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Author Topic: The Way Forward for the American Creed  (Read 146939 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #750 on: December 20, 2015, 08:55:10 PM »


By Phil Gramm And
Michael Solon
Dec. 20, 2015 4:06 p.m. ET
163 COMMENTS

President Obama seems to aspire to join Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan as one of the three most transformative presidents of the past hundred years, and by all outward signs he has achieved that goal. But while Roosevelt and Reagan sold their programs to the American people and enacted them with bipartisan support, Mr. Obama jammed his partisan agenda down the public’s throat. The Obama legacy is built on executive orders, regulations and agency actions that can be overturned using the same authority Mr. Obama employed to put them in place.

An array of President Obama’s policies—changing immigration law, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, the Iranian nuclear agreement and the normalization of relations with Cuba, among others—were implemented exclusively through executive action. Because any president is free “to revoke, modify or supersede his own orders or those issued by a predecessor,” as the Congressional Research Service puts it, a Republican president could overturn every Obama executive action the moment after taking the oath of office.

At the beginning of the inaugural address, the new president could sign an executive order rescinding all of Mr. Obama’s executive orders deemed harmful to economic growth or constitutionally suspect. The new president could then establish a blue-ribbon commission to review all other Obama executive orders. Any order not reissued or amended in 60 days could be automatically rescinded.

Then there’s the trove of regulations used largely to push through policies that could have never passed Congress. For example, when President Obama in 2010 couldn’t ram through his climate-change legislation in a Democratic Senate, he used decades-old regulatory authority to inflict the green agenda on power plants and the auto industry.

This is far from the only example: Labor Department rules on fiduciary standards; the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that franchisees are joint employers; the Environmental Protection Agency’s power grab over water ways; the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to regulate the Internet as a 1930s telephone monopoly. All are illustrations of how President Obama has used rule-making not to carry out congressional intent but to circumvent it.

If the new president proves as committed to overturning these regulations as Mr. Obama was to implementing them, these rules could be amended or overturned. And because Senate Democrats “nuked” the right of the minority to filibuster administration nominees, the new president’s appointees could not be blocked by Democrats if Republicans retain control of the Senate.

To accelerate this process, the new president should name cabinet and agency appointees before the 115th Congress begins. He could declare an economic emergency and ask the agencies to initiate the rule-making process promptly. On the first day in the Oval Office the president could order federal agencies to halt consideration of all pending regulations—precisely as President Obama did.

Even when the Obama transformation is rooted in law, by demanding legislation that even the most liberal Congress in 75 years could not vote for in detail, he was forced to avoid program details, granting vast power to agencies to determine actual policy during implementation. Dodd-Frank granted extraordinary powers to financial regulators by leaving objectives vaguely defined: What the Volcker rule on bank trading means, what constitutes an acceptable “living will” for a financial institution, how international regulatory decisions work within U.S. law, and much more. If the new president nominated able, committed cabinet and agency leaders, many of Dodd-Frank’s worst provisions could be revised or reversed without legislative action.

As Congress debates repealing Dodd-Frank, the new president’s appointees could ensure that no financial institution is too big to fail, that Federal Reserve bureaucrats are removed from corporate boardrooms and that penalties for misconduct fall on individual offenders, not on innocent pensioners and other stockholders. The new president’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director will have the unilateral power to overturn each and every barrier erected against mortgage, auto and personal lending.

The Affordable Care Act also grants substantial flexibility in its implementation, a feature Mr. Obama has repeatedly exploited. The new president could suspend penalties for individuals and employers, enforce income-verification requirements, ease the premium shock on young enrollees by adjusting the community rating system, allow different pricing structures inside the exchanges and alter provider compensation. These actions could begin dismantling the most pernicious parts of ObamaCare and prevent its roots from deepening as Congress debates its repeal and replacement.

By relentlessly pursuing an agenda that was outside the political mainstream, Mr. Obama became the most polarizing president of the past century. Had he compromised with his own party and a handful of Republicans, much of his vision might have been firmly cemented into law on a bipartisan basis. But by doing it his way, Mr. Obama built an imposing sand castle that is now imperiled by the changing tides of voter sentiment. All the American electorate must do now is choose a president totally committed to overturning the Obama program—and Obama’s sand castle will be washed away.

