Drum States it Plain

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones magazine is one of my favorite political bloggers. In this post he provides a perfect summary of conservative rhetoric:

These guys wreck the economy, and then complain that Obama hasn't fixed it fast enough. They blow a hole in the deficit, and then complain that Obama hasn't quite filled it yet. They pursue a disastrous war in Iraq, and then complain that Obama ruined it all by not leaving a few more brigades behind. They twiddle their thumbs over Iran, and then complain that Obama's nuclear deal isn't quite to their liking.

It's hard to believe that even their own supporters still listen to a word they say. And yet, somehow, conservative rage toward Obama for wrecking the country continues unabated. Truly, conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.

Yes, that's very aggravating. Modern American conservatives, like all fanatics, think of themselves as the most principled, clear-thinking people around. To anyone outside their bubble, though, they just seem delusional. Unfortunately, in politics, boldly stated lies are much easier to sell than complex, nuanced truth.

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Most conservatives probably still blame the Community Reinvestment Act for wrecking the economy.

By Greg Esres (not verified) on 15 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former"
E=mc^2 guy

Is reading Mother Jones to find out about conservatives different from reading National Review to find out about progressives? Neither makes a lot of sense to me.

David, I may agree with you if this was opinion based on speculation. It's not; it's analysis, based on empirical evidence. If it comes off as heavy-handed, well, I guess maybe that's what you can expect from an opposition rag.

By Jim Chapman (not verified) on 15 Sep 2015 #permalink

@5 - Thanks. Sounds like a potential Yogi Berra-ism

"Responding to a question about remarks attributed to him that he did not think were his: “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

To Greg Esres #1:

“Most conservatives probably still blame the Community Reinvestment Act for wrecking the economy.”

Well, the CRA probably wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 15 Sep 2015 #permalink

To borrow some verbiage and phraseology:

These liberal guys (and gals) wreck the economy, and then complain that conservatives haven’t fixed it fast enough. Big government liberals blow a hole in the deficit, and then complain that a GOP congress hasn't quite filled it yet. Liberals call the Iraq war - which they voted for (before they voted against) – disastrous, applaud the vacuum left by Obama’s retreat, then complain that Obama’s being unfairly criticized for the rise of ISIS. Liberals and other politically-correct cowards twiddle their thumbs over Iran, and then praise Obama's nuclear deal as quite to their liking.
It's hard to believe that even their own supporters still listen to a word they say. And yet, somehow, liberal passivity toward Obama for wrecking the country continues unabated. Truly, liberalism can never fail, it can only be failed.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 15 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Well, the CRA probably wouldn’t be a bad place to start."

Nah, it's been thoroughly debunked. Most of the companies involved in the financial crisis weren't even governed by the CRA.

By Greg Esres (not verified) on 15 Sep 2015 #permalink

I'd just like to pick up one element of that quote: the Iraq War. It was many things, but conservative it was not. The utopian goal of trying to completely re-make a country overnight - overhauling its political culture and governmental structures - through the bombast of war is not conservative. Neo-conservative, perhaps, but that's another story. It jars horribly with traditional conservative values, associated with prudence, caution, making allowances for the slow evolution of culture and institutions, as well as an earthy realism about what is possible (and what is impossible). The Iraq War was, in many ways, the precise opposite of these things.

Support for, or criticism of, the war was also more complex than the author's "conservative vs. liberal" narrative would imply. If I am not mistaken, a majority of Congress - including many Democrats - voted in favour of the war. Christopher Hitchens - no conservative - argued for it, whilst his traditionalist brother, Peter, was a vocal critic. And "The American Conservative" was relentless in its criticism of the war, both before and during - possibly even more so than many liberal media stables.

Oh, I should point out that, being an Australian living in Melbourne, I don't really have a dog in this fight. Just jumping into the mix. Carry on.

"liberal passivity toward Obama for wrecking the country"

So, you ignorant creationist fact-challenged racist, how is he doing that?

To dean the dream:

Me: “…liberal passivity toward Obama for wrecking the country”

You: “So, you ignorant creationist fact-challenged racist, how is he doing that?

That’s too big a question for now.
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of just one way in which Obama (and liberals) are NOT wrecking the country.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 16 Sep 2015 #permalink

Speaking of dreams…

As I said over at my mammoth
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/07/27/when-the-antiabortion-move…
right now, if I had to choose a dream team, I think I’d say Ben Carson (President) and Carly Fiorina (VP).
I think the GOP has a smorgasbord of decent-to-great presidential candidates.
I think Carly is super sharp and would convincingly win any debate against just about anybody, with the possible exception of fellow GOPer Cruz and maybe even the softer-spoken but solid Carson.

Watch the debate tonight and see!

Alas, the poor demonic Dems have running an avowed socialist, Bernie, and a congenital liar and should-be felon (you know who).

By See Noevo (not verified) on 16 Sep 2015 #permalink

Fiorina sure wrecked HP which continues to sink - I am sure she can apply the same idiotic business model for wrecking the country. Anyone who thinks a surgeon and a CEO would know how to run a country is certifiable. Countries are not businesses - neither are schools. This is why the country is screwed up.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 16 Sep 2015 #permalink

@10 - "he Iraq War. It was many things, but conservative it was not. The utopian goal of trying to completely re-make a country overnight"

Sounds like you may have read John Gray's _Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia_. If not, its a book you might enjoy..

Anyway, I agree, neo-conservatism is definitely utopian and NOT conservative.

To Michael Fumigate #14:

“Anyone who thinks a surgeon and a CEO would know how to run a country is certifiable. Countries are not businesses – neither are schools. This is why the country is screwed up.”

