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G M
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« Reply #950 on: August 19, 2013, 12:28:38 PM »

I was actually a registered dem for a while, trying to get a sleazy sheriff out of office. Unfortunately, the guy I helped didn't turn out too much better when he got into office.
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ccp
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« Reply #951 on: August 21, 2013, 11:31:38 AM »

I tried to post this under future of republican party but instead of reply all I see is "notify"

Someone said it best on radio the other day.  I can't remember but I think it was Hannity.  The Bush wing of the Republican party is all about "managing" the decline of conservative as opposed to the real right which is about standing for something.  If we don't stand now we will ultimately watch the liberal agenda win.


*****And they're on their way to losing the next presidential election, too
A new Gallup poll finds the summer has once again not been kind to President Obama, with his approval rate dipping yet again. In fact, August has historically been the worst month for his approval rating throughout his presidency.

But there's a big difference this year: Republicans have had a worse summer.

Halfway through the August recess, congressional Republicans are still fighting with each other over the direction of their party. While they're united in hating ObamaCare, they have no coherent strategy for confronting Democrats and the president. Some want to shut down the government in an attempt to defund ObamaCare, some want to use the debt ceiling as leverage, and some think both ideas are nuts.

Newt Gingrich even slammed Republicans for having "zero answer" when it comes to an alternative health care plan.

The battle highlights a huge divide in the Republican Party, which impacts nearly every issue before Congress. Ten months after a brutal loss in the 2012 election, the battle for the heart and soul of the party rages.

GOP strategist Mike Murphy elegantly summed up the problem: "The party is acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary. That is a very dangerous way to operate. We have massive image problems with the greater electorate, and the silly antics of the purist wing are making our dire problems even worse."*****
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bigdog
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« Reply #952 on: August 23, 2013, 05:50:37 AM »

Interesting discussion of the politics and history of White House pets. To be read in tandem:

http://home.gwu.edu/~esaunder/UnleashingPresidentialPower.pdf

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/20/sunny-obama-the-new-white-house-puppy-in-charts/?wprss=rss_national&clsrd
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #953 on: September 04, 2013, 10:53:26 AM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/business/economy/business-losing-clout-in-a-gop-moving-right.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130904
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #954 on: September 20, 2013, 10:54:46 PM »

bama's Bluff

President Obama has adopted the unsustainable position that he will not negotiate with Congress over spending and the debt ceiling. He is betting he can get Republicans to fold without having to give up anything he wants.
That’s why we’re hearing ridiculous claims from him like the one he made speaking to the Business Roundtable this week: "You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt being used to extort a president or a governing party and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and nothing to do with the debt."
This is nonsense, of course. As Speaker of the House John Boehner pointed out recently, “every major effort to deal with the deficit over the past 30 years has been tied to the debt limit."
Moreover, the implication that Obamacare has “nothing to do with the budget and nothing to do with the debt” is simply dishonest. The law accounts for a large part of the budget and we now know that it will cost twice as much in the next ten years as President Obama promised before it was passed.
Despite the massive increase in cost and with evidence of the law’s harmful effects piling up, most Democrats and a substantial number of Republicans seem content to maintain the present course, following the president who says he will not negotiate with Congress.
The truth is the President may soon be forced to negotiate. The Republican House today boldly passed a spending bill without funding to implement Obamacare, which many commentators are predicting could lead to a government shutdown.
This is a big step. It is very hard to change the status quo in Washington because most people in Washington do not want to change the status quo. If you really want to change things, you need to turn up the heat enough to force the old order to act. That’s how you bring negotiating partners to the table.
In 1995 and 1996, the government closed twice when the Republican Congress and President Clinton could not reach an agreement on spending. It is conventional wisdom in Washington and in the news media that this was a major mistake for Republicans. But that view is completely wrong. Before we took over the House in 1994, we had promised the voters we would fight for balanced budgets. We proved to the country we were serious about it, and more importantly, we proved to President Clinton that we were serious. The balanced budgets of the next four years were a direct result of those shutdowns. The heat convinced President Clinton that he had to negotiate.
President Obama may be in for a similar surprise after today’s vote, a first step that could eventually force him to abandon his counterproductive pledge not to negotiate with Congress. If he continues to refuse, the government he runs will close--and the American people will begin to wonder why he refuses to make a deal. They may not be as firmly on his side as he expects. A Rasmussen poll this week found that 51 percent of Americans favor a partial government shutdown until Congress and the President agree on cuts to spending on the health care law.
When we see this level of conflict in Washington, it’s not because either side is stupid, and it’s not because they’re playing games. It’s because one group wants to keep everything the same and the other group wants change. Eventually the situation will heat up enough and each side will have to negotiate.
Your Friend,
Newt
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DougMacG
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« Reply #955 on: September 21, 2013, 12:02:17 PM »

