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ethics & morality,
You do not get good government by creating bad people.
The Civil Debate Page
!Zor:nak/x the Inhibitor
) for All Content
Three Groups That Won't Get Amnesty
Although amnesty---or "leniency"---might be given to some illegal immigrants. But a lot of other related groups will likely be left out.
President Obama is Wrong About Closing Loopholes
President Obama and Democrats say that the math doesn't add up when it comes to raising revenue by closing tax loopholes. But, in fact, it adds up to a lot more than you might think.
Desperately Seeking Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis graced us with his presence during the filming of Steven Spielberg's upcoming movie, "Lincoln." Now we get to return the favor.
Gun Control and Military History
Some of the remarks made about gun control seem to imply that we'd do well to outfit our military with kitchen knives.
It's OK to Discuss Gun Control
Yet another mass shooting, this time in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, will likely lead to more accusations that discussing gun control is "politicizing" a tragedy.
Distortion is Unfair to Obama, but Not Beneath Him
President Obama's "you didn't build that" comment has been unfairly distorted. And his response to that distortion is a perfect example of what's wrong with American politics.
Sen. Santorum, is Pornography More Harmful Than Politics?
Is pornography doing anywhere near the same amount of damage to our society as politics is these days?
Chardon, Ohio, and Gun Control Versus Iran, North Korea, and Nuclear Proliferation
The school shooting in Chardon, Ohio, and Iran's (and North Korea's) nuclear program present similar problems that are not easily resolved.
The Americans Elect Presidential Convention and Civil Debate
Americans Elect should include civility as a consideration when they select a presidential candidate.
Unemployment Rate Improves, but Labor Participation Rate Doesn't
The jobs numbers show more hiring and lower unemployment, but a stagnant labor pool.
President Obama and Tax Rates for Billionaires
President Barack Obama said it was "the height of unfairness" in his speech in Osawatomie. But there's no evidence showing that it actually happens.
Racist Newsletters Should Disqualify Ron Paul
Despite what Nick Gillespie at Reason says, Libertarians can and should do better than Ron Paul.
Gingrich Not on Virginia Ballot, Blames the "System"
Whose fault is it that Newt Gingrich didn't make it onto the GOP's Virginia primary ballot?
The Fiscal Sustainability of Medicare
Medicare as we know it is an incredibly generous program. It's an amazing deal for seniors. And they have no right to it.
Obama's Flawed Argument on Payroll Taxes
President Barack Obama's claim that Republicans are hypocritical on tax cuts rests on very poor reasoning. You might as well call it the "Steak and Ice Cream" argument.
Eric Holder is Right About Lying
Attorney General Eric Holder is correct when he says lying involves a "state of mind" and a "requisite intent". Isn't that obvious?
Obama, Federal Tax Rates, and Paying Your "Fair Share"
President Barack Obama's speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, glossed over some facts about taxes.
Civility Watchdog: Obama's Democratic "Boilerplate" on Abortion?
President Barack Obama has lamented the name-calling in the abortion debate, but what has he said recently about abortion opponents?
The Selfish Side of Altruism: Housing Aid for Million-Dollar Seattle Home
A couple in a million-dollar home may have been fraudulently receiving government housing assistance.
Joe Biden Leaves Out the Iraq Surge
Vice President Joe Biden again obscures the facts about the "responsible end" to the Iraq War.
Joe Biden Feigns Confidence in Iraq?
Vice President Joe Biden obscures what happened with the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
Civility Watchdog: Limbaugh Demonizes Obama and Democrats
Rush Limbaugh says Obama and Democrats don't care for people who work, and that they are trying to destroy the country.
Obama V. Obama: Listing the President's Flip-Flops
The Democratic Party accuses Mitt Romney of being a flip-flopper. I'm sure they agree that President Barack Obama is, too, right? Otherwise, they'd be flip-flopping...
Dear Occupy Wall Street: The 1% Are Paying More in Taxes
The wealthy have been paying a greater share of federal taxes over the past 30 years.