By just about any measure, our country is more screwed up than ever. You say our screwed up condition is due to the country being run like a business.
Well, over the last six and half years, exactly how has Barack Hussein O run this country like a business? Which specific business principles and tactics did Barack use to bring us to today’s sorry state?

Also, on schools, the teachers unions control the public schools. The unions are in the business of padding their pay and benefits (contra the “all about the kids” b.s.).
Are you against teachers unions and specifically the deleterious impact they’ve had on schools and education?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 16 Sep 2015 #permalink

“This is perfect for See Noevo; he wants to destroy science too.”

Michael, you need to have your brain fumigated.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 16 Sep 2015 #permalink

Modern American conservatives, like all fanatics, think of themselves as the most principled, clear-thinking people around. To anyone outside their bubble, though, they just seem delusional.

The psychotic mind is much the same.

Michael Fugate@15: To be fair, Stalinist Russia and Maoist China were also fascist regimes without being explicitly theocratic, having switched worship from abstract deities to concrete gods of Dear Leader and State, much like the Caesars of ancient Rome. What really connects them all is the common mindset.

David@3: Heck, even the likes of The Federalist - hardly a Liberal rag - are getting a bit queasy. But this sort of thing is to be expected when a widly successful Southern Strategy and the willful self-deception of American Exceptionalism love one another very, very much. So don't be entirely surprised if a lovely new baby, wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross, is not far behind - stork hunting season notwithstanding.

Couple more reading links for folks' enjoyment...

http://jaybookman.blog.ajc.com/2015/08/25/make-america-great-again-it-n…

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/31/the-fearful-and-the-frustr…

And for a bonus chuckle do a Google image search for trump+mussolini.

Personally, I think Trump would be absolutely delighted to be the next Berlusconi, but I suspect that's not what many of his biggest fans already see. And while the GOP will doubtless nobble Trump before he gets that far, there are plenty other contenders - both anointed ones and not - who'll have no choice (or be only too happy) to keep playing to that audience. And so their mouths keep writing checks that sooner or later their mob is going insist they cash.

"Off the top of my head, I can’t think of just one way in which Obama (and liberals) are NOT wrecking the country."

So, just as with science questions asked of you, you don't have an answer, just baseless assertions. What a non-surprise.

You reject evolution - what more needs be said. Politics and not science drive your rejection.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

@19
From http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2015/sep/16/republican-presiden…

From Guardian US staff writer Jessica Valenti and Guardian US opinion editor Megan Carpentier on the Planned Parenthood moment:

MC: First things first – I’ve watched the Planned Parenthood videos; you’ve watched the Planned Parenthood videos. Did Carly Fiorina watch them? Because she described a scene that wasn’t in them.

JV: Nope, that scene was not in it. But lying about Planned Parenthood has been a Republican hobby for a while – why stop now? But she went for a visceral reaction, and she got it.

What I love is that in all that talk about Planned Parenthood, women were only mentioned once, when Trump said that he would “take care of us.” I think a collective shiver went down the spines of women across America.

MC: I definitely prefer that Trump not take care of anything related to my reproductive healthcare.

The whole abortion debate is always about erasing women, because when people think about reproductive rights in terms of the women who need them, they are supportive. When you erase women from the equation and talk about the fetuses that need to be protected from evil, Megele-like doctors, you side with the fetuses.

JV: Right, and if you talk about women at all, it’s as victims of evil abortion doctors ... who are also – shocker – women!

MC: Republicans don’t care if the videos were fake, if the results of their actions mean more unwanted pregnancies, more disease, more impoverished women or even more breast cancer. I’m not sure if Republicans even care if their actions will actually impact the overall number of abortions.

JV: But I can’t help but think that the glee with which so many of these mostly-men declared they would defund Planned Parenthood is going to rub a lot of women the wrong way.

MC: I think the whole point of swearing that doctors were killing fetuses for the brains was to make sure no one noticed the glee.

JV: Also, just how few people does John Kasich know, that he can declare that everyone he knows wants to defund Planned Parenthood?

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

To Michael Fugit #23:

As I noted on another blog here recently...
If a supposedly private organization requires federal funding to survive, it should go out of business.
According to that blog article, 40% of Planned Parenthood’s funding is from the federal government.
Accordingly, PP should either go out of business or reduce its operations such that it can survive without the fed funding.
And if the government is dead set on spending (and it always is) the $500 million that used to go to PP, maybe it could open some government-run health care facilities similar to the VA hospitals/clinics.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

Like all the military contractors?

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

Still no answer to the question asked eh sn? You just don't like having to deal with facts of any kind do you?

You really are clueless SN - not to mention an anonymous coward.

I am not going to defend Obama because I don't think he has done a particularly good job - even though the job is largely impossible and thankless. Not sure why anyone would want it. I can only say that neither Romney nor McCain (Sarah Palin as VP?) would have been better and probably far worse (imagine even more money wasted on useless military action). It doesn't matter though because the right was attacking Obama before he was elected - it wouldn't matter what he did in office.

How stupid does one need to be to blame school failure on teacher's unions? Typical simplistic right-wing BS. You want to blame teachers and their unions which protect their rights, then you have to give teachers the responsibility to teach as they see fit. You have to treat them as professionals and pay them accordingly. Where do you think the money will come from if education is privatized? You don't think the government will be supporting these private companies? The very thing you oppose when it come to Planned Parenthood? The right wants privatization so they can indoctrinate instead of educate and to make loads of easy money from the government trough (think prisons and military). Publics schools must accommodate everyone - private schools can take who they want - this is why government is not like a business. They will try to serve only those that maximize their profits - we will have more inequality and more segregation. Just look at any service which is privatized.

