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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 28, 2015, 12:56:16 PM
Pat, right, all of that behind the scenes is true and then the votes are cast and, for the most part, everyone gets one vote that goes all or proportionally to the candidate whether the party likes it or not.  Trump wants the benefits of running and winning within an established party and none of the responsibilities building it or running it.  In fact there is a clear public record of him working against them - recently.

My main point came to me from what you have been saying (and I only know one Trump voter).  Trump voters will sit out (future tense) if it isn't their guy.  But isn't that what 8 million potentially conservative voters already have in common; they sat out last time and swung the election to Obama.  Those who thought there wasn't a difference between Obama and Romney - gave us Obama over Romney.

I wasn't a Romney supporter, but his tax plan was the same as Trump's.  He opposed illegal immigration, took a strong stand against it in the primaries.  Opposed Obamacare, would have been tougher on Iran, would have insisted on a responsible withdrawal agreement in Iraq, etc.

As local party chair, a couple of young Ron Paul said something similar, they would like to be delegates but will only help if their guy is the nominee.  I told them, for one thing, there was some burden on them to win arguments and persuade people and bring them to their side, not just blame them for what you don't like.  Secondly, fair weathered help and supporting only one candidate for one office is not how we build a party.

What is Trump doing to reach one more voter than those already in his camp?  What did he do previously to help all these Republicans across the country get elected up and down the ballots in other elections?  Nothing that I can see, mostly gave to the other side and now threatening to break his own promise to not use the party as his springboard to run against the eventual nominee.  And this is how he talks with a 22 point lead.

Frankly, I now believe Rubio would win in a 3 way race against Trump and Clinton, but I don't see exactly how he beats Trump or Cruz in the primaries.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Massacre at Planned Parenthood Clinic on: November 28, 2015, 02:09:52 AM
Mon - Fri, 8 - 5.
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 28, 2015, 01:46:29 AM
Reuters Ipsos, Trump down 12 points in one week.
Lib poll, under sampled R's, previous poll was an outlier, etc.
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues. 97% Agree on: November 27, 2015, 02:44:15 PM
Amazingly, 97% agree.  Manmade global warming is not the biggest problem we face.

Fox News poll
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 27, 2015, 11:58:10 AM
At this point in the 2012 cycle, through about the second week of December, Newt Gingrich was the front runner.

What that means for this year is - - -  I have no idea!
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio - in the New Yorkier on: November 27, 2015, 11:56:26 AM
Rubio the Opportunist

This is intended as a hit piece by no doubt a liberal Dem journalist, (sorry for that redundancy).  But other than his bias that occasionally shines through it is actually a very long, detailed story with a lot of facts and information in it about Rubio and the campaign.  There are things is here all the candidates could learn from, such as his dexterity in answering difficult questions.
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 27, 2015, 11:47:46 AM
Happy Thanksgiving everybody. ...  Now back to it!

Previously I attacked Trump for supporting the election of the Pelosi-Obama-Hillary-Reid majority in Congress that brought grave damage to this country.  But in the big picture of things, his contributions did not cause that sea change.  I was just trying to expose something about him and his politics, not blame the events of history on him.

PP:  "if the GOPe does manipulate things to get him [Rubio, Bush, etc.] nominated, the Trump voters will stay home."

This post and similar insights such as that the two parties are no different help to explain why President Obama got a second term.  A certain number of voters who 'should' have been Republican voters stayed home in 2012, enough to swing the election to Obama.  Romney won the independents by a pretty wide margin.  When people who lean conservative can't see a difference between the parties and stay home, we all get leadership by Obama and Hillary.  My way or I'll leave the country means we lose the country.  [And not that many actually leave.]

What you call manipulation is what others would call getting involved in politics and trying to make a difference.  National and state partoies are mostly free to make their own rules about how delegates are allocated.  In that process, people are trying to advance the chances of their own candidate, trying to advance the clout of their own state, and trying to get the process to nominate the candidate most likely to unite and win in the general election.

Trump has a 22 point lead today. He has been included in all the debates.  What could possibly be unfair in the process to keep him from winning the nomination and the election?  Unless it is true that he has a low ceiling.  If it is true that somewhere around 35% is as high he can go in the party and the other 65% would prefer any of the others over Trump then that is not a level of support that wins nominations in any convention where I have participated.  

In a state convention, it normally takes a 60% support ballot to nominate and generally you stay until someone gets that.  It also might take a certain level of majority to change a rule like that.  At some point candidates with small and declining support drop out and try to get their delegates to support someone else.  The behind the scenes negotiations and out in the open posturing in that process is called politics, not 'manipulation'.     )
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: November 27, 2015, 10:48:06 AM
Assad and ISIS are in business together.
Who knew?
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, Pfizer: "Fighting with one hand tied behind back" on: November 27, 2015, 10:37:46 AM
"Our tax rate highly disadvantages American multinational high-tech businesses," Read said at a Wall Street Journal event. "I am fighting with one hand tied behind my back."

