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Change in GOP ethical rules? Bush's Cabinet appointments? The high cost of beef? It's an adult swim, have at it.
November 18, 2004 | Permalink
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Yes, Hubris, i did think the rule was crap. As in the organizations i've worked for, such a suspension is always available, and ccan be decided on a case by case basis.
Before i worked at one particular mental hospital, they had a rule that anyone accused of a patient abuse type infraction would be suspended until the investigation and determination was made. The average time to resolution was six months. Some people never worked, because the clients soon learned that they could get rid of anyone they didn't like by making accusations.
For the hospital's part, they decided that since they were paying for most of these people, they could require them to come to the hospital to work at other jobs. Most were sent to the kitchen to work as dishwashers.
The newer policy is to make a quicker assessment of the viability of th4e claim and decide how to proceed. And, unlike formerly, the worker is not considered guilty until proven innocent.
You see, the Repubs are right that if you have such a policy, it can be manipulated by outsiders for political reasons. It is purely an inner party matter, and there should probably be no rules annouinced at all.
I realize that the genesis of the rule was political, and, since that context is nbow past, there is even more reason to jettison the rule.
Notmally, you would want the treacher to be tdansferred or otherwise barr3ed from interzcting with students who have made a claim, or, you would want a committee head to avoid legislation or committee activity that bore on the charges against him.
Remember, the Supreme Court has said that the issue of who does what in the Congress is largely a matter of the constitution, the electorate, and the rules that the congressmen enact. Even known criminals have been elected and accepted in Congress because that is the will of the people.
November 18, 2004 at 10:17 PM
While a realize that the threshold for an indictment is relatively low, the prosecutor does have to get a grand jury to go along, making it somewhat distinguishable from the "patient accusation" example.
I don't think the context surrounding the genesis of the rule has passed. Impropriety, and the appearance of impropriety, vis-a-vis our public officials is still very much an issue.
If it's just part of a political game, fine. Then they should suffer the consequences for making a political blunder here. They should not be shocked, SHOCKED when this blows up in their faces.
November 18, 2004 at 10:28 PM
How would it blow up in their faces? Or, alternately, how is it a political mistake?
Certainly American politics has never worried about certain appearences.
Have you not heard that a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich?
btw, the patient accusation examnple was not meant to speak to the strength of the accusation, but to the consequences of a policy which lets people make accusations to achieve certain ends.
I'm not arguing that the course youpropose is not the right one, but merely that it should not be enstantiated in a rule. Each case should be examined on its own merits.
November 18, 2004 at 11:56 PM
How would it blow up in their faces? Or, alternately, how is it a political mistake?
Two years from now, this rule change will be a nice little nugget for every Democrat running on a campaign against against "the corruption of the majority party." Kind of like 1994...with the roles switched.
Yep. That's why I said the thing about "low threshold," to try to cut off use of the quote without using it myself. I've yet to see a wave of unfounded indictments against our elected officials.
You know, I don't disagree with you that it isn't horrible to have each case weighed on its own merits. I just think it's unwise to change your own ethics rules when the rules are finally going to apply to one of your own. I'm actually amazed at the wasted opportunity - can you imagine the good PR that would have resulted from Delay passionately arguing against the proposed rule change, because of a feeling that no one, including himself, should be exempt from ethics rules?
Anyway, I don't think I'll have anything else to add to this debate, so I'll let you have the last word. Thanks.
November 19, 2004 at 07:17 AM
"I agree the [Geneva Convention] articles are quaint. I also agree there is a spirit to them which should be followed when confused." I think that's not only exactly right but exactly the Conventions' intent.
"The "abuses" seem grossly exaggerated. Although I'm sure Winston will disagree with my [take on Guantanamo conditions]." Yes, I do. Although my primary gripe is with the folks who, pace Limbaugh, continue to mischaracterize Abu Ghraib as a matter of panties on heads. If they don't know about the many deaths in custody, they should. Most Arabs do.
"Win, how well would you say our opponents are following the Convention?"
They're not. But that's an irrelevancy for any number of reasons, not least of which is that it degrades us right off the bat to find ourselves arguing "at least we don't saw off people's heads."
Winston Smith |
November 19, 2004 at 08:09 AM
>Have you not heard that a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich?
depends on the mustard I believe.
This rule should be thrown back at them. If DeLay is indicted, and if he is convicted, it should be thrown back at them.
If he is indicted but not convicted... I imagine it's a win for the Republicans.
It's a classic political gamble, where they tie themselve to DeLay's fortune a bit.
"Most Arabs do." Indeed.
November 19, 2004 at 02:45 PM
Cabinet changes... when Bush was reelected I thought surely this was four more years of the same, especially wrt the "war on terrorism". Now I'm not so sure. In fact, though I can't speculate what the change will be, I expect a shift in Bush's approach.
I'm not really sure why... perhaps Ashcroft's resignation has surprised me.
November 21, 2004 at 10:08 PM
I'm so glad Ashcroft is gone. He frightens me.
Though I am very interested in what is going on over at the CIA. Though I am question how accurate a portrayal we are getting through the media. But I definetly think its funny that things are being "leaked" from the CIA.
