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Posted at 8:04 AM ET, 02/12/2011

Open Thread

By Greg Sargent

All yours.

By Greg Sargent  | February 12, 2011; 8:04 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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National Review Audience Polling Fun, today's chapter.

The poll asks, "After Mubarek, Egypt will become a____?
Choices are:
democracy
military dictatorship
islamic state
muddle

Guess which wins big? (just vote to find out)

http://www.nationalreview.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

ps... as you'll likely note on viewing the page, a particular theme emerges, a theme being echoed every 6.4 minutes on FOX, which could be properly stated as...

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD!

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Et tu, Yemen?

"Yemeni police with clubs on Saturday beat anti-government protesters who were celebrating the resignation of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and demanding the ouster of their own president."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jHQpaGWXteEwzTEgHNrxTHezLKlQ?docId=d57fec334e824c039213c269457d6929

The times, they are a changin'.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

The NRO crowd is 96% negative re: Egypt. Talk about being on the wrong side of history. THose guys aren't even in the right century.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

"THIS week’s Economist-YouGov poll contains some exciting news for devotees of the weed. A huge majority of Americans, more than two to one once don’t knows have been excluded, support the legalisation and taxation of marijuana. Even without excluding the don’t knows, a clear majority favours treating the drug equivalently to tobacco and alcohol."

http://www.economist.com/node/18118857?story_id=18118857&fsrc=rss

Someone please remind me why Obama isn't doing this, quietly and without fanfare. It is a clear policy winner and a clear political winner. Have Sen. Webb run it before he quits. Pick the low-hanging fruit, O-Man, don't let it rot.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I put Fred Barnes in that category which George Will most perfectly represents - men who could put on a powdered wig from the Universal prop department and neither they nor anyone else would think anything amiss.

In the Weekly Standard he writes a defense of Rumsfeld and Rummies book. He is not pleased with the grilling some reporters have given Rummy. The piece has been titled...
"The Interrogation of Rumsfeld" (yeah, there's an illustration too)

Given the realities of the interrogation techniques that this disgusting human set loose under his command and given the minor trouble he actually got in the interviews noted, I don't know if I can think of a more bleak example of how morally debased Barnes and the Weekly Standard are. This is vile.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Want to know why Right Wing Trolls come here day after day to spew venom at a site run by someone they insult and mock?

$250 per hour.

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2011/02/11/hbgary-fees-dam-it-feels-good-to-be-a-gangsta/

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

"Another set of documents proposed similar ways to embarrass adversaries of the Chamber of Commerce for an initial fee of $200,000 and $2 million later. The e-mails include what appears to be an exchange on Nov. 9, 2010, between Aaron Barr, HBGary Federal’s chief executive, and John W. Woods, a Hunton & Williams partner who focuses on corporate investigations. Mr. Barr recounted biographical tidbits about the family of a one-time employee of a union-backed group that had challenged the chamber’s opposition to Obama administration initiatives like health care legislation.

“They go to a Jewish church in DC,” Mr. Barr apparently wrote. “They have 2 kids, son and daughter.”

A week later, Mr. Barr submitted a detailed plan to Hunton & Williams for an extensive investigation into U.S. Chamber Watch and other critics of the chamber, including the possible creation of “in-depth target dossiers” and the identification of vulnerabilities in their computer networks that might be exploited.

Another PowerPoint presentation prepared for Hunton & Williams said the research that HBGary Federal and its partners could do for the law firm on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce would “mitigate effect of adversarial groups” like U.S. Chamber Watch. The presentation discussed the alleged criminal record of one leader of an antichamber group, and said the goal of its research would be to “discredit, confuse, shame, combat, infiltrate, fracture” the antichamber organizations."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/us/politics/12hackers.html?_r=1&hp

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Nice Day, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone else heard the delicious rumor that the hotel hosting CPAC is infested with bedbugs? Oh how I hope it's true!

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 12, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I found this rather cute. Another title over at the Weekly Standard...

"Politics Trumps Economics"

Ignoring the fun bits inside like this...

"The tension between the White House and the business community was hardly dissipated by Obama’s ostentatious stroll across the road from the White House to visit the Chamber of Commerce,"

How dare he!? Ostentation belongs to us! It's our thing, dammit. Etc.

But what's particularly notable is that title. It suggests the apparently obvious rational and moral truth that politics ought not to trump economics. It can happen, it's sort of a part of reality but it ought not to happen or the crap is going to hit the fan, etc.

Then... we recall what Irving Kristol said about stuff in a 1995 essay...

"Among the core social scientists around The Public Interest there were no economists.... This explains my own rather cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit and other monetary or fiscal problems. The task, as I saw it, was to create a new majority, which evidently would mean a conservative majority, which came to mean, in turn, a Republican majority - so political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government..."

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

@Jenn - It's horrid of me, I know (wife just returned from a conference in Manhattan where this ain't a pretty story now) but still, yes, I do hope its true in the CPAC case. I'm sorry, god.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

@wb - re the NRO crowd... at least these guys read books.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Fred Barnes? Now there's a guy who deserves to be buried alive. Talk about selling out.

At one time he held Tom Braden's chair on Crossfire .. later when the money was on the conservartive side he held Pat Buchanan's.

OK, people ossify with age .. fine .. people chase the money and stand up on their hind legs for attaboys. Just look at Chris Cillizza.

But Barnes deserves premature burial for one special reason: his destruction of The New Republic. From an intellectual magazine of boundless worth to just another conservative rag.

Fred Barnes is the personification of a political whọre.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

OT(since it's an open thread): this book is rocking' the happening world:


http://www.amazon.com/Particle-Dark-Matter-Observations-Searches/dp/0521763681/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297519507&sr=8-1

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Want to know why Right Wing Trolls come here day after day to spew venom at a site run by someone they insult and mock?

$250 per hour.

==

They are SO not getting their money's worth.

Has anyone and I mean ANYONE yet seen a conservatroll who could convince anyone of anything other than "conservatives are psychopaths?"

I've met maybe three people who were as sick & twisted in person as the *typical* conservatroll is online. And I mean *typical* nowhere near as S&T as, oh clawrence / JakeD.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone has mentioned it here but we really ought to note the role of unions in finally tipping the Egyptian regime out of power.

No social/political entity has been more directly targeted for extinction in the US system than unions. The campaign has been of long-standing and hugely funded by the corporate sector as we all know. We're not better for the effectiveness of this campaign.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"A Pakistani court issues an arrest warrant for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf over the 2007 assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto."

Now wait just a gosh darn minute. Musharraf was a man Bush trusted, he was our ally in the war, well, anyway we sure gave him a lot of money so he wouldn't let Mullah Omar and ObL escape Tora Bora. We were the hammer and the anvil, well, this military dictator wasn't our friend after all. ♬♪ Go on, take the money and run...♬♪

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

...who's next sweepstakes...

"Thousands of people are holding a pro-democracy rally in Algeria's capital Algiers, defying a government ban."

♬♪Baba O'riley♬♪

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Labor organization was on a roll in the 40s. In fact without the interruption of WWII and the rise of the anticommunist right wing movements afterward, every American would have a living wage and access to healthcare. Labor organization wasn't part of the rise of the middle class, it was the *reason* for it.

Historians will look back on the period from ~1940 - 1980 in America with wonder, and careers will pivot around speculating why we let it fall apart.

Oh well at least America is serving one purpose for the rest of the world, showing what a crock the whole "free market" thing really is. Learn from America .. guide your economies and nurture the organization of labor.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I think you mean "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

re Trolls...

I was glad to see Cao and Tao and later Scott have a discussion on a higher plane than simple invective and insults on last night's thread.

I do think Scott made a good point at disabusing us of the idea that all C's think alike. Although I agree with Cao and Bernie...whatever they "think" they follow the 11th commandment.

However here on this blog..just like we progressives the conservatives come here for a variety of reasons. E.G. I can't say I really know what Q.B. thinks because again IMHO he comes here to fulfill that void left by no longer participating on his law school debate team. He pulls his assignment...defend the right at all costs and then is left to do his best...and he does try doesn't he? :-) But when you're handed a slip that says defend Sarah Palin or try to prove Faux is fair and balanced...he's really screwed. I think "some" righties come here for the same reason as me..to learn something...to engage in a social experience with folks who are by and large much brighter than the folks I meet in everyday life. Folks here are simply interesting. I think many of our right wing friends would make the same observation. I find Troll and Tao post in a manner..when they're not having a good time with some fun snark...are sincere in their beliefs and may just enjoy the intellectual exchange of ideas.

The motivation for rainman? Could it be for the $$$. Hard to imagine...but then it's hard to imagine why anybody posts like rainman. Poor clawrence lives in a fantasy world that perhaps believes somehow he is going to change our minds on abortion, environmentalism or any of his right wing positions.

I think some on the right come here to find out the left wing viewpoint just as Bernie does our dirty work by researching the right wing sites...thanks for your efforts Bernie I don't see how you can wade through a lot of that cr&p without feeling the need for a shower afterwards.

A prime example of a great discussion where I learned something new, was Scott and Mark talking about the flat tax. I used to think since the wealthy are not paying their fair share right now perhaps a flat tax with no loopholes might help. Mark's cogent post replete with specific numbers has disabused me of that idea.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 12, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"Has anyone and I mean ANYONE yet seen a conservatroll who could convince anyone of anything other than "conservatives are psychopaths?"

I don't know. Every time STRF posts I'm on the edge of turning vehemently anti-Obama but somehow pull myself back off the edge.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 12, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking they're all wasted.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

ruk, I was thinking the same thing about bernie, but then I realized, I will listen to Focus on the Family, Savage, etc. sometimes too. It feels prurient, a perverse curiosity, then I think, "why am I subjecting myself to this?" and turn it off, relieved and horrified.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

JUst finished "Hot: Living Through The Next Fifty Years On Earth," by Mark Hertsgaard. Must read for everyone. Bottom line: even if we stop burning carbon fuels completely today, we are locked into 30-40 years of warming, with almost certain 3 feet rise in sea levels. And it is already happening. Moreover, assuming we don't stop our carbon emissions immediately (ha ha), we are on the verge of putting the environment into an irreversible warming pattern.

This is a crime against humanity. Those responsible for perpetrating this horror must be held accountable. And that includes those who deny science to fatten Big Oil's profits and collect their blood money payoffs. These people are evil and they must be shunned and punished.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I was guessing that RFR had given up, and gone on to greener pastures. I've been noticing a steady decrease in the number of blocked posts that Kevin's excellent Troll Hunter has been reporting -- ZERO for this thread!
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

...I was guessing that RFR had given up...

Is there a methamphetamine shortage on the Georgetown campus?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@ruk: I think QB is pretty much at the same level as Brigade. One line of doctrine, twenty lines of insults. He's not as "gross-out" oriented as Brigade -- nobody is -- but he's no more controlled. Not worth our time. They support Palin, they're not serious.

RFR? I'm guessing there is some physical disability going on. Over at The Fix he would be on for 20 hours, then gone for four, then right back at it. He definitely doesn't work and nobody could get as little sleep as the timestamps said without stimulants. He's supported. I wonder if he's in a 'chair, maybe even bedbound.

Jake / claw is a stupid sicko, full stop. A truly bent person whose only joy in life is being as much of a nuisance as he can. He loves being loathed. Garbage.

TrollMcWN gushes over Palin, I don't take him seriously. sorry, I do think he's in it for the shock value.

Scott, Tao, and Kevin are the only conservatives here worth reading at all, and only in their better moments. Scott really does seem determined to show himself void of compassion and care, I don't get that at all, it's libertarian and it's cruel. But he's not saying it to be shocking or to get attention, he really means it. I don't get it.

Tao and Kevin lose me when they think they're being clever. I do accept both as having some of the humanity that Scott seems to want to purge from himself.

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

@ru - I have cherished friends who are brilliant conservative nutcases. Great people, bad information.

As to monitoring right wing information outlets, I actually regret I presently don't have time to do much more of it. Essentially, it is an extension of my anthropological interests made acute by what I see as the threats to liberty and rationality that his modern movement conservatism represents. Propaganda has been an interest since I was in my teens and the US makes for a very good study of it.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Had an interesting "interaction" with a winger on facebox. A friend had posted, wondering if the new Egyptian government (whatever form that might take) would blow the whistle on American renditions, etc.

The winger came in first, alluding to the Swiss arrest warrant, which had only a tangential connection to the subject, IMO. So, I did the "WTF?" and was treated to a dozen or more shifting topics. Completely unfocused.

Each time, I would write two or three sentences, trying to keep the topic on-point, Re: renditions, and would it be justifiable for signatories to arrest Americans for treaty violations. It was no use.

Anyway, I suggest that members of the current administration also spend the rest of their days in the U.S. Don't do the crime if...
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I was guessing that RFR had given up, and gone on to greener pastures. I've been noticing a steady decrease in the number of blocked posts that Kevin's excellent Troll Hunter has been reporting -- ZERO for this thread!
.
==

Detox. He'll be back.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The winger came in first, alluding to the Swiss arrest warrant, which had only a tangential connection to the subject, IMO. So, I did the "WTF?" and was treated to a dozen or more shifting topics. Completely unfocused.

==

He's a Coulter fan. That rapid-fire shifting from one accusation to another is a tactic to keep the other on the defense.

Doesn't work in print but in person those are the easiest to get the head to pop. Just don't let them distract, keep coming back to the core question. Had one of them in my gym, looked sorta like Likkud Joe .. he'd go from one victim to another and give a ten-minute speech on the topic of the day .. I got him in the jacuzzi one day and he had one of the worst days of his life.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

....anthropological...

heh, heh, in the name of science, like the wing nut cop caught with kiddie porn who said he was researching how the sick people think.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Wanna have a hoot? Go visit conservatives4palin.com.

Two topics make up the whole site:

"she didn't say that!"

and

"she didn't mean that!"

Nominally it's to support her, but even there they only have time to defend her.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"I do think Scott made a good point at disabusing us of the idea that all C's think alike."

That shouldn't have been anything new to you. Scott explained the phenomenon quite well, but you've observed the truth about it enough times to know it. Scott and I have held some fairly in-depth discussions of points where we disagree. But it shouldn't be surprising that we would agree about 90% more than you either of us would with you.


"I can't say I really know what Q.B. thinks because again IMHO he comes here to fulfill that void left by no longer participating on his law school debate team."

You seriously don't know what I think about anything? I do find that many liberal mistakenly claim to know that I (or other conservatives) think X; that's usually a function of poor reading, poor thinking, and preconceptions. But categorically to say you don't know what I think is a little bit of a stretch.

"But when you're handed a slip that says defend Sarah Palin or try to prove Faux is fair and balanced...he's really screwed."

You're obsessed with them as topics, not me. All I've ever said -- and proven -- is that your strident, over-the-top slurs are misplaced. (E.g., I've debunked more than one claim of falsehoods put out by Fox, and I don't particularly even like Fox.)You're incapable of seeing the world any other way. Fine. You look just as ridiculous to me as I do to you.

"I think some on the right come here to find out the left wing viewpoint just as Bernie does our dirty work by researching the right wing sites...thanks for your efforts Bernie I don't see how you can wade through a lot of that cr&p without feeling the need for a shower afterwards."

This is what always makes your accusations of close-mindedness, ignorance of other ideas, etc., ridiculous. Bernie says a lot of crazy and untrue things, but at least I credit him for reading some of the "other side." I see no other liberals here who as far as I can see are remotely familiar with what conservatives actually think.

I recall that it drove you around the bend that I once said conservatives here generally understand the ideas of the other side better than vice versa. Virtually every day proves me correct, and I'm always amazed that you (collective) imagine yourselves better informed about "the other" than the conservatives who read this site.

I'll close with noting again that it's ridiculous for some of these lefties to be complaining about flaming. And note I said some -- shrink isn't a flamer. Have you ever noticed that all of the conservatives here are able to hold pleasant discussions with him? I don't know that I've even seen one careen off into flaming, even though many of us couldn't be more at odds with some of his viewpoints. Think about that.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 12, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

ru,

Btw, I'm still fascinated that you find my rejection of your anti-Palin extremism to be disqualifying but find TrollMWN (who's a great commenter) to be rational. Sort of puzzling, isn't it?

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 12, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Here is a fun feature.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12434787

Sure it is an absurd understatement, but I really admire the people who did this. Amazing. What an achievement. No wonder they are not worried that the country is ruled by a bunch of aged crony-generals.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

There's no greater extremism about Palin on exhibit here than the assertion that she's an intelligent woman qualified to be president.

That's an extreme quality, claimed in the absence of evidence and against an abundance of counter evidence, more every day.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

QB you toss around "proof" and "proves" with an abandon that draws your credential claims into question. Those are rather extreme words even in the hard sciences; in the world of ideas they have no place at all

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"Here is a fun feature."

I was just going to post that! It is amazing. What impresses me is that the long view of Tahrir didn't (couldn't) show the level of organization that the demonstrators were able to achieve.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 12, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Another interesting development..."Officials from Mr Mubarak's regime have now been banned from leaving the country."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The Louisiana Congressional delegation -- both parties -- is a great place to start rounding up the environmental terrorists:

"It would cost the oil and gas industry about 7 to 12 cents a barrel of oil to pay for an augmented federal regulatory regime that might help avoid a repeat of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, two members of the National Oil Spill Commission told Congress Friday. "That's less than a quarter of a cent per gallon of gasoline," Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, told members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. "It's a very modest cost that's easily affordable for the industry."
But after the hearing, Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, said the spill commission's recommendation that industry pay more to regulate itself is a "non-starter." "It's not going to happen," said Landry, who represents the coastal district hit hardest by the disaster. While the Obama administration has said the oil and gas industry can easily afford to pay to raise the bar on its conduct, the industry says it already pays plenty into federal coffers, and oil patch lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, agree."

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2011/02/national_oil_spill_commission_2.html

Crimes against humanity. Nothing less.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know that I've even seen one careen off into flaming, even though many of us couldn't be more at odds with some of his viewpoints."

