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Monday, June 02, 2014

OTP - June 2014: Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

Bitter Mouse Posted: June 02, 2014 at 07:48 AM | 4613 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: otp, politics, stupid ideas

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   1601. bunyon Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4722732)

I'm only citing polls as an indication of how the next election may turn out. It's the other side that has insisted for about 9 months now that "No One Cares" & "It Doesn't Matter", insisting that ObamaCare is here to stay regardless of public opinion. I beg to differ.


I think if you really wanted to get government involved in drug development, the plan would be to have the Feds buy any compound that gets past Phase II. Phase III is very expensive and lots of compounds flame out there after billions have been spent, which makes the companies need to charge a lot for the the drugs that make it through to the market. Phase III is so expensive small companies usually try to sellout to a big company rather than go through it alone. You could just have the government replace the big company there. The only trouble comes in that you'd then having the government responsible for approving it's own drugs, a bit of a conflict. Though it's a conflict in any of your scenarios. Anyway, such a plan would massively diversify the risk of an expensive late phase failure and give the government ownership of the product which would allow them to control price. I'm not sure if it would work but having the government involved from the ground up is both a non-starter and wouldn't actually work for a number of reasons given above.

One thing I always wonder about when pharma comes under criticism is that the criticism seems like people think scientists are sitting on all sorts of "wonder drugs" but won't release them out of...I don't know, greed? Except wonder drugs are a good way to make money. Evilness? Incompetence? What exactly is it that people think pharma companies are trying to do? If they could make these drugs for a couple bucks and an afternoon of work, don't you think they would?
   1602. The Good Face Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4722736)
So why is more babies the goal? More than replacement level.


Snapper and 'zop have answered these pretty well I think.

Including (or excluding) immigration?


I generally oppose significant amounts of immigration. There are times when it might make sense, but now is not one of those times.

Do we care whose babies (because snapper seems focused on children of the middle class)?


I do, and presumably so does Snapper. We should incentivize responsible, law-abiding, productive citizens to have more children and discourage the foolish, lazy, and anti-social (in a criminal sense) from having children.
   1603. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4722738)
Not surprisingly I disagree with your answers, but thanks to zop, snapper and GF for responding.
   1604. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4722741)
Re: population growth - Europe is significantly more densely populated than the US, even limiting it to the US east of ~97W (i.e., the area with sufficient annual precipitation to support sustainable non-grazing agriculture without mining groundwater). No one would argue that Europe is an environmental disaster, or that the quality of life of its citizens is materially worse than of those in the US as a result of European population density. If you're OK with Europe, you're OK with a US population of ~1 billion.
   1605. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4722744)
Not surprisingly I disagree with your answers, but thanks to zop, snapper and GF for responding.


This is one where I suspect you just lack knowledge, Mouse. There's a lot of green propaganda about overpopulation, but separating the "PEOPLE BAD! NATURE GOOD!" arguments from the arguments deriving from the way that an increased population would effect quality of life is important to making reasoned policy decisions.
   1606. Publius Publicola Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4722746)
I'm sure someone will be along shortly to explain that the views of the American people simply don't matter,


Well, Clapper, I'm glad to hear you're so attuned to the views of America. Favorability polls of GOP:


CBS 5/16 - 5/19 1,009 A 33 58 8

Unfavorable +25



Gallup 4/24 - 4/30 1,513 A 34 59 6

Unfavorable +25



NBC/WSJ 4/23 - 4/27 1,000 A 25 44 2

Unfavorable +19



FOX 4/13 - 4/15 1,012 RV 45 45 9

-



AP-GfK (Web) 3/20 - 3/24 1,012 A 38 60 -

Unfavorable +22



NPR 3/19 - 3/23 840 LV 26 52 -

Unfavorable +26



Bloomberg 3/7 - 3/10 1,001 A 37 54 9

Unfavorable +17



NBC/WSJ 3/5 - 3/9 1,000 A 27 45 1

Unfavorable +18



YouGov/Economist 2/22 - 2/24 1,000 A 33 59 8

Unfavorable +26



CBS/Times 2/19 - 2/23 1,644 A 33 61 5

Unfavorable +28


Don't you think facusing on the ACA is kind of missing the forest for the sapling?

EDIT: And don't you just love Fox News?
   1607. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4722747)
.
   1608. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4722749)
I generally oppose significant amounts of immigration. There are times when it might make sense, but now is not one of those times.

The other problem with our immigration policy is the the family reunification focus leads to working age immigrants bringing over parents, and aunts and uncles, and grandparents, which means immigration doesn't shift the demographic balance all that much.
   1609. steagles Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4722750)
another school shooting today.

it's the 74th school shooting since sandy hook. some perspective:


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   1610. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4722754)
I'm only citing polls as an indication of how the next election may turn out. It's the other side that has insisted for about 9 months now that "No One Cares" & "It Doesn't Matter", insisting that ObamaCare is here to stay regardless of public opinion. I beg to differ.


I think you might have copied the wrong comment there. (smile)

I think if you really wanted to get government involved in drug development, the plan would be to have the Feds buy any compound that gets past Phase II. Phase III is very expensive and lots of compounds flame out there after billions have been spent, which makes the companies need to charge a lot for the the drugs that make it through to the market. Phase III is so expensive small companies usually try to sellout to a big company rather than go through it alone. You could just have the government replace the big company there. The only trouble comes in that you'd then having the government responsible for approving it's own drugs, a bit of a conflict.

Good point about the potential for conflict of interest, though the conflict wouldn't be quite the same with profit taken out of the picture.

Anyway, such a plan would massively diversify the risk of an expensive late phase failure and give the government ownership of the product which would allow them to control price. I'm not sure if it would work but having the government involved from the ground up is both a non-starter and wouldn't actually work for a number of reasons given above.

That's the downside, but the upside is a much wider distribution of the products of all that research.

One thing I always wonder about when pharma comes under criticism is that the criticism seems like people think scientists are sitting on all sorts of "wonder drugs" but won't release them out of...I don't know, greed? Except wonder drugs are a good way to make money. Evilness? Incompetence? What exactly is it that people think pharma companies are trying to do? If they could make these drugs for a couple bucks and an afternoon of work, don't you think they would?

I don't think it has anything to do with an underappreciation of the work that's involved in producing these drugs. I think the criticism is more about the heavyhanded ways they go about trying to extend their effective patents by minor changes, by trying to block generics from reaching the market, and by trying to block consumers from buying prescription drugs from Canada at much lower prices (which many of us do, anyway).
   1611. Publius Publicola Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4722758)
The only trouble comes in that you'd then having the government responsible for approving it's own drugs, a bit of a conflict.


There's already a conflict of interest in that the legislative branch controls the pursestrings of the FDA and the legislative branch is beholden to all kinds of special interests. Despite that, they generally do a really good job.
   1612. Publius Publicola Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4722781)
BTW, did anyone see the Times article about Cardinal O'Connor's mother being Jewish?
   1613. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4722784)
I've yet to see anyone suggesting the next election is going to be anything but a disaster for the Democrats.