Businesses always try to externalize costs hoping someone else will clean up their messes. Some idiot - maybe you - wrote into my local paper wanting to defund the EPA after the mine water breach in Colorado - why was toxic waste there to start - some mining company that externalized rather internalized the cost of mining to make more money and dump their wast onto the taxpayers. I am sure Fiorina did it at HP and she still failed as CEO.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

More importantly re teaching vs business practice: you'd have to show me where school, and teachers in particular, have control over the uniformity of their raw materials (students) the way businesses do.

Student abilities and preparedness range from the good to the incredibly bad will never have a chance to succeed sn level.

@28 If we could just keep some parents from having kids - parents who don't read to them, or make them do homework, or give them breakfast, or so many things.... but of course you can't teach sex ed or use birth control....

My favorite one locally was the guy (SN will love this heartwarming Catholic tale) who was working 3 jobs so his numerous kids could attend Catholic school and never saw his kids grow up because he was always working. Does that make even the tiniest bit of sense?

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

To Michael Fukit:

Me: “If a supposedly private organization [like Planned Parenthood] requires federal funding to survive, it should go out of business.”

You: “Like all the military contractors?”

No, not really.
You apparently can’t see the differences between

1)Doing something yourself (e.g. building fighter jets with your own engineers and manufacturing plants; making massive mounds of paper for your endless laws and regulations with your own forests and paper mills; fashioning paper clips with your own mines and steel mills.), where, if you fail, you go out of business.

2)Paying other people, who have greater expertise and efficiency, to build fighter jets or make paper or fashion paper clips, etc., where, if the other people fail, they go out of business, and you look for other more reliable suppliers.

3)The above do-it-yourself operation or one-to-one/arms-length deal is replaced by a third-party (i.e. government) blob of other people’s money (i.e. taxpayers’ taxes) to keep the one party in business (e.g. Planned Parenthood) and the second party happy (e.g. the patients getting freebies).

You’re a 3) kind of guy.

“… those that maximize their profits – we will have more inequality and more segregation. Just look at any service which is privatized.”

There’s no reasoning with you.
Your fukit brain is seriously socialist and loonily liberal.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

“From Guardian US staff writer Jessica Valenti and Guardian US opinion editor Megan Carpentier on the Planned Parenthood moment:

MC: First things first – I’ve watched the Planned Parenthood videos; you’ve watched the Planned Parenthood videos. Did Carly Fiorina watch them? Because she described a scene that wasn’t in them.

JV: Nope, that scene was not in it…”

I think MC and JV might be correct in a technical sense.
The following clip is probably what Carly Fiorina was referring to. Check time 3:42-6:45:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2&v=FzMAycMMXp8

By See Noevo (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

Sn, your ability to outright lie and ignore answering questions is astounding. The reason you not only are not taken seriously but actively mocked is your utter inability to use reality in your comments. No understanding of science, no understanding of statistics, no understanding of society - astounding.

"Correct in a technical sense" - well, if by technical sense you mean what they stated was correct and what Carly stated was a bald faced lie, then yes, they are correct in a technical sense. Normal people would say they are correct.

To dean the dream:

“The reason you not only are not taken seriously but actively mocked is your utter inability to use reality in your comments.”

Gee, for someone who’s not taken seriously, I sure do get a lot of comments from you.
Why do you pay so much attention to my remarks, dean?
…………….
Meanwhile, more on Carly:

“Fiorina, however, made the discussion real — a pro-life woman speaking with the passion that so many pro-life women feel. She said this:
“I dare Hillary Clinton [and] Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, “We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” This is about the character of our nation.”

"Fiorina was referring to the grisly testimony of Holly O’Donnell, a former StemExpress employee who described how she watched a baby resuscitated right in front of her, its heart beating, and then was told to “cut down the middle of the face” to harvest the child’s brain.

"…As a conservative woman, she defied the unofficial rules of the abortion debate and put the truth, including the emotional truth, directly in front of more than 20 million Americans, with various social-media shares likely accounting for millions more. This is what the Left fears most, and it will strike back hard and fast — indeed, it already is doing so — but the damage is done, and in attempting to rebut Fiorina, they are giving her more exposure. For more than a generation, pro-life activists have watched in frustration as even the best conservative politicians struggle to describe not just the facts of abortion but also its emotional truth. For the first time in my memory, a presidential candidate succeeded. Carly Fiorina gave the pro-life movement the moment it was looking for.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424197/carly-fiorina-prolife-deba…

By See Noevo (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

Sn, what she said she saw was not in the video. She lied. If she or you, or others of your low integrity were able to mount an argument based on facts it would be different. She didn't do that. You've never tried. Are yiu going to try, or continue evading and spreading false statements?I thought your religion told you that lying is wrong.

Since you haven't, and likely won't, answer the direct question asked earlier about how, specifically, President Obama is doing to ruin the country (other than your opinion that he's the wrong race to be president), how about this: Trump repeated the lie about vaccines and autism. Ben Carson walked the line - he said vaccines were not linked to autism, but tried to appease the loons by talking about the "too many at once" line, which has also been debunked. Do you have the integrity to comment on that?

To demon dean of dunces:
Since when did you care about lying?
For instance, where are your criticisms of Barack Hussein Obama lying several dozen times with his ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. And if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Period.’ ?
Or where are your criticisms of Hillary Clinton lying repeatedly with her “did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material” ?
And where is your criticism of yourself for lying about me** with your “other than [See Noevo’s] opinion that [Obama’s] the wrong race to be president” ?

