Patterico's Pontifications

7/5/2008

DRJ and Levi Debate Obama and Wright

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:04 pm

[UPDATE: You can follow the debate itself at this page.]

I’m finally getting around to setting up the debate between DRJ and Levi on the issue of Barack Obama and the significance of Jeremiah Wright’s statements.

For those of you who don’t obsessively follow the comments, here’s the deal. We have a relatively new liberal commenter named Levi and a long-time conservative commenter named DRJ. Levi tends to berate Republicans because, like many liberals, he is convinced that our policies have had disastrous effects, and that liberal policies would have been far better. He feels quite self-righteous about this view, and consequently feels perfectly justified in berating us Republicans for continuing to advocate our policies.

In a comment thread about Tim Russert’s death, in which Levi was typically alienating a number of commenters by calling the Republican position on various issues “stupid,” my very patient commenter DRJ said:

Patterico has repeatedly asked commenters to state in fair and accurate terms the arguments of their opponents. That’s the basis for discussion – where you show you understand the other person’s argument without mischaracterizing or demonizing it. I’m willing to do that with you. Are you willing to do that with me? I haven’t seen it so far.

A challenge arose: could Levi 1) fairly state DRJ’s position on any given issue, to her satisfaction, and 2) civilly debate that issue without insults, ad hominems, or mischaracterizations of position?

If Levi could meet goal #1, I would PayPal him 10 dollars. If Levi wanted to go double or nothing, he could attempt to comply with goal #2. If he succeeds, I will PayPal him 20 dollars. As consideration for her participation, DRJ gets the right, in her sole judgment, to ban Levi from this blog for a period of 10 days. (In fact, I will grant her the greater freedom to ban him for as long as she wants.)

In our previous post, we managed to meet goal #1. We got Levi and DRJ to state each other’s positions on a particular issue to each other’s satisfaction. The issue was the significance of Rev. Wright’s statements to the candidacy of Barack Obama. It took well over 300 comments to get there, but we got there.

This post represents the double or nothing.

Levi will be defending this position:

THE LIBERAL POSITION: DEFENDED BY LEVI

Liberals believe that Jeremiah Wright’s statements are irrelevant because Barack Obama is not responsible for statements other people make. The overwhelming national support for Barack Obama, extensive anti-Bush sentiment, and McCain’s lackluster support from his base make it virtually impossible for the GOP to win this election so conservatives are willing to do or say anything to win, including exploiting racism.

DRJ expressed the liberal position here. In this comment, Levi stated that this quote fairly encapsulates his own position.

DRJ will be defending this position:

THE CONSERVATIVE POSITION, DEFENDED BY DRJ

Republicans believe that Jeremiah Wright is racist and un-American, and they evidence this with statements excerpted from his sermons such as ‘God Damn America’ and ‘America’s chickens coming home to roost,’ as well as Wright’s church’s citing of David Cone’s black liberation theology as one of their core philosophies. Further, they believe that due to the fact that Barack Obama attended Wright’s church for 20 years, was married there, and had his kids baptized there, there is a fatal flaw in Barack Obama’s judgment that would permeate through his potential Presidency and do great damage to the country, and that Obama might very well be as racist and un-American as Rev. Wright.

Levi expressed that conservative position here. In this comment, DRJ stated that this quote fairly encapsulates her own position.

Here are the ground rules. I’m adding to the rules, so if Levi decides this is too tough, he can bow out ignominiously now and simply collect his ten dollars. I will be the sole judge of whether the rules have been met.

  • Each side will be required to debate the above propositions, without insults, for at least ten substantive, meaningful comments each.
  • In order to win, each side must muster at least ten comments that each assert, with a link, at least one fact that is meaningful and relevant to the proposition being debated.

    The asserted fact must be supported by a link to reliable source material. The source material must support the assertion made in the comment. Not every comment must follow this rule, but you must achieve at least ten comments that do. Once you achieve this ten times, you are free to continue the debate without following this rule.

  • No distortions of the other person’s position.

    If, at any time, one party misstates the other’s position, the party whose position has been misstated can (and should) suspend the contest by saying: “That’s not my argument.” Then, they should explain what their argument is. At that point, the other party is required to restate the argument in their own words, in terms satisfactory to the person claiming their argument was distorted. The contest is suspended during this period of time, and comments made during a “That’s not my argument” period do not count towards the ten comments. The party who is accused of misstating the argument may not whine, or try to argue that he or she really did state the other person’s position fairly. I will monitor the thread for any indication of bad faith.

  • Heckling by onlookers is permitted.
  • No insults permitted by DRJ or Levi — towards ANYONE — for the pendency of this thread.

    Yes, that means that people can heckle you and you can’t heckle back. Life is tough.

  • I reserve the right to modify or add to these rules, in my sole discretion, during the contest, to respond to unforeseen problems.

If Levi manages to comply with all of the rules for 10 substantive comments per side, I will PayPal him 20 cool dollars in cash.

Let the contest begin. DRJ, Levi: in your first comment, please say: “I accept these rules” before moving on to your comment.

UPDATE: Dana R. Pico has made an excellent suggestion: that I create a separate page for the debate so that readers can follow it without wading through the comments. I have done so here. I will add their comments to that page as the comments come in, and as I have time. During weekdays, the updating will occur only during mornings and evenings.

594 Responses to “DRJ and Levi Debate Obama and Wright”

  1. Heckling by onlookers is permitted.

    Oh, this ought to be fun… 8)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  2. “like many liberals, he is convinced that our policies have had disastrous effects”

    It’s much more than that unless you feel 75% of the country is liberal.

    I don’t know what description you would use to describe the GOP policy results but “disastrous” is a darn good one. Maybe “catastrophic”?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  3. How’s the hangover?

    Patterico (cb443b)

  4. I don’t know what description you would use to describe the GOP policy results

    Let’s see…

    An economy that has been steadily growing, at least two terrorist-supporting nations liberated with democratically-elected governments, no attacks for almost seven years, taxes lower and tax revenues higher than ever before, yadda yadda yadda…

    No wonder the Democrats think things suck. All this happened under a Republican President.

    If it had been a Democrat, they would be bleating about these things at the top of their lungs.

    How’s the hangover?

    You can’t get a hangover if you stay drunk.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  5. I accept these rules.

    Levi,

    I won’t waste any more time explaining why I think Jeremiah Wright is hate-filled and anti-American. I already made you suffer for 100+ comments as I searched for reasons other than racism and hate to explain Wright’s statement and, as you know, I couldn’t find any. Thus, the remaining issue is: What does Obama’s long-term, close relationship with Jeremiah Wright, a person who publicly espouses racism and hate, say about Barack Obama?

    You think it means nothing and, as you know, I disagree so let’s consider the facts: Barack Obama was a member of Wright’s church for 20 years. Over the years, Obama credited Wright with his commitment to Christianity and repeatedly identified Wright as his spiritual mentor and moral compass. Wright officiated at Obama’s marriage and baptized his children. In addition, Obama chose Wright to pray with him as he began his Presidential campaign and named Wright to a formal role in his Presidential campaign.

    Religion, marriage, children, and career are the most important elements of an adult’s life and it’s impossible to believe that Barack Obama repeatedly and exclusively chose Jeremiah Wright to participate in those moments while remaining ignorant about Wright’s core beliefs. It’s equally impossible to believe that Obama was unaware of the enthusiastic response Wright’s message received from the members of their church congregation. Bill Bennett in an NRO article viewed it this way:

    “It strained credulity to believe Obama was unaware of Wright’s previous rants — especially after a 20-year membership in Wright’s church, especially when in February of last year Obama asked Wright not to attend his campaign announcement because of he “could get kind of rough in sermons,” and especially when his church’s magazine honored on its front cover such a man as Louis Farrakhan. Nonetheless, once he ceased being a political asset and turned into a political liability, Obama dumped him.”

    Perhaps Obama supported Wright for 20+ years because it helped Obama further his political and personal ambitions. Or maybe Wright is more of a soulmate, someone who shares the same message, values and goals. Obama’s persistent focus that Republicans like to “mention he’s black” suggest Obama agrees with Wright’s poor opinion of white America.

    As you know, Obama initially refused to disavow Jeremiah Wright or his message, and he only condemned Wright when political expediency required that he do so. At that point, even Jeremiah Wright admitted that he knew Obama had to distance himself because “If Senator Obama didn’t say what he said, he’d never be elected.”

    It’s politics, not a rejection of hate, that made Obama disavow Wright and his message. How does that make you feel about your candidate?

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  6. How is ‘reliable source material’ defined? There should probably be some guidelines on this, because liberals and conservatives often have different views of what media are reliable.

    aphrael (12fba5)

  7. How’s the hangover?

    Comment by Patterico — 7/5/2008 @ 12:28 pm

    Feeling fine and thanks for asking.

    Believe it or not I really wasn’t that tanked.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  8. Believe it or not I really wasn’t that tanked.

    So you admit to having no excuse for your reprehensible behavior last night?

    Interesting….

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  9. “at least two terrorist-supporting nations liberated with democratically-elected governments,”

    So we can stop spending the $12 billion a month now and bring everyone home?

    “no attacks for almost seven years”

    No terror attacks since Bush ignored the warnings and allowed the worst terror attack in US histroy taxes

    “lower and tax revenues higher than ever before,”

    And it only added $4 trillion to our debt. That we now have to pay back along with $200 billion in annual interest.

    And 145 dollar per barrel of oil, dollar at all time lows, record home foreclosues, skyrocketing food and energy prices, unprecedented credit disaster.

    Yeah, a real succes.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  10. “So you admit to having no excuse for your reprehensible behavior last night?”

    If your asking if I meant what I said, yeah, I did.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  11. Aphrael,

    Good point.

    With the exception of the Bill Bennett link (which I included for his opinion, not facts), in my first comment I used the following sources: the Chicago Tribune, the Politico, Yahoo News, and US News. I intend to use similar major media sources in future comments.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  12. jharp, we missed you at the Obama and the Partial-Birth Abortion thread.

    Dana (416b2c)

  13. “GOP policies have had disastrous results”

    Which party is against exploitation of domestic oil resources, building new nuclear power plants and refineries? Or wishing for govt. takeover of oil industry and/or windfall profits taxes.

    Which party’s media minions and fucntionaries at state and cia revel in revealing national security secrets that give aid and comfort to the enemy? Which same party calls for grabbing defeat in Iraq while on the brink of success?

    Which party thinks in terms of obstructing any of Bush administrations policies even though said obstruction it bad for the country? And is obsessed with articles of impeachment against said Prez for wiping his ass with the constitution? Hint: my own cretinous congressman wexler and space cadet Kuchinich are still stirrng the pot).

    Which party wants to hand over leadership of the free world to the inexperienced flip flopper neo-marxist urkel o!bama?

    Which party regrets that there have been no domestic terror attacks since 9/11? Or claims threat of Islamofascism is merely a ploy to get poor Indianans to vote rich?

    madmax333 (1ad2c0)

  14. So we can stop spending the $12 billion a month now and bring everyone home?

    Yeah, because that worked so well in Germany, Japan and South Korea, as opposed to that indefinite occupation in Vietnam (the Worker’s Paradise).

    Oh, wait, I have that backwards – it was because we STAYED in Germany, Japan and South Korea that they became such economic powerhouses under freely elected-governments and because we ran away in Vietnam that they are eating tree bark and shoe leather soup under an extremely oppressive government.

    You want to tell us about historical examples of sticking around to help versus running away in shame?

    No terror attacks since Bush ignored the warnings

    The warning which consisted of “Osama bin Laden intends to strike at US interests” and “terrorists want to hijack a plane”?

    Wow. Since you say Bush is such a moron, he should have been easily able to take those vague hints and piece together the exact identities of the 19 hijackers, ignoring the “Gorelick wall” restrictions on sharing intelligence data with law enforcement agencies, PLUS be able to know that the hijackings would be not the normal hijackings that terrorists have continually carried out, but to turn the planes into guided missiles aimed at large building in population centers, something no one had ever done before.

    Amazing how we could have avoided the whole thing if Clinton had taken custody of bin Laden when the Sudanese offered him up on a platter, though, innit?

    Liar.

    And it only added $4 trillion to our debt.

    Miss the “higher tax revenues” part, didja?

    And 145 dollar per barrel of oil, dollar at all time lows, record home foreclosues, skyrocketing food and energy prices, unprecedented credit disaster.

    All happening in the last two years, beginning with the advent of the new Democratic Congress, following a six year period of NONE of that happening. Just an amazing coincidence, no doubt…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  15. #9 I suppose THE University of Ohio doesn’t teach the difference between your and you’re? Just for future reference because you keep calling other people stupid and revel in ad hominem attacks. One might think a Super knowledgeable Liberal would have English, Economics and assorted other intellectual jetsam and flotsam down pat before pointing out the ignorance of others.

    madmax333 (1ad2c0)

  16. “So we can stop spending the $12 billion a month now and bring everyone home?”

    Yeah, let them eat dictatorships, queenie.

    The ‘slurification’ of the word ‘liberal’ really is an own goal.

    Yeah Right (cc1676)

  17. And it only added $4 trillion to our debt.

    Oh, bullshit. I just did the math.

    According to the World Almanac, the National Debt has only increased by roughly 1.6 trillion (2001-07).

    You are more than doubling the actual amount.

    Repeating this assertion after have been told the facts is a lie.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  18. If your asking if I meant what I said, yeah, I did.

    So the apology was yet another lie.

    Why am I not surprised?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  19. DRJ, does Yahoo news do any news gathering of its own, or are they an aggregator? I thought they were primarily an aggregator of (UPI/AP/Reuters/other) sources.

    aphrael (12fba5)

  20. “If your asking if I meant what I said, yeah, I did.”

    So the apology was yet another lie.

    I was not aware that I had apologized and just went back and read the thread again and didn’t see it.

    Please help.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  21. Aphrael,

    I think you’re right that Yahoo uses other sources. In this case, it is Reuters.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  22. Looking forward to following the debate. A couple of the recent lengthy threads have had some belly laughs embedded in them. Unintentional ones, of course (the best kind). Maybe flamethrower-wielders in this thread should beware, lest they find themselves having to repeat DRJ’s words in #17, or pulling a Brave Sir Robin.

    DRJ, that link was for your use, should you only be able to muster nine. Levi, make free use of it as well.

    AMac (242f49)

  23. #

    And it only added $4 trillion to our debt.

    Oh, bullshit. I just did the math.

    According to the World Almanac, the National Debt has only increased by roughly 1.6 trillion (2001-07).

    You are more than doubling the actual amount.

    Repeating this assertion after have been told the facts is a lie.

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 1:03 pm

    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/NPGateway

    National Debt under George Bush.

    01/18/2001 5,725,695,166,475.90
    07/02/2008 9,473,062,472,197.15

    jharp (00ec6a)

  24. I’m curious – has Levi been notified of this other than as a blog entry? That is, did he respond to an e-mail or something?

    I’d hate to see DRJ waste her time while Levi doesn’t respond because he never agreed.

    Or, perhaps, they both agreed in e-mail and now we are waiting for them to respond publicly.

    steve miller (724340)

  25. “Wow. Since you say Bush is such a moron”

    I’m not so sure he is moron.

    It very well might have been the plan all along.

    Oil companies and defense contractors, W’s biggest supporters, are profiting immensely.

    And the tax cuts have gone to the wealthiest Americans.

    And all at the expense of the middle class.

    And the rednecks cheer.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  26. Anyway, it’d be nice to see a more carefully constructed debate between Levi and DRJ.

    steve miller (724340)

  27. I don’t know if it was planned or accidental, but the rewards of this competition are interesting!

    If the liberal viewpoint wins we line his pocket with cash. If the conservative argument triumphs, we’ll see a ban of members. And a sanction of their rights. (That’s global politics in action, just for a simple debate.)

    So now a conservative blog has done more to bridge the ideology gap than has the organzier… the Uniter… the magician/carny out of Chicago.

    Let the debates begin. And water for both speakers.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  28. Will Levi be wearing a flag pin on his lapel? 😉

    steve miller (724340)

  29. AMac,

    Great link. I love Monty Python & the Holy Grail and this was one of my favorite parts.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  30. I was not aware that I had apologized and just went back and read the thread again and didn’t see it.

    Please help.

    You’re right. Your actual words from that thread were:

    jharp:

    Indeed you risk banning with language like that. I’ll cut you some slack and assume you were drunk on this July 4th. Consider this a warning.

    Comment by Patterico — 7/4/2008 @ 9:55 pm

    Whatever you have to do, please do. I don’t want to jeopardize your business.

    And yes I’ve been in the beer and Vermonter pissed me off.

    Warning is acknowledged. And I like posting here and appreciate your offering.

    Cheers. And good health to you and your family.

    Comment by jharp — 7/4/2008 @ 10:00 pm

    So, you:

    a) acknowledged your offensive verbiage;
    b) expressed contrition; and,
    c) offered extenuating circumstances.

    But you never actually said the word “apology” (or any variant).

    Correction noted.

    However, so far you have:

    a) admitted that you meant exactly what you said;
    b) denied that you had apologized for it; and,
    c) denied that there were any extenuating circumstances.

    That makes you a liar in one of the two threads, and offensive in both.

    I wonder what Patterico might think about this update…

    Gee, I wonder what

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  31. Steve Miller,

    I think Patrick emailed both Levi and me after he put the post up but I didn’t have any advance notice because I came here before I checked my emails. (What a faithful reader I am!)

    I appreciate your concern but whatever Levi decides is fine with me. I will benefit from thinking about this topic even if we don’t have the debate.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  32. Thanks, DRJ.

    I want to believe the best about Levi. I hope he does show up.

    steve miller (724340)

  33. Levi may be searching for his dog.

    Old Coot (85f458)

  34. And the tax cuts have gone to the wealthiest Americans.

    You mean the ones who actually pay the taxes, right? The top 5% of wage earners pay as much tax as the bottom 95%, and the bottom 50% pays no income tax at all.

    How would you give a tax cut to someone with a tax burden of $0.00?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  35. Might I suggest that the only way in which this idea would be workable is for our esteemed host to give Levi original posting access, and for Levi and DRJ to conduct said debate on as individual page rather than normal post? WordPress certainly allows this, though our host would be unable to limit the access of either to that single post or page; he would have to trust in their senses of honor.

    This would give Levi and DRJ the opportunity to verbally fence with each other in the form of updates to the main post, rather than have their comments swarmed upon, and possibly overwhelmed by, a multitude of commenters.

    Dana R Pico (556f76)

  36. Dana,

    Thanks for the idea.

    I will create a page and — when I have time — I will personally transfer their comments to that page.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  37. “You mean the ones who actually pay the taxes, right? The top 5% of wage earners pay as much tax as the bottom 95%,”

    Did ya ever think it might be because the top 5% earn as much as the bottom 95%.

    Warren Buffett paid 17% on his $46 million income
    His secretary paid 30% on her $60 thousand income

    And the redneck dittoheads cheer.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  38. aphrael:

    I’ll be very “liberal” about what constitutes a reliable source.

    All:

    See the update. I have created a new page for the debate itself. Also, I e-mailed both Levi and DRJ about this so that they would be aware that the contest has started.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  39. So, you:

    a) acknowledged your offensive verbiage;
    b) expressed contrition; and,
    c) offered extenuating circumstances.

    But you never actually said the word “apology” (or any variant).

    Correction noted.

    However, so far you have:

    a) admitted that you meant exactly what you said;
    b) denied that you had apologized for it; and,
    c) denied that there were any extenuating circumstances.

    That makes you a liar in one of the two threads, and offensive in both.

    Drum,

    What the hell are you talking about?

    Where did I deny there were any extenuating circumstances?

    Go read the posts and shut up.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  40. Warren Buffett paid 17% on his $46 million income
    His secretary paid 30% on her $60 thousand income

    Let’s rephrase this, shall we? Accepting your UTTERLY UNSUPPORTED ASSERTIONS at their face value, and strictly for the sake of the argument…

    Warren Buffett paid $7.82 million in taxes.
    His secretary paid $18,000.

    And the liberals whine that neither is paying enough.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  41. Where did I deny there were any extenuating circumstances?

    “Believe it or not I really wasn’t that tanked.”

    So no alcoholic haze to excuse your words. No extenuation for your words.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  42. b) expressed contrition; and,

    While you’re at it please explain.

    If somehow you felt I expressed contrition I didn’t intend it to be taken that way.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  43. “Believe it or not I really wasn’t that tanked.”

    And that is the truth. Yes I had been in the beer and I wasn’t that tanked.

    Pretty simple.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  44. Warren Buffett paid $7.82 million in taxes.
    His secretary paid $18,000.

    And it still wasn’t enough to pay for W’s war and other spending.

    So where do you propose we come up with the dough to pay our bills?

    Or do we just do the GOP way? Pass it to our children? Plus interest.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  45. “Believe it or not I really wasn’t that tanked.”

    Well, of course – you just normally talk that way, sweetheart. A wonderful human being, what with all those “bullets” you have for your “guns.”

    I’m up for another offer on the table – we all agree to chip in and pay Levi $100 if he can prove the following:

    – that he has two friends who are not related to him by birth (people he owes money to don’t count as “friends, either).

    – that he has an actual paying job that doesn’t involve playing virtual life as the character of “Mother Gaia;”

    – that unfamiliar dogs don’t immediately bark and snarl at him when passing him by in the street;

    – that he doesn’t work at a gov’t funded institution, and has actually worked in the private sector;

    – he lives in an area that’s not completely under ground level;

    – he proves that his preferred choice of headwear does not consist of substances containing aluminum and/or mercury.

    Deal?

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  46. b) expressed contrition; and,

    While you’re at it please explain.

    Why? You have already denied you did so, despite your earlier comment I quoted and linked. (More facts you are deliberately ignoring.)

    No contrition. No apology. We get it. You were deliberately offensive and insulting for no reason, you’re not sorry for having done so, and admit that you did so knowingly and intentionally.

    Like I said, I wonder what Patterico might think.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  47. “Oil companies and defense contractors, W’s biggest supporters”

    jharp – Do you have support for this statement? I know it passes for conventional wisdom on the left, but that usually means it is wrong.

    You have a bad habit of throwing out unsubstantiated garbage on this blog.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  48. “No contrition. No apology. We get it. You were deliberately offensive and insulting for no reason, you’re not sorry for having done so, and admit that you did so knowingly and intentionally.”

    Bingo, now you’ve got it.

    Except it was for a reason.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  49. Patterico,

    I like Dana’s idea of a separate page for the debate. If this goes forward, do Levi and I put out comments on this original thread or on the new one?

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  50. Except it was for a reason.

    So what? You denied that there were any extenuating circumstances, and now you’re trying to claim an extenuating circumstance?

    So which is it? Were you lying then or are you lying now?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  51. DRJ – When your demolition of Levi gets too lopsided, I suggest that you exercise your priveleges as co-blogger here (if Patterico agrees) to substitute Mary Katherine Day-Petrano in your role. It doesn’t really matter what happens after that point, but I can pretty much guarantee it will be damn entertaining.

    She claims to be a Republican, among other things.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  52. “jharp – Do you have support for this statement? I know it passes for conventional wisdom on the left, but that usually means it is wrong.”

    http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/347/oil-politics.html

    During his first month in office, President George W. Bush appointed Vice President Dick Cheney to head a task force charged with developing the country’s energy policy. The group, which conducted its meetings in secret, relied on the recommendations of Big Oil behemoths Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Shell Oil, BP America and Chevron. It would be the first of many moves to come during the Bush administration that would position oil and gas companies well ahead of other energy interests with billions of dollars in subsidies and tax cuts—payback for an industry with strong ties to the administration and plenty of money to contribute to congressional and presidential campaigns.

    During the time that Bush and Cheney, both of whom are former oil executives, have been in the White House, the oil and gas industry has spent $393.2 million on lobbying the federal government. This places the industry among the top nine in lobbying expenditures. The industry has also contributed a substantial $82.1 million to federal candidates, parties and political action committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 80 percent of the industry’s contributions have gone to Republicans.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  53. I am tired of this “anyone who does not agree with me is a redneck” shit.

    JD (5f0e11)

  54. The group, which conducted its meetings in secret,

    As opposed to having as many media members in the room as committee members…

    relied on the recommendations of Big Oil behemoths Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Shell Oil, BP America and Chevron.

    Instead of such energy leaders as The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, ZeePeeGee, the Kyoto protocol advocates and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers?

    During the time that Bush and Cheney, both of whom are former oil executives, have been in the White House, the oil and gas industry has spent $393.2 million on lobbying the federal government.

    How much did the industry spend on lobbying Congress? Or the Clinton White House?

    This places the industry among the top nine in lobbying expenditures.

    Behind what other eight industries? Let’s see…

    Food, entertainment, trial lawyers, pharmacological, unions, etc., etc….

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  55. Harpy throws up some garbage from that well – known paragon of journalism, Bill Moyers??!!!! That’s flat – out hilarious, he sources a guy who’s been on the payroll of George Soros for most of his career:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Public_Integrity#Funding_from_Bill_Moyers_and_the_Schumann_Foundation

    Do you even read what you’re sourcing, Harpy? Reading = Comprehension; but in your case it’s more akin to Reading = Asshattery.

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  56. jharp – Your 52 does not prove your point. Try again.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  57. A good link is http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/mems.php

    It isn’t until you hit 14th place (Leadership PACs) that a Republican first appears as the highest recipient, and the same before an industry is goving more to Republican than Democrats (58%-42%).

    Not until 17th place do you get the first appearance of John McCain.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  58. daley – A debate between the Petranos Esp and all of their personalities would be priceless.

    jharpy is trying quickly to surpass semenkkkleo and Wranglers as the most annoying Leftists around here.

    JD (5f0e11)

  59. BTW, the sources I used were both lefty – oriented news outlets: both the Center for Public Integrity and the Seattle Times. You’re a big sack of stupid, Harpy.

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  60. All of that posting by harpy, even if true, does not support his assertion that oil and defense were the biggest financial supporters.

    JD (5f0e11)

  61. JD – You missed the point. The idea would be since since she is such a nice person to have DRJ excuse herself because she was annihilating Levi to save him from further embarrassment and to switch in MKDP.

    Levi vs. MKDP, a clash of the titans.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  62. Cheney’s Halliburton Profits Rise As Oil Climbs to Record Highs
    April 22, 2008 · No http://aftermathnews.wordpress.com/2008/04/22/cheney%E2%80%99s-halliburton-profits-rise-as-oil-climbs-to-record-highs/

    Bloomberg | Apr 21, 2008

    By Jim Kennett

    April 21 (Bloomberg) — Halliburton Co., the world’s second-largest oilfield contractor, said profit rose 5.8 percent after crude topped $100 a barrel, prompting producers to increase spending on Middle East and Latin American projects.

    First-quarter net income climbed to $584 million, or 64 cents a share, from $552 million, or 54 cents, a year earlier, the Houston-based company said today in a statement.

    The number of drilling rigs active outside North America rose 6.5 percent as New York oil futures traded 68 percent higher than a year earlier. Revenue jumped 18 percent to $4.03 billion as sales gains outside North America made up for pricing pressures in the U.S., Halliburton said.

    “The story with Halliburton is international, and the international story is supported by sharply higher oil prices,” said Gene Pisasale, who helps oversee $25 billion in assets, including about 682,000 Halliburton shares, at PNC Capital Advisors in Baltimore. “That bodes well for international exploration, much of which is oil-oriented.”

    jharp (00ec6a)

  63. harpy – Stop posting garbage that’s irrelevant.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  64. Cheney’s Halliburton Profits Rise As Oil Climbs to Record Highs

    And he is responsible for this how again?

    Who was President when Halliburton first got that contract from the US Government? Who was President when it was renewed?

    You also have no idea what a Blind Trust is, either.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  65. Which one of you George Bush excuse makers wants to tackle this one?

    Warren Buffett paid $7.82 million in taxes.
    His secretary paid $18,000.

    And it still wasn’t enough to pay for W’s war and other spending.

    So where do you propose we come up with the dough to pay our bills?

    Or do we just do the GOP way? Pass it to our children? Plus interest.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  66. Not to mention the fact that harpie wants someone in as President who has absolutely no idea how to run a business, much less at a profit.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  67. Tax question boils down to dollars invested vs. dollars paid to government and then redistributed.

    Even the most liberal districts and municipalities around the US offer tax free bonds to attract investors.

    I think offering people like Buffet incentives to sustain their investments is prudent fiscal policy.
    Millions or billions that remain invested provide working capital needed to spur production, innovation and create and sustain jobs.

    People who are wealthy put money to work every day. It isn’t like they keep their billions in the basement.
    I know a few thousand people around here who make an honest living from the after tax income spending of the richest of the rich.
    The wealthy redistribute dollars very efficiently if the paychecks I’ve seen are any indicator

    SteveG (963c44)

  68. So where do you propose we come up with the dough to pay our bills?

    I could come up with a way to eliminate a third of the Federal Budget – eliminate welfare and Medicare and Social Security payments.

    Cut out the Federal Dept of Education, and most of HHS, and you’re down to half.

    Cut 100% of earmarks and that’s several hundred billion more.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  69. My point is defense contractors and oil companies are profiting immensely from the policies of George Bush.

    Someone had posted that I thought W was a moron.

    I said I wasn’t sure as I felt it likely that things have turned out exactly as planned.

    Always follow the money. And when the say it isn’t the money you can be even more sure that it is.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  70. #

    So where do you propose we come up with the dough to pay our bills?

    I could come up with a way to eliminate a third of the Federal Budget – eliminate welfare and Medicare and Social Security payments.

    Cut out the Federal Dept of Education, and most of HHS, and you’re down to half.

    Cut 100% of earmarks and that’s several hundred billion more.

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 3:16 pm

    The GOP had it’s chance and what’d they do?

    $4 trillion is deficits. Shattering the old record.

    Heckavu job, GOP!

    jharp (00ec6a)

  71. oil companies are profiting immensely from the policies of George Bush.

    Are you high? You have already shown that you know abslutely nothing about the differences between supply, demand, and consumption. Now you want to show us that you don’t understand the difference between profit margins and absolute dollars.

    Go for it.

    How much does your average oil company make on a gallon of gasoline, and how much do the various levels of government make? Provide proof.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  72. The GOP had it’s chance and what’d they do?

    So now that the Dems have taken over, what have they got to show for it? Gas prices have almost DOUBLED in the past 18 months. Millions of homeowners can’t afford their mortgages. More Americans unemployed than ever before.

    And all under San Franm Nan and Harry “Real Estate Speculator” Reid, too.

    Too bad (for you) all those bad things couldn’t happen when the GOP was running Congress, but they didn’t start happening until the Dems took over.

    Tell us more how the Democraps will fix things?

    Yeah, the country is sure in a fix, alright…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  73. “Tax question boils down to dollars invested vs. dollars paid to government and then redistributed.”

    What?

    The point is tax dollars taken versus tax dollars spent. And W and company just blew through $4 trillion more than was taken in.

    And it is continuing to this day.

    I have a pretty good idea how to save $12 billion a month and most Americans favor it. And Obama has promised to do it.

    That is why he is getting my vote.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  74. Tell us more how the Democraps will fix things?

    1) End the war
    2) Health care reform (americans pay more double the rest of the world
    3) Tax reform so I don’t pay a higher rate than Warren Buffet
    4) An energy policy that benefits all Americans (not the energy companies

    And as a bonus we’ll get equal rights for all Americans. (including gay ones)

    And a couple of liberal SCOTUS judges.

    I can’t wait.

    Bring.Them.On.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  75. jharp #62,

    Don’t you see what’s happening in the oil industry? The quote at your link is instructive:

    ““The story with Halliburton is international, and the international story is supported by sharply higher oil prices,””

    Major oil companies like ExxonMobil and service companies like Halliburton know the future of the oil industry is in international projects unless US politicians stop demonizing them and decide to open up domestic exploration. Over the past several years, the majors have sold much of their US production and interests to independent domestic oil operators. Halliburton has even relocated its CEO to Dubai.

    Energy, and especially oil, is vital to the American economy. It should concern all Americans that we have a limited ability to provide for our energy needs and are running off the only companies (right now) that can meet those needs.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  76. Gotta love this:
    “Obama has PROMISED”

    a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    steve miller (724340)

  77. 1) End the war

    Really? How’s that working out in Congress? Fully funded military operations, immunity for the telcoms, and all the rest.

    “Stop the war”? FAIL.

    2) Health care reform (americans pay more double the rest of the world

    You’ve already been pimp-slapped about this one. Give it up.

    3) Tax reform so I don’t pay a higher rate than Warren Buffet

    He pays more per day than you pay all year. You want him to pay more so you can pay less.

    Why not work hard to earn his level of income so that you can pay a lower rate?

    4) An energy policy that benefits all Americans (not the energy companies

    So far, all we’ve seen is “pass more laws and raise taxes”. That doesn’t benefit anyone, and will do more harm to the economy than good.

    You cannot tax your way back to lower prices. It’s been tried, lots of times, and has failed EVERY TIME.

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  78. harpy is especially offensive today.

    JD (5f0e11)

  79. 78, like what’s the metric you’re using? More alcohol consumed per posting by the harpster?

    steve miller (724340)

  80. harpo – You need to update your talking points. You’re stuck on stupid 2004. It would also help your case if you understood them too.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  81. I’m shocked that harpster fails to see that the Democrat Party is in power in Congress, which sets the tax rates for all Americans – and that same Congress hasn’t fixed the problem he sees.

    Why is that? Why give more powerful tools to someone who shows he can’t handle the tools he has?

    steve miller (724340)

  82. “You cannot tax your way back to lower prices”

    Who said anything about taxing our way to lower prices?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  83. And as a bonus we’ll get equal rights for all Americans. (including gay ones)

    How is he going to do this? 38 States have already passed “one-man-one-woman” definitions of marriage (enough to ratify a Constitutional Amendment), and California is actually going to amend its State Constitution to ban same-sex marriage because judges have overridden the clear will (61%-38%) of the people.

    Oh, right, he’ll wave his pixie wand and magically Hope to Change things…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  84. #

    I’m shocked that harpster fails to see that the Democrat Party is in power in Congress, which sets the tax rates for all Americans – and that same Congress hasn’t fixed the problem he sees.

