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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OTP November 2012 - Moneypoll! The Pundits vs. The Election-Data Nerds

Come next Tuesday night, we’ll get a resolution (let’s hope) to a great ongoing battle of 2012: not just the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the one between the pundits trying to analyze that race with their guts and a new breed of statistics gurus trying to forecast it with data.

In Election 2012 as seen by the pundits–political journalists on the trail, commentators in cable-news studios–the campaign is a jump ball. There’s a slight lead for Mitt Romney in national polls and slight leads for Barack Obama in swing-state polls, and no good way of predicting next Tuesday’s outcome beyond flipping a coin. ...

Bonus link: Esquire - The Enemies of Nate Silver

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 11298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mr president, off-topic, politics, sabermetrics, usa

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   9801. Lassus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4309450)
As of 2009, 41 percent of all children were born to unwed mothers: 23 percent of white children, 53 percent of Latino children, and 73 percent (!) of black children. If anything, I'd say "commonplace" is an understatement.

My disbelief was overstated in error, granted. (That said, SteveF did have the courtesy to recognize "unwed" is not the same thing as "single".)

Now explain to me the problem with contraception.
   9802. tshipman Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4309452)
..... Consider the Hispanic vote. Are Democrats winning Hispanics because they put forward a more welcoming face than Republicans do — one more in keeping with America’s tradition of assimilating migrants yearning to breathe free? Yes, up to a point. But they’re also winning recent immigrants because those immigrants often aren’t assimilating successfully — or worse, are assimilating downward, thanks to rising out-of-wedlock birthrates and high dropout rates. The Democratic edge among Hispanics depends heavily on these darker trends: the weaker that families and communities are, the more necessary government support inevitably seems.


Ross Douthat explains exactly why those poor, uneducated Asian-Americans, barely surviving on TANF, went for Obama by larger margins than Latinos.

Whenever I read his name, I think that it's Ross "Doubt-that." And I think this is mostly that whenever I read his thesis, I think, I doubt that is true.
   9803. SteveF Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4309457)
Now explain to me the problem with contraception.


The problem is that there's not enough proper use of it. The discussion surrounding that, at least on these boards, is going to be about who should be compelled (at gunpoint) to pay for it.

I mean, how much does a 16 ounce coca cola cost these days, anyway?
   9804. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4309459)
Now explain to me the problem with contraception.

Contrary to the Daily Kos talking points, no one on the right wants to ban contraceptives. The contraceptive debate is entirely with regards to Obamacare forcing Person A to buy contraceptives for Person B.

However, SteveF did have the courtesy to recognize "unwed" is not the same thing as "single".

In theory, that's an important distinction, but, sadly, it's mostly irrelevant in reality. As of 2009, only 4 percent of children lived with both of their unwed parents.
   9805. SteveF Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4309461)
only 4 percent of children lived with both of their unwed parents.


I don't think it's paramount for a child to be raised by both parents. I think it's just important for children to have multiple adults around (of any variety) to ensure that they are actually being raised by someone. There's nothing wrong with that someone being a grandparent.
   9806. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:14 AM (#4309475)
I agree that one good parent is better than two bad parents, and I know that a lot of kids are raised well by stepparents and/or grandparents (or even a parent cohabiting with another adult). But on the whole, the outcomes for kids raised by only one parent are much worse than those from two-parent homes. This is especially true where there are high concentrations of kids being raised by single parents (e.g., inner cities).
   9807. Jay Z Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:14 AM (#4309519)
Contrary to the Daily Kos talking points, no one on the right wants to ban contraceptives. The contraceptive debate is entirely with regards to Obamacare forcing Person A to buy contraceptives for Person B.


People who own property shouldn't have to pay for locks, fences, or security systems, either, because stealing is unfair. But stealing is a fact of life, so given that fact, the expense makes sense from a cost-benefit perspective.

Personally, contraceptives for all seems like an excellent investment in the future. Especially that given stereotypes, the person who won't be born is more likely to vote contrary to the needs of conservatives, they have all the more incentive to support them. Yet the line in the sand continues to be drawn. I understand the attraction for conservatives of various ilks not wanting to pay, I just don't think it's a rational cost-benefit move. Now the social cons may want to prevent people from having sex altogether. In that case opposition makes sense because if they get even some people to stop having sex due to lack of contraception, it's a victory for them.

   9808. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:22 AM (#4309522)
It should boil down to this:

Condoms and pills are cheap. Birth and children are expensive. Which you rather pay a dollar to keep conception from happening or would you rather pay for a pregnancy and raising of a child?
   9809. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4309528)
But the more important explanation is that single life is generally more insecure and chaotic than married life, and single life with children — which is now commonplace for women under 30 — is almost impossible to navigate without the support the welfare state provides.



Quotes like this make my skin crawl. Specifically written to make it sound like the majority of circumstances, when it isn't close to the truth. When challenged, mealy-mouthed clarification of "more frequent than before" is all that can come.


Funny; I read "commonplace" to mean "commonplace." Which it is.

   9810. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4309531)
My disbelief was overstated in error, granted. (That said, SteveF did have the courtesy to recognize "unwed" is not the same thing as "single".)

Now explain to me the problem with contraception.


Oh, I was wrong about that? WELL, WHAT ABOUT THIS?!?!

   9811. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:44 AM (#4309534)
It should boil down to this:

Condoms and pills are cheap. Birth and children are expensive. Which you rather pay a dollar to keep conception from happening or would you rather pay for a pregnancy and raising of a child?


I would rather pay for none of it.
   9812. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:06 AM (#4309542)
I would rather pay for none of it.

Me too. Paying for condoms and pills undermines the moral case for abortion. My body, my choice, can only exist with an additional clause, my responsibility.
   9813. Tripon Posted: November 26, 2012 at 04:15 AM (#4309560)
You better watch out for big condom. He'll wrap around your little head and won't let go until he'll take your own essence.
   9814. BrianBrianson Posted: November 26, 2012 at 07:46 AM (#4309576)
I would rather pay for none of it.


