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October 09, 2018

Comments

TP: Lol, well, as opposed to Hillary, maybe. Not an admission and using terms loosely, hence the "".

And, for the record, I'm not in favor of separating young children from parents

What are you doing about it? Are you voting for the people who are perpetuating this? Then you are for it, in my book. Cafeteria conservative? Tax cuts rule? Maybe you should say what you're doing about human rights, if you believe in them.

bc,

I don't speak for sapient, but if I were to use the term "Embryo Brigade" I would be referring to those and only those people who argue that even 1st-trimester abortion is murder. In which case I would not be referring to you, right?

--TP

B vs. G.... that political heist

The critical active theft came earlier, when Florida Secretary of State Kathleen Harris, at the direction of Jeb Bush, purged the voter roles of the names of felons ... and of any names (such as Clay or Jackson or Brown) that were sorta similar to the names of felons and that seemed like they might be the names of Democratic voters. Over 55,000 people were removed from the voter roles; 80% of those people were black.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Central_Voter_File

Without this deliberate monkeywrenching, the Florida election would never have been close enough to permit the shenanigans that followed.

PS: fuck Ralph Nader and his ego

I don't speak for sapient

That's one definition, TonyP, and bc can speak to that.

I'll offer another: "Life begins at conception, and at birth: who cares"

bc? Writing a brief? What are you doing about those kids, bc?

I get in trouble for harassing people, so I'll stop. Hope to hear from bc about bc's efforts on behalf of kids living in the hottest hell of Texas tents.

bc is a troll. bc disappears until the next question comes up.

sapient, a piece of advice: stop biting hooks. I know it may seem that you are being told to quiet down, but what if you thought of the possibility that bc _wants_ the kind of back and forth you seem eager to give him? Wait until he actually formulates an argument with data is what I suggest. And all I ask.

And all I ask.

Good advice. Unfortunately, if I leave for awhile (which I will), I feel I'll miss the rare response. My guess is (as I think is the technique) that there will be no response until days ahead.

Bye for now. (Again, you're right, lj. Thanks.)

But in my simple political math, (campaigning for the electoral college) + ((Trump + Johnson+ McMullin votes) - (Clinton + Stein votes)) > Hillary's popular vote total. Add in Jrudkis' point about running for the electoral college and well, advantage "conservatives". By almost a million votes and probably more given campaign strategy.

Two things.

First, it is not at all clear where votes for McMullin, Stein, and Johnson would have gone in a popular vote election. It is probable that some would have gone as you assume, but certainly not all, maybe not even most. Some would have gone the other way, and some would have stayed where they were.

These were not entirely "free votes," cast in states that were decisively red or blue. Johnson got over 200,000 votes in FL, for example. I doubt those were Trump or Clinton supporters confident of carrying the state. Johnson got 3.3% nationwide. He got 2.9% in states where both Trump and Clinton got over 45%. (Fun with Excel).

Second, why do you assume that the different campaign strategy called for by a popular vote election would have shifted votes to Trump? Maybe it would have shifted them to Clinton instead.

Coming up with a 3 million vote swing is not easy.

I feel I'll miss the rare response

If there is that response, I'm sure it will be burned into the minds of the other commenters minds and will come up again and you can go back to it. Think Haley's comet...

First, it is not at all clear where votes for McMullin, Stein, and Johnson would have gone in a popular vote election.

In particular, votes for McMullin would, IMHO, have gone for anybody but Trump. Even Clinton.

Just so we are clear, I was very much a Gore partisan when he ran against Clinton in the primaries and would have voted for him as the President. So, while I think the whole stole the election is ridiculous, I would not have objected to a Gore presidency much.

For lying, Obamacare showed the big lie. It accomplished none of the goals, most important coverage for everyone. With 60 votes in the Senate. What stupid person believes the Democrats are for insuring everyone?

Scoundrels.

I'd like a national standard for voter eligibility.

And whatever we are going to require to meet that standard, it has to be available to everyone. Rich, poor, whatever color you are, college students, whatever.

If you're a citizen of legal age, you are qualified to vote. Period. If you're living in your freaking car - which is actually not a small number of people - you still get to vote.

In GA they're chucking people off the rolls for any difference in how you are identified.

Like, if your last name is hyphenated in some cases, and not in others.

I use my middle name 90% of the time, I'm sure they would find a way to bump me off the list due to the fact that in some records I show up by my first name, in some by my middle, and in some by my full name.

If they don't cheat they won't win. So, they cheat.

I'd applaud it if they took wj's advice and, rather than cheat, decided to do something for the people.

Instead, they cheat.

jrudkis, up thread somewhat:

"So if you drink and obwi, please do so responsibly, Ideally with a wing man."

I'm not sure for whom this caution is intended, but when in a Civil War against the internal enemies of America, I like Lincoln's approach:

“Well, I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”

"What stupid person believes the Democrats are for insuring everyone?"

The USA Today is available on the newsstand, online, and at your local library.

There were 60 votes for what passed. There were not 60 votes for Medicare for All, or Medicare 55+, or a public option. Adherence to procedural norms (the filibuster) meant that the most conservative of the 60 had veto power over what got passed. If only 51 votes had been needed a more liberal plan could have passed that would have covered more people in a less convoluted way. I will leave it as an exercise for the readers what the response from certain quarters would have been under the scenario of a "bare majority steamrolling through a radical plan".

With 60 votes in the Senate. What stupid person believes the Democrats are for insuring everyone?

