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January 02, 2010

Comments

2009 was a bit of a transition year for me.

I got divorced in 2005. My Mom died in 2006. I got married in 2007 and my wife had a baby girl in 2008.

No major life events in 2009, but I should be buying a house in 2010 plus my son is graduating high school.

Life just continues apace here at Chuch Manor.

Lost my job in 2008, moved south, got a better job, and a son. In 2009 I got diagnosed with cancer, cured, diagnosed with cancer again a week later... Been an eventful couple of years.

This year I'm expecting to lose my house back in Michigan, and hoping to be cured of cancer, again. I'm kind of hoping for 2011 to be boring.

Best wishes, Brett. That's a lot to contend with.

I don't have much in the way of personal miles stones this year since most of mine occurred between 2000 (divorced, had six surgeries on my eye, bought a house and entered into a permenent love relationship)and 2001.

This last year has been my Year of the Dogs. I discovered a local dog rescue and have become addicted to it. In fact I was down there today, pallinng around with the mutts.

In the big picture, I hope the next decade improves on the last in many ways.

For me personally, 2009 was fairly quiet. My second child graduated from college and came back to the nest temporarily (which has been fun).

After a big travel year in 2008, 2009 was quieter. If all goes well, 2010 will include a big adventure, though: a month in China with my son, who's teaching there. Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) in the Year of the Tiger (my year) seems like a good way to celebrate my 60th birthday. :)

Best wishes to all for 2010.

Brett, while we rarely agree I hope this year is much better.

As for me, I started the sick and on 1/2/09 was admitted to the hospital for the first time since I had my tonsils out at 2.

Three weeks later my mother-in-law died. Two weeks after that my mother died.

Eric, you are one of two people I know of who had a good 2009.

I also got married and had a baby! Of course those events were more than nine months apart... as we all know there are nine months between March and October.

Unfortunately in November my step-father was killed in a car accident. He did more in 63 years than several average people might hope for in their lifetimes, being risk-loving where I am risk-averse, but still, a real shock. (Short list: 5 years in the USAF, crop-duster pilot, velodrome racer, horse trainer, aircraft and helicopter mechanic & FAA inspector, helicopter mechanic on board the MV Greenpeace during the unsuccessful 1985 voyage to Antarctica, aero club manager, flight instructor, helicopter mechanic and pilot on board a tuna fishing boat out of Guam, entrepreneur, amateur mountaineer*, blue-water yachtsman, air pistol champion, boat builder, and finally classic car mechanic and rallyist. My parents had WAY more fun than I do.)

* The rest of my family climbed Mont Blanc; I stayed home with the cat.

Perhaps, fingers crossed, this year the insanity will diminish all around as all the worst fantasies of either side's extremists fail to come true. Personally, I am hoping for more Extreme Primate Time with the baby - reproducing is FUN! - and just stability otherwise.

I got a job in 2009 at the German Federal Environmental Agency, although only temporary (until June 2011). But permanent positions have become a rarity in any case. Many of my coworkers hop from (sub)department to (sub)department every 2-3 years before, maybe, getting a permanent position only after a decade or three.
Apart from the long way to work (123km, by train) I think I have to consider myself happy.

2009 was the awful cap to the worst decade since high school.

After 20 years of shabbily comfortable retirement, I'm no longer retired, just unemployed...and squatting in a house I can't earn enough to pay for (yet), struggling to keep services on & my truck running so I can stay alive & get to the work I can find.

During this past decade, I've buried all my close friends but one, and my only still-living family have moved 1000 or more miles away. If I can keep going for another year or so, I should be able to build up enough of a clientele to keep a roof over my head, help my daughter with her grad-school expenses, and maybe tuck something away for when Social Security & Medicare are all I have left.

AND I have learned to my shock that there are NO conservatives with a voice in US politics anymore, just radical reactionaries who want to re-assert US might around the world in an era of vanishing domestic resources, a crushing national debt, eroded international esteem, and the deliberate instigation of hysteria rather than reason in the national conversation.

As a former Bircher myself, who spent my school days preparing for the Air Force Academy, I am truly horrified to see those people wearing the mantle of conservatism & the Republican Party, like some serial killer parading about in the skin of the victims.

