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Posted at 6:43 PM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* With moderate Dems saying they're open to changing the individual mandate, the White House swiftly puts the kibosh on the idea, a sign of how committed Obama is to the mandate as the lynchpin of health reform.

* Ezra Klein says we shouldn't worry about moderate Dems taking about a change to the mandate, because what they're really doing is calling Republicans' bluff.

* But Kevin Drum explains that any talk about tweaking the law is inevitably a non-starter, because the GOP is committed to the Holy Grail of full repeal or bust, and won't contemplate any mere tweaks.

* House Republicans will introduce a measure next week to preclude "any funding" from being used to implement health reform, and while the Senate will kill it, it's a sign that both parties are digging in for the long haul over reform.

* Sucker-born-every-minute watch: Christine O'Donnell asks people to shovel their money into her PAC so she can level the playing field with George Soros.

* Conservative bloggers gnash teeth as even Ari Fleischer opines that Obama has handled the Egypt crisis well.

* It's fun to watch Senator Richard Lugar steadfastly refusing to play along with the notion that Tea Partyers have the foggiest idea what they're talking about.

* The White House proposes spending more than $50 billion on high speed rail, making good on Obama's (politically safe, relatively speaking) vow to boost infrastructure spending.

* Senator Kent Conrad heroically leads a bipartisan band of Senators on a crusade to save us all from deficit armageddon by (natch) adopting the fiscal commission's proposals.

* Beltway C.W. watch: Politico opines that reaching a deal to adopt such deficit proposals could save Obama's reelection: "It could be the equivalent of Bill Clinton's famous welfare reform deal -- only on steroids."

* Digby says it would actually be "welfare reform for the old and sick."

* Adam Serwer cuts through all the B.S. about Pete King's hearings:

It's beyond clear that these hearings aren't remotely about a defensible government interest in fighting domestic radicalization or extremism -- and more about legitimizing the idea that even when Muslims aren't plotting terror attacks, they're busy cheering those who are.

* And John Dickerson has an interesting piece which poses the question:

Can Obama Prove He Believes in God and America?

Answer: No. Because those who still claim they need to be persuaded of this want him not to believe in those things.

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.: A measure to extend key provisions of the Patriot Act just went down to defeat in the House, with 22 Republicans joining with Dems to vote it down after Tea Partyers expressed reservations about the measure. The vote comes after Dems challenged Tea Partyers to vote against the extension in order to live up to their anti-government-overreach rhetoric.

By Greg Sargent  | February 8, 2011; 6:43 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Dems, deficit  
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Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Good for Sen. Conrad.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 8, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Kristol chucks Sarah over the side...

http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/bill-kristol-bails-sarah-palin-and-pick

He's scared of her sexuality. Powerful women are too much for him. He knows she's magnificent and can win the election and is covering up his terror by pretending he just thinks she'll screw everything up for the movement.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 8, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"Christine O'Donnell asks people to shovel their money into her PAC so she can level the playing field with George Soros."

Translation: her mortgage is due.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | February 8, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, haven't you poshest that Kristo engages in Propaganda? Why doesnt that make his every word and action suspect?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 8, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Whoops! Supposed to be "posited" and "Kristol." I have no excuse other than my own stupidity.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 8, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

@troll - you're excuse is accepted by all of us

Posted by: bernielatham | February 8, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bernie, your empathy is only surpassed by your irony;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 8, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I didn't watch the game on Sunday. Haven't for a few years now. The spectacle has become, for me, a vast display of commercial vulgarity. This terrific evisceration tells the tale...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/07/AR2011020705610.html?hpid=artslot

Posted by: bernielatham | February 8, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"The Arab people are no longer the ignorant, docile, apolitical, fearful consumer junkies they once were. The revolution in Tunisia, and the celebration of democracy manifested through the Egyptian uprising are just the beginning; the days of Western backed puppet despots in the Middle East are numbered. And the sooner Washington realises that the better. Because it is in America's interest to revise its policies vis-a-vis the Arab world, making them in tune with the Arab street rather than at the beck and call of Tel Aviv. And that means severing ties with the Mubarak regime and attempting to build a genuine relationship with the free Egyptian people.

But then again maybe the US could do with a lesson in democracy from the Egyptian people, for after all, the free people of Egypt, like their comrades in Tunisia, have and are bringing about regime change without the help of "the international community" or the "free world".

In fact they're doing so in spite of the "free world's" best efforts.

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/02/08/america-enemy-democracy

Posted by: wbgonne | February 8, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Lol. Tea partiers just voted against patriot act and it failed.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 8, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps you saw the article in the Times today about the NYU report on the U.S. in Afghanistan. The 12-page report is clear and concise. The "key findings":

" The Taliban and al-Qaeda remain distinct groups with different goals, ideologies, and sources of recruits; there was considerable friction between them before September 11, 2001, and today that friction persists.

• Elements of current U.S. policy in Afghanistan, especially night raids and attempts to fragment the Taliban, are changing the insurgency, inadvertently creating opportunities for al-Qaeda to achieve its objectives and preventing the achievement of core goals of the United States and the international community.

• There is room to engage the Taliban on the issues of renouncing al-Qaeda and providing guarantees against the use of Afghanistan by international terrorists in a way that will achieve core U.S. goals."

The report is must-read for anyone with an interest in the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Here is the link:

http://www.cic.nyu.edu/afghanistan/docs/gregg_sep_tal_alqaeda.pdf

Posted by: wbgonne | February 8, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Awesome!

"The vote came as several tea party-aligned members of the new freshman class had been expressing doubts about the measure. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who highlighted his opposition to the law during his upstart 2010 Senate campaign, signaled Monday that he may vote ultimately vote against an extension when the measure comes up in the Senate, likely later this month. "I've had a lot of reservations about the Patriot Act," Paul said when asked whether he's leaning toward voting for an extension. "We're reviewing it and we're going over it, and we will have something out probably in the next couple of days," he added. "We won't be shy about it when it comes out." Paul's father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), was among the trio of Republican lawmakers who opposed the Patriot Act when the House approved it in October 2001."

http://news.google.com/news/story?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&topic=n&source=uds&ncl=dXH1bHMia7x8gZMLjRZvMea_a1NPM&scoring=n

I take my civil liberties wherever I find them.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 8, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, just got home from the mill:

"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23

Merely reading (Paul) won't cut it; meditating on, for example, the above's immutability, then attempting albeit imperfectly to live it will make you more free than you (or I) can begin to, or ever will, imagine. It actually IS free will.

Also, white-out the "Romans 14:23" and it still stands for any man, of any faith, of any culture, at any time.

There ya go, straight at cha from my non-determinist synaptic calcium gates.

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Update added with Patriot Act vote...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 8, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Peter King is blowing smoke, confident that the bigoted, stupid, crazy GOP base will believe there's fire.

Of all the contemptible lousy stunts.

ScottC: "everybody does it." Thanks, genius, you're a real stellar contributor here.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23

==

Then call me a sinner because I'm going to demand evidence, and I'll go to my grave firm in conviction that faith is for chumps.

Really, I mean really, a magical invisible spirit who controls everything? A talking snake? A rib-woman? How can you honestly believe stuff as retarded as that?

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

"$50 billion on high speed rail"

Amtrack welfare.
Freight lines and the high speed passenger lines do not co-exist.
High speed rail is a concept America does not understand.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

@tao - One day I'll convert you to atheobuddhicanabaptism. You are, I sense, no more than six or seven quanta removed. One small step for a man, one giant leap for a republican.

Actually, the free will question doesn't interest me much at all but that's not to say it's simple or available for some easy shortcut. It's very far away from that if one is honest and delves into the literature. Another subject - obviously related - which interest me far more is the nature of consciousness (seems more intimately connected to your Paulian passage too). But again, trying to sort it out is like trying to make a statue out of mercury. Anyway, the fun is in the voyage not the arrival.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 8, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse

wee Iago,

You're a sinner. Big Whup! So's everyone that's ever lived.

