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Thursday, April 03, 2014

OTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 03, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 4718 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 7 million aca signees and counting, i-95 south, nc, politics

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   601. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 09, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4683003)
I'm in line with Jason on this question, actually. A sole proprietorship or simple business registration should be given more leeway for personal beliefs of the owners than an incorporated entity.

I'm pretty sure that this is what the SCt is going to hold. Kennedy will find that closely held businesses have to be given some leeway if they're essentially the owner's alter ego, but I bet he'll find that Hobby Lobby hasn't yet met this standard and punt it back to the lower court for further proceedings. a decision like that could have interesting implications for personal liability; hard to say that you're not liable for the company's debts if you've gone on record as saying that the company shares your religious beliefs.
   602. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 09, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4683004)
Grant Duwe, a criminologist with the Minnesota Department of Corrections who has written a history of mass murders in America, said that while mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, they actually dropped in the 2000s. And mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929, according to his data. He estimates that there were 32 in the 1980s, 42 in the 1990s and 26 in the first decade of the century.


And of course this one won't count.
   603. Lassus Posted: April 09, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4683019)
I think you can start with IRS-recognized religious organizations whose beliefs on homosexuality predate the OTP thread, Lassus.

I think you misunderstood my question, though. "Bona fide" modified "religious concerns", so my question to you was in regards to bona fide vs. non-bona fide. Not the IRS or the OTP thread.

Oh, wait. So, ANY religious concern is bona fide, depending primarily upon the religion? I guess that makes a kind of sense.
   604. zonk Posted: April 09, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4683020)
I'm pretty sure that this is what the SCt is going to hold. Kennedy will find that closely held businesses have to be given some leeway if they're essentially the owner's alter ego, but I bet he'll find that Hobby Lobby hasn't yet met this standard and punt it back to the lower court for further proceedings. a decision like that could have interesting implications for personal liability; hard to say that you're not liable for the company's debts if you've gone on record as saying that the company shares your religious beliefs.


Interesting take... and it's altogether nice to potentially find an instance where the legal personhood of incorporation might, for a change, actually carry some of the responsibilities of individual personhood.

I think this would be an acceptable result for me -- indemnification at a price, just as it is for everyone else...
   605. Ron J2 Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4683022)
it has the GOP picking up 5 net seats


That's what I get as the single most likely result looking at it on a seat by seat basis (using the projections at Cook).

That said, I get the next most likely result is GOP +6 followed by GOP +4. And it's early days yet.

   606. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4683028)
a decision like that could have interesting implications for personal liability; hard to say that you're not liable for the company's debts if you've gone on record as saying that the company shares your religious beliefs.


I can't remember where, but I read a spin on this - maybe a Kos diary that some of my Facebook folks linked to - that basically argued the lack of amicus briefs from any other corporate entities was a tell-tale sign of where the larger corporate community came down, for this very reason. Basically, once you go all in on the "corporations are people, my friend" then suddenly the idea of the corporate owners of BP not being *personally* liable for massive oil spills is called distinctly into question.

Of course, the Hobby Lobby contingent want the protection but not the cost of incorporation. Something about the welfare class always looking for a free ride or something...
   607. Shredder Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4683029)
Oh, wait. So, ANY religious concern is bona fide, depending primarily upon the religion? I guess that makes a kind of sense.
Apparently something can be a bona-fide religious concern even though it wasn't particularly a concern of any sort until such time as a law was passed that irked conservatives, at which point it became a concern, but not too much of a concern that the company with the bona-fide religious concern wasn't still willing to make money off of investments in the companies producing the items creating the bona-fide concern.
   608. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4683031)
That said, I get the next most likely result is GOP +6 followed by GOP +4. And it's early days yet.


Most everyone else here, by my accounting, is on board with the 4-6 range, barring Clapper who is all in on the ACA and Obama's net negatives carrying the Dems down in a landslide wave of -6 to -10. Everyone accepts the fundamentals of the second term midterms. YC wants to say there's a much larger political uprising of teaper/conservatives about to swing the Senate massively in favor of the GOP.
   609. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4683032)
To expand further on Eich, the only group or business to come out publicly against his being made CEO was Rarebit Software, which is run by a married gay couple, one of whom was able to stay in this country on a green card because of the marriage. So Eich publicly opposed both their marriage and their business, which seems to me reasonable grounds to end a business relationship.
   610. JE (Jason) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4683038)
So, ANY religious concern is bona fide, depending primarily upon the religion? I guess that makes a kind of sense.

I suspect you didn't see my original comment, Lassus' question, and my response.
   611. JE (Jason) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4683046)
Most everyone else here, by my accounting, is on board with the 4-6 range, barring Clapper who is all in on the ACA and Obama's net negatives carrying the Dems down in a landslide wave of -6 to -10. Everyone accepts the fundamentals of the second term midterms. YC wants to say there's a much larger political uprising of teaper/conservatives about to swing the Senate massively in favor of the GOP.

A six-seat shift in the Senate is no landslide, Sam.

Anyway, you suspected it could be four, but more likely five or six. I said six, maybe seven. Ultimately, we bet a six-pack of Czech beer on six or lower versus seven or higher.
   612. zonk Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4683055)


Most everyone else here, by my accounting, is on board with the 4-6 range, barring Clapper who is all in on the ACA and Obama's net negatives carrying the Dems down in a landslide wave of -6 to -10. Everyone accepts the fundamentals of the second term midterms. YC wants to say there's a much larger political uprising of teaper/conservatives about to swing the Senate massively in favor of the GOP.


I think YC likes to chest thump the uprising stuff, but I think he's also fallen back the obvious... It's just a brutal Senate map for the Democrats - worst I can remember in a long-time... They've got a couple should-be red Senate seats held by state-beloved Dems who are retiring, a couple more 1 termers who squeaked in with some likely turnout coattails from Obama 08, a couple more always-endangered deep red state Senators, and a couple retiring swing state Senators. It's a perfect storm of a bad map, bad retirements, and bad cycle.

