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bascule

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Everything posted by bascule

  1. I think including a "moderate" option in this poll is a bit disingenuous. In my experience people who self-identify as "moderates" in the US are generally conservatives who would rather not self-identify as conservatives.
  2. If the tables have turned it's because the country is suffering from battered wife syndrome. And all I can say about people who voted yes on "has Obama done to the democrats what Bush did to the republicans?" is what the fuck is wrong with you? Seriously. All these things conservatives whine about incessantly now like massive spending and high deficits were created by extremely bad decisions made by the Bush Administration and Republicans. Equating Obama to Bush is both myopic and wrong. Mark my words, Bush will go down as one of the worst presidents in American history. Obama I feel is doing a fairly good job so far and has the potential of 6 more years to change this country for the better.
  3. bascule

    The I's have it

    The only reason the Republicans will be "fiscally conservative" this Congress is because Democrats still control the senate and the presidency. If they ever regained control of congress and the executive branch they would show their true colors... hypocritical spendthrifts. It would seem conservatives are just generally unhappy when liberals spend money, period. There's no other reason to dislike the stimulus. It accomplished its goal of stimulating the economy, and as a result tax revenues are up and the deficit is down, even if spending increased. What's the problem? Seriously, what's the problem? I keep asking this and all I get back is irrational hatred of the stimulus because it spent money. It spent money on infrastructure. It is an investment in this nation. It lowered the deficit. What exactly is the problem. Sometimes I wonder how many conservatives (or even self-labeled "moderate" conservatives of the variety of the forum moderator here) are actually capable of admitting that sometimes, when liberals spend money, it actually accomplishes good things, and can even bring down the deficit like it did under Obama. There's money in it now. Tax revenue is up. The goal of the stimulus is not some hypothetical thing that will happen ten years from now. It's happening now. If anything, we need more stimulus. The #1 thing that powers our money is consumer confidence. When people are afraid to spend money, the economy slows down, tax revenue goes down, and the deficit goes up. When people aren't afraid to spend money, the economy picks up, tax revenue goes up, and the deficit goes down. I completely loathe this myopic idea that all spending is bad, or more specifically, that all spending when Democrats are in power is bad. When Republicans are in power, it's okay for them to go completely nuts cutting taxes and throwing us into unnecessary, expensive wars. That spending is totally cool! Spending money on killing people is fine. Spending money on rebuilding America's infrastructure? That's BAD. Very BAD! The spending is out of control! The blatant hypocrisy here is really infuriating, and worse, extremely prevalent among American conservatives.
  4. Ken Buck vs. Michael Bennett now has only a 7,500 vote margin with Buck leading and some 85% of precincts reporting. Mucking up the race was my former home of Boulder County, who despite being predominantly liberal originally showed Buck strongly in the lead. They've since claimed this was a clerical error and the results now show Bennett strongly in the lead there. In other news, tea party loon Dan Maes got completely slaughtered in the race for governor, getting some 11% of the vote while the more traditional (albeit somewhat crazy) Republican candidate Tom Tancredo who ran on a 3rd party ticket after failing to get the nomination got some 30% of the vote (the good ol' boy Republican candidate, Scott McInnis, who might've actually stood a chance of beating the incumbent didn't pull any such shenanigans). To quote a tweet I made a few days ago: America is acting like a battered wife who found a decent boyfriend to help her recover but now wants to go back to her abusive husband. And to borrow what a similar quote on Reddit added: "But this time it's gonna be different baby, I swear!"
  5. I predict two years of Democrats trying to compromise with Republicans, and the Republicans complaining that Democrats aren't compromising well enough, while failing to compromise at all themselves. More or less it's probably going to be a political logjam. I'd like to think this will bode poorly for the Republicans, but who knows, the Fox-powered hype machine may manage to make a Republican victory out of this yet. That said, I live in one of the most "moderate" states in the country (which really means a bunch of conservative independents who will vote Democrat if Republicans are in power and things get bad enough) and we had one of the most hotly contested Senate races in the country. The incumbent, Michael Bennett, was appointed to office after our previous senator Ken Salazar became Secretary of the Interior. He's been accused of taking bribes. His opponent is a total Tea Party loon who wants to abolish the Department of Education, Energy, and anything else that isn't spelled out literally in the Constitution (because like the Bible only a literal interpretation of the Constitution counts). He also opposes the government paying for rape kits, opposes abortion in cases of rape, and when he was a DA refused to prosecute a rape case where a girl invited a friend to sleep over and said friend apparently didn't understand that it's possible for a girl to invite you to sleep over without implying that it's okay to have sex with her. He admitted rape but Buck decided the jury wouldn't go for it and refused to prosecute. Classy. It's beginning to look a lot like a recount...
  6. There are liberals in the Democratic party, but the Democratic party is a hodge podge of liberals, moderates, and conservatives, which is part of what makes them ineffective at getting things done. There are simply too many different viewpoints. I used to say the Republicans were relatively homogenous but now it's clear there exists a split between superconservative Republicans and ultraconservative Republicans.
  7. As referenced in my post, the Republicans did sponsor and pass a substantial amount of legislation in the 2000-2006 years and I consider a lot of it detrimental to the country. In many cases they got Democratic votes, something the Republicans would use against the Democrats after they changed their minds about legislation no Democrat ever would've passed. So much for compromise. Instead where the Democrats tried to compromise there was only backstabbing.
  8. bascule

