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Posted at 5:16 PM ET, 12/30/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Jonathan Bernstein

You know, as easy as it is to mock (as I've done), I'm not actually against formally reading the Constitution on the House floor.  As meaningless ceremonial clutter goes, well, it beats the Pledge of Allegiance.  By a lot.  But of course neither reading the Constitution nor requiring bills to cite it will have any effect on anything; it is, as Kevin Gutzman says in today's Post story, a cheap way of humoring activists.  Okay, the "cheap" part is my addition, not his; he just says it's "entirely cosmetic."  Anyway, Ezra Klein is of course correct about this.  No one deliberately passes legislation they believe is unconstitutional; we all just disagree about what the Constitution means. 

What else?

1. I linked to it in passing earlier, but I want to make sure that those interested see that Congressional scholar and rules expert Steven Smith has a handy "Reporter's Guide to Filibuster Reform" available (pdf).

2. For 2012 scheduling of primaries and caucuses, Josh Putnam at FHQ is the place to go; he has an update today about New Hampshire.

3. The jobs problem is cyclical, not structural.  And as the economy improves, it's getting (slowly, slowly) better.

4. Matt Yglesias reminds everyone that liberalism doesn't sort well with utopianism

5. And should foreign policy actors be reading academic journals?

Jonathan Bernstein writes about American politics, political institutions and democracy at A Plain Blog About Politics, and you can follow him on Twitter here.

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 30, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup  
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Next: Here comes filibuster reform

Comments

"Anyway, Ezra Klein is of course correct about this. No one deliberately passes legislation they believe is unconstitutional; we all just disagree about what the Constitution means."

Exception of Mitt Romney, of course.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Another thing Ezra Klein pointed out. The demand that tea partiers have that all legislation reference a part of the Constitution that authorizes the bill. Well, the individual mandate has such a citation, but the tea partiers choose to ignore it. Their complaint with the Republican originated individual mandate stems from the fact that it's a Conservative Thing to be against the mandate.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 30, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

........OR they purposely disregard what the Constitution says in favor of their own agenda

Liberals love to ignore the 10th Amendment - act like it doesn't exist


What if people did the same thing with the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments ???

Tell Ezra they are all over 100 years old.


WHAT a moron.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

........OR they purposely disregard what the Constitution says in favor of their own agenda

Liberals love to ignore the 10th Amendment - act like it doesn't exist


What if people did the same thing with the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments ???

Tell Ezra they are all over 100 years old.


WHAT a moron.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

clawrence


Aren't you a lawyer?


Weren't the old territorial governments "creatures" of the Federal government?


So, why is Gov Richardson of New Mexico considering a pardon of Billy the Kid???


New Mexico was a Federal Territory at the time.

Richardson does not have the authority to issue a pardon for Federal Territories.


.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Liam, if your around, and care, I left you a response on the "Democrats are wimps but will jam horrific legislation down your throat."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The issue with the Constitution is the liberals keep on ignoring

1) the 2nd Amendment

2) the 10th Amendment

3) the Interstate Commerce Clause

4) the Power of Congress to make Immigration laws

5) Anything else they want to ignore, or they just convince a Court to MAKE SOMETHING UP.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD wrote,
"...a part of the Constitution that authorizes the bill. Well, the individual mandate has such a citation, but the tea partiers choose to ignore it."
-------

At least one judge seems to disagree with Professor DDAWD.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

So are you people really all against Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign? Is being fat a Conservative Thing now?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 30, 2010 10:52 AM

-------

And posting on a blog for the same WAPO that this very day featured a story about all the conservatives who are defending Michelle. Rarely will someone's ignorance be so clearly demonstrated in so few words.
But then, DDAWD has never been one to let facts influence his opinions or world view.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, hey. With all the energy he expends protecting the top half a percent from a small tax increase (remember, this isn't about what is best for the country. It's about punishing the rich!) how can you expect him to give a crap when someone besides Glen Beck is undergoing medical difficulties??

Posted by: DDAWD | December 30, 2010

-------

Hey, hey. Aren't you supposed to be changing bed pans or wiping butts instead of blogging?

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising, I am but don't know anything about federal territory conflict of law.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 30, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Lots of poor, uneducated, and otherwise marginalized citizens view Liberals and Democrats not simply in political terms but also in cultural terms. They see people that got to go to college, that make more money than they do, that live on the coasts as somehow telling them in Texas or Wyoming what to do, not unlike an annoying know-it-all sibling.

Their natural proclivity is to say, "f you," and oppose whatever the Ds propose...

Posted by: paul65 | December 30, 2010 2:16 PM

---

Gee, and I thought most of the "poor, uneducated, and otherwise marginalized citizens" were liberals. I learn new stuff here every day. I never dreamed that all those people in the inner city ghettos were actually Republicans. And no doubt Dems are pushing amnesty for illegal immigrants because they want to create a whole new Republican voting block of "poor, uneducated, and otherwise marginalized citizens." Concern for conservative voters also has Dems up in arms every time someone suggests voters should demonstrate, in some way, that they are actually eligible to vote. They even give walking-around money and free cigarettes (and who knows what else) just to get Republicans to the polls.

This is also the first I've heard about lack of higher education in Texas and Wyoming. But there's a silver lining. Since Democrats obviously have the education, the good jobs and the money, they're probably all set to stop demanding higher taxes. The 47% who don't pay federal income tax are stupid Republicans, so we can't really count on them to do much but demand more government assistance of some sort. Maybe now the liberals can all band together, pool their resources and actual give financial support to all the causes they hold dear---you know, take care of business instead of whining. There are enough Dems in California to get the state back on sound financial footing in the blink of an eye.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

The thing that unites the Democrats is the idea of better and fairer and more efficient government.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 30, 2010 5:16 PM

-------

Then aren't you just a wee bit depressed after all these years of failure?

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Of course, I've been complaining about the Republican tire fire for months, because it stinks and it is bad for the environment. The only question is why Democrats aren't throwing gasoline on it. Someone could start by getting Meghan McCain drunk (too easy, right?) and ask her what she really thinks of the Palin family.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 30, 2010

---

Didn't you get DDAWD's memo? Meghan will do and think whatever her dad tells her to do and think. She didn't really vote for John Kerry in 2004. That's just a filthy conservative lie to make people think she has a mind of her own.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"Liam, if your around, and care, I left you a response on the "Democrats are wimps but will jam horrific legislation down your throat."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut "

I know. What is it with laws being passed with 60 vote minorities?

Oh, by the way, good job with independently coming up with that Conservative Thing. I'm sure Palin has just passed out from exhaustion from winking at you so hard.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 30, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"I know. What is it with laws being passed with 60 vote minorities?

Oh, by the way, good job with independently coming up with that Conservative Thing. I'm sure Palin has just passed out from exhaustion from winking at you so hard."

Great post!  Truly shamed me.  I beg, literally on my hand and knees, in sackcloth, I beg your supremely intelligent forgiveness. Your right, as per usual, Obamacare's approval is what, 96%?  

Please, ignore my racist gibbering.  It's all lies (d@mnable lies!) anyway. I condemn myself.

And Cao, please forget everything I just wrote.  It will anger your almost always pleasant and positive continance.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Caothien9 always comes slithering in the middle of the night and stays for hours:

---------------------------------------

I read physics. My big shipment, due any day, is mostly physics, like 20 grand of it, at least half of that quantum chromodynamics and a third of that quark gluon plasma. The rest runs from historical stuff like Pauli's correspondence (I read German) a particle physics and general relativity. That's how I plan to spend the rest of my life.

My passio

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010

---

Wow! How can anyone who claims to read so much possibly be so dumb? Why waste another 20 grand when you're already stupid?

-------------------------------------

Karl Popper is the only philosopher I admire unreservedly. My Kindle is Popper-loaded. Arrived at him by way of David Deutsch .. with some reservation I subscribe to the Many Worlds Interpretation.

Please don't fatuously misread. I don't mean teleologically pre-formed, I mean adopted piecemeal from others'

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010

---

You may recall that I suggested in a thread the other day cao was probably a Many Worlds kind of guy. After all, there are only so many alternatives to explore. It doesn't take much faith to believe in alternate universes---just a very, very vivid imagination. A seething hostility to all things religious helps, too.

------------------------------------

Oh, this was a goodie:

caothien9:
"until the Purple A§§ed Babboon who will be the 2012 nominee is selected..."

---

Hardly a nice thing to say about your President. Some might think he's racist.

---------------------------------------

And then this:

caothien9:
"My ideas about people being happier when they know where they fit than they are with the freedom to end up anywhere, that's mine, and has no basis in any reading of conversation. Perhaps it's banal or even simplistic but it's a thousand times more than any of you lying nincompoops with your "cutting taxes increases revenue" and "Saddam had WMDs" could ever come up with."

---

No one could beat Scott's response, but at least I can offer an original idea I thought of a few minutes ago: a rolling stone gathers no moss.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Oops, coutenance, not continance.

Meh, works either way.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

cao,
"Sorry Scott but that would be like trying to expain color to the blind. You're a conservative, your ideas come from others by definition. That's why to you an idiot like George Will is an intellectual."

---

And why an idiot like caothien9 is...well, just an idiot.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"Great post! Truly shamed me. I beg, literally on my hand and knees, in sackcloth, I beg your supremely intelligent forgiveness. Your right, as per usual, Obamacare's approval is what, 96%?

Please, ignore my racist gibbering. It's all lies (d@mnable lies!) anyway. I condemn myself.

And Cao, please forget everything I just wrote. It will anger your almost always pleasant and positive continance.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut"

Better this than trying to explain what you mean by rammed down the throats. Both will get you just as many Palin winks and both will make you look equally dumb to anyone who reads.

It reminds me of when you people started handing out Dick Cheney Darth Vader dolls to everyone. ROFLMAO!!! What great senses of humor you have! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Posted by: DDAWD | December 30, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse


"Better this than trying to explain what you mean by rammed down the throats. Both will get you just as many Palin winks and both will make you look equally dumb to anyone who reads.