    Why is that? Why give more powerful tools to someone who shows he can’t handle the tools he has?

    Comment by steve miller — 7/5/2008 @ 3:41 pm

    49-49-2 for 18 months

    Be patient. It to change shortly. You are aware, aren’t you?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  85. Who said anything about taxing our way to lower prices?

    Obama. His response to high gas prices was a windfall profits tax, and to say that he was very concerned with the speed at which the prices spiked. (Again, you fail to address the fact that gas prices have spiked ONLY SINCE THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER CONGRESS.)

    Hey, don’t blame me for your ignorance. He’s your candidate, not mine.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  86. DRJ,

    Leave comments here. I will put them up on the other page.

    Looks like we will have to wait for Levi . . .

    Patterico (cb443b)

  87. How is he going to do this?

    The United States Supreme Court.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  88. 49-49-2 for 18 months

    Who is the Majority Leader in the Senate? Which party has the majority and Chairmanship in EVERY Senate committee and sub-committee?

    Which party, harpie?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  89. The United States Supreme Court.

    The one who voted to endorse the Federal DOMA? Or the one who would be trying to declare a Constitutional Amendment unconstitutional? (Methinks you have no clue what an Amendment actually means.)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  90. what harpy cannot gain honestly at the ballot box, he will impose by judicial fiat. Tyrant.

    JD (5f0e11)

  91. I was responding to your example where Buffet paid a lower percentage in taxes than a secretary.
    You are right that the money to pay for the things authorized by our legislators has to come from somewhere.
    The old question of guns or butter comes to mind.

    Obama’s “plan” (quotes are there to note the fluidity Obama’s statements have… not to mention the expiration dates)
    seems to require him to raise taxes and repeal tax cuts. So in the short term he will raise tax revenues. If he cuts out of Iraq, in the short term he stops the negative drain of war costs.
    But Obama promises to spend all of that and more on social programs and nanny state nonsense. Some of the Democrats social programs provide a disincentive to work and those programs require administration via new government sector jobs that recycle tax dollars inefficiently. Under Obama I expect government sector job growth in the field of administration of social program nonsense to boom.

    SteveG (963c44)

  92. Ph, and once and for all, let’s look at the “49-49-2″ meme that harpie keeps mentioning.

    49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and two “Independents”

    One of those Independents is Joe Lieberman, who was the Democrats Vice Presidential candidate four years ago, and the other is self-described Socialist Bernie Sanders (from VT). BOTH of them caucus with the Democrats.

    If it were the tie you pretend there is, Dick Cheney would be breaking the tie and there would be a Republican as Majority Leader.

    That is not the case. Therefore you are deliberately lying.

    Again.

    Color me shocked.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  93. *yawn*

    Tlove (4a03a6)

  94. #

    Who said anything about taxing our way to lower prices?

    Obama. His response to high gas prices was a windfall profits tax, and to say that he was very concerned with the speed at which the prices spiked. (Again, you fail to address the fact that gas prices have spiked ONLY SINCE THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER CONGRESS.)

    Hey, don’t blame me for your ignorance. He’s your candidate, not mine.

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 3:44 pm

    Where’d you get this? ElRushbo? Fox News? Savage Nation?

    Didn’t see anything of like here?
    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/energy/

    jharp (00ec6a)

  95. Patterico,

    Okay, I’ll comment here and I can see why that will work better.

    Levi apparently has a life outside of the internet and I’ll soon be offline for a couple of hours, too. I hope Levi is having more fun than I will be as I mow the lawn and clean the pool.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  96. Patterico,
    I wish you much luck finding their posts in here. Happy hunting :)

    Dawnsblood (a83e77)

  97. jharp,

    June 9, 2008, in Raleigh NC: Obama said he would impose a windfall profits tax on US oil companies.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  98. This is pointless – akin to arguing with a Bobo doll. It doesn’t talk and cannot reason, just keeps bouncing up with that idiot grin on its face. Maybe he’s drunk, perhaps he’s addicted to the new rural meth he’s getting from his local Hoosier dealer – either way, it’s no use arguing with the village idiot – you only lose more points off your IQ by doing so. Like a new Marvel Comics character, Harpy immobilizes his enemies merely by throwing waves of stupid at them.

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  99. Harpster,

    You do know which house of Congress sets taxes, don’t you?

    steve miller (724340)

  100. I don’t question that the democrats are the majority party in the Senate.

    I would think Harry Reid would make that rather obvious.

    My point it’s about as skinny as it can get. 49-49-2

    For 18 months

    jharp (00ec6a)

  101. Harpster,

    You do know which house of Congress sets taxes, don’t you?

    Comment by steve miller — 7/5/2008 @ 4:01 pm

    Why don’t you tell me? Economics genius.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  102. And that house has been in firm Democrat Party control since 2006.

    And that leadership promised to end this war.

    And that leadership promised to do something about high gas prices.

    (Who’da thunk that the leadership meant “do something about high gas prices by making them even higher”?)

    steve miller (724340)

  103. Didn’t see anything of like here?

    Of course you wouldn’t see anything bad about it on the candidate’s own freaking website…

    There are none so blind…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  104. Harpster, I’ll let you bone up on the Constitution. I’ll not be your teacher.

    steve miller (724340)

  105. Why don’t you tell me? Economics genius.

    You asserted that you had studied economics for two years and you don’t even know who writes the tax laws?

    Just… wow.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  106. jharp,

    June 9, 2008, in Raleigh NC: Obama said he would impose a windfall profits tax on US oil companies.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/5/2008 @ 4:00 pm

    That’s good. Thanks for the link.
    RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Monday he would impose a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil companies as he sought political gain from Americans’ pain over high gasoline prices.

    Launching a two-week focus on the economy after clinching the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama drew a sharp contrast between his economic policies and those of John McCain, his Republican rival in the November election.

    “I’ll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we’ll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills,” the Illinois senator said.

    Obama charged that McCain’s support for extending President George W. Bush’s tax cuts means he is in favor of $2 trillion in corporate tax breaks, including $1.2 billion for Exxon Mobil Corp.

    “If John McCain’s policies were implemented, they would add $5.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. That isn’t fiscal conservatism, that’s what George Bush has done over the last eight years,” Obama said.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  107. Drumwaster,

    Sometimes it’s the alcohol speaking.

    And sometimes it’s just the stupid.

    The trick is to know which it is at any given time.

    steve miller (724340)

  108. Harpster, have you researched your Constitution yet? It’s online, so it can be easily searched.

    steve miller (724340)

  109. I don’t question that the democrats are the majority party in the Senate.

    So we have a Democratically-controlled Congress, elected literally DAYS before gas prices started skyrocketing, doubling in the last 18 months.

    And every time people mention that the Democrats are writing the laws, you keep mentioning the non-existent 49-49-2, as though to prove that the Democrats aren’t, in fact, controlling Congress.

    That is a deliberate lie on your part.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  110. So let’s see: we have levi trolling away. And now we have the harpster doing the same thing. All of the same thread.

    Remember, these folks DIG the fighting. It doesn’t matter if you are kind like DRJ or slap back or poke fun at them. That is what the are about—attention. Though I think Dmac’s questions earlier about employment, etc. are relevant.

    It all reminds me of this:

    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/weirdalyankovic/itsallaboutthepentiums.html

    Kind of sounds familiar.

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  111. Eric – loved your book.

    Yeah, harpster & levi crave attention. I doubt if anyone in their real world pays attention to them. Likely they’re seen as harmless cranks.

    But in the blogosphere they can fight with the big boys, and that makes them feel good.

    I dunno, if I were to be as impervious to facts as the hoosier is, I would seriously wonder about my ability to deal with the real world. This guy claims to know economics but doesn’t know which house of Congress initiates taxes. That’s a fundamental lack of knowledge.

    steve miller (724340)

  112. jharp,

    I have no problem with eliminating government subsidies to oil companies but that doesn’t make it smart, fair or efficient to tax profits. In any event, ExxonMobil already pays more in taxes to taxing entities at all levels than it pays profits to its stockholders.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  113. Why don’t you tell me? Economics genius.

    You asserted that you had studied economics for two years and you don’t even know who writes the tax laws?

    Just… wow.

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 4:05 pm

    What would make you think I don’t know? I’m not the dropout, you are.

    I figure other than go back and forth I’d just let you make your point.

    If you choose not to that’s just fine.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  114. Heh.

    Brave Sir Robin.

    steve miller (724340)

  115. Yep. Weird Al pegged it:

    “Hey fella, I bet you’re still livin’ in your parents’ cellar/
    Downloadin’ pictures of Sarah Michelle Gellar/
    And postin’ “Me too!” like some brain-dead AOL-er”

    Also relevant to all this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM

    Again, the point is to argue and to fight, not to illuminate. You see, for trollish posters, it is not fun to reason or learn from other people.

    We’ll see. Maybe the insults will stop, and the civil exchange will begin.

    Yeah, right.

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  116. the key to lowering gas prices is to tax the holy hell out of the oil profits.

    JD (5f0e11)

  117. Just for you, Mr. miller:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud7YNNA0Mwo

    More fun than arguing, maybe.

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  118. What would make you think I don’t know?

    Because you were asked, and claimed ignorance.

    I say you don’t know. Prove me wrong.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  119. Eric –

    I *love* this clip.

    I saw Spamalot recently – it was all I hoped it to be.

    The Knights of the Round Table done with Legos – that’s genius.

    steve miller (724340)

  120. What would make you think I don’t know?

    “Because you were asked, and claimed ignorance.”

    Hmmmm. Is that right? I thought I simply said why don’t you tell me?

    “I say you don’t know. Prove me wrong.”

    No thanks. If you’d like to make point go ahead. If not, kindly shut up about it.

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 4:43 pm

    jharp (00ec6a)

  121. Has anyone in the world paid more in taxes than Exxon ?

    JD (5f0e11)

  122. the key to lowering gas prices is to tax the holy hell out of the oil profits.

    Comment by JD — 7/5/2008 @ 4:43 pm

    And what rate is equal to “holy hell”

    jharp (00ec6a)

  123. Harpster,

    You claim to know economics.

    You don’t know how tax laws are set in the US Congress.

    Ergo, you are lying and/or ignorant about economics.

    So, which house of Congress sets tax laws? Remember, you have a 50% chance of being right. (You do know there are two houses of Congress, right?)

    steve miller (724340)

  124. No thanks. If you’d like to make point go ahead. If not, kindly shut up about it.

    You don’t know. It’s as simple as that. Were you too busy selling glory hole rides to pay attention in class in your alleged economics classes (two years worth, in the latest version of this particular lie)?

    So do you know who writes the tax laws, or not? If yes, prove it. If not, admit it.

    If you don’t know something so basic, your opinion is utterly ignorant and not worth regarding.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  125. Levi apparently has a life outside of the internet and I’ll soon be offline for a couple of hours, too. I hope Levi is having more fun than I will be as I mow the lawn and clean the pool.

    I’m watering and planting a hydrangea. Stop by me when you’re done. I think I drunk all the whiskey but there’s plenty of wine, beer, ice cream, chips and taco dip left.

    nk (16accd)

  126. nk, where & what kind? I’ve just replanted a few that were wilting in the sun, and put them in partial shade under a mature larch.

    Now I’m wondering if it’s too shady for them.

    steve miller (724340)

  127. Exxon works more for the government than its investors, harpy. I see you fled that point about Baracky wanting to implement a punitive windfall profits tax. Coward.

    JD (5f0e11)

  128. JD, the real point is that people want the businesses taxed in which they have no financial stake. You see *those* folks are the people to be jealous of, but one’s own businesses are just trying to make a buck. So an oilman wants to tax the heck out of alcohol, and the liquor store owner wants to tax the oilman.

    I find that people who want to see other people taxed more heavily generally don’t do much in the way to charitable donations. And statistics show that many, many poor people actually give quite a bit to charity.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4021/is_11_24/ai_95309979

    Lots of trustifarian types want OTHER people to pay more taxes. But not themselves. When they don’t have a lot of money, they want more progressive taxation. And when they have lots of money, they sure do enjoy those tax shelters. But that is completely different, then (grin).

    It’s a variant of NIMBY: “not in my backyard.” Only it is called NAMBI: “Not Against My Business or Industry.”

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  129. harpo could tell Obama to pass a bill to sue Europe to lower the euro/dollar exchange rate. That would scare the shit out of everybody and lower the price of gas.

    It’s almost as good as harpo’s idea of telling the automakers to make higher mileage cars to cut our use of gas. The only part of the equation he left of is legislating or forcing people to buy them, but that’s probably coming in Obama’s great socialist state of the future.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  130. daleyrocks, if you reduce consumption, you reduce demand. I heard the harpster say it, so it must be true.

    steve miller (724340)

  131. I think harpster is making a run to the Circle K for another sixpack.

    steve miller (724340)

  132. Steve, I have no idea what kind. My wife bought it at Home Depot I think. It came in a pot saying “Monrovia” and it already has three big white blossoms.

    I am planting it on the south border which is semi-shaded for the first half of the day but fully exposed in the afternoon. My wife tells me that it needs is to be constantly watererd.

    nk (16accd)

  133. Eric – You see that phenomenon with the rich liberal politicians ranting against the repeal of the estate tax. Guess what, they’ve already got their trusts and generation skipping crap set up to minimize their estate taxes so they don’t give a shit anyway. People should nail them to the wall on their hypocrisy on that kind of stuff.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  134. Yeah, it needs constant water. They will wilt in very high sun/heat even if you have a sprinkler running on them – that’s why I’ve moved them to be under the tree.

    steve miller (724340)

  135. steve – If harpo said it, you can take it to the bank, one of those old busted S&L’s would be appropriate I think.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  136. Yep. By artificially reducing consumption through fiat law, we can reduce demand.

    Why Adam Smith didn’t think this, I don’t know.

    steve miller (724340)

  137. “Yep. By artificially reducing consumption through fiat law, we can reduce demand.”

    You tickle me with your buffoonery.

    Just what is “artificially reducing consumption”?

    And how’d that differ from from “reducing consumption”.

    Maybe we’d be better off mandating vehicles could get no more than 5 miles to the gallon. Then sit back and watch the supply go up and demand go down.

    You a dropout too, steve miller?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  138. Just what is “artificially reducing consumption”?

    Passing a law limiting consumption. Also known as “rationing”.

    And how’d that differ from from “reducing consumption”.

    One is a function of higher prices (as the laws of Supply and Demand work the way they are meant to), the other is a function of government fiat.

    Are you SURE you studied economics? Because the facts appear to be otherwise

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  139. Aggressive ignorance, harpy. What about those punitive windfall profits taxes, harpy? Surely that will lower gas prices.

    JD (5f0e11)

  140. “What about those punitive windfall profits taxes, harpy? Surely that will lower gas prices.”

    I don’t know about that. I’ll have to study it.

    Maybe one of our resident economic experts can enlighten me?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  141. Get back to us when you find an instance of increased taxes actually increasing revenues in the long run.

    Kennedy knew it. Reagan knew it. Bush-43 knows it.

    You seem to be the only one confused on the subject.

    And Obama, of course…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  142. Just what is “artificially reducing consumption”?

    Passing a law limiting consumption. Also known as “rationing”.

    Since no one has proposed or is proposing anything of the sort why in the hell would anyone bring it up?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  143. harpy – That is your boy’s position. Punitive windfall profits taxes. They already pay more in taxes than they earn in profit. You go study it though. We will eagerly await your conclusions.

    JD (5f0e11)

  144. Since no one has proposed or is proposing anything of the sort why in the hell would anyone bring it up?

    Good question. Why did you bring it up?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  145. Since no one has proposed or is proposing anything of the sort why in the hell would anyone bring it up?

    Good question. Why did you bring it up?

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 6:19 pm

    I didn’t. I asked what it was.

    Yep. By artificially reducing consumption through fiat law, we can reduce demand.

    Why Adam Smith didn’t think this, I don’t know.

    Comment by steve miller — 7/5/2008 @ 5:09 pm

    jharp (00ec6a)

  146. harpy – That is your boy’s position. Punitive windfall profits taxes. They already pay more in taxes than they earn in profit. You go study it though. We will eagerly await your conclusions.

    Comment by JD — 7/5/2008 @ 6:19 pm

    Since you seem to know a lot about it and I don’t I’d like to hear why it is such a bad idea.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  147. This is hilarious – first we have this:

    “I don’t know about that. I’ll have to study it.”

    Then we have this:

    “Maybe one of our resident economic experts can enlighten me?”

    You’ve already claimed that you’ve “studied” economics at some alleged “college,” yet you’re asking someone else to enlighten you on the subject?

    What college was that, I wonder? Was it the John Casablancas School of Modeling/Economics?

    Just add the college part to the list of fantasyland items previously claimed:

    – owner of a small business
    – owner of “bullets” with many “guns”
    – expert on managing company’s auto fleets, particularly concerning depreciation
    – expert on foreign exchange rates

    All this, yet you still somehow don’t know the answers to some very basic economic questions? Your blow – up doll’s (part of your “family,” no doubt) coming to you shortly via FedEx. Enjoy.

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  148. I’d like to hear why it is such a bad idea.

    Why would you punish success?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  149. “Get back to us when you find an instance of increased taxes actually increasing revenues in the long run.”

    To me the tax rates under Clinton were pretty much right.

    We had a balanced budget and pretty prosperous times.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  150. I’d like to hear why it is such a bad idea.

    Why would you punish success?

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 6:30 pm

    I don’t. However we’ve got a war to pay for and the money’s got to come from somewhere.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  151. To me the tax rates under Clinton were pretty much right.

    And which branch is it that writes the tax laws?

    Bonus: what political party took it over in 1994 (Clinton’s first midterm election – the first chance for America to respond to his wonderful new ideas that had been trotted out in the preceding two years)?

    You don’t have to think, you just have to look this up.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  152. jharp,

    If you are sincerely interested in why the windfall profits tax is a bad idea, here’s a 1-1/2 page American Petroleum Institute position paper that addresses the topic.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  153. #

    This is hilarious – first we have this:

    “I don’t know about that. I’ll have to study it.”

    Then we have this:

    “Maybe one of our resident economic experts can enlighten me?”

    You’ve already claimed that you’ve “studied” economics at some alleged “college,” yet you’re asking someone else to enlighten you on the subject?

    What college was that, I wonder? Was it the John Casablancas School of Modeling/Economics?

    Just add the college part to the list of fantasyland items previously claimed:

    – owner of a small business
    – owner of “bullets” with many “guns”
    – expert on managing company’s auto fleets, particularly concerning depreciation
    – expert on foreign exchange rates

    All this, yet you still somehow don’t know the answers to some very basic economic questions? Your blow – up doll’s (part of your “family,” no doubt) coming to you shortly via FedEx. Enjoy.

    Comment by Dmac — 7/5/2008 @ 6:29 pm

    I, unlike you, give careful thought to every issue.

    And I don’t know why a “windfall profits tax” would be either a good or bad idea.

    What do you suggest? Fox News? Rush? Hannity?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  154. I don’t.

    Yes, you do. Anyone who succeeds (makes more money) is punished through higher taxes. If they are still making a profit, then you tax them again.

    (Governments only have two ways to punish its citizens – imprison them or fine them heavily for doing something the government does want them doing. Since you can’t throw a corporation in jail, you can only add more taxes onto their already heavy load.)

    You are choosing to punish anyone who manages to show a profit.

    Mobil Exxon paid more in corporate income taxes in 2006 than the lower 50% of personal income earners – combined!

    But you think they didn’t pay enough.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  155. And I don’t know why a “windfall profits tax” would be either a good or bad idea.

    Because you’ve never seen the inside of an economics classroom.

    The truth emerges…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  156. jharp,

    If you are sincerely interested in why the windfall profits tax is a bad idea, here’s a 1-1/2 page American Petroleum Institute position paper that addresses the topic.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/5/2008 @ 6:38 pm

    Though I appreciate the link. I’d like to hear from a little more neutral source.

    The American Petroleum Institute? Please.

    Kind of like O.J. investigating the murder of his wife and concluding the evidence is I didn’t do it.

    Thanks anyways. I keep it for when I find some real information.

    Count me as undecided.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  157. I, unlike you, give careful thought to every issue.

    Can’t you tell by all those cut and pastes? 8)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  158. “But you think they didn’t pay enough.”

    Where’d you come up with that?

    You boozing it tonight? Or hitting the bong?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  159. “I, unlike you, give careful thought to every issue.”

    You, unlike some other commenters here, don’t know the answer to the very basic economic and legislative questions that have just been put to you today. You don’t have a clue, you’re evading the obvious – you’ve been exposed as just another poseur who’s willingly displaying his ignorance on a vast array of subjects. What else can possibly happen to humiliate you further at this point? Does someone have to literally give you an atomic wedgie in front of your parents (just call them down from upstairs, they’d love to see this) – you’ve already been pantsed terribly, hiding under your blankie won’t make it go away.

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  160. “Though I appreciate the link. I’d like to hear from a little more neutral source.

    The American Petroleum Institute? Please.”

    In other words, I don’t think I’m smart enough to see through their bullshit even though I claim to know a lot about economics.

    What a freaking fraud. Harpo is sounding more and more like an abbreviated Levi. Have they been seen in the same place together?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  161. “Can’t you tell by all those cut and pastes?”

    Yeah, he can’t even do a simple search and link – but…oh, wait, he did give us ONE item to look at…

    …from Bill Moyers.

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  162. harpo – Did you eat a lot of paint chips when you were a kid or fry your brain later?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  163. jharp #157,

    What’s wrong with reading an API source? I agree it’s not good to solely look at an industry source but, when it comes to energy issues, the only link you’ve provided was to Barack Obama’s website (your comment #95). That’s certainly not a neutral source as you claim you want.

    You’ve repeatedly claimed that you have an interest in both sides of the windfall profits issue but when I present you with a brief summary of one side’s position, you refuse to read it. Please reconsider.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  164. “In other words, I don’t think I’m smart enough to see through their bullshit”

    Oh no. I can easily see through their bullshit.

    And it’s nice to see a wingnut acknowledge that it is bullshit.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  165. Dmac #160:

    What else can possibly happen to humiliate you further at this point?

    Somebody could ask how his side plans to “stop the war” when it’s quite obvious that our adversaries aren’t ready to quit fighting us, whether we want to or not?

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  166. Oh no. I can easily see through their bullshit.

    What on that page is “bullshit”? Be specific, and tell us precisely why.

    Take your time.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  167. FWIW, EW1, I was an OS2 long ago (more than 13 years ago now).

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  168. What’s wrong with reading an API source?

    Nothing at all and I thanked you for the link.

    “I agree it’s not good to solely look at an industry source”

    Agreed.

    “when it comes to energy issues, the only link you’ve provided was to Barack Obama’s website (your comment #95). That’s certainly not a neutral source as you claim you want.”

    No one asked for anything more. And when someone else posted another link I read it and thanked them.

    You’ve repeatedly claimed that you have an interest in both sides of the windfall profits issue but when I present you with a brief summary of one side’s position, you refuse to read it.

    Where’d you get the idea I refused to read it.

    You’re starting to remind me of Drum. And that’s not a compliment.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/5/2008 @ 6:54 pm

    jharp (00ec6a)

  169. #168 Drumwaster: Howdo! (And been a long time since I was an EW1, for that matter.) 😉

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  170. What on that page is “bullshit”? Be specific, and tell us precisely why

    Don’t know how to copy and paste from a pdf.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  171. Nothing at all and I thanked you for the link.

    You just won’t bother to read it. Otherwise you would be able to be specific about which part was “bullshit”, and exactly why.

    EW1: I was stationed on both coasts (FL/VA/LA & CA/WA) and half a dozen commands over a decade. The last time I worked with an EW1 was aboard the O’Brien (DD975), and he was transferred to NORAD Cheyenne Mountain just about the time I was transferred to ASWOC CPW-10.

    Where were you?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  172. Don’t know how to copy and paste from a pdf.

    Color.
    Me.
    Shocked.

    Since there is no way for you to actually type in the information… waitamimnnit…

    Moron.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  173. Don’t know how to copy and paste from a pdf.

    Tell us by page and paragraph, and we will go look at it ourselves.

    Be specific, so we are talking about the same thing.

    We want to be fair, after all.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  174. jharp,

    The way you wrote your last comment made it appear I said these words:

    You’re starting to remind me of Drum. And that’s not a compliment.

    I assume that was your comment to me but you put it above my signature and that makes it appear I wrote it. I didn’t. (NOTE: It’s difficult to read your comments. I urge you to use the blockquote or italics code so it will be easier for everyone to tell your comments from other comments that you’ve reprinted.)

    With regard to the windfall profits tax issue, why won’t you discuss the points made in API position paper? We have links to the Obama and API positions. I don’t see why we need a middleman to analyze them for us.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  175. #171:

    Don’t know how to copy and paste from a pdf.

    Er, that would be just like it would from any other document … you’re not helping your image as an intellectual champion of liberal ideology here.

    #172 Drumwaster: Mostly west coast: USS GRAY, right after she went to the NRF list for 4 years, 10 months, and 16 days (but who’s counting?,) a patrol aboard the USS Georgia (still SSBN at the time,) then later a lot of time in Seattle and Alaska (with a short stint in Panama) as a minion of the the Coast Guard.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  176. I didn’t.

    Not to interrupt your harassment of harpie, but I knew you didn’t say that. I wasn’t offended.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  177. “Don’t know how to copy and paste from a pdf.”

    More BS – you’re done here.

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  178. Nice to make your (on-line) acquaintance. :-)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  179. So, harpy. Explain to us how a punitive tax on “windfall” profits will lower gas prices. DRJ gave you a link to see one side. Presumably you can give us the class warfare position.

    JD (5f0e11)

  180. #179 Drumwaster: My pleasure!

    #175 DRJ: BTW, nice to see you out and about! I’d commiserate with the lawn mowing, but my wife covered up the front yard with bricks last year!

    Unfortunately it didn’t slow down the weeds a bit. :/

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  181. #

    jharp,

    The way you wrote your last comment made it appear I said these words:

    You’re starting to remind me of Drum. And that’s not a compliment.

    I assume that was your comment to me but you put it above my signature and that makes it appear I wrote it.

    My apologies. That was not my intent. I’ll be more careful in the future.

    Been looking around for more info on the windfall profits pros and cons and find remarkably little.

    Please, anyone, post what you can.

    And I’m going to help the Mrs. with a pulled pork barbecue for tomorrow.

    I’ll be back later.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  182. As an aside, another name for a juice harp is “mouth organ”. If you need further etymological enlightenment, just keep reading this comment thread.

    fat tony (601b8d)

  183. Been looking around for more info on the windfall profits pros and cons and find remarkably little.

    And which part of the “pros” do you find to be “bullshit”, and why?

    Third try to get a response.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  184. Hey JD!

    Explain to us how a punitive tax on “windfall” profits will lower gas prices.

    Sadly, looks as though he’s gone to jerk off some pig parts, but I was surprised that he didn’t seem to understand that a “windfall profits” tax is a de facto form of rationing…but since I can only claim to have graduated from a school most notable for its fine chicken pluckers an’ tree fellers, I wouldn’t presume to try to explicate that to him.

    And how’s the wee one?

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  185. I did not think that would be a very difficult question. Baracky and Hillary trotted that idea all over the state of Indiana during the primary.

    JD (5f0e11)

  186. I have the following problems with the position paper:

    1. It says “The WPT did drain $38 billion in industry net revenues that could have been used to invest in new oil and gas production.”

    It’s undisputable that net revenues were decreased by $38 billion, I grant. But it’s far from clear that that $38 billion would have been invested in the way the paper says it “could have been”; and, unless the net *profit* of the businesses was reduced to zero, it’s also clear that the captains of that industry made deliberate choices to recognize profit instead of investing in new production.

    They have the right to do that. But what’s the evidence that, absent the WPT, they wouldn’t have chosen to recognize all of the lost revenue as profit?

    2. To defend the claim that the industry is not earning ‘windfall profits’, it cites the average profit over the period 2003-2007; but given the difference in the price of oil between 2008 and the average over the period 2003-2007, that’s not a meaningful citation. The industry did *not* earn windfall profits during those years, yes; but that doesn’t mean they aren’t *now*.

    That said, if it really costs $100 million/year to administer a WPT, then something is wrong. And I think there is something to the argument that increasing taxes during a boom without providing support during a bust decreases the profit margin over the entire cycle, and in a capital-intensive industry that will reduce the incentive to invest by decreasing overall returns. However, the *amount* of that decrease, and whether that decrease is something we can live with, is not established by the paper … and that’s where the real debate is.

    aphrael (12fba5)

  187. EW1 – Maddie is great. She is long/tall for an Asian child, which appears to be my only contribution. She was about to sleep through the night for the second night in a row until that fool Daddy of hers started shooting off fireworks. She is a blessing. Thanks for asking.

    harpy – I will give you a hint. A punitive “windfall” profits tax has to be one of the most brain-poundingly stoooooopid ideas I have seen proposed by a candidate from a major political party.

    JD (5f0e11)

  188. aphrael – Does it matter, or even should it matter, if they were going to reinvest those dollars or recognize it as profit?

    Since their profit margin remain in the 8.5-9.5 percent range, why do we even buy into the BS “windfall” lingo? Should we apply the same punitive taxation to comanies that turn 10-15 percent return on their investment?

    JD (5f0e11)

  189. Aphrael, thank you for coming in and showing jharp how it is done.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  190. harpy – I will give you a hint. A punitive “windfall” profits tax has to be one of the most brain-poundingly stoooooopid ideas I have seen proposed by a candidate from a major political party.

    Comment by JD — 7/5/2008 @ 7:43 pm

    I’m back.

    Why? I’m undecided.

    And what are you losers going to do if I conclude a windfall profits tax is a bad idea? Apologize?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  191. Should we apply the same punitive taxation to comanies that turn 10-15 percent return on their investment?

    There are 57 industries that make a higher profit per dollar of income than the oil companies. Application software makes 22%, fercrissake!

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  192. And what are you losers going to do if I conclude a windfall profits tax is a bad idea? Apologize?

    What are we going to do? You’re the one who is going to vote for that “bad idea”. I think an apology from YOU would be appropriate, but I won’t hold my breathg.

    Instead, I’m going to play Karnak and say you will refuse to admit the fact, deny that you’ve been proven to be an idiot (again), and try to change the subject. “Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations.”

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  193. And what are you losers going to do if I conclude a windfall profits tax is a bad idea?

    No, applaud for showing an iota of common sense.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  194. And what are you losers going to do if I conclude a windfall profits tax is a bad idea?

    No, applaud for showing an iota of common sense.

    Comment by Paul — 7/5/2008 @ 8:02 pm

    Well then, Paul. Kindly explain to me why it is such a bad idea.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  195. Aphrael,

    Let’s use ExxonMobil as a discussion point because there is information readily available for it.

    1. Oil companies like ExxonMobil plan their exploratory drilling projects years in advance. Over the past 25 years, ExxonMobil’s capital investments have increased annually and actually exceeded earnings for that same period. The only way capital investments can exceed earnings is if a company invests budgets (saves) money. The major oil companies routinely budget money for future projects, something they have to do because these projects cost in the millions and even billions.

    Of course, it’s always possible oil companies could simply distribute all money on hand as profit and not budget for the future but they won’t be around for long – let alone profitable – if they do that.

    2. But aren’t you assuming that ExxonMobil’s 2008 profits include the amount of increase in oil prices? ExxonMobil doesn’t produce all the oil it markets. It has to meet the price demanded by its suppliers and partners. In addition, there can be adverse events (e.g., Venezuela nationalized ExxonMobil’s interests last year) that also affect the bottom line.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  196. Drum,

    “You’re the one who is going to vote for that “bad idea”

    Obama position on ending the $12 billion a month desert goodwill mission is my main reason for him getting my vote.

    $12 billion a month is significant. Do the math.

    If I happen to disagree with him on the windfall profits we’re still $12 billion a month ahead.

    And our soldiers will no longer be getting blown up and having to live in that hellhole.

    But that’s just me.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  197. Well then, Paul. Kindly explain to me why it is such a bad idea.

    Why do I need to explain it to you? To repeat Drumwaster:

    You’ve already claimed that you’ve “studied” economics at some alleged “college,” yet you’re asking someone else to enlighten you on the subject?

    This is basic economics, of which you have shown no knowledge on the subject. I am not going to help you out. If I did, you’d probably claim “I see nothing of substance here” because of your allergy to facts. As you say: “Try the Google.”

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  198. Kindly explain to me why it is such a bad idea.

    Because it is punishing success.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  199. Obama position on ending the $12 billion a month desert goodwill mission is my main reason for him getting my vote.

    And now that he has backed off on even that so-called promise?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  200. Way back at Comment #37, jharp unwittingly illustrated one of the problems features of Levi’s debating style that makes it so unproductive in developing shared insight marvelous at obscuring awkward points. The comment violates the spirit of one of hte terms that Patterico posed for DRJ and Levi (though not for jharp):

    The asserted fact must be supported by a link to reliable source material. The source material must support the assertion made in the comment.

    Here are the facts asserted in the comment:

    Warren Buffett paid 17% on his $46 million income
    His secretary paid 30% on her $60 thousand income

    And the redneck dittoheads cheer.

    Comment by jharp — 7/5/2008 @ 2:11 pm

    Others have given jharp the courtesy of discussing the matter as if it had been linked to a reliable source. I think that is unwarranted, in this case.

    First, here is The Times (London) story of 6/28/07 on Buffet’s speech.

    Second, anyone who earns about $60,000 in wages recognizes that an $18,000 federal tax bill is implausibly high. What’s reasonable? According to this estimator, if she’s married, no kids, and the sole wage earner in her family, then $5,500, for an overall rate of 9%. If single, about 10%.

    Similarly, $46 million in wages yields federal income taxes of about $16 million, an overall rate of 35%.

    So Buffet wasn’t talking about his secretary’s Federal taxes, but about something else. Perhaps Federal plus FICA payroll plus Medicare payroll plus state plus local plus sales plus property plus gasoline plus road use.

    And Buffet’s own income is mostly capital gains, taxed at the capital gains rate.

