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Friday Talking Points [200] -- A Look Back

[ Posted Friday, March 2nd, 2012 – 17:35 PST ]

Welcome to the 200th Friday Talking Points column!

Because of this momentous occasion, we are going to present a special column today which takes a look backwards at this column's history. Because of this, the normal weekly Friday Talking Points and the awards we normally hand out will all get pre-empted. So if you're looking for an update on what is going on in the political world, you'll have to wait until next week, sorry about that. And if this sort of retrospective doesn't appeal to you, well, there's a whole internet out there waiting, I'm sure there's something better for you to read, somewhere else.

But before we even get to our review, we do have one piece of business which cannot wait, so we will quickly address it and move on. Washington state has a caucus tomorrow, although you'd barely know it from the national news media. This is due to two related reasons: Washington is on the West Coast, which is far, far away from the media centers of New York and Washington, D.C.; and many so-called "journalists" are barely even aware the state exists. Polling is likewise thin and not very prominent in the media.

Romney seems to be doing well, but the state is a caucus state so Ron Paul might have a chance. I'll throw a dart at the wall on this one, and predict Romney wins it, with Santorum close behind, and Ron Paul picking up third place.

I only called three out of a possible six correct this past Tuesday, leaving my overall record standing at:

Total correct 2012 primary picks so far: 20 for 33 -- 61%.

One technical note for those of you who have been following along with these predictions: Washington is the last state where I'll be calling all three top winners. Starting with Super Tuesday, I'll only be calling the number one winner for each state.

OK, with that out of the way, let's get to the talking point review.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 200 (3/2/12)

This column, while mostly put out on a weekly basis, skips a number of weeks each year. You'd think that Volume 200 would be just short of our fourth anniversary, but you would be wrong. We actually hit the fourth calendar anniversary last September, since the very first one of these columns was published on September 14, 2007.

 

Early Days

This column was born out of the frustration of watching Democratic politicians being interviewed on national television, and being unable to articulate in a short and snappy way the ideas they are trying to get across. Republicans just seem to be better at this sort of thing, so I decided to do what I could to help out the Democratic team. The very first column was titled "Memo To Democrats: Talking Points" and had a rather crude and unfinished look to it. While the seven talking points (this number was not thought-out, it just happened that seven is a good length for these lists) mostly dealt with the Iraq War, two of them would become recurring themes, because Democrats have yet to reliably use these two tactics ever since. The first was Talking Point 3 -- demand an "up or down vote" from the congressional Republicans. This easy-to-use phrase is the way to push back on Republican obstructionism, but bizarrely -- even after more obstructionism in the Senate than anyone thought possible back in 2007 -- Democrats still fail to use it to call out Republicans when talking to the media. The second recurring theme was to force the mainstream media to report on good poll numbers for Democratic ideas. Talking Point 6 points out that when you have sixty to eighty percent of the public on your side, you need to point it out every chance you get by using "the vast majority of the American people agree with us." Both of these, as I said, I still use today -- because Democrats still haven't quite learned how to use them effectively.

By the time the first ten of these columns had been written, the format was in place. We had come up with two weekly awards to hand out (the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week and the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week) and even had all the snazzy graphics in place (which were graciously provided by C.W. Cunningham, I should add).

Looking over the first ten columns shows a few other points which retain relevance or are otherwise worth pointing out. In [FTP 3] Talking Point 2 rips into the elitists in the Republican Party. The details are out of date, but the theme is decidedly not. The [FTP 4] column had Talking Point 4 from none other than Teddy Kennedy, challenging Republicans to do without their taxpayer-funded health insurance if they were going to deny it to children (the SCHIP bill was a hot topic). In [FTP 6], a Bush appointee was attacked in Talking Point 6 which can now be seen as foreshadowing:

"President Bush has shown once again that he is more interested in making points with the extreme right wing of his party than with health care. His appointee to distribute public health funds for education on family planning has been quoted saying contraceptives somehow contribute to the 'culture of death' (whatever that is). Bush needs to reconsider this appointment and name someone who is not a proven ideologue and who actually cares about women's reproductive health."

Back in 2007, torture was being debated (astonishingly enough) as United States policy. In [FTP 8], Talking Point 5 asked: "Who would Jesus torture?"

But with 199 previous columns, we simply can't review all of them here (at least not without running monstrously long, which we're already planning on doing anyway). So I limited this retrospective to only the past 50 columns (roughly one year).

 

Rants and tangents

Sometimes there are no actual talking points in the Friday Talking Points. At times, I offer up themed columns (like thanking Labor on Labor Day in [FTP 179]). Other times I suggest political ads, as I did for President Obama in [FTP 181]. Some weeks I review an Obama speech or press conference, to give some praise to well-crafted talking points he used.

Occasionally, I'll just turn the column over to someone else's words. I wrote [FTP 185] using Bob Cesca's excellent talking points from a recent column he had written (example: "The Republicans filibustered the creation of two million jobs"). For some reason, I spent an entire week in [FTP 187] on a veto message from Andrew Jackson, which only goes to show that at times this column does tend to head off into the weeds.

At times, I find I have too many items to fit in the seven weekly Talking Points, and have to squeeze an extra one into the introduction, as I did in [FTP 184] (in other words, sometimes we just make stuff up as we go along, here):

Because, we've just got to say, the Occupy Wall Street slogan "We are the 99 percent" is truly brilliant and deserves recognition. Whomever came up with this slogan is a genius in the world of framing things politically.

It's simple. It's easy to understand, and needs no further explanation. It fits on a bumpersticker. It's memorable. It has every quality a good political slogan should have, in other words. We are the 99 percent.

. . .

"We are the 99 percent" deserves the first-ever Best Political Slogan Of The Week award, which we just now created.

To the author of this slogan: Good job. Well done. I genuflect in your general direction.

The columns that wind up being the most fun, however, are the ones where I just toss out the "seven enumerated Talking Points" formula, and go off on a rant. In the past year, this has included rants on:

Class warfare in [FTP 155].

The option, in [FTP 172], of President Obama using the Fourteenth Amendment to forcibly shut down Congress so he could recess-appoint a head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (which he then did, although not in the manner suggested).

