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  #121  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:20 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Any questions?

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
You were saying?
No, Mr. Grayson, it was you who was saying.
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  #122  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:47 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Any questions?

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
No, Mr. Grayson, ...
You were saying?

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Does repeating that tired trope actually make it any more truthful inside your head?
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  #123  
Old 12-05-2010, 12:47 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Any questions?

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
You were saying?
The floor is yours, Mr. Grayson.
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  #124  
Old 12-05-2010, 01:29 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Any questions?

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
... Mr. Grayson.
You were saying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by operative View Post
Does repeating that tired trope actually make it any more truthful inside your head?
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  #125  
Old 12-05-2010, 01:39 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Welp, So Much for the New Talking Point about JUDEO-Christian Values

TPM:

Quote:
Joe Straus (R) is the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. But there's a problem. A number of his fellow Republicans say that having elected a House with "Christian, conservative values" they need a "true Christian" running it. And since Straus is a Jew his shot at meeting that standard is not good. Abby Rapoport has the story in the Texas Observer.
Totally has nothing to do with bigotry, though.
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  #126  
Old 12-05-2010, 02:52 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Any questions?

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post


The lede:

Quote:
Senate Republicans today successfully filibustered two Democratic tax cut bills that would have allowed Bush-era tax cuts benefiting only the wealthiest sliver of the country to expire. The party-line votes were intended by Democratic leaders to put Republicans on the record blocking the extension of tax cuts that would have benefited all Americans in order to secure additional tax cuts for the highest-income earners in America.
How much longer will it be before the Palinistas, the teabaggers, the Christianists, and other components of the Republican base wake up and realize the GOP really does not give a shit about them?
In a related development, news from Sam Stein:

Quote:
Obama Tells Dems He'll Oppose Tax Cut Deal Without Unemployment Benefits, Other Relief

WASHINGTON — At a meeting at the White House with Democratic congressional leadership Saturday afternoon, President Obama said he would oppose any compromise deal on the expiring Bush tax cuts if it lacked help for the unemployed and other provisions designed to aid the middle class.

Speaking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) shortly after the Senate failed to pass his preferred tax cut package proposal, Obama drew sharp lines in the sand with respect to ongoing negotiations.

"The President told Democratic Congressional leaders today that he was open to compromise, but he would oppose even a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts if it did not include an extension of benefits for the unemployed and extensions of the other tax cuts that benefit middle class families," a White House official told the Huffington Post. "Without them, taxes would still rise for 95 percent of Americans."
A note of hope, further down:

Quote:
The remarks are, nevertheless, one of the clearest signs that the president is not only done ceding any more policy turf to the GOP with respect to tax cut negotiations but willing to let rates expire if Republican don't temper their demands.
And some interesting speculation:

Quote:
Said one person with knowledge of what was discussed: "This was the kind of signal that the Hill has been looking for." The question, the person added, is "when is the president going to make this announcement and how is he going to do it."

Putting aside when or how the announcement is made, the quote from the White House official portends a deal along the lines that Hill aides projected last week. In exchange for a temporary extension of Bush tax cuts, Democrats will secure an extension of unemployment benefits, a few more tax cut proposals, and a vote on the START Treaty.
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  #127  
Old 12-05-2010, 09:25 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Any questions?

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
You were saying?
The floor is still yours, Mr. Grayson.
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  #128  
Old 12-05-2010, 06:24 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Meet the base of the Republican Party

American Exceptionamalism!!!1!



Who will be first to waddle in and protest that this is "just one sign," the operative, or his little brother chiwhi?
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  #129  
Old 12-05-2010, 07:55 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Meet the base of the Republican Party

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
American Exceptionamalism!!!1!



Who will be first to waddle in and protest that this is "just one sign," the operative, or his little brother chiwhi?
Actually it's probably an acolyte of that idiot behind the "Crash the Tea Party" movement:
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2...y-movement.php
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  #130  
Old 12-05-2010, 08:03 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Meet the base of the Republican Party

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Actually it's probably an acolyte of that idiot behind the "Crash the Tea Party" movement:
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2...y-movement.php
The only reason anyone would think such a thing would be possible is because the teabaggers are actually so crazy that guys like that will be hard to detect.

I do have my doubts that he'll be able to out-crazy the True Believers, though.