As for ObamaCare, for repeal you need a veto proof majority in the House and Senate. Do your polls suggest you'll get that? If not, it can't be repealed until January 20, 2017. For that to happen, again, you either need a veto proof majority in Congress or a majority along with a Republican president. Current polls have no way to predict the outcome of the 2016 election. Getting something that large repealed that far down the line requires it to be either overwhelmingly unpopular or a president and Congress that don't care. Either could happen, but we're all spitting in the wind in trying to predict it.


There is at least one regular contributor to this thread who has predicted that the Democrats will hang on to the Senate, even if it's by Biden's tie-breaking vote. Has he recanted? Now granted, even his ideological brethren probably consider him to be a dim bulb, but there have been a wide range of mid-term outcomes predicted here. Perhaps if more regulars shared their predictions of a Democratic disaster, I wouldn't need to undertake as extensive an educational effort on the subject.

Picking up 5 Senate seats is no small accomplishment, but I will freely admit that the GOP will have under-performed if they fall short of taking control of the Senate. There is also a difference between getting to 51 seats, or closer to 54 or 55. A 1-vote margin only prevails on the issues Republicans are unanimous on, while a wider margin is likely to have a much greater impact. Is there a direct path from the 2014 mid-term to ObamaCare repeal? No, but it's a step in the right direction. If the GOP ends up with more House seats than they had after 2010, picks up 8-10 Senate seats, and holds its own in the Governors races or adds a governorship or two, the remaining Democrats will have some hard choices. They may be in safe districts or states, but if they want to regain majority status they'll likely have to move towards public opinion, and self-preservation will count for more than the wishes of the lame-duck Obama Administration. Outright repeal might not happen, but some legislative trimming is possible, with more to come if Republicans take the White House in 2016.
   1614. zenbitz Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4722789)
Worldwide, sure. But not in this country. We have a huge surplus of surface water in the midwest, southeast, and east, and acres upon acres of farmland lying fallow. We could easily support two or three times the population we currently do. (Though, you're correct, water resources in the west are a special case that limits the population growth there.) Clean air is not materially affected by population growth with proper policies. "Peak oil" is a myth. Biodiversity is a wishy-washy bullshit thing.

Worldwide overpopulation, a huge issue. But the western hemisphere is quite different.


Wouldn't the good neighbor thing to do be to allow unlimited immigration? That way you help out the "other hemisphere" and get to use up all our fallow farmland. Or whatever.

EDIT Guess I missed a few posts! Anyway... farmland and water aren't the issue. It's energy. More people == more energy consumption. Eventually we will figure out how to harness a greater fraction of the impinging solar radiation, but until then we are just burning 3 billion years of stored carbon. In the short run I don't think this is a big deal, but I like to take a 1,000 year view when I can.
   1615. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4722793)
However, you argue while claiming to know nothing about the book, and to have no interest learning. Others here are just getting their information and views from a filtered, bias source.


I scan these diatribes about race when you guys go off on them, simply to make sure I don't miss a shocker where someone changes their mind. On the merits, I take the opinions of actual professional geneticists who post on the subject here more seriously than I take your cultural revolution for this Wade guy. I have little interest in your pimping a victim narrative for the guy. It bores me. Because it is boring.

As for your claim that others are biased but your sources pure and unsullied with such paltry human guff, you're laughable on the face when you play that "Ah serve a higher truth than you, gentlemen. Good day, sir. I say, GOOD DAY!" card.
   1616. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4722796)
This is one where I suspect you just lack knowledge, Mouse. There's a lot of green propaganda about overpopulation, but separating the "PEOPLE BAD! NATURE GOOD!" arguments from the arguments deriving from the way that an increased population would effect quality of life is important to making reasoned policy decisions.


7.5 billion screaming monkeys flinging #### and we need more? Please.
   1617. zenbitz Posted: June 10, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4722797)
One thing I always wonder about when pharma comes under criticism is that the criticism seems like people think scientists are sitting on all sorts of "wonder drugs" but won't release them out of...I don't know, greed? Except wonder drugs are a good way to make money. Evilness? Incompetence? What exactly is it that people think pharma companies are trying to do? If they could make these drugs for a couple bucks and an afternoon of work, don't you think they would?


Probably the most meaningful criticism of the industry (other than "they charge too much" for the commie types) is that it's not at all cost effective to pursue disease "markets" where a treatment is worth less than $1B/year in revenue. There is a FDA program for "rare and orphan" diseases though. I guess the other paranoid thought is that drug companies only want to MAKE YOU DEPENDENT ON THEIR TREATMENTS rather than "cure" a disease. This might be true if there is no competition for a given therapeutic area (which of course, there is -- all the areas that are worth billions/year PLUS the fact that subtly different drugs will work better (or worse) on different folks).
   1618. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 10, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4722802)
I guess the other paranoid thought is that drug companies only want to MAKE YOU DEPENDENT ON THEIR TREATMENTS rather than "cure" a disease.


Wait. So profit incentives are invalid considerations when discussing Big Pharma now? Because it's not really paranoia to say "there's no long term profit in curing hypertension, but there's a hell of a large profit margin in creating a drug that lowers it if you dose every day."

There's also no profit motive for Big Oil to create fusion energy that eliminates the need for oil and gas.
   1619. zenbitz Posted: June 10, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4722803)
by trying to block generics from reaching the market, and by trying to block consumers from buying prescription drugs from Canada at much lower prices (which many of us do, anyway).


Again, this last bit is an insurance issue. Big insurance actually has lower cost to consumers than Canada or Mexico -- and GENERICS are actually cheaper here. They charge that much for the same reason that 1st class costs 10 times as much as coach. The people who fly first class don't pay.
   1620. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 10, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4722808)
Wouldn't the good neighbor thing to do be to allow unlimited immigration? That way you help out the "other hemisphere" and get to use up all our fallow farmland. Or whatever.

EDIT Guess I missed a few posts! Anyway... farmland and water aren't the issue. It's energy. More people == more energy consumption. Eventually we will figure out how to harness a greater fraction of the impinging solar radiation, but until then we are just burning 3 billion years of stored carbon. In the short run I don't think this is a big deal, but I like to take a 1,000 year view when I can.


(1) To be fair, we have plenty of energy if there was the political willingness to use nuclear . . . but there isn't. Also, energy usage correlates with economic growth about as closely as it correlates with population growth, so fewer richer people will also consume more energy; limiting population growth doesn't get you out of the carbon consumption puzzle. You need to keep population constant AND limit economic growth in order to restrain energy consumption.

(2) When I say other hemisphere, I'm not referring to poor parts of the world, necessarily. Densities in Africa aren't that high, rather its really inefficient land use that causes their issues. I'm talking about places like Japan, and South Korea, which are literally more than an order of magnitude more dense, or Germany or the UK, which are about 60% as dense as the densest countries in East Asia, or a little less than an order of magnitude more dense than the US. Even when you account for land that could not be made sustainably arable, the U.S. is hugely depopulated compared to the rest of the developed world; in fact, it's almost singularly so (Uruguay and Argentina are similarly "underdense", as is Canada (even when you account for land that could not be made arable)). The US has been consistently letting arable land go to back to woodland away from the frontier since ~1815. I.e., if you live in Connecticut or Maryland, there was more arable land in your state in 1815 than today. Think about that!
   1621. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 10, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4722829)
This might end up being important - Huge Loss For California Teacher Unions:
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu found five California laws governing the hiring and firing of teachers unconstitutional. But it was his language, more than the ruling itself, that will shake the political debate. Treu found that the statutes permit too many grossly incompetent teachers to remain in classrooms across the state — and found that those teachers shortchange their students by putting them months or years behind their peers in math and reading.

