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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 01/24/2011

Open Thread

By Greg Sargent

Emergency trip to the dentist. I'll try to post again later, but if not, you'll have to suffer through happy hour without me. Either way I'll definitely be back first thing in the morning.

By Greg Sargent  | January 24, 2011; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Miscellaneous  
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Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Geessshhhh The last time Greg went to the dentist, all sorts of chaos broke out...

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Dude, what's wrong with your teeth?

Maybe you need a new dentist. Sounds like this one might be creating problems to fix them, if you know what I mean. Sort of a planned obsolescence.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 24, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully everything's ok this time.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 24, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

You know perfectly well the dentist is working for me...........

.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds like this one might be creating problems to fix them, if you know what I mean."

When I went two weeks ago the dude was almost rubbing his hands in anticipation. "you've been lucky so far, but I'm gonna get in there & drill me a new boat one of these days..."

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 24, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

If you ever get to St. Pete I can fix you up with a great Dentist. Of course she's my wife and so I'm prejudiced. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hope things go OK for you and that your dental problems aren't caused by excessive grinding of your teeth while reading the comments section.

Posted by: jnc4p | January 24, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Don't sweat the happy hour. Hope all gets better soon.

Posted by: michael_conrad | January 24, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Jeez guys, it's just a dental appointment. It's not like Greg's puppy fell into the hands of Homeland Security.

Very good piece here by Will Bunch on Olbermann's training in communist China...

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/The_true_meaning_of_Keith_Olbermann.html

And David Kurtz is irredeemably stupid.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

WP's ombudsman writes his last post titled, appropriately, "Can The Post regain its legacy of excellence?"

It's appropriate because it implicitly acknowledges what has been lost even if Alexander apparently doesn't appreciate (or admit openly here) how bad things are...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2009/02/25/LI2009022502075.html

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

What is it with these people? Is it some hereditary propensity towards pride? A lifetime of living beneath powdered wigs? Has lying just become such a pattern in their neural circuitry that even in this situation they do it?

"Lieberman And Hutchison: We Could Have Won If We Weren't Retiring"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/lieberman-and-hutchison-we-could-have-won-if-we-werent-retiring.php?ref=fpblg

There is no cognizance by these two twits that what they are doing here has no positive consequences but it does carry the deeply negative consequence of further validating the perception that the political class are not worthy of trust nor respect.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

The Conservative Conspiracy had little tiny transmitters implanted in Greg's teeth.

.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Connecting the dots, Glenn Beck style (or Oral Roberts style, take your pick)...

"Arizona State Sen. Linda Gray (R) argued over the weekend that gun control is not the way to prevent another shooting like the one in Tucson. The real answer, she said when asked about preventing such a shooting in the future, is to better "respect the life of an unborn."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/az-goper-roe-v-wade-contributed-to-tucson-shootings.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Russ Feingold in interview:

"NICHOLS: What do you mean when you refer to “the broader struggle”? What should progressives do now?

FEINGOLD: I don’t know how it could be more stark or clear: this entire society is being dominated by corporate power in a way that may exceed what happened in the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century. The incredible power these institutions now have over the average person is just overwhelming: the way they can make these trade deals to ship people’s jobs overseas, the way consumers are just brutalized and consumer protection laws are marginalized, the way this town here—Washington—has become a corporate playground. Since I’ve been here, this place has gone from a government town to a giant corporate headquarters. To me, the whole face of the country—whether it be the government, the media, agriculture, what happens on Main Street—has become so corporatized that the progressive movement is as relevant as it was one hundred years ago, maybe more so. It’s the same issues. It’s just that [corporate] power, because of money, international arrangements and communications, is so overwhelming that the average person is nearly helpless unless we develop a movement that can counter that power. I know we’ve all tried over the years, but this is a critical moment. We need to regenerate progressivism and make it relevant to what’s happening right now. But there’s no lack of historical comparison to a hundred years ago. It’s so similar; the only real difference is that corporate power is even more extended. It’s the Gilded Age on steroids."

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/24/feingold-progressivism/

Yes.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@bsimon1: "When I went two weeks ago the dude was almost rubbing his hands in anticipation. 'you've been lucky so far, but I'm gonna get in there & drill me a new boat one of these days...'"

That's what I'm saying. I think each time Greg goes in, his dentist is thinking: "Daddy needs a new Jaguar!"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 24, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse


Does any liberal really understand what this means?

Rahm Emanuel was on the Freddie Mac board when:

According to a complaint later filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Freddie Mac, known formally as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, misreported profits by billions of dollars in order to deceive investors between the years 2000 and 2002.


deceive investors

deceive investors

deceive investors

deceive investors

deceive investors

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@bernie: "Arizona State Sen. Linda Gray (R) argued over the weekend that gun control is not the way to prevent another shooting like the one in Tucson. The real answer, she said when asked about preventing such a shooting in the future, is to better 'respect the life of an unborn.'"

One wonders why one solution would be unable to positively impact the behavior of crazy people, but the other would magically cure paranoid schizophrenia.

I understand the theory of nurturing a culture of life, but I'm pretty sure Loughner could have been raised by unicorns on a rainbow farm and would still have ended up doing evil.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 24, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Loughner could have been raised by unicorns on a rainbow farm and would still have ended up doing evil.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Excellent point and no doubt accurate.

However, coming from a very pro-gun state myself, I can tell you that if you get the guns out of the hands of crazies, the crazies are still nuts, but they are nuts without guns. I guarantee you can't do as much damage, as fast, with a knife.

In my home state, they confiscate your gun when you go into a bar. That keeps the temporarily crazed from having a gun. I'm pretty sure it's not legal, but every bar does it, and has for decades. Bartender has a box under the bar. The bouncers do their job when anyone objects.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, the nation has already decided it wants Obama out, and that liberalism is dead.

This is going to continue to struggle until the last liberals are running out of positions of power.

I supposed the best way to describe the liberals since the November election is people just whining.

Whining about the election.

Whining about Obama.

Whining about the liberal agenda.


.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Do I have to check my gun when I blog here?


Is there a gun-check?


.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Re; Rep. Gray-

Say what? Reminds me of my neighbor who, upon seeing a sign we made protesting the War in Iraq that we took to Camp Casey in Crawford, said something about abortion.

Beware the stereotyping neighbor.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 24, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

By the way, you democratic hate-mongers, Glen Beck is against violence.


.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Good news:

"Obama won't endorse raising retirement age or reducing Social Security benefits"

President Obama has decided not to endorse his deficit commission's recommendation to raise the retirement age, and otherwise reduce Social Security benefits, in Tuesday's State of the Union address, cheering liberals and drawing a stark line between the White House and key Republicans in Congress.

Over the weekend, the White House informed Democratic lawmakers and advocates for seniors that Obama will emphasize the need to reduce record deficits in the speech, but that he will not call for reducing spending on Social Security - the single largest federal program - as part of that effort."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/24/AR2011012403472.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 24, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

When the Republican judges don't show up for the SOTU...

"And that would be the worst possible outcome for a court that devotes so much of its public energy to appearing above both politics and partisanship." Slate

I don't understand why anyone bothers with the idea that the SCOTUS should be "above" both politics and partisanship, let alone that is is, or ever was. What does above mean anyway, too smart for that? Or are they supposed to all derive from the top dead center of Americana so that their opinions become the center by definition, so ludicrous. What is the purpose of this affectation?

Constitutional hermeneutics is partisan because that is the whole point. The adversarial process, checks and balances...the SCOTUS exists nor only to deal with conflict, but to be in conflict. To the extent the other two branches of government are partisan creatures, so too will be the judges they choose.

I hope the right wing judges don't show up. Tell the whole country what you are really about Thomas, Alito, Scalia and Roberts.

Kennedy will probably make it, ∴ RINO.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@sue,

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Across the political spectrum, there is a lot of support for SS, just as it is, with the necessary taxing tweaks to keep the program going. I believe there is little support for raising the age, reducing the benefits, or means testing them. Hold the line, President Obama, the people are with you.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

RE: Social Security - raise the cap on earnings. Problem solved.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 24, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, Jenn!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 24, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

raise the cap on earnings = class warfare

If the rich don't get richer, then you have class warfare. So long as income disparity widens, then you don't have class warfare. I'm pretty sure that is the Republican line.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

OMG!

Tim Pawlenty has released a campaign promo that is not to be missed....LOL

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/tim-pawlenty-releases-action-movie-campaign-trailer-video.php?ref=fpb

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 24, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

This really needs to become a BFD:

"More troops lost to suicide"

For the second year in a row, the U.S. military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Soldiers

The reasons are complicated and the accounting uncertain — for instance, should returning soldiers who take their own lives after being mustered out be included?

But the suicide rate is a further indication of the stress that military personnel live under after nearly a decade of war.

Figures released by the armed services last week showed an alarming increase in suicides in 2010, but those figures leave out some categories.

Overall, the services reported 434 suicides by personnel on active duty, significantly more than the 381 suicides by active-duty personnel reported in 2009. The 2010 total is below the 462 deaths in combat, excluding accidents and illness. In 2009, active-duty suicides exceeded deaths in battle.

http://www.congress.org/news/2011/01/24/more_troops_lost_to_suicide

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 24, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

If you raise the cap on earnings on SS, Obama VIOLATES his campaign pledge that no one under 250K will get a tax increase.


NOT that Obama hasn't violated anything before.....


.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

RE: Social Security - raise the cap on earnings. Problem solved.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 24, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. So simple and sensible that our political leaders will almost certainly fail to do it.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 24, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama Allows Chinese Violent Rhetoric at White House

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the song selection, instead directing questions about Lang's performance to the National Security Council staff, which was not available to comment.

The 1956 film "Battle on Shangangling Mountain" depicts Chinese troops pinned down under enemy fire on the mountain. Then reinforcements arrive and the troops attack the US soldiers, whom the Chinese refer to as "jackals."

The song Lang played in front of Hu and President Obama includes the verse: "When friends are here, there is fine wine/But if the jackal comes/What greets it is the hunting rifle."


.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

suek, I think it might have something to do with people who volunteer to go to war. But I can't make that case, having no data nor even an idea for a method to create some.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

If the rich don't get richer, then you have class warfare. So long as income disparity widens, then you don't have class warfare.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The corporate corollary:

If corporate America doesn't get major breaks in corporate income taxes and fewer regulations, they will take more jobs overseas.

If they do get major breaks in corporate income taxes and fewer regulations, they will think about it, then they will take more jobs overseas.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Raise the cap on earnings

Do you mean tax the people more who are already getting Social Security ?

OR tax the people who are already PAYING THE MAXIMUM amount into the system ???


WHO DO YOU WANT TO TAX MORE ???


Just to be specific, YOU SOCIALISTS.


.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Re:  SS

If we raise the cap on earnings can we quit calling it "insurance?"

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

If we raise the cap on earnings can we quit calling it "insurance?"
-----------------------------------------------
Why is that important to you?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

At some point, Americans started to attempt to distinquish between Socialism and Communism.

Born of the same Marxism, socialism and communism have the same intellectual roots.

In the 1930s, the Nazis described themselves as socialist - socialists apparently could come from the right as well as the left.

At some point, "european socialism" in Western Europe became distinquished from "communism" in Eastern Europe, the primary distinction being NOT economic, but political - describing an authoritarian political system paired with a communist economic system.

However, that was always a political distinction, not economic.


I am bringing this up because today democrats are finally BEING HONEST and voicing their true feelings - the democrats ARE SOCIALISTS, and they ARE SOUNDING LIKE COMMUNISTS.


"Taxing the rich" is a communist idea - it is an idea that the income you earn is the government's FIRST.


The democrats are sure talking like THEY are entitled to YOUR paycheck before you are.

Meaning - the democrats think they should take a CHUNK of your paycheck, and spend it on whatever union contracts, bureaucrats, massive government programs, THEY THINK they should send funds to -

AND your thoughts about where you are going to spend YOUR money comes later.


WELL - HOW ABOUT THIS SOLUTION???


