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Comment: Re:When all the choices on the ballot (Score 1) 474

Image a world where Al Gore won the 2000 election. Maybe he would have done the same things that Bush did:
  • Pull the plug on the hunt for Bin Ladin
  • Ignore warnings of an imminent terrorist attack
  • Invade Iraq until false pretenses
  • Give huge tax cuts that apparently pay for themselves with economic growth
  • Stack government science committees with fundies
  • Use a pseudo-scientific definition of life to pull funding on stem cell research

I am sure that Gore would have made many annoying mistakes, but you are fooling yourself if you think both parties are the same.

People in politics are motivated as much by their personal beliefs as anything else. Judge them by what they do.

Comment: Re:other people's money (Score 1) 402

Some people put forward the moral argument that you shouldn't spend other's hard earned money. Others put forward the moral argument that we should help the poor. Still others use considered analysis and modeling to try and understand the network of incentives in order to predict the outcome of policy initiatives. There are no a priori correct answers here. Do you know what this last group thinks of your assertion?

Comment: Cost benefit analysis (Score 1) 402

by microbox (#49795921) Attached to: FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband
Some reach for the moral argument you just put forward. Others think the moral, neigh Christian, thing to do is to help the poor. Still others believe in studying society, and figuring out how to reduce overall costs, including hidden costs such as crime. This is hard work, takes time, and no answers are a priori correct. Do you know what this last category thinks about the so-called "Obamaphone"?

Comment: Re:Great. Let's sit here and wait for the next wav (Score 3, Insightful) 422

by microbox (#49672549) Attached to: Ice Loss In West Antarctica Is Speeding Up
It is a fallacy that addressing AGW means limiting the poor's access to energy. There will be change no matter what, and change begets winners and losers, and the losers are the current crop of plutocrats who run the GOP rage machine, and this nonsense about addressing climate change making us collectively poorer is just one of many pratts.

Comment: Re:I am a Republican voting Conservative. (Score 2) 347

This is because mainstream liberals adopted conservative policies like the ACA (aka Obamacare), and cap-and-trade. Following the Gingrich doctrine "24/7 campaign, always attack, never admit fault", they dug themselves into this hole. The USA has a center-right party and nationalist-conspiratorial-party.

Comment: Re:I am a Republican voting Conservative. (Score 1) 347

Haha, maybe, and maybe the GP is spot on the mark. Just 'cause someone has deeply held political views doesn't mean they cannot be dead wrong. Can you imagine the shame of people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh if God almighty touched them with the veridicality of AGW? It would be crushing. I don't think there is any point coddling the preachers of hate and their "rebel" flock.

Comment: Re:I am a Republican voting Conservative. (Score 5, Informative) 347

I wish liberals would abandon the "climate change" mantra and focus on air and water quality.

Depending on the media you consume you may not know this. About 50% of conservatives willing accept AGW if presented with free-market solutions. About 90% of liberals don't care if the solution is free-market or government -- they just want a solution.

You may find this short video interesting.

Comment: Re:It's all politics, all the time (Score 4, Insightful) 347

My take on the whole thing, it is only a scandal with the OTHER side does it.

There is such a thing as a manufactured scandal. American politics is replete with them -- esp. conservative politics, which panders to a rather conspiratorial base.

Which is why I am a libertarian, both sides are corrupt

There is also a long well documented history of plutocrats using libertarian talking points to push their cronyism. It's an imperfect world.

Comment: Simply not true. (Score 5, Informative) 317

by microbox (#49608551) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs
As of 2015, the total levelized cost of coal is in the ballpark of solar/wind. (Levelized cost includes capital costs, but does not include pollution costs -- consider how cheap coal is that we count the cost of medical bills, let alone AGW.) In a few decades, it will be cheaper to use renewables than mine coal to run an existing coal plant. Notice how fast Kodak went out of business? That is what the coal industry is staring down.

Comment: Re:Can he win? (Score 1) 395

by microbox (#49603951) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic
The financial crisis in 2008 was due to a bipartisan legislative agenda that reaches back to Reagan. Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers are on the same team. Bush did a *lot* wrong with the economy -- his treasury secretary resigned over his attitude towards debt. Main stream economists did not, and do not believe in the fantasy that the Bush tax cuts would spur much growth. And then there was all of those military expenses too. Both the dotcom bubble and the 2008 financial crisis were more complicated than just one presidents doing -- *but* thanks to Bush's insanity, the government wasn't in the position to do the right thing when the time came.

Comment: Re:Can he win? (Score 1) 395

by microbox (#49603937) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic
As I recall, there was an attempt at a grand bargain in 2011. The aim was to reform taxes and spending and _not_ merely kick the can down the road. As I recall, one party refused to countenance any tax increases no matter the amount of cuts -- and no matter what professional economists have to say on the issue. Other policies, such as the ACA, also affect debt. I'd say the president does have some measure of control over the debt -- though your main point is correct, that it is really congress and the senate that decide how much money to spend, and how much to raise in taxes.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

by microbox (#49507167) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Unfortunately, the power company is still expected to make sure that the power comes in at the right voltage and frequency. And with control on only part of the inputs, that's a lot harder. The fewer inputs they control, the harder...

Sounds like an R&D project, and something easily solvable. (We are already solving it in the midwest with wind, and short-term weather forecasting.) Lack of high-voltage capacity is the real obstacle to more renewable -- other than those trying to write their old business models into the law. High voltage capacity would be easy to build except for the nimby crowd.

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 320

by microbox (#49498305) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal
Society is run by interest groups. Money creates its own interest groups (e.g., Monsanto), but not every interest group is some type of money. For example, the people who got the UN to ban land-mines -- was just a bunch of average Joes. (Personally I think this is a mistake, because landmine technology has come a long way.) The scientists against Oz are just a bunch of average Joe scientists.

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