Campaigns/Elections

None of the Above

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You can divide last night's debate into two parts: the argument about the economy, and everything afterward. In the first section, my basic reaction was Both of these guys are full of shit. In the second, my reaction was Obama is a mixed bag. McCain is a trigger-happy lunatic. I guess I prefer Obama. I'm still trying to figure out how McCain thinks he can reconcile his fiscally conservative rhetoric with the aggressive and expensive foreign policy he prefers.

Does that mean Obama "won"? Who knows? At some point in the last three decades, the modal pundit moved from frankly discussing how he personally felt about the positions espoused in a debate to second-guessing how the average uninformed voter might feel. This leads to a lot of projection, as writers mistake their preconceptions for the action actually transpiring on the screen. Here, for example, is Amy Holmes at National Review:

McCain won, hands down, particularly when the conversation shiffted to war and national security. McCain was comfortable, fluent, principled and direct. Obama was weak and defensive.

There are many words to describe McCain's composure last night, but comfortable surely isn't one of them. And maybe I'm just stuck on the contrast with John Kerry, but Obama didn't seem weak and defensive to me; he stood his ground and hit back. I didn't always agree with what he had to say—when it came to NATO expansion, he sounded as crazy as his opponent—but he sure seemed to believe it himself.

They say the real winner of a debate is the man who exceeds expectations, so in that spirit I'll give the prize to Jim Lehrer. I haven't been a fan of his in the past, but I appreciated his dogged efforts to get a straight answer out of the candidates about whether they're backing the bailout. And it was good to see him encouraging the duo to engage each other. After the Blitzer/Matthews disasters, Lehrer acquited himself well; he was the only man on stage that I liked more after the debate than before it.

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  1. I’m still trying to figure out how McCain thinks he can reconcile his fiscally conservative rhetoric with the aggressive and expensive foreign policy he prefers.

    Honestly, if he thinks it’s for self-defense, then is it really all that hard to reconcile?

  2. I think Oliver Burkeman from the Guardian put it best:

    “Well. This was clearly a much better night for McCain than many were expecting; after an unremarkable start, he appeared to find his ground on foreign policy, and delivered significantly more damaging blows to Obama than vice-versa; Obama missed too many opportunities, and was maybe too generous in many of his replies. Then again, various TV pundits are right now hotly debating the notion that McCain’s dripping contempt for Obama — and his strange, nervous grinning and chuckling, like some kind of chuckling maverick — looked unpresidential, while the Democrat looked the part pretty much all the way through. Both of these arguments are clearly true. Which one triumphs?”

  3. I read the debate on CNN, and, maybe I’m following this campaign too closely, but I’d heard each candidate say everything they said last night before. Sometimes they used the very same words I’d heard before. There might have been some question with a bit of news, but, on reading the debate, it was very predictable. The idea that somebody won is pretty funny.

  4. I want our adversaries to fear we might just unleash on them if they cross a line.Saves the trouble of actually having to do it.I’m more uneasy with McCain’s sub-miltary interventionism than the idea he would actually start WWIII or IV or a dozen small wars.

  5. Adversaries like Spain?

  6. The Angry Optimist | September 27, 2008, 6:23pm | #

    I’m still trying to figure out how McCain thinks he can reconcile his fiscally conservative rhetoric with the aggressive and expensive foreign policy he prefers.

    Honestly, if he thinks it’s for self-defense, then is it really all that hard to reconcile?

    Agreed. Defending the country is one of the few things the government is supposed to spend on. The decision to declare war hinges on the necessity of the war, not the financial burden. On the one hand, avoiding a small conflict today only to face a much larger conflict next year is a false economy. On the other hand, no sacrifice is justified in an unjust war. Even if we could start an unjust war and topple another country for $5, that low price doesn’t make the decision any less wrong.

  7. The one thing that raise my eyebrows and made me cheer was when McCain suggested stopping all federal spending except for entitlements, infrastructure and defense.

    (Entitlements like Social Security we can’t just stop, lest we want seniors starving to death. There needs to be a more careful reform first.)

    On government and spending, McCain won, on foreign policy, I thought Obama won, and on the bailout specifically they both pretty much lost. McCain didn’t grow any cojones to defend his policies of deregulation.

  8. I watched pretty closely last night, and it all became a blur of who would attack more countries with bombs and economic warfare. I didn’t see a big enough difference between the two on foreign policy to make any sort of distinction on winning and losing or who’s ‘better.’


  9. I read the debate on CNN, and, maybe I’m following this campaign too closely, but I’d heard each candidate say everything they said last night before. Sometimes they used the very same words I’d heard before. There might have been some question with a bit of news, but, on reading the debate, it was very predictable. The idea that somebody won is pretty funny.

    Don, the debate isn’t about people like you and me and even, God help me, Urkobold; we’re a freakish minority that pays close attention to politics.

    This debate goes out to all the normal joes in the USA and gives them a chance to see both in action and make an impression. That’s why the content doesn’t really matter that much unless one person totally screws the pooch. It’s more a matter of sizing the candidates up and forming a baseless opinion.

    Like Harry Dean Stanton said in REPO MAN, “Normal people, man. I f***ing hate ’em!”

  10. The life of a Hit-n-Run commenter is always intense.

  11. In addition to the annoying popups, in the new year – should we have a BHO administration – I suggest never, ever letting Reason forget their advocacy for him. Especially since that advocacy may in part be involved with something as trivial as a book by the editor of the site. Don’t ever let them forget it.

    Until, of course, the BHO/Reason TruthSquad takes us away.

  12. The ‘debate’ was a waste of time, as expected. Nothing more needs to be said.

  13. Honestly, if he thinks it’s for self-defense, then is it really all that hard to reconcile?

    Yes it is. Because spending us to death will kill this country as quick *if not quicker* than any number of terrorist threat scenarios short of fucking Jericho.

    Beyond that, if he actually believes that any of these nations and/or terrorist groups are an existential threat to the United States, then he isn’t crazy, he’s just stupid. And I don’t personally like stupid for president (though I hear that many other stupid people kinda dig that).

    I’m more uneasy with McCain’s sub-miltary interventionism than the idea he would actually start WWIII or IV or a dozen small wars.

    “War is young men dying and old men talking.” It’s easy to be sanguine about conflicts you yourself will never fight in.

    In addition to the annoying popups, in the new year – should we have a BHO administration – I suggest never, ever letting Reason forget their advocacy for him. Especially since that advocacy may in part be involved with something as trivial as a book by the editor of the site. Don’t ever let them forget it.

    OLS comes out against free speech and free advocacy. You heard here first, folks. What a fuckhead.

    The ‘debate’ was a waste of time, as expected. Nothing more needs to be said.

    Then don’t say it. Read quietly or go away. Other people *clearly* think there was something to talk about. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing it.

  14. The one thing that raise my eyebrows and made me cheer was when McCain suggested stopping all federal spending except for entitlements, infrastructure and defense.

    Actually, he said veterans benefits, not infrastructure. So he’ll keep growing the biggest, most bloated budgets in the government.

  15. The Angry Optimist writes, “Honestly, if he thinks it’s for self-defense, then is it really all that hard to reconcile?”

    Yes. Because even if he thinks it’s “self defense” or “justified,” it still carries a price tag that is impossible to square with fiscal conservatism. People who believe “self-defense” requires a foreign and defense policy that costs more than a trillion dollars a year are not really fiscal conservatives. Similarly, people who believe “self defense” or “national security” requires sweeping surveillance, torture, and suspensions of the Bill of Rights are not really “civil libertarians.” Perceived necessity for a big government program — even for national defense — does not make advocacy of it any less socialist.

  16. “The one thing that raise my eyebrows and made me cheer was when McCain suggested stopping all federal spending except for entitlements, infrastructure and defense.”

    He said he’s _freeze_ spending, for everything but “defense,” “entitlements,” “veterans benefits” and “other vital issues.” That’s what he said.

    In other words, spending on warfare, welfare, and “other vital issues” — 99% of the government – would continue to increase. As for the spending on the rest, it would just stay the same. And he’s not even promising this.

    McCain is far worse than Bush.

  17. John Kerry struck you as weak and defense in the debates four years ago, Jesse?

  18. The life of a Hit-n-Run commenter is always intense.

    A lot of guys like to watch their buddies blog, Merritt. I know I do.

  19. So, will the VP debate be more Bentsen-Quayle?

    Or Gore-Kemp?

  20. Gore-Quayle-Stockdale. Biden’s Gore and Quayle, and she’s Stockdale.

    Close observers will note that I did not once predict that Obama would win the debate.

    Sarah Palin is going to get destroyed by Joe Biden. It’s only a matter of which Bush/Kerry debate it will resemble the most.

  21. Joe Biden did have the best one liner of the year in any debate thus far.

    “Noun and a verb and 9/11”.

    At this point, I don’t think he really cares about being “sexist” or “mean” since they’re up in the polls so much.

  22. I never saw the 92 Presidential debate.

    How bad was Stockdale?

  23. Er, “Vice Presidential”.

  24. LoneWacko – You sound like you want McCain to win. But McCain is backing the bailouts, wants more military interventions, and has a track record of stomping on free speech. Obama may be a scary crypto-communist, but McCain is an equally scary crypto-fascist. With either one our economy is going to tank, we’ll have a prolonged recession/depression, and our personal civil liberties will erode.

