an outspoken Republican, I voted Dole.)

  • Lori

    Bush’s poll numbers were totally in the toilet in the months right before 9/11. He had a very, very short “honeymoon”. Those on the Left (rightly) perceived him as illegitimate and shoving through a huge tax cut for the rich because as Darth Cheney said, they won and the tax cuts they wanted were their due, put much of the center and even some of the center-Right off him.

    Bush benefited far more from 9/11 than Al Qaeda or bin Laden did. (And even then he couldn’t get his pet domestic policy, SSI privitization, passed. Gawd he was a crappy president. And thank FSM for that because if he had been better we’d be even more screwed than we are now.)

  • PJ Evans

    Romney cannot win because he’s less charismatic than Bush — Bush??? —
    or that Obama is unbeatable merely because he’s more likeable than Gore

    Both of those are true, and even Republicans don’t like Romney.
    (I liked Gore’s sense of humor, but most reporters either didn’t get it or were too wrapped up in surface appearances.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Hey, if you don’t accept 2000, look back to 1980.  The race was very competitive until the final week, when Reagan pulled ahead and won the popular vote by 10%.
     
    FiveThirtyEight has Obama’s chance of winning hovering around 80%. That is not a hallmark of a competitive race.

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

     Well,  “the polls demonstrate Romney hasn’t a chance” and “the polls, taken in conjunction with our knowledge that Romney isn’t charismatic and Obama isn’t a boring placeholder, demonstrate that Romney hasn’t a chance,” are two different statements.

  • Seraph4377

    I never said that Romney hasn’t a chance.  I said that aunursa’s confidence was bizarre, difficult to understand and probably based on epistemic closure, because Romney is currently losing. 

    For the record, Romney has a chance until November 6.  The polls demonstrate that that chance is slim and getting slimmer.  Because he is not only uncharismatic, but anticharismatic, and because Obama is charismatic, unlike the boring placeholders aunursa is gloating about beating.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Uncharismatic? But the way he smiles and calls me “friend” and raises his jaw slightly as he speaks, it’s like he *really* cares…  that I acknowledge my properly due fealty to him as the laird of this great land of his in which we are but lowly serfs. (Seriously, every time Romney speaks, he sounds like a minor aristocrat deigning to allow the “little people” to bask in his glory)

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

    One thing I did notice is that if you turn the sound off and watch his expressions during the NAACP speech he looks somewhat patronizing.

    On the other hand, if you keep the sound on, don’t watch the video, you get that weird soothing vibe you get from a well-trained radio speaker who knows how to put that kind of calming tone in his voice.

    Romney really is a fascinating case study for anyone who wants to study people who can convey such different things with their appearance and (or versus) their voice.

  • aunursa

    I’ve read analyses indicating that Romney is in big trouble, and I’ve read analyses indicating that Romney is going to coast to victory, and I’ve read analyses indicating that it is going to be a very close election, perhaps decided by one or two states. Based on all of that, I don’t know what to believe. I don’t know whether I should be slightly confident or very concerned.

    And from that you’re able to conclude that I am confident that Romney will win?

    For the record, I find it somewhat ironic that others are citing polls to prove that Romney’s chances are slim, while I am advising caution about putting too much confidence in these polls (based on the diversity of all poll results and their daily fluctuation.)

  • Seraph4377

    And the goal posts move yet again.  I should have taken the warning to ignore you.  Weren’t you going to shut up, by the way?

  • Ross Thompson

    See, if you click the link, you’ll see that my quotation is not quite accurate. I substituted “Romney” for “Bush” and “Obama” for “Gore.” Yes, the quote is from William Saletan, [on September 14, 2000], explaining why Bush couldn’t possibly win.

    And all it took for Bush to beat Gore was for a right-wing Supreme Court to prevent votes in Florida from being counted. I’m not sure why you think this is a good example of polling error in general.

  • aunursa

    In 2001 the New York Times and other media conducted analyses of what would have happened if the recount had not been stopped.  They determined that Bush almost certainly would have won anyway — since Gore had issued the puzzling request to recount only four populated and liberal counties — rather than a recount of the entire state.  Thus the idea that the Supreme Court stole the election is nonsense.   At any rate, my point is that Bush was declared the winner, and was inaugurated several weeks later (much to my chagrin.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yes, the quote is from William Saletan, [on September 14, 2000], explaining why Bush couldn’t possibly win.
     
    Bush didn’t win, dipshit. A statewide recount, as you admitted (not as Gore asked, yes, but as Gore should have asked), would have given Florida to Gore. And the majority opinion in Bush v Gore says “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.” Which tells anyone with sense that the Court knew damn well they were stealing the election for Bush and didn’t want anyone to use this case as precedent should someone attempt to steal the election for a Democrat.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yes, the quote is from William Saletan, [on September 14, 2000], explaining why Bush couldn’t possibly win.
     
    Bush didn’t win, dipshit. A statewide recount, as you admitted (not as Gore asked, yes, but as Gore should have asked), would have given Florida to Gore. And the majority opinion in Bush v Gore says “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.” Which tells anyone with sense that the Court knew damn well they were stealing the election for Bush and didn’t want anyone to use this case as precedent should someone attempt to steal the election for a Democrat.

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

    There are, sadly, far too many people who would literally vote for toasted bread over Obama. Especially if it was toasted with the image of Jesus. 

  • Lori

    That would depend on how dark the breaded was toasted.

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

    Ain’t no side losing, really. Obama might be leading, but his margin is well within the margin of error, which sort of makes his lead meaningless, no? 

  • Sally Fields

    That’s not really how it works. Obama has a very good chance of winning right now because he’s winning in the swing states that have a lot of electoral votes (namely Florida, Ohio, and Virginia).

  • Lori

     If we didn’t have the electoral college, sure, but we do and it isn’t.

  • Lori

     

    The question that challenger Ronald Reagan asked of each voter in 1980 — and that Republicans are asking today — is not “Are we better off?  The question is “Are you better off?   

    Of course that’s the question he asked. The Reagan Revolution killed off the last bit of the GOP even pretending to be about anything other than naked selfishness.

     

    The American voters will answer that question on November 6th.

    Even assuming that the economy was the only issue driving voting this year (which it isn’t, no matter how many times you repeat it), the notion that such a frame favors Romeny is not well thought-out.

    Let me put this in a way that you can understand. CNN did a poll on the economy. There are several things worth looking at, but I’ll just point out 1. They asked who people blame for the fact that the economy sucks. The answer did not favor the GOP.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/13/cnnorc-poll-september-7-9-economy/

    If you’re not afraid of getting Maddow blog cooties, Steve Benen put the results in a nice, simple graphic.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/09/14/13861546-bush-is-gone-but-not-forgotten

    You do grasp why this has significance for Romney’s campaign, yes?

  • aunursa

    Let me put this in a way that you can understand. CNN did a poll on the economy. There are several things worth looking at, but I’ll just point out 1. They asked who people blame for the fact that the economy sucks. The answer did not favor the GOP.

    The poll would be more helpful if it indicated the D/R/I breakdown, which it does not.  And it was taken immediately following the Democratic convention, so the results probably include some of the “post-convention bounce” that has since dissipated.

  • The_L1985

    The registered Dems are likely to vote for Obama, and the registered Repubs for Rmoney.  That’s pretty much indisputable.

    And considering that there’s no strong third-party candidate this year, we can safely assume that only a very small percentage of registered Independents are going to actually vote third-party.

    You may be right about the “bounce,” but I don’t see how the D/R/I breakdown would make things that much more useful.

  • Lori

    You are just completely fact-resistant aren’t you? The economy is not helping Romney. That’s why he didn’t get any “post-convention bounce”, has never had odds of winingr the election much above 30% and why even people working for his campaign concede that there’s almost no chance of him pulling it out. Oh, they didn’t say it quite that way. They phrased it as Obama having more routes to victory than Romney does, but they meant, “Unless Obama does something he’s never done before and totally blows this thing, we’re boned.”

