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End-of-the-day links

Adam Serwer of the American Prospect is guest blogging on The Plum Line this week.

Don't want to deprive you guys of your happy hour thread. Here's some interesting stuff we didn't get to today:

With Lisa Murkowski conceding, does Democratic candidate Scott Adams have a chance in the Alaska Senate race?

Ross Douthat on Iraq. Also, George Packer on Iraq.

New York tells schools to stop demanding students' immigration status.

Get the feeling like they're deliberately not calling this a stimulus?

The military is now bragging about air strikes in Afghanistan.

I find this heartwarming.

It's all you.

By Adam Serwer  |  September 1, 2010; 6:26 PM ET
 
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Comments

Douthat's column, never mentions the "second-order" consequence of what would happen to Iran. How convenient.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 1, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

@Adam: "With Lisa Murkowski conceding, does Democratic candidate Scott Adams have a chance in the Alaska Senate race?"

(Think that should be McAdams)

Yes he has a chance, and that's per Rasmussen:

"In Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the U.S. Senate race in Alaska, Republican newcomer Joe Miller holds a six-point lead over Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams."

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2010/election_2010_senate_elections/alaska/election_2010_alaska_senate

Posted by: sbj3 | September 1, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Who on the left is worthy of a primary next cycle? Has the conservative grass roots been better that the lefty grass roots at influencing their party? Anything to learn from the Tea Party?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 1, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Troll, good question actually. You mean which Dems, right? We've been talking here for many months about this, especially before the AR primary and the stupid decision by the DNC to support Lincoln against Halter. Now that she's toast, it's really no fun to say "we told you so."

Since a lot of Blue Dogs will probably be the ones to lose seats in Nov, it remains to be seen who will be left to primary.

lms has several candidates in CA, I know.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 1, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The democrats really acted quickly to change the subject today - away from Iraq


I guess they determined that Obama really did a horrible job last night by refusing to say that the Surge was a success.


Obama is just not handling national security properly - and his arrogance will not listen to anything else. This nation is going to be left vulnerable to a resurgence of terrorists. Will Obama admit he was wrong then too - when the terrorists finally do attack?


Or will we have another speach in which Obama absolutely refuses to admit when he was wrong ??? This is a serious character flaw.


Obama is not defending this nation properly.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"Let's call it a draw and move on."

C'mon, you gotta give me last licks. Then, if you want to move on, that is up to you.

"I'm still waiting for you to tell me what Constitutional provision prevents the American people from deciding to reform or health care system."

You have changed the question. Nothing prevents the American people from deciding to reform our health care system. However, there may well be something that prevents them from enacting specific kinds of reforms. Like forcing people to buy a product simply for existing.

I have also explained and demonstrated why your understanding of the GW clause is faulty. You can say I am wrong if you want, but you shouldn't pretend that an answer has not been provided.

"The "federal government" is not some alien being, it is us, the American people."

No, it isn't. That is just a platitude. As the Declaration points out, a government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. If the government was literally the governed, it wouldn't need any consent from the governed. It needs the consent of the governed because the government is an agency outside of the people, and in order to maintain legitimate power, it must periodically be approved of by those that it governs.

Your conception of "the people" is also faulty. The "American people" is not some single, unitary independent actor with wants and desires . It is an abstract concept which is shorthand for "a majority of voting Americans". To look at what the government does and declare that it is what "the American people want" is to say nothing more significant than that it is what some portion of the American people want.

"Acting through our elected representatives, we, the American people, have the right to pass laws and govern ourselves."

Not entirely. The goal of our founders was to establish a government that protected the "unalienable rights" of individuals and established a free society, and they recognized that in a democracy (or a democratic republic) a majority can be just as abusive of rights as a tyrant, which is why they limited the powers of the federal government to those explicitly laid out in the constitution, and why they included explicit admonitions (the Bill of Rights) against passing certain laws as a reminder.

So, "we" do not have the constitutional right to pass any law we want, or to govern ourselves in any manner we want. Or, stated more accurately, a majority of people do not have carte blanche to govern everyone else in any manner they want.

"Admit it: you just don't like the fact that Obama won and the Democrats control Congress."

I don't just admit it, I proclaim it. I'll shout if from the rooftops. I want everyone to know...don't blame me!

(cont'd below)

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 1, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"Has the conservative grass roots been better that the lefty grass roots at influencing their party? Anything to learn from the Tea Party?"

Yes and Yes.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 1, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

wbgonee (cont'd)

""This Constitutional objection is just a silly fig-leaf for your efforts to preclude thwarting the will of the American people and preventing our duly elected leaders from governing."

You can think that if you want, but you will be mistaken nonetheless. And, again, you should not conflate the will of 218 reps, 60 senators, and 1 president with the "will of the American people". They might coincide, but not necessarily. And even if they do, the "will of the American people" is not necessarily something to be respected. Remember, if the polls are right it is the will of the American people that the m/Ic/w not be built at Ground Zero. I'm pretty sure you don't respect that.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 1, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

McWing, I worked on the Winograd/Harmon primary this year and it was a slog, Jane Harmon is loaded with both money and MIC influence. We gave her a little run and she had to spend both more time and money campaigning, but that was about it. The campaign I'm working on now is a straight no primary in a conservative district. We have a great progressive candidate, Bill Hedrick running against Ken Calvert one of most ethically challenged reps in the House. We almost caught him in 2008 and we'll be working hard to get across the finish line this year.

I can't even think about 2012 primaries yet, not sure what we learned with Lincoln/Halter except the Dem establishment had their minds made up at the start, it's hard to work against that headwind and Clinton.

I've been following the little bit of news out of the deficit commission and SS very closely, but we won't know what they're coming up with until Dec. McClatchy thinks the big battle this month up until election day will be the Bush Tax Cuts. Here we go again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

However, a small but growing number of moderate Democrats are balking at boosting taxes on the rich. Many face electorates that recoil at the mention of any tax increase. Some represent areas that are loaded with wealthier taxpayers. Further, some incumbent senators who don't face voters this fall are reluctant to increase taxes on anyone while the economy remains sluggish.