Newt has this quite right. Why would you fund what you were elected to oppose, and how else will you stop it - if not now?!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #956 on: September 21, 2013, 12:19:51 PM »

Quite infuriating is the misportrayal of the Reps efforts as "shutting down the government"".

NO! NO! NO!

The Reps are funding EVERYTHING EXCEPT Obamacare!!!

If there is a govt. shutdown it will be because of the Dems!!!

If the Reps lack the mind, heart, and balls to make this point loudly and clearly, this can turn out as disastrously as Karl Rove predicts.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #957 on: September 27, 2013, 04:37:45 PM »

From an informal e-missive he sends out:

The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg
            Sept. 27, 2013
           
             
               
                 
                    Deer Readers (Really people, there are easier things to get your
news from than ruminant mammals. They're covered in ticks, and
they won't stand still. Get an iPad),
                    Okay, so I wrote the bulk of this "news"letter yesterday and I
was in a pretty foul mood. After a good night's sleep, I'm a
little less whiny, but I don't really have much time to write a
new one. So this will be one of the rare instances where my
normal column is more G-Filey than the G-File. An excerpt
 :
                   
                      For instance, here's Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who
walked out of the painting American Gothic to deliver this
homespun wisdom: "We're not going to bow to tea-party
anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law.
We will not bow to tea-party anarchists who refuse to accept
that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is
constitutional."
                      Where to begin? For starters, I know a great many
self-described members of the Tea Party, and I've yet to meet
one who would not acknowledge — admittedly with dismay — that
Obamacare is the law. Nor have I met one unwilling to concede
that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is constitutional.
Though from my informal polling, I can report that most think
the Court's reasoning left much to be desired (logic,
persuasiveness,
consistency, etc.).
                      Lurking beneath such lazy rhetoric is a nasty psychological
insinuation that there's something deranged not just about
opposing Obamacare, but about being a conservative. This is an
ancient smear, used to discredit conservatives in order to
avoid debating them.
                      Reid is a dim and sallow man whose tin ear long ago started to
rust. But it's worth pointing out that "anarchy" is not
defined in any textbook or dictionary I can find as "the
absence of Obamacare." While, yes, it's true that Mad Max,
most zombie movies, and other post-apocalyptic films are set
in worlds without Obamacare, that's really not the most
salient factor.
                   
