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  1. #41
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post

    And I stand by it.
    It's irrelevant if you "stand by your claim" especially when you're unwilling to substantiate it with any evidence. You can't make a claim and then hide behind it by claiming it's your "opinion" when being challenged to support it.

    Your inability or unwillingness to support the claim that 'Obama's management of the national energy policy has led to a $3.75 rise in the price of gas' will be noted as a concession on your part that no support can substantiate this claim.
    Last edited by KingOfTheEast; July 24th, 2011 at 06:27 AM.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  2. #42
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast View Post
    It's irrelevant if you "stand by your claim" especially when you're unwilling to substantiate it with any evidence. You can't make a claim and then hide behind it by claiming it's your "opinion" when being challenged to support it.

    Your inability or unwillingness to support the claim that 'Obama's management of the national energy policy has led to a $3.75 rise in the price of gas' will be noted as a concession on your part that no support can substantiate this claim.
    How about his own words?



    In case you don't want to watch it, he says that under his plan, "energy prices would necessarily skyrocket."

    He has driven up the prices on gasoline by depriving the markets of supply in the form of a "permatorium," even defying a Federal judge's direct order to lift the moratorium by refusing to issue permits, except to the one company who got us into the mess that he claims was the justification for the moratorium in the first place: BP.

    He's made one of the largest Federal land grabs in history, specifically over the most resource-rich parts of the country, in the name of conservation. He has continually pushed for increased regulations on an industry that is already regulated to the point of stagnation, and for no noticeable or proveable effect.

    Obama's policies were, by his own admission, designed to make "energy prices... skyrocket." He has acted on this premise from day one, and nothing he has done suggests otherwise.

    So, there you have your support. Maybe now we can address the point itself instead of blindly defending the Former Junior Senator from Illinois, our Campaigner-in-Chief.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    How about his own words?

    In case you don't want to watch it, he says that under his plan, "energy prices would necessarily skyrocket."
    Did you even watch the video yourself? Probably not, otherwise you wouldn't have misquoted him.

    He says (at 39 seconds of the video): "Electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." Not "energy prices" (which is a more broader statement).

    In any case, we're discussing the price of gas. Unless you want to argue that electricity rates have a direct affect on the price of gas, it's irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    He has driven up the prices on gasoline by depriving the markets of supply in the form of a "permatorium,"
    The term "permatorium" in the context you're using it is unbearably misleading (and a term absent from any English dictionary).

    There is a misconception that the moratorium applied to all drilling and oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. This is inaccurate. In fact, this factcheck.org article explains that the moratorium did not effect the oil wells that were already in production, and many shallow-water permits were approved even after the moratorium was issued.

    Even the chart below, provided by the Energy Information Administration, shows that oil production didn't drastically decline as many people (especially Republicans) would have us believe. You can see that even after the moratorium was issued in May of 2010, production of crude oil was still relatively high. There was no drastic shortfall that would've suddenly increased the price of gas by any significant factor (and certainly not the $1.96 spike that Cstamford claimed).




    In fact, oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was already expected to decline, even BEFORE the BP oil spill, by about 110,000 barrels. Production elsewhere in the United States would offset some of the decline. In all, it was expected that oil production in the Gulf would decline by 110,000 barrels per day, amounting to six-tenths of 1 percent of 19.30 million barrels of oil consumed every single day in the United States this year. It's such a small number that it barely makes an iota of a difference in actuality.

    As Fedel Gheit, a former Mobil Oil executive who is now a senior energy analyst and would have authority to speak on this subject, said on March 17, 2011:

    Only the naive will think that [the moratorium] will have a direct impact. It doesn’t even move the needle. Is 100,000 barrels (a day) going to make a difference? It’s not. A cent or two per gallon? It might. But there are much bigger factors. It is like a perfect storm.

    ...the naive indeed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    even defying a Federal judge's direct order to lift the moratorium by refusing to issue permits,
    Challenge to support a claim.

    Support that Obama "def[ied] a Federal judge's direct order to lift the moratorium by refusing to issue permits."

    After you have provided a sufficient source for this unsupported claim, you can then move to explain how the moratorium was the direct cause (or at least, a significant cause) for the rising price of fuel. Falling short of this, I will ask that your retract your statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    He's made one of the largest Federal land grabs in history, specifically over the most resource-rich parts of the country, in the name of conservation.
    Red herring. You're diverting attention away from the issue at hand which is: the cause of the increasing price of fuel. You have not shown how this "land grab" contributed to the increased fuel price from the time Obama stepped into office until present.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    He has continually pushed for increased regulations on an industry that is already regulated to the point of stagnation, and for no noticeable or proveable effect.
    You have made no casual link between these policies and the price of gas. We're discussing how Obama's policies have led to the increase in the price of gas. All you're doing is pointing to policies you disagree with. Are you expecting me to then accept, at face value, that they are the cause for the increase in gas prices? That won't work. Show how these policies have been the cause for the increase in the price of gas from $1.79 to $3.75 on average, as was originally claimed.

    Remember that to make the claim that Obama is the cause for the increase in the rising price of fuel, you have to ignore how other substantial factors contribute to the rising fuel prices. These factors would include: the growing oil demands of China and India relative to the decreased global supply of oil, the shortfall in the oil supply as a result of the Libyan conflict along with the unwillingness of OPEC countries to compensate for the shortfall in oil supplies, the speculation by investors, summertime driving season, among others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    Obama's policies were, by his own admission, designed to make "energy prices... skyrocket."
    Err...except that you misquoted him, and you continue to do so again. His statements were related to a cap and trade system, which hasn't even been implemented, might I add. So there isn't even a possibility of showing a direct casual link between the statement in the video about a proposed "cap and trade" policy (which is, up until now, only a suggestion and not a policy) and the price of gas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    So, there you have your support. Maybe now we can address the point itself instead of blindly defending the Former Junior Senator from Illinois, our Campaigner-in-Chief.
    To imply that I'm "blindly defending" Obama is disingenuous. I have continually noted the errors in his decisions during critical points of his presidency. Unlike extreme ideologues (not naming names), my arguments are not subjected to the whim of any single political party, nor to any single public official. I am only concerned with the facts. And if an inconsistent and false statement flies in the face of reality (like the one made by Cstamford, which you are currently defending), I will challenge it and refute it regardless who made it, or who it is being made against. I'm not one of the blind partisan-hacks that you can patronize. So exercise a degree of awareness regarding my lack of partisan affiliation when you level such comments at me.