Because 60 votes is a very high bar, and you have to gather a big coalition to get over it. This gives a great deal of power to that 60th vote, and that vote happened to belong to Joe Lieberman.

The rest is too obvious to bear repeating.

If the Dems had 80 votes in the Senate in 2009 you can bet your 'effing ass that we'd have single payer today, and Joe L. would have been told to pound sand.

The Medicaid expansion alone has saved tens of thousands of lives. Apparently this is of no importance to you.

"What stupid person believes the Democrats are for insuring everyone?"

Sorry, need to amend what I wrote earlier. I said

Want everyone to have insurance? Just trying to undercut Republicans and create death panels.

Given Marty's input, that should be changed to 'they just want to take away insurance from hard working Americans who _pay_ for it and give it away to lazy welfare cheats." Thanks for the correction.

By the way, our recent fracas with McKinney was a perfect illustration of this phenomenon

Well, some got off to a left-footed start and MK saw an opening and took advantage by framing it along the lines of a "when did you stop beating your wife" question.

That's what lawyers are paid to do.

I wonder who is paying him to do it here...

could be one of those pro bono things....

:)

With 60 votes in the Senate. What stupid person believes the Democrats are for insuring everyone?

Nelson from Nebraska and Lieberman from Connecticut. Universal coverage requires throwing much of the private health insurance business under the bus (see, for example, how Switzerland regulates its private insurance companies). Neither of those Senators are going to vote for that. Neither of them was going to vote for even a public option. Period.

More in my field, Manchin isn't going to vote against coal. Heitkamp isn't going to vote against oil. No Dem Senator from Pennsylvania is going to vote against natural gas.

Sometime in the next few years the legislative filibuster in the Senate is toast.

What stupid person believes the Democrats are for insuring everyone?

Kaiser.

My own depressing view of the state of politics comes from Tennessee. I lived in Nashville for many years and still have friends and business connections there.

Now I read that Marsha Blackburn is leading Phil Bredesen in the race to replace Corker in the Senate.

This is completely absurd. On the one hand we have a right-wing nut job with essentially no qualifications. On the other we have a very intelligent, highly competent, candidate who was an extremely successful businessman, who did a fine job as mayor of Nashville, and did the same as Governor of TN, to the extent that he was overwhelmingly re-elected.

There simply is no comparison. In any rational election Bredesen would win 80-20 or more. That Blackburn is leading, or even putting up a fight, tells me that red state voters have simply lost their minds.

have simply lost their minds.

If you assume that what they most want is comptetent, rational government, it's certainly hard to explain.

On the other hand, if you assume that what they most want is to stick it to the imaginary demonic liberals who live in their heads ...

Democrats are uncompromising zealots until they compromise, at which point they don’t mean what they say.

Michael,

Another option is to provide Meficare for those who cant pay. Insurance companies won't get them anyway. No single payer necessary adds, if I remember correctly, about 25m to Medicare, saves a it for older people, and leaves the 80% that are employer insured alone.

And with 60 votes they could have paid for it.

"imaginary demonic liberals"

Who are constantly fighting the imaginary demonic conservatives.

Marty, instead of Russell, maybe you are the one who should trademark these witty comebacks? Or is this yet another case of do as I think you should do, not as what I and my counterparts do?

About your medicare pipe dream, if you would care to check out this link
https://familiesusa.org/product/50-state-look-medicaid-expansion

You'd see that 18 states have not expanded Medicare despite the fact that the federal government is paying for it. The map seems to have a interesting overlap with the states that went for Trump. But I guess that's just my imagination.

imaginary

You'd see that...

Again, with the facts.

What is it with you people?

Well, they havent expanded Medicaid. Medicare is already single payer and not dependent on state expansion,

Let's you leftists be civil.

And with 60 votes they could have paid for it.

Well, they did.

Eligibility was expanded. GOP controlled states turned this down because they are in favor of poor people dying before their time.

You are really something to whine about not expanding Medicaid coverage, yet support GOP repeal efforts.

For fuck's sake. Really?

The GOP health care plan is this: Sucks to be you. That and nothing more. This is simply pure sociopathy.

TP: re Embryo Brigade: Murder? No.

bc: Involuntary 2nd-degree manslaughter, perhaps? Or NOYB, maybe?

--TP

Sapient, I respect your strong belief and taking action to protest even if I don't agree with your views. Good for you. And I mean that.

But you don't wait for an answer, assign me into a category and then justify your assignment by more assumptions. I really don't think you care about my answer.

I went to my son's soccer game, just so you know. I get back and read this. Troll? Seriously? We are in the comments section of a blog, not a chat room. You honestly expect immediate responses to your rhetorical questions?

At one point you said my failure to answer one question was "unattractive." I think you really mean my failure to answer questions in a way that pleases you and fits your world view. If it doesn't fit that, you assign me to your dichotomous hell hole and that's it. I actually spend time drafting a response to the one question you posed on the wrong thread that I had "overlooked" and put thought and effort into it to boot, but in the meantime you made it clear to me that you really didn't care to listen so I didn't post the comment. If you want to hear my answer, let me know. Glad to share (if you remember the question).

And lj, how about a little perspective here? You know I don't troll. You tell sapient to wait for an "argument with data." Pray tell, point me to one argument in this thread by sapient where she has posted an argument with data. Sapient's comments are typically just venting. Something happened in my absence, apparently between you and Marty, and it may have colored your perspective on those to the right of center. Just sayin'.

