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Author Topic: The Way Forward for the American Creed  (Read 115044 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #700 on: September 26, 2014, 09:50:01 PM »

Reflections on the Contract with America – 20 Years Later
Originally published at CNN.com.

On Wednesday I had the privilege of meeting with S. Ganbaatar, a member of the Mongolian Parliament.

When he entered the room, Ganbaatar walked up excitedly to examine a framed document that has hung for years in my offices. The document is a list of commitments to the people, signed by dozens of candidates for public office who promised to vote on a specific policy agenda if they were elected to office. It's framed alongside a picture of the candidates who signed and campaigned on it. Many of them went on to be elected in a historic vote that tossed out a party that had held power since the 1920s.
 
Ganbaatar was looking at a framed copy of the 1996 "Contract with the Mongolian Voter." That contract was, as the Washington Post reported the next year, "the most widely distributed document in Mongolian history." The Mongolian voters -- with a 91% turnout -- elected the democratic opposition, which four years earlier had held just six seats. With a program of "private property rights, a free press and the encouragement of foreign investment," they defeated the Communist Party that had ruled since 1921.

Ganbaatar, who was elected to Parliament as an Independent in 2012 and is already one of his country's most popular politicians, recounted emotionally how the Contract with the Voter was a watershed event in modern Mongolian history. The ideas in that document, he told me, "gave us our freedom."

Mongolia's peaceful, democratic transition of power from the communists to a republican government was one of the few hopeful stories to come out of the former Soviet states in the early years after the Cold War.
 
It was fitting, but only a coincidence, that Ganbaatar visited just a few days before the 20th anniversary of the Contract with America, the inspiration for Mongolia's Contract with the Voters.

On September 27, 1994, more than 350 candidates for Congress gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to sign a pledge to the American people, a promise to vote on 10 key reforms if we won a majority in the House of Representatives. That campaign, which I helped organize, earned Republicans control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

The Contract was a campaign document. It laid out a common-sense program that was designed to earn the support of the broadest possible range of Americans. Its assortment of policies included everything from changes to how the House did business to items on the budget, welfare and tax policy.

But more than any particular proposal, the important thing about the document was its form: It was a contract, a real commitment to reform and accountability and renewal. It sought above all to "restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives."

We knew Americans deserved a clear and unambiguous account of what we planned to do, and believed reform required their explicit support -- and that if we broke faith with them, we wouldn't deserve to hold power. So we invited people to vote us out again if we didn't follow through.

But we did follow through -- in an extraordinary first hundred days that kicked off one of the most productive Congresses in American history. In addition to being a campaign document, the Contract was a management document that told us how we would govern. It led directly or indirectly to all of the achievements that would soon follow, including four straight balanced budgets, welfare reform, and the largest capital gains tax cut in American history.

In retrospect, it's clear that the Contract also marked an enduring political realignment. When the Republican House majority was sworn in in 1995, there was only one Republican in the House (Bill Emerson from Missouri) who had ever served under a majority -- and he had done so as a page. Two years later, we became the first Republican majority that had been reelected since 1928. And since the Contract, Republicans have held the House for 16 of the past 20 years, and should continue to hold it for the foreseeable future.

As a detailed commitment to passing specific bills, the Contract was the first document of its kind in American history. It has now been replicated in other countries, like Italy and Mongolia, not because of its policy content, but because it expressed a hope in the heart of every voter -- an aspiration that, in the case of the U.S. -- didn't end with the election of 1994 and certainly did not begin there.

The Contract was, quite literally, a renewal of a pre-existing commitment, one that had not been honored. It was the commitment that elected representatives of the people remain accountable to the people.

This social contract is essential to self-government, but too often, our leaders abandon it once they join the political class. They forget about who put them there, they contrive to shield themselves from "tough votes," and they stretch further the restraints on their powers under the law.

There's nothing like a visit by a legislator from a place where, for the better part of the last century, lawlessness reigned, to remind you that the contract between the people and their representatives must be constantly renewed and ardently defended.

Your Friend,
Newt
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #701 on: October 01, 2014, 04:38:24 PM »



Free People, Free Markets
The lessons from 125 years show how to revive American prosperity.
Updated July 7, 2014 9:32 p.m. ET

Surveying a century and a quarter of journalism is a bracing exercise—at intervals depressing and inspiring. Depressing because bad ideas never die. But inspiring because a free society can rescue itself from periods of decline and despond not unlike the current moment. This is one lesson of 125 years of Journal editorials that promote free people and free markets.

It won't surprise our long-time readers that the debates over principle have changed little over the decades even as events have. We opposed high tariffs when they were the patent medicine of the Republican Party in the 1920s as much as when they are now the resort of labor Democrats. We endorsed cuts in marginal tax rates when Andrew Mellon and Calvin Coolidge proposed them in the 1920s, when Walter Heller and JFK did the same in the 1960s, and when Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan did it again in the 1980s. Each tax cut was followed by renewed growth.
Related Video

A look back at the role of Opinion over the past 125 years and the lasting effects the editorials have had on The Wall Street Journal and the world.

There have been mistakes along the way, notably the endorsement of Hoover, whose austerity program turned recession into Depression. We would also not repeat the too-easy counsel of retreat from Vietnam we offered in 1968. The lesson we draw from that conflict and those in Iraq and Afghanistan is not to start wars you don't intend to fight vigorously enough to win.

Another lesson is how the political pendulum swings between freedom and equality, those competing poles of Western political thought. These columns emphasize liberty, but on occasion those who prize equality can provide a necessary corrective. The best example is the civil-rights movement, which used federal power to break the government-enforced tyranny of Jim Crow.

Yet those who promote freedom typically do better by equality than the progressives who elevate equality do by freedom. The progressive project invariably descends into subsidy and mandate to coerce men and women who resist the commands of those in power. See ObamaCare.
***

And what of the current moment? Seen through 125 years of setbacks but generally forward progress, it looks all too familiar. The bubble and bust of the last decade gave progressives a renewed chance to govern, this time with a rare supermajority. President Obama and Nancy Pelosi turned to the old nostrums that government spending can conjure growth, that regulation can productively steer investment, and that equality should be the main goal of economic policy.

