The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Less is More

Joe Wilson, the idiot who screamed "you lie" at the speech last night, will be running for re-election soon. Let's send a nice contribution to his opponent Rob Miller, shall we?

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And pardon my ignorance, but...when was the last time someone yelled something on the floor of the House while the President was making an address?

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The blogs this morning are dancing over the Prez's speech. What strikes me is what I said yesterday: the degree of wishy-washiness, despair, accusation and so forth I was hearing from Democrats was just absurd, and did not at all resemble the Right, who stuck by Bush through gaff after gaff. Now Liberals are lovin' him again. Real lack of emotional discipline. Why in the world did anyone think this was going to be easy? Wow. I REALLY wouldn't want some of those people backing me up in an ally fight.

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I think I began to relax when I realized that both sides were moaning a bit. And when Progressives kept moaning that he was posturing, or weak, or indecisive to keep trying to "reach across the aisle." These are people who really believe they are morally superior to the other side. I wish I thought there were more of these on the Right, but that just isn't true. And Obama thinks much like I do on this issue--that while there are scoundrels, the biggest problem in the health care debate arises from a relatively neutral motivation: to make money. Nothing wrong with that in general, but there are genuine questions about whether a for-profit institution can deliver this particular service with maximum efficiency. I personally fail to see how their profit improves their service, but there are many who believe it does. That is a legitimate debate, not something that is automatically "evil" or "uncaring."

I love the idea of a public option, offering Medicare benefits at cost plus 10%, or something similar, designed to break-even and invest "profit" in building the infrastructure of the health care institutions. The only problem I can see in such a voluntary program is that if it is successful, enough customers will leave the public sector to reduce their profits a bit. Boo Hoo.

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Traveling to a Book Club summit in San Francisco this weekend. Should be fun. Almost finished with the new Tennyson novel as well, "From Capetown With Love." We believe that, for a number of reasons, this is the best one yet. We're pretty damned pleased with our first foray into espionage. And the last line of the book is, of course, "my name is Hardwick. .. Tennyson Hardwick."

Sometime I can't believe I really get paid to do this.

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Had lunch with an old friend yesterday. We dated a while back in the day, and things didn't work out. I'd assumed that she just wasn't as attracted to me as I was to her. Turns out that wasn't quite true. Turns out that the problem was something similar to an issue I had with another woman about twelve years ago. I had the tendency to be very upfront and just put my cards on the table. Both of these ladies, thought that when I did "A", I must have really meant "B." In other words, from the way I was acting, I must have been testing them, setting them up for a fall, or flat lying. If I had been more cautious, they would have had time to react, feel their way into it, and make a decision. I just moved too quickly, and in essence "broke rapport." What was unfortunate was the depth of misunderstanding, the missed communication, and the assumption that behaviors meant something other than what they were intended to mean. In the last analysis, it was probably smarter for them to be too cautious and assume I was, well...lying.

In this case, less would have been more. Ever experienced that?

52 comments:

Andrew said...

Something that's really amusing, Rob Miller, his opponent, is a graduate of Norwich University's School of Graduate Studies for Justice Administration, where I work (although I'm in the Military History side of things. )

Mike Ralls said...

>And pardon my ignorance, but...when was the last time someone yelled something on the floor of the House while the President was making an address?<

Does booing count as yelling?

http://www.youtube.com/user/mererhetoricblog#play/all/uploads-all/0/RBxmEGG71PM

Reluctant Lawyer said...

Rob Miller - Wilson opponent - raised over $100,000 in the 8 hours following the speech.

Who says that you can't put a price on incivility?

Pagan Topologist said...

It has seemed to me for some time that Obama is a master of the following technique suggested in some research work in chaotic dynamics: Build energy chaotically, then when the energy level is high, direct it to where you want. This is how dragonflies fly, for example. They create chaotic airflow around their wings and then tap into it in a surprisingly controlled way. It may well be that things are going as he wanted. This is high risk, to be sure, but when it works it works really well.

I am not going to take time to find the particular papers, since chaotic dynamics is only peripherally related to my own research field, but searching on something like 'controlling chaos' will likely turn up something.

Ethiopian Infidel said...

"I REALLY wouldn't want some of those people backing me up in an ally fight."

