1. microraptor says

    I watched Nature on PBS instead.

    Republicans talking about BS vs David Attenborough talking about frogs? No contest.

  2. brett says

    It was a mess. Honestly, no one looked good, and the moderation was worse than the last Republican debate – and that’s saying something, since the moderation at the last Republican debate was awful too.

    Where’s this fawning for Rubio coming from? He didn’t stand out that well in the debate. Kasich was much better.

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    World Series game#2 was much more fascinating. Browsing the debates sent me into Jon Stewart rage mode. Getting inundated with all their BS can do that.
    to the few tax/economy questions I saw, they kept talking about getting more revenue by cutting taxes and balancing budget, not cutting Medicaire, cutting entitlements, etc, etc, BS & more BS. They liked to keep blaming Obama for all the job losses currently, never mentioning the corporations that are firing them, nor the fact that the current administration is trying to spend money to address the effect of unemployment.
    before I write myself into incoherence (as usual), last point was a mumble by Carson. When asked about why he is associated with a (fraudulent) nutrition company that claims to cure autism, cancer, etc. His reply was self contradictory. He said the reports of his association with them was pure propaganda, he is NOT associated with them. He gave speeches for them (like he does for many sponsors), paid speeches. He uses their product, thinks it is a good product. Why do we think he is associated with them? To which I sputter, getting paid by someone to speek for them is inherently “association”. Using their product and claiming you like it, is also association, inherently.
    Secondly (sorry for getting long winded), when asked about his “flat tax plan”, not working out arithmetically (“the numbers don’t work out”, moderator says). He responded, “it does work out, if you look at all the numbers.*smirk*”, no other information about possible errors in her calculations, just flat out, “you’re wrong”, with no followup.
    -> back to Mets v KC. KC:7, Mets:1. Final.
    -> log in to Pharyngula. …

  4. says

    Seeing all the tweets about it tonight made me decide to finally make an effort not to pay attention to your US presidential elections for a few months. It is such a gong show, it lasts unbelievably long, and until it settles down a bit, and gets beyond months and months of debates and primaries really start, I just cannot be arsed to pay attention in any real way. It is so tiring, and so awful. I do not understand why so many fellow Canadians think our politics is boring, but it is exciting in the US. It puts me into a coma.

  5. Who Cares says

    @slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem))(#5):
    I wish you were joking about the supply siders seeing that they’ve had at least 2 states running that experiment (Kansas and Wisconsin, naturally both are republican controlled) and it crippled both those states without doing what they claimed it did.
    Then again it’s been clear for a while now that ideology trumps everything (except maybe Trump) including reality for these nutters.

  6. Dunc says

    @Who Cares, #7: I think the support for these economic policies is less about pure ideology, and more about the fact that they do in fact achieve exactly what they are intended to. The confusion arises because the outcomes that these policies are actually intended to achieve are very different from the outcomes that their proponents claim they are intended to achieve.

    Trickle-down, supply-side economic policies do actually work incredibly well – for concentrating wealth, reducing the bargaining power of labour, and hamstringing democracy. They persist because that is exactly the intended outcome. They serve the purposes of the oligarchy very well in that regard.

  7. longship says

    The money line:

    “This wasn’t a lack of control. The format was fine. But there’s nothing you can do about someone like Ted Cruz, who isn’t encumbered by either truth or civility. Even defending the other candidates, he doesn’t care what damage he does, as long as he can stand atop the rubble. Come to think of it, that could be said of pretty much all of these people.”

    A great article!

  8. Saad says

    I didn’t watch it.

    But if I had watched it, I would have spit out my drink at Donald Trump saying his biggest weakness is that he trusts people too much. People like Mexicans and Muslims, I imagine.

  9. marcus says

    @2 microraptor Jinx! I re-watched the Nature show on Elephants, who are soooo much smarter than Rethuglicans anyway. If I was an elephant I would sue the ‘Thugs for defamation.

  10. says

    From my standpoint (northen european) it seems that a republican president could well be disastreous for the whole planet. We know that America can do great things for the world (after she has tried everything else … as someone said) but these guys will definitely not lead the nation to anything good. Especially not anything related to the environment and climate change.
    Given this, should we perhaps root for the most silly candidate, someone who never could win the election against a democrat?