The results have been predictable: An historically slow recovery now going on five years, declines in real household income except for the rich, the slowest pace of startups in decades, and a barnacled leviathan state that botches a website in the era of Amazon and lies about its waiting lists for veterans.

Perhaps worst of all has been the impact of these failures on American comity and confidence. Gridlock is built into the American Constitution, but the current rancor and paralysis reflect a deeper anxiety about U.S. governance. The public has begun to believe that the country's best days are past and the future belongs to others—perhaps China.

This pessimism contributes to a zero-sum politics that on the right becomes a hostility to immigrants, and on the left a disparaging of the successful. Both impulses lead to policies—income redistribution, rejection of human talent—that compound economic decline. And decline in turn leads to an inward-looking mood that pretends that if America ignores the world's disorders they will somehow leave America alone.

One particular challenge today that wasn't evident a half century ago is the entitlement burden—fiscal in its demand for ever-higher taxes, but also psychological in sapping the incentive to work and succeed. The Reagan restoration saved us from Europe's welfare fate for a time but Mr. Obama's progressive reversal has revived the danger of an entitlement state that is too big to afford but also too big to reform.

Yet for all our current ill temper, the lesson of 125 years is that the national direction can turn, and quickly. Experts said the aftermath of World Wars I and II would be depression, but government shrank and America boomed. In the 1970s the successive failures of Vietnam, Watergate, the energy crisis and inflation led many American elites to wonder if democracy was capable of defeating Communism. A decade later, amid the Reagan boom that added a Germany to U.S. GDP, those anxieties had washed away and the Soviet empire had disintegrated.

The answer to our current slow growth and self-doubt isn't a set of magical "new ideas" or some unknown orator from the provinces. The answer is to rediscover the eternal truths that have helped America escape malaise and turmoil in the past.

These lessons include that markets—the mind of free millions—allocate scarce resources more efficiently and fairly than do committees in Congress; that the collusion of government with either big business or big labor stifles competition and leads to political cynicism; that government will be respected more when it does a few things well rather than too many poorly; and that innovation and human progress spring not from bureaucratic elites but from the genius of individuals.

Above all, the lesson of 125 years is that whatever our periodic blunders Americans have always used the blessings of liberty to restore prosperity and national confidence. A free people have their fate in their own hands.
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ccp
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« Reply #702 on: October 01, 2014, 06:21:10 PM »

"This pessimism contributes to a zero-sum politics that on the right becomes a hostility to immigrants, and on the left a disparaging of the successful. Both impulses lead to policies—income redistribution, rejection of human talent—that compound economic decline."

Typical of the WSJ.

The rest is ok.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #703 on: October 01, 2014, 09:08:15 PM »

That it can be, and is, often used disingenuously does not mean that it is without merit.  Wisely selected immigrants can bring much benefit to America.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #704 on: October 01, 2014, 11:41:40 PM »

"Wisely selected immigrants"

Yes.  Welcoming invited guests is a very different concept than just leaving the door open.
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ccp
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« Reply #705 on: October 02, 2014, 11:19:04 AM »

"That it can be, and is, often used disingenuously does not mean that it is without merit"

Well wait a second Crafty.  I never posted or said let's keep the Werner Von Braun(s) out of the country.

But when we have people coming in and setting up shop from all around the world we have a huge problem.  Most of us a paying for this.   As many of half the children born in local hospitals are to illegals.  Who gets the bill?   And family members who are here with Medicare yet they cannot speak one word of English and some live in their native countries.  How are the getting around the system and getting us to pay their health care costs?   Just a tip of the iceberg.

 And yes most will vote Democrat and yes the one's in the Southwest have already altered the political landscape.  

And the ones in the NE and South have bolstered the Democrat Party.

Lets not down play this.  I get it about winning their "hearts and minds" but....
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 11:49:32 AM by ccp » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #706 on: November 11, 2014, 09:14:01 PM »

It's time for a 'way forward' discussion.  We need to a) stop or slow down the Obama era growth of government, b) govern in a way that keeps control of congress in the next election cycle, c) make proposals that are realistic and possible to pass now, and d) set the table to win back the Presidency.  

Bipartisan policies imploded at the end of the Bush years.   Wrongheaded policies like government-based mortgage finance were supported by Democrats and many elected Republicans known as RINOs.  The Obama years in contrast involved mostly a straight partisan divide, like Obamacare on one side and trying to repeal it on the other.  This election saw the first split in the Democrats, with 'red state Democrats' trying to running away from the President's agenda for their own survival.  

Now we have divided government in a divided nation and need to build gently on this to win going forward.  Many Dem voters lost faith in their party and policies, but have not yet jumped fully to the other side.  

Some conservatives are now pretending we hold all the cards. But we hold more like half the cards and should proceed with that in mind.   There needs to be a way forward for the right in between RINOism and purity.  We need proposals that follow, not violate, our principles, and attract support from the middle.  We need to take small steps in the right direction and make the left's accusations against us clearly false.  When they say handouts to the rich, starving the poor, taking away Granny's meds, shutting down roads and bridges or anything like that, we need to be ready to show it is not true.

Here is the beginning of a list, not in order of importance:

1)   Crack down on Cronyism.

2)  End Too Big to Fail.  Big enterprises get the protections that small enterprises receive.

3)  De-criminalize small quantities of pot at the federal level.  

4)  Take the lead legalizing safe, over-the counter birth control.  

5)   Give anti-abortion activism an anti- late term abortion focus.

6)  Drop the subject of gay marriage.  Let  the states and courts sort it out.

7)  Repeal or cut only the taxes that are really unpopular and unproductive for now.  No Democrat ran on a platform of supporting the medical device tax.  Most Democrats won't oppose its repeal.  No Democrat ran on having the US corporate tax rate highest in the world, driving out our best companies.  No reasonable Dem will oppose reform.  Pass what can be passed now with at least some bi-partisan support and put it on President Obama's desk.

