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Bloggingheads
01-20-2008, 10:11 PM

bjkeefe
01-20-2008, 11:38 PM
As a frequent critic of Megan McArdle, let me be the first to say that this diavlog was quite good. Many of the points she and Spencer raised were interesting and showed evidence of considerable prior thought. I especially liked the discussion of the policy advisors to the candidates.

I also look forward to Megan's piece on the Lancet study. The teaser she gave certainly made it sound like I might have to reconsider the reliability of that effort.

Anon Y. Mous
01-21-2008, 12:38 AM
Anthrax's first (http://images.sodahead.com/images/polls/0/0/0/0/0/2/8/4/8/polls_anthrax1_answer_1_xlarge.jpeg)album cover (referred to by Spencer).

bjkeefe
01-21-2008, 12:39 AM
I'm sure Bob Wright thanks you for that one. ;^)

Seriously, though, I wonder how many people knew Spencer was talking about a band there.

piscivorous
01-21-2008, 12:40 AM
If you are even willing to reconsider the validity of the bogus Lancet report there is hope for you yet.

bjkeefe
01-21-2008, 12:49 AM
Hee hee!

I was wondering during the diavlog if you would be first to post a comment about that. Did you not love my preemptive action?

In all seriousness, I like to think of myself as being open to changing my mind. So far, I'm still inclined to believe the peer review process of the Lancet, not to mention the lead author of the study (whom I heard interviewed at length), as opposed to the partisan carping the study provoked. We'll have to see if there's anything new in Megan's article.

Wonderment
01-21-2008, 12:58 AM
As a frequent criticism of Megan McArdle, let me be the first to say that this diavlog was quite good. .

I found the chummy banter a bit obnoxious, but I was interested in Megan's thoughts on the Latino vote in the Dem. primaries.

Unlike white liberals, most Latinos feel no guilt about slavery or segregation and don't buy into how redemptive it would be to elect a black president. Obama gets a lot of automatic white goodwill among non-racist Democrats. Not so in the Latino community.

What no one seems to be talking about -- including Megan -- is how outraged and worried Latino voters are about the Republican assault on immigrant communities. Thus, Latino voters who despise the Republicans are looking for some substantive differentiation among Dem. candidates on reform.

That's why Hillary's disningenuously offhand comment last week that "No woman is illegal" was absolutely birlliant. While it went under the radar of the MSM, the Spanish-language media never misses that kind of story.

Obama's tone deaf "Sí se puede" pitch was completely irrelevant and actually insulting because he backed it up with absolutely nada for the huge numbers of Latino voters who do have family members and friends that are being defamed and hunted down by ICE and the Republican mob.

Ironically, Obama, by not appealing to old-school Jesse Jackson Rainbow Coalition politics, is failing to remind Latino voters of their commonality of interests with African Americans.

Los Angeles Mexican-American mayor Antonio Villaraigosa saw the voting pattern coming months ago and jumped on the Hillary bandwagon, against the smart Hollywood money. When Hillary kicks ass in the California primary, Antonio's career prospects will soar.

piscivorous
01-21-2008, 01:24 AM
Haven't listened to that part of the diavlog yet so I can only say that CYA is not necessarily a bad thing. I would ask one rhetorical question though. If we couldn't hide the often 100s of daily deaths in late 2006 and early 2007 how were we able to hide the 500 some daily corpses that would have been necessary to get to 650,000 claimed excess deaths prior to that point?

jeffpeterson
01-21-2008, 01:35 AM
Is Ezra Klein's wrath so potent that Spencer felt compelled to signal that he didn't concede Megan's dismissal of Ezra's point on mandates? (http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8223?in=00:24:46) An adult in this situation says, "I'm not in a position to assess that" and proceeds with the conversation; it's juvenile and rude to take one's attention away from one's dialogue partner to prepare a visual aid, in the process missing a decent joke (http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8223?in=00:24:33). You have to exhibit higher standards of professionalism to become a Bloggingheads regular!

Wonderment
01-21-2008, 01:55 AM
In all seriousness, I like to think of myself as being open to changing my mind. So far, I'm still inclined to believe the peer review process of the Lancet, not to mention the lead author of the study (whom I heard interviewed at length), as opposed to the partisan carping the study provoked. We'll have to see if there's anything new in Megan's article.

That's where I'm at too.

It is worth reiterating that some of the public confusion about the disparate numbers is because the epidemiological studies purport to measure "excess death," which includes disease, increased lawlessness, degraded infrastructure, poor healthcare.

