Democrats & Liberals Archives

Deus Ex Machina

In the old Greek stories, there were times when the worthy hero, faced with certain death or disgrace, would find one or more of the gods intervening on their behalf. On stage, this would be represented by an actor or statue being raised up through a trap door or lowered down from a crane. Deus Ex Machina: God from the Machine. There’s always been a tension in storytelling between having somebody sweep in and save the day, and between the characters having to save themselves (or damn themselves) through their own actions.

Personally, I think it's something you have to earn, storing up enough virtue and effort on the part of the character that the people in question deserve, in the audience's mind, to be rescued. It's even better if the device by which they are saved links back to something else they did right, but which didn't seem to bear fruit at the time.

If you don't earn it enough, I think, or if it's not really appropriate to the world of the film, then it can rightly be seen as a wuss-out of sorts, or a desperate attempt to get oneself out of the corner one's painted oneself into.

People are willing to accept it, I think, to the degree that they've encountered situations in which after long struggle, fortune finally smiles on them, the break they were waiting for finally comes, the reinforcements come in. In that sense, a good deus ex machina is less about the rewards of doing the right thing, and more about simple endurance until things change for the better. Keep the faith, do good, keep fighting until help arrives, the situation turns, etc.

Misused, though, it becomes a kind of deflating sort of invocation of authorial privilege. "I like this character, I don't want something bad to happen to him, I don't want him to have to suffer through the consequences of his action, etc."

I think that the Republicans have become dependent on a vast array of artificial supports in order to keep the Party as it is, much less to improve its fortunes. But each prop has come at a cost to the substance of the party.

The media is one such savior, and by that I mean the Conservative media. Do something stupid? They'll rationalize or minimize it. Say something stupid or offensive? They'll accuse the people offended of being too politically correct or too much of an elitist. Have a point of view the special interests wants to make popular? Have them shill it for you.

Mainstream media doesn't tend to do those kinds of favors for Democrats. They'll gleefully report the shortcomings of Obamacare's exchanges, question Obama's choices, even if last weak they were piling on the Republicans for their fiasco. By buying into the media bias theory, the Republicans have done worse than create their own biased media, they've also deprived themselves of the ability to stay in touch with non-partisan reality. So, while never is heard a discouraging word, neither are heard the warnings and the debates that the right needs to hear, but doesn't because their people are too busy being advocates for right-wing politics.

The Republicans are also depending on redistricting and artificial constraints on voting in order to keep their seats. That, though, has its consequences, too. Communities change over time. People change. Keeping these constraints in place requires maintaining key strategic political positions. If they lose those, they might not get the advantages they were looking for. If the redistricting process gets taken over by somebody else, whether partisan for the other side or nonpartisan, then they'll lose that support they were depending on.

Besides, Republicans need to change with the times as the communities they hope to represent change with them. If they don't adapt, it won't matter how strongly they hold to their principles, those won't be the principles that the voters want represented! All this focus on trying to rig the system to your advantage only leaves you more out of touch. This is why I favor non-partisan redistricting in general, because Democrats need to be as in touch as Republicans, and any advantage gained by a disproportionately liberal redistricting is lost as the political consequences of differences with the voters becomes apparent.

Then there's this other set of folks Republicans hope to snatch them from the jaws of defeat: Democrats!

For years, Democrats were not the most spineful of parties. Beginning with the GOP's victories in 1980, Democrats began a long march towards the minority, culminating in 2004 with had to be the deepest and most apparent humiliation, the Country ruled over by a conservative Supreme Court, a Republican Congress, and George Bush in office.

I think the last ten years has functioned to put more steel in Democrat's spines. Why? Part of it was the repeated object lessons in why Republicans shouldn't be in charge. When it wasn't enough to prevent the Republicans from retaking the house in 2010, the House Republicans have subsequently given Democrats very good reasons not to want their House majority to continue.

More to the point, the Republican's gains have largely been made at the expense of the folks that long partnered with them to make their compromises look more bipartisan, and most importantly, the Republican's obstructionist strategies have left almost literally nothing for the dealmakers to do. What's the point of being a centrist who can get Republicans to help vote for things, or leading these gangs of whatever number if all the results you can show for your compromise, much less capitulation is a no-vote?

The Debt Ceiling debacle didn't help things. That really drove home the point that even if it seemed like you could negotiate, they weren't interested.

Democrats have had to learn, and perhaps not as intentionally as it would be preferred, that they had nothing to gain from being too quick to make a deal with Republicans. No more pain-free capitulations for Republicans. They failed to reward the kind of compromise from others that they wished to see towards themselves.

Which, by the way, leads me to the next Deus Ex Machina.

The Republicans wanted back in charge bad. They didn't want to have to wait around for the time it took to regain people's trust. They didn't want to have to make deals with a Democratic President, nor have to watch as their legislature overturned much of what they had long worked for. So, they created a emotional tidal wave of a counter-movement, centering much of the anger around Obamacare and Obama in general. They cultivated or looked the other way on a rat's nest of Conspiracy theorists, including the birthers.

And it worked! Or maybe it didn't. For one thing, while they could get more radical Republicans elected in the House Districts, statewide elections were another thing entirely. Harry Reid owes his job, in fact, to a couple of their candidates, one a woman who suggested people trade chickens for healthcare, and another who suggested that if they didn't get their way, a Second Amendment remedy was going to be necessary.

A House majority by itself can no more write the laws than a Senate majority by itself could. Republicans lost the Senate, and therefore the ability to present Obama with an incontrovertible set of deals. The Senate fell even shorter in the next election, even though the Republicans beat the dead horse on Obamacare like a rented mule. We're now as numerically powerful as the Republicans were at the height of their power.

This latest stunt has proved just how worthless half a Congress is to a party that wants all the decisions to go their way. All the Democrats had to do was stand firm, and the Republicans would be forced by simple political necessity to make a deal. So, Democrats did, and Republicans were.

Meanwhile, rather than be useful as a buffer against the Democrat's excesses, their utility to GOP voters measured in bills watered down, in Budgets kept in check, the GOP's Tea Party Caucus has functioned to rattle a weak economy with multiple fiscal crises, and impose a repetitively embarassing fiscal penalty on the economy because the Tea Partiers were too good to vote for anything that raise taxes. They could have demanded disproportionate spending cuts, but instead, they've basically defaulted to a literally, intentionally stupid penalty, because they couldn't bear to compromise.

What have people heard of all this fiscal machete-swinging, other than it's economy-dragging results?

The Tea Party has turned out to be the very thing that has forced one vote resolving these sorts of crises after another to be resolved by a divided House Republican Caucus, rather than by a united House majority. Every time they've swung for the fences, it's been a strike even by their standards. They didn't even like the deal they got out of the first Debt Ceiling resolution, and this most recent one is worse than that!

And if that wasn't enough, the GOP managed to manuever itself at the first of this year to where most of their members voted against what was, in effect, a tax cut for most Americans!

The Republicans were expecting these people, most likely, to let their political energy get absorbed, rejuvenating the GOP. Trouble is, the GOP's base hadn't really recovered from all the disappointments, failures, and perceived betrayals that led the to the Democrat's victories from before. Ultimately, they ended up getting a nominal majority, useful mainly for passing red meat bills that would never pass the Senate. Worse yet, their inability to join the other Republicans in compromises that would pass the Senate afterwards would leave those Republicans without the bargaining power to get better results.

The Tea Party's weakened the Republican's power as a majority, served to split the party further.

So, no really salvation there. It might even cost them the next election, perhaps even that majority. What Democrats are going to ask Americans out there, is "Do you want these bozos to continue to run the House of Representatives?"

Currently, many Americans are answering that question no. What happens in the next year is anybody's guess, but here's what I would say about the Tea Party, and the Republicans they've got wrapped around their finger: they are going to be very consistent, or things will get even worse for them. If the Republicans see major incursions by the Tea Party in the wrong places, they could end up handing many elections to the Democrats. As it is, I'm wiling to bet that if things hold as they are now, the Senate will not go to the Republicans.

The Republicans will not get bailed out like they were hoping to be. The Tea Party revolution has only made the story of their decline more interesting, as the people they hoped would save them turned out to be their next enemies.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 23, 2013 9:55 AM
Comments
Comment #373132

Let me boil this essay down to just a couple of words: Republicans bad, Democrats good. And of course Tea Party even worse.

Tell me Daugherty, why are the Democrats bailing on Obamacare and calling for a delay in the implementation?

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 10:57 AM
Comment #373135

Political Hostage-
It’s my attempt to explain why Republicans and Tea Partiers keep trying to double down on unpopular policies and political failures. You think something’s going to break your way if you just keep plugging at it.

I thought about it in terms of the way the movement sees itself in heroic terms. And then it occurred to me that they’re expecting Americans to ride in like the cavalry if they prove themselves for long enough, well enough.

Deus Ex Machina. Something’s going to come in and vindicate us! Why? Because we’re the good guys.

As for Democrats bailing, etc…

I’m not going to get too concerned about it right now. Sure, it’s an embarrassment. But Embarrassments don’t necessarily last. I’m going to keep my hand off the panic button and see how this develops over the next few months. The politicians are reacting to the news cycle, like they always do. Taking that seriously will just drive you nuts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 24, 2013 11:18 AM
Comment #373136

Stephen
I thought your treatise explained “god from the machine” very well. You don’t have to look any further than Faux news viewers to understand that the media has taken on god like qualities to the low information crowd.

You seem to be taking a real grasp of the art of film/stage/production to the next level. I don’t doubt that for those of us who actually watch the scroll of credits after a film that we may see “Screenplay written and developed by Stephen Daughtery” sometime in the future. Good luck with that!

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 11:19 AM
Comment #373138

PH,
“Republicans bad, Democrats good. And of course Tea Party even worse.”

You must mean the polls. But you left out another part of the polls- Obama even better.

Of course, as both Ted Cruz and President Romney will tell you, the polls are skewed. So definitely keep opposing Obamacare, because that is what the American people want, and Democrats are abandoning Obamacare in droves, all because the federal web site does not work; and if “The American People” are sure about anything, it is that Obamacare consists of nothing other than a federal web site, through which there will be a government take-over of 17% of the economy, all courtesy of those cursed internet tubes.

So keep it up. Please. Shut down the government. Threaten to tank the economy over the debt ceiling unless Obamacare is repealed. Don’t stop now.

Keep up the bad work.

Posted by: phx8 at October 24, 2013 11:41 AM
Comment #373140

“I thought about it in terms of the way the movement sees itself in heroic terms. And then it occurred to me that they’re expecting Americans to ride in like the cavalry if they prove themselves for long enough, well enough.”

That must be why those ‘evil Republicans’ tell the people that the saintly liberals are holding them hostage, have a gun to their head. That the saintly liberals are terrorists and racists. That they want to throw grandma off the cliff.

“Mainstream media doesn’t tend to do those kinds of favors for Democrats.”

That is one of the funniest things you’ve ever written on here. Lol

Posted by: kctim at October 24, 2013 11:47 AM
Comment #373144

SD:

“The Republicans are also depending on redistricting and artificial constraints on voting in order to keep their seats.”

For every Gus Bilirakis, there is a Kathy Castor. I’ve noticed that over the last several months the D’s are pounding the mime that the only reason R’s have a majority is that they Gerrymander the districts, as if both parties don’t do this/benefit from it.

By the way, Kathy Castor’s district takes part of the minority sections of three different Counties and two Cities to keep her safe.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at October 24, 2013 12:42 PM
Comment #373146

Daugherty writes; “Personally, I think it’s something you have to earn, storing up enough virtue and effort on the part of the character that the people in question deserve, in the audience’s mind, to be rescued. It’s even better if the device by which they are saved links back to something else they did right, but which didn’t seem to bear fruit at the time.”

Here a two video examples of what Daugherty is writing about. The fainting of the obama adoring audience.

http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/10/obama-fainting-karmel-allison-obamas-first-staged-fainting/

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 1:08 PM
Comment #373151

Let me show you an example of childishness:

Stephen I thought your treatise explained “god from the machine” very well. You don’t have to look any further than Faux news viewers to understand that the media has taken on god like qualities to the low information crowd.

You seem to be taking a real grasp of the art of film/stage/production to the next level.

In other words, “Stephen, you are so intelligent, so in touch with the universe, so close to god” and I am so intelligent and so advanced to be able to see this….Oh, by the way, “You don’t have to look any further than Faux news viewers to understand that the media has taken on god like qualities to the low information crowd.”

First of all Faux news is a childish statement; and secondly, it’s a proven fact that the “low information crowd” are the Democrats.

Liberal’s claims of loses due to redistricting do not explain why so many Democrat Senators are now bailing on Obama in order to save their seats. And Stephen Daugherty’s answer is that it is embarrassing, but it’s only a news cycle and not to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 1:31 PM
Comment #373153

If anyone would like to see the various health insurance plans and quotes in Oregon, go to:
www.coveroregon.com
To play around, click on “Explore Coverage” at the top; to obtain quotes, use area code 97223 and Washington County in the drop down menu if you would like. There are a huge number of plans to choose from on this exchange, starting with bronze plans and working up.

Posted by: phx8 at October 24, 2013 2:03 PM
Comment #373156

Hostage
Well at least you have affirmed that the same cannot be said about you, that is in reference to the compliment I paid Stephen. Maybe that is why you have this inordinate compulsion to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you. Perhaps a little bit of envy problems? Oh that’s right none of us will ever have what you do but you have seen that none of us want that.

I stand by what I said about Faux (it’s because it is mostly fake and the French language description for that seems to fit it so well) news. I don’t care what you think about what I think about that. I am certain that you feel the same so I have no compunction to explain to you.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 2:25 PM
Comment #373158

I’d like to take anyone’s time that wants to read to try to impart a story that my help them understand how they can find out why the PPACA is looked upon as such a great thing.

My father used to say “I had no shoes and I wept until I met a man who had no feet”. He may have got that saying from somewhere but after hearing this many times I asked him when I was about 12 why that was so important to him.

He told me the following story. He grew up very poor and never had enough money to have his own pair of shoes. It was always hand me downs and digging through trash to find something he could wear. Sometimes one each of two different pairs. At any rate he got his first good paying job at the age of 12 as a pinsetter in a bowling alley in a church basement. He used his first good amount of money to buy himself a pair of his own shoes. His best friend noticed the new shoes and asked how this happened. My Dad got his friend a job as a pinsetter. Being a pinsetter in the 1920’s was dangerous work and was usually done by young boys and very small men. Anyway one night there was a horrific accident and his best friend had both of his legs broken. They later got gangrene and had to be removed and his friend died from the complications.

My friends here who have a hard time understanding the benefits of the PPACA should perhaps take time talk to someone that will benefit from it so they can gain insight. I know most of you will just say “well they are all freeloaders looking for a handout” but if you look hard enough you will find someone that genuinely needs this help and deserves it. Good luck.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 2:40 PM
Comment #373159

Speak, I understand generosity and engage in the activity on a regular basis with my own money.

Did your father give a substantial part of his paycheck setting pins to his friend who was injured? If not, why not?

To be generous with one’s own money, time, and resources is indeed very admirable and should be encouraged.

To be generous with the money, time, or resources of others by force of law is theft by proxy.

The purpose of taxation was intended to be for running the government in its constitutional duties. Can you point to the language in the constitution that calls for taking from one citizen for the direct benefit of another?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 3:02 PM
Comment #373160

Royal
His friend died in very short time after the surgery to remove the gangrenous lower legs. He didn’t have a lot of folding money from the job, probably only made 25 cents a night if that. I didn’t really ask him about that as I felt he had suffered enough blame and quite frankly I don’t think in those terms. Giving money is something that I know some people have a real problem with, I don’t. Neither do I have a problem with what you refer to as “being generous with the money, time or resources of others by force of law”. I honestly believe any civilized society has to provide for people who are in the most need. I realize that some of them will be people who take advantage of that and probably shouldn’t but I don’t lose a lot of sleep worrying about that. Besides the biggest offenders seem to hold high offices in Washington DC or are some of the largest corporations on this planet.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 3:28 PM
Comment #373163

Speak writes; “Neither do I have a problem with what you refer to as “being generous with the money, time or resources of others by force of law”. I honestly believe any civilized society has to provide for people who are in the most need.”

OK…you are a socialist or some other “ist”. That’s OK, be whatever you wish. The scary part is that you then force your brand of “ist” on the rest of us Americans. That’s Tyranny.

What you believe is fine for you if you don’t force it upon us. Again I ask, point to the language in our Constitution that requires government to forcefully take from one citizen to give to another.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 3:44 PM
Comment #373164

Speak wrote; ” Giving money is something that I know some people have a real problem with, I don’t.”

OK, simple question. Please give us a few examples of your generosity, from your own pocket, that you are not forced to give by government.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 3:47 PM
Comment #373165

Royal
How about a Realist? I will not point to anything in the Constitution for you, you can point all you want. I live by the rules and morals I have learned in life. I think the Constitution is a great document but I do not look to that document to formulate any and all beliefs that I hold and will not begin doing that to satisfy your request.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 3:51 PM
Comment #373166

Royal
No I won’t do that either. Look man just try to understand that I do not and will not hold your belief system, I try to help as many people as possible in my life and I do not expect anything in return for that. You however seem to want some return on the help you provide. Again good luck with that.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 3:54 PM
Comment #373167

Thanks Speak, I understand your reluctance to justify your “morality” with a Constitutional basis.

My rules and morals require me to be generous with my own money, time and resources if I am able. That’s the Christian way. Loving your neighbor begins with you, and it’s not the job of a national government.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 3:55 PM
Comment #373168

Royal
I understand. I hope you can find satisfaction in your system of beliefs and don’t doubt that you will do your best to do so. I admire your want to be generous and only wish more of our fellow humans felt that way.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 3:58 PM
Comment #373169

Speak4all-
I wouldn’t say it’s taken on God like qualities. What’s happened is that they’ve successfully convinced a lot of people of a fallacy: that if information comes from a certain source, it must be false. That fear of being manipulated is stoked, so they turn to FOXnews and other such news sites as trusted authorities. On and on. Even smart people, kept on such one-sided sources, will find it hard to think outside their box.

I do hope to have some sort of screen credit or my name on a book in the stores at some point, but I still have a lot to do. Thanks for the compliment, though.

kctim-
Yes, Democrats see themselves as heroes, too. Everybody does, to a certain extent. We are protagonists of our own story. It’s the style of protagonist, I guess, that is important. I think Liberals are more familiar with the idea that Protagonists might need to learn something, grow up a little, mature into roles, rather than simply being pre-formed perfection.

As for the other stuff? The Republican held up very important things, with profound negative consequences for us and the economy. We’re being made to look like fools, and for what, so Republicans can try and punch above their weight, legislatively speaking, and fail?

All that aside, really, am I wrong? Do they not warn that if they don’t get their way, America will be lost as we know it? Government will take over, freedom will go bye-bye, so on and so forth. Then they hold these figures up, saying “We support you , Tea Party Person, against all those evil liberals and socialists!”

They’re very much expected to be saviors and everything, very much hyped to be the righteous opponents to the evil, unmanly, unwomanly, etc Democrats.

And no, the MSM doesn’t consistently come to our defense. I know you find that funny, but then you probably don’t actually watch the Mainstream media like I do, or keep track of it all. I see none of the deference there that one might see from FOXNews about the Republicans.

Mike in Tampa-
I acknowledged the existence of Democratic Party favoring redistricting, and you also have my statement that I’d just as soon Democrats be in competitive districts, instead. I want my people on their toes, because if they aren’t they’ll end up like the Republicans are ending up right now.

Royal Flush-
That’s the sort of stuff you’re analyzing? When there is nothing more intelligent to find fault with, folks will find really dumb stuff to create conspiracy theories about. You need to keep in mind that Obama can here a commotion behind him if he’s just a few feet away, or see it out of the corner of his eye.

I don’t think it was adoration that had that woman unsteady on her feet. She was visibly unsteady throughout that clip. She’s visibly pregnant, so you don’t have to resort to threatrics to explain it.

And in the unlikely event that charge is true, it still doesn’t really match to my point. My point was about sustained effort, thought, and problem solving. There are times when we all face desperate situations where the hits just keep on coming, and the crisis continues to develop. The measure of a good hero, at least in a story, is that they’re doing all that they are given to do, even though the situation is desperate. Then all the deus ex machina represents is the audience’s wish for their deliverance being fulfilled. So, I’m talking about fighting the good fight, doing all you can, and having, perhaps, what seemed like wasted time in one instance turn out to be not so wasted after all.

The key is, real, sustained, honest effort. Though it wasn’t very pleasing for many Democrats, the upshot of Obama’s long time spent negotiating with the Republicans over the years, his repeatedly expressed willingness to treat with them, is that when you have polls about who is reaching out, and who is not, the President consistently does better.

The Republicans complain that they don’t come off better in the mainstream media, but then they turn around and say “no compromise,” “No deals!”, and talk about how their principles are forcing them to say no to everything.

Perhaps it doesn’t come off this way in the Conservative Media, given all the people to “explain” why the leaders are right to do things that way, but for the rest of us who never see them budge an inch, it’s hard to think of Obama as being the one who made things particularly difficult.

This kind of works with one of my theories about stories in the media. One reason we like our privacy is the way that small facts about our lives, taken out of context or blown out of proportion, can lead people to think things about us they wouldn’t if more facts and more of the experience of our lives were available to them.

However, as things go, no, we can’t give them all that information all the time. For that reason, really, we often end up having to be more careful in how we portray ourselves and express ourselves in public. People might perceive a particular actor as very mean because of the roles they play, but he might be the nicest guy in the world off-camera.

Republicans have indulged in a theory that says that they should be able to say and do what people want, and people should just understand. Well, look at some of the results of that. Yes, people might choose to understand, and if they knew more perhaps they would understand. But if you make a habit of putting your foot in your mouth, it doesn’t exactly get easier to tell people that you’re not this kooky person, or this racist, or this sexist dinosaur.

Or, put another way, You need to choose what you say to the public, the views you express carefully, because they will carry more weight than much of the rest of your life with the public.

Political Hostage-
There’s not just claims of loses for redistricting, there’s pretty good evidence that redistricting is causing disproportionate victories. That you didn’t lose your majority in 2012 is one thing. Your people were underwater on the popular vote.

Take Pennsylvania. It went 52% for Obama. But it’s only got 5 Democratic Party Representatives to 13 Republicans. These are the districts that produce those kinds of results.

So, what would happen if the districts were more neutrally drawn? Well, if the vote for Obama is any guide, Democrats would pick up four seats.