It reminds me of when you people started handing out Dick Cheney Darth Vader dolls to everyone. ROFLMAO!!! What great senses of humor you have! BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"

Dude, I'm sorry I wasn't clear.  What I'm trying to say, and struggling with due to my ignorance, (public school dontcha know) (and my general sense of inadequacy, sexually, IYKWIMAITYD) is that the Democratically controlled Congress passed legislation that is deeply unpopular with the electorate, and was so at the time of passage.  Clearer?

We obviously share the same type of raucous humor.  I too found the Darth Cheney doll funny (in a worshipful way, my Dark Lord [of Chaos]!  I bet you also enjoyed the Hillary Clinton Nutcracker doll, just like me !!!  ;-)

And DDAWD, thank you for taking the time to stoop to my level. Really.  (lip quivers as a single tear rolls  down my cheek.  Like that Indian dude.  Er, Native American dude. From the garbage commercial?  Ring a bell?  Anybody?)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Host wrote:

"3. The jobs problem is cyclical, not structural. And as the economy improves, it's getting (slowly, slowly) better."

The source for the happy talk is the financial page editor of "The New Yorker".

I beg to differ.

1. We have averaged over a 29% dropout rate from HS for forty years. We now have a large underclass that could have found paying work in an industrial or agricultural society but now are reduced to minimum wage work in an information tech and service economy.

2. We reached "full employment" in the 90s and through '07 because of a bubble in housing and construction work that HS dropouts could do, as well as undocs and IAs. Thus we had an artificially high employment rate for about 12 years. Also an artificially high rate of IAs. IAs are leaving [really] and HS dropouts are no longer employed. Some would love to rebubble the economy [in both parties - it suits everyone's short term goals].

3. We are not as driven as we once were - if we were, more bright kids would be in math and science - not business, finance, or art history, for that matter.

4. Our legal immigration structure turns on family reunification, not needed skills. Stupid. The DREAM was a decent idea, but crippled by not demanding a level of service and education for all who would seek a green card - and also defective for allowing DREAM recipients to eventually sponsor their parents, the actual IAs.

5. Bottom line: IMHO, without a "bubble", but with healthy growth, we will never reach 5% unemployment again until most of us have useful skills and our immigrant population also is chosen for useful skills. "New Yorker" column is whistling in the wind.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 30, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin,

Don't you have to factor in, at least for the next several years, the high cost of employing somebody? Health care costs are going to go much higher, among other costs. I'm seeing highly skilled people, who've been unemployed, pick up work via 1099 contracts and no bennies. By very solvent companies. It's seems that we've decided to make everybody independent contractors. Are you seeing this in Austin? I see it in Houston.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"Bottom line: IMHO, without a "bubble", but with healthy growth, we will never reach 5% unemployment again,,,"

Yes. I hold the lost opportunity, to speak truth to the electorate against Democrats because Republicans are ridiculous. Now Americans get to think it is all sustainable, somehow jobs will appear...

Today up skiing, I was wondering, sure it is a beautiful afternoon, but this is really expensive, isn't everyone poor now after Xmas? Why is it crowded? Believe it, I've never heard so much Russian, Chinese, Spanish... Look and listen you dopes, you conservatives, can't you see, can't you hear?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 30, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

McWing

I really hate to burst your bubble, but actually the most recent polling on HCR shows that 43% approve of the legislation and another 13% think it should have gone farther, it's not progressive enough.

And Mark, I've been telling anyone here, with young children who will listen, to steer them into math and science if at all possible. This will probably upset you as much as it did me 11 years ago: Our youngest daughter was accepted here at a small private university to major in Chemistry in '99. She also received numerous academic scholarships and was invited to join the honors program. During her first meeting with the honors adviser it was suggested that she would probably be happier and more successful if she majored in English. Luckily, she was having none of that and ended up being the first female student to graduate with departmental honors (4.0) in the history of the school.

McWing, here's that info:

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

Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?”

Favor 43%

Oppose, too liberal 37%

Oppose, not liberal enough 13%

No opinion 7%

These poll results clearly fly in the face of conservative dogma that Americans fear big government and want to roll back the health care law because it involves too much government intrusion into the lives of the public. In fact, polling has consistently shown that wide majorities of Americans favor access to a public plan like Medicare at the very least, if not a Medicare-for-all health insurance system. Additionally, 77 percent of Americans support drug reimportation from Canada, a policy which did not find its way into the health care law thanks to political pressure exerted by the drug industry."

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/418683/poll%3A_most_americans_support_health_law_or_want_to_make_it_more_progressive/#paragraph3

Posted by: lmsinca | December 30, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

TMW, I do see the "independent contractor" rush here in Austin.

So add point #6: Move away from employer-centric health care.

I think Shrink would agree.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 30, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Ims,

Your right. My raging stupidity. 9 months later and still at least 50% of the population hates the bill. How embarrassing, to call it "jammed down our throats" with that collective, overwhelming support.

I'm pretty sure that this is a poll of adults, not registered voters or even likely voters. A poll including parasites, er, non decision makers. What's the value of knowing what someone who doesn't vote, think? Just out or curiosity?

And Cao, for the love of Mother Gaia, do not read what I wrote, it will anger you and I just can't live with that! I won't stand for it!!

KAAAAAHHHHNNNNN!!!!!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca, that is a telling story.

My oldest daughter was steered away from science into anthropology, by faculty. My youngest daughter stuck with chemistry, worked as a chemist, and is now in pharmacy school. I love them both. They are both happy with their choices. There are material differences in consequences, however, for them, and even for the society as a whole.

You are in CA?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 30, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

McWing

You're being funny and ironical and all that, but if that many people want a stronger bill, aka more government "interference", doesn't it sort of make you at least wonder if we could improve it instead of repeal the darn thing. BTW, I'd be in that 13% and that would be my hope.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 30, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again. Let me apologize on behalf of the Right in this country. Another (it literally sickens me to write this), Rightwing nut advocating violence. Here's a sample, if you can stomach it:

"An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees."

My God! You could just as easily read this at Stormfront. Again, I beg your forgiveness.

http://www.thenation.com/article/157292/mobilizing-jobless

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Mark

Yes in CA. She went on to work in the environmental field as a water and emissions consultant and landed in DC for a couple of years, got bored being inside all the time and went back to school for a bachelors in geology and is now at CO school of mines working on her masters. Her passion is water, but she'll probably work in oil for a few years at least.

Good job with your daughters. We actually put 5 through college, two science, two art, and 1 business. Four have or are working on masters.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 30, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I admit it is a rather ancient topic however would a State become a legal successor to a Federal Territory


or would the State start with sovereignty on day one?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Ims: "doesn't it sort of make you at least wonder if we could improve it instead of repeal the darn thing. BTW, I'd be in that 13% and that would be my hope."

Not for me. I'm for repeal. I don't think healthcare is a right (and I wonder when it became one. It's not like there were not Doctors during the writing of the Constitution {Constitution! That "over 100 year old" archaic, impossible to understand document, according to the penultimate juiceboxer Ezra}. One would think they'd write it in. When was the exact moment that healthcare became a right, one wonders?)

I'm also for the phasing out and eventual repeal of Social Security too. Course, being conservative is a brain abnormality.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

In the Dark Ages in Europe progress came to a standstill as all the bright minds took up the priesthood, becoming experts in knowledge of no worldly value. their minds subtracted from any potential to make the world better.

Today the equivalent, and in more ways than one, is the priesthood of finance; bright minds going into finance have no more potential for social contribution than the priesthood in the Dark Ages. They too are subtracted, and the only "benefit" they contribute is the enrichment of obscenely wealthy financiers whose function in society is equivalent to that of a tapeworm in one's intestines.

Conservatives like to say that it's been free enterprise that made America great (they also llike to say America still *is* great, but that's wrong, it's just big). Well, conservatives are wrong about this, as with pretty much everything.

What made America great, most especially in the decades right after WWII, was the availability of higher education and its availing by bright minds who went into science and engineering. It was in that heady period that we saw the invention of semiconductors and lasers, the beginning of space exploration, the building of the national highway system.

Now we have a massive brain drain as the emphasis moves to parasitic pursuits like shuffling money around and crafting arcane "financial instruments" which will never cure a disease or invent a new technology.

This is the clear approach of the end. American greatness is ended, and the illusion thereof is becoming ever harder to sustain, one reason for all that populist rage and insistence on exceptionalism.

If there were no jobs for financial consultants and tax attorneys, enrollment in useful curricula might return. But we're not going in that direction.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Cao ddawd shrink markaustin


Where is broadwayjoe?


This place is a Cillizza refugee camp.


Pathetic


Who could have thought they would have found a moderation policy more favorable to the liberals than Cillizza's?????

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Cao ddawd shrink markaustin


Where is broadwayjoe?


This place is a Cillizza refugee camp.


Pathetic


Who could have thought they would have found a moderation policy more favorable to the liberals than Cillizza's?????

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

The issue with the Constitution is the liberals keep on ignoring

1) the 2nd Amendment

2) the 10th Amendment

3) the Interstate Commerce Clause

4) the Power of Congress to make Immigration laws

5) Anything else they want to ignore, or they just convince a Court to MAKE SOMETHING UP.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

2. We reached "full employment" in the 90s and through '07 because of a bubble in housing and construction work that HS dropouts could do, as well as undocs and IAs. Thus we had an artificially high employment rate for about 12 years. Also an artificially high rate of IAs. IAs are leaving [really] and HS dropouts are no longer employed. Some would love to rebubble the economy [in both parties - it suits everyone's short term goals].

==

And for two short years, wages actually rose for the only time since Reagan.

The response from the financial castes? Wide-eyed panic. There was much talk about the danger of "overheating" the economy, whatever that means

And given the steady diminishing of opportunity and the federally sanctioned upward transfer of wealth ... trillions for banksters, dribbles for the unemployed .. there is no chance of wages ever rising again.