Hey qb, I just noticed this. Yes well I just don't get flaming. Bernie was right one one day when he said it is about as interesting as listening to a drunk berate his girlfriend in a bar. Obviously we are here to both agree and disagree. I am always pleased when I can find points of agreement with the conservatives here and there are many (I despise America's public employee unions, for example). Web boards that enforce ideological purity are readily available for people who can only tolerate their own thoughts.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Ex-Shell CEO Says Big Oil Can Live Without Subsidies

"Large oil companies don’t need tax subsidies when oil prices are high, a former CEO of Shell Oil said Thursday.
“In the face of sustained high oil prices it was not an issue—for large companies—of needing the subsidies to entice us into looking for and producing more oil,” John Hofmeister told National Journal Daily. Hofmeister retired from Shell in 2008 and founded the group Citizens for Affordable Energy. He testified to a House subcommittee Thursday on how Egyptian unrest affects oil prices.

Before that hearing, he told Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., in a private conversation that big oil companies don’t need government help. Markey mentioned Hofmeister’s comment in a news conference later Thursday when introducing legislation eliminating $5 billion worth of subsidies to the major oil and gas companies. “He told me that privately [Thursday] but that he would say that in public if asked to do so,” Markey said after the news conference.

The issue didn’t come up in the hearing, but Hofmeister confirmed to National Journal Daily he had said that to Markey. “I told him that my overall position on that topic has not changed from testimony I gave back in 2008 when we had the very high gasoline prices,” said Hofmeister, who testified in several hearings during the spring and summer of 2008 when he was CEO of Shell. He noted that other executives of major oil companies who testified then echoed the sentiment.
Hofmeister’s comments come at a time when Democrats in both chambers of Congress are calling out Republicans for their continued support for the subsidies while pledging to slash funding in almost every area of the federal government. Republicans have not and almost certainly will not cut the subsidies despite this political pressure. The GOP and the American Petroleum Institute say that the subsidies are necessary so jobs in the industry aren’t lost or shipped to other countries."

http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/ex-shell-ceo-says-big-oil-can-live-without-subsidies-20110211?print=true

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 12, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

caothien9 confesses: "I got him in the jacuzzi one day and he had one of the worst days of his life."

Even ScottC3 has to have SOME empathy for all those poor, innocent little boys.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 12, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

cao (brought forward):

""I don't believe for one second that America has sought to make the world a better place""

Well, we disagree. But be that as it may, should America seek to make the world a better place? If so, how? Is there a nation the example of which we should follow?

""I ask you to name one (1) unambiguous instance when America supported the emergence of liberty without a much more conspicuious economic motivation…""

World War II is an easy one. Iraq is also one. If economics was the motivation, it would have been far more economical to simply cut back room deals with Saddam and pay him off, in much the same way that you accuse the US of doing in other instances. I’ve never understood the accusation that Iraq was about oil money. What was gained by going to war that could not have been gained at much less cost (in both blood and treasure) by simply cutting deals with Saddam?

"" …and did so without killing a whole bunch of people.""

All of the nations formerly behind the iron curtain.

""As for a flat tax, you know as well as I that this isa giveaway to the wealthy…""

No, I don’t. I begin from the presumption that the money people earn belongs to them, not to the state. In other words, non-taxation is not a “giveaway”. Taxation is a “takeaway”.

""…that it can only raise sufficient revenue by brutalizing everyone else.""

As I mentioned to mark, what is “sufficient” is relative. It may be true that a flat tax sufficient to fund current expenditures would “brutalize” some people. But that doesn’t mean that a flat tax that wouldn’t “brutalize” anyone wouldn’t be sufficient to fund more reasonable expenditures. Quite simply, I think we spend too much money. And a flat tax has the virtue of focusing the minds of all the voting populace on whether or not a particular expenditure is truly worth the cost. Because it does cost everyone, not just a small minority.

""...it seems obvious to me that the wealthy get a lot more out of the scaffold of society and therefore *should* contribute more to it as well.""

I’m not sure what you mean by “scaffold of society” or how you measure what people “get out” of it. But in any event, under a flat tax the more wealthy one is, the more one would pay. So your objection on that front doesn’t seem viable.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Sue: I highly recommend the Hertsgaard book. It was reviewed in last Sunday's Times. Hertsgaard tries to be optimistic but that only makes it more terrifying, IMO. Three feet sea level rise is inevitable, so is 2 degrees centigrade temperature increase. The economic effects will be staggering, yet we still have evildoers creeping around saying there is nothing to worry about. Anyone with young children will be shocked what their kids are in for.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Here's some good news from the solar industry here in CA. The cost is going down and is now more than competitive.

""California -- We hear it every day: "Solar is too expensive." Well, not according to the California utility Southern California Edison.

In a recent filing to the state's Public Utilities Commission, SCE asked for approval of 20 solar PV projects worth 250 MW – all of which are expected to generate a total of 567 GWh of electricity for less than the price of natural gas.

Although the exact details of the 20-year contracts for the projects are kept confidential for a few years, the utility reports that all winning solar developers issued bids for contracts below the Market Price Referent, which is the estimated cost of electricity from a 500-MW combined-cycle natural gas plant.

What does that mean? It means that a large number of solar PV project developers believe they can deliver solar electricity at a very competitive price. And these aren't mega-projects either. All of the installations will be between 4.7 MW and 20 MW – a sweet spot for PV projects.

Although the price of natural gas has plummeted in recent years because of excessive production and lower demand for power, the cost of solar projects and the price of solar electricity has dropped in tandem. With stong solar requirements in states like California, demand for PV has stayed strong.

"Solar energy is a natural hedge against rising energy costs – a hedge that regulators and utilities are turning to lower electricity costs for their customers," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

California regulators seem to agree that mid-sized solar PV installations, which capture economies of scale but suffer fewer regulatory and transmission constraints, are an important part of the market.""

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2011/02/solar-pv-becoming-cheaper-than-gas-in-california?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-February9-2011

Posted by: lmsinca | February 12, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1, even shrink2 "flamed" deadbeat relatives of the sickos he has to treat.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 12, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ims:

If, as Sue mentions, the U.S. government would simply stop subsidizing Big Carbon there would be a real chance to renewables. If the U.S. would actually make Big Carbon pay for its destruction of the planet with a tax the problem would solve itself.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone with young children will be shocked what their kids are in for." We already live in Oregon, we expect our property values to rise, a lot, especially the place (on a high bank) on the Columbia. I have water rights. On the other hand, my mom's place in Woods Hole will be condemned, should be now, it has a salt pond in the formerly dry basement. Maybe over 90% of Canadians won't be piled up within 100miles of the US border anymore

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

cao:

""Scott really does seem determined to show himself void of compassion and care,""

What I care about, why, and to whom I show compassion is a private matter. It's not my purpose here to gain accolades for being a caring person. I don't air my emotions in public, and frankly I find public preening about one's own deep sense of compassion and caring to be rather grotesque. Truly compassionate and secure people aren't concerned with proving it to nameless, faceless commentors on a blog, nor do they spend their time on blogs taking others to task for
not "caring" as deeply as they do.

I don't understand this obsession some of you guys have with my "empathy", except perhaps as a distraction from an inability or unwillingness to take on my points logically and with reason.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

even shrink2 "flamed" deadbeat relatives...and Mubarak, I called him a psychopath the other night, which I regretted immediately and still do; it violates my rule against throwing around psychiatric diagnosis-as-insults online. I guess since Hosni probably was not refreshing the Plum Line comments section on the last night of his 30 year "presidency" I'll take a Mulligan on that shot.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

From what I've read, Shell is the Good Guy, relatively speaking. EXXON-Mobil is the worst and provides most of the funding for the prostitutes who lie about science and perpetrate crimes against humanity in exchange for some money. Judgment Day will be a day of reckoning for the Environmental Terrorists.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"Shell is the Good Guy", ah, the effectiveness of PR, just don't visit the Niger Delta region.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Your posts have never revealed the first iota of empathy!""

They’ve never revealed my wife’s name, either. Does that mean she doesn’t have one?

""I get under your skin…""

No, you don’t, ruk. Sincerely.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"In Oregon, we expect our property values to rise, a lot, especially the place (on a high bank) on the Columbia. I have water rights. On the other hand, my mom's place in Woods Hole will be condemned, should be now, it has a salt pond in the formerly dry basement."

According to Hertsgaard the Western U.S. is in for a lot of trouble between sea level and climate changes. Good that you have water rights because lack of water, apparently, will be one of the largest problems. The Sunbelt is doomed. TX, AZ and NW will be desert wastelands before too long.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca

Thanks for the solar energy link. Glad you Californians are making some progress. Alas here in the Sunshine state we are sitting on our solar panels...the Mayoral Candidate I supported who unfortunately lost made that a big part of her platform.

Her idea was to do everything within the city's power to make St. Petersburg the solar capital of the U.S. She planned on starting by getting the city to start converting as much of it's own power needs to solar energy as possible. She was going to augment that by focusing the city's continual search for new employers on solar energy companies...trying to bring in USF St. Pete to begin some serious solar energy research...in short to make a full fledged push to earn St. Pete the title of America's solar city.

Given that we have sunshine the vast majority of days, one newspaper used to have a pitch that any day the sun didn't shine the paper was free, this seemed a rather obvious strategy to me. But she lost and so...we have to be content as one of the top cities for the arts...but I can't help imagining what it would have meant to our citizens of St. Pete..here in the SUNSHINE state if we had gone that route.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 12, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"National Review Audience Polling Fun, today's chapter.

The poll asks, "After Mubarek, Egypt will become a____?
Choices are:
democracy
military dictatorship
islamic state
muddle

Guess which wins big? (just vote to find out)

http://www.nationalreview.com/"

I guess we'll have to wait for the results before we know whether Obama was 0.00% responsible for Egypt or 100%

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Shrink, when Shell is the Good Guy you know the competition is pretty weak.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"They’ve never revealed my wife’s name, either. Does that mean she doesn’t have one?"

But if you were to say that your wife's name is Fred, we'd probably believe that.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"The Sunbelt is doomed. TX, AZ and NW will be desert wastelands before too long." Yes, the Columbia river has already been proposed as a water source for the SW, once all their aquifers are gone and the Sacramento etc. rivers dry up. Thing is, we kind of like the water flowing down the Columbia, it is good for the fishes and it makes our Bonneville PUD #1 electric rates really low. Oh and the wind, we have lots and lots of wind. Water, wind, sunshine (East of the Cascades), lots of ammo...we're ready for anything out here.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"The Sunbelt is doomed. TX, AZ and NW will be desert wastelands before too long." Yes, the Columbia river has already been proposed as a water source for the SW, once all their aquifers are gone and the Sacramento etc. rivers dry up. Thing is, we kind of like the water flowing down the Columbia, it is good for the fishes and it makes our Bonneville PUD #1 electric rates really low. Oh and the wind, we have lots and lots of wind. Water, wind, sunshine (East of the Cascades), lots of ammo...we're ready for anything out here.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Here all along I thought the Bush/Cheney/Rusmfeld wars saved Egypt.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne

In all my years I've never seen anything so counter-intuitive as those fighting against renewable and clean energy. Even people who believe we need to cross that bridge give up too soon. I read this week that most college freshmen have to take remedial math classes just to be able to take even a low level math class in college. To me math and science are key to solving our problems.

I remember in high school 40 plus years ago when all I wanted was to finish my last two years skating through, my dad bribed me to continue advanced math and science classes even though I didn't believe they would be important to me. I'll never forget he said those classes teach you how to think and solve problems and use your intellect regardless of whether you go on to work in those fields.

My daughter sees it all the time in her college classes, people just give up when they don't get it the first time. We need more inspiration and fortitude in our lives and the ability to look at big problems as solvable. I don't necessarily know how to get there but really high quality and very well paid math and science teachers would help.

Too many people revert to their comfort zone in the past rather than look forward to the challenges that are the future. Even that poll that Bernie linked at NRO shows how people assume the worst and just give up hoping for the best.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 12, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

wbg, thanks for the book recommendation. It's on order at our library, and I have the first reserve now.

Aside from the climate issues, which to me are the most important considerations, there are many other reasons that we should be going full tilt toward domestic renewables and clean sources. CNN reported on a Wikileaks cable the other day from 2007 that the former head of Saudi oil exploration and production believes that their reserves are overly estimated by about 40%. The economic implications of that are simply staggering.

Add in the uncertainty in the ME, the beginnings of which are just revealing themselves, I see us now at a crossroads. We can stupidly continue down the road of an oil economy, or we can get serious about the need to turn a page.

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-09/world/saudi.arabia.wikileaks_1_saudi-arabia-ghawar-reserves?_s=PM:WORLD

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 12, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

What I found most surprising is that Global Warming's impacts will be so far-reaching that even when you account for one or two, you can still get whacked by sea-level rise or drought or fierce storms or excessive summer hear. We are playing Russian Roulette with a loaded gun. If the Egyptian People can overthrow Mubarak, we in the U.S. can act like adults on global warming.

Yes We Can.

Later, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

But we weren't talking about your wife now were we? Nor would I ever. But nice misdirect.

To truly have this discussion if you wish...
First we need to determine where we agree..

Here are some observations...please let me know where you think my facts are skewed.
When we can agree on some fundamental facts then we can discuss our interpretation of their meaning.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39211644/ns/us_news-life/

"The number of people living in poverty in America rose by nearly 4 million to 43.6 million in 2009 — the largest figure in the 51 years for which poverty estimates are available — the Census Bureau said Thursday.

The bureau said in a statement that the official poverty rate was 14.3 percent, or 1 in 7 of Americans, the highest proportion of the population since 1994."

Do you accept or deny this fact?

http://www.faireconomy.org/issues/growing_divide?gclid=CLTTloG_zJ8CFRq1sgodeVIH_Q

"The gap between the rich and the poor is a better measure of the health of our economy than the S&P 500 or the Dow. Today, the concentration of privately held wealth at the top is at its highest peak since 1929, the year the financial markets crashed and gave rise to the Great Depression of the 1930s. At that time, 25% of the population was out of work.

Despite our economy being mired in the deepest recession since the 1930s, people in the top 1% continue to own as much wealth as those in the bottom 90%, and education is essential to reversing this trend and constructing a strategy for recovery."

Do you accept this basic premise or would you like to counter with different facts of your own?

http://www.tax.com/taxcom/features.nsf/Articles/0DEC0EAA7E4D7A2B852576CD00714692?OpenDocument

"The incomes of the top 400 American households soared to a new record high in dollars and as a share of all income in 2007, while the income tax rates they paid fell to a record low, newly disclosed tax data show.

In 2007 the top 400 taxpayers had an average income of $344.8 million, up 31 percent from their average $263.3 million income in 2006, according to figures in a report that the IRS posted to its Web site without announcement that were discovered February 16. (For the report, see Tax Analysts Doc 2010-3372 .)"

Fact or fiction?

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2010-05-10-taxes_N.htm

Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950.

Fact or fiction

http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/webfeatures_snapshots_20060621/

"In 2005, the average CEO in the United States earned 262 times the pay of the average worker, the second-highest level of this ratio in the 40 years for which there are data"

In 1965, U.S. CEOs in major companies earned 24 times more than an average worker; this ratio grew to 35 in 1978 and to 71 in 1989. The ratio surged in the 1990s and hit 300 at the end of the recovery in 2000. The fall in the stock market reduced CEO stock-related pay"

More "facts"? in the next message.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 12, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I see us now at a crossroads

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd60nI4sa9A

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, we can't know if Bush was responsible for liberating Egypt until we see who comes to power or if Democracy prevails. If it's Democracy, then it's because of the Bush wars. If it's a dictatorship, then Obama is 100.00% responsible.

Sheesh, you act like you've never watched mainstream news.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Scott

Just a few more facts? I need to see where we agree or disagree about facts before we can have an serious discussion of what those "facts" may mean....

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/revenue.cfm

"Revenue from the corporate income tax fell from between 5 and 6 percent of GDP in the early 1950s to 2.1 percent of GDP in 2008."

A last "fact" I would list without specificity of links is the dramatic difference in tax rates from Ike to Reagan to Obama. I don't think we'll disagree there has been a manifest change but if you think differently by all means let me know.

Now after I've read on which "facts" you agree and which you don't, then we can have a serious discussion about morality..and confiscation..and the rest.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 12, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"In all my years I've never seen anything so counter-intuitive as those fighting against renewable and clean energy. "

Well, when something is a Conservative Thing, it's a Conservative Thing. I was baffled for a minute about how Conservatives are against fighting obesity.

And it didn't start with Palin. During the last few years, I remember this one ad sticking out. It featured a woman who was wondering how she would feed her family if Democrats were to impose a tax on soda.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

My wife's name is unspeakable.

shrink said: "Maybe over 90% of Canadians won't be piled up within 100miles of the US border anymore"

As I explained some time ago to Scott (I think it was) there's a reason for that almost-a-cuddle. Canada is America's greek chorus.

I'm in Portland. Where are you?

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

We have a place in PDX and out past Hood river.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"In all my years I've never seen anything so counter-intuitive as those fighting against renewable and clean energy. "

Counter-intuitive only in one respect. But if one imagine the mega-millions that have been spent (via very professional public relations organizations, front groups, allied think tanks, etc) spent towards convincing citizens that, say, horses cause cancer in humans, you'd get a similar set of outcomes including really odd theories about Roy Rogers.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

My wife's name is Ineffable.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""But we weren't talking about your wife now were we?""

It was what is called in thinking circles an "analogy". Pretty useful at times, but only, seemingly, with people familiar with the concept.

BTW...I'll stipulate that your facts are indeed that. Carry on.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@shrink - Well, I'll be. If you ever find yourself in Nob Hill, there's a yellow house just off Kearny. I'll be inside flirting with women of all ages, colors and creeds.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

""But if one imagine the mega-millions that have been spent...""

