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Friday, December 30, 2011

Rosenthal: Steroid Era complicates Hall balloting

(beep) The Robothal ballot…

Of course, it’s impossible to sort out who did what, and to what extent. Many of my colleagues, rather than try to calculate the incalculable, dismiss the steroid question entirely and simply vote on players’ numbers. I get their point. I’m tempted to adopt their approach. But to me, it’s a cop-out.

That’s not to say that I know what the answer is; the candidacies of Bonds and Clemens, both of whom become eligible for the Hall next year, will be the most difficult yet. If voters reject most confirmed or suspected users, they will risk eliminating an entire generation of players — a notion that bothers me almost as much as embracing the entire generation without pause.

For now, all I know is one thing: I’m not withholding votes based on hearsay and innuendo.

I voted for Bagwell. Easiest decision in a while.

Jeff Bagwell
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff
Tim Raines
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:49 AM | 98 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, projections, rumors, sabermetrics, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. JRVJ Posted: December 30, 2011 at 01:55 AM (#4025504)
Has everything that a good ballot should have, so I don't really mind Lee Smith and Fred McGriff.
   2. UCCF Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:06 AM (#4025508)
Have we seen a single vote for Bernie Williams yet?
   3. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:23 AM (#4025518)
Has everything that a good ballot should have, so I don't really mind Lee Smith and Fred McGriff.


My ballot is, I think, Bagwell, Larkin, Raines and Trammell. I can't live with Smith in the Hall. Edgar is OK, but I'd leave him out.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:03 AM (#4025530)
I would never vote for Smith, but because of the 'role' of closers and the fact that it's a mistake to include them, makes it easier for me to accept Smith. If you are going to include closers as a standalone position, then Lee Smith, a guy probably in the top 10 of all time at that position, is as good of a candidate as anyone.

What I can barely live with is Rice in and even worse, if Morris goes in. That would be like Putting Todd Jones in the hof
   5. something like a train wreck Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:04 AM (#4025531)
I'm not keeping a tally, but it seems like there is a big Trammel surge. My imagination?
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:08 AM (#4025535)
[5] Feels like big surges for Larkin and especially for Raines as well.
   7. Morty Causa Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:25 AM (#4025542)
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:28 AM (#4025544)
I'm not clicking any link that has both Santorum and surge in it.....
I've already fell for the googled Santorum once in my life and that was enough for me.
   9. Moeball Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:45 AM (#4025556)
I'm not keeping a tally, but it seems like there is a big Trammel surge. My imagination?


#5 - I would like to think that Trammell would get a big boost this year since many on this site have already pointed out that he and Larkin had very similar careers and Larkin will most likely go in this year...but I am tempering that enthusiasm with the knowledge that only a small percentage of BBWAA voters let the public in on who they actually voted for, and the ones who let us see into their thought processes generally do a decent job of selecting candidates (i.e., they are not afraid to 'fess up). Unfortunately, the vast majority of BBWAA voters won't let us see who they are voting for, and a lot of that is to save them from public ridicule. They're the ones that vote for Jack Morris but not Alan Trammell, 'cause, well, Jack Morris was a winner, you see, and Trammell's lifetime batting average was only .285...

(sigh)I wish it were otherwise but I seriously doubt Trammell gains much traction this year. The writers aren't that intelligent...
   10. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: December 30, 2011 at 04:55 AM (#4025585)
Seems like repoz is the only one who keeps a running tally of hall votes, but i havnt seen an update in a few days. What is it at repoz?
   11. Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:15 AM (#4025592)
Seems like repoz is the only one who keeps a running tally of hall votes, but i havnt seen an update in a few days. What is it at repoz?

Jim is shutting down the site tonight, I believe...so I'll post the live gizmo sometime tomorrow.

After 46 Full Ballots (I just got a bunch of votes in that puts it well over 50 and I'll include them tomorrow)

93.5 - Larkin
60.9 - J. Morris
54.3 - Bagwell
52.2 - T. Raines
41.3 - Trammell
37.0 - E. Martinez
37.0 - Lee Smith
26.1 - L. Walker
21.7 - McGriff
21.7 - McGwire
13.0 - D. Murphy
13.0 - R. Palmiero
8.7 - Mattingly
4.3 - J. Gonzalez
2.2 - V. Castilla
2.2 - P. Rose (write-in)
   12. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:41 AM (#4025598)
How close last year were the actual results to the collected ballots?
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 30, 2011 at 05:53 AM (#4025603)
Well, I didn't think we'd see a ballot with Vinny Castilla on it before ever seeing one with Bernie Williams.
   14. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 30, 2011 at 06:05 AM (#4025608)
How close last year were the actual results to the collected ballots?

Last year, repoz collected 138 ballots in all, here's his results vs actual results (repoz first, actual numbers second):

ALomar: 93.4 vs 90.0
Blyleven: 79.7 vs 79.7 (WOW!)
Larkin: 66.6 vs. 62.1
Morris: 49.2 vs. 53.5
L.Smith: 39.1 vs 45.3
Bagwell: 40.6 vs. 41.7
Raines 47.1 vs 37.5
Edgar 31.9 vs 32.9
Trammell 26.8 vs 24.3
L.Walker 13.8 vs 20.3
McGwire 19.6 vs 19.8
Parker 5.1 vs 15.3
McGriff 16.6 vs 17.9
Mattingly 5.8 vs 13.6
D.Murphy 8.7 vs 12.6
Baines 4.3 vs 4.8
Palmeiro 12.3 vs 11.0
K.Brown 2.9 vs 2.1

Off the guys on this year's ballot, here's the gap, staring with the guy the repoz tally was highest on to the guy it was lowest on:

Raines: +9.6%
Larkin: +4.5%
Trammell: +2.5%
Palmeiro: +1.3%
McGwire: -0.2%
Baines: -0.5%
Edgar: -1.0%
Bagwell: -1.1%
McGriff: -1.3%
D.Murphy: -3.9%
Morris: -4.3%
Smith: -6.2%
L.Walker: -6.5%
Mattingly: -7.8%

The tally is always high on Raines, and always weirdly low in Mattingly (not only is he low, but it's weird because his overall vote total is so low. Off by 8% when a guy is around 70% is one thing, but when he's at 15%). Larry Walker was darn low in his first year too.

That said, that's comparing the full tally of 138 guys to the BBWAA vote. The current tally will go up and down some for various guys over the next week and a half.
   15. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 30, 2011 at 06:22 AM (#4025619)
I'll say it again - if you have Larkin, Bagwell, Raines, and Trammell, I'm cool with whatever else you do on your ballot.

Questions for Election Day:
1) Juan Gonzalez made the 5% by a hair last year - will he survive another year? (No.)
2) Who gets closer to 75% this year: Morris or Bagwell? (Bagwell.)
3) Among Walker, McGriff, McGwire, and Palmeiro, does anybody make notable progress? (No.)
4) Could Don Mattingly drop dangerously close to 5%? (Probably not...10%?)
5) Bernie Williams - does he get 3%, much less 5%? (No)
6) Has Lee Smith totally stalled out at about 45%? (Yes)
   16. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2011 at 08:17 AM (#4025663)
#2 -- I think you're wrong. Bagwell will get a bigger bump but not bigger enough to overcome Morris's lead.
#3 -- Define "notable". Walker will get a nice bump. Note in the Repoz total, Walker is running double what he did last year and Repoz missed on him pretty badly. But if you mean "will he jump to 40%?" No I seriously doubt that. He's got a shot at 30% though.