8.)  Replace and re-name Obamacare.  Take a version of what Dick Morris called the Republican plan, get some support from the other side and re-name it.   Provide tax credit subsidies for all who need them to buy health insurance and incorporate the basic consumer protections.  Insurers cannot discriminate based on pre-existing conditions nor can they either terminate coverage or raise rates when their customers become ill.  Eliminate the coercive aspects of ObamaCare.  Nobody has to buy insurance nor does any employer have to offer it.  Those who do purchase insurance can get as much or as little coverage as they want.  One size will no longer attempt to fit all.  Extend Medicare coverage to those who are sickest with the highest medical bills, so the government pays for all their costs.

9)  Pass real immigration reform.  Enforce our borders, really, enhance security overall, and offer a tough set of criteria for staying here legally if you are already fully established here and contributing positively to the well-being of the country.  Make the main parts inseparable; people here stay legally only if the inflow stops.

10)  Restrain and prioritize spending but have every statement about restraint start with the affirmation that we are committed to retaining a safety net for the truly needy.

11)  Pass laws that require adherence to constitutional law, such as a law requiring Presidents to go to congress in order to launch military interventions of the type he launched in Libya.  Limit the UN and other international encroachments on national and individual liberty.   Reaffirm specific states' rights and responsibilities in federal law.

12) End the federal 21 drinking age.  They vote.  They drive.  They serve.  Leave it to the states.

13) Keep the internet private, tax free, and retain US sovereignty over it.

14)  Last (for now) but not least, reform the dual mission of The Fed.

Comments?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 02:00:42 AM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #707 on: November 12, 2014, 08:41:26 PM »

The pubs are on double secret probation with the public. Don't fcuk it up!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #708 on: November 12, 2014, 09:16:38 PM »

Good idea and good start to the conversation Doug.

Here's some thoughts from Newt:

A Suicidal Presidency?
Originally published at CNN.com.

President Obama seems determined to launch a two-front war with the new Republican Congress. The bigger news has been about his threatened executive order on immigration. The White House, however, has also indicated a determination to greet the new Senate majority leader from coal country with a series of very expensive environmental regulations necessitated by the climate agreement he announced with China.
 
Before he takes these steps, President Obama should take a few days off and read a couple of books about President Woodrow Wilson's last two years in office.
There are a lot of parallels between the two presidents. Both were college professors. Both liked to hide on a golf course (Wilson holds the record having played more than 1,000 rounds as President). Both were powerful orators. Both had deeply held convictions. Both disliked the Congress.
The collapse of the Wilson presidency after the 1918 midterm defeat is a cautionary tale for President Obama. Republicans gained 25 seats in the House and five seats in the Senate, enabling them to control the Senate by a narrow 49-47 margin.
Wilson did not seem to realize how powerful that Senate control was, even if by a close margin. He also did not realize how deeply senators feel about their prerogatives and constitutional authority.
Wilson's reaction to the new Republican Senate was to defy it. He went off to the peace conference of Versailles which ended World War I with no Republican senators in the delegation. He wrote the League of Nations treaty (the forerunner to the United Nations) refusing to compromise with Republicans in the Senate.
When the Republicans insisted on adding some limitations to the treaty, Wilson fought them. He went to the country and launched a nationwide speaking tour. The tension and exhaustion led him to collapse with a stroke on October 2, 1919. The incapacitated president was protected by his wife, who in effect ran the administration until he left office.
The American people repudiated Wilson by an enormous margin in the 1920 elections. Republican Warren Harding won 404 electoral votes and more than 60% of the vote. In the House, Republicans gained 62 seats for a 302-131 majority. In the Senate, Republicans gained 10 seats for a 59-37 majority.
President Wilson had presided over the destruction of the Democratic Party -- and it did not become competitive again until the Great Depression a decade later.
President Obama seems determined to reject the American people. He set the terms for this election on October 2 at Northwestern University when he declared that his "policies were on the ballot." The American people took him at his word and defeated Democrats at every level.
When the President's party loses the Senate, additional seats in the House, a number of governorships, and almost 300 state legislators, the American people have spoken.
Republicans today have more state legislators than any time in the party's history. Republicans also control more state legislative bodies than any time in their history. Republicans have very likely tied and may surpass their post World War II high-point in membership in the U.S. House, making Speaker Boehner the most successful Republican Speaker in electoral terms since Longworth in the 1920s.
If the president's opponent reaches those kind of high-water marks after a 160-year history, something big is happening.
Pollster Kellyanne Conway reports that 74% of last week's voters wanted President Obama to work with Congress rather than unilaterally issue an executive order on immigration. Gallup reports that 53% of the American people want the new GOP Congress to set priorities while only 36% favor President Obama setting the priorities. This is a striking decline for the President from 2012 (Obama is down 10 percentage points and Republicans are up 11 points in two years).
If President Obama defies the will of the American people, he will destroy the Democrats' chances in 2016. Democrats in 2014 had to hide from Obama. By 2016, at this rate, they will have to repudiate him. That would all but guarantee their party's defeat, with a party descending into internal strife and the pro-Obama hard-liners fighting with anti-Obama Democrats who just want to survive. Hillary Clinton would find it a nearly impossible environment for a campaign.
There are more immediate consequences to an Obama war on Congress. The Congress will fight back, and the Congress has more tools to fight with than the President does (the spending power, committee hearings and oversight power, and taking votes, to name a few).
Congressional tools are so extensive and so misunderstood that they deserve their own column.
It will be interesting to see how the White House reacts to the new Congress. Outgoing majority leader Harry Reid has protected the President from a lot of difficult choices by controlling the Senate so tightly.
As a result, President Obama and his team may not even fully understand the disaster they could be creating by declaring war on Congress. Reading of Wilson's catastrophic experience might temper the Obama White House. If not, the new Republican Congress will defeat it.
Your Friend,
Newt
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G M
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« Reply #709 on: November 12, 2014, 11:23:37 PM »

Obama doesn't care.
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ccp
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« Reply #710 on: November 13, 2014, 07:46:06 PM »

Newt the comparison is far from great.   Obama will make 5 million illegals suddenly legal.  The other ten million will be made legal before he leaves office.  He uses his aces in the hole one a  time.   

