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Bloggingheads 11-14-2008 07:23 PM

The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 

timba 11-14-2008 08:32 PM

Reid should be removed regardless
 
Harry Reid is the perfect embodiment of "spineless democrat". That he tries to call himself "Give 'em Hell Harry" is truly hilarious. How on earth did that incompetent wimp get into a position of leadership?

timba 11-14-2008 08:36 PM

The issue is the HS Chairmanship
 
It's not clear that Obama is supporting Lieberman for that position. The term "damned by faint praise" has been used to describe Obama's statement.

skeptical 11-14-2008 08:38 PM

Bill Scher = Mindless Ideologue
 
Carroll is reasonable enough as conservatives go, but Bill Scher is nothing short of a mindless ideologue.

Anyone who attempts to label the Bush administration as some kind of deregulatory, small-government regime is a political hack for the Left.

timba 11-14-2008 08:48 PM

skeptical of skeptical
 
You're way off on Scher. I find both of these guys to be equally and wonderfully reasonable -- definitely one of my favorite pairings.

And while Bush has given trillions of tax dollars to corporations and might thus be characterized as "large government", he has been deregulatory in the extreme, and continues even now to deregulate everything he can get his hands on.

timba 11-14-2008 09:03 PM

The Big 3
 
1) shouldn't have sabotaged the electric car
2) should have designed and advertised better, more efficient cars
3) should by all rights be allowed to die a natural death

But we can't because it will throw the country into depression. Ideally all those auto jobs could be converted to green energy jobs, but there's currently no time, so we have no choice to bail out GM and we should at least retain partial ownership as compensation rather than just giving our tax dollars to these incompetent crooks.

timba 11-14-2008 09:20 PM

Conn
 
Conn - I love you - you're my favorite con, but what if your desired scenario pans out and the vast majority of the former middle class becomes impoverished to the point of violent revolution? I love the logic of everything you say, but you're going the way of Louis XVI. What the hell do you think those 3 million auto workers are going to do? Move out of the country? Live in cardboard boxes? Everything you say makes sense except the failure to develop a plan to do with the 95% of the population whose your beautiful free market philosophy is ruining.

On a related note, where do you get YOUR health insurance? And is your net worth over several million? If not, at your tender age, you might wind up on the losing side of your own policies.

uncle ebeneezer 11-14-2008 09:59 PM

Re: skeptical of skeptical
 
Yeah, both of these guys go from very reasonable to more talking-point oriented depending on which diavlog you watch. I give them a little more leeway than others considering that part of "The Week in Blogs" is supposed to be about the talking points of both sides. Generally, I think they are a good matchup. (note: I haven't watched this diavlog yet.)

thprop 11-14-2008 10:04 PM

Re: The Big 3
 
The Big 3 did not sabotage the electric car - there was no market for it at the time. GM is now betting its future (if it has one) on electrics.

My solution -
Let Chrysler die, Ford and GM go into bankruptcy, Federal Government provides debtor in possession financing.

pink maggie 11-14-2008 10:19 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
actually, conn, part d was signed into law in 03--a far cry from bush's "first 6 months." i remember because it was a move seen as a pander to senior voters approaching the 04 election. you are, however, correct that it was the biggest expansion in that "terrible" government insurance program, medi-care since johnson signed it into law. studies also indicate that the passage of part d significantly reduced the prevalence of cost-related medication non-adherance http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/299/16/1922. in other words, whereas prior to part d the sick and elderly had to forgo taking medication because they couldn't afford it, following part d's passage people were able to take their meds and live longer. possibly bush's finest hour.

thprop 11-14-2008 10:23 PM

Labor Cost
 
GM labor costs $25 an hour more than their Japanese competitors. I believe Ford is about the same and Chrysler is even worse. The hourly labor cost is affected by legacy costs - there are more UAW retirees than actual workers. Work rules and job classifications are much more restrictive in UAW factories. GM. Ford and Chrysler had to push big cars - they cannot make affordable small cars in the US.

Megan McArdle had a good post on this. She also points out that the American automakers profitably make small cars in Europe.

Baltimoron 11-14-2008 10:31 PM

Re: The Big 3
 
I'm open to that, and I would add, as T. Boone Pickens argues, electric cars are good only for the smallest part of the auto market. It's impractical to convert the trucking fleet to electric. LNG makes more sense, and also provides another labor market.

