Engaging Adam

Here we go. This post (and mainly the comments) are for one purpose — to attempt a discussion with Adam. Yes, Adam, you get your own personal post here (hope you don’t mind, Big Dog). I’m going to try not to tint the discussion by loading this post in any way. I am honestly curious to see how it goes.

The topic is the massive expense about to be undertaken by the US government for Obama’s trip to Bombay (I know it’s Mumbai now, but Bombay sounds neater to me). Honestly, this isn’t a real big deal to me, because I think the government spends way too much every day, anyway. But that might make things a little simpler and keep emotions out. I think the government is spending way too much — as much as $200 million a day. Adam?

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44 Responses to “Engaging Adam”

  1. Jeff H says:

    Ogre,
    This will be interesting, but I have my doubts that Adam will play. I’ve tried something similar in discussion with liberal friends, but for some reason they can’t deal with rationality. Hopefully, Adam will be different.

    $200M a day. Wow. At first I didn’t believe it. I agree the president (yes, even Obama) needs security, etc. But 3000 people, 40 planes, $200M a DAY??? Jez. We should bring them here and leave the light on for them.

  2. Adam says:

    “I think the government is spending way too much — as much as $200 million a day.”

    The $200 million a day figure comes from an anonymous source claimed to be an official of the Maharashtra Government. This figure has been denied by the White House as “wildly inflated” though they won’t release an official one.

    Many arguments for why the $200 million is faulty can be found here:

    * USA Today
    * WSJ
    * Snopes
    * FactCheck

    The story was picked up and ran with by the right-wing media and a massive network of bloggers without even questioning the legitimacy of the source, let alone the logic behind it. It is a ridiculous figure and those who ran with it should be ashamed of themselves for falling for it but I doubt they will be.

  3. Mr. Ogre says:

    Now, my point, as I clearly stated, was that I think the government is spending too much money. Are you disagreeing with that point?

  4. Adam says:

    How can I agree or disagree? We don’t know the true amount. On what do you base your point?

  5. Mr. Ogre says:

    I was asking, because I couldn’t tell. Are you saying that you have no opinion on how much is being spent on the trip?

  6. Adam says:

    There isn’t much to say about dollar amounts we do not know, is there? I’m not sure what you’re driving at.

    The only thing we know is that the $200 million figure that has created such outrage from conservatives is faulty and completely unreliable.

  7. victoria says:

    WASTE and EXTRAVAGANCE are NEVER OK

    And if it’s a lie, then there should be no problem disclosing the real cost of the trip.

    • Adam says:

      The White House suggests their refusal to disclose the real cost of the trip is in order to avoid revealing too many details about the security measures involved. It’s no surprise that these trips cost a lot. They just don’t cost $200 million a day, that’s all.

      • Big Dog says:

        So you are admitting that you do not know how much it costs but say it can’t cost that much. What I am saying is Ogre did not lie, as you claim (which you claim about everyone who writes something with which you disagree). He used the official from India’s words:

        A top official of the Maharashtra Government privy to the arrangements for the high-profile visit has reckoned that a whopping $ 200 million (Rs 900 crore approx) per day would be spent by various teams coming from the US in connection with Obama’s two-day stay in the city.

        “A huge amount of around $ 200 million would be spent on security, stay and other aspects of the Presidential visit,” the official said in Mumbai. Link [emphasis mine]

        You will have to forgive folks for using the words of government officials. They will not reveal because of security concerns? Obama has canceled this twice and each time the security teams have been there to do the advance. With as much as has been reported and the two previous dry runs I think that the cat is out of the bag.

        Add this tunnel to the cost and to the reports about security and we can see how rapidly the cost can climb and we can see how security is not so secret. The WH does nto want to disclose the cost because of the cost and nothing more. They could just say security costs X and that would be all the detail that would be needed. Security is the cover to hide the true cost.

