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> The Right Wing Megathread, ITT: RM gets to be a partisan hack with reckless abandon
Guest_Research Monkey_*
post Jul 13 2011, 05:52 PM
Post #41





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QUOTE (blondie13 @ Jul 13 2011, 06:25 AM) *
WI politics are so smurfed up right now, I'm really sick of it. :/


This is exactly what Republicans want.
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Guest_VarsityBoy_*
post Jul 13 2011, 06:31 PM
Post #42





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Hey, will check it: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/20...ear-gays/39913/
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Guest_AK_WDB_*
post Jul 14 2011, 02:20 AM
Post #43





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QUOTE (VarsityBoy @ Jul 13 2011, 10:31 AM) *

Michele Bachmann, like many people, has a religious belief that homosexuality is unnatural and a work of Satan. That does not mean she is afraid of gay people, hates gay people, or any of the other accusations routinely made against her and other anti-gay marriage politicians. Now obviously this distinction doesn't matter in terms of policy; if you strongly desire your president to support same-sex marriage, Bachmann is not your candidate.
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Guest_AK_WDB_*
post Jul 14 2011, 02:30 AM
Post #44





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QUOTE (debator @ Jul 13 2011, 06:23 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Jul 13 2011, 07:20 PM) *
homosexuality is unnatural and a work of Satan.

this is a crazy belief. how is this not a crazy belief.

If you actually bothered to read and think about my post for more than five seconds, you would realize that whether or not the belief is "crazy" is completely irrelevant to the point I was trying to make. The point was that believing something you consider crazy is very different from harboring personal animosity toward gay people.

I can't really answer whether it's crazy or not. Clearly in your opinion it is, and I doubt anything I say is going to change that. But I do think a lot of American voters place far too much weight on a candidate's personal views/image and far too little on the policies they'll put in place for the country (and that goes for both parties).
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Guest_tryingtothinkagain_*
post Jul 14 2011, 03:27 AM
Post #45





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QUOTE (debator @ Jul 13 2011, 09:43 PM) *
i can see how you thought i was accusing you of thinking it wasn't crazy, but that really wasn't my intention. i was just hammering home the point that michelle bachmann is a crazy person with crazy beliefs. sorry bout that

su-wing and a miss
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Guest_Research Monkey_*
post Jul 14 2011, 03:41 AM
Post #46





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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Jul 13 2011, 07:20 PM) *
Michele Bachmann, like many people, has a religious belief that homosexuality is unnatural and a work of Satan.


Other commonly held beliefs include a flat earth, a falsified moon landing, Macs can't get viruses, an overweight Buddha, humans evolved from gorillas, that there exists a law of averages, Al Gore invented the Internet, and that you can't get pregnant if you have sex standing up.

There are realms in which everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but in the common reality we all must stipulate on, such a belief is unfounded, and has no place in the public sphere. At best, this claim lacks both falsifiablility and verifiability (which should be damning for any measure of public policy). At worst, it's a slanderous belief against millions of American citizens and decent people, and has absolutely no place in the modern world.

QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Jul 13 2011, 07:20 PM) *
That does not mean she is afraid of gay people


It means she is afraid of the impact that gay people have on families and the greater national culture. That's not fear of gay people, it's prejudice, and it's unacceptable in a public official.

QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Jul 13 2011, 07:20 PM) *
hates gay people


She doesn't hate gay people. Absolutely not. If she hated gay people, she'd campaign on forcing them to wear pink triangles and the construction of gas chambers to send gay people to. She wouldn't ever do that.

Now, I don't think slave owners ever hated their slaves. I don't think FDR ever hated Japanese people when he issued Executive Order 9066. I don't think the Arizona State Legislature hates Mexicans. That doesn't mean that history should absolve any of them for what we understand was a mistake, was prejudicial, and offensive to American values. I don't want to say that a conservative Christian's values are invalid in the same sense that I don't want to say that the morals of all slave owners are invalid. Now, I think that hate is too strong of a word to be used in public discourse (with regard to state-sanctioned activity, at least, hate crimes are another issue), but I understand where a disadvantaged class can feel that is appropriate, when it seems quite clear that the policy being advocated today by individuals like Bachman is prejudiced.
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Guest_Research Monkey_*
post Jul 14 2011, 03:59 AM
Post #47





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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Jul 13 2011, 07:30 PM) *
I can't really answer whether it's crazy or not.


