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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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   3001. JE (Jason) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4728571)
I am not suggesting we hide behind our borders, just that we stop invading nations, bombing them, doing drone attacks, and otherwise making war on them for no better reasons than ... they are mean and said bad things about us and someday could conquer the whole region!

You advocated leaving Saudi and Kuwait (Bahrain too?) even though our military presence in those countries don't constitute an invasion, bombing, droning, or otherwise making war on them.
   3002. zenbitz Posted: June 17, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4728572)
That's not really true. American soldiers didn't kill 300,000 people in those places.


And the Axis powers didn't kill all 120,000,000 either. By a long shot.
   3003. zenbitz Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4728576)
and have threated to kill Americans inside America.


So have Sam and Andy but we don't take their threats seriously either.
   3004. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4728577)

I only skimmed the last few pages. Did Bitter Mouse ever get around to explaining how subtracting a billion dollars from Warren Buffett's and Laurene Powell Jobs' bank accounts via taxation will do anything whatsoever re: "income inequality"?

I thought the whole "income inequality" movement was geared toward putting more money in the pockets of the lower and middle classes. All Bitter Mouse seems to care about is reducing, on paper, wealth inequality.
   3005. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4728584)
You advocated leaving Saudi and Kuwait (Bahrain too?) even though our military presence in those countries don't constitute an invasion, bombing, droning, or otherwise making war on them.


There is very little upside in having armed forces in kuwait or Saudi Arabia. For a variety of reasons even our mere presence pisses folks off and we get basically nothing for it.

However don't conflate my arguments. Invading Iraq, a terrible idea, just like our continued presence in that nation after we invaded it, we are in constant danger and providing a tempting and nearby target for all the people who are friends with those we just killed, and who would like to return the favor. Without a compelling case for staying, get out.

Troops stationed in areas of the world where we are nominally welcomed and also resented for a variety of reasons, like for example SA. This is a meh idea, that I personally am not fond of, because it tends to get us involved in situations that nations without such a huge network of far flung bases avoid. In certain circumstances it is OK though. It needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Troops stationed in regions where we are (or in many cases were) reasonably popular. Examples include Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Europe. These sorts of things usually fulfill obligations and when the locals decide they want us out we usually leave. I am not a fan of having a huge standing military, but if you are going to have them, then stationing them somewhere like this makes more sense than anywhere else.
   3006. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4728585)
I only skimmed the last few pages. Did Bitter Mouse ever get around to explaining how subtracting a billion dollars from Warren Buffett's and Laurene Powell Jobs' bank accounts via taxation will do anything whatsoever re: "income inequality"?


Not that you would understand.

I thought the whole "income inequality" movement was geared toward putting more money in the pockets of the lower and middle classes. All Bitter Mouse seems to care about is reducing, on paper, wealth inequality.


Case in point.
   3007. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4728590)
Not that you would understand.

I'll take that as a "no."
   3008. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4728592)
For a variety of reasons even our mere presence pisses folks off and we get basically nothing for it.

The main reason is that politics in those places are neo-primitive.

That's their fault, not ours.
   3009. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4728593)
Then what would it be?

An occupy and civilize mission.


"This different phrase that means 'preventative war' but keeps me from having to admit I'm just rehashing the exact same neocon talking points from 2002 all over again, in support of endless 'preventative war.'"
   3010. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4728595)
The main reason is that politics in those places are neo-primitive.

That's their fault, not ours.


It is not about fault. It is about cost/benefit. There is higher cost and less benefit for having troops stationed in places that make people - even "primitive" people unhappy. If we are not getting more benefit than cost than why do it?
   3011. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4728597)
"This different phrase that means 'preventative war' but keeps me from having to admit I'm just rehashing the exact same neocon talking points from 2002 all over again, in support of endless 'preventative war.'"

I never had any such talking points, and it's plainly a different concept.

Other than cost, there's no real principled objection to it. A place like Iraq would clearly be far better off with a fundamental change in its political culture.
   3012. JE (Jason) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4728598)
There is very little upside in having armed forces in kuwait or Saudi Arabia. For a variety of reasons even our mere presence pisses folks off and we get basically nothing for it.

We have had strategic interests in the region dating back to the Second World War, Mouse, most notably ensuring the extraction and movement of a good chunk of the world's hydrocarbons. That's the opposite of "basically nothing."
   3013. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4728603)
most notably ensuring the extraction and movement of a good chunk of the world's hydrocarbons


So it is your opinion that Saudi Arabia would not pump oil and sell it on the world's market without US troops in country? That Iraq would not sell oil? That Iran would not sell oil? Really?

Are our troops helping drill wells? Transporting the oil? Do countries without troops in the region still buy oil on the open market? Because I am pretty sure they do.

Have the various wars we have been involved in increased or decreased the capacity of the Iraq and Kuwait oil fields? Because I am pretty sure we have overall decreased their capacity over the years, (EDIT) relative to what they could have been.
   3014. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4728608)
Then what would it be?

An occupy and civilize mission.


"The beatings will continue until morale improves."
   3015. bobm Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4728613)
And yes, income inequality is, by itself, a problem. It has contributed directly to lower middle class wages and to various asset bubbles.

This seems to me to confuse effect for cause. Lower middle class wages (due to globalization in large part) and increased leverage and expanded financial speculation (helped by deregulation and tax deductibility of interest) have led to income inequality. How do tax rises address either set of causes (all originally enabled by legislation and policy)?
   3016. JE (Jason) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4728616)
So it is your opinion that Saudi Arabia would not pump oil and sell it on the world's market without US troops in country? That Iraq would not sell oil? That Iran would not sell oil? Really?

