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Bloggingheads
05-19-2008, 05:29 PM

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-19-2008, 05:54 PM
Mark Warner is running for the Senate seat of the retiring John Warner (no relation), and is expected to easily win. There's no way he would be the VP nominee.

Big Wayne
05-19-2008, 06:22 PM
Mark Warner is running for the Senate seat of the retiring John Warner (no relation), and is expected to easily win. There's no way he would be the VP nominee.

It would be amazing having two Democratic senators from Virginia.

While Jim Webb would be a fine VP choice, I think it would be a mistake to give up his senate seat and take a chance of handing it back to the Republicans. Same goes for Warner: If he can take that seat, he should. We can find a VP candidate somewhere else.

Big Wayne
05-19-2008, 06:46 PM
Social Security is not going bankrupt. With very minor adjustments it will be viable forever. I'm not surprised Jane knows this. In this respect, she shows the value of the reality-based community: You just can't find people in the MSM who will plainly state the truth that Social Security will be economically viable for as long as we want it to be.

To make the case that Social Security is not viable long term, the right likes to lump Social Security together with Medicare and Medicade, the latter two of which are, in fact, facing a crisis. But Social Security itself is viable until 2053 and then can be made viable for eternity with small adjustments.

Jane is also right, incidentally, that the real motive for reform is the desire of investment bankers to get their hands on my retirement income. There are trillions of dollars at stake, ane Republicans would like nothing so much as to make a gift of it to their friends in the invementment industry. And of course, those bankers would be more than happy to return the favor by recycling some portion of the largess back into the Republican Party in the form of campaign contributions. So, instead of your retirement savings going towards your retirement, it will be expropirated to entrench Republican control of government.

The rest of Amanda's arguments against SS -- "it's my money, it's un-American, Democrats suck" -- can all be boiled down to her telling us that she is cool with widespread homelessness and poverty among the elderly, which we all know is the inevitable and expected result of the elimination of this program. Starving elderly is apparently an aspect of the 3rd world that conservatives are anxious to see here in America.

bjkeefe
05-19-2008, 07:08 PM
Apropos of Amanda's anti-New Deal attitude ( "People should fend for themselves; the government shouldn't take care of them ..."), I had to laugh when she said why we can't leave Iraq: "What? You expect those people just to fend for themselves? We have to take care of them."

Overall, I was pretty amazed at how little Amanda's beliefs have to do with facts; e.g., the SS issue (not really going bankrupt), the earmarks issue (drop in the bucket, relatively speaking), "activist judges" in California (Republican-appointed, upholding existing law), McCain's not a conservative, etc.

Big Wayne
05-19-2008, 07:54 PM
Amanada wanted to make sure we knew she was not a member of the reality-based community. She frankly stated, "I don't know California law, I'm just telling you how it's going to play (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:32:12&out=00:32:16)."

I appreciate the honesty.

"How it's going to play," Amanda assures us (rightly), will be to call the judges "activist" and say the author of the opinion was a "bad judge."

How does she know he's a bad judge if she doesn't know California law?

Simple: By the result of the decision. Good judges reach decisions that conservatives agree with; bad judges do not. The law itself, Amanda has just informed us, is actually irrelevant.

She certainly has cut through a lot of complex legal issues! Hell, we probably don't need all those old law books if it's really this simple. Judgifying is easier than it looks!

Amanda speaks with the confidence of someone who knows that other conservatives will do the heavy lifting for her; that she'll find someone who she can link to who explains why the judges were bad activists.

This wipes out all of the usual conservative pretense about "original intent" and "strict interpretation," and makes it explicit that conservatives are not interesting in judicial process or philosophy, but results. And with admirable honestly, she assures us that you can condemn a decision without even knowing the law behind it.

To be fair, it's not just conservatives who do this. People on both sides imagine that the Constitution (of the state or nation) is a magical document ensuring All Good Things, if only properly interpreted.

Big Wayne
05-19-2008, 08:02 PM
Apropos of Amanda's anti-New Deal attitude ( "People should fend for themselves; the government shouldn't take care of them ..."), I had to laugh when she said why we can't leave Iraq: "What? You expect those people just to fend for themselves? We have to take care of them."
Excellent point. Plus, isn't it just amazingly patronizing how she acts like our victims need us to take care of them after we destroyed their country and unleashed holy hell throughout the land? There are hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced, more deformed, and she reserves for us the special responsibility to take care of the ones who haven't been killed yet.



Overall, I was pretty amazed at how little Amanda's beliefs have to do with facts; e.g., the SS issue (not really going bankrupt), the earmarks issue (drop in the bucket, relatively speaking), "activist judges" in California (Republican-appointed, upholding existing law), McCain's not a conservative, etc.
Right. She apparently won some debate award at some point. I could see the skills on hand in this diavlog as she quickly slipped out of any confrontation with reality, suddenly changing the subject each time she was confronted with inconvenient facts, in a manner reminiscent of David Frum's masterful dodging when repeatedly forced to face reality by Rick Perlstein.

It's funny how the entire foundation of their argument can be blown apart, only to react with a brief, "uh, well" before changing the topic to something completely different. I wish they would stop at some point and just say, "Really? Is that true? Maybe I need to look at that again."

But then, they aren't conservative for no reason; it takes well-honed skills to remain oblivious to reality, and it is those skills we see showcased day after day on BhTV.

Wonderment
05-19-2008, 08:05 PM
For the first time in my adult life, I am proud to be a Californian :)

Now we'll have to see if Obama can deliver on changing federal law, especially where gay and lesbian spouses are discriminated against in Green Card and citizenship eligibility.

bjkeefe
05-19-2008, 08:06 PM
Big Wayne:

... in a manner reminiscent of Eli Lake's masterful dodging ...

You mean David Frum? I don't remember Eli and Rick being paired off.

Big Wayne
05-19-2008, 08:07 PM
Big Wayne:



You mean David Frum? I don't remember Eli and Rick being paired off.

Yep, already caught that on the re-read after posting... But thanks for catching it. David Frum, Eli Lake. Actually pretty similar.

bjkeefe
05-19-2008, 08:07 PM
For the first time in my adult life, I am proud to be a Californian :)

Better watch the flamethrower talk! Else you'll be hearing from cragger.

David Thomson
05-19-2008, 08:10 PM
Many conservatives have been conditioned to believe that any charming "man of color" is simply another innocuous Sidney Poitier. Thankfully, a number of these naive folks are waking up to the harsh reality that Barack "Barry" Obama is a very dangerous man. He is truly a man of the left possessing an agenda to weaken our national defenses and turn our economy into a socialist "paradise." Obama also appears to want the United States to follow the dictates of the so-called international order. John McCain may leave something to be desired---but he is, by far, the lesser of evils. We are going to have to hold our noses and make sure he is elected our next Commander-in-Chief.

