Matt Osborne provides this follow-up to his original post:
I said yesterday:
“Friday’s progressive freakout over nixed EPA smog rules is not really about fighting smog, but the myopia of issue focus in the blogosphere and the inflated currency of online outrage. Transportation is a wonky subject that often flies below the radar. It is not sexy or cute. Much of its advocacy is local. But federal transportation policy is also crucial in reducing smog levels as well as achieving other progressive ends.”
One of this blog’s foci is transportation; see the masthead and the sidebar. Transportation is a vital progressive issue, and the stakes right now are high. Without at least a renewal of the gas tax, projects stop being funded, and actual jobs start being cut. Without a budget, America’s transportation infrastructure will deteriorate and fewer jobs will be created.
In case you haven’t heard, there is going to be a speech this week. The Republican response is to yawn, because the president gives too many speeches. That’s one major complaint about Obama. The other is that he doesn’t use the bully pulpit enough, i.e. he doesn’t give enough speeches. I hear this a lot, too; the two groups should come together and get their story straight.
It’s hard not to talk about the president when discussing transportation. Many online opinionators are investing in his failure, and it’s hard to attract the interest of major linkers if you don’t offer outrage in his name. But failure this week is not an option for anyone — not unless you think the way forward is collapse, and I don’t.
This weekend was an example of how progressives can explode in daisy-chains over the issue or issues that concern them most. I’m not calling anyone a “freak” for having a freakout, either. Freakouts happen. I’ve had freakouts myself, and in fact was having a kind of freakout this weekend, for it was an important time to write on transportation issues while everyone else was freaking out over smog regulations and a pipeline.
What I wrote yesterday drew an outraged response from climate hawks, who sensed that I was being dismissive of their concerns. I’m not. They are great people and I take their criticisms in good spirit. But their grief reaction at Friday’s announcement was hijacked in a matter of seconds by a segment of the online left that is invested in bashing the president. This is a really bad time to let them run the conversation.
Smog is lethal; so are poor roads and bridges and unwalkable streets. To put things in perspective, 12,000 smog deaths are a tad more than one-third of US highway traffic fatalities. Roads can be improved for safety, minimizing crashes and injuries while creating jobs. Sidewalks and bike lanes save lives too: nearly 48,000 American pedestrians were killed in the last decade. Sidewalks and bike lanes create jobs.
As far as smog goes, six of the seven suggestions at this eHow article on “how to reduce smog” involve vehicles and gasoline. So how is this calculus wrong? Or as Zandar put it yesterday: is smog the hill to die on? I don’t think so. Moreover, I think the environmental movement has a basic problem to solve, and transportation shows the way forward.
(read the rest, including internal links)
We have no public transportation where I live. There is para transit which has suffered budget cuts (NJ) and a route was cut. The seniors are not happy as it means an hour on the bus that used to take 10 minutes.
The number of cars on the main roads is scary. A lot of expensive SUVs.
Driving is optional. Is breathing?
So the basic message is that nobdoy should articulate reasonable and accurate critiques of the President because they will get twisted and misused by “the professional left”?
@MattR: So it seems.
Ya know, I believe he is not the tender flower some seem to think he is.
So, I guess we know who’ll be playing the role of Cohrner Stone now that he’s banned.
Ah, the EPA.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
Let’s take these son-of-a-bitches on!
@arguingwithsignposts: Oh lord, what did he do?
i guess i’m still not clear on what the issue is? that nobody should ever say a word against administration policy because it’ll just be fodder for firebaggers?
that seems silly. nobody actually cares about this smog shit in the first place. had new regs been passed instead, there would have been some press release that nobody online would have read, and then it would have been tacked onto a list of obama accomplishments and that would be that and nobody would spare a thought for it again. it’s some second tier regulatory effort. so, great, i’m glad the administration is losing battles there and not on osborne’s transportation focus. mandating new fuel economy standards is the best thing the government has been able to do all year now that the house is a lost cause.
i’m bummed that the advanced obotics theory hasn’t been forwarded that the administration intended to gin up such controversy with lower level regulations like this just so they could scuttle them in the face of economic and political pressure and draw fire away from their true policy intentions. where’s the 11-d chess this week? internet, you’re letting me down.