    That’s why the speakers at the GOP convention talked more about their own resumes for 2016 than they did about Romney. They have gotten the memo that you flatly refuse to read—-the election that the GOP expected to be a gimme because of the economy is in fact shaping up to be a loss. Because the GOP’s ideas for dealing with the economy suck out loud and Vulture/Voucher 2012 is not a winning ticket.

    If Romney wins it will not be because of the economy as it stands now. If something were to happen that made the economy dramatically worse and that could be pinned on Obama then yes, he could win. I have no doubt he prays every day for a stock market collapse or for the price of oil to top $200/barrel, but unless Mormon God delivers or Mitt gets a new schtick in a great big hurry* he’s going to have to work on accepting that he’s never going to fulfill his dream of being a former President of the US.

    *If the smirk memed ’round the internet is any indication of his efforts in this direction he should probably just let that idea go now and stick with hoping for economic Armageddon to hit about mid-October.

  • Donalbain

     The poll would be more helpful if it indicated the D/R/I breakdown,
    which it does not.  And it was taken immediately following the
    Democratic convention, so the results probably include some of the
    “post-convention bounce” that has since dissipated.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html

    Grrr! Stupid facts!

  • Wesley

    While I in no way endorse Haley Barbour or anything he believes in, I think we need to take a giant step back on finding racist or evil undertones in common sayings. “A hot poker to his [various words for hindquarters]” is a common enough saying in the South, and while the imagery is disturbing and tone-deaf, it’s not racist or malicious (it refers to cattle, not slaves, and is used indiscriminately at least in the small Texas town I grew up in.)

    Let the other side feign outrage over “lipstick on a pig”; we’ve got better issues to hammer them on.

  • vsm

    Wow, Eliza Dushku’s mom is pretty cool.

  • Robyrt

    That David Barton stuff is pretty mystifying. It’s easy to link passages in the Constitution with Bible verses, which is not surprising since the founding fathers probably learned to read with the King James Bible, and the common law also has a healthy dose of biblical influences. There’s no need to say it actually quotes the Bible, unless you are exaggerating for comic effect. (“Article I, Section 9! I saw a beast with seven horns, enacted with the advice and consent of the Senate!”)

  • The_L1985

     The 3 branches one is particularly puzzling.  For a goodly chunk of ancient and medieval history, your judge, king, and ruler, by definition were the same person.

    I also fail to see how a king or noble appointing military officers based on merit is like millions of voters electing government officials.  One is top-down; the other is bottom-up.

    Granted, a few of those verses very clearly show up in the Constitution.  But none of them is a direct quote!

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

    Just say those magic words and there will be no arrest, no criminal charges, no jail time. (Note: This only works if you’re a bank.)

    And that, my friends, is yet more support for why I call Wells Fargo “The Colossal Bank of Dicks.”  My phone actually recognizes it as a phrase.

  • PJ Evans

    WF suspended the credit line of one couple and wanted them to pay off the entire amount – nearly $90,000 – within a year, and it was technically legal because there was a clause in the contract (6 pages of fine print) that said the bank could make whatever changes it wanted without notice, and it was before the law was revised to restrict that kind of thing. The couple complained to a consumer advocate and the bank backed down, but only as a special favor to them.

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

    The question was: how do we ensure that certain denominations preserve their superior social status?

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    “Yes, I am better off than I was four years ago, by a country mile. But that’s hardly indicative of anything; I’m one fortunate person in a resilient field in a city that recovered quickly.”

    I don’t get people who think their reality is everyone’s reality. My husband is in a field and area with a very low unemployment rate* (2%). Because of that, we haven’t been hit by the recession. But that doesn’t mean I think no one has, or that I don’t need to have some empathy or awareness toward people who have. 

    *If you can do something in IT and don’t mind moving to Dallas-Fort Worth, consider looking for a job there. They’re having trouble filling positions around here.

  • AnonymousSam

    Can’t say I expect much from a company who got its start hiring Wyatt Earp to shoot criminals. :p

  • MaryKaye

    I am in financial trouble, but I am still better off than four years ago because the ACA makes it harder for my insurance company to shaft me.  Both my husband and my son have serious ongoing medical conditions.  If we stopped being covered by insurance it would be catastrophic–there is no way we could cope.  And pre-ACA, if I lost my job it’s likely that neither of them would ever have insurance again, as those are pre-existing conditions.

    The ACA is not what I wanted, and is far from perfect.  But it is *so much* better than what we had before.  It may literally save my husband’s mobility or my child’s life.

    I am also seeing small signs of an economic upturn in my city; after many years in which there were never “help wanted” signs, there are beginning to be some.  Businesses which have been closed for years are cautiously opening.

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

    fluctuated

    publicly

    .. these pet peeves brought to you by Buck Williams’s cookie.

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

    Also?

    Romney doesn’t even have a good grasp on what the middle class is.

    $250,000 and below? Get fucking real, Romney.

  • VMink

    Reminds me of the gaffe, “Getting paid $50 an hour to pick cabbage.”

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    Romney doesn’t even have a good grasp on what the middle class is.
    $250,000 and below? Get fucking real, Romney.

    When you live on the fringe, you tend to (incorrectly) measure the middle based upon the median rather than the mean.  

    Thus, the filthy rich believe the moderately-rich-but-wealthy-compared-to-most-people are middle income.  

    And the Randian-Bircher-wingnut-teabagger loons believe every news outlet left of Fox News is a Communist Party mouthpiece.  

    And Armageddon-seeking evangelicals believe anyone who doesn’t hate gays and evolution and abortion is a Satan worshiping atheist.

  • The_L1985

     Er, the mean household income is dramatically higher than the median.  Means are more strongly influenced by outliers (in this case, the wealthiest 1%) than medians are.

    ;)

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    Indeed.  I reversed to two.  Stupid “m” words … they all look the same.

  • PJ Evans

     This morning I was explaining mean and median (and mode) to a commenter at a newspaper site who said that medium and median both mean average, so they’re really the same word. I gave him the short definition of all three (math and statistics do wonders for vocabulary).

  • Matri

    And Armageddon-seeking evangelicals believe anyone who doesn’t hate gays
    and evolution and abortion is a Satan worshiping atheist.

    I need to make these business cards.

    Certified Satan worshiping atheist.

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

     There’s a certification for that now?

  • The_L1985

    I have a relative who earns that much, and refuses to admit that he’s rich.  It’s irritating.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    There’s a class of people who make a respectable six-figure income, but then sink it into payments on multiple cars and grandiose McMansions and fishing boats and nice vacations so they can claim they’re not rich because their income is fully leveraged.  It’s not logical to anyone but them.  You see, they need these things, like the rest of us need to pay for groceries and rent, so they’re living hand-to-mouth just like you and me.

  • The_L1985

    Those people sicken me, honestly.  But then, I’m one of those crazies who views small rooms as “cozy,” more cars than drivers as redundant, a “designer purse” as a purse that I designed and sewed myself, and boats as something it’s much easier to rent at the lake.

    I’m honestly baffled by the person who takes a second job because “I need the money!!!” while they’re wearing expensive clothes and clutching a Louis Vuitton purse.  It’s like the concepts of selling possessions or buying less-expensive stuff have never once occurred to them. You may not be able to sell your house, but you can damned well sell that purse and those earrings on eBay.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    It illustrates two approaches toward the balance between spending and earning.

    One group looks at how much they make and asks, “what can I afford?”

    Another looks at what they want to spend and asks, “how much do I have to earn to support this lifestyle?”