  11. Who Cares says

    It helps that the (liberal biased) media is doing it’s best to not talk about the way that Wisconsin and Kansas have cratered so that the (potential) victims of this unicorn fart powered economic ‘theory’ are spared having to vote for (*gasp*) a democrat or some independent who might actually have a sane suggestion for setting up a budget. And yes from what I’ve read not all republicans are dishonest or crazy, but seeing that it looks like the current incarnation of the republican party is a partially owned subsidiary of BIG MONEY Inc. (the other owner being W͚̣̦̼e̠̲͜’̵̞ṟ̭̯̭ͅe̷̙̮ ̻͚̲̞̪͉́͡ṋ̬͙̝͢o͏̴̜̼̰̲͚̯̞͖ț̙̠͍̠̯̼̱ ͚̤͘c̨̡͔͞r̛̛̖̩̼͔̪̹̲͡a̸̡̧̟͔̣̘̲̱̥z̼̣̣̠͎͠͡y̬̼͈͜ ̨̮̜͕̼͔̩̻̳̕͞w̧̢̱͇͍͓̙̭͈͎͘e̸̤͕͇͓̘’̴͏̬̙̣̲͜r͔̣̗͟͡ͅe̪̪̤͞ ̦̖̟̝̣̫͉́ͅw̰̳͟í̼͕̱̯̘n̷̢̨̠͕̦̞͈̦g̡̧̳̙̮̮͈͞ͅn̨͏̝̪̘u̵̴͖̯̖̼̯t͏͙s̠̠͈͠) the sane ones won’t get into positions where they cant threaten either owners gravy train.

  12. quotetheunquote says

    Hang on! Ted Cruz is still in the race? What’s with that? Haven’t people noticed that he was born in Soviet Canuckistan?

    I know he renounced his citizenship, but surely this a priori disqualifies him….

    (what else is new)

  13. Hoosier X says

    I thought the low point was Ben Carson on gay marriage. He thinks it’s awful to call it homophobia when people are opposed to same-sex marriage. It’s just Leftist propaganda. The Leftists are committed to dividing the country and we should realize that other Americans are not our enemies. It’s just part of the PC culture that is destroying our country.

    Thank you, Dr. Carson, for the most flagrantly hypocritical things you’ve ever said.

    You don’t have time for political correctness when you are comparing your political opponents to the Nazis or slave owners and policies you don’t like to the Holocaust. (That’s really not the way to phrase it when you’re claiming your message is about uniting the country.) But you have plenty of time for political correctness when you are objecting to the use of the word “homophobe” to describe anyone who is trying to deny equal rights to homosexuals.

    How is that not an appeal to “political correctness”? And why is the PC culture a great danger to America only when liberals are the ones speaking up? Neither of these questions has been answered. (And this may be the first time wither has been asked.)

    But it’s not politically correct to call it “political correctness” when a conservative is offended.

  14. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Charles Pierce closed his review with kudos to the format and moderation, after admonishing the speakers for rambling irregarding the question. I would like a few modifications to the format and moderation. Often, a moderator would be trying to ask a question to one, while another would keep blustering, trying to make a different point. The mod would keep trying to shush the interrupter. It would have been handled quite easily by shutting off the microphones of the blusterer until the question was asked. Maybe add a countdown timer traffic light at each podium for each speaker so they can tell when they can speak (green), another when their time is about to run out (yellow), then 3rd when ended (red); with overtime indicated by a 4th color (blue?). But that is just a minor detail, more high-school debate team worthy. Still. shutting off the mic of the babbler would have been preferred.

  15. says

    I think the moderators needed Officer Slam to take down any debater whose time was up, but who wouldn’t shut up. Officer Slam is out of job since he plied his skills against a 16 year old high school student. This could be a jobs program for police officers who are out of work. We have lots of Republicans on the stage, and many more debates to suffer through. /sarcasm

    The idea that you don’t have to answer the question you are asked ruined the whole debate. That and the idea that you can speak whenever you like and at whatever length pleases you.