Even if unemployment were at 4% and the GOP had abandoned ACA SMASH! once SCOTUS blessed it, the Dems would still be looking at losing seats with a near certainty.

The upside is that the 2016 map is almost as brutal for the GOP and will be played out in a Pres year where Democratic turnout is better.... Heck - Illinois' Mark Kirk is already kissing Durbin/Democratic ass by refusing to endorse the GOP candidate running against Durbin.

   613. Shredder Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4683058)
I suspect you didn't see my original comment, Lassus' question, and my response.
Is this a response to me, or to Lassus?
   614. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4683059)
The upside is that the 2016 map is almost as brutal for the GOP and will be played out in a Pres year where Democratic turnout is better....


Agreed. I think the GOP has even odds of taking the Senate by a seat, maybe two in a great result for them. But they won't have a veto override, so they won't really get much in the way of legislative power. What they will have is a two year bully pulpit to try to spin Darryl Issa's witch hunting into an "impeachment," and I suspect the true believers in the Teaper corps will demand just that.
   615. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4683075)
What they will have is a two year bully pulpit to try to spin Darryl Issa's witch hunting into an "impeachment," and I suspect the true believers in the Teaper corps will demand just that.


We can't be so lucky that the GOP tries to impeach Obama, can we? Because that would be awesome. Like truly a gift.

If we get that plus the Tea Party newly resurgent and certain of their just cause because of some bad map Senate wins, then well it will sure take most of the sting out of those losses.
   616. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4683082)
PPP shows GOP Governors down in the polls in PA, FL, ME, GA, KS with MI showing Gov. Snyder clinging to a 4 point lead.

BUT WHAT IS OBAMA'S APPROVAL RATING?
   617. bunyon Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4683100)

We can't be so lucky that the GOP tries to impeach Obama, can we? Because that would be awesome. Like truly a gift.

If we get that plus the Tea Party newly resurgent and certain of their just cause because of some bad map Senate wins, then well it will sure take most of the sting out of those losses.


It'll be just like the Clinton impeachment. Democrats would rule forever.
   618. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4683107)
It's just a brutal Senate map for the Democrats - worst I can remember in a long-time...


It's "brutal" because they won big in 2008, and 2016 is brutal for the Rs because they won big in 2010.

It's still early, but I'm thinking either a 5 or 6 seat gain for the Rs, obviously they'll claim "victory" either way, but unless they gain 7 or more I don't see it (of course 6 gets them in control of the Senate, but all they need to do is [re]take solidly red states ti gain that much)

The House will be interesting

from 2006 to 2012 they have won a majority of house votes (votes not seats) just once, in 2010. They are currently down 1.6 in the RCP generic ballot, and have under-performed the RCP generic ballot since 2006 (including 2010 btw)- do they gain seats? lose seats? hold serve? Will voter suppression start yielding fruit?
   619. Lassus Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4683114)
I suspect you didn't see my original comment, Lassus' question, and my response.
Is this a response to me, or to Lassus?


I agree. Help.
   620. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4683116)
UT WHAT IS OBAMA'S APPROVAL RATING?


-9 per RCP

Congress is -66
The Dem party is -11 (Pollster)
The GOP is -26 (you won't hear that from YC)
   621. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4683119)
It'll be just like the Clinton impeachment. Democrats would rule forever.


Are you suggesting that impeachment was good for the GOP brand? Even neutral?

I never suggested it was a silver bullet, but I think it would be great for Team Blue; especially since while ridiculous, Clinton was impeached over something, and it had sex in it so people got all worked up. And even then it was a huge GOP overreach in the end.

Impeaching Obama, however, is laughable. What on earth has he done that is worthy and interesting enough to gin up excitement? (Please say Benghazi! as I have had a bad last day or so - though things are looking up - and I could use the laugh)
   622. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4683129)
It's "brutal" because they won big in 2008, and 2016 is brutal for the Rs because they won big in 2010.


That's also why GOP Governors face a tough landscape in 2014, they won in the GOP sweep of 2010, then found out that governing is really, really difficult!
   623. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4683148)
just wanted to see if YC wants to comment on RCP's current Senate Aggregate (no toss ups) which has the Dems retaining the Senate

And last week they had the GOP taking 6 seats and controlling the Senate. It appears that RCP flipped the Michigan race, which was always close, based on polling that was just a little bit better for the Democrat but still well below 50%. They are also giving the Democrats several states where the GOP primary hasn't even taken place. RCP lists North Carolina, Michigan, Iowa & Colorado remaining Democratic, as well as a Democratic pick-up in Kentucky. I simply don't think that winning all those races is the most likely outcome in November even if current polling gives Democrats narrow leads in those races. As others have noted, there are reasons to have some doubts about some Senate polls. Holding the Senate, even if it by the skin of their teeth and Joe Biden's tie-breaking vote, would be an accomplishment for the Democrats, but I, and many others, don't see that as the most likely outcome, and I don't think anything has really changed the current electoral dynamic even if RCP's formula changes its No Toss Ups Map, perhaps for only a few days.
   624. bunyon Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4683149)
I'm simply saying that the battle lines aren't really Obama and ACA. Those are the things people are fighting over but I'm coming to the conclusion that they're fighting because they simply don't like each other. So, a meritless impeachment would gin up both sides. I don't think anyone will cross lines because of it.

And, no, I don't think impeachment really hurt the Republicans. Not as much as it should in a rational world, anyway.
   625. zonk Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4683157)
Heh... Darrell Issa is getting friendly fire from his own side because he keeps promising fireworks and then delivering quiet little stale farts... You'd think he'd learned from his days as a car thief -- you don't promise your buyer you'll lift 'em a Ferrari, show up with a Fiero, and claim it's just as good.

   626. Shredder Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4683164)
You'd think he'd learned from his days as a car thief -- you don't promise your buyer you'll lift 'em a Ferrari, show up with a Fiero, and claim it's just as good.
Maybe if things start getting really bad for him, he'll just burn down the Capitol and collect the insurance money.
   627. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4683179)
It'll be just like the Clinton impeachment. Democrats would rule forever.


