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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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   801. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4669416)
Well, you asserted that "Nesen was dead long before" George HRH Bush became president. GregD pointed out that Nesen died in 2005.

In what reality are both of those statements true? Presumably the one in which "dead"="served as ambasaddor." Which describes no lexicon with which I'm famliar.
   802. zonk Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4669428)
So yeah, it's just progressive candy -- but I agree with Ed Kilgore...

It's increasingly hard to square the different conservative volleys lobbed at Obama -- he cannot simultaneously be a vindictive tyrant, trampling the constitution, using all levers of the government with no one to stop him to punish enemies and keep the 'man' down while also being a spineless wimp.

Conservative logic just does not seem to square on this one... Again, just bemusedly scrolling through facebook feeds of friends and family that are anti-all things Obama -- there's a definite schizophrenic feel to a lot of it... One day, they're being crushed under the boot of a dictator, the next; the ruin of our nation is at hand because a feckless President is surrendering to our enemies.

It's so rapid-fire that I get lost in the thought process.... One guy I knew from high school literally posted yesterday that the end of the Republic is at hand - Obama was seizing guns and white males were soon to be shipped off to FME (I'm assuming that's supposed to be 'FEMA') camps... I scroll not just two days prior, and the end of the Republic is at hand because Obama is surrendering to Al Qaeda at Benghazi while he also gives Putin everything he wants.
   803. GregD Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4669434)
It's increasingly hard to square the different conservative volleys lobbed at Obama -- he cannot simultaneously be a vindictive tyrant, trampling the constitution, using all levers of the government with no one to stop him to punish enemies and keep the 'man' down while also being a spineless wimp.
It is hilarious to see, but I would also say opposition breeds inconsistency. Reagan was napping and launching evil plans at the same time; Bush was a CIA plant and a wimp; Clinton didn't believe in anything and was pushing an ideological takeover; Bush II was an idiot taking over everything. It's natural to see many things wrong with someone one disagrees with.

But you're right that the extreme nature of Obama hatred makes things especially absurd.
   804. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4669437)
Bush II was an idiot taking over everything.


In that case, though, we could always invoke Evil Genius Dick Cheney.
   805. JE (Jason) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4669438)
It's increasingly hard to square the different conservative volleys lobbed at Obama -- he cannot simultaneously be a vindictive tyrant, trampling the constitution, using all levers of the government with no one to stop him to punish enemies and keep the 'man' down while also being a spineless wimp.

So much straw, so little time to clean.
   806. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4669441)
It's so rapid-fire that I get lost in the thought process.... One guy I knew from high school literally posted yesterday that the end of the Republic is at hand - Obama was seizing guns and white males were soon to be shipped off to FME (I'm assuming that's supposed to be 'FEMA') camps... I scroll not just two days prior, and the end of the Republic is at hand because Obama is surrendering to Al Qaeda at Benghazi while he also gives Putin everything he wants.


Obama is so focused in on trampling the Constitution to take our guns, that he is taking his eye off trampling the Constitution to start wars in other countries.
   807. Lassus Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4669446)
So much straw, so little time to clean.

I think you're doing this one wrong.

Apart from that, why even when liberals mock and accept their own faults and double-talk (#803) is it simply unheard of for conservatives to do the same. What is the fear?
   808. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4669450)
But you're right that the extreme nature of Obama hatred makes things especially absurd.


The part that always gets me is that in reality Obama is kind of boring. His biography is awesome and the campaigns he has run have been excellent. But at his core he is a pragmatic, left of center technocrat that loves bargains and working across the aisle. Don't get me wrong I think he is a fine president (in most cases boring is a bit better for presidents, honestly), but he is not exactly a crazed fringe guy or anything.
   809. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4669454)
Apart from that, why even when liberals mock and accept their own faults and double-talk (#803) is it simply unheard of for conservatives to do the same. What is the fear?

I don't know whether it's gotten to the mocking stage, but a lot of younger conservatives are apparently losing patience with the religious nut wing of their movement:

Young Republicans Find Fault With Elders on List of Social Issues
   810. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4669462)
The part that always gets me is that in reality Obama is kind of boring. His biography is awesome and the campaigns he has run have been excellent. But at his core he is a pragmatic, left of center technocrat that loves bargains and working across the aisle. Don't get me wrong I think he is a fine president (in most cases boring is a bit better for presidents, honestly), but he is not exactly a crazed fringe guy or anything.

Obama's getting exactly the same reaction from the mouthbreathing right wing that every Democratic president since FDR has received.

