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Monday, July 02, 2012

OT-P: July: Obamacare Decision as Baseball: the Runner is Safe, so Now What?

My favorite play in baseball is the second base steal. In the play, the base runner watches the pitch, and at just the right moment, he sprints toward second. The catcher snatches the pitch, springs up and rockets the ball to the second baseman who snags it and tries to tag the runner as he slides into the base. As the dust clears, all eyes are on the second base umpire who, in a split second, calls the runner safe or out. When the play is over, the players dust themselves off, and the game goes on.

Some on the field may disagree with the umpire’s call.  However, the umpire’s decision is final, and arguing can get you ejected. To stay in the game, great teams simply adjust their strategy based on the umpire’s call.

 

Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:26 PM | 4025 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics, special topics

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   601. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: July 04, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4173310)
The Bloomberg snippet was brought up as what I felt was a humorous sidebar to the notion that court decisions can't be wrong. No more, no less. I'm not responding to any more asinine questions about why I brought it up.


OK. Some random politician disagrees with a court decision. Whoop de doo. Happens all the time.
   602. Shredder Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4173342)
The Bloomberg snippet was brought up as what I felt was a humorous sidebar to the notion that court decisions can't be wrong. No more, no less. I'm not responding to any more asinine questions about why I brought it up.
Ray constistently confuses "right vs. wrong" with "constitutional vs. unconstitutional". Right and wrong are value judgments. If the SCOTUS rules a law constitutional, you can have a philosophical debate over whether it's right or wrong, but that wont change the fact that it's constitutional. Whether he does this because he's trolling or because he doesn't understand the difference, it's getting pretty old.

   603. UCCF Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM (#4173359)
11. SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 30, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4143400)

Absent some technical issues with servers and the like, there's simply no need to Balkanize the site in this fashion. None, zero, zip, nada. (Not to mention that baseball is the sport of wordsmiths and intellectuals precisely because of the breathing space it provides to contemplate other disciplines.)

"Politics" threads grow organically from baseball-related stories and topics. There won't be any interest in a "Hey, let's talk politics!!" kiddie's table thread.


   604. OCF Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4173361)
Just came back from a neighborhood block party. Somehow a political discussion broke out. The person arguing long and hard for the position that his money was his and he shouldn't have to pay for the health care of some lazy weed-smoking Burger King worker who doesn't deserve health care was about 20 years old. Everyone taking the opposite side of the argument was in their 50s or 60s. Who knew that demographics work that way?
   605. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 05, 2012 at 07:01 AM (#4173370)
You've gotta love Mitt Romney:

MONDAY: Key Romney adviser says that health care mandate isn't a tax.

TUESDAY: Have Republicans abandoned Mitt Romney on health care?

WEDNESDAY: Oops! Romney says the mandate is a tax.

Flip-flop or Etch-a-Sketch? You decide!
   606. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4173376)
Yes. And, with any luck, you'll see what they are in November.


Have we finally gotten past the part where you guys pretend to be something other than solid Republican voters in funny "libertarian" hats?
   607. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 07:50 AM (#4173377)
e gets to do this? How does anything become law if process is to have no effect?


Yes, this is the end result of libertarian theory. This is why David calls himself a "minarchist." The idea is that every man is a law unto himself, except for those laws that don't benefit libertarians. For example, there must be a Law law against theft of "property" because, generally speaking, libertarians are not the sort of men who are capable of defending their property physically. So that's for the Law to cover off for them. It's just personal preferences masquerading as "principle."
   608. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 07:56 AM (#4173379)
The Bloomberg snippet was brought up as what I felt was a humorous sidebar to the notion that court decisions can't be wrong. No more, no less. I'm not responding to any more asinine questions about why I brought it up.


And because you thought it was a bit of a "gotcha" to show a "liberal" (not that Bloomberg's a liberal really, but I assume you think he is) disagreeing with a court decision. (You thought it was funny because it was "hypocritical," but it really wasn't.)

I strongly disagree with Citizens United. I think it's just horrific judgement and is already degrading the democratic process in ways that we are likely never to recover from. Citizens United is, nonetheless, constitutional, by definition.

It's not that hard, Ray.
   609. BDC Posted: July 05, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4173393)
the person arguing long and hard for the position that his money was his and he shouldn't have to pay for the health care of some lazy weed-smoking Burger King worker who doesn't deserve health care was about 20 years old

Again, what's fascinating to me about this rhetoric is that somehow the 20-year-old has imbibed the notion that the ACA is some vast wealth-redistribution plan. Sure, it has elements of that, but so does Medicare (which is probably why the 50-60-year olds you met aren't grousing much). And it also includes vast insurance reform. The whole point of insurance is that healthy people pool money to pay for the care of weedsmoking pattyflippers. I subsidized the pattyflippers for the first 30 years of my working life, when I literally never got sick. And then last year the pattyflippers paid for (about three-quarters the cost of) my cataract surgery. Duh.
   610. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4173395)
the person arguing long and hard for the position that his money was his and he shouldn't have to pay for the health care of some lazy weed-smoking Burger King worker who doesn't deserve health care was about 20 years old

Again, what's fascinating to me about this rhetoric is that somehow the 20-year-old has imbibed the notion that the ACA is some vast wealth-redistribution plan.


I don't understand where people are surprised that late adolescent boys* are drinking from the "me me me" Koolaid. Next thing you'll tell me Ayn Rand will be popular with socially awkward high school sophomores.

*Yes, I think it's reasonable to say 20 year olds in today's society are still adolescents. A plurality of 30 year olds are too.
   611. formerly dp Posted: July 05, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4173399)
What's funny about the Bloomberg thing is that liberals in NYC have been complaining about stop-and-frisks forever, and, as Rickey points out, Ray apparently lives in a universe where Bloomberg's a flaming liberal, and not an Obama-esque centrist technocrat.
   612. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4173401)
What's funny about the Bloomberg thing is that liberals in NYC have been complaining about stop-and-frisks forever, and, as Rickey points out, Ray apparently lives in a universe where Bloomberg's a flaming liberal, and not an Obama-esque centrist technocrat.


Take it for whatever irony you will, but both Ray and David's political philosophies are shaped uniquely by their proximity to The City.
   613. formerly dp Posted: July 05, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4173403)
. A plurality of 30 year olds are too.