        I don’t know how much a fleet of ships costs to operate but the crew costs are in the hundreds of thousands and running the ship is in the hundreds of thousands so it adds up quickly. Fuel, food, maintenance, warships, tunnels, entire hotels, own chef, own food, rare liquor, costs for local support, caravans of vehicles, military vehicles, jets, helicopters, none of this is cheap.

        • Adam says:

          “So you are admitting that you do not know how much it costs but say it can’t cost that much.”

          Every indication is that the trip plan doesn’t actually include 3000 people, a fleet of ships, an aircraft carrier, and the rental of an entire hotel.

          I don’t know the actual cost but when I take into account what we know about the trip I simply find it very hard to believe it could ever cost even near $200 million a day.

          “What I am saying is Ogre did not lie…”

          In the least Ogre lied when he said this was a vacation for Obama. He makes it worse by citing a number that crumbles under the slightest bit of reason.

  8. Mr. Ogre says:

    Okay, then Adam, you’re clearly not interested in talking about my post and you’re more interested in quibbling over meaningless information. So you’re making it clear that your only purpose is to argue. I was hoping that was not the case.

  9. Adam says:

    I’m not interested in talking about your post? Are you kidding? Let’s look at your words:

    The topic is the massive expense about to be undertaken by the US government for Obama’s trip…

    Every single comment I’ve made has related to what we know about the cost of the trip.

    If you’ve got a more specific part of the topic you want me to discuss you’ll have to spell it out for me. I’ll discuss in reasonable terms anything you wish to discuss. You’re just going to have to be more clear.

  10. Mr. Ogre says:

    Wow. See, you’re now continuing to argue. My post, as I have made clear, and questioned you repeatedly, is about government spending too much. The only thing you’re interested in arguing about is whether the trip costs $200 million, $199 million, $1 million, or ten dollars. Every single comment you have made is focused like a laser on the dollar and absolutely nothing else. You want to quibble, plain and simple.

  11. Adam says:

    So you think the government is spending too much but you don’t know how much it is spending?

    • Big Dog says:

      I do not need to know how much to know it is too much because I know the security problems there and the extra steps that need to be taken. There is nothing to be gained by going there and it is a waste of money no matter how much it is. One thing is certain, it will cost a lot more than other trips.

      • Adam says:

        I’m fine with those who want to debate the usefulness and the merits of the trip (which I assume is more what Ogre wants to talk about). It’s just that my whole problem with the topic of the trip is that almost 100% of the grounds for opinion is based on the entirely unreliable Indian article.

  12. Schatzee says:

    Personally I don’t care if it costs $10 a day. This is just not a time for frivolous spending and this is not a trip that I would say is a necessity. People are losing their homes at record rates – unemployment and underemployment are nearing 20%. People are struggling and having to buckle down and it should be required that the government, and the President – all of whom work for those of us working and struggling – to buckle down as well. The vacation to Spain was a slap in the face and beyond compare when talking of frivolous spending. Now a 2 days trip to India with or without the massive entourage – not a good idea and a waste of money. Therefore, regardless of the cost, the government is spending too much of MY (OUR) money on things that could wait or be cut from the budget all together.

    Let’s stop paying for the cars and parking and drivers for people in Congress. They’ve been driving themselves around just fine until now and I have to pay my own car and parking so why don’t they? Let’s cut all these lovely little banquets, dinners, and other crap that are not doing anything more than patting people on the back and thanking people for doing their jobs. Time to learn to be frugal and spend money where the Constituion says it should be spent – defense, instrastructure – you know those things are not in Mumbai. They’re here.

    • Adam says:

      Technically speaking the unemployment (U3) and underemployment (U6) values have declined month to month this year and are down from December values of 10% to 9.6% for U3 and 17.7% to 16.8% for U6. To say they are nearing 20% is almost to suggest they are still rising toward that value which is not the case.

      • Schatzee says:

        I would disagree with you on that. I don’t believe the rates include those who have given up trying to look for work or people who are cut to PT that were and should be FT. I think a more accurate picture is to take whatever the government says it is and multiply it by 1.5.

