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Monday, December 19, 2011

Cruising the Web

If you were celebrating the preservation of freedom of choice in your light bulb purchases, don't get too excited. It is only for a year and all it does to deny the Department of Energy the money to enforce the ban for a year. Who knows what will happen next year? And whether any stores that you frequent will actually break the law even though they know that the DOE won't be enforcing it?

If you're having trouble picking a 2012 candidate, try this match game to see which candidate is closest to you in policy proposals. Here's another one.

Newt goes for the standard excuse that politicians usually use when they're accused of something that they can't answer. He says he should have explained himself better about his work for Freddie Mac. And then he gives the silliest defense by saying that most of the money that he earned from Freddie Mac went to overhead. Well, money is fungible and whether the funds from Freddie Mac went to overhead or into his pocket, it's all the same thing when he's running a consulting firm. however, as the WSJ has reported, he was speaking up for both Fannie and Freddie and the whole idea of government-sponsored enterprises in 2007. He was defending the idea of such government agencies help people buy houses. Well, that is what led us into this whole mess in the first place.
The real history lesson here may be what the Freddie episode reveals about Mr. Gingrich's political philosophy. To wit, he has a soft spot for big government when he can use it for his own political ends. He also supported the individual mandate in health care in the 1990s, and we recall when he lobbied us to endorse the prescription drug benefit with only token Medicare reform in 2003.

As late as Thursday night's debate, Mr. Gingrich was still defending his Freddie ties as a way of "helping people buy houses." But that is the same excuse Barney Frank used to block reform, and the political pursuit of making housing affordable is what led Freddie to guarantee loans to so many borrowers who couldn't repay them. Yesterday's SEC lawsuit against former Fannie and Freddie executives for misleading investors about subprime-mortgage risks only reinforces the point.
Romneycare isn't any better as an example of Romney relying on government to fix a problem. So no one should deceive themselves that somehow Gingrich is all that different. And he's still misleading us about his work for Freddie Mac.

Now that Ron Paul is doing better in the polls and may even be set to win Iowa, it's time to revisit the Ron Paul Newsletters that he sent out in the 1990s. These newsletters contained racist statements. We heard all about a rock with a racist name on Rick Perry's family's hunting grounds that may or may not have been painted over when the Perrys purchased the land. How about hearing about statements that were sent out with Ron Paul's name over them? Read this piece from Reason magazine in 2008 to find out more about them.

The WSJ gives credit to Gingrich for raising the danger of an EMP attack.

Did you know this about Romney's time at Bain Capital?
Romney bought and sold or invested in Experian credit reporting agency, Domino’s Pizza, Staples Superstore, AMC Entertainment, Brookstone, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, DoubleClick, Guitar Center, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Sealy, The Sports Authority, Toys R Us, Unisource, Warner Music Group, The Weather Channel and more than more than a hundred others.

He started with $37 million. Romney left Bain in 1998. Today Bain Capital controls $65 billion in assets.

If you had invested $1000 in Bain Capital at the beginning of Romney’s fourteen-year run, that would have been worth more than $39 million by the time he was through.
These are the sorts of details Romney shouldn't be ashamed about plugging when he gets attacked for his work as some sort of Gordon Gekko.

Jeb Bush has an eloquent and well-reasoned plea for getting government out of the way for economic progress.
Have we lost faith in the free-market system of entrepreneurial capitalism? Are we no longer willing to place our trust in the creative chaos unleashed by millions of people pursuing their own best economic interests?

The right to rise does not require a libertarian utopia to exist. Rather, it requires fewer, simpler and more outcome-oriented rules. Rules for which an honest cost-benefit analysis is done before their imposition. Rules that sunset so they can be eliminated or adjusted as conditions change. Rules that have disputes resolved faster and less expensively through arbitration than litigation.

In Washington, D.C., rules are going in the opposite direction. They are exploding in reach and complexity. They are created under a cloud of uncertainty, and years after their passage nobody really knows how they will work.

We either can go down the road we are on, a road where the individual is allowed to succeed only so much before being punished with ruinous taxation, where commerce ignores government action at its own peril, and where the state decides how a massive share of the economy's resources should be spent.

Or we can return to the road we once knew and which has served us well: a road where individuals acting freely and with little restraint are able to pursue fortune and prosperity as they see fit, a road where the government's role is not to shape the marketplace but to help prepare its citizens to prosper from it.

In short, we must choose between the straight line promised by the statists and the jagged line of economic freedom. The straight line of gradual and controlled growth is what the statists promise but can never deliver. The jagged line offers no guarantees but has a powerful record of delivering the most prosperity and the most opportunity to the most people. We cannot possibly know in advance what freedom promises for 312 million individuals. But unless we are willing to explore the jagged line of freedom, we will be stuck with the straight line. And the straight line, it turns out, is a flat line.

54 comments:

Locomotive Breath said...

He was defending the idea of such government agencies help people buy houses. Well, that is what led us into this whole mess in the first place.
=====
There is an argument on either side of the first sentence. The second sentence is incorrect.

What led us into this whole mess in the first place is that the gov't decided that even people who can't actually afford a house should have one, leaned on the lenders to make it happen and then had F&F buy up all the bad debt. THAT'S something completely different.

tfhr said...

Turn the lights off in DOE! In addition to withholding "enforcement" funds, Congress should cut back DOE's operating budget by 80% or more for all the good that it does. By the way, that applies to the other DOE, the Department of Education, as well.

Rick Caird said...

tfhr is correct. If an agency is not performing, it needs to be axed. The DOE has done little or nothing to enhance our energy capacity. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

The Department of Education has not added one "jot" to our ability to educate our children. It is hard to think of any other agency that is not only not among the powers delegated to the Federal government, but is completely ineffective and a waste of money to boot.

mark said...

I'm assuming that while Romney will want to focus on the positive stories, dems will be hitting him with not only the failures, but also the failures in which Bain make out quite well.


