Free Forum Friday, January 14 Edition

Been a busy week around here and around the country. We’ve struggled with tragedy and we’ve argued over why it happened. There’s been finger-pointing, denials, and a moving memorial. But it’s Friday, so it’s open mic day. What’s on your mind?

President Obama and 13,000 mourners at the Memorial in Tuscon

Free Forum Fridays are an open discussion where commenters are invited to bring up topics that may not have been covered in the previous week. Got something on your mind? Throw your opinion out there.


About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. http://www.logarchism.com | http://www.sevendeadlysynapses.com
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256 Responses to Free Forum Friday, January 14 Edition

  1. Mr. Universe says:

    Well, I wanted to dial back the inflammatory stuff but Ive had something rummaging around in my head for the past week that I didn’t want to make an article out of that could lead to some heated debate. So I have a theoretical exercise I’d like to throw out. Please try to keep your comments respectful. I’m looking for honest, real opinions, not insults.

    Question: what would the circumstances have been if the the intended victim of the Tucson Massacre had been a Republican representative?

  2. Number Seven says:

    drugs…drugs….

  3. Bartbuster says:

    what would the circumstances have been if the the intended victim of the Tucson Massacre had been a Republican representative?

    No one would have tried to stop the shooter.

  4. Mainer says:

    In all honesty I think there would have been issues either way. All this has pointed out is that many many are tired of this devisive political situation we are in. I don’t think most wuld have cared which side was tarheted it still is a negative impact on our system. Fingers might have been pointed differently but they would still have been pointed.

  5. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    bb,

    Now THAT’S BAD! Shame on you!

    Everyone knows, what with all the 2nd Amendmenters that would be in attendance, the immediate response would be “Draw”, “Fire”, and the results would have looked like a circular firing squad.

    My bad. Now, I’ve been quite naughty. I’m going in and having Beth spank me.

  6. shiloh says:

    Bartles would be 24/7 unbearable! 😛

    ok, he already is ~ nevermind …

    >

    hmm, boehner would have attended the memorial instead of a fund raiser.

    gun/ammunition sales would have increase twice the amount they already have in the last few days.

    which begs the question, when was the last time a Rep was shot and (((killed))), and no Bartles/grog the KKK don’t count! 😀

    as grog said in a previous thread, I could go on, but let’s give others a chance, including grog …

  7. Bartbuster says:

    After the shooting the rep would have died because everyone would be praying for divine intervention.

  8. Bart DePalma says:

    Question: what would the circumstances have been if the the intended victim of the Tucson Massacre had been a Republican representative?

    From conservatives: A sober discussion of how to keep firearms out of the hands of mentally disturbed people who have not been found by a court to be insane. When not defending ourselves from recent scurrilous attacks, that has been a major subject of discussion after the Tucson murders.

    To you progressives: Would you have attempted to extend your blood libel of conservatives to a shooting of a Republican?

    If the victim was a RINO like John McCain targeted for election defeat, I am sure the same feces would have been thrown.

    What if it was a Tea Party candidate like Ron Paul?

  9. Bartbuster says:

    To you progressives: Would you have attempted to extend your blood libel of conservatives to a shooting of a Republican?

    If someone takes you out we’ll probably hold a parade. Is a parade considered “blood libel”?

  10. shiloh says:

    After the shooting the rep would have died because everyone would be praying for divine intervention.

    Karma!

  11. filistro says:

    what would the circumstances have been if the the intended victim of the Tucson Massacre had been a Republican representative?

    We KNOW what the circumstances would be. We’ve been witnessing them for the past 9 years.

    The way each politcal party responds to an attack is what lies at the very core of their philosophy andd defines their essential difference. Democrats, when attacked (either by a crazed individual, a political offensive or a foreign entity) respond with pleas for understanding, education and dialog. Their immediate impulse is… let’s find out why this is happening, determine where the violence is coming from, see what we can do about it and try to stop it.

    The Republican reaction is rage, violence, a defensive crouch, bloodlust and screaming for revenge. And the rage and revenge (as we saw in Iraq) need not even be directed at the guilty party. Anybody standing around and looking a bit different is an acceptable target.

    Or, to put it another way… When attacked, Democrats respond from the cerebral cortex; Republicans from the amygdala.

  12. Bartbuster says:

    If the victim was a RINO like John McCain targeted for election defeat, I am sure the same feces would have been thrown.

    Actually, there’s a good chance of a fabulous parade if McCain is taken out.

  13. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    30 March, 1981 – Reagan

  14. shiloh says:

    Bart’s on a totally incoherent roll today ~ congrats!

    Please try to keep your comments respectful. I’m looking for honest, real opinions, not insults.

    Barted ~ To you progressives: Would you have attempted to extend your blood libel of conservatives ~ If the victim was a RINO like John McCain targeted for election defeat, I am sure the same feces would have been thrown.

    and so it goes …

  15. shiloh says:

    30 March, 1981 – Reagan

    shot and (((killed)))

    attention to detail as I did very well on that part of the USN’s ASVAB entrance test! I digress.

  16. Bart DePalma says:

    On an important note…

    As the new GOP House is drafting the debt ceiling and budget bills, the major bond rating agencies lent a hand with warning that the United States is on the road to losing its AAA credit rating.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/business/economy/14place.html?_r=1

    The blue states have already sprinted across this threshold and find that folks are not willing to lend to them or demand high risk interest rates.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704307404576080322679942138.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

  17. Bart DePalma says:

    Will your representative vote for the repeal of Obamacare next week?

  18. filistro says:

    Hey mclever… when I read this I immediately thought of you 🙂

  19. shiloh says:

    As Bart deflects like there’s no tomorrow …

  20. Bart DePalma says:

    More on the debt…

    Over 7 in 10 Americans oppose increasing the debt ceiling, even after the pollster provided them a largely incorrect warning of doom if we did not.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/13/poll-debt-limit_n_808778.html

  21. dcpetterson says:

    How amusing is that?

    Everyone has given up the “blood liable” meme. Everyone has accepted it was a ghastly mistake for Palin to use that phrase. Even the respectable right-wing pundits like Pat Buchanan (!) have agreed it was, at best, in poor taste, and at worst, it may have ended Palin’s career as a political figure.

    Everyone except Bartles the Clown., who continues to remind us how tone deaf and callous and downright mean the far-off nutbat wing of the Teaper-victimhood culture really is.

    I’ve decided Bart is a parody. Poe’s Law in action.

  22. shiloh says:

    Bart, could you expand on your feces comment ~ Oh I’m sorry, as you’ve been spewing bs w/your last (3) posts …

  23. Bart DePalma says:

    Can you pass this quiz on the Constitution which half of your Congress critters failed?

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/14/opinion-who-are-the-constitutional-illiterates/

  24. filistro says:

    dc… I’ve been chuckling over the same thing…. good ol’ Tin Ear Republicans, masters of the Unfortunate Phrase.

    First we had squirm-inducing Sarah Palin whining about a “blood libel” against her on the same day Barack Obama was talking about a little girl jumping in rain puddles in heaven.

    And this morning I hear Tom Delay, off to prison for misappropriation of political funds, saying he intends to stay involved in politics… “I may not run for office again, but I do want to keep my hand in there.”

    LOL. They’re just priceless, aren’t they?

  25. Brian says:

    This what-if game is kinda fun, in a morbid way.

    What if the shooter was black? Hispanic? Arabic, even!?

    What if the shooter actually killed Rep. Giffords?

    What if this guy were a clear member of the Tea Party?

    Fun little gedankenexperiments, indeed.

  26. filistro says:

    Regarding the self-inflicted damage by Palin… at this moment the furious Freepers are discussing “Morning Joe”… where everybody around the table this morning agreed the “blood libel” speech has probably ended her political career.

    My favorite comment so far… (I’ve redacted the poster’s username, but do take note of the tagline)

    To: governsleastgovernsbest

    My God… they are absolutely pawing for anything to pin on Palin, and she’s been like political Teflon.

    The Left is scared to their icy little cores that Palin’s going to sweep the country like Reagan did. They’ll say anything to get the people to believe them, but the people are listening less to the MSM and doing more research for themselves.

    Yay for us!

    2 posted on January 14, 2011 6:13:51 AM by [REDACTED] (It’s time to water the Tree of Liberty.)

  27. dcpetterson says:

    Will your representative vote for the repeal of Obamacare next week?

    Gods, no. My representative is no idiot.

  28. dcpetterson says:

    Over 7 in 10 Americans oppose increasing the debt ceiling,

    And that makes defaulting on the national debt a good idea … how?

  29. drfunguy says:

    Quotes of the day:
    “As is commonly the case these days after such a momentous political event, comity was invoked, civility was championed, compromise was promised and handgun sales went through the roof. ” -Eric Alterman
    “Finally, and bizarrely: [Palin claims that] By criticizing my rhetoric, the media is itself inciting hatred and violence, actions that are metaphorically equivalent to hundreds of years of horrific, Anti-Semitic lies. Wow.” -Eric Alterman

  30. dcpetterson says:

    Clownish Bart posted:
    … the major bond rating agencies lent a hand with warning that the United States is on the road to losing its AAA credit rating.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/business/economy/14place.html?_r=1

    Bart the Parody, I have to ask again if you actually read the article you linked to. Among other things, it says,

    But many economists say the reckoning, if it comes, is still years or even decades away.

    The bond market shrugged at Thursday’s news. Indeed, even some experts who want to see the deficit reduced said now is not the time to cut federal spending drastically, given the weakness in the economy and high unemployment.

    I guess you only ever read the headlines, and then every third word, right?

    You might want to try linking articles that actually support your point of view. Or not. It’s actually more amusing this way 🙂

  31. filistro says:

    Re: the Bart and Buddies puzzling insistence on using the term “blood libel” after the universal, overwhelming public response, which is “EEEEEWWWWW!!”…

    Doesn’t it just make you cringe? Truly? Doesn’t it make your skin crawl? Why are they doing it? Why do they embarrass themselves? Just to be good little Palin soldiers? It’s baffling. It’s doubling down on stupid. It’s shooting yourself in the foot, reloading and taking aim at your ankle. It’s insanity.

    Whenever Bart says “blood libel” I feel shock, followed by disbelief, then a creeping embarrassment. It’s the same reaction as when Larry King, on air last month, said he and Bill Clinton were both members of the “zipper club” (referring to survivors of open heart surgery.)

    EEEEWWWWW!!! Please… don’t SAY that anymore!

  32. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Can you pass this quiz on the Constitution which half of your Congress critters failed?

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/14/opinion-who-are-the-constitutional-illiterates/

    Aced it.

  33. dcpetterson says:

    Under Obama’s leadership, the economy continues to recover from the Republican Great Recession. The DOW is higher now than it has been at any point since June of ’08, well before the great crash. It has recovered farther, and faster, than at any previous point in history.

    Only a year ago, some conservatives were confidently barting that we were in for “a classic double-dip recession.” That didn’t happen. Up until a few months ago, the bart had changed to “a classic L-shaped recession.” That didn’t happen either. In point of fact, it is a classic V-shape.

    Check out this cool tool, which lets you zoom in and out on the history of the DOW back to 1971.

  34. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Are these the SAME bond rating agencies that told us, all the way through September 2008, that mortgage backed securities and collateralized deby/mortgage obligations were A-OK?

  35. dcpetterson says:

    Aced it.

    Me, too. Simple stuff.

  36. filistro says:

    Even I aced it… and I’m Canadian!

    A graf from the article that has left me open-mouthed with shock…

    And only 57 percent of those who’ve held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for “training those aspiring for higher political office.”)

    Good grief.

  37. mostlyilurk says:

    Will your representative vote for the repeal of Obamacare next week?

    Since my representative is currently lying in a hospital bed because someone attempted to kill her, I think not.

  38. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart: “What if it was a Tea Party candidate like Ron Paul?

    Uh-huh. Right.

    The Texas congressman who rattled the Republican establishment with his libertarian-leaning outsider run for president has suddenly found himself the target of the anti-incumbent Tea Party movement some say he helped inspire.
    Though Ron Paul may be the model of the grassroots-backed conservative candidate that Tea Party groups are looking for, the candidates challenging him in the Republican primary this year say the good doctor brought it on himself — by spending too much time running for president and not enough time tending to his district, and being so prickly with congressional colleagues as to render himself obsolete.
    “He’s not being involved in his district,” said Gerald Wall, one of three Tea Party-connected candidates running against Paul in the primary.

    Source(get this, now):
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/18/tea-party-movement-betrays-ron-paul-gop-challengers/

  39. shortchain says:

    Anybody else read Ramesh Ponneru in the NYTimes? He’s suggesting to the GOP Congress that they avoid the entitlements (except possibly for Medicaid) in their effort to cut spending. Naturally, the result of that would be putting a bandaid on an arterial rupture. Then, according to Ramesh, after they’ve defeated Obama in 2012, and with larger contingents in both houses of Congress, they can eliminate the social safety net.

    Talk about “bait and switch” — he’s proposing nothing but theater for two years.

    Also from the piece that Bart cited on bond ratings, the warning was simply a restatement of one that was issued after Obama and the GOP extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy a month ago.

    But I don’t think Bart wants anybody to think, “gosh, maybe the GOP is largely responsible for the bond warning”.

    With the GOP, apparently, it’s all “bait and switch”.

  40. filistro says:

    As if we needed any further proof that Minnesota is the root of all evil… now there’s this atrocity!

    At least I’m still Pisces.

    Did any of you change signs? If so, please advise. We will need to update our dossier on you.

  41. filistro says:

    I’ll bet Bart was born under the new sign, which appears to be pronounced “awful upchuck.”

  42. mclever says:

    @filistro

    Thanks for that link! I forwarded it on… 🙂

    The comment that stood out to me was that kids who’d been given a regular allowance seemed to think *less* about money than their peers who had to ask M&D for money every time, thus actually having less financial fluency. The author’s point seemed to be that there wasn’t an easy fix for teaching kids about money, and that no matter what approach parents chose, they need to invest time in talking about money with their kids. Period.

