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Sunday, September 02, 2012

OTP - September 2012 - Because it’s Labor Day after all

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM | 8483 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   601. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4227369)
Could they? Sure, they have the power. But as I said earlier and as Sam states here, they don't need to because both political parties are deeply invested in keeping them fat and happy.

So again, you don't really know what would happen either.
   602. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4227370)
America is a gigantic place with over 300 million people populating 50 states. The mere idea that the military could stage a coup and pull it off is just lunacy. So much would have to change in America for that to happen. It just isn't going to happen any time soon. And by any time soon I mean probably at least a few decades.

One really expects all the armies, fleets, and air forces to come together to oust the government? Really?
   603. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4227371)
Well, you have no possible way of knowing that the US military could stage a coup. It is just a hypothetical.

Hypothetically, what would stop the U.S. military from staging a coup if enough key members decided they wanted to try? The Secret Service? The D.C. police?
   604. The Good Face Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4227372)
GF - I never said the military should not be "well fed and happy" just that they should not get preferential treatment. The fact that you want to kiss their but because they have guns and also claim it is "Liberals who worship power" is very precious.


Just noticed this. Are you off your meds today or something BM? You're arguing with a GF who lives in your head. I'm sure he's a handsome devil, well-dressed and popular with the ladies, but his positions don't seem to mesh with my own. I'm consistently on record as wanting an immediate end to our wars/police actions/expeditions, a significant slashing of military expenditures, and withdrawing the overwhelming majority of our overseas troops. I want a smaller, cheaper, less powerful military, and I want it to be doing much less.
   605. zenbitz Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4227373)
I'd probably have voted for Edwards with full knowledge over GWB in 2004. Or over Newt. The other ones it's probably a toss up, but I would almost certainly have just not voted rather than vote for Romney / Dole / GBI / Reagan / GWB in 2000.
   606. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4227374)
I wonder if people who say they are voting for Romney would vote for him in if he was a Democrat. I also wonder if they voted for him in either the 2008 or 2012 primary or would have if they voted.


I think it is safe to assume that those who voted for Romney in the 2008 and 2012 Primaries are overwhelmingly likely to vote for him against Obama in 11/12.

I wonder if people who say they are voting for Romney would vote for him in if he was a Democrat.


I assume a large majority of those voting for Romney are voting for the initial "R" after his name.
I assume that an overwhelming percentage of those who voted for Romney's opponents (except Paul voters) will vote for Romney, as for the Paul voters I expect that a majority will vote for Romney, a chunk for Gary Johnson and a chunk will stay home
   607. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4227375)
Hypothetically, what would stop the U.S. military from staging a coup if enough key members decided they wanted to try?


If by enough key members you mean 75% of all those serving in uniform, then nothing. Otherwise it's a ridiculous hypothetical.
   608. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4227376)
Hypothetically, what would stop the U.S. military from staging a coup if enough key members decided they wanted to try? The Secret Service? The D.C. police?

The fact that "enough key members" is in reality an impossibly high number that would be virtually impossible to obtain. You really think some faction within the military could convince 1,000s of officer and hundreds of thousands if not over a million soldiers to attack their own country and to kill their fellow citizens in the ensuing blowback? What are they going to do, nuke New York when the government and people of New York refuse to go along with the coup?
   609. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4227377)
I think it is safe to assume that those who voted for Romney in the 2008 and 2012 Primaries are overwhelmingly likely to vote for him against Obama in 11/12.

It is safe to assume that but as of this moment I don't who those people voted for or would have voted for in 2008 and in the 2012 primaries. The question has remained dodged by some people.
   610. The Good Face Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4227378)
Could they? Sure, they have the power. But as I said earlier and as Sam states here, they don't need to because both political parties are deeply invested in keeping them fat and happy.

So again, you don't really know what would happen either.


Of course not, prophecy is impossible. But I wasn't making a prediction about what would happen; rather I was making an observation about capabilities.
   611. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4227379)
I want a smaller, cheaper, less powerful military, and I want it to be doing much less.


Steps to eliminating the deficit:

1. Eliminate the DEA entirely.
2. Eliminate Homeland Security entirely.
3. Drastically cut funding for the FBI an ATF.
4. Roll the Air Force command back into the Army; eliminate all duplicate administrative functions.
5. Roll the Marines command back into the Navy; eliminate all duplicate administrative functions.
6. Remove all force-forward stationings from the map, excepting England, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, and Kuwait.
7. Require all military actions be declared via the Congress as written in the Constitution, with a roll-call vote of every member of both Houses.
8. Require all military actions to be funded from existing DOD budgets.
   612. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4227380)
I don't see any charismatic officer leading any coup. Plus after Iraq and Afghanistan I don't think any member of the military would want anything to do with running a country.
   613. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4227381)
I assume a large majority of those voting for Romney are voting for the initial "R" after his name.

