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Spag
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It's good to have you back, Joe. I'm sure we will agree on most things and agree to disagree on others.
Toggle Commented Jul 3, 2013 on Greetings at Triad Conservative
Ed, you complain about the negative effect of rich people and corporations on politics all of the time. Yet when it comes to your circle of old money, Irving Park rich people and corporations and their influence on politics it's a different story. THAT act is growing tired. George is only asking the questions about real life concerns that you so often merely allude to when it comes to politics outside of Greensboro. George wants to follow the money that you claim is destroying our system elsewhere. You seem to be in denial that it could possibly be a factor here EVEN as you allude to "donors" who have an agenda. Show some consistency for a change. On one topic after another your positions/values seem to shift depending on your own agenda or interests.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2012 on The Holliday plan at EdCone.com
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Back in high school, Tom Goldstein was on the Irmo High School debate team. I got to know him a little during that time (my teammate and current collegiate debate coach God Brian Lain knew Tom better) as our team and his team frequently met at tournaments and Tom even traveled with us one time. He was dedicated to debate to the point of obsession and I recall didn't care too much about his other subjects. A brilliant guy through and through who refused to lose an argument. When everyone else was trying to get some sleep, you could find Tom sitting in the hallway in the wee hours of the morning reviewing his arguments and coming up with new ones. He was and is one of a kind. I haven't seen him in 25 years, but I have read with great interest about his making a name for himself as a Supreme Court regular.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2012 on Firstest with the leastest at EdCone.com
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"It is interesting that people just refuse to address the simple formula" The "simple" formula has been addressed, you just don't like the answer. It's clear that you believe that there is only one logical answer, and that is why you have tuned out to the alternatives presented. Universal health insurance is a broad term that you have not adequately defined, but nonetheless could be one solution- but it's not the only solution. The argument against it, whatever "it" is, may be that there are better solutions. You could also ask "4. what is the argument against a government run health care program paid for by taxation". Not the same thing as "universal health INSURANCE" though, is it? What is the argument against hospitals providing free care to everyone? Or price controls? What is the argument against the ideas that I proposed? The answer is that some ideas are better than others and because you refuse to describe #4 in greater detail, it's hard to really know what you are talking about. Single payer insurance or universal health care? They aren't the same thing. You combine the terms in a way that makes your position unclear. Are you asking whether anyone disagrees in principle that we would prefer everyone to have insurance or are you asking for feedback on a specific plan? It's also interesting the many times that you refuse to address simple and direct questions posed to you. RE Andrew: I'm far from hyper-sensitive when it comes to religious issues. You must have missed the part where I mentioned being a religious skeptic. I am quite adept at rooting out hypocrisy and phony arguments, though. Your description of the conservative view of health care as well as its solution is at odds with reality and your dig at Christian conservatives- who seem to be your real target - did not escape notice. We all have our issues. They piss me off sometimes, too, but I don't share your uninformed and often hostile view as to what drives their politics.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2012 on The thing about healthcare at EdCone.com
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Andrew, I did address the uninsured. There are three types of uninsured: those who can't afford insurance, those who can but choose not to, and those who are denied coverage. The first are addressed with the safety net, the second are more problematic. It appears that many on the Left believe that you address the second by merging them with the first because paying for insurance shouldn't interfere with maintaining a middle-class lifestyle. In one case we are referring to making health care more affordable for those who truly can't afford it, and in the other the drive to bring down costs seems motivated by lifestyle considerations. College tuition may be a more apt analogy. I can't afford college for my kids, the payment on the new Lexus, the soccer team dues, and the McMansion payments if I have to pay for insurance. Something must be done. That may be a side benefit of reform if costs are too high even in an entirely market based pricing system, but that is not a reason to artificially reduce costs or pass them on to pay for those who truly need the safety net. As for the third group, regulations that prevent the denial of coverage by impose a waiting period for those who have pre-existing conditions is one way to address that issue that I raised earlier. The cost of that coverage could also be means tested. Finally, Jews attend temple. Muslims attend a mosque. Christians attend church. You are right that you said nothing about Christians directly, but you did refer to "church". Hence the "thinly-veiled" reference in my earlier comment. This wouldn't be the first time, either. Your contempt is barely hidden below the surface, and your narrow-minded view is not unlike those folks in New York City who couldn't believe that Bush won in 2004 because nobody they knew was voting for him.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2012 on The thing about healthcare at EdCone.com
