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Bloggingheads
04-28-2008, 07:57 PM

bjkeefe
04-28-2008, 09:50 PM
Great to see both of these guys. Thanks for making at least part of the diavlog not about the horse race. It's too late now, of course, but I could have stood some more.

threep
04-28-2008, 09:54 PM
When did kidneystones team up with that Thomson guy?

graz
04-28-2008, 09:58 PM
When did kidneystones team up with that Thomson guy?

I think he is auditioning.
Kind of funny, its got a good beat and I think you can dance to it.

AemJeff
04-28-2008, 10:32 PM
bj, wonderment and aemjeff begging Bob to end horse-race diavlogs, just as it's starting to get interesting.

To be clear: I've suggested no such thing. The partisan bickering is getting stale.

StillmanThomas
04-28-2008, 11:28 PM
Another great conversation. I appreciate Glenn and Bob so much. It's been fascinating to hear Glenn all these months opine about Obama's candidacy. This is the first time he's said it's making him feel old, because he's just not getting it. I think Bob gave a passionate and carefully reasoned defense of "Change we can believe in," whether you believe in it or not, as I do.

Thank you both, gentlemen. A wonderful way to spend an hour!

David Thomson
04-28-2008, 11:38 PM
"Bob explains why he was driven to endorse Obama"

Bob Wright is your typical guilt tripped white guilt. He simply falls apart when confronted by an "authentic" candidate of color. Wright will be among the 40% of the electorate who will remain with "Barry" Obama. Everyone else will vote for John McCain---or stay home on Election Day. Race has nothing to do with the majority's displeasure of Obama. He would easily win the presidency if he were a right of center Republican. No, he will be rejected because of the content of his character.

David Thomson
04-28-2008, 11:40 PM
Note to Glenn Loury: "Barry" Obama may not have thrown Rev. Jeremiah Wright under the bus---but he did do so with his white grandmother!

McShugana
04-28-2008, 11:44 PM
... seems so sensible:

1) exempt the first X dollars of income from the payroll tax (this puts immediate cash into the pockets of the poorest workers, who are most likely to spend whatever it is - thus creating immediate economic stimulus); 2) offset the lost payroll tax revenue at the low end by raising the cap on the payroll tax at the upper end (currently it's $99K, and indexed to inflation) - I'd say raise it enough to offset the lost revenue and then some.

Aside from the economic stimulus, as Reich points out, it would make the payroll tax less regressive, so it's good policy even in good times. (Note that when you factor in all taxes - payroll, sales, and income - the US tax system is awfully close to flat. I think it shd be more progressive and this would really help.)

What's not to like? My reflex thought was that raising the cap would be political suicide, but maybe not: the people it would hurt - those making, say, $130K individually- would also have the sting reduced because the first, say, $15k of their income exempted would be exempted.

So he's got my vote. Anyone else's? And am I missing something?

piscivorous
04-29-2008, 12:11 AM
While it is a nice starting point, as it elevates the regressivity problem it does nothing to address the structural problems. Those too can be addressed if the true nature of the program is explained to the populace and this myth of SS "accounts" is finally killed. It is a retirement fund pool and while there is some relationship between your contribution levels and what you get back on a monthly basis, there is no relationship between what you contributed overall and what you get back overall. I can understand why it was sold this way and for much of it's existence this image has been beneficial in insuring it's preservation it is now a hindrance to actually fixing the structural problems.

harkin
04-29-2008, 12:21 AM
To be clear: I've suggested no such thing. The partisan bickering is getting stale.

Re: Open letter to Bob Wright

Quoting Wonderment:" I agree. The Dem. nomination has become a spectacle in the OJ Simpson tradition. It saturates the media and dangerously displaces discussion of more important issues. Obamamania and evil twin Obamaphobia are a distraction."


And, I'd add, are near to being responsible for what would be a tragedy: making the BHTV comments section dull.

I'll leave it there for others to come to their own conclusions. Just like the Reverend Wright, it's one's own words that hurt the most.

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 01:19 AM
Glenn,

No, it's not that you're getting old.

You're just not drinking the Kool-Aid.

Reich is so deep into contact-highs from students, he's fallen for the "Berkeley as the Center of the World" syndrome.

He sounds as uncritical as the coeds fainting at Obama rallies. Funny. (Angling for a Cabinet Position?)

Meanwhile, the latest:

(AP) WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton now leads John McCain by 9 points in a head-to-head presidential matchup, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll that bolsters her argument that she is more electable than Democratic rival Barack Obama. Obama and Republican McCain are running about even.

The survey released Monday gives the New York senator and former first lady a fresh talking point as she works to raise much-needed campaign cash and persuade pivotal undecided superdelegates to side with her in the drawn-out Democratic primary fight.

Helped by independents, young people and seniors, Clinton gained ground this month in a hypothetical match with Sen. McCain, the GOP nominee-in-waiting. She now leads McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, while Obama remains virtually tied with McCain, 46 percent to 44 percent.

Both Democrats were roughly even with McCain in the previous poll about three weeks ago.

EW

Wonderment
04-29-2008, 03:31 AM
And we haven't even got to Avery, yet, whose hoary attacks, both physical and rhetorical, make Wright look like Sean Hannity.

What's a hoary physical attack?

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 03:36 AM
I think Bob gave a passionate and carefully reasoned defense of "Change we can believe in...."

Well... I'm sixty-plus like these two and was in Seattle, Berkeley, San Francisco in the late Sixties. Bob Reich does not ring true on this at all.

Loury correctly characterized that Sixties movement as a long-growing grass-roots, bottom-up, take-nothing-on-trust-or-a-wink phenomenon full of both geniuses and idiots duking it out intensely, not taking no for an answer, and mostly willing to go to the mat to make change happen. I just don't see anything similar in Obama-ville. As for "Being Driven to Declare for Obama," pleeeze: Phony as cotton candy.

That doesn't resemble at all the current groupie wink-wink top-down, extended-pinkie-when-drinking-tea Obama phenomenon which is "sort-of-sincere" to be sure, but not the same at all.