It's a slow year -- vote totals will be down but not enough that there won't be substantial bumps among most of the backlog. Trammell will also see a nice bump I think (again it looks that way in the early going) as he rides Larkin's coattails a bit.
   17. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 30, 2011 at 02:58 PM (#4025693)
The tally is always high on Raines, and always weirdly low in Mattingly (not only is he low, but it's weird because his overall vote total is so low. Off by 8% when a guy is around 70% is one thing, but when he's at 15%). Larry Walker was darn low in his first year too.


Repoz' count is going to suffer from some selection bias. Since his count is going to be based on actively working writers I think he is more likely going to have a younger, more sabermetrically inclined voter pool to draw from. Looking at that +/- list I would say it generally skews toward "traditional" and "sabermetric" candidates for the substantial deviations. Larry Walker looks like a pretty big point against that though, I would expect him to be a more "sabermetric" than "traditional" candidate.

(and I don't mean that as a criticism of Repoz, thanks for doing this it's interesting. This is just meant as an observation)

Juan Gonzalez made the 5% by a hair last year - will he survive another year? (No.)


This is the only question I disagree with you on. I think the generally weak ballot keeps him alive for another year. Next year buries him though.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 30, 2011 at 03:15 PM (#4025695)
With Mattingly it's almost certainly about the demographics of the BBWAA. There are innumerable New York area BBWAA members who aren't continuing to publish. They're excluded from the Repoz tally, and they vote for Mattingly in disproportionate numbers.

Last year was the first year in a while, iirc, that Morris underperformed in the Repoz tally. Typically he'd come in above his eventual actual vote. My theory was that the divergences between the Repoz tally and the real vote have more to do with what makes a "story" - voting for Jack Morris is an article in the bag - bash statheads, mention steroids, wins wins wins, done - while voting for someone like Smith or Murphy is a lot harder to sell as the basis for an article. Obviously this applies mutatis mutandis to the saber candidates like Raines and Blyleven. It may be that the number of statistically informed voters has risen, and risen mostly among currently-publishing writers, and so now we'll see an actual tendency toward saber-favorites overperforming in Repoz' tally. But up until last year, that wasn't really the pattern.

The big divergence with Walker's numbers is weird. Walker's a guy who has eye-popping raw numbers, and a guy whose advanced stats paint him as a Hall of Famer. The people who won't support Walker are those who recognize the need to adjust his raw numbers significantly, but don't actually look into the hard work of doing so systematically, plus small hall voters who don't like voting for all-around stars like Walker. My guess is that Walker's vote was helped by truly clueless, often non-publishing writers who looked up his raw stats and voted for him. But I dunno. Could just be a fluke.
   19. Moeball Posted: December 30, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#4025947)
Looking at the results from last year (and I think this was even more extreme in previous years):

Key actuals higher than Repoz:

Morris 53.5 to 49.2
L. Smith 45.3 to 39.1
L. Walker 20.3 to 13.8
Parker 15.3 to 5.1
Mattingly 13.6 to 5.8
Dale Murphy 12.6 to 8.7

Key actuals lower than Repoz:

Larkin 62.1 to 66.6
Raines 37.5 to 47.1
Trammell 24.3 to 26.8

Now, I think it was 138 "reported" ballots that Repoz collected last year, as opposed to 581 total ballots cast? That's a pretty small % of the overall total. Getting back to what I said in my previous post (#9), I think the vast majority of voters don't want us to see who they're voting for and based on the numbers above, I can see why, if the unpublished ballots are for Morris, L.Smith, Mattingly(?), etc. but against Larkin, Raines, Trammell. If I was voting for Lee Smith and Don Mattingly but not for Larkin or Trammell, I wouldn't want to have to explain my ballot to anyone, either.

Actually, does anyone have a tally on previous years to see if a pattern is emerging? Are Repoz' percentages getting closer year-by-year to the actuals (I would think they would as a larger % of voters disclose their ballots) and, where the differences occur, I would guess non-SABR type candidates go up in the actuals and SABR-favorite candidates go down. But is that happening to a lesser degree now than it was a few years ago?
   20. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2011 at 01:34 AM (#4026041)
If I was voting for Lee Smith and Don Mattingly but not for Larkin or Trammell, I wouldn't want to have to explain my ballot to anyone, either.

Sorry, that makes no sense. You are suggesting that voters know that Larkin and Trammell are more deserving but are voting Smith and Mattingly (and not those guys) anyway. That seems silly to me. They're voting Smith and Mattingly because they think they are deserving HoFers and I'm sure they'd be happy to tell you why.*

Now if what you mean is that they have learned from past experience that they will take a lot of "abuse" (from their perspective) from internet jerks emailing them after the vote is published, that I could believe. But I'm not sure I have any reason to believe that the pro-Raines internet crowd would be more vocal/nasty than the pro-Morris crowd.

The low reporting total is because most of the membership is no longer writing about baseball for published newspapers or other outlets. They've moved on to become editors or write about other sports or out of the sports department altogether. Many of them are probably retired. A number of the members also write for very small papers, maybe they're not even online.

Anyway, I find it hard to believe that a sports editor for a major newspaper wouldn't require his active writers with an HoF vote to fill up column inches with it. Granted scheduling the HoF voting deadline for prime NFL and college football playoff/bowl coverage period might not be the best move.

Then there's the AP. I don't know how many of these guys stick around for 10 years but in 2000, 4 AP writers were given badges; in 2001 it was another 6. That slowed down but it still seems to average 2-3 per year. Ken Sins (2000) appears to now be a freelance writer. I can't find anything on the web that is clearly the same Barry Fritz as the AP writer from 2001. Larry Lage still seems to be doing sports for AP but is listed as the Detroit sports editor.

* Anybody who voted for Bush in 2000 should have been embarrassed about it but I'll be damned if they didn't seem right proud of it at the time, were very vocal about it for months afterward, gloated about it when the Iraq war started, went on to vote for him a second time and, by gum, even 8 years later about 2/3 of them still supported him. Indeed, wonders shall never cease! I assume most of them were Garvey voters.
   21. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 31, 2011 at 01:53 AM (#4026048)
So, Walt... if I'm understanding you correctly you're saying that W has fathered thousands of illegitimate children?
   22. Hysterical & Useless Posted: January 01, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4026637)
Well, he's certainly orphaned thousands of them, which I'd consider much worse.
   23. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4026667)
Last year was the first year in a while, iirc, that Morris underperformed in the Repoz tally.

In 2010, repoz had Morris at 61.1% and he finished at 52.3%
   24. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4026685)
No real explanation of his choice of Smith -- does Robo have a history of being impressed by big save totals?
   25. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4026703)
Awesome ... steroids and politics in the same thread!

* Anybody who voted for Bush in 2000 should have been embarrassed about it but I'll be damned if they didn't seem right proud of it at the time, [...] and, by gum, even 8 years later about 2/3 of them still supported him.

I voted for Bush twice. No regrets. He's not on the conservative version of Mount Rushmore, but like Rumsfeld said about the armed forces, "You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want."

Also, Bush's second term probably saved the Second Amendment. That's not a minor thing.
   26. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4026705)
Awesome ... steroids and politics in the same thread!


Isn't that actually fairly common?

Bush's second term saved the Second Amendment. That's not a minor thing.


Well, if you say so. But my question is why we should have to choose between the second and the fourth? I kinda like 'em both, and a bunch of the other ones, too.
   27. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4026706)
Well, if you say so.

