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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day! (Page 19)

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Author Topic: Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day!
Samprimary
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Mitt Romney, once again recorded speaking candidly in 2002: "I'm a big believer of getting money where the money is and the money's in Washington"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yR_Mn4Skt4

Done being surprised

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BlackBlade
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Were you ever surprised that Romney could flip flop on an issue?
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Jon Boy
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I think the surprising thing is not that he could flip-flop on an issue, but that he apparently flip-flops on every issue.
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Samprimary
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This isn't about flip-flopping as much as it's about what he says when his crafted image isn't on the line, annnnnnd
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Samprimary
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I mean seriously here you have a guy putting out wide platitudes and promises about cutting the deficit and cutting government spending and stopping frivolous spending, and here he is just excitedly revealing that he is enamored and committed to the exact same bring-home-the-bacon moneygrab that makes it the most hypocritical stance possible.

Stuff like this is why it is wholly and massively unsurprising that the red states are basically America's welfare queens, and that the blue states have to make up the difference that Republicans in congress funnel to themselves, while loudly proclaiming how wasteful the 'tax and spend' liberals are. Gaw! Now I'm ranting. The GOP is crap, y'all.

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SenojRetep
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I could understand a charge of hypocrisy, but I don't think you could reasonably call this a 'flip-flop'. And even hypocrisy is, in my biased opinion, a bit of a stretch; it's more like he had a chance to take a principled stand and didn't. But I don't think that recognizing that Washington spends an enormous amount of money and even competing for a share of it is inconsistent with believing the system would be improved by cutting that spending; in fact, I would say it's rather congruous. When FDR appointed Joe Kennedy to head the SEC, it was precisely because he'd been so effective at manipulating the stock market to his advantage and knew how to detect and combat the fraud that was occurring. I would say Romney's actions aren't significantly more hypocritical than, say, Warren Buffet claiming his tax rate is unfairly low, but not then choosing to pay at a higher rate.

<edit>Also, people who do choose to take principled stands can alternatively be viewed as bomb-throwing ideologues (cf. Scott Walker), and people who compromise principle to solve problems are often heralded as clear-eyed pragmatists (cf. our current President). The idea that taking a principled 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' stand ought to be considered an electoral positive isn't obvious, at least to me. We talk about wanting leaders who can solve problems and get things done, but then we turn around and bludgeon with an ideological cudgel those who dare to actually go through the moral compromises necessary to solve actual problems. And so we end up with an increasingly intractable government, peopled by principled ideologues of both stripes whose commitment to ideological purity prevents progress on any of the pressing problems we wanted them to solve.</edit>

[ October 22, 2012, 01:53 PM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Stuff like this is why it is wholly and massively unsurprising that the red states are basically America's welfare queens, and that the blue states have to make up the difference that Republicans in congress funnel to themselves, while loudly proclaiming how wasteful the 'tax and spend' liberals are. Gaw! Now I'm ranting. The GOP is crap, y'all.

Also, this rant is both in poor taste and significantly statistically flawed (if I'm correctly taking your meaning); the money that flows to these 'welfare queen' states goes to a population that votes, overwhelmingly, for Democrats. It is taken from a population that is, overwhelmingly, Republican. This just reflects that rich people tend to be Republican and poor people tend to be Democrats, regardless of the 'color' of the state they live in.

<edit>In my fervor, I'm assuming facts that aren't in evidence here. For instance, that what Samp's calling 'welfare queen' spending goes to the poor, which probably isn't the case. Samp's probably more offended by old-school Ted Stevens/John Murtha-esque leveraging of positions of power to send pork back home. I haven't done the hard work of understanding what the 'welfare queen' rant is founded on, and as such I spoke without really knowing much about what I was talking about here.