    Of course Buffet’s secretary spends a far higher proportion of her income as gasoline tax (etc.) than does Buffet himself. What this amounts to, then, is a disingenuously unstated proposal that capital gains be taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. (Which may or may not be good policy–the point here is that his facts as presented are wrong, and his argument is misleading.)

    If the commenter had provided a reliable link to the facts cited (Buffet did say what jharp reported), then the shabbiness of the argument would likely have been spotted straight away.

    At some point, a commenter who makes a habit of playing fast and loose risks losing the presumption that he or she is arguing in good faith.

    AMac (31caed)

  201. EW1(SG) – Good to see you back!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  202. If I happen to disagree with him on the windfall profits we’re still $12 billion a month ahead.

    Not if Obama is in office. Not only has he sworn to re-spend that money in his social programs, he is planning on spending another $350 billion (with a ‘B’) per year.

    That’s not $12 billion per month, that’s $42 billion per month.

    Tell us how this would be better at reducing that deficit you seem so concerned with?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  203. Aphrael,

    Let’s use ExxonMobil as a discussion point because there is information readily available for it.

    1. Oil companies like ExxonMobil plan their exploratory drilling projects years in advance. Over the past 25 years, ExxonMobil’s capital investments have increased annually and actually exceeded earnings for that same period. The only way capital investments can exceed earnings is if a company invests budgets (saves) money. The major oil companies routinely budget money for future projects, something they have to do because these projects cost in the millions and even billions.

    Of course, it’s always possible oil companies could simply distribute all money on hand as profit and not budget for the future but they won’t be around for long – let alone profitable – if they do that.

    2. But aren’t you assuming that ExxonMobil’s 2008 profits include the amount of increase in oil prices? ExxonMobil doesn’t produce all the oil it markets. It has to meet the price demanded by its suppliers and partners. In addition, there can be adverse events (e.g., Venezuela nationalized ExxonMobil’s interests last year) that also affect the bottom line.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/5/2008 @ 8:07 pm

    DRJ,

    If you’re trying to pretend you have the slightest idea on what you opine I am not convinced.

    Though I did like this quote from your link.

    “The president of the United States should resign, if he had the least dignity … … If only the American people could call a recall referendum.”

    jharp (00ec6a)

  204. jharp,

    That quote was from Hugo Chavez.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  205. DRJ rocks!

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  206. Drum,

    Kindly explain to me why it is such a bad idea.

    “Because it is punishing success.”

    All taxes punish success. Let’s get rid of them all.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  207. jharp,

    I have an idea. If Patterico agrees, why don’t you discuss a topic with one person the way Levi and I have?

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  208. AMac #201,

    Thank you for a very helpful comment.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  209. AMac – Was harpy’s lack of good faith ever in doubt?

    JD (5f0e11)

  210. jharp, what is your point. You want Obama to bring our soldiers home ? To this hellhole, America ?? After they’ve been living in nice overseas quarters that cost $12B per month to maintain????

    If you were truly a liberal with hope for the downtrodden and change for the troops, you would not let them step foot on this soil. Michelle Obama isn’t even proud of this dump we call HOME. And we’ve been working on it for 232 years. And a day.

    …you little barack o’ lamb. So sad.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  211. All taxes punish success. Let’s get rid of them all.

    That’s got my vote!

    If Patterico agrees, why don’t you discuss a topic with one person the way Levi and I have?

    I’d volunteer, if I got the authority to boot him if I won…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  212. Comment by AMac,

    Certainly I could have been more specific but around here we’re dealing with an intelligence level of Drumwater and steve miller. It kind of makes one little reluctant to get into much detail.

    Here are the facts asserted in the comment:

    Warren Buffett paid 17% on his $46 million income
    His secretary paid 30% on her $60 thousand income

    Those are the facts according to Warren Buffett.

    And I stand by my post.

    It makes no sense to me that labor should be taxed at a higher rate.

    And the goddam hedge fund manages who derive most of their income from capital gains with no risk pay the same 15%.

    Vote republican. Where the multi millions earners pay a lower tax rate than than the middle class.

    And they actually have the redneck crowd believing this is in their own best interest.

    Unbelievable.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  213. DRJ – It could not do it.

    So, harpy. you have people like DRJ, aphrael, and AMac – veritable paragons of virtue – taking the cluebat to your skull. At some point, when everyone in the roo. except you is pointing and laughing, you might consider that you are the object of derision.

    JD (5f0e11)

  214. harpo – Summarizing your position, there is nothing wrong with this country that a few choruses of kumbaya and big gulps of Obama’s enforced socialism can’t cure.

    I think that is all everyone here needs to know.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  215. And I stand by my post.

    Even though no one here had agreed that you were telling the truth? (Even I pointed out that it was only for the sake of argument in comment #40.)

    You had the facts shown to be otherwise. The secretary only paid 9-10%, not the 30% you claim. Buffett paid 35%, not the 17% you claimed.

    Now that the facts are clear, I will again rephrase.

    Warren Buffett paid $16 million.
    His secretary paid $5,500.
    You are a liar.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  216. jharp,

    A component of AMac’s comment is that the secretary’s taxes might be due to more than federal income taxes and could include things like state income taxes, sales taxes, and local property taxes. These are taxes a President doesn’t control or implement and therefore cannot change.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  217. harpy – What is it with the redneck name-calling? The assumptions you bring to the table are baseless and display your ignorance.

    JD (5f0e11)

  218. I think Patterico should start a Hall of Shame of stupid comments near the top of the blog. It could even revolve so it wouldn’t highlight the same moron all the time. Levi, jharp, alphie, AF, just to name a few, would be good candidates for charter membership.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  219. “Not if Obama is in office. Not only has he sworn to re-spend that money in his social programs, he is planning on spending another $350 billion (with a ‘B’) per year.”

    Got a link? Not trying to a smartass but I’d like to know the details.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  220. It kind of makes one little reluctant to get into much detail.

    You can’t even get the few “details” you pull out of your ass right.

    Care to take me up on DRJ’s challenge to debate me, same rules as above?

    Or are you unsure about your own ability to tell the truth?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  221. Here is the CATO Institute’s link:

    “Obama has proposed at least $287 billion per year in new government spending if elected. This was before he unveiled his $150 billion “green energy plan” earlier in February. In addition, he has recently proposed at least $858 billion to fight “global poverty” over the next five years.
    His new spending programs would cost at the minimum, $800 billion a year.

    On taxes, he has proposed a $1.3 trillion tax hike over the next five years. He would increase taxes on business, investment and job creation. His proposals would nearly double taxes on capital gains. ”

    Another link for you

    “Analyst Daniel Clifton of Strategas Research Partners has tallied some $350 billion in promised new annual spending by Obama.”

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  222. ^ Gummint jobs for everyone . . .

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  223. http://www.cnbc.com/id/21553857/

    Tom: You’ve talked about in your office, for example, you pay a much lower tax rate with all of your wealth than, say, a receptionist does.

    Warren Buffett: That’s exactly right, Tom. And I– I think the only way to do it is with specifics, and– and – and in our office, 15 people cooperated in a survey out of 18. I didn’t make anybody do it. And my total taxes paid– payroll taxes plus income tax– and the payroll tax is an income tax. It’s based on income.

    Tom: Yeah.

    Warren Buffett: Mine came to– 17.7 percent. That– that was the– that was line 61 I think– or, no, line 43– is the percent of taxable income, plus payroll taxes, 17.7 percent. The average for the office was 32.9 percent. There wasn’t anybody in the office from the receptionist on that paid as low a tax rate. And I have no tax planning. I don’t have an– I don’t have a– an accountant. I don’t have tax shelters. I just follow what the U.S. Congress tells me to do.

    Tom: Why do you think that there’s not more outrage about that?

    Warren Buffett: I– I don’t think people understand it. For one thing, you’ll see a lot of surveys that say the rich, the top one percent pay this much of the income tax.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  224. It is racist to say Backy Hussein Obama’s middle name, I denounce myself, but calling people rednecks with obvious malicious intent is acceptable. harpy displays levels of ignorance that Levi only aspires to, but could never compete with Petrano Esp or his loony alter-ego MKDP.

    That was a not-so-subtle dog whistle, by the way.

    JD (5f0e11)

  225. jharp 224:

    AMac in comment #201 already schooled you on this before you even posted that interview excerpt.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  226. When called on its lies and distortions, and the specific ones are pointed out, harpy reasserts same, and says it has seen no substantive info to change his opinion.

    I have noticed that every time it asks for a link, or details, so it can think about it, it makes no difference. The BDS comes shining through no matter what you provide.

    JD (5f0e11)

  227. Drum,

    “Here is the CATO Institute’s link:”

    The Cato link offers no evidence whatsoever other than “according to Tanner”.

    None. They just say so exactly like you just say so.

    WTF.

    You can’t be that far removed from the truth, can you?

    Please, get your ass enrolled in some sort of higher education. It’s never too late.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  228. JD: I don’t know if it matters to me if they were actually going to reinvest the dollars. However, the policy paper uses as one of its primary arguments the notion that the tax takes away money which could be invested. ISTM that if they are going to put that forward as an argument, there is a difference between money which ‘could have been invested’ and money which ‘would have been invested’ … and that to some degree their argument depends on people conflating the two.

    aphrael (12fba5)

  229. Tom: Why do you think that there’s not more outrage about that? (tax rates)

    Warren Buffett: I– I don’t think people understand it.

    All, for the sake of all of America, please give this some serious thought. Truer words have never been spoken.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  230. For one thing, you’ll see a lot of surveys that say the rich, the top one percent pay this much of the income tax.

    Such as this one

    The top 1% of income earners pay 27.6% of income taxes, despite only earning 15.6% of the income.
    The top 5% of income earners pay 43.8% of income taxes, despite only earning 27.8% of the income.
    The bottom 60% pay only 14.2%, despite earning 28.8% of the income.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  231. Please, get your ass enrolled in some sort of higher education. It’s never too late.

    Does that mean you accept? It shouldn’t be too hard to debate poor stupid little me, should it?

    Coward. Liar.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  232. So, we await your analysis of how punitive “windfall” profits taxes are not only a good idea, but will also help reduce the cost of gasoline.

    JD (5f0e11)

  233. “Does that mean you accept? It shouldn’t be too hard to debate poor stupid little me, should it?”

    My parents always taught me it was wrong to enter a battle against an unarmed opponent.

    Thanks for the offer but I’ve got a business to run.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  234. DRJ,

    1) It makes sense to me that exploratory drilling projects would be planned years in advance. Software releases are, and they aren’t nearly as capital intensive as exploratory drilling is. I also grant that ExxonMobil’s investments have increased annually and exceeded earnings.

    That said, the fact that drilling projects are planned years in advance makes it far from clear that a sudden influx of money due to wild price fluctuations will be invested. It clearly won’t be invested in the year of the increase (due to the fact that such investment hasn’t been planned). It might lead to an increase in investment, say, three years out; but in the meantime, are the companies going to hold the money, or are they going to distribute it and depend on (a) being able to borrow in three years when it is time for the investment to be made, or (b) the price still being high enough to allow the investment at that time?

    2) It is true that I am assuming that ExxonMobil’s 2008 profits include some of the increase in oil prices. I concede that they are both producers and middlemen, and that to the extent they are middlemen, the increase in prices is unlikely to yield profit. I also concede that adverse events must be planned for. That said, the intent of my comment was to challenge the *position paper*, not to defend a WPT; neither of these were mentioned in the position paper.

    For what it’s worth, i’m undecided on the question of a WPT. I think that some of the support for it is driven by people with a simplistic mental model of the way the industry works; but, due to (a) the high barriers to entry in the industry and (b) the relative inelasticity of demand for petroleum products, I don’t have a problem in principle with the notion that unexpected profits above a certain percentage should be subject to a tax.

    aphrael (12fba5)

  235. So, we await your analysis of how punitive “windfall” profits taxes are not only a good idea, but will also help reduce the cost of gasoline.

    Comment by JD — 7/5/2008 @ 9:04 pm

    I claimed neither so you’ll be waiting for a long time.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  236. #172 EW1(SG

    Apologize for being off topic. I was an ETN2 on the USS Gray, FF1054 from Nov. 1974 to Jan 1976. Not too much of a ship but we had one hell of a motto:

    Seek, Engage, Destroy.

    It was even on the ships’ Christmas Cards.

    Sea-store sold a carton of Marlboro 100’s for $1.80.

    Racked right above the sonar dome.

    Back then you had to be at least 6ft tall to join the Coast Guard. That was in case the boat sank you could walk ashore.

    punslinger (d70a64)

  237. aphrael – If they are using that as one of the points, then they have already lost the argument. The opposition to the windfall 9 percent profit taxation is much simpler than trying to explain allocation of budget dollars for future R&D.

    harpy – Since fiscal responsibility is sooooooooooooo important to you, is it safe to assume that the billions of dollars in new spending that Baracky has proposed concerns you? I wonder how Gov. Daniels created an environment for a surplus? Hint, taxing success was not a part of it.

    JD (5f0e11)

  238. JD, at 214: while I thank you for your respect for my virtue, I must object. I have not interacted with JHarp at all on this thread, so it’s a bit of a stretch to say i’m doing anything involving his skull and a cluebat. :)

    aphrael (12fba5)

  239. Thanks for the offer but I’ve got a business to run.

    So do I. I still call you a coward.

    If you are so certain that you can actually win a fair debate, I challenge you to one, under the same rules above.

    You’ve got all kinds of time to pull shit out of your ass and throw around argument ad hominems, but none to debate like an adult?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  240. Racked right above the sonar dome.

    I’ve heard those Helen Keller sonars. How’s your hearing?

    Sorry… HOW’S YOUR HEARING?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  241. aphrael – I have seen nothing that suggests the there have been any sudden, unexpected, or windfall profits. 9.5 percent profit margins are far from that, and I have not seen anything that suggests that their margins improve when their underlying costs increase.

    JD (5f0e11)

  242. jharp,

    If the tax percentages announced by Warren Buffett are solely due to federal income taxes and payroll taxes, consider this:

    Here is the flaw, the higher taxes those people pay? It is social security taxes, a “tax” for a program those people will need far more than Buffett ever will. After $85,000 in income you no longer need to pay the 7% tax on your income. Buffett takes a $100,000 income from Berkshire plus the thousands he makes from board seats and dividends in stocks he owns privately. It also does not take into account any tax free income Buffett may receive from Federal or Municipal bonds he owns which would dramatically lower his “percentage”.

    More discussion at the link.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  243. #

    For one thing, you’ll see a lot of surveys that say the rich, the top one percent pay this much of the income tax.

    Such as this one…

    The top 1% of income earners pay 27.6% of income taxes, despite only earning 15.6% of the income.
    The top 5% of income earners pay 43.8% of income taxes, despite only earning 27.8% of the income.
    The bottom 60% pay only 14.2%, despite earning 28.8% of the income.

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 9:02 pm

    Looks like you’ve got something there, Drum.

    Yeah, I guess that’d be one.

    And it still isn’t enough that W and the GOP ran up $4 trillion in deficits.

    I think this is the part you don’t comprehend. Taxes are going to have to up. We are spending money we don’t have. $200 billion in interest alone on the GOP’s $4 trillion in losses.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  244. JD, at 242: I agree that 9.5% is not a windfall. I’m in school something like 2/3 time and working full time, so i’m not paying attention to the world as much as I would like to be; I don’t know what the numbers are. That said, it’s clear to me that (a) at the pump gas prices are up 33-40% since the start of the year, and (b) crude oil prices are up a similar amount. I suspect that the political pressure for a WPT is based on the unfounded assumption that oil company profits are up by a similar margin.

    aphrael (12fba5)

  245. harpy – Since fiscal responsibility is sooooooooooooo important to you,

    yeah, it is.

    “is it safe to assume that the billions of dollars in new spending that Baracky has proposed concerns you?”

    Need to know more details.

    “I wonder how Gov. Daniels created an environment for a surplus? Hint, taxing success was not a part of it.”

    I don’t know what you refer to.

    Comment by JD — 7/5/2008 @ 9:10 pm

    jharp (00ec6a)

  246. jharp wrote in #213:

    And I stand by my post.

    Referring to his #37 about Warren Buffet’s taxes, which I critiqued in my #201.

    The issue isn’t whether you stand by your post, it is whether your post contributed to constructive, informed discussion. Unfortunately, it did not. Your belated excerpt of a Buffet interview in #224 ought to make that clear to anyone who reflects on what was said, and what was not said.

    It took me 15-20 minutes to research, compose and format comment #201, including putting the relevant links into html. From the timestamps, you don’t devote more than a few minutes to any given point you wish to raise before clicking on “Submit.”

    I take it that’s a piece of your debate strategy, not an aberration. Less delicately, some of Mark Twain’s quips might apply, as well.

    The internet is full of arguments made carelessly and in bad faith. Life’s too short. When you eventually discard jharp in favor of a new handle, you might take more care as to the reputation it accrues.

    AMac (31caed)

  247. And it still isn’t enough that W and the GOP ran up $4 trillion in deficits.

    I think that counts as a subject change. Not to mention a call for increasing taxes on the more successful members of society, apparently because the overwhelmingly unfair progressive taxation rates already in place aren’t punitive enough…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  248. Just letting you know, I see this, don’t have the time at the moment. Maybe tomorrow morning.

    Gotta say I don’t like this new out-of-left-field rule about requiring links in all the posts. I’ll probably skip that part if I can. Maybe I’ll just throw a link to a Montgomery Gentry video on YouTube on the end of everything I post.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  249. Aphrael,

    For a number of reasons, major oil companies rarely incur debt to finance their projects. (For example, ExxonMobil’s long-term debt-to-equity ratio is 0.06.) I’m sure there are a number of reasons for this but I know a few: The size of the projects makes it difficult to find more than a few lenders who could finance the transaction, and the speculative nature of the projects would make the terms prohibitively expensive. In addition, some projects are so risky (e.g., the North Sea, Venezuela, and some Eastern European ventures) that there might be no lenders willing to participate.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  250. #241 Drumwaster

    There were different patterns that they used, but the one they most often sounded kinda like the first few bars of Theme to Love Story. 99% of the time it was same sequence of notes, repeated every ten-fifteen seconds. Fortunately I have titinitus as was able to tune it out and go to sleep readily.

    What really rattled my eardrums was the damned bosun’s pipe over the 1MC.

    I do have hearing loss but I can’t blame it on the Gray.

    punslinger (d70a64)

  251. Aphrael @ #245:

    I agree.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  252. Need to know more details.

    Go ask Obama. He’s the one proposing all that new spending.

    I don’t know what you refer to.

    “Try the Google.”

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  253. “My parents always taught me it was wrong to enter a battle against an unarmed opponent.”

    Keep up the attempts at wit. You’re halfway there.

    fat tony (601b8d)

  254. Gotta say I don’t like this new out-of-left-field rule about requiring links in all the posts.

    Not in all posts, just the ten you want credit for…

    ” * In order to win, each side must muster at least ten comments that each assert, with a link, at least one fact that is meaningful and relevant to the proposition being debated.

    The asserted fact must be supported by a link to reliable source material. The source material must support the assertion made in the comment. Not every comment must follow this rule, but you must achieve at least ten comments that do. Once you achieve this ten times, you are free to continue the debate without following this rule.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  255. Gotta say I don’t like this new out-of-left-field rule about requiring links in all the posts. I’ll probably skip that part if I can. Maybe I’ll just throw a link to a Montgomery Gentry video on YouTube on the end of everything I post.

    Dude, what part of

    The asserted fact must be supported by a link to reliable source material. The source material must support the assertion made in the comment.

    do you not understand?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  256. Aphrael,

    Should an actor be subject to windfall profits tax when his popularity and price per movie suddenly increases following a successful movie?

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  257. Linking to Montgomery Gentry for every position you assert? I’ve got to see this.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  258. Fortunately I have titinitus

    Me, too, but mine was due to a bicycle accident I had in San Diego (on Harbor Blvd, down by the shipyards but before the NAVSTA). 35+ decibels loss bilaterally, plus tinnitus in both ears, although at slightly different frequencies, if you know what I mean. Makes trying to get to sleep fun, but I have an mp3 player with ear buds that drones into my ears while I drift off.

    The day after the accident, my hearing loss was so severe that I couldn’t hear anything even at 100+ decibels (about the volume of a jet engine), but my hearing came back partway over the next few weeks.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  259. DRJ, no; my willingness to support the windfall profits tax is based on the capital barriers to entry and the inelasticity of demand. If anything, the acting market suffers from high elasticity of demand and insufficiently high barriers to entry. :)

    aphrael (12fba5)

  260. Heh. I like the way you think.

    DRJ (a0ba79)

  261. Thanks for the offer but I’ve got a business to run.

    So do I. I still call you a coward.

    Comment by Drumwaster — 7/5/2008 @ 9:12 pm

    What business are you in? And, how is business?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  262. #237 punslinger: Are you on Liby’s mailing list, or aware that we’ve been doing some reunions on a rather regular basis last few years?

    It continued until her untimely decomm to be “Seek, Engage, Destroy.” I’m entitled to a couple of Battle “E’s” and got to paint gold on the bridge wing. I racked in Ops berthing, right aft and below the fo’ard crew’s lounge, port side at the water line. I also, so far as I know, am the only Gray sailor to qualify submarines aboard her. :)

    But the dolphins go good with the Cutterman’s pin and the eagle clasping a shot of chain above “Seek, Engage, Destroy!”

    #235 aphrael:

    I don’t have a problem in principle with the notion that unexpected profits above a certain percentage should be subject to a tax.

    Well, I most certainly do! Since when is government a competent moral arbiter of what profit is allowable? Would you find it acceptable for me to state that all liberals should have a higher tax rate imposed upon them as a surcharge to accomplish their own goals? When an individual discriminates in the marketplace, its an example of freedom of choice…I choose Safeway more often than Giant for a variety of reasons, but should the government step in and punish Safeway for earning a higher profit from my trade than others do? Where do you draw the line when targeting individuals with a tax, because remember, “corporations” are incorporations of individuals…whose roles are as clearly defined in the modern business world as they once were.

    Labor, by the device of mutual funds, 401Ks and other instruments are no longer excluded from the “investor” class: are they to be punished as individuals for participating in a successful group venture?

    Feh.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  263. #263 EW1:

    … whose roles are NOT as clearly defined …

    Feh, again.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  264. AMac,

    “When you eventually discard jharp in favor of a new handle, you might take more care as to the reputation it accrues.”

    I’d like to keep my reputation but have been thinking about switching handles. Any suggestions?

    No one is always right but I have two rules, tell no lies, and obey the law. That’s all I’d like people to think of me.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  265. What business are you in?

    None of yours.

    I’d like to keep my reputation but have been thinking about switching handles. Any suggestions?

    “Foolish Liar” sums it up pretty well.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  266. I think the idea of a windfall profits tax fails to address the real problem: the monopolistic nature of the oil industry.

    The idea of a 9-9.5 percent profit margin as acceptable is somewhat deceptive: because of their aforementioned monopolistic nature (and we could obviously debate this facet), oil companies are able to charge an inordinate amount for their product, invest a large chunk of the following inordinate revenue in R&D/exploration/whatever (read: steps taken to solidify control of an already exclusive market, to the ultimate detriment – in my opinion – of consumers), and end up with 9-9.5 percent of what was too much money to begin with.

    I don’t think a windfall profits tax addresses this fact, largely because, as I just pointed out, it’s easy to manipulate the numbers when it comes to the distinction between “revenue” and “profit”, even when one is as beneficial to the ultimate capitalistic success of the industry as the other.

    Also, as a tangential anecdote that hopefully serves to illustrate the whole “monopolistic” angle: I read an article in the Atlantic a while back discussing the relationship between the Sudanese government and the state-run Chinese oil companies. The gist of the article was that the Chinese oil companies were forced to invest in the oil fields in Darfur – despite the human rights abuses of the Sudanese government – because of a collaborative effort on the part of Western oil companies to lock them out of fields in the Gulf, the Middle East, Russia, etc.

    Leviticus (8135f1)

  267. Oh, aphrael, you took the clubat to its skull. Just because it did not respond does not mean you missed.

    Another tactic it uses is feigning ignorance, though it shows evidence of actual ignorance. Just look at its claiming ignorance of the gleenwaldian perfidy, its desire for more info on punitive taxation of profits, etc …

    JD (5f0e11)

  268. What business are you in? And, how is business?

    Move to strike as yet another subject change.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  269. Okay, here is my take.

    The safest investment is T-bills, if you are holding them to maturity. However, there is inflation risk.

    Corporate bonds usually pay more than T-bills because they are riskier. The more risk, the greater the interest that must be paid to get suckers I mean investors to invest. In bankruptcy, bondholders are usually paid before shareholders.

    Shareholders, if sane, usually hope for more return on their investment to compensate for their even greater risk of loss. Historically, over the last 150 years, the stock market has done better than the bond market by something like two to one.

    If low risk bonds, high quality mortgages are paying 6%, then the stock market might pay 10-12%.

    If big oil is making 10%, and you want to invest, you might find it more profitable to invest in one of the other 52 industries that are more profitable. 10% is hardly an exorbitant profit.

    I suggest bigcharts.marketwatch.com and look at a ten year chart of XOM and HAL. XOM (Exxon Mobile)has been trending horizontal for the last year wwhile HAL has done a nice run up from January, where it was horizontal the previous two years.

    If you think an industry is making too much money, invest in it. Put your money where your mouth is. If you think XOM is going up you can buy the January 2010 $100.00 LEAP for $800 plus commission.

    I think that the Social Security problem could easily be fixed. Put Hillary in charge and let her invest in cattle futures. With her skill and acumen, Social Security would soon have money coming out of the wazoo.

    punslinger (d70a64)

  270. tell no lies

    Obviously suspect undocumented assertions later proven untrue doesn’t qualify as “lies.”

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  271. re post #176:
    “Don’t know how to copy and paste from a pdf.

    Er, that would be just like it would from any other document … you’re not helping your image as an intellectual champion of liberal ideology”

    Wow. There’s the those who know SOME pdfs are not accessible due to not allowing copy-paste function, vs. the dreamers who simply assume the world is the way they want it to be. Fact: SOME pdfs are NOT ACCESSIBLE–they do not allow copy-paste. Some do allow it. The beauty of knowing the answers to such trivia beyond Jeopardy! is the utility of ferreting out those who know Americans With Disabilities Act/Rehabilitation Act of 1973 jurisprudence from those who are lying-in-wait for Molski to wheel into their shop.

    daleyrocks, whatever makes you think I could argue AGAINST Obama? That would be like asking me to argue FOR tobacco companies–what possibly redeeming thing is there to say after the losers already did themselves in by speaking from their own mouths? Obama already defeated “I am woman Hera me ROAR,” now on to vanquish John McCain before he can decapitate the Americans With Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act of 1964. I am seriously considering if the Miami-Cuban GOP tries to wrestle down the Florida YET AGAIN, trotting off to court and filing my own little Title II Americans With Disabilities Act voting suit for declaratory and injunctive relief to invalidate Florida’s inaccessible voting apparatus.

    Until Libertarian-Republicans can accept that Americans With Disabilities Act rights are part of every Americans’ private liberty and act to preserve the same against Statists and those wish to rein it in (instead of sending “navy frogmen” in over the 4th of July to turn off the watermain and launch fireworks onto vessels of people whose politics they don’t like), I think I will vote for Obama.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  272. Tell no lies.

    Dr. Pepper all over the room.

    JD (5f0e11)

  273. corr:
    “I am woman Hera me ROAR” = I am woman Hear me Roar”

    My apologies for the typos. The keylogger has a “need to know” what I am thinking; forcing me to type, an activity I am unable to perform, resulting in enough typos to make you want to break your pencil.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  274. JD – Try the new ShamWOW being advertised in the infomercials…

    I hear it’s good at cleaning up Petrano spew.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  275. “the real problem: the monopolistic nature of the oil industry.”

    Dead on as I see it. Thanks for bringing it up.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  276. “the real problem: the monopolistic nature of the oil industry.”

    I think we asked this one once before, and harpie evaded it entirely.

    How does one destroy a monopoly/cartel most efficiently?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  277. You know what else? Obama really needs to get an oil company wildfall profits tax enacted, to give subsidies to all the disabled Americans who rely upon driving their vehicles as their personal wheelchairs, say, a subsidy lowering disabled Americans’ at-the-pump price to no more than about $1.25 per gallon.

    Hey (I mean Hay), and Obama really needs to ban all that ethanol … taking up all the horse corn, making horseraces slower and more boring. Neigh neigh whinny whinny .. and Seabiscuit takes the lead.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  278. “If you think an industry is making too much money, invest in it.”

    I used to think the same thing in the late 70’s.

    Doesn’t do much for those American’s who have trouble investing in groceries for the week, though.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  279. That’s it, MK, triple or nothing on Teh Whackiness…

    Oh, sorry, you lose. You’ll have your consoloation prizes mailed to you.

    How do you spell “Whack-a-Doodle Central” again?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  280. jharp – You are more shallow than a puddle.

    mkdp is just batshit krazy. BOO!

    JD (5f0e11)

  281. #

    “the real problem: the monopolistic nature of the oil industry.”

    I think we asked this one once before, and harpie evaded it entirely.

    Who is we? And if you did I don’t recall.

    How does one destroy a monopoly/cartel most efficiently?

    Dam good question. I’m open to suggestions.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  282. The biggest oil company in the US of A is Exxon Mobile. Worldwide, they are number 17. Simple math would suggest that US production of oil is a small portion of world production.

    Most of the oil companies bigger than XOM are country owned. I guess that you can say that the oil industry has a monopoly on oil, just as the walnetto industry has a monopoly on walnettos.

    It is difficult to argue based on facts that the US component of the oil industry holds a monopoly on oil.

    I think we should investigate Big Gold, Big Platinum, Big Corn, even Big Argula.

    punslinger (d70a64)

  283. Doesn’t do much for those American’s who have trouble investing in groceries for the week, though.

    Speaking of which, the food production and distribution industry is making a 25% higher profit margin than oil.

    Let’s raise taxes on groceries. That ought to make them more affordable, right, harpie?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  284. “Try the new ShamWOW … I hear it’s good at cleaning up Petrano spew.”

    Awww, shucks, Drummerboy. I was INVITED to this party — posts #51 & 62. DO you really believe I don’t Google my own name on a four-time daily basis, just like my driver’s license, just in case some Federal Court law clerk Wack-job decides to scoot-thru that Kozinski WebSENSE firewall hole to launch a driver’s license official records change on me from Federal Court computers while I am on the road enroute to some destination or another?

    How can I stay away when I am INVITED to the party?

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  285. How does one destroy a monopoly/cartel most efficiently?

    Dam good question. I’m open to suggestions.

    Two years of economics education? I’d demand a refund.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  286. DO you really believe I don’t Google my own name on a four-time daily basis, just like my driver’s license, just in case some Federal Court law clerk Wack-job decides to scoot-thru that Kozinski WebSENSE firewall hole to launch a driver’s license official records change on me from Federal Court computers while I am on the road enroute to some destination or another?

    No, I don’t doubt that for a second, and that is EXACTLY why I would have guessed you were doing it.

    (Exeunt Omnes, stage right, chortling)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  287. “How do you spell “Whack-a-Doodle Central” again?”

    You know what, Drummerboy … I think you have commercialized “Whack-a-Doodle Central,” registered a trademark therein, have an entire produc line under the name set to go, and expect to make MILLIONS from your invention.

    How could you turn down a …

    little FREE PUBLICITY?

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  288. “How do you spell “Whack-a-Doodle Central” again?”

    You know what, Drummerboy … I think you have commercialized “Whack-a-Doodle Central,” registered a trademark therein, have an entire product line under the name set to go, and expect to make MILLIONS from your invention.

    How could you turn down a …

    little FREE PUBLICITY?

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  289. How can I stay away when I am INVITED to the party?

    You mean no one wants to argue Law Clerk Conspiracy Theories with you any more?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  290. I think you have commercialized “Whack-a-Doodle Central,” registered a trademark therein, have an entire produc line under the name set to go, and expect to make MILLIONS from your invention.

    Uh, huh. (Backs away slowly, making no sudden moves)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  291. Oh yes, mkdp, you were invited. Now quit giving Eight Belles a Dirty Sanchez. Don’t you ever get tired? Neigh, neigh.

    JD (5f0e11)

  292. How could you turn down a …

    little FREE PUBLICITY?

    So, Mary Katherine, we have your endorsement of the new “Whack-a-Doodle Central?”

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  293. “Doesn’t do much for those American’s who have trouble investing in groceries for the week, though.”

    There IS a solution for THAT, too. As Mr. Petrano has suggested, RAISE TAXES to Ike-era 91% on all wealthy Americans. Give food security back to American children and families.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  294. #256 Paul,

    Levi didn’t claim a lack of understanding.
    Having to actually support a claim/assertion is something Levi doesn’t like.

    Pat R. (9828c0)

  295. How does one destroy a monopoly/cartel most efficiently?

    Dam good question. I’m open to suggestions.

    Two years of economics education? I’d demand a refund.

    I guess we need to put you in the oval office. OPEC has sure seemed to have caused a lot of problems that Drumwater has the solution to.

    I tip my hat to you.

    By the way, what’s the answer?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  296. Patterico, when are you going to hang up the Troll No-Pest strip?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  297. By the way, what’s the answer?

    What, you don’t know?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  298. If you want to destroy Big Oil, or at least diminish it, allow Big Coal to produce liquified coal. This is proven technology that was used by WWII Germany and modern day South Africa.

    You get diesel and kerosene out of it, and we have enough for more than 1,000 years. And it can be done cleanly.

    Other technologies that might pan out are oil from algae, bacteria that excrete oil, using heat and pressure to produce oil from carbon bearing waste.

    We produce 5.5 million barrels a day. ANWAR alone is expected to produce 1 million barrels a day. This would be a 20% increase in our production. This would also be a huge decrease in our imported oil and favorable to our balance of trade and would put upward pressure on the dollar.

    Oil from offshore drilling, shale oil out west would also put downward pressure on oil prices.

    punslinger (d70a64)

  299. “Oh yes, mkdp, you were invited….”

    JD, somehow I get the feelin’ Paul and Drummerboy don’t agree with the invitation. Maybe they had too much to drink over the 4th … maybe ate a little too much of bridget’s Lentil soup, but whatever IT WAS, got them a bit off their stride on raceday.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  300. JD, somehow I get the feelin’ Paul and Drummerboy don’t agree with the invitation.