No one's talking about a complete cutoff of oil sales, Mouse, but even minor disruptions are dangerous. As the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and ongoing Iranian interference in Iraq have demonstrated, walking away and leaving the security in the region to others is asking for trouble.
   3017. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4728625)
Timely. How Income Inequality Might Lead Students to Drop Out of High School.

Unmarried girls from poor families, they found, were more likely to give birth in states with large income gaps between the poorest households and the middle class—what researchers call “lower-tail” inequality. Combined with other evidence, such as ethnographic research, this pattern led them to conclude that many young women simply choose to have children early once they feel their career prospects are dim. They look at the economic ladder and decide the climb is impossible. So they look for personal fulfillment through a baby instead.

Today, Kearney and Levine are out with a new working paper that shows how the “despair theory” might apply to young men. This time, the issue is high school graduation. It finds that boys from low-socioeconomic-status families are more likely to drop out in states with larger gaps between the poor and the middle class, as shown on the far left of the graph below. That trend holds even once they control for things that might influence completion, such as racial segregation or public investment in schools.


   3018. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4728628)
I see Snapper had to stay after class to give Bitter Mouse another Econ 101 lecture.

Still no evidence anything is sticking.
   3019. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4728631)
As the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and ongoing Iranian interference in Iraq have demonstrated, walking away and leaving the security in the region to others is asking for trouble.


As the US invasion of Iraq (both of them) demonstrated, being in the region and invading is asking for trouble. Wasn't one of OBL's initial problems with the US our troops on sacred soil? Sure it is a dumb reason to attack us (or contribute towards a reason to attack), but still.

I would also be more convinced in your "every drop of oil is sacred" argument if the US had not spent so much time trying to lock down oil exports from Iraq and Iran at various points over the last few decades.

Do you admit there is an actual cost to having troops in such places? And that the cost should be balanced against the benefit?
   3020. The Good Face Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4728633)
Unmarried girls from poor families, they found, were more likely to give birth in states with large income gaps between the poorest households and the middle class—what researchers call “lower-tail” inequality. Combined with other evidence, such as ethnographic research, this pattern led them to conclude that many young women simply choose to have children early once they feel their career prospects are dim. They look at the economic ladder and decide the climb is impossible. So they look for personal fulfillment through a baby instead.

Today, Kearney and Levine are out with a new working paper that shows how the “despair theory” might apply to young men. This time, the issue is high school graduation. It finds that boys from low-socioeconomic-status families are more likely to drop out in states with larger gaps between the poor and the middle class, as shown on the far left of the graph below. That trend holds even once they control for things that might influence completion, such as racial segregation or public investment in schools.


This is an argument that poor people need better pay and job opportunities so they'll have more money; not an argument that rich people having more money is hurting poor people.
   3021. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4728635)
Unmarried girls from poor families, they found, were more likely to give birth in states with large income gaps between the poorest households and the middle class—what researchers call “lower-tail” inequality. Combined with other evidence, such as ethnographic research, this pattern led them to conclude that many young women simply choose to have children early once they feel their career prospects are dim. They look at the economic ladder and decide the climb is impossible. So they look for personal fulfillment through a baby instead.


Isn't it obvious that if we gave these women the opportunity to monetize their fertility on an open market we could both lift them out of poverty while limiting government intervention into commerce? A cute baby could bring tens of thousands of dollars on a fair market.
   3022. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4728637)
Wasn't one of OBL's initial problems with the US our troops on sacred soil? Sure it is a dumb reason to attack us (or contribute towards a reason to attack), but still.


I believe it's the Islamist version of, "they hate our freedoms" but with more ululating.
   3023. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4728641)
This is an argument that poor people need better pay and job opportunities so they'll have more money; not an argument that rich people having more money is hurting poor people.


It is an example of how income inequality has many pernicious effects, beyond even the having less money part of it. I never claimed 1% vs 99% is the only issue with income inequality. But hey we can solve both sets of income inequality with one set of policy changes.
   3024. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4728649)
Unmarried girls from poor families, they found, were more likely to give birth in states with large income gaps between the poorest households and the middle class—what researchers call “lower-tail” inequality. Combined with other evidence, such as ethnographic research, this pattern led them to conclude that many young women simply choose to have children early once they feel their career prospects are dim. They look at the economic ladder and decide the climb is impossible. So they look for personal fulfillment through a baby instead.

Today, Kearney and Levine are out with a new working paper that shows how the “despair theory” might apply to young men. This time, the issue is high school graduation. It finds that boys from low-socioeconomic-status families are more likely to drop out in states with larger gaps between the poor and the middle class, as shown on the far left of the graph below. That trend holds even once they control for things that might influence completion, such as racial segregation or public investment in schools.


Wouldn't it be far easier (and cheaper) to educate these teenagers on the benefits of delaying parenthood, and finishing HS, that trying to redo the whole economic structure of the US?

In any case, raising taxes increasing welfare payments will do nothing to help this problem; in fact, just the opposite. It would give them even more incentive to drop out and have kids, by narrowing the living standards gap between working and welfare.

To address these problems, we need to increase the rewards of work, and decrease the rewards of welfare.
   3025. The Good Face Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4728651)
It is an example of how income inequality has many pernicious effects, beyond even the having less money part of it.


It's an example that outcomes for poor people suck compared to outcomes for middle class or rich people. This has not been news since forever. However, poor people who get and keep reasonably well paying jobs won't be so poor, which would improve their outcomes.
   3026. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4728662)
It's an example that outcomes for poor people suck compared to outcomes for middle class or rich people. This has not been news since forever. However, poor people who get and keep reasonably well paying jobs won't be so poor, which would improve their outcomes.