And I certainly pray we don't get a Warren Harding in 2016!  Wow what a triumph he was Newt!

Or for that matter Jeb Bush.  Bush One gave us Clinton.  Bush Two gave us Obama.   Folks end of the story - end of the Bush era.   That says it all.  Any Repub who must run for the nomination against Jeb simply use THIS slogan.   

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DougMacG
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« Reply #711 on: December 17, 2014, 10:22:23 AM »

It is an argument I have called tax vs. charity or welfare vs. charity.  John Stossels frames it well in the this piece called Governing vs. Giving, which is really government forced redistribution vs the free will of giving and accepting responsibility with assistance.

Personally I find that since the government has taken my income, with my taxes more than 100% of take home income, and nothing left over, and they are spending the majority of that on redistribution, I really have no time or interest in charity unless and until we change that dynamic.

It is the essence of the differences between the two competing philosophies and the smoking gun of liberalism that they don't trust people to do the right thing without coercion.  Instead of helping people, we spend trillions and trillions pretending to help people.
--------------------------
Governing vs. Giving
John Stossel
http://townhall.com/columnists/johnstossel/2014/12/17/governing-vs-giving-n1932615/page/full

It's the season for giving.

That doesn't mean it's the season for government.

Government creates loyalty in the minds of citizens by pretending to be Santa Claus, doling out gifts and favors. Politicians claim they help those unfortunates who aren't helped by coldhearted capitalism.

The truth is, government gets in the way of charity, making it harder for people to help others and for the poor to help themselves. It also gets in the way of commerce, which is what really makes people better off.

When I was in college, President Lyndon Johnson declared "an all-out war on human poverty. ... For the first time in our history, it's possible to conquer poverty." I believed him. But then I watched government poverty programs fail. America spent trillions of your dollars on the poor, and the poor stayed poor.

Actually, the poverty rate did fall after the "War on Poverty" began. But it had already been falling prior to initiation of welfare. Sadly, the poverty rate stopped falling about seven years after Johnson's programs began, mostly because government handouts encouraged people to be dependent.

Simple capitalism does much more for poor people. On my show this week, Marian Tupy, editor of HumanProgress.org, speculates on why people don't appreciate that.

"Our minds evolved tens of thousands of years ago when we lived in small groups of between 50-200 people," says Tupy. "We would go out, kill game, bring it back, share it." The idea of everyone getting an equal share still makes us feel warm and cozy.

"Some of the anti-capitalist impulse goes back to that hunter-gatherer mentality and not comprehending the complexity of the market economy," says Tupy. "The complexity outpaced our ability to understand it.

But even those who don't understand markets should open their eyes and acknowledge its benefits: World-wide, wherever economic freedom is allowed, millions of people have lifted themselves out of stoop labor and miserable poverty.

Of course, not everyone can reap the benefits of markets. The sick, the mentally ill and other truly helpless people need a hand.

But why assume government must provide that help? Government doesn't do anything very well. Why not let private charity handle it?

I once assumed there was too much poverty for private charity to make much of a difference. But now I realize there is plenty of money, and private charity would do much more if government didn't discourage it.

When the welfare state took over poverty relief, it crowded out "mutual aid" societies that the poor ran for themselves.

They were like a cross between private unemployment insurance and "moose" or "elks" lodges that encouraged members to help each other out. They were better at helping the poor because their members, unlike government poverty workers, were free to make judgments about who deserved help and who didn't.

Today, there are fewer mutual aid societies because people say, "Why do it myself when we already have giant welfare bureaucracies? My taxes pay for Obamacare, food stamps, housing vouchers and so on. I'll let the professionals handle it."

But those "professionals" do a poor job.

Fortunately, charities still try to do what government cannot do. I give money to the Doe Fund, an organization that helps addicts and ex-cons discover the benefits of work. I give because I can see the results: Doe Fund participants work as caterers, exterminators and street-cleaners, and they do it with a spring in their step.

Somehow, the charity teaches these men (they only work with men) to take pride in work. That pride changes people. Unlike other ex-cons, those who are Doe graduates rarely go back to jail.

If government didn't discourage it, more charities would do even better work with the poor. Human beings don't sit around ignoring the suffering of their neighbors. But we are most likely to neglect these moral tasks when government insists it has everything covered.

Get government out of the way and just watch what we can do.
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ccp
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« Reply #712 on: December 17, 2014, 09:16:50 PM »

"Personally I find that since the government has taken my income, with my taxes more than 100% of take home income, and nothing left over, and they are spending the majority of that on redistribution, I really have no time or interest in charity unless and until we change that dynamic."

Ditto Doug.  I was on the check line of a shopping center when the cashier asked me to donate to some charity.  I said I already work roughly five months a year for the government.   Isn't that a darn 'nuff?   What I should give more?  Are you kidding?


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #713 on: December 19, 2014, 04:36:39 AM »

Of course I get the point but sorry gents, but I find myself sideways to your logic here.

PS:  It definitely irks me when a cashier asks me for a donation.  I don't go shopping to get guilt tripped.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #714 on: December 25, 2014, 11:45:37 PM »

We'll see what ccp says, but Karl Rove actually has something right here.  (http://www.rove.com/articles/562)  For the next two years we will be living under divided government.  We want to make things better where we can, stop Obama from making things worse, and set the table for winning more in 2016.  Think of Gingrich's Contract with America.  There are things that both poll well and fall on the conservative side of the policy spectrum.  Find specific areas that some Democrats will support, even one Democrat, that move us in the right direction and that are popular.  Pass them.  Call them bipartisan, and put them on Obama's desk to either sign or leave open as unfinished business.  Rove identifies votes that already got bipartisan support (at the link).  There are many more.  For one thing, we won the last election; we should be on offense.  Let the unpopular, lame duck go on defense vetoing popular measures, small steps that move the country, the economy and our security forward.