It is true, however, that regardless of the state they live in, poor people tend to vote for Democrats and rich people tend to vote for Republicans. That tendency of increasing Republican vote share with wealth is more muted in 'blue states' and more prominent in 'red states' but it exists everywhere.</edit>

[ October 22, 2012, 01:59 PM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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Samprimary
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I was unaware that corporate welfare and pork barrel money went to poor democrats, and that taxpayers in blue states are "overwhelmingly republican."
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Also, this rant is both in poor taste and significantly statistically flawed (if I'm correctly taking your meaning); the money that flows to these 'welfare queen' states goes to a population that votes, overwhelmingly, for Democrats.
What population are you talking about? I thought the by far largest group getting welfare was poor, rural whites, who I'm pretty sure are pretty consistently Republican.
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SenojRetep
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Sorry, you're both probably right. See my edit above.
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MrSquicky
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In your edit, you said that poor people vote Democrat and rich people vote Republican. I don't believe that this is at all true. Poor rural whites very consistently vote Republican. The average income in "blue states" tends to be much higher than that in "red states" and having a college education skews one significantly towards voting Democratic.

The primary core of the Republican party is low education, poor whites.

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Rakeesh
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Wealth is certainly concentrated in states with large urban centers, particularly on the coasts-which trend blue quite a lot often more than less.

What that means is up for discussion, but I suspect a stranger to our world if presented only with state voting patterns and concentrations of wealth would suspect that Democrats were the ones who were favoring the wealthy.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
In your edit, you said that poor people vote Democrat and rich people vote Republican. I don't believe that this is at all true. Poor rural whites very consistently vote Republican. The average income in "blue states" tends to be much higher than that in "red states" and having a college education skews one significantly towards voting Democratic.

The primary core of the Republican party is low education, poor whites.

(1) Going from 'poor people' to 'poor rural White people' is a large step. (2) Poor people, even poor white people, mostly vote Democratic. Here's some evidence from the 2000 and 2004 elections. (3) You're probably right that once you throw in the 'rural' modifier, poor rural white people are more likley to vote for Republicans than they are to vote for Democrats. However, they are almost surely less likely to vote for Republicans than rich rural white people.

I've often recommended the book Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State by Andrew Gelman who is a quantitative political scientist at Columbia (and who made the charts showing voting patterns by income and ethnicity that I linked to above). It's a great discussion of what the data tell us about the inferential power of demographic information, particularly income but also race, profession, religious affiliation and others, on voting behavior.

I don't know how I would identify the 'core' of either party objectively, but I would be quite surprised if there is any meaningful way in which poor rural whites can be defined as the core of the Republican party. I think it's probably more accurate (but still very wrong) to say 'the core of the Democratic party is uneducated urban minorities'.

<edit>Here's a more recent post from Gelman at The Monkey Cage blog talking about some of the same issues while using more up-to-date data. He also links to a couple of other Monkey Cage posts by John Sides and Larry Bartels discussing whether there is a long term trend of poor whites toward the Republican party. You can see in Gelman's second graph that in the 2008 election, those at the poor end of the economic scale voted for Obama by a ratio of about 3:1 (at least in the three representative states of Mississippi, Ohio and Connecticut). </edit>

[ October 22, 2012, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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kmbboots
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Except that there aren't really enough minorities to make up the "core" of any particular voting block.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Except that there aren't really enough minorities to make up the "core" of any particular voting block.

There aren't really that many rural poor whites, either. That was part of my point.

<edit>As a 'back of the envelope' calculation, based on the most recent census rural population is just under 20% of total US population. I don't know exactly how 'rural' correlates with economic and racial demographics, but if we assume it's a bit poorer and a bit whiter than the US population as a whole, that still suggests that only about 10% of the US population is white, rural and poor. Additionally, not all of those are Republican; I would estimate somewhere around 65%. So, on the order of 5% of the entire US population. Oh, and I forgot uneducated, which would narrow it down further. So, maybe 2.5%? That's an awfully small group to form the 'core' of a major national organization.</edit>

<edit2>On the other side, about 80% of the US population is classified as Urban on the census*. Of that population, I'd estimated 40% is made up of ethnic minorities (appr. 32% of total US, somewhat concentrated in Urban centers). I don't know the exact correlation between urban minority status and poverty, but it's certainly higher than the general population; let's say it runs at about 25%. So 10% of the US population is urban, minority, and poor. I'd estimate that 'urban, poor minorities' make up about the same percentage of our total population as 'rural, poor whites', that their voting habits are likely more homogenous, although they may be less likely voters. So all things considered, I'd guess they're probably similarly influential on their respective parties.