        And in fact they are still rising. Even though there was a slight decrease in those requesting unemployment benefits last month (notice that they clearly state those requesting new benefits), the new information is that they are already on the increase again.

        Anyway, the numbers are not really the point here. The trip and lavish spending is. Even if the unemployment rate were below 10% and foreclosures were not at a record high, with all the modern technology and the inherent danger in the area making the cost of this trip outrageous, I think a teleconference would suffice. Hell, send an email and we’ll call it a day. This spending is out of control no matter how you look at it or how you try to condone and negate it.

        • Adam says:

          I generally agree with you on the spending part but for the sake of accuracy I’d like to talk a little bit more about BLS labor statistics that you are mentioning.

          “I don’t believe the rates include those who have given up trying to look for work or people who are cut to PT that were and should be FT.”

          Actually, U6 comprises exactly what you are suggesting. You take the number of unemployed people, the number of people working part time for economic reasons, add it to the number of workers who are available but are not working (discouraged and other reasons) and you divide that by the workforce value.

          “I think a more accurate picture is to take whatever the government says it is and multiply it by 1.5.”

          I don’t agree and I’m not sure on what you base that idea.

          “…the new information is that they are already on the increase again.”

          Actually what I’m seeing is that the numbers I quoted you last night may actually be incorrect. For instance this website cites entirely different values that what I’ve calculated in my own research. I’ve actually e-mailed the author of that website to talk more about this but I’m sure by the time I find out right or wrong the topic will have moved on. If you want to talk about this in the future though we can.

          “This spending is out of control no matter how you look at it or how you try to condone and negate it.”

          I agree on some things. I don’t agree that Obama can just call in to these folks. I think his visits are important and necessary expenses if done in a not so lavish way. I do think though that politicians talk tough on reducing the deficit and then run right out and spend us into more debt in ridiculous ways.

  13. Mr. Ogre says:

    Well, Adam, I tried. Once again, you have made 8 comments on this thread. In 7 of them, you wanted to quibble about the exact cost of this trip, which as I pointed out over and over again, I had no interest in. You want to argue about what you want to argue about. I’m not interested in your topics. When I am, I’ll come over to your blog and talk. In the meantime, it’s clearly pointless to attempt to communicate with you here. Sorry, I was hoping that would not be the case.

    • Adam says:

      You wrote that the topic was the “massive expense” of the trip but I’m quibbling by discussing the cost of the trip in specific terms?

      You wrote that you think the government is spending $200 million a day but I’m quibbling by discussing the lack of evidence to support that value?

      This is one of the most pathetic displays I’ve seen in a while. It should be clear to everyone who reads this how dishonest and petty you are.

  14. Darrel says:

    Ogre then: “The topic is the massive expense about to be undertaken by the US government for Obama’s trip to Bombay”>>

    After Adam politely spanks *your* topic with the greatest of ease…

    Ogre now: “you wanted to quibble about the exact cost of this trip, which as I pointed out over and over again, I had no interest in.”>>

    Ogre, you are here for one reason. To make Blake look smart. As difficult as that task is, you are accomplishing it very well.

    As you were.

    • Blake says:

      Darrel- that comment was extremely faceitious, and I would have thought, beneath you- I see I was wrong (one of my rare instances).
      I do not know that it is or is not costing 200 mil a day, but I would not doubt it- Bari has a history of taking far more than the required amount of people- but even if the cost was 100 mil, or 50 mil- can you justify this inthe face of our stupendous deficit here?
      He is being just as irresponsible with OUR money as many of US have been- he is maxing out the Govt. credit card. Did he NEED to go to India, and Indonesia and Korea and Japan?
      No, he did not- so the trip was gratuitous- everything could have been handled over the internet.
      This is just another example of Bari NOT GETTING IT.

  15. victoria says:

    Let me help you Adam and Darrel–Ogre’s sentence and point was–“I think the government is spending way too much.” (probably on this trip and on everything else also) Then he politely asked Adam–what do you think? After 23 posts we still don’t know what Adam thinks. Which is typical for a Dem because you (Darrel) and Adam think that because you have “possibly debunked” the $200. mil number that you have debunked his post. I am sorry it is going to take more than you two to do that and Ogre and Blake always run circles around you.