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Andrew, you really need to broaden your circle of friends. Your MSNBC/Krugman view of who makes up the conservatives in this country is at odds with reality. The Christian bashing that goes on here is also a nice touch. Most Jews are liberals, so maybe we should start attacking their beliefs, too. The menace of Christian conservatives sounds like an eerily familiar theme. What should be done about them? Shameful thinly veiled baiting that only highlights the demonization that I speak of. Not only are their positions bad, they have a bad pedigree behind them. Pesky conservatives. Always run to Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. The solution to everything. What a bunch of ignorant, Bible-thumping morons. If you broadened your circle of friends, you might actually realize that you are way off base for most conservatives especially when it comes to fiscal matters. I offered a starting point that combines some government regulations with the private sector. I don't know of anyone on the Right who is opposed to a safety net. But people on the Right don't want to pay for those who don't need the safety net but are simply irresponsible. Hence the opposition to any program that seems to permit others to shirk their personal responsibility. It may also be that health care simply is too expensive. Insurance and the government may actually contribute to those costs because they both distort the markets. If a car is too expensive for most people either the car company gets by only selling to a few people for a high profit margin or they cut the price or they don't build the car. But if the cost of the car is subsidized then they may go on charging a higher price for it than a free market might be willing to pay. On the other hand, those damn Christian hating liberals seem to think that costs are only high because of greed. That's why they are so resistant to market oriented reforms that the Jesus freak conservatives keep touting. It's all a facade. Those Right wingers don't want to bring costs down, they just want people to DIE if they won't come to Jesus. They're all a bunch of rich, greedy, bastards whose real agenda is filling the coffers of the church. Of course, then there is the reality that most conservatives aren't rich or greedy although I'm sure quite a few are bastards. The majority don't base their politics on religious beliefs. But why let that destroy a good narrative? I don't think John or I have ever invoked religion as a basis for a political position. I can't speak for John, but I know that the reason I have never done so is because religion doesn't inform my ideas. I'm actually quite skeptical of most religions and I am not a fan of invoking it in political debates or attacking it in political debates. The same can't be said for a lot of people.
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2012 on The thing about healthcare at EdCone.com
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I agree with Ed. See, that wasn't so hard.
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2012 on Free the food trucks at EdCone.com
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"The argument against: Barack Obama." Yeah, because pssst...he's black. Just like Bill and Hillary Clinton were when they tried the same thing. If Obama isn't re-elected, it's because he's black. History shows that every president who ever lost their bid for re-election was black. It's true.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2012 on The thing about healthcare at EdCone.com
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David, that's hardly an intelligent analysis. What it comes down to is that the Administration still calls this a penalty and insists it is not a tax. Their fans just refuse to admit they are lying. It's kind of like when a certain blowhard around here accused people who believe marriage is between one man and one woman of being bigots, but couldn't bring himself to say the same thing about Barack Obama who also believed (at the time) that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. The twists and turns to avoid the stark intellectual honesty and subsequent defeat in the debate over stupid conservatives was and is still a sight to behold. When you get cornered in, change the subject and come with a new justification. When that fails- as it did here when the Administration still pulled the "it's not a tax" line, just do what Ed always does when defeat is certain- go dark and hope the discussion fades away. You do win some and lose some in court. It happens all the time. But it's the way the loss occurred that makes this one troubling. I said at the outset that Roberts made a decent case- IF we were actually talking about something that was presented as a tax. But we weren't. It's not about the outcome. I suspect that may actually lead to a less resistant path to the eventual defeat of Obamacare. It's about the method. We have a Court finding something to be a tax that its proponents still insist is not. Either the Court rewrote the law and the meaning of the word "penalty" or Obama and Company lied then and continue to lie now. There is no escaping that reality. The stupid arguments to the contrary have all fallen away. The real people who need to man up are those who just cannot admit what happened. They never do.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2012 on Tribalism at EdCone.com
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"Either Obama and the Democrats lied when they said it wasn't a tax, or the Supreme Court engaged in activism when they decided that it was." I'm still waiting for Ed and now Roch and a few others to pick one. Despite all the noise, spin, and dumbed down slogans, that conclusion remains. So which one is it, guys?