Sure, because the "R" stands for a set of positions that are distinct from the positions represented by a "D." But it's silly to suggest that conservative voters would vote for pro-abortion, pro-tax Obama if he put an "R" after his name rather than for anti-abortion, anti-tax Romney if he put a "D" after his name.
   614. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4227382)
The fact that "enough key members" is in reality an impossibly high number that would be virtually impossible to obtain. You really think some faction within the military could convince 1,000s of officer and hundreds of thousands if not over a million soldiers to attack their own country and to kill their fellow citizens in the ensuing blowback?

Who says there would be blowback? People who genuflect toward power -- the vast majority of people in positions of influence -- would figure out a way to rationalize and normalize the coup. Wide swaths of the masses wouldn't give two shits if there was a coup, as long as the uniforms kept the cheap credit flowing and the WalMarts churning.
   615. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4227383)
I'm consistently on record as wanting an immediate end to our wars/police actions/expeditions, a significant slashing of military expenditures, and withdrawing the overwhelming majority of our overseas troops. I want a smaller, cheaper, less powerful military, and I want it to be doing much less.


And I agree with you (on that - look a coming together). You are the one who said we need to give preference to the Military, else they would stage a coup, not me.
   616. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4227384)
6. Remove all force-forward stationings from the map, excepting England, Germany,


I fail to see the point of having large numbers of troops and equipment in the UK and Germany anymore, and have felt so for about 20 years now.
   617. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4227386)
What would stop the military from staging a coup is a very different question than what would stop the coup from being successfull.

Nothing can stop various folks from engaging in treason. Free will and all that. And if you define their success as deposing the current government then maybe they could succeed. But if they want to try to run the country they are bound to fail and fail miserably (even assuming the slight - and that is overstating it - chance of it happening in the lifetime of anyone reading this).
   618. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4227387)
Hypothetically, what would stop the U.S. military from staging a coup if enough key members decided they wanted to try? The Secret Service? The D.C. police?


And hypothetically, what would prevent a group of black nationalists from infiltrating the Army and blowing up the Jesse Helms Center?

   619. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4227388)
Hypothetically, what would stop the U.S. military from staging a coup if enough key members decided they wanted to try?
One way would be to stop buying them so many guns and planes.
   620. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4227389)
The fact that "enough key members" is in reality an impossibly high number that would be virtually impossible to obtain. You really think some faction within the military could convince 1,000s of officer and hundreds of thousands if not over a million soldiers to attack their own country and to kill their fellow citizens in the ensuing blowback? What are they going to do, nuke New York when the government and people of New York refuse to go along with the coup?

Why would a military coup in the U.S. require "thousands of officers and hundreds of thousands if not over a million soldiers"? A successful coup in the U.S. would require detaining or otherwise neutralizing maybe a dozen or two dozen top U.S. officials. It wouldn't require some Normandy-type invasion or "nuking New York."

Now, if you're talking about the ability of the military to grab power and then hold it across 50 states over the long term, that's a different story.
   621. zonk Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4227390)

Hypothetically, what would stop the U.S. military from staging a coup if enough key members decided they wanted to try? The Secret Service? The D.C. police?


I thought this was why we all had guns? To keep the queen o' england and seditious armies out of our junk.
   622. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4227393)
I assume a large majority of those voting for Romney are voting for the initial "R" after his name.


Sure, because the "R" stands for a set of positions that are distinct from the positions represented by a "D." But it's silly to suggest that conservative voters would vote for pro-abortion, pro-tax Obama if he put an "R" after his name rather than for anti-abortion, anti-tax Romney if he put a "D" after his name.

That makes perfect sense, but you're going to have to explain it real slowly to Ray.
   623. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4227394)
I fail to see the point of having large numbers of troops and equipment in the UK and Germany anymore, and have felt so for about 20 years now.


Vladdy Putin is not our enemy, per se, but he's certainly not our friend. Germany and the UK are.
   624. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4227396)
Who says there would be blowback? People who genuflect toward power -- the vast majority of people in positions of influence -- would figure out a way to rationalize and normalize the coup. Wide swaths of the masses wouldn't give two shits if there was a coup, as long as the uniforms kept the cheap credit flowing and the WalMarts churning.

You got any oranges to sell because I'm not buying this.
   625. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4227397)
611. I agree with some of that, but not all. 7 & 8 are silly though. Congress does in fact have the power to really stop most any Presidential military silliness, but they don't want that power and in fact run from it. They control the purse strongs. Much as many want to deny it the many wars of Bush II were at the very least tacitly supported by a majority of Dems in government (and that is being too generous to the Democrats).

