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End of the day links

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

This is a trailer for a documentary following four Muslim high-school football players in Dearborn, Mich. that looks pretty interesting and seems well timed, given recent controversies:

Some links to stuff we didn't get to today:

Another oil rig explosion in the gulf; luckily this one wasn't as disastrous as the last.

There sure are a lot of colorful characters on Obama's deficit commission.

Haley Barbour doesn't take the usual GOP line on immigration.

Karl Rove's group is dropping a lot of ads in Senate races.

Does Tom Perriello have a chance?

Positive signs regarding the Israel/Palestine talks.

David Frum writes about the apparent purges at conservative think tanks.

Melissa McEwan on that epic Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin.

By Adam Serwer  |  September 2, 2010; 5:49 PM ET
 
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Next: The mosque exclusion zone, quantified

Comments

I believe this post pretty much sums up the sentiment of the American People - not just for this year's election - but forever.


Democratic Party - it has been a long ride, from Jefferson to Jackson - to the split before the Civil War.


Democratic Party - you created Jim Crow, set up an alliance with the KKK, and then resisted Civil Rights with filibusters.


Democratic Party - you have SPENT more money than any other organization in human history - you should be proud of yourselves that you met that goal.


However, it is time for the American People to break-up you - please don't call us anymore - and if we hear from you again, we will have to get a restraining order.


_________________________


"Liberal Overreach"

Take a look at the Federal budget and all those democratic government programs - tell me if that isn't "overreach."


Take a look at the State budgets - CRAMMED with democratic government programs - and tell me that isn't "overreach."


Take a look at local governments - JAMMED with Union contracts - expensive resulting in high property taxes - and tell me that isn't "overreach."


The democratic party has REACHED its logical END -


The American People say NO MORE.


The democratic party should COMPLETELY DISBAND - AND JUST CEASE TO EXIST - THERE ARE NO MORE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS TO CREATE.


Too bad the American People ARE STUCK WITH THE DEBT from the government programs of the democratic party.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 2, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"There sure are a lot of colorful characters on Obama's deficit commission."

Adam, that's pretty funny. All those damn socialists !!!!!!!!!

Hope we weren't too hard on you this week and your were able to navigate the roadblocks by our new friends and ferret out some of our more interesting debates and discussions. It's like wading through a sea of children's books.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate Melissa McEwan defense of Sarah Palin at least.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 2, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Of interest: "Latinos Blame Both Parties On Immigration Reform"

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/09/hispanic_voters.php

Posted by: sbj3 | September 2, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

@me

"It's like wading through a sea of children's books."

I have a better one, it's like wading through a sea of guppies that think they're piranhas.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Fordson link! That's my old neighborhood.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | September 2, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

"it's like wading through a sea of guppies that think they're piranhas."

That's how I feel after listening to the cable talking heads who have already called the midterms for the GOP in a landslide.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 2, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Andy, that too.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama "called" the midterm elections when he decided to ignore the American People after Scott Brown was elected.

Blame Obama.


And stop being a bunch of crybabies.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 2, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Picking up the thread from this morning...

wbgonne:

qb sagely addressed most of your points, but this request to me remains:

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

As you rightly pointed out the other day, the GW clause appears in 2 places, first in the preamble, and then in Article 1, section 8. The preamble sets out the purposes of the powers granted to the government, not what those powers are, so the preamble cannot be read to grant the government any power at all. In Article I section 8, the GW clause is embedded in a larger clause relating specifically to the raising of federal funds, not the regulation of behavior. It reads as follows:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

So, the only explicit power granted by this clause is the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises". The use to which this power is to be put is "to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare" of the nation, so implicitly the government also has the authority to spend the money it collects on activity deemed to be for the "general welfare". But it cannot coherently be read to be granting the government the power to pass any law it wants (ie regulate behavior) simply in pursuit of the general welfare. To read it in such a way is to render the powers of government to be unlimited, as virtually anything could be deemed to be in the "general welfare"...like outlawing abortion, or outlawing gay sex, or outlawing the building of a mosque two blocks away from GZ, and I am pretty sure you think that laws such as those would be unconstitutional.

"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."

Rove did not say that. Here is the relevant passage:

"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?"

"Dealing a brutal blow to Al Qaeda" is one of a number of things that Rove implies was a result of spending a trillion dollars in "Iraq and Afghanistan", not as a consequence of just the Iraq War.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 2, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

nisleib (to Kevin):

"Kevin - Just so we are clear; do you believe Rove honestly believes the things he is saying?"

I have a question for you: Do you honestly believe that Rove said the things that wbgonne claims he said?