  43. mclever says:

    @Max

    Aced it.

    Me too. I expected something tougher.

  44. dcpetterson says:

    filistro:
    A graf from the article that has left me open-mouthed with shock…

    This is what happens when we elected “regular folks” to Congress, instead of looking for the smartest people we can find. When we glorify stupidity, we elect stupid. No wonder the kabuki PPACA repeal is going to pass the House! We’re being represented by fools who were elected by fool-worship.

    It’s part of the Republican pattern since Reagan. The gubmint can’t be trusted to do anything right. And to prove it, we’ll elect idiots who’ll screw it up real proper.

  45. dcpetterson says:

    filistro:

    On the zodiac — astrologers have been aware of this for a couple of thousand years. Some mainstream writer discovers it every decade or so and publishes something like this article. Old news. Maybe I’ll do a piece on the precession of the equinoxes some time, if I can find a political slant to it …

  46. filistro says:

    DC… The gubmint can’t be trusted to do anything right. And to prove it, we’ll elected idiots who’ll screw it up real proper.

    Ah yes. The continual refrain from the Freepers is that Sarah Palin should be president because “she’s just like us!”

    If I hadn’t lost my posting privileges over there about 10 minutes after registration, I would ask, “And you consider that a GOOD thing?”

  47. shiloh says:

    after they’ve defeated Obama in 2012, and with larger contingents in both houses of Congress

    Again, generically Reps won the 2010 mid-terms by (5) million votes nationwide as (29) million 2008 Obama stayed home. You do the math!

    hmm, what party will have more enthusiasm in 2012 ?!? as Obama will be on the ballot and his coattails were quite evident in 2008, eh.

    >

    I’m a Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Islamo-Fascist/wealth distributor yada yada yada much like Obama and I aced Bartles silly quiz …

  48. mclever says:

    @filistro

    I don’t care what that Minnesotan says, I’m still a Cancer. If you don’t like me at first, I’ll grow on you. 😉

  49. shiloh says:

    hmm, mentioned the 2012 election so Bartles should be pouncin’ in nano-seconds!

  50. filistro says:

    @mclever… If you don’t like me at first, I’ll grow on you

    LOLOLOLOL!!!!

  51. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    in re: Bart’s Constitutional test.

    How many would find it helpful to see the results of the test taken by elected officials broken out by party?

  52. filistro says:

    @shiloh.. I’m a Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Islamo-Fascist/wealth distributor yada yada yada

    Yes, we know… but are you an OPHIUCHUS?

  53. Bart DePalma says:

    Everyone should have aced the linked basic constitution quiz. What does that say about our representatives?

  54. dcpetterson says:

    Everyone should have aced the linked basic constitution quiz. What does that say about our representatives?

    It says the fetish for electing “regular folks” that you can have a beer with is a bad idea. Electing fools gives us foolish government. We should be electing scholars and scientists, philosophers and painters, not football players and actors and moose-hunters.

  55. dcpetterson says:

    Apologies to football players and actors and moose-hunters. Fine people. We don’t need to have them run foreign policy.

  56. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Over 7 in 10 Americans oppose increasing the debt ceiling,

    DC: And that makes defaulting on the national debt a good idea … how?

    Class is in again. What is the debt ceiling and how does not increasing the debt ceiling cause the US to default on its current debt?

    Goolsby’s knows he’s lying when he makes your claim. I suspect you simply do not know of what you speak.

    BD: … the major bond rating agencies lent a hand with warning that the United States is on the road to losing its AAA credit rating.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/business/economy/14place.html?_r=1

    Bart the Parody, I have to ask again if you actually read the article you linked to. Among other things, it says, But many economists say the reckoning, if it comes, is still years or even decades away. The bond market shrugged at Thursday’s news. Indeed, even some experts who want to see the deficit reduced said now is not the time to cut federal spending drastically, given the weakness in the economy and high unemployment.

    I am reporting the news, not the NYT spin of that news.

    We are about 5-8 years from Greece at currently projected Obama deficits.

    Currently, the US is benefitting from the EUs plunge into sovereign insolvency because US T-bills are now the least worst risk of investment among the debtor nations. Now THAT is reason to celebrate running $1.4 trillion annual deficits!

    BTW, your quote is a perfect example of the NYT style book method of attempting to play off news of bad results of Dem policies. You can plug into that style any other fallout like the spiking health insurance premiums under Obamacare.

  57. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Everyone should have aced the linked basic constitution quiz. What does that say about our representatives?

    DC: It says the fetish for electing “regular folks” that you can have a beer with is a bad idea.

    The quiz was a conservative set-up for progressives which includes various progressive myths like the Jefferson’s wall between church and state is actually part of the Constitution. Thus, it is more than likely that all those elite, non regular folk Dem Congress critters you elect were disproportionately among the group who failed this quiz.

    Tea Party regular folks who actually read the constitution would have no problem here.

  58. Bartbuster says:

    Everyone should have aced the linked basic constitution quiz. What does that say about our representatives?

    It says that electing people like Sarah Palin is moronic.

  59. Bartbuster says:

    The quiz was a conservative set-up for progressives which includes various progressive myths like the Jefferson’s wall between church and state is actually part of the Constitution. Thus, it is more than likely that all those elite, non regular folk Dem Congress critters you elect were disproportionately among the group who failed this quiz.

    Blankshot, the test was easy, which means the claim about people failing is probably a lie.

  60. drfunguy says:

    “BD: Over 7 in 10 Americans oppose increasing the debt ceiling,”
    What happened to the only polls that matter are likely voters (this one is just adults)?
    Oh, that’s only when you don’t like the result of the poll.

  61. drfunguy says:

    “Tea Party regular folks who actually read the constitution would have no problem here.”
    You should be on the comedy channel; you are a regualr Steven Colbert.

  62. dcpetterson says:

    Now THAT is reason to celebrate running $1.4 trillion annual deficits!

    Bush’s final fiscal year (FY ’09) had a deficit of $1.7 T. Obama managed to shrink it to about $1.4 T.

    FY ’10 had a deficit of about $1.3 T. We are on track to shrink that again, FY ’11 is now slated to come in at just over $1 T. Still far too much. But reducing the deficit by nearly $700 billion (that is over 40% !!) in just two years is pretty damn good.

    That’s after Bush and the Republican Congress took Clinton’s $200 billion annual surplus in his last years, and turned it into a $400 billion deficit in two years. And then turned that $400 billion annual deficit into a $1.7 trillion annual deficit by FY ’09.

    It’s clear the Democrats are the party of fiscal responsibility. The Republicans just bart out talking points, go on spending sprees, and put it on the credit card.

  63. dcpetterson says:

    What is the debt ceiling and how does not increasing the debt ceiling cause the US to default on its current debt?

    Because the government at this point cannot operate without borrowing money. If you don’t raise the debt ceiling, you either need to shut down 40% of the government, or you need to default on the money you borrow to keep the government running.

    I challenge you to find a way to cut 40% of federal spending tomorrow without throwing perhaps ten million people out of work.

    Your homework is due in the morning, when we will otherwise either default (by spending the money anyway), or crash the world economy (by notspending the money). Or both (by notspending the money, and then shutting down a huge segment of America and most of the U.S. government). Class dismissed.

  64. drfunguy says:

    Re. The quiz.
    165 self-identified “Americans (165 in all) who, when asked, identified themselves as having been “successfully elected to government office at least once in their life” — which can include federal, state or local offices.”
    Since there are many, many, many more local than state or federal elected officials, the probability is that most of these people are local officials rather than ‘Democratic congress ‘critters’. How many elected officials are there in the US (serious question)? Is 165 claimed ‘elected officials’ representative of anything? Not all elected officials hold partisan office either, so this poll tells us, what exactly?
    Nothing.

  65. dcpetterson says:

    Thus, it is more than likely that all those elite, non regular folk Dem Congress critters you elect were disproportionately among the group who failed this quiz.

    And you have proof of this?

  66. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    Well, damn. I’ve actually been an aries all my life, not a taurus. I guess that explains why I’ve always preferred Chrysler products over Fords.

  67. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Over 7 in 10 Americans oppose increasing the debt ceiling,

    DrF: What happened to the only polls that matter are likely voters (this one is just adults)?

    Given that likely voters are more conservative than Americans in general, you can reasonably assume the opposition would be even more heavy.

    The problem with using adult polling arises when non voters are shown to support or oppose a policy which voters do not. That is not the case here because almost everyone apart from the progressive minority oppose adding to the debt.

  68. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    So now Bart wants us to “assume“, now, and give that the weight of fact..

    Well, then, my assumption that Bart is a pedantic ass is factual.

    Who knew?

  69. dcpetterson says:

    No one supports “adding to the debt.”

    In the same way, when your arm is broken in four places, no one supports “causing more pain.” But sometimes, to set the break, you have to shove those broken bones around. And that hurts.

    Progressives support “doing what is necessary to improve the economy.” Republicans support “empty meaningless context-free talking points.”

  70. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: What is the debt ceiling and how does not increasing the debt ceiling cause the US to default on its current debt?

    Because the government at this point cannot operate without borrowing money. If you don’t raise the debt ceiling, you either need to shut down 40% of the government, or you need to default on the money you borrow to keep the government running.

    Obviously you can continue to operate government without borrowing money or defaulting then. Goolsby was lying and you just admitted that you were mistaken.

    I challenge you to find a way to cut 40% of federal spending tomorrow without throwing perhaps ten million people out of work.

    Remember the balance the budget engine based upon the deficit commission plan posted here a few weeks back? I did balance the budget. It only takes ten minutes if you do not worship government.

    I would give the government employee unions a choice between being fired or accepting a compensation package at private market levels – basically a 40-50% cut, primarily in pensions and retirement health care.

  71. Monotreme says:

    Bart, you still haven’t told me what specific comment(s) I made that you’re referring to as “blood libel”.

    Until you do that, I can’t apologize. I’m not going to give you a blanket apology for everything I’ve said since I developed the ability to write.

  72. dcpetterson says:

    Remember the balance the budget engine based upon the deficit commission plan posted here a few weeks back? I did balance the budget.

    But the suggestions you made cannot be implemented quickly enough to avoid borrowing more money.

    would give the government employee unions a choice between being fired or accepting a compensation package at private market levels

    … which would be completely insufficient to balance the budget. Scapegoating people with better retirement benefits than you will not account for more than a couple of percent of the deficit.

    Sorry, you flunk basic econ. You’ll need the remedial class next year.

  73. Monotreme says:

    Did anyone tell ACORN?

    http://is.gd/YGMINX

    Sorry for the tu quoque and schadenfreude but I couldn’t help myself. When I am overcome with emotions in three languages, I can’t help myself.

  74. filistro says:

    @shortchain… Well, damn. I’ve actually been an aries all my life, not a taurus.

    On the bright side, you’ve always been represented by a lusty, oversexed animal symbol.. 😉

  75. dcpetterson says:

    Obviously you can continue to operate government without borrowing money or defaulting then. Goolsby was lying and you just admitted that you were mistaken.

    Here’s the deal. The Federal budget is annually around $4 trillion (you can supply more exact numbers if you want). We are borrowing around a trillion. After spending what we have in cash, the government runs out of money and then must entirely shut down — or borrow more to keep running.

    So, when we run out — should we shut everything down and throw the entire federal workforce on the street? (Including all Federal judges and their staffs, federal marshal, the armed forces, Congress, the Executive branch, the CIA, FBI, VA, all Social Security checks — and the SocSec staff — all of Medicare, etc., etc., etc. — AND the currently-due interest payments on the current Federal debt.) Or should we borrow the money to keep them going?

    Bart, you’re giving us meaningless context-free talking points with no actual solutions.

  76. Bart DePalma says:

    Monotreme says: Bart, you still haven’t told me what specific comment(s) I made that you’re referring to as “blood libel”.

    Mono, you are one of the more circumspect posters here. Your SOP is to agree with or favorably cite other writers’ blood libels. After I called you on some of those cites, you came out with the last post below.

    From the Violence as a Political Tool thread:

    Monotreme says:
    January 9, 2011 at 11:00
    Well put, Mr. U. Nothing to add here.

    Monotreme says:
    January 9, 2011 at 16:18
    Who Is Jared Lee Loughner? From the Southern Poverty Law Center

    Monotreme says:
    January 9, 2011 at 20:54
    Bart, Please read the linked article again. Clearly, you did not comprehend its meaning. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/the-cloudy-logic-of-political-shootings/69147/

    Monotreme says:
    January 10, 2011 at 06:40
    What we are saying, if you care to listen, is that by creating a toxic stew of violent and evil imagery in order to scare voters, that candidates on the Right Wing Nut Job end of the spectrum have inadvertently and incrementally increased the probability that someone with an unstable mental state will commit an act of violence.

    There is no evidence whatsoever to support the blood libels you cited and the last one you posted. If you have any integrity, you will now repudiate them all.

  77. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Too bad that simple answers provided by a simple mind, don’t always work in the real world.

    The fact that Bart doesn’t supply ANY concrete examples of his assertions demonstrate prima facie how simple-minded they are.

    IE: Bart alleges that you could cut federal payroll by 40-50%. Unless that does NOT include the 1.4+ million defense employees, not counting parttime reservists totaling 800,000+. This means that about HALF of the federal payroll will NOT be cut. The total budget for non-defense employees is about $260Billion. 40% of that is is just at $100B, so Bart just shaved off about a TENTH of this years deficit. That’s the DEFICIT, NOT the entire federal budget that we want to reduce. It’s only about 4% of the BUDGET!

    Leaving off the unintended consequences of losing employees to the private sector, where else is Bart going to get the OTHER 36% of cuts????

  78. Bart DePalma says:

    DC: Here’s the deal. The Federal budget is annually around $4 trillion (you can supply more exact numbers if you want). We are borrowing around a trillion. After spending what we have in cash, the government runs out of money and then must entirely shut down — or borrow more to keep running.