Like reconstructing an inning without the errors, there's a certain amount of subjectivity involved, but unless Gore or Kerry managed to nominate two right-wingers to replace Rehnquist and O'Connor, the Heller and McDonald decisions probably would have looked a lot different.
   28. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4026714)
the Heller and McDonald decisions probably would have looked a lot different


To which my response probably would be a quiet yawn. The law at issue in the Heller case was in force for more than a quarter century. It didn't amount to a repeal of the Second Amendment by a long shot.
   29. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4026724)
(deleted; double post)
   30. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4026725)
To which my response probably would be a quiet yawn. The law at issue in the Heller case was in force for more than a quarter century. It didn't amount to a repeal of the Second Amendment by a long shot.

D.C. residents were flatly banned from possessing functional firearms, even in the home. If that wasn't a de facto repeal of the Second Amendment, I'm not sure what one would have looked like.

Also, had D.C.'s gun ban been upheld by the Supreme Court, there's no doubt left-leaning legislatures and city councils from coast to coast would have enacted D.C.-style gun laws. I know the Brady people, et al., are trying to spin Heller and McDonald as being low-impact, but they were huge wins for the pro-Second Amendment camp.

(I'd be happy to let this go back to steroids. I just wanted to note my objection to the idea that nothing good resulted from the Bush years.)
   31. ray james Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4026751)
I voted for Bush twice. No regrets.


Really? I find this hard to believe, the no regrets part I mean. Let's name Bush's failures:

1. Worst president on economy since Herbert Hoover.
2. Got us into an unnecessary and counterproductive war, and for invalidated reasons that were never really credible in the first place.
3. Exerted little authority or control over overzealous subordinates who ended up breaking the law.
4. Choices for key positions and cabinet posts were historically bad (re: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, Bremer, Wolfowitz)
5. Seriously damaged US influence and prestige globally.
6. Having gotten off to good start in Afghanistan, allowed himself to be distracted and situation deteriorated badly by end of administration
7. Having gotten off to good start in Iraq, allowed situation to deteriorate badly before end of administration.
8. "Axis of Evil" speech seriously undermined US security interests, which have still yet to recover.
9. By going in light in Iraq, allowed Bin Laden to escape. Operation Anaconda poorly planned.
10. Anthrax investigation completely botched.
12. Iraq reconstruction completely mishandled, costing many Americans their lives.
13. Instituted, violating both the Constitution and against the uniform advice of experts and the , torture as a means to extract information of detainees.
14. Allowed for uncompetitive multi-billion dollar contracts to be awarded to company when current VP was very recently chairman and CEO.
15. Appointed Paul Bremer to be appointed civilian chief of Iraq reconstruction. Bremer's stewardship of reconstruction was historically inept.
16. Handling of Hurricane Katrina was dismal failure. New Orleans has yet to recover.
17. Was notoriously bad public speaker/poor communicator.
18. Work ethic was not considered adequate for job.

I think, if I googled some more, I could think of additional examples. Suffice it to say that presidential historians generally place W in the James Buchanan/Warren G Harding tier of presidents. In other words, right at the bottom. It's amazing how spellbound the neocons are, that they won't recognize this or admit to the scale and scope of his failures. And his failures cover all his bases: poor policy, poor policy administration, inept personnel choices, corruption, unconstitutional acts, inability to communicate effectively, management style plagued by laziness and inefficiency...

I mean, wow.
   32. ray james Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4026752)
Like reconstructing an inning without the errors, there's a certain amount of subjectivity involved, but unless Gore or Kerry managed to nominate two right-wingers to replace Rehnquist and O'Connor, the Heller and McDonald decisions probably would have looked a lot different.


Joe, you say this like it's a bad thing.
   33. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4026757)
Really? I find this hard to believe, the no regrets part I mean. Let's name Bush's failures: ...

As a conservative, I have a list of complaints with the Bush administration that's as long as my arm. But that doesn't mean conservatives should have been expected to vote for Gore or Kerry — which was Walt's implication in #20 — any more than liberals should have been expected to vote for Reagan just because Jimmy Carter wasn't the best president in history.

Issues matter, even when the standard-bearer of said issues isn't necessarily an ideological and/or executive paragon.

Joe, you say this like it's a bad thing.

You don't believe people have a basic right of self-defense?
   34. ray james Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4026762)
But that doesn't mean conservatives should have been expected to vote for Gore or Kerry — which was Walt's implication in #20 — any more than liberals should have been expected to vote for Reagan just because Jimmy Carter wasn't the best president in history.


Why not? If you don't vote for the best person for the job, you're putting ideology before patriotism and betraying your duty as a citizen. You become just another metronomic zombie when you vote that way.

You don't believe people have a basic right of self-defense?


Gun rights, as the the NRA view gun rights and so we now have as public policy, have never been about self-defense. They are about the freedom to sell and own as many guns as possible. Heck, even the Mexican drug cartels come to the US first to buy their predatory weapons. Thanks, NRA!
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4026766)
You don't believe people have a basic right of self-defense?

You can believe in that right while still believing in tight registration laws and restrictions on certain types of weapons. The problem is that too many liberals don't want to acknowledge the basic right to own any sort of self-defense weapons, while too many conservatives don't want to allow for any sort of restrictions.** The Second Amendment has been interpreted and re-interpreted over the years, but at bottom it amounts to exactly what the Supreme Court of the moment says it does.

**Such as restricting the right of convicted felons to own guns. You'd think that'd be a no-brainer, but try to tell that to the NRA.
   36. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4026774)
Why not? If you don't vote for the best person for the job, you're putting ideology before patriotism and betraying your duty as a citizen. You become just another metronomic zombie when you vote that way.

The entire point of electing representatives is choosing candidates who will most closely represent one's beliefs on various positions. "Best person for the job" is just a subjective way of saying "my guy is best; your guy is an idiot."

while too many conservatives don't want to allow for any sort of restrictions.**

I can't name a single conservative to whom this applies. (Some libertarians, yes; conservatives, no.)

**Such as restricting the right of convicted felons to own guns. You'd think that'd be a no-brainer, but try to tell that to the NRA.

I'm a law-and-order kind of guy, but not all felons are the same. I'm definitely against violent felons owning firearms. But what about a DWI conviction? What about Martha Stewart? I don't believe non-violent felons should surrender their basic right to self-defense forever.
   37. ray james Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4026780)
The entire point of electing representatives is choosing candidates who will most closely represent one's beliefs on various positions.


If your candidate is unqualified or inept, then he isn't going to represent your beliefs. He might mouth them from time to time but he isn't going to represent them, at least not effectively.

And besides, some things are objective. For instance, what represents a strong economy and performance in conducting a war. I think we both agree those things are very important, as important to good governance as it gets. Everyone agrees, conservative or liberal, a strong economy is characterized by high growth, low inflation and low unemployment. And running a successful war means reaching military and political objectives quickly with low cost and minimum casualties. So, if your guy, who is a conservative, cannot extract those outcomes, and it looks like the other candidate can, then why would you vote for your guy? Just because he's a conservative? That's pretty mindless.

I think of myself as a progressive but I have no problem voting for a republican if I think he can produce a strong performance in those and a few other key areas, even if I don't agree with him on everything. So why would you vote for Bush again if you knew he did a bad job after his first term and was going to do a bad job again if he got reelected?

I can't name a single conservative for whom this applies.


Just ask for the NRA membership roll. That document will be laced with conservatives. Right at the top- Dick Cheney and his shotgun.
   38. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4026781)
D.C. residents were flatly banned from possessing functional firearms, even in the home.


