Paul Ryan for VP Open Thread

At least that's the rumor at HuffPo.

 

Why announce a VP selection on Saturday morning?

 

This is the guy whose name is synonymous with taking away my medicare and replacing it with an inadequate voucher for purchasing private health insurance. I'm very excited that he's been catapulted into the very top ranks of our political class at a young age.

 

At least Palin turned out to be mostly harmless. Not this guy.

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45 Miles Per Hour

(#286686)

IMG_0577Ju

 

 

 

I have purposefully left the left side of the frame open to give a sense of scale and the darkness of the night and still maintain a horizon...or at least I can see one..lol...I was out watching the Perseid meteor shower last night

 

or more properly see in the Gallery

 

http://www.pbase.com/image/145352598

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

I just saw a couple meteors

(#286691)
HankP's picture

out in the back yard with my daughter. Clear skies in NY tonight.

 

So did you go out to the desert to watch?

I blame it all on the Internet

You Did Well to See Any, Your Daughter Should be thrilled...

(#286694)

...and she gets to make some wishes...:>)}}}

 

Please delete my post from above, your prompting has make me make this into a full diary.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

Fox, New York Post & the Torygraph?

(#286674)

I'll wait to see what FreeRepubluic & the muse in Boca have to say on the matter, thx.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Ha. Anti-guy bias.

(#286670)
HankP's picture

I smell a new Fox theme.

I blame it all on the Internet

Ha. It's OK When Liberals Do It

(#286672)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Fourteen years running and going strong among hypocritical feminists and their defenders.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Yes, anti-guy bias is the biggest problem in the US today

(#286676)
HankP's picture

I mean my god, women don't have to obey them anymore! What is the world coming to?

 

BTW, I think you missed the play on "anti-gay" bias.

I blame it all on the Internet

Ah, So That's The New Rule Now?

(#286678)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Something has to be the "biggest" problem to be something worth objecting to? That's going to make for a rather limited conversation--or some rather pointed mocking for those claiming something falls into that category when it clearly doesn't.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

definition: hyperbole

(#286681)
HankP's picture

as a frequent practitioner, I thought you'd recognize it.

I blame it all on the Internet

In That Case. . .

(#286682)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .we're back to liberals only believing in complaining about sexual harassment when it gets them votes, and I'm actually quite familiar with that.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Oh no, conservatives do it too

(#286685)
HankP's picture

there's more faux victimization in conservativeland than at a preschool. Women have the advantage that they're actually victimized fairly frequently. This guy might be, but I'd like to see what kind of evidence is actually presented.

 

Hey, don't conservatives say there's no sexism any more?

I blame it all on the Internet

And Item #2 On The List Makes Its Regular Appearance

(#286687)
M Scott Eiland's picture

It's like particularly defective clockwork.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Yeah, I thought there's be avoidance

(#286689)
HankP's picture

it's just so messy when you have to actually argue a position.

I blame it all on the Internet

You never say "ha" in your comment titles

(#286673)

Please try and keep some consistency with your commenting patters around here at theforvm so casual readers can keep track of your posting identity.

He's starting to emulate me

(#286677)
HankP's picture

we've all seen the signs.

I blame it all on the Internet

Hey Now

(#286675)
M Scott Eiland's picture

If my catchphrase list doesn't increase at least 20% over the course of a year, I'm being stolen from.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Hah

(#286692)

That was the "hah" of genuine mirth - actually your comment made me laugh.

Given Past History. . .

(#286662)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .we should expect Ezra Klein to announce that he would be happy to let Napolitano grab his crotch as thanks for helping to support the Obama Administration.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Stan Collender predicts that Ryan won't focus the election

(#286659)

on the deficit, but on killing medicare.

The early spin from Romney's

(#286667)

The early spin from Romney's camp on the medicare cuts is just plain awful.  He gets a decent soundbite but the details of "Obama cut $700 BILLION from Medicare" is a lie.

Stealing

(#286658)

For the majority of workers, they work harder, faster, with more skill, but don't see any portion of the fruits of their more productive labor. Workers are now 2.5x more productive per hr. than they were 40 yrs. ago, yet have only seen a 13% increase in their wages over that time. The majority should be figuring out how to get back what was stolen from them:

 

I was reading something along the same lines

(#286704)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8wuanRlfiB8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

what am I doing wrong on embedding ?????

(#286705)

nt nt

 

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

Switch to plain text editor

(#286708)

then paste into comment window

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Thanks the new pop up said that it was in plain text

(#286711)

A bit confusing, maybe if I posted more often I would remember this stuff.. 

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

Lets see if this works...

(#286710)

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

I was reading something along the same lines

(#286703)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8wuanRlfiB8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

When productivity goes up

(#286668)

Workers should get compensated for it, but their working "harder, faster, with more skill" is a pretty small part of the picture. Mostly, it's advances in technology. 

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

And who is proficient with that technology?

(#286671)

That's increased worker skill.   

Not necessarily

(#286701)

It's often the case that technology requires less skill than its antecedents. And it doesn't take any skill to be replaced by a robot on an assembly line, which would count as an increase in productivity.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

That's Not True

(#286721)

At least, that's not true in modern industrial production.

 

Typical factory now needs people with significant technical training, math, literacy, etc. Why? You mentioned robots. Who programs those again? Who maintains them? Certainly not management.

 

Automation, generally speaking, kills the low skill production worker. Low skill service workers are another matter.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Of course it's true

(#286753)

Pay attention to modifiers like "often". Think of all the craft professions that have been overtaken by automation.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

I paid attention to modifiers like "often"

(#286762)

but these don't seem on point, since you need modifiers like "always" to justify every productivity gain going to owners rather than workers.

 

Eeyn's got the same problem. He's pointing out some cases where employers and owners deserve to substantially benefit from productivity gains.

 

Where's the "every"s and "all"s in your points?

I don't think that's a good read on the story

(#286787)

Profits have zoomed up since 2000 to an all-time high, but between 1980 and 2003 or so they were somewhat below the historical norm. There's other things going on here.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Executive compensation, private jets, etc.

(#286804)

don't count as corporate profits.

 

That's what's going on here. Incomes increasing at the top is the most important factor, capital enjoying a greater share of compensation than labor is also a factor.

 

The productivity gains didn't just disappear.

 

Here's a breakdown of the factors that account for the productivity and compensation gap. Check out table 1. 

Inequality of compensation, yes

(#287028)

That has the ring of truth. Primarily the bloating of the finance sector.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

that's a graph of worker productivity

(#286702)

and I think it's pretty obvious that for most jobs compared with 40 yrs. ago the average worker is using tech that takes sophistication and training to use. for pretty much every job with a PC this is the case.

 

ergo it's obvious there's been confiscation of the fruits of worker labor by management.  

What is "productivity"

(#286719)

There are variations, but generally it's something like GDP/hours worked. It's a measure of output divided by a measure of labor. Skill is a component, but not necessarily a large one.

 

Now, what is "confiscation"?

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

What "confiscation" means

(#286722)

is part of what I'm exploring. 

 

I stand corrected on some of your points re: the measurement of productivity.

 

but it should be obvious that workers themselves - their skills with technology and increased efforts, etc. -  are a significant portion of productivity gains.

 

We can quibble over what precise %, but my point is that a 2.5x increase over 40 yrs., compared to a 13% pay increase over that period means workers are not securing, for some significant portion, the fruits of the labor to which they should be entitled.

 

I describe that as "confiscation". How would you describe it?

I'm with you on your sentiment

(#286756)

I think workers should be getting more of the productivity gains too. But the word "confiscation" is inflammatory rather than descriptive (and I get it that that's probably the point.) That lag is due to factors like rising medical costs and a waning manufacturing industry. It was confiscated only in the sense that humans try to "confiscate" as much as they can out of life.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

"expropriated"?

(#286763)

There's no way to be purely descriptive about the normative claim that, in your own words, "workers should be getting more" 

I should be better-looking

(#286783)

But that doesn't mean that somebody took it from me.

 

Until you persuade people to vote their economic interests (rather than their cultural interest, or their aspirational interests, or whatever it is) this is what you get.

 

And to respond to your point below, of course M Scott's use of "confiscatory" is inflammatory and non-descriptive too.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

"Until you persuade people to vote their economic interests"

(#286786)

That's what's goin on here - cooking up narratives to get people to vote their economic interests.

 

"People are stealing what you worked to produce" is my latest.

 

One day I'll be a think tank celebrity. 

Well then

(#286790)

I applaud you.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Diverted

(#286767)

You need to factor in the divergence of ever higher returns to upper management coincident with flat returns for everyonre else.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Diverted is too clinical

(#286771)

"Diverted" to me connotes a change in the direction of water flow, where there's no better or worse way.

 

This is taking something that workers legitimately worked for.

 

Think theft, mooching, skimming, expropriating, grabbing, that kind of thing.

 

All the language that the right has so successfully used to talk about taxes should be redirected toward this issue.

 

MScott thinks taxing the very upper stream of income at over 50% is "confiscation", because the wealthy earned this, not the government. 

 

It's a murky intuition, but it seems doubly plausible to me if we're talking about taking all ​of the new productivity generated by workers. They obviously earned some of that, not just management.  