    The I's have it

    Another point to consider: the rally was conceived on and largely promoted through the predominantly liberal social media web site reddit.com. I'm not saying you're wrong but my best guess is the crowd was predominantly liberal. I certainly think I succumb to the vitriol and see the country through what Jon Stewart described likened to a fun house mirror of the sort that makes you ugly. If I'm a bit overzealous, mea culpa. I'm not saying that Rupert Murdoch is purposely architecting News Corporation for the purpose of advancing conservatism/Republicans. Ailes and Kristol are another story.
  9. That sounds like it's probably illegal. I would've alerted one of the people coordinating the election. I think race is certainly a factor in their decision making, but as Jon Stewart said, calling them racist is an insult to real racists.
  10. bascule

    The I's have it

    Point taken... Because his show very clearly has a liberal bias and appeals to a liberal demographic, and I'm making the assumption that the majority of people who attended are in The Daily Show demographic.
  11. bascule

    The I's have it

    The job creation and subsequent effect on the economy contributed to increased tax revenue and decreased stimulus. Is the concept "you have to spend money to make money" lost on you? The stimulus has worked to increase jobs and restore consumer confidence. This is good spending. What's bad spending? Starting an expensive war in Iraq. That's what Republicans did. According to the CBO, the healthcare bill will also save money in the end. You can look at the immediate spending and frown on it, but at least there's a plan. I look at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the lack of a comprehensive plan/exit strategy, the over a trillion dollars spent on them, and go... that's bad spending, and that doesn't even include the moral component of the deplorable things the Republicans did. Spending money is not in and of itself bad. If that's your take, the entire concept of investment is fundamentally flawed. The stimulus, among other things, is an infrastructure investment in America, and that belies the immediate effects of creating jobs and revitalizing consumer confidence. Out of the stimulus our city is receiving the money needed to expand our light rail system and extend it to reach the destinations people need to make it more worthwhile, in addition to repairs to our streets and you are most likely seeing a similar thing where you live. These are things that generally benefit the economy, business, job creation, etc, and thus tax revenue and therefore contribute to decreasing the deficit. Spending isn't bad if it makes money in the end. My only personal complaint about the stimulus is that it didn't go far enough, and that was largely as a compromise with Republicans, which goes back to the earlier issue about how Democrats don't have the balls to fist their ideas down Republicans throats with a party line vote. But of course, by doing so they alienate independent/"centrist"/conservative-but-not-Republican voters, which was Pangloss's complaint. There's really not a lot the Democrats can do to make the majority of the country happy, even if their actions improve the national welfare, because your average Joe Sixpack voter is too myopic to appreciate what they're doing. As for me, I can't wait to ride on the light rail routes that were built with stimulus money and am very happy to see the nation in general recovering from a recession/despression created by years of a Republican hands-off approach to Wall Street. I just wish the Republicans were open to voting for Wall Street reform and preventing the financial crisis from happening again, but instead more Republicans are about to be voted into power thus rendering any kind of Wall Street reform practically impossible, as the Republicans seem dead set on repeating the same mistakes.
  12. A 2012 run by Sarah Palin is the best thing Obama could ever ask for
  13. bascule