You're not going to get a majority of people to agree that children should be abandoned in the woods merely because their parents aren't able to support them.
   9815. Lassus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4309578)
Oh, I was wrong about that? WELL, WHAT ABOUT THIS?!?!

Some of us are actually capable of admitting error. Someday, you'll be a big enough boy to do the same. Usually happens around 5th grade. And, it was part of the same quoted article.

Here, we can talk about how unions suck instead. This would so never happen in America. Except when it did.

If that doesn't grab you, try out the war on men instead.
   9816. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4309585)
Contrary to the Daily Kos talking points, no one on the right wants to ban contraceptives. The contraceptive debate is entirely with regards to Obamacare forcing Person A to buy contraceptives for Person B.


In an interview with Jake Tapper on ABC News, Santorum reiterated his opposition to the Supreme Court’s 1965 ruling that prevented Connecticut from banning contraception.


It should be noted that before pundits and analysts begin taking potshots at Stephanopoulos for asking an irrelevant or meaningless question, he was attempting to draw a contrast between Romney (and perhaps other candidates as well) and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who had stated earlier in the week that he would defund federal appropriations for birth control. Santorum adheres to strict Catholic beliefs and opposes contraception.


Plus the various initiatives (Fetal Personhood Amendments and such) that would ban many types of contraceptives likes IUDs.

Yes some folks on the right want to ban contraceptives (there are more than the pill and condoms kids) of one sort or another. Not a majority, but some.
   9817. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4309586)
Ross Douthat explains exactly why those poor, uneducated Asian-Americans, barely surviving on TANF, went for Obama by larger margins than Latinos.


I read the excerpt and wanted to say this exact thing. The entire right has decided that the whole reason minorities vote for D and not R is economic free stuff. I think they are completely wrong, but should continue in their delusion.
   9818. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: November 26, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4309590)
I would rather pay for none of it.

Me too. Paying for condoms and pills undermines the moral case for abortion. My body, my choice, can only exist with an additional clause, my responsibility.

Funny how the so-called "libertarians" have a conception of liberty that begins and ends with a $ sign.
   9819. Lassus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4309592)
Contrary to the Daily Kos talking points, no one on the right wants to ban contraceptives.

Now, see Ray, here's a good opportunity to witness what I was talking about. Joe has been proven wrong on this point. Like me, I'm sure he will swiftly admit error. You may want to take notes.
   9820. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4309593)

Contrary to the Daily Kos talking points, no one on the right wants to ban contraceptives.


Of course they do, although they often speak obliquely about it. Rick Santorum said re: contraception: "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country,” the former Pennsylvania senator explained. “It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be”:
   9821. Jay Z Posted: November 26, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4309605)
Perhaps the government and society should be entirely neutral on the subject of sex education and contraceptives. No teaching that sex leads to babies, no teaching about marriage customs, just let nature take its course. That would certainly be the cheapest action to take in the short term, because it would require no spending or effort whatsoever. So it should make the conservatives very happy.
   9822. Gotham Dave Posted: November 26, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4309614)
So if pensions get slashed thus reducing government expenses that will create an economic collapse? I'm not following. Will it create an economic collapse because people will riot and start a civil war or something? Towns and cities go bankrupt and that is going to cause an economic collapse? Why? Did that happen in the 70’s?

Is this a serious question? Do you really not understand how a reduction of government spending, leaving the consumer class with less money to spend, would depress the economy? The data from both sides of the Atlantic over the last five years have been a ringing endorsement of Keynesian economics and you have to really, really try to read it any other way.

Condoms and pills are cheap. Birth and children are expensive. Which you rather pay a dollar to keep conception from happening or would you rather pay for a pregnancy and raising of a child?

Well said here, though. The “free contraceptives” and “ban contraceptives” things are both just spectacularly wrong and liberals claiming Republicans want to ban contraceptives bum me out. I mean, Santorum does want to ban contraceptives and I’m sure other extremists do too, but that policy is not an imminent risk associated with electing Republicans.

I think the bigger issue is that there’s already a shitton of things that insurance is required to cover, most of which we are glad it is required to cover, and most of which is for preventative reasons. The only reason Republicans blanche at this particular preventative mandate is because of sex - which is creepy and weird in its own right, but has nothing to do with banning contraceptives.
   9823. Lassus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4309619)
I mean, Santorum does want to ban contraceptives and I’m sure other extremists do too, but that policy is not an imminent risk associated with electing Republicans

Except for the ones who've been elected, you mean?
   9824. Gotham Dave Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4309621)
Lassus, what elected Republicans have actually suggested banning birth control - as in, BANNED banned, like cocaine and heroin are banned? I’m not doubting that it’s happened, particularly in state legislatures, but I haven’t heard about it and I generally follow these things pretty closely.
   9825. Lassus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4309627)
Lassus, what elected Republicans have actually suggested banning birth control - as in, BANNED banned, like cocaine and heroin are banned?

Well, if Santorum somehow doesn't count as an elected official who ran for president with more than a modicum of support, I'm reasonably sure when I'm not at work I could find others. There has been plenty of support for measures and bills that put IUDs into definite question.
   9826. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4309630)
Funny how the so-called "libertarians" have a conception of liberty that begins and ends with a $ sign.

Oh, so what you're saying is that it's *not* their body and *not* their choice. It's the public's womb. And the bible beaters are thus, suddenly on moral high ground. If the public bears financial responsibility for the womb, then it's reasonable for the public to have a Democratic stake in the womb that they own.

(I don't think it's reasonable, but I'm not the one who believe one person has a choice and everyone else has to pay the piper for their supposedly personal choice)

Your right to your fist stops at my face, whether it's a literal fist or a figurative one. Forcing people to pay for contraceptives for others obliterates the very strong moral case for unlimited abortion pre-viability.
   9827. Lassus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4309635)
I'm not grokking the moral argument, but I really don't think it matters. You guys haven't convinced enough of the world to adopt a Libertarian state, but in the interim it just sounds like you want the public expense of single motherhood to be worse for you so you can rail harder in opposition. I guess it's concern trolling, but that simply ain't gonna work at all. And not just for you.
   9828. Gotham Dave Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4309637)
Well, if Santorum somehow doesn't count as an elected official who ran for president with more than a modicum of support, I'm reasonably sure when I'm not at work I could find others. There has been plenty of support for measures and bills that put IUDs into definite question.