But you can speak to the fact that it's prevalence in public discourse in crazy and that it is such a priority for so many issues is honestly smurfing nuts.

Like I said, it's something that's not verifiable or falsifiable. I understand debator's position in thinking that a belief of something that is neither of those things is entirely insane, and I can respect your insistence on reserving judgement until you have something to help you verify or debunk such a belief. I don't understand how you seem so able to be patient with people who stand up to a microphone, on television, on the radio, and blast us from every angle that this unfalsifiable, unverifiable belief is the one true word of God, the indisputable source of all reality.

QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Jul 13 2011, 07:30 PM) *
But I do think a lot of American voters place far too much weight on a candidate's personal views/image and far too little on the policies they'll put in place for the country (and that goes for both parties).


This is undoubtedly true, and in my opinion, detrimental to our democracy, because I think a lot of those undecided personality voters are the ultimate swing vote. The most unfortunate omission of the general formulation of the median voter assumes symmetrically distributed information, when in reality, I think the median voter just goes out because s/he feels like everyone else is telling them they are supposed to. I think in a lot of cases, elections are decided by people with the least vested interest in it, and accordingly, have invested the least amount of time in making their decision.

Probably also why the one of the only Democrats elected in the last decade and a half with a sack also felt the need to show it all over Twitter: the Democrats seem more than happy to run (what appear to be) nice guys rather good politicians.
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Guest_Widget!_*
post Jul 14 2011, 07:49 AM
Post #48





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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Jul 13 2011, 07:20 PM) *
QUOTE (VarsityBoy @ Jul 13 2011, 10:31 AM) *

Michele Bachmann, like many people, has a religious belief that homosexuality is unnatural and a work of Satan. That does not mean she is afraid of gay people, hates gay people, or any of the other accusations routinely made against her and other anti-gay marriage politicians. Now obviously this distinction doesn't matter in terms of policy; if you strongly desire your president to support same-sex marriage, Bachmann is not your candidate.


Not to conflate horrible prejudice with another horrible prejudice, but all of Michele Bachmann's arguments that gays shouldn't marry are very damn similar to arguments made in the fifties and sixties that blacks and whites shouldn't mingle.

Having extremely narrowminded views on a subject may not necessarily equate to any actual hatred or animosity, but, honestly Will, I find it hard to believe that anyone who outright says gays don't deserve the right to marry has any sort of positive view of gays. That is to say, she may not come right out and say "God hates fags, lol," but she just lets statements like that continue, and she amplifies them by saying that she doesn't think gays deserve the same rights straight people have. You can say that strictly-speaking, a personally-held belief that some type of person doesn't deserve the same rights as another type does not equate to animosity, but in practice, Michele Bachmann is a fag-hating bigot.
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zzzptm
post Jul 14 2011, 04:39 PM
Post #49


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Re FDR and Japanese hatred: There is a substantial body of evidence that FDR had a racist hatred of Japanese.

As for the belief that homosexuality is a sin... Romney has the same belief. The catch is that while he still opposes same-sex marriages on religious grounds, he's a supporter of same-sex civil unions which, I agree, is a semantic band-aid. All the same, as anti-gay-marriage candidates go, there is a clear difference in attitudes towards homosexuals between Romney and Bachmann. Bachmann is more extreme in her views and, frankly, more paranoid - remember the picture of her *spying* on them? The one where she's hunkered down behind a bush?

Clearly, if I was gay and it was a choice between Romney or Bachmann, I'd vote for Obama, which is why I can't understand Log Cabin Republicans.

"Faith is the ability to believe in something you know to be false." - Werner Herzog, Nosferatu

While I don't agree 100% with that definition of faith, it speaks to this point about whether a belief is crazy or not. Technically, all belief is crazy from a purely rational point of view, as is love. So "crazy belief" is redundant.

DECONSTRUCTION FTW!