Karl Rove: 

"It will be important in the new Congress that Republicans advance a reform-minded conservative governing agenda that has bipartisan support. Before scoffing at this, consider that House Republicans have already passed scores of bills with Democratic support, only to see them die in the Senate.

The GOP should set a bipartisan tone by taking these bills up again, starting with measures to help the economy. For example, this past session 158 House Democrats voted for a GOP measure expanding access to charter schools. Another 130 House Democrats backed a Republican bill to end the expensive wave of junk lawsuits over patents.

While Mr. McConnell says the Senate will first take up the Keystone XL pipeline, there are other opportunities on energy: 46 House Democrats voted with Republicans to expedite exports of liquefied natural gas, 28 to expand oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, and 26 to expedite infrastructure for the development of natural gas.

Between 32 and 36 House Democrats also backed GOP measures to ban taxes on Internet access, to make it easier and less costly to invest in small businesses, to make government rule-making more transparent, and to stop an EPA proposal that would subject every stream, pond and ditch to federal jurisdiction.

Since Republicans want to move a comprehensive corporate tax-reform package, the fact that 53 House Democrats supported making permanent the immediate expensing of new equipment and software purchases, and 62 voted to make the research and development tax credit permanent, is a sign some Democrats will help make the tax code more growth-oriented.

There’s also evidence Democrats will help undo some of ObamaCare’s damaging provisions, like its definition of full-time work as 30 hours a week and its employee and employer mandates."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #715 on: January 20, 2015, 10:52:22 PM »

Pasting this here from the Glibness thread

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_STATE_OF_UNION_GOP_RESPONSE_TEXT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-20-22-28-22
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DougMacG
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« Reply #716 on: February 11, 2015, 10:38:50 AM »

Budget reform, tax reform, replacing Obamacare, this is a very specific and optimistic take on where we could be headed right now.

The Post-Obama Triumph of Conservatism
By Peter Ferrara
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/02/the_postobama_triumph_of_conservatism.html

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DougMacG
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« Reply #717 on: February 13, 2015, 05:47:44 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg3Xzh2cXD8

Hat tip to Glenn Beck radio this morning.

One minute, 39 seconds.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 07:41:11 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #718 on: March 10, 2015, 05:08:12 AM »

Improving the GOP’s Free-Market Pitch
Capitalism’s virtues don’t easily reduce to sound bites, but that isn’t a reason to give up.
By
Douglas Coate
March 9, 2015 7:12 p.m. ET
20 COMMENTS

As an economics professor, I have sympathy for market-oriented Republican candidates who at times seem unable to explain their economic philosophy in sound-bite form. As Milton Friedman said, the arguments for capitalism are subtle and sophisticated, while the arguments for collectivism are simple and emotional. There are at least four cornerstones of limited-government, private-property, market-price economies that create prosperity but that are not intuitively obvious and require analysis and thought to appreciate.

One is Adam Smith ’s idea of the invisible hand. Smith argued that individuals in market economies, although motivated by self interest, will be guided by an invisible hand to take actions that benefit society as a whole. A farmer works hard to grow wheat at the lowest possible cost. When he tries to sell his wheat at a high price, however, he discovers that other farmers have also worked hard to grow wheat at low cost and competition with them pushes prices down close to production costs.

This is not the outcome planned for by our self-interested farmer and his competitors, but it is great for the rest of us who get cheap food.

A second is trade. Trade between people within and across countries leads to the division of labor. People can specialize in what they do best and trade with others for what the others do best. This makes everyone more productive and more prosperous.
ENLARGE
Photo: Corbis

This holds even for trade between peoples of highly developed countries and peoples of less-developed countries. We all have a comparative advantage in something because of differences among us and in the resources we command. Self-sufficiency at the individual or country level may be a romantic ideal, but it also means subsistence living.

A third is the market-price system. From property rights and trading come market prices as suppliers and demanders interact based on the information and resources each possess. These prices in turn guide our plans and actions as consumers or producers.

A high-school graduate makes the decision of whether to go to college or not based on the information reflected in prices. What is the price or wage of a college graduate in the labor market? What is the price or wage of a high-school graduate? What is the price of a college education? A factory owner in a market economy chooses how labor intensive or capital intensive to make his production process by looking at the wages of workers and their skills alongside the prices of the different production technologies he could use.

A factory manager in the old Soviet economy, not blessed with a market-price system, relied on the information or allocations of a central planner to guide his use of workers and machines in the production process. But the central planner was largely playing a guessing game. He did not have market prices to keep him up to date on the skills of workers in different locations and on the technologies available to them.

The fourth is that the productive resources of land, labor and capital are guided to their best use. This results from the constant feedback provided by the profit-and-loss system and from the lack of discrimination when governments are hands off.

Labor, the most important resource in market economies with educated work forces, is fully utilized, for example, because employers hire the best workers they can at prevailing wages to maximize their profits. And it is in their best interest to treat them well thereafter so they won’t leave. Any differences in wages by characteristic, such as race or gender, that do not reflect productivity, are quickly arbitraged away in the pursuit of profit. Why hire men if women are cheaper?

The counters to these arguments are that our economic system should not be based on selfishness but on caring, that international trade leads to the exporting of jobs to low-wage countries, that the best and brightest should be assembled to plan our economy because the plans of ordinary people reflected in market prices are not informed, and that discrimination and unfair treatment are everywhere if employers are free to hire, fire, pay and promote without oversight.

Nice sound bites, appealing to the emotions, and probably characteristic of too much of the K-12 and college education in this country. But, to paraphrase Friedrich Hayek, “these views lead us down the road to serfdom.” For peaceful and prosperous lives, based on personal responsibility and voluntary cooperation, capitalism is the way.

Unfortunately, I am not sure how best a political candidate might argue for capitalism and limited government in a sound bite. Maybe by borrowing from Gary Becker : “Over the past 25 years, a billion people have escaped poverty as their countries moved away from command and control, toward capitalism and freedom.”