The democrats start a series of non-profits AND GIVE AS MUCH OF YOUR MONEY TO THOSE NON-PROFITS.

Then democrats, distribute YOUR money the why YOU want.


How about that ???


.

Posted by: SunlightandLowTaxes | January 24, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

12BBA I've been out with a group of people including a guy who is heading to Davos to make the case for green development to the Chinese. He is optimistic about China's government's ability to "get it". Sure I was skeptical, but he said, as opposed to the American situation (nowadays the conservatives have sold the idea: we just want everything to be like it used to be), China has to make the future something its people long for, something they are all willing to work for. If you get invited to Davos, someone thinks you know what you are talking about.

Here, I don't think we can all work together to go backwards. Reactionaries face at least a structural if not epistemological problem. Vote to make the future go away, maybe that can be a Republican slogan.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Better yet - instead of raising the cap on earnings, institute some kind of "excess income/profits" tax on people making over $1 million per year, whether from income, investments, whatever. They can pay another 5 - 10% on all income over that amount to help shore up social security for the serfs.

Posted by: JennOfArk | January 24, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"If we raise the cap on earnings can we quit calling it "insurance?"
-----------------------------------------------
Why is that important to you?"

Yes.  Citizens need to understand that there is no "right" to SS, and that, as a ponzi scheme, it will inevitably collapse.  As a result, citizens will better prepare themselves for their retirement, rather than depending on the government.  

Thanks for asking! ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Liberal panacea: raise taxes on "the rich"; problem solved.

For 75 years the left has defended social security on the ground that it is a retirement contribution/savings program with capped contributions and benefits. Savings and "insurance" they say. Now they want to raise the tax cap and means test benefits, making it just another welfare program.

So be honest and change the name to Retirement Welfare and Income Redistribution Program.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 24, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Rahm Emanuel is OFF the ballot in Chicago.

If Rahm wants to run for Mayor, he can.


This is what Rahm has to do: live in Chicago for one year. It would help if his family is there with him. Rahm's wife and children are still in Washington, believe it or not. And then Rahm can run NEXT TIME there is an election.

Who thinks Rahm will do that?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Trollmcwingnut

If the democrats get their way, they will TAX everyone up to 70% of their income.

Then the democrats will have enough money for all their massive government programs.


Also, the democrats want to allow illegal aliens to RUN WILD in the country. I suppose if they pay into Social Security too, the system will be helped.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Citizens need to understand that there is no "right" to SS, and that, as a ponzi scheme, it will inevitably collapse. As a result, citizens will better prepare themselves for their retirement, rather than depending on the government.
-----------------------------------------------
In 1937, the wage cap was $3000. Every few years the cap has gone up. It has been at $106,800 for the last four years. I was just curious why raising the cap again, as has been done almost annually for 74 years transforms the program.

Seventy four years is a long time for a ponzi scheme to stay in place.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

To All Socialists:

Obama DEFUNDED Social Security last month


By telling people to pay LESS into Social Security, Obama is de-funding the program and making it LESS SAFE.

Why weren't you against that when Obama was pushing that?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Who is talking about means testing SS? I'm against that. First, I agree with qb that fundamentally changes the nature of the program. Second, it will require a government bureaucracy to implement it and the costs of means testing would probably exceed any savings.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"In 1937, the wage cap was $3000. Every few years the cap has gone up. It has been at $106,800 for the last four years. I was just curious why raising the cap again, as has been done almost annually for 74 years transforms the program.

Seventy four years is a long time for a ponzi scheme to stay in place."

If you have a class paying in more than they get in benefits, it's redistribution. Unless you also  raise the benefit payout for that class. And if you do that, than your right back where you started from.

And all ponzi schemes collapse.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

12Bar

With the income you have, you should NOT be collecting Social Security AT ALL.

That is the socialist way. That is what your democratic friends want.


By the way, your democratic friends ALSO want you to take MORE of your investment income and put that towards Social Security, and their other massive government programs.


If you really are a liberal, it sounds like your friends are going to COST you a pack of money.

If you are in favor of this, WHY don't you just SEND A CHECK TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RIGHT NOW.


AND leave the rest of us out of it.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Trollmcwingnut

Do you know what the cap was in the 70s ad 80s and all the increases?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

tao,

I wouldn't be that confident. Even Rassmussen has Obama over 50....currently, 52-47.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 24, 2011 2:03 PM
=========================================

roflol -- that truly is the most laughable thing I have ever read. clue: polls are worthless. you can make people say anything you want just by a change of wording. and not knowing the construction/methodology makes it even more worthless. it's calling 'cherry-picking.'
Posted by: fiona5 | January 14, 2011

Posted by: Brigade | January 24, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

-roflol -- that truly is the most laughable thing I have ever read. clue: polls are worthless. you can make people say anything you want just by a change of wording. and not knowing the construction/methodology makes it even more worthless. it's calling 'cherry-picking.'
Posted by: fiona5 | January 14, 2011

Posted by: Brigade | January 24, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse-

Ouch. That'll leave a mark.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

If you have a class paying in more than they get in benefits, it's redistribution. Unless you also raise the benefit payout for that class.
---------------------------------------------------------
I believe that the tradition for the cap is that the cap is used for taxation purposes and to calculate benefits. Why would that not be the case again? I don't know what the cap would have to go to to work, so I am not advocating capless or some huge jump. Would have to look at the projections. I assume the jump would be something like it's been the last ten years, about 3-4%.

That seems to have worked for 74 years. Why not another 74 years?

Why is SS a ponzi scheme and one's pension from GE not a ponzi scheme? Just curious.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"Seventy four years is a long time for a ponzi scheme to stay in place."

This is an interesting point. I think it has survived for all this time for two reasons.

1) It is legal.
2) People still believe.

No matter how many Americans say, "I know I won't see a dollar of all that money I put into SS," they don't believe it. They still believe they are investing in a social compact that will help them and theirs someday. If they did not, if people thought all of the money they put into SS is just gone, then we would see more and more people pulling out.

As an aside, insurance is always about redistribution. When you don't have to buy it, you are either betting against your choices and your luck, or you know something the company does not know. Mandated, whole population insurance is socialism but that is a separate point.

Back to believing, all over the world there are shadow economies, nations where the gdp can not be measured because there is no social contract. If the government is so corrupt it can only borrow against its promises to exist, well generally we call that the developing world. So what are we, the degenerate world? Some say yes.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""What is it with these people?""

Funny, as I read your post I was thinking “What is it with Bernie?”

Lieberman is “lying” because he says he thinks he would have won had he decided to run again? As I said to you the other day regarding your use of “dishonest”, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 7:05 PM | Report abuse

It is, but one that a person voluntarily enters into.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Nobody, but nobody is as concerned about “controlling” people as Republicans have been trying to control women’s wombs.

Posted by: lindalovejones | January 24, 2011 6:20 PM
==========================================

Speaking of polls and wombs, Dems speak for women's wombs, Repubs speak against murder:

From Obama's first year:

"PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll, conducted May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves "pro-life" on the issue of abortion and 42% "pro-choice." This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995."
---
and now:

"Gruesome allegations surrounding what some are calling an abortion mill in Philadelphia are reverberating across Capitol Hill and could shape a new national debate on abortion laws.

"In case after case, Dr. Gosnell and his assistants induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the 6th, 7th and 8th month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of their necks with scissors, severing their spinal cords," said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams."

Get ready. The tide is shifting.

Posted by: Brigade | January 24, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Kevin said:
"One wonders why one solution would be unable to positively impact the behavior of crazy people, but the other would magically cure paranoid schizophrenia.

I understand the theory of nurturing a culture of life, but I'm pretty sure Loughner could have been raised by unicorns on a rainbow farm and would still have ended up doing evil."

That's not a compelling argument for a whole set of reasons.

One, Loughner is not an isolated case and functions as a straw man for you. I've posted or linked a number of detailed descriptions of cases where right wing/conservative factions have committed violence for political ends. There is no comparison between that long list and anything similar by liberals in America.

Two, the term "culture of live" is a PR fiction utilized to give credibility or an appearance of moral rectitude to the religious right's campaign against abortion and a woman's right to choose. But American conservatives are deeply inconsistent in their valuation of life. Capital punishment is supported by conservatives at percentages not matched by liberals Torture is supported by conservatives at percentages not matched by liberals. Zest for war is higher in conservative groups than in liberal groups (exceptions but overall that's the case). Healthcare and infant mortality is a concern which is reflected in liberal policies and values more than in modern conservative policies and values. Providing meals and other sorts of support for poor families is supported by liberals moreso than modern conservatives. Etc. It's a long list and conservatives (modernly) do not compare well in these many measures. Even (for goodness sakes) in consideration of risk to a pregnant mother's life. To refer to this movement as supporting or cultivating a "culture of life" does not reflect the real world.

A better term, because it is far more accurate, would be to label the modern conservative movement as a "culture of punishment".

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

""This is an interesting point. I think it has survived for all this time for two reasons.

1) It is legal.
2) People still believe.""

Your first reason is correct, but the second reason is not that people believe in it (although many do), but rather because it is compulsory. It doesn't matter whether I believe in it if I have to pay into it anyway.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

shrink2,
"I hope the right wing judges don't show up. Tell the whole country what you are really about Thomas, Alito, Scalia and Roberts."
=======================================

About not permitting a disrespectful nitwit, who slandered you with an outright lie in the last State of the Union, have a chance to do it again. But Joe Wilson will be there.

Posted by: Brigade | January 24, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

@sue - thanks for the Pawlenty movie trailer. The man could leap up and catch an asteroid with his teeth, clearly.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

No matter how many Americans say, "I know I won't see a dollar of all that money I put into SS," they don't believe it. They still believe they are investing in a social compact that will help them and theirs someday.
-----------------------------------------------------
Btw, folks, there is nothing new about the fear that SS will not be there for **me**. When I started working, we all said that. Meanwhile, we dutifully paid in and supported our grandparents. Now, I'm closer to SS age than I would want to admit, and guess what, it will be there for me. But I sure didn't believe it.

I think this idea that SS won't be there for me, is an urban legend, sort of like Chinese restaurants serving cat meat. Everyone's heard it, but it's never happened.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I asked: Why is SS a ponzi scheme and one's pension from GE not a ponzi scheme? Just curious.

Troll answered "It is, but one that a person voluntarily enters into".

That was the answer to my question, right?
------------------------------------------------------------
I think you are right that if SS is a ponzi scheme, so are pension plans. They are not fundamentally different.

So, how about annuity contracts and life insurance? How are they different from pension plans and SS?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

all taxation is redistribution. That's the point of it. A group of adults can use that word without it being some dog whistle for "black, socialist, Communist, Nazi black guy!"

But the conversation falls apart when you have a few people who value being Conservative over being adult.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Re: SS

If we raise the cap on earnings can we quit calling it "insurance?"

Absolutely! It hasn't been "insurance" for decades so why continue the charade. Raise the freaking cap on the earnings so a millionaire doesn't pay less than 1% while we working stiffs get to pay 7.65%. OMG would Tricky Ricky Scott only get to keep 7 million...yes 7 million of his annual lucre made from cheating patients and the U.S. Gov't and our taxpayers. Ohhhh the humanity...ONLY SEVEN MILLION A YEAR INSTEAD OF TEN MILLION.

Gordon Gecko has Mother Theresa's generous spirit compared to some of the mind numbingly selfish righties on this blog.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""Providing meals and other sorts of support for poor families is supported by liberals moreso than modern conservatives. ""

Not according to the only actual study of the issue that I am aware of.

http://www.amazon.com/Who-Really-Cares-Compasionate-Conservatism/dp/0465008216

Perhaps you are conflating the notion of "providing" with "forcing others to provide", which is almost certainly more prevalent among liberals than conservatives.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

One, Loughner is not an isolated case and functions as a straw man for you. I've posted or linked a number of detailed descriptions of cases where right wing/conservative factions have committed violence for political ends. There is no comparison between that long list and anything similar by liberals in America.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 7:11 PM
=========================================

I guess bernie slept through the 1960s and 1970s.