Wonderment
05-19-2008, 08:15 PM
David Frum, Eli Lake. Actually pretty similar.

Frum: worse.

Big Wayne
05-19-2008, 08:19 PM
Many conservatives have been conditioned to believe that any charming "man of color" is simply another innocuous Sidney Poitier. Thankfully, a number of these naive folks are waking up to the harsh reality that Barack "Barry" Obama is a very dangerous man. He is truly a man of the left possessing an agenda to weaken our national defenses and turn our economy into a socialist "paradise." Obama also appears to want the United States to follow the dictates of the so-called international order. John McCain may leave something to be desired---but he is, by far, the lesser of evils. We are going to have to hold our noses and make sure he is elected our next Commander-in-Chief.

I thought it was hilarious when EastWest wondered aloud whether David Thomson was a BhTV System Virus. LOL!

bjkeefe
05-19-2008, 08:22 PM
Frum: worse.

Yeah, I'm with Wonderment on this one. I often disagree with Eli, but his positions are well-thought out, at least here on BH.tv, and he sticks up for them rather than trying to duck out of them. I also salute him for having modified his views in certain areas.

Frum, by contrast, is more of hack. Just listened to him on KCRW's "Left, Right, and Center" from this past Friday. About the only thing I can say in his favor is that he wasn't quite as oily as the regular who he was filling in for: Tony Blankley.

BW: Sorry I jumped in to correct you too soon on the Lake/Frum thing.

StillmanThomas
05-19-2008, 08:44 PM
To me, Amanda's off-the-cuff remark here (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:27:29&out=00:27:40) perfectly captures the insanity of today's Republican Party. I find it eerily reminiscent of Barry Goldwater's statement from 1964, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." Goldwater lost to LBJ that year; the margin was 61% to 38%, one of the widest in American history. I'm hoping for a similar Republican disaster this year, in the hope that it will bring them back to their senses. We always need a viable opposition party, but today's Republicans are so disconnected from reality, so out of the American mainstream, that it's truly frightening.

Big Wayne
05-19-2008, 08:46 PM
Yeah, I'm with Wonderment on this one. I often disagree with Eli, but his positions are well-thought out, at least here on BH.tv, and he sticks up for them rather than trying to duck out of them. I also salute him for having modified his views in certain areas.
Yeah, you guys are right: I mean they are similar in some ways, particularly the neo-con advocacy. But I think the rest of the distinctions you draw are valid. Eli seems like a nice guy. It was cool that he gave you a shoutout in the last diavlog.

AemJeff
05-20-2008, 02:24 AM
...Amanda's arguments against SS -- "it's my money, it's un-American[]"

That struck me as one of the weakest things I've ever heard a diavlogger assert on BHTV. The "un-American" epithet is something true-believers trot out when they don't have any real arguments. Actually trying it out in a public discussion with somebody of Hamsher's quality is not exactly what I'd interpret as indication of particular depth of thought. I like to see Hamsher paired with partisans from the other side, but a stronger matchup than Carpenter must be available.

Eastwest
05-20-2008, 03:09 AM
I like to see Hamsher paired with partisans from the other side, but a stronger matchup than Carpenter must be available.

Agreed. Carpenter's thought, especially on the Social Security issue, is a surreal quintessance of greed-head ego-centrism. She can talk, but there's no evidence she can think beyond the boundaries of her own wallet. Really sad. So childish.

Hamsher did a pretty decent job of taking Carpenter to school on "What it means to be an American" here (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=21:26&out=00:22:02). I would simply amend Jane's final words from "a separate opinion" to "a stupid, selfish, indefensible, shameless opinion." (There but for fortune ....)

Particularly liked Jane's: "We're not living in some barbaric Stone-Age movie!"

I think Carpenter should be sentenced to 1000 hours of community service doing "Meals on Wheels" for Social-Security shut-in retirees for being so clueless as to think and talk like that.

EW

Utahvoice
05-20-2008, 04:15 AM
Its a shame, but Amanda just doesn't seem to be a particularly bright light in the conservative blogosphere. Her debate style is deflective and full of received and undigested ideas. That she might have been an adequate debater speaks her attractiveness and self assurance, cover her modest command of her ideas. Blogging heads is one of my favorite sites, but really it does occasionally ask people to the party who are not ready for prime time. Of course this is shown most notably in her teenage defense of her opinion on American ideas about society and civilization. Ignorance in defense of adolescence is no virtue. I can go to a bar to get this level of thoughtlessness.

Eastwest
05-20-2008, 06:18 AM
Ignorance in defense of adolescence is no virtue. I can go to a bar to get this level of thoughtlessness.

Wow. Deadly.

Says it all right there.

EW

harkin
05-20-2008, 07:56 AM
In 1950, there were 10 workers contributing to the social security fund for every benificiary. Today there are 3 workers per bene and when the baby boom retirement is in full swing there will be around 2.1

Jane - meet math.

And to those who will say worker productivity and immigration will keep us treading water and the fund solvent (look to Europe to see our socialist future), careful! You'll be arguing for immigration of skilled workers and secure borders and that will decrease dem voter registrations (as well as social service handouts)!

And Jane, when you say this is a country that takes care of poor people...please also acknowledge that the dems are a party that perpetuates poverty through it's failed Great Society policies. This is a country that was made great by allowing people to take care of themselves.....THOSE people have to be a vast majority for charity and welfare for those who truly are unable to take care of themselves to ever work. The dems long ago signed off on a cycle of broken homes and excuses for failure in order to buy votes.

Have to agree on Amanda's weakness.....if you want to expose the faults of FDR and the New Deal you best get someone with the facts to back it up like Amity Shlaes.

harkin
05-20-2008, 08:09 AM
For the first time in my adult life, I am proud to be a Californian.

Ha - Michelle Obama-style self-absorption & shallowness has reached BHs!

Too bad California didn't bomb Ft Lee and the Pentagon during Viet Nam, Wment could have been proud long ago.

Big Wayne
05-20-2008, 08:25 AM
Carpenter's thought, especially on the Social Security issue, is a surreal quintessance of greed-head ego-centrism.
At least she was honest about her motives, sneering that she was under no obligation to take care of "those people (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:21:04&out=00:21:08)" until they die off (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:21:19&out=00:21:27). She ended the segment with a frank admission of her own heartlessness (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:22:36&out=00:22:38). This is a big improvement over the typical, dishonest conservative, who pretend their real motive is to improve the system.

I thought it was interesting that she tagged FDR as probably the worst president ever. It's interesting what presidents have to do to achieve that label on the left and the right. The left will tag you as the worst president ever if, like Bush, you shred the Constitution and slaughter countless souls overseas. The right will tag you as the worst president if provide the elderly with a small but important hedge against homelessness, starvation, and early death.