Companies can't wait to get out.

Everyone knows it is a global market and yet the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.

At what point will the Obama-Hillary-Bernie tax raisers be satisfied?  When the last company leaves and when no more are ever started??

The Dem / Obama administration response to this is to try to block the exits.  Reminds me of the Berlin wall; their borer security was to keep people in - against their will.
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton Crime Family, Did the Aide sorting emails have security clearance? on: November 25, 2015, 12:28:00 PM
Clinton Crime Family, Did the Aide sorting emails have security clearance?

I don't think this question has been answered.

Previously, Hillary’s IT Contractor Did Not Have Proper Security Clearance
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / State Department: Iran Deal Is Not ‘Legally Binding’ and Iran Didn’t Sign It on: November 25, 2015, 12:14:21 PM

State Department: Iran Deal Is Not ‘Legally Binding’ and Iran Didn’t Sign It

resident Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review. “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter

What's wrong with putting Iran on the honor system?

[BTW, he prosecuted the tea party more vigorously than the world's largest state sponsor of terror.]
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: November 25, 2015, 12:06:36 PM
"From our side , , , crickets , , ,"

Who is 'our side'?  The Obama administration??
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Global refugees go through Latin America to US. Refugees join Jihad against US on: November 25, 2015, 12:04:15 PM
Two separate stories:
Global refugees take long detours through Latin America to reach the US

A liberal friend recently told me something to the effect that this is urban legend propagated by conservative imaginations.
The Guardian is a liberal newspaper.

Yes, we should crack down on visas and visa overstays too, in addition to border security and smarter legal immigration choices.

Sen Sessions is out with a list of 15 vetted refugees who quickly joined jihad plots to attack the United States

14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: November 25, 2015, 11:46:35 AM
(Thread could be called, this is what happens when America fails to lead.)

Turkey is a member of NATO.  Russia is supposed to be attacking ISIS, in lieu of having a US-led coalitions, but really is propping up the Assad regime.  Erdogan, our ally, bombs the Kurds, our ally, and launched a Sunni Islamist revival in Turkey, has refused to let NATO use Turkish bases.

'The caliphate survives because its defeat is nobody’s priority. America’s aim is to limit its military commitment in the Middle East. For Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, the big threat is Iran. Iran’s main mission is to prop up the Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad. Mr Assad’s first concern is holding other rebels at bay. The rebels’ obsession is to get rid of Mr Assad.'  

We are inactively at war with Russia in the Ukraine, while he is our ally acting on 'our behalf' as boots in the air in Syria.

I may have already asked this, what could possibly go wrong?
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary apologizes for calling illegals illegal on: November 25, 2015, 11:30:16 AM
Hillary apologizes for calling illegals illegal.
Just missing their documents?
Home invaders now called undocumented family members?

For those who have a priority of stopping illegal immigration in the general election, there will be plenty of contrast between the candidates no matter who the Republican nominee turns out to be.
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 24, 2015, 01:54:59 PM
We can go round and round on the polls and other things you cite, but...

But I ask the same question again, and still wait for a response.....

Why are 50% plus of the people in the Republican Party supporting outsiders like Trump and Carson? Why are they deserting the party?  Why is the GOP not responding to this and instead continue with the same old practices?

Everyone is dissatisfied with the status quo.  The early polls show people expressing that frustration.  And it has been consistent, ever since the yawn Jeb received when he jumped in early, and especially since Trump got in.  Also the stream of past nominees you cite as mediocre at best is true, Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney.  Boehner was ineffective and cowardly.  McConnell, and so on.  Voting in the early primaries is about venting that frustration too, but this quickly becomes a task of finding out who among those we can support has the best chance to actually win and enact positive change.

People are supporting Carson for reasons different than those supporting Trump.  Still your point is valid.  Cruz and Rubio are not insiders either, no matter who ends up supporting them.  This has already narrowed down to 4 outsiders.

I was thinking Cruz is the most pure, but you look a little closer and see a little wavering and political opportunism.  Rubio will always carry the gang of 8 baggage.  If that is what defines him it will keep him from getting the nomination.  Trump seems to have been the most consistent in his positions in the campaign, but that history only goes back to this run for the Presidency.  That's why I posted some of those Democratic-tie references.  What the hell was he thinking about illegal immigration when he supported Pelosi-Ried-Obama-and Hillary to take the majority in Congress, and he succeeded.  That is not how you correct the mistake George W Bush made in not enforcing the border, or that Republicans made in growing spending and adding programs.  Did he come to his core principles in his mid-60s??  Trump was thinking of Trump.  It turns out he wants another government program to correct another overreach of government, announced in the last few days.  Good grief.  What was he thinking on the birther issue?   That was his lead issue prior to running for President.  But Obama's mom was from Kansas living in Hawaii.  Isn't Barack Obama still a citizen even if she gave birth offshore in a boat or traveling to Kenya?