Yes. The causation is problematic. Are they experiencing bad outcomes because they are poor, or are they poor because they come from families and sub-cultures that perpetuate bad decisions and outcomes. Impossible to parse.
   3027. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4728666)
It's an example that outcomes for poor people suck compared to outcomes for middle class or rich people.


Read the article, it is more than that. It says that poor people in places where the income inequality is larger do worse than a similar groups in places with less income inequality. More than just the absolute level of income matters, the mere presence of worse income inequality seems to make a bad situation (being poor) even worse.

It suggests that less income inequality leads to better outcomes even if the poor don't gain income directly. Which is news to many.
   3028. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4728669)
Impossible to parse.


The authors are not suggesting a definitive answer. However it is evidence at least as compelling as "welfare makes people dependant", and that is a go to since forever.
   3029. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4728672)
Read the article, it is more than that. It says that poor people in places where the income inequality is larger do worse than a similar groups in places with less income inequality. More than just the absolute level of income matters, the mere presence of worse income inequality seems to make a bad situation (being poor) even worse.

It suggests that less income inequality leads to better outcomes even if the poor don't gain income directly. Which is news to many.


That depends, doesn't it, on whether the larger gap is caused by the poor being poorer, or the middle being richer?
   3030. Howie Menckel Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4728676)
speaking of poor - nay, "dead broke" - people:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-17/wealthy-clintons-use-trusts-to-limit-estate-tax-they-back.html

"Bill and Hillary Clinton have long supported an estate tax to prevent the U.S. from being dominated by inherited wealth. That doesn’t mean they want to pay it.

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death......

Without the estate tax, Hillary Clinton said, the country could become “dominated by inherited wealth.”

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, said in an e-mail that the couple’s finances are an “open book.” He didn’t answer additional questions about their finances or her current views on the estate tax."

   3031. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4728682)
The authors are not suggesting a definitive answer. However it is evidence at least as compelling as "welfare makes people dependant", and that is a go to since forever.

OK, but what's the policy prescription? Beyond encouraging teens to stay in school and not have kids until they have jobs and are married, which I think everyone supports.
   3032. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4728685)
To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death......

Ahhh progressives. Robbing the middle class to benefit the wealthy for more than 100 years.
   3033. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4728691)
Playing the game by the rules in place is not hypocrisy, IMO. Any more that Ray's go to, "Why don't liberals pay for others health care if it matters to them" is hypocrisy.

It is bad optics though, but honestly if there are any politicians for which such optics are irrelevant it is the Clintons. In many ways they are a disorganized trainwreck and always have been. They have the oddest mix of brilliant political know how and "What the heck were you thinking?" I have ever seen.

And they have a bizarre teflon shield that lesser politicians dream of, for reasons I have never understood. I think the huge amount of it and their stubborn refusal to cave before it gives them an oddball immunity to most of the nonsense (and even some of the relevant bits too).

In many ways I would prefer a different standard bearer in 2016, but I am still convinced it will be HRC.
   3034. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4728694)
Playing the game by the rules in place is not hypocrisy, IMO.

Why not? If you believe the poor are so disadvantaged, give you estate away to charity upon your death.

Chelsea is already making a 7-figure income, not even counting her husband. She doesn't need her parents' money, and certainly could afford to pay the tax bill.

Do you contribute to charity personally? The rules of the game don't require it, but we generally look down on people of means who don't do it.
   3035. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4728695)
OK, but what's the policy prescription?


Beyond all the anti-income inequality policies we discussed before? Minimum income (ducks).

Seriously though knowing is at least part of the battle. First I would like to better nail down if this is a genuine effect and more about the why.
   3036. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4728701)
Beyond all the anti-income inequality policies we discussed before? Minimum income (ducks).

Seriously though knowing is at least part of the battle. First I would like to better nail down if this is a genuine effect and more about the why.


But, these kids are dropping out/having kids because they don't see the returns to investing in human capital. If you guarantee them an even more comfortable life without having to work, you're just going to make that worse. A guaranteed minimum income, paired with the higher taxes needed to fund it, greatly reduces the returns on human capital, especially in the HS/community college end of the spectrum.

A legitimate approach would be to raise the EITC. Or, provide extra benefits to the working poor, especially those that are married.

Or do the stuff I talk about to reverse globalization, and create more good, blue collar jobs.
   3037. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4728703)
Why not? If you believe the poor are so disadvantaged, give you estate away to charity upon your death.


I likely will actually. Once my boys are adults they are on their own. well I might leave them something I guess, but I doubt it will be everything or even most.

Do you contribute to charity personally? The rules of the game don't require it, but we generally look down on people of means who don't do it.


Not as much as I should, I admit. Right now I am supporting me, my boys (including saving for their college), my mom, and digging out from the divorce costs as well as investing in my house (it is in bad shape in the interior, putting money in it is pretty much $ for $) and backstopping the ex who lost their job. As Patrick Ewing said, I make a lot of money, but I spend a lot too.

Could I live in a hut and give everything away, sure, but I am selfish enough not to want to. But I will still vote for people who want to raise my taxes and also gladly pay those taxes (sent my quarterly estimated tax in yesterday in fact).
   3038. bobm Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4728705)
Playing the game by the rules in place is not hypocrisy, IMO.

It's not leadership or principled behavior either.

In many ways I would prefer a different standard bearer in 2016, but I am still convinced it will be HRC.

If elected, wouldn't she be the oldest Democratic primary winner recently elected to a 1st term, older than Kennedy, Carter, Clinton the 1st, and Obama? Democratic Party veterans haven't been all that successful as candidates. I think you are probably right, but I am not sure there won't be a competitive Democratic nomination fight.
   3039. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4728708)
I likely will actually. Once my boys are adults they are on their own. well I might leave them something I guess, but I doubt it will be everything or even most.