Like I said previously, if the Right can significantly purge itself of Racism, and dethrone the Christian Medievalists who've held the GOP hostage since Reagan, I'd vote Republican. Liberals appear to have internalized extreme and debilitating versions of King's non-violent ethos and guilt-fear over LBJ's Vietnam trouncing. It's high time the Democrat's recaptured the strength, ruthlessness and resolve that epitomized their Kennedy, Truman and Roosevelt forebears and liberally hefted the Big Stick. Good intentions accomplish nothing unless alloyed with determination and backed by force.

Marty S said...

Steve: Here is how the for profit works. In order to make a profit you have to have sufficient customers to cover your costs and then some. If there are a multiplicity of private insurers they must compete for customers and keep their customers happy enough to stay with them. As I stated in a previous post, my company offered a choice of four plans from different insurers. The first year the majority picked the cheapest plan. Experience with the plan was negative so the following year everybody who had that plan left it and chose the plan their coworkers were happiest with. A for profit firm cannot compete with a not for profit firm. So whether we start with a government only option or whether the private insurers get driven out over time, if a public option is adopted we will end up with just one choice for health care and if we are not happy there will be no place to go.

Dan Moran said...

Does booing count as yelling?

No.

Pagan Topologist said...

"A for profit firm cannot compete with a not for profit firm."

This is not true. It happens a lot. The example that comes to mind is that for-profit Broadway theatres compete with not-for-profit LORT institutions. Also, there are both for-profit and not-for-profit long term care facilities.

Foxessa said...

Not really, with the public vs the private insurance plans.

In Europe, Britain and Canada, there are a multiple of private-for-profit health insurance companies, as well as private-for-profit hospitals.

The very well-off have those.

As well, wealthy people from nations with no health care infrastructure come to the private-for-profit hospitals.

In the meantime, if you lose your job, that provides this nice for-profit health insurance, you still have perfectly competent, less fancy hospitals to go to, which aren't dirty and dilapidated like say, oh, Charity Hospital in New Orleans was pre-Katrina -- the oldest charitable hospital in the U.S.

One of the biggest drivers for the constantly escalating cost of health care in this nation is that every hospital -- even every speciality in a hospital, every doctor's office, etc. has to have, or at least wants, all the newest machinery etc. They are very expensive. Whereas in England and Canada at least (I can speak with authority about these two, so I use them), these machines are at regional center. Since it costs the same wherever you go to the doctor in Britain and Canada, when your doctor decides you need to have an MRI, you go to the nearest medical center to you that has one (and yes, if you aren't under immediate danger, you may have to wait a couple of weeks), and have it done. This will cost the same wherever in the country you go. Your cost will be about 25 dollars for an MRI.

When my back specialist ordered me MRIs -- which he did only when he found out I had health insurance because I was a student -- his office manager had to call around town to find out which place with MRI equipment accepted my school's health insurance plan. I had three, and the combined cost was nearly $4000. I had to wait three weeks to get scheduled. Then the health insurance wouldn't pay for them.

Love, C.

Foxessa said...

P.S. I got sued by the MRI people.

Fortunately a judge forced the insurance to pay up. I still had pay $300 myself though.

Not to mention what I paid in stress and ancxiety.

Love, C.

Scott Masterton said...

Pagan-

"This is not true. It happens a lot. The example that comes to mind is that for-profit Broadway theatres compete with not-for-profit LORT institutions. Also, there are both for-profit and not-for-profit long term care facilities."

While what you said above it true, the non-profit LORT institutions don't get to make the rules like t he government does. Also, the government can make rules and exempt itself from them, which they do all the time.

Mike -
In my book booing counts as yelling. To me there's no excuse for rudeness and the office of the Presidency should be respected. However, it's quite obvious to me that both partys can be A-holes when they disagree.

Mike Ralls said...

> No.

It seems to me that the end goal of booing or yelling words is to distract the speaker from being able to communicate their message to the best of their ability and disrupt the flow of the speech they are giving. In what way are the end goals of booing or yelling different?

Marty S said...

Yes Broadway theaters have to compete against non-profit theaters, and major league baseball has to compete against non-profit baseball teams and the Hilton hotel has to compete with non-profit shelters for the homeless. But unless you are claiming that government health care is going to have a product that is significantly inferior to what private insures provide these comparisons aren't really relevant to the situation where a non-profit organization and a profit making organization are trying to market essentially equivalent products.

Pagan Topologist said...

Fair enough, Marty. The for profit company Fidelity Investments competes satisfactorially against the 501 c-4 not for profit TIAA-CREF for academic retirement plan money. I think this fulfills your requirements. I am a TIAA-CREF participant myself, but many of my colleagues prefer Fidelity.