Yeah, that’s fair enough, although I don’t know if Santorum ever brought it up as a senator. The personhood bills/amendments are definitely problematic for certain kinds of birth control but haven’t even been able to pass in the reddest, most evangelical states. It’s something to keep an eye on but not an immediate concern. There’s plenty of other immediate concerns but usually when something is so massively, uniformly politically unpopular you don’t have to worry about it in the short term. Then again, I guess pointless cuts to SS and Medicare are massively, uniformly politically unpopular (libertarians not withstanding) and those are almost certain to happen, so.
   9829. Lassus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4309639)
That also seems fair.
   9830. Rants Mulliniks Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4309643)
You're not going to get a majority of people to agree that children should be abandoned in the woods merely because their
parents aren't able to support them.


A reasonable solution would be to allow adoption. I don't know about the US, but in Canada (domestic) adoption is practically impossible, and has been for over 20 years. We would rather give the abusive meth-head parents a million chances, destroying the child in the process, than take the kid away at strike two and give it to a family that would love it and raise it properly.
   9831. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4309645)
Two minor points of fact:

1. Santorum has not said he'd ban contraception, only the federal funding of it. He doesn't like contraception for the usual religious reasons, but he's never suggested outlawing it.

2. The chances of contraception being actually banned in this country are equal to the chances of a 2014 Stanley Cup between the Mets and the Nets.

The real threat to contraception, as opposed to the Boogeyman threat, is the repeal of mandatory insurance funding, which will have the practical effect of both reducing its use and increasing the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. This of course would give the Religious Right the triple thrill of keeping their taxes down, reducing contraception among the poor, and having more abortions to rail against. What a lovely bunch of characters.

   9832. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4309646)
Oh, so what you're saying is that it's *not* their body and *not* their choice. It's the public's womb.


Dan I normally follow your argument, but I am losing you here. There are two parts here. One is the government collecting money and spending that money and the second part is the government banning or mandating things. They are different and you seem to be conflating them.

The government collecting money and spending it on providing stuff to its citizens (in this case birth control, but it could be anything - national defense, police, food inspections, highways, probes on Mars) is what governments do. If the government does not collect money and do stuff then it is not a government - though obviously there is a discussion to be had regarding how much the government does.

The second part is the mandating or restricting activity. Pretty much all governments do this as well, but philisophically this is a different sort of activity than the wealth redistribution above. Ignoring enforcement, banning X or mandating citizens do Y is not a wealth redistribution acitivty (primarily). There are arguments that can be had regarding the scope of this sort of thing also (obviously), but the arguments I think are a bit different.

One of the primary differences between the two sorts of activities is collecting and spending money very much should focus on opportunity costs, efficiency, and effectiveness (so you end up with good government spending at any given level of government collecting and spending), whereas for the mandating restricting I think the focus is more on the rights of citizens, societies morals and so on.

If I am following you then you seem to be equating abortion rights (which is more about mandating or restricting activity) with providing for free (or subsidized) access to contraception, but I think those are very different conversations. Of course the conversations converge with the thought that governments should do nothing (or as close to that as possible), but that is a conversation best had (I think) in a more pure form because there is so much baggage regarding the whole topic of health care and reproductive rights that there will end up being more than the usual number of people talking past each other.
   9833. Gotham Dave Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4309647)
Yeah, from a “we can’t afford it” standpoint, removing the contraceptives mandate would be incredibly stupid. From a “religious freedom” standpoint, removing the contraceptives mandate would really, really be a stretch. The only standpoint it makes sense from is the “we believe horrible sluts should be punished with children instead of having consequence-free sex, which our wives won’t have with us because we’re terrible” standpoint.
   9834. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4309649)
1. Santorum has not said he'd ban contraception, only the federal funding of it. He doesn't like contraception for the usual religious reasons, but he's never suggested outlawing it.

2. The chances of contraception being actually banned in this country are equal to the chances of a 2014 Stanley Cup between the Mets and the Nets.


The statment though was no one on the right is for banning contraception. If this were true why the furor over overturning the SC case which preventing banning of contraception?

Clearly there are forces in the GOP that do want to ban some or all contraception, whether it is the pill, condoms, IUDs or what (for example the various personhood at conception laws would de facto ban certain types of contraception). However it is hard to find a politician who says the words "I want to ban contraception" because it is a very unpopular position.

So I agree it is unlikely to pass in the US. Though some of the redder spots in the country could see movement in that direction if the SC case was overturned. The reason the left focuses on this aspect is the same reason the right publically does not state what the outcome of their proposals would be - it is a hot button.

But more to the point, as a gross generalization the GOP does not like unapproved sex. Gay sex, out of wedlock sex, and so on. Whether their position is driven by morals or whatever, clearly what they advocate on the "sex front" is unified by this. It is all part of the same thing, you may say this or that symptom is more significant, but they all have the same underlying cause.
   9835. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4309650)
Is this a serious question? Do you really not understand how a reduction of government spending, leaving the consumer class with less money to spend, would depress the economy? The data from both sides of the Atlantic over the last five years have been a ringing endorsement of Keynesian economics and you have to really, really try to read it any other way.

Yes I'm serious. Despite what you think or others might think it won't go from spending 100 billion dollars on pensions to zero dollars on pensions. What might happen is that the government will need to increase their spending on pensions to 110 billion and they won't do it. They'll keep it at 100 billion or possibly slightly reduce that amount as well. That won't trigger a collapse.

But it is odd how either the government not borrowing from the future or taking money from us via taxes will mean the consumer class will have less money to spend and thus depress the economy.

AS for towns and cities that go bankrupt that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Shedding bad debt and foolish contracts is not a bad thing overall and the 70's have shown that cities can rebuild their credit after hard times.
   9836. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4309651)
Dan I normally follow your argument, but I am losing you here. There are two parts here. One is the government collecting money and spending that money and the second part is the government banning or madating things. They are different and you seem to be conflating them.


No, they're the same in this context.