Mr. Gramm, a former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Solon was budget adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and is currently a partner of U.S. Policy Metrics.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #751 on: December 24, 2015, 02:07:51 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uE-tqe0xsQ
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DougMacG
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« Reply #752 on: December 24, 2015, 09:17:48 AM »

From another thread:

American Creed= Free minds, free markets, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of contract, right of self-defense (hence guns and knives, etc) property rights, privacy, all connected with responsibility for the consequences of one's action.  All this from our Creator, not the State nor majority vote.

Simple and brilliant.  Not too many writers since the Founders ever stop and express this so clearly.

I would like to share this with my daughter pondering how to approach the issues as she comes out of a confusion called college.  Share this with Bigdog too.  He runs into a few young people.  And Conrad.  

Someone please tell the Syrian refugees and the people crossing our border, America isn't just a place on the map, it is a creed we share.

Creed =  a set of beliefs that guide one's actions.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #753 on: December 24, 2015, 11:02:00 AM »

I am honored you think it worthy of sharing with your daughter.  Please feel free.
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ccp
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« Reply #754 on: January 13, 2016, 11:21:37 AM »

I just emailed the Conservative review to inquire if they have a scorecard for governors like they do for senators and congressmen.

It is a good resource for those who want to get an objective measure of the conservativeness, if you will, of our elected officials.

Amazingly there are a few Republicans who are less conservative then many Democrats.  Even a few who score lower than even Pelosi or Reid!

I wonder about this Niki Halley SC governor.  She sounds like a rhino to me.  I don't trust her.

ESPECIALLY when even Democrats are lauding her speech.  That is a huge red flag to me!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #755 on: February 09, 2016, 10:23:57 AM »

In the tumultuous political times we are currently witnessing heading into this election year, it seems appropriate to be reminded why conservatism is the only chance America has to return to some semblance of normalcy after eight years of progressive politics.  Enter the Republican senator from Nebraska, Ben Sasse, who was recently asked by NBC's Chuck Todd to define conservatism. Sasse was more than happy -- giddy really -- to be asked such a question and delivered a most eloquent answer:

America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world because the U.S. Constitution is the best political document that's ever been written. Because it says something different than almost any people and any government has believed in human history.

Most governments in the past said, "Might makes right and the king has all the power and the people are dependent subjects." And the American founders said, "No! God gives us rights by nature and government is just our shared project to secure those rights."

Government is not the author or source of our rights and you don't make America great again by giving more power to one guy in Washington, D.C. You make America great again by recovering a constitutional republic where Washington is populated by people who are servant-leaders, who want to return power to the people and to the communities. Because what's great in America is the Rotary Club, it's small businesses, it's churches, it's schools, it's fire departments, and it's little leagues across this country. What makes America great is not some guy in Washington who says, "If I had more power, I could fix it all unilaterally." That's not the American tradition

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #756 on: March 17, 2016, 07:17:09 PM »

"For years, conservatives have told themselves the pretty bedtime story that they represent a silent majority in America — that most Americans want smaller government, individual rights and personal responsibility. We've suggested that if only we nominated precisely the right guy who says the right words — some illegally grown Ronald Reagan clone, perhaps — we'd win. Donald Trump's impending nomination puts all of that to bed. ... In order to rebuild, conservatives must recognize that they think individually; leftists think institutionally. While the left took over the universities — now bastions of pantywaist fascism hell-bent on destroying free speech — the right slept. While the left took over the public education system wholesale, the right fled to private schools and homeschooling. While the left utilized popular culture as a weapon, conservatives supposedly withdrew and turned off their televisions. Withdrawal, it turns out, wasn't the best option. Fighting back on all fronts is. Republicans need to worry less about the next election and significantly more about building a movement of informed Americans who actually understand American values. That movement must start with outreach to parents, and it must extend to the takeover of local institutions or defunding of government institutions outright. The left has bred a generation of Americans who do not recognize the American ideals of the Founding Fathers. Pretending otherwise means flailing uselessly as demagogues like Trump become faux-conservative standard-bearers." - Ben Shapiro
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ccp
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« Reply #757 on: June 27, 2016, 06:16:46 AM »

