Democrats & Liberals Archives

Run for the Hills, It's the Moderates!

The way insurance companies, Republicans, and others would have it, a public option is a radical plan, which will destroy the superior private options. But with three quarters of the American public on the side of a public option, we have to ask ourselves whether its the destruction of a superior option, which is what those people are afraid of.

The logic, as the president lays it out is clear. If it's an option, not something forced on them, people want a public alternative. If they feel that it is inferior to what they got, they won't go for it.

You have take a particular leap of logic beyond that in order to find fault with that logic. You have to make this pitch. You talk about bipartisanship, as if that is a good in and of itself. You choose words like "government takeover", essentially linking healthcare reform with a public option to unpopular interventions in the banking industry and the car companies. You say you want to reduce costs, do good things. You don't offer any solid plans, you just express positive intentions. The Republicans are good at expressing positive intentions. Their results vary.

And of course, you use music that screams "sad concern" Bring on the pianos, we're saving you from the plight of government bureaucrats taking over!

Well, lets be sure about something: Republicans and Industry lobbyists got their way before. They succeeded in creating a system that leaves almost three quarters of Americans believing they need a government alternative, that government bureaucrats would do a better job of managing the healthcare system than private insurers.

They would have nothing to fear if they had not created a system that benefits themselves, but not the patient, where their profit margins depend on the very situation Americans seem so desperate to escape from.

When an entity feeds on the pains and suffering of a body, we have a name for it: parasite. Generally, medical science treats parasitic creatures as something to be treated and healed from.

Healthcare reform with the public option will give the insurance companies one last chance to prove that they can be better than a government administered program, that they can be something else than a parasite. One way, or another, the private insurers will either prove their superiority, relegating the public option to a minor status in American Healthcare, or they will fall short, demonstrating that for all the boasting and dark warnings, a government run system, with all its flaws, serves the purpose better.

The radical approach here would be to stick with an approach that has been seen not to work: our current system. It's not going to get better. The insurance companies don't want it to get better. Better costs them money.

Curiously enough, the same is true for those reliant on our addiction to fossil fuels. America hit peak oil years ago, and even new discoveries in Alaska would do little but shave a few cent off of the cost of a tank of gas two decades down the line. And that's in the best case scenario. But they'll certainly go out of their way to say that there would be an excessive burden on American business, due to the pollution restrictions of cap and trade.

According to a new study, that's where they would be wrong. The cost would be postage stamps worth a day, and the benefits? Well they don't get into what the benefits would be for not having global warming be such a severe problem, as it would be otherwise. But certainly, if the droughts, storms and ice sheet melting observed so far are any guide, the benefits would be great.

The Republicans and the Fossil Fuel industries treat this as some kind of radical junk science. They sponsor all kinds of contrarian pseudo science in their defense, and respond to charges that their science is mostly fringe by appealing to the notion that their science will be back on top, when the evil conspiracy involving most climate scientists, the media, and possibly the Rosicrucians and Illuminati is cast aside, and the dedicated right thinkers are shown correct in the next paradigm shift.

But the fact remains, most Climate scientists are convinced of the reality of Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming. It's not a radical theory forced upon the scientific community, any more than Einstein's Relativity is. True, some theories do end up retired to greener pastures upon the arrival of a gruff new competitor, but it's not really a scientific way of going about things to insist that your theory, absent all the testing and experimentation, the observation and study, must be correct, and a better established, better confirmed theory is false. The whole point of all that observation and testing and whatnot is to put that theory to the test. If you haven't done that, then in practical terms, you don't even have a theory, you have an unproven hypothesis, which lends you little credibility.

I know pop culture loves to lionize the lone scientist, out to prove the establishment and its theories wrong, but the truth is, this is a bit of a melodramatic construction, largely useful for making Cassandra figures out of eccentric but brilliant, scientist-like characters. It's not hard to tell why the Republicans try to appeal to people with this notion. There's a certain self-made man vibe to it, an appeal to the Renaissance ideal romanticized in American history.

The only problem is, a lot of the easy problems have been solved. There's a reason such people have to brilliant, and they are rare. And these people don't usually stumble into these discoveries without an appropriate background. Even Patent Clerk Albert Einstein, often represented as the patron saint of toiling, loner, scientific geniuses, was avidly aware and well-read of the physics of the day, pursuing his theories with reference to and collaboration with other physicists.

And his theories were a lively and topical part of the scientific melieu of the time, including a landmark theory explaining the photoelectric effect.

He took Max Planck's neat little mathematical workaround for squaring the experimental results of real objects that radiate when heated with the idealized black bodies(non-reflective perfect absorbers of radiation), and used it to give the reason why materials experiencing the photoelectric effect gave off electrons with more intensity not with the increase of a light source's intensity, but its frequency. (the amount of electrons given off still depended on the amount of light. We're talking about how hard they get knocked out, not in what quantity.)

That, in fact, is what won him the Nobel Prize, not Special Relativity, which was an answer to another question: why the motion of the Earth didn't seem to make a difference to the speed of light. He was not the only one to come close to his answer, but he was the only one to realize a crucial fact: that the principle he laid out were all that were needed, that the properties of special relativity were not merely a correction on a theory that would have absolute frames of reference- there were no absolute frames of reference in Einstein's theory, only the invariance of the speed of light in a vacuum, and the uniform, shared laws of physics between any frames of reference.

As counterintuitve as Einstein's work was, it lent itself to being tested. Whether it was the gravitational lensing implied by his General Relativity theory, the explanation of Mercury's strange anomalies in orbit, or time dilation, where objects near the speed of light see time slowed, there was more coming from his theory than mere speculation and philosophy. Proof of his theory showed up in the warping of star backgrounds, the behavior of objects in orbits, and in the slowed decay of muons (electron-like particles) created by cosmic rays high up in Earth's atmosphere.

Romantic visions of science see it in terms of the old natural philosophy, in terms of schools of academic thought which meshed straight into other aspects of philosophy, like morals and ethics, like religion, rather than having a different species of standards, altogether.

Science, by its nature, must be built on testable conclusions. Why testable? Well, it's like Michelangelo carving off all the marble that isn't his statue. It's nice to have your educated guess confirmed, but it's not a complete disaster to have your guess knocked down, because the disparity between guess and result can tell you something both about what you did wrong, and about what may be right. Reality is like a maze, and you're trying to prune away the dead ends to find the real route through to a good explanation.

Some talk about teaching Intelligent Design or Creationism as Science, but the problem there is that a critical element of the scientific method is missing: testability. How do you test for God, or his divine hand, in a way that would allow you to rule it out conclusively? Accepting supernatural explanations as part of a scientific inquiry is like accepting water into a cylinder in an engine. It won't provide fuel for the subsequent burn, an explanation that can be pruned away and left out, if not confirmed by experimental results.

This habit of favoring fringe "discoveries" and "research programs" over mainstream, properly vetted science is just one aspect of a widespread, negative politicization of moderates and moderation, intended to give political cover for those who want to claim themselves the aggrieved victims of politics, instead of the bullheaded contrarians trying to support radical, unsupported positions. They draw equivalences they don't earn, use sensational rhetoric rather than solid facts to support their positions.

They accuse those who simply follow the logical conclusions of accepted and well supported theories of playing the politics, so they can play the politics. They charge others with conspiracy, even as they plan and prop up organizations that they commonly fail to fully disclose the methods, purposes or funding sources for.

They'll offer up nightmare worlds where you can't enjoy a hamburger, or smoke in the privacy of your home, where uncaring bureacrats run a healthcare system where skeletons and rotting corpses sit in the waiting room with you, the cobwebs gathering. They greet the slightest deviation from their laissez faire free market methods, even in the wake of the worse economic collapse in recent history, with scorn and charges of socialism unbounded. Not even emergency spending to save the financial system, to prevent the collapse of a domestic industry is free from their critique. Better to let a major industry, with millions of jobs at stake, collapse in the space of a month or two, rather intervene with government. And of course, the deficits that they said were necessary for the economy just a while ago become a threat to western civilization, and totally the fault of the current president.

It's a radical idea, in their eyes, to give tax cuts to people who need more money, rather than to people who have more than than they need. It's radical, for them, to tax people more who can afford to pay more, and relieve those further down the income brackets for such high taxes. Fairness for them exists only in the equality of tax rate, not in the recognition of the inequality of the effects that increases have on one economic class as opposed to another.

They call it class warfare to point out that rich people can, and perhaps should pay more. They cal it income redistribution, especially when, of all people, the middle class and poor see their taxes cut. Redistribution is not a neutral term for the Republicans and Conservatives, but a red-flag dogwhistle for Communism.

You see how this is working? Take something where the effect is not that radical, where the policy is not that outside the mainstream, and treat it as if it dooms the country to whatever form of dystopia is handy. Never mind how truly outside the pale your own policies are, how far from the mainstream your plainly stated opinions might find themselves. The purpose here is not to be honest with people.

The purpose is to win. To cast such doubt on the other side that you can win merely by the force of your own certainty, regardless of how erroneous that certainty is.

Never mind that the violence is escalating in Iraq, and staying the course isn't doing the job. You can make the people, or at least the legislators fear that there is no other rational option.

Never mind that the failure in New Orleans was inexcusable, you can defame the victims of the disaster who you failed, and explain the failure as being just another symptom of Government's worthlessness.

Never mind that the tax cuts advertised as the means for growing revenue, predictably dropped that revenue, contributing to record deficits. Never mind that the economy continued to decline in real terms, despite the Chinese money paying the rich. This is one theory that cannot be disproved, because it must be the answer. Anything else is just not politically correct, because it leads to growing government and burdensome taxation.

Never mind that letting the financial companies write the rules of how they would be policed ultimately ended in disaster. It's communism to rewrite the laws to protect the public, socialism to yank the bonuses and perks of executives who've gotten into enough trouble to require government help. We can't very well stop rewarding incompetence, now can we?

Just never mind. Nothing can or should be changed, even as everything has fallen down around our ears. The failure of the Republican policies to pass the tests of real world implementation should not trouble you. What should trouble you is that liberalism, or even plain moderation is just plain scary, and you should run as fast as your feet can take you to the far right.

This is what they do to win. They redefine what's radical in a world of free-floating rhetoric, even as their policies strike out further and further from the center, even as they move further and further from compromise.

If you want to ask how bipartisan the Republicans can be, ask the Senator from Pennsylvania what happened to him when he dared cross the aisle to vote for the Stimulus. Ask Rush Limbaugh and those like him what the status is of those who endorsed or voted for President Obama. Ask them just how far you can stray from their platform, their beliefs, before you are cast out, vilified as just another enemy.

Ask yourself, at this moment, why we are still letting the Republicans tell us what is moderate, what is reasonable in our society, after all the unreasonable things they have done, after all the assaults on independent thought and judgment they have undertaken. Why are we still allowing a party that no longer has many moderates define what is moderation for the rest of us?

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at June 23, 2009 7:18 PM
Comments
Comment #283484
Stephen Daugherty wrote: If it’s an option [national health insurance] , not something forced on them, people want a public alternative.
Yes. That makes sense.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: If it’s an option [national health insurance] , not something forced on them, people want a public alternative.
Yes. That makes sense (maybe).

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to force people into it.

If a non-profit health insurance system is adequately managed, it will provide more protection for more people for lower premiums. And it seems there would be many tens of millions of people who would participate, since about 40 million can’t afford the for-profit health insurance.

However, if the federal government (already bloated to nightmare proportions and very deep into debt), runs a non-profit health insurance system as badly as it runs the Social Security and Medicare systems (riddled with fraud, waste, and corruption, not to mention surpluses spent for other things; a perfect example of a ponzi scheme), then a national, government-run health care insurance system and/or health care system will fail miserably.

As for your article … they never fail to somehow fuel and wallow in the petty, circular partisan warfare.
Now, moderation is a bad thing, eh?
OHHHHhhhhh … that’s right - anything not-DEMOCRAT, eh?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 23, 2009 11:55 PM
Comment #283486

Dan-
Government-run healthcare must be inefficient and inferior, right?

You’ve already made your assumptions about what’s true. Yet you rush, as is evident in your comment, to insist that government can only fail, can only become corrupt.

My article is not a wallow in partisanship. It is my stand on the value of moderation, real moderation, not merely the political correctness that Republicans are content to allow.

And by moderation, I mean a system where we don’t make snap judgments based on ideology, but value judgments based on sound, discipline thought. Moderation, in my usage here, is not merely a lack of partisanship, but a willingness to listen to what the real world results have to say about things. And I unequivocally favor it.

What I don’t favor is that moderation being defined and taught by those who themselves indulge in the very kind of immoderacy they proport to hate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 24, 2009 12:37 AM
Comment #283491

SD
Though I enjoy reading your post and am usually in agreement,could you possibly try switching to decaff once in awhile.LOL You touched about 5 hot button issues.

DAN
Without diverting from the theme,or themes,as it were ,too far,the actual SS system runs very efficiently. It has about a %2 overhead and disperses millions of checks every month as well as keeps track of benefit accruals. Altogether,pretty impressive. Comparable private annuities run about a %20 overhead. The pressing problem with SS often sighted involves the trust fund, not how the system itself operates.

Posted by: bills at June 24, 2009 6:29 AM
Comment #283492
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Government-run healthcare must be inefficient and inferior, right?
More circular, obfuscated gobbledygook.

Who said it “Government-run healthcare must be inefficient and inferior”.
Did you not notice the word “IF” used in two places? For example:

    d.a.n wrote:
  • If a non-profit health insurance system is adequately managed, it will provide more protection for more people for lower premiums. And it seems there would be many tens of millions of people who would participate, since about 40 million can’t afford the for-profit health insurance.

HMMMMmmmmmm … since when did “IF” equate to “must be inefficient and inferior?

  • However, if the federal government (already bloated to nightmare proportions and very deep into debt), runs a non-profit health insurance system as badly as it runs the Social Security and Medicare systems (riddled with fraud, waste, and corruption, not to mention surpluses spent for other things; a perfect example of a ponzi scheme), then a national, government-run health care insurance system and/or health care system will fail miserably.

  • What does “IF” mean? Thus, your comment (“Government-run healthcare must be inefficient and inferior”) is nonsense.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’ve already made your assumptions about what’s true. Yet you rush, as is evident in your comment, to insist that government can only fail, can only become corrupt.
    Nonsense. Did you not notice the word “if” used in two places?

    Since when did “IF” equate to “you rush, as is evident in your comment, to insist that government can only fail, can only become corrupt.”

    Only a fool assumes there is no danger of that?
    Consider Medicare fraud. Consider how many people could be treated with the $30 Billion in annual Medicare fraud (7% of the $432 Billion in Medicare expenditures in year 2007).
    Consider former Senator Bill Frist’s HCA hospitals, which bilked Medicare out of $1 billion (resulting in a final fine of $631 Million, which ended the investigation (www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bill_Frist#HCA-Medicare_investigation).
    There is the real potential for many manifestations of unchecked greed in for-profit and government-run systems.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: My article is not a wallow in partisanship.
    False.

    Most (if not all) of your articles never fail to somehow find a way fuel and wallow in the petty, circular partisan warfare.
    For example:

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The way insurance companies, Republicans, and others would have it, a public option is a radical plan, which will destroy the superior private options.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans are good at expressing positive intentions. Their results vary.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Run for the Hills, It’s the Moderates!
      The way insurance companies, Republicans, and others would have it, a public option is a radical plan, which will destroy the superior private options. But with three quarters of the American public on the side of a public option, we have to ask ourselves whether its the destruction of a superior option, which is what those people are afraid of.The logic, as the president lays it out is clear. If it’s an option, not something forced on them, people want a public alternative. If they feel that it is inferior to what they got, they won’t go for it. You have take a particular leap of logic beyond that in order to find fault with that logic. You have to make this pitch. You talk about bipartisanship, as if that is a good in and of itself. You choose words like “government takeover”, essentially linking healthcare reform with a public option to unpopular interventions in the banking industry and the car companies. You say you want to reduce costs, do good things. You don’t offer any solid plans, you just express positive intentions. The Republicans are good at expressing positive intentions. Their results vary. And of course, you use music that screams “sad concern” Bring on the pianos, we’re saving you from the plight of government bureaucrats taking over! Well, lets be sure about something: Republicans and Industry lobbyists got their way before.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans and the Fossil Fuel industries treat this as some kind of radical junk science.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: know pop culture loves to lionize the lone scientist, out to prove the establishment and its theories wrong, but the truth is, this is a bit of a melodramatic construction, largely useful for making Cassandra figures out of eccentric but brilliant, scientist-like characters. It’s not hard to tell why the Republicans try to appeal to people with this notion.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They cal it income redistribution, especially when, of all people, the middle class and poor see their taxes cut. Redistribution is not a neutral term for the Republicans and Conservatives, but a red-flag dogwhistle for Communism.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The failure of the Republicans policies to pass the tests of real world implementation should not trouble you.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to ask how bipartisan the Republicans can be, ask the Senator from Pennsylvania what happened to him when he dared cross the aisle to vote for the Stimulus. Ask Rush Limbaugh and those like him what the status is of those who endorsed or voted for President Obama. Ask them just how far you can stray from their platform, their beliefs, before you are cast out, vilified as just another enemy.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Ask yourself, at this moment, why we are still letting the Republicans tell us what is moderate, what is reasonable in our society, after all the unreasonable things they have done, after all the assaults on independent thought and judgment they have undertaken. Why are we still allowing a party that no longer has many moderates define what is moderation for the rest of us?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It is my stand on the value of moderation, real moderation, not merely the political correctness that Republicans are content to allow.

    “Republicans” this, “Republicans” that, “Republicans”, “Republicans”, “Republicans” and “conservatives” … !

    Nothin’ partisan about that eh?

    And now, moderation and moderates too, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Run for the Hills, It’s the Moderates! …
    And by moderation, I mean a system where we don’t make snap judgments based on ideology, but value judgments based on sound, discipline thought. Moderation, in my usage here, is not merely a lack of partisanship, but a willingness to listen to what the real world results have to say about things. And I unequivocally favor it.

    HMMMMMmmmmmm … Or nothin’ not-Demcorat, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What I don’t favor is that moderation being defined and taught by those who themselves indulge in the very kind of immoderacy they proport to hate.
    More like anything not-Democrat, eh?
    bills wrote: d.a.n Without diverting from the theme,or themes,as it were ,too far,the actual SS system runs very efficiently. It has about a %2 overhead and disperses millions of checks every month as well as keeps track of benefit accruals. Altogether, pretty impressive. Comparable private annuities run about a %20 overhead. The pressing problem with SS often sighted involves the trust fund, not how the system itself operates.
    So, many trillions missing from the Social Security trust fund (a ponzi scheme) is a “pretty impressive” and characteristic of a system that runs “very efficiently” (not to mention an (www.zfacts.com/p/461.html”>$11.5 Trillion national debt, the largest per-capita debt ever ($37K) that is 70% larger than the per-capita debt ($22K in 2008 dollars) after World War II in year 1945) ? ! ?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: “Government-run healthcare must be inefficient and inferior”.
    It’s not a given.

    But it’s also not a given that it won’t be inefficient and inferior.
    It certainly doesn’t have to be “inefficient and inferior”.
    But, in case some one hasn’t noticed, the National Debt is about $11.5 Trillion, the Nation-wide debt is $57 Trillion, the tax system is regressive, there war still two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s a 78 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching, and the bloated (and still growing) federal government is now the largest employer in the nation (employming more people than all manufacturing jobs in the nation).

    So, would either of you like to wager on it (with the stipulation that trillion pilfered from trust-funds not be allowed)?

    The fact is, there are two extremes at work, and both are bad …

    • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed.

    • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.
    There’s actually not much difference between the two extremes.

    Which extreme do you belong to?

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 24, 2009 8:52 AM
    Comment #283493

    bills-
    I recall the friendly exchange between Michael J. Fox and Michael Douglas in The American President:

    Pres. Shepard: Whatever coffee you drink in the morning, Lewis, cut it in half.

    Lewis: I don’t drink coffee, sir.

    Pres. Shepard: Hit yourself over the head with a baseball bat.

    I may need to hit myself over the head! ;-)

    But getting back to my point, you’re actually not diverting from my themes. There’s actually one theme: true moderation.

    Dan assumes that as a government agency, Social Security is dreadfully inefficient. Like many such people in his political sphere, he doesn’t need to check evidence to come to this conclusion, he simply knows it, with natural certainty.

    And as you point out, he is wrong.

    The five issues come down to one issue: a politics and a discipline of thought that allows one to “listen” to what the real world says about what works, and what does not.

    Healthcare finds its way in there because the current situation is intolerable, and many are preferring to argue economic political dogma, rather than use government’s broad, national power to create a nationwide solution, whatever form it might take. They argue contradictory points, since the center of their argument is not an empirically strong set of evidence, but rather their own wish to frighten people.

    Fossil Fuels finds its way in there, because the people who are promising that extra drilling and everything can wean us off our dependence on foreign fossile fuels are more or less ignoring the evidence that says such sources, even at best, would not achieve that end.

    Additionally, the Whole Global Warming contrarian movement, as it is, fails to offer truly scientific evidence for its assertion that Anthropogenic global warming is a fraud. Instead, it relies on conspiracy theory and fallacious arguments.

    Creationists and ID advocates, instead of advocating scientific methods, advance premises that cannot be allowed in scientific discipline, owing to their reliance on evidence that is beyond testability by human beings. We cannot hold anybody’s assertion about the how and the what of divine intervention, so we cannot argue it scientifically, because scientific methods are all about accountable scientists making testable claims.

    Overall, the point of the post rests on the distinction between claims and policies that rest more on fierce believe, and those that depend upon more stronger foundations of thought and evidence.

    As for the passion of it? There is a certain rationality I miss in the public sphere, a certain sense that your credibility rested on the strength of your claims, the strength of the reason behind them, not on the strength of your passion or your eloquence alone.

    It’s no coincidence that I kicked things off with the Obama video. That’s the kind of rationality I missed in Washington.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 24, 2009 8:55 AM
    Comment #283497

    After eight years of bending over and dropping my drawers for conservative policy I am still too sore to run for the hills. How about if I just walk there. lol

    Nothing has changed. For republicans, profit margins, and who gets those profits still trumps the need for affordable, responsible health care for all. I guess they would rather just let costs continue to rise to the point that only the wealthy will be able to obtain health care. For many that time is here. For the rest of us median income people that time is rapidly approaching. That is if we allow the so called free markets to control the direction of health care. God forbid the health industry should have to face long overdue reform. Such things could possibly snowball into governmental reform. Just imagine the complications and inconveniences should that be allowed to happen. Yes, this is a partisan statement. Eight years of totally irresponsible governmental administration have left me tainted. Sorry about that.