How I felt Obama had fumbled the initial rollout of the birth control issue, just a few weeks ago in [FTP 197].

And then, last week in [FTP 199], how the whole "War on Women" language should be framed, since the issue had risen in the public eye so fast.

As I said, these rants are both fun to write, and they usually generate a higher-than-usual level of interest in the comment section as well.

 

Last year's most-relevant Talking Points

But the heart of the column is the Talking Points themselves. Here are the ones from the past year which are still relevant to the political discussion today, for various reasons. They are presented (except for the final one, continuing our tradition of saving the most outrageous for last) in chronological order, with the Talking Point numbers nest to each one corresponding to the numbers from the original columns. Also, apologies in advance, as some of these external links may no longer work.

 

From [FTP 154] we had two which still resonate.

5
   Taxes lowest since Korean War

Here's a story most of the mainstream media missed.

"Did you see the recent story that Americans are paying the lowest amount of taxes this year since 1950? Yes, you heard me right. We're paying lower taxes than we've paid since the Korean War. For three years in a row, Americans are paying lower taxes than under George W. Bush, due to Democratic tax cuts that seem never to get discussed in the media. Obama lowered everyone's taxes, and it's time the American public knew the facts of the matter."

 

6
   The culture wars versus jobs

This needs pointing out at every opportunity: where is the Republican jobs plan?

"I notice that the Republicans in the House are considering three bills on restricting abortion, but I still haven't heard of any job-creation bill from them. They have, quite obviously, shown their priorities -- to fight the culture wars and ignore the economy. Maybe it's really a vote of confidence in Obama's economic plans in disguise -- Republicans are doing nothing, because Obama's plan is working. The unemployment rate has come down eight-tenths of a point in the past two months -- a faster decline than we've seen in decades -- while Republicans continue to do nothing about jobs. I just hope the voters are paying attention to the Republican agenda, and how they prioritize things."

 

This one's going to be big in the election, one assumes. From [FTP 158].

6
   Romneycare pretty popular

President Obama complimented Mitt Romney recently, which the media reported as some sort of insult. Or something. It's hard to follow their logic, at times, I have to admit. On non-Charlie-Sheen subjects, at least. Obama, or some other enterprising Democrat, should strike this iron once again, while it's still hot.

"For all the smoke and noise on what Republicans call 'Obamacare,' there was an interesting poll out of Massachusetts this week. Mitt Romney's healthcare reform -- which is very similar, and even has the dreaded individual mandate -- is actually pretty popular in the state. A whopping eighty-four percent of the public likes Romneycare, apparently. That's a pretty high approval rating for a plan which isn't all that different than what Democrats passed last year on the national level, don't you think?"

 

Four years later, in [FTP 164], I'm still beating the same drum.

4
   Three-fourths of "The American people" agree

Poll after poll shows that the public is actually on the Democratic side in the debate about slashing Medicare, and about taxing millionaires. So point it out!

"You know, Republicans made a whole lot of noise after the 2010 election about how they were, quote, listening to the American people, unquote, and were just going to do what the American people wanted them to do in Washington. But poll after poll shows that the American people -- by a two-to-one or even three-to-one margin -- do not want Medicare privatized by turning it into a voucher system. Poll after poll also shows that the American people are strongly in favor -- again, by around three-fourths of the public -- of raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. The American people are speaking quite clearly on the subject of what to do about the deficit. But the Republicans are simply not listening. Republicans should do what the American people want them to do, and drop this radical plan to kill Medicare. The American people list taxing the ultra-wealthy as their number one choice for solving the deficit problem. Republicans shouldn't be so deaf to what the American people are saying they want."

 

This one, from [FTP 177], isn't still relevant, since events have overtaken it. But it's still worth digging it out, in the hopes that it can be slightly reworded to bring it up to date.

1
   Thank Obama for your free birth control

Democrats are notoriously bad at one of the basic tenets in politics -- when your party achieves something you think the American people will like, then you have to point it out to them repeatedly to cement in their minds who was responsible for improving their lives. As I said, this is basic, basic politics, but so far I haven't heard many Democrats saying any version of the following.

"Millions of American women will soon be enjoying a healthcare benefit which will change their lives for the better. Next year, health insurance plans will be providing free birth control prescriptions to American women. It has been outrageous that Viagra is covered by most health insurance, but not birth control -- and this disparity will now be largely fixed. But this didn't happen in a vacuum. Democrats were the cause. Democrats care about young women who can't afford birth control, because their health insurance doesn't cover it alongside the erection pills for men. Every woman should remember this next year, and thank President Obama and the congressional Democrats for their free birth control prescriptions -- because Republicans certainly didn't have anything to do with it."

 

This one was from [FTP 180], which covered a speech Obama gave to a joint session of Congress. It was a great speech, and a defining one for his re-election campaign.

6
   We can't afford to do both -- it's simple math

One of the best highlights of the speech was Obama turning this one back against the Republicans. It's not a question of spending -- it's a question of what priorities we have, as a nation. It's not class warfare to point out simple math. We can't afford to do everything? Fine, then let's get our priorities straight, shall we?

So we can reduce this deficit, pay down our debt, and pay for this jobs plan in the process. But in order to do this, we have to decide what our priorities are. We have to ask ourselves, "What's the best way to grow the economy and create jobs?"

Should we keep tax loopholes for oil companies? Or should we use that money to give small business owners a tax credit when they hire new workers? Because we can't afford to do both. Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires? Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can't afford to do both.

This isn't political grandstanding. This isn't class warfare. This is simple math. This is simple math. These are real choices. These are real choices that we've got to make. And I'm pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It's not even close. And it's time for us to do what's right for our future.

 

Two weeks later, it was Elizabeth Warren's turn, in [FTP 182]. The video of her saying this out on the campaign trail had already gone viral when I wrote this.

2
   Nobody in this country got rich on his own

Elizabeth Warren is the other Democrat out there showing the rest of them how this sort of thing is done. I wrote earlier this week about a video of Warren's brilliant framing of the issue to a small group of voters, and it is one of the best examples of Democrats who know how to do this sort of thing that I've ever seen.