As for why some Democrats might be bailing? First, it might be useful to know what the threshold his here. Merely criticizing the rollout of the site is different from calling for repeal themselves. Second, again, I’m going to wait to see how this develops. If the website is working properly within a month or so, if the problems go away, then the people who were panicking right now, like politicians sometimes do, will likely have forgotten all about it.

I’m not big on governing by reaction. So I will not encourage that by getting nuts about it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 24, 2013 4:00 PM
Comment #373171

Stephen
A friend of mine wrote the screenplay to the movie “Jabberwocky”, old Monty Python film. I hadn’t spoken with him for years and just happened to go to the movie many years ago. As I have a habit of doing, I was watching the credits scroll and there it was “Screenplay written by XXXX” my friend. Can’t tell you how strange that felt especially since I hadn’t stayed in touch. I knew he had become close to the Monty Python group because I met Terry Gilliam through him. There is a saying that I could probably attribute to him that I would like to tell you. “Success is proportionate to your ability to overcome failure”. I will be watching the credits as I very often do.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 4:08 PM
Comment #373173

Daugh writes; “She’s visibly pregnant, so you don’t have to resort to threatrics to explain it.”

I provided the two clips…draw your own conclusions. Can anyone provide me with a few “fainting clips” from the Clinton, Bush, or Reagan era? Or, is this just a phenomenon associated with The New Messiah?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 4:15 PM
Comment #373174

Although I appear to have zero in common with Speak4yourself, I do have something in common with his father. I also was a pinsetter in a bowling alley at the age of 11 until I was about 15, when I moved on to delivering newspapers. I can attest pin setting was a very dangerous occupation. My legs were hurt on several occasions.

Hostage Well at least you have affirmed that the same cannot be said about you, that is in reference to the compliment I paid Stephen. Maybe that is why you have this inordinate compulsion to denigrate anyone who disagrees with you. Perhaps a little bit of envy problems? Oh that’s right none of us will ever have what you do but you have seen that none of us want that.

I stand by what I said about Faux (it’s because it is mostly fake and the French language description for that seems to fit it so well) news. I don’t care what you think about what I think about that. I am certain that you feel the same so I have no compunction to explain to you.
Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 2:25 PM

The denigration of people is taught by “Rules for Radicals”, and we have already established this is a liberal ploy.

I have no problems with envy; being a black successful businessman, which came by hard work and not by handouts, I do expect that I have more than your generation will ever have. Your philosophy will doom you own future. How will you ever have anything when your core beliefs are to take from those who have, to give to those who have not. My generation will not only have more than you have, but my generation has given (monetarily) than your generation. I based my life’s economic success on giving back at least 10% and sometimes much more to churches or charities. I have literally given hundreds of thousands of dollars over my life time. But I did it voluntarily and not by government demand. What have you given?

Royal, you are asking a socialist what the Constitution says; in their opinion the Constitution is a flawed and evolving document. They believe the Bill of Rights guarantees the right to HC, to home ownership, to a job, to food on the table, to cell phones, to internet access, and the list goes on and on.

Speaks4yourself uses the leftist talking points of big corporations and greed; but Obama has done more to help the 1% enrich themselves than any Republican president ever did.

The aftermaths of the Great Recession and the Great Depression produced sharply different changes in U.S. incomes that tell us a lot about tax and economic policy.

The 1934 economic rebound was widely shared, with strong income gains for the vast majority, the bottom 90 percent.

In 2010, we saw the opposite as the vast majority lost ground.

National income gained overall in 2010, but all of the gains were among the top 10 percent.

The top one percent enjoyed 45 percent of Clinton-era income growth, 65 percent of Bush-era growth and 93 percent of Obama-era growth, though that is only through 2010.
Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 4:21 PM
Comment #373175

Hostage
As I explained to Royal, I will not tell you what or to whom I have given. I do this without wanting a return on my investment and only seek to help those in need. As a businessman this probably sticks in your craw as ROI is the only thing a good and successful businessman deems to live by. I am OK with that, you have your ways and I have mine. I will leave you with a saying I have at work “it’s those damn Republicans, just like XXX says only she says Democrats and I say Republicans”. Or as I like to say to her at least I am not Sunni and you are Shiite or you are not Shiite and I am Sunni. We are both Americans and damn lucky to be here.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 4:32 PM
Comment #373176

Daugherty, your map of the state of PA shows a red state. Obama won the state because of the strongholds of Democrats because of the metropolitan areas. Pleas explain to me how the districts could have been drawn any different to provide democrat victories. Would the districts look like the spokes of a wheel going out from the urban areas?

We have a court system that can be used if districts don’t seem to be fair. Perhaps you are not old enough, but I remember Democrat districts, in the south, that stretched for a hundred miles by 5 to 10 miles wide, in order to guarantee a democrat district victory. The courts eventually ruled these as illegal. rather than use liberal talking points, perhaps your side should use the courts.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 4:36 PM
Comment #373177

We are both Americans and damn lucky to be here.
Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 4:32 PM

One can be an American citizen without adhering to, or believing in, the founding documents that gave birth to this nation.

It was not “luck” that created and nourished this great Republic. It was a government of rules and laws and an understanding that our “rights” are unalienable.

As long as Americans defend those “rights” your good fortune in being born here will be meaningful. As Speak seems to care little for those rights, we can not count on him to defend them. And should they ever be lost, America as a Republic will cease to exist.

I care not to follow the example of Rome which gave up its Republic in favor of Tyranny.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 4:51 PM
Comment #373178

As in ancient Rome, our government today is providing much of the bread people eat and the politicians are providing the circus.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 4:53 PM
Comment #373180

Royal
Served USN 1965 to 1968. You have no idea what tyranny is as you have never had to experience it other than in your maniacal musings regarding President Obama that are the most overblown and ridiculous summations of a great man’s contribution to our (both yours and mine) country. Please dismount your high horse, you are not the only one who holds beliefs they think are better than anyone else. We all get to do that because this is the United States of America.

Please keep the commentary civil I just had to unpublish a comment by Political Hostage, I wouldn’t like to do the same for you or Royal Flush
-Stephen Daugherty, Contributing Editor

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 5:06 PM
Comment #373181

You know, I read some Republican comments, and I almost have to pinch my nose and shut my eyes from the strain of having to decode all the jargon.

Too much of Republican messaging seems to be about talking to other Republicans, or worse, other members of their own faction in the GOP. The rest of us are just expected to understand that we hate the constitution and hate America, and feel ashamed to be in the presence of true Americans.

I don’t feel ashamed, because I think these rants are mostly a train-wreck of ignorantly made assumptions, compounded to the point where its a marvel to me that these people don’t realize how ridiculous they sound.

Political Hostage-
No, that’s a state that went 52% for Obama, which has, on a statewide level, elected a Democrat and a Republican. The red is the color of the representative. if you look at the actual counties, they’re much less stark.

The arrangement’s not an accident. They had to do a lot of monkeying around and jigsawing to get the numbers the way they did.

I think I’ve made my opinion of partisan redistricting clear, so the hypocrisy argument carries no weight with me.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 24, 2013 5:09 PM
Comment #373182

Stephen
Thanks for the reminder and please delete my comments as you feel are appropriate. I have somewhat of an acerbic keyboard and I don’t often take time to think things through to understand if anyone might take offense. Especially when responding to people who seem to espouse a general dislike of our country the way it is and want it to be more to their liking, right now!

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 5:23 PM
Comment #373184

Stephen
Oh golly, I remember the Medicare Part D debacle we went through with my mother-in-law. She was 86 at the time and they just kept sending her stuff telling her to go online to submit her information for processing. She kept asking what line did they want her to go on. Telephone, clothes, what just tell me she would say. She had never used a computer in her life and still hasn’t to this day. That was the difference between the Obamacare rollout and the Medicare part D rollout. Then they were expecting people who had never used a computer to navigate the internet and enroll. At least with Obamacare the people needing to enroll seem to be able to use the internet and those that can’t or don’t will be contacted through Community Oraganizations and with the help of Navigators get enrolled if they need to. If it weren’t for some very helpful pharmacists she would have never gotten enrolled although I suspect they had monetary goals behind their efforts. They still were very helpful and understanding of her situation. That is what is great about our country, and I expect that will come into play with the PPACA enrollment also.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 5:41 PM
Comment #373185

Speak4all-
I know how difficult it can be. What I do sometimes is that I write what I feel like saying, and then backspace it out of existence, and then write what is appropriate to the site with a cooler head.

I’m going to do my best to make sure that these fellows keep to more reasonable lines of discussion, so you do your best to keep to them yourself.

I often critique the Republican Party, but I try and do so on practical grounds. If I tell them they’re sons of unnamed goats, I have no real cause to expect that they’ll be felled by my insight. Ah, but what about the direction and strategy of their politics? That I think is a legitimate topic for discussion.

I’m big on emphasizing the duties of those in government, and I think those are things that can best be expressed in terms of facts and figures. The things that really matter, that most folks have in common, can be expressed in more objective terms than the kind of philosophical stuff that preoccupies too many in politics these days.

These systems of principles, systems of policy logic are meant to serve America’s people, not the American people the systems. We maintain them and should maintain them to the extent they help us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 24, 2013 5:46 PM
Comment #373186

Stephen
You use your way, I’ll use mine. As I said I have a very acerbic keyboard and tongue for that matter. A lot of what I say and type may not be appropriate however if I stymied either I might lose my ability to make a point. I will try to use better judgment, however if I am out of line I don’t mind someone reminding me of that. I can handle it.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 5:53 PM
Comment #373187

Please keep the commentary civil I just had to unpublish a comment by Political Hostage, I wouldn’t like to do the same for you or Royal Flush
-Stephen Daugherty, Contributing Editor

Please point me to the offending comment. My writing about our constitutional rights, and defending them, is certainly civil. Your threats of censorship of material only you find offensive is getting old.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 5:56 PM
Comment #373188

Stephen

It’s not about people on the right “getting their way,” it’s about respecting their individual rights and beliefs. For millions of us, a huge, more controlling and intrusive government does mean “freedom will go bye-bye” and “America will be lost as we know it.”
As I’ve told you many times before, Dems would control all branches of government if they just respected those two things.

Of course those with a voice are held up and used to get the message out, and of course they are going to use your very actions against you. Why? Because those are the things their supporters care about.

Your problem Stephen, is that you think it is a one way street. Your people condemn Republicans for labeling them as socialist while using the same breath to label them as racist women hating terrorists holding you hostage with a gun to your head.

“I know you find that funny, but then you probably don’t actually watch the Mainstream media like I do, or keep track of it all.”

Actually, I watch NEWS on all available stations. What I don’t do is waste my time watching opinionated hacks and pretend they are the news.

“I see none of the deference there that one might see from FOXNews about the Republicans.”

That’s because you don’t want to see it. From local news to network news to the network shows, you see support and defense of leftists positions everywhere. Hell, the condemnation they displayed for Bush, and the adoration they have for Obama, was and is pathetic.

Posted by: kctim at October 24, 2013 6:00 PM
Comment #373189

Maybe I’m missing something here, but why is this comment posted by Speak4yourself:

Royal Served USN 1965 to 1968. You have no idea what tyranny is as you have never had to experience it other than in your maniacal musings regarding President Obama that are the most overblown and ridiculous summations of a great man’s contribution to our (both yours and mine) country. Please dismount your high horse, you are not the only one who holds beliefs they think are better than anyone else. We all get to do that because this is the United States of America.

Please keep the commentary civil I just had to unpublish a comment by Political Hostage, I wouldn’t like to do the same for you or Royal Flush
-Stephen Daugherty, Contributing Editor

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 5:06 PM

Why is Stephen’s bold text comment about my comment being unpublished found on Speak’s post?

And what comment was unpublished?

Are Speak4all and Stephen Daugherty the same person, something certainly does not make sense.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 6:07 PM
Comment #373190

I’m sorry, but I have read and re-read this post as well as the previous post and I cannot find this comment:

Please keep the commentary civil I just had to unpublish a comment by Political Hostage, I wouldn’t like to do the same for you or Royal Flush
-Stephen Daugherty, Contributing Editor

I am still puzzled why it, as well as Royals comment ended up on Speaks4yourself’s comment.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 6:25 PM
Comment #373191

Example of Daugherty being civil…”I don’t feel ashamed, because I think these rants are mostly a train-wreck of ignorantly made assumptions, compounded to the point where its a marvel to me that these people don’t realize how ridiculous they sound.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 6:31 PM
Comment #373192

Royal, you don’t suppose Stephen Daugherty and Speaks are the same person. That would make their constant congratulating of each other understandable. It would be kind of weird that they spend so much time talking to each other, and they end up being the same person.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 6:40 PM
Comment #373193

Your supposition is possible PH. It could be that Speak hopes to publish Daugherty’s books free on Amazon Kindle. I see a lot of free garbage books there.

Daugherty’s comments lead me to believe that he desires to be a widely read book writer or a cartoon script writer. Those are honorable ambitions. However, I wish he would stop using us as his sounding board.

Perhaps Daugherty will use comments by conservatives on WB in his book. If so, sure hope he gives credit to us.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 6:47 PM
Comment #373194

I’m sure he will, Stephen is a stickler when it comes to plagiarism.

For some reason, I get this gut feeling that Daugherty is so shook up about Obama’s crowning achievement going down the old toilet that he’s not quite sure who he is when he posts.

I have always believed that Speaks is a double agent; that he has posted as someone else. He claims to have read WB for years and yet never commented until just a few months ago. Something very fishy here.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 6:53 PM
Comment #373195

NSA Monitored Phone Calls Of 35 World Leaders: Report

Not satisfied with spying on Americans, the NSA has gone after the leaders of our allies.

“LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The United States monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders according to classified documents leaked by fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, Britain’s Guardian newspaper said on Thursday.

Phone numbers were passed on to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) by an official in another government department, according to the documents, the Guardian said on its website.

It added that staff in the White House, State Department and the Pentagon were urged to share the contact details of foreign politicians.

The revelations come after Germany demanded answers from Washington over allegations Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was bugged, the worst spat between the two countries in a decade.

The White House did not deny the bugging, saying only it would not happen in future.

The revelations in the centre-left Guardian suggested that the bugging of world leaders could be more widespread than originally thought, with the issue set to overshadow an EU summit in Brussels.

No immediate comment on the report was available from the NSA.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 7:03 PM
Comment #373196

PH, it scares me when I read comments by libs saying they don’t value our unalienable rights. I suspect they know that those rights must be diminished or disavowed for them to succeed in establishing a Tyrannical government.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 7:06 PM
Comment #373197

“Following almost four days of closures, Bay Area Rapid Transit trains started operating again Tuesday morning, after representatives for striking BART union workers reached a tentative deal with BART management on Monday night. And although both sides still must formally approve the agreement, workers appear to have won a 15.38 percent raise over their four-year contract, in exchange for concessions that include an increase in their monthly medical insurance premiums of about $50, and agreeing to start contributing a portion of their pension costs.”


http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/10/24/bart-workers-won-will-your-citys-employees-strike-next/

That is just outrageous. To expect BART union workers to pay $50 more per month for medical premiums and to actually contribute to their own pension plan. My God…arm yourselves now before it is too late. These nasty cities are acting like Tyrants.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 24, 2013 7:14 PM
Comment #373198

When Carney was asked about the strange response of the WH to Merkel that we are not and will not listen in on the cell phone calls; he was asked if they had, in the past, listened to her calls, Carney refused to answer.

Honestly, have you ever seen such an amateur hour as is going on in the WH? Last year, Rush Limbaugh was upset about Senator Rubio’s desire to work with Democrats on an amnesty program. Rush’s comment was that Rubio was conservative, but a total novice when it comes to working with lying Democrats. He said, once Rubio was burnt by the lies and trickery of Democrats, he (Rubio) would change his ideals. Well, Rubio came out within the last 24 hours, after Obama again pushed for amnesty, and said he could not trust Obama to stand by any legislation that would pass. My guess is that Rubio has learned his lesson.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 7:16 PM
Comment #373199

Snip from above:

Daugherty writes; “Personally, I think it’s something you have to earn, storing up enough virtue and effort on the part of the character that the people in question deserve, in the audience’s mind, to be rescued. It’s even better if the device by which they are saved links back to something else they did right, but which didn’t seem to bear fruit at the time.”

What the heck! Sorry, but the aforementioned two sentences break at least four major grammatical, compositional and structural rules…not to mention how clunky it is.

speak4all, what have you been reading?

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at October 24, 2013 7:19 PM
Comment #373200

kctim commenting to SD: “Mainstream media doesn’t tend to do those kinds of favors for Democrats.”

That is one of the funniest things you’ve ever written on here. Lol

I agree, kctim! That snippet begs credulity. Lol!

Sorry SD, but you need to do much better.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at October 24, 2013 7:24 PM
Comment #373201

Here’s an example of the left losing it; Frank Pallone Dem Congressman from NJ calling todays Energy and Commerce Committee meeting a “Monkey Court”:

That’s Frank Pallone, admirable person from New Jersey. “Monkey court.” Can you imagine if a Republican had referred to a congressional committee as a “monkey court”? In the Obama Age, can you imagine what would have happened? I mean everybody would have forgotten the controversy over the Washington Redskins and they would have been full bore into this “monkey court” business, and they’da dragged Howard Cosell out of the grave to comment on it and everything else.

Monkey Court is sure a racist statement. The left is losing it bigtime. There are now about 6 Dem Senators who want to support Manchin’s bill to postpone he implementation of Obamacare until 2015.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 7:44 PM
Comment #373202
MANCHIN: What we’ve said is it should be a transition year for one year. There should be no fines, and let’s work through the problems. We’ve got a lot of problems; they’ve been identified; I think everybody’s recognized them. Let’s fix it. Ours has a certainty of time. January 1, 2015, no fines whatsoever, transition in, work out the kinks, let’s fix this thing.
Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 7:47 PM
Comment #373203

There is at least one Internet (particularly among most political blogging sites) trend that is ubiquitous:

The contributor-commenter fighting (especially where arbitrary and one-sided capricious rules are invoked) is so widespread, nearly every site bans commenters who disagree with the contributors’ POV. I contribute, on occasion to a local conservative-minded site, and I’m here to tell you that many, if not all of the contributors on both sides of the political spectrum post via a second anonymous (read fake, double-agent) identity.

Any contributor or administrator can find this out by one’s singular IP address. Unless one chooses to use one of the many backdoor IP trick sites to hide their true relationship (identity).

Hopefully SD and Speak4all aren’t one and the same.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at October 24, 2013 7:49 PM
Comment #373204

Kevin, something seems to be very fishy. Why would Stephen make comments about deleting my comments and Royals and do all under the Speaks4all post. I thought maybe Speaks4all was copying and pasting, but I could find no place when Stephen had made these comments.

On a lighter and happier note, a couple of days ago Sean Hannity called an operator for the Obamacare site. He asked her many questions about the success or failure of people signing up for obamacare. She gave him answers and was fired from her job of $26,000 a year because of it. A single black mother with a child was fired by the Obama administration for talking to Hannity. It was just reported on Fox News and will be on Hannity tonight; Hannity talked to his accountant and can legally give a gift of $13K to the mother and another $13K to her child (he felt bad that his questions cost her the job); an equivalent to a years salary and it’s tax free. He also has found her a new job and many people have emailed and called into the Hannity show offering gifts and help to this black Obama supporter who was fired by the very man she voted for.

What we are seeing is the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives.

I wonder if she will continue to support Obama?

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 24, 2013 8:09 PM
Comment #373205

I don’t think they are the same. Speaks can write fewer words.

But even if they are the same, who cares? Let the guy develop multiple personas if he wants to express slightly different thoughts. Both Stephen and Speaks4 are liberal.

We should object if he sets up straw men. I think that goes on sometimes, where we get people making silly statements that they want to look like conservatives. They often try to use bad grammar and misspell words. I object to that.

Posted by: CJ at October 24, 2013 9:07 PM
Comment #373215

Hostage/Royal/Kevin
Get a grip. What is it with the Republican/conservative thought process and the need to find a conspiracy everywhere they look. You guys need to get a life and try to enjoy that instead of looking around every corner for someone trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I may not be able to comment much today but you all can commence with the conspiracy nonsense and I will try to understand why you have such fears, but not really too much because that is really your problem.

humes
No train wreck I can see. In a different thread I have detailed my access to healthcare.gov and found it to be an outstanding resource for information on health care plans although I have no need to use it to enroll in one. I am happy that people who may need this have a facility as fine as I experienced to find out information about that and I expect it to improve in time.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 9:26 AM
Comment #373219
It is commonly asserted that there are in the United States no classes, and any allusion to classes is resented. On the other hand, we constantly read and hear discussions of social topics in which the existence of social classes is assumed as a simple fact. “The poor,” “the weak,” “the laborers,” are expressions which are used as if they had exact and well-understood definition. Discussions are made to bear upon the assumed rights, wrongs, and misfortunes of certain social classes; and all public speaking and writing consists, in a large measure, of the discussion of general plans for meeting the wishes of classes of people who have not been able to satisfy their own desires. These classes are sometimes discontented, and sometimes not. Sometimes they do not know that anything is amiss with them until the “friends of humanity” come to them with offers of aid. Sometimes they are discontented and envious. They do not take their achievements as a fair measure of their rights. They do not blame themselves or their parents for their lot, as compared with that of other people. Sometimes they claim that they have a right to everything of which they feel the need for their happiness on earth. To make such a claim against God or Nature would, of course, be only to say that we claim a right to live on earth if we can. But God and Nature have ordained the chances and conditions of life on earth once for all. The case cannot be reopened. We cannot get a revision of the laws of human life. We are absolutely shut up to the need and duty, if we would learn how to live happily, of investigating the laws of Nature, and deducing the rules of right living in the world as it is. These are very wearisome and commonplace tasks. They consist in labor and self-denial repeated over and over again in learning and doing. When the people whose claims we are considering are told to apply themselves to these tasks they become irritated and feel almost insulted. They formulate their claims as rights against society—that is, against some other men. In their view they have a right, not only to pursue happiness, but to get it; and if they fail to get it, they think they have a claim to the aid of other men—that is, to the labor and self-denial of other men—to get it for them. They find orators and poets who tell them that they have grievances, so long as they have unsatisfied desires.
Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 11:09 AM
Comment #373220

“So, I’m talking about fighting the good fight, doing all you can, and having, perhaps, what seemed like wasted time in one instance turn out to be not so wasted after all.”

And yet you constantly condemn Republican representatives for doing just that.

You know, it’s funny Stephen.
On one hand you claim the liberals 51% majority gives them a mandate to force liberal policy onto ALL Americans. That the concerns of the 49% do not matter because the liberal reps must represent the 51% who elected them. That it is ok for liberal reps to stand up for their principles, refuse to compromise, and even threaten shutdown and default if they don’t “get their way.”
And then on the other hand, you criticize, belittle and dismiss the right for doing the exact same things.