 

 

I think the relevant measure should be cost of education

(#286723)

required to be considered for equivalent positions over time... and of course the % of that cost shouldered by employees. Once upon a time, even a GED equivalent was unnecessary for production line jobs, construction, etc. Nowadays that is hardly true, and a BA is virtually required for any office position (and many line positions), no matter how low on the payscale. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

That also seems relevant

(#286731)

not sure why it's a replacement rather than addition thing, however. 

 

Outside of education theres training on the job and workers increasing their skills long after they've competed their official education.

Any thoughts?

(#286727)

Why is it that schools seem to be the only workplace that is becoming less productive? More and more education is required to get a fairly run of the mill job. How do you feel about replacing teachers with robots, a staple of sci-fi, and now perhaps it's time to bring schools into line with the rest of the working world, which has boosted productivity with the introduction of automation. Or perhaps productivity "gains' in the workplace possible thanks to productivity "losses" in the schools? Any thoughts?

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Somebody already took your idea

(#286737)

Tegrity (tm) course capture software.  Right now they're advertising it to teachers as a way to have automatic records of your lectures and discussions, etc and make your job easier.  I'm not high enough up the chain to know how it's being advertised to upper administrators,  but if you have all the lectures, a good set of example discussions, and interactive problem sets, and toss in an AI to answer questions (or a call center in India) you can lay off all the teachers except for those needed to do content upgrades.

Annnnnd the "Temple Grandin" vision of American pedagogy

(#286739)

will be complete. Standardized teachers will drill students on standardized answers to rote questions (no questions asked!) to improve their scores on standardized tests...

 

With luck by 2030 or so most jobs in the country will be multiple choice. God help anyone who encounters a problem that can't be addressed by picking one of four provided answers.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Don't underrate Tegrity (tm), Blackboard (tm)

(#286743)

and their competitors.  For engineering they already make up problems with answers that need not be multiple choice,  although most still require an equation or a number with units.  But things are progressing rapidly and within a few years you're going to see software that can autograde an essay from a lit class. Or at least claim to.

I have a colleague that let a publishing house sell him on a package of online problem sets, tests, etc, all autograded and automated.  The results were very disappointing in terms of what was learned, but - and this is the important part - many more students got a line on their transcript saying they had the course for the same (really less) effort on the instructor's part. Scale that up and the State of Texas saves a lot of money. 

Money that could be used for, you know, saving lives or whatever.

 

 

 

 

There's a lot of rote learning in math & the hard sciences

(#286765)

that could probably be automated to a degree. But real problem solving skills are much harder to automate, wouldn't you say? 

 

And then most teaching that involves learning skills as opposed to facts (engineering drawing, medical diagnosis, carpentry, writing) tends to be labor-intensive because that's just how brains work. I guarantee you software that can autograde papers from a lit class isn't going to significantly improve anyone's writing skills (although it might be useful as a tool in conjunction with an actual teacher...I've taught using some automated writing software myself at CUNY).

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Robots can remove your gall-bladder, directed from here

(#286759)
mmghosh's picture

so saving lives via a call centre might not be a distant myth. Naturally, you would  be paying for your surgeon to be directing matters from the Cayman islands.

So

(#286712)

If a bond trader used to be able to do 10 trades a day using the phone and got paid $100K,  but the boss buys new software and he can do 100 trades a day,  there's some moral obligation to raise his salary to $1M?

 

Not sympathetic to bond traders?  How about farmers - we should pay a combine operator who replaces (say) 150 guys with scythes 150 times as much. 

 

The whole point of automation is to get more out of each person,  you're cancelling that by saying the labor cost of producing something has to be nailed at the 1970 level forever, and no product can ever get cheaper.

 

In any case, I think the idea that productivity increases are due to working harder, faster, and with more skill doesn't wash.  Unlike you, young man,  I was alive in 1970,  and despite the ridiculous haircuts and pants, people weren't sitting around working with only 40% as much sweat,  or moving their arms 40% as fast, or with 40% the education and intelligence. 

Education costs more, and more of it is required now vs. 1970. n

(#286724)

.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Were straw men also alive in 1970

(#286716)

Why are you interpreting my position to be that workers should get 100% of all productivity gains? 

 

All I said was that getting essentially zero is confiscation. 

 

So it's up to defenders of the status quo to defend workers getting 0% of the increased fruits of their labor indefinitely. 

 

When i was in the private sector, i was constantly learning to use new databases and other IT stuff. I assume that's quite widespread. So here's a typical example - workers acquire the skill of using a new database, spend many hours getting trained in it, can work more efficiently and smarter and their company reaps rewards. 

 

For that and for every positive contribution thereafter they get a 0% pay raise.

 

That's what you should be defending, because that's what's actually happening, and that's what I'm critiquing.

 

As for working harder and faster, a lot of these productivity gains have come when the labor market has been especially weak and during recessions, which speaks to those with a job having to hustle more to keep theirs, and new workers feeling squeezed to work harder and faster in order to prove themselves worthy. 

 

It's probably a factor, I'm not saying it's the bulk of producivity gains, and I'm not saying people were lazy in the 1950s, or that jobs weren't demanding. 

If you went out and got

(#286742)

the training on your own, then yeah, you ought to expect a reward for it. 

If you got the training on company time, I see no merit in your argument. Your paycheck was your reward for the effort expended in training.  If you weren't being productive during the training period, and you quit right after the training (and some people do) you're actually stealing.

People weren't lazy in the 1950's but we work harder than they did?  That seems to be your last two paragraphs.  I don't see it.  They didn't have things like maternity leave, air conditioning, etc.  There are fewer jobs each year requiring physical strength and stamina.  A lot of people back then spent their 40 hours doing real sweat labor with far fewer excuses to take paid time off.

 

 

 

Most libertarians

(#286749)

trace their emphasis on property rights back to Locke's ideas. 

 

He argued that when you work the land or build a house your efforts become mixed with the environment such that you can come to own these things just as you own your own labor and efforts, on the assumption that you're a free person and not a slave.

 

Now we've got a libertarian arguing that 100% of the increased fruits of the labor of free workers should belong to their employers.

 

Its at least ironic if not strictly inconsistent.

Locke? Never read the guy.

(#286775)

Is he more worthy of worship than Ayn Rand?  Wouldn't want to invest in reading him and then get called juvenile for it.

 

In answer to your 100% remark, see the other comment.  A good part of the fruits of increased labor go to making goods more plentiful and/or cheaper.

I don't agree!

(#286747)

Nevermind the 1950s stuff. 

 

If you get trained, the company makes an investment in you. If it doesn't pay off that's not stealing. 

 

But if it does it also doesn't mean they should own 100% of the skill and productivity you show in virtue of the training. 

 

Separately, many workers are bringing general computer and other tech proficiency skills that they learn on their own time to bear in the work place.

 

I'd actually love to here from wags on this.

 

All your arguments seem to support the idea that owners and managers deserve a significant cut of new productivity from worker labor, which I agree with. I don't see that you've supported the idea that they deserve ALL worker productivity gains.

They got strawmen up there too!

(#286773)

All your arguments seem to support the idea that owners and managers deserve a significant cut of new productivity from worker labor, which I agree with. I don't see that you've supported the idea that they deserve ALL worker productivity gains.

 

You seem to be assuming that if it didn't go into higher wages it went to owners.  It could go into the final product being cheaper for the consumer. 

 

 

It did go to owners

(#286841)

Think about this. The numbers on the graph are adjusted for inflation.

 

If the final product were cheaper, then adjusted for inflation wages should have risen b/c what you can buy with those wages goes farther.

 

Here's the study on this. 

 

Nearly 2/3rds of the explanation for worker wages have become decoupled from productivity gains is that the gains have gone to increases in management incomes. That's the most important factor.

 

But the 2nd most important factor is that many things workers are consuming are not cheaper - groceries, education, health care etc.

 

Table 1 in the link quantifies how much 3 different factors account for the compensation/productivity gap:

 

Table 1 breaks down the growth of three factors which can explain the divergence between productivity and median hourly compensation. The first is growing inequality of compensation, which is proxied in this analysis by the changing ratio of average hourly to median hourly compensation. The second is the shift in labor’s share of income, which is captured by changes in the nominal share of compensation in national output (GDP). The third factor is the divergence of consumer and output prices, the terms of trade wedge based on the change in consumer prices (with health benefits deflated by a medical index, and the remaining portions of compensation deflated by consumer prices) relative to prices of national output.

It's only part of the point

(#286715)

"The whole point of automation is to get more out of each person"

 

That's not the whole point. It's only part of the point. Other points include relieving the worker of hitherto boring and onerous labour, freeing up the worker's time so he can pursue other things like watching tv or sitting at the beach. Automation and mechanical tinkering in general has long been an end in itself, and people enjoy innovating. People also seem to enjoy a sense of power from operating machines. Hence the fascination with guns and locomotives etc. "Getting more out of each person" is arguably a minor consideration and rightfully resented by those who are seen as little more than sponges to be squeezed.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

If we've got a 40 hour work week

(#286740)

(or hourly pay and people that need the hours to make enough money) then automation at the workplace frees up no time for the beach.   Maybe employers are nicer guys up north,  but I can't imagine many bosses here saying "we've got new machines now, so you can watch TV at work instead for the same pay".