Posted by: Brigade | January 24, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin - ps

If the woman's argument had merit then this would be reflected in a few ways that are susceptible to empirical measure. For example:
- a comparison of violent criminal acts (or murders) per capita before Roe and after
- a comparison of America and other nations where access to abortion differs in legality and constraint

I'll wager that the lady in question hasn't bothered to do any substantive research to verify her beliefs. I'll further wager that even if she did and the research argued for a different conclusion that she wouldn't feel it necessary to alter her conclusion.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

sort of like Chinese restaurants serving cat meat. Everyone's heard it, but it's never happened.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 7:19 PM
=======================================

Once again, you're thinking of Vietnam.

Posted by: Brigade | January 24, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Bernie

How about all the violence related to the union-organized marches against free trade?

You really have no idea what you are talking about


Besides, you promised everyone you would leave the blog, WHEN IS THAT GOING TO HAPPEN.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin

Ok my Memphis computer geek...can you explain something for me...how is it you...with a passing interest..can cobble together and effective psycho blocker and yet the IT wizards at WaPo who are presumably actually paid to do this can't figure it out....I mean really Kevin..have you ever thought about moving from Memphis to the DC area. All by your lonely little self in Tennessee you have accomplished something the entire IT dept at WaPo can't figure out. You my friend must be the equivalent of the proverbial rocket scientist.

@Greg

Hire Kevin please...he can give you guys a psycho blocker that actually works...do it please...I can't last much longer....

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 7:31 PM | Report abuse

So, how about annuity contracts and life insurance? How are they different from pension plans and SS?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 7:24 PM
=========================================

Well, upon until now, I've sort of looked at the federal government as less likely to go bankrupt and default on its promises than a private company---but I'm beginning to wonder.

Posted by: Brigade | January 24, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

"Not according to the only actual study of the issue that I am aware of."

Because you're an idiot who only seeks out information to support your beliefs. As if you have ever been influenced by a study on anything. Somehow you still believe evolution is false.

Also, your premise falls apart when you exclude people who are attempting to buy salvation.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

@ruk,

I don't quite get the all-or-nothing rhetoric on this subject. The SS cap has been raised nearly every year since it began. The last ten years the cap has risen 3-4% per year. The cap is also used for benefit calculations. That has been the history.

I haven't looked at the projections, but would the projections really require a complete lifting of the cap? I would suspect that increasing the cap a modest amount, while using the new cap to calculate benefits, as has been done for 74 years, would produce a solvent program.

No big deal. No dramatic changes. No means testing.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Gordon Gecko has Mother Theresa's generous spirit compared to some of the mind numbingly selfish righties on this blog.""

Mother Theresa expended her own time and energy doing her good works. She didn't demand that others do it for her.

As I have mentioned several times here before, spending other people's money, as you are clearly wont to do, is no act of generosity.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"I guess bernie slept through the 1960s and 1970s."

We're no longer living fifty years in the past, Mr Van Winkle.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"So, how about annuity contracts and life insurance? How are they different from pension plans and SS?"

Again, they're not coerced.  It's a voluntary agreement.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"Gordon Gecko has Mother Theresa's generous spirit compared to some of the mind numbingly selfish righties on this blog."

I doubt any of the Conservatives on here are millionaires. They just mindlessly spout Conservative Things.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"Not according to the only actual study of the issue that I am aware of."

Because you're an idiot who only seeks out information to support your beliefs. As if you have ever been influenced by a study on anything. Somehow you still believe evolution is false.

Also, your premise falls apart when you exclude people who are attempting to buy salvation.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 7:34 PM
=========================================

Notice the paucity of facts or evidence in all of DDORK's posts. He's doesn't produce a study for comparison, he just calls you an idiot and says you still believe evolution is false---which is liberal speak for not believing that the universe is one grand accident. Nothing whatsoever in the way of an actual response to the subject at hand. Some might even call it a lie.

Posted by: Brigade | January 24, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"Again, they're not coerced. It's a voluntary agreement."

Auto insurance?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

suek, I think it might have something to do with people who volunteer to go to war. But I can't make that case, having no data nor even an idea for a method to create some.

Posted by: shrink2

Shrink as somebody who once foolishly volunteered to go to war I'm not sure you're on to anything here at all...Oliver Stone did not come back suicidal...yes I know...no real sample base...but before you jump the shark to predisposition perhaps you'd learn more by spending a year in a war zone...but not a war zone like TV...a war zone where nothing happens for a week or two..you are friendly with the natives..and then the next thing you know one of your buddies has his package blown off by an IED placed by one of those "friendlies" even after Pompous Petraeus has won their hearts and minds. Now multiply this into maybe a dozen freakish horrible things that happen to you over the year...then get sent back again...ohhhh and yet again...

You people all think "War is hell" is a bunch of words...a cliche...spend a year in a war zone where the friendlies might shoot you in the back a moment after joking with you..with buddies mutilated by unseen devices that suddenly explode.

Damn people get a freaking clue. There are less than 1% of us doing all this dirty work...no we get to sit back here on our candy arses and shout crap like "Bring it On" Oooooo I'm impressed. If there's anything worse than a bully it's some wussy acting like he's tough...a freaking boy cheerleader at that...yeah bring it on...because some other poor schmoe is going to actually do the fighting.

Does anybody understand the profound reality of Life and Death?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@troll,

I don't think that ponzi schemes are defined as compulsory. In fact, ponzi schemes (the kind that the law shuts down) are all voluntary.

I think that ponzi schemes are defined by their structure.

If insurance, annuities, pension plans and SS are ponzi schemes, they are legal ones and seemingly have found a way to exist in perpetuity. You may find them unstable scams, and I can actually understand why you think that, but there is little evidence of their actual collapse.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""If the woman's argument had merit then this would be reflected in a few ways that are susceptible to empirical measure. For example:
- a comparison of violent criminal acts (or murders) per capita before Roe and after""

This has actually been done. Or, rather, something quite like it has been done. It was reported in the book Freakonomics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legalized_abortion_and_crime_effect

"Donohue and Levitt point to the fact that males aged 18 to 24 are most likely to commit crimes. Data indicates that crime in the United States started to decline in 1992. Donohue and Levitt suggest that the absence of unwanted aborted children, following legalization in 1973, led to a reduction in crime 18 years later, starting in 1992 and dropping sharply in 1995. These would have been the peak crime-committing years of the unborn children."

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"Again, they're not coerced. It's a voluntary agreement."

12BB, exhibit number 12 billion of the futility of trying to have a conversation with these people. As if this has anything to do with anything. Oh wait, you can start playing patriotic music and show pictures of the American flag and pictures of MLK when talking about the freeness of life insurance. We can hire Pawlenty's people to make an ad about it.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I have a question for the conservatives on board our leaky little vessel here.

If, in 2012, Obama wins re-election, would that entail that Americans have sent conservatives a message and that Obama's values and agenda are explicitly validated by the will of the people and that conservative values and agenda are correctly seen as representing a direction which Americans - democratically - have rejected?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

ps...that's a trick question.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

""Because you're an idiot who only seeks out information to support your beliefs.""

I do? And you know this how?

""Somehow you still believe evolution is false.""

I do? And you know this how?

""Also, your premise falls apart when you exclude people who are attempting to buy salvation.""

You mean people like Mother Theresa?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@Troll some reading material for you unless your brain has been calcified by too much right wing propaganda and you can no longer keep an open mind...and for anybody else interested in a real discussion of deficit's ponzi schemes and other right wing corporate scare tactics.

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/keep-large-debt-numbers-in-context/1146801

The projected $70 trillion debt referenced above is accumulated over the next 75 years.

But how does it compare to the nation's ability to pay? That is, what proportion is $70 trillion to the 75-year national income?

We don't know how fast America's national income will grow, but we can estimate high, low and "best guess" numbers.

At a "pessimistic" economic growth rate of zero percent, the gross domestic product will total $1.05 quadrillion over the next 75 years; at an "average" 2 percent rate, the GDP will total $2.46 quadrillion; and, at an "optimistic" 3 percent rate, the GDP will total $3.95 quadrillion.

Comparing $70 trillion to these three numbers, we see that debt as a percent of the GDP varies from 7 percent at zero economic growth to 2.84 percent at 2 percent growth and to slightly more than 1.77 percent at 3 percent growth. Such computation demonstrates that while the projected $70 trillion debt figure represents an important problem, it is also a problem that is quite manageable. Sure, let's get better control over the national budget, but there is no need to panic or take sudden actions with Social Security, or continue the neglect of our roads and rail networks.

Omitting information is misleading


Because much of the general public has only a tenuous understanding of such large numbers, we propose the following rules for the commentariat — reporters, politicians, pundits and professors.

Rule No. 1: Never use large debt numbers without stating the time period in which they are incurred and the corresponding proportion to ability to pay.

Rule No. 2: Never repeat statements made by others that fail to adhere to Rule No. 1, unless it is to include the missing information.

Rule No. 3: Report all failures to adhere to Rule No. 1 as a failure of professional ethics.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Washington, DC…Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today that Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, VA, confessed on January 12, 2011, to altering an Abraham Lincoln Presidential pardon that is part of the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives. The pardon was for Patrick Murphy, a Civil War soldier in the Union Army who was court-martialed for desertion.
Lowry admitted to changing the date of Murphy’s pardon, written in Lincoln’s hand, from April 14, 1864, to April 14, 1865, the day John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. Having changed the year from 1864 to 1865, Lowry was then able to claim that this pardon was of significant historical relevance because it could be considered one of, if not the final official act by President Lincoln before his assassination.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

rukidding

Propose whatever you want

How about if the liberals just get lost?

How about you can take your name-calling, hate-mongering, bait-and-switch ways and just get lost ?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

@ddawd,

I actually understand why Troll thinks that insurance is a ponzi scheme. That is not an uncommon view, and it's not completely crazy. Insurance basically takes money from a bunch of people to pay a few people. Ponzi schemes take money from a bunch of people to pay a few people. At that level, they are pretty similar.

Insurance products though are designed to succeed. Premiums are high enough, along with investment earnings, to be sufficient to pay off and continue in business. Losses are based on actuarial projections.

Ponzi schemes are designed to fail. There is just enough money to pay off the first couple of levels, then there isn't enough. I read somewhere that all ponzis collapse by the 29th level.

That's why insurance contracts pay off, and ponzis collapse. But the distinction is fairly subtle and is in the details.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"I haven't looked at the projections, but would the projections really require a complete lifting of the cap? I would suspect that increasing the cap a modest amount, while using the new cap to calculate benefits, as has been done for 74 years, would produce a solvent program.

No big deal. No dramatic changes. No means testing."

It is interesting that the ponzi, er, insurance scheme needs to be adjusted every year or else it becomes "insolvent," no?

Again, increasing the salary cap has always resulted in a corresponding increase in benefits, to keep the rubes illusion of "insurance" rather than redistribution intact.  If you do that again, how do you increase solvency?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

rukidding

OK you want a time period How about calendar year 2010 ???

Why did Obama tell us the deficit was $1.3 Trillion - WHILE the National debt went up by $1.7 Trillion ???


Where is the other 400 Billion ???


And this is a time period in which the banks were supposed to be Paying BACK the TARP money - so we need an investigation as to WHERE ALL THE MONEY IS.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""If, in 2012, Obama wins re-election, would that entail that Americans have sent conservatives a message and that Obama's values and agenda are explicitly validated by the will of the people and that conservative values and agenda are correctly seen as representing a direction which Americans - democratically - have rejected?""

I'm not too big on attributing anything to "Americans" as if the term represented an actual thing with a singular will and motivation. So the question is not only a trick question, it is coherently unsound. But, to the extent that it has any meaning, the answer is, of course, not necessarily. The selection of Obama in 2012 could result from any number of reasons. And, of course, what if "Americans" pick Obama but at the same time give the Senate back to the R's and increase their majority in the House?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

"Does anybody understand the profound reality of Life and Death?"