--------------------
"The world could perish if people only worked on things that were easy to handle." -- Vladimir Savchenko
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Guest_Research Monkey_*
post Jul 14 2011, 10:02 PM
Post #50





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QUOTE (zzzptm @ Jul 14 2011, 09:39 AM) *
"Faith is the ability to believe in something you know to be false." - Werner Herzog, Nosferatu

While I don't agree 100% with that definition of faith, it speaks to this point about whether a belief is crazy or not. Technically, all belief is crazy from a purely rational point of view, as is love. So "crazy belief" is redundant.

DECONSTRUCTION FTW!


That's an interesting point. The legal definition of belief usually incorporates some relevant information that the believing party has knowledge of, but lacks certainty about, and in that sense, I wouldn't call it redundant, but in the context of this discussion, you make a good point.
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Guest_Research Monkey_*
post Jul 20 2011, 09:28 AM
Post #51





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http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/52219...ll-cut.html.csp

Alright, Republicans. I'm willing to compromise, and to a significant degree, I value bipartisanship. How does this sound: I'll accept the Balanced Budget Amendment in exchange for a healthy national defense cut. Over the course of the next five years, we reduce our military spending from 4.7% of GDP to 0.5%, and permanently cap spending there (leaving the 2016 U.S. military with a hefty ~$80 billion to squander).

I'm of the opinion that a balanced budget amendment is grossly irresponsible, unreasonable, and from a demographic perspective, completely ignorant of the reality of the structure of entitlement programs (see: On The Needed Quantity of Government Debt by Prescott and Birkeland). But I really think in this trade, we're being fair. Debt ceiling raise and military cuts in exchange for a balanced budget amendment.

Your move, Eric Can'tor.
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Guest_dizzyizzy_*
post Jul 21 2011, 04:50 AM
Post #52





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troubling.
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zzzptm
post Jul 21 2011, 06:40 AM
Post #53


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While being a smartass earlier today, I found that the original Republicans of Rome overthrew their king and then set up a system that made the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Some things just don't change...

Anyway, enough of my glib cynicism with little real merit. Let us deal with the links recently posted, to wit:

2004 Election: Saw THAT one coming, I did. Electronic voting machines have been rigging elections for quite some time in other nations (most conspicuously, Mexico), so their implementation here in key states made Bush's win in 2004 that much easier. With no audit trail, they were the Madoffs of the election world.

Votes need an audit trail, period. Otherwise, the election is nothing more than an authoritarian lie.

The budget deal: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I think both parties are destroying themselves, the way the Democrats and the Whigs did in the years leading up to 1856, when the Whig party disintegrated into the Know-Nothings (eerily reminiscent of the Tea Party) and the Republicans. The far-right TP group is decoupling from the snooty Old Guard of the GOP and will wreck it. The Democrats aren't making out any better in this deal, as they're going to raise taxes to pay for big bailouts. We may see an as-yet-unformed party take the presidency in 2016.

Here's the straight poop, budget fans: S&P said there needs to be $4 trillion in cuts, or they downgrade US debt. Not $3.75 trillion, FOUR. The plans that have a hope in the Senate all involve lying about the CPI so COLA adjustments so SS, Medicare, and Medicaid are lopped off at the knees. That's fantasyland stuff. The plans that have a hope in the House all involve running and hiding from real issues.

Cutting $4 trillion dollars involves picking up a short stick and poking a very irritable tiger with it - IE, cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Anyone that does that might as well vote to raise taxes, because he won't be back after the 2012 election. Of course, cuts that deep also will condemn the USA to a deeper depression than the one it's in now. The alternative to austerity - the $4 trillion in cuts - is a partial default on debt, which would condemn the USA to a deeper depression than the one it's in now, but with increased likelihood of social revolution than in the deep cuts scenario.

Hey, let's not beat around the bush: Back in 2008, the US Army War College produced a paper about the need to have more readiness for domestic counter-insurgency operations.

Smurf's gettin' real, y'all.