** The truth is that I’d despise Obama the same even if he was whiter than snow.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 17 Sep 2015 #permalink

Looked around to see where
a) I had said anything about being happy or unhappy about issues with the roll out of the affordable health care act
b) I had made any comments about the emails (although as usual, your comments don't represent what is known )

So your suppositions about those are, as everything you say, based on your fever filled imagination rather than reality. Bad habit and most people know that it's bad behavior. Yiu clearly don't mind making glad accusations though.

Your last comment is interesting. Are you implying what the boy made was not a clock? That seems to be the point of your quotes. Odd, since all the officials involved say it is one and that they over-reacted. Why would you make that implication? Oh, the boy isn't the right nationality is he?

Any thoughts on the lies about vaccination your real American candidates tossed around?

To demon dean #37:

If you’re saying that in ANY of the blogs at ScienceBlogs

1)You’ve accused Obama of lying about ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.’ Or

2)You’ve accused Hillary of lying about not sending classified material over her private email system, THEN

I’d THINK you were lying. (But you could try to prove my conjecture wrong, if you wanted.)
And I KNOW you’re lying about me saying OR believing Obama’s “the wrong race to be president.”

So, I have a good basis for believing you to be a liar.
And since you’re a liberal, you’re lying makes perfect sense.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

So now we know that politicians - both democrat and republican - lie and make promises on which they cannot deliver. Where does that put you now SN? The republicans are no more moral than the democrats - so that argument of yours fails.

Will you admit this? Probably not; reality is not one of your virtues.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

So reading for comprehension is not an ability you have either sn.
"You’ve accused Hillary of lying about not sending classified material over her private email system"

You said these things didn't bother me. I said you had no way of knowing because it's never been discussed. Your comment has no relevance or basis in fact (as usual).

a) You've repeatedly said President Obama is destroying the country
b) You've never given any argument to support your contention
c) Your complaint about his comments on the Affordable Health Care act are complaints many people have about stupid statements that shouldn't have been made. (I will not that since the act has become law the number of people insured has reached record highs - I'm not sure how that's a bad outcome.) You have, however, used all the dog whistles the right uses for race. If that really is not your issue you'll need to prove it, because nothing else you've said indicates otherwise.
d) I had never commented on them before, so your accusation that I wasn't bothered by the President's comments about keeping one's doctore is a lie
e) Same for the Clinton email "scandal" (although the more we find out the more we see that the claims of the frothy mouthed right don't have any basis in fact). You assume, without evidence, that I support her or her actions.

Since you called me liar before, when I pointed out your comment that "no money should be spent studying things just for the sake of learning" comment on Ethan's blog, and continued to deny you said it after I quoted you, excuse me if I don't take your assessment of what constitutes a lie seriously.

So, what about the comments Trump and Carson made about vaccination? Do you support them or admit they are wrong?

And is there going to be an explanation for your insinuation that the boy in Texas made something other than a clock? Did you notice that the police chief said they knew it wasn't a bomb when they got to the school? Bomb squad never called?
So, what do you know that they don't?

Those are pretty good Michael. For a comment on the sheer audacity of telling a whopper that takes under five seconds to prove false this time I'd have to go with the one about Carly Fiorina (the Ben Carson cartoon is a close second, as it is a perfect summation of his mode of operation: say something stupid, then "trust me, I'm a doctor")

To Michael Fugataboutit #39:

“So now we know that politicians – both democrat and republican – lie and make promises on which they cannot deliver. Where does that put you now SN? The republicans are no more moral than the democrats – so that argument of yours fails. Will you admit this? Probably not; reality is not one of your virtues.”

I’ll admit several things:
1)All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
2)Some realize 1) and are on the road of repentance.
3)While those in 2) may not always track perfectly to the trajectory of truth, they can have hope that they’re at least on the right trajectory, heading in the right direction.
4)Carly Fiorina may have lied about, or at least misstated, what was currently viewable on the videos recorded by the Center for Medical Progress. However, what Carly described apparently actually happened, based on the testimony of Holly O’Donnell, former employee of StemExpress.

5)While conservatives might sometimes say something false or be caught lying, liberals invariably will. Because liberalism is based on falsehood.

Now, I think we’ve established you’re a socialist (ref. #30). Will you admit this?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

What's wrong with being a socialist?

Iran-contra? WMD? Iraq caused 9/11? Lying is universal.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

"based on the testimony of Holly O’Donnell"

She's been pretty much discredited too, but again, don't let facts bother you.

Still not answering questions eh? I'm (not really) shocked.

Yeah Michael, which president was it that let someone in the White House sell arms to terrorists? Ronald someone, wasn't it?

Or as Jeb said with a straight face, "My brother kept us safe." Who was president again on 09-11-2001?
But apparently he was right about Trump pushing for casinos in Florida. It just means another republican lying, but what's new?

Once again SN, if you are going to make sweeping assertions like "liberals lie more than conservatives", you do need to provide evidence. Just because the lies match your biases doesn't mean they aren't lies.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

To demon dean #41:

Part I.
Reading comprehension is not your forte.
I did NOT say you were not bothered by Obama’s and Hillary’s lies nor did I say you had discussed them.
What I DID say is this:

“IF (as in IF) you’re saying that in ANY of the blogs at ScienceBlogs
1) You’ve accused Obama of lying about ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.’ Or
2) You’ve accused Hillary of lying about not sending classified material over her private email system, THEN

I’d THINK you were lying.”

