Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

OTP - Jan 2013: Jewish Journal:E1: An error in baseball and Mideast politics

Tripon Posted: January 02, 2013 at 02:48 PM | 2805 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ot, politics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 4 of 29 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 >  Last ›
   301. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4339155)
So snapper's objection to VAWA is based on the dangers of centralized power, as evidenced by 20th century genocides... which means providing support services to victims of sexual assault would lead us down a slippery slope... but there are cases where centralized power is necessary, such as armed forces.

Personally, I'm a bit more worried about the potential for genocide being committed by the armed forces than by an agency devoted to providing support for victims of sexual assault, but YMMV.


I'm merely engaging in a discussion of political theory. I have no particular position on VAWA. I never mentioned a slippery slope.

I'm critiquing the idea that every time there is a problem in society the Federal Gov't should "do something". That attitude has real costs and dangers.

   302. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 04, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4339157)
Many dictatorships come from non-dictatorships. If a Hitler became President in the 1800 US, his ability to do harm was effectively zero. He couldn't do anything. In a highly centralized modern state, he could wreak havoc.


The lesson here is to strive to reduce the chance of economic collapse in your non-dictatorship (as well as other obvious things), it isn't to make your society ineffective so that the extremely unlikely dictator is ineffective.

In a completely unrelated note to the GOP. Crashing the economy by refusing to raise the debt limit is a bad idea. You passed the laws to spend the money, now pass the law to allow the spending of the money. If you don't like how the money is spent feel free to pass laws that spend according to your desire, don't just wreck things. Thanks.
   303. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4339167)
The lesson here is to strive to reduce the chance of economic collapse in your non-dictatorship (as well as other obvious things), it isn't to make your society ineffective so that the extremely unlikely dictator is ineffective.

I see no reason to think a system where the states held 50% of the power the Feds currently do would be any less "effective". I'm guessing it would be more "effective".
   304. zonk Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4339174)

No Ukranian Kulaks or Polish Jews ever said, "gee I'd like to escape certain death but I just can't afford it". They were not allowed to emigrate.


Well, that's not entirely true...

First - you needed to escape to somewhere... that meant securing a visa to enter somewhere, which didn't come free. Second - and here's the catnip for the libertarians so they can pointlessly caterwaul some more - the Nazis did essentially charge them next year's taxes just to secure a blessed ticket out of the country.

But all that said -- we're really getting too black and white here.

IF you are/suspect you are/are concerned you might face repression to the degree of being exterminated -- or various degrees of that (from slavery to being ghetto-ized into something close) -- sure, you might say and might be able to say "to hell with it all, I'm getting out if I have to walk". But - there are limitations here, too... age and mobility... family... etc.

It's those shades of grey that fall far short of even the pre-Holocaust Nuremberg laws where things can get dicey (or - say Jim Crow era south).

If you're basically just facing a miserable existence of oppression... how oppressed are you? How much do you believe it would be different if you did move to another locality? Can you afford/what do you have to sacrifice to move?

This is my point about federalizing something like VAWA.... or - civil rights legislation... or things of that sort.... where it's not necessarily your very life - presumably, no cost or obstacle is too great to try to save that - but more a, let's say, 'minimum level of pursuit of happiness'.

Obviously - sexual assault is a crime in every US locality.

However, I think just as obviously - there are circumstances where being the victim of such a crime will be harder or easier to overcome, and the aftermath harder or easier on you.

What the VAWA does/did is improve that aftermath and circumstance standard more broadly.

I'll now cede the floor so that David and company can resume the standard whining about their pennies being seized at gunpoint to provide things that the government, especially at a federal level, has no business providing for a few posts....
   305. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4339176)
This is my point about federalizing something like VAWA.... or - civil rights legislation... or things of that sort.... where it's not necessarily your very life - presumably, no cost or obstacle is too great to try to save that - but more a, let's say, 'minimum level of pursuit of happiness'.

Obviously - sexual assault is a crime in every US locality.

However, I think just as obviously - there are circumstances where being the victim of such a crime will be harder or easier to overcome, and the aftermath harder or easier on you.

What the VAWA does/did is improve that aftermath and circumstance standard more broadly.


That's why I think the state level is a good one for a lot of powers; county is even better. It is relatively easy to move between states, no visas, limited costs, etc.

And maybe VAWA is a good idea. I'm just saying we should look long and hard before deciding this (or anything) isn't something states can handle.
   306. CrosbyBird Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4339184)
<"Sorry rape victim, you should move, or better yet you should have moved before being raped; and since you could have moved before being raped I don't think this issue calls for a centralized system of redress."

That's a very blunt way of putting it, but not entirely unreasonable. If States A, B, and C all do a fine job addressing issues of rape, while state Z does not, there are a number of different options for dissatisfied citizens.

1) Peacefully campaign for social change in your community and beyond.
2) Leave state Z in favor of living in state A, B, or C.
3) Engage in vigilante justice against improperly punished offenders (which can be significantly less than physical force: DOS attacks, exposure of political votes, providing address identification to the public, etc.)
4) Convince the government to create a standard for everyone, even those A, B, and C are doing a fine job.
   307. Mefisto Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4339191)
The same case, however, can be made for decentralized policy -- the old 'states as a laboratory for democracy' idea.


Having states be "laboratories" isn't inconsistent with the principle of ultimate federal control. The federal government doesn't have to legislate on every issue. But when it does legislate, it will, on average, make better policy than states will. And the reason is that a wider, more diverse sample of the electorate will have a say.
   308. zonk Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4339193)
Changing gears a bit...

...and because it's a beautiful Friday afternoon and I'm very much looking forward to a weekend free of holiday frazzle...

I think this is a very honest, very sincere, and wholly commendable statement released by ID-SEN Mike Crapo regarding his DUI arrest. If I were an Idahoan, I'd be voting against him regardless because I believe in pretty much the opposite of everything he believes in - and the contrition doesn't automatically wave away the crime to begin with -- but I do say bravo, and so far as I'm concerned (keeping in mind that the law will be administering the appropriate penalties), I'd consider the matter closed.
   309. CrosbyBird Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4339197)
The federal government doesn't have to legislate on every issue. But when it does legislate, it will, on average, make better policy than states will. And the reason is that a wider, more diverse sample of the electorate will have a say.