In any case, I do love how wingnuts yell false flag operation!!!1! whenever one of their regulars is caught on camera.
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  #131  
Old 12-05-2010, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Meet the base of the Republican Party

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
The only reason anyone would think such a thing would be possible is because the teabaggers are actually so crazy that guys like that will be hard to detect.
That's not actually true (http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/te...ographics.aspx http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/...sms_ss=twitter http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publ...ty_48_obama_44), but you'll continue to believe in your fantasy about your political opponents.

As I've stated before, I am not a TPer, but I know people who have gone to TP rallies. They're good, decent people. They do not deserve to be dehumanized because they disagree with you.
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  #132  
Old 12-06-2010, 01:43 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Meet the base of the Republican Party

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
As I've stated before, I am not a TPer, but I know people who have gone to TP rallies. They're good, decent people. They do not deserve to be dehumanized because they disagree with you.
Teabaggers are a bunch of overly entitled slobs who won't even admit how many of their crowd is driven not only by greed, but by fear and hatred of anyone not like them.

However, your hysterical labeling of a well-earned term of derision as "dehumanizing" continues to be amusing. You're a real Republican operative. You think if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes true.

The only question remaining is if you will repeat this one more often than "Grayson."
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 12-06-2010 at 01:46 AM..
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  #133  
Old 12-07-2010, 05:09 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Just for the record, when the nonpartisan National Academy of Sciences last reviewed the data this spring, it concluded: "A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems." Not only William Hague but such other prominent European conservatives as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have embraced that widespread scientific conviction and supported vigorous action.

Indeed, it is difficult to identify another major political party in any democracy as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP here. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says that although other parties may contain pockets of climate skepticism, there is "no party-wide view like this anywhere in the world that I am aware of."

It will be difficult for the world to move meaningfully against climate disruption if the United States does not. And it will be almost impossible for the U.S. to act if one party not only rejects the most common solution proposed for the problem (cap-and-trade) but repudiates even the idea that there is a problem to be solved. The GOP's stiffening rejection of climate science sets the stage for much heated argument but little action as the world inexorably warms -- and the dangers that Hague identified creep closer.
-- Ronald Brownstein, via Sean Carroll, whose post is also well worth reading.
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  #134  
Old 12-08-2010, 01:41 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
[...]

-- Ronald Brownstein, via Sean Carroll, whose post is also well worth reading.
On a related note, here's an excerpt from a post put up yesterday by Thomas Levenson, who in addition to running Inverse Square is now also a contributor to Balloon Juice.

Quote:
Leap now from 1922 to 2010: are [Rep. Adrian] Smith (R-Nebraska) and [Rep. Eric] Cantor [R-Virginia] denouncing particular research grants because of the ethnic or religious affiliation of the researchers?

No.

Are they setting up the conditions in which the question of whether or not a given piece of research is “American” enough?

Yes. They are.

Is this dangerous?

Well, duh.

A last note, just to make myself clear: I don’t think that this latest witch hunt is (yet) a direct threat to people interested in inappropriate ideas. It does make us dumber, day by day. Pace every invocation of American exceptionalism, there is no particular reason, as readers of this blog know better than most, that the US of A will remain the undisputed king of all disciplines forever. There is some uncertainty, however, about how fast our competition will arrive, and how likely it will be that we slip beneath the top rank of scientific and technologically innovative national leaders.

And there, the answer is— if Smith and Cantor have their way—sooner and more grievously than we think.
I'd call TL's post an early warning worth paying attention to, and I'd encourage you to read all of "First They Came For The NSF..."

And I wonder if Chris Mooney is taking notes for Volume 2.
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  #135  
Old 12-08-2010, 09:54 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
On a related note, here's an excerpt from a post put up yesterday by Thomas Levenson, who in addition to running Inverse Square is now also a contributor to Balloon Juice.



I'd call TL's post an early warning worth paying attention to, and I'd encourage you to read all of "First They Came For The NSF..."

And I wonder if Chris Mooney is taking notes for Volume 2.
Ad Hitlerum de jour.
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  #136  
Old 12-08-2010, 03:51 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Ad Hitlerum de jour.
Just as it can be too easy to reach for Hitler as a comparison, it's also too easy to just dismiss. That comparisons to Nazi Germany are too often deployed does not mean the analogy is never appropriate.