@arguingwithsignposts: Didn’t take long, did it? Oy.
Matt is not talking about the presidents feelings. He’s talking about staying focused and thinking long term. Something the left seems to have a problem doing.
Que the various firebaggers whining about how they are the true progressives and anyone who defends the President or notes the weaknesses and fallacies of their statements and claims is an unthinking obot…
It must be a day that ends in ‘day’. yawn.
@Keith G: racism on an earlier ABL thread today, or yesterday, related to this topic.
@arguingwithsignposts: why does all the interesting stuff happen when I’m not around?
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@soonergrunt: No shit,I take a day off to watch Saving Private Ryan, the remake of Dr Zhivago and clean my weapons and I miss the fun!
@soonergrunt: lol. I wasn’t around at the time, fwiw, but saw it after the fact. eemom crowed about it in the labor day music thread.
I think CS was trolling for a ban much earlier, though.
Before this thread also gets out of hand, I would like to thank you for your correct usage of “Electric Boogaloo.” I never did see Breakin’ 2, but the title alone is a thing of beauty.
Driving is NOT optional for most Americans, and that is the point. If you want to have an America where walking and biking and public transit provide lower-emissions options for getting around, then you have to BUILD it. Without building that America, you will NEVER solve smog or the climate crisis.
Duh rock no balls at all bama
I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what the great 11th dimension chess champion got from the Republicans in return for telling his own EPA to STFU.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Maybe the message is to celebrate the successes and stop focusing on perceived failures? That one success can be used to build another and denying those successes happened makes building on them harder?
As Matt said in his post, there are people on the left who are heavily invested in Obama failing. For whatever reason, they think they will do better in some way if they can help to end his presidency. For some, it’s financial in the fund raising, for others it’s a myriad of reasons. In the end, they all are waiting to take up the next ‘Obama outrage’ to ‘cheer’ their ‘movement’ onward.
Celebrate success and push for more. Point at those successes proudly and embrace them as progress, however incremental. After all, it’s better than moving backwards.
Thank you for making this very important point. It’s an area where hard-core environmentalists tend to trip up. They see their issue as so vital that they tend to neglect why people are doing environmental damage in the first place. If you want to stop the damage, you need to come up with a practical alternative that lets people get on with their lives without doing as much damage.
Don’t just protest against cutting down old growth forests, come up with engineered wood products that can be made from farmed forests. Don’t demand people stop driving, provide them with good public transportation and practical electric cars. Give people environmentally sound alternatives and they’ll change their way of doing things with only a gentle prod instead of a massive, draconian shove.
unban c stone. i want to see him argue his way out of it. come on, i’m jonesing. i need my troll fix.
@pukebot: all you white boyz are the same. ;)
@Duh rock no balls at all bama:
This has been explained several times to you, dude. It was vulnerable democrats (and a republican caucus who refuses to play ball) that caused this.
@Duh rock no balls at all bama:
Hey, idiot, maybe you should ask what he got from Sherrod Brown or Jay Rockefeller.
@arguingwithsignposts: corner stone is texas bathtub troll meth just like us crackers like it. you don’t just quit that cold turkey.
I can’t get worked up over this. Anyone who’s lived in CA knows full well that smog levels have reduced MASSIVELY, mainly from CA auto emissions standards that have now become the national norm. Obama has pushed for significant improvements even over the current standards, which he’s not backing off of either.
So, while Obama killed the EPA measuring requirement, he’s continued to push for greater specific reductions in key industries. Yeah, the power generators will get a pass, but maybe, you know, the states could get off their sorry asses and do something if they cared. But they don’t care. So, we’ll make up that ground from the auto industry and places where every legislator east of California won’t throw a hissy fit.
@Lojasmo: Ah, yes. The standard Obot defense. Everything is always someone else’s fault.