Without their support, the push to raise rates on the rich probably will fail.

"The economy is very weak right now. Raising taxes will lower consumer demand at a time when we want people putting more money into the economy," said Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who isn't seeking re-election.

Democratic leaders still vow a big effort this month to boost the top tax brackets, now 33 and 35 percent, back to 36 and 39.6 percent, the rates that were in effect in the 1990s. Both House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who faces a tough re-election fight, want a vote before the election Nov. 2.

"We still expect to have a bill on the (Senate) floor at some point in September," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. "Whether Republicans will allow us to pass anything is a whole other story."


Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/09/01/99992/democrats-unlikely-to-repeal-tax.html#ixzz0yK4nT4ew

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/09/01/99992/democrats-unlikely-to-repeal-tax.html

Posted by: lmsinca | September 1, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

BGinCHI

Since it was Obama's actions which caused the blue dogs to be placed at risk, isn't it fair to say that Obama purged the party for the sake of the far-left wing ???


All the centrist democrats will be gone by the end of the year.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

STR, no, you are stupid.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 1, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"This Constitutional objection is just a silly fig-leaf for your efforts to preclude thwarting the will of the American people and preventing our duly elected leaders from governing"

Scott:

Since you quoted this I looked at it again and my grammar was incorrect. What I meant to say is this:

This Constitutional objection is just a silly fig-leaf for your efforts to thwart the will of the American people and prevent our duly elected leaders from governing.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 1, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Scott

The health care is going to the Supreme Court - and the United States v. Lopez might get the whole thing thrown out.


Life can be wonderful.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse


I am really amazed at the polls showing Barbara Boxer in a dead heat.


Feingold in Wisconsin just might lose - Politico rightly points out that he has had a measure of luck to have been elected in the 92 and 98 election cycles.


Patty Murray in Washington had the same election cycles


The point is excellent - these candidate might not have as much strength as people imagine.


The democrats should brace themselves - there is a tidal wave coming.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I think the Halter challenge gave the left a slightly more preferable banking bill than it otherwise would have. I do not think it was a wasted effort if that was the point. I'm a believer in primarying incumbents and preventing dynasty's, something that Kos in fact champions. That's why I support the Miller campaign. I would also argue that Rand Paul was good at shaking up McConnell and has strengthened Republican spines despite the Paul lineage.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 1, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I stumbled across this and had to share it because it is the quintessential sign of our post-election regression.

"Mr. Obama suggested that a trillion dollars had been squandered to no good purpose in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade. Are removing murderous regimes that were threats to peace and stability, catalyzing change in the Arab Middle East by expanding democracy, dealing a brutal blow to al Qaeda, protecting the American homeland, and diminishing the threat of transnational terrorism really of so little value to the president?"

Catch that? "dealing a brutal blow to al Qaeda"

Haven't we been over that already? Must we re-fight that ground? Does the GOP's War on Reality have unlimited power?

Posted by: wbgonne | September 1, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I noticed some of the trolls who managed to ruin the Fix blog have been over here trying to stir things up at the Plum Line. There were a few people continually complaining about the posts of others who didn't agree with them. Instead of simply ignoring those posts and scrolling past them, they hounded the moderators for months on end to crack down, ban people, and develop a new format. They even tried to organize boycotts of the blog.

Well, the new format was adopted. Some of the more interesting (and intelligent) regulars, on both left and right, were evidently banned. The moderators started screening posts and deleting the ones they didn't like; Tweet posts with nothing but the headings appeared; most posts didn't generate a response; half the time, you couldn't tell whether anyone else could even SEE your message. Traffic fell way off. Where some of the evening and weekend exchanges used to be among the most interesting and controversial, these all but ceased entirely. Most of the people I liked to argue with quit posting, and I soon followed suit.

One of the worst developments: you can't even READ the Fix comments now without first logging in. I liked to check out what was happening over lunch or before leaving for home, and then chime in later. Not anymore. Since I don't get paid to blog, I read the Plum Line or other blogs, but don't access the Fix from work. Surely I can't be the only one who actually has a job and realizes it isn't to post on blog sites all day.

The moral of the story? Don't let these same idiots who orchestrated the demise of the Fix influence you to complain about other posters here are call for them to be banned. If you don't like the give and take and are offended by insults, simply overlook them. This is a good site. Don't let the chronic complainers from trolls about other trolls ruin it.

Posted by: Brigade | September 1, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, that's what we're trying to do, at least I am. We're not much into banning, more into selective reading and commenting. Hope it works.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 1, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

"I'm still waiting for you to tell me what Constitutional provision prevents the American people from deciding to reform or health care system."

In addition to Scott's entirely correct answer, wb asks the wrong question, or at least the wrong first question. The right question is what specific provision gives Congress the power to enact Obamacare.

The answer is none. And then here is the 10th Amendment, and we could discuss whether any affirmative limitations on federal government power apply. Liberals believe the Constitution silently protects abortions from interference as a matter of an unstated "right to privacy," but that belief strangely disappears when Obama takes over the entire medical and health insurance industries and mandates that we all buy insurance.

"This Constitutional objection is just a silly fig-leaf for your efforts to thwart the will of the American people and prevent our duly elected leaders from governing."

Yes, the Constitution is silly and shouldn't stand in the way of leftward "progress."

The "will of the people," as you use it, is no more than a dangerous abstraction, one routinely cited by tyrannical regimes throughout the world. (Hint: This is not a people's republic, at least not yet.)

The Constitution in fact does prevent "our duly elected leaders" from enacting laws that are either outside their delegated and limited powers or that invade our rights. The government is not the people.

