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May 25, 2011

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Hugh

Good morning, Ed. Given your frackobsession do you think this worthy of a thread:

EPA Administrator confirms no water contamination from fracking

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/05/epa_administrator_confirms_no.html

Roch101

"EPA Administrator confirms no water contamination from fracking" _Hugh

Credible much?

What she said was, "There's evidence that it can certainly affect them, I'm not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself affected water although there are investigations ongoing."

Ed Cone

The clip is edited in a way that I can't tell what she meant, but it does not seem to be some "aha, fracking is safe!" moment.

I don't think there's going to be an aha moment for this issue -- it's complicated, and needs careful study to make sure the process (as it's actually done, not just drawn up) is safe and that locals get their fair share.

The casting of this as a left-right issue (as the link does) seems absurd to me -- a way to rally support based on political sentiment, not the facts.

I would be very happy to know that we can frack without worry, and that my neighbors are being treated fairly by the big extraction companies.

But as we've been discussing in another thread, I can't believe anyone would take the industry's word on it, or that they'd settle for a quick, edited comment from an official.

Dave Ribar

Ed:

You can also see Jackson's prepared testimony here.

As the testimony indicates, the EPA is just starting a large, systematic, scientific study of the potential risks of fracking on drinking water. Testimony on May 11 indicated that the EPA had just completed the draft plan for undertaking the study.

There was no "confirmation" of safety. The absence of "a proven case" prior to undertaking a study to find and examine such cases is not a "confirmation" of the absence of a link.

We should also note that if Jackson had answered any other way, Fox, the other right-wing liars for hire, and their trusty dupes (like Hugh) would be howling that she had prejudged the study.

bubba

Let's put this little issue in context.

Here's an excerpt from Jackson's testimony.

Roch101

Um, I don't think "in context" means what you think it means.

Dave Ribar

Another Princess-Bride moment for Bob Grenier.

JustCorbly

1. Voter disgust with politicians across the board causes many of them to be blind to the GOP/conservative culture origins of our economic woes.

2. "Adminstrator confirms no threat to nuclear faclity from earthquakes" -- Japanese nuclear industry spokesman, a few years ago.

bubba

For self-appointed language "experts" and known Usual
Suspects like the Ribar and Roch unintentional comedy team, I direct you to definition number two:

"the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc."

I provided the circumstances and facts of Jackson's testimony that have been completely unmentioned previously in this thread. As hard as she tried to avoid the question asked of her, she could not lie. Without this we wouldn't have heard Jackson's admission, caught on video, and we wouldn't have heard the substantial undercutting of the anti-fracking hysteria so popular on this blog.

That's called "context". It's context that somehow didn't get provided here and it makes a substantial difference in the picture the frack freaks are trying to paint.

Understand?

Dave Ribar

Bob's uses of words and the standard English uses of words have grown far enough apart that he's developed a new language (Bobbish). Fortunately, we have enough "context" here that we can translate Bobbish back into English. Ready?

Bobbish: "I provided the circumstances and facts of Jackson's testimony."

English: I provided a 58 second clip from Fox news that takes 10 seconds of Jackson's testimony and distorts it (i.e., takes it out of context). Even within that 10 seconds, Bob's and Hugh's interpretations ignore the context of Jackson's own words which include, "There is evidence that it can certainly affect them."

Bobbish: I provided information that has "has been completely unmentioned previously in this thread." I provided "context that somehow didn't get provided here."

English: I re-linked to the video clip from the link in Hugh's earlier post with Jackson's comments that Roch appears to have transcribed.

Bobbish: Unintentional comedy

English: Linking to a funny video clip.

Bobbish: "Caught on video"

English: Gave public testimony that could be recorded and transcribed.

Bobbish: "I direct you to definition number two."

English: Everything I'm about to post is number two.

glenwoodobserver

Awesome Dave. I was curious about Bob's definition of "hysteria", because what I've seen here hasn't been hysterics but rather a call for getting complete, accurate scientific research before allowing a practice that could harm public health. You know, sort of that same approach they talk about in medicine...what is it again? Oh, yeah, "never do harm."

bubba


"Bob's uses of words and the standard English uses of words have grown far enough apart that he's developed a new language (Bobbish)."