Well, why don't you hold Hillary and Bill to that standard?

Not as much as I should, I admit. Right now I am supporting me, my boys (including saving for their college), my mom, and digging out from the divorce costs as well as investing in my house (it is in bad shape in the interior, putting money in it is pretty much $ for $) and backstopping the ex who lost their job. As Patrick Ewing said, I make a lot of money, but I spend a lot too.

Could I live in a hut and give everything away, sure, but I am selfish enough not to want to. But I will still vote for people who want to raise my taxes and also gladly pay those taxes (sent my quarterly estimated tax in yesterday in fact).


Didn't mean to imply anything negative about your personal giving.
   3040. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4728709)
Why not? If you believe the poor are so disadvantaged, give you estate away to charity upon your death.


Like Jesus did.
   3041. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4728710)
Like Jesus did.

I think the soldiers took care of that for him with their dice game ;-)
   3042. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4728715)
Well, why don't you hold Hillary and Bill to that standard?


<shrug> I don't vote for politicians based on personal choices like that. I vote based on policy and basic ideology. Personal matters are a tie break (like in primaries), but how they dispose of their wealth is pretty darn low on the list of things I care about.

Didn't mean to imply anything negative about your personal giving.


No worries. I would rather give more honestly, but as an independent contractor I need to be more risk averse than I would otherwise. Which means saving money rather than giving it away.

It's not leadership or principled behavior either.


Yeah, I guess. Like I said above, not the most pressing priority in the world for me either though. I do think a bit less of them for it though I admit.
   3043. GregD Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4728728)
I don't think many people vote on the standard of perfection or personal purity. In either party. They vote on the choices in front of them and they vote to influence policy. Voting for a pure person who holds policy views you hate is madness.

I don't fault anti divorce people who voted Reagan over carter or pro military people who voted bush II over Kerry. Or fundamentalists who deny Mormons are Christians but voted for Romney anyway. That's reasonable to prioritize policy over personal morality since policy affects all of us

I have never voted for a Clinton in a primary and don't expect to in 2016 but will surely vote for her in the general barring some truly unexpected development
   3044. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4728733)
I have never voted for a Clinton in a primary and don't expect to in 2016 but will surely vote for her in the general barring some truly unexpected development


Ditto, word for word (OK, I don't remember who I voted in '96 primary, was Bill uncontested?). Right now I just hope there is a reasonable option in the primary, so I can not vote for her then.

EDIT:
With the advantage of incumbency, Bill Clinton's path to renomination by the Democratic Party was uneventful. At the 1996 Democratic National Convention, Clinton and incumbent Vice President Al Gore were renominated with token opposition. Incarcerated fringe candidate Lyndon LaRouche won a few Arkansas delegates who were barred from the convention. Jimmy Griffin, former Mayor of Buffalo, New York, mounted a brief campaign but withdrew after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary. Former Pennsylvania governor Bob Casey contemplated a challenge to Clinton, but health problems forced Casey to abandon a bid.
   3045. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4728741)
Playing the game by the rules in place is not hypocrisy, IMO.

Why not? If you believe the poor are so disadvantaged, give you estate away to charity upon your death.


1. There's no reason to believe that the Clintons would avoid new tax rules for the wealthy if they were passed.

2. There's every reason to believe that a Clinton-based governing coalition in 2016 would be more likely to pass new taxes on the wealthy than a GOP-based coalition.

3. The Clintons are not dead; thus we can't say with any degree of fidelity that they will or will not pass massive wealth on to Chelsea rather than donate significantly to charity.
   3046. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4728744)
I don't think many people vote on the standard of perfection or personal purity. In either party. They vote on the choices in front of them and they vote to influence policy. Voting for a pure person who holds policy views you hate is madness.

And, I'm not saying you should do this.

All I'm pointing out is the near identically behavior of wealthy liberals and rapacious wealthy conservatives when it comes to actual money.

What you should do is stop believing liberal politicians care at all about redressing inequality or helping the poor and working class. They care about new sources of revenue to use to but votes.
   3047. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4728760)
1. There's no reason to believe that the Clintons would avoid new tax rules for the wealthy if they were passed.

Of course there is. Trusts are nothing but an effort to avoid the existing tax laws. No one is required to set up Trusts.

2. There's every reason to believe that a Clinton-based governing coalition in 2016 would be more likely to pass new taxes on the wealthy than a GOP-based coalition.

Change "wealthy" to "middle-class and upper-middle-class" and you're right. There is zero chance Clinton would pass new taxes that hit the actually wealthy. Neither Bill Clinton nor Obama got rid of the absurd carried-interest exemption, which they could each have done with the stroke of a pen.

3. The Clintons are not dead; thus we can't say with any degree of fidelity that they will or will not pass massive wealth on to Chelsea rather than donate significantly to charity.

Setting up those trusts now, when it has the potential to do political harm, is a really good clue.
   3048. BDC Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4728762)
Incarcerated fringe candidate Lyndon LaRouche won a few Arkansas delegates who were barred from the convention

Shouldn't that read "Political prisoner Lyndon LaRouche won 98% of delegates at stake nationally, but was defrauded of the nomination by a secret cabal led by Henry Kissinger and the Queen of England?"
   3049. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4728764)
This is a great 538 article.

Americans’ Faith in Government Shapes How They Feel About Obamacare — Trust Me
Instead, the public’s disapproval of Obamacare considered as a whole points to Americans’ broader relationship with the government, and our unwillingness to trust that it can accomplish what it sets out to do.