    If you want to actually debate this topic, then drop the disparaging tone and let's have a debate. Otherwise, I'm not interested in a shouting match.
    Last edited by KingOfTheEast; July 24th, 2011 at 06:21 PM.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  4. #44
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast View Post
    It's irrelevant if you "stand by your claim" especially when you're unwilling to substantiate it with any evidence.
    And who are you to be passing judgments on what I can and can't have as an opinion, or whether I can or can't express it? Some sort of self-appointed thought police? And your claim I've been unwilling to supply any reason why I have the opinion I do is simply false. You have every right to reject the reasons I gave you and others in this tread for my opinions, but none at all to falsely claim I've never given any.

  5. #45
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    And who are you to be passing judgments on what I can and can't have as an opinion, or whether I can or can't express it? Some sort of self-appointed thought police?
    Don't be so ridiculous. I've never made any "judgments about what you can and can't have as an opinion." But if you're going to tout your opinion around as an argument supported with facts (you did say you're presenting "facts" after-all) then substantiate it. If you're unable to do that, then retract it, or make it explicit that it's an opinion and not a fact. I didn't ask for any more or any less. I think that's a perfectly reasonable standard of debate. But don't cry foul when others challenge the basis of your opinion. What you did was try and smuggle in your "opinion" as a fact-based argument. That's unacceptable.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  6. #46
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast View Post
    Don't be so ridiculous. I've never made any "judgments about what you can and can't have as an opinion.
    Oh, so judging something "irrelevant" isn't making a judgment on your planet?

    But if you're going to tout your opinion around...
    Dude, get a grip. I was asked for my opinion and I gave it, along with a few of the facts I used to form it. That's hardly "touting" my opinon "around", and you're speaking as someone who has yet to seriously engage with those facts in any case, so get over yourself, okay? You need the win that bad, take it, with my blessings.

  7. #47
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Oh, so judging something "irrelevant" isn't making a judgment on your planet?
    I said it was irrelevant to the debate. I didn't judge whether you should or shouldn't have it as an opinion. What you have as an opinion is based on your own discretion.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Dude, get a grip. I was asked for my opinion and I gave it, along with a few of the facts I used to form it. That's hardly "touting" my opinon "around", and you're speaking as someone who has yet to seriously engage with those facts in any case, so get over yourself, okay? You need the win that bad, take it, with my blessings.
    There's absolutely no reason for the hostility. It was never my intention to offend you in any way when I was debating you. I'm merely pointing to the reasons why your claim was not substantiated by the support you provided. If you felt otherwise, I would've expected you to continue defending your point rather than simply repeating that you "stood by your claim." And it's not about "winning." My intention was to get you to validate your original claim.

    With all due respect, unless you have something further to add to this debate, do not expect a reply from me if you decide to reply to this post. And you shouldn't take offense to that.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  8. #48
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast View Post
    I said it was irrelevant to the debate.
    No, you judged them irrelevant to the debate, and without even an offer of a demonstration that they were.

    I didn't judge whether you should or shouldn't have it as an opinion. What you have as an opinion is based on your own discretion.
    As if anyone needed you to point this out.

    There's absolutely no reason for the hostility. It was never my intention to offend you in any way when I was debating you. I'm merely pointing to the reasons why your claim was not substantiated by the support you provided. If you felt otherwise, I would've expected you to continue defending your point rather than simply repeating that you "stood by your claim." And it's not about "winning." My intention was to get you to validate your original claim.
    And just how do you expect me to do that so long as all you need do to "invalidate" it is label it? Take for instance that graph you provided that was supposed to undercut the inference I made from the fact that oil prices spiked immediately after Obama released 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Did you say how the fact that oil production has steadily increased over the years was supposed to do that? No. Did you point to some world event that could have plausibly accounted for the spike that would make the spike coincidental with the release? No. Do we all know that production is primarily a function of demand, not price, and that demand has also been steadily increasing over the years, thus fully accounting for your graph without even considering the price increase phenomenon that followed Obama's release? Yes.

    With all due respect, unless you have something further to add to this debate, do not expect a reply from me if you decide to reply to this post. And you shouldn't take offense to that.
    With all due respect, you've never offered any reasonable defeater for:

    1.) The plausibility of the inference from the fact Obama released 30 million barrels from the SPR, to him engaging in political theatre, and thus violating the whole purpose of the SPR, thus putting his political career ahead of the national security of the US.

    2.) The plausibility of the inference from Obama shutting down ongoing commercial research into extracting oil from oil shale, to his intention to make fossil fuel energy prices higher.

    3.) The plausibility of the inference from the fact that Obama shut down the proposed oil pipeline from Canada, to his intention to make fossil fuel energy prices higher than they would be with the pipeline in production or operation.

    4.) The plausibility of the inference from the fact that Obama and Biden have both expressed their personal intentions to bankrupt coal-fired electrical plant owners, to Obama's admin being interested in driving up fossil fuel energy prices.

    And, of course, you've not offered a word against the idea it's perfectly rational to take all four of these facts together, notice they all tend to do the same thing to the future oil suppy, and form the plausible inference the Obama admin has an agenda that includes driving up fossil fuel derived energy prices.

    You're right. This is a debate of sorts; a debate about the plausibility of political perceptions from certain facts concerning the behavior of the Obama administration, along with other facts, such as the results of the 2010 census, current polling data, etc., and how these perceptions affect the chances of the Repub's in the next election cycle. How about you start doing your part instead of worrying so much about whether or not I've done mine.

  9. #49
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    No, you judged them irrelevant to the debate, and without even an offer of a demonstration that they were.
    Okay seriously dude, drop this now. It's not adding anything to the debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    As if anyone needed you to point this out.
    Evidently, I did need to point this out, because you were too focused about how "judgmental" my statements were towards your viewpoint, and less focused about why I challenged your viewpoint to begin with.