 

Of course when people are self-employed (including housework) what you say is true.  But the original graph was about wage labor.

maybe more docile and filled with fear

(#286800)

"Maybe employers are nicer guys up north"

Or maybe it's that employees down south are nicer, more generous or maybe more docile and filled with fear.

Actually, I don't know what the figures for this outside the states. Probably not much different. 

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

I think your numbers are off

(#286660)

My interpretation of the graph (taking it at face value) is that wages are 2.13x as much as they were in 1948,  and that workers are 3.54x as productive.

Forty years ago is 1970, which he mentioned

(#286666)
HankP's picture

so why did employees stop getting compensated for being more productive around that point?

I blame it all on the Internet

Reading comprehension

(#286669)

is getting worse, sorry catchy.

 

I'd need more details on what category of workers the graph is about, and how productivity is measured.  If you want to get paid proportional to productivity then going from piecework rates to hourly wages in the early 20th century wasn't a very good decision.  Of course if you compensated people by the piece/bushel/etc, there would be much less incentive for plant owners to invest in automation*.  It'd be workers asking if they could bring a new machine to the job.

 

But, my short answer:  if the graph is for manufacturing,  it's not that plant owners are raking in huge profits,  just the opposite.  It's that it's getting harder to compete with foreign manufacturers.

 

Gaaaah!!!

(#286649)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I just turned on the TV and rhythmic gymnastics was on--a whole crowd of women with those stupid little balls! My eyes--THEY BURN!!! I can't believe medals are given out for this crap!

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I'm with you, Scott...

(#286651)

Next I suppose we'll have Olympic pole dancing.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

At least I'd watch that.

(#286679)

nt

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

More on Olympic Sports

(#286650)
aireachail's picture

Hey, Gang, Wazzup?

(#286637)

So I'm on Orcas Island for a few more days, and had dinner at an old friend's house.  He's a political consultant, and the first political campaign he worked on was Bill Clinton's.  For Governor.

 

Anyhoo.  I have never seem him so giddy, so enthused and happy, in almost twenty-five years.  Couple reasons for this.  One, he now feels this election is actually ABOUT something.  And he loves what it's about.  Both for personal and professional reasons.  Second, they have been polling the ever-loving life out of Paul Ryan's budget over the past few months, getting ready to make a fulsome attempt to hang it around not only Mitt's neck, but the neck of every Republican running for Congress.  This was not going to be easy, after all, Ryan was running for re-election, but only that.  How could they most successfully elevate the ZombieEyedGrannyStarver's profile?

 

THANK YOU TEAM ROMNEY!!

 

In a month that positively reeked with bad political choices they may have just made the worst one of all.  That it was made out of abject cowardice? Heck.  That's just the cherry on top of this particular political sundae.

 

EDIT:  Oh, and it starts this morning.  Under Paul Ryan's budget/tax plans?  Mitt Romney's tax rate would go from around 13 percent to....zero. (Oh, okay, 0.82 percent.  We quibble!)  So I guess we don't have to bug Harry Reid anymore. Turns out the dude can read possible future timelines!

 

 

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

Hi stranger

(#286640)

..allways good to know the political consultant class have managed to pick up on the bleedin obvious. Maybe they read this blog.

 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/romney-campaign-examined-tax-returns-of-potential

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Political Consultant Class? Heh, You Misspelled --

(#286641)

Dedicated the whole of his life to fighting for political campaigns and causes you not only would support without reservation, but for the most part, political campaigns you never heard of -- including many in Central and South America.

 

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

C'est bon :)

(#286644)

Always been leery of supporting political campaigns & causes I've never heard of personally.

 

 

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Nice part of the world.

(#286639)

Last month we flew to Vancouver & drove down to Spokane (for a wedding). Didn't have enough time to poke around the islands and so forth (or make visits, else I would've put out feelers), but we liked what we saw. Especially Vancouver, but coastal Wachinton is nice too.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Hey Harley

(#286638)
HankP's picture

how have you been? Hope life's been treating you OK.

I blame it all on the Internet

It's Been Quite a Year

(#286642)

Living in Paris -- well, my family lived in Paris, I raced back and forth -- gave us the best year we've ever had.  A truly transformative experience.  There is so much to admire there -- and a healthy amount to, well, not admire -- that one is eventually swamped by it.  Whether it's the quality of the education and health care -- love the housecalls from SOS Medicin, and it'll cost you less than a hundred bucks -- or the food or the wine or the wine or the food or the museums or the food or the wine...

 

Watching my kid spend a year without ever sitting in the back seat of a car?  Pretty awesome.  Watching her learn to speak a foreign language.  Watching her navigate the streets of Paris on her push scooter -- not to mention the bus and the subway.  Watching her enjoy the benefits of the ex-pat school there (the thing about ex-pat schools?  The kids learn how to say goodbye, if only because families come and go so much.  But they also learn how to say 'hello.'  No cliques, none of the sometimes annoying school exclusion games.  Just a happy welcoming embrace.  Not to mention the first truly diverse group of kids she's ever spent time with.)

 

I walked the streets early one morning and saw what one used to call a wino standing at a shop window.  Bottle of wine perched precariously on the sill.  Gazing at his reflection while carefully trimming his beard with scissors.  Snip, snip.

 

And the funny thing is?  The first reaction I'd get from people in LA was re the luxury of it, the expense.  When in truth it was the cheapest year I've had in ten.  Because we sold our house in LA.  Rented a very reasonable apartment in the seventh.  (And living in close quarters like that? Another great benefit when it comes to the manifold ways a family interacts.)  Only needed to lease one car in LA.  Sent my daughter to a wonderful school far from the tyranny of LA's private school cabal at one third the cost.  In other words, the only thing one needs to do something like this is the desire to do it.  It also helps if your wife is crazy and bold and does not take no for an answer.  Ever.

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

So on the plus side

(#286665)
HankP's picture

a year in Paris, on the minus side still no Oscar ;p

 

I'd offer to meet you in Seattle, but I'm actually in lovely Montgomery NY, former home of Bernard Guerrero (tip: if you only have six months to live move here, because every day feels like a f(*ing eternity). With luck I'll be seeing a few fellow forvmites in NYC Thursday. But I'm back in Seattle Saturday night.

I blame it all on the Internet

It takes courage to take your family to a new country

(#286657)

I'm still a bit in awe of my parents immigrating with FIVE children, from Peru to Australia. But I'm sure even one must make your stomach churn a bit. It will be a great experience for her.

 

Keep enjoying Paris! It's heaven on earth.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

That sounds like thinking outside the box

(#286654)

Fascinating story. 

 

I hope you'll share some further impressions on French politics/culture before too long. Could make a plane ride go by a little quicker. 

It is So Different When You Live Some Place...

(#286656)

...also I particularly liked the reference to your wife...I don't know why, but it reminded me that women are often at the center of Grand Things.

 

Being single for a while now I can forget this.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

Glad You've Had A Good Year

(#286648)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Sorry that we weren't able to touch bases in LA this June--I'll probably be back down next May if the company I'm on the board of hasn't been sold yet.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Tbogg's hilarity

(#286624)

tbogg: The fact that @SarahPalinUSA has yet to tweet or Facebook about Paul Ryan seems to indicate that she thought she had a shot. #methbinge

Memo To Hobbesist

(#286613)
M Scott Eiland's picture

How exactly did the Dodgers end up with your crappy #5 starter, and why am I having to watch him gag up a lead against the pathetic Marlins? I feel like punching a puppy right now--particularly one named "Blanton."

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I wonder

(#286590)

when romney will release more tax returns?

 

Who cares about ryan? He's a full time government employee who never worked in business or had a real job. The announcement was made on a navy battleship, and neither of these guys ever served in the armed forces. This is a distraction.

 

Release the taxes, romney!

 

 

Paul Ryan's Bill on abortion and contraception

(#286569)

Ryan introduced a bill that paves the way for making all abortions illegal as well as outlawing the most common forms of birth control pills:

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Sanctity of Human Life Act'.

 

SEC. 2. DECLARATION.

In the exercise of the powers of the Congress, including Congress' power under article I, section 8 of the Constitution, to make necessary and proper laws, and Congress' power under section 5 of the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States--

(1) the Congress declares that--
(A) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person; and
(B) the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and
(2) the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.

 

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

For purposes of this Act:
(1) FERTILIZATION- The term `fertilization' means the process of a human spermatozoan penetrating the cell membrane of a human oocyte to create a human zygote, a one-celled human embryo, which is a new unique human being.

If they don't word the bill differently

(#286626)
brutusettu's picture

...then that is opening the doors for laws claiming to be aimed at reducing spontaneous abortions too.

 

Nanny P Ryan?1?1?11!??

 

 

 

 

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Can't Indict Without Probable Cause. . .

(#286646)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .and the resources required to even remotely enforce such a thing don't exist and never will.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Think big pop ban Bloomberg or

(#286652)
brutusettu's picture

enough Bachmanns relying on distraught voters that tell them rubbers cause spontaneous abortions or whatever.