Or, alternatively, one might be actually attempt to understand what the objection really is, which is not to "renewable and clean energy" itself, but, rather, to the imposition of it by government legislation.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"ineffable"... very good.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

@Scott

Thanks for your response. Now that we agree on same basic facts we can discuss their meaning. Alas I have plenty of "honey do" chores that have piled up...speaking of wives :-)

I'll get back to you later this evening.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 12, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Or, alternatively, one might be actually attempt to understand what the objection really is, which is not to "renewable and clean energy" itself, but, rather, to the imposition of it by government legislation."

Yes, Scott, please. Tell us. What are these legitimate objections. I mean, once we get past the fact that global warming doesn't exist and thus we don't need alternative energy. And after we get past the fact that green energy is a hippie thing.

Now that we got past the first two Legitimate Reasons, go on.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Our place is nearby, up high across Burnside, under the reservoirs, on King's Hill (of course, this place is lousy with psychiatrists, like my Dad's old office on Beacon Street in Boston). Hey, I can channel Palin and see Nob Hill from here.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

""Or, alternatively, one might be actually attempt to understand what the objection really is, which is not to "renewable and clean energy" itself, but, rather, to the imposition of it by government legislation.""

Scott, sorry this just doesn't compute. The government has incentivized and set industry goals in nearly every new or energy related industry. The market will eventually take over, but the ideas need to be funded through education, investment, quotas or tax incentives to get off the ground in most cases. The problem we have is we continue to give the tax breaks way beyond the necessity.

If Bernie's correct then we need to do a better job of educating our citizens which works either way, by creating the desire to invest and invent as well as a more educated populace. Win, win.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 12, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"In a recent filing to the state's Public Utilities Commission, SCE asked for approval of 20 solar PV projects worth 250 MW – all of which are expected to generate a total of 567 GWh of electricity for less than the price of natural gas."

Assuming this is just atrociously written and means that they have 20 projects, each a 250 MW project, total power generated is 5 GW. How they got a number more then 100 times as big would be nice to know.

The Solar Constant is about a watt per square meter. 250 MW therefore 250 Million square meters. (Actually quite a bit more, but obviously not less) That's 2.5 x 10 ^9
square meters needed to generate that much power. 25 x10^8 square meters is a square 5 x 10^4 meters in a side. 250 MW therefor would require a piece of ground fifty kilometers on a side. That's a bit more than 30 miles on a side. A section is a square mile and 36 Sections is a township. That means they need a piece of land about five Townships east to west by five Townships North to south. That is bigger than any County in Ohio. So one of those projects would require land equivalent to more than 1 88th part of Ohio.

20 such projects would require more land than 1/4 the land in the State of Ohio.

Somebody's numbers aren't right.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@shrink - I have to head off now but do you have any connections with the psychoanalytic community in town? That's Ms Unspeakable's crowd (good crowd, all in all).

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey, my wife is down there on 23rd all the time with the kids. We're having trouble finding books for the eight year old. He reads too well for "children's books" and not well enough for, well you have heard that story I am sure. Put together a reading list and we'll buy it from you. Deal? Just don't flirt with my wife, she is of a different color and creed. I have plenty of honey do chores that have piled up too (the oven "doesn't work" she said, the car has to be picked up at the shop...), but I am stuck again listening to YouTube, pernicious, habit forming, but oh so many precious recordings...

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"psychoanalytic community" They hate me. It is along story. I'll stop by some day soon with some old copies of the WW. You'll laugh, I promise.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

20 such projects would require more land than 1/4 the land in the State of Ohio.

Somebody's numbers aren't right.
----------------------------------------------
@ceflynline,

You are scary good. I don't have a clue what the answer is, but it's always good to be looking at the real facts.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

cef there is a lot of desert out there, a lot more than all of Ohio.

Say, I really appreciate the effort you put into the Afghan war tract you wrote and sent to me. It reminds me a lot of this article, which, if you can't get to, I will cut up and send to you by email.

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67026/robert-d-blackwill/plan-b-in-afghanistan?page=show

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Um... watts and watt-hours = two separate thangs.

Yes, I would easily expect any power plant's maximum watt-hours to far exceed its wattage capacity, since they generally, y'know, run more than one hour once switched on.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline

I didn't pick up on that obviously, I'd say it's probably a typo, but I can't seem to find out. If you've ever driven through the CA desert though, it's huge but I'm not sure it's that huge. Anyway, thanks for the heads up, I'll see what if anything I can find to clarify.

I'm always trying to find positive news from CA but I want it to be accurate obviously.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 12, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

By out there...I mean in the triangle between Salt Lake, Dallas and San Diego. I have heard there is easily enough desert space to power all the USA needs with insolation, we just don't have the storage capacity for nighttime, unless we crack a lot of water I suppose.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

It's not a typo -- it's trying to compare two different things, completely.

Thing is, over what time is the 567 GWh generated? Probably a year, I'm guessing.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

For those unclear on watts vs. watt-hours:

http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/cost.html
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if zone two would power the PacNW, we could send them some bottled water.

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/Information-SolarFolder/SunHoursUSMap.html

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hydrogen, one way to save and distribute solar energy...

"At the core of the reactor are two honeycomb-like ceramic chambers coated with oxygen-deficient ferrite structures containing zinc and nickel. At high enough temperatures (800-1200°C) these materials strip water of its oxygen, leaving hydrogen gas to bubble away (Zn0.xNi(1-0.x)Fe2O4 + yH2O Zn0.xNi(1-0.x)Fe2O4+y + yH2). The oxidised materials must then be recycled, driving off their collected oxygen as gas, in a separate reaction step at 1000-1200°C.

The high temperatures required are achieved by focusing sunlight onto the chambers, using a field of silvered mirrors that track the sun's movement. The hydrogen-producing (water-splitting) and oxygen-producing (recycling) steps take place in two parallel chambers, so that there is no need to separate hydrogen and oxygen gases. When each chamber's metal oxides have completed their reaction, their functions are swapped over - so that hydrogen is produced almost continuously, rather than in batches."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"anthropological...

heh, heh, in the name of science, like the wing nut cop caught with kiddie porn who said he was researching how the sick people think."

Pete Townsend, call your office.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"Um... watts and watt-hours = two separate thangs. Yes, I would easily expect any power plant's maximum watt-hours to far exceed its wattage capacity, since they generally, y'know, run more than one hour once switched on. Posted by: jprestonian"

My eyes are getting old, and I missed the h the first time through and still the numbers aren't right.

There are about 9000 hours in a year and half of them are at night. My guess is that an hour twilight a day reduces usable sun time to about 3600 hours a year.

3.6x 10^3 x 250 x 10^6 =900 x 10^9= 9 x 10^11.

(3 x 250 + .6 x 250 = 750 + 150 = 900)

That's 900 GWh.

My estimate of the area needed is from an old rule of thumb for usable energy at the earth's surface. The defined Solar Constant is on the order of 1.7 kW at the top of the atmosphere at all wave lenghts, but light that can be directed by a mirror is mostly limited to visible and some infrared wavelengths, and the infrared is significantly absorbed by the atmosphere, as is some of the visible light. The old guess of a watt per meter was for solar electric or solar heating. We undoubtedly get something better now, but not all that much.

Still, 250 MW, roughly what a reasonable sized seceral reactor power generating station can reliably produce, 24 hours a day, isn't really all that much power. Out there on that desert, (Like, maybe, Jackass flats or Frenchman Flats in Nevada, where the craters grew, and the nuclear winds blew) it would be easier to build Nuke power plants. Put them IN the bomb craters and if they ever leak what goes down only eventually contaminates the detonation chamber.When they are totally unusable bury them in situ.

Build 40 of them, run them full bore, and cool them with sea water, dumping the brine on the existing salt fans. You evaporate a cubic mile of sea water a year, and all that water has to rain out somewhere. The Washita and Uinta and Eastern Sierra and Western Rockies get lots more rain and snow and the Carson, the Truckee, and all the rivers that feed the Colorado see more run off.

And long before wastes from any of these reactors can get to Las Vegas' water supply the remnants of those many more than 900 underground bomb tests will have gotten there.

And I can give many practical suggestions for storing nuclear wastes if you want them.

Solar power is interesting and has some local potential, but only Nuclear Power is likely to meet the full demand of this century's population, and only nuclear power generates enough waste heat to help alleviate the droughts projected to come from global heating.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

In addition to the momentous events in Egypt, yesterday was also Sarah Palin's 47th birthday.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 12, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

cefly -- I didn't do the math, but was taking your original "more than 100 times" statement and working from that.

If the total 100% output of the combined installations is 5GW, it wouldn't take that long to get 567GWh out of it. If the plants could gather enough sun to run at 100% output, ten cloudless summer days (over the whole expanse of the panels) ought to do it.

Of course, that's not how it works -- not all parts of it will be generating at 100% during every daylight hour. In fact, there's very little time when any of it would operate at 100% output.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@jp and ceflynline,

Are you guys beginning to accept that the numbers in lms's article may be approximately correct, or within a range that is believable?

I don't have an opinion. You both have a much better handle on it and I await your opinions.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious. "Townshend explained he was sexually abused as a child and, in preparation of a possible autobiography, he was researching how easily child pornography can be accessed online, in order to argue that Internet service providers need to become more vigilant."

...in his possible autobiography...

I should poo in my hand and throw it at passersby so I could become better able to advocate for services to the homeless mentally ill.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@shrink,

Having nothing to do with politics, how do therapists work with clients who seek therapy but are actively drinking alcoholics? I have heard that approaches range from "be sober for 24 hours before therapy" to a requirement for long term sobriety.

For a friend.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

12Bar: ""Are you guys beginning to accept that the numbers in lms's article may be approximately correct, or within a range that is believable?""

cefly's math is no doubt stronger than mine, although I don't know to what degree cloudiness, etc. plays into the PV W/ft^2 calculations cefly's using. It would be an inexact science, I would think... but if cefly thinks a maximum of 900GWh -- again, not knowing if this factors in the likelihood of cloud cover, etc. -- 567GWh sounds believable, but I'm betting it could vary at least +/- 20%.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

There are three consecutive words in each of the comments you wrote or provided:

"in the name of science, like the wing nut cop caught with kiddie porn who said he was researching how the sick people think."

"Hilarious. "Townshend explained he was sexually abused as a child and, in preparation of a possible autobiography, he was researching how easily child pornography can be accessed online, in order to argue that Internet service providers need to become more vigilant.""

One's a musician you like, and the other's a cop you don't know.  But we know who the pervert is.  

It's the singer, not the song... ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"@jp and ceflynline, Are you guys beginning to accept that the numbers in lms's article may be approximately correct, or within a range that is believable? I don't have an opinion. You both have a much better handle on it and I await your opinions. Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain"

I can't get the numbers to run, but I don't have all the presumptions that the suppliers are using. I do know that if ever there was a filed given to getting bigger numbers than are really there it is speculating on Solar power. But my guesses are really from the sixties, and I haven't enough experience of current heat engine solar power applications to have their pragmatic numbers available.

But in general, solar estimates are always quite optimistic, and even the optimistic numbers don't really add up to the kinds of power demand we need to meet.

Still, the deoxyfication of the hydrogen producing honeycomb part of the hydrogen cycle could be used to produce h2 generating substrate to be put in gas cooled reactors and exposed to sea water to generate lots of hydrogen for other uses, like hydrogenation of coal dust to make hydrogenated aromatics, which make great fuels where high energy density in a convenient package are needed.

I don't doubt the benefits of wind and solar, and even tidal power, but we need to get totally off carbon for fixed power plant operations and only nuclear power has the capability of totally replacing carbon process power generation completely.

The subsidiary problems related to nuke power, waste stream and power plant sensitivity are mostly man made squabbles that have little to do with real problems and much to do with contrarianism.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

@jp and ceflynline,

I guess we can proceed to put the capability in lms' article in the "believable" category, but probably somewhat optimistic. Do you guys think the good news implied in lms' article is actually good news and means anything important? Or not?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Troll, I don't get the joke and I'm busy now. I can take it, what are you saying? "we know who the pervert is" Both? Me? Do you want me to find the cop story? I'm sure I can, it wasn't that long ago. It is like so many of 'wild' fires started by firefighters. It is like all the Republican family values zealots caught with their pants down. And not to gild the lily, but I don't even like Pete Townsend. John Entwistle and Kieth Moon, those guys drove that band.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

12Bar: ""I guess we can proceed to put the capability in lms' article in the "believable" category, but probably somewhat optimistic. Do you guys think the good news implied in lms' article is actually good news and means anything important? Or not?""

I think it's good news, regardless. Of course, I don't have the working knowledge of PV systems that cefly appears to have -- I only know W from Wh. ;)
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I only know W from Wh. ;)
-------------------------------------------
Now, I do too. Although, I hope there isn't a test on it. Wait, let's see- a kWh = 1000 watts for one hour. If I can simply remember that, I will consider it a success.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Troll, I don't get the joke and I'm busy now. I can take it, what are you saying? "

His point was that you're defending Pete Townshend because I guess he's a liberal or something?

But it's besides the point since you clearly weren't defending the guy. But since Troll couldn't find a logical inconsistency, making one up will suffice when it comes to garnering Palin winks.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"how do therapists work with clients who seek therapy but are actively drinking alcoholics?"

Well obviously you know therapy with a person who is high and or drunk is a complete waste of time and money, worse, it tends to prolong the agony.

Sober for 24hrs, meh. I have had people tell me they are drooling just thinking about buying alcohol on the way home. I had a young man tell me once he fast too (not eat) for a day, but what was the point of that. Short version, if drinking is the problem that makes people think they need to come to therapy, then the drinking has to stop, indefinitely.

That said, there are important, evidence based interventions for people who can not or will not stop, though I would not call them therapy. And for people who are in early sobriety, in the midst of the Action phase of the Stages of Change. They need a lot of support and a lot of limits. A lot of 'motivational interviewing', a lot of support and a lot of tough non-negotiable limits.

Therapy is not for addicts. Addicts are narcissists with few exceptions It does not matter whether they started that way or that addiction forces narcissism on the mind in order to maintain itself. They are profoundly selfish and contemplating their feelings is something they are already too good at. Contemplating the value of other people's feelings is what they need to learn how to do.

I've often felt affluent addicts should work in the Peace Corps, to see how people with real problems can feel bad and still be happy.


Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks DD, but what about this, "There are three consecutive words..." I was looking for some woo woo mystical thing, like, maybe Troll's wife is a big deal (fat old ladies in prom dresses) in the Order of the Eastern Star.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Below is partly Elmendorf's fault
At a Congress'al hearng you must speak
-as though the audience is a bunch of morons
-as tho the audience is a bunch of partisans who'll twist your words :)

Elmendorf wasn't there just to impart information, but to be sure the public got an accurate UNDERSTANDING . . . IN SPITE OF how morons/partisans might spin it.

He should testify "smarter" than that, rather than simply showing he's "knowledgeable"

smd

URLS HERE, EXCERPTS @***
www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_02/027970.php
AND
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2011/02/playing_games_with_cbo_testimo.html

***
At a House Budget Comm. hearing on Thurs., Rep. Campbell (R-Calif.) pressed Douglas Elmendorf, director of the CBO, on the effects of the ACA on employment. Elmendorf explained that the reform law, given the projected "reduction of labor," there would be "a reduction of 800,000 workers" by the year 2021.
Republicans seized on this, but in the process, made fools of themselves, at least for those who understand the issue at any substantive level.

"More bad news for American families," was how Budget Committee Chmn Ryan's office described the report
. .
This wasn't limited to the Hill.

...Within hours, conservative publications such as the Weekly Standard and the National Review had posted commentaries lauding Elemendorf's statement.

It's hard to overstate how idiotic this is. Indeed, it's as if Republicans and their media allies haven't paid any attention to the policy debate at all.

What Elmendorf and the CBO found is that the ACA may reduce the labor supply, not the number of actual jobs. The small, projected shift in labor would not come as a result of employers cutting jobs, it would come as the result of some people working less. And why might people work less? Because some workers might decide to retire earlier, knowing that they won't have to keep working in order to have health care benefits. (& when these older workers leave the workforce, it creates opportunities for younger workers.)

Jon Chait added "In other words, people who are only working because they desperately need employer-sponsored health insurance will no longer do so. They're not going on the public dole -- they're just people who have the means not to work full-time and will be free to make employment decisions that aren't premised upon an individual health insurance market that shuts them out. Some workers will choose to retire early because they now have the ability to buy their own health insurance. This is what Republicans call 'destroying jobs.'"

Even a Republican should be able to understand this. But Ryan and other GOP members of the Budget Committee, the House Maj.Leader's office, the Weekly Standard, Nat'l Review, Jennifer Rubin, and other prominent Republican voices still managed to screw this up. In a fact-check piece, WaPo's Glenn Kessler said "This is the kind of political gamesmanship that gives politics a bad name."
...

Posted by: smd1234 | February 12, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Hiding in the Plum Line que for evaluation is a post that maxed out on characters just short of the final word roadblock, It addresses the thread on solar vs nuclear power.

It doesn't even reference the barren chunk of Nevada used in many nuclear tests, Jackass Flats. No bad words and nothing controversial. If Greg can find it and post it our discussion can continue.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"I only know W from Wh. ;) Now, I do too. Although, I hope there isn't a test on it. Wait, let's see- a kWh = 1000 watts for one hour. If I can simply remember that, I will consider it a success. Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain"

I hope that, now that you know W from Wh, or kWh, you check your electric bill and use that knowledge to decide if you can bring it down by reasonable thoughts as to what you can turn off when not in use.

It is amazing how small a portion of the populace can make heads or tails out of an electric bill, exactly because of that.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Hiding in the Plum Line que for evaluation is a post that maxed out on characters just short of the final word roadblock, It addresses the thread on solar vs nuclear power.
---------------------------------------------------------
Is this not infuriating? I don't believe there is a queue. I think there is a place for queued posts--called bit heaven and no post ever comes back to tell the story.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

cef you know it is gone. Whenever you write something more than a few sentences, especially with the time you put into your posts, just 'copy' it on your clipboard in case it disappears, which happens to all of us, for me at least once a day - then they do the double posts to make up for it!