Ethan:

"I don't get what's so hard about admitting what is a fact. "

Here's a fact: Karl Rove's WSJ piece did not say what wbgonne claims it said. Is that fact hard for you to admit?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 2, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Also from an earlier thread...

sbj:

"What I *do* want - as kevin says, "are similar rights of partnership that accrue to married spouses." For instance, if I should die I think my partner of these many years should be entitled to social security survivor benefits - but he would not be. I want to get these rights without the requirement of "marriage." "

Should everyone be able to designate another person, regardless of their relationship (platonic, sexual, sibling, whatever) as their "survivor" in order to get such benefits? Or should such benefits be limited to people that have had a physical/romantic relationship with the deceased?

(This is similar to a question that JakeD was asking you, but I never saw a response from you.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 2, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I am still interested, though, how Vanity Fair was able to determine that NO OTHER FAMOUS PERSON who has ever stayed at the Hyatt in Wichita ever tipped less than $5 for seven bags?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 2, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I think a woman who says our President doesn't have the cajones has lost the right to be defended by feminists. As far as I am concerned, Palin has set the rules for engagement and there are no rules. Don't belittle a man's masculinity, then expect to hide behind feminity. According to Palin, all's fair.

That's like taking a free hard kick at a man's balls, then say it's abuse because she got pushed back on a little. It's not like anybody could ever go on a national news channel and discuss the size of the cougar's c00ter.

Posted by: Beeliever | September 2, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

That's assuming that Obama is legally President and/or has cajones.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 2, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

@ JakeD2...

Well one thing is certain, Obama is not a pathetic no-life troll in desperate need for attention. And your silly playground insults are not dampering his day as the most powerful person in the world.

Posted by: Beeliever | September 2, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"I believe this post pretty much sums up the sentiment of the American People"

Hmmm....I don't seem to recall voting for you to be the spokesperson for the "American People".

Congratulations, though...you managed to inject race into the thread in the very first comment! Yeah for you!

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 2, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

JakeD2, I found your comment and followed the dialogue from Aug. 26. I think you may want to evacuate to a different bunker.

Aug. 26: Conversations between JakeD2, Filmnoia and CalD.

Filmnoia asked at 2:14 pm
As long as Barack keeps his pants zippered what are they going to impeach him for?

JakeD2 answered at 2:21 pm
filnoia:
For "High Crimes" of course.

Then JakeD2 said at 2:26 pm
CalD:
Doing the right thing sometimes leads to personal failure, humiliation, even death. Read about Dietrich Bonhoeffer someday.

And then JakeD2 said @ 2:35 pm
CalD:
Don't worry, I'm not considering assassination (yet).

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

While I'm fairly confident that JakeD2 is a blowhard and basement dweller, here's a little background on Bonhoeffer. Sounds like Jake thinks he's fighting the Nazi's.
Time to ignore him or turn him in I guess.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German pronunciation: [ˈdiːtʁɪç ˈboːnhœfɐ]; February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian. He was also a participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, a founding member of the Confessing Church. His involvement in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler resulted in his arrest in April 1943 and his subsequent execution by hanging in April 1945, shortly before the war's end. His view of Christianity's role in the secular world has become very influential.[1]

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so let's recap:

SaveTheRainForest wants to set up machine guns on the Mexican border connected to computers in the good ole USA and for a fee you can take shots at illegals trying to cross the border.

JakeD2 who doesn't think the President is really our President and probably doesn't have cajones anyway, fancies himself as a modern day assassin fighting against a Nazi dictator I guess. He's willing to sacrifice himself though for the common good.

I have to wonder if the Secret Service monitors the Washington Post and it's emails. I think it might be time for these two BFF's to mosey along to another site.

Sorry everyone, I had to take out the trash, now back to your regular programming.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"Time to ignore him or turn him in I guess."

Some friendly advice, even though I know you don't view me as a friendly voice. Constantly reminding everyone to ignore someone is not, in fact, ignoring him.

If you want to ignore someone, make like Nike and Just Do It.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 2, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Ims, what Scott said! (Didn't the starvation diet start yesterday?)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | September 2, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

When things look gloomy it's time to give a little money to a great progressive candidate in AK. Seriously, Joe Miller is a piece of work and Scott McAdams is a good progressive candidate. While Miller tries to convince everyone we really can't afford SS anymore and is enjoying the high life on outside of the state funding (hint: Koch Industries), McAdams has been reaching out to his friends and neighbors who actually live in Alaska. Time to chip in. Sorry, this is the first of many Plum Line Money Bombs. This is our pre-Labor Day kick-off!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Miller, who spent about $600,000.00 of Koch Industries-linked funds in his barely successful run against incumbent GOP U.S. senator Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary, is poised to take in more money from powerful, behind-the-scene out-of-state interests who could give a rat’s ass about the average Alaskan or about anything other than ripping us off up here. As if all the free publicity Miller is getting from FOX News and Newscorp isn’t enough already, some of us are closely scrutinizing the Alaska media for evidence of shilling for Joe the Teabagger.

