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  #1  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:00 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

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  #2  
Old 08-25-2009, 10:08 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Sadly, No! on Radley Balko

I believe this was posted in the Whole Foods boycott thread, but here it is again for anyone who hasn't seen it:

But, But, John Mackey Is Nice To Bunny Rabbits
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2009, 12:01 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: How to Ruin Your Conservative Cred!

Next Thing You Know He'll Probably Admit To Drinking Latte!!
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2009, 12:15 AM
rcocean rcocean is offline
 
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Default Pauline Kael Syndrome

I wonder if Matt has it? Charles Murray thinks the White House does.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2009, 09:01 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

I really enjoyed this one (although Matt should work on not interrupting so much, and I don't know that I wanted to know that he has freakishly small teeth). I found a lot to agree with in the discussion on criminal law and civil rights and the political issues surrounding that. However, I wish there'd been a little more on the background and some of the political pressures which drive what's been going on.

On health care, I found a lot to agree with there too, although it also seemed a little superficial. Matt is right about the political pressures on that one, which is a shame, but once again in hearing people talk about the problems with the cost incentives in our current system (which I fully agree with them about), I wish we could have a wonkish discussion between perhaps someone prepared to talk about how these problems are dealt with successfully in numerous other countries (not just the oft slammed UK or Canada) through alternatives to what seems to be the more free market proposals here. (Edit: not that any of these, any more than the free market proposals, has a chance of working politically, because of the loss adversion problem plus willingness of both sides -- the Republicans oh, so cynically -- to politicize the Medicare aspects.)

Last edited by stephanie; 08-26-2009 at 09:04 AM..
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2009, 10:29 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
(Edit: not that any of these, any more than the free market proposals, has a chance of working politically, because of the loss adversion problem plus willingness of both sides -- the Republicans oh, so cynically -- to politicize the Medicare aspects.)
I agree that the republicans are wrong to seemingly oppose cuts in Medicare or rationing of government paid for health care. But Obama's criticism of the McCain plan to eliminate the employee health care deduction was equally cynical and wrong.

The medicare program has to be slashed to balance the budget. I would eliminate it and replace with the Steve publicly funded health care clinics and hospitals program. Also I would deduct what medicare paid for someone's care from their estate when they check out.
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2009, 10:17 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default self employed can deduct insurance premiums

as I understand it persons who are self employed can deduct their health insurance premiums:
http://taxes.about.com/od/deductions...hinsurance.htm

What I think is nuts about the tax code and health care is you cant deduct your out of pocket expenses ( below a very high threshold ). This reduces the economic desirability of high deductible insurance.

So sure, in a revenue neutral way, eliminate the deductibility of health insurance for all.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:25 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: self employed can deduct insurance premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
as I understand it persons who are self employed can deduct their health insurance premiums:
http://taxes.about.com/od/deductions...hinsurance.htm

What I think is nuts about the tax code and health care is you cant deduct your out of pocket expenses ( below a very high threshold ). This reduces the economic desirability of high deductible insurance.

So sure, in a revenue neutral way, eliminate the deductibility of health insurance for all.
A self employed person can deduct health insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses, including dental visits. Or one can put a certain amount in an HSA, which is before tax dollars, and use those dollars to pay for out of pocket expenses. But you can't pay health insurance premiums with an HSA. I'm not sure why there is a distinction on that expense.
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2009, 10:54 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: self employed can deduct insurance premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
A self employed person can deduct health insurance premiums and out of pocket expenses, including dental visits. Or one can put a certain amount in an HSA, which is before tax dollars, and use those dollars to pay for out of pocket expenses. But you can't pay health insurance premiums with an HSA. I'm not sure why there is a distinction on that expense.
I thought the deduction for out of pocket medical expenses first had to exceed a percentage of your taxable income.

On HSAs, in NJ the government does not allow that type of HI. Maybe an NJ person can put money into an HSA, deduct the contributions on federal return, then use that money to pay for all out of pocket expenses?

I fear the Obama plan will take away HSAs.
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2009, 11:25 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: self employed can deduct insurance premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
I thought the deduction for out of pocket medical expenses first had to exceed a percentage of your taxable income.

On HSAs, in NJ the government does not allow that type of HI. Maybe an NJ person can put money into an HSA, deduct the contributions on federal return, then use that money to pay for all out of pocket expenses?