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, it took me a little while to figure out what the hell he was talking about. His post sure took the standard form whining about the persecution of his people, but I had a hard time figuring out how he came to that conclusion. Like, you were clearly calling them both perverts.

I forgot it's usually best to assume that Conservatives are lying through their teeth.

But anyways, I had always learned that 12 stp programs like AA are by far the best way to treat addiction. Obviously, the patient can't be so narcissistic as to think he has no problem, but if you complete that first hurdle, then is AA the way to go?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

smd1234, Republican message discipline is the reason they keep getting elected by people whose interests are inimical to those of the Republican party. The good news, nowadays that messaging machine is having a very hard time with who gets to make it say what it says.

But Republicans can all agree on one thing: Obama has to go away. The ACA hobby horse is their favorite ride. It is so complicated and frankly, compromised, you can say anything about it. With regard to health care administration and its business models, most people don't know what the words mean.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously, the patient can't be so narcissistic as to think he has no problem,"

Hah, at least I know for a fact you aren't an addict.

"but if you complete that first hurdle, then is AA the way to go?"

Sure, I won't say anything bad about it. It isn't the only way to go though.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Troll, I don't get the joke and I'm busy now"

It read like you were giving Townsend a pass, but the cop is a perve, that's all. I don't buy Townsends story anymore than I buy the cops, and I say this as a fan and an acknowledger of the "genius" of The Who.  EntWhistle certainly knew the bass (and My Wife is the in my top 5 all-time greatest rock songs) and Keith Moon's drumming, while no John Bonham, is certainly original.  And Daltry, well, he was more than good looks.  But listen to Scoop and know where the "real" talent lies.  YMMV

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Thanks TMcW. "giving Townsend a pass" No no no, so sadly, being abused as a child is the #1 risk factor for becoming a perp. Ok, I am gone for today and thank you all for being so smart. Out.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

"" Republican message discipline is the reason they keep getting elected by people whose interests are inimical to those of the Republican party.""

And you know what is in their interests better than they do how exactly?

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Troll, here's a hint. When Shrink posted this.

"I should poo in my hand and throw it at passersby so I could become better able to advocate for services to the homeless mentally ill. "

He was being sarcastic.

Now I know you learned on Glen Beck that Darth Cheney jokes and their ilk are jokes. But there are other forms of jokes out there besides Darth Cheney.

I guess your best hope is that Sean Hannity will talk about alternative forms of humor.

And no, it absolutely did not read like Shrink was giving Townsend a pass. Maybe if you were to stop scouring the earth to make Sarah Palin a necklace made of Pearls of Conservative Persecution, you would see that.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Ruk, you did some impressive work on Welty concentration but we both know that Scott will refuse to see a moral dimension to it other than "it's their money and they earned it."

The suffering of the other 90% is simply disconnected for him from that passion for property. I don't get it. He's not trolling, he's not trying to be shocking, he really sees it that way. Fairness as we understand it, a collective consideration as opposed to a singular one, seems missing from his outlook. In other words, a moral deficit with a lot of rationalization.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@shrink - "they hate my guts"... no problem, so do I.

It's interesting you assumed I had a book store. Actually it is jewelry (local artists) and accessories, your typical vanity retail boutique. And I love it...people from all corners and backgrounds (eg from Wasilla, a while back a friend and colleague of Chomsky - we had fun). I have a part-time girl but she's doing a degree so frequently calls in after the dog swallows her homework so I'm very likely to be in the shop any time. Yellow house immediately beside Rose's. I promise not to flirt with either of you.

Re books though, my degree was in elementary ed and my daughter had a similar wordish appetite. Anything by Shel Silverstein will probably be up his alley. Likewise, Calvin and Hobbes. Both can be appreciated quite young and have the depth to grow into.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"And no, it absolutely did not read like Shrink was giving Townsend a pass. Maybe if you were to stop scouring the earth to make Sarah Palin a necklace made of Pearls of Conservative Persecution, you would see that."
Hi DDAW!

Hope all is well in the Crescent City. Thank you for clarifying shrinks remark. I appreciate all the help and insight I can get. ;-)

I once heard an unbeleivable cover of Ball and Chain in a tiny pirate themed bar on Bourban street in NOLA. The stage was so small only the drummer and bassist fit on it. The guitarist had to stand in front of the stage and the singer (Wow!) wandered around the bar mixing with the crowd. It was earth shattering.

Love your always provocative comments by the way.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Troll, "My Wife" is by John Entwhistle.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

man, I haven't been to Bourbon St in a long time. Almost only when friends from out of town visit. I know that Bourbon is one of those New Orleans things, but there is really very little New Orleans about it. Just a collection of clubs that you can find anywhere.

But not trying to badmouth your story. Every tourist should go there once or twice and live music is live music. Always a chance for something good. Hopefully you didn't have to suffer too many Guns and Roses covers.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"And you know what is in their interests better than they do how exactly?"

Coming from the guy who insists that the country wants the PPACA repealed.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"Troll, "My Wife" is by John Entwhistle."

Couldn't agree more Cao. I was trying, in my usual inartful way, to write that while JE's song is in my all-time top 5, I still think Townshend, possible pedophilia notwithstanding, is the genius behind The Who.

Either you're up late or ip early. :-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I've never gotten over the picture of them covered in pork n beans.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

cao:

""but we both know that Scott will refuse to see a moral dimension to it other than "it's their money and they earned it." ""

What moral dimension to it would you like me to see?

"" Fairness as we understand it...""

How do you understand it?

BTW, now would seem a good time to ask you the obvious question...do you accept the existence of an objective, universal morality?

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"What moral dimension to it would you like me to see?"

What's good for the country, I guess.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"man, I haven't been to Bourbon St in a long time. Almost only when friends from out of town visit. I know that Bourbon is one of those New Orleans things, but there is really very little New Orleans about it. Just a collection of clubs that you can find anywhere. But not trying to badmouth your story. Every tourist should go there once or twice and live music is live music. Always a chance for something good. Hopefully you didn't have to suffer too many Guns and Roses covers.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Deftly handled. The NOLA Tourism Board would be proud.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

DD:

""Coming from the guy who insists that the country wants the PPACA repealed."

I think you have me mistaken for someone else. I rarely if ever even use terms like "the country wants".

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Fine. Then tell me what interests are served by people not in the top 2% of the country by voting Republican.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Algeria shuts down internet and Facebook as protest mounts"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/algeria/8320772/Algeria-shuts-down-internet-and-Facebook-as-protest-mounts.html

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who is bored with the Egypt flap??

Surely there's others!!

Posted by: battleground51 | February 12, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline and jpres

Thanks for the info. I don't consider myself an energy expert by any means, more like an interested consumer. Aren't there big problems with nuclear, not saying we shouldn't utilize it necessarily, but the subsidies are much larger by 80%-90% and it takes much longer to realize the profits and also reduce the cost of energy. Also, isn't the government responsible for any environmental disaster or accident, as in clean up? This sure wouldn't qualify for an energy solution in conservative circles (too much government involvement), oh except it does.

Anyway, we're working hard out here in CA to get some new and improved energy solutions on line, with less of a carbon footprint. It's not easy and there's always a snag, but we persevere and lots of investment money is flowing into CA, so that's a great thing if we can make it work. Of course it all remains to be seen.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 12, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD,

That's the beauty of touristy spots, in other cities. I lived in San Antonio for several years, you had to drag me to the Riverwalk.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The real energy solution is:

COAL!

America is the Saudi Arabia of coal.

No more funding world terrorism and the money stays at home. No nuclear accidents. No oil spills. No pipelines.

Coal! It's America's future!

It's so obvious.

Posted by: battleground51 | February 12, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

DD:

""Then tell me what interests are served by people not in the top 2% of the country by voting Republican.""

Only to have you call me a liar for some bizarre reason? I'll pass.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

For those keeping score at home: Algeria is not in Egypt.

Has it finally come to this? At long last, a ...

War On Geography.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I have read that people who vote for someone else's interests (like modest means people voting for the interests of the rich) fulfills a fantasy. This way modest means people can aspire to get in the ranks of the wealthy, so in a rather strange way, "if the rich benefit, I benefit in my fantasies".

That is why very few people care about the interests of the poor, but a lot of people care about the interests of the rich.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut, did you get that email about Sarah's birthday money bomb?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 12, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"I have read that people who vote for someone else's interests (like modest means people voting for the interests of the rich) fulfills a fantasy. This way modest means people can aspire to get in the ranks of the wealthy, so in a rather strange way, "if the rich benefit, I benefit in my fantasies"."

Ahh, it is getting about that time for a new "Conservativismnis a Mental Disorder." Granted, your comment skirts the edges, but I'm guessing that before the end of February, or the cock crows thrice (no offense Bernie :-)) we'll see something out of, I'm guessing it's UCLA's turn. It's time for the west coast to rock the media!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads up Claw.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I think Oregon ought to have an official state bazooka. Or even better, an official state flamethrower. Because of tyranny.

"Tyranny Response Team

I have no problem with the idea that law-abiding people should be allowed to buy and store guns if that’s what they want to do. But the waft of macho BS coming off this sort of thing is really pretty incredible. When protesters were gathered in Tahrir Square in Egypt, we didn’t see a “tyranny response team” sweep in from the USA guns blazing to defend freedom.

And more to the point, it would have been overwhelmingly counterproductive for Egyptian protestors to take up arms and start trying to go head to head with the state’s security forces. Everyone would have gotten killed and the chances for a happy outcome would be much bleaker than they are today.

The fact of the matter is that tyranny is a serious problem, and it calls for serious solutions and serious responses. The idea that the common man is going to use small arms to fight off a modern, 21st century military organization is ridiculous. And the idea that there’s going to be widespread household ownership of the kind of anti-tank missiles and other weapons you’d need to fight such a war is also absurd. In the real world, people stand up to tyranny with nonviolent tactics of civil disobedience that let protestors fight for the loyalty of the security services’ rank and file."

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2011/02/tyranny-response-team/

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"Ahh, it is getting about that time for a new "Conservativismnis a Mental Disorder.""

Well, if the belief is widespread, it doesn't count as a delusion.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

Just imagine: Unarmed union members toppling a plutocracy.

It is the Con Nightmare. No wonder they don't want to discuss Egypt.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"Only to have you call me a liar for some bizarre reason? I'll pass."

Yeah, I can't think of a reason either. It's so much easier to whine about elitism or condescension rather than to think about how your policies actually help Americans.

So given that it's not about policies, with your permission of course, we'll stick to the idea that it's messaging.

We cool with that?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"Deftly handled. The NOLA Tourism Board would be proud."

haha, thanks. Of course, if the weather doesn't warm up, no one is going anywhere. Even for Mardi Gras, Frenchman St. is a lot more fun than Bourbon. More costumes, less congested, and you aren't kicked off at midnight. The only thing is that you aren't having beads thrown at you on Frenchman.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

As practiced in America today, Conservatism is indeed a Mental Disorder, DSM-certified, in fact: Psychopathy. Today's John Birch-style Conservatives think like corporations and demand that the rest of us do so too. They even claim that our Constitution requires it. It is a mental disorder for certain and a soul sickness even more.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

As long as its hot in 2 weeks, it's all good. The only place I liked on Bourbon was Laffitte's Blacksmith but now that's a tourist trap, too, and the piano bar is gone. Agree re: Frenchmen Street. It's just the Quarter is so d*mn pretty.

Posted by: wbgonne | February 12, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"As practiced in America today, Conservatism is indeed a Mental Disorder, DSM-certified, in fact: Psychopathy. Today's John Birch-style Conservatives think like corporations and demand that the rest of us do so too. They even claim that our Constitution requires it. It is a mental disorder for certain and a soul sickness even more."

Well, Bernie might ask for an exception on the "soul sickness" part. I, for one, am not offended by a reference to what others call "magical thinking". ;-)

On the other hand, I think the three greatest "Live" rock albums are, in no particular order: Bob Dylan's Hard Rain, The Allman Brothers' Live at the Filmore East and Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won. Sorry shrink, no Live at Leeds, but serious thought to Elvis Presley's Live at Madison Square Garden.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

""I have read that people who vote for someone else's interests (like modest means people voting for the interests of the rich) fulfills a fantasy.""

Perhaps. On the other hand, perhaps they simply have interests that are not as narrow as yours (beyond money, that is) or what you think theirs should be.

I wonder...when Warren Buffet votes for higher taxes, ostensibly against his financial interest, does that mean he is fantasizing about being poor?

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps. On the other hand, perhaps they simply have interests that are not as narrow as yours (beyond money, that is) or what you think theirs should be."

That could be a possibility, but absent of your ability to name any such interests, I'd go with 12BB.

As for Buffett, I can name a bunch of things. Perhaps he wants lower deficits. Perhaps he wants a larger working class. Maybe he wants a curb on health care costs. Perhaps he wants to end global warming. Maybe he wants the next generation of potential employees to be competent and educated.

Still waiting on reason #1 to vote Republican.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Is Mark here? What the hell is going on??

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I wonder...when Warren Buffet votes for higher taxes, ostensibly against his financial interest, does that mean he is fantasizing about being poor?
-----------------------------------------
Maybe Warren Buffet can identify with being poor which very few of us can, or want to. Maybe Warren Buffet has more empathy for poor people than for rich people. There are such people, you know, not many, but some.

Maybe people who support the interests of the rich identify with the rich (call that a fantasy since few of us are actually uber rich). That doesn't rise to the level of a mental illness in my mind. It just explains why people often turn against the poor, and support the interests of the rich, when the going gets tough. It's happened for millenia, so it was hardly invented by the Conservatives.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

It occurs to me that if we make the mistake of validating gay marriage, there will be nothing to prevent, after first contact, marriage with aliens.

But, I can imagine worse.

"Coulter Attacks "Liberals" For Supporting Ouster Of "Dictator" Mubarak"

http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201102120031

Of course she would.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

On the other hand, perhaps they simply have interests that are not as narrow as yours (beyond money, that is) or what you think theirs should be.
-----------------------------------------------
Imagine this: I reach into my pocket and take out a ten.

Then, I put my ten $ into Bill Gates pocket.

And I do this for what reason, again? Because I am charitable? Because I have some kind of principle that causes me to do this? Because I like Windows?

Forgive me if I cannot come up with some reason why I should or want to do this.

Now, if I put my ten $ into the hand of a kid without shoes, I can imagine lots of reasons.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll at 30%, Romney at 23%

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/ron-paul-wins-2011-cpac-straw-poll.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

" It's happened for millenia, so it was hardly invented by the Conservatives."

Whew, that's a relief. :-)

" It just explains why people often turn against the poor, and support the interests of the rich, when the going gets tough."

How does this manifest itself, today. Serious question, if you're wondering.

Also, can someone's idea of economic self-interest be legitimately different than yours, and therefore voting for it (their idea of economic self-interest) not be considered illegitimate? Again, serious question.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

If I were to sum up the difference between the present Conservative approach to wealth and the present Liberal approach to wealth, it would be:

Conservatives help the rich and hope the rich help the poor.

Liberals help the poor and let the rich fend for themselves.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Also, can someone's idea of economic self-interest be legitimately different than yours, and therefore voting for it (their idea of economic self-interest) not be considered illegitimate? Again, serious question.
-------------------------------------------------
Can you rephrase your question? I don't even understand what you're asking.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

""Maybe Warren Buffet can...""

Indeed. There are all kinds of possibilities, which was my point. While you may perceive a vote for X as a vote for wealthy interests, another person might see the same vote as a vote for, say, the interests of the unborn just as an example. People vote for all kinds of reasons beyond economic interests, and even at that there is no reason that the interests of the wealthy conflict with those of a non-wealthy person. If the government is about to regulate a particular company out of business, the employees have just as much interest in preventing it as the owner.

This silly game of pondering why the hoi polloi vote against their own interests is just another expression of condescension towards them, the presumption being that the ponderer actual knows better what is in their interests.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

"Can you rephrase your question? I don't even understand what you're asking. "

I'll do it for him.

---Aren't you being an elitist when saying poor people are voting against their economic interest by cutting a check for Bill Gates?---

Again, Conservatives might have a shot at a point if they could actually name some interest that might be served by poor people voting Republican.

And if you don't want to claim it to be about messaging, then it must be an actual benefit as opposed to a perceived benefit. For example, if people think voting Republican will help the job market, that is all messaging since the GOP has a horrible record in job creation.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

" It just explains why people often turn against the poor, and support the interests of the rich, when the going gets tough."

How does this manifest itself, today. Serious question, if you're wondering.
-------------------------------------------------
1. What gets voted down: tax rate increase for wealthy.

2. What gets cut: Medicaid, all sorts of social programs (WIC, etc), drastic curtailing of social programs for the poor at all levels of government, cuts to poor elderly, Alzheimers, home health care, etc. etc etc.

Lots more examples. I can't believe you even ask the question.

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

12Bar:

""Forgive me if I cannot come up with some reason why I should or want to do this""

Forgive me if I cannot come up with any reason to think what you described bears any resemblance to what we were just talking about.

Posted by: ScottC3 | February 12, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"Can you rephrase your question? I don't even understand what you're asking."

Sorry!

Could it be that a middle class voter that votes Republican has a legitimately different idea of what constitutes economic self-interest and is therefore acting on that self-interest by voting Republican, rather than be fantasizing about being rich? Or is there only one definition for economic self-interest?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

How does supporting the interests of the rich protect the unborn? You'll have to connect the dots on that one.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"This silly game of pondering why the hoi polloi vote against their own interests is just another expression of condescension towards them, the presumption being that the ponderer actual knows better what is in their interests."

You have the whole condescension thing down. I am so sickened.

Now, what does the Republican party offer poor people?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

No one in the country supports the rich more than Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Geithner, and sadly via the aforementioned, Mr. Obama.