Roosevelt: "Social Security will make us all wear dog chains around our necks"...."Sold us down the river at Yalta"

Truman: "Who lost China?"...."20 Years of Treason"

JFK: "Wanted For Treason" (An ad that appeared in the Dallas Morning News on November 22, 1963)

And so on. Obama gets the race factor thrown in, but other than that the venom directed against him isn't really anything out of the ordinary. The biggest change is simply the explosion of outlets for this sort of bilge to be vented. Even Clinton didn't have to contend with tens of millions of yappers on the social media.
   811. The Good Face Posted: March 11, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4669464)
It's increasingly hard to square the different conservative volleys lobbed at Obama -- he cannot simultaneously be a vindictive tyrant, trampling the constitution, using all levers of the government with no one to stop him to punish enemies and keep the 'man' down while also being a spineless wimp.


Not that I necessarily agree with either claim, but there's no inconsistency between being an oppressive tyrant to domestic enemies, and a feckless patsy when dealing with foreign powers.
   812. Kurt Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4669481)
Bush was a CIA plant and a wimp


This one doesn't count; the left thought he was a CIA plant and the right thought he was a wimp.
   813. Kurt Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4669484)
But at his core he is a pragmatic, left of center technocrat that loves bargains and working across the aisle.


How could anyone possibly think he loves working across the aisle? I could buy "Because he's such an amazing president and wonderful humanitarian he's willing to hold his nose and make deals when he has to" but "loves"? Ridiculous.
   814. GregD Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4669489)
How could anyone possibly think he loves working across the aisle? I could buy "Because he's such an amazing president and wonderful humanitarian he's willing to hold his nose and make deals when he has to" but "loves"? Ridiculous.
Obviously interpretations vary, but I do think Obama really looked forward to working things out with Collins and Snowe and a few others and sticking it to the lefty caucus. Even after they all bailed on healthcare, he still offered things that seemed deliberately designed to jab at the lefties in congress--chained CPI, most obviously.

He never found a partner to dance with, but I think one of the ironies of Obama's term is that he saw himself as a technocratic triangulator who ended up not being able to triangulate.
   815. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4669491)
   816. BrianBrianson Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4669492)
Of course. A technocrat at heart wants to be so reasonable that everyone just has to agree with them.
   817. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4669496)
Of course. A technocrat at heart wants to be so reasonable that everyone just has to agree with them.

I'd say a "technocrat at heart" thinks he's smarter than everyone else, so anyone who disagrees with him is by definition not reasonable.
   818. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4669498)
I'd say a "technocrat at heart" thinks he's smarter than everyone else, so anyone who disagrees with him is by definition not reasonable.


"Smarter than Ted Cruz" seems a low bar.
   819. BrianBrianson Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4669499)
We can be both!
   820. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4669503)
It's increasingly hard to square the different conservative volleys lobbed at Obama -- he cannot simultaneously be a vindictive tyrant, trampling the constitution, using all levers of the government with no one to stop him to punish enemies and keep the 'man' down while also being a spineless wimp.

He's also both a secret muslim and totally devoted to a radical black preacher. Oh, and a communist.
   821. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4669505)
How could anyone possibly think he loves working across the aisle? I could buy "Because he's such an amazing president and wonderful humanitarian he's willing to hold his nose and make deals when he has to" but "loves"? Ridiculous.

Many on the left think he's been far too eager to cut deals with the right and does it because he loves the idea of bipartisanship. I don't agree -- I think he's just very, very pragmatic, and doesn't want to take what he sees a pointless stands. I think he also misjudged the depth of the GOP's partisanship at the beginning of his Presidency.
   822. Publius Publicola Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4669506)
And an anti-colonialist who hates white people!
   823. Mefisto Posted: March 11, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4669512)
So much straw, so little time to clean.


C'mon Hercules, we expect more from you.
   824. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4669522)
he loves the idea of bipartisanship


He loves bargains. He comes from a background of community organizer where you want to come up with a deal that works for everyone, as best you are able, even if everyone feels some pain. He came up through the Senate where acrimony traditionally is less than the House.

I don't know that he craves bipartisanship for itself, but I think he likes bringing people and making deals that move things forward. He wants to be the reasonable one, all work together and get something out of the deal (while allowing the other side to get something also).

You can think it is a good attribute or a bad one, but it seems to be how he has behaved.

Note: All above is (of course) IMO. It is dangerous to analyze from afar, so I could be way off base. But it is my best guess.
   825. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4669524)
Many on the left think he's been far too eager to cut deals with the right and does it because he loves the idea of bipartisanship. I don't agree -- I think he's just very, very pragmatic, and doesn't want to take what he sees a pointless stands.


Here's a thought: perhaps he's just a dyed-in-the-wool centrist.
   826. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4669526)
I think he also misjudged the depth of the GOP's partisanship at the beginning of his Presidency.


I think he's also professorial and not a good back-slapper who holds Congress' hand. He suffers the same problem Jimmy Carter faced, he thinks the power of his ideas will win Congressmen over, instead of old school ego-stroking and chumminess. Some of those complaints are a cover for the GOP agenda of obstructionism, but I think there is some merit to them too, and even some Congressional Dems have accused him of this.