 

 

Then boom, no top hats for your friend if you're in North Dakota or a myriad of counties, cities, or states across the country.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

My, won't the fertility clinic people feel silly

(#286582)

on death row, after destroying hundreds of fertilized zygotes each week.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Ex Post Facto Prohibition Still Exists

(#286645)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Congress could pass a law unanimously with that definition, have it upheld 9-0 by the Supreme Court, and it still wouldn't matter regarding all embryos destroyed up to that point (and during the time the law was under appeal).

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Yes, but Scott, what would fertility clinics do

(#286663)

in the future? Creating & destroying zygotes by the dozen is how they operate.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

They Would Have To Change Their Methods

(#286664)
M Scott Eiland's picture

But unless you think they're suicidal, they wouldn't just keep going and get charged with murder. Given Roe v. Wade and the political influence to be wielded by the otherwise infertile, this strikes me as an unlikely scenario--though it would spare us any further "Ocotmom" atrocities, at least.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I don't think you're following here.

(#286680)

Fertility clinics rely on the ability to produce large numbers of fertilized zygotes, hoping that some of them can be successfully implanted in a womb somewhere. They discard more than they implant. There is no better process, I don't believe, at least not until they can find a way to guarantee actual pregnancy. There's a technique called ICSI where sperm is directly injected into an egg...downside is it's much harder to identify "viable" sperm this way, since you're bypassing the usual guppies-on-beachball process. Even this technique would result in unused embryos. Many of these embryos ultimately wind up being destroyed.

 

Additionally, even if there were a truly better, less wasteful process, the methods used nearly always involve allowing fertilized zygote/embryos to gestate for a few days (to ensure viability) and then freezing the viable ones. What does the law say about freezing "people" and keeping them cryogenically embalmed against their will for an indefinite amount of time? 

 

Clinic employees would basically be guilty of murder, kidnapping and torture many times over. Paul Ryan's law would shut down the fertility business.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

The IVF clinics wouldn't be

(#286688)

The IVF clinics wouldn't be able to do their job as it stands.  IVF would have to get much more expensive before we stop eliminating extra zygotes.  And even then you could never completely avoid accidents or otherwise disposing of a zygote.  And then what?  Say the warmer goes bad and the zygote is ruined.  Does the clinic have to implant it or risk prosecution?  What if the potential mother dies or isn't otherwise able to take the zygote?  What does the clinic do then to avoid prosecution?

 

IVF simply proves how utterly fallible  then entire process of fertilization can be.  If God truly meant a soul and life to be defined at conception, he is playing a sick joke on us.  Or maybe he is just stocking heaven with tons of extra lives for the End-of-Days war.  Extra soldiers.

A power failure would start to look like negligent homicide.

(#286699)

It doesn't seem like there's any way to avoid occasional embryo destruction using current or near-future equipment & microsurgery techniques.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It would still be available for the wealthy

(#286690)
HankP's picture

in Europe and other places. This is just to make sure the riffraff can't have access to it. Spreading bad genes, don't you know.

I blame it all on the Internet

This is Good Stuff, Nice Find Catchy, Another Piece of the....

(#286572)

 

....arsanal. I was unaware that this was Ryan's position on these issues.

 

I actually think that this is more important than his gutting of Medicare as a political issue going forward, (as to my generation embracing the Ryan foolishness, never underestimate a peoples` ability to vote against their own even know interests...amazing, yes, but demonstrated on numerous occasions)

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

The Ryan choice focuses the election on the deficit

(#286552)

That has to be the biggest plus for GOP supporters. 

 

Obama is terrible and incoherent on the deficit and nothing can shake the background assumption that Republicans are fiscal hawks. 

 

Republicans gain a large advantage any time the conversation is focused on the deficit.

"Obama is terrible and incoherent"

(#286601)
HankP's picture

no, he just makes pleasing sounds that allay the fears of the low information voter. Just like Republicans try to do with SS and Medicare. You should be happy that Obama will never get anything passed to change their basic structure as long as Republicans reflexively oppose anything he suggests.

I blame it all on the Internet

Nothing pleasing about it

(#286611)

Obama was as culpable of deficit scaring mania as anyone for over 18 months. 

 

As far as being happy the Tea Party throttled Obama and the GOP's grand bargain, sure, I'm happy it happened. 

 

It's a very dangerous situation, however, and there's no reason to be happy with Obama over it.

Don't kid yourself

(#286623)

The deficit has to be addressed over the long-term... it just doesn't need to be addressed over the short-term.

 

Bill Clinton showed what a weight deficit expectations can have over growth. As soon as he showed he was serious about the deficit, interest rates plunged and the 90s boom began.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

No, he really wasn't

(#286616)
HankP's picture

but he managed to disable the GOPs (and several awful Dems) scaremongering on the issue. The situation is only dangerous in a world where there isn't incessant deficit propaganda, in this world it's a far better alternative.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

How did Paul Ryan get chosen?

(#286550)

Maybe ... 

Adam Ryan, any relation?

(#286597)

where is he now?

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Just like The Mentalist!

(#286554)

Only focused on body language. The Physicalist? The Hug Whisperer?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Or as my wife likes to call him...

(#286653)

....the Mental Ass.

~At times like these I am reminded of the immortal words of Socrates when he said...."I drank what?"

Hey all of you guys claiming there's no difference between

(#286533)

(R) and (D) in this election... with the selection of Paul Ryan as VP, you now have about as stark a difference between the two parties as anyone has seen in a generation.

 

On the one hand you have a center-right pragmatist (Obama) who's committed to bringing US social insurance programs into the 21st century, with market-friendly neo-statist payment systems invented by yesterday's Republicans, and a mildly progressive tax plan to cover the bills.

 

On the other hand you have two guys, one a fire-breathing right winger with financial skills, the other a chameleonic cipher who can be whatever you want him to be, and together these two are offering the most regressive tax plan ever put forth by a major party in the US...both Mitt Romney's barely sketched out tax policy and Paul Ryan's somewhat more developed one call for eliminating capital gains taxes, savage cuts to social insurance spending (in future decades so as not to piss off today's elderly voters too much), privatization of Medicare and Social Security (and diminishing subsidies for the former), and eliminating the top 2-3 marginal income tax brackets. Ryan's plan calls for replacing much of the gov't's income tax revenue with a consumption tax (i.e. sales tax) which will itself be highly regressive.

 

Both tickets are highly aggressive/militant with foreign policy, and both are aggressively supine when it comes to financial reform. The banks can roll right over either of them. But when it comes to social insurance and taxes, the differences couldn't be more stark. Obama's committed to reforming our modest social insurance programs so that they work somewhat better, hopefully at lower cost. Romney's committed to junking the whole edifice and going Full Metal Hobbesian, robber baron style with the public welfare.

 

This is a crossroads election.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

they all lead to the same destination

(#286584)

The roads may be different, but they all lead to the same destination. I'm wondering whether choosing the quickest road might not be the best.

I think it was the German Socialist Thielmann who notoriously consoled his followers with the possibility that a Hitler government would be their best bet, so I'm not blind to the dangers here. My hope is that a short, sharp shock can revive a stupefied body politic. The alternative is death by a thousand cuts.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

Also I agree with eeyn who said the other day

(#286535)

that you're the site's best writer.

 

There are a lot of people who write well here, but I hafta agree with the call.

Oh, please.

(#286553)

Most of you can think & write circles around me. I have to read books on the outside just to keep up with you.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It's true

(#286566)

Especially on the wit department. I guess there's a reason you do it for a living.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

You're Pretty Good

(#286555)
M Scott Eiland's picture

You couldn't annoy me so thoroughly if you weren't. Don't let the fact that I'm going to sulk in the tent next to Achilles because of what eeyn and Catchy said convince you any differently. :-P

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

You know catchy'll never admit to admiring your writing,

(#286565)

that uncanny ability to entertain & infuriate at the same time that you have. He's probably afraid doing so would only encourage his Republican side, so that by the time he's appointed Dean somewhere he'll be more Condoleeza Rice than Daniel Dennett, helping the university crush unions, raise tuition, end open admissions and bring back robes & powdered wigs. Also his Edmund Husserl fanfic hasn't been well received thus far.

 

 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

????

(#286604)
HankP's picture

[juvenile nickname]

[talking point from redstate/national review/ace of spades/etc.]

[warning that it will destroy the dems forever]

[sports name check]

I blame it all on the Internet

As Opposed To. . .

(#286614)
M Scott Eiland's picture

[trivially provably false recitation of another poster's history]
[vacuous, inaccurate recitation of alleged "conservative" principles]
[direct insult that somehow dodges a yellow card]
[grammar/vocabulary nannying, using an eighteenth century dictionary as The Word of God]
[random "I hate baseball" comments]

Yes, *much* better.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Indeed

(#286630)
Bird Dog's picture

[attacking commenter instead of comment, only this time with brackets!]

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I admit, you do skip the brackets nt

(#286633)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

Perhaps

(#286791)
Bird Dog's picture

I admit that you regularly attack the commenter instead of the comment, with or without brackets.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Too funny

(#286799)
HankP's picture

just beyond parody at this point.