ObWi to me has always been a place about conversations, but conversations that often were disjointed because people, well, have lives. That's why I lurked for quite a while. Not enough time. But for a guy that tries to thoughtfully listen and engage as much as I have time, being called a "troll" and having lj feed the real trolling going on here is a bit much.

FWIW, I listen to the conversations. Frex, I read bobbyp's Jack Balkin link (and more). I find myself better informed of what others think. I am sincere (unless I am lamely trying to be funny).

Having you, sapient, cast me into some sort of "troll conservative" mold is certainly your right. You read so much into what I say it is almost impossible to have an actual conversation. It just makes me miss some of the veterans of old, Hilzoy probably the most. Hilzoy had a way of making one feel welcome at the table while deftly debunking arguments in the way good teachers do, where the student finds their way to the right answer rather than having it shoved down their throats. Or called a troll.

Many of you have some of that same quality, even if it's accompanied by some snark (and more). It's why I am here.

Rant over.

TP: Not NYOB, but too nuanced a view for typing. But no, no criminal liability.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/campaign-worker-arrested-after-iding-his-candidate-as-democrat

The Beast is upon us.

Shoot it in all its republican heads.

The Beast:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a23708512/kellyanne-conway-civility-hillary-clinton-donald-trump/

Kill it.

We're not serious Americans until we kill the republican Beast:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2fwe0rnHak

Well, they havent expanded Medicaid. Medicare is already single payer and not dependent on state expansion

Perhaps you might assume LJ made a simple error and address the substance of his comment.

bc is not a troll.

Conservatives (and libertarians!) who show up here generally get piled on. I appreciate the ones who are willing to put up with it.

We all miss hilzoy.

I thought I did russell. Medicare would not have had that problem

Conservatives (and libertarians!) who show up here generally get piled on. I appreciate the ones who are willing to put up with it.

We all miss hilzoy.

Amen.

The GOP health care plan is this: Sucks to be you

To be fair, I think the R plan is "the market will take care of it". It's the invisible hand that says "sucks to be you".

Your confusion is, however, understandable.

The R plan is ‘not our problem’.

I thought I did russell. Medicare would not have had that problem

My bad, apologies.

The fact that Medicare is, as you note, a single payer plan, and is also quite effective, seems worth noticing.

I generally agree that immediately dropping employer provided insurance would be... disruptive. Doing so incrementally over some longer period of time, less so. And, might bring other benefits.

I don't care either way. People need to go to the doctor. They need to not live in peril of financial ruin if they get sick in some expensive way. Address it any way that works.

Just don't try to tell me the market will fix it all, like magic. I don't believe in magic. I sure as hell don't believe in magic made of money.

There are probably ten or twenty proven, dialed in solutions to this problem. Why we don't just pick one and go with it escapes me.

Apoarently, we're not done digging that fucking hole.

Man: Ah. I'd like to have an appendectomy, please.

Receptionist: Certainly sir. Have you been here before?

Man: No, this is my first time.

Receptionist: I see. Well, do you want to have the full appendectomy, or were you thinking of taking a course?

Man: Well, what would be the cost?

Receptionist: Well, we normally charge 10,000 quid, but the insurance allowable amount is 5,000, so we'll charge you 7,500, insurance will pay 2,500, so you will owe 5,000, but you can submit 2,500 to your HSA when you receive you EOB in seven months and reap a percentage tax savings of an amount that depends on your marginal federal and state tax rates when you file your tax returns in four months.

Man: Well, I think it's probably best if I start with what you charge me and then see how it goes from there, okay?

Receptionist: Fine. I'll see who's free at the moment.

Receptionist: Dr. DeBakey's free, but he's a little bit conciliatory. Ahh yes, Try Dr. Barnard; room 12..............

balls and strikes.

The fact that Medicare is, as you note, a single payer plan, and is also quite effective, seems worth noticing.

My wife and I are transitioning to Medicare this year. I have come to the conclusion that Medicare is not single payer in the sense that most people in the US -- and all of the rest of the world -- use the term. More than half of Medicare patients use a Medicare Advantage plan -- limited network of doctors and hospitals, a wide range of copays and deductibles, etc. Even traditional Medicare has, in effect, a network of doctors -- there are many doctors that will not accept it. In my state, there are large rural areas where there are no doctors that will accept Medicare patients.

In my wife's case, there were three docs that mattered -- her GP, her retina specialist, and her arthritis specialist. She had seen the same three for years. None of the three will accept traditional Medicare. Each of the three accepts a single Medicare Advantage plan, but no two of them accept the same Advantage plan. Switching to Medicare has meant new docs all around for her.

The real distinguishing characteristic of single-payer is that docs don't have a choice. They either accept patients that have insurance, or they operate a concierge service for the wealthy who can pay for care themselves.

(Note: For reasons I won't go into, we had to start the year with an exchange policy. Same deal -- there were no exchange policies that had all three of her docs "in network".)

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-today-president-says-house-intelligence-chief-devin-nunes-should-get-medal-2018-10-11?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Done:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdszMT0KgCY

"balls and strikes"

Laura Sandoval receives the full Kavanaugh/Judge republican four-hand 20-finger fuck and lives to be billed for it:

https://harpers.org/archive/2018/10/checkpoint-nation-cbp-search-and-seizures-civil-rights-abuses/

The reckoning is coming and it will be a savage one.

bc, a couple of points, discussed at length because you want me to demonstrate a 'little perspective'.