It's been made into a a graphic image, as well. Here is Warren's answer, in full:

I hear all this, you know: "Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever." No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

 

I've always found the doublethink Republicans exhibit on taxes amusing, as Nancy Pelosi pointed out in [FTP 190].

5
   Funny which tax cuts have to be paid for, isn't it?

This is an excellent point. Awfully funny that "Democratic" tax cuts "have to be paid for" while "Republican" tax cuts... um, what was it? "Pay for themselves" or some such tommyrot?

Here is Nancy Pelosi, again:

And the fact is, we know what we have to do. If we have to pay for the payroll tax cut, and we are perfectly willing to do that, even though the Republicans never want to pay for the tax cut for the wealthiest people in our country. Doesn't that strike you as funny? For the middle income tax cut it has to be paid for. Tax cuts for the wealthy, we don't pay for that.

 

Some weeks are better than others, when coming up with these Talking Points. The week [FTP 193] came out was a particularly good one. If this retrospective wasn't already way too long, I would have included Talking Points 1, 3 and 5 here, as well. Here are the two that made the cut. The first was written before the contraceptive debate exploded on the political scene, I should point out.

6
   War on contraception

The "right to privacy" goes back further than Roe v. Wade. It actually stretches back to another Supreme Court case -- Griswold v. Connecticut. Remind people what this means.

"When Mitt Romney was asked in a debate about the right to privacy and overturning Griswold v. Connecticut, he responded by saying he didn't think states would ever consider banning contraception. This shows how out of touch he is with his own party, because there is currently a movement to pass so-called 'personhood' laws at the state level. These laws would have the result of making certain forms of birth control -- used by millions of American citizens -- flat-out illegal. Romney tried to laugh the question off as some sort of unthinkable situation, but this effort is already underway. I don't think Americans really want states to be able to ban contraception, and I think what is unbelievable is that Mitt Romney is unaware that his own party is attempting to do so on the state level."

 

7
   Rapists' rights

I've written about this one before. Like most of the rest of these talking points, all you have to do is take the Republican position to its logical conclusion, and lay it before the public to expose the ugliness.

"I notice that this year the Republican Party seems to have taken the most extreme position on abortion imaginable: make all abortions illegal, with no exceptions whatsoever. Why the media doesn't ask them about the result of this stance is beyond me. I'd like to see these candidates asked a few questions, such as 'Would you really force an incest victim to bear a child that will be both her daughter and her sister?' The very idea is repugnant, but this is exactly what the Republicans would force such a girl to do. Even worse is the fact that Republicans are in favor of what would be a 'Rapists' Rights' law. If they had their way, rapists would be able to choose the mother of their children, secure in the knowledge that their victim would be forced to bring their child to term. Why are Republicans standing up for the rights of rapists, and trampling on the rights of rape victims? It just boggles the mind."

 

To close the serious portion of this retrospective, here is one recent Talking Point, from [FTP 196] to springboard us into campaign season. I'm sure this won't be the last time Mitt Romney says something wildly out-of-touch, from the way the campaign has gone so far.

5
   Fix the safety net? Are you kidding me, Mitt?

Mitt's convinced that everyone quoted him out of context. Because this "safety net" thing that he's heard about is obviously in fine shape, and gosh darn it, he'll do whatever he can to "fix" it, if need be. One might consider uttering this talking point while rolling your eyes in a sarcastic manner. Just a suggestion.

"Mitt Romney says he'll, quote, fix the safety net, unquote, if it needs it? Who is he trying to fool? I mean, are you kidding me, Mitt? When Republicans talk about 'reforming entitlements' that is the same as saying 'gut, defund, and destroy the safety net,' plain and simple. That is what the Republican Party is all about, today: shredding the safety net and kicking the poor to the curb. If you go through the policy ideas of Mitt Romney -- or, really, any Republican -- you'll find that they all make the lives of the poor more miserable by far. Republicans aren't going to 'fix' the safety net if they get elected, they're going to try their hardest to eliminate it. Mitt Romney simply cannot be believed, there's no other way to put it."

 

And finally, two amusing Talking Points from last year. The first was my suggestion (which I certainly can't claim originality for) in [FTP 189] for Congressfolk.

7
   NASCAR jackets for Congress

This idea has been floating around the internet for a while. I certainly can't claim this as an original idea, but it is still the best radical idea in the field of campaign contributions I've ever heard.

"I am introducing a bill I call the 'NASCAR Jacket Bill' which will require all members of Congress to wear -- whenever on the floor of Congress or at a public event -- visible patches from every corporation or lobbying group they've taken money from in the past ten years. Since this 'sponsorship' of Congress is so widespread, let's allow the public to see who is buying whom. Congressmen will be forced to display patches from every group who donates money to them -- and the patches will be larger and more colorful, depending on the amount of money given (just like NASCAR sponsorships are rewarded, in other words). Let the public see this legalized bribery, on every television screen on which a politician appears. Let the people decide for themselves whether they want to vote for a politician who has been bought and sold in this fashion. Give Americans the visual evidence of where the money in politics comes from, by forcing NASCAR jackets on each and every member of Congress."

 

The last Talking Point is one that earns the "most bizarre" award for the year, from [FTP 169]. You just can't make this stuff up, people!

7
   Where's the Hairspray cast when you need them?

File this one in the "you've got to be freakin' kidding me" file, I guess.

"To protest a recent court decision which made dancing in the Jefferson Memorial a crime, several people showed up a few weeks ago and danced in the Jefferson Memorial. The U.S. Park Police were not amused, and they arrested several people for the crime of dancing. The federal cops used quite a bit of force in doing so, to people who were peacefully dancing -- or, to put it another way, exercising free expression in a public place. Last week, the cops had apparently thought twice, and were much more restrained when another group of protesters showed up and started dancing. They merely cleared the Memorial, rather than using excessive force or arresting anybody. But the whole situation is absurd. If dancing at a memorial is illegal, then why didn't the cops arrest the Rockettes when they danced on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for one of George Bush's inaugurations? Why in the name of freedom would anyone think that silently dancing is any sort of crime in the first place? Where are the outraged Tea Partiers, for that matter? I mean, I thought we had the First Amendment to the Constitution to prevent such tyranny from our government."