That was my point.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

@12Bar The all or nothing rhetoric is ALL the present right wing understands. Nuance is not something they do well.

The entire SS scare...the sky is falling because of the deficit is what they need to motivate the base....I'm hardly the first to say...Clinton actually campaigned on it...but honestly...lets' see one righty here deny it...the right always operates by playing to our fears not our hopes. That's just the way it is. In fact they actually resent any optimism...look at Sister Sarah..."How's the hopey changey thing workin out for you"

Did this harpy witch actually take pleasure that she felt vindicated if she could dash everybody's hope and desire for change....these people are simply mean spirited...as reflected in their words and actions.

But 12Bar I know you're far more measured than me...not the firebrand..:-) and so I would suggest that if people followed those three rules laid out by the economics professors WHENEVER THEY DISCUSS THE DEFICIT..we'd all be a lot better off.
If you haven't read that entire article...do..I think you'll enjoy it.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

If you do that again, how do you increase solvency?
---------------------------------------
Seems to have worked.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"Ponzi schemes take money from a bunch of people to pay a few people."

Um, the implication of a Ponzi scheme is that everyone gets paid. That's why they fail. You don't have a positive expectation when buying insurance.

If you want a Ponzi scheme, look at these financial bubbles that burst every few years. The bubbles burst because everyone has a positive expectation.

Of course, ask Conservatives what they think about regulation and oversight over the forces that create these bubbles. Then ask them again how they feel about Ponzi schemes.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Sully links this brilliant old Amazing Randi demonstration of how we humans can so easily fall prey to belief systems when they appear to validate hopeful notions we have about ourselves or our futures, or that promise some control over what will come to be if we behave in certain proscribed ways (like burning a calf on an alter or praying for crops or for healthy children or for all the other things Michelle Bachmann apparently prays for).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Dp2Zqk8vHw&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: bernielatham | January 24, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

have a question for the conservatives on board our leaky little vessel here.

If, in 2012, Obama wins re-election, would that entail that Americans have sent conservatives a message and that Obama's values and agenda are explicitly validated by the will of the people and that conservative values and agenda are correctly seen as representing a direction which Americans - democratically - have rejected?

Posted by: bernielatham


_____________________________

What are you going to SAY since the Conservatives have been validated in the November 2010 elections ???

Obama and the liberals GOT their message.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

The difference between ponzi schemes and insurance is not in the details, it is in belief, it is about continuity and fungibility. The great majority, the vast majority of people who pay into insurance do not get a fraction of what they paid in and more important, they hope that that it true. So most people should be self insured, right? Wrong. Insurance is how America deals with the need for socialism.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

@ddawd,

Of course, you are right that ponzi participants all expect to be paid. My point is that in reality, only a few people get paid, before the whole thing collapses. And that is primarily because the scheme is designed for failure.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

"I have a question for the conservatives on board our leaky little vessel here."

I'm going to give this question all the careful attention and sincere response bernie gives to questions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 24, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

A ponzi scheme depends upon an ever growing population of new entrants joining at the lower levels in order to make promised payments to those exiting the scheme. And that is why Ponzi schemes inevitably fail. Eventually their aren't enough contributors around to pay off those already in.

Insurance is totally different. It does not depend upon a growing population of those buying insurance. It can and does exist in a closed population.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

You don't have a positive expectation when buying insurance.
-----------------------------------------
Not true when you talk about life insurance. Everyone expects to be paid the face amount.

It is true when you talk about casualty or health insurance.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"Insurance is how America deals with the need for socialism. "

Wow, I like this.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

@shrink

"Insurance is how America deals with the need for socialism."

The night is young...but man that is going to be hard to top!!!! Pithy line of the evening award goes to you shrink.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Scott, the difference is in the design of premiums and payouts.

Ponzis promise a payout that cannot be met without a world's supply of new entrants.

Insurance promises a payout that can be met in a closed system. One of the safeguards is reinsurance when the insuror cannot meet its obligations.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

"@ddawd,

Of course, you are right that ponzi participants all expect to be paid. My point is that in reality, only a few people get paid, before the whole thing collapses. And that is primarily because the scheme is designed for failure."

I don't consider this a minor distinction. A Ponzi scheme could go on forever if people were willing to lose their money for a small chance at gaining large returns. Kind of like a lottery or a casino.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

"I can actually understand why you think that, but there is little evidence of their actual collapse."

Your generosity of understanding serves you well, and I thank you.  Does the fact that we're discussing SS's insolvency demonstrate evidence of potential collapse?  Would AIG have staved off insolvency without a massive bailout?  Are there any public employee pension plans on the brink?  New Jersey perhaps? New York?  California?  I guess you are correct, there just isn't any evidence.  Worldcom and Enron retiree's are sitting pretty.

And Bernie, is driving compulsory?  Are there literally millions of people who live there lives without driving?

I'm also wondering if you could provide us with the obviously dramatic and readily available statistical data that demonstrates an increase in so-called "rightwing" violence. That's what was so shocking about Freakonomics, it demonstrated that what we "know" to be true sometimes isn't.  

And thank you for asking such a provocative question. :-)

12bar, thanks for the dialogue. :-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

A lottery is insurance inverted.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

A Ponzi scheme could go on forever if people were willing to lose their money for a small chance at gaining large returns.
------------------------------------------------
Right you are. Assuming that these kind of gambling ponzis were properly designed.

I'm just backing up Troll's view of all these products as ponzi schemes. I really understand his pov, because I've thought of it myself.

There are other ways to look at the difference between ponzis and insurance products. Expectation of payout is a valid distinction. But, again, all life insurance beneficiaries expect a full payout.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

""Not true when you talk about life insurance. ""

Well, that depends on whether it is term or whole life.

""Scott, the difference is in the design of premiums and payouts.""

Exactly. They are totally different things.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

"Providing meals and other sorts of support for poor families is supported by liberals moreso than modern conservatives."

"Providing" these with other people's money is what is "moreso" supported by liberals. What conservatives do more of is actually providing them with their own resources.

Studies consistently prove this, and it's borne out by the examples of say, the stingy Obamas and Bidens of the world versus the "greedy" and evil but strangely generous Cheneys and Bushes.

This thread proves for the thousandth time that liberals are simply incapable of understanding, or disingenuously deny, that fundamental difference. They congratulate themselves on their morality for redistributing other people's money, and dismiss as greedy those who give their own.

Up is down, left is right, black is white.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 24, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@troll,

Of course if the payor of pensions has the plan underfunded, or raids the fund, or goes bankrupt, they will default on their obligation. There are lots of pension plans that were properly designed which have not failed.

But that is different than a ponzi scheme which inevitably collapses. All ponzis collapse.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

In a lotto, you pay a little, betting on your good luck.
With insurance, you pay a lot, betting on bad luck.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

""Insurance is how America deals with the need for socialism.""

Entirely incorrect.

Insurance is how America (and not just America) deals with the need for risk sharing. Socialism is an entirely different way of dealing with that same need.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

Seems like we agree.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

If you have a class paying in more than they get in benefits, it's redistribution.

==

So?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

"Entirely incorrect.

Insurance is how America (and not just America) deals with the need for risk sharing. Socialism is an entirely different way of dealing with that same need."

lol, I knew this would touch a nerve with the Conservatives. It's a small distinction. Not "entirely incorrect"

But I like the cognitive dissonance. How can something as holy and pure as a health insurance company be equated with something so demonic as...*gasp* SOCIALISM???

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Texas was biggest moocher of stimulus.


http://www.businessinsider.com/busted-texas-was-the-1-stimulus-moocher-2011-1

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 24, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Socialism is how human beings deal with the need for risk sharing.

Rugged individualism is how Americans deal with their fantasies.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

"Socialism is how human beings deal with the need for risk sharing.

Rugged individualism is how Americans deal with their fantasies."

Wow. Devastating.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

http://www.businessinsider.com/busted-texas-was-the-1-stimulus-moocher-2011-1

I wonder if Scott read this. He is so astutely aware of studies.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Chico is going to win in Chicago

Rahm is off the ballot for good.

The Illinois Supreme Court may not even take the case. Illinois has to start printing ballots - and early voting starts in ONE WEEK. So Rahm is OUT OF TIME. The two minute warning was a few weeks ago.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

A better term, because it is far more accurate, would be to label the modern conservative movement as a "culture of punishment"

==

Outstanding post and perfect summation.

You might have added the contempt by TWRTTAC for nonhuman life. They see no immorality whatever in sending wildlife to extinction. But I can understand how including this would only serve to provide an opportunity for distraction, one that TWRTTAC would be sure to take.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse


have a question for the conservatives on board our leaky little vessel here.

If, in 2012, Obama wins re-election, would that entail that Americans have sent conservatives a message and that Obama's values and agenda are explicitly validated by the will of the people and that conservative values and agenda are correctly seen as representing a direction which Americans - democratically - have rejected?

Posted by: bernielatham


_____________________________


Bernie

Why won't you accept the fact that Obama and his liberal agenda has already been rejected by the voters in November 2010???


Seriously man, get over it.

Obama pulled a bait-and-switch on YOU. And now liberalism is dead for a generation.

Accept it.


Case closed.

.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

""Socialism is how human beings deal with the need for risk sharing. ""

Unless, of course, they deal with it in other ways, such as through insurance.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Gordon Gecko has Mother Theresa's generous spirit compared to some of the mind numbingly selfish righties on this blog.

==

More and more I think these Keyboard Kommandos with the caricatures of liberalism are really in it for the shock value. Writing that people should be left to starve sounds all eevil and harsh and, really, it's no different than some adolescent trying to scare hs parents with death metal lyrics and skull / snake T-shirts.

IRL they're probably mostly exceptionally powerless and incapable people.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"all taxation is redistribution. That's the point of it."

What explains this level of density and/or ignorance of issues in someone so persuaded of his own inerrancy? What utter absurdity.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 24, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"Unless, of course, they deal with it in other ways, such as through insurance."

We love our football stadiums, I get that. But, how much of our country's gdp are you willing to pay for the health care combine?
You know, at the receiving end, there is no difference between public and private insurance. Ask Florida''s Governor where one leaves off and the other starts.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

""But, how much of our country's gdp are you willing to pay for the health care combine?""

You are changing the topic, which is perhaps your way of conceding the point? Socialism is not just another name for risk sharing.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I think Troll's real objection isn't SS' potential for insolvency but the fact of SS being a social safety net. In the perfect world of TWRTTAC a lot of people suffer a lot. There's just something wrong in their black hearts with the idea of taking money from people who have it and giving it to people who need it. It's far more moral to let people suffer than it is to redistribute money.

I have no difficulty viewing such people as morally deficient, and in fact that pretty much explains them completely.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

I've never been to a "socialist" country. Are you arguing that insurance, say house insurance, does not exist?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

shrink

You are on fire tonight. You are entertaining me enough to scroll through the blog psycho.

"Socialism is how human beings deal with the need for risk sharing.

Rugged individualism is how Americans deal with their fantasies."

Yeooowww Shrink. You know that old saying about how the truth hurts...that gem is going to get our righties knickers in a real wad!!! LMAO

@Cao Look at the bright side. While I've shared in the past that I agree with your substance if not always your style...these buforts are making me think you are mild....

Cao you're good at analyzing these gomers...explain this..

Sarah Palin goes to Nashville and crows.."Hows that hopey changey thing workin out for ya" Aside from the obvious response of..."a whole hell of a lot better than that harpy witch thing is working for you....I mean snark aside..
What does it say about a group of people who denigrate hope? Really!!! People who can't understand why we might want change after losing 40% of our net worth during the last administration...efffinnn aaa I want some change from these losers!

Fast forward to today where we had a horrible tragedy in St. Pete. Two police officers gunned down..a third seriously injured...and this literally happened while they are burying two other police officers in Miami...and what do these malungins do?...Snark! Oops a US Marshal shot in Florida..Wow Sarah Palin again.