The D and R are different in many ways, but regarding military adventurism they are not so very far apart.
   626. spycake Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4227399)
I assume a large majority of those voting for Romney are voting for the initial "R" after his name.

Sure, because the "R" stands for a set of positions that are distinct from the positions represented by a "D."


Wait -- I thought liberals would vote for anyone with a "D" after their name? That they preferred style over substance? That there were no "distinct positions" represented by them?
   627. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4227400)
Tee-hee. Pandora just displayed a Romney ad on my phone and my pandora radio is set up with a Chicago address. Plus it is a Foster the People station. Talk about targeting the wrong people.
   628. The Good Face Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4227403)
You are the one who said we need to give preference to the Military, else they would stage a coup, not me.


Sheesh, the GF living in your head just bought a bigger house and added a yacht mooring. I said no such thing. You idiotically asked why politicians kissed up to the military and I answered you. The military are a significant power center and people who care about having and using power want them on their side, or at least not arrayed against them.

   629. McCoy Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4227404)
Now, if you're talking about the ability of the military to grab power and then hold it across 50 states over the long term, that's a different story.

So the supposition is that if we don't keep the military fat and happy a handful of lunatics will kidnap or kill a bunch of elected officials and proclaim themselves the lawful government of the United States. I don't think there are enough smart lunatics at high enough levels to pull that off.
   630. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4227405)
Wait -- I thought liberals would vote for anyone with a "D" after their name? That they preferred style over substance? That there were no "distinct positions" represented by them?

You've substantially misrepresented my position. I said they prefer style over substance with regards to their choice of "rising star" candidates — Clinton, Edwards, Obama, the Castro brothers, et al.
   631. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4227406)
#627 - Romney keeps sending me all these expensive mailers. It has gotten to be funny. Seriously dude your data mining algorithms need work. I am sort of in the right demographic - high income middle aged white male, but I give money to the Democrats every year and am a registered member of the DFL (MN Democrats need their own special organizational name). Stop mailing me stuff.
   632. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4227409)
Clinton, Obama, Edwards, the Castro brothers, et al.


Because their is no substance there. However the Democrats are choosing from your list there are two Presidents (and depending which Clintons we also get a Senator and Secretary of State). Obviously we would need to do a rigorous analysis of the matter, but from your list the Rising Star to Became a Star ratio is pretty darn good.
   633. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4227415)
#627 - Romney keeps sending me all these expensive mailers.

Hasn't Andy told you? Thanks to Citizens United, Romney has more campaign money than he knows what to do with.
   634. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4227417)
Because their is no substance there. However the Democrats are choosing from your list there are two Presidents (and depending which Clintons we also get a Senator and Secretary of State). Obviously we would need to do a rigorous analysis of the matter, but from your list the Rising Star to Became a Star ratio is pretty darn good.

Obama is a star-level president?

That you apparently consider Obama a "star" helps to prove my "style over substance" claim.
   635. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4227418)
GF - If I misunderstood this quote:

Reality dictates otherwise. The military is NOT like everyone else, because they have the power to do what other people and institutions do not.


And your talk about how they could do a coup then I apologize. It sounded to me like you wanted to keep them happy so they did not overthrow the government. That would be silly.

What power do they have though other than that? They have a bunch of built up good will. They have folks from all over paying them "lip service". But what power, explicitly, do you think the military has?

Anything other than connections to the military-industrial complex? Because I am putting that under corporate power and not military (but YMMV).

This whole discussion with you has been odd GF, because it sounds like we both think the military has too much money thrown at it. I think it has too much deference thrown its way. I am not hating on the military, I just don't get the reverence it is shown.
   636. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4227421)
I just don't get the reverence it is shown.

Because it's won a bunch of wars including all the biggies?
   637. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4227422)
Obama is a star-level president?


becomming president makes him a political star. Remember we have political rising stars, right? Well once you become elected president that is pretty much as far as you can go as far as elections anyway.

If 50% of your rising stars turn into Presidents (ignoring the quality of their Presidency) then either someone is picking the right people as Rising Stars, or merely being annointed a Rising Star is a huge leg up in getting elected President (or both).
   638. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4227425)
becomming president makes him a political star. Remember we have political rising stars, right? Well once you become elected president that is pretty much as far as you can go as far as elections anyway.

You really should stop digging.