I would say come here and see what that looks like, but you'd have missed it. Here there is substantial upward mobility. Because here they don't believe in that magical "free market" junk.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

XXXXX Attention Cao, Do Not Read The Following!! They're All Lies XXXXXXX

"What made America great, most especially in the decades right after WWII, was the availability of higher education and its availing by bright minds who went into science and engineering. It was in that heady period that we saw the invention of semiconductors and lasers, the beginning of space exploration, the building of the national highway system."

It also helped that the rest of the world's manufacturing capabilities were annihilated.

XXXX Attention Cao, Do Not Read The Following!! They're All Lies!!! XXXXXXX

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

"Course, being conservative is a brain abnormality."

HaHaaaHaaaaaaa, I guess you saw my link from yesterday. And I guess we'll be mortal enemies going forward re Social Security. Oh well, hey my dad was to the right of Ayn Rand also, and we survived it.

cao, luckily my son with the MBA and a background in science stayed away from the financial industry. He combined science and industry and became a master brewer, :).

Posted by: lmsinca | December 30, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

America is about to become a health care culture, it isn't a bad idea. Stone age, pottery....health care. Makes sense.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 30, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Why are you guys hawking on Ezra? Did he say the Constitution is 100plus, his post now says 200 and no correction.

I'm sure it was just a brain faht, but if he changed it...that's naughty.

Posted by: tao9 | December 30, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Cao

Just admit you are in southeast Asia for the little boys.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 30, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

OK, I see now, the poor tyro clutched on the TeeVee.

Posted by: tao9 | December 30, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a few MBAs end up actually running businesses and doing real things, lmsinca, but hey, I worked as a software engineer during the dotcom era and engineers briefly worked in the same offices as the MBA types, which never happens in places like Microsoft where they're always in different buildings.

We didn't exactly have a lot of respect for the MBA types.

Science and engineering grads tend to have a lot of knowledge about the liberal arts ... liberal arts majors tend to have at least a broad descriptive knowledge of the sciences.

Business degree types tend to know nothing about either; I met MBAs who couldn't even define the periodic table, much less enumerate the first two rows, and who couldn't name the solar planets. And these were people with graduate degrees.

I acknowledge that exceptions occur, but as far as I'm concerned the financial world is an ignorance cult.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

My post numbering jumps from 2 to 22. I guess RFR and Brigade are seething today

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"In the Dark Ages in Europe progress came to a standstill as all the bright minds took up the priesthood, becoming experts in knowledge of no worldly value. their minds subtracted from any potential to make the world better."

Wow, that's so wrong it's not even wrong.

That's some fine bullschlitz histoire little thaiStik.

Posted by: tao9 | December 30, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

cao

Actually, I agree with you re MBA's. We weren't happy with his decision at the time, he went in as a Chemistry major but hated it. Luckily he's happy and successful now. The ones who have it the worst are the two artists as far as finances go, but they love what they're doing and I couldn't have steered them in a different direction if I'd offered them a million bucks.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 30, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I started in chemistry too but two years of reading that grads weren't getting jobs and then hitting a math deficit in PChem made me switch to my first love, astronomy .. tested right into the sophomore year, but got blocked again by math decided to face it head-on and so ended up with a math degree. Took a lot of physics electives in all three curricula and now physics is my passion, especially the physics of hadrons.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I started in chemistry too but two years of reading that grads weren't getting jobs and then hitting a math deficit in PChem made me switch to my first love, astronomy .. tested right into the junior year, but got blocked again by math in the third semester, decided to face it head-on and so ended up with a math degree. Took a lot of physics electives in all three curricula and now physics is my passion, especially the physics of hadrons.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:
"My oldest daughter was steered away from science into anthropology, by faculty."

-------

This is one of the more serious problems. Students need career guidance and what they get is pseudo-intellectual blather about following their dreams and thus becoming happy and successful. Anyone who's poor or has ever been poor---with the obvious exception of guidance counselors---can attest that poor is no way to fly. Better to have that pointed out before you waste four years-plus and tens of thousands of dollars on an education just so you can wind up working at the dry cleaners. Students should at least be made aware of where opportunities exist; then, if they choose to major in some low or no-paying field of endeavor, at least it won't be because someone didn't try to dissuade them.

The 29% who don't finish HS are another story, but the point is the same. Get a GED and enroll in some trade school. Specialize in SOMETHING, whether it's plumbing or robotics. There will always be losers and penitentiaries. Some people you just can't reach.

Cao's points are worthless. Children can't restructure society. Bright people go to Wall Street because they can earn a lot of money there. Do you blame them? It beats the heck out of flipping burgers or having some B.S. degree in a field where the only opening is for professors and there are 1000 applicants for every opening. Think our educational system sucks? Tell it to the teachers' unions.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Business degree types tend to know nothing about either; I met MBAs who couldn't even define the periodic table, much less enumerate the first two rows, and who couldn't name the solar planets. And these were people with graduate degrees.

I acknowledge that exceptions occur, but as far as I'm concerned the financial world is an ignorance cult.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 10:21 PM

-----

Haven't you noticed all the HELP WANTED ads looking for people who can define the periodic table and enumerate the first two rows? Whatever happened to Leon Theremin?

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

My post numbering jumps from 2 to 22. I guess RFR and Brigade are seething today

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 10:26 PM

-----

If only his IQ would jump to 22.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Brigade writes
"Bright people go to Wall Street because they can earn a lot of money there. Do you blame them?"

Do you think that we, societally, are properly rewarding & incenting our brightest?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 30, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Suppose all those returning GIs and high school grads in the 50s had gone into corporate accounting and business. What would America have become in the ensuing decades? A hell of a lot less than it did.

Guys with business degrees wouldn't have invented any transistors, the laser would have come from Germany, and there would have been no technical response to Sputnik.

The fact that there is more money to be made (I wouldn't call it "earned") on Wall Street instead of in useful pursuits is a societal defect, not an explanation.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Brigade writes
"Bright people go to Wall Street because they can earn a lot of money there. Do you blame them?"

Do you think that we, societally, are properly rewarding & incenting our brightest?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 30, 2010 10:48 PM

------

Supply and demand my boy. The brightest (not necessarily the ones with the highest IQs) go where the money and the opportunity exists. Reshaping a society single-handedly is too tall an order for them. Cao worked for Microsoft which outsourced to India evidently to find out that the best programmers were right here in the USofA. Outsourcing is one thing; the real crime is allowing companies to import cheap high tech labor when there are plenty of capable people unemployed right here.

10% unemployment and 99 weeks on the roles will incentivize a lot of people to take a class in visual basic---or whatever.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"Suppose all those returning GIs and high school grads in the 50s had gone into corporate accounting and business. What would America have become in the ensuing decades? A hell of a lot less than it did."

------

Unfortunately, you can't stop other countries from industrializing just so you can exercise a monopoly on world production. People who worked in packing plants in the 1950s and 1960s made as much and had comparable benefits to people who worked at John Deere. Today we have illegal immigrants filling those positions because we've been told people here just don't want those jobs. Dreaming about the return of textile mills and fighting to give amnesty to illegal immigrants is not going to get us very far in the 21st century.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"Supply and demand my boy."

Thanks for the insight.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 30, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

"Suppose all those returning GIs and high school grads in the 50s had gone into corporate accounting and business. What would America have become in the ensuing decades? A hell of a lot less than it did.

Guys with business degrees wouldn't have invented any transistors, the laser would have come from Germany, and there would have been no technical response to Sputnik.

The fact that there is more money to be made (I wouldn't call it "earned") on Wall Street instead of in useful pursuits is a societal defect, not an explanation."

A lot did, my brother from another mother. Someone had to the paperwork to finance the retooling of all those factories. And those cheesy, land grant schools? They had to do something with the tuition money coming in. And tons of bonds came due all through the forty's, fifty's and, dare I say it? The sixty's. That's money with interest. I bet the ratio of business majors and those that went into banking/finance outnumbered engineers by at least 2 to 1.

And it was the Nazi's, sad to say, that got our rocket program (as well as your beloved Ruskie's) off the ground.

But do not, under any circumstances, allow this comment to upset you!!! If you find your Zen, your Chi if you will, out O' kilter, FORGET THE PREVIOUS WORDS!!!!!!!!11!!!11ELEVENTY!!!111!!!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"Dreaming about the return of textile mills and fighting to give amnesty to illegal immigrants is not going to get us very far in the 21st century."

What will? More hedge fund managers?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 30, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

"Dreaming about the return of textile mills and fighting to give amnesty to illegal immigrants is not going to get us very far in the 21st century."

What will? More hedge fund managers?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 30, 2010 11:10 PM

-------

I'm not even really getting your point. If you want to become an entrepeneur and start a business that hires a lot of people and pays them good wages, then have at it. Oddly enough, when someone actually does, they usually decide they're not doing it for altruistic reasons and the next thing you know, they're in Washington trying to get green cards for a boatload of people from Sri Lanka who're used to living five families to a house---and running buses from the Mexican border to fill the positions of janitor and groundskeeper. And I haven't seen too many liberals proposing ways to incentivize private industry; mainly they're just into hiring more government workers, "negotiating" with unions for higher wages and benefits for government workers, and whining about "the rich" paying their fair share to foot the bill.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Hedge fund managers and the like subtract money and brainpower from the nation, away from potentially useful pursuits. Such people make no substantive contributions yet are paid absurd amounts of money.

The incentives are all wrong, lined up in the wrong direction .. there are actually incentives in the tax code to move jobs out of the country and to support Isreali settlers, both obscene.

Our incentives should be toward doing useful work, not toward financial parasitism.

And oh, "supply and demand" is the verbiage of simpletons.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

And oh, "supply and demand" is the verbiage of simpletons.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 30, 2010 11:31 PM
------

At least in Hanoi.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

XXXXXXX Danger Cao, Emotional Trauma Likely If You Read This Post!!!XXXXXXX

"And oh, "supply and demand" is the verbiage of simpletons."