Donald Trump is a successful television actor as much as he is a businessman.  When I look back at his recent political past, it makes me think he is playing a part right now.  He correctly identified a hot issue that gives him 25-35% primary support in a badly divided field.  He is having the time of his life living a dream of self-promotion and never imagined it would go this far.

How far will it go?  How does he remove the ceiling that is stopping him from going further?  By backtracking on what he says are core issues? By adopting a toned-down personality?  By suddenly developing an interest in the minutia of Kurds, Quds and his own tax plan?  No.  He is stuck where he is, and for the moment that is on top.

Pat, you believe more confidently than I do that Rubio will be the nominee.  That can only happen if this long time front runner cannot rise any higher and also only if others consolidate into one which right now looks like a long shot. 

17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Donald Trump, favorability polling cont., party identity, donations, programs on: November 24, 2015, 11:54:24 AM
Bloomberg, I know, another commie operation. They all are.   )

Trump favorability Nov. 15:  34-61,  -27

             up from Sept 15:  31-61, -24.   Or is that within the margin of error?

Trump: Need govt program to make college affordable
Maybe another government program would have averted the housing crisis too.
Trump 2004, "I identify more as a Democrat." 
"The economy seems to do better."
"Hillary, she's a lovely woman."  (Did I hear that right?  Who was he talking about?  When?  Why?!)
Okay Mr. Trump, put your money where your mouth is:
Donated to Hillary in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007.
Was she against illegal immigration?
Donated at least $100,000 to the Foundation.  Is that the best charity he could find?  If it was just to buy influence, is it deductible?

Also donated to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 cycle, effectively buoying the election prospects of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, respectively.  (25 times more than he gave to the Republicans)
For that, I will never forgive him.  That is not a the-parties-are-all-the same-view as expressed here on the forum.  The 2006 congressional election elevating Pelosi-Reid to majority and setting the table for Obama's election is what brought us Obamacare and all the rest.  He has explained his support flippantly.  Where is the apology to America?

Hastert-McConnell-Boehner didn't bring us Obamacare and more than 30 tax increases.  The parties are both flawed, but they are not the same!

18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: November 24, 2015, 11:12:08 AM
If you looked at the Trump thread, the WAPO poll had a   23% Republican Sample, 33% was Dem with the rest Independent.

How can anyone trust a poll using a 23% Rep sample?

'Republican' is not a very popular brand name.  Neither is 'Democrat'.  But the questions force people answering to make choices.

Also, there is no money to be made in early detailed polling, so as you suggest, some organizations are doing it as part of an agenda.

If the agenda here is to support Hillary, they aren't doing a very good job. 

Still these polls are uncovering relative strengths and weaknesses.  Trump and Cruz are the most polarizing.  They are the first choice or only choice of their strongest supporters, but the same strong rhetoric drove up their disapprovals with the rest.

In the end, if she's not indicted, convicted or hanged, Hillary's dishonesty will be pushed mostly to the side and people will vote on issues and direction.  Republicans will need to put their very best foot forward if they want to step on her. 
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues, Syrian refugees on: November 24, 2015, 10:57:16 AM
Let's be clear, these refugees aren't all terrorists. 

Factoring the survey results ( with the 10,000 Syrian refugees Obama plans to bring to the United States means Obama will bring in 1,300 ISIS supporters and a total of 3,100 who do not want the US to defeat ISIS.

Survey has margin of error + or - 4%.

What could possibly go wrong?
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, favorability ratings, PPP on: November 24, 2015, 10:28:29 AM
That ABC Washington Post poll (Trump thread) was the most recent I could find with candidate favorability data.  Here is another, PPP.  First I re-post our PP's view of polling organization PPP:
"PPP, which is owned by a Dem/Clinton supporter"

My disclaimer, I don't believe any of them in absolute numbers but we are looking for trends, patterns, relative strengths and relative weaknesses as compared to other candidates.

In this one, PPP 11/19/2015, they all have pretty low ratings.  They're all politicians now.

Barack Obama approval  43-52, -9

Jeb Bush        22-55, -33
Ben Carson     40-40, even
Hillary Clinton  39-53, -14
Ted Cruz        33-45, -12
Carly Fiorina    31-41, -10
Marco Rubio    39-37, +2
Bernie Sanders 31-49, -18
Donald Trump  34-55, -21

In the matchups, Rubio beats Clinton by 2, the only one to beat her. Clinton beats Trump by 1, Cruz by 2, Carson by 2.  Not very significant.
It possibly shows how few votes there are to chase in the middle.

It's still early.  All polls are flawed.  Still we need every point we can get.  Any 3-4 point lift in a close election makes a big difference on the electoral map.  More important to me is which candidate with a good campaign could turn this into a blowout and which ones will always be polarizing.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 23, 2015, 11:40:26 PM
"WAPO 32% Trump and Carson 22%
    Fox  28% Trump and Carson 18%"

High floor, low ceiling.  He gained some strength because the terror and Syrian refugee issue fall right into his strength.  It also had great timing for Trump, coming the day after the news story of the so-called Iowa tirade.