    The budget is roughly three and a half trillion, of which we are borrowing about $1.4 trillion. If we do not raise the debt ceiling, the government will continue to run at a reduced rate on tax revenues alone.

    I believe that this is too much for a single cut. I would suggest that the GOP House enact a four year deficit ceiling bill compelling four equal deficit reduction cuts and the elimination of the deficit by the end of the fourth year. Let the Dems squeal. The GOP would have a super majority of the voters behind them.

  79. filistro says:

    @Bart… There is no evidence whatsoever to support the blood libels you cited and the last one you posted. If you have any integrity, you will now repudiate them all.

    Eeeeewwwww!!!

    He just… keeps… coming.. at… you. Sees nothing, hears nothing, responds to nothing, trails a fetid sepulcral stench… and…just… keeps… coming.

    Bart is the Undead.

    Perhaps it ties into the article Treme linked above. Maybe ALL the Teapers are destined to become zombies in order to keep the movement going. After all, they’re the demographic that already has one foot in the grave, so it makes sense…

  80. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    “you’ve always been represented by a lusty, oversexed animal symbol”

    — that would have been a lot more fun to know when I was a teenager or in my twenties.

    Isn’t that the way of the world? You only find out after the fact that you should have been having the time of your life, when instead you were studying for prelims and working on your thesis.

    Unless you opt for being a lawyer, where, evidently, you can escape without learning basic economics, science, or psychology — and still look forward to a career with a chance at politics, as, if Bart is correct (I know, I know), our Congress is riddled with people whose understanding of basic civics doesn’t match that of the ordinary citizen on a trivial test since they’re largely lawyers.

    For my part, I regard the results of that quiz to be a warning about self-selecting sample sets.

  81. filistro says:

    @shortchain… – that would have been a lot more fun to know when I was a teenager or in my twenties

    LOL… ain’t that the truth?

    When I encounter one of those people who yearn to “be young again” I stare at them in amazement, and try to work out whether they suffer from memory loss or lack of imagination.

  82. Just Sayin' says:

    MClever: About allowances for kids. One more thing. When they are small it doesn’t really matter whether you give them an allowance or not, unless they are suffering from real deprivation like my dad during the depression, money really doesn’t mean that much to them. When they turn 14 and 15 it takes on a life of its own. Doing yard work, babysitting or any other odd jobs is a great way for that age group to make some money. But when they turn 16, they should get a permanent part-time job and you should DEMAND that they put at least a hundred dollars in savings each month and that it is meant for help with college costs. Then THEY CAN budget the rest however they see fit. Since you are no longer paying for hair, gas, fast food, entertainment and clothing, you will be happy and they will be happy that they have some autonomy about their wants and spending.

  83. shortchain says:

    filistro,

    Now, now. Let’s not get into calling people zombies again. You’ll offend Mule Rider.

    The proper analogy for Bart is more like an armadillo — armored except for its soft underbelly, and, when threatened, it curls itself into a ball.

    Bart’s fondness for circular arguments is what reminds me of this creature.

  84. filistro says:

    @shortchain: armadillo — armored except for its soft underbelly, and, when threatened, it curls itself into a ball

    Also ill-tempered, slow-moving, and the one in its graduating class voted Most Likely to Become Roadkill.

  85. filistro says:

    Oh dear. This is going to be ugly.

    Ron Reagan’s soon-to-be-publsihed book claims his father had dementia while in the White House, much earlier than anybody has since suspected… and cites dates and evidence.

    No wonder Chris Matthews, who has been reading the galleys, keeps saying this book is going to be explosive.

  86. dcpetterson says:

    Bart,

    Thanks for the improved (but slightly obsolete) budget figures.

    Using your numbers — annual Federal budget of 3.5T, annual deficit of 1.4T. We must then reduce the Federal budget by 40%.

    You can look at the FY 2010 Federal expenditures here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget

    Remove Social Security from that 3.5T, because A) it pays for itself, and B) if you cut it, you also cut the income that pays for it (FICA taxes). This shrinks the budget by $678 billion, but leaves the deficit alone, because Social Security contributes nothing to the deficit. So now the budget is 2.822 trillion, and you need to cut 1.4 T from that, or over 49%.

    Medicare (453 B) Medicaid (290 B) and interest on the existing debt (164 B) are also responsibilities that must be met. The first two are automatically funded by law, and if we don’t pay for the third, that’s called “defaulting” (which you admit we want to avoid). That makes another $970 B unavailable for cuts. So we must now cut 1.4 T out of the remaining 1.915 T.

    Military spending accounts for 663 billion. Let’s say we want to reduce that, but only by a little. We don’t want to leave America defenseless, after all. So let’s leave the military budget at $515 billion, or a bit over half a trillion dollars. So this $515 billion is untouchable — the amount of the budget still available for cutting is now 1.4 trillion — which is also the amount of the annual deficit. So if we cut everything, we can balance the budget.

    That’s my deficit elimination plan. Leave Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the interest on the national debt, and $515 billion for the military — and cut everything else.

    Bart, what’s your plan? Without raising taxes, without defaulting on our obligations, how would you balance the budget?

  87. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    fili and sc,

    possum on the half-shell!

    The greatest regrets one has as they grow older are NOT the temptations to which they succumbed, but those temptations to which they DID NOT!

  88. Mr. Universe says:

    Bart, you did get the memo on the real meaning of ‘blood libels’ didn’t you? You realize its innappropriate (though likely unintentional) use probably ended your beloved Palin’s political career, right? You understand that your continued use of the term; like your intentional use of porkulus, Obamacare, etc. does not give your arguments credibility, right?

    Just checkin’

  89. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    Every single poll has a majority of adults or voters rejecting the Dem blood libels as purely partisan attacks. This is why Obama stayed far, far away from those attacks in his nicely done memorial speech and Palin will hardly suffer with the voters for her condemnation of the libels.

    Politically, this is nothing but a loser for the Dems.

    Ethically, you would think that any of you progressives with an ounce of integrity would repudiate them.

  90. shortchain,

    I’ve actually been an aries all my life, not a taurus. I guess that explains why I’ve always preferred Chrysler products over Fords.

    That’s damn funny! 😀

  91. filistro says:

    Bart.. 1.) they are not “blood libel.” Nobody to my knowledge has accused Palin of slaughtering Christian babies and using their blood to make matzoh.

    2.) the public is universally repulsed by Palin’s grossly inappropriate use of the term, and especially by the context in which she used it.

    3.) you are a lawyer. Please explain to me how Treme’s suggestion that… “candidates on the Right Wing Nut Job end of the spectrum have inadvertently and incrementally increased the probability that someone with an unstable mental state will commit an act of violence”… constitutes LIBEL? Upon whom? On what grounds? With what damages? Are you, the self-styled “libertarian,” now intending to make opinion illegal?

    Just stop being silly. I note that supporters of Sarah Palin are constantly reduced to the stature of silly little caricatures in their ongoing attempts to defend her nonsense. Prerty soon you will all be 3 inches tall… a miniature army of teeny-tiny angry people. The Little Pissed-Off Lilliputian Party.

    We can call you the Lollipops.

  92. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    Eliminate baseline automatic increases in spending.

    Medicare and Medicaid have to be moved from entitlements to capped budget subsidies of medical care. These savings need to go toward balancing the budget and not to Obamacare.

    Obamacare must be fully repealed. It is impossible to balance the budget without huge tax increases and keep this monstrosity.

    SS has to be reformed by extending the retirement age and limiting COL increases to inflation and not growth in worker compensation.

    The Army and Marines have to be redesigned to fight one conventional war and conduct special ops around the world. That conventional war should be projected for the Middle East or Korea. The Navy does not require carrier groups surrounding Europe. Keep 2 in the Atlantic to respond to crises in the EU or Africa. Cut the remainder. Leave the USAF alone because they are our primary means of projecting power around the world.

    The regulatory bureaucracy needs to be returned to where it was in 1985. All regulations need to be sunsetted in five years unless reenacted by Congress. All further regulations suggested by the remaining agencies need to be enacted by Congress. These reforms will cause an explosion in business and more revenues.

    The departments of education, energy and homeland security need to be eliminated.

    All remaining discretionary spending needs to be returned to FY 2000 levels plus inflation.

  93. shortchain says:

    Michael,

    I try hard to come up with something amusing from time to time. The competition around here is stiff. Especially from Bart. He makes it seem so easy, almost as if he’s not trying.

  94. mclever says:

    @Just Sayin’

    Thanks for the additional insights! Obviously age matters when determining how to approach finances with one’s children. The author of filistro’s article suggests that kids are ready to start learning about money as young as three or four, which surprised me. And, I agree that by 16 or 17, kids should be ready to handle their money on their own, assuming the parents have done a good job preparing them.

    🙂

  95. mclever says:

    @ filistro

    The Little Pissed-Off Lilliputian Party.

    We can call you the Lollipops.

    You must be a fantastic writer, because you always come up with the most vivid and creative imagery!

    🙂

  96. shortchain,
    It’s better to have others laughing with you than at you.

  97. Mr. Universe says:

    Apparently I’m a Capricorn instead of an Aquarian. Don’t know what that means (beyond the fact the plane of the ecliptic has wandered out of the water bearers contellation).

    BTW the new constellation is pronounced o-PHEE-yoo-cus. A Greek term for serpent bearer. The planets now travel through his right foot for about a week prior to reaching Scorpio.

  98. dcpetterson says:

    Bart:

    You furnished no numbers. So there is no evidence whatever that your “plan” will work. Once again, you fail.

    Eliminate baseline automatic increases in spending.

    And this saves how much over the existing numbers? My plan (which requires eliminating ALL discretionary spending other than the military) allowed no increases. Your plan is different from mine in no way. So far, you still require the elimination of ALL discretionary spending.

    Medicare and Medicaid have to be moved from entitlements to capped budget subsidies of medical care.

    SUPPLY ACTUAL DOLLAR AMOUNTS THAT THIS WILL SAVE. Your talking point without data means nothing.

    Obamacare must be fully repealed. It is impossible to balance the budget without huge tax increases and keep this monstrosity.

    PPACA will reduce the deficit by about $300 billion. If you eliminate it, you must find more money to cut elsewhere.

    SS has to be reformed by extending the retirement age and limiting COL increases to inflation and not growth in worker compensation.

    Social Security has no impact on the deficit. This move does not help IN ANY WAY.

    The Army and Marines … The Navy … Cut the remainder. Leave the USAF alone…

    FURNISH NUMBERS FOR ACTUAL PROGRAMS or else your talking point is meaningless.

    The regulatory bureaucracy needs to be returned to where it was in 1985. All regulations need to be sunsetted in five years unless reenacted by Congress. All further regulations suggested by the remaining agencies need to be enacted by Congress. These reforms will cause an explosion in business and more revenues.

    FURNISH NUMBERS FOR ACTUAL PROGRAMS or else your talking point is meaningless.

    The departments of education, energy and homeland security need to be eliminated.

    I can look up these numbers. Together, they were $115.7 billion in the 2010 budget. This is LESS THAN ONE TENTH of what you need to cut.

    All remaining discretionary spending needs to be returned to FY 2000 levels plus inflation.

    Furnish numbers. Show how this balances the budget without tax increases. You have listed about 1/10 of what you need, plus provided a bunch of meaningless talking points.

    Failed again.

  99. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    dc, one other thing

    Bart, provide munbers as to exactly how many federal civilian and defense employees will be laid off and the financial impact on federal, state and local taxes as a result as well as the decrease in GDP as result of same and the impact over the next 1-, 5- and 10-years on aggregate demand.

  100. dcpetterson says:

    The departments of education, energy and homeland security need to be eliminated.

    By the way, of you’re going to cut entire departments, you must also furnish the cost to the economy of cutting these departments. All the people employed by those departments are now out of work — loss of tax revenue. Loss also of income to the places where they used to buy food and clothing.

    Also, lower educational standards, so there are fewer people with good jobs in the future, so an immesne loss in tax revenue. Higher pollution and therefore higher medical costs. Homeland Security we can cut without a problem, since we survived until the Bush Administration without it, and there has been no evidence I’ve seen that convinces me it has served any purpose — but it accounts for a mere 42 billion.

    In short, you have to account for the effects of eliminating these programs and departments. You can’t claim the only effect is lower Federal spending. That’s a total copout.

  101. dcpetterson says:

    Yeah, Max, we were thinking along similar lines 🙂

  102. Monotreme says:

    I’m sitting here in a session where Arikia Millikan, Nate Silver’s editorial assistant, is giving a presentation just 5 feet from me.

    I have a great life.

  103. Armchair Warlord says:

    Bart,

    While I normally let the others here handle this, I don’t think they’d really pursue this subject so here goes…

    The Army and Marines have to be redesigned to fight one conventional war and conduct special ops around the world. That conventional war should be projected for the Middle East or Korea. The Navy does not require carrier groups surrounding Europe. Keep 2 in the Atlantic to respond to crises in the EU or Africa. Cut the remainder. Leave the USAF alone because they are our primary means of projecting power around the world.

    This is literally the dumbest defense suggestion that I have ever heard. It’s like something Saddam Hussein would have thought up.

    WAR DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.

  104. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    PLUS, since significant portions of those departmental budgets consist of specific and block grants to the states, please identify the effect on the state budgets, 48 of which are ALREADY running deficits. Will the states have to raise taxes to replace that money or will the former recipients simply suffer?

    Also the effects on the additional services the states will now have to provide due to the loss of a million jobs.

    DAMN!!!!! This shit ain’t as easy as just spouting talking points, now is it?

  105. Bart DePalma says:

    dcpetterson says: You furnished no numbers. So there is no evidence whatever that your “plan” will work. Once again, you fail.

    Give me the CBO and I will give you numbers. If these cuts are insufficient, I can certainly find more.

    BD: Eliminate baseline automatic increases in spending.

    And this saves how much over the existing numbers?

    It will not cut a penny. It stops automatic increases in spending. You can’t keep this budgeting process and balance the budget.

