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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   2401. Lassus Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:16 AM (#4323652)
flip


(everything else in the produce section is simply too much $/calorie)

LET THEM DRINK TANG

I had this discussion with Ray once, regarding how cheap orange juice was for 2 or 3 kids. No reason why someone would, say, buy orange drink instead.

I anticipate more yawning.
   2402. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4323653)
whatever one thinks of the president he is certainly all in on the negotiations. senator sessions griped about senators not being included but that is because the president has met with mayors, governors, and ceos from across the business spectrum. the president isn't trusting that twit sen reid or anyone else to carry his water (fatal mistake with aca). he's on point and he's generating external consensus to apply the requisite pressure on the speaker and others to deal.

that's a good approach and bully for him on being able to learn from his blunders

i may not like the final deal but i have to appreciate the tactics
   2403. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4323657)
2305. Jack Carter, International Man of Minstrelry Posted: December 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4323295)
@2300--yeah, that's a huge problem, all right.

But fine, I won't put words in your mouth.

Does our current economic system permit full unemployment? That seems like a straightforward question.


Just getting back to the thread. Of course our current economic system doesn't permit full employment. I don't think for a minute that its been possible for everyone who has wanted a job to have one, probably since the recession in the early 80's. I don't for a minute think that even a small majority of poor people are "stupid" or lazy. In fact, most poor people work harder than rich people, considering they're doing manual labour. The amount of manufacturing jobs that have been offshored and lost to technology (the former is bad thing, the latter is not) is staggering, but most liberals seem to think that you can just send anyone to school and they will magically become smart enough to do a non-labour, or non-repetitive task job. Some people literally aren't smart enough to do anything but those simple jobs.

Liberals seem to think the solution to this problem is just to give these unemployed people money. Hard line conservatives just say these people aren't trying hard enough to find a job. I have no problem with unemployment insurance and welfare as short term solutions, but when it is literally impossible to find a decent paying job, we need to start asking why. If you are a single person with two kids and a spouse and you work 60 hours a week, and still are below the poverty line, something isn't wrong with you, something's wrong with the economy. Labour unions have completely sold themselves down the river, because instead of lobbying to keep jobs from being offshored, they just keep asking for higher wages, without any concern as to where those wages might come from.

As long as we're under organizations like the WTO - a world in which federal governments can be sued, and lose, to multinational corporations simply for attempting to pass laws that protect the economic, social and physical well being of their citizens - we will continue the downward spiral and the good paying jobs in the economy that created the middle class will continue to be offshored.

And I don't know who insinuated this, but someone suggested that I thought poor kids should be left to die if their parents were too dumb or evil to feed them instead of buying liquor, cigarettes and $1000 cameras. No, I don't believe that. I believe that if a parent or parents repeatedly put their children's physical and mental health at risk, the state should take those children and give them to one of the thousands of families who would adopt them and give them a loving home. Crack heads do not deserve to keep their kids. Today, we not only let them keep them, but we throw money down a bottomless pit to facilitate the child's abuse and neglect.
   2404. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4323660)
cold

regarding a comment in your last paragraph my wife is mrs do-gooder and via all her participating it's pretty clear that there are not 1000's of families willing to adopt any kid. you have many u.s. families going overseas, i guess africa is the latest hotspot for adoptions since china cracked down, versus adopting kids from the u.s. who may be a bit older and come with baggage.

there are lots of layers to adoption that i sure folks will jump in with quick.
   2405. BrianBrianson Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4323665)
There are plenty of adoptive parents for infants (especially, err, white infants). This becomes increasingly untrue as the kid gets older. Thirteen year olds, who've been raised in an environment so bad they had to be taken away from the parents (or however else they lost them), are not in high demand among potential adoptive parents.

Rants is right that just giving people money is not a good solution. He's wrong to suggest that manufacturing jobs leaving America is something that was reversible or avoidable - if they were brought back, it would just be robots doing them instead of Burmese kids; it doesn't dent the need for employment. That can really only be address by "make-work" things; either by forcing corps to do it - a 30 hour workweek, say, with teeth to prevent people from working more than that, or hiring street sweepers, and other useful jobs, en mass by the government. Either would be okay; I'm not sure anyone could make it happen, though.
   2406. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4323666)
who may be a bit older and come with baggage


Exactly. Social services lets the poor kids wait it out for five or 10 years while their parents prove 10 times beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are fit to raise a goldfish.

My sister in law and her husband were on our provincial adoption list for 15 years before giving up, and would have taken pretty much any kid. My own parents were foster parents in the 80's, and they were repeatedly heartbroken at the treatment the kids being shuffled through our household were subjected to.

   2407. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4323668)
it would just be robots


Well maybe we could start by at least making the robots here.
   2408. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4323670)
most liberals seem to think that you can just send anyone to school and they will magically become smart enough to do a non-labour, or non-repetitive task job.


What leads you to believe this? I don't remember ever hearing any Liberal ever (certainly not on this board) ever say this or anything like this.

Liberals seem to think the solution to this problem is just to give these unemployed people money.


No one says giving money is a solution to a lack (inability or unwillingness) to getting a job. Most Liberals say the safety net exist to provide a minimum standard of living for everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable (children, elderly, those unable to care for themselves and so on). It is basically never presented as a replacement for jobs by Liberals and many of these programs try (to a greater or lesser extent) to incent moving off the public rolls into the workforce as possible.

As an aside in some ways it would clearly be more efficient to simply give folks money as oppossed to the existent labyrinth of targeted programs with overhead and such. It is hard to make sure the "floor" is maintained especially for those vulnerable groups if you just give them money - plus there is a moralistic side where people are outraged (for example) that someone would buy ice cream with food stamps and that would be much more extreme if poor people were just given money.

However your premise that the safety net is a substitute for jobs is clearly false. The safety net exists because as a society we believe people (again especially those most vulnerable) should not be left hungry, unclothed, with no shelter (and so on). The fact that most (not all, but most) people with jobs don't avail themselves of the safety net because they don't need to and the fact that it is in societies best interest to encourage as much productive work from its people is separate from the desire to have a safety net.
   2409. BDC Posted: December 13, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4323672)
Vegetables are expensive

Depends. I find that vegetables vary a great deal in price, more than packaged foods and more than staple meats like chicken or hamburger. At high-end supermarkets you can pay absurd prices for pretty ordinary vegetables; at Latin and Asian markets you can pay half, a third, sometimes a fifth of that. Classical market theory would seem to rule out such discrepancies; I can't see why anyone pays $2.29 for a bunch of scallions at Whole Foods when you can get them down the street at Hiep Thai for 33¢. But there are cultural forces at work here more powerful than mere supply and demand.
   2410. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4323678)
fatal mistake with aca

Couldn't have been that fatal.
   2411. DA Baracus Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:19 AM (#4323679)
he's on point and he's generating external consensus to apply the requisite pressure on the speaker and others to deal.


