Gullible is when….

…your BS detector should go off and it doesn’t. But we probably need a better word than merely ‘gullible’, ie something that also alludes to the confirmation bias in action here.

Now I get it, by the way. I get that Bachmann is a hysterical absurd caricature in perhaps several ways. But fair to say it’s mostly got to do with her and her husband’s homophobia.

However I can’t think of any instance where her behavior has confirmed a tag of patronizing racist or bigot.  I think that just gets assumed… unfairly.  Ya know, cuz she’s an evangelical or the modern rendition of Phyllis Schlafly.  Who I don’t think is a racist either, but it’s all trope so it being unfair is something of a pedantic point.

I voted for Bachmann several times and I have no regrets. Who the hell else was I to vote for?

Drafting error: in contemplation of Obamacare Douchespeak

To recap: The conservatives say PPACA didn’t authorize the IRS to grant tax credits to recipients in states without exchanges. Liberals say … thats what it says, but it was a drafting error or what we ended up doing is a logical extension of the law ….blah blah… a typically weasely postmodern argument. But the liberals are explicit in claiming people in states without exchanges were not meant or intended to be barred from subsidies.

Problematic for liberals is this early 2012 tape of Jonathon Gruber where his explanation is in harmony with the conservative critics now:

Thing is…. There’s a lot of room for weasel words here, and Gruber is using that room.

Subsidies coming with state exchanges wasn’t actually overlooked prior to the law’s passage. I recall various discussions. The Ben Nelson brouhaha made for a few legislative sops to 10th amendment federalism, and I think this was one of them. Ostensibly states could opt out of PPACA by not establishing an exchange.

Understand, and what Gruber’s old tape makes clear, is that this was pretty much an insincere legislative throwaway written in to protect a few red state Democrats. The practical calculation was that with so much money going to the states, there was no perceived possibility any would refuse to build the exchanges.

This is what Gruber… and others in recent days… are saying now when they say people in states without exchanges were not meant or intended to be barred from subsidies. Not that the law doesn’t say what it says and ostensibly mean what it says. They’re saying they didn’t expect any states would refuse to build the exchanges, and that they wouldn’t have wanted applicants to be barred from subsidies for that reason.

So no, it’s not a ‘lie’ type lie. But it’s not an answer to the legal critique being made.

Look, I’m actually sympathetic to that, given the goals of PPACA… a little sympathetic. But it’s not acceptable, and not an adequate rationale for a court victory in this. You don’t get to bargain in bad faith, pass the law, the implement it differently.

Re my aforementioned ‘sympathy’, I’m led to ponder…. I am noodling around the idea of ‘progress’ and what manifestations of societal progress exactly are. Then also, what it means to be conservative and opposed. Describe it even better, say ‘recalcitrant’. Which is to be indeed conservative but is also this instinct to thwart things that might be truly progressive and beneficial to society. Maybe this instinct comes out of caution, but it is what it is. It has the effect of thwarting. Thwarting ain’t a great full time thing. Bad for yourself, bad for others.

So myself, as a conservative I’m a caricature to a point, but I know that there are some laudable goals and well intentions behind Obamacare. Ya know, besides the death panels and the $5000 / household tax increase that the hardcore misanthropes in the Democrat party, the ones who think Americans live too well, wanted and got. In Obamacare there’s an expansion of coverage to vulnerable people and people in need. Which is a good thing.

Obamacare does that, it provides coverage for some more people. And who am I to complain? I won life’s lottery, I’m healthy and productive. I owe a tax to the downtrodden for that, and I’ll kick in.

Well, my remaining complaint I think is the constant lying. The exchanges and the subsidies. If you like your plan you can keep it. Revenue neutrality (gimme a break). $2500 in savings per family.

I’m prepared to grant PPACA does good things. Someday, I’d like to meet the liberal that acknowledges they lied their asses off to get it passed. But even if that doesn’t happen, let’s say my premise is valid, that they lied their asses off.

Do I have a beef then, that this good thing was passed by a bunch of people who lied constantly about its details?

In the long run, I’m not sure I ought to have a beef. But I’m not comfortable with ends over means, which is what this ends up being about.

Gun danger vs. car danger

Just some spitballs from me…

Big photo: stock photo of a guy with a derringer seems an editorial frivolity to me.  It’s “low info”.

Derringers are a ‘thing’, indeed to this day. They’re not importable by the way because of the 1968 Gun Control Act. So all contemporary derringers are made in the USA. And they’re simple in design, so if you’re a good machinist you can somewhat easily build them. After that if you can master the compliance, sales, and marketing, you have a chance to flourish as a gunmaker. Cuz they still sell, there’s a not insignificant amount of guys who will buy one at least once in their lives.

But they are not a serious point of discussion.  They’re the ‘toys’ of the gun world, however that word might be imperfect.   Real concealed carry guys… and I am not one, I don’t carry…. don’t carry derringers.

Graph: The graph is the basis for a claim that gun deaths will outnumber car deaths soon. But what you see in the graph is a drop of 10,000 car deaths a year from 2006 to 2010, while ya figure gun deaths in total are tracking higher merely relative to population growth.

