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After 20 previous convictions (and who knows how many dozens or hundreds of uncharged crimes), Mr. Bennett says, "I am tired of drugs and I want to change."
How about the rest of us who are tired of having our credit cards stolen and tired of risking our lives driving to the grocery store while Mr. Bennett blows through stop lights eluding the police?
A two-year respite from Mr. Bennett's criminality would have been appreciated.
I wish him luck in breaking his drug habit, but he'll also need discipline, commitment, courage, and a grip of steel on whatever is left of his self-respect. And I guess the rest of us will need luck, plus a good credit reporting service and an excellent trauma center nearby.
How comfortable it must be to have perfect confidence in your own perfect knowledge of all things!
Jim, I know nothing about the modeling done for aerospace but at a guess, I suspect the number of variables and the sheer amount of data that have to be handled are a small fraction of those involved in long-term climate change modeling. If that's true, then climate modeling inputs are either going to omit potentially important variables or make assumptions about included variables that are not data-driven or fail to account for all possible effects of those variables on each other, resulting in GO = garbage out.
Jim, in my mention of a survey, I was responding to fatherof5's post, not yours. In other threads, fatherof5 has relied heavily on a study that I found to be dubious at best, for reasons that I provided in some detail on those other threads. I don't believe my comment to him was ad hominem, but there was certainly no attack on you. To the contrary, in both of my comments (including the GIGO one) I was supporting your position, albeit obviously too cryptically.
Call me a victim of ADHD, but to me the more interesting question you present is on whether Obama can be called the "furthest left" as you did (in arguing he isn't) or the "farthest left" as I did in arguing he is. If the left-right divide is a continuum along a line, as I was using it, a point on it can be "farther" rather than "further," but it is an abstract line rather than a physical line, so I suspect your usage is correct and mine was in error. I know a grammar expert; I think I'll submit the question to him.
Oh, and Carter is further left now but wasn't as president, and I don't think FDR was really a leftist, philosophically, although Mrs. FDR certainly was. I doubt FDR really had much of an economic philosophy at all.
Thanks. Due to work schedules, we're celebrating tomorrow. Hope yours was pleasant.
I take exception to the idea that a statement that is unquestionably accurate can be called "half-true" because someone unskilled in logic and reading skills might conceivably take it to mean something you wouldn't like them to.
If the vast majority of nominees who fail do so because they withdraw early, all we know is they withdrew early. YOU conclude they did it for the good of the country; I could just as easily, and just as tendentiously, conclude they do it because they don't want their extremism to come fully to light. Or it could have been because they were too thin-skinned to tough out the confirmation process or because a better gig came along.
All we really know is they withdrew. But that also means they never even got to committee, so they could not possibly have been blocked by the opposing party. Unless it is obstruction for the minority party to even allow anybody to express their concerns about a nominee.
As for Obama being a moderate - true, he's not Mao but he's the farthest left President we've ever had, by a wide margin, and his philosophy, to the extent it can be discerned, is indistinguishable from that of the Occupy people or Hugo Chavez. But then, if you believe that anyone who argues gun ownership is protected by the 2nd Amendment is an extreme right-winger or that positive ID for voting is the same as voter suppression, then by that standard, I guess he would seem moderate.
If Social Security benefits were not capped, it would make sense to remove the cap on earnings. But that is not the case. Benefits are capped so that one person can contribute twice what another does, and yet receive exactly the same benefit. As a way to redistribute the wealth, that works, but most people are also persuaded that they've EARNED their Social Security benefits. For that to be true, there has to remain some proportionality between what you put in and what you put out.
But of course, in reality nobody earned their benefits. People paying now are paying for people receiving now. They're not saving for their own future retirement no matter what they've been told.
From age 16, when I started contributing to Social Security, I've been paying for the benefits of others, not for my own. I got mugged at the beginning of the block by my elders. If I elect to receive Social Security, I'll be mugging the people I run into at the end of the block, the younger generations who are being forced to pay those benefits. It's a Ponzi scheme, pure and simple.
On re-reading my post, I see it sounds like I think a withdrawal for any reason is not a "block." That's not true; if the reason for withdrawal is because the majority refuses to vote someone out of committee over a long time, I'd call that a block. And both sides have some of those, but I think the Dems are ahead at this point.
Fatherof5, I read the Politi"fact" analysis you linked to. After wading through it, come to find out that "blocking" a nominee may have nothing to do with cloture votes or filibusters. To its credit, the article quotes Mitch McConnell as affirming that the 1540 of President Obama's nominees have been confirmed and only four defeated. But then the article's writer goes haywire.
After saying that McConnell's numbers "weren't off" which is another way of saying they are 100% accurate, he goes on to tag the statement as "Half True" because a bunch of nominees withdrew before a vote or were never nominated, allegedly in 38 cases (and I'm sure actually in at least some cases) because of early opposition. Calling a completely accurate statement "half-true" because it doesn't include measurements it never pretends to measure is so tendentious it leaves me unwilling to waste time on the rest of its claims.
Someone who withdraws his/her nomination or declines to even be nominated is NOT a person who has had his/her nomination blocked by a filibuster, or even blocked at all. If they are included in the 79 you refer to, and apparently they are, then the count is simply a red herring.
Nor is it remotely reasonable to call it obstructive to simply criticize potential or actual nominees who for WHATEVER reason choose not to proceed with their nominations. Among those reasons could well be the fact that the criticisms bring to light real disqualifications.
A confirmation, non-confirmation ratio of 1540 to 4, or 0.26%, is not obstruction, no matter how unpleasant some of the process may be in getting there, and the numbers who have actually been denied a vote out of committee or been filibustered successfully are at most a couple of dozen.
Compare that to Bush's administration where 34 judicial positions were kept open for years, sometimes through filibustering two successive nominees for the same position, in order to leave them open for a possible future Dem president. Obama has filled all of those positions now.
Obama has consistently nominated extreme left-wing judicial nominees, some of whose avowed views on the Constitution would be far more palatable to Lenin or Castro than Madison or Adams and blatantly partisan nominees (at least one of whom could credibly be said to have bought his judgeship with hundreds of thousands of dollars of contributions to Democratic candidates). The fact that some of them are very bright, legally experienced and hard-working means that I'd be delighted to have them come to dinner, but it doesn't mean they should be on the federal bench.
I thought both Marty's and Igor's offerings were pretty good examples of the genre.
Last login: Friday, November 29, 2013
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