One could strike down the "unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock or similar device" provision while upholding the right of a local government to ban specific types of firearms. Just fer instance.
   39. ray james Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4026791)
I don't believe non-violent felons should surrender their basic right to self-defense forever.


If it wasn't so easy for the felons who were accosting them to get firearms, it would be a lot easier to self-defend, no?
   40. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4026794)
If your candidate is unqualified or inept, then he isn't going to represent your beliefs. He might mouth them from time to time but he isn't going to represent them, at least not effectively.

If you're talking about some random school board election where any unvetted candidate can get on the ballot, fine. If you're talking about the presidential election in a country with well-defined political parties and a long primary process, it's downright silly.

Again, the idea that conservatives should have voted for Gore or Kerry or Obama out of some sense of patriotic duty is absurd. If you want to play that game, John McCain was far more qualified than Obama, who had never served in the military, had only a lackluster career in the Illinois legislature, and had never managed people or created a job in the private sector. McCain was also Mr. Bipartisanship compared to hard-left Obama.

So why would you vote for Bush again if you knew he did a bad job after his first term and was going to do a bad job again if he got reelected?

First of all, I never said Bush did a "bad job" in this first term, and the 2004 election results tell me I had plenty of company. Second, as I've mentioned before, I vote on the basis of issues rather than trivialities. The biggest impact many presidents have is in the courts. Bush's second-term appointments of Roberts and Alito likely saved the Second Amendment, and they could very well be the deciding votes to strike down Obamacare. As a conservative, I care more about these issues than I do about having a president who's a smooth talker or who's beloved at the U.N.

Just ask for the NRA membership roll. That document will be laced with conservatives. Right at the top- Dick Cheney and his shotgun.

Dick Cheney believes violent felons should have unrestricted access to firearms? Who knew?

One could strike down the "unloaded, disassembled, or bound by a trigger lock or similar device" provision while upholding the right of a local government to ban specific types of firearms. Just fer instance.

Such as which specific types — handguns and/or long guns? (Ha ha.)
   41. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4026801)
Such as which specific types


How about "handguns, automatic firearms, and high-capacity semi-automatic firearms"? None of those are really practical for home defense for most people anyway. You'll be wantin' a shotgun for that.
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4026802)
while too many conservatives don't want to allow for any sort of restrictions.**

I can't name a single conservative to whom this applies. (Some libertarians, yes; conservatives, no.)

**Such as restricting the right of convicted felons to own guns. You'd think that'd be a no-brainer, but try to tell that to the NRA.

I'm a law-and-order kind of guy, but not all felons are the same. I'm definitely against violent felons owning firearms. But what about a DWI conviction? What about Martha Stewart? I don't believe non-violent felons should surrender their basic right to self-defense forever.


I'd agree that the distinction between Martha Stewart and a violent felon is a valid one**, but read that article I linked to if you think that there aren't plenty of people who go a lot further than that in wanting to expand the Second Amendment into virtually unlimited territory.

And I'll let you decide whether these folks are more likely to be "conservatives" or "libertarians", but despite the nominal Platonic descriptions of those two groups, in practice they largely overlap with their almost identical rhetoric directd against the "socialist" anti-Christ in the White House.

Of course the 21st century version of "conservatism" on display in the Republican primary season has little or nothing to do with the more nuanced conservatism that found a home in that same party up until fairly recently, but that's a whole other sub-topic.

**As I'd assume you'd agree that since voting isn't a violent activity, there's little sense other than pure punitive ideology for restricting the right to vote for felons who've served their sentences, as is the practice today in many states.
   43. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4026803)
18. Work ethic was not considered adequate for job.


Who was the last president that people really thought was a hard worker? Obama also gets the rap that he's not exactly grinding it out. I think that's a common criticism leveled at modern presidents almost as a default.
   44. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4026804)
I voted for Bush twice. No regrets.


I voted for Gore and Kerry. And I'd like to have both those votes back because they were stupid.
   45. Squash Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4026806)
The biggest impact many presidents have is in the courts.

I think we can safely say Bush's biggest historical impact will not have been on the courts.
   46. ray james Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4026809)
Who was the last president that people really thought was a hard worker?


Obama gets accused of being a little detached but he isn't accused of being lazy.

Clinton ate, slept and drank the job. The first Bush was considered diligent, if not a workaholic. Reagan was accused of delegating too much.

The last guy who considered a grinder was Carter. Before that, Nixon and Johnson.
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4026811)
Who was the last president that people really thought was a hard worker?

Probably Nixon or Carter, which shows us the limitations of that particular metric. Of course in truth the last true slacker we probably had in the White House was Warren Harding.
   48. ray james Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4026814)
Again, the idea that conservatives should have voted for Gore or Kerry or Obama out of some sense of patriotic duty is absurd. If you want to play that game, John McCain was far more qualified than Obama, who had never served in the military, had only a lackluster career in the Illinois legislature, and had never managed people or created a job in the private sector. McCain was also Mr. Bipartisanship compared to hard-left Obama.


Joe, now you sound like Sean Hannity. Obama isn't hard left. In fact, he's taken some flack from the left for betraying his constituency and not being left enough. And McCain might have been older and more experienced but that didn't necessarily make him the better candidate. For instance, he chose the worst running mate in the history of the republic, even worse than the one George Wallace chose (Curtis Lemay). And he had, and has, anger management issues, which undermined him from time to time and undercut his authority. Obama has amazing self-control.

And, as it turns out, Obama is doing an exemplary job of running the defense dept., in case you haven't noticed. He got the Afghanistan situation back on tenable footing and he has essentially dismantled Al Queda, something his predecessor wasn't able to do.

Second, it's the duty of every voter to do the best he can with his vote. Mindlessly voting on an ideological basis has gotten not only this but many other nations in deep, deep trouble (re: Weimar republic and aftermath). So perhaps you should reconsider your position and vote less ideologically (which is stupid anyway. No ideology has ever been devised that suits every purpose and situation. If there had, it would have been discovered by now) and more utilitarianally.

And really, can you seriously defend the position that voters should vote only ideologically, no matter how bad their candidate is? You really care more about conservatism than you do about America? Really? The Constitution isn't worth defending as much as conservatism is? Really?

Wow.
   49. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4026815)
How about "handguns, automatic firearms, and high-capacity semi-automatic firearms"? None of those are really practical for home defense for most people anyway. You'll be wantin' a shotgun for that.

But no handguns = no concealed carry. No, thanks. Home defense is only part of the right to self-defense.

I'd agree that the distinction between Martha Stewart and a violent felon is a valid one**, but read that article I linked to if you think that there aren't plenty of people who go a lot further than that in wanting to expand the Second Amendment into virtually unlimited territory.

Andy, I agree with you in principle re: the article you linked, but again, there were no elected or prominent conservatives named in that article defending the felons' restoration of gun rights. It seems like a problem of bad judges and bureaucrats rather than some quiet scheme on the part of right-wingers to re-arm felons.
   50. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:59 PM (#4026821)
Joe, now you sound like Sean Hannity. Obama isn't hard left.

Come on. Obama isn't hard left? Obamacare was the biggest expansion of government in generations; he was to the left of people like Ted Kennedy on abortion; and he's ardently anti-Second Amendment. He makes JFK look like Dick Cheney.

And, as it turns out, Obama is doing an exemplary job of running the defense dept., in case you haven't noticed. He got the Afghanistan situation back on tenable footing and he has essentially dismantled Al Queda, something his predecessor wasn't able to do.

You realize Robert Gates was a holdover from the Bush administration, right?