Bain and a small group of investors bought Dade in 1994 with mostly borrowed money, limiting their risk. They extracted cash from the company at almost every turn — paying themselves nearly $100 million in fees, first for buying the company and then for helping to run it. Later, just after Mr. Romney stepped down from his role, Bain took $242 million out of the business in a transaction that, according to bankruptcy documents and several former Dade officials, weakened the company.

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/mitt-romneys-bain-problem-worsens.php?ref=fpb

Unknown said...

If you were celebrating the preservation of freedom of choice in your light bulb purchases, don't get too excited.

I find it amazing that you see restrictions on what kind of lightbulb you can buy as an attack on "freedom of choice," while restrictions on a woman's right to choose to use contraception or to end a pregnancy are just fine. I really don't give a darn if the government says I can't buy a particular kind of lightbulb, but I care quite a lot if my daughter's life or health are threatened by a pregnancy she is forbidden to end.

Unknown said...

"Unknown" is me, Kathy Kattenburg. Posting as "Unknown" was unintentional.

tfhr said...

Kathy Kattenburg,

Killing a child because it is more convenient than choosing adoption is a far cry from saving the mother's life in a rare instance where there is no alternative. If you think there is either a frequent need or any current restriction on the latter procedure, then I suggest you check your facts. The number of abortions that are performed for the convenience of the "mother" is a sad, staggering statistic that underscores our decline as a society.

I hope your daughter lives a long, healthy life and if she chooses to have children, I hope she has the good sense to plan and provide for them. I hope she does not become dependent on a government that has promised too much to too many and in the process has become increasingly invasive, less efficient, and much, much more expensive. At a time when the United States teeters on the brink of financial bankruptcy, I’d rather not have another of its unwanted, unnecessary agencies making choices for me at great expense. I suppose, if it were my choice, I’d abort the DOE.

As for moral bankruptcy, there was a comment made by President Obama some time ago when he said he did not want his daughters to be "punished by an unwanted pregnancy". How does a society come to the point where a "pregnancy" is equated with punishment? It takes an appalling descent into nihilism to consider the start of a new life as "punishment". When government stands ready to finance or otherwise facilitate the destruction of a child and someone tells me that this is simply a matter of choice, I wonder what choice that child was ever given and what of his or her rights?

Unknown said...

tfhr,

A woman's freedom of choice to continue or end a pregnancy is an example that came to mind right away. There are many other areas in which a specific freedom to choose is much more significant than which lightbulb you can buy, and at the same time, curiously, not of great concern to the right.

I stand by my point, which you have only made stronger by your response: that it's astounding to me to hear right-wingers bemoan the government encroaching on Americans' freedom of choice when they are defining that freedom in terms of which lightbulb they can buy, as they simultaneously support the government encroaching on freedom of choice when it involves something that actually has substantive meaning -- like a woman's freedom to choose what will happen to her body.

Although it would be easy to respond at length to all the "facts" you recited about abortion which I've heard a million times before and are all complete nonsense, and although be it's tempting to do so, I won't, in the interest of not getting too far off the original subject of Betsy's post. That said, I will indulge myself to the extent of saying just this -- that if abortion had not been legal and accessible to me 23 years ago, my daughter, who is 22, would not have been born. I mean that quite literally and seriously, and I know it for a fact. And no, I won't explain what I mean. You can just chew on that, or not, as you wish.

Kathy Kattenburg

tfhr said...

Kathy Kattenburg,

Feel free to refute me with statistics - and supply them because it would be a lot more convincing than showing that you cannot be bothered beyond a vague reference.

The point is that the government feels comfortable in intruding in even the simplest decisions we make when that is clearly unnecessary and an expense we cannot afford. That is why conservatives (you say "right-wingers") object. If you want to buy special light bulbs, that's your choice. No conservative I know would raise finger to stop you. We do object to the government telling you that you HAVE to buy a particular product. (That GE builds them in China while closing down domestic production is another matter but part of the overall equation on the specifics about that particular government intrusion.) Do you see the importance of that point? In other words, what you do with the resources you earn (and actually get to keep) should be up to you.

As for what you do with your body, I say it is your business until you do harm to someone else with it. If your medical condition was such that 23 years ago you had a choice between your own life or death, I don't think the government should have any say about the course of action you chose. I would take that one more step and say that if the choice meant an abortion rather than lose the ability to have a child later, I'd leave the government out of that decision too.

tfhr said...

mark,

Congratulations, you finally provided a link and it actually worked! The source, Talking Points Memo, confirms what we've always suspected - that you are a parrot for Progressive talking points, but it is still nice to see you make the effort in your own way.

Moreover, I'm glad you went to an "official source" such as TPM given that Josh Marshall is cozy enough with Obama to have been a guest for coffee with POTUS along with "Special Ed" and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. So we can be sure of TPM's objectivity, right?

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/potus-has-coffee-with-progressive-media-stars/

Sure.

mark, if Obama had a record of success (any success, actually) like Romney's at Bain, he'd brag about it. He'd love to be able to take credit for creating, enhancing or saving corporations like Staples, AMC Entertainment, Aspen Education Group, Brookstone, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Domino's Pizza, DoubleClick, D&M Holdings, Guitar Center, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Sealy, The Sports Authority, Toys R Us, Unisource, Warner Music Group and The Weather Channel. But he doesn't so all he can do is hope that distortions like those authored by TPM can be parroted enough to have an impact.

Well I guess you could take a shot at promoting GM and Chrysler's HUGE success, right? Everyone's driving Volts today with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker! I mean taking tax dollars and "investing" it in a union bailout scheme or green scam like Solyndra is much better than saving failing companies with privately raised capital. Shutting down GM dealerships all over the country and forcing thousands out of work was a great thing for Obama to do, right? You agreed with that didn't you? And GM is so much better today and so is Chrysler, right? Then there was the "Cash for Clunkers" program which made it more expensive to buy a used car and squandered still more tax dollars.