A plurality of btf's 30 year olds struggle to disagree before grudgingly admitting Rickey might be onto something.
   614. BDC Posted: July 05, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4173418)
liberals in NYC have been complaining about stop-and-frisks forever

I myself am mighty torn between my civil-liberties instincts and my memory of what it was like to live in NYC pre-Giuliani. Even if contemporaneousness does not equal causation, the city became an infinitely safer and hugely more pleasant place at about the time the cops started suggesting that people straighten up and fly right.
   615. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4173440)
The problem, as I see it, is that liberals vastly overestimate the power of business compared to (a) government, and (b) workers.


The problem as I see it is that most contemporary libertarians VASTLY underestimate the power of most busineses over their employees as compared to (a) government, and (b) workers

DMN is a fine example- but in his case methinks his skewed perception arises from the fields his firm does work in- "A" may be a bigger problem than "B"- but if your firm only ever sees "B," it is easy to get the wrong impression...

For instance, my firm deals with insurance claims- so of course the only claims we see are problem claims- the vast majority are handled and adjusted with no issue- without us ever seeing them... but new associates... well they see 5 cases- 2 involve application fraud, 2 involve post loss fraud (insured lost a $200 dollar 26inch TV, claims to have lost a $2500 plasma set...) and one claim has indicators of arson or being staged... "Jesus they say, why don't they refer it to the police, how does _____ Inc. Co stay in business?..." Unrepresentative sample, we see the garbage at the periphery...







   616. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4173442)
I myself am mighty torn between my civil-liberties instincts and my memory of what it was like to live in NYC pre-Giuliani. Even if contemporaneousness does not equal causation, the city became an infinitely safer and hugely more pleasant place at about the time the cops started suggesting that people straighten up and fly right not be black, poor, homeless, etc.

We all saw it was better in many ways - I'm not sure the cost was worth it, and I say that literally. I admit that I am, sadly and sickeningly to myself, really not sure.
   617. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4173449)
*Yes, I think it's reasonable to say 20 year olds in today's society are still adolescents. A plurality of 30 year olds are too.

As is a plurality of everyone else. That most people outgrow their adolescent mindsets is a pernicious myth.
   618. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4173452)
the city became an infinitely safer and hugely more pleasant place at about the time the cops started suggesting that people straighten up and fly right not be black, poor, homeless, etc.


you do realize that most victims of gun violence in NYC were are black don't you? Of course blacks were the ones disproportionately targeted by the police as well (many of whom in NYC are black...)

regarding the homeless- you have essentially two categories:

a: The poor/unemployed- these people will eventually find shelter one way or the other- whether it be from the Government, NGOs, finding employment etc...

b: The mentally ill/substance abusers- this is the persistent problem- these are the people out on the streets seemingly irrespective of the state of the economy, availability of government assistance, etc...

what do yo do about b? (not being snarky I honestly don't know)

   619. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4173456)
Holy crap, sometimes words just fail me, so I'll let Mary Elizabeth Williams take a shot at it:

Want to see an overweight bald man arguing with a Sandra Fluke puppet? You got it, America. How about some toothless guy sitting on the curb talking about what’s wrong with Hillary Clinton? That can be arranged. Animated Ronald Reagan berating Barack Obama about wealth redistribution? You bet. Dinosaurs who lay red, white and blue eggs in “the greatest country of all”? Get the kids. Metaphors involving sheep and firearms? Coming right up. “Gunless Moments In History” — a feature that equates gun control with the Holocaust? We thought you’d never ask. And of course, “lots of Cain”? Oh hell to the yes. It’s like going down a beautiful rabbit hole of inspirational, patriotic paranoia.


Cain TV: WE ARE NOT STUPID!!!
   620. tshipman Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4173457)
Regarding the mandate being a tax, not a tax:

Almost certainly all this stuff doesn't matter. It is interesting though that Romney directly contradicted a chief surrogate. At the margins, that matters, since it might affect elite signalling regarding Romney.

I don't think it matters what narrative Obama pushes of Romney, it's pretty clear that at this point, the media sees his negative narrative as "Etch-a-Sketch." I think Obama should start embracing that, and highlight how that impacts trust, etc.
   621. BDC Posted: July 05, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4173460)
No, as I say, I am not sure myself, Lassus. The city has become much less of a haven for the homeless, and the poor have been squeezed to its margins (though in part the city also became much richer in the last 25 years, too). I don't know, though, despite a lot of rhetoric thrown around and a few egregiously evil cases (the Central Park Five, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima – not that pre-Giuliani NYC was free of such abuses either) … I don't know that either the intent or the net effect of the Giuliani police policies has been racist. New York is still a uniquely multicultural place. It was always safe to walk down Fifth Avenue; now it's safe to walk around Washington Heights and East Harlem and Alphabet City: for people of color as well as for white hipsters and tourists.

I guess I don't think people are ever really free without law and order. But law and order are very easily abused, and make wonderful rhetoric shields for abuses. It's a moral quandary.
   622. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4173475)
I don't think it matters what narrative Obama pushes of Romney, it's pretty clear that at this point, the media sees his negative narrative as "Etch-a-Sketch." I think Obama should start embracing that, and highlight how that impacts trust, etc.


I disagree, but only a bit. The core narrative is to define Romney (of course). I think the "soulless rich guy vulture capitalist with no moral compass" is what they are trying for, and the "etch-a-sketch" feeds into the no moral compass part of it. The Bain attacks feed into rich vulture capitalist. I think the Seamus story also feeds into the overall story.

The mushy middle doesn't know that much about Romney and so defining him is what the election is about from the Obama side, that and contrasting to likable Obama who is fighting for "the little guy."

The problem for Romney is he is somewhat vulnerable to this attack, Obama is pretty likable, and it is easier to define Romney than Obama because Obama has already spent 4 years on our TVs. McCain had a chance to define Obama, but if he had gone all out there was the strong risk of a backlash.

It is not a sure thing for Obama, but if the economy is tolerable (who knows) then he will win. Assuming he continues to run a pretty solid and largely mistake free campaign and Romney does not magically become a much better politician.

NOTE: None of this is necessarily fair, but who cares. The attacks on Obama were and are not very fair. The attacks on Kerry were not very fair, heck many of the attacks on Bush probably were not fair. Life is hard in the big boy room. I support efforts to clean things up (over turn Citizens United for example), but for now the rules are the rules.
   623. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4173477)
I guess I don't think people are ever really free without law and order. But law and order are very easily abused, and make wonderful rhetoric shields for abuses. It's a moral quandary.