I fear the Obama plan will take away HSAs.
Well, yeah, I'm sure if you only have a few expenses they aren't deductable. However, if you are paying for your own health insurance that is going to pretty much put you in the proper percentage. I'm not sure what you mean by the rules in NJ, but I do know that once you have made a contribution to an HSA and paid doctor bills out of it, you can't claim those expenses again. That would be double dipping.
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2009, 10:45 AM
jstrummer jstrummer is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/220...8:54&out=31:14

Ending the distortion would be half the battle. Whether you extend the tax break to individuals, or end the employer tax break, it does not matter. I'm not sure why conservatives are opposed to this.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2009, 12:26 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstrummer View Post
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/220...8:54&out=31:14

Ending the distortion would be half the battle. Whether you extend the tax break to individuals, or end the employer tax break, it does not matter. I'm not sure why conservatives are opposed to this.
What is the 2nd half? Perhaps the end of medicare? Where the poor, elderly or not, get rationed care they can afford in government funded clinics and the remainder of the population purchase free market care and insurance?
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2009, 02:25 AM
ProfElwood ProfElwood is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

I personally believe that most conservatives would agree with cuts, but I have no statistics to back up that belief. Republicans, on the other hand, have medical lobbyists that would fund their opponents if they did anything sensible before total disaster strikes. Democrats are in the same boat.
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:49 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

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Originally Posted by ProfElwood View Post
I personally believe that most conservatives would agree with cuts, but I have no statistics to back up that belief. Republicans, on the other hand, have medical lobbyists that would fund their opponents if they did anything sensible before total disaster strikes. Democrats are in the same boat.
Yes, unfortunately those in Washington all have special interests which they are beholding to. This keeps any meaningful and sensible change from happening. It would be nice if there could be an injection of ethical behavior administered to these elected elites. It is now an entirely incestuous situation.
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2009, 10:47 AM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

It has always been incestous in Washington, I think.
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  #16  
Old 08-27-2009, 11:17 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

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Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
It has always been incestous in Washington, I think.
Well, it is interesting to consider the possibility that humans can make decisions based on rational thought. We have so many other things which affect us, more primitive in nature.
That has always been the challenge of a democracy. The founders sought to set up a situation where decision making could be made without the pressures from 'factions'. Madison articulated this goal in the Federalist Papers by recomending a republic rather than a direct democracy. "A pure democracy ...can admit of no cure for the mischief of faction" (groups pursuing some special interest).

The problem with trying to limit lobbying is that it limits free speech, which is another right we hold dear. Having freedom is a grave responsibility and is one I think that people don't understand sufficiently.
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  #17  
Old 08-27-2009, 11:25 AM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

I hear ya badhatharry, but as you know, even guys like Jefferson, Madison, and Adams were just men and couldn't maintain, or even reach, the standards of their best words. Washington is the same as it ever was.
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  #18  
Old 08-27-2009, 11:55 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
I hear ya badhatharry, but as you know, even guys like Jefferson, Madison, and Adams were just men and couldn't maintain, or even reach, the standards of their best words. Washington is the same as it ever was.
Well, no they couldn't reach their own standards. However, that doesn't mean we should feel free to abandon standards. There are still people who are willing to suffer for their standards.

For instance, I was recently introduced to the idea that Ron Paul is a racist. Since I happen to like the guy, I took the time to do some research about him concerning this charge. Well, it seems that someone who wrote some newsletter for him years ago wrote some stuff that could have been interpreted as racist.

But what was most interesting for me was his stance on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He was against it. Not because, as some would accuse him of, he is a racist. But because he didn't think the federal government had the right to dictate terms to the states and to private enterprise.

Talk about political suicide!!! But this is a man who believes in things. Pretty rare these days!
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2009, 12:01 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
...Well, it seems that someone who wrote some newsletter for him years ago wrote some stuff that could have been interpreted as racist...
That's an awfully generous interpretation of the evidence, Harry. It's not like there was an isolated instance of this, and Paul had no problem associating his name proudly on the masthead. You put a piece into a publication with your name on the cover a that contains a series of articles with no byline - you are explicitly taking responsibility for the message in those articles. Ex post facto distancing is a pretty icky tactic to take when that message becomes inconvenient.
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  #20  
Old 08-27-2009, 12:03 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
That's an awfully generous interpretation of the evidence, Harry. It's not like there was an isolated instance of this, and Paul had no problem associating his name proudly on the masthead. You put a piece into a publication with your name on the cover a that contains a series of articles with no byline - you are explicitly taking responsibility for the message in those articles. Ex post facto distancing is a pretty icky tactic to take when that message becomes inconvenient.
Not to mention Harry's pathetic formulation, "could have been interpreted as racist."