Yes, it has been this way since January 2009, that a secret cabal of hostage-holding Democrat senators have obstructed each and every good deed that President Obama has wanted, holding up his every effort, forcing him to take as his own, republican framing to accomplish his myriad good works, like victory in Afghanistan, continued presence in Iraq, renewing the Bush tax cuts in the face of an exploding deficit, shielding Cheney from unwarranted prosecution, the list goes on and on of these outrages. Shame on those hateful democrat senators for being democrats.
I know. I was (over) generalizing for a point. Nonetheless, please try to take a break from breathing for the next 5 min.
I was riffing on the fact that the blockquote talks about fatalities. There are many other limitations, damages and debilities caused by air pollution (health/economics/quality of life). Oldsters who can’t walk to church, children who can’t use the playground are among the simplest examples. Your analysis is less than straight forward.
@SteveinSC: hmmm. needs more Dear Leader, asshole.
Btw, Osborne’s post is a lot of hand-waving. I have yet to see someone address this simple fact:
Bottom line: We will be paying the price in our health for Obama’s gift to corporate polluters. 12,000 people are going to die thanks to this decision you defend. How can you people live with yourselves?
@soonergrunt: Never fear. FourLoko_chan remains as incoherent as ever.
Yes, that’s it the ad hominem that’s the ticket. Fixes everything. Why didn’t I think of that before? Genius will out. I stand in awe.
@SteveinSC: awe it is then. care to construct more strawmen to knock down the “Obots” with?
Indeed, we must. You are right. And as we move to do that, we also need to do the things that we know how to do to help those who are currently suffering (mostly urban poor, of color).
Because Rick Perry executed a man in Texas just to watch him die. And the rest of the clown circus would do the same.
As electric veficles replace the older fleet, and biking becomes safer, this sort of solves itself, no?
ZOMG I voted for the black man instead of the crazy white one!! What was I thinking??
Oh and BTW:
I live in a California Central Coast county where they’ve been doing a fantastic job repaving some heavily used highway for easily 50 miles, not contiguous but intense. When I traveled this summer through South Lake Tahoe, southwestern Ohio, and throughout the state of Indiana, I encountered road construction everywhere.
We’re liking these “Obama-bucks,” as my 70 year old uncle called the funding that delivered these projects. Give me repaved roads over another banker bailout any day. Thanks POTUS!
NR @32 don’t you understand that here BJ the only acceptable response to any Obama action is applause ? Any other reaction means you are a hyperventilating fire bagger. Please keep your fifth column opinions to yourself and if you don’t want to be labeled a troll be sure to enthusiastically talk up Obama’s tireless efforts on behalf of progressive causes.
It’s not exactly a secret cabal, you know. The need to avoid filibusters has meant that every single policy proposal has had to be OK with every single Democratic senator, i.e. everything gets watered down to what the least progressive Democrat in the Senate is willing to accept. That you still treat this dynamic as imaginary, and people who recognize it as Obot apologists, shows that you’re unwilling to recognize how our government actually works.
@NR: I agree with that. Pollution creates jobs in health care and that’s about it.
It’s unfortunate that in order to win a second term, Obama needs Ohio. If he loses, expect more pollution not less.
EDIT Rcman ..is there a point to your rant?
We are living in a bad time and just trying to hold on to the thin threads we have left. A Perry presidency would leave us bankrupt and there would be nothing left of the little safety net we now have.
Adjusted that for you. The filibuster is nowhere in the Constitution beyond the fact the Senate can set their own rules.
I can disagree with the administration on this issue and still support them. This decision alone is not going to cause the apocalypse (probably…) and the reason it was made was grounded on political reality. For example, Obama can’t go to Detroit and excite these people with environmental regulations. This election will be about jobs and jobs only if the Democrats are lucky. Obama’s situation is precarious as it is. Was it the right decision? -No. But no one is perfect, and politics is a dirty business.
@Rcman: Yeah, this place is getting to sound more and more like the “unFiredogLake” Our motto: unFirebagging in defense of obama’s republicanism is no Firebagging.