Dan Moran said...

Mike,

If you want to defend a guy, deep in the pocket of the insurance industry, yelling at the President of the United States that he's lying during a speech to Congress, on the grounds that it's the same thing as booing, go to town. I can't understand why Mitch McConnell and John McCain condemned it, though; I can't remember either of them doing the same over booing in the past.

Dan Moran said...

But unless you are claiming that government health care is going to have a product that is significantly inferior to what private insures provide these comparisons aren't really relevant to the situation where a non-profit organization and a profit making organization are trying to market essentially equivalent products.

So ... I'm supposed to turn down a product with lower costs, of equivalent quality, because the interests of non-profits are outweighed by the interests of for-profit organizations?

What about my interests? I don't care if the for-profit guys make a thin dime. Profit is not a moral virtue (or a moral failing, for that matter; I'm not against profit.) But the idea that we should sacrifice so that other people can profit off us? Ludicrous.

Mike Ralls said...

>If you want to defend a guy,

You seem to be saying that if I am stating that the Dems were wrong to boo Bush during a speech to congress I must therefore be saying it is defensible for a Rep to yell at the President during a speech to congress. I do not follow your logic.

Marty S said...

Pagan: I don't know enough details about the product Fidelity offers versus what TIAA-CREF offers to comment. But logically if A is selling a widget at cost for $1.00 and B is for profit company and needs to make a fifteen percent profit on the same widget. It must either sell it $1.15 in which case why would anyone buy the identical widget for the higher price or it could compete if it cost are lower. That is if its cost were 85 cents it could sell it for the same dollar while making the required profit. So if you believe private insurers can compete against the government offering the same product then you must believe that the government will be less efficient and have higher costs to deliver the same services. If that's your argument, then you may have a point.

Dan Moran said...

Mike, so you're not defending the guy, merely randomly and without connection bringing up instances where Democrats booed a Republican President?

Allow Emily Letella to speak for me: never mind.

Dan Moran said...

Marty, as soon as I see the equivalent of Social Security and Medicare provided by private parties to everyone in the country over 65, I'll be the first to concede that private industry doesn't need the government interfering.

Scott said...

Steve, that's the third time you've confused ally with alley; it's interesting.


"Mike, so you're not defending the guy, merely randomly and without connection bringing up instances where Democrats booed a Republican President?"

Dan, I think he was condemning both, just pointing out that both are rude.

Mike Ralls said...

>Mike, so you're not defending the guy, merely randomly and without connection bringing up instances where Democrats booed a Republican President?<

If Person X does dick move Z, and someone asks when was the last time that someone did dick move Z, and I point out that person Y did dick move Z, that is NOT defending person X. It's answering the question that was asked. Seriously, you're so blinded by partisanship that you don't see that?

I'll try and walk you through this slowly (seriously, I hope that by showing you this conversation step-by-step you'll see that you don't seem to be following a logical chain of suppositions here but are instead just going off of what is emotionally appealing to you).

1. Steve said, "when was the last time someone yelled something on the floor of the House while the President was making an address?"

2. I gave a clip showing a recent time someone (actually multiple someones) yelled _something_ on the floor of the House while the President was making an address.

3. Ta-da! Question answered.

4. You disagreed that the booing and whatnot counted as yelling (with no justification).

5. I gave the reasons I think it should count.

6. You went, "Ah, ha! This young whippersnapper obviously supports heckling during addresses by the President in Congress!"

Hmmm. 6 Does not compute. Does not computer. Error. Error.

It's like you've got a super-power to jump distances beyond those of mortal men, only in your case it only applies to conclusions.

Dan Moran said...

Ah, I see the problem. When Steve asked if you knew of anyone yelling at the President during a speech to the joint houses of Congress, you thought he meant the making of any kind of noise, and not, for example, yelling "You lie!"

For the record, Steve was, in fact, referring to the actions taken by Rep. Wilson, when he asked that question. Don't take my word for it, he sometimes posts on this blog.....

Shady_Grady said...

Steve, I think there are just as many people on the "Right" as the "Left" who think that they are morally superior to the other side. That was the the whole basis for the Moral Majority and the rise of the Religious Right.

For the past 40-50 years conservatives have had success painting liberals as less moral, less patriotic, less American. This has especially been true around such issues as abortion or "God in schools" or anything related to sexuality.