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2012 on Tribalism at EdCone.com
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Bubba, the important thing isn't what it really says but what you want people to think it says. We went through this same charade the other day when Ed passed on the false idea that a legislator from Michigan was banned from speaking for using the word "vagina". That isn't what happened when one examined the facts, but who cares, right ? The UN is a global organization and it made recommendations for a global policy right down to the localities. Some people at the local level think that's a good idea. Some don't. I guess pointing this out and opposing it makes one a conspiracy theorist. I suppose if someone like Zack Matheny were to propose that Greensboro adopt some of the Agenda 21 ideas, that would make him a powerful person engaged in a conspiracy. Or maybe that would just make him a local guy who thinks the proposals are a good idea. Of course, anyone who disagrees would ipso facto be a conspiracy theorist according to Ed et al. Those who opposed health care must be conspiracy theorists, too. You know, a big idea with far reaching ramifications pushed by government with all kinds of small details in the fine print with a socialist underpinning. And there are those who opposed the Amendment One conspiracy to impose fundamental Christianity on the rest of the country. Really, they did. Go check it out. In fact, I think the Democratic candidate for governor endorsed that conspiracy. The panic mode continues and it's really starting to get ridiculous out there.
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2012 on Debating the important things at EdCone.com
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That's your evidence, Hoggard ? Can you provide me one quote from the person who banned her from speaking LATER (something that is being overlooked) because she used the word "vagina"? I've read a lot of articles where she says that's why she was banned. I've read blogs and some news outlets drawing that conclusion. But what I haven't seen are any comments by the GOP leadership that support those claims. They have said that they were concerned about decorum based on a series of stunts from her cabal. From an article in International Business Times: "The legislators, state Reps. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, and Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, said majority floor leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, and others didn't offer an explanation as to why they were silenced. Brown said she and Byrum were instead "gaveled down without a cause" Wednesday when they voiced their opposition to HB5711..... ...Brown said when she asked about the ban no rationale was provided. Instead, she came up with a few of her own. "Perhaps they are silencing me because I dared to speak out yesterday on religious oppression. In the speech on the house floor to oppose a sweeping new anti-abortion law I urged law makers to be considerate of other people's religious beliefs," she told reporters. "As a Jew, I understand that my beliefs are in the minority. I understand that many people hold different opinions and I respect that. It would have never occurred to me to force my views onto someone else. All I did was urge my fellow lawmakers to extend me that same consideration. "Today I am banned from speaking on the house floor. Stopped from doing the very job I was elected to do," she said. "Maybe my message of religious freedom didn't sit well with the opposition. Or maybe they are banning me because I dare say "vagina" the correct medical name of a part of a woman's anatomy that these lawmakers are trying to regulate. Isn't that something?" So what it comes down to is because she thinks she was banned for saying "vagina" among the other list of possibilities she provided, then it must be true. Hoggard, you and those who are claiming opinion and spin as fact are the ones who need to get back in the real world. This was a manufactured story followed by manufactured outrage in order to advance a manufactured narrative. And they think conservatives are the stupid ones...
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2012 on Whipped at EdCone.com
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"Never mind the fact that initially, the GOP members admitted it was because she used the word vagina." Not according to the article: "My concern was the decorum of the House, not of anything she said," Stamas told The Detroit News. "It has nothing to do with the word vagina," Adler said. So there is a point right here and you are way over there Ged, nowhere close to it. Also worth noting that the king of drive-by shootings has done just that once again.