Only if you have a nuanced view of the world. If you grab a few principles and worship at their alter then there are no moral quandaries. But for myself I agree with you and think you said it very well.
   624. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4173483)
...if the economy is tolerable (who knows) then he will win.

Everything you wrote is irrelevant except for this.
   625. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4173488)
I don't know that either the intent or the net effect of the Giuliani police policies has been racist.

I don't think that the intent of "broken windows" was racist at all. I don't think the intent of stop-and-frisk is, either. But when people have memories of the way New York City police have related to minorities for so many years, you can't assume that everyone's going to think that those days are over simply because good police behavior is now mandated on the books. The police have got to demonstrate this good behavior with each and every encounter. Even one Diallo case or one Louima case can poison the air for years.

That's not "fair", and that's probably expecting way too much of human nature, but it doesn't take too many bad apple cops to tarnish an entire police force's reputation. IMO a good part of the solution lies in giving a much more thorough vetting of new hires, and testing them to screen out the ones with negative attitudes towards minorities.
   626. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4173495)
IMO a good part of the solution lies in giving a much more thorough vetting of new hires, and testing them to screen out the ones with negative attitudes towards minorities.


Testing them to screen out the ones with the negative attitudes towards minorities? How is that going to work, exactly? By asking the candidate if he is a racist and expecting to get an honest answer?

   627. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4173496)
Testing them to screen out the ones with the negative attitudes towards minorities? How is that going to work, exactly? By asking the candidate if he is a racist and expecting to get an honest answer?

You get the recruits drunk and have them hang out with Pat Buchanan for a few hours.
   628. tshipman Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4173498)
...if the economy is tolerable (who knows) then he will win.

Everything you wrote is irrelevant except for this.


Mmmm ... not so sure about that. We're in mildly uncharted waters at this point. Economy is growing, but growth is tepid. Models disagree on whether Obama should be considered a heavy favorite or more of a 50/50 type situation. At the moment, polling (which is starting to become relevant) indicates that Obama has a 3 point cushion. If that were to hold up, O would cruise to a roughly 300 EC vote victory.

The relevant question is the extent to which polling will tighten. We know that it is likely to do so somewhat.

2012 is an interesting election in that it features an economy that hasn't happened a bunch in the post-war political environment: severe recession with tepid growth (due to either a series of unrelated factors like the Japanese tsunami, EuroDOOM, etc., or a financial crisis). Do voters blame Obama for tepid growth, or do they think they dodged a bullet?
   629. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4173511)
Bitter Mouse (#622),

You've been making very good sense throughout this entire thread, but I'd add just one thing: Obama is going to have to make a much more forceful defense of the social compact that's behind the ACA, with videos using specific cases of people who were out in the cold before the ACA but now will be covered. The Super PACs with their anonymous donors are going to be flooding the airwaves between now and November with ads that frame the health care issue much like Ray and David, and it's got to be countered and countered repeatedly. The picture of the overall economy will almost certainly override everything else on election day, but when that picture is so uncertain, you've got to make sure that that "Obamacare steals my freedom" BS doesn't go unanswered, especially in the swing states.

Of course as you've said, they've also got to define Romney for exactly what he is. That part shouldn't be too difficult, since every time he opens his mouth he gives the Dems more ammunition, and since not-so-little elephants in the room like this are going to be popping up with great regularity:

Romney's offshore investments are a problem for him that won't go away
   630. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4173513)
Do voters blame Obama for tepid growth, or do they think they dodged a bullet?

I dunno, but that's my point - the election will come down to economic variables. All this "defining Romney" stuff won't mean #### by the time the votes are counted. If the general voting public are reasonably happy with their lots in life, Obama will win. If they're not, Romney will win.
   631. BDC Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4173514)
2012 is interesting. I think that it's hard to win the Presidency without at least some clearly defined active goals. That sometimes puts conservatives at a disadvantage, but even a conservative can have an activist agenda (Reagan won with the "New Federalism," deregulation, supply-side economics, tax cuts, military buildup, the moral high ground vs. the Evil Empire, all very active policies). In 2012, the Romney agenda is (1) I'm Not Obama; and (2) let's cut taxes even more. These are compelling points for a lot of voters, but not exactly visionary. But meanwhile Obama, coming off 2008 where he had quite a few plans for the future, seems to have almost nothing to offer this time except I'm Not Romney. I understand that issues are often less important in Presidential elections than impressions and personalities, but this seems a particularly stark example. (Partly because everyone's mind seems so made up on defining issues these days there's little point in campaigning on them.)

Edit: and therefore, as Brian C rightly says, economic confidence or malaise will therefore indeed tip a lot of votes. 2000 and 2004, despite a lot of fulmination and melodrama, were influenced by similar grounds, as are lots of close elections (1976 also comes to mind).
   632. BrianBrianson Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4173517)
b: The mentally ill/substance abusers- this is the persistent problem- these are the people out on the streets seemingly irrespective of the state of the economy, availability of government assistance, etc...

what do yo do about b? (not being snarky I honestly don't know)


Social workers and availability of mental health care can help a lot here. It's more obvious in the reverse (when a lot of assistance for the mentally ill gets cut, they start showing up on the streets in much bigger numbers). A soup kitchen or a men's shelter doesn't help much, beyond keep them mostly fed and mostly not froze to death (I'm a Canadian, probably the environmental issues are different farther south); re-integration into society needs meds, half-way or group homes, etc., and typically regular social worker/pschiatrist/nurse care - though the amount goes down a lot once you get them off the street into a group home, etc.

It's not 100% effective, but it's a lot more helpful for them than just having the police chase them away. Depends on what you want, I guess.
   633. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4173519)
Catching up after declaring my independence from BBTF for a day.
In contrast to this, you have John Locke, whose vision of the state of nature is more aligned with traditional religious notions of "man before the Fall." Locke's state of nature assumes a pristine, Edenic beginning where men cooperated with men in freedom without the nefarious influences of unnecessary governance, and the long march of history has been one of warlords and strongmen taking over more and more of the natural freedoms of men placing it beneath the jackboots of their "states." It's a long, regressive "Fall" narrative. Libertarians love them some Locke. Their desire to remove "government" and "let the market decide" is another in a long line of dreams about returning to the Garden.
You seem to have created some sort of mutant hybrid of Locke and Rousseau here.
   634. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4173527)
IMO a good part of the solution lies in giving a much more thorough vetting of new hires, and testing them to screen out the ones with negative attitudes towards minorities.