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

65 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [200] -- A Look Back”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Hey Chris:

    Just wanted to say "Congratulations" for 200 Friday Talking Points! I originally discovered you on huffpost when you were writing about the ACA process and you wrote some terrific columns aimed at various Dems who were either being or not being helpful. I think that's about right. At any rate, that's where I started reading you and eventually I decided to visit here.

    (Enjoyed yesterday's grammar rant as well.)

    To 200 more!

    Paula

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Paula -

    Well, thank you for the kind words. I have to say, I never thought I'd see Volume 200, personally...

    :-)

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    dsws wrote:

    Thank Obama for your free birth control

    TANSTAAFL. It's in your medical-insurance premiums.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thank Obama for your free birth control

    Yea, now you can have sex all you want and not have to worry about any consequences..

    All at the expense of the American people...

    Thank you, Obama... For making all American's insurance higher.... :^/

    If there was ANY truth in political slogans, Obama's would be:

    Making your costs higher and your life miserable.... Give Obama 4 more years to really screw you over.
    "I am President Obama and I approved this message"

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    GM temporarily halts production of Volt
    General Motors has temporarily suspended production of its Volt electric car, the company announced Friday.

    GM, which is based in Detroit, announced to employees at one of its facilities that it was halting production of the beleaguered electric car for five weeks and temporarily laying off 1,300 employees.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/automobiles/213889-gm-halting-production-of-chevy-volt

    THAT is why the Auto Bailout was such a moronic and boneheaded move...

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    CW,

    my first exposure to your column was at the huffington post shortly before the FTP first started. if i recall correctly, you were coping with the dearth of democratic talking points by hosting periodic "bumper sticker" contests, to see who could generate the pithiest one-liners. it was a different format, but aimed at addressing the same deficiency.

    the question i would ask now is, over the course of these years, have the democrats gotten any better at media sound-bytes? how much further have they got to go to catch up with the R's?

    ~joshua

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws [3] -

    Oh, piffle. We're playing politics here... and it wouldn't have happened without Obama, so there.

    OK, that was a weak argument, so I will atone for it by explaining your term to anyone who hasn't heard it before, from the original source:

    =====
    "It was when you insisted that the, uh, young lady, Tish -- that Tish must pay, too. 'Tone-stapple,' or something like it."

    "Oh, 'tanstaafl.' Means 'There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.' And isn't," I added, pointing to a FREE LUNCH sign across room, "or these drinks would cost half as much. Was reminding her that anything free costs twice as much in long run or turns out worthless."
    =====
    -Robert A. Heinlein, "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress"

    :-)

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 -

    Now that is a very interesting question.

    I would have to say, upon reflection, that Democrats have gotten a little better about it. I think that the 2010 midterms refocused them in the same way that Newt's "Republican Revolution" in 1994 refocused them. For instance, I haven't heard much from the Blue Dogs since then... (OK, there are fewer of them in DC, but still...).

    I've gotten to the point where I think it may be personality. I see Dems interviewed, and some of them are just TERRIBLE at this sort of thing. Some of them rise to the occasion now and then, but fall back to mumbling in-between flashes of coherence. And some of them are from the "Democrats have the right ideas, if you'll just allow me to EXPLAIN it using 800 words, then I'm sure everyone will agree we're right and vote for us" school of rhetoric, also known as the "intellectual argument that never gets on a soundbite" way of speaking.

    Sigh.

    But there are up-and-comers in the party who really make me cheer when I see them interviewed. Also some party stalwarts. Off the top of my head, here are a few who almost always nail it:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- best I've seen, by far
    Chuck Schumer (on occasion)
    Chris Van Hollen (every so often)
    Al Franken (always)
    Nancy Pelosi (needs to work on delivery, but her soundbites are crisp and snappy, for the most part)
    Raul Grijalva (on the rare occasions they let him on TV)

    That's just off the top of my head -- there are others.

    The real problem is getting them on TV. Look at who gets invited to the Sunday morning chat shows from the Dem side -- it's usually the "moderates" (or even right-wingers like Lieberman) who get the invites. The networks are terrified of having actual Lefties on air, it seems.

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2012/01/19/gm-is-back-in-the-auto-sales-drivers-seat/

    And that is why it was such a good idea.

    What's the matter, you don't believe in American exceptionalism or something?

    Heh.

    REAL indpendents know Obama saved the American auto industry. And that's why Michigan will vote for Obama this November.

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    REAL indpendents know Obama saved the American auto industry

    SAVED the Auto Industry??

    And yet the Left still whines and cries about stuff like pollution and lousy mileage and all that stuff...

    Now, let's step into our handy dandy Del Rey Infinite Machine Of Maybes and tool back to the Auto Bailout years...

    Postulate a scenario where Obama said to GM, "Sorry guys. You produce crap and your killing the planet doing it. To paraphrase Capt Kirk, I am going to let you die"...

    NOW we have a totally collapsed industry that COULD have been rebuilt around a more sensible approach to auto making. One that develops and incorporates green technology from the ground UP...

    Just think the MILLIONS of new workers a re-tooled auto industry would need...

    Just THINK of the kinds of technology that would be just around the corner..

    But Nooooooooooooooo

    Obama didn't "save" anything.. He simply gave gave us more years of polluting cars, high gas prices and an industry that only knows how to fail..

    Good call...

    Michale....

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- best I've seen, by far

    Isn't she the Congress Critter who is speaking at an event hosted by a terrorist???

    Michale.....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he had received "grisly reports" that Syrian government forces were arbitrarily executing, imprisoning and torturing people in the battle-scarred city of Homs after rebel fighters had fled.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/03/us-syria-idUSL5E8DB0BH20120303

    This is what happens when you lead from behind...

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    akadjian wrote:

    CW-

    I just wanted to say a quick congratulations on FTP #200!!!