Excellent point. And why were the filibusterers not required to filibuster? Would it have been mean? Worse still, it might have been labelled un-bipartisan.
What a load of self-serving crap. Osbourne (and ABL, and everyone else who plays this shallow game) can never lose with this strawman. Which is why they have it in the first place.
@SteveinSC: Oh, please. You comment all you want. Stop pissing on us and telling us it’s raining.
@Yutsano: I did RTFP. It does not contain any justification for this terrible decision, only a pathetic attempt to change the subject. No matter how much you try to spin it away, the fact is that Obama chose corporate profits over people’s lives and health. Thousands of people are going to pay for that decision with their lives. That is a fact.
@Rcman: It’s okay. Thanks to Obama, soon nobody will be able to hyperventilate anymore.
Nobody said it was going to cause the apocalypse. What people have said is that it’s going to kill thousands of people. That’s kind of a big deal.
Oh grow the fuck up!
Or apropos the unhappy situation you find yourself in, how about this paraphrase from Lenin: “The Republicans pissed all over Obama and the Obots called it Divine Dew?”
Gore and Bush are exactly the same so lets vote for the third party. Gore’s fat also, too.
Let’s party like it’s 2000.
@SteveinSC: Or how about this one: nothing is as simple as you like to make it. Tell me who you’ll send to primary him. Or tell me who’s going to better on the repub. side. Otherwise, understand that people can disagree with the president without calling him Obummer or Dear Leader or whatever and still recognize that he’s a damn sight better than the opposition.
The Senate is, in fact, a key part of the government. Whether it’s the way our government is supposed to work or not*, in practice the way it works is that ideas from the House get sent to the Senate to die or be watered down. I guess it’s working in the Democrats’ favor now that the Senate is blocking bad ideas from the Republican controlled House rather than good ideas from the Democratically controlled House, but either way it’s all about the Senate being the obstruct and delay part of our government.
*In practice, I think the Senate is fulfilling something pretty close to the framers’ intent. They may not have thought of the filibuster, but they definitely saw the Senate as a restraint on the House. The metaphor they used was pouring excessively hot tea into a saucer so it could cool enough to drink, but the general point was that the Senate would act as a conservative institution that would delay and dilute populist ideas from the House.
This is always fantastic, how as soon as someone points out that the writer actually cares and should care about the issue he or she is downplaying to defend the President, we get follow-ups explaining that those people who got mad about the piece? Yeah, didn’t mean those people. The writer meant all the other people who are the Online Professional Left Opinionators, the Bad People, the Nefarious Reds, and Lord knows no one writing online about their opinions on any topic are ever actually involved with that area of policy on the ground in any way. (Except, of course, the writer of the piece!)
The real explosion of this was over Guantanamo and military tribunals – because it was damn hard for most Democrats to stomach what the administration did there given the previous presidential term.
Smog, serious smog was a huge part of my life as a kid, growing up early 70’s in a part of the Bronx ringed by highways. There were good days, and many bad days, where the stink would just hit you as you stepped outside. Many sunsets looking like a Turner painting, grey flecked with orange. Soot everywhere. You see it a lot in NYC films of that era, grey days not caused by fog. LA as well- check out Play It As It Lays to see that dark cloud over the city. i wonder about my sister’s chronic asthma growing up in a place where pollution was a real thing, literally in the air we breathed.
Thirty+ years on, standards on emissions, regulation, has done wonders in my lifetime, visible and breathable improvement. NYC is cleaner than I ever dreamed possible, species of wildlife returning even- it’s been a marvellous thing. And along with the rather amazing drop in crime, the clearing of the air in NYC , making it a more breathable and liveable place, has coincided with a boom, an attractive place to live. Again, I remember the 70’s , this was not always the case. Not being sooty, smelly and filthy from emissions has played a huge part in that turnaround. It’s a very real change.