    The latter approach works better if you have economic mobility—something the wealthy possess to a far greater degree than the rest of us.  Unfortunately, acting like you have economic mobility when you don’t doesn’t make you any more wealthy than sticking feathers in your butt makes you a chicken.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

    Possibly the worst part about this is that these are the people who then often project their own situation and behavior onto people who make significantly less than themselves.  They assume that those living in or near poverty are simply “living beyond their means” by spending money on things that, if push comes to shove, they could live without.  Just like they themselves do.

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

    I try to live *within* my means, by which I mean spending less than I earn.  This can let me go beyond my means occasionally, such as when I used savings to handle a bout of unemployment without running up credit cards.  

    That said, there are people who simply don’t earn enough to cover minimal (not extravagant) expenses.  Usually they’re not earning $200K/year.

  • PJ Evans

     I think that your relative is confusing income with class. A lot of people seem to do that, probably because money is their primary method of score-keeping.

  • The_L1985

    Yes, but you’d think someone who co-owns a godsdamned plane would realize what that means about his income bracket.

  • PJ Evans

     You’d think that someone who has several houses and is talking about tearing one down that’s already larger than most to build one that’s the size of a small hotel, with a multistory garage with an elevator for the cars, would realize that his income is too big for most of us to even grasp as a idea. (The CEO of the company I work at gets something like $9 million a year, which I think is more than enough, but she’s earning  her money.)

  • The_L1985

     It’s certainly his.  He’s constantly puzzled that I’m happy with a non-six-figure income.  “But she could have been a doctor!!”

  • SisterCoyote

     …holy crap. This is why I’ve been hesitating to say the mindset that he’s too damn rich to run for office isn’t… wholly wrong. Because on the one hand, yes, I understand the whole thing, it’s not a crime to be rich, we shouldn’t punish success, etc. (I mean, assuming he didn’t get there stamping on faces and shredding lives, because what kind of monster makes their way like that?)

    But on the other hand, we’re electing someone to run the country, and represent the country; how can he represent a population when 99% of them are literally beyond his scope of understanding?

  • vsm

    how can he represent a population when 99% of
    them are literally beyond his scope of understanding?

    I think most American liberals would agree that FDR did a pretty good job of that, aside from the racism.

  • Seraph4377

    Somehow, his wealth didn’t prevent him from at least some basic understanding of…pretty much any other state of being.  I guess he wasn’t as completely sheltered and incurious as Romney.

  • vsm

    I don’t know if his background was any less sheltered than Romney’s, or if he really got the average American of his day. Maybe he was simply smart enough to realize certain things needed to change if the United States were to survive, and got advisers who knew how to do it. I wouldn’t mind an out-of-touch rich guy like that on the throne.

  • PJ Evans

     FDR was a lot smarter and a lot less insulated.

  • Lori

     

     
    how can he represent a population when 99% of
    them are literally beyond his scope of understanding?

    I think most American liberals would agree that FDR did a pretty good job of that, aside from the racism.  

    I would say that most of the population was outside FDR’s personal experience, but that’s not the same thing as being beyond his understanding.

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

    And if I were the genuflecting sort and full of hero-worship I would literally be getting on my knees every day and thanking whatever Deities that FDR was the kind of man he was, instead of becoming the Romney of his era.

    Republicans should, too, because four years of Romney 1933-1937? It’d be even odds the Soviet Union would have managed to foment a revolution, and at that point I’d hate to imagine Stalinist central planning managing to fuck over the USA’s agriculture as badly as it did the Ukrainian version thereof.

    (Shudder, and imagine Canada under that bootheel, too. *visions of swathes of rotting wheat in the middle of Saskatchewan even as the General Secretary lives it up in Ottawa*)

  • Turcano

    It would have been them or the fascists.  You’d be surprised (or not, as the case may be) how few people realize that when FDR took office capitalism as a legitimate socioeconomic policy had one foot in the grave.

  • Jim Roberts

    That really is the upper ceiling for “middle class,” though. I mean, it’s the upper ceiling, and the way the interview went, Romney made it sound like $250 000 was the average, and I don’t doubt that he might think that. He wasn’t wrong, he jsut sounded callous and out of touch. Mostly because he’s callous and out of touch.

  • The_L1985

     I’ve seen what $100k/year looks like, and I’ve seen what $250k/year looks like.  The former I’ll accept as a barrier for middle-class; the latter is way too high.

  • delurker

    Can everyone just ignore the gigantic asshole in this thread for once?

  • VMink

    I’d like to present a hypothesis for general debate, that it is in the best interests of the (eponymious)  media in general to make the Presidential election appear to be as tight and close and down-to-the-wire as possible, to make both candidates seem to be neck-in-neck for as long as possible.  Both low and high numbers will energize either side for different reasons.  (“Our guy is winning!  Keep it up!”  “Our guy is loosing!  We must work harder!”  “Their guy is winning!  Beat ’em back!”  “Their guy is loosing!  Keep up the pressure!”)  And more energized means more people eagerly devouring/consuming/giving eyeball-time and brainspace to the selected media of their choice.

    I’m possibly (even likely, with my track record) wrong in this.  I just think that media in general has turned politics into some weird sort of really ugly spectator sport.  (“I gotta be there and support my Yankees, my Giants, and my Bloomberg!”)

    And yes, whom I will vote for is probably predictable.  I admit I stand somewhere to the left of Genghis Khan. =)

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

     I think you’re right, in that the media benefits from close races.

    I feel that most people suspected that Romney was going to win, especially after the field narrowed to just him, Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul. None of the not-Romney candidates at that point ever really eclipsed him in poll numbers (at least, not for more than a day or two, and only ever in one or two polls) and his primary win count (both number of states won and number of delegates accrued) was always much higher. Whenever someone did an analysis, the only way Santorum or Gingrich could have won was if they swept most of Romney’s strongest states — an unrealistic scenario in any case. That’s not even really getting into the personal deficiencies of the candidates; Gingrich failed to get on the ballot in his own state, for example, so it’s not like his campaign was even professionally-run.

    But you wouldn’t necessarily get that impression from coverage. It was always portrayed as a neck-and-neck race. There was always speculation about delegate math or a mystical strategy by Ron Paul to win the nomination without actually carrying a single state using the GOP’s arcana against them.

    Even after everyone admitted that Romney was actually going to win, they started playing up the idea of a chaotic brokered convention, based on the admittedly true fact that the party’s internal regulations were convoluted and the primary/caucus system was broken.

    Not every media outlet was doing this, of course. A lot of bloggers and mainstream media types did emphasize that the projections that made a brokered convention or a surprise win by Santorum or Paul were a long shot and that Romney was the most likely victor. But there was definitely a determined effort to portray it all as apresidential horse race, starting from before the Iowa straw poll last August.

  • SisterCoyote

     That is horrifically cynical and therefore also probably quite close to true.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    When Reagan said that, I was living in Texas where the oil-based economy had pretty much tanked. So everyone I knew would’ve answered “no” to that question.

  • Lori

    When Reagan said that, I was living in Texas where the oil-based economy
    had pretty much tanked. So everyone I knew would’ve answered “no” to
    that question.  

    And then most of them voted for Reagan any way. Funny that. One would almost think that an assessment of personal economic fortunes was not the sole, or possibly even the primary, driver of voting behavior for most people. Imagine.

  • Chaos-Engineer

    I’ve seen some polls showing incumbent Obama with a 5 point lead, and
    other polls showing challenger Romney with a 2 point lead.

    Remember that not all polls are created equal. A lot of the Romney-positive polls are coming from places like Rasmussen, which have an built-in Republican bias. (The main goal is to give the Republican Party something to take to donors: “See, we’re in good shape, so you won’t be throwing money away if you donate to us.” But they’re also useful to the mainstream media outlets that can attract readers by creating the illusion of a tight race.)

    If you’re looking for a good source of polling information, I can’t praise Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com enough. He was just brilliant in the 2008 cycle; his predictions for the primary contents and the electoral college were almost dead-on.