I don't agree with the premise that wider, more diverse samples of the electorate will make superior local policy than competent local government will. I don't see how the distinguished gentleman from South Dakota offers more insight into, say, the homelessness problem in NY or SF.
   310. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4339199)
Having states be "laboratories" isn't inconsistent with the principle of ultimate federal control. The federal government doesn't have to legislate on every issue. But when it does legislate, it will, on average, make better policy than states will. And the reason is that a wider, more diverse sample of the electorate will have a say.

This assumes that a uniform policy everywhere in the US is always best. I would submit that is a foolish idea.

Washington, DC and NYC need far more police per capita than Tulsa, and Albany. Having the same minimum wage in NYC, Los Angeles, Detroit, and rural Alabama, is insanity.
   311. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4339205)
Washington, DC and NYC need far more police per capita than Tulsa, and Albany.


very been to NYC and Albany?

I'd say that it's Albany that NEEDS more police per capita

   312. Ron J2 Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4339218)
Very important. The petition to ban Death Stars has gained 25,000+ signatures and thus should merit an official White house response. More here
   313. SteveF Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4339226)
The petition I've seen that got the 25K signatures was in favor of building a death star.

Someone recently started a petition to ban the building of a death star. It only has 23 signatures last I checked.

Death Stars are just too ####### cool, man. Don't be a ####### killjoy.
   314. Mefisto Posted: January 04, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4339230)
I don't agree with the premise that wider, more diverse samples of the electorate will make superior local policy than competent local government will.


If the issue is local, but the problem occurs in every locality (and even more if the problem has spillover effects to other areas), then the more diverse electorate will do better. You can disagree, but that was Madison's fundamental point.

If there's a true local problem, i.e., one that occurs in Peoria but nowhere else, then the feds are hardly likely to legislate on it. If there are homeless people in SD, then the distinguished gentleman from there has something to contribute.

This assumes that a uniform policy everywhere in the US is always best. I would submit that is a foolish idea.


Not at all. Federal policy can allow for local variations.

That said, your objection doesn't really meet Madison's point. A uniform policy needn't be "best" in any philosophical sense. It need only be "better" on average.


   315. Ron J2 Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4339235)
Yeah, Steve. I mis-read the column first time through.

Death stars may be cool, but I have to say that I agree with Greg Koger that $85.2 quintillion (give or take) can probably be better spent.
   316. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4339237)
That said, your objection doesn't really meet Madison's point. A uniform policy needn't be "best" in any philosophical sense. It need only be "better" on average.

I'm not a utilitarian. I don't particularly care about "better on average".

If a policy would extend life-expectancy to 99 with perfect health for 95% of the population by harvesting the organs of the other 5%, it's wrong. If a policy enriches 95% of the population by enslaving 5%, it's wrong.
   317. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4339238)
Death stars may be cool, but I have to say that I agree with Greg Koger that $85.2 quintillion (give or take) can probably be better spent.

It would give our country a shared purpose.
   318. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4339243)
It would give our country a shared purpose.

Isn't a Death Star pretty useless against people that live on the same planet as us?
   319. Poulanc Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4339244)
And maybe VAWA is a good idea. I'm just saying we should look long and hard before deciding this (or anything) isn't something states can handle.



Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure VAWA came about because the states COULDN'T handle it.
   320. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4339246)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure VAWA came about because the states COULDN'T handle it.


The states collectively couldn't handle it, or a few states are perceived as doing a shitty job?

If 40 states can handle it and 10 can't, that's not a good argument for Federal control.
   321. AuntBea Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4339250)
How is it suicidal? The status quo works pretty well for Israel. They have a vibrant, rich economy, and face no credible military threat, except for the potential of madmen with the bomb in Iran. Israel can keep going on this way for a long time. Their biggest threat, ironically, is probably the very high birth-rate among the ultra-orthodox, who contribute almost nothing to the economy, and generally refuse to serve in the military.


It's suicidal because soon Arabs will outnumber Jews between the river and the sea. Soon Israel will not be able to pretend to be a democracy. Soon they will lose virtually all support from the international community, possibly even most of their US support. And if you look a few further decades down the line, Israel might even become indistinguishable from its ugly neighbors, in all but choice of religion. That is the course they have chosen.

The only other option is to literally drive a very large percentage of the Arabs from the land under the cover of some major international conflict.

Israel's economy is very good--all the more reason to cut off US aid.
   322. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4339253)
It's suicidal because soon Arabs will outnumber Jews between the river and the sea. Soon Israel will not be able to pretend to be a democracy. Soon they will lose virtually all support from the international community, possibly even most of their US support. And if you look a few further decades down the line, Israel might even become indistinguishable from its ugly neighbors, in all but choice of religion. That is the course they have chosen.

I really don't thing the world cares that much about the Palestinians right to vote.

I agree on the aid. Cut off Egypt too.
   323. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4339254)
Isn't a Death Star pretty useless against people that live on the same planet as us?

Well, duh. But what about Venus?
   324. Mefisto Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4339257)
If 40 states can handle it and 10 can't, that's not a good argument for Federal control.


Would you make that argument about Jim Crow?

If a policy would extend life-expectancy to 99 with perfect health for 95% of the population by harvesting the organs of the other 5%, it's wrong. If a policy enriches 95% of the population by enslaving 5%, it's wrong.


And Madison's point is that local control is much more likely to lead to the outcome you fear. There are lots of obvious examples of this in US history, most of them involving race.
   325. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:24 PM (#4339259)
If 40 states can handle it and 10 can't, that's not a good argument for Federal control.


But it is not a matter of federal control. The Federal Government is not swooping in and taking control of 50 states because 10 can't mind their business. There are problems in many states and so the Federal Government is establishing guidelines, regulations, and providing money so that most or all of the states can do a better job. It is a combination of regulations and supplementation in an effort to fight against a problem (violence against Women) that the states in total are not handling appropriately.
   326. spike Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4339265)
Surprise! Tea Party Wave Congress least productive, least liked in history.
   327. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4339266)
Would you make that argument about Jim Crow?

No, because those states were violating Constitutional rights.

And Madison's point is that local control is much more likely to lead to the outcome you fear. There are lots of obvious examples of this in US history, most of them involving race.

But as long as the Federal Gov't guarantees peoples' right to leave a state, their power is quite limited. California can't have a 50% income tax on incomes over $1M, b/c all those people would just leave.

But it is not a matter of federal control. The Federal Government is not swooping in and taking control of 50 states because 10 can't mind their business. There are problems in many states and so the Federal Government is establishing guidelines, regulations, and providing money so that most or all of the states can do a better job. It is a combination of regulations and supplementation in an effort to fight against a problem (violence against Women) that the states in total are not handling appropriately.