Yeah, come on in, '10 - let's see what YOU've got. Will we remain free? Will the rule of law collapse in the face of oligarchs & plutocrats? Will the 'Judification' of all non-Bircherites continue until the nightmare of Germany in the 30s resurrects itself here? Will Heinlein's nightmare of a theocratic dictatorship come to pass, as so many of the Megachurch Generation pray every day?

Do we HAVE another 10 years? Can we survive another Republican administration? Can we escape the many traps we've made for ourselves, or will we become just another third-world country, with islands of wealth and extravagance floating in a sea of poverty, disease, homelessness, hopelessness?

I'm running out of faith, honestly - but not out of fight. Maybe I'll be more more cheerful in 2011, if I'm still breathing.

2007 was my graduation/Euro-trek year, and I got a low-paying canvassing job toward the end.

2008, my searches for other jobs were fruitless, and I stayed a canvasser beginning to end. On the up-side, I got to be part of history -- and adopted new psychotic feline*. Towards the end, my grandfather died.

2009, I started out being part of history again, then a few months later, I traded a job that added little to my resume and paid little, to a job that added quite a bit and paid nothing. Then my cousin died.

I'm hoping a lot changing for me in 2010, preferably earlier, in the way of a good paying job, and a new location.** HNY!

*from one of the houses

**I may stand a good chance -- if more jobs weren't created in December than lost, it should happen real soon, and then I'm thinking I'll stand a better chance with all those jobs I apply to (less competition).

Sorry to hear that there were so many distressing 2009s; it almost makes me wish that mine was a bad one.

But it wasn't. It was actually pretty good. My wife lost her job, voluntarily, and I am once again the sole breadwinner. Except for when she brings in some freelance finance work, which is how she spent most of the rest of last year.

Gators thrashed the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl, and we decided to spend our 17th anniversary there eating great food and contributing to some minor degree to the local economy.

Life is good, for me. I hope that it becomes better for those of you who are not doing so well. I don't count on my personal good fortune lasting, but I kind of hope that it does.

I've written this post about five times now, trying to boil my thoughts down to something coherent, to the point, and worthwhile.

The country has gone nuts. Right off the rails. Barking mad.

Or, perhaps, circumstances have simply brought our incipient insanity to the surface.

In any case, we'll get over it, because people do. Probably not quickly or easily, and, sadly, probably not for all time. But we will.

In the meantime, there's family, and friends, and community, and music, and good food, and a good laugh. The sunrise every day. The first green shoots in spring. Children, and young people in love, and old people in love, and the general and inexhaustible milk of plain old human kindness.

All of that's enough to make it worthwhile getting out of bed in the morning.

Happy 2010 everyone. Please, let's not start any more wars for a while, and please let's figure out a way for folks to find useful employment sufficient to feed and house themselves and let them send their kids to school. Maybe even take the family on vacation in the summer.

Other than that, it's all noise, IMO.

Happy new year to all y'all.

p.s. -- thanks, but I don't want any freaking ugg boots.

Dick Cheney and Erik Prince think they have captured a stuck up, walf-witted, scruffy-looking, nerf-herder, but the nerf-herder knows better if the look on his face is any indication.

Happy New Year Everyone!

No news is good news. My 2009 had no major milestones. The only things I can think of are going to the Dominican Republic for our first vacation without the kids since having kids and my son's graduating Montessori kindergarten. The family is healthy and I'm securely employed. I can manage relative boredom in exchange for that.

In counterpoint to Russell, I find it not surprising that the media and others have focused on the most outlandish aspects of our countries political ande social spectrum over the last year. Palin, Cheney, Limbaugh, Beck and the occasional left wing radical make much better entertainment than the other thing to report on: At the start of the year the vast majority of people just supported and agreed with President Obama, that is a dog bites man story.

As the year has gone on, the news has gotten more realistic. What should we do with Afghanistan, what is doable among Democrats on health care, what do the majority of Americans want, how can we convince them to want something different.....really much more meaningful and pertinent issues and reporting. I haven't seen a teabagger story (except in the 2009 look backs) in several months.

The country is no crazier or diverse than ever, the media just needed something to cover and "everybody agrees" isn't much of a story.

This year we will begin to see the rise of new Republican leadership, continue to watch the diversity of the Democratic party, and mostly, build on the continuum of good things our country has accomplished over the last 1, 8, 20 and 50 years while fixing some of the things we have not done so well. Like every year.