I prefer Rove's 2000 era blabberings about a permanent Republican majority, about how once the GOP controlled both houses of Congress and the POTUS, they would enact their agenda, which would be so successful that it would work a wholesale re-alignment of the US political landscape the likes of which had not been seen since 1932... good times...

   628. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 09, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4683185)
but I, and many others, don't see that as the most likely outcome


really? I, and many others are surprised that you think so.
:-)
   629. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4683196)
I prefer Rove's 2000 era blabberings about a permanent Republican majority, about how once the GOP controlled both houses of Congress and the POTUS, they would enact their agenda, which would be so successful that it would work a wholesale re-alignment of the US political landscape the likes of which had not been seen since 1932... good times...



Even in '04 Dems were buying the notion that conservative Christians now-engaged, would create a voting bloc that would give the GOP the upper-hand for a generation unless Dems somehow did sufficient outreach to churches. Less than a decade later, gay marriage is a winning issue for Dems, and many of those conservative Christians are dying out.
   630. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 09, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4683213)
Even in '04 Dems were buying the notion that conservative Christians now-engaged, would create a voting bloc that would give the GOP the upper-hand for a generation unless Dems somehow did sufficient outreach to churches. Less than a decade later, gay marriage is a winning issue for Dems, and many of those conservative Christians are dying out.


2002.
   631. JE (Jason) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4683240)
Is this a response to me, or to Lassus?

You (Shredder).
   632. zenbitz Posted: April 09, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4683246)
Based on me waking up from my coma that that I fell into in 1991, There is a permanent Republican majority. They just call themselves Democrats now.
   633. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 09, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4683293)
I think the GOP has even odds of taking the Senate by a seat, maybe two in a great result for them. But they won't have a veto override, so they won't really get much in the way of legislative power. What they will have is a two year bully pulpit to try to spin Darryl Issa's witch hunting into an "impeachment," and I suspect the true believers in the Teaper corps will demand just that.

Not even a GOP headed up by Kehoskie could even be that stupid.** Christ, talk about "Whatever you do, please don't throw me in dat briar patch!"

**Forget Hillary. If Bill Clinton could run again in 2016, the entire Republican Party would drop dead in fright.
   634. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4683341)

Move along, nothing to see ...

BREAKING: Emails show Lois Lerner fed True the Vote tax information to Democrat Elijah Cummings

Meanwhile, a close friend of Dem Sen. Bob Menendez overbilled Medicare by $9 million, but still hasn't been prosecuted ...

Here's The Controversial Doctor Who Got A Whopping $21 Million From Medicare
   635. steagles Posted: April 09, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4683428)
Move along, nothing to see ...

BREAKING: Emails show Lois Lerner fed True the Vote tax information to Democrat Elijah Cummings
more selective leaks from darrell issa? and it portrays his opponents poorly? i'm absolutely shocked!
   636. Guapo Posted: April 09, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4683443)

Move along, nothing to see ...

BREAKING: Emails show Lois Lerner fed True the Vote tax information to Democrat Elijah Cummings


Those emails show the Committee asking the IRS for any PUBLICLY AVAILABLE information regarding True the Vote, Lois Lerner following up with her underlings to see if they responded, and then one of the underlings emailing about the PUBLICLY AVAILABLE information that could be provided.

So I'm going to concur with your "move along, nothing to see" diagnosis.
   637. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4683447)
Those emails show the Committee asking the IRS for any PUBLICLY AVAILABLE information regarding True the Vote, Lois Lerner following up with her underlings to see if they responded, and then one of the underlings emailing about the PUBLICLY AVAILABLE information that could be provided.

So I'm going to concur with your "move along, nothing to see" diagnosis.

They show Elijah Cummings, the Democrat ranking member, lied.

Move along, nothing to see, indeed.
   638. Guapo Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:16 PM (#4683457)
The allegation was that Cummings colluded with the IRS to target True the Vote. Those emails don't show that.
   639. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4683464)
The allegation was that Cummings colluded with the IRS to target True the Vote. Those emails don't show that.

LOL.
   640. Guapo Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4683467)
LOL.


GNITE
   641. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4683470)
   642. steagles Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4683473)
They show Elijah Cummings, the Democrat ranking member, lied.

Move along, nothing to see, indeed.
what action would you suggest taking? i'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you actually think this is a serious offense and not just a spurious political attack, so i'd like to know what you think should be done.
   643. JE (Jason) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4683476)
Sam and one or two others might be interested in Yuval Levin's response to Krugman and Klein:
That progressive preference for centralized expertise and authority ultimately assumes the possibility of a vantage point outside society from which the social scientist and social manager can view the whole and not just parts. Klein quotes Dan Kahan, the Yale professor whose research about confirmation bias he highlights, articulating the ideal of such detachment: “My hypothesis is we can use reason to identify the sources of the threats to our reason and then we can use our reason to devise methods to manage and control those processes.” This has long been the hope of progressives seeking to use social science to overcome the limits of politics, and indeed the hope of rationalist philosophers throughout the history of the West.

But understanding human limitations does not mean we can overcome them. It only means we can’t pretend they don’t exist. It should point us toward humility, not hubris. And in politics and policy, understanding the limitation that Klein highlights should point us away from technocratic overconfidence and toward an idea of a government that enables society to address its problems through incremental, local, trial-and-error learning processes rather than centrally managed wholesale transformations of large systems.

Klein, to his credit, seems genuinely skeptical about whether Kahan’s ambitions are plausible. For one thing, unlike Krugman, he acknowledges the vulnerability of everyone in our politics to confirmation bias. He accepts the proposition that it’s as prevalent on the Left as on the Right, though he does seem to have some trouble finding examples on his own side of the aisle. They are not so hard to come by. He points out, for instance, that confirmation bias can be especially problematic regarding issues “where action is needed quickly to prevent a disaster that will happen slowly.” Madison pointed to the very same problem. And while Klein can only think of conservative attitudes toward climate change when looking for an example of this, he could easily have found another instance much closer to home if he were not inclined to ignore it.