    Posted by: RickIL at June 24, 2009 9:08 AM
    Comment #283498

    Stephen
    “If it’s an option, not something forced on them, people want a public alternative. If they feel that it is inferior to what they got, they won’t go for it”

    Even I would give in and “settle” for that plan in the way the obama explains it there. I mean, people having the option to freely choose which plan to use their money for sounds kind of fair to me. I did not know the obama’s health care plan was going to be completely different than social security.
    So sign me up as a supporter of this “public option” plan the obama defines in this statement. Since, according to the obama, not one penny of my money will go towards a govt controlled health care plan if I so choose, I will support the rights of others to choose differently.

    Posted by: kctim at June 24, 2009 9:40 AM
    Comment #283502

    Dan-
    A circular argument or petitio principii (begging the question) fallacy essentially restates the conclusion as a premise for the argument’s conclusion. Because Conclusions are not suppose to be self-proving, such arguments are fallacies, invalid as logic.

    I did not offer up a rephrased statement of the implicit conclusion that “Government Healthcare is not inherently liable to fall short of private healthcare” I instead offered up, as my premises, the study done on the VA healthcare system, where it achieved higher marks than the private healthcare system.

    My conclusion is never presented as a proof of my conclusion. It is therefore incorrect to claim that my argument is circular.

    Is my argument obfuscation? I think I’m pretty clear about what I’m saying.

    Is it gobbledygook? No, you perfectly understood my premise and my conclusion.

    If there’s any confusion about things, it comes from your emphasis on the second option, your prejudicial (as proven by bills) statements about Social Security.

    I do not assume there is no danger of fraud, that there is no deception going on with Medicare. I do not think the Public Option can be just thrown upon the scene without serious consideration and legislative action about how to keep doctors, patients, and hospitals honest. Why do you assume I’m naive about such things? It would be kind of a pity for healthcare reform if the public option became a rat’s nest of cheating and overcharging.

    As for wallowing in partisanship? Good Grief, man. Did I speak falsely?

    Did I not give an accurate representation of Republican views on global warming, on healthcare, on the economy, on other subjects? Is the word “redistribution” not used as a reference to the principles in communism of the workers taking the wealth of the rich for themselves?

    Did I not give an accurate representation of what happened with Arlen Specter? Did he not leave the party because of his ostracism from the Republican Establishment after supporting the Stimulus?

    Has it not been established in recent polls that self-identified moderates in the Republican party reflect only a little over a quarter of their membership, while they represent half of Independents, and about an even split with Liberals in the Democratic Party?

    I have not merely written out of my partisan inclinations. I have not engaged in partisanship to the exclusion of the use of reason and fact. I have not wallowed in it, a characterization that seems to imply that I am simply thinking from the position of what is good for my party and nothing else. I see such thinking as not only wrong, but self-defeating politically.

    The Republicans have allowed their relationship with the media, between the party’s politicians and elders, and its constituents and rank and file members, to become a closed loop. It is certainly not my intention to let my part go that route, nor to go that route myself.

    But I won’t ask people to trust my intentions alone. I’ll ask them to trust my words, what I say. The Republicans are redefining what’s moderate by claiming that moderate policies with broad public support are essentially gateways to radical leftism, or worse, communism and socialism. They tar and feather anything that doesn’t reflect the party’s platform, and attempt to obstruct all but the most strongly supported legislation.

    Is what I claim not true? Do Republicans not make dark warnings about not being able to enjoy hamburgers, when the government makes a simple report on health problems coming from bad diets? Do they not tell people that the government’s going to send its jackbooted thugs to confiscate their weapons, any time even minimal gun control is brought up? Do they not claim that Democrats are going to yank taxes sky-high, when even the gentlest of tax increases is discussed?

    Oh, I’m not claiming there’s nothing partisan about what I’m saying. I clearly want to take the Republicans to task. The question is, am I doing so on unreasonable grounds? Or am I making reasonable claims on sound evidence?

    You can raise up the zombies of your two strawmen, but all you’ve got there are cariactures of the two parties.

    What I want is reasonable Republicans back, Republicans that realize that they are part of the fort, not the whole affair. I want Republicans that have the maturity to compromise and negotiate, who object on reasonable grounds that can be supported by evidence that is symmetrically appreciable across party lines.

    I want the difference between Republicans and Democrats to be as small as possible, but not because the parties are unbalanced, one groups will stifling the other. I want the difference to fade because a consensus is being reached through compromise and concession of legitimate arguments. I want the parties to once again share the notion that America belongs to Americans together, not to one party or another, and that people have to work and play well with others.

    But that can’t happen until we expose the methods of the current crop of ideologues for what they are: fearmongering and fallacious, expedient argumentation merely serving the party’s cause, not moderated by facts and figures, evidence or outcomes. The unreason and the anti-intellectualism of the current Republican party must be exposed and seen for what it is.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 24, 2009 11:09 AM
    Comment #283504

    Whenever I need a good laugh I come back and read some of Daugherty’s blather. Nothing has changed in the hyperbole presented in these blogs since I was rudely banned by Remer. All liberal all the time. More trillions in spending being advocated and justified by bone-headed politicians and bloggers like Daugherty.

    Of one thing you can be certain…no opinion or viewpoint is ever changed by reading anything on these blogs. Writing on Watchblog is merely taking the ego out for a walk…eyes closed, ears plugged and brain on idle.

    Posted by: Jim M at June 24, 2009 12:13 PM
    Comment #283505

    “three quarters of the American public on the side of a public option”

    So much so that not even half of them are willing to pay an extra $9 dollars a week to have it. Way below half of them in fact.

    Posted by: kctim at June 24, 2009 12:41 PM
    Comment #283515

    Jim M

    Here, here Jim, well said. I have changed my name several times after being banned. Truthfully, I think it is because I’m conservative.

    SD does love the oratory, don’t he?

    Posted by: Frank at June 24, 2009 2:39 PM
    Comment #283517

    Thanks Frank. Maybe Remer is sleeping or has forgiven me my sins. I have found it much more pleasant to play poker on AOL. Of course it’s funny money but then, so is our liberal economy.

    Posted by: Jim M at June 24, 2009 2:55 PM
    Comment #283523
    rather than use government’s broad, national power to create a nationwide solution, whatever form it might take.

    Read: ‘broad national power’ = ‘force’

    Nice…

    BTW, why can’t NGO’s do this? Why must we have this forced upon us? If it is NOT about force, the government is not needed, one or several NGO’s could easily do it.

    What you are advocating, because of the desire to use the ‘broad, national power’ of government, is to employ force at some point, whether it is in the funding or the participation.

    Either way, there are constitutional issues to consider (well, for those of us who consider the constitution at all) and beyond that there are civil liberties, private property and other aspects that you are ignoring to push your agenda.

    Can you name the precident that this is even legal to do? For example, no one has ever, federally, mandated that anyone purchase any kind of insurance on themselves. Only one state, that I am aware of (did Wisconsin do it as well, I don’t remember) has attempted to do this and to my knowledge it hasn’t been tested constitutionally.

    I see a clear violation of rights, but of course I actually concern myself with those things… Right to Privacy? Not so fast…

    Posted by: Rhinehold at June 24, 2009 3:51 PM
    Comment #283524

    Oh, and 3/4 of Americans want the citizens of the US to attend church on Sunday. When do we put the laws in place and bring out the church police to enforce?

    Posted by: Rhinehold at June 24, 2009 3:52 PM
    Comment #283528

    d.a.n, great point. The IRS was highly efficient in tax collections before Bush, et. al, came to power and privatized IRS collections through private 3rd party collection agencies, at which point, the efficiency ratio between tax dollar collected and tax dollar spent to collect, got bigger and bigger with each passing year.

    Prior to Bush privatization effort, the tax collection analysis, performed by the publication Tax Notes, put the cost of collecting taxes by the federal government at 53 cents for each $100 collected — or just over half-a-cent per dollar collected.

    Since implementation in 2005 of privatized collection, no figures have been provided by the IRS or Bush administration regarding the cost efficiency of the IRS. Zilch, NADA, nothing, that I can find anywhere. Which leads me to believe the cost of collecting taxes has skyrocketed, as one would anticipate when going from civil servant salaries to collect taxes, to paying private sector profits for the same work.

    There is anecdotal evidence everywhere that Private tax collection has been a costly boondoggle with private agency fraud, and large profits against paltry collections. Very likely I suspect, a loss in collected back taxes as a percentage of cases, compared to pre-privatized collections. I mean those commercials on TV advertising how this or that company saved a taxpayer a million dollars or more in back taxes, and settled their tax debt at pennies on the dollar, can’t be ignored.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at June 24, 2009 4:19 PM
    Comment #283543

    DAN
    Are you missing the point on purpose? The actual work of getting the checks out and keeping track of benefit amounts etc. being done by SS works well and with very little overhead.They are having a problem with the length of time it takes to process disability claims. Hopefully that is being addressed but generally the system works well. Its debatable macro-problems are another topic altogether.

    Posted by: bills at June 24, 2009 10:42 PM
    Comment #283544

    Rhinehold-
    Even if we can be sure that people are that interested in church, We have constitutional restrictions against the commingling of the state and the Christian Church. Nice try at a scare tactic, though.

    Why can’t an NGO do this? Name one NGO that currently handles the hundreds of billions of dollars of funding necessary to deal with part, if not all of it.

    No charity could raise the money required.

    Either way, there are constitutional issues to consider (well, for those of us who consider the constitution at all) and beyond that there are civil liberties, private property and other aspects that you are ignoring to push your agenda.

    Nice boilerplate. Could you elaborate and demonstrate that point in greater detail, with better evidence? Like the kind that would indicate that the courts would be likely to consider it unconstitutional, and not merely a set of political partisans who don’t have final authority on the matter?

    It is one thing to have an opinion about the constitutionality of a certain policy, but it takes more than a simple opinion to make that principle law the rest of us are bound to observe.

    What I’m advocating in the end is that we create a system where the health of the American people is actually properly maintained, at a sane cost. We’re having to pay the costs for these people’s illnesses anyways in indigent care, bloated medical expenses, ER visits, lost productivity and so on and so forth. If it’s not the broad national authority of the Federal government, then what exactly do you suggest.

    Do you have more than a vague idea of what kind of alternative is possible, a plan that would justify a choice not to pursue what Democrats are offering?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 24, 2009 11:06 PM
    Comment #283545
    We have constitutional restrictions against the commingling of the state and the Christian Church. Nice try at a scare tactic, though.

    But, I thought you said that the constitution doesn’t matter when the people want to be governed?

    Geesh, Stephen, which is it?

    No charity could raise the money required.

    Why is that Stephen? Finish that thought out for everyone else to see.

    The fact is, the only way to make it work is to take the money, by force, from everyone.

    I personally think a charity NGO would work for those who need it and everyone else take care of themselves.

    Why wouldn’t it Stephen? Please tell me, but I am curious how you know, for sure, that it won’t?

    If it’s not the broad national authority of the Federal government, then what exactly do you suggest.

    Do you have more than a vague idea of what kind of alternative is possible, a plan that would justify a choice not to pursue what Democrats are offering?

    Yes, and I’ve talked of it before. Are you serious about hearing it because it doesn’t involve force and to me that sounds like a requirement for any plan you are suggesting.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at June 24, 2009 11:22 PM
    Comment #283546

    bills,

    Yes, the moving around of money and giving those who pay into the system a whopping 1% return on their investment is WONDERFULLY efficient.

    I’m sure we all look forward to our claims being denied and old people being put on rationed care (unless they are rich and can go outside of the system) with our new nationalized healthcare system.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at June 24, 2009 11:24 PM
    Comment #283555

    RH
    Moving that MUCH money around to THAT many people with a low overhead is an accomplishment. The rate of return and bond placement etc. are the responsibility of congress. You know this. They get the checks out. You may hate the whole system. They get the checks out. Maybe we should have a better system or no system at all. They still get the checks out efficiently. That was my point and that only.

    Posted by: bills at June 25, 2009 7:27 AM
    Comment #283557

    Rhinehold-

    But, I thought you said that the constitution doesn’t matter when the people want to be governed?

    Yeah, you thought that, but I bet you can’t find a quote expressing that sentiment because I never said that. That’s your interpretation based on the notion that liberals actually believe that they’re disobeying the document, but are too amoral to care.

    Again, you do wonders in illustrating my point: you take moderate, accepted practices, and paint them as something outside the pale.

    There is a clear and undisputed restriction against religious laws being written by Congress. There is no such explicit and unquestionable restriction against Congress providing healthcare, and with Medicare long in the picture, and still considered constitutional, no invalidation by the court of government-funded healthcare.

    You can claim unconstitutionality, but you’re not the constitutionally empowered court system that can actually force the rest of us to abide by that interpretation. So much as you dislike the notion of a public option, there really is no existing legal barrier to it.

    No charity could raise the money required to give healthcare to the millions not under some kind of insurance plan. we give about three hundred billion a year, and that’s for what charities already spend on. You would have to ask for charitable giving to essentially quadruple, in order to cover the costs.

    If charity could do the job, it would have done the job already. It’s simply too expensive, especially with costs spiralling out of control.

    What is your plan? Does it have even a chance of doing what’s necessary, or does it depend on the voluntary contributions of the few to meet the needs of the millions in desperate shape?

    Return on investment for a non-profit entity like Social Security is not the point. The point is, it’s there, rain or shine.

    As for denial of care? It’s naive to think that millions are not already being denied it right now. That’s what it means when you don’t have insurance. And under most versions of the plan as I understand it, you get the care you need from the outset, obviating the need for more expensive care later.

    So what’s your alternative? Is it anything more than a laissez faire bone thrown to the masses? Does it guarantee anything at all?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 25, 2009 8:14 AM
    Comment #283559

    Rhinehold-
    Let me make a further point here that may not have occured to some: Efficiency in delivering healthcare, and efficiency in making money off of it are not the same priority.

    The results I cited earlier show the VA outcompeting private healthcare with flying colors. The question is, with profit motives involved, why doesn’t the healthcare system follow on the kind of advances that allowed the VA that healthcare. Is it because it’s not affordable? No.

    The can be cheapskates. People are going to need healthcare, regardless of how poor a job they do delivering it. They can force patients into expensive, unnecessary procedures. They can neglect preventative care, which is cheap, and therefore not as profitable. They can deny claims, because that increases profit margins when some people relent in the face of their bureaucratic barriers.

    We have to realize that when people have hold of a resource, efficiency in delivery is rarely what they seek of their own accord. The free market can ADD inefficiencies, as much as it removes them, and in some places, like power generation and healthcare, this can have profound negative effects when the market is left to its own devices, or the regulations are tilted towards the big moneymakers instead of consumers.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 25, 2009 8:50 AM
    Comment #283560

    Bloat, waste, corruption, decades of abuses, and the end result

    But that’s not important, eh?
    That has no bearing on the potential outcome of a new, vast, multi-trillion dollar, government-run system, eh?

    Funny. And bills seems to think trillion$ pilfered from the $ocial $ecurity and Medicare trust funds is a well-run system?

    If a non-profit health insurance system is adequately managed, it will provide more protection for more people for lower premiums. And it seems there would be many tens of millions of people who would participate, since about 40 million can’t afford the for-profit health insurance.

    However, if the federal government (already bloated to nightmare proportions and very deep into debt), runs a non-profit health insurance system as badly as it runs the Social Security and Medicare systems (riddled with fraud, waste, and corruption, not to mention surpluses spent for other things; a perfect example of a ponzi scheme), then a national, government-run health care insurance system and/or health care system will fail miserably.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 25, 2009 8:53 AM
    Comment #283565

    Dan-
    As long as a government pays people to do something, there will be waste, there will be abuses, there will be corruption. These are chronic problems.

    But they are not our only problems. What do you suggest, we wait on healthcare until everything else is in order before proceeding?

    My attitude is not that these are problems not worth dealing with. My attitude is, the reality remains that we must deal with these issues at the same time.

    The Government can’t just stop doing its business to purify itself. Your theory on what must be done resembles the old medical theory that the patient must be brought to a crisis point in their illness (whether or not the illness does it, or the doctor does it) for the doctor to fully cure it.

    Democrats like myself aren’t waiting on that. We’re not waiting for more problems to become critical, painful, to start the change. Rather than wait for ugly experience to teach people, we’re going anticipate problems, not mop up after them. We’re going to use the government actively to help the American people.

    The patience the Republicans had with corruption and greed will not be the patience Democrats will have. If those in Washington try to pull that, they will find that the Democrats out in the rest of the country have little patience for their selling the rest of us out. It is their pain, not the voter’s pain, which will come first.

    Voters will have the government they deserve, and they won’t need to suffer like martyrs to get what they need. (or what some ideologue THINKS they need.)

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 25, 2009 10:17 AM
    Comment #283567
    they won’t need to suffer like martyrs to get what they need. (or what some ideologue THINKS they need.)

    Except, you THINK I need taxpayer funded healthcare.

    I guess if you are not part of the majority in the US you are pretty much out of luck in that regard?

    Posted by: rhinehold at June 25, 2009 10:28 AM
    Comment #283572

    Rhinehold-
    This is a Democracy. If you aren’t part of a minority today, just wait. You might be tomorrow.

    No government could function if it required total agreement to pass laws, nor if every person could be a law to themselves.

    We need to summon the maturity to acknowledge that though the results of elections and legislative sessions might not be to our liking, they are binding and legitimate as long as the votes are done in good faith. In that way, we ensure the legitimacy and binding nature of laws that come from majorities of which we are a part.

    It’s a compromise, and that may not sit well with you, but just what do you think Democrats like me have had to endure over the last few decades?

    I’ve been out of luck, in that regard. The key thing is to stop expecting that everybody will just agree with you, or should just agree with you, absent a decent argument on your part, and their agreement with such. You’re not their sovereign, they are their own, and they will keep such opinions as they see fit.

    Thirty years of decline and half of that in the wilderness of the minority will do wonders to your respect for good argumentation and eloquent expression.

    My advice to the Republicans is to maintain their principles, but change their policy suggestions, change their approach to politics, stop trying to play the anti-hero in a time where it now only comes across as playing the villain.

    The healthcare fight is not a fight the Republicans or folks like yourself can win, not with what the free rein of the past few years has led to.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 25, 2009 11:26 AM
    Comment #283575

    Stephen.

    Forgive me for just skimming your article, and correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be saying that you support “public option” and your support is in line with 72% of Americans.

    “But what is public option?”

    If we guess that public option is a Medicare type insurance, then we can guess that the premium will be about $750/mo for family coverage. That’s cheaper than the comparable $950/mo comparable private plan, mainly because it pays the provider at reduced levels. Ref the Lewin Group Study.

    If 50m can’t pay the $950/mo, will they be able to pay the $750mo? Probably not. For sake argument let’s say that spreading the costs over more people further reduces the premium cost to $500/mo (in reality it will increase demand for health care services thereby increasing costs). I’m betting they wouldn’t pay the $500/mo either.

    So public option, in order to insure the 50m uninsured, will have to be subsidized at some level. The same poll showed that support drops to 57% if there is a tax increase associated with public option. It drops even further to 43% if that tax increase is quantified at $500/yr.

    But we really don’t know what public option is, do we? We really don’t know what the premiums will be, we don’t know what the tax increases are that will be needed to pay for it, we don’t know the penalty tax employers will have to pay if they don’t provide private insurance, and we don’t know what the business size cut off is for participation. Until all of those “minor” details are revealed you and the 72% majority respondants are only supporting a slogan, a sales pitch, and a concept.

    Posted by: George at June 25, 2009 11:52 AM
    Comment #283578

    RH
    So ,again, where is the great plan? How do we stop paying more in GDP for health care while getting less?Why not support an option that has no great effect on you but helps other Americans and our national competitive position in the world.Where’s the beef?

    Posted by: bills at June 25, 2009 12:16 PM
    Comment #283591

    George-
    You’re right to a certain extent. It will neither be cheap, nor will the configuration be something we can be lazy about.

    But I think costs is something people can be convinced to take on, if the benefits are sufficient. I think there is an argument to be made, and I’ve made it before, that lower taxes and less government bear costs of their own:

    An HMO denies the doctor the discretion to do tests on his or her patients as he or she sees fit, and a cancer in its early stages goes undetected. Executives in a company, tempted by the returns on their stock options, mask their company’s debts until they have the opportunity to sell them. Then they let the inevitable occur, their money safe in the bank. A terrorist enters this country as a guest worker. Lousy turn of events, but someone had to have a cheap workforce around. A woman takes an herbal supplement day by day, unaware that the mixture isn’t only failing to help her, but is playing havoc with her system. A car company moves its factory south of the border, leaving a formerly thriving community collapsed into poverty and despair behind it.

    In the eyes of your bank account, that healthcare cost you incur is no different from your tax bill. You lose money either way. The question is, what are you getting for what you’re being cost? I think there is a strong case to be made that getting good healthcare is worth the extra cost.

    But that means we have to be Johnny-on-the-spot with the decent performance of this program. It cannot merely be one of those programs that is less than the sum of its politically Frankensteined parts. The public option must work for it to be the alternative America needs to kick the healthcare industry out of its rut of complacency and low standards.

    As a Liberal, I can say I have no love for a program that does not do its job. I do not endorse the public option, with a mind to it being operated as anything else than the best system it can be, and I will not (nor will most on the new left) tolerate shabby performance, merely for the sake of punting the ball down the field on healthcare.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 25, 2009 4:57 PM
    Comment #283615
    So ,again, where is the great plan? How do we stop paying more in GDP for health care while getting less?Why not support an option that has no great effect on you but helps other Americans and our national competitive position in the world.Where’s the beef?

    I’ve discussed it before but since you seem ‘serious’ about discussing its merits, I’ll repost it in the middle column tomorrow.

    Posted by: rhinehold at June 25, 2009 11:22 PM
    Comment #283619
    This is a Democracy. If you aren’t part of a minority today, just wait. You might be tomorrow.