Testing them to screen out the ones with the negative attitudes towards minorities? How is that going to work, exactly? By asking the candidate if he is a racist and expecting to get an honest answer?


There are several tests that measure unconscious racial bias on the part of all races, not just whites. Here's a report on one of them.

The point isn't that such biases should keep a person out of the employment market altogether, but when you're talking about policemen who are going to be thrown into highly volatile situations and enforcing a controversial policy that's smothered with racial undertones, you've got to be a lot more rigorous in your screening process than you would be if you were hiring a relief pitcher.

---------------------------------------------

You get the recruits drunk and have them hang out with Pat Buchanan for a few hours.

That actually wouldn't be a bad backup plan. (smile)
   635. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4173529)
In 2012, the Romney agenda is (1) I'm Not Obama; and (2) let's cut taxes even more.

I don't think this is a very precise summation of the Romney campaign. He's campaigning on "I am a businessman and therefore a Budget Wizard, and I will get this country's finances in order."
   636. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4173534)
You seem to have created some sort of mutant hybrid of Locke and Rousseau here.


Six of one, half dozen of the other.
   637. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4173537)
There are several tests that measure unconscious racial bias on the part of all races, not just whites. Here's a report on one of them.

I wonder if it would really be possible to staff out an institution as big as the NYPD, especially given the highly demanding nature of the job, without hiring a good number of people with questionable racial attitudes. As the linked article says: "Something like 79 or 80 percent of white Americans who take the test, show a preference for white over black."

I mean, it's nice to say that they should only hire enlightened unprejudiced recruits, but this sounds like a highly Pollyannaish plan.
   638. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4173538)
Basically every person benefits from society by several orders of magnitude more than they benefit society. Because of economy of scale (more or less), the amount of work we get out of society is immeasurably large compared to the work we put into society. Drop a man in a field, say "Okay, you're on your own" - he might survive, but his life will be much worse. Maybe not immeasurably worse, since we can try and estimate the cost of things (e.g., http://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_thwaites_how_i_built_a_toaster_from_scratch.html )
Yes, his life will be worse; indeed, that's the whole point of trade. But please don't conflate 'society' and government in this context.
   639. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4173543)
Yes, his life will be worse; indeed, that's the whole point of trade. But please don't conflate 'society' and government in this context.


Because society without government is totally possible.
   640. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4173551)
but when that picture is so uncertain, you've got to make sure that that "Obamacare steals my freedom" BS doesn't go unanswered,


The fact that you think this is "BS" is... odd.

Again, the law includes a mandate which forces people to purchase a product. You can't pretend the mandate isn't there (as formerly dp and others tried to do earlier). Own it, Andy. Own it.
   641. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4173553)
Obama is pretty likable


he is? I don't find him particularly likable, he's not as unlikable as Kerry was, or (luckily for him) as Romney, he's not as likable as Clinton (Bill not Hilary, he's about even with Hilary I guess), or Dubya...

Do voters blame Obama for tepid growth, or do they think they dodged a bullet?
considering the mass anti-Keynesian idiocy that[s been spouted by people who know/should know better- I think we dodged a bullet- but then again I'm not sure he did anything differently than any other Demo would have done- nor all that different from what a non-imbecilic Repub would have done (As evidenced by the fact that many of the "bailouts" and such that people object to were done either by Dubya or started under him)
   642. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4173562)
But please don't conflate 'society' and government in this context.


why

not?

Seriously, I'm fascinated by the evident belief of all the various forms of collective action that limit human behavior or coerce human behavior

that such collective action is necessarily "worse" if is undertaken by an elected government than if it undertaken by:
church "leaders"
businesses
sub-contractors
etc etc etc

   643. BrianBrianson Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4173566)
Yes, his life will be worse; indeed, that's the whole point of trade. But please don't conflate 'society' and government in this context.


It was a specific point, addressing the question that'd been previously raised about whether someone benefits society more than society benefits them, or vice versa. Society isn't government, but neither can the two be considered in isolation (or even exist in isolation). It's a necessary starting point to whether government in general is a good thing that can sometimes go wrong, or a necessary (or unnecessary) evil.

Because society is an enormous good, the government we need to create society is also a good thing, even if it can go wrong. If you don't think society benefits you way more than you benefit it, then you'll come to the erroneous conclusion that government is inherently evil. But even few libertarians believe that (it's certainly possible to up and leave society, which a few people do. More power to them.) Mostly, it's just fighting over who gets the most of the benefits.

Maybe I should be the first to come out and say "I like paying taxes."
   644. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4173568)
I guess I don't think people are ever really free without law and order. But law and order are very easily abused, and make wonderful rhetoric shields for abuses. It's a moral quandary.


This can't be overstressed. Freedom can only exist in a matrix where law and order is a given. This is usually unexpressed, as in our Constitution, because some things are so whole-heartedly assumed it goes without saying. Or should. And order and organization being the culture that gives rise to freedoms is that.
   645. bobm Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4173569)
Obama is pretty likable

he is? I don't find him particularly likable


I would argue that independent/swing voters are portrayed as liking Obama personally more than they like his policies or style of governing. Romney is best off IMO to paint Obama as a well-meaning guy who is out of his depth and who has underperformed the expectations he campaigned on in 2008, whether in terms of economic outcomes or process.
   646. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4173570)
Of course right now you need the permission of countless corporate bureaucracies to function in the 21st century world, and opting out of them is no more of a real alternative than opting out of the government. Their constraints are every bit as inhibiting, and often far more inhibiting, as a requirement to buy health insurance, or a mandate not to practice racial discrimination in your private business. Forcing a poor person to forego needed medical treatment because he doesn't have the money to pay for it
This is a perversion of the term "forcing." If I stick a knife to a woman's throat and order her to have sex with me, I am forcing her to have sex with me. If I ask a woman to have sex with me and she says no, she is not "forcing me to forgo having sex with her."
consigns that person to a far worse fate than that of some Joe the Healthy Plumber, who can afford to buy health insurance but for whatever reason doesn't want to. Playing games with language and pretending that this poor person has any "choice" in the matter
I didn't use the term choice; I used the term liberty. The shipwrecked man stranded on a deserted island has liberty, even if he doesn't have much in the way of choice.
is little more than a transparent rhetorical dodge, and to tell that poor person that he should ask for voluntary contributions to pay for his medical care is such a complete non-starter on a societal scale that it's not even worth the dignity of a response.
That poor person doesn't need medical care on a societal scale. He needs care on a personal scale.