You're right. So simple even idiots like me understand their immutability.

"Course, not nearly as efficient as "From Each, To Each" though. That's worked out better than expected every time it's been tried. Central Planning. I love the smell of Central Planning in the morning. Smells like... rationing... starvation... etc., etc., etc..

XXXXXXX Danger Cao, Emotional Trauma Likely If You Read This Post!!!XXXXXXX

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 30, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Time for cao's nightly trip to the gym. No air conditioning, so only certain muscle groups are worked, primarily the right carpus and the sphincter.

Posted by: Brigade | December 30, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans, as the more homogeneous party, can unite behind a relatively focused, small, set of priorities."

1) Make the rich richer.

America's fantastic experiment with upward class mobility will never be forgotten. But it couldn't last, it was indefensible. No big society had ever done such a thing, not the Greeks, not the English...class stratification is human nature. We're like dogs, or more like chimps and baboons that way.

Demand slaves? Slavers happen. Demand girls? Girls are supplied.

Sure the rich objected the whole time. The amazing American middle class project happened in spite of them. But now, it is over. It will take awhile, but the process of regression to historical standards has started and the degeneration will be relentless. Class war isn't the problem and it is not the solution, class war is what pack animals are all about.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 31, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

We structure all of our thoughts in hierarchies. Religions do it, IQ tests do it, beauty contests do it, better than, less than...we are wired to create scales. It isn't bad. It isn't good. It is what we are. We can not stop rating comparative values, whether or not we are good or bad at it.

As a result of this combined rating effort, the rich always win. Whatever they did, by definition, they won. Yeah, yeah, Madoff got caught...Are Republicans really afraid the rich people in America will be unable to get richer because Democrats are in power? Of course not. Everyone knows class war is always on and that the rich win in the end.

So I can't figure out why the people who are not rich are worried about the fate of the rich. Still downwardly mobile Republican voters are terrified for the fate of the rich. Relax, don't worry, the rich will be just fine, no matter what you do, no matter what.


Posted by: shrink2 | December 31, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Microcosm of decline: Microsoft. Where I worked for 10 of the last 22 years, six gigs. 1989 .. passion for excellence, quality is job one. Then comes the release of Windows 3.0 and 3.1, huge jump in business, and the emphasis shifts from qualityto trade show schedules ... talking about withholding release until quality becomes crazy talk.

Windows 95 is released as a collection of junk held together by chicken wire and spit, for no reason but to head off OS/2. Biggest ad campaign in history, one of the ugliest, but the emphasis is way off quality now.

Windows 2000 is the last release ever in good shape at release time .. then Gates is replaced by Ballmer, a coarse crude business-book-reading SOB given to extortion of OEMs. And who also fiercely resents developers making wages he feels should be reserved for those closer to revenue.

Massive movement of work offshore to low-quality (but low-cost) foreign dev teams. Quality suffers more.MS starts falling behind in areas it once led. Shareholder value above all ..Ballmer addresses annual meeting with happy talk about "value proposition" to scattered confused applause. Nobody knows what it means.

Now? Innovation is dead, creativity is a termination offense, struggling in every category, Vista a complete flop with irretrievable lost trust.

The effect of financialilzation, and no different for the USA.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

We're like dogs, or more like chimps and baboons that way.

Demand slaves? Slavers happen. Demand girls? Girls are supplied.

Still downwardly mobile Republican voters are terrified for the fate of the rich. Relax, don't worry, the rich will be just fine, no matter what you do, no matter what.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 31, 2010 12:33 AM

-------

cao's baboons have two b's and purple arses. What do yours look like?

I demand slaves! I demand girls! And no more mr. nice guy!

I've tried to stop worrying, but I just can't.

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Now? Innovation is dead, creativity is a termination offense, struggling in every category, Vista a complete flop with irretrievable lost trust.

The effect of financialilzation, and no different for the USA.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 1:08 AM
-------

Must be a lesson there somewhere. A company loses its focus, management makes poor decisions, and the company and its workers suffer. It's really an old, old story. Innovate! Create! To the victors go the spoils! At least it happened in America. Did I mention supply and demand?

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Let us take an example of Texas. The "Wise Health Insurance" is quite popular in Arizona. It provides so many offers for the low income people.

Posted by: markandersone | December 31, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

And nothing enrages Republicans more than talk of gettting the rich to pay their fair share. Why, just look how high a percentage they pay already. Penalizing success! Class warfare!

Just ignore the little man behind the curtain pointing out that the percentage they pay is far below the percentage they have.

Really have to wonder why people who snarl in support of their own impoverishment. I guess that's from all those Reagan quips they trot out when they're feeling defensive.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Ever wonder about all the free stuff you see on the web? It appears like everybody wants to give stuff away for nothing, nada, zilch. But are these items truly free of charge? If so, how can these companies afford to give away all of these coupons and samples? It’s truly all about you, the consumer. We live in a very competitive world marketplace place. The internet has upped the ante in terms of who could be seen and heard via all with the mass media. Now companies need to make lots of noise and this is one way that can do it. One of the best place on the web is called "123 Get Samples" and get your free stuffs

Posted by: debrawhite31 | December 31, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

shrink:

"As a result of this combined rating effort, the rich always win. Whatever they did, by definition, they won."

Pure sophistry.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

cao:

Not sure you saw it yesterday before you tucked in for the evening, but unfortunately I had to point out that your allegedly original, "from scratch" thought turns out not to be quite so original. I guess you are also the purveyor of "pre-formed" ideas too. What a shame.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"Massive movement of work offshore to low-quality (but low-cost) foreign dev teams. "

You mean like in Viet Nam?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

We're told in typical condescending fashion by the Conservative People that if we don't see the virtue and beauty in Conservative Things then it can only be because we don't understand them, being enmeshed in Vicious Mischaracterizations coming from the Far Left and, of course, propagated by goateed beret-wearing college Leftists who smoke black European cigarettes and pronounce Paris "Paree."

After all, Leftists are just jealous of the superhuman virtues of those wonderful, glorious, semi-divine wealthy people and, unable to live with being their inferiors, seek to use government to take away what they have rightfully earned (yeah, earned) and distribute it to Inner City shiftless people so they can buy crack and liquor.

Balls.

We understand conservative positions just fine, and we're not distracted by dodges like "local versus federal" or ridicuous pretensions to moral superiority ("it's their money"). It's just that those Conservative Things are predicated on really ugly ideas and a selfish dog-eat-dog mentality that we don't share.

And oh, yeah, Conservative People lie an awful lot.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

You don't have any idea what I was talking about, Scott, from that brief sketch I gave. If you think I'm aligned with slavery being a desirable condition then not only did you misunderstand what I wroet, but your completely f ucked in the head.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

"Massive movement of work offshore to low-quality (but low-cost) foreign dev teams. "

You mean like in Viet Nam?

==

No, as in India and China, mostly the former.

And this pyrite logic has cost Microsoft its lead in several technologies, most notably the mobile market, because what those who didn't go to Harvard Business School have learned is that Indian developers work for a third the money but do a sixth the work, and tend to not care a fig if their work actually operates or not.

I made a year of really excellent money contracting in a WinMobile group singlehandedly rewriting from scratch a project that six Indians had worked on for a year and ended up a steaming pile of unsalvageable junk.

Get what you pay for. No charge for that piece of wisdom.

I'm "amused" that you guys are wrapped around the axle by my living in Việt Nam. I love it here, you're not going to get much satisfaction out of goading me over living in a place I like,even if itis a Communist one-party non-rich-adoring country.

Intel just built a major manufacturing facility here .. literate population, good work ethic, and they're training the workforce instead of being stupid like free-market Microsoft and expecting squints with six weeks of training in C++ to do production-level work

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"And nothing enrages Republicans more than talk of gettting the rich to pay their fair share."

"Fair share" being defined as what?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

get a god damned dictionary

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"You don't have any idea what I was talking about..."

Based on what you say here (along with what you refuse to say), it seems highly probable that even you don't have any idea what you are talking about. As shrink pointed out yesterday, it is actually extremely difficult to come up with "new" ideas that are not derivative. Yet here you are proclaiming not only that all your thinking has been developed "from scratch", but that this is true of most liberals/leftists. It is an absurd claim.

"If you think I'm aligned with slavery being a desirable condition..."

But you are. You explicitly proclaimed that "happiness" was derived not from the freedom to choose, but rather in knowing one's place. This was precisely - precisely - the argument made by defenders of slavery who proclaimed that the manifest happiness of slaves would be jeopardized by giving them freedom.

You may not like the implications of your silly thoughts (and indeed you should not), but if so, then change them. Don't blame others for pointing out the implications. Besides which, the primary point of my post was not to demonstrate the obvious moral perversion of your thinking, but rather to demonstrate that what you foolishly consider an original, "from scratch" thought is anything but that.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"Intel just built a major manufacturing facility here .. literate population, good work ethic,..."

...and a lot cheaper than the US. And isn't Intel operating in the same "free market" that Microsoft operates in? Why is Microsoft's stupid decisions (in your view) somehow a demonstration of the evils of "free markets", but Intel's wise decision making is not a demonstration of the virtues of "free markets"?

"get a god damned dictionary"

Ah, yes...another refusal to define one's terms. You aren't very good at this whole logic and reasoning thing, are you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

All you've demonstrated Scott is the simplemindedness of your thinking, and that is quite a bit less of a surprise than anything you think I'm saying about freedom.

Whatever the virtues of freedom, Americans are making a pretty piss-poor job of enjoying it. Freedom of speech is nothing but a figleaf for lying anymore, our press is controlled by corporations and foreign governments, and the right to bear arms is a bribe to secure the loyalty of stupid people.

And I don't take lectures on moral depravity from a guy who's OK with denying healthcare to children with cancer because he's down on "redistribution."