If that's all it does, then I'm not opposed to it. I've said 3 or 4 times I don't oppose this bill, just Federal encroachment in general. I never heard of VAWA before today.
   328. Mefisto Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4339271)
But as long as the Federal Gov't guarantees peoples' right to leave a state, their power is quite limited.


I'm not sure how this is consistent with your response about Jim Crow. After all, the feds could have just protected the rights of blacks to leave the Jim Crow states. No reason to enforce Constitutional rights other than that.

But putting that aside, in a larger sense your response demonstrates that it's only the potential intervention of the feds which makes justice possible within states.

Again, you don't have to agree with Madison's point, but it is the philosophical basis of modern republican government. If you reject it, you're rejecting the whole American project.
   329. zonk Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4339275)

The states collectively couldn't handle it, or a few states are perceived as doing a shitty job?

If 40 states can handle it and 10 can't, that's not a good argument for Federal control.


Well, again -- I think you're overstating "control"... the main thrust of VAWA was more funding of post-crime services.

The VAWA was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005 by REPUBLICAN congresses without any rancor (the 2005 reauthorization breezed through 414-14... technically, only 4 voting against..., 12 voters weren't present for the roll).

The tribal court objections are a fairly new development to the opposition... the original opposition was the extension to same-sex and transgendered language and, most omnipresently -- the funding of it.

Perhaps there were some state and local objections to it previously... but I am not aware of them and some googling to exclude the debate over the current reauthorization doesn't provide me with any, not that my googling is perfect.

Up until the current Congress - the VAWA simply wasn't a big deal that drew much objection, much less was ever in any danger of not being reauthorized.
   330. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4339287)
I'm not sure how this is consistent with your response about Jim Crow. After all, the feds could have just protected the rights of blacks to leave the Jim Crow states. No reason to enforce Constitutional rights other than that.

But putting that aside, in a larger sense your response demonstrates that it's only the potential intervention of the feds which makes justice possible within states.

Again, you don't have to agree with Madison's point, but it is the philosophical basis of modern republican government. If you reject it, you're rejecting the whole American project.


I'm not against all Federal power. They should enforce Constitutional rights, and it was right to end Jim Crow. I would have fully enforced the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments in the South from 1880 on if I were in power.

But, if a state wants to have shitty schools, and bad police protection, etc., then the answer is for people to vote otherwise with their ballots, or vote with their feet. The Feds don't need to step in and mandate those kinds of service levels.
   331. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4339289)
Well, again -- I think you're overstating "control"... the main thrust of VAWA was more funding of post-crime services.

If it's not usurping state and local control, then I don't oppose it.

My comments have been more general political theory, I fully admit I'm ignorant of VAWA.
   332. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: January 04, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4339291)
I'm not familiar with VAWA, but I did spend a summer working for a Tribe. In a lot of situations, Indian law is federalized by default, as reservations are carved out of states for civil law purposes. (IIRC, a lot of land is held by the federal government in trust for tribes and individuals). In some locations, states have criminal jurisdiction on criminal land. (This is true in Wisconsin, except for maybe the Menominee reservation). See this wikipedia article.

Wikipedia suggests that federal statutes have given serious crime jurisdiction to the federal government since 1885, with tribal courts having limited authority to handle criminal cases. This corresponds with my understanding of tribal law.

So, for a number of reservations, a state has no real role in handling criminal cases on reservations.

   333. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 06:23 PM (#4339295)
I'm not familiar with VAWA, but I did spend a summer working for a Tribe. In a lot of situations, Indian law is federalized by default, as reservations are carved out of states for civil law purposes. (IIRC, a lot of land is held by the federal government in trust for tribes and individuals). In some locations, states have criminal jurisdiction on criminal land. (This is true in Wisconsin.)

Wikipedia suggests that federal statutes have given serious crime jurisdiction to the federal government since 1885, with tribal courts having limited authority to handle criminal cases. This corresponds with my understanding of tribal law.

So, for a number of reservations, a state has no real role in handling criminal cases on reservations.


Agree. If the issue is the Feds not actively prosecuting on Tribal land, they should change that. Fire the prosecutors who won't do their jobs.
   334. villageidiom Posted: January 04, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4339326)
Surprise! Tea Party Wave Congress least productive, least liked in history.
You say "least productive Congress" like it's a bad thing.

Having said that, I think the article makes the bad thing more clear:
The 112th found legislating so difficult that lawmakers repeatedly created artificial deadlines for consequences and catastrophes intended to spur them to act. But like Wile E. Coyote with his endless supply of Acme products, when the 112th set a trap, the only sure bet was that it would explode in its collective face, forcing leaders to construct yet another hair-trigger legislative contraption.

I'm not against a Congress having a dearth of laws passed. I am against them failing to pass laws that are needed, or passing laws that fail to deal with the problems at hand. I think the Wile E. Coyote comparison is apt.
   335. Srul Itza Posted: January 04, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4339337)
A key concept of any sane vision of a just society is subsidiarity. Tasks and problems should be handled by the smallest unit of society that is capable of handling it.


Capable includes the subsidiary concepts of being willing and able to perform the task, which too often isn't the case for localities as regards responding to rape and domestic violence.
   336. Srul Itza Posted: January 04, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4339348)
t's been over 60 years since Israel became an independent state, that's a long time, the Israel/Palestinian dispute *could* have been resolved by now if not for the settlement policies- its like a wound that can never heal because the settlements/settlers are constantly picking at the scab.


for the first 20 of those 60 years, the land in question was held by the Arabs. Egypt and Jordan could have created a Palestinian state or states any time they wanted. They chose not to, because they were seeking nothing less than the entirety of the Palestinian Mandate, and no Israel.

What may seem suicidal today, did not seem so in light of the events of the first 20 to 25 years of Israel's existence.
   337. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 04, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4339352)
Isn't a Death Star pretty useless against people that live on the same planet as us?


I can't wait for the next argument over how many Jews and Palestinians would/should be living on the Death Star.
   338. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 08:12 PM (#4339363)
His view of the creation of Israel is as flawed (in the opposite direction) as the Arab view that Israel was a wholly western creation.