    Oh, I’m behind it 110%.

    How else are we supposed to get our RDA of teh krazy?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  301. Levi didn’t claim a lack of understanding.
    Having to actually support a claim/assertion is something Levi doesn’t like.

    Yeah, but he also said this:

    I’ll probably skip that part if I can. Maybe I’ll just throw a link to a Montgomery Gentry video on YouTube on the end of everything I post.

    In these parts, we call that not following the rules. That’s why I wrote what I did in #256.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  302. “So, Mary Katherine, we have your endorsement of the new ‘Whack-a-Doodle Central?'”

    Does it come with any warranties? Can I send it back if it doesn’t measure up? I want to see a FREE SAMPLE first.

    Do you really think McCain is going to pick Charlie Crist as his VP? Too bad he can’t pick the Governator. Would help his war image after Westley Clark’s denunciation. But why shoudl I offer election tips when I plan on voting for Obama. And for one reason that really stands out.

    Future retirements on The Supreme Court.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  303. By the way, what’s the answer?

    I’m betting you can’t even define monopoly, because the definition has the answer you seek…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  304. “So, Mary Katherine, we have your endorsement of the new ‘Whack-a-Doodle Central?'”

    Does it come with any warranties? Can I send it back if it doesn’t measure up? I want to see a FREE SAMPLE first.

    Do you really think McCain is going to pick Charlie Crist as his VP? Too bad he can’t pick the Governator. Would help his war image after Westley Clark’s denunciation. But why should I offer election tips when I plan on voting for Obama. And for one reason that really stands out.

    Future retirements on The Supreme Court.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  305. “This is proven technology that was used by WWII Germany and modern day South Africa.”

    Why not today?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  306. I want to see a FREE SAMPLE first.

    I think I can handle that.

    First, find a mirror…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  307. I have a question pertinent to this conversation, but My attempts as Internet searches have proven barren:

    For oil derived from land leased from the federal government, what is the royalty paid to the government?

    Silly follow up:

    Would those royalties be subject to this windfall profits tax?

    Pat R. (9828c0)

  308. Somehow the blog is liking to post in duplicate tonight. Sorry for the double posts.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  309. When in doubt, raise taxes.

    JD (5f0e11)

  310. Why not today?

    Forbidden by (the Democratically-controlled) Congress recently, filibustered before that, and vetoed by (Democratic President) Clinton when the Republicans tried to authorize it in the 90s.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  311. JD, somehow I get the feelin’ Paul and Drummerboy don’t agree with the invitation.

    Now where would you get such an idea? :)

    Maybe they had too much to drink over the 4th …

    I’m built like retired football player Jerome Bettis. The one beer I had on the 4th ain’t gonna get it done.

    maybe ate a little too much of bridget’s Lentil soup,

    I’ve never met Bridget.

    but whatever IT WAS, got them a bit off their stride on raceday

    And how would you know that? Before this thread, you and I have never conversated.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  312. ” think I can handle that.

    First, find a mirror…”

    People with autism do not have “mirror neurons.” Got another suggestion? Why don’t you just post a product video hawking your “new ‘Whack-a-Doodle Central?'” on YouTube? I could view it.

    JD, Drummerboy and Paul are making me feel like I have subsequently been uninvited. I think I’m going to go off and sulk and pick up the vessel Captain, Esq. from his new landboat now. Take my leave.

    Why should I enter the race with the LOOSE SHOE JD and Drummerboy just tacked on, like Big Brown?
    I would rather run for the Roses over on the Volokh, until such time as outriders catches a few of the loose horses here.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  313. Or in mkdp’s case, when in doubt, engage in a little equine molestation, lie about a Judge, make shite up about uber-villain AnnTM, and see imaginary frogmen and snipers.

    JD (5f0e11)

  314. 306 jharp Modern day I would think would mean today.

    I believe that Iran is now burning coal where it can because it is cheaper than oil and they can export more oil that way.

    punslinger (d70a64)

  315. “Awww, shucks, Drummerboy. I was INVITED to this party — posts #51 & 62. DO you really believe I don’t Google my own name on a four-time daily basis, just like my driver’s license,”

    That sounds like a nice quiet life Mary Kate, making friends and harrassing people. It’s probably a constantly expanding circle of people you manage to annoy. Everybody needs a hobby, especially the disabled, or so I’m told.

    My intention was not yo invite you to this discussion. You presume too much. I was making a suggestion to a blogger about a debate which is to occur. Based on the lack of reaction so far, you are not likely to be affected any more than you already are.

    Will you now please provide me with your social security number just for shits and giggles?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  316. People with autism do not have “mirror neurons.”

    You don’t have a clue. You could not buy a clue. You couldn’t borrow a clue. You can’t even sue mythical agencies to be given one at taxpayer expense.

    Maybe they had too much to drink over the 4th …

    I don’t drink alcohol, and if I were the ultra-litigious bully that you are I would threaten to sue you for every scrap of your accumulated wealth for that libelous statement.

    Fortunately for you and your fellow whack-a-doodle, I’m not.

    Nice to see that you have to blame all your shortcomings on others.

    Words of wisdom: The only consistent factor in all of your disappointing relationships is YOU.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  317. “How does one destroy a monopoly/cartel most efficiently?”

    – Drumwaster

    Well, the most straightforward answer is “stop buying whatever it is they’re selling.”

    I don’t think that’s what you were looking for, though.

    Were you looking for something along the lines of “subsidize a diversification in competitors”?

    Or “allow the Free Market to take care of it?” Sort of a “stop buying whatever it is that they’re selling” per a consumeristic breaking point philosophy?

    Doesn’t really work with oil, though…

    Leviticus (1b512e)

  318. “Or in mkdp’s case, when in doubt, engage in a little equine molestation, lie about a Judge, make shite up about uber-villain AnnTM, and see imaginary frogmen and snipers”

    That would be defamatory. It is YET AGAIN rejected and denied. I am not entertaining any further objections, whines, or Libertarian rants.

    “Would those royalties be subject to this windfall profits tax?”

    No, we have to encourage domestic oil production. But it should be subject to every disabled person being provided with a free Mustang from the BLM (to prevent wild horses from going the way of the Polar Bear, of course).

    “And how would you know that? Before this thread, you and I have never conversated”

    Paul, I have not ridden or watched horses race before I have bet on them to win a Trifect on a NY afternoon, either. But that never stopped me from estimating which ones can/cannot run.

    So, am I still invited? Or not?

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  319. I’m to bed.

    Rest easy all.

    And remember above all, when Warren Buffett pays 17 cents in taxes on the next dollar he earns while you pay 30 cents in taxes on your next dollar, that it is what is best for you.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  320. Paul, I have not ridden or watched horses race before I have bet on them to win a Trifect on a NY afternoon, either. But that never stopped me from estimating which ones can/cannot run.

    So, to you, life is one big horse race?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  321. And remember above all, when Warren Buffett pays 17 cents in taxes on the next dollar he earns while you pay 30 cents in taxes on your next dollar, that it is what is best for you.

    Ah yes, the old jharp parting shot, proving yet again no technology yet known can penetrate such a skull.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  322. Seven years of college down the drain for jharp.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  323. Pat R. #308:

    I’m no expert but I’ll give you my best guess:

    Short answer — Approximately 12-16% and probably not.

    Longer but still simplified answer — Most domestic mineral interests are owned by private parties but, in the Western states, some are owned by the federal government. Mineral interest owners typically lease their rights to individual oil operators or oil companies and in return receive the right to a royalty (or share) from any barrel of oil and gas produced from the leased property during the term of the lease.

    The remaining non-mineral interest is usually called a working interest because it’s the interest that has to do the work by paying the costs of exploring, drilling and producing the oil. An oil operator or oil company that owns the right to the working interest under an oil and gas lease owns the exclusive right to explore, drill and produce oil and gas from the leased property.

    The mineral interest owner’s royalty interest varies depending on many factors such as when the lease was entered into, the relative power of the parties to negotiate the terms, and the customary terms in a specific area. Fifty years ago, it was customary for mineral interest owners to receive a 1/8 royalty but now royalties vary, although I think it’s rare for a royalty to exceed 1/4. I don’t know what the standard federal royalty interest is but in 1998 it ranged from 12.5% to 16.67%.

    In the 1980’s, the windfall profits tax laws were amended to exclude the royalty interest owners from the tax via a tax credit. I assume any proposed legislation would do the same.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  324. Well, the most straightforward answer is “stop buying whatever it is they’re selling.”

    If the people have a substitute for whatever is being offered, it isn’t a monopoly.

    Try again.

    Were you looking for something along the lines of “subsidize a diversification in competitors”?

    I did use the word “efficient”. So, no.

    And remember above all, when Warren Buffett pays 17 cents in taxes on the next dollar he earns while you pay 30 cents in taxes on your next dollar, that it is what is best for you.

    And when you think jharp is deliberately lying about something, the easiest way to check is to see if he is trying to prove a point. If he is, then you can count on it.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  325. MKDP – I think you should ask the frogman you give you back your uterus that was detached. It’s not healthy to try to survive on the ones you have left. Just speak out loud on the deck of your boat. The government is listening. You might want to ask them for some new disks while you’re at it but you have to be careful with those, they might implant something nasty in them.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  326. Despite the fact that this line of argument has already been beaten, I’ll play along:

    If Buffet finds the situation intolerable, then why doesn’t he simply write a bigger check to the IRS, instead of bemoaning the unfairness of it all? It’s perfectly legal, and just think how much better he’d feel.

    Pat R. (9828c0)

  327. “Will you now please provide me with your social security number just for shits and giggles”

    And if I don’t comply? Whatyagonnado? Turn me in to INS aka Homeland Security to raid my computer for illegal aliens?

    “It’s probably a constantly expanding circle of people you manage to annoy.”

    That’s right, and for my autism to annoy YOU all I have to do is be in existence, living, and breathe the air. Isn’t it a travesty the numbers of people with autism is increasing FASTER THAN LATINOS in this Country and will one day be the majority taking over the vote? I can just see the possibilities … Like the Founding Fathers who were afraid Benjamin Franklin would write a little of his autistic satire in the Declaration of Independence, the Chief Justice not assigning the next Global Warming case to are first future autistic Associate Justice.

    “I don’t drink alcohol, and if I were the ultra-litigious bully that you are I would threaten to sue you for every scrap of your accumulated wealth for that libelous statement.”

    Before you leap to conclusions and rush off to the Courthouse to file your lawsuit, maybe you should re-read for the word “Maybe” which made an inquiry of you as to whether you did or did not. I gave you the benefit of the doubt, which you did not appreciate. Who is “ultra-litigous?” I have a LONG WAY TO GO to rack up my 400th lawsuit ALA Molski, California’s serial ADA/Unruh Act filer. In fact, I have never filed an Unruh Act suit in my entire life.

    ““How does one destroy a monopoly/cartel most efficiently?”

    – Drumwaster

    Well, the most straightforward answer is ‘stop buying whatever it is they’re selling.’”

    Another way is to re-vamp DOJ’s anti-trust div. and break-up the monopoly/cartel like all those little Baby Bells. If gas users stop buying gas to bust the monopoly, Congress better add about 3000 new bankruptcy judge positions because when all those businesses relying on employees who don’t-go-to-work-because-they-refuse-to-pay-for gas go defunct, we are going to need them!

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  328. #327 Pat R

    Good point. I propose a two level tax. A lower one for Republicans and a 2X for Democrats. That way they can actually justify their feelings of moral superiority.

    punslinger (d70a64)

  329. Good point. I propose a two level tax. A lower one for Republicans and a 2X for Democrats. That way they can actually justify their feelings of moral superiority.

    And return to the good old days when they bragged about how much in taxes they paid.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  330. I’m very hurt that my attempts to get Harpster to answer a simple question about which house of Congress initiates taxes was too tough to answer, so he resorted to name-calling.

    It’s as if he doesn’t want to admit his ignorance. Or something.

    Well, he’ll be back tomorrow with a whole new set of lies and assertions. You can count on it.

    Hey, I have an IDEA. Suppose we reduce the CONSUMPTION of the Harpster’s ideas by simply eliminating his ability to post? Wouldn’t that, by extension, reduce the DEMAND as well?

    Just asking.

    steve miller (724340)

  331. “Well, the most straightforward answer is “stop buying whatever it is they’re selling.”

    “If the people have a substitute for whatever is being offered, it isn’t a monopoly.”

    I’ll give credit that you gave this a little thought but you’re wrong again.

    Professional sports are monopolies and it is quite simple to stop buying what they are selling.

    Why don’t you tell us how one destroys a monopoly/cartel most efficiently?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  332. #324 DRJ

    Thank you for that information — though it depresses me.

    The federal government invests nothing but access to public lands and get more than the oil companies investors that pay to get the oil out.

    Pat R. (9828c0)

  333. If I were an economics student but I was unable to answer simple economics problems, would my bona fides be questioned?

    steve miller (724340)

  334. “Hey, I have an IDEA. Suppose we reduce the CONSUMPTION of the Harpster’s ideas by simply eliminating his ability to post? Wouldn’t that, by extension, reduce the DEMAND as well?”

    Go for it. I truly don’t give a dam.

    I really don’t. I’ve got plenty of redneck, voting rich living poor types right in my backyard that need to hear the truth.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  335. Pat R,

    One follow-up to my comment #324: There’s really no reason to exclude the royalty interest owners from the windfall profits tax since they profit just as much as the oil companies without taking any risk. However, Congress undoubtedly realizes that royalty interest owners include sympathetic people like Oscar and Lorene Stohler. It’s bad PR to pick on nice people like the Stohlers but it’s good PR to pick on big, bad oil companies.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  336. “Good point. I propose a two level tax. A lower one for Republicans and a 2X for Democrats. That way they can actually justify their feelings of moral superiority.”

    Along the same lines.

    I’d like a war tax. The knuckledraggers who support the war can pay the $12 billion a month that it costs. Those who don’t can opt out.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  337. #332 jharp

    I don’t need football to heat my house or go to work. Football is a monopoly of well, football, except for college football, high school football. One could easily switch to baseball, poker, billiards, golf.

    When other technologies are in mass production for heating and transportation, I think that you will see the monopoly busted. Nuclear and coal are cheaper for electricity production. Solar and wind are likely to be very limited for some time.

    punslinger (d70a64)

  338. jharp,

    I really don’t. I’ve got plenty of redneck, voting rich living poor types right in my backyard that need to hear the truth.

    I bet you have some interesting block parties.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  339. Re: 334….

    Mr. Miller, I teach college. You do not want the answer to that question, I promise you.

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  340. “The federal government invests nothing but access to public lands and get more than the oil companies investors that pay to get the oil out.”

    Cannot believe it.

    Dark time for America if thinking like this is what permeates our country.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  341. DRJ, you are a very nice person. You realize that this is all a troll act, I’m sure. But what to do about it? This cat loooovvvesss the attention of being the “wild, free revolutionary.” The serious attention, as well as the insulting, just empowers him.

    I hate to think of the fellow’s reality, since he seems so intent on “speaking truth to power.” Dmac called it, I am guessing.

    But who knows?

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  342. #340 —

    What is the flaw in my line of thinking?

    Pat R. (9828c0)

  343. #

    jharp,

    I really don’t. I’ve got plenty of redneck, voting rich living poor types right in my backyard that need to hear the truth.

    I bet you have some interesting block parties.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/5/2008 @ 11:32 pm

    It’s getting pretty ugly around here. Mexican and gay hating is up dramatically as every wingnut knows they are the causes of our problems.

    Used Ford pickups flooding the used car market with no buyers in sight.

    And the wingnut soccer moms with the gas guzzling SUV’s aint too happy either.

    Heck, they’re even talking Obama has a chance to win in the Klan stronghold of Indiana. (my opinion is no chance)

    Interesting though, is that confederate flag sightings are way down.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  344. I’d like a war tax. The knuckledraggers who support the war can pay the $12 billion a month that it costs. Those who don’t can opt out.
    Comment by jharp — 7/5/2008 @ 11:30 pm

    That’s an excellent suggestion. It has to apply equally to everything and everyone though. I estimate about 80% of the taxes I pay can go to funding the war and I’ll designate the other 20% after some thought. None of it should go to earmarks, pork (as I define it), welfare, Social Security, Medicare (I may allow some for Medicaid, but would need to research current funding and usage), or any other currently funded program that I don’t like. I’ll opt out.

    We might see what is truly supported by the American people that way. I’m betting the war gets funded much quicker than most of your preferred programs.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  345. “MKDP – I think you should ask the frogman you give you back your uterus that was detached. It’s not healthy to try to survive on the ones you have left. Just speak out loud on the deck of your boat. The government is listening. You might want to ask them for some new disks while you’re at it but you have to be careful with those, they might implant something nasty in them”

    More blah, blah, blah. And next I’m sure you’re going to tell me I have the Linda Blair Exorcist disability, too.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  346. “What is the flaw in my line of thinking?”

    “The federal government invests nothing but access to public lands and get more than the oil companies investors that pay to get the oil out.”

    Like it or not the federal government is us. The federal government works for us. The oil on public lands belongs to us.

    Who “gets more” has nothing to do with what the federal government “invests”. It’s every American’s oil.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  347. Eric Blair,

    As I’m sure you know, Patterico frequently writes that he wants diverse views expressed here. I agree with him and I bet you do, too, because we learn more from spirited discussion. Plus, it’s challenging and fun to talk with people who hold different views.

    However, I also know that Patterico doesn’t want extreme rhetoric (on either side) to run off thoughtful, serious contributors. Thus, if a conservative commenter uses profane and overblown rhetoric and other conservative commenters object, Patterico will consider various sanctions. Likewise if liberal commenters are offended or discouraged by a specific liberal commenter. The point is that Patterico depends on like-minded commenters to evaluate the contributions made by others here.

    So it doesn’t matter much what you or I think of jharp and others who share his liberal views. What matters is (of course, first and foremost) what Patterico thinks and, after that, what other liberal readers and commenters think jharp adds to the discussion. It may be that they appreciate his contributions, even if he’s overstated now and then, because he makes points they think need to be made. Or it may be that they are uncomfortable by his approach and thus are less likely to comment.

    I wish I knew.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  348. “I’m betting the war gets funded much quicker than most of your preferred programs.”

    And how would you have any idea what my preferred programs would be?

    jharp (00ec6a)

  349. “Professional sports are monopolies”

    jharp, the assertion professional sports monopolies operate under same conditions as oil monopolies is a flawed, phony comparison. Econ 101.

    MKDP (efb6d9)

  350. Your reasoning skills are pretty poor, aren’t they? If I would give 80%, and you would opt out, it follows that you prefer something besides the war be funded. Since the war is my top priority, we have different preferences.

    Might there be something we agree should be funded? Absolutely, and I never said anything different. That wasn’t the point and you trying to change it won’t work. Should we be able to directly designate where our tax dollars go as you suggest, or shouldn’t we?

    If so, my bet still stands. The war would get funded before any program you prefer. Any. So be careful what you wish for.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  351. It’s every American’s oil.

    Then why are we paying taxes every gallon, to several levels of government?

    Pat R. (9828c0)

  352. To add my previous post about things in Indiana.

    The local public golf courses are doing very well after some pretty shitty previous years. Many, including myself and the owners, believe it’s due to folks not taking the traveling vacations.

    And the campground business is booming.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  353. jharp, the assertion professional sports monopolies operate under same conditions as oil monopolies is a flawed, phony comparison. Econ 101.

    I agree.

    I was only responding to Drumwater’s “If the people have a substitute for whatever is being offered, it isn’t a monopoly.”

    jharp (00ec6a)

  354. It’s every American’s oil.

    Then why are we paying taxes every gallon, to several levels of government?

    To pay the bills with. Build roads in order use the oil. Pay police to keep the roads safe. Build bridges to use while we use the oil. And so forth.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  355. Gotta say I don’t like this new out-of-left-field rule about requiring links in all the posts. I’ll probably skip that part if I can. Maybe I’ll just throw a link to a Montgomery Gentry video on YouTube on the end of everything I post.

    As others have pointed out, that is not the rule. You are reading comprehension challenged.

    Speaking of which, I said in my post:

    “DRJ, Levi: in your first comment, please say: “I accept these rules” before moving on to your comment.”

    DRJ managed to figure that out.

    Levi:

    In your next comment, say “I accept these rules” — or, if you don’t, and you want to admit you can’t debate civilly, say “I don’t accept these rules.”

    If you accept, no whining.

    If you don’t, I’ll PayPal you the ten dollars, and we’ll end this experiment. I will take it as an admission that you don’t want to debate civilly.

    If your next comment does not state whether you accept the rules, it will be unceremoniously deleted. That’s the only way I can get you to pay attention.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  356. DRJ, I have followed your comments for a long, long while, and I tend to trust your opinions, “blog-instincts,” and good nature. But I contend that there are several types of contributors to blogs: 1. Lurkers, 2. Snarkers (one-liners, usually), 3. Cyberbullies who are spoiling for electronic fights, and 4. Civil contributors of any and all political stripes.

    The folks in Category 2 often make me laugh. The 4th class is probably the most valuable. But I find on many blogs that too many of the people in Category 3 damage the discussion. As you correctly remind me, it isn’t my blog. But the folks in Category 3 usually don’t have anything to contribute to a blog other than reactive disagreement, much like Monty Python’s famed Argument Room referenced above. They also sometimes add insult, which doesn’t help.

    All I am trying to say is that I hope that you don’t waste your limited time and energies on folks in Category 3. I have seen many excellent contributors to blogs just give up when there is too much of that kind of thing going on. There is only so much time in a day, and why waste a femtosecond on folks who are running a contradiction game? Such folks never really offer a coherent world view, other than disagreement with what another person has stated or contributed. Many of these people just like to fight, period.

    Everyone’s mileage may vary; these are only my opinions. I like the way Mr. Frey runs his shop, but I worry about the blog equivalent of Gresham’s Law. I enjoy this blog and I hope it continues as it has for some time now. I learn a good deal from posters on both sides of the political divide here.

    And most importantly, it *is* Mr. Frey’s shop. Category 3 people tend to attract more of the same. The good news is that Mr. Frey doesn’t usually tolerate civil people being insulted (if both parties want to fling poo, that is fine and often entertaining).

    Thanks for your non-cynical view of the world, incidentally.

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  357. Cool experiment, Mr. Frey. I hope it works, because all of us—me in particular—would learn a great deal from it.

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  358. Stashiu3

    “Should we be able to directly designate where our tax dollars go as you suggest, or shouldn’t we?”

    No.

    But yes through the democratic process we now enjoy.

    I was responding to the post below.

    “Good point. I propose a two level tax. A lower one for Republicans and a 2X for Democrats. That way they can actually justify their feelings of moral superiority.”

    I guess that’s one of the pitfalls of a message board. Sometimes everyone loses track of what the debate is focusing on.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  359. If anyone loses focus here, it’s you since this is not the first time you’ve done it. The democratic process you mention is what currently funds the war, but you wanted to change that process. I would support that change if it applied equally to every program and every taxpayer (non-taxpayers would not be able to designate where tax dollars they didn’t contribute are spent, only local issues where they paid sales tax, property tax, etc…).

    Why would you have a problem with that? Since you don’t like how the democratic process as it stands keeps funding the war with your tax dollars, you would be able to opt out. I would opt out of other things. What could be fairer?

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  360. “lower and tax revenues higher than ever before,” (Drumwaster)

    “And it only added $4 trillion to our debt. That we now have to pay back along with $200 billion in annual interest.

    And 145 dollar per barrel of oil, dollar at all time lows, record home foreclosures, skyrocketing food and energy prices, unprecedented credit disaster.” (jharp)

    For everything else, there’s Mastercard.

    Yeah, a real succes.

    hap (ff848e)

  361. “Cool experiment, Mr. Frey. I hope it works, because all of us—me in particular—would learn a great deal from it.”

    Always respect someone trying something new and also hope it works.

    Not accusing anyone of being dishonest but from my 25 years business experience if someone can gain an edge by cheating they will.

    Don’t know how you will keep either side from assembling a team without anyones knowledge.

    Anyway, it’s a good idea and you don’t have to be exactly right on the first try.

    Good luck.

    jharp (00ec6a)

  362. “If anyone loses focus here, it’s you since this is not the first time you’ve done it.”

    Maybe and probably. So point it out and I’ll correct myself.

    “The democratic process you mention is what currently funds the war, but you wanted to change that process.”

    No. I responded to you that I don’t think we should be able to opt out of what we don’t like.

    I thought i was clear that I was responding to this post

    “Good point. I propose a two level tax. A lower one for Republicans and a 2X for Democrats. That way they can actually justify their feelings of moral superiority.”

    and used the example of opting out of paying for the war with the same reasoning.

    “I would support that change if it applied equally to every program and every taxpayer (non-taxpayers would not be able to designate where tax dollars they didn’t contribute are spent, only local issues where they paid sales tax, property tax, etc…).’

    I wouldn’t and don’t.

    “Why would you have a problem with that? ”

    Because I don’t think it would be effective.

    “Since you don’t like how the democratic process as it stands ”

    Though our system is far from perfect I still think it is the best in the history of the world.

    “you would be able to opt out. I would opt out of other things. What could be fairer?”

    Sounds fair but I don’t feel it’d work.

    Comment by Stashiu3 — 7/6/2008 @ 12:31 am

    jharp (00ec6a)

  363. Eric Blair,

    Point taken but every now and then I like to dabble in hopeless causes.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  364. “Since you don’t like how the democratic process as it stands keeps funding the war with your tax dollars, you would be able to opt out.”

    This is just another way of saying you want to privatize taxes, like privatizing social security and so many other things. This formula doesn’t work. According to “the democratic process” and most of the latest polls, the majority of American’s don’t want the War. Americans KNOW the incessant tax cuts PLUS debt financing PLUS the staggering costs of the War are the cause of the “‘145 dollar per barrel of oil, dollar at all time lows, record home foreclosures, skyrocketing food and energy prices, unprecedented credit disaster.’ (jharp)”

    Any person with a J.D./M.B.A. KNOWS this Country has been cooking the accounting books for so long this is what we get. And it’s going to get a lot worse. Did anyone catch the article on Medvegev (sp?) Russian Pres. Putin-protege stating the United States is currently in a depression? And the U.S. can’t be telling the rest of the World what to do anymore? That it is time the rest of the World stops looking to only the dollar and the U.S. economy because Americans financial debacle is dragging down the rest of the World economy? And neither Russia nor any of the otehr Countries in the World need the United States anymore? That the G-8 is for the 8 largest economic powers in the World, and the United States no longer qualifies? So the rest of teh World can eliminate the United States from the G-8? That IS what the rest of the World is saying.

    So opt out is just another economic policy of ruin and should be rejected along with all the other outdated failed Republican economic “trickle down” policies. What a joke to hear Bernanke continue to say how the Fed can get this economy under control. It CAN’T. And that is because if the Fed raises interest rates to get inflation under control, the housing bust we have seen so far will look like the mere tip of the proverbial Titanic iceberg. If the Fed lowers or maintains the same low interest rate, we will soon see hyperinflation, not mere “stagflation.” The student of the Depression, in trying to solve what Greenspan left behind, has painted all of us into a corner called a Depression.

    There is no way to recover this economy, at least in time to prevent losing our catbird seat in the heirarchy of World power. We should have learned from the oil embargo of 1973, but no, we are stupid capitalists who let corporate profits run the show. Chase the profits, and the profits came from oil. We have lost the window of 20-30 years we did have to bring about change in technology to ensure our independence from oil.

    We also outsourced and globalized all our manufacturing base, so we are nowhere close to having the ability to mobilize for a REAL War, like we did for WWI and WWII. It would take many years and lots of money we don’t have to rebuild it. The greed of a few to increase their income from globalization has forced all Americans to our knees. Do we really think other Countries competing for military power and economic control are not going to pounce on us like a gang of vultures? Once vultures peck the eyes out, they go in for the kill. But we have some reason to trust the goodness of all other Nations, including potential enemies, that they will feel sorry for us Americans? How many City-States and Nations have fallen due to similar folly.

    And then we have not even considered the economic effects of abrupt climate change. Soon Floridians and probably some in the Sacramento Valley are going to have to start to depreciate their real property to a negative value predicated on when the sea level will rise and the real property will go underwater, creating a toxic Superfund cleanup site. Not dischargeable in bankruptcy, no doubt. Depreciable real property, you say? We have never heard of such a thing, you say? You will, just wait. And WAIT until some of our Interstate highways, like I-95 through Georgia and I-10 through Louisiana, are overcome by the rising global warming waters, and the Great mass migration Northward out of Florida begins.

    So, No, opt out is an idea of failure. Failure for ourselves, our future, and our children and grandchildren. We need to raise taxes on the wealthy to Ike era 91% rates. The wealthy beneficiaries of the incessant Bush tax cuts have enjoyed their wild-spending romp, now they are the ones who have the money, and they need to pay for the good of all Americans to restoring America to Greatness and ensure the legacy of survival to future generations.

    MKDP (ec6130)

  365. corr:
    “they need to pay for the good of all Americans to restoring America to Greatness and ensure the legacy of survival to future generations” =

    they need to pay for the good of all Americans to restore America to Greatness and ensure the legacy of survival to future generations

    MKDP (ec6130)

  366. Yeah, class warfare, that’s the ticket. Helped so much in Britain when high earners said hasta la vista, baby and moved to France for tax shelter.

    Why not just print money and make everyone a millionaire or simply have your liberal judges raise the minimum wage to $20-50 a hour by fiat?
    See how all that works out. The 50% who pay no income taxes now, should be getting bigger rebates, perhaps equal to their present income or we could have government pay for unlimited medical services and drugs. While we’re at it, give those “poor” people each a new Detroit built car every three years. That would lower unemployment in Michigan at least.
    Maybe your boy Urkel can filitate your desires. It is tough when even millionaires like Urkel and Michelle struggle to put fresh fruit on the table. I know some think all the flip flops merely show that Obambi is a wise man being pragmatic and when elected he will reign in the liberals in Congress to satisfy what regular Americans prefer. Yeah, right. Lots of reasons to kiss neo-con butts, eh?
    Why don’t you socialists/marxists just carry your sorry asses to utopias such as Canada, Cuba and Zimbabwe?

    madmax333 (236b57)

  367. DRJ,

    I think the Catholic canon has St. Jude as the patron of Hopeless Causes. You and a few others have done him proud in this thread. Per Eric Blair #357 (the other Eric Blair, I assume). I hope you start ignoring the trolls and cyberbullies long before the futility of the aforementioned Argument Clinic starts to wear on you.

    AMac (5364b0)

  368. While we’re all in education mode, this would be a good time to teach harpy how to use the blockquote function, and MKDP could use the tutorial as well.

    It’s really quite simple. When you’re quoting someone, first hit the button that says “quote”. It is located at the right of the row of buttons just above the comment field. That will produce two instances of the word “blockquote” in angled brackets, the second of which will have a forward slash just before the word.

    Now what you’ll do is copy the text you intend to quote, and place it between the > at the end of the first incidence of “blockquote” and the < at the beginning of the second incidence. That will set the other person’s comments apart from yours like this:

    Other person’s comments.

    That way, the incoherence of your comments will be limited to your idiocy/lunacy, and folks won’t have to wonder what you’re quoting and what you’re actually saying. This will improve your abilities to communicate here by approximately 10 times, giving you a minimum effectiveness rate of 11%.

    Thank you in advance for your compliance.

    Pablo (99243e)

  369. And remember above all, when Warren Buffett pays 17 cents in taxes on the next dollar he earns while you pay 30 cents in taxes on your next dollar, that it is what is best for you.

    Warren Buffet thinks he should pay more taxes. This being America, I too think he should be able to follow through on contributing more of his income to the government. The Treasury will surely accept his multimillion dollar check. And then, while he’s feeling satisfied about his appropriate contribution to the American common good, he can give his secretary a big fat raise.

    Pablo (99243e)

  370. #365 btw, pray tell just who is competing militarily with the USA, other than China and perhaps former USSR? And if our resources have diminished what did Carter and Clinton have to do with that or what are Obama’s plans for the warmongering Defense department? Surely you are not suggesting that any of the European countries have any sort of military strength? Maybe you fear Islamic regular forces? But libs don’t concern themselves with talk of jihad and future dhimmitude and sharia for the US- it is all neocon conspiracy talk.
    Also enquiring minds want to know just how far it is that you have your head stuck algore’s ass with the agw drivel? Seas rising, planet doomed, doomed, I say! Only fat albery can save us by jetting about the world pontificating on our wasteful lifstyles. Indeed, the peons in the US should tighten their belts as Urkel O!bama desires and thus allow more resouces and carbon usage for use by the needy Indian and Chinese populations. Everyone should be equal, except for the gores, edwards, kennedys, obamas, clintons, fat ass mikey moores and huffington limo libs of the world.
    You, Harpmaroon and Levitard are all clueless lib obamatons.

    madmax333 (7a2379)

  371. Pablo #369,

    Thank you in advance for your compliance.

    Noble intentions notwithstanding, your reasonable request is unlikely to have much impact. A number of lines of argumentation in this very thread demonstrate that poor comprehensibility isn’t a bug but a feature for many of Eric Blair’s Category 3 folks (#357). A buffet of semi-correct facts and scrambled reasoning.

    “Category 3″ bringing to mind the annoyance of a Smog Alert, rather than the fearsome progression of a powerful cyclone. Or Smog Alerts–the worrisome shortage of hyperbole doesn’t seem to have struck any point on the political spectrum, yet.

    AMac (5364b0)

  372. Go for it. I truly don’t give a dam.

    I really don’t. I’ve got plenty of redneck, voting rich living poor types right in my backyard that need to hear the truth.

    If you really don’t, why do you keep showing up?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  373. I accept these rules.

    I won’t waste any more time explaining why I think Jeremiah Wright is hate-filled and anti-American. I already made you suffer for 100+ comments as I searched for reasons other than racism and hate to explain Wright’s statement and, as you know, I couldn’t find any. Thus, the remaining issue is: What does Obama’s long-term, close relationship with Jeremiah Wright, a person who publicly espouses racism and hate, say about Barack Obama?