Pay attention, Ace: I missed Hugh's non hot link. In addition, the fact that you don 't understand the use of the English language is not my problem. But it IS consistent with your habit of making substantial mis-statements and misrepresentations of facts when discussing issues.

It's a common habit of people who need to cover for their academic and intellectual failure, so it's not surprising that we read that from you.

bubba

"....because what I've seen here hasn't been hysterics...."

Oh, of course......just disregard what you see when you read things like those posted

Here

Here

Here

Here

Here

And then we have this little gem from you:

"So, there you have it...getting the natural gas industry to do anything that might add to the cost of extraction, i.e., capturing methane or treating its wastewater will not be accomplished without a fight."

Add this to the mix:

"....but rather a call for getting complete, accurate scientific research before allowing a practice that could harm public health."

It is no such thing. The frack freak hysterics have already decided that fracking is evil, wicked, mean, and nasty, and don't care about the "facts", unless they can manipulate the facts to support their view.

I love the way the frack freaks are attempting to use the "anthropogenic global warming" plan of attack. They haven't figured out that that line of agenda-based smoke and mirrors has already been exposed for the fraud that it represents.

glenwoodobserver

Funny Bob. I still don't think that rises to the level of hysteria. I know you are the "king of context" so maybe you should point out that the "fight" you selected is the natural gas industry, not everyday citizens. Name a business or industry that doesn't fight regulation that will add to their costs? Seems like a common sense statement to me.

I love how you take information and posts from your other readings and apply it as if it is the same as the people who post here.

Do you believe in the hippocratic oath,Bob? Don't you think having all the facts (i.e., an EPA study) might be a good thing to have before we decide whether or not there is the potential for impact on people's drinking water?

Billy Jones

Okay Bob,
For context: How heavily are you invested in energy stocks?

polifrog

Billy Jones:

For context: How heavily are you invested in energy stocks?

Translation:
Because you have individual interest your opinions should not matter.

The only basis on which such an argument can be constructed is one that raises social good above individual good, thus your question to Bubba suggests you do not believe that from the pursuit of individual interest rises social good.

The Soviet model diminished individual interest in favor of social interest.

Was social interest better served under the Soviet model or the American model?

Was environmental interest better served under the Soviet model or the American model?

If you do not believe you are arguing for the Soviet model of failure when when belittling individual interest then you are a tool for those who do.

polifrog

Dave Ribar:

The absence of "a proven case" prior to undertaking a study to find and examine such cases is not a "confirmation" of the absence of a link.

Translation:

The absence of "witches" prior to undertaking a study to find and examine such "witches" is not a confirmation of an absence of a link between "witches" and crop production.

Witch hunt.

polifrog

Justcorbly:

2. "Adminstrator confirms no threat to nuclear faclity from earthquakes" -- Japanese nuclear industry spokesman, a few years ago.

I would point out that the statement was factually correct. It was a tsunami that caused the nuclear issues in Japan not the quake itself.

Had official been asked, instead, whether the/a nuclear plant was under threat from a tsunami the answer would have necessarily been quite different for the Fukushima plant as it is situated on the coast.

Poor questions lead to poor answers and apparently poor references as well.

polifrog

Roch101:

Um, I don't think "in context" means what you think it means.

and

Dave Ribar:

Another Princess-Bride moment for Bob Grenier.

Both stats and econ require the use of concrete language. It seems, though, that both of you have grown too accustomed to the comfort of firmly defined terminology so prevalent in your disciplines. You should recognize that this discussion in not taking place within the closets of you studies.

The fact is that Bubba's presentation of countervailing perspective results in his providing context within this thread therefore his use of the word "context" is perfectly justified.

There is a Blogging Poet roaming these threads. Tell him his word choice is incorrect that his use of the English language is questionable and see how far you guys get. I believe he would understand that it is within the fluidity of language that the humanity forced from your disciplines reside.



bubba

"For context: How heavily are you invested in energy stocks?"

In investments that I have direct control, none. I do not currently own any stock on an individual basis.

In other investments, it's hard to say if there is any, because it depends on the funds manager. I have no direct control of investment selection in those.

Where are your investments placed?

