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Saturday, August 08, 2009



Your talking about two different things here Miranda. Planting questioners at public forums is an age old political ploy, as Thomas notes. After a heated exchange, she asserted the Obama administration does it more than others. Perhaps some of that was heat of the moment, perhaps not. In any case, that has nothing to do with the administration trying to counter out right lies about health care reform.

In response to Obama's status quo statement, you ask: "How dare anyone oppose change on the airwaves or the internet?" Opposition isn't the point, lies are. Why would you be concerned about administration efforts to point out lies and make sure people have the truth? You obviously oppose reform, but are you saying lies like mandatory end-of-life counseling should be left unchallenged--that the end (killing reform) justifies the means (lies, distortion and intimidation)?


Asking supporters to identify false propaganda to help the Administration craft a rebuttal is not the same as trying to control the press. A.I. is right: Obama and I have every right to challenge false information and promote our cause. And note, we'll probably do it without going and shouting down speakers at public events. You are mongering fear, Ms. Flint, attempting to portray an effort at genuine public debate and rebuttal as some sinister government abridgement of the First Amendment.


Ms. Flint might be the funniest writer at SDP yet!


Miranda, you must have been hibernating last year or completely disinterested in politics.

The request to send chain emails is exactly the same thing the campaign did last year. Fightthesmears.com anyone? Then they would post instant responses so that concerned people who had submitted the chain emails could 'reply all' to everyone who had received that chain email full of lies. At that point hopefully nipping the thing in the butt, at least for those people.

Nipping the thing in the bud* lol
I just reread that post and saw that hahaha


Also, I think the response of Helen and Robert Gibbs' arguments has more to do with their lack of understanding of how the questions are chosen, and their anger at being excluded from this particular event.

The questions which are submitted online are tallied by their prevalence and the most commonly submitted questions are answered, not the ones that are soft balls.

They're trying to screen out crazies, is the way I see it. I don't think they're trying to stifle dissent.

It's a forum for the public in the sense that the questions are directly from the people of this country and chosen in the way I've said, anyone can submit a question, and you don't have to physically be in DC or where ever to have your question heard.


A couple of other points Miranda: You say, "Some have accused me of “fear mongering” for questioning the way Obama’s healthcare plan redefines the relationship between the government and its citizens." Not really. You weren't questioning, you were asserting the President and others may have sinister motives for reforming health care like wanting to kill granny.

My second point is admittedly tenuous, but may be applicable. The reporter/person notified in advance they would be able to pose a question was from the Huffington Post. Many in the White House press corps are downright hostile toward bloggers. I have no way of knowing if Thomas feels that way, but if she does, it might help explain the depth of her apparent ire and perhaps the accusations she leveled.

That is not to accuse her of being petty. Helen Thomas is a serious journalist with a distinguished career as are others in her group. And there are plenty of bloggers out there that hardly deserve to be raised to the level of "journalist" as would the action you cite. And if that made Thomas a bit angry, it's understandable. On the other hand, I think the Huffington post does have a number of very good writers posting on the blog so in this instance, Thomas could be wrong.


They are not two different things, A.I. They are are different aspects of one problem - the government's willingness to exert power where it should not.

You can't dismiss this by saying that it's an age old problem. Helen Thomas says
specifically that no other administration has tried to control the press so much.
And while you might want to trivialize the matter, it should not be ignored.

Americans have the right of free speech. We can say what we like, whether we are wrong or right. And we have the right to do that without government interference. It is fine for Obama administration to counter rumors it has heard about with its own arguments. I have no problem at all with it refuting what others have said. But it is wrong for the campaign to ask surfers to snitch on their friends.

Suppose President Bush has asked for conservatives to turn in anyone who suggested that Bush had gone to war to avenge his father. Suppose he had said, "Some vicious liberals are spreading disinformation about the reasons we went to war in Iraq. They are using web sites and e-mails to
promote their lies. We need your help! If you see any suspect posts or e-mails, let the Bush campaign know at [email protected]!" You can bet your britches there would have been an outcry.

Furthermore, one wonders when something becomes a lie. Sometimes the answer is clear. If, for instance, I claimed that Obama's healthcare plan mandated killing people over the age of sixty, then certainly I would be guilty of lying. On the other hand, I might simply say that Obama's plan was bad for the elderly. You might disagree with me and you might believe that what I said was false. So you might turn me into the snitch line. And that's disturbing.

And I ask again, what does it hope to accomplish by creating this snitch line?