   827. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4669541)
Here's a thought: perhaps he's just a dyed-in-the-wool centrist.

Yes, that's part of it. A lot of people on the left projected their own fantasies onto him, when it's been clear for a long time that he's a left/centrist pragmatist.

I also agree with #826. I think he really hates the incestuous culture of DC. And while I really like that about him, it's also worked against him at times on both the right and left.
   828. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4669544)
We can call this strategy "Clapperism."


Several million people have become insured because of ACA. Millions more have benefited from other parts of the law, like adult children on parents policies, no lifetime caps and so on.

If and when they have the levers of control and try to kill ACA root and branch they are going to find themselves on the wrong end of the horror stories. They can spin whatever, however they want, but at some point the rubber will hit the road. And you can already see some GOP candidates talking about ACA differently recently.
   829. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4669561)
I'd say a "technocrat at heart" thinks he's smarter than everyone else, so anyone who disagrees with him is by definition not reasonable.
Well, in Obama's case, most of the people who disagree with him on the public stage are either Republican legislators or right wing pundits, who are by and large, pretty stupid (or obvious grifters who assume, correctly, that their base is very stupid). So he doesn't think he's smarter than everyone who disagrees with him, he actually is smarter than them. Contrary to Sam in #818, I think Ted Cruz is pretty smart, but he realizes that his base is incredibly stupid and gullible.

I mean, look at the latest development with this Julie Boonstra woman. I'm sorry she has cancer, but she is presented with factual evidence about her health care costs and she simply refuses to believe that the evidence is true. She's either lying or profoundly stupid. I have no doubt that the AFP grifters who drafted her into their movement believe she's not very smart. Hell, CPAC was essentially a collection of grifters speaking to people who were crawling over themselves to be swindled.
   830. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4669567)
Well, in Obama's case, most of the people who disagree with him on the public stage are either Republican legislators or right wing pundits, who are by and large, pretty stupid (or obvious grifters who assume, correctly, that their base is very stupid). So he doesn't think he's smarter than everyone who disagrees with him, he actually is smarter than them. Contrary to Sam in #818, I think Ted Cruz is pretty smart, but he realizes that his base is incredibly stupid and gullible.

By that measure, he's smarter than most of the people who agree with him too. His base is equally dumb as the other side.
   831. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4669575)
By that measure, he's smarter than most of the people who agree with him too
No ####, genius. I would venture to guess that most people with an Ivy league education and a law degree from Harvard are probably in the upper half of the intelligence scale, which would make him smarter than most people. What's your point?
His base is equally dumb as the other side.
Not quite sure this follows, however. Most democrats aren't dumb enough to vote for the party who opposes things like spending on infrastructure, health care, and things that will generally improve peoples lives just because they think some evil boogeyman is going to come take away all their guns.
   832. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4669577)
A lot of people on the left projected their own fantasies onto him, when it's been clear for a long time that he's a left/centrist pragmatist.


Between the fantasy projections of the left and the fantasy projections of the right, it's hard to see the actual man. But as I told anyone who would listen in 2008, Barack Obama is George H. W. Bush with Bill Clinton's first term domestic agenda. Period.

I also agree with #826. I think he really hates the incestuous culture of DC. And while I really like that about him, it's also worked against him at times on both the right and left.


Agreed on both points. The fundamental flaw seems to have been that he thought he could debate his way into "hope and change" rather than glad-hand, reach-around and oil-slick with payola his way into a knock-off of his agenda.
   833. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4669597)
Why Republicans have the advantage in 2014

1) Republicans hold a Senate edge. The poll finds: “In the 34 states with Senate races, 50 percent of voters say they favor Republicans and 42 percent favor Democrats.” That’s a real problem for Dems, but it’s mostly a structural one. Given that the two parties are tied in the generic ballot, that Senate advantage reflects the fact that Dems are on defense in more races. As Alan Abramowitz has explained, thanks to Dem successes in the 2008 landslide, Dems are now defending Senate seats in seven states carried by Mitt Romney in 2012.

2) Obamacare is mostly a wash. The poll finds Dems hold an edge on the health care issue (44-36). Tellingly, barely more than a third (36 percent) say support for Obamacare would make it less likely they vote for a candidate, versus 34 percent who say “more likely.” This is overwhelmingly driven by Republicans: 70 percent of them say “less likely,” while only 35 percent of independents say the same, and moderates say they’d be marginally more likely by 35-31.

3) Dems hold advantage in terms of image. The minimum wage, which Dems are making central this year, is significantly more helpful than Obamacare is: By 50-19, Americans say they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports hiking it. Dems are more trusted on immigration, energy, taxes, health care, and helping the middle class (47-34), while an overwhelming 68 percent say the GOP is not in touch with the concerns of most people today.

   834. ASmitty Posted: March 11, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4669601)
Here's a thought: perhaps he's just a dyed-in-the-wool centrist.


