Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 5:57 PM ET, 03/ 7/2011

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

* Senator John Ensign's retirement means Republicans can breathe a big sigh of relief, and both parties will aggressively pursue the seat.

Also: It provides an opening for Sharron Angle to have another run at changing this Congress's current course without resorting to Second Amendment remedies!

* Chris Good on Ensign's remarkably rapid fall from major GOP asset to dead weight.

* Nevada journalist Jon Ralston skewers Ensign's claim that he's retiring for the good of his family:

If Ensign cared about family, GOP, Senate, friends, aides who had to hire lawyers over last 18 months, he would have resigned long ago.

* Jonathan Cohn calls on someone, anyone, anywhere, in the Democratic Party to step up and defend government spending.

* John Boehner keeps telling us that "we're broke," but Bloomberg News and financial markets say that's hooey.

* ActBlue has already raised over $200,000 to support the drive to recall Wisconsin GOP state senators, another measure of how invested the national Dem base is in this fight.

* Even if Walker does end up getting his way on bargaining rights, the fight is only beginning as the recall hounds have been unleashed.

* David Dayen says Walker's presser today revealed him as a minor-leaguer.

* Eric Kleefeld marvels at the comedy of Governor Scott Walker criticizing Dems, without irony, for allegedly taking phone calls from out-of-state special interest labor backers telling them not to compromise in the Wisconsin standoff. (See Koch, prank call, for context.)

* Domenico Montanaro on why Republicans should be spooked by Walker's overreach and the possibility that it will cause Tea Party-levels of enthusiasm on the left in a key midwestern swing state heading into 2012.

* Obama announces that military trials of terror suspects will resume at Guantanamo, another sign that the facility will remain open for the foreseeable future.

* The important thing to keep in mind about Obama's failure to close Gitmo is that the fault lies with the many Democratic members of Congress who don't have the stomach for closing it.

* If Beltway political elites are going to continue to believe the deficit is the single most dire threat to our future, you'd think they might develop a passing interest in what actually causes it.

* Justin Elliott has the tragicomic tale of a hapless GOP lawmaker who discovered that anti-sharia demagoguery isn't so easy, after all.

* And no end to the comedy as Mitt Romney struggles to spin the mandate in Romneycare as a Tea Party solution.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | March 7, 2011; 5:57 PM ET
Categories:  2012, Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Labor, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Walker attacks Dems, succeeds in making them more resolved to hold out
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Say it with me:

WE'RE NOT BROKE!

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 7, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Brown Gushes to David Koch Billionaire Supporter

In a secretly-made video, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) effusively thanks conservative billionaire David Koch for supporting his election in 2010 and made a plea for help in his re-election campaign next year.

Here's the video from ThinkProgress:

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/03/07/brown_gushes_to_billionaire_supporter.html

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/07/scott-brown-david-koch-money/

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 7, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

ohion - except...it's hard to characterize as "screwing" the taxpayers for college grads to expect to make within 5 or 10% of what similarly-skilled workers earn in the private sector. That would be 5 - 10% LESS than private-sector workers, after taking benefits into consideration.

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 7, 2011 1:49 PM
=========================================

It's hard to keep up with these percentages and what they really mean. "College grads" and "similarly-skilled workers" are used as generic terms. Aren't most teachers employed in the public sector? Most policemen? Most firemen? I'm not sure how you accurately compare their "value" to counterparts in the private sector.

And the median salaries of college grads are all over the map, depending on the field of endeavor. With some majors, you'll be hard pressed to find any job at all unless you have an extremely high grade-point average. And employees don't pass out jobs and salaries as prizes for completing an education; it's up to the student, and possibly his guidance counselor, to research the opportunities and salary ranges in a given profession. There's evidently no shortage of teachers, or salaries would be adjusted upward until demand was satisfied. There may well be a shortage of "good" teachers, but we've had that discussion before. As it stands, the starting salary of a grade-school teacher in Podunk, Mississippi isn't going to equal the starting salary in most high tech fields---or for Wall Street investment bankers.

A well-trained plumber or electrician or x-ray technician, with less than a 4-year degree, may well earn more money than a Social Services worker with a Masters degree. But there's nothing wrong with that as long as the Social Services worker likes the job and knew what he/she was getting into. He/she could have chosen to be an electrician.

The real progress made by unions was traditionally enjoyed by blue collar workers. It's hard to persevere with an influx of illegal immigrants, who'll work for next to nothing, in competition for the same jobs---while unionized law enforcement officers serve as strike breakers at picket lines. And free trade means U.S. businesses can offshore manufacturing jobs to cheap labor markets and then ship the finished products, duty free, back for sale in the good ole U.S.---one of Pat Buchanan's pet peeves. We want stuff cheap. But a pill that sells for $100 in the U.S. is sold for $10 in Canada and elsewhere, and you can be arrested if you try to import one. Water seeks the lowest level, so a rising tide never really lifts ALL boats. Go, Pat, Go! Oh wait, he once owned a Mercedes Benz.

Posted by: Brigade | March 7, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty clear one of the main reasons Republicans are fighting the public employee unions is because of their voting and fundraising records, but they're also going after college students. That really pisses me off. I went through this and landed in jail twice when I was 18 fighting for the right to vote. A lot of us went to the mat because they were drafting our brothers, cousins and boyfriends but not allowing them the vote during the Vietnam war. This will not go over well with college students, I guarantee you.

""New Hampshire's new Republican state House speaker is pretty clear about what he thinks of college kids and how they vote. They're "foolish," Speaker William O'Brien said in a recent speech to a tea party group.

Still, the sponsor of the measure, state Rep. Gregory Sorg, addressing a packed public hearing room late last month, focused his ire directly at the college set.

Average taxpayers in college towns, he said, are having their votes "diluted or entirely canceled by those of a huge, largely monolithic demographic group . . . composed of people with a dearth of experience and a plethora of the easy self-confidence that only ignorance and inexperience can produce."

Their "youthful idealism," he added, "is focused on remaking the world, with themselves in charge, of course, rather than with the mundane humdrum of local government.""