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

cao:

And I forgot to ask...why is Microsoft's decision to move some operations to India and China bad for the US, but Intel's decision to move operations to Viet Nam not bad for the US?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"Just ignore the little man behind the curtain pointing out that the percentage they pay is far below the percentage they have."

False. The "rich" pay vastly in excess of their proportionate share. Not debatable.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Intel's is a new plant, not a transfer.Microsoft laid off people in the USA,

Christ but you're dumb.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Hey Cao:

How's it going, Comrade? I'll tell you something you probably already know: the Radical Right Wing pays Cons to come on "liberal" blogs and disrupt them with sophistry, nonsense and rhetoric. You hear it non-stop. Freedom means the selfish indulgence of a spoiled child. Civic virtue counts for nothing. Money is all and the State is evil (pretending all the while that private property can exist without the state). And then they trot out their Con Quotation Book to slip in a few humdingers from some Sacred Text. The goal isn't to "win" the debate; it is simply to occupy the time of the Left while the SuperRich continue stomping the world into submission. It's similar to the "debate" over Global Warming: just raise enough doubt (i.e, pay off a few scientists) to say the science is "debatable" and not worth acting upon.

Speaking of Global Warming, from today's NYT:

"President Obama vowed as a candidate that he would put the United States on a path to addressing climate change by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollutants. He offered Congress wide latitude to pass climate change legislation, but held in reserve the threat of E.P.A. regulation if it failed to act. The deeply polarized Senate’s refusal to enact climate change legislation essentially called his bluff."

Surely our rock-ribbed President intends to win this "showdown" and demonstrate his commitment to his core principles:

“If the administration gets it wrong, we’re looking at years of litigation, legislation and public and business outcry,” said a senior administration official who asked not to be identified so as not to provide an easy target for the incoming Republicans. “If we get it right, we’re facing the same thing. Can we get it right?” this official continued. “Or is this just too big a challenge, too complex a legal, scientific, political and regulatory puzzle?”

I guess not.

Will the so-called Liberals in the Democratic Party abandon Obama after he capitulates to the Cons on Global Warming? No. It will be spun as political necessity: the best he could do under the circumstances. Will the Dem Party abandon Obama when he begins dismantling FDR's New Deal with the State of the Union speech? No. That will be a new era of bipartisanship. Is American politics hopelessly dysfunctional? Yes. Has the Greatest Generation been supplanted by the Worst Generation, the Baby Boomers (like me) who squandered all America's promise? Yes. And history will hold us to account. But history is for suckers. Get yours now. F-ck everybody else.

Happy New Year!

Posted by: wbgonne | December 31, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"Whatever the virtues of freedom, Americans are making a pretty piss-poor job of enjoying it."

You should probably not project your own unhappiness on to "Americans" in general. You are not really in a position to know much about anyone else's happiness, or how it is derived.

"And I don't take lectures on moral depravity from a guy who's..."

Which is a real shame. Otherwise you might not have such morally depraved ideas.

"...with denying healthcare to children with cancer..."

Kind of amusing coming from someone who just yesterday was decrying the cliched use of "the children" in an argument. You really have no sense of self-awareness, do you cao?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

When Microsoft decided to move development projects to India they ignored all considerations of product quality in favor of "maximizing shareholder value,": which is how they've operated for years. They accepted the credentials of Indians who had snioozed through six weeks of training in C++ and Windows development and saved money for the shareholders by not doing additional training. It cost them billions in business and probably a big hunk of their future.

Intel is setting up training faciliities in TPHCM and getting their future workforce up to speed on their technology, and the poor shareholders are just going to have to settle for less than maximization.

The next line of Intel chips will probably actually, you know, *work*, unlike versions of Windows Mobile that froze and hung. Yeah the newer version is better, but it's not stellar, and in the time MS lost trying to Maximize Shareholder Value, Apple and RIM cornered the market.

As for "fair share," it's a clearly understood term in the public policy arena, and I'm not dancing with your cute little faux-pedagogical shtick. You like to go on tangents, and they;'re drearily familiar ones; this is the Definition Dodge.

I speak four languages. I'm not taking time to educate you in what is supposedly your native tongue.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"I'm "amused" that you guys are wrapped around the axle by my living in Việt Nam. I love it here, you're not going to get much satisfaction out of goading me over living in a place I like,even if itis a Communist one-party non-rich-adoring country."

You don't seem to pay attention very well. I think everyone here is uniformly thrilled that you have decamped for the workers' paradise. What amazes is that you seem to think that you've struck a courageous blow to the USA. On the contrary, as I said once before, it's more like a plague-carrying rat jumped in the ocean.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"Hey Cao:

How's it going, Comrade?"

-------

Well, now there's a surprise. I hope wbg doesn't leave the covers of his new book too far apart.

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"Intel's is a new plant, not a transfer."

So you are perfectly happy for a US company to use cheap, overseas labor, as long as they have not first used more expensive, US labor? How does using expensive, US labor prior to deciding to use cheap overseas labor somehow make it more acceptable to you than never using US labor, and simply going the cheap, foreign route first?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

"When Microsoft decided to move development projects to India they ignored all considerations of product quality in favor of "maximizing shareholder value,":

"It cost them billions in business and probably a big hunk of their future."

---

Gee, I thought that's how the free market was supposed to work. If only the government were in charge of Microsoft . . . if only the employees of Microsoft were government employees protected by government contracts . . .

Then they'd have twice as many employees as they need, and those employees would probably be hard-pressed to keep up with the ones in India. But all would be good.

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

cao:

That's all very interesting regarding the differences between Microsoft and Intel, but how does this reflect at all on the system in which they both operate? You've condemned Microsoft as bad for the US and, by extension, blamed the free-market system for it. Yet you hold up Intel, a product of the very same system, as wise and virtuous. Why isn't the free-market credited for Intel's behavior, in the same what it is condemned for Microsoft's behavior?

BTW, this:

"As for "fair share," it's a clearly understood term in the public policy arena..."

Is of course absolutely false. It is not at all a clearly understood term, which is precisely why there are political arguments about it all the time. Your refusal to even attempt to define it in any objective way suggests that you know this. You are not being honest.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

You should probably not project your own unhappiness on to "Americans" in general. You are not really in a position to know much about anyone else's happiness, or how it is derived.

==

Sounds like you get out less than I do.

Go to a mall sometime, champ, take a look at your fellow citizens, tell me the American way of life is healthy and wholesome. I dare you to try it with a straight face.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"The effect of financialilzation, and no different for the USA."

"Financialization" being meaningless buzzword, of course.

What you described, in any event, was just a bad management approach involving cutting costs at the expense of quality. You didn't mention a thing about any "financialization."

For the smartest person on this blog, you really have a lot of trouble making a coherent point. Even Ethan can string together something more resembling a logical argument.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

FYI:

"The 2010 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award"

http://climateprogress.org/2010/12/30/the-2010-climate-b-s-of-the-year-award/

Posted by: wbgonne | December 31, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"Go to a mall sometime, champ, take a look at your fellow citizens, tell me the American way of life is healthy and wholesome."

You are changing the topic. You claimed that Americans did not "enjoy" their freedom. Again, you are in no position to pontificate on others' "enjoyment" or "happiness" regardless of how many malls you go to.

As for the health and wholesomeness of Americans, well, some Americans are healthy and wholesome, some are not. Some are healthy but unwholesome, others are wholesome but not so healthy. These generalizations of yours are really quite foolish and meaningless.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

First of all I never said Intel's decision was any more moral than Microsoft's, I just said they're doing a better job of it, by virtue of not putting profit maximization first.

As it happens I've met both Ballmer and Gates, and my opinion of Ballmer could not be lower. He's arrogant, stupid, and crude and Microsoft's fall from respect and trust can be laid at his feet and thanks in large part to his free market leanings.

It just so happens I like the idea of Vietnam getting tens of thousands of high-paying good jobs, it's a thumb in the eye to you ninnies with your handkerchief-wringing about the "far left" and "communism" and all that.

And, frankly, there is the timing. When Microsoft made their move I still nurtured hope of a resurgent and recovering America. That hope is now gone, the final nail in that coffin being Republican seizure of the House. Nothing good will get done in the Congress now, and it's my firm belief that America is finished. A few thousand fewer software jobs for Americans won't make any difference when held up to the Republicans' determination to turn America into Somalia.

Ship all the jobs offshore, who cares. No corporation could screw things up any worse than the kinds of cretins who just made into the House and Senate.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"First of all I never said Intel's decision was any more moral than Microsoft's, I just said they're doing a better job of it, by virtue of not putting profit maximization first."

Well, actually you strongly implied it. I asked you if Intel's decision was bad for the US in light of the fact that you declared Microsoft's decisions to do something similar bad for the US. Rather than saying "Yes, it is bad for the US", you highlighted the difference between the two decisions (and called me stupid for not seeing the difference myself). The only reason to do this would be to justify a differnt conclusion, ie Microsoft is bad, but Intel is not.

But let's be explicit.

Yesterday you said that Microsoft was bad for the the country, and you suggested that the badness was a result of the the economic system ("free markets") in which Microsoft operates.

Is Intel bad for the country? And if not, should the economic system in which it operates be credited for this? And how is it that the very same economic system that has compelled Microsoft to be bad for the country, has not compelled Intel to be bad for the country?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Translation of cao: don't ask me hard questions; I just make this stuff up as I go.

He's after all the guy who unreservedly admires Popper's thought but believes freedom and happiness are inconsistent. And he said that thought was original to him about an hour after he said it came to him from an article in New Republic.

What a clown show.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Jon Walker believes, and I probably agree now that I think of it, that the student loan reform was probably the best and most progressive bill to pass in the last two years. It's certainly not as large but satisfies progressive goals and didn't seem to suffer much in the way of weakening through compromise.