Well, he WAS just Between Two Ferns.
   835. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4669610)
The man largely responsible for Scott Walker's ascendency in Wisconsin politics has died. Former disgraced Milwaukee Co. Executive Tom Ament died today. Scott Walker won his seat as Co. Exec. following an extraordinary county pension scandal, in which Ament and several of the County Supervisors took the blame (deservedly so), many were recalled (in typical Wisconsin fashion), while Ament eventually resigned. Walker won the office as a Republican which hadn't happened much at all or for any office in Milwaukee Co. in over half a century.
   836. zenbitz Posted: March 11, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4669626)
By that measure, he's smarter than most of the people who agree with him too. His base is equally dumb as the other side.


But since the people who agree with him don't believe in intelligence, it's pretty much a wash.
   837. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 11, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4669632)
His base is equally dumb as the other side.

These are mass political parties. As Ortega y Gasset noted in 1930, mass man is his own species, asking nothing of himself while at the same time demanding the fruits of civilization without having a ####### clue where they come from.
   838. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4669635)
These are mass political parties. As Ortega y Gasset noted in 1930, mass man is his own species, asking nothing of himself while at the same time demanding the fruits of civilization without having a ####### clue where they come from.

Well, yes. That's kind of the flaw of modern thought and most all of the isms; people think the world owes them something just because they happen to be breathing.
   839. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4669641)
Damn those meek people thinking they will inherit the Earth. Where do these modern notions come from?
   840. Morty Causa Posted: March 11, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4669643)
Well, isn't that the baseline for libertarianism's view of the purpose of government--it's there, and justifiable, only to the extent it insures your precious individual rights?
   841. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4669650)
Damn those meek people thinking they will inherit the Earth.

I don't know -- the mobilized goosesteppers and the masses cheering them on didn't seem too meek to me. Neither did the multitudes amassed in perfect formation at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, or their counterparts in North Korea. These sorts of mass spectacles assault the senses of liberal, civilized man.
   842. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4669651)
Well, yes. That's kind of the flaw of modern thought and most all of the isms; people think the world owes them something just because they happen to be breathing.


I think society justifies itself by treating everyone ... well take it away:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


For me that means it is job #1 for the US government to see to the general welfare of the people. And I don't think it unreasonable for the people to expect that from their "government of the people, by the people, for the people" to act just as it was established. Even if it is just because they are breathing.
   843. Morty Causa Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4669657)
Now, tell us what the Bible means.
   844. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4669661)
831. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4669575)

No ####, genius. I would venture to guess that most people with an Ivy league education and a law degree from Harvard are probably in the upper half of the intelligence scale, which would make him smarter than most people. What's your point?

Not quite sure this follows, however. Most democrats aren't dumb enough to vote for the party who opposes things like spending on infrastructure, health care, and things that will generally improve peoples lives just because they think some evil boogeyman is going to come take away all their guns.

For a guy who insists he isn't angry, you always seem to come across as very angry.

Take a deep breath, big guy. Everything is all right. We could all be in Haiti or Burundi or ... Detroit.
   845. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4669663)
These sorts of mass spectacles assault the senses of liberal, civilized man.


I think they are a Triumph of the Will.
   846. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4669664)
For a guy who insists he isn't angry, you always seem to come across as very angry.


Doesn't seem angry to me, more wry. Perhaps you should just read what people say and spend less time psychoanalyzing them.
   847. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4669668)
Doesn't seem angry to me, more wry. Perhaps you should just read what people say and spend less time psychoanalyzing them.

You break irony meters at a higher rate than Pete Townshend broke guitars.
   848. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4669689)
He never found a partner to dance with, but I think one of the ironies of Obama's term is that he saw himself as a technocratic triangulator who ended up not being able to triangulate.

Obama (and his supporters) tend to define compromise as his getting 90% of what he wants. I'd be hard-pressed to name an issue in which Obama moved half-way to the GOP position, Maybe a few split-the-difference funding measures are in the neighborhood, but there's not much. And of course there is the demonization of those who have the temerity to disagree on policy.
   849. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4669695)
For a guy who insists he isn't angry, you always seem to come across as very angry.
I don't insist I'm not angry. I just live it.
   850. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4669696)
Obama (and his supporters) tend to define compromise as his getting 90% of what he wants. I'd be hard-pressed to name an issue in which Obama moved half-way to the GOP position, Maybe a few split-the-difference funding measures are in the neighborhood, but there's not much. And of course there is the demonization of those who have the temerity to disagree on policy.

Exactly right. It's just Obama fanboys being Obama fanboys. If chained CPI is the best example of a big attempted Obama compromise, they don't have much of a case.