Hate to just caricature it, but it does seem relatively optional-spontaneous and superficial and frankly a wee bit "plastic" and faddish. Sort of like making claims for deep art in Blackberry's, laptops, the "Style" departments of Nordstrom's, or in methadrine-drone Hip-Hop lyrics.

Reich is nebulously dreamy and affected in his Obama-cum-Kennedy rhetoric. (In fact, he sounds like a plain-vanilla understudy.)

EW

Whatfur
04-29-2008, 08:20 AM
"Nobody objected as long as it was whatfur and dt getting batted around. To their credit they bent but didn't break. "

whoa whoa whoa...Fur does not bend and wiffle bats leave no marks.

tarajane
04-29-2008, 09:20 AM
Exactly! Talk about old politics -- Reich depressed me with his anxious reiteration of the losing liberal approach. And, like Loury, I find it disingenous that Obama has claimed the high road merely by telling us he's taking it while his so-called positive politics were based on likening the Clintons to Bush and pumping up the volume on any statement/ issue that could be viewed through a racial lens. Hillary did NOT hammer Obama over the Wright issue. She avoided commenting on it until confronted personally with the question of whether or not she would have sat in the church. I thought her response was pretty mild considering the clips of specific anti-Clinton sermons. Gee, should she have clapped along while the reverend lambasted her husband with accompanying lewd body language?

brucds
04-29-2008, 09:40 AM
pretty much obliterated Glenn on the Obama vs. Hillary approach to governance. I'm wondering whether Glenn understands what "ideological" even means, given his application ot the term in this context. The notion of the Clinton's as "ideological" fighters for liberalism or a coherent progressive agenda is, to put it mildly, bizarre. In fact, the Clinton's aren't even reliable partisans, assuming Glenn's talking about partisanship (not "ideology" which doesn't even begin to apply.)


Glenn's a good guy, but he's in the Clinton Cult bubble. Too bad...

piscivorous
04-29-2008, 11:09 AM
Repeatedly Mr Reich make the assertion that Senator Clinton is running a republican style campaign until at around 41:00 minutes when he lets the cat out of the bag; "she is doing exactly what Bill Clinton (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10619?in=00:40:54&out=00:41:15) would have done under the circumstances." It's is almost humorous to see the left decrying the tried and true old Clinton campaign tacts which they found so brilliant in the 90's, and now find so repugnant, when turned on a democratic opponent.

StillmanThomas
04-29-2008, 11:10 AM
Hate to just caricature it....

Well, you're making my own point for me. Your "analysis" is nothing more than a caricature. Bob Reich's was a well-reasoned, passionately stated analysis. No offense, EW, but I'll go with his, any day.

brucds
04-29-2008, 11:15 AM
That's the key to disgust with Hillary's tactics, obviously. And a major distinction.

DoctorMoney
04-29-2008, 11:30 AM
(So is there an ignore button? Because someone in this thread needs to get their own blog instead of mucking up the comments here.)

I think the elephant in the room is that some of the charges that Hillary makes are given more credence because she's in Obama's party. Her campaign can swear up and down that these are all things that would be tried on him in the general, but they're only half right: watch McCain's numbers drift south if he, as an aging white man, hammers ineloquently at the Wright thing. Make *him* make the argument, and then let him take the hit for saying them. You'd be surprised, I think McCain will be much more cautious and circumspect in his attacks on Obama than Clinton has been if he has any sense of self-preservation.

Loury's skepticism is well founded in a lot of ways. But even if you look at the fundraising stats between the two Dem candidates, I think it's a pretty clear call where the grass roots support is pointing.

uncle ebeneezer
04-29-2008, 11:43 AM
I thought Bob Reich was great in this diavlog. I thought he really nailed the feelings of many of us Democrats who have been disappointed with the kind of campaign that Hillary has run. I mean, she praises McCain and suggests that he is better fit to be President. As Reich pointed out this is sinking to an unprecedented low. And her continuing complicity in pushing the GOP talking points is just beyond sad. If someone of Reich's caliber with long-standing ties to the Clintons gets to the point where even he is sickened by their tactics, isn't it just possible that there's something to that and it's not a case of idol-worship or kool aid? It's really sad that Hillary supporters can't seem to understand why anyone would want to vote for Obama (especially since, policy-wise they are more or less the same.) Their never-ending insulting invective towards their fellow Dems is going to potentially ruin the best Pres shot we've had in years. I just want all the "kool-aid" comment fans to remember that every time you ridicule Obama supporters you're making the Karl Rove's, Kidneystones and David Thomson's of the world smile. Is that what you really want as a Democrat.

I also thought Reich made a great point about Obama's race speech. It was a call to concerned Americans to engage in a more nuanced discussion about race relations in America in 2008. Sadly, most people are so blinded by their stake in the horse-race of the election that few have stepped up to Obama's challenge. As a "leader" in the Democratic party, I expected Hillary to commend the speech and dare I say even give her opponent credit for broaching a tough subject gracefully and asking some important and rarely heard questions about it. But instead, as Reich noted, she stuck to the election-year playbook. Fine, that's her perogative, but it definitely shows a bit about HER character and simply reinforces my instinct (shared by many others) that for her it's all about winning elections, not about pursuing big ideas.

Glenn, as always, was excelent too. I thought his bottom-up grass-roots point was notable, and very interesting, even though it would not be enough to change my vote.

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 12:01 PM
Bob Reich's was a well-reasoned, passionately stated analysis.

"Passionate," yes, but "well-reasoned," no, not by a long-shot, and that's (as pointed out by Loury) the mark of this Obama-esque inspiration-speak.

But, here, let me put it in a nutshell for you:

Back in the Sixties, pursuit of change wasn't so "person-centered." The machine knocked off John Kennedy, Dr. King, Bobby Kennedy, and, using FBI, infiltration, pot-busts, etc. took out leaders pushing change on a wide variety of fronts. Also, go back and look at the size of the demonstrations drawing on everybody from the ghetto on through to establishment parents putting their careers on the line, saying "Hell, No, Dammit, This has got to stop!"