In what universe could the newsletter's statements not have been interpreted as racist?
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  #21  
Old 08-27-2009, 02:52 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

In every universe likely because the newsletter is subjective commentary. It's not like the newsletter tied a black guy to itself and then dragged him along a dirt road.
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  #22  
Old 08-27-2009, 03:12 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

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Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
In every universe likely because the newsletter is subjective commentary. It's not like the newsletter tied a black guy to itself and then dragged him along a dirt road.
Wait, so your argument is that commentary can never be racist? Are you serious?

And WTF is with that smiley emoticon after mentioning racist murder?

What is wrong with you?
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  #23  
Old 08-27-2009, 04:44 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Facetiousness man. Of course commentary can be and is racist, but it isn't objectively so, like a white guy dragging a black man from behind a truck would be.
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  #24  
Old 08-27-2009, 10:48 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Facetiousness man. Of course commentary can be and is racist, but it isn't objectively so, like a white guy dragging a black man from behind a truck would be.
Are you Sarah Palin's speechwriter?
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  #25  
Old 08-27-2009, 11:02 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Are you Sarah Palin's speechwriter?
That's right, anything short of murder isn't racist.
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  #26  
Old 08-28-2009, 08:07 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Facetiousness man. Of course commentary can be and is racist, but it isn't objectively so, like a white guy dragging a black man from behind a truck would be.
Come now, we don't know why he's dragged the black guy behind his truck.

This notion that physical abuse can be called racism but writing only "some might think it's racist, but I'd certainly not presume to judge" makes no sense other than as an attempt to insulate writing from criticism.
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  #27  
Old 08-28-2009, 05:08 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

True to the first part and I thought about writing about it, but was too lazy. There would have to be racial animus involved, like you say. It's what makes hate crimes laws so ridiculous. How the hell do you prove someone is a racist? Not as easy as it seems, which was kind of the point of picking at nikkibongs, absolutist statement "of course this is racist".
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  #28  
Old 08-28-2009, 06:27 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
True to the first part and I thought about writing about it, but was too lazy. There would have to be racial animus involved, like you say. It's what makes hate crimes laws so ridiculous. How the hell do you prove someone is a racist? Not as easy as it seems, which was kind of the point of picking at nikkibongs, absolutist statement "of course this is racist".
Oh, I was mainly just being sarcastic, actually. However, I do agree that the motives behind an action are not always clear and you could easily punch a black guy for a reason other than race. Burn a cross on his yard, on the other hand, there's less room for plausible deniability.

...which, to circle back around to my point, is why I think it's wrong to differentiate between racist violence and racist writings.* If anything, the writings will tend to be more clear, since they will actually explain your thoughts, rather than leaving us to infer them from action.

I feel for Ron Paul fans somewhat, because I think what he represents to a lot of people is something that would be good to have in our political system (something of a modern day Barry Goldwater, on the one hand, and on the other a throwback to when the Republican Party was a lot more skeptical of foreign involvement), but I don't see how the numerous articles in his newsletter (and it's unclear whether he wrote them or not, apparently, but they were from his mouthpiece) aren't racist, as well as offensive in a variety of other ways.

*I mean in terms of whether one should call them "racist" or not. Obviously the violence is a crime and the writings not.

Last edited by stephanie; 08-28-2009 at 06:32 PM.. Reason: add a thought
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  #29  
Old 08-29-2009, 03:29 AM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

All true, all true... and I'm glad you added the qualifier at the end. Cause their a difference between being a racist like David Duke and the two crackers who tied up James Byrd to the back of their truck. The former isn't a criminal because of his racism (tax evasion), while the latter two apparently are (more so because of kidnapping and murder though).

However, take Rush Limbaugh or some of the other right-of-center radio people. They say things that get them called racist all the time, but never do they approach something like one of those Ron Paul newsletters. Just writing something like, "tied a black man to the back of a truck and dragged him along" gets certain people all riled up as if it means something (see supra).
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  #30  
Old 08-29-2009, 12:12 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Just writing something like, "tied a black man to the back of a truck and dragged him along" gets certain people all riled up as if it means something (see supra).
But it does. In context, it's an obvious allusion to a specific event, which we all know was racist.
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  #31  
Old 08-29-2009, 02:30 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Well, yes, but we weren't in any racist context.
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  #32  
Old 08-29-2009, 03:12 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
All true, all true... and I'm glad you added the qualifier at the end. Cause their a difference between being a racist like David Duke and the two crackers who tied up James Byrd to the back of their truck. The former isn't a criminal because of his racism (tax evasion), while the latter two apparently are (more so because of kidnapping and murder though).