This year we will begin to see the rise of new Republican leadership

Good God, I hope so. Any idea who the leading candidates are? I think my personal faves are nowhere near the helm, and I'm afraid of the effects of the demands of the Party consituency.

"Any idea who the leading candidates are?"

Not sure yet, but I believe in the natural consequence and the power of Newt to promote them. I suppose though their was a time when Newt wouldn't have seemed the more reasonable part of the party.

Not sure yet, but I believe in the natural consequence and the power of Newt to promote them.

Just like he did in 1994 - not!

When Newt is defending Sarah Palin's "death panels" argument - aka the biggest lie of the year - he's not being reasonable.

2009

Hair pulling nervousness culminating in company buyout at the same time we got a final HAMP modification on our home, allowing us to keep it after losing our previous one to foreclosure (in '08) due to job loss (in '07).

But my wife won a Wii at the holiday office party, so there was an upside at the end of the year.

"When Newt is defending Sarah Palin's "death panels" argument - aka the biggest lie of the year"

Not to defend it at all but the biggest lie of the year is that HCR is deficit neutral.

Not to defend it at all but the biggest lie of the year is that HCR is deficit neutral.

Well, the CBO predicted deficit reducing, actually. And either way, CBO predictions can be wrong without being lies. Palin knew she was lying about death panels, on the other hand.

The CBO predicted it to be deficit reducing, but, of course, the CBO is required to pretend that if Congress says it's going to part the Red Sea, you'll be able to walk from Sudan to Saudi Arabia without getting your feet wet.

"Well, the CBO predicted deficit reducing, actually. And either way, CBO predictions can be wrong without being lies. Palin knew she was lying about death panels, on the other hand."

Except Congress didn't identify a single specific cut in Medicare and they know it's a lie, even if you don't.

Marty,

If Newt - despite defending Sarah's baldfaced lie - is the "more reasonable" part of the GOP, then you have exemplified the soft bigotry of lower expectations.

The country isn'tmore diverse politically than usual but there is a big difference between no0w annd say the fifites or sixteis or seventies or eighties: the rightwing lunatic fringe ins't a fringe any more. They've taken over the Republican party. They aren't porportionally more numerouus but they are more powerful and vocal. Also we have rightwinng hate talk radio now and rightwing hate talk cable propaganda outlets. The sort of thinking and behavior which used to be outside the range of normal has been normalized to the detriment of our political life.

"Well, the CBO predicted deficit reducing, actually."

Well, the CBO scores based on what the bill says it is going to do, it says it is going to cut $500B out of Medicare, but not where or how. It is a lie to say it is deficit neutral (a silly term for spending a lot of money anyway) because they know that it is not and will not be.

"If Newt - despite defending Sarah's baldfaced lie - is the "more reasonable" part of the GOP, then you have exemplified the soft bigotry of lower expectations."

I saw him "defend" her lie on one of the Sunday talk shows, maybe two. He said the term was wrong but there were, in fact, panels designed to control costs in Medicare and there was a significant amount of new bureaucracy, several panels that had to do with treatment quality and cost are in the bill. And guess what, he's right.

Despite the overzealous and seemingly unquenchable desire of the media to quote her every word, Palin is being given lip service by the Republican heirarchy to keep her constituency engaged. Most of us wish she would shut up and go away, but that can't happen as long as the media (outside Fox) keeps reporting her every utterance.

"Except Congress didn't identify a single specific cut in Medicare, and they know it's a lie, even if you don't."

The Republicans in Congress specified that there will be dead grannies all over the place. How much more specific did you want?

Sarah Death Palin tweets are pretty effing specific in this regard.

But personally, I'm against Medicare cuts of any kind, save ripping the pacemaker out of Dick Cheney's anti-American thorax, the socialist thief, but even I'm willing to quintuple the Medicare tax to avoid that.

He said the term was wrong but there were, in fact, panels designed to control costs in Medicare and there was a significant amount of new bureaucracy, several panels that had to do with treatment quality and cost are in the bill.

So, there were panels, they just weren't death panels.

My HMO participates with a well known local university in a program to evaluate what forms of health care delivery are most effective, and to see how costs can be contained without adversely impacting care.