    Mike Huckabee thinks that if we cure diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers we will see a huge boost to the economy, and we won’t have to cut benefits to sick and/or old people. Okay, doofus, but how are going to do that? Wait, don’t tell me. It’s God, right? God and prayer?

    Carly Fiorina thinks the minimum wage is unconstitutional. She also spewed falsehoods at such a rate that no one could fact-check her in real time:

    – “92 percent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women.”

    – “We now have a 73,000-page tax code.” (It’s more like 2,500 to 3,000 depending on which explanatory supplements you want to include.)

    – “There is no constitutional role for the federal government in setting up retirement plans. There is no constitutional role for the federal government to be setting minimum wages. The more the government gets engaged in the economy, the slower the economy becomes.”

  16. says

    More lies and tap dancing than I’ve seen in awhile. Even when the moderators had their facts 100% correct, the candidates danced around them and then engaged in a toddler-like “No!”

    CNBC’s Becky Quick: Senator Rubio, you yourself have said that you’ve had issues. You have a lack of bookkeeping skills. You accidentally inter-mingled campaign money with your personal money. You faced foreclosure on a second home that you bought. And just last year, you liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund. That’s something that cost you thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties. In terms of all of that, it raises the question whether you have the maturity and wisdom to lead this $17 trillion economy. What do you say?

    Senator Rubio: Well, you just – you just listed a litany of discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents, and I’m not gonna waste 60 seconds detailing them all.

    Rubio stumbled on a bit in order to blame his wife and then he just gave up.

    CNBC’s Harwood: The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale. Since you’re the champion of Americans living paycheck-to- paycheck, don’t you have that backward?

    Senator Rubio: No, that’s – you’re wrong.

    Rubio stumbled on after that to concede that Harwood was “numerically” correct … but that Harwood was somehow still wrong. WTF?

    Rubio did deliver his memorized talking points more forcefully than other candidates, so he was declared a winner. It was all crap.

  17. says

    Cross-posted from the Moments of Political Madness thread.

    How to dance around a debate question and get the loudest cheers from the audience:

    CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla: Senator Cruz. Congressional Republicans, Democrats and the White House are about to strike a compromise that would raise the debt limit, prevent a government shutdown and calm financial markets that fear of — another Washington-created crisis is on the way. Does your opposition to it show that you’re not the kind of problem-solver American voters want?

    Senator Cruz: You know, let me say something at the outset. The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match. And, you look at the questions — “Donald Trump, are you a comic-book villain?” “Ben Carson, can you do math?” “John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?” “Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign?” “Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?”

    How about talking about the substantive issues the people care about?

    Hey, Cruz, I really did want to hear about the debt limit.

  18. says

    The enemy, according to Republicans, by the numbers:
    – Hillary Clinton, mentioned 21 times
    – President Obama, mentioned 16 times
    – The media, mentioned 15 times.

    The numbers come from Steve Benen of the The Maddow Blog, who watched and counted.

  19. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re Carly:
    She was good at spewing numbers, intentionally to be overwhelming (in a Gish Gallop way, I suppose). I enjoyed how she used Perkins as evidence of executives supporting her. When moderator reminded her that Perkins was on the board of HP that fired her and advocates allocating votes by wealth (1$ of wealth = 1 vote), she ducked it with see even people I disagree with support me. *nod* See, I don’t shut someone out just cuz they say stupid things occasionally *smirk* And she used her mismanagement of HP as shining example of how well she’ll run the USA. Never mentioning how many jobs she closed, product lines she shutdown,etc. just improved efficiency*smirk*

    Trump, did say one thing it is hard to disagree with. SuperPACs are worst thing about elections, make candidates do awful stuff, [etc.] But then used it to aggrandize himself. I’m self funded, I’ll spend even more than I have so far, but I will not be beholden to some SuperPAC.
    So, while, true, SuperPACs are a faint masquerade for bribery; being self-funded is not a panacea. It is better to have at least some other voices involved in how the funds will be spent, and how to present ones plans. (ideally)

  20. says

    This is a followup to slithy love’s comment #5.

    Even the rightwing National Review agrees that Ben Carson was lying when he said he had no relationship with the nutritional supplement company Mannatech:

    Carson’s claim tonight that he has no relationship with the company is disingenuous horsepuckey.