Finally, A.I. I did not argue that the president had a plan to kill Granny. I stated that one of Obama's advisors had a plan that was a lot like pushing granny off a cliff. That was true.
Emanuel's idea of witholding life saving measures from the elderly for the benefit of younger
people is a little bit like that. Moreso, I think, than privatizing social security, which is where the
original cliff analogy came from. That is not fear mongering. That is observing and comparing, and letting people know a little bit about the views of those who are said to be steering the
health plan. I don't think that's unreasonable.

You do have a right to dispute false claims. I am not arguing against that, so Cory, Dear Cory,
please don't misrepresent my argument. Instead, I am arguing that the government asking private citizens to snitch on each other is disturbing. If it was asking for help identifying criminals,
that would be one thing, but this is another.

FS: I'm not sure how saying that someone has done something before makes what they're doing any better, but thank you for your comments.

Oldhand: Glad to be of service.


"What do the Obama bloggers hope to accomplish? Suppose they find misinformation about Obamacare on someone’s blog. Then what? Will they ask the author to change his blog? Will they post counterarguments on their own blog? It is unlikely that the same base will read them. And the idea of the government asking people to tattle-tale on dissenters is disturbing. Had Bush requested such a thing, Democrats would have been up in arms – and rightly so. But because this is Obama’s plan, Democrats are lining up to help."

Miranda, this is what I was responding to, you seemed to not understand what was going on, I think you still don't... maybe in regards to anything lol


You are a crazy person, I really don't know how much clearer I can state that...

lol... all I can do is shake my head and marvel at your craziness. Why Ken Blanchard lets you post anything on his blog is beyond me.


FS: Perhaps you can use entertaining crazy people to qualify for Obama's future tuition tax credit.


Cory and A.I.: Let's be honest for a moment. If the Bush Administration had issued a call for people to report disinformation to the White House, how would the Left have reacted? You guys (maybe not you two, but FS, I am guessing, along with the Daily KOS and the New York Times) would have screamed bloody murder and waved copies of 1984 in the air. The press would have talked about "enemies lists," and photos of Karl Rove wearing a brownshirt would have circulated about the blogosphere. Am I not right?

Such a reaction against a similar Bush policy would probably be overblown, and this one probably is. But it was a very silly thing for the White House to have done. It comes way too close to asking your citizens to spy on one another, and as the Weekly Standard points out, a collection of 'disinformation' about healthcare would include a lot of names, e-mail addresses, and other personal information. There is some possibility, I gather, that it would run afoul of laws designed to protect privacy and prevent domestic spying. At any rate, it was an unforced error of significant proportions. It suggests a kind of blindness on the administration. They instinctively think that nothing is objectionable if they do.

ps. FS: I do not 'allow' Ms. Flint to blog. I invited her to blog. Boy was that a good idea.


Um... he's asking people to forward chain emails, not report people. WTF?


Had Bush any policies of substance he was pursuing, and had people on the crazy written brash lies about those policies, and spread them around by word of mouth and chain emails I'm sure a call by Bush to get the correct information out there would not have been met with allegations of Big Brother.

But, alas, I'm willing to bet you cannot produce say, 5 chains emails from anti-bush or anti-mccain people that are patently false.

I can produce 50 widely distributed patently false emails from anti-obama sources... For every 1 you produce, I'll research and link 10. So... I challenge you to produce 1 false email and its rebuttal (regarding a president and his policies or presidential candidate and his policies). I'll give you 10 and theirs in response.


(my point being that the right tends to spread this disinformation a lot more than the left)

Furthermore, as I was trying to tell Miranda (but she seems unable to understand my English) this is something that Obama did in the general election and no one cried foul. There's absolutely nothing sinister or shady about this AT ALL!


That Obama sure is one sinister S.O.B.! So what will be the next step Miranda, internment camps, public executions or just house arrests?

Oops, I just sprained my tongue and my cheek is all stretched out. I wonder if my insurance plan will pay for repairs or deny coverage?


Miranda, not to derail this thread, but I tried posting this in the thread about cash for clunkers and it keeps getting deleted, I think that thread may have the max # of posts allowed. If I'm wrong feel free to relocate this post there:

Some simple maths:

A car that goes 15 miles per gallon vs a car that goes 30 miles per gallon.

Over 200,000 miles that's 13,333 gallons spent vs 6,666 gallons spent.

That's 6,666 gallons in savings.

The cash for clunkers program has 3 Billion dollars in it and provides a max subsidy of 4,500 dollars.

3,000,000,000/4,500 = 666,666 subsidized, fuel efficient cars.

666,666 * 6,666 gallons = 4,443,995,556 gallons of gasoline saved over the life time of these vehicles.

Now let's say that each gallon of gasoline costs 2 dollars...