Personal decisions are only personal decisions if you bear the responsibility for your personal decisions.

If abortion is a personal decision, that no one other than the woman has a right to make, than the woman must bear the responsibility for her personal decision. If she does not, then it's not really a personal choice. Her moral right to choose to have an abortion collapses when other people and organizations are not given the same choice to not fund an abortion.

I can practice my religion and my ethical worldview all I want. But when my religion says I get to have your TV, that's where my right to practice my religion ends.
   9837. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4309656)
I would rather pay for none of it.

I would rather not pay taxes but just because I don't want to do something doesn't mean I get to ignore reality. The choice isn't do nothing that costs money or spend money. It is either spend some money to help prevent disadvantaged people from having disadvantaged children or spend lots of money to take care of lots of disadvantaged children. Principles and political theories are generally penny wise and pound foolish and this mostly certainly is the case when it comes to funding contraception.
   9838. formerly dp Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4309657)
(I don't think it's reasonable, but I'm not the one who believe one person has a choice and everyone else has to pay the piper for their supposedly personal choice)
Of course, this dodges the issue-- BC is part of reproductive health, and those reproductive health decisions are between the woman and her doctor. This is mind-numbingly simple, but for some reason conservatives pretend it's not. There are plenty of women on BC to regulate ovulation. But making that case cedes too much ground already-- if the doctor recommends BC to manage the uterus, the doctor recommends BC to manage the uterus. That's all we really need to know. Anything else is an attempt at slut-shaming.
   9839. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 26, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4309659)
From a “religious freedom” standpoint, removing the contraceptives mandate would really, really be a stretch.


There is no "religious freedom" argument to be made in this debate. Hell, if basic Catholic ethical theory recognizes that this is a stretch at best.
   9840. The Good Face Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4309660)
I can't be the only one playing Eve - internet spaceships are serious business.


I adored EVE. The only MMOG that rewarded intelligent play and superior planning/preparation over grinding. Also the only MMOG that brutally punished stupidity and foolishness. Good times. I'm always on the verge of reactivating my accounts.

For more recent games, I've been having a blast playing Borderlands 2. Great fun if you like shooters that don't really take themselves too seriously. X-COM: Enemy Unknown is pretty cool too, although I haven't had the time to play it much yet.
   9841. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4309661)
If abortion is a personal decision, that no one other than the woman has a right to make, than the woman must bear the responsibility for her personal decision. If she does not, then it's not really a personal choice. Her moral right to choose to have an abortion collapses when other people and organizations are not given the same choice to not fund an abortion.


Why is funding an abortion different than funding a police force, food inspectors, highways, B1 bombers or anything else though? There are some of those things I don't want to fund, but I have not choice in it. If you think the government has the right to collect money and spend it then your line of attack is not relevent. If you don't think the government has that right then it is a much larger discussion.

You also seem to be saying that "bear the responsibility for her personal decision" = "pay for" and nothign else. There is much more to bearing the responsibility for something beyond paying for it. The decision to have sex (possible have child, possible contract STD, possible other consequences) is much more than a $ decision. Even if everythign is paid for there is still respnsibility and consequences that matter.
   9842. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4309669)
Why is funding an abortion different than funding a police force, food inspectors, highways, B1 bombers or anything else though?


Because, whores. That's why.
   9843. BDC Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4309678)
Suppose I don't want to pay for bypass surgery or hip replacements for people who made the decision to live on cheeseburgers and fries for decades. Or for any other medical treatment that might be traceable to a lifestyle choice. If this were followed through logically, we'd stop having insurance coverage for anything except what could be proved to be an utterly unavoidable out of the blue act of God.

One of the key factors WRT abortion or contraception is still a moral indignation that weighs disproportionately on women and disapproves of their sexuality. "If they need medical care to preserve their physical and/or psychological health, then by gum it was their own fault for not playing harder to get."

EDIT: Well, trust Sam to say something in 4 words that took me 100. I'd buy a Coke but it might lead to Type 2 diabetes and we wouldn't want to fund treatment for that.
   9844. formerly dp Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4309684)
Suppose I don't want to pay for bypass surgery or hip replacements for people who made the decision to live on cheeseburgers and fries for decades. Or for any other medical treatment that might be traceable to a lifestyle choice. If this were followed through logically, we'd stop having insurance coverage for anything except what could be proved to be an utterly unavoidable out of the blue act of God.
You're giving the insurance companies some fantastic ideas.
   9845. The Good Face Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4309685)
No, they're the same in this context.

Personal decisions are only personal decisions if you bear the responsibility for your personal decisions.

If abortion is a personal decision, that no one other than the woman has a right to make, than the woman must bear the responsibility for her personal decision. If she does not, then it's not really a personal choice. Her moral right to choose to have an abortion collapses when other people and organizations are not given the same choice to not fund an abortion.

I can practice my religion and my ethical worldview all I want. But when my religion says I get to have your TV, that's where my right to practice my religion ends.


I don't really disagree with this perspective, but the utilitarian calculus here is so overwhelming I'm willing to make an exception and side with the lefties here. The sort of woman who needs government funding to get an abortion is EXACTLY the sort of person who should be getting an abortion. Low intelligence people with poor future time orientation shouldn't be reproducing, and if we can reduce their reproduction in a non-coercive fashion, we should.
   9846. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4309686)
Insurance is acceptable because it isn't the government.

The reason I disagree with the Libertarians on funding society is because if the haves do not include the have-nots then soon the have-nots opt out of the haves society and then tend to start trying to kill and take things from the haves.
   9847. Greg K Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4309691)
X-COM: Enemy Unknown is pretty cool too, although I haven't had the time to play it much yet.

I really love that game. Though it wasn't compatible on my PC so I had to get the Xbox version. From what I understand it's pretty much the same game though. What I would love is a game mode where you can just run your team through endless battles. I suppose you can do that manually by just declining to play the final battle and continuing to scan for aliens...but either way it's a really fun game that seems like it has all sorts of room for mod/expansion pack growth.
   9848. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4309692)
1. Santorum has not said he'd ban contraception, only the federal funding of it. He doesn't like contraception for the usual religious reasons, but he's never suggested outlawing it.