    Look...if you're interested in rational and respectful discourse, I expect you to drop these petty matters and focus solely on the parts that deal with the arguments. I affirm that I will respect my end of the bargain and do the same if we can focus only on the facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    And just how do you expect me to do that so long as all you need do to "invalidate" it is label it? Take for instance that graph you provided that was supposed to undercut the inference I made from the fact that oil prices spiked immediately after Obama released 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
    As far as I'm aware, the graph was provided to refute your claim that Obama was not (ideologically) capable of accepting that "a sharp increase in the production of cheap crude oil" was necessary. If you refer back to the graph, you will have noticed that (US) domestic production of crude oil actually increased under Obama--in direct contrast to your claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    Did you say how the fact that oil production has steadily increased over the years was supposed to do that? No. Did you point to some world event that could have plausibly accounted for the spike that would make the spike coincidental with the release? No. Do we all know that production is primarily a function of demand, not price, and that demand has also been steadily increasing over the years, thus fully accounting for your graph without even considering the price increase phenomenon that followed Obama's release? Yes.
    I think, more than ever, my challenge to your original claim about how Obama has managed the US energy policy to the point where gas has increased by more than two dollars a gallon, was to reinforce how various factors come to play when considering the price of fuel. I think you have largely overstated the amount of control and/or influence the president has on the price of fuel.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    With all due respect, you've never offered any reasonable defeater for:

    1.) The plausibility of the inference from the fact Obama released 30 million barrels from the SPR, to him engaging in political theatre, and thus violating the whole purpose of the SPR, thus putting his political career ahead of the national security of the US.
    Except that my challenge was in regards to your "inference" that the President was responsible for the increase in fuel prices.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    2.) The plausibility of the inference from Obama shutting down ongoing commercial research into extracting oil from oil shale, to his intention to make fossil fuel energy prices higher.
    Err...except that you did not support the case that Obama has "shut down ongoing commercial research into extracting oil from oil shale" and if I missed it, then you also did not provide a direct casual explanation for how this has affected the increased price of fuel.

    Apart from implications, you have not cited any economists, experts in the oil industry, or any other reputable and authoritative sources from which we could gauge how much influence and/or control your president really had on the increased price of fuel in the US (keeping in mind that many other countries had to deal with an increase in fuel too...Canada included).

    You also did not explain the direct casual link between fossil fuel prices and the price of fuel. I'm sure I wasn't expected to accept it as a given.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    3.) The plausibility of the inference from the fact that Obama shut down the proposed oil pipeline from Canada,
    Except that the challenge to your original claim did not stem from this oil pipeline. Unless you're explaining how the order to "shut down" the proposed keystone oil pipeline from Canada is drastically increasing the price of gas (on a calculation of how much barrels per day would have derived from this source, notwithstanding other factors for the price of gas which I've mentioned in this thread), then we can't speculate on how it contributes as a determining factor for the price of fuel.

    In any case, there is a case to be made that the pipeline is not necessary and would not be a positive endeavor to the United States. As is contained in this article, it would take:

    "...more than a decade before the pipeline would do anything more than shift tar sands oil from its current destination in the Midwest to the Gulf coast. Far from helping America relieve high gasoline prices, this move could actually raise Midwestern gas prices."

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    to his intention to make fossil fuel energy prices higher than they would be with the pipeline in production or operation.
    Intention can be ambiguous, and highly political in the context it is being used. For all practical purposes, let's not gauge "intention" and instead, let's focus on "action" and what has already been done. All I'm asking for is a comprehensive and substantial explanation for HOW OBAMA HAS CAUSED GAS PRICES TO RISE FROM $1.75 (at the start of his presidency) TO ~$3.79 (the average national price).

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    4.) The plausibility of the inference from the fact that Obama and Biden have both expressed their personal intentions to bankrupt coal-fired electrical plant owners, to Obama's admin being interested in driving up fossil fuel energy prices.
    You keep mentioning "intentions" and "interest in driving up fossil fuel prices." Can you link this "intention" and "interest" to drive up fossil fuel prices with the increase in the price of gas? How much does it affect the price of gas? A substantial amount? Does it increase the price by a dollar? By two dollars? By a few cents? You keep making empty "inferences" without any connection.

    I kindly ask that you give a breakdown of how the intention of the Obama administration to increase the price of fossil fuel has affected the price of gas.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    And, of course, you've not offered a word against the idea it's perfectly rational to take all four of these facts together, notice they all tend to do the same thing to the future oil suppy, and form the plausible inference the Obama admin has an agenda that includes driving up fossil fuel derived energy prices.
    Except that you've not given any rational basis from which to accept how all these four points (taken together) affect the future oil supply, and thus the price of oil, and therefore, the price of gas. I'm not affirming or denying that these four factors have or do not have an influence on the price of fuel. I'm asking for an explanation regarding how they actually contribute and how substantive their influence actually is.

    Once you determine that there actually is some sort of influence, then how do you explain other factors such as these:

    • The growing oil demands of China and India relative to the decreased global supply of oil

    • The shortfall in the oil supply as a result of the Libyan conflict

    • The unwillingness of OPEC countries to compensate for the shortfall in the supply of oil on the global market

    • The speculation by investors and commodity traders

    • The summertime driving season

    • The dilemma of how gas prices tend to increase so quick and take relatively much longer to decrease

    • Decrease in the value of the US dollar


    I'm sure there may be more factors. But in all likelihood, after considering all of the facts, can you really contend that Obama (and his administration) has been directly responsible for the increased price of fuel? Consider this: do the facts add up to resemble the conclusion? Are there other (more direct) factors (such as one of the factors above, or a combination of them) that can better explain why the price of fuel has skyrocketed? Does the president and the executive branch as a whole really have such a direct role in shaping the price of fuel? I think it's important to take into consideration many other factors, both global and domestic, rather than staying fixated on a single factor as the sole cause of the problem.
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

  10. #50
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    [S]imply by virtue of having a certain amount of religious belief, you would refuse to vote for her.
    Oh the persecuted Christians in this country! Such poor, pitiful victims!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    ...someone who thinks that they are following God's will is "delusional" to you?
    100%. But what I don't understand is why you Christians keep asking such silly questions...by definition, a non-theist holds that those who believe in a personal God are delusional.