Three kids without a father, two women without husbands..and these sickies and those sickos that defend them..find it an occasion for snark because in their pea brains...alll that bashing of hope...all that narcissism, all that perpetual whining, hateful divisive talk about "real" Americans..."he's not like us"...after spewing all that hate they wonder why their patron saint is viewed so horribly....ohhh yeah...because someone had the temerity of playing a video tape of the victim decrying being placed in crosshairs. Does anybody really care to venture a guess as to what Malkin, Beck, Hannity et al would have said in the 24 hours if that had been Palin who was shot instead of Giffords.

Well Cao I'll leave you to finish my rant...you do it so much better than me.

@12Bar...I leave it to you to make all the cogent points with such measured elegance.
You and lmsinca may not be saints but I do wish I shared in your equanimity...it's really impressive amongst some of the cretins on this blog.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"I've never been to a "socialist" country."

Then why do you pontificate on something you've never experienced. Would it be the end of the world if you moved to Scandanavia and found out you like it...oh for shame.

No don't open you mind anytime soon or you'll lose your right wing papers...a closed mind is the second requirement.
The first requirement to being a good righty... be afraid...be very afraid..it's all about FEAR!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

""Are you arguing that insurance, say house insurance, does not exist?""

He's not arguing anything. He's pushing a slogan.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"Socialism is not just another name for risk sharing."

In your HUMBLE opinion.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Socialism is just another name for risk sharing. You can do it badly or you can do it well. In this century, we will learn to do socialism better, if not well. If I did not think that I would not have had children.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Then why do you pontificate on something you've never experienced.""

You should probably familiarize yourself with the difference between a question and pontificating.

""The first requirement to being a good righty... be afraid...be very afraid..it's all about FEAR!""

You mean like when Bernie stokes fear about how "dangerous" the modern right is? Is that what you mean?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"Socialism is just another name for risk sharing."

No, not hardly it isn't.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 24, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

""I've never been to a "socialist" country."

Then why do you pontificate on something you've never experienced. Would it be the end of the world if you moved to Scandanavia and found out you like it...oh for shame.

No don't open you mind anytime soon or you'll lose your right wing papers...a closed mind is the second requirement.
The first requirement to being a good righty... be afraid...be very afraid..it's all about FEAR!"

Hi ruk! Great to read your posts, and I hope all is well. I did not perceive that I was "pontificating" about anything, merely asking, based on shrink's assertion that "Socialism is how human beings deal with the need for risk sharing" if Socialist countries no longer have the need for home insurance. And I appreciate your concern for my intellectual growth, it shows a generosity of spirit. I'd like to think that my reading Greg's blog, and occasionally commenting, is a least a small measure of my attempt at broadening my intellectual universe and avoiding epistemic closure.

By the way, I hope that it was not a friend of yours that was killed in Florida today. Obviously, my heartfelt sympathies to their families regardless of your relationship to them, and sympathies to you if they were friends of yours.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

No I'm not talking about the bloggers here. I'm talking about your leaders...the R party...I'm talking about Palin.."he's not like us"
Grassley.."pulling the plug on grandma
Wilson..you lie
Gohmert...a freaking birther...Scott you must be proud that your party..perhaps you're an indy and so bite back at me with that one...let's say the party associated with conservatives..has enough wack jobs to form a virtual "birthers caucus".

I feel sorry for you Scott. You personally are obviously bright. The public face of the R's...not so much...actually pretty effing embarrassing.

More fear Scott...Tancredo...they're coming to get us...

Steve King...I'm done...I could list dozens more here...R leaders...not pundits...not bloggers but people entrusted to govern our great land.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

cao: ""It's far more moral to let people suffer than it is to redistribute money."" It goes beyond that, even.

Some conservatives I know are very generous people. They just don't want "those people" to have $3/day for food. IOW, they want to decide who deserves to eat, and who should go hungry, and they feel good about being able to size up people in very short order to determine little things like this.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 24, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

""Socialism is just another name for risk sharing.""

I'll certainly give you credit for staying on message, shrink. Don't let actual thought get in the way.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

It would be useful to me if someone would expound on why socialism is or is not risk sharing. Anyone?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

@Troll

Wow you got me with that one:-)

I'd forgotten that in between the occasional snark for entertainment you actually enjoy a "real" conversation.

I especially appreciate your thoughts about two of St. Pete's finest. It is most certainly while I barked at you earlier. LOL As I've posted I aspire to be lmsinca or 12Bar but I end up as Cao :-)

There are 545 men and women in the St Pete P.D. I knew of one of the victims but they were not close acquaintances. Actually this is one area I'm pretty sure we agree Troll. I've had the chance as a person pretty active in my community to see many of these officers at neighborhood meetings. This story literally has had me choked up all day.
While a thug in an attic unloaded on the two officers...another officer rushed into to help...he was killed..and yet other officers risked their lives to save a fallen comrade in the line of fire. Their mind boggling freaking heroism saved the life of the wounded U.S. Marshal.

I watched my Mayor...a man who is a friend..our police chief..a man who is an acquaintance..choke back tears at a press conference describing the fallen officers...two widows..and three fatherless children. Two shot down and laid to rest today in Miami...four..I think wounded in gunfire in a Detroit locale..and even more in Washington state.
Two months ago two other officers...again with wives and family were gunned down across the bay in Tampa...I'm so gutted with sorrow and yes ANGER...can't tell from my posts can you..that's it's hard to deal with. I guess all I can say is that there are men and women in uniform...overseas..and here in our own nation that sacrifice their lives..others risking them daily..it just moves me. Nobody wants to think of the collateral damage of this violence. It's not just the widows and kids...545..now 543 officers of the St. Pete PD..what do you suppose the conversation is like around their dinner tables tonight...how many wives and husbands are asking their spouses to PLEASE give up this line of work.

Obviously I'm not some knee jerk flag waving patriot...but where the rubber meets the road...people who are giving their lives so my neighborhood...the city I love might be safer...they are truly heroes!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

BOTTOM LINE

I can tell you this: on these blogs, it has become clear that a good chunk of democrats are socialists. They want much higher taxation, for income re-distribution purposes.

It is clear that the democrats do not just want to reform the health care system - they want to take from the rich and PAY for benefits for other people. They clearly want to take from one group, and use that money for others.

AND the democrats have a clear, stated self-interest. The democrats then want to use the FEAR of losing those benefits at election time - to use that as an issue to slam Republicans.


So, the democrats want to use REPUBLICAN MONEY TO BRIBE PEOPLE INTO VOTING FOR DEMOCRATS.


______________________


That much is CLEAR.


Furthermore, it is clear that there are other democrats who want to FORCE people to live the way they want - these are the democrats who are moving from socialist to communist.

Plain and simple.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

FEAR

The next time you hear a democrat LYING and FALSELY saying that the Republicans want to take away Social Security, you can state clearly, the democrats are using FEAR TACTICS.


The democrats are the ones who cross the line, every election.

It is unAmerican.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

rukidding

Why don't the democrats blame Sarah Palin and the Tea Party for the St. Petersburg shooting???

Murder equals your political opponents, right?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"It would be useful to me if someone would expound on why socialism is or is not risk sharing. Anyone?"

And when your done with that, could you tell us whether or not socialist countries have (since, by their nature, their government exists as a mechanism to share risk) insurance? For anything? And if so, are they really a socialist country?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

BTW Back to our topic of socialism. Can we all stop acting like this is some kind of absolute...either free enterprise..or socialism. Even Scandinavian countries have some free enterprise in their system...I drive a Volvo...some of you may use Nokia products...conversely the U.S. not pure free enterprise. We are talking about a balance that has existed for a long long time.

BTW You Jeffersonians...I'm still peoed that he used "confiscated" money to buy the La Purchase...freaking socialist empire builder. snark snark.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

"I've never been to a "socialist" country. Are you arguing that insurance, say house insurance, does not exist?"

Have you been to an insurance free country?
No insurance whatsoever. Most people in the world, the vast majority, live insurance free.

Government (the rule of law) backs the insurance industry.
Or, you could say the insurance industry backs the rule of law.

Look up insurance in China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Brasil, all of Africa...

Have you ever heard of multinational insurance? Yeah, it is called a rider. No such thing. Insurance is a compact between the individual and society as important to prosperity as a land deed. It is our version of socialism.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""In your HUMBLE opinion.""

Right. In precisely the same way that saying “Shape is not just another term for "square" " is just an opinion.

""No I'm not talking about the bloggers here.""

Well, perhaps you should be. Your constant references to conservative "fear mongering" amidst your praise for the likes of Bernie who does as much fear mongering as anyone show a remarkable disconnect in your ability to perceive things.

""You personally are obviously bright.""

Right...but I am a part of a movement that requires that I have a closed mind and that I be a "afraid", right? Sorry, ruk, but as long as you keep spewing out mindless insults and hatred aimed at the right (which you seem to be increasingly engaging in), it's a little hard for me to believe these personal compliments are anything but insincere.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

@Troll

"And when your done with that, could you tell us whether or not socialist countries have (since, by their nature, their government exists as a mechanism to share risk) insurance? For anything? And if so, are they really a socialist country?"

Not sure you'll get an answer on that one..at least a clear cut easy to understand description because again there are so many strains of what we Americans call socialism. For heaven's sake if we think a health care insurance reform program is a Gov't takeover...what would the right have called it if Obama had suggested we copy the British NHS. That's the problem with extreme hyperbole like "Gov't takeover". It mutes intellectual discussion because where else can you go after Gov't takeover...nuance anyone?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"It would be useful to me if someone would expound on why socialism is or is not risk sharing. Anyone?"

Everyone shares the risk of the Gulag except the dozen or so guys (YMMV) who run the Gulag.

Also, the poetry, music, cars, and clothes suck.

Posted by: tao9 | January 24, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

""Insurance is a compact between the individual and society ...""

No, it isn't. It is a compact between the people in the insurance pool.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously I'm not some knee jerk flag waving patriot...but where the rubber meets the road...people who are giving their lives so my neighborhood...the city I love might be safer...they are truly heroes!"

As a out and proud, flamboyantly unrepentant knee-jerk flag waving patriot (and yes Bernie, not only do I fetishize our military, I served in it), you oughta try it. The water's fine! ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

@shrink,

I'm having trouble comprehending your point.

Are you saying that casualty insurance (particularly) only exists because it is legalized and protected (i.e. regulated) by the government? That's why insurance contracts stop at the nation's borders.

How is this as important to prosperity as land deeds?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

In all candor I accept your critique and suspicion of my sincerity. It certainly appears that way. Actually Scott you more than any other poster here puzzle me. Because I am sincere in my respect for your intellect which literally, and humbly, makes me wonder how you're not consumed by an incredible amount of cognitive dissonance.

I apologize for the arrogance contained in that observation but it is actually true.
Maybe others here on the left who respect your mighty intellect (not snark...hopefully not insincere..I'll have to look deep into my heart :-)) wonder the same thing. How can somebody so intelligent not be embarrassed by the current incarnation of the R party. I get that perhaps you view them simply as the lesser of two evils...as a libertarian you are kind of scr$wed aren't you? Now you know how liberals feel. LOL

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Any liberal who hasn't noticed that the D party lives by fear mongering and division and marginalization hasn't been listening to their party's officials or even their own words.

Cat food ring a bell? Disastrous and devastating cuts in social spending? "Balancing the budge on the backs of the poor"? Oligarchs and conspiracies of Halliburton and Saudi princes? One "crisis" after another? Die quickly? Hundreds of thousands will die annually without Obamacare?

And on and on and on.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 24, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"Have you ever heard of multinational insurance? Yeah, it is called a rider. No such thing. Insurance is a compact between the individual and society as important to prosperity as a land deed. It is our version of socialism."

All my obtuseness aside, does, say Sweden, have insurance? If I have a house in Stockholm, and it burns down, does the government simply rebuild it for me, or give me the cash equivalent? Same thing vis a vis cars? What about the perennial favorite of parents this Country over, Renter's Insurance?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

@Troll

"I fetishize our military, I served in it)"

At least you've earned the right to "fetishize" having served in it. I'm cool with flag waving veterans...it's the fat guys who parade around with tri corners and call themselves patriots and love phrases like "bring it on" while they watch one of their neighbors go off and do their fighting for them.