THAT is what I stated. See, my hypothesis is that the only people you’ll accuse here of lying is conservatives.
....................
Part II.
“a) You’ve repeatedly said President Obama is destroying the country
b) You’ve never given any argument to support your contention”

Name one of his major actions which is NOT destroying or hurting this country. As I said, I can’t think of any off hand.

“c) Your complaint about his comments on the Affordable Health Care act…”

Regarding the AFFORDABLE Health Care Act (aka Obamacare), aside from the government forcing the purchase of a product and insurance premiums increasing and insurance coverage dictates (aka mandates) rising, here are some quotes from yesterday’s WSJ [with my comments]:

“The share of Americans without health coverage fell to 10.4% last year from 13.3% in 2013 as the Affordable Care Act’s implementation kicked in, new Census Bureau figures showed.”

[So, the uninsured percentage dropped by 22%. I thought it was supposed to drop by closer to 100%. I thought it Obamacare was supposed to be “affordable” and even perhaps “universal”. Oh well.]

“… The decline in those lacking coverage, driven largely by people receiving Medicaid or buying insurance on their own, was the largest in records that date to 1987. The ranks of the uninsured fell by 8.8 million people, to 33 million, from 2013. Separate studies show that the decline continued during the first half of 2015.”

[So, we still have 33 million uninsured people. I thought we were supposed to have, like, zero. Oh well.]

“… Meantime, the median annual household income stayed all but flat, at $53,657. Adjusted for inflation, incomes are barely above their 1996 level…
“The official poverty rate remained level at 14.8%...
“While the official unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1%, millions of Americans still say they are underemployed and wages have shown few signs of sustained increases. Labor-force participation rates are expected to remain close to their current level—the lowest since the late 1970s—as tens of thousands of baby boomers reach retirement age every day.”

[Oh well.]
.................
Part III.
“Since you called me liar before, when I pointed out your comment that “no money should be spent studying things just for the sake of learning” comment on Ethan’s blog…”

You’ll have to provide the link to refresh my memory.
...........
Part IV.
“So, what about the comments Trump and Carson made about vaccination? Do you support them or admit they are wrong?”

I don’t recall what they said and I’m not going to look it up because I’m not interested. With all the crises we’re facing, vaccination issues are probably the least of our problems. However, some issues around vaccinations did come up on a blog I drove recently. You can check it out if you like:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/07/27/when-the-antiabortion-move…
............
Part V.
“And is there going to be an explanation for your insinuation that the boy in Texas made something other than a clock? Did you notice that the police chief said they knew it wasn’t a bomb when they got to the school? Bomb squad never called?
So, what do you know that they don’t?”

I know, or think, that
1)Especially in today’s hyper-sensitive, hyper-inclusive, hyper-politically-correct society, virtually no one - especially the left-leaning teachers and school administrators – would even think of implying possible wrong doing to a minority, especially a Muslim, without reasonable cause.
Apparently, they had reasonable cause:

“A Muslim teen, fourteen-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, bought a strange ticking device to his school, MacArthur High School. His device caused alarm and fear, and he was detained for having what his teacher perceived as a bomb. Police officers said the electronic components and wires inside his Vaultz pencil case (which is the size of a briefcase) looked like a “hoax bomb,” according to local news station WFAA. When questioned about what the device was, Mohamed wouldn’t answer…”
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/17/ahmed-mohamed-and-th…

2)The great “uniter” Obama will go to untold lengths to exacerbate racial divisions, dismiss concerns about Islamic terrorism, and paint Americans as racists and Islamophobists.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Name one of his major actions which is NOT destroying or hurting this country. As I said, I can’t think of any off hand."

So you can't name any. Just as I thought.

Again, the racist site breitbart is used. Sorry, the police chief is on record saying they knew it wasn't a bomb when they saw it. He says the case is closed and there is no plan for further investigation or charges. Your folks at the link are no more honest than you are.

I read your comments on the vaccination post - as was pointed out to you by everyone there, nothing you said was correct. You are nothing if not consistently wrong on issues relating to science (or anything, for that matter).

Dismiss concerns about terrorism? You don't pay attention to the news do you?

I would love to get rid of ACA and replace it with something that gives everyone health coverage. Do you know of any republicans who have plans for universal coverage? We could have used Medicare/Medicaid as a starting point - both are very efficient and don't cost an arm and a leg like private insurance which pays CEOs hundreds of millions and stockholders too. Not to mention employers wouldn't be able to withhold healthcare from women, either.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

"I would love to get rid of ACA and replace it with something that gives everyone health coverage. "
Yes, that would be good, even though the numbers from the current plan are nice.

I agree it is an improvement and has provided coverage to more people than ever - I just don't think using private insurance is sustainable unless someone has the spine to rein in CEO salaries. It is the same as I said before with education - it is a service not a business.

The right loves to throw out "socialist" as if they know what it means. Services should be provided by the government - defense (which is already socialized), education, health care, communications, utilities, transportation - off the top of my head.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

Not disagreeing Michael - just saying the current plan isn't the disaster folks like reality-denier sn claims it to be. (And I know you weren't saying it's a disaster.)

The services comment is good, but I am very pessimistic about there being any intelligent movement towards good systems for any of those things in the near future. There are too many people who believe promoting a good society and safety net is the same thing as working to establish a new world order - or at least something equally nebulous yet scary-sounding.

I blame it all on Reagan for the "government is evil" meme. Governments can provide services much more efficiently than private companies can. They also ensure that services are provided to almost everyone. Why would anyone believe that a mega-corporation would have his or her best interests at heart? So many people have bought this lie and vote against their best interests. Social conservatives are the easiest to fool - lure them in with anti-abortion and anti-marriage equality all the while transferring their wealth to the 1%.