    The Christian victim meme is so odd!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I think I'm following God's will when I do mathematics.
    Then you are delusional.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Many Christian scientists feel the same way
    Then they are delusional.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I guess they're all delusional.
    No need to guess.

  11. #51
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by Booger View Post
    Oh the persecuted Christians in this country! Such poor, pitiful victims!
    What a great defense against a charge of bigotry: "Well, you guys don't face a whole lot of persecution in our country. So it's okay to be bigoted against you."

    100%. But what I don't understand is why you Christians keep asking such silly questions...by definition, a non-theist holds that those who believe in a personal God are delusional.

    The Christian victim meme is so odd!
    There's a difference, I think, between believing that someone is mistaken in their belief, and in thinking that the person has been deluded into that belief. But perhaps the term "delusion" is being used in a non-clinical sense to mean "wrong" or "deceived" or something.

    Also, do you think that one-off mentions of things like "Christian victim meme" constitute intelligent, cogent, or persuasive communication? Or is this just you refusing to cast your pearl before swine?

    Then you are delusional.

    Then they are delusional.

    No need to guess.
    I'd thank you for proving my point, but I don't think you quite understand exactly how you've done so.

    You see, there are a lot of incredibly bright, reasonable, rational thinkers in the world today. Scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, economists, writers, artists, etc. A non-trivial portion of them are Christian. So when you describe these thinkers, who are brighter than you or I by leaps and bounds, as being deluded, then I think you're simply failing to consider their actual thinking on the issue. You're just coming to the conclusion that you know is true because of where they end up on the religious spectrum. You're dismissing them out of hand.

    This is not the approach of an intellectual, reasoned mind. It's the approach of a drive-by pundit propagandist. You're the theological equivalent of Keith Olbermann or Rush Limbaugh.
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    What a great defense against a charge of bigotry: "Well, you guys don't face a whole lot of persecution in our country. So it's okay to be bigoted against you."
    First, I think there is good reason to be wary of voting for someone for high office who believes that God communicates directly with them. Second, a 2007 Newsweek poll found that 78% percent of Republicans would not vote for a candidate for President who admitted to being an atheist (http://mensnewsdaily.com/2010/09/20/...ok-down-under/). Are 78% of Republicans bigots?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    There's a difference, I think, between believing that someone is mistaken in their belief, and in thinking that the person has been deluded into that belief. But perhaps the term "delusion" is being used in a non-clinical sense to mean "wrong" or "deceived" or something.
    No, I mean that maintaining a firm belief that by taking a certain action you are carrying out the will of a deity is delusional because there is much evidence against and little evidence for the existence of such deity. So, delusional in the sense of a firmly held belief in the face of contradictory/inadequate evidence, which belief is egotistical in nature.

    Would you contend that a suicide bomber who believes that by carrying out the suicide mission he will be a martyr before God and will secure his 72 virgin bounty is not delusional?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Also, do you think that one-off mentions of things like "Christian victim meme" constitute intelligent, cogent, or persuasive communication? Or is this just you refusing to cast your pearl before swine?
    The Christian victim meme is real. Ask Bill O'Reilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I'd thank you for proving my point, but I don't think you quite understand exactly how you've done so.

    You see, there are a lot of incredibly bright, reasonable, rational thinkers in the world today. Scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, economists, writers, artists, etc. A non-trivial portion of them are Christian. So when you describe these thinkers, who are brighter than you or I by leaps and bounds, as being deluded, then I think you're simply failing to consider their actual thinking on the issue. You're just coming to the conclusion that you know is true because of where they end up on the religious spectrum. You're dismissing them out of hand.
    One can be both intelligent and delusional.

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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by Booger View Post
    First, I think there is good reason to be wary of voting for someone for high office who believes that God communicates directly with them.
    I am certain that you think that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Booger
    Second, a 2007 Newsweek poll found that 78% percent of Republicans would not vote for a candidate for President who admitted to being an atheist (http://mensnewsdaily.com/2010/09/20/...ok-down-under/). Are 78% of Republicans bigots?
    Absolutely.

    No, I mean that maintaining a firm belief that by taking a certain action you are carrying out the will of a deity is delusional because there is much evidence against and little evidence for the existence of such deity. So, delusional in the sense of a firmly held belief in the face of contradictory/inadequate evidence, which belief is egotistical in nature.
    I think that your belief is false; I think that it is false that "there is much evidence against" the existence of the Christian God. And yet, I would not call your belief "deluded", even though I think there are good reasons for thinking that your belief is false.

    Would you contend that a suicide bomber who believes that by carrying out the suicide mission he will be a martyr before God and will secure his 72 virgin bounty is not delusional?
    I think he's wrong. Whether or not he was deluded into his (false) beliefs, I don't know. To my understanding, "delusion" has to do with the formation of the belief, not so much with its particular content.

    The Christian victim meme is real. Ask Bill O'Reilly.
    Do you think that there aren't Christian victims? Do you think that anti-Christian bias doesn't occur?

    I've been told by almost every atheist I know that being a Christian makes me a bad mathematician. You've already told me that my religious beliefs make me delusional. This is almost precisely the same sort of bias that atheist moral philosophers face from religious commentators who accuse them of having no grounds for their moral systems, since atheists lack God. I don't think you can honestly tell me that one is bigotry but the other isn't.

    I don't watch O'Reilly (I hate television politics), but I've seen some of his "war on Christmas" business, and yeah, I think it's over the top. Christmas is a Christian holiday, which is an American tradition because most Americans have happened to be Christian. But that's the way the causation is pointed; if we suddenly became overwhelmingly atheist, we should expect to see our national conception of Christmas change dramatically.