But again John Fogarty says it so much better than me...

Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they're red, white and blue
And when the band plays "Hail to the chief"
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
Ooh, they only answer More! more! more! yoh

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

@tao And so are you afraid that a return to the tax rates under Reagan would move us to a "gulag"?

And so whose your pick in the S.B.? Are you remaining loyal to the NFC or do you have some kind of Pittsburgh connection.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

""It would be useful to me if someone would expound on why socialism is or is not risk sharing. Anyone?""

Socialism involves risk sharing, but not all risk sharing involves socialism.

To really get into this, we would need to define socialism, but suffice it to say that socialism involves at the very least government planning for the purposes of allocating resources. Obviously such planning would necessarily entail risk sharing across society. However, risk sharing can be achieved without government planning and allocation of resources, the most obvious example being private insurance.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 24, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. How about some specifics from Dem elected leaders....ahhh but yes Hope and change are actually a negative in a Palinista's head.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

@tao and chime in if you wish QB I know you're an NFL fan.

One of the most heinous insults one can toss at a football players has been leveled at Jay Cutler. Do you guys think the Bear's Q.B. (Bear's Q.B. not you Q.B.) wussed out?
Or did his knee really prevent him from playing?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

I understand your point that socialism involves risk sharing, but not all risk sharing is socialism.

I also understand your point that risk sharing can be achieved with government planning & allocation of resources.

So, there is no disagreement that socialism can be used to address risk sharing.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

The Truth

The truth is that the democrats have shown themselves to be socialists.

And even some of the democrats are actually communists, because they want to force people into their system.


Everytime a gay agenda is jammed through a school district without a proper democratic notifications and votes - that IS COMMUNISM.

Sorry, but when Obama jammed through his health care bill with reconciliation, AGAINST THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, that is COMMUNISM.


Whenever the liberals want to do something against the will of the people, that is COMMUNISM.

Sorry folks, the democratic party is nuts.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Scott,

I understand your point that socialism involves risk sharing, but not all risk sharing is socialism.

I also understand your point that risk sharing can be achieved **without** government planning & allocation of resources.

So, there is no disagreement that socialism can be used to address risk sharing.
---------------------------------
Sorry, my mistake in proofreading.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"Are you saying that casualty insurance (particularly) only exists because it is legalized and protected (i.e. regulated) by the government? That's why insurance contracts stop at the nation's borders."

Yes. Insurance is as national as customs and culture.

"How is this as important to prosperity as land deeds?"

Prosperity comes from a healthy relationship between government and families. If every family has to protect itself from every other, that is to say, if the government is worthless in that regard, you have...freedom.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse


rukidding

Why don't the democrats blame Sarah Palin and the Tea Party for the St. Petersburg shooting???

Murder equals your political opponents, right?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. Gotta go to bed I'll have to catch your answers tomorrow...but I can help you a bit....there is one egregious example of Dem fear mongering....LBJ's famous "Daisy" ad with the nuclear mushroom cloud directed at Goldwater. As I recall...I was very very young then...the D's realized they had crossed the line and pulled that ad very quickly.

However...Paul Ryan wishes to dismantle S.S. at least as we know it. He is the R spokesman tomorrow night after Obama..unless you're a TPer and prefer Michelle...and so would it be "fear mongering" if Dems point out the fact that Ryan wants to gut S.S.

BTW I'm a perfect example of what privatization would do for our seniors and our retirements. My wife and I worked hard...saved our money...diversified..professionally managed stock retirement portfolio...real estate..and of course our business...and then literally a year before we were to retire...bam the Great Bush Recession of 08...we lost 40% of our net worth in a single year. Were we alone? Hardly! Now quite frankly all my retirement calculations include S.S....and if it weren't for S.S...we'd still survive but at a greatly reduced lifestyle...again losing 40% of one's net worth right at retirement is a blow...we are fortunate..what about all the people who have literally lost their entire 401K's..due to the Great Bush Recession or perhaps a long period of unemployment that recession produced. Privatizing insurance only works if you don't give a rats arse about what happens to the nation's seniors. The economic crisis of 2008 should have been the perfect illustration of the flaws in the idea.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 24, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Liberals


You all are having a conversation about insurance

INSURANCE IS VOLUNTARY


The democrats want to FORCE THEIR TAXES ON YOU


THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO FORCE THEIR LIBERAL AGENDA ON YOU


The democrats want to FORCE the gay agenda ON YOUR CHILDREN


You all think you are having such an intellectual discussion - you all are missing the point.


OBAMA IS DANGEROUS TO FREEDOM.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Insurance is as national as customs and culture.
--------------------------------
I've been thinking about this. In the case of houses, there's not much of an application since houses are not mobile. But, I know that cars insured in the U.S. are not covered while in Mexico. That makes sense to me--contract law is very specific to the law and the law is obviously within the jurisdiction.

If I can be so bold as to paraphrase, you seem to be saying that government is the third party in the insurance market. Not legally, of course, but in a very important way because it is only under the umbrella of government that provides the stable legal framework, within which insurance can function.

If the government was not a willing partner in providing that framework, insurance companies would be required to charge far more, or not insure within that country, and thus expose property owners to a lot more risk.

Right?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

"@tao And so are you afraid that a return to the tax rates under Reagan would move us to a "gulag"?"

Nope.

I was actually pullin' for DaBears because I like the coach, they're so romatically retro, and so Liam and BG would have some fun.

The Steeler all-run/no-pass, w/Mendenhall pounding Jetz, touchdown series made this old fullback very nostalgic. A close friend is a very big fan (he has a "Steeler Room" in his house w/adjoining "Steeler 1/2 bath."

So, Pittsburg.

Cutler looked really hurt in that first 3rd qtr series, but C'mon Man.

Posted by: tao9 | January 24, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Any liberal who hasn't noticed that the D party lives by fear mongering and division and marginalization hasn't been listening to their party's officials or even their own words.

________________-


Good point

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I really can not believe what a bunch of idiots you all are

You call this a conversation?

Then you all congratulate yourselves on how smart you are?


How ridiculous is that?

And the whole conversation misses the point.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

This thread proves for the thousandth time that liberals are simply incapable of understanding, or disingenuously deny, that fundamental difference. They congratulate themselves on their morality for redistributing other people's money, and dismiss as greedy those who give their own.

==

Show of hands.

Is there anyone here who cares for these comic-book caricatures of liberals?

Just a collection of Reagan-era cliches strung together and not connected in any way to any actual people or policies, and reflecting nothing but the writer's roiling, frothing, foaming derision.

Don't even want to imagine what it's like to live inside the head of someone so endlessly aflame. It can't feel good.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

12BBA, none of the large countries in the world have insurance as we know it, not China, not India, not Indonesia, not Brazil, not Russia, the list goes on until you get to countries the 'necks call socialist.

There is no such thing as private insurance. The 'necks take their socialism for granted. Medicare, Medicaid, SSDI, the VA, the tax base underwriting of the private insurance industry is what floats the boat, not like F&F with our real estate, but kinda.

This is why there are no insurance company names on buildings and stadiums in any country but our own. There is no Goldman Sachs stadium. Our insurance culture is a lot like the Rock of Gibraltar, or like a Whale. We do socialism this way. We feel good about the good hands people.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

{...}
The Chinese economy today parallels that of the latter-day Soviet Union — immense accomplishments co-existing with immense failures. In some ways, China’s stability today is more precarious than was the Soviet Union’s before its fall. China’s poor are poorer than the Soviet Union’s poor, and they are much more numerous — about one billion in a country of 1.3 billion. Moreover, in the Soviet Union there was no sizeable middle class — just about everyone was poor and shared in the same hardships, avoiding resentments that might otherwise have arisen.
{...}
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/01/22/lawrence-solomon-china%E2%80%99s-fall/

hmmmm...

Posted by: tao9 | January 24, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Gays in the Military

Next thing you know, there will be witch-hunts in the military for anyone who uses a bad word.

The liberals promised us that readiness will not be affected -

However the liberals are going to be on their politically-correct witch hunts now - watch.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 24, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"...if the government is worthless in that regard, you have...freedom."

Yes, that's what we cons want, worthless government. In fact, it's written into every con post here. When Scott, for example, writes "Socialism involves risk sharing, but not all risk sharing involves socialism.". What he really is writing is "We want Thunderdome!". No, wait, Thunderdome had specific rules, enforced by a government. Ok, I got it, what he actually is writing is "We want lawless, Roadwarrior type anarchy! And an all volunteer Military with civilian leadership! And prisons! Yeah, prisons run by some sort of anarchist loving hierarchical nongovernmental agency!". It's so obvious even Bernie, my dear sweet Bernie, see's it.

Shoot, the secrets out.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 24, 2011 11:16 PM | Report abuse

@shrink,

I will have to ponder this. I'm embarrassed to have to admit that I never thought about insurance in other countries.

Let me get this straight: are you saying China, India, Russia, et al do not protect the insurance industry enough for insurance companies to devise products and sell there. So Chinese drivers don't have auto insurance?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"...not connected in any way to any actual people..."

Again. In dire need of a mirror.

{{{the French must have left a few around there somewhere}}}

Posted by: tao9 | January 24, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"Show of hands.

Is there anyone here who cares for these comic-book caricatures of liberals? "

Meh, you don't come on here to have an actual debate. You just come on here to make fun of the Conservatives and get some good pearls from shrink, 12bb, and others. Can you really have any kind of elevated discussion with people who will swear to their graves that 5-3=-3? When I say the answer is 2, they will claim that it is only my OPINION that 5-3=2

Um, yeah.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

"In some ways, China’s stability today is more precarious than was the Soviet Union’s before its fall."

Someone is backing up into the idea of Cold War 2.0 The USA is already the winner, right? Well I don't think the past pushed us over the top of anything we have not accomplished. The second cold war just started, just this year imo.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 24, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody really care to venture a guess as to what Malkin, Beck, Hannity et al would have said in the 24 hours if that had been Palin who was shot instead of Giffords.

==

Well I can tell you what they wouldn't have said .. there would have been no call to restrict access to automatic weapons. Pardon me, *semi* automatic. And even had the gunman only pulled his piece when he had a clear shot, and fired a single round, they'd be saying that one additional gun in the crowd would have saved her.

They would instantly blame anyone who had ever taken issue with a word she spoke, and demanded that Katie Couric go straight to the gas chamber without passing Go or colliecting $200.

The shooter would be branded a Far Left Democrat before the bullet even exited, and when it turned out that he was a tea party loony and as right as they come, he'd be (blows an A440 on a pitch pipe) a loner lunatic. Play it down, quick, show some Weathermen footage from the 60s.

Not that a brain injury would mean much in Palin's case. Like a tonsillectomy.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD ÷ 3D = AW

Posted by: tao9 | January 24, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Do you like having weekends off? Do you like being able to come home from work with all your fingers and with no more dioxin than you had in your body that morning? Do you like an 8-hour workday in summer as well as in winter?

Thank a Socialist.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I have 9 & 3/4's fingers.

F*#%in' Hayek.

Posted by: tao9 | January 24, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Meh, you don't come on here to have an actual debate. You just come on here to make fun of the Conservatives and get some good pearls from shrink, 12bb, and others. Can you really have any kind of elevated discussion with people who will swear to their graves that 5-3=-3? When I say the answer is 2, they will claim that it is only my OPINION that 5-3=2

==

Did you mean "you" in the second person singular sense or "you" as the impersonal, e..g. "one only comes here" etc?

I have the majority of TWRTTAC on my TH list. One of them can serve as a proxy for all with no loss of information.

FTR, Scott, do you accept the theory of evolution? Entirely? And if you do, how do you feel belonging to a political party whose leaders swear, almost to a man, that the biblical fable of creation is the truth and evolution a lie? And a party that curries the support of people who demand that theching of evolution be banned?

How can you live with such contradiction?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Even the Catholic Church accepts evolution.