I have my issues with democrats and often vote for non-mainstream candidates (which may not necessarily be in my best interests either) as a protest, but unless you are making over $200K why would you vote republican? Even then you should think twice. I would ask all social conservatives when was the last time you had a republican give you a victory on any issue? Abortion? Marriage Equality? Evolution?

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

"I blame it all on Reagan for the “government is evil” meme."

true. It is really odd how highly the right wing folks, and how when they "quote" him they forget that he left a couple hundred Marines out in the open to die by hog tying the security's ability to fire on intruders, waged a fake little war for PR reasons, nearly wrecked the economy with his tax cuts and only managed not to by raising taxes, as well as allowed folks to break the law and sell weapons to terrorists out of the White House basement.

But he did make it fashionable to disparage the poor and use dog whistles to appeal to all the frustrated racists left over from the 60s. It's almost as though they are as willing to misrepresent his record as fundamentalists are to misrepresent science.

To demon dean #48:

Me: “Name one of his major actions which is NOT destroying or hurting this country. As I said, I can’t think of any off hand.”

You: “So you can’t name any. Just as I thought.”

I think your lack of reading comprehension is showing through again.
I’m saying I can’t think of or name ANY major Obama action which is NOT destroying or hurting the country. That is, ALL of his major actions ARE destroying or hurting this country, and this world.
................
“Sorry, the police chief is on record saying they knew it wasn’t a bomb when they saw it.”

So, you’re saying then that the teachers and school administrators should have the expertise and trained eye of a police chief or bombs expert? And you’re saying the ONLY reason the teachers/administrators called the cops is because the kids name was Muslim?
..................
“I read your comments on the vaccination post – as was pointed out to you by everyone there, nothing you said was correct.”

Cite one example.
.....................
“You are nothing if not consistently wrong on issues relating to science (or anything, for that matter).”

You know what demon dean? I think I may adopt the demon dean dialog method with you.
So, here you go:
You are nothing if not consistently wrong on issues relating to science (or anything, for that matter).

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

Michael Fukit writes
“We could have used Medicare/Medicaid as a starting point – both are very efficient and don’t cost an arm and a leg like private insurance which pays CEOs…”

Here are some excerpts from a 2013 piece by the WSJ’s Holman Jenkins:
“Many on the left tell us the solution is Medicare-for-All, because Medicare is so much more efficient than private insurers, spending a mere 2% on overhead compared to 20% or higher for private plans. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and the idea that a bureaucratic agency with no obvious incentive for efficiency is inexplicably efficient certainly qualifies. Yet many in the media are prepared to pass along this claim as a found item.

This requires overlooking a lot. Even if overhead-to-medical spending were the right measure, much of Medicare's overhead is hidden on the books of other agencies, including Health and Human Services, which provides management, and the IRS, which handles revenues.

Then there's the fact that Medicare keeps overhead low by under-spending on fraud prevention. Why? Because health-care providers are a powerful force in every congressional district and find Medicare audits annoying. The government's own accountants suggest tens of billions of dollars are being left on the table by Medicare failing to match private spending on policing caregivers.

But these are the tiddly objections. Ask yourself: If the overhead ratio is the right measure of insurer efficiency, which is the least efficient insurer? Answer: The one with the healthiest customers, who consume little or nothing in the way of medical services. An insurer with perfectly healthy customers would spend 100% of revenues on overhead.

Medicare serves the oldest and sickest Americans, and necessarily shovels out a high percentage of its revenues on medical care. But this tells you nothing about whether it's getting value for money. And most of the real evidence suggests not—up to a third of Medicare spending is useless and merely exposes beneficiaries to unnecessary medical risk.

This is a guesstimate, of course, but one with many fathers. A study last year by Rand Corp. and former Medicare chief Donald Berwick found between $166 billion and $304 billion of unnecessary spending in $900 billion in annual Medicare and Medicaid spending. A Dartmouth study in 2003 found that high-utilization Medicare regions spend 60% more per patient than low-utilization regions, with no difference in outcomes.

Look, if Medicare had cracked the secret of administering large sectors of the economy more efficiently than the private sector can, we'd be wise to hand the entire economy over to Medicare. We don't hear too many making this argument.”

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

"So, you’re saying then that the teachers and school administrators should have the expertise and trained eye of a police chief or bombs expert?"

I am saying - move your lips when you read if you have to - that the police chief said: "We knew it was not a bomb when we saw it. The case is closed."

I find it odd you're calling a police officer a liar.

Am I saying that about the teacher? I haven't heard from him, but I do find it strange that others saw the item and didn't think it odd, but this teacher (I don't know whether the English teacher was male or female) freaked out. To the "no explanation was given for what it was" line: everyone - even the English teacher - says the boy told them "It's a clock." Repeatedly.

"I’m saying I can’t think of or name ANY major Obama action which is NOT destroying or hurting the country. "

That is neither naming anything or explaining your feelings: state one, explain why it is a problem. That has been hard for you in the past, but try it now. Stick to facts (that typically ensures you don't do anything, but it's worth a shot).

What did you get wrong on the vaccine post? Stating rubella wasn't a health concern - many pointed out that bit of foolishness, with that comment.
Your inflated number of 1 billion abortions, your false statements about Planned Parenthood's practices - all countered by the people who actually understand the issues. All of which you blithely ignored because you don't accept reality.

So point out where I've been wrong on physics (your denial of the validity of astrophysics, dark matter, climate change, etc. being on record) or science in general (your denial of evolution, social statistics, etc.,) also on record.