In Thursday's WSJ, Norman Podhoretz, one of the Godfathers of modern intellectual conservatism, made an explicit pitch to his co-religionists and others that conservatism is more moral than liberalism.

On some level, none of this bothers
me THAT much. To take a point of view, means that on some level you think the other person, is wrong.

On a certain level some (not all) conservatives are generally more comfortable in "following the leader" than are liberals. I don't think that this means that liberals have a lack of emotional discipline but that liberals have a different view of what it means to be an engaged citizen.

However people being people, now that there's a different president, conservatives are discovering a new respect for the values of dissent and the powers of the minority to obstruct "wrong headed" legislation. And some liberals seem eager to want to try to enforce party discipline.

Dan Moran said...

In Thursday's WSJ, Norman Podhoretz, one of the Godfathers of modern intellectual conservatism, made an explicit pitch to his co-religionists and others that conservatism is more moral than liberalism.

That would be an interesting argument.

Barna's results verified findings of earlier polls: that conservative Protestant Christians, on average, have the highest divorce rate, while mainline Christians have a much lower rate. They found some new information as well: that atheists and agnostics have the lowest divorce rate of all.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

Admittedly, the ability to stay married is only one touchstone of moral conduct, but it's interesting that the people who are loudest about the sanctity of marriage are the ones worst about staying married.

I've made the observation here that conservative American states suffer worse from a variety of social ills than do liberal American states; lower income, worse education, worse health care, higher divorce rates, higher violent crime rates -- lower theft rates, to be fair, though not by much --

It's persisted across generations, too.

Conservatives might be more moral than liberals; I couldn't say. But there's a big disconnect between the values they espouse and the results they get.

Marty S said...

Dan: "Interfering" an interesting choice of words, but not one I used. I was discussing "competing" an entirely different thing from "interfering". Actually, I believe there are times when government should "interfere" regulations like those that were put in to prevent monopolies and to control the risks banks take are proper and good. In the case of health care stepping in to help those who cannot afford health insurance obtain health insurance is fine. Taking over the health care industry in my opinion is not fine.

Dan Moran said...

Rush Limbaugh:

And ladies and gentlemen Mr. Obama was calling Mr. Wilson a liar so he had to respond. Did you see the way that Obama twitched? Ladies and gentlemen that’s the type of twitch you see from the type of man Obama is when he’s ready for a barroom fight or to push you aside and ravage your sister. We’ve all seen that twitch before and we’ve all known what it means.

We've seen conservative whites talk like this before, and we all know what it means.

Dan Moran said...

Marty,

I won't quibble over interfering vs competing, but I'll stand by the general statement. The federal government does things private industry can't or won't do. I see no reason that providing health care for those who need it (which is what Medicare does for the elderly, of course) shouldn't be among those things.

I'm completely blank as to why 65 should be a magic defining line -- above that age, government provided health care good; below it, government provided health care bad.

Marty S said...

I just observed an interesting bias in myself. I went out on an errand this morning and saw a man standing on a highway overpass holding out an American flag over the highway. Forty-five minutes later when I returned he was still there holding out that flag. My thought was "ah the neighborhood right wing nut".

Pagan Topologist said...

"Pagan: I don't know enough details about the product Fidelity offers versus what TIAA-CREF offers to comment. But logically if A is selling a widget at cost for $1.00 and B is for profit company and needs to make a fifteen percent profit on the same widget. It must either sell it $1.15 in which case why would anyone buy the identical widget for the higher price or it could compete if it cost are lower."

In the case of TIAA-CREF vs Fidelity, TIAA has a smaller selection of choices, but a good conservative record of keeping money safe. Fidelity offers a far larger selection of possible investments, some of which are much riskier than anything TIAA-CREF offers. These instruments sometimes do very well, and many faculty think it is worth the risk. So, the products are somewhat different.

Mike Ralls said...

>When Steve asked if you knew of anyone yelling at the President during a speech to the joint houses of Congress, you thought he meant the making of any kind of noise, and not, for example, yelling "You lie!"
<

The specific question asked was not "yelling at the President." It was;

>when was the last time someone yelled something on the floor of the House while the President was making an address?<


If Steve wanted to ask, "When was the last time someone heckeled the President," or "When was the last time someone called the President a liar" that would have different conotations then the question asked. As it is, by the standard definitions, my answers answered his question.

yell (yl)
v. yelled, yell·ing, yells
v.intr.
To cry out loudly, as in pain, fright, surprise, or enthusiasm.


some·thing (smthng)
pron.
1. An undetermined or unspecified thing:


Might I suggest a quick trip to;
http://howtoimprovereadingcomprehension.com/

Dan Moran said...

