Showing posts with label Winning The Argument. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winning The Argument. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

In The Black

Perhaps I was too hasty in poo-pooing comparisons of our nation's economy to an individual's economy. Certainly, there are plenty of differences that are largely ignored by the Right but there are some similarities that were illustrated quite well over at The Pragmatic Capitalist. The first piece, "The US Government is not $16 Trillion dollars in the hole," points out the obvious.

The IER estimates that total fossil fuel resources owned by the Federal government are valued at over $150 trillion alone. These assets alone are FIFTY FIVE times the amount stated in the CNBC report. But that only scratches the surface. I haven’t even looked into the huge amount of federally owned land and buildings that would surely amount into the hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars. There’s also the gold resources. And there’s the trillions of dollars in its own liabilities that it owns via the Fed and Social Security funds.

Just like an ordinary person who owns land, oil, a profitable business and other assets like gold, the US government also has a gigantic pile of assets that make us far into the black. And that's with all the future Social Security and Medicare liabilities (around $60-7$0 trillion). As PragCap show us, we are not going bankrupt and the people who claim this are simply lying because of their pathological hatred of the US government and their inability to admit fault. Their obsession with spending is essentially holding us back from economic growth and one was to wonder if this is the whole point. They want our country to fail so they can win the argument.

Of course there are still differences which the second link illustrates quite well.

The constraint for the government is different from that of a household or business who can really “run out of money”. The US government’s constraint is not that it will run out of funds, but that it could supply too much liquidity to the private sector thereby causing inflation. So the US government’s real constraint is inflation and not solvency. This is a vastly different issue than the one the US media usually harps on with regards to the budget deficit and the US government’s ability to “afford” its spending. 

The USA has an institutional arrangement in which it is a contingent currency issuer. That is, while the Treasury is an operational currency user (meaning it must always have funds in its account at the Fed before it can spend those funds) it has the extraordinary power to tax and issue risk free bonds that the public will always desire to hold so long as inflation is not extraordinarily high. In addition, even in a worst case scenario, the US Treasury can always rely on the Federal Reserve to supply the funds necessary to fund its spending. Therefore, the US government can be thought of as a contingent currency issuer who can issue the funds to spend. This makes it very different from a household. 

The US Treasury is a currency user, but the government as a whole can be seen as a contingent currency issuer by institutional design because of this implicit funding guarantee. So the key here is that there’s no solvency constraint as in, “running out of money”. Greece doesn’t have this arrangement. In fact, since the ECB is essentially a foreign central bank there is a real solvency constraint. So banks and private investors have become hesitant to buy Greek bonds because of this flawed institutional arrangement and the lack of an implicit guarantee. It’s apples and oranges compared to the USA.

Once again, not like Greece. Not going bankrupt. Not overspending. Not running out of money. Plenty of assets.


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Good Words

“I said this to the RNC last summer. I’m in this to win, because if you don’t win, you can’t govern. If you can’t govern, you can’t move the country, the state, the city — whatever you’re running for — in the direction it needs to be moved in. I think we’ve had too many people [in the Republican Party] who’ve become less interested in winning an election and more interested in winning an argument.”---Governor Chris Christie, November 4, 2013

Does Governor Christie read my blog?:)

Congratulations, Governor, on your victory tonight. And congrats to Governor Elect Terry McAuliffe as well.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Proving Me Wrong Every Single Time

Take a look at this new ad from the GOP.

Note the photo at the 19 second mark. That's President Obama consoling Nicole Hockley, mother of Newtown shooting victim, 6 year old Dylan Hockley. I didn't think it was possible for conservatives to get any lower. They continue to prove me wrong every single time.