Meanwhile, progressive moderate Scott McAdams has been spending a lot of time reaching out to individual Alaskans, and raising a lot of money from individual donors, at his campaign site, campaign HQ and on the web, at Act Blue.

Wednesday, McAdams probably set a record for the most money raised in small amounts on the web in a single day for an Alaskan running for statewide office. Yesterday morning, Scott’s Act Blue page had taken in about $55,000 since it was created in late June. Right now, less than 24 hours later, it is at $97,865, with 1,010 supporters. Over $40,000.00 in less than a day!

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/68798

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Scott and sue, I have been ignoring them, you two are missing my point. Their own words will do them in here, free speech and all that. I would like to keep the plumline as a place for reasoned debate, not a bunch of nonsense. I know we get drudged on occasion, no problem, but these guys are not acting in good faith at all.

And Scott, you're wrong about my opinion of you. We disagree on almost everything but that doesn't mean I don't respect your opinion.

Sue, I tried the starvation diet but didn't get enough support so I'm going a different route. Talk to Mike etc about that diet.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca,

I'm curious, would you oppose Miller any less if Democratic Senate Candidate McAdams were getting money from, say, George Soros?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 2, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"JakeD2 is a an OCD WaPo commenter who drives other people off threads. Been at it for years. Considerably diluted/polluted the comment threats here."

This is from Kathleenhusseininmaine and I think we have to take an aggressive stance against these guys or lose the great avenue we have here for debate. BTW, I noticed a lot of regulars were missing today, maybe because the threads devolved into garbage.

Okay, I'm out. Maybe I should just let others figure it out.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Good question McWing, unfortunately most progressive candidates rely on people power. I will say that there are other dems in both the Senate and the House who take an awful lot of corporate money and I do question their motives. It's not so much a Dem vs GOP issue for me as it is who the hell is representing the little guy just trying to get ahead. It kind of feels like it's never a Republican and maybe 50/50 a Dem.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

lms,

You're right. I've been, uh, monitoring the sitchooashun. I'm reminded of Butch & Sundance's question: "Who are those guys?"

Have a great Labor Day wk/end!

Free Bilgey!!!! ;>)

Posted by: tao9 | September 2, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Free Bilgey!!!! ;>)

It's catching on!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 2, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks tao, I guess I'm on a mission to save the Plumline. God, I'm such a sap. Funny, we haven't seen either one of them around tonight so maybe I hit a nerve. But tomorrow's another day.

Have a great weekend yourself, we're babysitting the towhead and his big sister so I'm getting geared up for Tarzan. Every month it's a new game, hard to keep up but I do my best, I guess I'll be Jane and grandpa will have to be the gorilla/dad.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I like it, "free bilgey", we never had it so good.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 2, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Ims: "This is from Kathleenhusseininmaine and I think we have to take an aggressive stance against these guys or lose the great avenue we have here for debate. BTW, I noticed a lot of regulars were missing today, maybe because the threads devolved into garbage."

BINGO!

I watched from the sidelines today, with no interest in jumping into the circus. It's really up to Greg, though, to decide what he wants his blog to be. I've seen Jake other places as well around WaPo, notably at Weigel's old blog and also at The Fix, though I mostly lurked there and then moved on pretty quickly. That other "entity" is unknown to me, but others have chimed in with other screen names that have been used by that person.

I don't necessarily agree with the "free speech" aspect of posting comments on a commercial blog. How is banning a continually disruptive poster all that different than banning an obnoxiuos drunk patron at the corner bar?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | September 2, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

lms,

You are NOT a sap. Glue, maybe!

Have fun w/ the human perpetual motion machines.

Posted by: tao9 | September 2, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

sue, see that's sort of the point, the thread devolves into name calling nonsense, and we have all the enablers on the left/right side, and then all the folks intellectually committed to issues, left or right, lose interest. Garbage in, garbage out. My idea was to keep reminding everyone, left, right, indifferent, of these guys actual words (here comes free speech) and maybe scare or shame them into leaving. Probably a lame idea but I'm just getting started. Hey, at 60 I'm still a work in progress.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm sick of them too. Ignoring works to a certain extent but not completely. I've been just too sick of their diluting posts to drum up any enthusiasm about posting. It's like eating a bad mix of peanuts to find the occasional cashew.

I blame August, the worth political month of the year.

So, to be clear. I don't favor banning, except when it threatens to make this community totally dysfunctional. Bilge could have reigned it in and stuck to his arguments, which were often cogent enough. Ranting over and over is not argument.

And remember, all of us were sick of News Ref too and he was definitely to the left of all of us.