Nobody gets called before that organization to decide if their plug should be pulled.

I'm glad Gingrich was able to tease out the scrap of factual content in Palin's comments. Yes, boards may be created. They will be just like the boards your insurance company and mine *already have in place*, to do the things *those boards already do*.

Oddly, the objectionable part of Palin's comments -- the part that required a defense in the first place -- was not the "board" part. It was the "death" part. Somehow Gingrich seems to have failed to address that.

If Gingrich is the sane and reasonable face of the Republican party, it's gonna be SSDD for the next X years, for any value of X worth considering.

Some people want to have it BOTH ways:
1) HCR will not actually reduce Medicare spending; but
2) Any reduction in Medicare spending amounts to death panels.
Such people are confused at best, hypocrites at worst.

Health care spending is not health care, any more than education spending is education. Cutting Medicare spending might amount to pulling the plug on grandma -- if you think Medicare is exquisitely efficient, today. Maybe people like Marty really do think that.

Naturally, the private health insurance companies must be even more efficient than Medicare, because we know that The Market is by definition more efficient than The Guvmint. And how does a company in The Market become efficient? Simple: by keeping spending down. When a private insurer refuses to pay for grandma's treatment, or cuts the rates it pays to grandma's doctors, or tells grandma she has to stick to the generic pills instead of the ones with the nice commercials on TV, that's not "death panels". That's "efficiency". Private companies cutting spending on grandma's health care is a GOOD thing.

"Grandma's insurance IS Medicare," I hear you cry? Nonsense. Grandma Palin is not even 50 years old. If HER insurance company wants to rescind her policy on the grounds that terminal vaccuousness is a pre-existing condition ... well, I suppose I could applaud THAT kind of efficiency.

--TP

"Some people want to have it BOTH ways:
1) HCR will not actually reduce Medicare spending; but
2) Any reduction in Medicare spending amounts to death panels.
Such people are confused at best, hypocrites at worst."

Tony, as usual, misses the whole point. No one is confused.The initial topic was the lie that the Senate HCR bill was deficit neutral.

Then we were just comparing lies , as if one thing could be be more untrue than another. But he does manaage to just be as offensive as possible using those key words to make sure that he lets everyone know that anyone that disagrees with him is stupid. Throwing a well placed "Guvmint" in to make sure he lets everyone and anyone who is for smaller and more efficient government know that we are just rubes.

The interesting thing is that the real problem is that it's the Dems who want it both (or all three) ways: less Medicare spending plus more services and to cover the already passed 21% raise in reimbursements. They have just conveniently left out how they pull off that magic trick. Oh wait, it's four, no middle class tax hike, no matter what.

Funny how every time someone mentions something wrong with the HCR bills the answer points to Palin or her kind and yells "see they are bad", I am not Palin, or Beck or Limbaugh and I still think there is a lot wrong with the bill, the President and Congress lying about it.


And, Russell, I am certainly glad your insurance company studies treatments etc, they all do. However, their charter is not to cut costs in the Medicare system to ensure it meets the 500B savings targets that no one really believes can be achieved, then force implementation of those changes if Congress doesn't specifically vote against them in 30 days.

Then we were just comparing lies , as if one thing could be be more untrue than another.

"The HCR bill proposes to reduce Medicare spending by $600M"

"The HCR bill proposes to reduce Medicare spending by $6B"

One of those is plainly "more untrue" than the other. Claiming that this is not so is pretending not to understand how the English language is commonly used in order to petulantly "score points" against your interlocutors. Emphasis on "petulantly".

(This is relevant in that you're chiding Tony over his tone. Beam, mote, etc.

That, and I've always found conveniently selective hyperliteralism somewhat offensive, for reasons one would hope would be obvious.)

NV,

I am pretty tired of every interaction with you getting called one name or the other, petulant being the most benign.

And I am not sure that there is a qualitative difference in those two lies, although I appreciate you commenting because it is 500B not 500M (which was my typo.)

Marty,

You made the argument that Newt Gingrich - who currently holds no elective office nor does he hold to my knowledge any actual position in the GOP - somehow has an influence on the direction of the GOP. I point out the fact that he defended Sarah Palin's lie. You then switch to something entirely irrelevant to Palin's claim.