But in the end, it is not clear if Klein accepts Madison’s notion that these limits on human knowledge and on its effectiveness are permanent and universal, and so accepts the need for a system that limits the damage that hubris might cause while making room for a constructive politics and an effective government. Rather, he suggests that these limits on our knowledge are a function of systems set up to keep our minds closed. “Washington is a bitter war between two well-funded, sharply-defined tribes that have their own machines for generating evidence and their own enforcers of orthodoxy,” Klein writes. “It’s a perfect storm for making smart people very stupid.”[

“The silver lining,” Klein continues, “is that politics doesn’t just take place in Washington.” And he suggests that outside the gilded capital, people should be far better able to judge policies by their outcomes and remain free of partisan sentiments and of confirmation bias. Here again is the progressive assumption that, free of the nefarious influence of landed interests, the people can in fact overcome what only seem to be the limits of our reason and knowledge. And so, having come around at last to the peculiar mix of populism and technocracy that has always characterized American progressivism, Klein ends up suggesting that it is after all our system of government that is the problem here. He began his essay by wrongly attributing to the Constitution the view that political differences are just misunderstandings so that he could conclude by stepping up to defend a version of that view himself, and could offer his political vision as a vindication of the constitutional order rather than a rejection of it.

But a rejection of it is what it seems to be. “If American politics is going to improve, it will be better structures, not better arguments, that win the day,” Klein concludes.

My own sense is that if American politics is going to help American society improve, it will be better policies that make that possible, and the constitutional structures we have—precisely because they are built upon a realistic understanding of human limits and a sense that government’s purpose is to sustain the space in which society can function and to enable everyone to benefit from what happens there—are very well suited to allowing for that kind of politics of bottom-up improvement. The liberal welfare state is not. It is the task of conservatives in the coming years to make to the public—concretely, issue by issue, with evidence and argument, as both a political vision and a policy agenda—the case for the former over the latter, secure in the conviction that arguments matter…at least up to a point.

Much, much more here.
   644. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 09, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4683478)
My own sense is that if American politics is going to help American society improve, it will be better policies that make that possible, and the constitutional structures we have—precisely because they are built upon a realistic understanding of human limits and a sense that government’s purpose is to sustain the space in which society can function and to enable everyone to benefit from what happens there—are very well suited to allowing for that kind of politics of bottom-up improvement.


I'll read the longer piece tomorrow - don't have the mental bandwidth to read it in a friendly manner tonight; mind's just not in that space with a Mets game on... But I will throw out an initial thought to the quoted bit here of your quoted bit up there:

Why do we assume the founders' vision of social arrangement was a "realistic understanding of human limits" rather than, well, you know, a confirmation of their own biases and passions coming out of a rather heated skirmish with their until-recently-fellow-countrymen?
   645. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 09, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4683482)
But before I go, I'll throw out this bit of Oakeshott, critiquing Hobbes, as provided for by the ever useful Ta-Nahesi Coates:

The blood of contention ran in his veins. He acquired the lucid genius of a great expositor of ideas; but by disposition he was a fighter, and he knew no tactics save attack. He was a brilliant controversialist, deft, pertinacious and imaginative, and he disposed of the errors of scholastics, Puritans and Papists with a subtle mixture of argument and ridicule.

But he made the mistake of supposing that this style was universally effective, in mathematics no less than in politics. For brilliance in controversy is a corrupting accomplishment. Always to play to win is to take one’s standards from one’s opponent, and local victory comes to displace every other consideration. Most readers will find Hobbes’s disputatiousness excessive; but it is the defect of an exceptionally active mind.

And it never quite destroyed in him the distinction between beating an opponent and establishing a proposition, and never quite silenced the conversation with himself which is the heart of philosophical thinking. But, like many controversialists, he hated error more than he loved truth, and came to depend overmuch on the stimulus of opposition. There is sagacity in Hobbes, and often a profound deliberateness; but there is no repose.


Barring that bit about being a "lucid genius of a great expositor of ideas" I'll cop to the rest, in keeping with my long-term theme of "more Hobbes, less Locke."
   646. JE (Jason) Posted: April 09, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4683485)
Why do we assume the founders' vision of social arrangement was a "realistic understanding of human limits" rather than, well, you know, a confirmation of their own biases and passions coming out of a rather heated skirmish with their until-recently-fellow-countrymen?

You're right, Sam: Your mental bandwidth is running on empty. :-) Be sure to read and comment on it tomorrow ... while I'm driving to NY.
   647. zenbitz Posted: April 09, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4683498)
I think Sam's dead on here. Levin says "well both sides have confirmation bias but I am SURE that the Liberal Welfare State to which I am strongly biased against is wrong". He probably has a point that the Liberal confirmation bias is that THE SYSTEM IS WRONG. This is why it's the opposite of conservatism, who's bias strongly suggests THE SYSTEM CAN ONLY BE FAILED.

His last paragraph can be restated as "The Constitution as I interpret it today - at least the parts that I agree with - should work just fine, thanks".

The only way to deal with confirmation bias is to FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE IT as the driving force behind ALL HUMAN THOUGHTS AND DECISIONS no matter how rational / level-headed / unbiased you think you are being. The only way to get around your own confirmation bias is to constantly challenge and argue all ideas and ideals. Even science -- which is really the only discipline that attempts to circumvent confirmation bias even a little is of course nothing but a big pile of assumptions and thoughts that haven't been adequately challenged yet.





   648. Publius Publicola Posted: April 09, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4683512)
There is sagacity in Hobbes, and often a profound deliberateness; but there is no repose.


I don't know. He looked pretty relaxed playing catch with his son in the wheat field at the end.
   649. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2014 at 11:00 PM (#4683548)
The only way to deal with confirmation bias is to FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE IT as the driving force behind ALL HUMAN THOUGHTS AND DECISIONS no matter how rational / level-headed / unbiased you think you are being. The only way to get around your own confirmation bias is to constantly challenge and argue all ideas and ideals. Even science -- which is really the only discipline that attempts to circumvent confirmation bias even a little is of course nothing but a big pile of assumptions and thoughts that haven't been adequately challenged yet.

