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Links With Your Coffee - Tuesday


A deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong.

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.

Will, I be travelling to Coney Island to see the Gull, no, but if it were closer I'd be on it in a flash. How much closer, 700 miles, probably, 300 miles I'm already on my way. Birders call it twitching, and yes I've been known to twitch.

Many of the popular science bloggers are decidedly skeptical in their outlook, choosing to promote critical thinking in addition to factual knowledge about their field of expertise. This is a good thing, and I certainly count myself among them. Many of those bloggers embrace the word “skeptic,” meaning scientific skepticism – the rigorous application of logic and evidence to all claims, with a healthy appreciation for the myriad mechanisms of self-deception to which humans are vulnerable.



re: the deal to raise the debt ceiling.

OK, What I want to know, is, Who gets to be on the "Super Congress" committee that's supposed to agree to the next steps in this waltz.

I think there should be a nationwide "American Idol"- like contest. The party leaderships each pick 12 of their colleagues, then we all call in to choose the winners.

Norm, your critical post on Obama is going to screw up Sygnas's narrative

Great colun, btw. Its like democrats are completely out of ideas, its just a debat about how far we let the republicans go with ideas that are essentually proven not to work.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The Republican record would seem to counter your assertion.

Let's face it: Obama is weak. His entire campaign for reelection is going to be "The GOP are dangerous, fanatical extortionists. Therefore, vote for me." That's it - it's true of course, but its shit as a campaign and its shit as a model for governing. I can no longer tell what he stands for because he's so damnably weak that you can't tell his compromise positions from his core beliefs, if any.

Assuming the man has core beliefs, then his failure as president is that he hasn't a clue of how to fight for any of them. Has he approached any of his political since he took office with the goal of convincing the votoers of the correctness of his views? He said he admired the political skills of Reagan, but (as I posted elsewhere), Obama has rarely stood up since he's been elected and given a speech defending his IDEAS or the IDEAS his party is supposed to stand for. Ronald Reagan was a disastrous president because he had lousy ideas and he FOUGHT for them - usually armed with fabricated anecdotes and slogans instead of facts. Many of them were enacted into law, if not during his presidency then later (because his acolytes never gave up pushing those crappy IDEAS). During Reagan's presidency, Democrats controlled the House throughout his presidency and controlled both houses of Congress in his last two years, yet he still pushed the country in a disastrous rightward direction that it has followed on economic policy ever since. Obama said he admired the guy - he really ought to learned something from him about how to fight for ideas.

that should have read ... of his political objectives...

At least give him credit for obamacare. His public arguments were almost completely anecdotal fabrications and slogans, and much of it won't even begin to haunt us until long after he's out of office.

I see your point. Seems the Pres has been trying to find "common ground" but always on a playing field not of his making. Where was the defense that said "yea, entitlements are going to be increasingly problematic to fund as baby-boomers age. The BEST way to fix that is to reform the tax code to eliminate giveaways, AND use those revenues to stimulate the economy now with investments in infrastructure, education, environment, research, such that when we need them for entitlements, the economy will be capable of supporting demand."

I mean, what's with this balanced budget bs? As if households don't borrow money to invest in their futures buying homes and college education for their children. As if businesses don't borrow to smooth their cash flow. Of course we ought now to be putting people to work doing the stuff our kids are going to need to rely on in the future and btw, helping a consumer driven economy. But the executive isn't articulating that alternative forcefully. Well ok, the Dems say "It's not FAIR" pretty often, but that kind sound like whining. At least they might say "Cutting government now is the wrong move. It will weaken not strengthen the Country." Course, maybe they know it wouldn't matter, since the Republicans are quite willing to drag down the economy on purpose for political purposes.

It has happened in my country and it is clearly happening in the USA - maybe I 'see' this because I am advanced in years and cynicism but, to me, ALL politicians who get to positions of real power are self-serving and untrustworthy. My country went through a period of political hope after the defeat of the post-Thatcher Tory government (largely because we saw the policies based on Reaganomics that Thatcher espoused were anti-social and damaging) but what did we get instead - the Pseudo-Tory Tony Bliar (sic) and we now have someone called CaMoron (sic). It seems from the view from this side of the pond that Obama is also being swept along by the tide of 'Re-election Fever' where what matters is being in power, not actually doing anything worth-while when there.

I had resolved never to comment here again, but when someone puts the ball on the tee like this, I find it impossible to resist whacking it off.

"Yet those who do not like to be criticized will often make the 'it's easy to criticize' gambit, rather than address the substance of the criticism."

Sounds familiar.

Welcome back

And a whacking off comment is an excellent entrance.

I don't recognize your quote. They sound wise.

Because Criticiing well can be very hard.

LOL to the whacking off remark. The quoted text is from the Skeptical Messenger link.


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