First of all, read what I wrote very very closely. Let me put it here in case you missed it.

sapient, a piece of advice: stop biting hooks. I know it may seem that you are being told to quiet down, but what if you thought of the possibility that bc _wants_ the kind of back and forth you seem eager to give him? Wait until he actually formulates an argument with data is what I suggest. And all I ask.

followed by
If there is that response, I'm sure it will be burned into the minds of the other commenters minds and will come up again and you can go back to it. Think Haley's comet...

If you look closely, you'll see I didn't call you a troll. But if your goal was to get someone to acknowledge that you aren't a troll, well done! A couple of threads from now, you can then say 'well, lj called me a troll, so...' It won't make it true, but it will probably work, I mean, it worked on russell and it wasn't even in a different thread.

Now, perhaps you believe I have a view of trolling similar to this joke told by Chris Pratt, and from time to time I do, but if you could explain the difference between coming over here to snark on liberals and trolling, I could understand why you believe that pointing out that you haven't made any arguments with data since your return is accusing you of being a troll.

Second, If I tell sapient to wait for data from you before bothering to respond, it's not a really powerful retort to say 'but sapient doesn't provide any data either,' though I'm probably just imagine you saying 'neener, neener' after that.

Third, if you are expecting me or other libs on this board to demonstrate the same qualities as Hilzoy, I think you are going to be disappointed. In fact, I know it. But more about that later.

You may have noticed that I cut a lot of slack to people venting. Hell, Marty seems to be doing his best impression of Krakatoa with each passing thread. I've spent far more time than I would have liked addressing sapient's anger at other commenters. I have a pretty bad temper, and I understand how it can take over. I'm sure both of them feel totally justified in expressing their anger, and it is not my place to tell Marty, Sapient or anyone else they don't have a right to be angry. I _can_ tell them that I feel the object of their anger is misplaced, as I think it was here.

To review, Sapient reacted to your

Add in Jrudkis' point about running for the electoral college and well, advantage "conservatives".

Did you expect some sort of reasoned response? (I've got to note, that 'well' before advantage is a real gem of a word that doesn't do anything in the sentence but work to make sure that people who disagree with you are pissed. Well done!) I mean, I just ignored it, and I wish sapient would have too, but it was just snark. If I were to have explored it further, I would have asked 'well, it depends on what you mean by 'advantage', and given that we've been talking about how one problem seems to be that we are reaching a point where both sides concentrate on winning, it seems to sum up the problem with conservatives in a nutshell. Btw, could you tell me precisely which point of jrudkis do you feel supports the idea that conservatives are the 'winners'?'

I might have even dropped this link into the mix to suggest that one side worries about rules, the other side doesn't.

But, really, 'advantage 'conservatives'' (and why is conservatives in quotation marks? Because jrudkis isn't a real conservative, so him making that argument means that you are making some sort of bipartisan point? I have no idea, but whatever it means, it doesn't seem to be thought out, which is the point) is not some sort of nuanced point, it's just pulling on chains. Maybe I misread it and you were making some incredibly nuanced argument about the Bush-Gore election that I missed. Here's your chance to enlighten me.

Something happened in my absence, apparently between you and Marty, and it may have colored your perspective on those to the right of center. Just sayin'.

First of all, it isn't clear if that 'you' is sapient or me. But if it's me, that's another pretty weak attempt at snark, which when viewed from particular angles, seems a lot like a troll. It's not like discussions here are like Kavanaugh's work product, hidden from view. You can go back. Or is this your idea of a reasoned argument? 'I guess something happened back then, so I can draw this opinion. Just sayin'' I mean, you did ask me for a little perspective.

And if you haven't noticed, a hell of a lot of stuff has happened in the world, and it all leaves me even more unimpressed by people trying to maintain that the Party of Trump has the slightest relevance to an American future that I want to see, and that group of people seems to include you. You certainly don't seem to fussed about anything that has happened and if you do think the party of Trump is doing something right, I urge you to point it out to us, cause I sure as hell don't see it. But if you don't, but still want to snipe at liberals because, I don't know, we don't strike the right tone about the party of Trump, thanks, let's don't and say we did.

Finally, I'd point out that Hilzoy arose out of a liberal environment and a liberal tradition. That the rest of us don't match up to her shouldn't be taken as a condemnation of liberalism, unless you can point us to a Hilzoy of the right who is able to demonstrate the same traits and who comes from a conservative tradition. Your citation of Hilzoy is not meant to acknowledge her grounding in liberal principles, it is to try and guilt everyone into treating you like a serious commentator. But you seem to acknowledge that you are here for the snark and we should not wait for any thoughtful arguments from you, backed by data. No problem, but don't expect me to berate sapient for not treating your arguments with more consideration then they deserve.

it worked on russell

I believe it was sapient who called bc a troll. Which didn't really bug me, we all get fed up at some point, I just thought it deserved correction.

FWIW, I don't receive sarcasm as evidence of bad faith. It's just a style.

Everybody responds to different styles differently.

bc appealed to me to say and said "And lj, how about a little perspective here? You know I don't troll."

and then

"having lj feed the real trolling going on here is a bit much."

Yeah, everyone has their own style, but appealing to me to bust sapient when bc is posting a zinger that gets precisely the reaction he wants, well, I think he should really think hard if he wants to be judged. At least by me. And given the number of times I've had to ask sapient to step back, I don't particularly like being told that I am feeding the 'real trolling'.

balls and strikes.