Pretty impressive considering he has no mandate.
   2412. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4323681)
y:

the president had to rely on a legislative trick to get it passed. i hear you that it did pass

relying on the congress was a horrible error in judgement
   2413. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4323686)
relying on the congress was a horrible error in judgement


That may be true, but many of the same people that saying that also said that a main reason Clinton's health care crashed and burned was they ignored/went around Congress and did not partner/work with them over time.

It could be that health care reform is just plain hard to get done, and Obama managed to do so (as painful as the process was).
   2414. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4323690)
bitter

this is a longer conversation but the president sat back and relied on max baucus and harry reid and the like to do all the legwork

and those are some lazy godd8mn people. he was in the senate before becoming president. he should have known better

sure you need to make it a collective effort. like say what he is doing 'now'

   2415. spike Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4323692)
Scalia is a piece of work.

One of the many joys of the President's re-election is that Scalia will have to sit there while the tide begins to pull the sand out from under his feet. He can't bring himself to leave and accelerate the process, but instead will rant, Lear-like, until the end.
   2416. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4323696)
like say what he is doing 'now'


You are right it is a longer conversation, but I don't think the current "fiscal cliff" and ACA are very similar.

ACA had shall we say popularity issues with the public (deserved or not) and was a huge Liberal project that had been on the agenda since the New Deal and was around one of the largest and most complex sectors of the economy.

The cliff is a bizarre construct of fiscal legislation that will mean nothing to anyone without a good memory in 10 years, right after an election Obama won a a fair amount after campaigning on many of the issues involved (esp. Tax rates for "rich"). Most importantly though Obama can do nothing and watch the GOP lose on the issue (because public opinion is on his side on this and he is much less oppossed to what is scheduled to happen post cliff than the GOP is).

I was frustrated by Obama during ACA negotiations*, but I think it way too easy to say he should have done then what he is doing now, when the situations are very different.

* And yeah I am a public option guy, so the result, good as it is, is still pretty thin gruel from my standpoint.
   2417. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4323698)
It takes a really long time for a bag of onions to go bad. Unless of course you live in a rain forest or something.
   2418. Ron J2 Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4323699)
There are plenty of adoptive parents for infants (especially, err, white infants)


You can get to over-supply fairly easily though. I recall watching a documentary on the Romanian orphanages. Not for the weak of stomach.

And as a side bonus, there's clear evidence that the kids growing up there are damaged by doing so.

Summary of study
   2419. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4323700)
It takes a really long time for a bag of onions to go bad.


How they are stored makes a big difference in my (limited) experience, but yeah not an example of something easily going bad (unlike bananas for example).
   2420. The Good Face Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4323701)
I'm not gloating over being smarter than the vast majority of poor people. That's just genetics, mostly.


As Matt Clement points out - that's far from settled. I mean - if you took a random sample of reasonably well nourished 4 year olds from all over the world do you think their intelligence metrics would correlate with their parents' class or income level?


It's not settled in the sense that there is a consensus what percentage of intelligence is genetic vs. non-genetic, but it's settled in the sense that there is a consensus that genetics plays an important role. People just haven't come to agreement how important yet.

As for your question, it would depend. There are almost certainly societies in the world today where intelligence is less valuable than it is in the US or similarly developed countries, so it's reasonable to think that the correlation between intelligence and wealth/success in those places would be weaker. But assuming our sample of children came from the US or other nations that make up what we consider Western Civilization, then yes, I do think you'd find that, on average, the children of people with high incomes were more intelligent than the children of people with lower incomes.
   2421. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4323707)
bitter

if the president had been out front, like he is now, been sitting down with leaders of the sectors impacted, like he is now, and holding regular sit downs with congressional leaders, like he is now, the aca would have played out differently and the law probably would have been better and the groundswell that erupted may never have happened to the degree that it did

you are not going to convince me otherwise on that point and i was in the lounge criticizing the president's lax approach from day 1

if this legislation was so godd8mned important he should have been out there plwoing the road to make it happen.

instead he had to scurry around last minute, twist arms and collapse over the finish line

horrible exec approach. just awful
   2422. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4323708)
And as a side bonus, there's clear evidence that the kids growing up there are damaged by doing so.


How we treat the most vulnerable (in this case children and adoption) should have nothing to do with issues like abortion rights and health care access. Whether there is one child or a million children and no matter the why or where children are quite literally our future and should be treated as the treasures and priority they are.

Allowing the morass that are reproductive rights to poison in any way discussion of how vulnerable children are treated is near criminal. To some extent both sides are guilty of this and shame on them. Children in need of homes should not be treated like a political football (not that I am seeing that here, it is just a hot button of mine, so feel free to ignore my rant and move on).
   2423. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4323719)
Depends. I find that vegetables vary a great deal in price, more than packaged foods and more than staple meats like chicken or hamburger. At high-end supermarkets you can pay absurd prices for pretty ordinary vegetables; at Latin and Asian markets you can pay half, a third, sometimes a fifth of that. Classical market theory would seem to rule out such discrepancies; I can't see why anyone pays $2.29 for a bunch of scallions at Whole Foods when you can get them down the street at Hiep Thai for 33¢. But there are cultural forces at work here more powerful than mere supply and demand.

Latin and Asian markets tend to buy the leftovers and the non-flawless and the shelf life of their product is extremely short when compared to normal grocery stores and high end grocery stores. That is how those markets have much lower prices than your typical grocery store or high end store. Plus high end stores will tend to try and sell "unique" kinds of vegetables. It isn't just a tomato it is a vine ripened roma tomato from Sonoma or it is organic or something else.

As for vegetables being expensive it really depends on what vegetables you want to buy. Celery, onions, carrots, potatoes, and broccoli are very cheap. Right now in the city of DC I can go to Safeway and get onions at $1 a pound, potatoes at $1 a pound, carrots at less than a $1 a pound a bunch of celery at $1.69, broccoli crowns at $1.69 and plain old broccoli at I believe less than a $1 a pound.

As for meat both pork and chicken are very cheap. I can get various common pork cuts starting at $1.79 a pound and then going up to about 5.99 for the more premium cuts. Chicken starts at $1.29 a pound for a whole chicken or various parts and goes up from there.

If all you can afford is a 4 pack of Ramen noodles for $1.25 then this stuff will be too expensive but there aren't a lot of people that are unintentionally in that position in America.
   2424. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4323720)
if the president had been out front, like he is now, been sitting down with leaders of the sectors impacted, like he is now, and holding regular sit downs with congressional leaders, like he is now, the aca would have played out differently and the law probably would have been better and the groundswell that erupted may never have happened to the degree that it did


This is perhaps true (and I am not really trying to convince you), mostly I am objecting to anything that suggests the current political situation regarding the fiscal cliff is analagous to the one present during the passage of ACA.

I am often not fond of the way the Obama goes about getting things done (at least the parts I can see), but over the years I have noticed he and his team almost always get better results than I think they will to the point I am more prone to give him the benefit of the doubt much more than three years ago.