I'm wondering what kind of people do a victory dance by showing the mother of a 6 year old shooting victim in a campaign ad. Senator Toomey was right. This was all about stopping Obama, not about protecting 2nd amendment rights.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Musings and Perceptions

I went to the club to work out on Monday and ran in to my ol' buddies Reverend Ed and Doctor Sean. They couldn't wait to start screaming at me about liberals and how they are going to destroy our country. They repeated, verbatim, many of the same arguments I see in comments on here. In fact, Reverend Ed used the same style as well as theme that my regulars here deploy  (e.g. a weasel question framed in such a way that the only response is a "win" for them).

For example, Ed asked me, "Where in the Constitution does it say anything about abortion?" When I informed him that I don't answer weasel questions, he huffed and puffed and said that I couldn't answer because that would mean I would be proved wrong and Roe v Wade should be overturned. I then explained to him that if he really wanted to reduced abortions in this country, he'd stop talking about the evils of fornication and and start educating people on family planning and making more emotionally intelligent decisions with their lives. In essence, work together to reduce unwanted pregnancies and take away the demand.

Sadly, he did not agree and I realized, like everything else with the Right, they don't want to actually solve problems. They just want to argue about them, "win" said argument, and implement policy in EXACTLY the way they dictate, never wavering or compromising in any way. Of course, this is never going to happen with the abortion issue. That topic, like gay marriage and climate change, has evolved to the point where it is no longer an issue. Guns aren't far behind.

This was evident when I asked each of them about the election and why conservatives lost. "People are stupid" they both replied. "Any reflection on your own party or perhaps some things that you might want to change? Immigration policy, perhaps?"

"Nope. Nothing."
"So, do it again, only harder?" I asked, chuckling to myself of course.

I then asked them if they cared if they lost election after election as it's pretty clear that the country is moving on without them.


As long as they are ideologically pure, continue to see compromise as a weakness, are unmoved by facts, intolerant of dissent, and are undeterred by new information, all is well in wingnut land, I guess. I told them they should find some more old white guys with 2 dollar haircuts to talk about rape some more. That seemed to work out well for them last year:)

Pastor Ed informed me that he would be home schooling his child. I applauded him for taking such a proactive effort in his child's life. He then went on to say that the reasons why he was doing it were: he wants to teach his child Hebrew and Greek  so he can know what the Bible really says (out of the bubble translation: so he can win the argument by claiming superiority over those who don't know Greek and Hebrew and thus say that HIS interpretation of the Bible is the RIGHT one); he wants to teach him logic (out of the bubble translation: so he can sound intelligent while lying in order to win the argument and claim superiority); he wants to teach him science (out of the bubble translation: so he can learn how evolution and climate change are myths perpetrated by liberals who are striving to achieve world domination); and, of course, civics, meaning an "accurate" interpretation of the Constitution. I almost laughed out loud at the science remark but politeness go the better of me.

Before Ed left to go home, I noticed how every time I countered what he said, he would go and try to find someone else to back him up. The other patrons at the gym would usually laugh or shrug and say they didn't want to get involved. Like my regulars here, he couldn't stand alone and discuss a particular issue. Bullies always need a gang, I suppose.

After Ed left, the best part of my time there occurred. Doctor Sean's son was hanging out with us off and on as he had the day off as well. After a long mouth foam and stomp off that included many topics, among them how bullshit it was that Martin Luther King day is a national holiday (and people think he's prejudiced...go figure!), how we are going to become like Greece (an oldie but a goodie:)), how China was going to overtake the world, and how Barack Obama is a communist, Doctor Sean's son, a freshmen in high school, turned to me and said,

"I'm sorry."

I smiled and saw in him what I see in my students: the future. More specifically, progress. Sean's son recognized how his old man was not really well in the head, politically speaking, and felt rather embarrassed. Obviously, somewhere along the line, he had some good teachers. Of course, Sean sends all four of his kids to a prestigious private school in the area which, according to him, is really, really liberal. When I asked him why, if he and his wife were so conservative, they send their children there, he shrugged and said, "It's the best school in the Twin Cities."

Hmm...perhaps the only way to cut through that ideological blockage is the perceptual framework of "status." Cool...

