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Comments

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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

So now, you've tried to back up your claim, and you've failed. You did not show any evidence, at all, of me expressing support for impeachment. You're a liar, you know you're a liar, you have no regard for truth of any kind, and therefore nothing you have to say henceforth matters.

about three weeks ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

So, here's how this goes: nothing in your next comments matters until you back up or retract your claim that I have ever said impeachment of President Obama needs to happen, or in any way supported impeachment of President Obama. Anything else you say will be ignored until that happens. You need to learn to tell the truth, at least sometimes.

about three weeks ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

If we don't need an investigation

The Constitution says we don't. Stop being stupid.

Your original statement ... indicated ... that you are certain of the outcome of the coming election

You're a liar.

... and that once your fantasy comes true that the rest of congress would bend to your will before the new class even shows up.

You're a liar. I implied no such thing. You appear to be under the impression that a. the House is not currently Republican, or b. that if the incoming House wants to impeach, the outgoing House would not, or c. the Senate has anything to do with impeachment before the House actually votes for impeachment. a. and c. are obviously false, and b. is nonsense. Stop being stupid.

So now, you admit to lying about proving it.

You're a liar. I said no such thing. I simply proved you were wrong. And you still won't admit you were wrong. In fact, you repeated your lie, even after I proved it was a lie, that removal is a separate process and takes a long time.

Except for all the times when you said [impeachment] needs to happen

You're a liar. It's never happened.

So, here's how this goes: nothing in your next comments matters until you back up or retract your claim that I have ever said impeachment of President Obama needs to happen, or in any way supported impeachment of President Obama. Anything else you say will be ignored until that happens. You need to learn to tell the truth, at least sometimes.

about three weeks ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

You claimed it, you most certainly did not prove it.

Simply put: the Constitution doesn't require an investigation, therefore it isn't necessary. This is easy, even for you, to understand.

First of all, you are claiming to know the results of the upcoming elections

You're a liar, or you can't read. (I could go either way on that one.)

why would the house and senate just spontaneously decide to bend over?

I never implied they would. What are you blabbering about? (Note: this is a rhetorical question. I don't really care what you are blabbering about, because I am quite sure it won't make any sense, won't reflect reality, won't be honest, etc. As usual.)

You are operating in a land of pure fantasy and imagination when you pretend that somehow congress could get this done quickly.

You're a liar. I presented evidence: evidence that Clinton was impeached and tried in 5 months, evidence that removal can happen as part of the trial process and take no additional time, evidence that the Constitution requires no lengthy time period, evidence that no investigation is required, and so on. And make no mistake: all of this evidence is incontrovertible.

You have provided zero evidence. You simply asserted it would take two years or more, literally without any evidence at all.

you did not admit you were wrong about removal taking much more time and being a separate process, when I proved it doesn't and isn't

You claimed it but you did not prove it.

You're a liar. I gave you the example of the former judge, Alcee Hastings (D-FL), whose removal was not a separate process and took no additional time. That is proof. I didn't prove it wouldn't be a separate process and wouldn't take much more time, only that you were obviously wrong to say it necessarily would. And it makes sense that you were wrong, because you are completely ignorant.

Except for the times when you very plainly supported [impeachment].

You're a liar. I have never once supported impeachment of President Obama. You're simply making shit up, as usual.

I ... are [sic] really enjoying how you just discarded the demonstration of your list of claims as being pure fantasy by trying to pick apart just one of them to try to make yourself feel better.

You're a liar. That never happened.

Let's see. You don't admit you were wrong about removal being a separate process and taking a long time, despite incontrovertible proof being presented. You don't admit you were wrong about Obama refusing to enforce the employer mandate, despite it being truly uncontested. You don't admit you were wrong about me supporting impeachment of President Obama, despite the fact that you have no, and have never seen any, evidence I ever did.

And let's not forget that bizarrely stupid claim you made about a grand jury being required! That was a bona fide howler.

You just can't stop making shit up. It's pretty funny.

about three weeks ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

Which you already admitted, happened after an investigation.

And I also already proved no investigation here is necessary. There's nothing in the Constitution requiring it, obviously; and if the House feels that we know what we need to, then no investigation needs to be done. It's that simple.

No investigation will even start until the middle of 2015 at the earliest

You're a liar. Even if an investigation were done, it could start immediately in January. Actually, it could start this November, after the results of the Senate election are known. But it would likely begin in January.

Two, however, is the bigger problem you have. No president has ever been removed by impeachment.

That is not a problem with anything I said, no.

It is reasonable to expect it would take at least as long as the impeachment itself, if not longer.

You're a liar. No such thing is reasonable to expect. In fact, the only evidence we have is that removals are not complicated and do not take a long time. Granted, a President is not a Judge, but you've offered zero evidence backing up your assertion that it would take a long time. None at all.

And to compound your dishonesty, you did not admit you were wrong about removal taking much more time and being a separate process, when I proved it doesn't and isn't. You stopped asserting it, which is fine, but maybe you should at least admit you were lying when you said it?

assuming of course that your fantasy of a conviction

You're a liar. I never said I hoped for that, and, in fact, I do not.

You have no evidence to support a.

I have evidence that it does not need to take that long, which is more than your nonexistent evidence for your claim that it does need to take that long.

If b is true then why are you supporting impeachment?