Which is a lot more tolerable if the umpire at least has the same strike zone for both sides. Which is what will, I expect, make Kavanaugh more intolerable then even Thomas for anyone to the left of Roberts.

having lj feed the real trolling going on here is a bit much

Yeah, I'd say that was out of line, and deserved a response.

To be fair, I think the R plan is "the market will take care of it". It's the invisible hand that says "sucks to be you".

And that plan can only make sense to someone who really doesn't get things like variance, risk aversion, insurance, asymmetric information, etc., not to mention having no concept of social insurance.

It's not just cruelty, it's stupidity.

I thought this was interesting.

We'll see what happens next month.

I know how Kanye feels...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45826875

Trump makes me feel like Einstein.

lj:

I was working on a response to your 10:16 but read your 10:54 and I'm going to address that instead. Plus I read russell's 11:43.

I didn't post my 6:08 p.m. to get a "reaction" as you seem to describe it. I didn't use "well" before "advantage" as some sort of "word bomb" or "zinger" to light the fuse of those already upset. I didn't want sapient's reaction at all. Full stop.

That some would disagree is not surprising. That some would actually be triggered by that is. I'm not going to concede that a reasonable person would read it that way (as a "troll" comment) without at least asking me for clarification.

My comment may have not been "well thought out" as I would in writing a lecture, but I actually (believe it or not) sensed my point wouldn't be popular (surprise, surprise) and softened, if you will, the argument by specifically acknowledging the "popular vote" argument. I didn't deride it. It's real. It's data. I get it. Point taken (meaning I lend it some credence).

But there is also data in terms of votes for McMullen, Johnson, Stein. By adding those together and assigning them to "sides" and using "simple math" I was noting the imprecision and LACK of data that would allow us to definitively know if IN FACT the majority of Americans are on one side or the other, hence IMHO weakening significantly the "popular vote" mandate argument. Byomtov pointed out the limitations of using those other votes (I think it was Byomtov). I agree with that point. On reflection, I see that "simple math" could be read as "definitive math" and that wasn't my point. I meant it as "painting with a really broad brush here." My bad. My point was simply "here is how I see it." Nothing more. Inviting a conversation? Yes. Trolling? No way, unless one defines any effort to have a conversation as trolling.

The response from sapient was "Nazi!" How does one get from my point to that? Seemed troll-like to me. I don't know sapient's history and your efforts to quell her anger so I readily acknowledge that I may have overreacted and misinterpreted your response to her. But color me confused.

I didn't take your comments to sapient as "the object of your anger is misplaced" at all. It seemed to me that there were several implications that I am not to be taken seriously (implying trolldom, efforts to patronizing sapient, having fun at my expense or something I am too dense to figure out). To wit:

-"Wait until he has data."

-"Stop biting hooks"

-"burned into the minds"

If I read these wrong, I apologize. To me, the implication was that my arguments are so derided that if I make a SERIOUS argument supported by data it will be so amazing that all will stop and look in wonder as my rare worthy arguments fly by every 75 years. That, to me, seemed to be "feeding the troll" and doing so at my expense.

I didn't appeal to you until you made the comment to sapient. I appealed to you then because I thought you knew me enough from past experience to know I wasn't shooting a "zinger" for fun and frolic.

In the end, I find it hard to understand how a simple point, even as ham-handed as it may have been, would result in this reaction.

Btw, could you tell me precisely which point of jrudkis do you feel supports the idea that conservatives are the 'winners'?'

IMHO, the imprecise numbers we have from the last election, as explained above, rebut (but note, do not completely refute) ;) the argument that the majority of Americans are on the "liberal" (used loosely here) side. Add in jrudkis' points about strategy to win the EC vs. popular vote and I think the balance tips against the "popular vote" argument. My opinion. YMMV. Hence "advantage 'conservatives'", an expression I now regret making because I didn't know there were so many eggshells on the floor.

the argument that the majority of Americans are on the "liberal" (used loosely here) side.

I would not argue that more Americans are "liberal" than not. I don't think the term has any particularly useful meaning any more.

It mostly seems to mean "somebody who gives a crap about other people". But I digress.

I would make the argument that (R) representation at the national level is significantly more than what is warranted by the number of their supporters in the overall population.

Which I ascribe to (a) the Senate and (b) gerrymandering.

Liberal vs conservative is not the same as (D) vs (R).

In any case, my point when I bring this up is basically to counter the claim that Trump has any kind of mandate for the bullshit he is dropping on the nation.

If you want to say that Clinton would likewise not be able to claim any kind of overwhelming support, had she won the election, I won't argue the point. But it's moot, because she didn't.

The (R)'s in general have managed to achieve politically dominating positions in the executive, the legislative, and now the judicial branches of government. And they are using that power to roll out policies that are not representative of the wishes of the population as a whole.

And there's a reason that their policies are not representative of the wishes of the population as a whole - they suck. The policies suck. They are harmful.

So I look forward to the day when the balance of power is restored to something closer to the sentiments of the people who live here.

Which will happen.

So ... anyone have any cute kitten stories?

I thought this interesting, too.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/large-majorities-dislike-political-correctness/572581/

Crap. russell totally ruined my comedic timing, which would otherwise have been SHARP AS A RAZOR.

the majority of Americans are on the "liberal" (used loosely here) side.

I'd say that actually the majority of Americans are "conservative" -- in the sense that they think that things mostly are OK and shouldn't be changed. Or, in some cases, returned to how they were at some point in the past.