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/06/AR2011030602662_3.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2011030603423

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Say it with me:

WE'RE NOT BROKE!

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 7, 2011 6:23 PM
========================================

Speak for yourself. If you're not broke, stop whining. Pay your fair share.

Posted by: Brigade | March 7, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

That really pisses me off. I went through this and landed in jail twice when I was 18 fighting for the right to vote.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 6:34 PM
=========================================

Are you sure it wasn't for being drunk and disorderly?

Posted by: Brigade | March 7, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"""Speak for yourself. If you're not broke, stop whining. Pay your fair share."""

No. no, no. You don't understand. We are NOT "broke". This is a FACT.

Read the article:

"""Boehner’s assessment dominates a debate over the federal budget that could lead to a government shutdown. It is a widely shared view with just one flaw: It’s wrong.

“The U.S. government is not broke,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York. “There’s no evidence that the market is treating the U.S. government like it’s broke.”

...

I think it’s very misleading to call a country ‘broke,’” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “We’re certainly not bankrupt like Greece.”"""

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-07/bonds-show-why-boehner-saying-we-re-broke-is-figure-of-speech.html

FACT:

WE'RE NOT BROKE.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 7, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

""Are you sure it wasn't for being drunk and disorderly?""

Not that funny, if 80 and 90 year olds can vote I think 18 year olds can handle the challenge. We may not have a draft anymore but they're still dying in our damn wars and should be allowed a vote. If they're old enough for one, they're old enough for the other.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Benen on Arizona Immigration Copy-Cat Fail

A year ago, Republicans in Arizona sparked a national debate with a horrendous anti-immigrant law. In the aftermath, there were fears of epidemic -- far-right lawmakers in at least 20 states vowed to pursue their own versions of SB1070.

Fortunately, that never happened, as the L.A. Times reported over the weekend, "the momentum has shifted."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_03/028325.php

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 7, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I think the middle class, the one not funded by American's for Prosperity, has found their voice.

""Monday's Fairmont protest was one of several orchestrated by National People's Action, a coalition of neighborhood and community activists. Demonstrators also chanted outside the Offices of the Comptroller of the Currency, a federal bank regulator reportedly pursuing a small-dollar settlement. Earlier in the day, NPA members briefly shut down a Washington, D.C. Bank of America branch when hundreds showed up to protest the bank's foreclosure practices. On Sunday, hundreds of protesters picketed the Georgetown home of BofA board member Charles Rossotti.

NPA organized the protests to highlight a new report analyzing tax breaks that allowed the six largest banks to pay an average tax rate of just 11 percent in 2009 and 2010. Bank of America and Wells Fargo have both secured multibillion-dollar tax refunds in recent years.

At the AG event, demonstrators accused banks of committing widespread fraud, citing a broad array of abuses: evicting people who had already paid off their mortgage, charging illegal fees and illegally inflating home appraisals, among others. Some protesters said banks had failed to follow through on commitments to modify improper loans, while another said her bank denied a short sale and foreclosed on her because, the bank said, it had lost her paperwork.""

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/07/foreclosure-protesters-de_n_832420.html

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

GREENIES:

Take note, climate change hearing tomorrow:

Despite their minority status, Mr. Waxman and his Democratic colleagues on the committee were able to get the majority to agree to a hearing on the basic atmospheric science underlying the consensus that carbon dioxide and other substances produced by human activity are causing a rise in global temperatures, with a variety of attendant ill effects. That hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning. It will feature several of the nation’s leading climatologists, as well as two scientists who question the extent of human influence on the climate.

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/07/waxman-angrily-assails-g-o-p-science-deniers/

I'm sure it will get massive play in the mainstream media... hahahahaha!... sigh...

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 7, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"What else is happening?"

Looks like the Obama administration won't fight for Dr. Berwick's confirmation to CMS.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/50698.html

Posted by: jnc4p | March 7, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

lms:

""We may not have a draft anymore but they're still dying in our damn wars and should be allowed a vote. If they're old enough for one, they're old enough for the other.""

I agree. Although ultimately I think voting rights should somehow be tied to paying taxes, not just age.

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

@ScottC3 : I think voting rights should somehow be tied to paying taxes

Why don't you go with the founders and only allow white male property holders to vote?

And BTW everyone who buys anything pays taxes. Anyone who puts gas in their car pays taxes. Who is your brilliant idea going to exclude?

Posted by: srw3 | March 7, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

@brigand: There's evidently no shortage of teachers, or salaries would be adjusted upward until demand was satisfied.

Do you always talk out of your a$$ or is it just when you are trolling this site?

There is a huge demand for math, science, and computer science teachers. Go to any inner city urban school and you will find other teachers teaching out of their area of expertise because anyone with a degree in math, science, or computer science can get a job paying far more with far less aggravation. Clearly you have never been a classroom teacher or even done a casual search of the facts.

Posted by: srw3 | March 7, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"And BTW everyone who buys anything pays taxes. Anyone who puts gas in their car pays taxes. Who is your brilliant idea going to exclude?

Posted by: srw3"

I am pretty sure he means that the power of a vote should be proportional to the dollars voter pays in taxes.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 7, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD : I am pretty sure he means that the power of a vote should be proportional to the dollars voter pays in taxes.

Well that was not what he said and I bet that this is not what he meant, but I guess we should wait for him to respond...and I think that the 1 person 1 vote principle is already mocked by the electoral college for presidential elections and the fact that Wyoming gets 2 senators and a congresscritter while DC with more population gets no representation and California with at least 2 orders of magnitude more people gets the same 2 senators.

Posted by: srw3 | March 7, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I was just kidding :-P

But good point on the Senators. Back when the Dems had 60 Senators, if you were to give each Senator a vote proportional to the size of his state, the Dems would have actually controlled something like 75% of the votes. It's pretty ridiculous how such a tiny minority of the population can have such an outsized influence.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 7, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

There is a huge demand for math, science, and computer science teachers. Go to any inner city urban school and you will find other teachers teaching out of their area of expertise because anyone with a degree in math, science, or computer science can get a job paying far more with far less aggravation. Clearly you have never been a classroom teacher or even done a casual search of the facts.

