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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   1201. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4671152)
Flip for ACA!
   1202. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4671155)
In that Florida-13 election, the GOP candidate's message was almost entirely anti-ObamaCare


How many campaign events did you attend? How many advertisements were aired in your area?
   1203. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4671156)
And candidates are offered the option of getting elected in exchange for repealing laws how and when?

What you said makes no sense. HRC is not going to commit to repealing ACA. Fix it perhaps, but not repeal. Especially since huge parts of it already in place are hugely popular. How on earth would taking a GOP position help them get elected? That is just dumb.

Right, because a Clinton would never consider co-opting a popular GOP position for his or her own use — you know, such as welfare reform.

And by the way I am also interested in what you think the biggest parts of ACA are.

The employer mandate, which a recent article said could affect 80 million people, and the individual mandate, both of which have been punted to late 2015 or 2016.

HHS is already predicting premium increases for 2015, so that old "save $2,500 per family!" promise lie is likely to rear its ugly head again as well.
   1204. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 13, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4671165)
Right, because a Clinton would never consider co-opting a popular GOP position for his or her own use — you know, such as welfare reform.


But repealing ACA completely isn't popular. People like big chunks of the law.

Besides the Clinton's are the last people who would bail on healthcare. Failure to pass it back in the day was one of their biggest regrets. Suggesting HRC would have to try to co-opt a loser GOP position on repealing ACA in an effort to win is just silly.
   1205. GregD Posted: March 13, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4671183)
Obvious wishcasting. In that Florida-13 election, the GOP candidate's message was almost entirely anti-ObamaCare, as well as focusing on Obama's Minimum Wage Economy. Neither of those issues are going to disappear.
Interesting. I'd love to see your source for the campaign. All the writeups beforehand about the actual candidate and events emphasized the way that he shifted away from Obamacare attacks, tried to keep the race local by touting his background and attacking Sink as a carpetbagger to the district. On Obamacare he--unless all the reports are wrong--clearly said he was opposed to repeal but wanted unspecified fixes. His ads largely emphasized other issues.

Now I don't think that proves too much because 1) I think the electorate assumes an R is anti-Obamacare, and 2) he was aiming for a narrow slice of the middle so wasn't playing to his base.

But what I've seen is two sets of opinions:
1) People from afar sayiing the race was about Obamacare.
2) People who went onsite and who read the ads saying that it was striking how rarely he mentioned Obamacare.
   1206. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 13, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4671203)
Obvious wishcasting. In that Florida-13 election, the GOP candidate's message was almost entirely anti-ObamaCare, as well as focusing on Obama's Minimum Wage Economy. Neither of those issues are going to disappear.

Interesting. I'd love to see your source for the campaign. All the writeups beforehand about the actual candidate and events emphasized the way that he shifted away from Obamacare attacks, tried to keep the race local by touting his background and attacking Sink as a carpetbagger to the district. On Obamacare he--unless all the reports are wrong--clearly said he was opposed to repeal but wanted unspecified fixes. His ads largely emphasized other issues.

Where do you get your news? You can find dozens of articles making the same point I did. Perhaps you should use Google before suggesting someone else is in error? Here's how the local paper described the race:
In Alex Sink, Democrats had a better-funded, well-known nominee who ran a strong campaign against a little-known, second- or third-tier Republican who ran an often wobbly race in a district Barack Obama won twice. Outside Republican groups — much more so than the under-funded Jolly campaign — hung the Affordable Care Act and President Obama on Sink. . . . the Obamacare rollout debacle shifted the landscape entirely, and Sink eventually found herself facing another little-known Republican casting her as an Obama/Obamacare cheerleader in a tough political climate.

Here's Politico's description:
Both Democrats and the GOP plowed millions of dollars into the swing district race in hopes of an election year boost. The results appeared to vindicate the strategy of the GOP, which focused its attacks on linking Sink to Obamacare and managed to win with an untested candidate who had frustrated many in the national party.

Just about every news account is similar. I think the onus should be on those suggesting otherwise to provide some proof. Even the BBTF poster in that District -- or at least the TV market -- indicated that the TV ads were largely on national issues.
   1207. Lassus Posted: March 13, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4671209)
I find it pretty awesome that YC takes such pride in conservatives having no greater idea than "OBAMACARE BAD".
   1208. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 13, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4671223)
Anyone post the Bloomberg poll on Obamacare? Think it came out yesterday but didn't see it here.

You missed the best part:
Still, rank-and-file Republicans want several key provisions retained. Sixty-two percent of Republicans want to retain the law’s ban on denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions...

If you support a ban on pre-existing condition denials, then you support Obamacare.
   1209. bobm Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4671225)
if you support a ban on pre-existing condition denials, then you support Obamacare.

Unless of course, you weaken or suspend the mandates, in which case you undermine Obamacare.
   1210. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:22 PM (#4671234)
Democrats Fundraising Off Nate Silver:
FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver has been largely absent from the political forecasting scene he owned in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. But that hasn't stopped the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from sending at least 11 fundraising emails featuring Silver in the subject line over the past four months, even as Silver was building the foundation for his new website that's launching Monday and was not writing regularly.

It's all part of a digital fundraising game that will increase in intensity as the election draws nearer, as candidates, political parties, and other groups bombard their email lists with messages designed to draw contributions. One of most widely used tools is fear. Many of the emails seek to convince supporters that the political situation is dire enough that it requires action, and that's where Silver comes in.
. . .
There are plenty of other themes in the past few months of DSCC emails, including alarming one-word subject lines such as "catastrophic," "disastrous," and "doomed."

Giving your e-mail address to a political campaign guarantees a full in-box.
   1211. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4671241)
Giving your e-mail address to a political campaign guarantees a full in-box.

Strangely, I get emails from both sides.
   1212. JE (Jason) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4671253)
Russian Troops Mass at Border in Ukraine:
With a referendum on secession looming in Crimea, Russia massed troops and armored vehicles in at least three regions along Ukraine’s eastern border on Thursday, alarming the interim Ukraine government about a possible invasion and significantly escalating tensions in the crisis between the Kremlin and the West.
   1213. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:33 PM (#4671256)
Strangely, I get emails from both sides.

So do I. I get about a dozen e-mail pleas a day from the Democrats and liberal groups, and up to 4 e-mail rants a day from a seriously disturbed Fox News addict. The numbers don't balance out, but the intensity more than makes up for it.
   1214. JE (Jason) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4671257)
Strangely, I get emails from both sides.