You're a liar. I am not. I've said from the beginning of this thread that I oppose impeachment ("Impeachment is a stupid idea ...").

Not that I don't expect you to not lie, but still, that one was beneath even you. Which is saying something.

That is your opinion.

That is your opinion.

That is your opinion.

That is your opinion.

I am not going to cast pearls here and go over all the cases, but one of these in particular is very funny, because it just shows how completely ignorant you are. Not that we didn't already know, with your idiotic claims of impeachment taking years, of removal being a separate more lengthy process, and so on.

But you just said it is merely my opinion that Obama has refused to enforce the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

This fact is seriously not in dispute by anyone. It's a simple statement of fact. The law says it begins in 2014, and he signed an executive order pushing it to 2015. No one denies this.

Now, on this point I am actually on Obama's side, in that I think the President has the legitimate authority to not enforce punishments, as long as he does it without violating equal protection. So he cannot say, "I won't enforce the mandate against liberal companies," but he can say he won't enforce it against all companies. He can further take it on a case-by-case basis, if he chooses. It's basically prosecutorial discretion. The President can, and does, choose all the time which laws he will and will not enforce prosecution or punishment of. Suing the President for exercising his authority here, as Boehner is threatening, is legal nonsense.

Of course, you can impeach the President for anything you want to.

But, none of this takes away from the fact that Obama has refused to enforce the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Everyone knows it.

Similarly, it's in my view a proven fact that Obama has given subsidies to people in violation of the law, and Obama's own advisor said this is the case. The law does not allow subsidies for the federal exchange. The wording of the law is absolutely clear, the intent of the law is very well-established, and Obama knew all this and did it anyway. But Obama denies this; he does not, however, deny that he has refused to enforce the employer mandates, though he wouldn't use those exact words to characterize it.

You're just full of shit, as usual, at every turn.

about three weeks ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

There is absolutely no precedent for it having ever taken a short amount of time.

You're a liar. Clinton: five months. Johnson: 3.5 months. Yes, he was not removed, but that would not take an additional year or more.

Hence you need to look at the time between next February and January 2017, which is not enough time to impeach and remove the POTUS.

You're a liar. Even if we said it took a year to impeach Clinton (including investigations etc.), that would still leave about a year to remove him.

Anyone with even a slight grasp of reality knows this, which is why your dear representatives and senators have all but given up on it.

You're a liar. The length of time pretty much has nothing to do with why they won't impeach him, because a. it wouldn't take that long, and b. it's a bad idea regardless of the length of time.

It is an additional process and there is nothing quick about it.

You're a liar, on both counts. For example, when Judge Alcee Hastings (currently in the House of Representatives, D-FL) was tried by the Senate, he was removed as soon as the voting on the impeachment articles was concluded. They voted on 17 articles, each of which read, "Wherefore, Judge Alcee L. Hastings is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office." And upon being found guilty on several of those articles, the judgment read "It is therefore ordered and adjudged that the said Alcee L. Hastings be, and is hereby, removed from office." The end. They summarized the vote on the last article, summarized all the votes on all the articles, and then removed him from office, all within a few minutes. The end.

It can be as quick as the Senate wants it to be, and does not need to be a separate process.

You're lying. I explicitly addressed what makes this different in the Obama case: we don't need further investigation for Obama.

Except that you didn't.

You're a liar. I clearly wrote: "Clinton's impeachment -- which took longer than necessary -- took a mere five months from beginning of Starr's submission of data ... We don't need to go through lots of information for Obama; most of his "crimes and misdemeanors" are well-known."

So now bloggers are sufficient for "investigating"? I haven't seen a congressional investigation find anything impeachable.

"Impeachable" means whatever the House wants, and the very fact that Obama said the IRS was not corrupt, but it was ... that is impeachable. And we know he has broken the law (federal exchange subsidies), we know he's refused to enforce the law (employer mandate), we know he lied about Benghazi, we know he lied about the IRS not being corrupt. We know all of this.

But they could also impeach him for being black, or for being a lousy basketball player. They can impeach him for anything they want; they get to define what a "high crime" or "misdemeanor" is in this context. They won't, of course, but that's a separate point, since they never would anyway, not for any of these things. But they could, and that's the point, that you dishonestly deny.

about three weeks ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

Why are you accusing the AC of lying when you dislike what they say?

You're a liar. I didn't say you were lying because I dislike what you say; I say you were lying because you lied. You either know it can take less than two years, or you said it with reckless disregard for truth or falsity (which is also lying).

If you knew anything at all you would know that even once the house and senate convict the president, a new process has to begin in order to remove the president.

And that can happen in mere days.

None of this is quick.

It might be; it might not be. You're lying. Again.

Furthermore, you very casually glossed over the "submission of data" part. Starr actually did an investigation, and interviewed meaningful witnesses.

You're lying. I explicitly addressed what makes this different in the Obama case: we don't need further investigation for Obama.

It's similar to the Clinton situation, in that when Janet Reno and the federal court started the investigation process by asking Ken Starr to investigate what happened with Lewinsky, the point was not to impeach Clinton. They were just investigating what happened. Only after the facts came out did they decide to impeach. Similarly, we've been investigating -- formally through Congress some, but mostly just by watching what he actually does -- Obama for years now. As I already said, there's no need for an investigation of Obama.

Currently the GOP has a bunch of wild accusations against Obama and no meaningful evidence of any sort.