    One can be both intelligent and delusional.
    It seems that all you mean by "deluded" is just a more spiteful version of "wrong". And I guess if you don't have intellectual firepower, you're left with spite.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I am certain that you think that.
    Then you are correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I think that it is false that "there is much evidence against" the existence of the Christian God.
    I strongly disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    And yet, I would not call your belief "deluded", even though I think there are good reasons for thinking that your belief is false.
    Of course. To think otherwise would clearly be wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I think he's wrong. Whether or not he was deluded into his (false) beliefs, I don't know. To my understanding, "delusion" has to do with the formation of the belief, not so much with its particular content.
    You are wrong. Killing oneself in the belief that doing so furthers a personal deity's will and will result in a martyr's award of 72 virgins is delusional.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Do you think that there aren't Christian victims? Do you think that anti-Christian bias doesn't occur?
    Are there instances of bias? Sure. But I think don't think Christians are victims in the sense they sometimes wish to be portrayed.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I've been told by almost every atheist I know that being a Christian makes me a bad mathematician.
    That is dumb. There exist dumb atheists.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    You've already told me that my religious beliefs make me delusional.
    What I have opined is that your belief in a communicative, personal God whose will you believe you are carrying out when you take certain actions is delusional. That is my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    This is almost precisely the same sort of bias that atheist moral philosophers face from religious commentators who accuse them of having no grounds for their moral systems, since atheists lack God. I don't think you can honestly tell me that one is bigotry but the other isn't.
    I don't follow, at least to the extent bigotry is involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    It seems that all you mean by "deluded" is just a more spiteful version of "wrong".
    You are wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    And I guess if you don't have intellectual firepower, you're left with spite.
    I am dumb. You are smart. End debate here. Good stuff.

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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by Booger View Post
    Then you are correct.



    I strongly disagree.



    Of course. To think otherwise would clearly be wrong.
    Atheists cannot be deluded into being atheists?

    What makes a belief "deluded"?

    You are wrong. Killing oneself in the belief that doing so furthers a personal deity's will and will result in a martyr's award of 72 virgins is delusional.
    I understand that you believe that. You understand the difference between saying something and showing that it's true, right? Or is that something that only us delusional theists understand?

    Are there instances of bias? Sure. But I think don't think Christians are victims in the sense they sometimes wish to be portrayed.
    That's a rather insanely low bar. I don't think atheists are victims in the sense they sometimes wish to be portrayed, either.

    That is dumb. There exist dumb atheists.

    What I have opined is that your belief in a communicative, personal God whose will you believe you are carrying out when you take certain actions is delusional. That is my opinion.
    Is it possible for a belief to be rational, reasonable, and deluded? I guess I don't know what you mean by "deluded".

    I don't follow, at least to the extent bigotry is involved.
    "Atheism makes you a bad moral philosopher" is equivalent to "Theism makes you a bad scientist".

    You are wrong.
    Again, what makes a belief "deluded" in your use of the term?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfTheEast View Post
    Look...if you're interested in rational and respectful discourse, I expect you to drop these petty matters and focus solely on the parts that deal with the arguments. I affirm that I will respect my end of the bargain and do the same if we can focus only on the facts.
    Fine with me, but that entails you actually reading what I've written and addressing it as stated. Can you do that?

    As far as I'm aware, the graph was provided to refute your claim that Obama was not (ideologically) capable of accepting that "a sharp increase in the production of cheap crude oil" was necessary. If you refer back to the graph, you will have noticed that (US) domestic production of crude oil actually increased under Obama--in direct contrast to your claim.
    Where to start? First, the claim was that Obama's release from the SPR was politically inspired rather than having anything to do with a desire to bring down gas prices for Americans. The size of the release, the fact the spot market price of crude jumped 10% within days of his decision, and the fact this has been his only action in his over two years as president that didn't directly or indirectly threaten current fossil fuel supplies combine to form ample testimony to this fact. Your graph was irrelevant here. Second, the graph only plots production; not production and demand, and so tells less than half the story needed for an "argument" against my position that Obama has an agenda to drive up the price of fossil fuels (their production, delivery, and use) to the point that renewable energy sources that are presently too costly to compete with fossil fuels, will be able to do so.

    US oil production has increased steadily under every American president since WWII. It therefore gives no reasonable person any ground to dispute that the Obama administration is interested in driving up fossil fuel prices.

    I think, more than ever, my challenge to your original claim about how Obama has managed the US energy policy to the point where gas has increased by more than two dollars a gallon, was to reinforce how various factors come to play when considering the price of fuel. I think you have largely overstated the amount of control and/or influence the president has on the price of fuel.
    I'm not sure it's possible to overstate the amount of influence the president has on the price of fossil fuel derived energy. It certainly is possible, and is regularly done, to overstate the amount of influence the president has over the economy as a whole, but when it comes to the production, distribution, and use of energy in this country, the office of president of the US ultimately has nearly dictatorial powers. Witness to this fact is borne out by the recent failure of the Obama administration to get their cap and trade legislation through Congress, and their current attempt to circumvent Congress through the EPA (an arguably unconstitutional agency of the federal government), via its regulatory powers.

    Except that my challenge was in regards to your "inference" that the President was responsible for the increase in fuel prices.
    The president clearly expected to be seen as able to affect prices or his release of the SPR is inexplicable!

    Err...except that you did not support the case that Obama has "shut down ongoing commercial research into extracting oil from oil shale" and if I missed it, then you also did not provide a direct casual explanation for how this has affected the increased price of fuel.
    Well, first, you did miss it, because I certainly did support that Obama has shut down oil shale extraction research. And I don't need to provide a direct causal explanation unless you're willing to admit you have absolutely no understanding of how free markets function. The Rand Corp. analysis of crude oil extraction from oil shale shows that the best process has the ability to produce light sweet crude (suitable for refining into gasoline) at aprox. $25/barrel (Oil Shale Development in the United States: Prospects and Policy Issues, Rand Corp.; p. 20).