*'Urban' for the census probably means something other than 'urban' we use colloquially, and encompasses a large 'suburban' population that isn't truly rural. However, given the assumption that poor minorities don't generally live in what is conventionally considered 'suburbs', I don't think this materially affects the above estimates.</edit2>

[ October 22, 2012, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
This isn't about flip-flopping as much as it's about what he says when his crafted image isn't on the line, annnnnnd

You mean he, by all outward appearances, lies about his view on every issue?

Failing that, that he doesn't *have* stable views on any issue? Because yeah, at this point there is tape of Mitt Romney saying almost *everything*. Which, for a person who is in politics, either means he is lying at least half of the time (less really, but that half of his positions are lies), or that he has actually changes his mind completely, at some point, on *everything.* And more than once on some things.

Politicians do change their minds. And they do lie.. I rather suspect that Barack Obama was mostly lying when he said he didn't feel gay marriage was right in 2008. I saw it as alikely lie even then- one that many democrats had been cowardly enough to tell. But on the other hand, he could sell that as a change of heart, and he did. Mitt isn't even attempting this. He's trying to portray positions that oppose each other as being totally compatible. For no reason. It would be like Obama saying that he wasn't wrong in 2008, but that he now supports gay marriage. His support rather hinges on him admitting he either lied, or changed his mind.

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kmbboots
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Remember when I mentioned the Romney campaign scoring political points off the tragedy in Libya?
quote:
I guess this is what happens late in the tight presidential race. Ronna Romney is the ex-sister-in-law of Mitt Romney. She’s apparently remained close to the Romney family. She has a minor role in the Romney campaign in Florida and has recently appeared at campaign events in Michigan with her daughter.

Earlier this afternoon she posted these grotesque images of the mangled body of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens with the words “Obama killed him” surrounded by dripping blood.

I wouldn't recommend clicking the link. The pictures are pretty awful.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/10/staying_classy_1.php

[ October 22, 2012, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Samprimary
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Were any of the pictures of Sean Smith?
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Blayne Bradley
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Vilerat?
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Samprimary
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The debate is on, and early pollsters are predicting a 100% chance of ron lambert conclusively deciding a Romney win
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Samprimary
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Romney has a larger flag pin, election is over guys
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Rakeesh
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That's a boring question, and really I'm not sure 100% is a high enough number. Can we get odds that Ron will conclude that Obama says something in this debate that conclusively demonstrates Obama hates America, and that anyone who doesn't see that is an easily fooled twit who probably does too?
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TomDavidson
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I think the fact that Obama showed up for the debate and didn't just hand the presidency to Romney while bowing and scraping in abject apology is proof, to Ron, that he hates America.
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kmbboots
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Gov. Romney's foreign policy is much like his budget plan; no specifics. He talks about "encouraging" extremists to be more moderate. Well duh. Maybe Santa can help with that when he brings us all the extra money.
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kmbboots
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Syria is Iran's route to the sea?
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Tstorm
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Yeah, I laughed at that one.
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Blayne Bradley
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"I'm going to do everything Obama has already been doing right but better, vote for me."
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I think the fact that Obama showed up for the debate and didn't just hand the presidency to Romney while bowing and scraping in abject apology is proof, to Ron, that he hates America.

it is additionally evidence of obama's fundamentally narcissistic lemonade stand ayers jeremaiah wrong nate dhalani plot to turn america purposefully into a third world nation, because: agenda
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Samprimary
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as a result of that debate, romney's position is clearly stronger than ever and he is sure to even more 100% than before probably win the race
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Samprimary
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ok i'm done
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Syria is Iran's route to the sea?