Where you been, crocodile?

Posted by: tao9 | January 24, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"Did you mean "you" in the second person singular sense or "you" as the impersonal, e..g. "one only comes here" etc?"

Impersonal

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

"DDAWD ÷ 3D = AW"

See what I mean? The answer is clearly DDAW/3

Posted by: DDAWD | January 24, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Even the Catholic Church accepts evolution.

==

I wasn't talking about the Catholic Church. I was talking about Republicans. House, Senate, and voters. Catholics can do nuance. They have to. TWRTTAC are allergic to it.

Early in the 2008 GOP primaries the candidates were asked if they believed in evolution. How many raised their hands?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 24, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Even the Catholic Church accepts evolution.
-----------------------------------------------------
Even? Even? Hey, whatcha talkin' 'bout Willis?

I'd like to think the Church was early to accept evolution, but I don't suppose that would bear up under scrutiny.

From a fellow mackerel snapper. :)

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 24, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse

it was my impression too that the Church accepted evolution. My friend taught at a Catholic high school and said they taught evolution in the school.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 25, 2011 12:08 AM | Report abuse

"Did you mean "you" in the second person singular sense or "you" as the impersonal, e..g. "one only comes here" etc?"

Impersonal

==

Thanks. For some reason learning other languages where this is clearer than English has dulled my ability to make the distinction. I use "one" all the time and sound Victorian.

Vietnamese has some constructs that predate Socialism but dovetail well with it. There's this word hãy that's sort of a first person plural imperative, if you can imagine that. Like "let's make sure kids wear their motorcycle helmets."

Posted by: caothien9 | January 25, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

"Let me get this straight: are you saying China, India, Russia, et al do not protect the insurance industry enough for insurance companies to devise products and sell there. So Chinese drivers don't have auto insurance?"

No they do not have insurance.
Yes, that is what I am saying.
No insurance.

The idea of paying lots and lots of money into a reliable/fungible social compact (think of their adverts - those don't exist in other countries until you get to the gaaaack, socialists, like Germany, the UK, you know, the people Republicans love to hate) called insurance is something we just take for granted, as if it were "private". It is not private, no more than land deeds/mortgages etc. are private.

The private part comes from the government. Hello! Just like the government of a tyrant, no government equals no rights for individuals and families. You tear down your government, you have freedom, you are on your own. You have a great government, then you have a balancing act.

Freedom and socialism are coequal, they are interdependent.
They need each other.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Got me DDAWD.

Meant D-cubed.

I'm as ashamed and chastened as can be.

Can I be a Socialist for penance?

Posted by: tao9 | January 25, 2011 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Cao, in terms of usage, either meaning of "you" would have worked, even for the most fluent English speaker. It was bad writing on my part.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 25, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Freedom and socialism are coequal, they are interdependent.
They need each other.

==

Nonsense. If you die of mercury poisoning from your food you can take the company to court. Better still, the marketplace will fix it. I mean, how much of a market can there be for dead customers or children with severe neurological disorders? Going out of business will teach manufacturers not to cut corners.

Trust the marketplace. It can't be wrong, unless there're regulations.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 25, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

12BB

They were late to accept it, but they ended up having to when they realized their head Guy invented it.

{{{seen and un-scene}}}

;>)

niterz

Posted by: tao9 | January 25, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"The idea of paying lots and lots of money into a reliable/fungible social compact (think of their adverts - those don't exist in other countries until you get to the gaaaack, socialists, like Germany, the UK, you know, the people Republicans love to hate) called insurance is something we just take for granted, as if it were "private". It is not private, no more than land deeds/mortgages etc. are private."

But you wrote "Socialism is how human beings deal with the need for risk sharing." If that is the case, does, for example, Sweden, have, say, auto insurance? If so, are they doing Socialism incorrectly? I would agree that the concept of a contract amongst a group of people, in which they share risk, what we call insurance, requires a stable and relatively uncorrupt, or at least consistent, judiciary to enforce contracts. How does that known fact jibe with your apparent assertion that Socialist countries, by the nature of their government, share risk and (presumably) therefore do not have a need for insurance, if insurance does in fact exist?

And glad to see you posting again.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 25, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

@tao9:

Extended character set

Posted by: caothien9 | January 25, 2011 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"@tao9:

Extended character set"

well, tao did have the little division sign.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 25, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

"Nonsense."

Yes. That is what I am saying, socialism is to freedom as oxygen is to carbon dioxide. Or maybe freedom is to socialism as sunlight is to photosynthesis. How about socialism is to freedom as a dog's nose is to another dog's scent...

When people feel really free, they are either (1) psychotic or (2) they have lots of people they care for and lots of people who care for them in a complex and binding social/cultural context that does not force them to do things all day that defy common sense. I call that socialism. Government needs to nurture socialism and in so doing, freedom happens.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Troll, it might help if you were to learn something about actual practiced Socialism in the real world, because the contradictions you describe are all predicated on a caricature.

There's that word again.

I'd advise you to come here and see but it would be a dangerous shock, like diving into ice water right after a mile sprint on a hot day. It's really interesting to me how, well, odd it was at first to see all the Socialist boosterism here .. farmer, soldier, laborer all in it together, after being an American frog in slowly libertarian-heated water.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 25, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse

@shrnk: I don't see how any notion of freedom is reconcilable with the contemporary libertarianized version if conservatism. The expectation of a reasonably stable and predictable life is inseparable from freedom; when calamity can happen at any moment, when people have to be personally and eternally vigilant for any kind of disorder, inundated with choice to the point of fatigue and on their own in every way imaginable, that's a condition worse than any tyranny.

Freedom as interdependence. An excellent insight. Thanks.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 25, 2011 12:43 AM | Report abuse

"But you wrote "Socialism is how human beings deal with the need for risk sharing." If that is the case, does, for example, Sweden, have, say, auto insurance?"

Yes of course.

"If so, are they doing Socialism incorrectly?"

Possibly, the liberal hero de jour calls Sweden the Feminist Saudi Arabia.

"I would agree that the concept of a contract amongst a group of people, in which they share risk, what we call insurance, requires a stable and relatively uncorrupt, or at least consistent, judiciary to enforce contracts. How does that known fact jibe with your apparent assertion that Socialist countries, by the nature of their government, share risk and (presumably) therefore do not have a need for insurance, if insurance does in fact exist?"

Oh no, look back at what I said. All of the small rich socialist countries do insurance. America is the largest of them. We are exceptional. We like being socialists, even as we tear ourselves down.

There are many small countries with no insurance systems, whether or not they call themselves socialist is as important as East Germany calling itself a democratic republic.

My point tonight has been, widespread personal liability, health and property insurance -all across social classes- is the foundation of socialism. Ronald Reagan knew it, there is no secret. Here we call it private because we like to. Ask the Governor of Florida how he feels about Medicare.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Another paraphrase: socialism in the U.S. takes the form of privatized socialism--insurance. We like to view this as simply a private contract between two parties, but in fact it is a collaborative 3 way relationship requiring heavy government involvement. While insurances seems voluntary, for the property owning citizens, insurance is not really voluntary. Insurance is required if you owe money on the asset or drive the asset on government roads or have a fiduciary responsibility for the asset.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 25, 2011 1:00 AM | Report abuse

12BBA, yes. The threesome is the funny part. Republican voters have to pretend that other person isn't in bed with their mate. Democratic voters just deal with it...like an "open" marriage .

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 1:08 AM | Report abuse

"The expectation of a reasonably stable and predictable life is inseparable from freedom."

This seems so obvious since, after all, it is true.
But darkly, it is our unstable paradox.

Good night you good people.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 25, 2011 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen takes a break from trying to sound quirkily different and makes some sense:

"The Republican credo was enunciated by Pawlenty last year when he declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference that "God's in charge." For those who did not quite get this drift, he repeated himself. "God is in charge." Why he felt compelled to make a public spectacle of what in years past would have been a personal matter is now obvious. Republicans are more religious than Democrats (50 percent of evangelicals are Republicans while only 34 percent are Democrats, according to a Pew poll), but the more telling figure is this one from a different survey: Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to believe Satan is a real spiritual entity. The devil, as you can see, is in the polling details.

The consequence of such views has to be crushing. It is simply impossible for a centrist to capture the Republican presidential nomination - maybe even to be a Republican. (I challenge any of the above to wholeheartedly endorse evolution or global warming.) The party continues on a course that has already driven out the political moderates and pro-choicers that once comprised its intellectual and financial core and, in the staffing of administrations, still somewhat does - Colin Powell, for instance. To call this a brain drain understates the calamity. It's a political lobotomy."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/24/AR2011012403688.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: caothien9 | January 25, 2011 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Yes. That is what I am saying, socialism is to freedom as oxygen is to carbon dioxide. Or maybe freedom is to socialism as sunlight is to photosynthesis. How about socialism is to freedom as a dog's nose is to another dog's scent...

When people feel really free, they are either (1) psychotic or (2) they have lots of people they care for and lots of people who care for them in a complex and binding social/cultural context that does not force them to do things all day that defy common sense. I call that socialism. Government needs to nurture socialism and in so doing, freedom happens.

That's cool and all, but I was operating under, ya know, the more "traditional" definition.

"so·cial·ism   
[soh-shuh-liz-uhm]  Show IPA
–noun
1.
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2.
procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3.
(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles."

It's your party.  It seems though, that you're defining any and all societal organizing principles, that you approve of, as Socialism, which, when you look at the word itself is at least consistent.  I'm thinking though that most people have a less broad understanding of it.  It took me a dozen more posts to clarify it.  But weren't you being glib with the whole ""Socialism is how human beings deal with the need for risk sharing."?  Because the obvious implication from that statement is the one I took, that Socialist countries have no need for insurance.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | January 25, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Troll, are you familiar with the quote that begins

"Render unto Cæser that which is Cæser's"

?

A political system in which every aspect of life comes under government control isn't Socialism. It's on the opposite side of the political spectrum: the totalitarian extreme of your side.

I live in a Socialist country. There's insurance here. There is also capitalism. And, a point I feel obliged to keep rubbing noses in, upward mobility is thriving here.

Thriving, I tell you.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 25, 2011 1:34 AM | Report abuse

My thing with the Republicans (and more so for the Conservative posters on this board since they don't have jobs or power at stake) is that they must know that the policies they push are bad for the countries. I don't believe that Mitch McConnell is stupid enough to actually believe that tax cuts reduce the deficit.

I'm just curious how he sees this playing out. I can't think of a single policy Republicans are pushing that would actually be helpful to this country. Ever since the GOP took Congress, they have been trying to raise the deficit (while making spurious arguments on how the CBO didn't score things that weren't in the actual PPACA)

They say that all politicians ultimately want to do some good. What good do McConnell and the Republicans think they are doing? I can understand lumping in some lies for political purposes to get the chance to do good, but every argument they make is a lie and every policy they push is harmful. Maybe with the exception of eliminating earmarks.

Well, with the posters on this board, they just parrot what they hear on Hannity because it is important to them to have the label of being a Conservative without actually thinking through what this actually means. (or more cynically, being indifferent to the consequences as long as they get the label)

But for actual Republican legislators, is it just a matter of personal enrichment. Yeah, someone like Marco Rubio is clearly in politics to take as many opportunities as possible to fill his pockets, but is this the mindset of the entire Republican coalition? Do they actually intend on doing something good? They had a chance last decade and they squandered it.

This sort of thing just really boggles the mind. Kind of makes me wish I were a Conservative. No thinking required.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 25, 2011 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Yeah DDAWD I find it very hard to accept that they believe what they say. It isn't logical, and it's against all the evidence. Like the supply side thing .. they seem to really believe that cutting taxes will so stimulate growth that any amount of tax cutting will still lead to greater revenue. Hastening to add that zero doesn't count.

I think the real clue is found not in examining the beliefs but the emotionalism connected with them. Take the posters on here ("please" — Henny Youngman). How rare indeed it is to read a post that isn't dripping with sarcasm and snark and derision. I think these guys are basically a big ideological negative sign, and, here we go, *nothing more*. Whatever liberals are for, they're against. Whatever liberals cherish, they want destroyed. Whatever liberals revile, they revel.