    DC: My plan (which requires eliminating ALL discretionary spending other than the military) allowed no increases.

    No one believes that you would cut a penny. You will be the first one to defend the upcoming Obama budget that increases spending while claiming spending cuts by not increasing spending as much as Obama wishes.

    BD: Obamacare must be fully repealed. It is impossible to balance the budget without huge tax increases and keep this monstrosity.

    DC: PPACA will reduce the deficit by about $300 billion.

    You know this is a lie. I am not wasting time repeating the reality for you.

    BD: SS has to be reformed by extending the retirement age and limiting COL increases to inflation and not growth in worker compensation.

    Social Security has no impact on the deficit. This move does not help IN ANY WAY.

    Hero, SS is currently cashing in its Treasury IOUs and is being partially financed out of the deficit. This will only get worse.

    BD: The departments of education, energy and homeland security need to be eliminated.

    DC: I can look up these numbers. Together, they were $115.7 billion in the 2010 budget. This is LESS THAN ONE TENTH of what you need to cut.

    Actually, the savings will be less than that because the nuclear program under Energy will go back to Defense and there are intelligence assets under HS which will be moved to CIA, NSA or DIA.

    BD: All remaining discretionary spending needs to be returned to FY 2000 levels plus inflation.

    DC: Furnish numbers. Show how this balances the budget without tax increases. You have listed about 1/10 of what you need, plus provided a bunch of meaningless talking points.

    You appear to have time. Please look up the FY 2000 discretionary spending. The last data I saw indicated that discretionary spending has doubled during Bush/Obama. Thus, this will roughly halve discretionary spending which I did not address individually.

  106. dcpetterson says:

    So, Bart, you are willing to give talking points, and nothing else. Typical.

    Republicans don’t actually have any solutions, do they?

    So, we have established, there is no way to stop borrowing money in the short term. Bart certainly has no workable suggestion. Which means the talk about refusing to raise the debt ceiling is just another bit of cynical and empty noise from the nonsense-generating machine of the GOteaParty.

    Thanks for confirming this, Bart. You’ve got absolutely nothing.

  107. Number Seven says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Micheal Steele has withdrawn from the RNC leadership selection process.

  108. dcpetterson says:

    You appear to have time. Please look up the FY 2000 discretionary spending. The last data I saw indicated that discretionary spending has doubled during Bush/Obama. Thus, this will roughly halve discretionary spending which I did not address individually.

    The problem with this is — eliminating the current deficit, whitout raising taxes, and while keeping the non-discretionary spending, leaves ZERO DOLLARS for discretionary spending.

    So even if we cut discretionary spending in half (it is currently about 1.4 trillion — AND THAT INCLUDES 663 BILLION FOR DEFENSE) we would still have a deficit of $700 billion.

    Your “plan” is basically the Republican Talking Point Plan. It consists of empty nonsense. It accomplishes nothing. It is designed to sound good — but since it includes no actual numbers and no actual details, it covers up the fact that A) it eliminates stuff people want, while B) not solving the problem.

    The debt ceiling must be (and will be) raised. This kabuki dance accomplishes nothing.

  109. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: The departments of education, energy and homeland security need to be eliminated.

    By the way, of you’re going to cut entire departments, you must also furnish the cost to the economy of cutting these departments. All the people employed by those departments are now out of work — loss of tax revenue.

    Are you truly this stupid? If the government pays a bureaucrat $100,000 and collects say a quarter of that salary back in taxes, firing the bureaucrat would save a net of $75,000. The college educated bureaucrat should have no major problem finding productive work within 6 months, so we lose 6 months of unemployment and then gain tax revenues without paying the former bureaucrat a salary.

    Sounds like a plan for about 40% of the bureaucracy. The rest have their compensation packages reduced to private levels.

    BD: The Army and Marines have to be redesigned to fight one conventional war and conduct special ops around the world. That conventional war should be projected for the Middle East or Korea. The Navy does not require carrier groups surrounding Europe. Keep 2 in the Atlantic to respond to crises in the EU or Africa. Cut the remainder. Leave the USAF alone because they are our primary means of projecting power around the world.

    AW: This is literally the dumbest defense suggestion that I have ever heard. WAR DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.

    And the progressives here say I do not gore both side’s sacred cows…

    Warlord, why don’t you teach me how war actually works?

    Max: PLUS, since significant portions of those departmental budgets consist of specific and block grants to the states, please identify the effect on the state budgets, 48 of which are ALREADY running deficits.

    No net effect on state budgets. The Feds simply stops paying for these programs. No one is telling the states to replace the Feds’ funding or to continue any of their matching funds.

    Capping Medicaid and thus the state matching funds for that program will likely keep many states from becoming insolvent.

  110. Bart DePalma says:

    DC: Your “plan” (return discretionary spending to 2000 levels) is basically the Republican Talking Point Plan.

    I truly wish it was the GOP plan. They only promised a return to FY 2008 levels. We need far, far more cuts.

  111. dcpetterson says:

    Barted:
    Hero, SS is currently cashing in its Treasury IOUs and is being partially financed out of the deficit. This will only get worse.

    Yes, America must pay its debts. Default is a Bad Idea.

    Ever since Reagan, the Feds have been raiding the Social Security Trust Fund. So what? Default is not an option.

    The fact remains — Social Security pays for itself — over the last 60 years, it has taken in trillions of dollars more than it has paid out. Reagan (and Clinton, and both Bushes) used this surplus as a way of hiding the true size of the debt they created.

    The fact remains — Social Security contributes NOT ONE CENT to the Federal deficit.

    So cutting Social Security benefits in any way DOES NOT IMPROVE THE DEFICIT. It merely screws the people who have been paying in. And it represents American defaulting on its obligations.

    Republicans like the idea of screwing the middle class. This is one of the ways they intend to do it.

  112. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, you’re the perfect right wing satire! You refuse to give numbers, and you pretend that cutting a Federal program will have no effects other than reducing spending. You’ve displayed ignorance of economics, history, military thought, and even government function. The only knowledge you have displayed is skill at mindlessly reciting empty talking points, as if you have a random phrase generator on your computer.

  113. Monotreme says:

    The links I posted mean exactly what I want them to mean, no more and no less.

    For example, the one entitled “The Cloudy Logic of Political Shootings” says exactly what all of us are saying, which is that we will never truly understand what Jared Loughner was thinking when he fired those shots. It makes an explicit and clear statement that it was not right-wing nutjob rantings that motivated him to do this horrific thing.

  114. Monotreme says:

    Bart calls this “blood libel”:

    What we are saying, if you care to listen, is that by creating a toxic stew of violent and evil imagery in order to scare voters, that candidates on the Right Wing Nut Job end of the spectrum have inadvertently and incrementally increased the probability that someone with an unstable mental state will commit an act of violence.

    Do you not know what the word ‘incrementally’ means?

  115. dcpetterson says:

    Do you not know what the word ‘incrementally’ means?

    Doesn’t it have something to do with blood and matzoh?

  116. Armchair Warlord says:

    Bart,

    And the progressives here say I do not gore both side’s sacred cows…

    Warlord, why don’t you teach me how war actually works?

    Gore both sides’ sacred cows? How melodramatic.

    Here’s some homework – get on Google and go learn something about why the military is structured the way it is and why your suggestions (and your entire conception of how American military power works) are insane. It’s not hard.

    If you can come back and make valid assertions instead of showing the kind of profound ignorance that you seem to show on every other subject that comes up I may actually throw down with you.

  117. drfunguy says:

    @Bart
    “The college educated bureaucrat should have no major problem finding productive work within 6 months, so we lose 6 months of unemployment and then gain tax revenues without paying the former bureaucrat a salary.”
    Do you know any college educated bureaucrats currently seeking work?
    I do and cna assure you that it is not that easy. In fact it probably gets quite a bit harder the more experience that you have as you become overqualified for many jobs…
    Do you really think they will find productive work within six months?
    In this economy?
    Are you really this stupid?

  118. shortchain says:

    To flesh out #7’s report, this from Steve Benen (at the Washington Monthly):

    “Announcing his departure, Steele told his party, “And now, I exit stage right.” He then proceeded to exit stage left. It was that kind of chairmanship.”

    He was a truly entertaining guy.

  119. Number Seven says:

    This whole ‘blood libel’ thing was first mentioned by Andrew Breitbart and then by Sean Hannity and then by Princess Palin. I remember Bart using it before Palin did and I don’t think Bart could be Hannity, but could Bart be….

    The mind wobbles

  120. Monotreme says:

    @#7:

    As far as we’re aware, it traces to this WSJ blog post by Glenn Reynolds:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703667904576071913818696

    Bart sourced it. Palin did not.

  121. Monotreme says:

    Oh, this is rich. Google just found this gem: Michelle Malkin is calling Bart DePalma a liberal.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2009/08/24/so-much-for-the-greatest-transition-in-world-history/

  122. Bart DePalma says:

    Monotreme says: Bart calls this “blood libel”:

    What we are saying, if you care to listen, is that by creating a toxic stew of violent and evil imagery in order to scare voters, that candidates on the Right Wing Nut Job end of the spectrum have inadvertently and incrementally increased the probability that someone with an unstable mental state will commit an act of violence.

    Do you not know what the word ‘incrementally’ means?

    Incrementally in the context of your statement means more likely.

    Let us boil down your statement: Conservative political speech makes it more likely “that someone with an unstable mental state will commit an act of violence.”

    This is a false statement of fact.

    Because you had no evidence at all to support that statement, you knew it to be false and you thus libeled conservatives.

    This is a blood libel because you have falsely accused an entire group of inciting violence and murder.

    Among the cases I litigate are fraud and defamation claims. I am well practiced in identifying them.

  123. filistro says:

    @#7… bart could be…

    BREITbart?

    Oh, my stars. I am in a swoon, gripping my pearls 😉

    (Our Bart doesn’t look all that breit lately, but still…)

    I must add, I would gladly pay admission to watch a debate on military and defense spending between Bart and Warlord. Now, THAT would be entertaining.

    C’mon, Bart, the man is waiting. Step up! I’ll even hold your coat…

  124. Monotreme says:

    The linked Fallows article from the Atlantic says:

    So the train of logic is:
    1) anything that can be called an “assassination” is inherently political;
    2) very often the “politics” are obscure, personal, or reflecting mental disorders rather than “normal” political disagreements. But now a further step,
    3) the political tone of an era can have some bearing on violent events. The Jonestown/Ryan and Fromme/Ford shootings had no detectable source in deeper political disagreements of that era. But the anti-JFK hate-rhetoric in Dallas before his visit was so intense that for decades people debated whether the city was somehow “responsible” for the killing. (Even given that Lee Harvey Oswald was an outlier in all ways.)

    You call THAT “blood libel”?

  125. dcpetterson says:

    On a different note — the DOW closed today at 11,787.38, the highest level since June of 2008. The only time in the DOW’s history when it was higher was the short-lived bubble from from late 2006 until the collapse two years later, the orgy of speculation that helped to feed the Great Recession.

    Obama has pulled us back from the brink. We are recovering. It’s slow — but considering the size of the cliff off which the Republicans dropped us, the recovery has been impressively rapid. In the spring of 2009, when the full extent of the worldwide collapse was becoming apparent, no one would have believed we’d be out so far so fast as we are today.

    We still have a long way to go. This is not the time to pull back to half-measures — or worse. The lessons of the Great Depression are appropriate here. Roosevelt pulled back, just when the economy was beginning to recover, on the advice of those who insisted on “austerity” and an end to the emergency measures that were finally starting to correct Hoover’s disastrous policies. The result was a fall back into depression, which was only saved by the enormous spending of the Second World War.

    History does not repeat itself — but it rhymes. I think it was Faulkner who said, The past isn’t dead; it isn’t even past. It’s time we learn from what we did before — and improve upon it.

  126. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Warlord, why don’t you teach me how war actually works?

    Armchair Warlord says: Here’s some homework – get on Google and go learn something about why the military is structured the way it is and why your suggestions (and your entire conception of how American military power works) are insane.

    Google? Please. I have studied military strategy, tactics and history since I was 13 and half of the book shelves covering my home office wall are dedicated to these subjects. I served 7 years in the Army and wrote the 7th Infantry unit history based on the unit archives in Germany.

    Take your best shot “Warlord.” I love a good debate over military strategy.

  127. Monotreme says:

    What we are saying, if you care to listen, is that by creating a toxic stew of violent and evil imagery in order to scare voters, that candidates on the Right Wing Nut Job end of the spectrum have inadvertently and incrementally increased the probability that someone with an unstable mental state will commit an act of violence.

    You call THAT “blood libel”?

    Bart says:

    Incrementally in the context of your statement means more likely.

    What an amazingly jejune and cynical half-truth, counselor. “Incrementally” in the context of my statement means more likely … by a miniscule and probably unmeasurable amount.

    I repeat, for emphasis, you call THAT “blood libel”?

  128. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono: I repeat, for emphasis, you call THAT “blood libel”?

    Which part of “yes” do you not understand.

    I provided you the elements of why that statement was false, a libel and a blood libel.

    You are free to offer a defense to the libel charge, which come in two flavors – the statement was true or the false statement was not material to the claim.

    Bolding your posts is not a defense.

  129. dcpetterson says:

    Humpty Barty — Words mean what he wants them to mean, no more and no less.

  130. dcpetterson says:

    Bart, there’s another part necessary for a claim to be libel — it has to cause some actual damage. You have to be able to prove (probably monetary) damage.

    As for the part about whether it is true — if you are prosecuting for libel, it is up to you to prove it is false. The majority of burden of proof is on the accuser.

  131. Mr. Universe says:

    Incrementally in the context of your statement means more likely.

    No, it means incrementally. You are putting your words in his sentence.

    Let us boil down your statement: Conservative political speech makes it more likely “that someone with an unstable mental state will commit an act of violence.”

    This is a false statement of fact.

    It is NOT a statrment of fact. It is an opinion that YOU are loading with conjecture.

    You really need to stop making shit up.