So yeah, I'd want to make it a huge talking point comparing Romney with Obama on the matter of economic competency or just plain job creation. Run with that!

Unknown said...

Feel free to refute me with statistics - and supply them because it would be a lot more convincing than showing that you cannot be bothered beyond a vague reference.

No, it's not about statistics. It's about who gets to make the choice. You said, "If your medical condition was such that 23 years ago you had a choice between your own life or death, I don't think the government should have any say about the course of action you chose. I would take that one more step and say that if the choice meant an abortion rather than lose the ability to have a child later, I'd leave the government out of that decision too."

Setting aside the fact that neither of those scenarios was the reason my daughter would not have been born (or even conceived, or existed at all) had I not had access to abortion 23 years ago, who gets to decide whether a woman will die w/o an abortion? Who gets to decide what "life-threatening" even means? Who gets to decide which percentage of danger to her life it has to be before the woman can choose for herself whether her life is worth saving? Is it the woman in consultation with her doctor who gets to decide, or is it you who gets to decide? That's the point, not statistics. Because statistics will not give you the ability or the power to see inside the life of a woman who is not you and whom you don't even know.

Kathy Kattenburg

mark said...

tfhr,
Of course, TPM is not a Rusbo-Dittohead-approved link, as are the ones you use. So of course it's invalid.
In 2004, Bush's strongest(only?) argument for re-election was that he had kept us safe after 9/11. Is that no longer a plus?


After hyper-ventilating about Obama care bringing the govt. into the doctor's office, several conservative states now require women considering abortion to be read a govt-written script and abide by waiting periods.
After whining about insurance mandates, the two gop leaders to replace Obama support the idea of mandates.
Just more evidence of the fake outrage created by you and others against Obama.

tfhr said...

Kathy Kattenburg,

Who decides what is "life-threatening"? Doctors. The woman has to make the choice about what to do next.

I understand Tebow's mother was presented with this choice when she was told that an abortion would protect her life. Amazingly there are some pro-abortion zealots out there that stoop to malign her for her decision to keep her baby. If she had chosen to take the abortion to save her own life, not for matters of convenience, it would be easy to understand. It would have been a rational decision bolstered further by the fact that she already had other children that depended on her.

What I certainly don't want to see is a government bureaucrat cast in that role.

The scenario you touched on that brings into account your own experience suggested to me that you made a difficult decision, that in the end, made life possible for your daughter. Have I interpreted that incorrectly? I ask because your response was not clear to me. You repeatedly reference the need for legal abortions to save a life, a point on which we easily agree, but it seems that you use that to advocate easier access to abortion for all reasons. Please correct me if I have that wrong.

Unknown said...

Who decides what is "life-threatening"? Doctors. The woman has to make the choice about what to do next.

Congratulations, tfhr. You are now officially pro-choice. You still think abortion is wrong in most cases, but you also think that women should retain the right to decide, in consultation with their doctor, whether a pregnancy threatens their life. Which, of course, logically means you believe abortion should be legal. This, my friend, is what "pro-choice" means. It does not mean you approve of abortion. It means you think it should remain legal because you have no way to know what any given pregnancy means for that pregnant woman's health or life, and thus no right to make the decision for her.

The scenario you touched on that brings into account your own experience suggested to me that you made a difficult decision, that in the end, made life possible for your daughter. Have I interpreted that incorrectly?

No, your interpretation is correct. The decisions (two) that I made DID make life possible for my daughter. The decision was actually not difficult, but it was extremely painful (emotionally). However, my life was not at risk. That was not the reason.

Kathy Kattenburg

tfhr said...

mark,

I always forget what a fragile peach you become when challenged to provide your own thoughts. I pointed out, using an ABC News link, that your source was a Progressive blog that has its people invited to have coffee with Obama. Find a way to show how that does not present an element of bias and while you're at it, show me where I use "Rusbo-Dittohead-approved link[s]"? Unlike you, I don't use someone else's political opinion to fill in for a lack of factual support for my own ideas.

As for the rest of your rant, find where I've ever said I support a government imposed waiting period or government lecture regarding abortions. I am for keeping the government out of the exam room as much as possible because I trust doctors and the free market much more than any goverment bureaucracy.

As for ObamaCare, let him run on that but if the public's opinion on it is any indication of how the election would turn out, he'd be much better off just pocketing the millions he's been raking in at those 1 percenter attended, $35,000.00 per plate fundraisers he's been flying to on Air Force One instead of actually engaging the Senate, House, or much of anything else these past years. Fake rage on that, if you like.

tfhr said...

Kathy Kattenburg,

And I congratulate you on learning, apparently for the first time, that conservatism is not monolithic. I've never said that abortion should be illegal. I also think it is absolutely wrong, for the sake of convenience, to kill a child. By the way, the cynical euphemism, "pro-choice" means pro-abortion-on-demand to me. Abortion as a means of contraception is the sad result of a failure in personal responsibility and demonstrates a callousness toward human life. Adoption follows abortion in the dictionary but sadly it usually comes second among "choice" decisions. I cannot understand that and will not stand for my tax dollars playing a part in it.

What you are telling me is that you are suffering emotionally for the decision you made to kill a child. Possibly two children. I have heard women agonizing over that same decision later in their life. I know some good people that made that same "choice" for another human being, their aborted child, and they struggle with the regrets and anguish as they continue to learn to live with their decision. I wish you well in that regard.

Unknown said...

What you are telling me is that you are suffering emotionally for the decision you made to kill a child.

No, that is not at all what I am telling you, or what I have told you. Oh my god. I comprehended from the start of this conversation that you object to abortion -- I did not imagine that you were as obtuse as you obviously are.

What I told you, tfhr, was that the decision to have those abortions -- yes, two -- was not difficult, but were extremely painful, emotionally. You filled in the rest with one whopping huge assumption, and you could not be more wrong.