Now, please tell me what you all are reading these days.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 3, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

BG, I really have to apologize up front and admit I'm reading Sandra Brown's "Smash Cut". I love, love stories about serial killers, it's my weakness. I promise after Monday, the last day of summer AFAIC, I'll get back to more intellectual reading. I have a very long list, I'm just waiting for cooler weather, lame though it is.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

lms, no need to apologize. I read John Verdon's Think of a Number last month. Pretty good stuff. We all need to read gripping stuff when we need it. I want to read Franzen's novel when it comes out to see if the fuss is merited. Not a big fan of his stuff, but want to keep an open mind until I read the new one.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 3, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Here's my list before Christmas. "Killer Angels", "Cloud Splitters", "Chivalry of Crime" plus all the books Bernie recommended, I can't find my list right now.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca your comments at 9:55 PM and your other comments tonight


Your comments are hostile and offensive - it is that simple.


I have not addressed you once - nor have you entered into any discussion with me.


And yet, you find it appropriate to start of with extremely hostile and bellicose comments - to both myself and Jake.


If you can not RESPECT the right of other people to post, I suggest you leave the blog and cease commenting.

At this point, you appear to be defending an extremely unqualified and inexperienced person who has found himself in a postion which he should have never had.


Already, this person has made serious mistakes with our country and its economy.


If you continue to support this unqualified person, you will needlessly continue to put American lives at risk - because this person simply does not take national security seriously.


Broadcasting to the enemy a withdrawl date from Afghanistan is pretty close to TREASON - and it needlessly risks American lives.


Telling the enemy that you prefer to give a terrorist a lawyer only encourages more attacks - and again needlessly risks innocent American lives.


All this is YOUR responsibility - personally, because you support this person.


Tonight you have displayed a bad attitude on this blog - and you have disrespected the First Amendment -


I would suggest that you cease from these hostile statements from now on.


If you do not, I would suggest that we meet personally and discuss what your problem is. Please post your name, address and phone number.


We can set up a personal meeting to discuss exactly why you hold these views - and what we can do to make sure that innocent American lives are properly protected.


If you do not want to post your name, phone number and address, I suggest you take your bad attitude elsewhere and shut up.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 3:23 AM | Report abuse

STR,

A critique from a PL/Con:

You are the archetypical one-trick pony, kind of a poorman's Wodehousian tautological Spode. You have one, vector-like, simultaneous objection&solution, and that is Obama. Obama bangs around within the closed confines of your skull and cannot get out.

My goodness, fella, even Rush, Levin and Beck can take their focus off the President for long intervals.

Mr. Obama is not, yet nor ever likely, the full political Cthulu.

Try, please, to pretend at least you have two eyes...because single-spaced ravings from a sophomoric Cyclops are a waste of everybody's time.

Posted by: tao9 | September 3, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

On the book recommendations, I just finished Andrew Bacevich's "The Limits of Power." It is a powerful eye-opener about the American National Security State and the rot at the center of American. I posted this quote on an earlier thread but I'll repeat it here:

"For the majority of contemporary Americans, the essence of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness centers on a relentless personal quest to acquire, to consume, to indulge, and to shed whatever constraints might interfere with those endeavors."

Bacevich is a fascinating guy. A retired military officer now teaching history at Boston University. He calls it like he sees it regardless of who he annoys. We need many more like him. One caveat about the book: the writing is a bit weak. However the arguments and evidence easily outweigh that shortcoming. Plus, it's less than 200 pages.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

On the trollery, unless it changes I think Greg will have no choice but to pull the plug on these pathological destroyers.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Dear Adam,

You said:

"Liberals didn't "overreach;" they didn't reach far enough. "

Yes, most definitely. It is undoubtedly true that the Dems political problems are a function of underreach, not overreach. And to turn the prospects for November around, they certainly need to move left, not right.

Very clearly it is the absence of a public option that has voters in a tizzy over Obamacare. In fact, to pull those angry voters back into the fold, not only should Dems run on a platform of enacting a public option, they should go all in and promise to bring the British health care system to the US. That is an electoral winner, for sure.

And for sure the miniscule stimulus was far too small to turn the economy around. If only we had just spent twice as much, or even three times as much, on census workers and academic studies about the crucial role that bat excrement plays in the ecosystem of Louisiana swamp caves, both small and large businesses alike would be hiring like mad. Come November the Dems should be promising new, massive spending programs to ramp up the economy. Spend ourselves into prosperity and a 0% unemployment rate, I always say. What voter who has ever managed a household budget will be able to resist such common sense economics?

And my goodness...more energy regulation, please! Voters clearly are looking for a place to invest all those extra dollars they have lying around (or, at least will have once we create more government spending programs), and what better place to "invest" them than in higher electricity and gas bills? Voters love that kind of thing.

You are so right Adam. Please, please, please encourage the Dems to reach and then reach some more.. It is sure to result in electoral success for just the kind of representatives the I want to see.

Regards,
Your friendly neighborhood conservative

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

What do you think of Bacevich's observation?