Thirded. The "Stop the Tea Party" ones are my favorite.
   1215. tshipman Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM (#4671258)
Where do you get your news? You can find dozens of articles making the same point I did.


Here's Dave Weigel:

Jake Sherman and Burgess Everett are out with a fun post-mortem on FL-13, a children's treasury of Democratic squirming. (Note to politicians: If you dodge an interview and pledge to call back later, then don't, the reporter can write that.) The only problem I see with it is a reference to "Jolly’s nearly singular focus on the health care law."

By no means should Democrats deny that Obamacare hurt them in this race—it was a test, and the Republicans won it. But Jolly's particular focus on the law was not total. He did not mention it in his November announcement speech, at a moment when the cancellation of health plans was the major national political story. In his debate appearances and campaign ads, Jolly reached for Obamacare like a special sauce, to be used to complement everything else on the plate.

...

Jolly didn't just run around the district pledging to repeal Obamacare. He told a whiter, older electorate than had voted in 2012 that Obamacare was the reason they might lose coverage—oh, also that he learned his craft under Bill Young, that he was from Pinellas County, that he helped fund Jessica's law, and that he was a reliable conservative. It's wrong to say he ran on Obamacare alone, and impossible to say that Obamacare helped Alex Sink. And that's what Democrats need to figure out. They did not expect, in 2014, for the law to be anything but popular. They did not expect half of the states—most of the ones with competitive Senate races—to have said "nah, no thanks" to Medicaid expansion. But they haven't figured out how to sell what people might like about the law or talk to the people who feel they've been wounded by it.


Again, running a Mediscare campaign is not exactly making the election a referendum on Obamacare.

   1216. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4671262)
Unless of course, you weaken or suspend the mandates, in which case you undermine Obamacare.

Weaken the mandate without limits on pre-existing conditions and you'll destroy the individual market. Hillary-care will be seen as worthy of a Nobel Prize in three different classes.
   1217. JE (Jason) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4671263)
While I agree that FL-13 wasn't merely a referendum on Obamacare, I wouldn't put all that much stock into Weigel's analyses. (Mind you, he's a nice guy in person and an entertaining Twitter read.)
   1218. tshipman Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4671264)
While I agree that FL-13 wasn't merely a referendum on Obamacare, I wouldn't put all that much stock into Weigel's analyses. (Mind you, he's a nice guy in person and an entertaining guy to follow on Twitter.)


I would trust a dead dog over Politico.

Look, Robert Costa works for the Post now, so I have to get news from somewhere.
   1219. Lassus Posted: March 13, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4671265)
I don't get political emails from ANYBODY. Maybe all your filters suck.
   1220. JE (Jason) Posted: March 13, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4671269)
Look, Robert Costa works for the Post now, so I have to get news from somewhere.

Have you blown through your WaPo paywall quota already?
   1221. tshipman Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4671272)
Have you blown through your WaPo paywall quota already?


Point the first: they have terrible writer archives now. It's very hard to find Costa's posts. I think they're afraid of the talent getting too powerful.

Point the second: they truncate their RSS feeds.

Point the third: everyone I liked at that newspaper now works for Vox. (Edit: except the Monkey Cage peeps)
   1222. Greg K Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:22 AM (#4671277)
I remember the one conservative guy in my university dorm. He wasn't just politically conservative, he was just an all-round old man at the age of 19. King of the Hill could easily be the true story of his life. We used to all gather in the common room to eat our dinners everyday and catch the Simpsons re-runs, or the hockey game. But not old man Steve!* He'd have his dinner set out just so, with a glass of water on the left, and a glass of orange juice on the right, and a newspaper neatly laid on the table beside his plate.

Anyway, one year for his birthday we all chipped in and got him a subscription to the Marxist-Leninst party of Canada's newsletter. Hilarious!

I have no idea how he's remained friends with everyone all this time.

*His name wasn't actually Steve, but the first week of school someone forgot his name and just went with Steve, so we've been calling him that for about 15 years now. Man, does he ever hate it.
   1223. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4671278)
While I agree that FL-13 wasn't merely a referendum on Obamacare, I wouldn't put all that much stock into Weigel's analyses.

It should also be noted that Weigel focused entirely on Jolly's campaign activities, and totally ignored the larger effort of various GOP aligned groups, which placed even more emphasis on ObamaCare.

EDIT: Here's the New York Times take - Sink "couldn't outrun the tsunami of advertisements tying her to President Obama's healthcare law."
   1224. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:42 AM (#4671280)
   1225. tshipman Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:02 AM (#4671281)
It should also be noted that Weigel focused entirely on Jolly's campaign activities, and totally ignored the larger effort of various GOP aligned groups, which placed even more emphasis on ObamaCare.

EDIT: Here's the New York Times take - Sink "couldn't outrun the tsunami of advertisements tying her to President Obama's healthcare law."


NYT quotes R operatives exclusively when delivering that message. That was actually Weigel's follow-up post. In his original post, he addressed your concerns:

Some of the outside ads focused not on Obamacare, but on Sink's record as CFO.
And even the Obamacare-centric ads warned voters that the problem with the law was that it would cut Medicare.


He links to both ads so you can watch for yourself. Again, running a Mediscare campaign (besides being deeply, deeply dishonest as a Republican), also means that he didn't really want to focus on the actual people using Obamacare.

I mentioned this earlier, but I think Obamacare is going to play very differently in states that expanded Medicaid compared to states that did not. In states that expanded, there will be several million people receiving healthcare, creating natural constituencies. In states that didn't, many more voters will think that the law does nothing for them or hurts them, despite this being irrational.
   1226. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:05 AM (#4671282)
Scott Brown has formed an exploratory committee for a New Hampshire Senate run. Might have a chance.

Obviously, things can change in 8 months, but I can't see Shaheen losing the seat.
   1227. OCF Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:40 AM (#4671283)
The politics that fill my mailbox at the moment all have to to with the municipal elections in Long Beach - mayor, other citywide offices, city council. There's an insanely large field of serious and semi-serious candidates in the mayor's race. Some notes:

Long Beach is rather large city in its own right (population about half a million), but it's still a relatively small part of the Los Angeles metro area, so these races don't get all that much media coverage.