                    Okay, now onto yesterday's G-File today.
                    Dear Readers and the other kind,
                    Personally, this week has been like watching Michael Moore doing
a nude yoga routine, unendurably ugly from beginning to end, yet
with a few moments of dark comedy in between. And it's only
Thursday (Yes, I'm trying to write this a day early because
family issues will take priority in the morning).
                    I'm only referring in part to the political spectacle, but let's
focus on that right now. We've seen these kinds of arguments
quite a few times over the last decade. I could recount the
episodes, but at least in my memory their intensity has never
been this bad or widespread. While I think every individual
person has his own reasons, as a generalization I think there
are two factors driving pretty much everyone's crankiness.
                    The Weariness of Defeat
                    First, we're exhausted. Some may be exhausted with the fighting,
as Ted Cruz and others contend, but I think more are exhausted
by the losing -- or at least the feeling that we're losing.
People have diverse reactions when they feel like they're
losing. Some quit, sure. But I don't think there's a lot of
quitting on the right these days.
                    There are at least two other kinds of responses to the sense of
defeat. Some decide to go all out in one last frontal assault.
Others opt to grow more selective in their battles. Sonny
Corleone wanted to brawl, right now. Michael Corleone wanted to
play it cool until the right moment came along. Some boxers,
sensing the bout is getting away from them, go for the knockout
as quickly as possible. Others decide to lay back until their
opponent
tires himself out. In the Battle of Pharsalus, Pompey reluctantly went for the quick
coup de grâce and lost it all. Caesar, left with the option to fight or die, chose
to fight and won. Whatever, pick your own damn metaphor.
                    The point that I think is really, really, important is that
neither option is right or wrong in the abstract. It all depends
on the situation. More on that in a moment.
                    The Clarity of Fear
                    The second factor, I think, is that we're all afraid. And I
don't mean that in the way the people shouting at me from their
electronic perches mean it. I mean we're all patriots. We all
believe that Obamacare is a disaster and could fundamentally
transform America in ways that will hurt it.
                    (As an aside, it's worth noting again that there is something
fundamentally unpatriotic in the yearning to fundamentally
transform your country. I love my wife. Inherent to loving her
is loving her for who she is. Gentlemen, turn to your wife and
say, "Honey, I love you completely. It's just that I want to
fundamentally transform you into someone else." See how that
plays out. If you want to fundamentally transform the object of
your
affection so that it conforms to your fantasies, that is not love, it is lust.)
                    I've never liked the glib way people denigrate fear as if it's a
character flaw. There is nothing wrong or cowardly about being
afraid. A good father is afraid when his child is in harm's way.
A good commanding officer is afraid when his men are under fire.
Fear is like pain -- it tells you something you need to know. I
don't believe any man is fearless, but if such a person exists
he is a fool. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the
triumph over it. In other words, what you do with your fear is the true test of
character.
                    To love is to fear, because love demands that you invest your
faith and happiness in something or someone outside of yourself
and that is a kind of surrender. It is a surrendering of your
narrow self-interest to something that ultimately you cannot
fully control, and that is inherently frightening. Patriotism,
stripped of complication and theory is, simply love of country.
And most conservatives who love their country have that hollow
queasy
feeling in the pits of their stomachs -- like that angst you get when you can't find
your child at the Mall -- that something they love is in danger.
                    This is what unites the factions in the argument currently
splitting the Right. We are members of the same family arguing
about what to do about something we love when we fear she is
about to be harmed.
                    The Airing of My Grievances
                    I'm done arguing the tactics for now. Everyone knows that stuff
at this point, or at least they should. I've had long talks with
people on the other side of the argument this week, including
some quite close to Ted Cruz. I'll confess to the mistake of not
listening more closely to them sooner. I'm more sympathetic to
Cruz's gambit at the end of this week than I was at the
beginning. But I still think his plan wouldn't work even if all
of his
critics agreed to participate in a strategy they sincerely believed would fail. Lack
of Republican unity behind a flawed idea is not the reason the idea is flawed. But I
can tell you this: I sincerely and with all my heart hope I am wrong.
                    The Cruz Side & the Dark Side
                    And while my sympathy for Cruz's effort has grown, and my
admiration for his performance on the Senate floor is sincere
and deep, I also find his criticism of people who disagree with
him utterly indefensible on its face. He says:
                   
                      If we look to a ragtag bunch of colonists in the 18th century,
the idea that we would stand up to Great Britain, the British
army -- the most mighty military force on the face of the
planet -- was impossible. It can't be done. I guarantee that
all of the pundits we see going on TV and intoning in deep
baritone voices: This cannot be done -- if we were back in the
18th century, they would be writing messages in dark ink and
sending it by
carrier pigeon, saying: This cannot be done. You can't stand up to the British army.
It can't be done. It is impossible. Accept your subjugation. Accept your taxation
without representation. Accept that this is impossible.
                   
                    And:
                   
                      You know, if you fast-forward to the Civil War, a time of
enormous pain, anguish, bloodshed in the United States, there
were a lot of voices then who said the Union cannot be saved.
Can't be done. Accept defeat. I suspect those same pundits,
had they been around in the mid 19th century, they would have
written those same columns . . . this cannot be done.

                   
                    And:
                   
                      I suspect those same pundits who say it can't be done, if it
had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them. .
. . They would have been on TV [sic] and they would have been
saying, you cannot defeat the Germans.