The fact that you believe winning elections is what makes one a "star" rather than actual policy successes proves, once again, that my "style over substance" point was correct.
   639. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4227426)
Great column by Primate Matt Welch over at Reason:

CHARLOTTE—What was your favorite unintentionally revealing moment of Tuesday night's kickoff of the Democratic National Convention? Was it the welcome-to-Charlotte video whose narrator let slip that "government is the only thing that we all belong to"? Perhaps Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's exhortation to "make the will of the people the law of the land"? Or former Ohio gov. Ted Strickland's thunderous, populist twaddle about "economic patriotism"?

[...]

In this idyllic landscape of Democratic magical thinking, there is no state and local budget crises, no unaffordable and underfunded defined-benefit public pension obligations, nothing at all standing in the way of "investing" in our public safety, except (in ex-Republican Stern's words) "right-wing extremists." Vallejo, California is not bankrupt because of public employee pensions, and the rest of the state is not following suit. It's a hell of a place, this Democrat-land. Wish I could live there.
   640. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4227427)
Because it's won a bunch of wars including all the biggies?


But that's their job!

Seriously though, if the deference stopped there it would be fine. It often goes way past that though, like the suggestions upthread around polling various levels of the military reagrding Presidential fitness (or whatever).

Before this goes any further though, our military is really well run overall. If it was half its size (or less) with half the budget (or less) it would be even better.
   641. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4227429)
Because it's won a bunch of wars including all the biggies?


Because the collapse of the middle class has left nationalist militaristic fervor as the last resort of solace and belief for the underclasses to cling to. (Along with their guns and their Bibles, natch.)
   642. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4227430)
Andy, despite all of his hoopla here about Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand, would vote for Ryan if Ryan had a D next to his name. As would Sam, Lassus, Treder, on and on and on. They think their positions make them better than everyone else, but they're not actually better than everyone else; they just root root root for the home team.

You seriously have no idea what you're talking about with regards to me, here, Ray.
Agreed. Sam would vote for them if they had a (CPUSA) next to their name.
   643. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4227431)
#627 - Romney keeps sending me all these expensive mailers.

Hasn't Andy told you? Thanks to Citizens United, Romney has more campaign money than he knows what to do with.


And why don't I get these mailers? Or Obamas? *
I'm in the right demographic more or less, don't give any money to the Dems, sometimes I give $ to Catholic Charities, I watch the Military History Channel...

OTOH the most liberal partner in my office has been getting RNC mailings for years...

*I'm not really complaining, I am kind of mystified that in recent years I've fallen off the political mailer radar completely, I get the "Dear Neighbor" ones but that is it, I haven't been called by a polling outfit ion YEARS- if I knew how I'd managed to ward off the political crap, I'd sell the secret...

   644. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4227432)
Keynote speaker and mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro offered a similarly basic formula: Invest more money on education, and education will improve

With genius and insight like that, no wonder he's a "star."
   645. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4227433)
It's a hell of a place, this Democrat-land. Wish I could live there.

I'm pretty sure it's a much friendlier place than Republican-land.
   646. zonk Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4227438)
I'm pretty sure it's a much friendlier place than Republican-land.


The sex is better, too.
   647. Lassus Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4227441)
Meanwhile, I can't think of a single liberal in these threads who holds a non-orthodox position on any major issue.

Crime and punishment - I'm pro-death penalty, and very conservative on imprisonment for non-drug offenses.
   648. Spahn Insane Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4227442)
That's the hilarious part of all of this: Given the two main candidates of Romney and Obama, if the two candidates' positions remained the same and nothing was done other than swapping the D and R next to their names, the liberals here would vote for Romney and the conservative here would vote for Obama. The liberals and the conservative act as if they're deeply analyzing and concerned about the issues, when really -- here's my sports analogy again -- they're doing nothing except voting for the uniform.

You are wrong.
   649. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4227443)
The fact that you believe winning elections is what makes one a "star" rather than actual policy successes proves, once again, that my "style over substance" point was correct.


OK I will try one more time, and then I will concede you just are not reading for comprehension.

Both parties choose speakers who are "rising stars" in order to showcase the future and give selected politicians a leg up, all the while exciting the crowds with their oratorical abilities. The idea that anyone is chosen for for that role for their ability to govern is complete fantasy.

By choosing Obama in 2004 as a rising star the powers that be essentially declared this is a guy to watch, he is going to be someone. And gosh they were right, he was someone to watch and got elected. The rising star became a legit star, as validated by an electoral landslide. And he will likely get reelected.

Many speakers are chosen for style (since I will put oratory under that umbrella - though I think oratory is a valuable skill for a politician to have and terming it Style and not Substance is doing it a disservice) on both sides. Getting elected is the substance*.

The fact that you have a standard where you get to declare someone not worthy or worthy based on your liking has no relevence to what politicians do. Obama is a star. So was Bush II (though I don't think he was ever really a rising star, though his brother Jeb was I think).