In this instance, I think Levenson makes a good case, particularly because he is not saying it is Like That Now, but because he is showing how the precursors match. Recall his lead-in phrase that I quoted: "Leap now from 1922 to 2010 ..." Note that it's not "1932" or "1942."

The Republican Party has for at least the past decade (and at the local level for far longer) tried quite hard in several areas to drive science according to their political ideology, from stem cell research to evolution-vs-creationism to global warming. Whether or not you want to accept TL's analogy is therefore a minor issue; what's important is that the GOP's anti-science attitude is already a problem, and Cantor and Smith are indicating it's going to get worse. And I don't see you responding to any of the substance of the piece, so I think either you didn't read it or you can't dispute the thrust of it.

Thus, even if I ignore your fondness for the GOP's stances in other areas, I must say that if you're not alarmed by the way the Republican Party views science, you're part of the problem.
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  #137  
Old 12-08-2010, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Just as it can be too easy to reach for Hitler as a comparison, it's also too easy to just dismiss. That comparisons to Nazi Germany are too often deployed does not mean the analogy is never appropriate.

In this instance, I think Levenson makes a good case, particularly because he is not saying it is Like That Now, but because he is showing how the precursors match. Recall his lead-in phrase that I quoted: "Leap now from 1922 to 2010 ..." Note that it's not "1932" or "1942."

The Republican Party has for at least the past decade (and at the local level for far longer) tried quite hard in several areas to drive science according to their political ideology, from stem cell research to evolution-vs-creationism to global warming. Whether or not you want to accept TL's analogy is therefore a minor issue; what's important is that the GOP's anti-science attitude is already a problem, and Cantor and Smith are indicating it's going to get worse. And I don't see you responding to any of the substance of the piece, so I think either you didn't read it or you can't dispute the thrust of it.

Thus, even if I ignore your fondness for the GOP's stances in other areas, I must say that if you're not alarmed by the way the Republican Party views science, you're part of the problem.
What I see is that both parties are quite willing and sometimes anxious to distort science to suit their political agendas. Using that as a means of comparing to Nazi Germany in any era is quite a reach. You can find innumerable regimes in history who forced science to take a back seat to whatever interest group was exerting influence over them, so let's hold back on the one that happened to be far more interested in annihilating the European Jewry.
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  #138  
Old 12-08-2010, 05:04 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
What I see is that both parties are quite willing and sometimes anxious to distort science to suit their political agendas.
I don't see it, and I don't see any examples from you regarding the Dems in recent years.

I'll grant they haven't been absolutely blameless in this matter -- there has been plenty of "teach the controversy" nonsense from Dems over the years, not to mention occasional susceptibility to moonbattery (e.g., RFK Jr.'s support for anti-vaxxers), but the two parties do not begin to compare in their attitudes about science overall.

The rest of your post is irrelevant to the matter. I already said that if you don't want to accept the analogy to the beginnings of Nazi Germany, fine, but that's a minor point. Trying to move the argument in that direction ignores the main problem -- the GOP's anti-science attitude and their belief that science should be driven by political ideology.
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  #139  
Old 12-08-2010, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I don't see it, and I don't see any examples from you regarding the Dems in recent years.

I'll grant they haven't been absolutely blameless in this matter -- there has been plenty of "teach the controversy" nonsense from Dems over the years, not to mention occasional susceptibility to moonbattery (e.g., RFK Jr.'s support for anti-vaxxers), but the two parties do not begin to compare in their attitudes about science overall.

The rest of your post is irrelevant to the matter. I already said that if you don't want to accept the analogy to the beginnings of Nazi Germany, fine, but that's a minor point. Trying to move the argument in that direction ignores the main problem -- the GOP's anti-science attitude and their belief that science should be driven by political ideology.
The best example of the Obama administration has been the skewering of the drilling report:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44921.html

I haven't heard any real anti-nuclear posturing from Obama, but I think overall Dems have been more willing to get into the anti-nuclear fear mongering than Republicans. In return, Republicans are more likely to completely write off global warming (though Imhoffe is one of the few that is dumb enough to call it all a big hoax).
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  #140  
Old 12-08-2010, 05:38 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Just as it can be too easy to reach for Hitler as a comparison, it's also too easy to just dismiss. That comparisons to Nazi Germany are too often deployed does not mean the analogy is never appropriate.