That is by no means the same as thinking that everything should be left alone. There are a lot of areas where they think that things should change, and that we should try something new. Some just tweaked; some changed a lot. But changed.

And, just to be clear, the "return to the past" sentiment is more (by no means exclusively, but more) in the sense of economics than, for example, race relations. Back to more economic mobility, back to more economic equality -- not anything like straight equality, but more like we saw in, for example, the 1950s.

At the moment, that isn't much on offer. The Republicans appear devoted to the 1800s Gilded Age, on everything from massive favoritism for the rich to nasty race relations. The Democrats are well over on the liberal side.**

For a while, I think the majority inclined to the GOP as less bad; albeit with lots of caveats. After the past couple of years, that has changed -- they may still have serious reservations about the Democrats' approach to things, but that the current Republicans are worse is pretty clear.

** Obama, popular mythology notwithstanding, was a pretty conservative guy. If it wasn't for the permanent suntan and funny name, he'd have been seen as a Blue Dog Democrat by most of the electorate. Albeit not by the ideologues of the commentariate. Which, I submit, is why he won -- doing well with parts of the electorate which just aren't otherwise viewed as liberal.

russell: Conservatives (and libertarians!) who show up here generally get piled on. I appreciate the ones who are willing to put up with it.

So do I. They save me the trouble of looking around the internet for amusing wrongness and comical pigheadedness to laugh at.

To be fair, most of us here can be called pigheaded. Can anybody name a long-term participant at ObWi, other than Jrudkis, who has "changed teams" in the last decade? Maybe wj would qualify, except he still wears the old uniform.

For my part, I came here as a commie pinko librul and my determination to destroy America by mocking conservative values and libertarian ideals has only increased with exposure to the writings of Marty, McKinney, bc, CharlesWT, and the inimitable Brett Bellmore. I thank them all.

--TP

hsh: lol. I deserved that.

TP: say it isn't so!

russell totally ruined my comedic timing

it's true, as a straight man, I am complete and utter rubbish.

:(

the majority of Americans are on the "liberal" (used loosely here) side.

I'd say that actually the majority of Americans are "conservative"

I'd say that most Americans don't identify all that strongly with either point of view other than as a kind of habitual tribal identity. If that.

IMO most people don't care that much about politics, and generally dread election cycles because the volume of what they see as a flood of BS goes up to 11.

People mostly like the stuff that the public sector provides to them - roads, schools, cops and firemen, water, electricity, maybe gas - they just don't associate any that with the government.

There is also a fairly large realm of stuff that the public sector does for them that they benefit from every day, and probably never notice. Financial regulations, public health and safety, food and drug regulation, professional standards and best practices. The air is not brown anymore in most major American cities, but I doubt anyone thinks of that as something the "government did".

They even like "welfare", they just don't think of it as "welfare". Social Security, Medicare when they're old. Medicaid if they don't have a lot of money. Small business loan guarantees. Subsidies and tax deals for all kinds of industries, include agriculture, defense contracting, energy, manufacturing.

People like all of that stuff. They just don't think of it as something the government does for them. Or, they "deserve it", in some kind of way that all of the other beneficiaries of the public sector don't.

Basically I don't think people are all that thoughtful about their relationship to the government, or to the public sphere in general.

They just live their lives. When the public sector does stuff they like, they just assume that's the way it should be. When they public sector does stuff they don't like, they think the government sucks.

You don't miss the water until the well runs dry.

Obama, popular mythology notwithstanding, was a pretty conservative guy.

I've been saying this since about 2007.

What's amusing, to me, is that the same thing isn't recognized about Clinton. Either Clinton.

Or, Elizabeth Warren.

Looking at the world thru someone else's eyeglasses torques your eyeballs. For me, looking at the world thru someone else's worldview torques my brain. :)

bc, I thank you for the time you took to make your reply and the sentiments expressed. I'm pretty sure that no one wants to read an equally long reply relitigating Gore v, Bush so I'm happy to accept that you didn't mean what I read into your comment and further note that just because something is a simple point and you don't know how someone could take offense, this is the internet and anyone who has been on it for any length of time should realize that precisely because it is shorn of any kind of context is the reason why someone would take offense.

I'll echo russell's point that I appreciate the people from the right who come here and I have acknowledged, over and over, that they do often end up on the bottom of a big pile and I have tried to step in when the pile has gotten too much. But don't take my word, go back and look. And don't infer that things that have happened when you weren't reading the blog account for my distemper. Just ask, I'm happy to tell you.

I'll also note in closing that at least in my experience, being a minority means that the burden of being nice and attending to the norms of majority is on you, not the other way around. This means it is the person in the minority who is the one who has to adapt to the prevailing norm, not the other way around. Noting any similarities to situations now ongoing is an exercise left to the reader.

The response from sapient was "Nazi!" How does one get from my point to that? Seemed troll-like to me. I don't know sapient's history and your efforts to quell her anger so I readily acknowledge that I may have overreacted and misinterpreted your response to her. But color me confused.

My comments were not well considered. I apologize for making you feel unwelcome. I've mentioned that some people posting comments here should be ignored. Too often I am one of those people, although I hope that people are able to recognize a frustrated rant, and move on.

I actually spend time drafting a response to the one question you posed on the wrong thread that I had "overlooked" and put thought and effort into it to boot, but in the meantime you made it clear to me that you really didn't care to listen so I didn't post the comment. If you want to hear my answer, let me know. Glad to share (if you remember the question).