I blame it all on the Internet

Too sad

(#286808)
Bird Dog's picture

The self-delusion, that is.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

There's nothing random about my "I hate baseball" comments

(#286615)
HankP's picture

I've been 100% consistent on that since I started commenting here.

I blame it all on the Internet

I'd miss it if it were gone.

(#286606)

We all have our favorite style of invective, and Eiland's a veritable Montaigne of snide, mocking assaults on liberal cliches. Somebody has to do it, and nobody else does it with the same panache.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Tastes differ

(#286607)
HankP's picture

I prefer a little more substance, like why a particular policy is good or bad. "Collectivism", frankly, doesn't mean much in the real world.

I blame it all on the Internet

Eh

(#286567)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I'm back from the tent anyway. Something that so and so Homer left out of the narrative: Achilles doesn't bathe, and the secret power of the Styx is that it smells like @$$. No wonder it took a lucky shot from a long way away to finish him off--*you* try swinging a sword while gagging.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Dipped in the Stynx?

(#286570)

Guess who gets dibs on all the captive noble girls with no sense of smell?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

"reforming our modest social insurance programs so that they

(#286534)

work somewhat better"

 

That's still known as drinking the Kool-aid, Jordan. Obama's proposed "cure" for SS are much worse than what ails it. Medicare has to be attacked from another angle. You can't just reduce government's pay-in to the program and expect to solve anything w/out attacking the rate at which health care costs are rising.   

 

Obama of course muddied the waters between the two parties by putting significant SS and medicare cuts on the table.

 

But the best reason against voting for Obama isn't that he's indistinguishable from today's Republicans.

 

It's that this pattern of voting for the lesser of two evils entails that conservatism wins in the end. Ryan has succeeded in pushing the overton window far past what even Bush II would've dared only 10 yrs. ago, who in turn pushed through legislation more conservative than anyone would've dared even 10 yrs. prior.

 

I'm not saying the argument is ultimately compelling, but I suggest addressing a position's best supporting argument before dismissing it. 

I don't know how you can talk

(#286573)

About this stuff without mentioning a certain bill that happened to expand health care coverage immensely and had many different initiatives in it to control costs. Something that has been the dream of liberals for more than 60 years... which many of the greatest failed to achieve.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

The ACA isn't what politicians are referring to

(#286576)

by "entitlement reform," so that's why I wasn't talking about it.

 

As for "had many different initiatives in it to control costs," I would translate that as:

 

had many different unproven initiatives, often based on conservative economic ideas which we have every reason to be skeptical about (exchanges, excise tax, etc.), and which mostly ignored every proven method of reducing health costs (expanding public insurance - medicaid expansion a notable exception - government purchases of prescription drugs, etc.)

 

Essentially we got an expansion of healthcare with Obamacare but very few cost-control measures.

 

Everyone should view that as health care reform's central unfinished task, and be advocating for a bigger government role, given its proven greater efficiency not only around the world, but with our own public vet and senior healthcare.

Affordable health insurance

(#286579)

Is an entitlement that did not exist four years ago. Perhaps we don't think of it that way today, but in another 10 years (barring some Republican sweep in this year's election) it will be seen that way.

 

I don't think things like the Medicare advisory board, research on best practices, encouraging pay for performance are insignificant things, nor do I think of them as either conservative or liberal.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

OK fair enough

(#286612)

And I certainly don't claim to know or expect that the ACA will fail to reduce cost.

 

But it is striking that nearly every measure with hard evidence for reducing costs was left out of the bill.  

If I was gaming it out... There are a number of

(#286628)

Things that are yet unproven. Besides upfront costs in the first ten years.. you should have savings on delivery of care that at least push cost and ad 30 million into the preventative system. Second you have a structure that starts to reward prevention and incentives to move toward wellness. You passed a bill with many reforms that are huge improvements with little push back because 30 million is a big number. In the future reform will be small enough so that it will be one industry at a time in the pits... 

 

The GOP hates AAC because people will like it and the Paul Ryans of the world hate it.... 

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

They will say that's because it fosters dependence on Govt.

(#286635)

You know, just like our dependence on the govt. run military to defend us, the govt. run State Dept. to manage our foreign relations and Govt. run agencies to protect our national resources, our environment and food supplies.

In other words, ideology trumps practicality. Especially under circumstances where the status quo generates massive profits that can easily be funneled to the election campaigns of politicians eager to maintain the status quo and it's profit stream.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Failure To Control Costs Is A Feature, Not A Bug

(#286577)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Since Democrats will try to use it to gain *more* government control, not admit failure and revert to status quo ante. Assuming the Republicans let them.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

More government control?

(#286586)

You do realize that is in no way an objective of mainstream Democrats, right? Social insurance really does happen to measure out as the best way to pay for health care. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Government control... It is like a broken record.. like they are

(#286603)

the only thing to fear... Government is US the people..... I want Government small enough to do all the things it needs to do and nothing more. If the choice is between a few with armed guards... such as brazil many third world countries or something like the dutch or Swiss system.. I know which direction I would pick to emulate.. By the way how is a conservative position on healthcare now government control? Unless you think the quest is to move toward that system after trying to use the insurance model. I find few GOP conservatives looking at the conservative nature of government systems. I have seen a few small d conservative dems talk about the fiscal sanity of moving that way... what is the conservative solution the market approach was failing. people were being priced out of the market as they got sick or could not afford the interventions... 

 

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

It's a feature because

(#286583)

none of the big players, including the major health insurance cos or Big Phrma, would've agreed not to significantly oppose it with significant cost-cutting measures. 

 

Obama has never taken on any powerful monied interests, whether it's the banks, health insurance co.s, or what have you.

 

I worry you're not tracking the power structure in the US, or think it's some liberal conspiracy theory to do so.

 

As for the government gaining more control, I assume you have some sort of evidence to back up your fear of it? Like some country where government-run healthcare has been a disaster, or some failure by the US's public insurance programs?

 

Oh wait. It's Ayn Rand novels all the way down with US conservatives. I guess i shouldn't expect an answer. 

 

 

How am I drinking Kool-Aid?

(#286551)

I have no illusions that PPACA is anything more than a flawed compromise that's going to take decades of work to become barely satisfactory. Still, it is, relatively speaking, an enormous foot in the door towards having nationally-administered health insurance. America's socialist hymen has been broken at last... now we can get on with the business of implementing what every other country in the industrialized world long ago realized is far & away the best method for covering medical risk with limited resources. 

 

I'm not that worried about Obama's suggested cuts to SS and Medicare, since those suggestions were intended to "strengthen," not eliminate the programs, and since any real cuts are counterbalanced by PPACA in any case (I know, not perfectly, but it still beats Vouchercare). I am somewhat worried, but I think the difference is easy enough to communicate.

 

I'm far more worried about Republican TOTV (throw out the vote) efforts in toss-up states. Part of the Paul Ryan effect is going to be to galvanize the hard-core Republicans who are radicalized enough to become poll watchers, hand out confusing flyers, harass low-income voters and the like. It's possible that the Socialist Armageddon I outlined above will strike Limbaughheads as a dire enough emergency that breaking a few Civil Rights & Voting Rights laws will be worth it in the end. Get a large enough group of poll harassers willing to go the extralegal mile, and it could well make a difference in a close election.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

No, "strengthening entitlements"

(#286556)

whether it comes out of Obama's mouth or a conservative's mouth means cutting them. 

 

Obama proposed significant cuts to SS that wouldn't "strengthen" the program but make it more stingy. The chained CPI Obama approach cuts SS benefits by 3-4% every decade, starting now, for an alleged reduction in benefits that wouldn't start for 25 yrs. 

 

There are many other solutions - e.g., means testing - that would actually strengthen SS and that could be implemented some time over the next 25 yrs. before any reductions would be necessary, and that wouldn't necessitate a series of significant cuts to average recipients.    

It looks like you're making the same mistake as Republicans

(#286600)
HankP's picture

in assuming that once something gets changed it's changed forever.

I blame it all on the Internet

Not sure of the relevance of that observation

(#286608)

Are you suggesting I shouldn't fear cuts to SS or medicare during a Democratic administration b/c some future politicians might return them to their former glory? 

I'm saying you should oppose them

(#286617)
HankP's picture

but not assume that losing a battle is losing a war. Just like assuming that the PPACA means we "lost" single payer health care, it may turn out that way but it's more likely (IMO) that it will turn out to be an intermediate step towards single payer.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Means testing is big among conservatives for a reason

(#286587)

They like means testing because it weakens the political support of SS, and weakens the idea that it is a benefit in return for a contribution. It's a big blow to the political economy supporting the program.

 

Try raising or removing caps on taxed income. That should be the first priority.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

I think you're right

(#286609)

and that I've gotten rusty with my SS defenses given that Obama hasn't been proposing SS cuts since, well ... actually, the man who disappoints like few others floated them again this past week, but before then it's been awhile. 

Which Would Also Weaken The Idea Of Benefit For Contribution. .

(#286593)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .if the politicians suggesting it were being honest. It'd explicitly make SS a welfare program, and Republicans would be stupid not to hammer that home.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Heh!