You're not going to get evidence, no one is. (BTW: you're not going to get evidence from your theoretical physicists either. Sorry.)

You're definitely going to go to your grave...so you got that going for you.

It's much lees retarded than a magical visible cao that desires--more than life itself--to control something.

{{{because cao loves cao (& parrots)}}}

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

@tao - mill? literal? lumber?

Posted by: bernielatham | February 8, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

"the fun is in the voyage not the arrival"

Do you have any objective evidence to support this allegation?
What exactly do you mean by "voyage"?

Arrival is something we need to consider in the context of not and fun.

Has anyone ever tried to make a statue out of Mercury? If not, this should not be a central pillar of your argument.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

honestly and believe don't ride together

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

B, ever read Hesse' "Journey to the East"?

what's: mill?literal?lumber?

I agree, this isn't something to argue over...live and let live...have a l'il faith ;>)

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Mock all you want, Tao, I'll take your mockery in the knowledge that it comes from someone who believes the feverish imaginings of illiterate herders from thousands of years ago, people who feared lightning and regarded people who didn't migrate as weak.

I have the luxury of knowing I'm right. All you have is faith.

And no, theorestical physicists aren't going to come up with evidence for the existence of god nor proof of free will. Science doesn't really deal I proof, it deals in confidence. And thanks to tools like Bell's I equality, the confidence in the essential correctness of quantum mechanics is out at hundreds of standard deviations. Hundreds. Gravity is more doubtful. Electricity is more doubtful.

And for the existence of god? Big fat zero. Not a smidgeon. But, oh, you have faith. Fool.

Yeah I love my parrots. And my cat. And my gay lover. And my friends. You love something imaginary. I like my way better.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

"But then again maybe the US could do with a lesson in democracy from the Egyptian people..."

Or not. They have no idea. It is just a fact.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Point, shrink.

Scratch "honestly."

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

"I have the luxury of knowing I'm right."

Really.

How?

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess I can't say I was just trying to be funny.
Believing is when we choose to be dishonest.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

shrink-

http://www.economist.com/node/16636101
Some see it as a threat to freight's renaissance. Although, getting rid of 45% of their shipping via coal, would help us in other ways...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 8, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"...people who feared lightning..."

Ever been on top of a mountain with strikes touching down all around you?

Or in a kayak a couple hundred feet from shore with strikes breaking sideways off the lake?

It's terrifying, believe me. It is not in any way doubtful. Kind of concentrates the mind (and soul), if you know what I mean.

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Chuck, putting air freight together with passengers in the same infrastructure will go away too. There is a need for heavy transport and a need for shining happy people!

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

B, ever read Hesse' "Journey to the East"?

==

I grew up on Hesse.

When you're done making fun of his name, read these by Philip K. Dick, in order:

Valis

The Divine Invasion

The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

Don't worry, he was a believer, and he was at least as important a writer on religious matters as CS Lewis.

You would find his books challenging, and my guess is that you're too insular and self-absorbed to venture outside your narrow range of sanctioned conservative ideas. Valis takes place in an America being transformed into a police state, so you might actually enjoy it. Dick becomes a character in his own novel.

He had a religious experience in his life and was revealed that his son had an undetected hernia, which turned out to be true, saving the boy's life. He writes about it in Valis, interweaving his own experience into the fiction.

Why don't you give the snotty BS a rest and just fụcking read it.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I didn't take it as funny, shrink, you're dead on, and thanks for drawing my attention to my unforgivably sloppy writing. All I can say in defense is that it's a cliched phrase, but I should know better, since it's at the very core of what I was *writing about*.

I've also written rat cheer in River City about the use of "believe" by the lying conservatives. How belief is an easy out from honesty, so color me chagrined.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

materialism is a cross we have to bear
clunking it up to calvary

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I would be afraid of lightning in the sense of fearing for my life were I one of the most elevated things in the area, Tao. I wouldn't be afraid of it just because it's bright and makes big noises, because I know what it is.

I think you've gone as far as fatuous pretense of incomprehension will take you. Did you really misunderstand what I meant? Of course not. I don't think you're een capable of honestly engaging someone who disagrees with you.

Not only unwilling. Unable.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"I have the luxury of knowing I'm right."

Really.

How?

==

Like I said. Hundreds of standard deviations.

QM is the most successful theory in the history of science. Its predictions have been borne out in every last instance.

Once it's reconciled with General Relativity, that reconciliagion being the holy grail of physics, then it'll be perfect, and the merging may very well be absolutely fundamental.

Please let it not be string theory.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

cao,

I was responding to Bernie, and merely citing Paul of Tarsus (not a herder, nor an illiterate).

Immediately a chestless* obverse-troll jumps in and spins a little hate.

If I cited Hesse & you grew up on Hesse then perhaps you ought to reconsider your own range.

And why read about a police state when one can leave his home and live in one, eh?

I loved "Do Androids..." in Jr. High. And Blade Runner is in my top ten (really).

{{{*Abolition of Man, CSLewis}}}

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"Barack [sic] Obama has not smoked a cigarette in almost a year."

The BBC is staying on top of things.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

"Please let it not be string theory."

I know, that would piss me off.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think you're een capable of honestly engaging someone who disagrees with you."

It is exacting to engage one who wishes you dead from the outset.

A query:

Would you die defending your hundreds of standard deviations?

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

materialism is also a bear we have to cross

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

yeah shrink I really don't want to believe in something as fluffy and insubstantial, and I so SO want to disbelieve in supersymmetry.

String theory has basically sidetracked physics for 30 years now, universities giving tenure to physicists working on completely untestable ideas that make no useful predictions in place of others working in areas that could yield fruit. Yeah ST seems to explain things and the way gravity just "falls out" would give anyone wood. Things falling out of theorie, that's always good stuff.

I think the dark matter problem is going to be the pivot; galaxies turn like pinwheels instead of like whirlpools. Where is the extra gravity coming from? Supersymmetry say that there could be one (1) stable superpartner, the neutralino, corresponding to the photon, a superposition of Bino and Wino (ugh), just as the photon is a superposition of a pure electromagnetic boson (B) and the neutral weak force W boson.

I hope we settle this in my lifetime.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Here ya go guys...I created a video that explains clearly the moral and logical necessity for a requirement that every American purchase health insurance:

http://j.mp/hUPOlR

Posted by: RyanC1384 | February 8, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"I hope we settle this in my lifetime."

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

{{{gigglesHigglesBoson}}}

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

It is exacting to engage one who wishes you dead from the outset.

A query:

Would you die defending your hundreds of standard deviations?

==

Wish you dead? Where does that com from? See above re: fatuous incomprehension.

No, I wish your views discredited, as they absolutely have been, maybe not out to hundreds of SDs but hey, there were no WMDs and cutting taxes reduces revenue, and the nay thing that trickles down is piss.

But of course you continue to believe, not only in the absence of evidence (google "God") but with abundant counterevidence. Falsehood is the foundation of what you embrace as "conservatism."

Would I die for QM? I don't need to. More than any idea since the dawn if time, it's proven.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

ru,

If you're out there, I skimmed your earlier comments and commend you for some of your try-on concepts, like "servile compliance."

But I'm going to think of your new, self-assumed role as "servile toadying." :-)

(Probably redundant I suppose.)

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 8, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

And, btw, "flea" is only about the 859th worst thing I've been called here, so I must be making huge progress.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 8, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

"I think the dark matter problem is going to be the pivot; galaxies turn like pinwheels instead of like whirlpools. Where is the extra gravity coming from?"

Yes. But here is a challenge. If we were dogs watching toilets and then figured out, understood how they work, we would be brilliant, sheer genius. If we realized how people controlled that mechanism and were able to communicate it to other dogs, we'd win the prize.