                   
                    I'll admit it: I take this personally. The mere suggestion that
because I disagree with Ted Cruz's legislative strategy I would
acquiesce to the Nazis conquering Europe and finishing the Final
Solution is repugnant. The idea that I would surrender not only
to the dissolution of the Union but the perpetuation of slavery,
simply because I don't think you can force Barack Obama to sign
into law the elimination of Obamacare, is a slander. The claim
that if you disagree with him you are no different than Royalists denying the
righteousness of the American Revolution is ridiculous.
                    Now I know Ted Cruz a little, and I've always liked him when I
talked to him. Some of my closest friends and colleagues are
good friends of his. But the most charitable I can be on this
score is that I am entirely open to the idea that Cruz doesn't
actually believe this and he's just letting the rhetoric get
away from him. Perhaps he hasn't thought it through -- something
that's hard to believe given how smart and intellectually
meticulous he
is. Or maybe he does realize what he is saying, but thinks the stakes warrant giving
dissenters no honorable room to disagree with him. Neither, by my lights, is an
excuse.
                    By the way, the more apt analogy to World War II would be that
we are in the midst of the Sitzkrieg, or maybe the early days
after Pearl Harbor or some other time when war had already been
declared but the necessary assets for victory weren't in place
yet. We must invade Europe now, say the Cruzers, or Hitler will
win. No, we've got to wait until we can
actually win the inevitable fight.
                    It's not a great analogy, but it captures the fact that the
people Cruz is accusing of cowardice have actually spent years
doing what they can to stop Obamacare. That Eisenhower waited
until June of 1944 to land at Normandy did not mean he wanted
Hitler to win in June of 1943.

                    Taking It Personally

                    But my anger isn't really aimed at Ted Cruz anymore, in part
because I still want him to succeed and prove me wrong. It's at
you, Dear Reader. Well, maybe not you or you, but definitely
you.

                    When writing a letter to many thousands of people, it's hard to
narrowcast to a relatively few individuals. But those
individuals know who they are. In the last week, in e-mails,
comments sections, and on Twitter, I've heard from lots of
people who think that because I am not swept up in Cruz-mania
that I am therefore a sell-out, a fake conservative, a coward
(or even a pro-Confederacy, Nazi-stooge Royalist).

                    Look, I'm a big boy ("literally and figuratively" -- the Couch),
and I've been through this more times than I can count. But that
doesn't mean it becomes any less insulting or dispiriting. I'm
not trying to play the martyr, and I fully recognize that the
issues here are mountains and my personal feelings are a grain
of sand in comparison. But when people who've been reading and
corresponding with me for years glibly accuse me of abandoning
my principles out of a desire to get more invitations to "cocktail parties" it pisses
me off.
     
               I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. I admit I've
gotten things wrong plenty of times (more than that if you
listen to my wife or my couch). But I forwent invitations to
liberal cocktail parties long before I got dragged into the
Lewinsky scandal. And any remaining microscopic chance at
liberal love went out the window with a book called Liberal
Fascism. Before and after those personal landmarks is a road
paved with literally millions of words in defense of conservative principles and causes, as I
see them. The only thing that might get me invited to Andrea Mitchell's house for a
martini is if I pulled a full David Brock, which is about as enticing a prospect as
being Roseanne Barr's personal proctologist. Besides, I grew up on the Upper West
Side of Manhattan. I've been to liberal cocktail parties. They're not that great.
               
    Again, this isn't about me -- but this "news"letter pretty much
is! And the only way it works is if I vent what's on my mind.
And the only way I know how to be a pundit is to say what I
think. Obviously, there is a tension between being part of a
movement and maintaining independence. But I think the Dick
Morris approach of saying what your fans want to hear regardless
of the truth is not merely dishonest, but dishonorable.

                    In fact, anyone in my line of work who tells his audience only
what it wants to hear isn't really in my line of work. He's an
entertainer or cheerleader. There's a need for such people in
any movement, and while I don't think you have to be all one or
the other (I'll cheerlead from time to time), the second you
start saying things you don't think are true, you've declared
yourself a hack or an entertainer or politician, none of which
are what I signed up for. And, since we're on this honesty kick, when well-compensated
commentators whose whole business model is to tell their audiences exactly what they
want to hear say that I or National Review are "selling out" by disagreeing with our
readers, it stews my bowels. In purely financial terms, there's only downside for me
to disagree with the people who buy my books or read my columns. For National
Review, taking unpopular positions on the right doesn't add to the
subscription rolls.

                    Anyway, I know, I know this G-File is lacking in the requisite
jocularity. But frankly that's because some of you pissed me
off. Not because you disagreed with me, but because you didn't
give me the benefit of the doubt -- which I think I've earned
from you, and you, and maybe not you, because you're new around
here.
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G M
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« Reply #958 on: October 01, 2013, 07:03:03 PM »

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114945/two-russians-walk-parliamentary-crisis


HISTORY LESSON
OCTOBER 1, 2013





Two Russians Walk Into a Parliamentary Crisis...
 BY JULIA IOFFE @juliaioffe




What is a president in a presidential constitutional republic to do when faced with an intransigent, bull-headed faction among his people's representatives?