Second, it's the duty of every voter to do the best he can with his vote. Mindlessly voting on an ideological basis has gotten not only this but many other nations in deep, deep trouble (re: Weimar republic and aftermath). So perhaps you should reconsider your position to vote less ideologically (which is stupid anyway. No ideology has ever been devised that suits every purpose and situation. If there had, it would have been discovered by now) and more utilitarionally.

Speaking from experience, calling people "mindless" and "stupid" is generally counterproductive when trying to swing them over to one's side politically.

Anyway, if the Democrats nominate a candidate for president who's for smaller government and lower taxes and is strong on matters of crime and national defense (including our borders), while the GOP runs a candidate who's for bigger government and higher taxes and is weak on crime and national defense, I'll enthusiastically vote for the Democrat. But until that day, I'll take a mediocre conservative over an ardent liberal every time, and I don't believe it's either "mindless" or "stupid" to do so.

And really, can you seriously defend the position that voters should vote only ideologically, no matter how bad their candidate is? You really care more about conservatism than you do about America? Really? The Constitution isn't worth defending as much as conservatism is? Really?

Wow.

I voted for Bush precisely for reasons of defending the Constitution, not with a disregard for the Constitution. I thought that was plain in my prior comments re: the Second Amendment.
   51. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4026823)
I'd agree that the distinction between Martha Stewart and a violent felon is a valid one**, but read that article I linked to if you think that there aren't plenty of people who go a lot further than that in wanting to expand the Second Amendment into virtually unlimited territory.

Andy, I agree with you in principle re: the article you linked, but again, there were no elected or prominent conservatives named in that article defending the felons' restoration of gun rights. It seems like a problem of bad judges and bureaucrats rather than some quiet scheme on the part of right-wingers to re-arm felons.


Well, tell me this: Which political party tends to appoint judges and bureaucrats with an expansive view of the Second Amendment? And which ideology is that party most closely associated with?

BTW if you read that entire article you'll run across a particularly telling passage that speaks to what I said about the recent trends of "conservatism":

The federal firearms prohibition for felons dates to the late 1960s, when the assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, along with rioting across the country, set off a clamor for stricter gun control laws. Congress enacted sweeping legislation that included a provision extending the firearms ban for convicted criminals beyond those who had committed “crimes of violence,” a standard adopted in the 1930s.

“All of our people who are deeply concerned about law and order should hail this day,” President Lyndon B. Johnson said upon signing the Gun Control Act in October 1968.

Even the N.R.A. backed the bill. But by the late 1970s, a more hard-line faction, committed to an expansive view of the Second Amendment, had taken control of the group. A crowning achievement was the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, which significantly loosened federal gun laws.


Many people may not remember that prior to the 60's, the NRA was actually a non-partisan organization whose main function was to promote gun instruction and gun safety. It wasn't until after the wave of assassinations in the 60's that it evolved into the hard core lobbying group that it is today.
   52. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:06 AM (#4026824)
Home defense is only part of the right to self-defense.


So you're not a strict constructionist then. The Second Amendment doesn't say a thing about a right to self-defense.

Obamacare was the biggest expansion of government in generations


You might want to have another look at the Patriot Act.
   53. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4026829)
Speaking from experience, calling people "mindless" and "stupid" is generally counterproductive when trying to swing them over to one's side politically.


I'm not so much trying to swing you so much as I am trying to call a donut a donut.
   54. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4026830)
Well, tell me this: Which political party tends to appoint judges and bureaucrats with an expansive view of the Second Amendment? And which ideology is that party most closely associated with?

You're shifting the goalposts. I'm unaware of a single elected or otherwise prominent conservative in favor of gun rights for violent felons. The fact some judges and/or bureaucrats shirk their duties isn't remotely the same thing as conservatives favoring such outcomes.

Many people may not remember that prior to the 60's, the NRA was actually a non-partisan organization whose main function was to promote gun instruction and gun safety. It wasn't until after the wave of assassinations in the 60's that it evolved into the hard core lobbying group that it is today.

Yes, and prior to the '60s, basically no one subscribed to the "collective" interpretation of the Second Amendment.

You might want to have another look at the Patriot Act.

That's a huge reach. There's no way the Patriot Act affects the average American's life as much as Obamacare would. Also, the Patriot Act passed the House 357–66 and the Senate 98–1, so any suggestion it was strictly a Bush or GOP policy is disingenuous.
   55. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4026838)
I voted for Bush precisely for reasons of defending the Constitution, not with a disregard for the Constitution. I thought that was plain in my prior comments re: the Second Amendment.


I take it you don't regard rights of privacy (re:unapproved wiretaps) and the impermissibility of cruel and unusual punishment as being covered by the Constitution.
   56. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4026839)
There's no way the Patriot Act affects the average American's life as much as Obamacare.


I'm not grasping at straws, you're moving the goalposts. You said "biggest expansion of government." There are any number of ways to look at that question and they would yield different answers. If the criterion was "biggest effect on average American" then you should have said that. Of course, you might still get an argument about that, since a sizeable chunk of the population will hardly notice the affordable care act at all (most of the 60 million people currently on medicaid will still be on medicaid, for instance).

The Patriot Act was a huge expansion of the federal government's power any way you look at it.
   57. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4026845)
The Patriot Act was a huge expansion of the federal government's power any way you look at it.


Yes. I think creating an entirely new cabinet-level dept. with sweeping powers of regulation and surveillance would constitute and unusual increase in the size of government.
   58. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4026853)
The Patriot Act was a huge expansion of the federal government's power any way you look at it.

Putting aside that I was referring to gov't spending, the Patriot Act passed the House 357–66 and the Senate 98–1, so I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. It simply wasn't a Bush-only or GOP-only idea.

I take it you don't regard rights of privacy (re:unapproved wiretaps) and the impermissibility of cruel and unusual punishment as being covered by the Constitution.

You're right; I don't believe suspected terrorists captured abroad are protected by the U.S. Constitution, nor do I believe the Constitution always protects terror suspects captured on U.S. soil.

Also, as has been widely reported, Democratic leaders were well aware of the "unapproved wiretaps" and enhanced interrogation techniques from Day 1 (or almost Day 1). These were not secret, Bush-only policies or practices.

Yes. I think creating an entirely new cabinet-level dept. with sweeping powers of regulation and surveillance would constitute and unusual increase in the size of government.

Revise history much?

"Bush initially resisted the idea of a new department, which had been championed primarily by Democrats in the wake of the attacks."
   59. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:36 AM (#4026871)
You're right; I don't believe suspected terrorists captured abroad are protected by the U.S. Constitution, nor do I believe the Constitution always protects terror suspects captured on U.S. soil.


Oh, so you're OK with Constitutional rights, except when it's inconvenient to honor them. You know, once you start making exceptions for convenience, how that will end, don't you?
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4026874)
There's no way the Patriot Act affects the average American's life as much as Obamacare would.
The comparative topic is highly complicated, but it's worth spelling out what effects Obamacare will have on the "average American."

If you are on Medicare, you will remain on Medicare. If you are on Medicaid, you will remain on Medicaid. If you have insurance through your employer, you will remain on your insurance through your employer. If you have insurance through the individual market, you can keep that, or buy different insurance on the exchange. If you or your kids newly qualify for Medicaid, you can switch over to that. If you don't have insurance, you will be required to get it through the exchanges. The average American, I think, is likely to not notice it much at all, unless she loses her job.
   61. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4026877)
Oh, so you're OK with Constitutional rights, except when it's inconvenient to honor them. I think we all know how that would end.