I’m not writing this necessarily to be critical of Obama’s move here. Just that I read comments of people saying lighten up, smog doesn’t matter, people don’t care anyway, it’s not increasing emissions just allowable measurements of emissions (?) etc. This may be quite minor, but I wish we could see more media focus on the very great good that controls and standards on emissions have effected since the late 70’s, demonstrable good. Instead of the GOP line that regulation on emissions kills jobs etc. That sorry, Obama seems to have taken as true and reasonable. I’m not going to be too critical though, i’ll prefer to see at as a bone thrown, a bit of red-meat “reasonableness” to the rabid anti-environmentalists. I just wish perhaps the larger media would not be the ones entertaining the idea that we need to let the polluters do what they will, if we want to ever have jobs again.
Because that’s not the way the Senate’s current rules work. It used to be that the Senate could pass cloture with a 2/3 vote of those present, and that it could hold a vote as soon as nobody wanted to talk on an issue anymore. That meant the side trying to filibuster had to keep more than 1/3 of the complete Senate on the floor, and that they had to keep talking. That’s the kind of filibuster you see in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
Now the rules have changed. The Senate can now pass a cloture motion with only a 3/5 majority, but it has to be 3/5 of all Senators, not of those present. That means a vote of 59-1 to end debate still fails, and the side trying to filibuster can maintain it with just a handful of people on the floor. Equally important, the rules have changed so that a vote isn’t automatically called when there’s nobody left to talk. They still have to get permission to hold the vote, and if they can’t get it they have to move on to another piece of business. Together, those two rule changes have made it a lot easier for a determined minority to hold up business.
When was primarying Obama brought up?
typo edit – jeesh
I’ll have to get my identity card updated to show that I’m a Climate Hawk With a Grief Reaction, and not a Segment of The Online Left Invested In Bashing The President. That should clear up any misunderstandings.
As a followup to my earlier comment, and posted over at Osbourne’s place:
“But their grief reaction at Friday’s announcement was hijacked in a matter of seconds by a segment of the online left that is invested in bashing the president.” That is a strawman, and your use of it weakens your entire argument.
And saying “Yeah, this is bad, but he did other good stuff” is really weird way to go after this. Like the strawman above, all it does is let you “win,” no matter what the complaint is. If Obama announced support of raising retirement age to 75, you could argue, for example, “But look at this other good stuff he did on Labor!” It would still suck that he raised the retirement age to 75. The ozone issue stands on its own.
Odie Hugh Manatee
We’ve had whole sections of Highway 101 (Pacific Coast Highway) replaced here in Oregon this summer (and still ongoing). The roads get hammered here in the fall, winter and spring, with some sections sagging or even sliding. Heavy RVs and semi traffic have worn ruts into sections, making motorcycle riding a bit more of an adventure than I like. That and it kills tires faster.
Yes, those highway dollars are putting people to work and getting shit done, but listening to the emo left you would think that nothing has changed. It has. I drive on some of that “change” regularly.
@arguingwithsignposts: Well, maybe we watch the Repuke primaries and maybe Huntsman moves up and the repukes splinter. With the Palinites, the once-upon-a-time Democrats (Perry), Tiffany-Fabrik Newt, Ron the-Gold-bug Paul, the Pizza Man all pulling and tugging it’s possible. Huntsman can kiss the South good-bye as a magic-underwear-wearing Mormon, so he looks to the conservatives, moderates and maybe some liberals. Huntsman gives certain assurances about the Supreme Court; I think that is an alternative worth considering. The only reason I can see now for progressives to vote for this palsied excuse for a president is the Supreme Court and I am beginning to have my doubts even there.
This flap never needed to happen. When the EPA presented the proposed changes to the ozone rules someone in the administration should have spoken up and said “This a a good rule but, it has some significant financial aspects for those states that use and/or produce coal. Maybe we should run it by the Democratic Senators in those states before we come out in favor of it.”
To me, this incident says nothing about Obama’s championing of environmental issues. His record on that score is a good one. It does say to me that the first order of business at the White House tomorrow should be a few rounds of “The Weakest Link.” Any contemporary president is heavily reliant on his or her staff. Obama’s staff has made two completely avoidable and very public errors in the past two weeks. Someone needs to be replaced.