  25. How bad was Stockdale?

    He wasn’t bad at talking.

    He just didn’t do it much.

    At all.

  26. 1) A terrorist attack on the level of 9/11

    2) A George Allen-level YouTube meltdown by Obama

    3) Israel going to war with Iran

    4) Bush capturing bin Laden

  27. BDB,

    Bad enough that I feel a little bit guilty for bringing him up like that. Poor bastard had now business being out there on national television with those two.

  28. I really wish the CPD website would YouTube all the old debates instead of giving instructions on how to pay $10(!) so you can have them delivered on VHS(!!!)

    I don’t even have a VHS player anymore.


  29. 1) A terrorist attack on the level of 9/11

    2) A George Allen-level YouTube meltdown by Obama

    3) Israel going to war with Iran

    4) Bush capturing bin Laden

    5) Alien invasion from the planet of Old White Dudes, who — with very awkward timing — will only accept us into the Federation if “one of them” becomes president.

    Hey, it could happen.

  30. joe | September 27, 2008, 9:39pm | #
    BDB,

    Bad enough that I feel a little bit guilty for bringing him up like that. Poor bastard had now business being out there on national television with those two.

    Too bad, because he was a genuinely admirable man who simply wasn’t a politician. A war hero for much the same reasons as John McCain, but Stockdale wore it better.

  31. Sarah Palin is going to get destroyed by Joe Biden. It’s only a matter of which Bush/Kerry debate it will resemble the most.

    So how much did you bet on this “sure thing”, joe? Curious how much of your net worth you’re willing to gamble on this 100% guaranteed outcome.

    Or do you mean “destroyed” as in, “no matter what other people say, I will consider Biden to be the winner, even if he develops a sudden and irrepressible case of Tourette’s Syndrome, and then accidentally sets himself on fire and slowly, agonizingly expires in a burn unit, cussing out ‘that crazy fuckwad Bush’ to his last breath”

    Or do you have a more objective measure of “destroyed” in mind that you will spell out in unambiguous detail in advance?

  32. Do you still think Obama will lose, prolefeed?

    I just can’t believe Republicans are in that much of a bubble where they think McCain will win. It amazes me. And I’m not even a Democrat or Democrat-enabler.

  33. Joe: Damn straight!

  34. 4) Bush capturing bin Laden

    This one would be a break-even. GOP would get the primary credit, but they would have got him…because they followed Obama’s advice.

  35. Both of these guys are full of shit.

    Nobody know shit like loony libertarians who have pinned their meagre hopes of the likes of race-baiter Ron Paul and Bob Barr. Shit is the one subject you would think libertarians wouldn’t bring up.

  36. I’m betting the Palin-Biden debate gets better ratings than this one. I was in and out of the room for this one, but I’ll have the popcorn popped for Palin-Biden.

    There is absolutely no telling what will happen.

    The one thing I know I will be disappointed by is that, when Biden goes off into one of his alternate universe rants, whether its about President Roosevelt on television 1929 or how Biden was the secret architect of the surge, no one will call him on it. The moderator will be too craven and secretly sympathetic, and Palin simply won’t have the skillz and background.

  37. There is absolutely no telling what will happen.

    Truer words were never spoken. However, we do know with a fair certainly what *won’t* happen.

    – Sarah Palin will *not* suddenly acquire the foreign policy acumen of Kissinger.

    – Joe Biden will *not* suddenly become the most sensitive guy this side of the lipstick line.

  38. Nobody know shit like loony libertarians who have pinned their meagre hopes of the likes of race-baiter Ron Paul and Bob Barr. Shit is the one subject you would think libertarians wouldn’t bring up.

    Finish your drink!

  39. Oh, and RCD, for the record, I’m much more comfortable with a guy who crosses up some historical facts in the moment than the guy (or in this case, gal) who doesn’t *have* any facts rattling up there to cross in the first place.

  40. If Katie Couric looks like a member of MENSA during her interview with Palin, I’d say Biden might just look like he has an IQ of three digits instead of two.

  41. I agree that Lehrer was surprisingly good. He did what I try to do when I lead a seminar discussion.

  42. Yes, prolefeed, I went to the Bet on Political Debates website, where I put down ten zillion dollars on who would score the highest on that points-based debate scoring system you always see in the corner of your screen during a political debate.

    Oh, wait, none of those things exist.

    Destroyed.

    DES. TRO. Y. ED.

  43. Donate now so Jesse Walker can put food on the table. C’mon cultists, pony up some cash. It costs money to feed you this shit. Donate now.

  44. If these clowns are not talking about making seriously tough choices with regard to federal spending, then they are nothing more than a waste of skin. Take a look at this report from the GAO (pdf). It’s extremely sobering.

    Some highlights:

    ?The “Status Quo”Is Not an Option
    ?We face large and growing structural deficits largely due to known demographic trends and rising health care costs.
    ?GAO’s simulations show that balancing the budget in 2040 could require actions as large as
    ?Cutting total federal spending by 60 percent or
    ?Raising federal taxes to two times today’s level

    ?Faster Economic Growth Can Help, but It Cannot Solve the Problem
    ?Closing the current long-term fiscal gap based on reasonable assumptions would require real average annual economic growth in the double-digit range every year for the next 75 years.
    ?During the 1990s, the economy grew at an average 3.2 percent per year.
    ?As a result, we cannot simply grow our way out of this problem. Tough choices will be required.

    This report was released in August of last year. Some scary shit. The Comptroller General at the time, David Walker, was screaming about this and no one would listen. He had to quit and take his show on the road to try and open some eyes about this.

    If they try to “kick the can down the road” like they’ve been doing, our kids (and possibly us) will have to work until we die. And that probably still will not be enough. WE ARE IN DEEP TROUBLE. We need to vote these jackasses out and get people in office that are serious about cutting spending.

  45. After the Blitzer/Matthews disasters, Lehrer acquited himself well; he was the only man on stage that I liked more after the debate than before it.

    Time to start the “Lehrer for President” meme, then, Jesse?

  46. If I were VP, I’d do something like this with Sarah Palin in the debate.

  47. Hey, prolefeed.

    joe | September 26, 2008, 11:16pm | #

    That was a bad debate. It got a little better towards the end, but neither of those two did themselves any favors.

    Maybe I’m spoiled with John Kerry and Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, but those two are just not good debaters.

    No clear victory. Maybe McCain on points?

    So, no, I don’t mean “destroyed” as in, “no matter what other people say, I will consider Biden to be the winner, even if he develops a sudden and irrepressible case of Tourette’s Syndrome, and then accidentally sets himself on fire and slowly, agonizingly expires in a burn unit, cussing out ‘that crazy fuckwad Bush’ to his last breath”.

    Wrong guy, man. You must have meant somebody else, because I know you weren’t talking about my commentary on the debates. That would just make you look like an idiot.

  48. Or something like this.

  49. If both McCain and Palin both spent the next four years in a coma – they would STILL be better as Prez and vice prez than Obama/Biden.

    Doing absolutely nothing whatsoever has always been infinitely superior to doing anything that even remotely resembles liberalism.

  50. We need to vote these jackasses out and get people in office that are serious about cutting spending.

    Yeah, we gotta cut Social Security so we can fund the priorities like bailing out bankers and bombing Iran. You know, the bare essentials of government.

  51. The late Phil Hartman did a great impression on SNL of Stockdale with Dana Carvey’s Perot trying to leave him in the woods after his wack debate performance.

    GRIDLOCK!

  52. If both McCain and Palin both spent the next four years in a coma – they would STILL be better as Prez and vice prez than Obama/Biden.

    What’s the “still” doing in that sentence?

  53. “Doing absolutely nothing whatsoever has always been infinitely superior to doing anything that even remotely resembles liberalism.”

    Really Gilbert?

    So the party that brought us the mismanaged Iraq war, the prescription drug benefit that made it’s own parties governors howl with disbelief at the incompetence of it, the incompetent and tragic response to Katrina, the faltering economy, the swelling federal budget, and the end of balanced budgets, that party is better than any liberalism? Cause I have this crazy idea that when a party performs that badly then you turn them out…

  54. Time to start the “Lehrer for President” meme, then, Jesse?

    I may be impressed but I’m not nuts.

    P.S. to Joe: Yes, I think Kerry came off as weak and defensive. His vote in favor of the Iraq war hobbled him.

    P.S. to Edward/Lefiti: Shouldn’t you be breaking into the “Hail Market” routine around now? Or did you change the rotation?

  55. Gilbert Martin

    You’re so fucking stupid that you might as well be in a coma.

  56. That’s a very odd take, Jesse. Just about everybody else thinks that Kerry beat Bush like a rented mule in those debates.

  57. Hey Max, read the report, page 10 is a good graph. Even if we cut everything out of the federal budget except social security and the interest on the national debt, it still may not be enough.

  58. Sorry, Father Walker. Here it is:

    Hail Market,
    Full of grace,
    Prosperity is with thee.
    Blessed art thou among systems,
    and blessed is the fruit
    of thy womb, Capital.
    Holy Market,
    Mother of Goods,
    pray for us consumers now,
    and at the hour of our bankruptcy.
    Amen.