That's easier said than done, and the cure enunciated here is almost wish fulfillment. Very few persons can play both sides. Darwin apparently could. There were files with papers found after his death where he elaborately and painstakingly questioned his opinions and beliefs. But that's rare. Einstein even fudged his theory so as to deny QM. David Hume in his treatise on natural religion and Plato in the Socratic exchanges pretend at questioning themselves, but it's obvious that it's all rigged for a certain end.

No, you have to have a system where there is a real adversary. Good lawyers know this. That's why they have mock trials where another lawyer is a Devil's Advocate and the like before they actually go to trial. Unless you're that rare creature like Darwin, you can't depend on yourself being fair and even-handed. For we all are prone to confirmation bias; it goes hand in hand with our ideological immunity mental framework. We want to reject what doesn't comport with what we think just like a body wants to reject an alien organ transplant. There's nothing wrong with confirmation bias in and of itself. It's a beginning. It's a way of making a case. But that's not how a case is decided in that world outside of your mind. So, to test your beliefs, and they will be tested, and should be tested, you need to go beyond merely questioning (which is usually just a pretense) yourself. You need to hear the other side really make its case, and you need to take it seriously by countering it. It's not enough just ignore that counter-argument and simply restate your case. That's clown talk, bro. And of course it's what we do so well--because it's all we really want to do, all we really think is necessary to do (our precious sensibilities tell us). We don't want to stand trial, even if The Who says we have to.
   650. Morty Causa Posted: April 09, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4683552)
Why do we assume the founders' vision of social arrangement was a "realistic understanding of human limits" rather than, well, you know, a confirmation of their own biases and passions coming out of a rather heated skirmish with their until-recently-fellow-countrymen?

And why should we assume that they were giving us immutable absolute law. Even more so, if they did, so what? Why would that immutably bind us. We are the Devil's Advocate to that stance. It is our job to challenge that understanding when it comes into play. And the best of them would be disappointed if we didn't.
   651. Howie Menckel Posted: April 09, 2014 at 11:11 PM (#4683553)
none of us can really claim a complete lack of bias, of course, but I find it interesting as a lifelong independent who follows politics that I do not ever remember which party are Red States and which are Blue States, even after all these years.

Neither party appeals to me, frankly, but I understand if that seems impossible to believe. maybe I'm color blind

:)
   652. steagles Posted: April 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4683571)
none of us can really claim a complete lack of bias, of course, but I find it interesting as a lifelong independent who follows politics that I do not ever remember which party are Red States and which are Blue States, even after all these years.

Neither party appeals to me, frankly, but I understand if that seems impossible to believe. maybe I'm color blind

:)
xkcd for your sentiment.
   653. tshipman Posted: April 10, 2014 at 01:59 AM (#4683600)
Oh, I see it's been a couple months since Howie informed us how superior he is.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Repost this if ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ you are a strong, independent voter ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ who don’t need no party~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Edit: Dammit, formatting worked in preview.
   654. steagles Posted: April 10, 2014 at 02:04 AM (#4683602)
there is no appeasing russia's mad king:
The biggest casualty for the West will not be the countries which already are, or strive to be, Western allies, but rather the principles on which the Western world is built. The truth is that Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova are being punished by Russia for their desire to live in a free and democratic society — one very different from the Putin model.

The basic facts are very clear. Russia presents the greatest challenge to international law and order since the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. And even though the West has much greater superiority over Russia — both economically and militarily — than it ever had over the Soviet Union, today's leaders are reluctant to take advantage of this asymmetry.

The problem, perhaps, is due to the ambivalence of most regional experts that guide Western leaders' thinking. Their fundamental misreading of Russia is based on the fact that they don't understand the difference between the Soviet nomenclatura and modern Russia's corrupt elite. They grossly underestimate the attachment of Russian elites to their mansions and bank accounts in the West. Likewise, Moscow's key decision-makers are way more dependent financially and psychologically on the West than the bureaucrats of the Brezhnev era. Sanctions can successfully divide this group from Putin's inside circle, but they have to go further and exact greater pain.
   655. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 04:28 AM (#4683610)
a decision like that could have interesting implications for personal liability; hard to say that you're not liable for the company's debts if you've gone on record as saying that the company shares your religious beliefs.
It has no "implications" for personal liability, which is statutory, not logically derived from some first principle. In any case, as Professor Bainbridge has pointed out, reverse veil piercing is an established doctrine that does not require straight veil piercing.
   656. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2014 at 06:50 AM (#4683615)
Oh jesus, Howie is nowhere close to requiring that kind of shrillness in response.
   657. Howie Menckel Posted: April 10, 2014 at 07:18 AM (#4683618)

"Oh, I see it's been a couple months since Howie informed us how superior he is."

Actually, I think it would be quite reasonable for someone to think I'm not very bright if I can't remember which are blue and which are red.

:)

I can't explain why I can't/don't remember, but I suspect your response tells us more about you than it does about me. I'm telling an honest curious nugget, yet you can only take it as some sort of evil manipulative comment.

Lighten up, Francis.

   658. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 10, 2014 at 07:38 AM (#4683624)
In my on-going campaign to make this thread about the GA governor's election, yesterday the state lost a 700K judgement (likely to break 1M after fees are added in) in a law suit brought by the former state ethics commissioner (R) who was mysteriously let go in 2010 when she was looking into then candidate Nathan Deal's ethics record. In the intervening years, Nathan Deal has gotten really, really rich during his time as governor. Coincidence I'm sure.
   659. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 10, 2014 at 07:39 AM (#4683625)
Howie, Viagra has that effect on memory. It's either or in your dotage, man.
   660. Lassus Posted: April 10, 2014 at 08:13 AM (#4683631)
Howie, Viagra has that effect on memory. It's either or in your dotage, man.