Posted by: srw3 | March 7, 2011 7:30 PM
=======================================

There are teaching degrees and non-teaching degrees, moron. Clearly, if you want to hire someone with a degree in computer science then you'll have to match what they can earn elsewhere or do without; if they wanted to teach, they'd have a teaching degree. If schools could get rid of non-performing deadbeats, maybe they could afford better teachers. In some states, there's actually been a push to hire people as teachers who do not have teaching degrees, but the teachers' union and their liberal allies go ballistic.

I hope you're not going to tell us you've been a classroom teacher; that would provide an excellent example of what's wrong. Think before you post or at least have some idea what you're talking about.

Posted by: Brigade | March 7, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

the 1 person 1 vote principle is already mocked by the electoral college for presidential elections and the fact that Wyoming gets 2 senators and a congresscritter while DC with more population gets no representation and California with at least 2 orders of magnitude more people gets the same 2 senators.

Posted by: srw3 | March 7, 2011 7:42 PM
========================================

There is no such principle concerning the Senate. Do a little research. Don't like the way our Congress is selected? Don't let the plane door hit you in the arse. They're looking for a genius like you to help set up a new government in Libya.

Posted by: Brigade | March 7, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

"* Senator John Ensign's retirement means Republicans can breathe a big sigh of relief, and both parties will aggressively pursue the seat. Also: It provides an opening for Sharron Angle to have another run at changing this Congress's current course without resorting to Second Amendment remedies! "

Oh! From Your Lips to God's Ear!!!

Even Nevada republicans can't be so dumb as to give her a second chance to elect an unelectable democrat.

Can They?

Posted by: ceflynline | March 7, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

@ ruk

Don't know if you'll be checking in tonight, but I wanted to briefly pick up on that question of whether some people have empathy and some don't. That's a bit broader than what I was suggesting. Most of us are able to empathize with people whose experiences and views are similar to our own, and just about everyone can feel sympathy (which isn't quite empathy) for the victims of an earthquake, no matter who they are, but not everyone has the ability to identify with the experiences of others who are quite different from them. I'm thinking of the ability to truly imagine oneself in another person's place when that place is essentially unknown. I don't think everyone can do that, and it's not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of personality and outlook.

It's my sense that people who have this sort of ability are as important to the political process as those who are masters of strategy and organization and who have a deep knowledge of issues. That's what I meant.

Posted by: AllButCertain | March 7, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Scott

""I agree. Although ultimately I think voting rights should somehow be tied to paying taxes, not just age.""

Is that a joke? Are you trying to get a rise out of me so I say something stupid you and Brigade can pick apart? LOL

Every citizen over 18 should be allowed to vote, it's not some kind of upper class privilege reserved for those who control the wealth. There's already waaaaaaaay too much financial influence in elections, we don't need anymore. Not only that but according to a bunch of you guys on the right, 47% of the working population don't pay taxes remember? That's a lot of votes.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"Every citizen over 18 should be allowed to vote, it's not some kind of upper class privilege reserved for those who control the wealth. There's already waaaaaaaay too much financial influence in elections, we don't need anymore. Not only that but according to a bunch of you guys on the right, 47% of the working population don't pay taxes remember? That's a lot of votes. Posted by: lmsinca |"

I wonder if there will be an exemption granted for the really rich who manage to avoid paying any taxes at all.

Posted by: ceflynline | March 7, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The point is that when conservative pundits go on conservative news outlets and bash teachers, conservative viewers get the impression that it's okay to make these arguments publicly. And politically, that's a really dumb idea. Teachers are incredibly popular. What's more, there are a lot of them, and they don't all live in liberal neighborhoods and they aren't all Democrats. Conservatives are alienating a large and very sympathetic constituency when they make these sorts of arguments, and if all they watch is Fox, they probably don't even know it.

http://enikrising.blogspot.com/2011/03/does-shamelessness-have-price.html

You know who you are.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | March 7, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

ABC

Here's an interesting article for you. It's relative in a tangential way to some of the discussions we've had regarding women. I know you said you had a daughter and I wonder if her experiences match those of my daughter's. A good man is hard to find, but why?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704409004576146321725889448.html

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if there will be an exemption granted for the really rich who manage to avoid paying any taxes at all."

WOW! What a day for comments! Very illuminating!

What if all or a significant part of the personal income is derived from tax free municipal bonds? Should that tax dodge loophole be closed?

Thanks for reading (if you choose to), and thanks in advance for answering (again, if you choose to)! ;-)

Keep up the great work everybody! It's important!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | March 7, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

And how true is this?

One thing they understand very well at Fox, and in the conservative movement more generally, is the political value of shamelessness. As long as you say what you're saying with conviction, it doesn't matter how absurd or hypocritical it is. You may not get the majority of the public to agree with you, but you can get a good number. And among the functions Fox serves for the right (along with conservative talk radio) is the rapid dissemination of arguments and a model of argumentation. They tell conservatives not just what they should say, but how they should say it. A key component is that every argument is presented without a shred of doubt, and with a clear delineation between heroes and villains, the people we should be celebrating and the ones we should be hating.

http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=03&year=2011&base_name=the_political_value_of_shamele

Posted by: pragmaticagain | March 7, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

"John Boehner keeps telling us that "we're broke," but Bloomberg News and financial markets say that's hooey."

Ah, the next liberal/media echo chamber talking point is reaching its full bloom.

Okay, so let's just borrow or print another 15 trillion. Let the good times roll, and we'll government-spend our way to permanent prosperity.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 7, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

qb,

Have you no shame, sir?

Posted by: tao9 | March 7, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Right on cue.

Now make a birth certificate "joke"

Posted by: pragmaticagain | March 7, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

"and we'll government-spend our way to permanent prosperity"

Funny. That's what both Reagan and Bush tried to do. And what did the right do?

Crickets

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 7, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"I think the middle class, the one not funded by American's for Prosperity, has found their voice."

Um, NPA the voice of the middle class? That's a little cracked.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 7, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

tao,

Not according to that incisive piece quoted by prag. My sense shame has been brainwashed away by Fox.

mike,

"Funny. That's what both Reagan and Bush tried to do. And what did the right do?"