Stocks?
Funds?
Commodities?
Annuities?
Life insurance?
Bonds?
Underwater real estate?
Under your mattress?
Buried in the back yard?
En route from various East Coast, Gulf Coast, or overland entry points?


Andrew Brod

Ohhhkay. Returning to something closer to the topic of this thread, I heard a pundit today discussing Medicare and Medicaid. She said the latter will be an easier target for Repubs to cut, because after all it primarily benefits poor people. But her premise isn't quite right, as Medicaid helps middle-class folks as well. And that which benefits the middle class is hard to kill.

bubba

"I would point out that the statement was factually correct. It was a tsunami that caused the nuclear issues in Japan not the quake itself."

Corbs always hates it when we point out facts to him.

Billy Jones

Buried in the back yard.

bubba

Does someone want to tell Brod how Obamacare decimates Medicare Advantage, which primarily affects "poor people"/Medicaid recipients and the middle class in their attempt to hold down their costs of being a Medicare recipient?

Bubba

Regarding those eeeeeeeeeevil Republican Medicaid block grants, Michael Cannon clears up the smoke and mirrors diversions used to demagouge the proposal.

Noteworthy:

"Various experts estimate that fraudulent and other improper payments account for an estimated 10 to 40 percent of this $466 billion program.

Economists estimate that Medicaid and similar programs crowd out private coverage at rates as high as 60 percent. That suggests there are millions of people on the Medicaid rolls who could obtain coverage on their own, and that states could reduce the cost of the program by targeting subsidies to the truly needy.

Fraud and abuse have become so prevalent in Medicaid largely due to the perverse incentives created by the matching-grant system."

There's more to talk about regarding this issue......MUCH more, and none of it is favorable to the unserious and ultimately wrong-headed "progressive" response to solving the problem created in most part by their policy failures.

JustCorbly

No earthquake, no tsunami, guys.

Continue the word-game pedantry.

Bubba


"No earthquake, no tsunami, guys."

Did the damage occur before the tsunami arrived?

polifrog

JustCorbly

No earthquake, no tsunami, guys. Continue the word-game pedantry.

Andrew prefers the term "semantics". Of course my point had nothing to do with "word game pedantry".

My point was that the question was poor and as such the answer is of little use to your quip.

Furthermore your other quip:

Voter disgust with politicians across the board causes many of them to be blind to the GOP/conservative culture origins of our economic woes.

Huh? Our nation has been abused by a generation of liberalism.

Liberals, firmly ensconced in moral relativism, selfishly support choice over life, they choose debt over thrift, they choose "The Man" over liberty, and they push poverty on all generations but there own. Never mind the contradictions, these choices all find acceptance when viewed with the proper moral perspective.

The majority of the boomer generation never stopped thinking of themselves. First rejecting the thrift, and sacrifice of the greatest generation, then engorging themselves on the bounty provided by their parents. There was no satiating this generation; not their incessant self aggrandizing through the media, not new age soul searching nonsense, not music, not the hard earned income of others. They were and are lost in an endless maze of perpetual desire unable to find contentment.

Now with the bill for all their excess firmly on the table, they pass it on to subsequent generations as they shuffle into old age.

Once a hippie, now the man -- perpetually living off the plate of another.

Never before has our country seen such a worthless, selfish, shiftless, horrible, or gluttonous group of malcontents so intent on shifting their individual responsibility to society as the generation that followed the Greatest Generation.

From Keynes to Kesey, they are a generation rationalizing gluttony through the heinous bromide of moral relativism, liberalism, and limited liberty while leaving a diminished America for those who follow.

They truly are The Failed Generation.


Andrew Brod

Not that Medicare Advantage was on topic, but...

I know it's a shocker, but Bubba's wrong about MA and the Affordable Care Act. It's true that the ACA will reduce payments to MA, but that's because studies have shown that Medicare has been overpaying MA providers. You'd think that conservatives would favor the the elimination of inefficiencies like that.

And they do! Sort of. The Ryan budget plan includes these same cuts of Medicare Advantage. The Repubs claim their MA cuts are different because they won't use the money ($136 billion over 10 years) to fund more programs. They'll just use it to finance tax cuts for the rich.