His team (to use an analogy) seems to play an ugly brand of baseball that I don't think very asthetic or to be the most effective way to do it. But their brand of baseball keeps getting pretty good results. It is very possible an alternate strategy would have gotton better results and it is very likely he and his team are more proficient than they were in years back (I hope they are learning and getting better), but I am a fan of the laundry and his team is winning games so I am reluctant to dump too hard on him for what might have been that's all.
   2425. BDC Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4323723)
I am a public option guy, so the result, good as it is, is still pretty thin gruel

Same here. I mean, I take Harv's point, that the President did not exactly go bully-pulpit on health care and galvanize public and legislative support for ideals. But to criticize him when all is said and done is a bit like saying that the 2004 Red Sox should have put that LCS away in five games – seriously, Schilling spits the bit in Game One and then Pedro can't beat Jon F. Lieber in Game Two?

But the context (kinda in both cases, when you think about it) was 1946, '49, '67, '75, '86, and 2003. As the Mouse points out, ACA is a step that Truman and LBJ and Carter and Clinton all tried to take in one way or another, and failed. (LBJ's successes on health care were many, of course, but likewise short of the ideal). It's difficult to gripe about might-have-beens when the result is first-time-in-ages. Who knows, maybe people will like ACA well enough that something better will pass 12 or 16 years from now. (The 2007 Red Sox? But if I carry the analogy too far, health care will have a 2011 and a 2012, and some poor schmuck of a President will be its Bobby Valentine …)
   2426. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4323724)
QFT:

It’s a Smart, Smart, Smart World

The average American in the year 1900 had an I.Q. that by today’s standards would measure about 67. Since the traditional definition of mental retardation was an I.Q. of less than 70, that leads to the remarkable conclusion that a majority of Americans a century ago would count today as intellectually disabled.

The trend of rising intelligence is known as the “Flynn Effect,” named for James R. Flynn, the New Zealand scholar who pioneered this area of research. Countless other scholars worldwide have replicated his findings, and it is now accepted science — although there is still disagreement about its causes and significance.

The average American I.Q. has been rising steadily by 3 points a decade. Spaniards gained 19 points over 28 years, and the Dutch 20 points over 30 years. Kenyan children gained nearly 1 point a year.

Those figures come from a new book by Flynn from Cambridge University Press called “Are We Getting Smarter?” It’s an uplifting tale, a reminder that human capacity is on the upswing. The implication is that there are potential Einsteins now working as subsistence farmers in Congo or dropping out of high school in Mississippi who, with help, could become actual Einsteins.

The Flynn Effect should upend some of the smugness among those who have historically done well in global I.Q. standings. For example, while there is still a race gap, black Americans are catching up — and now do significantly better than white Americans of the “greatest generation” did in the 1940s.

Another problem for racists: The country that tops the I.Q. charts isn’t America or in Europe. It’s Singapore, at 108. (The reason may have to do with Singapore’s Confucian respect for learning and its outstanding school system.)

None of this means that people today are born smarter. While I.Q. measures something to do with mental acuity, it’s a rubbery and imperfect metric. It’s heavily shaped by environment — potential is diminished when children suffer from parasites or lead in air pollution. As a result, the removal of lead from gasoline may have added 6 points to the I.Q. of American children, according to Dr. Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Flynn argues that I.Q. is rising because in industrialized societies we give our brains a constant mental workout that builds up what we might call our brain sinews.

“The brains of the best and most experienced London taxi drivers,” Flynn writes, citing a 2000 study, have “enlarged hippocampi, which is the brain area used for navigating three-dimensional space.” In a similar way, he argues, modern life gives our brains greater exercise than when we were mostly living on isolated farms.

It’s not that our ancestors were dummies, and I confess to doubts about the Flynn Effect when I contemplate the slide from Shakespeare to “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Likewise, politics does not seem to benefit: One academic study found a deterioration in the caliber of discussions of economics in presidential debates from 1960 to 2008.

But Flynn argues that modern TV shows and other entertainment can be cognitively demanding, and video games like those of the Grand Theft Auto series probably require more thought than solitaire. (No, don’t call the police. My teenage kids are not holding me hostage and forcing me to write this paragraph.)

Back to the debates in Washington. To me, the lesson from this research is the vast amount of human potential globally that is available if we can nurture and stimulate kids who now get neglected.

One challenge is to preserve foreign aid. Some 61 million children around the world still don’t attend even primary school, and President Obama in his 2008 campaign was right to propose a global education fund, in part as an alternative to extremist religious schools. I’m hoping the idea doesn’t get dropped forever.

The even greater challenge is nation-building at home at a time when funding for schools is being slashed, about 7,000 high school students drop out every day, and there are long waits to get into early-childhood-enrichment programs like Head Start. Literacy programs can help break cycles of poverty and unleash America’s potential — and a single F-35 fighter could pay for more than four years of the Reading Is Fundamental program in the entire United States.

As we make hard budget choices, let’s remember that the essential fact of the world is that talent is universal and opportunity is not. I hope we’re finally smart enough to try to remedy that.

   2427. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4323730)

The death rate from mass shootings has ticked up slightly in recent years, even as deaths in single-victim incidents have decreased, according to a recent analysis of FBI crime data by the Huffington Post. The worst recent mass shooting came in July in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 during a midnight screening of a new "Batman" movie.

Gun-control advocates seized on the mall shooting as a possible result of the expiration in 2004 of a national ban on assault weapons.

"Santa Claus could have been shot in the mall," said Penny Okamoto, executive director of Ceasefire Oregon, in an interview with the Portland Tribune. "If you're sick of this, you should call your legislators to tell them to fix the laws so that assault weapons don't end up in the hands of felons."

Many versions of the AR-15 were banned under the assault weapons law, but it's not known if the gun used in the Clackamas mall shooting was one of them.

Police said Roberts had no criminal record and had stolen the AR-15 from "someone he knew."

Does the collected response by shoppers at the Clackamas Town Center indicate that Americans are becoming less daunted by senseless violence and, perhaps, better ready to react? Those who back broad gun rights under the Constitution's Second Amendment suggest a shift may be under way in people's readiness to respond.

In blocking Illinois's ban on concealed weapons, the last such law in the nation, Seventh US Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner on Tuesday implied that self-defense readiness in public is not only protected by the US Constitution, but may be good social policy. An awareness "that many law-abiding citizens are walking the streets armed may make criminals timid," he wrote in his ruling.

"As far as a social shift, I think people are getting more intelligent and appropriate in their reactions to shooters," says Dave Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute, a libertarian-leaning think tank in Golden, Colo. "Police training has changed in significant ways since the Columbine [High School] shooting [in 1999], where they no longer wait for the SWAT team to arrive but go in immediately with … the army they have. There's also an awareness [among police and the public] that if you're trying to stop a gangster from robbing a liquor store, you may have a [heck] of a fight on your hands, but that these publicity-seeking guys with mental illness, they basically crumble at first opposition."