Baltimoron 11-14-2008 10:35 PM

Re: Bill Scher = Mindless Ideologue
 
I will actually agree with you, if only because Carroll's arguments are closer to the moderate mark than Scher's. Carroll voices the arguments in this diavlog well-enough and he provides the more challenging counters (with links). This was one of the better W-in-B's.

industwetrust 11-14-2008 10:37 PM

Beard off
 
Bill and Conn should have a beard off. We could take bets and donate the proceeds to the winners choice of one of the big three auto manufacurers.

Baltimoron 11-14-2008 10:40 PM

Re: Conn
 
This is why all those billions shouldn't have gone to TARP! The pain was always going to come, and it made sense to pay for medicine and rehabilitation than the best pressure bandage.

But, let's not express love to the animals. It only encourages the pundits to expect it.

Baltimoron 11-14-2008 10:43 PM

Re: Beard off
 
The beards only reinforce the fact, that both Carroll and Scher are creatures of a sort, not really antagonists.

We should avoid altering the animals, lest we make them too weak to return to the wild.

cragger 11-14-2008 10:54 PM

Re: The Big 3
 
Simply handing money to the "big" 3 automakers without providing adult supervision is a good way to get rid of money. US automakers seem like a classic case study in how to take a dominant market position and run an industry into the ground through stunningly terrible management. It also seems pretty questionable that the government will somehow be any better. Its hard to imagine the clowns who rolled over on Iraq making shrewd R&D decisions and selecting a competitive product line.

I also agree that there hasn't been a major market in the US for electric vehicles so far. Trying to go hog wild on electric cars now is still probably a road to ruin though. Significant electrification of the transport fleet would require both a significant increase in electric generating capacity and the transmission infrastructure to get that power to the vehicles. We have begun neither.

We have yet to make any real inroads even into the most economically obvious areas for transportation evolution, major cities. These are the places where the individual vehicle and the internal combustion engine are at their worst. Crawling between stoplights and searching for parking while getting terrible mileage, spewing pollution, and providing transportation so inefficient that in many cases a bicycle is as fast. Instead of dealing with the problems, what effort we have put forth over the past decade was still working on expensive highway construction projects.

So should I actually listen to this diavlog? Hmm, listen to Carrol Conn or floss my neighbor's dog's teeth. Life is full of choices.

Matt E 11-14-2008 11:42 PM

Re: "It depends on the specific policy"
 
The idea that Republicans of the Rush Limbaugh variety might individually evaluate each of Obama's proposals and decide whether to oppose it or let it pass and fail is laughable. Even listening to Limbaugh for only thirty minutes each week makes clear that all of his positions are knee-jerk opposition to anything coming from the left. What the future of conservatism really needs is a stronger commitment to evaluating ideas on the merits and a move away from Limbaugh's transparent "us vs. them" tribalism.

industwetrust 11-15-2008 12:27 AM

Re: Beard off
 
Does this mean we have to spend taxpayer money studying their DNA? NASA just found a way to make urine into water, perhaps beards could provide us with some much needed alternative fuels?

Baltimoron 11-15-2008 12:35 AM

Re: Beard off
 
No, then people like me will be pressed to shave more to contribute to the greater welfare. And then, instead of my wife, strangers will have a say whether I should shave once or twive a day. Mixing the personal grooming and fuel markets will lead eventually to the ostracism of hair-challenged people. Bald people will not be able to trade on their chest hair. Mercifully, though, comb-overs will disappear. Hair-challenged women will find it hard to buy natural wigs.

The ramifications of such a policy are hair-raising.

violetcrown 11-15-2008 12:35 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
The idea that the American auto industry is failing because of high-wage union jobs seems pretty crazy to me.

I've never bought an American car for two reasons:
1) Every one I know who owns one has more car trouble than I do.
2) I don't need a new car because my 14-year old Toyota runs fine. (pretty much #2)

I think people who have bought American for the last generation out of American loyalty or SUV style have also come to these conclusions. "Telling auto companies what they can build" sounds scary indeed, but all the lame ads I watched for "SUV hybrids" the past few years are a good example of how pathetic American automakers are at thinking ahead or being innovative. Automakers don't WANT to make a certain type of car, like an artist wants to paint a painting or a small businessman wants to open a store. They want to build what will make them money, so I don't think there's any creative "pursuit of happiness" being squashed here, especially when the only real dictate would be an up in existing mileage standards.