And David, since you're not a complete coward like Ray, maybe you'll tell us if you think that an Iraq war opponent should have been compelled to pay taxes for that war, when he had no interest at all in its outcome, or thought that Bush's policies were only going to make things much worse. Why shouldn't the Pentagon have relied on voluntary contributions from hawks and defense contractors to finance their adventure?
This misconstrues the argument. (I won't speak for Ray here, one way or the other.) It isn't about permitting people to opt in or out of funding a particular program. (Note that taxes are not itemized, so you can't do that even if you want to. You could calculate that the war is, say, 5% of federal spending and then withhold 5% of the taxes you would otherwise owe, but that wouldn't reduce the amount going to the war, per se. For all you know, the government might take all that withheld money from Obamacare instead.) It's about whether it's a legitimate function of government or not. Defense, yes. Wars for other things, no. To the extent that the Iraq war was not about defense, then nobody should have been compelled to pay for it, and any funding for it should have been voluntary, yes. (Of course, it's not that the Pentagon should have relied on voluntary contributions, but that the whole thing should have been done privately, w/o Pentagon involvement.)
   647. booond Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4173574)
Obama is going to have to make a much more forceful defense of the social compact that's behind the ACA, with videos using specific cases of people who were out in the cold before the ACA but now will be covered.


I'm not sure he'll have to defend the ACA that much but if he does he shouldn't use "people out in the cold". No one cares about them. He needs to push the parts of the plan that unites everyone - age 26 under parent's plan, no concern if you lose job. Even crazed righties like that their kids are on the plan until 26.
   648. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4173575)
Never mind that the Supreme Court upheld the law---tell me how you knew anything about the constitutionality of the mandate, or whether it qualified as a tax, prior to the Supreme Court decision, considering that the mandate's constitutionality had been upheld by several lower courts.
First, its constitutionality was also rejected by lower courts. Second, what is it with you and appeals to authority? What does it matter whether it was prior to the Supreme Court decision or not?
   649. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4173576)
I didn't use the term choice; I used the term liberty. The shipwrecked man stranded on a deserted island has liberty, even if he doesn't have much in the way of choice.

This tells me that "liberty", as such, is a vastly overrated concept.
   650. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4173577)
Yes, his life will be worse; indeed, that's the whole point of trade. But please don't conflate 'society' and government in this context.


Why not? You conflate constitutional and "constitutional".

Society governs just as government does. The mafia is a government and so were those old-time neighborhood ladies coffee klatches. Society is just more fluid and less rigid--also less objective in a systematic fashion. People, people are people. They can't give rise to institutions that are not natural outgrowths of their nature. Society and government are not this unrelated separate boxes; they exist along a spectrum
   651. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4173579)
First, its constitutionality was also rejected by lower courts.
You talk as if this were the case for all the lower case challenges. The majority of lower court rulings found the ACA constitutional.
   652. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4173581)
Maybe I should be the first to come out and say "I like paying taxes."


Being yesterday was Independence Day, it's worth noting that so did this guy:

Berlin supported the presidential candidacy of General Dwight Eisenhower, and his song "I Like Ike" featured prominently in the Eisenhower campaign. In his later years he also became more conservative in his views on music. According to his daughter, "He was consumed by patriotism." He often said, "I owe all my success to my adopted country" and once rejected his lawyers' advice to invest in tax shelters, insisting, "I want to pay taxes. I love this country.


Irving Berlin
   653. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4173582)
See above. Quit saying "the will of the people" when it's the will of some people who lost in the process. If you don't have rules that lead to a result, how do you arrive at a result? Just talking about merits forever? The big problem with this country is there is too much talk and deliberation and too little action.
Sounded better when Mussolini said it.
   654. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4173583)
There are several tests that measure unconscious racial bias on the part of all races, not just whites. Here's a report on one of them.

The point isn't that such biases should keep a person out of the employment market altogether, but when you're talking about policemen who are going to be thrown into highly volatile situations and enforcing a controversial policy that's smothered with racial undertones, you've got to be a lot more rigorous in your screening process than you would be if you were hiring a relief pitcher.


I wonder if it would really be possible to staff out an institution as big as the NYPD, especially given the highly demanding nature of the job, without hiring a good number of people with questionable racial attitudes. As the linked article says: "Something like 79 or 80 percent of white Americans who take the test, show a preference for white over black."

I mean, it's nice to say that they should only hire enlightened unprejudiced recruits, but this sounds like a highly Pollyannaish plan.


Perhaps it is if you expect perfection, but we've seen too many instances of the results of sloppy recruitment and / or inadequate training.

Bloomberg has recently acknowledged the training part, and has pledged to address that. I'm sure his heart is in the right place, but there have been similar pledges made by previous mayors, with mixed results. "Trust, but verify" is the only proper response to that.

As for the recruitment, while the point you raise is a good one, those tests can have two clear benefits: Screening out the obvious bigots; and separating the marginal bigots for extra training and special scrutiny.

Forget any moral POV. Strictly from a practical standpoint, if you want to get cooperation from minority communities, the police department is going to have to demonstrate on an ongoing, everyday basis that their focus is on law enforcement and not community control. That distinction hasn't always been evident to people living in those communities, but a police department neglects it at their peril.
   655. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4173586)
I would argue that independent/swing voters are portrayed as liking Obama personally more than they like his policies or style of governing. Romney is best off IMO to paint Obama as a well-meaning guy who is out of his depth and who has underperformed the expectations he campaigned on in 2008, whether in terms of economic outcomes or process.


Every survey I have seen shows that Obama is in fact more likable than his policies and is more liable than Romney. And that is what matters, because he is not running against Bill Clinton or anyone but Romney (well there are a bunch of third party candidates also).

One reason it was important (politically) that ACA make it through the SC is that it goes against the Obama is out of his depth story (ACA unconstitutional does paint him as out of his depth, fairly or not).

I think it clear he has under performed many's expectations, but I think that is more about them than him honestly.