  16. Ogre says:

    Absolutely classic. Darrel, Adam, clearly you win. After all, since you only talked about your ideas and fought for your topics (which I had no interest in — literally $10 was too much of an expense for me), you called me names. That’s it, I surrender. Your name-calling trumps my discussion of ideas.

    I still think government is spending too much on the trip, but since you called me names, maybe that means I’m wrong and I don’t think that. Wow.

    Go ahead, please polish off your victory and “spanking” — get in the last word so your victory will be complete.

  17. Adam says:

    Let me recap this for those who aren’t paying attention.

    Ogre, having recently been called on his cowardly refusal address the lack of evidence to back up his views on the India trip, posted this blog entry pretending to want an honest discussion with me on the subject.

    First the topic was the government is spending too much on the trip, as much as $200 million. Realizing finally that the figure he cited more than once has no basis in logic or verifiable information, Ogre retreated.

    Next Ogre tries to suggest the topic was not about the $200 million, but rather just the massive expense of the trip. Realizing he has no idea how much is going to be spent, Ogre retreated further.

    Next he claimed the topic was not the specific cost of the trip but just spending on the trip in general. Noticing I won’t back down from the false statements he’s already made, Ogre retreated even further.

    Ogre declares himself the winner of this “engagement” by default, suggesting I am at fault because I will not discuss his topic which oddly changes with every comment.

    Enter Victoria who has not yet met a conservative liar she won’t support and defend with a straight face. She suggests the topic wasn’t even the cost of the trip but government spending too much…on everything.

    Ogre then returns one last time but he’s run out of ways to change the topic further so he just pretends to take the high road against us name calllers and topic hijackers. It really is a very sad display from him. I’d say his credibility is shot after this thread but he’s got plenty of people here to defend him still somehow.

  18. victoria says:

    Oh my gosh, absolutely, I mean what could anybody be thinking–3,000 people in Obama’s entourage, 40 jetliners, I forget how many limosines, the entire Taj Mahal Palace Hotel… and that is just one place, it is a 10 day trip. And as you put it,”It really is a very sad display from Ogre or any of us. I’d say his credibility is shot after this thread.” Yep Huh, Huh. Shot.

    • Adam says:

      Bless her heart. Victoria still has no clue that almost every detail she keeps repeating about the India trip has zero basis in reality.

  19. victoria says:

    Oh My, I forgot the White House denied it and so did Snopes.

  20. victoria says:

    Sure, some of the costs may be exaggerated on this ten day excursion but you can bet on this. It is costing much more than can be justified. More people are involved than can be justified and it is messing up fleet operations in the Indian Ocean. One thing about Obama, he doesn’t do anything small. We saw that with his wifes trip to Spain. It will come out what is going on.

    • Adam says:

      Yes, the trip to Spain. Another outrage by conservatives that turned out largely to be overblown.

      • Big Dog says:

        Oh yes, overblown. Perhaps you did not notice we are in the midst of some bad economic times. While doofus tells people to vacation in the Gulf his wife goes to Spain and it costs taxpayers a fortune.

        There are a lot of really nice places to see right here.

        • Adam says:

          Overblown as in your side spread the idea that she was taking dozens or even hundreds of friends and family and charging it all to the tax payer. The truth is she took 3 or 4 friends and a dozen or so aids and only the cost of the flight and security went on our bill. I’m not saying the trip was cheap, but just that conservatives made things up and then other conservatives spread that around like it was the truth.

  21. victoria says:

    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/117956/India/obamas-trip-to-be-biggest-ever.html

    Here is an interesting one for you. I have read a lot of sources Adam. Some of which say some unknown guy in India who can’t be trusted with the facts made up the $200 mil number so therefore the whole thing is a lie.