The idea that Toyota and Honda choose to make hybrids because they have cheap labor and thus can make more expensive cars is totally backwards. Japanese hybrid and efficient-by-design small cars sell for relatively higher prices than American cars, and they sell very very well. That's why the companies are successful.

Baltimoron 11-15-2008 12:48 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
The irony of this is, that car companies like Hyundai and Toyota have worked with the Big Three in joint ventures at key points. After these ventures were dissolved, it was Hyundai and Toyota that benefited judging by the products and sales.

To avoid the same result, what do the Big Three have to do to benefit from a "reverse-joint venture" with Toyota or Hyundai?

bjkeefe 11-15-2008 02:43 AM

Same old same old
 
Fifteen minutes in, I'm wondering if Conn has anything to offer to any conversation but petulant sarcasm.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Conn, if you want people to listen to the Heritage message, you'd do better to find a different way of presenting it.

[Added] Now forty-five minutes in, and I'll just add this: If the only the support you can offer for your arguments is quoting Michelle Malkin and Amity Shales, and saying "facts" are facts because you've blogged the same opinions in the past, you might as well ignore my suggestion about your disagreeable manner. There's nothing worth listening to, no matter how you sugarcoat it.

Please take more vacations. I get a lot more out of these TWiB diavlogs from your replacements.

conncarroll 11-15-2008 10:41 AM

Re: Same old same old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 97560)
Now forty-five minutes in, and I'll just add this: If the only the support you can offer for your arguments is quoting Michelle Malkin and Amity Shales, and saying "facts" are facts because you've blogged the same opinions in the past, you might as well ignore my suggestion about your disagreeable manner. There's nothing worth listening to, no matter how you sugarcoat it.

If there is one thing I missed more than talking with Bill while I was gone, it was reading comments on my performance from the president of my bheads fan club bjkeefe. Great to read your stuff again bj. For those that haven't watched, I never said Malkin and Shlaes' arguments were facts. There has been a great blog-discussion on the Great Depression over the past month (Krugman, Cowen, DeLong, Thoma, Shlaes, and King all being contributors) . Bill and I could devote a whole show to that blog debate.

What I did assert as fact is that President Bush has presided over an unprecedented expansion of the regulatory state. Don't believe me? Here are the facts:
* Money spent by federal regulatory agencies is up to $44.9 billion in 2007 from $27 billion in 2001, a 44% increase.
* Total people employed by federal regulatory agencies is up to 244,000 in 2007 from 172,000 in 2001, a 41% increase.
* Total number of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations is up more than 4,500 pages since Bush took office.
* Cost imposed on Americans is more than $28 billion in new regulations since Bush took office.
http://www.mercatus.org/repository/d...ors_Budget.pdf

JIM3CH 11-15-2008 11:07 AM

Re: Same old same old
 
Brendan, please tell me you wouldn't rather listen to Amanda Carpenter!

bjkeefe 11-15-2008 11:10 AM

Re: Same old same old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JIM3CH (Post 97568)
Brendan, please tell me you wouldn't rather listen to Amanda Carpenter!

Heh. A fair point. I was thinking more along the lines of William Beutler and Jon Henke.

bjkeefe 11-15-2008 11:16 AM

Re: Same old same old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by conncarroll (Post 97567)
If there is one thing I missed more than talking with Bill while I was gone, it was reading comments on my performance from the president of my bheads fan club bjkeefe. Great to read your stuff again bj.

Thanks.

Quote:

For those that haven't watched, I never said Malkin and Shlaes' arguments were facts.
I didn't say you did. I said you used them as support for your arguments, and went on to say that what you asserted as "facts" were nothing more than views you had earlier blogged.

I don't dispute that Bush increased some regulation, for the record.

thprop 11-15-2008 12:54 PM

Re: The Big 3
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cragger (Post 97548)
Simply handing money to the "big" 3 automakers without providing adult supervision is a good way to get rid of money.

That is why I want to put them into bankruptcy court with the aid provided as devtor in possession financing. There will be a lot of supervision. I think Ford is doing a pretty good job these days. So is GM. Chrysler is not - they are owned by Cerberus, an LBO firm. Daimler just wanted to unload Chrysler rather than put in the money to fix it.