    Oil prices, due in no small part to the price fixing of OPEC, are, and have been for quite some time now, well over $75/barrel, and are expected to climb back up into the $125/barrel range fairly soon. Current US demand is about 20 million barrels a day. In-situ retorting could conceivably produce aprox. 1-5 million barrels a day within 10-20 years. The math, if only able to produce rough estimates about an uncertain future, is straightforward. At the very least we can say with absolute certainty that the sooner oil extraction from domestic supplies of oil shale begins in earnest, the sooner that process will begin to drive oil prices downward not only in the US but worldwide. Thus with equal certainty we can say that in shuting down the nearly completed research on this process done by Shell, Obama has guaranteed a later entrance into the market of this process, and thus a longer period of higher fuel prices.

    Apart from implications, you have not cited any economists, experts in the oil industry, or any other reputable and authoritative sources from which we could gauge how much influence and/or control your president really had on the increased price of fuel in the US (keeping in mind that many other countries had to deal with an increase in fuel too...Canada included).
    Why would I have to "keep in mind" the situation in any country but the one about which I've expressed an opinion? I don't know how the government in Canada works, or how much or little control over energy prices the Canadian executive has. I do know how much my own president has, and that's been factored into everything I've had to say here.

    As for you claim I've cited no experts, that's simply false. I've cited both the Rand study and the website run by Shell for their Mahongeny Project.

    You also did not explain the direct casual link between fossil fuel prices and the price of fuel. I'm sure I wasn't expected to accept it as a given.
    Yes, you were, just as I would expect you to understand the relationship between any finished product and the raw material from which it's made.

    Except that the challenge to your original claim did not stem from this oil pipeline.
    I never stated or implied that the supporting evidence I gave originally for my claim that the Obama administration is interested in doing what it can to drive up the price of energy derived from fossil fuels was exhaustive of the body of evidence there is, or that what I gave there exhausted my knowledge of this body of evidence, so you are in no position to say what my claim didn't "stem from"; only what my original evidential support didn't include. And so that we don't have to keep making these sorts of false assumptions, I still haven't exhausted the body of evidence there is.

    Unless you're explaining how the order to "shut down" the proposed keystone oil pipeline from Canada is drastically increasing the price of gas (on a calculation of how much barrels per day would have derived from this source, notwithstanding other factors for the price of gas which I've mentioned in this thread), then we can't speculate on how it contributes as a determining factor for the price of fuel.
    The pipeline would have lowered the distribution costs, which are built into all the distillate end-products, including gasoline. Further, a small portion of US electrical energy is produced using diesel fuel, so without the pipeline a small increase in electricity prices should occur, all else being equal.

    In any case, there is a case to be made that the pipeline is not necessary and would not be a positive endeavor to the United States. As is contained in this article, it would take:
    "...more than a decade before the pipeline would do anything more than shift tar sands oil from its current destination in the Midwest to the Gulf coast. Far from helping America relieve high gasoline prices, this move could actually raise Midwestern gas prices."
    The author is Susan Casey-Leftkowitz, according to the article, director of the International Program at the National Resources Defense Council, based in Washington DC. So as to provide some perspective here below is a lenghty quote from an article carried on ]Investors.com[/I]; produced by Investors Business Daily, a widely read and respected business journal:

    The nominee for commerce secretary founded an anti-energy group and believes in redistribution of wealth to help poorer nations. At this rate, we'll be one of them.

    If personnel is policy, there can be no better choice to help implement President Obama's anti-growth energy policy and redistribution of wealth plans than his choice to be the next secretary of commerce, John Bryson.

    One would think that the former CEO of power company Edison International would have a more practical view of energy development and management. But he's earned Rep. Darrell Issa's description of him as a "green evangelist."

    Bryson also spent time as an environmental lawyer and co-founder of the National Resources Defense Council, perhaps the most anti-energy, anti-growth progressive group on the planet. He has served as an adviser on energy and climate issues to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at a time when the U.N. was pushing anti-growth climate change treaties based on fraudulent and doctored data.

    Bryson told a U.N. energy conference in 2009 that a global wealth-redistribution program was needed to keep poor people in developing countries from using their own forest resources. He spoke of the need for the "development of law enforcement regimes, development of strong governance practices" in developing nations rather than the need of a free market and democracy to encourage growth.

    Emphasis added
    Another informative article concerning the expertise of employees of the NRDC may be read here:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politi...d-public-glove

    As for Susan herself, when asked by the Bilateralist: "What do you actually do in your job?" Susan responded, "Directing the international program of the Natural Resources Defense Council means coordinating our work in Latin America, Canada, India and globally on promoting clean energy, fighting dirty energy and saving special wildlands and wildlife. I am a woman of all work when it comes to campaigning."

    I submit to you your source, rather than providing us with an expert opinion on the Keystone Pipeline Project, is doing some of that campaigning against "dirty energy" she so loves to do, and on that basis I reject the above opinion as "expert".

    Intention can be ambiguous, and highly political in the context it is being used. For all practical purposes, let's not gauge "intention" and instead, let's focus on "action" and what has already been done. All I'm asking for is a comprehensive and substantial explanation for HOW OBAMA HAS CAUSED GAS PRICES TO RISE FROM $1.75 (at the start of his presidency) TO ~$3.79 (the average national price).
    Problem is you keep asking for what you've substantially already been given. Until you address what you've already got, I'll have to understand demands for more as the tap dancing they so clearly are to me.

    You keep mentioning "intentions" and "interest in driving up fossil fuel prices." Can you link this "intention" and "interest" to drive up fossil fuel prices with the increase in the price of gas?
    Of course I can, and already have by citing the actions Obama has taken since taking office. He shut down the very promising and nearly completed research into commercially viable in-situ oil shale retorting. He shut down all offshore deep-wells when there was no need, and when doing so nearly destroyed the oil refining and production industry in the Gulf states. He has stopped the proposed Keystone Pipline project, a project guaranteed to produce private sector jobs and reduce distribution costs for crude. His EPA is busy implementing by other means the Cap and Trade legislation that failed to pass in Congress; legislation both he and his VP have acknowledged would "bandrupt" the owners of coal fired electrical plants; the very same plants that produce the bulk of electricity in the US. He has appointed John Bryson to the Commerce Commission, co-founder of the "most anti-energy, anti-growth progressive group on the planet". And this is not the sum of things Obama has done with regard to carbon emissions, but certainly enough for a reasonable person to conclude there is a pattern of behavior here reflective of an anti-energy, anti-growth, progressive ideology, and I have come to that conclusion.

    how do you explain other factors such as these:

    • The growing oil demands of China and India relative to the decreased global supply of oil

    • The shortfall in the oil supply as a result of the Libyan conflict

    • The unwillingness of OPEC countries to compensate for the shortfall in the supply of oil on the global market

    • The speculation by investors and commodity traders

    • The summertime driving season

    • The dilemma of how gas prices tend to increase so quick and take relatively much longer to decrease

    • Decrease in the value of the US dollar
    You have to establish these are factors that actually have influenced oil prices upward in the last two and a half years; not me. Or did you think I was supposed to take both sides of this "debate", with you holding down the job of "judge"?