One political scientist, Vanderbilt University’s Marc Hetherington, has been doing work on political trust since before the Obama presidency. His 2006 book “Why Trust Matters” managed to anticipate the country’s response to the 2010 health care law surprisingly well. In it, Hetherington investigated why American public policy has moved rightward since the 1960s even though public opinion hasn’t become markedly more conservative. His answer: There’s been a decline in our trust in government.


Amusingly one of the graphs tracks trust in government. 1979 is a huge low point*, one which we have not hit in this decade. So I think the 1979 is the height theory might need a bit of work.

* OK it is really 1980, so sue me. And around 1994 it was even lower.
   3050. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4728771)
What you should do is stop believing liberal politicians care at all about redressing inequality or helping the poor and working class. They care about new sources of revenue to use to but votes.


That is why I vote policy. Politicians tend to do what they say they are going to do (honest, there have been studies and everything), but they lie all the time about the why and character bits. So I mostly ignore their character (only mostly though) and vote policy.
   3051. GregD Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4728773)
To be honest I skipped the 96 primary so it is fair if someone wants to point out I failed to vote against a Clinton

Snapper I share your view that self interest drives the personal choices of people regardless of ideology. And I know that policy shapes the calculation of self interest

Since the parties have deeply different policies about inequality it is an easy choice for me

Is it possible or likely that self interest moderates some liberals policy prescriptions? Sure and I will vote for stronger policy bearers in the primary

But does that moderation or personal self interest make the parties indistinguishable? Of course not

The Clintons support estate taxes and the republicans want them at zero. That distinction maters far more to me than personal failings

The fact that democrats aren't perfect on the issue is irrelevant next to the republicans ceaseless efforts to exacerbate the problem as a matter of principle
   3052. zenbitz Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4728777)
This is an argument that poor people need better pay and job opportunities so they'll have more money; not an argument that rich people having more money is hurting poor people.


Basically - the money has to come from SOMEWHERE. Serious capitalist claim that it is not a zero sum game - but it certainly isn't a rising tide, not since the 1960s anyway.


I am not sure one can be so glib as to even imply that welfare causes dependence which causes poverty, since the latter pre-dates the former by "all of history". Perhaps equally one can say that Welfare doesn't vanquish poverty either (although I think it's Ray who's point is that 'no one in the US is ACTUALLY poor'.
   3053. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: June 17, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4728778)
Change "wealthy" to "middle-class and upper-middle-class" and you're right. There is zero chance Clinton would pass new taxes that hit the actually wealthy. Neither Bill Clinton nor Obama got rid of the absurd carried-interest exemption, which they could each have done with the stroke of a pen.


So who are you going to vote for who might? Certainly not anyone from the GOP/TP right. Elizabeth Warren? Whomever the Greens or Socialists run?
   3054. zenbitz Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4728780)
And the Clintons are worthless, shameless, political hacks of the highest order. They are loathsome and pathetic.

And they are still 10x better than any candidate put up for POTUS by the other side - who are all that AND pander to the "downtrodden white man" and social conservatives.
   3055. GregD Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4728785)
Snapper you invoke perfection on this issue but it isn't your standard elsewhere

You have said--I believe and am aiming to get you right so please correct if I am wrong--that on issues of primary importance to you like abortion you will vote for a candidate who is imperfect but distinguishable from the alternatives. Reagan and Bush 1 would I assume fit that as both had been pro choice but were closer to your position by the time they ran for president. Is this fair?

You have written that building up the working class is a priority for you but not the priority. You have said I think that you would vote against a perfect candidate on that issue if that candidate were pro choice. Right?

Now speculation: the gap between your policy preferences for the working class and republican policies is so vast that it creates natural tension that you ease by saying democrats aren't perfect. But even if they were you wouldn't vote for them. And asserting that their imperfection makes them indistinguishable from republicans leads you into cartwheels and mis directions in sharp contrast to your clarity in other areas including those where I disagree with you. And the standard of perfection is not one you actually hold to or even defend in other areas to the best of my memory
   3056. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4728790)
What you should do is stop believing liberal politicians care at all about redressing inequality or helping the poor and working class. They care about new sources of revenue to use to but votes.

That's a little harsh. They do care a little bit more, but that caring never really translates into action -- and obviously they live equally greedy and parasitic lifestyles, in the case of people like the Clintons even more so. They've never really worked a day in their lives and have hoovered in tens of millions of dollars through political influence and the threat thereof.

Look, the "elites" have rigged the game. Anything that needs to get done needs to get done through government. Thus it's no accident that DC has become a place where, even if you lose an election you can still have a very lucrative job as an influence peddler. The grifters down there have purposefully set up the system that way.
   3057. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4728793)
So who are you going to vote for who might? Certainly not anyone from the GOP/TP right. Elizabeth Warren? Whomever the Greens or Socialists run?

I'm going to vote against someone, not for anyone.

Snapper you invoke perfection on this issue but it isn't your standard elsewhere

You have said--I believe and am aiming to get you right so please correct if I am wrong--that on issues of primary importance to you like abortion you will vote for a candidate who is imperfect but distinguishable from the alternatives. Reagan and Bush 1 would I assume fit that as both had been pro choice but were closer to your position by the time they ran for president. Is this fair?

You have written that building up the working class is a priority for you but not the priority. You have said I think that you would vote against a perfect candidate on that issue if that candidate were pro choice. Right?