You're lying. In fact, every allegation the House has offered of Obama has been proven true. He has offered subsidies, in direct contravention of the law. He has refused to enforce mandates, in direct contravention of the law. His IRS has been targetting conservatives in particular, in direct contravention of the law. He lied about "the video" causing the Benghazi murders. All of this is proven true. None of it is seriously controversial at this point.

This means an investigation needs to be conducted (and funded) before an impeachment can even begin.

You're lying. Even if these things were not proven, no investigation would have to be done: the House could put it to a vote any time they wanted to.

You are also overlooking the fact that impeachment begins not with a trial in the house, but with a grand jury

I hope you're lying, because if you really believe that, it's pretty sad. It's simply untrue.

Interesting that you didn't give any examples.

Because I assume you're not a fucking moron. Should I? Boehner is threatening a lawsuit over Obama's nonenforcement of the employer mandate, and there's an existing lawsuit likely to be heard by SCOTUS over Obama's blatantly illegal subsidies to people in the federal exchange. There's more, but I assume you know at least some of the obvious ones.

Of course, I listed some above, and there's more.

It could not be a quick process

You're a liar. I already proved it.

Why do you so dislike the rule of law?

You're a liar. Nothing in the law -- in any law we have -- says impeachment should take a certain amount of time, or that it shouldn't be done quickly.

Would you have supported a "quick process" if the democrats had found the stones to try to impeach Bush when he was president?

Absolutely, yes. I would want it to take about one month, maybe two, tops. There's no reason for it to take longer. With Bush -- and there was no serious case against Bush, not like there could be against Clinton or Obama -- we already knew everything we needed to know. We knew there was no serious evidence of deception about the WMD. We knew the Congress backed Bush in invading Iraq. The House impeaching and the Senate convicting Bush for what they said he could do, or for things they spent years trying to prove but never could, would have been idiotic.

I've seen other possible articles against Bush, and all of them are stupid. For example, "suspension of the constitutional right of habeas corpus," which a. never happened and b. what did happen -- restrictions on statutory habeas corpus rights, not constitutional ones -- was passed by Congress.

But even if they had a case to make, fine. Make it quickly and Move On. It drags on the whole country, and whether you remove him or not, I want it to happen quickly, not slowly.

(which would be more than twice as long as the ordeal Clinton put on this nation).

How, exactly, were you personally hurt by his blowjob?

You're a liar: I didn't say i was personally hurt, and I didn't say "his blowjob" hurt the country. I said Clinton hurt the country, and he obviously did. He even admitted he did. And the way he did it -- obviously -- is through his lying under oath.

about three weeks ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

Of course, this is just an academic exercise. The funny thing is that no federal legislators are publicly talking about actually impeaching Obama. None. The only people talking this up are a tiny number of non-legislators on the right ... and pretty much all of the Democrats.

It's sheer dishonesty (though not unusual, especially on the left).

about three weeks ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Re:Rule of law (58 comments)

Impeachment is a stupid idea.

In the current situation, yes.

Right, that's what I meant.

It will likely give the country little benefit to shave a mere year or so off his presidency

No.

First of all, it will give the country no benefit at all.

Second of all, it won't shave a year off the presidency.

It could, obviously.

In fact it is pretty much certain at this point that even if your heroes ...

You're lying. No federal legislator is my hero.

... began impeachment tomorrow morning, they wouldn't be able to get the process all the way through to removal before January of 2017, it simply takes that long.

False. You're lying. The question is: why are you lying, when the evidence is so clear?

Clinton's impeachment -- which took longer than necessary -- took a mere five months from beginning of Starr's submission of data to the House (1998-09-08), to the Senate's acquittal (1999-02-12). We don't need to go through lots of information for Obama; most of his "crimes and misdemeanors" are well-known. It could very well be a pretty quick process, though it could also take up to a year (which would be more than twice as long as the ordeal Clinton put on this nation).

Actually, it takes about that long with a congress that does its job and does actual work. We have instead right now arguably the most dysfunctional congress in the history of our country, and they certainly aren't going to be able to pull this off any faster.

It's true that Harry Reid is the most obstructionist Senate Majority Leader in my lifetime, but any potential impeachment assumes that the GOP takes over the Senate and keeps the House, so that's quite obviously a nonissue.

about three weeks ago
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Just how much lying is acceptable in support of "Higher Truth"?

pudge Re:It's worse than that, it's physics, Jim (49 comments)

I don't see it. I see the article as saying more that Hitler was horrible, and Bush is even worse than that.

The reason why Bush is worse is because Hitler meant well. That's what it says. That's what I am talking about.

It's a false dilemma to assume this means the writer thinks Hitler's dishonorable acts were ok

I never said that. I said that in comparison to Bush, he's not as bad, which is what you agree he said.

Of course, as pointed out by both smitty and I, the writer is factually wrong that Hitler meant well.

And I agree with that.

I find your mockery wanting

I find your understanding of it to be wanting.

and it is more likely to backfire and make the left stronger.

No, it's not.

Taking weak and cheap shots makes your side appear petty and unable to field a better argument.

Mocking the left for taking cheap shots, by pretending to take a cheap shot, is an actual cheap shot?

about a month ago
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So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

pudge Rule of law (58 comments)

I've been saying for years, leftists generally hate the rule of law. They just do. The rule of law means they are restrained from doing what they think is best. Therefore, they hate it. There is infinite evidence of this. They openly question whether we should follow the law at every turn, from the top (Justice Breyer and President Obama) to the bottom (pretty much every "occupy" protestor).