Two Charts for Occupy Wall Street
How do changes in taxes and spending square with the claims made by the Occupy Wall Street movement?
Civility Watchdog: The "Socialist" Accusation
President Barack Obama and Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren are often called socialists. Are they? And is it a bad thing to be a socialist?
Civility Watchdog: Republicans and Conservatives "Lack Empathy"?
Charles Blow demonizes the GOP, citing a "breathtaking" lack of concern for the poor and suffering.
Another Bogus Chart on the Economy
Steve Benen offers a flawed argument for the claim that Democrats are better at creating private sector jobs.
Civility Watchdog: Obama is a "Marxist"?
Ann Coulter calls President Barack Obama a Marxist on Sean Hannity's radio show.
Obama's Bad Argument for the American Jobs Act
President Barack Obama says that Republicans are being partisan and hypocritical for voting against jobs ideas that they've supported in the past. He's wrong.
Get Rid of Ideology? How?
Should we reject ideology in favor of pragmatism? How would that be done?
The "Who Started It?" Debate Doesn't Help Fight Incivility
The recent debate about who started our political invective is impossible to settle and unhelpful, anyway. The better question is, "How do we stop it?".
The Selfish Side of Altruism: LIRR Disability Payments
Some members of the Long Island Rail Road may have found an interesting way to "earn" roughly $36,000 a year.
The Selfish Side of Altruism: Occupy Wall Street's Chefs
The Occupy Wall Street Kitchen staff discovers that people are taking advantage of them.
Civility Watchdog: Obama Administration Has "Raped the Private Sector"?
Radio pundit Rush Limbaugh says President Barack Obama's economic policies are analogous to sexual assault.
Civility Watchdog: Joe Biden Proves Too Much?
Vice President Joe Biden argues that Republicans don't care about victims of murder and rape. But doesn't the same argument apply to him, as well?
Civility Watchdog: Alabamans Reject "Our Immigrant Past"?
Attorney General Eric Holder demonizes those who oppose illegal immigration as being anti-immigrant.
Civility Watchdog: Is Libya in Africa?
Clarence Page calls Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) a "munchkin" for her statement about Libya.
The Flawed "You Don't Make it on Your Own" Argument
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Democrats say that the rich got their wealth from government. How true is that?
What the Philadelphia Dungeon Teaches Us About Welfare
Four mentally disabled people were held in appalling conditions in a basement in Philadelphia. What does this tell us about altruism?
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Shows Us Why Civility is Rejected
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) denounces the demonizing of President Barack Obama. But not any of the other demonizing.
Civility Watchdog: Republicans Are "Hoping for Failure"
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) is the latest entrant into the "my opponents are trying to destroy the country" round of name-calling.
Civility Watchdog: Herman Cain Says Liberals Want to "Destroy Country"
GOP presidential contender Herman Cain accuses liberals and progressives of actively, consciously trying to destroy the U.S. economy.
Civility Watchdog: Republicans Are "Not Patriotic"
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) tells Ed Schultz that Republicans don't love their country and don't care about the well-being of the economy.
More on Rush Limbaugh Defending the Lord's Resistance Army
Rush Limbaugh defends the Lord's Resistance Army, without knowing who they are. Will this hurt him? Probably not.
Civility Watchdog: Pelosi Says GOP Would Have Women "Die on the Floor"
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says Republicans (and maybe 15 Democrats?) care nothing about women's lives or health.
Civility Watchdog: Obama Demonizes Republicans, Again
President Obama engages in yet another derisive caricature of Republicans.
Rush Limbaugh Criticizes Fight Against Lord's Resistance Army
Rush Limbaugh seems to have no idea how many atrocities have been committed by Joseph Kony and the LRA.
Obama and Reagan Unfair to Fairness
Both President Barack Obama and President Ronald Reagan made simplistic appeals for people to pay their "fair share".