    Which is why I defend as hard as I do the rights of the minority.

    We need to summon the maturity to acknowledge that though the results of elections and legislative sessions might not be to our liking, they are binding and legitimate as long as the votes are done in good faith.

    Not if they violate the constitution. In that case they have no binding on the citizens of the US.

    Do we really need to have a civics lesson? It seems like it, from the nonsense I’ve been hearing you spout…

    Posted by: rhinehold at June 25, 2009 11:53 PM
    Comment #283622

    Rhinehold-
    Well, you keep on insisting that you have some sort of authority to determine what’s constitutional. It’s one thing to say: I don’t think Medicare should be considered constitutional. Fair enough, you don’t.

    It’s quite another thing to flat out state it as fact. Why? Because no decision has been handed down by the court with the constitutionally vested authority of the Supreme Court behind it, sucessfully disputing the constitutionality of Social Security or medicare.

    Since we’re not talking beliefs here, but what can be established as factually true, you cannot argue the unconstitutionality of universal healthcare without doing so counterfactually. There is no decision yet proving your claim.

    As for civics lessons? I had a very tough, conservative civics teacher in High School, and her formulation appeals to me in its simplicity: Majority rules, minority rights.

    The minority has rights. These protect them from being trampled on by the majority. But those rights do not extend to the privilege of ruling the country. A party’s sense of its own righteousness is no substitute for the numbers necessary to raise a vote above fifty percent to a majority. Democrats have the votes, and more. This is not some evenly divided body anymore. The Democrats occupy the high ground in both houses, and only an excessive campaign of obstruction keeps that majority from exercising its privileges as a majority.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 26, 2009 12:12 AM
    Comment #283629
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- As long as a government pays people to do something, there will be waste, there will be abuses, there will be corruption. These are chronic problems.
    Who ever said there wasn’t always some corruption, waste, and abuses?

    That’s not the point.

    The point is that there has been too much waste, bloat, corruption, and abuses for the 30 past years, resulting in dozens of deteriorating economic conditions which have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression.

    In fact, you wrote about the “last thirty years”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And within the last thirty years, more [economic deterioration] than ever?

    A large part of the problem is that there are too many blind, partisan loyalists who are quick to say that same sort of thing …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- As long as a government pays people to do something, there will be waste, there will be abuses, there will be corruption.

    … especially when THEIR party is the new IN-PARTY.


    Never mind that the new IN-PARTY has had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years.
    Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995.
    But there’s really not much difference beyond the two extremes each main party wallows in, which is why the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.
    Anyway, perhaps when things get bad enough, when enough voters are deep-into-debt, jobless, homeless, and hungry, perhaps enough voters will most likely repeat what voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But they are not our only problems.
    Who ever said it was?

    However, solving problems is damn near impossible when there is too much bloat, waste, arrogance, incompetence, and corruption (as evidenced by economic conditions which have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What do you suggest, we wait on healthcare until everything else is in order before proceeding?
    Voters are culpable too.

    Voters would be wise to stop whinin’ about government corruption by stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

    If the federal government (already bloated to nightmare proportions and very deep into debt), runs a non-profit health insurance system as badly as it runs the Social Security and Medicare systems (riddled with fraud, waste, and corruption, not to mention surpluses spent for other things; a perfect example of a ponzi scheme), then a national, government-run health care insurance system and/or health care system will fail miserably.

    So, perhaps the voters should get the horse before the cart, if they don’t want this new vast government-run system to be a dismal, colossal failure?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: My attitude is not that these are problems not worth dealing with.
    What makes anyone think any system will be a success, when there is too much waste, bloat, arrogance, incompetence, irresponsibility, and corruption?

    How does anything good come out of something so rotten to the core?
    Perhaps so much waste, bloat, arrogance, incompetence, irresponsibility, and corruption is why …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And within the last thirty years, more [economic deterioration] than ever?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: My attitude is, the reality remains that we must deal with these issues at the same time.
    At the very least, these 10 major abuses, which are hammering most Americans, and many of which are getting worse?

    Especially debt, which alone could very easily lead to high inflation, or hyperinflation, and make everything MUCH worse.
    But, success is not likely if too many voters continue to repeatedly reward irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Government can’t just stop doing its business to purify itself.
    Who ever said stop everything?

    It’s never too late to fight bloat, waste, and corruption.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your theory on what must be done resembles the old medical theory that the patient must be brought to a crisis point in their illness (whether or not the illness does it, or the doctor does it) for the doctor to fully cure it.
    Nonsense.

    That’s more weak, simpleton, obfuscated gobbledygook, not to mention being more excuses for the status quo.
    Never underestimate the power of blind partisan loyalties … at least, until that becommes too painful.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats like myself aren’t waiting on that. We’re not waiting for more problems to become critical, painful, to start the change. Rather than wait for ugly experience to teach people, we’re going anticipate problems, not mop up after them. We’re going to use the government actively to help the American people.
    That’s truly laughable, if not totally delusional.

    Remember, the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY. Why is that?

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 26, 2009 9:00 AM
    Comment #283632

    Dan-
    You are so concerned about putting partisans in their place. Maybe you can just let people be, and speak to them reasonably.

    I don’t think most Democrats put the unconditional trust that you think they do in the Democrats in Washington. They don’t excuse what those Democrats did. There was a reason why they never really fought for a comeback until the Bush Administration: the folks in Washington simply lacked spine. Why fight for them if they won’t fight for us.

    We lived that sense of futility which you are so inclined to inspire. And what did we get for our disregard? We eventually got Bush, and the record corruption of the Republican Congress. We also got shut out.

    Most people aren’t that politically motivated. Faced with an seemingly indifferent government, they simply slogged through the everyday, just as indifferent. All that seemed to come out of things was moronic political theatre.

    What changed was that your formulation was proved absolutely, horribly wrong. People used to say that there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Only folks dedicated to a third party say that now. Obvious differences can be drawn between Clinton and Bush, if not in the kind of policy, then in the committment to that policy. People can draw, additionally, strong differences in how things turned out, in the attitudes of the different administrations.

    You make such a big deal out of this In-Party and Out-Party paradigm. In the abstract, I can tell you that it so content free of a formulation as to be useless. Everybody knows that thing to a certain extent. The corruption thing… I mean, many of these ideas you seem to think you need to educate people about are already popular culture axioms. Nothing new, really, about saying that politicians are corrupt, that both parties have bad histories. Nothing new about saying government is bloated, talking about waste, or anything else like that.

    I don’t place much value in such talk, because I heard it endlessly from the Republicans, and it never seemed to improve anything. It takes more than talk to redeem a government corruption.

    It takes oversight. The Republicans had none, Democrats have had plenty under their majority, even now, while their man is in White House.

    It takes a belief that government is not doomed to failure, that it can work to the good of the American people. Republicans never had that, and your cynicism seems to indicate that you lack that faith in the possibility

    The latter is particularly important, because ultimately, government is either powerful for its own sake, or for the sake of the people.

    Under the Republicans, the government became more and more a separate things, conceived of as an external thing to regular society. This conceptions has unavoidable consequences. A government separated from the people, from the necessity of accountability, but not separated from its powers, simply becomes an organization of elites. They talk about giving up powers, but they don’t.

    Cynicism doesn’t do much good, because it ultimately encourages people to perceive a separation, and act accordingly, rather than believing that whether or not a strong connection actually exists between the wishes of the people and the actions of the government, that one should exist, and be actively pursued.

    What you miss about the critical years that you keep on citing is the similarity of situations in that each particular phase in American history involved a situation where people came to believe that the disconnect was unsustainable, where they demanded that they have an more active role in determining what the Government did, and that the government would take on a more interventionist approach on their behalf, in turn.

    It wasn’t about incumbents for these people. That was secondary to getting the kind of government they felt would be on their side, helping to solve the immense problems that their country faced. You seem to think the breaking point is some time in the future, but you should realize that it has already come and gone, and these past two elections represent the consequences of that change of mind.

    I’m not saying the Democrats in Washington are perfect. In fact, there’s growing dissatisfaction for many of them with some of the Democrats in Congress. I keep on telling you to go to DailyKos, because you will see on a regular basis, Democrats sharing information about what their leaders positions are, organizing support for candidates, and expressing dissatisfaction, aimed dissatisfaction, complete with phone numbers and office addresses for the offending individuals.

    On other sights, you will see in depth stories on what both Democrats and Republicans are doing, and there isn’t really much faith in or tolerance for those who drag down the party name. William Jefferson, Jack Murtha, and others like them are not cocooned away on account of their party status, or on account of the need to make sure no Democrat ever looks bad.

    The Republicans were brought up in a culture that more or less expected the media, and the reporters to be gentle, even sycophantic towards their people, or otherwise be accused of bias.

    Democrats, though they sometimes grumble about treatment in the press, or double standards, do not play the same “media bias” game, claiming that the mainstream media cannot be trusted. We don’t want a news channel all to ourselves. We’re happy for the media simply to tell us what we need to know, and that’s all.

    We want to know, sooner rather than later, when a figure is corrupt. We want them exposed and expunged. We don’t see as par for the course. Our culture does not rationalize relationships with special interests as nothing to be sniffed at.

    Nothing about the attitudes I described is natural or exclusive merely to the Democrats. It is something we’ve learned, sometimes through painful lessons, throughout our recent history. Republicans, I think, should take up the same sort of active disdain and disgust for such corruption.

    My article is about moderation, which I define both in terms of temperment, and in terms of seeking out a more active relationship of curiosity and inquiry which leads one to change one’s behavior accordingly.

    For me, policy that takes one position, and doesn’t change in response to altered facts or new events is not moderate, no matter how politically centered or triangulated it is. It may not even be a recognized position or idea. But the concept is less that the sensibility at work represents some sort of middle ground, and more that somebody is looking at the world, and deciding how to responded through reasoned judgment and well disciplined, if not professional intuition.

    For me, this kind of blame game with voters is fairly useless. It resembles, in no small part, the same kind of BS I’ve been seeing for most of my life. People have consistently crapped on the American people for being stupid, for being addicted to sensationalism, for being bloodthirsty, for this and that, and I just have to wonder how much of all this self-flagellation has contributed to mediocrity in this country. It’s almost as if people are encouraged to say to themselves, “Why bother?”

    It’s like that old riddle: Too much of it, and you fall, too little of it, and you cannot stand. America needs the right amount of pride to tell itself that it can do more than just beancount its way to oblivion. We tried to find our way to happiness through base pursuit of prosperity, and in the end, we failed.

    I think Americans want active, involved government, which is responsive to them. I think they want to recover that sense that civic involvement is no longer a worthless thing. America wants to be more than just a pack of self-centered individuals.

    I didn’t lie when I said we weren’t waiting on it. You think a phenomena like that which occured around Barack Obama just happens? People want more. They don’t want to wait for the country to get any closer to hell in a handbasket than it already is. But because they’re not doing it your way, you’re ignoring them. That, I think, given your goal, is unfortunate.

    Truth of the matter is, you don’t get to choose how the country will enter its phase change, how the critical mass will gather, and then overturn the old order. You can either move with what people are already doing, and divert them somewhat, or you can attempt to stop them cold, and turn them in your direction. Which stands a better chance of working?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 26, 2009 10:30 AM
    Comment #283644

    Of course there’s really no need for a so-called “public option” - IF the existing for-profit insurors will merely do two things:

    1) Stop rejecting insureds and claims for so-called “pre-existing conditions”, like cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease, etc. This includes making coverage unaffordable by jacking up premiums for those with “pre-existing conditions”.

    2) Stop forcing doctors to practice medicine with the primary goal of maximizing insuror profits rather than maximizing patient health and quality of life.

    In turn, the government merely needs to either

    1) Eliminate the tax deduction that companies receive for providing health insurance to their employees or

    2) Give the same tax break companies currently enjoy to all people including unemployed and those employed at companies too small to afford to give their employees health insurance,

    Preferably #1.

    Of course, those actions will significantly reduce the profits of the for-profit insurors, but they don’t really do anything to earn the huge profits they currently do.

    Of course this will never happen, because it’s too simple and makes too much sense.

    Posted by: Daniel Defoe at June 26, 2009 12:26 PM
    Comment #283693
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- You are so concerned about putting partisans in their place.
    False.

    Only disdain for blind, delusional partisan loyalists is justified.
    There’s a big difference, which some people are unable to recognize.
    So, why do you seem so upset by it, if your not one of them?
    Any way, the blind partisan loyalists will reap what they sow.
    That is, the blind partisan loyalists will remain blind and delusional until it finally becomes too painful, and enough voters finally repeat what most unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, when the voters ousted 108, 123, and 206 members of Congress (respectively).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Maybe you can just let people be, and speak to them reasonably.
    Like this ?
    • (01) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .
    • (02) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , You‘re wasting your time.
    • (03) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … You had better be prepared …
    • (04) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve tried to do you the respect of not merely flatly contradicting you
    • (05) Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to badmouth us …
    • (06) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You had better come at us with good evidence …
    • (07) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you‘ve provided.
    • (08) Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, that means putting opinions like yours to the test …
    • (09) Stephen Daugherty wrote: you‘re trying to win in front of me and everybody else …
    • (10) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.
    • (11) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can get all patronizing about that, …
    • (12) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Facts, Dan. Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. …
    • (13) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You‘re flinging an ad hominem argument at me …
    • (14) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You just want people to bow down to your case, as if they should be obligated to think in your terms.
    • (15) Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be frank with you, you‘re no better than the people you criticize.
    • (16) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Jeez man, if that’s respect, I’d hate to get on your bad side!
    • (17) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your attacks on the fact that I do have some party association, have done little to convince me that I should abandon them.
    • (18) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , Now you‘re trying my patience …
    • (19) Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be brutally honest, you‘re not telling me much about modern politicians I don’t already know.
    • (20) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.
    • (21) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I consider everything I write carefully. My backspace and delete buttons get good workouts before you ever see my prose.
    • (22) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid.
    • (23) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have a broader definition of what voter education means, I mean just straight forward learning and being told about what the people in congress are doing… . My bias is obvious.
    • (24) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Again, I‘m going to tell you, don’t accuse people of being hypocrites without giving them the chance to demonstrate their behavior.
    • (25) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop trying to play political tricks to force your politics down other people’s throats.
    • (26) Stephen Daugherty wrote: It might help you if you considered that people’s dislike of your prose might be your fault rather than theirs.
    • (27) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why do you persist in trash talking me?
    • (28) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would advise you to be one of those people mature enough to realize that they are not the only whose voice and opinion matters, and that other’s votes and other’s views must be considered as well.
    • (29) Stephen Daugherty wrote: … so I’m telling you, leave him out of our discussion. Don’t throw a whole of silly denials my way, just let him be, or I will take this up with the adminstrators.
    • (30) Stephen Daugherty wrote: So, I’m not all that impressed by somebody simply posting the opinions of their friends and fellow travellers trying to prove me wrong by the fact of their expression of their negative opinions. I’ve been tagged team before.
    • (31) Stephen Daugherty wrote: It amuses me somewhat to see the lengths you go to avoid the admission of what must clear to most other people reading our exchange: your contempt for me, for my disagreement with you
    • (32) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve outlasted many people who thought they could beat me down with personal potshots. I take pride in it, that I stay calm, focused, and able to argue rationally.
    • (33) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I challenge you to show me the respect of arguing point to point, rather than just declaring every argument I make unworthy in pre-emption of ever having a serious discussion about those points.
    • (34) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have been trying my best not to let my end degenerate as far as yours has.
    • (35) Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …
    • (36) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
    • (37) Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.
    • (38) Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?
    • (39) Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …
    • (40) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…
    • (41) Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].
    • (42) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.
    • (43) Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.
    • (44) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}
    • (45) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)
    • (46) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
    • (47) Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.
    • (48) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.
    • (49) Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}
    • (50) Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}
    • (51) Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?
    • (52) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You seem more concerned about quoting soundbites than presenting evidence to be subject to examination by others.
    • (53) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Quit with the numbers, while you’re at it. They’re just browbeating, …
    • (54) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You are so concerned about putting partisans in their place. Maybe you can just let people be, and speak to them reasonably.
    HMMMMMmmmmmm … Funny how some people constantly accuse others of the very things they do themselves.

    Maybe some people should practice what they preach, eh?
    Oh, and did you notice the statements above demonstrating a disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT (e.g. in (36),…,(43) above).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t think most Democrats put the unconditional trust that you think they do in the Democrats in Washington.
    Right. With 85%-to-90% re-election rates?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They don’t excuse what those Democrats did.
    Right. With 85%-to-90% re-election rates?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: There was a reason why they never really fought for a comeback until the Bush Administration: the folks in Washington simply lacked spine. Why fight for them if they won’t fight for us.
    The problem is not only a lack of spine. It’s short-term selfishness, instead of long-term, enlightened self-interest. That is, greed and corruption, and there’s no shortage of examples of corruption and abuses to demonstrate it, and those that want to protect the status quo.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We lived that sense of futility which you are so inclined to inspire.
    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing the do themselves.

    Like Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And what did we get for our disregard? We eventually got Bush, and the record corruption of the Republican Congress. We also got shut out.
    There’s no difference, aside from the opposite and destructive extremes BOTH main parties and blind loyalists go to.
    • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed.
    • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.
    there’s actually not much difference between the two.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Most people aren’t that politically motivated. Faced with an seemingly indifferent government, they simply slogged through the everyday, just as indifferent. All that seemed to come out of things was moronic political theatre.
    True … until the irresponsibility of the majority of the unhappy voters finally becomes too painful.

    Power corrupts, and with it comes more pain and misery.
    Then, voters will most likely repeat what most unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, when the voters ousted 108, 123, and 206 members of Congress (respectively).
    Especially when the painful consequences of so much untenable debt finally becomes obvious to enough unhappy voters.
    Progress is slow. 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
    Only a fool thinks that either of the two main parties will voluntarily change the status quo.
    Only the voters can most likely change the status quo now, and it ain’t by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election ratess, despite dismal 11%-to-28% approval ratings for Congress.
    The voters are culpable too, and they will also reap what they sow.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What changed was that your formulation was proved absolutely, horribly wrong.
    False.

    It takes time, and you are obviously ignoring numerous other elections, such as the majority of unhappy voters in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, who ousted 108, 123, and 206 members of Congress (respectively).
    Your comment is blind, delusional partisan nonsense, since very little has really changed, because 87% of the 110th Congress is still in the 111th Congress.
    Also, the debt is getting MUCH, MUCH, MUCH worse.
    And what’s next?

    • More debt beyond already nightmare proportions?

    • More new money printed from thin air?

    • More unemployment?

    • More foreclosures?

    • More bankruptcies?

    • More usury?

    • More constitutional violations: One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations1.htm ?

    • More unfair incumbent advantages?

    • More regressive taxation?

    • More unnecessary, perpetuated, and/or mismanaged wars?

    • More automatic raises and $93,000 petty cash expense accounts for Congress persons (like their recent 10th raise in 12 years, while U.S. troops risk life and limb in 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan)?

    • More illegal immigration, and another SHAMNESTY for illegal aliens, while despiciably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, disguised as compassion (severely misplaced compassion at best)?

    • More bloat and waste (federal government now being the largest employer in the nation; more than all manufacturing jobs): www.akdart.com/gov1.html ?

    • More of these two extremes …
      • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed.

      • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.

    Many blind partisan loyalists will either remain hopelessly loyal, or many will be very dissappointed in a few years, when Congress and the administration are still roughly as FOR-SALE, irresponsible, incompetent, and corrupt as they ever were.
    Perhaps enoug voters will question their blind partisan loyalties when enough voters are bankrupt, jobless, homeless, and hungry, as did the majority of voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People used to say that there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans.
    “Used to” ?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Only folks dedicated to a third party say that now.
    False.

    Not everyone belongs to a party.
    Also, even people affiliated with one of the two main parties say it, and it’s growing.
    After all, in case you haven’t noticed, Congress’ approval ratings are still in the toilet (11%-to-28%).

    Also, there are now more independents than Democrats or Republicans.
    Why is that?
    Could it be more and more voters are figuring it out?
    Probably, since pain and misery is an effective educator and motivator.

    Unfortunately, as of the last election, there were still too many voters blindly pulling the party lever (as evidenced by 85%-to-90% re-election rates), and it will continue until that finally becomes too painful.
    But give it time.
    It’s only a matter of time before things get worse and enough unhappy voters repeat what the majority of voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, when the voters ousted 108, 123, and 206 members of Congress.

    It’s almost a certainty, because corruption always grows and grows, until it finally becomes too painful.
    After all, you, your self wrote about the deterioration of the “last thirty years”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And within the last thirty years, more [economic deterioration] than ever?

    HHMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm … how did that happen for the last 30 years when the current IN-PARTY (Democrats) had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years?
    How did that happen for 30 years when Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995?
    How?
    How is because there’s really not much difference beyond the two destructive extremes each main party wallows in, which is why the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY?
    Anyway, perhaps when things get bad enough, when enough voters are deep-into-debt, jobless, homeless, and hungry, perhaps enough voters will most likely repeat what voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933.

    It’s simply human nature, and the proof of it is undeniable.
    Only a fool thinks that either of the two main parties will voluntarily change the status quo.
    Only the voters can most likely change the status quo now, and it ain’t gonna happen by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election ratess, despite dismal 11%-to-28% approval ratings for Congress.
    The voters are culpable too, and they will also reap what they sow, and that is the built-in self-correction mechanism.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Obvious differences can be drawn between Clinton and Bush, if not in the kind of policy, then in the committment to that policy. People can draw, additionally, strong differences in how things turned out, in the attitudes of the different administrations.
    Well, that all “depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is”

    No. The only difference is the two equally destructive extremes.
    The proof of it is overwhelming: One-Simple-Idea.com/MainPartySimilarities.htm

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You make such a big deal out of this In-Party and Out-Party paradigm.
    The truth hurts, eh?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: In the abstract, I can tell you that it so content free of a formulation as to be useless.
    Right. Then why constantly rail against anything not-DEMOCRAT ?