Yes there were many Jews in what is today Israel, and about 100,000 additional ones managed to make it there in the late 30s- mid 40s (not that you could blame them)- but by 1947 the Arabs still outnumbered the Jews by 2:1 in the Palestine Mandate area- under the UN Plan the Jewish sate would get some 56% of the land - land on which they had a roughly 55-45% majority, on the land going to the Arabs the Arabs had a 95-5% majority- so yes even under the UN plan it was jerrymandered to be as favorable to the Jews as possible

The Jews declared an independent state once the Brits left, and won the subsequent war. Then in 1948-50 some 700,000 Jews immigrated to the new state of Israel, while about 600,000 Arabs left (left the territory of what became the State of Israel)- that permanently altered the demographic balance of the "Jewish" state as all Jewish immigrants in became citizens and all Arabs who left were barred from returning.
I'm curious how you think any of your second or third paragraphs contradicts what I've said. (I would note that while Jews would get a disproportionate amount of land, much of it was desert.) My only point was that the partition plan was just a piece of paper, one that was never implemented, and Britain before their mandate ended was all but overtly helping the Arabs. Israel wasn't formed by the UN, it was formed by the Jewish forces winnng the war against Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.
   339. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4339368)
I guess Madison wasn't sane, then. His whole argument in Federalist 10 can be summed up in the phrase "expand the sphere". As he showed, the better decisions will always be made by a wider electorate.
First, he didn't "show" it; he argued it. Second, he didn't even argue it; you distort his position. Yes, he said that enlarging the electorate was a way to control faction, but he supported a balance, recognizing that there was a happy medium between being too big and distant and too easily capturable by faction. Given that a majority of states nowadays have bigger populations than the entire United States did in 1789, there's no reason to think that he would argue in favor of more centralization in Washington. We're way on the wrong side of the balance.
   340. CrosbyBird Posted: January 04, 2013 at 08:31 PM (#4339369)
Isn't a Death Star pretty useless against people that live on the same planet as us?

It's called the Doctrine of Fear, and it's what got Tarkin promoted to Grand Moff. Rule not by force itself, but through the fear of force with a weapon of unimaginable power.
   341. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4339371)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure VAWA came about because the states COULDN'T handle it.

The states collectively couldn't handle it, or a few states are perceived as doing a shitty job?
Or neither. The fact that Congress passes a law is not evidence that there was a need for that law.
   342. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 04, 2013 at 08:35 PM (#4339372)
Capable includes the subsidiary concepts of being willing and able to perform the task, which too often isn't the case for localities as regards responding to rape and domestic violence.

How could the feds possibly be better positioned to deal with rape or domestic violence?

***
Up until the current Congress - the VAWA simply wasn't a big deal that drew much objection, much less was ever in any danger of not being reauthorized.

And up until the current Congress, VAWA didn't throw major aspects of American jurisprudence out the window, or become a vehicle for all sorts of lefty gimmicks.
   343. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 08:50 PM (#4339376)
So I guess Likud minister-to-be Elkin's call for annexation of Area C: ("We must now begin to take proactive steps to improve our situation, and begin to apply sovereignty, or aspects thereof, on whatever areas we can at any given moment." "...“take what we can now, and discuss the rest later.”) is imaginary as well? This was just 2 days ago. So soon we forget!
So a statement by someone who isn't in the cabinet about what Israel should "now begin to" do is actually evidence of Israeli's existing policies? Do you believe in time travel?


Every US citizen should be strongly questioning are military and monetary support of Israel at this point.
The one thing you said I agree with -- but not because of fantasies about "ethnic cleansing," but because it's an improper use of taxpayer dollars (and utterly unnecessary). Similarly, of course, the U.S. should be cutting off aid to other countries. (Strangely, the people wanting to cut Israel off rarely seem to suggest that Turkey, which oppresses Kurds and unlike Israel actually occupies a foreign country, needs to have its aid cut off.)
   344. NattyBoh Posted: January 04, 2013 at 09:31 PM (#4339394)
(Strangely, the people wanting to cut Israel off rarely seem to suggest that Turkey, which oppresses Kurds


The politically correct term for decades in Turkey was "Mountain Turks", thus denying the existence of a people who preceded the Turks in the Middle East. Then again there was no genocide against Armenians, Mountain Turks, Greeks, or any one else.
   345. Lassus Posted: January 04, 2013 at 09:44 PM (#4339401)
Or neither. The fact that Congress passes a law is not evidence that there was a need for that law.

Reading this, I do wonder which laws JUST make it over the line for you. The laws that you have to think about, consider seriously, and then decide, "OK, that law, I guess, not really needed." Or the other way, after actual consideration, a law you decide "Well, you know, it's close, but I'm glad Congress passed that one."
   346. AuntBea Posted: January 04, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4339419)
So a statement by someone who isn't in the cabinet about what Israel should "now begin to" do is actually evidence of Israeli's existing policies? Do you believe in time travel?


Amusing. Israel's desire to take over Judea and Samaria is hardly a secret at this point. You are just making yourself look foolish. I chose that statement because it was just made two days ago. It's ok, the secret is out. You need not pretend anymore.

The aid to Turkey is a tiny fraction of the aid to Israel of course, and could politically be cut, unlike the aid to Israel. There really is no equivalence. But it would not bother me one bit if it were discontinued.
   347. SteveF Posted: January 04, 2013 at 10:50 PM (#4339428)
Most of the aid to Israel is used to purchase weapons, the large majority of which are manufactured in the US. I'm not saying the aid should continue, just that most of the money is being pumped back into the US.
   348. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 04, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4339435)
Fancy PH--thanks for the advice in your post 65. Eliminating the image at the top of the page through adblock worked like a charm.
   349. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 04, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4339439)
I'm late to the party but the whole Chinese/Taiwanese anchor baby - shouldn't the US be encouraging people like this? Rich Chinese people staying and having a baby then potentially 10 years down the road, coming back, buying a house in southern California and sending their kids to school?
   350. CrosbyBird Posted: January 05, 2013 at 02:01 AM (#4339497)
Reading this, I do wonder which laws JUST make it over the line for you. The laws that you have to think about, consider seriously, and then decide, "OK, that law, I guess, not really needed." Or the other way, after actual consideration, a law you decide "Well, you know, it's close, but I'm glad Congress passed that one."

Laws against assisted suicide, I think, are very hard calls for me. I am in favor of allowing people the right to die, but I am very apprehensive about people "helping" folks that aren't in a position to consent. No regulation would be problematic; no permission is similarly problematic.

Rape shield laws are similarly troubling to me. I know without them, the victim may be put on trial, but I also feel that the accused's good faith belief in consent should be part of the question of guilt (or at the very least, sentencing), and that there's a right to confront one's accuser.