Monday, July 02, 2012

The Largely Ignored Victory

Any loss for the juveniles on the right is always more devastating given their tendencies towards wild emotional swings (see: junior high). That's why I'm still surprised to see very few celebrating the glaringly obvious victory that has come out of the Supreme Court's ruling on the health care bill. For the first time since the New Deal, the Commerce Clause has been defined in such a way that libertarians have declared victory.

“Under the government’s theory, Congress could address the diet problem by ordering everyone to buy vegetables,” the chief justice wrote. “That is not the country the framers of our Constitution envisioned.”

“We finally won a three-decades-long battle over the commerce clause,” John Eastman, a conservative constitutional scholar and a professor at Chapman University, told me hours after the court’s decision. 

This might seem a paradox, given that the court upheld the legislation. But the decision may ultimately prove a Pyrrhic victory for supporters of expansive Congressional power. The opinion reads like a hymn to the ideal of limited government. And by embracing the broccoli argument, it sharply limits the commerce clause — until now the source of ever-expanding legislative power since Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in 1824 that Congressional power to regulate commerce “may be exercised to its utmost extent.”

“The commerce clause is not a general license to regulate an individual from cradle to grave,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. Libertarians and conservatives have been seeking such a declaration since the New Deal.

You'd think they be happy but no...oh no...Obama won something so it's the end of the world for the 89th time. It's a good thing they don't value "winning the argument" above all else.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Was This Senate Candidate A Regular Commenter On The Smallest Minority?

Inflict his Vill? (oops, I mean opinion:))

So, basically, what you are telling us, Dick, is that if you don't win the argument, you are going to be juvenile and take your ball and go home. Hmmm...

Clearly, we have some serious political porn here for the chest-thumpers to holler "YEAH" at the top of their lungs. "Take that, you Kenyan socialist commie pinkos!"

And the denizens of Kevin Baker's site, upon seeing this candidate, began to use their left hand to gently cup their balls whilst wanking with their right...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oh, Joe, Say Ain't So...

Speaking of Kim Jong Il, our very own version of him, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is having all sorts of problems these days. For those of you who don't know, Sheriff Joe became quite popular several years ago when this email went viral.

Shierff Joe - Re-elected TO THOSE OF YOU NOT FAMILIAR WITH JOE ARPAIO - HE IS THE MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF AND HE KEEPS GETTING ELECTED OVER AND OVER. THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY: Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona) who created the "tent city jail": He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them. He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights. Cut off all but "G" movies. He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects. Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination. He took away cable TV until he found out there was a federal court order that required cable TV for jails. So he hooked up the cable TV again only let in the Disney channel and the weather channel. When asked why the weather channel he replied, so they will know how hot it's gonna be while they are working on my chain gangs. He cut off coffee since it has zero nutritional value. When the inmates complained, he told them, "This isn't the Ritz/Carlton. If you don't like it, don't come back." He bought Newt Gingrich' lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails. When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

More than likely, you got this email from that right wing relative or friend who sits up, sticks out their tongue, and pants when hearing such dog whistles.

Problem is, though, Sheriff Joe isn't doing his fucking job and hasn't for awhile now.

In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio's office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 years old — where the sheriff's office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.

I guess he was too busy being a tough guy and proving Democrats wrong to prevent actual crimes from being committed. But here's the kicker.

Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants.

Well, that explains it. Their here illegally...fuck 'em.

Poor Joe, though, because it gets worse.

The report outlines how Arpaio's office has committed a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints.

Ah, but that's nothing. Who cares about civil rights? Certainly not 40 percent of this country. How about some real old school stuff?

Apart from the civil rights probe, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.

Abuse of power? Nah, it can't be. The email above says that Joe is cleaning up our country and getting rid of the bad guys. This must all be some sort of liberal plot. I bet Barney Frank is behind all of it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

And The GOP Nominee Is...