Now speculation: the gap between your policy preferences for the working class and republican policies is so vast that it creates natural tension that you ease by saying democrats aren't perfect. But even if they were you wouldn't vote for them. And asserting that their imperfection makes them indistinguishable from republicans leads you into cartwheels and mis directions in sharp contrast to your clarity in other areas including those where I disagree with you. And the standard of perfection is not one you actually hold to or even defend in other areas to the best of my memory


I'm not invoking perfection. I'm simply trying to point out that neither party's prescription for fixing the problem is going to help, and, that neither set of politicians cares whether it helps or not.

BOTH current parties are focused squarely on preserving the advantages of the truly wealthy (0.01%). Neither cares if its policies actually help the middle and working class, and neither has coherent policies that would help them.

I am certainly highly dissatisfied with the Republicans' economic prescriptions. I am no less dissatisfied with the Democrats'. I'm trying to make the liberals here see that they should be in the same place.

If there were a party that was better on economic issues, but bad on abortions, etc., it would make my choice much harder.

I would definitely vote for a Al Smith Democrat against the current Republicans.
   3058. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4728795)
Amusingly one of the graphs tracks trust in government. 1979 is a huge low point*, one which we have not hit in this decade. So I think the 1979 is the height theory might need a bit of work.

Trust in government is barely a blip in the health of a culture. To the extent that trust in government is blind and passive, it's a sign of poor cultural health. The people of Nazi Germany had great trust in Adolf Hitler. The people of Russia have great trust in Vladimir Putin.

Etc.
   3059. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4728802)
So, here's my question for the liberals.

If you could achieve a political consensus that could return us to 1970's level of income inequality, by normal policy means (i.e. taxes, tariffs, spending, subsidies, etc., nothing grossly immoral) but you had to agree to outlaw abortion to get the votes, would you do it? I'll even throw in Universal Health Care, Canada style.
   3060. The Good Face Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4728805)
1. There's no reason to believe that the Clintons would avoid new tax rules for the wealthy if they were passed.


The fact that they've gone to the trouble and expense of avoiding the current tax rules is a pretty good indicator that they'd do the same if the rules changed.

   3061. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4728806)
Instead, the public’s disapproval of Obamacare considered as a whole points to Americans’ broader relationship with the government, and our unwillingness to trust that it can accomplish what it sets out to do.


Actually, I completely trust that government can accomplish what it sets out to do. Control and wealth redistribution are what governments set out to do. And they are very good at it.

The guns help.
   3062. bobm Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4728809)
you had to agree to outlaw abortion to get the votes

As if abortion rights haven't been nullified in 85% of US counties.
   3063. SteveF Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4728810)
To the extent that trust in government is blind and passive, it's a sign of poor cultural health.

One might make the same claim about blind trust in the market.

Ultimately, that's how things will turn if/when they turn. People won't suddenly get renewed faith in government. People will lose their faith in the market and reluctantly turn to the government for solutions.
   3064. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4728812)
One might make the same claim about blind trust in the market.

And I have.

The post-1979 rise in economic nuttery -- i.e., the triumph of free market fundamentalism -- is one of the seminal features of the decline.
   3065. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: June 17, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4728814)
If you could achieve a political consensus that could return us to 1970's level of income inequality, by normal policy means (i.e. taxes, tariffs, spending, subsidies, etc., nothing grossly immoral) but you had to agree to outlaw abortion to get the votes, would you do it? I'll even throw in Universal Health Care, Canada style.


If you include access to RU486 type morning after drugs and access to contraception as part of your universal healthcare package, and carve out a rational niche for health of the mother exceptions, we could negotiate.
   3066. zenbitz Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4728817)
If you could achieve a political consensus that could return us to 1970's level of income inequality, by normal policy means (i.e. taxes, tariffs, spending, subsidies, etc., nothing grossly immoral) but you had to agree to outlaw abortion to get the votes, would you do it? I'll even throw in Universal Health Care, Canada style.


Would you throw in a new wife? Because I think mine would divorce me if I agreed.

Seriously - if you don't like abortions, don't get one - and I don't recall the 1970s being any sort of Economic Utopia. I mean, I get that to you - it's infanticide - but to me, executing criminals is murder. 37% (or whatever, I have no idea) of the US agrees with you and 5% agrees with me.

And in no way would I agree if "Abortions" include RU486.

As if abortion rights haven't been nullified in 85% of US counties.


And the bottom line (and no I didn't fact check bobm) is that is probably not the worst outcome.
   3067. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4728819)
1. There's no reason to believe that the Clintons would avoid new tax rules for the wealthy if they were passed.


Oh? Have you created a residence trust to hold your home in, as the Clintons did?

There is every reason to believe that the Clintons would avoid new tax rules for the wealthy if they were passed. They've actively avoided the current tax rules, so why not new ones? Just because? Because Sam Said So?

Hillary is the female John Edwards as a candidate, in over her head in any debate and peddling her "cancer of inequality" nonsense in the same way that Edwards peddled his "Two Americas" shtick. Only a fool falls for that type of thing.

Hillary may lack Edwards's cheating ways -- in fact she appears to be asexual; there's only evidence of her and Bill having sex the one time, and at that Chelsea appears to be a needed accessory to further their political careers -- but never fear, Bill possesses those qualities to pick up the slack.
   3068. BDC Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4728824)
achieve a political consensus that could return us to 1970's level of income inequality, by normal policy means (i.e. taxes, tariffs, spending, subsidies, etc., nothing grossly immoral) but you had to agree to outlaw abortion

The two issues aren't extricable. You can't deny abortion rights without affecting women's potential for earning and for financial independence.
   3069. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4728829)
If you could achieve a political consensus that could return us to 1970's level of income inequality, by normal policy means (i.e. taxes, tariffs, spending, subsidies, etc., nothing grossly immoral) but you had to agree to outlaw abortion to get the votes, would you do it? I'll even throw in Universal Health Care, Canada style.
I'd do it in a heartbeat (depending on the "nothing grossly immoral" stuff). We get zero movement on anything these days, not on taxes or tariffs, on spending, on subsidies, or anything. The "triumph of free market fundamentalism", as SSB puts it, rules the day in America, and that makes any movement on anything that might remotely address the needs of people outside the top 10% almost impossible. I'll give up abortion for votes on a wide swath of everything else.