(#286622)

SS has always been progressively structured, and that has helped, not hurt, it's popularity. Telling senior citizens they are welfare queens doesn't strike me as a political winner, but by all means, knock yourselves out.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Go with that

(#286595)
HankP's picture

a welfare program that covers 100% of the entire working population and that everyone who obtains income from labor pays into their entire career. Even after means testing it would cover 95%+ of the working population. Seriously, go with that as long and hard as you can.

I blame it all on the Internet

Won't Have To. . .

(#286598)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .unless lifting the caps is seriously proposed--which would remove the fig leaf and explicitly make the Democrats liars.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The caps should be lifted

(#286602)
HankP's picture

that puts SS in actuarial balance forever.

 

As for lying, the Dems have a long way to go to catch up with the GOP when it comes to SS.

I blame it all on the Internet

The PPACA cuts to Medicare Advantage

(#286561)

were made to recoup what were essentially handouts to private insurers, simply because they weren't "gummint bureaucrats." 

 

Switching from fee-for-service to bundled payments seems like (in theory) it could help stop overcharging and tend to reward physicians for improving patient outcomes instead. Those two "cuts" sound pretty good.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Looks like you were thinking of reform to medicare advantage

(#286563)

and I was thinking of reform to the way SS payments are linked to inflation measures.

 

I'll look at yours if you look at mine. 

I'm not sure Obama's "cuts" to Medicare & SS

(#286568)

are obvious enough to be demagoguable, though Republicans often surprise me. I'm going to look more closely at the indexes...after I get back from a late beer & pizza lunch.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Ok, catchy, looking up Medicare cuts...

(#286605)

According to this writeup I found (pdf), the law saves $233 billion by adjusting "market basket" payment updates based on productivity upgrades in health services (this paper is skeptical that there's that much productivity to upgrade in health services, given that it's a labor intensive industry), $50 billion by reducing the Disproportionate Share Hospital payments (extra money to urban hospitals that treat indigents), $24 billion in savings from the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and $145 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage plans. 

 

Medicare payments aren't indexed to CPI inflation now, and it doesn't look like they will be under Obamacare either. Instead, an enormously complex system for establishing payments to insurers, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, etc. is jury rigged by a number of different mechanisms.

 

It's bewildering to me. My basic sense is that a) there are indeed substantial cuts to Medicare (north of $500 billion over 10 years), but b) it isn't at all clear how these cuts might impact actual delivery of services, and/or be offset by the increased subsidies from Obamacare itself. Obama & the Democrats could make quite a credible case that they reined in excess & inefficiency in Medicare while strengthening the overall program. I'll be dadgum...and I mean it, like, seriously dadgum, if I can see how that claim would be inaccurate. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It isn't medicare benefits that are indexed to CPI

(#286610)

The proposal is for SS benefits to be indexed to the so-called "chained CPI" measure

I believe it was Kevin Drum who said

(#286752)
stinerman's picture

Either the Chained CPI is a better or worse measure of inflation than the "standard" CPI.  If it's better, we should use it for everything.  If it's worse we should use it for nothing.  However, it can simply not be the case that it's better for Medicare, but nothing else.

 

I agree with him on that point.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

Yep, that would suck.

(#286618)

I'm not happy if Obama's proposing anything along those lines.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

That was the proposal

(#286718)

to cut SS payments now in order to ... avoid cuts to SS payments 25 yrs. down the road.

 

All under the auspices of reducing the deficit, despite SS not contributing to the deficit.

 

There's a reason people on the left think Obama's not a good president, and it's not just b/c they didn't get their favority ponies. 

The cock crowed thrice for Ayn Rand

(#286527)

Paul Ryan in 2005:

 

"The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand"

 

"... Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill ... is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict -- individualism versus collectivism."

 

Wait. She was a militant atheist who wrote "The Virtue of Selfishness?" And I'm a serious contender for Vice President?  I must deny her! 

 

Paul Ryan in April 2012:

 

"I reject her philosophy," Ryan told National Review on Thursday. "It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas. Don’t give me Ayn Rand."

 

Is there any way to depress the evangelical base by getting the message across that the GOP's main candidate is a Mormon and the VP candidate credits an atheist over any other thinker with getting into public service?

Brad Delong reads this site

(#286706)

More evidence at that link

(#286720)

To my contention to M Scott that we have already won the fight on this.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

MOre Ayn Rand lovin from Paul Ryan

(#286532)

He told Insight on the News on May 24, 1999, that the books he most often rereads are "The Bible, Friedrich von Hayek's The Road to Serfdom and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged." 

 

He told the Weekly Standard on March 17, 2003, "I give out Atlas Shrugged as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well... I try to make my interns read it."

 

​But of course he completely rejects her philosophy and nothing in his political career suggests that he believes the central Randian tenet that altruism is a mistake. 

That is terrifying stuff.  

(#286541)

That is terrifying stuff.  

I Never Cease To Be Amazed. . .

(#286543)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .at how one little Russian immigrant dead thirty years now can provoke such. . .interesting reactions. Pavlov would have gotten whole reams of papers out of it, were he still with us.

I suspect the person who welcomed the Ryan nomination with the most glee was John Aglialoro.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Back when he was an undergrad

(#286707)

Obama was into Fanon.  If on the strength of that he can be called a Kenyan post-colonialist, then we've established a burden of proof that's more than sufficient to call Ryan an Objectivist.

 

In all seriousness, though, the dedication of our Right to door-stopping collections of eighty-page speeches about how you, young nineteen-year old, are an uebermensch and are under no obligation to anyone is mighty peculiar.

She's a clown without makeup

(#286599)
HankP's picture

a silly, laughable, asocial clown. The problem isn't Rand, it's the permanent adolescents who deify her.

I blame it all on the Internet

Quick reality check:

(#286557)

I'm trying to calibrate my instruments here. Is she or is she not the intellectual polestar for an entire wing of conservative economic & political thought, practically the founting intellect of libertarianism, of the Cato institute, and certainly with an outsized influence on modern anti-statist conservatives prominently including heavy hitters like Alan Greenspan?

 

The reaction can be summed up as: how can any adult person, much less a person in charge of the world's most powerful financial system, be so taken in by what amounts to a fairly juvenile political philosophy? 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Ayn Rand Believed Collectivism Was Evil, And. . .

(#286585)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .she didn't ground that belief in religion. No wonder liberals hate her.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

We do?

(#286621)

I don't hate her at all.

 

I find her a fascinating speaker (some videos are around). She was an utopian idealist, in the great 19th century tradition. And an atheist too, a sign of independent thinking. What's to hate?

 

I just don't think that, beyond making a thinking person fire a few neurons while exposed to her compelling utopian ideals, her model of how the world should run is any more practical than, say, Trotsky's. For entirely different reasons, of course, her formulations would, taken literally, lead to disaster of a similar order, with ludicrous concentration of power and lack of meaningful freedom.

 

Of course, like many other utopians, she has followers. Followers of utopians tend to be zealots. Utopian theories are seductively simple and elegant, thus easy to place faith in, and of course they lead to utopia. The magnet of a perfect society achieved through simple rules is too beautiful for some to resist. Marxists or Randians, it makes little difference. Should the real world ever get in the way and prove them wrong, they will insist that the only problem is that their formulations have not been followed enough. So these people, in power, will double down every time.

 

So I don't hate Rand at all. But her literal followers are a dangerous bunch nonetheless.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

I Would Suggest That Your Position Is Not Representative

(#286625)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Although in fairness, the twice expressed sentiments by one of our fellow Forvmites that he wishes that Stalin had succeeded in liquidating her and thereby preventing her influence on American culture are almost certainly also not representative. At least I will hope that is the case.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

You can say it was me

(#286631)
stinerman's picture

I still stand by those comments.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

I Know

(#286643)
M Scott Eiland's picture

No one being honest will ever call you a weasel, my friend--I can't remember you ever backing away from a position you expressed here (clarifying, yes--but that's not the same thing). I thought it would be polite to let you reiterate it if you chose to rather than stating it myself.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I never mind

(#286751)
stinerman's picture

If my words are to be used against me.  If my opinion would have changed, I would have said as much.

 

But your gentlemanly behavior is much appreciated even if it is not required.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

Liberals hate Rand like they hate naive, unruly teenagers

(#286591)

..in other words, not really.

Now Animal Farm, that was a kick ass political novel with a powerful message against colectivsm. Ayn Rand's purile nonsense, not so much.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Yep

(#286592)

Nobody hates ayn rand. That's like saying you hate L. ron hubbard.

 

I just recoil from any adult who takes her stuff seriously. It's become a cult like scientology. Stupid developmentally-stunted grown up kids who need to get more fresh air.

Yes but she based that belief on a naive & juvenile view

(#286588)

of economics (hint: all modern industrial economies are collectivist in nature, which is the main reason she had to cast her utopia in the form of a tiny, isolated commune).

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I never cease to be amazed ...

(#286548)

how one little Russian immigrant dead thirty years can nevertheless be an object of such widespread and consistent worship among so many modern Republicans. 

 

All this worship despite the fact that she's a callous, intellectual lightweight whose philosophy is an albatross around the US's neck, one that brings it closer to its knees with each passing day. 