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2012 on Whipped at EdCone.com
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The story appeared in the NYT for the purpose of hurting Romney, just as some of his primary opponents did. The strategy is to divide and conquer. Now that there are no critics on the Right left to attack Romney on this issue, the Left is picking up the slack and pretending indifference by saying "Santorum did it". Bubba rightly points out that this won't be the end. Obama's surrogates will continue to indirectly attack Romney in this fashion. One has to ask why the NYT chose to print this article written by someone that is obscure and not even a political actor. Mason concedes that his views aren't shared with the majority of Mormons so who is he speaking to and what purpose does the Times have in publishing it ? They did so for the same reason Ed linked to it- to keep it as a campaign issue by hoping the attack on Christians will create a divide in Romney's support. It was wrong when Santorum and Co. did it and it is wrong now. Obama and his ranks won't come out and say they think Mormons are weird. Instead, the strategy is to send the message to evangelicals that Romney isn't one of them. This is no different than those who try to undermine Obama by claiming he's a Muslim. If Romney was black, this kind of article would be labeled as an appeal to racism, you know, "he's not one of us". It's a creative strategy- find an obscure associate professor who claims "we're not like them" to send remind a group of people that this must also mean "they aren't like us". Anyway, why pick on the Mormons when picking on Scientologists is so much more fun ?
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2012 on Self-definition at EdCone.com
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It's global warming's fault. Wait, that was when there was a drought.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2012 on Blue skies, wait, wrong metaphor at EdCone.com
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That John Hayes deserves to be identified so he can be ostracized for his views. Once the people know who he is and just how out of the mainstream and ridiculous his views are, he will become a pariah until he conforms to the one right position that is known and espoused by the self-appointed arbitrator of truth.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2012 on Build it right at EdCone.com
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It's not just the landowners of the site in question, but also surrounding landowners who may see changes in the value of their property. Someone also has to build the facility. People are only raising such questions because Greensboro has a track record of providing tax benefits to a select few using the tax dollars of the many and formulating other policies whereby tax dollars and/or other financial benefits seem to make their way into the pockets of the same cast of characters. The election of Robbie Perkins heightens the scrutiny because of his many financial ties and potential conflicts.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2012 on Build it right at EdCone.com
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Roch, you'd have to ask them. I do know that some of us who live in Oak Ridge but have property interests in Greensboro that are affected by tax rates should be concerned. Regardless, good government everywhere should take care of fundamental needs first unless of course your opinion of good government is relative.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2012 on Build it right at EdCone.com
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A few points: The language in this platform is not that different than the 2008 platform. That platform stated that sexual orientation should not be a classification for civil rights laws. It is not an invitation or endorsement of bigotry as it has been presented on liberal blogs; instead it merely expresses support for current Constitutional law precedent where the Court has refused to recognize sexual orientation as a suspect class. Some people actually believe that who you sleep with, who you find attractive, and your sexual proclivities are a ridiculous thing to consider when making policy. Consider them crazy, I suppose. Such a position does not advocate discrimination against gays. The law still protects them in the same way it would a straight person who only has a thing for blondes. E.g., it is still unlawful to fire someone solely because they are gay, or deny them a drivers license, etc. If the GOP were to endorse affirmative discrimination against gays, I would join Hoggard in leaving the party. I don't believe this platform does that. Interestingly enough, the 2008-2009 Democratic platform listed a host of classifications that should be free from discrimination including such things as health care, retirement programs, and housing. None of those are legally recognized classifications for purposes of civil rights laws. That platform also included recognized classifications such as religion, gender, and ethnicity. Notably absent was race. The platform stated it opposed ALL forms of discrimination, but that is an untenable position legally. The law discriminates all of the time for a number of reasons so long as their is a rational basis for doing so. Laws against incest, driving age restrictions, etc. are all discriminatory so claiming to oppose all discrimination is intellectually dishonest. Second, Ged wrote "The precise outcome will never be known because the recount was stopped partly completed by the Supreme Court. Hence Sal's "he got cheated". Partially true because any recount is bound to be imprecise. However, the media consortium NORC did go back and count the actual ballots that Gore wanted recounted and the result was the Bush still won. What really killed Gore was the morons who voted thought they were voting for Gore but instead voted for Pat Buchanan. But you have no right to intelligent voters and you can't fix stupid.