Why is it that you believe that liberals don’t have to compromise with the right, but that the right has some sort of duty to compromise with liberals?

Posted by: kctim at October 25, 2013 11:32 AM
Comment #373221

Speak4all-
Help me on this. I unpublished Political Hostages comment for two reasons: to punish his breaking the rules, and to maintain the comment in evidence so I have something to point to when somebody challenges the decision.

I warned him first. After I warned him, I just simply unpublished. Why? Because I have neither the time nor the inclination to start cutting out little snippets. If I have to do this repeatedly, that is what I would do, and that is certainly what I don’t want to do with you.

Confront them with facts. That’s part of how I’ve kept this up all these years. However passionate I get, logic and reason provide a stronger channel and use for that anger than using insults these people have likely grown thick-skinned to.

kctim-
I would like to say that there isn’t an objective reason for it, but while the rhetoric is heightened, the Republicans are providing the grist for the mill.

We see the welfare bucks, with Obama’s face and fried chicken on them. We see the images of a watermelon patch on the White House front lawn. We see images of Obama as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose.We see a North Carolina Republican crowing about how the new voting security measures are going to put blacks at a disadvantage. And why do Republicans repeat that “affirmative action” talking point over and over again, other than to diminish his reputation for intelligence, for having pulled himself up by his bootstraps?

Not all Republicans are racists. Not even most, I’d wager. But the Republicans aren’t doing near enough to show the racists the door, or clean up their act.

As far as women go, the attacks on contraceptives, the rhetoric about using an aspirin for contraception (putting it between your knees, get it?) the allegations that women who take them are just sluts who want multiple partners… The lengths that a certain Texas governor went to make sure anti-abortion measures were passed into law, the way they’ve prioritized pro-life politics in a way they never prioritized jobs or anything else they were really elected to do… More or less, this is another place Republicans have earned criticism.

They’re not terrorists literally holding hostages, but they are radicals who have decided that this nation’s creditworthiness and fiscal stability are fine bargaining chips with which to force the agenda that their numbers on election day didn’t allow them to directly impose on Americans. They’ve shown a disregard for the notion that their actions could cause problems.

The Democrats aren’t simply throwing out random shots here.

As for news? I prefer hard fact to soft analysis. What is the problem? That culturally speaking, they’re not backing the kind of morals you want to see, or making the kind of commentary would have them make? Is it because they give Democrats the opportunity to spread what you see as their lies, and don’t immediately question them…

Or let me just distill it down to this: is your problem that they don’t present you with the Conservative bias that you consider to be truly objective?

Political Hostage-
I decided I need to preserve the comment in its original form, so as to have evidence of what you wrote.

As for why it showed up there? I’m an editor. I’m capable of editing ANY comment. Consider that when you accuse me of being too aggressive in censorship. I could be a hell of a lot more aggressive.

As for your insinuation about deceptive comment practices?

I take pride in winning my own debates, winning my fights on the merit. There are things I look at as being below me.

Additionally, since I have Aspergers, it all strikes me as excessively complicated. Sockpuppeting means manipulating other people by having somebody say something about me and my comments that’s supposed to affect somebody else’s opinions or responses. I deal with people in as direct and matter-of-fact a way as possible.

I’ve written under my own name from the beginning. I have nothing to hide.

As for the woman who gave answers about the success and failure of people on the site?

If I had to guess why she was fired, confidentiality would be the likely reason. She’s dealing with people’s personal information. She’s not supposed to do interviews about that. She’s made privileged to information about people that is very sensitive. That’s not just administration policy, mind you, that’s the LAW.

As for Monkey Court? If he was talking about the NAACP, it could be seen as offensive, but since he was talking about Congress, in particular a hearing that was likely almost completely white, I think he was probably speaking more to the throwing of poo, rather than anything racial.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 25, 2013 11:37 AM
Comment #373222
I am happy that people who may need this have a facility as fine as I experienced to find out information about that and I expect it to improve in time.

My concern is why did we think this was something the government needed to spend money on to create instead of the insurance companies themselves? Why are we footing the bill to do what they should pay for out of their own profits?

Take buying car insurance, you can easily get quotes from different companies, Progressive will even give you quotes from their competitors.

So is it worth the billions we have spent on putting this together to save millions in profits for the insurance companies?

I’ll give you the real problems with the now healthcare plan…

1) It is just a way to take money from those who have it and give it to those who don’t. Another welfare program. They are ‘subsidies’ that are couched in language to be ‘free discounts’, but they are anything from free. They take money from those who are working hard and earning it and giving it to those who are down on their luck or refuse to advance their own situation in life. I have no problem with doing this voluntarily, but have a big problem with doing it at the point of a gun. And an even bigger problem when we are doing it by force on those who are not yet even able to be represented in the decision.

2) An insurance company’s policy cannot be on the approved ‘exchange’ unless it meets requirements set forth by the government, disallowing any company from offering more tailored programs to individuals. This stifles ingenuity and costs people more. For example, my wife and I cannot have children, yet we have to pay for a plan that provides for child care services.

3) The INDIVIDUAL who is given the responsibility to flesh all of this out is an unelected person. I find this distasteful.

4) Everyone is now required to purchase a product that they may or may not want or need. This has been found to be unconstitutional, as it should be, but a ‘loophole’ was found to be ok in making everyone pay a tax and then creating a deduction if they purchased the product. IMO this is skirting a line and definitely against the nature of how this country is designed to work, but for the time being it is ‘legal’.

5) Insurance, itself, is a gamble and a long term loser for the majority of people. We have somehow codified this product as a necessity, making people gamble and ensuring that the majority of people lose on the deal. This is especially damaging to the young people who we are now doubly penalizing by making them pay for their parent’s insurance AND paying for their charity to those less fortunate that they aren’t willing to take on themselves. It is amazing to me that people don’t see the double bitch-slap we’ve given to people who are still trying to get an education and can’t even vote.

Worst of all, this will not literally nothing in bringing down healthcare costs, the stated goal of this program. In fact, it will probably make things worse.

The only real good part is that doctors are getting together and realizing that they can be more effective to their patients and lessen their costs of doing business by no longer taking any insurance at all and just offering their product to the individual on their own. Unfortunately, the extra cost that individuals now have to pay is going to prevent a lot of people from thinking that they can go that route, which is IMO the best way to fix healthcare in this country.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 11:50 AM
Comment #373224

Stephen
Sure I’ll try to help you out but as I have previously stated I have no problem with you deleting any of my comments that seem inappropriate. You may have noticed that I do not spend a lot of time in the composition of my comments. I don’t really have a lot of time to devote to that. Good luck improving the civility of the discourse here.

Rhinehold
You have your opinion and I have mine. I understand that you have real misgivings regarding the PPACA, I do not. The issue is not really insurance although that is where it begins. It his healthcare delivery that will see the greatest improvement over the years and has been badly needed for some time now, I can’t explain that to you if you can’t understand that. I know you see this as very oppressive but I am still very happy that the PPACA has been enacted and hope to see improvements over the years.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 12:13 PM
Comment #373227

As I have said before, problems with the website are of minor detail and while newsworthy do not represent any political issues to discuss…

However, the evasiveness of the administration on the issues is turning out to be one. It is a pattern that we are seeing, especially after saying that they wanted to be the most open administration ever. Is it that they are just gunshy or afraid of what their opponents will latch on to to hit them over the head or is it something much more Nixonian?

The evasiveness is not new. The administration has long been dodgy and secretive when it comes to the health law’s internal operations. Senior officials insisted over and over again that it would work, and work on schedule, but never provided the kind of evidence or system previews they presumably would have if it had actually been working well. And they kept insisting that implementation was on track up to the very last minute, even as key tests were delayed, and then failed.

So when Josh Barro, who is basically supportive of the law, writes that “there’s no reason not to level with the public right now, unless the truth is so horrible and the website is so un-fixable that Obama administration officials can’t bring themselves to discuss the matter publicly,” I wonder if he might be on to something. Barro says he suspects that it’s not the case that things are truly disastrous behind the scenes. But if there were positive developments to share, wouldn’t someone be stepping forward to share them? Given the administration’s history of both poor implementation and misleading communications about the status of the health exchange project, it’s not clear to me why anyone ought to continue to give the administration the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 12:22 PM
Comment #373229
How about a Realist? I will not point to anything in the Constitution for you, you can point all you want. I live by the rules and morals I have learned in life. I think the Constitution is a great document but I do not look to that document to formulate any and all beliefs that I hold and will not begin doing that to satisfy your request.

Um, the Constitution is not just a goddamn piece of paper… It is the law of the land designed to keep our government in check. It isn’t trying to run the government based on the Bible, the Quran or the Tao-Te-Ching.

Dismissing it as you are doing is disturbing…

It his healthcare delivery that will see the greatest improvement over the years and has been badly needed for some time now, I can’t explain that to you if you can’t understand that.

I never said that our healthcare in this country didn’t need improvement but you are the one making the claim that this method of doing so is good. You are going to have to back that up with opinion and facts, not just ask me to accept it as such.

I know you see this as very oppressive

Because it is, as I have detailed.

but I am still very happy that the PPACA has been enacted and hope to see improvements over the years.

What makes you happy about it though? Specifically? Other than it was a Democrat who introduced it and Democrats who voted for it and Democrats who implemented it and you want to use it to further your political power?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 12:27 PM
Comment #373230

Rhinehold
The Constitution is but one part of what I consider the strength of our country. The bigger part is our people, those that are here and those that are on their way here. That is where our real strength lies. You can be as disturbed by that as you want to, I cannot change that nor do I wish to. I can ask you to accept whatever I want whether you do that or not is entirely up to you. I am glad you believe healthcare needs improvement. I am happy about it because I believe that it will help to improve healthcare delivery and bring that to many more people that have it now. I have no political power. This healthcare plan took much from the Heritage plan of long ago and improved on that.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 12:58 PM
Comment #373231

Royal Flush-
Oh, by the way, the woman who “fainted?” Type one diabetic.

Tom Humes-
You insulted me, and used profanity in your post. And this:

You are getting to be a joke. You print non-truths on occassion and you call that fact.

Is why your most recent post is going to be unpublished, too. Critique the message, not the messenger. Avoid profanity.

Rhinehold-
You could make an argument for slavery on the idea that the requirement for people to pay wages takes money from those who have it, and gives it to those who don’t.

The argument made by conservatives for this law was that people got sick and injured anyways, and ended up showing up in the emergency room. There, they rack up costs that we end up paying in our own bills.

So, we redistribute in a more efficient way, because we’re definitely not going with the inhumane idea that we’ll just reject people who can’t pay for their care themselves. You can talk about the principles of the free market or redistribution, or whatever, but the requirements of humanity, and the consequences for different policies are going to make the difference in this debate.

As for the Website?

The intuitive idea is that everything’s going to get done in the broad daylight, but my sense is these people will want to make sure the problems are fixed, things nailed down, before they start telling people it’s done. It’s one thing to keep things up to date, it’s another to show the people the sausage getting made, while it’s getting made.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 25, 2013 1:03 PM
Comment #373232
You could make an argument for slavery on the idea that the requirement for people to pay wages takes money from those who have it, and gives it to those who don’t.

No, you can’t… Sorry, but your attempt to label my views as racist are transparent and won’t work.

It is not a REQUIREMENT to pay people for their work, in fact many people in this country work for free as interns to gain something else that is valuable to them. Wages are paid for in a mutual agreement between both parties. Further, slavery is only possible when codified by law and violates the human rights of those involved.

The argument made by conservatives for this law was that people got sick and injured anyways, and ended up showing up in the emergency room. There, they rack up costs that we end up paying in our own bills.

Both Progressives and Conservatives made this point, but the way to solve the perceived problem was where the disagreement lies. Unfortunately, both sides are wrong because both look to solve the perceived problem through coercion and government, making sure that they maintain their power. The more simple solution would have been to cut back on the government intervention into the healthcare in the US that was causing the problem in the first place to once again make preventative trips to the primary care physician affordable again.

This solution doesn’t solve that, no matter how it is named.

So, we redistribute in a more efficient way, because we’re definitely not going with the inhumane idea that we’ll just reject people who can’t pay for their care themselves.

Again, no one is suggesting that option, but your solution is not more efficient in any stretch of the imagination. It is just more coercion. And it DOESN’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

You can talk about the principles of the free market or redistribution, or whatever, but the requirements of humanity, and the consequences for different policies are going to make the difference in this debate.

I am talking about the requirements of humanity, the main one being in a state of liberty, not oppression by the state. There are solutions to the perceived problem that do not require government in any way, but what good is that to the progressives and conservatives who want to ensure that they are needed by the electorate to keep their power? None, which is why every perceived problem is now suddenly a job of government to solve, where does it end, Stephen? I mean, we now say that our own individual health is a matter of the state, what is left that isn’t anymore? All we’ve done is opened the door to allowing more and more government control over people to try to keep the costs of the new government mandated healthcare down. We are already seeing this in NY and other locations…

The intuitive idea is that everything’s going to get done in the broad daylight, but my sense is these people will want to make sure the problems are fixed

The government is telling us that it can’t tell us how many people have signed up for insurance through the exchanges through the federal system, even though the number that they give us combines the states and federal system together. That is illogical to suggest that they can’t obtain those numbers, and more worrisome if they actually can’t.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 1:17 PM
Comment #373233
You can be as disturbed by that as you want to

I definitely will, your comments are no different than the Christian who wants to institute prayers in schools or conservatives who want to might want to require all Americans own a gun.

I fight them when they disregard the law of the land (constitution) to implement their programs just as I fight against those like you who want to do the same.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 1:20 PM
Comment #373235

SD
You have repeatedly referred to republicans in a derogatory manner. You get offended because I say you are thin skinned. Others that are not Tea Party supporters have referred to them in derogatory terms. Oh, that is ok??
Stephen, your integrity is shot. Your leadership is the same as the president, which is non-leadership. Your show favoritism to those on your side but you are quick to attack Political Hostage, Royal Flush and on occassion others. You talk condesendingly to people on this site. You have wrapped yourself in a false security.
Since you are probably going to “unpublish” this I am going to do something I rarely do, and that is to copy this and expose it to those who need to read it.

Posted by: tom humes at October 25, 2013 1:42 PM
Comment #373237

Rhinehold
I think my comments are a lot different than people who want to use prayers and guns to beat us over the head with but I can understand why you feel the way you do, you do not need to explain why they are the same, I don’t care. You are oppressed and beholden to a country that doesn’t represent your ideology well. I am glad that I am fortunate enough to not have to feel that way and am very happy with the freedom I perceive I have. The great thing about this country is that you can fight for what you believe in and I cannot stop you from doing that, we can however disagree. If I were Islamic and wanted to live by the tenets of my religion and follow sharia law I could do that to the extent that it doesn’t interfere with anyone else and their wants or our laws. You keep fighting what you perceive as the good fight and I as I have tried to tell you before will support your efforts even though they may differ from mine because that is what makes us all Americans.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 2:38 PM
Comment #373239
Senate majority leader Harry Reid says that “Everybody” is “willing to pay more” taxes. He said so in an interview with a Nevada Public Radio host.

“The only people who feel there shouldn’t be more coming in to the federal government from the rich people are the Republicans in the Congress,” Reid told the radio host, according to Roll Call. “Everybody else, including the rich people, are willing to pay more. They want to pay more.”

http://reason.com/24-7/2013/10/25/harry-reid-everybody-except-house-republ

Those ‘rich people’ who want to pay more already voluntarily can if they want to, doesn’t Harry know this?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 2:52 PM
Comment #373242

Stephen

All you are doing is taking the actions of a few and applying it to the many, for political gain. You then justify your actions by blaming your political targets for not being pro-active. Weak.

“As far as women go, the attacks on contraceptives,”

Actually, it’s “attacks” on paying for OTHER PEOPLES contraceptives, isn’t it.
What is with you guys thinking you are being attacked by everyone who believes differently or not willing to give you things?

“The lengths that a certain Texas governor went to make sure anti-abortion measures were passed into law,”

Kind of like the lengths a certain liberal President went to make sure anti-choice health insurance measures were passed into law? I thought such things were a-ok? How come you don’t just roll over and accept that your side didn’t “have the numbers on election day” to prevent it?

“the way they’ve prioritized pro-life politics in a way they never prioritized jobs or anything else they were really elected to do…”

Seriously? Are you really saying Republicans, who don’t usually believe it is governments job to create jobs directly, and who are usually pro-life or don’t give a crap about the abortion issue, are “really elected” to create more government jobs and disregard pro-life politics?

“They’re not terrorists literally holding hostages, but they are radicals…”

Yeah, actually representing the people you are elected to represent is soooooo radical. Perhaps next time you guys won’t rush things to beat an election.

“to force the agenda that their numbers on election day didn’t allow them to directly impose on Americans.”

If they are able to prevent your agenda, then isn’t it also true that your numbers on election day don’t allow you to directly impose your agenda on Americans?
If only Republicans had a spine.

“They’ve shown a disregard for the notion that their actions could cause problems.”

Problems so terrible that liberals were willing to face them, rather than compromise.

As for news? I prefer hard fact to soft analysis. What is the problem? That culturally speaking, they’re not backing the kind of morals you want to see, or making the kind of commentary would have them make? Is it because they give Democrats the opportunity to spread what you see as their lies, and don’t immediately question them…

“Or let me just distill it down to this: is your problem that they don’t present you with the Conservative bias that you consider to be truly objective?”

So now you do see the liberal bias of the MSM? LOL! I guess that’s some progress.

I don’t believe in pushing my morals onto others. Strike one.
I already stated that I don’t care about opinionated commentary. Strike two.
Unlike the left, I actually am pro-choice, so I don’t care if Dems are on air spreading their lies without question. Strike three.

So what’s the problem, you ask? The left pretending that one TV station and some people talking on AM radio has more influence than the MSM, or is somehow worse than the MSM.

Oh, and btw, I don’t have a Conservative bias, I have a Constitutional bias.

Posted by: kctim at October 25, 2013 3:00 PM
Comment #373243
The great thing about this country is that you can fight for what you believe in and I cannot stop you from doing that, we can however disagree. If I were Islamic and wanted to live by the tenets of my religion and follow sharia law I could do that to the extent that it doesn’t interfere with anyone else and their wants or our laws.

So close! You’ve expressed the libertarian philosophy so well that I would think you are one.

Except you don’t actually believe what you wrote, do you?

You have no qualms at all with deciding that other people should live the way you think that they should. You’ve proven that with your support of those laws that do just that.

Of course you think that your ideals are different than other’s ideals, and they definitely are. Except you are supporting the application of those ideals onto others through the use of the coercion.

Let’s take the healthcare website into account. You and likeminded individuals could have said ‘hey, we want a way to shop for our healthcare via a nice website that lists our options from competing insurance companies’. Then you could have created a kickstarter, got enough people who agree with you to sign on and put together the money to create the website. It would have been cheaper and actually worked when rolled out. Anyone who then wanted to join in this endeavor after they heard of or saw the benefits could have paid a small fee and joined in the group to help pay for the operation of the site.

This could have solved the problem in a way that didn’t decide for OTHERS how to do this. If you had taken the money taken from people through taxation and through voluntary donations to organizations who spent MILLIONS of dollars fighting for the Obamacare law, it would have been built and funded for years to come using today’s technology…

But instead, you chose the path of making other people (many of whom aren’t old enough to vote) pay for the system and required, by law, that they participate in the plan…

So you can say that what makes America great is that we can all live our lives as we choose to as long as we don’t inflict our views onto others all you want, you clearly don’t believe that to be true in any way shape or form. Other than in how YOUR rights our protected… IF someone else’s rights are violated, you don’t care.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 3:00 PM
Comment #373245
You have your opinion and I have mine. I understand that you have real misgivings regarding the PPACA, I do not.

Speak or SD, whoever I’m speaking with…not really sure; you have made this statement on several occasions. You’ve also said it regarding the Constitution, of which you disregard as ramblings of ignorant old white men. My question; why are you even on this site? If I have my views and you have yours, then why discuss anything? I consider your COMMENTS to be un-American and a waste of my time, so as far as I’m concerned, you will never receive a response from me again.

Regarding the deception of Stephen Daugherty; I don’t care if you are writing under your name or anyone else’s name. I agree with Tom Humes, your COMMENTS are arrogant and condescending. Your COMMENTS are nothing more than apologies for your messiah, Obama.

So just continue to delete whatever you want; you know the old saying, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. You cannot stand the heat; as Obama cannot stand to take criticism or be told “NO”, I find your COMMENTS lead me to believe you are the same. If what I say disagrees with your ideology, by all means, feel free to delete my.

However, I will ask one more time, how was this comment posted under Speak’s name, when there is no place where he could copy and paste:

Comment #373180

Royal

Served USN 1965 to 1968. You have no idea what tyranny is as you have never had to experience it other than in your maniacal musings regarding President Obama that are the most overblown and ridiculous summations of a great man’s contribution to our (both yours and mine) country. Please dismount your high horse, you are not the only one who holds beliefs they think are better than anyone else. We all get to do that because this is the United States of America.

Please keep the commentary civil I just had to unpublish a comment by Political Hostage, I wouldn’t like to do the same for you or Royal Flush
-Stephen Daugherty, Contributing Editor

Posted by: Speak4all at October 24, 2013 5:06 PM

In other words, why would Speaks make such a weird comment? And if he is copying and pasting the comment…why would he do it, and where did he copy and paste it from?

It is Stephen Daugherty’s comment, but it is posted by Speaks4all.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 25, 2013 3:19 PM
Comment #373246
how was this comment posted under Speak’s name, when there is no place where he could copy and paste

PH, the author of an article can edit/delete/unpublish any comment under their article. Stephen can add or modify Speak’s comment. In this case it appears that he did that and then identified that he was the one who removed the part of the comment that he found offensive and stated the reasons why.