Another amusing comment she made was that Republicans lost the midterm elections because they weren't conservative enough (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:18:28&out=00:18:35). Yeah. Sure.

ed fielding
05-20-2008, 08:26 AM
Jane is such a pleasure, such a graceful, generous, acute mind. (And, sure, beautiful.)
Delighted with Jane’s warm and generous mother trying to reassure the re-faced little girl having a tantrum about My! Me! Mine! And perhaps particularly, correcting Amanda about what being American means. Truly choice, and likely to become an emblematic anecdote in my repertoire.

harkin
05-20-2008, 08:36 AM
Jane is such a pleasure, such a graceful, generous, acute mind.

Her grace can never really be quantified. I mean she's almost angelic.

Hamsher kicked off Lamont team for blackface post at Huffington (http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/3407/hamsherblackfacesd8.jpg)

Big Wayne
05-20-2008, 08:38 AM
In 1950, there were 10 workers contributing to the social security fund for every beneficiary. Today there are 3 workers per bene and when the baby boom retirement is in full swing there will be around 2.1

Jane - meet math.
I know you won't take my word for it, especially since I'm leaving shortly and won't be here to follow up on this discussion, but trust me, SS is not going bankrupt.

Why would solvency require more people paying in that receiving? This is a myth. If this were true, no 401(k) would be solvent. My 401K doesn't have multiple payers and no one frets that I won't have enough to retire with it. By what strange logic is SS uniquely dependent on a high ratio of people paying in vs. people paying out?

This has been studied and examined from every angle, and the program is solvent as is for decades into the future, and can be made viable for the rest of time with only minor adjustments, such as increasing the cap by a few thousand dollars (as Obama has proposed).

Under the current system, over 99% of money paid in is paid back to retirees or other beneficiaries. Under the private plans sponsored by Republicans , anywhere from 25% - 44% would be siphoned off to profit investment bankers. The worst private plan in the world is Chile's, under which almost half of the money paid into the system goes to administrative overhead and profit for the private interests that manage the system. The Chile system was the one that most closely resembled the Bush plan.

It's nothing more than a plan to screw Americans while enriching a small number of Republicans.

The simple fact is that SS is the most successful social program in human history. There are tens of millions of people whose lives were extended and improved by this program. If you are hell bent on destroying this program, you do so with the knowledge that you will be creating widespread poverty and homelessness among society's most vulnerable citizens.

78% of African Americans over 65 depend on Social Security for half or more of their income.

53% of African Americans depend on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

Social Security constitutes more than half of the incomes of nearly two-thirds of retired Americans. For one in five, it is their only income.


Apologies for the sloppy and poorly organized post, but I am late for my next appointment. :)

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 08:42 AM
Further evidence that right-wingers have no sense of humor:

Ha - Michelle Obama-style self-absorption & shallowness has reached BHs!

harkin
05-20-2008, 08:49 AM
I guess this is the first time I've seen anyone cite a laugh as evidence of a lack of humor.

Was I supposed to laugh when Wonderment thanked the Weather Underground for bombing in the US (he never acknowledged my citing other WU members for saying the bombings and violence actually hurt the anti-war movement)? I guess all that mattered was that Bob swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

Heck, I never catch any of those sophisticated jokes.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 08:51 AM
I guess this is the first time I've seen anyone cite a laugh as evidence of a lack of humor.

You didn't laugh, except with delight, when you happened upon a point you thought you could use as an excuse to repeat an attack talking point.

harkin
05-20-2008, 08:53 AM
B Wayne - I appreciate your thoughtful reply but you seem to mischaracterize my intent. I don't want to 'destroy' SS, I want to lower the amount of people who are dependent on it. The reason that

78% of African Americans over 65 depend on Social Security for half or more of their income.

53% of African Americans depend on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

is exactly because they are the victims of 'you can't help yourself' policies foisted on them in return for votes.


Please continue the discussion in your own time.

AemJeff
05-20-2008, 09:34 AM
B Wayne - I appreciate your thoughtful reply but you seem to mischaracterize my intent. I don't want to 'destroy' SS, I want to lower the amount of people who are dependent on it. The reason that



is exactly because they are the victims of 'you can't help yourself' policies foisted on them in return for votes.


Please continue the discussion in your own time.

You'll need to document that causal link. One thing is definitely true: One hundred percent of people dependent on SS were not dependent on it before it existed. The alternatives, previous to the institution of the fund, could be pretty grim. By any metric I can think of, life in the US since the New Deal is better for everyone, but most particularly for those with the least.

Incompetence Dodger
05-20-2008, 10:32 AM
Well, in fairness to Amanda, I thought it was a decent enough diavlog up until the Social Security discussion (although she went badly off the rails from that point on). In fact, earlier in the diavlog Jane praised Amanda for, in essence, not being a hack (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:15:23&out=15:32). Ironic in light of the unfortunate last 15 minutes or so.

But before all that, Amanda said something that I think is really important (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:16:05&out=16:50), and that I rarely hear expressed on either the right or the left. In fact I wish Jane had followed the thread of what Amanda was saying more sincerely, rather than immediately try to use Amanda's words as a cudgel. That just caused Amanda to try to walk it back, but TOO LATE--NO BACKSIES! I agree that the government seems to function best when the Democrats are running things and the Republicans are a strong minority acting as a brake. Over the past seven years, Republicans have proven conclusively their theory that government simply does not work (when they run it), and in the past 15 months, the Democrats have not exactly done a bang-up job as the brake on the system (not that I'm drawing an equivalence, the former's sins of commission have been far, far worse that the latter's sins of omission).

What I'm about to say may be surprising since up until now I've been pretty much a down-the-line partisan Democrat in this forum, but I really hope the Republicans get as big a thumping as possible this November, but not because I'm itching to go off on the bully like Ralphy at end of A Christmas Story (well, OK maybe a little. OK maybe a lot, but not just for that reason). Rather, I really think the Republicans desperately need to regroup, and in a hammer-and-tongs way, not a "re-branding" way, and I think fastest way for that to happen is for them to get trounced so badly that they have essentially no hope of getting into power for an election cycle or two. That will allow them to go into drydock, make the necessary repairs without worrying at the same time about "floating the boat", purge themselves of the maniacs and mouth-breathers, and come back to take what I consider is their proper place in the system.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want gridlock either, particularly with the countless messes the Bush Administration is going to have saddled the country with. But I really would like to see a strong Republican minority exerting a certain amount of resistance. It's better for the Democratic party to have a proper sparring partner, and more importantly its better for the proper functioning of the government in general.