We actually had a majority of the federal legislature decry a Supreme Court decision that merely said -- in reference to Lily Ledbetter -- that you cannot punish a company under the law, unless it actually breaks the law. Not to mention the case that said the federal legislature cannot restrict political speech by a person or group of persons, just because they are organized a certain way under the law, that also got massive opposition from liberals.

Time and again, the left just demonstrates a very clear and palpable hatred for the rule of law. They would have us ruled by enlightened people who would be free to make up rules as they went along.

Impeachment is a stupid idea. It will likely give the country little benefit to shave a mere year or so off his presidency, and generate massive animosity that will increase the liklihood of another law-hater being elected.

about a month ago
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Just how much lying is acceptable in support of "Higher Truth"?

pudge Re:It's worse than that, it's physics, Jim (49 comments)

I think you're missing my point.

The article I linked to said Hitler was bad, but at least he meant well, unlike that evil Bush.

I was being mocking, parodying leftist idiocy that will mitigate -- at least, by comparison -- the most dishonorable acts if we can pretend that they were done with noble intent.

about a month ago
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Just how much lying is acceptable in support of "Higher Truth"?

pudge Re:It's worse than that, it's physics, Jim (49 comments)

Right. But the point is that they now say it was an oversight, even though the architect said it was intentional, and for a specific and well-defined purpose.

So we know the language of the text is clear: it's for state exchanges. Their argument became, "well that wasn't intentional; if it were, that would be contrary to the purpose of the ACA." We know however, based on this quote and other similar ones, that it was intentional, and perfectly in line with the purpose of the ACA.

about a month ago
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Just how much lying is acceptable in support of "Higher Truth"?

pudge It's worse than that, it's physics, Jim (49 comments)

Gruber said in another comment in 2012 that the reason why you can't get subsidies for the federal exchange is so that states will be encouraged to make their own exchange.

about a month ago
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Funniest /. article in a while

pudge Re:I by no means missed the point (32 comments)

Only someone as arrogant as you would claim themselves as a source.

Only someone who doesn't understand language would assert that I am not a source. Everyone who uses language is a source of meaning of that language. That's how our language actually works.

We both know you're wrong

We both know you're lying, because I quoted other sources agreeing with me, and you pretend I didn't, just like you pretend I didn't reference Madison in regards to "democracy."

about a month ago
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Funniest /. article in a while

pudge Re:I by no means missed the point (32 comments)

Without a common source on the meaning of words, how do words have meanings at all? You can argue for a different source - and I have noticed that you have not yet done so ...

Actually, in fact, I did. I was very explicit. You just don't understand language, so you missed it. But because I am so generous, here it is again: common usage. That determines the meaning of all words. We can be prescriptive in a given context -- for example, "organic" has a specific legal definition when applied to food for sale -- but generally, we simply have to go with how words are commonly used. We use dictionaries to discover common usage if we don't know it, but not to prescribe it.

the dictionary is a generally agreed-upon source for the meanings of words

Not by anyone who understands language or dictionaries, no, it's not. Even Wikipedia says you are full of shit: "Large 20th-century dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Webster's Third are descriptive, and attempt to describe the actual use of words. Most dictionaries of English now apply the descriptive method to a word's definition ... the meanings of words in English are primarily determined by usage."

You have not yet however demonstrated your interesting alternate use of the word "democracy" to be used by anyone other than yourself

You're a liar, of course: I referenced a very important person in the history of the word: James Madison himself. And it's not an "alternative," it's the original meaning. The original use of the word "democracy" was in reference to Athens, where all citizens collectively made all legislative decisions. You're just being completely idiotic, as usual.

I see that you didn't bother to present that definition.

I presumed you were capable of taking your URL and replacing "democracy" with "socialism". My bad.

you openly despise the dictionary

You're a liar. I simply use dictionaries properly, and criticize their improper usage. Using a dictionary to settle a discussion about the proper meaning of a word is obviously stupid, if you understand that dictionaries are descriptive, and therefore prone to error. Even without understanding how dictionaries work, the fact that we have many English dictionaries with sometimes conflicting definitions should clue you in to the fact that you can't use one dictionary to settle the discussion.

about a month ago
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Funniest /. article in a while

pudge Re:I by no means missed the point (32 comments)

It appears to be - again - you versus the dictionary.

Once again, you do not know how dictionaries work: they do not prescribe definitions, telling us what words must mean; they merely describe how words are commonly used. Dictionary authors are reporters, not dictators. And if we identify common usage that is not captured by the dictionary definition, that is proof that the dictionary is wrong or incomplete. Further, if we can identify common usage, we literally have no need for a dictionary at that point, because it would at best be redundant, and at worst mislead the less-educated among us who have been tricked into thinking that dictionaries are authoritative.

And too bad you didn't look at that same dictionary for "socialism," because under that entry, you see definitions that well-describe the Soviet and Chinese regimes of the 20th century that you say are not socialist. So by your own logic, you proved yourself wrong.