PA Independent 11-15-2008 02:34 PM

The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
Something about this dialog disturbed me. Conn appears to posit a political strategy of simply sitting back and allowing the newly elected president and his party free reign in order to give them enough political rope to hang themselves (and the country) in order to win the election four years later.

This bothers me for several reasons. First, it assumes that the president-elect has not one good policy idea and also, is incapable of working with representatives of both parties to craft legislation that would be good for the country as a whole.

Second, if that is in fact what would happen, it also assumes it's OK to just sit back and let the country suffer for four years in hopes of possible political gain down the road.

Lastly, isn't it an elected official's responsibility to argue for what he believes to be in his constituent's best interests? Aren't they're supposed to speak up and argue for what they believe is right or wrong. That's what they're elected and get paid for.

uncle ebeneezer 11-15-2008 02:54 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
Great post PAIndependent!

Quote:

it also assumes it's OK to just sit back and let the country suffer for four years for a possible political gain down the road.
This is the kind of thing that makes all the "country first" chants a bit hard to take seriously. It is a take-my-ball-and-go-home attitude that is very common after an election and it is sad. At the end of the day alot of partisans (on both sides) care more for their ideology than they do for the beloved homeland.

harkin 11-15-2008 02:56 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
If you want a progressive utopia Conn, look no further than California.

The US Armed forces discouraged from showing themselves, yet illegal immigrant drug dealers are given sanctuary from jail, and not referred for deportation.

Ballot propositions to name sewage treatment plants after hated politicians.

Ballot propostions to prohibit prosecution for participating in the sex trade (prostitutes, pimps, brothels etc).

Opponents of propositions that succeeded hunting down supporters from contributuion records and harrassing them at their workplace.

This really is a view of the future here.

We can't claim our school districts issuing fake SS numbers to illegals (that is happening in TX) but we are willing to learn.

Cheers


Waiting and watching for St Obama to lead us to the government-provided promised land.

bjkeefe 11-15-2008 04:10 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 97587)
This is the kind of thing that makes all the "country first" chants a bit hard to take seriously. It is a take-my-ball-and-go-home attitude that is very common after an election and it is sad. At the end of the day alot of partisans (on both sides) care more for their ideology than they do for the beloved homeland.

In fairness, Conn and the Heritage Foundation didn't particularly care for John McCain, and I think it's accurate to say that Heritage has never bought into "Country First" as a slogan. For them, it's more like: "First, Change the Country to How We'd Like It To Be."

Francoamerican 11-15-2008 04:19 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
How can anyone take a blithering idiot like Conn Carroll seriously? This is a man who actually thought that Sarah Palin was a worthy candidate to the vice presidency.

If Bloggingheads cannot find a more intelligent conservative, what a sad commentary on American conservatism!

themightypuck 11-16-2008 12:37 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
Conn is awesome except for those times he pops down the rabbit hole. I don't think (even in jest) wishing economic disaster upon the country so your team can win the next time out is defensible.

uncle ebeneezer 11-16-2008 12:57 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
Yes, but they were all too willing to standby and allow (or even jump in on) the question-Obama's-Patriotism meme whenever they thought it would give their side a political advantage.

bjkeefe 11-16-2008 02:17 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 97615)
Yes, but they were all too willing to standby and allow (or even jump in on) the question-Obama's-Patriotism meme whenever they thought it would give their side a political advantage.

Yes, there's no doubt about that. There is certainly no shortage of reasons for holding them in contempt. As if their guiding philosophy of fuck you, Jack, I got mine weren't enough.

bjkeefe 11-16-2008 02:20 AM

Re: Same old same old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 97570)
I don't dispute that Bush increased some regulation, for the record.

I should have added earlier that he's also guilty of plenty of excesses in deregulation as well; e.g., in areas like environmental protection and civil rights enforcement.

bjkeefe 11-16-2008 03:52 AM

One more poke at Conn
 
Let's dance.

bjkeefe 11-16-2008 10:01 AM

Hey, Bill ...
 
1 Attachment(s)
Just noticed something in the left sidebar while watching another diavlog. (Click to enlarge.)

Attachment 18

Hope you've got other ways of propping up your ego.

rgajria 11-16-2008 10:19 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Pesci vs. De Niro
 
Harkin,

California - Richest State in the union. Progressive paradise :)
Also the number one culture exporter for the United States. Also the home of the tech industry amongst other things.


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