2. The chances of contraception being actually banned in this country are equal to the chances of a 2014 Stanley Cup between the Mets and the Nets.



The statment though was no one on the right is for banning contraception. If this were true why the furor over overturning the SC case which preventing banning of contraception?

Clearly there are forces in the GOP that do want to ban some or all contraception, whether it is the pill, condoms, IUDs or what (for example the various personhood at conception laws would de facto ban certain types of contraception). However it is hard to find a politician who says the words "I want to ban contraception" because it is a very unpopular position.


Okay, to modify what I wrote above:

1. I'm sure that there are a few (million) religious wingnuts out there who would outlaw all forms of contraception if it were in their power to do do. But as you tacitly admit, no public official other than perhaps a traffic cop in Tumbleweed, Texas, has made such a proposal.

2. OTOH there is a sizable group of religious zealots, including more than a few elected officials, who most certainly do favor outlawing specific forms of contraception, most notably the "morning after" pill. But they base their argument in that case by equating the "morning after" pill with abortion, rather than framing the issue as a matter of contraception. I guess the theory is that a 12 hour old "baby" feels pain in a way that a mere sperm cell cannot. Or maybe at the 12 hour stage it becomes a Higher Child of God. Or maybe something.
   9849. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4309695)
Why is funding an abortion different than funding a police force, food inspectors, highways, B1 bombers or anything else though?

Because you're funding an individual's personal, private, choice. How much we fund for police force, food inspectors, highways, and B1 bombers is the product of a Democratic process, with Democratic input on how these things are executed. If we fund abortions, then the bible beaters have a reasonable case that if it's simply another process with Democratic input, then through Democracy, things like enforced abstinence would be perfectly acceptable if enough of a consensus is reached.

   9850. Tripon Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4309699)
There's a really easy way to make sure contraception, birth control, or the pill. (Whatever your form of birth control is) and that's to make it over the counter.

No need to insure something for OTA stuff. Not going to happen of course since the religious right will have a fit, while the left would worry about not getting doctors to prescribe it.

But I think contraception in general can be much more 'hands off' like this.
   9851. McCoy Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4309701)
Well, enforced abstinence is a perfectly acceptable thing for a democracy to decide on. Just like deciding whether or not to drink alcohol or do drugs is a perfectly acceptable thing for a democracy to decide on. If our democracy decided to enforce abstinence I would say good luck with that and you'll probably have even less of a chance of it working than prohibition and the war on drugs did.
   9852. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4309702)
Suppose I don't want to pay for bypass surgery or hip replacements for people who made the decision to live on cheeseburgers and fries for decades. Or for any other medical treatment that might be traceable to a lifestyle choice. If this were followed through logically, we'd stop having insurance coverage for anything except what could be proved to be an utterly unavoidable out of the blue act of God.


No, we wouldn't - rates would simply match the actuarial risk. That's what insurance is and insurance companies already cover a ton of things that result from personal choice, without being ordered to.
   9853. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4309704)
There's a really easy way to make sure contraception, birth control, or the pill. (Whatever your form of birth control is) and that's to make it over the counter.

Obviously, I'm in favor of this.

Well, enforced abstinence is a perfectly acceptable thing for a democracy to decide on.

"It's a woman's right to choose until enough people say that it isn't" probably won't be one of the 100 Most Popular Protest Signs anytime son.
   9854. BDC Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4309707)
No, we wouldn't - rates would simply match the actuarial risk. That's what insurance is and insurance companies already cover a ton of things that result from personal choice, without being ordered to

That's fair enough, and it points to the abortion issue as simply being a subset of your overall objection to government mandates/regulation/management of insurance. I'm really thinking of a less consistent but widespread stance on the right that objects to government-sponsored health care for young women (but not to lots of things that Medicare provides to seniors, for instance).
   9855. Kurt Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4309709)
Funny how the so-called "libertarians" have a conception of liberty that begins and ends with a $ sign.

It's clear from this thread that - rightly or wrongly - it is non-libertarians for whom there is no contraceptive freedom without money attached to it.
   9856. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4309711)
If we fund abortions, then the bible beaters have a reasonable case that if it's simply another process with Democratic input, then through Democracy, things like enforced abstinence would be perfectly acceptable if enough of a consensus is reached.


But you are still conflating government funding with mandates. Funding contraception, abortions, or whatever is not the same as outlawing something. One is giving an individual financial access to it, the other is preventing legal domestic access. They are not two sides of the same coin, because giving access means giving a choice to do or not (and some will and some won't), whereas outlawing somethign takes away the option (and mandating forces it, also removing the option).

However governments mandate/restrict things all the time. If society decides it wants to try to enforce abstinence the government can try to do this. Nothing is stopping it, and funding or not funding abortions has nothing to do with it. The government is no more or less likely to mandate/restrict something based on other thigns it may fund.

The force behind both the funding and mandating are the political process, societies norms, and so on. You seem to be saying funding abortions means it will be OK (in the sense they are related) for the government to do other things like enforce abstinence, but that is wrong. The government does what it does, and while governmnet policy on both abortions and contraceptives are related, both are related to common political and societal forces, one does not drive the other in any political sense.

You could argue that funding abortions leads to moral decay which undermines abstinence or some such, but that does not seem to be what you are arguing.

Long story short: Bible beaters want what they want and don't need anything to justify their position.
   9857. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4309713)
That's fair enough, and it points to the abortion issue as simply being a subset of your overall objection to government mandates/regulation/management of insurance.

It's not exactly shocking that a libertarian takes positions rooted in his libertarianism. It certainly wouldn't be due to my strong and overwhelming Christian beliefs, of which there are none.

   9858. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4309716)
It's clear from this thread that - rightly or wrongly - it is non-libertarians for whom there is no contraceptive freedom without money attached to it.


I can't speak for all non-Libertarians, but without the functional ability to choose things freedom becomes very abstract and not worth much. Without resources there are not many choices. What I am advocating is for somethings the government should take the resource constraint out of the picture, so that there is true choice.