The TBTF banks are allowed to carry their assets (prodominantly RE) at roughly 200% their actual value. Their balance sheets are based on phantom mark-to-market values that are complete fiction. In many cases their actual shareholder value is zero.

We are "backstopping" these institutions until their assets can "clear." The Citigroup payback of TARP was kabuki, symbolic reassurance from the admin. for the proles.

These people made materially-false statements about the health of their company. They should go to jail:

http://sec.gov/news/press/2011/2011-43.htm

Sarbanes/Oxley actually keeps these abominations in civil court, not criminal.
"Regulation" is a also kabuki. Even in the last cycle Dems received more financial sector money, and Mr. Obama will receive a tsunami of bank money in '12.

Why do progressives, against their interests, vote for Dems?

Posted by: tao9 | February 12, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"---Aren't you being an elitist when saying poor people are voting against their economic interest by cutting a check for Bill Gates?---

Again, Conservatives might have a shot at a point if they could actually name some interest that might be served by poor people voting Republican."

Thanks DDAWD, I'm sincerely grateful for the attempt, but it was not exactly what I was looking for. Provocative as usual though. ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Troll,

The one good thing about money is that there's only one way to measure it. One dollar plus one dollar equals two dollars. Period. When it comes to money, it seems there is no principle involved.

When you stand in the way of financial market regulation for example, that enriches a very **very** small group of people to the detriment of all of the rest of us patsies.

We, the middle class, bailed out those uber rich hedge fund and investment banking sob's (we transferred our money into their pockets), and now they object to every attempt to reduce their ability to do it to us again. And we listen to them and kowtow to their wishes, because why? Because they do God's work? which is the most obscene statement made in front of Congress since the tobacco guys said "nicotine is not addictive".

You can try to turn that into some altruistic Randian concept, but it will never convince me it's anything other than a gigantic con job.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

cutting a check for Bill Gates
-------------------------------------------------
Our credit isn't good enough for us to cut a check.

The rich will just dip their hands into our pockets and take out what they want and let us know later what it was.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks DDAWD, I'm sincerely grateful for the attempt, but it was not exactly what I was looking for. Provocative as usual though. ;-)"

Well, the discussion is whether poor people are voting against their interests by voting Republican. You people have some interest into shifting it into some discussion on how we are condescending to them. We have the full braintrust of tao, TMcW, and Scott. Not ONE of you can name an actual benefit poor people get by voting Republican? Each one of you Independently Came Up With the idea of switching the topic.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"1. What gets voted down: tax rate increase for wealthy.

2. What gets cut: Medicaid, all sorts of social programs (WIC, etc), drastic curtailing of social programs for the poor at all levels of government, cuts to poor elderly, Alzheimers, home health care, etc. etc etc."

I get your point in #2, though I might take issue with certain characterizations, but #1 sounds more like envy. I'm thinking you might be saying tax cuts on the wealthy have resulted to cuts in Medicaid, for example. But tax cuts for the middle class supposedly "cost" more than the tax cuts for the wealthy, so is that how, for example, the middle class manifest their animosity for the poor, by liking tax cuts?

And for the record, I'm full of surprises! ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"You can try to turn that into some altruistic Randian concept, but it will never convince me it's anything other than a gigantic con job."

Didn't think I was doing that, just asking a question. I'm sorry though, if it sounded "preachy", it was sincerely not my intent.

Just so I understand, both you and DDAWD think there is only one legitimate definition of economic self-interest for the middle class? And that is expressed by voting Democratic. It is illegitimate for a middle class person to vote Republican, if they are voting their economic self-interest?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

If person X is in possession of money, has he "earned" it? If he broke some law here? If he broke some law in another country where he operated? If he engaged in corruption? If he purposefully deceived another in some part of the transaction though broke no law? If he gained it through child labor? If he made it through a product which caused disease and death? Did the tobacco execs "earn" their wealth even while knowing and hiding information in their possession re health consequences? Did radio/music execs "earn" their money while paying the black artists, often, nothing because they could do that? Do marijuana growers "earn" their money? Coal companies that fund legislators to the end of manipulating laws in their favor? Chemical companies that pollute a river and degrade farming activities down-stream? Tort lawyers? Union bosses? Those who sell arms to the Taliban? To Saddam? What does "earn" mean?

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"Just so I understand, both you and DDAWD think there is only one legitimate definition of economic self-interest for the middle class? And that is expressed by voting Democratic. It is illegitimate for a middle class person to vote Republican, if they are voting their economic self-interest?"

Well hell, it's more than you guys can come up with.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

@tao,

Any time we vote for the interests of the rich against our own interests, we are gullible, stupid and wrong, no matter the party. Don't think I disagree that both parties have and are selling us down the river. I just happen to believe that the R's do it more and do it as a matter of principle. They even have a author who tells them why they should do it.

The system is so stacked in favor of business and getting richer that they don't need our help. If we watched out for the middle class and tried to get the poor upwardly mobile, we'd be a lot farther ahead than subsidizing the rich and hoping they trickle it down to us. All I've seen for a couple of years about trickle down is that only sh't seems to flow down.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

#1 sounds more like envy.
----------------------------------------------
Who cares what it sounds like. Let's talk about what it **is**. The R's protected the rich and that means the middle class and the poor particularly have to be cut more. If that isn't a transfer of money out of the middle class and poor into the pockets of the rich, I don't know what is. Call it envy. Call it daffodils. Call it true.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

"You can try to turn that into some altruistic Randian concept, but it will never convince me it's anything other than a gigantic con job."

Didn't think I was doing that, just asking a question. I'm sorry though, if it sounded "preachy", it was sincerely not my intent.
------------------------------------------------------------
Well, I wasn't really levelling that Randian concept against you.

Listen, conservatives resent transferring $10 bills into the pockets of the poor. I resent transferring $10 bills into the pockets of the rich. We have something in common and we should understand each other. I just find it galling to think I'm subsidizing the likes of Lloyd Blankfein, Mr. God's Work or the rest of Wall Street who took the whole world to the edge of disaster and now act like they were just spectators. I might not like subsidizing some Head Start little kid's breakfast, but it's way better than Blankfein.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Why we love Dennis Prager all to heck...

"If you love liberty, you must target the left and put its totalitarian tendencies in your cross hairs. We must shoot down political correctness and wage a crusade for truth and liberty. All those ladies and gentlemen who cherish personal and societal freedom must fight like great Indian chiefs, braving secondhand smoke if need be, in affirming a masculinity that has been under relentless attack. And yes, we must even endure the taunts of our foes and, at the appropriate time of the year, wish fellow Americans a “Merry Christmas.”
Then, and only then, will we be able to vanquish lies, defeat the foes of liberty, and once again be able to proudly sing a national anthem that affirms that “the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”
If we don’t, that line in “The Star-Spangled Banner” will go the way of “Merry Christmas.”"

http://www.librarygrape.com/2011/02/wtf-friersdorf-dennis-prager-is-thoughtful-now.html

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"Well hell, it's more than you guys can come up with."

Lol! Deliciously provocative!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"cef you know it is gone. Whenever you write something more than a few sentences, especially with the time you put into your posts, just 'copy' it on your clipboard in case it disappears, which happens to all of us, for me at least once a day - then they do the double posts to make up for it! Posted by: shrink2 "

Yeah, I know it is out there entertaining geeky tribbles living on a Romulan Warship, but just this once I decided to use termd of approbation that when described by their proper English colloquialism would get me told not to use those kinds of words, hoping that some diligent net guy or other would feel a twinge of guilt and correct this particular incident.

But it doesn't matter because all it was was the exact grid reference to put into Mapquest and get correct directions to the Lost Dutchman gold mine.

So Sad. The Dutchman was a collateral relative and I used to have his map.

Now it's gone.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

From Alterman...

"Here we go again. The periodic “problem” of liberal dominance of academia is back. Indeed, it never left. Former left-wing-Stalinist-turned-right-wing-Stalinist David Horowitz has been bilking gullible wingnut contributors for more than a decade now by making this same complaint, most often in lurid McCarthyite terms. But Jonathan Haidt, a University of Virginia social psychologist celebrated in a recent New York Times column by John Tierney for insisting that the liberal bent of social science professors represents a “statistically impossible lack of [ideological] diversity,” is no David Horowitz (or he wouldn’t be worth discussing).

Again, Haidt’s news is not new..."

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/02/ta021011.html

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Got my stuff done. But I was thinking about The Who. I'd like to retract what I said. I do like PT. He had an amazing tone. The intro to Magic Bus (imho) changed rock and roll.

But, then there is, well then there is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2nr_F22Ew8&feature=related

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

well, looks like there is a consensus between Conservatives and non-Conservatives. There's absolutely no benefit for poor people to vote Republican.

and yet you people feel they should vote GOP. Man, how condescending can you get?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"Listen, conservatives resent transferring $10 bills into the pockets of the poor."

Well, I don't resent it, I do it (through Catholic Charities for example [no offense Bernie]) all the time, and I'm guessing that a lot of Conservatives do it as well.

"I resent transferring $10 bills into the pockets of the rich. We have something in common and we should understand each other. I just find it galling to think I'm subsidizing the likes of Lloyd Blankfein, Mr. God's Work or the rest of Wall Street who took the whole world to the edge of disaster and now act like they were just spectators."

If it helps, I was, and still am against TARP. I'm more of a "Though the Heavens fall" kind of person.

And just so I understand you, a middle class voter's only legitimate option is voting for Democrats. Voting for any other party, like Republican, is not only not legitimate, but may in fact be predicated on a "fantasy". Ultimately, in your opinion, there is only one universal set of economic self-interest concepts that a middle class person can have.

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

"Now it's gone."

Aaack! Well the only thing I can say to make you feel better is that allegedly, the man who found the largest hunk of gold ever was so drunk, he had no idea where he was when he found it. Australians are thought to be lucky and unlucky like that.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"well, looks like there is a consensus between Conservatives and non-Conservatives. There's absolutely no benefit for poor people to vote Republican."

Wow. I should go away more often, you have solved the Great Mystery of American Politics. I'll have to read back. Getting the right answer is one thing, I hope you showed your work

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"Getting the right answer is one thing, I hope you showed your work"

Well, we're having a brainstorming session, most notable for the lack of storms.

But the Conservatives' position is that middle class have legitimate reasons to vote for Republicans and those of us who don't think so are elitist and condescending. When we ask what these reasons actually are? Well, let's just say the crickets are beautiful this time of night.

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

Shrink, why not Stevenson, Kipling, and Verne?

Everything from "Treasure Island" to "20000 Leagues...".

Especially, bound volumes with lavish color illustrations.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 12, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

"God's Work...Wall Street who took the whole world to the edge of disaster and now act like they were just spectators"

Easy now, they may be better with hermeneutics than we are.

I've noticed at least two members of the Holy Trinity mess with humans, big time...and then they act like they were just spectators (I admit, I don't get the Holy Ghost, I don't want to channel Palin 2x in one day, but wtf is the Holy Ghost?).

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

There's really only one way to conquer the religious extremists armies of Mohammed. That way is to make our own military a corps of religious extremism...

"Leading the Pentecostalist charge is a constellation of different groups, none more prominent than Military Ministry, an affiliate of Campus Crusade for Christ, a global outreach network with an estimated annual budget of nearly $500 million, raised largely from individual donors and congregations, according to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Military Ministry maintains branch offices at the nation’s main Army bases, as well as overseas initiatives like Bible-study programs globally. The group’s mission statement, according to its website, is “To Win, Build, and Send in the power of the Holy Spirit and to establish movements of spiritual multiplication in the worldwide military community.” In a 2005 newsletter, Military Ministry’s executive director, retired Army Maj. Gen. Bob Dees, said the group “must pursue our…means for transforming the nation—through the military. And the military may be the most influential way to affect that spiritual superstructure.”

http://www.thenation.com/article/158462/backward-christian-soldiers

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Mark, that is both brilliant and obvious! I can't believe I did not think of that. There is that whole genre. The Plum Line is good. Thanks brother.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

"But the Conservatives' position is that middle class have legitimate reasons to vote for Republicans and those of us who don't think so are elitist and condescending. When we ask what these reasons actually are? Well, let's just say they crickets are beautiful this time of night."

Technically, I think I was asking if there exists more than one set of legitimate middle-class economic self-interest concepts.

That being said, so there is no mystery, I do think there are more than one set of legitimate middle-class economic self-interest concepts, and that many of those concepts are not elitist or condescending. I was not trying to avoid providing reason(s) why it would be in a poor person's (or middle-class person's) economic self-interest to vote for Republicans. I thought (perhaps wrongly) that it would distract from my trying to ascertain if there was more than one set of legitimate economic self-interest concepts for poor and/or middle class voters. I apologize for not mentioning that, and even writing this makes it sound a little patronizing, so sorry for that as well. :-(

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The word Natural and Kind have the same meaning.

The Founders used the word natural to place the citizens created into a Kind.

Kind, Native, Natural, Kindred, Gecynde.

Natural born citizens are the descendants of the original citizens created after the ratification of the Constitution. Those who immigrated to the US that were in the same Kind can be natural born citizens.


The new citizens after the ratification became the natives and indigenous Americans.


Please note the 14th Amendment created citizens..but they were not indigenous to the United States because they were brought here against their will.


To sum it up. The Founders by using the word natural (Kind) limited the Presidency to Anglo-Saxons.

Did the 14th Amendment change this...let the courts decide...this is what they are avoiding.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 12, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The objective isn't to vote Democratic. The objective is to vote for those policies and politicians who walk the talk of really supporting the middle class (and promoting upward mobility of the poor to become the middle class) and supporting some basic assistance for the poorest, oldest and sickest among us. If that is Democratic, so be it. If it is Republican, so be it. For me, I just don't see the R's going in that direction, and sometimes I'm not too sure about the Democrats either.

If we continue widening the huge gap between the uber rich and the rest of us, this country will not end well, but end it will. We must be mindful of that, even as we try to protect the best parts of capitalism and standing on one's own feet. It is a balancing act obviously.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

dancingrabbit, you are either a little bit funny or way too stupid to be here. You are making Republican voters appear as stupid as we are saying they are. I am saving your post though, it is precious.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

"That being said, so there is no mystery, I do think there are more than one set of legitimate middle-class economic self-interest concepts, and that many of those concepts are not elitist or condescending. I was not trying to avoid providing reason(s) why it would be in a poor person's (or middle-class person's) economic self-interest to vote for Republicans. I thought (perhaps wrongly) that it would distract from my trying to ascertain if there was more than one set of legitimate economic self-interest concepts for poor and/or middle class voters. I apologize for not mentioning that, and even writing this makes it sound a little patronizing, so sorry for that as well. :-( Posted by: TrollMcWingnut "

Gallons and gallons of virtual ink and still no answer to the question, why should someone like me, I make $60k a year, have a paid for house, two cars, one of them paid for, and am down to one child in high school, should ever want to vote Republican?

And Troll wants some one else to come up with a reason.

So, T, why in the hell should I ever want to vote republican?

Oh!I'll take one reason off the table. The right to own guns. I had all the experience of firearms I ever want in the Army and navy. And while I have no reason to ever want to carry a firearm, the thug who intends to rob me, that I am supposed to be able to protect myself from, just waits until I walk past and, taking no chances that I might be armed, hits me in the back of my head with a crow bar. That gun I didn't carry did me a whole lot of good didn't it?

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

@shrink - I saw Hendrix live in Vancouver (my very first concert was Cream). At that time, Jimi was the musician I thought unmatchable. But I regret to say that, for me, most of his work doesn't hold up the way I expected.

Anyone seen the DVD of Springsteen and the Sessons Band Live in Dublin? I think it one of the greatest acts I've witnessed and I've seen some dillies.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Shrink2

You can tell your children and your friends..you read tonight the meaning of natural born citizen as intended by the Founders.

What do you think a Kindly King means? It means descent.

Natural and Kind are the same meaning.

Ben Franklin wrote..about Natural and Kind being the same. In the same letter..he stated the United States is for and created for the Anglo-Saxon race. He said it is natural and Kind.

He stated he wanted the "inhabitants of Mars to look down on the United States and see nothing but Anglo-Saxons"

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 12, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

What I care about, why, and to whom I show compassion is a private matter. It's not my purpose here to gain accolades for being a caring person. I don't air my emotions in public, and frankly I find public preening about one's own deep sense of compassion and caring to be rather grotesque. Truly compassionate and secure people aren't concerned with proving it to nameless, faceless commentors on a blog, nor do they spend their time on blogs taking others to task for
not "caring" as deeply as they do.

==

This is a dodge. Nobody is expecting you to bare your inner soul and express your tenderest feelings in public. But in the discussions of *public policy* and such issues as the tax code you consistently exhibit a markedly cold indifference to the effects on human lives of such contemporary issues as the concentration of wealth. Your defense of property is entirely unmitigated by any appearance of what I will loosely call a social conscience, in fact you can't conceal your contempt fir the idea.

You have become an archetype of social selfishness. I don't think it's prying into your private life to wonder why.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"dancingrabbit, you are either a little bit funny or way too stupid to be here. You are making Republican voters appear as stupid as we are saying they are. I am saving your post though, it is precious. Posted by: shrink2"

Nope. Pure cut and paste sovereign citizen tripe. Right straight from their arguing points.

It is the "All I'm saying is let the courts decide." that gives it away.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

bernie, yeah sure, flash in the pan, heroin destroyed him, we know.
Appreciating Jimi has always been a matter of understanding what he could have been.

He did things no one else has ever been able to do, not SRV, no one. He almost had it, then he died. To me, he is kind of like like Eric Dolphy. Fantastic genius, not an entertainer, not a survivor.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"Gallons and gallons of virtual ink and still no answer to the question, why should someone like me, I make $60k a year, have a paid for house, two cars, one of them paid for, and am down to one child in high school, should ever want to vote Republican?

And Troll wants some one else to come up with a reason."

Hi Ceflynline! Hope all is well with you.