However, take Rush Limbaugh or some of the other right-of-center radio people. They say things that get them called racist all the time, but never do they approach something like one of those Ron Paul newsletters. Just writing something like, "tied a black man to the back of a truck and dragged him along" gets certain people all riled up as if it means something (see supra).
The fact that you continue to glibly refer to this horrific event does not reflect well on you, Lyle.
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  #33  
Old 08-30-2009, 01:44 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

There's nothing glib about it. It's just a description of an event. How do you think lawyers talk about horrific events Nikkibong? Do they go in to detail or do they avoid specifics? Do doctors doing an autopsy just say, "he was killed" or do they say he was dragged from behind a car and his skull was crushed by it hitting the ground time and time again?

If I was prosecuting a man for raping a child, I wouldn't just say he raped a child, I'd say the 54 year old man forcibly penetrated the 6 year old girl with his penis... while she was crying and screaming No!!!

Last edited by Lyle; 08-30-2009 at 01:49 PM..
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  #34  
Old 08-30-2009, 12:03 AM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
True to the first part and I thought about writing about it, but was too lazy. There would have to be racial animus involved, like you say. It's what makes hate crimes laws so ridiculous. How the hell do you prove someone is a racist? Not as easy as it seems, which was kind of the point of picking at nikkibongs, absolutist statement "of course this is racist".
That's retarded. Murder laws also require proving intent. So do conspiracy and tax evasion charges, for example. The only reason they aren't "ridiculuous" is they don't have a cottage industry of pundits trying desperately to get people to turn a blind eye to those motives.

edit: Now that I think about it, though, that's changed. With Republicans talking openly of revolution and killing the President and other federal employees soon we'll see charges of treason and murder and conspiracy to commit murder being labelled "ridiculuous".

Last edited by pampl; 08-30-2009 at 12:08 AM..
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  #35  
Old 08-30-2009, 01:49 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

No, I don't think it is "retarded"... whatever "retarded" means. Murder is murder. James Byrd's murderers would have still been prosecuted and likely sentenced to death on first degree murder charges. Prosecutions are made more complicated by having to further prove racial, sexist, or homophobic animus as well. It is a waste of time, effort, and money.
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  #36  
Old 08-30-2009, 08:15 PM
pampl pampl is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
No, I don't think it is "retarded"... whatever "retarded" means. Murder is murder. James Byrd's murderers would have still been prosecuted and likely sentenced to death on first degree murder charges. Prosecutions are made more complicated by having to further prove racial, sexist, or homophobic animus as well. It is a waste of time, effort, and money.
Lyle, just because you figured out that cows go moo and dogs go bow-wow doesn't mean you can start getting cocky. State prosecutors are vastly better judges of how they should spend their time than you are.

You failed to respond to the point that murder ALSO requires more complicated efforts of proving intent than a manslaughter charge would.
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  #37  
Old 08-27-2009, 03:01 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
Not to mention Harry's pathetic formulation, "could have been interpreted as racist."

In what universe could the newsletter's statements not have been interpreted as racist?
Paul's not stupid. He's not coming to come out and say "Blacks are inferior! Segregation forever!" But that's setting the bar way too low.

He's always extremely careful never to do anything that might challenge his supporters who are racists. Bigotry is never discredited. It's a cute game. You see it with Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern too.
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  #38  
Old 08-27-2009, 03:01 PM
Lyle
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

I'm with you on upholding our standards, but part of standards is bending them from time to time, and quietly accepting that. A famous example would be the Louisiana Purchase which according to Jefferson's own argumentation when he was out of office would be unconstitutional. Diabolical.

Ron Paul, I'm not a huge fan of. Too absolutist for my tastes, which in my mind, shows he doesn't understand how American government and politics has always worked, but there may have been more guys like him back in the early days, or at least there have been politicians like him before, i.e., obnoxiously principled to the detriment of party politics, and likely themselves.
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  #39  
Old 08-26-2009, 12:35 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Knowing little about this debate I read the David Goldhill article in Atlantic. It was from a more business or libertarian polint of view. That said it was an insightful piece but most of it was beyond my level of expertise.

I like his explanation of MRI exams. I thought they were expensive due primarily being ultra high tech. Apparently, it is 20 year old technology and that is not the reason.

I suppose what I gained from the article was cost containment in healthcare is probably a canard with the various Democrat measures being put forth.

John
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  #40  
Old 08-26-2009, 01:05 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: Wisdom Teeth and Sprained Wrists (Matthew Yglesias & Radley Balko)

Radley Balko says we spend something "like, what, 40% of our income on health care?" Hard to take him seriously after that.
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