  132. Mr. Universe says:

    I have studied military strategy, tactics and history since I was 13 and half of the book shelves covering my home office wall are dedicated to these subjects.

    Well that explains a lot.

    I think the wrong guy in here is bearing the moniker ‘Warlord’

  133. Number Seven says:

    Mono, thank you for the info. Media Matters confirms this.

    Filistro, priceless. ‘…not too breit…’. Good thing I had put my coffee down 😉

  134. shortchain says:

    Bart said, and I quote, “Among the cases I litigate are fraud and defamation claims. I am well practiced in identifying them.”

    Yet, until he picked up the “blood libel” BS from Instapundit, he had been calling the internet suggestions that violent rhetoric and gun-sight imagery might lead to violence “slander” — which is inaccurate, legally.

  135. Armchair Warlord says:

    Bart,

    Google? Please. I have studied military strategy, tactics and history since I was 13 and half of the book shelves covering my home office wall are dedicated to these subjects. I served 7 years in the Army and wrote the 7th Infantry unit history based on the unit archives in Germany.

    And yet you claim the Navy only needs two aircraft carriers and the Air Force is the US’s primary instrument of power projection? It’s obvious that even if you do have the experience you claim you do that it has taught you nothing – and it would not have taught you anything about the subject at hand regardless.

    I could have picked apart your talking points when I was thirteen – now I’m reluctant to bother with someone who obviously knows nothing about what he’s talking about.

    So, please – justify why your crazy restructuring of the US military is the right plan and why Secretary Gates and co. at the Pentagon are taking us in the wrong direction. If you want my thinking on the subject – I generally agree with them.

  136. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    We are discussing liability here, not damages.

    Proving the statement was false is easy.

    This entire thread referred to Tucson shooter. The motives expressed by the Tucson shooter do not refer even tangentially to conservative political speech and the evidence suggests that the Tucson shooter did not choose to listen to political speech, conservative or otherwise.

    In case Mono attempts to slither away and claim that he is referring to other political assassinations, I made a list of the assassins and their motives on an earlier thread and none of them were influenced by conservative political speech.

    Mono appears to be arguing that his little incremental lies really isn’t libel. There is no “white lie” defense to libel, however.

    Liability for the libel is thus a slam dunk.

    Proving damages for defamation in a civil suit requires proof that that the libel damaged the plaintiff’s reputation in the community. It is not enough that the plaintiff was personally insulted. However, juries can assume damage so long as the plaintiff can prove that the libel was read by the community.

  137. Mr. Universe says:

    When Bart runs out of arguments he resorts to what the French call enculer des mouches.

  138. Number Seven says:

    Bart, let me comment on your ‘expertise’ in military matters. Your, um strategy seems to leave the Pacific Ocean out of the equation. While I would agree we don’t need nearly the number of Carrier Battle Groups we have, having only 2 in the Atlantic to deal with EU issues (also, remind me, is any country in Europe threatening us with nukes?) means a long travel to deal with potential situations with N. Korea. And what about the Middle East?

    And to claim that the USAF is our primary way of projecting power on a global scale?

    Filistro is right, not too breit today…

  139. filistro says:

    From Josh Marshall at TPM: (Note: Marshall is Jewish)

    They Just Don’t Stop

    “I thought Sarah Palin’s “blood libel” comment was crude and stupid. And I understand that many found it offensive, though I can’t say I was really offended in any personal way. The truth is very few things actually offend me.

    But this actually did. The Washington Times says that the reaction to Palin is part of an “ongoing pogrom” against conservatives in America.

    That strikes me as offensive and even disgusting.

    I really don’t know what’s with this people.”

    –Josh Marshall

  140. Number Seven says:

    I wonder if Bart will now sue Malkin for the defamation of being called a ‘liberal blogger’.

    Phew, wow, now I am caught up.

  141. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Oh, this is rich. Google just found this gem: Michelle Malkin is calling Bart DePalma a liberal.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2009/08/24/so-much-for-the-greatest-transition-in-world-history/

    “‘But even liberal bloggers are rejecting the lame spin. From commenter Bart DePalma at left-wing Balkinization‘”

    I think I just voided myself!

    Now Bart is going to have to sue Malkin for defamation!

    I can’t STOP laughing, y’all!

  142. filistro says:

    Now Bart is going to have to sue Malkin for defamation!

    Bart has hung around with us too long and been tarred with our brush. Poor Bart. Now Michelle Malkin will never answer his fan mail.

    Serves him right for having friends in low places 😉

  143. Mr. Universe says:

    That is too funny. We must be rubbing off on Bart.

  144. shortchain says:

    What’s going to happen when he takes his manuscript to Regnery now, and they look up his conservative bona fides?

  145. filistro says:

    @shortchain… What’s going to happen when he takes his manuscript to Regnery now, and they look up his conservative bona fides?

    I’ve always kind of suspected Bart was a plant.

    In fact, I think he’s a ficus.

  146. Bart DePalma says:

    Armchair Warlord says: And yet you claim the Navy only needs two aircraft carriers and the Air Force is the US’s primary instrument of power projection?

    I stated that the Navy needs two carrier task forces in the Atlantic in case of an emergency in the EU or Africa. Why precisely would we need more? The EU is at peace with no enemies of the US and two TFs is more than enough to deal with any African country.

    The USAF is indeed the US’s primary instrument of power projection, as much as that pain me to say as an Army ground pounder. The USAF has more and heavier combat aircraft than the Navy/Marines and nearly all of the transport aircraft to get troops on the ground.

    If you disagree, offer your argument.

    So, please – justify why your crazy restructuring of the US military is the right plan and why Secretary Gates and co. at the Pentagon are taking us in the wrong direction. If you want my thinking on the subject – I generally agree with them.

    In brief, we design our military to defeat our likely enemies based on their capabilities. Our likely conventional enemies are China, Iran and North Korea in order of size.

    Any conflict with China is likely to be primarily naval rather than a land war in China. Our current Pacific forces are sufficient for this task.

    South Korea can largely deal with North Korea. In order to make the victory over the North faster and less destructive to the South, we need to be ready to project air and limited land power into the South. Our current Pacific forces are sufficient for this task.

    Iran is the larger land problem. Neither Iraq or Afghanistan can check them. We would need about 5-7 divisions, a heavy majority of the USAF and about 3 carrier groups to defeat Iran conventionally with minimum casualties.

    Beyond the possibility of these conventional wars, we need to start thinking like the British during their empire period – small groups of US troops training, supplying and supporting indigenous armies to defeat common irregular enemies. You may need the occasional surge to establish secure a local government until the local army can be trained, but this should be the exception rather than the rule.

    We simply cannot afford to be the world’s fire brigade fighting our allies battles. Rather, we need to shift to helping them fight their own battles.

  147. Bart DePalma says:

    Number Seven says: Your, um strategy seems to leave the Pacific Ocean out of the equation.

    My cuts leave the Pacific forces alone because two of the three likely conventional opponents are there.

  148. Number Seven says:

    Bart and you didn’t put any of that into your original comment why??

  149. Bart DePalma says:

    Max:

    LMAO! Thanks for the Malkin link.

    Although she is a local involved in the Tea Party movement, I don’t regularly follow Michelle’s blog and missed her quotation of mine.

    Balkanization does offer a pretty hard left slice of legal academia and I have spent years there along with “Brett” commenting fencing with the professors from the conservative/libertarian perspective. It got me a gig in a Federalist Society debate.

    Anyway, Michelle made the mistake of assuming that everyone who posts there must be liberal and wrongly used my post to claim that even the left is turning against Obama. Apparently, Michelle missed my several hundred posts there defending the constitutional limits on government and “neo-conservative” foreign policy, not to mention the link to my own blog. Those are the hazards of hit and run googling as the basis for research.

  150. Bartbuster says:

    A Google search of Bart Depalma provides no end of comedy.

  151. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart, I’m impressed. That actually is a very good quick analysis of the two oceans.

    Please, though,
    in what manner would Iran constitute an imminent threat to CONUS, necessitating and invasion that would take MONTHS of run-up?
    what could prevent a major and long term disruption of 50% of the world’s imported oil supplies (Japan, China and India primarily) by Iranian action within the first 4 hours of any hostilities, including radiological “seeding” on most Middle Eastern oil fields and facilities, and potential blockage of the Strait of Hormuz?

  152. Armchair,
    You are now learning the lesson I learned about a month ago. And it seems you’re coming to the same conclusion I did.

  153. Mr. Universe says:

    The US has thirteen commissioned aircraft carriers. We make them as fast as we have presidents to name them after. I happen to think that’s a little excessive to defend US interests in light of the changing face of warfare.

    The Osprey program may as well be called the Albatross. It is bad plane design from a physics perspective.

    The F35 budget has already cost double what it originally was supposed to.

    You wanna cut spending? How about starting here?

  154. Bartbuster says:

    We don’t have any choice but to build the F-35. The current aircraft in service are getting very old, and there aren’t any other options right now. We need to have something until the next generation of unmanned aircraft are ready.

  155. shiloh says:

    In the spirit of magnanimity, as is my way, let me apologize for everything Bartles has said previously and will say in the future.

    Coincidentally, I repudiate everything Bartles has said previously and will say in the future at 538. Hey, this should be a real time saver, eh.

    >

    I try hard to come up with something amusing from time to time. The competition around here is stiff. ~ Indeed!

    >

    I’m an Aries and my dad was a Chevy used car manager back in the ’60s and would drive home ’62/’63/’64 Corvettes occasionally so I’m a Chevy guy, but as mentioned previously Chrysler had the best engineering and my next car will probably be a Toyota 😉 So add them all together and it’s basically meaningless, much like one of Bartle’s posts. 😛

    Both Shirley Temple and Adolf Hitler were/are Taurus’ ~ I just lost the debate! 😀

    Animal Crackers In My Soup

    ok, Shirley was a bad and wicked child, much like Hitler! ~ Oh, my goodness …

    >

    btw, once again I’m feeling a lot of empathetic, progressive love in this thread for my favorite troll, Bartles.

    solo estoy diciendo

  156. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    bb,

    I disagree about the F-35. It is an unnecessary addition. The F-15, -16, and -18’s are excellent weapons platforms that CANNOT BE DEFEATED by any enemy currently or for the foreseeable future! Just like the B-52, which after almost 60 years, is the best heavy bomber in the world. Our problem is that we are not building more. New airframes, with modern avionics and engines could be had for 1/3 the costs of any possible replacement, or less.

    F-22’s are being phased out of production. Their unit cost is in the neighborhood of $150million.

    The air superiority F-15’s (A-D) have NEVER been defeated in combat. The F-35 is not a replacement for it. It is being designed to replace the -16 and -18. The unit cost of a -35 is above $100 million. While -16s and -18 unit costs are $25-50 million.

    We could order new airframes of all the fighters as assembly lines still operate.

    And I haven’t even discussed the B-1 and -2.

    There ARE tremendous cost savings available in military aircraft with NO LOSS in readiness.

  157. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    AIG setting up to end government involvement.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Plan-set-to-end-government-apf-2890306310.html?x=0&.v=11&cmtnav=/mwphucmtgetnojspage/headcontent/main/2890306310/date/d

    The 1.67 billion shares of AIG the government now holds should net a profit of $40 Billion or so, based on the $30.shr cost and $54/shr current value of AIG at todays close.

    NO bad.

  158. Mr. Universe says:

    “I will step aside because I think the party is ready for something different,” – Michael Steele

    Actually, Michael, I think they want more of the same.

    Ah well, as Tolstoy was fond of saying, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

    I’m gonna miss this guy. As well as Wyatt Cenac’s impression of him on the Daily Show.

  159. dcpetterson says:

    @Max
    The 1.67 billion shares of AIG the government now holds should net a profit of $40 Billion or so, based on the $30.shr cost and $54/shr current value of AIG at todays close.

    Evil socialist Obama who destroyed America and cost us all that taxpayer money by seizing control of the banking system ….

    oh wait…

    nevermind.

  160. Mr. Universe says:

    Well I agree with both Bart Buster and Mad Max.

    One, we’re tooled up to keep making the cheaper 16 and 18s and two, there really isn’t a hostile nation out there that can defeat them so the need for a next generation manned plane seems like a weak argument. You can only kick someone’s ass so much.

    However, we’re already in pretty deep with contractors and other countries on the 35. And wasn’t this meant to replace the costly F22? Wasn’t that supposed to be the bad ass next generation stealth plane? And why cancel the F117? One of those guys buzzed me when I was on the PCT down by Edwards…impressive. Anyway, They should at least cancel the VSTOL version of this thing.

    But the old industrial military complex always gets what it wants, eh?

    Oh and while I’m bringing up boondoggles, they should ditch that amphibious tank thing too.

  161. Armchair Warlord says:

    Bart,

    I stated that the Navy needs two carrier task forces in the Atlantic in case of an emergency in the EU or Africa. Why precisely would we need more? The EU is at peace with no enemies of the US and two TFs is more than enough to deal with any African country.

    Aha, it seems I misread your original message. I apologize for my mistake. In which case a sounder strategy, rather than cutting ships, would be to transfer forces to the Pacific to deal with China. Cutting naval power when our enemies are engaged in a naval buildup would be unwise.

    The USAF is indeed the US’s primary instrument of power projection, as much as that pain me to say as an Army ground pounder. The USAF has more and heavier combat aircraft than the Navy/Marines and nearly all of the transport aircraft to get troops on the ground.

    On the contrary, the Navy is the US’s primary instrument of power projection. American military dominance is built on sea lines of communication and freedom of movement and supply of American ground forces by sea, not air. For all its size, the Air Force’s transport fleet cannot move heavy American forces around the world in a timely fashion or adequately supply them on the ground.

    In fact, the Air Force, while an excellent instrument of destruction, is a very poor instrument with which to project coercive power. If we want to send a message to someone we stand a carrier off their shore, and if we want to scare the hell out of someone we prepare for a ground invasion – we don’t shuffle bombers around and hope that will make Kim Jong Il change his behavior somehow. This was demonstrated quite dramatically in Kosovo when the threat of invasion on the ground succeeded in forcing Serbian withdrawal after a bombing campaign failed to change their behavior.