    Well to start off, I’ll never agree with you that Rev. Wright is racist or un-American. I obviously don’t know what entirely you’re basing that judgment on, but if it’s the two minutes of YouTube video that we all saw on the news over and over again, that’s pretty flimsy. I’m a white guy, I don’t think Rev. Wright hates me, I’m not afraid of him or his opinions, and I don’t find anything particularly offensive about anything he’s said. If you wanted to discuss his specific comments, I wouldn’t mind. I will never understand how saying, “God Damn America” makes some un-patriotic.

    But definitely, I’m not just going to cede to you the point that he’s a racist or hates this country.

    You think it means nothing and, as you know, I disagree so let’s consider the facts: Barack Obama was a member of Wright’s church for 20 years. Over the years, Obama credited Wright with his commitment to Christianity and repeatedly identified Wright as his spiritual mentor and moral compass. Wright officiated at Obama’s marriage and baptized his children. In addition, Obama chose Wright to pray with him as he began his Presidential campaign and named Wright to a formal role in his Presidential campaign.

    No, this oft-repeated litany of complaints means nothing to me. If you’re operating under the assumption that Rev. Wright is some crazed racist, I could see how it would cause a problem for Obama, but that has not been reasonably demonstrated.

    Religion, marriage, children, and career are the most important elements of an adult’s life

    I disagree wholeheartedly with that, and I would further diminish the importance of most of those things as far as electing people to represent you in government goes (career is obviously an important consideration.) Whether or not someone has enough kids, or goes to the right church, is totally tangential to being a strong, effective governor. I will talk later about how unimportant these ‘character issues’ are.

    and it’s impossible to believe that Barack Obama repeatedly and exclusively chose Jeremiah Wright to participate in those moments while remaining ignorant about Wright’s core beliefs. It’s equally impossible to believe that Obama was unaware of the enthusiastic response Wright’s message received from the members of their church congregation.

    I don’t know what you think Jeremiah Wright’s ‘core beliefs’ are, but I’m willing to bet they are totally inaccurate. I really think we need to talk about the man before we start crafting our arguments around some caricature.

    Perhaps Obama supported Wright for 20+ years because it helped Obama further his political and personal ambitions. Or maybe Wright is more of a soulmate, someone who shares the same message, values and goals. Obama’s persistent focus that Republicans like to “mention he’s black” suggest Obama agrees with Wright’s poor opinion of white America.

    This is the entire basis of Republicans’ argument, rampant speculation and damning innuendo. Either Obama is some conniving fake Christian only attending church to satiate his political ambition, or he’s a flaming racist. What Obama has to say on the issues of race is entirely irrelevant, he can gives pressers and write speeches and conduct interviews, but nope. Republicans looks to Rev. Wright and dream up conspiracy theories to make up their minds about him.

    As you know, Obama initially refused to disavow Jeremiah Wright or his message, and he only condemned Wright when political expediency required that he do so. At that point, even Jeremiah Wright admitted that he knew Obama had to distance himself because “If Senator Obama didn’t say what he said, he’d never be elected.”

    I don’t agree with the way that Obama handled the Rev. Wright controversy. I also don’t blame him, however, he is in a terribly ineffective political party that does nothing but cower in the face of Republicans and the media. He made an admirable effort at the beginning, I believe, but it would be quite too much to expect him to stand up to such attacks all by himself. I would have liked to have seen that, of course, but what can we do? Democrats are whipped.

    It’s politics, not a rejection of hate, that made Obama disavow Wright and his message. How does that make you feel about your candidate?

    Again, it hasn’t been demonstrated to my satisfaction that Wright is a racist.

    Now that I’m through with yours, I will lay out my position.

    ‘Character issues’ were invented by Republicans, who are great politicians and campaigners but terrible governors, to win elections. By running on ‘character issues,’ Republicans can effectively minimize the importance of all of their very unpopular positions on real, substantive issues, and instead play elections as popularity contests. The 2000 election was not difficult to explain; Bush was a cool cowboy you wanted to have a beer with, Gore was boring and stiff. 2004 was similar, Bush was a cool warrior-cowboy that landed a fighter jet, Kerry was a French windsurfer.

    Enter Barack Obama. There is absolutely no way that a geriatric like John McCain is going to be able to out-cool a 45-year old black man, so Republicans (and Hillary Clinton, to be fair), aided by their all-too-eager giddy schoolgirl enablers in the media, manufactured this Rev. Wright controversy, to portray Obama as some sort of brainwashed racist, or something. It really is frivolous on so many levels; Rev. Wright is not really a racist, Barack Obama has stated over and over again that he does not agree with the ‘controversial’ things Wright said, Obama himself is half-white, and on and on. These things matter not, because the media got mileage out of playing those clips over and over again. And yes folks, there are still quite a few racists in this country, eager to jump at the chance to mistrust a black man.

    So now we just repeat the same things over and over, that Obama went for 20 years, he was married by Wright, his kids were baptized by Wright, and that’s all supposed to convince us not to vote for him. The issues, once again, are brought out behind the shed and killed, ‘character politics’ is the name of the game. Not so much the character of John McCain, who we should remember, left his wife for a much younger woman, and who courted the endorsement and political aide of an infinitely more influential pastor that thinks the Holocaust was part of God’s master plan, but mainly just the character of Obama, who doesn’t wear flag pins, and whose wife expresses opinions. Republican Election-Year Politics 101.

    One final thing, because I’ve been warned about my ‘tone’ before. I am doing my best not to insult DRJ, and what I mean by that, is I’m not saying, “DRJ is a blankety-blank-blank.” But the whole premise of my argument is pretty much dependent on establishing that Republicans and their positions are often hypocritical, dishonest, contradictory, and illogical. I can definitely sit here and not drop F-bombs and not call people names, but it is very hard to talk about those things in anything but a somewhat derisive ‘tone.’ So if I’m going to lose this bet because of that, whatever, they’re your rules Patterico and you have the power to ban me, DRJ, but I’m just warning you.

    Finally, MONTGOMERY GENTRY!!!

    Levi (74ca1f)

  374. Because he’s an attention whore, as Eric Blair put it in a much more understated manner.

    “Not accusing anyone of being dishonest but from my 25 years business experience if someone can gain an edge by cheating they will.”

    Again with the fantasy projections, along with the alleged “college” classes in “economics.” Harpy, anyone who actually had to run a business is obviously well aware of the potential pitfalls, but this worldview would be more consistent with someone who’d last about two weeks in the real world. Assuming right off the bat that everyone’s trying to screw you is reminiscent of the scene in the “Caine Mutiny,” replete with Bogart’s Captain mumbling paranoid schizophrenic conspiracy theories, all while fondling his balls. But which and what kind of balls you’re fondling at present we can only speculate.

    Dmac (ea35f7)

  375. ‘character politics’ is the name of the game.

    Yeah, because who wants a President with ‘character’? Isn’t the color of his skin and how “cool” he is more important than his actually having principles?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  376. Mr. Sunny #374:

    As per your usual style, you posted a lengthy comment filled with undocumented assertions. This practice of yours is why this exercise is necessary. Don’t forget, DRJ has the power to ban you anytime she chooses if you don’t debate in good faith.

    You said you accepted the rules.

    Now follow them.

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  377. Yeah, because who wants a President with ‘character’? Isn’t the color of his skin and how “cool” he is more important than his actually having principles?

    That flew right over your head.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  378. That flew right over your head.

    So did my sarcasm, you twit. You are claiming that Republicans are mentioning character only because your boy is black. The underlying concession (that you don’t even realize you made) is that your candidate doesn’t need any, because he’s Black and “cool”.

    Obama himself is half-white,

    Not according to Obama. He claims to be black. (Interesting how the only relatives he claims to be proud of are the white ones, though…)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  379. I will let DRJ point out the fact that Levi completely bastardized his opponents position, so he could fellate the strawman. That, and the substance of his response was “no, lalalalalalalalalalala”

    JD (5f0e11)

  380. That flew right over your head.

    Wrong. That flew over YOUR head.

    Sarcasm, Mr. Sunny…look into it.

    Drumwaster schooled you, and you don’t even know it.

    Now, are you going to follow the rules, and back up all those undocumented assertions?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  381. You are claiming that Republicans are mentioning character only because your boy is black.

    Totally wrong.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  382. Totally wrong.

    Hey, it’s your own assertion. To wit:

    There is absolutely no way that a geriatric like John McCain is going to be able to out-cool a 45-year old black man, so Republicans (and Hillary Clinton, to be fair), aided by their all-too-eager giddy schoolgirl enablers in the media, manufactured this Rev. Wright controversy, to portray Obama as some sort of brainwashed racist, or something.”

    Sucks when you can’t remember what you wrote, dunnit?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  383. Drumwaster said:

    You are claiming that Republicans are mentioning character only because your boy is black.

    Uh, that’s not really the best way to put that.

    Hey, Levi? Your comment had some opportunities for links, and you didn’t take them. Just so it’s clear, that doesn’t count as one of your ten comments. And it easily could have, had you, say, documented the Hagee thing, or anyone of several other assertions.

    I’ll let DRJ handle whatever other deficiencies there may have been in the comment. I just wanted to point out that the rules you accepted do require links to support factual assertions.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  384. Try a styptic pencil. It’ll stop the bleeding.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  385. Totally wrong.

    Then explain what else you could have possibly meant by these two paragraphs:

    ‘Character issues’ were invented by Republicans, who are great politicians and campaigners but terrible governors, to win elections. By running on ‘character issues,’ Republicans can effectively minimize the importance of all of their very unpopular positions on real, substantive issues, and instead play elections as popularity contests. The 2000 election was not difficult to explain; Bush was a cool cowboy you wanted to have a beer with, Gore was boring and stiff. 2004 was similar, Bush was a cool warrior-cowboy that landed a fighter jet, Kerry was a French windsurfer.

    Enter Barack Obama. There is absolutely no way that a geriatric like John McCain is going to be able to out-cool a 45-year old black man, so Republicans (and Hillary Clinton, to be fair), aided by their all-too-eager giddy schoolgirl enablers in the media, manufactured this Rev. Wright controversy, to portray Obama as some sort of brainwashed racist, or something. It really is frivolous on so many levels; Rev. Wright is not really a racist, Barack Obama has stated over and over again that he does not agree with the ‘controversial’ things Wright said, Obama himself is half-white, and on and on. These things matter not, because the media got mileage out of playing those clips over and over again. And yes folks, there are still quite a few racists in this country, eager to jump at the chance to mistrust a black man.

    Dude, are you trying to lose before DRJ even shows up today?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  386. Uh, that’s not really the best way to put that.

    True. I therefore substitute the word “boy” with “candidate”. (Don’t want to appear un-P.C., do we?)

    The point, however, stands.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  387. Levi needs the rules explained to him again: Relevant links to reliable sources does not mean a song on YouTube. And merely asserting something does not make it so.

    Bradley J Fikes (0ea407)

  388. Also, please remember, Levi, the rule that you are not to insult ANYONE in this thread. You haven’t so far, and I’m not saying that you have. I’m just reminding you that the rule doesn’t apply only to DRJ, or to your official responses to her.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  389. And yes folks, there are still quite a few racists in this country, eager to jump at the chance to mistrust a black man.

    But a specific ethnicity that votes in favor of Obama 94-6, based on the color of his skin, isn’t at all racist, is that right?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  390. I re-explained them, Bradley. Per the rules he accepted, his comment doesn’t count towards the ten.

    It moves the debate along, and that’s to the good.

    But it doesn’t count towards the ten.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  391. As to the substance, it’s interesting how, when you strip away all the words, you’re mostly left with: I disagree.

    I think I know where DRJ might head with this, though.

    I don’t find anything particularly offensive about anything he’s said. If you wanted to discuss his specific comments, I wouldn’t mind.

    I have a feeling she will want to do just that.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  392. I accept these rules.

    I won’t waste any more time explaining why I think Jeremiah Wright is hate-filled and anti-American. I already made you suffer for 100+ comments as I searched for reasons other than racism and hate to explain Wright’s statement and, as you know, I couldn’t find any. Thus, the remaining issue is: What does Obama’s long-term, close relationship with Jeremiah Wright, a person who publicly espouses racism and hate, say about Barack Obama?

    Well to start off, I’ll never agree with you that Rev. Wright is racist or un-American. I obviously don’t know what entirely you’re basing that judgment on, but if it’s the two minutes of YouTube video that we all saw on the news over and over again, that’s pretty flimsy. I’m a white guy, I don’t think Rev. Wright hates me, I’m not afraid of him or his opinions, and I don’t find anything particularly offensive about anything he’s said. If you wanted to discuss his specific comments, I wouldn’t mind. I will never understand how saying, “God Damn America” makes some un-patriotic.

    But definitely, I’m not just going to cede to you the point that he’s a racist or hates this country.

    You think it means nothing and, as you know, I disagree so let’s consider the facts: Barack Obama was a member of Wright’s church for 20 years. Over the years, Obama credited Wright with his commitment to Christianity and repeatedly identified Wright as his spiritual mentor and moral compass. Wright officiated at Obama’s marriage and baptized his children. In addition, Obama chose Wright to pray with him as he began his Presidential campaign and named Wright to a formal role in his Presidential campaign.

    No, this oft-repeated litany of complaints means nothing to me. If you’re operating under the assumption that Rev. Wright is some crazed racist, I could see how it would cause a problem for Obama, but that has not been reasonably demonstrated.

    Religion, marriage, children, and career are the most important elements of an adult’s life

    I disagree wholeheartedly with that, and I would further diminish the importance of most of those things as far as electing people to represent you in government goes (career is obviously an important consideration.) Whether or not someone has enough kids, or goes to the right church, is totally tangential to being a strong, effective governor. I will talk later about how unimportant these ‘character issues’ are.

    and it’s impossible to believe that Barack Obama repeatedly and exclusively chose Jeremiah Wright to participate in those moments while remaining ignorant about Wright’s core beliefs. It’s equally impossible to believe that Obama was unaware of the enthusiastic response Wright’s message received from the members of their church congregation.

    I don’t know what you think Jeremiah Wright’s ‘core beliefs’ are, but I’m willing to bet they are totally inaccurate. I really think we need to talk about the man before we start crafting our arguments around some caricature.

    Perhaps Obama supported Wright for 20+ years because it helped Obama further his political and personal ambitions. Or maybe Wright is more of a soulmate, someone who shares the same message, values and goals. Obama’s persistent focus that Republicans like to “mention he’s black” suggest Obama agrees with Wright’s poor opinion of white America.

    This is the entire basis of Republicans’ argument, rampant speculation and damning innuendo. Either Obama is some conniving fake Christian only attending church to satiate his political ambition, or he’s a flaming racist. What Obama has to say on the issues of race is entirely irrelevant, he can gives pressers and write speeches and conduct interviews, but nope. Republicans looks to Rev. Wright and dream up conspiracy theories to make up their minds about him.

    As you know, Obama initially refused to disavow Jeremiah Wright or his message, and he only condemned Wright when political expediency required that he do so. At that point, even Jeremiah Wright admitted that he knew Obama had to distance himself because “If Senator Obama didn’t say what he said, he’d never be elected.”

    I don’t agree with the way that Obama handled the Rev. Wright controversy. I also don’t blame him, however, he is in a terribly ineffective political party that does nothing but cower in the face of Republicans and the media. He made an admirable effort at the beginning, I believe, but it would be quite too much to expect him to stand up to such attacks all by himself. I would have liked to have seen that, of course, but what can we do? Democrats are whipped.

    It’s politics, not a rejection of hate, that made Obama disavow Wright and his message. How does that make you feel about your candidate?

    Again, it hasn’t been demonstrated to my satisfaction that Wright is a racist.

    Now that I’m through with yours, I will lay out my position.

    ‘Character issues’ were invented by Republicans, who are great politicians and campaigners but terrible governors, to win elections. By running on ‘character issues,’ Republicans can effectively minimize the importance of all of their very unpopular positions on real, substantive issues, and instead play elections as popularity contests. The 2000 election was not difficult to explain; Bush was a cool cowboy you wanted to have a beer with, Gore was boring and stiff. 2004 was similar, Bush was a cool warrior-cowboy that landed a fighter jet, Kerry was a French windsurfer.

    Enter Barack Obama. There is absolutely no way that a geriatric like John McCain is going to be able to out-cool a 45-year old black man, so Republicans (and Hillary Clinton, to be fair), aided by their all-too-eager giddy schoolgirl enablers in the media, manufactured this Rev. Wright controversy, to portray Obama as some sort of brainwashed racist, or something. It really is frivolous on so many levels; Rev. Wright is not really a racist, Barack Obama has stated over and over again that he does not agree with the ‘controversial’ things Wright said, Obama himself is half-white, and on and on. These things matter not, because the media got mileage out of playing those clips over and over again. And yes folks, there are still quite a few racists in this country, eager to jump at the chance to mistrust a black man.

    So now we just repeat the same things over and over, that Obama went for 20 years, he was married by Wright, his kids were baptized by Wright, and that’s all supposed to convince us not to vote for him. The issues, once again, are brought out behind the shed and killed, ‘character politics’ is the name of the game. Not so much the character of John McCain, who we should remember, left his wife for a much younger woman, and who courted the endorsement and political aide of an infinitely more influential pastor that thinks the Holocaust was part of God’s master planJOHN HAGEE QUOTE, but mainly just the character of Obama, who doesn’t wear flag pins, and whose wife expresses opinions. Republican Election-Year Politics 101.

    One final thing, because I’ve been warned about my ‘tone’ before. I am doing my best not to insult DRJ, and what I mean by that, is I’m not saying, “DRJ is a blankety-blank-blank.” But the whole premise of my argument is pretty much dependent on establishing that Republicans and their positions are often hypocritical, dishonest, contradictory, and illogical. I can definitely sit here and not drop F-bombs and not call people names, but it is very hard to talk about those things in anything but a somewhat derisive ‘tone.’ So if I’m going to lose this bet because of that, whatever, they’re your rules Patterico and you have the power to ban me, DRJ, but I’m just warning you.

    Finally, MONTGOMERY GENTRY!!!

    Levi (74ca1f)

  393. Well, there’s the John Hagee quote, but now all the quoting is screwed up.

    Hope that works.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  394. Well, at least you posted a link to Hagee. You’re well on the way to learning how to discuss and not merely assert.

    steve miller (724340)

  395. So you got the Hagee quote in.

    What about the other undocumented assertions?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  396. But the whole premise of my argument is pretty much dependent on establishing that Republicans and their positions are often hypocritical, dishonest, contradictory, and illogical.

    Waiting for links on this.

    And please show us the attendance records or church membership data that shows that McCain attended Hagee’s church for 20+ years, was married by him, and had Hagee baptize his kids.

    I mean, since we’re trying to establish some kind of legitimate “apples-to-apples” comparison. You can’t claim Hagee represents McCain’s beliefs without also conceding that Wright represents Obama’s.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  397. But the whole premise of my argument is pretty much dependent

    Noted. These four things are what you have to prove.

    Merely linking some off the wall quotes from a minor Texas televangelist doesn’t cut it.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  398. Then explain what else you could have possibly meant by these two paragraphs:

    ‘Character issues’ were invented by Republicans, who are great politicians and campaigners but terrible governors, to win elections. By running on ‘character issues,’ Republicans can effectively minimize the importance of all of their very unpopular positions on real, substantive issues, and instead play elections as popularity contests. The 2000 election was not difficult to explain; Bush was a cool cowboy you wanted to have a beer with, Gore was boring and stiff. 2004 was similar, Bush was a cool warrior-cowboy that landed a fighter jet, Kerry was a French windsurfer.

    Enter Barack Obama. There is absolutely no way that a geriatric like John McCain is going to be able to out-cool a 45-year old black man, so Republicans (and Hillary Clinton, to be fair), aided by their all-too-eager giddy schoolgirl enablers in the media, manufactured this Rev. Wright controversy, to portray Obama as some sort of brainwashed racist, or something. It really is frivolous on so many levels; Rev. Wright is not really a racist, Barack Obama has stated over and over again that he does not agree with the ‘controversial’ things Wright said, Obama himself is half-white, and on and on. These things matter not, because the media got mileage out of playing those clips over and over again. And yes folks, there are still quite a few racists in this country, eager to jump at the chance to mistrust a black man.

    Dude, are you trying to lose before DRJ even shows up today?

    I mean exactly what it says. Which isn’t this:

    You are claiming that Republicans are mentioning character only because your boy is black.

    Republicans only mention character because it’s the only thing they ever mention. Al Gore and John Kerry were easy marks for George Bush’s faux-cowboy bullshit. It wasn’t much more complicated than “Bush is cooler than these guys.” The coolness thing is a hard sell when you’re running a barely-alive, wrinkly old curmudgeon against a mega-popular young black guy. So you switch it up on Obama and just pretend he’s a racist.

    Can’t make it any clearer than that.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  399. Levi, links, please, for your assertions.

    steve miller (724340)

  400. Republicans only mention character because it’s the only thing they ever mention.

    Probably because there hasn’t been a Democrat with character since Truman.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  401. Just so we’re straight Patterico, I put in the John Hagee quote as you requested, so that puppy should count. You posted it in the debate thread, so I’m at one now, right?

    Levi (74ca1f)

  402. There is absolutely no way that a geriatric like John McCain is going to be able to out-cool a 45-year old black man, so Republicans (and Hillary Clinton, to be fair), aided by their all-too-eager giddy schoolgirl enablers in the media, manufactured this Rev. Wright controversy

    They bring up character because Obama is “cool”? Or is it because Obama doesn’t have any?

    Show us evidence of Obama’s character, please.

    If you can.

    I won’t hold my breath.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  403. They bring up character because Obama is “cool”? Or is it because Obama doesn’t have any?

    What the hell are you talking about?

    Levi (74ca1f)

  404. Backtrack Barack has character. Of a weathervane.

    steve miller (724340)

  405. I put in the John Hagee quote as you requested, so that puppy should count.

    “In order to win, each side must muster at least ten comments that each assert, with a link, at least one fact that is meaningful and relevant to the proposition being debated.”

    The propositions are stated above. Hagee’s quote doesn’t support your assertion, nor does it disprove anything in DRJ’s position. That would qualify it as neither meaningful nor relevant.

    I vote “no”.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  406. What the hell are you talking about?

    Your unfounded assertion above. Try to keep up.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  407. I don’t see how the Hagee quote helps Levi’s argument one bit. Hagee has said some despicable things, to be sure, but tu quoque is hardly a defense of Wright’s conduct.

    At the very best for Levi, we could conclude that both Obama and Wright made horrible choices for religious/political advisers that call their judgment into question. But Levi is arguing that Wright’s views aren’t relevant in judging Obama. And even then, Obama’s dependence on Wright, spanning his religious conversion, marriage and two decades in his church, are far more deep-rooted than McCain’s relatively recent embrace of Hagee.

    Also, the statement about the Holocaust being part of God’s plan is by no means the most offensive thing Hagee has said. It is not necessarily anti-Semitic to conclude that God lets awful things happen to produce good, and Hagee is a longtime supporter of Israel. I think Israelis are far more worried about Palestinian terrorism than some strange utterances by a preacher who backs Israel’s right to exist.

    Far worse are Hagee’s horrible slurs against the Catholic Church as the “great whore”, etc. There is no innocent interpretation for that.

    Bradley J Fikes (0ea407)

  408. Hagee may not be to everyone’s taste. (He’s not mine.)

    But we haven’t established how a walk-on by McCain with Hagee is the same as establishing a pastor as in one’s campaign, the same pastor who married you, baptized your kids, and gave you the title of your book.

    Now, if McCain comes out with a book titled “Why God Hates Jews,” then maybe the argument might work. However, McCain largely holds views contrary to Hagee, while Backtrack Barack holds views largely in synch with Rev. Wright.

    steve miller (724340)

  409. It would be interesting, in fact, to compile a table of things where Rev. Wright and Backtrack Barack agree. And then use that to figure out how much they think alike and hold the same values.

    steve miller (724340)

  410. Republicans only mention character because it’s the only thing they ever mention.

    Ever think that’s because that’s what Republicans consider important? Ever think we don’t care about sunglass-wearing, sax-playing appearances on late-night television when it comes to governing a nation of 300 million people?

    Paul (0ea0cf)

  411. It is pretty intellectually dishonest to base a defense on saying that BHO is not responsible for the views of people around him and then point and say, of by the way, look over here.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  412. It would be interesting, in fact, to compile a table of things where Rev. Wright and Backtrack Barack agree. And then use that to figure out how much they think alike and hold the same values.

    Hey, no fair using actual facts to prove things! We’re counting on unfounded assertions, straw men and tu quoque arguments here…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  413. ‘Character issues’ were invented by Republicans, who are great politicians and campaigners but terrible governors, to win elections. By running on ‘character issues,’ Republicans can effectively minimize the importance of all of their very unpopular positions on real, substantive issues, and instead play elections as popularity contests.

    Is a man’s failure to help his wife keep fresh fruit in the house for his children a “character issue” or a “real, substantive issue”?

    nk (479e05)

  414. Wrangler and harpy were separated at birth. There is not an ounce of good faith between them.

    JD (5f0e11)

  415. Is a man’s failure to help his wife keep fresh fruit in the house for his children a “character issue” or a “real, substantive issue”?

    *Oooh, ooh!* Pick me, pick me!

    {/Horshack)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  416. I added the link to the Levi comment, and he now gets credit for one comment — at least as far the link issue goes.

    It’s relevant enough. If DRJ wants to respond that it’s tu quoque, that’s her choice.

    In the future, put in the links yourself, please.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  417. Seriously, the fairest way I can interpret those two sentences by Levi is that Republicans are not as nanny-statist as Democrats. Which is true. A little less kindly, Republicans are less likely to try to buy your vote with your own tax-dollars than Democrats. Which is also true.

    On issues where the government not only can be involved but must be involved, such as public safety and national defense, the Republicans consistently run on these “real substantive issues” and overwhelmingly have more credibility than Democrats.

    nk (479e05)

  418. “If the people have a substitute for whatever is being offered, it isn’t a monopoly.”

    – Drumwaster

    Are you arguing that “ride a bike” is a serious alternative to oil, or that there is some other viable petroleum substitute to which people have ready access?

    If that’s not what you’re arguing, you could drop the bullshit Econo-Genius posturing and just tell me what you’re getting at. I never claimed to be an economics expert – although I know a little bit about the basics – and I’d appreciate it if you’d enlighten me as to what point you’re actually trying to make.

    Does it have something to do with the omnipotence and unfailing success of “The Free Market”?
    Could you give me a clue?

    Leviticus (1a8b8b)

  419. Levi,

    I appreciate your detailed response to the conservative position and I’ll return to it later. At this point, I want to respond to your defense of the liberal position, both as stated in your agreed statement and in your expanded comments here. I believe the heart of your position is that Republicans are counting on appeals to racism to beat Barack Obama.

    The facts don’t back up your belief that Republicans will use or benefit from racism in this election. First, as you note, race was an issue in the Democratic primary but it was largely focused on Bill Clintons’ claims that it was Obama who played the race card. Note comments like this one on the linked thread:

    “Bill and Hillary Clinton will say and do anything to get back into the White House.”

    Does that sound familiar? Isn’t it exactly what you say Republicans will do to Obama, only this is Democrats complaining about other Democrats? If anyone has made race an issue in this race, it’s Democrats. Republicans haven’t made race an issue and there’s no reason to believe the GOP would benefit from racism as I address in my second point.

    Second, there’s no evidence that Republicans would benefit from racism and history suggests the opposite. Michael Barone addressed this notion in his 7/6/2008 RealClearPolitics’ article in which he explored whether Americans could pass the racism test by supporting a black candidate like Barack Obama. Specifically, Barone analyzed polls comparing Democratic support for Barack Obama in 2008 with Republican support for Colin Powell in 1995. Here’s what he found:

    Obama’s candidacy by itself is not a test of whether Americans are unwilling to vote for a black candidate; to determine that, you would have to take into account whether those unwilling to vote for him would be willing to vote for a different kind of black candidate. And as it happens, there is such a test case. In the fall of 1995, Colin Powell, fresh from a boffo book tour, was (or was widely thought to be) contemplating running for president. There were plenty of polls matching him as the Republican nominee against incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton. And running well: A typical Gallup poll had him leading Clinton 54 to 39 percent.

    That’s bigger than any lead Obama has had over John McCain this year. And an analysis of 1995 and 2008 polls show that these two black candidates (putative candidate in the case of Powell, if you like) shows that they were attracting many different voters. In 1995, Powell was winning virtually all Republicans, a majority of Independents and a small number of Democrats. In recent polls this year, Obama has been winning virtually all Democrats, about half the Independents and a small number of Republicans. In other words, they have largely non-overlapping constituencies.

    That seems to leave considerably less than 10 percent of American voters either (a) unwilling to vote for Powell in 1995 and (b) unwilling to vote for Obama in 2008. And some of that small number are surely motivated by factors other than race. So I would submit that the vast majority of American voters have already passed the test. They’ve shown they’re willing to vote for a black candidate, provided he has acceptable views on issues and appropriate experience for the job.

    Obama was right when he said “They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?” But what we’re afraid of is his youth and inexperience, not his race.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  420. Are you arguing that “ride a bike” is a serious alternative to oil

    No, that position is the one taken by those who think we can economize out way out of current high prices. Mass transit, “walk to work”, and all the rest

    Since you ask, the most efficient free-market way to wipe out a monopoly/cartel is to open the markets to anyone. Eliminate the massive costs instituted by suffocating bureaucracies and lewt them keep what they make.

    With current regulations and bureaucratic nonsense being required, with years of delay being instituted on a whim by someone opposed to the very concept of high technology or societal progress, is it any wonder that new entrepreneurs aren’t entering the field? With Congress actively working against the best efforts of the existing businesses, who would want to risk it? With the new windfall profit taxes being bandied about, why would anyone want to risk a dime on new exploration or R&D? I mean, if you lose, you lose the whole dollar, but if you win, you’re only allowed to keep 50 cents? What kind of logic is this?

    As for their “obscene” profits, I have pointed out that several other (as many as 53) industries are making a higher profit margin than the oil companies. Should we institute a windfall profits tax on them? How about actors that are suddenly making a lot more per movie than they were two or three years ago? Why not tax them ruinously? It’s not like they did anything extraordinarily different for that $60K paycheck per movie than they did for the $4 million…

    Or sports stars – they should all make the league minimum, and work where they are told, right?

    Does it have something to do with the omnipotence and unfailing success of “The Free Market”?

    When allowed to operate without restrictions, there has been NOTHING better to advance wealth for every member in society, because it will maximize production and minimize the work needed to get that maximum production.

    Could you give me a clue?

    I don’t know. From what I’ve seen in your earlier comments, I’m not so sure.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  421. Patterico,

    Regarding the conservative statement: I admit it’s a nitpick but I did mention it to Levi in this comment on the Russert thread. The founder of black liberation theology is not David Cone, it’s James Cone.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  422. DRJ – You have apparently been blessed with an un-natural amount of patience 😉

    JD (a6d772)

  423. Levi, you said this in your first comment:

    Well to start off, I’ll never agree with you that Rev. Wright is racist or un-American. I obviously don’t know what entirely you’re basing that judgment on, but if it’s the two minutes of YouTube video that we all saw on the news over and over again, that’s pretty flimsy. I’m a white guy, I don’t think Rev. Wright hates me, I’m not afraid of him or his opinions, and I don’t find anything particularly offensive about anything he’s said. If you wanted to discuss his specific comments, I wouldn’t mind. I will never understand how saying, “God Damn America” makes some un-patriotic.

    Please explain why the following eight statements made by Jeremiah Wright are anything but hateful, racist, or anti-American:

    1. “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. …

    We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” (Sep 16, 2001)

    2. “In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.”

    3. “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”

    4. “Racism is alive and well. Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run. No black man will ever be considered for president, no matter how hard you run Jesse [Jackson] and no black woman can ever be considered for anything outside what she can give with her body.

    5. “America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. … We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers … We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi … We put [Nelson] Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

    6. “We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic. … We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means.

    7. “We started the AIDS virus … We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty.”

    8. “Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary would never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person.”

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  424. My last comment went to the spam filter due to excessive links.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  425. I had that happen when I linked this very site more than once in a single comment.

    Why do some links get through but not others? Is there a blacklist I can compare my URLs to?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  426. While you’re at it, Levi, please also explain why Jeremiah Wright’s Black Value System isn’t racist:

    “Trinity United Church of Christ
    The Black Value System
    ***
    These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They consist of the following concepts:

    1. Commitment to God
    2. Commitment to the Black Community
    3. Commitment to the Black Family
    4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
    5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
    6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
    7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
    8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
    9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
    10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
    11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
    12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.”

    Substitute ‘white’ for ‘black’ and this could be the platform for a racist white supremacist.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  427. Drumwaster,

    I’m not sure but I think the system filters three kinds of links: Excessive links (more than 4-5), links that have previously been blocked in other comments, and (oddly enough) some government links.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  428. Levi,

    There are so many points you raised that deserve discussion but I can’t let this one go without mention:

    I don’t agree with the way that Obama handled the Rev. Wright controversy. I also don’t blame him, however, he is in a terribly ineffective political party that does nothing but cower in the face of Republicans and the media. He made an admirable effort at the beginning, I believe, but it would be quite too much to expect him to stand up to such attacks all by himself. I would have liked to have seen that, of course, but what can we do? Democrats are whipped.

    How do you expect Obama to stand up to terrorists, America’s adversaries, his political opponents, or even his own political allies – both civilian and military – if he can’t stand up for himself as he runs for office?

    You’re right to be concerned that “Democrats are whipped” and, seemingly, always willing to flip-flop on their principles. We should all be concerned when a vital American political party is spineless.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  429. OUCH – Nicely done DRJ

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  430. DRJ, 420:

    But what we’re afraid of is his youth and inexperience, not his race.

    For me, Obama’s race and age aren’t a problem (and a good poll from Barone). It wouldn’t be good to have an experienced Obama in any high office. The jump into and out of the Senate was borderline ethical. (That is, to earn my vote.) But when I look at age, race, experience I know the reason I can’t vote for Obama is because he’s a Socialist. IMO, he’s also anti-white and his wife is definitely racist.

