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May 2011
 

xael_renyoc
Date: 2011-05-19 07:14
Subject: This was great
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xael_renyoc
Date: 2011-04-08 13:54
Subject: A reader on Sullivan's blog
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This guy is right on!

Distributionally, the Ryan plan is a monstrosity. The rich would receive huge tax cuts while the social safety net would be shredded to pay for them. Even as an opening bid to begin budget negotiations with the Democrats, the Ryan plan cannot be taken seriously.

Bolding mine. That's not John Cole or "The Hard Left." That's Bruce Bartlett. Andrew, you blog in real-time and you let us see your reaction to events more or less the same time you do. That's why I've been visiting the Dish for so long. But, is it possible that maybe you just saw that Ryan was willing to target entitlement spending and that was enough for you to call his proposal "courageous" and "serious"?  You didn't really take time to study it in depth or reflect on it?

I was 17 in 1984, so I missed Reagan. Since then, my presidential voting record has been Bush, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Kerry, Obama. I only regret one of those votes - you can probably guess which one. I'm not "Hard Left." I'm not angry at Paul Ryan for his proposal - today's GOP will be today's GOP. There was a time, in my view, when the GOP was the party of realism and pragmatism, but that time is long gone. Clinton and the New Democrats co-opted that ground and the GOP has been moving further and further to the right ever since. So no surprise there - a dog's gonna bark. What is outrageous, not just to liberals, but to moderates like me, is that pundits like you swallow this stuff every single time they serve it up.
 
You keep insisting that tax increases won't do the trick, that Medicare is simply unaffordable, that the math simply doesn't work. But, Andrew, you never actually do the math and show it to us! The fact is, you can pretty much eliminate deficits in the 10-year budget window (Ryan's plan actually increases them) simply by allowing income, investment, and estate taxes to revert to Clinton levels. You can completely eliminate them if you also withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and scale back defense spending to pre-Bush levels, and cut the projected 2030 deficit in HALF.
 
That's your "budget crisis" in a nutshell. Now, long-term, we have a health care cost crisis. That crisis exists whether we try to pay for it with public or private dollars. Privatizing Medicare takes the costs we don't like off the Federal budget, but it doesn't mean those costs go away - it's just that private individuals have to pay those costs out of pocket. The well-off will be able to, and the poorest and sickest will not. Whether we ultimately decide to pay for it out of pocket or with tax dollars, we have to restrain health care costs: we need to get healthier, and we need to be more efficient in delivering health care. Full stop.
 
That's the serious discussion we need to have. Paul Ryan's budget proposal doesn't advance it. The Affordable Care Act did; today's GOP screamed "DEATH PANELS!" and Paul Ryan decried the Medicare cuts in the plan - cuts his bold, courageous, serious budget proposal quietly retains while repealing its revenue increases and cost controls. And again, that's fine. That's Paul Ryan and the GOP. But it's pretty freaking hard to take when Andrew Sullivan cheers this fraud and simulataneously attacks the president for being "unserious."

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xael_renyoc
Date: 2011-02-19 08:49
Subject: Wisconsin
Security: Public
Interesting dissent on Andrew Sullivan's blog this morning.
The Wisconsin state government is in debt. That's clear and indisputable. Except that Governor Walker passed a bill lowering taxes, adding more to Wisconsin's debt. And, Wisconsin was doing pretty well until the recession when, cyclically, tax revenues fell but expenditures stayed the same. But instead of asking for a temporary decrease in salary or temporary increase in benefits contributions by employees, Walker is using the immediate crisis to enact long-term structural change. He's trying to permanently remove collective bargaining. This isn't to say that public workers shouldn't have some cuts. This isn't to say that public employee unions aren't different than private employee unions, because they are. But don't you think that public employee unions should have a little more job security than the whim of legislators and voters when they're doing vital jobs, like, you know, teaching our children and keeping our neighborhoods safe?

This sounds just about right - wage and pension concessions as part of a negotiation are one thing, but eroding the ability to negotiate at all should be anathema to a union.

Ezra Klein makes a similar point.

For all that, I actually wouldn't mind having a conversation over whether collective bargaining makes state government better or worse. But that is definitely not the discussion Scott Walker is having with his state. As both his State of the State speech and his proposal show, he's framed this entirely in fiscal terms. And that's an important difference. If he'd framed it in terms of governmental performance, he'd have to admit that he's trying to completely destroy the viability of the state's public unions, which is something he's been working hard to obscure. That's how you make government work differently.

The top 3 government performance states by the way are VA (no collective bargaining for public employees,) Utah (allows collective bargaining), and Washington (enforces collective bargaining) - so no real trend either way.



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xael_renyoc
Date: 2011-01-24 13:47
Subject: Paladin stories
Security: Public
http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderRPG/general/rPingPaladinsWorstYouveSeen&page=1#42

Good stuff!
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xael_renyoc
Date: 2011-01-20 16:42
Subject: Interesting for future follow up
Security: Public


http://www.gneech.com/swordandsorcery/index.html

I don't love Saga (sold my book even, only ever had the core book) but this could be something since I do really like S&S and Saga was good at building blocks vs class straight jackets.
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xael_renyoc
Date: 2010-12-13 16:48
Subject: WFRP 2e
Security: Public
"Giant Frogs sit in temples in the amazon manipulatlng the god-forged geomantic world engine, they are served by legions of uplifted dinosaurs." -- from RPG.net user Propagandor

Great quote!
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xael_renyoc
Date: 2010-12-10 08:34
Subject: wd
Security: Public
Rick: “I think you’re lying. What you’re lying about, no hope, if that were true, you’d have bolted with the rest and taken the easy way out. You didn’t. You chose the hard path.”

Rick: “Let us keep trying as long as we can.”
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xael_renyoc
Date: 2010-12-08 19:51
Subject: WH40K
Security: Public
Quotes to consider for any 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars or Deathwatch WH40K games in the future:

"Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim darkness of the far future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods."

"You and your buddies are the genetically and cybernetically enhanced Space Marines, the baddest mofos Imperium has got. You are going to get dropped from orbit into hostile territory, massacre hundreds or thousands (yes, literally) of enemies, creep through alien ruins, laugh in the face of nightmares that give Cthulhu nightmares, and then stab/shoot/flame/explode/chop/psyker-blast those nightmares into oblivion. If you survive the mission you might even get to go on other missions!" -- Razorboy

 
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xael_renyoc
Date: 2010-12-03 12:48
Subject: Intellect and Romance Over Brute Force And Cynicism
Security: Public


This is totally why I love the Doctor, Sherlock, and their cousins - the Triumph of Intellect and Romance Over Brute Force And Cynicism!!
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xael_renyoc
Date: 2010-11-23 07:16
Subject: Always interesting to see how these turn out
Security: Public


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