Here, in Obama-ville, we have nothing remotely resembling that. It's a completely "person-centered" movement invested in change only insofar as it doesn't interfere with career-tracks. You watch, if Obama-sweetheart doesn't get the nomination (which, if he did, would only lead to a big Democratic loss in November), they'll all have a childish temper-tantrum and walk away from "hope" and "change" altogether.

When it's so "person-centered" as this, how's it not a cult? Reich's just another self-serving "groupie" hypocritically angling for a cabinet post.

EW

DoctorMoney
04-29-2008, 12:05 PM
"When it's so "person-centered" as this, how's it not a cult? Reich's just another "groupie" angling for cabinet post.

Since this is the first non-boomer candidate in almost 20 years, I think your theory probably doesn't hold much water. Obama has tapped something that exists, with or without him.

Also: scare quotes? Very "persuasive".

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 12:27 PM
I also thought Reich made a great point about Obama's race speech. It was a call to concerned Americans to engage in a more nuanced discussion about race relations in America in 2008.

That's right where both you and Reich leave your critical faculties on the door-step.

Obama's "speech on race" was a sermonizing bait-and-switch guilt-trip-whitey slickster lecture aimed to distract from an attempt to skate from responsibility for poor judgement. Amazing how many suckered into it.

Also, it was stupid beyond belief. Insofar as this election ends up being about "race," Obama will lose. The "angry black" profile is plutonium. He was an idiot to get anywhere near it. Now he's sunk (for a hysterically-perfect depiction of which, look at this Oliphant cartoon: http://news.yahoo.com/edcartoons/patoliphant;_ylt=Ajki7Y14ivBr8d0J1MZ7mj4DwLAF).

Obama is prone to these incredible judgment lapses: Wright, Ayers, Bitter-gate, transparent race-card playing in the first Carolina election (and that's about to come back and bite him in the backside), etc.

That's the thing about cult-mesmerization: critical faculties and rationality go out the window & meanwhile you get screwed by the pied-piper demagogue.

Also, two not-so-minor points: Obama has no balls and a glass jaw. He'll crumple agains McCain.

EW

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 12:39 PM
Since this is the first non-boomer candidate in almost 20 years, I think your theory probably doesn't hold much water. Obama has tapped something that exists, with or without him.

Also: scare quotes? Very "persuasive".

My oh my: what amazing non-sequiturs:

First, these are just the spoiled babies of boomers (my son is one of them, now admitting by the way, much to his discouragement, that Obama can't beat McCain).

Second, that this "doesn't hold much water" doesn't say anything except that you don't like the fact that the statement doesn't synchronize with your own bot-like programming.

Third, you don't even understand the legitimate uses of quotation marks which generally serve to set off phrases to which one deliberately wishes to call attention.

Finally, place the period inside the quotes, not outside. Your violating Chicago Manual style (which as an Obama groupie, you should be concerned about).

Also, as for tapping into something which exists, with or without him, it only "exists" insofar as these Blackberry-jockeys don't channel-surf off onto something requiring less consistent investment of blood, sweat, and tears. (And if there's anything clear, they're allergic to long-term intercourse with blood, sweat, or tears.)

EW

tarajane
04-29-2008, 12:53 PM
On the subject of turning on a fellow democrat -- what do you call it when Obama basically equated the Clintons and Bush? I couldn't believe my ears the first time I heard him do this. He may be more subtle but he has been every bit as negative from my point of view. I agreed with Krugman when he noted that what should have been a plus for the Dems in this election -- how much better off they were before Bush took office, a no-brainer, was essentially neutralized by the Obama message that we have to turn the page, not only on Bush but our own past. Great -- that leaves him with the youth vote, the older elite intellectual vote (misty-eyed with nostalgia for the "higher ground" politics of Gene McCarthy, like Reich) and the AA vote. Where does that leave the rest of us -- hoping against hope we can put a Clinton back in the White House.

tarajane
04-29-2008, 01:14 PM
I agree that their talk turned pretty muddled on ideology but I don't think Reich obliterated him. I do think they ended up raking over some old familiar political territory in an unclear and pointless way. I was sorry to see how they meandered in vague agreement in the bogey-man territory of lobbies and their power. Are lobbies really the monsterish anti-democratic institutions they almost, kind of, sort of discussed or are they a legitimate outgrowth of the democratic process. How exactly do huge numbers of people with common interests get the ears of some 550 legislators in Washington? They do it with their votes and they do it by organizing into lobbies to gather their voices into an instrument with clout. They are not intrinsically evil.

uncle ebeneezer
04-29-2008, 01:26 PM
That's right where both you and Reich leave your critical faculties on the door-step.

Obama's "speech on race" was a sermonizing bait-and-switch guilt-trip-whitey slickster lecture aimed to distract from an attempt to skate from responsibility for poor judgement. Amazing how many suckered into it.

Thanks EW, for perfectly illustrating my point. Insist that the ONLY possible interpretation of the speech is yours, ignore even the possibility of any others, ridicule those that don't want agree with you and refuse to acknowledge or participate in the discussion of any of these imaginary issues presented in the speech itself.

I have watched several very patient and open-minded commentors (Blogging, BJ, AemJeff etc.) attempt to engage you in discussion of issues, but as soon as Obama comes up you steadfastly refuse to get beyond your own perception that anyone who votes for Obama is "drinking the Kool Aid", lacking "critical faculties" etc. and thus make it more obvious that you're more interested in name-calling and "scoring points" then in actually considering other viewpoints and then responding in a civil manner.

There IS a bigger discussion going on about race due to Obama's speech. It's messy as hell, and who knows if it will really solve anything in a practical sense, but I'm glad to be a part of it. Several BHeads including: Bob Wright, Robert Reich, David Corn, Jim Pinkerton, Glenn Lowry, John McWhorter, Josh Cohen, Dan Drezner, Brink Lindsey and even Ross Douthat have decided to participate to some extent. It is amazing how many people were suckered into it. Or perhaps the suckers are the ones who AREN'T joining in.