If we think the rich are getting too many breaks, then TwRtTaC have to circle the wagons and defend the wealthy. If we believe the world is being cooked, they have to beleive it's not.

Try to find one (1) position of TwRtTaC that isn't wholly explained this way.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 25, 2011 1:49 AM | Report abuse

RE: Cutler, for whatever issues the guy might have had, I don't remember anything in his history to suggest that he milks minor injuries. Heaven knows it would have happened a lot this season with as many sacks as he has taken. Not that I know what was going on, but I'm usually going to err on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt to the player.

I'm pulling for the Packers, but I think the edge goes to the Steelers. Position by position, the Steelers seem to have an edge except maybe at WR.

Should be a good game, though. I remember when I was a kid and Superbowls always seemed to be laughers. Those days seem long gone now with a lot of classics, starting with Elway's first championship.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 25, 2011 1:54 AM | Report abuse


Mortgage refinancing means re-funding the mortgage loan with better terms as well as conditions, most likely from a different lender. It is one way to save money. Search online for 123 Mortgage Refinance they found me 3.1% refinance rate and also gave free analysis of my mortgage.

Posted by: gloverjody | January 25, 2011 5:32 AM | Report abuse

"Q.B. How about some specifics from Dem elected leaders....ahhh but yes Hope and change are actually a negative in a Palinista's head."

Really, ruk? You need "specifics" for the examples I gave? You really think Dems talk about "hope and change" and that's it, while Reps only talk about fear? "Die quickly" is not specific enough for you?

Look up the dire warnings of "disastrous" and "devastating" "radical" social spending cuts coming out of the DCCC just in the past week. Look at the recent/ongoing debate among Dem officials about how best (i.e., most apocalyptically and scarily) to "brand" opposition to Obamacare repeal. Look at AGW doomsdayism. Bush shredding the Constitution and running a crypto-Nazi regime (Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency). Bush killing American soldiers for his own amusement.

Those are all statements or daily and weekly themes of Dem officials. That's as far as I'm going to go in pointing you to examples of the obvious, every day Dem MO. It's what Dems do -- scare old people, workers, women, poor people, minorities, and demonize anyone who isn't one of those. Kennedy's infamous "Robert Bork's America" smear was just the classic of the genre. Keeps Dems right in business.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 25, 2011 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow! An all night liberal circle jerk involving mainly cao (the cretin from the black lagoon) and DDAWD (the black from the cretin lagoon) stroking each other in the echo chamber. Is there a socialist country somewhere that can supply these guys with fully functional brains? Do they have any idea how boring it is to see the same failed policies and nonsensical socialist platitudes repeated endlessly? You'd think two people who claim to be so well read would have actually learned something somewhere along the line.

Posted by: Brigade | January 25, 2011 6:53 AM | Report abuse

ruk, to your next comment:

"bam the Great Bush Recession of 08"

It's really hard to take seriously arguments framed like this. Why don't you call it the Great Pelosi-Reid-Frank-Raines-Waters Recession of 08? Or the Great Greenspan-Bernanke Recession of 08?

And it doesn't work to defend Dem fearmongering and demonization of the other side by citing an example YOU claim is justified. If the question is whose claims are justified, then your problem isn't with negativism and fearmongering to begin with.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 25, 2011 6:55 AM | Report abuse

As the midterms approached, I was so depressed that I could not even bear to look at the news. But now I see that the Republicans are going to make fools of themselves, and return in good time to public ridicule and contempt. The next two years will be bad for America, but good entertainment for liberals.

Posted by: rhallnj | January 25, 2011 6:57 AM | Report abuse

shrink:

""I call that socialism""

Well that is the problem. If we call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

There is so much wrong with your premises I barely know where to begin. Freedom is not the absence of government, it is the absence of initiated force or fraud. Socialism is not defined by the mere existence of the rule of law. A reliance on government to enforce a contract does not make one a socialist, nor does it make the contract non-private. An insurance contract is not a "social compact".

As McWing pointed out, you are simply trying to define any organizing principle of which you approve as "socialism". But, as Lincoln understood, calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 25, 2011 7:03 AM | Report abuse

"Well, with the posters on this board, they just parrot what they hear on Hannity because it is important to them to have the label of being a Conservative without actually thinking through what this actually means."

Yet, strangely, back when I was studying Burke, Kirk, Hayek, Chambers, Smith (yes, read the entire Wealth of Nations), Federalist, etc. etc., no one had heard of Hannity, who was probably sweeping floors somewhere. Nor when, a couple of years later, I was reading Marx, Habermas, Piven & Cloward, Foucault, etc etc., about whom I'll wager these two idiots know next to nothing either.

It's obvious that these two clowns exchanging these inanities are without a clue. But it's statements like this that show that they aren't just clueless but truly, profoundly stupid and unthinking -- purely instinctual beings whose "thoughts" are a cloud of resentments and prejudices and nothing more.

The ignore function can't come too quickly, Greg.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 25, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

"According to NBC News:

The officials say that while investigators have determined that Manning had allegedly unlawfully downloaded tens of thousands of documents onto his own computer and passed them to an unauthorized person, there is apparently no evidence he passed the files directly to Assange, or had any direct contact with the controversial WikiLeaks figure.

If accurate, then US authorities have no realistic chance of successfully prosecuting or extraditing Assange for the leak of thousands of classified documents."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2011/jan/25/bradley-manning-julian-assange-wikileaks

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 7:20 AM | Report abuse

One might well ask...

"Goldman Sachs sets aside $15bn for pay; the state of California cuts $1.5bn from education. What's wrong with this picture?"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jan/20/goldmansachs-banking#start-of-comments

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 7:25 AM | Report abuse

A fine business model...

"Last December, a specialty pharmacy in Florida enjoyed its best month ever — posting a hefty $168.7 million in revenues.

But it wasn't filling prescriptions that made Ven-A-Care of the Florida Keys Inc. such a success.

Tiny Ven-A-Care has developed a lucrative niche market: blowing the whistle on drug companies that overcharge Medicare and Medicaid — and collecting tens of millions of dollars in reward money."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-whistle-blower-20110124,0,5954723.story

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""What's wrong with this picture?""

The notion that there is or ought to be a relationship between the two.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 25, 2011 7:35 AM | Report abuse

On this question of socialism and insurance, while I respect shrink's intelligence, this attempt to equate them just doesn't make the slightest sense. Nor equating socialism with freedeom, etc.

Classical socialism of course means "common" or government ownership of the "means of production" or, more broadly, property, and central economic planning.

In the contemporary world, socialism has evolved, however, into more of a regulatory/welfare state model. In this adaptation, property and capital can be privately "owned" in a formal sense, but government regulates it in ways that in one degree or another constitute true "ownership." Similarly, taxation and welfare schemes are used to redistribute "private" incomes and wealth, and taxes, regulations, and government projects are used to effect economic planning (viz. "green job" incentives, bailouts, CRA, TVA, and on and on).

None of this really equates to "risk sharing" in any intelligible sense. It's a fallacy to suggest, as I understand shrink to be saying, that because country A has socialized medicine and does not have private health insurance these are the same thing. Similarly, it's a fallacy to suggest that because insurance functions within a system of contract law it is some sort of societal compact or "three-way" agreement including the government. Used like this, words cease to have meaning.

Btw, to the extent it matters to any of this (which I fail to see), Eurpopean countries most definitely have many forms of insurance, and it routinely "crosses national boundaries."

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 25, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Just noticed this from the Cohen statement quoted above: "The party continues on a course that has already driven out the political moderates and pro-choicers that once comprised its intellectual and financial core ...."

Lol this doofus is apparently completely unfamiliar with the actual GOP or conservativism of the past 50 years. Pro-choicers and moderates the intellectual core???? Utterly bizarro world in Cohen's brain.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 25, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"RE: Cutler, for whatever issues the guy might have had, I don't remember anything in his history to suggest that he milks minor injuries. Heaven knows it would have happened a lot this season with as many sacks as he has taken. Not that I know what was going on, but I'm usually going to err on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt to the player. I'm pulling for the Packers, but I think the edge goes to the Steelers. Position by position, the Steelers seem to have an edge except maybe at WR."

Cutler is a lot of bad things as a QB but a wimp isn't one of them. I hardly follow the Bears and I've seen him take hellacious hits for an extra yard even when he could have gone into the slide. I like Pittsburgh but Rothlisberger is a real sc*mbag so I'm with the Pack. I think the Packers win b/c the Steelers' cornerbacks are weak. Should be a close one, as you say.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 25, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

So, what's Santorum up to?

"Ever since I criticized the president for his position on abortion last week, I have been the target of great condemnation — mostly, but not exclusively, from the left. How dare I compare abortion to slavery, claim the right to life as a civil right, and express my disappointment in the president for his views on these issues?"

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/257753/life-iisi-civil-right-nro-staff

Two things. One, re-ignite a base-motivating culture war issue.
That's the obvious gambit here. The target is mainly white evangelicals. But there's another.

That's the attempt to peel away African American church-attending voters from Dems to Republicans. Or, at the very least, to reduce their allegiance to a black president and so reduce black voter turn-out.

Using abortion (and other religious culture issues) to move traditional Dem voters to the GOP has been a two or three decade-long strategy, the main targets being Catholics and African Americans. But here we see Santorum trying to conflate civil rights and abortion and that tells us of the specificity of who he is targeting.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Any environmentalists holding out hope for the Obama Administration should give it up:

"Carol M. Browner, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change policy, will leave the administration shortly, officials confirmed Monday night. Her departure signals at least a temporary slowing of the ambitious environmental goals of President Obama’s first two years in the face of new Republican strength in Congress. ... Her departure leaves the administration’s other major environmental and energy policy makers without a strong advocate at the White House. But in the face of Republican skepticism about climate change and strong opposition to environmental regulation, the administration will be spending more time defending the modest policy gains of the past two years than advancing new proposals."

But Rudy 9/11 is happy:

"Scott Segal, an energy expert at Bracewell & Giuliani, a law and lobbying firm in Washington, said Ms. Browner’s leaving might be a sign that the administration would be more sensitive to the concerns of business."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/25/us/politics/25browner.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

Posted by: wbgonne | January 25, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

"Ever since I criticized the president for his position on abortion last week, I have been the target of great condemnation"

Show me a Conservative who isn't whining and wallowing in victimhood and win a kewpie doll.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 25, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

@wb - You are too indifferent to their suffering. Santorum is akin to the Freedom Marchers requesting only liberty and set upon every ten yards by dogs and truncheons. And Sarah Palin, as she inches up Calvary with that crown of klieg lights and crushing burden of hand-hewn millions upon her bent back.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

I really think it's unconscionably rude that Rep. Giffords and her father haven't apologized yet to the Tea Nuts and Her Royal Whineness.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 25, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/the_morning_plum_173.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 25, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"Evan Bayh walks through the revolving door
By Ezra Klein
In 2010, Sen. Evan Bayh retired. Part of the reason, he told me, was that the corrosive effect of money in politics had left his profession looking corrupt. "You want to be engaged in an honorable line of work," Bayh said, "but they look at us like we're worse than used-car salesmen."

On Friday, Bayh announced that he was joining Apollo Global Management, a private-equity megafirm, as "a senior adviser with responsibility for public policy." Something tells me that this isn't going to vastly improve the way Americans think about their politicians."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/01/evan_bayh_walks_through_the_re.html

Posted by: bernielatham | January 25, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Great moments in political whining, 1994:

"CLINTON: After I get off the radio today with you, Rush Limbaugh will have three hours to say whatever he wants --

HOST: Would you like to leave a message?

CLINTON: -- and I won't have any opportunity to respond. And there's no truth detector. You won't get on afterwards and say what was true and what wasn't."


And 2010 edition (with bonus eliminationist hate rhetoric):

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/obama-says-fox-news-promotes-destructive-viewpoint/

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 25, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

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