    Remember, the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.
    Only a fool thinks that either of the two main parties will voluntarily change the status quo.
    It’s now up to the voters, who the majority of which will most likely have considerable disdain of most Democrat and Republican politicians alike, in a few more years when the Congress and administration are still FOR-SALE, corrupt, incompetent, and corrupt as ever; have increased the economic deterioration with more massive debt beyond already nightmare proportions; more new money printed from thin air; more unemployment; more foreclosures; more bankruptcies; more usury; more unfair incumbent advantages; more raises for do-nothing Congress (like their recent 10th raise in 12 years, while U.S. troops risk life and limb in 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan), more illegal immigration and another SHAMNESTY for illegal aliens; more despiciable pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, disguised as compassion (severely misplaced compassion at best); and more of the two main party’s two destructive extremes.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Everybody knows that thing to a certain extent. The corruption thing… I mean, many of these ideas you seem to think you need to educate people about are already popular culture axioms. Nothing new, really, about saying that politicians are corrupt, that both parties have bad histories. Nothing new about saying government is bloated, talking about waste, or anything else like that.
    Only blind partisan loyalists who want to maintain the status quo make excuses for corruption, waste, bloat. They’re scared $#!+less that THEIR party may become the OUT-PARTY, and voters may actually be getting closer and closer to repeating what the majority of unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933 (ousting 108, 123, and 206 members of Congress, respectively).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t place much value in such talk, because I heard it endlessly from the Republicans, and it never seemed to improve anything. It takes more than talk to redeem a government corruption.
    Thats’ really funny. You also wrote …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Frankly, I’ve never been fond of politics or bloviating on the topic …
    … and then …
    Yukon Jake perceptively responded: [Stephen] Your posts are usually the longest of anyone besides d.a.n. and that’s only because he cites so much data in his posts. For someone who is not fond of politics (or bloviating), you have somehow managed to write 1,000,000+ words on the topic since I first stumbled on watchblog.
    Funny how some people do the very thing they claim they don’t do.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It takes oversight. The Republicans had none, Democrats have had plenty under their majority, even now, while their man is in White House.
    And the Democrats do?

    Nothin’ blindly partisan or delusional about that, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It takes a belief that government is not doomed to failure, that it can work to the good of the American people.
    Who ever said it was doomed?

    Progress is slow; 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
    You even wrote …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And within the last thirty years, more [economic deterioration] than ever?

    The point is, how much unnecessary pain and misery will the voters irresponsibly bring onto themselves, before they do their job too, which isn’t by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% (87% in the last 4-NOV-2008 election) re-election rates.
    Voters will reap what they sow, and how long will it be before enough of the voters finally stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

    The answer is simple, and blind, delusional partisan loyalists hate it:

    • Like it or not, it will be when enough voters understand that repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Republicans never had that, and your cynicism seems to indicate that you lack that faith in the possibility
    Personal attacks and lies like that only reveals lameness of the prolific, twisted, circular, obfuscated goobbledygook in your own rhetoric.

    I have faith that voters will do the right thing, when failing to do so becomes too painful.
    History shows this to be true, over and over.
    Similar to years 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993, the voters will finally catch on, and when they do, they will make many blind partisan loyalists very unhappy.

    • Start __ End __ Congress _ Re-Election ___ Party Seat-Retention

    • Year ___ Year ___ # _____ Rate ________ Rate

    • 1927 ___ 1929 ___ 070st ___ 83.6% ________ 96.4% (087 incumbents ousted: 22(D), 64(R), 1(FL) )

    • 1929 ___ 1931 ___ 071st ___ 79.7% ________ 92.5% (108 incumbents ousted: 51(D), 44(R), 2(FL), 1(S) )

    • 1931 ___ 1933 ___ 072nd ___ 76.8% ________ 88.5% (123 incumbents ousted: 36(D), 87(R) )

    • 1933 ___ 1935 ___ 073rd ___ 61.2% ________ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted: 59(D), 147(R) )

    • … … … … … … … …

    • 1989 ___ 1991 ___ 101st ___ 90.1% ________ 99.6%

    • 1991 ___ 1993 ___ 102nd ___ 87.7% ________ 98.3%

    • 1993 ___ 1995 ___ 103rd ___ 73.5% ________ 98.1% (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)

    • … … … … … … … …

    • 1999 ___ 2001 ___ 106th ___ 89.2% ________ 99.3%

    • 2001 ___ 2003 ___ 107th ___ 89.2% ________ 98.7%

    • 2003 ___ 2005 ___ 108th ___ 87.9% ________ 98.1% (65 of 535 voted out)

    • 2005 ___ 2007 ___ 109th ___ 88.6% ________ 98.7% (61 of 535 voted out)

    • 2007 ___ 2009 ___ 110th ___ 84.9% ________ 93.1% (81 of 535 incumbents voted out (68=16(D)+51(R)+1(I) in the House) + (13=3(D)+9(R)+1(I) in the Senate)

    • 2009 ___ 2011 ___ 111th ___ 86.9% ________ 94.0% (70 of 535 voted out (57=13(D)+44(R) in the House) + (13=3(D)+10(R) in the Senate)

    Read it and weep. The sooner enough voters figure this out, and stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, the sooner that politicians will stop ignoring the voters and perpetuating these 10 major abuses (One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm) that have been hammering most Americans for over 30 years.

    What isn’t only not constructive in the least, but destructive and pathetic on every level is the “Republicans” this, “Republicans” that, “Democrats” this, “Democrats” that, and the constant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, delusional partisan warfare.

    It is delusional to think 87% re-election rates on the last election on 4-NOV-2008, and so much deeply engrained corruption is going to get better without sending a loud-and-clear message to Congress, by voting out a LOT more incumbent politicians, regardless of party. Because there really is no difference between the two parties, aside from their two equally destructive extremes.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The latter is particularly important, because ultimately, government is either powerful for its own sake, or for the sake of the people.
    More circular gobbledygook.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Under the Republicans, the government became more and more a separate things, conceived of as an external thing to regular society. This conceptions has unavoidable consequences. A government separated from the people, from the necessity of accountability, but not separated from its powers, simply becomes an organization of elites. They talk about giving up powers, but they don’t.
    And you think it’s changed now?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Cynicism doesn’t do much good, because it ultimately encourages people to perceive a separation, and act accordingly, rather than believing that whether or not a strong connection actually exists between the wishes of the people and the actions of the government, that one should exist, and be actively pursued.
    True.

    But there is a big difference between cynicism and reality.
    Some people who have trouble facing reality, choose to label things as cynicism.
    Especially the IN-PARTY, who always likes to paint things as rosier than reality.
    And the OUT-PARTY, who always likes to spin things worse than reality (while often still ignoring their own corruption, incompetence, and irresponsibility).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What you miss about the critical years that you keep on citing is the similarity of situations …
    False. What do you call this: One-Simple-Idea.com/MainPartySimilarities.htm

    You want to believe YOUR party is better, but it isn’t.
    The IN-PARTY is always more corrupt, which is why it always becomes the OUT-PARTY.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What you miss about the critical years that you keep on citing is the similarity of situations in that each particular phase in American history involved a situation where people came to believe that the disconnect was unsustainable, where they demanded that they have an more active role in determining what the Government did, and that the government would take on a more interventionist approach on their behalf, in turn.
    False again. History doesn’t repeat exactly, but it rhymes, and when enough voters are bankrupt, jobless, homeless, and hungry, they will most likely repeat what the majority of voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, when they ousted 108, 123, 206 members of Congress (respectively).

    The sooner, the better, because the longer it takes, the more pain and misery there will be from the growing corruption.
    That pains those that want to maintain the status quo.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It wasn’t about incumbents for these people.
    Not yet, but voters will eventually figure it out, when enough voters are bankrupt, jobless, homeless, and hungry, as a result of growing corruption. Th3e sooner, the better.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That was secondary to getting the kind of government they felt would be on their side, helping to solve the immense problems that their country faced. You seem to think the breaking point is some time in the future, but you should realize that it has already come and gone, and these past two elections represent the consequences of that change of mind.
    It is, since the federal government is still not only as bloated, wasteful, and corrupt as ever, but also getting MUCH, MUCH, MUCH deeper into debt.

    Especially as these things get worse and worse, such as more debt; more new money printed from thin air; more unemployment; more foreclosures (8,000 to 10,000 per day); more bankruptcies; more usury; more unfair incumbent advantages; more raises for do-nothing Congress (like their recent 10th raise in 12 years, while U.S. troops risk life and limb in 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan); more illegal immigration; another SHAMNESTY for illegal aliens; more despiciable pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, disguised as compassion (severely misplaced compassion at best); more of the two main party’s two destructive extremes; and more fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, delusional partisan warfare.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m not saying the Democrats in Washington are perfect.
    Right.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: In fact, there’s growing dissatisfaction for many of them with some of the Democrats in Congress.
    Why don’t you list them the way you continually list Republicans (or any thing not-DEMOCRAT)?

    Then perhaps, your comments and articles would have more credibility?
    Constantly fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular partisan warfare isn’t credible.
    Saying the voters should not repeatedly reward irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and/or corrupt incumbent politicians with re-election is completely credible, but you seem to hate it?
    You constantly try to mischaracterize it as simply voting out all politicians (regardless of whether they are deserving of being re-elected or not).
    But the fact is, the voters will reap what they sow, and when that becomes too painful, they majority of the voters will finally catch on that much of their pain and misery is directly proportional to their repeatedly rewarding the incumbent politicians who perpetuate the absues that are hammering most Americans, and have been for many decades.

    Especially when the painful consequences of so MUCH debt (federal ($11.5 Trillion) and non-federal ($46 Trillion); i.e. $57 Trillion nation-wide debt) finally becomes obvious. In a few years, more voters won’t be buying the blame-game crap anymore. The Democrats will get blamed for it, even though most (if not all) incumbent politicians in BOTH caused it … largely because so many are quite simply FOR-SALE, corrupt, incomptetent, and irresponsible.

    Eventually, the voters will get tired of waiting for BOTH Republican and Democrat politicians to pull their heads out of their ass.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I keep on telling you to go to DailyKos, because you will see on a regular basis, Democrats sharing information about what their leaders positions are, organizing support for candidates, and expressing dissatisfaction, aimed dissatisfaction, complete with phone numbers and office addresses for the offending individuals.
    Been there.

    It’s mostly very partisan and mostly very pro Democrat, and very anti-anything not-Democrat.
    Is that why you like DailyKos so much?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: On other sights [sic], you will see in depth stories on what both Democrats and Republicans are doing, and there isn’t really much faith in or tolerance for those who drag down the party name. William Jefferson, Jack Murtha, and others like them are not cocooned away on account of their party status, or on account of the need to make sure no Democrat ever looks bad.
    That’s the problem with blind partisan loyalties. Too many voters only care about the perception of THEIR “party name”, and winning seats, while completely oblivious or ignoring the house of cards collapsing around them, and the continued corruption, waste, bloat, debt, and abuses.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans were brought up in a culture that more or less expected the media, and the reporters to be gentle, even sycophantic towards their people, or otherwise be accused of bias.
    And the Democrats don’t do the same?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats, though they sometimes grumble about treatment in the press, or double standards, do not play the same “media bias” game, claiming that the mainstream media cannot be trusted. We don’t want a news channel all to ourselves. We’re happy for the media simply to tell us what we need to know, and that’s all.
    Nonsense.

    Didn’t Obama recently tell Fox News that “Fox is dedicated to ridiculing Obama and the democrats” ?
    Yet, on CNN (excluding Lou Dobbs), they seem to fall all over themselves worshiping THEIR leader as if they are some god (as evidenced by Evan Thomas, who said “In a way, Obama’s standing above the country, above the world, he’s sort of God.” To which you hear Matthews in agreement, saying, “Yeah.”).

    Wait until Obama tries to push through another SHAMNESTY BILL for illegal aliens.
    Especially with double digit unemployment, millions of foreclosures and bankruptcies, and the majority of Americans against it.
    Especially when the 1st SHAMNESTY of 1986 has more than quadrupled the disaster.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We want to know, sooner rather than later, when a figure is corrupt.
    OK. Can you name 25, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are not irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, wasteful, and/or corrupt?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We want them exposed and expunged. We don’t see as par for the course. Our culture does not rationalize relationships with special interests as nothing to be sniffed at.
    Then why do you get so upset when people mention the likes of William Jefferson, John Murtha, John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, LBJ and Vietnam, etc. The IN-PARTY is always more corrupt, and the new IN-PARTY will be no different, as long as voters reward it. Here’s ample proof (hundreds of pages of corrupt and/or indicted congress persons):
    • www.google.com/search?q=history+of+indicted+corrupt+politicians+congress&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7ADBF&tbo=1&tbs=tl:1&num=100&ei=K1ZGSueQE8KetgfA9YivBg&sa=X&oi=timeline_navigation_bar&ct=timeline-navbar&cd=3
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Nothing about the attitudes I described is natural or exclusive merely to the Democrats. It is something we’ve learned, sometimes through painful lessons, throughout our recent history. Republicans, I think, should take up the same sort of active disdain and disgust for such corruption.
    You don’t have a memory or understanding of decades past (what are you, 29 years old?), which perhaps is why you think there is really any difference, and why you fail to understand that the IN-PARTY is always more corrupt. See the hundreds of corrupt politicians at the link above (in BOTH parties) for ample proof that neither party is much more or less corrupt. The party with power always abuses that power, which is why the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY. Voters would be wise to catch on to this arrangement, and stop letting BOTH merely take turns. It’s obviously not working, is it?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: My article is about moderation, which I define both in terms of temperment, and in terms of seeking out a more active relationship of curiosity and inquiry which leads one to change one’s behavior accordingly.
    Think so?

    Your article contained the following (below). Most (if not all) of your articles never fail to somehow find a way fuel and wallow in the petty, circular partisan warfare.
    For example:

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The way insurance companies, Republicans, and others would have it, a public option is a radical plan, which will destroy the superior private options.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans are good at expressing positive intentions. Their results vary.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Run for the Hills, It’s the Moderates!
      The way insurance companies, Republicans, and others would have it, a public option is a radical plan, which will destroy the superior private options. But with three quarters of the American public on the side of a public option, we have to ask ourselves whether its the destruction of a superior option, which is what those people are afraid of.The logic, as the president lays it out is clear. If it’s an option, not something forced on them, people want a public alternative. If they feel that it is inferior to what they got, they won’t go for it. You have take a particular leap of logic beyond that in order to find fault with that logic. You have to make this pitch. You talk about bipartisanship, as if that is a good in and of itself. You choose words like “government takeover”, essentially linking healthcare reform with a public option to unpopular interventions in the banking industry and the car companies. You say you want to reduce costs, do good things. You don’t offer any solid plans, you just express positive intentions. The Republicans are good at expressing positive intentions. Their results vary. And of course, you use music that screams “sad concern” Bring on the pianos, we’re saving you from the plight of government bureaucrats taking over! Well, lets be sure about something: Republicans and Industry lobbyists got their way before.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans and the Fossil Fuel industries treat this as some kind of radical junk science.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: know pop culture loves to lionize the lone scientist, out to prove the establishment and its theories wrong, but the truth is, this is a bit of a melodramatic construction, largely useful for making Cassandra figures out of eccentric but brilliant, scientist-like characters. It’s not hard to tell why the Republicans try to appeal to people with this notion.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They cal it income redistribution, especially when, of all people, the middle class and poor see their taxes cut. Redistribution is not a neutral term for the Republicans and Conservatives, but a red-flag dogwhistle for Communism.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The failure of the Republicans policies to pass the tests of real world implementation should not trouble you.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to ask how bipartisan the Republicans can be, ask the Senator from Pennsylvania what happened to him when he dared cross the aisle to vote for the Stimulus. Ask Rush Limbaugh and those like him what the status is of those who endorsed or voted for President Obama. Ask them just how far you can stray from their platform, their beliefs, before you are cast out, vilified as just another enemy.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Ask yourself, at this moment, why we are still letting the Republicans tell us what is moderate, what is reasonable in our society, after all the unreasonable things they have done, after all the assaults on independent thought and judgment they have undertaken. Why are we still allowing a party that no longer has many moderates define what is moderation for the rest of us?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It is my stand on the value of moderation, real moderation, not merely the political correctness that Republicans are content to allow.

    “Republicans” this, “Republicans” that, “Republicans”, “Republicans”, “Republicans” and “conservatives” … !

    And now, “moderates too” ?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Run for the Hills, It’s the Moderates!

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, policy that takes one position, and doesn’t change in response to altered facts or new events is not moderate, no matter how politically centered or triangulated it is.
    Then why do we still have these 10 major abuses?: One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm

    Especially when the current IN-PARTY (Democrats) had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years?
    How did that happen for 30 years when Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995?
    HMMMMmmmmmmm … Right. It’s all the Republican’s fault. Never mind which party has controlled Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It may not even be a recognized position or idea. But the concept is less that the sensibility at work represents some sort of middle ground, and more that somebody is looking at the world, and deciding how to responded through reasoned judgment and well disciplined, if not professional intuition.
    Yikes! More gobbledygook.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, this kind of blame game with voters is fairly useless.
    That’s really funny when it comes from a master of fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular partisan warfare.

    HMMMmmmmmmmm … Never mind the constant railin’ against Republicans, and now the “moderates” too (or, anything not-DEMCORAT), eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It resembles, in no small part, the same kind of BS I’ve been seeing for most of my life.
    Well, you’d hope that a person could recognize what they’ve been fuelin’ and wallowin’ in for so many years, eh?

    But they don’t.
    That’s why the words “delusional” and “blind” is appropos with regard to blind, delusional, partisan loyalists.
    Any way, it’s funny when people accuse others of the very thing they are masters of, eh?
    And it’s even funnier when they can’t understand others’ incredulity about their remarks that denounce the very things they constantly fuel and wallow in.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People have consistently crapped on the American people for being stupid, for being addicted to sensationalism, for being bloodthirsty, for this and that, and I just have to wonder how much of all this self-flagellation has contributed to mediocrity in this country. It’s almost as if people are encouraged to say to themselves, “Why bother?”
    That’s really funny when it comes from the very person making excuses for his own party, and constantly fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular partisan warfare, eh?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s like that old riddle: Too much of it, and you fall, too little of it, and you cannot stand. America needs the right amount of pride to tell itself that it can do more than just beancount its way to oblivion.
    Pride is a sin. Especially when it is false.

    So, is this “pride” thing simply more gobbledygook to could the issues, and distract from the constant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular partisan warfare in your own numerous articles and comments ?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We tried to find our way to happiness through base pursuit of prosperity, and in the end, we failed.
    More gobbledygook.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think Americans want active, involved government, which is responsive to them. I think they want to recover that sense that civic involvement is no longer a worthless thing. America wants to be more than just a pack of self-centered individuals.
    True.

    But that ain’t gonna happen by rewarding selfishness, corruption, incompetence, greed, and irresponsibility with perpetual re-election, is it?
    The longer it takes enough Americans to learn that, the more lengthy and more painful their lesson will be.
    But, they will get their education one way or another.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I didn’t lie when I said we weren’t waiting on it. You think a phenomena like that which occured around Barack Obama just happens?
    Phenomena? Excuse me, but I’m not part of the crowd that worships like Evan Thomas and Chris Matthews (Evan Thomas, who said “In a way, Obama’s standing above the country, above the world, he’s sort of God.” To which you hear Matthews in agreement, saying, “Yeah.”), or considers it any sort of strange phenomena.

    And the 111th Congress is still 87% of the 110th Congress.
    So, the status quo isn’t likely to change much, and the IN-PARTY is always more corrupt than the OUT-PARTY, which is why the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People want more. They don’t want to wait for the country to get any closer to hell in a handbasket than it already is.
    People have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, until that finally becomes too painful.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But because they’re not doing it your way, you’re ignoring them.
    Yet another bald faced lie.

    You constantly try to mischaracterize my position as simply voting out all politicians (regardless of whether they are deserving of being re-elected or not).
    My position is simple.
    If voters want more responsible and accountable government, they must stop rewarding failure and corruption with perpetual re-election.
    That is, voters should not repeatedly reward irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and/or corrupt incumbent polticians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.
    That probably irritates a lot of blind, partisan loyalists, since the logic is infallible.
    Does that irriate you?
    We’ll assume so if you continue to mischaracterize it as something else.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That, I think, given your goal, is unfortunate.
    Wait and see. Voters will most likely, some day, do what you dread so much.

    Your goal of remaining the IN-PARTY is what is unfortunate for you, because the IN-PARTY is always more corrupt, which is why they always become the OUT-PARTY.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Truth of the matter is, you don’t get to choose how the country will enter its phase change, how the critical mass will gather, and then overturn the old order.
    Wow. That’s quite a gift there for stating the obvious, eh?

    Is that the best you can do?
    Any way, While I only have my one vote and my voice, it doesn’t matter.
    When enough voters are finally feeling enough pain of their own making, enough voters will eventually understand that repeatedly rewarding failure and corruption doesn’t work.
    Why does that pain you so much?
    Is it possibly because that means YOUR party may not be the IN-PARTY ?
    Well, don’t worry.
    Just as the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY, the OUT-PARTY always becomes the IN-PARTY again.
    You and YOUR party will simply have to wait your turn again.
    In the mean time, voters would be wise to not simply let the TWO parties take turns while enjoying their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies and 85%-to-90% re-election rates, and givin’ themselves an automatic raise every year while U.S. Troops risk life and limb and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can either move with what people are already doing, and divert them somewhat, or you can attempt to stop them cold, and turn them in your direction. Which stands a better chance of working?
    Nothing is required from me.

    Pain and misery is the best teacher.
    Enough voters will get their education again, as they did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, and 1993 when the majority of voters ousted 108, 123, 206, and 142 members of Congress (respectively)
    Why does that upset you so much?
    Because it is something not-DEMCRAT?
    Well, history proves it to be the case, over and over.
    So, don’t blame me. It’s the voters who will most likely do it. Not me.
    And with so much economic deterioration (cause by BOTH parties) over the past 30+ years, voters may not be too picky who they vote for, as long as it isn’t one of the incumbents who helped run this nation into the ground, deep into debt of nightmare proportions, and cheating many future generations.