  59. Hey, Lefiti’s mouth is low on sperm. Donate now!

  60. Joe: I didn’t think Bush did well either.

  61. Lefiti is Edward? I thought Edward was right wing.

  62. Lefiti is Edward? I thought Edward was right wing.

    I don’t think it’s an ideology that drives him.

  63. I don’t think it’s an ideology that drives him.

    It isn’t! It’s idolotry! I believe with a perfect faith in the Market.

  64. Lefiti,
    Go.
    Fuck.
    Yourself.
    In the asshole.

    I don’t believe in government regulation of speech, but I have no problem making a friendly suggestion to the private operators of web blogs that it might raise the quality of their blogs not to have some fucking little twat come on all the time and spew bullshit.

    Then again, some of the intelligent posters seem to think it’s funny, so that might backfire.

  65. Edward was never rightwing. When he wasn’t just being an asshole for the sake of it, he was generally a far leftist.

  66. Catechism lesson

    Q. Who made the world?
    A. The Market made the world.

    2. Q. Who is The Market?
    A. The Market is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all goods.

    3. Q. What is man?
    A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of The Market.

    6. Q. Why did The Market make you?
    A. The Market made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in Libertopia.

    9. Q. What must we do to save our souls?
    A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in
    Him, and love Him with all our heart.

  67. Btw: Apologies to ed for confusing him with Edward when I first started posting here.

    Very sorry.

    Won’t happen again.

  68. Lefiti,
    While you knock down straw men, I’m going to go over to the South Park website and watch one of their classic episodes. Then I’ll come back and see if you posted an actual argument. I’m not really holding my breath.

  69. I do think the most worrisome part of McCain’s performance was his “trigger-happiness.” That tough talking on Russia for example, if it lead to another Cold War, would put us back in the position of spending a ton of money and put our security in risk again.

    Let the fools have their Tar-tar region!

  70. Sorry, number 9 should read “we must worship The Market.” I don’t know how God slipped in there. I’ll say ten Hail Markets as a penance

  71. P.S.
    Lefiti/Edward just blew his cover.

  72. While we’re making immature posts:
    Oh my God! They already killed Kenny! This is just 3 minutes into the episode!

  73. Then again, South Park is way more intelligent than Edward.

  74. Ah, these clever insults! I’m stung to the quick. Uncle! Uncle!

  75. When he wasn’t just being an asshole for the sake of it

    I can’t recall any occasion that fits that description.

    Edward is here to yank people’s chains. I doubt he has any political beliefs of his own. If he did, he would argue for them instead of recycling the same smug and witless jokes.

    Still, I’m inclined to keep him around. He performs the valuable service of demonstrating that it’s possible to be more annoying than Lonewacko.

  76. The Indisputably Non-Coercive Idiot Filter for Hit & Run: INCIF is a script that allows you to filter out unwanted posts/posters while reading Reason’s Hit & Run comments secion by utilizing GreaseMonkey for FireFox.

  77. Jesse Walker,
    You make important point. But Lonewacko hasn’t posted regularly for months, while Edward seems to have developed a recent obsession with the Hit and Run threads.

    Maybe asshole wasn’t the best word.
    Idiot.
    Waste of space.
    Waste of oxygen.
    Waste of broadband.
    Last one sounds best. But as long as he pays the market rate for it, I guess it’s okay.

  78. Stabat Market
    At the Crisis her station keeping,
    stood the mournful Market weeping,
    close to Milton to the last.

    Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
    all His bitter anguish bearing,
    now at length the regulation has passed.

    O how sad and sore distressed
    was that Market, highly blest,
    of the sole-begotten One.

    Milton above in torment hangs,
    she beneath beholds the pangs
    of her dying glorious Son.

    Is there one who would not weep,
    whelmed in miseries so deep,
    Milton’s dear Market to behold?

    By the Crisis with thee to stay,
    there with thee to weep and pray,
    is all I ask of thee to donate now.

  79. Lefiti/Edward,
    My 11:49 post wasn’t really intended as an insult, in case you took it as such.

  80. But Lonewacko hasn’t posted regularly for months

    Yes he has – he posts as “Orange Line Special”

    Still, say what you will about the tenets of Whatever-the-hell-it-is-Lonewacko-believes, at least it’s an ethos.

  81. Lefiti,
    You seem to put a lot of effort into crappy jokes. Can’t you do something less annoying, like getting drunk?

  82. Brian,
    Really, they’re the same? OLS’s posts usually sounded more like John or TallDave posts, while Lonewacko always sounded like he took a heavy dose of meth and started posting.

  83. Actually, I take back part of the last post. John’s posts are usually longer and better thought out than TallDave’s.

  84. I have political beliefs of my own:

    I believe libertarianism is a pathetic, marginal cult that specializes in exaggerating anything that confirms its central theses and in ignoring anything that doesn’t–confirmation bias writ large.

    I believe that Ron Paul is close to Christian Indentity and is a racist, albeit an exceptionally boring one.

    I believe that Bob Barr is a joke.

    I believe that NcCain/Palin will win.

  85. Really, they’re the same?

    While I can’t be 100% certain, all signs point to yes.

    The biggest give-away is how all the links in his posts go to his blog
    (although he now uses “24ahead.com” instead of “lonewacko.com”)

  86. Brian,
    Ah, I begin to see.

    Edward,
    Pathetic and marginal. Sounds like somebody who recently started posting here. Lefty or something.

  87. Even Jesse can’t observe one simple rule: Don’t feed the troll.

    How hard could that be? You think I would stick around if everybody just ignored me? If the cult’s high priests don’t have the self-discipline to follow that simple rule, maybe something else is at play. Could it be that my giving you all this attention makes you feel important or at least less marginal? You don’t ignore me becuase you’re afraid my ignoring you will bring home your pathetic isolation. How many dolts post here regulalry? Twenty? It’s a very small pond, isn’t it, Jesse. Donate now.

  88. Edward,
    So…all you want is for us to ignore you? Easy enough.

  89. On another note,
    It’s interesting to note the stylistic changes between the first and twelfth seasons of South Park.

  90. OLS’s posts usually sounded more like John or TallDave posts, while Lonewacko always sounded like he took a heavy dose of meth and started posting.

    While there is some parallel ideology there, I think your description is quite apt – it’s hard for anyone else to really match OLS’s level of paranoid, grandiose ranting.

  91. Brian,
    I see what you mean. I actually assumed that OLS’s comments were satirical.

  92. It’s interesting to note the stylistic changes between the first and twelfth seasons of South Park.

    Such as?

  93. That’s a nice thought, actually, because as satire OLS would be brilliant.

    I’m afraid he’s dead serious, but I sincerely hope you’re right.

  94. … but Edward/Lefiti legitimately made me laugh a bunch just now. And not in the normal mean-spirited, spiteful way.

    Ave forum libre, indeed.

  95. Brian 12:21,
    Well, for one, the perspective. At first, you only saw characters from the front, back, and sides. In later seasons, characters are seen from a wide variety of different angles. The voices also change significantly. They often get deeper. And, of course, the storylines have become different. In the first season there were usually three different storylines in each episode. In later seasons, the number of storylines per episode was condensed to one, or, at most, two.

  96. There are only two ideologies:

    1) The belief that people should be organized by the use of force. But force is a nasty word, so it’s covered up, euphemized and obscured by such lofty sounding words as “government”, “greater good”, “too big to fail” and “think of the children”. At one extreme you have those who worship at the feet of godvernment, believing that those who are incapable of running their own lives are miraculously bestowed with wisdom upon being elected to the legislature or appointed to a functionary position.

    2) The belief that people should be organized voluntarily without force or coercion. No one argues that voluntary organization solves all problems, only that it is better morally and practically to seek voluntary solutions than coercive ones. Government may have a role in society, but it is not to organize it.

    Both Obama and McCain fit into the first category. They believe in running your life for you. Don’t delude yourself into thinking your “favorite” big party candidate is different. Both have expressed the unabashed willingness to coercively organize society. Only two candidates are exceptions, and neither have a D or R behind their name.

  97. Interesting – I’ll have to pay more attention the next time I watch. The voice changes don’t really surprise me, as those tend to evolve over the course of an animated show – if you watch some of the early Simpson’s shorts from the Tracy Ullman show they don’t even sound like the same characters at times.

  98. In case anyone was thick enough to miss the point of my earlier comments about Edward, he has helpfully spelled it out in his last comment:

    Don’t feed the troll.

    Or, at least, don’t feed him without understanding what he is and why he’s here. It isn’t because he wants to comprehend and engage your arguments.

  99. So…all you want is for us to ignore you? Easy enough.

    Link in name – “Ignore Me!”

  100. # Just Plain Brian | September 28, 2008, 12:39am | #
    # The voice changes don’t really surprise me,
    # as those tend to evolve over the course of
    # an animated show – if you watch some of the
    # early Simpson’s shorts from the Tracy Ullman
    # show they don’t even sound like the same
    # characters at times.