I don't think economics are everything. If we assume a well done campaign (including debates) on both sides with no media drumbeat evolving for or against anyone then likely the economy and incumbency are probably 80% of it though (Economy 60%, Incumbency 20%).

But, campaigns do matter, especially when mistakes are made, and in my opinion the Romney campaign is more likely to make mistakes than the Obama campaign (based on observing the campaigns, but I am not unbiased I admit).

It is going to be fun to watch though.

In economic news:
* Private employers add 176,000 jobs in June
* New jobless claims fall 14,000 last week
* Reports offer hope for the labor market
* Services sector growth slows in June

But it seems every few months we see signs of hope, only to have the economy sink back, so who knows.
   656. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4173587)
what is it with you and appeals to authority?

Sounded better when Mussolini said it.

Perfect.
   657. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4173590)
Romney is best off IMO to paint Obama as a well-meaning guy who is out of his depth and who has underperformed the expectations he campaigned on in 2008, whether in terms of economic outcomes or process.


Romney's base does not think that Obama is a well-meaning guy, they think he is intentionally and deliberately trying to weaken the US for a variety of nefarious reasons... Of course one can argue that what the base wants/believes is irrelevant at this point- coming hell or really high water they are voting against Obama...

   658. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4173591)
You've been making very good sense throughout this entire thread, but I'd add just one thing: Obama is going to have to make a much more forceful defense of the social compact that's behind the ACA, with videos using specific cases of people who were out in the cold before the ACA but now will be covered.


Thanks!

I think some case for ACA should be made, but I am not convinced it is in the top five of things for the Obama campaign to worry about. many folks want to move on now that the SC has decided. The Obama campaign knows much more than I do (Obviously), so I actually trust them (unlike for example the Kerry campaign which I never felt was all that).
   659. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4173592)
Never mind that the Supreme Court upheld the law---tell me how you knew anything about the constitutionality of the mandate, or whether it qualified as a tax, prior to the Supreme Court decision, considering that the mandate's constitutionality had been upheld by several lower courts.

First, its constitutionality was also rejected by lower courts.


Of course it was, which is why unlike you and Ray, I wasn't issuing claims of its constitutionality one way or the other prior to last Thursday. Like you, I had my preferences, but neither of our preferences meant squat until the Supreme Court's decision.

Second, what is it with you and appeals to authority? What does it matter whether it was prior to the Supreme Court decision or not?

Because the Supreme Court determines the law, in the real world if not in the Galtian world that you and your fellow libertarians seem to occupy. If Supreme Court decisions could be overridden by my mere personal preferences, G.W. Bush never would have made it out of Texas, and all political campaigns would be financed with contributions limited to $2,000 with no loopholes. Anyone can play that silly game.
   660. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 05, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4173596)
But it seems every few months we see signs of hope, only to have the economy sink back, so who knows.

If the next 5 months are like the previous 5, hiccups included, my guess is 51-49 Obama...

If the next 5 months are like the last 6, minus the last unemployment rate hicuup, 52-48 Obama

If the next 5 months are like the last 6- but with one extra jobs report hiccup, 50-50 and who knows

If jobs go south, Unempl rate up, and the economy double dips into recession- anywhere from 52-48 to 54-46 Romney

If the economy actually grows strongly between now and November, unemployment drops a full point, housing starts up, foreclosures down, 54-46 Obama

If either candidate is unmasked on live television as a green skinned cannibal lizard from Tau Ceti IV- the other guy will win 55-45...

The bolded scenario is likely Obama's absolute best case scenario- the italicized one is not only quite a bit less likely- but if it occurs, the odds that the Dems retake the House will be just about nil...
   661. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4173597)
If Supreme Court decisions could be overridden by my mere personal preferences, G.W. Bush never would have made it out of Texas

While I agree with your larger point, the idea that Bush v Gore was anything more than a one-off decision by political whim is untenable.
   662. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4173598)
Maybe I should be the first to come out and say "I like paying taxes."


Have you ever written a check to the government to pay more taxes than you owe?

I ask this seriously.
   663. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4173602)
Of course it was, which is why unlike you and Ray, I wasn't issuing claims of its constitutionality one way or the other prior to last Thursday. Like you, I had my preferences, but neither of our preferences meant squat until the Supreme Court's decision.


Well, speak for yourself. I knew that the ACA was unconstitutional prior to last Thursday, and I know it now. The fact that five people dressed like they just came from the spa at Couples Retreat thought otherwise didn't change that.
   664. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4173604)
Have you ever written a check to the government to pay more taxes than you owe?

I ask this seriously.



Something like 65 percent of the people throughout the year overpay their taxes.
   665. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4173607)
Have you ever written a check to the government to pay more taxes than you owe?
I ask this seriously.


I like going to see the NY Philharmonic, but I don't pay $55 for my $35 ticket. If you're asking this seriously, you sound about 15 years old.
   666. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4173608)
Because the Supreme Court determines the law, in the real world if not in the Galtian world that you and your fellow libertarians seem to occupy. If Supreme Court decisions could be overridden by my mere personal preferences, G.W. Bush never would have made it out of Texas, and all political campaigns would be financed with contributions limited to $2,000 with no loopholes. Anyone can play that silly game.
No. The Supreme Court makes decisions. Those decisions have legal effect. But it does not determine reality. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one. Nobody said that the Supreme Court decisions were "overridden" by the fact that they were wrong.
   667. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4173611)
Have you ever written a check to the government to pay more taxes than you owe?

I ask this seriously.


I have voted for tax increases, even ones that impact me more than many. I often vote against my short term economic self interest. I don't pay more taxes than owed, but I do spend that money on other worthwhile causes.

But Lassus said it so much better than I. Reread that instead.
   668. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4173616)
No. The Supreme Court makes decisions. Those decisions have legal effect. But it does not determine reality


Okay, Benito.
   669. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4173623)
Okay, Benito.

I really thought you meant Santiago when I first read this.
   670. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4173624)
I like going to see the NY Philharmonic, but I don't pay $55 for my $35 ticket. If you're asking this seriously, you sound about 15 years old.


This is absurd. He said he likes paying taxes. When someone likes doing something and has the means to do it, they do it. I like going to ballgames, and so I do it. You like going to the NY Philharmonic, and so you do it -- even though nobody forced you to. If he truly liked paying taxes, he would pay more of them. It's that simple. Otherwise, he's just bullsh!tting, as all of you are.
   671. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4173625)
You've been making very good sense throughout this entire thread, but I'd add just one thing: Obama is going to have to make a much more forceful defense of the social compact that's behind the ACA, with videos using specific cases of people who were out in the cold before the ACA but now will be covered.