In this instance, I think Levenson makes a good case, particularly because he is not saying it is Like That Now, but because he is showing how the precursors match. Recall his lead-in phrase that I quoted: "Leap now from 1922 to 2010 ..." Note that it's not "1932" or "1942."

The Republican Party has for at least the past decade (and at the local level for far longer) tried quite hard in several areas to drive science according to their political ideology, from stem cell research to evolution-vs-creationism to global warming. Whether or not you want to accept TL's analogy is therefore a minor issue; what's important is that the GOP's anti-science attitude is already a problem, and Cantor and Smith are indicating it's going to get worse. And I don't see you responding to any of the substance of the piece, so I think either you didn't read it or you can't dispute the thrust of it.

Thus, even if I ignore your fondness for the GOP's stances in other areas, I must say that if you're not alarmed by the way the Republican Party views science, you're part of the problem.
I wouldn't call myself alarmed, but because you seem to be asking for someone from the right to say it: The GOP absolutely has a problem with science.
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  #141  
Old 12-08-2010, 05:43 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
The best example of the Obama administration has been the skewering of the drilling report: [...]
As I said: Dems are not perfect, but the two parties don't begin to compare on attitudes regarding science and science policy. If that's your best example, I think you make my point.

Quote:
I haven't heard any real anti-nuclear posturing from Obama, but I think overall Dems have been more willing to get into the anti-nuclear fear mongering than Republicans.
Granted, a kneejerk no-nukes position is more prevalent among some on the left, and so I don't doubt you could find a few Dem politicians who have catered to that, but as a general matter of policy, decisions about expanding nuclear energy production are mostly not a matter of science. The issues are more related to questions like how much funding should be given to support building new power plants, how waste disposal should be managed, how much plant security considerations play into matters, and like that. In other words, it is not inherently anti-science to be dubious about the practical considerations of building new nuclear power plants and/or thinking that going gangbusters in this area is an appropriate alternative to supporting other non-fossil-fuel-based initiatives.

Quote:
In return, Republicans are more likely to completely write off global warming (though Imhoffe is one of the few that is dumb enough to call it all a big hoax).
"More likely" doesn't even come close. As an illustration, here is a comprehensive report on all Republican candidates for Senate this past election. The short version: they're all deniers, or at least adopt that position when campaigning.

Quote:
Remarkably, of the dozens of Republicans vying for the 37 Senate seats in the 2010 election, no one supports climate action, after climate advocate Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) lost his primary to Christine O’Donnell. Even former climate advocates Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) now toe the science-doubting party line.

Many of the Senate candidates are signatories of the Koch Industries’ Americans For Prosperity No Climate Tax pledge and the FreedomWorks Contract From America. The second plank of the Contract From America is to “Reject Cap & Trade: Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.”
And let's not forget what the new House Republican majority has at the top of its list of actions to be taken first, noted in this thread just last week.

This is really a bad area for you to be a mindless team cheerleader, op. And it's an easy one where you could improve your cred by admitting your side is not free from flaws.
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  #142  
Old 12-08-2010, 05:44 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: There's no denying it: they're the only ones denying it

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
I wouldn't call myself alarmed, but because you seem to be asking for someone from the right to say it: The GOP absolutely has a problem with science.
Thanks.
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  #143  
Old 12-13-2010, 07:23 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default You know how Fox and other wingnuts are always yelling about Democrats in Congress ...

... supposedly being "far to the left" of where the country as a whole is?

About time someone did a post documenting how the Republican Party represents no one but its most reactionary base.

Conclusion, after a look at polling data on several hot-button issues:

Quote:
In other words, it’s not merely that Washington Republicans won’t compromise with Democrats. They won’t compromise even with their own voters. The national party is in the grip of radicals who accept no deviation from the approved party line, and who demonstrate no tolerance for the broader, more reasonable range of opinions that exists within the Republican electorate they claim to represent.
(via, via)
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  #144  
Old 12-13-2010, 08:24 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Americans are liberal

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Absolutely. It's a point I have been making for a long time:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Apparently, the Republican Party doesn't even represent its own membership on most issues. The national Republican Party's official positions are far to the right of most actual Republicans on these issues.
However true this was when I wrote it, it's much more true, now.
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  #145  
Old 12-13-2010, 08:27 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Americans are liberal

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Absolutely. It's a point I have been making for a long time: [...]
Indeed you have. Sorry I didn't acknowledge that.
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  #146  
Old 12-13-2010, 08:40 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Americans are liberal

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
Indeed you have. Sorry I didn't acknowledge that.
Oh, well, it was two and a half years ago. It would have been remarkable if you had remembered.