The upshot, says Mr. Kopel: "Lying down and cowering doesn't seem to work very well, so law enforcement has gotten smarter and civilians have gotten smarter."
   2428. Jack Keefe Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4323732)
The average American in the year 1900 had an I.Q. that by today’s standards would measure about 67

And that is true Al. I had a great great Grampa also name of Jack Keefe who played for the Chi. Sox in the days of Kid Gleason and some of what he did is in a book by Ring Lardner Sr. And you know to read my Great Greats Vocabublary it is no thing like mine and he never heard of the Inner Net. I have exceeded him in Smarts Lifetime Urning and in World Serious Rings though you know they were trying to lose in Ought Nineteen though not my Great Gramps he was a Clean Sock. Anyways if you get that book I forget its title you know me Al I disremember book titles anyways if you get that book you would of thought that Jack Keefe was a Moron compared of me. Only Ozzie Guillen used to say I must say Intellectually Parallel Pathed American.
   2429. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4323743)
But the context (kinda in both cases, when you think about it) was 1946, '49, '67, '75, '86, and 2003. As the Mouse points out, ACA is a step that Truman and LBJ and Carter and Clinton all tried to take in one way or another, and failed. (LBJ's successes on health care were many, of course, but likewise short of the ideal). It's difficult to gripe about might-have-beens when the result is first-time-in-ages. Who knows, maybe people will like ACA well enough that something better will pass 12 or 16 years from now. (The 2007 Red Sox? But if I carry the analogy too far, health care will have a 2011 and a 2012, and some poor schmuck of a President will be its Bobby Valentine …)

Right. I want a public option (or, even better, single payer), but this is a huge step in the right direction, and I think the system will improve over time as they tinker with it and add on. Atul Gawande had a great article in the New Yorker a couple years ago on the universal healthcare systems in other countries, and his key insight was that almost all of the other systems were built up over time, piece by piece. The same thing will have to happen here.
   2430. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4323747)
bob

i understand that perspective. but the president had both houses of congress, positive approval ratings and an opponent in a bit of disarray. that is way ahead of the likes of clinton and truman and in my mind still an upper hand on lbj.

i won't keep yammering about this item.
   2431. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4323759)
i understand that perspective. but the president had both houses of congress, positive approval ratings and an opponent in a bit of disarray. that is way ahead of the likes of clinton and truman and in my mind still an upper hand on lbj.

It's hard to make exact comparisons among those four presidents. All of them were popular at the point they made their proposals, but....

LBJ and Truman had far bigger congressional majorities, but....

Those majorities were largely padded by Dixiecrats, which makes them hard to compare.

And LBJ's promise was almost entirely based on the concept of "Medical Care For The Aged". Unless I'm mistaken, universal health care at that point wasn't even on the horizon. Correct me if I'm wrong on that one, though.

Truman's and Clinton's proposals both faced crushing propaganda campaigns directed against them, by the AMA in Truman's case and by "Harry and Louise" as a shorthand for the anti-"Hillarycare" onslaught.

Clinton was particularly clueless in trying to ram his bill through Congress, and Hillary was at that point about as tone deaf a politician as I've ever seen this side of the 2012 Mitt Romney.

Obama learned from the Clintons' failure, and while we didn't wind up with everything we wanted, we did get a foot in the door that eventually may lead to a more streamlined and rational single payer system. Given the mammoth propaganda campaign directed against the very idea of mandated health insurance in any form, it's very hard to argue that Obama didn't play it the best way he could. Hindsight is always easy.

And to follow up on that, by pushing back from the 2010 election fiasco and beating back Romney's stated promise to "repeal Obamacare", the ACA benefits that will begin to kick in by 2014 will pretty much guarantee that any future attempts at repeal will amount to little more than howling at the moon. And with a bottom line like that, I'm not complaining.
   2432. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4323760)
No one says giving money is a solution to a lack (inability or unwillingness) to getting a job. Most Liberals say the safety net exist to provide a minimum standard of living for everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable (children, elderly, those unable to care for themselves and so on).


There already has been a safety net for a long time. You don't really mean "safety net"; you mean a guaranteed standard of lower middle class living. Which is what people with iPhones and computers and internet access and housing and cars and access to emergency health care services and air conditioning and big screen TVs have, and already had, and yet the left wasn't satisfied with that before Obamacare, isn't satisfied with that now, won't be satisfied with that in the future as long as there is still wealth to be redistributed.

So please stop saying "safety net." Just say what you really mean.

However your premise that the safety net is a substitute for jobs is clearly false.


It's clearly true, and even if we presume that this isn't the intention of the left, it's the effect, so there's no real point in pretending that this isn't what is going on. The "safety net" is now set at such a high floor that people within range of the floor have little incentive to actually work if their wages/benefits would be close enough to the floor that they might as well stay home and stick out their hand.

The safety net exists because as a society we believe people (again especially those most vulnerable) should not be left hungry, unclothed, with no shelter (and so on).


Yes, food/clothing/shelter would be a safety net, but as I said, the actual floor is much higher than that -- and yet the left isn't satisfied with that and wants to drive it higher (through single payer and other mechanisms).
   2433. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4323765)
So please stop saying "safety net."


No thank you. You may not like the standard that our society has decided upon for the safety net, but society does have a standard. It is a standard of living that has been arrived at and is ever evolving as things change (productivity, expectations, wealth of the nation). There is no universal set of things that determine now and forever what that standard should be.

even if we presume that this isn't the intention of the left, it's the effect


The intention and effect (albiet imperfectly) is as I have stated to provide a minimum standard of living, a safety net that exists, that no one should fall below. It is in societies interest to have as few people requiring that safety net, to have as many people productively working jobs, but that says nothing about the whether a safety net should exist or what the level should be.

the left isn't satisfied with that and wants to drive it higher


So there is a political disagreement as to what the level should be set at. There will always be such a disagreement and in fact disagreements of this nature are a natural and healthy part of democracy. I fail to see the problem with such disagreements being resolved through the mechanisms of our democracy.
   2434. BrianBrianson Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4323771)
Functionally, we can't lock people in a 6'x6' cinderblock room and feed them gruel as Ray's suggesting and ever expect them to get back into the workforce. Poor people need phones so they can call/get calls for work, they realistically need computers to be able to search for work, plausibly to take courses or whatnot for skills upgrades, they need decent clothes for job interviews. They need real medical care (not just emergency care) so they can be well enough to find work. Indeed, I have a close friend who spent a few years on and off welfare, who got a permant job almost as soon as he managed to get a breathing machine for his sleep apnea. Before that, the fact that he hadn't gotten a night's sleep in several years meant he fell asleep constantly, making him unemployable. He needed a ~$1000 machine to get back into the workforce. You can't even get a job on the night shift stocking shelves when you fall asleep biking to work, breaking your bike and your arm.
   2435. The Good Face Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4323786)
Functionally, we can't lock people in a 6'x6' cinderblock room and feed them gruel as Ray's suggesting and ever expect them to get back into the workforce. Poor people need phones so they can call/get calls for work, they realistically need computers to be able to search for work, plausibly to take courses or whatnot for skills upgrades, they need decent clothes for job interviews. They need real medical care (not just emergency care) so they can be well enough to find work.