Meanwhile, this morning Michael Steele, the head of the GOP makes the argument that the president is not focusing on terrorism, despite the fact that some 12 former Bush administration counterterrorism officials say that they are in agreement with the president's actions. Senator Jim DeMint – despite a plethora of evidence to the contrary - attempts to make the argument that the president doesn’t use the word terrorism any more. At the same time, Congressman Pete Hoekstra makes the argument that the way to protect the country is to donate to his gubernatorial campaign. Finally, the GOP obtains one party switch of a man who is essentially a DINO and proceeds to devour him.

You need fresh blood, not a retreaded house speaker.

Randy, and? sounds like politics to me. Would you expect the non elected COMPLETELY partisan head of the RNC to be saying Obama is doing a great job?

And Obama has opened all of those doors about whether he is focused enough on the terrorist threat by the very engagement based, low key policies he has set out.

They might work, COIN/Counter terror in Afghanistan, etc., trying to act like the actions in Yemen are a partnership, etc. But his campaign style of saying one thing to one group and another thing to anither group is harder to pull off when you are governing. So its hard to say we are going to partner with everyone to deal with all these issues and then come back and saay we are going to aggressively defend our rights to act unilaterally against the terrorist threat. The message gets confused and subject to these types of politically motivated criticisms.

But remember, almost every Senator voted for the Iraq war, and almost every one of them denounced it before it was done. Politics happens.

Would you expect the non elected COMPLETELY partisan head of the RNC to be saying Obama is doing a great job?

I wouldn't expect him to be a fabulist.

And, Russell, I am certainly glad your insurance company studies treatments etc, they all do. However, their charter is not to cut costs in the Medicare system to ensure it meets the 500B savings targets that no one really believes can be achieved

Haha, no, their charter is to cut costs and payments to doctors to meet earnings per share targets each quarter.

Would you expect the non elected COMPLETELY partisan head of the RNC to be saying Obama is doing a great job?

Anybody ambitious enough to look back and see what Terry McAuliffe had to say following the Richard Reid incident in 2001? Or, really, what the majority of Democrats had to say from 9/11/2001 up to the 2002 elections?

You made the argument that Newt Gingrich - who currently holds no elective office nor does he hold to my knowledge any actual position in the GOP - somehow has an influence on the direction of the GOP.

Actually, Marty went quite a bit further than that, and claimed that Gingrich's influence was a moderating one against the Palins, Becks, Bachmanns, and various and sundry teabaggers. A claim that I find nothing short of gobsmacking. In the past couple of weeks Gingrich has been in the news enthusiastically calling for ethnic profiling of airline passengers and beating the war drums on Iran. And that's on top of the "death panel" nonsense.

Not that Marty's claim would be a bad thing were it true, mind you. I would be thrilled to see Newt Gingrich's career resurrected and him restored to the position of de facto leader of the Republican Party. Assuming, that is, we can't get Dick Cheney to step up.

I am pretty tired of every interaction with you getting called one name or the other, petulant being the most benign.

If you don't want to be called petulant, don't make sneering insinuations about the utter ridiculousness of someone using language as it is conventionally used, or suchlike. Your statements are no "purer" than mine just because you use innuendo instead of adjectives.

And I am not sure that there is a qualitative difference in those two lies, although I appreciate you commenting because it is 500B not 500M (which was my typo.)

And here you go again. In the most technical, overparsed, and non-standard understanding of "untrue" it is indeed binary - completely true or completely false. However, the commonly used sense of the word, as any fluent speaker could tell you (and as I'm sure you're aware, even if you're presenting yourself as not knowing), there is an equivalence with "accurate". Hence a figure off by a factor of 1000 is "less true"* (i.e., less accurate) than something off by a factor of 100. As the language is commonly employed, there are most certainly degrees of truthfulness for particular statements, and it's quite disingenuous of you to pretend otherwise in order to mock the absurdity of speaking in this manner.

*I see you've moved the goalposts. We're no longer talking about being "more untrue", full stop, as you originally were, but rather "qualitatively less true". That you immediately stipulate you meant something else as soon as your unqualified categorical assertion has a (trivial) counterexample presented to it is telling. I'll concur that I'm not even sure what it would mean for something to be qualitatively less true than something else, but that miserably banal matter wasn't what we were originally talking about, was it? We weren't talking about the truth of the lies (as that's a dull one-line conversation), but rather the accuracy and tenor of the lies. That you overparse the word "untrue" to feign ignorance of this point (and insult those who disagree with you, albeit in a carefully indirect manner) is hardly becoming, and indeed is a distraction. That last is a feature, not a bug, I'm sure.