"For the majority of contemporary Americans, the essence of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness centers on a relentless personal quest to acquire, to consume, to indulge, and to shed whatever constraints might interfere with those endeavors."

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

I think that pretty much describes human nature throughout time, not simply modern American nature.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

I don't think other cultures share that view. But do you really believe that consumption and indulgence are the essence of American Freedom and Liberty? Can't you see that that is simply not a sustainable model in a world of limited resources?

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"Good question McWing, unfortunately most progressive candidates rely on people power."

Only if you mean Wall Street people, government employee union people, Hollywood people, wealthy foundation people, and Soros people, plus their friendly media handmaidens, old and new.

Thus backed and bankrolled, "progressives" use the levers of government power itself to gain and keep political power. They use it to buy votes with other people's money and entrench themselves as guardians of the infrastructures that in reality burden the country and keep their voters in a state of need and fealty to them.

Top o' the mornin, lms!

Btw, I asked you on an earlier thread, and perhaps I missed your answer, what exactly is your objection to the term gay or homosexual agenda?

If there is not such an agenda, what is the discussion about?

Or is this not a clear example of bad-faith argument by the left, relentlessly pushing a specific (and radical) public policy agenda while denying that it exists and seeking to delegitimize any opposition as fringe paranoia?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Better news on the jobs front then expected today. We will see how it gets spun today.

Posted by: Andy94 | September 3, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

You should read the book "The Ultimate Resource" by Julian Simon.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Adam,

From my perpective as a conservative, I would generally compliment your work this week (what I was able to read of it anyway) as showing you to be markedly less out of touch with reality and in thrall to Democratic talking points than Greg normally is.

Until the "underreach" post. That was the most banal of leftie talking points and as divorced from reality as it gets. But I suppose one clinker like that can be forgiven. A minor break from straight left-fringe dogma was refreshing.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

Are you saying that there are unlimited resources in the world and scarcity should be ignored? I can't believe that an intelligent person like yourself would subscribe to such reality-defying illogic.

More to the point of our earlier discussion, I'll repeat my question: Do you really believe that consumption and indulgence are the essence of American Freedom and Liberty?

What about civic responsibility? What about personal and national humility? What about finding meaning and satisfaction in ways other than materialism?

You asked the other day how it could be possible that your legitimate pursuit of happiness could conflict with mine. If you define Freedom and Liberty as Bacevich describes then the conflict is transparent: we can't both have all of everything. Your solution, is seems, is to assume a world of unlimited everything.

That defies physical reality. Consider energy consumption and climate change. If one pretends that there is unlimited fossil fuel and that the atmosphere can absorb an infinite amount of carbon without consequence then, sure, there is nothing to worry about. That approach is, however, perfectly consonant with GOP's War On Reality.

I think we're on to something here ...

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

That Melissa McEwan piece was the pits! I felt as though all the bras we tossed off in the '60's, worn and grey, had just landed in my lap.

Posted by: texassideoats | September 3, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Dear Democrats:

Based upon our limited sampling here at PL it seems the GOP-Conservatives are unanimous in the view (Scott, snarkily) that the Democrats have moved too far Left. In other words, the GOP-Conservatives are urging the Democratic Party to move Right. You may want to think twice before following the advice of your adversaries.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Dear Democrats:


When your adversaries are advising you to move Right it is probably a good idea to move Left.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"Are you saying that there are unlimited resources in the world and scarcity should be ignored?"

No. I am saying that you should read the book "The Ultimate Resource" by Julian Simon. It can be found for free, online.

http://www.juliansimon.com/writings/Ultimate_Resource/

"Do you really believe that consumption and indulgence are the essence of American Freedom and Liberty?"

No. As I said quite explicitly, I think they are a part of human nature.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Sorry qb, I missed your question while wading through the comments. Your "gay agenda" comment reminded me of so many of the prop 8 arguments out here. A lot of people on the religious right portray LGBT rights proponents as trying to infiltrate schools with some sort of advocacy of homosexuality. I worked hard against prop 8 and you wouldn't believe some of the, IMO, non-sensical arguments advanced here. Of course they have an agenda to acquire what they and others believe are equal rights, but to call it a "gay agenda" picks up on some of the worst anti-gay rhetoric. Maybe you didn't mean it that way.

And you're right again, unions and Hollywood are people too. Unfortunately, they're not doing much for the candidates I'm supporting so I'd like to drum up a little one on one fund-raising. Would you like to contribute to Scott McAdams or Bill Hedrick? LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@STR: "If you do not want to post your name, phone number and address, I suggest you take your bad attitude elsewhere and shut up."

I've really had enough of that stuff. I wish WaPo would just let you ignore certain users in the comments. Failing that, I don't know how Bilge was, but I would defend a banning of STR.

@tao9: Perfect takedown.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 3, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

STR's own words from Sept. 1st.

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

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 ???"