You can't deny abortion rights without affecting women's potential for earning and for financial independence.
True, but once I get everything I want on subisides and social spending, the amount of money I'm putting into family planning, sex education, condom distribution, and every anti-pregnancy/birth control drug is going to make Snapper's head explode. :-)
   3070. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4728832)
Hillary is the female John Edwards as a candidate, in over her head in any debate and peddling her "cancer of inequality" nonsense in the same way that Edwards peddled his "Two Americas" shtick. Only a fool falls for that type of thing.

Well, they fell for the gay marriage excuse, but the numbers don't lie. In 1996, the year her husband signed DOMA -- which didn't just stay neutral on the matter, but affirmatively put great obstacles in the path of gay marriage -- 60% of moderate, suburban women favored gay marriage and 80% of urban, liberal women supported gay marriage.

Contrary to her howlers, everyone had heard of gay marriage -- which is why DOMA was enacted in the first place -- and center-left women overwhelmingly supported it.

She's as phony as a 117-dollar bill.

   3071. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4728834)
Good thing the Republican will be running a candidate that doesn't have any such issues, like always.
   3072. GregD Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4728843)
I have said before snapper that I would vote for a pro life president with a serious achievable plan for reducing poverty and improving the lives if working class people. I would not brag about it to my wife and I understand the reasons why people wouldn't do it but I am at heart a materialist on policy questions

It is that same materialist emphasis that makes it impossible for me to imagine saying one is just as dissatisfied with the two parties on the issue. One will vote unanimously for eitc the other will nod for it at conferences but kill increases for it. One has plans for dealing with college loans the other kills plans for reducing the burden of college loans. One tries to raise estate taxes and capital gains and top brackets the other kills them

Snapper if dem policies have no impact upon the top 0.1% then why do they donate at such staggeringly disproportionate levels to republicans?
   3073. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 17, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4728845)
Good thing the Republican will be running a candidate that doesn't have any such issues, like always.

Every one of them is so loaded down with baggage that the Republican primaries are going to be like six months of Christmas. It's a party full of modern day Barry Goldwaters and William E. Millers, not one of whom would be a credible general election candidate.

For starters, here's Scott Walker. No baggage there, nosiree. I wonder how he'd do against Hillary?
   3074. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4728851)
I'd probably take that deal, especially if it came with a serious commitment to promoting the use of contraception.
   3075. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4728855)
If you could achieve a political consensus that could return us to 1970's level of income inequality, by normal policy means (i.e. taxes, tariffs, spending, subsidies, etc., nothing grossly immoral) but you had to agree to outlaw abortion to get the votes, would you do it? I'll even throw in Universal Health Care, Canada style.


Most likely yes. I agree with Rickey! and I also want good solid actual sex education and contraceptive availability. Abortions are rare and getting more rare*. And yes I have no problem with people that would go the other way and refuse the deal. Many fewer people on the right would make that deal though.

* That is what I read recently, however a quick Google search threatened to become a morass of the terrible (Operation Rescue was a near top link) that I bailed on looking the actual stats.
   3076. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4728856)
For starters, here's Scott Walker.


Heh. I love the "Like Pawlenty, but mean" as a description for him. He is way overrated by some folks I think.
   3077. Mefisto Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4728863)
It'd be important to know how this "deal" would be implemented. As things stand now, abortion is a Constitutional right. The tax and other provisions are purely statutory. I guess the Court might hold abortion to be subject to Congressional control, but that's not clear. Nor is it clear how either side could enforce the bargain. What happens if we set tax rates, etc., and the next R Congress reduces them? How do we get abortion rights back? Or vice versa?
   3078. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4728864)
Every one of them is so loaded down with baggage that the Republican primaries are going to be like six months of Christmas. It's a party full of modern day Barry Goldwaters and William E. Millers, not one of whom would be a credible general election candidate.

Mitt Romney would be, and I would favor him to beat Hillary Clinton.

   3079. SteveF Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4728865)
Abortion rates have been declining. Last I looked there were about 800,000 abortions a year in the US, holding relatively steady for the past 10 years (while population has increased).

Those are the CDC numbers, at any rate. Once you start looking at numbers provided by anyone other than the CDC you start worrying (well, worrying more) about ideology.
   3080. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4728866)
Mitt Romney would be, and I would favor him to beat Hillary Clinton.


That would be awesome, but yeah there is no way he wins the nomination on the GOP side or the election.
   3081. GregD Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4728875)
Kevin Drum on declining abortion rate. (He believes there is such consistent if slowish decline that neither sex ed policies or restrictions can explain it. A big piece is the fairly mysterious decline in teenage sexual activity and pregnancy rates
   3082. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4728879)
That would be awesome, but yeah there is no way he wins the nomination on the GOP side or the election.

But he's a far better candidate than Hillary Clinton, rendering the "the Republicans don't have anyone as totes awesome as Hillary!" meme batshit insane.

Only in Andyland is someone like a Mitt Romney or a Jeb Bush "loaded down with baggage" while a Hillary Clinton isn't.
   3083. SteveF Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4728880)
A big piece is the fairly mysterious decline in teenage sexual activity and pregnancy rates

I blame porn, feminism, and BPA induced male infertility. I think that covers all the classics.
   3084. Howie Menckel Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4728884)
another interesting Hillary issue

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/06/16/hillary-clinton-has-a-keystone-xl-catch-22/

"Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton declined in an interview published Sunday to take a position on the debate over whether the Keystone XL oil pipeline should be constructed or not.