    The federal national debt of $11.5 Trillion today is $37K per-capita, which is 70% higher than the per-capita ($22K in 2008 dollars) national debt in year 1945 after World War II.
    That total nation-wide debt of $57 Trillion has more than quadrupled from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 411% of GDP today.
    The younger voters are getting screwed big-time.
    When enough of the voters figure it out, they naturally will be reluctant to help continue cu$hy 85%-to-90% re-election rates for thier FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt Congress?
    Why does that upset you so much?
    The only logical explanation must be blind, delusional partisan loyalties.
    But, even when things get really bad, some blind loyalists are so thoroughly brain-washed, they may still believe it’s ALL the OTHER party’s fault?
    Fortunately, as demonstrated in 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993, that’s not always the majority of voters.
    So, history shows us that there is cause for hope.
    But, history also shows us that lessons are often accompanied by much pain and misery.

    P.S. 17 “I“s that time. Way to go.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 27, 2009 2:40 PM
    Comment #283704

    Dan-

    So, why do you seem so upset by it, if your not one of them?

    Because I’m not, and I’m not the sort of person who just sits there and takes somebody holding him out to be something he’s not. I feel that my personal honor is something worth defending.

    As for reasonableness? Well I’m not a Vulcan. I can be frustrated, angered. I can make suggestions based on my feelings, based on my assessments. You just seem to take an awful lot of what I say personally, even when I’m just being logical.

    For example, try number #36 on your list of 54 violations of reasonableness, as you have laid it out. Here’s the quote:

    (36) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    You seem to take personal issue with my having said that. Here’s the thing: talk is cheap. We have plenty of people generating talk in every election. And many third parties, content to speak to just a niche market, are content to just make political statements.

    What I suggest is simple: start making names for yourselves. Start taking actions that make your parties appreciated. Then take that appreciation, and use that earned respect to purchase the voters support later in an election.

    So on, and so forth. The key thing to keep in mind is the importance of actions over words.

    We don’t need another chapter of college campus debaters. We need people who can be trusted to make working policy. Third Parties are not going to be trusted on their ideas alone.

    If I am blunt about this, it is because I have little patience for this kind of politics anywhere else. There’s a limit to the value of verbal scorn, to its effectiveness.

    I’m going to cut things short here. Thirty pages is a lot to respond to, and I really want to do other things with my life than respond to a bunch of repeated slogans, insinuations, and cliched rhetoric. Is that an unreasonable thing to say? I leave that to our other reader’s judgment.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 27, 2009 8:42 PM
    Comment #283728

    Dan-

    Pain and misery is the best teacher.

    At thirteen, I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. This was after one of my most painful years, and after two or three years of equally hateful education in the troubles of being poor at reading people in real time social situations.

    The reality is, we are creatures evolved to be able to bypass pain as our main means of being educated. It’s simply lazy, and often dangerous, with a society as complex, advanced, and concentrated in population as ours to make pain our teacher, because what might be a good lesson for a few people at a time, becomes a secondary problem of exaggerated proportion when enough people are being taught it at a time.

    When we apply philosophical constructs to reality we must realize that while we are doomed to think in parts, reality behaves as a whole.

    James Madison knew this, as he lamented the difficulties of finding the right balance between too little government, and too much.

    I naturally distrust the messages of those who say they have foolproof philosophies. Intelligence offers no immunity to foolishness, and people can think up complex, plausible, yet erroneous theories about the world fairly easily.

    The key is not the kind of theories you come up with, but rather your process for sorting them out. Pain, at best, teaches necessity. It doesn’t necessarily teach discipline. Again, just as pain can lead people to bad habits, it can also lead them to the sloppy expediency that a sense of futility or meaninglessness might inflict. While pain might shape people’s approaches to life, the relief of that pain can come from a sensibility of avoidance, as much as one of confrontation.

    Consider: Long term deficit spending created definite financial problems for the country. But did that inspire people in the eighties to embrace, in practice, deficit reduction? No. Instead, people basically re-elected a man who spent record amounts of money he didn’t have. And they did the same about twenty years later, despite the recessions and inflation that caused.

    Pain, it seems, lead people to wish for happier times, to accept the negligence of their leaders as they allowed greater leveraging to get out of the problem.

    Pain is not enough. You can’t simply traumatize the country, or allow the country to be traumatized, in hopes that people will do the putatively smart thing and embrace personal and civic discipline.

    Right now, the policies like those you describe would only serve to maintain America in a long term economic slump. If we had done what you wanted from the first, we would have ended up killing the economy, more or less. The truth of the matter is, Some people are still trying to maintain the economy as if we were a 19th century agricultural power, instead of an industrialized, computerized 21st Century nation with population densities and city and suburb dimensions that would have beggared the imagination of folks of that time. We cannot govern ourselves by the same market rules as we did before. We have not merely forward in time, we have changed in many ways as a civilization.

    But one of the ways we have changed is that the system has gotten a lot more complicated. This means certain aspects of the market develop too quickly to be micromanaged effectively, and certain other aspects of the economy are much too interconnected and interdependent to be allowed to simply work as they naturally would.

    Or, put another way, it is not a question of whether market forces should be allowed to work, but where they should be allowed to work. Also, it’s not a question of whether regulation is effective everywhere and in every way, but where it’s needed to prevent problems that can compound themselves and overwhelm the systems ability to cope.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 28, 2009 3:03 PM
    Comment #283754
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Because I’m not [i.e blindly partisan], and I’m not the sort of person who just sits there and takes somebody holding him out to be something he’s not. I feel that my personal honor is something worth defending.
    No one attacked your personal honor, and only a fool can make a fool of one’s self.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for reasonableness? Well I’m not a Vulcan. I can be frustrated, angered. I can make suggestions based on my feelings, based on my assessments. You just seem to take an awful lot of what I say personally, even when I’m just being logical.
    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they do themselves; somehow never failing to find some slight or hurt.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: For example, try number #36 on your list of 54 violations of reasonableness, as you have laid it out. Here’s the quote:
    • (36) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
    If you don’t know the importance and value of people that don’t care to also walk lock-step like good little brain-washed robots with other Democrat and Republican ilk, and refuse to fuel and wallow in the blind, delusional, partisan-warfare, then any one trying to explain it to you is truly pointless.

    Your disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT is legendary, and your comments are ample evidence of it …

    • (35) Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …

    • (36) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    • (37) Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.

    • (38) Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?

    • (39) Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …

    • (40) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…

    • (41) Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

    • (42) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.

    • (43) Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

    • (55) Stephen Daugherty wrote: We don’t need another chapter of college campus debaters. We need people who can be trusted to make working policy. Third Parties are not going to be trusted on their ideas alone.

    Power corrupts, and the growing number of independents is evidence that voters are starting to figure out that most (if not all) incumbent politicians in BOTH main parties are too FOR-SALE, incompetent, irresponsible, and/or corrupt. And if that’s not enough evidence, all the voters have to do is look at their handy-work. But voters are culpable too, and they will reap what they sow. Laziness, greed, and short-term selfisihness, instead of enlightened self interest is the path to pain and misery.

    Unfortunately, some people are so focused only on winning seats for THEIR party, and demonizing anything not-THEIR-PARTY, and too busy fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the petty, circular partisan warfare, that they are completely incapable of seeing themselves through the eyes of others. No amount of evidence (such as the growing 52 item list above), no matter how glaringly obvious, can convince them to ever do or think otherwise. It’s like an addiction. The partisan warfare is a powerfully effective distraction, which is why many politicians love to fuel the partisan warfare too.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You seem to take personal issue with my having said that.
    False.

    Your very own statements are merely offered up to show the numerous contracdictions an partisan loyalties that have a disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT.
    You often speak of showing respect to others, but your own comments are not evidence of a person who practices what they preach.
    That is, your comments are often constradictory, and therefore, hypocritcal on many levels.
    Anyone who is frustrated with that, only has themself to thank for it.
    Remember, only a fool can make a fool of one’s self, and therefore only has themself to thank for it.
    And denying the numerous contradictions, with more prolific obfuscations, and gobbledygook is not helping your comments appear more credible.
    There’s a reason others characterize your comments and articles as being partisan.
    Are you right, and most everyone else wrong (again)?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Here’s the thing: talk is cheap.
    Yes, it is.

    Especially when it’s almost always a lot of prolific, obfuscated gobbledygook; as if that is going to somehow mesmerize people into overlooking so many glaring contradictions and hypocrisy.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We have plenty of people generating talk in every election. And many third parties, content to speak to just a niche market, are content to just make political statements.
    HHMMMMMmmmmmmm … so how would you categorize the majority of unhappy voters in years 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993, who voted out 108, 123, 206, and 142 members of Congress?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What I suggest is simple: start making names for yourselves. Start taking actions that make your parties appreciated. Then take that appreciation, and use that earned respect to purchase the voters support later in an election.
    Bad assumptions.

    Who said more parties were needed?
    However, there are now more independents than Republicans or Democrats.
    Don’t forget the majority of unhappy voters in years 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993, who voted out 108, 123, 206, and 142 members of Congress.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: So on, and so forth. The key thing to keep in mind is the importance of actions over words.
    Yes, but words shouldn’t be continuously contradictory, and/or circular gobbledygook merely to win arguments, and/or constantly fuelin’ and wallowin’ the circular partisan warfare too.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We don’t need another chapter of college campus debaters. We need people who can be trusted to make working policy. Third Parties are not going to be trusted on their ideas alone.
    Right. Nor anything not-DEMOCRAT , eh?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If I am blunt about this, it is because I have little patience for this kind of politics anywhere else. There’s a limit to the value of verbal scorn, to its effectiveness.
    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they are the absolute masters of … as if constantly fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind partisan.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: There’s a limit to the value of verbal scorn, to its effectiveness.
    “Scorn” like this ?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , You‘re wasting your time.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , Now you‘re trying my patience …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve tried to do you the respect of not merely flatly contradicting you
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to badmouth us …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You had better come at us with good evidence …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you‘ve provided.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, that means putting opinions like yours to the test …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can get all patronizing about that, …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Facts, Dan. Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You‘re flinging an ad hominem argument at me …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You just want people to bow down to your case, as if they should be obligated to think in your terms.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be frank with you, you‘re no better than the people you criticize.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Jeez man, if that’s respect, I’d hate to get on your bad side!
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your attacks on the fact that I do have some party association, have done little to convince me that I should abandon them.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be brutally honest, you‘re not telling me much about modern politicians I don’t already know.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I consider everything I write carefully. My backspace and delete buttons get good workouts before you ever see my prose. {HHMMMMMmmmm … just think if that weren’t the case, eh?}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Again, I‘m going to tell you, don’t accuse people of being hypocrites without giving them the chance to demonstrate their behavior.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop trying to play political tricks to force your politics down other people’s throats.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It might help you if you considered that people’s dislike of your prose might be your fault rather than theirs.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why do you persist in trash talking me?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would advise you to be one of those people mature enough to realize that they are not the only whose voice and opinion matters, and that other’s votes and other’s views must be considered as well.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … so I’m telling you, leave him out of our discussion. Don’t throw a whole of silly denials my way, just let him be, or I will take this up with the adminstrators.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: So, I’m not all that impressed by somebody simply posting the opinions of their friends and fellow travellers trying to prove me wrong by the fact of their expression of their negative opinions. I’ve been tagged team before. {OOOOoohhhhhh … are others’ opinions necessary? Only a fool can make a fool of one’s self}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve outlasted many people who thought they could beat me down with personal potshots. I take pride in it, that I stay calm, focused, and able to argue rationally.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It amuses me somewhat to see the lengths you go to avoid the admission of what must clear to most other people reading our exchange: your contempt for me, for my disagreement with you
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I challenge you to show me the respect of arguing point to point, rather than just declaring every argument I make unworthy in pre-emption of ever having a serious discussion about those points. {HMMMMmmmm … perhaps people who demand respect should practice what they preach?}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have been trying my best not to let my end degenerate as far as yours has. {HMMMmmmm … funny how some people see things, eh?}
    • And when your comment states …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.

    • and then your other comments state …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You seem more concerned about quoting soundbites than presenting evidence to be subject to examination by others.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Quit with the numbers, while you’re at it. They’re just browbeating, …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: You are so concerned about putting partisans in their place. Maybe you can just let people be, and speak to them reasonably.

    … there’s an obvious contradiction that is anything but …
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m going to cut things short here. Thirty pages is a lot to respond to, and I really want to do other things with my life than respond to a bunch of repeated slogans, insinuations, and cliched rhetoric. Is that an unreasonable thing to say? I leave that to our other reader’s judgment.
    Right. Yet, your comment was immediately followed by another.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- At thirteen, I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. This was after one of my most painful years, and after two or three years of equally hateful education in the troubles of being poor at reading people in real time social situations. The reality is, we are creatures evolved to be able to bypass pain as our main means of being educated. It’s simply lazy, and often dangerous, with a society as complex, advanced, and concentrated in population as ours to make pain our teacher, because what might be a good lesson for a few people at a time, becomes a secondary problem of exaggerated proportion when enough people are being taught it at a time.
    Yes, laziness is a large part of the problem.

    But the root problem is simply too much short-term selfishness, instead of long-term enlightened self-interest.
    Laziness is a big part of it, but there are other categories that make up excessive short-term selfishness: One-Simple-Idea.com/ProblemAndSolution.htm#Root

    Wallowing and fuelin’ in the blind, delusional partisan-warfare is often easier than doing the actual work to make real reforms within one’s own party.
    It’s easier to play the blame-game.
    It’s easier to ignore the amazing similarities between the two main parties, beyond the two main party’s destructive extremes, while the number of independents grows.
    It’s easier to ignore one’s own FOR-SALE party’s irresponsibility, incompetence, and corruption.
    At least until it becomes too painful.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: When we apply philosophical constructs to reality we must realize that while we are doomed to think in parts, reality behaves as a whole.
    Gobbledygook.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: James Madison knew this, as he lamented the difficulties of finding the right balance between too little government, and too much. I naturally distrust the messages of those who say they have foolproof philosophies. Intelligence offers no immunity to foolishness, and people can think up complex, plausible, yet erroneous theories about the world fairly easily.
    Only a fool can make a fool of one’s self.

    And only a fool would ignore the cycle of excessive corruption and selfishness, which leads to more pain and misery, and delusionally believe that THEIR party is so much superior than the OTHER party in bringing about meaningful reforms.

    You think YOUR party is going to fix things.
    I think voters will fix things, when the painful consequences of the voters own negligence finally becomes too painful.
    Do you want to lay bets on whose more accurate?
    Especially when the current IN-PARTY (Democrats) had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years?
    How did that happen for 30 years when Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995?
    HMMMMmmmmmmm … Right. It’s all the Republican’s fault.
    Never mind which party has controlled Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years, eh?
    That’s what makes the following not so credible, to say the least …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The key is not the kind of theories you come up with, but rather your process for sorting them out.
    It’s not a theory. It’s a fact, substantiated by centuries of evidence.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Pain, at best, teaches necessity. It doesn’t necessarily teach discipline.
    Not always, but mostly. Most people are inclined to stop doing what brings them more pain and misery, when it becomes too painful.

    But, it is not at all surprising again that you would take the most doomed side of an argument, and use all sorts of twisted, circular gobbledlygook to somehow prop up a doomed and failing argument.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Again, just as pain can lead people to bad habits, it can also lead them to the sloppy expediency that a sense of futility or meaninglessness might inflict. While pain might shape people’s approaches to life, the relief of that pain can come from a sensibility of avoidance, as much as one of confrontation.
    False. If it’s sloppy expediency, it will only lead to more pain and misery. But please continue to the amusing pretzel imitations.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Consider: Long term deficit spending created definite financial problems for the country. But did that inspire people in the eighties to embrace, in practice, deficit reduction? No. Instead, people basically re-elected a man who spent record amounts of money he didn’t have. And they did the same about twenty years later, despite the recessions and inflation that caused.
    More gobbledygook. The majority of voters have not yet felt the full consequences of so much debt.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Pain, it seems, lead people to wish for happier times, to accept the negligence of their leaders as they allowed greater leveraging to get out of the problem.
    False. More gobbledygook.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Pain is not enough. You can’t simply traumatize the country, or allow the country to be traumatized, in hopes that people will do the putatively smart thing and embrace personal and civic discipline.
    What’s this “you” crap?

    Pain and misery is the built-in self-correction mechanism.
    Perhaps you may want to read-up on economist Frederic Bastiat’s articles about pain and misery.
    History shows us repeatedly how the cycle of pain and misery finally leads to reforms when the corruption and short-term selfishness becomes too painful.
    But please continue these twisted, circular obfuscations about pain and misery, because history is full of examples to back it up. It will be all too easy.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Right now, the policies like those you describe would only serve to maintain America in a long term economic slump.
    What policies exactly? Do you mean only “describe”, or support too? Your comment makes no sense.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If we had done what you wanted from the first, we would have ended up killing the economy, more or less.
    False. You don’t know that, and you seem to think it’s over. It isn’t. The debt is bigger, unemployment is worse, there are still 8,000-to-10,000 foreclosures per day. There are still many painful consequences ahead.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The truth of the matter is, Some people are still trying to maintain the economy as if we were a 19th century agricultural power, instead of an industrialized, computerized 21st Century nation with population densities and city and suburb dimensions that would have beggared the imagination of folks of that time.
    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they do themselves … supporting the status quo.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We cannot govern ourselves by the same market rules as we did before. We have not merely forward in time, we have changed in many ways as a civilization. But one of the ways we have changed is that the system has gotten a lot more complicated. This means certain aspects of the market develop too quickly to be micromanaged effectively, and certain other aspects of the economy are much too interconnected and interdependent to be allowed to simply work as they naturally would. Or, put another way, it is not a question of whether market forces should be allowed to work, but where they should be allowed to work. Also, it’s not a question of whether regulation is effective everywhere and in every way, but where it’s needed to prevent problems that can compound themselves and overwhelm the systems ability to cope.
    More gobbledygook, which merely sounds like a lot more excuses and obfuscation to defend the status quo.

    No one is arguing the necessity of law enforcement, and regulation to limit them many manifestations of unchecked greed.

    But, these 10 major abuses are not all that complicated.
    Some focus on those things would be abundantly more useful than the perpetual fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the delusional, circular partisan-warfare.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 29, 2009 9:19 AM
    Comment #283763

    Dan-

    No one attacked your personal honor, and only a fool can make a fool of one’s self.

    No, you just insist, with most arguments that I make, that I’m being dishonest, that I’m spewing gobbledygook. That’s a neutral impression to leave with people, right? Repeatedly?

    You’ve learned to hide your contempt behind generalities. That’s all. Sort of like that Robin Williams joke in Dead Poets Society: they’re not laughing at you, they’re laughing near you.

    Come on. You don’t think the average person gets your contempt for me? You don’t think it’s blindingly obvious?

    You’re obfuscating the intent of those words of yours, to remain on the right side of a rather technical reading of the site’s number-one rule.

    As for partisanship?

    When I began my tenure here, my main target was the Bush Administration’s war policy. Was I completely opposed? Did I wish for the failure of the policy so that Bush could be blamed and discredited?

    No. I hate it when people take that approach. It’s needlessly destructive. There are better, though more complicated ways to win that debate. I didn’t want another lost war on my nation’s record, like many Republicans.

    I did not care for the use of our Soldier’s interests as a human shield against criticism, claiming that our soldier would be in more danger if policy was robustly debated. I did not care for the way that Bush and the other Republicans refused to fix problems, for fear of admitting that there were problems. They would aim some potshot at the media instead, hoping to cloud the issue for long enough to escape the political consequences.

    I don’t think any party is so important as it can justify making its ascendance or keeping its prominence on the backs of those that it has a responsiblity to.

    That is my belief. I don’t care for cynical politics of any kind that puts the responsibility for holding things together and making them right behind the priority of one’s party’s fortunes.

    I am a partisan. I use strong words to say today what I think today, as Emerson once advised. Don’t confuse those strong words with contempt for my opponents. I just don’t mince words when I think people are wrong. However, I also explain things, try to maintain some level of logical support for my claims. If I’m going to speak strongly, I might as well have an argument and a theory that I feel can hold up.

    Let me be blunt: I think the direction the Republicans are taking is reprehensible. They’re making the 2010 elections rather than the 2009 issues that are at hand their first priority. They don’t care that they don’t have any firm, reasonable alternatives on policy. They’ve simply decided to shoot down anything that changes the status quo. They are forcibly using parliamentary procedures in an effort to prevent Democrats from getting legislation through on majority votes, to lower the Dem’s approval numbers.

    This not unfounded whining. We’re dealing with obstruction on a literally historic level. NO Senate or House has had its minority in this kind of open rebellion against the other sides authority to pass legislation in history. The so called “do-nothing” congress couldn’t do anything because there were 112 filibusters inflicted on them, almost twice the previous record.

    But hey, you have to be even handed, right? It doesn’t matter how bad one side gets, both side have to be awful and evil in equal proportion. Otherwise, God, you might actually have to take a side, and say that the Republicans are the ones that need to be kicked out the most!

    You look at what Americans are concerned or frustrated about nowadays, and it’s likely that the Republicans are against doing anything about it. And to the extent that there are Democrats getting in the way, whose lead do you think they’re following?

    You’re failing to ask the key question: whose influence, if it were removed, would free up things to happen the way people want them to happen?

    People have had enough pain. They want somebody to step in on their behalf. They wouldn’t have voted the way they’ve done in the last two elections, to destroy a majority and replace it, if that wasn’t what they wanted.

    Not always, but mostly. Most people are inclined to stop doing what brings them more pain and misery, when it becomes too painful. But, it is not at all surprising again that you would take the most doomed side of an argument, and use all sorts of twisted, circular gobbledlygook to somehow prop up a doomed and failing argument.

    If pain taught discipline, why did Reagan’s fiscal irresponsibility follow that of the late sixities?

    I think you’re saying that pain eventually teaches people. Well, we’ve had about four decades to learn, literally lifetimes. And people haven’t learned.

    Pain is only a motivating factor. What it motivates, whether it’s evasion of responsiblities, or confrontation, is an open question.

    Or at least it’s open if you’re just going to sit back and let things unfold.

    People must feel that they are capable of handling the problem, defeating the bad situation, before they will approach austerity with anything more than a sense of futility.

    People must find the strength in themselves. I think folks like us can help, can call for a new pride in their abilities.

    But if all we do is criticize? Well, I’ve had the benefit of the perspective of a lifetime, and and I’ve heard people lamenting their shortcomings since I was a kid. I think it takes a certain self-confidence to stand back up.

    I don’t think your approach helps. It’s pessimistic, it’s cynical, and it really doesn’t let people evolve in place.