If that were true, you'd be their fan. So maybe they didn't.

You have your talking points mixed up.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 7, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

ScottC said: ""I agree. Although ultimately I think voting rights should somehow be tied to paying taxes, not just age.""

ScottC wants to institute a poll tax on the American electorate! How quaint!

Let's just review for everyone just exactly what a poll tax is so we all know our country's history:

"""In U.S. practice, a poll tax was used as a de facto or implicit pre-condition of the exercise of the ability to vote. This tax emerged in some states of the United States in the late 19th century as part of the Jim Crow laws. After the ability to vote was extended to all races by the enactment of the Fifteenth Amendment, many Southern states enacted poll tax laws which often included a grandfather clause that allowed any adult male whose father or grandfather had voted in a specific year prior to the abolition of slavery to vote without paying the tax. These laws, along with unfairly implemented literacy tests and extra-legal intimidation, achieved the desired effect of disenfranchising African-American and Native American voters as well as poor whites who immigrated after the year specified."""

Scott, um, you've got some serious 'splainin' to do!

What exactly did you mean that voting rights should be tied to taxes?

That those who don't pay income taxes don't get to vote?

Please do explain...

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 7, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

lms:

""Every citizen over 18 should be allowed to vote, it's not some kind of upper class privilege reserved for those who control the wealth.""

No, but it should be a privilege reserved for those who maintain the government. I confess I have no idea how it might be managed. But there is something fundamentally wrong with any constituency voting themselves benefits at someone else's expense.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 7, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Right, Ethan, that's exactly what he said, uh huh. You are so tedious.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 7, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca, I just read that article and, while there's a lot that's recognizable in it and some formidable statistics (my friends and I sometimes think of people in their late 20's and early 30's as the "gradual" generation, it certainly can't apply to everyone, can it? I'm assuming the article somewhat reflects you daughter's experience. Mine has a husband and three kids and must have missed the trend by a bit, and my son married at 28 so he doesn't fit either.

I'm thinking that if circumstances were way different, this would be a good conversation to have in a long walk on a California beach. Sigh.

Posted by: AllButCertain | March 7, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

Awesome pedantry!

Rawk Awwwnnnn.

Posted by: tao9 | March 7, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Scott

""But there is something fundamentally wrong with any constituency voting themselves benefits at someone else's expense.""

We have a society that spreads from the lowest of low, no income, to the unimaginable wealthy, and everyone should have a say in the electoral process. We don't want to turn into another Egypt, where the bulk of the population earns $2.00 a day and their voices are never heard, look what happened there. That sounds like oppression to me.

qb

I'm not claiming the NPA is the voice of the middle class but it's nice to see people focusing their ire at the right targets for a change, at least in my opinion. Those people at BofA had a lot more in common with me than any of the Tea Party folks, even though I'm 60, I'm still a damn hippie. :)

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, qb....not sure if you saw it, but you and I were called "subhuman" this morning. I don't know if anyone else was included, but definitely you and I were.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 7, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

"Ruk, your heart is in the right place but if you're tryingnto appeal to the human decency of people (that's generous) like the Bobbseys, you're really not paying attention. These guys have nothing but contempt for compassion, they don't feel it AT ALL and regard claims of it by others to be pretense.

Recall what Troll wrote, giving it all away: ideals are for chumps.

Human decency, kindness, compassion, reciprocity, bah. Their world is Hieronymus Bosch's "Hay Wain." I honestly do think that these uh people are defective in some way, fundamentally subhuman, not on any continuum but wholly other.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 7, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse"

Great and interesting comments tonight all! Fantastic and important work!

QB and Scott,

What did you guys do today to prove your "subhuman" "contempt for compassion?" I personally only said "thank you" instead of "thank you very much" to the cashier when I bought my lunch today! And I barely smiled! Eff 'em!

Thanks everybody, for your contributions!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | March 7, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

"I'm thinking that if circumstances were way different, this would be a good conversation to have in a long walk on a California beach. Sigh.""

I know, I wish you could come out here and get some sunshine with us, we're headed to Doheney in a week and a half. Wouldn't it be fun to discuss our "female" issues without all the prying ears and keyboards at the Plumline? LOL

Sounds like your kids hit the jackpot. Mine have hope.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

lms:

""We don't want to turn into another Egypt...""

Are you saying that Egypt's woes are the result of being a democratic republic where only those who pay taxes got to vote? I'm pretty sure that is not the case, which makes me wonder what relevance Egypt has to the topic.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 7, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse

scott

No, that's not what I said. But if you take the vote away from the people without money we wouldn't be a democratic republic anymore would we? I seem to remember they had rigged elections in Egypt as well.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

""What did you guys do today to prove your "subhuman" "contempt for compassion?" ""

I took the easy route of simply disagreeing with a Democrat. Well, it was really just a grunt of objection. As you of course know, it can be hard to express yourself as a subhuman. But we do what we can.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 7, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

lms:

""But if you take the vote away from the people without money we wouldn't be a democratic republic anymore would we?""

Why not? A democratic republic is not defined by the absence of any restrictions on who can and cannot vote.

""I seem to remember they had rigged elections in Egypt as well.""

Altering the laws regulating who can and cannot vote does not equate to rigged elections.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 7, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"I took the easy route of simply disagreeing with a Democrat. Well, it was really just a grunt of objection. As you of course know, it can be hard to express yourself as a subhuman. But we do what we can."

BTW everybody, I hope you don't think I'm being presumptuous in including myself as one of the "subhuman" "contempt for compassion" group referred to by cao. In his comment, cao wrote, "Recall what Troll wrote, giving it all away: ideals are for chumps.". It didn't sound like he was beatifying me. :-) if there are any objections, I'd be willing to examine those, and counter as I'm able. But, if you intend to object, please keep in mind that I ask so very little.

Thanks all!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | March 7, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

No objection here. You're in!

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 7, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Glad yours kids have hope. My jackpot is five grandkids. Since they're all boys, I have to consider gender with a very open mind. So far, they've made it easy. I suspect that one day they'll add to the ranks of very good men.