Do you ever tire of being a tool?

about a month ago

Submissions

Journals

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Obama Lied About Benghazi

pudge pudge writes  |  about 10 months ago

Some people don't know that Obama lied. But it's obvious fact based on the evidence. In another discussion some apparent trolls were complaining about the claim, but I am uninterested in discussing it, but for those who are interested, the basic summary is this:

* The administration said, for weeks, that the video and the unrest around it was a cause of the attack on the embassy in Benghazi.

* They claimed that the evidence led them to say so.

* They have never provided any such evidence. Some of what they claimed happened -- such as protests existing at the embassy in Benghazi -- was false, and there was never any evidence it was true (maybe in the first hours, but not after the first days).

* There was much evidence, even in the first days, that the attack was preplanned, but it was ignored in favor of the nonexistent evidence of spontaneity.

* The documentary evidence shows that, from the beginning, they had evidence that it was preplanned, and the only "evidence" of spontaneity cited was that it happened soon after protests in Cairo.

Draw your own conclusions, but I do not believe that the President would say it was a spontaneous reaction to the video without some evidence of it, and he had none. He said it because he thought it was believable and wanted to win an election, and if it were preplanned then it is a failure of his administration.

If you want more, check out last week's 60 Minutes report by Lara Logan. Most of it has to do with showing that we a. knew the attack was coming and b. didn't take reasonable steps to prevent it.

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Porn King of Abbottabad (Ballad of Osama Bin Laden)

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

My new song, "Porn King of Abbottabad", is up.

Some asked me when I might follow up on my song "Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday" (for which I won a coveted Schrammie award). Then, driving into work last week, hearing news about the porn cache Bin Laden had in his compound, it struck me that he probably used his terrorist information network to make some extra money on the side and became the number one provider of porn to the Greater Abbottabad region of Pakistan.

So there you go.

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UPDATED: Target Map

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I fixed a problem with Firefox, and maybe other browsers, where the entire target was not clickable. Should be good now: just click the target, see the links.

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Target Map

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I've started a map of targets. I won't bother saying what the point of this is, because no matter what I write, people will, intentionally or otherwise, misconstrue it. I hope the links on each name targeted gives you enough of a clue, if you are inclined toward reading and understanding.

If you have any submissions for the map, send me email to targetmap@pudge.net with the name of the individual or organization, and a link demonstrating why they should be on the map.

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Koster/Larsen Debate

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Many people, including myself, were disappointed that the Koster campaign chose to not participate in the KCTS 9 debate last Thursday.* But the next day, the pair debated and TVW has the video online.

If most voters watch this debate it's hard to see how Larsen could be re-elected, for one simple reason: everything Larsen said was about increasing the size, scope, power, and influence of the federal government. For every problem, Larsen sees the federal government as the solution. Even when Larsen correctly identifies mistakes Bush and the Republicans made in the last decade, Larsen indicts himself and his fellow Democrats because they want to do the same things the Republicans did, except more and bigger. Koster wants to go in the other direction: forward to liberty and smaller government instead of the monster debt that the Democrats and Republicans gave us last decade.

* I personally disagree with the Koster campaign decision to not participate on Thursday. Their stated reason was that Herald reporter and columnist Jerry Cornfield was one of the panelists, and the Koster campaign deemed him unacceptable because he's on the left, and they didn't believe he'd be fair. My take is that Koster could have handled Cornfield just fine, and that there's far less-fair journalists out there that Koster will run into if he's elected, and that he should have done the debate ... especially since, as this debate shows, the more Koster can put himself out there, side-by-side to Larsen, the better he looks: and that's something no journalist can take away, no matter how unfair they are.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Larsen and Koster on KCTS 9

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Last night KCTS 9 had nice profiles on both John Koster (R) and Rick Larsen (D-inc.), the candidates for Washington's Second Congressional District (whom we collectively interviewed recently here on Sound Politics). The KCTS piece uncritically showed Larsen's dishonest ad falsely accusing Koster of wanting to privatize social security, and referred to an "anti-incumbent" wave that is generally understood to be anti-establishment, not anti-incumbent, but otherwise it was a pretty good piece.

The discussion afterward, however, was fairly awful. All of the pundits -- including former state GOP chair Chris Vance -- said the only thing Koster has going for him is the "wave" in favor of Republican candidates. Joni Balter said Koster is "rigid" and "inflexible," while Larsen has "been there" for his constituents (as if Koster hasn't been). Perhaps she missed the memo that most voters in the Second CD want government to "be there" for us by being a lot less "flexible" on government spending.

Next Thursday, October 21, at 7 p.m., KCTS 9 will host a debate between Larsen and Koster. Tune in!

Also check out this non-endorsement endorsement of Koster by the Seattle Times. They call Larsen out for his dishonesty, his lack of fiscal responsibility, and his desire to increase taxes. They praise Koster for his fiscal prudence, his experience, his responsible record, and says he would benefit Congress. But they say they don't endorse him because he agrees too much with his own constituents: he is anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, and is (as every scientist and responsible politician is required by the rules of logic to be) skeptical of anthropogenic global warming.*

The Seattle Times says they endorse Larsen, but at the same time, they demonstrate that Koster would better represent his constituents. Draw your own conclusions.

* If you're a liberal, you're supposed to be skeptical of religion, skeptical of politicians, skeptical of authority and media of every kind, but not skeptical of anthropogenic global warming. Even the IPCC leaves open the door that AGW may not be true; how could any lay person think there's no room for that? To decry skepticism in the face of uncertainty is to be anti-intellectual, and it is incumbent upon every policymaker and scientist to remain open-minded on all such issues.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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What a socialist is

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Anyone who defines what a socialist IS and states that therefore someone is NOT a socialist doesn't understand the word "socialist" or the English language very well.