I don't remember the question, but I would love to read a thoughtful comment from you, bc. I find it odd that you would take the time to write a thoughtful comment, then decide not to post it because you think I'm an unwelcoming person, when there are many other people here who, I'm sure, would love to read it, even if I'm too angry to give it the time it deserves.

The only substantive thing you've mentioned in this thread is that although Hillary Clinton prevailed over Donald Trump with the popular vote, there were many people who were disaffected enough to vote for other people. That's absolutely true. Your comment doesn't take into account Russian interference or voter suppression, but you're absolutely right about the numbers.

I don't have a long memory of your participation here, so maybe you've made a lot of your views well known, but I'm not recalling a lot of thoughtful interaction about Republican policies. If you agree with most Republican policies, perhaps you should defend them. You say you don't like the family separation policy, but it hasn't yet been fixed, so I'm wondering whether you've written a letter to your representatives, or have spoken up against them in other meaningful ways. How about massive numbers of children in tents in Texas? If you love children, beginning at the moment of conception, how can you not be as angry as I am about these human rights abuses against children?

Instead of dealing with my personality (when it's quite easy to avoid my comments by pie filtering me, something I pointed out once before), why don't you defend Brett Kavanaugh if you like him? Do you like him? What do you think of the Voting Rights Act? Do you disagree that Republicans are working hard to suppress votes from traditionally Democratic groups? These are much more interesting topics than "sapient is mean to me."

I've been coming here to rant for quite a long time. Most of my frustrations are generally shared by some of the people here. That hasn't always been the case. When my views have been unpopular, I've sometimes been rude, but I've also taken the time to defend my views quite substantively and thoroughly.

Do you have any misgivings about Trump's criminality? About his attitude and possible collusion with foreign governments? How about the Saudi journalist that is believed to have been murdered and dismembered, and the Trump family's financial ties with Saudis?

I'm glad you're not a Nazi, and I believe you when you say you aren't. What do you think about the Republican Party? Do you vote for Republicans? In the Senate? In Congress? I think Republicans are behaving like fascists. If you support them, it would be nice to know why. Tax cuts? Is that so important that all of the human rights abuses, criminality, appointing a lying frat boy the Supreme Court ... is that all worth it?

Maybe you should stop sulking and defend your "conservative" values.

What's amusing, to me, is that the same thing isn't recognized about Clinton. Either Clinton.

Indeed. Name one prominent Dem who has come out forthrightly for the abolition of the system of private property, eh?

That used to be the lodestar of what was known world wide as "the left".

Alas, they could be just as insufferable as their political counterparts. If the GOP were to promote and televise debates between the Socialist Revolutionary Party and the Revolutionary Socialist Party, why the would create conservatives in droves.

So you see, GOP political operatives are not as smart as people tend to assume. :)

Name one prominent Dem who has come out forthrightly for the abolition of the system of private property, eh?

Not even the means of production! I want my government-produced iPod!!! (After I get one, then you can make sure I don't actually own it.)

This is the voice of moderation, I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’ve actually SEIZED the means of production ...

Well, Bill Clinton maybe, there was an actual choice then. Obama may have been more conservative in the end because he was forced to be,but its not what he ran on.

And Elizabeth Warren DOES want to take over the means of production so no:

Requires very large American corporations to obtain a federal charter as a "United States corporation," which obligates company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders:

Requires very large American corporations to obtain a federal charter as a "United States corporation," which obligates company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders

How is this "taking over the means of production"? It's still a private corporation. (Possibly incorporated by the Feds, rather than a state. But that's a state/Federal argument, not an ownership of the means of production argument.) It's a new regulation for businesses to follow, but nothing really more than that.

Now if you want to argue that it's a bad regulation, fine. Admittedly, that may be challenging before the actual proposed text is available, because the devil is always in the details. But socialism, it ain't.

“Elizabeth Warren DOES want to take over the means of production”

[citation required]

It's a new regulation for businesses to follow, but nothing really more than that.

Is it a new regulation? I mean, isn't this something we would expect individual states to do, and it's just dealing with organizations whose size and reach make it more appropriate for the federal government to deal with them? That's how I would look at it, but I'm a ruthless liberal...

I mean, isn't this something we would expect individual states to do, and it's just dealing with organizations whose size and reach make it more appropriate for the federal government to deal with them?

This seems right to me, although I haven't seen the legislation. No links were provided, and I don't want to look into it further at the moment, but corporations receive their charter from states. Most large corporations are chartered in Delaware, which exists in part to provide corporations with lenient (and stable) corporate laws. It actually might be good to transfer Delaware's role to the federal government, although Delaware would be devastated by this.

Other topic: This seems not to be "conservative."

I want my government-produced iPod!!!

tax breaks + subsidies + trade protection/enhancement + state sanctioned monopoly (IP) + lax anti-trust oversight + monetary policy tilted toward appeasing Wall Street = socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.

The government might as well have built a factory and produced them directly, and cut out the middlemen.

Is it a new regulation? I mean, isn't this something we would expect individual states to do, and it's just dealing with organizations whose size and reach make it more appropriate for the federal government to deal with them?

There may be a couple of states which require this of their corporations. But I'm willing to bet (though too lazy to check) that Delaware isn't one of them. (For the non-Americans here, most big US corporations are actually incorporated in Delaware, regardless of where their actual operations are. Because its requirements are exceptionally business-friendly.) So yeah, it would be a new requirement.

How is this "taking over the means of production"?

It's not.