People are more intelligent, but they think they have unlimited capabilities. The Greeks knew, Hubris and Nemesis. I wish people knew more about taking care of each other. It sounds soft, but it is going to be the hard part.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

They're unseen because they're smaller than the wavelength of visible light, champ.

So are viruses. Do you credit your colds to demons?

Posted by: caothien9 | February 8, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

So, the health care bill doesn't have any tax increases in it?

I listed 3 pages of tax increases earlier


Obama is a COMPLETE AND TOTAL LIAR.


Sorry folks, but what will it take for the democrats to give up on this guy?


The liberals have to admit that Obama is a major disappointment - the worst President since Buchanan.


Posted by: RainForestRising | February 8, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"Where does that com from?"

You, of course, know where.

You posted as much in the first comment I ever saw your tag attached to. It's the one that's been re-posted many times as evidence of your unwillingness to engage anybody that would doubt your noble, unsurpassed brilliance.

{{{"Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I."}}}
http://www.shakespeare-literature.com/Richard_III/23.html

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

"...they're smaller than the wavelength of visible light."

Everyone needs an altar. Some are bigger than others. And ancient (for a reason... heh).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I credit my colds to when the grandkids visit.

Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"String theory has basically sidetracked physics for 30 years now, universities giving tenure to physicists working on completely untestable ideas that make no useful predictions in place of others working in areas that could yield fruit. Yeah ST seems to explain things and the way gravity just "falls out" would give anyone wood."

So, do you think gravity remains the problem with physics? It seems to me (obviously this is an area I know very little about) gravity is The Problem.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

AIG's CEO thinks that political affiliation has something to do with AIG's insurance business.

By Simon Johnson

"Robert Benmosche, chief executive officer of America International Group Inc., made several comments last week that were so stunningly ignorant that it’s hard to believe he actually said them.

“All of the states where we’re a leader, where we’re the No. 1 insurer, are red states. All of the states where we’re at the bottom are blue states,” Benmosche said last week at a conference in Washington. “Part of what we found out is that our model is about culture, and it’s about the attitude in the public. And what we find is where there’s more of a tendency for people to be more liberal, more that the government is responsible for what happens to me.”

It’s even harder to believe that someone with such views is not only the top officer at one of America’s largest financial institutions, but one of the many that only exists at all because the government bailed it out with billions and billions of taxpayer dollars -- something Benmosche and too many of his fellow CEOs in finance pretend never happened.

If AIG and Benmosche have really discovered that political beliefs affect creditworthiness in a measurable way, this is a major scientific breakthrough. Let’s hope AIG will either back up his claims with hard data or Benmosche will retract his statement. Whichever way you think this will break, either the Democratic-controlled Senate Banking Committee or the Republican-dominated House Financial Services Committee should want to assess Benmosche’s judgment; he was effectively appointed by the U.S. Treasury Department, after all.

AIG later denied that its United Guaranty mortgage guarantee unit takes political affiliation into account in its credit models."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-07/wall-street-knows-meltdown-was-just-bad-dream-commentary-by-simon-johnson.html

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 8, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me (obviously this is an area I know very little about) gravity is The Problem.
---------------------------------------------
I thought The Problem was Government.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 8, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. "And, btw, "flea" is only about the 859th worst thing"

It was a joke, don't take it so personally...you know kinda like Scott asking what color skirt I was wearing.
I had no problem responding "pink" because I think he was just jerking my chain a bit...I don't really mind having my chain jerked unless it descends into some of the disgusting bile Brigade puts out.

And so Q.B. I have no real problem with
"servile toadying." :-) either. ;-)

Although I must agree with your supposition...it is redundant.

@Cao
Perhaps that leads us to question Cao how he feels about such "obsequious fawning" or "servile toadying"...I'm not sure for my motivation...as in what am I getting out of this fawning and toadying. C'mon Cao what's in this for me?

On a slightly more serious note I did have a response for Scott that me may have missed because I posted the response very late in the day on last night's thread and so I'm going to take the liberty of reposting two thoughts for him.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 8, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

"I am perpetually and quite nearly always wrong about virtually everything I say, to such a point that you feel "sorry" for me, a sentiment that you have expressed several times. Odd, that."
Scott that's simply hyperbole. I think?
I guess it depends if you are saying that I view you as "perpetually" or simply "nearly always". ;-) I certainly would plead innocent to the "perpetually charge" I agreed with your points yesterday about "parity" between the NFL/MLB and conceded depending on the metric used, you were correct. "Nearly always"..well that's a matter of degree and opinion and so I'll simply let that charge stand and say I'm sorry that you feel that way.
"Words don't demonstrate compassion. Actions do. As I have pointed out many times here (obviously to no effect whatsoever) when person A demands that person B pay to solve the problems of person C, it is not an act of compassion."
Now this is where we really disagree and it would take a really long post to parse our differences...in a democracy if the sum votes of A and B vote that they wish to have a "compassionate" society that takes care of the misfortunes of person C IMHO that is indeed a demonstration of compassion...by both A & B because if B disagrees to pay what his neighbors have voted as his fair share he can always leave the country. The fact that B stays and pays his taxes shows some degree of compassion.
I completely get your "theoretical" concerns about majorities with no "skin" in the game forcing the successful amongst us to cough up their hard earned dough.
That could mirror my concern about very wealthy people accumulating all the wealth and forming an oligarchy to suppress the have nots. Both are theoretical extremes that we probably agree have bad consequences.
What we end up discussing in terms of U.S. tax and regulatory policy is not that black and white in reality. I view it as a shifting position along a continuum. Hence I harken back to the days when the middle class was growing..as was the wealthy class btw simply at a slower rate than the past 20 years. I think any objective person would think the hubbub about returning the marginal tax rate smacked of greed. The wealthy are already incredibly wealthy. CEO's who used to earn 26X what their workers earned now earn multiples over 200 times the workers.
Changing tax and regulatory policies to once again grow our middle class are hardly akin to having person A force person B to help with C's difficulties.
There is no purely free market in this nation. You talk in theoretical absolutes that simply do not exist Scott. And again I know your uber logical mathematical brain simply works that way...at least as revealed in your posts.
Lastly stating what you DO NOT view as compassion is no excuse for the absence of any empathy, compassion, or kindness in your posts. If you have a better way to help with our poor and sick..SHARE IT!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 8, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@Scott
A final thought..."Judge not lest ye be judged." I am not trying to judge YOU, I'm only offering an opinion of your posts which would be shared by some, not by others. I suspect that the review of my opinion of you would pretty well go down partisan lines.
Libertarianism sounds fine in theory. Remember I was one myself for ten years.
In reality though it would truly suck.
Rand herself revealed as much by mislabeling "reason" as the greatest virtue. Reason is not a virtue! It is an asset, such as having a brilliant mind. Being intelligent or reasonable have nothing to do with virtue. Kindness, compassion, empathy on the other hand are accepted as virtuous traits whether the person be intelligent, dumb, reasonable, or unreasonable.
But I close with a better mind than mine...perhaps he can make my point better.
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a
piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of
thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me because I am
involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee. . . .
from Meditation 17
by John Donne

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 8, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@Shrink

"I wish people knew more about taking care of each other. It sounds soft, but it is going to be the hard part."

Ohhh that it could be so, but that is an unfulfilled wish as old as mankind I suspect.

Again if I may repeat John Donne's brilliant observation from over 400 years ago...

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a
piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of
thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me because I am
involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee. . . .
from Meditation 17
by John Donne

When my thoughts began mirroring Donne's, and the statement you just made shrink...
I became a progressive. Hard to imagine being a (C)onservative and take Donne to heart!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 8, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

If physics could understand gravity, maybe government would be child's play. I don't think we are just dogs watching the world go by, we are not just looking out the window. We have semiotics.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

"Semiotics"

Thanks shrink for yet another new word.

And so were you referring to...

Semantics: Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata, or meaning

Syntactics: Relations among signs in formal structures

Pragmatics: Relation between signs and the effects they have on the people who use
them.