I am constantly amazed at how miseducated and confused supposedly educated liberals are about these issues.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 1, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"With Lisa Murkowski conceding, does Democratic candidate Scott Adams have a chance in the Alaska Senate race?"
----------------------------------------------

I really don't know if the seat is exactly in play now or not. Maybe. But one thing it definitely is now is no longer ~not~ in play. Murkowski was firmly ensconced in everyone's Safe Republican column until her own team took her out. As an open seat race it's going to have to be considered at least marginally competitive almost automatically, meaning the NRSC will have to budget money to defend it that they wouldn't have been planning on spending a week ago. So that's pretty cool.

Other than that, we'll just have to see what happens when Miller and McAdams square off. I'll note that a Rasmussen overnight Insta-poll done yesterday came in with Miller and 50%, McAdams 44%. That's striking distance. And since it was a one-day poll that could very possibly include a primary bounce for Miller that might have washed out a little more in a conventional 3-day survey. So it wouldn't surprise me if turned out to be a tad closer than that once the dust settles. My assumption though, would be that a senate race in Alaska is going to be an uphill climb for a Democrat no matter how awful the Republican is, especially this year.

Posted by: CalD | September 1, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Brigade,

Greg only bans conservatives. At least that is what history shows. Liberals can say anything they want and carpet bomb the comments with frivolous insults and inane rants. Greg likes that, from liberals.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 1, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"The right question is what specific provision gives Congress the power to enact Obamacare."

I made this point earlier in the thread on a previous post. He claims that the General Welfare clause gives Congress the power. I pointed out that 1) the GW clause relates to funding, not regulating behavior and 2) regardless, such an interpretation of the GW clause essentially renders government power to be unlimited.

Which I think he really does believe...provided the power is being used to achieve ends with which he agrees. Which is an odd constitutional, er, principle.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 1, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

QB, given that there has only been one banning here that I'm aware of (that being Bilgeman), I do not think there is much basis for accusing Greg of only banning conservatives, as there is really insufficient evidence to make a meaningful call there. While I will concede that many of our liberal commentors are guilty of crossing the line from time to time, some more often than others (I like to think that I do so infrequently- my explosion at STR today notwithstanding), I genuinely feel that none of them really compared to the invective that Bilge filled every comment with (even in discussions in which he agreed with whom he was insulting, at least in part). Don't conflate occasionally crossing the line with routinely spouting very offensive invective please.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | September 1, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your post Brigade. That's a really helpful reminder.

Despite qb's feefees being hurt, Greg is very fair to posters of all political stripes. As many here have said, we want argument and spirited discussion.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 1, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

My name is Glenn Beck and I need help.

Posted by: hoser3 | September 1, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama reported Arizona to the UN for human rights violations


How crazy can he be ???

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Cirque du Republican.

Posted by: hoser3 | September 1, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1 at 8:24 writes:

In addition to Scott's entirely correct answer, wb asks the wrong question, or at least the wrong first question. The right question is what specific provision gives Congress the power to enact Obamacare.

The answer is none. And then here is the 10th Amendment, and we could discuss whether any affirmative limitations on federal government power apply.


__________________________________


Exactly - that is correct.


The "interstate commerce" clause is the key - it has been referred to as "elastic" because it has expanded beyond belief into things that people will not believe are "interstate commerce"


In comes United States v. Lopez - in 1995 the Court FINALLY said what everyone was thinking - there must be a limit to Federal power.


So the Court says there is a limit - now the question is "where is the limit ?"


Scott and wbgonne are discussing this very issue - does health care fall under the limit of "interstate commerce?"


That is what is going on.


Sometimes if you look at the caselaw - you get answers.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

holyhandgrenaid:

"Don't conflate occasionally crossing the line with routinely spouting very offensive invective please."

I was regularly called a f-ing troll, a f-ing torturer, and a parasite, amongst other things by a few liberals here, a couple of whom remain posting to this very day. qb was subjected to the same treatment. Bilge never engaged in invective that offensive. Ever.

Those flame-throwers who remain posters in good standing with Greg not only were not chastised by Greg, they were encouraged by his friendly banter with them.

Now, why do you suppose Greg was/is friendly with people who regularly characterized conservatives as f-ing trolls and f-ing torturers and parasites, but he just couldn't allow a conservative to preface his addresses with "slave" and use amusing nicknames like "lmstonedinca" and (my personal favorite) "Canadian Man-bag"?

If you think it had nothing to do with the politics of the posters, I've got a bridge that you might be interested in.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 1, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Holy, I'm afraid Scott is right. We don't need to keep debating Bilge forever, but in truth he seldom if ever said anything that was mean spirited. He just used rhetoric to make points -- like cattle and the dreaded "slave." He was actually darned funny and insightful.

But he was conservative and had to go, when much worse liberal abusers were treated as favored commenters. That's the truth. Does it mean Greg purges conservatives? No, but, given the sampling we have, it's quite clear that a different standard applies.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 1, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

As usual, your answer to wb was spot on -- even though I try never to say "spot on." I've been traveling again and had not seen all the prior discussion.

Liberals just seem to believe the country was founded not in 1776 or 1789 but by FDR in 1932, and they have the same disdain for, and ignorance of, the Constitution that he did.

I believe that parts of Obamacare will be held unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is unreliable and infected with lawless liberalism, so it could go either way. But I really believe Obamacare might be a bridge too far even for Kennedy.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 1, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I miss the Bilgeman. Plus, we never got to know what kind of work he did on the leak as well as his perspective on what was going on in Louisiana. I think we all missed some insider stuff there.

Not to emulate Ethan2010 for flattery's effect but:

REINSTATE BILGEMAN!!!!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 1, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne posts this quote:


"Mr. Obama suggested that a trillion dollars had been squandered to no good purpose in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade. Are removing murderous regimes that were threats to peace and stability, catalyzing change in the Arab Middle East by expanding democracy, dealing a brutal blow to al Qaeda, protecting the American homeland, and diminishing the threat of transnational terrorism really of so little value to the president?"

____________________________________

NOT sure what wbgonne's position is.


But the War in Afghanistan is included in the trillion dollars.