 

Romney/Ryan 2012: Embracing Ayn Rand So That America May Kneel

When I read Atlas Shrugged, I

(#286647)

When I read Atlas Shrugged, I must have been 13 or 14. I enjoyed it immensely. It was probably one of the first really thick books I dared to read. Young readers should still be able to profit from it. What I can't understand is how people today who call themselves conservatives can identify so closely with a bourgeois romantic like Rand who rejected faith, family and nation. A conservative who rejects these values seems little more to me than a self indulgent nihilist.

You will kill 10 of our men, and we will kill 1 of yours, and in the end it will be you who tire of it. - Ho Chi Minh

The Prosecution Rests

(#286549)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Except to note that I suspect Democrats will have a new reason to regret Citizens United soon, based on the reactions of three relatively sensible Democrats above.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

If ANY democrats

(#286564)

claimed to have been attracted to public life by the writings of say... Noam Chomsky... you'd be having a sort of festive conniption.

 

That Republicans so brazenly state their allegiance to such a marginal ideologue is an emblem of extremism.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Uh Huh

(#286575)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Funny how that wasn't the case when Clinton re-appointed Alan Greenspan--whose association with Rand was a few orders of magnitude closer than Ryan's by any conceivable definition. Just because Rand makes collectivists of all varieties go all unhinged doesn't mean that they managed to win the argument that any association with her is anathema. But if Obama and the superPACs want to spend money trying to pull that off. . .they can bring it on.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Oh, we've won it already

(#286581)

Look at the comment that started the thread. It hasn't just been Paul Ryan, Rand Paul has also been disavowing frantically... beginning with furious denial that he was named after her, of course! No conservative is really going to spend too much time defending a pro-choice atheist philosopher. They'll just keep their nerd-crushes quieter from now on, I suspect.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

If you say so.  I'll grant

(#286578)

If you say so.  I'll grant that associating Ryan with Ayn Rand won't sway many voters.  The point people here are trying to make is that Rand's writings don't add much to the realms of fiction, philosophy, or economics.  At least for people older than college age.  Or top level GOP politicians it seems.  Alan Greenspan is a good retort but the obvious rejoinder is - how'd that work out?

I Can See. . .

(#286580)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .where a writer who provided a non-religious perspective for total opposition to collectivism might not be considered valuable by liberals. That's about as obvious as "Tom Selleck is not a member of the Rosie O'Donnell Fan Club." Her continued popularity thirty years after her death suggests that liberals lost that fight, too.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The fight against adolescents?

(#286636)

Never going to win that one. They will be with us forever I'm afraid. Also, unfortunately there will always be a certain segment of the population who refuse to grow out of it.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Calling Dr. Goodwin....That Little Tome...My Struggle...

(#286571)

 

...had the effect of changing the World. The ability to focus on something hard and there is a wonderful thing to have in a political milieu of chaos and confusion...

 

Hence Ann Rand for the Republicans....but these two writers bare more than a passing resemblance to each other.

 

Ahem.

 

Traveller

No, it's a good comparison

(#286684)
HankP's picture

they're both obsessed with "will".

I blame it all on the Internet

And both equate democracy with "looters."

(#286700)

Also, she used benzedrine & other prescription amphetamines for over 30 years?

 

In an ersatz Nietzschean rant against hippies & the countercultural movement, she claims that most hippies are "drug addicts" and says this about them:

Drug addiction is the attempt to obliterate one's consciousness, the quest for a deliberately induced insanity. As such, it is so obscene an evil that any doubt about the moral character of its practitioners is itself an obscenity.

 

Such is the nature of the conflict of Apollo versus Dionysus.

Irritability, paranoia, hyperactive obsessions & idees fixes... Rand wouldn't be the first 20th century notable whose work was fueled by amphetamines, but now that I think about it, the above sounds like a speed rant if I've ever heard one. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

what 3 democrats above?

(#286558)

.

Make That Four -nt-

(#286559)
M Scott Eiland's picture

.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Me too

(#286547)

I find it hard to fathom why so many seem on the right claim that her work has changed their lives. All I've read of her was The Fountainhead, and it seemed to me to be written on the level of a Harlequin romance... although perhaps one penned by Margaret Thatcher.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Have you read Atlas Shrugged?

(#286545)

Have you read Atlas Shrugged?  I have serious problems with a grown man who still thinks it is worth rereading, especially a national level politician who professes to be an expert on budget and financial issues.

Good thing Obama put medicare and SS cuts on the table

(#286526)

Now we get a choice between one guy who was willing to make significant cuts to medicare and SS, versus the guy who wants to make deep cuts and privatize medicare and SS.

 

Hell of a choice we have here in the US.

Doubling down.  Interesting

(#286520)

Doubling down.  Interesting move.  The media likes Ryan but moving his extremist policies to the forefront of the conversation won't be helpful.  I think Obama has managed to get good traction with his populist rhetoric (raise taxes on ultra rich, Romney is out of touch, etc...) and Ryan is the wrong person to combat that.

There are risks for both sides with this pick

(#286528)

For Republicans:

  • Going into the convention, the nominee still feels he has to strengthen his right flank! The middle is being pretty much given away.
  • If Ryan adopts the vague, detail-less line of the Romney campaign, he's going to lose his mojo; if he wants to be Paul Ryan and play it smart, he's going to say some things that the campaign will regret... I think the latter will happen, at least until Ryan gets the knack of being a national candidate. There are going to be smarty-pants gaffes.

For Democrats:

  • They hate him so much that as Kevin Drum points out, there's a danger that he will draw fire away from Romney. I don't think the Obama campaign will make that mistake... they were so disciplined about not punching down to Palin last time. But Obama allies might.
  • Will he have some appeal to catholic working class that is so important in this election? Maybe, but I kinda doubt it.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

"They hate him so much"

(#286538)

Pissing off liberals also isn't a bad thing to get GOP voters enthused. 

 

Paul Ryan is definitely the person on the list of VP choices toward whom I have the most negative associations.

One positive though, Ryan's tax returns will be clean

(#286516)

since as a professional politician and pure ideologue, he's never held down a real job or had to soil his hands in the sometimes messy business of 'job creatin' like Mitt.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

One innocent question

(#286529)

I would love for someone to ask Mitt... how many years of tax returns did you ask from Paul Ryan?

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

They won't get an answer

(#286589)

And they won't get an invite to the next presser.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

What a marvelously terrible choice.

(#286509)

As I told Traveller, this is exactly the ticket Obama and the Democrats wanted to run against. Nobody except Grover Norquist's true believers is buying what the Ryan Roadmap is selling: tax cuts for the rich, tax increases for everyone else, partial privatization of Medicare, repeal of Obamacare. The rest of this election season can be all about the unmitigated disaster that the GOP tax plan would be for the country, and how these guys with their terrible ideas are systematically preventing Congress from offering non-crazy solutions to the craptastic economy.

 

On the personal level, you have an ultra rich job killing once-and-future liberal whose only discernible policy goal is to cut taxes for people like himself, paired with the poster boy of the GOP's effort to privatize Medicare, dismantle public spending and return the country to the halcyon days of 1929. 

 

They're toast. Time to spread the butter towards downballot races, I'd say. Work on growing the Senate majority, retaking the House, and start doing something about all of those vote suppressing, union busting, immigrant harassing state houses around the country.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Halperin has a woody

(#286512)

Ryan will get the tongue bath treatment from the village for the 2 weeks leading up to the convention and this weekend's Sunday shows will be insufferable. The R convention will be fully energized, ready to take on the world. I say let it pass, use the time to prepare, allow the bounce to reach its zenith and then hit them hard with a full battery fire mission detailing the twin horrors of the House passed Ryan budget & the Romney tax plan. After that we can pick of the stragglers at will.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

I lol'd

(#286507)
stinerman's picture

Now everyone here can vote for a minor party candidate with no worries.

 

Get a SuperPAC to hit Ryan over the head with his Ayn Rand fetishism (she hated Christians with a passion) and watch the numbers plummet.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

Confirmed

(#286502)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19224423

Romney pulls a McCain to secure the base. And the village? Democrats predictably singing & dancing in the streets. It ain't over yet, but the debate on policy now shifts center stage as Romney exits stage left and the GOP base gets the idealogical confrontation it has wanted from the beginning. Bring it!

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Let me put the pipe down for a moment to type up some nonsense

(#286511)
TXG1112's picture

Romney exits stage left and the GOP base gets the ideological confrontation it has wanted from the beginning.

In my more conspiratorial moments I'm left wondering if this is how what's left of the GOP's moderate establishment intends to do away with the tea party and Ryan once and for all. Perhaps on some level they know Romney is a terrible candidate and don't expect him to win so they are willing to sacrifice the election on the alter of practicality. The US generally (and the GOP in particular) doesn't like losers, so when when the tea parties ideological champions get beat like the Washington Generals they will have no credibility and will be forever banished to the back bench never to be heard from again. The crashing of hard right ideas on the shores of reality will allow the moderates in the GOP to steer the ship in a more reasonable direction, and they won't be able to get away with the "no true Scottsman" excuses. This election may very well represent Peak Wing-nut, or it's possible that my tin-foil hat is on a bit too tight and I should just go back to bed and sleep the rest of this off.