    I remember reading an interview with Dan Castellaneta, in which he said that Homer’s original (Tracey Ullman Show) voice was patterned after Walter Matthau’s, but that it was too uncomfortable for him to maintain it with consistency, episode after episode, so Homer’s voice evolved from something suitable for a Matthau-esqe grouch to something that more befitted the dimwitted buffoon that Homer became as a character in his own show.

  101. Too bad, because he was a genuinely admirable man who simply wasn’t a politician. A war hero for much the same reasons as John McCain, but Stockdale wore it better.

    It was a shame. I didn’t realize what a hero Stockdale was until a decade after his VP run (I was 14 when he first ran). Unlike McCain, he didn’t use his heroism as a club to beat away any criticism of him.

  102. Unbelievable! Now Walker claims that all the attention he was giving to my posts was really intended to make you realize you shouldn’t give them any attention. Jesse, you’re enough of a weasle to work on McCain’s campaign. Donate now!

  103. Re: South Park voice changes.

    They have changed significantly, and I think much for the worse. Especially Cartman. In seasons 1-about 8, just about anything Cartman said would be pretty funny by virtue of his voice. Now it’s a) much more clearly the same voice as Stan (Trey) and b) usually just obnoxious, but not in a funny way. His character has morphed into an uninteresting asshole where before he was an extremely funny and eccentric asshole.

    Personally I only think a handful of episodes post-Season 8 are worth watching. Major Boobage, for instance.

  104. Brandybuck,

    I agree that both McCain and Obama are poor choices for those of us who hold your 2nd ideology, but the choice is between two evils and as far as the 1st ideology goes, Obama is by far the most dangerous adherent because of the party he brings with him.

    If I had to choose which would control less and do the least damage, I’d have to say McCain, but by no means does he represent my ideology — it’s just that the Republicans do have a few people left who repect free markets.

  105. Just stop posing as a libertarian and register Democrat already. I’m sick of this dishonest shtick.

  106. I’m sorry, but this “they’re really all the same” schtick is asinine. Really it is. J sub D and Fluffy occasionally come around to point out that only one of the two sides has tortured people in earnest, conned people into a half-decade-long one-sided bloodbath, crassly married religion (of the very worst sort) to public policy, and turned socializing losses and privatizing profits into a fucking legislative and regulatory artform.

    Since they aren’t around today, let me be the one to say, shove it. Seriously. There are degrees of evil, and your cheap equivalencies are sickening.

  107. Elemenope | September 27, 2008, 8:18pm | #

    Honestly, if he thinks it’s for self-defense, then is it really all that hard to reconcile?

    Yes it is. Because spending us to death will kill this country as quick *if not quicker* than any number of terrorist threat scenarios short of fucking Jericho.

    Beyond that, if he actually believes that any of these nations and/or terrorist groups are an existential threat to the United States, then he isn’t crazy, he’s just stupid. And I don’t personally like stupid for president (though I hear that many other stupid people kinda dig that).

    If you want to argue that the US can stay neutral towards a given conflict because that conflict does not endanger the US, then I’m up for that debate. If you want to argue that a country has a just grievance against the US that we can address, then I’m up for that debate. However, arguing that we can save cash by ignoring irrational threats against America flys in the face of history.

    If a government has an irrational opposition to America, it won’t be satisfied with a few attacks. It will keep on attacking until it is unable to continue. Every surrender we make only reduces our ability to resist future attacks while increasing the other countries ability to make future attacks. The losses we incur defending ourselves get balanced by the losses the opposing country incurs trying to overcome our defenses. The losses we incur through surrender get multiplied by the rewards the opposing country gains through our surrender. If a country is out to destroy the US, standing our ground is the only viable option.

  108. Mr. Nice guy @ September 27, 2008, 11:30pm

    So the party that brought us […] the faltering economy

    The credit crisis is a result of bad lending, which was directed by the Clinton administration in 1998/1999, which was part of a liberalism ideology, which states that the government’s role is to force financial institutions to lend to poor people; which perverts risk incentives, risk anaylsis, and market prices.

    In short: liberalism -> government interference -> bad debt -> government interference.

    Please explain to me how Republicans are any more culpable than Democrats. I realize liberalism has conquered almost all of our society and polity, which is to say it covers both mainstream parties entirely, but the extreme Republicans tend to be single-issue on defense or individualism, not on welfare. That is to say, Democrats have in recent years embraced the crony leftism of Chicago, whereas Republicans are moving into the Clinton (and Nixon) style of feel-good-liberalist big government.

  109. If Republicans had put the kind of energy they put into raiding peaceful cancer patients who happen to grow/smoke cannabis into stopping this criminality, they’d have stopped it, and we ALL know that. No need to lie about it, stopping criminality was NOT A HIGH PRIORITY for the Republicans, probably because they, too, were on the financial gravy train. There’s blame to go around, but the idea that even with total political control the Republican party couldn’t have stopped this clusterfuck is truly laughable, and I intend to make fun of it from now ’till the election.

  110. Elemenope | September 28, 2008, 3:00am | #

    I’m sorry, but this “they’re really all the same” schtick is asinine. Really it is. J sub D and Fluffy occasionally come around to point out that only one of the two sides has tortured people in earnest, conned people into a half-decade-long one-sided bloodbath, crassly married religion (of the very worst sort) to public policy, and turned socializing losses and privatizing profits into a fucking legislative and regulatory artform.

    Since they aren’t around today, let me be the one to say, shove it. Seriously. There are degrees of evil, and your cheap equivalencies are sickening.

    In congress, the Democrats were the biggest bailout proponents. On the local level, Democrats legislate morality through prostitution bans, speech regulation, smoking bans, blue laws, and forced charity. The Democrats spearheaded the war on marijuana. Democrats have a history of waging “humanitarian” wars in other countries. The Supreme court ruled against torture years ago. You have to turn a blind eye to many events in order to paint liberals as moraly superior to conservatives.

  111. JMR,

    I haven’t heard of law breaking that caused the recent stock market dip. Please enlighten me. Which companies broke the law and what laws did they break?

  112. If Republicans had put the kind of energy they put into raiding peaceful cancer patients

    Right, because those small-government Democrats who control the legislature are repealing the drug war as fast as they can type. How’s that working out?

    Yes, that’s a tu quoque, but it’s more-importantly an indictment of the party that panders to potheads and then screws them over. Also, techincally, Arnold is a Republican. I don’t know how anyone should feel about that, but there it is.

  113. The law breaking has been REPEATEDLY reported by Ted Butler (google is your friend) and ignored by the Cavutos of this world. And the pot thing was only one example of bullshit they’re obsessed-with instead of shrinking government for once. I fully agree that Democrats pander to the druggies and then screw them in much the same way Republicans pander to gun owners & screw ’em. Oh, and click on the “JMR” for more criminality exposure — there’s no way that a real “market” creates a graph like this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/02/17/business/20080217_SWAP_2_GRAPHIC.html

    just as there’s no way a “measly” $800 Billion is going to unfuck us all. “But e-gold was the problem.”

  114. And by the way, that graph’s out of date. The true clusterfuck-cost is more like $60 Trillion. We’re screwed. It must have been that Ron Paul guy’s fault. The doctor and his “terrorist” supporters simply had the media enthralled.

  115. Edward more annoying than Lonewacko? I don’t know. Edward just trys to get a rise out of me by insulting me. Lonewacko is a one man hate machine.

  116. JMR | September 28, 2008, 7:13am | #

    The law breaking has been REPEATEDLY reported by Ted Butler (google is your friend) and ignored by the Cavutos of this world. …

    The burden of proof is on the accuser. I start off with assumption of innocence. So far, you’ve started with a vague accusation. When pressed, you refuse to clarify your accusation. Instead, you refer me to a reporter who may or may not have accurate information. So far, you haven’t mentioned any indictments or convictions. You’ll have to do a bit better than that before you convince me that you’ve managed to uncover some secret plot. I’m willing to hear your evidence, but you’ve got to present it.

  117. JMR,

    Are you refering to the Ted Butler who ran on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party ticket for State House of Representatives in Minnesota, or one of his googlegangers?

  118. The election is really between Democrats and Republicans and the likes of Pence, Sanford and Shelby give me more confidence when it comes to attempting to limit government than Pelosi, Reid, Frank and Dodd.

  119. Hi Jesse:

    your alma mater sure surprised the Cheese Badgers!

    wow!

    is miller one of the Edweirdooo/Lefiti (Dan T?) incarnations? at any rate, Lobster Girl shall report to Warren’s bunk.

  120. “The credit crisis is a result of bad lending, which was directed by the Clinton administration in 1998/1999, which was part of a liberalism ideology, which states that the government’s role is to force financial institutions to lend to poor people; which perverts risk incentives, risk anaylsis, and market prices.

    In short: liberalism -> government interference -> bad debt -> government interference.”

    I guess I could point out that the economy under Clinton was good, under the current GOP administration, not so much. Or I could point out that you leave out that between the “Clinton lending” (do you mean GOP appointee Greenspan that Clinton retained) and this mess there is the relaxation of lending regulation that just magically involved these credit default swaps that torpedoed AIG and were championed NOT by liberalism’s greatest lights but by free market trumpeting GOPers. But I don’t even have to go there: from 2001 to 2006 there was only one party in control of every branch of government. If this bad lending that you say was somehow a product of the Democrats (who had not have control of Congress since 1994) was causing an imminent financial crisis and the GOP was better on this, then why didn’t they do something about it under their 6 years in single party dominance? They rammed quite a few things past the Dems, why not a fix for this?