He ruled that such a system violates the state constitution’s guarantee that all children receive “basic equality of educational opportunity.” In a blunt, unsparing 16-page opinion, Treu compared his ruling to the seminal federal desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education, decided 60 years ago last month. “The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience,” Treu wrote. In adopting the language and legal framework of the civil rights movement, Treu gave a major boost to school reformers from both parties who have long argued that the current system dooms poor and minority students to inferior educations.
. . .
Education Secretary Arne Duncan signaled his support for the ongoing campaign to reform hiring and firing laws. He noted that “millions of young people in America … are disadvantaged by laws, practices and systems that fail to identify and support our best teachers and match them with our neediest students.” And he called the ruling “a mandate to fix these problems.”
. . .
Though the ruling was couched as “preliminary,” there was nothing tentative about Treu’s opinion. He found “no dispute that there are a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms” and that the legal system protects them by making it all but impossible for districts to fire even the worst teachers. He also expressed outrage at a system that shields veteran teachers from layoffs, regardless of their competence. “The logic of this position is unfathomable and therefore constitutionally unsupportable,” he wrote.

What’s more, Treu added, evidence at trial showed that teacher protections embedded in California law disproportionately hurt black and Hispanic students, who are far more likely than their peers to be assigned truly bad teachers.

Seems like a bit of an "activist" ruling, but no more so than those that up-ended formulas for financing public schools in many states. The teacher unions and their political allies may have some hard choices ahead.
   1622. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 10, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4722834)
All rulings are "activist."
   1623. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 10, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4722835)
by trying to block generics from reaching the market, and by trying to block consumers from buying prescription drugs from Canada at much lower prices (which many of us do, anyway).

Again, this last bit is an insurance issue. Big insurance actually has lower cost to consumers than Canada or Mexico -- and GENERICS are actually cheaper here.


Yeah, and although there are almost unbelievable differences among prices for certain generics between (say) Costco and CVS (like CVS charging nearly 10 times as much), if you look around a bit the truth of your statement is evident. Totally the opposite with brand names, which is why the Canadian alternative is so important. I save about 68% on my two brand name glaucoma drops from Canada compared to the cheapest online domestic pharmacy**, but the third Rx for glaucoma drops is now cheaper here since the generic showed up.

They charge that much for the same reason that 1st class costs 10 times as much as coach. The people who fly first class don't pay.

Well, sure, but coach passengers' ordeal seldom amounts to more than a few hours of inconvenience and bad food. If only those cancer patients without access to the best medicines could be so lucky.

And BTW I don't think that "envy" is quite the word I'd use to describe the feelings of those patients without access to those life changing (or life saving) drugs. "Desperation" might be more like it----though Ray might call it "freedom".

**$127.00 for a 2 months' supply of both of those drops from the Universal Drugstore of Canada, vs. $393.00 from HealthWarehouse.com. That's a savings of $1596.00 a year.
   1624. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 10, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4722848)
There are a lot of posts on this thread that I bet make Andy bitterly regret having taken his glaucoma drops.
   1625. Mefisto Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4722856)
This might end up being important - Huge Loss For California Teacher Unions:


I wouldn't take this ruling too seriously. It's a Superior Court judge (the lowest level judge we have) and he's both an idiot and an #######.
   1626. zenbitz Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4722867)
To be fair, we have plenty of energy if there was the political willingness to use nuclear . . . but there isn't. Also, energy usage correlates with economic growth about as closely as it correlates with population growth, so fewer richer people will also consume more energy; limiting population growth doesn't get you out of the carbon consumption puzzle. You need to keep population constant AND limit economic growth in order to restrain energy consumption.


Wasn't the whole argument for more babies -> more economic growth? So that increases the problem. And nuclear power is clean (in some regards) but it's not cheap. How much U235 is there, anyway? It's not infinite. Tripling or Quadupling the US population is not a one-time hit.

Maybe there is some negative feedback in that more people -> more economic growth -> more energy usage -> more expensive energy -> less economic growth.

I don't really have a problem with more babby but I don't really think it requires incentive.
   1627. zenbitz Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4722868)
Because it's not really paranoia to say "there's no long term profit in curing hypertension, but there's a hell of a large profit margin in creating a drug that lowers it if you dose every day."


Well, it's not paranoia to think that it COULD happen, but it would be to think it DOES happen, sans evidence. First off - pharma companies compete. If one develops a better drug they get more of the market share. If one develops a PERFECT drug, they get 100% of the market share. And in the medium term, all the patents expire anyway. Second off - it's not like it's that precise a science. "Whoa, this drug works a little TOO well,... better dilute it down". And if if you did do that, MDs are given a fair amount of discretion in dosage or whatever.

I did hear some seminars on something like a "cancer cure" - using genetically engineered retroviruses (aka Gene Therapy). I want to say the company was Onyx pharmaceuticals. Due to some high profile failures (causing leukemia , etc.) I don't think people try much in the way of gene therapy these days. I am a little distant from the field these days, so perhaps it's making a comeback. It will eventually I am sure.
   1628. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4722870)
When people think their children have a reasonable chance of survival into adolescence and adulthood, they make about two of them. When they don't, they make more than two. There is no reason to try to incent the monkey to spit out more monkeys. It's what the monkey does.
   1629. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4722872)
Is there a single liberal here willing to go on record to say that if we had perfect information as to who was able to work but not willing, said single liberal would not support giving welfare to that person?
   1630. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 10, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4722876)
Wasn't the whole argument for more babies -> more economic growth? So that increases the problem.


Yes, precisely. Economic growth >> limiting energy consumption (especially since even if carbon emissions are frozen, we've already ensured a huge amount of warming. The only way out of global warming is geoengineering, which requires $$$$$$. Any rational reading of the IPCC report reveals that there's no way to avoid harmful warming merely by reducing emission by any feasible amount.

And nuclear power is clean (in some regards) but it's not cheap.


It is competitive with fossil fuels when scaled up, especially when carbon externalities are taken into account. Unlike solar and wind.

How much U235 is there, anyway? It's not infinite.


No, it's effectively infinite. You would've thought the "Peak Oil" myth would've gotten the point across to folks whose knowledge of earth science is very limited, but it has failed to. At current prices, there's about 80 years of Uranium left based on known reserves. But, of course, if uranium becomes more valuable, reactors are engineered to be more efficient and sources of uranium not-currently economic will be accessed. If you take that into account and assume that uranium usage proceeds much like all other natural resource, there's enough uranium for hundreds of years of global usage, even assuming, say, double the amount of nuclear from the present day. If nuclear bridges us to 2250, I'll take my chances that we can develop superior energy technology by then.