You can suggest it, but I'll probably continue taking things in context. It's worked well for me so far.

Reluctant Lawyer said...

Andrew -
I attended a joint field training exercise at Norwich when I was an ROTC cadet. The Winter Warfare Exercise. The biggest thing that I learned was that being cold sucks.

I also learned how to build an igloo.

Gene

Anonymous said...

' I went out on an errand this morning and saw a man standing on a highway overpass holding out an American flag over the highway. Forty-five minutes later when I returned he was still there holding out that flag. My thought was "ah the neighborhood right wing nut".'

Happy 9-11 everyone.

Or did we forget?

Marty S said...

Anonymous: No, I certainly didn't forget. Today is my birthday and I was on the phone with my sister who was wishing me a happy birthday when the news broke in with the shot of the first plane hitting. Its just that my first thought was that he was just some patriot waving the flag in remembrance. But, I live an hour north of New York City and it was only after a couple of minutes reflection that I realized, that very possibly he had lost someone on this day whether he was a Democrat, Republican, Liberal or Conservative.

Pagan Topologist said...

Another note about 9-11: A friend of mine sent me an email today noting that as of today, September 12, 2009, President Obama has kept the U. S. safe from terrorist attacks for a day longer than President G. W. Bush did at the beginning of his term.

Steven Barnes said...

Mike:
Booing comes damned close enough. I think I'd be dishonest not to say I'd be pissed if someone had done that at Obama, and am angry with myself for not being pissed when it was done toward Bush. I consider both inappropriate

Steven Barnes said...

Ethiopian--

I LOVE your post.
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"Controlled Chaos"? Have to look that up!

Steven Barnes said...

Mike:
In what developed countries, where there are no laws against private insurance, is there no private insurance company?
I am honestly confused. There is public and private education. Public and private fire and police departments. Why the hell wouldn't there be private insurance, offering extras and riders?

Steven Barnes said...

Marty--
Do you note that you have two competing and contradictory arguments going on on your side?
1) Government insurance will be so good it will drive out private insurers!
2) Government insurance will be so terrible people will die!
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I grasp that you don't seem to buy the second one. But isn't this strange?

Steven Barnes said...

Marty--
Your argument is false. The insurance company isn't selling "widgets." It is selling complex combinations of services. If the government has a single plan, simply offering a different spread of benefits will attract many, assuming that the costs are comparable. If not, then they will have to concentrate on "Cadillac" plans--the fact that someone makes a car for 10,000 doesn't stop others from making 100,000$ cars, and never has. There will ALWAYS be a call for special services from those who can afford them. Insurance companies will still make big profits--just not obscene ones. I have no problem with that.

Dan Moran said...

Steve, do you really consider booing and screaming "You lie!" to be the same thing, or even equally disrespectful?

Anonymous said...

Dan Moran wrote:

"do you really consider booing and screaming 'You lie!' to be the same thing...?"

Well, here's what Steve's original question was:

"... when was the last time someone yelled something on the floor of the House while the President was making an address?"

To me, having an entire herd of Democrats boo in unison counts as at least as much a "yelled something" as one lone Congressman calling out "You lie!"

And Steve, God bless him, has no problem admitting that. That's pretty much what you'd hope to see from somebody who has an entire self-improvement course based on the concept of Musashi Miyamoto, "Do not think dishonestly."

To most of us on planet Earth, a "yell" is defined in English as "a loud outcry"; it's not defined as "something loud that only a Republican does".

But others of us, I guess, are going to keep fighting and fighting and fighting and fighting and fighting to not acknowledge that obvious point, until the Moon is broken up by tidal forces. That strikes me as wild denial, but hey.


--Erich Schwarz

Marty S said...

Steve: In some sense your right. My understanding is that there still exists private insurance in Canada. Its just so expensive that only the rich can afford it, like your $100,000 car. This means it doesn't do the vast majority of Canadians very much good. As to my two contradicting arguments, I never claimed government insurance would be so good it would drive private insurers out of business, I claimed it would do this by undercutting them price-wise. Insurance works by spreading the risk. Those who don't end up using the service end up paying for those who do. If a government program was such that it provided adequate services to one group, say those under age fifty at a cheaper price than private plan which provided higher quality services to everyone, then by luring those for whom the lesser service package was adequate into the fold it would make the private higher service package too expensive for those over fifty who needed it and more people would end up dieing in the over fifty group.