    So far this year, he’s seen neck-and-neck polls towards the end of the primary season, which widened to a three-point gap later on after the voters stopped comparing Romney to his primary opponents and started comparing him to Obama. The gap increased to five points after the conventions. It’s still a bit early to tell, but there are indications that Romney’s lost a little more ground over his Egypt/Libya gaffes.

    (That said, there are still almost two months until the election, so it’s still possible for Romney to regain lost ground. Maybe if there’s a major economic cataclysm, or if Obama gets over-confident and shows up drunk for the debates.)

  • Lori

     

    or if Obama gets over-confident and shows up drunk for the debates.  

    I am not joking when I say that unless he’s seriously, stumbling, slurring drunk I honestly think Obama can still take Romney. Mittens is a one man gaff machine. For reasons that I don’t fully understand, Obama can’t sell his policies worth a damn, but the man can campaign and he can debate. I feel fairly confident that the only place Romney is going to come out on top of the debates is in the Fox Noise after-yap.

  • Donalbain

     Mittens is a one man gaff machine.

    No. No. No. A Thousand times no. Romney is not a gaffe machine. A gaffe is when you say a word instead of another word. Its when you say 57 instead of 47. Its when you spell a word wrong on the blackboard. It is not when you talk and act exactly the way you mean to talk and act.
    It isnt a gaffe when he bets someone a years income for a poor worker. He meant to say that. It is not a gaffe when he lies about the President’s response to an attack that left a diplomat dead. He meant to do that. It is not a gaffe when he says he didn’t know that gay people had families. He meant to do that.

  • Lori

    You have a point about Romney mostly not committing gaffes. Most of the “errors” Romney makes are more in the category that a former coworker of mine calls “saying the quiet thing loud”.  They’re things he actually believes and should have known better than to say out loud in public. In some cases he seems to say things because he’s so out of touch that he doesn’t realize how the sound/what they reveal about him. In others, like the “families” comment, I think he’s deliberately playing to the base without fully grasping that the rest of us can hear him. He’s used to conducting his business in those quiet rooms he talked about and in spite of the fact that it feels like he’s been running for president since God was a boy (this is his 3rd try?) he doesn’t seem to have internalized that a campaign is not conducted in private.  And thank FSM for that too, because if he didn’t keep showing his true face more people would be voting for him.

    The lies are just that, lies. I wasn’t talking about those. The fact that you didn’t expect to get called on it doesn’t retroactively change a lie to a gaffe. Once you get into Romney/Ryan territory of just not caring if you get called on it, it’s really, really not a gaffe.

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

     Michael Kinsley actually defines a political “gaffe” as when a politician accidentally says what he really thinks.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    Romney doesn’t even have a good grasp on what the middle class is.

    $250,000 and below? Get fucking real, Romney.

    Also: if 250 grand is middle income, I’d love to know where the likes of Romney place the poverty line.  According to him, there are a lot more poor people in America than we ever imagined.

  • DavidCheatham


    Also: if 250 grand is middle income, I’d love to know where the likes of Romney place the poverty line.  According to him, there are a lot more poor people in America than we ever imagined.

    That’s always the odd thing about rich. They literally have no idea how much money people are making.

    Remember when McCain said he’d pay people $50 an hour picking lettuce? To be somewhat fair to him, he wasn’t saying people _did_ make that, he was trying to prove a point that there were jobs ‘Americans won’t do’, and trying to say they wouldn’t pick lettuce for that amount. The problem is…$50 an hour is so far above what average American workers makes that the entire concept falls apart. (If we assume $1000 and 40 hours a week, they make exactly half that.)

    And McCain is one of those people who _started_ out in a fairly normal economic situation. He’d just apparently lost track of wages since entering politics decades ago, and had assumed since prices had gone up, wages had.

    Romney has _never_ lived within any sorts of means. He’s _never_ had to pay his own way in the world, and he’s _never_ had a job he had to live off of.

    In his universe, poor people are those guys on the stock floor or an investment banker who’s still paying off student loans. Some of those poor guys make less than $100,000 a year and only have one house!

  • DavidCheatham


    Also: if 250 grand is middle income, I’d love to know where the likes of Romney place the poverty line.  According to him, there are a lot more poor people in America than we ever imagined.

    That’s always the odd thing about rich. They literally have no idea how much money people are making.

    Remember when McCain said he’d pay people $50 an hour picking lettuce? To be somewhat fair to him, he wasn’t saying people _did_ make that, he was trying to prove a point that there were jobs ‘Americans won’t do’, and trying to say they wouldn’t pick lettuce for that amount. The problem is…$50 an hour is so far above what average American workers makes that the entire concept falls apart. (If we assume $1000 and 40 hours a week, they make exactly half that.)

    And McCain is one of those people who _started_ out in a fairly normal economic situation. He’d just apparently lost track of wages since entering politics decades ago, and had assumed since prices had gone up, wages had.

    Romney has _never_ lived within any sorts of means. He’s _never_ had to pay his own way in the world, and he’s _never_ had a job he had to live off of.

    In his universe, poor people are those guys on the stock floor or an investment banker who’s still paying off student loans. Some of those poor guys make less than $100,000 a year and only have one house!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     You know what I keep flashing back to with Romney?

    There’s an episode of Cheers. Woody’s dating a wealthy heiress (he later marries her), and, not having much money, he writes her a song as a birthday present. She doesn’t comprehend what he’s done, and, shamed by his poverty, he runs off and spends literally every dime he has on a piece of jewlery for her. When he gives it to her, she’s very happy with it, and suggests they go out, and when he explains that he can’t afford it since he has literally no money, she can’t even comprehend what he’s talking about. The idea that there is such a thing as “Having no money, no you can’t go to the ATM and get more” is so utterly alien to her that she just kind of shorts out at the idea. (She gives him the jewelry back afterward, and suggsts he take her out to somewhere cheap).

    In a sick kind of way, it actually makes Romney seem less sociopathic: it’s not that he wants to hurt poor and middle-class families; he’s so detached from that reality that he *can not even imagine* real poverty. If he thinks that “middle class” is 200-250k, then 100k is half that. When people tell him how hard it is to be poor, he’s imagining them trying to get by on $75,ooo.

    Which is why so many things him and his wife say sound like different rephrasings of “Let them eat cake”.

  • Lori

     

    In a sick kind of way, it actually makes Romney seem less sociopathic:
    it’s not that he wants to hurt poor and middle-class families; he’s so
    detached from that reality that he *can not even imagine* real poverty.  

    Maybe this is just me being pissy because the majority of the 1% are on my very last good nerve, but I think that if you’ve been a governor and you didn’t have enough contact with your constituents to notice that the average middle class family makes a lot less than $250k and yet you want to be president, you’re a either a sociopath or seriously mentally deficient. In Romney’s case my money is on the former.

    It’s like when Ann Romney says that MS taught her empathy. I want someone to ask her straight out, “If the way you are now is the post-MS, empathy-enhanced version what on earth were you like when you were healthy?”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    Maybe this is just me being pissy because the majority of the 1% are on
    my very last good nerve, but I think that if you’ve been a governor and
    you didn’t have enough contact with your constituents to notice that the
    average middle class family makes a lot less than $250k and yet you
    want to be president, you’re a either a sociopath or seriously mentally
    deficient. In Romney’s case my money is on the former.

    Don’t forget, this is coming on the heels of the “I didn’t know you people had families,” revelation.

    Mitt Romney literally can not imagine people whose lives are not like his.

  • Lori

    Mitt Romney literally can not imagine people whose lives are not like his. 

    That makes us sort of even, because I can’t really imagine living his life either. For example, if I’d made my money the way Mitt made his I’d be too ashamed to leave the house. Certain things in life are simply easier for those not burdened with any concern for those outside their immediate personal circle.