As a municipal-only off-off-year election, if the turnout makes it up to "pathetically small," that would be exceeding expectations.

The races are all contested without party labels. The stated positions and the sound bites in the advertising do not map in any clear-cut way to the positions of the major national parties. The issues are different.

The best-funded candidate - the one who sends out the most mailers and places the most cable ads - makes a point of having his picture in every bit of his advertising. He wants everyone to know from those pictures that he is a relatively young African-American. What you'll never find in any of his ads is the fact that he's a Republican. (It is fairly clear that he is the Chamber of Commerce candidate.) Hey, he even ran for a lesser statewide office once on the Republican ticket, but who remembers anything about those races?

Another candidate is a young Latino. Two things about him: first, he's gay. Second, he was a College Republican. The latter was a passing phase - he's not a Republican now. One gets the sense that the bit about being the ex-Republican is the item he doesn't want to talk about.

   1228. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 14, 2014 at 03:45 AM (#4671297)
It should also be noted that Weigel focused entirely on Jolly's campaign activities, and totally ignored the larger effort of various GOP aligned groups, which placed even more emphasis on ObamaCare.

It should also be noted that a 2% win in a district with a 2% voter registration edge for Republicans isn't the death knell for anything. One would think such a "hugely unpopular" law would inspire a huger reaction. However, the result clearly indicates that "Grrrr! Obamacare!" is a better tactic for getting out the vote right now than "Aaahh... Obamacare." We were going to see that applied anyway, in many races. And sometimes it was going to make a difference and sometimes it wasn't. But when the first test case pays off for the Republicans, it's not a shrewd countermove for Democratic advocates to talk about how it actually means nothing.
   1229. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: March 14, 2014 at 05:42 AM (#4671302)
After a Utah resident incorrectly entered my e-mail address after buying Romney merchandise, I got quite a few e-mails from the GOP leading up to the 2012 elections. They were barking up the wrong tree on several different levels, but I was perhaps too British in my responses to get the message over the first few times . . .
   1230. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4671312)
It should also be noted that a 2% win in a district with a 2% voter registration edge for Republicans isn't the death knell for anything.


More than anything I think it is a demographic/turnout issue. Team Blue has issues turning out for non-presidential elections and even more so special elections. You keep hearing how it was a district Obama won (Twice!), but rarely mentioned is that is the same people had shown up for this election then Sink would have won. But they didn't, and that is a real problem for Democrats.

Right now Demographics (and associated voting patterns) make for an advantage in Presidential years and Presidential elections, and similarly a disadvantage in non-Presidential years.

It means each side has its turn to gloat and feel awesome. Team Blue is in real trouble if the GOP ever figures out how to appeal to minorities, young people and single women and Team Red is doomed if those same people start voting at the rates in all elections that white men vote. I would like to think that as the Dem coalition ages it will vote more, but who knows. Still the Dem coalition is still growing as a share of the electorate, but that is a real slow process.
   1231. Lassus Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:18 AM (#4671318)
It should also be noted that a 2% win in a district with a 2% voter registration edge for Republicans isn't the death knell for anything.

You lie!
   1232. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4671326)
I got quite a few e-mails from the GOP leading up to the 2012 elections


The Romney campaign was convinced I should support them and sent me much email and expensive snail mail. Middle aged white male who makes a very good living, I can see where they made their mistake, but yeah, wasted money.

I do get a Metric Ton of email from Team Blue. I really need to update my filters to send it away.
   1233. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4671352)
With a referendum on secession looming in Crimea, Russia massed troops and armored vehicles in at least three regions along Ukraine’s eastern border on Thursday, alarming the interim Ukraine government about a possible invasion and significantly escalating tensions in the crisis between the Kremlin and the West.


The West's impotency and passivity in foreign affairs, and the Obamacare make-it-up-as-you-go smorgasbord, are emblematic of this profoundly, soul-sappingly mediocre era in American history.

Ick.

People who don't think this is a nation in decline are out of their gourds.

   1234. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4671355)
Scott Brown has formed an exploratory committee for a New Hampshire Senate run. Might have a chance.


Brown starts off down double digits and voters tend not to like carpetbagging politicians (part of why Sink sank), but he's handsome I guess.
   1235. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4671360)
Exit polling for FL-13 showed that more voters favored keeping Obamacare with fixes (Sink's position) than repealing it (Jolly's position).
   1236. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4671362)


The West's impotency and passivity in foreign affairs, and the Obamacare make-it-up-as-you-go smorgasbord, are emblematic of this profoundly, soul-sappingly mediocre era in American history.

Ick.

People who don't think this is a nation in decline are out of their gourds.


We might take you more seriously if people hadn't been saying the exact same things, indeed word-for-word, for the last 65 years.
   1237. GregD Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4671365)
The West's impotency and passivity in foreign affairs, and the Obamacare make-it-up-as-you-go smorgasbord, are emblematic of this profoundly, soul-sappingly mediocre era in American history.

Ick.

People who don't think this is a nation in decline are out of their gourds.

I'm sure you have not felt this down on America since Reagan sat on his hands in Poland and then signed the biggest tax increase in history, or maybe since GWB sat on his hands in Georgia and signed a huge medicare expansion
   1238. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4671372)
Anyone who thinks Reagan presided over a mediocre age is delusional.

And you gotta love the fact that any criticism of Obama isn't met with Obama's positives, but other people's negatives.
   1239. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4671374)
The West's impotency and passivity in foreign affairs, and the Obamacare make-it-up-as-you-go smorgasbord, are emblematic of this profoundly, soul-sappingly mediocre era in American history.


Because nothing says good times like starting wars!There are limits to the amount of influence any given nation or group of nations can project. Russia, because of proximity and other reasons, cares much more about Ukraine than the US does. And that needs to be accounted for when deciding how to act when Russia (or any nation) acts provocatively.

Oh for the good old days when the west NEVER would have allowed such things.

You claim we are in decline, but at what point has the US ever exercised such "ascendency" that would have prevented them from massing troops and potentially invading a neighbor?

Didn't you claim that 1979 was the apex? An apex bracketed by the USSR invading Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. Or was it Eisenhower who oversaw the apex of US power? Let's ask Hungarians.

You have this fantasy of the past and of course the reality of the present looks like decline, but that is only because you are comparing it to a fantasy.