Posted by: AllButCertain | March 7, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

""Altering the laws regulating who can and cannot vote does not equate to rigged elections.""

Okay, I'm sure you must be right. Taking voting rights away isn't anything like rigging elections.

Scott, I'm going to follow McWing's lead here and just say thanks for the great comments, they were very enlightening and I totally enjoyed them. Keep 'em coming. I can't wait to hear what you have to say tomorrow. Bravo and oh and btw thanks so much for reading my comments, I really appreciate it.

Good night all!

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Good evening guys.

Good to see we're not broke.

Now we won't have to raise the Debt Ceiling!
Right?

;0)

Posted by: TominColorado | March 7, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

"Okay, I'm sure you must be right. Taking voting rights away isn't anything like rigging elections."

Great work all!

I don't agree with Scott on this issue, but don't we take voting rights away from certain people already?

Thanks! ;-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | March 7, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

""A democratic republic is not defined by the absence of any restrictions on who can and cannot vote.""

Scott

Sorry I missed this one, my bad, I thought a Democratic Republic would be one where ultimate authority and power is derived from the citizens. I forgot if you don't pay taxes you're not really a citizen. Good point. Thanks again.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Here I am back again Scott. One more question (rhetorical if you want) before I retire. If people who don't pay taxes can't vote and therefore would be considered non citizens in a Democratic Republic, would that also mean that they are subhuman? That sounds logical to me. Thanks for the insight.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 7, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

"No, but it should be a privilege reserved for those who maintain the government. I confess I have no idea how it might be managed. But there is something fundamentally wrong with any constituency voting themselves benefits at someone else's expense.

Posted by: ScottC3"

Well, nearly everyone pays taxes of some sort. And yet we have a progressive income tax bracket. The middle class always will have a vested interest in having a well-functioning country, so even if you take away voting rights from the bottom 10% of voters, the bottom of the remaining will still impose taxes on the top few. You can knock off the bottom 10% of those and the same thing will happen.

I was being factitious when I said your suggestion was to make voting power tied to dollars paid in taxes. But I guess with you, there isn't really anything that falls in the realm of Swiftian.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 8, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

"there is something fundamentally wrong with any constituency voting themselves benefits at someone else's expense."

What does that even mean? "Someone else's expense"? Are you opposed to any general expenditure from the federal treasury that helps certain people but not others? Is that in essense what you mean? Because that's what it sounds like.

I have to admit, I'm still unclear what you meant when you suggested that people who don't earn enough to pay taxes shouldn't get the right to vote. Are you actually suggesting that poor people who don't pay any federal taxes shouldn't get to vote? I mean, for real? Is that what you are saying, or do I have it wrong?

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 8, 2011 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Okay, so let's just borrow or print another 15 trillion. Let the good times roll, and we'll government-spend our way to permanent prosperity.

==

Thanks to Ronald Reagan for showing us the way

Posted by: caothien9 | March 8, 2011 3:09 AM | Report abuse

No, but it should be a privilege reserved for those who maintain the government. I confess I have no idea how it might be managed. But there is something fundamentally wrong with any constituency voting themselves benefits at someone else's expense.

==

Just another instance of your psychotic preoccupation with "redistribution."

Really, Scott, you should get a neurological profile to seen if maybe you aren't missing a few pieces up there.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 8, 2011 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Scott and Troll,

I ignore Colonel Kurt's and missed that, but I'm certainly not surprised. He is someone who dreams of purges and pogroms and his own hand on the guillotine. A sick, sick person. Also a very stupid one. He must be good at code writing if he has told any truth about that, but he he has a serious reasoning deficit. Same story with his good
buddy ddawd. Makes them boring.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 8, 2011 4:12 AM | Report abuse

Scott and Troll,

I ignore Colonel Kurt's and missed that, but I'm certainly not surprised. He is someone who dreams of purges and pogroms and his own hand on the guillotine. A sick, sick person. Also a very stupid one. He must be good at code writing if he has told any truth about that, but he he has a serious reasoning deficit. Same story with his good
buddy ddawd. Makes them boring.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 8, 2011 4:13 AM | Report abuse


The Refi Plus program will waive the normal credit score requirement for a refinance; it will have reduced documentation standards for proof of income; and it will allow for computer-based appraisals, which tend to inflate the value of a home and make it easier to qualify for a refinance. Search online for 123 mortgage refinance they are the best and fast.

Posted by: markhead77 | March 8, 2011 4:16 AM | Report abuse

But there is something fundamentally wrong with any constituency voting themselves benefits at someone else's expense.

==

No, that isn't at all true, that's just nuts. You have a well-established deep misapprehension about morality and about government, and the more you reveal about your positions the more twisted they are shown to be. At the very least, you don believe in democracy. You showed that above, most conclusively. Denying some people the vote isn't anti-democratic? Pure rubbish. Such denial is the very definition of flawed democracy.

I think the fact that convicted felons are denied the vote is already questionable; you would deny the poor. Incrementally, you would probably end up restricting the vote to a few hundred weathiest families, a true oligarchist.

The more you post, the sicker you reveal yourself to be. Now you guys go ahead and have yourselves a little hoot-fest over "subhuman," but you, Scott, certainly are sub-something.

"Someone else's expense." What the hell do you think insurance is? What the hell do you think commons are? You should move to Somalia, some place nobody is ever going to take "your money" except at the point of a gun.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 8, 2011 4:35 AM | Report abuse

"Now you guys go ahead and have yourselves a little hoot-fest over "subhuman," but you, Scott, certainly are sub-something."

Hi Cao! Hope all is well with you and that your day is a good one!

Sorry we didn't take the "subhuman" "contempt of compassion" insults more seriously! ;-( you work hard at coming up with those and it really is rude to treat them so derisively. I, for one, will attempt to change my world view... Ok..., done.

D@mn, Didn't take. Oh well. ;-)

Again, thank you for your always thoughtful and heartfelt comments, it's why I cherish them.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | March 8, 2011 6:12 AM | Report abuse

John Boehner keeps telling us that "we're broke,"

Maybe not totally broke. America is not at it's credit limit yet but the Obamacrats can't wait to drive us there. Credit wealth is not real wealth, anyhow. It's really other people's money.