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "When your adversaries are advising you to move Right it is probably a good idea to move Left."

And vice-versa. Liberals advised Republicans to move to the left, and instead, they moved to the right. It seems to be electorally beneficial, if not intellectually edifying.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 3, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Jake D's own words from Aug. 26

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

Aug. 26

Filmnoia asked at 2:14 pm
As long as Barack keeps his pants zippered what are they going to impeach him for?

JakeD2 answered at 2:21 pm
filnoia:
For "High Crimes" of course.

Then JakeD2 said at 2:26 pm
CalD:
Doing the right thing sometimes leads to personal failure, humiliation, even death. Read about Dietrich Bonhoeffer someday.

And then JakeD2 said @ 2:35 pm
CalD:
Don't worry, I'm not considering assassination (yet).

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

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German pronunciation: [ˈdiːtʁɪç ˈboːnhœfɐ]; February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian. He was also a participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, a founding member of the Confessing Church. His involvement in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler resulted in his arrest in April 1943 and his subsequent execution by hanging in April 1945, shortly before the war's end. His view of Christianity's role in the secular world has become very influential.[1]

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

From David Frum (see Adam's link above) on the purges at rightwing think tanks...

"The question might be magnified. It’s very sobering to review the work produced by the leading Washington conservative think tanks over the past 5 years, and compare it to the work of prior periods. Even more sobering to review the work produced over the past 2 years. You might say that there has been much more “tank” than “think” – that these institutions have been acting not as the Harvards of the right, but as the armored fighting vehicles of the policy world.

Until now, you could hold some hope that things would soon improve. In Bartlett’s case, the think tank was at least small and thinly financed. One could hope that the big and wealthy institutions of Washington could afford more independence.

In my case, the institution seems to have acted impulsively at a moment of high emotion, the immediate aftermath of President Obama’s healthcare victory. One could hope that in more normal times, independent thought would have more leeway.

But in the Lindsey-Wilkinson case, we confront the problem of the closing of the conservative mind in its purest form. Unlike NCPA, Cato is not a marginal institution. Unlike AEI’s action with me, Cato’s apparent termination of Lindsey and Wilkinson seems the result of a considered strategic decision."

This extremist ideological stance with the necessary attendant anti-intellectualism is the trajectory throughout the movement. Any of you who saw the performance by Jan Brewer in the debate (no thankyou, she won't be attending further such debates) will appreciate how debased the conservative movement has become.

And it's not just rigor in thought/study. Along with this comes a level of dishonesty which is bloody scary.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Scott:

I took your advice and looked at Simon's book. A quick scan showed me this: "Natural resources are not finite."

And that tells me all I need to know. No wonder this guy is a darling of the Right; he is an apologist for greed, consumption and waste. He is also a fool but that is another matter.

This is what is bringing America low: hubris so profound that we think even the immutable laws of nature don't apply to us because we are Americans. That is the essence of the GOP's War On Reality and animates nearly every position of the Modern (and Rotted) Right. American Exceptionalism run amok.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis:

The difference, obviously, is the GOP tells the Democrats to drop dead while the Democrats -- despising their own base -- happily and stupidly move in the wrong direction.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

And BP, who is "working to make things right", threatens not to bother...

"BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico." http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/business/03bp.html?_r=1&hp

But, why should BP bother to 'make things right'? Their responsibility, axiomatically, is to reduce losses for shareholders. Their responsibility, axiomatically, is to do and pay nothing (if they can manage it).

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

bernielatham :

I have heard rumblings about that BP business for a while. In fact, back when the Administration made the $20B escrow deal I read that there was an "understanding" that the $20B would come from future BP profits in the Gulf.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I wish WaPo would just let you ignore certain users in the comments."

I wish people would stop talking about ignoring certain posters and just do it. You don't need the WaPo to "allow" it.

I mean, really, people. Is your will power so weak that you cannot just skip past posts by people you don't like, or that, having mistakenly read it, you cannot resist the urge to respond, usually by declaring for the 100th time that this person just must be ignored?

Jeezus.

(Having said all that, for the record I am all in favor of ruk's (i think) suggestion of placing the posters handle at the top of a post rather than at the bottom. I don't need it, but it would certainly be a convenience.)

Oh, and yes...Free Bilgey!

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

ScottC, what do you think of this? Wouldn't this be a good way to put the money back into the small businesses without creating a government program, a tax increase, or otherwise infringe on someone else's rights.

I'm not being snarky, I really think this would do some good to increase demand and lift the economy while hopefully bringing down unemployment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~``

An open letter to Speaker Pelosi from:

Lloyd Chapman is President of the American Small Business League

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

"Ending the diversion of small business contracts to large businesses would redirect over $100 billion a year in federal contracts back into the middle class economy. This would be the most powerful economic stimulus to date and can be used to drive demand directly into the hands of our nation’s small businesses. With this economic stimulus in mind, I urge you to support H.R. 2568, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act. It was introduced by Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson, and currently has 26 cosponsors. This bill is a deficit neutral means of ending the 10-year-old contracting scandal that has facilitated the diversion of over $1 trillion in small business contracts to corporate giants."