So with the convergence a result of dropping car deaths, there’s not actually any alarming trends here. Thus, I think it’s fair to criticize the premise of ‘rising gun deaths’ vs. cars as a disingenuous statistical scare tactic. I have to wonder about the comparison itself though. Did car deaths really plummet by 10,000 a year over 3-4 years? This seems astounding. Why did it happen?

Lowering gun deaths bullet points: I’m not energized to make pragmatic, technical rebuttals against assault weapon laws, magazine capacity laws, public carry laws…. Ya know, yeah…. I’m quite sure those are desirable changes if you’re of that mind. My side won, so I don’t badger the losers with pedantic counter arguments. But I’d say I’m bemused that gun controllers self-righteously cling to these oblique epidemiological claims when it’s an ideological argument that’s going to have to be won. And this argument is basically impossible to win. So good luck.

Do note the item about ‘junk guns’. ‘Junk guns’, ‘Saturday night special’…. With a couple exceptions, cheapie zinc-y street pistols are almost lost to history. These days a credible, entry level revolver or semi-auto is say $275 MSRP. You’re doing some value shopping at that price, but it can be done. And what’s absurd is the quality you get for that price. There’s almost no fly by nighters trying to push crap. Much the opposite.  Which is to say, there’s no necessity for a new law that solves the non-existent problem of ‘junk guns’

Talk radio got whacked

I’m re-watching the Sopranos thoroughly. It’s lauded plenty, so the kudos are rote by now. But The Sopranos remains quite astonishing. Certainly the most richly detailed film / tv composition that an average viewer like me could ever figure to contemplate. By a long shot.

I just watched the episode about Carmela’s dad’s 75th birthday, in which Tony gives old Hugh a cased Beretta upland shotgun. Now I know they didn’t scrimp on the Sopranos, as a rule they seemed to spend what they had to spend to get Chase’s vision right. There’s a shot here where the camera lingers briefly on the exquisite marble cake walnut stock and engraved receiver of this shotgun. This is kind of a trope-ish moment in a hunter or gun enthusiast’s life. If you travel in certain circles, you encounter this. And my side business services the niche of the ‘presentation gun’. But really I doubt that popular story telling has treated this anywhere else. Chase or his director get every detail right, especially the shotgun itself, which may have required a loan agreement with a fine gun store there in Jersey during filming. They have little production assistants I suppose employed for the exact purpose of leasing and fetching great props from here and there. But it strikes me as an enormous pain in the ass to go that extent to get a detail right that will be lost on the broader lay public. So they could have used a more pedestrian piece, and not many would be the wiser. But Chase and his crew consistently went extra to get little details like that right.

What’s the point? Bri at WWP yesterday tosses a pro-forma snarkburger at the talk radio right and 1280 the Patriot. I think this is an outdated line by now. Talk radio has like a lot of things been diminished by the entertainment available through on demand streaming. The implications of this are obvious to a point, but one thing is, those grass roots righty political energies that swirled around talk radio over the 90’s and 00′s are a lot less vibrant. I think this is what we mean when we observe diminished conservative vitriol (we may not exactly agree on this observation).

But I think it’s a thing. Ya know, I won’t now belittle how much I enjoyed listening to AM1500, KTLK, and the Patriot over the years. It was good, interesting listening, and I’ll go so far to say it was good public affairs radio in general. But I don’t listen much anymore. Haven’t heard Jason Lewis in more than a year, maybe 3, I think. That stuff got usurped.

And I think I’m less vitriolic, less pissed off, and I do not encounter those vitriolic conversations that used to germinate from right wing radio listening.

Tony gets whacked in the end by the way. As a matter of literary allusion, this is undeniable. I am kind of melancholy about that.

WWP comment thread

Over at Joey and the Dooosh, they ostensibly allow comments but have a rigorous authentication process for aspiring commenters. Only a couple people have passed it appears, so comment traffic is low.

Let’s have an open comment thread here for their posts eh?

On Bri’s column today: I’m not in substantial disagreement with his Minnesota analysis. So there.

Note Dayton is weaker than Franken. I think it’s right to perceive Dayton as somewhat inept and senile. Just because he’s inept doesn’t mean he’ll lose, as the state economy seems truly vibrant. But it’s a vulnerability for what ought to be a strong incumbent candidacy.

But….. Bri’s right, if what he puts his finger on is a lack of compelling substance from Johnson or Honour. Not sure either of those guy’s achieves the momentum to dislodge Dayton.

McFadden: He’s blander than Mitt Romney. I’m not seeing a victory for him.

Big thing: I’m just not sure I sense enormous conservative vitriol in Minnesota.

On Joe’s column: No, the guy will not be South Dakota’s Paul Wellstone. To be “Paul Wellstone”, you gotta win your senate seat, and Weiland will lose. I’ll bet $500 on that.

Bonus contemplation: If Weiland is laudable for not being a PAC money / dark money whore, why is the President not lamentable for being a … PAC money / dark money whore?
I mean, I understand the argument that the President can be against contribution whoring in principle but carve out an exception for himself in practice until the laws are changed. This explanation is acceptable to a point… that point eclipsed by $35k a plate rubber chicken dinners being a twice weekly thing for the President these days. It’s absolutely unseemly and anti-democratic. He’s a hypocrite.