I'm sure that sounds condescending if you are a partisan Republican and you assume that I'm not saying this in good faith. I'm also aware that my prescription is more than a bit self-serving ("it really is for the best for all concerned if you get completely wiped out in the fall"). If the shoe were on the other foot (and it has been all too often), I wouldn't want your damn pity either. All I can say is that I'm being completely sincere.

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-20-2008, 10:47 AM
The diavloggers are new (I believe Jane's had one prior appearance, whereas this was Amanda's first time), so they deserve a little slack. Nonetheless, this diavlog was very disappointing, in significant part because the participants were so unprepared. Amanda's a political reporter, how can she not be prepared to talk about lobbyists working on McCain's campaign -- a subject that has received significant attention from left-wing bloggers and media figures (e.g., Keith Olbermann)? Likewise, when Jane and Amanda discussed Mark Warner as a possible running mate for Obama, they both seemed to be completely ignorant of the fact that he is currently running for retiring Virginia Senator John Warner's seat, a race he is expected to easily win.

The discussion was almost entirely superficial and fact-free. After listening to the diavlog, I have a good idea how the participants feel about an issue, but I haven't learned anything more about the topic. Honestly, I think almost any two posters on this messageboard could have done at least as well in a diavlog.

If Jane and Amanda are interested in doing another diavlog, I really hope they don't just wing it. Maybe they could get some pointers by watching some of the diavlogs of Bill Scher and Conn Carrol -- two diavloggers who don't have any special expertise, but nonetheless have interesting and substantive discussions because they read a lot in preparation for their diavlogs.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 11:18 AM
... (I believe Jane's had one prior appearance, whereas this was Amanda's first time)

For the record, it was Amanda's second, too. She appeared before, with Bill Scher (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10503).

I thought she did a better job the first time, fwiw.

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-20-2008, 11:30 AM
Rather, I really think the Republicans desperately need to regroup, and in a hammer-and-tongs way, not a "re-branding" way, and I think fastest way for that to happen is for them to get trounced so badly that they have essentially no hope of getting into power for an election cycle or two. That will allow them to go into drydock, make the necessary repairs without worrying at the same time about "floating the boat", purge themselves of the maniacs and mouth-breathers, and come back to take what I consider is their proper place in the system.

Speaking as a conservative, I at least somewhat agree with you. There are probably an equal number of knuckleheads in both parties, but unfortunately, many of the loudest and most influential seem to be Republicans at present (yeah, Keith Olbermann is just as big a dolt as Sean Hannity, but Hannity has a bigger TV and radio audience). One of the good things that may result from an Obama presidency is the raising of the level of intellectual discourse in politics. Obama's too liberal for me to support, but I'm impressed with his willingness to discuss issues in a serious and high-browed manner. If Obama's style proves appealing to the public, I suspect (hope?) that we will see Republicans moving away from platitudes and more towards substantive arguments.

JLF
05-20-2008, 11:39 AM
No one is Libertarian/Conservative if they lack advantages in the system. No one without inherited wealth or a skill that produces wealth would think fair a system that keeps him at or near minimum wage while his work product produces multiples of wealth for another. Ann Richards nailed it for all Libertarian/Conservatives when she accused George H.W. Bush of being born on third base and thinking he hit a triple.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 11:39 AM
Elvis:

What this country needs is more conservatives like you.

cragger
05-20-2008, 12:22 PM
Hush, you'll ruin it. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

bkjazfan
05-20-2008, 01:16 PM
I don't purport to be an expert in federal government financial matters, but didn't the former chief accountant of the U.S., David Walker (sorry, forgot his title), make the case that all the big ticket entitlements are in bad shape come 20 years or so down the road?

John

thouartgob
05-20-2008, 02:57 PM
1 to 5 years for the senator, not knowing how advanced it is. Likely this will be the final presidential election for the elder statesmen, so will this soften up clinton in the final weeks ?? Will this make a harmonious convention more likely ??

Will the clintons be tempted try on the mantle of the kennedys ( influence and a powerful name but not the power they might have liked ) since they are as close to the kennedys ( from the Democratic side of things ) as we have seen ??

Wonderment
05-20-2008, 03:59 PM
Was I supposed to laugh when Wonderment thanked the Weather Underground for bombing in the US ...

I didn't thank the Weather Underground for bombing anything. I oppose bombs, whoever throws or drops them.

I thanked Bill Ayers for his service to our country as a NONVIOLENT antiwar activist who opposed the atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by the Johnson and Nixon administrations.

Please refrain from making up stories about me.

Eastwest
05-20-2008, 04:26 PM
1 to 5 years for the senator, not knowing how advanced it is.

So Kennedy has a brain tumor, huh?

At last: This explains why he endorsed Obama. Clearly a case of impaired mental function.

(Regarding your Clinton concerns, can't imagine the Clintons will be anything but courteous, kind, and deferential given the tragic diagnosis, but, honestly, I suspect they haven't the least interest in any sort of Kennedy dynastic connections or analogous perceptions of themselves as that rhetoric is more often than not just used as yet another means to smear them.)

EW

handle
05-20-2008, 04:36 PM
Many conservatives have been conditioned to believe that any charming "man of color" is simply another innocuous Sidney Poitier. Thankfully, a number of these naive folks are waking up to the harsh reality that Barack "Barry" Obama is a very dangerous man. He is truly a man of the left possessing an agenda to weaken our national defenses and turn our economy into a socialist "paradise." Obama also appears to want the United States to follow the dictates of the so-called international order. John McCain may leave something to be desired---but he is, by far, the lesser of evils. We are going to have to hold our noses and make sure he is elected our next Commander-in-Chief.

Yes that's the problem! Too many conservatives didn't see the big bad lefty till it was too late! On account of he had nice pigmentation!

That post makes me think that the FOX community has become a bubble that has left their loyal base with the false belief that most people are still siding with the far right, in spite of the the obvious thumbs down from most of the county. This might just break the elephant's back.
The fact is, in spite of the dems unfortunate left bent, the the pubs are still embracing what they don't seem to realize is an extremely right wing stance,
which has now been very badly stained by a group who wore a conservative
coat while doing very radical things, and spending money like... well you know. Go ahead ask me to list them, are ya feeling lucky? Make my day. (even with gun control I can still own a smith & wesson)
Maybe the yellow journalism machine is about to backfire! Sweet...

handle
05-20-2008, 04:50 PM
Elvis:

What this country needs is more conservatives like you.

I agree, and as I posted earlier, I think the Fox news type media is making things worse for actual conservatives by creating a right spinning feedback loop that probably has more people exiting the ride every day. I don't agree with the far left, either. It is frustrating to be caught in the middle of a divergent culture, because one can only appear negative, having to criticize both camps.