Thanks!

I think some case for ACA should be made, but I am not convinced it is in the top five of things for the Obama campaign to worry about. many folks want to move on now that the SC has decided. The Obama campaign knows much more than I do (Obviously), so I actually trust them (unlike for example the Kerry campaign which I never felt was all that).


I share your trust in the campaign, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it begins to trot out some of those beneficiaries of ACA in a few rather poignant videos before too long.

As for the "5 top things for the Obama campaign to worry about", that's an interesting thought. Obviously the two main ones you raise (the economy and his incumbency) aren't anything either he or Romney can affect, and an economy that's unambiguously either rising or falling is going to win the election for one of them.

But in terms of what the campaign should be stressing, I'd say:

---Pinning the Bain / outsourcing tail on the Romney donkey, and reminding those rust belt voters that Romney would have let the automakers fend for themselves in 2008-09. Romney is inherently disliked by a majority of independent voters for reasons largely stemming from his well-deserved reputation for cluelessness about the concerns of the average non-rich American, and Obama should never let Romney escape from that trap----Keep demanding to see Romney's prior tax returns and let Romney show the world how they demonstrate his fine business acumen.

---Leveraging Obama's personal popularity advantage among swing voters. There's no easy formula for this, but it would help for Obama not to make any more of those comments about guns and religion.

---Counterpunching as described above to the anti-ACA propaganda. Beyond personal testimonies from ACA beneficiaries, this means framing the narrative in a way that appeals to our better social natures rather than to the "let everyone fend for himself and let charity mop up the rest" narrative, which is all the GOP really has to offer.

Everything else is going to be driven by day-to-day events that nobody can foresee. The only thing I'd add is that every possible Republican VP candidate should have every past statement (and tax return) of his gone over for wider exposure at the proper moment. There's not a single one of them out there who's likely to add or subtract anything to Romney's overall chances, but it never hurts to be prepared to take advantage of some unexpected gift horse. You know damn well the Republicans are going to be doing just that in return.

   672. BrianBrianson Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4173626)
Have you ever written a check to the government to pay more taxes than you owe?

I ask this seriously.


I did once forget to cash a refund cheque, which is pretty close to yes. I've never deliberately paid more than I calculated I owe, but I've never taken a deliberate action to reduce the amount of tax I should pay either; I like hamburgers, but I don't eat them for every meal.
   673. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4173628)
I like going to see the NY Philharmonic, but I don't pay $55 for my $35 ticket. If you're asking this seriously, you sound about 15 years old.
People write checks to the NY Philharmonic all the time.
   674. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4173634)
This is absurd. He said he likes paying taxes.
Perhaps a better way of saying it is that he likes what taxes buy, so he pays them willingly.

Like 667 notes, I and many others have willingly voted for tax increases. I understand that a lot of my tax dollars end up going to projects I oppose. I'm willing to either live with it, or vote to try and change things. It's the price I'm willing to pay to live here. Hell, it's a bargain.
   675. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4173638)
If Supreme Court decisions could be overridden by my mere personal preferences, G.W. Bush never would have made it out of Texas

While I agree with your larger point, the idea that Bush v Gore was anything more than a one-off decision by political whim is untenable.


That's my opinion, too, but unfortunately my opinion is just an opinion, until we can get a time machine and go back and replace Clarence Thomas with a resurrected Thurgood Marshall.

----------------------------------------------------

Of course it was, which is why unlike you and Ray, I wasn't issuing claims of its constitutionality one way or the other prior to last Thursday. Like you, I had my preferences, but neither of our preferences meant squat until the Supreme Court's decision.

(Ray)
Well, speak for yourself. I knew that the ACA was unconstitutional prior to last Thursday, and I know it now. The fact that five people dressed like they just came from the spa at Couples Retreat thought otherwise didn't change that.

(David)
No. The Supreme Court makes decisions. Those decisions have legal effect. But it does not determine reality. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one.

I just wanted to move the inmates into the same cell in order to spare the expense of two separate sets of wall padding.

   676. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4173644)
To the discussion of framing and defining Romney, this, from Ted Strickland's introduction of Obama at an Ohio event today:

“Oh, what a contrast, my friends, between these two men who would be president! President Obama is betting on America and American workers, and Mitt Romney is betting his resources in the Cayman Islands, in Bermuda, in Switzerland and God only knows where else he is putting his resources.”
   677. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4173646)
This is absurd. He said he likes paying taxes. When someone likes doing something and has the means to do it, they do it. I like going to ballgames, and so I do it. You like going to the NY Philharmonic, and so you do it -- even though nobody forced you to. If he truly liked paying taxes, he would pay more of them. It's that simple. Otherwise, he's just bullsh!tting, as all of you are.

I cannot believe my eyes. Do you really think this makes sense? Look at what you just wrote. Do you pay more for your baseball tickets than is required of you, based on the fact that you like baseball?


People write checks to the NY Philharmonic all the time.

Christ on a bicycle, you guys both need to re-take Kaplan or Princeton or something.
   678. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4173648)
I really thought you meant Santiago when I first read this.


When I obliquely call you a Spanish Fascist later, I'm going to call you John instead of Francisco. Be prepared.
   679. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4173651)
Perhaps a better way of saying it is that he likes what taxes buy, so he pays them willingly.


Perhaps a better way of saying it is that he is full of it.

   680. booond Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4173659)
---Pinning the Bain / outsourcing tail on the Romney donkey, and reminding those rust belt voters that Romney would have let the automakers fend for themselves in 2008-09. Romney is inherently disliked by a majority of independent voters for reasons largely stemming from his well-deserved reputation for cluelessness about the concerns of the average non-rich American, and Obama should never let Romney escape from that trap----Keep demanding to see Romney's prior tax returns and let Romney show the world how they demonstrate his fine business acumen.


Tying Mitt to American economic decline for the middle and lower middle classes is what they should hammer until Election Day. Mitt is the man who laid you off, shipped your job to China and then pocketed the money and placed it offshore. That he has a Swiss and Cayman bank accounts and has used his investments to bet against American interests is another point to hammer.
   681. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4173662)
Perhaps a better way of saying it is that he is full of it.
God, you're such a ####### child.
   682. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4173663)
Christ on a bicycle, you guys both need to re-take Kaplan or Princeton or something.