    I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this to you or not, but I first found your site back around late 2007 when I was searching for people who were using some of the principles laid out in George Lakoff's book "Don't Think of an Elephant".

    To me, it's tremendously interesting that so many Democrats have read this book, yet so few actually put it into practice.

    You're one of the few, whether the book influenced you or not, and it's why I've been visiting here ever since.

    Best
    -David

  14. [14] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    "Welcome to the 200th Friday Talking Points column!"

    Wow, congrats, Chris! Looking forward to another 200!

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    You talked before about "Apology Derangement Syndrome"??

    Hell, it looks like OBAMA has got it bad!!!

    He is even apologizing for Rush!!!! :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    dsws wrote:

    Starting with Super Tuesday, I'll only be calling the number one winner for each state.

    The president is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. (At least here in MA he is. Somebody has probably gotten on the ballot somewhere.)

    So here's my one-winner question: Who will get more votes tomorrow, the president or the winner of the Republican primary?

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    REPORT: Israel has already made decision...
    http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/03/05/israels-channel-2-u-s-officials-believe-netanyahu-has-already-decided-to-strike-iran/#

    Looks like Israel is going to war....

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    HA!!!

    Looks like we have met the Left's "Joe The Plumber"...

    Sandra Fluke, Gender Reassignment, and Health Insurance
    http://mrctv.org/blog/sandra-fluke-gender-reassignment-and-health-insurance

    Let the back-pedaling begin!!!! :D

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    You talked before about "Apology Derangement Syndrome"??

    Hell, it looks like OBAMA has got it bad!!!

    He is even apologizing for Rush!!!! :D

    why is it that whenever you post something about the president it triggers in me the urge to defend him, and whenever liz posts something about obama i get the uncontrollable urge to skewer him.

  20. [20] 
    dsws wrote:

    That would probably be because you actually read their comments.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    why is it that whenever you post something about the president it triggers in me the urge to defend him, and whenever liz posts something about obama i get the uncontrollable urge to skewer him.

    That made me laugh... :D

    But I know what ya mean.. I had the same feelings during the Bush years.. But no one around here pushed the "Skewer Bush" button.. :D

    Michale....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Starting with Super Tuesday, I'll only be calling the number one winner for each state.

    Drudge had a cute moniker posted...

    SUPER CHOOSEDAY

    That's catchy... :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's a question I have been wondering all day..

    How can Obama apologize for Rush for some crude comment to a woman and then turn around and accept money from a guy who has made millions off of crude comments to women?

    I realize pointing out the Left's hypocrisy is a job and a half unto itself....

    I am just sayin'.....

    Michale....

  24. [24] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    How can Obama apologize for Rush for some crude comment to a woman and then turn around and accept money from a guy who has made millions off of crude comments to women?

    the president is taking money from howard stern?

    but seriously, obama is a politician like every other politician, he'll take it from wherever he can get it. i do feel foolish for thinking he might have been different, but that bit of naivete is my fault, not his.

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    but seriously, obama is a politician like every other politician, he'll take it from wherever he can get it. i do feel foolish for thinking he might have been different, but that bit of naivete is my fault, not his.

    It's just that the double standard between the Left and the Right is so glaring, so.... insulting..

    I mean, they don't even try to HIDE it any more...

    Back in the day, politicians seemed to be embarrassed about being caught in blatant hypocrisy.

    These days, they heap adulation on a guy who calls women c*unts, tw*ts and bitches etc etc and then turn around and blast someone in the opposing party who calls a woman a slut or a hooker. An accusation that is, at least HALF right...

    Like you, I guess I expect more integrity from our leaders.

    But, I don't think it's naive to do so. If EVERYONE did so and STUCK by it, maybe we would have better leaders, eh??

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    dsws wrote:

    the president is taking money from howard stern?

    Not as far as I can tell. I don't know who Michale is referring to.

    Multi-million-dollar donations to a super-PAC are relevant to a politician's integrity. Bundlers who raise millions, and organize events where the candidate meets the donors, are relevant to a politician's integrity. Thousand-dollar donations to a few-thousand-dollar campaign are relevant to a politician's integrity.

    Thousand-dollar donations to a multi-million-dollar campaign, that happen automatically without a human being so much as having to open an envelope, and no staffer even ever knows who gave the money, are not relevant to a politician's integrity.

    That goes for either party.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not as far as I can tell. I don't know who Michale is referring to.

    That would be Bill Maher... Who Obama just took a million bucks from..

    Which, by your own criteria, is "relevant to a politicians integrity"...

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    dsws wrote:

    Ok, it's Bill Maher. He said nasty things about Sarah Palin, apparently. I don't know exactly what, and I don't watch him so I don't have an overall opinion. I don't trust the sources of the effort to demonize him. I don't think it's likely he's so awful that Obama needed to do anything about the super-PAC donation. But I don't know.

    On the other hand, I haven't had much to say against Rush Limbaugh in the last few days, either. I don't really expect better of him. I'm already not on the same side as he is. He doesn't speak for me, and no one is going to think he does.

  29. [29] 
    dsws wrote:

    Told while googling. Shoulda googled before I posted, maybe. Technically I have an out, because I said "multi-million-dollar" donations are relevant, and Bill Maher is one million in what will probably be a billion-dollar campaign. In relative terms it's in the drop-in-the-bucket range, but in absolute amount a million is big enough that if Bill Maher were as awful as the right-wingers make him out to be then Obama should probably do something to distance himself from him.

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ok, it's Bill Maher. He said nasty things about Sarah Palin, apparently.

    And Michelle Bachman, Michelle Maikin, etc etc...

    But, of course, they are conservatives, so that doesn't matter to the Left.

    They deserve what they got...

    I guess that explains why Obama didn't call any of them when they were attacked by a Left Wing personality... :^/

    Michale..

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ironically enough, even Bill Maher agrees with me about the treatment of Rush by the Left.

    Not that I am inclined to care... :D

    Michale.....

  32. [32] 
    dsws wrote:

    And Michelle Bachman, Michelle Maikin, etc etc...