If I'm obligated to make choices here, I'd be in favor of allowing assisted suicide and in favor of keeping rape shield laws, but those seem like my close cases.
   351. GregD Posted: January 05, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4339648)
very been to NYC and Albany?

I'd say that it's Albany that NEEDS more police per capita

Yes! The idea that Albany needs more police per capita than NYC is not only obvious if you walk around both but also if you look at the stats.

If you go by the data used at Neighborhood Scout, you get

percentile ranking of safety:
Albany 6 (safer than 6% of US areas)
NYC 26


Violent Crimes per 1000 residents
Albany 9.6
NYC 7.92

Property crimes per 1000 residents
Albany 47.78
NYC 22.60

Albany has brought down its murder rate dramatically the last few years and is below NYC on that number (even though NYC's murder rate is quite low for a big city.)

Here is the per capita number of police officers:

Population per police officer
Albany 285.3
NYC 222.8

To get to NYC's per capita rate, Albany would need to add about 95 police officers. You can judge whether they need them or not.
   352. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4339671)
To get to NYC's per capita rate, Albany would need to add about 95 police officers. You can judge whether they need them or not.

Either way my point stands. A uniform level of policing is not appropriate.
   353. GregD Posted: January 05, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4339691)
Either way my point stands. A uniform level of policing is not appropriate.
I would agree that there isn't a magic number of police per capita.

I do think that there's something interesting about the confusion between safety in Albany and NYC--which is very widespread both in the specific case and in the general position it indicates--in that it shows us how slowly common sense changes. The sense that the most-dangerous cities were the big ones has a real basis; that basis has just changed, and our common sense takes time to change with it. What's especially baffling to people who don't deal with it is the way that inner-ring suburbs have changed to become the most-dangerous and least-educated parts of some metropolitan areas; that is literally unimaginable to whole generations of people, even if the reasons are pretty obvious.
   354. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: January 05, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4339720)
Wife in Labor!
   355. BDC Posted: January 05, 2013 at 05:07 PM (#4339745)
Wife in Labor!

That's either a hard-won political conversion, or a Blessed Event. Congratulations either way :)
   356. The District Attorney Posted: January 05, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4339746)
That's either a hard-won political conversion
That'd probably be Wife in Labour, right?
   357. Accent Shallow Posted: January 05, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4339752)
Wife in Labor!

Since this is the politics thread, isn't it "Labour"?
   358. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 05, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4339761)
It's a labor movement.
   359. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: January 05, 2013 at 05:55 PM (#4339767)
One of my favorite bumper stickers.

Congrats WJ!
   360. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 05, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4339781)
Best wishes, WJ!



I'm not against all Federal power. They should enforce Constitutional rights, and it was right to end Jim Crow. I would have fully enforced the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments in the South from 1880 on if I were in power.

But, if a state wants to have shitty schools, and bad police protection, etc., then the answer is for people to vote otherwise with their ballots, or vote with their feet. The Feds don't need to step in and mandate those kinds of service levels.


When the state fails, though, to enforce laws to the point where civil rights are jeopardized, the Feds need to step in in order to ensure rights are being protected. It's not a bright line, to be sure, but there's some point past which schools are so shitty that the guarantee of a public education becomes meaningless; there's some point past which police protection is so non-existent that people are being actively harmed; there's some point past which enforcement of rape laws is so non-existent that, again, people are being actively harmed. That can be put in a civil rights context, of course.

Rape shield laws are similarly troubling to me. I know without them, the victim may be put on trial, but I also feel that the accused's good faith belief in consent should be part of the question of guilt (or at the very least, sentencing), and that there's a right to confront one's accuser.


I'm troubled by rape shield laws, and by the whole idea of a sex offender registry. I do think the latter is two discussions, though; one for adults who offend against adults, the second for adults who offend against children.
   361. Morty Causa Posted: January 05, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4339798)
   362. CrosbyBird Posted: January 05, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4339849)
I'm troubled by rape shield laws, and by the whole idea of a sex offender registry. I do think the latter is two discussions, though; one for adults who offend against adults, the second for adults who offend against children.

I suppose it depends on what you mean by children. Different age groups need different levels of protection. I think there is a huge difference between having non-consensual sex with an adult, consensual sex with a teenager, non-consensual sex with a teenager, and any sort of sex with a ten-year-old.

An adult who sleeps with a fifteen-year-old that consents is certainly creepy by the standards of American culture, but I'm not sure that "creepy" is enough to put someone on the same sort of list as the elementary school stalker. There's an incredible difference between having a sexual attraction to teenagers that are physically capable of reproducing (that's biological and was very normal for most of recorded history) and a sexual attraction to prepubescents.

I think a reasonable and good faith belief that you are with a consenting partner of age should be a legitimate defense to a charge of rape. It's hard to demonstrate anything approaching reasonable good faith if you're talking about a third-grader... a tenth-grader dressed like an adult in an adult setting such as a bar might be another story.

I'm not defending that as something that should be socially acceptable, but I'm not convinced that it should be criminal, especially the sort of criminal that renders the convicted an unemployable social pariah.
   363. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 06, 2013 at 02:00 AM (#4339893)
I'll admit, no way was I thinking of posting on BTF when my wife was in labor. Of course, my wife delivered two scheduled C sections at the butt crack of dawn.

I hope things are going well WJ.
   364. Swoboda is freedom Posted: January 06, 2013 at 08:53 PM (#4340341)
Wife in Labor!

I hope you told your family before you posted that.
   365. McCoy Posted: January 06, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4340346)
Just think years from now wj can show his kid this thread and how the announcement of its birth came right in the middle of a discussion about sex offenders
   366. smileyy Posted: January 06, 2013 at 09:30 PM (#4340360)
The plowshares that can be reaped from $85,200,000,000,000,000,000 in military spending should not be scoffed at. You can't build a Life Star without first building a Death Star.
   367. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4340480)
Death panels, Death Star, whatever.
   368. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 07, 2013 at 08:51 AM (#4340573)
Speaking of disenfranchisment, and 'would you please make up your mind' components of the Constitution:

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.


Also, color me skeptical that states properly discount the disenfranchised members of their populations when it comes to counting those towards EC votes.

Ah--I see it's time for another windfall profits tax...


.
   369. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4340579)
anyone notice senator mcconnell's declaration over the weekend?

tax increases are now off the table.

   370. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4340584)
.
Sure, and to the surprise of literally no one, I imagine.