As I mentioned before, and you might have missed it, my intent was to discover, first from 12bar, and later from DDAWD, if there could be more than one legitimate set of economic self-interest concepts available for middle-class and/or poor voters. Not what I think are the middle-class economic self-interest concepts that justify a Republican vote.

"So, T, why in the hell should I ever want to vote republican?"

I'm pretty sure that I do not possess even one reason that you would accept. ;-)

"Oh!I'll take one reason off the table. The right to own guns. I had all the experience of firearms I ever want in the Army and navy. And while I have no reason to ever want to carry a firearm, the thug who intends to rob me, that I am supposed to be able to protect myself from, just waits until I walk past and, taking no chances that I might be armed, hits me in the back of my head with a crow bar. That gun I didn't carry did me a whole lot of good didn't it?"

I used to think that too! In the Marines we literally had to sleep with our rifles. Not a fun activity on a cold night. Plus, it was hard to enjoy shooting a weapon knowing that you had to spend hours afterwords cleaning it. Or, at least breaking that conditioning. But then I went shooting with a friend of mine, just plinking away with his pistols and shotgun, and found I enjoyed it (no offense bernie) and I didn't have to have my cleaning job rejected and labeled as inadequate! So, 20 some years after turning in my M-16 to the armorer and vowing never to own a weapon myself (because I'd have to clean it incessantly) I bought a shotgun. I tell ya, shooting a weapon and having someone else clean it is fantastic. And not obsessing over it's level of cleanliness is even better.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in The Nereide that “the court is bound by the law of nations, which is a part of the law of the land"

The Law of Nations chapter XIX..a natural born citizen is born to citizen parents.

The Courts the Court has long held that Congress is not master of, but rather subject to, the Law of Nations.

In 2003 the US Supreme wrote the Law of Nations has been part of our laws for over 200 years.

Obama as president violates the Law of Nations.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 12, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

dancing rabbit is the only poster who makes Rainman look moderate.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline

I know nothing of talking points.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 12, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Catching up.

DDAWD wrote:
"Ahh, it is getting about that time for a new "Conservativismnis a Mental Disorder.""

Well, if the belief is widespread, it doesn't count as a delusion.

==

Umm, delusions can be held by majorities and they are. Thirty years of Grovet Norquist has majorities believing in free markets, which are crap; significant American majorities believe in the supernatural and accept the existence of God (sorry, 12Bar) with nonchalance; most people believe in luck. And, yes, people not worth nine figures think there's something in it for them to vote Republican. Now THAT'S nuts.

Live albums: how could you leave out "Rock and Roll Animal" by Lou Reed?

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

We'll probably have to wait for the Glen Beck episode covering this topic before the Conservatives here can Independently Come Up With a reason for the middle class to vote Republican.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

@shrink - A genius, for certain. I remember reading a comment from him saying that he didn't play for himself because that was too hard. And he didn't play for the audience, that being too difficult as well. He played for the others up on the stage with him. When I saw him, he was working on his third album and the audience kept yelling for Wind Cries Mary and Purple Haze etc. He was impatient with this audience, for which I didn't blame him.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Hendrix? Shot his wad on "Are You Experienced." His Greatest Hits had like two songs from other albums. A one-album songwriter.

Gone too soon. Like Janice and Jim. And Anton Webern. I get chills thinking what Webern might have done with 20 more years.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"We'll probably have to wait for the Glen Beck episode covering this topic before the Conservatives here can Independently Come Up With a reason for the middle class to vote Republican. Posted by: DDAWD "

A thousand years after the Rapture Republicans like Troll will still be ducking the question.

face them squarely and ask them in the first person and they will have no answer at all. Like a well developed taste for really bad kitsch, you either get it or you don't.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"dancing rabbit is the only poster who makes Rainman look moderate."

Imagine these two in a debate. It would be like Peewee Herman and Liberace going at each other with frying pans. A spectacle worthy of stadium seating.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 12, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Well now we have Republicans like the despicable Eric Cantor saying right out in the open that big business had no social responsibility, and that low class trailer trash Carly Loweezy Fiorina saying corporations have no obligation to consider the American People.

Amoral maximization of profit is right out in the open. To hell with the middle class. To hell with the future. Only the executives and shareholders matter and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to read Ayn Rand some more.

No, it's not in your interest to vote for these people. You can bob and weave and allude all you want, T McWN, but you'll never come up with a credible answer. There isn't one.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Cao, that all may be true, but you're not going to get insurance to pay you for diagnosing someone with Christianity.

And I think it makes sense. If someone has a belief that is there simply because it was drilled into his head all his life, you don't want to call it a sickness. Yeah, perhaps these people should be thinking critically, but if you were to slap a psychiatric diagnosis on every person who doesn't think critically, you lose the meaning of disorder.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"if you slap a psychiatric diagnosis on every person who doesn't think critically, you lose the meaning of disorder"

I think about the meaning of these words every day.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

When people resort to personal attacks..it means by statements are valid.

No one has discredited what I stated. They cannot. I speak the truth.

Jefferson wrote.."they will come here and distort our laws..and end up making a massive mess"

The people who are not natural born citizens as intended by the Founders are distorting the Constitution.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 12, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Just like a combat veteran.

"...he didn't play for himself because that was too hard. And he didn't play for the audience, that being too difficult as well. He played for the others up on the stage with him."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Didn't say it was psychiatric, DDAWD. Even firmly grounded in rationality it took me years to get over the feeling God was looking over my shoulder ready to strike me dead with a bolt of lightning. Adults take kids to church and scare the crap out of them with the hushed solemnity and everyone acting so damned weird.

But majorities can be dead wrong. They often are. They usually are.

I wouldn't call Christianity a psychiatric condition. Fundamentalism I would. But there aren't enough hospital beds.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

"A thousand years after the Rapture Republicans like Troll will still be ducking the question.

face them squarely and ask them in the first person and they will have no answer at all. Like a well developed taste for really bad kitsch, you either get it or you don't."

Thank you for reading my response. I think that while we may disagree (without being disagreeable ;-)) clarity is almost as important.

In that spirit, I will give a reason why I think it would be in the economic self-interest of a middle-class voter to vote Repbulican. In my opinion, Republicans will be more likely to keep personal income taxes low(er) than Democrats. Again, in my opinion, income that is subject to taxation belongs to the earner (sorry Bernie) and, since it's the earner's money, they are the ones who should decide how it should be spent (or not spent).

Again, thanks for taking the time to not only read my comment(s) but engaging in a dialogue about them. I sincerely appreciate it.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

When people resort to personal attacks..it means by statements are valid.

No one has discredited what I stated. They cannot. I speak the truth.

==

You're out of your league here. Go away.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

caothien9

Please tell us the definition of a Kind.

Posted by: dancingrabbit | February 12, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

"In my opinion, Republicans will be more likely to keep personal income taxes low(er) than Democrats."

So the reason for voting Republican is on the hope that the two parties will do the opposite of what they have been doing?

Well, if you want a dumb answer, ask a dumb person.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"In my opinion, Republicans will be more likely to keep personal income taxes low(er) than Democrats."

So the reason for voting Republican is on the hope that the two parties will do the opposite of what they have been doing?

Well, if you want a dumb answer, ask a dumb person.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

You folks do realize that the
haironfirerainforest37&0rabbidrabbit...poster...
did not go to rehab,
or if he did,
he got kicked out.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

In that spirit, I will give a reason why I think it would be in the economic self-interest of a middle-class voter to vote Repbulican. In my opinion, Republicans will be more likely to keep personal income taxes low(er) than Democrats. Again, in my opinion, income that is subject to taxation belongs to the earner (sorry Bernie) and, since it's the earner's money, they are the ones who should decide how it should be spent (or not spent).

==

An incomplete argument based on unproven predicates.

The government provides necessities. It needs money to do. Leaving people a little more of their own money to spend at the expense of a far riskier society isn't a good trade. Countries with broader social safety nets are more satisfying and safer places to live. That's a fact.

Second, the idea that people can do a better job with their own money to answer the needs provided by government necessities is nothing but chest-thumping conceit. We don't have personal national defense, personal fire departments, personal police (OK, some countries do, are they places you'd like to live?). The pooling of social risk is an essential government service that cannot be substituted by giving individuals a little more money and a lecture on personal responsibiity.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

"But majorities can be dead wrong. They often are. They usually are."

Yup, no argument here.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

"No, it's not in your interest to vote for these people. You can bob and weave and allude all you want, T McWN, but you'll never come up with a credible answer. There isn't one."

Hi cao! I hope you're having a great morning. As too your point. I'm in agreement with you. I will never come up with a credible answer for you. But I, like you, find that it's Difference that is the spice of life.

As to Lou Reed, I never have been a huge fan, though Coney Island Baby and Satellite of Love are currently on my mp3 player.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

"Well, if you want a dumb answer, ask a dumb person."

No argument from me on that one! ;-)

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

Please tell us the definition of a Kind.

==

German for "child"

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

"The pooling of social risk is an essential government service"

Republicans voters with IQs over 80 think this may be a possibility, but they say to themselves, well, since Democrats run government services, better to be poor and starve the beast. They think, at least the rich will spend the money is a way that does not feed the...well...you know.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

"In my opinion, Republicans will be more likely to keep personal income taxes low(er) than Democrats."

Not a good reason for any sensible middle class voter. Keeping income taxes low means that essential Government functions, like Law Enforcement, Government maintained infrastructure, and definitely necessary Government regulation, like Food Inspection, environmental regulation, Commercial transport regulation and control, (Like the FAA), and Government services like the Patent Office, and the Intellectual Property and trade marks offices would not be able to do a good job of keeping up with their work load.

In order to save a few few dollars in my paycheck every two weeks I would have to risk salmonella poisoning in much of the food i eat, would have to wonder if tyhe drugs I take are even the drugs i am supposed to be taking, let alone if they are safe and appropriate. I would be at risk from Malaria, Yellow fever, Dengue, and otherdiseases we have mostly reduced to lingering rumors in this country, but that used to be regularly epidemic.

I would not benefit from WWV/WWVH, the world Time Standard, and would lose the services of NIST in setting and maintaining standards I need to do my job.

And the real reason that I would be saving those few dollars is that it saves the rich who need the savings much less than I significant amounts of income, yet they benefit far more than I do from the benefits i listed.

So your offer of a tax reduction is in fact offering me an economic disincentive to vote for a republican.

I like my traffic signals to work, my electric clocks to keep highly accurate time, and my bacon to be something I can eat and only worry about my cholesterol, not dying from being poisoned by tubercular pork.

So that reason is just one more reason to vote Democratic.

Care to try again?

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

"The government provides necessities. It needs money to do. Leaving people a little more of their own money to spend at the expense of a far riskier society isn't a good trade. Countries with broader social safety nets are more satisfying and safer places to live. That's a fact."

First let me thank you for your thoughtful response. I agree that governments need money. I hope that isn't a surprise for you, I'm not an anarchist. We probably disagree on what necessities a government should provide. I would agree, for example, that keeping, say, an extra $100 per year that otherwise would have gone to pay my Federal income tax at the expense of the FBI, for example, would make society riskier, even far riskier.

And I agree that there are studies that show that broad safety nets are more satisfying and safer places to live. Facts like that are hard to argue against! :-)

"Second, the idea that people can do a better job with their own money to answer the needs provided by government necessities is nothing but chest-thumping conceit.

Thought provoking indeed. But while I think most people spend their own money better than others spend their money, it's more of the idea that it's the earners money to spend. And I would wager our argument is really about what constitutes "government necessities."

"We don't have personal national defense, personal fire departments, personal police (OK, some countries do, are they places you'd like to live?). The pooling of social risk is an essential government service that cannot be substituted by giving individuals a little more money and a lecture on personal responsibility."

You may be surprised to find that I agree. As I wrote before, I'm no anarchist, can't stand them in fact.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

More comprehensive answer than mine, cef. Food safety is an excellent point.

Google Minimata Bay for another reason I want government well-funded.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you better go read Kleins tax Cuts ibn a single graph. The Republicans in fact propose to cut every one of the programs I referenced by significant amounts. Really amusing is their proposal to do away with the department of Commerce, which has within it the patent office and the trade mark and Copyright Office. Total savings if the eliminate the whole department? $11 Billion.

Good way to save you some taxes? Even you might find that a false economy.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

saw this and remembered the fun I had a week ago when QB tried to defend this dolt

Feb. 12, 2011
No Argument: Thomas Keeps 5-Year Silence
By ADAM LIPTAK

WASHINGTON — The anniversary will probably be observed in silence.

A week from Tuesday, when the Supreme Court returns from its midwinter break and hears arguments in two criminal cases, it will have been five years since Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken during a court argument.

If he is true to form, Justice Thomas will spend the arguments as he always does: leaning back in his chair, staring at the ceiling, rubbing his eyes, whispering to Justice Stephen G. Breyer, consulting papers and looking a little irritated and a little bored. He will ask no questions.

In the past 40 years, no other justice has gone an entire term, much less five, without speaking at least once during arguments, according to Timothy R. Johnson, a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. Justice Thomas’s epic silence on the bench is just one part of his enigmatic and contradictory persona. He is guarded in public but gregarious in private. He avoids elite universities but speaks frequently to students at regional and religious schools. In those settings, he rarely dwells on legal topics but is happy to discuss a favorite movie, like “Saving Private Ryan.”

He talks freely about the burdens of the job.

“I tend to be morose sometimes,” he told the winners of a high school essay contest in 2009. “There are some cases that will drive you to your knees.”

Justice Thomas has given various and shifting reasons for declining to participate in oral arguments, the court’s most public ceremony.

He has said, for instance, that he is self-conscious about the way he speaks. In his memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son,” he wrote that he had been teased about the dialect he grew up speaking in rural Georgia. He never asked questions in college or law school, he wrote, and he was intimidated by some fellow students.

Elsewhere, he has said that he is silent out of simple courtesy.

“If I invite you to argue your case, I should at least listen to you,” he told a bar association in Richmond, Va., in 2000.

Justice Thomas has also complained about the difficulty of getting a word in edgewise. The current court is a sort of verbal firing squad, with the justices peppering lawyers with questions almost as soon as they begin their presentations.

In the 20 years that ended in 2008, the justices asked an average of 133 questions per hourlong argument, up from about 100 in the 15 years before that.

“The post-Scalia court, from 1986 onward, has become a much more talkative bench,” Professor Johnson said. Justice Antonin Scalia alone accounted for almost a fifth of the questions in the last 20 years.

Justice Thomas has said he finds the atmosphere in the courtroom distressing. “We look like ‘Family Feud,’ ” he told the bar group.

. . . MORE . . .
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/us/13thomas.html

Posted by: smd1234 | February 12, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"Not a good reason for any sensible middle class voter. Keeping income taxes low means that essential Government functions, like Law Enforcement, Government maintained infrastructure, and definitely necessary Government regulation, like Food Inspection, environmental regulation, Commercial transport regulation and control, (Like the FAA), and Government services like the Patent Office, and the Intellectual Property and trade marks offices would not be able to do a good job of keeping up with their work load.

In order to save a few few dollars in my paycheck every two weeks I would have to risk salmonella poisoning in much of the food i eat, would have to wonder if tyhe drugs I take are even the drugs i am supposed to be taking, let alone if they are safe and appropriate. I would be at risk from Malaria, Yellow fever, Dengue, and otherdiseases we have mostly reduced to lingering rumors in this country, but that used to be regularly epidemic.

I would not benefit from WWV/WWVH, the world Time Standard, and would lose the services of NIST in setting and maintaining standards I need to do my job.

And the real reason that I would be saving those few dollars is that it saves the rich who need the savings much less than I significant amounts of income, yet they benefit far more than I do from the benefits i listed.

So your offer of a tax reduction is in fact offering me an economic disincentive to vote for a republican.

I like my traffic signals to work, my electric clocks to keep highly accurate time, and my bacon to be something I can eat and only worry about my cholesterol, not dying from being poisoned by tubercular pork.

So that reason is just one more reason to vote Democratic.

Care to try again?"

Thanks for that great comment! I just responded to cao that I'm not an anarchist and I agree that there are essential functions that the Federal government can and should provide with tax dollars. Which, coincidently, include many of the functions you cited. Where we might disagree though, is in what defines, for lack of a better phrase, essential Federal government services and obligations. For example, we disagree that functioning traffic signals are a Federal responsibility.

Given that, I'm still quite satisfied with my answer as to one reason that a middle-class voter would find it in there economic self-interest to vote Republican rather than Democratic. ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Earlier we talked of why "we" went to war in Iraq.

Nowadays, the BushCheneyRumsfeld voters have paper bags on their heads, they can only do talking points, it was not about oil, etc. The leftists are not scary, we are a tiny minority, easily ignored. So this is what I think America thought:

We had to show the Muslims that if they want to throw down with us, if they want to kill Americans and watch us wilt...we are cheerfully willing (they knew we were able) to kill them in grossly disproportionate numbers and at least as important, we are willing to put our own children to death in order to make that happen.

If that is what we we were up to: Mission Accomplished.

Now let's get the puck out of there.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

cefly,

Compelling reasons indeed.

And the fellow driving the snowplow for the New York State Thruway Authority makes $105K/yr with full health benefits, 75-90% of salary annual retirement pay after 25 years, up to 8 weeks vacation per year, rollover of saved sick-day pay since the first day of employment, and a work week in which the nominal 40 hours is winked at.

Not arguing with the need for the services you list. But very much sick of the delivery of same.

If Cuomo can break that cycle I'll vote for him when he runs for President.

Posted by: tao9 | February 12, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Thought provoking indeed. But while I think most people spend their own money better than others spend their money, it's more of the idea that it's the earners money to spend. And I would wager our argument is really about what constitutes "government necessities."

==

You lose it in this paragraph.

It's not "others," it's people whose careers and training are in the implentation of public policy. I woluldnt do surgery on myself to save the money I'd pay to a surgeon, nor would I expect to cover my own social services.

"It's the earners money to spend." This is the core of your argument. It's a bare appeal to selfishness which in the context of a public policy disussion has very little value.