AND that quote pretty much states the national security objectives - what has been done to go against Al Queda and stop international terrorism.

OK - we get the point of the democrats that MAYBE Iraq should not be included - but the wider WAR on Terror is still there.


The call was made one day - Iraq was in the War On Terror - a vote was taken in Congress - and a MAJORITY OF DEMOCRATS VOTED FOR THE WAR WITH IRAQ.


There were many peace efforts before the war with Iraq - weapons inspections which Saddam did NOT cooperate - trucks running across the border into Syria too.


If Obama thinks the War On Terror was NOT worth fighting he has no business being President. He said he was behind the War on Terror during the campaign - and he could NEVER have been elected in 2008 if he displayed the same attitude we now see him with.

Clearly, the democrats' efforts to separate the Iraq war from the War On Terror may have helped their poll numbers - and election prospects-

But was it the CORRECT NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY ??? NO WAY.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

QB and Scott, I still disagree, if for no other reason than the fact that you are both still here. That said, while I was not especially sorry to see Bilge go, I would have preferred that he had heeded the warnings he'd received, as I did have a number of fairly insightful discussions with him, partly because he and I shared a certain degree of shared understanding about matters such as how the drilling industry works, as well as some basic principles of oil science (I feel he and I both learned a thing or two from each other). He had his warnings to tone down his rhetoric, and instead he doubled down. I don't like that he was banned, but he was warned. I don't like it when anyone goes nuts on someone else, liberal or conservative, and feel terrible when I do it myself. And seriously, if you don't think the 'slave' business was that bad, then I really don't see either of us gaining much more from this discussion (and yes, I do feel that folks like Ethan and Liam (for example) should tone it back a bit too, just as I will continue to try to keep myself in check.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | September 1, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"...even though I try never to say "spot on."

Reminds me of my UK days.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 1, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Brigade at 7:59

You are 100% correct that the Fix has met some sort of cyber-disaster.


At the Fix, we had similar situation as described by some of you - there was a gang of liberals which made posting for others extremely unpleasant.


I made many attempts to try to address the situation - and I made scores of appeals to tone down the hostile attitudes - and constant attacks.


If a poster said anything this gang didn't like, they were subjected to constant harassment and mocking.

There were constant - daily - hourly - slurs and sterotyping.


I am confident in stating this - because the archives are there for all to see - dating back from the beginning of 2008 I am confident that the archives would back up this assessment.


I saw many people be attacked - and eventually leave the Fix.

Obviously, these attacks led to fighting.

This summer this gang started to demand that certain individuals be banned - as if they were the ones who would decide such a thing.

I found this to be completely ridiculous.

However soon discussion pretty much ceased - the atmosphere became dominated by constant attacks and demands of the leftist to ban who they wanted.

In response, I made the case that there was a gang working together - hostile - and they were causing the vast majority of the trouble.

I made several appeals for someone to look at the archives if they doubted my account.

Then one day - the software changed over - and it appeared that there was moderation on the blog - where before there was no moderation and it was a free-for-all.

When this happened, activity on the blog disappeared - practically in the space of a week.

I have been unable to figure out if the gang was banned - or just discouraged on account of the crack-down or on account of seeing their posts get deleted.


But the blog is basically Texas Roadkill right now.


Brigade is right.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@qb: "Greg only bans conservatives"

Then why is Kadaffi still posting? Or STR for that matter?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 1, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@qb: "Greg only bans conservatives"

Then why is Kadaffi still posting? Or STR for that matter?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 1, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Holy, no, I didn't think Bilge's "slave" tags were offensive at all. He very clearly -- and persuasively -- stated the reason he used the device and the point he was making.

You might have wearied of it, but I really didn't, and it definitely was no more offensive than things said every day by liberals here.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 1, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I didn't say he bans all conservatives. If he did I would have been banned as soon as I showed up. But to the extent that there is any standard, it is a double standard.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 1, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse


If anyone - on the right or left - starts to make hostile comments - the other person usually responds an perhaps a figth deve- so do people start in the first place ?

There have been several hostile posters on this blog - stating that they intend to ignore someone - in an attempt to get them to leave. This sometimes is stepped up with some posters attempting to get other posters to say they will scroll past the person as well.


Is that a good strategy ???


I don't think so - it causes the person to have no regard AT ALL for what you think - the person keeps on posting.


The taunting and the hostile comments - somehow posters really don't think past the next chess move - and instead think that one or two hostile comments will intimidate someone else.


If the democrats WERE serious about bipartisanship in 2008, I really have not seen a tolerance for opposing views on the blogs - I rather see the liberals attempting to dominate - and complete intolerance toward other views.


Just today - people on this blog have suggested that people get hit by cars - and have made comments assuring that they will "scroll past."

These tactics do not lead very far - they just create a hostile atmosphere in which people feel it is appropriate to treat you in the same manner that you treat others.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

@me: why am I posting twice?

That being said, I'm not a fan of banning. Haven't looked to see if there's one for WaPo comments, but I know some sites have GreaseMonkey Firefox extensions that allow you to do stuff like block certain commenters. If I had more time, I'd try my hand at writing one. Not my first choice, but clearly certain folks aren't here to even pretend they are engaging in conversation.

I have a special problem with folks who are asked by multiple people not to do something ("quisling") and double-down on it. I don't care what your politics are, that's just rude.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 1, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

That is about it - if someone starts making hostile comments toward someone the results can be

1) a fight -

2) the attacked ignores the person and keeps on posting - which doesn't really give the desired result, does it ????

Not exactly sure what to say - but tolerance is important, especially on the blogs.


Telling people that you will "scroll past" them just encourages them to post - right ?


After all, you said you weren't going to read it, right ?


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 1, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

qb:

"...even though I try never to say "spot on."

Reminds me of my UK days.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 1, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quite.

Posted by: tao9 | September 1, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

If someone wants to post a bunch of nonsense to occupy space on a blog it doesn't matter to me, but I reserve the right to scroll past at will. As an advocate of free speech, most of us here are, it doesn't mean that words don't have consequences.