* Yes I know that governence matters. However there are no absolute measures for the substance of governing. Retrospectivly there can be anaysis, but I remeber a historian claiming you can't truly evaluate a President until 50 years after they are out of office and I think that is likely pretty close to true. Since it is a Democracy the judgement of the voters has to count for something.
   650. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4227444)
Great column by Primate Matt Welch over at Reason:


Sure if you like hackery, it's well up there on the hackery quotient, not quite as high as his earlier one attacking the media for daring to "fact check" the RNC and daring them to do likewise with the DNC.


   651. zonk Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4227448)
Whatever Romney is wasting on untargeted mailers, I think it pales before their recent attempts to purchase trending twitter hashtags --

I'm by no means any sort of twitter expert, but if I worked on a campaign -

It costs, I believe, about $100,000 to purchase a 'trending' hashtag (one that you can bump up to the top of the list). Thing is, though - you don't get to control what people post against your purchased hashtag. For probably 1/10 the cost - you could have have easily hired a firm to trend a hash without showing that you obviously paid for it (paid trenders are noted as such) and as an added bonus, avoided it being taken over by the opposition.

The GOP really needs to make nice with all the IT P4VLbots they've managed to piss off -- because they really do seem to come off as clueless in such matters and could dearly use some folks that at least understand some of the logical basics.
   652. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4227449)
Both parties choose speakers who are "rising stars" in order to showcase the future and give selected politicians a leg up, all the while exciting the crowds with their oratorical abilities. The idea that anyone is chosen for for that role for their ability to govern is complete fantasy.

I wasn't talking about the choice of convention speakers. I was talking about the choice of candidate. (And the notion that "Getting elected is the substance" is absurd. It's the ultimate in putting the cart before the horse.)
   653. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4227450)
Since it is a Democracy the judgement of the voters has to count for something.

Does their vote on best movie or best painting count for anything? Do they have any capacity to make such judgments?

No, they don't. That's part of why politicians are overrated.
   654. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4227451)
Whatever Romney is wasting on untargeted mailers, I think it pales before their recent attempts to purchase trending twitter hashtags --

I'm by no means any sort of twitter expert, but if I worked on a campaign -

It costs, I believe, about $100,000 to purchase a 'trending' hashtag (one that you can bump up to the top of the list). Thing is, though - you don't get to control what people post against your purchased hashtag. For probably 1/10 the cost - you could have have easily hired a firm to trend a hash without showing that you obviously paid for it (paid trenders are noted as such) and as an added bonus, avoided it being taken over by the opposition.

The GOP really needs to make nice with all the IT P4VLbots they've managed to piss off -- because they really do seem to come off as clueless in such matters and could dearly use some folks that at least understand some of the logical basics.


I think this is English because I recognize most of the words. Beyond that...
   655. steagles Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4227452)
there is no state and local budget crises
i'd just like to point out that those crises are largely the result of the larger federal budget deficit.


the issue here is that, for a city or a state who's facing a budget crisis, there is no effective recourse for them to take. if they raise taxes to close a shortfall, business will flee to surrounding locales. and if reduce their expenditures, that means fewer cops, fewer firefighters, fewer teachers, fewer garbagemen, etc...


if it was actually important to republicans to correct the fiscal instability at local levels, they would stop playing this tax-cut shell-game where federal responsibilities are shifted to the states, and state responsibilities are shifted to the counties, and where county responsibilities are shifted to the towns.

   656. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4227454)
BTW "God" is mentioned in the 2012 GOP platform a total of 10 times,

2012: 10
2008: 2
2004: 3
2000: 1
1996: 4
1992: 4
1988: 4
1984: 3
1980: 1
1976: 3
1972: 0
1968: 1
1964: 3
1960: 1
1956: 2
1952: 0
1948: 1
1912-1944: 0
1908: 1
1856-1904: 0

We have new record!
   657. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4227455)
Here's another post from Reason that goes well with Matt Welch's column:

Why Medicare Must Be Reformed, in One Chart
   658. Zoppity Zoop Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4227456)
"With genius and insight like that, no wonder he's a "star.""

Clearly, the tripling of education spending in constant dollars in the last 40 years is responsible for our kids catapulting to the top of the math, science, and reading scores.

We're Hong Kong, right?

   659. Lassus Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4227458)
Sure if you like hackery, it's well up there on the hackery quotient, not quite as high as his earlier one attacking the media for daring to "fact check" the RNC and daring them to do likewise with the DNC.

The front page of Yahoo has a story about the fact-checking of the DNC's questionable job creation statements.
   660. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4227459)
Meanwhile, I can't think of a single liberal in these threads who holds a non-orthodox position on any major issue.