***
I don't insist I'm not angry. I just live it.

Glad to hear that.
   851. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4669697)
I'd be hard-pressed to name an issue in which Obama moved half-way to the GOP position
The ACA? Bad example though, since he moved ALL the way to the GOP position. Of course, as soon as Obama moves right, the right just moves further right and insists that Obama refuses to compromise. Hard to get to midfield when the other side keeps expanding the size of the pitch.
   852. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4669698)
Republican legislators or right wing pundits, who are by and large, pretty stupid (or obvious grifters who assume, correctly, that their base is very stupid).

Similar sentiments are often expressed here, but those who attribute "intelligence" to those who agree with them politically are demonstrating a remarkable lack of the same. Or perhaps some are just unable to discuss such matters without insulting those who disagree with them.
   853. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4669703)
Or perhaps some are just unable to discuss such matters without insulting those who disagree with them.
People can disagree intelligently. People cannot simply disregard facts, like Ms. Boonstra, and still be considered intelligent. Those manipulating her are either just as stupid, or grifters with very little regard for the intelligence of their intended audience.
   854. Ricky Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4669708)
I'd say a "technocrat at heart" thinks he's smarter than everyone else, so anyone who disagrees with him is by definition not reasonable.


So that's what the T in BTF stands for.
   855. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4669709)
I'd be hard-pressed to name an issue in which Obama moved half-way to the GOP position.


The ACA?

Surely you jest. Obama never offered anything meaningful, and couldn't even get GOP Senators with a history of working across the aisle, e.g. Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, to support ObamaCare.
   856. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4669712)
Surely you jest. Obama never offered anything meaningful, and couldn't even get GOP Senators with a history of working across the aisle, e.g. Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, to support ObamaCare.
Thanks for proving my point.
   857. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4669714)
Thanks for proving my point.

How does that prove your point? Neither Snowe nor Collins have any history of trying to force issues "further right."
   858. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4669717)

Obama (and his supporters) tend to define compromise as his getting 90% of what he wants. I'd be hard-pressed to name an issue in which Obama moved half-way to the GOP position,


Obama offered reductions in spending in exchange for tax increases on the wealthy, at a 2.5:1 ratio, and Republicans nixed it.
   859. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4669719)
How does that prove your point? Neither Snowe nor Collins have any history of trying to force issues "further right."
My point is that you had people like Chuck Grassley (on tape!) supporting an individual mandate.....until the Democrats proposed an individual mandate. Then it became tyrannical. You can Clapper really believe the ACA is exactly what Obama and the Democrats wanted from the get go? Seriously? Were you in a news blackout five-six years ago? Snowe and Collins are red herrings. They toed the party line.
   860. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4669722)
Obama offered reductions in spending in exchange for tax increases on the wealthy, at a 2.5:1 ratio, and Republicans nixed it.
Hey, and remember how Obama just let all of the Bush tax cuts expire? Totally didn't negotiate that with the Republicans at all. He just up and let them all go and taxes on everyone and everything went right back to their 2000 rates! Wouldn't even discuss it with the other side.
   861. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4669724)
Obama (and his supporters) tend to define compromise as his getting 90% of what he wants. I'd be hard-pressed to name an issue in which Obama moved half-way to the GOP position, Maybe a few split-the-difference funding measures are in the neighborhood, but there's not much. And of course there is the demonization of those who have the temerity to disagree on policy.


Bush tax cuts
Estate tax
2013 Fiscal cliff deal
Farm bill that included food stamp cuts
   862. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4669726)
Obama never offered anything meaningful


What exactly is the compromise position between the ACA and "this is a ploy to get you all into FEMA death camps?"
   863. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4669730)
We could all be in Haiti or Burundi or ... Detroit.


Now now now, I've been to Detroit it's not THAT bad...

But anyway, US, worst place...

per Forbes it is... Cleveland????? (Detroit topped their list a year ago)

Per AreaVibes (Who?) the worst is Springfield Mass (Which I've also visited, and its not that bad... of course like with Detroit I was on a business trip, so what do I know)

Memphis gets a mention now and then (never been there)
Newark usually gets a mention (I can see that)
Buffalo (nonsense, and I've lived there)

Dallas, doesn't make these lists, strikes me as a miserable place to live based on my visits (but it's not poor or crime ridden, just unbelievably sterile and unfriendly)

But really, how can CAMDEN NEW JERSEY not top these lists?
   864. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4669736)
What exactly is the compromise position between the ACA and "this is a ploy to get you all into FEMA death camps?"


Letting Obama pardon the FEMA conspirators before he resigned and moved into exile.
   865. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4669738)
Letting Obama pardon the FEMA conspirators before he resigned and moved into exile.


In Kenya.
   866. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4669750)
But really, how can CAMDEN NEW JERSEY not top these lists?


New Jersey isn't considered part of the U.S., surely.
   867. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4669755)
But really, how can CAMDEN NEW JERSEY not top these lists?


Hammond IN laughs at Camden. Houston is a different kind of pit as well.