    But, of course, they are conservatives

    They're also public figures. Obama gets all sorts of (expletive) thrown at him, that just comes with being in the public spotlight. There's some that crosses the line too, of course, but lots doesn't. Rough estimate, 80% is completely in-bounds (all too often devoid of merit, but in-bounds nonetheless), 15% is disappointing but hey it's not my side saying it so who cares, and 5% is over the line.

    As I said, I don't watch Bill Maher. I watched a couple segments that were linked from HuffPo, and I could tell pretty quickly that he wasn't for me. I don't need someone basically saying hooray for our side.

    So I don't know whether Bill Maher crossed the line or not, whether what he said about various politicians is worse than 95% of what gets thrown at Obama or not. I'm not going to rebut your condemnation because to do that I'd have to watch him, and yuck. By the same token, I'm not going to join in your condemnation, because to do that I'd have to watch him.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    They're also public figures

    So is Fluke. Perhaps not in the same vein as Palin or Malkin, but once she took her activism into the public forum, she became a public figure..

    So I don't know whether Bill Maher crossed the line or not, whether what he said about various politicians is worse than 95% of what gets thrown at Obama or not.

    Maher called Sarah Palin a cunt...

    I don't think you have to watch him to know that it is completely out of bounds...

    Hell, just typing the word, I had to look over my shoulder to make sure my lovely wife wasn't watching...

    By the same token, I'm not going to join in your condemnation, because to do that I'd have to watch him.

    See above.. You don't have to watch him to condemn him for what he said...

    Michale.....

  34. [34] 
    dsws wrote:

    I don't buy the claim that anyone becomes a public figure, fair game for political attack to the same extent as politicians and subject to the same demands as politicians, just by expressing an opinion or being mentioned as an example. Warren Buffett has put himself in the public eye enough to be pretty close to that level, but him saying he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary doesn't put his secretary in the same category. Expressing opinions in public? Come on. You and I are doing it right now, but that doesn't make us public figures. We're not obligated to put our tax returns online and have our cell phone records available to the media just for expressing opinions in public.

    Right-wing blogs don't get to put words in my mouth, even about the basic facts. I don't even completely trust your sources not to just plain make stuff up. There's no excuse for calling anyone a c***, but I'm not going to join in claiming that Bill Maher did. I'm willing to assume for the sake of discussion that he did, but I'm not willing to say he did.

    Misogynist language toward anyone, public figures included, is wrong. The attention that's been directed at Sarah Palin in particular borders on sick. (Maybe it goes beyond just "borders on", but not before I stop reading. HuffPo sees what generates large numbers of page loads and what doesn't, and that doesn't get them from me.)

    Then the question is whether the president has done enough to distance himself from that kind of thing. I think he (and his campaign, and White House staff) have always refrained from actually encouraging it. I think he spoke against it at least once. More would have been nice, but I think he's at least met the minimum requirements.

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    So is Fluke. Perhaps not in the same vein as Palin or Malkin, but once she took her activism into the public forum, she became a public figure..

    Let me put it another way..

    Say you have citizen Jon Q Sixpack who appears before a televised GOP committee to submit the report from Maricopa County SO that there is probable cause to believe that Obama's Birth Certificate is a forgery. Mr Sixpack wants the GOP committee to investigate this claim..

    Naturally the Left, en masse attack Mr Sixpack and calls him all sorts of vile and disgusting names...

    Now, would anyone here defend Mr Sixpack against those vicious and unfounded attacks??

    Or would everyone here simply shrug their shoulders and say, "Hay, if he is going to go public with such a ludicrous position, he should expect to be attacked for it.."

    I am will to lay down some major quatloos that the latter is what would occur rather than the former..

    It's the same concept with Fluke... She is a known and proven Left Wing activist. She went public with her crusade.. She got knocked around for it...

    Basically she is another Cindy Sheehan...

    Once you throw your hat in the political ring as an activist, you become fair game...

    Which isn't to say that I agree with or condone the name calling.. I don't... Even if it is partially accurate...

    The difference is, that's my position whether it's a Lefty that's being attacked or a Righty...

    And to hide behind the "private citizen" excuse is a pale attempt at whitewashing hypocrisy...

    "Some say that social occasions are merely warfare disguised as diplomacy. Others prefer their conflict more..... honest."
    -Kahn Noonian Singh, STAR TREK, Space Seed

    Michale......

  36. [36] 
    dsws wrote:

    Which isn't to say that I agree with or condone the name calling.. I don't...

    ... except in the previous sentence. And the one before that. And the previous post. And ...

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    ... except in the previous sentence. And the one before that. And the previous post. And ...

    "Fair Game"??

    That's name-calling???

    Or that Rush was half right???

    I specifically said I don't condone the name-calling. Even if it is true...

    I mean seriously.... $1000 a month on birth control???

    What would YOU call it??

    Michale.....

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean seriously.... $1000 a month on birth control???

    I know what *I* would call it!!!!

    A typo... :D

    That should read $1000 a year.....

    My bust.... :D

    Michale.....

  39. [39] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [10] -

    Um... what? Obama was the one who pushed through the first hike in CAFE standards ("miles per gallon" requirements) in decades. So why exactly is he pro-gas-guzzler?

    Does not compute.

    As for whether he saved Detroit or not, well we'll just have to see which way MI and OH go in the general election, won't we? That'll be the true test of it, as far as the voters affected are concerned.

    -CW

  40. [40] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws [34] (and everone else) -

    Your comment, #34, also has another interesting number attached to it.

    This was the 20,000th comment on ChrisWeigant.com.

    Woo hoo!

    [virtual balloons drop from ceiling, virtual siren goes crazy]

    Of course, due to our budgetary realities, this honor does not win you anything tangible. But you are allowed to brag about it here!

    :-)

    Thanks to everyone for the continued success of ChrisWeigant.com.

    [To see what I'm talking about, hover over (or click on) the "Permalink" button at the bottom of comment 34, above.]

    -CW

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Um... what? Obama was the one who pushed through the first hike in CAFE standards ("miles per gallon" requirements) in decades. So why exactly is he pro-gas-guzzler?