Mr. Coate is professor of economics at Rutgers University, Newark.
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David Ziegelheim
David Ziegelheim 4 hours ago

First...it isn't free markets, it is competitive markets. "Free" markets imply no regulation; it that situation bad actors virtually always take advantage of unsuspecting buyers and sellers. Competitive markets provide protections from bad actors (e.g. title insurance on real estate) and have processes to maximize the flow of information and trust between buyers and sellers (e.g. Amazon reviews, eBay guarantees).


Second, nearly all the mechanisms Prof. Coate discussed are the how behind the "invisible hand".  Trade, price mechanisms (really the 4 P's), allocation of resources are the how of the invisible hand. And really they all track back to those price mechanisms that let a Big Mac, an iPhone, and a BMW all be evaluated under the same system.
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IAN C MADSEN
IAN C MADSEN 6 hours ago

Another effective tool is reductio ad absurdum.  For instance, against minimum wage hike advocates, ask them why not raise it to $30 per hour.  For those who want ever higher tax rates, why not say that they should go to 99%, even 110% for the very 'rich'.  For those who are against free trade, go them one better and suggest no exports or imports of any kind.  For those who are against luxury and abundance, recommend taking everything from everybody and not giving it to anyone at all, but just sit there to decay and become part of the Earth.  There are more.  Another tack is to point out that those places that are most market-friendly have the highest standards of living, highest growth rates, and lowest unemployment and poverty levels.  Ask why there have to be so many laws and tax codes; why not strict but fewer ones, if they are so concerned about legality and equity?  Eg., a flat 20% tax rate, no deductions; no corporate tax, as salaries and dividends are taxed at personal level.
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David Rodman
David Rodman 7 hours ago

First, use the term free markets and never use the Marxist term capitalism.

Second, go on the offensive instead of trying to make economists of everyone.

Point out that every time anyone promises to deliver more for less using government, they are selling a pipedream and trying to increase their own power.

They are selling an empty promise that government can't deliver on because:

1. Politicization - Using government turns economic decisions into political decisions, which further political interests, not economic interests, which is the point.

2. Fewer minds means poorer decisions - The few deciding for the many can never equal the power of the many deciding for themselves.

3. Corruption - the inevitable and exceedingly corrosive result of concentration of power. Examples abound.

4. Monopolization - no competition means no incentive to improve service, much less provide reasonable service at all.

These truths are self evident, irrefutable and unavoidable.

The way to change minds is to be tenacious in attacking false and self-serving progressive promises and narratives.

The light must be boldly shined on the emporer to show everyone he has no clothes.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #719 on: April 28, 2015, 09:27:25 PM »

https://www.facebook.com/conservative50plus/videos/10153168045905873/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #720 on: April 29, 2015, 08:51:43 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417601/riot-plagued-baltimore-catastrophe-entirely-democratic-partys-own-making-kevin-d
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #721 on: April 29, 2015, 08:58:55 AM »

third post of the day:

You’re not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not merely a senior center, small businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.

Nothing excuses the violence of rampaging students or the failure of city officials to stop it before Maryland’s Governor called in the National Guard. But as order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let’s not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last 40 years.

The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are “progressive.” This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was America’s sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn’t in the top 25.

The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three: high crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning.

Let’s take them in order. The first and most important responsibility of any city government is to uphold law and order. When the streets are unsafe and crime is high, everything else—e.g., getting businesses to invest and create jobs—becomes next to impossible.
Opinion Journal Video
Best of the Web Today Columnist James Taranto on riots following the death of a black man in police custody. Photo credit: Getty Images.

People also start voting with their feet. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has stated that one of her goals is to attract 10,000 families to move to Baltimore. Good luck with that after Monday night.

It’s not that we don’t know what to do. Rudy Giuliani proved that in New York City, which he helped to revive in the 1990s starting with a revolution in policing that brought crime rates to record lows. A good part of this was policing in areas that had previously been left to the hoodlums.

His reward (and that of his successor, Mike Bloomberg, who built on Mr. Giuliani’s policies) was to become a villain of the liberal grievance industry and a constant target of attack. Few blue-city mayors elsewhere have been willing to take that heat.

Or take the economy. In the heyday of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the idea was that the federal government could revitalize city centers with money and central planning. You can tell how that turned out by the office buildings and housing projects that failed to attract middle-class taxpayers. Baltimore’s waterfront is a gleaming example of this kind of top-down development, with new sports stadiums that failed to attract other businesses.

The latest figures from Maryland’s Department of Labor show state unemployment at 5.4%, against 8.4% for Baltimore. A 2011 city report on the neighborhood of Freddie Gray—the African-American whose death in police custody sparked the riots—reported an area that is 96.9% black with unemployment at 21%. When it comes to providing hope and jobs, we should have learned by now that no government program can substitute for a healthy private economy.

Then there are the public schools. Residents will put up with a great deal if they know their children have a chance at upward mobility through education. But when the schools no longer perform, the parents who can afford to move to the suburbs do so—and those left behind are stuck with failure. There are many measures of failure in Baltimore schools, but consider that on state tests 72% of eighth graders scored below proficient in math, 45% in reading and 64% in science.

Our point is not to indict all cities or liberals. Many big-city Democrats have worked to welcome private investment and reform public education. Some of the biggest cities—New York, Boston and San Francisco—have also had inherent economic advantages like higher education and the finance and technology industries.

But Baltimore also has advantages, not least its port and one of the nation’s finest medical centers in Johns Hopkins. If it lacks the appeal of New York or San Diego, that is all the more reason for city officials to rethink their reliance on high taxes, government spending and welfare-state dependency.

For a time in recent decades, it looked like the reform examples of New York under Messrs. Giuliani and Bloomberg and the growth of cities like Houston might lead to a broader urban revitalization. In some places it did.

But of late the progressives have been making a comeback, led by Bill de Blasio in New York and the challenge to sometime reform Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. This week’s nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It’s time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, “broken windows” policing, and education choice.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #722 on: April 29, 2015, 10:33:28 AM »

"This week’s nightmare in Baltimore shows where this leads. It’s time for a new urban renewal, this time built on the ideas of private economic development, personal responsibility, “broken windows” policing, and education choice."