Jonathan Cohn calls on someone, anyone, anywhere, in the Democratic Party to step up and defend government spending.

Yeah, do it. $1,000,000,000,000.00 in Obama bucks didn't buy one, real job. Let's spend a trillion more and see what happens.


David Dayen says Walker's presser today revealed him as a minor-leaguer.

If a Republican "minor-leaguer" can tie the liberals' panties in such a knot, like Walker has, just think what a Republican, major-leaguer can do. Wow!!


The important thing to keep in mind about Obama's failure to close Gitmo is that the fault lies with the many Democratic members of Congress who don't have the stomach for closing it.

Obama = Bush.............This must really burn the liberals up. Bush is beginning to look smarter than Obama.


If Beltway political elites are going to continue to believe the deficit is the single most dire threat to our future, you'd think they might develop a passing interest in what actually causes it.

They already know......LIBERAL DEMOCRATS!


All for now. Hey, Sarge Greg. Say hello to B.O. for me, willya?

Posted by: battleground51 | March 8, 2011 6:23 AM | Report abuse

B.O. spent his 1,000,000,000,000 Obama bucks in most of the wrong places. No real jobs were created. He saved a few at General Motors and that's the best you can say. Some big shot bankers were bailed out, too. Whoopee!

That $1,000,000,000,000.00 ought to have been spent providing real, American workers with real American jobs. Ones that really count.

Big government does not create industry, except in a few special cases. Big government can provide money, as fuel, to existing industries.

Infra-structure!

There are hundreds of big, American engineering, design, and construction firms that pay excellent wages to real Americans. It is not an illusion. These are hard wages and prime jobs.

Many cities have crumbling infra-structure. Fix 'em and watch the money flow into the economy.

Roads, bridges, sewage, water treatment, subways, dams, drainage, even railroads. There's lots more.

Roosevelt knew this.

He was a practical socialist.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 8, 2011 6:54 AM | Report abuse

lms:

""If people who don't pay taxes can't vote and therefore would be considered non-citizens...""

Sorry, lms, but the former does not imply the latter. There are plenty of people who even now can't vote but are still considered citizens. You are making a freshman (actually grade school)error of logic. Just because one needs to be a citizen in order to be able to vote does not mean that anyone who cannot vote is not a citizen.

""...would that also mean that they are subhuman? Sounds logical to me.""

That sounds wholly illogical to me. But you'd have to ask cao, not me, about who is and is not subhuman. That seems to be his area of expertise.

BTW, there are plenty of legitimate concerns about an idea such as mine, and it might well be simply unworkable in practice. Even I can think of problems that such an idea would pose. But your concerns about citizenship and Egypt are not among them.

On a different note, I wonder what you think about Libya. Should the US be intervening there to stop the killing and aid the rebels?

qb, McWing, tao...I wonder what you guys think as well.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 8, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

From Salon:

GOPer can't define, but wants to ban, sharia law


I can't define mad cow disease but I would like to banish it.

I can't really define how venereal disease works but I wouldn't want any.

I can't tell you what makes a person schizophrenic but I know it when I see it and I don't want it.


Same with Share-ee-uh law. It's better to nip it in the bud before it can grow and spread. Nip it now!

Posted by: battleground51 | March 8, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

""You are making a freshman (actually grade school)error of logic.""

Scott, any chance the idea itself was a grade school scheme which doesn't actually make any logical sense to begin with or fit within the framework of voting rights here in the USA?

It was an extreme idea that I simply took to an extreme conclusion.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 8, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

* Justin Elliott has the tragicomic tale of a hapless GOP lawmaker who discovered that anti-sharia demagoguery isn't so easy, after all.*

I frankly wish one of these demagogues would get a real, Salman Rushdie level fatwa put on them by Muslims who have had enough.

Posted by: rhallnj | March 8, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

lms:

""Scott, any chance the idea itself was a grade school scheme...""

There's always a chance.

""It was an extreme idea...""

There's no denying that it is not a mainstream notion, I agree. We subhumans, though, tend to be unconventional.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 8, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

meh, even if you ignore the part about the cruelty, anyone with a modicum of knowledge of history know that oligarchies and extreme class differences don't last. They always result in economic collapse. I know Scott is the Smartest Conservative in the World, but he is also really dumb and unread. But you notice that the Conservatives will never ever ever address points on the ramifications on economies of these kinds of societies where the middle class is eliminated. Because they can't address it. Glen Beck never told them what to say. So they keep trying to turn it to the morality of protecting the rich.

But you have to say, tying voting power to amount paid in taxes, that's pretty wild stuff.

Remarkably stupid and ignorant of history, but wild.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 8, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Scott

If you and McWing want to accept the subhuman mantle given to you by someone you have very little (none) respect for, that's your choice, but don't pretend it came from me.

My inclination in Libya is to stay just about as far away militarily as we can. I feel sorry for all those who are losing their lives at the hands of their own government, if you can call it that. But I find myself becoming more of an isolationist as I get older and look back over the past decade of misadventures. I thought Lamar Alexander had the right idea yesterday, buy an electric car.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 8, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

"If you and McWing want to accept the subhuman mantle given to you by someone you have very little (none) respect for, that's your choice, but don't pretend it came from me."

What if it's easier than actually arguing and defending a point? Can they do it then???

Posted by: DDAWD | March 8, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Here's another great job creating bill drafted by Republicans in Georgia!
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/22/georgia-anti-abortion-bill-would-require-investigations-of-miscarriages/

prenatal murder...the culture war continues.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 8, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

The wealth are feeling the pain too. From the AP:
Health insurer Humana Inc. paid Chairman and CEO Michael B. McCallister 6 percent less last year than in 2009, as a decline in option awards outweighed a bump up in the long-standing executive's performance-related bonus. McCallister, 58, received 2010 compensation valued at $6.1 million from the Louisville, Ky., insurer, according to an Associated Press analysis of a proxy statement filed Monday." This figure "included a salary of about $1 million, a performance-related bonus totaling more than $2 million, and options awards valued at $2.5 million, which was down from about $3.4 million in 2009."

