Well, here we go:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), ranking member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee filed an amendment to an appropriations bill aimed at preventing the Federal Communications Commission from adopting net neutrality regulation.
Hutchison's amendment, co-signed by John Ensign (R-Nev.) and six other Republican lawmakers, would "prohibit the FCC from using any appropriated funds to adopt, implement or otherwise litigate any network neutrality based rules, protocols or standards."
Hutchison's amendment is to a bill for military and veterans construction projects.
The presentation of a good argument has a number of important components. Having your facts correct (and sourced), the tone and timbre of the argument, and understanding the tools of debate; in particular, having an understanding of fallacies.
Similarly, understanding an opponent's argument and rebutting it requires similar components.
Here at the Daily Kos (and in political debate in general, truth be told), I see an awful lot of misidentification of fallacies. Quite often, folks can see that an argument is logically weak, but they don't correctly identify why it is a weak argument. This lessens the quality of the rebuttal.
So - do you know your fallacies? Let's start with a little quiz here.
As the Republican attempt to assure themselves that Sharron Angle isn't too crazy, Mrs. Angle has been proven already to have gone off the deep end.
She has effectively advocated for armed insurrection if Republicans don't take control of Congress in 2010, and the assassination of Harry Reid.
From The Plum Line:
You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.
I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.
Dear President Obama:
No one knows better than you the dire situation that our nation is in. And there is no one better positioned than you to address these actions, and bring the change that so many believe is possible.
I realize that you are surrounded by those who believe that progress is only possible in small incremental steps. I realize that the DC conventional wisdom says that so-called pragmatic politics must be observed. But it does not have to be this way. If there is anyone who can break this pattern, Mr. President, it is you.
I know that you are surrounded by political enemies who would see every attempt to change our course blocked. I know that our congress is rife with corporate corruption, with special interest monies and with legislators who care only for their own well being. But if there is anyone who can call them to task, who can show them for what they are, it is you.
More and more, strawmen arguments are being set up and knocked down by those criticizing those who criticize the handling of the gulf situation. Currently, there are two diaries on the rec list that fall into this category, and while not not as strawmanish as they might be, certainly provide the platform for others to slam those who criticize the administration with their strawman arguments. Both paint those disapproving of the handling of the Gulf crisis and desirous of stronger action towards clean energy as basically childish and stupid in their (misstated) goals and arguments.
Attacking those who push for solutions that produce tangible results is not going to help get results. And by painting the viewpoints of those who criticize what is being done as weak, uneducated, childish, vindictive and plain old stupid, the effort to push for real solutions is undermined.
Below are the primary strawmen in play.
There's been a lot of talk about what our leaders can - and should - be doing to address the Gulf catastrophe.
This is a time when we need strong leadership. And I'm not talking about waving some magic wand, or having the President personally plug the leak. I'm quite cognizant of the fact that there are no known good solutions at this point in time.
But there are actions that can be taken to lead us both towards a solution to the ongoing crisis, towards prevention of further drilling incidents, and towards breaking our addiction to the wasteful use of our energy and resources that can be taken, and taken now. These are pragmatic actions that lead towards a stronger nation and towards ensuring that future generations have at least some resources and energy supplies. Furthermore, they are actions that would increase political capitol and push the electoral calculus in favor of our Democratic leaders.
During the year and change since President Obama was sworn in, there have been significant changes on many things Democratic. From the perceptions of our leaders, to our stated goals; as political reality and the DC mentality meet campaign promises, plans and ideas, changes have occurred.
This has led to various divisions and fractures within the party. Certainly, they are apparent here in this microcosm known as the Daily KOS. The most prevalent manner of looking at these divisions is between progressives and centrists. And there is significant legitimacy to this approach to categorization.
However, I feel that there is perhaps a better manner of viewing this division, one that may allow for better communication, and a restoration cohesive effort towards the shared goals that we all pretty much agreed upon during the election cycle. Put succinctly, that division is between those who believe that the pragmatism of the solutions must precede the politics in order to achieve the long term goals, and those who see the pragmatism of politics as being the first order of business in order to achieve said same goals in the end.
In a stunning development, a move to halt all governance in recognition of "Pootie and Woozle Day" led by the US government has led most NATO members, China, India and numerous other industrialized nations to halt all government operations.
The sudden cascade of governmental shutdowns was evidently initiated when a high ranking US Administration official queried about the activities of certain liberal bloggers and activists. When he was told that they were fixated upon humorous pictures of cats and dogs, he went directly to President Obama, reportedly saying, "Those fucking ****** aren't paying attention to us! We've got to do something!"
President Obama immediately called for a joint session of congress. And in the first true display of bipartisanship under his leadership, both the house and senate immediately and unamously passed a resolution declaring this to be "Pootie And Woozle Day."
In a surprising development, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio today announced the formation of a new union for Republican legislators: Republicans And Teabaggers For American Constitutional Equality (RATFACE).
At a press conference held today, Mr. Boehner outlined his reasons for the formation of the new union, saying, "We have negotiated individually and separately with Wall Street in good faith. We are the American workers who put the executives on Wall Street where they are today. If it wasn't for our hard work, where would they be? But they won't give us fair treatment and pay for our efforts. Enough is enough."
I'll admit it - I've been worried for some time about the HCR legislaton, and the direction that it's been taking.
But now I've seen the light. And my fears have all evaporated like frail mist in the blinding light of our Declaration of Victory.
And to the rest of you who still have doubts, follow me below the fold, and I'll show you how silly all your objections are, so that you too enter this wonderful Happy Place.
The argument, as presented by Senator Harkin, that the current health care bill is a foundation that we can build upon is gaining some traction of late.
The basic theme is that the bill moves us towards universal health care, that somehow, this the legislation as it stands (and is likely to exist when negotiations are complete) will be a step towards even better reform in the future, that it will be the foundation upon which we can build out a better system.
I believe the opposite is the case. Rather than moving our view of health care towards a universal and individual right, the bill as it stands moves insurance for health care wholly and fully into the private sector. It enshrines the insurance companies as the entities that control health care in our society, and by doing so, will make it even harder to get anything like a PO or single payer or expanded medicare down the road. And by placing sole responsibility for providing health care in the private sector, given our nation's history for the last few decades, it will actually make further regulatory reform even more difficult.
So, yesterday, the new Hadron Super Collider broke the worlds record for proton acceleration.
Part of the point of this experiment is to attempt to find the smallest units of matter that form the building blocks of the universe.
Well, I say it's a waste of money. The smallest units are already well known.
Below the fold is presented a list of these units.
Update: It was pointed out that the names were incorrectly listed as having the suffix "-ium" as opposed to "-on". In the interest of true scientific integrity, the list has been fixed.