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"The world could perish if people only worked on things that were easy to handle." -- Vladimir Savchenko
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Guest_AK_WDB_*
post Jul 21 2011, 06:49 AM
Post #54





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I'm not really sure it's appropriate or possible to fix the debt problem using conventional "budget cuts". The reason we have a long-term debt crisis is because of entitlement programs, and if these budget cuts don't fundamentally reform those, I don't see how they're going to make much of a dent in the problem. Of course, there have been some proposals that do reform entitlements, although I can't keep track of what all the different proposals have been at this point.

One thing, though: I'm all for austerity measures because I don't want to be paying off this massive debt when I'm 60, but if voters are demanding budget cuts to close the deficit now, they sure as hell better not complain when the short-term economy takes longer to recover. And I suspect many of them will. "You didn't fix the budget deficit and the recession at once, Congress? Well, screw you, we're going to replace you with the other party every two years until you can do that!"
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zzzptm
post Jul 21 2011, 07:17 AM
Post #55


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So you're in favor of starving yourself so a banker can keep his bonus?

Because that's what austerity measures means.

My solution: total debt repudiation, outlawing of lending money at interest, and a constitutional convention - in that order.

While one would think that special interests would torpedo hope of reform at the convention, the first two things happening would torpedo a good number of the special interests, keeping them out of said convention.

I know my solution has zero chance of happening, but that it's also the right thing to do if we truly want the USA to be a land of equality, freedom, and justice. You let loans in, and those three things are on their way out.

Banks really are a greater threat to democracy than standing armies.


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"The world could perish if people only worked on things that were easy to handle." -- Vladimir Savchenko
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Guest_AK_WDB_*
post Jul 21 2011, 07:58 AM
Post #56





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I don't know how to respond to that. Maybe I'll let RM do it.
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Guest_Research Monkey_*
post Jul 21 2011, 08:41 AM
Post #57





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QUOTE (zzzptm @ Jul 20 2011, 11:40 PM) *
I think both parties are destroying themselves, the way the Democrats and the Whigs did in the years leading up to 1856, when the Whig party disintegrated into the Know-Nothings (eerily reminiscent of the Tea Party) and the Republicans. The far-right TP group is decoupling from the snooty Old Guard of the GOP and will wreck it. The Democrats aren't making out any better in this deal, as they're going to raise taxes to pay for big bailouts. We may see an as-yet-unformed party take the presidency in 2016.


I wouldn't speak out against your prophecy of a serious restructuring by 2016, but understand I'm a bit skeptical. Stranger things have happened.

QUOTE (zzzptm @ Jul 20 2011, 11:40 PM) *
Here's the straight poop, budget fans: S&P said there needs to be $4 trillion in cuts, or they downgrade US debt. Not $3.75 trillion, FOUR. The plans that have a hope in the Senate all involve lying about the CPI so COLA adjustments so SS, Medicare, and Medicaid are lopped off at the knees. That's fantasyland stuff. The plans that have a hope in the House all involve running and hiding from real issues.


The shift to chained CPI should have been done a long time ago, I have no qualms about that.

Now, the heart of the matter here is that unlike meeting debt obligations, credit ratings aren't clear cut. They're shades of gray based on feel, and honestly, I don't think that S&P, Fitch, or Moody's is going to flip out and downgrade us (unless, of course, we default). And even if they do, I don't think the repercussions on investor confidence will be all the significant. I think the closing of tax loopholes are huge, and I actually think a plan like this will address the spending issue (in part), the revenue issue (in part), and will lower MTRs and hopefully boost employment, further helping revenue.

QUOTE (zzzptm @ Jul 21 2011, 12:17 AM) *
So you're in favor of starving yourself so a banker can keep his bonus?


On principle, absolutely not. But, consider the real implications of your rhetorical question. From our perspective, we're closer to being bankers than we are to being on Medicaid.

This post has been edited by Research Monkey: Jul 21 2011, 08:46 AM
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Guest_Research Monkey_*
post Jul 21 2011, 09:21 AM
Post #58





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QUOTE (zzzptm @ Jul 21 2011, 12:17 AM) *
My solution: total debt repudiation, outlawing of lending money at interest, and a constitutional convention - in that order.

While one would think that special interests would torpedo hope of reform at the convention, the first two things happening would torpedo a good number of the special interests, keeping them out of said convention.