  • Matri

    It’s like when Ann Romney says that MS taught her empathy. I want
    someone to ask her straight out, “If the way you are now is the post-MS,
    empathy-enhanced version what on earth were you like when you were
    healthy?”

    Yog-Sothoth.

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

    I keep thinking back to this article and the parable of the steelworker and the utterly clueless “why doesn’t he just go back to school?” question one wealthy person blurted out, showing just how out of touch these people are with the everyday concerns of human beings who, for the most part, still touch and handle physical things to make a living (even retail store employees count under this definition) as opposed to pushing around numbers to make even more money than could have been dreamed possible under the regulated markets of the 1960s and 1970s.

  • PJ Evans

    One of my friends had to point out, to someone wondering why they hadn’t signed up to get training for a high-tech job, that they’d been in high tech jobs, and the jobs had gone to India.

  • Lori

     

    And McCain is one of those people who _started_ out in a fairly normal
    economic situation. He’d just apparently lost track of wages since
    entering politics decades ago, and had assumed since prices had gone up,
    wages had.  

    McCain lost track of wages when he married rich. That allowed him to go into politics, but marrying money came first.

  • Guest

    Ellie, I hope to God you’re right.

    Just looked at that map – whoa, how is Indiana 94% likely to go Romney? We managed to pull it out for Obama in ’08, what happened?

  • Seraph4377

    Nothing happened, really.  Indiana is a hardcore red state that we somehow managed to pick up in a major wave election.  It was a fluke to begin with, and now it’s returning to form, that’s all.  The fact that we still have Virginia and they’re having to defend NC is more telling.

  • Guest

    Thanks for answering. Well, damn.

  • Lori

     

    Just looked at that map – whoa, how is Indiana 94% likely to go Romney?
    We managed to pull it out for Obama in ’08, what happened? 

    Man, I wish I knew. The fact that Indiana is going for Romney really isn’t a surprise though. It’s the newest “right to work” state. (WTF?) When things have gone far enough off the rails for a state this far north to fall for that particular big lie you know things are in bad shape. I have no idea how to turn that around. My only comfort at this point is that my actual home state, Michigan, is so firmly for Obama that Romney has written it off.

  • Daughter

     Indiana has always had its regressive elements. It once had the largest membership nationally of the Ku Klux Klan.

  • Lori

    Indiana has always had its regressive elements. It once had the largest membership nationally of the Ku Klux Klan.  

    This is true. And how funny that they don’t seem to cover that in Indiana history here. I guess “high water mark of the 2nd Klan” is not something they care to emphasize. They never seem to get around to mentioning the staggering number of sundown towns either. (That came up in conversation a while back and Hoosiers involved looked at me like I was from Mars when I mentioned it. When people don’t know things and don’t consider “you can look it up” to be legitimate unless you’re telling them to look in the Bible there’s really no way to have a conversation.)

    I was still surprised they fell for the right to work crap. I thought their self-preservation instincts were better than that. Apparently not. Again, Michigan provides the only bright spot for me—-having learned from Indiana’s and Wisconsin’s bad examples they’ve put a pro-union measure on the ballot this fall. I hope it passes.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    As for the whole “Jesus is the Answer” sign, I think the folks who put up the sign are using the word “answer” in the context of “answer or solution to a problem” rather than “answer to a question.”  Some folks truly believe that if America pledges its official allegiance to Evangelical Fundamentalism, God will miraculously solve every single problem we are currently facing.  The economy and climate will go back to normal, people will stop being gay, women will stop having abortions, criminals will stop committing crimes, and all our enemies will suddenly go down in defeat.

    Also, that fake “pharmacetical ad” was immensely disturbing.  The way that lady kept on smiling and speaking calmly throughout the ad pushed the whole thing straight down into Uncanny Valley…..

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    speaking of Krugman, bernanke did more quantitative easing.  How does everyone like the new houses they went out and bought?

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

    It remains to be seen how much of the QE3 actually gets pushed out as new lending. If banks keep just offloading bad assets, nothing will happen.

  • EllieMurasaki

    speaking of Krugman, bernanke did more quantitative easing. How does everyone like the new houses they went out and bought?

    You seem to be implying that a solution to the economic crisis is either instantaneous or not a solution at all. This is idiotic.

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

    Chris Hadrick doesn’t understand money velocity. If the banks don’t push any of the money out as new lending (since MV = GDP) then the Fed has to keep increasing M because V is so low.

    Sometimes economic growth really does come at the behest of the printing press.

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

    Alternatively, the Fed could start issuing loans and leave the banks out of it. Or offer the banks $N of bribe money on the condition that the banks issue at least $N/2 in loans.

  • EllieMurasaki

    *shrugs* I don’t know enough economics to know what Bernanke did today. I do however know that nothing Bernanke did today, or this week, or maybe even this month, has had time to accomplish anything.

    What I want to know is why the hell we’re not stimulating the economy by finding everyone over eighteen who hasn’t gotten a paycheck for at least four weeks and handing them a bloody paycheck. I don’t care if we’re paying them for volunteer work, job hunting, or couch surfing. If they haven’t gotten a paycheck for a month, there are things they need to have bought that they haven’t bought and that they will immediately buy.

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

    That would be too simple. And too liberal.

    No, no, must appease the rich and the banks first.

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, no, must appease the rich and the banks first.

    What’s that one quote? If you want to give money to a rich person, give it to a poor person. It will be in the rich person’s purse by nightfall regardless, and at least it will have passed through the poor person’s hand.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Hey Chris, haven’t seen you around much lately. Been busy with the Ron Paul victory parties?

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

    So much for claims that the Repubs  weally weally just wanna work with Obama and the Dems and anyone who says diffeent is just a big meanypants.

    In 2010, Mitch McConnell said, “I wish we had been able to obstruct more.”

    Right there. So much for bipartisanship!

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Slightly off-topic, but can I make a general plea for quoting texts in blockquote or italic tags when responding to others? I know it’s Disqus’ fault that the “in reply to” tags aren’t working, but still, it makes conversations all but impossible to follow sometimes. Even @______ tags would help.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Neutrino- people around here were pretty gung ho about QE3 a month or so ago.

    Ellie- I was being saracstic. anyway it’s not gonna work.

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

    Iiiiiiii don’t particularly remember being enthused one way or the other. The USA has “Japanese syndrome” right now, with the caveat that the recession is becoming more like the 1970s than the Japanese 1990s experience, since inflation is now positive again.

    Japanese syndrome is that the banks are taking an unusually long time to unwind all their bad assets, and are depending on repeated infusions of money from the Fed to do this. As a result, what bank lending there is has been pretty muted and less than enthusuastic. Housing starts have only come off the bottom bounce about a year ago, and that’s usually indicative of an uptick in lending.

    Like I said before, a lot of the “stuff” people have has already been booked and paid for prior to the recession; what’s left is the debt overhang that needs to be cleared off before normal economic activity truly returns.

    If you want an idea of how bad shit is right now?

    On the official measure of household income, all the gains of the last 20 years have been wiped out by the economic policies you endorse and support – less regulation and less effective taxation of the rich.

    That doesn’t include the SGS Alternate Measure of unemployment, even.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I agree with your assessment of the situation but not it’s cause. Glass Steagal being repealed and the subsequent carnage is a good example of deregulation causing harm. not taxing the rich enough is not.

    if Clinton hadn’t raised taxes in the 90’s they still would have been good years. they might not have had the projected surplusses but no one would have called them bad fiscally.  

    The middle class’s situation won’t be bettered if rich people are taxed more.

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

     http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/robert-reich-exposes-seven-lies-about-the-nature-of-government/

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Neutrino- I didn’t care for that. He was simply stating long held highly debatable left wing positions as “the truth”. I agreed with 7 though.  There are tons of other taxes besides income tax, especially inflation which he didn’t mention.