Let's vote, who comes closest to being an orthodox liberal here?

I vote Andy.

   661. zonk Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4227460)


I think this is English because I recognize most of the words. Beyond that...


Just imagine you bought a bunch of mailers with only the heading and the 'paid for by Romney for America' only on them - then put them, with a stamp already posted on the largely blank mailer - on a table with a bunch of crayons and asked anyone passing by to drop them in the mailbox after they had added their own message.

That's basically what they're doing with twitter... asking people to create mischief on top of something they already paid for.
   662. Lassus Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4227461)
Let's vote, who comes closest to being an orthodox liberal here? I vote Andy.

Have you read his positions on feminism? ;-)
   663. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4227464)
Clearly, the tripling of education spending in constant dollars in the last 40 years is responsible for our kids catapulting to the top of the math, science, and reading scores.

You just don't get it. Test scores have remained flat because education spending has only been tripled. If it was quadrupled or quintupled, things would be a whole lot different. Just ask any Dem or the teachers unions.
   664. booond Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4227465)
BTW "God" is mentioned in the 2012 GOP platform a total of 10 times


How often were Martians named?
   665. DA Baracus Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4227466)
I think this is English because I recognize most of the words. Beyond that...


You can pay to have a particular hash tag promoted by Twitter. Today there is one called #FailingAgenda, which like many others paid for by PACs (this one is "Americans For Prosperity"), is hilariously falling on it's face as it is endlessly mocked by Twitter users.
   666. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4227469)
And the notion that "Getting elected is the substance" is absurd. It's the ultimate in putting the cart before the horse.


I'll play. What is substance for a politician? Years served? Number of bills passed into law (no matter the importance of the law)? Number of bills signed by an executive?

You bring up the term "back bencher" but never define it (other than politicians you don't like are always back benchers), what does it means and how does it relate to substance?

And of course getting elected is a proxy for substance. Getting elected shows the aggregate wishes of the electorate, those wishes, one would hope, contain the evaluations of that substance. Instead should be just outsource the decision on substance to SBB and Joe K?
   667. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4227472)
as it is endlessly mocked by Twitter users


And thus is Twitter explained in whole.
   668. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4227474)
What is substance for a politician?

The vast majority of the time, nothing. They hold office and spend their time doing the things necessary to continue holding office. They outsource substance to staff paid for with my money, and big-money lobbyists and contributors.

That's pretty much it.

Getting elected shows the aggregate wishes of the electorate,

The aggregate wish of the electorate is to get stuff that other people pay for.
   669. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4227481)
The vast majority of the time, nothing. They hold office and spend their time doing the things necessary to continue holding office. They outsource substance to staff paid for with my money, and big-money lobbyists and contributors.


So they're C-level executives.
   670. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4227482)
The GOP really needs to make nice with all the IT P4VLbots they've managed to piss off -- because they really do seem to come off as clueless in such matters and could dearly use some folks that at least understand some of the logical basics.

I thought it was great when they were caught purchasing thousands of fake Twitter followers. Nothing like failing AND getting caught while doing it.
   671. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4227484)
I'll play. What is substance for a politician? Years served? Number of bills passed into law (no matter the importance of the law)? Number of bills signed by an executive?

You bring up the term "back bencher" but never define it (other than politicians you don't like are always back benchers), what does it means and how does it relate to substance?

You don't know what a back-bencher is?

This discussion would have been much simpler and shorter if some of the Obama supporters here could list a few of Obama's achievements that didn't involve being a smooth talker or being a minority over whom the media fawned. I rarely agree with Joe Biden, but his summary of the Obama rise was dead on [see #403]. If Obama was a regular-issue white guy with zero notable legislative or government achievements, he would have been laughed out of the race. 2008 Dem candidates like Biden and Dodd had 10 times Obama's experience but barely received one-tenth the votes or media coverage. Style over substance, indeed.
   672. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4227485)
get stuff that other people pay for.

Do you have that phrase programmed as a keyboard macro? It's used so much that I figure you save yourself time by cutting it to only a few keystrokes.
   673. zonk Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4227487)
Here's another post from Reason that goes well with Matt Welch's column:

Why Medicare Must Be Reformed, in One Chart


Yet suspiciously, as I've pounded at again and again and again -- neither "Reason" or the NR link they provide seem to understand that the per beneficiary expenditures are NOT actually direct per beneficiary costs. There's no one iota of acknowledgment about the fact that Medicare reimbursement includes a whole host of escalators that pay for everything from residency programs to keeping rural hospitals open.