You either accept your responsibilities as a member of the community or you worry about "your money." There lies the difference between us.

As a rule, I don't bother discussing politics with anyone who uses the phrase "my money" therein.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

TO.......TrollMcWingnut

I think it was your post yesterday stating that the posters here know very well your reasons for supporting Palin for President.

I am new here, so would you mind filling me in?

smd

Posted by: smd1234 | February 12, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"the fellow driving the snowplow for the New York State Thruway Authority makes $105K/yr with full health benefits"

People I know have spent that much on orthopedic surgery for their moribund dog.

Billions and billions for the money changers in the temple. Republicans do not take the Bible seriously, I can not figure out why people keep on voting for them, expecting a different outcome.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Given that, I'm still quite satisfied with my answer as to one reason that a middle-class voter would find it in there economic self-interest to vote Republican rather than Democratic.

==

ignoring all points presented to you and retiring to simple assertion.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

revealing huh?

from the NYT article:

Justice Thomas does occasionally speak from the bench, when it is his turn to announce a majority opinion. He reads from a prepared text, and his voice is a gruff rumble.

He does not take pains, as some of his colleagues do, to explain the case in conversational terms to the civilians in the courtroom. He relies instead on legal Latin and citations to subparts of statutes and regulations.

His attitude toward oral arguments contrasts sharply with that of his colleagues, who seem to find questioning the lawyers who appear before them a valuable way to sharpen the issues in the case, probe weaknesses, consider consequences, correct misunderstandings and start a conversation among the justices that will continue in their private conferences.

By the time the justices hear arguments, they have read briefs from the parties and their supporters, and most justices say it would be a waste of time to have advocates merely repeat what they have already said in writing.

“If oral argument provides nothing more than the summary of the brief in monologue, it is of very little value to the court,” Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote in 1987.

Lawyers who appear before the court and scholars who study it are of mixed minds about Justice Thomas’s current silence. His views can be idiosyncratic, and some say lawyers deserve a chance to engage him before being surprised by an opinion setting out a novel and sweeping legal theory.

Others say they are just as happy not to waste valuable argument time on distinctive positions unlikely to command a majority in major cases.

Justice Thomas routinely issues sweeping concurrences and dissents addressing topics that had not come up at argument.

He asked no questions, for instance, in a 2007 case about high school students’ First Amendment rights. In a concurrence, he said he would have overturned the key precedent to rule that “the Constitution does not afford students a right to free speech in public schools.”

Neither side had advanced that position. The basis for and implications of his concurrence were not explored at the arguments, because, by asking no questions, Justice Thomas did not tip his hand.

No other justice joined Justice Thomas’s opinion. “If Justice Thomas holds a strong view of the law in a case, he should offer it,” David A. Karp, a veteran journalist and third-year law student, wrote in the Florida Law Review in 2009. “Litigants could then counter it, or try to do so. It is not enough that Justice Thomas merely attend oral argument if he does not participate in argument meaningfully.”

Posted by: smd1234 | February 12, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

"You lose it in this paragraph."

Far to often I'm afraid. :-(

"It's not "others," it's people whose careers and training are in the implementation of public policy. I wouldn't do surgery on myself to save the money I'd pay to a surgeon, nor would I expect to cover my own social services."

We might argue about the value of those trained in the implementation of public policy. That being said, I agree about the surgery example, but I'm guessing we will disagree about what social services the Federal government should provide and what I should be expected to provide for, in regards to my own social services.

""It's the earners money to spend." This is the core of your argument. It's a bare appeal to selfishness which in the context of a public policy disussion has very little value."

Yes, in that money earned is the earner's money, less taxes. Our respective evaluation of that, er, value is different. To me, the ownership of that money has a lot to do with the context of public policy discussions.

"You either accept your responsibilities as a member of the community or you worry about "your money." There lies the difference between us."

But as a member of that community, don't I have some say in defining what those responsibilities are? And if so, do I also have a say in how much of "my money" should be used in the fulfillment of those responsibilities?

"As a rule, I don't bother discussing politics with anyone who uses the phrase "my money" therein."

I'm very sorry to read that. I've enjoyed our dialogue immensely. I hope you will make an exception to your rule now and in the future. I will respect your decision either way.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

For example, we disagree that functioning traffic signals are a Federal responsibility.

==

What?!? Who cares?!?

Do you want each state independently setting its own traffic safety standards?

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

"For example, we disagree that functioning traffic signals are a Federal responsibility."

The Feds set the standards.

But in Dayton, maintenance of the Traffic Signals is essentially paid for by City Income tax.

Don't pay the taxes, don't complain when the traffic Lights are in flash for a couple days after a bad storm.

tao9: I'll take a guess based on circum stances around here and bet that those $100k a year truck drivers don't make even $20 an hour.

But when lake effect snows bury I 20, they drive 18 hour shifts, sleep a few hours at the dispatch yard, and go back out. They may work a full week on the clock and the overtime hours add up very quickly. Yeah, they get $100k a year. And they more than earn it. Don't like paying that kind of money? Triple the number of truck drivers and trucks. OR wait a couple weeks for the snow to melt so you can finish driving from Buffalo to Syracuse.

You get what you pay for.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Shrink,

First the money changers were in a Temple, not down on Wall Street.

Until uber-rich manufacturers (the Kochs?) can develop the techne to build enormous stucturally sound needles, and the alchemists at Genetech develop an impossibly small camel you haven't much to worry about as per flouting Biblical exhortations to altruism and alms (toward public-sector snowplow drivers).

Posted by: tao9 | February 12, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

"the fellow driving the snowplow for the New York State Thruway Authority makes $105K/yr with full health benefits"
-----------------------------------------------
In my opinion, I'd rather see Mr. Snowplowdriver paid his $105k than Lloyd Blankfein paid his $105 million plus stock at my expense. At least Mr. Snowplowdriver will buy a house in New York, get his kids into U.S. college and get his teeth fixed in the U.S. Mr. Blankfein will buy a chalet in Switzerland.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 12, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

"ignoring all points presented to you and retiring to simple assertion. "

He's a Conservative. What do you expect? If they responded to information, they wouldn't be Conservatives.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

In the Spirit of Bipartisanship, I also can not figure out why people (like me) keep bothering to vote for Democrats, hoping for a different outcome. Actually, shamefully, I admit I do know, it is called intermittent reinforcement. A little sugar, just once in a long while. It keeps the rats focused on the lever.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

a Temple down on Wall Street

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"ignoring all points presented to you and retiring to simple assertion."

Given your stated "my money" rule, and you not granting me an exception (yet;-)) I will write that I agreed with many of cefy's functions and perhaps disagree with the scope of those functions and whether or not they are a Federal obligation. Therefore, I still think my particular example holds up.

Now I'll refrain from political discussions with you unless you grant me (fingers crossed) a waiver to your "my money" rule.

And thanks again for your thoughtful beautifully articulated comments to me.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

"You either accept your responsibilities as a member of the community or you worry about "your money." There lies the difference between us."

But as a member of that community, don't I have some say in defining what those responsibilities are?

==

Only if you get yourself elected.

This is a broader discussion, one that requires a dedicated forum. Mark_In disappointed me a few days ago by saying it's wrong for people to have to pay for abortions if they have religious objections. We all have objections to some of the things we're compelled to pay for. I responded with a few ot my own.

You keep saying you're not an anarhist yet here you are promoting anarchy.

You make those sorts of choices by deciding what country your live in. If you want to keep more of Your Money at the expense of social responsibilities that might enrich your ife or even save it, there are 200+ other combinations of taxation and government service to choose from.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 12, 2011 11:29 PM | Report abuse

cao: ""You make those sorts of choices by deciding what country your live in. If you want to keep more of Your Money at the expense of social responsibilities that might enrich your ife or even save it, there are 200+ other combinations of taxation and government service to choose from.""

ScottC3 gets annoyed when you bring this up. Property in Galt Gulch is a helluva lot cheaper than they make out.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 12, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

"But as a member of that community, don't I have some say in defining what those responsibilities are? And if so, do I also have a say in how much of "my money" should be used in the fulfillment of those responsibilities? "

You do. But the fact that you value a coule bucks in your paycheck rather than working highways or working clocks, or dog food that doesn't murder everyone's dog is hardly a reason for ME to vote Republican.

I vote for Congress persons, legislators, and governors who value the proper functioning of Government and who try to make Government function properly.

Republicans value politicians who tell them that Government can't possibly do anything at all of value.

Another reason not to vote for a republican.

You are Oh for a bunch, carare to try for Oh for the season?

But the wife wants me to come to bed so why not take a couple of hours and rethink your approach to the subject,

YOU declared it elitist that we say the middle class has no reason to vote republican, yet your response to proofs that that is a very reasonable position is that YOU are satisfied with your responses.

Why should the middle class be satisfied with such substanceless argumentation?

So, in the immortal words of that rascal of the Asian Ways, The Henna Gaijin, Moreo sama,
O Yasumi Nasaii.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 12, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

""For example, we disagree that functioning traffic signals are a Federal responsibility."

The Feds set the standards.

But in Dayton, maintenance of the Traffic Signals is essentially paid for by City Income tax.

Don't pay the taxes, don't complain when the traffic Lights are in flash for a couple days after a bad storm.""

I see traffic management as an essential government service. I do not agree though that Federal traffic standards are an essential Federal function. And obviously, fines, taxes and fee's can and should pay for those functions.

Thanks for the comments.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"He's a Conservative. What do you expect? If they responded to information, they wouldn't be Conservatives."

Hey, I resemble that remark! ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I heart this guy. Old and loved, way to be cef!

"But the wife wants me to come to bed so...in the immortal words of that rascal of the Asian Ways, The Henna Gaijin, Moreo sama,
O Yasumi Nasaii."

Sleep well.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 12, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

"In the Spirit of Bipartisanship, I also can not figure out why people (like me) keep bothering to vote for Democrats, hoping for a different outcome."

You don't think the outcome over the Obama years has been different (and preferred) to the outcome over the Bush years?

Posted by: DDAWD | February 12, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

OK,

Here, at least in NY, is what is happening.

The state taxes on Wall Street corporate and income are down.

Private business formation, particularly upstate, has virtually been at a standstill for a decade. Existing small/medium businesses are relocating. Skilled labor is relocating. Executive labor is relocating.

People like myself stay here because of family, love of the region, and perhaps misguided (against my econ self-interest...heh) loyalty.

In time there will not be enough of folks like me to keep the snow-plow driver in the circumstances to which he has become accustomed.

Actually at $10-15Billion in the hole as I type...time's almost up. And NYS already has a millionaire tax for people making $500K/yr. We're running out of capital creators, and the snow-plow driver's taxes wont pay his fellow snow-plow driver's salary and benies no matter how many hours of sleep they miss during the three or four blizzards in Buffalo (God bless 'em).

You know what Upstate city is holding fairly steady economically while Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Binghamton, et.al. are all in the crapper?

Albany. Mighty big-shouldered producer of triplicate copies and the un-fire-able apparatchik Bartleby.

Posted by: tao9 | February 12, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

"Only if you get yourself elected."

I would also consider that voting for representatives of like mind would also mean I have a say (albeit diluted) in what those responsibilities should be.

"This is a broader discussion, one that requires a dedicated forum. Mark_In disappointed me a few days ago by saying it's wrong for people to have to pay for abortions if they have religious objections. We all have objections to some of the things we're compelled to pay for. I responded with a few ot my own."

It may surprise you that I agree completely

"You keep saying you're not an anarhist yet here you are promoting anarchy."

How so? I have stated repeatedly that I think the Federal government (along with state, county and municipal governments) provide necessary functions. Disagreeing about the scope of those functions doesn't make one an anarchist does it?

"You make those sorts of choices by deciding what country your live in. If you want to keep more of Your Money at the expense of social responsibilities that might enrich your ife or even save it, there are 200+ other combinations of taxation and government service to choose from."

That would that once a government forms and it's functions dictated, it can never change. If I want to keep more of My Money, I have the right to convince enough voters to agree with me that certain government function(s) should be eliminated. Conversely, I could also try and convince enough voters that i should keep less of My Money and government functions should be added. We wouldn't have, for example, Social Security, with your example.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 12, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Cef and TMW, my middle class small biz owner clients tend to vote R b/c they do not like unions and they do not like regs that cause them busy work. But most of them ticket split and vote for small biz friendly Ds, too. Three have suggested to me over the past year that they do not understand what the national R party is doing. Still, they are default Rs, even if they are not straight ticket voters.

One usually votes R for Prez and D locally.

One of my friends is into hating BHO. It seems to be his raison d'etre. He was one of two; the other one died last year. Left me a small gift in his will. Several default Rs I know tend to like BHO, especially when he criticizes the teachers' union. One was outraged that Rs wanted schools to let kids opt out of hearing the Prez Address to kids. He is from a military family and thinks that was disrespectful.

Just some anecdotes to fill space. Austin is weird, so I am sure this is not typical of why some middle class folks think they have good reason to vote R.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 12, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

"But most of them ticket split and vote for small biz friendly Ds, too."

We have a winner, ladies and germs!

Posted by: tao9 | February 12, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

DD for me and you, doctor, you'll see, we always win in the end.

Politics do not deliver benefits nor subtract losses on a year to year basis for us. When you are on the up side of either outcome, it is all just an argument.

But if you want to say you love Obama more than I do, good luck with that. The more you suffer, the more you know you really care.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 13, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Cef mentioned food inspection. Suppose the House GOP gets its way and funding for food safety is cut. Troll gets to keep another $2 a month. Now there ya go. So much better than giving it to some bureaucrat.

Then some sharp-penciled little smarty at Gerber decides to increase shareholder value and, noticing that melamine is cheaper than beef, slips some into the Savory Stew production line. Het gets a little bonus.

Troll watches his infant son wither and die from liver failure. Good news though .. he can go to court! And he saved almost $25 a year in taxes, money he'd earned.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 13, 2011 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Since when did this become just a Federal Government thing? These same battles are being played out on a state level. In fact, the contrast is even more glaring on the state level since balanced budgets require a choice between revenue and services.

Go look at California and tell me that Republicans are doing the middle class a bit of good.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 13, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

"It keeps the rats focused on the lever."

Yer killin the room, shrink. LOL

Posted by: tao9 | February 13, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

"But the wife wants me to come to bed so why not take a couple of hours and rethink your approach to the subject,"

Thank you for that thoughtful piece of advice. I intend to.

"YOU declared it elitist that we say the middle class has no reason to vote republican, yet your response to proofs that that is a very reasonable position is that YOU are satisfied with your responses."

I don't think I declared anything elitist. And further, I agreed with many of the things you wrote that were essential government services. Where we probably disagree is on what level of government should provide those services (Federal, state, county, city) and the overall scope of those services. I hope that clears that up.

"Why should the middle class be satisfied with such substanceless argumentation?"

It should not.

"So, in the immortal words of that rascal of the Asian Ways, The Henna Gaijin, Moreo sama,
O Yasumi"

"Or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing." The Dude.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

"The more you suffer, the more you know you really care. "

Heh, one of the first albums I owned as a teenager

Posted by: DDAWD | February 13, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"The more you suffer, the more you know you really care."

That's some sweet Offspring reference there.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

"Only if you get yourself elected."

I would also consider that voting for representatives of like mind would also mean I have a say (albeit diluted) in what those responsibilities should be.

==

We have now come full circle.

There is no way I will ever accept that voting for Republicans who will make the USA a dirtier, shambled, and more dangerous place to help people with millions of times more money than I have accumulate even more is in my interest, nor that it's in my interest to get government out of the business of protecting me from those who would make my life dirtier, shambled, and more dangerous.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 13, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

"DD for me and you, doctor, you'll see, we always win in the end.

Politics do not deliver benefits nor subtract losses on a year to year basis for us. When you are on the up side of either outcome, it is all just an argument."

Well, as someone who wants to split time between the bench and the bedside, the Dems are more win for me. My education is being funded by NIH and while my score was high enough that I'd still be funded sans stimulus, it certainly has made life easier for others in my position. So while the argument is academic to some extent, it could easily not be.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 13, 2011 12:14 AM | Report abuse

"Heh, one of the first albums I owned as a teenager."

I knew your were a little shıt, I hope you love medicine. It is such a privilege. Don't listen to any doctor who complains about money.

If you don't, you won't have any doctor friends, but nurses rock the world and like I said, our lives are an extraordinary privilege, a gift we give back and forth to society.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 13, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"Cef mentioned food inspection. Suppose the House GOP gets its way and funding for food safety is cut. Troll gets to keep another $2 a month. Now there ya go. So much better than giving it to some bureaucrat."

I think that reducing the funding for food safety is different than eliminating it. How badly do you think food safety will be compromised if it's rolled back to, say, 2008 levels?

"Then some sharp-penciled little smarty at Gerber decides to increase shareholder value and, noticing that melamine is cheaper than beef, slips some into the Savory Stew production line. Het gets a little bonus."

I believe that is possible regardless of the level of spending on food safety. In fact, I bet if we triple the funding for food safety something like that will eventually happen. But again, I'm not advocating the elimination of governments role in food safety.

"Troll watches his infant son wither and die from liver failure. Good news though .. he can go to court! And he saved almost $25 a year in taxes, money he'd earned.""

A poignant example indeed, and one I have take to heart. I appreciate your ability to put your thoughts into such vivid language. It really brings your comments to life.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Offspring! Teenager?

Man you're just a puppy.

{{{smashgiggle}}}

Posted by: tao9 | February 13, 2011 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"Since when did this become just a Federal Government thing? These same battles are being played out on a state level. In fact, the contrast is even more glaring on the state level since balanced budgets require a choice between revenue and services.

Go look at California and tell me that Republicans are doing the middle class a bit of good."

It may surprise you to know that I wholeheartedly agree with you. Citizens of states are faced with deciding the role and scope of their governments. And in California, Republicans are having virtually no impact on those decisions, and therefore very little impact on the middle class.