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 8, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

I went back to see the "subhuman" thing, And it was quite a classic, starting with ruk's meltdown at me for mocking the liberals who had instantly leapt to blame Rick Scott for homeless children. Classic ruk: liberals who did that were showing compassion, but I was a "heartless" partisan for ridiculing their absurd rush to blame a governor who just took office and not mention Obama. Again, brilliant liberal logic. Miserable excuse for human being, I think ruk called me.

Troll, I want to congratulate you for finally making ruk's subhuman list! I tried to tell him you were a Palinista, but I guess Scott and I set such a low standard of heartless subhumanity that it is hard to gain entre to our elite club. Way to go!

Scott, I have always agreed there is something wrong with a system in which some are able to vote themselves largesse from the few. Many political thinkers have made the point going back millennia. The founders agreed on the whole and tried to set up a system that would prevent it. Limited powers are another important way to limit the redistribution throughout "democracy" but the courts and Congress have largely thrown that out the window. These lefties who think such thoughts are antithetical to republican government are poorly educated. They don't even understand our own history.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 8, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, it will create JOBS just like police detectives investigate what you consider to be "real" murder.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 8, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I went back to see the "subhuman" thing, And it was quite a classic, starting with ruk's meltdown at me for mocking the liberals who had instantly leapt to blame Rick Scott for homeless children. Classic ruk: liberals who did that were showing compassion, but I was a "heartless" partisan for ridiculing their absurd rush to blame a governor who just took office and not mention Obama. Again, brilliant liberal logic. Miserable excuse for human being, I think ruk called me.

Troll, I want to congratulate you for finally making ruk's subhuman list! I tried to tell him you were a Palinista, but I guess Scott and I set such a low standard of heartless subhumanity that it is hard to gain entre to our elite club. Way to go!

Scott, I have always agreed there is something wrong with a system in which some are able to vote themselves largesse from the few. Many political thinkers have made the point going back millennia. The founders agreed on the whole and tried to set up a system that would prevent it. Limited powers are another important way to limit the redistribution throughout "democracy" but the courts and Congress have largely thrown that out the window. These lefties who think such thoughts are antithetical to republican government are poorly educated. They don't even understand our own history.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 8, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"Many political thinkers have made the point going back millennia. The founders agreed on the whole and tried to set up a system that would prevent it."

Bahahahahaha, is this from Glen Beck's University???

Is this what Conservatives are reduced to? Just making up random facts?

Posted by: DDAWD | March 8, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut, is it a big surprise that they label unborn children as sub-human too?

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 8, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Ddawd,

Scott and I go back almost two years now. We've had so many policy debates that we can pretty much determine what the other will say at this point. He has vigorously defended his opinions into the wee hours of the morning as have I. As a matter of fact, while I abhor many of his opinions I respect his right to have them. He caught me off guard with the no tax/no vote idea so I decided to jump in. Some people here can't seem to figure out that personal insults, while they may be satisfying on some level, don't really further anyone's cause. That's just my opinion though. I'm not the blog police and learned a long time ago to leave everyone to their own devices and butt out of some discussions here.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 8, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

An interesting week. First Troll says ideals are for chumps and he really doesn't care about the Bill of Rights, or, one infers, the Constitution.

Then Scott outs himself as an unabashed oligarchist, seeing nothing wrong with limiting the vote by criteria of wealth.

QB, needless to say, chimes in with "me too."

And of the rest of you Conservative slugs care to extend this trail of slime?

At least it's out in the open. The Conservative People on here don't believe in democracy. They're no more democrats than Democrats.

Thomas Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 8, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

lms:

""...but don't pretend it came from me.""

Of course it didn't. But you did introduce the notion of subhumans into our discussion, so I ran with it.

re isolationism, I too have begun to lean that way as well. I'm still not sure it is ultimately in our own best interests or perhaps even possible, but I think it might be very edifying to see what becomes of the world without the active involvement of the US.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 8, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Fine, let's allow EVERYONE (including unborn children) to vote!!

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 8, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

""These lefties who think such thoughts are antithetical to republican government are poorly educated.""

If you guys get any more superior to the rest of us peons let me know so I can start grovelling at your feet. If you refuse to see that disenfranchising voters based on income/ability to pay taxes isn't a slippery slope away from the spirit of America that's your choice. You won't convince me you're right. Who's next?

Posted by: lmsinca | March 8, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

qb:

""Miserable excuse for human being, I think ruk called me."'

Me too, and I hadn't commented at all on the whole homeless children thing. He has a weird obsession with you and I, it seems. McWing just has to try harder, I think.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 8, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"Some people here can't seem to figure out that personal insults, while they may be satisfying on some level, don't really further anyone's cause."

Well, the lack of personal insults don't really further debate either. All it becomes is an exchange of talking points. At some point you really need to start bringing some evidence into the picture and that's where it falls apart. Conservatives don't have a shred of evidence to support anything. Want support for stimulus? Not that hard, just go and look at the Great Depression. No one can find an example where austerity ended a recession. Conservatives insist that Republicans are better at deficits than Democrats. Where is the evidence? Absolutely none. Conservatives even insist that the Bush tax cuts account for "0.00%" of the deficit. This is willful ignorance of arithmetic.

We aren't having a debate on here. Not when one side just deliberately ignores any evidence. Yeah, insults don't raise the level of discourse on here, but they aren't lowering it either. I hope you don't post here on the pretense of having a debate, because there is none going on.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 8, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Careful, lmsinca, using the words "let me know" or "Who's next?". Someone will start accusing you of being JakeD too ; )

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 8, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://wapo.st/f6So5a

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 8, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

""I hope you don't post here on the pretense of having a debate, because there is none going on.""