    When he says there will be more jobs if there is less government isn’t true, he immediatly goes to the most sympathetic “government” employees like teachers and firefighters. That’s a silly characterization of people who want less government.  If we cut the Pentagon in half that would be 500+ billion off the budget year after year and who cares where those maniacs find work. Much of the money used to pay for government is borrowed and eventually that has to be repaid.

    credit = debt  people need to understand that. it’s not sustainable

  • EllieMurasaki

    When he says there will be more jobs if there is less government isn’t true, he immediatly goes to the most sympathetic “government” employees like teachers and firefighters. That’s a silly characterization of people who want less government. If we cut the Pentagon in half that would be 500+ billion off the budget year after year and who cares where those maniacs find work.

    The people who want less government are firing teachers and firefighters. They are not firing military personnel (and don’t want to, except for the openly gay ones, possibly also the openly female ones) nor decreasing military toy budgets, even for the toys we’re selling to other countries because our military doesn’t want them. Criticizing small-government types by saying they want to fire teachers and firefighters might be an unfair characterization of your position, but not that of the small-government types who are making policy.

    Also, the military functions as the employer of last resort for a great many young poor folk. Start reducing the number of people in the military and the military will stop hiring these people. Whom nobody else is going to hire, which is why they’re looking at the military in the first place. What are you proposing to do to help these people?

  • The_L1985

    “There are tons of other taxes besides income tax, especially inflation which he didn’t mention.”

     …..

    Inflation is a tax?  Since when?

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

    Inflation is a tax?  Since when?

    It acts as one, although not in a coordinated fashion. What economists usually mean is that inflation causes a fall in the value of money, and to the extent people can compensate for that fall, inflation has less or a greater impact on some people.

    In general, inflation tends to harm the poor less when the welfare state is strong (since taxation on the rich can pay for it to some extent, and the government can adjust benefits as necessary), while it erodes the value of the wealth held by the rich, since they often depend on the rate of return from some investment which needs to exceed the inflation rate.

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

    immediatly goes to the most sympathetic “government” employees like teachers

    Are you fucking serious?

    Your political fellow travellers regularly make hay out of bashing teachers for everything under the sun, as though they existed merely to suck air and money from other people instead of providing taxpayer-subsidized day-care plus filling their kids’ minds with the basic skills needed to function in modern society.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “Criticizing small-government types by saying they want to fire teachers and firefighters might be an unfair characterization of your position, but not that of the small-government types who are making policy.”

    touche

    l1985- making your money buy less is a tax. it’s making everything cost more and any savings you have is worth less than it was.  gas has gone up like 20 cents since  qe3 was announced. I’m not getting paid any more than I was and my bank account isn’t adjusted for inflation,

    Ellie- “What are you proposing to do to help these people?”

    non touche. no one is that useless that killing people is the only thing they are capable of.  We are paying them to kill, we can pay them to do something else.

    neutrino= my fellow travelers are people like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson not Mitt Romney. and public education is a disaster in may places. something like 39 percent of Chicago public school teachers send their own kids to private school.

  • EllieMurasaki

    no one is that useless that killing people is the only thing they are capable of. We are paying them to kill, we can pay them to do something else.

    So a revival of the Works Progress Administration would suit you?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    the economy is the works program. No need for another one.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Funny, I thought the economy is why we need a works program. Particularly for the long-term unemployed and for the people who have escaped being long-term unemployed only by signing up for a tour in the sandbox.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I disagree, inflation is now hurting seniors on fixed incomes the hardest. Personally, when gas prices rise my profit margins shrink. My hedge, gold, goes up but that’s not a very liquid asset.

    Ellie- There are plenty of countries with much smaller militaries who don’t have massive unemployment.  The Military Industrial Complex is killing this country and humanity don’t argue FOR it to me please. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Chris, whenever I speak of the military-industrial complex, I am saying one of four things.

    1: Speaking as an Air Force brat, our enlisted folk are not paid nearly enough for what we expect of them. If we valued our troops as much as we say we do, we would fix that.

    2 If we’re going to keep fighting multiple wars (something I do not endorse), we do not have nearly enough enlisted folk. If we valued our troops as much as we say we do, we would have more of them, so that none of them have to go on a fourth combat tour.

    3 If our military doesn’t want these expensive toys, why the fuck are we still building them?

    4, related to 3, and the only relevant one just now: Those expensive toys are a jobs program. There’s a reason they’re built in twenty states apiece: those forty senators do not dare cut the toys budget because that would mean their constituents lose jobs. And military enlistment itself is a jobs program. Any proposal to reduce funding to the military-industrial complex, though it has an aim I agree with, has to replace the jobs lost when the toys stop being built and when military enlistment is shrunk. It has to. I’d rather deal with the too-large, too-expensive military-industrial complex than deal with unemployment going up because the military-industrial complex went down. And firing a fuckton of soldiers and factory workers and expecting the economy to magically produce jobs for them does not count.

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

    You’ve gotta give supply-siders like Chris Hadrick credit: They believe in going big or going home. People like Jack Kemp were so convinced that slashing taxes would create so many new jobs and so much new production that they actually went and put it all into practice.

    Well, they sure went big, because St. Ronnie added something like $1 trillion to the national debt in just a few years. :O

  • PJ Evans

    And firing a fuckton of soldiers and factory workers and expecting the
    economy to magically produce jobs for them does not count.

    I remember when they cut back on that stuff in 1974, before Dicky resigned in disgrace. My father was one of those in fear for his job – and he was an engineer with decades of experience, not all in things going ‘bang’. I have, somewhere, the resume he’d done that year and parked in an odd location.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- I don’t value what they do. They should get other jobs. They go to foreign countries and piss people off.

    2. bad solution. good solution: don’t have the wars.

    4. so we should keep the MIC going so some asshole senator can keep getting re-elected.

    “I’d rather deal with the too-large, too-expensive military-industrial complex than deal with unemployment going up because the military-industrial complex went down.”

    now you are that senator. 

    What about the people who are paying for those “jobs” that we both agree are in most cases not only useless but in fact COUNTER to Americans interests?  We are supposed to go without in our lives so we can keep this ridiculous  system going? 

    Besides, There is a vast difference between random people who are in the military and the Military Industrial complex. if Boeing goes out of business we will still have a military.  If the Dept of Homeland Security is eliniated, those people, who all worked someplace else before 9/11, will not become destitute.

    Our economy is lagging in no small part BECAUSE all these people and resources have been taken away from the civilian economy.  not the greatest example but remeber when Elvis joined the army? he couldn’t make records while he did that. same with baseball players who joined. Again, that is a different scenerio but you know what I mean: oppurtunity costs they are sometimes called.

    neutrino-  austrian econ and supply side theories are both “right wing” but pretty different

  • EllieMurasaki

    I said if we value our troops, we should pay them more and increase the numbers. Or ditch the wars, which is a perfectly acceptable solution, but we still need to pay them more.

    AND WE STILL NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT FORMER SOLDIERS AND WOULD-HAVE-BEEN SOLDIERS HAVE JOBS.

    Our economy is lagging in no small part BECAUSE all these people and resources have been taken away from the civilian economy.

    Because soldiers and factory workers never ever spend money.

  • PJ Evans

    AND WE STILL NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT FORMER SOLDIERS AND WOULD-HAVE-BEEN SOLDIERS HAVE JOBS.

    And his beloved right-wing congresscritters have folded their tents and left town without doing ANYTHING to help ANYONE.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie- Did the government find you your job? 

    People who happen to work for the government don’t have to have people make jobs for them!! THat makes no sense.

    If you decided to join the army (please don’t)  you would come back and probably do what you are doing now. Unless your argument is specific to recessionary times like now.  That’s a whole other arugment.

    and yes people who work for the military spend money but they are wasting their time making weapons all day instead of making, say, toys all day or something we could USE and not to KILL people.