Tarajene, where is the Obama "Bush" quote? I'll check it out and get back to you.

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 01:26 PM
Are lobbies really the monsterish anti-democratic institutions they almost, kind of, sort of discussed or are they a legitimate outgrowth of the democratic process. How exactly do huge numbers of people with common interests get the ears of some 550 legislators in Washington? They do it with their votes and they do it by organizing into lobbies to gather their voices into an instrument with clout. They are not intrinsically evil.

Fair enough, but only insofar as we trouble ourselves with next making clear-eyed distinctions as to which lobbies are simply pushing corporate-greed agendas (often horribly destructive of the public welfare) and which lobbies are genuinely seeking to protect and advance the public welfare.

Failing in this distinction, then the "Lobbies aren't evil" analysis just falls into becoming an analogue of the "Without chemistry, life itself would be impossible" cop-out which has resulted in the the ubiquitous poisoning of both external environments (the world) and internal environments (our bodies).

EW

popcorn_karate
04-29-2008, 01:30 PM
To Glenn Loury : yes sir! you are getting old.

baby boomers love to bask in the glory of their "sixties" experiences. The idea that a younger generation could have anything that might compete with it in their imagination is anethma to them. The sixties radicals all turned into yuppies - so they have to believe that their cynical selling out was the only option. thus they must crush anything that resembles hope or optimism.

my 82 year old grandmother supports Obama. She shook JFK's hand the day before he was assassinated. She has not been as hopeful about politics again until now.

and cue the haters - anybody thats not a cynical sell-out "drank the kool aid" right kidneystones? I truly hope i don't end up a sad, bitter old man like you, clinging to my cynicism...

DoctorMoney
04-29-2008, 02:14 PM
Finally, place the period inside the quotes, not outside. Your violating Chicago Manual style (which as an Obama groupie, you should be concerned about).
EW

Your right, your right. Sorry grampa.

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 02:20 PM
Sorry grampa.

Well, now that you've revealed your age, that explains a lot. By the time you break into your teens, you may start getting a handle on some of these things.

EW

phaedrus
04-29-2008, 02:25 PM
The old politics of guilt by association?

How about the ancient principle that silence gives consent?

graz
04-29-2008, 02:29 PM
Well, now that you've revealed your age, that explains a lot. By the time you break into your teens, you may start getting a handle on some of these things.

EW

Having revealed various personal attributes over many posts, would you care to expand on this important (for you) distinction between this current movement (setting Obama aside) and what you seem to have participated in and seemingly have positive associations with?

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 02:46 PM
Thanks EW, ....you're more interested in name-calling ... then responding in a civil manner.

There IS a bigger discussion ....

Well, yes, there is a bigger discussion and that is a fine thing. You didn't notice, but I've repeatedly endorsed Loury's analysis, also Shelby Steele's on selected subtopics, and also find much of value in McWhorter, in particular in the consistent depth and civility of the McWhorter-Loury dialogues.

It's not controversial to me that you assert Obama's speech inspires more depth in this already-ongoing discussion, but please notice a difference: Those discussions aren't going to be right strategy in mid-campaign.

Again, due to knee-jerk reactions so prevalent in a sub-population of one side's "victimization mentality" and the other side's none-too-rare racism, this topic can't profitably be part of Obama's vote-harvesting rhetoric in seeking the white house.

Again, Obama was incredibly inept in ignoring a coterie of advisors counseling against making any such speech. He ignored them and now, due to loose-cannon Wright, Barack has huge problems, per Oliphant's cartoon.

So, in sum, I think you're a bit prone to selective reading of my posts which aren't all the "tweaking" to which you take exception.

Cheers,
EW

-asx-
04-29-2008, 02:52 PM
Finally, place the period inside the quotes, not outside. Your violating Chicago Manual style (which as an Obama groupie, you should be concerned about).

As long as we're going to critique style, can I ask that you stop using underlining for emphasis on web pages? You may not have thought about this, but every time you underline something for emphasis, there are readers around the world moving their mice to click on what they believe are links you have included in your post.

Underlining on the web means one thing: links!

As the industry's leading web usability professional says:

"Don't underline any text that's not a link, even if your links aren't underlined. Reserve underlining for links. Because underlines provide a strong perceived affordance of clickability, users will be confused and disappointed if underlined text doesn't have an actual affordance to match this perception." (source (http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20040510.html))


Or, from Microsoft's Developer site:

"Don't underline text that isn't a link because users may assume that it is a link. Use italics where you'd otherwise use underlined text. Reserve underlining only for links." (source (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa511483.aspx))

This is one of the most basic rules of the web, and if you look around, you will notice that almost nobody violates it.

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 03:02 PM
would you care to expand ....?

Weaknesses I see (and I hope I'm wrong) are most central in the "person-centered" and "self-centric" analyses sketched above.

All-in-all, though, the whole phenomenon is heartening and not to be dismissed completely. My big question is partly: Where have all these people been? And will they still be here tomorrow?

Actually I don't glorify the Sixties. They just had deeper commitment, even though there was an incredible amount of delusion and insanity in the midst of it.

The people integral to Barack's base could end up doing marvelous things. I just hope their enthusiasm spill over into the longer term while also bringing forth their own leaders, not least because the powers that be will be doing their damndest to undermine them (and even eliminate them when they become too threatening), doing so at every turn.

I don't buy that the Hillary camp is responsible for Barack's problems. He created them himself.

I'm a complete pessimist. I think, Hillary or Obama, they'll both be frustrated by entrenched corporate-greed and aristocratic interests working in tandem to distract and fool the masses. Meanwhile, everything will move south relentlessly and ever-more-quickly.

Cheers,
EW

Eastwest
04-29-2008, 03:23 PM
As long as we're going to critique style, can I ask that you stop using underlining

Good point. I've been so savaged for even occasional uses of bold here (which unfortunately in this blog-software, bumps up the font size to a scream) and other emphasis stratagems (including even being taken to task for "scare quotes"), then I'm stuck with plain-vanilla mode, except perhaps for those weak-kneed italics.