    Look, it’s time to be accountable. This happened all under a GOP watch. This bailout you’re bitching about was proposed, late and incompentently by a GOP administration that has been in power for eight years and was supposed to be working on stuff like this (and with a subordinate GOP congress under them for 6 of those 8). It’s the GOP’s mess and time for some accountability…

  121. Blaming this on poor people is a sad retreat into a politically-correct fantasy world.

    Poor people don’t have mortgages large enough to bring down the financial system like this.

    Those huge, empty subdivisions in Florida and Phoenix and the Inland Empire sure weren’t built for poor people.

    And even if all the poor people in America had defaulted on their little, tiny mortgages all at once, that still wouldn’t have killed the financial sector unless phony-baloney MBSs were circulating all over the place.

  122. “I can’t reach her! She’s lost in some frightening world that isn’t centered around me!”

  123. Lonewacko is a one man hate machine.

    i prefer to think of him as a mariachi trumpet playing a muy triste song.

  124. jtuf, the CFTC (which is, finally, investigating) is the one that hasn’t clarified. Do I *suspect* some banking/financial entities of crime? Yes. Has crime happened? Clearly. Do I know, or have means to know, the exact perp? No. That’s not my job.

    That’s also not innocence, when the fucking graph alone, albeit outdated, is strong evidence of bad things going on. The entire planet’s GDP will soon be dwarfed by this gambling market, if it isn’t already, and yes, I said “gambling,” not insurance. You don’t want to address my point, apparently, but that’s far from me not making it, as I have, repeatedly, during this clusterfuck. It pisses some people off when I say this shit, but that doesn’t change the facts.

    I don’t know what Ted Butler you’re referencing with political parties. I also don’t particularly care. This Ted, long ago, was accused of market improprieties involving copper, and has since focused on alleging similar shenanigans by others, but in silver. The CFTC is now investigating the silver market movements since about June of this year, and if they can find an innocent explanation for silver going down, in wartime, as BILLIONS more dollars are chasing it, I’m all ears. I think it’s naked shorts, and I think the taxpayers will be on the hook, and when that happens, I plan to spend at least an entire WEEK saying “I told you so,” here & elsewhere.

  125. i prefer to think of him as a mariachi trumpet playing a muy triste song.

    No, Se?or McGee: he is Tito Puente! ?Por qu? no te callas?

  126. Mr. Nice Guy @ September 28, 2008, 9:36am

    relaxation of lending regulation

    OMG, YOU DESTROYED GOVERNMENT. YOU BASTARDS!!! If only they had listened! If only they increased regulations, maybe the fat cats wouldn’t have WON!!!

    and the GOP was better on this

    No, I said they don’t automatically turn to big government for the purposes and as results of social class agitation.

    This happened all under a GOP watch.

    If you’re going to act that stupid, might as well realize it’s a Democrat majority Congress, and has been for a couple of years.

  127. Gore-Quayle-Stockdale. Biden’s Gore and Quayle, and she’s Stockdale.

    Sorry, joe, but I’m having a hard time seeing Palin as a genuine classics-reading intellectual (and honest-to-god war hero, although we didn’t hear much about that in the campaign) who just can’t quite manage to reduce complex policy issues to twelve word platitudes. 😉

    I do agree with your underlying position that Biden will win. Palin will come off as way out of her depth in spite of any number of gaffes that Joe will manage.

    Part of the problem might be that while Palin might be a quick study and a good learner, the McCain campaign does not have any good teachers. That and their determination to emphasize her nutso-fundie religious beliefs.

  128. Blaming this on poor people is a sad retreat into a politically-correct fantasy world.

    Poor people don’t have mortgages large enough to bring down the financial system like this.

    Those huge, empty subdivisions in Florida and Phoenix and the Inland Empire sure weren’t built for poor people.

    Excellent point, joe.

    It is, however, worth keeping in mind that most of the programs exploited by these promoters were originally instituted to assist low income people achieve home ownership.

    I would feel a lot better if somehow, after this bailout has miraculously achieved stability, that a little more thought was going to be put into “programs for the poor”.

    To bad I don’t believe in miracles and have no faith in politicians’ thinking processes.

    Well, you kids are gonna have to live with this shit. I beginning to be thankful that I’ll be dead in a few years. 🙂

  129. They are all corrupt
    This bickering is pointless
    Let’s vote them all out

  130. “I can’t reach her! She’s lost in some frightening world that isn’t centered around me!”

    ? Gonna set the welcome table, set the welcome table…

  131. Gonna set the welcome table, set the welcome table…

    Gonna sit at the welcome table.

    Still, all points to you for knowing it. My Vicodin is kicking in and my Sugar Free Rockstar is too! Time to go to the pool and swim a kilometer and feel no pain. Wildcard, bitches!

  132. It’s all Ron Paul’s fault
    I blame him and the gold bugs
    For this clusterfuck

  133. I guess I could point out that the economy under Clinton was good, under the current GOP administration, not so much.

    Or, you could note the economy was good under a Republican Congress, now not so much.

    Or you could note that from 1992-2000, we benefitted from the fact the Internet had just been invented, the Cold War had just ended, and NAFTA had just been passed (which Dems now want to renegotiate).

    Or if we really wanted to be misleading, we could note people are richer on a per capita GDP basis in 2000-2008 vs 1992-2000.

    Or, best of all, I could note that I have a magic rock that keeps tigers away. I can’t point to any mechanism for how this works, but you don’t see any tigers around my house, do you?

  134. I think people forget that the office changes the candidate.

    Whatever ideology they had in the past is pretty much moot. If they’re going to run a superpower, there are certain realities — like the need for an aggressive foreign policy — they must face.

    Ron Paul is the only consistent candidate. As much as I’m not a conservative, I find liberalism to be insane cognitive dissonance/class revenge thought, and want no part of it.

  135. I would feel a lot better if somehow, after this bailout has miraculously achieved stability, that a little more thought was going to be put into “programs for the poor”.

    I appreciate the sentiment, but that’s how the Reconstruction and the New Deal and the Great Society and so forth got marketed.

    Fewer “programs,” more repealing, please.

  136. Henry,
    You can’t change your mind in a week, just because your boy, Johnny Mac, disagrees.

    Kissinger:
    But I do not believe that we can make conditions for the opening of negotiations. We ought, however, to be very clear about the content of negotiations and work it out with other countries and with our own government.

    Senso:
    Put at a very high level right out of the box?

    Kissinger:
    Initially, yes. And I always believed that the best way to begin a negotiation is to tell the other side exactly what you have in mind and what you are — what the outcome is that you’re trying to achieve so that they have something that they can react to. Now, the permanent members of the Security Council, plus Japan and Germany, have all said nuclear weapons in Iran are unacceptable. They’ve never explained what they mean by this. So if we go into a negotiation, we ought to have a clear understanding of what is it we’re trying to prevent. What is it going to do if we can’t achieve what we’re talking about?

  137. Isaac Bertram,

    But none of the underlying causes here were “programs for the poor.” The only “programs for the poor” related to any of this was the CRA, which only applied to federally-insured financial institutions, ie, real banks. Real banks weren’t behind the travashamockery. Real banks issued a far lower % of risky loans, and sold a far smaller % of those loans, and converted a far smaller % into MBDs, and as as result, real banks are weathering this episode much better. Real banks are seeing far lower default rates in CRA-covered neighborhoods.

    In fact, because the CRA made boring, plain-vanilla bank mortgages more available for poor people and others in poor neighborhoods, it served to squeeze out some number of high risk mortgages out of the market, reducing the foreclosure epidemic.

  138. Were interest rates only lowered for poor people? Were MBSs only created out of mortgages given to poor people? Were only poor people offered loans they couldn’t afford? Were balloon ARMs only made available to poor people?

  139. the lesser evil

    is odiously evil

    too evil for me

  140. Do you still think Obama will lose, prolefeed?

    I just can’t believe Republicans are in that much of a bubble where they think McCain will win. It amazes me. And I’m not even a Democrat or Democrat-enabler.

    BDB — I still think, as I have for several months, that it will come down to the wire. I still think that late on the general election night, we might still be wondering whether we will be screwed over in the next 4 years by the member of the statist-socialist wing of the Republican party, or the member of the statist-socialist wing of the Democratic party.

    And this belief it may be close is based on some real-world electoral college math — check out pollster.com and all those yellow swing states — check out electoral-vote.com and all those white swing states with pale blue or pink borders.

    One major gaffe by either candidate could swing the election. One devastating bitch-slapping or bastard-slapping in the VP debate could swing it. This race ain’t over. It’s way to close to call right now.

  141. Recently, I saw a bumper sticker that said the following:

    Liberal – Gandhi
    Conservative – Hitler

    Only a liberal wouldn’t be able to differentiate between conservatism and fascism. Contemporary liberalism is a jingoistic, nonsensical, socialist/communist ideology where appearance of doing good is so much more important than actually doing good.