Maybe there is some negative feedback in that more people -> more economic growth -> more energy usage -> more expensive energy -> less economic growth.


If your goal is to restrict economic growth, then yes, restricting population growth is a phenomenal idea. I'll stipulate that. Since we broke away from Malthusian dynamics about 400 years ago, society has taken a different view on whether limiting economic growth is a good thing. You may disagree - many extreme green folks in Europe would say that restricting economic growth - or rolling us back to standards of living of 100 years ago - would be a good thing, because it would reduce our consumption of natural resources.






   1631. Mefisto Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4722882)
Is there a single liberal here willing to go on record to say that if we had perfect information as to who was able to work but not willing, said single liberal would not support giving welfare to that person?


Is there a single conservative on this site who is willing to go on record to say that if we paid out welfare to 5 million deserving poor, but one single undeserving person got welfare as well, said single conservative would not oppose that welfare system?
   1632. Mefisto Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4722885)
Nuclear strikes me as a poor way to combat global warming. Remember that it's not just the US we need to affect -- China is now the biggest contributor of carbon emissions. Any solution therefore has to be implemented in every single country. So all those in favor of Iran's nuclear power plants, please raise your hands.

As for geoengineering, that's laughable. We can't do it now even if we wanted to, we don't understand how to do it, and experimenting with an n=1 system is pretty much the definition of insanity.

Pace Ray, the warming baked into the system is going to be very harmful (e.g., we'll probably lose all the world's beaches in 100 years or so, and much of the coastline will be wrecked as well). We can avoid further damage -- you REALLY don't want to melt the Antarctic ice sheet -- but we have to start with technology available today and hope that future technology gives us more options. Making a bet now on future tech is crazy.
   1633. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4722886)
(e.g., we'll probably lose all the world's beaches in 100 years or so


loFFFFl.
   1634. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4722888)
Well you already said biodiversity is meaningless, so here's hoping you are right.

Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived on the scene, and the world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction, a new study says.

The study looks at past and present rates of extinction and finds a lower rate in the past than scientists had thought. Species are now disappearing from Earth about 10 times faster than biologists had believed, said study lead author noted biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University.
   1635. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4722893)
Clearly, Stuart Pimm just wants people to give him more money. Or something.
   1636. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4722894)
Nuclear strikes me as a poor way to combat global warming. Remember that it's not just the US we need to affect -- China is now the biggest contributor of carbon emissions. Any solution therefore has to be implemented in every single country. So all those in favor of Iran's nuclear power plants, please raise your hands.

As for geoengineering, that's laughable. We can't do it now even if we wanted to, we don't understand how to do it, and experimenting with an n=1 system is pretty much the definition of insanity.

Pace Ray, the warming baked into the system is going to be very harmful (e.g., we'll probably lose all the world's beaches in 100 years or so, and much of the coastline will be wrecked as well). We can avoid further damage -- you REALLY don't want to melt the Antarctic ice sheet -- but we have to start with technology available today and hope that future technology gives us more options. Making a bet now on future tech is crazy.


Is someone lecturing me on global warming? I think so. That's pretty rich. FWIW, when I was studying climate change at Columbia, it was universally agreed by the main scientists there - Hansen, Broecker, etc - that geoengineering was the only way out. Otherwise, you're literally rolling the world back to the standard of living of 50 or 100 years afo, which is simply unacceptable (remember, that's a GLOBAL rollback, so its not just that we live like 1950s americans did, but Koreans live like 1950s Koreans did, Chinese live like 1950s chinese did, etc.)

Pace Ray, the warming baked into the system is going to be very harmful (e.g., we'll probably lose all the world's beaches in 100 years or so, and much of the coastline will be wrecked as well). We can avoid further damage -- you REALLY don't want to melt the Antarctic ice sheet -- but we have to start with technology available today and hope that future technology gives us more options. Making a bet now on future tech is crazy
.

Sigh. Let me guess. Didn't take much earth science in college, did you.

Well you already said biodiversity is meaningless, so here's hoping you are right.


Biodiversity is meaningless (and valueless) as an ideal. I.e., the world is not a better place because there is more biodiversity, QED. It has to be established WHY biodiversity is a good thing, beyond "nature is a good thing and nature is diverse so diversity is good". I think conceptually, folks who didn't study earth science really have issues comprehending how enormous geological time is and how robustly the Earth responds to disaster. In the sense of "Mother Earth", global warming, killing off species, etc doesn't mean squat - give it 500,000 years or so, maybe a million, and it will be like we were never here, and that's a literally speck on the geologic timescale (4.6 billion years and counting!). So environmental protection and policy needs to be focused on how humans are affected and whether the costs of environemntal conservation are justified by the benefits to humanity, because other than humans with their blink-and-its-gone lifespans, nothing really cares about what we do to the earth or how we foul things up.
   1637. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4722901)
I think conceptually, folks who didn't study earth science really have issues comprehending how enormous geological time is and how robustly the Earth responds to disaster.


I don't care about a million years from now. In the long run the Earth will be fine, but in the long run, as they say we are all dead.
   1638. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4722905)
So environmental protection and policy needs to be focused on how humans are affected and whether the costs of environemntal conservation are justified by the benefits to humanity, because other than humans with their blink-and-its-gone lifespans, nothing really cares about what we do to the earth or how we foul things up.


If you assume humans are the only thing that matter, and we don't benefit from a diverse ecosystem. I happen to disagree on both fronts. Maybe you don't care that species are going extinct, but I do. Maybe you don't care about the environment and the idea that we are part of it and not the only important thing in it, but I do.

No matter what I say on the subject you clearly have very strong biases (you jumped up and down way before I said much of anything on the subject and made many assumptions about my positions before I stated them). So feel free to lecture me if you want.
   1639. Mefisto Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4722913)
Is someone lecturing me on global warming? I think so. That's pretty rich. FWIW, when I was studying climate change at Columbia, it was universally agreed by the main scientists there - Hansen, Broecker, etc - that geoengineering was the only way out. Otherwise, you're literally rolling the world back to the standard of living of 50 or 100 years afo, which is simply unacceptable (remember, that's a GLOBAL rollback, so its not just that we live like 1950s americans did, but Koreans live like 1950s Koreans did, Chinese live like 1950s chinese did, etc.)


Your comments have little to do with global warming, but you're making lots of unjustified economic and political assumptions. And you didn't respond to those, neither in this passage nor in the others which I won't bother to quote.
   1640. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4722916)
you assume humans are the only thing that matter, and we don't benefit from a diverse ecosystem. I happen to disagree on both fronts. Maybe you don't care that species are going extinct, but I do. Maybe you don't care about the environment and the idea that we are part of it and not the only important thing in it, but I do.


I don't assume. I argue that the null hypothesis is that the known benefit of economic development is greater than the unknown hypothetical benefit of biodiversity. The burden is on "you" to demonstrate otherwise.

Maybe you don't care about the environment and the idea that we are part of it and not the only important thing in it, but I do.