P.S. I guess the big tragedy is the move away from common sense.

uncle ebeneezer
05-20-2008, 05:32 PM
Or one could say...

"Even a guy with a brain tumor could see that Hillary was not the best choice" :-)

Sad news about Kennedy. That's gotta suck.

kausation
05-20-2008, 06:16 PM
Interesting point regarding Obama's appeal to evangelicals (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11177?in=00:09:50). Besides Obama's ease discussing religion as compared to McCain, I notice that Obama's campaign has a definite pseudo-evangelical tone. Will he play this up in the general election? Would that cost him among Democrats or independents?

I could easily imagine a large movement of evangelicals to Obama. Perhaps not in West Virginia, but I think he has an appeal to the religious in the Pacific Northwest. Is this just a NW thing, or does anyone see this in other regions? Of course, the bitter pill is Obama's abortion position, but might he pivot on that (as in, leaving the decision to the states, or banning partial-birth abortions)? I would gamble that the gains of such a pivot outweigh the losses among the right-to-choose crowd. Or would it?

Eastwest
05-20-2008, 06:44 PM
Or one could say...

"Even a guy with a brain tumor could see that Hillary was not the best choice" :-)

Sad news about Kennedy. That's gotta suck.

Well, I hope you're right and I'm wrong and that we won't have yet another Republican president just now.

EW

(PS: It would be nice if the Obamaphiles could get past their need to demonize Clinton, temporarily keeping her around as insurance in case Obama's serious problems overcome him before the convention.

Also, it would be nice if he could get past being pussy-whipped by his Hillary-hating wife enough to give Hillary a genuinely useful position in his campaign and his cabinet, say, as "Health Czar," not least because her Health Plan is genuinely universal whereas his is clearly not.

I doubt any such thing will occur, though, as I don't think he's got the intelligence, magnanimity, or cojones for such a bold move.)

EW

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 07:01 PM
EW:

(PS: It would be nice if the Obamaphiles could get past their need to demonize Clinton, temporarily keeping her around as insurance in case Obama's serious problems overcome him before the convention.

This Obamaphile feels that (a) he has not demonized her in weeks (b) she does plenty of self-demonizing (c) she should stay active until the last primary and then drop out gracefully (d) should something untoward happen to Obama, her dropping out does not mean she isn't "kept around." She could always come back, if need be.

Also, it would be nice if he could get past being pussy-whipped by his Hillary-hating wife enough to give Hillary a genuinely useful position in his campaign and his cabinet, say, as "Health Czar," not least because her Health Plan is genuinely universal whereas his is clearly not.

I doubt any such thing will occur, though, as I don't think he's got the intelligence, magnanimity, or cojones for such a bold move.)

First, I think you're suffering from overexposure to kidneystones and DT. Don't see why you need to bring the potty mouth, especially after you just got through criticizing others' speech.

To your point about giving her a useful job, particularly as regards health care, it seems to me that she'd have more clout in the Senate. I do not think it would be good for the Obama Administration to have her in the Executive Branch, because I think she (and Bill) would not be able to play second fiddle and stay in tune. I worry that they would be undermining Obama through back channel communications. So, it's not so much a lack of courage or magnanimity at work here. It's smart executive-izing.

Wonderment
05-20-2008, 07:05 PM
....it would be nice if he could get past being pussy-whipped by his Hillary-hating wife

Interesting way of supporting Sen. Clinton -- with misogynistic language about male (cojones) and female genitalia.

harkin
05-20-2008, 07:13 PM
Extremely sad news about Edward Kennedy, a US Senator who I disagree with very often.

With that being said, any posts regarding his tumor in relation to his political (or any other) decisions are despicable.

Best wishes Teddy.

uncle ebeneezer
05-20-2008, 07:16 PM
God, is anyone else being driven crazy (in a bad way) by Amanda's exageratted laugh (at her lame jokes)? It brings me back to a time when I tried to date a conservative, church-going (but really cute) girl and sat through the most miserable 3 hours of her trying to prove to me how "crazy" (or normal) she was.

On SS, Jane mopped the floor with Amanda.

PS sorry Bob, I know we're not supposed to post shallow criticisms but we all reach a breaking point.

handle
05-20-2008, 07:18 PM
John McCain may leave something to be desired---but he is, by far, the lesser of evils. We are going to have to hold our noses and make sure he is elected our next Commander-in-Chief.

Substitute the "McCain" for "Kerry" and you have the exact Dem sentiment from '04! A real loser of a strategy... holding your nose.
You give me great hope!

harkin
05-20-2008, 07:36 PM
Please refrain from making up stories about me.

Calling yourself a pacifist as you celebrate an organization bent on violent overthrow didn't float then and it doesnt now.

As I recall you thanked the Weather Underground for helping end the Viet Nam war. Any thinking person would agree that the Weather Underground's biggest influence was in its acts of violence. You ignored my quotes from fellow WU members saying the violence had the opposite effect, which in effect means you actually should condemn Ayers for in reality hurting the movement you claim to have supported.

And you also said

......there is a case to be made that taking up arms against such a regime [US] is justified.

I'll let the matter stand. Ayers was a terrorist and the fact that his level of violence never reached Osama Bin Laden's takes nothing away from his despicable acts. I'm assuming it was only his WU colleagues being blown to bits that finally had him begin to realize the consequences of his incredibly stupid acts....Although with his stomping on the flag as recently as last year and his plan to turn US schoolchildren into little Che Guevaras.....he has a long way to go.

graz
05-20-2008, 07:39 PM
God, is anyone else being driven crazy (in a bad way) by Amanda's exageratted laugh (at her lame jokes)? It brings me back to a time when I tried to date a conservative, church-going (but really cute) girl and sat through the most miserable 3 hours of her trying to prove to me how "crazy" (or normal) she was.



I feel your pain bro'
My completely subjective and "shallow," if you will, take is that she is trying to hard. Did she make a good effort? Points for trying... not successful in my book.

harkin
05-20-2008, 08:03 PM
You'll need to document that causal link. One thing is definitely true: One hundred percent of people dependent on SS were not dependent on it before it existed. The alternatives, previous to the institution of the fund, could be pretty grim. By any metric I can think of, life in the US since the New Deal is better for everyone, but most particularly for those with the least.

If you'll look above you'll see I was quoting B Wayne's own post.

Here's another:

The simple fact is that SS is the most successful social program in human history. There are tens of millions of people whose lives were extended and improved by this program. If you are hell bent on destroying this program, you do so with the knowledge that you will be creating widespread poverty and homelessness among society's most vulnerable citizens.

According to Big Wayne, Social Security is 'the most successful social program in human history' because so many people are dependant on it. He also compares a 401k, a plan where you are investing funds, with a program that never invests (other than the overflow treasury bonds) but makes today's workers pay a much bigger percentage of their pay for today's retirees than those retirees did themselves. That is the exact opposite of a 401k.