    According to the CIA’s on website, there’s enough GDP in the USA to give every single American a salary of $45,800 annually, whether they deserve it or not. Here’s novel idea. Let’s start with the people espousing the ideas of wealth redistribution. Everyone that actually thinks we should be spreading the money around and yet are making more than $45,800 should sell off all of their assets and donate all of these assets and salaries in excess of $45,800 to the poor.

    Until they do, they are hypocrites.

    Nuff said.

  142. Only a liberal would confuse conservatism with fascism, but liberalism is a communist ideology.

    ‘kay.

  143. from 2001 to 2006 there was only one party in control of every branch of government

    Nitpick – There was that brief period of time when the Senate was nominally in control of the Democrats after Jeffords switched. But, in the long run, this appears to have had a negligible affect on anything.

  144. JMR,

    Well, I’m glad the CFTC is looking into the trades. If a crime did occur, I hope they catch and convict the criminals.

    As far as your graph is concerned ( NY Times ), it is much more common for quick changes like that to result from a new government mandate or a new discovery than from any criminal activity.

    Granted, it is possible there was fraud. It’s also possible that the resturant where I got breakfast this morning cheated me on the bill. For that matter, it’s possible al-qaeda is behind market change. However, the NY Times graph is very weak evidence of fraud or crime. It looks more like yet another example of how politicians with social engineering plans push an indistry to change quickly under the threat of legal action.

  145. In the first section, my basic reaction was Both of these guys are full of shit.

    That’s odd; I didn’t even watch the “debate” and my reaction is exactly the same.

  146. Ok, maybe there’s NOT fraud in the graph. How do you explain how the US & world economies got along BEFORE this bullshit existed? I’m all ears, but until I see a coherent explanation, the NYT graph is VERY STRONG evidence of both fraud and criminality. Whether or not politicians were directly involved is not important to me, I’m talkin’ criminality, and until I see that *coherent* graph-explaination from someone, I say “J’ACCUSE.” Once again, this measly bailout is NOTHING when compared to some of the risky bets that are out there & are quite likely to go bad. This is like going all-in with pocket 2s (if not 7-2 off suit). It MAY work, but chances are, it won’t. Anyway, thanks for the response, although I totally disagree with you. I smell criminality.

  147. This is like going all-in with pocket 2s (if not 7-2 off suit).

    JMR

    There is so much economic data out there, a reporter looking for a scoop can make hundreds of graphs until he finds one that is different. It’s kind of like asking how something as complicated as life could evolve on Earth by random chance. There are so many planets and so many years for random chance to work, you should expect life to evolve on at least one of them. Similarly, there are so many possible graphs, you should expect at least one to be different. Even assuming for the sake of argument that the graph isn’t a fluke, market distortions from politicians and their social engineering plans are much more common than fraud or collusions. Just look at how the price of food sky rocketed because of ethanol subsidies. If you expect me to search through real estate and lending law for possible explanations, you could at least find and link to an officical online archive of real estate law and one for lending law. Even assuming for the sake of argument that you are right to “smell criminality”, the alleged criminal could be an employe or it could be any one of dozens of known criminal groups. So far your arguement boils down to “I don’t understand it. Burn them! Burn them!”.

  148. jtuf | September 28, 2008, 6:25am | #

    In congress, the Democrats were the biggest bailout proponents.

    Proposed by a GOP administration that neither major party candidate opposed Friday night.

    On the local level, Democrats legislate morality through prostitution bans,

    Huh? I think you will look long and hard for local candidates supporting legalization of prostitution outside of Nevada.

    Speech regulation,

    Pornography and flag burning. The religious right and the uber patriots, both of which gravitate to the GOP support these issues.

    Smoking bans,

    Yep, that one goes in the donkey party’s basket.

    blue laws,

    Huh? See my previous about the religious right.

    and forced charity.

    Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
    Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
    Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
    Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
    Yes the Dems are more socialist thaan the GOPers, but it’s getting harder to tell isn’t it? GWB’s minor tweaking of social security couldn’t get any traction with a Republican congress.
    The Democrats spearheaded the war on marijuana.

    The nuber of marijuana arrests have gone up in every administration since Richard Nixon(R) declared a War on Drugs Liberty.

    Democrats have a history of waging “humanitarian” wars in other countries.

    Add up the financial costs and US dead of Democratic military misadventures and compare it to Republican misadventures since Vietnam (I’ll gladly give Lyndon Johnson the lion’s share of the blame for that one, though both parties overwhelmingly supported supprtted the Gulf of Tomkin Resolution).*

    The Supreme court ruled against torture years ago.

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Over.

    You have to turn a blind eye to many events in order to paint liberals as moraly superior to conservatives.

    Which I don’t. But I do recognize evil when I see it. From both of the major parties.

  149. It’s kind of like asking how something as complicated as life could evolve on Earth by random chance

    That’s a bad example, because life didn’t evolve by “random chance”.

    Natural selection has nothing to do with random chance.

  150. Natural selection has nothing to do with random chance.

    What does natural selection have to do with amino acids in the appropriate conditions coalescing into living cells? If there’s nothing to select, then it’s not natural selection.

  151. What does natural selection have to do with amino acids in the appropriate conditions coalescing into living cells?

    For starters, you’re not talking about evolution.

  152. Misspelling “Darwin” in a comment about someone else not understanding evolution: joez law.

  153. J sub D,

    My thesis is that Democrats are not noticeably more libertarian than Republicans.

    Points:

    1) Bailout – The congress reps who did oppose the bailout were Republicans. Democrats pushed hard for Bush’s bailout package.
    — Slight Advantage : Republican

    2) Prostitution – Neither Democrats nor Republicans advocate legalized prostitution outside of Nevada. This moves them both closer to the statist side, which reduces any relative difference between the two.

    3) Speech regulation – Both liberal paternalistic “feminists” and conservative moralizers oppose pornography. Democrats push for campaign finance restrictions and PC speech codes more often than Republicans do.
    — Slight Advantage : Republican

    4) Smoking ban – A Democrat issue.
    — Advantage : Republican

    5)Blue laws: Near me, the Democrats support blue laws because they are anti-business and the Republicans oppose them because they are pro-business. If I get a ticket for trying to work on Sunday, I dislike it regardless of the specific bias that lead the council reps to write the law.
    — Advantage: Republican

    6) Forced charity – I agree the Republicans are only slightly more libertarian on this topic.
    — Slight Advantage : Republican

    7) Drug war – FDR and the Dixicrats pushed through the original marijuana stamp act. The Democratically controlled congress passed the 1970’s laws against drugs. Ron Paul has been the most vocal opponent of the drug war in congress.
    — Slight Advantage : Republican

    8) War outside the US – It depends on how you assign responsibility. Adding it all up would require agreeing on which of several conflicts in the past 50 years were necessary and which were unnecessary. We would also have to agree on how much blame should go to the president and how much should go to each congress rep and senator. I’ll withdrawl this point, because agreeing on the tally would take hours.

    9) Torture: I lump this with other forms of brutality by officials. It is illegal according to the supreme court. If you want to place blame for violations of that ruling, how do you want to tally it up? Does the “Don’t tase me bro.” incident count, or are electricutions less evil as long as you don’t ask the victim any questions? Are involuntary electro shock treatments OK because of their alleged curative powers as some liberal judges have ruled? I oppose applying voltage to nonconsenting people in all these cases.

    If there’s a Libertarian candidate on the ballot who has a tolerant view towards immigration and wants to gradually restrain DC’s influence on the world, I vote for him. If not, I don’t see compelling reasons to pick a generic Democrat.

  154. Speech regulation – Both liberal paternalistic “feminists” and conservative moralizers oppose pornography. Democrats push for campaign finance restrictions and PC speech codes more often than Republicans do.
    — Slight Advantage : Republican

    A GOP house, senate and president enacted the McCain-Feingold Canpaign Finance Reform Political Expression Regulation Act. Now one of the authors has their parties nod as a candidate for president. Advantage – Democrats, big time.

  155. jtuf,

    Are you a NBA official? I haven’t seen officiating that bad since game 2 of the NBA Finals.

    You do know that #3 is pushed more by the Rs and the Republican SCOTUS and a Republican prez signed McCain-Feingold. They both suck there. Smoking bans are pretty bi-partisan. See states like Montana. The drug war, in recent years was ramped up by Nixon and Reagan. Bush pushed for prosecution of CA med marijuana laws. The righties on the court were on the devil’s side in Raich. This is definitely a better issue for Dems than Reps. As for torture, the Republicans are the “law and order” party that apologize for police brutality, throwing out the 4th Amendment and institutionalizing and legalizing torture.

    Dems are not friends of liberty (see the second amendment and taxes), but they are better on some issues.

  156. jtuf,

    One more thing. Regarding the War on Drugs Liberty, trying to lay partisan blame over this bullshit eludes me entirely.

    Advantage Columbian cartels and the corrections industrial complex.

  157. “Bailout – The congress reps who did oppose the bailout were Republicans. Democrats pushed hard for Bush’s bailout package.”
    Maybe the Democratic Presidents do too good a job managing the economy to have to call on such bailouts. This all happened under Bush (R)’s watch.