Put more simply the wealthy have always had the option of getting an abortion. They can go to another state or another country where it is legal. And can afford to pay for it if it is legal and expensive. I think restricting this choice, and more generally restricting access to health care, is fundemental enough that the government should work to take the $ out of the equation as much as possible so that the individual can have the freedom to choose what is right for them.
   9859. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4309718)
One is giving an individual financial access to it, the other is preventing legal domestic access.

They already have individual financial access to it, through someone wishing to have an abortion voluntarily contracting with other free parties to provide that service. Beyond that, it's not pro-choice for one, it's anti-choice for everyone else.
   9860. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4309721)
Dan, even though I obviously disagree with it, I get your position about not funding contraception.

Maybe this has been dealt with somewhere upthread, but I take it that you're also then accepting that the resulting increase in unwanted (and unaborted) pregnancies will mean an overall increase in public spending. IOW in this case your philosophical objection to "first stage" government funding overrides the fact that the inevitable "second, third, many stages" funding will more than wipe out any dollar amount the government will save by denying that "first stage" funding. That probably isn't the clearest of wording, but I think you can get my point.
   9861. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4309730)
It's not exactly shocking that a libertarian takes positions rooted in his libertarianism.


Well, to be fair, these guys are used to dealing with Ray and David, so it is sort of shocking.
   9862. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4309735)
They already have individual financial access to it, through someone wishing to have an abortion voluntarily contracting with other free parties to provide that service. Beyond that, it's not pro-choice for one, it's anti-choice for everyone else.


Governments fund many things I am against, too bad for me. The anti-choice part comes from the government collecting money part of it. Society (in the form of pretty much every government ever) has decided governments take money from citizens and fund things, often things some of their citizens don't like.

I still fail to see the difference between funding access to health care from access to highways. Even if I only drive on city streets and never on highways I am funding other peoples access to highways through my taxes, even if I am morally oppossed to highways.
   9863. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4309745)
I can practice my religion and my ethical worldview all I want. But when my religion says I get to have your TV, that's where my right to practice my religion ends.


My religion says you shouldn't eat pork, but not only am I forced to subsidized the health care for bacon-gobbling, pork-gravy-swilling heathens who reject the dietary laws spelled out quite specifically by the god upon whose word this very country was founded, I also get to have my tax dollars given to the National Pork Board so they can proselytize in defiance of my religious teachings.

Let's keep our focus on the real victims here - me.
   9864. BDC Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4309757)
I still fail to see the difference between funding access to health care from access to highways

And again, if one is an extreme enough Libertarian, one wouldn't see the difference either. As above, my head-scratching starts when someone (not DJS, now, let's say someone more of the Mitt Romney stripe), who's generally pro a certain amount of highway-building and hip-replacing, suddenly draws the line at basic contraception and says "nobody should have to pay for something they don't condone." For YR it's pork, and for me it's NPR; seriously, much more of those whiny, stammering, Casper-Milquetoasty voices and those self-conscious little musical interludes between stories, and those self-satisfied over-enunciating commentators on everything blindlingly obvious and I will need some kind of Obamacare psychiatric treatment myself. Yet do I threaten to move to Canada every time "Fresh Air" begins? I ask you.
   9865. Chicago Joe Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4309760)
Even if I only drive on city streets and never on highways I am funding other peoples access to highways through my taxes, even if I am morally oppossed to highways.


Some city streets are actually highways.
   9866. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4309762)
Apostate Bruce Bartlett in this month's American Conservative crows and tut-tuts on a variety of topics, and regrets that the right is embracing its troubles rather than addressing them:

"There appears to be no recognition that their defects are far, far deeper and will require serious introspection and rethinking of how Republicans can win going forward. The alternative is permanent loss of the White House and probably the Senate as well, which means they can only temporarily block Democratic initiatives and never advance their own."

Boss Jim Gettys said it first to Charlie Kane: "Anybody else, I'd say what's going to happen to you would be a lesson to you. Only you're going to need more than one lesson. And you're going to get more than one lesson."
   9867. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4309769)

Some city streets are actually highways.


You see what kinds of abomination gay marriage leads to?
   9868. Greg K Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4309771)
Yet do I threaten to move to Canada every time "Fresh Air" begins? I ask you.

No need to move to Canada to listen to "Fresh Air" on the radio. CBC Ontario provides an online feed!

I only skimmed your post, but I assume I'm on point here.


   9869. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4309778)
seriously, much more of those whiny, stammering, Casper-Milquetoasty voices and those self-conscious little musical interludes between stories, and those self-satisfied over-enunciating commentators on everything blindlingly obvious and I will need some kind of Obamacare psychiatric treatment myself. Yet do I threaten to move to Canada every time "Fresh Air" begins? I ask you.

I have to admit that if I had a revolver, whenever I hear one of those musical interludes I'd be channeling my inner Goering.

And don't get me started on "I'm Lakk Shmee-SING". (I smile, but Leonard BernSTINE roars his approval)
   9870. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4309783)
I want to like NPR (and its MN version MPR) but I never listen to it. Makes me a bad liberal I guess but I don't watch Public television much either.

I listen to sports radio (when I can stand it) and my MP3s (with the occasional podcast). I watch sports events, DVR various TV shows (almost all drama), and NetFlix stuff.
   9871. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4309785)
For YR it's pork, and for me it's NPR


Why it isn't just me being a whiny glibertarian, it's the holy bible itself that condemns the foul swine and declares its meat unclean. As we've learned recently there is no right in America more sacrosanct that that of religious conscience, and yet while the Papists shed their crocodile tears at the behest of their false prophet in Rome and openly demand the right to integrate their cult beliefs into the lives of nonbelievers, the Chosen People are expected to suffer in silence as their religion is openly marginalized. Heck, we can't even ask insurers for a policy that excludes any work-related injuries that occur between Friday and Saturday evenings, when the Almighty Himself has ordered no work be performed.

NPR is ok with me I guess, the wife likes it more than I do. If I'm driving it's either an audiobook or rocking out.
   9872. Lassus Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4309801)
If I'm driving it's either an audiobook or rocking out.