    The I's have it

    For what it's worth, I think Keith Olbermann jumped the shark when he claimed the same of Jon Stewart for the Rally to Restore Sanity and his round-the-board criticism of 24/7 cable news. Attracting 200,000+ people to a rally with multiple satellite rallies around the country is the opposite of jumping the shark. I think the 24/7 cable news channels and all of their contributors, including Olbermann, should take a step back and examine what they're doing and the effect it has on the country. They're just injecting vitriol into the debate. CNN is substance-free bullshit, MSNBC is little more than a feel good pat on the back for liberals, and Fox wants you to fear what liberals are doing to the country and that terrorists want to rape your children and blow up your dog. Is it odd that the people behind what's billed as a comedy program seem to have the most pragmatic view of the media's effect on this country? I guess the service The Daily Show and The Onion provide is a form of satirical meta-analysis of the news media, one that is only funny if you understand the shortcomings of news media outlets.
  14. This is a tough question to be specific about, and I'm sure I'm going to see a flood of nitpicking responses about how the Republicans never really had a supermajority and the Democrats did, but primarily I'm referring to the recent years of almost total Republican control of the country (2000-2006) vs the recent Democratic supermajority (2008-2010). The timeframes are larger so yes it's harder to judge, but I hope you have the ability to look past that and make a pragmatic decision. Who accomplished more, the Republicans in 2000-2006, or the Democrats in 2008-2010? Who affected better changes to this country? Who was generally moving things in the right direction? Specific examples of things you see as progress would be nice. I see the Stimulus and the healthcare bill passed under the Democrats in 2008-2010 as some great progress, and I think the Stimulus has had generally positive results and we are better off than if no stimulus had been passed. I look to the Republican side and don't really see any legislation they passed which I would consider beneficial to the country, and an immense amount of things that I think simply wouldn't happen under a Democratic government I would consider deleterious (e.g. unsustainable tax cuts, PATRIOT Act, DHS/TSA, war in Iraq, Medicare Modernization Act) (dear mods: I was trying to attach a simple yes/no poll to this thread but it didn't take)
  15. bascule

    The I's have it

    Because they lack the proverbial balls of the Republicans, and the kinds of changes which actually solve the country's problems tend to piss off independent voters. Look at the changes Clinton passed to improve the massive budget deficit left by GHWB... tax increases and spending cuts, passed with a party line vote. 8 years later the country's budget was (arguably) balanced, and 8 years of Dubya completely destroyed all of that effort. The Republicans would've filibustered, whined, and pulled as much procedural logjamming around a Democratic healthcare bill intended from the start to be passed along party lines, much like the Democrats pulled around the Medicare Modernization Act. But instead the Democrats actually tried to compromise. Is the lesson here that trying to compromise is bad? My take is it's practically impossible to compromise with Republicans. I think the Democrats do a much better job of compromising in general, but rather than admit this fact, independents tend to always view the two parties as being equal in all regards and look at those who would try to convince them otherwise as being biased. It's much like Fox claims they're fair and balanced and many people actually believe it. CNN is liberal biased and Fox is conservative biased, not one more so than the other. Another problem with the Democrats is the "Big Tent" issue. The Democratic Party is larger than the Republican Party but also more fragmented, whereas the Republican party, at least at the beginning of the decade, was much more homogeneous and able to shove through the types of legislation they desired, even though much of it would prove to be disastrous. Of late the Tea Party has somewhat fractured the Republican Party, and while the two groups agree on a lot of things the Tea Party tends to be a bit crazier and thinks more reasonable, mainstream Republicans aren't going far enough. These people want to make major changes to the country I think would prove disastrous. And yet conservatives generally view the changes that even moderate Democrats want to effect as disastrous. I also don't have a lot of respect for independent voters... while I don't feel like the Democratic party comes anywhere close to representing me, I've thrown my lot in with them because they're the only thing in this country that can advance the status quo towards the kinds of goals I find admirable. What other "lousy bills" did they create? While I'm not entirely happy with the healthcare bill they created, I now recognize it's a step forward and in the end it will save money while providing healthcare to millions more Americans. As far as I can tell, all this election shows is that the Republicans and other conservative interests have done a great job "keeping fear alive" to borrow a phrase from Stephen Colbert. The 24/7 cable networks (namely Fox) and ubiquitous attack ads constantly highlight the nation's problems, and the fearful independents are ready to vote out the Democrats because of it. The Democrats have made the only progress we've seen in years on issues like the deficit, and yet they're being voted out of power because "the national debt is huge" and "spending is out of control". While the natural reaction seems to be if the country is facing problems to vote those in control out of power, the Republicans did a great job between 2001-2004 keeping the general public afraid that if independents were to vote Democrats into power we'd have another terrorist attack.
  16. bascule