    I mean, is it necessary that people give up party loyalty? No. They just have to change what that party loyalty means.

    But here’s the thing: encouraging that is easier than trying to get people to dump their entire political perspective all at once. People aren’t carved of one piece. They have many loyalties, many beliefs. Focusing on a key few issues with people might produce results more efficiently and effectivley than a broad, full force offensive on all their political beliefs.

    As for my opinion on the market? It’s really quite sensible:

    “We cannot govern ourselves by the same market rules as we did before.”

    Obvious, if you think about it. Society has moved on. Technology has moved on. Population has grown. We’ve made some major mistakes, mistakes that ought to be learned from.

    “We have not merely [moved] foward in time, we have changed in many ways as a civilization.”

    Compare this nation as it was at the beginning, or a hundred years ago or even fifty years ago, to how it is now.

    “But one of the ways we have changed is that the system has gotten a lot more complicated.”

    This should be self-evident.

    “This means certain aspects of the market develop too quickly to be micromanaged effectively, […]”

    This too.

    “and certain other aspects of the economy are much too interconnected and interdependent to be allowed to simply work as they naturally would.”

    And after The Great Depression and the current recession, this should be self-evident, too.

    “Or, put another way, it is not a question of whether market forces should be allowed to work, but where they should be allowed to work. “

    If the market had its way with banks, for example, there would be runs on the banks. Instead, we have the FDIC insure deposits, and quickly nationalize, clean out, and sell back banks to private investors. This is one thing that has prevented our current crisis from getting worse.

    “Also, it’s not a question of whether regulation is effective everywhere and in every way, but where it’s needed to prevent problems that can compound themselves and overwhelm the system’s ability to cope.”

    In the wake of the Great Depression, we made it law that you couldn’t have a brokerage, an insurance company, a bank, etc. all in the same business. It also limited the size that those banks could get.

    The failure that 2008 saw would have been impossible under the old law.

    That is what I mean. The system needs firewalls, separations between companies and between kinds of financial interest that prevent entanglements and conflicts of interests that, in sum, can be harmful to the economy.

    How it is you came to believe that this was an affirmation of the status quo, I don’t know. I mean, the status quo is free market fundamentalism, keep your laws off my money, right? Then how does a call for regulation where it’s sensible, a refutation of the notion that we can simply operate the market like we once did represent a defense of the status quo.

    If you spent less time glossing over my material and calling it gobbledygook, perhaps you would understand what I was really saying. And perhaps, God forbid, you might agree with it.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 29, 2009 1:11 PM
    Comment #283764

    TARP’s costs are going to end up a lot further South of 700 billion than people thought it was.

    Ultimate cost of bailout, according to CBO: 159 Billion.

    Having an economy that’s not in Dorothea Lange territory: Priceless.

    Sometimes you have to go through a little pain to avoid a lot of it.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 29, 2009 3:12 PM
    Comment #283766

    A good report on why the Government has to intervene in order to create competition. Put simply, There’s not really that much of it to begin with!

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 29, 2009 3:27 PM
    Comment #283777
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- No, you just insist, with most arguments that I make, that I’m being dishonest, that I’m spewing gobbledygook. That’s a neutral impression to leave with people, right? Repeatedly?
    If you say so?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’ve learned to hide your contempt behind generalities. That’s all.
    Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they do? Repeatedly, eh?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Come on. You don’t think the average person gets your contempt for me? You don’t think it’s blindingly obvious?
    Don’t get mad at me.

    All you see (for the most part) is quotes of your very own comments and articles, which contain numerous contradictions, and circular, obfuscated gobbledygook.
    Hence, the old sayin’ … “Only a fool can make a fool of one’s self”.
    Or, as Forrest Gump said … “Stupid is as stupid does”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re obfuscating the intent of those words of yours, to remain on the right side of a rather technical reading of the site’s number-one rule.
    Nonsense. Your numerous contradictory comments and articles are fair game.

    The solution to that is not to write so much prolific, contradictory, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for partisanship? When I began my tenure here, my main target was the Bush Administration’s war policy. Was I completely opposed? Did I wish for the failure of the policy so that Bush could be blamed and discredited? No. I hate it when people take that approach. It’s needlessly destructive. There are better, though more complicated ways to win that debate. I didn’t want another lost war on my nation’s record, like many Republicans.
    Right. Only Republicans start and mismanage wars, eh? Vietnam was 10 times worse.

    And the current IN-PARTY (Democrats) have had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years?
    How did that happen for 30 years when Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995?
    HMMMMmmmmmmm … Right. It’s all the Republican’s fault.
    Never mind which party has controlled Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years, eh?
    Nothin’ like fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, delusional, circular partisan warfare, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I did not care for the use of our Soldier’s interests as a human shield against criticism, claiming that our soldier would be in more danger if policy was robustly debated. I did not care for the way that Bush and the other Republicans refused to fix problems, for fear of admitting that there were problems. They would aim some potshot at the media instead, hoping to cloud the issue for long enough to escape the political consequences.
    So, it’s OK if Congress gave itself its 10th raise in 12 years, and $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expensese, while U.S. troops risk life and limb, and to 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghanistan?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t think any party is so important as it can justify making its ascendance or keeping its prominence on the backs of those that it has a responsiblity to.
    Your own numerous comments and articles indicate otherwise (to say the least).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That is my belief. I don’t care for cynical politics of any kind that puts the responsibility for holding things together and making them right behind the priority of one’s party’s fortunes.
    What do you call the perpetual fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular, divisive, hateful, destructive partisan warfare?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am a partisan. I use strong words to say today what I think today, as Emerson once advised. Don’t confuse those strong words with contempt for my opponents. I just don’t mince words when I think people are wrong. However, I also explain things, try to maintain some level of logical support for my claims. If I’m going to speak strongly, I might as well have an argument and a theory that I feel can hold up.
    Yikes! ? ! 8I“s in one paragraph.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am a partisan.
    No kiddin’ ? ! ?

    Did you ever doubt anyone here doubted that?
    Any way, that’s quite a talent for stating the obvious.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Let me be blunt: I think the direction the Republicans are taking is reprehensible.
    And the Democrats isn’t?

    Do you actually believe there’s a difference, beyond the two main party’s destructive extremes?
    If so, that’s delusional.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They’re making the 2010 elections rather than the 2009 issues that are at hand their first priority. They don’t care that they don’t have any firm, reasonable alternatives on policy. They’ve simply decided to shoot down anything that changes the status quo. They are forcibly using parliamentary procedures in an effort to prevent Democrats from getting legislation through on majority votes, to lower the Dem’s approval numbers.
    Nothin’ like fuelin’ the blind, circular partisan warfare, eh?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: This not unfounded whining.
    ? ? ? Since when was whinin’ founded?

    Whinin and findin’ hurt and slights comes natural to some people, without ever entertaining the idea that it may be there own circular rhetoric that is the root of the problem, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: We’re dealing with obstruction on a literally historic level. NO Senate or House has had its minority in this kind of open rebellion against the other sides authority to pass legislation in history.
    You obviously do not know your history.

    The unhappy voters ousted 108, 123, 206, and 142 members of Congress (in years 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993 respectively).
    Is that not more “historic” ?
    What is obvious is that you do not have a historical perspective.
    There are many here that remember the abuses of BOTH parties.
    The IN-PARTY is always more corrupt.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The so called “do-nothing” congress couldn’t do anything because there were 112 filibusters inflicted on them, almost twice the previous record.
    More excuses and circular gobbledygook, since the current IN-PARTY (Democrats) had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years? How did that happen for 30 years when Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995? HMMMMmmmmmmm … Right. It’s all the Republican’s fault. Never mind which party has controlled Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years, eh?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But hey, you have to be even handed, right? It doesn’t matter how bad one side gets, both side have to be awful and evil in equal proportion. Otherwise, God, you might actually have to take a side, and say that the Republicans are the ones that need to be kicked out the most!
    Oh. So you now want to bring religion into it?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You look at what Americans are concerned or frustrated about nowadays, and it’s likely that the Republicans are against doing anything about it.
    Nonsense. Republicans comprise about 3/10 of the voters.

    But mroe importantly, and it is very encouraging, there are more independents than either Democrats or Republicans.
    I see a high likelihood of a repeat of 1929, 1931, and 1933 on the way.
    That pains many blind, delusional partisan loyalists.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And to the extent that there are Democrats getting in the way, whose lead do you think they’re following?
    See previous paragraph. Read it and weep. The IN-PARTY always becomes the IN-PARTY.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re failing to ask the key question: whose influence, if it were removed, would free up things to happen the way people want them to happen?
    Nonsense.

    When the voters are feelin’ enough pain and misery, they will most likely do their duty, as most unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People have had enough pain.
    False. Not with 85%-to-90% re-election rates for a Congress that also has dismal 11%-to-28% approval ratings.

    But, these facts are painful to many blind, delusional partisan loyalists that want to perpetuate the status quo.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They want somebody to step in on their behalf. They wouldn’t have voted the way they’ve done in the last two elections, to destroy a majority and replace it, if that wasn’t what they wanted.
    Once gain, you demonstrate a lack of knowlege of history.

    Voters have not yet done what most unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993.
    But they will (most likely).
    Does that disturb you?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Most people are inclined to stop doing what brings them more pain and misery, when it becomes too painful.
    Here is yet another blatant glaring contradiction. This is too easy.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You fought that very idea, and now you are agreeing with it.
    Nonsense. I’ve always said pain and misery will provide the education and motivation to bring about reforms and change.

    Any other conclusion is not only a yet another glaring contradication, but an obvious lie (except perhaps for other blind partisan loyalists who also despise anything not-DEMOCRAT)?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If pain taught discipline, why did Reagan’s fiscal irresponsibility follow that of the late sixities?
    Fiscal irresponsibility takes many decades … another little detail you conveniently over-look, as if everyone here is too stupid to notice.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re saying that pain eventually teaches people.
    Gee. Are you just now figurin’ that out?

    Nothin’ like catchin’ up on current events, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Well, we’ve had about four decades to learn, literally lifetimes. And people haven’t learned.
    False.

    It’s a long process which can take many decades.
    There is progress (i.e. 2.00 steps forward and 1.99 steps backward).
    It’s slow, but people do learn.
    You have quite obviously not been paying event the slightest attention to detail if you are only now figurin’ this out.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Pain is only a motivating factor. What it motivates, whether it’s evasion of responsiblities, or confrontation, is an open question.
    Nonsense, because more irresponsible behavoir simply brings about more pain and misery.

    That’s why progress is slow, but does exist: 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Or at least it’s open if you’re just going to sit back and let things unfold.
    Like so many blind, delusional partisan loyalists?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People must feel that they are capable of handling the problem, defeating the bad situation, before they will approach austerity with anything more than a sense of futility.
    Nonsense. Pain and misery is an extremely effective incentive and motivation to reject corruption (the path to more pain and misery).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People must find the strength in themselves. I think folks like us can help, can call for a new pride in their abilities.
    Whose “us”?

    ONLY Democrats?
    That’s really funny.
    Some people got it bad.
    Like Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But if all we do is criticize?
    Hmmmmmmm … like this?
    • (01) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .
    • (02) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , You‘re wasting your time.
    • (03) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … You had better be prepared …
    • (04) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve tried to do you the respect of not merely flatly contradicting you
    • (05) Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to badmouth us …
    • (06) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You had better come at us with good evidence …
    • (07) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, … we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you‘ve provided.
    • (08) Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, that means putting opinions like yours to the test …
    • (09) Stephen Daugherty wrote: you‘re trying to win in front of me and everybody else …
    • (10) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.
    • (11) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can get all patronizing about that, …
    • (12) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Facts, Dan. Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. …
    • (13) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You‘re flinging an ad hominem argument at me …
    • (14) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You just want people to bow down to your case, as if they should be obligated to think in your terms.
    • (15) Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be frank with you, you‘re no better than the people you criticize.
    • (16) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Jeez man, if that’s respect, I’d hate to get on your bad side!
    • (17) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your attacks on the fact that I do have some party association, have done little to convince me that I should abandon them.
    • (18) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n , Now you‘re trying my patience …
    • (19) Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be brutally honest, you‘re not telling me much about modern politicians I don’t already know.
    • (20) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.
    • (21) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I consider everything I write carefully. My backspace and delete buttons get good workouts before you ever see my prose.
    • (22) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid.
    • (23) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have a broader definition of what voter education means, I mean just straight forward learning and being told about what the people in congress are doing… . My bias is obvious.
    • (24) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Again, I‘m going to tell you, don’t accuse people of being hypocrites without giving them the chance to demonstrate their behavior.
    • (25) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Stop trying to play political tricks to force your politics down other people’s throats.
    • (26) Stephen Daugherty wrote: It might help you if you considered that people’s dislike of your prose might be your fault rather than theirs.
    • (27) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why do you persist in trash talking me?
    • (28) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would advise you to be one of those people mature enough to realize that they are not the only whose voice and opinion matters, and that other’s votes and other’s views must be considered as well.
    • (29) Stephen Daugherty wrote: … so I’m telling you, leave him out of our discussion. Don’t throw a whole of silly denials my way, just let him be, or I will take this up with the adminstrators.
    • (30) Stephen Daugherty wrote: So, I’m not all that impressed by somebody simply posting the opinions of their friends and fellow travellers trying to prove me wrong by the fact of their expression of their negative opinions. I’ve been tagged team before.
    • (31) Stephen Daugherty wrote: It amuses me somewhat to see the lengths you go to avoid the admission of what must clear to most other people reading our exchange: your contempt for me, for my disagreement with you
    • (32) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve outlasted many people who thought they could beat me down with personal potshots. I take pride in it, that I stay calm, focused, and able to argue rationally.
    • (33) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I challenge you to show me the respect of arguing point to point, rather than just declaring every argument I make unworthy in pre-emption of ever having a serious discussion about those points.
    • (34) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have been trying my best not to let my end degenerate as far as yours has.
    • (35) Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …
    • (36) Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
    • (37) Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.
    • (38) Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?
    • (39) Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …
    • (40) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…
    • (41) Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].
    • (42) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.
    • (43) Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.
    • (44) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}
    • (45) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)
    • (46) Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
    • (47) Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.
    • (48) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.
    • (49) Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}
    • (50) Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}
    • (51) Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?
    • (52) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You seem more concerned about quoting soundbites than presenting evidence to be subject to examination by others.
    • (53) Stephen Daugherty wrote: Quit with the numbers, while you’re at it. They’re just browbeating, …
    • (54) Stephen Daugherty wrote: You are so concerned about putting partisans in their place. Maybe you can just let people be, and speak to them reasonably.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Well, I’ve had the benefit of the perspective of a lifetime, and and I’ve heard people lamenting their shortcomings since I was a kid.
    Yikes! 3 “Is” in one sentence.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think it takes a certain self-confidence to stand back up.
    By fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, delusional partisan warfare?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t think your approach helps.
    But fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, delusional partisan warfare is better?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s pessimistic, it’s cynical, and it really doesn’t let people evolve in place.
    And fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, delusional partisan warfare is better?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I mean, is it necessary that people give up party loyalty? No. They just have to change what that party loyalty means.
    No one is talkin’ about mere partisanship.

    The issue is blind, delusional, circular fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the partisan warfare.
    Of course, none of your articles and comments ever do that, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But here’s the thing: encouraging that is easier than trying to get people to dump their entire political perspective all at once. People aren’t carved of one piece. They have many loyalties, many beliefs. Focusing on a key few issues with people might produce results more efficiently and effectivley than a broad, full force offensive on all their political beliefs.

    Oh great. More circular, obfuscated gobbledygook.

    Funny how some people resort to circular, obfuscated gobbledygook when their weak (if not absurd) arguments are failing miserable to prop-up their doomed arguments.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for my opinion on the market? It’s really quite sensible: “We cannot govern ourselves by the same market rules as we did before.” Obvious, if you think about it. Society has moved on. Technology has moved on. Population has grown. We’ve made some major mistakes, mistakes that ought to be learned from.
    Right. Regarding technology …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That is what I mean. The system needs firewalls, separations between companies and between kinds of financial interest that prevent entanglements and conflicts of interests that, in sum, can be harmful to the economy.
    Few argue that laws need to be enforce to discourage the many manifestations of unchecked greed.

    But the blind, delusion partisan loyalties, and the blind, circular fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the partisan warfare does exactly that.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: How it is you came to believe that this was an affirmation of the status quo, I don’t know. I mean, the status quo is free market fundamentalism, keep your laws off my money, right?
    More circular, obfscated lies and gobbledygook. See the previous response.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Then how does a call for regulation where it’s sensible, a refutation of the notion that we can simply operate the market like we once did represent a defense of the status quo.
    Blind, delusional partisan loyalty is defending the status quo.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you spent less time glossing over my material and calling it gobbledygook, perhaps you would understand what I was really saying. And perhaps, God forbid, you might agree with it.
    Right. Like gobbledygook can some how become something else other than gobbledygook.

    But don’t take my word for it …

    • David R. Remer wrote: Sorry, Stephen D[augherty], … And that means d.a.n’s reference to your comment’s obfuscation, twisting and construction, is valid.

    • Roy Ellis wrote: In spite of all the intellectual dishonesty espoused by those opposing AVC we know we are being denied a Constitutional right. It’s there in black and white.

    • Rodney Brown wrote: … He also was a believer in The Founding Fathers and the constitution and today you better believe he’d be fighting for Article V!

    • Byron DeLear wrote: Point being: ideas live on; amendment proposals live on — the proof’s right below you if you care to see the historical track record refuting your assertion that legitimate action can only spring forth from currently assembled state legislatures, and from only living and seated legislators. Poppycock.
      … You [Stephen Daugherty] should help realize this people’s convention; it strengthens the democratic values and engaged electorate that I know we both support.

    • John DeHerrera wrote: The question is whether the applications are valid or not. Show a law which shows how they are expired—not an opinion, but a law. Until you do that your position is bogus.

    • Bill Walker wrote: The fact is Mr. Daugherty defeats himself in his argument and thus requires no further comment once this hypocrisy is pointed out.

    • d.a.n wrote: d.a.n wrote: No amout of twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook will change the truth.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: TARP’s costs are going to end up a lot further South of 700 billion than people thought it was. Ultimate cost of bailout, according to CBO: 159 Billion.
    Oh goody. Keep that nonsense up. The pretzel imitations and gobbledygook to prove such nonsense is bound to be very entertaining.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Sometimes you have to go through a little pain to avoid a lot of it.
    Something that you obviously don’t yet understand.

    P.S. A new record: 37 “Is” in that post.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 29, 2009 8:56 PM
    Comment #283789

    Dan-
    I believe Republicans didn’t want to lose this last war, any more than I did. The difference, though, was they bought into this theory that media perceptions alone were the main difference between a successful war and another Vietnam.

    They fell into the same trap that the Democrats did, the last time they were in the ascendant.

    Congress’s raises don’t inspire much support from me. I think they could do well enough without COLA increases, given how far above the Cost of Living they already are. B

    ut it really didn’t occur to me, with soldiers getting blown up in under-armored vehicles, being given substandard equipment, and not enough manpower to do the job, to zero in on Congressional pay raises as the issue to pay attention to. My mistake. I guess the next war, I’ll write column after column decrying Congresional perks, rather than inform people about what was going wrong with the Soldiers in Iraq.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t think any party is so important as it can justify making its ascendance or keeping its prominence on the backs of those that it has a responsiblity to.
    Your own numerous comments and articles indicate otherwise (to say the least).

    You’re writing checks with your rhetoric that your research can’t cash.

    All to often, the rage against the liberals and the Democrats on the Right is justified on the grounds that Democrats are so irresponsible and dangerous, that they must be kept out of power, no matter how bad the Republicans have been.

    Though I have no great love for the idea that Democrats might lose to Republicans, it’s the people’s choice to make, and it’s one they can make again in two, four, or six years if they figured things wrong.

    And to be honest with you, for all the good it will do, I don’t mind a third party rising up. Heck, let a bunch of them rise up. If there are laws in the way, let them be struck down.

    You won’t believe me, but then you won’t believe anything I say, so I might as well tell you the truth.

    I am a partisan, but my philosophy is one of acceptance of the fact that not everybody takes my kind of attitude towards things. Like I said before, I’m diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome, so I have strong feelings about everything just as a matter of course! Hard experience, though, has taught me that strong belief and correctness of those beliefs are not necessarily mutually correlated.

    So, when I argue, I like to do so in a way where my point makes sense regardless of party lines. The truth has no affiliation to our partisans concerns, and the affiliation of the partisan concerns to the truth is entirely up to them.

    On the subject of what history has to say about Obstructionism, the 110th Congress remains the most obstructed in history, with 112 filibuster threats made. I think the elections you refer to are irrelevant to the matter, and why you think they are is beyond me. Elections and filibusters are apples and oranges.

    However, while we’re on the subject, you do realize that voters put in a Democratic majority in those elections, right? They did so again recently, and then added to that majority, rather than subtracting from it.

    Am I wrong?

    Fiscal irresponsibility takes many decades … another little detail you conveniently over-look, as if everyone here is too stupid to notice.

    Look, the Seventies were one of the most painful periods in US economic history. If that didn’t teach people it was bad to overspend, what would?

    If this pain stuff is not even working after four decades, when will it work? When the nation is finally so wrecked that we can’t no longer stand up straight?

    I’m sorry. I think we ought to be a bit more proactive than that. No, let me drop the rhetorical BS: we should be a hell of a lot more proactive.

    What’s wrong is that you have folks who talk about deficit reduction, and just talk. They have no real expertise. Their answer to efficiency is to cut costs by gutting enforcement, gutting the purposes of the agencies and everything. Government becomes more wasteful because people are less concerned with real efficiency: improvements in the ability to do work for the resources it costs to do something.

    Waiting for pain to teach lessons is lazy, and we’re smart enough to do better.

    I’m not going to agree with your philosophy. It’s too fuzzy around the edges, too passive, too fatalistic. It calls for one simple thing, but something which really isn’t simple in the execution. Your thinking seems to be, though, that magically people will just come to agree, and everything will just happen magically.