I think you are reading too much into this.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 3:23 PM
Comment #373247

Rhinehold
Please don’t try to tell me what I believe, I will do that for myself. You can disagree with what I say I believe that is your prerogative. I did not choose the path for healthcare.gov, I chose the politicians that made that decision and I support them but I did not personally do it. I know that must make you very mad but that is the way it is. Again you and I can disagree but you cannot take the words that you want and make me say them or type them for that matter and say they are mine. I will ask you again do you feel that because you hold Libertarian beliefs that you are constantly being attacked? I don’t really care what you think about the healthcare.gov website, it is really the least important part in my estimation of the PPACA. The most important part is the fact that it is for now the law and will be implemented as such and people can take advantage of that to help them obtain healthcare insurance.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 3:28 PM
Comment #373248

Speak4all,

You are the one who is supporting a law that violates citizen’s rights, not me. I’m not putting any words in your mouth or twisting anything you say, just showing you that your stated beliefs are a violation and why. You can reject that all you want, as you do, but it doesn’t make it any less real.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 3:34 PM
Comment #373250

Hostage
I won’t miss you a bit. You have a strange knack of being totally misinformed by your own cognitive abilities. I am on this site because I choose to be and don’t give a hoot what you think about that. I do not regard the Constitution as the ramblings of old white men, I do think that of your ramblings however. We discuss here because we have differing views not because we want us all to have the same view. Think about that for a little bit.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 3:39 PM
Comment #373251

To continue on the earlier quote…

Now, if there are groups of people who have a claim to other people’s labor and self-denial, and if there are other people whose labor and self-denial are liable to be claimed by the first groups, then there certainly are “classes,” and classes of the oldest and most vicious type. For a man who can command another man’s labor and self-denial for the support of his own existence is a privileged person of the highest species conceivable on earth. Princes and paupers meet on this plane, and no other men are on it at all. On the other hand, a man whose labor and self-denial may be diverted from his maintenance to that of some other man is not a free man, and approaches more or less toward the position of a slave. Therefore we shall find that, in all the notions which we are to discuss, this elementary contradiction, that there are classes and that there are not classes, will produce repeated confusion and absurdity. We shall find that, in our efforts to eliminate the old vices of class government, we are impeded and defeated by new products of the worst class theory. We shall find that all the schemes for producing equality and obliterating the organization of society produce a new differentiation based on the worst possible distinction—the right to claim and the duty to give one man’s effort for another man’s satisfaction. We shall find that every effort to realize equality necessitates a sacrifice of liberty.

It is very popular to pose as a “friend of humanity,” or a “friend of the working classes.” The character, however, is quite exotic in the United States. It is borrowed from England, where some men, otherwise of small account, have assumed it with great success and advantage. Anything which has a charitable sound and a kind-hearted tone generally passes without investigation, because it is disagreeable to assail it. Sermons, essays, and orations assume a conventional standpoint with regard to the poor, the weak, etc.; and it is allowed to pass as an unquestioned doctrine in regard to social classes that “the rich” ought to “care for the poor;” that Churches especially ought to collect capital from the rich and spend it for the poor; that parishes ought to be clusters of institutions by means of which one social class should perform its duties to another; and that clergymen, economists, and social philosophers have a technical and professional duty to devise schemes for “helping the poor.” The preaching in England used all to be done to the poor—that they ought to be contented with their lot and respectful to their betters. Now, the greatest part of the preaching in America consists in injunctions to those who have taken care of themselves to perform their assumed duty to take care of others. Whatever may be one’s private sentiments, the fear of appearing cold and hard-hearted causes these conventional theories of social duty and these assumptions of social fact to pass unchallenged.

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=346&chapter=16032&layout=html&Itemid=27

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 3:43 PM
Comment #373252

Rhinehold
You believe that my stated beliefs are a violation. That does not make them a violation to any one but you. I will continue to believe what I do and will continue to support your ability to express your beliefs whether I agree with them or not. I understand that you want to show me something but it appeals to me not a lot unlike a petulant child trying to get my attention for something I have no real interest in. I pay attention to the petulant child out of a respect for their inability to discern my disinterest you on the other hand do not get that type of respect from me.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 3:45 PM
Comment #373253
I do not regard the Constitution as the ramblings of old white men, I do think that of your ramblings however.

Correction: my ramblings would have to be the “Rambling of an old black man”. If you going to say it, say it right.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 25, 2013 3:48 PM
Comment #373255

Hostage
If you say so, I can’t tell the difference.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 4:03 PM
Comment #373258
I understand that you want to show me something but it appeals to me not a lot unlike a petulant child trying to get my attention for something I have no real interest in. I pay attention to the petulant child out of a respect for their inability to discern my disinterest you on the other hand do not get that type of respect from me.

I think you are misunderstanding. I have no misquided belief that anything I say will ever make a dent into your hardened belief structure. It would be nice to break through the echo chamber you have constructed and open up your mind to some truths that you are missing out on, but that is not why I comment on here.

My reason for commenting is to hopefully point out the logical fallacies that your views expose to others who might be reading and are not as close minded as yourself. Perhaps something I say will spark a thought in someone else’s mind and pop at a later moment in their lives, start to take hold and free them from the bonds of dutiful partisan hackery.

It was this goal that brought about The Enlightenment that put forward the ideals that I am expressing and that the modern Democratic and Republican parties reject today. It has become a footnote in history instead of a realized actualization of how humans should be treating each other without force and coercion, living and let living, mutual respect and the golden rule, etc.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 4:12 PM
Comment #373259

Rhinehold
Good luck with trying to use my comments to point out to others my failed beliefs. I think they will use their own best judgment to decide what they will believe. Well the weekend is upon us and I need to start thinking about all the ways I can dote on my grandchildren and their wants. I am also lucky enough to have received an acceptance from my wife to join me for a Bloody Mary, raw oysters on the half shell and a beer. I may even get lucky tonight, sorry Stephen I know that is a risque comment but hey you are dealing with an old sailor and you don’t know for sure how us old sailors can get when it comes to being risque.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 25, 2013 4:21 PM
Comment #373260

Speak4all,

Thank you for wishing me luck, it will all depend on whether or not people reading are using logic and reason (the basis behind the Enlightenment) or are relying on emotion (populism/progressivism/conservatism) to decide on that for themselves. As for Stephen dealing with an old sailor, he’s been having to deal with this disabled one for almost 10 years, I think he can handle it. :)

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 4:25 PM
Comment #373261

Question…why are leftist so angry, belligerent, and protective of Obama?

Answer…

CNN’s Carol Costello admitted on Wednesday that President Obama’s staff “can be quite nasty” to deal with. Given Costello’s propensity to be a bleeding-heart liberal, her admission is all the more striking.

“I felt it first hand when I was, you know, reporting on the presidential race,” Costello noted. “I mean President Obama’s people can be quite nasty. They don’t like you to say anything bad about their boss, and they’re not afraid to use whatever means they have at hand to stop you from doing that, including threatening your job.”

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 25, 2013 4:27 PM
Comment #373262

We see a carryover of Obama policy to this site; if you say anything against King Obama, you might get deleted. Oh, how the left on WB have longed for the return of the days of David Remer.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 25, 2013 4:32 PM
Comment #373263

PH, that’s not anything that is new, remember how Clinton was called racist by the Obama campaign in 2008?

http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/bill-clinton-made-racist-remarks-about-barack-obama-in-2008-report-262595

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 25, 2013 4:41 PM
Comment #373265

Correct

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 25, 2013 5:12 PM
Comment #373271

Rhinehold-
I’m sorry, racist? No, that wasn’t the reference point on slavery. No, the reference point on slavery was the fact you essentially pay them nothing, and everything they have, you give to them, and they have to work and do whatever you want them to.

The only motivation I had was to make an reduction ad absurdum argument about redistribution of wealth.

I mean, maybe people with great wealth should be exempted from laws that forbid theft. After all, they earned all that money, why should they have to share any of their wealth?

Of course, both arguments are absurd. Currency is a medium of exchange, and if you aren’t giving somebody a gift, or providing them some kind of barter, you’ve got to pay people. If there were no laws, the constitutional kind included, you could just use force or some kind of agreement or social consensus to just force labor out of some people.

Instead, we’ve agreed that nobody should be forced to work for nothing. Slavery is outlawed, which means work must be compensated when not given freely. The question is, how much?

In the days in which we were an agrarian nation, and the industrial revolution was still in the future, the worker had a more direct relationship with their boss, and if a boss didn’t set the right price, they just wouldn’t get anybody. But then industrial machinery turned much of the work out there from skilled labor to unskilled labor which you could have a person run a machine to do.

The commoditization of labor has made it altogether cheaper to run the business, and we can see in those times that the factory bosses ran people for hours on end for little pay. If we think that tendency no longer exists, just look at he far east and the factories there.

Economic power, then as now, provides political power, and it can be very difficult to get something crucial recognized, something that in pre-industrial days that the economist Adam Smith recognized: that just because one side wishes, out of self-interest, to push wages down, and demand more work for less pay, doesn’t mean that the other side can afford that. So a negotiation takes place.

Ah, but if work is a commodity, how does one negotiate as an individual? The answer is, you don’t. In the days before unions and labor laws, they could fire you and take in the next hick from the sticks.

Much of these constraints you complain about stem from the fact that what emerges by sheer chance and operation of the market isn’t necessarily good or sustainable. Now the market works for most cases, for rational cases, but we nee to keep in mind that the market doesn’t necessarily work rationally, ethically, or even with all that considerable an amount of foresight.

More later.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 25, 2013 7:16 PM
Comment #373277

Democrats good…Republicans bad; unions good….corporations bad.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 25, 2013 8:57 PM
Comment #373281

Political Hostage-
Corporations aren’t good or bad, they just are, and they tend to do certain things because they’re required by law, motivated by culture and economics to do certain things.

Once you commoditize labor, make it to where one person can do the job somebody else can, it becomes very easy to depress wages and other compensation below what’s good for them. Labor Unions… well I guess the best way to put it is, they would have emerged, in one form or another, in one way or another, simply because workers needed to adapt some strategy to push wages and compensation back up. Commoditize labor, labor then turns around and makes the labor market more unitary, giving the workers more clout to bargain for their compensation, their rights.

Unless and until folks like you come up with some way to deal with that emergent reality, then unions are the competing strategy that’s going to win, imperfect as they may be.

Another way to put it is that supply and demand, worker and employer don’t work too much differently in some ways from when Adam Smith was around, but technology and everything had added new dimensions, new texture to the market.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 25, 2013 11:24 PM
Comment #373283

Democrats good…Republicans bad; unions good….corporations bad….or….listen to my latest Obama talking points…

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 26, 2013 10:23 AM
Comment #373284

Stephen

Unions indeed are good at working with undifferentiated labor and served a useful purpose when the many industrial workers were more or less adjuncts to machines.

Today workers require a higher level of skill and intelligence even for simple tasks. The problem we face today is that large numbers in our labor forces still are mostly unskilled in an economy that increasingly doesn’t need them as much. That is what depressed wages. If a person can be replaced by a machine or by a re-engineering of a process, there is no security, with or w/o unions.

I am not sure what the solution to this is, but I am pretty sure that unions are not among the best options. I never had a problem with unions seeking higher wages. The problem with unions are the backward work rules and impediments on proper management. Non-union automakers, for example, pay similar wages to unionized ones, when you take into account differences in living costs. But they are not saddled with backward rules, so they are usually more productive.

Posted by: CJ at October 26, 2013 10:41 AM
Comment #373287

There is an old saying, “Water seeks it’s own level”.

There was a time when unions were useful, but when the demand for skilled labor increased with the demand for goods and services, there was no more need for unions. When laws were passed guaranteeing workers rights, there was no more need for unions. And this is exactly what happened. The union membership has declined and continues to decline. Which is a threat to the lifetime union bosses. We use the term career politicians; but there are a class of career bosses, and these bosses pass their empirical power to their offspring.

In companies I ran, it was easy to take skilled machinists who operated lathes and milling machines and train them to operate computer controlled machines and milling machines. Today, we do not have the skilled machinist to train. There was a time when the our labor came into this country from Europe with skills. Today, we skilled labor from Europe are prevented from immigrating into the country, but we do see millions of illegal non-skilled immigrants from 3rd world nations. The unions don’t care about what kind of work the labor force does, they only care about the union dues and power. As skilled labor has disappeared, unskilled service jobs and government employees have increased. While the unions love to crow about the loss of skilled labor, they have no trouble increasing their dues with unskilled and government employees. This is the paradox; as unions drove the skilled labor jobs out of the country, they now drives up the costs of unskilled labor goods and destroy our freedoms with a continued insatiable appetite for growth in government.

We see a growth in the non-union auto industry in southern right to work states, while northern union auto industry has to have taxpayer bailouts…why…because the unions are breaking the companies. I might also add, the unions are currently trying their best to get a foothold in the southern non-union shops, which most employees don’t want.

I love the way Democrats and unions like to complain about the loss of industry to Mexico or China, and yet we see the influx of industry to the US from foreign countries. It is the unions and politicians who have driven industry out of the country and it is the lack of unions and politicians who understand industry that have brought them back into the country. The America people are fully capable of understanding the technology needed for today’s industry; provided Democrats and union bosses stay away from them.

I have a sister-in-law who works for a corporation in southwest Kentucky. She is not management, but she is loved by the management. They are non-union and the unproductive workers are canned. But she is very good at what she does. She makes good money that is based on performance, her job has been very secure, and she’s getting ready to retire in December. The company has tried their best to talk her out of retiring. You will NEVER see a union shop work with the same efficiency as a non-union shop.

I commented a few months ago that I recently purchased my wife a new car. It is a Hyundai and it is loaded with a 10 years bumper to bumper warrantee. There are no union made cars that can compare to the Hyundai. I believe Stephen Daugherty recently purchased a non-union made hybrid auto. Why, because there are no union made autos that provide the deal he got.

I am not sure what the solution to this is, but I am pretty sure that unions are not among the best options. I never had a problem with unions seeking higher wages. The problem with unions are the backward work rules and impediments on proper management. Non-union automakers, for example, pay similar wages to unionized ones, when you take into account differences in living costs. But they are not saddled with backward rules, so they are usually more productive. Posted by: CJ at October 26, 2013 10:41 AM

This comment is dead on.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 26, 2013 11:33 AM
Comment #373294

Political Hostage-
My sense is, when we’ve counted on big business to look out for the interests of the little guys, they haven’t typically been taken care of. You can compromise, come to agreement with the big companies, but how do you do that if you have no clout?

As for non-union made autos, I don’t believe Honda Insight labor was non-union. As for the deal I got? Price point wasn’t the only factor, otherwise I would have bought an American vehicle. My major concern was mileage.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 26, 2013 3:29 PM
Comment #373295

Stephen

Like most smart people, you bought the car that gave you most of what you wanted for a price you were willing to pay. You did not know or care if it was built by union labor or whether it was built in America or somewhere else. You are like other consumers.

If union rules drive up the cost or affect the quality, it will affect your choice. Nothing wrong with that. Now you can see how things work.

As for business looking out for the little guy, the little guy looks out for himself, just as you did. You chose the car you wanted and were able to get something you thought was a good value. The system worked for you, didn’t it? And you worked for the system. You choice was one of the millions of choices that determined the sorts of cars that will be built and who will build them.

In your case, you voted for Japan and the just-in-time efficiency of Japanese work systems. You voted against Detroit. This is not the preference you would SAY you made, but it reflects your true opinions, expressed by your actions.

Posted by: CJ at October 26, 2013 5:43 PM
Comment #373297

For the lighter side of ObamaCare, these are some of the jokes the late night comics are making.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/video/onbackground/the-best-late-night-healthcaregov-jokes/2013/10/25/7278cc26-3d9b-11e3-b6a9-da62c264f40e_video.html?hpid=z3

Posted by: CJ at October 26, 2013 6:05 PM
Comment #373299

Stephen, For your info Honda Is NON UNION I just googled Is Honda union. The first site I saw said Why Honda and Toyota shun the UAW.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 26, 2013 9:07 PM
Comment #373300

Rich KAPitan-
For your information, even three years after I bought the car, the Honda Insight is still manufactured in Japan, where the auto companies all have Unionized shops. It’s only the places here that are not unionized. You should have researched past simply what domestic plants have.

C&J-
My car was most likely manufactured by union labor, just not domestic union labor. I didn’t vote against Detroit. I made the decision that made sense at the time. There simply weren’t vehicles with that kind of efficiency around. Now that Obama is pushing up those efficiency ratings, there are already new, more efficient cars on the market in that old price range.

Here’s the thing though: for years, your people coddled the auto industry on gas mileage. Because of that, the car industry went for vehicles that were powerful gas guzzlers.

Our car industry simply wasn’t in the market for the kind of car I wanted, and that’s the shameful thing.

I don’t much trust analysis that seems to be one just-so story, one self-fulfilling prophecy after another, especially in light of one critical fact: that for all its supposed evolutionary superiority, the market you would praise as all-knowing didn’t see an energy crisis coming. Worse yet, many components of this energy crisis were also self-inflicted.

These companies will not tend to tell you to constrain them when they need it. They will scent out what they believe is in their interests, and they will go for that.

And to some extent, that’s what they’re supposed to do. My sense is, government’s there to guard the public good, look out for the nation’s interests, not so much the individual or the corporation’s

And before you ask, yes, I think people should turn right back and seek their best interests, but it should be understood that government’s not supposed to be partial to the business owners. Why? Because sometimes businesses want things that put everybody else at risk, that harm other people to make their profits. My sense is there needs to be that constraint that pulls back on their behavior, so that as the system runs, it runs at lower risk, and higher general prosperity.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 26, 2013 9:39 PM
Comment #373301

Stephen

“I made the decision that made sense at the time. There simply weren’t vehicles with that kind of efficiency around.”

I know that you had excellent reasons to choose Japanese over American. Others make similar decisions based on what they think best.

You are right about government protecting auto industry, which included owners, management AND labor.

Don’t you see how much your own actions and your own arguments right above show the folly of your beliefs? You have acted in exactly the way we would expect. You have condemned big government action that distorted the market.

Yesterday’s big government solution is today’s problem.

You have with your actions and the above paragraph made one of the best arguments in favor of the free market that we have seen on this blog. Its power is amplified because you did it unawares.

Posted by: CJ at October 26, 2013 10:00 PM
Comment #373302

That’s even worse Stephen, you buy a foreign built car from a foreign unionized shop. Heck the only place that has American workers is the Dealer. Obama bails out the Auto industry here and you go and buy a foreign car built by foreign union labor. SHAMEFUL for a democrat.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 26, 2013 10:33 PM
Comment #373304

Thanks Stephen, I knew if I threw in the hybrid you bought that you could help but prove our point. I Honda is unionized in Japan, the unions certainly do not work like they do here. The Japanese worker is nothing like the American union worker; the American union worker will work harder trying not to work, and the Japanese worker takes great pride in everything they do.

CJ and I have both worked in union shops, you haven’t. Therefore we have the life experience that you lack.

My sense is, when we’ve counted on big business to look out for the interests of the little guys, they haven’t typically been taken care of. You can compromise, come to agreement with the big companies, but how do you do that if you have no clout?

I know Stephen will have a real problem understanding this; but companies are not in business to look out for the interest of the little guy. Companies are in business to make a profit. A profit for the builders of the business and a profit for the investors. If the little guy gets a job and does his best to make money for the company, then the little guy doesn’t need to be taken care of. Didn’t you read the comment I made about my sister-in-law in Kentucky. She is retiring and the company she works for in non-union, she is an hourly employee, and they do not want her to leave…why…because she has proved her worth. Unions protect the jobs of the slugs. They destroy any incentive to be a good employee. The only clout the employee needs is to do their job.

Like your non-sense about why you bought the hybrid, we will never know your own work ethics; but if you are working a non-union job or if you are trying to build your own business, I guarantee you are working as hard as you can to build the business or to impress your employer. You bought a Honda because you got the best bang for your buck; so to say it wasn’t about finances is a lie.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 26, 2013 10:44 PM
Comment #373322

I worked for GM from 1985 - 2006 and consider myself a SME on all-things automotive. Not b/c of the time spent there, but b/c of the education that I got and more importantly, how interested I have been with the industry for nearly thirty years.

ALL foreign auto plants (aka transplants)are non-union. The largest growth in the US auto assembly sector (powertrain, transmission, Parts distribution (SPO), metal stamping and auto assembly) are and have been taking place in so-called right-to-work states.

Nissan, Fiat, Hyundai, Kia, VW, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota and a few other newbies all have built sprawling facilities in the south over the last 15 - 20 years.

Mississippi, S. Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, et al., have added plants of all sorts in recent years.

And guess what? Every one of the hourly workers at the aforementioned plants does NOT want the UAW there.

Btw, I was a member of the UAW for 14 years (not by choice). It was ‘closed shop.’ I quickly realized how similar socialism was vis-à-vis the UAW. I was aghast at the antiquated work rules, the ‘seniority rules over everything else’ mantra (even one’s skills and talent), the gross inefficiencies, the strikes, the divisiveness and especially the indoctrination that took place on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at October 27, 2013 9:05 PM
Comment #373323

C&J-
Why did vehicles get big?

You talk about markets as being efficient, rational, but I think rationality can be incomplete, or asymmetrical. Left to their own devices, Detroit sold vehicles that were bigger, heavier, and had less efficient engines. Wonderful for them, but also for the folks funding terror in the Middle East with our petrodollars. They could charge more for the vehicles, and finance it all, meaning there was no incentive to go small.

The market created a vast fleet of monsters, which even now suck down gas and slow the economy, since people can’t move around in them quite as much.

The Obama administration has put in tighter, more efficient standards. It saved that system from itself. It also gave a goose to the economy both there and elsewhere, with the Cash For Clunkers program, one so successful, they had to renew it. They helped shift the balance of fuel consumption.

If we had started on this path earlier, we might have saved a lot of money, because the basic reason that they were trouble in the first place, is that once again, Japan and other foreign automakers beat us to the punch on efficiency. That wasn’t accidental.

You have a contradiction in terms going on: people are social and rational creatures, but not always at the same time. You expect people to just collectively decide things just right, every time, but can’t people en masse make mistakes, or fail to anticipate bad consequences, same as everybody else? And when the intellectual and scientific is beat down as elitist and marxist, what then? You want the benefits of mass rationality, but without encouraging a culture where people develop that rationality, where people are encouraged to learn. We want to pretend we’re still the unsophisticated kids just off the farm that most of us were until the middle of the last century, even though most of us, by four to one, are now urban and suburban.

We’re trying to pretend we’re something we’re not. A Utopia where nobody needs effort or understanding of technology to prosper. A free market economy where all evils are cut short by collective wisdom. A rural, folksy society, where most people aren’t concentrated in the cities and suburbs.

This self deception, this failure to recognize the challenges of being a twenty-first century economy are part of the reason we have our problems. We made our decisions on fiscal matters last decade by emotional means. We didn’t heed the lessons of the past in what would happen when we stopped taking in so much revenue.

It’s time we recognize who we really are, how we really behave, and what we’re really falling short on, so we can fix it. I want the option of getting a high mileage car on the market from a US automakers, something I didn’t have so much the last time. I want America to be competing, not letting the rest of the world pass us by, because it makes money for a few for us to do things that way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 28, 2013 9:00 AM
Comment #373327

SD
Like so many government run projects, the Obama is now going to offer Clunkers to the first one hundred in the signup for Obama care and treating this as a new bonus program. The reason for only one hundred is they didn’t get much more than that in the Cash for Clunkers give-away.