Why? What is "the environment"? Is it the environment of today? What about the environment of 15,000 years ago, which was wildly different? If we're picking a moment of time and declaring that to be the environment that we must cherish and preserve, when is that moment in time? Why are we preserving it? Why that moment and not another moment? If, for example, we dump a shitton of carbon into the atmosphere, we will be effectively mimicing a natural even - the PETM. Is the PETM a less legitimate natural state than our current natural state? If so, why? What about the Mesozoic, particularly the Jurassic, with higher pCO2, higher global temperatures, and higher sea levels?

In reality, "the environment" is a human creation like everything else. It is a moment - a state, as it were - that we pick to enshrine and preserve. Once you understand that there is no such thing as "the environment" outside of the idealism of man, then it becomes just like other manmade traditions or concepts that some folks value, others don't, and we generally seek to preserve if objectively beneficial and tear down if harmful.

None of this has anything to do with the oft-conflated issue of environmental harm to PEOPLE, such as clean air, lead in gasoline, the effects of global warming, mercury contamination in our lakes from coal-fired power plants, etc etc, all of which are analytically entirely different; the issue of external costs that are not appropriately borne by those who benefit from the harmful activity.
   1641. zenbitz Posted: June 10, 2014 at 07:55 PM (#4722917)
You misunderstand me, zop. I am not suggesting austerity. But even 800 years of Fission power seems short-sighted. You know, in the long run.
   1642. Publius Publicola Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4722922)
Nuclear strikes me as a poor way to combat global warming. Remember that it's not just the US we need to affect -- China is now the biggest contributor of carbon emissions. Any solution therefore has to be implemented in every single country. So all those in favor of Iran's nuclear power plants, please raise your hands.


First, if the Iranians want to develop nuclear technology to produce energy, I think they have the right to do that. There is legitimate disagreement on how far they are going with it. It's possible they are repeating the Saddam feint, putting out the impression they have WMD without actually having them to ward off any ideas a surprise attack on them would be a good idea. And then there's the possibility they want to develop the technology of WMD but, again, without going all the way, just in case geopolitical circumstances take a left turn, like, the Saudis deciding to develop nukes or something.

But leaving that aside, there's a new nuclear reactor in development that uses thorium rather than uranium. Thorium doesn't produce plutonium as a fission by-product like uranium does and so would be suitable for "politically unreliable" states and the amount of other radioactive waste is smaller and more manageable. There are technical hurdles to overcome but with enough investment they should be overcome. The Chinese are charging hard in this direction, as they are choking to presently death on coal effluents.
   1643. rr Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:03 PM (#4722925)
So why in the world would Ballmer's group pay upwards of $2 billion? It makes no sense.


--

Ballmer's net worth is supposedly around 20B, and he has wanted to be in the owners' club for awhile, but has not been able to pry a franchise loose to take to Seattle. The 2nd place bid, David Geffen's group, was at 1.6B. So, Ballmer came up with a blowout number that he knew would get it done, sort of like the Red Sox bid on Daisuke Matsuzaka. Also, teams that change hands are usually bad teams and/or small market teams, for obvious reasons. This is a 57-win team with two marketable Top 15 players already signed to contract extensions, a big-name coach, playing in LA, and as an added bonus, the Lakers are at the lowest point in the entire history of the franchise.

So, adding all that up, it "makes sense" if you are a guy as rich as Steve Ballmer is and you really, really want to own an NBA team.



   1644. Publius Publicola Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:05 PM (#4722926)
There are all kinds of perfectly sound scientific and economic reasons as to why a diverse and healthy biosphere is a good thing. Anybody who has taken Ecology 101 would immediately appreciate them.
   1645. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4722927)
Meanwhile, the AP is reporting that House Majority leader Eric Cantor just lost his GOP primary to a Tea Party candidate.
   1646. JE (Jason) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4722931)
Wow. Eric Cantor lost his primary. Wow. Did I say "wow?" Sorry, I had meant to say. "WOW."

EDIT: Coke Zero to Gonfalon. By the way, his opponent's name is "Brat." Too funny.
   1647. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4722933)
There are all kinds of perfectly sound scientific and economic reasons as to why a diverse and healthy biosphere is a good thing. Anybody who has taken Ecology 101 would immediately appreciate them.


Yes, but then you teach it and you appreciate that there's more to it!
   1648. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4722941)
Cantor's loss is so big, it even bumped "ha ha, Hillary Clinton's reduced-price book" as the top story on the Drudge Report.
   1649. JE (Jason) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4722949)
Here's a friend and former Gingrich staffer on Cantor's collapse:
The #### he was pulling on immigration was so insulting to your common sense GOP voter whether you agree with his position or not.
   1650. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:34 PM (#4722954)
I don't assume. I argue that the null hypothesis is that the known benefit of economic development is greater than the unknown hypothetical benefit of biodiversity. The burden is on "you" to demonstrate otherwise.


OK. I care about species other than humans. Mass species extinction is effecting ... well masses of species. Because I care about them this is bad. Ta da!

And yes PP is correct there are plenty of reasons. My original question is why more people is a preferred policy. I don't think you have really shown it is, or at least the economic growth from more people (which also happens as people become more productive, btw) outweighs the needs of Elephants, Tigers, Snails, Frogs and whatever else. You assert it, but that doesn't make it either true or the NULL hypothesis*.

* Unless of course you are the Cathedral, which I am reliably told sets the NULL hypothesis.

Aside: Yeah I read that Cantor might be in danger a few days back.

I've got a tiger by the tail it's plain to see
I won't be much when you get through with me
Well I'm a losing weight and I'm turning mighty pale
Looks like I've got a tiger by the tail

Well I thought the day I met you you were meek as a lamb
Just the kind to fit my dreams and plans
Now the pace we're livin' takes the wind from my sails
And it looks like I've got a tiger by the tail
I've got a tiger by the tail...
[ guitar ]
Well every night you drag me where the bright lights're found
There ain't no way to slow you down
I'm about as helpless as a leaf in a gale and it looks like I've got a tiger by the tail
I've got a tiger by the tail...
   1651. bobm Posted: June 10, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4722960)
Maybe you don't care that species are going extinct, but I do.

Even the undeserving species, and the ones who don't want to work, and the predators in the top 1%? :)
   1652. Mefisto Posted: June 10, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4722962)
Nicely done.
   1653. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 10, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4722967)
Mouse, I think I understand why your thinking is confused. You're under the impression that a reduction in biodiversity means that we're killing animals unnecessarily. That's not how it works in most instances. You have a decease in biodiversity, but not a decrease in biomass. (In fact, global warming should increase biomass generally, since it will increase temp and precip and biomass is densest in wetter and warmer climates). Humans, and mass extinctions in general, are best understood as a reshuffling of the decks - the descendants of some creatures will be advantaged by the change, others disadvantaged. Netted, humans probably help as many animals as they hurt; it's just that they help a small number of animals a very great deal. (Mammal populations, for example, have probably never been higher, due to animal husbandry).
   1654. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 10, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4722969)
Primey for #1651. Very nice.

And, yes, even them. Well except Mosquitoes. And Ticks. I like my blood darn it.
   1655. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 10, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4722975)
Mouse, I think I understand why your thinking is confused.