I do not regret or feel guilt for those abortions *at all.* If I had it to do over, and the circumstances were the same, I would have them gain, without hesitation. What was painful was the reality that made it necessary to have the abortions. That's what was painful.

You don't know why I had those abortions, and you obviously cannot even conceive of why I might have had them. I mean, to me, if I had been given even the limited information I have given you, I would have guessed the probable reason. But you, you cannot imagine it. Which just reinforces my point that you have no way of knowing whether a woman having an abortion is doing it "for convenience," as you put it. You have not a single clue.

You had a point about me jumping to the conclusion that you oppose legal abortion. Perhaps you will consider the possibility that your own biases and assumptions about abortion and women's reasons for having them, have led you to jump, in my case, to a hugely unwarranted conclusion.

Kathy Kattenburg

tfhr said...

Kathy Kattenburg,

Your choice, and I use that word without being euphemistic, was to suggest that I am "pro-choice", a phrase that I detest because it is, in large part, dishonest. The choice is purely one-sided where there are (at least) two human beings involved and one has no voice about their life.

Whatever your reasons were for your abortions, you and I both know, that most are done for reasons other than the health of the mother. You said your health was not endangered but you, by your own words, admit that you suffer today. That pain is anything but convenient and I think many women and girls are too easily persuaded to opt for an abortion only to find out later that they suffer from regret.

That our culture has come to the point where a child's life can be sacrificed for any reason other than the health of the mother under the guise of "choice", speaks volumes. I did not question your reasons or ask for your circumstances yet you have adopted (no pun intended) a defensive stance and lashed out at me for not understanding your position or that of, apparently, every woman on earth that might consider terminating a pregnancy. I clearly stated my position on the health of the mother but you've come to a conclusion of your own and it is independent of anything I've had to say.

mark said...

"pro-choice" means pro-abortion-on-demand to me.


tfhr,
This is the second time in a week that you've played the "well, my definition is...." when backed into a corner. The first being my use of the word "fraud" to describe Herman Cain (and you).

I do have to give you credit for having your own ideas. Nobody else has claimed "respect" for the Constitution requires us to remain neutral on all issues until a verdict has been rendered. Nobody else said that OBL must be dead because of a "downturn in communiques". Original tfhr masterpieces of the absurd. So congratulations on that.

Unknown said...

Your choice, and I use that word without being euphemistic, was to suggest that I am "pro-choice", a phrase that I detest because it is, in large part, dishonest.

And I detest the term "pro-life" for *its* dishonesty, because although there are some principled pro-lifers who truly do respect and honor the dignity and value of ALL human life, for many more, "pro-life" really means "pro-fetal life" -- or "pro-birth." They could care less what happens to the human life after that. It's really a "pro-existence" point of view as opposed to pro-life. The inherent value of a human life implies a great deal more than a heartbeat and a set of brainwaves, but the latter seems to be the totality of what too many so-called pro-lifers value.

The choice is purely one-sided where there are (at least) two human beings involved and one has no voice about their life.

Well, you know, I have to admit, you are right about that. One of the human lives *doesn't* have a voice about their life, absolutely true. One of the human lives doesn't have a voice about NOT having a life, either. That is what you get when you're a fetus. You cannot and do not choose to be born, or not to be born; to be born to a family that wants you or to a family that doesn't; to be born to a healthy mother who has had nine months of quality prenatal care or to be born to a drug-addicted teenager who doesn't see a doctor at all; to be born in a hospital or to be born in a toilet stall; to be adopted into a loving family or to spend the first 18 years after birth being shuffled from one foster home to another. Fetuses cannot choose any outcome at all, can they?

Whatever your reasons were for your abortions, you and I both know, that most are done for reasons other than the health of the mother.

I know no such thing -- and you *think* you "know" this, but you really don't, by definition, because you are claiming to "know" something that you have no possible way to know. You also think you know that "reasons other than the health of the mother" must by definition be illegitimate reasons, and you're wrong about that, too.

You said your health was not endangered but you, by your own words, admit that you suffer today.

I did not say that I suffer today. I didn't say anything even remotely like that. I didn't even suggest it. You say "by your own words," and that floors me, because there are no such words that come from me. Show them to me. Quote them. You are amazing, lol.

I did not question your reasons or ask for your circumstances yet you have adopted (no pun intended) a defensive stance and lashed out at me for not understanding your position or that of, apparently, every woman on earth that might consider terminating a pregnancy.

You did not question my reasons -- you assumed them. And not just that -- you also assumed the content of feelings and emotions that I had not described or specified. By doing this, you offended and angered me. I responded accordingly, and if that sounded "defensive," and/or feels to you as though I am "lashing out," so be it. I do not like or appreciate it when someone jumps to conclusions unwarranted by anything I have said.

I did n;t react as I did because you did not understand my position. I responded as I did because you misrepresented my position, based on your own prejudices rather than on what I had actually told you. I don't care if you understand my position or not. I do care if you misstate my position as I presented it to you. And that's what you did.

I have indeed come to a conclusion about you, which is that you are not communicating with me in good faith. I don't know if it's intentional because I don't have enough information to say, and I prefer not to jump to conclusions about your motives.

Kathy Kattenburg

tfhr said...

mark,

Again, your eagerness to pronounce the accused guilty of a specific crime prior to trial is amazing to me. But I understand that as a Progressive, the rule of law and The Constitution are two things that you find impractical at times and that you are ready to dismiss them when they are inconvenient. ObamaCare is a case in point.