This article and others like show that the the establishment RIGHT is FINALLY getting it.   It took Trump.  It took Brexit.  I don't know how many believe in these concepts or agree with them (this is still a threat to many of them)  but at least many if not all of them are FINALLY GETTING IT:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437142/brexit-vote-racism-xenophobia-were-not-cause
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ccp
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« Reply #758 on: July 05, 2016, 09:29:38 AM »

VDH in his usual eloquent detail shows how he "gets it" .  So now I would like him to advise us on what to do about it.  Especially when we are up against the strategies of the left.  Buy votes, corruption, propaganda, and racial , gender and ethnic tactics .

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437454/american-elite-and-american-people
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ccp
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« Reply #759 on: July 10, 2016, 12:12:28 PM »

Is this our time to think like we are on  Dunkirk?

What is very interesting he doesn't mention Trump once.  He obviously has no confidence in Trump.
He also assumes that if we retreat and try to regroup that things will get worse and we can simply blame it on Dems and then come back driving the enemy back across the battle field to victory.  This is a huge assumption.  A huge gamble with EVERYTHING on the line.  All or nothing if you ask me.

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/07/listen-conservative-conscience-ep42
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ccp
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« Reply #760 on: July 11, 2016, 06:00:40 AM »

I took my dogs for a walk yesterday and was thinking about the analogy of Dunkirk when I remembered how lucky the British and the world was.   All Hitler had to do to completely capture the British army (and some French ) was to send in his armored divisions.  His not doing so was one of his biggest blunders.  I don't recall why he didn't.  I think it was he was being too cautious but he sent the tanks in the entire British army would have been captured and Britain lost.

Do using this analogy does anyone really think the Democrats would not send in the tanks if Hillary won?  The SCOTUS would be probably 6 to 3 liberals for possibly decades. 

No I cannot come to the conclusion we should hope Trump loses so the Republicans can "regroup" and plan "Normandy".  Time is not on our side.
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ccp
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« Reply #761 on: July 19, 2016, 07:35:25 AM »

Laura Ingraham states the theme should be

"Do we trust ourselves or the 'elites'?"  If we can shift the mentality away from race, gender, sexual preference, and free this and that at least for the "independents" then we have a chance IMHO:

http://www.lifezette.com/polizette/independence-new-capitalism/
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ccp
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« Reply #762 on: July 25, 2016, 08:18:57 AM »

I am glad to see this on Conservative Review today.  I agree with the opinion.  Interesting he compares Trump to both Samson and John Brown  cheesy

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/07/why-i-hope-donald-trump-wins
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DougMacG
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« Reply #763 on: August 04, 2016, 09:37:12 AM »

We have tried to define the American Creed from our point of view and chart a course for getting back on that track.  Crafty wrote:

American Creed= Free minds, free markets, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of contract, right of self-defense (hence guns and knives, etc) property rights, privacy, all connected with responsibility for the consequences of one's action.  All this from our Creator, not the State nor majority vote.

Sometimes I lament this would be a lot easier if the left was right.  Maybe we don't need individual rights, would be better off ruled by a faraway leftist world government.  Wouldn't it be great if lifting up the incomes and lives of all low wage earners was as simple as passing minimum wage law to any number mandated.  Wouldn't it be great if we could have left Saddam Hussein in power pursuing nuclear weapons, supporting terrorism and nothing bad would have come out of that.  Or we could leave Iraq without a status of forces agreement and nothing bad would happen.  Wouldn't it be great if we could just let Russia be the 'world's policeman' in the Middle East, it will come out fine and the US didn't have to do all the heavy lifting.  Let China benevolently dominate the South China Sea.  Wouldn't it be great if we could endlessly tax the rich and they would ignore the disincentives and keep earning, producing, investing and growing jobs and the economy, and if all of our basics like healthcare for everyone could be free to us, paid for by someone we don't even know or not even paid for at all...

Maybe a way of backing into a 'way forward' strategy is to ask the important questions backwards.  What are all the falsehoods we would have to believe true for the left to have the best path forward and our vision wrong?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #764 on: August 04, 2016, 01:46:31 PM »

I'm feeling a bit uneasy with "responsibility for the consequences for one's action" because of potential for it being misapplied to progressive purpose.