Someone's in their dotage. Or from Georgia.
   661. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 10, 2014 at 08:47 AM (#4683653)
http://mashable.com/2014/04/09/heartbleed-bug-websites-affected/
   662. JE (Jason) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4683659)
Per columnist Ben Domenech, Joe Wilson says hi*:


On April 1st, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a new guidance document to health insurers. The CMS guidance says that people whose immigration status is uncertain will be presumed eligible for subsidized coverage in Obamacare’s marketplaces while a further review is pending. Emphasis mine:

Question:

Can individuals upload immigration verification documents on http://healthcare.gov/, and who reviews the documents that individuals upload on http://healthcare.gov/?

Answer:

Yes, consumers can upload documents supporting their attestation of an eligible immigration status if asked to provide more information to the Marketplace.

Consumers who attest to an eligible immigration status while completing the application for coverage will be asked to provide the Marketplace with information about the type of immigration document that they have supporting their status. The Marketplace will attempt to match the information provided with information contained in data sources used for eligibility verification. If any of the information provided does not match information contained in data sources used for eligibility verification, it’s called an application inconsistency.

If there is an application inconsistency, the Marketplace will provide the consumer with eligibility while the inconsistency is being resolved based on the information provided on the application. The Marketplace may ask the consumer to provide additional information to the Marketplace to review in order to resolve the inconsistency. Consumers can either upload a copy of the requested document(s) showing their information to their My Account on Healthcare.gov or mail in a copy of their document(s) to the Marketplace at [the appropriate address].


...

While Obamacare specifically says undocumented immigrants are not eligible for subsidized coverage in the exchanges, it’s hard to see this directive to insurers as anything but an encouragement to willfully disregard the spirit of the statute. How long will it take to verify these questionable applications? How much money is being spent right now to subsidize such coverage? How would the government recoup any taxpayer dollars spent subsidizing illegal immigrants who inappropriately obtained subsidies?

This latest policy is of a piece with the prior quiet announcements from the administration that verification of eligibility in state exchanges would operate on the honor system, an honor system for employers incentivizing them to lie tied to delay of the employer mandate, and an honor system now being deployed in state exchanges for “qualifying life events” to obtain subsidized insurance.

At each turn in the creation of the exchange structure, the administration basically said “trust us” on implementation. Now they’re saying “trust us” on whether or not the eligibility of these applications with questionable immigration status will be confirmed in a timely way. Of course, they’d never stoop to playing politics with the enforcement of the law to try to boost subsidized enrollment, regardless of whether or not recipients are qualified… would they?


* For the umteenth time, I'm not justifying his shout.
   663. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4683663)
So the position in 662 is that if there is some inconsistency, some question about an applicant they should be denied any coverage?

Essentially they like guilty until proven innocent, while the administration prefers innocent until proven guilty. People who hate ACA would like the default position to be you have to prove you deserve it, while people who want to see people insured seem to want coverage to be the default until the questions are resolved.

This is a shock? Team Red wants to make a government benefit harder to get, wants as many limits in place as possible, while Team Blue sees value in making those benefits easier. Both sides agree that if someone is found to be ineligible then the service is removed. Gosh.

Personally I would like to see some analysis that showed the cost/benefit of the various strategies. How much is spent in extra (undeserved) benefits with "loose" enforcement versus how much does the additional enforcement cost, both in dollars and in people denied services that they are entitled to while they are on hold during the investigation using "strict" enforcement.

I am reminded of the dumb drug testing for government benefits GOP policy, where pretty much every time the cost of the enforcement outweighs the savings in reduced payments (because the GOP will gladly pay extra money to deny benefits to "those" people, every time).
   664. JE (Jason) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4683664)
Ruth Marcus: Democrats' equal-pay demagoguery:
Here’s a radical notion: It is simultaneously possible to believe that women are entitled to equal pay and to not support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Not that you’d know it from the rhetoric President Obama and fellow Democrat are happily flinging at Republicans who dare to oppose the measure.
   665. JE (Jason) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4683666)
Essentially they like guilty until proven innocent, while the administration prefers innocent until proven guilty.

So when I signed up for Global Entry last year, Mouse, the TSA shouldn't have checked to see if the information I provided was accurate? Was I presumed guilty? Oh where, oh where was "Team Blue" when I needed them?
   666. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4683667)
Sorry Howie -- I don't believe that you don't know what the red and blue states are.
   667. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4683672)
So when I signed up for Global Entry last year, Mouse, the TSA shouldn't have checked to see if the information I provided was accurate? Was I presumed guilty?


Given your travel history and complexion, probably.
   668. Shredder Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4683673)
Per columnist Ben Domenech
I wonder who wrote it first?
So when I signed up for Global Entry last year, Mouse, the TSA shouldn't have checked to see if the information I provided was accurate?
It is quite possible that an illegal immigrant could scam the health care system so that he can blow up a building with his health insurance policy, so you're absolutely right to equate the two vetting processes, since they both relate to matters of individual safety and national security.
   669. JE (Jason) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4683675)
Given your travel history and complexion, probably.

Hehehe.
   670. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 10, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4683689)
So when I signed up for Global Entry last year, Mouse, the TSA shouldn't have checked to see if the information I provided was accurate? Was I presumed guilty? Oh where, oh where was "Team Blue" when I needed them?


Because all risk/reward (cost/benefit) are exactly the same. The risks around flying* and letting people have health insurance are exactly the same. Why should we do any sort of analysis to determine the costs and benefits of any action? We should insist on maximum checks for every single interaction with the government.**

* Note: This note is here because I think much of what TSA does is ridiculous security theater and I would rather not ever have to defend their ridiculous policies. However I do recognize that even though TSA goes way too far, the risks are very different between letting an armed terrorist on a plane versus letting someone ineligible receive health insurance. Why you don't seem to see the difference puzzles me.

** Yes, most of this paragraph is sarcasm. I think we should use cost/benefit analysis and common sense to determine the mechanism for enforcement of various regulations and other interactions with the government. I am crazy that way.

EDIT: Or what Shredder said, better and faster than me. Shredder should be denied health insurance. And waterboarded. With Coke I supply.
   671. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4683691)
Ruth Marcus: Democrats' equal-pay demagoguery:

Here’s a radical notion: It is simultaneously possible to believe that women are entitled to equal pay and to not support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Not that you’d know it from the rhetoric President Obama and fellow Democrat are happily flinging at Republicans who dare to oppose the measure.