    In brief, we design our military to defeat our likely enemies based on their capabilities. Our likely conventional enemies are China, Iran and North Korea in order of size.

    etc, etc.

    I guess this actually depends on whether our forces are sufficient for the task at hand. They may be for the time being, but as things stand our naval, ground and aerial forces will need large investments in the coming years to keep at current levels of readiness when our enemies (specifically the Chinese) are moving as fast as they can to catch up.

    Cuts to defense spending in this environment beyond weeding out underperforming programs and using the money to greater effect elsewhere seems to me to be unwise and I am very happy that the Obama Administration is only looking at the most superficial cuts to current levels of defense spending.

    Regarding ground force levels, recent history has shown that wars aren’t always as short as we’d like and that we should plan to fight insurgents for a long time after the enemy’s army is defeated. Reducing the Army and Marine Corps significantly from their current size would ignore the lessons of the War on Terror and jeopardize our ability to win land wars.

    Beyond the possibility of these conventional wars, we need to start thinking like the British during their empire period – small groups of US troops training, supplying and supporting indigenous armies to defeat common irregular enemies.

    We’re already doing this. See the Philippines and Yemen.

    I disagree about the F-35. It is an unnecessary addition. The F-15, -16, and -18′s are excellent weapons platforms that CANNOT BE DEFEATED by any enemy currently or for the foreseeable future!

    Gotta disagree with you there – the F-35’s eventual production pricetag isn’t going to be that much more than modernized teen-series fighters (probably around $60 million under full production – current LRIP fighters are at $120 million) and it is a much more capable aircraft. On capabilities grounds alone it’s worth the money.

    Now, what the Air Force really needs is to replace its ancient bomber fleet and they have barely started that process.

  162. Armchair Warlord says:

    Mr. U,

    Coincidentally, they did cancel the Marine Corps EFV “tank you can tow waterskiiers behind” this week.

    Talk about a waste of money and a service that needs to get its house in order. One kind of gets the impression the Marines start these ridiculous programs they can’t pay for and then just hope Congress gives them more money when they run out. Of course being in the Army my perspective is skewed. 😉

  163. Mr. Universe says:

    Frankly, I think the bomber is the battleship of our era and will be obsolete soon.

    See this article regarding the F35

  164. Mr. Universe says:

    @Warlord

    Good to know that somebody is making some wise decisions regarding the EFV.

    It is kind of a battleship mentality I suppose; the thinking within the military, that is. Not to downplay the usefullness of the South Dakota class ships of WWII; They were very effective in beachhead preparations in the island hopping campaigns of the pacific. But the era of the Battleship went down with Yamato. In fact the Japanese wasted a lot of effort just keeping her out of sight.

    But it seems when an arm of the services has something that has been proven effective in the past, the tendancy is to keep improving it well beyond the point where the strategy it was designed for has evolved.

    China stands to be the only emerging superpower that we’d need to worry about waging that kind of conflict with. Seeing as how we owe them so much money, I don’t see that happening. In fact, I think we should offer to build their weapons for them. We’re pretty good at that. They might cut us a deal on all that debt in return.

  165. Monotreme says:

    What we are saying, if you care to listen, is that by creating a toxic stew of violent and evil imagery in order to scare voters, that candidates on the Right Wing Nut Job end of the spectrum have inadvertently and incrementally increased the probability that someone with an unstable mental state will commit an act of violence.

    It’s a true statement, Bart. In order to falsify this statement, you would have to prove with a preponderance of the evidence that his exposure to right-wing commentators had none, zero, zip influence on his thought processes.

    Sue me. Please.

  166. Bartbuster says:

    The F-15, -16, and -18′s are excellent weapons platforms that CANNOT BE DEFEATED by any enemy currently or for the foreseeable future! Just like the B-52, which after almost 60 years, is the best heavy bomber in the world.

    The Chinese and Russians are both building aircraft that can match the capabilities of the 15s, 16s, and 18s. But that isn’t the main problem. Those aircraft are getting old, and they are breaking. Just recently the entire fleet of F-15s was grounded because one fell apart in mid-air. There is no comparison to the B-52. Bombers are not put under nearly the same stress as fighters. We need something. The F-35 is not ideal, but it’s all we’ve got.

  167. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    bb,

    Pray tell in what ways a B-52 airframe can be improved upon. Upgrades to avionic, engines (Why 8 when 4 will do?), and ECM could be done VERY cheaply. The -1 and -2 have their place in low numbers, but the unit cost and maintenance costs are astronomical in comparison. And the -2 is ALMOST unusable in 90% of circumstances.

    And the -35 is a joke. It’s a bastard that does not do the total mission as well as the combination of aircraft it is supposed to replace can do NOW! The -35B should have been dropped years ago! I’d put a Falcon up against it and the 16 will fly away from that heavy, less maneuverable turkey a majority of the time. A Hornet will defeat a -35 even more often than a Falcon will. Hell, I’d put a Saab Gripen up against a -35 for even money!

    And you are way off on costs. Currently, Falcons will run < $50 M each, Hornets around $50 M each, and you won't touch a Lightning for less that $100 M each in full production. Gripens, BTW are in the $50 M range.

    Stop supporting the military industrial complex, paying more for barely a marginally (stealthish) increase in capability.

  168. Jean says:

    Bart,

    re: SS has to be reformed by extending the retirement age and limiting COL increases to inflation and not growth in worker compensation.

    Why did you neglect means-testing social security benefits, a recommendation from your Republican party?

  169. Bartbuster says:

    And the -35 is a joke. It’s a bastard that does not do the total mission as well as the combination of aircraft it is supposed to replace can do NOW! The -35B should have been dropped years ago! I’d put a Falcon up against it and the 16 will fly away from that heavy, less maneuverable turkey a majority of the time. A Hornet will defeat a -35 even more often than a Falcon will. Hell, I’d put a Saab Gripen up against a -35 for even money!

    Assuming any of those aircraft even spot the F-35. The F-35 is stealthy. Those aircraft are not. And I’m not so sure your assumptions about the F-35 being a pig are correct.

    I don’t really care about the B-52, so I’m not sure where you’re going with that argument.

  170. Brian says:

    I was just watching Bill Maher (nothing else was really on), but he raised an interesting point.

    It seems like the right wing often demands Muslims denounce all extremist acts or they condone it by staying silent, or not being vocal enough. Why doesn’t the right wing hold itself to the same standard?

    I think I know the answer, but I’ll refrain.

  171. Number Seven says:

    Friday is almost over, I want to end it on a funny note.

    Foods that are so ucky looking that you have to wonder how hungry and desperate one would have to be to try it out as a food.

    My submission: crabs

    Think about it. Here is this multi legged creature walking at you sideways with wicked looking claws. Seriously, would your first thought be to eat it? Of course not. You would stomp it into the sands from which it emerged. Unless you were very very very very hungry.

    And now we consider them a delicacy 😉

    What are your choices?

  172. Monotreme says:

    Seaweed. Truffles. Tree cloud fungus. Calamari.

  173. Mr. Universe says:

    I don’t really care about the B-52, so I’m not sure where you’re going with that argument.

    I think he may have been referring to it’s utility/cost ratio. It’s been one of the most effective tools in the arsenal for over half century. These other planes seem to outgrow their usefullness at a faster pace, cost much more to make, and may have questionable use in a world where armies don’t meet on the field of battle wearing matching uniforms anymore. But we don’t really have a need to carpet bomb anyone from 50,000 feet anymore either.

  174. Mr. Universe says:

    Oysters. Yumm.

  175. filistro says:

    #7… I often think it’s a matter of perception and socialization. For instance I watch those jungle survival shows where people eat fat white larvae from inside rotted tree trunks, and I think… “eeewww, how can they DO that…” but then I think… really, considering color, texture, etc, it’s probably no different than a big juicy shrimp, right?

    For sheer gross uckiness, I would have to say tapioca pudding. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve thought it looked like a dish full of tiny eyeballs, and I would (and often did) choose to be sent to my room rather than be forced to eat the hideous stuff.

  176. Number Seven says:

    The B-52, one hell of a plane.

    Just watch Dr. Strangelove, lol

  177. Number Seven says:

    Think about the process at which point crabs become a food…

    Don’t squash it, torture it, pull it’s legs off….

  178. Number Seven says:

    OMG, Fili, you never fail to make me laugh.

    Tapioca pudding???? Nice one.

  179. Monotreme says:

    Dogs have a reputation for snacking on the cat litter box. A bunch of “dog friends” had a party where someone bought a clean, unused kitty litter tray, filled it 1/3 full with Grape Nuts, and then made brownies into cat feces shapes and placed it on top. For some reason, no one could or would eat it, even though the whole thing was explained to them.

  180. Monotreme says:

    Interesting reading as you prepare your filing, counselor.

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/yes-jennifer-rubin-facts-do-matter-a

  181. Armchair Warlord says:

    Max,

    The F-35 is as maneuverable as and has better acceleration than a clean F-16… while carrying five thousand pounds of ordnance. Having done a little research on it I get the impression it’s as good or better than the vaunted F-22 in basically every area except top-end speed and radar stealth (it’s likely better against IR sensors). Unfortunately there’s a lot of misinformation about it out there because other people (cough Eurofighter cough Saab cough Dassault cough those idiots at Air Power Australia) want people to buy their fighter jets and not ours.

    And yet somehow everybody wants F-35s and nobody wants Eurofighters or Gripens or anything else. And they’re willing to wait for them. Sounds to me like a pretty good airplane. 😉

    F-35 LRIP prices RIGHT NOW are at ~$120 million – well below estimates. It already costs less than a production F-22 and they’re building test articles. I doubt it will cost $90 million in full production and even if it does it will be worth the money

    Mr. U,

    I wouldn’t be so fast to count out bombers – the Air Force should be starting work on a new one quite soon and the Navy is working on a stealthy, long-range strike UCAV right now. Here’s an article on the issue.

    http://www.csbaonline.org/4Publications/PubLibrary/R.20100914.Sustaining_America/R.20100914.Sustaining_America.pdf

  182. Armchair Warlord says:

    Just to put this out there, I owe Bart an apology.

    I really laid into him earlier because I misinterpreted his post as saying that we only need two aircraft carriers TOTAL and not that we should only have two IN THE ATLANTIC (and also that all of our carriers were surrounding Europe somehow).

    Sorry – I should be more charitable with how I interpret people’s words.

  183. Number Seven says:

    No you don’t. I read his inane post the very same way. I also thought he ment only two carriers total. You don’t owe him an apology at all.

    He owes one to all of you for wasting your time by not being clearer in his posts.

  184. shortchain says:

    It’s Saturday, but there’s no new post, so — who is actually surprised at the “revelation” from Ronald Reagan, Jr., that it was apparent to those around him that he had Altzheimer’s during Ronald Reagan’s second term?

    And who was running the show? Was it Nancy, using astrology (I threw that in to tie it in with some of the other comments)?

  185. Mr. Universe says:

    Coincidentally, they did cancel the Marine Corps EFV “tank you can tow waterskiiers behind” this week

    Probably a good idea. See this.

  186. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    AW (and bb),

    Morning all.

    From this site, original article dated two weeks ago. 28 Dec.:

    Pentagon prices recently released by Aviation Week show the Conventional-Takeoff-and-Landing (CTOL) version of the Lightning II (also known as the Joint Strike Fighter/JSF), which Norway is planning to buy, costs 116 million USD, approximately 660 million kroner.
    The Pratt and Whitney F135 engines are not included, which come roaring in at cost of 19 million dollars on average, an estimated 115 million kroner.

    Now, $116 M plus $19 M equals $135 Million per copy. This for a plane that is performance-wise NOT 2x better that the fighters (F-16 and -18) it is replacing. Fighters that are rolling off production lines STILL (that we are selling overseas) that cost half the price OR LESS!

    There ARE no more F-22’s in production.

    NO ENEMY can put a fighter in the air now, or in the near future, that can defeat the Falcon/Hornet combination. We are NOT fighting ourselves with Falcon/Lightning combats.

    While we are waiting for the unmanned fighters of the future, maintaining production of new airframes and upgrading technology of the existing fighters will be waaaay more cost effective.

    I agree about the need for bombers. With smart bomb technology, we don’t need “carpet-bombing”, but the ability to carry a heavy load long distances and release that load before the opposition knows you’re there and put that load within meters of the target is the exact mission for the B-52.

  187. Bart DePalma says:

    AW:

    No need for apologies for misunderstandings. We do not disagree on many areas of defense policy.

    I agree that the navy is a more flexible projection of power because it can go to areas where we do not have air force basing rights. However, it is a relatively small projection limited to coastal nations and punitive raids.

    If we have basing, the USAF/Army can project power anywhere in the world in intensity up to and including regime change. See Afghanistan.

    This is not an either or discussion, but rather which tool is necessary for which job.

  188. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: SS has to be reformed by extending the retirement age and limiting COL increases to inflation and not growth in worker compensation.

    Jean: Why did you neglect means-testing social security benefits, a recommendation from your Republican party?

    Because it will turn SS from a social insurance program where everyone puts in, takes out and has a stake into just another welfare program with limited support.

  189. Jonathon says:

    It’s Saturday, but there’s no new post, so — who is actually surprised at the “revelation” from Ronald Reagan, Jr., that it was apparent to those around him that he had Altzheimer’s during Ronald Reagan’s second term?

    And to think Reagan was more competent with Altzheimer’s than Obama is without it.

  190. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    Even the NYT is waking up to what a bad idea it was for the Dems to try to falsely slime the GOP with the Tucson shootings:

    I have written about violent rhetoric before, and I’m convinced that it’s poisonous to our politics, that the preponderance of it comes from the right, and that it has the potential to manifest in massacres like the one in Tucson.

    But I also know that potential, possibility and even plausibility are not proof.