Great point though!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"I knew your were a little shıt, I hope you love medicine. It is such a privilege. Don't listen to any doctor who complains about money.

If you don't, you won't have any doctor friends, but nurses rock the world and like I said, our lives are an extraordinary privilege, a gift we give back and forth to society. "

Hated surgery, loving internal medicine. Psych somewhere in between. Not my first choice, but I'd enjoy it if I were doing it. I don't think I'd ever complain about money given the circumstances I came into this world with. Even my five figures buys me a crappy car, a crappy apartment, and crappy insurance, but I feel like a millionaire.

And yeah, it's an incredible position to be in. The world seems different when I'm wearing a white coat and steth. Just to have that trust and respect. It's a huge responsibility, but such a privilege. And I can't even play drug dealer yet.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 13, 2011 12:27 AM | Report abuse

CPAC poll results (bottom)

From http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/259633/ron-paul-runs-away-cpac-straw-poll-robert-costa

Grover Norquist, the influential taxpayer advocate, tells NRO that Paul’s win is far from meaningless. “If you are running for president, you need to be able to connect with the activists,” he says. “This is a measure of how connected you are to activists, especially the young activists. Some people talk about the money primary — this is the activist primary.”

Paul’s growing following on the right, Norquist predicts, could shake up the 2012 race, especially on issues championed by the Texas congressman, like monetary policy. “It’s like 1988, when Pat Robertson ran for president,” he observes. “Robertson brought a whole collection of people into the Repub'n party.” While acknowledging that some Repub'ns find Paul supporters “strange” for their dogged focus on the Fed'l Reserve, the fresh faces, Norquist says, are “very healthy” for the future of the GOP.

Alexander McCobin, founder of Students for Liberty, a Paul-supporting group, agrees. “This shows that libertarianism really is what Ronald Reagan said: the heart and soul of conservatism,” he tells us. “. . . If the GOP decides to ignore that lesson, they’re going to be hurt.”

At CPAC, Paul’s maneuvers were not limited to hallway organizing. The rail-thin congressman also generated sparks for his criticism of U.S. foreign policy — a rarity at CPAC. From the dais, facing thousands of conservatives, he shamed both parties for supporting former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. “The people don’t like us propping up their dictators,” he said. “No more than we would like it if a foreign country propped up a dictator in our country.” He also had strong words about ladling cash to U.S. allies. “Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of rich countries and giving it to the rich people of poor countries,” he argued.

Nearly 11,000 conservative activists attended the conference. However, two politicians with vocal backing from attendees — Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee — did not show, making the straw poll a notable, though hardly definitive, glimpse . . . . The ballot box was also closed on Friday afternoon, hours before two prominent GOP governors, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, spoke, so Paul’s win, though newsworthy, may not carry too much weight in the run-up to 2012.

Results:

Rep. Ron Paul — 30%

Fmr Mass. gov Romney — 23%

Fmr New Mex. gov Gary Johnson — 6%

Gov. Chris Christie (R., N.J.) — 6%

Fmr House Speaker Gingrich — 5%

Fmr Minn. governor Pawlenty — 4%

Rep. Michele Bachmann — 4%

Gov. Mitch Daniels — 4%

Fmr Alaska gov. Palin — 3%

Fmr business exec. Herman Cain — 2%

Fmr Ark. gov. Huckabee — 2%

Fmr Penn. Sen. Santorum — 2%

Sen. John Thune — 2%

Amb. Jon Huntsman — 1%

Gov. Haley Barbour — 1%

Other — 5%

Undecided — 1%

Posted by: smd1234 | February 13, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

"We have now come full circle.

There is no way I will ever accept that voting for Republicans who will make the USA a dirtier, shambled, and more dangerous place to help people with millions of times more money than I have accumulate even more is in my interest, nor that it's in my interest to get government out of the business of protecting me from those who would make my life dirtier, shambled, and more dangerous."

I appreciate your perspective and thank you for sharing it with me.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

"And in California, Republicans are having virtually no impact on those decisions"

Simply not true. A 2/3 majority is required to levy a tax or to pass a budget.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 13, 2011 12:31 AM | Report abuse

"And I can't even play drug dealer yet."

Heh, you have no idea, or maybe you do, you could not have said anything more directly contradictory to this.

"...an extraordinary privilege, a gift we give back and forth to society."

Posted by: shrink2 | February 13, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

""And in California, Republicans are having virtually no impact on those decisions"

Simply not true. A 2/3 majority is required to levy a tax or to pass a budget."

Then I'm mistaken, I thought that had been repealed. In that case, a reduced impact on the size and scope of the state government.

Thank you for the clarification.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I think that reducing the funding for food safety is different than eliminating it. How badly do you think food safety will be compromised if it's rolled back to, say, 2008 levels?
------------------------------------------------------
I don't know how badly food safety would be compromised. It seems to me that it would be important to know what would happen before declaring oneself for such a cut. We happen to know that there weren't enough food inspectors or rigorous food inspections, hence the growing and alarming incidents of ecoli and other contamination. Since my life depends on safe food, I don't think I would just charge in and cut an area where there have already been problems due to underfunding. At least, I'd want to know the gory details.

I hate to wave the bloody shirt, but frankly, I think the Republicans want to cut food safety inspections until there are enough deaths so they can point out how government can't do anything right. Then they can cut food safety totally, and we will be at the mercy of corporations to regulate themselves.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 13, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse

smd1234, Rep. Paul's "growing support" is like a bunion and didn't get him far in 2008.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 13, 2011 12:45 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know how badly food safety would be compromised. It seems to me that it would be important to know what would happen before declaring oneself for such a cut. We happen to know that there weren't enough food inspectors or rigorous food inspections, hence the growing and alarming incidents of ecoli and other contamination. Since my life depends on safe food, I don't think I would just charge in and cut an area where there have already been problems due to underfunding. At least, I'd want to know the gory details."

I'm not sure that a shortage of food inspectors or rigorous food inspections is the reason for any alarming incidents of ecoli and other contamination. It may be all, some or none of the reason. I'm also convinced that no amount of money, regulation, inspectors or inspections will eliminate all incidents of contamination. I'd like to know what was projected, say 10 years ago, as to the number of contamination incidents per dollar spent, versus today, to get a little perspective. At some point you get diminishing returns for the money spent, and that money obviously has an opportunity cost.

"I hate to wave the bloody shirt, but frankly, I think the Republicans want to cut food safety inspections until there are enough deaths so they can point out how government can't do anything right. Then they can cut food safety totally, and we will be at the mercy of corporations to regulate themselves.""

I disagree. I find though, that I have to consciously fight my inclination to think the very worst of the motives of the Democrats. One of the reasons I like reading the comments here is that it's a reminder that my political opponents are not two-dimensional. Just my $.02.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 12:51 AM | Report abuse

"Heh, you have no idea, or maybe you do, you could not have said anything more directly contradictory to this."

I do.

Actually, I have found that patients, more than anything, want reassurance. They know that it's easy to write a prescription. It's harder to understand what's going on. I didn't like my surgery rotation much, but the patients I worked with went through some pretty extensive work and a lot of them just needed some kind words to help them through the recovery. I don't know much medicine, but I can empathize with people. Even as a lowly student, it's such a rewarding feeling.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 13, 2011 12:56 AM | Report abuse

"...corporations to regulate themselves..."

Blow out preventers are waaay too complicated for government people to understand. When they fail (of course, it turns out that one was actually disabled by the company for testing, the purpose?, industry self-regulation is about giving those log books a frequent and thoroughly vigorous pencil whipping) then we turn back to the industry to operate the Unified Command. All too complicated you see. Can't measure the flow etc., ...it turns out, at the end of the day, all government workers are parasites, clueless wastrels, nothing to contribute.

Vote Republican, there that was easy. A whole day of debate and I just closed the case. Government bad, industry good. Why waste words?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 13, 2011 12:59 AM | Report abuse

"I hate to wave the bloody shirt, but frankly, I think the Republicans want to cut food safety inspections until there are enough deaths so they can point out how government can't do anything right. "

Yeah, both the FEMA response to Katrina and the MMS staffing leading to the BP explosion were results of this. I have no doubt about it. As soon as the explosion happened, the first things out of the mouths of the mainstream media was how this is evidence that the government can't regulate the oil industry. The timing of it was such that I have absolutely no doubt this was the intention.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 13, 2011 1:03 AM | Report abuse

troll,

What makes me nervous about people like you is your recklessness with something like food safety. You don't know how food safety would be affected, but oh well, it can't be too bad. This abandonment of careful consideration is what I notice about Republicans, which I think is a not very well hidden conviction that government isn't doing anything very important, or very well, and that any cut is a good thing.

Multiply that lack of carefulness across all sorts of activities and you capture my reluctance to vote R. I am a natural Republican voter and yet I shy away from that kind of recklessness.

I do believe that a lot of programs can be curtailed and cut and should be. But one has to be judicious. Food safety is hardly the place to start, and I suspect that corporate ag has gotten to the GOP and influenced them.

I would want to be sure that the cuts to food safety didn't have anything to do with the new federal rules on egg inspections, which I recall had a price tag of $88m which just coincidentally is the same number being cut:

On the heels of a 500 million egg recall in August (2010) and the implementation of a new federal rule aimed at preventing Salmonella in shell eggs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its first comprehensive report on egg inspections Tuesday.

Of 1,796 environmental swabs collected, 76--four percent--were positive for Salmonella Entertidis.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 13, 2011 1:07 AM | Report abuse

"What makes me nervous about people like you is your recklessness with something like food safety. You don't know how food safety would be affected, but oh well, it can't be too bad. This abandonment of careful consideration is what I notice about Republicans, which I think is a not very well hidden conviction that government isn't doing anything very important, or very well, and that any cut is a good thing."

I'm sorry I make you nervous. And we may have some differences in what defines recklessness. As I wrote to cao, for me, the differences are the spice of life. I agree that I don't know if food safety is any better at it's current level of funding versus ten years ago. And it will come as no surprise to you that I do not think the Republicans have abandoned "careful consideration" simply because they may be considering cuts in a section of the Federal government you happen to think either should maintain it's current level of funding, or have it increased. But I appreciate your stating your opinion on what you think the Republican's true motives are. I for one, prefer clarity to agreement.

"Multiply that lack of carefulness across all sorts of activities and you capture my reluctance to vote R. I am a natural Republican voter and yet I shy away from that kind of recklessness."

As I just wrote, we disagree on what is reckless and what are the true motives here. Again, clarity over agreement is my motive, so thank you for your statements.

"I do believe that a lot of programs can be curtailed and cut and should be. But one has to be judicious. Food safety is hardly the place to start, and I suspect that corporate ag has gotten to the GOP and influenced them."

We agree on almost every count! Clarity and agreement. ;-) Let me say that there is not a current Federal dollar that someone would not defend with passion. I'm of the opinion that government is to big, spends to much money and needs to be cut. It has to start somewhere. On the other hand, the Agriculture Department is, essentially, chump change

"I would want to be sure that the cuts to food safety didn't have anything to do with the new federal rules on egg inspections, ... Salmonella Entertidis."

I think, and you probably will disagree, that due consideration will be paid to the value of those inspections. I'll also risk sounding flippant, that we had survived for over 200 years without it. Further, infected eggs can and will get through the new screen. What I don't know is what the change in the inspection will accomplish versus the prior method versus the cost. That's just my own ignorance.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 1:36 AM | Report abuse

I'll also risk sounding flippant, that we had survived for over 200 years without it.
----------------------------------------------
What we can agree on is that you do sound flippant.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 13, 2011 1:47 AM | Report abuse

"What we can agree on is that you do sound flippant. "

you misspelled "idiotic"

Posted by: DDAWD | February 13, 2011 2:02 AM | Report abuse

"I'll also risk sounding flippant, that we had survived for over 200 years without it.
----------------------------------------------
What we can agree on is that you do sound flippant."

I'm sorry, I shouldn't have written it. I enjoy our conversation(s) and don't want to ruin them by being a smart a$$. Please consider it retracted. I appreciate your taking the time to point it out.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 2:03 AM | Report abuse


"youmisspelled "idiotic""

Jeebus, I'm having a day! Thanks for at least struggling through my comments. I'll try to improve. ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 13, 2011 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is impressive, and you have to admit, he has a young following which will not disappear.

Posted by: AllSpendingMustBeCut | February 13, 2011 3:49 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is impressive? Really? The raging racist who gets four syllables out of the word "job?"

He's a 78 year old gold bug with a cult following.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 13, 2011 4:59 AM | Report abuse

To the person at 4:59 - Everyone in the country disagrees with you. Why are you so nasty?

Posted by: AllSpendingMustBeCut | February 13, 2011 5:59 AM | Report abuse

Everyone in the country disagrees with you.

==

That isn't true of any statement on any subject.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 13, 2011 6:05 AM | Report abuse

The Ron Paul Newsletters contain some of the most contemptible racist expression anyone has ever seen in a political publication. If Paul tried to run for higher office he would need to defend that stuff and all he's ever done is claim he didn't write it. But it appears over his name and either he wrote it, approved it, or approved stuff coming out under his name with no review. There's no way out.

And yeah he has some good ideas. That isn't remarkable. He has something to say about just about everything so it *would* be remarkable if there weren't a few nuggets.

But he's a buffoon. When he speaks the word "job" it comes out "JAAAAH-uhhh-OOOB-buh." Even without the bigotry and all the loony ideas, it'd be really hard to take him seriously.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 13, 2011 6:21 AM | Report abuse

I think, and you probably will disagree, that due consideration will be paid to the value of those inspections. I'll also risk sounding flippant, that we had survived for over 200 years without it. Further, infected eggs can and will get through the new screen.

==

So how many easily preventible deaths are you ready to accept to stroke your distrust of government?

"Flippant" doesn't begin to cover it.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 13, 2011 6:53 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD said: " I don't know much medicine, but I can empathize with people. Even as a lowly student, it's such a rewarding feeling"

There is (was?) a retired lady in Vancouver who, late at night, would zip about the dicey parts of the city in her minivan handing out clean needles. I can't recall now what her profession had been but I doubt she'd been a derivatives trader. Most likely, she'd been a nurse of teacher or something like that.

Why do some people tend towards professions and activities that have the end of lessening suffering or empowering others in the community while others move towards activities and positions which aim for status and power?

Not a new question (and not quite so simple, surely) but the broad outline is apparent and the question very much worth asking, I think.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 13, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration's Justice Department has asserted that the FBI can obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process or court oversight, according to a document obtained by McClatchy.

That assertion was revealed — perhaps inadvertently — by the department in its response to a McClatchy request for a copy of a secret Justice Department memo.

Critics say the legal position is flawed and creates a potential loophole that could lead to a repeat of FBI abuses that were supposed to have been stopped in 2006.

The controversy over the telephone records is a legacy of the Bush administration's war on terror. Critics say the Obama administration appears to be continuing many of the most controversial tactics of that strategy, including the assertion of sweeping executive powers.
{...}
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/11/108562/obama-assertion-fbi-can-get-phone.html

Posted by: tao9 | February 13, 2011 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Corporate loan sharks go feeding-frenzyish in the UK...

"US payday loan firms plan rapid expansion in cash-strapped Britain
• Credit at 30% a month can take minutes to secure
• One group sees opportunity for 800 new branches in UK"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/feb/11/us-payday-loan-firms-expansion

Posted by: bernielatham | February 13, 2011 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that, tao. McClatchy continues to maintain a level of integrity and depth reporting which few news entities can match. Extraordinary operation.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 13, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

One of those bits of data that take you by surprise not just because they are significant but because sort of obvious if you'd thought about it...

In a Ha'aretz piece titled "Mubarak's departure thwarted Israeli strike on Iran", the author Aluf Benn notes...

"Most Israelis were either born or immigrated to this country during the period in which Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt. This is the reality they know. And this is the significance of the stability that Mubarak provided them with."

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/mubarak-s-departure-thwarted-israeli-strike-on-iran-1.343012

Posted by: bernielatham | February 13, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

AllSpendingMustBeCut, lots of people are "impressive" who will never win a national election. I would suggest you switch your support to someone who can actually beat Obama.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 13, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

All, a fresh Open Thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/sunday_open_thread_21.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 13, 2011 8:09 AM | Report abuse

@troll

I'm very late to the thread and I hope you pick this up later in the day.

While I'm almost 180 degrees in disagreement with what you posted last night you were impressive. You kept your cool through it all and your side hasn't been that surrounded since Khe Sanh.

And so my jarhead friend..."Semper Fi"
I disagree with your politics but your calm cool collected head would be appreciated by me if I ever found myself in a foxhole surrounded by truly hostile forces.

One of my favorite cousins was a Marine who went to 'Nam. After his enlistment he decided to become a "lifer" but he joined the Air Force because of his perception of better career opportunities, better duties (who really wants to be a dirt dog), and better facilities. But once a Marine...lol..this past Thanksgiving on my annual trek back home I was sitting around the table with he and his two brothers. The four of us are within three years of each other in age and they were easily my favorite cousins growing up. We four had some wonderful adventures and misadventures together over the years. Two of us were in the Army, one was Air Force, the other as I just described Marine/Air Force.

I related a true story from my Vietnam experience. Our first week in country was orientation. An officer was explaining to us what the Army did upon receiving enemy fire. It was a basic protocol that went from a light weapons response...to mortars..to artillery..to chopper gunships..to our ace in the hole...jets with napalm. I still can hear him say...remember guys this is the Army not the Marines...we want to get you back alive..we're not heroes..that's for the Marines..if they want to charge the hill let them.

From your perspective that must seem like the fruit of inter service envy...and even from my Army perspective I'd have to agree with you Troll. :-)

Point is my cousin who had just two years as a Marine and over twenty in the Air Force immediately took up the challenge and started defending you "jarheads". He was far prouder of his two years in the Marines than his 20+ in the Air Force.
And so Troll I respectfully say to you "Semper Fi" my jarhead buddy.

Now later today I'm going to try and knock some sense into that "jarhead". LMAO

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 13, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

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