The question for Trump is how to remove the low ceiling.  He needs maybe 51% to win in the general election.  To get that with any certainty he needs another 3-4 points of cushion.  He needs at least a minor electoral landslide to govern as a party outsider.  Obama 2008 won 53-46.  Reagan 1984 won 59-41.  Hillary is weaker than either of those losers; he needs to shoot for at least Obama 2008 type numbers.

But Trump has gotten to where he is with positions and an attitude that captivating for some while alienating the rest.  He is most certainly the nomination frontrunner, but there is no visible path the rest of the way up for him, the way most see it now.

ABC News, this favorability chart shows Trump at 38-59, 21 point underwater as of Nov 10.  A few points better now perhaps, since his poll numbers are up a bit, but really these are his numbers while things are going great in the nomination contest.  More striking than the 59% negative is that only 3% don't already have an opinion on him: (Carson has fallen since this poll.)

22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Policy unintended consequences, Pfizer is latest tax inversion largest ever on: November 23, 2015, 12:46:51 PM

This is why we demand dynamic scoring!  High rates apply to less income, lower rates apply to more income.  Tax it and you will get less of it.  Everyone knows this, yet deny it when doing the math.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Argentina throws out the liberals, tired of inflation and no growth on: November 23, 2015, 12:38:33 PM
Argentina's new conservative president is about to turn the country on its head
BUENOS AIRES — Conservative challenger Mauricio Macri turned Argentine politics on its head on Sunday, kicking the ruling Peronist movement out of power with a promise to liberalize the ailing economy and end a culture of divisive politics.

Macri, the son of an Italian-born construction magnate, won the election by tapping into frustration over anemic growth, high inflation, and corruption

Also see:
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / O'keefe filming Huma on Syrian refugee issue on: November 23, 2015, 12:31:48 PM
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 23, 2015, 12:19:43 PM
I do agree with you on one thing......Trump nor Cruz will be the nominee. It will be Rubio as I have outlined previously....

I guarantee you it will be better than HW's 2nd term and the Dole, McCain, Romney Presidencies combined.

Trump and Cruz are running for the nomination only, not to win the general election.  JEB and Kasich are running for the general election only, not to win the nomination.  Rubio is the only one running to win both. (MHO) 

Give President Rubio a Republican House and a Senate majority and then we still have the 60 vote problem with the 60 vote problem in the Senate to repeal Obamacare and enact new legislation like tax reform.  Budget reconciliation votes only need a simple majority.  We will have to define the size and scope of government there - if our own side can come to agreement.
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Identity Crisis: Hillary changes her name for the 4th time since marriage on: November 23, 2015, 11:15:23 AM
...campaign has informed the Washington Post to now call her “Hillary Clinton,” instead of the “Hillary Rodham Clinton”

“I don’t have to change my name,” she told one journalist.  “I’ve been Mrs. Bill Clinton. I kept the professional name Hillary Rodham in my law practice, but now I’m going to be taking a leave of absence from the law firm to campaign full time for Bill and I’ll be Mrs. Bill Clinton. I suspect people will be getting tired of hearing from Mrs. Bill Clinton.”
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Arthur Laffer on best tax plans on: November 23, 2015, 11:12:16 AM
The Paul And Cruz Flat Tax Plans Are Best Tax Proposals

    - only if they win.

As we've cheerfully noted on these pages, the good news on the presidential campaign trail is that almost all Republicans are now for serious pro-growth tax reform and simplification. Every candidate wants lower rates (some a one-rate flat tax), fewer loopholes and carve-outs, and a reduced role for an abusive IRS.

    - That was also true in 2012, Cain's 9-9-9. Romney's plan, etc.

You have to win to enact tax reform.  Critics of these plans (at the link) are right about the dangers they open for future tax abuse.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness, Let's not overreact to ISIS attacks on: November 23, 2015, 11:01:39 AM

"ISIS cannot strike a mortal blow" against the U.S.(still the J_V team), and he warned [against] overreacting to the Paris attacks
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ted Cruz at FTC on: November 23, 2015, 10:55:41 AM
WHAT NO ONE SEEMS TO KNOW about Ted Cruz’s past.
At the FTC, Cruz’s agenda could have been written by Milton Friedman.

Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers. Based on his early support of disruptive online companies, Cruz has some grounds to call himself the “Uber of American politics.”

Moreover, and perhaps surprising to some, Cruz sought and secured a broad, bipartisan consensus for his agenda. Almost all of Cruz’s initiatives received unanimous support among both Republicans and Democrats.

Ted Cruz a consensus-builder? He was, at the FTC.

30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dr. Ben Carson stumbles on founders on: November 23, 2015, 10:52:06 AM

Ben Carson may want to brush up on his American history before his next interview, especially if one of his favorite topics — the Founding Fathers — comes up.