In other "worst places in the world" news, according to a Somali co-worker, Somali is getting better and they have high hopes for an full and free election soon (few years).
   868. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4669760)
Where has Obama NOT offered a compromise? The first four years were full of them, some good and some bad. And don't give me this "half way" silliness, Team Blue had the presidency and half the legislative branch, when that happens you shouldn't have to go half way.

Besides the House never seems to be able to decide what exactly it is willing to compromise, to even tell what half way is (and even when Boehner makes a deal, he tends to not be able to bring his caucus along with him).
   869. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4669767)
You can Clapper...
Oops. Should be "You and Clapper...." Too late to edit.
   870. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4669775)
Besides the House never seems to be able to decide what exactly it is willing to compromise, to even tell what half way is (and even when Boehner makes a deal, he tends to not be able to bring his caucus along with him).


The "he wouldn't compromise" is abject, complete and total bullshit. It's a brazen inversion of the facts of history. The reason there was no "compromise" with the GOP House is because any attempt to engage that caucus immediately generated a divide by zero error. Now the GOP water-carriers here and in general are working hard to paint the facts of the GOP's behaviors as Obama's fault.
   871. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4669784)
In other "worst places in the world" news, according to a Somali co-worker, Somali is getting better and they have high hopes for an full and free election soon (few years).


I love some of Wikipedia's entries on Somalia:

Main article: Somali Armed Forces

The Somali Armed Forces (SAF) are the military forces of the Federal Republic of Somalia.[224] Headed by the President as Commander in Chief, they are constitutionally mandated to ensure the nation's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.[2]
*** The Somali Armed Forces are now overseen by the Ministry of Defence of the Federal Government of Somalia, formed in mid-2012. In January 2013, the Somali federal government also re-opened the national intelligence service in Mogadishu, renaming the agency the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA).[227] The Somaliland and Puntland regional governments maintain their own security and police forces.


That last part is apparently true, Somaliland and Puntland apparently in fact have functioning Governments with functioning police forces... Somaliland is de facto an independent country at this point (even though no one has recognized their declaration of independence (have no idea why not) and Puntland isn't far behind

The internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Somalia is .so. It was officially relaunched on November 1, 2010 by .SO Registry, which is regulated by the nation's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.[214]
In December 2012, the Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications announced that Somalia's new Federal Government plans to officially re-launch the Somali Postal Service (Somali Post) in 2013.[215]
On March 22, 2012, the Somali Cabinet also unanimously approved the National Communications Act. The bill paves the way for the establishment of a National Communications regulator in the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.[2


And of course all that means...
The "Federal Government" basically controls part of Mogidishu and whatever towns the African union troops are garrisoned

Some municipal level "governments" function (some have always functioned) across the country, some even pretend to recognize the Federal Government, but the alleged Federal Government has very little ability to either bribe or coerce regional governments to do what the Federal government wants done, and of course parts of the country are still dominated by people openly hostile to the Federal Government there
   872. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4669786)
The reason there was no "compromise" with the GOP House is because any attempt to engage that caucus immediately generated a divide by zero error.


Is that yours? Or did you copy/hear it from someone else? Just asking because that is a great great line.
   873. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4669790)
Well, isn't that the baseline for libertarianism's view of the purpose of government--it's there, and justifiable, only to the extent it insures your precious individual rights?

Well, I don't subscribe to libertarianism, but to the extent that's true, it just means it's no different than any of the other isms.

At the basest level I don't believe Gov't has any responsibility to ensure my rights. I believe it's only responsibility is negative; to refrain from violating my natural rights.

Of course it is useful to have Gov't protect certain rights, but it is not essential to the character of Gov't.

At the core, I'm a distributist. Power and responsibility should be distributed to the most basic unit of society that is capable of exercising it. Each level of society (individual, nuclear family, extended family, voluntary association, corporation, local Gov't, national Gov't, etc.) should only perform those functions that the levels below it are incapable of providing effectively.

That does not map to libertarianism though. I'd have no problem with a highly re-ditributive commune, or even municipality. I'd personally leave, but I don't object to it in principle.
   874. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4669792)
Is that yours? Or did you copy/hear it from someone else? Just asking because that is a great great line.


I believe that is my own construction (and I was a little proud of it, yes.) It's available for free use under common rights.
   875. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4669793)
Where has Obama NOT offered a compromise?


I think Obama has made the mistake a few times of building in what he thinks the GOP compromise will be into his proposal, thinking that's compromise, then getting surprised when the GOP is upset. So like ACA - its already a Republican compromise, so Obama thinks "okay, they should be happy with this, it takes the power of the market, it reduces costs over times, it will reduce the deficit over time, what's not to like on their end?" And then he proposes it and they're upset because they didn't get to be a part of negotiations, the compromise has already been completed. And maybe all they wanted to do was shout and scream about taxes or whatever, or some bone thrown their way, but they didn't even get that.