And not that you'd know it from the above snippet, but Marcus still supports the Paycheck Fairness Act.

   672. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4683695)
Not that you’d know it from the rhetoric President Obama and fellow Democrat are happily flinging at Republicans who dare to oppose the measure.


How dare Democrats play politics and advance bills they know will fail only for partisan gain? Excuse me there is another ACA repeal bill in the House I need to vote on, and after that we're voting on the Ryan Budget. What?
   673. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4683704)
Speaking of equal pay, I must admit I approve of the Dems going with that and Minimum wage. Good solid left wing populist issues to run on. I don't know that it will help in 2014, but it couldn't hurt and it seems to be making the GOP uncomfortable. I also would like to see them continue putting the immigration reform pressure on (though that does not play as well to the likely 2014 voter) and also talk about increasing the Social Security payouts.

In terms of other issues, I know Wall Street is too powerful, but I would love to see a transaction fee put on trades to limit high frequency trading. But that and raising the estate tax, raising the capital gains tax, closing the earned interest loophole, reducing subsidies for a variety of corporations and so on are kind of pipe dreams at this point.
   674. BrianBrianson Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4683706)
Bitter Mouse yes, same. A fair day's wage for a fair day's work is by far the best way for the Democrats to go after persuadable voters.
   675. JE (Jason) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4683707)
It is quite possible that an illegal immigrant could scam the health care system so that he can blow up a building with his health insurance policy, so you're absolutely right to equate the two vetting processes, since they both relate to matters of individual safety and national security.

No one's asking for the same vetting process, Shredder, just a vetting process. Instead, we now have to await the stories of dead Chicagoans signing up for Obamacare just so the White House could reach that pixie-dust coated seven-million figure.
And not that you'd know it from the above snippet, but Marcus still supports the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Um, that's clearly not what motivated her to write the column.
How dare Democrats play politics and advance bills they know will fail only for partisan gain? Excuse me there is another ACA repeal bill in the House I need to vote on, and after that we're voting on the Ryan Budget. What?

Again, it's the rhetoric that Marcus finds offensive.
   676. JE (Jason) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4683710)
Good solid left wing populist issues to run on.

I agree with you. "Left wing populist issues" worked so well in 2010.
   677. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4683717)
This is going to be like voter fraud. The right will scream bloody murder about all of the people signing up for Obamacare illegally without providing any evidence that it's a real problem.
   678. GordonShumway Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4683722)
I guess I'm the only one here who's rooting for a big R sweep in 2014 and a D POTUS by a slim margin in 2016?

I'm in a demographic group which neither party cares about and will throw under the bus without a second thought, so I prefer political gridlock over one party taking power.
   679. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4683730)
And not that you'd know it from the above snippet, but Marcus still supports the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Um, that's clearly not what motivated her to write the column.


Obviously not, but in fact your point would have been made even stronger if you'd noted that she still supports the bill in spite of the excess rhetoric. Marcus criticizing Obama isn't exactly Man Bites Dog news.
   680. Shredder Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4683731)
No one's asking for the same vetting process, Shredder, just a vetting process. Instead, we now have to await the stories of dead Chicagoans signing up for Obamacare just so the White House could reach that pixie-dust coated seven-million figure.
Maybe you missed this part:
If there is an application inconsistency, the Marketplace will provide the consumer with eligibility while the inconsistency is being resolved based on the information provided on the application. The Marketplace may ask the consumer to provide additional information to the Marketplace to review in order to resolve the inconsistency.
Most people would call that a vetting process. They're just saying they're giving people the benefit of the doubt while their documents are being vetted.

And oh yeah, can't end your comment without dropping in a quick "THEY'RE COOKING THE BOOKS!!!!". Maybe this is why republicans are so skeptical of the sign up process for the ACA. They're so used to throwing out baseless claims backed up by no evidence that they just assume everyone does it.
   681. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4683735)
This is going to be like voter fraud. The right will scream bloody murder about all of the people signing up for Obamacare illegally without providing any evidence that it's a real problem.

On the subject of voter fraud, I wonder how many Republicans will support Bill Clinton's proposal to simply add a photo to Social Security cards, which can then be used for voter ID.
   682. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4683737)
I guess I'm the only one here who's rooting for a big R sweep in 2014 and a D POTUS by a slim margin in 2016?

Nope. If it looks like the Republicans will retain the House and Senate in 2016 when the polling becomes solid that fall, I almost certainly will vote the Democrat POTUS candidate. I much prefer a Republican sweep to a Democrat sweep, but that's entirely out of the authoritarian progressivism that's in vogue among Democrats rather than any shred of liking of Republicans and I'd be far happier with split government. The exception is if a dangerous extremist like Warren ends up getting the nod (who knows what happens if HRC doesn't run), in which case I'll end up holding my nose and voting for the GOP sweep.

I'm kind of amused that despite my disdain for both parties, I'm actually someone the parties ought to care about - I'm a college-educated, suburban, white, middle class male Ohio voter with a long history of voting both for Democrats and Republicans.
   683. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 10, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4683739)
I guess I'm the only one here who's rooting for a big R sweep in 2014 and a D POTUS by a slim margin in 2016?


I'm sure you're joined by some others...

as for the lefties, I think they're hoping for
- R by a narrow margin in 2014, BIG D sweep in 2016

I think the righties are hoping for
- Big R sweep in 2014, hold on to Senate in 2016 and an R POTUS in 2016,

one scenario that's possible given how so many Senate seats are in "hostile" hands up for garbs in 2014/2016- is that the Rs could improve with the country overall enough to take the White House in 2016, add to their House majority and yet lose the Senate anyway - which I guess would get you th gridlock you're hoping for.
   684. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4683740)
On the subject of voter fraud, I wonder how many Republicans will support Bill Clinton's proposal to simply add a photo to Social Security cards, which can then be used for voter ID.