  21. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @18:
    yes numbers go way over their heads.
    When asked about flat tax giving a bigger percentage benefit to the wealthy than the middle class. His answer was “no, you have to look at the numbers in percentages”. aarrggh, the question was already in units of percent.
    [changing subject]
    Trump renegged himself, re immigration. He wants more H1B immigration, cuz they come here to Harvard, Yale, Ivy League etc, and go back home (according to Trumpster). He wants them to stay here and rebuild this country from the ground up. [while being groundup]
    — I see! he wants all immigrants with H1B class jobs, only. all other immigrants can GTFO. hmmm, makes trumpsense.

    Rubio suggested a few reforms to H1B “abuse”. Essentially, if a company uses H1B to hire an immigrant at lower salary than a citizen, then disallow the company to ever use H1B again. No mention of restitution. A couple of tidbits that “sound good” (but aren’t): (1) Make H1B hires entail higher salary than nonH1B. (2) H1B jobs must be advertised no less than 18 months. The first could easy drive down nonH1B salaries while maintaining low H!B salaries. And 18 month advertising? So what? Means they’ll advertise, without even interviewing, for a year or so.

  22. says

    Many rightwing media sources, and the candidates themselves, are blaming the moderators for anything less-than-great during the debate.

    Donald Trump used Twitter to call Harwood a “dipshit.”

    The Drudge Report called the moderators the “shame of the nation.”

    During the debate, the audience actually booed the moderators. One round of booing came when Carson was being questioned, fairly and correctly, about his support for Mannatech.

    Ted Cruz actually criticized the moderators for not asking substantive questions instead of answering the substantive question he was just asked.

    Ben Carson is already making news by complaining about “gotcha questions.”

    I don’t see a way for moderators of Republican debates to really succeed. They are wrangling a clown show.

  23. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 24
    yes. that’s why I suggested adding a little more formalism to the proceedings. *shrug*

  24. says

    BTW, without knowing he had done so, Mike Huckabee praised research that relied on fetal tissue. “You know how much money we spent on polio last year in America? We didn’t spend any. We’ve saved billions of dollars.”

    We have a polio vaccine thanks to fetal tissue research. Mr. Huckabee, that was also a pro-vaccination statement. Some of your supporters are anti-vaxxers.

    Huckabee is the same guy who proposed earlier that the National Guard would be used to raid abortion clinics under a Huckabee presidency. Huckabee also proposed outlawing abortion via an executive order (not possible, btw).

    From a CNN report:

    One of the earliest advances with fetal tissue was to use fetal kidney cells to create the first poliovirus vaccines, which are now estimated to save 550,000 lives worldwide every year.

    In the early days of making the vaccine, researchers infected fetal kidney cells in Petri dishes to produce a large amount of virus that they could then harvest, purify and use to vaccinate people. (The virus evolves to become less deadly when it infects cells out of the body, and thus could safely be given to people to prime their immune system for the real thing.)

    Today manufacturers of the polio vaccine use other types of human cells, which weren’t available in the mid-1900s. They also use monkey cells, which they originally avoided for fear that making the vaccine in animal cells could put people at risk of diseases from other species. Many of our other common vaccines, such as chicken pox, rubella and shingles, have been produced in tissue derived from fetuses, particularly two electively terminated pregnancies from the 1960s.

    Speaking of Republican duplicity and stupidity around the issue of vaccination:

    Tamara Scott, an Iowa conservative activist who serves as a Republican National Committee member for the state, invited two anti-vaccine activists on to her “Truth for Our Time” radio program last week, where she said that the real problem causing disease outbreaks in schools isn’t people refusing to be vaccinated but instead the new “socialistic” model of schooling where children are forced to share pencils. […]


  25. Dark Jaguar says

    Ugh, what a bunch of stupidity.

    I’ve noticed over the years, as I’ve rejected all the old conservative christian nonsense I used to believe, that I subscribe to progressive issues differently than those that always were progressive. I dunno, maybe it explains a lot, but if you offered a “bullet point list” of all the basic progressive values, I’d say “yeah I agree with all of that. I’m talking everything from the environment to scientific research to keeping church and state separate to having a proactive take on women’s rights, civil rights, and all that and all that. I believe in safe spaces, watching the language I use, and all the more modern edifices of it all too.