Iran Plots to Murder Diplomat in U.S., Again?
News that Iran may have attempted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. recalls another murder of a diplomat in the U.S.
Hank Williams, Jr., Has a Good Point
For all his vitriol about President Obama, Hank Williams, Jr., made a good point about politics. And golf.
Civility Watchdog: Obama Demonizes Dissenters
President Obama says that those who don't support the American Jobs Act aren't interested in doing what's best.
Civility Watchdog: Romney Says Obama "Surrenders"
Mitt Romney says President Obama doesn't want America to lead. And then he complains that people demonize Mormons.
Civility Watchdog: Limbaugh Sees Malice in "Fast and Furious"
Rush Limbaugh says the government's "Fast and Furious" operation was a conscious attempt to create violence so as to garner support for gun control laws.
Herman Cain Bumper Stickers
It may be the only growth industry left in America.
Civility Watchdog: Herman Cain on "Brainwashing"
Herman Cain says African-Americans are brainwashed, Wolf Blitzer says African-Americans see Republicans as poison.
At HRC Gala, Obama Denounces Shameless Political Remarks. Or Not
Referring to the GOP audience that booed a gay service member, President Obama denounced the exact sort of invective that he refused to denounce when it came from Jimmy Hoffa.
Bad Reasoning: "Americans Want Action, so Pass This Bill"
President Obama makes a flawed argument in favor of the American Jobs Act.
Is Less Democracy Good or Bad?
Gov. Bev Perdue and Peter Orszag have been a bit dismissive of democracy, lately. But are they really wrong?
PolitiFact's Rankings Don't Represent the Truth
PolitiFact's attempt to rank people and organizations is misleading. Even if it's unintentional, they're giving a distorted account of who is or isn't truthful.
Civility Watchdog: Support for Herman Cain Keeps Racism "Covert"
Janeane Garofalo demonizes Republicans, conservatives, and the Tea Party with the "sinister hidden motives" accusation.
Civility Watchdog: Obama's Destruction of the Economy is "Intentional"
Rep. Allen West (R-FL) accuses President Obama of actively seeking to ruin the economy.
Civility Watchdog: Limbaugh Says Liberals Oppose Freedom and Prosperity
Rush Limbaugh demonizes liberals. Again.
Civility Watchdog: Rush Limbaugh Caricatures Moderates and Centrists
Rush Limbaugh makes false generalizations about people who are neither conservatives nor progressives.
Civility Doesn't Mean Not Criticizing Your Opponent or "Going Negative"
A lot of people reject the idea that we should be civil in politics because they think it means not criticizing others or defending yourself. That's mistaken. Civility is just like "fair play" in sports.
Civility Watchdog: Kuhner Calls Obama a "Traitor"
Jeffrey Kuhner says that President Obama is a traitor. And then he complains about being called a racist.
Civility Doesn't Mean Bipartisanship, Compromise, or Unity
A lot of people reject the idea that we should be civil in politics because they think it means compromising on your beliefs. That's mistaken. Civility is just like "fair play" in sports.
Opposing the Death Penalty in Principle?
There were two executions last night, but capital punishment's opponents are focusing only on one of them.
Nobody Really Thinks Health Care is a Right
People who say the free market doesn't work for health care still want it to apply to themselves.
Civility Watchdog: Paul Krugman Perfects "Evil or Stupid"
Paul Krugman illustrates how to demonize our opponents, and how to be hypocritical about it.
Michaele Salahi Found with Journey
This sort of thing happens more often than you realize.
Civility Watchdog: Grayson Calls Tea Party "Callous, Bigoted Tools"
Former Rep. Alan Grayson says that the people who cheered Rep. Ron Paul in the last GOP debate are basically sadists, not decent human beings.
Civility Watchdog: Waxman Says Republicans Want to "Repeal the 20th Century"
Rep. Henry Waxman demonizes the GOP in much the same way the GOP demonizes him.