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/68672

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The commie jew professor says:

"Next week, President Obama is scheduled to propose new measures to boost the economy. I hope they’re bold and substantive, since the Republicans will oppose him regardless — if he came out for motherhood, the G.O.P. would declare motherhood un-American. So he should put them on the spot for standing in the way of real action." http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/opinion/03krugman.html?hp

Indeedy. My personal preference is that we stimulate the economy through funding and incentives that fan out through the population and which aim to strengthen our production, education and infra-structure.

The rightwing option - give more of the nation's wealth to the top 1% through cutting monies to everyone/everything else but most particularly by further war against whatever trumped up demon is convenient.

By the way, John Bolton says he could run for president. Wouldn't that be grand? One can predict fairly confidently that if this were to happen, at some point up the road we'd begin to hear reports that the CIA and Homeland Security had managed to decode the language of dolphins and that they are plotting against humans. There'll be no doubt about it. It will be factual.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

We see again what passes for "good faith" argument by wbgonne. LOL


lms, this "agenda" issue is something I find very pernicious and objectionable about the patterns of argument by "your side." There is a recurrent effort to attach stigma to perfectly sensible, ordinary language necessary even to discuss an issue, an impulse to censor, and imputation of malice based the use of ordinary language.

It is really a corruption of language and thought imo. Liberals want to win a debate by twisting words, and in this case the tactic is used, not atypically, to try to portray opponents of a radical agenda as the radicals. To me it is an example of ultimate hubris to advocate the overthrow of social mores, principles, and legal arrangements at the heart of our civilization for millenia and then claim that there is no such agenda.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Just to finish the thought, the effort to censor use of a word like "agenda" is an effort to delegitimize all opposition, to say, "Our demands are not subject to reasonable debate."

It is the ultimate closing of the liberal mind, or . . . what was the buzzword a while ago . . . "epistemic closure."

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@wb - I hadn't caught that (or don't recall). But it's in the corporate DNA to stiff anyone/everyone if bottom line ends up enhanced.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"And that tells me all I need to know."

No, it really doesn't, although it may tell you all you want to know. You shouldn't be so close minded. Don't be so averse to hearing an argument that may seem counterintuitive to you at first glance.

"He is..."

You mean "was". He's dead.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Beeliver:

I'm retired with plenty of time to post here (you will note at least that I don't resort to personal attacks in violation of the rules we all agreed upon; as you pointed out, Obama doesn't post here so my attacks against him don't count ; )

Imsinca:

Thank you in advance for not "ignoring" me (I went out last night, which is why I didn't respond sooner) and for proving that I am NOT considering assassination. By all means, report me to the Secret Service in any event if they thought I was a threat, I would love to be given standing to challenge Obama's status as "President".

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Gerson, as he sometimes manages, starts of well. But then, as he usually does in such cases, goes boilerplate stupid. This bit is classic:

"In this debate, grace is in short supply but irony abounds. The Christian fundamentalist view of Islam bears a striking resemblance to the New York Times' view of Christian fundamentalism -- a simplistic emphasis on the worst elements of a complex religious tradition."

Read that one twice. In his ideological/propagandist need to hit the NY Times, he proves their point. If the CF view is as Gerson describes it, then the NY Times view of CF would be correct.

Not only that, but Gerson's claim in here as to the NY Times attitudes/beliefs is guilty in the same - simplifying the complex.

I don't have a lot of respect for this fellow.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/02/AR2010090203990.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: bernielatham | September 3, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"The rightwing option - give more of the nation's wealth to the top 1% through cutting monies to everyone/everything else but most particularly by further war against whatever trumped up demon is convenient."

The depths of unthinking, cliche-ridden triteness to which you routinely descend never ceases to amaze me, Bernie.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"I read that there was an "understanding" that the $20B would come from future BP profits in the Gulf."

If that's the deal the Admin made, then BP could hardly be blamed for sticking to it, Bernie's snarky musings about "responsibility" notwithstanding.

You should be asking why Obama is trying to double cross BP.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"...goes boilerplate stupid."

Ever heard the one about the pot and the kettle?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

qb, I get your point but then you turned around and proved mine as well. You appear to be calling LGBT civil rights issues "radical", and therein lies our real difference. I don't consider it radical at all.

"to try to portray opponents of a radical agenda as the radicals."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"But it's in the corporate DNA to stiff anyone/everyone if bottom line ends up enhanced."