    “Both liberal paternalistic “feminists” and conservative moralizers oppose pornography.” Liberal paternalstic feminists don’t have near the influence on the Democratic Party as the RR does on the Republican Party. NOW ain’t much compared to Focus on the Family…

    “Blue laws: Near me, the Democrats support blue laws because they are anti-business and the Republicans oppose them because they are pro-business.” You throw Democrat and liberal around in a historical context like they were equivalent and you are bound to get confused. Blue laws have a theocratic history in the US. Now which party is a bunch of secularists again?

    “Drug war – FDR and the Dixicrats pushed through the original marijuana stamp act. The Democratically controlled congress passed the 1970’s laws against drugs. Ron Paul has been the most vocal opponent of the drug war in congress.” Again, confusing Dixiecrats and the current Democratic Party is bound to get you all confused, as noted by many political scientists and historians most of those Dixiecrats left the party and went to a Party which was more and more defining itself as a conservative party. Remember Clinton’s Just Say No and War on Drugs commercials? Neither do I. Democrats are much more likely to support medical marijuana and marijuana decriminalization and I’ve put poll after poll up here before to demonstrate that.

  158. Prolefeed, go the FiveThirtyEight.

  159. Longer answer: Adding up all the polls (including Zogby/LOL! polls, for God’s sake) and averaging them isn’t the best way to gauge how this election is going.

  160. “If you’re going to act that stupid, might as well realize it’s a Democrat majority Congress, and has been for a couple of years.”

    Yeah, with a one vote margin in the Senate. You have heard of this thing called the filibuster haven’t you? Ergo the Demcratic Party’s two year reign certainly can’t be blamed for this because at best their power is limited to not passing what Bush wants, they cannot override anything he has already put in place…

    Democratic rule 1992-2000, strong economy
    Republican rule 2000-1998, tanked out

  161. 2000-2008 of course 🙂

  162. You can play this game at home by looking at anything that a Democrat has done in the party’s long history, then equate that with liberal action, and you can blame liberals for it.

    Like, it’s liberals that are for creationism (William Jennings Bryant).

    And liberals who were for the LA purchase (Jefferson). And the national bank (Jackson).

    You see how crazy this gets.

    Liberals started to get a foothold in the Dem party in the Progressive Era but it did not become a liberal party until probably the late 1950’s-60’s…

  163. Just Plain Brian | September 28, 2008, 2:59pm | #
    It’s kind of like asking how something as complicated as life could evolve on Earth by random chance
    That’s a bad example, because life didn’t evolve by “random chance”.

    Natural selection has nothing to do with random chance.

    From and evolutionary lense, random chance provides the variation that natural selection works on. If you analyze enough graphs or roll enough fair dice, random chance will cause a pattern even if there is no underlying cause for it.

  164. Don’t forget that using that logic liberals were for slavery and secession.

  165. jtuf, you have NOT explained how the graph is noncriminal. Where there’s smoke (which I smell) there must be fire. Trying to call it political won’t help, it’s criminal in the end because the Federal Reserve ITSELF is an ongoing criminal enterprise, but the specific criminal manipulations of the precious metals markets in order to influence perceived inflation either are or will-be matters of “I told you so.” It’s been too obvious for too long, and denial only makes for more unintentional humor.

  166. Federalists–>Federalist Party–>Anti-Jackson forces–>Whig Party–>Republican Party Pre-FDR–>Modern Democratic Party

    Anti-Federalists–>Democratic Republicans–>Democrats pre-FDR–>Modern Republican Party

    That’s pretty much how it works, roughly.

  167. Of course the transformation of the Democrats into the party of a strong, central government and the transformation of the Republican Party into the party for (at least rehtorically) “Small government” took about thirty years, and was only completed in the late 60s.

  168. A GOP house, senate and president enacted the McCain-Feingold Canpaign Finance Reform Political Expression Regulation Act. Now one of the authors has their parties nod as a candidate for president. Advantage – Democrats, big time.

    Republicans have been the biggest critic of McCain-Feingold. I have yet to meet a Democrat who wants to scrap campaign finance laws. In fact, liberal leaning groups complain about financial contributions to campaigns quite often.

    Personally, I don’t see the moral difference between volunteering 500 hours during a summer for a campaign and donating $3,000 to a campaign. Only the second act is illegal.

  169. From and evolutionary lense, random chance provides the variation that natural selection works on

    You’re reaching. Genetic variation occurs because mutation is random, but natural selection works in a decidedly non-random manner.

    You can roll all the dice you want, but if you only pick up the ones that roll a 6, that is not random.

  170. You’re reaching. Genetic variation occurs because mutation is random, but natural selection works in a decidedly non-random manner.

    You can roll all the dice you want, but if you only pick up the ones that roll a 6, that is not random.

    The Origin of Species explains it all very well. It is a surprisingly easy to read piece that has a place in literature as well as science. Your local library should have a copy. If not, …

  171. J Sub–

    You will be shocked at the number of creationists who, you know, never DID read that book.

  172. I’ll say it again: This bickering is pointless.

    THEY ARE ALL CORRUPT. THE BLAME LIES WITH ALL OF THEM.

    As you were.

  173. Thanks, Sage. I think you win the thread.

  174. Mr. Nice Guy | September 28, 2008, 5:00pm | #

    You can play this game at home by looking at anything that a Democrat has done in the party’s long history, then equate that with liberal action, and you can blame liberals for it.

    I contended that the Democrats are not noticeably more libertarian than the Republicans are. It was a rebuttal to another commenter who claimed they were. If platform changes over the years make tallying impractical, as you suggest, then the most logical default is to say Democrats and Republicans are about the same. This conclusion agrees with my contention.

  175. THEY ARE ALL CORRUPT. THE BLAME LIES WITH ALL OF THEM.

    I wouldn’t say they’re all corrupt. Many are merely misguided, full of themselves, or downright friggin’ stupid.

    Some of those win the trifecta.

  176. “The mechanism that directs government cannot be virtuous, because it is impossible to thwart every crime, to protect oneself from every criminal without being criminal too; that which directs corrupt mankind must be corrupt itself; and it will never be by means of virtue, virtue being inert and passive, that you will maintain control over vice, which is ever active: the governor must be more energetic than the governed.”

  177. Actually, “Democrat” is a noun. The adjective form is “Democratic.” A Democratic Congress.

    Personally, I don’t think that advertising that one’s partisan loyalties thoroughly pervade one’s writing to the point of error is a terribly smart move when trying to convince others about the relative merits of the two major parties. Your mileage may vary.

  178. You can roll all the dice you want, but if you only pick up the ones that roll a 6, that is not random.

    Exactly.

    If you roll a thousand fair dice, at least one roll will turn up 6 by random chance. Picking up that 6 and holding it out for everyone to see is not random. It results from your desire to find a 6.

    If the first generation of organisms produces a thousand offspring, at least some of them will be more fit than average by random chance. Natural selection picks out some of those above average offspring and causes them to contribute more genes than typical to the third generation.

    If a NY Times reporter looks at a thousand economic graphs, at least one of them will be different by random chance. The reporter picking out that graph and publishing it is not random. It reflects the reporter’s desire to publish interesting patterns. This is the basis of my null hypothesis for evaluating JMR’s discovery. So far, the evidence he has presented does not convince me to reject the null.

  179. JMR | September 28, 2008, 5:02pm | #

    jtuf, you have NOT explained how the graph is noncriminal. Where there’s smoke (which I smell) there must be fire. Trying to call it political won’t help, it’s criminal in the end because the Federal Reserve ITSELF is an ongoing criminal enterprise, but the specific criminal manipulations of the precious metals markets in order to influence perceived inflation either are or will-be matters of “I told you so.” It’s been too obvious for too long, and denial only makes for more unintentional humor.

    JMR,

    The burden of proof is on the accuser. If you expect me to go through all the trouble of proving a negative, you could at least do some of the leg work. I asked for a link to a reliable real estate law and finance law archive. You ignored that request. At this point, your demands on my time are exceeding what I typically spend on someone I’ve just met. If you wish to continue this debate with me, kindly either:

    1) Prove to my satisfaction that this comment was not written by an invisible Martian.

    or

    2) Suggest a method of payment to compensate me for the time this debate is taking.

  180. First, I’d like to thank everyone for obsessing over me.

    Second, I updated the list of reasons why Reason wants you to vote for The One. I think you’ll find they made the right choice for you.

  181. *sniff sniff*

    Ewww! Who shit their pants?

  182. Hey OLS–

    No one goes to your website. Unless they want to laugh at you.

  183. The one piece of good news that has been buried by all the focus on the financial crisis is that the legislative ban on offshore oil drilling will be allowed to expire at the end of this month. The Dems did not attempt to renew it this time – because they knew they had a losing hand on that one.

    So now all areas are open for exploration and production without any of the giveaways that the Senate “gang” was trying to do.

  184. J sub D | September 28, 2008, 6:55pm | #

    *sniff sniff*

    Ewww! Who shit their pants?

    Odors don’t travel through the web, so check your house.

  185. Martin,

    That is good news.

  186. It’s because they know they can renew it in January, while still taking away the DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!one11eleventy issue.

  187. He who smelt it dealt it.

  188. So now all areas are open for exploration and production without any of the giveaways that the Senate “gang” was trying to do.