Well, Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically elected president, was once faced with a similar situation exactly 20 years ago, in October 1993. The parliament, then called the Supreme Soviet, was increasingly against Yeltsin's neoliberal economic reforms (suggested to him by young Western advisors like Jeffrey Sachs). On one hand, these reforms freed up the old Soviet command economy. On the other, they drove the country into chaos and violence, and left tens of millions impoverished, their savings nullified by skyrocketing inflation. The parliament, dominated by old Soviet conservatives, was increasingly against these reforms and refused to confirm Yeltsin's key economic advisor. Yeltsin held a national referendum, a sort of national vote of confidence, which he won, and used it as a justification for what he did next.




Almost exactly 20 years ago, he dissolved parliament. The vice president and the speaker of the parliament dissolved Yeltsin's presidency, and holed up with their supporters in the parliament's headquarters, now known as "the White House."

Then Yeltsin did this to it.

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bigdog
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« Reply #959 on: October 15, 2013, 07:14:32 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Jd-iaYLO1A&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D0Jd-iaYLO1A&app=desktop

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/328413-dems-decry-midnight-rule-change
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #960 on: October 15, 2013, 10:30:53 AM »

BD:  Let's put those in the Congress thread as well please.
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bigdog
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« Reply #961 on: October 16, 2013, 06:56:39 AM »

I started listening to this a few weeks ago. An interesting, (pretty) insider look at DC politics. Currently, of course, the shutdown/budget issues are the topic of discussion, but that need not be the case. Longtime US REP. John Dingell was on the show yesterday.

I forgot the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/backroompolitics/2013/10/15/live-from-washington-dc
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 06:12:51 AM by bigdog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #962 on: October 16, 2013, 12:02:19 PM »

CNN has revived "Crossfire" with Cutter and XX Ship (or something like that) most days with two guests and on some days with Newt and Van Jones as well.  About two days ago there was a scintillating discussion with Newt, Cutter (who is in serious need of some bitch slapping) not-stupid Obama econ flunky Goolsbie, and Carly Fiorina (former CEO of Hewlett Packard and former Rep candidate for US Senate from CA.

Fiorina, whom I did not care for while she was at HP nor while she was a candidate for Senate, actually impressed me greatly.  Apparently, in the way of many Reps, as a candidate she felt she could not be candid, but here she revealed herself to be quite well informed, quite thoughtful, quite articulate, and quite classy.
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bigdog
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« Reply #963 on: October 18, 2013, 01:30:08 PM »

http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/10/shane-harris-on-heritage-and-lawfare/

From the article:

Recently, Heritage refused to publish two papers about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs written by a prominent conservative attorney. Why? Because he concluded that the programs were legal and constitutional, according to sources familiar with the matter. It was a surprising move for a think tank that has supported extension of the Patriot Act — which authorizes some of NSA’s activities — and has long been associated with right-of-center positions on national security and foreign policy.

. . .

But the think tank’s decision not to publish Bradbury’s opinions did not bury them.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #964 on: October 18, 2013, 02:01:35 PM »

http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/10/shane-harris-on-heritage-and-lawfare/
From the article:
Recently, Heritage refused to publish two papers about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs written by a prominent conservative attorney. Why? Because he concluded that the programs were legal and constitutional, according to sources familiar with the matter. It was a surprising move for a think tank that has supported extension of the Patriot Act — which authorizes some of NSA’s activities — and has long been associated with right-of-center positions on national security and foreign policy.
. . .
But the think tank’s decision not to publish Bradbury’s opinions did not bury them.

I don't know about the wisdom of refusing to publish, but their publishing is seen as their endorsement of a view.  NSA and the Patriot Act powers are certainly issues that divide the right.

Heritage also just opposed the Medical Device Tax Repeal in the budget deal.  Huh  http://heritageaction.com/press-releases/heritage-action-statement-on-houses-obamacare-delay/  Because it leaves everything else in place. 