From The Cato Institute (http://www.socialsecurity.org/pubs/articles/tanner-050114.html):

In 1950, there were 16 workers paying taxes into the system for every retiree who was taking benefits out of it. Today, there are a little more than three. By the time the baby boomers retire, there will be just two workers who will have to pay all the taxes to support every one retiree.

Fewer workers for more retirees mean each worker bears an increasing financial burden to pay the benefits that Social Security has promised. The original Social Security tax was just 2 percent on the first $3,000 that a worker earned, a maximum tax of $60 per year. By 1960, payroll taxes had risen to 6 percent. Today's workers pay a payroll tax of 12.4 percent.

It is going to get much worse. In order to continuing funding retiree benefits, the payroll tax will have to be raised to more than 18 percent. That's nearly a 50 percent increase.

Let's look at that financial burden another way. The Social Security payroll tax is already 12.4 percent of wages, or one eighth of a worker's total annual wages. It is the biggest tax the average household must pay. Roughly 80 percent of American families pay more in Social Security taxes than they do in federal income taxes.


To call this 'pay as you go' Ponzi scheme the most successful social program of all time completely ignores the trouble ahead.


And it would be nice to get past the thought process that supposes that all conservatives are rich people who want all poor and sick persons to just die and go away. 99% of conservatives would have no problem with welfare, medicare and social security if they were being implemented in the way they were originally intended, a security blanket for those most in need, instead of an ever-growing entitlement program to buy votes.

AemJeff
05-20-2008, 10:07 PM
Extremely sad news about Edward Kennedy, a US Senator who I disagree with very often.

With that being said, any posts regarding his tumor in relation to his political (or any other) decisions are despicable.

Best wishes Teddy.

I often stand opposed to harkin. This post is dead on.

AemJeff
05-20-2008, 10:31 PM
I don't want to broaden this into a discussion of other entitlements, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. What I'm trying to get from you is a sense for what harm you see SS creating. I understand the "taxation is bad" part of the argument, but I'm interested in this part:

The reason that

78% of African Americans over 65 depend on Social Security for half or more of their income.
53% of African Americans depend on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

is exactly because they are the victims of 'you can't help yourself' policies foisted on them in return for votes.

I think, if you look at economic circumstances of black Americans before and after the New Deal, and continuing after major civil rights reforms - it would be hard to argue that these liberal programs have done anything but improve their lot in life. It's not exactly a slam dunk case that the continued existence of inequities can be blamed on the liberal social project generally and certainly not on SS.

Big Wayne
05-20-2008, 11:15 PM
B Wayne - I appreciate your thoughtful reply but you seem to mischaracterize my intent. I don't want to 'destroy' SS, I want to lower the amount of people who are dependent on it. The reason that



is exactly because they are the victims of 'you can't help yourself' policies foisted on them in return for votes.
I'm afraid I don't believe that, and you certainly can't prove it. It's just conservative dogma, a sort of founding tenet that has no empirical foundation.

Furthermore, you attach shame and "dependency" and an inability to help oneself to collecting Social Security benefits. But the overwhelming majority of those people spent a lifetime paying into the system.

Paying into the system is helping yourself.

And besides: Why is it so inherently shameful and wrong to pay into Social Security during your working lifetime and then take payments out of it in retirement?

Big Wayne
05-20-2008, 11:32 PM
According to Big Wayne, Social Security is 'the most successful social program in human history' because so many people are dependant on it.
This not what I said. You're putting words in my mouth.

The CATO sources are not credible. They would concoct a rationale to oppose any government program whether it was efficient and effective or not. It's a libertarian organization committed to free market solutions to every problem.

cragger
05-20-2008, 11:36 PM
Social Security isn't really a security blanket for those in need, such as welfare. It is a contributory retirement program into which nearly everyone who works has paid for their entire working life. However one wants to spin the statistics to support their point, as a program SS has accumulated a surplus (on paper) that will not be dissapated for another 40 years or so even absent any tweaks to the current rules. A 70-80 year old program that still has a surplus in a government that has run up 9 trillion dollars in debt is pretty outstanding.

The Ponzi aspect you suggest simply reflects the corruption and moral bankruptcy of both parties of our political class who long ago decided that any cookie jar was there to be raided. Anyone who questions whether the government can or should be trusted to run something as simple as a portable retirement program would reasonably be led to question whether they can or should be trusted to handle anything at all, from a legal system to foreign policy to a lemonade stand.

Eastwest
05-20-2008, 11:58 PM
Extremely sad news about Edward Kennedy, a US Senator who I disagree with very often.

With that being said, any posts regarding his tumor in relation to his political (or any other) decisions are despicable.

Best wishes Teddy.

Actually, being a fairly straight-ahead Democrat, I agree with Kennedy most of the time, just not on the particularly issue of the proposed 2008 nominee.

As for this "dispicable" allegation, gad, you folks really have no sense of humor at all. My "crack" would be recognized, I suspect, by most neutral observers as obviously a joke, plain and simple.

You're just engaging in self-righteous preening.

Of course it's sad for Kennedy and for his entire family, given the seemingly endless string of tragedies they seem to encounter. That said, the guy's not quite 80 years old, and so I just don't see this as a cause for histrionics over some smart-ass blogger cracking a joke.

EW

Eastwest
05-21-2008, 12:06 AM
Interesting way of supporting Sen. Clinton -- with misogynistic language about male (cojones) and female genitalia.

Actually, I kind of liked Carville's take (and this was on TV, if I recall correctly): "Hillary could give Obama one of hers and then they'd both have two." (Slight paraphrase.)

BTW, as for your inference that I'm "supporting Sen. Clinton, although I've held all along that HRC was the better of two bad, "exotic" options, I don't "support" either her or Obama. I think they are both, in many respects "unfortunate" choices.

That said, among the three, McCain is clearly the worst. Although the pretentiousness and arrogance of many of the Obamaphiles really would make their repudiation even in the General somehow fitting, neither I nor anyone else deserves the fallout of a McCain presidency. So, I won't be voting "for" anyone, merely "against" McCain.

EW

Eastwest
05-21-2008, 12:17 AM
EW:
he has not demonized her in weeks....

Please read more carefully. I was referring not to Obama, but rather to his minions.

Don't see why you need to bring the potty mouth, especially after you just got through criticizing others' speech.

That was just colloquial speech. Even Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has used "cojones" in on-the-record pronouncements to the press.

As for "p-whipped," it's "edgy" sure, at least in the context of a convent. Didn't realize you all were so pure that this rather common colloquilism referring to wimps like Obama with angry, domineering wives like Michelle would so offend your snow-pure consciousness that it would be considered scandalous.