People who think we are declining are idiots who live in a fantasy world, because they judge everything by military power, and a distorted fantasy view of the past to boot.
   1240. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4671376)
People who think we are declining are idiots who live in a fantasy world, because they judge everything by military power, and a distorted fantasy view of the past to boot.

It's an age of overwhelming mediocrity, by any serious measurement.
   1241. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4671379)
Anyone who thinks Reagan presided over a mediocre age is delusional.


So explain the soviets invading Afghanistan and Reagan doing basically nothing about it for two whole terms*. If we were not in decline then they would have retreated before his might.

* Yes Carter was president then, but once Ronnie was in office those ruskies should have turned tail and fled.
   1242. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4671383)
It's an age of overwhelming mediocrity, by any serious measurement.


Wealthy, long lived mediocrity with wondrous technology and violent crime rates much lower than in the past. More mediocrity please.
   1243. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4671386)
Wealthy, long lived mediocrity with wondrous technology and violent crime rates much lower than in the past. More mediocrity please.

Of course. Lefties love mediocrity. A boring national life devoid of greatness, where everyone sits around playing with toys is indeed the lefty paradise.

So no shock.

   1244. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4671388)
Of course. Lefties love mediocrity.


It's true, they would have voted for Dubya if he'd somehow managed to improve to mediocre.
   1245. GregD Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4671389)
Of course. Lefties love mediocrity. A boring national life devoid of greatness, where everyone sits around playing with toys is indeed the lefty paradise.
What is greatness? People dying in wars?

I agree that it has long been the goal of a broad left to increase the living standards of poor and working-class people and that has always meant increasing time for leisure that can be spent on education and culture but can also be spent on pleasure. Some people use their leisure time in ways I don't but so what?
   1246. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4671390)
Obvious wishcasting. In that Florida-13 election, the GOP candidate's message was almost entirely anti-ObamaCare, as well as focusing on Obama's Minimum Wage Economy. Neither of those issues are going to disappear.


Let's assume that's true (and from what I've read it's not entirely true- Jolly was actually trying to focus on other issues, but outside GOP money was zeroed in on Obamacare)- what you have is a district that went for Obama by about 1-2 points, going for the GOP by 2 points- in an off year special election-

that's nothing like 2010 when in Mass, where the statewide vote is usually plus Dem by double digits went GOP and voted for Brown.

Florida 13 is kind of where you'd expect a 50/50 split district to go in a non-Presidential year (which tends to go older/whiter)- it's the level of advantage that the GOP always seems to have over the Dems in off years*- of course the numbnut pundits were prematurely calling this a seat the Dems were going to flip now, because as 2012 shown they're mouth breathing morons who see weaving a "narrative"to be more important than actually analyzing stuff. When they did report polls, they cherry picked preferring only to mention the months old polls that had Sink in the lead (which were likely driven purely by Sink's name recognition and Jolly's lack thereof, once that evened out and the undecideds got off the fence Jolly ended up with a polling lead matching his eventual victory)

*which basically confirms what everyone here already knows- the GOP is going to do better in 2014 than 2012, but there's no sign (yet) of a 2010 style wave
   1247. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4671395)
Strangely, I get emails from both sides.


ever since I moved 2 1/2 years ago my snail mail mailbox has been mercifully light on political junkmail of any stripe

I've had the same yahoo email account for 15 years and still gte no political email - either the spam filter is very good or never ever "signing up" or registering for a political site is actually effective at avoiding that crap.
   1248. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4671396)
Again, running a Mediscare campaign is not exactly making the election a referendum on Obamacare.


It is from their POV
   1249. The Good Face Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4671399)
Wealthy, long lived mediocrity with wondrous technology and violent crime rates much lower than in the past. More mediocrity please.


Actually the violent crime rates are not all that great. Murder rates in particular are quite high when you factor in the incredible advances in medicical technology, rapid response & communications, trauma care, etc. There are a lot of assault cases in today's world that would have been murder raps 60 years ago; the violent crime is the same, only our ability to patch up the victims has changed. When looked at from that perspective, the fact that our murder rates are approximately where they were 90 years ago (and far worse than they were 60 years ago) looks distinctly unimpressive.

And don't you guys keep complaining about the distribution of the wealth being a huge problem? Is it really a good thing if the country as a whole is wealthier but all the wealth is distributed among a few thousand people at the top?
   1250. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4671401)
What is greatness?

How about: Striving to accomplish great things, and accomplishing great things.
   1251. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4671402)
A boring national life devoid of greatness, where everyone sits around playing with toys is indeed the lefty paradise.


Hmmm. A long life, with more money, better health, more toys and with less crime. Mediocre and boring you say? I think most people (throughout history and in every culture ever) would sign up for that.

One of the reasons progressives are winning over the arc of history is we are delivering more boring and less "Greatness!". The Chinese curse of "May you live in interesting times" is applicable here. Only someone in fantasy land thinks an impoverished crime ridden life devoid of toys and ending in a "Great" war at an early age is preferable to the opposite.
   1252. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4671405)
Actually the violent crime rates are not all that great.


According to everything I have seen violence is down worldwide, and is perhaps at its lowest level ever. In the US the FBI certainly thinks violent crime is WAY down, from 1979 for example when it was sky high.

And don't you guys keep complaining about the distribution of the wealth being a huge problem? Is it really a good thing if the country as a whole is wealthier but all the wealth is distributed among a few thousand people at the top?


There is a middle ground between "Things are perfect" and "We are in decline". Shocking that you can't see all the shades in between, but I assure you they are there.
   1253. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4671409)
There is a middle ground between "Things are perfect" and "We are in decline".

As Face noted, the quality of the income distribution -- perhaps the number one bugaboo on the "progressive" hit list -- has declined dramatically since 1979, with no end in sight.

The nation is far less "equal" today than in 1979. It's not even a close call.

You don't even have the courage of your so-called convictions. But enjoy your toys!!
   1254. JE (Jason) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4671411)
Because nothing says good times like starting wars!

Even though Russia is yet again the invader of another country's sovereign territory, Mouse, anyone who urges a more robust nonmilitary response is the warmonger?

Just curious: Where exactly in your living room does Charles Lindbergh's portrait hang? And where's the one of Stanley Baldwin?
   1255. GregD Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4671421)
How about: Striving to accomplish great things, and accomplishing great things.
That's exactly what I want available for individuals to be able to pursue. Not nations. I want nations to structure things so that individuals can have the leisure time to pursue what they want, which for some will be to pursue greatness and others will be to stare mournfully at their phones.