Let America be America the old fashioned way—they earned it.

BTW-government employees should not be on any type of bonus wage system. Oh, I forgot. Like Kathleen S. she doesn’t work for us.

Posted by: tom humes at October 28, 2013 11:35 AM
Comment #373329

tom humes-
The Cash For Clunkers program worked so well, they had to authorize even more funding for it, because so many people had taken advantage of it.

As for Government workers not being on some kind of bonus system…

I suppose we want people to do government work without incentive, or encouragement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 28, 2013 1:25 PM
Comment #373340

Hardly. That is laughable.

Posted by: tom humes at October 28, 2013 4:47 PM
Comment #373343

Stephen

Autos got so big because firms made money, union workers made above market wages and government regulations helped protect the market for them in order to help maintain profits and wages for union workers.

What do you think happened?

Re Obama fuel standards, they have yet to make a significant impact. Americans are driving less. I wrote about it. That is good. The U.S. has also become a bigger energy producer and will get even bigger. I wrote about that too. We ALSO are emitting less CO2 DESPITE a slight decrease in renewable power last year. I wrote about that too.

Posted by: CJ at October 28, 2013 6:13 PM
Comment #373345

C&J-
You miss the point of what I was talking about: that a very non-ideal outcome came out of the profit motive.

There is a tendency to mistake emergent results with inherently good ones. An example is seeing evolution as a process that makes more perfect creatures as we go along, with ourselves as the apex of that process.

It’s an idea that owes much, much more to our notions of philosophy, than anything else. Trouble is, the optimization is only optimal for the environment that dominates selection.

The logistic equation is a perfect example of this. What’s the ideal population of wolves in a habitat? The answer isn’t one perfect number, but a great big “depends”. It depends on how many prey there are, and then how many there aren’t, after they’re done. Get too aggressive, and you eat yourself out of having a food source. The prey species crashes, and you follow. Then the Prey species rebounds, and it’s good times again.

In a weird way, it connects back to our energy crisis. Our economy, in effect, depends on having energy to drive it. Classical physics defines energy as the ability to do work, and in the case of economics, this is very apt. We can’t transport, compute, communicate, or do much of anything else without it, in one form or another.

Rather than create a rational solution, the markets created a highly irrational one, not easy to understand if you looked at the whole thing rationally. I mean, what stupid group of people would purposefully want to back themselves into the corner we did?

But as my research has taught me, folks don’t work entirely on rational thinking. They’ll use it, alright, but it will be set like a jewel in the midst of a lot of emotional decision making. For one thing, having a big car, not concerning ourselves too much about mileage makes us feel powerful. Only people in desperate circumstances need to worry about how much fuel they consume.

It’s an easy attitude to take when gas is cheap. Doesn’t quite work when its not. I can say my decision making wasn’t entirely rational. The experience in the earlier part of the decade of being able to make an epically long journey across the Southeast, the Appalachians, up into New Jersey on just a few tanks of gas, after years of running a station wagon that needed to be fueled every hundred miles or so, informed my love of good gas mileage. It was difficult enough to drive the station wagon the distance to the Central Texas schools me and my brother attended, a trip to Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. was out of the question.

To me, freedom is range. To others, freedom is not giving a crap about the underlying logistics. We can encourage different attitudes, different conceptions of the world, and see different results emerge.

Or to put my point more succinctly, my Liberalism is based on a simple notion: that how we set the standards and laws of our country determines what kind of order emerges from the market. While it isn’t always predictable, it isn’t always unpredictable either; only certain systems behave chaotically, and even those do not behave without some kind of order to them.

I am not, as some of the more tiresome arguments go, a big fan of waste or huge government. I’m also not that ideologically committed to small government. Like I’ve said, I’m a functionalist. I’d like people to be able to drive more, transport more, without having to expend as much energy to do so. I think making us a less mobile, less adventurous people isn’t exactly good for our economy, or our society.

You’ve subscribed to there being a certain cause to why we’re putting out less CO2, and pretty much, I agree that the boom in natural gas, thanks to fracking, is a big part of that. However, there are a few things I would point out. There are lingering questions of environmental problems, including documented problems with groundwater, concerning the fracking fluid. There are also issues in terms of how long this boom can last, how long the wells will produce this level of natural gas. The logistics equation starts up again, once the levels we can produce go down.

One way or another, we need to realize that we will not always be saved by solutions we can fall into, because we run into as many problems from emerging phenomena in the economy as we do solutions. The key is to change the rules of the environment to favor those who operate in economically productive ways. Obama’s done this, and this is already encouraging higher mileage in vehicles. It may take time, but what Obama’s done may help drive our consumption lower, without forcing the work or play we wish to do down with it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 28, 2013 6:56 PM
Comment #373346

Stephen

I don’t miss the point. I am just telling you that “the profit motive” extends farther than you think. It was an alliance of government, unions and management. All profited.

I also did not tell you that what emerged was good, although it worked for about twenty years. This, and arrangements like it, were responsible for the time of growing equality and wages you always tell us you like so much.

Re markets - first let me repeat for maybe the 1000th time, that nobody here has ever advocated a market w/o rules or getting rid of all government, so don’t try that dumb little game you have played maybe 1000 times of attacking a position that only you create.

Re fracking - science is firmly on my side. There were problems with fracking early on, but it has developed into a very safe operation. And, BTW, we all believe it, like all energy production, should be properly regulated, so don’t play that game that you do re no regulations. You can stick to your superstition. I prefer rational science.

Re how long we can produce gas - long enough. Nobody thinks that gas will last forever. Your argument is like a hungry man passing up nutritious food today because he may not have the same opportunities next year.

Posted by: CJ at October 28, 2013 7:27 PM
Comment #373431

Republicans were ripped a few weeks ago for demanding that obamacare be postponed because it wasn’t ready. Now they are vindicated because Obama postpones signup for obamacare for 6 weeks. Reason, it was not ready. Will it be ready by the end of November, as Obama says? NO. Over half a trillion dollars spent of a failed web site, and by the time it’s over, the web site will have to be completely rebuilt. Another half a trillion??? Who knows? It’s not Obama’s money; why should he care?

Posted by: DSP2195 at October 29, 2013 8:44 AM
Comment #373433
the reference point on slavery was the fact you essentially pay them nothing, and everything they have, you give to them, and they have to work and do whatever you want them to.

That’s interesting but completely devoid of anything we were talking about. The free exchange of an agreed upon wage by employer and employee bears nothing to the forced enslavement of people only possible by government sanction.

If there were no laws, the constitutional kind included, you could just use force or some kind of agreement or social consensus to just force labor out of some people.

How would that work, exactly? I am sitting at home and Walmart comes to my door and makes me work for them? How would they accomplish this?

In the days in which we were an agrarian nation, and the industrial revolution was still in the future, the worker had a more direct relationship with their boss, and if a boss didn’t set the right price, they just wouldn’t get anybody. But then industrial machinery turned much of the work out there from skilled labor to unskilled labor which you could have a person run a machine to do.

And those jobs became worth less to the person supplying them. So the workers would have to agree to work at a lower rate than they want or they would have to learn to do something else if they want to make more.

Or they could band together and burn the factory to the ground and beat up anyone who attempted to do their jobs for the wage they found beneath them…

You know, using force to extract money out of someone else. You’ve somehow romanticized this violence and we are codifying it with government… I don’t understand the logic behind it though.

The commoditization of labor has made it altogether cheaper to run the business, and we can see in those times that the factory bosses ran people for hours on end for little pay.

Because they agreed to it, otherwise they would have walked off of the job. As many people did. It is how we find the equilibrium of the accurate worth of a job…

No one was FORCED to work.

If we think that tendency no longer exists, just look at he far east and the factories there.

The Far East factories have government backed violence to keep their workers working at those wages OR those wages are what their market allows.

Ah, but if work is a commodity, how does one negotiate as an individual? The answer is, you don’t.

Really? I do. I have never once worked for a union and I make a living much better than anyone I know who ever has. My father and two brothers both work for unions, I make double or triple what they make.

In the days before unions and labor laws, they could fire you and take in the next hick from the sticks.

If that is all you are worth, don’t you have other problems in your life other than making 1.50 an hour less than you want to make? If you are no better than anyone else? That you are not striving to make yourself worth more to potential employers?

Much of these constraints you complain about stem from the fact that what emerges by sheer chance and operation of the market isn’t necessarily good or sustainable.

Sheer chance? LOL.

Good or Sustainable by who’s definitions? Should the government have gotten involved to determine which media format won, Beta or VHS? Arguably the lesser format one. This happened again with Blueray VS HDDVD. If we know that forcing employers to arbitrarily raise the value of a job through the minimum wage and it will cost 5% of the workforce to become unemployed, is that better or worse?

The fact is that introducing coercion into these free exchange of worth is a crap shoot at best. Unintended consequences result from each and every decision and instead of saying ‘hey, maybe we shouldn’t have interfered here and back off’, we try to fix it again with MORE COERCION. Instead of making the system more ‘effective and efficient’, we introduce politics backed by coercion to take sides and try to force an outcome that, if not in the cards, isn’t going to happen anyway.

We raise the minimum wage and what happens? Time and time again we have seen the result. Some small percentage of people lose their jobs, usually the least performing and least equipped of the people in the country. Most notably the part time high school student finds it harder to pick up some extra cash while learning work skills (being on time, answering to a boss, leadership opportunities, etc). Those that do keep their jobs are now working for a percentage higher, but the people who were making a percentage higher above minimum now find themselves making as much as the lowest skilled and rightfully demand a raise to compensate. This goes up the chain a ways to recalibrate itself out (in fact, many union contracts have agreements that when the minimum wage increases, all union wages increase automatically, one of the reasons the uniosn fight for minimum wage increases even through none of their jobs are actually minimum wage).

The companies, to make up the additional wage costs raise the prices of their goods and services. Suddenly the person you thought you were helping by raising their wage through politics and force are now having to spend more of their wage paying for the necessities and come out, if they are lucky, even. And the cycle restarts itself.

Smart laws that ensure that there is no fraud in the system, no coercion against a worker, fair business practices, etc are essential. Going beyond that only skews the system and makes things worse.

The Cash For Clunkers program worked so well, they had to authorize even more funding for it, because so many people had taken advantage of it.

I guess it depends upon your definition of success, doesn’t it Stephen?

You mean, when the government offered to give people money that someone else had to work for, a bunch of people showed up with their hands out? I bet they did. But did it accomplish the goals?

The net result for the automobile industry for car sales for the year were unaffected. There was a spike when the program was in place and a huge drop off following its end. The net result was negligible.

The cars which were traded in were destroyed, meaning many less well off individuals who would have been able to by a good used car were denied that opportunity.

The most purchased cars were from foreign companies, so it didn’t help the big 3 in any noticeable way.

So, are you using the only standard that more people lined up for free Obama money as success? There have been a lot of successes in the Obama administration then…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2013 12:02 PM
Comment #373434
Sue Klinkhamer, 60, who used to work for Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), who lost his seat partly because voters didn’t want Obamacare. Klinkhamer wrote her old boss:
“I spent two years defending Obamacare. I had constituents scream at me, spit at me and call me names that I can’t put in print. The congressman was not re-elected in 2010 mainly because of the anti-Obamacare anger. When the congressman was not re-elected, I also (along with the rest of our staff) lost my job. I was upset that because of the health care issue, I didn’t have a job anymore but still defended Obamacare because it would make health care available to everyone at, what I assumed, would be an affordable price. I have now learned that I was wrong. Very wrong.”

On September 1 of this year, Klinkhamer was paying $291 a month for an insurance policy with a $3,500 deductible. Those days are over, though, as of December 31, when her policy goes away. Instead,

“I can have a plan with similar benefits for $647.12 [or] I can have a plan with similar [but higher] pricing for $322.32 but with a $6,500 deductible.”

More info: http://www.suntimes.com/news/marin/23352031-452/obamacare-jacks-up-her-insurance.html

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2013 12:06 PM
Comment #373438

“On Monday, a “NBC Nightly News” segment said that a large swath of Americans will not be able to keep their current health insurance policies because the plans do not meet Obamacare standards. It said that the White House knew this as far back as 2010, even though President Obama had said that people can choose to keep their current plans.

NBC News correspondent Lisa Myers defended the network’s report on Tuesday’s “Morning Joe,” explaining that insurance plans that do not meet Obamacare standards by 2014 or that have been changed since 2010 will get canceled.

“When you add those two parts together, you get to more than 40 to 67 percent of folks in the private market who cannot keep their policies even if they want to and the administration knew that,” she said.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/white-house-nbc-news-obamacare_n_4173145.html?icid=maing-grid7|customfirefox|dl2|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D398319

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 29, 2013 1:39 PM
Comment #373439

C&J-
A critical part of that was an energy policy that went back to Reagan, and which was further revised by Bush to benefit his buddies, a policy that assumed that a cheap fossil fuel policy was the priority, and anything that contradicted that was inimical to economic growth.

Like much of the post-Bush policy of the Republican Party, the policy here seems to be geared towards denial that it ended in failure. Truth was, external forces allowed us to get around the energy problem the last time- the energy embargo ended, and oil got cheap again.

But that hasn’t really happened with the oil this time. This time, it wasn’t an embargo, it’s plain old scarcity. Scientifically speaking, the easy stuff has already been tapped, and its production is on the decline.

Our salvation, as far as it might be, are more expensive brands of oil exploration, either to the depths, where oil is more expensive to drill up, and more hazardous as Deepwater Horizon demonstrates, or fracking, which carries its own issues.

I look at your claims and I see political passion, not scientifically disinterested analysis. This is one example of where you are wrong about the absolute safety. There have been other spills and toxic exposures.

The scientific way of looking at this is that there’s a possible way to do this right, but we have to keep a close eye on empirical evidence, not not turn a blind eye to evidence that might tell us something is up.

Also, though, I don’t think this, “there will always be a technological savior” attitude is very scientific. I think that’s wishful thinking. Scientific information about fracked wells indicates that their production lifespan is shorter than a standard well. What we have likely bought ourselves is a reprieve. We may find another miracle, but I think the wise way to plan is to plan as if there will not be another one.

As a Texan, I’m very familiar with boom/bust cycles. I’m pretty sure that this can’t last forever, even if we have another source for oil and gas show up.

Rather than buy into this irrational boom mentality, and expect the same exact sort of erroneous thing we expected with the Real Estate market, we should step back and ask ourselves a couple of questions: what happens if the boom ends sooner than expected, and simply, what happens when it’s over?

We need to try and plan ahead, if only to have something to revise when empirical experience tells us we’re wrong. We should not treat this as evidence that we are saved from having to worry about our energy problem. We should it treat it as a reprieve with potential issues attached.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2013 1:55 PM
Comment #373440
The scientific way of looking at this is that there’s a possible way to do this right, but we have to keep a close eye on empirical evidence, not not turn a blind eye to evidence that might tell us something is up.

Like the blind eye you turn to nuclear power?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2013 1:59 PM
Comment #373441

DSP2195-
Funny. I thought that delaying implementation until 2015 was done in the hopes that Republicans could retake the Senate and everything and then destroy Obamacare completely. As for signup, you are mistaken: he’s extending the time period people have to sign up during.

The website, by the way, was budgeted in the millions, not the billions, and it is not everything in the law. It needs to work, and we’ll commit to make it work. That’s the thing about not being uniformly for the destruction of government function. If, like you, all you want is to degrade the ability of government to operate, then failures like this are perfectly acceptable as a means to motivate people to repeal it.

For Democrats like myself, we have to do more than ridicule or destroy. And that’s what we’ll do. We don’t get the free pass of having convinced our constituents that government can never work anyways, which is the perfect cover for the kind of incompetence that pervades the GOP these days.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2013 2:11 PM
Comment #373442
We don’t get the free pass of having convinced our constituents that government can never work anyways

No, you’ve gotten your free pass by convincing your constituents that government is the only valid solution to any problem they encounter.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2013 2:15 PM
Comment #373443
The website, by the way, was budgeted in the millions, not the billions

Budgeted and actual are two different things.

Before the October 1st date the total spend was over 1 billion, with most spending coming in the final third of the implementation (most IT projects have that highest spend in the beginning, btw).

With the issues that occurred, and the promise to bring in more people and get it working quickly, the costs will most assuredly rise well into the billion dollar area…

Sure, 1 billion is just a thousand million, so yeah, it is just millions I suppose.

That’s ignoring the issue with the datacenter failure over the weekend…

http://about.bgov.com/2013-10-24/late-it-cash-surge-foreshadowed-health-law-woes/

Here’s the problem, government isn’t an IT organization that has been dealing with this type of business for decades, it is a political organization. Thinking that it could lead the implementation of a billion dollar website (which is IMO way overkill, even for the government) without cocking it up is sheer folly.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2013 2:22 PM
Comment #373444

Stephen, correction, over half a billion to create the web site that will probably need another half a billion to fix.

The overall obamacare package is destined to cost the taxpayers trillions.

“As for signup, you are mistaken: he’s extending the time period people have to sign up during.”

What the hell are you talking about? I said Obama extended the program for 6 weeks; “Now they are vindicated because Obama postpones signup for obamacare for 6 weeks.” Are you having trouble reading???

“I thought that delaying implementation until 2015 was done in the hopes that Republicans could retake the Senate and everything and then destroy Obamacare completely.”

Wrong again Daugherty; they called to defund obamacare and when Reid refused to bring it before the Senate, the House voted to allow individuals the same right as unions and corporations, a one year delay. How would the Republicans destroy obamacare in 2015; is Obama going to sign a bill repealing obamacare?

Daugherty, you either ignore or can’t understand the point of what I said. The conservatives were attacked as terrorists and Nazi’s because they tried to delay the implementation of obamacare for not being ready. 3 weeks later, these same democrats who attacked the conservatives, are now calling for a 1 year delay in the implementation, due to not being ready. I call that vindication for conservatives and you ignore I even said it.

“For Democrats like myself, we have to do more than ridicule or destroy. And that’s what we’ll do. We don’t get the free pass of having convinced our constituents that government can never work anyways, which is the perfect cover for the kind of incompetence that pervades the GOP these days.”

No, democrats like yourself will do anything to protect your messiah, Obama…bless his holy name. Since when are you concerned about constituents; I have heard you state that the job of a politician I to do what’s right for the country and not what their constituents want. Have you changed your beliefs?

Posted by: DSP2195 at October 29, 2013 3:36 PM
Comment #373449

Rhinehold-
Let’s say I go to work for Best Buy, and I go to my manager, and I say, let’s bargain my salary. Do they have the authority to haggle with me?

Probably not.

I bring slavery into the discussion as one end of a line of the balance between one person’s interests and another. You, as is typical, I’m afraid, bring government into it, and I find this “ultimate evil” sort of attitude difficult to sympathize with.

Many immigrants came to these shores as indentured servants, little better than slaves. It was an agreement, but while you judge the freedom of such agreements from our times, I think it’s important to see things from the perspective of their times, where people don’t have the benefit of all the social safety nets you so despise, where destitution could become starvation, where the Depressions hit with enough frequency that the one in the 1930s got termed “The Great Depression” to distinguish it from the others, including the one that had happened in 1921.

How would that work, exactly? I am sitting at home and Walmart comes to my door and makes me work for them? How would they accomplish this?

The question is not how could this work, as if this was not something that happened before, it’s how DID it work. Many slaves were captured in battle. Others were conquered peoples. Others did something that put them in somebody’s debt. The were many forms of slavery, many different means by which a person could be put in involuntary servitude.

But it mainly boiled down to force. Those who had power over others, thanks to their wealth or military strength, could subjugate others.

And those jobs became worth less to the person supplying them. So the workers would have to agree to work at a lower rate than they want or they would have to learn to do something else if they want to make more. Or they could band together and burn the factory to the ground and beat up anyone who attempted to do their jobs for the wage they found beneath them… You know, using force to extract money out of someone else. You’ve somehow romanticized this violence and we are codifying it with government… I don’t understand the logic behind it though.

Here’s the thing: the industrialists didn’t simply do the same amount of work they did before, when they had to rely on literal handiwork. Yes, they could do the same work cheaper, but then they turned around and had their workers do more of it. Also important, they didn’t necessarily take the expense to adapt all the systems and situations to the human side of the equation, so the machines wouldn’t chew people up and spit them out.

And the environmental side of things? Industrialization made it far easier to exploit nature that much faster.

Yet you want us to apply the same paradigm to counter these ill effects, as what we originally had. Why? Simply because they were original?

We can talk about points of equilibrium, but that simply avoids an essential truth: Equilibria don’t go where things are just, they go where forces are balanced.

You pull this ad hominem BS of saying I’m romanticizing violence without even asking me what I thought of it in the first place. I don’t. I think of it as a symptom of economic and social distress, a product of the intensifying work pressures and hazards of the industrial age. When accidents can kill people horribly, when cut-rate wages can starve people, the question of what somebody pays you, and how they treat their workers goes from being an abstract financial question to being a highly emotional, yet completely rational question of personal interests.

And that’s when the violence starts. It doesn’t help that these folks would have even seen today’s swaggering blue-collar conservatives as overly-educated by their standards.

I don’t romanticize the past. I have a good appreciation for its shortcomings, that’s why I’m glad to have moved on from much of it! I don’t romanticize the old laws, the old attitudes, nor do I act as if folks had them just because they were horrible. I understand that if you’re born in a time, you are of that time, even if you react against something in it. I don’t demand that folks whose cultural inheritance is vastly different from mind speak and behave as they do now.

And I don’t expect perfect rationality from anybody, then or now. I don’t romanticize the market or its alternatives. I think the best systems are the empirically adapted and adaptable ones, because human beings, even at their smartest and most well-informed have limited information and imagination.

The market does do many marvelous things. But it is also vulnerable to the accumulation of distortions as people deceive and manipulate parts of it in order to make greater gains. If we don’t set the rules right, people will exploit things.

And no, the market doesn’t create ideal outcomes. Beta should have won. Why didn’t it? Because Sony, wanting to control the format, didn’t license it half as promiscuously as its alternative format. I’m not sad VHS is dead, and I think many people today looking at the format would be astounded at just how phenomenally ugly it looks, especially now that Sony’s new format, which they did a much better job of promoting, can let you see things at almost cinematic resolution.

As for minimum wage?

The question is, will the demand for the services in question go down as wages go up? And if raising the wages of workers by a few dollars an hour is such a horrible thing, why then do the leaders of these companies raise their own salaries and compensation by millions, and nobody bats an eye? The effect, mathematically, is no different. The real difference is, that compensation, that wealth, would linger in big bank accounts and investment funds with that wealthy person, while the low wage workers would almost certainly spend more of what they make.