Conversely, we can't provide people with a middle class lifestyle for not working and expect them to ever get back into the workforce. Being on the dole needs to suck, or everybody would do it.
   2436. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4323789)
There is likely a level of support so high it would discourage workforce partitication. There is also a level so low that makes workforce participation too difficult. This level (these levels) of support also certainly change over time - for example having access to a computer and the internet was not relevent to ability to enter the workforce at all in the fairly recent past, and when there are no jobs to be found motivation matters less than when there are plenty of jobs.

None of this is especially controversial I hope.
   2437. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4323798)
What we need is a war and a disease.
   2438. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4323799)
my wife and i go back and forth on this minimum expected lifestyle (or whatever you want to term it) and from observation and years of running businesses i am adamant that 1 out of 25 people is just flat out not interested in a daily job. be it laziness or wanting to have flexibility or whatever you want to call it about 4 percent of a working population is going to be a square peg in a round hole.

so in my mind if a society has unemployment in the 4 percent range that economy has done what it could for the people who want to participate.

i am not going to get that caught up in the remainder save for the infirm, the very aged, the very young or the mentally unstable.

as for the rest--are there no prisons? are there no workhouses?
   2439. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4323800)
What we need is a war and a disease.


War against Christmas. (Lets actually give Bill O'Reilly something to ##### about!)

And the million Herpes march.
   2440. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4323804)
in case it's not clear my last comment in post 2428 is for comedic effect. i am not proposing that folks be tossed into debtors prison or the like.

   2441. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4323815)
when the russkies tell you have lost syria you have lost

assad just got a message to bow out and accept a cozy condo on the water in russia

if her persists that invite will be rescinded

   2442. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4323816)
the american people can be d8mn sensible (courtesy wsj):

About two-thirds of Americans of all political stripes would like Congress to strike a deal to reduce the federal budget deficit, even if means cutting Social Security and Medicare and boosting some tax rates, the survey released Wednesday found.

An even larger share—more than three-quarters of Americans, including 61% of Republicans—said they would accept raising taxes on the wealthy in order to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of large spending cuts and tax increases now set to take place in January.
   2443. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4323818)
Conversely, we can't provide people with a middle class lifestyle for not working and expect them to ever get back into the workforce.


Well, good thing we don't.
   2444. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4323830)
as i understand the most recent unemployment numbers the folks hit hardest by the 2008 downturn who have struggled to get back into the workforce are individuals without a high school diploma.

certainly all stripes have taken some kind of hit but from memory i thought the unemployment rate there was almost 20 percent

my wife believes that folks shouldn't be punished forever for some bad decisions when they were young (meaning they didn't finish and now don't have a diploma and because of that can't get real work)

my simplistic reaction is that they better figure it out
   2445. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4323840)
What we need is a war and a disease.


This is an excellent and highly practical suggestion. I did a little math, using 2002 numbers. The actual requirements will be slightly different, but we're estimating here:

First I looked at total employment in 2002, to see what jobs will be around after the Great Dying of 2013. There will be lots of empty buildings because of all of the dead homeowners, so the construction and real estate industries can be temporarily eliminated. We're eliminating 90% of the financial industry, because it feels so good to do so. We're also cutting government employment by 3/4ths. Industries that will exist post-disease employed about 97 million pre-disease, out of a pre-disease pool of about 144 million working or looking for work. The blunt object approach would be to say that we need our disease to kill (144-97)/144 % of the country, or about about 33% of the population, to get to full employment. This, happily, is the traditional ballpark estimate of the kill rate of the Black Death in Europe in 1347-48. So that's what we need to aim for.

Of course this type of population collapse will cause a decline in certain types of consumer demand, but I'm counting on the increasing relative affluence of the survivors and the temporary growth of certain industries (grave digging, the manufacture of widows weeds, etc.) to offset this decline. So, another Black Death and our problems are solved. Let's do it!
   2446. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4323844)
i have clearly outlived my 3 score and ten so if there are any ice floes still around feel free to push me off

   2447. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4323858)
2367. Dale Sams Posted: December 12, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4323497)
So I was going to come in here and say "Anyone who thinks 'The last good Republican President was Eisenhower', should see the mini-series, "The Untold History of the United States"...but I see that it's "Oliver Stone's, TUHOTUS"....

Now this doesn't automaticlly invalidate it...but anyone else been watching it?

Also, I cant find the narrator. Some places say it's Stone, but it doesn't sound like him and the IMDB site is strangely empty.

Edit: End credits say Stone...he does a remarkable John Chancellor impression.


I've been watching this, its very good. The last episode I saw (there was a new one Monday night) focused on Harry Truman. He was a little man, in every sense of the word.
   2448. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4323862)
cold

if you are saying that president truman was a 'small man' that seems unfair and harsh. he had his flaws but as president he had some tough calls.

if you are referencing how he could be petty and vindictive (especially where is daughter was involved) that can go for many politicians
   2449. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4323863)
Last war to happen on U.S. state soil was the Civil War. (Hawaii was just a territory before WWII, and 9/11 was a terrorist act done by an stateless entity.) I honestly don't know what people would do if U.S. citizens actually had to fight a war on its own land.
   2450. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4323867)
U.S. states carry a total of about $325 billion in unfunded teacher pension liabilities, according to a report that says efforts by lawmakers to tinker with vesting periods or shave benefits are falling far short of the overhaul that is needed.

thought folks might want to ponder this
   2451. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4323870)
tripon

i would encourage you to go back several pages and check out the zombie apocalypse discussion to get a flavor of how folks would respond
   2452. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4323873)
Last war to happen on U.S. state soil was the Civil War.


I think some of the Indian Wars of the 1870s count, though they obviously had tiny American death tolls and posed no threat to any settled place of note. Doesn't really affect your point in any meaningful way.
   2453. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4323877)
This is an excellent and highly practical suggestion. I did a little math, using 2002 numbers. The actual requirements will be slightly different, but we're estimating here:

First I looked at total employment in 2002, to see what jobs will be around after the Great Dying of 2013. There will be lots of empty buildings because of all of the dead homeowners, so the construction and real estate industries can be temporarily eliminated. We're eliminating 90% of the financial industry, because it feels so good to do so. We're also cutting government employment by 3/4ths. Industries that will exist post-disease employed about 97 million pre-disease, out of a pre-disease pool of about 144 million working or looking for work. The blunt object approach would be to say that we need our disease to kill (144-97)/144 % of the country, or about about 33% of the population, to get to full employment. This, happily, is the traditional ballpark estimate of the kill rate of the Black Death in Europe in 1347-48. So that's what we need to aim for.