That's 8,887,991,112 dollars of savings in gasoline costs, passed on to consumers.

Now as to the question of whether it is better to produce 666,666 cars or burn 4,443,995,556 gallons of gasoline. I don't know the answer, but I bet it takes more fuel to run a car 200,000 miles than it does to produce it. If that's true... (and I'm no expert, but it seems likely that it is since 13,333 gallons of gasoline cost roughly the same as the original cost of a vehicle itself) it has less of an effect on global warming to build a new fuel efficient car than it does to run a bad one for its lifetime.

Either way, this policy has a positive effect on petrodictatorships, probably has a positive effect on global warming, and has a net positive effect on the economy in the form of not losing the opportunity cost of 5.8 billion dollars on fuel imports (accounting for the 3 billion of the cost of the original subsidy) and has a positive effect on the air quality in our cities and thus a positive effect for our health individually and socially, and probably further savings in the form of health care, and further savings (perhaps currently unquantifiable savings) in the form of averted global warming effects' costs (which are going to be very substantial, at least as the Pentagon sees it, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/science/earth/09climate.html ).

Does that out balance the environmental manufacturing costs of creating these vehicles in the first place? I don't know, but it sure seems like it would defy common sense if it didn't.

All that being said... whatever the negative effects of this program, it certainly has some good ones that are not trivial in the least.


I haven't made either of those arguments. But I am amazed at how quickly
those who were once such staunch supporters of a right to privacy are
so willing to march along without questioning moves like this one.

FS: I understand what you're saying. But saying that someone has done something
before does not make it right.

The mere fact that you are posting on this thread means that at least one other person cares about this issue. A simple internet search provides evidence that a whole host of others do. I suppose I ought to tell Obama that you're spreading disinformation.


I see you've responded to that... and about the cash for clunkers? Do you admit that your core argument was mistaken?


Not at all. I'm not sure where you're getting your numbers from, but as I understand it, traders can get a $3,500 credit for buying a car that gets only 4 mpg more than their previous vehicle.

I'm getting that figure from Minnesota Public Radio here:

The article also says the following:

"People who drive large vans, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles -- the biggest gas guzzlers -- can purchase a new vehicle that gets just 2 more miles to the gallon to qualify for the lower amount."

And the government has claimed that the majority of trade-ins have been trucks and SUVS. (Same article)

Furthermore, the environmental damage of the program lies not only in fuel usage, but also in toxic emissions. And considering only the fuel used during the manufacturing process is rather short sited. You also have to take into account the environmental cost of gathering and preparing every material that goes into a car. The glass, the rubber for the tires, the metal, the plastic. All of it. And then you have to take into account the impact of filling up our
landfills with extra non-biodegradable material.

So I still think the plan is bad for the environment.


They're different problems, and global warming is worse. Plus, the government does a pretty good job of regulating toxic emissions.

The main concern is fuel usage since that is the environmental impact of greatest concern for humans right now. It impacts the livability of our human environment and on a global scale, which is so much worse than local effects of any resource development. From floods, to droughts, to rising sea levels, to hurricanes, to other severe weather conditions not to mention unprecedented biodiversity loss which is costing us in ways yet unknown. Global warming is bad for the entire planet, local manufacturing affects at worst a single ecosystem.

I agree that the standard for the upgrading of light-trucks is bullshit and needs to be a much improved gas mileage standard. But, the people who get the most from the trade-ins are those who get the biggest mileage upgrade. (3500 vs 4500, I figure most people would go for the class 1 car to class 2, which is the truck to nontruck cause you get the 4500 for that, and looking at what's been traded in vs what people are getting that does seem to be the case)

I just looked at the top 4 traded in vehicles, all Ford Explorers, get 12-15 MPG and the top 4 purchased vehicles get 30,30,30 and 45 MPG averaged between city and highway. So I figured 15 for 30 is probably the most common trade.

1. 1998 Ford Explorer
2. 1997 Ford Explorer
3. 1996 Ford Explorer
4. 1999 Ford Explorer

1. Ford Focus
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Corolla
4. Toyota Prius


fascist, you keep talking about global warming. are you talking about the warming that occured on earth or on one of the other 7 planets in previous years? or did you mean to say "the global cooling" that has ocurred more recently?