As for your notion that I was the only one in the whole, wide world that believed that bin Laden had already died prior to the raid, I provide you with the following list:

Dale Watson (Federal Bureau of Investigation's counter-terrorism chief)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2135473.stm

Amir Taheri
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/11/opinion/11TAHE.html?ex=1089432000&en=373a282aeff2716a&ei=5070&todaysheadlines

Hamid Karzai
http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/central/10/06/karzai.binladen/

Benazir Bhutto
http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/07-Jun-2009/So-who-did-kill-Benazir-Bhutto

Of course there was never a shortage of media reporting of bin Laden’s death prior to the actual event and there was also speculation that some of these stories were done to goad UBL into breaking his silence. One instance in particular is interesting in that it tags certain intelligence agencies in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and France as having various levels of certainty regarding reports of bin Laden’s death from typhoid.

"Pakistani officials expressed complete ignorance of the classified memo published by the French newspaper, L'Est Republicain, circulated to the French President and other senior figures. Written on Sept. 21 by the DGSE, the French exterior intelligence service, the memo reports intelligence gathered by the Saudi services, under the headline 'Saudis Moving Towards Conclusion Bin Laden is Dead.'"
http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-224_162-2035766.html?pageNum=2&tag=contentMain;contentBody

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/23/terror/main2035766.shtml

The report was enough to create a controversy in France:
“The regional newspaper L'Est Republicain on Saturday printed what it described as a copy of a confidential document from the DGSE intelligence service citing an uncorroborated report from a "usually reliable source" saying that Saudi secret services are convinced the leader of the al Qaeda terror network had died.”
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-224_162-2035760.html
Gordon Rayner, the Telegraph's Chief Reporter, wrote, “From the stone-age caves of Tora Bora to a luxury apartment in Tehran, the CIA chased endless shadows and false leads in a hunt that seemed destined to fail. Many analysts came to believe that bin Laden was already dead, having succumbed, supposedly, to typhoid.”
The Telegraph added, “The most recent videotape of bin Laden to date was recorded in October 2004. The lack of video evidence since then has prompted many to speculate that he could already be dead.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8489104/Osama-bin-Laden-killed-the-first-day-as-it-happened.html
That is a list that certainly counters your silly claim that I, alone, held this particular view. I know of many within our own IC that shared the same view for a wide variety of reasons. If you want some real variety, we can always add Madeline Albright’s theory but I have to admit that I never considered it myself. http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2003/12/17/15126.shtml

mark said...

Not even a very good try, tfhr. I know you would like to pretend you were merely defending Sandusky's right to a trial (who claimed he didn't have that right?), but you claimed that "respect" for the Constitution meant remaining neutral. Not only absurd, but there's not one person here (including you and me) who has lived by that. There is a reason why we have jury selection. People who form opinions based on their knowledge of a case aren't disrespecting the Constitution. People who manipulate and misrepresent the Constitution (like you) are disrespecting it. But like the troops and the flag, you'll shield yourself behind whatever is available when you back yourself into a corner.

"but we must withhold judgment about his (Sandusky's) criminality until he's had his day in court"

I realize you aren't the only one who thought he might be dead. But you are the only one (who I know of) who gave such a pathetically idiotic rationale for that belief. Any official who used your justification would have been forced to resign (in disgrace).


"As I've said many times before, I did believe that bin Laden was dead. My suspicion was based on his drop-off in public communiques. It would seem that his keepers in Pakistan may have made his security arrangement contingent on UBL keeping a much lower communication profile than he had in the past."

tfhr said...

mark,

There would be an awful lot of resignations in that case. I refute your ridiculous claim and you are now sure that bin Laden's absence from the public air waves, either in audio or video media, could not possibly be a consideration anywhere among the 17 agencies and organizations that comprise the United States' Intelligence Community. Did you read any of the links I provided? Apparently not.

You can keep moving your goal post if you like but you're already backed up into the cheap seats.

tfhr said...

Kathy Kattenburg,

But you do care what others think or you would not have responded in such an angry tone and this topic does cause you some degree of anguish or you would not have seen it necessary to twist a discussion about light bulbs into a sweeping condemnation of people that do not want more government intrusion in their lives.

Your conflict over having had two abortions has driven you to the point where you have to try to find solace in the mistaken idea that the life extinguished in an abortion is somehow less than human. That fetus was not going to develop into a Harp seal pup, was it? I suppose if it did we could work our way to a discussion on partial birth abortions and I could enlist the support of PETA, but we’ll save that for another time.

Your theory that a fetus might not choose to be born, as you implied, is just bizarre. You actually said, “One of the human lives doesn't have a voice about NOT having a life, either.” I simply don’t know how you can form such a thought and still consider yourself to be rational. What happens next is an apparent appeal to some notion that if a child cannot be born into optimal conditions, it might prefer death. That’s appalling. “Foster care or death, kid. Hey, in Kathy Kattenburg’s improved world, you get a choice!”

No, if I've misunderstood anything about what you've said here or read into your comments something unintended it would only be assuming that you would have some lingering moral qualms over having taken the lives of two human beings that were no threat to yours.

Unknown said...

Fetuses do not choose to be aborted. They do not choose to be born. They do not choose the family or circumstances they will be born into. If you think these truths imply something sinister in my thinking, then that is what you think and I would not try to change what you think.

Of course, I care what others think. Obviously, you do, too, or you would not yourself be choosing to argue with me or trying to convince me that I feel the guilt over having had two abortions that you think I should feel. I also share your opposition to more government intrusion into people's lives. That's one of the reasons I oppose the government intruding into the lives of women by barring them or making it more difficult for them to use contraception and/or to have an abortion. I consider that an example of government intrusion into people's lives. I agree that the government passing a law that forbids the sale of environmentally-friendly lightbulbs (which they haven't done at this point) is another example of government intrusion into people's lives. It's just not one that bothers me in the least, and i think it's quite minor compared to the government giving itself the power to force women to bear children they don't want to bring into the world, or can't bring into the world without threat to their lives or health. I believe that having a child is a more compelling and significant individual choice than buying a lightbulb. You believe the reverse. That's why I brought it into a discussion about government intrusion.