Who the hell knows where their social security card is?

Why is that easier to get/keep than a driver's license or non-driving equivalent?
   685. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4683743)
but that's entirely out of the authoritarian progressivism that's in vogue among Democrats rather than any shred of liking of Republicans and I'd be far happier with split government. The exception is if a dangerous extremist like Warren ends up getting the nod (who knows what happens if HRC doesn't run), in which case I'll end up holding my nose and voting for the GOP sweep.


A world in which Elizabeth Warren is a greater threat to liberty than Cheneyites. You live in an odd world, Dan.
   686. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4683757)
A world in which Elizabeth Warren is a greater threat to liberty than Cheneyites. You live in an odd world, Dan.

You do realize that the Obama administration has continued every single abuse of liberty by the National Security apparatus that you (rightly) condemn Bush/Cheney for?

Plus they've added their own infringements in other areas.
   687. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4683765)
Again, it's the rhetoric that Marcus finds offensive.


Speaking of rhetoric, more amusing than truly offensive:

“Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.”
-Fmr. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, April 2014

   688. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4683766)
You do realize that the Obama administration has continued every single abuse of liberty by the National Security apparatus that you (rightly) condemn Bush/Cheney for


I am. I'm also aware that pretending that things wouldn't have been advanced even further in those areas had the party of Cheney held power is absurd. Drone warfare and universal data collection is terrible. Torture and drones+full scale occupations is worse.

Plus they've added their own infringements in other areas.


Please elaborate. Please don't cite the ACA as an example.
Where, exactly?
   689. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4683769)
You do realize that the Obama administration has continued every single abuse of liberty by the National Security apparatus that you (rightly) condemn Bush/Cheney for?

Yeah, but Obama hasn't been mean-spirited about it.

(Obama has also added drone assassinations on his own call, including of minors.)
   690. Shredder Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4683771)
-Fmr. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, April 2014
Former Senator from the state where the Civil War began. I was in Charleston last month for the first time, and it's really a charming little town, but it did make me feel a bit queasy seeing monuments dedicated to treason in the defense of slavery.
   691. Ron J2 Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4683778)
I'm actually someone the parties ought to care about


The problem being that actual independents who actually vote are basically statistical noise. As I'm pretty sure you're aware, the vast majority of people who self-identify as independent are actually partisan voters. The remainder as a group are low turnout, low information voters. You can't win attempting to appeal to independents.
   692. Mefisto Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4683779)
I'm kind of amused that despite my disdain for both parties, I'm actually someone the parties ought to care about


No party will care about you if you disdain it.

Edit: Coke to RonJ2.
   693. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4683784)
On the subject of voter fraud, I wonder how many Republicans will support Bill Clinton's proposal to simply add a photo to Social Security cards, which can then be used for voter ID.

Who the hell knows where their social security card is?

Why is that easier to get/keep than a driver's license or non-driving equivalent?


Those are both reasonable questions, and Clinton needs to elaborate on his proposal.
   694. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4683786)
Why is that easier to get/keep than a driver's license or non-driving equivalent?


The primary benefit of using an updated SSC rather than a driver's license is that the SSC is federally issued, rather than state issued.
   695. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4683788)
Drone warfare and universal data collection is terrible. Torture and drones+full scale occupations is worse.


The parties are very different, but in some things they are sadly similar.

As you know, ah, you go to the voting booth with the choices you have – not the choices you might want or wish to have at a later time.

And team Blue has made some small and perhaps half hearted efforts regarding the NSA, torture, guantanamo and so on. Unfortunately there is not much political upside to that stuff and big political downside, and you can only fight on so many fronts at any one time. Other stuff has taken precedence, like ACA, Immigration, gun control (sort of), minimum wage, pay equity, and so on.
   696. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4683790)
You do realize that the Obama administration has continued every single abuse of liberty by the National Security apparatus that you (rightly) condemn Bush/Cheney for


I am. I'm also aware that pretending that things wouldn't have been advanced even further in those areas had the party of Cheney held power is absurd. Drone warfare and universal data collection is terrible. Torture and drones+full scale occupations is worse.

And so are the record number of deportations of non-criminal aliens that have earned Obama the tag of "Deporter-In-Chief". The only reason that this isn't a workable rhetorical point against him is that the Republicans are constantly blasting him for not deporting even more people.
   697. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4683801)
And so are the record number of deportations of non-criminal aliens that have earned Obama the tag of "Deporter-In-Chief". The only reason that this isn't a workable rhetorical point against him is that the Republicans are constantly blasting him for not deporting even more people.


Again, agreed in full. Obama has been terrible pretty much every time he's decided to play the DLC version of Wallace's famous "no other son-of-a-##### will ever out-###### me again" card. But also again, show me a better option. The GOP? Please. The part of Dan's position that makes it laughable isn't his horror at the Democrats' embrace of most of the Bush era security and permanent warfare state. It's that he argues that the GOP is a better option than the Dems who haven't repealed their original horrors.
   698. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4683802)
I'm also aware that pretending that things wouldn't have been advanced even further in those areas had the party of Cheney held power is absurd.

That only justifies a vote for Obama. It doesn't justify Obama's actions.
   699. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 10, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4683805)
But also again, show me a better option.

Abstaining, or voting for someone further left on these issues.

The two parties are putting up shitty choices, which is why Szym has basically written them off.(*) Why don't you just agree with him, since you basically believe the same thing? The system isn't going to get any better if Democrats just hold their noses and vote for people just because they aren't Republicans.

(*) And why I vote and pay attention, but have literally zero interest in the to-and-fro of Red and Blue between the 40-yard-lines.
   700. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4683809)

The two parties are putting up shitty choices, which is why Szym has basically written them off.(*) Why don't you just agree with him, since you basically believe the same thing? The system isn't going to get any better if Democrats just hold their noses and vote for people just because they aren't Republicans.


I haven't bothered voting since 2000. Then again, I've been a resident of Alabama for virtually all of that time; my vote(s) wouldn't matter a damn if they were multiplied by 1,000. Maybe 10,000, even.
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