NV,

Deficit neutral is a lie in order to get the bill passed,
600B or 6B isn't the issue, never was. Wrap it in any long write up you want.

"Actually, Marty went quite a bit further than that, and claimed that Gingrich's influence was a moderating one against the Palins, Becks, Bachmanns, and various and sundry teabaggers."

Yep and followed with:

I suppose though their was a time when Newt wouldn't have seemed the more reasonable part of the party.

I suppose though their was a time when Newt wouldn't have seemed the more reasonable part of the party.

And as I pointed out, you have yet to show any reason why Gingrich should be considered "more reasonable" than, say, Rush Limbaugh. So far it just looks like wishful thinking on your part, but if you're basing it on something concrete, I'm curious as to what that might be.

Marty,

Death panels are a lie in order to get the bill torpedoed, new bureaucracy or blanket treatment reviews aren't the issue, never were. Wrap it in any long write up you want.

"Death panels are a lie in order to get the bill torpedoed, new bureaucracy or blanket treatment reviews aren't the issue, never were. Wrap it in any long write up you want."

So we disagree, at least we used plain words to establish that and didn't call anyone a name.

I suppose though their was a time when Newt wouldn't have seemed the more reasonable part of the party.

We call it the present.

Deficit neutral is a lie in order to get the bill passed

"Deficit neutral" is a forecast. Forecasts can be wrong.

"Deficit neutral is a lie" is NOT a forecast. It is a claim about what people know today.

Marty does not claim that Democrats are sincere but wrong in their forecast. Marty purports to know that the Democrats are lying, today. His rationale seems to be that he can't imagine how Medicare spending might be cut, so the Democrats must be lying.

Well, I cannot imagine how Marty could possibly know the secret thoughts of Democrats. So, I claim Marty is "lying" himself.

Now, I am entirely prepared to withdraw my charge the minute Marty withdraws his. At that point, we can usefully discuss gaps and contradictions in each other's logic.

I doubt Marty cares whether I consider him "stupid". For the record, I do not. But I don't know how to persuade him (or anybody) that he's wrong without doing one of the following:
1) Point to a factually wrong premise;
2) Point to a logically wrong inference; or
3) Point to a morally wrong value,
in his argument. Especially sensitive persons might translated those as:
1) You're ignorant;
2) You're stupid; or
3) You're wicked.
Persons that sensitive are ill-advised to air their views on the World Wide Web.

When you air your views on the World Wide Web, it is entirely possible that somebody will come along and say: "You say A. You say B. But A and B are mutually exclusive. So you must be making a mistake somewhere." Or: "You say A. But A logically implies B. So you're saying B, even if you deny that you're saying it." Marty seems to think that either of those, said to him, is an inappropriate insult to his intelligence. Not flawed analysis, not a sincere mistake, but a gratuitous insult.

Well, I'm as tired of that crap as Marty claims to be about whatever he considers crap. When I disagree with Marty, it's because I think he's wrong. If I'm always disagreeing with Marty, it's because I always think Marty is wrong. And if I always think Marty is wrong, it's because he always disagrees with what I think is right. And why do I think my view is always right? Because if I did not, I would have a different view.

I confess it's possible that Marty is more broadminded than I am. Maybe he holds views that he considers wrong, just to be polite. If so, I do apologize for always diagreeing with him.

--TP


So we disagree, at least we used plain words to establish that and didn't call anyone a name.

Marty: I'm tempted to let this pass, because I've had years to teach me the futility of trying to point out the hypocrisy of the sort of attitude you're evincing here, so I'm not going to press this past a single (albeit paragraph length) disapproving observation that you're doing it.

You state we "used plain words" here. This is nothing more than good old-fashioned anti-elitist elitism. How dare I address you like I'd address anyone else?!?! If I refuse to adopt your vocabulary and/or manner of speaking, I'm condescending, and you have every right to call me on it. If you refuse to adopt my vocabulary and/or manner of speaking, I have no right to call you on it, and for me to even think of such a thing is condescension. Heads I lose, tails you win. I'm a smug, condescending git unless I strive my utmost to mimic you, and indeed, any refusal to adopt your behavior is a sign of elitist pretension on my part. Anyone who does not speak according to your standard is to be looked down upon as immoral for their obvious desire to look down upon you. And so on.