For the second time in weeks, he botched a reference to Thomas Jefferson.

During a C-SPAN interview that aired Sunday night, host Steve Scully pointed out that Carson talks a lot about the Founding Fathers and asked Carson if he has one in particular that he’s most impressed with.

“I’m impressed by a lot of them, but particularly impressed with Thomas Jefferson, who seemed to have very deep insight into the way that people would react,” Carson said. “And he tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control people’s natural tendencies and control the natural growth of the government.”

There’s only one problem. Jefferson didn’t help draft the Constitution.

Interestingly, it’s a fact that Carson got right in his book, “A More Perfect Union.”

As The Washington Post pointed out, Carson correctly stated in the book that Jefferson was “missing in action” while the Constitution was being drafted, as he was overseas.

Just a few weeks ago, Carson tried to diffuse criticism of his lack of political experience by saying that “every signer of the Declaration of Independence had no elected office experience.”

That statement is totally false, as a number of signers had been elected to political office prior to 1770, and that included Jefferson. According to the Independence Hall Association, at least 30 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had been elected to a political office.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Environmental issues, Cleaner atmosphere means more Arctic sea-ice melt on: November 23, 2015, 10:45:03 AM
Cleaner atmosphere means more Arctic sea-ice melt, study says

Mitigating the cost of the externality that we assess to the polluter?
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Assad must go on: November 23, 2015, 10:43:36 AM
Gallows humor I suppose, but funny in a way that Assad will outlast Obama.

In fairness, Iran's nuclear program outlasted Bush-Cheney.

33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: November 23, 2015, 10:12:37 AM
"you [Crafty in this case] seem to believe that there is a difference between the parties. Look at the last 15 years. There is no friggin difference."

Not true, but if you believe that, then look back beyond 15 years, look beyond federal government at state differences, look forward, not just backward.

I posted a long list of outrageous things Dems believe in today.  Republicans mostly don't.  Their problem is more about not having will to stand up to Dems after being elected; it's not that they agree with them.  Not all R's are centrists and RINOs.  We need to win more elections and also win more primaries.

Politicians including professional politicians misbehave because people don't hold them accountable, so the real problem isn't in Washington, it is closer to home.  Meanwhile people in some of the most conservative communities vote for some of the strictest curtailments on individual liberties in the form of things like zoning ordinances.

But take a look at the tax rate differences between California,New York and Texas/Florida.  Take a look at the fracking boom in ND versus none in NY.

In Washington, obviously both sides have screwed up.  Going back a ways, JFK was a Republican (in some ways) and Nixon was a Democrat (in most ways).  No, we wouldn't have been better off under Humphrey, we were screwed either way.  Reagan made an amazing difference, yet went RINO on a couple of things.  Clinton tried liberal tax increases and national healthcare and failed, then brought economic credit to the Dems by passing free trade, welfare reform and massive capital gains tax rate cuts.  Bush grew the revenues with tax rate cuts but grew spending more.  That is either not Republican or not conservative depending on what meaning we attach to what terms.  The financial crash was largely caused by free money (allowed by both sides) combined with governmental on lenders to make bad loans, a Dem program that  covered with Republican fingerprints.  We didn't hold our own politicians accountable and they just kept getting drunker, and when we don't offer a noticeable difference, we lose.

Trump is great on some issues and not on others.  He also chose to be polarizing which makes him less likely to be President.  

"Everyone thinks Cruz is so great.............just pay attention to him.
1. He was for TPP before he was against it.  Oh, he was misled on it? Yeah, right.
2. He was on the border with Glenn Beck giving teddy bears etc.,  Think he is going to be hard on illegals?  
3. His PACs are big money people with ties to financial firms.  Is he going to do anything against their interests?  I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you if you belief that."

1. Already mentioned, there is a HUGE difference between supporting the tradition of authorizing every administration the power to negotiate free trade agreements and supporting the bad clauses of this agreement.

2. People here mostly see Glenn Beck as one of the good guys.

3. I don't want to shut down 'Wall Street'.  I want to open up the financial industry to everyone nationwide who wants to be a part of it.  Imagine a store front on small town main street offering to take your company public and handle FINRA compliance - on a 2 page document.  The profits on Wall Street are out of proportion because Washington makes it impossible for anyone but the largest firms to comply with the massive bureaucracy.

Ted Cruz isn't going to be hard on illegals because, like Trump, he isn't going to be President.

Our job here on all political threads as some of us see it is encapsulated on the title of a couple of threads, the way forward for the American creed.  We need to clarify what are the right policies and find some common agreement on that.  We need to defeat the opponents of it.  We need to hold the proponents on our side accountable.  And we need to persuade the persuadable.  Even the French know, wars aren't won by surrendering.
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: November 23, 2015, 09:37:00 AM
"...have you noticed the swimming I get to do in October? ... That it is in the 70s today with clear skies?---  Contrast the rest of the country , , , "

   - Jealous!