    I don’t want deficit reduction when it’s painful. I want it when it’s necessary. I want active, involving reform, not people sitting around congratulating themselves that they have the right idea while the world collapses around them.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 30, 2009 2:31 PM
    Comment #283816
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- I believe Republicans didn’t want to lose this last war, any more than I did. The difference, though, was they bought into this theory that media perceptions alone were the main difference between a successful war and another Vietnam.
    No. The problem was that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), followed by 99 blunders, which most in the FOR-SALE incompetent, irresponsible, and corrupt Congress share the blame. Especially when Congress gives itself an automatic raise every year while U.S. troops risk life and limb and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: They fell into the same trap that the Democrats did, the last time they were in the ascendant.
    Power corrupts, which is why the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Congress’s raises don’t inspire much support from me. I think they could do well enough without COLA increases, given how far above the Cost of Living they already are.
    You don’t care if Congress gets an automatic raise every year while U.S. troops risk life and limb and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghanistan? Figures.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But it really didn’t occur to me, with soldiers getting blown up in under-armored vehicles, being given substandard equipment, and not enough manpower to do the job, to zero in on Congressional pay raises as the issue to pay attention to. My mistake.
    There are many issues, and raises is only one of them, which reveals the greed, arrogance, and hypocrisy of Congress.

    But that’s OK with you, eh?
    Nothin’ like fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, circular partisan warfare, while sweeping corruption, greed, bloat, and waste under the rug, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I guess the next war, I’ll write column after column decrying Congresional perks, rather than inform people about what was going wrong with the Soldiers in Iraq.
    That’s pretty much all you do anyway … but only against Republicans, conservatives, and now moderates too (i.e. anything not-Democrat), eh?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re writing checks with your rhetoric that your research can’t cash.
    More nonsensical gobbledygook. Your articles and writings are full of contradictions and rhetoric to fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: All to often, the rage against the liberals and the Democrats on the Right is justified on the grounds that Democrats are so irresponsible and dangerous, that they must be kept out of power, no matter how bad the Republicans have been.
    The truth is, beyond the two destructive extremes of BOTH main parties, there’s no difference (One-Simple-Idea.com/MainPartySimilarities.htm) between the two main parties. That’s perhaps why the numbers of independent voters is growing, and now total more than either Democrats or Republicans?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Though I have no great love for the idea that Democrats might lose to Republicans, it’s the people’s choice to make, and it’s one they can make again in two, four, or six years if they figured things wrong.
    That’s quite a talent there for stating the obvious.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And to be honest with you, for all the good it will do, I don’t mind a third party rising up.
    Really? Then why did you write the following …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid.
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?
    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
    Hmmmmmm … your numerous comment reveal otherwise.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Heck, let a bunch of them rise up. If there are laws in the way, let them be struck down.
    Right. That’s not very convincing due to the numerous comments above, the constant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, circular partisan warfare, and an obvious disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You won’t believe me, but then you won’t believe anything I say, so I might as well tell you the truth.
    False. Some things you say are are true. However, the credibility of many of your articles and comments are questionable, because of the numerous contradictions; the contradictory comments above; the constant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, circular partisan warfare; an obvious disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT; and a lot of circular, twisted gobbledygook (especialy with reward to the simple meaning of Article V).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am a partisan, …
    Duh.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: … but my philosophy is one of acceptance of the fact that not everybody takes my kind of attitude towards things.
    For that, we are all very fortunate.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Like I said before, I’m diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome, so I have strong feelings about everything just as a matter of course!
    Lots of people have strong feelings about lots of things, so Asperger’s Syndrome (alone) does not explain away a person’s fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular, blind partisan-warfare; convenient re-interpretations of the single sentence of Article V; numerous contradictions; a disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT, and prolific, twisted, gobbledygook.

    It also does not explain the disdain for the literal interpretation of Article V, based on … .

    • Abnormalities [of Asperger’s Syndrome] include verbosity, abrupt transitions, literal interpretations and miscomprehension of nuance, use of metaphor meaningful only to the speaker, auditory perception deficits, unusually pedantic, formal or idiosyncratic speech, and oddities in loudness, pitch, intonation, prosody, and rhythm.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Hard experience, though, has taught me that strong belief and correctness of those beliefs are not necessarily mutually correlated.
    It helps to have some evidence, and common-sense logic to substatiate a position.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: So, when I argue, I like to do so in a way where my point makes sense regardless of party lines. The truth has no affiliation to our partisans concerns, and the affiliation of the partisan concerns to the truth is entirely up to them.
    regardless of party lines? Well, it certainly doesn’t appear to be working, because your articles and comments are about as partisan and biased as they get.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: On the subject of what history has to say about Obstructionism, the 110th Congress remains the most obstructed in history, with 112 filibuster threats made.
    The current Congress is the 111th Congress (for 2009-2011).

    The 110th Congress is the 2006-to-2008 Congress.

    The 111th Congress consistes of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.

    So, what’s changed?
    Not much, unfortunately.

    More excuses is no excuse at all.
    Excuses are like assholes. Everyone has one, and they all stink.

    And why does the filibuster exist?
    What body of government created it?
    And which party had the majority in Congress for the 110th Congress (2006-to-2008)?
    Which party had the vast majority of Congress for all but 14 of the last 78 years.
    Democrats had the vast majority of Congress for the 40 consecutive years between 1955 and 1995.
    Again, there’s really not much difference (beyond the two extremes each main party wallows in) between the two main parties, which is why the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think the elections you refer to are irrelevant to the matter, and why you think they are is beyond me.
    You wish.

    However, history shows that re-election rates fall drastically during severe economic conditions, which probably explains why the number of independents now out-numbers either Democrats or Republicans.
    There’s little doubt that there were many unhappy voters in the early years of the Great Depression in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, who ousted 108, 123, and 206 members of Congress.
    Unfortunately, it was too late to stop the pain and misery from lasting another decade.
    That’s most likely where we are headed today, due to numerous economic conditions today, which have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think the elections you refer to are irrelevant to the matter, and why you think they are is beyond me. Elections and filibusters are apples and oranges.
    What the hell are you talkin’ about? Who ever said elections and filibusters were similar?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: However, while we’re on the subject, you do realize that voters put in a Democratic majority in those elections, right? They did so again recently, and then added to that majority, rather than subtracting from it.
    That’s proof positive that you have a VERY partisan way of looking at things.

    In year 1933, the unhappy voters also ousted 59 Democrats, and 147 Republicans, for a total of 206 members of Congress.
    In year 1929, the unhappy voters ousted more Democrats (51) than Republicans (44) (a little detail you conveniently, and unsurprisingly, over-looked).

    • Start __ End __ Congress _ Re-Election ___ Party Seat-Retention
    • Year ___ Year ___ # _____ Rate ________ Rate
    • 1927 ___ 1929 ___ 070st ___ 83.6% ________ 96.4% (087 incumbents ousted: 22(D), 64(R), 1(FL) )
    • 1929 ___ 1931 ___ 071st ___ 79.7% ________ 92.5% (108 incumbents ousted: 51(D), 44(R), 2(FL), 1(S) )
    • 1931 ___ 1933 ___ 072nd ___ 76.8% ________ 88.5% (123 incumbents ousted: 36(D), 87(R) )
    • 1933 ___ 1935 ___ 073rd ___ 61.2% ________ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted: 59(D), 147(R) )
    • … … … … … … … …
    • 1989 ___ 1991 ___ 101st ___ 90.1% ________ 99.6%
    • 1991 ___ 1993 ___ 102nd ___ 87.7% ________ 98.3%
    • 1993 ___ 1995 ___ 103rd ___ 73.5% ________ 98.1% (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)
    • … … … … … … … …
    • 1999 ___ 2001 ___ 106th ___ 89.2% ________ 99.3%
    • 2001 ___ 2003 ___ 107th ___ 89.2% ________ 98.7%
    • 2003 ___ 2005 ___ 108th ___ 87.9% ________ 98.1% (65 of 535 voted out)
    • 2005 ___ 2007 ___ 109th ___ 88.6% ________ 98.7% (61 of 535 voted out)
    • 2007 ___ 2009 ___ 110th ___ 84.9% ________ 93.1% (81 of 535 incumbents voted out (68=16(D)+51(R)+1(I) in the House) + (13=3(D)+9(R)+1(I) in the Senate)
    • 2009 ___ 2011 ___ 111th ___ 86.9% ________ 94.0% (70 of 535 voted out (57=13(D)+44(R) in the House) + (13=3(D)+10(R) in the Senate)

    But, for some people, all that matters is winning seats, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Am I wrong?
    Yes.

    More Democrats (51) than Republicans (44) were voted out in year 1929.
    And in years 1927, 1929, 1931, and 1933, dozens of incumbent politicians in BOTH parties were ousted from office.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Look, the Seventies were one of the most painful periods in US economic history. If that didn’t teach people it was bad to overspend, what would?
    I lived through the late 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and the 1970’s weren’t nearly as bad as they are now: One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If this pain stuff is not even working after four decades, when will it work?
    When it finally becomes too painful, which can take many decades.

    Also, the voters’ reaction is a lagging indicator.
    By the time enough voters finally feel enough pain and misery, it will most likely be impossible to avoid many years (or decades) of more pain and misery resulting from so many decades of short-term selfishness (instead of long-term, enlightened self-interest).

    It took over a decade to create the Great Depression, and over a decade to end it.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: When the nation is finally so wrecked that we can’t no longer stand up straight?
    That’s a real danger, which you and others don’t seem to take very serious.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m sorry. I think we ought to be a bit more proactive than that.
    Me too.

    But government won’t become more responsible and accountable until enough voters do their job too, and that is NOT by repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, irresponsible, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates; automatic annual raises; $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expenses; unlimited term-limits; and numerous unfair incumbent advantages (One-Simple-Idea.com/FAQ.htm#UnfairAdvantages).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: No, let me drop the rhetorical BS: we should be a hell of a lot more proactive.
    On that we agree.

    However, you believe the solution is to vote for more Democrats, and fuel and wallow the circular partisan-warfare railing against anything NOT-DEMOCRAT (now including moderates too).
    Government won’t become more responsible and accountable by protecting the status quo.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What’s wrong is that you have folks who talk about deficit reduction, and just talk. They have no real expertise. Their answer to efficiency is to cut costs by gutting enforcement, gutting the purposes of the agencies and everything.
    And there are some people that like to over-complicate everything with prolific, circular, twisted, obfuscated gobbledygook (to protect the status quo).

    And there are some people that like to make excuses for the way things are, while simultaneously pretending reforms are needed.

    And there are some people who think we need to create a dozen committees, a dozen commissions, and allocate $500 Billion to research a single problem for a few decades (while never accomplishing a damn thing).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Waiting for pain to teach lessons is lazy, …
    We agree on that completely. No one ever said we MUST wait for pain and misery to teach us lessons.

    We have a choice.
    Unfortunately, history shows us that we wait too long, over and over and over.
    Thus, progress is slow: 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
    There’s always room for improvement, and sooner is better than later for serious reforms and progress.
    You’re wrong if you think I’m saying we must endure pain and misery to learn.
    We don’t.
    But that also doesn’t mean that we will put ourselves through unnecessary pain and misery.
    After all, much of the pain and misery of times past, and of today, is unnecessary.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: … , and we’re smart enough to do better.
    Yes, we can and should do better.

    2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward is not good enough.
    In fact, we may not always have the luxury to learn so slowly (nor again and again and again).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m not going to agree with your philosophy.
    You already have.

    You seem to be under some strange notion (a very bad assumption to say the least) that I don’t feel like we can do better.
    I’ve stated many times that we can and should do better.
    So there’s no disagreement on that issue, despite your attempts to create one.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s too fuzzy around the edges, too passive, too fatalistic.
    See previous responses. You assumptions of what I believe are false.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It calls for one simple thing, but something which really isn’t simple in the execution.
    Voting out bad incumbent politicians is a smart starting point, and makes more sense then repeatedly rewarding them with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

    But you seem to beleive the solution is voting for Democrats and fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the partisan warfare, and against anything NOT-DEMOCRAT, eh?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: My generation of Democrats prides itself on not being caught blindsided by either the Republicans, or their own side’s problems. The ears [of Democrats] are to the ground, and we’re always, ALWAYS watching. {Always? Then why does the IN-PARTY “always” become the OUT-PARTY?}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid.

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I‘ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did the 110th do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 85%-to-90% of incumbent politicians were re-elected.)

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is ironic indeed}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?

    • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
    HMMMmmmmmmm … that’s sort of hard to explain, isn’t it? Well, not for some people, perhaps?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your thinking seems to be, though, that magically people will just come to agree, and everything will just happen magically.
    Nonsense.

    Repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians in EITHER party is not working.
    What’s happening today has already happened many times.
    Democrats convinced enough voters that ONLY Republicans are ALL to blame.
    However, when things continue to get worse, and abuses are perpetuated, voters will most likely turn on BOTH parties as they did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, when the unhappy voters ousted 108, 123, and 206 member of Congress (respectively); many from BOTH parties.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t want deficit reduction when it’s painful. I want it when it’s necessary. I want active, involving reform, not people sitting around congratulating themselves that they have the right idea while the world collapses around them.
    Then why do you write things like …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n-I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.
    Never mind the following in the Feb-2009 Stimulus BILL:
    • $650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”;
    • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts;
    • $150 million for the Smithsonian;
    • $34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters; is this the department that wants to end e-Verify?
    • $44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters;;
    • $350 million for Agriculture Department computers;
    • $1 billion for the Census Bureau; will that census include 12-to-20+ illegal aliens?
    • $850 million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years;
    • $1.7 billion for the National Park System;
    • $55 million for Historic Preservation Fund;
    • $7.6 billion for “rural community advancement programs”;
    • $150 million for agricultural-commodity purchases;
    • $400 million for hybrid cars for state and local governments;
    • $8 billion for innovative-technology loan-guarantee program;
    • $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects;
    • $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more).
    • $87 million for a polar icebreaking ship;
    Is that your idea of being proactive ?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m sorry. I think we ought to be a bit more proactive than that.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: No, let me drop the rhetorical BS: we should be a hell of a lot more proactive.
    With pork-barrel, waste, bloat, and growing the government beyond the already nightmarish proportions?

    With $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is a priority?
    With $150 million for the Smithsonian?
    With billions for farm subsidies for rich farmers and corporations?: farm.ewg.org/farm/progdetail.php?fips=00000&yr=2006&progcode=total&page=conc
    With automatic raises and $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and raise, while U.S. troops risk life and limb and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. ?
    With bail-outs for fat-cats’ (of many failing corporations and banks) exorbitant salaries and bonuses?
    With bail-outs for bad banks and corporations that failed anyway?
    With more circular, distracting, destructive, blind fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind partisan warfare?

    Is that your idea of being “a hell of a lot more proactive” ?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t want deficit reduction when it’s painful.
    What if the debt is already untenable ?

    What’s more important?
    What you don’t wan’t, or whether the debt is already untenable ?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I want it when it’s necessary.
    What makes you think it isn’t necessary?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I want active, involving reform, not people sitting around congratulating themselves that they have the right idea while the world collapses around them.
    Right. And perhaps Congress should create a dozen committees, a dozen commissions, and allocate $500 Billion to research it for a few decades?

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 30, 2009 11:12 PM
    Comment #283829

    Dan-

    No. The problem was that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), followed by 99 blunders, which most in the FOR-SALE incompetent, irresponsible, and corrupt Congress share the blame. Especially when Congress gives itself an automatic raise every year while U.S. troops risk life and limb and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The lack of weapons of mass destruction would have been scandalous under any circumstances, and rightly so. But even so, the war was winnable, if certain realities were faced about the battleground in question.

    The problem was, many folks were ideologically incapable of allowing themselves to see things another way, or to let their political rivals take advantage of things. This critical combination of ideological inflexibility, and a paralysis regarding remediation that would signal their errors to anybody paying attention is what turned the Iraq war into such a tragic, muddled affair.

    The media strategy was one part of that. They feared that admitting fault, either explicitly through words or implicitly through actions that signal a break from previous policy and theory, would present them with vulnerabilities to those critics of the war who would convince the public to turn against it.

    What they failed to realize, ultimately, is that the consequences of their policies would validate the critics and alienate people from support of the war much better. They failed to confront the impersonal requirements of solving the problem. They let their personal investment in proving certain theories (Presence of WMDs and Terrorist links, Military doctrine of transformation, installing Ahmed Chalabi as leader and getting out in August) prevent them from doing those things that might have put them on a better footing for success.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Congress’s raises don’t inspire much support from me. I think they could do well enough without COLA increases, given how far above the Cost of Living they already are.
    You don’t care if Congress gets an automatic raise every year while U.S. troops risk life and limb and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and Afghanistan? Figures.

    I don’t support the raises. I support the troops. I don’t, however, formulate a lack of support for the raises as necessary to support of the troops. They’re not all that relevant to one another. You could name any number of reasons why Congress doesn’t deserve raises.

    But all that said, It’s not my priority, not with issues that are ten times more important. And if these guys persist in what they’re doing, The solution isn’t to make a concerted effort to stop the raises.

    The answer is to make the raises themselves irrelevant to their income by making these folks former Congresspersons. They can’t enjoy raises if they don’t enjoy employment in the body.

    There are many issues, and raises is only one of them, which reveals the greed, arrogance, and hypocrisy of Congress. But that’s OK with you, eh? Nothin’ like fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, circular partisan warfare, while sweeping corruption, greed, bloat, and waste under the rug, eh?

    Nothing like fueling and wallowing in blind, circular, partisan warfare, while sweeping the most critical issues of our time under the rug, right? I’m concentrating on what matters, overall. The greed and corruption aren’t getting swept under the rug. You should carefully read what I write, if you want to understand my points, and not just compose your next response to them.

    To the degree that their corruption, their greed gets in the way of taking care of these issues, that’s the degree that I want those people removed as an obstacle to real reform. They can wheel, they can deal, but when it comes down to it, I’m not going to tolerate much BS of any kind, based on who their campaign donors are. They should know better than that.

    Corruption isn’t just some arbitrary issue to the side. The best solution, in my mind, is to both raise people’s confidence in their ability to vote out these bastards, and raise awareness of just who is currently tempting fate by choosing the people that fund their quest for public employment over those who actually make the decision on whether they get or keep the job.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Though I have no great love for the idea that Democrats might lose to Republicans, it’s the people’s choice to make, and it’s one they can make again in two, four, or six years if they figured things wrong.
    That’s quite a talent there for stating the obvious.

    To the service of an implicit point: that Democrats cannot and should not merely rest on their laurels, like the Republicans did, expecting the fear of what Republicans did to keep them in office, even despite their misdeeds.

    We have to earn our continued majority. That’s my belief. My partisanship is not so strong that I believe it entitles my party to rule in anybody’s place, merely because we have intentions that I happen to agree with. Intentions aren’t enough. Follow through, good follow through, must be carried out.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 1, 2009 10:44 AM
    Comment #283830
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Heck, let a bunch of them rise up. If there are laws in the way, let them be struck down.
    Right. That’s not very convincing due to the numerous comments above, the constant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, circular partisan warfare, and an obvious disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT.

    My message has been consistent: if the third party’s want to really break the so-called duopoly, they have to earn the confidence of the people, so their rise will have a more stable foundation than just angling for a protest vote. There’s a certain romantic charm to the idea that you’re going to suddenly see everybody respond to your ideological virtue, but for the most part, people’s first priority is a government that works, not a government that follows certain dogmas.

    Lots of people have strong feelings about lots of things, so Asperger’s Syndrome (alone) does not explain away a person’s fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular, blind partisan-warfare; convenient re-interpretations of the single sentence of Article V; numerous contradictions; a disdain for anything not-DEMOCRAT, and prolific, twisted, gobbledygook. It also does not explain the disdain for the literal interpretation of Article V, based on … .
    Abnormalities [of Asperger’s Syndrome] include verbosity, abrupt transitions, literal interpretations and miscomprehension of nuance, use of metaphor meaningful only to the speaker, auditory perception deficits, unusually pedantic, formal or idiosyncratic speech, and oddities in loudness, pitch, intonation, prosody, and rhythm.

    Well, you’re in luck. I’m not merely someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, I’m one whose favorite fixations are neuroscience, and information theory.

    One of the reasons why Aspergers pathologies are so pernicious is that everybody has their own semantic bias as to what a plain meaning of a set of words is. Even if you force everybody to be literal to the letter, people will choose different shadings of the words, owing to their different personal knowledge, philosophy, and whatnot.

    A lawyer, for example, will point out things and notice things about how the words are arranged in the Constitution, where someone like us might not.

    In a person with Aspergers, the problems relate to our social deficits. From personal experience, I would say its a problem of calibration. Each of us looks to others to see what normal behavior, normal tone of voice, normal prosody and word choice is.

    But my disagreement with you is not merely a matter of calibration. While it can be a problem sometimes not to think or express oneself like everybody else does, there are benefits.

    One benefit is, that while we’re not free from semantic biases, we often don’t share the same biases with other people, and so don’t make the same mistakes, or the same gloss-overs.

    Also, you mention our tendency towards pedanticism and formalism. Those, I would argue, with back up from the experts on the matter, come from the way we use formal rules to calibrate our behavior. In the absence or minimal presence of social calibration, but still often wanting to fit in, we grab onto formal manners and speech as a means of being better understood.

    We like things that fit together right.

    To my perspective, your case has MAJOR practical flaws. I’m not going to go too deep into it, but to my mind, if you have two different plain intepretations, and one produces an absurd result, the one that does not produce absurd results is to be favored.

    With yours, the number required at any given time to enact Article V’s convention process varies, and can even theoretically go as low as a single state. That is to say, a single state can get a convention called, even if every other state is dead set against it at that point in time.

    That result, by itself, defeats the purpose of setting a high threshold. This is not meant to be a provision triggered by the will of a few states, or even a simple majority.

    Every political authority on the matter that we can derive from the time speaks of the convention method in terms of “concurrence”. Even if that word is not in the constitution, it can tell us what they thought of, what they meant when they wrote it.

    People don’t write down everything. They often count on a shared semantic framework to do some of the work. Or put in plainer English, people leave out what they don’t think they have to mention.

    Aspergers Syndrome people don’t always have a good idea of what they can leave out, based on what somebody is saying to them, so they sometimes overstuff their sentences and statements to others as a kind of insurance. Unfortunately, as I’ve sometimes warned you about, the salient points get drowned out by all the unnecessary information, or people forget what was said at first, as the latter part of the information dump pushes it out of working memory.