Still, I wish there was more recognition of the point you made here, in this thread, today: that only a tiny minority of Americans are as extreme as the GOP/Teabagger leadership.

But oh well. Americans are too busy doing other stuff to pay attention to the thugocracy that has the country by the throat. I'm convinced that they will be able to drive the country completely off the cliff and people will still have no idea what happened or who did it.

Oh, wait, that happened in 2007-2008 -- you know, two years before voters gave the GOP an overwhelming majority in the House.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 12-13-2010 at 10:23 PM..
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  #147  
Old 01-06-2011, 12:55 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Sound familiar?

John Cole:

Quote:
The Very Weird Concept of Fiscal Conservatism Under Wingnut Rule

You gotta just love the new (same as the old) Republican majority in the House. The very first thing they do is kinda/sorta introduce new rules:

Quote:
After calling for bills to go through a regular committee process, the bill that would repeal the health care law will not go through a single committee. Despite promising a more open amendment process for bills, amendments for the health care repeal will be all but shut down. After calling for a strict committee attendance list to be posted online, Republicans backpedaled and ditched that from the rules. They promised constitutional citations for every bill but have yet to add that language to early bills.
Some rules are more equal than others, though:

Quote:
The new Republican majority in the House is learning already that governing is harder than campaigning.

They vow to repeal President Obama’s health reform. But they say they want to reduce the deficit, too, so one of their rules requires that any new legislation be paid for fully.

Here’s the problem: The health care reform includes new taxes and a tough cut in Medicare spending. It actually reduces the deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. So if you kill health reform, the rules require that you find offsetting spending cuts or tax increases to plug that gap.

So Republicans have decided to exempt health reform from the rule. That deficit they talked so much about during the campaign? Never mind.

We haven’t seen this kind of hypocrisy in Washington since … a few weeks ago, when Republicans insisted on extending tax cuts to the wealthy and didn’t pay for that either.
The rest.
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  #148  
Old 01-06-2011, 02:50 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Sound familiar?

Quote:
So Republicans have decided to exempt health reform from the rule. That deficit they talked so much about during the campaign? Never mind.

We haven’t seen this kind of hypocrisy in Washington since … a few weeks ago, when Republicans insisted on extending tax cuts to the wealthy and didn’t pay for that either.
Just unbelievable.

You would think an advanced civilization would be immune to dominance by charlatans of this kind.
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  #149  
Old 01-06-2011, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Sound familiar?

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Just unbelievable.

You would think an advanced civilization would be immune to dominance by charlatans of this kind.
Not to mention repeating the same mistake every decade.

Are we going to be paying in advance for the inevitable witch hunt to root out un-american Americans? Or will it be initiated on spec?

FYI, I am pre-preparing a statement exposing up to seven of my friends and coworkers... in order to live up to my American exceptionalism, of course.
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  #150  
Old 01-06-2011, 11:56 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Beginning of an open "Memo to Obama"

From "a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House" (via):

Quote:
One of the biggest problems you have faced over the past two years, Mr. President, has been the extremely poor quality of your opponents in the Republican Party. With precious few exceptions, conservatives have made no effort to engage your administration on an intellectual level. Their criticism has been limited almost entirely to lies, caricatures, and ridiculous charges.
Funny how often life imitates this forum.
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  #151  
Old 01-07-2011, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Beginning of an open "Memo to Obama"

Shocking! Who knew?