I'm OK with Constitutional rights when people clearly have them. I'm not OK with the idea that Osama bin Laden should have been Mirandized had he been taken alive.

***

If you have insurance through your employer, you will remain on your insurance through your employer.

This one's wishful thinking for a lot of people. Companies won't be compelled to keep insurance plans at all, let alone keep the same plans for the same cost.

The average American, I think, is likely to not notice it much at all, unless she loses her job.

Even if I concede all of your points re: Obamacare, you're not claiming more people notice the Patriot Act in their day-to-day lives than will notice Obamacare, are you? All of the other tangents aside, that was the context within which I mentioned Obamacare.
   62. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4026882)
Even if I concede all of your points re: Obamacare, you're not claiming more people notice the Patriot Act in their day-to-day lives than will notice Obamacare, are you?


I, and everyone else, notices it every time we board a plane.

And why wouldn't you concede Matt's points? They're not so much "points" as they are "facts". As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, you're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.
   63. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:56 AM (#4026885)
Well, tell me this: Which political party tends to appoint judges and bureaucrats with an expansive view of the Second Amendment? And which ideology is that party most closely associated with?

You're shifting the goalposts. I'm unaware of a single elected or otherwise prominent conservative in favor of gun rights for violent felons. The fact some judges and/or bureaucrats shirk their duties isn't remotely the same thing as conservatives favoring such outcomes.


Well, I'm glad that at least you don't favor such outcomes, and I doubt that many conservatives do, either---after the fact. But when the ideological reflex is always in one direction, and the unquestioned assumption that everyone has a right to a gun trumps any inclination to examines a permit application with any degree of serious scrutiny, then that's the direction where those bureaucratic "mistakes" are most likely to be made. You can see easily see this reflex in the resistance to even the most elementary precautions, such as (say) a seven day or two week waiting period before the gun permit can be issued. Only a complete paranoid could possibly objection to such a minor inconvenience.

Many people may not remember that prior to the 60's, the NRA was actually a non-partisan organization whose main function was to promote gun instruction and gun safety. It wasn't until after the wave of assassinations in the 60's that it evolved into the hard core lobbying group that it is today.

Yes, and prior to the '60s, basically no one subscribed to the "collective" interpretation of the Second Amendment.


And yet prior to the 60's, there were numerous strict state and local requirements for gun registration that didn't seem to bother anyone, least of all the NRA. As that article I linked to pointed out, even in the late 60's the NRA supported the bill that extended a previous firearms ban to convicted criminals. But that was then. Fast forward to 1986, and from the same article:

When it came to felons’ gun rights, the [1986] legislation [that loosened the 1968 federal law] essentially left the matter up to states. The federal gun restrictions would no longer apply if a state had restored a felon’s civil rights — to vote, sit on a jury and hold public office — and the individual faced no other firearms prohibitions.

The restoration issue drew relatively little notice in the Congressional battle over the bill. But officials of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms identified the provision in an internal memo as among their serious concerns. Some state law enforcement officials also sounded the alarm.

When Senator David F. Durenberger, a Minnesota Republican, realized after the law passed that thousands of felons, including those convicted of violent crimes, in his state would suddenly be getting their gun rights back, he sought the N.R.A.’s help in rolling back the provision. Doug Kelley, his chief of staff at the time, thought the group would “surely want to close this loophole.”

But the senator, Mr. Kelley recalled, “ran into a stone wall,” as the N.R.A. threatened to pull its support for him if he did not drop the matter, which he eventually did.


That's the sort of "reflex" I'm referring to, and although of course the NRA will lament any and all crimes of violence, their instinct is always to curb any sort of common sense measures that might prevent those crimes from happening in the first place.

And BTW note the party affiliation of Senator Durenberger. Again, that was then.
   64. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4026886)
I, and everyone else, notices it every time we board a plane.

The Patriot Act has absolutely nothing to do with air travel.

And why wouldn't you concede Matt's points? They're not so much "points" as they are "facts". As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, you're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

It's not a "fact" that people who have health insurance through their employer will continue to have health insurance through their employer. In fact, almost 5 million people have lost employer-based coverage in the two years since Obamacare passed.
   65. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:07 AM (#4026891)
But when the ideological reflex is always in one direction, and the unquestioned assumption that everyone has a right to a gun trumps any inclination to examines a permit application with any degree of serious scrutiny, then that's the direction where those bureaucratic "mistakes" are most likely to be made.

Again, who are these people advocating an "unquestioned assumption that everyone has a right to a gun"? You keep making these claims without naming a single person in a position of authority or prominence who endorses or advances such a position.

You can see easily see this reflex in the resistance to even the most elementary precautions, such as (say) a seven day or two week waiting period before the gun permit can be issued. Only a complete paranoid could possibly objection to such a minor inconvenience.

If we can process credit card transactions in a matter of seconds, then there's no reason a person with a clean criminal history should have to wait a week or two for a gun. Business owners, people in abusive relationships — there are all sorts of urgent reasons.
   66. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:18 AM (#4026897)
The comparative topic is highly complicated, but it's worth spelling out what effects Obamacare will have on the "average American."

If you are on Medicare, you will remain on Medicare. If you are on Medicaid, you will remain on Medicaid. If you have insurance through your employer, you will remain on your insurance through your employer. If you have insurance through the individual market, you can keep that, or buy different insurance on the exchange. If you or your kids newly qualify for Medicaid, you can switch over to that. If you don't have insurance, you will be required to get it through the exchanges. The average American, I think, is likely to not notice it much at all, unless she loses her job.


Why, ObamaCare barely changed a thing!
   67. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4026898)
The Patriot Act has absolutely nothing to do with air travel.



?? The Transportation Security Agency is administered under DHS.

You don't know that?
   68. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4026899)
I have a serious question, because I am old:
Rosenthal says:
"For now, all I know is one thing: I’m not withholding votes based on hearsay and innuendo."

Isn't this what we have on Bonds? I mean, not the "Come on it is obvious", and "Oh, you have to believe..", but actual proof?
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:23 AM (#4026901)
But when the ideological reflex is always in one direction, and the unquestioned assumption that everyone has a right to a gun trumps any inclination to examines a permit application with any degree of serious scrutiny, then that's the direction where those bureaucratic "mistakes" are most likely to be made.

Again, who are these people advocating an "unquestioned assumption that everyone has a right to a gun"? You keep making these claims without naming a single person in a position of authority or prominence who endorses or advances such a position.


Joe, I've named a prominent organization with a membership of over 4 million Americans, whose influence is widespread in both primaries and in general elections. These people are not all on the outside looking in.

You can see easily see this reflex in the resistance to even the most elementary precautions, such as (say) a seven day or two week waiting period before the gun permit can be issued. Only a complete paranoid could possibly objection to such a minor inconvenience.

If we can process credit card transactions in a matter of seconds, then there's no reason a person with a clean criminal history should have to wait a week or two for a gun.


No reason, except that while the use of phony "clean" IDs in both credit cards and gun purchases is rampant, the consequences of a mistake are far more lethal in the case of a gun. Once again, convenience and a particular brand of ideology wins out over considerations of caution and public safety.

Of course one way to prevent such fraudulent misuse of counterfeit IDs would be to issue fingerprint-based national identity cards with a centralized data base. That would dramatically cut down on gun purchases by criminals, not to mention many other kinds of crime, but I can only imagine the howls that would elicit from all sides of the spectrum.
   70. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:27 AM (#4026902)
Why, ObamaCare barely changed a thing!
It was conceptualized specifically, after the failure of Hillarycare, to provide health coverage to the uninsured while affecting the already-insured as little as possible.