Therefore I now change it to:

"American Creed= Free minds, free markets, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of contract, right of self-defense (hence guns and knives, etc) property rights, privacy, all connected with responsibility for the disrespect for the rights of others. .  All this from our Creator, not the State nor majority vote."


"Maybe a way of backing into a 'way forward' strategy is to ask the important questions backwards.  What are all the falsehoods we would have to believe true for the left to have the best path forward and our vision wrong?"

A bit leery of this; is there a risk of this putting the attention on them instead of us?

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DougMacG
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« Reply #765 on: August 15, 2016, 11:43:50 PM »

“the CDC has determined that conservatism can’t be spread by casual contact.”
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ccp
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« Reply #766 on: August 24, 2016, 02:54:12 PM »

How about a proposal :

we rename the party the *Freedom for All Party*.

Most people don't get the concept of "Republican" .
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G M
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« Reply #767 on: September 10, 2016, 08:10:02 PM »

http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=8504

The Low-Trust State
Posted on September 7, 2016   

Social trust is one of those things that we know is important to economic growth, sound government and social stability. When the people of a society generally trust one another and wish to be trusted by others, their society prospers. The question that always arises is over causality. Some would argue that altruism is a biological trait that scales up to social trust. Others would argue that good government and the rule of law encourages positive economic growth, which in turn increases social trust. It is one of those topics that keeps academics busy.

The distinguishing characteristic of low-trust societies is a near total lack of trust in the state by the people. Russians, during the old Soviet Union, understood that everything that was said by the state was a lie of some sort. In fact, the only thing they could trust from the Bolsheviks was that whatever they said was untrue. This amplified the natural distrust of Russians as they did not have an authority to which they could appeal in order to arbitrate disputes. Contracts have to be enforceable before anyone will enter into them.

The point here is that you can debate the causality of social trust, but a society with a corrupt and untrustworthy state is going to be a low-trust society. Alternatively, to use the language of the pseudo-sciences, social trust correlates with public corruption. The causal arrows may point one way or both ways, but public corruption is a good proxy for social trust. There are measures of public corruption and the most popular is from these guys, who publish downloadable statistics every year for the pseudo-sciences.

Trust in the state is always going to drift over time, but you can spot some trends. Just take a look at the US over the last few decades. In the 1980’s, the savings and loan crisis put a lot of people in prison. Even some politicians got dinged for getting too cozy with the crooked bankers. A decade later we had the dot-com bubble and the accounting scandals, but no one went to jail. They just lost money. Less than a decade later we had the mortgage crisis and the crooks got bailed out by the government with taxpayer funds. This is a trend worth noticing.

Now, look around at what we are seeing today. The Clinton e-mail scandal is so outlandish, it is now threatening the rule of law. In the 70’s, Nixon was run from office from 18 missing minutes of tape. Clinton erased 17,000 emails, some may have been under subpoena. It is blazingly obvious that she and her cronies violated Federal law by mishandling classified information. The most logical explanation for all of this is they were selling it for cash through that ridiculous charity they run. A charity that has systematically violated the law with regards to accounting for donations.

How is it possible that this woman and her flunkies are not in jumpsuits waddling around Danbury FCI?

The first problem is the head of state appears to be a pathological liar. This Iran story is the sort of thing that used to bring down governments. It was certainly the sort of thing that should have administration officials hiring lawyers in preparation for the FBI visit. That would require an FBI that is not equally corrupt. Of course, the FBI is a product of the political class and ours is proving to be astonishingly corrupt. Today we learn that the politicians are conspiring to rig public hearings, which are the bedrock of popular government.

A certain amount of public corruption is to be expected. Politics will always attract shady characters, but it should also attract honest characters too. These are the folks that enjoy the boring work of good government. They police the system, enforce the rules and make public appeals for cleaning up the problems. Today, those people either do not exist or they have become too afraid to speak up. The American political class looks a lot like a corrupt police precinct. The crooks are in charge and they have inverted morality so that the honest fear detection by the corrupt.