Don't expect her posture to change any time soon.... By embracing Keystone XL, Clinton would risk alienating herself from the liberal activist and donor wing of her party that mostly opposes the project. That includes billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, who plans to spend big bucks supporting like-minded candidates this election cycle.

By opposing Keystone XL, she would risk losing more moderate supporters in red and purple states where she has more natural appeal than many Democrats.

Take West Virginia and Kentucky, two Appalachian, energy-producing states that lean Republican at the federal level...."



   3085. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4728885)
If Mitt Romney could get the Republicans to make their peace with Obamacare, he could very credibly ask Hillary, "What the hell do you know about healthcare?" and he could "I told you so" at least Iraq and Russia, which fell apart on the Obama/Hillary watch. Those would be two very potent issues.
   3086. Publius Publicola Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4728886)
Mitt Romney would be, and I would favor him to beat Hillary Clinton.


Romney:Clinton = Stevenson:Eisenhower
   3087. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4728887)
Romney:Clinton = Stevenson:Eisenhower

Oh. My. God.
   3088. BDC Posted: June 17, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4728892)
Mitt Romney … the last candidate to lose a Presidential election and then win their party's nomination was Nixon, right? Before him, Stevenson, Dewey, Bryan, Grover Cleveland I guess, etc. It has never been very common, but the "no second acts in American life" principle has been kicking in hard of late. Generally speaking, a losing candidate, unless they keep a Senate seat, vanishes utterly – which is odd, because why were they touted for President if they would go on to be no factor in their party or on the national scene?

   3089. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 17, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4728893)
Romney lost in the finals. Hillary lost in the semis.

Romney's been speaking at party events and big league gatherings, and the Netflix documentary on him was very well received. (And far more substantive than Hillary's banal flop-of-a-memoir.)
   3090. GregD Posted: June 17, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4728902)
I think Romney is a plausible president and, more importantly, feels like a plausible president to a reasonably large chunk of the populace, even those who like me wouldn't vote for him. That puts him ahead, for now, almost all the Republican field in a general election. Caveat: Some unknowns are capable of convincing people they cross the threshold test. Second caveat: With so few independents, the threshold test may matter less than we think, since any R and any D should be able to start at 45-46 % no matter what.

I don't think Romney though is a formidable candidate for reasons he showed in 2012. He's a fine candidate, one who can perform at his expectations and can avoid losing a winnable race, but he's not an enthusiasm guy, and you wouldn't love using him to excite your base to get to the polls, outside of the Mormon belt. Caveat: We may be at a point of partisan rivalry where you'll get big turnout in pres elections, no matter what.

He's a fine candidate but not a very fine candidate. I think he has had a hard time articulating what a Romney president would mean since he relies upon buzzwords even more than other R and D candidates, in part I suppose because he's afraid of policy positions being used against him.

It would be interesting to see how he would do in a primary. he starts way ahead of the pack in name recognition, but could he hold that spot? That was challenging for him in 2012.
   3091. zenbitz Posted: June 17, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4728911)
Jeeze Romney vs. Clinton what a treat that would be. I remember Romney being essentially an empty suit thrown to the Obama wolves. A guy who had to pander to his base and tack back for the general so bad he was left with no discernible ideas or policy what so ever. When you put it like that, he does sound better than Clinton!

But I kinda have to agree Romney is one of the least loathsome possibilities.
   3092. Howie Menckel Posted: June 17, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4728914)

as a boring moderate, I plead for these parties to at least come up with somebody new - not 2 people who lost to the current President

#justsayin
   3093. steagles Posted: June 17, 2014 at 09:13 PM (#4728916)
as a boring moderate, I plead for these parties to at least come up with somebody new - not 2 people who lost to the current President

#justsayin
#justsayin

   3094. GregD Posted: June 17, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4728918)
What could be more exciting than a Marty O'Malley-John Kasich showdown?
   3095. Lassus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 09:18 PM (#4728919)
Ahhh progressives. Robbing the middle class to benefit the wealthy for more than 100 years.

I know progressives. I've been friends with progressives. Snapper, the Clintons are no progressives.
   3096. Lassus Posted: June 17, 2014 at 09:20 PM (#4728921)
A big piece is the fairly mysterious decline in teenage sexual activity and pregnancy rates

Wait, FOX was telling us about the whores at Spring Break and those awesome rainbow parties! How can this be?
   3097. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 17, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4728932)
The tougher choice for me would be a Koch-funded Republican presidential candidate who would (and could) end the semi-random invasions and bombing campaigns. The practical differences on economic issues among the political elites are minor, so it would be especially nice to have a foreign policy that isn't loathsome.
   3098. GregD Posted: June 17, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4728936)
you think the Koch brothers would fund someone with minor differences from Democrats on economic issues? Their whole reason for involvement with the Republican Party is their critique of Democratic stances on economic issues.
   3099. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 17, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4728946)
Their whole reason for involvement with the Republican Party is their critique of Democratic stances on economic issues.

Their whole reason is power.

Do you think Clinton will have a practical effect on economic issues, as opposed to whichever Republican lamb will be nominated to be slaughtered in 2016? The political elites answer to other elites, who are not poor or even middle class. There's plenty of research on this topic.
   3100. Bitter Mouse Posted: June 17, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4728951)
Romney had a hard time against the most feeble batch of GOP primary candidates I have ever seen.
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