Of course, I am angry. I didn't start out that way, though. In fact, I said at the start that I used the abortion example to illustrate the difference in seriousness between government intruding into the purchase of a lighbulb and government intruding into the uterus of a woman, and that I did not want to turn the debate into an argument about abortion. I did allow myself to do just that, and it was probably a mistake, since such discussions rarely get anywhere. Sometimes they do. I have been in discussions where some degree of understanding is achieved, but they are rare, and this is obviously not one of them.

I don't think, and never did, that the fetuses I had to abort were less than human. They were human fetuses. You're right, the fetuses were not going to develop into Harp seal pups. Indeed, it was that very fact that those fetuses were human that entered into my decision to not let them come into the world. "Decision" isn't even the best word, because there was no doubt in my mind, no need to take any amount of time to be convinced that I was not going to bring them into the world. It was a no-brainer decision. I did feel moral qualms, but not about aborting the fetuses. I felt moral qualms about allowing them to be born, and I never would have.

And as I also said earlier, if I had *not* made the decisions I did to abort those two fetuses, my now 22-year-old daughter would never been conceived, or born. I would either have had a tubal ligation or my then-husband would have had a vasectomy before even trying to conceive the pregnancy that I had to abort (the first one). Or we would have stopped having sex. Probably that would not have been the best idea for a healthy marriage, so the first -- tubal ligation or vasectomy.

All I can say is that the thought of not having had my daughter is so inconceivable (no pun intended) to me, that it doesn't even bear (no pun intended) thinking about.

tfhr said...

mark,

Just read through this brilliant summary of the costs tax payers are bearing for the Chevy Volt. This thread started with comments about the DOE but this story puts their light bulbs to shame!

http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/16192

Here's a sample:

Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. His analysis included 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government.

The Volt subsidies flow through multiple companies involved in production. The analysis includes adding up the amount of government subsidies via tax credits and direct funding for not only General Motors, but other companies supplying parts for the vehicle. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to the GM Brownstown plant that assembles the batteries. The company was also awarded approximately $106 million for its Hamtramck assembly plant in state credits to retain jobs. The company that supplies the Volt’s batteries, Compact Power, was awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits (combination tax breaks and cash subsidies). These are among many of the subsidies and tax credits for the vehicle.


The fact that each Volt sold currently has about $250,000.00 of state and federal incentives behind it ought to have you calling your Congressman. Did you know you were paying for other people's cars with your hard earned money? And to the tune of $250K?

But the comparison of the Volt to the Trabant is the money quote!

Read the article.

mark said...

Here is what makes you a fool and a fraud, tfhr: There was no OBL "absence from the public air waves". There were videos and audio recordings, and your claim that there weren't is a lie. And while some speculated that they were fake, you weren't one of them. Your original post claimed a "drop-off in public communiques" and a
"much lower communication profile than he had in the past". That's a bit difference now, isn't it? So no, I didn't read the links(but thanks, anyway). No need. I have your words.
No need to move the goal posts. As always, you're wide-right and way-short.

mark said...

tfhr,
What? You're bringing up the Chevy Volt? Nice segue.

btw, you're assumptions of what Kathy must feel and think would be shameless enough, but they are even more so after you recently criticized me for claiming "to somehow know" that Herman Cain was never serious about his candidacy. You're fortunate that there is an unwritten policy here of not criticizing fellow conservatives. Otherwise, you'd start to get a true picture of what a disgrace and embarrassment you are. But of course, that's why you come here.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Mark. I appreciate that support. (I tried to post this just now, but it doesn't to have "gone.")

Dr Weevil said...

'mark' writes: "There was no OBL 'absence from the public air waves'. There were videos and audio recordings, and your claim that there weren't is a lie."

A quick look at the facts shows that tfhr is right and mark is utterly and shamefully wrong. Wikipedia has a long list of Osama tapes. If you look at the details, you see that the last actual moving picture of Osama talking, with words and picture synchronized, was released October 29, 2004, six and a half years before he died. It must of course have been made earlier, but it mentions Kerry as the Democratic nominee, so was obviously filmed the previous summer at the earliest.

After that there are lots of audios purporting to be Osama's voice, one "undated" video less than a minute long that "may be re-run footage", whose "authenticity also cannot be independently verified" (7/19/07), and three videotapes (6/30/06, 9/11/07, and 9/20/07) on which the Osama pictures are actually stills displayed while he or someone who sounds like him provides the audio.

tfhr is absolutely right. Despite the easy available of inexpensive Flip-type cameras, Osama's supporters either wouldn't or couldn't come up with an actual film of him doing or saying anything live on film in the last 6.5 years of his life. The obvious and plausible, though (it turned out) incorrect, conclusion was that he was probably dead and his supporters were trying to fool us into thinking he was alive.

So why does mark tell us something that is simply and obviously false? Is he really that ignorant, or is lying when he accuses tfhr of lying?

mark said...

Ummmm, weevil, you just backed up what I said. There was audio and video through '07, as you just acknowledged. tfhr said there was "an absence from the airwaves". Some people have claimed the videos and audios were fake. Had tfhr made that claim, he wouldn't be a total idiot. But he didn't. He claimed a "downturn in communiques". (It's the word "downturn" that earns him the title of total idiot.)

So you struck out there, but I'll give you another chance (what the heck, it's Christmas):

Somebody with the name "buckofama" has been posting. Get it? He (or she) is cleverly, very subtly saying "f**kobama". I know; funny stuff. But I think he needs a stern lecture and reminder that young people may be perusing the site. And I know how much you care about the children. This is your moment to shine, weevil. Don't disappoint.

(And continuing in the spirit of Christmas, I'm going to assume you didn't see the posts by "buckofama" earlier. Because if you did, and didn't chastise him (or her), that would make you a complete fraud given your ire at my use of the word "teabag")

tfhr said...

mark,

I've come to your defense and asked buck to apologize. Go to the thread and feel better about yourself.