Prediction: The study will never be conclusively debunked. Some flaws may be suspected and accusations like Meghan's questioning the honesty of the editor of the journal and the reliability of the peer-reviewing process may continue to fly.

But when the dust settles (if it ever does) we'll never know how many civilians died as a result of the US invasion and occupation. For now we have the pretty solid Iraq Body Count numbers of between 80,000 and 88,000: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

The numbers are appalling in any case, even if you believe Petraeus and his predecessors: ("We don't do body counts" -- Gen. Tommy Franks)

simongrim
01-21-2008, 10:27 AM
I've heard this point made several times, that McCain got less total votes than he did in 2000. But it seems worthwhile to point out that there weren't below freezing temps and snow in SC on Saturday. Perhaps this wouldn't be an excuse for low turnout in NH or something, but we're talking about South Carolina!

bkjazfan
01-21-2008, 11:12 AM
Why will Villaragoosa's prospects soar if Hillary takes California? As mayor of Los Angeles what has he done to distinguish himself? He tried to take over the school district, that failed. He talks a lot about the traffic problems but has not had any solutions to that mess. His latest is to push a 9% city tax on phone bills which seems like a strange thing to do in a recession. Oh, he likes to appear on camera but the thinking populace sees through that. Hopefully, he will get his act together and attempt to serve the city's needs instead of his own.

jmcnulty
01-21-2008, 12:14 PM
How many French civilians were killed in the bombing leading up to the Normandy invasion? Should the Normandy invasion have been called off accordingly? When the enemy kills civilians promisciously and routinely hides among civilians, using some even as "human shields," does this mean that civilians are going inevitably to be killed? Are we to asbstain from military action if any civilians are killed? What is the acceptable level of civilian casualties and why? Does this mean that the terrorists wil always win unless we line up, 18th Century style, in an open field to slug it out with the enemy? Why is the level of civilian casualties, among a people who have shown themselves perfectly willing to execute other civilians, more imporant that victory? Just asking.

Trevor
01-21-2008, 02:02 PM
Why is the level of civilian casualties, among a people who have shown themselves perfectly willing to execute other civilians, more imporant that victory?
You're stealing a base there, McNulty. Arguably, civilian casualties don't matter at all when there's a compelling strategic rationale for the war. Let's at least concede that point for arguments' sake.

But when the war in question is a war of choice, and it is pursued allegedly on behalf of the populace of the target country, then the war has been a failure if afterwards the country is a worse place than it was before the war. In that case, the number of civilian casualties isn't some independent figure, but one of the metrics you use to measure victory.

To the extent that the war in Iraq was just about removing Saddam Hussein from power and halting his WMD programs, civilian deaths aren't really a consideration. However, those were not the exclusive aims at the start of the war. If they were, we could have long ago have declared victory and gone home. We did after all accomplish both. The war in Iraq continues for other reasons, and the civilian death toll bears directly on whether those are good reasons and whether we are achieving reasonable progress. This observation is plainly shared by many war supporters, who point to recent reductions in the civilian death toll as evidence of the surge's success.

jmcnulty
01-21-2008, 02:26 PM
I agree with you regarding the illusions of our "nation-building" policy. But I doubt that you would be in favor of the "more rubble/less trouble" alternative. Those are really the two alternatives unless you are content to see Iraq decline into an Al Qaeda base. Do you really want to stand back and unleash the cruise missles and B-1 bombers whenever Iraq appears to be turning towards Islamic extremism? Americans have paid with blood for those purple thumbs displayed by Iraqi voters for the privilege of being accused by Osama Bin Laden of "stealing" Iraq's oil ("No Blood for Oil"). It seems to me that a polcy of trying to establish some kind of a consensual government is better and more consonant with our beliefs -- even if it will never be confused with a New England town meeting. If we had withdrawn after Suddam Hussein was toppled, what would be the state of Iraq today? The best that we could hope for was his replacement by another strongman who was less likely to challenge other states in the region.

Trevor
01-21-2008, 02:37 PM
I admit that I do not have a secret plan to save Iraq. Indeed, it seems to me that by now the best we can hope for is to select the least bad of several fairly awful alternatives. Knowing how many Iraqis have been killed so far, and estimates of how many would stand to be killed in the future, will be important factors to consider when choosing between those alternatives.

Wonderment
01-21-2008, 03:32 PM
Why will Villaragoosa's prospects soar if Hillary takes California?

With President Clinton campaigning for him, he could become governor of California or he could get rewarded with a cabinet position. I'm not saying it will happen, but those doors tend to close when you back the loser.