    The I's have it

    You can trot that out as if it makes you fair and balanced like Fox News, but voting for Kerry over Bush and Obama over McCain doesn't impress me whatsoever. I actually ended up voting for Doc Miller, but that's more indicative of how screwed up our local politics is: http://electdocmiller.com/home
  17. bascule

    The I's have it

    These are the kind of indefensible blanket statements which really make me hate even attempting to participate in these forums. Democrats compromised on the stimulus. Democrats tried to compromise on healthcare and the Republicans balked. The only way Democrats could get anything done with all the Republican feet dragging was a party line vote. To use the most disgusting of blanked categorization fallacies which you absolutely seem to love to use Pangloss, the Democrats are getting thrown out because of a deliberate misinformation campaign by "the right", Pangloss. I really think I'm about done here. I tried to participate again, but it seems that when I try to spell out the facts, they are endlessly nitpicked to death, points I make go on deaf ears, and in general the horrible wrongdoings and information being actively spread by the Republican party are overlooked, or worse, condoned. Meanwhile "the left" and Democrats are practically villainized. My only consolation is that the political logjam we'll see in the next two years might be enough to convince Joe Sixpack that the Democrats were actually accomplishing things and voting Republicans back into power was a horrible idea. I hope this helps Obama get re-elected. Of course Joe Sixpack could continue the present trend of retardation and blame Obama for the political logjam voting Republicans back into power created. All in all American politics remain a clusterfuck and the country continues to place ideology over facts, including the moderator of this forum. This election is more a reflection of the problems with the voting public than it is with the Democrats themselves.
  18. I don't really have time to get drawn into a long drawn out back and forth on this sort of thing again, but I'll at least take a crack at this post. That was stated in the OP: "best attempt I've ever seen" As someone who has spent many, many years on these forums debating these same tired points over and over again, I assure you it's a fairly accurate representation of the "skeptics" position. When you make claims like "arguments from studies", it's typically appropriate to cite said studies. That said, the scientific position is that there are radiative forcings other than anthropogenic greenhouse gases which are also responsible for the overall warming trend. It's just that those radiative forcings happen to be much less significant. You sure like to bandy around the term "cherry pick". Again, when you make a claim like this it would be good for you to pick a specific data set they included and make an argument as to why you believe it is cherry picked. No, however no climate scientists in favor of the consensus position were consulted either: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus/
  19. I don't know what to make of that comparison, except I actually enjoyed Jon Stewart's speech greatly and thought the themes were something even you could relate to. John Galt's speech on the other hand, well like pretty much everyone I've known who's read that book my reaction is "WTF is this and how long does it go on?" then I proceeded to skip the next 30 pages or so.
  20. Possibly the best attempt I've ever seen at this sort of thing:
  21. To use an allusion to what I do for a living, jryan doesn't understand the difference between architecture and ops. You can't blame the ops people if the system was designed wrong, even though it's their responsibility to keep the system running. When Obama got his chance to be in charge of a budget, he did the proper capacity planning and the deficit went down. -- In other news, Jon Stewart gave an awesome speech at the Rally to Restore Sanity. The entire thing was littered with some excellent points. Some of the major themes were that the idea that Americans are too politically polarized to work together to accomplish things is silly and we do this every day in our day-to-day lives so it's ridiculous that problems can't be resolved in Washington. There was lots of talk about the detremental effect that 24 hour cable news networks are having on this country (with an implicit nod to Fox) but that they aren't directly responsible to our problems, they only serve to distort our views about other Americans and contribute to the polarization. It's great stuff and I recommend you all watch it as soon as clips of it become available.