Civility Watchdog: Beck Says Obama Wants to "Spend Us into Oblivion"
Glenn Beck argues that the only possible explanation for Obama's economic policies is that he's intentionally trying to ruin us.
Now Obama DOES Want to Be the Speech Police
After a week of refusing to denounce the rhetoric of others, President Obama sets up a web site to do just that.
"Fear-mongering", "Treason", Evasion and More in the GOP Debate
The CNN-Tea Party Republican debate featured a variety of verbal mistakes.
Al Gore's Ad Hominem Argument
Al Gore's upcoming "24 Hours of Reality" broadcast is going to try to refute skeptics of global warming with flawed reasoning.
Obama's Bad Reasoning: "Republicans Supported it in the Past, so Pass This Bill!"
President Obama basically argued that, if you support the Yankees, you also have to support the Red Sox, or you're a hypocrite.
Bad Reasoning and Caricature in Obama's Jobs Speech
President Obama's speech caricatured Republicans and resorted to unsound reasoning.
Obama: "Do Everything We Can" = Do Nothing
President Obama wants to say that he believes in civil debate, but he doesn't want to show people how to be civil.
Obama Again Silent on Incivility
As usual, Obama fails to stand against concrete acts of incivility. Civil debate, it seems, is only something he supports in the abstract.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Has a Good Point
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is right to point out that people don't denounce name-calling impartially.
Obama's Rhetoric on Country and Patriotism
President Obama's Labor Day speech stood in awful contrast to so many of his other speeches when it comes to patriotism.
Empty Rhetoric: "Hostage-taking" VS "Comprehensive Legislation"
What's the difference between taking hostages and comprehensive reform? It depends on who you ask.
Vouchers Take Money from Public Schools. So What?
The usual objection to school vouchers is easily refuted.
Just Shut Up and Do It
Will Obama take less time to give a detailed deficit reduction proposal than it took Abraham Lincoln to win the Civil War and free the slaves? It's not looking good...
The 14th Amendment Won't Save Us
Can President Obama raise the debt ceiling by himself in the name of upholding the validity of the public debt? No, and here's why.
Obama's Flawed Reasoning on Taxes and Job Growth
At the Twitter Town Hall, President Barack Obama argued that tax increases on the wealthy won't hinder job growth. The argument he offered was superficial and not valid.
Two Myths About Gay Marriage
Some of the things commonly said about gay marriage are very hard to defend.
Civility Watchdog: Obama a "Burglar" and a "Parasite"?
Rush Limbaugh says that Barack Obama, Democrats, liberals and progressives are parasites and thieves.
Obama's Press Conference: Caricaturing His Opponents
President Barack Obama demonized his opponents as being profit-driven, childish, and given to selfish, short-term thinking.
Obama's Press Conference: Avoiding the Question
President Barack Obama evaded two questions rather than just answering them.
Obama's Press Conference: Bad Reasoning
President Obama argues that some of his policies must be right, because Republicans agree with them.
A Different DREAM Act
The DREAM Act has some parts that deserve keeping, but other parts need to be changed.
Civility Watchdog: U.S. Wages War Against Its Children?
Laurence Kotlikoff resorts to exaggeration in making his argument that we should address the budget deficit.
Civility Watchdog: "They Accuse Us of Doing What They're Doing"
Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives: Both sides accuse each other of projecting their own demons onto their opponents. I know, it's confusing to me, too, but just take a look.
Civility Watchdog: Republicans Waging War?
Robert Reich accuses the GOP of being at war with workers and the middle class.
Why Do We Disagree About Economics?
We're always debating economic theory in politics, but never getting anywhere. Why is that?
Civility Watchdog: Rich Politicians Don't Care About the Poor?
Charles Blow says politicians must not understand what it's like to be poor, because there's no other way to explain their policies.
Civility Watchdog: GOP Sabotages U.S. Economy?
Democrats and others are demonizing Republicans, saying that they want to sabotage the economy in order to win the 2012 election.
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