• on a comment on Red State Swindlers over 4 years ago

    Comments you disagree with, Charles.

  • comment on a post The mandate is a poison pill over 4 years ago

    Eliminate it and there univeral health care is simply impossible.

    Which is great if you're a conservative and you want people to get sick and die.  But if you're a liberal and you don't want that, well, you should either sell it or shut up, because to do otherwise is to render impossible any reform, even the kind you like.

    But it's clear that a bunch of assholes have decided that they're willing to destroy any hope of any reform if they can't get the reform they want.

    I still don't understand why progressive can't simply argue FOR a public option, or FOR expanded Medicaid, or FOR expanded subsidies.  Is it because it's too difficult?  It's simply easier to attack the unpopular-but-necessary than it is to promote the popular-but-optional?  Whatever it is, it's destructive.

  • on a comment on Red State Swindlers over 4 years ago

    On an issue other Medicaid funding.  Really.

    Your argument is incoherent.  You're pissed that Ben Nelson used his leverage to secure money for his state; you're pissed that your state subsidizes another state; you're pissed that blue states subsidize red states; you're pissed that the Senate isn't democratic; you're pissed that the health care bill doesn't have a public option.

    Mix those together, and you get your sad, sad little diatribe against poor Nebraskans getting health care.

    May I suggest holding your fire for a situation where the anti-democratic nature of the Senate DOESN'T help poor people?  

  • comment on a post Red State Swindlers over 4 years ago

    Have had their health care fully funded by the federal government.


    You know, of everything one might dislike about the compromises that the Senate has made with conservatives to get to 60 votes, I can't believe the issues that "progressives" have picked: expanded Medicaid funding, the requirement to buy insurance, the tax on expensive plans, the tax on plastic surgery - really?  

    I don't know why anyone who is upset with that would be surprised that the agree with conservatives - clearly, there isn't much difference between you if you consider those to be the most outrageous parts of the bill.

    It's as if we're determine to make ourselves seem as elitist and petty as possible, arguing against elements of health care reform that are absolutely necessary (like, say, the individual mandate or increased Medicaid funding) or are, if not necessary, at least neither harmful nor unpopular (like, say, taxes on policies and procedures that are at best inconvenient for a tiny minority of the population).  It's as if we've decided to undermine not only the compromise we dislike but the foundation of any health care reform.

    While I can agree that it is inappropriate for a state to have power disproportionate to its size due to the nature of the Senate, the seniority of the Senator, or any other factor other than merit, arguing that in the context of a Senator who secured HEALTH CARE FOR POOR PEOPLE is cruel and stupid.  Every Senator should be so "corrupt."

    Honestly.  Make yourself fucking useful and argue that the bill is bad because the subsidies are insufficient, because Medicaid should have been expanded to 150% of poverty, SOMETHING SUBSTANTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE, not something petty and destructive like this.

  • comment on a post Great Moments in Presidential Leadership over 4 years ago

    Would Reagan have "allowed" Iran-Contra or would Bush have "allowed" torture?

    If Nixon had been prosecuted, it would have sent a message to future presidents that they have consider the legal consequences of their actions, rather than merely the political ones.  Had Reagan or Bush known that, they might have been less willing to "allow" lawbreaking under their watch.

  • comment on a post As Events Unfold in the John Edwards Saga over 4 years ago

    Moreover, how does one even contemplate a run at the Presidency given a personal life in disarray?

    Ask Bill Clinton.

    Bill Clinton's example doesn't excuse Bill Clinton, so it doesn't excuse John Edwards, either; but it does show that you can fuck around before you become president, be exposed as having fucked around when you run for president, fuck around while president, and be exposed as having fucked around while president, and nevertheless continue to be considered royalty within the Democratic Party.

    Because it isn't about fucking around.  It's about winning.  Clinton won; Edwards didn't.  That's the difference between them.  

    And that's why this post exists.  It isn't because Edwards fucked around.  It's because he fucked around, then lost.

    Of course, it isn't exclusively that, either.  It's also because the poster has to prove his place in the moral hierarchy.  Which he has, but I don't think he's landed where he hoped.

  • comment on a post Another Chance for Obama to Shape the Judiciary over 4 years ago

    Will burn down the judiciary, or at least leave us with a judiciary populated by promising law students and high school debate champions.

    But given the system, I can't disagree.

    That said, it would be nice to see some effort to change the system to eliminate the perverse incentives - like, for example, change the length of a judicial term from life to, say, twelve years.

    We could also elect the judiciary, thus eliminating the problem of an obstructionist (or supine) Senate altogether, but I know that the view that the people are no less capable of choosing their judges than their Senators is a minority one, so . . . yeah, fixed terms first.