Quote:
Among conservative intellectuals, meanwhile, the atmosphere of partisanship has been so all-encompassing that it has stifled open thinking and caused the movement to close ranks. Last year, the American Enterprise Institute, once a bastion of sober mainstream Republicans like Gerald Ford and Herb Stein, fired David Frum simply for suggesting that the health legislation would have been better if Republicans had negotiated with Democrats instead of engaging in mindless opposition. (Frum also noted, correctly, that many of the ideas in your plan had their origin among Republicans such as Mitt Romney. That these Republicans were forced to repudiate their own accomplishments only made them look like fools.) Times like these generate intellectual orphans who might be looking for ways to make their voices heard outside the highly policed party lines.
But I believe the word is "refudiate".
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  #152  
Old 01-09-2011, 02:29 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Tales of Your <strike>New</strike> OTHER Republican Majority!

Tom Scocca:


Quote:
In his op-ed column in today's New York Times, David Brooks considers the challenges facing the health-reform law, beginning with the situation in the courts:

Quote:
So far, one judge has struck down the individual mandate, the plan’s centerpiece. Future decisions are likely to break down on partisan lines. Given the makeup of the Supreme Court, this should concern the law’s defenders.
And then he moves along, like that, to the next topic. This is how far the Supreme Court's legitimacy has eroded: David Brooks, who believes in the integrity of institutions and the soundness of the status quo, takes it for granted that the federal judiciary plans to vote on party lines. The "constitutionality" of a law passed by a Democratic majority in Congress is defined not by whether the law fits with the existing body of law and precedent, but by whether the Republicans have the votes on the Supreme Court to overturn it.

This is not a particularly novel critique of the right-wing-activist turn of the judiciary, but it's hard to imagine a mainstream conservative columnist accepting it so blithely in the era before Bush v. Gore. Even if certain justices always voted a certain way, the polite thing to do was to attribute it to principle. If they started overturning earlier majorities' precedents, it was because they were trying to affirm some older, deeper principle. Officially, the Court was independent and impartial.

The Roberts Court itself, however, makes very few bones about its role as a Republican-majority superlegislature. Thus we get Chief Justice John Roberts—the Court's Republican majority leader, as it were—welcoming the new House Republican majority by presiding over a special swearing-in ceremony for John Boehner's staff. Politico described this as "another statement of the new House Republican majority's commitment to the Constitution." Commitment might not be exactly the right word. It was some kind of statement about the Constitution, at any rate.
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  #153  
Old 01-13-2011, 06:09 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default More <strike>Gomer</strike> Gohmert

Not possible, you say? No way he could say anything to top that gun thing? Au contraire! Gomer said something even stupider.

Who knew the FBI was liberally biased? Better not tell him about the CIA!
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  #154  
Old 01-17-2011, 03:41 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Welcome back to the Gilded Age!

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the teabagger who primary-ousted Bob Bennett (see "The Republican Party Is Turning Into A Cult"), is in favor of repealing child labor laws, maybe?

Not that he's in favor of child labor, he says, but protecting children is not nearly as important to him as worshiping a warped image of the Constitution, apparently.

Scott Lemieux and Ian Millhiser have more.


"What? I LOVE children. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a healthy snack!"

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  #155  
Old 01-17-2011, 04:35 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default The Republican War on Logic

Pardon me for starting with the conclusion, but it's just so well put.

Quote:
... the modern G.O.P. has been taken over by an ideology in which the suffering of the unfortunate isn’t a proper concern of government, and alleviating that suffering at taxpayer expense is immoral, never mind how little it costs.

Given that their minds were made up from the beginning, top Republicans weren’t interested in and didn’t need any real policy analysis — in fact, they’re basically contemptuous of such analysis, something that shines through in their health care report. All they ever needed or wanted were some numbers and charts to wave at the press, fooling some people into believing that we’re having some kind of rational discussion. We aren’t.
The whole thing.
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  #156  
Old 01-21-2011, 02:40 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default In today's edition of "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" ...

... Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virg.).

Honorable mention to Politifact for Freezingly Polite Understatement.

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  #157  
Old 01-23-2011, 12:06 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Having his cake and eating it, too

They're not even keeping up pretenses anymore, are they? From the Denver Post, via Crooks and Liars, via Balloon Juice:

Quote:
Less than two weeks on the job, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler says the $68,500 a year salary doesn't pay enough.

That's why Gessler, a Republican, says he is going to be moonlighting as a lawyer for his old law firm - a firm known for representing clients on elections and campaign law issues, the very areas Gessler is now charged with policing as secretary of state.