"That I can get clean, healthy, and exciting food most places I go?"

   - We can have ours with water.  And never die of dehydration while swimming.

"A man could go further and do worse , , ,"

   - Agree.  Wish I could tell you of a better place.  Southern California is paradise, or it would be if it still had the population density of fly over country.  Besides water issues, the only problems are rooted in the people and their politics. 

'Call some place paradise, kiss it good bye.'

35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate), Metadata on: November 21, 2015, 02:09:12 PM
Some followup on the Ted Cruz Intel discussion...

The intel experts say the metadata, in conjunction wit other resources, has value, so the issue of concern is privacy.

I wish for all the privacy from government (and from corporations) that I can get.  And that I have lost 99.9% of it already doesn't justify losing more.

Look at what privacy that belongs to us that government already has access to.  Has anyone ever been audited by the IRS?  It's been a while for me, but don't they already have the power to know everything about every dollar that came in from every source and all the details about all potential income producing assets you own.  Has anyone ever been through FAFSA process (federal student loan program)?  They go further and get to know even about your non-income producing assets.  Most families really can't just decline the process when the product is priced such that 97% of the applicants (at some schools) need and receive assistance.  I've been audited by the US Dept of HUD.  What they are allowed to ask of me is amazing and scary and once they opened an inquiry it went full course even though I could easily prove the allegation false.  In my case, who are all the people you've rented to at all your properties, who are all your ownership partners and let's open an investigation against them too, in light of the fact that the original complaint could be proven false in minutes.

So-called Metadata is so voluminous that it is worthless (IMO) to the nefarious compared to other much more specific data that is within a much easier reach.

From the other thread:  "Balance that [intel and security interests] against Hillary having access to everyone's phone calls and emails."

Mis-use of the metadata is a Federal crime.  Yes there are Snowdens (He would be in a US prison by now if we had a President).  Yes there are bureaucratic bunglings of safeguards and the potential for worse.  But I think in terms of violation our privacy, this is a small loss and worth it IF it has value tracking terror connections in conjunction with other resources.  

For more than 10 years, NSA has had the database of what numbers connected to what numbers, what emails connected to what emails.  Meanwhile your carrier (and Google, Apple, etc.) had the content of those communications as well as your current location and location history, everything you have searched and everywhere you have visited on the internet.  Your device/smartphone carries most of that same information or access to it and is an easier source to it for your potential enemy/adversary than NSA metadata.  To me, that is where the main risk of mis-use lies.

I have as big a mistrust of government and as big a revulsion of our privacy loss as anyone (I think), but I don't see this piece of the puzzle at anywhere near the level of concern that people like Rand Paul make it out to be.  My distrust extends to the giant carriers as well, so containing our lost privacy over there, where the government has access to it anyway, is a Pyrrhic victory, IMHO.  

If there is something in the metadata to be tracked for terror connections, I want it tracked and tracked better, not made harder to track without giving back any of our lost privacy..  But that's just me...

36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 21, 2015, 11:45:35 AM
The question relevant to this thread is whether have the data held by the phone companies instead of the State is a problem for our security.  I'm not getting that a ticking time bomb question applies to this aspect of things and as such I therefore approve of Cruz's position in the regard-- indeed I regard it as a positive that he refuses to be stampeded even while he is one of us in the war with Islamic Fascism.

As for the tradecraft, those are some really interesting URLs from GM (How do you do it GM?) so let's take this over to Intel Matters, or Homeland Security.

I will take the rest of this over to the other thread, but from my point of view (and in spite of being out-numbered), the charge is valid that intelligence resources were at least distanced from those behind the curtain that we pay to try to connect the dots before evidence of an impending attack can fully materialize.  That there are other ways to communicate and other things like securing borders  we should be doing or that some of us for good reasons don't want them to have unfettered access to this information doesn't change the validity of that charge made by Rubio on Cruz' vote, from my point of view.   )
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 20, 2015, 05:36:53 PM
To crossword puzzle players around the world,
'ISIL' and 'ISIS' may start showing up in crossword puzzles under the following clue:
     4 letter word for 'Obama legacy'.
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 20, 2015, 05:31:26 PM
Cruz was right ... unless the need for the information is urgent, like in a terror attack situation.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 20, 2015, 03:27:04 PM
Yes, the lapse was temporary.  They worked out a compromise that put new limits/restrictions on the program, left the record keeping at the phone companies instead of with the NSA as I understand it.

The brief lapse was a big deal while it was happening.

Either they succeeding in significantly limiting the intelligence capabilities or it was another case of Cruz fighting for something and losing.

The allegation is that Cruz (and Paul) voted to weaken intelligence programs.  Is the allegation true or false?