Or maybe they don't! According to the CBO, Repub efforts to defund the ACA could undermine MA.

Governance does not become those guys.

Terry

"They'll just use it to finance tax cuts for the rich." You do not fund tax cuts. Taking less money from people is not funding.

polifrog

Terry

"They'll just use it to finance tax cuts for the rich." You do not fund tax cuts. Taking less money from people is not funding.

Not if one first rejects the concept of private property. Much more Keynesian manna becomes possible with that step first taken.

John Hayes

"They'll just use it to finance tax cuts for the rich." You do not fund tax cuts. Taking less money from people is not funding.

The simplest, truest concepts are the most difficult for some people to accept...

"Not if one first rejects the concept of private property."

Poli, you just peeled back the innermost layer of the onion.

But Andrew is correct that you can only make significant tax cuts on those who pay significant (or at least some) taxes. I guess those 38-47% that don't pay any would really get screwed by such cuts. More of that trademark Republican class warfare I guess...

Ed Cone

The idea of "funding" tax cuts is based on the logic of balancing a budget. In that context, where it's an arithmetic problem, not a philosophical one, it makes sense -- lowering revenue has an impact on the budget, so you have to either replace the revenue ("fund the tax cuts"), reduce services, or run deficits. That's the point of the slogan, "If you want nice things, you have to pay for them."

Also, it's important to remember that people who "don't pay taxes" don't make enough money to pay federal income taxes -- they still pay social security, sales, and other taxes.

When the economy is skewed to a small elite of high earners and wealth-holders, income taxes will by definition come from that group, as they're the ones with the income. As the chart linked in the post shows, reducing the income tax from its relatively low Clinton-era levels had a disastrous impact on the budget.

So we're left with the question of what we think are nice things, and how much we're willing to pay for them.

Ishmael

"When the economy is skewed to a small elite of high earners and wealth-holders, income taxes will by definition come from that group, as they're the ones with the income."

This has to be said..over and over. Many Americans would be more than proud to pay some taxes if it meant that their job (which has been outsourced)has returned and that they now have a living wage.
It seems too logical that if the money constantly flows to the top it will be the top that pays the most in taxes. However, this overlooks the fact that whatever income the lower 90% make they still have to pay sales taxes.
So, here's one solution to the "I pay too many taxes already" complaint: free up some of that crapload of money being taxed, quit looking for loopholes to prevent it from being taxed, and start hiring some people. Invest in the US and not overseas. Pay people a living wage. Be a mensch.

Bubba

"I know it's a shocker, but Bubba's wrong about MA and the Affordable Care Act. It's true that the ACA will reduce payments to MA, but that's because studies have shown that Medicare has been overpaying MA providers. You'd think that conservatives would favor the the elimination of inefficiencies like that."

Pay attention, Ace.

Taking 400 billion out of Medicare Advantage, along with several other items of statist nonsense, will drive MA carriers out of the markets one-by-one. Already, the smaller players have bailed, forcing beneficiaries to scramble in pursuit of alternatives, and before long, there will likely be only two or three of the larger carriers left. Ultimately, there will be none left, as they give up the effort required to constantly keep up with the "senior healthcare by fiat" regulatory inefficiency nightmare.

This undesirable result will eliminate a no cost/lost cost alternative to traditional Medicare for people who can least afford it. They will be forced BACK into traditional Medicare, but for the most part, these folks will not be able to afford premiums for Medicare supplement policies and stand alone Part D programs. They'll be exposed to high Part A, Part B, Part C deductibles, and 80% co-pays on other Part B expenses over the deductibles. Those recipients will not be able to pay those costs, and will likely put an additional financial burden on the social safety net.

The "overpaying" nonsense that you, Ribar, and other statist "experts" constantly prattle about is more than offset by the situation described above. Added to this is the established fact the MA clients enjoy far better outcomes from their care, including significantly fewer hospital re-admissions than other Medicare beneficiaries. That just emphasizes the abject stupidity of gutting Medicare Advantage because of the false "overpayment" mantra so favored by short-sighted people like you.

This short-sightedness is the result of policy advocation from "experts" who have no real world experience in dealing with the repercussions of their advocacy, who have never sat across a kitchen table listening to Medicare beneficiaries tell their stories to someone committed to helping these people solve the problems that "experts" like you help create.