--

Setting that hopeless cause aside, I will note that you again seem to be under the mistaken impression that insinuating and implying insults is somehow more desirable than stating them plainly (this made clear by both the form and content of this last comment of yours, natch). I vehemently disagree. It might have a veneer of civility, but that's all it has: a veneer. It's no more civil than words spoken plainly. An insinuation that someone is arrogant and condescending is not somehow a glorious example of civility, no matter how righteous it might feel to the insinuator. It's "name calling" as much as it was to call your quibbling "one lie can't be more untrue than another" jib petulant. Indeed, moreso, because you're attacking the character of the person rather than the character of their actions. So you'll have to pardon my looking askance on your chidings of incivility when you chose to lace them with thinly veiled insults.

"Marty does not claim that Democrats are sincere but wrong in their forecast. Marty purports to know that the Democrats are lying, today. His rationale seems to be that he can't imagine how Medicare spending might be cut, so the Democrats must be lying."

No, they say they are saving 500B, yet they have not identified a single dollar saved. That is a lie. Perhaps a promise to try wouldn't be a lie, but saying the bill saves it is a lie.

"I have no right to call you on it, and for me to even think of such a thing is condescension. Heads I lose, tails you win. I'm a smug, condescending git unless I strive my utmost to mimic you, and indeed, any refusal to adopt your behavior is a sign of elitist pretension on my part. Anyone who does not speak according to your standard is to be looked down upon as immoral for their obvious desire to look down upon you. And so on."

I would settle for not being called petulant for objecting to the implication that I am somehow less intelligent because I disagree with TP. His not so thinly veiled insult is where this all started, I objected and you called me petulant. Now I am the one being insulting?

Marty, you wrote

Tony, as usual, misses the whole point. No one is confused.

Perhaps something in real life is setting you off, but this seems to me to be the real elbow to the ribs, Marty. Sure, Tony's comment above that is strong, probably stronger than I would have put it, but I really don't see the 'thinly veiled insult'.

On the other hand, IMHO the 'as usual' really takes it up a notch. Perhaps you are reacting to everyone else piling on, which is perfectly understandable, but you may wish to refrain from comments like the one above, cause you'll probably get as good as you give.

" but I really don't see the 'thinly veiled insult'."

Maybe the use of the Guvmint hillbilly slang in the midst of this sentence:

"Naturally, the private health insurance companies must be even more efficient than Medicare, because we know that The Market is by definition more efficient than The Guvmint"


That sentence alone is worthy of my objection, in and out of context.

lj,

In addition this an ongoing problem with Tony that he, along with NV, constantly accuse me of "implying" things that I don't say and don't mean. Across multiple threads it gets tiresome. I did, in the "as usual" comment, lose my patience.

No, they say they are saving 500B, yet they have not identified a single dollar saved. That is a lie. Perhaps a promise to try wouldn't be a lie, but saying the bill saves it is a lie.

What does "not identified" mean? Did the CBO just plug $500B into their "score" willy-nilly?

For Marty's confident assertion to be true, we must infer that CBO asked no questions except "How big a number do you want us to plug in for Medicare savings, Senator Reid?" Somehow, I find that implication unlikely.

I mean, if ALL the Democrats had to do was to tell CBO, "We will reduce Medicare spending by X over 10 years; scout's honor", then why not make X a couple of trillion?*

--TP

*This reminds me of the old joke about a little boy who comes breathless into the house and says, proudly:
"Father! Father! On returnin' from school today I run home behind the bus, thus savin' six-pence!"
His father slaps him upside the head and yells:
"Spendthrift!! Why did you not run home behind a taxicab and save six shillings?!"

"Naturally, the private health insurance companies must be even more efficient than Medicare, because we know that The Market is by definition more efficient than The Guvmint"


That sentence alone is worthy of my objection, in and out of context.

Indeed. Everyone knows that it is spelled with a b...;^)

I would settle for not being called petulant for objecting to the implication that I am somehow less intelligent because I disagree with TP.