Gessler, 45, says he'll be working about 20 hours a month for the firm, now called Hackstaff Law Group and formerly known as Hackstaff Gessler. The news was first reported by The Denver Business Journal on Friday.
The Colorado Independent also has coverage, beginning as follows.

Quote:
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is no stranger to political controversy. He has represented a long line of conservative advocacy and attack groups and in that role has become the public face of partisan causes. Indeed, his name and the law firm he founded virtually stand for a branch of Colorado politics that seeks to limit government restrictions on and oversight of campaign financing. He has done battle repeatedly with laws the secretary of state is charged to enforce and now he is secretary of state. His election victory put government watchdog groups on high alert. News coming today, a little more than a week since he was sworn into office, that Gessler plans to keep working part-time as an attorney for his former firm even while serving as secretary of state has set conflict-of-interest alarm bells ringing in watchdog offices.
As far as Gessler's whining about needing the money to Support His Family™ goes, note this:

Quote:
Gessler’s former law partner Jim Hackstaff bought Gessler out of the firm the day before Gessler became secretary of state.
They don't give a figure, but if there weren't at least six of them, I'd be amazed.

Also ... transparamency!!!1!

Quote:
Former Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, who has accepted a job as the deputy attorney general responsible for advising the secretary of state, said he couldn’t comment on Gessler’s plan to moonlight because commenting would be “inappropriate.”

Attorney General John Suthers, who is tasked to work with Gessler to help him avoid Hackstaff-related conflicts of interest, said attorney-client privileges prevent him from speaking on the topic.

This legally proscribed silence is a big problem and points to the bigger problem going forward, according to Luis Toro, director of government watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch and a man who has argued cases against Gessler in the past. The public is being forced to simply accept that the secretary of state will be acting in good faith without any way to really ask questions or get answers to confirm that’s the case, he said.

“Assuming it’s feasible for [Gessler and Hackstaff] to carve out areas of law for [Gessler] to practice that don’t present a conflict with his responsibilities as secretary of state, how is the public supposed to monitor that? That [challenge] is inconsistent with the idea of public oversight of public officials.”
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  #158  
Old 01-23-2011, 01:43 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Having his cake and eating it, too

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
[...]
And in other reports from the Midwest: Good news! The Republican Party is still not racist!
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  #159  
Old 01-24-2011, 07:24 PM
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Default Nancy Smash!

This just in:

Quote:
NancyPelosi Right now House is debating a 1pg GOP Budgetless Resolution ignoring job creation with no specifics #WhereAreTheNumbers?
(title: cf.)
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  #160  
Old 01-25-2011, 04:04 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Tales of Your [strike]New[/strike] Old Republican Majority!

If there was ever something that deserved to be filed under News of the Unsurprising, it's this, but still, it's worth noting for the record.

Quote:
Bush White House Broke Elections Law, Report Says

WASHINGTON — The Bush White House, particularly before the 2006 midterm elections, routinely violated a federal law that prohibits use of federal tax dollars to pay for political activities by creating a “political boiler room” that coordinated Republican campaign activities nationwide, a report issued Monday by an independent federal agency concludes.

The report by the Office of Special Counsel finds that the Bush administration’s Office of Political Affairs — overseen by Karl Rove — served almost as an extension of the Republican National Committee, developing a “target list” of Congressional races, organizing dozens of briefings for political appointees to press them to work for party candidates, and sending cabinet officials out to help these campaigns.

The report, based on about 100,000 pages of documents and interviews with 80 Bush administration officials in an investigation of more than three years, documented how these political activities accelerated before the 2006 midterm elections.

This included helping coordinate fund-raising by Republican candidates and pressing Bush administration political appointees to help with Republican voter-turnout pitches, particularly in the 72 hours leading up to the election ...

[...]

The report found that during the Bush administration, senior staff members at the Office of Political Affairs violated the Hatch Act by organizing 75 political briefings from 2001 to 2007 for Republican appointees at top federal agencies in an effort to enlist them to help Republicans get elected to Congress.

[...]

The investigators also found evidence that the Bush White House improperly classified travel by senior officials as official government business, “when it was, in fact, political,” and the costs associated with this travel were never reimbursed.
Another one for the book.





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Last edited by bjkeefe; 01-25-2011 at 04:10 PM.. Reason: typo
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