Shrink I don't know who is making me use my brain more...you or Cao?

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 8, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Hell, at least MediaMatters had to steal the Fox talking point e-mails:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NYT Outsources Editorial Space to Democratic Party
Matt Welch | February 8, 2011

The New York Times has an editorial today complaining that the GOP's plan to snip $41 billion out of the federal non-defense spending this year amounts to "unimaginably steep reductions." This in itself is no surprise. However, check out paragraphs two and three:

"A few days ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began running radio ads criticizing members of the Republican Study Committee, a group of House members that wants to cut $2.5 trillion out of the budget in the next decade, including $100 billion from now through September. In case voters don't know what the actual impact of these drastic reductions would be, the ads are there to remind them:

"Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle supports a plan in Congress that would cut education by 40 percent," said one of the ads, directed against a newly elected Republican from upstate New York. "And her plan would cut science and technology research by 40 percent, too. Research and development is how we get the new products that create new jobs. How does cutting that help us compete with China and India? It doesn't make sense." Ms. Buerkle, like other subjects of ads, represents a district won by President Obama in 2008."

I mean, why not just cut out the middleman already?
http://reason.com/blog/2011/02/08/nyt-outsources-editorial-space/print

{{{not-propaganda propaganda}}}

on the flip flappahz


Posted by: tao9 | February 8, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""Right up above I've linked serious and strong criticism to Obama from multiple sources. I don't know how many other such pieces I've linked in the last two years but it will be three figures.""

I think you are confused. I didn’t say that you never criticize Obama. I suggested that behavior which you find condemnable for one person but not another is generally distinguishable only by the fact that one is an R and the other is a D. Again, that is not a claim that you never criticize D’s in general or Obama in particular.

""And you can't lift a frigging finger to pass on or speak criticisms of Sarah Palin.""

Ever notice that I don't lift a finger to praise her, either? We all have our own personal obsessions, I suppose. Alas, Sarah Palin is not one of mine. You and your comrades have that one all to yourselves.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 8, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

ruk, I think the only way we can escape our viciousness, incest, racism, our predatory need to fight, our ordinary animal, our vulgar evolution is the celebration, our ability to imagine and bootstrap ourselves across symbols. We can imagine things that are not possible. I don't know, but I can't imagine deer or coyote putting together a world they know does not exist, all up in their mind and then dedicating their lives to making some aspect of it change.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

cao:

""Really, I mean really, a magical invisible spirit who controls everything? A talking snake? A rib-woman? How can you honestly believe stuff as retarded as that?""

And then:

""And for the existence of god? Big fat zero. Not a smidgeon. But, oh, you have faith. Fool.""

12Bar...any comments?

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 8, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

"I didn't watch the game on Sunday. Haven't for a few years now. The spectacle has become, for me, a vast display of commercial vulgarity. This terrific evisceration tells the tale..."

I don't care about the ads or the halftime show, but you know, it is the culmination of the NFL season.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 8, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

cao, tonight at 9:19 pm:

""How belief is an easy out from honesty, so color me chagrined.""

cao, this morning, 12:55 am:

""I believe humans have free will.""

Make of that what you will.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 8, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"12Bar...any comments?"

I love how Scott thinks there's some huge implication of two non-Conservatives disagreeing over a topic. ZOMG, CAO THINKS SOMETHING AND 12BB THINKS SOMETHING ELSE! MUAHAHAHAHA.

Ahhh, Conservatives.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 8, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"I mean, why not just cut out the middleman already?
http://reason.com/blog/2011/02/08/nyt-outsources-editorial-space/print"

Cute. It reminds me of when the entirety of the mainstream media went to McCain press conferences where he would talk about ads that he felt were too nasty to release. And then proceeded to show them to the press.

Who then released them to the public.

BUT ZOMG, NYT IZ ZOOOOOOO LIBRRRRLE

Posted by: DDAWD | February 8, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg

I did not miss the dissing of corporate contributions for the democratic Convention AND I asked if that included ALL corporate contributions for ALL the parties and meals put on by ALL the State delegations -


MEANING NO LOOPHOLES, NO NUANCES.


That was the QUESTION YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN GETTING THE ANSWER TO.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 8, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA LIED

OBAMA LIED

OBAMA LIED


Over the weekend, Obama said he didn't raise taxes


Enclosed: PART ONE of Obama's lies, the EVIDENCE AGAINST OBAMA


Individual Mandate Excise Tax(Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following
1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1% AGI/$95 1% AGI/$190 1% AGI/$285
2015 2% AGI/$325 2% AGI/$650 2% AGI/$975
2016 + 2.5% AGI/$695 2.5% AGI/$1390 2.5% AGI/$2085
Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS)

Employer Mandate Tax(Jan 2014): If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees. This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.


If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).


Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years
Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013): This increase involves the creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income
Capital Gains Dividends Other*
2010-2012 15% 15% 35%
2013+ (current law) 23.8% 43.4% 43.4%
2013+ (Obama budget) 23.8% 23.8% 43.4%

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.


It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.

It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 8, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Let's say that Paul Ryan gets unleashed to tell us about his Medicare voucher plan. As I understand it, the plan is to convert Medicare into a voucher program for people currently under 55 and also fix the growth rate of the value of the vouchers at GDP growth plus one percentage point.

How would that work in real life in 2021 when these "voucher people" would start using their vouchers?

1. The vouchers are set at average federal cost per Medicare enrollee in 2012 and growing that amount at the annual rate of growth in G.D.P. per capita plus one percentage point. Health care costs have been climbing considerably faster than that, so over time the value of the vouchers will fall relative to real health care costs. Even in year one (2021), the vouchers would be insufficient.

2. Vouchers mean that beneficiaries would go to the private insurance market to buy insurance. How would they be able to get this insurance if ACA is overturned and we returned to insurance companies underwriting individuals and rejecting pre-existing conditions. Ryan voted to repeal ACA.

3. Today, the cost of Medicare is reduced by the program’s bargaining power with providers. which means the total amount spent by Medicare is less than the total amount that would be spent by all Medicare beneficiaries if they had to buy insurance on the individual market. A voucher system would push them into the individual market, which means that the amount they would have to spend would go up dramatically.

Ryan's plan shifts the burden of healthcare cost increases onto the shoulders of the elderly, which is certainly equivalent to a tax increase to the elderly.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 8, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA LIED

OBAMA LIED

OBAMA LIED


Over the weekend, Obama said he didn't raise taxes


Enclosed: PART TWO of Obama's lies, the EVIDENCE AGAINST OBAMA


Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family). For early retirees and high-risk professions exists a higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family). CPI +1 percentage point indexed.

Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:
First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee
Current Law 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
Obamacare Tax Hike 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed 1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

Medicine Cabinet Tax($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap of $2500 (Indexed to inflation after 2013) on FSAs (now unlimited). . There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax. Exemptions include items retailing for less than $100.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 8, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

""I love how Scott thinks there's some huge implication of two non-Conservatives disagreeing over a topic. ""

Not surprisingly, you've missed the point. The point is not that political allies cannot disagree over religion. Tao and I disagree over precisely the same topic. qb and I disagree over the same topic. McWing and I (I think) disagree over the same topic. The thing is, I don't call their beliefs "retarded" nor do I call them fools for believing what they believe.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 8, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA LIED

OBAMA LIED

OBAMA LIED


Over the weekend, Obama said he didn't raise taxes

Enclosed: PART THREE of Obama's lies, the EVIDENCE AGAINST OBAMA


Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI; it is waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

Tax on Indoor Tanning Services($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons

Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services

Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals(Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS

Tax on Innovator Drug Companies($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year.

Tax on Health Insurers($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. The stipulation phases in gradually until 2018, and is fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits.

$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)

Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2(Min$/Jan 2011): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting($17.1 bil/Jan 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers

“Black liquor” tax hike(Tax hike of $23.6 billion). This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel.

Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”(Tax hike of $4.5 billion). This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 8, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

ruk, semiotics is it, almost by definition, it is the final frontier.
Brains have to represent reality, they, we do not experience reality directly. We interpret and process and remanufacture all that comes in to our brains from the real world. That process is called semiotics.

To this I've had boring people say, well if I punch you in the face you will experience my reality directly. WWI was about exposing a lot of brains to reality, etc. But in ordinary family life, caring about sports, picking products, politics...we transact symbols.
The word is not the thing, the model, the painting, the turn of phrase...semiotics is not linguistics, it is not psychology, it is who we are.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 8, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Who is going to defend the LIES OF OBAMA?

OR do we get an apology from the liberals for imposing this unqualified and inexperienced person on the country.


WHICH IS IT?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 8, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

"Not surprisingly, you've missed the point."

Oh, please. I guess the point was that you were genuinely curious as to whether 12bb would agree or not and you genuinely wanted to know.

Yeah.

As for two Conservatives on this blog disagreeing with something. I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 8, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Netanyahu vows to, "reinforce the might of the state of Israel," whatever the outcome of the Egyptian crisis, reports the BBC.
Well at least we know some things are immutable.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 9, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Since my public is crying out for me :)), what was the question again??

Something to do with believing in God? Or Cao not believing in God? Or Cao calling Scott a fool?

Don't worry about it. Cao probably thinks I'm a fool too for being religious (but he's too kind and sweet to say so). I believe because I want to believe, because it makes life better and sweeter and more worthwhile. If that makes me a fool, it makes me a sweeter fool.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

No liberal wants to defend Obama


And no liberal wants to take personal responsibility for someone who said one set of things during the campaign - and now is doing things TOTALLY DIFFERENT


Obama is a joker - he LIED TO O'REILLY

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 9, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

No, 12Bar, I don't consider you a fool. We've discussed this; your belief is for you a private matter of great personal enrichment, and while I don't share it I recognize the value it has for you.

Tao's is more like a two-handed shove to the chest.

And Scott, yeah, I used the word "belief" after discussing the usage of the concept of belief as a cover for falsehood. What I make of your grasping onto this one-point overlap to crow perfect congruence is that my initial evaluation of you as a simpleton remains, to quote one of your idols, "substantially correct."

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Netanyahu vows to, "reinforce the might of the state of Israel," whatever the outcome of the Egyptian crisis, reports the BBC.
Well at least we know some things are immutable.

==

Translating from the Hebrew:

The settlers will continue to steal land and bludgeon old women, there will be no end of new settlements on land claimed for a future Palestinian state, the military will continue to shoot little children in the back from helicopters and high-five each other every time one falls, bearded men in yarmulkes will bare their teeth in rage that the world objects to the endless stream of atrocities, and Netanyahu & Liebefman will continue to smirk and smirk and smirk at getting away with one little push after another.

Yeah, let's talk about a "right to exist" some more.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Another reason repeal of ACA will be hard is that more small businesses are taking advantage of the new law to cover their employees.


Los Angeles Times:

More Small Businesses Are Offering Health Benefits To Workers

Major insurers around the country are reporting that a growing number of small businesses are signing up to give their workers health benefits, a sign of potential progress for the nation's battered healthcare system. The increase, although not universal, has brought new security to thousands of workers, many of whom did not have insurance or were at risk of losing it.

An important selling point has been a tax credit that the nation's new healthcare law provides to companies with fewer than 25 employees and moderate-to-low pay scales to help offset the cost of providing benefits. The tax credit is one of the first few provisions to kick in; much of the law rolls out over the next few years. ...

In the six months after the law was signed in March, UnitedHealth Group Inc., the country's largest insurer, added 75,000 new customers who work for companies with fewer than 50 employees. The Minnesota company called the increase notable but declined to reveal further details. Coventry Health Care Inc., an insurer in Maryland that focuses on small businesses, signed contracts to cover 115,000 new workers in the first nine months of this year, an 8% jump.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes shrink, gravity is the problem. The Standard Model doesn't include it (though acceptance of an undiscovered spin-2 boson called a graviton is pretty widespread as an extension); General Relativity is a model but not really an explanation, and anyway GR & QM don't play well together (this is THE problem); gravity just falls out of ST like three lemons in a row on the slot machine, but it brings so much extension along with it .. supersymmetry, extra dimensions, branes ... and no e of it is testable at energies within our reach for millennia, not until we can build colliders of galactic dimensions.

It's kinda depressing.

My iPad wants to correct colliders to Cillizza. And it keeps changing in- to I.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

@cao,

I don't understand one word beyond "Yes shrink, gravity is the problem" until you got to "kinda depressing". Please do not consider this to be a cry for explanation, which I doubt in advance I will understand either.

When I have a question on QM, I will call you my friend.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 1:12 AM | Report abuse

The Roberts court won't consider for a second what good the ACA does for the Americsn people. Oh golly gosh no, we wouldn't want to prejudice the decision with such an externality as the public good. Gosh it makes my head spin and my blood boil to even think about it.

No, the only thing that matters is a document written by fallible men over 200 years ago, that and the opportunity to write some nasty political rant and call it a decision.

The law is such a complicated ornate toy, isn't it. Like some clockwork apparatus made for the Mandarin's oldest son.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 1:14 AM | Report abuse

@cao,

I hear that the SCOTUS won't hear this until after the 2012 election so there is another two years for the law to roll out, people to get more invested in it, and the political ramifications to the GOP to affect another election cycle. However much support there is for repeal now, there will be less support in two years.

I see that the governor of Vermont is proposing a single payor healthcare system in his state.

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/February/08/vermont-governor-shumlin-single-payer.aspx

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 1:22 AM | Report abuse

In a nutshell, 12Bar: there is a catechism in physics to explain the fundamental particles. The ones that make up matter (fermions) and the ones that carry the forces between them (bosons). There are four forces; electromagnetism and gravity are part of experience, and two nuclear forces that only operate over nuclear distances. There is a type of boson for each of the forces, but the one for gravity isn't part of the accepted model.

Gravity isn't part of this orthodoxy. It's so weak compared to the other three forces that there is no real penalty for leaving it out.

But everyone recognizes that there is work to be done.

Nuttiest of all: each of the fermions is triplicated, with two Increasingly heavy versions of everything. The heavier ones aren't stable.

There an extension of the SM that postulates a boson for gravity. Nobody has seen it, but it would take very high energies, WAY past the LHC, to observe it. But it's living right across the street from the rst pf the SM while the predictions of string theory are like a galaxy away.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 1:27 AM | Report abuse

12Bar, I got the image of three lemonades falling out of a slot machine and the iPad's insistence on nutty corrections. But the rest of it was over my head too.

I like those statistics on small businesses insuring employees. Some of the early kick-in provisions are already making repeal a disruptive option.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 9, 2011 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Lemons. (My iPad on lemonade.)

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 9, 2011 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Well hopefully by the time the Supremes hear challenges to ACA (and I've read that they could be next year) Obama will have rebalanced the court with people who don't have hit-lists tucked into their back pockets.

Seriously though, what we have is an extremely activist court with vanishing interest in the good of the country. I think it's terminally wrong how the public good has been removed from the equation, and how Scalia can crawl into bed with the Koch brohers and still rule on something as clearly bad for the country as CU.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Healthcare in America--Luxury and Cuts:

Los Angeles Times: Hospitals Are Looking More Like Luxury Hotels -- Here's Why
Hospitals all over the country have been using amenities to lure patients – and the healthcare dollars spent by their insurers. Facilities have a lot to gain by treating a high volume of patients, and if it takes hotel-like luxuries to attract them, so be it (Kaplan, 12/4).

