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markpkessinger

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Member since: Sat May 15, 2010, 04:48 PM
Number of posts: 4,885

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The futility of tryinhg to discuss anything at all with a right-winger...

So last night on Facebook, a right-wingnut cousin of mine posts this:



Of course, there was so much wrong with it that I couldn't resist popping off a reply. Here is what I wrote:

Ok, Doug, I'll bite. First, "facts" presented absent the critical context required to understand them DO lie.

(1) The primary reason given by the rating agencies for the credit rating downgrade was Republican brinksmanship over raising the debt ceiling.

(2) The 7.8% unemployment rate is from December 2008. The only problem is, the nation's fiscal year runs starts in October of the previous year, thus for the first 9 months of the Obama presidency we were still operating under Bush's budget. So, the correct unemployment number to use for Bush is the one from September 2009, which was 9.8%.

(3) Gas prices peaked at $4.12 per gallon in July of 2008, while Bush was president. But really, it's irrelevant. There is very little a president can do to even influence, let alone control, retail gasoline prices. That was true under Bush and it remains true under Obama.

(4) The national debt. Yes, there were some big ticket items that contributed to the debt, such as the stimulus. But if you want to know what would have happened had there not been a stimulus, read up on what is happening now with Britain's economy. But the lions share of the budgetary deficits that in turn added to the national debt were because of falling tax revenues as a result of the economy (which tanked in 2008 under Bush). Additionally -- and this also relates to the wars and budget issue -- part of the apparent spending increased under Obama is the result of President Obama having brought to an end a dishonest accounting trick used by the Bush Administration (i.e., running two wars off--budget. Sure, Bush gave us budgets. The fact is they weren't really worth the paper they were written on because they did not account for th money spent on Iraq and Afghanistan. In any case, budges, in reality, function more as guidelines. The real spending decisions happen in the House and Senat Appropriations committees
.

And here was my cousin's response:

Mark, let's agree to disagree on politics! You aren't going to change my views nor do I expect to change yours.


Which I think translates as, "Don't trouble me with any facts that might run counter to my narrative." Actually, I was tempted to respond that we weren't really discussing politics, but rather the empirical question of whether or not the assertions in the image were true. But I let it go...
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu May 17, 2012, 02:16 PM (17 replies)

Poll: The Practical Impact and Political Consequence of the President's position on Marriage Equali

This is an experimental poll on which I hope folks will indulge me. It is an attempt to measure two questions in a single poll. The first question is: what is the likely practical impact the President's position on marriage equality upon pro-LGBT policies (including marriage equality laws nationwide). The second is: what is the likely political consequence for the President's position in the upcoming presidential election. Please read each response carefully, as I tried to write the poll in such a way as to make each response exclusive of the other responses. Please select the one that most closely matches your assessment of the situation.

What is your view of both the practical significance and the political consequence of the President's recently announced support for marriage equality?
Posted by markpkessinger | Mon May 14, 2012, 10:23 PM (3 replies)

New Conservative Talking Point: "Obama doesn't really care about gay civil rights"

I've encountered this several times in the past couple of days on Facebook from conservative posters. To paraphrase, they are saying "the President doesn't really care about gay civil rights, and switched his stance on same-sex marriage in a cynical attempt to gain votes," and then using that as a basis to imply that one party is no better than the other when it comes to gay issues.

My response has been that, since I am not inside the President's head (nor is anyone else), I can't really speak to the issue of what he "cares" about -- I can only go by the actions he takes and the policies he endorses, and on that basis alone, I can conclude that there is a vast difference between the President/Democrats and the GOP on this subject. I have gone on to say that further, I'm not so much interested in what any president "cares" about so much as what that president actually DOES. And again, the President/Democrats win hands down over ANY Republican when it comes to gay issues!
Posted by markpkessinger | Mon May 14, 2012, 03:17 PM (0 replies)

Having now had several months to watch the workings of DU3, can I just say...

KUDOS to Skinner and anyone else involved in the redesign! Despite doom & gloom predictions over the new jury system, based on my own jury experience and on watching the discussion boards generally, I think it has worked out extraordinarily well. There is still plenty of room for differing viewpoints, dissent, etc.

Bravo, Skinner!
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri May 11, 2012, 05:57 PM (6 replies)

Having now had several months to watch the workings of DU3, can I just say...

KUDOS to Skinner and anyone else involved in the redesign! Despite doom & gloom predictions over the new jury system, based on my own jury experience and on watching the discussion boards generally, I think it has worked out extraordinarily well. There is still plenty of room for differing viewpoints, dissent, etc.

Bravo, Skinner!
Posted by markpkessinger | Fri May 11, 2012, 05:55 PM (1 replies)

Glenn Greenwald: "The president deserves credit for his actions in this civil rights area"

I know there are some here who think Greenwald is the spawn of Satan, but he genuinely gives President Obama credit for his gay marriage stance, taking a more charitable view than even many folks here have taken. Well worth a read...


http://www.salon.com/2012/05/09/e_3/singleton/
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu May 10, 2012, 12:42 PM (2 replies)

R.I.P. the administration's purported commitmet to "evidence-based" sex ed curricula

Once again, this administration sacrifice a statement of principle by the President in order to pander to a constituency that will never in a million years give this President a single vote, and in fact will do everything within its power to block every initiative and to make sure he is not re-elected. Who the hell is the political genius in the Administration who is making these kinds of calls?

He-Men and Virginity Pledges? Obama Administration Quietly Endorses Absurd Anti-Sex Curriculum
< . . . >
No notice, not even a press release to announce the addition of three programs to the coveted list of 28 deemed effective and carrying the HHS seal of approval. Until now, this list was the holy grail of the Administrationís commitment to a science-based approach to teen pregnancy prevention and a directive for grantees of the Presidentís Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI).

So why the secrecy about the new additions? What does the Administration have to hide?

Because one of the "new" programs is actually an old, dis-proven and dangerous abstinence-only-until-marriage program.

We have been around long enough to expect politics as usual in Washington, D.C. The backroom deals and secrecy should not surprise us. The jettisoning of young people and their sexual health for political expediency is not new. But, this blatant hypocrisy needs to stop. This latest example is just too much.
< . . . >


Read full article at: http://www.alternet.org/sex/155228/he-men_and_virginity_pledges_obama_administration_quietly_endorses_absurd_anti-sex_curriculum/?page=entire
Posted by markpkessinger | Thu May 3, 2012, 12:19 AM (4 replies)
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