@NR: You may or may not realize this, but the EPA does this every single day. They even have a formula for it. Does the cost of a regulation outweigh the lives saved? If the EPA ultimately decides it does not, guess what? No regulation. The fact that 12,000 seems more important to you than the 36,000+ Osborne mentioned says more about you needing to bash Obama than you caring about lives.
@Dennis SGMM: This. Also. Too.
bwahahahaha. Elena Kagan not working out for you? Seriously, if you accept Huntsman’s word on anything, you are sad.
B W Smith
@NR: I understand the point you are trying to make, but you are doing a little sleight of hand. Last night you used this same quote to equate Obama with Charles Manson and today you’re again stating that it is a fact that 12,000 people will lose their lives. That is not what this quote is saying at all. It uses the word “could”, not will. Could as in may or might, that’s not the same as a fact. There is no way the EPA or anyone can definitively state how many lives would be saved by this or any other legislation.
Again I see repeated attacks on “the left” from people who are ostensibly on the left. The argument seems to be that if those on the fringe (people who appear to believe we should actually fight for things like justice, equality and peace even if it means losing) would silence themselves and allow the Democratic Party to triangulate it can win the next election. And this very well may be true.
But I think it would be a good idea to ask ourselves at what point will it stop? Moving right may win elections, it may even slow the Hate Party down; but is slowing it down really a victory? What I see is that Democrats have internalized the Long Defense, where the party fights an unending rearguard out of fear of what may happen if they don’t (excluding the plutocrats in our own party who can’t wait for a feudal America). Liberalism has historically been the active political movement because it always wants to go somewhere new. Yet over the last ten years it seems to have been completely paralyzed, continually reacting to the Hate Party’s offensive rather than setting the tempo as it once did.
To be honest I don’t know if any of this is useful, but I do know that adoption of a siege mentality is ultimately self-defeating. The current strategy being pursued by the Democrats and the Administration is not tenable in the long term, even if it yields short term dividends. How can it be when it means acceptance of continually ceding ground to people who understand nothing but hate?
You must not read what you write. Your buddy Obama took his word (and oath too,) if I mistake not.
@SteveinSC: How exciting. Huntsman’s tax reform increases taxes on the middle class by 2000 dollars and does away with all capital gain and dividend taxes. Of course with IRA’s a lot of people have stocks but those are taxed as ordinary income. Huntsman did say he believed in global warming but now is not the time to do anything about that. Great. Let’s party likes it’s 2000.
edit…gore’s fat also, too
@SteveinSC: He appointed him ambassador to china, not quite the same thing as running for election, now is it? c’mon, man do better.
ETA: just so we can get this clear, Obama isn’t my “buddy.” He’s the president, head of one of the three branches of government, and the only one who has to put up with a whole nation of whiny asses like you. That goes for Lincoln, FDR, GWB, etc., etc.
I’m reluctant to even comment in this thread, but here goes.
Jesus, here come the straw men. Fingers in ears and yelling ya, ya, ya. Yes, there was criticism of the action. But far and away, there was more criticism of the Republican framing used by Obama to kneecap EPA. Talk about tone deaf.
@Yutsano: Where did he make a 36,000 claim? Are you talking about this:
@SteveinSC: That’s not workable at all.
He implies it there. It is a bit of interpretation on my part, but a reasonable one.
@Yutsano: But for that to make sense the way you used it, something Obama had done to lessen those 36,000 deaths would have had to have taken place. Osbourne doesn’t say that.
And why can’t the ozone issue stand on its own? Just because other improvements have happened doesn’t mean this can’t stand by itself.
This is all strawman. And it’s a large part of Osbourne’s argument.
@JPL: The point is SCOTUS and we’d be getting the republican agenda anyway, or haven’t you noticed?
@SteveinSC: keep fucking that chicken, steve. you don’t deny that Ambassador to China is different than POTUS?