How, then, does the market recalibrate to that? Labor might be more expensive, but what about expenses for things like paying for the programs people have to be on in order to survive on such wages?

Executive salaries have increased dramatically over the last few decades. Did we see corresponding price increases among the products? Why were those justified then.

You don’t question that system. You assume wisdom where wisdom should be proven first.

As for the definition of success?

Well, you and the others are fond of pointing out that many of the cars assembled were assembled in Southern States. Additionally, though, it still benefited detroit, still stimulated business that remained above its previous levels after the stimulus was done.

Which, of course, is the point of stimulus. Often enough, it’s about getting that economy back in motion, hopefully in such a way that the economic activity is sustained.

As for used cars?

It might be worth considering that having just come off of near $4 gas, that the kinds of vehicles they were trading in were not the most popular kind at the time.

You can snap at people for taking advantage of a government program, but then that shows us that whether or not it was a success, you didn’t like it anyways.

As for the insurance? I think it would be useful to both drill down into the finances of what those plans cover, and into the finances of the companies that are pulling this on their customers.

It would also be useful to know that Sue Klinkhamer is a politician, in addition to having been a staffer. She ran for the Kane County Chairman position, and lost about 60-40% to a Republican, which is unsurprising, given that the county went to Romney by 52%

So, I think there’s something else at work. Also, I think whatever she’s doing at the moment, she is most certainly not the poor victim that she’s emphasizing. She’s a former mayor of St. Charles, for crying out loud. Sending a letter to her former boss, the one who took Bill Hastert’s seat in 2008, and who won a new election to District 11, seems to me to be a rather public political move to make.

Why now? Why so public? Before you invest yourself in her as an Obamacare Martyr, shouldn’t you consider all the things you didn’t know about her that I just had to explain to you?

I always find it odd when important details like this don’t show up in the reports.

Royal Flush-
Who’s doing the cancelling?

And to what ends? What’s going to be covered under these plans?

I hearken back to the way Republicans have been blaming Obamacare for insurance rate hikes since its passage, even though the relevant provisions weren’t yet in motion, and the preexisting pattern of the Insurance company’s behavior was these regular rate hikes.

I mean, what are you saying, that we’re not doing enough, or that private insurance will never, or could never cover all those people?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2013 4:28 PM
Comment #373453

daugherty writes; “Royal Flush-
Who’s doing the cancelling?”

Individual insurance companies to satisfy obamacare provisions.

He makes an interesting comment with; “…and the preexisting pattern of the Insurance company’s behavior was these regular rate hikes.”

We have the same “preexisting pattern” in existing government entitlement programs (SS and Medicare) that require regular rate hikes. And yet, you deny that obamacare will also become a huge red-ink anchor around our necks in the foreseeable future.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 29, 2013 5:08 PM
Comment #373455

Rhinehold-
No free pass. We expect government to work.

And why not? If our idea is to prove to people that government can help them, what good do screwups like this do us?

As for your budgeted and actual distinction? Look, we’re not beaming with pride about that. But as for the IT infrastructure? I don’t know what you expect, the government to do everything by paper? And for your information, yes, in fact, they DID hire a private IT company to do this for them.

As for the cost and complexity? Okay, you have a system that has to handle millions of customers, which has to securely handle sensitive medical and income information, and which has to point people to a selection of insurance offers, which thanks to the way the law is set up, are individual to each state. And guess what: the insurance companies this system is interfacing with isn’t the portrait of bureaucratic efficiency itself! (Neither is the healthcare system in general. I mean, you’ve really picked the wrong people to lionize as masters of efficiency)

DSP2195
So far as a few hundred million can turn into a billion, okay, but you were talking about half a trillion dollars. You were off by two or three rather important orders of magnitude. That, and the fact that you confused the price for the overall program with the price of the Website. Oh, and forgot that it’s all priced over a ten year period. Just a few minor details.

Including the fact that Obama isn’t postponing the signup period, he’s extending it. You postpone what has not happened already, you extend what it is already in progress. Problem is, yes, I do read, but no, I don’t read minds.

As for Repeal? Truth is, Republicans, if they get both houses, simply leave him with no outlet. There’s no Senate to vote it down. He has to veto it, but he’s not going to get a better bill. At best he has to compromise.

Daugherty, you either ignore or can’t understand the point of what I said. The conservatives were attacked as terrorists and Nazi’s because they tried to delay the implementation of obamacare for not being ready. 3 weeks later, these same democrats who attacked the conservatives, are now calling for a 1 year delay in the implementation, due to not being ready. I call that vindication for conservatives and you ignore I even said it.

The Conservatives were attacked as terrorists and Nazis (to the extent they were, the poor dears) because they threatened a default, and put government operations in gridlock for the first half of this month, only relenting at the last second. The extremity of their methods, not their target, was what was most unpopular.

If you want an illustration of this effect, ask yourself: If a hero is confronted by a hostage taker, do they blow away the hostage in order to get to the criminal? Not typically. Do that, and regardless of how awful the person is, folks will typically lose sympathy for the hero, or at least question whether that was a hero in the first place.

As for delaying Obamacare? I think it’s important to make fine distinctions here. There’s a lot in motion, such as Medicaid expansions, which are going much more smoothly than the website rollout. Additional protections and regulations are coming on line. It’s neither fiscally sound nor practically workable to slam on the brakes now.

As for this Messiah thing? Republicans were envious of our energy and enthusiasm, envious of the most Charismatic candidate we’ve had since Clinton. So, as with many of our strengths, they focused on defusing it by turning it into a weakness. So, Obama had to be a Messiah to us.

I can’t be blamed if you take your movement’s rhetoric far too seriously.

As for what I’ve stated the job of a politician is to do?

I’ve never treated it as an either/or proposition. Yes, a politician should express what his constituents want.

To a point. First, lets not be naive: a lot of what the constituents express are things that the politicians fed to them in the first place. So there’s a question of whether what synchronizes politician to public, is itself synchronized to reality.

I think, in the final equation, it’s not enough for everybody to get into this happy little relationship. The job of our leaders, even if it costs them an election from a public that doesn’t understand, is to get policy right, to avoid catastrophic consequences. I think part of what made Bush such a terrible leader, and the Republicans in Congress as well, was the fact that they were not willing to take a political hit to fix the bad policies they had started.

Ironically, though, they ultimately did take the hit, because as I argued in my entry, people expect their leaders to take care of business.

The Conservatives in Congress are failing in that respect, the Tea Partiers especially, and there is a strong potential they could pay for this. It helps to remember that not all of even Conservative constituents are Tea Party, and that quite a few Republicans have voter support that is more centrist than hard right.

There is a certain level of representation that’s not being done, to serve the politicians of the Tea party, and I think that’s going to cost the GOP in this next election.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2013 5:23 PM
Comment #373456

Daugherty wrote; “But as for the IT infrastructure? I don’t know what you expect, the government to do everything by paper? And for your information, yes, in fact, they DID hire a private IT company to do this for them

NHS (England’s National Health Service) pulls the plug on its £11bn (11 billion pound) IT system

After nine years and with billions already spent, doomed computer system is abandoned.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-pulls-the-plug-on-its-11bn-it-system-2330906.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 29, 2013 5:27 PM
Comment #373457

Daugherty writes; “It’s neither fiscally sound nor practically workable to slam on the brakes now (obamacare).

The same old tired liberal argument about all our entitlement programs deep in red ink. If not now…never; is the lib motto.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 29, 2013 5:34 PM
Comment #373462

Obama is a liar; he has lied for years. Obama has always wanted a government run single payer system and he would say anything to get the tentacles of government into our lives. This is what Daugherty means by slamming on the brakes.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 29, 2013 6:05 PM
Comment #373466

And the problems continue to plague obamacare:

A poll conducted by the New York State Medical Society finds that 44 percent of MDs said they are not participating in the nation’s new health-care plan.

Another 33 percent say they’re still not sure whether to become ObamaCare providers.

http://nypost.com/2013/10/29/docs-resisting-obamacare/

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 29, 2013 6:18 PM
Comment #373468
Let’s say I go to work for Best Buy, and I go to my manager, and I say, let’s bargain my salary. Do they have the authority to haggle with me?

Probably not.

First, the ‘haggling’ is done at the hiring phase. You don’t say ‘sure, hire me at whatever you want to pay me’ and then go ask for a raise two weeks later.

But yeah, most managers do have some limited authority, or they have the ability to argue on your behalf to their manager who usually does. It depends upon the structure of the specific company.

I was a manager of an IT group, but I couldn’t change anyone’s salary. But I did reviews and could negotiate at other times for each of my direct reports to my manager and we would determine if they were worth it to the company give a raise to. It’s not automatic, its based on merit. And that incentivizes people to do a better job, unlike a union shop where you just get what the standard rate is and can punch your boss and get 2 weeks off… (no, no joke, happened to a relative, punched his boss, didn’t get fired, what the…?)

You, as is typical, I’m afraid, bring government into it, and I find this “ultimate evil” sort of attitude difficult to sympathize with.

Government is force, there is no slavery without force and there is no slavery in the US at all without government… Simple fact that I don’t think you quite grasp yet.

where people don’t have the benefit of all the social safety nets you so despise

Which ones are those? You seem to think I despise all ‘social safety nets’, I don’t. I despise how they are funded and how they are administered. I don’t like force being used to do it. But I don’t despise the actual attempts to provide a social safety net at all. I guess that’s part of the problem, you are still arguing with me as a characture of what I actually think…

Those who had power over others, thanks to their wealth or military strength, could subjugate others.

For a short time, but without government protection is couldn’t last. Sure, Best Buy could come to my door with 10 armed men and make me go to their store and try to make me work. But what happens if I escape? Will the police then take me back to Best Buy and make me work for them? They did back then, slavery would have been nearly impossible without the government treating others as property that could be owned against their will and protecting the practice. What if someone came into Best Buy and distracted the armed guards to help me escape? Would they be arrested too? Again, that’s what happened.

I think you need to see that part of it before you can begin to understand that government isn’t ‘good’ or ‘evil’, it is just force directed by elected officials. We have to have protections from the employment of that force…

The question is, will the demand for the services in question go down as wages go up?

Not sure what you’re missing but I thought I had already addressed that… Minimum wage increases the wages for everyone who can keep their jobs, the prices increase as a result. Because the remaining workers have more money they can afford the newer higher prices and the equilibrium settles in, the only persons helped are no one, the only persons harmed are the younger part time seeker who wants to learn work skills and ethics.

And if raising the wages of workers by a few dollars an hour is such a horrible thing, why then do the leaders of these companies raise their own salaries and compensation by millions, and nobody bats an eye?

Couple of things…

1) A few dollars an hour for tens of thousands of employees is a bit more than one person having their salary raised… 100,000 employees having their salary raised by 2 dollars an hour is 8 million dollars just in wages, not to mention the additional taxes that have to be paid on those wages…

2) Most leaders of a company cannot RAISE THEIR OWN WAGE. Unless they are the sole owner, which isn’t the case for most companies, especially of any size. A board determines their salaries and they choose in the interests of the stockholders. You know, people like you and me who invest in those companies.

3) No one bats an eye? Please, the board of a company is usually very diligent at those appearances because they have to answer to use, the stockholders. But they also know that most CEOs of companies are not vacationing and playing golf all week, they usually work 80+ hour weeks and lose out on a lot of home time while they are running a company of any size. It is exhausting and hard work and everything that can go wrong is held to you. Something I don’t think Obama gets (more on that later). They are willing to put themselves through that because of that compensation, not just because they believe in the company. So to get the better CEOs, people are willing to pay more for them because of what they are choosing to give up in return.

If being a CEO was so great and paid so well, why isn’t everyone a CEO? Most people I know do not want to give up that much of themselves to a company for any price. So they don’t. It is a very few who are willing AND qualified to do that kind of job. Your attitude about them tells me a great deal.

The effect, mathematically, is no different. The real difference is, that compensation, that wealth, would linger in big bank accounts and investment funds with that wealthy person, while the low wage workers would almost certainly spend more of what they make.

What do you think happens to the money in those ‘big bank accounts’ and ‘investment funds’? It’s not a mattress… You put a great deal of faith in the buying power of the American worker, but when we gave back $600 in taxes to those same people in 2001, most of them didn’t spend it, they put it in the bank or paid of debts.

How, then, does the market recalibrate to that? Labor might be more expensive, but what about expenses for things like paying for the programs people have to be on in order to survive on such wages?

The reason you think that they need those programs to survive on those wages is because the government has made it near impossible to live otherwise. Taxes on this, taxes on that, forcing them to purchase products they may or may not want, regulations and taxes on businesses that are unnecessary and raise the price of the goods and services we consume, etc.

An example I read today… Michigan has a law that states that barbers in the state have to pass a 2,000 hour course before they can be licensed as a barber. Lawyers, as a reference, pass a 1,200 hour course…

I wonder how much that schooling that is required costs? As a result, I wonder how much a haircut in Michigan is compared to other states?

Executive salaries have increased dramatically over the last few decades. Did we see corresponding price increases among the products? Why were those justified then.

It depends on each individual case. As much as you try to talk class constantly, it just isn’t accurate to do so. In some cases it was worth it, in others it was a case of having to pay more for CEOs because there were so few good ones. And companies have narrower and narrower margins to operate within because of increased regulations (more than Canada has now), it takes more qualified people to navigate through that and still make enough of a profit to satisfy the stockholders of those companies. You know… Us.

You don’t question that system. You assume wisdom where wisdom should be proven first.

I freely admit that the ‘system’ of the FREE exchange of goods and services can lead to some inefficiencies. But it is better to have some occasional inefficiencies in the system than to try to stifle innovation by squeezing every last bit of perceived efficiency out of the system. Who is going to be willing to take risks if they can’t reap the reward if they succeed and have to pay crushing losses when they lose? Where is that incentive?

And no, I am not saying there should be no laws on businesses or any regulations either, before you try that chestnut. But we should be not playing favorites, picking sides and keeping ineffective and badly run companies in business because of the short term pain that a failure would cause. GM should have failed because they did fail. It would not have been the end of the US car industry, Ford and Chrysler would have picked up much of the slack and room for a new competitor to come in, buy the now empty GM plants at a good price and start making better cars in a much better way. Would have ended up stronger, not weaker… But that’s a long term play, not a short term one, which is where you seem to live. Even out the highs and lows by clamping down on the sine wave to make it essentially flat… Before that, those highs and lows resulted in an overall higher quality of life, whereas now we are just essentially flat, the days of double digit growth in GDP are OVER.

Additionally, though, it still benefited detroit, still stimulated business that remained above its previous levels after the stimulus was done.

MMM, no it didn’t. I don’t know where you pulled that from…

Some facts:

1) Because of the program many people who couldn’t afford a new car bought one. The delinquency rates skyrocketed. As did ‘buyer remorse’. Repossession rates among low-credit Cash-for-Clunkers buyers more than double the industry average.

2) Used car prices jumped as fewer used cars were on the road. This hurt dealerships who make part of their profits on those sales. It’s effects are still being felt today.

3) The increase in sales for those three months was followed by a CRATER in sales the months following. General Motors’ sales plunged 36 percent in September compared with August. Ford plummeted 37 percent. Chrysler dove 33 percent.

Cash for Clunkers “was a one-time boost of sales followed by a crater,” said Ben Herzon, an economist at Macroeconomic Advisers. The firm forecast that the program was likely to have no effect as a stimulant for national economic output.

So… if you have different information that everything I’ve seen on the subject, please let me know.

It might be worth considering that having just come off of near $4 gas, that the kinds of vehicles they were trading in were not the most popular kind at the time.

It’s true, but also irrelevant… Other than the real desire to get those types of vehicles of the road, the cost to taxpayers (nearly 2,400 per vehicle bought) wasn’t worth it… What you did was basically help all of these people buy cars that they may or may not have needed (or could afford) by taking money out of their children’s future earnings. I don’t see how the system benefited anyone other than environmentalists, and then only in a very small tangential way, the net effect was going to occur for the most part, it just moved up the timing a month or two for some people.

It would also be useful to know that Sue Klinkhamer is a politician, in addition to having been a staffer. She ran for the Kane County Chairman position, and lost about 60-40% to a Republican, which is unsurprising, given that the county went to Romney by 52%

Yeah, that was the point of the article, that this person who supported the law, supported the senator’s view on the law even though it cost her his and her jobs and then still supported the law finally got a look at the effects of the law and realizes that she was sold a bill of goods. Do you think that the opposite is going to happen? That someone who despised the law for 3 years is going to go to the exchange and go ‘wow, I’m really getting a deal here, I was wrong about this’? And if they do, are they getting a subsidy (handout) from their kids to do that? Do they know that is how they are getting that?

I’m sorry Stephen, but I don’t see how anyone is going to be happy other than a) Older people who may have their costs decrease at the expense of their children paying more and b) Poor people who are now getting health insurance that other people are paying for.

As for the quality of the insurance? I have to buy way more insurance than I might need because of arbitrary government regulation that you are trying to tout as a benefit… I don’t need much of the things covered now in my insurance, but have to take. In the future it will be worse… I could get a much cheaper negotiated policy that would take care of all of my needs at a fraction of the cost, but, nope, someone decided to put a gun to someone else’s head and prevent that, costing me more. Yippie.

Why now? Why so public? Before you invest yourself in her as an Obamacare Martyr, shouldn’t you consider all the things you didn’t know about her that I just had to explain to you?

Because she was just notified of the change?

I always find it odd when important details like this don’t show up in the reports.

Interesting, because much of that was in the reports I read… So, you think she’s lying here? That she didn’t get the notice from BCBS? You think there’s some political advantage in getting caught in such an easy lie to verify? That the Chicago Tribune didn’t check on her story before writing it?

And she was a vocal supporter for Obamacare for several years, but is now switching her view (partially). Don’t you think that when politicians start switching long held stated views on things, it’s usually because the political winds are shifting to the other direction?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2013 6:31 PM
Comment #373469

Stephen

“A critical part of that was an energy policy that went back to Reagan, and which was further revised by Bush to benefit his buddies, a policy that assumed that a cheap fossil fuel policy was the priority, and anything that contradicted that was inimical to economic growth.”

WHAT? We were talking about the automakers and unions in the 1960s. Perhaps Reagan and Bush time travelled, but I don’t recall them being presidents in that period.

Re fracking being absolutely safe - nothing is absolutely safe. Fracking is one of the most environmentally benign ways to produce energy in quantities we need.

Re you being a Texan - you live in Texas but you are not of Texas in any serious way. Living near oil doesn’t make you an oilman.

I lived in easy walking distance of the Capitol when the Democrats still controlled the place. By your logic, I am an expert in Democrats.

Posted by: CJ at October 29, 2013 6:38 PM
Comment #373470
No free pass. We expect government to work.

What unmitigated BS. Your ‘constituents’, we’re talking about the people who unthinkingly support the Democrats like the people you are labelling as unthinking Republicans, have bought in to the idea that if there is a problem, no matter what it is, instead of finding a solution on their own they should see government to solve it for them. Don’t try to kid everyone into thinking that isn’t the case…

BTW, government is working, it’s doing what it can do. It forces people to do things. At it’s heart it is 100% effective at what it’s one single function is. What we are debating is how effective is using force to combat our perceived problems are, and is it appropriate. I say it depends and I want to limit the use of that force to things that can’t be solved any other way as to limit the effects of using that force on other people, you say ‘of course it is’, we should use that force to solve each and ever problem that is important to me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2013 6:39 PM
Comment #373477

Royal Flush,

The number of persons having their insurance canceled as a result of Obamacare are in the individual insurance market. That market accounts for only 6-7% of the total non-elderly insurance market. The vast majority of non-elderly receive their insurance under employer sponsored insurance (ESI) which is largely unaffected by Obamacare.

Posted by: Rich at October 29, 2013 9:21 PM
Comment #373483

Rich

This is the Obama MO. He makes claims that are false and he probably knows are false. His folks attack anybody who says they are false claims. When they can no longer put defend the false claims, i.e. reality bites too hard, they say it doesn’t matter. 6-7% is a big number and we know it will probably be bigger.

I remember the same thing with Libya. I am not a conspiracy person with Libya, BTW, but Hilary’s statement “what difference a this point does it make” was a good example of this.

Deny, deny, deny, admits but claim it doesn’t matter anymore.

Much of what Obama told us about health care is wrong. He sold it based on this false premise. Now that we have it, he says, it doesn’t matter.

It reminds me of the old Monty Python - let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y34RlJ0L0xE

Posted by: CJ at October 30, 2013 5:28 AM
Comment #373484

C&J,

It’s actually less than 3% since only the individual insurance market is effected by the provision. Let’s also remember that many of the cancellations are the result of actions by the insurers changing policy provisions negating grandfather protection.

So, yes, Obama should have qualified his statements to something like this: if you have employer subsidized insurance, you will not see any major changes in your insurance, if you have individual insurance, you will be able to keep that policy if your insurer maintains the same policy provisions and it meets minimal standards for coverage.

Posted by: Rich at October 30, 2013 7:54 AM
Comment #373485

As I am watching the House committee question Sebelius, she made an interesting comment concerning Insurance Companies…she said, “this isn’t the wild west anymore”, what’s interesting about this comment is that Jay carney said the exact same thing just a few days ago. Do you reckon the talking point of the day is “Wild West”.

Secondly; Sebelius is trying to cover for Obama’s 4 years of lies concerning liking insurance and keeping insurance, by saying those who had policies pre-2010 are grandfathered in, unless the policy is “dramatically changed”. She said only those policies in place after 2010 will be required to change under obamacare. She also made this statement, “Insurance policies are one year contracts and must be renewed each year”, and since she was a former Kansas Insurance Commissioner, I assume she is telling the truth. Now this brings this question, if she knew an insurance policy was only good for one year and must be renewed, exactly WHAT pre-2010 insurance policy is considered a grandfathered policy? According to Sebelius’ testimony, there ARE no grandfathered policies.

Sebelius is now blaming Verizon for the shutdown problems and blaming the Insurance Companies for the overall HC problems. Didn’t Obama use the Insurance Companies to lobby the Congress to pass obamacare? Only in Washington DC could these Land of OZ events take place.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 30, 2013 10:36 AM
Comment #373486

Hostage
The only Land of OZ events I see taking place are coming from the republican/conservative/TP side of things. Scarecrow no brain (caused a government shutdown costing 100,000’s of jobs and over 25 billion dollars when our country could least afford that), Tin man no heart (have to continue to spread the lie that anyone who accepts government assistance is a freeloading so and so, except for those big corporation hand outs of course) and Lion no courage (inability to stand up to the nuts that just want government to stop working so that they can make President Obama look bad instead of legislating like they were sent there to do). Yes it sure makes a liberal citizen want to click their heels and hope to get out of the mess they are trying to make in this country.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2013 11:01 AM
Comment #373487

Liberal/progressive mantra, if it screws up blame the other guy. We have seen this for almost 5 years now. We see it on WB, and we see it in the media and last but not least DC. When are the liberal/progressives going to assume responsibility? The answer NEVER.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 30, 2013 12:14 PM
Comment #373488

The left does not care about who has or has not got insurance. Sebelius actually justified the raising of insurance rates by providing maternity insurance for single men, she was then asked, “when was the last time a single an had a baby?”