Of course this type of population collapse will cause a decline in certain types of consumer demand, but I'm counting on the increasing relative affluence of the survivors and the temporary growth of certain industries (grave digging, the manufacture of widows weeds, etc.) to offset this decline. So, another Black Death and our problems are solved. Let's do it!



So will this affect Wallmart's ability to open at midnight on Black Friday?
   2454. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4323882)
if you are saying that president truman was a 'small man' that seems unfair and harsh. he had his flaws but as president he had some tough calls.

if you are referencing how he could be petty and vindictive (especially where is daughter was involved) that can go for many politicians


According to the Stone series (which uses lots of old footage and news accounts, and which I have no reason not to believe) Russia was priming to enter the eastern theather and annihilate Japan, but Truman wanted an excuse to show off his nukes. It took a lot of political wrangling and backroom deals just to get him chosen as VP (over Henry Wallace). He also started the Cold War pretty much single-handedly (acting on pressure from his more experienced handlers), naively assuming that the short period in which the US had the upper hand by being the only state with nuclear capability woudl go on forever.

The series is really worth watching. It certainly provides a different perspective of WWII and its aftermath. I suppose you could argue with some of the conclusions Stone reaches (I personally don't), but I don't see how anyone coudl simply dismiss the material he presents.

   2455. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4323883)
What we need is a war and a disease.


What about a war on disease? Who can forget the battle against Leprosy that was recorded in the famous Hemmingway novel "A Farewell to Arms".
   2456. Steve Treder Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4323888)
According to the Stone series (which uses lots of old footage and news accounts, and which I have no reason not to believe) Russia was priming to enter the eastern theather and annihilate Japan, but Truman wanted an excuse to show off his nukes.

The McCullough biography doesn't begin to support this.
   2457. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4323891)
cold

i am all for different perspectives but boy that sounds like a hatchet job on truman
   2458. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4323893)
House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that talks over the looming fiscal crisis have failed to produce a deal because President Obama will not get "serious" about spending cuts.


Translation: President Obama still won't make a concrete proposal on spending cuts. Why won't he negotiate with himself? Why should I have to articulate a detailed position on what the GOP wants? I want to swoop in and triangulate against a compromise proposal, not negotiate a compromise. It is not fair!

Boehner is thrashing like a fish on the line, hoping someone will help. Gee dude refusal to take what you could get before the election results in you having less leverage than before. Sometimes the bear gets you, suck it up and live to fight another day (which is of course part of the real problem, as HW has pointed out compromise could easily result in GOP pols losing their jobs - which is much worse than economic harm to the US, just ask them).
   2459. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4323895)
bitter

actually, the speaker is putting up a public fuss so that nobody can think he's getting rolled

all the background chatter is that folks are working toward a deal.

   2460. Morty Causa Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4323897)
So I was going to come in here and say "Anyone who thinks 'The last good Republican President was Eisenhower', should see the mini-series, "The Untold History of the United States"...but I see that it's "Oliver Stone's, TUHOTUS"....


What does Oliver Stone (Olvier Stone!) say about Eisenhower?

The last episode I saw (there was a new one Monday night) focused on Harry Truman. He was a little man, in every sense of the word.


Truman, I think, beneath all the bantam-roostering had an abiding inferiority complex. In fact, that posturing was probably the result of the complex. Still, I admire his feistiness, and I believe it had a place. Still, he wasn't the nuanced, measured pol that his predecessor and his successor were. I admire some of his stands (not the MacArthur one, though--and I do believe MacArthur was insubordinate; he just handled to whole ting from the beginning in a hamfisted, incompetent, retroactively self-serving manner). He had the wit to rely on George Marshall (and Eisenhower, too) in foreign affairs. That says something good about him.

EDIT: 2454 noted. This sort of revisonism is just reank second-guessing and Monday Morning Q-backing.
   2461. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4323898)
My brother (much more a presidential historian than I) claims that Truman's greatest failing was his refusal to push back enough against the Post WWII red scare.
   2462. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4323899)
The McCullough biography doesn't begin to support this.


Stone went out of his way to specifically refute a lot of McCullough's conclusions. Just sayin', I'm not a Truman or WWII scholar.
   2463. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4323906)
actually, the speaker is putting up a public fuss so that nobody can think he's getting rolled


Likely correct but I still plan on making fun of him, especially since much of his problem is self inflicted. He and his caucus keep refusing to take "mostly yes" as an answer and keep ending up worse off in follow on negotiations. And they don't seem to be learning. And yes I realize this is from the refusal to compromise many of the TP have.
   2464. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4323909)
truman integrated the services against mounds of opposition. i don't know how someone like stone couldn't appreciate that. if he pooh-poohed it then stone is an idiot. it was a huge deal and remains a huge deal
   2465. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4323910)
2461 - This is what Stone is saying, that basically the threat of Communism was completely blown out of proportion, and that the US overreaction to it fueled the Cold War. I also get the sense that the disproportionate US involvement in post-war Eastern Europe was the beginning of the permanent military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about.
   2466. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4323916)
oh, and recognizing israel when his own sec of state objected

these are fundamental things that speak to truman's character in a positive way

see, i don't know how someone says the character was a small man when he took big steps that many others would have avoided to not take the political hit.
   2467. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4323921)
by the way, i am not a truman fan but i like to be reasonable. to term him small with these examples of his character just seems inane to me
   2468. Morty Causa Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4323922)
Blaming Truman for the red scare witch hunts is hard to fathom, it seems to me. What could he have done? Those hearings were totally beyond the purview of his powers. It's like saying Bush could have done something about those stupid steroid hearings and the Mitchell investigation.
   2469. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4323926)
truman integrated the services


I assume you mean he combined the Navy, Army and Air Force? Stone didn't get into that. The theme of Episode 3 seems to be a comparison of Henry Wallace, who was immensely popular, promoted peace, and wanted to put an end to the era of colonialism, with Truman, who was pretty much the opposite.

Here's the link for the series: Untold History of the US
   2470. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4323927)

I think some of the Indian Wars of the 1870s count, though they obviously had tiny American death tolls and posed no threat to any settled place of note. Doesn't really affect your point in any meaningful way.


Those wars were in mostly U.S. territory at the time, although I could be wrong. They may have tiny American death tolls, but we basically committed genocide to the various Native American tribes for the sin of existing. If you look at the old Congressional budget, you'll find that the Indian Wars were the largest expenditures of the budget, and the largest expenditure against GDP. We got really good at killing Indians and taking their lands, and then claiming that there was nobody there to take claim to it.
   2471. Steve Treder Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4323928)
Stone went out of his way to specifically refute a lot of McCullough's conclusions.