    Would you rather patrol Kabul or make a toy? Would you rather your neighbor opened a donut store or patrolled Kabul?  which one raises your/ his / everyones  quality of life more?

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

    *sigh*

    The problem is that you belueve civilian employers through the goodness of their hearts would just naturally open up millions of jobs to ex-military officers.

    Considering the way they treat the civilian workforce, on average, like something you reluctantly leave on the bottom of your shoe, I’m KIND OF DOUBTFUL ABOUT THAT, GOOD SIR.

    You have the oddest rose-tinted vision I’ve ever seen.

  • Lori

     

    Considering the way they treat the civilian workforce  

    So speaking of this, I think I mentioned here that I was getting a raise at my (temp, no benefits) job because they had changed my duties considerably. My current duties require much more skill and are much more physically demanding than the job was when I was first hired. It is now obviously equivalent to other jobs in the same factory which pay more than I’m making. I was told 3 weeks ago that my job would be reclassified to reflect these changes and I would receive the raise to go with that reclassification.

    It turns out that’s not going to happen. The big boss has decided that he prefers to get more work for less money (imagine that), so he’s not going to approve the reclassification. He is well aware that his 4 best workers in this job will quit once they’re told this. The company is currently in quite a bind inventory-wise (not in any way my or my coworkers fault) and the end of the year is coming. Big Boss knows that we’re his best shot at fixing those inventory problems in order to have good end-of-year numbers so he has been deliberately stringing us along on the raise in order to get as much work from us as possible before we quit. He has gone so far as to create a (totally mythical) 3 month evaluation period that we supposedly would have to work to be considered for the wage increase, but the bottom line is we’re never going to get the money. To make it even better, my coworkers and I have reason to suspect that if we were men we would get the money.

    TL;dr: Anyone who thinks that bosses will voluntarily treat workers well or fairly, especially when unemployment is north of 8% and shows no sign of coming down any time soon is a damn fool.

    And I will once again be unemployed by Thursday (I need to give a couple days notice in order to stay in the good graces of my agency in order to be considered for other jobs.)

    It’s a good thing that I’m not anywhere near Mittens because I’m not sure I’d be able to resist the urge to punch him in the neck and the Secret Service takes a dim view of that sort of thing.

    Also, too—Chris you really need to STFU about the market. You know nothing and you’re really being a little shit. That’s why I have zero respect for your supposed morally superior hatred of war. You clearly don’t actually give a good god damn about other people. Your objection to war is all about money and that’s not morally superior. So again, just STFU.

  • http://mmycomments.blogspot.com/ mmy

    @LoriAnnK:disqus 
    I will once again be unemployed by Thursday 

    Sympathies, good wishes, hope this doesn’t last long, wish things were going better for you.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I will once again be unemployed by Thursday

    Fingers crossed for you. And that boss is a dolt.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Ellie- Did the government find you your job?

    I work for the state.

    and yes people who work for the military spend money but they are wasting their time making weapons all day instead of making, say, toys all day or something we could USE and not to KILL people.

    In point of fact, my father fixed planes all day.

    Would you rather patrol Kabul or make a toy? Would you rather your neighbor opened a donut store or patrolled Kabul? which one raises your/ his / everyones quality of life more?

    The people I’m talking about, their choice is patrol Kabul or draw an unemployment check. There’s more money in patrolling Kabul, and unemployment checks eventually stop coming, unless Congress authorized another extension while I wasn’t looking. If you want to stop the Kabul patrols (which I do), then your proposal to stop the Kabul patrols MUST MUST MUST include provision for employment for the people who are no longer being paid to patrol Kabul and for the people who would have been patrolling Kabul had the patrols continued.

    Making the Kabul patrollers draw an unemployment check or no check instead of a paycheck does fuck-all for anyone’s quality of life, especially theirs.

  • Lori

    Chris Hadrick is a proven simpleton. He has 2 answers to everything—-no wars and the magic of the market. That’s all he’s ever had and AFAICT that’s all he’s ever going to have. Once you’ve seen his 2 tricks you’ve seen his entire show and there’s really no reason to buy another ticket. Interacting with him is, if such a thing can be believed, even more pointless than trying to talk to aunursa about politics. 

  • Lori

    Thanks guys. I should have some idea on Monday how tough it’s going to be to get another assignment. Until then I’m going with a combination of trying not to think about it too much and keeping my fingers crossed. 

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

    Good luck! And may the jobs rain down!

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    neutrino-

     “The problem is that you belueve civilian employers through the goodness of their hearts would just naturally open up millions of jobs to ex-military officers.”

    When WW1 and WW2 ended the army didn’t continue to employ those men as soldiers.  and businesses who hired  them didn’t give soldiers jobs out of the goodness of their hearts, they did it because they NEEDED people to work at their establishments so as to earn money.

    Lori-  unfortunately as you noted these conditions of high unemployment favor employers as that the market for another job is small. In better times he wouldn’t be able to pull that stuff because people would walk out left and right.

    I would be against war even if it were free. Even if we made a profiit from it. It makes us less safe and we have no right to do it to these innocent people in other countries.

    Ellie- “The people I’m talking about, their choice is patrol Kabul or draw an unemployment check.” 

    that person doesn’t exist. If they can carry a gun and shoot it and take orders there is some menial task they can do and in many cases they are clever enough to do non menial things.

    More to the point: The military’s  purpose is to defend the nation. It should be as big or as small as that function requires. It’s not a jobs program.

  • Lori

    unfortunately as you noted these conditions of high unemployment favor
    employers as that the market for another job is small. In better times
    he wouldn’t be able to pull that stuff because people would walk out
    left and right. 

    Ya think?

    I would be against war even if it were free. Even if we made a profiit
    from it. It makes us less safe and we have no right to do it to these
    innocent people in other countries.  

    I’m just going to say it straight out—I don’t believe you. I don’t care how many times you repeat it, it’s still not true. From everything you’ve said here I think your interest is the money. I think you dress it up in a lot of yap about “these innocent people in other countries” to flatter yourself, but your concern for those people is shallow to the point of non-existence. It’s easy for you to pretend to care about them because they’re safely over there. They’re not actually human to you, they’re abstractions that you use for your own ends. You know how I know this? Because of your total lack of concern for people over here. You not only aren’t morally superior, you may actually be worse than the war-mongers. They at least have the edge in the honesty category.

    Peddle it somewhere else. Don’t you have a Ron Paul rally to attend or
    something?

    that person doesn’t exist. If they can carry a gun and shoot it and take
    orders there is some menial task they can do and in many cases they are
    clever enough to do non menial things. 

    You utter fuckwit. The ability of a given person to get a job is not entirely dependent on that person’s skills. Do you even listen? Are you under the impression that I’m not able to manage menial tasks or possibly even clever enough to do non-menial things. WTH is wrong with you? Seriously, you are approaching DIAF territory.

    This is a perfect example of what I mean when I say that you clearly don’t actually give a shit about human beings. Those poor, innocent folks in other countries are just stage props for your self-righteousness.

  • Albanaeon

    “that person doesn’t exist. If they can carry a gun and shoot it and take
    orders there is some menial task they can do and in many cases they are
    clever enough to do non menial things.”

    BULLSHIT

    First, you are completely and dismally ignoring that their is 8%+ unemployment.  Which translates as four applicants for every job.  There just aren’t the menial tasks for them.

    Second, those menial tasks probably pay a hell of a lot less then the military does.  There is also a whole bunch of benefits that go with being in the military, such as health care, schooling, etc, which makes those menial tasks a hell of a lot less attractive.

    So while your conscience would be satisfied by cutting them and congratulating yourself for your moral courage, sending millions into a situation that actively harms their future is being a fucking asswipe.