I guess to make the point a little more clear, no one but you gives two shits. I can see the head lines now in the post and times: "SDP Blogger Miranda Breaks Story About Sith Lord Obama" "Amazing Investigative Journalism, SDP Blog Miranda!" This is a non issue, you're grasping at straws.

lexrex, I will not engage you on your beliefs about the reality of global warming. Conspiracy theories attempting to derail global warming reality are no better than birthers or 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Global warming is the reality. That global warming is occurring and that human activity is a primary driving factor is the consensus of every industrialized country's national environmental regulation agency and the consensus of the international scientific community.


so in other words, no matter that the earth has been cooling the last 10 years; that antarctic's ice is growing; that while earth was warming, there was similar warming on the other planets in our system; or that there have been warming and cooling trends all throughout history -- some more drastic than what we recently experienced -- even though there were no SUVs or oil companies.

ya, let's not discuss that.


I'm not a climatologist, I defer to them for information about global climate change. And when every single reliable expert source in the world is telling me that something is one way, and you are telling me that it's another. You tell me who I should put my faith in. Honestly, tell me who I should put my faith in, If you were me.

Now, you seem to be holding on to some talking points, probably without understanding the physics and other sciences behind what you're saying. Maybe you have multiple PhDs in Physics, I could be wrong. But, I would suggest you seek out some reliable sources and rely on those for your analysis. Not media outlets, not some pundit you like, seek out the source of the information itself through a trusted outlet like Wikipedia or a government agency.


for example. And, for information regarding their sources and the discussion surrounding this encyclopedic entry check out their discussion page.
(over 130 references for this wiki entry!)
And a lot of suggested reading at the bottom of the page.

The finding that the climate has warmed in recent decades and that this warming is likely attributable to human influence has been endorsed by every national science academy that has issued a statement on climate change, including the science academies of all of the major industrialized countries. At present, no scientific body of national or international standing has issued a dissenting statement. A small minority of professional associations have issued noncommittal statements.

Anyway, you're derailing the hell out of this thread, lol.

There's only one post left... apparently the max post # is 27.

Let's save the last post for Miranda.


FS: If there is one thing that is true about global warming, it is that there is no consensus on it.

While some prominent organizations agree with your view, many of the most brilliant minds in science and geology disagree. Some think global warming is a scam, others think that it exists, but that man's role in it is negligible. Others believe that it's effects are less severe than those
you side with claim.

Among these dissenters are:

Dr. David Bromwich, President of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology

Dr. Edward Wegman, Former Chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Hendrik Tennekes, Former Director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Dr. Christopher Landsea, Chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones

Dr. Antonino Zichichi, former president of the European Physical Society, (known for discovering nuclear antimatter)

Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, founding director of the International Arctic Research Center

Dr. Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at M.I.T., member, the National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate,

Dr. Richard Tol--Principal researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit, and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, at Carnegie Mellon University,

Dr. Eigils Friis-Christensen--director of the Danish National Space Centre, vice-president of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy,

These are just a few. You can find their arguments in Lawrence Solomon's book The Deniers.

But let's suppose that you are right. According to the EIA, manufacturing accounts for about 80% of industrial energy consumption. It also accounts for about 80% of industrial energy-related carbon emissions.

According to administration, "In 1994, three industries, petroleum, chemicals, and primary metals, emitted almost 60 percent of the energy-related carbon in manufacturing."

It further specifies that the metals industry has a particularly high carbon industry, "due to the extensive use of coal (primarily in the iron and steel industry) and electricity (in the aluminum and iron and steel industries)."

So the idea that driving cars contributes to global warming, while manufacturing them does not is not very sound.

I am glad that consumers have chosen more efficient cars, but the plan was still poorly thought out. Obama is fortunate that they didn't. And I am still not convinced that the increase in MPG makes up for the harm of unnecessary manufacturing.


Also, since you have been very insistent on obtaining responses to your comments,
I think it would be fair for you to engage lexrex. You certainly have the time
and he has been quite civil to you.


but miranda, the fascist wants us to read wikipedia. how can you argue against that?


Miranda, I am sad for you.


Oh Miranda, how very sad you make me. Wanting to believe something doesn't make it true. Perhaps you should read up a little more on those people's claims. Most of them contest one aspect or another of a particular climate change model, not the entire theory itself nor the conclusions of the IPCC.

It's funny the guy who wrote the book that you're getting these people from "The Dissenters" provides as evidence that there's no consensus "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there's only a 90-plus-per-cent likelihood that global warming endangers the world as we know it."

Only 90% chance! You're right, not really worth worrying about! I mean... if someone put a gun to my head with 10 chambers and 9 bullets I would have no problem pulling the trigger, cause it's only a 90% chance that I'll get shot! Who caaaaaaaares about a 90% chance?

Besides, we have 9 other planets that are ready to roll if we mess this one up. So statistically speaking we should at least get to keep 1 right?

You do not know what you are talking about.

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