Oh, well.

EW

graz
04-29-2008, 03:27 PM
I don't buy that the Hillary camp is responsible for Barack's problems. He created them himself.

I'm a complete pessimist.

Cheers,
EW[/QUOTE]

Although there is a tiring strain of blame Hillary by many. The tone and effect should be separated. I don't assign blame, but I am turned -off by the tenor and approach. Yeah I know it's what is in politics. Obama has never accepted this refrain. Political opportunism aside, he has mostly credited her with a good tough fight.
As for pessimism vs. optimism. Some of my heroes, and because I tend towards cynicism that is a word I use guardedly, are clearly in the no politician is gonna make it happen camp. Yet, I too am optimistic for the first time in a long time - same sentiment as Michele Obama - just different language... thankfully.

bjkeefe
04-29-2008, 08:27 PM
I'll be out for a while.

I have the audacity to hope.

Jack McCullough
04-29-2008, 09:55 PM
Could someone answer a question for me?

What are upside gains and downside losses? Is there any difference between an upside gain and a gain? What about a downside loss and a loss?

TIA

bjkeefe
04-29-2008, 11:05 PM
Could someone answer a question for me?

What are upside gains and downside losses? Is there any difference between an upside gain and a gain? What about a downside loss and a loss?

TIA

Couldn't it be argued that shorting a stock is a downside gain? And that dropping your gear while rock-climbing is an upside loss? So maybe the seeming redundancy is necessary.

;^)

Eastwest
04-30-2008, 02:35 AM
Some of my heroes, and because I tend towards cynicism that is a word I use guardedly, are clearly in the no politician is gonna make it happen camp. Yet, I too am optimistic for the first time in a long time - same sentiment as Michele Obama - just different language... thankfully.

Actually, given two potential candidates with brains, conscience, and a set of populist concerns nicely timed to coincide with hopefully adequate Democratic majorities in both House and Senate, there's every possibility that a lot of good things could happen.

My pessimism has more to do with the tenacity of rich corporate special interests, Republican obstructionism, and a huge menu of disasters to be dealt with:

Economic devastation,
Loss of US moral standing in international relations,
Inextricably gummy and unwinnable wars,
Rapidly-advancing climate change without means of counteraction,
And, oh yes, the muslim-extremist thing

Stir in a little bit of racial divisiveness when we thought we had more or less chilled that adequately, and I have to wonder how anyone but a dreamer can be an optimist. But, yes, a certain amount of dreaming is probably necessary to at least counter deliberate self-destruction.

EW

deebee
04-30-2008, 07:51 AM
The alternative voices that have recently emerged in the Comment section is a refreshing change from the Obama Echo Chamber of the recent past.

January
04-30-2008, 09:11 AM
There may be an ignore button but it's easy to use the thread tool to skip the spluttering gas-bags. You only have to read one of their emails to identify them and then you're free!

piscivorous
04-30-2008, 09:20 AM
Actually there is an Ignore List. don't know how of if it works but go to 'User CP" in the menu. On the left side of the window is a light green box containing links. Under Miscellaneous there is a "Buddy / Ignore lists.

graz
04-30-2008, 09:24 AM
[QUOTE=Eastwest; Stir in a little bit of racial divisiveness when we thought we had more or less chilled that adequately, and I have to wonder how anyone but a dreamer can be an optimist. But, yes, a certain amount of dreaming is probably necessary to at least counter deliberate self-destruction.

EW[/QUOTE]

Well you have named it correctly. My optimism is really just a waking dream.
Delmore Schwartz: "In dreams begin responsibilities."
Maybe a movement is afoot, perhaps my vote will matter?
Change I can believe in. Fight the power. "There's every possibility that a lot of good things could happen."


And then the reality of your complaints kick in:
Economic devastation,
Loss of US moral standing in international relations,
Inextricably gummy and unwinnable wars,
Rapidly-advancing climate change without means of counteraction,
And, oh yes, the muslim-extremist thing

Damn you for killing my buzz.

January
04-30-2008, 09:27 AM
Thank you, Popcorn! My 75-year-old mother, similarly, hasn't felt this excited since JFK. She and all her friends at her semi-assisted-living facility hang on Obama's every word. She's not upscale, btw, and would be living on social security only if it weren't for help from her kids.

This was a great Diavlog. Both participants offered good reasons for their choices. They did it without being insulting. What a concept!

uncle ebeneezer
04-30-2008, 11:34 AM
EW, fair points. My main point was that for someone who has very interesting points (you) that provoke stimulating consideration, when you throw in a kool-aid comment on almost every thread and dismiss any Obama supporter regardless of their reasons for doing so, and suggest that they are lacking in rational capacity, it somewhat degrades the quality of all the other things you say and makes it much harder to give real consideration for your arguments against the reasons WHY we support Obama.

There is plenty of kool-aid going around on the parts of all three candidacies (and all politics). I'm not supporting Hillary Clinton at this point (though I will in the General if it comes to it) for many of the reasons that Bob Reich mentioned and obviously several other voters out there might feel the same way. That said I can understand why people ARE supporting Hillary. Lowry made some excellent examples. I can even understand people supporting McCain, on some level. Mostly based on reasons that I disagree with, but I don't simply dismiss every thing they say because of the beginning premise that they support McCain.

PS I know you don't dismiss EVERY Obama supporter out-of-hand, and I would hope that there are qualities in Obama that people find attractive in a Prez candidate that even you would admit to and respect. I'm just saying that, this sort of thing, more than insults, is more of what we need within the Dem party. And yes, the Obama supporters (myself included) need to follow this advice as well before McCain gets handed the presidency.

Cheers-- Uncle Eb

popcorn_karate
04-30-2008, 11:55 AM
Thanks January.

I think it is amazing to see hope and passion about politics in my grandmother - It just inspires me to no end and gives me a lot of hope for how i might live my life positively no matter how old i eventually become (hopefully really really old!).