Dude you are being really condescending in this sub-thread. Do you want to have a conversation, because generally you are not that way. Others I expect it of, but generally not you.

Anyway, no really I value biodiversity, not just biomass. I promise I do understand the basics. I am not at all biology guy I admit, but honestly my teenage boys know more on the subject than you are crediting me for (OK, they went to a school that emphasized that sort of thing, still).

Put another way I value polar bears and their existence highly enough that I would trade 10x their biomass in cows (a yummy but environmentally destructive animal in the numbers we keep).

Anyway I value biodiversity for roughly conceptually analogous reasons that I value plain old human diversity. Mono cultures are boring and susceptible to too many things. I think we should try to leave the Earth in as good a shape as we found it. And yes, to forestall the lecture on how extinction is natural and change inevitable, I am aware of all that.

Humans are extincting species in numbers generally reserved for planetary disasters easily detected in the fossil record millions of years later. I would prefer a better legacy than that for when cockroaches evolve intelligence and look back.

   1656. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4722977)
Well except Mosquitoes. And Ticks.


And aphids. Well, maybe not all aphids, I just want the ones in my garden extinct.

Hell is coming, you little orange bastards, and it looks like ladybugs.

   1657. zenbitz Posted: June 10, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4722988)
I think biodiversity is somewhat overrated. I mean, sure it's nice - like people like trees and plants and cute fuzzy critters romping through the forest and all. But I don't think it's really relevant to human health and quality of living vis-a-vis ecology. The vast majority of all species are bacteria that can't even be cultured, they can only be detected by sequencing random environmental samples.

Take the classic Kudzu example -- unless you are going to blame the Tea Party on it, really what has been the grossly negative ecological effects of Kudzu?
   1658. Lassus Posted: June 10, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4723007)
I think biodiversity is somewhat overrated. I mean, sure it's nice - like people like trees and plants and cute fuzzy critters romping through the forest and all. But I don't think it's really relevant to human health and quality of living vis-a-vis ecology.

Honey bees! Who needs 'em?
   1659. Mefisto Posted: June 10, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4723010)
really what has been the grossly negative ecological effects of Kudzu?


I believe, without looking it up, that the biggest complaint about kudzu is that it reduces biological diversity by taking over habitats of other species.
   1660. tshipman Posted: June 10, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4723011)
Here's a friend and former Gingrich staffer on Cantor's collapse:
The #### he was pulling on immigration was so insulting to your common sense GOP voter whether you agree with his position or not.


Voting out Cantor based on immigration is pants on head stupid. How can immigration reform get more dead than it already was? Cantor got caught up in the GOP's change of heart on immigration from 2013 to 2014 and was cast out for being willing to support the right-most version of immigration reform.

Congrats Virginia voters: you have replaced a dangerously irresponsible, but influential Republican with a most likely completely bat-#### nuts, but inconsequential Republican. Also, there's a 2% shot that they lose the seat due to craziness.

Still, well done on voting out dangerously irresponsible Republicans.
   1661. Mefisto Posted: June 10, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4723016)
most likely


You can delete the "most likely".
   1662. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 10, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4723017)
Congrats Virginia voters: you have replaced a dangerously irresponsible, but influential Republican with a most likely completely bat-#### nuts, but inconsequential Republican. Also, there's a 2% shot that they lose the seat due to craziness.

Costa is tweeting that Peter King is worried about the GOP. That's just weird.
   1663. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4723018)
Brat is hardly batshit insane. The guy is a wonky bookworm if anything. I like the polls that predicted a 60 to 40 win for cantor.
   1664. JE (Jason) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4723019)
TPM: Cantor Campaign: Internal Poll Showed 34-Point Lead Over Tea Partier

In fairness, the poll had a 40-point margin of error.

Voting out Cantor based on immigration is pants on head stupid. How can immigration reform get more dead than it already was? Cantor got caught up in the GOP's change of heart on immigration from 2013 to 2014 and was cast out for being willing to support the right-most version of immigration reform.

IMHO, immigration played a role but there were other factors as well. For example, many here believe that Cantor's legislative offices have been mismanaged for years. Therefore, it wouldn't be surprising if the campaign office was also poorly run.

EDIT: John Feehery just now:

Lindsey Graham passed an actual amnesty bill in the Senate, had 6 tea party opponents, and got more than 60 percent of the vote. Eric Cantor ran ads excoriating amnesty, refused to schedule any immigration bill, and got only 28 thousand votes. Cantor's loss had nothing to do with immigration. Sorry folks. If you are the Majority Leader, you have to get more than 28 thousand votes.
   1665. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4723020)
It's a helluva scalp. Nostalgia lovers, remember back when the Tea Party was declared dead and buried? Three weeks ago?

Earlier tonight on TV, an old Virginia political reporter or academic or analyst or consultant (don't know which) said that the state's GOP was in open warfare against itself, and that he hadn't seen anything like it since the 1960s when it was the Virginia Democrats gut-stabbing one another.

Get ready for a 30-month rhetorical battle over who would do less than the least on immigration. As the 2020, 2024, 2028 and 2032 presidential elections get a tinge bluer.
   1666. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4723023)
For example, many here believe that Cantor's legislative offices have been mismanaged for years.

JE, can you explain how the same guy can be the House Majority Leader? I know, it's concern trolling, but Republican leadership just looks like a total mess.
   1667. Publius Publicola Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4723024)
Cantor must have benn consulting the skewed polls.

While I think the Tea Party is crazy, I'm glad that smarmy #### Cantor is out of there.
   1668. Publius Publicola Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4723027)
Even from a purely self-interest point of view, passive acceptance of specie extinctions is wanton and irresponsible. The biosphere holds all kinds of unknown treasures and future generations will curse us for our childish destructiveness.
   1669. JE (Jason) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4723028)
JE, can you explain how the same guy can be the House Majority Leader? I know, it's concern trolling, but Republican leadership just looks like a total mess.

It wasn't always that way, Greenback. Like so many other Members, he grew complacent and/or arrogant. Also, it wasn't that long ago that he was the darling of the anti-Boehner forces.

As for "Republican leadership just looks like a total mess," Boehner's hardly infallible but overall he's threading the needle pretty well. Unlike Gingrich and Pelosi, he empowers the committee chairs, meaning that more senior Members, even those with Tea Party credentials, have reason to stick with him.
   1670. JE (Jason) Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4723032)
Erik Wemple:
Sensing an opening, Sawyer cited the document that Clinton herself has so often cited: “This is the ARB: the mission was far short of standards; weak perimeter; incomplete fence; video surveillance needed repair. They said it’s a systemic failure.”

Clinton replied, “Well, it was with respect to that compound.”

The anchor continued pressing, asking Clinton whether the people might be seeking from her a “sentence that begins from you ‘I should have…’?” Clinton sort of ducked that one. The accountability-heavy moment came when Sawyer’s slow and steady line of questioning on Benghazi security prompted Clinton to utter this self-contradictory and sure-to-be-repeated statement: “I take responsibility, but I was not making security decisions.”

For the record, possible-presidential-candidates-in-abeyance should never attach conjunctions to their declarations of responsibility-taking. ...