It is not unreasonable to think that we may have passed the point where the political class can be expected to reform itself. Their unwillingness to even try to thwart the rise of these vulgar grifters from the Ozarks suggests the the political elite has lost the capacity to feel shame. Anyone willing to defend Hillary Clinton to the public is someone, who will lie about anything, violate any law, violate any taboo. That is a person lacking in anything resembling a soul. A political class populated with such people is a ruling class at war with itself, the very definition of a low trust state.

The truly frightening thing is that the only institution the public trusts is the military. Take a look at what is happening with the sports ball players protesting during the national anthem. This coming Sunday is 9/11 and even the most reptilian of Progressives are saying such a protest on that day would be a slap in the face to the men and women who serve the country. When no one trusts the ruling class, and the military is the only institution in which the public has faith, there is always one result. It does not have to be that way, but that’s the way it has always been.

At some level, some portion of the public understands this. The Trump phenomenon is not about Trump in the conventional sense. There’s a lot not to like about the man, but he is honest, he loves his countrymen and he is not doing this for the money. Whether or not he understands his role and the movement he is leading is unknown. Maybe his election will just be a false dawn and what follows is what always follows the onset of a low-trust state. If things are going to turn out different for us, Trump will win and usher in an era of reform.

Otherwise, what comes next will be much worse.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #768 on: September 13, 2016, 09:24:32 PM »



http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/restatement-on-flight-93/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #769 on: September 28, 2016, 10:29:41 AM »

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/after-the-republic/
After the Republic
By: Angelo M. Codevilla
September 27, 2016
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #770 on: October 19, 2016, 11:22:35 AM »

Don't agree with the articulation here 100%, but overall the analysis is worth considering:

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/restoring-americas-economic-mobility/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=101316c&utm_campaign=restoring-americas-economic-mobility
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ccp
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« Reply #771 on: October 31, 2016, 02:24:58 PM »

with a party that extorts money from some to give benefits to others?

ttp://www.nationalreview.com/article/441595/voter-demographics-diversifying-republicans-falling-behind

Without simply trying to pander even more?

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #772 on: November 01, 2016, 01:38:42 AM »

Outstanding question.

Reagan-Kemp answer: Growth, Opportunity, win-win.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #773 on: November 07, 2016, 01:26:22 AM »

For all our foresight about the Clintons, and our anger at her supporters and the pravdas who deceive them, we must also remember too what a profoundly flawed messenger Trump has been for the American Creed.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #774 on: November 07, 2016, 09:30:12 AM »

For all our foresight about the Clintons, and our anger at her supporters and the pravdas who deceive them, we must also remember too what a profoundly flawed messenger Trump has been for the American Creed.


Watching Hillary and Dem closing commercials, Trump is quite the flawed messenger based on these clips of un-Presidential utterances.  We warned Pat and others about that.  Commercials show children watching a TV with Trump saying nasty, bleeped things.  Clinton is worse but not on the surface level.

On policy, he is partly right and partly wrong.  A muddled message for me but he is connecting with other people on other levels, anger about globalization etc.

We still don't have a candidate who can explain why capitalism is better than socialism and freedom better than tyranny.

Wrong direction polls 2:1 over right course and we have a toss up election running against more of the same - at best.

It's an easy call for me to vote for him versus a crook who has her policies all wrong.  But it's a hard time to our use influence with others, moderate and liberal, to persuade them this is the time to jump to our side.
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ccp
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« Reply #775 on: November 10, 2016, 10:07:37 AM »

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/11/opportunity-ahead-a-conservative-mandate-if-we-can-keep-it
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DougMacG
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« Reply #776 on: November 10, 2016, 08:03:22 PM »

President George W Bush made this statement in his first press conference after the 2004 election that was perhaps the start of his rather sudden fall:

"The people made it clear what they wanted, I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and I intend to spend it."
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/04/uselections2004.usa20

This week conservatives and Republicans won the Presidency, Senate, House, 32 Governorships and close to 70% of the state legislative chambers across the fruited plain.  Someone wiser than George W Bush used to say something about the excessive end zone dance celebrations we often see, "act like you've been there before'.  That was former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Bud Grant.  The play was designed to go to the end zone.  That's where you expected it to go.  You are a professional, paid to do that and you did it.  Give the ball to the referee and get back to your team ready to play the rest of the game.