I've been trying a few audiobooks lately. I'm told it's an acquired taste, and I haven't yet acquired it.
   9873. Tilden Katz Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4309808)
Why is insurance funding BC an affront to liberty, but insurance funding boner pills okay?
   9874. spycake Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4309810)
Let's not forget too that standard birth control pills are prescription-only. Which means you need to see a doctor to get them and to continue getting them. That fact alone suggests they should be a required offering of women's insurance plans.
   9875. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4309817)
I've been trying a few audiobooks lately. I'm told it's an acquired taste, and I haven't yet acquired it.


I like them for commuting (back when I had an hour commute twice daily), at the end of a few weeks you can be a much better-read individual. Obviously the quality of the original source material AND the quality of the reader make a big difference in how much value you can extract, however. Still, I'm very grateful for the medium, which has allowed me to get caught up on all of Cormac McCarthy's works in my freest of free time.
   9876. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4309819)
Why is insurance funding BC an affront to liberty, but insurance funding boner pills okay?


Because boners are awesome.
   9877. Langer Monk Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4309821)
I adored EVE. The only MMOG that rewarded intelligent play and superior planning/preparation over grinding. Also the only MMOG that brutally punished stupidity and foolishness. Good times. I'm always on the verge of reactivating my accounts.


I figured it's right up BBTF's alley. Not to shill, but lots of good things being added/fixed come 12/4 expansion. Oh, and a little FPS action with Dust on the PS3 - hopefully bringing brutal punishment to more and more.

/Now back to Pork, $Liberty$, and Sex
   9878. Tripon Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4309822)
Why is insurance funding BC an affront to liberty, but insurance funding boner pills okay?


The obvious answer is that covering boner pills offer better margins for the insurance companies.
   9879. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4309824)
Why is insurance funding BC an affront to liberty, but insurance funding boner pills okay?

ONE THRILLS, AND THE OTHER KILLS!
   9880. BDC Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4309825)
I have a five-minute drive to work now (I listen to classical-music radio, it's about enough time for one recording), so audiobooks would be hard to listen to. But when I had cataract surgery last year, I got a few from the library and was delighted by the quality. The readers were Grover Gardner and Dick Hill, who had won several awards I didn't know existed, and deservedly so.
   9881. BDC Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4309829)
covering boner pills offer better margins for the insurance companies

It's not just that: they allow firms to penetrate new markets, and stay around longer, with more product coming through the pipeline. Think of the investment as a seed grant. It can get so exciting that the insurance execs have to think about baseball.
   9882. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4309830)
I figured [EVE's] right up BBTF's alley. Not to shill, but lots of good things being added/fixed come 12/4 expansion. Oh, and a little FPS action with Dust on the PS3 - hopefully bringing brutal punishment to more and more.


It's definitely a game of choice for the libertarians. There are MANY awesome stories of ruthless business deals and back-stabbing and genuine rip-offs/thefts by individuals (even one attempt to destabilize the economy for the entire game), and every time someone appeals to the creators/owners of the game, they always say "Nope. Whatever happens, happens."
   9883. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4309831)
Why is insurance funding BC an affront to liberty, but insurance funding boner pills okay?


Because, whores. That's why.
   9884. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4309833)
I have a five-minute drive to work now (I listen to classical-music radio, it's about enough time for one recording), so audiobooks would be hard to listen to.


Podcasts are your friend.

"This American Life" (from PBS!) might be a bit long (about an hour each episode), but they are fantastic.
I also recommend "Freakonomics" (they have 5 minute bite sized episodes, 30 minute ones, and the occasional hour-long ones).
   9885. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4309834)
#9881 deserves acknowledgment for embiggening the discussion.
   9886. The Good Face Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4309839)
I figured it's right up BBTF's alley. Not to shill, but lots of good things being added/fixed come 12/4 expansion. Oh, and a little FPS action with Dust on the PS3 - hopefully bringing brutal punishment to more and more.


The things that make EVE great also work to limit its appeal though. The learning curve is more like a cliff; figuring out the mechanics and how they all interact, combined with having to learn all the ships and what they do can be an overwhelming undertaking. Documentation is scant and often incredibly out of date. A lot of people just don't have the time to devote that kind of effort to a game. Although EVE isn't grindy in the way that most MMOGs are grindy, success can often require a lot of planning and effort; most people don't want to have to try that hard to have fun in an MMOG. Even more people don't want to play a game that's been described, with justifiable accuracy, as, "An economic simulator for psychopaths."

At its best it was totally worth it; when things come together in EVE and you outwit other players, impose your will on them, AND get to take their stuff, there's a rush that no other MMOG can compete with. But it's often a loooong walk for a short ride. That's why I'm currently not subscribed.
   9887. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4309843)
Why is insurance funding BC an affront to liberty, but insurance funding boner pills okay?

I never made that argument. The government has as much business telling insurance companies that they must offer abortion insurance or boner insurance as it has telling a grocery store that they must keep kumquats or mustache wax in stock. If an insurance company wants to offer a "Heart Attack, Boner, Tricycle, Dandelion Infestation, Assassination By Welsh Nationalists" Policy to other freely consenting parties, that's their business, not mine. I put the busybodies interfering in private transactions between freely consenting adults in the same group, whether said transaction is currency or bodily fluids.
   9888. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4309846)
MMO, I'm mostly playing Guild Wars 2 these days.

My Steam name is DSzymborski. David Wiers at FanGraphs occasionally plays, too, and I got Wyers to play TF2 once, but I'm not sure he cared for it.

I enjoy the system of Planetside 2, an interesting MMO shooter. Problem is that I am ####### awful at it. I get killed way before I see the enemy a lot. My reflexes aren't what they were when I was 20.
   9889. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4309849)
As above, my head-scratching starts when someone (not DJS, now, let's say someone more of the Mitt Romney stripe), who's generally pro a certain amount of highway-building and hip-replacing, suddenly draws the line at basic contraception and says "nobody should have to pay for something they don't condone."

I should note that things in which there are real, unavoidable free rider problems (not the free rider problems created by other legislation to fix the original problem), are the ones where there are plenty of opportunities for realistic pragmatism. Highway building is one of them (as I don't believe land can physically be owned by a person or a state, only improvements on the land).
   9890. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4309853)
I got Wyers to play TF2 once, but I'm not sure he cared for it.