    The American people know it, too. According to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday, 42 percent of those asked said that political rhetoric was not a factor at all in the shooting, 22 percent said that it was a minor factor and 20 percent said that it was a major factor. Furthermore, most agreed that focusing on conservative rhetoric as a link in the shooting was “not a legitimate point but mostly an attempt to use the tragedy to make conservatives look bad.” And nearly an equal number of people said that Republicans, the Tea Party and Democrats had all “gone too far in using inflammatory language” to criticize their opponents.

    Great. So the left overreacts and overreaches and it only accomplishes two things: fostering sympathy for its opponents and nurturing a false equivalence within the body politic. Well done, Democrats.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/opinion/15blow.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

  191. Bartbuster says:

    NO ENEMY can put a fighter in the air now, or in the near future, that can defeat the Falcon/Hornet combination.

    That simply is not true. The Russian have several aircraft which are capable of defeating F-16s and F-18s. Not to mention that the F16s and F18s are showing their age.

  192. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Jonathon, you are too funny!

    An ass, but a funny ass.

    Got nothing better to do than troll this fine morning? Perhaps if you had a life . . .

  193. filistro says:

    Welcome, Jonathan.

    You sound like a fine and fully representative voice from the right.

  194. shortchain says:

    Now, now, the question was, “is anyone surprised?”

    It doesn’t call for a value judgment on RR himself. It does say something about the level of mendacity in the Reagan administration — but I suspect that’s not news to anybody, either.

    The point was — why bother with this now, other than (perhaps) to sell more of his books?

  195. shiloh says:

    Let the record show it was a flyby winger troll who attempted humor re: Alzheimer’s disease …

    Oh and let me be the second to welcome you!

  196. filistro says:

    Bart, you are relentlessly slashing away at a straw man (which I suppose is your right, since you built the straw man in the first place.)

    The key sentence in your link is this: “And nearly an equal number of people said that Republicans, the Tea Party and Democrats had all “gone too far in using inflammatory language” to criticize their opponents.”

    That is what is happening here… a near universal, wholly bi-partisan revulsion against the dangerous culture of violence that is growing within American politics. It’s a “My God, what are we becoming?” kind of moment. It is a moment of national reflection and sober re-evaluation, and I believe this time, something substantive may actually result from it.

    But not for you and the people you represent, who are so caught up in partisan frenzy that you remain utterly tone-deaf to the mood of the nation…at your peril.

    At a time when America is sick to death of blood and violence, near its breakign point, ready and yearning for a different path, Sarah Palin says a “blood libel” has been leveled against her… and the whole country shudders and turns away in revulsion.

    You are mistaking national self-examination for an accusation against you. And the fury of your response is, in itself, quite telling.

  197. Jonathon says:

    Come on. It was just a joke. Lighten up Birdpilot.

  198. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    J, I SAID you were funny!

    LOL!!!!

  199. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:

    Don’t even pretend that the libels made by you and others on the left have anything whatsoever to do with a national self examination of heated political rhetoric. You personally were quite clear.

    If you folks do not have the class to admit that you were wrong and apologize, just drop it and stop embarrassing yourselves.

  200. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    bb,

    Do you really think the Su-27/35 can defeat the F-18F? OR the F-15?

    Or the Mig-29 can beat a Falcon? or the Mig-35 beating a Hornet?

    Just don’t think so.

    And the Chinese J-20 JUST had it’s first flight and won’t be ready for deployment til the end of the decade. At least.

    We’ll just have to disagree.

    Best.

  201. filistro says:

    @Bart… You personally were quite clear.

    Indeed I was. And I meant it when I said I blamed you for this. But I wasn’t talking about Tucson where you insist on keeping your focus.

    I was referring to your constant inflammatory rhetoric about a democratically-elected government being evil, sinister, full of hidden agendas, treacherous and illegitimate. The kind of loose talk can cause troubled individuals to feel they should, personally, be doing something about it. And sometimes they do, to our horror.

    You responded to my comment by comparing this Democratic administration to the one in Communist China (and comparing yourself, I assume, to those brave people who lay down in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square.)

    That response, Bart, is not helpful to your nation. It is tone-deaf, insular, self-serving and perilously divisive. I really don’t understand why you can’t see that. You are very smart and well-informed , and yet on some level totally delusional… and more juvenile than some passionate college freshman spouting revolutionary fantasies.

  202. Bartbuster says:

    Do you really think the Su-27/35 can defeat the F-18F? OR the F-15?

    Or the Mig-29 can beat a Falcon? or the Mig-35 beating a Hornet?

    Yes, I do. And I have no idea why you think they can’t.

  203. Jonathon says:

    Filistro,
    Thanks for the welcome. Seems like some intelligent conversation here.

  204. shortchain says:

    It really doesn’t matter which plane can beat which other plane. None of those mentioned can defeat multiple, simultaneous attacks by state-of-the-art SAM’s. Which cost a hell of a lot less than any of the manned aircraft.

    The future belongs to unmanned aircraft.

  205. filistro says:

    @Jonathon.. Seems like some intelligent conversation here.

    Thanks! Intelligent conversation is our very favorite thing. And we are always looking for additional voices from the right to further balance the conversation and present the conservative viewpoint in a measured, sensible fashion. We’d love to have lively debates on the issues of the day.

    We even go to other sites hunting for those intelligent right-wing voices. For some reason they seem really hard to find.

  206. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili: I am forced to say I blame YOU, Bart De Palma, for this growing undercurrent of violence, as much as I blame Sarah Palin. Read the article to which we are responding, and think about it. People like you who go around spreading the lie that a duly elected government is somehow sinister, malign, or illegitimate…. you are the people who encourage an insurrectionist spirit in a nation, and encourage deranged individuals to take up arms and commit mayhem. You create division, insecurity, hatred and a lack of patriotism. You tear the fabric that holds a nation together.

    BD: You personally were quite clear.

    Fili: Indeed I was. And I meant it when I said I blamed you for this. But I wasn’t talking about Tucson where you insist on keeping your focus.

    Do you think that it is less of a blood libel to falsely accuse conservatives, libertarians and myself of “encourag[ing] deranged individuals to take up arms and commit mayhem” because the libel does not refer to Tucson by name? As I noted to Mono, you are making a false statement, a libel and a blood libel.

    I was referring to your constant inflammatory rhetoric about a democratically-elected government being evil, sinister, full of hidden agendas, treacherous and illegitimate.

    Do you honestly believe that an elected government cannot have evil, hidden, treacherous and illegitimate agendas simply because it was elected? See Chavez in Venezuela and to a lesser extent, but along the same lines Obama and the Dems in America.

    More to the point, are you actually claiming that calling a democratically elected government on its factually proven improper and illegal agendas is an incitation to violence? That is one of the most pernicious attacks on free political speech of which I can conceive. While it may or may not be your personal objective, the Dems’ purpose for using the blood slanders is to silence conservative political speech which informed the recent voter repudiation of their agendas.

    Fili, you cannot win this argument. You and many others have gone far, far beyond simply observing that our political discourse is more heated than you prefer. If you have an issue with one of my allegations against the Obama Administration and the Dem government, then offer contrary proof. Don’t play the innuendo and the defamation games. It is beneath you.

  207. filistro says:

    @Bart.. Fili, you cannot win this argument.

    I know. That is because I am having an argument with an person who is, on this issue, not compos mentis.

    And, not being a big fan of futile missions, I am bowing out. Do your thing, Bart. Have fun with your reactionary, revolutionary buddies. Do what makes you feel manly and in control of your world. Talk big among yourselves about blood and violence and overthrow of government, if that fulfills a need for you.

    But if there are a few brain cells in that stubborn cranium that are still marginally in touch with reality… try to listen to them from time to time. Think about what you are doing and saying.

    Because what you are doing and saying… multiplied by the millions of your fellow travelers who are out there… has the potential to do great harm to the country you profess to love.

  208. Bartbuster says:

    The future belongs to unmanned aircraft.

    No doubt about that. But we probably need one last manned aircraft.

  209. Jonathon says:

    If I may, I’d like to give my opinion on the the Tuscon shooting and the strong political rhetoric of the day.

    I don’t think there has ever been a more vehemently hated president in the history of the country than GW Bush. For 8 years, the right sat back and listened to the left blame Bush for all things bad and accuse him of everything from a being a murderer of women and children, to going to war for oil, to being the cause of global warming to being solely responsible for the economic collapse.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vincent-bugliosi/the-prosecution-of-george_b_102427.html

    The right was ripe for some payback and I think that’s the root of a lot of the political anger today.

  210. shiloh says:

    Jonathan, you must be quite young as it goes back much further ie Reps extreme, deep rooted hatred for William Jefferson Clinton and of course Nixon violating the U.S. Constitution every which way but loose ‘causing him to resign in total disgrace!

    Bottom line, Republicans really, really don’t like to lose the presidency! and act like spoiled brats ie Bartles when it happens.

    Re: Bush43 he had a (((25%))) job approval rating Oct. 2008 so I would posit most, if not all of the accusations against Bush were true!

    >

    hmm, free speech is a wonderful concept when used wisely …

    take care

  211. shortchain says:

    Jonathan,

    Let’s not mince words. Bush was, by his own admission, guilty of unspeakable things, including allowing torture. He went to war on false pretenses — pretenses that he had reason to know were false.

    And to say that “the right sat back and listened” is hardly the case. They plugged their ears or called everyone who pointed out the truth a “traitor”.

  212. Bartbuster says:

    I don’t think there has ever been a more vehemently hated president in the history of the country than GW Bush

    For good reason. Invading Iraq was the most idiotic thing this nation has ever done.

  213. filistro says:

    Jonathon, you’re entirely correct. In fact I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the fury directed at George Bush, and trying to recall if there was active talk from the left about violent overthrow of the government. Maybe it’s selective recall and reveals my political bias… but I can’t recall any.

    I do remember lots of rallies, marches, protests and furious work to get out the vote and elect Democrats. I don’t recall a single person during the Bush years wearing or carrying a gun to a protest rally. I don’t recall anybody talking about “watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants.” I never saw a sign saying “We came unarmed… THIS TIME.”

    When far-left Democrats are enraged over something, they march and protest and talk about the need to win elections. When far-right Republicans are enraged, they talk about guns and blood and 2nd Amendment remedies.

    An enraged group marching and protesting… that’s America. An enraged group talking constantly about guns and blood… that’s SCARY.

  214. Mr. Universe says:

    @Jonathan

    Seems like some intelligent conversation here.

    Yeah, we try. You’ll get pounced on by some who don’t always get the civility thing. Don’t take it personally. It’s a weird internet road rage thing.

    RE: today’s post. Had a computer problem last night. Lost the article while trying to jam a table from another site into the it (I realize graphs and tables are awesome. I just hate wrestling with their formats). It will be out later or I may save it for tomorrow. It’s on gun restrictions so I want to edit carefully.

    PS: Chrome is really fast but I’m encountering some Mac issues. Anybody else?

  215. Bartbuster says:

    The right was ripe for some payback and I think that’s the root of a lot of the political anger today.

    Complete BS. The Right is angry that a black man was elected president.

  216. Mr. Universe says:

    fili said,

    I can’t recall if there was active talk from the left about violent overthrow of the government.

    Me neither. My friends either threatened to move to Canada (Hi, fili) or protested peacefully. So while that is a rejection of the policy, it isn’t an advocation for armed insurrection.

  217. Bartbuster says:

    Seriously, the GOP controlled Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House. The result was an epic disaster, and now they want “payback”? That has to be the most idiotic thing I have ever heard.

  218. Mr. Universe says:

    Do you think that it is less of a blood libel to falsely accuse conservatives, libertarians and myself of “encourag[ing] deranged individuals to take up arms and commit mayhem” because the libel does not refer to Tucson by name?

    We do not recognize the term ‘blood libel’, therefore we do not recognize the legitimacy of your comment. Please rephrase.

  219. Jean says:

    fili,

    re: The kind of loose talk can cause troubled individuals to feel they should, personally, be doing something about it. And sometimes they do, to our horror.

    Let’s review the facts about the mounting list of tragedies that folks on the right keep insisting are just “isolated incidents”:

    — July 2008: A gunman named Jim David Adkisson, agitated at how “liberals” are “destroying America,” walks into a Unitarian Church and opens fire, killing two churchgoers and wounding four others.

    — October 2008: Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee in a plot to murder dozens of African-Americans, culminating in the assassination of President Obama.

    — December 2008: A pair of “Patriot” movement radicals — the father-son team of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who wanted “to attack the political infrastructure” — threaten a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, with a bomb in the hopes of extorting money that would end their financial difficulties, for which they blamed the government. Instead, the bomb goes off and kills two police officers. The men eventually are convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.

    — December 2008: In Belfast, Maine, police discover the makings of a nuclear “dirty bomb” in the basement of a white supremacist shot dead by his wife. The man, who was independently wealthy, reportedly was agitated about the election of President Obama and was crafting a plan to set off the bomb.

    — January 2009: A white supremacist named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampage in Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.

    — February 2009: A Marine named Kody Brittingham is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate President Obama. Brittingham also collected white-supremacist material.

    — April 2009: A white supremacist named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-violence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.

    — April 2009: Another gunman in Okaloosa County, Florida, similarly fearful of Obama’s purported gun-grabbing plans, kills two deputies when they come to arrest him in a domestic-violence matter, then is killed himself in a shootout with police.

    — May 2009: A “sovereign citizen” named Scott Roeder walks into a church in Wichita, Kansas, and assassinates abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

    — June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester named James Von Brunn opens fire at the Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard.

    — February 2010: An angry tax protester named Joseph Ray Stack flies an airplane into the building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas. (Media are reluctant to label this one “domestic terrorism” too.)

    — March 2010: Seven militiamen from the Hutaree Militia in Michigan and Ohio are arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate local police officers with the intent of sparking a new civil war.

    — March 2010: An anti-government extremist named John Patrick Bedell walks into the Pentagon and opens fire, wounding two officers before he is himself shot dead.