National quests for "greatness" ends up obliterating the opportunities for individuals to pursue greatness or whatever else they want to pursue. And I value individuals over an abstract nation. I value our particular nation because it has often--imperfectly--moved toward expanding those opportunities.

The nation is far less "equal" today than in 1979. It's not even a close call.

You don't even have the courage of your so-called convictions. But enjoy your toys!!
Binary thinking is a powerful drug...

I think most people would say that the United States has improved in some ways and declined in others and changed in ways that evade improve or decline as terms since 1979. There's nothing hypocritical about embracing the positive changes, trying to figure out the ambiguous ones, and addressing the negative ones.
   1256. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4671429)
Never mind.
   1257. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4671438)
I think most people would say that the United States has improved in some ways and declined in others and changed in ways that evade improve or decline as terms since 1979.

But one of the prime ways in which it's declined is in the thing progressives supposedly care the most about -- disparities in income and wealth.

Yes, there have been improvements. They're outweighed by the setbacks and declines, and there's little reason to think the setbacks and declines will reverse.

Net result: Decline.
   1258. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4671450)
Even though Russia is yet again the invader of another country's sovereign territory, Mouse, anyone who urges a more robust nonmilitary response is the warmonger?

Just curious: Where exactly in your living room does Charles Lindbergh's portrait hang? And where's the one of Stanley Baldwin?


Acknowledging that Russia has proximity and a much larger stake in Ukraine than the US does is hardly surrender monkey talk. Or was Dwight D channeling his inner Lindbergh when he did nothing about Hungary? Reagan and Afghanistan? Bush and Georgia? Every invasion should not, can not be met with armed force. And those that think it should be, well they are definitionally war mongers.

Where exactly have I argued against a response to Russia? What specific actions that you or others have proposed have I neigh saied? I am critical of the ridiculous and emotional "If Putin is not stopped it is a sign of decline!" nonsense, but if you have an actual proposal throw it out there and we can discuss it.

Binary thinking is a powerful drug...


Indeed.

But one of the prime ways in which it's declined is in the thing progressives supposedly care the most about -- disparities in income and wealth.


And shockingly one of the main things I and other progressives have talked about is that very income inequality. Raising income taxes and estate taxes. A guaranteed income and other changes to flatten out income disparities. And hey look, ACA is a law, which among its other good things it does, it acts to flatten out income disparity (especially regarding health care), it taxes those better off and distributes that money to help those less well off to get something really valuable - health insurance.

Well done progressives, keep up the good work!
   1259. The Good Face Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4671456)
According to everything I have seen violence is down worldwide, and is perhaps at its lowest level ever. In the US the FBI certainly thinks violent crime is WAY down, from 1979 for example when it was sky high.


The most reliable violent crime stats are for murder, because murders are virtually always reported and because it's very difficult to fudge murders into some other crime bucket (it's not attempted murder, it's aggravated assault! it's not aggravated assault, it's a disorderly persons offense! etc.) And USG's stats for murder are pretty unimpressive. Despite imprisonment rates that are much, MUCH higher than those of any other nation, or our own nation 60 years ago, our murder rates are worse now than they were then.

There is a middle ground between "Things are perfect" and "We are in decline".


So is income inequality a huge crisis or not? You keep talking about how things are really good because the country is so much richer, but you refuse to address the fact that all that wealth is going to the top 10% of society and the poor and middle classes are actually poorer. So is that sort of "richer" a good thing or a bad thing? And if a bad thing, it's pretty much definitionally a sign of decline. Now you could argue that other good things outweigh that particular bad thing, and USG's civilization is not in decline, but that's not what you've done. You've hung your hat on THIS particular argument and now you don't want to own it.

   1260. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4671457)
Acknowledging that Russia has proximity and a much larger stake in Ukraine than the US does is hardly surrender monkey talk. Or was Dwight D channeling his inner Lindbergh when he did nothing about Hungary? Reagan and Afghanistan? Bush and Georgia? Every invasion should not, can not be met with armed force.

The invasion, and potential invasion, haven't been met with anything -- other than a foolish pre-emptive foreswearing of military force.

Where exactly have I argued against a response to Russia? What specific actions that you or others have proposed have I neigh saied? I am critical of the ridiculous and emotional "If Putin is not stopped it is a sign of decline!" nonsense, but if you have an actual proposal throw it out there and we can discuss it.


Putin regaining territories previously freed from Russian/Soviet domination by a strong and effectual United States/Europe, from an impotent and ineffectual United States/Europe, is obviously a sign of decline. It's not even arguable.
   1261. JE (Jason) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4671466)
Where exactly have I argued against a response to Russia?


That's not the point. SBB offered his view that the Obama administration's response to date has been inadequate. I am concerned too, albeit not to the same extent.

You responded with this:

Because nothing says good times like starting wars!

If you're not accusing SBB of being a warmonger for merely writing "The West's impotency and passivity in foreign affairs," then kindly give it a rest. It wasn't funny two weeks ago. It's not funny today. It won't be funny two weeks from now.

If you are, well, that's beyond pathetic.
   1262. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4671472)
I think most people would say that the United States has improved in some ways and declined in others and changed in ways that evade improve or decline as terms since 1979. There's nothing hypocritical about embracing the positive changes, trying to figure out the ambiguous ones, and addressing the negative ones.

The problem is that way of thinking doesn't lead to simplistic assertions and prophecies of doom, both of which raise the visibility of the simpletons and the doomsayers.
   1263. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4671479)

Putin regaining territories previously freed from Russian/Soviet domination by a strong and effectual United States/Europe, from an impotent and ineffectual United States/Europe, is obviously a sign of decline. It's not even arguable.


Putin regaining territories previously freed from Russian/Soviet domination by the internal collapse of the Soviet Union, is obviously a sign of decline of the west and not of any recovery by Russia?

Well yes it is easily arguable.

The invasion, and potential invasion, haven't been met with anything -- other than a foolish pre-emptive foreswearing of military force.


You do know that Russia has the world's second largest nuclear arsenal don't you?
You do know that of we actually did openly threaten to confront Russia with military force the best case scenario is the outcome of the Cuban missile crisis - except with the roles reversed since Ukraine is on their doorstep whereas Cuba was on ours?