And at least bilgey had both a sense of humor and a way with words, Scott's right lmstonedinca cracked me up. He pushed the envelope though and got the boot.

One of the great things about Greg's blog is that everyone's welcome (well almost) and we get some interesting characters occasionally but also have some great debates. Some people on both sides of the political spectrum get carried away but I think it's the nature of the environment and the anonymity. If we don't like it we can always leave.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 1, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

STR @ 10:44pm

"Not exactly sure what to say - but tolerance is important, especially on the blogs."

STR @ 2:38pm

Jake


"I have the best solution for the southern border.


All we need to do is set up machine guns with camaeras at various points - linked to the internet.


We can charge people to log onto the website for each gun and see the surrounding area.


This way, we don't even have to pay for border guards - we can take care of the border from the comfort of our own homes.

Quite a deterrent - huh ? I think after a while, they will stop coming.


What do you think ???"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tolerance? I rest my case.

Have a good night everyone.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 1, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Bilge got the boot? I've been away too long.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 2, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Andy, yeah, June or maybe July. I liked Bilge, honestly, but I'm thick-skinned with some folks. He was insulting but not stupid.

Hope all is well with you. We've missed you around here.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 2, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Also... no way Sen. Feingold of Wisconsin looses to his opponent.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 2, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

BG
Did Greg post that he booted Bilge?

Posted by: Andy94 | September 2, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

BG
What's your take on the new big ten conference splits?

Posted by: Andy94 | September 2, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Andy, on Bilge, yeah. Ultimatum and then banned (unless I'm misremembering, in which case others will correct me).

On the Big 10, haven't been following closely. NE in for next year? Regions? College football is going to have to change the way it does business. It's getting too big, but then again the parity is getting slightly better. Still doesn't rival basketball at the college level.

Purdue vs ND this weekend. Please let us beat the Irish.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 2, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

BG
Thanks for the Bilge update.

On the big ten front... they announced today how they are splitting the conference in to two divisions next year. Their also adding a conference championship game. Very interesting matchups.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 2, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Yea, they have two six-team divisions.


The thing is - the divisions were not divided by geography - but by some other set of considerations.


I suppose they wanted to balance things out - and not hurt teams by making divisions too difficult, or give teams too much of an advantage by making some schedules too easy.


The thing is : rivalries build up over time - and geography matters there. So if one wants to take advantage of potential for rivalries, then geography is important.


Right now, strength of schedule and teams - that all changes over time. So I wonder if they took advantage of all the potential.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 2, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse


Health care (transformation) is one of the best issues this current administration has done thus far. With this change individuals will have the opportunity to seek professional and quality health care services. Who would want to return to the days of the horse and buggy, b/w tv sets, manual typewriters, pac man, you get the point? That's about how old the health care system was in the USA. Each day the news is filled with social tragedies in which lives are taken at the hands of known acquaintences and/or family members. Our society is stricken with the institutions of white collar crime permeating throughout this great nation and greed which tends to strike at the very fabric of our country. If you are looking for affordable health insurance check out http://bit.ly/9fDY7U . I hope everyone will soon recognize and use the resources made by this transformation to seek professional medical attention as the need arises rather than turning to illegal and criminal activities to resolve their issues.

Posted by: aidenjose01 | September 2, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Interesting comments, Scott. My response:

“Nothing prevents the American people from deciding to reform our health care system. However, there may well be something that prevents them from enacting specific kinds of reforms. Like forcing people to buy a product simply for existing.”
So your only Constitutional objection to health care reform is that the government is “forcing people to buy a product”? I think ruk already addressed this one by explaining that the mandate does not “force” people to buy insurance, it simply taxes them if they choose not to. I do agree, however, that it would be preferable to institute a single-payer national health care system. Or even a limited public plan available to the uninsured.
“I have also explained and demonstrated why your understanding of the GW clause is faulty. You can say I am wrong if you want, but you shouldn't pretend that an answer has not been provided.”

Please explain your objection again because I don’t understand how my conception of the General Welfare clauses is the mistaken in the slightest.

When I wrote, "The "federal government" is not some alien being, it is us, the American people," you replied: “No, it isn't. That is just a platitude. As the Declaration points out, a government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. If the government was literally the governed, it wouldn't need any consent from the governed. It needs the consent of the governed because the government is an agency outside of the people, and in order to maintain legitimate power, it must periodically be approved of by those that it governs.”

That is not a platitude it is the foundation for democratic governance. Consent to be governed is rendered by virtue of being an American. The periodic approval – or disapproval – of particular officials and their policies is decided by elections. Again, elementary democratic theory.

“Your conception of "the people" is also faulty. The "American people" is not some single, unitary independent actor with wants and desires . It is an abstract concept which is shorthand for "a majority of voting Americans". To look at what the government does and declare that it is what "the American people want" is to say nothing more significant than that it is what some portion of the American people want.”

You really don’t appear to grasp the notion of our democracy. American democracy is majority rule tempered by Constitutional limitations. The majority elected Obama and the Democrats who reformed the nation’s heath care system. That is, by definition, the will of the American people in our Constitutional republic.

(continued)

Posted by: wbgonne | September 2, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

When I wrote: "Acting through our elected representatives, we, the American people, have the right to pass laws and govern ourselves,: you responded: “Not entirely. The goal of our founders was to establish a government that protected the "unalienable rights" of individuals and established a free society, and they recognized that in a democracy (or a democratic republic) a majority can be just as abusive of rights as a tyrant, which is why they limited the powers of the federal government to those explicitly laid out in the constitution, and why they included explicit admonitions (the Bill of Rights) against passing certain laws as a reminder. So, "we" do not have the constitutional right to pass any law we want, or to govern ourselves in any manner we want. Or, stated more accurately, a majority of people do not have carte blanche to govern everyone else in any manner they want.”