Yes.  All of that, especially personal responsibility.  

Seeing how not to live and govern tells us something about the way forward if we don't like the current path, but all the momentum seems to be in the other direction.

From my experiences as an inner city landlord I have tried to warn of what is happening and how our policies are tied to these lifestyle choices and behaviors.  In 19.9% of American households now, 1 in 5, no one works.  In America's inner city, that proportion is way higher.  At some point what we have is something like a third world country just outside of our downtowns and off of the freeways the rest of us travel.

Rich, white liberals and the 49-52% who vote with them keep talking about doing more for the have-nots, right while they take away the ladder up.  50 years into a failed war on poverty, they still don't notice what they are taking from the program recipients by making everything free, from their home, food, healthcare, down to their smartphone and data plan.  

It can be quite ugly to see what fills the void in human nature when personal responsibility is removed.

One time in Mpls someone broke all the first floor windows in an apartment building I owned.  An eyewitness tried to tell the police in a car what had happened.  The cop rolled his squad car window down partway, heard what she said and told her she should report this to the landlord.

When the riots end, the people will return to their taxpayer supported homes with cable TV, cigarettes, air conditioning,  and blaring music.  If Baltimore is at all like Minneapolis, the City enforcers will come out and start writing orders and tickets to the landlords to get the rubble cleared and windows repaired or face condemnation and prosecution.   In Washington, the rich and powerful liberals along with the media and rinos will again tell us that any cut, of any amount, to any program, will harm the children.  Not so.  It is the existence, expansion and proliferation of these programs that remove all personal responsibility that is hurting the children more than anything else.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 10:50:33 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #723 on: May 08, 2015, 11:35:10 AM »

These powerful words from our "brother in arms" GM are worthy of discussion here:

I have raised my right hand multiple times and sworn to protect and defend the Constitution. That constitution means nothing to those in power now. I believed in the inherent wisdom and goodness of the American people. I seriously question that now.

The rule of law and the constitution lie in tatters and the public seems to be more interested in Bruce Jenner's gender crisis. And what better metaphor for America than the Bruce Jenner of my childhood on a Wheaties box as an American Olympic hero and the Bruce Jenner of today preparing to have his smeckle surgically turned into a vajayjay. America today is just as unimaginable and unrecognizable.

We have alleged americans cheering for the jihadists targeting a brave American standing for core American freedoms. Our president does nothing to protect her from the enemies he has allowed to fester in our midst.

This is becoming a country not worth bleeding for, much less dying for. I am not renouncing my country, it is renouncing me and everything I have spent my adult life defending.  If we continue down this path, then I am done. I went into law enforcement because I saw it as a sacred calling. I used to encourage talented people to consider it as a career or volunteer opportunity. I no longer do so.

So, what's on TV?
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ccp
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« Reply #724 on: May 08, 2015, 03:28:35 PM »

 "I am not renouncing my country, it is renouncing me and everything I have spent my adult life defending."

Yes and while the faux leader professes to represent us he promotes this trade agreement that is essentially a secret and expects us to trust him.  The Nike CEO expects us to believe her when she tells us how good it is for us and for lower consumer prices.   All the while farming jobs by the millions overseas.  Wow I can get my basketball shoes for a discount therefore I am thrilled.

And of course this Marxist who does everything he can to berate America stands in front of an American flag while giving us another con job.

Yep.  I feel the same way.

I feel sorry for the honest law enforcement officers who have spent years protecting us.


 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #725 on: May 13, 2015, 09:58:35 AM »

Teaching Better Civics for Better Citizens
American students are alarmingly unfamiliar with the essential elements of democracy.
 ENLARGE
Photo: Corbis
By
Sandra Day O’Connor And
John Glenn
May 12, 2015 7:03 p.m. ET
WSJ

The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), released last week, revealed that our country’s eighth-graders aren’t just failing at civics and history. They fundamentally do not understand our democratic system of government, and have shown no significant sign of progress since they were last tested in 2010.
The scores from the test known as the Nation’s Report Card show that only 18% of the students are proficient in history, and less than a quarter are proficient in civics. For example, fewer than one-third of students tested knew that “the government of the United States should be a democracy” is a political belief shared by most people in this country.

Education policy leaders have correctly recognized the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to prepare children for the jobs of the future, and to enable the U.S. to compete in the 21st-century marketplace. The NAEP tells us that if schools ignore civics and social studies, they risk excluding students forever from American democracy. While we fully support the vast resources committed to promote STEM subjects, we seriously question the cost of doing so at the expense of the humanities.

Civic education cannot be an afterthought. Citizenship is a skill that must be taught over time with the same devotion we give to reading, math and the pursuit of scientific knowledge. We believe that it should be taught alongside and integrated with these subjects.
More civics courses alone is not the answer. Civics education itself needs an overhaul that makes it relevant to digital learners. This is why we have joined forces to create games and digital content that meet students where they are—online and gaming—and help them create a sort of “muscle memory” for citizenship. We want to give students an immersive civic-education experience that inspires them to learn how to use the legal system, the legislature and the electoral process to solve problems in their communities and effectively communicate with their government.

As the next election nears, it’s not enough to have young people read about elections in history books. Digital games such as “Win the White House,” a product of the Web-based nonprofit education project founded by Justice O’Connor, put students inside a virtual election. They can learn how to navigate the process and experience its complexities in a way that is fun and engaging and on their terms.

Nationally, more than 72,000 teachers have created accounts with iCivics, giving digital civic education to more than 7.5 million students. It is now used by more than half the nation’s middle-school social-studies teachers, and that is cause for celebration. The question is how to reach the other half.

This month we are launching iCivics Ohio, a partnership between the John Glenn College at Ohio State University, the Capitol Square Foundation and Justice O’Connor’s iCivics. The partnership could give to every student in Ohio access to state-of-the-art digital civic-education experiences—from iCivics.org and other resources—that include state-specific curricula and lesson plans specifically for Ohio teachers. We hope that every other state will consider similar opportunities.