NOVEMBER 19, 2014,
The Senate has failed to pass the “USA Freedom Act,” which would have hobbled our government’s efforts to conduct electronic surveillance of terrorists. Good. As Mitch McConnell argued, with ISIS and other blood thirsty terrorist groups on the rise, this is “the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our back.”

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden have described the “USA Freedom Act” as “reform only ISIS could love.” But they are wrong. Ted Cruz loves it too, or at least liked it enough to vote against the filibuster that blocked it. In effect, Cruz voted for the legislation.

Mukasey and Hayden explain why a vote for the “USA Freedom Act” is a vote to hamstring our intelligence services in their efforts to keep America secure:

For starters, the bill ends the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of what is called telephone metadata. This includes the date, time, duration and telephone numbers for all calls, but not their content or the identity of the caller or called, and is information already held by telephone companies.

Ted Cruz has also been a critic of NSA spying. He was one of four Republican senators who crossed party lines to vote to move the USA Freedom Act forward in November. At a recent campaign event in Iowa, he called the compromise bill the "single best chance to end the bulk collection of meta data," according to CNN -- and knocked Paul for his vote against it.

Cruz was for NSA spying befoe he was against it, before he was for it.  (?)
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 20, 2015, 12:09:42 PM
The Senate let the existing program lapse.  Cruz sided with Rand Paul on that.  I am not an expert on the details but I did notice at the time that Rand Paul's arguments were loaded with exaggeration and grandstanding.
Senate lets NSA spy program lapse, at least for now

... Security officials counter that it provides important data they can combine with other intelligence to help stop attacks.
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues, Stephen Colbert on: November 20, 2015, 11:55:58 AM
We aren't a good sample but I was wondering what people think of Colbert on the Late Show.  In a political sense, Letterman was probably worse so maybe it doesn't matter.
Colbert Drops to 3rd Place Behind Kimmel as New Poll Shows CBS Host Alienating Audiences

Ratings-Plagued Colbert Mostly Liked By Democrats and Atheists

Even with Hillary as a guest he took second:
Hillary Clinton-Stephen Colbert Ticket Finishes Second To Drew Barrymore-Jimmy Fallon In Late-Night Ratings Race
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 20, 2015, 11:49:15 AM
"The problem is that with any program that is initiated, the goal is to expand and build upon the power and the governmental benefits received with that program. For metadata gathering, it appears to be "okay" at this point, but that is only what we see on the surface and are allowed to know.   What is being done with the data behind the scenes is what bothers me."

   - I agree although between IRS, FAFSA and an invasive census, there isn't much about me that they don't already know.
For another thread but Google with Android, GPS, Gmail, searches, contacts and history (and Apple for the rest of you) has all the rest.

The fight of the moment though is security and terrorism.
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in North Africa, Mali, the Magreb on: November 20, 2015, 11:38:23 AM
Since we have a thread for it, attack is underway in Mali.

Wouldn't you think that threads about religions in different areas would mostly have stories about people quietly attending mosque, praying quietly, discussing interpretations, etc.

If your business relies on tourism or special events, anywhere, you may want to consider selling.
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China's Muted Response To ISIS' Killing Of A Chinese Citizen on: November 20, 2015, 11:31:31 AM
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 20, 2015, 11:25:26 AM
More from Gallup:
--44 percent approved of Obama’s handling of the economy, and 54 disapproved.

--44 percent approved of Obama’s handling of healthcare policy and 54 percent disapproved.

--37 percent approved of Obama’s handling of foreign affairs and 59 percent disapproved.

--30 percent approved of Obama's handling of ISIS and 64 percent disapproved.

Upside down by 10 points on domestic issues.  Upside down by 22 points or more on foreign policy.

Glad I'm not running for Obama's 3rd term.  Isn't Obama's foreign (and domestic) policy also Hillary's?
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gallup: 64% Disapproved of Obama’s Handling of ISIS—Before Paris Attacks on: November 20, 2015, 11:22:06 AM
Gallup: 64% Disapproved of Obama’s Handling of ISIS—Before Paris Attacks

47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US-China, China tells Obama to keep out of South China Sea disputes on: November 20, 2015, 11:17:44 AM
China tells Obama to keep out of South China Sea disputes

Shouldn't this be the other way around?
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 20, 2015, 11:05:26 AM
PP,  No I don't trust government and I don't like being in the situation we are now in.

And I'm guessing that you don't think we will prevent suicide attacks by using the traditional method of investigating the 'crime' after it happens and prosecuting the (already blown up) perpetrators.

There are a lot of lost liberties I would like back ahead of metadata.
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Dems on Special Forces on: November 20, 2015, 11:01:19 AM
"The Clinton Crime Family"-- I like that.  ...

Credit on that to Rush L.  I think he also refers to the Clinton Library as 'library and massage parlor'.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: November 20, 2015, 10:51:25 AM
I confess that this piece has resonance with me:

Exactly what is the point of giving the State ever more Orwellian powers and conversely shrinking our American freedom if, as this piece asserts, the Jihadis were already doing trade craft that makes irrelevant the Orwellian surveillance?  Aren't we regularly reading that the jihadis simply take someone dark?