    — May 2010: A “sovereign citizen” from Georgia is arrested in Tennessee and charged with plotting the violent takeover of a local county courthouse.

    — May 2010: A still-unidentified white man walks into a Jacksonville, Fla., mosque and sets it afire, simultaneously setting off a pipe bomb.

    — May 2010: Two “sovereign citizens” named Jerry and Joe Kane gun down two police officers who pull them over for a traffic violation, and then wound two more officers in a shootout in which both of them are eventually killed.

    — July 2010: An agitated right-winger and convict named Byron Williams loads up on weapons and drives to the Bay Area intent on attacking the offices of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, but is intercepted by state patrolmen and engages them in a shootout and armed standoff in which two officers and Williams are wounded.

    — September 2010: A Concord, N.C., man is arrested and charged with plotting to blow up a North Carolina abortion clinic. The man, 26-year–old Justin Carl Moose, referred to himself as the “Christian counterpart to (Osama) bin Laden” in a taped undercover meeting with a federal informant.

  220. Bartbuster says:

    do you think that it is less of a blood libel to falsely accuse conservatives, libertarians and myself of “encourag[ing] deranged individuals to take up arms and commit mayhem”

    Blankshot, people have provided overwhelming evidence of wingnuts like you encouraging violence. The accusations are not false.

  221. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Jonathon,

    The BIG difference is that the Left used it’s Amendment I rights.

    The Right KEEPS threatening, over and over again, to use it’s Amendment II “remedies”.

    Surely you can see the difference.

    And another thing:

    Bart.

    I join fili in choosing to ignore you as long as you continue to rant your “blood libel” talking point. Wasn’t it YOU who said “One who wins an internet argument was still a retard”?

    Chalk it up as a win, old son.

  222. Bartbuster says:

    Oh good. I am absolved as the ‘most idiotic’ for censuring one of our other posters.

    It’s a tie.

  223. The Right is angry that a black man was elected president.

    I hear that a lot, but I doubt that’s true of any but a tiny minority. Had Colin Powell been elected in, say, 2000, I’m sure he would have been supported by the bulk of the right. The evidence I see suggests that the racism is being used as a tool for the hatred, not the other way around.

  224. Mr. Universe says:

    It’s a tie.

    I’ll keep that in mind the next time I invade a middle eastern country.

  225. filistro says:

    Wow, Jean. That’s a chilling compilation…. and all in the past two years.

    And the common threads that run through all of them?

    a.) fury at the current government
    b.) weapons

    Perhaps all these things are just developing in isolation. Perhaps the clustering of events on your list is monumentally coincidental. Perhaps the recent widely-publicized rantings about guns, blood and violence by anti-government zealots have nothing to do with the actions of all those unbalanced people.

    Perhaps. But somehow I doubt it.

  226. Mr. Universe says:

    The evidence I see suggests that the racism is being used as a tool for the hatred, not the other way around.

    I’d like to believe that were true, but my gut says it’s not. Absent a reasonable explanation for all this obstruction and the ensuing vitriol, I am unable to discern a viable alternative.

    I’m not sure I buy the Colin Powell scenario either. While I would have certainly supported Powell in a role of democratically elected leader, I suspect there would have been loud objections to his credentials from both the left and the right.

    I don’t have a solid explanation for the political divide.

  227. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Jonathon,

    I’ve read and reread your earlier post about the “hatred” of George W Bush. I also note your inclusion of the HuffPo article of an excerpt of the Vincent Bugliosi book outlining a prosecution of Bush.

    How is it that you see a professional prosecutor (he put Manson in jail) who is using legal techniques prosecutor’s use all the time in building a case, to come to a conclusion that, under American jurisprudence, Bush should be tried for murder as making your case?

    Do you think a prosecutor “hates” an accused defendant?

    Do you think Mr Bugliosi goes beyond the legal pale in building his case?

    Do you find anything Mr. Bugliosi writes in his theoretical case to be explicitly false?

    Can you justify your conflation of the two things?

    Thank you

  228. Monotreme says:

    AGW deniers: deny this.

    http://slate.me/dTy1Po

  229. Jonathon says:

    Is there any evidence that “gun imagery” or Palin’s crosshairs or Angle statement about “second ammendment remedies” has ever led to any violence?

    Because if there is evidence that those things have led to violence, shouldn’t we also immediately force Hollywood to ban “gun imagery” and scenes of violence in movies? Same with the video game industry. The fact is there are lots of images of violence in everyday life in America. Kids start seeing it in cartoons and movies and video games at a young age. Should we start banning those things?

    Btw Fillistro, I recall seeing lots of “Kill Bush” signs at rallies during the Bush years.

  230. filistro says:

    Michael… I don’t think it’s (you should pardon the expression ;-)) as “black and white” as you present it.

    Yes, there would probably have been less objection on the right to Colin Powell (though you should see how much Freeper hatred there is for that poor man… it’s positively searing.)

    The racist hatred for Obama is because he is a black man from the left who doesn’t know his place and presumes to wield power over his betters. He is both a despised minority and a member of a despised political group. (Like Robert Deniro says about the little Focker… “Double dose!”) There is more hatred for Obama than there would be for a Dem president who was not black, or black president who was not Dem.

    I think in a way this has actually been quite a welcome development for the Carl Paladino types on the far right… it allows them to give vent to their racial hatred while pretending it’s all just political.

  231. filistro says:

    @Jonathon… I recall seeing lots of “Kill Bush” signs at rallies during the Bush years.

    “Lots?”

    I’m sorry… I don’t believe that’s true. You would have to provide me with some evidence.. a photo, or a mention in print. (If there were “lots” of such signs, it would surely have been mentioned in commentary.)

  232. Mr. U,

    Absent a reasonable explanation for all this obstruction and the ensuing vitriol, I am unable to discern a viable alternative.

    Many people, including me, predicted something very much like this if Hillary Clinton were to be elected. It seems to me to be much more about hating the “other side” than anything else.

  233. dcpetterson says:

    Now, now, the question was, “is anyone surprised?”

    Anyone who saw the 1984 Presidential debates realized Ronnie was senile. He wandered off into irrelevant stories. He didn’t seem to know where he was. Ronnie’s senility was common talk throughout America, among everyone except Republicans.

  234. dcpetterson says:

    @filistro
    At a time when America is sick to death of blood and violence, near its breakign point, ready and yearning for a different path, Sarah Palin says a “blood libel” has been leveled against her… and the whole country shudders and turns away in revulsion.

    The absolute arrogant gall of this woman, to make herself a victim, when there are six people dead, a US Representative in the hospital fighting for her life, and 13 other people with bullet holes.

    But no, it’s all about Sarah. She’ll find a way to politicize any national tragedy, and to make it about her.

    Despicable and pathetic. But not quite as bad as the people who defend her in these despicable and pathetic acts.

  235. Jonathon says:

    Filistro,

    All I did was Google “kill bush signs”.

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621

  236. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Jonathon,

    May I expect you to address my questions to above? If so, when might that be?

    Thank you

  237. filistro says:

    Well done, Jonathan. I admit that’s a lot more than I expected you to find. 😦

    The fact remains… signs like that in a crowd of people wearing Birkenstocks and carrying backpacks full of Evian and homemade granola are less terrifying, somehow, than similar signs in a crowd of people packing heat.

  238. dcpetterson says:

    Johnathon:
    Is there any evidence that “gun imagery” or Palin’s crosshairs or Angle statement about “second ammendment remedies” has ever led to any violence?

    Let me ask you this. Do you intend this talk to lead to violence? Do you think the people who use this talk are serious about committing violence? Are they serious — or are they intentionally engaging in overblown and dishonest mouth noises?

    Those seem to be the two choices. Either they should be taken seriously (they really are advocating and encouraging violence) — or they should be laughed at (the only way they can feel powerful is to bluster and bellow like spoiled children).

    Which is it? Are they really encouraging us to kill each other? Or are they clowns?

  239. yologuy says:

    Apparently “Playing The Victim” and “Co-Opting The Language Of Religious Persecution For Political Means” are testing high on the Luntz-O-Meter these days…

  240. dcpetterson says:

    @yologuy
    Apparently “Playing The Victim” and “Co-Opting The Language Of Religious Persecution For Political Means” are testing high on the Luntz-O-Meter these days…

    They’re cute, aren’t they? So many on the Right who can’t think their own thoughts, and who can do no more than repeat the noises Luntz and FOX teach them to make with their mouths.

  241. Armchair Warlord says:

    Mr. U,

    Reading the article, the vehicle that sank appeared to be an old AAV7A1, not one of the EFV prototypes. The Huffington Post put a misleading picture in for a caption.

    Max,

    The F-35B is going to be produced in the smallest numbers of the three F-35 variants and has some pretty significant changes and additions from the cheaper A-model. As such it’s projected to cost about twice as much, but it’s a stealth aircraft capable of supersonic speeds that can take off and land vertically on, say, a small amphibious assault ship so it’s probably worth the money you spend.

    The key thing separating the F-35 from legacy fighters is stealth – no legacy fighters are stealthy and it’s an absolute game-changer in combat. The reason that something like two F-22s have been defeated in exercises versus hundreds of other aircraft defeated by them isn’t because the F-22 is fast or maneuverable – it’s because it’s stealthy and as such can engage on its terms. So even if the F-35 is more expensive than the aircraft it replaces (dubious, especially for the A-model) it also largely renders them obsolete.

    Also, the big threat to aircraft at the moment isn’t enemy aircraft – it’s high-performance enemy SAM systems such as the S-300 and S-400. Those will have no problem killing as many legacy fighters as they want without extensive SEAD, but their radars will have a difficult time detecting and attacking stealthy aircraft. That is incidentally why we need new, stealthy strike aircraft – legacy bombers like the B-52 are not survivable when facing modern air defenses and will be forced to carry expensive standoff weapons to remain relevant.

  242. Jonathon says:

    DC Petterson – Which is it? Are they really encouraging us to kill each other? Or are they clowns?

    I don’t think it’s either. Guns and bombs and military terms have been used in American lexicon for hundreds of years. When a football team throws a “bomb” I don’t think they literally are encouraging us to kill each other. And I don’t think they’re clowns either. It’s just terminology.

    If politicians can’t say they’re “targeting” certain districts anymore because “targets” are meant to be shot at and an insane person might take it literally, I just don’t know where we’re headed as a country.

  243. Jonathon says:

    Birdpilot,

    I’m getting ready to watch some football and those are some complicated questions. Can you give me some time?

  244. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    J, By all means

  245. Jean says:

    Jonathon said: Is there any evidence that “gun imagery” or Palin’s crosshairs or Angle statement about “second ammendment remedies” has ever led to any violence? Because if there is evidence that those things have led to violence, shouldn’t we also immediately force Hollywood to ban “gun imagery” and scenes of violence in movies? Same with the video game industry.

    See, Jonathan, you can’t have it both ways. Either words inspire or they don’t. Either imagery inspires or it doesn’t. If Palin honestly felt that that her crosshairs map played no part in this, she would not have taken it off of her site immediately after these events unfolded.

    If you tell people to bear arms, re-load, to use 2nd Amendment remedies, eventually someone is going to do just that. Now, can we draw a straight line from this incident to all of the violent rhetoric spouted by the right? No…. but, is that really an excuse to keep using it? Are we going to wait until we CAN draw a straight line from a crazy’s violent outburst to a Republican candidate or candidates? Doesn’t seem like the best idea. If anything, it should consider a warning. There are unhinged individuals out there and the last thing these unhinged folks need is people in prominent positions egging them on. That’s all the left has been saying from the start. Words do have consequences.

  246. Jonathon says:

    Jean – Words do have consequences.

    Since words cause (or have the possibility of causing) people to kill one another, do you think the government should consider consoring words?

  247. Monotreme says:

    @Jonathon:

    The government already does censor words, in formats like,

    “I’m going to keeeeel you!”

    “Meet my leeeetle friend!”

    “Fire!” when shouted in a crowded theatre.

    And so forth.

    Is there a (fairly broad) range of political and other speech that is unpleasant but does not meet this standard? Yes, and that’s where this kind of speech falls. I think it’s silly to act as though anyone is seriously suggesting censoring such speech.

    Regarding the threats against President Bush that you cite, did any of those come from candidates for public office?

  248. filistro says:

    Jonathon… I don’t think anybody here is advocating for the government to censor speech.

    We are suggesting a bit of judicious self-censoring might be a really good idea.

  249. dcpetterson says:

    Johnathon

    It isn’t a question of censorship. Those who speak in the political public have a right to speak as they chose.

    Others have the right also to point out when that speech consists of overblown and inflammatory rhetoric that adds nothing useful to the national conversation. They can also point out when someone else’s speech interferes with finding solutions to our national problems.

    In the case of much of the speech coming from the Right in the last few years, the effect has been destructive to rational political discourse.

  250. shiloh says:

    I recall seeing lots of “Kill Bush” signs at rallies during the Bush years.

    One of my all-time favorite Bush signs ~ just sayin’

    It was also nice in 2004 when several female adult actresses had their very, very, successful No More Bush! campaign displayin’ the (((highest ideals))) of presidential politics as Kerry should have totally got behind er supported their efforts …

    And yes, as a rule, I’m totally against censorship.

  251. One key to understanding free speech restrictions in the US is to separate the political content from the means of the message. That is, the restrictions must have nothing to do with what is being said, only how it is being said. This is why inciting violence can constitutionally be restricted.

  252. Number Seven says:

    If words and imagery didn’t matter, billions would not be spent on advertising.

  253. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Jonathon,

    I’m still interested in hearing your answers to my questions @ 11:57 yesterday. Hope you are getting close, although I really didn’t see them as “complicated”.

    Thanks

  254. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    STILL waiting for Jonathon to respond to my questions of 11:57 on the 15th. And football games have been over for days now. (@13:26, the 15th)

    Sadly, instead of being an intelligent voice from the right, it seems he was nothing more than a hit-and-run troll, without merit or credibility.

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