Post #116 featured The Great Bloviator:


(CNN) – Hours after Congress sent a bill for the president's signature to avoid the fiscal cliff, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is already gearing up for the next showdown.

The Kentucky Republican wrote in an op-ed that President Barack Obama should be prepared to "have a fight" over government spending and the debt limit in the coming weeks, adding that the tax debate is now a thing of the past with the new legislation.

"I have news for him: The moment that he and virtually every elected Democrat in Washington signed off on the terms of the current arrangement, it was the last word on taxes. That debate is over," McConnell wrote in the Yahoo News op-ed. "Now the conversation turns to cutting spending on the government programs that are the real source of the nation's fiscal imbalance. And the upcoming debate on the debt limit is the perfect time to have that discussion."

...

Obama said in his statement late Tuesday night at the White House that he wants "less drama" and "brinksmanship" in future negotiations over fiscal matters.

"I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed," he said.

...

McConnell wrote that the president should get ready for the battle.

"The President may not want to have a fight about government spending over the next few months, but it's the fight he is going to have, because it's a debate the country needs," he said, adding that Obama "must show up" and deliver a serious plan for slashing federal spending.

"That's the debate the American people really want. It's a debate Republicans are ready to have. And it's the debate that starts today, whether the President wants it or not," McConnell wrote.


Yeah, this is going to end well ...


The reporter forgot to add, "and all serious people started laughing uncontrollably at McConnell's 'and you have to go first' remark."

.
   371. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4340609)
Also, color me skeptical that states properly discount the disenfranchised members of their populations when it comes to counting those towards EC votes.
Either you've misinterpreted the provision you're quoting or I'm misinterpreting your dry humor.
   372. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4340612)
"I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed," he said.
Either Obama is being disingenuous or he misunderstands the government budgeting process. If the government reaches the debt ceiling and runs out of money, then it has to stop spending; it does not have to default on existing debt payments.
   373. GregD Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4340613)
I'm curious about the change in the NYT reports on McConnell's statement. At first they said that he meant revenue neutral in a peculiar way--increased revenue by tax reform would have to be balanced by equally big spending cuts. Then they rewrote to say that he meant tax reform would have to be revenue neutral in the generally accepted meaning--as if you could reform rates and loopholes but aim to collect the same amount of money. I assume it's a writing error, but if there's some effort to show his leg on #1, he and Biden will be able to work out the debt ceiling in five minutes at whatever stage they want to.

Assuming he meant #2, the real question is how far McConnell will go in requiring cuts to pass the debt ceiling. Obviously if he said we'll extend the debt ceiling today if you stop talking about raising revenues, the Obama administration would sign off in a second. If he holds to the House line that you have to make cuts for every dollar you add to the debt ceiling, then the negotiations will get tense.

My guess is that he will at the right moment move to the middle of those two positions, after both sides have floated implausible and marginally dishonest proposals for a few weeks. But again the issue is whether the House will move with him. All indications would be that he and the President will wait for the House to self-immolate again and then work out a deal they will present as a fait accompli.

The House's only leverage is passing something specific and forcing everyone to deal with it, but obviously that's a hard thing to accomplish with this caucus.

On the House, I'm curious who's going to emerge against Boehner. It sounds like Cantor is in major trouble on both sides. He felt he had to vote against the deal because to maintain any credibility with the Tea Party group, but that didn't appease them. So he behaved in a tricky situation in a way that blew up his credibility with both the Boehner and Tea Party groups.

The question would be whether Boehner likes having a dead duck as his Majority Leader. It sounds like Kevin McCarthy could be elected Majority Leader today if it were brought to the caucus.
   374. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4340628)
Either Obama is being disingenuous or he misunderstands the government budgeting process. If the government reaches the debt ceiling and runs out of money, then it has to stop spending; it does not have to default on existing debt payments.


What an interesting reading. When the government reaches the debt ceiling ... the President can't spend all the money he is legally obligated to spend based on all the previous budget laws Congress has passed.

Example: Congress passes laws to collect $4. Congress passes laws to spend $5. Congress passes law saying you can't spend more than you collect. The President is obligated to follow (execute, as in executive branch) the laws Congress passes.

For anyone to say anything about the government "running out of money" is clearly exposing their lack of understanding around budgets and financial matters. The government is not, can not, run out of money.
   375. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4340632)
For anyone to say anything about the government "running out of money" is clearly exposing their lack of understanding around budgets and financial matters. The government is not, can not, run out of money.


But, it's like a family's bank accounts and credit cards! I saw that on Facebook!
   376. Ron J2 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4340634)
#366 $85,200,000,000,000,000,000 is just a provisional estimate. You probably end up with gaps in defensive coverage or an unprotected exhaust vent if you try and cheap out.
   377. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4340639)
@376: what could possibly go wrong with minor stuff like that, though?
   378. tshipman Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4340682)
anyone notice senator mcconnell's declaration over the weekend?

tax increases are now off the table.


Both sides have made their positions fairly clear at this point. We'll have to see what ends up happening.

Obama's stated position is that he won't negotiate over the debt ceiling, but that he will accept a separate, deficit reduction bill over the sequester that is made up of one part spending cuts to one part tax raises.

McConnell/Boehner's stated position is that they will not raise the debt ceiling without corresponding budget cuts. I'm a bit confused over their position on the sequester, to be quite honest. They want to get rid of it, but does that mean that they would want three trillion in spending cuts to raise the debt ceiling 2 trillion? I'm not really sure what the answer is there. There's also no clear position on preferred cuts. The leaked stuff from the negotiations focused on things like raising the Medicare age and the chained CPI correction, but those seemed more like scalps for a wall than actual policy preferences.

I think the parameters to evaluate a deal are very easy: any deal where additional tax revenues make up more than 1/4 of the package's size is probably a win for the president. Any deal without additional tax revenues and that confirms the precedent of hostage taking over the debt ceiling is a win for congressional Republicans.

I think this negotiation is problematic for Republicans because up to this point, they've been able to not actually state their cuts. They probably have to state their cuts, and they will be unpopular. The president's position of closing tax loopholes to raise money is much more popular.
   379. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4340683)
McConnell/Boehner's stated position is that they will not raise the debt ceiling without corresponding budget cuts. I'm a bit confused over their position on the sequester, to be quite honest. They want to get rid of it, but does that mean that they would want three trillion in spending cuts to raise the debt ceiling 2 trillion? I'm not really sure what the answer is there.