Marty S said...

One more thing, Social Security is a total boondoggle and Bush's privatization approach was actually much superior. If you can use a spreadsheet and you compute the following. Someone who begins work at age 21 works till age 66. Assume his starting salary is $10000 and assume some reasonable real annual increase in salary. Now take 12.4% of their salary and put it in a conservative instrument that returns a modest interest like 4%. Assuming an average life expectancy at 66 of 15 years you will find the savings provides depending on your assumptions approximately 1.5 to 2 times that person's social security benefit. Social security instead of having a surplus is going bankrupt because the government spends your social security taxes on whatever it pleases instead of investing it.

Dan Moran said...

Erich,

I understand perfectly why conservatives want to equate democratic booing with a man yelling "You lie!" during a Presidential speech. Makes conservatives look less like wildly angry boors having an endless temper tantrum.

If in fact all these things are the same, perhaps Steve should back up some on his request that people donate to Joe Wilson's opponent. Since, apparently, Wilson did nothing that was actually unusually crass or disrespectful....

Though almost everyone who works in Washington professionally seems to think he did, including a variety of well known conservatives.

I guess they, too, are thinking dishonestly.

Pagan Topologist said...

Marty, the problem with your analysis of Social Security here is that Social Security is not just a pension plan. It also provides disability insurance, which significantly reduces the apparent advantage of the private system in your quick analysis.

Also, there is just the faith that the federal government will be there to pay up when the time comes. No private entity can make such a guarantee. AIG, etc. anyone??

Marty S said...

Pagan: If you do the actual calculations with some reasonable assumptions you will find that even for someone with a lifetime average income of $15,000 nearly twice as much is paid into social security as needed to fund their SS benefit. For person with a $30,000 average income its about two and half times whats needed and it goes up from there. So there needs to be a lot of disabled peopled to make up the difference. However, a more valid point is a spouse who has not worked enough to earn their own social security will get benefit based upon their spouses contribution. This was a more important factor when SS was conceived and few women worked. Nevertheless most people would be better off with their tax money being put in an investment account with their name on it whose assets are their personal assets. I would not be opposed to there being restrictions on the types investments allowed to prevent gamblers from losing their retirement funds and with respect to withdrawals they would need to be controlled to be similar to SS payments except probably at a higher level. There would still need to be a safety need for those in need of SS disability and that could be funded by an appropriate portion of the SS tax going into a general account rather than the personal account.

Dan Moran said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905/imf-advice

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government -— a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.

A chilling and essential read. The idea that our utterly corrupted government and financial markets are going to provide for anyone except the owners strikes me as naive.

Anonymous said...

"If in fact all these things are the same, perhaps Steve should back up some on his request that people donate to Joe Wilson's opponent."

Why would I expect him to do that? Steve's not the one putting up a false moral inequivalence between one Republican crying out "You lie!" at a Democratic President and an entire pack of Democrats booing loudly at a Republican one. Given that, I see no reason why Steve should have to apologize for finding both of them repugnant -- as he's forthrightly said he does -- and for asking people to donate money against a Republican behaving obnoxiously now.


"... almost everyone who works in Washington professionally seems to think [Wilson was unusually crass or disrespectful], including a variety of well known conservatives. I guess they, too, are thinking dishonestly."

Why, no, they're not thinking dishonestly -- because they're not pretending that something becomes rude if and only if it comes from a lone Republican, but is perfectly OK if it comes from an entire mooing herd of Democrats.

If they were pretending that, then, yes, I think that'd be pretty mendacious.


--Erich Schwarz

Dan Moran said...

Shrug. You're not going to get to equivalence on this one no matter how hard you try. Noise from the peanut gallery has gone on forever (Republicans did it to Clinton, too.) But shouting at the President during a speech was a new and special low in personal conduct.

Anonymous said...

"You're not going to get to equivalence on this one no matter how hard you try."

Not on Planet Dan, no.

However, I've had some luck on Planet Earth:

"Booing comes damned close enough. I think I'd be dishonest not to say I'd be pissed if someone had done that at Obama, and am angry with myself for not being pissed when it was done toward Bush. I consider both inappropriate."


--Erich Schwarz