The fantastic grilling served up by Sawyer wasn’t exceptional just because of its smartness, its civility or its persistence. It was exceptional for the way in which it upended the emphases of Benghazi “scandal” coverage. Ever since the issue roared to life amid the 2012 presidential campaign, media fixation has attached to how the Obama White House managed the post-attack phase. The allegation here is that Obama’s advisers attempted to frame the events as a random spasm of violence in reaction to an anti-Islam video, as opposed to admitting right away that the United States had been victimized again by terrorism.

Instead of obsessing over that phase of Benghazi, Sawyer went heavy on the security questions: They came first, they dominated the nearly 10-minute Benghazi discussion and they may well fuel a new round of questions for the former secretary. Fox News, which interviews Clinton on June 17, might consider giving her a chance to clarify just what taking responsibility means.
   1671. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:48 PM (#4723033)
While I think the Tea Party is crazy, I'm glad that smarmy #### Cantor is out of there.

You're not the only one. When a congressman who positions himself to the right of John ####### Boehner is in turn seen as too "liberal" by your primary voters, that tells you pretty much all you need to know about the mental state of the current GOP.
   1672. Publius Publicola Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:50 PM (#4723034)
Oh boy. A Fix Bews interview. I'm sure that will be fair and balanced.
   1673. tshipman Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4723036)
Brat is hardly batshit insane. The guy is a wonky bookworm if anything.


From his issues page:

Federal Reserve
I support a full audit of the Federal Reserve System.

10th Amendment
The federal government has grown far too large. Our Founders envisioned a nation in which the federal government’s powers were explicitly listed and limited. I fully support the Constitution and enforcing the 10th Amendment and getting the government out of the way of economic growth. I will work to bring power back to the Commonwealth of Virginia.


10th amendment? lolwut?
This is in addition to the other batshit crazy stuff he believes that sadly places him squarely in the Republican party.
   1674. OCF Posted: June 10, 2014 at 11:57 PM (#4723039)
I understand that Brat laid on the Christianity pretty heavily during the campaign. How much of Cantor losing might have been because he's Jewish?
   1675. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4723040)
Erik Wemple

Erik Wemple. Hmmmm, where have I heard that name before?

Oh, yeah, isn't he the guy who said that Peggy Cooper Cafritz shouldn't run for the presidency of the D.C. School Board because she was white? The same Peggy Cooper Cafritz who at the time of Wemple's comment had only been a major player in the DC arts and political scene for over 35 years?
   1676. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4723046)
Lots of folks here seem "concerned" that a mean old Republican they didn't much like was defeated by a mean old Republican they don't much like. Stuff happens. Lots of reasons suggested for Cantor's loss, including his spending too much time raising money for other candidates and too little time in his district. Running ads against immigration amnesty didn't help him when there were so many articles suggesting he was open to some kind of "reform" legislation. He probably needed to draw a much clearer line, rather than risk being perceived as pro-amnesty. It also looks like his campaign consultants weren't good at much other than cashing checks. I would've voted for Cantor, but Brat should be a heavy favorite to retain the seat for the GOP.
   1677. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:16 AM (#4723051)
Like so many other Members, he grew complacent and/or arrogant.

Unless this happened almost overnight, the party lords can't let a clown maintain that prominent of a role.

Boehner's hardly infallible but overall he's threading the needle pretty well.

Maybe "Republican leadership" was the wrong term. A mob of inarticulate angry people has a large sway on the GOP. One result is reasonably effective politician (who admittedly lacks charisma) faces an inordinately large pile of money devoted to a "Ditch Mitch" campaign. McConnell muddled through, but another effect is that you had a guy in Cantor who probably shouldn't have had the job he had. Cantor lost that job, not because of a rational calculation from the top, but rather because the angry mob apparently believed Cantor wasn't pure of heart on immigration reform. Cochran might lose in Mississippi, because the same angry mob is angry about... something. I think I understand what it must have been like for a Democrat in the late 1960s and 1970s.
   1678. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:16 AM (#4723053)
10th amendment? lolwut?
This is in addition to the other batshit crazy stuff he believes that sadly places him squarely in the Republican party.


Looks like tshipman is limiting his participation to drop-in insults for the political party he disfavors. There are numerous indications that voters prefer smaller government, so I don't think that many voters will be bothered by Brat's stance. But if Democrats want to run on a platform of ignoring the 10th Amendment, so be it.

   1679. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4723059)
Lots of folks here seem "concerned" that a mean old Republican they didn't much like was defeated by a mean old Republican they don't much like.

"Concerned"? Are you nuts? I'm loving it.

---------------------------------------------

I think I understand what it must have been like for a Democrat in the late 1960s and 1970s.

It's not that bad an analogy, though the divisions there were far greater than the ones within the GOP today. You had the McGovernites and the Humphreyites, but then you also had a sizable remnant of Dixiecrats who stayed with the party because of their seniority in congress. If they'd all died in a plane crash the rest of the party would've celebrated long into the night and skipped most of the funerals, but there wasn't much to be done about them other let mother nature and the Southern Strategy take their course. I doubt if the few remaining sane Republicans are going to be able to get off that easy.
   1680. JE (Jason) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:35 AM (#4723060)
McConnell muddled through, but another effect is that you had a guy in Cantor who probably shouldn't have had the job he had.

My eyes are closing, Greenback, but I'll quickly say this: On balance, McConnell and Boehner do excellent work in light of the pressures they face from within their own party and Obama/Reid. As for Cantor, he's quite bright but I highly doubt he would have risen so high had his Sabbath been on Sunday.
   1681. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:41 AM (#4723065)
I think I understand what it must have been like for a Democrat in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Even more recently, Democrats purged a veteran Senator who had been their nominee for Vice President. Both parties have their share of internal disputes. Politics ain't bean bag,
   1682. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 11, 2014 at 01:22 AM (#4723083)
This is neither bean bag, nor the kind of politics Republicans have been used to. Joe Lieberman was one guy. And there's always one guy like that in the Senate. It could be Arlen Specter, or Jim Jeffords, or Ben Campbell, or someone who doesn't officially switch parties but may as well have. The GOP's current faultlines are wider and more systemic, and at the moment they have more than one fire to put out. The gulf isn't as wide as the Democrats' in the early 1970s, but it's the widest since then. Bean bags, fires, gulfs... one more metaphor and I win a free sandwich.
   1683. tshipman Posted: June 11, 2014 at 01:25 AM (#4723084)
Looks like tshipman is limiting his participation to drop-in insults for the political party he disfavors. There are numerous indications that voters prefer smaller government, so I don't think that many voters will be bothered by Brat's stance. But if Democrats want to run on a platform of ignoring the 10th Amendment, so be it.


Uh ... you know what 10th Amendment supporter is code for right?
   1684. tshipman Posted: June 11, 2014 at 01:42 AM (#4723088)
Lots of folks here seem "concerned" that a mean old Republican they didn't much like was defeated by a mean old Republican they don't much like. Stuff happens. Lots of reasons suggested for Cantor's loss, including his spending too much time raising money for other candidates and too little time in his district. Running ads against immigration amnesty didn't help him when there were so many articles suggesting he was open to some kind of "reform" legislation. He probably needed to draw a much clearer line, rather than risk being perceived as pro-amnesty. It also looks like his campaign consultants weren't good at much other than cashing checks. I would've voted for Cantor, but Brat should be a heavy favorite to retain the seat for the GOP.