It would be nice if supposedly 'very serious people' would actually get very serious about truly understanding how Medicare outlays are calculated, then actually did the extensive analysis required to boil the costs down to actual beneficiary cost. Strip away all the other subsidies that are layered and hidden in Medicare then show me a REAL chart that actually shows what they erroneously claim their chart shows
   674. JJ1986 Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4227488)
If Obama was a regular-issue white guy with zero notable legislative or government achievements, he would have been laughed out of the race.


Unless he had John Edwards' hair.
   675. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4227490)
This discussion would have been much simpler and shorter if some of the Obama supporters here could list a few of Obama's achievements that didn't involve being a smooth talker or being a minority over whom the media fawned.

Translation: Please stop talking about how robotic our candidate acts and "feels". He was the best choice (that wasn't bat-sh!t crazy), and we really think he might not get steamrolled during the debates, so give him a chance.
   676. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4227492)
If your assumption is that Edwards could ever get the Democratic nomination after his scandal broke, you're even more disconnected from reality than I'd ever even imagined.


Huh? It was a hypothetical, not an assumption, Andy.
   677. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4227495)
It turns out Nate wasn't only analyzing the same publicly available info. as everyone else:

Obama Campaign Shared '08 Polling With Silver

Obama's polling analysts, Issenberg writes, wanted to test their internal polls against Silver's model. And so — in an unusual step for the closely-held campaign, and for the analyst, who was then running his own website, FiveThirtyEight.com — the Obama campaign offered Silver access to thousands of its own internal polls, on the condition Silver sign a confidentiality agreement, which he did. (Silver, who now writes a widely-read blog for the New York Times declined to comment on the arrangement.)
   678. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4227496)
Translation: Please stop talking about how robotic our candidate acts and "feels". ...

More style over substance. If this is your idea of a rebuttal, you're doing it wrong.
   679. steagles Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4227499)
If Obama was a regular-issue white guy with zero notable legislative or government achievements, he would have been laughed out of the race.
that's not entirely accurate.

obama benefitted from a few things. by being black, he had ~90% support from that constituency in the democratic primary. admittedly, that was big.

but he also benefitted from not having a record. clinton, dodd, biden, they were all enablers of dubya's agenda, from the iraq war, to tax cuts, to deregulation. the fact that obama didn't have that record allowed him to pivot against his opponents and gain an advantage among progressives.

also, clinton was hurt by her name. it's not exactly ideal to have two families control the presidency for 24 consecutive years, and i think that dynastic component moved a lot of people who otherwise would have been solidly pro-hilary.

   680. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4227500)
Let's vote, who comes closest to being an orthodox liberal here?

I vote Andy.


It's Treder in a walk.
   681. rr Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4227501)
They think their positions make them better than everyone else,


Heh.

   682. Steve Treder Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4227502)
Interesting ...

A team of hackers claims to have obtained Mitt Romney’s tax returns and say the documents will be released at the end of September unless the candidate transfers $1 million in Bitcoins, an online currency.


Could be a hoax, of course. In any case it sounds like a bad novel, and a headache for Mittens.
   683. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4227503)
The number one job of a politician is to get elected. You can't do anything else until you are in office. I would argue the next best way to evaluate a politician is to ask the following questions:
* Are they advancing their parties agenda? I mean this both ways - enacting the items of the agenda and moving the agenda forward, leading the agenda and not just following it.
* Are they meeting the needs of their constituents? This applys more to local politicians, but does matter up the chain.
* Are they purly partisan, or are they able to juggle the partisan and non-partisan aspects of their job?
* Are they following through, as best they are able, the commitments they made before the most recent election?
* Are they willing to compromise to get needed things done and willing to hold their ground when their are principles involved?
* Do they meet the bar of being not noticibly and overly corrupt, venal, sleezy, stupid and so on?
   684. Steve Treder Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4227504)
It's Treder in a walk.

What do I win?
   685. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4227508)
More style over substance. If this is your idea of a rebuttal, you're doing it wrong.

More misdirection about your candidate. You're doing it right.
   686. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4227510)

Could be a hoax, of course. In any case it sounds like a bad novel, and a headache for Mittens


Definitely a hoax.
   687. Tripon Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4227511)
Haha, bit coins, the fake currency of the internet
   688. Steve Treder Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4227515)
Get this:

The group allegedly obtained the files from PricewaterhouseCooper’s Tennessee office on Aug. 25, in what was described on PasteBin as a Mission Impossible-like caper:

Romney’s 1040 tax returns were taken from the PWC office 8/25/2012 by gaining access to the third floor via a gentleman working on the 3rd floor of the building. Once on the 3rd floor, the team moved down the stairs to the 2nd floor and setup shop in an empty office room. During the night, suite 260 was entered, and all available 1040 tax forms for Romney were copied. A package was sent to the PWC on suite 260 with a flash drive containing a copy of the 1040 files, plus copies were sent to the Democratic office in the county and copies were sent to the GOP office in the county at the beginning of the week also containing flash drives with copies of Romney’s tax returns before 2010. A scanned signature image for Mitt Romney from the 1040 forms were scanned and included with the packages, taken from earlier 1040 tax forms gathered and stored on the flash drives.
   689. zonk Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4227516)
Interesting ...