Here's the least unbiased article I could find. (Okay, so really I'm just to lazy to look for a better one, and this one was so full of Scandal!)
I'm feeling verklempt.
Let me give you a topic.
The CIA is neither intelligent nor central, discuss.
November 22, 2004 at 09:13 AM
I thought this article by Yglesias brought some interesting perspective to Ashcroft.
The CIA is neither intelligent nor central, discuss.
I think that the (necessary) restraints we place on the CIA to keep them from becoming KGB-esque will always keep them from being as effective as they could be otherwise. I do buy into the idea that we have lost touch with the importance of human intelligence contacts overseas. Ah, nostalgia for the Cold War era.
November 22, 2004 at 10:18 AM
Adult Swim so I am going to change the subject. I have a question about Social Security. This may seem like partisan hackery but really Im just trying to understand the entire story. Bush runs under the banner of privatizing social security. Which may be a good idea I don't know. The problem I have is that as of now everyone will agree that there will be a shortfall in SS money because of baby-boomers retiring and the fact that SS is a pay as you go system. How does privatizing SS help this situation? Doesnt it make it worse because you are removing more money from the system and putting it into private accounts? Why have I not heard anything from Bush about how to reduce the percieved missing monies in SS. Or if he is going to privatize it where the extra money from privatizing comes from. I just feel like Bush is trying to say privatizing SS will save the shortfall and I just don't understand how that is possible. Maybe someone can help me understand this better.
November 22, 2004 at 10:45 AM
I think Batman would be a good person to address your argument; I hate thinking about money. ;)
November 22, 2004 at 12:16 PM
Nussmeir, the SSI options available are somewhat limited. The start up costs, estimated at 1 to 2 trillion dollars would have to be borrowed, as would any monies set aside into private accounts. The alternate options would to balance the budget and use the the excess FICA taxes currently being mixed with general revenues to fund the plan, increases in the salary ceiling subject to FICA taxes, a general increas in the FICA tax rates, or cutting SSI benefits in some fashion. Based on carefully worded statements it is likely benefits will be cut, but not for those already getting checks as that is how they word it. It is also likely that much of it will be borrowed since deficits don't seem to bother this administration much. The devil will likely be in the details, but it will be a tough sell regardless on how they structure revisions.
November 22, 2004 at 03:10 PM
Some CIA/Prez tug of war info:
By the way, in case you can't tell, I'm completely endorsing that powerline blog. It's a great and condensed source of daily information.
Chum, I don't understand what you are saying. Why would money have to be borrowed to privatize wage contribution to SS? What fancy way are you describing "start up costs...at 1 to 2 trillion dollars"? Why would the government need to be involved in that in the first place?
November 23, 2004 at 02:44 AM
RyanM, the start-up costs are to set up the administrative machinery to oversee the system and the actual funds that need to be set aside in the private accounts. It is not entirely an up-front cost, but more a cumulative cost going forward.
Apparently I missed one of the options available to get this going, the changing of accounting procedures:
If a loaned dollar doesn't fall on a balance sheet can it still be considered borrowed?
November 23, 2004 at 09:08 AM
Chum, I guess this is yet another reason I refuse to identify as a Republican. There is no reason to privatize a savings plan while allowing the government to manage it. It is highway robbery plain and simple. 1 to 2 trillion dollars, that makes me laugh it is so painful, when it would cost nothing to solve the problem by simply abolishing the program. And sadly, it is a better plan than the Democrat non-plan.
November 23, 2004 at 03:31 PM
I just realized a funny thing about cabal spinsanity threads... they are not on the original topic started by Spinsanity but instead have topics we actually came up with in the thread in our generally off topic way... ok, funny is to strong a word, but a little bit.
November 23, 2004 at 06:50 PM
sovling the problem by abolishing it? Someone that worked their whole life has helped to build this nation. I don't care if it was lack of forsight or retirement from Enron just before it imploded... no retired person should be left totally in the gutter, SS benefits are measely enough as it is... !
November 23, 2004 at 07:21 PM
pyrrho, you think it is somehow the responsibility (regardless of the feasibility) of the federal government to be compassionate. I do not. I believe it is up to individuals, families, churches and charities to be compassionate.
Yes, I believe we should fulfil our promises to the current generation of retirees as well as those who have *planned* on it in the future. But we should cut this beast off at everyone under 35. No future benefits, no SS taxes for us.
Not only is SS not enough to live on, the notion of the government spending 2 trillion of our dollars to "privatize" our own savings is absolutely preposterous and on the verge of downright corruption. Such doors are opened by compassionate government liberals such as yourself, and are flooded wide by the greed of politicians, the ignorance/comfort of the populace and the anti-human structure of large scale socialism, or whatever you want to call it.
November 23, 2004 at 11:14 PM
But if they cut off SS taxes for everyone under 35, who is going to pay the baby boomer's SS when they retire? (not that I'm complaining) As we all know SS is supposed to be Pay as you go. Except that instead of saving all of the extra money they had when the baby boomers were working they put it in a fund that got "Invested" in government securities. Which is all great, except when a person invests in gov't securities the govern't pays them back, when the gov't invests they have to borrow or tax in order to get that money back. (so basically instead of planning ahead they spent it however they wanted, correct me if I'm wrong.)