A free society is not a State of Nature, which is how you appear to conceive of “freedom.” In a democratic republic, “freedom” means being governed by the majority who act through our elected officials who, in turn, must stay within the constraints of the Constitution.
As for the more advance Constitutional analysis here it is: the national government was formed by the will of the American people. The national government was established to effectuate certain aims, among them fostering “the General Welfare.” That is where the government derives the general power to, for instance, reform our health care system. Since reforming the health care system is within the purposes the Constitution sets forth for the national government, the only remaining question is whether the manner in which it is accomplished in within the scope of the powers granted the federal government in the Constitution. (I realize that you have conceded that your only Constitutional objection to health care reform is the individual mandate but I point this out because at times you appear to argue that because health care is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution it is outside the authority of the national government.) In order for reformation of the nation’s health care system to qualify Constitutionally it must be within the specified powers of the national government. For example, Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce. Since the nation’s health care system comprises one-sixth of the nation’s economy that is plainly within the interstate commerce power.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 2, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

Since we are having a fine civil discussion I'd like to ask for your response to Rove's claim in the Wall Street Journal that the Iraq War "deal[t] a brutal blow to al Qaeda."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703882304575465832623095078.html

Posted by: wbgonne | September 2, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

"The Supreme Court is unreliable and infected with lawless liberalism, so it could go either way."

Of all the inane things I've heard about the Roberts Court that is the inanest.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 2, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

P.S.,

Which explains, QB, why I don't interact with you. You don't operate in good faith.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 2, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

imsinca


Why would you equate tolerance for Freedom of Speech with tolerance for violation of Federal Immigration laws ???


Furthermore, I see the democrats wanting to tolerate violating Federal immigration law - but INTOLERANT of opposing views.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 2, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

aidenjose01 at 7:17


Your characterization of the health care system as "horse and buggy" is silly.


There is no evidence at all for what you say.


Instead, Obama's system imposes massive taxes on people and businesses - which is creating a DRAG on hiring and hurting the economy.


Businesses are uncertain about what their costs will be - so they hire less people - this was REALLY stupid on Obama's part.

In addition, the democrats PROMISED health care costs would do DOWN - already they are WAY UP. The DNC is so afraid of this FACT, they have told their candidates around the nation to CHANGE what they have been saying on this topic, and avoid the subject.


Obama and the democrats should be held ACCOUNTABLE - if they said health care costs would be contained, and go down, then Obama and the democrats should be FORCED to CHANGE their plan to PRODUCE THAT RESULT OR GET RID OF THEIR PLAN.


The American People are STUCK with Obama's plan which the DNC already says doesn't do what they said it would do.

Time to get rid of this horrible plan before it drags the economy down even more.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 2, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Interesting stat here...

"The number of illegal immigrants in the United States, after peaking at 12 million in 2007, fell to about 11.1 million in 2009, the first clear decline in two decades, according to a report published Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/us/02immig.html?hpw

Posted by: bernielatham | September 2, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

You talk of the "majority with constitutional limitations."


What we had was a "far-left minority which practices a massive deception and fraud in 2008 - and is now seeking to make PERMANENT changes to our system based on a TEMPORARY majority obtained through illegitimate means."

I will state this CLEARLY - Let me be CLEAR:


Obama and the democrats promised BIPARTISANSHIP.


That means a COMMITMENT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO COMPROMISE. Obama made the commitment to bipartisanship - which means Obama should have had MAJOR support in BOTH parties for his changes.


Obama REFUSED to do that.


Instead, Obama picked off a few Republican votes -


Obama put a 2,000 page bill on the table and said he would "throw in" a few Republican ideas.


That is NOT bipartisanship.


That is nothing less than deception and fraud.


A majority did NOT give Obama a mandate for anything other than to COMPROMISE WITH THE REPUBLICANS.


Sorry- but that was the COMMITMENT in 2008 -


You speak of "consent" of the People - no Obama never had the "consent" to do what he did.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 2, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

The road goes on forever ...

"Democrats unlikely to repeal tax cuts for the rich"

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/09/01/99992/democrats-unlikely-to-repeal-tax.html#ixzz0yNKlD4Rh

Posted by: wbgonne | September 2, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

... and in a completely unrelated story ...

"Larry Sabato predicts a Republican House majority"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/-1-2-3-5.html

Posted by: wbgonne | September 2, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I realize I am butting in, but, wb said:

"So your only Constitutional objection to health care reform is that the government is “forcing people to buy a product”?"

There are constitutional objections to much more than the mandate. It is just the most patently unconstitutional feature. Given that it is the cornerstone of Obamacare, moreover, its constitutionality is significant.

"I think ruk already addressed this one by explaining that the mandate does not “force” people to buy insurance, it simply taxes them if they choose not to."

By definition, this is not a tax, and the Dems and Obama personally adamantly denied that it was a tax when they enacted it over the clear opposition of "the people."

Here is one of many good debunkings of the "tax" argument:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/245270/obamacare-and-excise-tax-joel-alicea?page=2

The courts began to stretch the meaning of "excise" to prop up the New Deal against its clear unconstitutionality, but there is no way to justify a penalty imposed for failing to buy something as an excise tax. It would be, as it has been described, a "tax" merely on existing.

"I do agree, however, that it would be preferable to institute a single-payer national health care system. Or even a limited public plan available to the uninsured."

Equally unconstitutional. The cornerstone of a single-payer system is a prohibition against procuring one's own health care. Congress plainly has no constitutional authority for it, and, again, it would effect a wholesale abrogation of individual liberty and the "right to privacy" that liberals otherwise claim protects procurement of abortion and all manner of other activities they favor.

"That is not a platitude it is the foundation for democratic governance."

The idea that "the government is us" is not only a platitude used to obscure wholesale abrogations of liberty but is simply wrong as an analytical and descriptive matter. The Founders would have said, following the Greeks, that you are describing a democracy, which they criticized and rejected along with monarchy.