I had a debate with David about whether Obamacare was likely to grow in popularity after 2014 (should it survive as law until then). He argued that because Obamacare isn't a universal provision like Medicare, Social Security, or public education, it shouldn't be assumed that its popularity will skyrocket after implementation. It's a fair point. The reason Americans perhaps aren't likely to fall in love with Obamacare is that most of them probably aren't going to notice it. My hope is that what Americans will notice is the safety net, that their health insurance is no longer something that can be taken away.
   71. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:27 AM (#4026903)
?? The Transportation Security Agency is administered under DHS.

You don't know that?

LOL. The DHS wasn't created by the Patriot Act, either.
   72. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 02:33 AM (#4026908)
Joe, I've named a prominent organization with a membership of over 4 million Americans, whose influence is widespread in both primaries and in general elections. These people are not all on the outside looking in.

You mentioned a one-off example from 25 years ago. If the NRA was actively involved with attempts to re-arm violent felons, you wouldn't need to rely on a 1986 article to make your point.

No reason, except that while the use of phony "clean" IDs in both credit cards and gun purchases is rampant,

I'm not aware of the latter being true, but to the extent it is, I'm not an apologist. I believe law-abiding citizens should have access to firearms, and I believe criminals who use or sell firearms should be locked up, with the key thrown away.
   73. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4026938)
LOL. The DHS wasn't created by the Patriot Act, either.


I was referring to the body of legislation that, under the Bush administration, expanded government in response to 9/11.

Business owners, people in abusive relationships — there are all sorts of urgent reasons.


I'm trying to imagine how that would work:

Convenience store owner: What would you like, sir?

Robber: (pulls out saturday night special) Your money, ############!!

Convenience store owner: (checks watch) Umm, can you hold the phone for 5 minutes? Gun Planet is still open. I'll be back in a jiffy.
   74. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:05 AM (#4026972)
I was referring to the body of legislation that, under the Bush administration, expanded government in response to 9/11.

That wasn't clear at all from your comments, but, unlike Obamacare, none of those three pieces of legislation were the least bit partisan. Trying to pass off the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act, or ATSA as Bush's efforts to single-handedly expand federal powers is disingenuous. At least one and maybe two of them originated with the Dems.
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:39 AM (#4027002)
Joe, I've named a prominent organization with a membership of over 4 million Americans, whose influence is widespread in both primaries and in general elections. These people are not all on the outside looking in.

You mentioned a one-off example from 25 years ago. If the NRA was actively involved with attempts to re-arm violent felons, you wouldn't need to rely on a 1986 article to make your point.


Well, those two brief passages I copied were just that---brief passages from a much longer piece that ran only 7 weeks ago, not in 1986. The NRA has had an ongoing hostility to just about any sort of gun regulations, and this hostility hardly ended in the second Reagan administration. This is not exactly breaking news.

No reason, except that while the use of phony "clean" IDs in both credit cards and gun purchases is rampant,

I'm not aware of the latter being true, but to the extent it is, I'm not an apologist. I believe law-abiding citizens should have access to firearms, and I believe criminals who use or sell firearms should be locked up, with the key thrown away.


I'm glad to hear that. And what about people convicted of other violent crimes not involving a firearm, such as domestic assault (AKA wifebeating, in its most common form) or arson, just to name a couple----should they be allowed to buy guns? And what about people with documented psychiatric conditions such as paranoia or hallucinatory visions? Do you feel safer when people like that can legally purchase a six shooter? Or up to 12 guns or more a year?
   76. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:53 AM (#4027015)
The NRA has had an ongoing hostility to just about any sort of gun regulations, and this hostility hardly ended in the second Reagan administration. This is not exactly breaking news.

The NRA has done a lot of great work over the years, but it's not perfect. Like a lot of similar groups, the NRA has increasingly seemed to care more about maintaining its membership numbers and place in the political food chain than its original core mission.

That said, it's unrealistic to expect a gun-rights group to lead the way in restricting gun rights. At best, hoping it stays quiet on certain topics is probably the best one could hope for.

I'm glad to hear that. And what about people convicted of other violent crimes not involving a firearm, such as domestic assault (AKA wifebeating, in its most common form) or arson, just to name a couple----should they be allowed to buy guns?

Nope. I'm against gun rights for violent felons.

And what about people with documented psychiatric conditions such as paranoia or hallucinatory visions? Do you feel safer when people like that can legally purchase a six shooter? Or up to 12 guns or more a year?

I don't know how it works for people with documented psychiatric problems. I thought there was some sort of database that's checked as part of the standard background check.
   77. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:00 AM (#4027018)
Joe, it's late, and while we're never going to agree on everything regarding gun control, I don't think we're so far apart on this that it's worth dragging it out any longer. But given what you've said about your own positions on specific aspects of the subject, you might want to acquaint yourself more with some of the NRA's more interesting statements and campaigns.
   78. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:39 AM (#4027062)
I don't know how it works for people with documented psychiatric problems. I thought there was some sort of database that's checked as part of the standard background check.


If there is, the VaTech guys sure slipped through the cracks.
   79. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: January 02, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4027116)
First?
   80. dragonfly Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4027119)
Whatever
   81. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4027124)
Still no bookmarks, though.
   82. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4027133)
Still no bookmarks, though.

Nooooooooooo.... I won't be able to call back how wrong everyone was on Ruben Tejada later this year!
   83. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: January 02, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4027204)
But no handguns = no concealed carry. No, thanks. Home defense is only part of the right to self-defense.


I'm curious. Wouldn't an openly displayed firearm, say a shotgun strapped across your back, be a better deterrent to crime than a handgun under your shirt? It's like having nuclear weapons. It's only effective as a deterrent if someone know you have them.

Unless your goal is less self defense and more Death Wish type vigilantism, which I suspect is the case with most concealed carry nuts.
   84. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4027222)
I'm curious. Wouldn't an openly displayed firearm, say a shotgun strapped across your back, be a better deterrent to crime than a handgun under your shirt?

I'm sure female gun owners would love this idea.

You can make an argument for open carry rather than concealed carry, but requiring a shotgun to be openly carried rather than a handgun is a poor idea for all sorts of reasons.

Unless your goal is less self defense and more Death Wish type vigilantism, which I suspect is the case with most concealed carry nuts.

Has there been a wave of concealed-carry vigilantism that I've missed? There are over 6 million CCW holders in the U.S., as of the last estimates I've seen.
   85. Something Other Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4027260)
The big divergence with Walker's numbers is weird. Walker's a guy who has eye-popping raw numbers, and a guy whose advanced stats paint him as a Hall of Famer. The people who won't support Walker are those who recognize the need to adjust his raw numbers significantly, but don't actually look into the hard work of doing so systematically, plus small hall voters who don't like voting for all-around stars like Walker. My guess is that Walker's vote was helped by truly clueless, often non-publishing writers who looked up his raw stats and voted for him. But I dunno. Could just be a fluke.
The problem with Walker has a lot to do with his proponents. No one seems willing to do the hard work of demonstrating that even after you let the air out of his Coors numbers he's a Hall of Famer. The reasoned, non-arrogant study that Walker's advocates can point to has yet to be written and, until it is, he isn't going to make much progress. He needs a Rich Lederer, otherwise all we'll continue to see are things like 'Walker's clearly a HOFer and people who don't agree with that are lazy, or stupid, or both'.