  • comment on a post Conservatives Look to Ban Contraceptives over 4 years ago

    I have to admire the conservatives: they're not too chickenshit to push their far right agenda.

    But liberals?  Are too chickenshit to forward anything more liberal than a minimum wage law or stem cell research.  It's pathetic.

  • comment on a post Why Jews are liberals over 4 years ago

    Well, nominally, Christian denominations believe this as well.  But it clearly has not prevented them from supporting a political party that would let the poor become sick and starve but for private charity to which they themselves would not contribute.

    Of course, Podhoretz is wrong to say that there is no connection between those values and liberalism, and his evidence is laughable: conservative Jews are "more Jewish" than other Jews - oh, really? - and thus Judaism is conservative.  Conservative Christians are similarly wrong when they make the same argument.

    But I think that what is revealed by Podhoretz's argument and others is that the tenants of one's religion more often serve the views of the adherent than inform them.  Podhoretz is conservative and thus Judaism is conservative and non-conservative Jews are "less Jewish" than he; someone else is liberal and thus their religion is liberal and non-liberal co-religionists are "less religious" than them.

    So if there is any reason that a particular group is more liberal or more conservative than another, I think it has less to do with the religion they share than with the broader culture of which that religion is part.

  • comment on a post healthcare, Afghanistan & 2010 over 4 years ago

    of the cultural class opinion."

    The what what opinion?  Because I don't think I've ever read any response to Paglia that wasn't mockery or contempt.

  • comment on a post Discrediting Right-Wing Lies About Obama's "Czars" over 4 years ago

    But perhaps this insanity will encourage Washington to end its infatuation with "czars," "gangs," and other wannabe posturing.  

    At least until the next Republican Administration, where we'll need a strong leader with a medieval title to combat teen smoking.

  • Has not been borne out by subsequent reports:

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.co m/2009/08/was_decision_to_drop_richardso n_case_political_loo.php

  • None of those arguments against judicial elections has anything to do with this case.  So effectively, were arguing that we should use this case not to solve the problem presented by this case but to forward an unrelated pre-existing agenda.  That's not very honest.

    That said, yes I do think that the judiciary should be elected.  Your arguments against are, honestly, based on a fantasy judiciary that has never and will never exist.  It is no more a reliable defender of the minority than the legislature or the executive.  Nor is it any friendlier to criminal defendants.

    The truth is that if the people are stupid and evil then there is no way to prevent their stupidity or evil from infecting the judiciary. A convoluted appointment process cannot confer virtue.  It merely ensures a different sort of bias.

    In any case, why shouldn't we trust the people to choose the judiciary?  They aren't evil or stupid.  They are as capable of examining the records of judges and the issues before the court as they are of examining the records of legislators and the issues before the legislature.

    Indeed, Why is the assumption that the people are evil and stupid, and that the good and wise judiciary should be protected from them?  The last chief justice began his career by denying Latinos the right to vote.  The current conservative court has a similar pedigree.

    They are allowed to continue to pervert the Constitution because they don't have to answer for their behavior.  Maybe they should.  

  • The solution to the problem of the influence of money over elections is not the elimination of elections.

    The problem with this argument is that it argues not against judicial elections specifically but against any election at all.  As such it's fundamentally flawed, and I think it should be rejected.

    Instead, we should address this problem in the same way we would address a similar problem in any other election - by reforming the process, not by eliminating the election itself.    

  • comment on a post Don't pass up historic opportunities over 5 years ago

    To use any excuse to argue for less democracy.

    The fact that it is difficult, if not impossible, to draw an ethical distinction between a bribe and a campaign contribution is a strong argument for why judges should not be elected. Period.

    This is bullshit.  Really, would the Des Moines Register - or anyone - argue that the solution to the problem of privately-financed legislative campaigns should be the . . . elimination of legislative elections?  No.  And the "solution" doesn't follow here, either.  

    What does follow, and what progressives should support, is public financing of judicial elections.  

    But why support such an obvious reform when you could argue against democracy itself.

    Honestly.  Have the reformers not noticed how judicial nominations really work?  Because I have.  It's a circus, and it has nothing to do with justice.  It's cronyism, it's pandering to the base, and it's disgusting.

    Because the people have no influence over the process, few pay attention.  Those who do are partisans.  As such, the incentive is for the executive - the governor, the president - to pick a partisan.  Thus Thomas, Roberts, and Alito, and the dysfunctional judiciary they represent.

    How could democracy be worse?  

    In Georgia, we still elect judges.  It's not perfect, but compared to the circus in Washington, D. C., it's preferable.  


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