That's easy. When the GOP says "budget cuts" they mean "entitlement cuts." They're not speaking of the budget in general, but only of entitlement programs. As such, in GOP parlance, "budget cuts" do not include DOD spending.
   380. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4340693)
That's easy. When the GOP says "budget cuts" they mean "entitlement cuts." They're not speaking of the budget in general, but only of entitlement programs. As such, in GOP parlance, "budget cuts" do not include DOD spending.

Which, in this instance (not always in the past, but today) is the correct focus.

We have something north of $80 trillion in unfunded entitlement obligations. It's unsustainable. Our level of defense spending is not unsustainable. It can, and should be cut, but it's not the core of the issue.
   381. GregD Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4340703)
Boehner today says the Republicans can live with the sequester. It is hard to imagine but just possible that there are enough anti-spending people in the caucus to make defense cuts realistic. I wouldn't count on it, but if so, there's another way a deal would be pretty feasible.
   382. tshipman Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4340705)
That's easy. When the GOP says "budget cuts" they mean "entitlement cuts." They're not speaking of the budget in general, but only of entitlement programs. As such, in GOP parlance, "budget cuts" do not include DOD spending.


Right, but there are no specific proposals. What is Boehner's ask? Is he asking for voucherization? For beneficiary cuts? I'm guessing it's MedicAid cuts, but you can't cut 2 trillion dollars just from Medicaid alone (at least not in a politically feasible way).

We have something north of $80 trillion in unfunded entitlement obligations. It's unsustainable.


Of course it's sustainable. This is silly. The President's 2012 budget had very few entitlement cuts and had the deficit below 3% of GDP within 8 years or so.
   383. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4340707)
We have something north of $80 trillion in unfunded entitlement obligations. It's unsustainable. Our level of defense spending is not unsustainable.


Please explain why the one is unsustainable while the other is not.
   384. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4340708)
Which, in this instance (not always in the past, but today) is the correct focus.


Because we need to spend more on defense, after all there is a mine shaft gap that needs closing.
   385. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4340711)
Right, but there are no specific proposals. What is Boehner's ask? Is he asking for voucherization? For beneficiary cuts? I'm guessing it's MedicAid cuts, but you can't cut 2 trillion dollars just from Medicaid alone (at least not in a politically feasible way).


Of course there are no specific proposals. Boehner must do two contradictory things at once. First, he must signal to the deficit hawks of his coalition that he is taking on entitlement spending. Thus nebulous "budget cuts." At the same time, he must avoid at all costs putting his coalition in the position of voting to cut entitlements, because to do so would be electoral suicide among his primary supporter base - old people living off of entitlements.
   386. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4340712)

We have something north of $80 trillion in unfunded entitlement obligations. It's unsustainable.


It's certainly not unsustainable. There are many ways to sustain it, some of which are better than others.
   387. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4340717)
What an interesting reading. When the government reaches the debt ceiling ... the President can't spend all the money he is legally obligated to spend based on all the previous budget laws Congress has passed.

Example: Congress passes laws to collect $4. Congress passes laws to spend $5. Congress passes law saying you can't spend more than you collect. The President is obligated to follow (execute, as in executive branch) the laws Congress passes.
Sure. But when laws directly conflict -- as they do here -- one cannot legitimately claim that only one law is an obligation. It may be impossible for him to comply with both; in that case, one law should be changed. But there's no reason to pretend that the only possible option is to amend the debt ceiling law, as opposed to the spending law.

More importantly, laws to spend $5 in the future are not "bills that they've already racked up." Obama's language is designed to create the impression -- as it was last time -- that the only spending he can forgo is interest payments to bondholders. But again, if he's not legally allowed to spend more than $X, there's no reason to pretend that the only possible option is to default on existing debt payments (i.e. "bills that they've already racked up."). He could instead just forgo future spending, whether on procurement or wages or welfare.
For anyone to say anything about the government "running out of money" is clearly exposing their lack of understanding around budgets and financial matters. The government is not, can not, run out of money.
First, that's not strictly speaking true. It can't run out of dollars. But to the extent it owes money in other currencies, it could. Second, I thought from context it was clear I meant "run out of available money." The fact that it has the physical ability to print money means nothing if it doesn't have the legal right to do so.
   388. tshipman Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4340720)
More importantly, laws to spend $5 in the future are not "bills that they've already racked up." Obama's language is designed to create the impression -- as it was last time -- that the only spending he can forgo is interest payments to bondholders. But again, if he's not legally allowed to spend more than $X, there's no reason to pretend that the only possible option is to default on existing debt payments (i.e. "bills that they've already racked up."). He could instead just forgo future spending, whether on procurement or wages or welfare.


Treasury has said that even if you go to some form of "Super PayGo" where you pay bonds coming due with moneys from tax revenue coming in daily, they would likely default.

I think Obama's formulation is accurate.
   389. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4340721)
It's certainly not unsustainable. There are many ways to sustain it, some of which are better than others.

Well, part of the way to sustain them is through an improved economy.
   390. Jay Z Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4340732)
That's easy. When the GOP says "budget cuts" they mean "entitlement cuts." They're not speaking of the budget in general, but only of entitlement programs. As such, in GOP parlance, "budget cuts" do not include DOD spending.


Yes, but we have seen this many times before. GOP has to propose budget/entitlement cuts to appease the deficit hawks. But if you want to cut entitlements TODAY, you are mostly affecting seniors. Who reliably vote GOP. So it doesn't happen, or you get the Ryan budget proposal, who will cut the entitlements 10 years in the future to solve today's budget problem.
   391. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4340734)
He could instead just forgo future spending, whether on procurement or wages or welfare.


He is legally obligated to spend according to the laws passed by Congress. He has the de facto ability to direct the Treasury to act in certain ways which might result in some spending having priority, but why would he do so against his stated bargaining position.

You originally stated he didn't understand the budget, which is clearly wrong. He is making a combined political and policy statement which you don't like because you disagree with his politics and policies.

First, that's not strictly speaking true. It can't run out of dollars. But to the extent it owes money in other currencies, it could.


This is wrong. A sovereign nation in control of its own currency can not "run out of money". There are many things that can happen, many of them very bad, but running out of money is not one of them. I can walk you through the whole thing if you want, but "owing money in other currencies" is a silly formulation, especially as US$ are right now the de facto global currency and there is almost no governmental debt in the world that can not be paid with US$.

Second, I thought from context it was clear I meant "run out of available money." The fact that it has the physical ability to print money means nothing if it doesn't have the legal right to do so.