Who do you think you're kidding, BJ? What hypocrisy.

EW

bjkeefe
05-21-2008, 07:59 AM
EW:

Please read more carefully. I was referring not to Obama, but rather to his minions.

When I said

This Obamaphile feels that (a) he has not demonized her in weeks ...

I was referring to myself. Pardon the obfuscation stemming the third-person voice.

Who do you think you're kidding, BJ? What hypocrisy.

I don't think I'm kidding anyone. I was merely registering distaste at your use of language. I don't think baseless insults do anything to further your argument or the discourse, and I think they contributes negatively to the overall tone of these forums. I note

As for "p-whipped," it's "edgy" sure, ...

that you did not feel comfortable spelling out the term the second time around.

As for the purported edginess, it seems to me that you're just using vitriol in place of any sort of a substantive argument. We get that you don't like Obama, okay? Talking like a frustrated teenager is not going to bring anyone into your camp. All it's doing is driving people away from participating in these forums.

I also don't see why it's hypocritical for me to object to this, since I don't use such terms, especially not in lieu of a larger point. I don't have a blanket objection to profanity, obscenity, or vulgarity, but as with all words, they should be used judiciously.

uncle ebeneezer
05-21-2008, 12:03 PM
EW, FWIW I didn't find your joke all that objectionable, but I did find it quite predictable. As soon as I heard the news of Kennedy I thought "I give it an hour before EW makes a crack relating this to Kennedy's endorsement of Obama" and you surprised me by only waiting about 10 minutes. Must be the Faster-Feiler age we live in.

I'm done arguing about Obama/Hillary. The writing's on the wall, the contest (barring an extreme surprise) has run it's course. I'm ready to fight the real enemy (McCain.)

I think Hillary will be a valuable ally for Obama should he be our next President. Not sure if she should be a part of his administration per se, for several reasons. But either way, she is poised to be a VERY influential leader in the Democratic Party.

PS- "Pussy-whipped" doesn't bother me at all. Though I would disagree with your characterizations of Obama (as usual.)

piscivorous
05-21-2008, 12:22 PM
Isn't it somewhat of a problem when one, in general, a mere political opponent as an "enemy." It tends debase the word enemy, of any real value, such that it becomes hard to tell who is really an enemy. en·e·my (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/enemy?r=75)
–noun
1. a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent.
2. an armed foe; an opposing military force: The army attacked the enemy at dawn.
3. a hostile nation or state.
4. a citizen of such a state.
... Is it any wonder dialog is hard to come by when such absurd definition is generally thrown about?

Eastwest
05-21-2008, 12:27 PM
EW, FWIW I didn't find your joke all that objectionable

Thanks for being so normally common-sensical. I noticed you "got it" right off with the earlier post.

I too am not particularly interested in beating the dead horse vis-a-vis pushing for any particular result in the nominee horse race. It's really more like an amusing movie.

I plead guilty on being both pessimistic and sarcastic. BJ's tendency to see vitriol in my posts is just his own imputation. I've watched too many elections to make the mistake of genuinely caring about these kinds of things. (Cheap entertainment is the game for me.)

BTW, for the record, I never use any of the "seven dirty words" or the three "auxiliary words" (for which, see Wikipedia) in any of my posts, and figure, beyond that, anything goes.

As I've said repeatedly before, I'd love to be proven completely and utterly wrong about Obama. If he can get elected, he'll sure have his work cut out for him.

Cheers,
EW

AemJeff
05-21-2008, 12:30 PM
Isn't it somewhat of a problem when one, in general, a mere political opponent as an "enemy." It tends debase the word, of any real value, enemy such that it becomes hard to tell who is really an enemy. Is it any wonder dialog is hard to come by when such absurd definition is generally thrown about?

Pisc, I agree with the broad sentiment (that is, let's not ramp up the rhetoric to DEFCON 5 for the duration of the election) but:

1. ...; an adversary or opponent.

seems like a pretty reasonable definition of what he was talking about.

uncle ebeneezer
05-21-2008, 02:14 PM
hy·per·bo·le:

1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.
2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

Wonderment
05-21-2008, 04:30 PM
BTW, for the record, I never use any of the "seven dirty words" or the three "auxiliary words" (for which, see Wikipedia) in any of my posts, and figure, beyond that, anything goes.

Call me prissy, but the problem was not that you used a "dirty word" like "fuck" or "cock" or "shit," but rather that you used a demeaning sexist stereotype: "pussy-whipped," and followed it up with another male supremacist stereotype about who has the biggest "cojones."

uncle ebeneezer
05-21-2008, 05:00 PM
Wonderment, just out of curiosity, what makes "pussy-whipped" so sexist and objectionable to you?

Is it the suggestion that the female is nothing more than her genitalia? Or is it that the male has sacrificed his will based on his affection for said genitalia? While I can see phrases using "bitch" or "Ho" etc. as sexist (because they are using a term that is used to refer to women in a derogatory fashion) I have never seen "pussy-whipped" in this fashion. It's only referring to a PART of a woman. If anything is seems more sexist against men by suggesting that we will drop all rationality based on obsessiion for the female genitalia.

I can see how cojones is sexist as it implies that women can't have any courage. But still it seems kind of a stretch given that I frequently hear people say things like "she's got some balls" meaning it as a compliment of a woman's fortitude. Though "guts" would be more preferred I have never found using cojones or balls as a metaphor for courage as an incredible stretch because of the somewhat established connection between testoserone levels and aggression (or willingness to take risk.)

I DO find the charge toward Obama to be lame, simply because in my view he has done several things that showed plenty of guts so far in the campaign. The Philadelphia race speech was incredibly courageous (not the fact that he made a speech, but the fact that he dug so deeply into a complex issue.)

Anyways, i'm just curious to your take on curse words because they don't really offend me at all.

Eastwest
05-21-2008, 05:08 PM
Call me prissy, but the problem was not that you used a "dirty word" like "fuck" or "cock" or "shit," but rather that you used a demeaning sexist stereotype: "pussy-whipped," and followed it up with another male supremacist stereotype about who has the biggest "cojones."

Your self-righteous protests seem artificial, invented to suit the moment, and such as make the genuineness of your discourse suspect to me.

But here, since you have a PG-13, lock-step political-correctness mindset, allow me to rephrase it in terms you and your friends in the doily-and-crumpet club might find palatable:

Even for his huge and vacuous ego, Obama is clearly the submissive partner in his marriage. I suspect he will have difficulty resisting policy-direction pushiness from the angry gal back in his master bedroom. This could very well produce all manner of weirdly distortive effects.