We know what works in civic education. The Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools’ Six Proven Practices provides a blueprint that every state can adapt to fit its own curricula. The practices include: classroom instruction, discussion of current events and controversial issues, service-learning, extra-curricular activities, school governance and simulations of government processes.

Citizenship begins long before students can vote. Civic education will help them exercise their vote, and participate in our democracy, in an informed manner. The NAEP results indicate that it’s not the students who are failing to learn, but we who are failing to teach them.

Ms. O’Connor, a retired U.S. Supreme Court justice, is the founder of iCivics, a nonprofit company producing digital civics curriculum for schools. Mr. Glenn is a former astronaut and former Democratic U.S. senator from Ohio (1974-99).
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DougMacG
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« Reply #726 on: June 27, 2015, 10:53:39 AM »

I see frustrated conservative talking about flying the flag upside down as we head into the fourth of July.  Are we a nation in distress?

Ten years ago the Supreme Court created a right for local governments to take private homes and send people down the road in order to accommodate the wishes of their preferred private, special interests.

This week the Court, twisting like a pretzel, interpreted Obamacare to say the exact opposite of what it does in order to preserve the law rather than leave it to the law writing branch to fix, change or repeal it.  The next day they ended the legislative process across the country to make marriage, where a man and a woman become husband and wife, a constitutional right for gay couples.  With 4 anti-constitutional liberals on the Court, we are now ruled by the whim of one or two erratic appointees of former Republican Presidents on both social and economic issues.

The question is not what to do about shiny objects like gay marriage.  The question is how to go forward from here.  Of course this overlaps with 2016 Presidential because the question also necessarily becomes who best to lead.

Let's take these two issues first.  Obamacare became the law of the land through a number of large deceptions, a one-time super-majority, and deeming a bill passed that wasn't.  It was upheld originally by making it something we were promised that it wasn't and then funded by those sworn to repeal it.

I heard Ted Cruz' irate reaction to these decisions.  He, for one, drew a line earlier against funding Obamacare, but his party punted away their constitutional power of the purse back to the media and the Saul Alinsky executive branch.  Yes Ted Cruz would stand up for limited government and constitutional principles.  But he aims his arguments at the minority of conservatives who already agree with him.  The good he could do as President, such as appoint great Justices is subject to the question of being him marginalized into unelectability.  Scott Walker also stood up strongly against the rulings.  Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio opposed the decisions but took more conciliatory tones, FWIW.

Gay Marriage was coming anyway and Republicans in Congress are already funding O'care and ready to make a "temporary fix" on subsidies.  So the question remains, what is the way forward?  We don't just need a leader who is right on the issues.  We need leadership that can successfully make the arguments, connect with more people and move public opinion.

Meanwhile, we will are paddling upstream against a really strong current.  99% of colleges have been taken over by liberal teaching and an even higher percentage in the k-12 public schools.  84% of O'care enrollees are subsidized, no longer able to take a disinterested view.  Most Hispanics know someone personally affected by the immigration reform debate.  Most gays don't know it is Republicans who would actually give them far more liberties.  Most Jews aren't impressed that Republicans are now the defenders of Israel and most blacks have never voted for a Republican.  Most unemployed, recent college grads think redistribution grows the economy.  All network news and nearly every major newspaper are in lockstep with DNC talking points.

Is there still a way forward?
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ccp
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« Reply #727 on: June 27, 2015, 04:03:08 PM »

"Meanwhile, we will are paddling upstream against a really strong current.  99% of colleges have been taken over by liberal teaching and an even higher percentage in the k-12 public schools.  84% of O'care enrollees are subsidized, no longer able to take a disinterested view.  Most Hispanics know someone personally affected by the immigration reform debate.  Most gays don't know it is Republicans who would actually give them far more liberties.  Most Jews aren't impressed that Republicans are now the defenders of Israel and most blacks have never voted for a Republican.  Most unemployed, recent college grads think redistribution grows the economy.  All network news and nearly every major newspaper are in lockstep with DNC talking points."

And we have an Republican governor hugging Al Sharpton in a show of love, we have Monica Lewinsky receiving a standing ovation, and probably 70 million people in the country born somewhere else and all with a family member affected by immigration and a party that is in disarray and without leadership and a President with outright Communist ties and few if anyone who seems to care.

Were done.   Where can we go?  Levin keeps talking about State Legislators.  The Left has control of the 90 % of propaganda machine as you point out.   That won it for them.

That and making so many people dependent on government, and bringing in millions of people from other countries who want the good life but without the American ideals of responsibility, capatilism, competition, freedom from government etc.   

Only way out I see is a catastrophy that might wake up enough people to the reality of losing our freedoms and a prospect of total government Wall Street fascist control.


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G M
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« Reply #728 on: June 27, 2015, 08:27:03 PM »

We are fcuked.

Until the hard reboot.
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G M
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« Reply #729 on: July 18, 2015, 07:26:41 AM »

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/07/the_united_states_is_a_dying_country.html

True.
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ccp
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« Reply #730 on: July 18, 2015, 08:13:58 AM »

Tell that to Bezos, Page, Zuckerberg, Brin, and Goldman Sachs CEO.
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DDF
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« Reply #731 on: July 18, 2015, 05:36:29 PM »

We are fcuked.

Until the hard reboot.

I'm looking forward to it. There is a "reckoning" that needs to occur... a statement of the "way things are going to be."

Most people lack the stomach for it.
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Singing in the rain...
DougMacG
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« Reply #732 on: July 18, 2015, 10:32:38 PM »


Self-inflicted and still available.  Worse than self-inflicted, some are doing this to the rest of us.  More a homicide than an 'evolutionary process'.

If not for copyrights I would call the political path to steer away from this national death, die less often.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #733 on: July 29, 2015, 06:19:46 PM »

Opportunity for All,
Favoritism for None.

   - Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #734 on: July 31, 2015, 11:23:02 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/us/koch-brothers-brave-spotlight-to-try-to-alter-their-image.html?emc=edit_th_20150731&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
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