    Obama 2024 won’t work. But maybe by then we will have a minority as CiC.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  431. Vermont Neighbor,

    I agree. My point was that, of the 3 issues Obama identified – youth, inexperience, and race – only 2 might concern me, but I am likewise concerned about his positions (plural) on the issues.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  432. Levi,

    This comment does not address the merits of our discussion but I hope you will think about it anyway. You said this in your initial response:

    But the whole premise of my argument is pretty much dependent on establishing that Republicans and their positions are often hypocritical, dishonest, contradictory, and illogical. I can definitely sit here and not drop F-bombs and not call people names, but it is very hard to talk about those things in anything but a somewhat derisive ‘tone.’

    I hope you won’t treat me and my opinions with derision or you risk being labeled as a performer, as Jeremiah Wright was in this Time Magazine article, instead of as a serious contributor to the discussion:

    “But while Wright is a theologian, a teacher and a pastor, he is ultimately a performer. In front of a cheering crowd of supporters that included a whistling Cornel West, he gave into temptation and lustily went after his critics. As soon as the questions began, Wright transformed into a defiant, derisive figure, snapping one-liners at the unfortunate moderator tasked with reading the questions and stepping back with a grin on his face after each one, clearly enjoying himself.”

    In addition, I don’t think the point of this discussion is to show the other person or party is hypocritical, dishonest, contradictory, or illogical. I think the point is to flesh out the issue so that people can be informed and come to their own conclusions. My goal is not to change anyone’s mind. My goal is to bring out the facts and help us all think about this issue as carefully and accurately as possible.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  433. DRJ, it is admirable to try to bring light, and not heat, to this kind of situation. But you must admit that the sneering toward people with whom this individual disagrees—well, it is the kind of behavior that he condemns in his own opponents.

    Remember the old canard that states that the first casualty of war is the truth? Well, the first casualty of partisanship is civility. Then it is followed by consistency, let alone humility. And projection is the enabling handmaiden of partisanship, I think.

    I like your (and Mr. Frey’s) experiment, but it is entirely dependent on the seriousness and honesty of the other subject.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  434. DRJ – Given Levi’s position concerning Reverend Wright and his belief that there is no evidence that Wright’s philosophy or BLT has rubbed of on Barack Obama, I found a post on 07/04 at Atlas Shrugs to be very interesting. It makes the point that most liberals really haven’t taken the time to read Obama’s books to see what he has to say about things like race. They like to buy the books to have them on the shelf to show friends, for the appropriate progressive credibility, but never take the time to read them.

    The post takes the position that if people did take the time to read them, they would find out that Obama is obsessed with race, particularly in Dreams of My Father.

    I excerpted some of the post in the Helms thread at comment 141. The blog has either been eating my comments with links or sending them to filter purgatory, otherwise I would provide one.

    Atlas Shrugs may not be considered an authoritative source, but the underlying books may if you find the material useful.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  435. DRJ, thanks for the clarification. That’s Obama’s talking point, right on a cue card. And race-based, interestingly enough.

    All this from the ‘post-race’ candidate who still wants to toy with white guilt and remind us that in 2008 we owe him. He wants what’s due according to his own cultural biases. Scary for a number of us.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  436. VN – We know Levi didn’t read Obama’s books because he told us he doesn’t have to read things to know what is in them. Yup, he just knows.

    Mad skilz the lad claims to have.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  437. daleyrocks, what telling quotes.

    “I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother?s race.”

    I wonder if this was a counterpoint occurring at the same age he stopped announcing his mother’s race because he began to ‘suspect that by doing so he was ingratiating himself to whites.’?

    Dana (907797)

  438. Levi,

    DRJ seems to be darn good with those links, so I wonder if you might appreciate a little help from the sidelines.

    Blogger/essayist Steve Sailer has spent more time than anyone else I know, reading source material and then reflecting on the candidate’s record and on his policy proposals.

    Here is a 3/9/08 essay that discusses Obama’s then-nascent Wright problem. You’ll find many helpful links to Wright’s mentor in Black Liberation Theology, James H. Cone. Stand-up guy! Though not somebody you’d want to call a “liberal” to his face, unless you were looking for a fight. (Not that Wright’s ideas have much in the way of “liberalism” in them either–no offense taken, I hope.)

    This Sailer piece from April 2nd was also prescient. I’ll quote a bit so you don’t have to wade through the whole thing.

    Isn’t anybody else getting tired of Obama repeatedly yanking our chains about his relationship with Rev. Wright? Unlike his protege, Wright has made sure to leave a paper (and DVD) trail decades long, and it’s not thoughtfully nuanced to the verge of utter incomprehensibility, either. The Rev. says what’s on his mind, and in no uncertain terms.

    C’mon, Obama, be a man. Stand up and admit to one of two logical possibilities:

    – Yes, I used to be about as leftist as Rev. Wright, but I changed my mind for the following reasons …

    Or

    – Yes, I still am about as leftist as Rev. Wright, and here’s why …

    What Obama is counting on is that white Americans don’t take blacks’ ideological views seriously. Obama is betting on everybody treating his relationship with Wright as a racial matter rather than as an ideological matter, and since all nice people shy away from thinking about racial matters, they’ll just let it drop.

    In contrast, if Wright were a white minister who was an outspoken advocate of Sandinista-style “liberation theology,” a white Obama would, at a minimum, be spending a lot of time answering searching questions about his ideological evolution. But, because Obama and Wright are black , nobody takes the disagreeable Wright’s ideology seriously, and everybody assumes that the personable Obama must share their ideology.

    [snip]

    And yet, Obama is getting away with going around the country on national television implying that the 66-year-old Wright is some kind of elderly uncle who has, tragically, gone crazy in his dotage. In reality, Wright holds the same political views today as he had when he first reeled in Obama two decades ago.

    And the white media believe Obama’s lies about Wright because nobody takes a black man seriously as an intellectual!

    So far, all DRJ seems to have are some slapdash arguments undermined by careless tu quoque accusations. I hope I’ve done my small part to send her running for the hills. Keep up the rigorous, thoughtful pace you’ve established, and that $20 is yours!

    AMac (ebf40f)

  439. Daleyrocks,

    I confess I haven’t read Obama’s books. I’m willing to, but I just can’t bring myself to buy them and give him my money. Plus, I need to save every penny to cover the tax hikes he and a Democratic Congress will implement if he wins next November.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  440. “Since you ask, the most efficient free-market way to wipe out a monopoly/cartel is to open the markets to anyone.”

    – Drumwaster

    The whole point of my Atlantic anecdote was to illustrate that Western oil companies are keeping Chinese oil companies locked out of prime fields. Who, then, is to be tasked with “open[ing] the markets to anyone?”, since the oil companies don’t seem particularly intent on doing it themselves? Or have I misunderstood the dynamic at work here? If so, please let me know – this is an interesting topic to me.

    “When allowed to operate without restrictions, there has been NOTHING better to advance wealth for every member in society, because it will maximize production and minimize the work needed to get that maximum production.”

    – Drumwaster

    To quote one of the Andys from the hilarious “Hot Fuzz”:
    “What absolute ‘orseshit.”

    An unrestricted Free Market gave us 9-year old kids getting their fingers lopped off in canneries for 12 cents an hour. We can argue back and forth as to the necessary scope of regulation, it’s proper role and whatnot, but to dismiss the concept entirely is… what’s the word… stupid.

    Leviticus (665c15)

  441. Since you ask, the most efficient free-market way to wipe out a monopoly/cartel is to open the markets to anyone

    Now THERE’s a nutty idea. Lets watch the Republicans SPEND on corporate welfare payouts to the 5000 new “anyones” we expect to have the financial wherewithall to compete with the monopolist. In EACH category of business dominated by a monopolist. How much is THAT going to cost of money taking food right out of the mouths of Americans babies, toddlers, and young children as they starve and die right before our eyes on American streets.

    With current regulations and bureaucratic nonsense being required, with years of delay being instituted on a whim by someone opposed to the very concept of high technology or societal progress, is it any wonder that new entrepreneurs aren’t entering the field? With Congress actively working against the best efforts of the existing businesses, who would want to risk it?

    Don’t go blaming Congress for the trashed out economy gone bust. Put the blame squarely where due — on the Bush Administration Sabin-FBI wacked out post 9-11 profile domestic terrorism program. No American is going to spend money to buy any big ticket item, even a home, when with one little “AnnTM” oopsie slip of the fingers through the disabled WebSENSE hole, and Feds are rushin in seizing innocent Americans property predicated on innuendo, hearsay withing hearsay, virtually spectral evidence, or an American who just happened to piss off his/her neighbor. No consumer is safe. Everyone is a suspect. And THAT puts enormous risk into the free market system.

    Then you have Feds using CIPAV Trojan horses to view the content of innocent Americans e-mails and the URLs they visit. Only a Saudi Prince could imagined the wealth to be gained from potential Feds self-dealing to steal trademarks, business opportunities, and inventions before the surveilled inventor makes it to the Patent Office. With such risky business climate, the only place the American economy can go is down the toilet.

    Oil companies-actors-sports stars … what do they have in common? Only one with a connect-the-dot 9-11 mindset would find them related, SOMEHOW, through the sixth degree. But in reality, oil is a necessary commodity, whereas out wants for actors and sports starts are merely that–wants, not needs. In the language of an economist, we can do w/o the latter, but doing w/o oil will bring the United States to its knees; thus, like electricity or water, oil is a necessity that should be regulated and subject to windfall profits tax. As a matter of National Security.

    When allowed to operate without restrictions, there has been NOTHING better to advance wealth for every member in society, because it will maximize production and minimize the work needed to get that maximum product.

    Allow me to correct your statement as follows:

    “When allowed to operate without restrictions, there has been NOTHING better to advance wealth for every member in society EXCEPT DISABLED AMERICANS, because it will maximize production and minimize the work needed FOR THE *NON-DISABLED* to get that maximum product.”

    This is no doubt why the House just passed the Restoring the ADA Act to strengthen Americans With DIsabilities Act protections for disabled Americans against those who do not want to compete fairly or offer anything remotely approaching equality of opportunity in fact and law.

    MKDP (5d99d2)

  442. The whole point of my Atlantic anecdote was to illustrate that Western oil companies are keeping Chinese oil companies locked out of prime fields.

    You mean like Congress is keeping Western oil companies away from some of the largest proven oil reserves on the planet?

    We can argue back and forth as to the necessary scope of regulation, it’s proper role and whatnot, but to dismiss the concept entirely is… what’s the word… stupid.

    I did specifically mention the layers of bureaucracies. I also mentioned the point about the lawsuits holding up production of the plants that could help us out of this mess caused by Democratic interference.

    Eliminate the frivolous lawsuits. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork requirements. Eliminate the micromanagement. Hold them responsible for their actions that harm people, but let them figure out – through the free market – a way to handle their own wastes. (For instance, if they are planning on dumping into a river, require them to place their intake downstream from their outflow, and they will clean up their own messes.)

    Make it easier for more entrepreneurs to get into the field, and they, too, will be seeking a piece of that multi-billion dollar pie, by finding an even more efficient (therefore, more profitable) way to deliver the product to market. Monopolies are ALWAYS government-supported (with either exclusionary legislation or prohibitively expensive bureaucracies to placate). When the government opens the market by removing worthless legislation, you soon have a glut of product and prices drop. Look at what happened after the ’81 deregulation of the energy industry. By 1986, oil prices had dropped 46% because of a supply glut.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  443. Allow me to correct your statement as follows:

    No. I specifically refuse you any permissions, now or at any other time into perpetuity, to alter, amend or rephrase any statement I make on any subject whatsoever.

    You are only granted permission to use direct quotes, and only at the rate of $25 (US) per word for any words after the second one.

    Don’t like it? Sue me.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  444. corr:
    “out wants” = our wants

    MKDP (5d99d2)

  445. The economic problems of this country are because of MKDP’s fantasy stalker and a lack of webfiltering? And MKDP’s fantasy about what computer viruses?

    That may be a record.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  446. “You mean like Congress is keeping Western oil companies away from some of the largest proven oil reserves on the planet?”

    – Drumwaster

    So what? Answer the original question: who’s going to “open the market to anyone” if the oil companies aren’t going to open it themselves out of the goodness of their hearts?

    It’s a rhetorical question.

    “Eliminate the frivolous lawsuits. ”

    – Drumwaster

    Which ones, and how? Through legislation?

    “let them figure out – through the free market – a way to handle their own wastes… require them to place their intake downstream from their outflow”

    – Drumwaster

    There’s some serious dissonance here: how are companies “figur[ing] out a way to handle their own wastes” if someone is “requir[ing]” them to do anything? Isn’t that interference with the Free Market?

    “Make it easier for more entrepreneurs to get into the field”

    – Drumwaster

    Make it easier? How? The oil companies are (understandably) going to make it as difficult as possible for any upstarts to enter the field? Whose job will it be to give those upstarts a leg up? And isn’t that interference with the Free Market anyway? If the upstarts can’t make it into the game on their own, without things being “made easier” for them, shouldn’t they stay out of it altogether?

    “Look at what happened after the ‘81 deregulation of the energy industry. By 1986, oil prices had dropped 46% because of a supply glut.”
    – Drumwaster

    And look what happened with Enron after the deregulation of the California energy industry. Rolling blackouts, massive increases in consumer energy bills, price-fixing, and default on the pension plans of veteran workers.

    Leviticus (aa95f4)

  447. Leviticus, you’ve confused two different issues by linking Enron’s collapse with the failure of the faux “deregulation” of California energy industry.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  448. “And look what happened with Enron after the deregulation of the California energy industry. Rolling blackouts, massive increases in consumer energy bills, price-fixing, and default on the pension plans of veteran workers.”

    Leviticus – I’m not taking issue with your entire comment, but what happened in California with Enron I would in no way link to “deregulation.” Only a portion of the energy market had been deregulated in California, which created it’s own problems. Was there new electric generating capacity coming on line in California or had regulations and red tape prevented building? It wasn’t in fact true deregulation and kinks don’t get worked out overnight.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  449. Which ones, and how? Through legislation?

    Yes. It’s called “repealing legislation”. The Constitution even has an example of how to do things like this.

    It’s amazing how often the simple solutions will elude us…

    Isn’t that interference with the Free Market?

    Clearly you have no idea what is meant by “Free Market”. It is the ability to buy and sell without government interference. Nothing more. But that does not mean that companies can simply dump things willy nilly. For one thing, they probably won’t own the land they will be dumping things on, and the laws against littering don’t affect the free market.

    Second, your “9 year-olds will be missing fingers for 25 cents a month” arguments are bullshit. If companies start performing acts that are harmful to their employees or acts that the society as a whole would find objectionable, then those acts can be published, with customers allowed to make their own choices as to which companies they trade with or buy from.

    The oil companies are (understandably) going to make it as difficult as possible for any upstarts to enter the field?

    They can sure try, but they won’t be able to prevent it if said new entrants ion the field are able to deliver product for less or more efficiently (ergo, at a higher profit margin, which will attract more investment capital). I’m sure Sears thought it had a monopoly on mail-order sales right up until the instant they didn’t any more.

    And look what happened with Enron after the deregulation of the California energy industry.

    Look what happened with Enron, indeed. In case you forgot, it wasn’t Enron that was regulating the amount of energy that could have gone into the California energy grid. When the generation capacity had been reached, more power had to be obtained. The (Democratically-dominated) California Legislature wrote up long-term, high-cost contracts for emergency power (rather than allowing more generators to be built) at several times the going rate per kilowatt-hour.

    That wasn’t the result of DEregulation, it was the result of OVERregulation, not to mention micromanagement (through the California Public Utilities Commission). Up until very recently, where you lived decided which electric company, which phone company, which water company, which cable company, and which garbage company you had to use. Only those companies got to provide service to that patchwork quilt of overlapping monopolies. If you didn’t like your electric company, you either put up with it or moved to another city.

    Deregulation changed that, and prices are being driven down by competition.

    That’s how it works when monopolies go away.

    If the upstarts can’t make it into the game on their own, without things being “made easier” for them, shouldn’t they stay out of it altogether?

    So you are defending government-supported monopolies? I thought you were arguing monopolies were bad?

    Do you even know what you are supposed to be arguing?

    Trust me, once the unnecessary obstacles are removed, people will be looking for a bite of that multi-billion dollar pie.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  450. California’s fuel of the future:

    By the end of the year, the $160 million plant that EnerTech Environmental Inc. is building in this community east of Los Angeles is expected to take hundreds of tons of sewage sludge — which isn’t only treated human waste, but is anything and everything that passes through the drain — from local sanitation districts. The plant will process the sludge with a mixture of high heat and high pressure, turning it into a pelletlike substance dubbed “e-fuel” that can run small power plants.

    They call it poop-to-power.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  451. DRJ – Didn’t they try something similar in Texas Chainsaw Massacre II with Dennis Hopper, or am I thinking of the wrong movie?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  452. DRJ: are you sure that the EnerTech plant isn’t being supplied from Hollywood? Seems to me that there is a rich mother lode of bovine excrement ready for processing there!

    Eric Blair (d7a9a9)

  453. Believe it or not, I’ve never seen that any of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  454. Eric,

    No doubt they use a special, gold-plated truck to ship that.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  455. Here is Another Helpful Link to a Steve Sailer post on Obama, itself with a link to a NYT story on Obama’s accomplishments as a Chicagoland community organizer.

    Some of the interesting questions somebody might get around to asking Obama someday include whether he blames himself for his recurrent failures to do much that’s meaningful to help the black community? Or did he just lack sufficient power in all the earlier jobs he’s sprinted through on his way to supreme power? Or is what ails the black community beyond the help of any political leader, so his failures at that impossible job shouldn’t reflect badly on him?

    [snip]

    I can’t imagine anybody will ask the candidate such impertinent questions before the election (that kind of thing is just not done in modern America — Presidential candidates are much too fine and noble to be subjected to such indignities by commoners), but some historian might want to ask him those questions when he is an ex-President.

    How fortunate that our media betters devote so much energy to politicians’ fragile self-esteem, shielding them from the sort of impertinent questions that bloggers of low social standing might pose. At least some politicians.

    On reflection, I agree with Levi’s position (#393). Exploring the character or ideology of the spiritual mentor that a politician chooses for himself and sticks with for decades is stooping to rampant speculation and damning innuendo. It is obvious that Levi’s stance is principled rather than expedient. After all, Obama-adoring liberals have never questioned the associates of less-than-100%-liberal politicians. That’s why McCain’s association with Chuck Hagee has escaped all scrutiny. From Obama supporters. Even as a tu quoque drive-by defense of their champion.

    AMac (f24cd7)

  456. I appreciate your detailed response to the conservative position and I’ll return to it later. At this point, I want to respond to your defense of the liberal position, both as stated in your agreed statement and in your expanded comments here. I believe the heart of your position is that Republicans are counting on appeals to racism to beat Barack Obama.

    The facts don’t back up your belief that Republicans will use or benefit from racism in this election. First, as you note, race was an issue in the Democratic primary but it was largely focused on Bill Clintons’ claims that it was Obama who played the race card. Note comments like this one on the linked thread:

    “Bill and Hillary Clinton will say and do anything to get back into the White House.”

    Does that sound familiar? Isn’t it exactly what you say Republicans will do to Obama, only this is Democrats complaining about other Democrats? If anyone has made race an issue in this race, it’s Democrats.

    I included the Clintons and their wing of the Democratic party in my criticism for trying to play up the Wright thing. There wasn’t anything Hillary wouldn’t do to get into the White House, I agree. But Republicans were running against Obama in that primary, too. This story only went anywhere because talk radio and the mainstream media made it happen. It’s a perfect example of what constitutes a modern American news item: it’s mindless, irrelevant, and can be looped over and over again a hundred times a day.

    Second, there’s no evidence that Republicans would benefit from racism and history suggests the opposite. Michael Barone addressed this notion in his 7/6/2008 RealClearPolitics’ article in which he explored whether Americans could pass the racism test by supporting a black candidate like Barack Obama. Specifically, Barone analyzed polls comparing Democratic support for Barack Obama in 2008 with Republican support for Colin Powell in 1995. Here’s what he found:I appreciate your detailed response to the conservative position and I’ll return to it later. At this point, I want to respond to your defense of the liberal position, both as stated in your agreed statement and in your expanded comments here. I believe the heart of your position is that Republicans are counting on appeals to racism to beat Barack Obama.

    The facts don’t back up your belief that Republicans will use or benefit from racism in this election. First, as you note, race was an issue in the Democratic primary but it was largely focused on Bill Clintons’ claims that it was Obama who played the race card. Note comments like this one on the linked thread:

    “Bill and Hillary Clinton will say and do anything to get back into the White House.”

    Does that sound familiar? Isn’t it exactly what you say Republicans will do to Obama, only this is Democrats complaining about other Democrats? If anyone has made race an issue in this race, it’s Democrats. Republicans haven’t made race an issue and there’s no reason to believe the GOP would benefit from racism as I address in my second point.

    Second, there’s no evidence that Republicans would benefit from racism and history suggests the opposite. Michael Barone addressed this notion in his 7/6/2008 RealClearPolitics’ article in which he explored whether Americans could pass the racism test by supporting a black candidate like Barack Obama. Specifically, Barone analyzed polls comparing Democratic support for Barack Obama in 2008 with Republican support for Colin Powell in 1995. Here’s what he found:

    Colin Powell didn’t even take the first step towards running for President, I don’t see how any comparison to Obama is valid. Some old hypothetical versus the here and now reality? You refer to some poll about Colin Powell as ‘history,’ but did anything even happen? No. It was just a poll.

    Republicans haven’t use racism as a wedge issue before because they haven’t had to, but they’re doing it now, because they’re running against a tremendously popular black guy against whom they have very few counters. They used anti-gay sentiment in 2000 and 2004 to great effect as a wedge issue to motivate their base, so it’s not like anti-minority election tactics are beneath them.

    Rev. Wright is the new gay marriage. They didn’t get you people thinking you were being anti-gay, of course not, you were just standing up for tradition and all that. They’re also not being that overt with Obama, they’ve made you think that it’s Wright and half-white Obama that are the real racists, and you’re merely reacting to them. Gore was boring, so you ran against that. Kerry windsurfed, so you ran against that. Obama has a pastor, so you run against that. Left behind are the issues, and Republicans are told to vote for or against caricatures. Happens every four years.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  457. Levi,

    You are the racist here, plain and simple.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  458. Levi –

    Nice of you to air your opinion. Do you have facts to support them (you know, links)?

    Or do you think that because you say something it is ipso facto true?

    steve miller (724340)

  459. While you’re at it, Levi, please also explain why Jeremiah Wright’s Black Value System isn’t racist:

    “Trinity United Church of Christ
    The Black Value System
    ***
    These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They consist of the following concepts:

    1. Commitment to God
    2. Commitment to the Black Community
    3. Commitment to the Black Family
    4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
    5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
    6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
    7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
    8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
    9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
    10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
    11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
    12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.”

    Substitute ‘white’ for ‘black’ and this could be the platform for a racist white supremacist.

    Well, black churches are not white churches. Black people are not white people. Blacks are still a very small minority in this country and black communities are facing a whole slew of very unique issues across the country. We’re supposed to be opposed to the idea of them forming their own advocacy and community groups all of a sudden?

    Levi (74ca1f)

  460. Levi, here’s some additional ammunition for you to use as you see fit, as you marshal more evidence to counter DRJ’s absurd claim that somehow Rev. Wright is a racist or a bigot.

    In #367, you wrote

    I don’t know what you [DRJ] think Jeremiah Wright’s ‘core beliefs’ are, but I’m willing to bet they are totally inaccurate. I really think we need to talk about the man before we start crafting our arguments around some caricature.

    Rev. Wright has repeatedly and emphatically pointed to Black Liberation Theology architect Dr. James A. Cone as his spiritual and theological mentor. Rev. Wright tells us that one of the best ways to understand his beliefs is to read Dr. Cone’s writings.

    Happily, some of Cone’s work is online, so rebutting DRJ is not at all difficult. Amazon.com has enabled its “Search Inside” feature for the 1997 paperback edition of Black Theology and Black Power.” Cone writes (pg. 39 ff.):

    For the gospel proclaims that God is with us now, actively fighting the forces which would make man captive. And it is the task of theology and the Church to know where God is at work so that we can join him in this fight against evil. In America we know where the evil is. We know that men are shot and lynched. We know that men are crammed into ghettos…

    There is a constant battle between Christ and Satan, and it is going on now.

    If we make this message contemporaneous with our own life situation, what does Christ’s defeat of Satan mean for us?…The demonic forces of racism are real for the black man. Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man “the devil.” The white structure of this American society, personified in every racist, must be at least part of what the New Testament meant by the demonic forces… [White racism] is a part of the spirit of the age, the ethos of the culture, so embedded inthe social, economic, and political structure that white society is incapable of knowing its destructive nature. There is only one response: Fight it!

    Emphasis added.

    Levi, here’s another good source for rebutting DRJ’s made-up assertion that Obama’s 20-year pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright is somehow “racist” or “un-American.” Although Stanley Kurtz is a conservative writer for the National Review, his 5/19/08 piece ‘Context,’ You Say? – A guide to the radical theology of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright further quashes those hateful Republican talking points.

    Read the whole thing, but here is Kurtz’ concluding paragraph:

    In his rejection of the path of assimilation; in his contempt for “middle-classness” and the capitalist system it sustains; in his pursuit of a separate, black Christianity and his hostility to conventional religion; in his bitter and “prophetic” denunciations of America’s history, its founding icons and its anti-Qaddafi, pro-Israel foreign policy; in his conviction that the U.S. government is responsible for genocide against blacks; and in his insistence that Americans are collectively guilty for 9/11, Jeremiah Wright is a true follower of James Cone’s theology of black liberation. It would seem the only thing worse than quoting Jeremiah Wright out of context is quoting him in context.

    I hope this helps!

    AMac (c822c9)

  461. Levi, we are supposed to judge them by their characters and actions, not their skin color as you do.

    Also, as far as Obama goes, I don’t believe he’s a born in America Citizen, which would disqualify him from serving as President or Vice President.

    I have a daughter from Korea. She arrived in the US as a 3 month old. She has a California Birth Certificate, but I don’t think she’s eligible to run for President, either.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  462. This comment does not address the merits of our discussion but I hope you will think about it anyway. You said this in your initial response:

    But the whole premise of my argument is pretty much dependent on establishing that Republicans and their positions are often hypocritical, dishonest, contradictory, and illogical. I can definitely sit here and not drop F-bombs and not call people names, but it is very hard to talk about those things in anything but a somewhat derisive ‘tone.’

    I hope you won’t treat me and my opinions with derision or you risk being labeled as a performer, as Jeremiah Wright was in this Time Magazine article, instead of as a serious contributor to the discussion:

    “But while Wright is a theologian, a teacher and a pastor, he is ultimately a performer. In front of a cheering crowd of supporters that included a whistling Cornel West, he gave into temptation and lustily went after his critics. As soon as the questions began, Wright transformed into a defiant, derisive figure, snapping one-liners at the unfortunate moderator tasked with reading the questions and stepping back with a grin on his face after each one, clearly enjoying himself.”

    That is total bullshit. Time magazine is going to fault a man for responding to two months of non-stop news coverage where everyone on TV denigrated him and labeled him a racist on a nightly basis? He doesn’t have a right to do that? He’s simply doing it for the theatrics? You’ve got to be kidding.

    In addition, I don’t think the point of this discussion is to show the other person or party is hypocritical, dishonest, contradictory, or illogical. I think the point is to flesh out the issue so that people can be informed and come to their own conclusions. My goal is not to change anyone’s mind. My goal is to bring out the facts and help us all think about this issue as carefully and accurately as possible.

    Again, that qualities of the Republican party and the conservative base are the basis of my position, which you apparently still do not understand. You can be doing this for whatever reasons you want, why do I care?

    Levi (74ca1f)

  463. Levi, we are supposed to judge them by their characters and actions, not their skin color as you do.

    What are you talking about?

    Also, as far as Obama goes, I don’t believe he’s a born in America Citizen, which would disqualify him from serving as President or Vice President.

    He was born in Hawaii. Really biting my tongue here….

    I have a daughter from Korea. She arrived in the US as a 3 month old. She has a California Birth Certificate, but I don’t think she’s eligible to run for President, either.

    And John McCain was born in Panama, and I was born in Germany. We can both be President. If your daughter was born in Korea because you’re in the military, so can she.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  464. Levi,

    You are the one who accepted the challenge of responding.

    You need to figure out how to find resources (you know, actual links?) to support the assertions you make.

    DRJ has kindly provides links for her assertions. You are merely saying “I don’t agree.”

    Disagreement is not refutation.

    steve miller (724340)

  465. My comment #460 crossed with Levi’s #456 and #459.

    After reading that lite fare: hmmm, Levi, maybe you could use a spot of help after all. And here’s an idea–perhaps simply referring to the links within #460 would get you credit towards this condition of the debate:

    In order to win, each side must muster at least ten comments that each assert, with a link, at least one fact that is meaningful and relevant to the proposition being debated.

    One thing’s for sure–you’ve got DRJ on the run!

    AMac (c822c9)

  466. Levi,

    Your comment #457 is rebutted by my Michael Barone link in which he addresses why the fact that Colin Powell never actually ran for President shouldn’t matter. He also notes that polling has consistently underestimated support for Obama. It sounds like you aren’t reading my links. I urge you to do so before you respond so we can have a more meaningful discussion.

    In addition, as noted by AMac (who is doing my job better than I am), we still have to talk about Dr. Cone’s black liberation theology. If my responses so far incite you the way the past ones have, brace yourself.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  467. 463,

    Levi, My daughter has 2 Korean parents. No, she can’t be President.

    As for Obama, there is evidence that he was born in Kenya to a 17 year old US citizen and a Kenyan father. That would put Obama’s “Natural Born” vs. Naturalized Citizen into question.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  468. Disagreement is not refutation.

    It can be.

    {/Monty Python}

    Well, black churches are not white churches. Black people are not white people.

    Good thing that treating people differently based on the color of their skin isn’t “racism”… Keep up these winning arguments!

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  469. As for Obama, there is evidence that he was born in Kenya to a 17 year old US citizen and a Kenyan father. That would put Obama’s “Natural Born” vs. Naturalized Citizen into question.

    LOL!

    Levi (74ca1f)

  470. LOL!

    Utterly devastating argument. Well done! Good faith arguments oozing out of every lulz…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  471. I’m surprised you don’t believe that he was born in Kenya. After all, the post contains no links and is merely an assertion.

    Oh wait, that only works when you make a post.

    steve miller (724340)

  472. Computer Forensics Experts says Posted Obama Birth Certificate is a fake!

    471, Steve this is one link. I have several.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  473. PCD, stating that the birth certificate is fake doesn’t mean he was born in Kenya.

    I think what’s fake about the birth certificate is that Kos supplied it to the Obama campaign, who then is using it as proof. I’m not sure if the provenance is really known.

    In any case, it’s not yet shown that he is other than a citizen by birth and parentage, just as any other baby born in Hawaii.

    steve miller (724340)

  474. Yes, that means that people can heckle you and you can’t heckle back. Life is tough.
    Hey Paterico, you know thats not fair. Levi will be decimated by other bloggers on this site. He should be allowed to defend himself and only banned from insulting DRJ who we know will never insult him. But if anyone heckles him, he should be allowed to heckle back. Fair is fair.

    love2008 (6e616b)

  475. http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/07/atlas-tech-expe.html

    Steve, this is the link that should have been under the bold type of my 472 post.

    I’ve seen postings where Kos and Obama’s “confrontation” site both were using a photoshop of a Hawaii birth certificate for BO, and when that was proven a fake, they altered it, and that, too, was proven a fake.

    BO’s campaign can’t provide the original, nor have they debunked the evidence that Obama’s mother would not have been flown out of Kenya 7 1/2 months pregnant. Also, unlike McCain, BO would not have been born on a US base. Now, Levi said he was born in Germany. I assume he was born at a US Base which would be counted as US territory of 2 US citizens who were older than 18.

    I can post more with LINKS if you’d like Steve.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  476. Thanks, PCD.

    steve miller (724340)

  477. Comment by love2008 — 7/7/2008 @ 9:46 am

    Whatever Patterico wants, of course.

    But, just my two cents, I think Levi has insulted so many people on this site (some of whom would also never personally insult him back BTW), that taking heckling while not returning it seems like a very good way for Levi to make reparation (in the Catholic sense :) ), the purpose of which is to learn how to control oneself and to behave better in the future.

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  478. The Atlas Shrugged site says the KOS/Fightthesmears certificate is a forgery. I think I’ve seen other sites that say the same thing.

    I don’t know what that proves about Obama not being born in Hawaii. It neither proves nor disproves it. It does speak to the gullibility of the fightthesmears website, though, if it is fake. And why would they get a certificate of live birth from Kos and expect it to be genuine? I don’t think anyone but the person/parents can get one.

    steve miller (724340)

  479. FWIW, being born of an American citizen does NOT automatically guarantee you “natural citizen” status. You must have been born on either embassy grounds or on a military base.

    I would hope that the 14th Amendment wopuld be clarified by follow-up legislation to eliminate the “anchor baby” loophole – wherein anyone who is born on US soil is automatically a US citizen.

    At the very least, the parents should be here legally (including tourists and students), if not actually citizens themselves.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  480. 478, 479,

    Jay McKinnon, a self-described Department of Homeland Security-trained document specialist, has implicated himself in the production of fake Hawaii birth certificate images similar to the one endorsed as genuine by the Barack Obama campaign, and appearing on the same Daily Kos blog entry where the supposedly authentic document appears.
    The evidence of forgery and manipulation of images of official documents, triggered by Israel Insider’s revelation of the collection of Hawaii birth certificate images on the Photobucket site and the diligent detective work of independent investigative journalists (led by JimJ and Texas Darling) and imaging professionals such as Polarik in the three weeks since the publication of the images, implicate The Daily Kos, a “progressive” blog site, and the Obama campaign’s “Fight the Smears” website, in misleading the public with official-looking but manipulated document images of doubtful provenance. Moreover, the blog and the campaign have been negligent in allowing the promotion of obviously forged and fake official documents together with the purported image of Obama’s birth certificate. […]Without a valid birth certificate, the primary record of US birth, Obama cannot prove that he fulfills the “natural born citizen” requirement of the Constitution, throwing into doubt his eligibility to run for President and throwing the race into turmoil. His presumed Kenyan-born father was foreign-born, and his mother was too young at the time of birth to confer natural born status by virtue of her American citizenship. Thus his citizenship comes down to proving he was born in the USA, and his campaign has staked its credibility on the authenticity of the Daily Kos-derived birth certificate image. (These aspects of the case are covered extensively in the previous article in this series.) […]

    http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/12956.htm

    PCD (5c49b0)

  481. Levi will be decimated by other bloggers on this site.

    Levi actually thinks he’s winning. Like Rowan Atkinson’s character in “Rat Race”, just before the narcolepsy hits…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  482. “Clearly you have no idea what is meant by “Free Market”.