I'm not concerned, I'm delighted. Cantor was a dangerous nutjob who preferred default over a deal that favored his side. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Now, it's a shame that he's likely being replaced by a buffoon who believes in nullification, but there's at least a slight chance that voters come to their senses. If not, I'll settle for someone who has not proven themselves to be unfit to govern over someone who was dangerously close to choosing to cause a crisis.

This is nothing but good news, as far as I'm concerned. Immigration reform going from 99.9% not going to pass to 99.99% not going to pass is not a huge negative, IMO.
   1685. BrianBrianson Posted: June 11, 2014 at 04:54 AM (#4723100)
Is there a single liberal here willing to go on record to say that if we had perfect information as to who was able to work but not willing, said single liberal would not support giving welfare to that person?


"Able to work" needs to include both they could work, and there's work available for them. Since the amount of work available is so, so, so dwarfed by the number of people willing to work, we have perfect information: no such people exist.

A prudent cost-benefit analysis will quickly turn up that it's a lot cheaper to give someone a few hundred bucks a month than to not. The only fiscally responsible thing to do is to give them the welfare (of course, that I'm coming at this from a 'What makes the most economic sense?' angle might might make me a paleo-conservative, not a liberal).
   1686. SteveF Posted: June 11, 2014 at 05:58 AM (#4723101)
Uh ... you know what 10th Amendment supporter is code for right?

Objection to an interpretation of the commerce clause that effectively renders the 10th Amendment meaningless? Or do you mean reinstitution of slavery? You'll have to be more explicit as I've misplaced my decoder ring.
   1687. Lassus Posted: June 11, 2014 at 06:32 AM (#4723103)
Well, I'll bite, I'm concerned. I don't know the point of pegging us for being concerned, but I'll admit it.
   1688. SteveF Posted: June 11, 2014 at 06:41 AM (#4723104)
The anti-immigration sentiment certainly seems to be building in both Europe/UK and the US. At least, that's one thing I'd take away from the last month of elections.
   1689. Publius Publicola Posted: June 11, 2014 at 07:10 AM (#4723107)
McConnell and Boehner do excellent work in light of the pressures they face from within their own party and Obama/Reid.


Eh, isn't this kind of like saying the Captain of the Titanic did excellent work rearranging the deck chairs, Jason?

If your party acts crazy, have you ever stopped to consider it might be a good idea to change parties?
   1690. Publius Publicola Posted: June 11, 2014 at 07:15 AM (#4723108)
Lots of folks here seem "concerned" that a mean old Republican they didn't much like was defeated by a mean old Republican they don't much like.


We're concerned, but not in the way you think, Clapper. We're concerned because we live in a country where the political party that runs one of the two legislative branches just dumped an extremist power broker within their ranks because he wasn't extremist enough, and the more extreme person they chose to replace him with has an excellent chance to get elected and do even more damage than the person they tossed aside, who did a lot of damage indeed.

That's what we're concerned about. The GOP has gone all nutter on everybody, even themselves. And we're all going to suffer for it.
   1691. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 11, 2014 at 07:19 AM (#4723110)
But if Democrats want to run on a platform of ignoring the 10th Amendment, so be it.


Uh ... you know what 10th Amendment supporter is code for right?

Sorry, but the only code YC recognizes is the one that says "Obamacare = socialism".
   1692. Publius Publicola Posted: June 11, 2014 at 07:35 AM (#4723111)
There are numerous indications that voters prefer smaller government, so I don't think that many voters will be bothered by Brat's stance. But if Democrats want to run on a platform of ignoring the 10th Amendment, so be it.


Really? So why has the GOP been getting trounced in the national elections?
   1693. Publius Publicola Posted: June 11, 2014 at 07:40 AM (#4723112)
Even more recently, Democrats purged a veteran Senator who had been their nominee for Vice President.


I thought it was the other way around, that Lieberman purged the Democrats.
   1694. Lassus Posted: June 11, 2014 at 07:50 AM (#4723114)
The anti-immigration sentiment certainly seems to be building in both Europe/UK and the US. At least, that's one thing I'd take away from the last month of elections.

Congratulations, we're emulating Golden Dawn? Awesome? (That one's for you, Jason.)
   1695. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 11, 2014 at 07:52 AM (#4723115)
So why has the GOP been getting trounced in the national elections?


I think the GOP is pretty much in disarray, but trounced is too strong. Presidential elections pretty much always swing, and total House and Senate votes in the last national election don't really show a trouncing.

Of course since I believe that absent adjustments by the GOP, demographics heavily influences destiny, and the tiger the GOP has by the tail doesn't seem to want the adjustments the demographic changes would seem to dictate, I think the GOP is in for rough waters and starting in 2016 will be getting trounced. So maybe I am quibbling.

Hey Ray is your HRC versus the field bet still open? Between the HRC book tour and GOP nonsense I am now confident that HRC will run and is a better than 50% chance to win the Presidency in 2016, even counting possible future health issues.
   1696. SteveF Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:21 AM (#4723122)
Congratulations, we're emulating Golden Dawn?

Well, that sentiment is always at the margins. The problem is when its influence extends beyond the margins and perhaps begins affecting the actions of politicians more interested in getting elected than doing what's best.
   1697. Publius Publicola Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:29 AM (#4723124)
There are clues to Mr. Brat’s ideology in his academic CV. His current book project is titled “Ethics as Leading Economic Indicator? What went Wrong? Notes on the Judeo-Christian Tradition and Human Reason.”

His other published works include the titles “God and Advanced Mammon – Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?” and “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.


Oh dear god. Another Randian crypto-fascist.
   1698. JE (Jason) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4723127)
Eh, isn't this kind of like saying the Captain of the Titanic did excellent work rearranging the deck chairs, Jason?


Congratulations, we're emulating Golden Dawn? Awesome? (That one's for you, Jason.)

As noted upthread, Kevin, Lindsey Graham won the South Carolina primary without breaking a sweat, even though he has done way more than Cantor to advance immigration legislation that many GOP base voters despise.

By the time we start emulating Golden Dawn, Lassus, I'll have my bags packed for the Red Planet.
   1699. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4723129)
Well, that sentiment is always at the margins. The problem is when its influence extends beyond the margins and perhaps begins affecting the actions of politicians more interested in getting elected than doing what's best.

You also need to separate the vile racist/anti-semitic ideology of such groups from the legitimate grievances they feed off of. Just because they're evil, doesn't mean they're wrong about everything, e.g. Greece is being run for the benefit of foreign bondholders, rather than the common people.
   1700. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4723130)
Oh dear god. Another Randian crypto-fascist.

I doubt a committed Christian would be a Randian. That title doesn't say whether he finds her moral or immoral (as most Christians do).

edit: apparently he's Catholic. Hard to believe he's a Randian and a conservative Catholic.
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