    Was that before or after he shut down EPA standards???

    Are you seriously going to tell me that you prefer the Auto Companies of today over the Green-Oriented High-Mileage, Cutting-Edge Tech, Millions-Employment Car Companies that might have been???

    I know you too well to think that... :D

    As for whether he saved Detroit or not, well we'll just have to see which way MI and OH go in the general election, won't we? That'll be the true test of it, as far as the voters affected are concerned.

    No, the TRUE test of whether he "saved" Detroit or not is whether or not Detroit needs another bail-out in 5-10 years...

    Guess who'll be around to say, "Told ya so"... :D

    [To see what I'm talking about, hover over (or click on) the "Permalink" button at the bottom of comment 34, above.]

    "Missed it by THAT >< much!"
    -Agent 86, GET SMART

    :D

    Michale....

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Are you seriously going to tell me that you prefer the Auto Companies of today over the Green-Oriented High-Mileage, Cutting-Edge Tech, Millions-Employment Car Companies that might have been???

    I would also wager that, if it had been a GOP President who did the Auto Bailout, the Left would be saying that he (she??) was just protecting their Auto Executive buddies... :D

    Michale.....

  43. [43] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    I would also wager that, if it had been a GOP President who did the Auto Bailout, the Left would be saying that he (she??) was just protecting their Auto Executive buddies... :D

    Well. considering Bush approved the first auto bailout on December 19, 2008 you would not need to wager but could directly look it up...

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well. considering Bush approved the first auto bailout on December 19, 2008 you would not need to wager but could directly look it up...

    I was speaking more along the lines of the Left's accusation regarding Bush's "oil buddies"..

    But yea.. That'll work too.. :D

    Michale.....

  45. [45] 
    dsws wrote:

    This was the 20,000th comment on ChrisWeigant.com.

    *squeal* A year's supply of virtual Rice-a-Roni, just what I always wanted!

  46. [46] 
    dsws wrote:

    As for whether he saved Detroit or not, well we'll just have to see which way MI and OH go in the general election, won't we? That'll be the true test of it, as far as the voters affected are concerned.

    It will be a test of the mood of the voters, telling diddly about what would have happened if two of the Big Three had gone into liquidation. Would it have devastated the supply chain for Ford and the Japanese companies with US factories, ensuring that they too ceased to make cars in the US, until Detroit lost its last can of who hash? Or would the Capitalism Fairy have strewn the land with idyllic jobs-of-tomorrow factories, producing cars that run on moonbeams and never get stuck in traffic jams?

    The decisive voters don't have any special knowledge of what would have happened. We're talking about people who are such accomplished policy wonks that they vote on name recognition when they vote at all.

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    It will be a test of the mood of the voters, telling diddly about what would have happened if two of the Big Three had gone into liquidation. Would it have devastated the supply chain for Ford and the Japanese companies with US factories, ensuring that they too ceased to make cars in the US, until Detroit lost its last can of who hash? Or would the Capitalism Fairy have strewn the land with idyllic jobs-of-tomorrow factories, producing cars that run on moonbeams and never get stuck in traffic jams?

    Yer right.

    It's MUCH better that we have cars that put out an incredible amount of pollution, that force gas prices to rise to $6 a gallon and are the number one cause of death amongst teenagers..

    Yea, we're better off that Obama "saved" Detroit...

    NO ONE on the Left has the moral or ethical standing to whine and cry about Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling) if they support Obama's "saving" of Detroit...

    Michale....

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bashi,

    Well. considering Bush approved the first auto bailout on December 19, 2008...

    You have (inadvertently, I am sure :D) proved my point for me..

    There was a first Auto Bailout. The auto companies apparently didn't learn their lesson, because there had to be a second one, under Obama...

    So, why does anyone think that the second bail out will be any more effective??

    Oh wait. Because The Great And Powerful Obama has said so, right?? Obama used his super duper hunky dorky pixie dust on THIS bailout, so it will be perfect... Right?? :D

    Ahhhhhh Ideological faith.. It must be sooooo comforting... :D

    Michale.....

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhhhhh Ideological faith.. It must be sooooo comforting... :D

    For the record, I was speaking about the Left in general, not you specifically...

    Michale.....

  50. [50] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Actually what I was pointing out is the "bailout" was fairly bi-partisan. Both happened within months of each other making Obama's more of a phase 2 of a general bailout rather than a separate one. Criticizing Obama and ignoring Bush seems a bit hypocritical in this case.

    What you and the republican candidates seem to overlook in the Auto loans, is the cost to the government of having about an extra million people out of work. Is paying a million people unemployment cheaper than the loans? So far Chrysler as paid back it's loans and at current share price if all the US owned GM stock was sold the government would have lost about $15 Billion on the whole thing.

    Somehow I'm suspecting crocodile tears in your new found environmentalism...

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is paying a million people unemployment cheaper than the loans?

    Considering that a million people will be unemployed for a short time and then, when new companies are tooled up, those million will be back to work and ANOTHER million would be hired on top of that..

    Unemployment is back up to 9.1%

    So, you tell me.. Did Obama really "save" anything??

    So far Chrysler as paid back it's loans and at current share price if all the US owned GM stock was sold the government would have lost about $15 Billion on the whole thing.

    Ahhhh lost "only" $15 billion.. Whew.. For a minute I thought we were talking about some REAL money.. :^/

    Since it's "only" $15 Billion, why don't we have the DNC and President Obama cover it so taxpayers don't have to?? :D

    Somehow I'm suspecting crocodile tears in your new found environmentalism...

    There is nothing "new found" about my environmentalism. I am on record for YEARS advocating the idea that green technology is the way to go and that getting pollution under control is a laudable goal and getting ourselves off the oil dependency is a strategically sound tactic.

    I simply ridicule the ludicrous idea that we MUST do all of the afore in order to save the planet..

    The idea that human beings could actually destroy the planet is sheer lunacy and laughable arrogance...

    Michale.....

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is nothing "new found" about my environmentalism. I am on record for YEARS advocating the idea that green technology is the way to go

    I am also constrained to point out that Obama's idea of "promoting green technology" is simply rewarding donors and lobbyists, and ignoring the fact that these "green" companies couldn't properly manage a lemonade stand...