If Republicans or Trumpists think they already won it all, achieved it all, have political capital and are going to stick it to the other side just because of the outcome of the close vote count on Tuesday night, they might soon learn otherwise.  There is work to do.  

21 million people will lose health insurance in January if Trump and the Republicans simply cancel Obamacare without having a better plan in place.  Whatever the legislation is, it needs to go through a 51-49 Senate where rules require 60 votes - depending on what the meaning of rules is.  There will be a fight.

Tax reform has been talked about since the Harding administration.  Yes it can be done.  No it won't be easy.

The Penny Plan to cut spending is simple.  Telling Sean Hannity you support it was easy.  But no one has ever done it.

The first Supreme Court nomination is all but ready, coming from a list made and released.  Getting and winning a vote on the nominee is another matter.  A couple of Democrats on the committee (and all their activists) might still be pissed off.

20 or so candidates opined on how they would defeat ISIS.  Trump was the least specific about it.  Yet ISIS controls a good part of the Middle East and has attacks already planned all over the west.  This isn't a debate question anymore.  The plan you're not going to telegraph to the enemy needs to be in place, like now.  Good morning Mr. President, here is your briefing.  Guess what?  The real attack on the homeland isn't in the briefing.  Have a nice day.

Building the wall isn't an artist's rendition anymore.  Deciding who to deport and how isn't a political hypothetical anymore.

And for the Republicans in Congress, writing or repealing real legislation isn't as simple as opposing a President from the other party.  Real laws have real consequences, unintended ones too.

Britain, Canada and Mexico have all signaled willingness to re-open trade deals.  There is a hint of an opening with China too.  That doesn't mean these countries will accept our terms.  Simpler and better trade deals is a great idea.  The threat of a 40% tariff on consumers, a trade war or a new depression is not.

How about the federal dilemma of addressing the legalization of marijuana happening in many of the states, still against federal law.  Is there going to be a civil war against Colorado, Washington, California, Oregon and Massachusetts over pot laws or is the federal government going to make accommodation for what is now a reality in the states?  Even if legalization was a bad idea...

Nice election.  Everybody deserves a little credit.  We defeated an incompetent, inexperienced candidate under federal investigation with no charisma by -300,000 votes.  

Now there is work to do.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 02:02:40 AM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #777 on: November 10, 2016, 08:55:23 PM »



”Nice election.  Everybody deserves a little credit.  We defeated an incompetent, inexperienced candidate under federal investigation with no charisma by -300,000 votes. “

Doug wins best line of the week
grin
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #778 on: November 10, 2016, 10:07:37 PM »

 A lot of wisdom in that!!!
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DDF
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« Reply #779 on: November 11, 2016, 08:11:54 AM »

Wow..... put that way, just wow.

Edit: I'll add Doug, that not only do I agree with GC and GM, but that it is nice to have someone a little more to the Left around. You point out things that hadn't occurred to me, the leftist politicians being angry for instance. Senate 60 vote rule.

I have often wondered, just exactly what it was, Obama told every Republican in all of those last minute, phone calls and private meetings, in order to get them to flip their vote for Obamacare. Did he threaten them with death? Who knows... but they certainly flipped.

It will be interesting to see Trump's strategy. Similar to what you have stated... this isn't a game show anymore. "You're fired," isn't going to cut it.

It is curious what Obama said to them though, in order to get that to pass. Hell, they hadn't even read it. I read it and it took me a week. What did he tell them?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2016, 08:25:34 AM by DDF » Logged

It's all a matter of perspective.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #780 on: November 23, 2016, 11:37:38 AM »


Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442376/american-political-polarization-federalism-cure?utm_source=nr&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=unity-federalism&utm_content=roy
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #781 on: November 25, 2016, 11:45:18 PM »

This piece is addresses themes we have explored here previously and IMHO is worthy of serious contemplation.
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A Trump-Ryan Constitutional Revival
Wariness of Trump might inspire Republicans in Congress to give up lazy delegation and relearn the art of legislating.
By Christopher DeMuth
Nov. 25, 2016 5:11 p.m. ET

A central purpose of the American scheme of checks and balances is to draw out the distinctive strengths of the two political branches, executive and the legislature, while containing their distinctive weaknesses.