This seems not to be "conservative."

Reagan proved that deficits don't matter.

As long as the POTUS is a (R).

Delaware is business friendly, but as sapient said it is the stable interpretation of law that is attractive. Channelling my bus law 101, most states copy Delaware law, but do not have the jurists who interpret the laws uniformly.

Which is a reasonable expectation for everyone. Corporations are just fortunate enough to be able to shop around for the venue they want.

Taking over the means of production, you say?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/boston-dynamics-atlas-robot-can-now-do-parkour-so-dont-bother-running-away-2018-10-11?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

I'd say we're going to be overtaken by the means of production, as if we haven't been all along.

I'm glad I'm old.

shoes for industry!

Hey, read this.

This public service message brought to you by an old wobblie.

Not voting to confirm Kavanaugh might have been a start....

https://www.amazon.com/Them-Hate-Each-Other-Heal/dp/1250193680

Taking over the blue meanies of production:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/two-az-gopers-posed-communist-damaging-contribution

There's your culprits, Marty.

Bullshit.

Blasey Ford and her family are under violent siege at the hands of Republican Party cadres, expressly summoned by elected Republican murderers to intimidate her:

https://www.google.com/search?q=blasey+ford+can%27t+come+outside&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS774US774&oq=blasey+ford+can%27t+come+outside&aqs=chrome..69i57j33.14881j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Feinstein may be shot in the head soon, because you capture one guy but the stinking republican militias, armed by the terrorist NRA, are setting up on every grassy knoll in America:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/california-man-charged-feinstein-threat

mp ordered the murder and dismemberment of journalist Khashoggi.

mp ordered the murder and dismemberment of journalist Khashoggi.

mp ordered the murder and dismemberment of journalist Khashoggi.

mp ordered the murder and dismemberment of journalist Khashoggi.

ALL republicans were willing co-conspirators in the murder, though some of the vermin preferred an acid bath for the corpse rather than dismemberment, citing the risk and expense, always budget-conscious they are, of carrying the body parts from the Embassy to the van. And what do we do with the chain saw?

What is required in America and throughout the world when it comes to the monsters of the conservative movement, are the savage means of REDUCTION.

Brazil, Hungary, Romania, the Philippines, Moscow, Saudi Arabia, will be the proving grounds for the savage means of worldwide conservative Reduction.

Norwegian murderer Anders Behring Breivik made a list of demands during his nationalist bloodletting.

That list is now the boilerplate agenda of the fucking vermin conservative movement throughout the world.

mp asked his towelboy and political strategist at Mar-a-Lago during the 2016 campaign: "Hey kid, .... what's yer name? .... I'm down to two choices for my in-house immigration Czar, Anders Breivik, doing very very good work over there in one of those Aryan countries, and this up and coming American conservative and glue-eater, Stephen Miller I've had my eye on. What do ya think, Einstein? While you are thinking, now refold all of those towels so my monogram is clearly visible, ya putz. You know what that stitching cost me?"

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/teacher-glue-eating-habit-miller-suspended

I guess teachers no longer have First Amendment rights in pig fuck conservative America. If she'd refused to decorate a cake for the high school Glee Club pageant, she'd be a fucking FOX martyr, amirite?

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/10/nevertrump-becomes-trump-endless-series

Haw, Haw, haw!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KctqZVYgmO4

Haw, Haw, haw!

sapient: thanks for the lengthy reply.

Maybe you should stop sulking and defend your "conservative" values.

Was I sulking? Didn't think so.

Your comment doesn't take into account Russian interference or voter suppression, but you're absolutely right about the numbers.

Acknowledged. I haven't seen anything definitive on either, but I didn't take that into account.

As to your other questions, too many to go into now with my time restraints. I see where your frustration comes from, I think, in the tenor of your comments. That isn't lost on me. Yes, a lot of things trouble me, on both sides of the equation. I question. I don't vote party line just because (interesting D running for congress where I am). My personal philosophy trends conservative in many areas, but not all. And I don't do enough and admire those, like you, that get out there for what you believe, even if I don't necessarily agree with your beliefs.

And yes, another data-free comment. I'll try to do better in the future (although I did read a Kevin Drum factoid recently on voter suppression in Wisconsin, does that count?)

Thanks, bc. I appreciate your thoughtful and gracious reply. No data necessary.

Please go back to bickering. All this niceness makes me want to puke. ;^)

I'm pretty sure puking violates the Posting Rules. (And if it doesn't, maybe we need an updatee.) ;-)

If folks need to be persuaded that flipping Congress in November is essential, please read this article about a five-year-old refugee:

"... stage three has commenced—one in which separations are done quietly, lupe’s Tania Chavez asserts, and in which reunifications can be mysteriously stymied. According to recent Department of Justice numbers—released because of an ongoing A.C.L.U. lawsuit challenging family separations—a hundred and thirty-six children who fall within the lawsuit’s scope are still in government custody. An uncounted number of separated children in shelters and foster care fall outside the lawsuit’s current purview—including many like Helen, who arrived with a grandparent or other guardian, rather than with a parent. Many such children have been misclassified, in government paperwork, as “unaccompanied minors,” due to a sloppy process that the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General recently critiqued. Chavez believes that, through misclassification, many kids have largely disappeared from public view, and from official statistics, with the federal government showing little urgency to hasten reunifications. (O.R.R. and U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not respond to requests for comment.)"

The longer we let this go on, the more it becomes a part of our national identity. It has to stop.

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