    But if you dig deep, you’ll find that my reasons for it differ ever so slightly from your’s I think sometimes. Not sure if that’s a problem yet, or even if maybe it’s a result of some fundamental set of deeper values I just won’t ever be able to change. Like, I still am absolutely convinced of the importance of the individual, so I agree the death penalty is wrong, and you agree the death penalty is wrong, but we might differ in cases of when it’s okay to sacrifice a single person’s life for the good of everyone else. Or, we both agree that income inequality is one of the biggest problems of the modern world, but maybe I’m looking at it from the perspective of individual poor people, and someone else is looking at it from a more eagle-eyed “what it does to trends of people” perspective.

    It’s this sort of thing that makes me wonder exactly how to really change minds across the republican party. I’m still convinced that ultimately the only real solution is to change minds (my own devious tricks tend to go for the long game, and has actually worked in a few cases where I can work on a person over a period of a decade or so, subtly, so I’m basically Wormtongue), but I’m at a loss as to how on such a grand scale. I think maybe tackling “deeper” values is the key.

  26. scienceavenger says

    My favorite Fiorina fact-free rant was when she went on and on about how the larger government gets, the more it favors big business, because the business then gets even bigger to control it. It’s a sort of economic homeopathy, akin to claiming the referee is most helpful to the bigger guy in the fight.

  27. lesherb says

    #12 Andreas Wiklund: While I don’t think rooting for one of the nominees has any effect on the outcome of the election, I do believe the Democratic candidate would have an easier path to The White House against the loopiest of Republican candidates.

  28. says

    Ben Carson sent out some tweets today. He has answered critics who say he does not have the experience to be president:

    It is important to remember that amateurs built the Ark and it was the professionals that built the Titanic.

    I am not reassured.

  29. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 30:
    I would like to bounce that back at him with, “yeah the amateurs built the ark to cope with the coming flood (climate change), while arrogant professionals denied that icebergs could be a problem so plowed right into one.”

  30. consciousness razor says

    Dark Jaguar, #27:

    Like, I still am absolutely convinced of the importance of the individual, so I agree the death penalty is wrong, and you agree the death penalty is wrong, but we might differ in cases of when it’s okay to sacrifice a single person’s life for the good of everyone else.

    Some of us would of course say “never” or very close to that. Also, liberalism/progressivism is certainly not synonymous with being some kind of strict utilitarian, much less a very specific utilitarian with a very specific answer, so some wouldn’t even think it’s a good question.

    It might help to recognize that “classical” liberalism (during the Enlightenment) was very much rooted in individual rights and individual perspectives, along with the pluralism that requires for the state. In other words, that means limiting the state’s power/authority significantly, because we have individual freedoms to believe/express/disagree with each other, and a state can only be legitimate if it is democratic, which makes it individualistic to the core. The fact that we disagree and can come to a reasonable compromise democratically is actually a feature of liberalism, because, by design, it is fairly “agnostic” about the fundamental justifications for this or that specific policy — which is not to say that there aren’t any or can’t be any, but that they are not determined a priori according liberalism itself. You work on these problems as they appear, by democratic means, not because a “liberal authority” hundreds of years ago said so while sitting in their armchair.

    This hasn’t gone away. Some progressives are more or less individualistic, depending on their backgrounds and personalities. There has been something of a shift to more communitarian thinking among progressives, because certain kinds of problems are often neglected/minimized/misunderstood using an individualistic approach. However, people’s differences, as individuals within a group, clearly are important to liberals — that’s obviously one of the many problems with racism and other forms of bigotry, for a simple example. And internal conflicts within a group (people being bullied, brainwashed, ostracized, etc., for being different from others in the group), as well as in-group/out-group tribalism and so forth, are also hardly things that are supported by liberals/liberalism.