Plain Dealer: Cleveland Clinic To Cut Charity Care For Those Who Live More Than 150 Miles From The City
The still-struggling economy is forcing The Cleveland Clinic to cut charity care to some patients and to require those with insurance to pay for care not covered by their plans. Beginning Jan. 1, all Northeast Ohio Clinic facilities will stop routinely accepting uninsured patients who can't pay, aren't eligible for government assistance and who live more than 150 miles or so from Cleveland (Suchetka, 12/4).

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Luxury:

Case in point: The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, which opened in 2008. In addition to offering many private rooms, the hospital’s “Better Way to Get Better” ad campaign highlighted the availability of room-service meals, massage therapists, stunning views and “a host of other unexpected amenities.” It may seem silly – even tacky – but it clearly seems to have worked. According to the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, the proportion of patients who said they would recommend UCLA rose from 71% to 85% after the new hospital opened, the researchers said.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 1:48 AM | Report abuse

One more piece:

The last century produced the two greatest advances in physics:

(1) General Relativity (Einstein, 1916) which explains gravity and is a complete theory at large scales, like solar systems, galaxies, or the cosmos.

(2) Quantum Mechanics (1920s, Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli, Schrodinger, others), which explains the behavior of particles and is a complete throry at small scales.

Each theory is 99% complete, each theory works perfectly in its respective scale. But.

The two are completely incompatible. Each makes assumptions that are invalid in the other. And there are really vital areas where both have to work before phyics can really get off the pot its been on for 30 years. Like black holes and the first, like, trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.

Its now believed that each is an approximation of a more fundamental theory, just like Newton's Laws are an approximation that works great as long as you're nowhere near the speed of light.

This complete theory is called Quantum Gravity or, in the lay press, the Theory of Everything. It's the Holy Grail. String Theory is one of three promising approaches.

"And that's the way it is" -- Walter Cronkite

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Even the insured can't pay their copays:

Re: Cleveland Clinic

In a second change that takes effect in the new year, the Clinic will ask insured patients -- before they undergo a procedure -- how they intend to pay for care not covered by their health plans.

If they don't have the money to pay their portion, the Clinic will provide them with financial counseling and offer to set up a payment play or discount program, Sheil said. But they'll be expected to cover the costs.

The percentage of insured patients who don't pay their portion of their bills -- often 20 percent to an insurer's 80 percent -- **has risen from 43 percent to 50 percent** in the past couple of years, according to Sheil.
------------------------------------------------
50% of the cost ER visits are uncompensated. Now, we find out that 50% of copays to the hospital are uncompensated (if Cleveland Clinic is typical). The uninsured can't pay and now the insured can't pay either. And Paul Ryan wants copays to be bigger?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

What happens when you don't get health insurance through your employer--

Lack of job-based health insurance does not affect just workers, but entire families who depend on job-based coverage for their health care. This policy brief shows that in 2007 one-fifth of all Californians ages 0-64 who lived in households where at least one family member was employed did not have access to job-based coverage. Among adults with no access to job-based coverage through their own or a spouse’s job, nearly **two-thirds remained uninsured**.

http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/pubs/Publication.aspx?pubID=437

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the physics, but just in terms of the history of the thing is the sought after Theory of Everything the same as the Unified Field Theory Einstein was after?

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 9, 2011 2:41 AM | Report abuse

With Ryan's idea of substituting vouchers for Medicare, seniors would lose not only the 80% coverage Medicare offers, but the often steep discount on the remaining 20% that's their co-pay. Under Medicare, that 20% is 20% of Medicare's allowed amount for a given procedure or pharmaceutical rather than 20% of the provider-billed amount.

If many seniors can't pay the co-pay now, it's nothing like what it would be if co-pays effectively doubled or tripled--and this isn't theoretical.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 9, 2011 2:54 AM | Report abuse

ABC,

Good point and one I didn't think of. 20% of the Medicare Approved Amount is a very small number. 20% of retail list price is a very large number, far greater than double or triple.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, 50% of their patients copays are uncompensated now and some of those patients work. Most seniors do not work, so what percent of their copays won't be compensated? Way more than 50%.

We are rapidly approaching complete collapse in the healthcare system where insurance, Medicare and Medicaid are the only payors.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 9, 2011 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Uh, 12bar, Paul Ryan is a Republican. It would never cross his alleged mind to care about anyone not worth at least eight figures. Let's not lose sight of the context here. He's probably intoned a dozen variations of "business, not a charity" before breakfast.

He cares about cutting taxes, not about the fate of grubby working people.

@ABC: Einstein's UFT was a wasted career. Physics was nowhere near ready. The strong nuclear force, the one I find so exciting, wasn't even known yet (earlier references refer to the force binding nuclei together as the strong force, it now refers to the force that binds protons and neutrons together). The other nuclear force has been unified with the electromagnetic force and efforts are underway to unify the strong force with it, but the strong force is one seriously complicated beast.

Read the wikipedia entry for lattice QCD (I wrote a little of it) for some of the reasons why.

And unification of all four forces, including gravity, would mean that physics was very close to completion.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Joke used to be

"the motto of socialized medicine: don't get sick."

sed /socialized/free market/ < motto

There's the republican solution to rising healthcare costs. If you aren't wealthy as hell, shut up and die.

And look at all the flak I got for joking that such people should be gassed.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 5:06 AM | Report abuse

Totalitarian Republicans will try again with the Patriot Act extensions and good ol' President Capitulation is willing to go along. You know, just in case. Roving wiretaps, suspicion without cause, now everyone face the telescreen and wear the requisite expression of grim optimism before the Two Minutes Hate.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 5:37 AM | Report abuse


Refinancing replaces your current mortgage with a new loan that has a more favorable interest rate and terms that you can afford to manage. The new loan is secured on the same property as your current loan. I refinanced and saving $451 every month! search online for "123 Mortgage Refinance" they got me a 3.11% rate

Posted by: audrahaney | February 9, 2011 5:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm sold. All Hail St. Ronnie.

Heh, heh.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 9, 2011 5:41 AM | Report abuse

With moderate Dems saying they're open to changing the individual mandate, the White House swiftly puts the kibosh on the idea, a sign of how committed Obama is to the mandate as the lynchpin of health reform.


__________________________


TRANSLATION:

We are committed to the American People to be bipartisan and compromise, however we REFUSE to compromise with people even in our own party -


This is why the liberals are disfunctional and have to be REMOVED from government as soon as possible.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 9, 2011 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Reality check after all this patriotic schmalz and Reagan haguography:

If Carter had won reelection the economic collapse of the Soviet Union would not have been one millisecond later than it was.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have any polls on Rahm?


,

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 9, 2011 6:50 AM | Report abuse

""Where does that com from?"

"And look at all the flak I got for joking that such people should be gassed."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

See, cao, I knew you could remember.

Joke? The last excuse of a weakling.

Joke is about right, I suppose. And about all the phrenic firepower you garner to the thousandth standard deviation.

After, of course, liar, bigot, fraud, Judas (heh).

Posted by: tao9 | February 9, 2011 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Cao

"The law is such a complicated ornate toy, isn't it. Like some clockwork apparatus made for the Mandarin's oldest son."

At the risk of "obsequious fawning and servile toadying" that was a very entertaining simile.

With apologies to Scott and Q.B. :-)
By the way when either of you two turn a nice phrase or offer a clever metaphor or simile I'll be sure to compliment you guys as well.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 9, 2011 7:09 AM | Report abuse

"It was a joke, don't take it so personally"

I didn't, I thought it was kinda funny. Might steal it -- "All the lefty fleas started jumping."

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 9, 2011 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Q.B.

"All the lefty fleas started jumping."

I like it.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 9, 2011 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Wikileaks may change the world:

"Diplomatic cables sent from American diplomats in Cairo — 2,752 are in the collection obtained by the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks – provide crucial background on the people and institutions in Egypt's government during the current struggle for the country's future. They also show American officials' close ties to the government of President Hosni Mubarak, despite occasional discomfort with his autocratic rule.