Or you're ignoring that because you're trolling, or don't know that because you are delusional
   1264. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4671489)
You do know that of we actually did openly threaten to confront Russia with military force the best case scenario is the outcome of the Cuban missile crisis

We've openly threatened Russia with military force for decades. NATO charter.
   1265. Mefisto Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4671503)
Despite imprisonment rates that are much, MUCH higher than those of any other nation, or our own nation 60 years ago, our murder rates are worse now than they were then
.

Arbitrary end points. Here's a chart showing murder rates over the last 115 years.
   1266. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4671513)
Arbitrary end points. Here's a chart showing murder rates over the last 115 years.

The return to civilization of the nation's urban areas (*) since 1979 is obviously a major plus. Still outweighed, on balance, by the forces and effects of decline.

(*) Which, in part, is a story of the rise of the 1%. Urban life, particularly in a place like Manhattan, has become an upper-class, luxury item. The cities have become civilized in much the same way the nation's ballparks have, for much the same reasons.
   1267. The Good Face Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4671526)
Arbitrary end points. Here's a chart showing murder rates over the last 115 years.


Even if we assume that's accurate (Democratic Underground? Seriously?), it still reinforces my point. Despite massive advances in medical technology AND stupendously massive increases in the number of imprisoned criminals, the murder rate is not historically low. One you account for those factors, it's actually appallingly high.
   1268. JE (Jason) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4671527)
Putin Deports Executives for Speeding as Sanctions Loom:

One of the people caught up in the crackdown is Quentin O’Toole, Deloitte & Touche LLP’s local chief operating officer. When the New Zealander tried to return to Moscow from a trip abroad in December, he was detained at the airport and held in a cell overnight before being deported, according to two people familiar with the matter. The reason: speeding tickets.

O’Toole didn’t even commit the offenses -- his wife did, while driving a car registered in his name, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Moscow’s automated traffic cameras issue tickets by license plate, rather than by driver. It took Deloitte’s lawyers six weeks to get O’Toole’s visa reinstated. O’Toole and Deloitte both declined to comment.

Even foreigners employed by prominent Russian enterprises have been deported. One executive of a mining company said he was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in mid-January along with his wife and children because his driver had racked up about $1,000 of speeding tickets.

While his family was allowed into the country, he said he was denied a lawyer and held for 12 hours in a detention area with about 30 other people before being deported. His company eventually got the visa reinstated, the executive said, asking not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.
   1269. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4671530)
You do know that Russia has the world's second largest nuclear arsenal don't you?
You do know that of we actually did openly threaten to confront Russia with military force the best case scenario is the outcome of the Cuban missile crisis - except with the roles reversed since Ukraine is on their doorstep whereas Cuba was on ours?

Or you're ignoring that because you're trolling, or don't know that because you are delusional


This is beyond silly. Putin is not going to go nuclear over the Ukraine. He's a bully, not a lunatic.
   1270. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4671537)
As was inevitable, Russia issues warnings of intervention over the injuries/deaths of its goons provocateurs in Donetsk.

It's at least 50/50 Putin moves on eastern Ukraine.
   1271. GregD Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4671542)
Statistical survey of the challenges for Democrats in 2014. I don't think anyone doubts they are going to struggle. I'm not sure how much Obamacare will move that dial.
   1272. Mefisto Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4671545)
Even if we assume that's accurate (Democratic Underground? Seriously?), it still reinforces my point.


The true test of an ideologue is doubling down on a claim after having been shown that it's factually wrong. The current murder rate is actually at an historic low, and you've provided no evidence whatsoever that your supposed other factors (improvments in medicine or incarceration rate) actually affect that conclusion.
   1273. Mefisto Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4671549)
Putin is not going to go nuclear over the Ukraine. He's a bully, not a lunatic.


This is like saying that Kaiser Wilhelm wouldn't go to war over the death of some Austrian prince. Of course not; it's that every measure which increases the level of crisis also ups the stakes and makes the use of ever more force seem justified.
   1274. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4671556)
This is like saying that Kaiser Wilhelm wouldn't go to war over the death of some Austrian prince. Of course not; it's that every measure which increases the level of crisis also ups the stakes and makes the use of ever more force seem justified.

It's uncertainty that ups the level of crisis. WW1 started because countries didn't know how the others would react. They thought they could win by simple bluff and bluster.

If the 82nd Airborne division was currently located in eastern Ukraine, or if Ukraine was a member of NATO, there'd be zero chance Putin would use force. It's only because he thinks we probably won't retaliate that he may use force.
   1275. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4671557)
That's not the point. SBB offered his view that the Obama administration's response to date has been inadequate. I am concerned too, albeit not to the same extent.


I responded to the whole litany of things he specifically has said today and in the past. I am against starting wars. He and others have been very explicit in their favoring a much more bellicose stand than I like.

But let's play the selective quote game.

I suggest starting wars is a bad thing and in exchange you write:
Just curious: Where exactly in your living room does Charles Lindbergh's portrait hang? And where's the one of Stanley Baldwin?


Wherein I get accused of being, am compared with, two people thought of as Nazi appeasers. And I am being "beyond pathetic". Grow up.
   1276. BrianBrianson Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4671559)
Murder rate over the last 400 years

Of course, it's harder to extrapolate back. But obviously, the availability of work, and the high marginal tax rates on high income earners, helped depress the murder rate in the 1950s and 1960s.
   1277. The Good Face Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4671565)
The current murder rate is actually at an historic low, and you've provided no evidence whatsoever that your supposed other factors (improvments in medicine or incarceration rate) actually affect that conclusion.


Really? Aside from the idiocy of taking a Democratic Underground post as gospel, now you're going to claim the medical facilities of the 1920s, with no antibiotics, primitive surgery, and a lack of internal imaging technology (MRI, Ultrasound, CAT scans, etc.) saved the lives of just as many gunshot/stabbing/severe beating victims as a modern trauma center would?

The true test of an ideologue is doubling down on a claim after having been shown that it's factually wrong.


How delightfully ironic.

   1278. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4671566)
The murder rate obviously tracks best with the general success of the New York Yankees. When the Yankees do well, America does well. People who hate the Yankees clearly wish ill on their fellow man and should be treated accordingly.
   1279. The Good Face Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4671567)
Of course, it's harder to extrapolate back. But obviously, the availability of work, and the high marginal tax rates on high income earners, helped depress the murder rate in the 1950s and 1960s.