    • Adam says:

      Now we’re starting to get realistic looking details coming out of the press. I’ve never doubted the trip would be expensive and I haven’t really derided folks who simply thought the trip was useless or in bad taste given the state of the economy. I tend to disagree on the second part, but I think it’s a legitimate opinion.

      I can’t decide whether it’s hilarious or completely sad that so many conservatives ran with unreasonable stats about the trip. Your side clearly wants to think the worst of Obama so when you see things that you think support that view you can’t help but run with it.

      That is exactly what your side spent 8 years deriding liberals for against Bush. There is pretty much no hope to ever end this level of derangement from the folks out of power in the White House I’m afraid. I hope that if Obama loses in 2012 or the Democrat loses in 2016 that liberals can keep a clear head but we both know that’s probably too much to ask for.

  22. victoria says:

    “I’ve never doubted the trip would be expensive and I haven’t really derided folks who simply thought the trip was useless or in bad taste given the state of the economy. I tend to disagree on the second part, but I think it’s a legitimate opinion.”

    That was the point of Ogre’s post. You think the stats change that. I still think the worst and I am not deranged, I have a very clear head and see what is happening to this country.

    • Adam says:

      “That was the point of Ogre’s post. You think the stats change that.”

      Of course the stats change everything. The right presented this trip as outrageous in size and scope. From all the specifics we can verify we see this trip is very modest compared to the lies spread about it. Every trip like this is expensive but no trip costs $200 million.

      Ogre spread information about the cost and scope of the trip which had no basis in verifiable fact. When challenged on them he tried to move the topic further and further toward abstract ideas about spending so he could suggest I was too focused on specifics and run from actually admitting he posted false information. He didn’t want an honest discussion. He came into this looking for a way to make me seem unreasonable and he eventually made up ways to do so.

      “I still think the worst and I am not deranged, I have a very clear head and see what is happening to this country.”

      As long as you get your “facts” from the sources you listed the other day you will not be clear headed and you’ll see only what they need you to see. This is not a blanket statement as if those on the left don’t do the same thing but it is a very specific charge against you for what you have admitted to doing.

  23. victoria says:

    As long as you get your “facts” from the sources you listed the other day you will not be clear headed.

    That is only your opinion. Besides I read a lot and not just those. I have listened to the elitist, self-rightous, and condescending left. I also watched what the Democrats did during this election. Here and elsewhere. It was smear smear smear smear and then swear that they cared about the people or that they were going to help with jobs. Yea, help with jobs by tax and spend spend spend and now I have to watch as we go through another Franken and Coleman debacle. I have a brain and I didn’t get any of that from the blogs or any of those sources. And I am sick and tired of being painted as some racist extremist that you have to be afraid of because I might bomb you or hurt you in some way because I don’t like what this adminstration is doing and agree with Tea Party (which stands for TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY) That is called censoring or silencing. You don’t need half a brain to understand that. You try to paint yourself as such a fair and balanced guy and you have done that on this blog and don’t say you haven’t.You want to charge me with something, you charge your own self with being a shill for Obama and a defender.

    And that article said the “the biggest ever of any president ever.” and then you try to say–“from all the specifics we can verify we see this trip is very modest compared to the lies spread about it.” Excuse me!!!!! what a joke and you are a joke. I would laugh except I am too sick inside for what is going on and being done to this country.

    • Adam says:

      “And that article said the ‘the biggest ever of any president ever.’ and then you try to say–'”from all the specifics we can verify we see this trip is very modest compared to the lies spread about it.'”

      Modest compared to the lies? What’s wrong with that? The right said this trip was $200 million a day, had 30 some odd ships in the water, 40 aircraft, 3000 people, a KM long bomb proof tunnel to be built, an 800 room hotel, etc. We see so far that probably a fraction of the people are going, nowhere near that many ships, a bunch of aircraft, some limos, and the hotel is not even 800 rooms big. Largest ever doesn’t imply it’s anywhere close to what the right has ginned up outrage over.

  24. victoria says:

    I am sorry Ogre, I aplogise for jumping in here sometimes I can’t help myself. I won’t do it again.