You need to spend each day of a Medicare annual enrollment season talking to three or four Medicare Advantage beneficiaries forced out their coverage and learn from the experience. Then you'll be entitled to come back and discuss real-world implications of the destructive and potentially catastrophic health care policies you currently support.

Bubba

My "Part C deductibles" above should be "Part D deductibles".

Roch101

"Both stats and econ require the use of concrete language. It seems, though, that both of you have grown too accustomed to the comfort of firmly defined terminology so prevalent in your disciplines. You should recognize that this discussion in not taking place within the closets of you studies.." -- Polifrog

What a limited way of trying to understand the world you have -- to immediately and constantly misapply a partisan explanation to things you don't like. Saying, as Bob did, that one is offering context by taking something out of context is laughable because of its semantic absurdity, not because of some partisan explanation you concoct.

polifrog

Ed Cone:

When the economy is skewed to a small elite of high earners and wealth-holders, income taxes will by definition come from that group, as they're the ones with the income.

No.

When income taxes are skewed to a small elite of high earners income tax reductions will by definition go to that group, as they're the ones paying the income taxes.

Furthermore:

Have you ever wondered why the wealthy as opposed to high income rich often support democrats? The wealthy are not as altruists they appear to be.

Taxing income penalises productive income earners while sheltering the wealth of individuals like Buffet, and all those who are coasting on what they have already earned. An individual with enough invested in tax sheltered low return investments (coincidently, usually some form of lending to government) can make quite a tidy unearned untaxed income. Democrats protect that sloth by taxing, instead, productive earners.

That's right, as define by taxing schemes the Democratic Party is the party of the non productive yet massively wealthy as well as the poor who have given up on earning high incomes or any income at all.

The republican party in contrast is the party of the productive high earners and of the poor who have not given up on the American dream.

The choice is simple -
Democrat sloth or conservative productivity.

Andrew Brod

So how do we explain the fact that the expansion of 2001-07, whose signature domestic policy was a series of tax cuts that favored the rich and were sold by claiming the rich would increase productivity and investment, had the slowest growth in investment spending of all 10 post-WWII expansions?

And that doesn't even factor out residential investment (i.e. homes), which obviously grew very, very strongly during the last expansion. So net of housing, investment in 2001-07 was even weaker than the government stats suggest.

Put differently, every single one of the preceding 9 post-war expansions, including many in which the economy was in the thrall of the evil Keynesians, featured stronger investment.

Andrew Brod

Bubba's definition of "free enterprise" requires government to pay service providers more than is warranted. Odd, but there it is.

polifrog

Roch101:

What a limited way of trying to understand the world you have -- to immediately and constantly misapply a partisan explanation to things you don't like. Saying, as Bob did, that one is offering context by taking something out of context is laughable because of its semantic absurdity, not because of some partisan explanation you concoct.

I invoked nothing partisan in my point that your fields of study require firmness of language. It is a fact that they do.

Neither did I invoke anything partisan in noting your misplaced expectation of firm language use outside your discipline.

Neither did I invoke anything partisan in pointing out the dehumanizing results of your predilection toward firmness of language.

The only partisanship I see is your presumption of partisan intent where none exits neither in word nor thought.

Your the partisan.

Andrew Brod

Uh huh! Nuh uh!

Strictly speaking, Frog is right. His views are ideological rather than strictly partisan. It's just a coincidence that the home for his ideological ideas is traditionally--and these days exclusively--the GOP.

polifrog

Andrew Brod:

His views are ideological rather than strictly partisan.

You seem to wish to engage me again, albeit obliquely. You must be over your pouting.

My comment toward Roch101 and Dave Ribar regarding "context" was neither partisan or ideological. You make the statement that my comment was ideological (presumably political in nature) without pointing to any evidence of your contention.

The only ideology I see is your presumption of ideological intent where none exits neither in word nor thought.

Your are the source of ideology in your accusation.

polifrog

Andrew Brod:

So how do we explain the fact that the expansion of 2001-07, whose signature domestic policy was a series of tax cuts that favored the rich and were sold by claiming the rich would increase productivity and investment, had the slowest growth in investment spending of all 10 post-WWII expansions?