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

* Ending massive corporate welfare- It stopped a completely wasteful program that had the government guarantee “private” loans. This had allowed several large businesses – including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Wachovia – to make huge profits at the expense of the public.
* Reducing corruption – Eliminating corporate welfare is always a small step toward ending political corruption in Washington. It helps stop the endless the cycle of companies needing to spend millions on lobbying to keep their billions in government handouts flowing.
* Good stewardship of public funds – It took a government task and made it more cost-efficient. Building trust in government’s social safety net requires progressives to make sure that the government is the best possible steward of public funds that it can be.
* Sharing prosperity- Much of the money saved by ending this corporate welfare now is going to be re-purposed to fund Pell Grants that help low income students obtain higher education.
* Providing greater opportunity- Progressives should be about more than just providing a safety net to those in trouble, we also should provide ladders to enable individuals to achieve greater success for themselves. There is no better tool than education to do that.
* Investment in our future – Increasing the general availability of eduction for Americans and providing more people with opportunity to achieve greater success will, in the long run, improve our nation’s future.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 31, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

cao:

I forgot this:

"It just so happens I like the idea of Vietnam getting tens of thousands of high-paying good jobs..."

High-paying...relative to what? Are they getting paid more than what a worker in the US would get paid to do the same thing? If so, then how is the decision by Intel to pay more to foreign workers than they would have to pay US workers a good one, as you suggest?

On the other hand, if they are highly paid relative only to other jobs in Viet Nam, but not relative to US workers, how is this a "thumb in the eye", to those of us who know that communist/far left policies produce much less wealth, and hence much poorer workers, than capitalistic/free market policies produce? Seems to me that this is simply more confirmation of what we (but not, apparently you) already know.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

How's it going, Comrade? I'll tell you something you probably already know: the Radical Right Wing pays Cons to come on "liberal" blogs and disrupt them with sophistry, nonsense and rhetoric. You hear it non-stop. Freedom means the selfish indulgence of a spoiled child. Civic virtue counts for nothing. Money is all and the State is evil (pretending all the while that private property can exist without the state).

==

yeah it's been obvious for years, because they all use the same phrases and it's obvious they'er being coached in what to say.

And they have one strength over us, well, actually two .. they don't hesitate to lie, and we do hesiitate to make value judgments. Just look at the hesitancy in some of the liberal posters right here .. "you may have said it and I missed it," and all that jack.

I could understand these ba§tards if there was something in it for them, some personal benefit, but really there isn't. Their satisfaction comes from

(1) they hate liberals

and that's it. These jerks talking about Hayek and Friedman and "penalizing success" and theglories of free markets .. they're going to be every bit as degraded as everyone else when the GOP gets its way. The Conservative Faithfull will be rooting through trash cans right alongside the liberals and the only difference is that they'll still be wearing flag pins.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

High-paying...relative to what? Are they getting paid more than what a worker in the US would get paid to do the same thing?

==

What do you think?

(*snicker*))

Sorry, that was cruel, it just sorta slipped out.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure this new venture will face some derision from the "realists" but I sure hope it catches on.

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

Their new website, giveitbackforjobs.org, invites high-income Americans to calculate the value of their tax cut under the extension and then pledge to donate that money directly to charities that the site says encourage "fairness, economic growth, and a vibrant middle class." The site doesn't accept contributions directly, but links users to the charities.

The site has been engineered to offer Americans who view the tax cuts as misguided a means to personally direct dollars toward countering the effects, while also registering a protest for broad policies that have exacerbated economic inequality.

"People are privately incredibly generous," said Markovits. "There are a quite a few people who would like society as a whole to be juster, to let their private commitments be translated into a language that says, 'We are in this together.'"

The professors chose to give the money to charities in part as a rebuke of what they portray as an inadequate federal response to the long-running national economic crisis.

"We're trying to immediately and directly support programs the government ought to be doing," said Markovits.

They have opted to target organizations focused on expanding access to health care and housing, and those that train unemployed workers for new careers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/30/give-it-back-for-jobs_n_802909.html

Posted by: lmsinca | December 31, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Wrong, Scott, and don't pretend that all capitalism is free markets. Capitalism can work when it's highly regulated and highly taxed, while free markets lead straight to serfdom as they're doing in the USA, where workers' buying power has been eroding for decades.

In the 1950s anyone with a job could buy a house. By the 1980s both parents had to work just to make ends meet and housing was a lot less available. Now two working adults isn't enough.

But why bother? I'm talking to a guy who thinks the widening disparity of wealth is a good thing.

And oh, those jobs in Vietnam .. anyone who takes one of those Intel jobs will be able to .. buy a house. Relative to the cost of living here, yes, they are higher-paying than equivalent jobs in America, relative to the cost of living in a profit-maximizing free market.

The free market is an immature system that leads to concentrated wealth, but then you seem to think having a few dozen families with all the money is a good thing.

How do you think that benefits YOU?

Other than, of course, the satisfaction of liberals not liking it?

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"We're trying to immediately and directly support programs the government ought to be doing," said Markovits.

Ims:

Noble but doomed to failure. The reason we have government is because government can do things that no other entity can. Government is how civilized people come together to solve their common problems. Someone please tell the President so he can tell the country.

Oh wait, Obama knows this and it's exactly what he'll say as he Triangulates like Clinton and dismantles the New Deal in a bi-partisan fashion. We are coming together to solve our deficit crisis by punishing the weakest among us and destroying our Middle Class. USA! USA!

I'm ashamed to be an American.

Nevertheless: Happy New Year!

Posted by: wbgonne | December 31, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

lms:

The student loan market is a perfect example of how "progressive" policies that would never be accepted if honestly presented get, er, progressively implemented by stealth here in the US. It is also a model for how your ultimate goals regarding HCR will get implemented, and why you should not lament what has gone on with Obamacare.

The government could never have declared upfront that it would finance college tuition for everyone in the country that "needed" it and expect it to have been accepted by taxpayers. So instead it simply got private institutions (banks) to finance it by encouraging lending based on a government guarantee. With demand for college education thus drastically increased due to this effort, tuitions began to rise, making the government guaranteed loans all the more necessary in order to afford it. Then, after sufficient time passed, the "scandal" of "middlemen" banks making profits off of government guarantees, "corporate welfare", was suddenly discovered. Of course, the true welfare beneficiaries, the students who got loans but didn't ever pay them back, were ignored. The banks were suddenly the bad guys. So they get eliminated, and the government becomes much more directly involved than could ever have happened as a stated policy, all through the course of time and simply as gradual but "logical" steps all necessitated by the previous step. This is how socialism happens, at least here in the US.

The same will happen with HCR. First everyone is mandated to buy privately provided health insurance. Then, after sufficient time passes, and after prices skyrocket even more due to increased demand, making government aid necessary for ever more people, the "scandal" of private insurance companies making a profit off of a government policy - mandated insurance - will be discovered, and this travesty of justice will have to be remedied by removal of the dreaded "middleman" who gets "corporate welfare". Again, never mind that the true welfare recipients are the people who get insurance paid for by the government. Thus, your beloved public option will eventuall come to be.

Again, your dream will eventually come true, that is the plan, so you have little to worry about...until even you finally realize that socialism does not work.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"The reason we have government is because government can do things that no other entity can."

There is only one thing that government can do that no other entity can...exercise legal coercion. This is a fact, no matter how hard to your to hide your eyes from it.

"I'm ashamed to be an American."

I think you may not be the only one ashamed about your status as an American.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: I live in a Communist country and my sister lived in semi-Socialist Germany. We've talked about the notion of people being "in it together" and it's positively weird how alien the idea has become in America. Conservative People sneer at the very idea, and make no distinction between the collective benefit and a collective farm. Not surprising given the Gordon Gekko / Ronald Reagan / Ayn Rand sanctification of greed, but note the extent to which conservative ideology reviles the idea of government helping people,equating it with theft and tyranny.

These people really are selfish and morally defective.

Having recently moved from one extreme to the other, I can't begin to tell you how much better life is in a country where the idea of people helping each other isn't considered bizarre.

Conservatives talk about charity and claim to engage in it,but charity depends on the caprice of the national mood and of the Zeitgeist isn't charitable then people starve. Social safety nets need to be institutionall, and since they are being dismantled at the same time as economic and environmental collapse, I wouldn't bet my lunch money on America's future.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Well jeeze, I see I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here today. Scott, I'm a progressive so yeah I prefer policies that promote and benefit students and citizens, cao, I prefer to debate policy rather than personalities, wbgonne, most everything I've ever believed in re policy has either been compromised beyond recognition or perverted somehow to benefit the oligarchy, so I'll just take what little bits and pieces I can get and keep on fighting.

Have a great New Year's everyone, I'm out until Sunday or Monday to party. LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | December 31, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

lms,

"I'm sure this new venture will face some derision from the "realists" but I sure hope it catches on."

I saw this a while back. Not just silly imo (so as not to disappoint you) but a tad hypocritical. Since when is the injustice of "tax cuts for the rich" remedied by contributions to charity?

The guilty-feeling rich need to NOT TAKE their tax cuts and write those extra checks to the government. Private charity is theft. It isn't doing one's civic duty. No?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

gain, your dream will eventually come true, that is the plan, so you have little to worry about...until even you finally realize that socialism does not work.

==

And that, folks, is an example of what Conservative People excel at: lying.

Socialism works just fine, unless your definition of "works" means "enables the unchecked concentration of wealth."

Free markets on the other hand, well, the freest market on the planet is ... Somalia.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"These people really are selfish and morally defective.

Having recently moved from one extreme to the other, I can't begin to tell you how much better life is in a country where the idea of people helping each other isn't considered bizarre.

Conservatives talk about charity and claim to engage in it,but charity depends on the caprice of the national mood and of the Zeitgeist isn't charitable then people starve."

Research consistently shows that conservatives -- especially the dreaded religious ones -- are more generous than liberals. Oops. Compare, e.g., Al Gore and BO to GWB and Dick Cheney as a good anecdotal illustration.