I think he simply misspoke. More than likely he was remembering that Syria is Russia's only route to the Mediterranean sea, which is why they are propping up the Assad regime. Syria is also rightly called Iran's only ally in the region. He just juxtaposed those two facts together when he tried to compile his words as he spoke.
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Rakeesh
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Yeah, those kinds of mistakes I've tried to remember are so very easy to make. It's when I begin to believe that the speaker actually forgets, rather than accidentally switches a geographical or political word, that I begin to be concerned. I would be surprised, say whatever else I might, to learn that Romney wasn't able to reliably map out the various regions of the world.
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TomDavidson
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Now I have this mental image of Romney, in that nasal, stentorian voice of his, doing Yakko's "Nations of the World" bit.
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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Now I have this mental image of Romney, in that nasal, stentorian voice of his, doing Yakko's "Nations of the World" bit.

United States, Mexico, Canada, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica , Peru... Ummm

Syria... Iran... Israel... Iraq... Uhhh...Israel...china...Israel...Afghanistan...Pakistan...

And Mali.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I think he simply misspoke. More than likely he was remembering that Syria is Russia's only route to the Mediterranean sea, which is why they are propping up the Assad regime. Syria is also rightly called Iran's only ally in the region. He just juxtaposed those two facts together when he tried to compile his words as he spoke.

Except that this is a misstatement that he's made at least five times before.
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Samprimary
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http://i.imgur.com/VUtYt.png
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Rakeesh
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Alright, that really drops my willingness to believe it was a slip of the tongue, Jon Boy.
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Jon Boy
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I just can't figure out why he keep saying it. Has he never seen a map of the Middle East? Has no one pointed out the two major problems with his statement? Or does he just like it so much that he doesn't care and keeps using it anyway?
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BlackBlade
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Yeah. It's starting to sound like an incorrect fact Romney has latched onto, and is having trouble discarding.
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MattP
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"Incorrect fact" makes me giggle.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
"Incorrect fact" makes me giggle.

Why?
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Lyrhawn
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Because facts are, by their very nature, correct.
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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Because facts are, by their very nature, correct.

That's not true. At least that isn't how we use the word in all cases. From Dictionary.com

3: something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.

Romney believes it's a fact, so it becomes a fact as far as he is concerned, it's not actually correct, so it becomes an incorrect fact.

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MattP
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Oh, I know it's sometimes used that way, but it's an unfortunate imprecision in the language given the conflicting definitions that tend to show up higher on the list provided by every reference I am familiar with.

The expression "You aren't entitled to your own facts" completely loses meaning when we accept that a fact can be something one merely believes to be true.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Because facts are, by their very nature, correct.

That's not true. At least that isn't how we use the word in all cases. From Dictionary.com

3: something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.

Romney believes it's a fact, so it becomes a fact as far as he is concerned, it's not actually correct, so it becomes an incorrect fact.

Yeah I'm with Matt on this one.

That's a muddying of the definition of "fact."

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Blayne Bradley
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"I'm going to do everything Obama has already been doing right but better, vote for me."
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Because facts are, by their very nature, correct.

That's not true. At least that isn't how we use the word in all cases. From Dictionary.com

3: something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.

Romney believes it's a fact, so it becomes a fact as far as he is concerned, it's not actually correct, so it becomes an incorrect fact.

Yeah I'm with Matt on this one.

That's a muddying of the definition of "fact."

You guys are welcome to insist on your only using the word fact to describe things that are true. You guys can even form a club, that doesn't change how the word is used by others.

There's a long list of uses outside of your prescribed choice.

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kmbboots
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BlackBlade, was it a fact that the sun revolved around the earth? Lots of people believed it.

In your example, what highly questionable facts means is statements where it is questionable whether they actually are fact.

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Rakeesh
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Seems pretty straightforward to me: BlackBlade was keeping in mind the broader usage of the word 'fact', and that's why the initial joke got a raised eyebrow, that's all.

It's not as though he has said 'a fact is what people think it is, if there's enough of them' or any such stuff, he's just talking about the common definitions of the word.

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Lyrhawn
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I'm not always a fan of language relativism.

At some point, words can't mean whatever we want them to mean at a given moment. That's not how language is supposed to work.

I understand that words change in definition over time and its a constantly evolving process. But at what point does true mean false and left means right, and the whole endeavor just loses coherence? If words stop having universally understood meanings, then we'll stop being able to understand each other, which I think is evidenced, this year especially, in presidential elections.

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