The scheme has not been working well of late. The consequences are unbridled executive growth into every cranny of commerce and society, and a bystander Congress. We have lapsed into autopilot government, rife with corruption and seemingly immune to incremental electoral correction.

These pathologies were a significant cause of the Trumpian political earthquake. And one of the many astonishing results of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Republican sweep on Election Day is that they have set the stage for a constitutional revival.

No, not by President Trump’s nominating and the Senate’s confirming Scalia-worthy constitutionalists to the Supreme Court and lower federal courts. That prospect was widely understood and apparently on the minds of many voters. Rather, the new president and Congress are poised to revive constitutional practices in their own branches.

One of these practices is results-oriented policy making—so-called transactional politics—an approximation of what the Founders meant by “deliberation.” Another, “checks and balances,” is vigorous policy competition between the executive branch and Congress. Both practices have fallen into disuse in what had seemed, until now, to be a continuing downward spiral of dysfunctional government.

A standard complaint about Washington politics is that it has become hyperpartisan and gridlocked. The complaint is lodged by Democrats and Republicans when they are not getting their way, and they are right. The federal government is frequently hostage to ideological posturing in both parties and pre-emptive rejection of compromise with the evildoers in the other party. Recent examples include ObamaCare—a huge (in the pre-Trump sense of the term) expansion of the welfare state enacted on strictly partisan lines; the collapse of the 2011 Obama-Boehner debt-reduction deal following a White House stab at new tax increases; the Ted Cruz-inspired 2013 government shutdown; and the constant Tea Party sabotaging of the Republican leadership at the least hint of legislative compromise.

Spectacles such as these have given rise to a new school of political realism, led by Jonathan Rauch,Richard H. Pildes,Frances E. Lee and other scholars. Their essential argument, in Mr. Rauch’s words, is “that transactional politics—the everyday give-and-take of dickering and compromise—is the essential work of governing and that government, and thus democracy, won’t work if leaders can’t make deals and make them stick.”

The realists vary in their personal politics. They are united in understanding that, in a nation of diverse and conflicting views, civil peace and productive government require more than trumpeting one’s own positions and seeking to defeat one’s opponents at the ballot box. They also require accommodation through dialogue, negotiation and practical compromise.

The Trump insurgency was long on trumpeting. The president-elect fought his way to victory with unorthodox, fiercely controversial policy positions, insulting criticism of his opponents and the Washington establishment, brazen defiance of every canon of political correctness and a taste for overstatement and talent for entertainment.

All of this was, however, accompanied by a strong basso continuo: the candidate’s business experience, financial independence, and fabled prowess at negotiation and “the art of the deal.” Office seekers always say that their particular experience is what the times require, but Mr. Trump was doing more. When reporters complained that his brief, broadly worded tax-reform proposal lacked specifics, he replied dismissively that detailed campaign position papers are media fodder of little interest to voters. If he were elected, the specifics would depend on negotiations among “me and lots of congressmen and lots of senators.”

In combination, candidate Trump’s audacious policy positions, belligerent rhetoric and zest for deal making seem designed to establish his bona fides as the people’s own Washington wheeler-dealer. The postelection reports on his “backing off” or “reneging” on some of his campaign commitments miss the larger dynamic. The Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito reports that many Trump voters are also thorough political realists who trust their man. The president-elect, in his election night remarks, insisted that his victory would be as “historic” as everyone was proclaiming only if he did a “great job” parlaying it into practical results.

In attempting to make great on his electoral triumph, President Trump will not have the reflexive support of party stalwarts on Capitol Hill that his recent predecessors have enjoyed. His triumph in the Republican primaries was a hostile takeover. He treated congressional Republicans and their leaders with contempt throughout the campaign. Many of them made clear the feeling was mutual, and some refused to support him.

The bruises will heal to some extent—and practicing politicians have to be impressed at how the outsider’s bold proposals and roughhouse style attracted millions of new voters. Yet sharp differences will remain. While some of the president-elect’s positions are solidly Republican (ObamaCare replacement, tax reduction, deregulation), others are nervous-making departures (immigration) and some are outright heresies (trade protectionism, antitrust activism, public-works projects). And Mr. Trump’s aversion to entitlements reform has undercut House Speaker Paul Ryan’s long and careful preparations for finally facing up to the problem.