Or, alternatively, it was segregation and patriarchy that did the trick.
   1280. Greg K Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4671574)
It's uncertainty that ups the level of crisis. WW1 started because countries didn't know how the others would react. They thought they could win by simple bluff and bluster.

Did someone ring the Outbreak of the First World War hotline?

I'm not sure this is entirely accurate. Certainly Conrad in Austria explicitly wanted war, one last glorious, against-all-odds war to salvage the honour and unity of a dying empire. Sure it would almost certainly end in disaster for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but it was better than the slow death that was happening...not a great precedent for Putin's Russia. And the German staff jumped at the opportunity to go to war, with the logic of "better war now than in five years when Russia can steamroll us".

Though I think it may be closer to describing the attitude of the Kaiser himself. In all the crises leading up to WW1 the Kaiser was actually a voice of comparative moderation within the German command. For instance it was at the urging of the Foreign Office and against his inclination that he went to Morocco and sparked that whole diplomatic incident. I think he also genuinely felt he could work out a personal resolution with the Tsar rather than go to war. Of course, he did himself no favours by being publicly belligerent and, especially in the English press, sounding like he was pushing for war. I think it is somewhat likely that the Kaiser saw brinkmanship and bluff in the July Crisis as the path to success.

I think the success of Austrian brinkmanship in the 1908 Bosnian crisis certainly informed the decision-making process in the July Crisis. But one thing to keep in mind is that the architect of the Bosnian move, Aehrenthal, was dead in 1914. And Conrad, who held the dominant position in 1914, was the one who had been pushing for preventative war in 1908 but was stymied by Aehrenthal's strategy of brinkmanship.
   1281. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4671576)
saved the lives of just as many gunshot/stabbing/severe beating victims as a modern trauma center would?


Neat trick turning this just into the murder rate, and then justifying anything and everything away through medical advances. However people who are experts in the field, like for example the FBI, which tracks crimes, thinks violent crime as a whole has dropped a huge amount since the glory days of 1979.
   1282. Mefisto Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4671578)
If the 82nd Airborne division was currently located in eastern Ukraine, or if Ukraine was a member of NATO, there'd be zero chance Putin would use force. It's only because he thinks we probably won't retaliate that he may use force.


You seem awfully certain about what Putin will and won't do. Nice of you to risk nuclear war over that certainty.

now you're going to claim the medical facilities of the 1920s, with no antibiotics, primitive surgery, and a lack of internal imaging technology (MRI, Ultrasound, CAT scans, etc.) saved the lives of just as many gunshot/stabbing/severe beating victims as a modern trauma center would?


No, I'm going to claim that "logically possible" isn't the same as "actually happened". Pics or it didn't happen.

How delightfully ironic.


How delightfully Alannis Morissette.


   1283. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4671581)
You seem awfully certain about what Putin will and won't do. Nice of you to risk nuclear war over that certainty.

I think there's more risk of nuclear war by not acting than by acting. The more times Putin gets away with armed aggression and brinkmanship, the more he is going to push the envelope. The more he succeeds the weaker we are in assembling a coalition against him.

If you let him grab a little of Ukraine, he'll decide to grab more. If you let him grab the whole Ukraine, he'll set his sights on the Baltics.

And then, we'll have to fight.

Better to draw a clear line in the sand now, while he is relatively week, and the whole world supports us. If our resolution to defend Europe starts to be questioned, European nations will starting seeking accommodation with Putin, and won't back us.
   1284. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4671588)
If you let him grab a little of Ukraine, he'll decide to grab more. If you let him grab the whole Ukraine, he'll set his sights on the Baltics.


I don't believe this. Every world thug is not Hitler. In fact a huge percent of them don't act that way. Many in Europe see this situation as much closer to Pre-WWI than pre-WWII, where the web of treaties and relationships and assumptions about what some country will or will not do leads nations into a war that in retrospect was a disaster for nearly everyone involved.
   1285. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4671591)
I don't believe this. Every world thug is not Hitler. In fact a huge percent of them don't act that way. Many in Europe see this situation as much closer to Pre-WWI than pre-WWII, where the web of treaties and relationships and assumptions about what some country will or will not do leads nations into a war that in retrospect was a disaster for nearly everyone involved.

His explicit goal is to reassemble the Russian/Soviet Empire. He's as much as said so.

He believes that Ukraine fundamentally belong to Russia. What makes you think he'll be content with some slivers?
   1286. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4671596)
Or, alternatively, it was segregation and patriarchy that did the trick.

The huge numbers of 18-30 year old men was probably the biggest part of it.
   1287. BrianBrianson Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4671602)
Or, alternatively, it was segregation and patriarchy that did the trick.


That hypothesis ain't really compatible with the pre-1950s data.
   1288. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4671607)
What makes you think he'll be content with some slivers?


As I have stated before I don't believe military conquest works well in the modern era. I think the costs of trying to hold onto the various parts of his new empire will quickly grow prohibitive without the west having to get directly involved in any kind of a hot war. The degree of sanctions, diplomacy, and threats of violence I am willing to leave up to the western leaders in office (Basically I am willing to trust Obama and company on this). However I doubt direct action is needed.

I also have what putin has done in Georgia and how the Ukraine situation evolved as a guide. For example what has happened in Ukraine is NOT some show of power by Putin. Events were sliding out of his control and this was a last desperate stab to regain footing he was losing vis-a-vis the west. He was in a bad spot (he thought) and reacted making a bad decision (my opinion). I don't think that dynamic is the same as the one of a leader determined to grow his empire solely through military means, and it should not be treated the same.
   1289. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4671609)
I'm not sure this is entirely accurate. Certainly Conrad in Austria explicitly wanted war


Conrad was allegedly a great strategist on paper, of course he had no interest (or ability/competence) with respect the following military necessities:
1: Logistics;
2: Training; and
3: Equipment/Provisioning

Having him run your military was a really really really bad idea- if he had no interest in a given area- well it wasn't going to get any attention or money, and worse as junior officers found out, trying to get his attention (even pre-war) on issues such as: How are we going to feed 100,000 men after they march 80 miles? or how are we going to get that much ammo up to front? was a good way to get sidelined if not outright cashiered.