Feel free to accuse me of deferring to authority, but in a contest of primary-source research and grasp of historical fact, David McCullough trumps Oliver Stone without breaking a sweat.
   2472. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4323930)
2461 - This is what Stone is saying, that basically the threat of Communism was completely blown out of proportion, and that the US overreaction to it fueled the Cold War. I also get the sense that the disproportionate US involvement in post-war Eastern Europe was the beginning of the permanent military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about.

All of that is true, and truman bears some of the blame, but certainly not the lion's share.
   2473. zenbitz Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4323933)
It's not settled in the sense that there is a consensus what percentage of intelligence is genetic vs. non-genetic, but it's settled in the sense that there is a consensus that genetics plays an important role.


Yes. Although your use of the word "important" is shows your bias. I mean, it might be "not that important at all" - especially in regard to the "state of the art" IQ test.

This is demonstrated by the Flynn effect. 112 years is no where near enough time for selective pressure in humans to substantially increase "innate genetic intelligence". Therefore, the IQ test is mostly measuring other things. Although some of the effect could be epigenetic.

   2474. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4323936)
cold

no, i mean he had african-americans serve side by side with everyone else

wallace was a fine farmer. that was the limit of his expertise

henry wallace? give me a break
   2475. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4323938)
Blaming Truman for the red scare witch hunts is hard to fathom, it seems to me. What could he have done?


I (or rather my brother) isn't blaming him for their existence, but rather not standing up to them, not using his bully pulpit against them. And to be clear I never said he was a bad president, simply what his greatest flaw/area of concern was as far as my brother is concerned (I am not nearly enough of a Presidential history buff to be able to argue out the nuances one way or another).
   2476. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4323942)
America has always distrusted the USSR. They sent troops to fight for the Whites against the Reds in Russia after they pulled out of WWI. American troops were going WTF at fighting in a Winter wasteland when the war was supposed to be over.
   2477. zenbitz Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4323943)
Oh, and to address a JoeK point from last page. Yes, the California State Government is in thrall to the Prison-Industrial Complex and is overall corrupt and incompetent. And nearly 70% Democrat. This just proves that Democrat is not a synonym for "Liberal". Because "more prisons and longer prison terms" is hardly a Liberal or Progressive position, even it it happens to be one of the Democratic Party.

However, the Republican Party of California platform is essentially "What the Democrats said except 'no taxes' and "why should we pay for all these teachers/police/firemen when we could be paying for even more Prisons"

   2478. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4323945)
[Truman] also started the Cold War pretty much single-handedly (acting on pressure from his more experienced handlers), naively assuming that the short period in which the US had the upper hand by being the only state with nuclear capability woudl go on forever.

Yes, Truman single-handedly overran Central and Eastern Europe. Easy, one hand. While Stalin would have gladly allowed non-Communist governments in that part of the world if only the Big Meanies didn't twy to interfere with him. I'm sure that the Poles who took part in the 1944 Warsaw uprising (and watched the Soviets betray them, and go on to murder their leaders) would sign onto that, as would the Czechs and the Hungarians and so on.

As for Henry Wallace, much as he contributed a lot to agriculture, in foreign affairs he was so far over his head he might as well have been lying on the floor of the ocean.

One factoid about Henry Wallace that tells you all you really need to know about his terminal innocence: While vice-president, he visited the Kolyma slave labor camps in Siberia and compared them to the TVA. Now I'm sure that there would be some Tea Party types who might make such a comparison in the opposite direction, but for an otherwise reasonably sane person to make such a statement fairly boggles the mind. (And please don't say that "he would have had no way of knowing" what was going on in Kolyma.)

And as for Wallace's 1948 campaign, even though my all time journalistic hero backed him, and even though I had a relative who ran for Governor of North Carolina on the Progressive ticket, his contribution to truth in that year was strictly on the domestic side. Even Wallace himself admitted several years later that the Communists had been running his campaign behind the scenes, without his knowledge. He was a very good man in many ways, but he was also the embodiment of the stereotyped liberal dupe, at a time when the overwhelming majority of liberals were looking at Stalin with much clearer vision.

edit: coke to harvey in #2474, who said it all about Henry Wallace in 18 succinctly chosen words.

   2479. zenbitz Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4323946)
My conclusions based on a little reading and a couple undergradute history and poli-sci courses is the Cold War was one giant misunderstanding based on the fact that both sides were (in my opinion, falsely) convinced that the other was hell bent on their destruction.

WWI also seems to have been a giant rolling ########### - but that's possibly simply due to misunderstanding the horror of modern warfare.

   2480. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4323948)
bitter

oh that's bs. truman vetoed the mccarren act and gave speeches b8tching about mccarthy though he didn't call out the senator by name

i remember that because folks thought the president was crazy to not believe that the country was being overrun by commies

i am not trying to criticize your brother but he should sift through old time magazines or somehting and i bet he finds references to truman criticizing congress on this stuff
   2481. zenbitz Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4323950)
actually, the speaker is putting up a public fuss so that nobody can think he's getting rolled


You know, I usually only go out of my way to complement posters who are minorities or women, but I really do appreciate your perspective on these threads Harveys.
   2482. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4323952)
actually, the speaker is putting up a public fuss so that nobody can think he's getting rolled


Except the end result is that he is going to get rolled. The speaker might as well get what he can before he becomes as flat as a pancake.
   2483. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4323953)
zen

well, that's kind of you.

but i don't think this stuff is any great insight. i always steal the line from groundhog day where bill murray says god isn't that smart but maybe he's just been around so long that is how he knows a lot of stuff.

the speaker is in a bind. sure part of it is his own doing because he and the senator laid a bet that the president wouldn't be president and the governor dropped the ball so now they are scrambling.

   2484. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4323959)
tripon

he's counting votes. and it looks like he could be in a win-win scenario where he can yank over enough votes to get a deal but if he doesn't like the deal he has enough votes to keep his job if a deal doesn't get done

sure the gop brand will take a hit but everybody thinks they stink already so what's the difference between a 15 percent and a 20 percent approval rating?
   2485. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4323961)
The theme of Episode 3 seems to be a comparison of Henry Wallace, who was immensely popular, promoted peace, and wanted to put an end to the era of colonialism, with Truman, who was pretty much the opposite.

It's one of the tragedies of mid-20th century liberalism that it couldn't be simultaneously anti-Communist and anti-colonialist, since it needed the support of colonial powers as a force against Soviet expansionism. But that realpolitikal necessity also served to undermine much of our credibility in the rest of the world for generations to come. Whereas Wallace was on the right track about colonialism, but tragically shortsighted about Communism. It wasn't exactly the time of one-size-fits-all solutions, revisionism aside.
   2486. Morty Causa Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4323962)
I (or rather my brother) isn't blaming him for their existence, but rather not standing up to them, not using his bully pulpit against them. And to be clear I never said he was a bad president, simply what his greatest flaw/area of concern was as far as my brother is concerned (I am not nearly enough of a Presidential history buff to be able to argue out the nuances one way or another).