You assume a static environment.

These policies were intended to offset the dire consequences of both the DotCom Bomb (or what ever it's called) and the detrimental impacts of the 9/11 attacks. Of course, we were also battling more fundamental long term issues brought to light in late 2008.

Expecting greater gains in that environment ignores context for partisan and ideological gain.

Terry

"The idea of "funding" tax cuts is based on the logic of balancing a budget. In that context, where it's an arithmetic problem, not a philosophical one, it makes sense --"
Unfortunately people take the "concept" outside of the "context" and use it as an ideological slogan to promote further seizure of things that do not belong to them

Andrew Brod

None of those issues that Frog mentioned was the primary selling point for the Bush tax cuts. I realize, however, that it may be useful for some to bring them up now.

No, the tax cuts were justified because (a) budget surpluses (remember them?) were bad, and (b) rich people are the one who create the jobs. Only they didn't then (and they aren't now). The expansion of 2001-07 was weak in many dimensions. Not only was investment growth paltry, but so was employment growth: the weakest of any post-WWII expansion. Correct for population? Okay. That expansion also featured the slowest growth of the employment/population ratio of any post-WWII expansion.

This isn't ideology; these are just facts. Ideology is making stuff up and surmising about what might fanciful event might happen in the future.

Roch101

Polifrog, are the anti-intellectual and anti-academic sentiments you expressed really non-partisan? If they were just stand-alone arguments against clear thinking, then I apologize for misconstruing.

Ed Cone

Terry, I don't think discussing and solving the arithmetic problem is taking the issue out of context.

The American people have, over many decades, voted for a certain level of social programs. Discussing the most logical and efficient way to pay for these programs seems like a worthwhile endeavor to me.

Now, it may be that this discussion leads voters to change their minds about the appropriate or sustainable level of social programs in place. Which is fine, as long as we keep an eye on paying for whatever it is we actually end up with.

The changes over time in the tax argument have been interesting to observe. For years we were promised that tax cuts would lead to increased revenue -- that is, that we could sustain the social programs people wanted by lowering marginal rates past a given point.

That clearly didn't work, and we're swimming in red ink. And so a different, and more radical justification is offered: there is no social compact, and all taxes are tantamount to theft.

I don't think that latter argument will fly very far with the American people.

Meanwhile, we're left with the arithmetic problem.

polifrog

Ed Cone:

"If you want nice things, you have to pay for them."

I believe the contentiousness of nice things has a lot to with nice things being divided.

I feel love for our National Park system. I feel similarly for our highway system. Why? My feelings for the National Park System and our Highway system both stand in stark contrast to my generally libertarian sensibilities. Neither does the federal government have the authority from a Constitutional perspective to run either the parks or the highways yet despite this I feel no intrusion, no sense that these programs cross my individuality... why?

I believe the non controversial nature of these programs both personally and nationally stem from the fact that all citizens have equal access to them and that they constitute no transfer of wealth. While the parks and highways financially weigh upon us equally, they also provide to us equally.

The parks and highways are egalitarian in that we are all invited to use them regardless of race, income, belief, age or any other criteria by which liberals divisively view Americans.

In contrast, Medicare, Medicade, Social Security, in short, most social programs depend on pitting Americans against one another based on non egalitarian criteria such as race, wealth, and age.

The product of this is infighting and a weakened America.

There is a lesson to be learned when paying for nice things. Nice things should be in the very least egalitarian. Unfortunately this lesson like the failure of multiculturalism stands in stark contrast to the deep political and power base need for a divided America in liberal politics.


polifrog
Polifrog, are the anti-intellectual and anti-academic sentiments you expressed really non-partisan? If they were just stand-alone arguments against clear thinking, then I apologize for misconstruing.

The point I made in reference "context" had nothing to do with my belief that political bias in academia diminishes both academia and intellectualism.

Additionally, the fact that I believe academia and intellectual thought has been diminished by political bias should not be confused with anti-intellectual and anti-academic sentiments, as I harbor none. Admittedly, during my schooling I was confused on this point and held the anti-academic sentiments you mention.

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