The fact is, "socialist" has many meanings. In both French and English, for around 150 years, "socialist" has had a definition -- which has been very commonly used, even to today -- of, simply, massive social control by government for the purpose of taking from some people to give to others. As Bastiat said, for example:

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole -- with their common aim of legal plunder -- constitute socialism.

Socialism does not just regard the ownership of the means of production. It's never only meant that, not in our lifetimes. Obama does favor controlling society through "an infinite number of ways" in order to take from some people to give to others. This is a perfectly reasonable, correct, and valid use of the word "socialism" ... and it's not a matter of "human dignity," but a matter of whether government should be the instrument of providing that "dignity." I contend that destroying liberty to give "dignity" to someone else is itself taking away the dignity of all.

Or, in other words of Bastiat:

Mr. de Lamartine once wrote to me thusly: "Your doctrine is only the half of my program. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity." I answered him: "The second half of your program will destroy the first."

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Murray Pretends There Is No Deficit

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Several times in tonight's debate, Senator Patty Murray said that keeping taxes at their current level would make it impossible to fund critical federal programs. But the Democratic Congress, with Murray's votes, has shown no restraint in spending caused by a lack of revenue, racking up deficits of trillions of dollars.

On what planet does anyone believe that the Murray, or the Democratic Congress, is restrained by a lack of revenue?

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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State Liquor Status Quo "Economically ... Doesn't Make Sense"

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Am I the only one who noticed that in Robert Mak's piece on the liquor privatization initiatives on KING 5, a supporter of the status quo said that the status quo doesn't make economic sense?

John Guadnola, Executive Director of the Washington Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association -- which opposes both I-1100 and I-1105 -- said that if I-1100 passes, "[Safeway] won't have nearly the variety [as it has now] because economically, it just doesn't make sense for them."

But if it doesn't make economic sense for Safeway to have that variety, then why do we do it? If carrying a certain number of bottles in a local Safeway doesn't make economic sense, scaling up as we do now can't fix that problem. So Guadnola is basically admitting that -- in a time of severe recession, no less -- he and his group are backing a system that wastes money.

Of course, the truth is that wide variety will continue to exist. I've lived in several other states, all of which allowed retailers to buy with volume discounts and decide what they wanted to carry, and all of which had a wide variety of liquor widely available. We have one of the only states with this sort of a system, and all you have to do is look at the other states and see that almost every criticism of I-1100 is based on fantasy. The only true criticisms I've seen of I-1100 are that it would give us more access to the products we want to buy, which is, as best I can figure, a good thing.

(Oh, and I should also mention that the criticism that this takes money from schools is necessarily false. Any revenues lost by the schools -- if required to make "ample provision" for education -- must be made up by taking it from other programs, or increasing other taxes. Our Constitution requires it. For I-1100 to significantly hurt schools, our state government would have to violate the Constitution.)

Another truth is that the people most ardently defending the status quo, as well as the people behind I-1105, are no less influenced by their bottom lines than the backers of I-1100 ... and probably moreso. There are many people -- like me -- who don't consume liquor or are not in the liquor business, but value the freedom I-1100 provides.

But all of the people I've seen backing I-1105 or the status quo are in businesses that do, or would, profit from the government protection of their business interests, such as Guadnola's organization, whose members control about 95 percent of all beer and wine distribution in the state ... a virtual monopoly that is jeopardized by privatization. Of course, I have no problem with any of the companies represented by the WBWWA. They are probably all fine businesses doing fine work. I do have a problem with government being used to protect their interests, at the expense of the other interests of other companies and individuals.

My two cents? Vote Yes on I-1100, and No on I-1105 and other forms of government control.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Candy Tax

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

In order to avoid the new Candy Tax in Washington State, I am carefully selecting what candies to buy for Halloween. Candy is legally defined as not having any flour, so I am buying up Twix, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, and -- my favorite of all -- Nestle Crunch. Mmmmmm.

The funny thing is that I've found that flour products actually make me gain weight more than products more heavily based on sugar. I don't think Michelle Obama would approve of Christine Gregoire encouraging me to gain weight. And certainly, no one sane would approve of the government encouragement to punish the makers of certain candies over others just because it lists "flour" on the ingredients. But I must comply! Christine knows best!

Do your part by helping me and Christine punish the makers of candy without flour: make your Halloween a no-flour-free zone!

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Koster vs. Larsen: Your Turn

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 3 years ago

The two campaigns for Washington's Second Congressional District, for incumbent Rick Larsen (D) and challenger John Koster (R), have agreed to answer questions posted by you, the readers and voters. This is going to be a close race, and perhaps one of the most-watched in the nation.

So here's how this works: you guys ask the questions, posting them in this Sound Politics discussion. I pick good ones and submit them to the candidates. They send their answers back to me, and I post them. I don't censor, edit, or modify their answers in any way (though as "interviewer," I may ask for clarifications, giving them a chance to revise their answers).

It's no secret that I want John Koster to win this election. But I'll do my best to pick good questions, and since everyone can see all the questions being asked by the commenters, everyone can decide for themselves if I did a reasonable job.