Marty,

You know as well as I do that this was not what I called petulant. I called your (hypocritical) "Then we were just comparing lies , as if one thing could be be more untrue than another" jab petulant. I explained in tedious, unequivocal detail why I judged that as being worthy of the label. I could have been more diplomatic in my choice of language, but I'll stand by my observation that your inclusion of that line was worthy of the phrase. There was literally no good reason for you to include it, and plenty good reason not to; above and beyond it not reflecting natural use of English, there's also the fact that a mere 16 hours earlier you'd stated "the biggest lie of the year is that HCR is deficit neutral", thus openly demonstrating that you know perfectly well what people mean when they refer to one lie being more or less untrue than another.

In addition this an ongoing problem with Tony that he, along with NV, constantly accuse me of "implying" things that I don't say and don't mean.

Hmm, so I constantly claim you imply things that you do not mean, do I?

First, a painfully banal observation. You do. So do I. So does everyone. That's how language works. To pretend otherwise is to deny reality. Words have implications beyond their meanings (denotation/connotation, semantics/pragmatics, etc.), and how one chooses to express a particular concept will carry implications. This cannot be avoided. One can go on all they like about how their words mean nothing but what they explicitly say, but it's just not so. That's a banal observation, and I'm being pedantic in pointing it out, but it establishes a baseline.

Beyond this, I have two choices when considering the statements you insist I'm reading non-existent implications into. I can assume you're breathtakingly careless in your speech to the point that you can't grasp the straightforward interpretation of what you write (e.g., "doing X has exceedingly unfortunate consequence Y, which would be avoided if you were doing Z instead" strongly suggests a marked preference for doing Z instead of X), or that these are instances of you feigning obtuseness as a rhetorical ploy. I honestly think it's the latter, largely because there are times when you're unquestionably doing just that (see e.g., paragraph 1).

I'll not deny that I have (very) occasionally called you out on this, but I'll stridently argue that on these occasions I've done so with cause. Further, I emphatically deny your ridiculous assertion that I'm doing it frequently. I've done it, what, twice? I acknowledge you're in the political minority here, and I do appreciate the effort you're making in putting up with us, especially when any disagreement tends to turn into piling on by simple mathmatical inevitability. But don't cry wolf. This is not a "constant" "problem". Please to be stopping playing the martyr, kthanks.

[Aside: I do agree that "Guvmint" was a barb, though the implication I get out of it is more paranoid than ignorant. YMMV, obviously. Of course, this came after you'd called people who believe the CBO claim at best gullible and at worst liars, so I'm inclined to agree with LJ that this looks more like an instance of you getting as good as you gave rather than unprovoked implicature on Tony's part.]

NV, Tony,

After walking all of this back and following the link provided by NV to this:

"Well, the CBO predicted deficit reducing, actually. And either way, CBO predictions can be wrong without being lies. Palin knew she was lying about death panels, on the other hand."

Except Congress didn't identify a single specific cut in Medicare and they know it's a lie, even if you don't.

I find that I don't like that I added "even if you don't" here. If that provoked a negative response I certainly understand and retract.

NV,

I disagree that every comment or statement includes implication. I spend some amount of time reading these comments and posts wondering why some things presented as facts aren't challenged. I sometimes question things because they aren't correct, not because I beleive strongly in another premise.

Questioning whether the CBO scoring is unrealistic doesn't imply that I believe in death panels.

In fact, pointing out that there were panels in the legislation that could have been interpreted to have that power on a quick read doesn't imply that I believe a death panel exists or existed, or that those claiming it did were doing so for anything other than political purposes.

However, the existence of a panel who's sole purpose is to find costs to cut in Medicare certainly gives rise to two questions:

1) Is there really the ability to cut 500B?
2) Will the cuts impact quality or cost of care?

Hype is hype, the reality is we really don't know what that panel will come up with. So the lies we are talking about are the two ends of the same thread:

On one end, we cut the money (500B) from Medicare without impacting service or care

and

On the other end, we have a panel that decides what not to treat at end of life to save money.

I believe that the people making each of these claims know they are not true. The reason the first is a bigger lie is that it was a criteria by the President for passing the bill(it had to be deficit neutral). So it has the bigger consequence, not that it is more or less true.

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