By the way - are you ever going to answer a question with
a) a specific example
b) data and rational argument to back it up?

WSJ article - No comparison - so useless. Is it more or less efficient?

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

Socialist Michael Fugataboutit writes:

“The right loves to throw out “socialist” as if they know what it means. Services should be provided by the government – defense (which is already socialized), education, health care, communications, utilities, transportation – off the top of my head.”

Aren’t you leaving out the most immediately urgent needs – food and shelter?

Oh, I forgot. You got that covered too:
Food stamps, welfare, subsidized housing.

So, someone, namely the government with its taxpayer dollars and money printing machine, takes care of your food, shelter, utilities, transportation, education and health care.

All you need now is a government paid prescription for some medical marijuana and you’re set.

Cool.
Until the giving government runs out of other peoples’ money.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

You really are clueless aren't you? - people do pay for government services. It is different than welfare, but you are too stupid to understand even the simplest things.

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

I am a little concerned that someone who flaunts his Christianity all over the place missed this:

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

To demon dean #57:

You are implying the teachers/administrators should NOT have called the cops BECAUSE you said the POLICE CHIEF said: “WE knew it was not a bomb when WE saw it. The case is closed.”
So, you're implying that whoever called the cops is a racist and an idiot because he/she didn’t recognize it as a non-bomb when he/she saw it.
.......................
“That is neither naming anything or explaining your feelings: state one, explain why it is a problem.”

See again AFFORDABLE Care Act comments in #47.
You’re welcome.
...................
As to the rest - “What did you get wrong on the vaccine post? Stating rubella wasn’t a health concern… Your inflated number of 1 billion abortions…” etc.,
this is pointless.

I’m putting you on my “No Fly”/“Do Not Call” list.

Adios.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

To Michael Fukit #61:

“I am a little concerned that someone who flaunts his Christianity all over the place missed this…”

I am a little concerned that a socialist atheist would miss the idiocy and irony of admonishingly quoting from a book he doesn’t understand.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

I'm saying the police should not have been called because it
a) is clearly a clock
b) other people who saw it realized it was a clock
c) when asked the boy repeatedly told them it was a clock
so no, the police should not have been called.
The comment by the chief is relevant because of the breitbart lie (repeated by you) that the police were concerned when they saw it.
Your comments at 47 are not explanations for how the country is being destroyed. Your comments there are snarky remarks that represent your inability to comprehend numbers.

And, as I expected
a) you have no counter to the smackdown you got at respectful insolence
b) you refuse to answer direct questions

You are a sad representative for people everywhere.

Adios to you, too, Michael.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

Michael, it seems that sn finally got tired of avoiding making definite statements that could be examined for support. Who would have dreamed he'd tire of distorting science and replacing reality with his own opinions?

I can only conclude that the city I live in with city police, city fire, city ambulance, a public utility, free streets, libraries, public schools is SN's definition of a socialist hell. I do hope he lives off-grid in Wyoming....

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

I’m not allowed to post on Greg Laden’s articles, which are almost invariably promoting the “science” of man-made global warming.

Regardless, my days may be numbered:
“The science on global warming is settled, so settled that 20 climate scientists are asking President Barack Obama to prosecute people who disagree with them on the science behind man-made global warming.”

http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/17/scientists-ask-obama-to-prosecute-glo…

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

I’m putting you on my “No Fly”/“Do Not Call” list.

Heh. S.N. invented this hilarious antic during his pathetically aimless raving in the RI thread that he refers to as "his" above,* BTW, where he also eventually wound up just reposting his Disqustink comments.

The basic M.O. is that he decides to squat in a comment thread and declare that its sole reason for existence is to give him a platform to regurgitate whatever floater from the Breitbart wastewater tank that he's most recently savored.

Communism, Kindergarten Style or an artocious take on Bartleby the Scrivener; take your pick.

Now, hilariously, it's placed Dean and one of the Michaels (S.N. excels at sloth) on its "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" list. Who's left?

* Although it seems to be missing some text:

As I said over at my mammoth ____________ at [link] right now, if I had to choose a dream team....

I'm sure anyone who can stomach that disaster will have plenty of ideas for how to fill in the blank.

^ Hah! I was composing my previous comment on and off for a while, and at the very end, I wondered whether to predict that it would just keep posting even after it's "banned" everyone.

I should have left it in.

But Narad, he implied that everything he said was RI was correct. You mean it wasn't?

But Narad, he implied that everything he said was RI was correct. You mean it wasn’t?

Well, I suppose it was his. There was one great interlude when he started (silently) quoting from the Y—be video "Muslim Demographics" and then wound up squirming violently when called out on it.

Jason Rosenhouse is anti-conservative, a liberal.
Liberalism, as it is known today, goes hand-in-hand with socialism.

Here are two questions for Jason Rosenhouse:
1) Which socialist country today would you prefer to live in?
2) Why don’t you live there?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 18 Sep 2015 #permalink

Jason Rosenhouse is anti-conservative, a liberal.
Liberalism, as it is known today, goes hand-in-hand with socialism.

Here are two questions for Jason Rosenhouse:
1) Which socialist country today would you prefer to live in?
2) Why don’t you live there?

Now that's what I call a work of art. In the self-portrait wing, but still.

^ It occurs to me that it would be totally kewl if S.N. could get it together enough to start issuing Jack Chick–type booklets. I can even suggest one – a lurid, detailed warning about the sinister ways of queer Muslim golf caddies.

I like the United States just fine, thanks. Perhaps I'm naïve, but I don't think “socialist” and “delusional right-wingerism” exhaust the options.