My impression is that Truman did speak out forcefully against against all that red-scaring. Moreover, he virulently criticized Eisenhower's campaign of president '51 for not forcefully curbing the Republican teapartiers of that time--especially since they were going after the one military man who always remained Truman's hero--George Marshall. Eisenhower, to his eternal mortification, soft-pedaled them when it came to Marshall (Ike's great benefactor) because he thought (wrongly) that he needed them to get elected. He later, when the opportune moment presented itself, neatly delivered the coup de grace to McCarthy.
   2487. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4323964)
This is Daily Beast article in which Stone defends some criticisms of the series (which is also a book), and the initial reviewer offers a rebuttal.

link

I'm not going to defend Stone any further, I realize he's pretty controversial, to say the least. I don't think anyone can argue that the US hasn't utterly dominated geopolitics over the last 65 years, via direct military intervention, corporate domination of foreign resources, coups, sanctions, etc.. I don't think that's a good thing, as I don't believe the supposed bogeymen could have been any worse. I'm trying to imagine what it must be like to be a Ugandan, a Libyan, a Palestinian, a Nicaraguan, a Chilean or a resident of Hiroshima or Ciudad Juarez at various points over the last 65 years when I say this.
   2488. zenbitz Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4323966)
you mean a guaranteed standard of lower middle class living. Which is what people with iPhones and computers and internet access and housing and cars and access to emergency health care services and air conditioning and big screen TVs have, and already had, and yet the left wasn't satisfied with that before Obamacare, isn't satisfied with that now, won't be satisfied with that in the future as long as there is still wealth to be redistributed.


I agree - this is what I mean. I am not against socialism or wealth distibution, nor am I afraid to call it what it is.

However, I disagree that this will really destroy the incentive to work hard. As Harveys said, there are about 4% of the people who are just not that into the whole wackadoodle system of, you know, working for a living. I actually suspect that if you throw in a bunch of people who are artists and dreamers etc,. but also don't like a part-time-job standard of living, you might get more like 8-10%. (Maybe not for the their whole lives... but hell, have you BEEN to Portland??)

And I am OK with that.

I don't think this:
Conversely, we can't provide people with a middle class lifestyle for not working and expect them to ever get back into the workforce. Being on the dole needs to suck, or everybody would do it.


Is very accurate - although obviously it depends a little on the precise definition of "middle class lifestyle". As Bitter Mouse said, there MAY be a point where you discourage such a great number of people form working that GDP drops.

But I would think that it's somewhat self correcting - or at least it could be designed to be. If people won't work a Job X for Wage Z, then Wage Z goes up. If GDP drops because people are all on the Dole, then the lifestyle necessarily drops (not enough revenue) and people go get jobs.

Really I think this is exaggerated though. If you have lifestyle X with no job, but people with jobs have lifestyle 1.5X or 2X, then there is still incentive. Some people don't care, but most people do I think.

Another option is simply to reduce the "average middle class job" (whatever the heck that is) workweek from 40 hours to 35 or 30. That increasing the jobs availble by 12.5-15%. All those who got reduced hours get increased benefits.

People (like all us high paid technically skilled white collar types who still manage to fart around all day on the internet) will still be working long hours for big bucks.
   2489. spike Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4323969)
Well at least today hasn't been totally devoid of good news - Joe Lieberman gives farewell address to virtually empty Senate.
   2490. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4323978)
i think people confuse the existence of a reduced standard of living with the perceived barriers to move from one strata to another.

i 'do' acknowledge that there may be validity, even confirmation, that it has become more difficult to move from one group to another.

i think if more energy were devoted to that versus how to raise the foundation of those at the very bottom the tenor of the conversation with the public woudl change

remember how lbj got the southerners to budge just a hair on civil rights because deep down they agreed that americans of all stripes should be able to vote?

all americans believe that if you have the requisite gumption you should be able to move from sh8tsville to suburbia.
   2491. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4323983)
i think if more energy were devoted to that versus how to raise the foundation of those at the very bottom the tenor of the conversation with the public woudl change


Amen.
   2492. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4323990)
cold

i can state very firmly that when nancy pelosi speaks about the poor her message sounds very much like handing money away just 'because'

that is how i perceive her message and my compadres agree far more vehemently.

it's not getting anywhere save for building animosity and resentment.
   2493. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4323997)
Well put, Harvey.

What convinced me the current system is ###### was a study comparing adulthood income between youth who start in different socioeconomic classes: Those from the bottom quintile who were lucky enough to beat the odds and graduate from college, they still made less that someone from the top quintile who didn't get a degree. Makes me want to go back to Arcata and punch the panhandling Trustafarians driving Range Rovers.
   2494. The Good Face Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4324005)
Yes. Although your use of the word "important" is shows your bias. I mean, it might be "not that important at all" - especially in regard to the "state of the art" IQ test.


Except "important" appears to be the current consensus. Last I checked, estimates of the genetic component of IQ ranged from 30-80%, depending on which scientists you talked to. Even if the 30% folks are right, that's "important".

This is demonstrated by the Flynn effect. 112 years is no where near enough time for selective pressure in humans to substantially increase "innate genetic intelligence". Therefore, the IQ test is mostly measuring other things. Although some of the effect could be epigenetic.


Nobody has adequately explained the Flynn effect. The best explanations I've seen are that better nutrition and fewer environmental toxins (lead!)are allowing people to better reach their genetic potential. Epigenetics are a plausible explanation as well. Also, it appears the Flynn effect has been tapering off in recent years, which would support the nutrition/environmental toxins hypothesis. Any argument that IQ isn't measuring something innate and genetic founders on the fact that we can't seem to make meaningful, lasting improvements in IQ. There are plenty of ways to lower IQ, but we don't know how to raise it. That suggests that everybody has a capped potential IQ based on genetic/epigentic factors; things like malnutrition, a variety of toxins, and being raised by wolves can all prevent you from reaching that potential. But nothing seems to be able to push you past it.
   2495. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4324006)
I wouldn't mind in the least if Nancy Pelosi was in a plane that crash landed in the middle of the tiger enclosure in a North Korean zoo. Can't stand the #####.
   2496. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4324011)
cold

well, that's a bit harsh. i will grant she has taken care of herself. and if she has had comsmetic surgery it's been well done

but her language ain't helping. but she also comes from a district taht favors dragging ceos in the street and selling their assets

so, doing what her constituents want..........
   2497. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4324012)
If people won't work a Job X for Wage Z, then Wage Z goes up.


No, Job X gets shipped to country C-H-I-N-A.
   2498. spike Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4324013)
But she always speaks so highly of you, Rants.
   2499. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4324017)
Former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel is "likely" to be named the next Secretary of Defense by President Obama, Bloomberg is now reporting. Hagel visited the White House to discuss the position December 4, and has passed the vetting process, according to the news site.


http://news.yahoo.com/meet-chuck-hagel-likely-secretary-defense-191347660.html
   2500. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4324019)
I'm sure she does spike, I'm sure she does.
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