    The Founding Fathers could have essentially created something like the Napoleonic Code, where the law is explicitly written out in great detail, no stone left unturned, no nook and cranny unprobed. The problem of that approach is laid out it that passage from Madison that I quoted, either here or elsewhere, about the Necessary and Proper Clause.

    The Necessary and Proper Clause permits Congress to exercise whatever powers are necessary and proper, in order to carry out the powers that the Constitution gives it. Madison logically works out what the problems with the alternatives to this delegation of power are in Federalist #44.

    If only the expressly written powers were permitted, Congress would have the same mess as it did under the Articles of Confederation, where it could hardly execute any of its powers.

    If only a positive list of supporting powers were put forward, people might assume that ONLY those powers were permissable, and we’d be right back where we started.

    If one put forward a negative list of powers not expressly given, you would have an even worse problem: all powers not listed would be implicitly permitted.

    If you just didn’t mention the matter, the powers would justify the means, and Congress could do anything to support them. Necessary and Proper instills the idea that the powers have to be there for the power to be optimally and fully expressed.

    By not resorting to reductive literalism, the Framers save themselves the headache of having to laboriously define what is necessary and proper.

    That’s OUR problem, now!

    The Constitution was not meant to settle debates, but to define a space within which all debates would be bound. There is no question that our government must guarantee free speech. That is not up for debate, not at least in serious legal terms.

    What is up to debate is what constitutes free speech under the law. Telling somebody to kill somebody else is not covered. Nor is inciting people to riot. Nor is defaming somebody’s character in print or speech. Nor is disturbing the peace. Nor is running a licensed broadcasting station.

    Interpretation is necessary, even if it drags us away from the certainty of direct interpretation. Our cases do not come to us in the courts nice, neat, and all tied up in a bow. They are messy, laws come into conflict, different issues mix together, and one part of a decision can affect the other.

    In the case of Article V, the decision to interpret it as to never let a call lapse would have consequences, namely that the system never forgets the opinion of the state once given. The unfortunate consequence of this would be that the Congress would essentially be remembering a position by the states, even as the states change their mind, consigning their previous position to the oblivion of memory.

    The system must be set up such that the validity of the state’s call depends strongly on the current wishes of the state. This means there is no daylight between what the state really wants, and what it is said to want.

    When you only count the states that are actively on board with the effort, when you distinguish each separate effort at a convention as separate, this consistency is possible.

    Given that we don’t want a real disparity between what the states want and the count for the convention, I believe my concurrent interpretation is the best.
    You would have to convince me that your absurd outcome could be eliminated for me to even think of signing on. Since your endless validity of calls is a feature and not a bug of your particular interpretation, that’s unlikely.

    The 111th Congress consistes of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.

    Don’t underestimate the value of small change. Democrats have sixty folks caucusing with them in the Senate. That’s made a profound difference between this Congress and the last. That’s not much more than eight or nine votes, but under these conditions, it changes the landscape considerably.

    And seventy votes in the House is not insignificant. There are quite a few laws that passed by less. What you’re forgetting, really, is that there’s a fractal texture to the effects of a majority, and a degree of a majority. the changes affect what is voted for, what will pass.

    Blunt numbers don’t matter as much as the political change it makes possible.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 1, 2009 1:32 PM
    Comment #283842

    Stephen, your gobbledygook is not worth addressing anymore. Perhaps you’re right about pointing out the A.S.?

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 1, 2009 6:55 PM
    Comment #283855

    Dan-
    Every time I try to explain to you the whys and wherefores of my opinion, you call it gobbledygook. I wonder why. You could respond rationally. Instead, you simply declare it “false”, accuse me of wallowing and fueling partisan warfare, call it “nonsense”, or call it gobbledygook.

    You haven’t been addressing my arguments, you’ve been dismissing them wholesale.

    I mean, you could have addressed the issue of the absurd outcome of one state having the power to apply for a convention, with no other states currently supporting it, which is my main given reason for rejecting your argument.

    Instead? Gobbledygook, you call it.

    You could have addressed my points with points of your own, engaged me in a conversation.

    Instead, you’re throwing tautologies like “Stupid is as stupid does” around.

    My sensibility has always been that there isn’t much point in letting those who simply verbally berate others keep the forums to themselves. Unreason and dogma must be met with reason and free inquiry. Politics should not be reduced to two or more sides launching insults, talking points and dogmas at each other over the fence.

    As for Asperger’s Syndrome? I talked about that, because that is a strong locus of influence on my views on communication, on literalism, on the value of reaching out to people, and in particular on the terrible teacher pain and suffering can be.

    I think it in the end, what people did to try and force me to conformity, which often involved the same kind of browbeating, ridicule and harrassment did more to send me into eccentricity and isolation than it did to pull me out of it, as intended.

    Pain can punish, but when it gets strong enough, it destroys bonds, prevents them from being reformed. Your sphere of interests shrinks. People stop caring about the big picture, start caring only about themselves.

    Only by making budgetary issues a common concern, and getting off this virtually autistic kind of self-interest as far as taxes go, can we begin to reinvigorate a sense of responsibility. If we do not involve people in the responsibilities, we will ultimately isolate them from any sense of obligation towards each other, and ultimately towards the nation itself.

    My isolation is in many ways a product of things I cannot help. I do not wish people to inflict it on themselves by choice.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 1, 2009 9:25 PM
    Comment #283879

    It all makes sense now.

    Thank you for pointing it out the potential cause of so many glaring and unexplainable contradictions (such as your disdain for “the terrible teacher pain and misery can be”, then agreement, and then denying it and saying “Pain is not enough” and “pain can lead people to bad habits”), and the strange interpretations of some words and sentences.

    There’s no point in pursuing this anymore, because logic simply doesn’t work for some people who seem to think they can throw anything at the wall to see if it sticks.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 2, 2009 8:36 AM
    Comment #283889

    Dan-
    I’m not pointing out the cause of a contradiction. I’m illustrating a complex situation that cannot be reduced to your oversimplified model.

    Pain and suffering is not homogenous. While one side benefits, another may languish. People may feel they’re suffering simply because the wrong person is in charge. Or because they think their taxes are high.

    Or their healthcare and economic woes might be causing them real pain. Taxes, of course, can be raised so high that they’re a burden to people. And sometimes people really are suffering under the leadership of a majority.

    I’d rather talk about real issues. If suffering enters into it, fine, but the real teacher in all this should be people’s wish to be free, to confront the issues of the day. It’s that we should be inspiring, not an apocalyptic dread of mounting pain.

    Panic in the face of overwhelming trouble should not be our teacher. Desperation in the face of pain has not been the author of the worlds best decisions.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2009 2:03 PM
    Comment #283897

    Stephen, you offered up Asperger’s Syndrome as the reason for your feeling things strongly and it sounded like it was being offered as the reason for other things (e.g. painful lessons, difficulty adjusting, etc.).
    What ever the truth may be for so many glaring contradictions, strange interpretations, verbosity, and circular, obfuscated gobbledygook, and near (if not totally) obsessive partisan loyalties, I’m not debating this issue with you anymore.
    It’s not only pointless, but it’s not fair either.
    If you don’t think A.S. is a factor, then you shouldn’t have brought it up.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 2, 2009 8:21 PM
    Comment #283975

    Dan-
    You haven’t been debating the issue so much as trying to push your views on me and impugning my arguments without any other response or explanation as being insincere, as muddying the watters, as being logically inconsistent.

    So far, that’s what you’ve said, not proven. I even went so far as to explain why one argument you had latched onto wasn’t circular at all.

    That, you see, is part of the problem here. You want to treat me as if I’m an insincere liar, but the fact is I’m pretty sincere about what I believe. Arguing diminished capacity for reason won’t help either.

    You’ve been trying to win the argument by essential beating down the other person. But you’re dealing with somebody who long ago made it a policy to fight back against such belligerence. You might as well drop the browbeating.

    Most other people on this site don’t try and pick fights with me like this. It usually doesn’t work, and I have the stubborn patience to insist calmly on my argument while they typically go off the rails. Others actually read some of what I write and respond to it, at least dealing with my arguments, even if they don’t agree with them.

    I like being the good guy, the guy who wins because he sticks to the rules and doesn’t cheat. If you don’t push me, I won’t push back.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 4, 2009 2:49 PM
    Comment #284008

    I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, you, you, you, you, you.

    Funny how some people do the very thing they accuse others of, eh?
    Funny how some people don’t practice what they preach, eh?
    Funny how some people can dish it out, but can take it, eh?
    Funny how some people speak of brow beating and bullying, when they, themself, are a true master of it, eh?
    Patience, calm, non-belligerent? Like this … ?
    Did it ever occur to you that what is most frustrating is not what any one else writes, but the numerous glaring contradictions in your own prolific, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook?
    More pretzel imitations and diggin’ that hole deeper and deeper ain’t helping either, is it?
    Why don’t you try discussing something else besides you, you, you, you, and I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I?

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 5, 2009 11:10 AM
    Comment #284031

    Dan-
    There’s nothing you can do that can keep me from speaking my mind as I please. Pronouns and all. You might as well discuss the issues, and stop discussing me. For all your objections, it seems that me and my behavior is all this gets reduced to. I’ve been very patient with a very off-topic subject here, with a very antagonistic opponent (when’s the last time I composed a web page specifically for my rivals cross words, or posted a crybaby pic?)

    This is the last thread I will allow to be taken over by this. It’s not fair to the other commentators for you to dominate the conversation just so you can berate what you see as “prolific, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook”, and take a personal fight to me. You’re free to comment as you please if you stick to the subject matter and discuss it, but if this is all you’re going to do, playing the troll on my threads, I’m not going to allow it. I’ve tried to talk you down from it, but I guess I’m not going to make that mistake again. If you want to discuss the issues, fine with me, keep your comments coming.

    If you want to continue to discuss me, I won’t let you waste the space that others could use to productively discuss the issues.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2009 8:50 AM
    Comment #284095
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: There’s nothing you can do that can keep me from speaking my mind as I please.
    Who ever said you didn’t?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to continue to discuss me, I won’t let you waste the space that others could use to productively discuss the issues.
    Nonsense.

    Funny how some people keep doing the very thing they accuse others of, and fail to practice what they preach, eh?

    Critiquing the flawed logic of your article’s obvious disdain for “moderates” is fair game.

    Critiquing the flawed logic of this article and your other articles obvious disdain for anything NOT-Democrat (now including moderates too) is fair game.

    Critiquing the flawed logic revealed by numerous contradictions in your comments and articles is fair game.

    Critiquing the flawed logic in the prolific, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook in your comments is fair game.

    Critiquing the flawed logic in the incessant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare is fair game.

    Others have commented on it too

    • David R. Remer wrote: Sorry, Stephen D[augherty], … And that means d.a.n’s reference to your comment’s obfuscation, twisting and construction, is valid.

    • Roy Ellis wrote: In spite of all the intellectual dishonesty espoused by those opposing AVC we know we are being denied a Constitutional right. It’s there in black and white.

    • Rodney Brown wrote: … He also was a believer in The Founding Fathers and the constitution and today you better believe he’d be fighting for Article V!

    • Byron De Lear wrote: Point being: ideas live on; amendment proposals live on — the proof’s right below you if you care to see the historical track record refuting your assertion that legitimate action can only spring forth from currently assembled state legislatures, and from only living and seated legislators. Poppycock.
      … You [Stephen Daugherty] should help realize this people’s convention; it strengthens the democratic values and engaged electorate that I know we both support.

    • John DeHerrera wrote: The question is whether the applications are valid or not. Show a law which shows how they are expired—not an opinion, but a law. Until you do that your position is bogus.

    • Bill Walker wrote: The fact is Mr. Daugherty defeats himself in his argument and thus requires no further comment once this hypocrisy is pointed out.

    • d.a.n wrote: d.a.n wrote: No amout of twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook will change the truth.

    • Yukon Jake wrote: [Stephen] Your posts are usually the longest of anyone besides d.a.n. and that’s only because he cites so much data in his posts. For someone who is not fond of politics (or bloviating), you have somehow managed to write 1,000,000+ words on the topic since I first stumbled on watchblog.

    If others’ characterizations of your arguments being contradictory, obfuscatory, or excessively partisan is upsetting, that’s not others’ problem.

    As for debating the issues, that’s what we’ve been doing.
    Such as the ridiculousness of the title of your article (“Run for the Hills, It’s the Moderates!”), and yet another example of a disdain for anything NOT-Democrat.

    If a person becomes upset by these things, perhaps they need to ask themselves: Why?
    Is it me and others that are truly the root of your frustration, or is the root of frustration actually that others recognize the contradictory, circular, obfuscatory, and/or partisan-warfare for what they really are?

    Name calling and personal attacks are not necessary, because only a fool can make a fool of one’s self.
    Simply listing the numerous contradictory, circular, obfuscatory, or partisan comments and articles is sufficient.
    You may think it’s all perfectly logical, but that doesn’t mean others must believe similarly.
    And obviously, many don’t believe similaryly, as indicated above by David R. Remer, Roy Ellis, Rodney Brown, Byron De Lear, John De Herrera, Yukon Jake, etc., etc., etc.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s not fair to the other commentators for you to dominate the conversation just so you can berate what you see as “prolific, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook”, and take a personal fight to me.
    Again, it’s funny how some people do the very thing they accuse others of, and fail to practice what they preach, eh?

    If it is prolific, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook then there’s nothing wrong with writing it. And there are numerous examples to pull from to substantiate the characterization.

    If you want to discuss the ridiculous characterization of “moderates”, then get on with it.
    Constant whining about unfavorable critiques of your articles and arguments ain’t gonna make ‘em go away.
    If readers critique your comments as being inconsistent, contradictory, circular, obfuscatory, or gobbledygook, then perhaps it’s not the readers’ fault?
    Such characterizations of your comments is a critique of the message, not the messenger.
    In a debate, if people think an arguement is twisted, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook, then they can describe it as such.
    On the other hand, if someone attacks the messenger, or resorts to name calling such as calling someone a whiny cry baby, , that would be a personal attack, and that would be against the rules, wouldn’t it?
    See the difference?

    Any way, your characterization of “moderates” is laughable, and the constant disdain for anything NOT-Democrat, the non-stop fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the partisan warfare is not credible.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 7, 2009 12:22 AM
    Comment #284099

    If you critique every comment the same, dan, you’re just making the critique of the person at a small remove. I’ve talked about a variety of issues, posed a variety of questions, but your response is about all I get back.

    Why? If I were you, I would plunge into the facts, and come up with something. If I were you, I would do everything I could to write and visually represent my point to be pleasing to the eye of a reader. I wouldn’t waste my time on special formatting that wouldn’t help my point anyways.

    And I would know that getting this ugly with somebody only serves to alienate the folks I’m trying to convince.

    How does one lecture others about partisan warfare with a site dedicated to preserving the offending comments of an opponent? I never let anybody get to me like that. I never posted, even as a helpful illustration, a “cry-baby” pic.

    Why? Because I do not wish to depend upon things that do not make my argument in a compelling, if not logically rigorous fashion.

    I have more than enough experience of people who sit by themselves throwing nasty crap at others onto the internet, stuff they’d never dare to throw at a stranger if they were face to face with them.

    I sign my real name to my posts and my comments because it means I have to watch what I say. It means I must live with what I say. It means that if I have a tantrum on the web, I’ll have to live with that being on record, under my real name.

    I have some dignity and some pride to uphold. I am not two people, one who drips slime on people because he disagrees with their politics, the other who smiles at people as if he could never hurt a fly. I bring myself to my writing. It’s personal, in the sense that I’m really telling you how I feel about a subject. Though I carefully consider my words, I do not chose them EVER to hide what I think. To be a liar, in my condition, is to be alone, and I do not come to these forums to be alone.

    The problem here is that you seem to burn my messages before they are read. If I elaborate a point, it’s gobbledygook. If I am plain with my answer, you call it twisted. If I do my best to be logical, you still call it circular. And the fact that I write a lot, something that I enjoy doing, that I love, gets turned into a bizarre part of this bizarre mantra that is repeated with every response.

    If that’s all you say, if that’s all the response you give me, regardless of the variety of things I say, regardless of whatever arguments or issues I raise, then what is the real target? The comments, or the commentator?

    What argument is one trying to make when they introduce a notion of self-evident weakness, along with the constant, often identical treatment of all comments?

    Is that question you can even answer? Is that something you can admit to?

    Your argument is no different than that of a Republican defending torture. Oh, beat up the prisoner, extract information through the application of pain and suffering. Those who don’t have the stomach for it are just weaklings.

    But no, it’s not torture. It’s enhanced interrogation. Why that distinction? Torture is illegal.

    That seems to be the kind of distinction you make, between following the letter of the law about your bullying rhetoric, and outright rejecting its spirit.

    We have better choices than that. Why don’t you let your own arguments stand for themselves, rather than trying to destroy people’s trust in mine? When’s the last time you just wrote about a particular issue, wrote just about that?

    When’s the last time you didn’t tie one post into another? Where’s your freestanding political commentary?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 7, 2009 1:49 AM
    Comment #284104

    And here’s a clarification if you’re still reading: the title is a joke.

    You see how this is working? Take something where the effect is not that radical, where the policy is not that outside the mainstream, and treat it as if it dooms the country to whatever form of dystopia is handy. Never mind how truly outside the pale your own policies are, how far from the mainstream your plainly stated opinions might find themselves. The purpose here is not to be honest with people.

    The purpose is to win. To cast such doubt on the other side that you can win merely by the force of your own certainty, regardless of how erroneous that certainty is.

    Got that? The central thesis is that folks on the right jump on anything and everything that is suggested. As a previous paragraph puts it:

    They’ll offer up nightmare worlds where you can’t enjoy a hamburger, or smoke in the privacy of your home, where uncaring bureacrats run a healthcare system where skeletons and rotting corpses sit in the waiting room with you, the cobwebs gathering. They greet the slightest deviation from their laissez faire free market methods, even in the wake of the worse economic collapse in recent history, with scorn and charges of socialism unbounded. Not even emergency spending to save the financial system, to prevent the collapse of a domestic industry is free from their critique. Better to let a major industry, with millions of jobs at stake, collapse in the space of a month or two, rather intervene with government. And of course, the deficits that they said were necessary for the economy just a while ago become a threat to western civilization, and totally the fault of the current president.

    The point of my essay is pretty simple. The Republicans are blasting the Democrats every day as radical and dangerous, trying to impugn the President and the Congressional Majorities intentions every day as extremist, but despite everything, much of the anger and hatred and fear they’re stirring up, is in the service of policies and practices which cannot themselves be called moderate.

    The frustration of being lectured by these people about what is moderate, what is mainstream, what is bipartisan, what is normal and accepted is quite evident in my words. We’ve got our centrists, our moderates, but it seems like they haven’t seen fit to invite those into their parties. Self Identified moderates are a distinct minority in the Republican party, where they are not in the rest of the population.

    The Republicans have created a situation with their politics and media operation, where what they consider to be normal and acceptable has become considerably distorted, their perspective isolated from the mainstream.

    Unlike some Republicans, I have no problem with the continued existence of my counterparts. But what I wish would happen is that they would let themselves reconnect with the rest of us, that they would allow themselves to see the world from eyes closer to our own, rather than continue to become isolated from everybody’s else’s perspective. Politics and society don’t work well without empathy, without the ability to consider things from another angle. The Republicans have denied themselves that, and are trying to deny that to everybody else.

    I will fight for moderation, for moderates. For those who ask the good questions, even if they’re not the comfortable ones. I believe in a discourse that is considerably more friendly than what we have. And considerably less paranoid.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 7, 2009 7:31 AM
    Comment #284108

    Republicans!, Republicans!, Republicans!, Republicans!, Republicans!, Republicans!

    It gets old … except perhaps for some people who love to fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan-warfare?

    Especially, when there is very little difference (if any) beyond the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY, except for their equally destructive extremes.

    The disdain for anything NOT-Democrat is all too obvious.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 7, 2009 8:59 AM
    Comment #284160
    Republicans!, Republicans!, Republicans!, Republicans!, Republicans!, Republicans! …

    It gets old … except perhaps for some people who love to fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan-warfare?

    It’s intriguing that you would complain about repetition. You quote yourself verbatim on a constant basis. What makes your repetition better than my strong focus? That’s what I’d like to know.

    I at least give people a personal response, respond to them personally.

    The disdain for anything NOT-Democrat is all too obvious.
    To you. To me, I don’t feel the disdain you perceive.

    I strongly object to the general course of the Republicans right now. But in the course of my life, I’ve met and dealt with a lot of good people who just happen to politically disagree with me. I went to school at Baylor, where two different College Republicans type organizations fought over things, rather than a Democrat and a Republican.

    I learned much of what I know about the government from a rather conservative Civics teacher. So do I naturally disdain conservatives? Not actually. Do I disdain folks who are further to the left than me? No.

    I don’t mince words about disagreements. But If I win, I want to win because I won people over.

    That’s all I got to say tonight.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 7, 2009 11:37 PM
    Comment #284166
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s intriguing that you would complain about repetition. You quote yourself verbatim on a constant basis. What makes your repetition better than my strong focus? That’s what I’d like to know.
    There’s a difference in recommending not repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates and incessant fuelin’ and wallowin’ in the blind, circular, partisan warfare.

    One is a solution that has worked in the past and will work again (when failing to do so sooner becomes too painful).
    The other distracts and prolongs our problems.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I at least give people a personal response, respond to them personally.
    That’s the problem. Addressing the issues does not require getting personal.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: To you. To me, I don’t feel the disdain you perceive.
    These numerous comments about 3rd parties (or anything NOT-Democrat) indicate otherwise.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I strongly object to the general course of the Republicans right now. But in the course of my life, I’ve met and dealt with a lot of good people who just happen to politically disagree with me.
    Really? Imagine that?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I went to school at Baylor, where two different College Republicans type organizations fought over things, rather than a Democrat and a Republican. I learned much of what I know about the government from a rather conservative Civics teacher. So do I naturally disdain conservatives? Not actually. Do I disdain folks who are further to the left than me? No.
    Well, these numerous comments indicate otherwise, and even scold and blame 3rd parties for election results.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t mince words about disagreements. But If I win, I want to win because I won people over.
    That’s all I got to say tonight. That’s debatable. Would you categorize circular obfuscation as mincing words?

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 8, 2009 12:11 AM
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