Unsurprisingly, that's not going to get him in.

edit: The new edit function is ewwy.
   86. Something Other Posted: January 02, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4027302)
It's interesting that Walker's attracted very few steroid rumors. He was a vastly superior hitter in this 30s than he was in his 20s--132 OPS+ for the latter, even discounting his less than impressive first two seasons, and 150 for the former. He also didn't turn into an OPS+ monster until his third year in Coors. Something happened--anyone know to what Walker attributes his emergence as a Hall of Fame hitter in his 30s?

Short career, very unusual career arc, didn't play a premium defensive position, no career milestones... It's not surprising mainstream voters haven't been impressed. They should be, but he's getting killed by being thought of as a creature of Coors. It also seems odd that, given how easily steroid accusations get thrown around, Walker hasn't been subjected to more of them. His profile is practically perfect.
   87. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4027328)
Just testing the edit function

SO TINY and also weird.
   88. base ball chick Posted: January 03, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4027329)
SO

larry didn't hit enough home runs for people to care and they can shrug off any number increases to coors field

he's also not uppity

but after watching him play for so many years, i can tell you he was a genuine 5 tool guy - and one of the 5 best baserunners i have had the pleasure of watching.

   89. Something Other Posted: January 03, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4027414)
I voted for Bush twice. No regrets. He's not on the conservative version of Mount Rushmore, but like Rumsfeld said about the armed forces, "You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want."
I'm pretty sure that if you're quoting Rumsfeld approvingly you've already lost the war.

   90. Something Other Posted: January 03, 2012 at 05:21 AM (#4027439)
Yup--I think Walker suffers Carlos Beltran's disease. Very, very good at everything, but no signature skill, no huge HR total (which helps him escape the steroids scourge but also won't help his Hall case), and while a terrific baserunner he didn't have the eyecatching stolen base numbers which make him easy to write about in that regard.

Can we get the old edit back, pretty please?
   91. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4027742)
Obamacare was the biggest expansion of government in generations;


I was referring to the body of legislation that, under the Bush administration, expanded government in response to 9/11.

That wasn't clear at all from your comments, but, unlike Obamacare, none of those three pieces of legislation were the least bit partisan.


Jumping in a bit late here, but why does partisan or non-partisan politics have anything to do with the comparable sizes of 'Obamacare' and the Patriot Act? Your original statement is false. Obamacare was not the largest expansion of government in generations, it was a smaller expansion than something approved by the previous President.

And showing vote totals is not really the best argument for the actual support a bill receives. Regarding the Patriot Act recall all the 'with us or against us' rhetoric that encouraged pro votes, whereas Republicans could vote no for Obamacare to say they did, while fully knowing it would pass.
   92. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4027771)
Obamacare was not the largest expansion of government in generations, it was a smaller expansion than something approved by the previous President.

Not to mention that it was a smaller expansion than had previously been favored by more than a few Republicans during the fight over the Clinton health care bill in 1993-94. Even the dreaded "mandate" was favored by many Republicans back then as a means of keeping the system from becoming little more than an expanded version of Medicaid, as the young and healthy opt out of it. It's just one more demonstration of how far the GOP has been jerked to the right by the religious fundamentalists, the talk show jocks and the Tea Partiers in the past 30 years, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
   93. CrosbyBird Posted: January 03, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4027821)
Wouldn't an openly displayed firearm, say a shotgun strapped across your back, be a better deterrent to crime than a handgun under your shirt?

Sure, for the people that are carrying at that particular moment. It seems like a great solution on the surface, until you realize that strong laws opposing concealed weapons basically advertise vulnerability. The main benefit of legal concealed weapons is that any potential victim might have one. A secondary benefit is that even if you know a person is armed, you're not sure exactly where the weapon is, so it's a bit more difficult to disarm your potential victim.

Also, I suppose it's a lifetime of living in gun-unfriendly places, but seeing an openly displayed weapon sort of creeps me out. I'd be equally uncomfortable seeing a guy walking around with a giant knife on his belt. I've got no issue with you having a gun, or carrying it around for self-defense, but I'd rather not see it. I like at least a veneer of civilization even if I know it's a polite fiction.
   94. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4027972)
To which my response probably would be a quiet yawn. The law at issue in the Heller case was in force for more than a quarter century. It didn't amount to a repeal of the Second Amendment by a long shot.
Well, in DC it did.
   95. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4027980)
Well, tell me this: Which political party tends to appoint judges and bureaucrats with an expansive view of the Second Amendment? And which ideology is that party most closely associated with?
Neither party appoints people with an expansive view of the Second Amendment. One party appoints judges who think the Second Amendment doesn't do anything at all, and the other party appoints judges with a narrow view of the Second Amendment. (Heller was a quite conservative -- in a temperamental, not ideological sense -- ruling; it was about the narrowest possible pro-RKBA ruling one could possibly issue.)
   96. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 03, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4027990)
The comparative topic is highly complicated, but it's worth spelling out what effects Obamacare will have on the "average American."

If you are on Medicare, you will remain on Medicare. If you are on Medicaid, you will remain on Medicaid. If you have insurance through your employer, you will remain on your insurance through your employer. If you have insurance through the individual market, you can keep that, or buy different insurance on the exchange. If you or your kids newly qualify for Medicaid, you can switch over to that. If you don't have insurance, you will be required to get it through the exchanges. The average American, I think, is likely to not notice it much at all, unless she loses her job.
This is like swapping the roster of the New York Yankees with that of the Staten Island Yankees and saying, "See, if you go to the stadium in the Bronx you will see the New York Yankees play; if you go to the stadium in Staten Island you will see the Staten Island Yankees play; therefore, this swap didn't actually do anything." Sure, Medicare, Medicaid, individual insurance and employer insurance will all still be there, at least for a while. But they won't be unaffected by Obamacare, either in price or scope. For instance, Obamacare is eliminating the market for cheap insurance by requiring that people buy expensive coverage for things they don't need or want coverage for. Many existing plans, while grandfathered in for a few years, will ultimately be banned. The intelligent thing to do is buy catastrophic insurance and pay for the rest out of pocket, but Obamacare operates under the conceit that nobody should be allowed to do that.
   97. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 03, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4028124)
Obamacare was not the largest expansion of government in generations, it was a smaller expansion than something approved by the previous President.

I've lost track of what we're arguing. Are you claiming the Patriot Act, etc., impacted Americans more in their day-to-day lives than Obamacare has or would? Or are you talking about the respective price tags?

And showing vote totals is not really the best argument for the actual support a bill receives. Regarding the Patriot Act recall all the 'with us or against us' rhetoric that encouraged pro votes, whereas Republicans could vote no for Obamacare to say they did, while fully knowing it would pass.

Sorry, not buying this one. This discussion began with people talking about the need to do the right thing, etc. If Democrats thought the Patriot Act was the wrong thing, they should have voted as such. (And your implied claim that GOP reps only voted "no" on Obamacare while secretly rooting for its passage seems specious.)
   98. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4028473)
Sorry, not buying this one. This discussion began with people talking about the need to do the right thing, etc. If Democrats thought the Patriot Act was the wrong thing, they should have voted as such. (And your implied claim that GOP reps only voted "no" on Obamacare while secretly rooting for its passage seems specious.)


Do you honestly think this doesn't happen, or just that it didn't happen in these two instances?


I've lost track of what we're arguing. Are you claiming the Patriot Act, etc., impacted Americans more in their day-to-day lives than Obamacare has or would? Or are you talking about the respective price tags?


I guess that is up to you, as you wrote the original post claiming Obamacare was the 'largest expansion of government in generations'. What did you mean by largest expansion? If you meant day-to-day impact, how do you possibly measure that?

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