I do see a lot of baby boomers that seem, like Glenn, to be incapable feeling hope for some change in out political institutions. its understandable, in a way, when looking at how the sixties brought us interminable authoritarian republican rule. If i had poured my heart into those times, perhaps i would have a hard time not being cynical, as well.

I just can't support the lesser evil when there is even a small chance that i can support something good. Obama will more than likely disappoint me if he is ever elected. But I have to take the chance.

uncle ebeneezer
04-30-2008, 01:07 PM
I see somewhat of a dichotomy in the eyes of most politically active boomers. They take great pride in the accomplishments of whatever movement they were a part of (anti-war, civil rights, ERA etc.) but they also often have the dismissive cynicism that only comes with age. By the very nature of life, rarely will you ever achieve your goals in their entirety. The world is just too complex. You reach for the sky and although you are almost guaranteed to fall short of the sky, you will land somewhere above where you started. So when boomers diss the Obamabots with the air of "you guys just don't understand...you're heads are in the clouds...etc." there is truth to what they say. Skeptics will often raise the point "do you really think we're ever going to fix ____?" (fill in the blank with any difficult problem that society faces.) But that is not the end of the argument. While the boomers surely failed to achieve countless goals that they hoped for, it was only through pursuing big ideas that they are now able to respectably take credit for the ones that did pan out. I'm sure that many boomers were told by their parents that they would never end the Vietnam War, or help pressure the passage of Civil rights etc. So when someone like Glenn Lowry tries to put the audacity of hope into perspective and shine some political reality on grand expectations of the youth moevements of today, it seems that he is focussing on only one aspect of "change" and forgetting that without a certain amount of politically naive dreamers, many of the achievements that he no doubt prides himself on being a part of, never would have been realized.

To paraphrase, it goes something like "my generation did the impossible, but what you guys are trying to do just ain't gonna happen." And much like youthful ignorance, this attitude seems to me to be more of a function of current life-perspective, rather than having any better or worse handle on "reality." My dad used to tell me sometimes "you can't this understand just yet, but you will when you get older" because some viewpoints only come with life experience. I would submit that there are others that work in the opposite temporal direction ie. "the kids are allright."

graz
04-30-2008, 02:13 PM
[QUOTE=uncle ebeneezer; I would submit that there are others that work in the opposite temporal direction ie. "the kids are allright."[/QUOTE]
"And we won't get fooled again."

uncle ebeneezer
04-30-2008, 02:29 PM
That would be the voice of the elders who already experienced their own teenage wasteland.

Of course the best part of growing older is realizing that mommy's got a squeeze box...ok, enough already.

bjkeefe
04-30-2008, 02:44 PM
uncle eb:

Very well said. Cynicism and diminishing dreams, like arterial plaque and weakening eyesight, are inevitable with age. It's sad, albeit understandable, how we lose our youthful idealism.

January
04-30-2008, 07:56 PM
Thanks!

January
04-30-2008, 08:21 PM
You're right, of course, that some boomers (of whom I am one) pick Clinton over Obama out of cynicism and doubt. But let's not pathologize (too much!) choices that we disagree with, especially in this case. I like Obama and I voted for him in the Texas primary with a smile on my face but our wretched electoral system means that he has to re-cut the victory map and that's going to be very difficult to do. After the Iowa primaries, I kind of kidded myself that I had died and awakened in a different country, but I don't think it has changed all that much. The bubbastanis I grew up with still fear the unusual as much as they ever did. As the wonderful Joe Bageant says in "Deer Hunting with Jesus", most of the rednecks he knows would vote for fascism if it meant cheap gas. The analysis that says that GOP incompetence has softened up swing-state whites just A LITTLE TINY BIT, enough for a Clinton Restoration but no more, doesn't strike me as obviously wrong.

bjkeefe
04-30-2008, 09:15 PM
January:

You're right that I should not pathologize choices that I don't agree with. Still, I have to wonder at a preference for doing the same thing over and over again, when it should be obvious that it's not working. It seems to me that Clinton represents the reason that the Dems keep getting their butts kicked in the presidential arena -- a repeated attempt to be as much like the Republicans as possible. This allows the GOP to move farther to the right, the DLC chases them, and the cycle repeats. The end result is no real attention paid to the little guy, and because there are few substantive policy differences anymore, the country gets bogged down in petty bickering. The end result is no action is taken on important issues, and a pervading lack of interest on the part of half the electorate, especially the yonger members.

While I don't think Clinton would be a disaster on the scale of Bush or McCain, I think she'd be in the same boat as her husband was: two years to try to get things done while the GOP rallies its troops against her, followed by losses in the midterms in Congress, followed by gridlock and/or Clinton signing GOP initiatives and trying to sell them as wins for herself. I think people who still support her have forgotten just how venomous the feelings against her are, and that was before she alienated half the Democratic Party, too.

I think we have a real chance in Obama to create a new mood in this country, and I think we need to grab it while we can. He's not going to solve all problems, but if he can bring the feeling to the country that he has brought to the Democrats, that's how we're really going to make progress. Maybe the GOP will be just as relentless on him when he takes office as they're sure to be on Clinton. But maybe they won't, or more precisely, maybe their leaders' attempts won't work nearly as well. I say he'd be no worse than Clinton, and has a good chance to be a lot better.

Eastwest
04-30-2008, 10:21 PM
uncle eb:

Very well said. Cynicism and diminishing dreams, like arterial plaque and weakening eyesight, are inevitable with age. It's sad, albeit understandable, how we lose our youthful idealism.

This is blatantly "ageist," not necessarily true, is an unjustifiable caricature of the phenomenon, and shows your own analysis to be a function of mere imputation rather than objective observation.

First "pessimism" is not the same as "cynicism" and does not itself necessarily entail "diminishing dreams."

"Pessimism" can just as well be a function of undiminished idealism and undiminished dreams. It's merely a reality-based recognition that, "hope-and-change" rhetoric aside, the present political structure and/or personnel are almost certainly unlikely, using their proposed methods, to realize those ideals or consummate those dreams.

As an admitted pessimist, I'm still really quite open to some set of circumstances and or political personalities and/or enlightened electorate which might realistically be able to bring about "change you can believe in."