I think that has been the largest tactical error in Obama's Presidency - he compromises against himself first, before letting the GOP ask for a compromise, which leads them to them thinking he's not engaging with them, and also hurts his positioning. It doesn't help they've become the party of NO of course, but I don't think Obama's negotiating strategy and cool demeanor has helped either.
   876. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4669794)
Of course it is useful to have Gov't protect certain rights, but it is not essential to the character of Gov't.


what do you see as essential to the character of government?
   877. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4669798)
I think that has been the largest tactical error in Obama's Presidency - he compromises against himself first, before letting the GOP ask for a compromise, which leads them to them thinking he's not engaging with them


In business and law it's called bargaining against oneself.

If you think you have a best case scenario of $100, you'd better ask for $100 + interest and costs and fees, cause if instead you think best case $100, likeliest case $70 (or 70% chance of success), after spending $20 or so, might as well ask for $50 since that's the likely net and probably where you'd get in settlement- so you ask for $50, and guess what the other guy comes back with $20 and won't budge because he's waiting for you to come down again from your best offer- you don't come down, and the other guy claims you're not negotiating in good faith... There are people who will see your $50 offer the way you do- and accept it at the get go, but unless you know who your negotiating partner is at the outset you really can't "bargain" that way.

Obama was like a guy who bargained against himself in an effort to close the gap at the outset, and he was negotiating with people who take the opposite negotiating tack- they're the guys who will take their best case scenario, triple it, and then hold out because they're waiting to see how far you'll budge before making their next move- you can deal with those guys in business, because they will eventually move- sometimes quite a lot- but in Politics you have the added problem where, unlike business - the guy negotiating really doesn't want a deal at all, that's a type of bad faith that is actually rare in business.
   878. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4669799)
what do you see as essential to the character of government?

To any concept of Gov't? Nothing. Gov't is an arbitrary construct. Medieval Feudalism is no less a valid Gov't structure than 21st century Swiss democracy.

To be a just Gov't (i.e. one that the people are not justified in overthrowing by force) the Gov't needs to refrain from violating the natural rights of the people. e.g. freedom of worship, freedom of thought, freedom of private association, freedom to earn a living and own property, freedom of speech and press (at least to the extent that they do not overtly challenge the Gov't).
   879. Morty Causa Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4669802)
Well, I don't subscribe to libertarianism, but to the extent that's true, it just means it's no different than any of the other isms.

At the basest level I don't believe Gov't has any responsibility to ensure my rights. I believe it's only responsibility is negative; to refrain from violating my natural rights.

Of course it is useful to have Gov't protect certain rights, but it is not essential to the character of Gov't.


This seems filled with contradiction. If government's only responsibility is to not violate rights, why do you need it? Do away with it--problem solved?

People don't understand: there will be government. It may be a real third-party entity or it may be an interested party that becomes de facto ruler, but it will come to pass. You can't not have government and have order. And you can't not have a matrix of order and still have freedoms, even "natural rights", which is a ridiculous concept in and of itself. But even so, only people who don't spend time in nature, or observing nature, think those rights are things that can only be adulterated by artificial human institutions, rules, and processes.
   880. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4669806)
I mean, look at the latest development with this Julie Boonstra woman. I'm sorry she has cancer, but she is presented with factual evidence about her health care costs and she simply refuses to believe that the evidence is true. She's either lying or profoundly stupid. I have no doubt that the AFP grifters who drafted her into their movement believe she's not very smart. Hell, CPAC was essentially a collection of grifters speaking to people who were crawling over themselves to be swindled.

The headline on that linked article says it all: Dexter cancer patient who called health care 'unaffordable' will save more than $1K

Meanwhile, the Post's fact checker has revisited her claims, and downgraded her from two to three Pinocchios. Not that it'll stop the Republicans from trying to exploit this ignorant fool.

Update: Julia Boonstra’s claim her Obamacare plan is ‘unaffordable’ gets downgraded to Three Pinocchios
   881. GregD Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4669808)
The case for liberal government -- in the broad not US sense -- is often rooted in the belief that individual people can and will brutalize each other so government emerges as a way to minimize that brutality. A government that only restrained itself and not private individuals would be helpless against brigandage unless you have an extremely optimistic view of human nature
   882. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4669810)
what do you see as essential to the character of government?

To any concept of Gov't? Nothing. Gov't is an arbitrary construct.


Well, something has to be essential to the character of government, or the word has no meaning. Whether that's the ability to tax and redistribute, the ability to speak for a larger community with legal authority, special recognition (of power or status) on the part of the governed, is open to discussion.
   883. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4669815)
(879) There are certain societal needs that are typically filled by Government, that always need to be addressed. That does not mean they need to be addressed by anything resembling a unitary central government. A combination of family, private associations and town councils could address 95% of the current functions of state and national government.