TF2 is a very fun game and fairly accessible with its graphics and generally low system requirements, but like most online FPS's you need some serious reflexes and mousing skills if you're going to be anything more than fodder for most classes. I encourage new players to try the Engineer and Medic classes first as those are a bit more forgiving.
   9891. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: November 26, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4309854)
I've been trying a few audiobooks lately. I'm told it's an acquired taste, and I haven't yet acquired it.


I love good audiobooks. The key is that you need a good reader/performer and a good text, and not many books have both. The books that work best are often ones in which individual characters have strong voices and the reader handles them creatively and intelligently. The effect can be something halfway between a conventional reading and an audio drama. You get the variety of audio drama, but with more narration (and it's usually a lot longer). I got hooked by listening to the Aubrey/Maturin novels in the excellent readings by Simon Vance, which had me for months answering questions by saying "As easy as miss my hand" in Vance's Captain Aubrey voice.

Though I am also more usually a podcast guy.
   9892. Greg K Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4309856)
I've been trying a few audiobooks lately. I'm told it's an acquired taste, and I haven't yet acquired it.

My dad lives off of audiobooks. He's always getting me them as well (I'm sure I have about six coming to me this Christmas). But I can't really get into them. For me listening is a complementary activity. I'll listen to music while I'm writing, or watching a baseball game, or playing strat-o-matic. I find listening an activity that lends itself well to either fading into the background, or drifting off into contemplation - listening to music, the shower, and walking around outside I'd say are my three key areas of coming up with ideas. Getting into a book that way doesn't really work for me. I don't have the focus necessary when listening.

But to each his own. It really works for my dad, and a friend of mine (who is not a big fan of reading) is about to tackle Game of Thrones in audiobook form, which is a huge plus for me because it's another person to share Targareyan conspiracy theories with.
   9893. spike Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4309867)
   9894. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4309871)
I got hooked by listening to the Aubrey/Maturin novels in the excellent readings by Simon Vance, which had me for months answering questions by saying "As easy as miss my hand" in Vance's Captain Aubrey voice.


A zillion times this. I love these. I'm still bitter that the movie didn't generate enough revenue to warrant sequels, because I thought Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany were spot-on.
   9895. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4309873)
Thomas Ricks being interviewed by Fox on Benghazi

Hilarity ensues.


Boy, they cut that off in a jiffy. I'm surprised they didn't immediately cut to this as soon as he mentioned Fox's role in hyping this issue for political purposes.
   9896. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4309877)
This would have been more appropriate.
(from Fox's point of view)
   9897. zonk Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4309878)
Why is insurance funding BC an affront to liberty, but insurance funding boner pills okay?


I never made that argument. The government has as much business telling insurance companies that they must offer abortion insurance or boner insurance as it has telling a grocery store that they must keep kumquats or mustache wax in stock. If an insurance company wants to offer a "Heart Attack, Boner, Tricycle, Dandelion Infestation, Assassination By Welsh Nationalists" Policy to other freely consenting parties, that's their business, not mine. I put the busybodies interfering in private transactions between freely consenting adults in the same group, whether said transaction is currency or bodily fluids.


So - if instead of a mandate that birth control MUST be covered, would you be OK with a minor PPACA rewrite that would simply outlaw the practice of an employer banning coverage of birth control? Setting aside whether such a thing would pass judicial review - this is the problem with the birth control debate...

The insurers, I am virtually certain, would LOVE to include birth control - when the silly accommodations to Big Vatican and company were made, you'll note that the insurers certainly didn't balk at the 'compromise' (which had them essentially underwriting independent policies that would be available to employees of organizations that had banned birth control in their organization policy).

As McCoy notes above - I don't think you need an actuary to tell you that if an insurer had the choice between subsidizing/covering the pill versus the much, much more expensive prenatal and neonatal care; they'd much prefer to cover the pill.

The whole argument against birth control coverage breaks down when people try to complain in a vacuum that they don't want to pay for "birth control"... It's not ala carte - you're subsidizing insurance as a package. Line iteming birth control and then excising it isn't going to lower policy costs - again, I think any actuary would back me up on that.

The birth control argument is a losing libertarian argument - it's just a rhetorical trick to try to reframe the more basic question of subsidizing insurance/insurance mandates.

As Sam snidely - but correctly, I think - notes -- "Because whores"...

The fact is that stuff like this wasn't an issue in generations past because the female population simply didn't have the same weight in the workforce... Those times are past.

The simple fact is that women's health care has a different set of needs than male health care - frame it however you like, but once we've decided to mandate health insurance and subsidize it, it's only rational that we need to define those coverage minimums. If we're defining those coverage minimums - it's also only rational that we need to recognize that that males and females have a set of unique organs. Either you're going to bake that recognition into the defined minimums - or - nobody gets anything related to those specific set of organs covered.

I don't agree with the libertarian stance on health insurance mandates and subsidization, but I can grasp it, it makes logical sense, etc - I just disagree with it.

However, any niche arguments about contraceptive coverage are, at best - an attempt to find another way to nibble a hole into the larger core argument; or, at worst - subconscious, but still rank, sexism.
   9898. Langer Monk Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4309881)
"Nope. Whatever happens, happens."


I've tried to explain this to others before - generally followed by confused looks and "how is that fair?"

"An economic simulator for psychopaths."


...in space.

As to the rest, yes, absolutely - but, it can be overcome with the right help (or even the wrong help from someone who steals all your stuff in a couple months, but that's neither here nor there). I'm glad it's run by strange Icelanders who like it as it is.
   9899. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4309884)
I'm not grokking the moral argument, but I really don't think it matters. You guys haven't convinced enough of the world to adopt a Libertarian state,


No, but at least we're not pushing a logically inconsistent argument.
   9900. Bitter Mouse Posted: November 26, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4309892)
No, but at least we're not pushing a logically inconsistent argument.


"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Ralph Waldo Emerson


If it requires a bit of inconsistency to get the job done, I guess I am OK with that.
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