I didn't belabor the point or go into the fact that your insults were directed at people in these threads but I agree that we don't need obscenities here to supplement the nasty stink you already leave.

tfhr said...

Kathy Kattenburg,

So it sounds like your decision was based on economics, which is one of the most common reasons given. Maybe it was for other reasons as well but regardless, you could have still given these children up for adoption. What would have been wrong with giving them a chance at life?

I rarely engage in discussions on this topic and I'd rather not continue on it. I don't like government intruding into people's lives - on this we seem to agree. Where we don't seem to agree at all is on where life starts and whether that life has a right to continue.

There has to be another way. Maybe instead of having Planned Parenthood, and other operations that profit from performing abortions, continue to depend on abortion for their income (along with tax dollars in the case of Planned Parenthood), we could devise a way in which they would profit from assisting mothers to carry their pregnancies to term. The baby could be put up for adoption and could benefit from good prenatal care. The "investment" in that baby would be made by prospective adoptive parents. This may smack of some sort of "Juno" solution but I do believe a more positive approach is needed for unplanned pregnancies. Better an attempt to use free market solutions to save a life, satisfy the needs of those that must or want to adopt, than to excuse infanticide as a means of contraception.

We have friends that have had to travel outside the country to find children to adopt. My aunt adopted four kids long ago but could not afford to do it now in this country. Why have we made it so much more attractive (to some) to opt for death over life?

mark said...

tfhr,
Thanks, but no need to come to my defense. I'm not too sensitive about insults here towards me or others (I give it. I take it.) I do enjoy pointing out the fake outrage of you and weevil (You give it. You whine).

As for your claim that "I don't like government intruding into people's lives". I remember a discussion you and I had here a couple of years ago regarding pot legalization. I'm for. You're against (or perhaps you've changed your mind?). I had several obvious reasons why it should be legal and controlled like alcohol. You're only defense was to claim I must be a pothead (untrue and irrelevant). Again, more evidence that you are a fraud and have no principles.

tfhr said...

mark,

I got so caught up in rescuing you from buck that I forgot to comment on your remark about the Volt "segue". If you look and actually read the thread as well as Betsy's post, you will see that this originated on the topic of the DOE and light bulbs. Kathy Kattenberg certainly raised the ante with her escalation on abortion but you, you seem to still only have one string on your banjo, mark. If you can't twang the OBL string you don't have anything!

Dr Weevil did a nice job of smacking you down (again) but I know you know better than what you actually write here in your response to either one of us. You proved that by admitting that you prefer to be intellectually dishonest by ignoring the linked references I provided and by acting as if you've never heard it before. You know there was a dramatic decline in bin Laden's public communications but that doesn't support your meme, so you continue, pointlessly, to insist otherwise. If that's the best you can do, I guess that's the best you can do but you're starting to remind me of the kid on the porch in Deliverance, but with less strings.

mark said...

"You know there was a dramatic decline in bin Laden's public communications but that doesn't support your meme"

Is there some alternative universe in which you make any sense? Yes, I fully realize there was a "dramatic decline in bin Laden's public communications" And that is exactly what supports my "meme". How can a "decrease" in communications lead one to conclude the person is dead? Again, had you said that you thought all the videos and audios through 2007 were fake (as I expected you to say), you would have been merely wrong, instead of merely an idiot.
And let's not forget, your illogical defense stemmed from your pathetic attempt to justify Bush's cowardly "I'm just not that worried about him (OBL) disgrace.

Unknown said...

So it sounds like your decision was based on economics, which is one of the most common reasons given. Maybe it was for other reasons as well but regardless, you could have still given these children up for adoption. What would have been wrong with giving them a chance at life?

No, my decision was NOT based on economics. Nothing that I wrote here could reasonably or rationally have led you to that conclusion. And no, I could NOT have given "those children" up for adoption. Adoption was completely irrelevant.

You have now posited every possible reason in the universe for my abortions but the correct one, and the correct one is the most glaringly obvious from the info I've given you. You've only posited the possibilities that are the most unlikely given the info I've revealed here.

God, tfhr. I hate to say this in any case, and especially now since this last comment of yours appears a bit more conciliatory, but GOD, you are dumb.

tfhr said...

Kathy Kattenburg,

OK, so correctly guessing your glaringly obvious secret passes as the official IQ test in downtown Kattenburg. That is genius! You're nothing if not innovative in that regard. I wonder how they do driver's tests? Do we have to guess your favorite color? I like green.

Beyond asking if your health was in danger, I had no interest in learning the details of your private life and still do not and for that reason I have been deliberately broad in addressing the issue, so forgive me if I've "posited every possible reason in the universe for my abortions but the correct one". (I maintain that the only "correct one" would be to preserve your health, but you said that wasn't it)

If you wish to build your argument about abortion on demand based on some secret of yours, don't expect others to view your decision with the clarity you would like. You said, "Adoption was completely irrelevant." On what grounds?

tfhr said...

mark,

Still jamming on that banjo but if it allows you to vent your rage or forget about the failed Obama presidency, I guess this thread can be that much of a public service.

If you had a shred of intellectual honesty left, you would quote Bush in context but since you don't, we just get what we get from you. So I guess we'll keep hitting this sad, cracked, ping-pong ball back and forth. You with your banjo, struggling to get one over the net, and me with my same bored expression sending your dribbles back to you for recycling.

Hey, when you're not working on your banjo and advocating for greater access to illegal drugs, what do you do in your spare time? I think I can recall you mentioning time you donated at a shelter or a soup kitchen. That's laudable and I compliment you on that very unselfish use of your time. Tell me, when you were helping out, did you happen to notice the toll that drugs take on so many of the people there?

Yeah, mark, I'm against drug abuse and while not everyone ends up on harder drugs after starting with pot, it's a big step on that path and we don't need it in this country.

mark said...