After the recent butt rip of Rick Perry, I've come to the conclusion that conservatives don't want anyone to be president. Of course, this makes sense on the one hand because they'd rather have the private sector run everything.

But their continual excitement followed quickly by derision and dismissal of every candidate that jumps into the race really has me wondering...who exactly do they want? At this point, I think it's just NOT OBAMA. This makes perfect sense to me in a whole "proving the opposition wrong" and "winning the argument" kind of way.

Or maybe it's that they have this fantastical vision of their perfect candidate...a former CEO...wealthy...a "job creator"...perhaps an ex-Governor from the South...a vehement hater of all social programs...someone who wants to privatize education and increase defense death Wall Street...Health care repealer...and someone who will benignly neglect the population of the country.

Does such a person exist?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Wisdom of Youth (Part The Second)

I informed Michael, my tennis student today, that most of you don't believe that he exists. His response?

"Well, isn't that just trying to prove you wrong...just like I said?"

We can learn much from the youth today.

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Wisdom Of Youth

Before our match yesterday, one of my tennis kiddos (Michael) arrived early for our match. Since it was extremely hot, I told him to hold off on warming up and sit in the shade for a while. We started chatting a bit about Wimbledon and at a lull in the conversation he asked me if I was into politics. The inner me chuckled.

As I do with every student, I asked him what he thought. Nearly all students are more interested in talking than listening. The first words out of his mouth?

"I want you to know that I'm a Democrat. It seems that all the Republicans are about these days are trying to prove people wrong."

Out of the mouths of babes...

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

bin Laden Potpourri

I have several thoughts on the bin Laden story so I thought I would put them all into one post.

Pakistan-What up, bitch?

As I have been saying for several years on this blog, Pakistan is not our friend. Of course, this doesn't mean that we have to go off and attack them but this is a major embarrassment. Osama living in the lap of luxury for possibly 6 years? And right down the road from the military academy? I call bullshit.

If we want to seriously damage Al Qaeda, we need to get up Pakistan's ass with a fucking tweezers. No more aid, no more good times, no more pally-wally shit. It's clear that top Al Qaeda leaders are there. No doubt, this is where we will find Ayman al Zawahari who is now at the top of the most wanted list.

Treasure Chest!

More important than the killing of bin Laden is the intel that we gathered from the scene. We have Osama's hard drive and papers. Wow. This is an intelligence slam dunk. I wonder what information we will glean from it. This is the victory inside of the victory. Speaking of which...

"Obamateur" meme=Torpedoed.

Well, now what, ass hats? I guess my guy proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is all that. This was an extremely gutsy call. He could've just bombed the crap out of the base but opted for the high risk, high reward choice and succeeded brilliantly. Not only that, he managed to put the final pieces in place for this mission AND tour Alabama as well as visit the Cape.

He also showed he is a man of his word.

If We Have Actionable Intelligence About High-Value Terrorist Targets And President Musharraf Won't Act, We Will. (1 August 2007)


If the United States has al Qaeda, bin Laden, top-level lieutenants in our sights, and Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act, then we should take them out. Now, I think that's the right strategy; I think that's the right policy. We will kill bin Laden; we will crush Al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority."(7 October 2008)

And done.

Of course, we are already hearing the cries that it was waterboarding that ultimately got bin Laden. Ah, the eight year old bullies who can never be wrong. There is not a shred of evidence to support this claim. Further, it was KSM duplicity (some time after being waterboarded) that led us to the name of the courier. After that, it was simply patience, dedication, and good intelligence work. I know you are trying desperately to find ways to be right and win the argument but you can't. Go peddle your masturbation snuff fantasies elsewhere.

Weird, dude.

Let's see...Hitler shot himself in his bunker on May 1, 1945....George Bush shot himself politically and declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq on May 1, 2003....Osama bin Laden was shot and killed (on the orders of President Obama) on May 1, 2011...


I'd say it's time that we let the adults handle the country for awhile...say another five years?