Really, you can't know the first thing about the Constitution or its history without knowing who drastically wrong your claim is. The founders explicitly rejected "democratic governance" and instead created a government designed for explicit purpose of inhibiting the power of any minority or majority "faction." And Obamacare is the work of a minority faction.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 2, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday or day before (not sure, been rather busy with business-related duties) I wrote a post on how depressing it is to see the percentage of conservatives/Republicans who have now been so effectively propagandized that they actually believe Obama to be or probably be a Muslim who wishes to cast the US and the world under Sharia law.

What is so depressing in this is not merely that people can be lead so far astray from reality or even that the propaganda mechanisms are in place in America to achieve such a result. What depresses me most in this is the utter cynicism of those who have purposefully designed this state of affairs in order to gain/maintain power AND the almost total lack of courage of those in the GOP and the conservative camp to stand up and speak against this self-destructive social pathology over-taking them and all else.

This morning, Tomasky writes a post very much along these lines. Here's the final graph...

"And frankly, I don't really believe the people who say they saw all this coming, either. I don't think anyone saw coming that a majority of Republicans would believe Obama is in sympathy with Islamic fundamentalists "who want to impose Islamic law" around the world, as a new Newsweek poll has found, and that responsible Republicans would not stand up and say, folks, come on. It's bleaker than anyone imagined. But that's never an excuse not to fight." http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/sep/02/us-politics-liberals-despair-hatred

Posted by: bernielatham | September 2, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Jim DeMint is working feverishly to bring in a new brand of Republican in the image of Rand Paul, Sharon Angle and Joe Miller. It's fascinating that they have such an appeal to the Tea Party crowd when their ultimate goal is to decimate some of the programs that are so popular with a majority of Americans. I keep wondering if that disconnect will be apparent to voters by November.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Republican pols from Barry Goldwater to George W. Bush can tell you, going after Social Security and Medicare is really bad politics. And they've yet to come up with a gimmick, whether it's "partial privatization" or grandfathering existing beneficiaries, to make major changes in these programs popular (I seriously doubt the very latest gimmick, "voucherizing" Medicare, will do any better once people understand the idea). Indeed, Republicans notably engaged in their own form of "Medagoguery" by attacking health care reform as a threat to Medicare benefits.

Yet the sudden Tea Party-driven return to fiscal hawkery among Republicans, particularly if it's not accompanied by any willingness to consider tax increases or significant defense spending cuts, will drive the GOP again and again to "entitlement reform." In Senate candidates like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle and now Joe Miller, we are seeing the return of a paleoconservative perspective in the GOP that embraces the destruction of the New Deal/Great Society era's most important accomplishments not just as a matter of fiscal necessity but as a moral imperative.

You can respect this point of view even if you abhor its practical implications. But there's little doubt it represents political folly of potentially massive dimensions. Certainly Democrats owe it to these brave conservatives to take them seriously in their desire to free middle-class seniors from the slavery of Social Security and Medicare, and draw as much attention to it as possible.

http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/09/the_conservative_politics_of_c.php

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"Which explains, QB, why I don't interact with you. You don't operate in good faith."

I'm so hurt. But I'm going to finish debunking your ahistorical and illogical argument anyway.

And, yes, I think I probably have a better grasp of the Supreme Court and its members' leanings than you. Help yourself out by reading some of Justice Kennedy's opinions. I'd recommend you start with the plurality opinion in Casey. Then tell me the swing vote on "the Roberts Court" is a conservative.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 2, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

And another head-shaker in the downsideup reality/values category...

"Tally-ho

I was interested to read that Blair's greatest regret was the bill banning fox-hunting. Disrespectful of the traditions and mores of the country folk, he said. If he could do it all again, he wouldn't save more human lives, but end more lupine ones." http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/sep/01/unitedstates-hunting-foxes-in-america

It's difficult for most people to be honest about their mistakes because of internal discomforts that can arise on accepting such thoughts of self. This must be magnitudes more acute and nearly impossible to experience in such a case as contributing to acts which cause massive loss of life and human suffering. Blair's gymnastics-of-the-soul here have been, of course, reflected in the current Bush administration principals.

But when set in comparison to a decision on fox-hunting?! Good grief.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 2, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The cornerstone of a single-payer system is a prohibition against procuring one's own health care.

That's hogwash and you know it. Even in Britain's system, nothing stops a person from travelling to the US (or anywhere else) to obtain health care on their own dime. I have seen nothing proposed in this country that would bar self-payers from going outside the process. Certainly a Medicare recipient or a veteran covered by the VA can seek second opinions outside those "socialist systems."

Wouldn't it make more sense to argue with truth rather than just making it up as you go?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 2, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - Indeed. When these unfortunate ageing white folks get a glimpse of who's really coming at them, the pitchforks will spin around. Unless, of course, they accept the premise that it is their patriotic duty to work at MacDonalds until the day they die in order to stave off the Overlords from Tau Ceti 7 (who have secretly infiltrated everywhere).

Posted by: bernielatham | September 2, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

More ahistorical pleading by wb against Scott's position:

"You really don’t appear to grasp the notion of our democracy. American democracy is majority rule tempered by Constitutional limitations. The majority elected Obama and the Democrats who reformed the nation’s heath care system. That is, by definition, the will of the American people in our Constitutional republic."

Again, our form of government is not "democracy." It is a federal republic designed to thwart the will of minority or majority factions. Indeed, it is more accurate to say that it is founded on a rejection of the very notion of a "will of the people" that should be enacted as law.

Moreover, you appear to assume that Obamacare is within "Constitutional limitations" merely because your party passed it while in a temporary majority. Your theory of American government amounts to a rejection of the doctrine of enumerated and limited Congressional powers, and thus a rejection of the Constitution itself.

"The national government was established to effectuate certain aims, among them fostering “the General Welfare.” That is where the government derives the general power to, for instance, reform our health care system."

You have confused the stated purposes of the Constitution with the "power" delegated to the new federal government.