I'll close the questioning at the end of this week. Everyone -- from libertarian to liberal -- is welcome to submit questions here, but not to engage in discussions about the questions or candidates, or to be abusive. Ask questions: don't answer them or fight about them.

Have at it.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Koster Winning, Berkey Losing

pudge pudge writes  |  about 4 years ago

There are some surprising twists in our interminable Washington election.

Republican John Koster has come from behind to take the lead in the Second Congressional District race by 160 votes, and is likely to end up beating incumbent Rick Larsen. The good news for Larsen is that the total Democrat vote is over 50 percent; the good news for Koster is that independents who didn't vote in the primary will likely swing his way in the general.

Of course, Koster won the primary in 2000, too: but Larsen ended up winning the general. But it was an open seat in 2000, and that the incumbent might finish second in the primary is really bad for Larsen.

Similarly, incumbent Democratic Senator Jean Berkey (38th LD) is coming in third in her primary, and is likely to be eliminated from the general election ballot. At 32.24% of the vote, she's falling behing Conservative candidate Rod Rieger at 32.63%, and fellow Democratic candidate Nick Harper at 35.13%.

According to Jerry Cornfield at The Herald, she'd be the only incumbent for the state legislature to fail to get to the general election this year. More incumbents, like Sound Politics troll Geoff Simpson, are likely to lose in the general, though.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Best Email of the Day

pudge pudge writes  |  about 4 years ago

From the Democratic Party: "The only thing Boehner seems serious about is raising campaign cash. After the speech, he told reporters that he's prepared to help Republicans spend $50 million to win back Congress. ... Democrats have a different plan. We're asking supporters like you to make a contribution to the By the People Fund."

How dare Boehner say he's trying to raise money! We're different: we want to raise money!

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Larsen's Hypocrisy

pudge pudge writes  |  about 4 years ago

As I mentioned yesterday, Rick Larsen criticized John Koster for saying good things about the Tea Party, even though Larsen himself has recently gone to a Tea Party candidate forum to try to get their votes.

And Larsen has twice criticized Koster over oil -- once saying Sarah Palin's endorsement of Koster would bring in money from oil companies, and then attacking Koster for wanting to drill more -- even though Larsen's the only candidate in the race to receive money from an oil company: BP.

And this morning I noticed that, despite attacking a display of flags from our nation's history that included the Confederate flag (which, last I checked, is part of our nation's history), Rick Larsen was at a presentation of those exact flags last summer. He's sitting next to the presenter, 38th LD candidate Hugh Fleet, in the fourth image in the slideshow.

Did Larsen tell the veterans in attendance of his disdain for showing the Confederate flag in a historical context? Probably not, just like he didn't tell the Tea Party members of his disdain for them, nor tell BP how much he hated oil companies when he took their money.

OK, actually, I am being too hard on Rick: he certainly, as a smart and rational person, does not hate Tea Party members or oil companies, nor does he have any problem with showing the Confederate flag in a historical context. He just dishonestly implies otherwise when it comes time to attacking his opponent.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Larsen Puts His Desperation In Video Form

pudge pudge writes  |  about 4 years ago

This video from WA-2 Democratic incumbent Rick Larsen is hilariously sad in its level of desperation and deception.

Larsen first implies, incredibly, that just because -- like hundreds of millions of Americans -- Republican challenger John Koster thinks favorably of the Tea Party movement, that therefore he is a racist whackjob.

I wonder if Rick Larsen told the people of the Tea Party events he attended that he thought they were all racist whackjobs. (Larsen right now has a link on his own web page to an article about the event he attended, where, apparently, Larsen didn't have the cajones to tell the attendees how he really felt about them. This reminds me of the time Larsen attacked Sarah Palin for using the word "target" in a political context, while linking to a Seattle Times article on his web site using the same language. You'd think he would be more careful about that sort of rookie mistake.)

Then Larsen -- who is the only candidate in the race who has received a campaign contribution from BP -- actually attacks Koster for doing what Obama did: saying we need more domestic oil drilling, shortly before the BP accident happened. It's a fair comment on Koster's views, but it's also something the head of his own party agreed with at the time, just a few months ago.

And then Larsen turns back to attacking the Tea Party as racist as a means to attack Koster, even going so far as to show a Confederate flag juxtaposed against "Koster's" parade entries: but that flag was one of many different flags that was part of a larger historical flags presentation, and in no way advocates that flag in particular. And despite what the video claimed, it wasn't even Koster's parade entry, it was the county GOP's.

The sad thing is that Larsen is ruining his own good name with his blatantly dishonest attacks. So many people have told me, "Rick Larsen's a good guy, I just disagree with his politics." Implying that Koster is racist just because a tiny minority of people in a nationwide movement are racist is the exact opposite of being a "good guy." It's being a damned liar.

But I guess Larsen has nothing else to say. He can't run on his own record of record debt and deficit; he can't attack Koster for things he has actually done or said in his long career; he can only attack Koster by dishonestly taking pictures out of context and implying he is guilty of crimes committed by people he's never met and has nothing to do with.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Koster Releases First TV Ad

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 4 years ago

John Koster's first TV ad is up. It's mostly to introduce him to the voters who don't yet know him, especially up in the northern part of the Congressional District 2.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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New Idea for More Effective Government

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I have a new idea for restructuring our federal government.

Ministers with the power to restrict government activity.