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2012 on Planking at EdCone.com
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So raising taxes on the non-rich is okay because it's just a surcharge to service debt? A regressive tax is a tax that disproportionately affects lower incomes. Thus, an 8% "surcharge" regardless of its purpose will adversely affect a person with a lower income more than it would a person with a higher income. In his ongoing quest to discredit me, Andrew Brod plays antics with semantics and glosses over a point that is often made by liberals when ideas such as a flat income tax are discussed. No foe is worth sacrificing your professional reputation. By the way, It's been a few weeks since A1 passed. Have any of those parade of horrors come to pass yet? Above all else, be true to what you know.
Toggle Commented May 31, 2012 on Running in place at EdCone.com
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It's either regressive or it's not, Andrew. I take it that you support this regressive tax, then? I suppose that the service the grocery store provides in selling you a loaf or bread which carries a food tax is also a "bogus claim" regarding a fee for service that isn't regressive. On the other hand, if non-rich people do attend the PAC, they would be paying more as a percentage of their income, wouldn't they ? Isn't that anathema to the Left ?
Toggle Commented May 30, 2012 on Running in place at EdCone.com
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The ticket tax is an opportunity cost, Billy. That's why I question the use of such a device for the stated purpose during such dismal economic times. As a general rule, taxes should be for necessities not luxuries, especially in the current economic climate.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2012 on Running in place at EdCone.com
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"I still think Greensboro can become a major urban destination while being unique." For what purpose should Greensboro strive to become that ? Bigger for the sake of being bigger ?
Toggle Commented May 30, 2012 on Paying for DPAC at EdCone.com
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"The "saving the taxpayers money" excuse has been used for years to hold this city back." I know. Stupid meddling taxpayers. Hey Ron, why don't you get the rich people who write your checks to pay for all these projects that we need to move forward? Meanwhile, the City has to cut salaries, services, and layoff staff because the money from those stupid taxpayers is no longer enough. But instead of restoring basic services, let's take that stupid taxpayer money and build more toys for rich people- so we can be like all of those other "big cities" that are plagued by debt. After all, there's nothing like watching a play downtown, because you know - it's downtown. Poor Raleigh and Charlotte, Springsteen skipped over them this year to play a sold out house in Mayberry. If Greensboro doesn't offer what you want, you can always move. Median age in Raleigh - 31. Median age Durham - 32. Median age in Winston-Salem - 34.6. Median age in Charlotte - 32.7. Median age in Atlanta - 32.9. Median age in Greensboro - 33. Median age in New York City - 34. Median age in Asheville - 39.2. Median age in Wilmington - 34.9. The idea that "young people" (who eventually get old) are fleeing Greensboro because there aren't enough taxpayer funded toys is not rooted in reality. "Greensboro just recently figured out what it has to do and progress is being made because of those efforts." In other words, after I cited things that were done in other cities unique to their circumstances, I conclude that what Greensboro needs (in order to....?) is COPY them! We can then pit our corporate welfare crony capitalists against theirs to see which city can provide the lowest tax package/free ride to lure businesses here. We can then turn around and raise the tax rate on those "naysayers" to make up for it because obviously lowering the tax rate on everyone would be too fair and not enough to pay for the toys. "Look mom, no taxes! Let's go to the downtown theater that the pissant naysayers paid for! Watch out for that pothole!" Folks, there is a unity of mindset that is spreading across America. It is a revolt against crony-capitalism and tax and spend big government liberalism. Both have wrecked the budgets of cities and states and have little to show for it. The middle class is tired of getting screwed by those above and below them. Yes, the tide has changed.
Toggle Commented May 30, 2012 on Paying for DPAC at EdCone.com
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You're right, Andrew. "Occupy" is a group of clean cut adults who should be admired for their law abiding ways. You go right ahead and stand with them.
Toggle Commented May 25, 2012 on Goings on about the town at EdCone.com
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