The goal of the left is a single payer national HC system. A redistribution of the wealth of the country.

What Obama and the left have done is create Chaos in our HC system.

Here is a Chart of the Obama HC system, and we wonder why the web site won’t work:

http://rossputin.com/blog/index.php/chart-of-obamacare

The goal of the left is to create so much chaos that the American people will cry for the government to fix everything…at which time the left will embrace a single payer national HC system.

The left’s cries of attacking obamacare and shutting down the government are nothing more than talking points and smokescreens. Obama said himself that his goal was a single payer system; why are we surprised at the chaos?

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 30, 2013 1:28 PM
Comment #373490

Obama’s words:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.” (applause) “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

Obama speaking to the Illinois AFL-CIO, June 30, 2003.

http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/june/barack_obama_on_sing.php

Obama is a socialist with a socialist agenda for America.

1. He wants the government into every aspect of our lives.

2. He wants to destroy our economy and redistribute our wealth.

3. He wants the majority of Americans on welfare and foodstamps.

4. He wants a national HC system.

5. He wants to open the borders to illegals and place them on foodstamps, welfare, and national HC.

6. He wants to destroy the Republican Party.

7. He wants to destroy our Capitalism and free enterprise.

8. And last of all, He wants to disarm the American citizens…for the previous reasons. And if I were pushing socialism on a country, I would want to disarm the people too. Hitler did it.

Posted by: P at October 30, 2013 1:40 PM
Comment #373492

Rich’s suggested that Obama should have told the nation that he knows better than you what insurance coverage you must have and the government doesn’t care how pleased you are with the health care insurance decisions you have made.

Mr. and Mrs. America…you are incapable of making such important decisions yourself. We are Government, and We are here to help you…by force.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2013 1:57 PM
Comment #373493

P
Hogwash, President Obama is the best thing to happen to this country in a very long time. This is evidenced by his ability to serve 2 terms in the highest office in this land. He was re-elected by people who want to see him do what he is doing, making this country safer and improving life. Your paranoid delusions are substantiated by no facts, none. Some of us only wish that he could serve 3 or more terms, he is young enough to handle that however given the rabid opposition to anything he proposes or tries to initiate I doubt he would want to serve anytime past 2016. But then we have Hillary Clinton in the wings ready to convince Americans that the Democrat Party is the party that has the best interests of all Americans in mind. She doesn’t need to do much to point out why that is. She can just say look at the grand obstruction party and what they have done for 8 years.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2013 2:08 PM
Comment #373494

The democrats can’t even get their stories straight on why Obama lied:

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has cleared up the misunderstanding about Barack Obama’s “you can keep your insurance” promise. What he meant to say, she says, is that you can keep it if it’s “good insurance.”

“We said when we passed that, ‘If you had insurance that was good insurance that you wanted to keep it [sic], you could keep it.’”

Just like Barack Obama only promised that we could keep our individual insurance policies if we liked them, Mary?

This whole thing to go one of two ways; but when you have Democrats also losing their insurance and not qualifying for the free stuff…it could really go bad for the socialist party.
Watching Democrats squirm, back-pedal and spin like crazy is a site to behold. Here’s Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin, trying (not) to answer the question as to whether Americans should be able to keep their current plans:

“What I’m understanding is that people, like in Florida, are getting advice on transitioning and hopefully they’ll have a higher quality, lower-cost plan.”

Wrong answer, Tammy. Florida Blue is terminating the policies of 300,000 Floridians because the plans are not “ObamaCare-compliant,” which means the vast majority of those facing termination will have to spend more – for less. Look it up.

So, back to Mary Landrieu. Call me paranoid, but Barack Obama and Democrats like Landrieu (who has never struck me as the brightest bulb in the room) defining what is “good insurance” – and what is not – for my family and me is scary as hell.


Posted by: Political Hostage at October 30, 2013 2:10 PM
Comment #373495

Here is the link:

http://www.ijreview.com/2013/10/90791-hilarious-dem-senator-says-obama-meant-keep-insurance-good-insurance/

And the below comment was mine, but somehow ended up in the quote:

“This whole thing to go one of two ways; but when you have Democrats also losing their insurance and not qualifying for the free stuff…it could really go bad for the socialist party.”

Question: is there an a-hole trying to comment on my posts? Please stop; I have no interest in communicating with you.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 30, 2013 2:16 PM
Comment #373496

Hostage
Remember you are the resident expert on a-holes here. Your tired rants are nothing more than that. We got it, you don’t like President Obama and you like Rush Limbaugh. Yikes what a sad state of affairs, you looking up to a fat drug addicted blowhard that has questionable sexual desires. What a role model for you.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2013 2:27 PM
Comment #373498

Speak, you never cease to amaze me with your BS. about Obama. Obama the best thing that has happened to this country is hilariously funny. He is the best lier, hell he even beats Bill Clinton. Bill though was a better President.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 30, 2013 2:41 PM
Comment #373500

Speak’s comments lead me to believe he may be just a child skipping school and playing with his moms ‘puter.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2013 2:56 PM
Comment #373501

Trolls think Obama is best thing that has ever happened to this country. How would anyone know how good he is after 4 1/2 years AOL. “should I use the PW or a 9 iron”.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 30, 2013 3:33 PM
Comment #373503

Wow the three top trolls on this blog are upset because they hear the truth about President Obama. Who would have thought that possible, after all it’s not like all of their arguments are based on “I hate Obama, I hate Obama, I hate” oh yeah I forgot that’s all it is based upon. Never mind

Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2013 4:15 PM
Comment #373504
President Obama is the best thing to happen to this country in a very long time. This is evidenced by his ability to serve 2 terms in the highest office in this land.

As did Bush, if you recall… You are going to have to give us better reasons than that.

But backing up your rhetoric hasn’t really been your strong suit, has it?

And yes, Obama has the best interests of Americans in mind, whether they like it or not. You don’t need to make those decisions for your own life anymore with your Big Brother there to help you along, besides you’re too stupid to do so, after all look at who you voted for! And if you don’t agree, he’s watching your emails, listening on your calls and soon will have cameras set up in every room of every house to make sure the terrorists don’t win.

Like some kind of anorexic Santa Claus.

:/

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2013 4:18 PM
Comment #373505
after all it’s not like all of their arguments are based on “I hate Obama, I hate Obama, I hate” oh yeah I forgot that’s all it is based upon.

Isn’t this grossly ironic considering that all of your arguments are based on “I love Obama, I love Obama, I love Obama”?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2013 4:21 PM
Comment #373506

Never mind
Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2013 4:15 PM

We don’t.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2013 4:22 PM
Comment #373507

Speak, Rhinehold said it all, we know you love Obama and will NEVER!!!! admit to his mistakes.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 30, 2013 4:35 PM
Comment #373510

It’s more than love…these guys have a sick form of worship for him. Even as a voter for Bush, I was able to say all the things I disliked about him, which were many. These trolls worship the ground he walks on. Obama is the most unconnected president we have ever had. But that doesn’t stop the left from believing Obama is the most intelligent man in the world. Take this BS for example:

Worth noting mainly for its unintentionally comedic spin, Dana Milbank’s column extolling the unappreciated subtle genius of Barack Obama is also entertaining for its pop-psychology once removed. After noting that one social-psychology professor thinks Obama’s brilliant and another thinks center-left politicians are naturally more complex thinkers than conservatives, Milbank then marries the two without any supporting factual data at all, emphases mine:


Seeking a template to understand the enigmatic president, I consulted three leading academics in the fields of psychology and behavior. With their help, I put Obama on the couch and came away with a reasonably coherent diagnosis: There’s too much going on in the poor guy’s head.

“What distinguishes Obama particularly is the depth and carefulness of his thinking, which renders him somewhat unfit for politics,” said Jonathan Haidt, a professor of social psychology at the University of Virginia. “He is a brilliant social and political analyst, which makes it harder for him to play hardball or to bluff.”

Obama’s strengths and weaknesses come from his high degree of “integrative complexity” — his ability to keep multiple variables and trade-offs in mind simultaneously. The integratively simple thinker — say, George W. Bush — has one universal organizing principle that dominates all others, while the integratively complex thinker — Obama — balances many competing goals.

Philip Tetlock, a professor of psychology with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, found that politicians on the center-left (where Obama dwells) tend to have the highest degree of integrative complexity, followed by politicians on the center-right. Politicians on the far left and far right are the most simple.

Though Tetlock hasn’t applied his methodology to Obama, the 44th president would seem to be the very model of the complex thinker. Among the complex thinker’s advantages, says Tetlock, is the ability to see quickly the trade-offs among policy options, to update his beliefs after finding evidence that disproves his preconceptions, and to predict probable outcomes with accuracy. Among the disadvantages: The complex thinker can suffer from “analysis paralysis” and confusion; he can be perceived as unprincipled or disloyal to the values that elevated him to power; and he can be seen as too willing to make trade-offs.

Dana Milbank is emblematic of the Obama worshippers on WB.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 30, 2013 4:52 PM
Comment #373512

Rich is taking the talking point that the ‘cancellations’ only affect a few people… Of course, that misses the point, it’s not just that some people are being cancelled because of the Obamacare provisions, even employer offered plans are having to change and, as a result, cost more. We were told, and yes the law wouldn’t have been able to pass without this assurance, that we would be able to keep the insurance plans we liked and chose.

This is patently untrue when any plan that is offered by any insurance company has to meet specific criteria set forth by an unelected government official, criteria that weren’t in place when the law was passed and were written to change just about every plan to that it couldn’t be grandfathered anymore.

We are further told that it is a GOOD THING that those choices are taken away from us.

Tavenner seems to think that makes it OK to force people out of their old policies and into the new, government-approved ones. Yet people who buy coverage on the individual market already have weighed the tradeoffs and decided they do not want the benefits that the federal government insists they should have. Overriding those judgments is like demanding that car buyers looking for an economical subcompact buy a hybrid minivan instead. Sure, it costs more, but it’s a better vehicle! Look at all that space for children! And if the buyer happened to be a bachelor, he would be in the same position as all the people compelled to buy “maternal coverage” or “substance abuse services” for which they have no use.

Even features that pretty much everyone would like if all other things were equal, such as low deductibles and generous prescription drug coverage, cost money. People who deliberately forgo them have decided they are not worth the price. By what right does the government tell them they are wrong?

http://reason.com/blog/2013/10/30/why-arent-consumers-grateful-for-the-sup

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2013 5:14 PM
Comment #373513

Since Stephen Daugherty and other socialists spoke in this column about the success of cash for clunkers; here’s another study on the subject:

Washington — The nearly $3 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program approved by Congress in 2009 did little to boost the environment and created few jobs, a new study released Thursday found.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131030/AUTO01/310300106#ixzz2jF4D6diP

As the socialist take their queue from Obama; they just say whatever comes into their empty heads and claim it’s the truth. But it turns out to be lies.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 30, 2013 5:15 PM
Comment #373515
Near the end of grueling testimony during which she was repeatedly grilled on the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was caught on a hot mic whispering to a colleague, “Don’t do this to me.”
Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2013 5:20 PM
Comment #373516

Rhinehold
Please try to use the words I type when quoting me. You are being disingenuous again and I see the conservative side of your libertarian mask is showing.

These comments are not meant for Rhinehold but he can read them if he wants to. I have to do this because he will accuse me and any other liberal on this blog of being mean to him and not being nice (it’s a libertarian thing).

I can hardly wait to see the opening of The Barack Obama Presidential Library or take my grandchildren to the local library called The Barack Obama Library or to The Barack Obama Post Office to mail a package, of course I will have to drive on the Barack Obama freeway to get their and go past the Barack Obama Airport on my way there. Oh and and the hospitals, due to his great contribution to healthcare I would imagine we will see a lot of Barack Obama Medical Centers. This is going to be some fun. You guys will be OK though, it’s just the way America shows appreciation for a great leader.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2013 5:24 PM
Comment #373518

Speak, Now I know from your comments that IMO you have lost it. The only thing that Obama will have named after him is a failed presidency. He is no leader, anything that happens bad he says he didn’t know. He didn’t know about F&F, IRS, Benghazi, the ACA failed site, listening in on Merkle’s phone conversations, and you say this guy is the greatest president ever, that’s totally nuts.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 30, 2013 5:48 PM
Comment #373519

Dream on Speak. I do look for “obamaland” next to Disney World. The most thrilling ride will be the “Ride the dizzying national debt monster”.

Hell has added a new room for obama sinners. It will show endless reruns of his promises of heaven on earth in the workers paradise.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2013 5:49 PM
Comment #373520

It’s what real Americans do for a man that they want to show respect for. You guys don’t get that, I know. But that won’t stop it from happening.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 30, 2013 5:53 PM
Comment #373523

Speak, Now I know you live in a dream world. Even the liberal MSM is realizing YOUR god is a liar.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 30, 2013 5:59 PM
Comment #373524

Speaks

Had Obama lost the recent election, he may have left with his reputation intact, at least among his fans. But the more we get to see the results of his programs, the more we see that he is an articulate incompetent. He cannot blame is ObamaCare fiasco on what he inherited. The economy has become all his. His foreign policy sucks and now it looks like he just isn’t paying attention to doing his job.

There will certainly be a Barack Obama presidential library, just like George W Bush has a library. But those other things you mention will be as common as Jimmy Carter post offices etc.

Posted by: CJ at October 30, 2013 6:02 PM
Comment #373525

Heck Jack even Nixon has a library.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 30, 2013 6:07 PM
Comment #373526

They are already collecting for the obama sleaze library in my neighborhood. The dems rounded up every panhandler they could find to do the fund raising with promises of free drinks.

The guy who knocked on my door had two pieces of chewed bubblegum and an autographed Nixon photo in his collection bucket.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2013 6:08 PM
Comment #373529

Obama is so arrogant and detached from reality that he just had to come out again today and give another speech. He keeps digging the hole deeper by trying to explain, once again, what he meant by “keeping your insurance”. Obama can’t stand the idea that he is being made fun of over ACA; so he continues to talk and talk. He believes he’s the great orator with the ability to sway the nation.

Folks, you are missing the goal of the socialist Obama. It is about chaos and the single payer system. This is the goal; to destroy our HC system, the Ins Companies, and create the only viable option, national HC. Obamacare was never meant to work, it was meant to destroy.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 30, 2013 9:12 PM
Comment #373533

Rhinehold,

There is a grandfather provision in the law, as you are aware. If an insurer kept its plan the same, it will be grandfathered. If the insurer changed its plan, it loses its grandfather status. The insurer then must offer plans that meet the minimum coverage status. I would like to remind readers that much was made by some that Obamacare should be equivalent to what Congress receives during the debates before passage. Well, the minimum standards were modeled after the federal government employee cafeteria options.

Posted by: Rich at October 30, 2013 10:21 PM
Comment #373534

PH,

If the goal of Obama was to use Obamacare/Romneycare as a vehicle for establishing a universal single payer system, then it is a strange vehicle. Why would anyone set up a large market place for private health insurance if he/she wanted to promote a single payer system? Unless of course, that person thought that a private market system would fail dramatically. Do you think it will?

Posted by: Rich at October 30, 2013 10:28 PM
Comment #373540

Rich, I have linked to Obama speech to the AFL-IO in 2003 that he supported a single payer national HC system. We can also find several links to Democrat Senators and Congressmen who are in complete support of single payer national HC system. So the idea that Obama wants anything less else than a single payer national HC system is ignorance. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck.

First of all, the MA HC system is not obamacare. This is another talking point that your side is continuing to spead…because it’s an Obama talking point, and you guys can’t seem to think for yourself. Romneycare and Obamacare are nothing alike. Secondly, obamacare was designed to fail. It was designed to cause Americans to cry to the government to fix the HC system, and of course the fix would be a single payer national HC system.

Regarding the grandfather clause; obamacare was designed to make sure no HC policies passed the grandfather test. Sebelius’ own words yesterday was that ALL HC policies are renewed on a 1 year contract. If a person had a HC policy pre-2010…in 2011 the policy contract was renewed automatically; thus disqualifying it as a grandfathered policy. The ONLY policies qualifying as a grandfathered policy is the union contract policies. So once again we see the unions protected, while the rest of individuals suffer.

Any policies required by law to replace the policy meets obamacare standards which include things like maternal ins for single men. The replacement policies are more expensive and have a higher deductible.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 31, 2013 8:38 AM
Comment #373541

C/J
I could take your prediction on the success of Barack Obama’s Presidency to heart however if I review your predictions, I get another picture:

Obama will never get the nomination - wrong
Obama will never be elected president - wrong
Obama will never get Obamacare passed - wrong
Obama will never get Bin Laden - wrong
Romney will win in a landslide - very, very wrong

OK by my count your predictions about the Obama presidency has the following score, Obama 7 (I gave him extra because of that last one) your predictions 0. Alright I now know what to do with your predictions.

The rest of you
I can hardly wait for the Barack Hussein Obama International Airport. That way the rest of the world will see how much this man is admired by his fellow citizens.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 31, 2013 9:16 AM
Comment #373542

Blind devotion is not the same as valid admiration.

You will get the standard library because he is President.
You will get the urban BHO school and street names because he is a black President.
You will get the blind devotion of his cult-like followers.

But sorry, he will not have the admiration of his “fellow citizens,” seeing how he has total disregard for the rights, concerns and beliefs of half of them.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2013 10:10 AM
Comment #373543

kctim
He will have the admiration of some of his fellow citizens whether you approve of that or not. If he is admired now, even to the point of a lot of people on the right claiming that we all who support him think of him as some kind of messiah, what makes you think that that admiration will diminish after his terms in office? Kind of ironic looking at the title of this post by Stephen now. Deus ex Machina. From the republican/conservative political machine there has been created this god like perception of our President. You guys just can’t get this right. He’s so stupid he can’t figure out anything, yet he is so diabolically smart he has half the electorate convinced that he is god like. SMH

Posted by: Speak4all at October 31, 2013 10:19 AM
Comment #373545

Tell me Speak, why is Obama left out of the loop on things such as listening in on another countries leader? Who gave the order to do it? Why does he NOT know about things going on in his administration until it becomes Public, such as the Merkle incident? If he is so great why then is he left out of the loop and who gives the orders? Or is he just a puppet and someone else is running the country behind the scene?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 31, 2013 12:12 PM
Comment #373546

Speaks

You said he would have the admiration of his fellow citizens and I was just pointing out that he does/will not.
Just making sure you don’t believe all the nonsense you say on here.

“He’s so stupid he can’t figure out anything, yet he is so diabolically smart he has half the electorate convinced that he is god like.”

Promising people ‘freebies’ for their vote does not make one “diabolically smart.”
As usual, you have no idea what people on the right think.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2013 12:16 PM
Comment #373547

KAP
I don’t think that the president of the United States of America needs to answer to you for all of the crazy questions you might pose. Let’s let him serve his terms in office and then see how he is perceived. I would suppose though that all details on information gathering are not presented to the president for approval, this has been the case for many years and is done for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is need to know. What benefit would it be for our president to know that except to provide you with something else to try to beat him over the head with.

kctim
I do believe what I say here and there’s not much you have said to make me change my mind. You are correct I do not know what people on the right think and believe me when I tell you I have no desire to sink to the depths it might take to get that idea. Promising ‘freebies’? Is that all you got? What nonsense, I get nothing free from President Barack Obama and I support him completely. Stop with that nonsense. Your stupidity is showing.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 31, 2013 12:30 PM
Comment #373548

Once again, the Troll says:

Let’s let him serve his terms in office and then see how he is perceived.

But, the left leaning media polls say:

In general, do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president? 42% approve/ 52% disapprove.

Of course the Trolls don’t believe the polls when they are against Obama…only if they are for Obama.

Of course this poll was taken Oct. 25-28; 2 days before Obama gave another speech defining what he actually said after he said what he said. In other words, he was for keeping your insurance policies, before he was against keeping your insurance policies. What would the poll have been, had it been taken after the latest excuses why Obama is going down the toilet.

KAP, Obama has not been left out of the loop. He is once again lying to the American people. It has been reported by those in the WH that Obama is a control freak. And a control freak means exactly what it says, he is a micro manager and a control freak. Who honestly believes that Obama knew nothing about any of the scandals, until he saw it on Fox News? It must have been Fox News because the liberal MSM reports nothing against Obama. It’s interesting that the left calls Fox News liars and misleaders of the public; but it is Fox News that Obama uses to find out what is going on in the world.

The American people are waking up to the socialist agenda of the left (Obama) and they are getting pissed off. We will have to place the liberal trolls of WB of suicide watch in the next few months. This is not going to be pretty.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 31, 2013 1:02 PM
Comment #373549

Aw, Speaks, now you have to sink to getting personal? Why can’t we have a discussion based on actual facts rather than your emotions?

IF you believe what you say here, how do you pick which of your statements to support? First you say he will be admired by his fellow citizens, then when asked, you say just some will admire him. You work in the media or something? Lol.

If you have no desire to be informed of what others think and believe, why pretend to know just to make a non-factual point to yourself?

Sorry, but to deny that leftists vote for who promises them freebies is to deny reality. Whether directly or indirectly, the basis of leftist ideology is to take from one and give to another. Be it with money, newly created rights, or in the name of “fairness,” leftists expect their desires to be fulfilled by government.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2013 1:05 PM
Comment #373550

When the naming of all those places carry Barry’s name then I have a perfect place for it.

With all that sand going to waste in the Middle East, then take as many square miles as needed and rename it al-BOville. Then ship on a one way fair to that land all those who have designated their lordship of Barry. He can then be King Barry and all those subjects can bow three times a day (bowing only to the south). They can make lying a national law. They can make all laws similar to our Constitution as illegal. They can take from the haves and keep it for himself. Minimium wage would be nothing. Health care would be fend for yourself. Imports and exports would be a criminal act. And don’t forget to take Pelosi, Reid, Durbin, Shummer, et al along with you. And you cannot take American money, or other financial assets with you.

So here is a short list of addresses in al-BOville.
Barry Blvd. Barry Hospital. Barry PO (of course their would be no mail but that is standard). Barry Cathedral of no Saints. Barry butcher shop (only locally raised animals). Barry Cars (only cash for clunkers allowed). Barry College (only shit for brains scholars allowed). Barry News (only news approved by King Barry). Barry TV (only GLBT approved programming allowed). Barry Housing Projects (only people dumb enough to follow would be housed there, which is the entire population of al-BOville).