 

 

 

 

--- I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

That should be "altar", TXG....

(#286515)
Jay C's picture

... but then, "alter of practicality" does sort of capture the Republican attitude toward policy to a tee...

This is your brain....this is your brain on metaphor

(#286517)
TXG1112's picture

Quit harshing my buzz, dude. :)

--- I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

The GOP's moderate establishment no longer exists

(#286514)

they have been scattered to the winds by the teahadi insurgents. This is their show now & Mittens just acknowledged it. Ryan isn't the kind of guy you put up front and center if you want to achieve the policy goals he champions, which even the so-called moderates assuredly do even if they aren't willing to publicly admit it. He's the guy you protect politically by keeping him under wraps in some safe House/Senate seat while entrusting him with the keys to the kingdom where the sausage actually gets made.

 

Still, the question posed is will they destroy themselves as a political force in the expected orgy of wingnut?

 

Only time will tell, but I expect demographics will destroy them long before peak wingnut, which will occur at some point during a long slow decline.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

More moderates than you might think

(#286518)
TXG1112's picture

I agree with you that moderates are currently invisible and hold no real power in the GOP at the moment. That being said, politics is the art of knowing which way the wind is blowing and sailing downwind. I'm not a believer in 11 dimensional chess despite my long winded post. What I'm really suggesting is that it may be a good ex post facto rationalization by so called moderates in the GOP to stage a coup against the hard right leadership elements. If it gains any traction, you can expect moderates to come out of the woodwork and claim they were never on the tea party bandwagon, irrespective of their actual record.

 

 

--- I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered. My life is my own.

They already vote for Obama

(#286683)
HankP's picture

they know there's no place for them in the party as it's currently constituted.

I blame it all on the Internet

Sure, but the GOP base is now so thoroughly radicalized

(#286523)

I predict that even a heavy defeat in November will simply lead to more severe beatings, until every vestige of moderation is purged from the ranks.

 

3rd party?

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Secret Party

(#286574)

Like that gaggle of CEOs getting together to work out a budget deal during the lame duck Congress.

And now Romney's loss is guaranteed

(#286500)
Bird Dog's picture

It's official. A rich, plasticky whitebread politician picks a younger whitebread who is less rich and plasticky. Not that he's a bad candidate, just the wrong candidate. And now the Left will turn on the Big Wurlitzer and vilify him for being a heartless wanker who wants to kill grandma.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I don't think Ryan wants to kill Granma

(#286531)

He just wants to push her off the cliff. If she's a hardy individualist instead of a weak-willed collectivist, maybe she'll survive the fall.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Nothing's guaranteed

(#286525)
HankP's picture

but Romney certainly made his campaign more difficult.

I blame it all on the Internet

It looks like a bet that monied interests alone

(#286524)

can win the election. 

 

No one likes the Ryan budget outside of the rich, conservative elite.

 

I think it's a sign of weakness that Romney didn't already have that contingent fully shored up and couldn't then branch out more with a better PR choice for VP. 

 

But if you've got the monied conservative contingent fully on board, you still have a lot - they control a lot of the media and a lot of the wealth in the US.

I don't think he wants to kill grandma

(#286510)
stinerman's picture

I just think he's indifferent to grandma and believes that if grandma can't pay for her healthcare grandma gets to die.  Grandma isn't his problem any more than my gutters are his problem.  It just doesn't factor into his decisions.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

The left doesn't have a Wurlitzer

(#286503)

..but we do have the House passed Ryan budget, which should do nicely.

"Something I think most liberals don't understand is exactly how stupid many conservative leaders are." - Matt Yglesias

Well, Yes We Will Fire up the Wulitzer..But this was a Clean Hit

(#286501)

 

...by Romney, maybe not out of the ballpark, but certain a sharp slap that cleared the infield.

 

I really thought that Romney was on the ropes and rope-a-dope can only carry you so far....he had to change the narrative and did so....Can he and Ryan run with this new open field? I don't know, I hope and presume that the Democrats will find ways to put serious tacklers down field....

 

But he has a chance again...the polls were trending way worse that anyone was letting on...I give him credit for understanding this.

 

Also he sincerely seems to like Ryan.

 

Who knows what can happen when someone kicks the anthill? 

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

Disagree, Trav. Ryan is exactly the wrong VP pick

(#286506)

if the objective is to change the subject of Romney's absurdly low tax rate. It's as if Romney had a cement block on one foot, so he went ahead and plumped the other foot in a tub of Quik Dry. 

 

They're toast. This is exactly the combo Democrats want to run against: the ultra rich job killer with a liberal past, and the guy who wants to cut the first guy's taxes while telling grandma she can pay for her own damn insurance.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Why Would Ryan Accept?

(#286493)

The keynote is better for that dude.

Who do the Dems run in 16?

Even Money Or Better Lady MacBubba Runs

(#286495)
M Scott Eiland's picture

The Democratic bench is shallow right now, and the Clinton lust for power is broad and deep.* Failing to deliver the coup de grace in this area is my biggest beef with The Chosen One.

*--though Bubba may wage a subtle war to make sure she never gets close, as he might be justifiably horrified at the concept of four to eight years where the Secret Service is tasked to preventing him from getting laid as opposed to the alternative he was used to back in the day.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Dunno...

(#286542)

She's getting long on years. She would have to fight through a primary season at age 68, like Reagan.

 

I'm not sure I see that happening. It could, but it's far from a sure thing.

 

The bench might not be so shallow. Cuomo is at least thinking about it, for sure. Not saying he's my favorite or anything, but there will be a bench for sure. The number crunching will begin in November.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Doesn't seem that way to me

(#286536)

Looking WAAAY ahead to 2016.

 

Democrats: Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Mark Warner, Deval Patrick, Brian Schweitzer

Republicans: Doug Christie, Paul Ryan, John Thune, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum

 

Hillary is the only one that stands out, as an icon and a talent. Her age might hold her back, but she'll still be three years younger than McCain when he ran. The strongest candidate on the Republican side would probably be Jeb Bush, but I don't know whether tea party madness would have faded sufficiently by 2016. Also, the Bush brand has been tarnished a bit. I expect both sides will have strong fields. 

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

I find it astonishing

(#286596)

That Jindal gets so much praise as a future big player. He's a weird little twerp like Dukakis, and will never hold national office. 

Other dems 16 or 20

(#286594)

Gillibrand, Harris and Warren, O'Malley.... All come to mind on the GOP side Ayotte, Martenez etc.... 

Ask courageous questions. Do not be satisfied with superficial answers. Be open to wonder and at the same time subject all claims to knowledge, without exception, to intense skeptical scrutiny. Be aware of human fallibility. Cherish your species and yo

But McCain lost

(#286546)

The oldest successful candidate was Reagan, at 68 at the time the primary season started. And Reagan was by any account an exceptional figure representing an insurgency of sorts, which connotes youthful vigor.

 

Hillary would be almost the same age, turning 68 right before the primary season. But I am not sure she is aging as well (a bit early to tell) and, more important, she represents the democratic establishment, which tends to connote age.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Chris Christie

(#286537)

And let's just try to survive this election, people. 

Of course

(#286540)

Confused him with the much more lithe former NBA player.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

More Important Than The Medicare Mangler

(#286492)
brutusettu's picture

What the hell is ClearStation's major malfunctions?

 

American pop radio stations need more of this and this onethis too, plus this.

 

- ClearStation  played a ***-**** ******* OK Go song because of a gimmicky video....endless Nickleback, Rob Thomas...I fart in their general direction.

 

 

 

 

 

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Radio?

(#286494)

Put Spotify or whatever on yer phone and be done with it.

I started using MOG (mog.com)

(#286519)

I started using MOG (mog.com) and I think it is world's better than spotify.  Better interface, mobile app, etc...  No intrusive ads.  It is supposedly a pay app but I've been using it for a month or so and the keep extending the free play.

As I Noted, Harry Reid Seems to Have Forced This Early...

(#286490)

 

...so as to be able to change the conversation from Bain and Romney's Pledge to also not pay a cent of Income Taxes While President so as to not break his championship run of paying no taxes for bunches and and bunches of years past, carrying this record forward into the future also.

 

Christmas for Obama early indeed!

 

Traveller

That Hypothesis Would Explain The When, But Not The Who

(#286496)
M Scott Eiland's picture

First reaction on my part: Ryan is certainly the anti-Quayle nominee--Romney certainly doesn't seem afraid of being overshadowed by a competent party rock star. If I was being cynical, I'd suggest that the apparent choice of Ryan was designed to provoke Palin-grade Democratic hysteria on a candidate far better trained to deal with it.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I Detest Romney and Will Change the Cannel If He Comes On, Yet

(#286497)

...I think this is a ballsy decision, and moves Romney up several notches in my estimation.

 

Needless to say, I disagree entirely with Mr. Ryan and hope that his budget will be used to beat him to death within my generation...but a second, and yet...Ryan is undeniably a smart man.

 

And I like that.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

 

Edit: Being able to understand within oneself that they are taking a beating and losing...is difficult. Romney apparently has this talent...he has changed the conversation...something absolutely necessary for him to survive even through August...so this is a positive.