"I rarely engage in discussions on this topic and I'd rather not continue on it."

Yet, here you are,tfhr, continuing on it.
Hint: You're not a captive here. When you corner yourself with idiotic statements, don't play the unwilling victim. When I said Cain wasn't a serious contender and Sandusky was guilty (based on a grand jury investigation and his own interview, you didn't have to rush to defend them. Now you've said you didn't want to get in this discussion in the first place, and you no longer wish to continue. Hmmmmmmm. What to do? What to do?
Poor guy.

tfhr said...

mark,

You hang on my every word and yet you seem unable to read or comprehend.

"I'd rather not...." That would suggest a preference on my part but not an unwillingness to continue a debate with Kathy Kattenberg. You may want to parse the meaning of the word "rather". I know if I link a dictionary definition of R-A-T-H-E-R for you the interpretation you would spew here would be that Bush went to Alabama instead of Vietnam. I’m sure your admiration of the discredited CBS anchorman made it possible for you to accept his feeble attempt to charge George W. Bush with a crime without evidence. It would tie up nicely with your past performance here but I will never stop wondering why you continue to run around here calling other people frauds based solely on your political views and demand that others be convicted of crimes before facing trial.

I wonder why you cannot take a stand to defend some aspect of your political beliefs, some policy from the Obama administration that you like, or even address something of substance related to the topic of discussion. Well, I know, but the ping-pong ball limps across the net again and again and such is the cost of your inability to discuss anything germane to the thread's point of origination.

I also wonder why you keep insinuating yourself into the debate. Are you getting jealous of Kathy Kattenberg? Sorry mark, but you cannot have me all to yourself.

Besides, you're starting to sound needy.

Unknown said...

... I had no interest in learning the details of your private life and still do not. ..."

And yet, your lack of interest in knowing the details of my private life did not deter you from claiming to know the details of my heart or of why I had two abortions. And then you actually have the nerve to ask why I say adoption was irrelevant, when the answer to that question goes directly to the reason I had the two abortions, which you do not have the common sense or minimal powers of imagination or insight or perceptiveness to figure out.

tfhr said...

Nope, mark is the mind reader here, I'll have to ask him to tune into your frequency if Kenneth isn't borrowing it.

Bottom line: You killed two children. Your choice. I don't know why you did that but some how you've made it this far in a thread that started on light bulbs.

Unknown said...

Yes, of course I killed two children. That point is not in dispute. And as I've said several times, I'd do it again in the same circumstances w/o a second's hesitation.

Kathy Kattenburg

mark said...

tfhr,
We can talk about your hypocrisy regarding pot legalization some other time.
To be honest, your last comment to Kathy is beyond vile. You've outdone yourself. I think this thread needs to stop.

Unknown said...

I wish there were an edit button here. I meant to add that I'm damn glad I had the choice. If I hadn't had the choice, I wouldn't have my daughter today. And I will fight like hell with whatever energy I have left in my body, to keep that choice available for every single woman in this country.

Unknown said...

To be honest, your last comment to Kathy is beyond vile. You've outdone yourself. I think this thread needs to stop.

Mark, I just want to say that one person like you in a thread like this makes all the difference in the world, to me at least. I appreciate your support more than you can know.

mark said...

Kathy,

Fortunately, the vast majority of conservatives are far more decent than tfhr.

Have a good holiday.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Mark, and the same back at you.

Dr Weevil said...

Just for the record, only a truly revolting human being could have written mark's 10:02pm post from last night. I have heard that he teaches high school himself, and have asked him more than once whether that is true. He has never answered, so I ask again: what do you do for a living, mark? You wouldn't want to look like the kind of hypocrite who mocks others for their chosen professions while carefully concealing your own, would you?

tfhr said...

Dr Weevil,

Stop it! You're interrupting mark's and Kathy Kattenberg's group hug as they congratulate each other over the latters "choice" to terminate the lives of two human beings. She says adoption wasn't an option because...well, just because. Of course mark, caught up in the holiday spirit as far as his Progressive ideology will allow is fine with that and applauds here "choice". Hey, two less stockings to hang by the chimney, what could bring more Christmas cheer than that?

Kathy Kattenberg,

Your new BFF, mark, the paragon of Progressive civility, is famous here not only for his tender mercies but also for his obscene references, as demonstrated above, and an even more egregious practice of cracking jokes about dead American service members.

mark,

Are you planning to tell Kathy Kattenberg your Peace Corps fish kill story as you related it to US casualty figures? It was a knee slapper! Better find out if she has any relatives in the military first before you do.

mark said...

More fake outrage.

I have never made a joke about dead Americans. As you yourself said, I stupidly related a Peace Corps anecdote about fish to US casualty figures, as I have acknowledged previously. The fact that you weren't outraged about W's mocking the troops who died on his mission exposes (the disgusting "Nope, no wmds here" video) gives you away.

weevil,
What are you talking about? I have stated before that I am a teacher. (And I'm very proud of it). Since I have been contacted at school by posters on this site before, I choose not to discuss details. In general, I try to ignore you, as your only role here is whiny-scold and schoolmarm. Why did you lie about not knowing what I do?

tfhr said...

mark,

You did "stupidly relate" your fish kill to American war dead and that was offensive. If you want to deny it go ahead but you thought you were pretty funny at the time.

Dr Weevil said...

Time for mark to seek professional help? I have in fact asked him before what he does for a living, and he has in fact ignored my question. Here is an instance from just a few months ago. Perhaps he can offer a link to show where he has actually answered my question, or offer any reason whatsoever for thinking I lied about it, other than his usual urge to degrade and defile those who disagree with his politics.

Even if I were prone to lying, there would have been no reason to do so here. Knowing that he is a teacher would have simplified my argument. I could have skipped the question and simply pointed out how utterly unprofessional it is for one teacher to repeatedly leave obscenities in the comment section of another teacher's website.