I'm just not seeing it (and this is based on reasonable predictions rooted in plenty of experience). This does not mean that either myself or the many others like me are necessarily "cynics" or are necessarily possessed of "diminished dreams."

EW

bjkeefe
04-30-2008, 11:33 PM
EW:

This is blatantly "ageist," ...

Yeah, but I'm old, so I get to say these things.

You're right to point out that I overgeneralized, but I don't think my view, in general, is wrong. And how can you be sure that you're

... still really quite open to some set of circumstances and or political personalities and/or enlightened electorate which might realistically be able to bring about "change you can believe in."

and not just saying that? Isn't it also possible that what you say you're waiting for will never meet your criteria? That what you're really doing, possibly, is clinging to an ideal that will never present as a sure thing, and consequently, refusing to take a chance?

Eastwest
05-01-2008, 12:57 AM
Re "Ageist":
I'm old, so get to say these things.
Non-sequitur. No excuse.

don't think my view's wrong.
More like "won't admit it."

How can you be sure you're not just saying that...., refusing to take a chance?

I'm not "waiting" and am taking the chance, gambling by voting. There are smart gambles and naive gambles. You'll recall, by Reich's own admission, Hillary was Bill's chief advisor, serving as co-president. She's obviously the better candidate, more intelligent, able to do wheeling and dealing required to bring change, and has pretty damn good judgment, and real courage. She doesn't have Barack's glass jaw and fatal negatives against McCain.

Obama has severely disappointed me: That he could sit and listen to that buffoon, Rev. Wright, for more than a few sermons without up-chucking and leaving, proves (on top of his other errors), that the man has no judgment, and is really not all that courageous or bright. (BTW, I listened to whole NAACP & Press Club performances.)

I'm pessimistic about the prognosis, but not cynical. Given Obama can't win, however, to vote for him would itself be a cynical waste of votes (as with Nader), sneering at realities.

EW

ideasism
05-01-2008, 05:51 AM
The anti-war movement has been grassroots since 2003. That Barack Obama is tapping into the movement and not leading top-down is obvious. It's also evident by Obama's campaign fund-raising that much of his support is grassroots. It is not funded by rich friends or family, it is 1.5+ million individuals donating to the campaign. It doesn't get much more grassroots than that. Whatever you may think of Obama, you have to admit that he's run a spectacular campaign. Anyone who thought he would have the delegate lead in the Democratic primary a year ago would have been in the slim minority. That is evidence of vision, talent, and administrative ability. Much more so than Hillary Clinton has shown in her campaign. Nor has Barack made politically expedient panders to the public. That's why I support him. Don't let silly season get the best of you.

ideasism
05-01-2008, 06:10 AM
The alternative voices that have recently emerged in the Comment section is a refreshing change from the Obama Echo Chamber of the recent past.

Echo Chamber replies:

The alternative voices that have recently emerged in teh Comment section is a refreshing change from the Hillary Echo Chamber of the recent past.

Now, wasn't that a worthwhile contribution to dialogue? I'm kind of tired of the Obamabot, Obamaniacs references. Most supporters of political candidates are rational and intelligent. No need to label followers as followers. Unless you're running for office yourself, you're a follower: an obamabot, hillarycrank, McCainiac, whatever... Let's get past the name calling.

On what issues do you think your candidate has a better policy? I'll start: The gas tax refund policy of Hillary and McCain is a simple pander of the worst kind. The new politics that Obama is talking about is making policies that are good for Americans like more investment in alternative energy and raising taxes on oil companies or other industries with negative externalities. It is pushing for policies that are good for Americans -- not American subgroups with lobbyists -- no matter what your social-economic class, and not being a political opportunist to put forth band-aid solutions. That's the change you can believe in.

Eastwest
05-01-2008, 06:30 AM
It doesn't get much more grassroots than that.

Fair enough (if you think Blackberry jockeys are "grassroots").

Actually, I'm glad to see all their enthusiasm. It's a shame they're hitching it to the wrong horse.

HRC leads 10 pts. in a McCain match-up. Obama is dead-heat, even before "the gift that keeps on giving" (Rev. Wright) started giving long-form exposure to his big-mouth, no brains mentality which Obama has been tacitly supporting from the pews for 20 years.

Unfortunately, Obama's tagged with a not entirely invalid charge that his own judgment is questionable.

It's a drag, I admit, but I would encourage folks to steel themselves, go to YouTube and patiently watch all six parts of the NAACP Wright Show, followed by all six parts of the Press Club Wright show. And then don't come back and grouse at the Obama-doubters here, but rather reflect on how many more points that's going to take out of Obama's chances against McCain.

Think about it. I'm not invested in dragging down Obama (although I think he has less intelligence, competence, and experience than HRC), but the fact remains: He can't win. That's the big issue here.

EW

ideasism
05-01-2008, 07:11 AM
Fair enough (if you think Blackberry jockeys are "grassroots").

Actually, I'm glad to see all their enthusiasm. It's a shame they're hitching it to the wrong horse.

HRC leads 10 pts. in a McCain match-up. Obama is dead-heat, even before "the gift that keeps on giving" (Rev. Wright) started giving long-form exposure to his big-mouth, no brains mentality which Obama has been tacitly supporting from the pews for 20 years.

Unfortunately, Obama's tagged with a not entirely invalid charge that his own judgment is questionable.

It's a drag, I admit, but I would encourage folks to steel themselves, go to YouTube and patiently watch all six parts of the NAACP Wright Show, followed by all six parts of the Press Club Wright show. And then don't come back and grouse at the Obama-doubters here, but rather reflect on how many more points that's going to take out of Obama's chances against McCain.

Think about it. I'm not invested in dragging down Obama (although I think he has less intelligence, competence, and experience than HRC), but the fact remains: He can't win. That's the big issue here.

EW

Writing off Obama supporters as "blackberry jockeys" is exactly what we should get away from. How would you characterize Hillary supporters? How about people who donate to Hillary (many of them are at the election contribution constraints so who are really the "blackberry jockeys" as you say?)