    As to your last point above, however, I will say this much: it's my understanding that because the US dollar is the international medium of exchange in all spot market oil purchases, its international valuation has very little impact on the cost of oil in the US. If oil sells at $100/barrel, then it does, regardless of how many dollars it takes that same day to buy a British pound sterling or parts of a dollar to buy a Japanese yen.

    I'm sure there may be more factors. But in all likelihood, after considering all of the facts...
    Let's try to keep things on an even keel here, okay? The only "facts" you've provided thus far are that graph, and that was half a fact at best, and irrelevant at worst. So far I'm the one whose been providing the bulk of the "facts" around here, so I'd appreciate it if you would at least construct your rhetoric so that this remains clear.

    ...can you really contend that Obama (and his administration) has been directly responsible for the increased price of fuel?
    Obviously I not only can, but I have, and in what I consider to be a thoughtful and reasonable fashion.

    Consider this: do the facts add up to resemble the conclusion?
    Facts don't add up to resemble conclusions. They either form a reasonable inferential chain supporting a conclusion, or they don't. Obviously, in my mind, what facts there are available all form a fairly consistent inferential chain to the conclusion the Obama administration has an interest in seeing how high they can drive the price of fossil fuel generated energy in this country.

    Are there other (more direct) factors (such as one of the factors above, or a combination of them) that can better explain why the price of fuel has skyrocketed?
    That's up to you to demonstrate if you think there are, not me. Anybody can rattle off a list of things and call them "factors". In a debate, if you want them treated as factors, i.e, sufficient or nearly sufficient causes for the rise in gas prices since Obama took office, then you first have to show that's what they are, and, of course, you haven't lifted a finger in that direction yet.

    Does the president and the executive branch as a whole really have such a direct role in shaping the price of fuel?
    They most certainly do. Again, I don't agree with the widely held opinion that presidents normally have a great deal of influence over the economy as a whole, but you'd have to be completely in the dark about how the US government operates to think presidents don't normally have a great deal of influence over the energy sector of the economy.

    I think it's important to take into consideration many other factors, both global and domestic, rather than staying fixated on a single factor as the sole cause of the problem.
    Fine, me too. Which is why I'm not fixated on Obama as the sole cause of the increase. That said, there are simply too many things a president can do to influence prices one way or another for "other factors" to be the only cause...unless you'd like to get off the back bench, actually join the debate, and try to make that case.

    It really is as simple as this: what Obama has done as president of the US to affect the price of gasoline one way or the other, he has done so as to raise that price. That's my conclusion, and that's what I've supported in this thread with relevant facts.

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    Re: Republican Party chances

    I think there's already an appropriate thread for what this debate seems to have turned to; see "Why Obama Fails" thread. This is the "Republican Party Chances" discussion. So, what do you think of the Republicans?
    "Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something."-Plato

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    Re: Republican Party chances

    It's far to early to say.

    I'd venture its going to be pretty close as it has been as of late. Obama is no slouch, he's a great campaigner, he's not made any monumental mis-steps beyond the usual right/left divide. His weakness is he has a lot less 100% supporters as he alienated many on the left, and did little to make gains on the right or in the middle. I still really like him, but I consider myself politically weird and atypical.

    But... The GOP continues to have a fiscal social divide where each end of that spectrum scares a slice of middle america. Either you fear the religious moralist judging you, or you fear the corruption of corporate america crapping on the common good. Any GOP candidate who dares to step back enough to sooth those fears gets balled a traitor by the extremes of either side (or the sizable chunk that are hard core on both fronts).

    So the GOP has perhaps too much passion, making it hard to take the middle, Obama has too little passion (perhaps) preventing his domination of the middle ground which leans right by international reckoning (but by definition is the american middle).

    I hope Obama wins, but I also think he will. He has few weaknesses that are not already known, and those are pretty paltry. One on one he is not to be trifled with in charm, wit, and eloquence.

    I think congress will continue to trend right and the GOP will pick up more control, but not dominant control. They have not endeared themselves to the middle with their stone walling and nay-saying.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLocke View Post
    I think there's already an appropriate thread for what this debate seems to have turned to; see "Why Obama Fails" thread. This is the "Republican Party Chances" discussion. So, what do you think of the Republicans?
    If the question is directed at me, I started with that, and gave my reasons. This was taken as an attack on Obama, which, of course, it couldn't fail to include, and here we are.

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    Re: Republican Party chances

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    It's far to early to say.
    It's too early to predict, but then assessing the "chances" and predicting the outcome are two entirely different exercises. Whether or not the Repubs actually take the hold onto the House, take the Senate and the White House obviously depends on a great many unknowns, so predictions at this point are pure speculation. Assessing the chances this happens, by definition, deals only with things that are known to be true, and therefore isn't speculative at all. Of course inferences from what is known may vary, but I don't see how we can call this variation in inferences from knowns "speculation".

    The point, Sig, is it's never to early to assess the "chances" something will happen. Such assessments are nothing more and nothing less than reasonable inferences taken from known facts at the time of the assessment.