  22. From what I can deduce from the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_United_States_federal_budget Proposed spending: $3.107 trillion Actual tax revenue: $2.1 trillion Defecit after proposed spending: $1 trillion Actual deficit: $1.4 trillion Actual spending: (?) $3.5 trillion So I'll conceed that the real budget added $400 billion on top of the original budget proposed by Bush. However, supposedly that budget omits the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Obama supposedly included. If anyone can provide a definitive answer to this I'd certainly be interested in how much actual money the Obama administration spent on top of the budget proposed by Bush.
  23. Are you suggesting I'm claiming Obama passed a tax cut when my claim is really that he hasn't raised taxes? A lot of misinformed Republicans claim Obama raised taxes. He hasn't. But yes, per a compromise with Republicans taxes are now the lowest they've been in decades. And an actual deficit of over $1.4 trillion. It seems the estimates of tax revenue under Bush were a bit off... and this is an extremely important point. Increasing tax revenue is essential to fighting the deficit. It would seem you are completely ignorant of this fact so let me detail it for you. Yet there was more stimulus spending in 2010 than there was in 2009! How can this be? Clearly stimulus = deficit, right? Wrong. Stimulating the economy increases tax revenue and in turn lowers the deficit despite increased spending, all without raising taxes! Amazing! I really don't want to patronize conservatives here, but in general I think they have difficulty grasping that the economy is a nonlinear complex dynamical system. Stimulus doesn't translate directly to defecit. There is a feedback loop between what the government does to revive an ailing economy and how much is collected in tax revenue, and increased tax revenue lowers the deficit. The stimulus worked (yes, the stimulus worked) and per the opinions of many econonomists more stimulus would result in an increased benefit. So no, I have to strongly disagree with your assertion that "it's a good thing we didn't do another stimulus". It's a bad thing we didn't do another stimulus. According to many expert opinions had the stimulus gone further it would've further increased tax revenue and further decreased the debt. No, you're focusing on tiny details and missing the bigger picture. Sure, the stimulus is spending, but per the aphorism you have to spend money to make money. Spending money to jumpstart the economy increased tax revenue and decreases the deficit. Obama has increased spending and decreased the deficit. You are completely missing the bigger picture here. No, again you're wrong. The President has focused on fixing the economy, and as a side effect, tax revenue increased and the deficit fell despite increased spending Seriously, what is Obama doing wrong by conservative standards. Spending more? That is the only valid complaint from a conservative perspective. Taxes are down. The deficit is down. The economy is doing better. Sure, Obama is spending more, but that spending has directly translated into an improved economy and a lower deficit. I don't know how else to fight the completely myopic "SPENDING BAD" idea which seems to permeate conservative culture except by example. Is the Interstate Highway System bad? Government spending created it. If you hold a universal view that all government spending is bad, then you are in turn a hater of the Interstate Highway system. Or perhaps something that hits home more with conservatives, national defense. Is spending money to defend our country bad? No? See? SOME SPENDING IS ACTUALLY GOOD. It's all about context. Honestly, can you actually name one specific thing Obama has done that even in the eyes of conservatives would make him a bad president? The two things that come to mind for me are: he increased spending (in the context of jumpstarting the economy) and he increased healthcare coverage (in a manner that will eventually save this country money!). Given that, any conservative who is actually paying attention should like Obama. Pangloss, I don't think you're paying enough attention, which is pretty sad for the moderator of the politics forum and perhaps a sign I'm wasting my time here and should stop posting permanently.
  24. That's just patently false: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69E54M20101016 and in fact: Not only did the deficit decrease, it decreased substantially.
  25. Wrong. FY2009 was Bush's last budget, and it was $1.4 trillion regardless of any stimulus spending. If you really believe what you're saying, please dig up for me this mysterious $1.24 trillion budget that you claim Bush passed for FY2009, but even the hippie dippie patchouli-wearing peacenik communists at the CATO institute will tell you that you're wrong.
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