    Also, you won’t see most progressives arguing that group identities in general have some extra special moral/political/legal significance, unlike people who have a more conservative or traditional view of their value and status in society. For example, the fact that it’s part of your religious identity (opposing the death penalty, if you’re Catholic) doesn’t get you anywhere, because you need a rational argument to justify a position like that (which can certainly be done, to oppose the death penalty), not merely a community or tradition which supports those beliefs. You need one that anyone can understand and possibly accept, no matter their group identity, without coercion or concealing information or appeals to faith or any other shenanigans like that. And if that can’t happen, because some people want to prioritize their groups over human rights or democracy or what-have-you, then it doesn’t have a legitimate function in a liberal society.

    So, it’s not at all clear that socialism — or whatever is supposed to be the most communitarian aspect of modern-day liberalism (I assume that’s more or less the thought process) — it’s not clear that means liberals or progressives don’t respect the importance of the individual. We could also talk about what “freedom” means and whether capitalistic or libertarian notions of freedom are genuinely free and fair, but I’ll leave that aside for now. It’s at the very least a big complicated mess that doesn’t have a simple answer, but very often liberals are the ones who do stand up for individuals. It’s hard to see how anyone could try to claim otherwise.

    Actually, just last week, Wes Alwan wrote a nice piece discussing some of this, in response to Michael Sandel’s book that criticizes liberalism, or more like his bizarre interpretation of liberalism and its alleged shortcomings. It’s fairly long and involves some pretty dense/inscrutable political philosophy here and there, but it’s certainly worth a read if you’re interested.

  31. says

    slithy tove @31, Ha! I like that. You should send it to Carson.

    In other news, Jeb Bush’s little moment of France-bashing during the debate was noticed by the French ambassador.

    Bush, attacking Rubio for missing a string of Senate votes, said his rival needed to show up to work — which he said wasn’t that hard, given the Senate’s “French work week.” But CNBC reported his comment didn’t sit well with the French ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud.

    A French work week of 3 days? No but a pregnancy paid leave of 16 weeks yes! And proud of it. [tweet from Gérard Araud]

  32. says

    Dark Jaguar @27:

    Like, I still am absolutely convinced of the importance of the individual, so I agree the death penalty is wrong, and you agree the death penalty is wrong, but we might differ in cases of when it’s okay to sacrifice a single person’s life for the good of everyone else.

    When you say sacrifice a single person’s life for the good of everyone else, are you still referring to the death penalty? Because that wording is broader than say, the state trying, convicting, and sentencing someone to death versus a situation like police officers shooting and killing a mass shooter on a college campus. While the latter is certainly an example of taking the life of an individual to preserve the lives of others, in the case of the death penalty, presumably the person is already in custody so they do not present a threat to the lives of others. Is it the case that their death is “for the good of everyone”?

  33. consciousness razor says

    While the latter is certainly an example of taking the life of an individual to preserve the lives of others,

    Well, I’m not sure you really need to go there. “Taking a life,” in a self-defense situation like you described, doesn’t mean the same thing as “sacrificing a life.” Non-utilitarians (or non-consequentialists) would agree that self-defense is justifiable, but the issue is with other circumstances, where the outcomes for everyone else are supposed to be enough to justify a “sacrifice” of some kind.

    Generally, the problem (if you think it’s a problem) isn’t necessarily that a person’s life is at stake, but simply that a rich person has to pay higher taxes, for example. The life-or-death stakes are just meant to amplify the problem (although I’d argue it sometimes changes the nature of the problem) and influence people into thinking one way or another. Anyway, that is a “sacrifice for the greater good” in a certain sense, because some people lose money (or are limited in their power, privileges, whatever) in the deal, which is a negative outcome but an acceptable one according to liberals. It’s acceptable because it makes the system more fair: you are improving the conditions of people at the bottom, at the “expense” of those at the top, which is the right thing to do.

