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Kevin Drum/Washington Monthly deletes yet another comment (Obama's Global Poverty Act)

Kevin Drum obviously doesn't want his readers to know how much of a hack he is, since either he or someone else at Washington Monthly keep deleting comments from me and apparently from others as well.

The latest in this long line was left earlier today on a post about Barack Obama's Global Poverty Act. It was left on washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_08/014237.php, which links to blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/08/05/this-just-in-obama-is-a-secret-agent-from-the-u-n.aspx from Jonathan Cohn.

Here's the comment, as posted:

Let me get this straight: Jonathan Cohn admits he knows nothing about this, but he's basing his mockery on a "quick Google search" and he admits he might be missing something. And, since all the complaints about this are coming from rightwing sites, well, then it's not really necessary to look into the claims, right?

And, then Kevin Drum does an even more hacky job than usual by simply linking to someone else's hackwork.

If there are any intellectually honest BHO supporters, start here and then tell us why the figure quoted is wrong.

Remember: the key part of that is to be intellectually honest, that is unlike Kevin Drum and Jonathan Cohn.

[Note: WM and/or KD have a habit of deleting or editing comments without notice, so this comment may disappear or be different from what I posted. Search for "kevin drum" at my site for examples of comments that were deleted.]

UPDATE: I left another comment saying the following:

Here's the comment that was just deleted from this thread. Needless to say, this comment will probably be deleted too.

Guess what: I was right. At the WM link, out of 22 comments there are only two that have any value whatsoever: one links to the votegopher link (also left in comments here), and another that says "Just read the bill. It's typical Obama. All rhetoric and no substance. Probably unconstitutional as it violates the separation of powers." None of the others address the bill but are simply attempted "jokes", rants about how the GOP is evil, and so on.

The bottom line is that nothing Kevin Drum says can be trusted. By deleting comments from those who disagree, they're removing any fact-checking from their site. Kevin Drum could lie about something obscure and then simply delete all the comments that point out the lie. Anyone who took Drum at his word would have been misled.

Regarding the votegopher comment in comments here, I left this comment there (whew!):

It would be fair to state that this bill could start a process that would result in the U.S. spending the amount claimed; see for instance this estimate from the WorldBank: peekURL.com/z1doski

Note also this from the bill: "The year 2007 marks the mid-point to the Millennium Development Goals deadline of 2015." That implies that the bill wants us to continue on the path to meeting that deadline, and doing that is going to require us to spend a lot of money, in addition to doing a lot of other things covered by the MDG.

Maybe next time we can look forward to this site discussing those other MDGs and admitting that BHO obviously wants us to meet all of them.

Other tags: deleted comments

Bloggage · Wed, 08/06/2008 - 08:30 · Importance: 4

Wed, 08/06/2008 - 16:46

I'll be intellectually honest: You're whacked. See proof above. If you want to spend a lot of time worrying that we will send an extra $845 billion to the United Nations, you are allowed to do so.

Wed, 08/06/2008 - 17:20

See my post here about this: http://www.votegopher.com/blog/?p=67. We are a non-partisan, and I certainly believe intellectually honest, young-voter website. I don't know if you have written other posts on this subject, but the one you link to is very misleading, to say the least. The Global Poverty Act would only "end up costing taxpayers billions" if a President decided that that spending was necessary, AND got approval for that spending from the Congress. The GPA orders the President to implement a "strategy" that doesn't actually involve spending any more money. See my post for what that strategy is, I won't recount the points here. It does leave the door open for additional spending, but again, that spending would come only if the President decided it was necessary to achieve the goal, and he would still need funding authorization from Congress. The GPA would encourage more efficient use of our current aid dollars, but to suggest that it commits to any sort of spending increase in itself is just plainly not true. I also can't fathom why you're worried about the other Millennium Development Goals, and why you insert a skeptical "supposedly" when noting that the GPA only singles out the poverty-related goal. Jeffrey Sachs does not control American foreign policy, much as he might like to, and the GPA is not even a tepid endorsement of his strategy. As I say in my post, you can flay Obama for not proposing a realistic strategy for reaching the Millennium Goal, because the actual strategy he would require of the president might very well be too modest for the task at hand. But you can't exaggerate the facts about that strategy. It has nothing to do with Jeffrey Sachs, 0.7 percent of GNP, the other Millennium Goals, or anything else besides saying, let's reassert a poverty-reduction goal, and see if we can reach it without spending more money. The CBO estimated its cost at a million bucks for a reason. Apparently you don't put much stock in that, but, well, you should.

Wed, 08/06/2008 - 18:03
petty bourgeois

The marxian ideal of ending global poverty is what is whacked about this scheme, not the author of this post. This is more proof that we need to take these globalist-marxist scumbags and re-educate them on their responsibility to their constituents first before spending any money on impoverished foreigners. There is poverty in this country if you are so imbibed with this marxian ideal, but the transnationalist agenda is so patently obvious here it should be brought out into the light. BHO will never see the oval office anyway, thank gawd.

Wed, 08/06/2008 - 19:08

My response to your comment: TLB, Yes, it would be fair to state that the GPA “could start a process that would result in the U.S. spending the amount claimed.” I note with a heavy heart that this is not at all what has been claimed by you yourself or by right-wing commentators. The IBD editorial said “Obama’s bill would force U.S. taxpayers to fork over 0.7% of our gross domestic product every year.” Let me make this clear: That. Is. Not. True. Moreover, though I am thankful that you acknowledge this bill only proposes to “start a process,” you neglect the fact that the next step in this process would be to get actual Congressional authorization for increased spending. The GPA doesn’t give that authority, and that’s why it only costs a million bucks, according to the CBO. All this bill says is that the president should seek to meet the U.N.’s goal, not that he should use the U.N.’s strategy, nor for that matter Jeffrey Sach’s or the World Bank’s. Your argument is that the bill wants to meet the goal, and the goal “require[s] us to spend a lot of money.” Now, that may be your opinion, and in my post, I admit that one could jab at Obama’s bill for being toothless because it doesn’t do what would be “required” to meet the U.N.’s goal. It doesn’t tell anyone to spend more money. It seeks to reach the goal without spending more money, by doing everything else BUT spend more money: improve accountability, enhance “coordination,” mobilize the private sector, etc. And why should we discuss the other Millennium Development Goals? The bill reiterates that we have agreed (both in 2000, under Clinton, and in 2005 under Bush) to work towards the MDGs. But, seeing as we have not heretofore committed 0.7% of our GDP to global poverty-reduction, what makes you think that merely mentioning the MDGs is as good as a funding commitment? The only MDG that the bill concerns is the poverty-reduction one. And while your speculation that Obama wants to meet all the MDGs may well be true, it would also be true about Bush, and probably McCain. The devil is in the details— how does one achieve the goal. Like or not, Obama’s proposal is not to throw money at it.

Thu, 08/07/2008 - 05:58

_The marxian ideal of ending global poverty is what is whacked about this scheme, not the author of this post._ Exactly. Using 'other people's money' to turn the poor into the 'unpoor'. Absurd. Not that discussions about how to use aid more efficiently aren't useful.