During a 2009 visit from Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak offered an analysis of Iraq that reflected both his fear of Iran and his doubts about democracy, according to a previously unpublished cable.

"Senator McConnell asked if the United States had made it easier for Iran by removing Saddam," the cable reported. "'Yes, removing Saddam from power was the biggest mistake ever committed,'" Mr. Mubarak replied. The Egyptian leader said the Iraqi people "are are tough and bloody, and they need a very tough leader. They will not be submissive to a democratic leader."

Other cables offer revealing portraits of Omar Suleiman, the longtime intelligence chief, now promoted to vice president and overseeing talks with opposition figures, and Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the defense minister. Cables make clear how the Mubarak regime has long used the putative threat of Islamic radicalism from the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition group, to warn the United States not to push too hard for democracy in Egypt. And the cables shed light on Egypt's role in countering Hamas in Gaza and helping to manage Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/08/world/middleeast/201101208-wikileaks-cables-on-egypt.html?ref=world

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Political partisanship in the United States today should be classified as a mental disorder.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Save it, tao, you go on believing whatever you like.

Take it on faith, OK?

Grip <--- get one.

It's a blog, fer chrissake.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

Did you read that NYU report on Afghanistan? It is stunning.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Cao

we have the research on you. Just telling you.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 9, 2011 7:37 AM | Report abuse

"The law is such a complicated ornate toy, isn't it. Like some clockwork apparatus made for the Mandarin's oldest son."

At the risk of "obsequious fawning and servile toadying" that was a very entertaining simile.

==

Thanks again.

That's the way Roberts strikes me. Not so much a hard case ideologue (he is) but disengaged from the effect of law on human life, more impressed with his own intelligence than committed to fairness or anything.

A bit like Wm. F. Buckley, a guy whose views were heavily influenced by his need to show off some new gem he'd run across in the thesaurus. If you watched him you could see his eyes momentarily widen in self-approbation whenever he used an unfamiliar word.

Boil out those words and what he was saying wasn't really that impressive .. but then, the bar has to be really low for conservative intellection.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

You keep that contempt alive, tao. You nurture it like a hothouse orchid, savor it, use it sparingly so it doesn't get stale. You hold those standard deviations and calcium gates in reserve for your most precious moments.

You pathetic little joiner.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Times Editorial:

"The United States and the European Union may not have been able to wheedle or push President Hosni Mubarak from power. Still, they badly miscalculated when they endorsed Egypt’s vice president, Omar Suleiman, to lead the transition to democracy. Mr. Suleiman may talk sweetly to Washington and Brussels. But he appears far more interested in maintaining as much of the old repressive order as he can get away with. That is unacceptable to Egypt’s people, and it should be unacceptable to Egypt’s Western supporters. ...

And while Mr. Suleiman was conciliatory in the early days of the protests, his recent public statements have been chilling. He said he does not believe it is time to lift the three-decade-old emergency law that has been used to suppress and imprison opposition leaders. Most alarming, he said the country’s “culture” is not yet ready for democracy.

Mr. Suleiman is not going to do what’s needed on his own. So the United States and its allies will have to lay down a clear list of steps that are the minimum for holding a credible vote this year and building a democracy.

The Egyptian government cannot choose which reforms to dole out when. Opposition leaders must participate in all aspects of the reform process. The emergency law must be lifted and Egyptians guaranteed freedom of speech and association. All detained protesters must be freed and the government-allied forces who viciously attacked demonstrators last week must be prosecuted.

The government and the opposition need to jointly set a date for elections and establish an independent commission to oversee the process. Egyptian and international monitors will need to observe the vote and the count. The government and opposition will need to work together to establish criteria for registering parties and candidates and ensure that all have access to the news media. Then the full debate over Egypt’s future can take place and the Egyptian people can decide."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/opinion/09wed1.html?adxnnl=1&ref=opinion&adxnnlx=1297256410-yXXEj1lv3tizOtj4HdgEtA

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

"Einstein's UFT was a wasted career."

I have read recently that Einstein was much closer to being correct that he or anyone else imagined. Not sure I can remember where.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 8:08 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne

Yes I did read your link to the Afghanistan report.

As you well know you, and that report are simply confirming what I've known since my days in Vietnam.

Our FP has been ignorant. But through most of the Post WWII years it didn't really matter. We were like the Green Bay Packers....the old Soviet Union in it's strongest incarnation might have resembled the the Ohio State Buckeyes...think the Pack would whip the Buckeyes...think there would be a large margin of error..as in the Pack could call stupid play after stupid play and still win the game.

And of course the rest of the world back then were the equivalent of Mid Am Conference teams like Miami and Kent State.

My point being that we had such a significant margin of error, such a HUGE advantage in power, militarily and economically, that we could get away with all our dunderhead moves in FP...and we made some beauts...bi partisan beauts by the way..this is not endemic to one party.

Fast forward to today...we no longer enjoy such a huge disparity. Others are catching us now. China resembles my Tampa Bay Bucs...up and coming with a great Q.B.
India might be the Kansas City Chiefs..another up and coming team. Brazil could be the Atlanta Falcons...

We are down to our last chance to do something right while we still have what little advantages we currently enjoy.
I wish we could get it right for once..but alas Egypt simply makes me more concerned than ever about our FP...again I say this about BOTH parties.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 9, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

12Bar:

""Cao probably thinks I'm a fool too for being religious (but he's too kind and sweet to say so). ""

Um, he just did.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 9, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

This twitter is hilarious - the tweets like these are not allowed on the blogs.

The terms of service would never allow it. This site is forbidden.


http://twitter.com/#!/MayorRahmE

Rahm thinks that he is going to coast in - Too many people hate him for that

At this point, Rahm's fiscal proposals fall far short.

So, Rahm is running now - he is supposed to have his proposals ready - RAHM'S BUDGET FALLS SHORT AND FAILS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. Any person voting for Rahm is making a mistake.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 9, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Well Einstein's heart was in the right place but it was like trying to develop a supercomputer in the age of steam.

Here we are whole generations later and unification is only started. Salam-Weinberg-Glashow

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1979/

showed that the weak nuclear force and the electromagnetic are interchangeable at high enough energies (and in fact the good ol' photon isn't a pure particle, it's a superposition of two).

Back when the whole universe was no bigger than, oh, a pea then the strong force was similarly unified, but physics is a long way from that, and gravity? We don't even know what it is.

Freeman Dyson overlapped Einstein for two years at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies .. actually avoided meeting him, because he was afraid Einstein might ask him what he thought of Einstein's work, and Dyson would have had to tell him he thought he'd wasted 30 years.

Not that Dyson is any big hero of mine, he's a global warming denier, one of the brightest people who should know better, but, well.

Einstein was an absolute genius in his youth .. in 1905 he published three unrelated papers in Annalen der Physik, each one of them pivotal. One was Special Relativity (the other two explained Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect). Then eleven years later he published General Relativity, his magnum opus .. and that was about it.

I confess that General Relativity is a block for me. I'm self-taught in this stuff, but GR is just too much to bite off. I get particle physics, I get QM, but GR .. well, put it this way, one of the highest goals I've set for myself is to get through the "Black Bible" of GR, the book by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler. I'm nowhere near it. Makes me feel dull and thick-witted.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

""I guess the point was that you were genuinely curious as to whether 12bb would agree or not...""

Wrong again.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 9, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

"My point being that we had such a significant margin of error, such a HUGE advantage in power, militarily and economically, that we could get away with all our dunderhead moves in FP"

That is a cogent point. We have always been saved by our overwhelming material superiority but that is rapidly eroding. Same goes for domestic policy in my view.

BTW: Do you think there will there be pro football next season?

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

It's fun to watch the Obamacrat, media bobbleheads defend Richard Lugar and egg him on in his losing battle with the TEA PARTY. The leftist media forgets that Lugar was one of Dick Nixons's favorites. Liberals hated Nixon and everything associated with Nixon. Now they are smooching up to a Nixonite just because it's convenient. "Feckless" comes to mind here as a descripive word for these people.