    Actually, it returns to the states. It’s not happening in CA because no one supports it. It’s probably not happening in Florida either. That will give the Dems plenty of time to reinstate it on January 21st.

  189. I think the Democrats would be willing to keep the offshore beds open, as a bargaining chip.

  190. I’d rather you keep no new gun laws as your bargaining chip.

  191. I meant, in energy bills.

  192. # Diskpanic | September 28, 2008, 1:20pm | #
    # Recently, I saw a bumper sticker that said
    # the following:

    # Liberal – Gandhi
    # Conservative – Hitler

    Gandhi, for all his good works, was by many credible accounts a real S.O.B. Look at the Hitler home movies, and you’d have a hard time believing that he was responsible for the Holocaust. Indeed, Mao and Stalin killed a lot more people — for ethnic reasons or just for the hell of it — than Hitler ever did and was ever likely to do as Reichsfuehrer. Not that he was any better than them, but they had control of more people, and the Nazis were never in a real position to achieve world — or even continental — domination, except by accident.

    Oh yes, and “Uncle Joe” Stalin was our ALLY against Hitler!

    So when I see bumperstickers like the one mentioned above, I am reminded of why the phrase, “bumpersticker sloganeering” is an insult.

    On the other hand, Gandhi and Hitler both ended up dead by a bullet. We hope that the owner of the bumper-sticker was not recommending such a fate for both of the poxy houses, but one could understand the point, if so. This week’s orgy of “bipartisanship” was certainly revolting enough to inspire a revolt.

  193. “If platform changes over the years make tallying impractical, as you suggest, then the most logical default is to say Democrats and Republicans are about the same. This conclusion agrees with my contention.”

    Oh, that’s stupid. Since the relevant debate now is between today’s liberals and today’s conservatives, let’s look at those. Let me know about today’s liberals that hate alternative lifestyles and seek to impose blue laws and such.

    Since I’m not a shill and could care less who I “win” to “my side” I will say that I am not sold on the drill off shore policy like the masses are. I hate gas prices as I commute a bit to work, but on the other hand I used to go to the beach a lot and enjoy the water, and if it was all black with oil I would enjoy it not so much…Environmental concerns matter and effect all of our enjoyment of life….

  194. You go james, argue that Gandhi=Hitler. Revisionism knows no bounds…

    Did you know FDR was the one really to blame for the Great Depression? And that is was really Bill Clinton who was at fault for both 9/11 and this financial mess?

  195. I hate gas prices as I commute a bit to work, but on the other hand I used to go to the beach a lot and enjoy the water, and if it was all black with oil I would enjoy it not so much…Environmental concerns matter and effect all of our enjoyment of life….

    Why don’t you bike–then you won’t be responsible for those black sand beaches.

  196. the beaches of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas are just an oily fuggin mess from decades of that dastardly offshore drilling.

  197. Let me know about today’s liberals that hate alternativetraditional lifestyles lifestyles and individualism and seek to impose blue laws collectivism,political correctness, bans on guns, hunting, economic activity, SUVs, motorsports and and such.

    Well if you put it that way………

  198. brotherben,

    How are those Louisiana beaches? I’ve only seen one on the map.I,ve never made it all the way to the shore down there but assumed that the hard right turn the Mississippi made screwed it all up.

  199. MNG,

    I left out smoking and meat eating !

    *lights a Marlboro Red from the soft pack*

  200. Federalists–>Federalist Party–>Anti-Jackson forces–>Whig Party–>Republican Party Pre-FDR–>Modern Democratic Party

    Anti-Federalists–>Democratic Republicans–>Democrats pre-FDR–>Modern Republican Party

    That’s pretty much how it works, roughly.

    I would disagree that there was a significant reversal around FDR. There is still a strain of small c conservativism in the modern republican party that you can trace back to Hamilton and small l liberalism in the modern democratic party that you can trace back to Jefferson (along the paths you describe)

    What there was around FDR was a *shift* not a reversal. FDR was both the beginning and end of a realignment. It was the end of a half century of the Progressive Movement (which represented the end of pure Whigishness – e.g. high tariffs and isolationism,) and the beginning of Civil Rights era which would shift the Solid South from one party to another. Now one can not downplay the racial aspect of the shift, but what is more important, especially going forward, is that the Republican Party since the 70’s has been built on ahistoric collation of socially conservative individuals of lower socioeconomic levels, and the traditional ‘Wall Street’ Republican. This former group would have been aligned with William Jennings Bryan in a previous century, which is what makes this pairing so odd. While some of what I’m saying sounds like a rehash of ‘what’s the matter w/ kansas’ I found Frank’s analysis overly simplistic and his conclusions flawed.

    Nonetheless this alliance exists. And is undergoing considerable strain. One was exemplified by the Huckabee candidacy, which represented in a couple of different ways a throwback to the Bryan (and Huey Long) traditions. The other is of course represented by this weekend’s events, where there is open revolt from House Republicans toward Henry Paulson. How this fracture evolves will be the most interesting political development of this and the next generation.

  201. The Republican Party my fracture in the manner you describe after a 2008 loss. I wonder which faction will take the blame, though?

    The religious right, or Wall St.?

  202. Misspelling “Darwin” in a comment about someone else not understanding evolution: joez law.

    Being joe: failing at life.

  203. I suggest paying you $0, because you’re not paying any attention to me. If anything, YOU should pay ME. Look at the graph. A picture paints a thousand words of criminality. How was it that this obviously essential market, which coincidentally almost-nobody even fucking KNOWS about, had to spring up, and whatever did we do without it in the dark ages before the past decade or so??? I repeat. $0 for you. You need to pay *attention* before you can expect pay, and in that you’re flunking.

  204. # Mr. Nice Guy | September 28, 2008, 9:42pm | #
    # You go james, argue that Gandhi=Hitler.
    # Revisionism knows no bounds…

    I don’t argue that Gandhi = Hitler, anymore than I argue that Gandhi = liberal, Hitler = conservative. But I do give you points for your stellar attempts at marginalization.

    # Did you know FDR was the one really to blame
    # for the Great Depression?

    Actually, he and Hoover had a lot to answer for in that debacle. Notice that I am tarring Demos and GOPs alike.

    # And that is was really Bill Clinton who
    # was at fault for both 9/11 and this
    # financial mess?

    I’m not sure about 9/11, but I know that Clinton’s administration participated in the real-estate bubble that exacerbated out current woes.

    I don’t know what you are trying to say, Mr. Nice Guy. If you are trying to paint me as some kind of conspiracy nut, the charges won’t wash. But if you are agreeing with me that both the Demos and GOP have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, then fine, we’re working on the same side — the side of the people.

  205. Notice that I am tarring Demos and GOPs alike.

    Demos is far too lofty for tarring by a MERE MORTAL.

  206. And just to continue the FREE (but valuable) lesson, What could go wrong with graphs like that? Clearly, Vegas was ALWAYS the source of all wealth, and not just an entertainment center. Nope. Nothing funny smelling around here at all! 😉

  207. JMR,

    Way to blame the screwdriver for being driven into somebody’s eye socket.

  208. Actually, “Democrat” is a noun. The adjective form is “Democratic.” A Democratic Congress.

    “Democrat” as used in the phrase “Democrat Congress” is an adjective as well. Just like “assault” in the phrase “assault rifle”. “Assault” can be a noun (he committed an assault), verb (he assaulted me), or adjective (he has an assault rifle), depending on context, just like other words in the English language.

  209. Huh?? I’m providing info, and it always makes people whine about it. I know whining is easier than formulating a coherent argument, but I tend to respect the latter MUCH more.. The graphs I’ve linked indicate obvious, blatant criminality.

  210. R C Dean,

    You can’t reason with that sort of argument. It’s a word game of propaganda. The less people see “Democrat” as an adjective, the more people think of “Democrats” as the default Party for democracy. That’s the way is was for most of the 20th century, and that’s the way it must remain. What, you want to confuse the poor and hungry with a choice of politician?

    JMR,

    Is your point something about the size of the derivatives market? If not, then my response was off point. But the image you last linked to (and some of the inane buzz from conspiracy theorists in the last couple of years) gave me that impression.

  211. It’s about the criminal use of the derivatives market, but I *still* fail to see any point in your message. I’m blaming those that need blame, for what they’ve done. Screwdriver??? Screw you, unless you can formulate a COHERENT argument to tell just WTF you mean.

  212. The REAL criminals are once again howling with laughter at this diversionary BS of partisan politics.
    (My bad, their “breeding” wouldn’t allow much more than a quiet smirk and an imperceptible nod)

    I see posts all the time decrying crony corporatism,(hell, I’ve made them myself) but compared to these evil fucks, Procter&Gamble are just poor schmucks trying to sell a bar of soap.

    And Politics? Can anyone say Bread and Circuses?

    In the meantime, we should all figure out how many chickens an hour of our labor is worth.

  213. Nope, no adjective.

    Same result for “assault.” Yet there it is, in common usage as an adjective modifying the noun “rifle.” Both are adjectives, depending on their actual usage in the real world.

    The map is not the territory.

  214. These two men spent ten minutes arguing over whether they were more in agreement with one of the man who was largely responsible for the Vietnam War.

    This country sucks.

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