They have both been clear that they honestly think that "society" - oh, I'm sorry, "government" - should be an opt-in decision. It's a completely untenable, hippie-on-the-farm-dreaming-of-one-world-and-peach-and-love pipe dream, but they've been clear that they're totally bought into the commune on the merits.
   683. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4173669)
When I obliquely call you a Spanish Fascist later, I'm going to call you John instead of Francisco. Be prepared.

Being referred to as John Franco is probably worse.
   684. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4173670)
   685. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4173672)
I cannot believe my eyes. Do you really think this makes sense? Look at what you just wrote. Do you pay more for your baseball tickets than is required of you?


No, but I pay for my baseball tickets when it is not required of me to pay for a ticket at all.
   686. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4173675)
“Oh, what a contrast, my friends, between these two men who would be president! President Obama is betting on America and American workers, and Mitt Romney is betting his resources in the Cayman Islands, in Bermuda, in Switzerland and God only knows where else he is putting his resources.”
Key word: his resources. Obama isn't betting anything at all; he's got none of his own skin in the game. He's just handing out American taxpayers' money to his favored special interests.
   687. BDC Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4173682)
Isn't there still that box on the 1040 that says "voluntary contribution to reduce the National Debt" (or something like that)? In fact, a 2010 NYT story reports that Americans pay about $3M a year to the federal government just in gifts to the Treasury. Which will not even get you a good middle reliever, nowadays, I know; but somebody does it – quite apart from voting for higher taxes, which people have done continually throughout American history.
   688. Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4173687)
Time for a change in topic: Air pollution regulation! I'll even start.

Given the rise in children with respiratory problems, it seems pretty obvious that we need to tighten up allowable levels of pollutants.
   689. Lassus Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4173691)
No, but I pay for my baseball tickets when it is not required of me to pay for a ticket at all.

Oy. Enjoy your rubber room.
   690. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4173693)
Key word: his resources. Obama isn't betting anything at all; he's got none of his own skin in the game. He's just handing out American taxpayers' money to his favored special interests.


You go to war with that, Cap'n "Libertarian." We'll see how it plays in Peoria.
   691. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4173695)
The bottom line is that you people claim to be so, oh so concerned, for the people without insurance. But you didn't actually get together and pool your money to solve the problem -- a problem that was 100% solvable with your money.

Now you've claimed to "like" paying taxes. But you pay the minimum of what is required of you, and no more.

You are no better on these scores than me, who you've spent hundreds of posts now railing against since Thursday. And I suspect that if we were to look at charitable contributions, you'd pretty easily fall behind me. But whatever. You're the compassionate ones. Or so you like to tell yourselves, and anyone who will listen.
   692. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4173698)
You are no better on these scores than me, who you've spent hundreds of posts now railing against since Thursday. And I suspect that if we were to look at charitable contributions, you'd pretty easily fall behind me.


Do I get to count taking up for you occasionally in my charity column?
   693. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4173699)
I just told you. People overpay during the tax year. Even if they cash in, they still let the government have their money when didn't have to. Indeed, often when people are due a refund at the end of the year, they let it be carried forward into the new year for a credit.
   694. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4173708)

I cannot believe my eyes. Do you really think this makes sense? Look at what you just wrote. Do you pay more for your baseball tickets than is required of you, based on the fact that you like baseball?

It makes sense to me. Ray didn't say that he likes paying for baseball tickets, he said he likes going to ballgames.
   695. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4173716)
You are no better on these scores than me, who you've spent hundreds of posts now railing against since Thursday. And I suspect that if we were to look at charitable contributions, you'd pretty easily fall behind me. But whatever.
Speaking for myself, I seriously doubt it. More importantly, people just don't want to live in a "well, that's tough" society a la DNP, and you can't build an actual compassionate society on the kindness of strangers. You disagree? Voting might change things. Temper tantrums on the Internet, not so much.
   696. booond Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4173723)
More importantly, people just don't want to live in a "well, that's tough" society a la DNP


What I don't understand is why people who like the "well, that's tough" society are whining about the SCOTUS decision at all. Don't like it, well that's tough.
   697. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4173724)
You are no better on these scores than me, who you've spent hundreds of posts now railing against since Thursday. And I suspect that if we were to look at charitable contributions, you'd pretty easily fall behind me. But whatever. You're the compassionate ones. Or so you like to tell yourselves, and anyone who will listen.

For what it's worth:

1) I've always taken the standard deduction, so I probably have, at least a few times, payed more than I technically owe.

2) I don't really understand why you're so defensive about this "compassion" thing. Geez, grow up already. Part of the reason you get trolled so much is that you can be counted on for these kinds of snit fits ... I take it you didn't grow up with younger siblings. For some reason, Sam seems to have taken it on himself to act as your and Nieporent's bratty younger brother here at BTF - it's not the debate that he enjoys, but your reactions to it.

3) Along those lines, I don't really think that "compassion" has much to do with anything, and I think it's the weakest argument ACA supporters have mustered for the bill, in this thread and the world at large. It's consistent, though, with a segment of Maddow-style liberals whose primary thrill in life is to call their political opponents bad people.

4) That said, I don't think charitable contributions prove much one way or the other in terms of compassion. So you support your pet causes, big deal - so does everyone else.

   698. Brian C Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4173727)
It makes sense to me. Ray didn't say that he likes paying for baseball tickets, he said he likes going to ballgames.

I like living in this country, so I pay taxes.
   699. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4173728)
2) I don't really understand why you're so defensive about this "compassion" thing. Geez, grow up already. Part of the reason you get trolled so much is that you can be counted on for these kinds of snit fits ... I take it you didn't grow up with younger siblings. For some reason, Sam seems to have taken it on himself to act as your and Nieporent's bratty younger brother here at BTF - it's not the debate that he enjoys, but your reactions to it.
To be fair, Sam has been acting as my bratty younger brother for about fifteen years now, since he was about 7 or 8 years old, long before BBTF.
   700. Morty Causa Posted: July 05, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4173730)
R & D want a win-win situation. They get their way through the legal and political process as a matter of unspecified, unexamined right. If that doesn't work, they magnanimously agree on a compromise--the compromise being everyone defer to them anyway. Government is so simple when you look at it the right way.

It is like dealing with children. "But I want it, daddy."
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