I know my solution has zero chance of happening, but that it's also the right thing to do if we truly want the USA to be a land of equality, freedom, and justice. You let loans in, and those three things are on their way out.


Zzzptm, this is actually an idea I can sympathize with, and one that I could go along with, were one singular condition of our model satisfied. All that we need to make this work is for all of us to live forever.

It's a wonderfully utopian idea, but why it cant work has nothing to do with political will, special interests, corruption, or anything else tangible like that. Your idea fundamentally misunderstands the concept of interest. Interest isn't about greed, it isn't about gambling with other people's money, it isn't about ensuring fat cats can buy a second yacht. Now, I don't mean to pick on you here, because the concept of interest is always presented as being greedy, or "rationally self-serving" or something else that tries to justify taking advantage of others. Most people, from Thomas Aquinas and every Muslim scholar ever to most bankers, fundamentally misunderstand the fundamental principle of interest. I'll try and explain this two ways:

ECONOMICS VERSION: In the construction of a dynamic stochastic model, we generally are forced to compromise in how to model individuals in a model because it's often implausible to utilize continuous time models. So, when considering a standard, discrete time GE model with individuals being the primary actors, we have various things to consider, one of which is how many time periods the individual will live. In essence, the existence of an individual is like the iteration of a game with a probability (though realistically not a fixed one, the probability fluctuates obviously with age, health, and other factors, but this is a model) with a set chance that the game will end. Understanding that probability that the game ends (i.e. the individual dies) allows us to call that ratio a discount factor, and determine from that discount factor whether or not loaning money would be in our best interests, namely, if the rate of interest we charge is greater or equal to the discount rate. So, as the number of iterations increases, necessarily the probability of the game ending approaches one, emphasizing the reality that our time endowments are finite, and honestly, too short. So, interest rates reflect the uncertainty of our very existence, and the unpredictable nature of the human element of the random system.

LAY (TLDR) VERSION: People die. The reason a dollar now isn't worth a dollar a year from now is because I might die. I might find I have lung cancer, I might get hit by a car, etc., and all people are taking on some risk in loaning out or investing their money accordingly. Interest rates are the market's reaction to the fact that we don't have an infinite amount of time on this Earth. If you're 95, are you going to keep investing all of your money? No, you don't have much time left, and you won't get a rate sufficient to convince you to avoiding spending on yourself now. The interest rate isn't incentive enough to take on the risk of not being alive in a year.

If you can help me live forever, then I will absolutely support the abolition of interest rates. Otherwise, we're ignoring the reality of our circumstances as human beings.

This post has been edited by Research Monkey: Jul 21 2011, 09:24 AM
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Guest_VarsityBoy_*
post Jul 21 2011, 04:21 PM
Post #59





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QUOTE (zzzptm @ Jul 20 2011, 11:40 PM) *
Here's the straight poop, budget fans: S&P said there needs to be $4 trillion in cuts, or they downgrade US debt. Not $3.75 trillion, FOUR. The plans that have a hope in the Senate all involve lying about the CPI so COLA adjustments so SS, Medicare, and Medicaid are lopped off at the knees. That's fantasyland stuff. The plans that have a hope in the House all involve running and hiding from real issues.


A. We're talking about the same S&P that labeled those "financial instruments" (i.e. buckets of risky debt) as AA grade bonds?

B. how the eff am I suppose to be a fat cat if you've outlawed fatcattery?
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Guest_Research Monkey_*
post Jul 21 2011, 05:40 PM
Post #60





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There were actually CDOs that were AAA rated, which is pretty hilarious.

I dunno how much of the mistakes relating to credit rating are due to the ineptitude of agencies like S&P, when I think their ratings may have reflected how suddenly the world went into economic freefall in 2007-2008. Those buckets-o-risk were absolutely more risky than we realized, but at the same time, the risk on those assets would have been substantially lessened, were it not for an unforeseen (though perhaps not unforeseeable) exogenous shock to credit availability.

QUOTE (VarsityBoy @ Jul 21 2011, 09:21 AM) *
how the eff am I suppose to be a fat cat if you've outlawed fatcattery?


Black market, medical grade feline obesity supplements.
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