The Minister of Shut Up, for example, has the power to force anyone in government, including the President, to shut up. So when the President says, "My predecessor's failed policies are to blame for the recession," the Minister tells him to shut up. This will greatly increase the quality of our public discourse.

There's also a Minister of Liberty who has the power to overturn or restrict any government action that violates civil liberties, and a Minister of Financial Responsibility that can veto any spending that isn't covered by revenues.

Now, here's the important part: obviously, these positions are only as useful as the people who hold those positions. So if you appoint them, or elect them popularly, you have a big problem. Politicians would appoint people who would not restrict their actions, and the people would elect people who would allow the government to do what they want government to do. It gets us nowhere.

So we will have a popular vote, but the only people who get to vote are people who have a real interest in upholding the restrictions involved. So only people intolerant of bull get to vote on the Minister of Shut Up. Only civil libertarians could vote for Minister of Liberty. And only fiscal conservatives get to vote for Minister of Financial Responsibility.

You might wonder then, what about the liberals? What do they get to vote for? It's only fair that everyone should get to vote for some position, but it seems like at least two of those positions are tilted heavily to the right, and we don't want liberals to feel left out. So, we need a position for them to vote for that is involved in very actively pursuing large government, in taking care of everyone's needs, in fighting against liberty, and so on.

We already have one: President.

So liberals get to decide what government will do, independents get to tell people to shut up, libertarians get to restrict government from hurting our liberty, and conservatives get to say what we won't spend money on because it's too expensive. Everyone gets to vote for only one thing.

I have not decided yet how best to determine whether someone really is a civil libertarian or liberal or what-have-you. Maybe some sort of lie detector test, or maybe just force everyone to pick one position to vote for: they will vote for the position they care most about, which will be the one that is actuated to push their interests, whether it is making government do things, securing liberty, keeping fiscal sanity, or just telling everyone else to shut up.

I think it could work.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Bellingham Herald's Taylor Falsely Says Bailout Claim Not "The Truth"

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Sam Taylor over at The Bellingham Herald quotes a John Koster press release titled "Larsen Votes to Create Permanent Bailout Culture."

Taylor says, "I've already blogged on here that the truth is far different, that the verbatim language of the measure sets up mechanisms for the institutions themselves to pay for any restructuring (not taxpayers). The New York Times also has a good, in-depth piece on how that restructuring works, too, over here."

But the problem is that -- as that very New York Times piece clearly points out -- "The bill will still allow the government to fashion ad hoc remedies in the case of a failing financial institution. ... [I]t appears there is enough wiggle room in the bill and elsewhere in the laws that the government will still be able to structure unique one-off solutions in any financial crisis." The taxpayers, according to the NYT article, very well may be on the hook: "Even if it is not money, backdoor federal assistance in one form or another may arguably still be provided to other parties to permit them to arrange a private deal."

Taylor ignores those facts and instead hyperfocuses on two things: the phrase in Koster's press release headline (which does not even appear in the text of the press release) that Rick Larsen voted "to create permanent bailout culture," and that the bill sets up a system so that the taxpayers won't foot the bill. As to the latter, the NYT piece addresses it sufficiently to make the point: "there are provisions that would still encourage government deal-making," and "while the bill forbids the use of taxpayer money to 'prevent the liquidation of any financial company,' there is always latitude in times of crisis to stretch the law as was done during the financial crisis." To argue that there won't be bailouts still happening just doesn't pass the smell, laugh, or fact test, and even his own link to the NYT says Taylor is wrong. Yes, going through restructuring in the bill might not result in taxpayer funding, but there's many other ways to provide "assistance."

As to the former, what Koster's press release actually said was the bill "will likely open the door for permanent taxpayer-funded bailouts for Wall Street." Far from being not "the truth" -- given the fact that even the NYT says that deal-making, wiggle room, ad hoc remedies, latitude, and backdoor assistance will still encouraged, allowed, and arguably still provided -- it's a perfectly reasonable belief to have. We know from history that "give an inch, take a mile" is the rule of the day in DC, as in most political circles. Believing that if they can bail out, they will bail out, is not remotely unreasonable.

If you believe bailouts are good, fine. But let's not pretend that -- like Obama said -- this bill prevents them from happening, or that it is somehow not "the truth" to believe that, under this bill, bailouts will be encouraged.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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Koster Slams Larsen Over Contributions From Rangel

pudge pudge writes  |  more than 4 years ago

My candidate for Congress in WA-2, Republican John Koster, pointed out today that the infamously crooked Charlie Rangel has, according to OpenSecrets, contributed $24,000 to incumbent Democrat Rick Larsen. Larsen is tied for receiving the 15th most money, out of the entire Congress, from Rangel.

That can't be good for Larsen.

According to FEC reports, over the last decade Rangel's National Leadership PAC gave Larsen $17,000, and Rangel's candidate committee gave Larsen another $7,000.

Could be worse, though; he could've received $24,000 from Nancy Pelosi, too. Oh wait: he did (from her candidate committee and her "PAC to the Future").

I kid. I think tying Larsen to Pelosi is a. accurate, and b. will justifiably hurt him, but honestly, I don't care that she gave him money. That's how politics works. Same thing with Rangel: Larsen may not have known Rangel was corrupt. But he should do the right thing and, now knowing the money was in part the fruit of corruption, he should do something good with it.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

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