To Jason Rosenhouse #78:

Two more questions:
1)What socialist country, or any other country, would you prefer the U.S. to be more like?

2)What socialist/liberal/progressive policies have worked well elsewhere which we should have more of here?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 19 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Now that’s what I call a work of art. In the self-portrait wing, but still."

Indeed. I'm sure he's not even aware of it - but he excels at not bring aware of things.

You insist on speaking in buzz words. You're the only one talking about socialism here. And since you casually conflate socialist, liberal and progressive, I don't really now what you mean by any of those terms.

Basically, though, I want to live in a country that takes the separation of church and state seriously, for the benefit of both sides. I want a country that takes public education seriously, and that recognizes that good schools are expensive but worth the investment. I don't want economic policies that are designed to redistribute wealth upwards, or to give huge tax breaks to very wealthy people while middle class people suffer. And I want to live in a country where people allow facts and a basic understanding of science to guide their beliefs, as opposed to conspiracy theories and religious nonsense.

If those are liberal policies then so be it. I don't need to speculate that they are good policies, because they are mostly the way things used to be in this country before the Republicans went crazy and decided to destroy everything.

But if I am going to keep answering your questions I think you should have to answer some too. Which theocratic countries would you prefer the US to be more like? The world has plenty of theocracies, so why don't you move to one of them?

To Jason Rosenhouse #81:

“You insist on speaking in buzz words. You’re the only one talking about socialism here. And since you casually conflate socialist, liberal and progressive, I don’t really now what you mean by any of those terms.”

You were the first to use a “buzz word”, namely, “conservative”.
I’ll make like you and say I don’t really know what you mean by that term.
What do you mean by “conservative”?
……………..
Regarding the rest, you should be pretty content:

1)“Basically, though, I want to live in a country that takes the separation of church and state seriously, for the benefit of both sides.”

And you do.
However, I’m pretty confident you’re aware there’s nothing in the Constitution about “separation of church and state”, only about the state not establishing a religion. However, the Founding Fathers had nothing against, and probably encouraged, religion influencing (not directing) matters of state (e.g. laws, policies).

2)“I want a country that takes public education seriously, and that recognizes that good schools are expensive but worth the investment.”

And you do.
Unless you consider over $620 billion per year for public elementary and secondary schools (over $12K per student) un-serious.
Or about $1 trillion of student loans for post-secondary education un-serious.
And don’t forget a very serious, and very powerful, muscle known as the NEA.

3)“I don’t want economic policies that are designed to redistribute wealth upwards, or to give huge tax breaks to very wealthy people while middle class people suffer.”

Now HERE I think your socialist/liberal/progressive mentality may experience some angst.
I don’t want economic policies that are designed to redistribute wealth, period.
However, I’m guessing you’re all FOR redistribution of wealth, as long as the redistribution goes from the wealthier to the less wealthy.
On what basis do you think redistribution of wealth (i.e. COERCED/FORCED/INVOLUNTARY redistribution) is justified?

And regarding “huge tax breaks”, a couple questions:
a) What is “huge”?;
b) How do you give federal tax breaks to people who don’t pay federal taxes anyway (e.g. the approximately 50% of income earners who pay zero in federal income tax)?

4)“And I want to live in a country where people allow facts and a basic understanding of science to guide their beliefs, as opposed to conspiracy theories and religious nonsense.”

And you do, to a large extent.
But HERE, as well, I think your socialist/liberal/progressive (and did I forget to mention “atheistic”) mentality may experience some angst.

Many, including you and me, may have disagreements over what “science” and “scientific facts” actually are. And of course, obvious disagreements over what qualifies as “religious nonsense”.
Nevertheless, you should be pretty content, since the “science” of evolution/man-made global warming dominates the realms of academia, mass media and government.
BTW, what did you think of the PhD pitchforks and torches in #70?

5)“If those are liberal policies then so be it. I don’t need to speculate that they are good policies, because they are mostly the way things used to be in this country before the Republicans went crazy and decided to destroy everything.”

So you want to return to, even CONSERVE, the way the country used to be?
In the first half or more of this country’s existence, where were
1) the controversies over things like the Ten Commandments in court houses or schools, or the government telling churches or religiously-affiliated organizations how they could live their faith?;
2) the massive government expenditures for, and involvement in, public education?;
3) coerced/forced/involuntary wealth redistribution schemes of government?;
4) the steady expansion of government and potentially massive expenditures of government (and costs to the economy) based on disputed meteorological issues and unproven scientific matters?

Doesn’t sound like the good old days to me. (And I think we’d probably disagree on what can “destroy everything”.)
……………..

“But if I am going to keep answering your questions I think you should have to answer some too. Which theocratic countries would you prefer the US to be more like? The world has plenty of theocracies, so why don’t you move to one of them?”

These are easy:
The U.S. should NOT be more like ANY other country, because I think the U.S. is the best country in world history.

And I wouldn’t move to a theocratic country because I don’t believe theocracy is the proper form of government and I would never want to live under a theocracy.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 19 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Doesn’t sound like the good old days to me."

How surprising to learn your sphere of ignorance extends to history in addition to the sciences.

Wait, it's not surprising at all.

Two more questions

A quick search of the dreary comment thread that S.N. has advertised above as his, ah, own for the term 'Torquemada' I think will illustrate the workings of this part of his extremely limited repertoire.

@Michael Fugate #68

What did Wyoming do to you?

By Ken Phelps (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink

Gave us Dick Cheney?

By Michael Fugate (not verified) on 22 Sep 2015 #permalink