    – Drumwaster

    Yes, clearly, even though you’re the one who remains unable to answer a simple Free Market question: who’s going to “open the markets to everyone” (as you said was the solution to breaking monopolies, after denigrating “subsidize a diversification in competitors”) if the companies aren’t willing to do it themselves? You keep saying that little entrepreneurial operations are going to magically get in on “that multi-billion dollar pie”, but that pie is more or less spoken for. How are they going to “get in” on the pie when it’s already owned by the Big Boys?

    “If companies start performing acts that are harmful to their employees or acts that the society as a whole would find objectionable, then those acts can be published, with customers allowed to make their own choices as to which companies they trade with or buy from.”

    – Drumwaster

    Right. Because the weighing of human rights abuses should be left to bargain shoppers. They chop off little kids’ fingers… but you just can’t beat their holiday prices!

    Gimme a fucking break…

    Leviticus (8eeffa)

  483. “Like Rowan Atkinson’s character in “Rat Race”, just before the narcolepsy hits…”

    – Drumwaster

    Heh. “You ‘ave to pace yourself. Eating is important: Pasta is good. Breathing…”

    Leviticus (8eeffa)

  484. 478,479,

    The state of Hawaii has a legal basis to investigate and report on whether the birth certificate of Barack Hussein Obama II posted on his website is valid or not. The State of Hawaii has said that only Obama or a family member can request a birth certificate. However, checking for error or fraud in a birth certificate used by Obama to obtain a benefit is something the state of Hawaii can do spontaneously. The two primary purposes of not letting anyone get anyone’s birth certificate are privacy and to prevent fraud. Since Obama has posted the purported certificate, he has waived privacy. Since the state of Hawaii has already expressed the view that the birth certificate posted on-line lacks the seal and signature that is standard, they have a basis to suspect fraud.[…]Preventing fraud means when there is evidence of fraud its investigated. By not investigating evidence of fraud, the state actually emboldens potential fraudsters to engage in the type of fraud that Obama’s campaign is suspected of by some.If the b.c. on the Obama website is fake, then there is likely fraud not just error. This is evidence tending in that direction. The state of Hawaii does not need to prove fraud to correct error. If a b.c. is purported to be authentic in a public manner on a website and it lacks a seal that is a basis for the state of Hawaii to correct error. It has a public interest in doing so. The state of Hawaii has an interest in showing that it polices the use of its b.c.’s and prevents incorrect ones being used to get a job, security clearance, or for some other purpose.The US government also has standing to investigate the use of a possibly fraudulent birth certificate or one that has errors. The federal elections commission presumably can investigate whether a person is eligible for office or uses documents that contain errors to establish eligibility. Hawaii has standing to protect its own voters, ballot and those of other states. Voters in other states have standing to request an investigation.Where there is damage, the state of Hawaii can correct error. The many calls to the office in Hawaii show that the public feels damaged by the possibly false b.c. Damage plus error gives the state standing to investigate and publish its results.[…]At a certain level of evidence of damage or error, the state of Hawaii has discretion to investigate. At a higher level, it has an obligation to investigate and publish its findings. That level may have been reached. As an administrator of a presidential election operating under the 14th Amendment and with an obligation to other states that are co-administrators of the election including as operators and members of the Electoral College, the state of Hawaii has substantial obligations to voters in its own state, in other states, and to other states.In the federal system, the states are given duties. Holding elections is one of the duties they are given, including federal elections, including president. They have to see that all laws are enforced in those elections, including what is specified in the U.S. Constitution. Because Hawaii has the b.c. of Barack Obama according to Obama’s web site, it falls to Hawaii to check the b.c. This is an obligation it has under the U.S. Constitution as an election administrator, and under federal supremacy, and under the Constitution directly to see that Obama meets the requirements written in the U.S. Constitution. When state officials take an oath to the Constitution of the United States, they take on that obligation to make sure that anyone running for president of the United States meets all qualifications in the U.S. Constitution. Because Hawaii is the alleged holder of the Obama b.c., it has the obligation to check its original. It has that obligation since its own officials have determined that Obama has posted a b.c. on his web page lacking the seal and signature. Hawaii has that duty as a direct duty under the U.S. Constitution. That preempts state law on b.c. privacy.[…]There need not be fraud. The same arguments apply to error. Innocent parties that may be harmed by error have standing to seek correction or confirmation. That is a right they have in state and federal court. The state of Hawaii has a direct obligation under the U.S. Constitution to avoid error or fraud in this case.[…]The above is hypotheses, speculation, or opinion. This is draft and preliminary. This is subject to revision. Comments and corrections welcome. Please restate statements as questions. No criticism is made of any person. All other disclaimers apply.http://oldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/hawaii-legal-basis-test-error-or-fraud-obama-birth-certificate/

    PCD (5c49b0)

  485. Well, now, that’s interesting. So Hawaii can investigate and publish because (a) the certificate is publicly posted and (b) the campaign has asserted it’s accurate but (c) the certificate is now shown to be fake.

    That makes more sense. Thanks, PCD.

    steve miller (724340)

  486. This might lead to a flip-flop “I was always a U.S. Citizen” to “uh-oh.”

    steve miller (724340)

  487. who’s going to “open the markets to everyone” (as you said was the solution to breaking monopolies, after denigrating “subsidize a diversification in competitors”) if the companies aren’t willing to do it themselves?

    As I pointed out, EVERY SINGLE MONOPOLY IN HISTORY has required implicit (if not explicit) governmental cooperation either through exclusionary legislation or through excessive bureaucratic expense (in terms of time and money). There is also the complicit actions by the Judiciary in not throwing out frivolous lawsuits with prejudice as a routine matter.

    Right now, Congress is explicitly limiuting the field by prohibiting any new exploration or test drilling inside the US, up to and including 200 nautical miles from her shores.

    At least to American companies. Cuban and Chinese governments have no such restrictions when drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

    If Congress wanted to open up the market from the Baby bells, they had to deregulate. Now you can get any of a dozen different local and long-distance phone companies to offer you service, and prices went DOWN due to competition. When Congress opened up the oil industry in the early 80s they had to deregulate. Prices were driven down as a result, and despite two such “oil shortages” in the 70s, there was a glut in the 80s making gasoline cheaper than bottled water, a status it has held ever since (until this latest Democratically-controlled Congress made things so much worse).

    Are you seeing a pattern developing here? Deregulation leads to open markets leads to lower prices as competition is allowed.

    The people that make up the laws are the only ones who can erase those laws.

    They chop off little kids’ fingers… but you just can’t beat their holiday prices!

    Name the country/industry/corporation that is chopping off little kids fingers. I mean, since we have to prevent these abuses and all.

    Or are you trying to make shit up?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  488. The Electoral College could subpoena it. A judge, maybe, if Barack Like-I-Always-Said-Obama’s birth is directly at issue in some lawsuit. Otherwise, the State of Hawaii is entitled to protect the vital statistics of its citizens and the standard of review is rational basis. Or the police power, if you want. What can I do to defend against identity fraud?

    Its horseshit, in any case. Barack Don’t-Listen-To-What-I-Said-Yesterday-Listen-To-What-I-Say-Now Obama’s mother was a U.S. citizen. That makes him a natural-born U.S. citizen no matter who his father was and where he was born.

    The smoking gun would be if his mother had renounced her U.S. citizenship in Kenya before he was born and he was born there or somewhere else outside the United States. But that’s a fantasy.

    nk (479e05)

  489. And the bottom line is Americans say who is an American and who is not. And they will get their chance to say no in November.

    nk (479e05)

  490. Nk, I’m ignorant. Does the age of one’s mother at birth have anything to do with whether one is a citizen or not at birth? Does the length of residency in the U.S. have anything to do with it.

    I really don’t know. I always assumed that having one parent be a citizen was enough to guarantee citizenship at birth.

    steve miller (724340)

  491. 490, Steve, try this on for size.

    The Obama campaign, however, continues to flaunt the unstamped, unsealed, uncertified document — notably in very low resolution — on its “Fight the Smears” website, with campaign officials vowing that it’s authentic, sending the image around as “proof” to reporters, and inviting supporters to refer to it as they battle against supposed distortions and calumnies against their candidate. However, the campaign refuses to produce an authentic original birth certificate from the year of Obama’s birth, or even a paper version with seal and signature of the “Certification of Live Birth.” Nor has it even published an electronic copy with the requisite embossed seal and signature. The failure of the Obama campaign to do so, and its willingness instead to put up an invalid, uncertified image — what now appears to be a crude forgery — raises the dramatic question of why the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate might have to hide.[…]There is one possibility, however, which alone might justify the risk that Obama and his campaign seems to be taking in putting forward the uncertified document image: Obama was not in fact born in Hawaii and may not be an American citizen at all, or at least not a “natural born citizen” as the Constitution defines the requirement for the nation’s chief executive. Real original birth certificates, circa 1961, have all kinds of verifiable information that would confirm Obama’s origins, or throw them into doubt should they be lacking.
    Research has since uncovered the law, in force at the time of Obama’s birth, that were he to have been born in another country, his young American mother’s youth extended time abroad would not suffice to make him a “natural born citizen.” Even if he were naturalized later — and there is no evidence that he was — he would not be eligible to run for the office of president and — if forgery or misrepresentation were involved — he and his staffers might find themselves facing stiff federal and state charges. […]There is one simple way for the candidate to clear up the issue once and for all: produce for public inspection and objective analysis the paper copy of his original Hawaiian birth certificate — if one exists. If he’s lost the original, he can request a certified copy. Ordinary citizens are required to produce one to get a passport or a driver’s license. Surely it’s not too much to ask from a man who aspires to hold the highest office in the land.
    The issue is not whether Obama is black or white, Christian or Muslim. It is whether he was born in the USA and thus a citizen eligible according to the Constitution to run for President. […]http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/12939.htm
    http://polarik.blogtownhall.com/2008/06/20/was_obamas_certificate_of_birth_manufactured.thtml

    PCD (5c49b0)

  492. Faked certificate suggests that Obama may not be “natural born” US citizen […]An authentic Hawaiian birth certificate for another Hawaiian individual has since surfaced which, using the same official form as the presumptive Obama certificate, includes an embossed official seal and an authoritative signature, coming through from the back. Obama’s alleged certificate lacks those features, and the certificate number referencing the birth year has been blacked out, making it untraceable.
    Janice Okubo, Director of Communications of the State of Hawaii Department of Health, told Israel Insider: “At this time there are no circumstances in which the State of Hawaii Department of Health would issue a birth certification or certification of live birth only electronically.” And, she added, “In the State of Hawaii all certified copies of certificates of live birth have the embossed seal and registrar signature on the back of the document.” […]So if he were registered as being born in Hawaii, Barack Obama — because only he or another member of his immediate family could by law request a “Certification of Live Birth” — must have a certified paper copy, with embossed stamp and seal, or he could request one. But what his campaign has put forward as genuine, according to the senior spokesman in the relevant department of the State of Hawaii, is not in fact a certified copy. It is not valid.
    […]The Obama campaign, however, continues to flaunt the unstamped, unsealed, uncertified document — notably in very low resolution — on its “Fight the Smears” website, with campaign officials vowing that it’s authentic, sending the image around as “proof” to reporters, and inviting supporters to refer to it as they battle against supposed distortions and calumnies against their candidate. However, the campaign refuses to produce an authentic original birth certificate from the year of Obama’s birth, or even a paper version with seal and signature of the “Certification of Live Birth.” Nor has it even published an electronic copy with the requisite embossed seal and signature. The failure of the Obama campaign to do so, and its willingness instead to put up an invalid, uncertified image — what now appears to be a crude forgery — raises the dramatic question of why the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate might have to hide.[…]There is one possibility, however, which alone might justify the risk that Obama and his campaign seems to be taking in putting forward the uncertified document image: Obama was not in fact born in Hawaii and may not be an American citizen at all, or at least not a “natural born citizen” as the Constitution defines the requirement for the nation’s chief executive. Real original birth certificates, circa 1961, have all kinds of verifiable information that would confirm Obama’s origins, or throw them into doubt should they be lacking.
    Research has since uncovered the law, in force at the time of Obama’s birth, that were he to have been born in another country, his young American mother’s youth extended time abroad would not suffice to make him a “natural born citizen.” Even if he were naturalized later — and there is no evidence that he was — he would not be eligible to run for the office of president and — if forgery or misrepresentation were involved — he and his staffers might find themselves facing stiff federal and state charges. […]There is one simple way for the candidate to clear up the issue once and for all: produce for public inspection and objective analysis the paper copy of his original Hawaiian birth certificate — if one exists. If he’s lost the original, he can request a certified copy. Ordinary citizens are required to produce one to get a passport or a driver’s license. Surely it’s not too much to ask from a man who aspires to hold the highest office in the land.
    The issue is not whether Obama is black or white, Christian or Muslim. It is whether he was born in the USA and thus a citizen eligible according to the Constitution to run for President. […]

    http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/12939.htm

    http://polarik.blogtownhall.com/2008/06/20/was_obamas_certificate_of_birth_manufactured.thtml

    PCD (5c49b0)

  493. 490, Steve, I’m trying to answer but my answer is not showing up, but the software says I’ve said that.

    Faked certificate suggests that Obama may not be “natural born” US citizen […]An authentic Hawaiian birth certificate for another Hawaiian individual has since surfaced which, using the same official form as the presumptive Obama certificate, includes an embossed official seal and an authoritative signature, coming through from the back. Obama’s alleged certificate lacks those features, and the certificate number referencing the birth year has been blacked out, making it untraceable.
    Janice Okubo, Director of Communications of the State of Hawaii Department of Health, told Israel Insider: “At this time there are no circumstances in which the State of Hawaii Department of Health would issue a birth certification or certification of live birth only electronically.” And, she added, “In the State of Hawaii all certified copies of certificates of live birth have the embossed seal and registrar signature on the back of the document.” […]So if he were registered as being born in Hawaii, Barack Obama — because only he or another member of his immediate family could by law request a “Certification of Live Birth” — must have a certified paper copy, with embossed stamp and seal, or he could request one. But what his campaign has put forward as genuine, according to the senior spokesman in the relevant department of the State of Hawaii, is not in fact a certified copy. It is not valid.
    […]The Obama campaign, however, continues to flaunt the unstamped, unsealed, uncertified document — notably in very low resolution — on its “Fight the Smears” website, with campaign officials vowing that it’s authentic, sending the image around as “proof” to reporters, and inviting supporters to refer to it as they battle against supposed distortions and calumnies against their candidate. However, the campaign refuses to produce an authentic original birth certificate from the year of Obama’s birth, or even a paper version with seal and signature of the “Certification of Live Birth.” Nor has it even published an electronic copy with the requisite embossed seal and signature. The failure of the Obama campaign to do so, and its willingness instead to put up an invalid, uncertified image — what now appears to be a crude forgery — raises the dramatic question of why the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate might have to hide.[…]There is one possibility, however, which alone might justify the risk that Obama and his campaign seems to be taking in putting forward the uncertified document image: Obama was not in fact born in Hawaii and may not be an American citizen at all, or at least not a “natural born citizen” as the Constitution defines the requirement for the nation’s chief executive. Real original birth certificates, circa 1961, have all kinds of verifiable information that would confirm Obama’s origins, or throw them into doubt should they be lacking.
    Research has since uncovered the law, in force at the time of Obama’s birth, that were he to have been born in another country, his young American mother’s youth extended time abroad would not suffice to make him a “natural born citizen.” Even if he were naturalized later — and there is no evidence that he was — he would not be eligible to run for the office of president and — if forgery or misrepresentation were involved — he and his staffers might find themselves facing stiff federal and state charges. […]There is one simple way for the candidate to clear up the issue once and for all: produce for public inspection and objective analysis the paper copy of his original Hawaiian birth certificate — if one exists. If he’s lost the original, he can request a certified copy. Ordinary citizens are required to produce one to get a passport or a driver’s license. Surely it’s not too much to ask from a man who aspires to hold the highest office in the land.
    The issue is not whether Obama is black or white, Christian or Muslim. It is whether he was born in the USA and thus a citizen eligible according to the Constitution to run for President. […]

    http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/12939.htm

    PCD (5c49b0)

  494. Steve #490,

    My best opinion is that the answer is in the Naturalization Acts. If there’s nothing you need do to become a U.S. citizen, you are a natural-born U.S. citizen.

    One caveat. Until 1925, American Indians who wanted to leave the reservation had to be naturalized. I think that law was insane and, like I said, it was repealed in 1925. If American Indians are not natural-born citizens, nobody is.

    nk (479e05)

  495. If American Indians are not natural-born citizens, nobody is.

    The American Indians found out what happens when you don’t control immigration.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  496. 492, nk, if there’s not a problem with Obama’s citizenship, why not produce the birth certificate and why horse around with faked certificates? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

    Oh, and Libs, you started this with your McCain isn’t a citizen crap.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  497. Well, I don’t see the problem with a fake certificate as being something to prove he is not a citizen. It just shows the certificate is fake. And based on the Hawaiian official’s comment, it doesn’t seem as if there’s any interest to release a certificate w/o his permission.

    Per nk’s comment, there would have to be a long chain of evidence to show that he was not born in Hawaii.

    The article cited contains a mix of quotes from an Hawaiian official and speculation about what might be true. It does not contain evidence that he was born anywhere but Hawaii.

    I’d chalk up the article as a fun read, but if this is the best the conservatives can come up with (“Barry was born in Kenya! We’ve heard stories it may be true, and why is his grandmother hard to find?”), then it will be a long 8 years.

    Conservatives won’t win simply by trying to show that the campaign has a disputed certificate of birth. They have to come up with something positive to vote for. They’ll get their base vote of 25% even if they put up Chuck Hagel. But to reach 50%+1, they have to offer more than this.

    This isn’t something I’d want to see the conservatives associated with.

    What I would like to see are the laws that define who is a citizen, and how they apply here. If it comes down to a teenage American having her baby in Hawaii, then there’s no issue. If, as nk says, there would have to be circumstances where she renounced her citizenship and had the baby out of the states, then there would be a case.

    steve miller (724340)

  498. To more fully answer your question, Steve, I don’t know how somebody is more of a U.S. citizen at age eighteen than at age seventeen. We do not not have incrementally acquired citizenship here. You are citizen when you are born or when you are naturalized and that’s as much of a citizen as you will ever be.

    nk (479e05)

  499. nk, was the repeal of the acts tied to the admission that Native Americans were automatically citizens? It might be the same thing; I have a hazy memory of something like that happening in 1925. (Not that I personally remember 1925.)

    steve miller (724340)

  500. Thanks nk. I think the issue of the certificate of birth is a losing one.

    There’s a lot that would have to fall into place for there to be a disqualification, and there doesn’t seem to be any real evidence. A faked certificate is interesting. But that’s all it is for now.

    steve miller (724340)

  501. And based on the Hawaiian official’s comment, it doesn’t seem as if there’s any interest to release a certificate w/o his permission.

    Doesn’t this remind you of John “I’ll release my military records any day now” Kerry?

    How long have we been waiting now?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  502. And the bottom line is Americans say who is an American and who is not. And they will get their chance to say *no* in November.

    Genuine Freudian slip.

    And they will get their chance to say *so* in November.

    nk (479e05)

  503. well, yeah, it does.

    For Kerry, it’s hundreds of days. A man of his word, he is.

    Didn’t he say he was going to sue the Swift Boat vets?

    And wasn’t he the guy that was going to put JSMcC on the ticket? And now he’s changing his mind? So JSMcC would, right now, be a polar opposite to a Prez Kerry. However, Prez Bush gets no slack for not predicting in 2001 how 2008 would turn out in Iraq.

    I see how that works.

    steve miller (724340)

  504. Amendment 14

    1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    The President

    No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    Seems that since he was born in Hawaii, he’s a citizen by birth. He’s definitely been in America for 14 years.

    I don’t know what other law might apply. He was never “naturalized” as he had no need to be. And citizenship is a right by birth.

    steve miller (724340)

  505. nk, was the repeal of the acts tied to the admission that Native Americans were automatically citizens?

    If I were briefing it for a court I would research it, Steve. On a blog conversation, it’s more fun to speculate. I put it to a Congress finally achieving sanity, in the context of a very activist Substantive Due Process Supreme Court.

    Sorry, Patterico, I know you want this site to be a real law blog but … like … you know … bullshitting and hoping we are right is a lot more fun.

    nk (479e05)

  506. nk, you are making me work for my education! How fair is that? Aren’t we just supposed to snap our fingers and make things up?

    Sigh.

    Now I gotta go do research. Is this how legal assistants make their living? Because if it is, they don’t get paid enough.

    steve miller (724340)

  507. nk and steve,

    My issue is WAS HE REALLY BORN IN HAWAII?? If not, then is he a Kenyan citizen first? Again, Kenyan father born in Kenya.

    As to age of the mother, I do believe that her being a minor does factor in to the equation.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  508. Just to empathsize my 505. My daughter has a California Birth Certificate, but she was not born in California. The same may be true of Obama, that He was born in Kenya, and then his mother got to Hawaii and got him a naturalized birth certificate in Hawaii AFTER MOTHER AND SON MOVED FROM KENYA.

    Also, Why would Col. Khadaffi of Libya be calling Obama a Kenyan???

    PCD (5c49b0)

  509. Steve #504,

    We were both right the first time. If there’s no provision for the naturalization of Barack Toto-Were-We-Ever-In-Kansas Obama, he is a natural-born citizen. Let the ones who say “no” go through the legal contortions. And contortions they will be.

    nk (479e05)

  510. PCD,

    I have not hunted in 27 years but back then I knew to go where the ducks are. The only way there’s anything here is if Barack I’m-Running-Out-Of-Middle-Names-For-Him Obama’s mama renounced her U.S. citizenship before he was born.

    And that’s not likely.

    Moreover, as an extreme right-to-lifer, I might argue that his citizenship attached when he was conceived.

    Why don’t we just stick to the verifiable fact that he is a corrupt, self-seeking, and otherwise worthless catamite of Mayor Richard J. Daley?

    nk (479e05)

  511. You’d have to prove that the birth happened in Kenya and that his mother flew to Hawaii to get a certificate of birth/birth certificate. (I believe the second is given to you at the live birth but the first is the copy you can get if you need a replacement.)

    I don’t know if that story will withstand any serious scrutiny. And all his campaign has to do is say “now you’re smearing my mother. A poor, frightened lady.”

    It would be helpful not to get excited by speculation but to look to facts. Remember the alleged tape of Michelle Obama in church? That turned out to be a hoax.

    This certificate is a hoax, but the issue itself doesn’t have any legs.

    steve miller (724340)

  512. nk, I’m doing to Levi and the libs what they do to others. The fact that the left suddenly goes silent when you nail them makes my day.

    Again, Why bother faking the BC not once but twice if there is nothing hiding behind BO’s smile?

    PCD (5c49b0)

  513. I think both love2008 #474 and no one you know #477 make good points, but Levi agreed to Patterico’s rules. If Levi is unhappy with them, he can try to renegotiate them or he can chalk it up to a lesson learned (and that lesson is: Read and understand the rules before you start).

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  514. PCD,

    I’ll add my 2 cents on the Obama birth certificate issue but keep in mind that I’m like NK: I’m not going to go research it. I research for work and I come here for fun.

    I don’t know if the birth certificate posted online is real but I have a guess why the Obama campaign might not want to post the real certificate even if it shows he was born in Hawaii. Maybe this has been mentioned before and I missed it, but the complete birth certificate may include the religion of the parents. I was born in the 1950’s and mine did. If so, it could say Muslim, Christian, None, or something else. If it says anything but Christian, I suspect the campaign would rather not bring attention to it and I don’t blame them. A baby doesn’t get to pick his parents’ religion or the lack of a religion.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  515. Hmm. It makes sense that the doc doesn’t warrant a GOP attack. It may just be curiousity as to why BHO and campaign HQ won’t clear things up. DRJ has shed some light on the matter:

    I don’t know if the birth certificate posted online is real but I have a guess why the Obama campaign might not want to post the real certificate even if it shows he was born in Hawaii. Maybe this has been mentioned before and I missed it, but the complete birth certificate may include the religion of the parents.

    I was thinking maybe Hillary should keep her pantsuits pressed and at the ready. But maybe not.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  516. A baby doesn’t get to pick his parents’ religion or the lack of a religion.

    But when Muslims demand that any baby born to a Muslim parent is a Muslim, that would put the lie to any claims that “he is not now, nor has he ever been, a Muslim”.

    Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it would be yet another flip-flop for the record.

    If they have something to hide, maybe there’s a good reason to keep it under wraps. But the truth will out.

    If he were a Republican, though, his every brush with official-dom would be under extreme scrutine, like those sealed divorce records that caused an incumbent Senator from the Illinois Senate race. For something that Democrats though was so offensive that they whipped it into an incredible scandal – having sex with his own wife.

    (That was after using the Illinois courts to disqualify his primary opponents.)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  517. Well, yeah, Backtrack Barack does seem to have great skill with the bureaucracy – almost as if they’re in the tank for him.

    I wonder if his defense of JSMcC over his CZ birth is a way to defang this argument against himself?

    steve miller (724340)

  518. ^ Yes. And what was Barry’s phrasing for that? ‘ The start of my stupendous journey into public service’ or some such.

    Messiah complex.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  519. Steve,

    I wonder if his defense of JSMcC over his CZ birth is a way to defang this argument against himself?

    Likely.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  520. 512, DRJ, I could give a hang what religion was on the birth certificate. I want to know WHERE he was born.

    The left tried to disqualify McCain based on his birth in the Canal Zone. That did backfire on them, but McCain didn’t hide his birth certificate, either.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  521. Re: Obama’s place of birth, I too fail to see much of any there there.

    As far as why his campaign might not be falling over itself to resolve the matter, recall that he was conceived when Stanley Ann Dunham was 17 years old and already-married Barak Obama was 24.

    While no censure for these circumstances can attach to the baby who grew up to be Barack Obama Jr., neither do they add luster to the latest message that the candidate and the campaign have chosen to retail.

    The Country I love:

    “America is a country of strong families and strong values. My life has been blessed by both.”

    AMac (c822c9)

  522. “America is a country of strong families and strong values. My life has been blessed by both.”

    Sheesh. It’s like Backtracky’s been drinking the jesus juice. But we know he’s a radical black Christian, at best (with emphasis on radical). (Fist!)

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  523. PCD,

    I don’t know the answer to this question and I’m asking, not arguing: Has anyone in the Obama or Dunham families suggested that Barack was born anywhere but Hawaii, or is there any family document that states he was born elsewhere?

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  524. AMac and Vermont Neighbor,

    “America is a country of strong families and strong values. My life has been blessed by both.”

    I think the emphasis on the word strong.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  525. America is a country of strong families and strong values. My life has been blessed by both

    Those values seem to be subject to change, without warning.

    JD (75f5c3)

  526. JD –

    Darn funny!

    Mine:

    Do not use these values past the expiry date.

    steve miller (724340)

  527. The family value pack includes fresh fruit for the kids. Just sayin’.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  528. #512 So what’s the story behind the sensitive, family-oriented Obamessiah? I think his mommy dearest passed away at fifty two and her loving prodigal son would not visit her on her deathbed. He puts down being part-white in his autobiography, but praises his abandoning, several wives mostly arabic daddy?

    madmax333 (eecc47)

  529. The economic problems of this country are because of MKDP’s fantasy stalker and a lack of webfiltering? And MKDP’s fantasy about what computer viruses?

    That may be a record.

    SPQR, Let me dumb things down for your a little bit. NO AMERICAN IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD PURCHASE A BIG TICKET ITEM WITH ALL THE ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE THAT’S BEEN GOING ON.

    You see, SPQR, Americans are notorious at buying now and hustling the money to pay later. how can you hustle money (legitimately) to pay your bills with illegal surveillance in your computers, your telephones, your disability devices, etc.

    Do you *get it* now, Holmes?

    MKDP (26ea60)

  530. Do you find it hard to type with all that tinfoil covering your head?

    steve miller (724340)

  531. Considering she’s typing by pounding her head against the desk (“once for ‘A’, twice for ‘B’, three times for ‘C’, and so on…”), I’m surprised she hasn’t given up by now.

    Excedrin headache #1,374,246

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  532. NO AMERICAN IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD PURCHASE A BIG TICKET ITEM WITH ALL THE ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE THAT’S BEEN GOING ON.

    Thus, any counter evidence that Americans are, in fact, purchasing “big-ticket items” would allow her to utterly dismiss that contradictory evidence as “Oh, they are just sheeple who don’t know any better, so that proves that I’m right that UDT frogmen infiltrated my boat last night to impregnate my talking horse who was just about to spill the beans on Judge Roy Bean’s plot to overthrow the legitimate monarchy in Whoville!”

    Living proof that stupid people shouldn’t breed.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  533. We recently purchased a big-ticket item and I don’t think we’re under surveillance, although maybe I will buy new underwear for everyone just in case.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  534. Make sure the underwear is made out newspaper. I hear it blocks the radar from the airport even better than tin foil blocks spy satellites. But for a field-expert at “Bugf*ck krazy”, ask Mary Kate and Asshat…

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  535. MKDP-

    Any relation to the ex american woman space cadet last seen around here not so long ago? As in multiple personalities, inbred cousins/siblings? You know they are doing wonders with mental health these days or else perhaps your prozac/ritalin/paxil/lithium needs reappraisal and readjustment. In your case I recommend liquid Thorazine 800 ml QID and stat. They’re coming to take me away, to the funny farm where life is gay! haha hoho hee hee!

    madmax333 (eecc47)

  536. “Name the country/industry/corporation that is chopping off little kids fingers. I mean, since we have to prevent these abuses and all.

    Or are you just making shit up?”

    – Drumwaster

    China: Newfound fan of the Free Market and its fiduciary potence…

    I suppose the obvious next step for you (after apologizing for accusing me of “making shit up”) is to claim that “China’s totally totalitarian, it’s not the Free Market’s fault that those 40000 fingers got lopped off!”

    You’re partially right and you’re partially wrong. I wouldn’t be so stupid as to claim that China is anything close to “deregulated”, in the general sense. However, the article states that most of these factories supply Western companies – the result of a global free market (i.e. Western companies moving jobs overseas to avoid pesky wage laws and workers’ rights). Thus, these factories are the product of Western demand. Thus, these 40000 lost fingers (that you’d like to believe don’t exist) are the product of Western demand, coupled with what is essentially total deregulation in the realm of human rights.

    Leviticus (d68932)

  537. Leviticus

    China is essentially totally deregulated?

    By what definition?

    steve miller (724340)

  538. I suppose the obvious next step for you (after apologizing for accusing me of “making shit up”) is to claim that “China’s totally totalitarian, it’s not the Free Market’s fault that those 40000 fingers got lopped off!”

    I won’t have to point that out, since you already know it, but how are all those Chinese toys coated in lead paint doing? (Last I heard, they were being returned because no one wanted to buy them. Lead paint, dontchaknow?)

    Second, China is a giant monopoly when it comes to economic decisions. As the free market starts infiltrating their markets, their standard of living will improve as efficiency increases, conditions rise and prices fall.

    Until then, I thought we were talking about how to put a stop to shit like that.

    Deregulation always works. Let me emphasize that point: Deregulation ALWAYS works.

    Thus, these factories are the product of Western demand.

    No, they aren’t. They have no freedoms in how to invest their capital (what little they might have been able to keep), they don’t get to set prices according to what their costs are, and they never went through the Black Plague which depopulated a continent and made workers actually valuable enough to worry about.

    The Chinese version of the Golden Rule is “he who holds the gun makes the rules”. (Okay, okay, it was actually “power emerges from the barrel of a gun”. Happy now?)

    The Chinese might as well be Klingons. And even that wouldn’t help, because I can speak Klingonese. (I’m a geek, not a nerd.) But until they start using machinery to make life easier on the citizens – which takes energy, not power – their concern will NOT be with the peasants so much as it would be for the dollar (with which they can buy all those shiny new toys for their military, thus even more power from guns).

    Most industries are controlled, if not outright owned, by the government (or selected government officials) and that is about as monopolistic as it gets.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  539. MKDP, do I “get” it? If you mean do I understand the content of your sentences? the answer is yes. If you mean, do I accept your bizarre fantasies as having any power to explain the real world? The answer is firmly no. Your fantasies are quite disjunct with reality.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  540. Drum – I went to a bar in Daphne/Spanish Fort, AL named Judge Roy Bean’s. Best bar I have ever been to. Fresh sucked oysters for 25 cents. Cold Dixie beer. There was even a billy goat wandering around the place.

    SPQR – The words the Dynamic Duo type, they look like english, share similar sentence structure with English, but in the end, bears only a passing resemblence to actual English.

    JD (5f0e11)

  541. You see, SPQR, Americans are notorious at buying now and hustling the money to pay later. how can you hustle money (legitimately) to pay your bills with illegal surveillance in your computers, your telephones, your disability devices, etc.

    Get a job, go to work. What sort of hustling are you doing? Surely, spouting lunacy on the intertubes doesn’t pay much, ever since the 9th Circuit disabled WebSense.

    Oh, did I say disabled? That must be a protected action.

    Pablo (99243e)

  542. 524, DRJ, I will have to scour old posts and emails. I’m not sure any US family is saying anything, But I’m hearing the Kenyan side are saying a lot, and expect to be well taken care of when Obama is elected President. I think they are expecting Sharia to be imposed on the US, too.