Not being legally allowed to pay ones bills and not being able financially to pay ones bills are very different things. Post US debt ceiling the US will be financially able to pay it's bills, but (maybe - the whole thing is a CF) not legally allowed to do so.
   392. spike Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4340737)
Boehner today says the Republicans can live with the sequester.

Like every other ham-fisted tactic they've trotted out over the last year or so, this will hurt the GOP far more than the President. He will call their bluff, again, they will cave, again.
   393. Morty Causa Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4340745)
Entitlements are the "Wolf! Wolf!" of conservative politics. They've never stopped yelling that since 1935. Social Security is good as it is--for how long? 25 years. By that time, most all those evil Boomers will have died, but even so, any solution is as simple as raising the income level to be taxed. Indeed, if you simply remove the ceiling completely, you can probably lower the FICA/SE tax rates. Again, it's just another tempest in a teapot.
   394. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4340749)

The conservative Club for Growth said Friday that it will punish House members who voted for a flood insurance measure aimed at helping pay for Hurricane Sandy’s damage.

The Club will “key-vote” the measure, using it to compile an annual rating for each lawmaker.

The House on Thursday morning approved the $9.7-billion increase in funding for the National Flood Insurance Program. The bill passed easily in a bipartisan 354-67 vote.

It needed a two-thirds vote of the House for approval since it was coming under suspension of rules procedures.

“Congress should not allow the federal government to be involved in the flood insurance industry in the first place, let alone expand the National Flood Insurance Program's authority,” a statement from the Club’s Andy Roth said.

An NFIP reform bill was passed with bipartisan support in the last Congress, but some conservatives believe the program should be ended or slowly curtailed.

Supporters of NFIP say that the private marketplace will not offer flood protection to the public at affordable rates, making a government program necessary.


Link
   395. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4340750)
He is legally obligated to spend according to the laws passed by Congress. He has the de facto ability to direct the Treasury to act in certain ways which might result in some spending having priority, but why would he do so against his stated bargaining position.
He is also legally obligated not to borrow money except according to the laws passed by Congress.
You originally stated he didn't understand the budget, which is clearly wrong. He is making a combined political and policy statement which you don't like because you disagree with his politics and policies.
No; I originally stated that either he didn't understand or he was being disingenous. I assumed it was the disingenuous one; I was just giving the benefit of the doubt by providing both possibilities.
   396. Lassus Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4340756)
No; I originally stated that either he didn't understand or he was being disingenous. I assumed it was the disingenuous one; I was just giving the benefit of the doubt by providing both possibilities.

Benefit of the doubt: "He's either a liar or stupid; so if he's not stupid, he must be a liar."
   397. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4340761)
This is wrong. A sovereign nation in control of its own currency can not "run out of money".
It certainly can. The fact that one controls one's own currency allows one to keep paying domestic creditors (as domestic creditors are legally obligated to accept the government's currency) -- at least until hyperinflation causes the government to collapse -- but it does not necessarily allow you to pay bills to foreigners.
There are many things that can happen, many of them very bad, but running out of money is not one of them. I can walk you through the whole thing if you want, but "owing money in other currencies" is a silly formulation, especially as US$ are right now the de facto global currency and there is almost no governmental debt in the world that can not be paid with US$.
I wasn't positing that this was the situation the U.S. faced; as I explained, my actual statement was just that the government would run out of available money. I was just making a technical point that, in fact, governments can run out of money.
   398. tshipman Posted: January 07, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4340767)
He is also legally obligated not to borrow money except according to the laws passed by Congress.


This is debatable, due to the "full faith and credit" clause. He's legally obligated to spend the money appropriated, and he's legally obligated to not have a default. Given those constraints, the debt ceiling itself is of questionable constitutionality.

You are aware of this line of reasoning, of course.
   399. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4340789)
It certainly can. The fact that one controls one's own currency allows one to keep paying domestic creditors (as domestic creditors are legally obligated to accept the government's currency) -- at least until hyperinflation causes the government to collapse -- but it does not necessarily allow you to pay bills to foreigners.


You are still wrong. I could posit about you in a similar fashion to what you did to Obama, but I won't. Governments can not run out of money. It can pay foreign debts in its currency. Your currency may devalue, future debt may end up being hard to come by (or have large interest attached), many things can happen - but the government can not run out of money. Money is an abstraction (backed by paper and coins, but an abstractuion nonetheless) created by the government, the government can not run out of it. Really.
   400. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4340800)
David, allow me to give an example (at the risk of writing this while you or others are posting inreference to 399).

Government Mouse owes $100 Trillion (in equivilent Mouse Bucks) to Shell Oil and France. The Mouse Treasury "prints" the money to pay off the debt. What are my creditors to do? They accept it or they don't. If they don't the Mouse has not run out of money, the currency has been devalued and they may never do business with me again (Yeah, like people are going to never do business with the US government again), but I have not run out of money.

No one is disputing bad things can happen when Governmental debt goes out of control, but none of those things have anythign to do with the debt limit.
Page 4 of 29 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Randy Jones
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(297 - 6:25am, Sep 22)
Last: Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch)

NewsblogHBT: Talking head says Jeter is “a fraud” and “you are all suckers”
(103 - 6:16am, Sep 22)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogRoyals encounter problem with online sale of playoff tickets
(33 - 3:48am, Sep 22)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(353 - 2:01am, Sep 22)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogCameron: The Stealth MVP Candidacy of Hunter Pence
(48 - 1:07am, Sep 22)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogJohn Thorn: Fame & Fandom
(18 - 12:51am, Sep 22)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogA’s lose Triple-A Sacramento affiliate
(92 - 12:40am, Sep 22)
Last: Toothless

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8037 - 12:34am, Sep 22)
Last: AuntBea

NewsblogEn Banc Court May Call Foul on Bonds Conviction
(42 - 11:50pm, Sep 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(204 - 11:37pm, Sep 21)
Last: SouthSideRyan

NewsblogJames Shields is the perfect pitcher at the perfect time
(47 - 11:03pm, Sep 21)
Last: Shibal

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(834 - 10:57pm, Sep 21)
Last: CrosbyBird

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(3429 - 10:56pm, Sep 21)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-21-2014
(102 - 10:51pm, Sep 21)
Last: salvomania

NewsblogAthletics out of top wild-card spot, Texas sweeps
(18 - 10:30pm, Sep 21)
Last: Spahn Insane

Page rendered in 0.9266 seconds
52 querie(s) executed