And, the feckless ones are trying to coopt the legacy of Ronald Reagan. Liberals hated Reagan and pulled out all the stops trying to discredit him at every turn.

Liberals failed, again, to propagandize their way to total victory so now they want to pretend that Reagan was more like them than conservative.

Hogwash!

Obamaism is losing and the panic is setting in. In desperate times, liberals need desperate measures. The above are but two of them.

Posted by: battleground51 | February 9, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"..they're busy cheering those who are."

Who in fact is cheering on the real terrorists, the Gerald Loughners and the Spokane IED bombers, among others? Who incites these sick people with their overblown, violent rhetoric?

Posted by: rhallnj | February 9, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

Could you link that Afghanistan piece you and ruk are discussing again. I was out most of the day yesterday and missed it.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 9, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

"I confess that General Relativity is a block for me."

I understand it conceptually when it is being explained to me by a good teacher but the moment the teacher stops talking I forget everything he or she said. My wife works at one of the big schools here and I often come across items of interest (that I seldom understand). If I see anything that looks exciting I'll post it for you.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Ims:

Perhaps you saw the article in the Times today about the NYU report on the U.S. in Afghanistan. The 12-page report is clear and concise. The "key findings":

" The Taliban and al-Qaeda remain distinct groups with different goals, ideologies, and sources of recruits; there was considerable friction between them before September 11, 2001, and today that friction persists.

• Elements of current U.S. policy in Afghanistan, especially night raids and attempts to fragment the Taliban, are changing the insurgency, inadvertently creating opportunities for al-Qaeda to achieve its objectives and preventing the achievement of core goals of the United States and the international community.

• There is room to engage the Taliban on the issues of renouncing al-Qaeda and providing guarantees against the use of Afghanistan by international terrorists in a way that will achieve core U.S. goals."

The report is must-read for anyone with an interest in the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Here is the link:

http://www.cic.nyu.edu/afghanistan/docs/gregg_sep_tal_alqaeda.pdf


P.S.:

My Sox are looking good this year now that we stole Ruk's best player. How 'bout them Angels?

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/the_morning_plum_183.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 9, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

"Wrong again."

*sigh*

It's called being factitious.

But you having trouble understanding what cao meant when he said, "No, 12Bar, I don't consider you a fool."?

Hint, it's the polar opposite of what you just said when you said "Um, he just did."

I know you're the Smartest Conservative In The World, but that pretty much only makes you smarter than non-Conservatives with anencephaly.

I mean, really. This isn't some obscure lie. All I had to do is freaking scroll up half a page to see you're lying. And you're lying to 12BB who was reading the conversation last night!!!

Posted by: DDAWD | February 9, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Re: America:

"Even the president of the United States Sometimes must have to stand naked"

B. Dylan

Posted by: wbgonne | February 9, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

In clicking on the link tao (TM) provide to Reason (TM) magazine, I see that Townhall (TM) has a straw poll up for favorite conservative presidential candidate next election and way up top is Sarah Palin (TM) at 22.3 with Romney (TM) .

Posted by: bernielatham | February 9, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I know you're the Smartest Conservative In The World, but that pretty much only makes you smarter than non-Conservatives with anencephaly.

==

He scores

Posted by: caothien9 | February 9, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

@Scott

Dude I'm beginning to really question your reading comprehension skills.

Cao directly addresses 12Bar

"No, 12Bar, I DON'T CONSIDER YOU A FOOL. We've discussed this; your belief is for you a private matter of great personal enrichment, and while I don't share it I recognize the value it has for you."

Caps are mine for emphasis not Cao's.
You read this? And then post...

12Bar:

""Cao probably thinks I'm a fool too for being religious (but he's too kind and sweet to say so). ""

Um, he just did.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 9, 2011 8:25 AM

WTF are you talking about Scott. I'm not being snarky here...I'm genuinely bemused!

Seriously Scott..WTF does your post mean.
You have descended to Q.B. levels with that post in as much as someone can post something VERY SPECIFIC and you go and accuse them of exactly the OPPOSITE of what they've posted. This is beyond bad faith...and that's being charitable.

I could say the sky is blue and not be surprised at all to have you or Q.B. come back moments later saying RU thinks the sky is pink.

Perhaps you can explain?

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 9, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

Thanks for the link. I'm sooooo ready for baseball season, anti-trust or not. As long as my BFF Morales is back I'll be a happy camper. We lost Rivera and Napoli so we'll see if it's a good trade, we haven't exactly done ourselves any favors in that department lately.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 9, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

"BTW: Do you think there will there be pro football next season?

Wow...that is the how many billions of $$ question.

I don't have an answer but see what you think of this proposal. The owners want 18 games to increase revenue...the players claim they can't even make it through a 16 game schedule without their bodies breaking down.

How's this for a compromise wbgonne?
There WILL be an 18 game schedule. OK the owners get more $$$ share some with the players.
A new rule is created saying no individual player can suit up for more than 16 games.
The players get some much needed rest from the brutal battering.

An ancillary effect would be that coaches and GM's would need to be even more talented...as in selecting which two games their star Q.B. sits...which combination they sit their stars..all at one...some..would your Pats dare sit a stud offensive lineman and still leave in Brady.

The small downside is that folks in cities with bad teams would probably miss seeing the Brady's, Mannings et al in action...but most fans go to support their home team in the NFL anyway...unlike MLB which has 162 games where folks will select "certain" games to see a star player.

Of course the teams would have to announce who is sitting by Tuesday at the latest so the gambling line wouldn't be compromised.
I say this in all seriousness btw.

Should be good for your Pats wbgonne...the smarter coaches like Belichek would just gain one more advantage.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 9, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Perhaps you can explain?""

Sure. cao said that a belief in God is a "retarded" belief and then implied that having faith in the existence of God makes one a fool. 12Bar apparently does maintain this "retarded" faith in God. Hence she is, according to cao's thinking, a fool.

Yes, cao later proclaimed that she is not a fool, but I can't be held to account for cao's self-contradictions. Perhaps you should put your pom poms away for a bit and ask him, not me, about it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 9, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Scott

I don't have to ask Cao about it. His posts seem quite clear to me.

Tao in particular, you tangentially, have tried to force religious beliefs down others throats by using them as rationales for things that are normally reserved for the purview of "science" or "facts". 12Bar on the other hand does not come across with "sounding brass and tinkling cymbals". She reserves her faith for herself and doesn't use "faith" to discuss things like QM or any number of phenomena
that are better left to the scientists.
Can you say evolution?

Cao was tossing off hyperbole directed at Tao. Tao gave nothing rational in any of his posts...simply more hot steaming dogma.

DDAWD has labeled your post as a lie.
I choose not to go that far because this is a blog with partisans who are busy scoring points. Let's just say your point was disingenuous at best...your explanation notwithstanding.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 9, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm...I could have sworn that cao had written an explanation. But Scott is the Smartest Conservative In The World and certainly not a filthy liar, so I must be mistaken and no such explanation is there.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 9, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

""I could have sworn that cao had written an explanation.""

Typically, you thought wrong. cao wrote a transparently absurd rationalization attempting to avoid the necessary implications of his unsolicited and mean-spirited attack on tao's religious beliefs. He's like a guy who uses a nasty racial epithet and then suddenly realizes he's got a black friend. "Oh, well, er, um, obviously I didn't mean YOU."

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 9, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""His posts seem quite clear to me."

Me too.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 9, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3, me three. Over on The Fix, caothien9 (posting as GoldAndTanzanite) scoffed at the Book of Revelations [sic] suggesting we are "bonkers" and should instead go into the bathroom together with some candles and an Ouija board to inquire about what lies ahead.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/most-important-number/the-most-important-number-in-p-39.html

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 9, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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