It seems to me, that part of many of this countries problems stem from that we tend to take the short view of things. The Administrations are around for 8 years at the most, and so they only worry about those 8 years. (i.e. bush has put significant strain on our international relations, but he didn't think about the long term effects of that on business and the economy, or for a hippie type example we should have done something (Significant) about global warming when we found out it might be a problem, instead of waiting until the "northern sea routes to Russia" opened and then saying, oh now nice, I hope the Polar Bears are OK. I know, global warming doesn't exist/is natural/is asia's fault, well we still could have at least TRIED, its not like oil is the worlds most renewable resource anyway. Sorry, Ranting.)
So basically, no matter what we do we are in the hole more money than I can imagine because no one bothered to plan ahead. ::cuddles up with her big fat 401K plan for a nap::
November 24, 2004 at 08:40 AM
Shine on Shinobi,
You're right on several accounts. SS is supposed to be pay as you go, that's why it has created the illusion of being the first every fiscally "black" government program in the history of our country. So, because it was one way at the beginning doesn't mean it should be that way from now on -- let's use our short term flexibility to our advantage, eh? First, give rich people the option to opt out. That might cut a small amount out of the payout side, and yes I believe many honest and rich or even just sufficient people out there would opt out through a sense of duty or helping. Then, we treat it like an annual general budget problem. Imagine that, our elected officials being more and more responsible for the budget they put together for the use of our money. When this country begins to generate surplusses again, we pay down the debt and cash stock the program.
In AI, we call these types of short term decisions "greedy algorithms". They're no really all bad, despite the connotations. In fact, certain real problems have a structure such that greedy algorithms produce the optimal solution. Other real and even very simple problems can not even be solved at all with greedy thinking. Luckily, legislation does not really come from the President, so all those lifers in the Senate and House, what the heck are they working on? (whatever businesses tell them to).
Of course, I disagree with your assessment of "international strain" and "global warming" as being tied to short term turnover of our executive branch. Read more about the business relationships and financial connections through the U.N. to see why it's possible other countries not joining us has nothing to do with our president, other than he wouldn't turn a blind eye. Read more about science and about the tickling we scientists do to get funding to see that there's no credible evidence connecting any human behavior at all to the sliver of evidence that any warming is happening in the first place. Of course, if you are referring to Kyoto, then even assuming we are directly causing global warming beyond the dire predictions of the scientific community, it was still a stupid agreement to get into, something no honest U.S. president would sign.
November 24, 2004 at 01:12 PM
>pyrrho, you think it is somehow the responsibility (regardless of the feasibility) of the federal government to be compassionate.
I believe that citizens have duties to their nation, and nations have duties to their citizens.
I didn't mention compassion, I believe this is a matter of self interest.
November 24, 2004 at 02:00 PM
>Such doors are opened by compassionate government liberals such as yourself, and are flooded wide by the greed of politicians, the ignorance/comfort of the populace and the anti-human structure of large scale socialism, or whatever you want to call it.
I take offense at that remark, but I'll overlook that and try just to take the meaning because I know you are merely expressing your own view, and are not fully aware of my view. You are incorrect... my position on this is entirely self interested, it is not altruism in the least.
As for what opened the doors on this large scale socialism, it was the abuses of the economy and of labor by unregulated capitalism, it was opened by the fact that the capitalist system had imploded and had no way to pick itself up using it's "objectivity means no compassion" mantra.
November 24, 2004 at 02:03 PM
oh, btw, by self interest I mean my greater self interest in the strength of this nation... I would personally do better with PRAs and getting my SS money back for myself in terms of (likely) making more money for my retirement. But as it would undermine this nation, I feel it would only make things more difficult for our descendants.
November 24, 2004 at 02:05 PM
you are a scientist? I thought you worked in game AI? Just a side comment. You and I may both appreciate AI analogies more than most as I also worked in games until a few years ago and also with game AI. I know you could be a scientist AND work in game AI, please don't think I'm questing the authenticity, I'm just interested in these issue so am curious. Sorry if this question is too personal in which case, feel free to ignore and I won't bug you about it.
SS: it's going to cost 1-2 trillion dollars to bridge payout if people younger than 35 start putting their money anywhere but the SS fund, just to keep paying out. That's the problem and need for the trillions of dollars. Shinobi, if you are already saving into a 401K you are very responsible indeed...
November 24, 2004 at 02:14 PM
Good observation on the Spinsanity thread's relevance to the articles they are attached to. Whenever someone actually posts something relevant to the article I almost find myself wanting to berate them for going off whatever topic we decided to discuss, and then I'm like, "Oh yeah... This is Spinsanity's comments." I guess the inmates have taken over the asylum.
Also, I forgot to respond to me discovering your unadvertised blog. I think it's very cool and observant and you should let people know about it. : )
November 24, 2004 at 03:13 PM
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