He did have the sleazy affair with the TV anchor, but at least it wasn't in a bathroom stall at the airport or in the Oval Office with an intern.

TwinSwords
01-21-2008, 03:56 PM
Simongrim: Good point.

piscivorous
01-21-2008, 04:10 PM
It also seem that that the fact there were 4 maybe 5 contenders, to split the vote, as opposed to essentially 2 in 2000 may have had something to do with this but why bother thinking about an issue when you can just make a statement and have it taken as wisdom.

bkjazfan
01-21-2008, 04:27 PM
So, his prospects soar because he campaigned for Hillary. Is that the only reason? How about his job performance as mayor of the nations second largest city. Will that factor into the equation? So far, he has talked a lot but that's about it. Granted, the public school district is a disaster performance wise and even if he could have taken it over the results would have been nil. The traffic problems are terrible and would take more than a mayor to solve that. Perhaps, he could be instrumental in calming down the black Hispanic conflicts which appear to be the most vexing racial problem in this city. However, he will have to do more than showing up at black churches to makes some headway on that vexing problem. Being mayor here is a tough job.

Wonderment
01-21-2008, 05:51 PM
Perhaps, he could be instrumental in calming down the black Hispanic conflicts which appear to be the most vexing racial problem in this city.

I think the most vexing problem that continues to plague Southern California (where I also live) is institutional racism.

My only point in this thread was not to defend or promote Villaraigosa but just to note that Hillary did better in Nevada because she sent the right message to Latinos.

Republicans apparently have realized that pissing on "the illegals" is the equivalent of waving the Confederate flag in the face of African Americans (as Huckabee did last week), and thus have given up even on the minority of Mexicano/a voters who went for Bush in 2000 and 04. Please, however, keep using that racist language, since there may be a few stragglers left who have not committed to Democrats, especially among non-Mexican Latinos in Florida where anti-Castro Cuban-Americans vote Republican.

In the Dem. primaries -- where presumably we won't hear a lot of blatant xenophobia -- Latinos expect more than Obama's folksy "sí se puede." The community wants a just-say-no to deportation and sí se puede to legalization now. Hillary sent that message with "no woman is illegal," and that will win her primary votes among Latinos.

uncle ebeneezer
01-21-2008, 06:25 PM
I was just watching football with some friends and one of the guys I had never met before was an LAPD cop who grew up in Orange County. At one point he mentioned that going into areas like South Central was the first time he had ever really seen racism in his life (he meant that racist attitudes that blacks have towards white people, mind you.) I had to bite my tongue because I couldn't for the life of me imagine someone growing up in affluent Orange County and never noticing the racism towards Mexicans that I seem to pick on everytime I just drive through there. If he was that blind (or sheltered) in his cookie-cutter McMansion in the OC, I'm kinda frightened that he's allowed to carry a gun nowadays. He also kept referring to the "percieved racism" that African Americans imagine in the Hood. I play in a band with several African American guys who have lived in Compton and South Central for 30+ years and have managed to survive and buy houses and live as upstanding members of the community, and they have told me several stories where the racism was definitely more than "perceived."

bkjazfan
01-21-2008, 06:43 PM
I am not an authority on So. Cal. but you skipped on my reference to the most vexing racial problem in L.A. being the Latino/black problem. So, you conveniently skipped over that.

Now, why you brought up Villaragoosa is a little obscure at this point. He has some connection to Hillary I know but what that has to do with his job performance is beyond me.

You did the standard "illegal" racist rant. I haven't even noticed if that term has been brought up by anyone besides you.

Even if Obama comes out with his own a full blown comprehensive immigration plan I doubt that Latinos are going to get behind him.

nojp
01-21-2008, 07:34 PM
lighten up

Wonderment
01-21-2008, 08:26 PM
I was just watching football with some friends and one of the guys I had never met before was an LAPD cop who grew up in Orange County. At one point he mentioned that going into areas like South Central was the first time he had ever really seen racism in his life (he meant that racist attitudes that blacks have towards white people, mind you.)

Well, that's what happens when police officers don't live in the communities they serve.

The "perceived racism" comment is mind-boggling, especially coming from a cop who sees every day how the criminal justice/incarceration system operates.

Having said that, police departments nowadays, at least in California, do a much better job educating officers about racism. The presence of many more minorities on police forces also helps erode traditional racism. Better qualified and better-educated police chiefs is also a sign of progress.

madnj
01-28-2008, 12:37 AM
I beg you, no Blogging Chefs! It was one of the worst episodes ever. Just get us Mickey and Ezra in a steel cage, or hot tub, or a vat of jello.