He seemed to have a belief that such concerns were beneath him and would magically work themselves out (they didn't of course) - his tactics seemed to lack any understanding that soldiers needed to eat, and that guns needed to be reloaded and ammo didn't magically reappear in gun magazines.
   1290. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4671615)
hat makes you think he'll be content with some slivers?


Because digesting the chunks that lack a Russian Majority is going to give him a serious case of indigestion.

If you let him grab the whole Ukraine, he'll set his sights on the Baltics.


Because the Baltics are in NATO and have NATO troops there, and we have a bigger nuclear arsenal than he does- and if he does set his sights on the Baltics that way, then yes he is a Hitlerian madman (who as most people note are the outliers)
   1291. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4671618)
I also have what putin has done in Georgia and how the Ukraine situation evolved as a guide. For example what has happened in Ukraine is NOT some show of power by Putin. Events were sliding out of his control and this was a last desperate stab to regain footing he was losing vis-a-vis the west. He was in a bad spot (he thought) and reacted making a bad decision (my opinion). I don't think that dynamic is the same as the one of a leader determined to grow his empire solely through military means, and it should not be treated the same.

We can all rest assured that the fear that some liberals in DC, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and NYC think his uncontested conquering of the territory of other nations is really a sign of weakness has Putin quaking in his boots.
   1292. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4671619)
. . . of course the numbnut pundits were prematurely calling this a seat the Dems were going to flip now, because as 2012 shown they're mouth breathing morons who see weaving a "narrative"to be more important than actually analyzing stuff.

In this case, the media were merely repeating what Democratic political operatives had long been claiming:
But calling Florida’s 13th District a “historically Republican district” is a tough pill to swallow after over a decade of Democratic strategists practically guaranteeing victory once Young left the seat.

Democrats targeting of FL-13 was noted back in 2013, before Bill Young's death:
Possible retirement that Republicans dread: Bill Young (R, FL-13) — Democrats specifically targeted Young almost the second after the 2012 elections ended, surely as a way to pressure the longest-serving House Republican to step aside (Republicans have done the same with Peterson). If Young runs, he’s probably fine, even though his 58% victory in 2012 was the second-smallest of his 22 general election victories; if he doesn’t, the seat — which President Obama narrowly won — would probably be a toss-up.

This was a race that the Democrats' better known, better funded, more experienced candidate lost to a second-tier, first-time candidate in a District that Democrats will likely need to win if they are ever to retake a majority of the House of Representatives. Even the House Democratic Campaign Committee
listed FL-13 among it's Top 10 pick-up opportunities..
   1293. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4671621)
The more he succeeds the weaker we are in assembling a coalition against him.


Actually that's not true, if he does continue to behave as you suggest he will that makes building a coalition easier- because more and more people will conclude that he's gone to far, is going to far and has to be stopped.

   1294. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4671627)

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight by our lefties calling you weak ....

   1295. The Good Face Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4671629)
Neat trick turning this just into the murder rate, and then justifying anything and everything away through medical advances. However people who are experts in the field, like for example the FBI, which tracks crimes, thinks violent crime as a whole has dropped a huge amount since the glory days of 1979.


This is in no way a rebuttal of any of my points. In what world is murder not part of violent crime? Murder rates are particularly interesting and meaningful because of how high they are when you consider all the factors I've previously discussed in this thread.

But should I assume you're comfortable with USG's current incarceration rates, since they've nicely corresponded to the drop in violent crimes?

now you're going to claim the medical facilities of the 1920s, with no antibiotics, primitive surgery, and a lack of internal imaging technology (MRI, Ultrasound, CAT scans, etc.) saved the lives of just as many gunshot/stabbing/severe beating victims as a modern trauma center would?

No, I'm going to claim that "logically possible" isn't the same as "actually happened". Pics or it didn't happen.


Look who's ideologically doubling down on the stupid. Is this some form of performance art, or are you actually this lacking in self-awareness?
   1296. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4671630)
In this case, the media were merely repeating what Democratic political operatives had long been claiming:


repeatng what "political operatives" say is part and parcel of being a mouth breathing moron.

after over a decade of Democratic strategists practically guaranteeing victory once Young left the seat.


if they were "practically guaranteeing victory" then they were morons too- it's district that never went pro-Dem by more than a point or two in a Presidential Year election- saying it was flippable is one thing, but guaranteeing that it would flip? Stupid.
   1297. Mefisto Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4671639)
Look who's ideologically doubling down on the stupid. Is this some form of performance art, or are you actually this lacking in self-awareness?


Now you're gettin' it: that IS irony.
   1298. Greg K Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4671643)
Having him run your military was a really really really bad idea

Combine all the reasons you lay out with his fatalism, and his influence over political and foreign affairs and you've got one massive disaster (not to mention Franz Ferdinand, who might have been the one voice that could have combated Conrad's in Vienna, was strangely quiet during the 1914 crisis).

Austria-Hungary was like the lowest budget team in the league going out and signing the worst possible GM to call the shots.
   1299. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4671646)
We can all rest assured that the fear that some liberals in DC, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and NYC think his uncontested conquering of the territory of other nations is really a sign of weakness has Putin quaking in his boots.



We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight by our lefties calling you weak ....


Man I was so totally off base in suggesting you might be more interested in war than me. Color me embarrassed.

But should I assume you're comfortable with USG's current incarceration rates, since they've nicely corresponded to the drop in violent crimes?


Nope. But I don't think there is the same causality between incarceration rates and the drop in violent crime that you do.

Generally you are better off not assuming what I believe. You are wrong enough in your own beliefs, I would rather care take mine. There are some here who I would feel comfortable in making assumptions about what I believe* (Andy, Lassus, snapper even), but you are not one of them. And even those I am comfortable with will likely be surprised on occasion.

* Note: Not an exhaustive list. There are many others as well, so if you read the three names and were hurt you were not on it, don't feel bad. You are special in your own way.
   1300. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 14, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4671655)
Man I was so totally off base in suggesting you might be more interested in war than me. Color me embarrassed.

How did anything I said suggest that? I was mocking your delusions, not advocating war.

Many of us are more familiar with the doctrine that strength often makes war less, not more likely, than you and your compatriots in appeasement are -- but that's your hangup, not ours.

You aren't going to get Vladimir Putin to do what you want by being nice to him. That, like the idea that he's in fact "weak," is faculty lounge nonsense.

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