Literally, the only thing we need Federal and State government for is national defense and the courts.
   884. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4669816)
(882) Government at a base level is no more than who wields the power.
   885. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4669821)
That's not to say there aren't other useful functions of central government. They're just not essential.
   886. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4669822)
2016 Polling Updates!!!

Nothing absolutely nothing :-)

   887. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4669823)
The Dreher-vs.-Sullivan fight shows no signs of abating. Neither does Dreher's hysteria:
Losing privilege is not the same as persecution, of course, but neither is gaining privilege a guarantee that you will be fair to the losers. And though it is right that those on the losing side of a culture war should try to be proportionate in their response to defeat, it is unfair and unrealistic to expect them to accept without protest whatever terms that the victors may impose on them.
What I don't get is why Rod is determined to make this a zero-sum game. Gays won; therefore, Christians lose. Not really. Gay rights is about being treated the same as everyone else. "Virtually normal," in Sullivan's words.

UNLESS what Christians really want is the right to dictate how everyone else must act. Then, yes, Rod, you are losing - and I'm glad.
   888. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4669825)
That's not to say there aren't other useful functions of central government. They're just not essential.
Not essential to what, sustaining human life? OK, but that's pretty low bar. Do you honestly think government has had a net stifling effect on progress over the millennia?
Literally, the only thing we need Federal and State government for is national defense and the courts
Right. Town councils should build their own highway systems, and private industry is just jumping at the chance to provide rural mail delivery. And hey, if that doesn't work out, well, you should have thought about that before you moved to a farm. Though living without snail mail would be tough since, without the federal government, those dummies probably wouldn't have electricity. Also, who needs the FAA, the FDA, and a whole host of federal safety administration? Let the market sort it out! Sorry to those of you who lost loved ones to airline wrecks and tainted meat while the market was sorting things out, but hey, you gotta break a few eggs, right? Also, maybe don't eat those eggs, since you don't know where they've been.
   889. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4669826)
(887) It's a loss in the sense that the less society espouses Christian values, the harder it is to live as a Christian, and raise your children to be Christian.

Also, Christians are supposed to care about other people's souls too.
   890. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4669827)
(887) It's a loss in the sense that the less society espouses Christian values, the harder it is to live as a Christian, and raise your children to be Christian.

I'm sorry, but this is absolutely nuts. There are plenty of extremely religious people in the US who seem to have no trouble practicing their religion and raising their children with the same faith. Not to mention the fact that the 1st Amendment makes it very clear that the government is not permitted to pass laws that favor one religion over any other.
   891. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4669828)
(888) Society existed for milennia without those things. Useful, not essential.

It's all about tradeoffs. I'd rather live in the 21st century US than the 18th century US. But I'd rather live in the latter than the Soviet Union, despite the electricity, roads and mail service.
   892. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4669829)
(890) It's absolutely true. For example it's much harder to follow Christian sexual ethics in a country that fills the media with pornography and near pornography. It's harder to stay married in a society that normalizes divorce.

Just because it's possible doesn't mean it's not harder.
   893. Shredder Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4669834)
(888) Society existed for milennia without those things. Useful, not essential.
I'm aware that society existed for millennia without electricity and aviation administrations. Society also existed for millennia without governmental inspection of food processing facilities. A lot more people got sick back then. Again, if all you're looking to do is propagate the next generation, well great. Some of us prefer actual progress. It's what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.
   894. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4669835)
It's harder to stay married in a society that normalizes divorce.
I'd love to see Big Religion go after divorcees.
   895. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4669837)
Why does the normalization of divorce make it harder to stay married? Is it still not up to the couple whether to stay married or not, or is there now some outside force making that decision?
   896. Canker Soriano Posted: March 11, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4669839)
But anyway, US, worst place...

Memphis gets a mention now and then (never been there)


I lived in Memphis. Its mentions are well deserved. An awful, awful experience (and this was 30 years ago - I don't think it's gone uphill since then).

Whatever happened to East St. Louis at the top of these lists? Seems like I can remember I time when that was the ultimate pit town in the US.
   897. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4669848)
Snapper has it precisely backwards. Christianity is only true to its on teachings when it is out of power. The early church. If you're not struggling against, you're doing it wrong. Power degrades the message of the Nazerene, not the lack of it. There's a point to the first temptation being an earthly throne.
   898. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4669852)
I am OK with the government we have promoting the general welfare and all that. It is not perfect, but it is pretty darn good, and throughout human history a huge majority would love what we have here (in the modern western world).
   899. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4669853)
U.S. House - District 13 - General
221 of 225 Precincts Reporting - 98%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Jolly, David GOP 87,700 48%
Sink, Alex Dem 84,574 47%
Overby, Lucas Lib 8,765 5%

Not sure how they get that many votes counted within 30 minutes of the polls closing - this is Florida, after all, but this is what is being reported. Not sure if it includes absentee votes or where the remaining votes are coming from, but that may be enough of Jolly edge to hold.
   900. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 11, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4669854)
Flip.
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