"Since reforming the health care system is within the purposes the Constitution sets forth for the national government, the only remaining question is whether the manner in which it is accomplished in within the scope of the powers granted the federal government in the Constitution."

Here you veer back closer to the right analysis, but what you really show is that reference to the purpose of "promot[ing] the General Welfare" is a moot point in considering whether Obamacare is constitutional. What matters is whether Congress has been delegated the power to enact it, and whether it invades our rights. So your original invocation of the General Welfare was irrelevant. You can say anything is for the General Welfare.

"(I realize that you have conceded that your only Constitutional objection to health care reform is the individual mandate but I point this out because at times you appear to argue that because health care is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution it is outside the authority of the national government.)"

I've never seen Scott or any other conservative suggest this.

You were speaking of good faith?

"In order for reformation of the nation’s health care system to qualify Constitutionally it must be within the specified powers of the national government."

At last, you admit the point!

"For example, Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce. Since the nation’s health care system comprises one-sixth of the nation’s economy that is plainly within the interstate commerce power."

But you would receive a justified F for this non sequitur answer.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 2, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

This one will be worth attending to. There's the real possibility here that Israeli's IDF (and politics more generally) has moved closer to a Central American-style banana republic than to what the state's founders had in mind... http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/barak-rogue-officers-came-close-to-sabotaging-race-to-lead-idf-1.311724

But it probably ought not to surprise. When the military gains such prominence in a society (along with a created mythos of purity/heroism) and when the society is constantly roiled by a propaganda campaign of terrifying external enemies which only the military can stand against, then that society sets itself up for exactly this sort of outcome.

In my mid-teens, deeply inspired by the kibbutz movement in Israel, I told my folks I wanted to move there and help out. They figured Safeway was a more prudent choice. I no longer want to go to Israel and help out.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 2, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

And, wb, no, I don't care whether you respond. I am satisfied to demonstrate your errors. I know that you do not like having them exposed.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 2, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "What is so depressing in this is not merely that people can be lead so far astray from reality or even that the propaganda mechanisms are in place in America to achieve such a result."

I agree. I hope the polls are, at best, misleading or wrong (didn't see the sample size, but I tend to believe that polling size samples seems just way to small to be representative of all Americans or all Republicans or all Democrats, but that's probably just my hangup). But I have to accept that they might be accurate, although the "sympathy to Islam" question is still just an atrociously amorphous poll question. But it is what it is, I guess.

On another note, I did a Google search for "percentage of republicans who think obama is a muslim", and got back 1,790,000 results (approximately), almost all of them in the first ten pages from center-left or further websites (including the Plum Line and Ezra Klein).

You may find it depressing, but clearly many, many of the left find it very exciting. It validates their belief in Republicans and conservatives as foolish, ignorant, and generally divorced from reality (in contrast to their own reality-based hyper-objectivity and general overall superiority), and clearly they see a potential wedge issue: "Hey, independents. Republicans are craaaaazy. I know you don't like Obama's policies, but really, you want to hand the keys to these lunatics?"

So, some people are excited, and are working hard to perpetuate the meme.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 2, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, it appears that the "meme" is validated by the polling. Further, if the GOP had any interest in stopping the crazies, perhaps some of their leaders should stand up and deny them.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 2, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"That's hogwash and you know it."

If subjects were free to buy and sell health care goods and services on their own, outside "the system," then it by definition would not be a single-payer system. This is definitional.

"Even in Britain's system, nothing stops a person from travelling to the US (or anywhere else) to obtain health care on their own dime."

See, your appeal to Britain proves the point. If I have to leave the country to exercise my freedom from the "system," I am prohibited from exercising it at home.

"I have seen nothing proposed in this country that would bar self-payers from going outside the process."

Then you apparently have not been following very closely.

"Certainly a Medicare recipient or a veteran covered by the VA can seek second opinions outside those "socialist systems.""

Which has precisely nothing to do with a single-payer system.


"Wouldn't it make more sense to argue with truth rather than just making it up as you go?"

Physician, heal thyself.


Posted by: quarterback1 | September 2, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

cmc,

Btw, if you'd like to try to outline the basic points of a "single-payer" system that does not involve restricting patients' rights to procure and physicians' rights to deliver goods and services outside the system, feel free.

But be sure that they are in no way taxed or penalized for doing so. And explain how, if I am allowed to pay, and my phsyician is allowed to accept my payment, rather than being part of the system, it is "single payer."

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 2, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

So, it's your contention that Medicare is not a single payer system?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 2, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"So, it's your contention that Medicare is not a single payer system?"

By definition, it isn't. No one has to participate. They can buy their own insurance. They can pay for their own services. They can purchase their own insurance.

Now, it does entail some features of socialization and imposes costs on a broader population. But in no way does it make the government the single payer for health care.

Again, if you'd like to outline a single-payer system that is nonmandatory and allows citizens to buy and sell services and goods without government interference, please feel free.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 2, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@cmccaulley: "Kevin, it appears that the 'meme' is validated by the polling. Further, if the GOP had any interest in stopping the crazies, perhaps some of their leaders should stand up and deny them."

It does appear the meme is validated by the polling. But I don't have to like it.

As far as the GOP standing up and denying the crazies, yes, I'm all for that, but the majority of elected (and running) Republicans are ideologically politicians more than they are conservatives (or anything else). So they aren't going to potentially take strong stands against what they think is their base when there's no political upside, as far as they can tell. Ergo, they could denounce Obama-is-a-muslim "crazies" until the cows come home, and it wouldn't get them a single Democrat voted, and might cost them some crazy-people votes. And, since the Republican party is mostly made up of politicians, they aren't going to take a principled stand.

Alas.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 2, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

More polled Dems thought GWB blew up the WTC than Reps thought Obama is Muslim.

I think conservatives are much more likely to think Obama has dishonestly downplayed his Muslim upbringing and heritage, but that he is essentially a secularist who is trying to radically transform the country (now, why would they think that?), diminish our traditional liberties, and submit the U.S. to foreign standards and scrutiny.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

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