    PCD (520e75)

  543. Leviticus said

    total deregulation in the realm of human rights

    And that’s a fact when it comes to China.

    I dare anyone to argue that Communist China recognizes human rights. And I dare anyone to try to justify doing business with those bastard slavers.

    nk (479e05)

  544. Drumwaster #539,

    Since we’re essentially talking in circles at this point, I’m going to try to summarize where each of us is at (for my own benefit). Correct me if I mischaracterize your position.

    Both of us agree that China is a bad role model when it comes to business. The difference between us, I believe, is that you are looking at China from a macro-level perspective (in the big picture, as a quasi-socialist totalitarian regime that controls the day-to-day economic operation of its people) and I’m looking at China as the sum of its micro-level parts (where deregulation [in the most callous sense of the term] has been used by the Chinese government to attract unprecedented external investment).

    The two positions aren’t mutually exclusive; that’s the paradox of modern China. The Chinese government has realized the opportunity with which it is presented by a global market: to exploit the labor of an already captive workforce, and to whore that labor to overseas “entrepreneurs” eager to cut back on the costs associated with paying a worker enough to feed his family. Socialism and capitalism are equally at fault for the plight of the Chinese worker: socialism for keeping him in a state of poverty, and capitalism for extorting him in that impoverished state – where he has no other choice but to comply to the fetid conditions of a deregulated workplace.

    At the macro-level, China is totalitarian, utterly regulated. At the micro-level, China is totally deregulated, because the Chinese government couldn’t care less what happens to its people when they walk through the factory doors.

    Also: You can claim that the outcry against lead painted toys, and their failure as products, is a victory of the free market. But you have to ask yourself why those toys were coated with lead in the first place, and whether or not a dangerous situation could’ve been avoided by a little regulation.

    There’s an insidious danger in dealing with extremes, such as “ALWAYS”.

    Leviticus (131b16)

  545. But you have to ask yourself why those toys were coated with lead in the first place

    Because it was cheaper, and the Chinese Government is looking to maximize profits whenever possible, without counting the human cost.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  546. Interesting. Levi’s last comment here was the lone “LOL!” @ #470, 7/7/2008 8:42 AM.

    Meanwhile, he’s commented here some 28 hours later, and also here long after his last appearance on this thread.

    Are you done with this debate, Levi?

    Pablo (99243e)

  547. Levi,

    Let me give you an example of a way you could respond to the claim that Jeremiah Wright’s statements are racist, hateful or anti-American. Let’s take Wright’s “chickens coming home to roost” statement.

    The best argument I’ve read that Wright’s statement was not hateful and anti-American was made by CNN’s Roland Martin in this March 21, 2008, column. Martin states that Wright’s comment came from a sermon he gave on Sunday, September 16, 2001 – the first Sunday after 9/11 – entitled “The Day of Jerusalem’s Fall.” Martin claims Wright was merely quoting US Ambassador Edward Peck when he used the phrase “chickens coming home to roost”:

    One of the most controversial statements in this sermon was when he mentioned “chickens coming home to roost.” He was actually quoting Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and deputy director of President Reagan’s terrorism task force, who was speaking on FOX News. That’s what he told the congregation.

    He was quoting Peck as saying that America’s foreign policy has put the nation in peril:

    “I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday did anybody else see or hear him? He was on FOX News, this is a white man, and he was upsetting the FOX News commentators to no end, he pointed out, a white man, an ambassador, he pointed out that what Malcolm X said when he was silenced by Elijah Mohammad was in fact true, he said Americas chickens, are coming home to roost.”

    An extended excerpt from the sermon is provided at Martin’s link. I think this would be a good addition to the “chickens coming home to roost” discussion because it provides context to Wright’s statement and claims they were not Wright’s words, although he embraced and apparently endorsed them.

    If you had raised this point, I would have responded that, according to the PBS Ombudsman who reviewed the Fox News interview with Peck, Ambassador Peck did not say those words. Here’s what Peck said:

    “They [the terrorists] came to do to us what they perceive, it doesn’t make them right, but what they perceive is we’ve been doing the same thing now for a long time in various parts of the world. It doesn’t make them right or us wrong. Don’t misunderstand me.
    ***
    But the point is that some of the things that we have done in the firm, honest belief that we are advancing the cause of justice, human rights, and freedom and all of that are not perceived that way by the people that we bomb. I offer you Panama. I give you Haiti. Take Cambodia. What about Iraq?”

    To me, this is not the same as saying America’s chickens have come home to roost, and it obviously doesn’t contain the phrase “chickens coming home to roost” at all.

    Wright’s sermon also refers to Malcolm X and if we read Wright’s sermon carefully, we realize he was saying the phrase “chickens coming home to roost” was said by Malcolm X, not Peck. On December 4, 1963, Malcolm X delivered a speech entitled “God’s Judgement [sic] on White America” also referred to as The Chickens Come Home to Roost speech. You can read the full speech at the link but here are the website editor’s notes (emphasis supplied):

    Note – this speech was delivered before Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and accepted true Islam — so his views in this speech do not reflect his own or those he held near the end of his life.

    This speech is sometimes called “The Chickens Come Home To Roost,” because of an answer Malcolm X gave in response to a question following the speech. The question concerned the late President John Kennedy. It was Malcolm X’s answer, that the Presidents death was a case of “chickens coming home to roost” — that the violence that Kennedy had failed to stop had come back to him, this resulted in the Elijah Muhammad silencing him. Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam a short time later.

    As noted, the speech was given during Malcolm X’s Nation of Islam phase, i.e., when he was an advocate for black separatism and black liberation philosophy … and that brings us to Jeremiah Wright’s views on black liberation theology that I’ll save for another day.

    Of course, you did not respond this way. Instead, you simply stated you don’t think Wright is racist, hateful or anti-American. There’s not much I can say to that other than “Is, too” and so forth and so on. So I’ll try aunursa’s approach:

    Levi, How do you define ‘racist’?

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  548. “Soon after the Senate vote on the Confederate flag insignia, Sen. Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.) ran into Mosely-Braun in a Capitol elevator. Helms turned to his friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), and said, “Watch me make her cry. I’m going to make her cry. I’m going to sing ‘Dixie’ until she cries.” He then proceeded to sing the song about “the good life” during slavery to Mosely-Braun (Gannett News Service, 9/2/93; Time, 8/16/93)”

    Jesse Helms: Racist and Un-American.

    JAR (9c32c0)

  549. Jesse Helms: Racist and Un-American.

    Got it. Now how do you feel about Jerry Wright’s views (since that is what the rest of us are discussing)? Have you the intellectual honesty God gave a grasshopper to admit that there are people who despise the US whose skin color is a different shade than that of (say) Marcel Marceau?

    The venting of hate onto Jesse Helms is for the other thread.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  550. Jeremiah Wright is a pompous blowhard with a streak of narcissism that -we now know- is about a mile wide. But he’s worked with many groups of people in favor of ideals I and many others, black, white, and other, are largely in agreement with. Remember that the other blowhard priest who got O’bomba into trouble, while speaking at the same church in front of the same congregation, is an old friend and partner of Wright’s, and was and is Catholic, and white.

    But Wright gets attacked on this page while Helms, who was a purebred pig, gets something close to respect. That’s worthy of mockery, derision, and anything else I can throw at it.
    as you were.

    JAR (9c32c0)

  551. But he’s worked with many groups of people in favor of ideals I and many others, black, white, and other, are largely in agreement with.

    Hitler was kind to children and dogs, too.

    You’re deliberately avoiding the question. Why is this?

    Remember that the other blowhard priest who got O’bomba into trouble, while speaking at the same church in front of the same congregation, is an old friend and partner of Wright’s, and was and is Catholic, and white.

    Because whites can’t be racist, can they…? Or is it that Pfather Pfleger is just as racist as Wright, but his being white makes it okay?

    ideals I and many others, black, white, and other, are largely in agreement with.

    You mean these values?

    These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They consist of the following concepts:

    1. Commitment to God
    2. Commitment to the Black Community
    3. Commitment to the Black Family
    4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
    5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
    6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
    7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
    8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
    9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
    10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
    11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
    12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.”

    If I were to substitute the word “White” in place of “Black”, it would be indistinguishable from the values espoused by the KKK. (Which, coincidentally, was founded by Democrats.)

    So which of those values do you endorse? Or are they others, such as the one where he says that Jesus was black (rather than Jewish)? Or perhaps the one where he asserts that AIDS was a WMD against the Black Man?

    Let me know which of those values that you “and many others, black, white, and other, are largely in agreement with”, so that we can start exposing YOU for being what you are.

    Think hard.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  552. Drum – JAR thinks we worship Helms. It quit thinking at that point, and commenced arguing with the voices in its head.

    JD (75f5c3)

  553. “Hitler was kind to children and dogs, too.”
    Wright gets this but Helms gets what?
    I don’t say anyone here worships Helms, but your priorities seem how shall I say: a bit off.

    JAR (9c32c0)

  554. JAR,

    I think I can help ease your worries. I will not be voting for Jesse Helms in the upcoming election. Because of the causes he believed in and fought for, if a candidate had been a close comrade-in-arms with him–or had chosen him for a mentor–that would be a very big negative in my book.

    The same thing goes for Walter Duranty, David Duke, and many others of the Hard Left and Hard Right.

    I am not sure how that translates into defining the questions raised by Sen. Obama’s association with Rev. Wright as priorities that are a bit off.

    AMac (c822c9)

  555. Wright gets this but Helms gets what?

    Where have you seen me defend Helms?

    So far, all I have said is that the Left will thrill in spewing hatred onto Helms. The right does not do this to those who have died or suffered a tragedy.

    Patterico offered a contest in a different thread – you go out and find the very best of what was said about Helms on Lefty blogs, and the very worst said about Kennedy by those on the right.

    We will simultaneously be looking for the very worst against Helms on the left, and the very kindest said about Kennedy by the right.

    Then compare and contrast the statements.

    Care to give it a whirl?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  556. Levi,

    I’m ready to address the similarities and differences between McCain-Hagee and Obama-Wright as raised in your first comment and specifically in reference to your Holocaust link at The Republic of T blog. I’ve taken a day to think about the points raised in that blog post and I’ve summarized the main points below.

    The Republic of T believes Jeremiah Wright is right. Wright tells white Americans something about their country they either rarely hear or don’t want to hear:
    “This country was built on the backs of African slaves on land that was robbed in the slaughter of Native Americans. I’m sorry if this offends your bourgeois sensibilities as it isn’t the totally awesome, God-fearing, flag-waving, USA #1!!!1 narrative that we teach to school kids, but it is historical fact.”

    He thinks America is the best hope of human liberty but it’s a work in progress that is too often controlled by white men. Wright may say that in a way we don’t like to hear, but it’s not wrong.

    The author also describes why this debate is a result of race and class conflicts, and then he concludes by discussing the relevance of patriotism. He believes conservatives have a contentless patriotism because they love their country no matter what it does. And that brings him to the difference between Hagee and Wright: Hagee never challenges white America in a way that makes America better, while Wright speaks truth to power by remembering the past “in hope of a better future.”

    First, there is a qualitative difference between accepting an endorsement as McCain did with Hagee (an endorsement McCain subsequently rejected after learning of Hagee’s statements about Hitler and the Jews), and making that person an integral part of his life for 20 years as Obama did with Wright.

    Second, IMO Hagee and Wright are similar in that they both are on the fringe when it comes to their beliefs. Of course, they both have significant influence in certain areas and command the attention of thousands, but neither one appears to speak for a significant segment of American society.

    Third, Wright is not right. Slavery is part of America’s history, not its present or its future, and it was the US and Britain that ended the scourge of slavery. Western Civilization, which is not race- or class-based but reason-based, is responsible for making America a bastion of that most liberal of values — tolerance of civil rights in the pursuit of human liberty.

    Somewhere alone the line, modern liberals decided the best way to achieve that goal was through government regulation and socialism while modern conservatives embraced free markets and capitalism. We won’t resolve that debate here but, fortunately, we don’t have to. It’s enough to note that a regulatory approach is all about critiquing the model to achieve better results. A free market approach lets the process find its own balance without interference. Thus, it’s not surprising that liberals view critiquing the process as the best way to love their country, or that conservatives think believing in the process is the best way.

    But whether someone thinks it’s more patriotic to “Love your country – right or wrong” or believes that “Criticism is the highest form of patriotism,” that doesn’t change the fact that Jeremiah Wright lives in one of the few countries in the world where he could come from humble beginnings and end up leading a church with 8000 members, meeting with Presidents, and pastoring people of all walks of life including Barack and Michelle Obama – people who share his humble background and now hold positions of wealth, influence, and power. Instead of illustrating America’s inequality, Wright and Obama are the archetypes for equality in America.

    DRJ (d5bcc5)

  557. But whether someone thinks it’s more patriotic to “Love your country – right or wrong” or believes that “Criticism is the highest form of patriotism”,

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. — Mark Twain

    There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable. — From the speech JFK was prevented from giving on November 22, 1963

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  558. Amac @ 555.

    Then perhaps you should find another party to support.
    Below is part of a long list

    John McCain “At this time, let us remember a life dedicated to serving this nation.”
    Trent Lott “He was one of the giants of the ’80s and ’90s in the United States Senate”
    The Corner “Death of a Conservative Great [Mark R. Levin]”

    It’s a long list. Red State’s in there, Heritage, Bob Dole, John Fund, and on.
    The title of the Mr Frey’s post about Helms is titled
    “Jesse Helms Dies; Left Shows Class and Restraint”
    Helms was a racist and un-American, but he was yours, and you should be ashamed. Wright is an blowhard and an annoyance, no more. He’s not worth defending and doing so just detracts form the absurdity of the attacks on him by those who defend an outspoken racist,

    “No intelligent Negro citizen should be insulted by a reference to this very plain fact of life. It is time to face honestly and sincerely the purely scientific statistical evidence of natural racial distinction in group intellect. … There is no bigotry either implicit or intended in such a realistic confrontation with the facts of life. … Those who would undertake to solve the problem by merely spending more money, and by massive forced integration, may be doing the greatest injustice of all to the Negro.”

    JAR (9c32c0)

  559. 559,

    This is unacceptable and outdated theory, spoken at a time when the country was in a civil transition. Would his words be the same today? Is the point of the post that politics should be put aside when Ted Kennedy gets cancer or a segregationist dies? He was a segregationist during segregation times. As were many Dems. Death should not be politicized.

    But back to this election and #155:

    I am not sure how that translates into defining the questions raised by Sen. Obama’s association with Rev. Wright as priorities that are a bit off.

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  560. “This is unacceptable and outdated theory, spoken at a time when the country was in a civil transition”

    “I am not sure how that translates into defining the questions raised by Sen. Obama’s association with Rev. Wright as priorities that are a bit off.”

    I’ll just do this again. And read the date this time:

    “Soon after the Senate vote on the Confederate flag insignia, Sen. Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.) ran into Mosely-Braun in a Capitol elevator. Helms turned to his friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), and said, “Watch me make her cry. I’m going to make her cry. I’m going to sing ‘Dixie’ until she cries.” He then proceeded to sing the song about “the good life” during slavery to Mosely-Braun (Gannett News Service, 9/2/93; Time, 8/16/93)”

    And (again again again) Wright has worked alongside whites for 40 years and the other idiot priest to get Obambi in trouble was a white Catholic speakiong before Wright’s old congregation.

    You could be up-front and say that I’m trying to see Wright in context and by being so wishy-washy I’m letting him off the hook. You could say “values are not relative!! Context should not matter!” But I have a list of all the stars of the republican party mourning the loss of a scumbag, so really an argument from absolutes is it’s not one you can make.
    According to this blog Helms apparently, is, relatively speaking, less un-American than Wright.
    That makes me think there’s a problem. But it’s not mine.

    JAR (9c32c0)

  561. Patrick,

    First, I think Levi is disenchanted with the way the conversation has proceeded in fits and starts. It’s probably hard for readers to follow, too.

    Second, if you decide to consolidate this in one place, I suggest you dedicate a new post for the initial challenge and statements of position – basically a copy of the original post you did in this thread – and then copy the comments Levi and I made into the comments section so it reads like a real conversation. Because of the length of Levi’s and my comments, I think putting all comments in the body of the post would make for a very tedious post.

    DRJ (cfa65f)

  562. Levi,

    This will probably be my last substantive comment since, at this point, I’m talking to myself. I never did get around to talking about black liberation theology but I don’t want to end without addressing why character matters in a Presidential election.

    Unlike parliamentary systems, US Presidents are more than the head of a political party. A President is also the Head of State and, in that role, wields enormous power. Thus, it’s important to evaluate more than just the candidates’ policy positions. We also need to know about the candidates’ background, intellect, experience, associates, values, and history of decisions and behavior.

    Very few American voters actually know the Presidential candidates so voters need some way to evaluate candidates and what kind of decisions they will make if elected President. Policy statements give voters a good idea of the candidates’ positions, but character helps voters evaluate how likely it is that candidates will stick to those positions. As Michael Beschloss explained:

    “Knowing the beliefs and purposes of Presidential candidates is important. But unless you have some understanding of their character, you won’t know very much about whether they will take political risks to fulfill those purposes, once elected — or which of their beliefs will supersede others when they (inevitably) come into conflict. In the 1960 campaign, John Kennedy promised to improve the lot of American blacks “with a stroke of the pen.” But, nervous about antagonizing powerful Southerners in Congress whose votes he wanted for other things, JFK did very little for civil rights during his two-and-a-half years in office.”

    DRJ (cfa65f)

  563. Jar,

    There’s more cruelty right now on a 6th grade playground than the example you cite from the Senate. I’m sorry. The guy had flaws and we all agree. Your example is just not highlighting anything worthwhile or racist, even. Just because folks *can* sue for just about anything today doesn’t mean they should. Who cares if these overpaid politicos takes jabs at each other near the Senate elevator? I trust Carol Mosely-Braun or anyone else in her position would offer up the appropriate sharp comment, click her briefcase shut and be on her way.

    “Soon after the Senate vote on the Confederate flag insignia, Sen. Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.) ran into Mosely-Braun in a Capitol elevator. Helms turned to his friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), and said, “Watch me make her cry. I’m going to make her cry. I’m going to sing ‘Dixie’ until she cries.” He then proceeded to sing the song about “the good life” during slavery to Mosely-Braun (Gannett News Service, 9/2/93; Time, 8/16/93)”

    Vermont Neighbor (31ccb6)

  564. First, I think Levi is disenchanted with the way the conversation has proceeded in fits and starts.

    DRJ, I think Levi simply realizes that he’s in over his head. Perhaps that is evidence of a well used teachable moment.

    Pablo (99243e)

  565. Coming back to this thread after a few days traveling–

    DRJ has made some very telling points in direct support of the original statement of her position, and others that highlight potential difficulties with Levi’s position. All with appropriate links, e.g. the latest as #563.

    Levi has not done the same. Apparently, he hasn’t tried to. He thinks that DRJ made a hash of things from the outset.

    I’d hoped to hear a thoughtful and spirited defense of why the conduct of Obama’s pastor and mentor (“Audacity of Hope”) should not be seen as large negatives. This wasn’t that.

    More and more, Obama looks to be a variation on the theme of Chicago Machine Politician. The novelty comes from him being Leftist, Black, Inexperienced, Artistic, Telegenic, and a Master Orator. How one feels about his candidacy seems to be a sum-of-boxes exercise, as far whether these individual traits are seen as Plusses or Negatives.

    AMac (c822c9)

  566. and a Master Orator

    Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.

    Has anyone seen him in front of a crowd with no teleprompters?

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  567. mgcn qktrlpya lkrqxcepg bnpm slzhr baxrv jreu

    uzcxekj fbukeyp (6c569a)

  568. bkafwhlq qaxlrbzk bkoqhwv xmujhzst nvuzhy vlpow qcmefith

    wziqycjx pbmek (6c569a)

  569. First, there is a qualitative difference between accepting an endorsement as McCain did with Hagee (an endorsement McCain subsequently rejected after learning of Hagee’s statements about Hitler and the Jews), and making that person an integral part of his life for 20 years as Obama did with Wright.

    Says you. Personally, I don’t see why either of these men should have any bearing on who we’re voting for for President. You can scream ’20 years’ all you want, that will never convince me.

    Second, IMO Hagee and Wright are similar in that they both are on the fringe when it comes to their beliefs. Of course, they both have significant influence in certain areas and command the attention of thousands, but neither one appears to speak for a significant segment of American society.

    Hagee founded an Israeli lobbying organization and is beamed into millions of homes across the country. You can buy some atrocious coffee-table book with pictures of John Hagee throughout his life for the low, low price of $100.00, I’ve seen the ridiculous commercial. He’s hardly on the fringe, he’s pretty typical as far as Christian evangelical Republicans go, and his ideas about how we’re supposed to handle our foreign policy with regards to the Middle East are more in line with the Republicans’ positions than anything coming from Wright, who had some tiny little slice of the black church-going community and was minding his own business, helping the poor and whatnot.

    Neither of them are on any sort of fringe. Hagee is mainstream, Wright is in a minority.

    Third, Wright is not right. Slavery is part of America’s history, not its present or its future, and it was the US and Britain that ended the scourge of slavery. Western Civilization, which is not race- or class-based but reason-based, is responsible for making America a bastion of that most liberal of values — tolerance of civil rights in the pursuit of human liberty.

    Somewhere alone the line, modern liberals decided the best way to achieve that goal was through government regulation and socialism while modern conservatives embraced free markets and capitalism. We won’t resolve that debate here but, fortunately, we don’t have to. It’s enough to note that a regulatory approach is all about critiquing the model to achieve better results. A free market approach lets the process find its own balance without interference. Thus, it’s not surprising that liberals view critiquing the process as the best way to love their country, or that conservatives think believing in the process is the best way.

    But whether someone thinks it’s more patriotic to “Love your country – right or wrong” or believes that “Criticism is the highest form of patriotism,” that doesn’t change the fact that Jeremiah Wright lives in one of the few countries in the world where he could come from humble beginnings and end up leading a church with 8000 members, meeting with Presidents, and pastoring people of all walks of life including Barack and Michelle Obama – people who share his humble background and now hold positions of wealth, influence, and power. Instead of illustrating America’s inequality, Wright and Obama are the archetypes for equality in America.

    None of this makes any sense to me. Inequality and racism isn’t something we’ve put behind us, as easily as you seem to be suggesting, DRJ. Rev. Wright went to segregated schools. Obama’s parents’ marriage was illegal in most places when he was born. Look at statistics and demographics, why are blacks poorer? Why are there more blacks in jail? Why aren’t there more blacks in government? The Republican answer to all of those questions is to dispense with some unsympathetic platitude about how at some point, blacks need to ‘pull themselves up by their bootstraps.’ It’s not your problem anymore, right? Those were the sins of our fathers, we’re in the clear, we don’t have to think about these issues, we can just blame blacks for it, right?

    Levi (74ca1f)

  570. Levi,

    I don’t see any evidence that Hagee is a mainstream American or Christian. First, Protestants aren’t that common in America anymore. In 2007, Gallup reported that, while 82% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, only 52% of Americans self-identify as Protestants.

    Second, according to a 2005 Gallup survey, only 18-22% of Americans could plausibly be considered evangelicals and it’s clear from the Gallup questions that not all of them would be followers of Hagee’s brand of evangelical Christianity.

    DRJ (ec597e)

  571. Wright, who had some tiny little slice of the black church-going community

    Actually, that should read: “Wright, who was head pastor of the largest church in the nation-wide black liberation theology church-going community, and the largest church in the third largest city in the nation”.

    I mean, since he and Hagee don’t really matter…

    (Oh, and “millions of homes”? Prove that.)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  572. Levi,

    If you want to describe Hagee as mainstream, then by that definition Wright and his church are even more mainstream than Hagee. Not only is Wright’s church, Trinity UCC, the largest congregation in the nationwide United Churches of Christ but UCC leaders across the nation made a point of responding to the “misleading attacks” on Jeremiah Wright by proclaiming their support for him, his ministry and his beliefs.

    DRJ (ec597e)

  573. Levi:

    None of this makes any sense to me. Inequality and racism isn’t something we’ve put behind us, as easily as you seem to be suggesting, DRJ.

    Let’s assume you are correct that there is still systematic inequality and racism in America, 54 years after Brown v Board of Education and after 50 years of integration and affirmative action. If that’s true, then these policies didn’t work. It’s time to try something else.

    On the other hand, success stories like Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama (not to mention Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Bill Cosby, and others) suggest there are equal opportunities for blacks in education, the military, business, and government.

    DRJ (ec597e)

  574. not to mention Colin Powell, Condeleeza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Bill Cosby

    I would vote for ANY of these folks for President over either of the empty suits being proposed by the two major parties. (Dr. Sowell for SecTreas, at least.)

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  575. Drumwaster,

    I owe you a H/T on the Trinity UCC response. Thanks so much.

    DRJ (ec597e)

  576. Honored to have been inspirational to one of your high caliber.

    Drumwaster (5ccf59)

  577. If you want to describe Hagee as mainstream, then by that definition Wright and his church are even more mainstream than Hagee. Not only is Wright’s church, Trinity UCC, the largest congregation in the nationwide United Churches of Christ but UCC leaders across the nation made a point of responding to the “misleading attacks” on Jeremiah Wright by proclaiming their support for him, his ministry and his beliefs.

    Does Wright have his own TV broadcasting company? Is Wright heavily involved with D.C. lobbying firms? Millions of people can watch John Hagee every day, shit we even get him out here in Montana. And again, his ideological beliefs pertaining to the Middle East are way more at home in the Republican party’s platform than anything that Wright has to say.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  578. On the other hand, success stories like Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama (not to mention Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Bill Cosby, and others) suggest there are equal opportunities for blacks in education, the military, business, and government.

    But blacks in general are still not proportionally represented in government, higher income brackets, prisons, or very much of anything else. You’ve got a handful of success stories. They don’t prove anything.

    Levi (74ca1f)

  579. Does Wright have his own TV broadcasting company?

    Trinity sermons are broadcast on TV One Check your local listings.

    Is Wright heavily involved with D.C. lobbying firms?

    He’s heavily involved with a US Senator and candidate for POTUS.

    And again, his ideological beliefs pertaining to the Middle East are way more at home in the Republican party’s platform than anything that Wright has to say.

    Um, that’s sort of gobbledygook, but what I’m taking from it is that Hagee is more closely aligned with Republican ideals than Wright is. Shocka! They’re still both whackjobs.

    Rev. Wright went to segregated schools.

    Where? Philadelphia? Bullshit. Wright graduated from the Central High School of Philadelphia in 1959, among the best schools in the area at the time.[8] At the time, the school was around 90 percent white.[10] The 211th class yearbook described Wright as a respected member of the class. “Always ready with a kind word, Jerry is one of the most congenial members of the 211,” the yearbook said. “His record in Central is a model for lower class [(younger)] members to emulate.”

    Pablo (99243e)

  580. But blacks in general are still not proportionally represented in government, higher income brackets, prisons, or very much of anything else. You’ve got a handful of success stories. They don’t prove anything.

    You’ve got a handful of complaints that don’t prove anything. Heavily black Detroit, with its black administration and its black run school system is graduating 24% of its high school students. The remaining 74% are not going to become corporate titans or brain surgeons. They will be part of the failure to reach proportional representation that you seem to think proves something about racism.

    Pablo (99243e)

  581. Errr…76%.

    Pablo (99243e)

  582. OH, BTW, those success stories prove definitively that it is possible to be enormously successful and black in America. Those people, and many others, have done it, therefore it can be done.

    Pablo (99243e)

  583. Heh:

    Mr. Sunny: Is Wright heavily involved with D.C. lobbying firms?

    Pablo: He’s heavily involved with a US Senator and candidate for POTUS.

    Paul (ae2fbe)

  584. In #570, Levi wrote,

    Obama’s parents’ marriage was illegal in most places when he was born.

    Yes, then and now, bigamy was illegal throughout the United States.

    Oh. You were making a point about interracial marriage.

    Levi, gotta work on those adverbs. “Most” is the problem here. It would also help if you’d learn to link relevant comments.

    Obama’s parents were married on 2/2/61. In that pre-Loving v. Virginia time, “anti-miscegnation” laws were still on the books in 22 states (whether enforced or not). That’s not “most.”

    I’m beginning to wonder if you just can’t be bothered to vet the truthfulness of the things you assert. Too bad for DRJ, whose sincerity comes through quite clearly.

    AMac (188dff)

  585. With thanks to Pablo and AMac, I adopt by reference comments 580, 581-582, 583 and 585. In addition, this Newsmax article has more details on Jeremiah Wright’s middle class life and early education:

    “Described by Obama as his sounding board and mentor for more than two decades, Wright was born in Philadelphia in 1941. He lived in a racially mixed section called Germantown, which consisted of homes on broad tree-lined streets in northwest Philadelphia. The owners then were middle-class families.

    For 62 years, Wright’s father, the Rev. Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, was pastor at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown. He was one of the first blacks to receive a degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

    Wright’s mother, Mary Elizabeth Henderson Wright, was a schoolteacher. She was the first black to teach an academic subject at Roosevelt Junior High, the first to teach at Germantown High, and the first to teach at the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She became vice principal of Girls High in 1968.

    Rather than attend the more racially mixed Germantown High School at 40 East High St., Wright traveled a few miles to the elite Central High School at 1700 West Olney Ave., graduating in 1959. Opened in 1838, Central High has a distinguished past and admits only highly-qualified applicants who are privileged to attend from all over the city. It is comparable to the Bronx High School of Science and Boston Latin School, both public schools known for academic excellence.

    When Wright attended Central High, the student body was 90 percent white, according to students who attended around the same time. At least three-quarters of the students were Jewish. Former students of the period say racial tension did not exist.

    Bill Cosby, who attended the school until transferring to Germantown High, has referred to Central as a “wonderful” school. In contrast to Wright, Cosby has denounced blacks who take refuge in self-pitying victimhood and seek to blame whites for problems in the black community.

    “Central High was a marvelous academic environment,” says Tod Mammuth, who graduated in 1965 and is now a Philadelphia-area lawyer. “You had to have high academic credentials to be accepted and a high IQ score. Many later said it was more rigorous than college. We had no racial friction.”

    DRJ (ec597e)

  586. Levi’s style of “debate” is to throw shite at the wall, and see what sticks. Facts be damned.

    JD Esq. (5f0e11)

  587. Regarding Levi’s claim that Obama’s parents would have been illegally married in many states, why were they ever considered legally married when the father was already married and thus became a BIGAMIST? Do any states actually recognize polygamy? Even the great state of Utah populated with all those of LDS, doesn’t legalize multiple marriages.

    And as far as blacks not being proportionally represented in prisons,what would Levi have us do..release them for racial balance or incarcerate more whites and asians? Seems blacks have more of a culture of violence. I know Obama has spoken about correcting the overrepresentation of blacks in prison, but how would that work? Maybe lower the sentences or just throw some out. Give longer terms for whites and less for blacks. Or perhaps the heat just goes after black murderers and lets white skate on murder and other crimes? Perhaps we could just legalize crack cocaine or drugs in general and pay burglars and assorted thieves NOT to play their chosen trades? Legalize prostitution since it is soooo victimless and honor pimps as upstanding businessmen?

    madmax333 (8f02a3)

  588. An excerpt from Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker article on Obama’s rise in Chicago politics.

    Preckwinkle soon became an Obama loyalist, and she stuck with him in a State Senate campaign that strained or ruptured many friendships but was ultimately successful. Four years later, in 2000, she backed Obama in a doomed congressional campaign against a local icon, the former Black Panther Bobby Rush. And in 2004 Preckwinkle supported Obama during his improbable, successful run for the United States Senate. So it was startling to learn that Toni Preckwinkle had become disenchanted with Barack Obama.

    [snip]

    On issue after issue, Preckwinkle presented Obama as someone who thrived in the world of Chicago politics. She suggested that Obama joined Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ for political reasons. “It’s a church that would provide you with lots of social connections and prominent parishioners,” she said. “It’s a good place for a politician to be a member.” Preckwinkle was unsparing on the subject of the Chicago real-estate developer Antoin (Tony) Rezko, a friend of Obama’s and one of his top fund-raisers, who was recently convicted of fraud, bribery, and money laundering: “Who you take money from is a reflection of your knowledge at the time and your principles.”

    AMac (0f6927)

  589. But blacks in general are still not proportionally represented in government, higher income brackets, prisons, or very much of anything else.

    Who said they were supposed to be proportionally represented in anything? Blacks in general are not proportionally represented in college education, high school graduation, or countless other criteria that bear on one’s ability to obtain the jobs in question, so why on earth would you expect them to be proportionally represented in the jobs themselves? The question to ask is how likely an individual black with X qualifications is to obtain job Y, vs. how likely an individual non-black is to obtain the same job with the same qualifications. Once you control for qualifications, blacks have the same opportunities as anyone else, if not more.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  590. Guys,

    I am, obviously, woefully behind in trying to update the debate page. I’ve been busy. Just remind me. I’ll try to do it tonight.

    Patterico (cb443b)

  591. “But blacks in general are still not proportionally represented in government, higher income brackets, prisons, or very much of anything else.”

    Levi – Although some may disagree, certifiably insane people are proportionately underrepresented on the boards of Fortune 500 companies based on my experience. Do you believe we need the government to step in and correct that injustice?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  592. For that matter, daleyrocks, blacks are proportionately overrepresented in such athletic areas as track and field, basketball and gridiron.

    So maybe we should have a bit of affirmative action there instead.

    /some people just don’t think these things through, iykwimaityd.

    Gregory (f7735e)

  593. Patterico,

    I’m not trying to tell you how to spend your time but I don’t see the point in continuing this. Not only will I be busy with work this week but thus far Levi’s responses have been limited to general assertions and few links. I’ve said all I plan to say (by my count, I’ve posted 10 substantive comments with links), so if you want this to continue, please email me.

    DRJ (ec597e)

  594. > … I don’t see the point in continuing this… thus far Levi’s responses have been limited to general assertions and few links.

    I agree. This hasn’t been an exercise that played to Levi’s strengths. He probably would have profited from a structure that kept the debate within clearly-defined bounds.

    AMac (c822c9)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 1.7662 secs.