Under the circumstances, Congress is bound to recover and assert many of its long-neglected legislative prerogatives. In recent decades, our scheme of separated powers has been supplanted by party solidarity between presidents and their congressional co-partisans. (“Separation of Parties, Not Powers” is the title of an influential 2006 study of this development by Daryl J. Levinson and Richard H. Pildes.)

Members of Congress have increasingly acted out of loyalty to party rather than to Congress as an independent constitutional branch. They support or obstruct administration initiatives along partisan lines, and when in support they receive fundraising and bureaucratic favors from the president in return. During periods of party-unified government, congressional majorities delegate broad lawmaking powers to the executive, as in the Affordable Care and Dodd-Frank acts, that are almost impossible to recover when divided government returns. Congressional minorities allied with the president, employing the Senate filibuster and other supermajority rules, ensure that Congress turns a blind eye to executive abuses, as in the recent IRS and Veterans hospital scandals.

Party partisanship is one (not the only) cause of the emergence of unilateral executive government. That’s where the president and the hundreds of agencies reporting to him exercise legislative powers that previously required congressional action. But our new president is more populist than partisan, and the Republican Party has suddenly become, thanks to him, a true big-tent party, as heterogeneous and raucous as the Democratic Party of the mid-20th century.

If the congressional Republicans want to be full players in this new dispensation, they are going to have to reinstitute annual budgeting and appropriations for executive-branch agencies. This is essential for calibrating how the funds are spent, and also for using “budget reconciliation” to begin reforming the Senate’s incapacitating supermajority rules.

If they want to participate in charting new courses for health-care, tax and immigration policy and financial regulation, they are going to have to give up lazy policy delegation to the executive and relearn the arts of legislating and collective choice. And if President Trump should try to settle these and similarly momentous matters through Obama-style executive decrees, they are going to have to cry foul and make it stick.

The hard intraparty contention of the 2016 campaign has prepared the congressional Republicans for this. President-elect Trump’s obvious relish for transactional politics, and the largeness of his ambitions, suggests that he is prepared as well. The likely evanescence of Barack Obama’s Congress-free domestic and foreign initiatives—the already voided immigration policies, the Clean Power Plan, the Iran deal, national rules for bathroom etiquette—should inspire everyone to stay at the table. It is true that candidate Trump expressed admiration for President Obama’s executive unilateralism. But it is also true that Congress often resorts to equally dubious micromanagement of executive-branch operations. Herein are the makings for a mutually productive entente.

These would be healthy developments for our constitutional order. Presidents have the strengths of action, decisiveness, high aspiration and a national political mandate—along with the weaknesses of overreaching, insularity and concentration of power. They oversee a bureaucratic empire too vast for any one man to keep track of, and so powerful that abuse and corruption are commonplace.

Congresses have the strengths of full-spectrum political representation, 535 state and local mandates, and responsiveness to shifting popular concerns and a soft spot for human-rights minorities at home and abroad—along with the weaknesses of parochialism, irresolution, decision-by-committee and herd mentality.

We need more of the strengths and less of the weaknesses. But transactional politics and interbranch rivalry are no guarantee of happy outcomes, which depend ultimately on the constitution of the participants. The record of tough-guy political outsiders is less than great. Businessman Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, and muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, came to office promising to upend the status quo. But when they discovered how entrenched and hard-bitten the status quo really was, they promptly folded, contented themselves with mere celebrity, and accomplished nothing.

A separate risk is from the bipartisan innovation, going back to the 1970s, of continuous borrowing and increasing debt to sustain popular entitlement spending for the time being. Relaxing the fiscal constraint—the need to match spending on current consumption with current tax revenues—can make results-oriented political bargaining all too easy. With these and other temptations abundant in modern politics, we may say that constitutional government is a necessary but not sufficient condition of democratic recovery.

Mr. DeMuth is a distinguished fellow at Hudson Institute. He was formerly president of the American Enterprise Institute and worked at the White House and Office of Management and Budget in the Nixon and Reagan administrations.
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