The only people who consider "people helping each other" bizarre are those like you who believe only the government can "help" people.

You constantly boast about your palatial home in Vietnam and how you live like a veritable king there. Preaching and practice are different for you. What a surprise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I was so proud to be an American. In the fourth grade I stood on the very spot Patrick Henry had delivered his liberty or death speech and recited it from memory. My eyes were wet. I went to Sunday School in Fort Monroe and almost every week visited the cell where Jefferson Davis awaited his fate. The Monitor and the Merrimac fought off the shore less than a mile from my house in Virginia.

I truly believed we were a good and great people and the envy and admiration of the world.

Then came Reagan, then the conservative movement, the torture memos, the invasions, the support of Israel, the free market, the dominance of the wealthy, the tea party, Sarah Palin, the town hall disruptions.

I woulld have to be some sort of ogre to be proud to be an American now, and I'm not. Ameica has become vile.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse


The issue with the Constitution is the liberals keep on ignoring

1) the 2nd Amendment

2) the 10th Amendment

3) the Interstate Commerce Clause

4) the Power of Congress to make Immigration laws

5) Anything else they want to ignore, or they just convince a Court to MAKE SOMETHING UP.


.

_______________________________

Ask the democrats if they want the 13th, 14rh and 15th Amendments ignored like they ignore the 2nd and the 10th


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 31, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"I speak four languages. I'm not taking time to educate you in what is supposedly your native tongue."

Indeed, little thaiStik, you are most fluent in the pathetic dead dialect of hate. You educate no one, yourself in particular.

You bring nothing to the discourse, nothing remotely positive; nothing historically, culturally, or economically lucid, or even helpful.

You have faith in, and have joined (for life, G~d willing), a society which is backward in the extreme, and which has yoked itself to a proven failed ideological myth/touchstone. You're not even consistent in your own ideology, if you were I suppose you would have chosen Cuba...you may even have been of some service there. The Vietnamese are, if nothing else, an assiduous people and could do well enough without you, I'm sure.

The 13th circle of Hell is not the Mall of America. It is not the harbinger of civilizational terminus. It is only not to your taste.

As I've said before, you are right where you ought to be...addicted to your own self-regarded brilliance. A Lord Jim-cow, absent the Conradian scruples, of a merely different Cochin river backwater. A very, very lesser demi-devi.

It's well you're there because there's certainly no good future stock to be begotten (giggle) from you for this nation.

You are faithless, a quitter, a useless nag; bereft of any sense of humility, duty, home (or even a sense of humor) excepting that of your own miniscule self-populated circle.

You have no standing. You can bark from the periphery, but you no longer know us; and cannot intelligently, impartially, honestly, nor apparently courteously, pronounce your poisoned POV.

Carry on posting, I don't require the Troll Hunter to disregard you. You disqualify yourself, and are a pixellized object lesson exhibiting the fruits of our tolerance for others differently, uh, modeled. I hope you post here for decades, or until you pass on, alone of course.

Happy New Year!

Posted by: tao9 | December 31, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Cao


I have to give to you

To those who say America Love It or Leave It

You have responded by leaving

Great


Is there any way you can get more liberal to leave too????

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 31, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"You hear it non-stop. Freedom means the selfish indulgence of a spoiled child. Civic virtue counts for nothing. Money is all and the State is evil (pretending all the while that private property can exist without the state)."

Could you point out a couple of examples of where you've heard that definition of freedom advocated?

Can we infer from your statement that, as I've always thought, liberals consider citizens to be children? Do you consider objecting to paying 39.6% marginal rate instead of 35% to be selfish indulgence of a spoiled child? Is that like whining over our allowance being to small?

What definition of "civic virtue" do you have that equates it to paying higher taxes for bureaucrats to distribute rather than genuine civic involvement and responsibility?

Are the leftists participating in the "give it back" program touted by lmsinca exhibiting "civic virtue" by engaging in private charity rather than donating their "tax cuts" back to the government? If so, how are they exempted from your critique?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Before I check out for a couple of days let me just one more time explain why I bother with this place and politics generally. I don't live in Vietnam or Germany, I live and breathe and work here, and I'll die here, not too soon I hope, but nevertheless here I am. I have spent the last 43 years advocating for policies that will advance the health and welfare of the middle class, students and seniors and obviously haven't been terribly successful considering where we are today. I don't particularly care about conservative vs. liberal ideologies as much as I care about fairness. Obviously, that's a difficult term to define but I know it when I see it even though some of you may not see it the same way.

The banks don't need my help promoting their growth, the insurance industry doesn't and neither does Korea, China, India, Japan, Europe or Vietnam. The people who need my help are the ones who want to make a better life for themselves and their families through hard work and as a small business owner I know a lot of them. If that means as we head into an austerity period of history, we are, then anyone or any organization which works to achieve the same goals I have will gain not only my endorsement but whatever meager time and money I can afford.

While I'm here I try to debate policy when there's something on the agenda that's debatable, otherwise, I simply hope to encourage others to remember there are things they can do in their own lives and professions to advance the common (not a nasty term) well being of our fellow citizens.

My goals are both lofty and pointless but I'm too old to let them go so I will just keep on moving until I don't move anymore.

Seriously, Happy New Year.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 31, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"I'm out until Sunday or Monday to party"

Rock on, Imsinca! If the country had a million more like you we'd be in good shape.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 31, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

hahahahahahah

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

lms,

Your goals are certainly not pointless, and you are as young as April is young.

Happy New Year & God Bless.

{{{and that goes for all a yous...yeah you too}}}

Posted by: tao9 | December 31, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Tao writes:

The 13th circle of Hell is not the Mall of America. It is not the harbinger of civilizational terminus. It is only not to your taste.

___________________


Um, Tao, have you been to the food court?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 31, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"Relative to the cost of living here, yes, they are higher-paying than equivalent jobs in America, relative to the cost of living in a profit-maximizing free market."

Do you have any data on this? According to a quick search I did, the Vietnamese price index is 30 against a US price index of 100. That means that the cost of the same basket of goods costs just over 3 times as much in the US as in Vietnam. But median income in the US is over 4 times higher than the median income in Vietnam. Which means that people in the US actually have more purchasing power than people of a comparable income level (relative to the median) in Vietnam.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I stand in awe of tao's takedown. What else or how better could it be said?

Just this punctuation, perhaps:

"Ameica has become vile."

Vile and mall-ridden we may be, but at least we've had one subtraction by immigration from our national vileness quotient this year.


Hats off and Happy New Year, tao.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

lms,

No doubt you are a better person than most of us (no sarc), faulty though some of your prescriptions may be.

Have a blessed new year, and stay safe until it arrives.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: You sound like a really decent person and while I share your ideals I can't share your hopes.

The pivot for me was when a majority of my fellow citizen re-elected a sadist in November 2004, but even then I still had some dim hope.

But with so many voters screaming demands exactly contrary to their own interests, all but holding out their wrists and demanding shackles, well, that's it. The billions of dollars poured into conservative thinktanks and publishing houses and the endless litany of lies from the Club for Growth and the Reagan quips .. no, democracy doesn't work in America anymore.

Now comes the dismantling of Medicare and Social Security and the return of the poorhouse, the breadlines, and, hell, probably cholera and scurvy and rickets too. While banksters clink bourbon glasses and conservatives as impoverished as liberals celebrate their victory.

Nope. It's over. And I chose not to be there to witness the squalor to come.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

cao:

"But with so many voters screaming demands exactly contrary to their own interests..."

You really are a clairvoyant, aren't you? Not only do you know whether or not other people are happy, and what it is that has made them so, you also know what they value and how such that you know even better than they what is in their own interests.

How odd. Usually atheists don't believe in such magical powers. You not only believe in them, you profess to have them! You are one of a kind, cao. (I hope.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Your "quick search" was probably in the Wall Street Urinal.Scott.

Cost of living here is less than a sixth what it is in the USA. Here's a data point for you: I live in the most upscale housing development in the second largest city in the south. This is an "expensive" neighborhood. The houses here sell for about one billion VNĐ. That's about $50K. A meal with meat is under a dollar and it has flavor, and it's always garden fresh. Any professional level job enables home ownership, and a single breadwinner can support a family.

But you stick with National Review or whatever organ of right wing falsehood floats your boat. I just live here, what do I know.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

You really are a clairvoyant, aren't you? Not only do you know whether or not other people are happy, and what it is that has made them so, you also know what they value and how such that you know even better than they what is in their own interests.

==

I think I'm on pretty safe ground saying that anyone not a defense contractor or a billionaire who votes Republican is voting against his own interests, unless he happens to be an Ascetic not quite up to the vow of poverty thing and wants it imposed from outside.

Poverty sucks. Conservative policies lead straight to it. And you can take that snark about clairvoyance and stick it up the hole your poltics come out from.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

You title this little blog/opinion column "Happy Hour Roundup"..yet you put down reciting the "Pledge of Allegiance" in the classroom.. ?

It's no wonder there's a rise in addiction and alcoholism in our youth.
The younger our generations are, the more their "values" deteriorate.

It's a sad state of affairs in this country.

Posted by: CountytaxpayingCHNII | December 31, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

My goals are both lofty and pointless but I'm too old to let them go so I will just keep on moving until I don't move anymore.

Seriously, Happy New Year.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 31, 2010 10:56 AM
-----

And a Happy New Year to you. I don't think anyone here doubts your motives or that your heart is in the right place.

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

hahahahahahah

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 10:57 AM

---

An undirected, spontaneous outburst. I told you all he was unstable. Now Scott, QB, Skip, Tao, Troll, et al. have pushed him to the edge. Cracks are appearing.

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I pledge allegiance to ... the *flag*

Not to any principle, not to the well-being of the people, not to the health of the leader .. to a piece of textile manufactured on the cheap under contract to China so that vendors of patriotic schmalz can maximize shareholder value.