Undoubtedly. The real question is whether the government is regulating industry or industry is controlling the government. I think we know the answer. Bernie, if you haven't read Bacevich I really recommend him as a powerfully independent thinker. His major influence is Reinhold Niebuhr, who has been warning about the National Security State and the hubris of American Exceptionalism since the 1950s.

Interestingly, most of this corruption began after World War II when the National Security State was initiated on the advice of Truman advisor James Forrestal, then reinforced by Paul Nitze, who was around from Kennedy through Reagan, and who is the direct ascendant of Paul Wolfowitz and the Neocon Cabal that wrecked the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Scott,

"The depths of unthinking, cliche-ridden triteness to which you routinely descend never ceases to amaze me, Bernie."

Rarely do I bother slogging through it any more. It's just plain boring.

"Oh, and yes...Free Bilgey!"

I third, or fourth! Free the man!

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Well, Scott, I'm listening. Please explain how "Natural resources are not finite."

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"qb, I get your point but then you turned around and proved mine as well. You appear to be calling LGBT civil rights issues "radical", and therein lies our real difference. I don't consider it radical at all."

Well, this reminds me of when I was in high school and my father (8th grade educated) saw in my history book that American Revolutionaries like Sam Adams were referred to as radicals. He was appalled. I tried to explain that it didn't mean they were bad, just that they wanted to overthrow the existing order.

I am not going to look up the definition, but if radical means something like seeking profound or extreme change, or thinking outside of previously accepted norms, then there can't be anything much more radical than same sex marriage or the rest of the "agenda" that goes with it. To claim it isn't radical is just to deny reality. I don't think it is honest argument. Not that I am calling you dishonest. It just isn't an honest mode of argument.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"To claim it isn't radical is just to deny reality"

Propaganda alert!

One of the defining features of the Rovian GOP is to accuse your adversary of what you are doing. Expect more of this as the GOP's War On Reality becomes more apparent to more people.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Look up the famous bet between Julian Simon and liberal Malthusian icon Paul Erlich.

Then reconsider again who was the fool and who is indulging simplistic thinking.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Look up the famous bet between Julian Simon and liberal Malthusian icon Paul Erlich."

Propaganda alert!

Another of the key features of the Rovian GOP is to seize upon trivial items and elevate them into dispositive arguments. The nonsensical complaints about the UN Climate Report Committee, for instance. This is the War On Reality in action.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

""To claim it isn't radical is just to deny reality"

Propaganda alert!

One of the defining features of the Rovian GOP is to accuse your adversary of what you are doing. Expect more of this as the GOP's War On Reality becomes more apparent to more people."

Rather than substance-free talking points and self-negating rhetoric, why don't you actually make a substantive argument on the issue for a change.

Go ahead and explain how the gay agenda, the ssm movement, or whatever you want to call it is not radical, but opposition to it is.

Please be sure to start with a sound, accepted definition of "radical."

We won't be holding our breath.


Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I love it, wb has gone full Monte liberal spammer.

About time you came fully out of the closet!

I guess you couldn't be bothered to actually read about the Simon-Erlich bet or try to understand the another side of the argument.

Nothing new about that.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The natural world exists. The GOP disagrees. Just an honest difference of opinion. Or a War On Reality? I report, you decide.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

qb, I've been called a radical before. I don't view the world or politics that way though. I look at issues through my prism of right/wrong, who benefits/who doesn't, and with an eye to long term consequences, good or bad. My life experiences and relationships have led me in a different direction than you. We usually end up at this place in our discussions don't we?

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Conservatives said Obama rejects American exceptionalism.

Liberals cried "Foul!"

Even on this very blog.

Now WB says exceptionalism is just national hubris that is destroying the country and apparently the world.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@scott: "Should everyone be able to designate another person, regardless of their relationship (platonic, sexual, sibling, whatever) as their "survivor" in order to get such benefits? Or should such benefits be limited to people that have had a physical/romantic relationship with the deceased?"

It should be limited to spouses and children.

Posted by: sbj3 | September 3, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@sbj3: Just fyi, I agree with you. I think homosexual relationships should be entitled to some form of civil union, recognized as the legal equivalent of marriage in most ways but not "marriage" specifically. I think that's the route to go.

@ScottC3: "I mean, really, people. Is your will power so weak that you cannot just skip past posts by people you don't like, or that, having mistakenly read it, you cannot resist the urge to respond, usually by declaring for the 100th time that this person just must be ignored?"

I can speak for everybody, but as to mine . . . yes. Very weak.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 3, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

You "can" or your "can't" speak for everybody?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

lms, if you mean at a point of disagreent, yes I suppose so. But we established something about its nature. And I think you have acknowledged the existence of a set of policy and social changes sought by your side that are what the debate is about. I am going to consider that progress!

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@qb, "And I think you have acknowledged the existence of a set of policy and social changes sought by your side that are what the debate is about. I am going to consider that progress!"

OKAY

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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