    If you were thinking behind Rawl’s “veil of ignorance,” deciding what society should be like, one which wouldn’t be biased in favor of you or any particular sort of person (because you won’t get to know or choose who you will be in this society), the fair outcomes you come up with will be ones which improve the minimal standards and protections that everyone should have. It may be that nobody loses or sacrifices anything, but it could mean that in certain cases. If it turns out that others are not so much better off than the minimum, or not as good as it would be if they did get to bias things in their favor, that is not a genuine problem, because it assumes we should have created a system which is unfair simply because it has features that are preferable to a particular sort of individual. The question is what kind of social system we should have, not what works best for you personally and fuck everybody else. It’s only a “negative” outcome that rich person pays higher taxes, if you’re focused narrowly on that one person, instead of what kind of economic/political system this is supporting, which is a much more fundamental and well-motivated issue than what happens to be (or not be) in your personal bank account. But it’s important to note that this is different from standard utilitarian thinking, which “classical” liberalism often invoked.

    in the case of the death penalty, presumably the person is already in custody so they do not present a threat to the lives of others. Is it the case that their death is “for the good of everyone”?

    Besides, the liberal position is opposed to the death penalty, not for it. So, it’s not like we’re saying it’s okay, because we think individuals are unimportant, or that we think doing it is somehow acceptable for the greater good. We don’t think it’s okay, full stop. And like you said, the death penalty is clearly not necessary to protect the greater good, if that were the standard liberal justification for everything (although it isn’t), because the prison system can (if done well) protect us from criminals or other dangerous individuals, while respecting their rights and treating them humanely, without killing or “sacrificing” them in any way at all. So, it’s not clear to me how Dark Jaguar’s views are supposed to be any different from a “standard” liberal’s views.

  34. Nick Gotts says

    It would have been handled quite easily by shutting off the microphones of the blusterer until the question was asked. – slithey tove@16

    Alternatively, fit all the candidates with shock collars. That might make the “debate” amusing enough to be worth watching.

  35. says

    More on Ben Carson’s lies during the Republican debate.

    For a refresher, here is the question and answer that prompted research into Carson’s lies:

    QUINTANILLA: This is a company called Mannatech, a maker of nutritional supplements, with which you had a 10-year relationship. They offered claims that they could cure autism, cancer, they paid $7 million to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit in Texas, and yet you’re involvement continued. Why?

    CARSON: Well, that’s easy to answer. I didn’t have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda, and this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda.

    And here is the analysis from Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog:

    National Review, one of the most influential outlets in conservative media, described the Republican’s rhetoric as “bald-faced lies” […]

    I think there are three basic angles to the story. The first is reality: Carson had a “long and personal involvement with Mannatech,” which he maintained over several years. As MSNBC’s Jane C. Timm reported yesterday, “Carson appears in video after video speaking positively about Mannatech and how it helped him fight cancer – so much so he even considered forgoing surgery – and continued working with Mannatech even after they paid $7 million to settle charges of ‘illegal’ and ‘deceptive’ advertising brought by Texas’ attorney general’s office in 2009.”

    The second angle is a look at Carson’s judgment. For all of his alleged expertise as a medical professional, the Republican neurosurgeon has endorsed some extraordinarily unusual beliefs. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month:

    Faced with a prostate-cancer diagnosis more than a decade ago, Ben Carson, the Republican presidential hopeful and retired surgeon, consulted an unusual source: the medical director of a Texas company that sells nutritional supplements made of substances such as larch-tree bark and aloe vera extract.

    The company doctor “prescribed a regimen” of supplements, Mr. Carson told its sales associates in a 2004 speech. “Within about three weeks my symptoms went away, and I was really quite amazed,” he said to loud applause, according to a YouTube video of the event.

    Even at this week’s debate, as part of his answer, Carson added, “Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product.” […]

    Maddow Blog link

    Wall Street Journal link

  36. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 37:
    ugh. to try to go Carson: maybe, perhaps, uh, sorta uh, oh yeah, maybe he was using past tense as the distinction. Clearly he worked for them, in the past, but currently, is not associated with them. Instead of correcting the question with that distinction, we are mistaken to assume that he still will endorse their useless supplement whenever asked. Maybe our evidence based thinking is leading us astray, or so he’d argue. He was just being succinct by focusing on the present rather than trying to justify his past behavior.
    even so. still disqualifies for president status.

  37. unclefrogy says

    not sure if you are being funny or not but I heard Carson say in his defense that he was not associated that he still used their products and thought they were good which sounds suspiciously like a personal endorsement to me (maybe un-payed)
    uncle frogy