    Michale....

  53. [53] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Only $15 Billion compared to what the unemployment bill would be. Only $15 billion compared to $100 billion that was spend on the loan program.

    YEARS, eh? And nothing about the SUV tax rebate. Interesting...

    Considering that a million people will be unemployed for a short time and then, when new companies are tooled up, those million will be back to work and ANOTHER million would be hired on top of that..

    And you accuse Obama of pie in the sky reasoning...

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    All I am saying is that this country had a GOLDEN opportunity to start fresh and rebuild an industry, an economy with an eye towards the future...

    Instead, Obama opted for the status quo.

    Opted for doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result.

    Opted to put a band-aid on a heart attack patient that was one breath away from dying...

    And ya'all support it to the utmost, ONLY because of that '-D' after the guys name..

    Like I said... The Left has absolutely NO moral or ethical leg to stand on, bitching and whining about Human Caused Global Warming (Yet The Planet Is Cooling)....

    Michale.....

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Instead, Obama opted for the status quo.

    To be fair, Bush did as well... He is as much to blame as Obama is..

    Michale.....

  56. [56] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    All I am saying is that this country had a GOLDEN opportunity to start fresh and rebuild an industry, an economy with an eye towards the future...

    With zero lending capitol and a republican senate minority saying no to everything? Fat chance. The more likely outcome would be the manufacturing would move to China...

  57. [57] 
    dsws wrote:

    The idea that human beings could actually destroy the planet is sheer lunacy and laughable arrogance.

    It's hard to see how you do anything without matter, or how you extract matter from the sun, or how you transport it across interstellar distances. Planets are where the bulk of the matter is, in the solar system and excluding the sun. We can grow exponentially, within the limits of available matter and energy and ability to put them to use. On a historical time scale, not a geologic one, exponential growth at historic rates will take us to the point where the mass of just us, let alone our housing and other belongings, will exceed all non-planet mass in the solar system. So where else are we going to get the matter to build our homes and stuff, if not from planets?

    Disassembling planets to build stuff seems quite likely, some centuries hence. It won't be doing us any good sitting there as planets.

  58. [58] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    On a historical time scale, not a geologic one, exponential growth at historic rates will take us to the point where the mass of just us, let alone our housing and other belongings, will exceed all non-planet mass in the solar system.

    Beyond the fact that our increased mass does not change our planets mass except in extremely minor amounts, it is unlikely we will ever grow to the point that we out weigh all the comets, asteroids, moons, gas and dust in our solar system.

    We can't destroy our planet death star style, but we could easily make it uninhabitable for humans...

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    We can't destroy our planet death star style, but we could easily make it uninhabitable for humans...

    For a time, perhaps...

    But "uninhabitable for humans" does not destroy a planet do...

    Even making it uninhabitable planet-wide would take some combined and co-operative effort by ALL the countries in the world...

    Highly unlikely...

    Even IF all the nuclear powers got together and co-operated and fired off all their nuclear arsenals at random places on the planet, the planet might be a bit rough to live on for a few thousand years... Maybe even uninhabitable, planet-wide..

    But even a few thousand years is a drop in the bucket in the totality of time...

    Man's effect on the climate of the planet is like a single person in a dingy taking a piss in the Atlantic Ocean...

    It may not be especially good for the immediate area, but to think it could contaminate the entire ocean or raise the sea level is the epitome of human arrogance...

    In the here and now, human beings could no more steer the climate of the planet then they could alter it's rotation.

    To think they can is just ego....

    Michale....

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    But I digest....

    My only point in all this is that it seems to me that the Left had a golden opportunity to really makes some changes.. Changes that were in keeping with the foundations of their philosophy..

    But, by all appearances, it seems that the Left was more interested in doing what's best for the Party rather than do what's best for the country.

    Michale......

  61. [61] 
    dsws wrote:

    it is unlikely we will ever grow to the point that we out weigh all the comets, asteroids, moons, gas and dust in our solar system

    Are you predicting extinction, permanently stable population, or mass emigration from the solar system? We'll get there in the next few thousand years unless one of those happens.

  62. [62] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Are you predicting extinction, permanently stable population, or mass emigration from the solar system? We'll get there in the next few thousand years unless one of those happens.

    No, I'm saying there is a lot of non-planetary stuff in the solar system. The asteroid belt alone weighs 10 orders of magnitude more than all humans currently alive. That asteroid belt weighs a few orders of magnitude more than all the carbon stored in the terrestrial biosphere, the atmosphere, the oceans and all the coal deposits worldwide. At some point the exponential growth of humanity hits a plateau do to lack of resources. Unless we invent star trek level tech that allows the colonization of planets circling other stars there is a limit to how many humans our solar system can support. I'm saying that limit is way, way, way less than the total mass of the non-planetary matter in the solar system.

  63. [63] 
    dsws wrote:

    What's to stop us from using all the matter that's in easy reach? There's plenty of energy in sunlight. We can transmute elements if we really need to, but there's a decent percentage of carbon in asteroids and planets. There is indeed a limit to how many humans our solar system can support, and bumping up against that limit almost has to involve disassembling the planets to put their matter to use for human ends.

    I somewhat arbitrarily took 18 orders of magnitude as my benchmark when doing the scratch-work. If I did the computation right, it's a few thousand years at plausible growth rates: historical time, not geological.

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Unless we invent star trek level tech

    Be still, my heart... :D

    What's to stop us from using all the matter that's in easy reach? There's plenty of energy in sunlight.

    Not to keep beating the deceased equine, but the reason why solar energy is not viable is because the government keeps funding companies that are politically connected rather than the companies that can actually make things work..

    I am not singling out Democrats in this. Republicans do it too...

    Which is why I always say.. Democrats aren't the problem. Republicans aren't the problem..

    POLITICIANS are the problem...

    Michale.....

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://freebeacon.com/chris-christie-shouting-match-with-idiot/

    THAT is why I like Chris Christie!! :D

    Michale.....

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