That's precisely why I don't post as often as I used to. No big deal, it's just a blog, but I will continue to bring in whatever evidence I find that supports my positions. You never know who might be reading. I only try to be true to myself and not worry too much about what others are doing or saying. Scott brought in an idea I hadn't heard from the right before, so I joined the fracas. Now back to our regular programming. :)

Posted by: lmsinca | March 8, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Yes of course what was foundational truth to our founders is extremist now. Sorry draws that you know little in the way of intellectual history or constitution.al history But do some research and you will find a long history of thought central to western civilization that warns against a "democracy" that lets the masses vote themselves money from the public treasury i. e. the rich.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 8, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Yes of course what was foundational truth to our founders is extremist now. Sorry draws that you know little in the way of intellectual history or constitution.al history But do some research and you will find a long history of thought central to western civilization that warns against a "democracy" that lets the masses vote themselves money from the public treasury i. e. the rich.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 8, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse

""But do some research and you will find a long history of thought central to western civilization that warns against a "democracy" that lets the masses vote themselves money from the public treasury i. e. the rich.""

That's rich (pun intended). What if I know the history and disagree with it? Does that still make me uneducated? And what about the "rich" influencing the electoral process to buy themselves an advantage over the other 95% of the population? Any historical context for that? Sheesh

Posted by: lmsinca | March 8, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

scott

I don't know if you caught this re Libya. It appears Gates at least tends to agree with us.

""Mr. Gates forcefully warned Congress during budget testimony that the first act in imposing a no-fly zone would be an attack on Colonel Qaddafi’s air defenses, and that the step should only be taken if the United States was ready for a prolonged military operation that could cover all of Libya. He cautioned it might drain resources that are already overstretched in Afghanistan and Iraq, because Libya is such a large territory.

In interviews this week, even some military officials called Mr. Gates’s portrayal extreme. Executing a no-fly zone would not require covering the whole country. Most of the Libyan action would be along the coast, where the major cities now held by rebels are. Even so, the opening mission of imposing a no-fly zone would almost certainly include missile attacks on air defense sites of a sovereign nation, which some would indeed regard as an act of war.

Tactical issues aside, Mr. Gates is concerned, Pentagon officials say, about the political fallout of the United States’ attacking yet another Muslim country — even on behalf of a Muslim population. But he is cognizant of the No. 1 lesson of Iraq: That once the United States plays a major role in the ouster of a Middle Eastern leader, it bears responsibility for whatever state emerges in its place.""

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/world/middleeast/08policy.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&hp

Posted by: lmsinca | March 8, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

lms:

""And what about the "rich" influencing the electoral process to buy themselves an advantage over the other 95% of the population?""

The politically powerful/influential granting themselves legal advantages over the politically less powerful/influential is always a problem. The only solution to this is to severely limit the spheres of society over which government has control. Which is precisely why I am for a very limited form of stratified government with explicitly specified and limited powers.

If this is also a concern of yours (as you imply and as it should be), it is extremely odd indeed that you advocate for an ever more powerful government exercising legal influence over ever more aspects of society. The liberal vision of an all ecompassing government with nearly unlimited power to achieve whatever is deemed to be a "good" at any given time is very much at odds with a concern that the politically powerful will grant themselves benefits at the expense of everyone else.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 8, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

lms:

There was also this, from this morning's WSJ:

"Mr. Gates was and is correct in reminding people of what implementing a no-fly zone would actually mean. But the reasons for questioning the wisdom of establishing such a zone, or taking other military action, go well beyond his warnings.

To begin with, there is no reason to believe a no-fly zone would be decisive. In fact, we have every reason to believe it would not be, given that aircraft and helicopters are not central to the regime's military advantages. The regime could defeat the opposition without resorting to attack planes and helicopter gunships simply by exploiting its advantages in terms of foot soldiers and light arms.

What about other military steps outsiders could take? To impose a no-drive zone—which would aim to limit the government's ability to use tanks and armored personnel carriers—would require far more extensive military force than a no-fly zone. And even if it were implemented, no number of Western aircraft on patrol could stop the movement of every military vehicle. The only way to level the battlefield would be to put trainers, advisers and special forces on the ground.

There are political reasons to question the wisdom of the U.S. becoming a protagonist in Libya's civil war. It is one thing to acknowledge Moammar Gadhafi as a ruthless despot, which he has demonstrated himself to be. But doing so does not establish the democratic bona fides of those who oppose him. And even if some of those opposing him are genuine democrats, there is no reason to assume that helping to remove the regime would result in the ascendancy of such people.

To the contrary. Removing Gadhafi and those around him could easily set in motion a chain of events in which a different strongman, with the backing of a different tribe, took over. Or it could create a situation in which radical Islamists gain the upper hand. Either way, significant areas of the country would be beyond any government control, creating vacuums exploitable by al Qaeda and similar groups."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703386704576186371889744638.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 8, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

""it is extremely odd indeed that you advocate for an ever more powerful government exercising legal influence over ever more aspects of society. The liberal vision of an all ecompassing government with nearly unlimited power to achieve whatever is deemed to be a "good" at any given time is very much at odds with a concern that the politically powerful will grant themselves benefits at the expense of everyone else.""

Not sure you've really captured my vision here. Perhaps you don't know me as well as I thought. I do believe the government should protect it's citizens from some of the most egregious corporate behavior, ie pollution, financial fraud, and health care. The rest I'm not so sure about. I believe we have an obligation to the least among us, but in many cases I also believe we have gone too far and created as many problems as we have solved. Don't have time to go into the specifics right now, so you'll just have to trust me on that for now. Perhaps another day.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 8, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

lms:

""I believe we have an obligation to the least among us, but in many cases I also believe we have gone too far and created as many problems as we have solved.""

Perhaps I don't know you as well as you (and I) thought. I would be interested in exploring this. When you get a chance.

Posted by: ScottC3 | March 8, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

lms,

"That's rich (pun intended). What if I know the history and disagree with it? Does that still make me uneducated? And what about the "rich" influencing the electoral process to buy themselves an advantage over the other 95% of the population? Any historical context for that? Sheesh"

That was directed to DDAWD, not you (my dumb spell checker betrayed me). He's the one who scoffed that there is any history to the idea. It's a very mainstream idea in western thought. Sure, you can disagree with it and not be undereducated, but DD thinks it is an idea with no pedigree.

Posted by: quarterback1 | March 8, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company