And to those billionaires lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills as their roar with laughter at the rubes who believe the money will trickle down, and at the profit they make denying medical care to children,

One nation, united in support of Israeli settlers who bludgeon old women and steal their land.

Yeah we need to keep this .. ceremony high in our esteem or something is really wrong.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I've decide to utilize my marginal bully pulpit in defense of what Ezra Klein was implying. He obviously was not clear enough, perhaps an analogy would do the trick:

http://www.doubledutchpolitics.com/2010/12/ezra-klein-in-the-cross-hairs-of-right-wing-outrage/

Posted by: RyanC1384 | December 31, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

cao,
"A meal with meat is under a dollar and it has flavor, and it's always garden fresh."

---

I see what he means about the Troll Hunter removing temptation. Were I not blocked, I would be tempted to ask just what sort of meat comes with this meal. And is it the meat or the meal that is "always garden fresh?"

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"Cracks are appearing."

Sincerely, he appears to be a man being consumed by anger and bitterness, and pure hatred.

At least he makes the Ethans and Bernies of the blogworld seem reasonable.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"One nation, united in support of Israeli settlers who bludgeon old women and steal their land."

Figures he's a Jew hater too.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Another data point for Scott.

Very common here: vendor under a sun-brella selling stuff from an ice chest. Plain large styrofoam ice chest like you might take to a company picnic. Selling cold soft drinks, or maybe coconut, or jackfruit. LOTS of jackfruit, we eat it every day.

The tiniest storefront you can imagine, wouldn't even support a homeless person in your Free Market Bankster's Paradise.

Here, that little ice chest by the roadside supports a family of four. Housing, three squares a day, toys for the kids.

So one of those factory jobs at Intel in TPHCM is like getting a corner office at Intel in Folsom.

Meanwhile, in the Land of Maximized Shareholder Value, both parents need to put in overtime and still have to choose between food and medicine.

What a glorious way of life.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Very common here: vendor under a sun-brella selling stuff from an ice chest. Plain large styrofoam ice chest like you might take to a company picnic. Selling cold soft drinks, or maybe coconut, or jackfruit. LOTS of jackfruit, we eat it every day."

You make it all sound so glamerous! That is fulfilling indeed. Roadside vending, the best of all possible worlds. Sign Ethan2010 up!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 31, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I pledge allegiance to ... the *flag*

Not to any principle, not to the well-being of the people, not to the health of the leader .. to a piece of textile manufactured on the cheap under contract to China so that vendors of patriotic schmalz can maximize shareholder value.

And to those billionaires lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills as their roar with laughter at the rubes who believe the money will trickle down, and at the profit they make denying medical care to children,

---

This one claims to read lots of books, but apparently none of them ever involve American History. I grew up in post-WWII America, and I liked it as well as anyone. I've heard people with considerable age disparity, from my mother to Pat Buchanan, look back on the halcyon days which were the fifties (after Korea) with great nostalgia. I like Ike! But before then there were the World Wars, the depression, the robber barons, slavery, the civil war---and all the time, people respected the flag.

After the '50s came the Vietnam war, race riots, the drug scourge, Watergate, 9/11, and the country has so far muddled through just fine. Things change. Time marches on. Some days are better than others. "The golden rule: he who has the gold rules" is not another of cao's original quotes; it's been around for longer than I can remember. Death. Taxes. Supply and demand. Have I forgotten anything?

I recall once when Pat Buchanan, like cao, was waxing nostalgic for the 1950s. Eleanor Clift somehow managed to resist bending over and pecking the table, but she did begin ranting about civil rights and the plight of African-Americans prior to the CRA. You just can't please everyone.

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Figures he's a Jew hater too.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 31, 2010 12:10 PM

---

On the Fix he once called for America to cut loose Israel and arm their enemies.

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"Very common here: vendor under a sun-brella selling stuff from an ice chest. Plain large styrofoam ice chest like you might take to a company picnic. Selling cold soft drinks, or maybe coconut, or jackfruit. LOTS of jackfruit, we eat it every day."

You make it all sound so glamerous! That is fulfilling indeed. Roadside vending, the best of all possible worlds. Sign Ethan2010 up!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 31, 2010 12:18 PM

---

I doubt the government of Vietnam is quite as concerned with food safety as we are here. They don't close places infested with rats as long as the rats are on the menu. Not sure if they get there toys from china. Nothing like chewing on a little lead for dessert.

Posted by: Brigade | December 31, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

cao:

"Cost of living here is less than a sixth what it is in the USA."

I don't know whether you are just making this up off the top of your head (likely), or if you have hard data, but according to the World Bank, the price index for Vietnam is just under 1/3 of the US, 30 vs 100.

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/ICPINT/Resources/icp-final-tables.pdf

And according to this site, local purchasing power is 57.68% lower in Vietnam than in the US.

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=Vietnam

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 31, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

In Indonesia, if you get a few hundred dollars out of a cash machine for a trip. You better have some time on your hands for it to spit out all those bills and something a lot bigger than a wallet to put it all in. Then you find no one will let you pay for anything with those bills, the denominations are too big, they worry they are counterfeit and don't want to make that much change from their till. If you give your driver $1 a day for food, he won't spend it all, not even close and he'll eat really well. No not lunch, 24hours. If you rent a car, you are crazy. You rent a driver who owns a car. They stay near you anywhere you go, days at a time, you never have to worry about parking and stuff like that, they sleep in the car, usually a minivan or a Kijang.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 31, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Scott and those same sources will tell you that literacy here is like 30% and in the USA it's 90%. Yet I've never met an illiterate Vietnamese and I've met plenty of Americans whose vocabularies are barely better than grunts and groans and who can't fill in a form with name and address without beads of sweat popping out on their foreheads.

You've chosen to pretend you didn't read that a single working family member can support a family here, while in the USA you've gone from that to two adults working overtime being unable to`make ends meet, much less save any money, in just a few short decades. That's your lovely Reagan Revolution for you.

Your response? "You're making it up." This from a conservative, the sort of person whose veracity is such that he can say "cutting taxes increases revenue" with a straight face and "global warming is a myth" even as shoreline municipalities are spending millions to deal with rising sea levels and high temperature records are broken anew every year.

Hmm, which to believe, some conservative liar or my own eyes? Wow, tough one.

I need a tooth implant. In the USA it would cost me $4000 and insurance would probably cover nothing, weaseling out on some excuse (gotta maximize shareholder value and executive compensation, dontcha know). Over here that would cost me $100, and the work every bit as good.

A cheap lunch inthe USA would cost me about $10 and consist of hormone- and antibiotic drenched beef with no favor on a bun that tasted like sawdust, no wonder since it came from a factory, not a bakery, with a wilted piece of lettuce and a side of limp oil-drenched fries.

A bình dân lunch over here would cost me about eighty cents, with noodles made an hour ago, pork that was alive two hours ago, a broth with a rich bouquet of flavor, and veggies that were picked that morning, almost no oil at all, richly satisfying.

If your source says that Americans have more buying power for day-to-day necessities, your sourcei s flat-out lying. But then, it's probably a conservative source so that's to be expected.

And more germane: the middle class in the USA is on a hear-lung machine, under direct attack from banksters and Republicans and being starved out. The middle class over here is growing fast, we know plenty of people who were born village and now live like we do. That's the important stuff your propaganda sheet won't tell you, but then you probably think upward mobillity is "redistributive" and having all the money in the hands of a few rich families means all's right in the world.

Wish I believed in Hell so I could be confident conservatives were going to burn in it. If there's any justice they wouldn't have to wait.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 31, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

If you rent a car, you are crazy. You rent a driver who owns a car. They stay near you anywhere you go, days at a time, you never have to worry about parking and stuff like that, they sleep in the car, usually a minivan or a Kijang.

==

If you go down to Phú Quốc Island you can get a taxi for the day, he'll turn into a tour guide if you want that, and you can hire him all day. Go down to the whitest beach on earth and bathe in the warm water, come back to the beach for freshly grilled scallops and salted chili to dip them in served by a young man with eyes you could drown in. While the taxi driver waits for you he's in a hammock with the other drivers in their own area, even their own kitchen, making more humble fare like the rice and noodle basics and he smokes and has a beer or two and relaxes the day away.

Never mind the relative buying power. This is a terrific place to be. I've never been happier.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 1, 2011 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the House can get Justice Scalia to issue opinions on the constitutionality of any new legislation they bring to the floor.

Posted by: rhallnj | January 1, 2011 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Cao:

You could have saved yourself a lot of typing by simply saying "no, I don't have any hard data to support my personal impressions". Anecdotes, insults, and straw men are a poor substitute for actual and factual arguments. Again, you really ought to familiarize yourself with logic and reason.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 1, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing that it doesn't occur to this guy to wonder how such an idyllic existence is possible, where if everyone just didn't work so hard, corporations weren't a significant present, and each family just had one person peddle homegrown food from a cooler, everyone would live a comfortable middle class life. Haha.

"served by a young man with eyes you could drown in."

We really didn't need that.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 1, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I accidently dumped this comment to the wrong item, so here goes.

Heard it todayon NPR: the Dems are considering using the filibuster to dispose of any legislation out of the House they don't like.

It works so well expect it to become a fixture of split legislatures: When a bill the Majority Party doesn't like gets to the Senate, the easy way to kill it is for The Senate majority Leader to immediately call the bill to the floor. A member of the Majority then announces his intent to filibuster. The majority then entertains a motion for cloture. Two days later the Majority votes against cloture, or simply stays away for the vote, and when the Minority can't get 60 votes the bill dies. Quick and efficient. So whenever cloture is attempted and defeated at least one Minority Member must vote with the Minority, (or Majority, since the whole Majority caucus can vote against cloture) in order to request reconsideration.

So we will see a new Senatorial tactic arise.

And the republicans? Will they condemn the tyranny of the Majority for misusing cloture?

Fun, Fun, Fun.

Posted by: ceflynline | January 3, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

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