If we are talking political opportunism here, can't the same be said of Rubio's position and attack in this moment?  Can't we say that Cruz is actually showing some backbone in this moment by not sacrificing our privacy to the convenience of the political winds of the moment?  Yes, I agree that if this is the case that he should have "come out and explained it"-- this is a fair point-- though all of these candidates are putting in real long days at a relentless pace and I am willing to give them (in this case Cruz) a chance to clean up missed opportunities.

As for Strassel's other attack points (from a frame of reference of the GOPe btw, I thought they were out of favor around here , , ,  rolleyes ) is the blame for the political consequences of the shutdown on Cruz or the GOPe Reps in Congress who failed to back his stand in favor of Congress actually exercising the power of the purse.  

I caught Cruz last night on Hannity (for the record I use the DVR to get only to segments that I like, in this case Cruz, and blow off anything having to do with Hannity bloviating) and, as usual, he displayed an ability far superior to any of the other candidates to keep track of Hillary's nefariousness webs of lies, evasions, criminality, and utter incompetence and wrong-headedness.

   - The going dark argument is valid, but so is the point that these terror organizations are openly recruiting on social media.  We need tools and resources to fight them on the information front of this war.  At the monment of that vote, that was the tool the experts were saying they needed.

I'm scoring this Cruz-Rubio fight as a tie - in a situation where Cruz was winning it before he picked the fight.

"Can't we say that Cruz is actually showing some backbone in this moment by not sacrificing our privacy to the convenience of the political winds of the moment?"

   - I don't buy the argument that capturing and studying 'metadata' is a sacrifice of my privacy, unless they release it or use it for nefarious purposes.  They are not coming into our home, they are not listening in without a warrant, etc.  By having access to metadata, when they find a terror point, we want them to tie it in with every possible connection without delay.  As I have posted, if I have dialed a wrong number to a known terror cell by accident, that call deserves scrutiny and in a post-9/11 world I may be called on to explain my innocence or connection to that person.  Even in my innocence I may be able to give them helpful information. (We have rental property within a mile of where 911 hijackers lived and could have had contact.)  Regrettably, fighting suicide bombings and terror does not fit neatly into a pre-911 law enforcement and civil liberties world.  Yes I believe in a right to be left alone, but this fight is also real and there is no liberty left if we lose the terror and security fight.

Both sides of that argument have validity.  Rubio's attack point is true though.  That legislation hampered intelligence gathering.  Cruz was leaning toward the Rand Paul liberty-privacy side at that moment and Rubio was consistently siding with the fight against terror.  Events have turned against the purer civil libertarian view.

"Yes, I agree that if this is the case that he should have "come out and explained it"-- this is a fair point-- though all of these candidates are putting in real long days at a relentless pace and I am willing to give them (in this case Cruz) a chance to clean up missed opportunities."

   - True that the debate is still on, but this was a great opportunity in a friendly setting with no particular limit on time to show off his award winning debate skills and he shrunk from it.  Cruz is a smart guy.  He knows he has a vulnerability here and is choosing to not double down on the Rand Paul side of this debate at a time where they are all trying to show they would lead the toughest fight against terror.

"As for Strassel's other attack points (from a frame of reference of the GOPe btw, I thought they were out of favor around here , , ,  rolleyes ) is the blame for the political consequences of the shutdown on Cruz or the GOPe Reps in Congress who failed to back his stand in favor of Congress actually exercising the power of the purse."

   - Again, two valid sides to this.  Yes, we failed to use the power of the purse effectively (although as you have pointed out we shrank the deficit and curtailed other new spending).  Yes, Cruz led the fight.  But are you a leader if you have no followers?  Conservatives like me have argued the so-called 'shutdown' did no damage because we won the elections a year later.  We've also argued that the shutdown is Obama's fault.  But Strassel is also right that we lost the public relations fight over it at the time and it took a year to recover that.  Since we were losing the PR fight, had the Cruz strategy prevailed much further beyond a 17% 'shutdown' for 16 days into a very long showdown with a very stubborn President who was fully supported by the press, are we sure we would still have all won those electoral gains?

To me, what is needed is to change minds in the masses, not just for a few of us to take stronger stands.  While Ted Cruz was proving himself one of the top 2 or 3 stalwarts of the conservative right of which I am a proud member, he also perhaps pidgeonholed himself out of being someone who can be perceived by the persuadable in the middle as someone they can relate to or vote for.

So far, approval spreads and general election polling bear that out.

I also don't think Cruz' tax plan looks like the work of someone who intends to be running past the primaries.  It gives way too much ammunition to the Hillary side, and it leaves us in a very bad position for when we eventually lose power, if we were to win and enact this.

If these two (Cruz and Rubio) get any better at fighting this out, they will both lose and so will we, IMHO.
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