I'm not sure where you're getting the 10pts. The polls I see: Obama and McCain are tied, and Hillary and McCain are 47/43. But Hillary has historically had high negatives (42/34 Hillary/Obama negatives), and Obama leads Hillary among Democrats 46/38 still. http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/apr08b_genelec.pdf

The numbers run counter to your judgement that only Hillary can win, but if we play by the rules as laid out by the Democratic Party before the primary season got under way, it is hard to see how Hillary can win the nomination and therefore how she can actually win in November if she's not on the ballot.

Eastwest
05-01-2008, 07:22 AM
I'm not sure where you're getting the 10pts.

You're quoting old data. Here's the 4/28 scoop, via Associated Press. (I pulled it off of Yahoo Headlines):

(AP) WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton now leads John McCain by 9 points in a head-to-head presidential matchup, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll that bolsters her argument that she is more electable than Democratic rival Barack Obama. Obama and Republican McCain are running about even.

The survey released Monday gives the New York senator and former first lady a fresh talking point as she works to raise much-needed campaign cash and persuade pivotal undecided superdelegates to side with her in the drawn-out Democratic primary fight.

Helped by independents, young people and seniors, Clinton gained ground this month in a hypothetical match with Sen. McCain, the GOP nominee-in-waiting. She now leads McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, while Obama remains virtually tied with McCain, 46 percent to 44 percent.

Both Democrats were roughly even with McCain in the previous poll about three weeks ago.

EW

Eastwest
05-01-2008, 07:40 AM
it is hard to see how Hillary can win the nomination and therefore how she can actually win in November if she's not on the ballot.

That's what Super-Ds are for. Additionally, pledged delegates aren't committed. When this rolls into the Convention, it will be clear popular vote belongs to HRC, that the majority of Obama wins were college kids intimidating folks like me in caucus states, and weren't genuine popular vote contests.

Also, there's plenty big stink over Florida and Michigan being ripped off. That tilts in HRC's favor.

And most importantly, it will also be clear Obama is a dead-certain, no-way-can-win against McCain.

Conventions are for choosing whoever can win and rejecting whoever can't, period.

Meanwhile, Barack is running, tail-between-his-legs from even a Lincoln-Douglas one-on-one with HRC, and here's why:

Parts One and Two: http://www.foxnews.com/oreilly/#

Can you imagine Barack being able to dance with sharks as you see HRC doing here with O'Reilly? Never happen. He'd just dissolve into hums, haws, and "hope" platitudes.

And sad fact: If you can't dance with creeps like that, there's no way you can "reach across the aisle" and bring about "change you can believe in."

EW

look
05-01-2008, 08:52 AM
Also, there's plenty big stink over Florida and Michigan being ripped off. That tilts in HRC's favor.
It's mind-boggling that because the Party couldn't get its act together that Joe Voter gets disenfrachised. It seems there must be a way to fast-track this to the Supreme Court, maybe based on breach of trust/contract, or some such.
In a statement, the D.N.C. said the organization was “pleased” because “as two US District Courts in Florida have found, and as the Supreme Court has consistently recognized, national political parties have a constitutionally protected right to manage and conduct their own internal affairs, including the enforcement of delegate selection rules.”
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/court-throws-out-florida-lawsuit/

Parts One and Two: http://www.foxnews.com/oreilly/#
Wow, that's one pink outfit. I like the way she had them come to her in Indiana.

January
05-01-2008, 10:24 AM
Well, I have 52% confidence that you're right about our choices. Down here in one of the few Blue counties in Tammy Wynette country, it's only the meanest ol' geezer on the street, the one who sometimes forgets his meds and shambles out to the corner and flips the bird at every driver he thinks is going too fast who has a Clinton sign. Among all the other Dems I talk to, and all the swing-voters, there's little enthusiasm for putting Monica Lewinski's ex-boyfriend's wife back in the White House.

edbarbar
05-03-2008, 02:23 AM
I agree when Glenn says he doesn't like the Bear Stearns bailout, because it sets the president that large corporations can take risky behavior and coerce the government for the bailout. In essence Glenn is saying subsidizing bad behavior increases the likelihood that people will behave that way.

But when it comes to individuals ensuring they have a retirement, we hear another story. It's the "Income lottery," as if individuals have nothing to do with how they make out in salaries, or how they save. We ought to give them retirement benefits even if they paid nothing into the system.

Why is it that an ailing business is any less worthy than an ailing individual? In both instances, individual choices caused the problem.

And why should we not believe in both instances that subsidizing the bad choices increases their likelihood?

I would expect clearer thinking than this from some big muckety muck ivory tower thinker.

Most of all, though, is that not making the hard decisions pushes the problem to our children. Now our children have to bear the brunt of increased likelihood of their labor being transfered to indigents who could have improved their lives. And the same goes for the corporations. Our compassion or unwillingness to confront the problems we have kicks the snowball down the hill, making it bigger and more formidable.

bjkeefe
05-03-2008, 02:55 AM
edbarbar:

You make good emotional points, but how do you respond to the thought that letting a major corporation fail causes ripple effects, which lead to real pain for millions, as contrasted with the notion of letting an individual "fail?"

Bear in mind that I am on your side. I'm just curious how you would respond to macroeconomic arguments like this.

edbarbar
05-03-2008, 01:33 PM
Perhaps it is important to revisit my point. I'm not an economist, so I have no way to gauge how bad it would have been to let Bear and Stearns collapse, or alternately to not and how those two paths would fare at various points in the future. No one does because of the multitude of factors. My position is that there is no good time for government involvement, which I believe because government involvement steals individual freedoms. The government is like a black hole absorbing individual freedoms, and it continues to get bigger, its appetite larger, and as such is the ultimate evil.

However, the primary thrust of my point is that there aren't any differences between taking money from people to pay for those who haven't been as hard working, made the correct decisions, and even those who have had just bad luck, and bailing out Bear and Stearns. Both are indigent due to whatever reasons. It's a contradiction in Glenn's thinking, and I think a telling one.