I said only a short list. If there is a larger demand on WB for a long list. I can supply it with complete documentation.

Posted by: tom humes at October 31, 2013 1:26 PM
Comment #373552

Hilarious Tom Humes…loved it.

Al=BOville will have Obama money and the printing presses to print Obama money 24 hours a day.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 31, 2013 1:41 PM
Comment #373553

kctim
Whatever, just try to pay attention to what I type and not what you think I mean and you might find a better understanding of my beliefs.

Hostage
You and your cohorts are the only ones that seem to be losing any sense of their rationale about our President. I am not surprised given who your role model is.

humes
Oh my you are so funny, not. I hope you are able to appreciate any medical attention you receive at the Barack Obama Medical Center if you need it. Remember it was his hard work towards healthcare that gives you the advantages that you will receive.

All
Well today is a busy day for me. I have more than a dozen grandchildren, their friends and extended family coming over for trick or treating. We have a fantastic neighborhood for that. I have to make pizza, ravioli and garlic bread. We like to get a nice base down in those stomachs on Halloween night prior to their trick or treating foray.

I do appreciate all of your comments here, and I do mean all of them. If I were to be denied commenting privileges here I would still come to this site to read your comments. I value your comments but more than that I value your right and ability to make the comments you do. My Republican neighbors across the street and next door understand that. They had Romney signs out for the last election and I had Obama signs out (had three of them stolen) but we understand that they look out for my house when I am not around and I watch out for theirs when they are not around. We do that because we are Americans, not Sunni or Shiite, Jews or Arabs, Muslim or Christians even though we could be. We are first Americans and we know our strength is in each other. That we disagree gives us a better understanding of each other and ourselves. We are Americans.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 31, 2013 2:17 PM
Comment #373554

Speaks

Comment #373541
“That way the rest of the world will see how much this man is admired by his fellow citizens.

Comment #373543
“He will have the admiration of some of his fellow citizens whether you approve of that or not.”

That is exactly what YOU typed, not what I think you have. If you have to, you can always scroll up and review what has been previously said.

And apparently I do have a good understanding of your beliefs, as you are unable to dispute what has been said.

Either way though, you spoil those grandkids and have a good Halloween.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2013 2:42 PM
Comment #373556

Your right P.H. he probably does know what is going on but plays the dumb act when he is found out. Typical liberal plays the dumb act and blames someone else for their misdeeds.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 31, 2013 2:50 PM
Comment #373557

kctim
Thanks, I’ll be working on that. Not sure what you see as a discrepancy in my comment. At no time did I say “all” as far as fellow citizens is concerned. I said fellow citizens and some fellow citizens but not all fellow citizens at any time. I know you and others don’t approve and have no admiration for him however you need to understand that due to the results of the last two elections it has to be evident to you that there are people who admire/support/and vote for him.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 31, 2013 3:12 PM
Comment #373558

KAP
Nothing typical about me. You however have the typical mindset of the low information republican/conservative/tp mentality. Let’s try to insult and see how that works, duh.

Posted by: Speak4all at October 31, 2013 3:23 PM
Comment #373559

Speak, Your a Typical liberal!!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at October 31, 2013 3:29 PM
Comment #373560

Speak

There is not insurance for me.
Forget the treatment. I am terminally ill with three terminal conditions that are not treatable.

COPD, Melanoma, Leukemia

Please do not sent I am sorry for you from anybody.
I am right with God and man. I do not fear death. I am prepared for it whenever it occurs. Most on this site will know when I stop posting.

In the mean time I will try to provide a living hell for the policies that the left have. They are not good for America.

WB is only my fun site to jab, poke, knock down, and whatever else I can have fun with the left. Read em’ and weep.

Posted by: tom humes at October 31, 2013 3:52 PM
Comment #373561

Speaks,

I have no problem with people who admire/support/and vote for him, but in order for me to take them seriously, they should be able to give facts as to why they do. Most cannot.
They should also be honest enough to hold him accountable when he is wrong. Not constantly give this “what he really meant to say” and “it’s somebody else’s fault.”

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2013 3:53 PM
Comment #373563

Tom, my wife and I lost our best friend to cancer last week. He had Stage Four cancer in his brain, lungs, and lymph system. Home Hospice care was a great alternative for him and they kept him comfortable.

He wanted a Polish wake instead of a funeral. His wife, children, grandchildren, friends and relatives gathered in their home and some of us gave a short eulogy. The Polish Vodka and some beer was enjoyed by those who drink. In spite of our sadness there was a lot of laughter as we remembered him.

God Bless you Tom.

Poet Ellen Brenneman - “Think how he must be wishing that we could know today, how nothing but our sadness can really pass away.

And think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched…for nothing loved is ever lost and he was loved so much.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 31, 2013 4:39 PM
Comment #373568

SD stated:

“The website, by the way, was budgeted in the millions, not the billions, and it is not everything in the law. It needs to work, and we’ll commit to make it work.”

So, while listening to talk radio on the way home from work today, I hear that the Obama administration is bringing in so-called computer/IT experts from Google, Oracle and RedHat.

Hmmm…seems to me…why did Obama’s HHS leader go with a foreign country’s IT firm with a NO BID contract? Especially from a company with a piss-poor track record…AND…from a country with government-run health care that rations its care based on a ridiculous priority matrix that puts costs first over quality of care.

Finally, why not bring in the Google Team in the first place??????

Billions of $$$ of waste, not to mention major frustration for all affected.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at October 31, 2013 5:52 PM
Comment #373576

Before it’s over the web site will cost billions, and Obamacare will cost the taxpayers trillions.

What is the problem with unions? “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. What is the problem with big government? “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

The government can’t handle this. We have corruption and no control over spending in every bloated department of the government. If government cannot run the simplest of areas, how can they ever run the medical system in America. The difference between communist countries and America is that communist countries are ruled by a dictator. A dictator can control money and power; anyone who opposes him is killed. Obama would love to be the dictator of America, but we have a pesky little problem, and that is voted in representatives. As Houses of Congress changes hands and as the presidency changes parties, it will still not allow the government to control this monstrosity HC system. It will implode.

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 31, 2013 7:41 PM
Comment #373577

As Houses of Congress changes hands and as the presidency changes parties, it will still not allow the government to control this monstrosity HC system. It will implode.
Posted by: Political Hostage at October 31, 2013 7:41 PM

Or we will run out of money and no one to borrow from.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 31, 2013 7:48 PM
Comment #373579

Again…implosion, LOL

Posted by: Political Hostage at October 31, 2013 8:02 PM
Comment #373582

If the Republican and Conservative interpretations of my point of view are any guide, folks should worry just what a “literal” interpretation of the Constitution and a strict interpretation of the law would be.

Conservatives have a bias problem. It’s invisible because they mistake thinking they’re right, for believing their thought process to be objective. They don’t see their own slant.

What Daugherty (That is the poor SOB actually writing this) meant by slamming on the brakes is that there’s a whole bunch of funding and set up already done. Stopping it now takes funds away from the medicaid expansion, the implementation of different laws, and whatever else is going on.

Republicans don’t seem to have much care these days when it comes to government creating disruption and uncertainty. As a matter of fact, guess what the Insurance companies are saying? Move forward. Why? Because they’ve already put together their policies and everything for the next few years in adjustment for the new law.

It’s all rhetoric and narrative with you guys. It doesn’t occur to you that when government moves like it does with policy, there’s a lot people have to do out there to adjust. That’s why these things tend to be phased in and phased out rather than just plain dropped in and dropped out.

Philosophy and personal principle have no ontological inertia. If you drop an idea, or flip flop like you guys have on the insurance mandate, that effects nothing. But if you do something as impactful as Obamacare, people restructure their businesses, States restructure their budgets, etc.

Republicans these days seem to think that it doesn’t cost anything to kill programs, to end things. It does, though. Hell, it even cost something to shutdown the government, because you had to put things on ice, violate contracts, incur penalties, etc, because of all that.

It’s easy to manipulate ideas inside your head without consequences, to fantasize about how things must work. Then you have to deal with things as they do work.

I know the Republicans around here are running around the place with their hair on fire about healthcare.gov. I wish it hadn’t failed so badly at the start, like the Republican’s own Drug Benefit plan. But wishing in one’s hand won’t fill it up very fast.

Democrats, the President in particular, is going to have to get this thing working. If the Republicans really want to game out things correctly, they have to stop assuming Democrats are as politically suicidal as the common-sense deprived souls they talk about in their rhetoric.

C&J-
My father worked selling Cathodic Protection for much of his career. My grandfather was an executive in what they would later call Exxon, which was part of why he ended up here in Houston. My eldest uncle is a geophysicist who worked for Shell, my next eldest was an engineer who worked at a number of refineries. His eldest son works in a refinery, too, now.

I have enough of a scientific understanding of the subject to know why its getting more difficult and more expensive to extract oil. I think I have a pretty good understanding on what’s happening with fracking, and why they have to do things like that, as opposed to the standards sort of geological oil trap.

So, quit this ad hominem, invalid line of argument. I understand enough to know that oil fields have a lifetime of sorts, that shale oil is no exception. I have an idea of why Shale Oil would run out faster, in particular because the whole point of fracking is to break the rock so the oil flows out faster.

As for safety? I am scientifically literate enough to know that is true, but also enough to know that’s a strawman argument.

Around where I live, I remember industrial accidents being a regular occurrence. It was almost as if it were like “Oh, there’s a refinery on fire? Must be November.”

I emphasized taking an empirical approach here, so what i’m asking for is not too much to ask. Really, it comes down to this: reduce the likelihood of leaks into the water table as far as you can. Why? Because that shale oil might not always be needed, but the groundwater will be needed for as long as people live and farm in those places.

The utmost care must be taken in processing the waste. In fact, I’d prefer if we knew what was in that fracking fluid, and Clean Water Act laws were applied to it, because it doesn’t get any less toxic because it’s being spilled on the surface, rather than deep in the rocks below.

I think too many corporations try to do things like this by the seat of their pants, mistaking not getting caught for not having done anything wrong, not seeing some accident come out of the risk they’re taking for that risk being absent from the system.

I am not comfortable with people taking very powerful systems and taking enormous risks with them without safeguards.

Rhinehold-
Well, a government that cannot force things is not quite a government, is it? It’s just a bunch of people who stand around and make bossy suggestions.

But 100% efficiency in that is another matter. Government has to be configured properly, in the law and how it’s carried out to enable it not just to do its job, but do it well.

tom humes-
Wow. Melanoma, Leukemia, COPD. That’s a grab-bag of nastiness. I’m sorry you’re going through that. There’s probably no easy way out of it, but if there’s away that can be found to make the last days comfortable, I hope you find it. I’ve seen far too much death, and far too much of my older generations dying slowly as chronic illnesses and age take them.

And the cost. It wasn’t even easy for my Grandfather, and he had company healthcare and a nice little pension going for him in the end. When I read things like the article I read on chargemasters, with hospitals charging insane amounts just for a few aspirin, I have to wonder, just what will really rein in these prices?

Something like this was going to happen, sooner or later, because the imbalance is so great, and the cost so overwhelming at a personal level.

My sense of people is that they mostly make their decisions on an emotional level, weighing things by how they value them. That’s everybody. The difference is in the discipline applied. For me, my sense is that sooner or later, some threshold will be crossed, and the huge imbalance will motivate an action by the public to correct it. The healthcare bubble has to pop at some point. What I would ask is how. Do we let it down easy, by gradually reforming it, taming it, getting it under control, or does some crisis just make things so unworkable that people just break, and go with something else.

Conservatives need to learn the fine art of making a stitch in time to save nine, conceding enough regulation and government to prevent the kind of overwhelming screw-ups that motivate people to really push big government.

The Irony is, by being absolutists on it, the Republicans only strengthen the disjoint, the strong difference between before and after.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2013 12:49 AM
Comment #373584

Stephen

Re the “ad hominem” - I do it because you claimed expertise not evident in your experience or expressions. And you are doing it again talking about people around you who work in energy fields. The fact is you have no particular expertise in this area. You are still allowed to make arguments based on facts or your own personal observations, but you cannot make arguments referring to your authority on the matter.

When people make “ad hominem” attacks on you, it is usually because you try to make comments beyond your experience and it clearly shows. Some of the attacks are unjust, and I am one of the few who have defended you. But in many cases, you are asking for it, as you do when you refer to something like being from Texas as qualification to talk about boom and bust in the energy business.

You keep on talking about how we should give up on oil and gas because they are getting too expensive. This is a typical liberal backward idea. You tell people why they are stupid to use something because according to you it costs too much and/or it has run out. The obvious retort is that people are willing to pay that cost and it still is available.

We use oil and gas today because of a combination of cheapness and convenience. When it stops being such, we will stop. We have seen a very rapid adjustment in terms of natural gas. I know this is one you dislike, but consider how fast gas is displacing coal and soon gasoline. In theory, the coal and gasoline power was supposed to be so great, but the price, convenience and availability of natural gas trumped those things.

There will come a time when other sources of energy are overall cheaper, more available and more convenient than fossil fuels. When that happens, you will not have to force change.

BTW - solar panels are already very cheap and are being used more often. The challenge for solar is labor to install and maintain the things. That price has not come down and in fact has gone up relative to other parts of the mix.

RE corporations doing things by the seat of their pants - my observation is that they suffer the opposite problem. Larger firms over analyze and rely too much on “expert” opinion. But - again - if you know better you should act on that knowledge. After you become rich and powerful, you can change the world more effectively.

Posted by: CJ at November 1, 2013 5:10 AM
Comment #373594

C&J-
If you’re not saying my facts are wrong, then all your arguments are is a cheap knock on my credibility.

If my facts are right, then what will happen is this: one day, the easy gas, or relatively easy gas runs out. Barring new finds, the supply will diminish. Demand won’t.

It will be another energy crisis. That’s what you’re wanting us to wait for until we actually grow the brains necessary to do something about our problem.

Me, I much prefer that we engage this problem while we’re energy rich. The sooner we begin, the smoother the transition, the more time we have to refine technology, get it right, before it has to sustain us. It will have the added benefit of reducing the demand for petroleum, and therefore the cost.

Also, though, I don’t have your trust in the responsibility of the market. Was the market not determining how those plants would be run, the ones that would blow up, becoming twisted hunks of metal? There was a plant explosion not too long ago, where a variety of different things went wrong, many of them having to do with the slapdash way that the machinery was maintained and operated. And that was BP! BP was also recently responsible for the Deepwater Horizon accident (and the addition of dispersant, which many are saying may have hid the oil at the cost of an even worse ecological disaster), and a pipeline in Alaska that burst. We got other spills, like the one near Lake Michigan, the one near that town in Arkansas, both dealing with that heavy tar sands bitumen they’ve been wanting to pump through the Dakotas, near the ecologically sensitive areas.

I could name dozens of examples of places where a major corporation cut corners and disasters resulted. Sometimes efficiency is getting things done right in a reliable manner. Other times, it’s making sure the costs are kept down and the corners cut so the big guys get paid.

You have to defend this principle that the market would come through in an abstract way. Me? I think I can ably demonstrate that the market isn’t preventing these problems. Quite the opposite. You assume that fear of paying for consequences would lead people to do the right thing. But that’s not the necessary outcome; folks can also hide things, stonewall the media, and just put on a nice public face while behind the scenes they act more expediently.

The point of government, the way I formulate it, is to punish the latter sort of behavior. It will occur, but the question is whether other people look and see a mistake that was only apparently profitable, or whether they just see the mistake as being caught doing it, or not having a sufficiently centrifugal spin for what they did. If they are not accountable, they get to externalize harm onto us in order to stack up benefits for themselves.

This is not some sort of campaign against evil, but rather a recognition of the corrupting power of ignorance and secrecy, and the necessity to maintain the rule of law over corporate America, not just individuals.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2013 3:52 PM
Comment #373599

Stephen

I am saying your facts are wrong.

The prices of oil and gas are variable and are not always going up. In addition, they are still cheaper than alternatives at the same level of utility. When they stop being cheaper, we will stop using them.

Whale oil was replaced by oil and gas not because we ran out but because it was a better alternative. As they say, the stone age didn’t end when they ran out of stone.

Re addressing the energy problem now rather than later - we are in a constant search and we are developing. You think that the best way to do that search is through extensive government rules and subsidies. I agree that government should support basic research, but not try to choose winners or losers.

Re “I could name dozens of examples of places where a major corporation cut corners and disasters resulted.” - you could name them and there would also be a government regulation at work. Energy is highly regulated. The regulations don’t always work as intended.

I always recall the great synfuels program under Carter. Thank God it failed. Their goal was to made inexpensive things like liquid fuel from coal. In those days we didn’t worry about CO2. Had they succeeded we would have lots of inexpensive but very CO2 emitting fuel.

The U.S. works well because we have a market. When you look to places with weaker market forces, the environment is much worse. The old Soviet Empire was the filthiest place I ever saw, but I hear the command and control Chinese are even dirtier.

Your view of government doesn’t exist in reality. Free markets need government to keep them honest, among other things. Governments need free markets to keep them honest too. We cannot concentrate power.

Posted by: CJ at November 1, 2013 5:49 PM
Comment #373602

C&J-
Okay then, what is the long term curve on oil prices? Yes, they don’t always go down. To Paraphrase pudd Hirsch from Independence Day, it goes up, it does down, it goes side to side. Yeah, I know. What you’re trying to say, though, is that I should just look at short term decreases in price, increases in supply, and take it for granted that this will be the case for a long time to come, and when it finally ends, the market will switch over naturally.

I’ve seen how the market switched over on cheap oil, and it was brutal. I know because I had to pay for the gas prices as the suckers increased! People like me are the rubber that meets the road when energy prices go up. Let me tell you: I didn’t appreciate it.

And you know what me and my family did? We drove less. We had to! I could save gas by biking to work and such, but ultimately, when I got the opportunity to get a car, I got the one I did for a REASON. That reason, back about 2009-2010 was ridiculously simple: though gas prices were lower, thanks to the cratering of the economy Post-Bush, I knew they were going to rise as the economy recovered, and the same system that we had before took over again.

Because I did so, the most I have to pay out of my paycheck for a fill-up is thirty dollars.

I anticipated the cost that my travel would impose on me, and rather than let the market tell me when I had a problem, I recognized myself, with foresight, that a problem could potentially occur. When I started out, prices were down around two dollars or below, so I could fill up on twenty. If I had merely thought things out according to my current situation, I might have gotten a car whose gas intake would cost me quite a bit more.

I don’t want my nation’s energy policy to be less intelligent than my own. I want us to ANTICIPATE that oil and gas won’t necessarily last us forever, much less last us at its current price, and act to pre-empt that problem so America WILL have the energy it needs, not just maybe if we don’t get thwacked by the market first.

Or put another way, I think the market works better as a generator of lessons in hindsight than it does as an engine of foresight. The American government should set efficiency, renewable, and other goals, and then we should use both its research generating capacity, and the markets, as a means to develop the solutions for that.

Yes, let’s frack, if it’s safe for the other resources we depend upon, if it’s done cleanly, in a way that minimizes spills and risks to our environment. But let’s not stop at that fossil-fuel company friendly point. Let’s thank God for our good luck, and then do him the honor of using the wits he gave us to take the next step beyond these dirty fuels. And lets certainly not encourage the whole tar sands debacle, where we’re trading clean energy for the dirtiest kind.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 1, 2013 6:20 PM
Comment #373613

Stephen

Nothing last forever. But we are looking at many years of gas at prices we can afford that will replace coal and are already reducing CO2 emissions.

I really cannot understand your point of view. I assume you eat every day. Do you consider it a waste of time, since you will have to eat again tomorrow?

Re the end of oil or gas - it won’t happen all at once. You will have time to adapt. An interesting development is natural gas. Bus and car fleets are switching to natural gas, saving money and improving the environment. This was not predicted even a few years ago. No government planners planned for it.

It also depends on how and on what you are spending your money. I have a hybrid we bought in 2005. It gets good gas mileage, but it only started to pay off a few years ago, since we had to make up for the higher cost. Now it looks like the battery might go. It will cost a lot to replace it. I am really not sure if we actually made a good deal.

If it was only me driving, and not other family members, it would for sure not be it would be a good idea. My Honda Civic hybrid cost around $3000 more than a regular Civic. It gets maybe 15 miles a gallon better (about 30 v 45). Gas currently costs $3 a gallon, so I could buy 1000 gallons of gas with the savings. I can drive 30,000 miles with that and until I do that, I don’t save any money. I drive less than 5000 miles a year (I use a bike a lot). I have to hold onto the car for at least six years before I break even. And what happened in those six years?

You have to look at the whole life cycle from creation to disposal. The numbers might add up differently for different people.

Re the market - you made a market decision that evidently worked for you. Give others the credit too. Maybe they know what they want too.

Posted by: CJ at November 1, 2013 8:02 PM
Comment #375135

Who will listen to a concert, North Face Jackets Outlet, of Wang Jie, Longchamp Paris, and Yu tears, of nostalgia trip, will be a blessing for, Gucci Outlet, the hot summer and ecstatic, Coach Factory Online, once for friends, Burberry Outlet, and sentimental romance, Ralph Lauren UK, will be for a long-awaited, Coach Outlet, reunion does not drunk return, Polo Outlet Online, how much passion, Michael Kors Outlet, and difficult moments, Canada Goose Outlet, his own covered with mill edges, Coach Purses Outlet Online, lost his best, North Clearance, those who have been ignored, http://www.guccivshoesfactory.com/, by the vulgar, Polo Lauren Ralph, reality of youth ah, MCM リュック, those pure idealism and vision ah, Gucci Shoes Outlet, I do not know, Marc Jacobs Outlet Online, when to actually be, Coach Factory Outlet Online, covered with dust into years, Coach Purses Outlet, of ruthless thin bookmarks, for a long time, Michael Kors Outlet Online, has forgotten to open, Cheap Hollister UK Online, this is a forgotten era, UGG Boots Sale, subject look back, Coach Outlet Online, adrift.

Posted by: coachbag at December 19, 2013 10:39 PM
Comment #378706

Great blog and I love what you have to say and I think I will tweet this out to my friends so they can check it out as well. I like what you have to say Pollen and Bleu | Pollen & Bleu | Rivertrees Residences | Rivertrees | coco palms pasir ris | coco palms | coco palms condo | the rise @ oxley | the rise @ oxley residences | rise @ oxley | handbags | handbags Singapore | ladies bags excellent article.

Posted by: the rise @ oxley residences at May 24, 2014 11:53 PM
Post a comment