    I'd venture its going to be pretty close as it has been as of late. Obama is no slouch, he's a great campaigner, he's not made any monumental mis-steps beyond the usual right/left divide.
    Care to define how you're using "mistep" here? I would argue that playing golf Memorial Day afternoon, after that morning conducting the annual ritual of placing the wreath on the grave of the Unknown Soldier, while having tens of thousands of American troops fighting and dying in combat zones overseas, is just such a misstep. Or that shutting down research into the commercial viability of oil extraction from oil shale, while simultaneously pushing for a "stimulus" package supposedly designed to "get America moving again: (where cheap and abundant energy is one necessary factor in making that happen), is a misstep I certainly hope wasn't caused by the ideological difference between left and right. I hate to think the left, represented by the Obama admin, thinks we can regain economic prosperity without cheap energy, because that has got to be one of the dumbest ideas anyone has ever heard. Is it really a part of the progressive mind-set that we can regain lost prosperity by sitting around a picture of a campfire drawn on recycled paper, holding hands and singing Kumbaya My Lord? I sincerely hope not! I can't tell you how much I hope the progressive grasp on reality is stronger than that, but if it is then it follows that these were exactly the kind of "misstep" you seemed to have in mind above, and one that has cost American dearly to this point.

    The promise was that with the stimulus package being law, unemployment wouldn't go above 8%. Unemployment was at 8.1% when it passed, and 13 months later, when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 was signed by Obama, stood at 9.7%. And, of course, these Bureau of Labor statistics understate the actual unemployment rate by this time. Now assuming Obama truly believed the stimulus would control unemployment, one would then suppose that during the nearly a year in which he invested so much of his political capital on healthcare reform, while simutaneously watching this trend in unemployment:

    March '09: 8.5%
    April: 8.9%
    May: 9.4%
    June: 9.5%
    July: 9.4%
    August: 9.7%
    Sept: 9.8%
    Oct: 10.2%

    Right about here I would argue any reasonable man, regardless of his ideological political persuasions, would have to be thinking it's time to put everything else you wanted to do as president according to your ideological agenda, and start to do what you know will create jobs! Less regulations of businesses, less taxes on businesses, programs designed to provide cheap energy quickly. Instead we were given lectures about the evil corporations, the need for much, much more government regulations over these evil entities, and the need to clamp down on fossil fuels, the only truly cheap source of energy on the planet! Now one could probably successfully argue the rhetoric and the logic are born of ideology, but not the simple assessment of whether or not the stimulus is keeping unemployment at 8% or below! That's not ideology; that's simple arithematic. To continue...

    Nov. '09: 10.0%
    Dec: 10.0%
    Jan '10: 9.7%
    Feb: 9.7%
    March: 9.7%

    This was the month the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Over the next 12 months more than 1,000 organizations, 40% of them unions, would be granted exemptions from the requirements of this law. You can check these figures at Dave Manuel's handy webpage if you like. The unemployment rate continued to fall over the next 18 months until today it stands at about 9%. We can all argue, according to our own ideological bents, whether or how much the stimulus actually did to stem the recession (whether unemployment "would have been" higher or lower without it by now), because such arguments aren't fact based. Counterfactual propositions don't, after all, describe actual states of affairs. But the unemployment rate, and its trend since the enactment of the stimulus are facts, and I'm arguing here that no matter what sort of ideology or economic theory one prefers, these facts don't change, nor do they suggest to any reasonable person who believed at the start the stimulus would restrain unemployment at 8% that the stimulus was working according to plan. This is a matter of reason, not ideology, and as such I will maintain that Obama's choice to push for healthcare reform at this particular juncture in his presidency was a non-ideological misstep. It was a blunder regardless of the president's ideology. It was a blunder for a Democratic president, and it would have been the same blunder for a Republican president.

    His weakness is he has a lot less 100% supporters as he alienated many on the left, and did little to make gains on the right or in the middle. I still really like him, but I consider myself politically weird and atypical.
    The question is, what are his chances. There are certain "knowns" from which we can reasonably infer those chances presently, subject, of course, to change as the facts change. And it doesn't do any good to soft-pedal these facts in that sort of assessment just because you happen to like Obama. The pertinent facts here are that last time the Republicans fielded such a weak candidate not even all Republicans voted for him (let alone moderates!), the election was held at the end of the term of a very unpopular Republican president, the current recession was just beginning a few months before the election, Obama didn't win in a landslide, even so, and since then his approval rating as dropped precipitiously, according to Gallup's latest, for 69% on Inauguration Day to 39% this week past, only four percentage points higher than Bush's in his last week as president. Bush was, according to many liberal pundits, the worst president in American history, and Obama's approval numbers are tracking his now. Add to this the new awakening in America to conservative economic principles providing the best chance for a return to \ widespread prosperity, the fact that Obama can't get the "historic vote" voters this time around, the fact that the youth are not nearly as energized about the 2012 election as they were in 2008, and so will not be volunterring in the "get out the vote" droves we saw last time, not to mention the recent Gallup poll that showed Obama losing to any Republican candidate if the election were today by over ten points, and that the lastest census took about a dozen electoral votes from solidly blue states, and gave them to solidly red states, and we have the makings of a "perfect storm" for Dems.

    But... The GOP continues to have a fiscal social divide where each end of that spectrum scares a slice of middle america. Either you fear the religious moralist judging you, or you fear the corruption of corporate america crapping on the common good.
    Got any facts, such as polling data to back this up?

    Any GOP candidate who dares to step back enough to sooth those fears gets balled a traitor by the extremes of either side (or the sizable chunk that are hard core on both fronts).
    Let's see. No current Republican candidate, with one notable exception (Ron Paul) is espousing policies any of the others have any serious philosophical problem with, so I fail to see there is any potential for you to support your above with any facts.

    So the GOP has perhaps too much passion, making it hard to take the middle...
    Sig, the generic Republican candidate already has the middle! That's a fact. All that remains is to see whether or not they keep it, and unless the economy recovers beyond anyone's wildest expectations in the next 18 months, their is very little chance they will lose it.

    I'm skipping the rest, Sig, for it's all just personal opinion, much like the above, and unsupported by facts. We can't plausibly assess Obama's chances based on hopes and desires. It takes facts, from which reasonable inferences can be made, and you don't seem to supply many.

 

 
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