  • EllieMurasaki

    that person doesn’t exist. If they can carry a gun and shoot it and take
    orders there is some menial task they can do and in many cases they are
    clever enough to do non menial things.

    Which explains why the demographics of enlisted military match the demographics of the country so closely, I’m sure. Oh wait no it doesn’t, because enlisted military disproportionately grew up poor. People who grow up rich tend to sign up as officers.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    also http://mondoweiss.net/2012/09/a-young-israeli-woman-gets-her-picture-taken-with-african-animals.html  israeli woman takes picture near sudanese immigrants, characterizes them as jungle animals.   lot of talk about racism around here, must just keep running out of space so this issue keeps getting bumped

  • Lori

    And there you go again, using your favorite stage props to try to make yourself look better than you are. The fact that you keep bringing it up doesn’t make me believe that you actually care about those people in any meaningful way. It also doesn’t make me (or I suspect anyone here) any more likely to discuss it with you.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    “Those poor, innocent folks in other countries are just stage props for your self-righteousness.”

    Even if that were true, I’m still defending them.  better someone be vaccuous and heartless and anti war than a really nice person who feels war is the answer. Certainly better for the ones being killed or not.

    I would never disparage a liberal like Dennis Kucinch, the late Ted Kennedy or Obama for being against the Iraq war for the wrong reason. They were against it and should be commended for it. 

    and again, after ww1 and ww2 the troops came home. They re entered the work force, it was no big deal.
     

  • Lori

     

    Even if that were true, I’m still defending them.  better someone be
    vaccuous and heartless and anti war than a really nice person who
    feels war is the answer. Certainly better for the ones being killed or
    not.  

    No, you’re not defending them. You’re using them. You don’t actually care about them dying. We can tell because you don’t care about people here dying. And no, your position isn’t better. The fact that you think this is true, and possibly even clever, only proves that your intellectual and moral reasoning as all the depth of a puddle.

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

    And 8% unemployment is the official measure. If you believe the SGS Alternate Measure, we’re looking at an effective unemployment rate of 20% in the USA.

    When WW1 and WW2 ended the army didn’t continue to employ those men as
    soldiers.  and businesses who hired  them didn’t give soldiers jobs out
    of the goodness of their hearts, they did it because they NEEDED people
    to work at their establishments so as to earn money.

    This? Chris?

    Post WW2 especially?

    Happened because the government of the day had been elected and re-elected for years embodying a philosophy about capital and labor that was the direct fucking opposite of yours.

    The government actively INTERVENED to keep the post-war demobilizations and sharp cutbacks in overall spending in 1946 and 1947 from exploding into a full-on inflationary depression. The government encouraged unions. The government even made it official policy, if not law, that employers give first hiring preference to returning veterans if they wanted their old jobs back. They put in place economic policies that focussed on employment instead of on the protection of wealth.

    Society as a whole had rejected the philosophy you espouse, Chris Hadrick.

    And as a result of the very collectivism you and your ilk deride and pooh-pooh, US society pulled together, made the welfare state stronger with each passing year, squeezed economic inequality down, pushing the poor into the middle class and the middle class themselves closer to the rich and did all this so amazingly well that by the 1970s economists were writing in all seriousness that college graduates would end up finding better-paid jobs as auto workers than as members of their chosen profession, because blue-collar jobs paid so well.

    You have NO IDEA how different it was back then and how badly social changes have made that era possibly unrecoverable even with all the best will in the world.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    albaneon- you’re mad at me for wanting to cut military spending. just to clarify

    and again, this argument is systemic, not just during recessions. If we were to suddenly lose all interest in war or even self defense people employed in that field would not be condemned to a life of poverty.

    If you want to have a jobs program have one. the object of the military is to defend the country and should cost as much or as little as that requires.

    neutrino- you’re getting off course. the point is we didn’t need to maintain the army so people would “have jobs”.

  • Lori

    No, Chris he’s mad at you for being either a moron or a liar. Just to clarify.

    You need to catch the clue Chris, we see through you. If you want to be thought of as a morally superior person you need to hang out with dumber people.

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

    *facedesk*

    Chris Hadrick, people are mad because you treat every policy prescription you toss off as though it were a magic panacea.

    *I* want USian miltary spending cut, and for good reason: it makes the right-wing wannabes here in Canada start panting to ape American military swagger-sticking and our own budgets start getting bloated up with military spending that, frankly, this country does not need. We can afford it, sure, but we don’t need it.

    But I’m not so foolish as to just toss it off without recognizing that cutbacks in military spending need to be paired up with other policies that help make that transition possible. For example, instead of just slashing military spending, transition the R&D budgets to fund civilian research groups that need the money.

    Look, if you want proof that society has changed as much as it has, let’s contrast two Republicans who communicated privately, both of whose communications have been made public:

    Dwight Eisenhower

    and

    Mitt Romney

    The fact that in 60 years, Republican politicians can go from wanting to preserve the institutions of society to blatantly denying even basic concepts of social fairness and good conduct…

    … and people are cheering on that coarsening of social conduct towards the poor in particular – you should be fucking concerned about it, not trying to make the damn thing run in fast forward!

  • Lori

     

    If we were to suddenly lose all interest in war or even self defense
    people employed in that field would not be condemned to a life of
    poverty. 

    Available evidence indicates that you are, once again, wrong.

     

    If you want to have a jobs program related to this current crisis have one. 

    We can’t. Because people like you, with your idiotic yap about the almighty market, have made it impossible.

    I hope that one day your precious market turns on you and seriously bites you in the ass.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    If a tacky awful leader doesn’t declare war on a people they live. If a really nice leader declares war on them because they think its somehow in their best interest  they die. The first person is moral, the second is not. It’s how you ACT, not what you say or even think.  

    and way to avoid talking about the elephant in the room  ie the article on the israeli girl.  I guess you can’t be bothered to defend black people from being denigrated if  said people were brought to your attention by a conservative. 

    Neutrino- I saw that Canada took their man out of the embassy in Iran.  I hope you don’t have a neocon infestation up there. You will be utterly destitute and at each others throats ina decade or less. heed our warning

    Obviously I don’t go along with all the New Deal/ Great Society blather.

  • Lori

    The first person is moral, the second is not. It’s how you ACT, not what you say or even think. 

    This is rich coming from a guy who expects people to think he’s a paragon of virtue because he talks about hating war in spite of the fact that he ACTs like an asshole.

    and way to avoid talking about the elephant in the room  ie the article
    on the israeli girl. 

    We’ve been over this before, but I guess we have to go over it again.

    I do not believe that you actually care about refugees in Israel. You have an agenda that you think is served by continuing to raise the issue. I do not care to engage with you on that agenda because you have demonstrated repeatedly that there is no point to doing so and because your continued attempts to use the suffering of others for your own ends is disgusting.

    If we did discuss the situation faced by Sudanese refugees in Israel you would simply bring up some other issue that we weren’t talking about. Because we can;t talk about every bad thing happening in the world and you don’t care about refugees, you care about scoring points.

    I guess you can’t be bothered to defend black
    people from being denigrated if  said people were brought to your
    attention by a conservative.  

    A) The issue was not brought to my attention by a conservative. As I and several other people here have pointed out more than once, we knew about it before you started trying to use it.

    B) The issue is not that you’re a conservative. It’s that you’re a dishonest user.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    democrats furious at a conservative for wanting to cut military spending!

  • EllieMurasaki

    No, you moron, liberals and progressives (’cause I ain’t a Democrat and I can’t remember who all else is talking to you but I don’t think they’re all even USAian) furious at a conservative for wanting to cut jobs without ensuring a corresponding increase in jobs in another industry. Shifting jobs from the military-industrial complex to, I don’t know, green energy would be awesome, but it’s not what you’re proposing. You’re proposing firing a fuckton of soldiers and factory workers and letting them rot.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X