A team of hackers claims to have obtained Mitt Romney’s tax returns and say the documents will be released at the end of September unless the candidate transfers $1 million in Bitcoins, an online currency.



Could be a hoax, of course. In any case it sounds like a bad novel, and a headache for Mittens.


I thought they already did this... or was it Bain Financials and communications that they had previously hacked and posted?

Anyway, those dudes get zero love from me, regardless of who they target and why -- every time 'Anonymous' or the same worm their way in somewhere, it inevitably means I'm working the weekend to do some emergency patching and regression testing.

EDIT: OK, sounds they're less hackers and more CREEP-style break-in artists... I now have less disdain.
   690. The Good Face Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4227517)
It's Treder in a walk.

What do I win?


A free abortion.
   691. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4227519)
Obama also had anti-war cred. It seems odd now, but his speaking against the war in Iraq and HRC voting for it mattered a whole bunch in the primary.

The other thing Obama did (which I have mentioned a bunch and Joe K ignores) is he built a campaign organization in a very short time which soundly beat the Clinton machine that was 20+ years in the making. He ran a very solid mistake free campaign with really solid top to bottom organization.

How many failed candidates do we need to mention before it becomes clear that winning a primary is not easy. Every single GOP primary candidate (with the exception of T-Paw) had their moment in the sun when they were catapulted up the charts and got plenty of exposure and had the opportunity to turn that into money and then a real race. Every single one of them failed at it and so Romney won.

But really all that matters is people decided they wanted him to be President. Whine all you want, but that is what it takes, the ability to convince enough money and enough people to vote for you.
   692. Steve Treder Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4227520)
A free abortion.

On demand?
   693. Steve Treder Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4227523)
OK, sounds they're less hackers and more CREEP-style break-in artists

Yeah, from this account there's no hacking involved at all. This is just old-school theft.
   694. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 05, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4227524)
A team of hackers claims to have obtained Mitt Romney’s tax returns and say the documents will be released at the end of September unless the candidate transfers $1 million in Bitcoins, an online currency.


They're asking for 4.76% of all bitcoins. Has to be a hoax.
   695. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4227527)
OK, sounds they're less hackers and more CREEP-style break-in artists

Yeah, from this account there's no hacking involved at all. This is just old-school theft.


I guess zonk gets to patch and test doors instead of operating systems.
   696. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4227530)
But really all that matters is people decided they wanted him to be President. Whine all you want, but that is what it takes, the ability to convince enough money and enough people to vote for you.

I haven't done any whining. I've simply pointed out that Dem voters value style over substance, and none of your thousands of words in response have refuted that basic claim.
   697. zonk Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4227531)


I guess zonk gets to patch and test windows instead of operating systems.


I think I might like that better.
   698. Lassus Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4227533)
How many bitcoins in a dollarbuck?
   699. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4227536)
the issue here is that, for a city or a state who's facing a budget crisis, there is no effective recourse for them to take. if they raise taxes to close a shortfall, business will flee to surrounding locales. and if reduce their expenditures, that means fewer cops, fewer firefighters, fewer teachers, fewer garbagemen, etc...
And/or lower paid ones. And why are those not effective recourses?

if it was actually important to republicans to correct the fiscal instability at local levels, they would stop playing this tax-cut shell-game where federal responsibilities are shifted to the states, and state responsibilities are shifted to the counties, and where county responsibilities are shifted to the towns.
But they're not "federal responsibilities" at all.
   700. BDC Posted: September 05, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4227537)
Obama's nomination is of a pattern with many previous Democratic nominations of the postwar era, and aligns with the Democrats' tendency to choose younger candidates who haven't been on the "front benches." JFK didn't have a fraction of the experience of LBJ or Hubert Humphrey. Jimmy Carter had no national experience; nor did Michael Dukakis or Bill Clinton. I don't know if the tendency is of a historical piece with nominees like Grover Cleveland, William Jennings Bryan, and Woodrow Wilson, but those guys had ####-all experience when first nominated, too, and Wilson and Bryan were within living memory of party elders when Kennedy was nominated. As STEAGLES says, being a newcomer can be a major political advantage. Several Republicans with considerable experience (Reagan was certainly one) tried to cast themselves as newcomers. (You can have it both ways if people buy it: I'm the fresh face with all the experience …)
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