Huntsman is a GOP’er, and once President(by your scenario) he might like to get reelected and GOP’ers would not renominate him with the SCOTUS deal you envision and Dems damn sure would not accept him.
There is no way the dream world you created can work out. Sorry.
@arguingwithsignposts: Really you should post sober. Read the goddamned posts to see what you originally commented on. Here, I’ll help you: “@arguingwithsignposts:
if you accept Huntsman’s word on anything, you are sad.”.
Now just follow the Yellow Brick Road.
@Keith G: What if sometime in the future a man, a black man were nominated and became [email protected]Keith G: “There is no way the dream world you created can work out. Sorry.”
@SteveinSC: I think to the average middle class guy, $2000 is a lot of money. Since that is money most likely spent, I can see a lot of retailers concerned also. I’m not even sure how to respond to Huntsman’s imaginary choices for supreme court but I’m sure they’d be clones of Kagan.
@SteveinSC: Go fuck yourself, steveinSC. Seriously, you keep denying that a post as ambassador to china is the same as running for president?
@SteveinSC: You are not making sense. The dreams(?) you are comparing for purposes of your argument do not match up. Are you spoofing? You certainly seem to be just tossing stuff out there now.
FWIW – I posted a “thank you” comment to Matt Osborne in his comments section, because I see this follow-up as broadening the context of his comments, responding with real decency to his critics and clarifying some stuff that I thought was problematic in his first post.
But enough of my pompous clowning…
I appreciate your posts.
#90 dogwood – thank you. Of course, there’s no accounting for taste…
So I guess you believe that people who save lives should be allowed to kill people, and so long as the number of people they kill is lower than the number they save, it’s all good. Can you give me a ballpark estimate, how many people should an average firefighter be allowed to kill? How about a trauma surgeon?
@B W Smith:
Wrong. I never equated Obama with Charles Manson. Don’t misrepresent what I said.
The 12,000 number is the EPA’s best estimate. It could be lower, or it could be higher. But fine, let’s say it’s lower. What do you consider to be the maximum acceptable number of dead people so that polluters can maintain their profit margins? If it’s below 10,000, is that okay?
B W Smith
@NR: You know, my comment to you had nothing to do with an acceptable number of deaths. You have used this quote more than once and called it a fact. My point was to say that a presumed number sometime in the future cannot be a fact. At best, it is an educated guess. To then turn and ask me how many deaths are acceptable seems a little over the top. In last night’s post you said, “12,000 people is way, way more than Charles Manson killed.” This was in response to another commenter saying it wasn’t like Obama was Manson. Perhaps you did not mean to compare Obama to Manson, but as I read that statement, you did. But then, I haven’t claimed to be mind-reader.
@B W Smith:
Yes it did. You made the point that the 12,000 number is an estimate and not an exact figure, so the actual number of people who die might be lower. I said, fine, let’s grant the assumption that the number will be lower (though it’s equally possible that it could be higher). So now the question becomes, what number of deaths would you consider acceptable? 10,000? 5,000? More? Fewer? What is the number where that exact number of deaths is acceptable, but any more than that would make the policy unacceptable?
B W Smith
@NR: This is the kind of bullshit that drives me crazy. What is the point of this? I made absolutely no comment on the rightness or wrongness of the policy. I have never stated my opinion of the policy. The only thing I took issue with was you stating 12,000 deaths as a fact. The word “fact” has a fucking meaning. I wasn’t rude to you, I didn’t call you a liar, and I even said that I understood the point you were making. So, if someone criticizes a subtle point in your argument, you attack their morality? I know it’s late and it’s been a stressful day at BJ, but do you really have to disagree with someone who said they understood your basic premise. I find if you want to make a moral argument and have it stick, you should probably adhere fairly closely to the meaning of words. I apologize if my reply was too subtle before.
@B W Smith:
Yes it does. And the effect of smog on people’s respiratory health is an established medical fact.
People are going to die because of this decision. It might be less than 12,000, or it might be more, but people are going to die. This is a fact.