Cheers,
EW

piscivorous
05-21-2008, 05:21 PM
Only Your Hair Dresser Knows For Sure. Why use such offensive rhetoric. After all it's that what Senator Obama says it is all about?

graz
05-21-2008, 05:39 PM
Even for his huge and vacuous ego, Obama is clearly the submissive partner in his marriage. I suspect he will have difficulty resisting policy-direction pushiness from the angry gal back in his master bedroom. This could very well produce all manner of weirdly distortive effects.
Cheers,
EW
Your expurgated version doesn't have the same ring to it.
But it does underscore your main assertion, as you qualified with "suspect", that no good can come from his ascendancy.
I respect your intelligence, but see no rationale for your malign assessment of all things Obama.
Hey, go with your gut by all means.
But you haven't made a respectable case for discrediting all those who see a more optimistic outcome, should he win - which is no gimme.
Unless you will not be satisfied with anything other than your worst case scenario. It seems to me you have nothing but upside to accept, even if you're expecting calamity.

Eastwest
05-21-2008, 06:35 PM
....your main assertion, as you qualified with "suspect", that no good can come from his ascendancy....

I respect your intelligence, but see no rationale for your malign assessment of all things Obama.

Actually, my criticisms aren't that absolute.

I've said repeatedly my principle skepticism is on electablity.

Secondary to that is skepticism about qualifications for genuine success.

Still, "marginal qualifications for success" are more the rule than the exception with the men our electorate elevates to the presidency. There's no way Obama could screw up as badly as George Bush has or as McCain surely would.

Therefore, even as skeptical as I am, I would have to view Obama's election as, in and of itself, an "upside" given the inevitably disastrous alternative.

Please note: I'm not indicting the intelligence of those whose "gut" makes them gamble on Obama. Still, this really is a gamble on a largely unknown quantity.

I would prefer we just agree to disagree on this. Arguing about the enlightenment of gurus gets old fast. Obamaphilia is no different from religious faith, but this country guarantees freedom of religion.

Good luck. We'll all need it.

EW

Wonderment
05-21-2008, 07:22 PM
Is it the suggestion that the female is nothing more than her genitalia? Or is it that the male has sacrificed his will based on his affection for said genitalia?

In either case, it perpetuates the stereotype of women as mere sex objects defined by their vaginas.

uncle ebeneezer
05-21-2008, 08:10 PM
Yes but the two alternatives are different. Saying a woman is nothing more than her vagina, is offensive and sexist. Saying that many men view women this way, is not offensive to women on it's face, it's just a sad (often true)reflection of male attitudes and ultimately a knock on men. If both offend you, fine, I was just trying to make that distinction that they are saying two separate things.

Wonderment
05-21-2008, 08:57 PM
Let me try an example to better illustrate:

Let's say your dad's colleagues at work are visiting your house and they say, "Hey, Ebenezeer, do you have the balls to go shoot some bears with us or not?"

Your dad says, "No thanks, I'm busy."

The friends answer, "Yeah, right! You're just pussy-whipped by your wife."

Would you think your mom is the victim of a sexist stereotype and has a right to object to how she is treated in this situation?

Or do you think it has nothing to do with her and is simply a reflection on your dad's alleged poor character?

harkin
05-22-2008, 08:13 AM
This not what I said. You're putting words in my mouth.

Are you really going to throw stones about 'putting words' into other people's mouths when you characterize me as wishing to 'destroy' social security and 'attach'ing shame' to anyone who collects?

Furthermore, you attach shame and "dependency" and an inability to help oneself to collecting Social Security benefits. But the overwhelming majority of those people spent a lifetime paying into the system.

Paying into the system is helping yourself.

And besides: Why is it so inherently shameful and wrong to pay into Social Security during your working lifetime and then take payments out of it in retirement?

You misread everything I say.

There is nothing wrong (much less shameful) with contributing to a collective retirement system if the payoff was the actual return on the actual investment....that is not what SS is. The return is not what you (beneficiary) previously invested, but rather what other people are paying now, and paying a rate that is much higher than what you did......for those scoring at home that is the not only as bad as a ponzi scheme (a scheme which sooner or later cannot sustain itself), it's actually worse because in the Ponzi scheme most people are familiar with, a 'Pyramid Club', at least they never make the 'late to the party' suckers pay more than those who joined previous. So in actuality a ponzi scheme is not as bad as SS. The only reason it hasn't failed yet is due to the size of the sucker base.

And to compare it to a 401k before collecting money would get anyone trying to push this same plan in a neghborhood investment meeting arrested for fraud.


And if you dismiss any study by the Cato Institute because they happen to disagree with your economic beliefs, maybe you'll give more credence to the SSA themselves (http://www.ssa.gov/qa.htm):

"Unless changes are made, when you reach age 60 in 2041, benefits for all retirees could be cut by 22 percent and could continue to be reduced every year thereafter."

"the worker-to-beneficiary ratio has fallen from 16.5-to-1 in 1950 to 3.3-to-1 today. Within 40 years it will be 2-to-1. At this ratio there will not be enough workers to pay scheduled benefits at current tax rates."


I think, if you look at economic circumstances of black Americans before and after the New Deal, and continuing after major civil rights reforms - it would be hard to argue that these liberal programs have done anything but improve their lot in life. It's not exactly a slam dunk case that the continued existence of inequities can be blamed on the liberal social project generally and certainly not on SS.

I will certainly agree that the lot in life of black americans made its best improvement during the post-war years but I think it's also true that the situtation regarding the black family and education has experienced a downturn following initiation of the Great Society programs. Does this mean blacks have not progressed since 1965? of course not, but I would give much more credit to the regression of racism, blacks who practiced self-sufficiency, pursuing education and raising their children in a two-parent home than I would any entitlement programs.


As for this "dispicable" allegation, gad, you folks really have no sense of humor at all. My "crack" would be recognized, I suspect, by most neutral observers as obviously a joke, plain and simple.

You're just engaging in self-righteous preening.

It is not 'preening' to critisize someone for trying to mine 'humor' from the fact an old man has what appears to be a deadly brain tumor, it is called 'having standards'.

AemJeff
05-22-2008, 04:07 PM
I will certainly agree that the lot in life of black americans made its best improvement during the post-war years but I think it's also true that the situtation regarding the black family and education has experienced a downturn following initiation of the Great Society programs. Does this mean blacks have not progressed since 1965? of course not, but I would give much more credit to the regression of racism, blacks who practiced self-sufficiency, pursuing education and raising their children in a two-parent home than I would any entitlement programs.
I think that's a case that could be made, but I don't think it sounds like the case I read you making previously.

It is not 'preening' to critisize someone for trying to mine 'humor' from the fact an old man has what appears to be a deadly brain tumor, it is called 'having standards'.
Exactly. I find zero potential for humor in that.