Conservatives are very busy questioning each others tactics - while accomplishing nothing.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #965 on: October 18, 2013, 05:26:46 PM »

The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg
October 18, 2013

Dear Reader (and those poor Hawaiians who bizarrely got this "news"letter as an error warning while trying to log on to Healthcare.gov),

Maybe it's my sleep deprivation. Maybe it's the fact I spent yesterday afternoon like Martin Sheen in his Saigon hotel room in Apocalypse Now doing tai chi amidst empty whisky bottles. Maybe, just maybe, it's the fact that I can't get the song "The Mighty Quinn" out of my head, but I feel pretty good about the state of things.
Don't get me wrong, I still think things are messier than my aforementioned hotel room and I'm not jumping for joy the way I will when Quinn the Eskimo gets here. I also stand by all of the comments that have elicited more bile from my colleagues on the right than a bulimia party on the set of America's Next Top Model after the Ben and Jerry's product-placement episode.

One fellow on Twitter proclaimed that Jonah Goldberg is "Saul Alinskying the Tea Party and he doesn't even know it. #MediaBubble" because I said on Fox yesterday that the Tea Party comes out of this more internally galvanized but externally more radioactive among Americans outside its sphere. This guy has an elephantine epidermis compared to the other thin-skinned responses I've gotten to my utterly banal observation. Some have skin thinner than the slightly congealed cream on the surface of an old cup of coffee. Others don't even seem to have a skin at all, and are simply walking around like flayed souls flinching at even the sight of a bottle of lemon juice.

The complaint seems to be that it is wrong to suggest that the Tea Parties came out of this fight with their brand or reputation diminished among non-tea-partiers, even if it is objectively true (or if that's too tendentious, even if it's what I truly believe). It's difficult for me to catalogue all the ways I think this is silly. For starters, there's nothing ad hominem about the statement.

For instance, if I were to say that Barry Goldwater became more "radioactive" when he said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" it would be a true observation. That wouldn't mean, however, that I disagreed with what Goldwater said.

Moreover, radioactivity is the whole point! That's what the Tea Party does. It reminds me of Charlie Cooke's response to a C-SPAN caller's asking, "Why can't guns be safer?" He answered: "Because they're guns."

If the Tea Party isn't pissing someone off, it's doing it wrong.

Like the skinny guy everyone in prison is afraid of, much of the Tea Party's political power is drawn from the perception that it's just a little crazy. Boehner's hand has been strengthened over the last few years by his ability to tell Obama, "Hey, look, I'd love to cut a deal with you but you see those guys over my right shoulder? -- DON'T LOOK THEM IN THE EYE! They are crazy and if I walk back there with what you're offering they will rip off my legs and beat me to death with them. And then they will get mean."

So why did I get crosswise with them this time? Because I didn't think their strategy would work. But going over all that again feels like airing dirty laundry during Thanksgiving dinner just so you can get grandma riled up about grandpa's escapades during the war. "You weren't fighting Communists! You were fighting syphilis! We're going home!"

Still, like most of my colleagues, I didn't think the strategy would work. And that was a risk for the Tea Parties themselves. Sometimes to use power means to lose power. Good hostage-takers are always careful to ask for a ransom the victim's families can afford to pay, otherwise what's the point?

Indiana Jones and the Tea Party of the Lost Ark

In a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon introduces his girlfriend, Amy, to the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which she'd never seen before. She liked the movie, she explains, despite the big "story problem." Sheldon is aghast at the suggestion there could be any story problems with the "love child" of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. "What story problem?" he demands to know. She explains that Indiana Jones is absolutely irrelevant to the story. If he'd never gotten involved, the Nazis would have still found the ark of the covenant, they would have still brought it to that island, and they would have still had their faces melted.

I'd never thought of it that way before, but it's actually a very close parallel complaint to the one I've written about many times. My dad -- who loved the movie -- always laughed at the idea that the Nazis would be able to use the ark for their dastardly purposes. The idea that God would be like, "Darn, it's out of my hands. I guess I have no choice but to lend you my awesome powers for your evil deeds," is pretty ridiculous. They even returned to this idea in the third movie, when the Nazis tried to get their hands on the Holy Grail -- because, you know, Jesus would totally say, "Nazis!? Rats. There's nothing I can do. It's life everlasting for the SS!"
I'm no theologian, but I just have a hard time believing that's how God rolls.

Anyway, I bring this up because I think you can say something similar about the last few weeks. There was a whole lot of action, but at the end of the day, things worked out the way they were going to all along. I'm sure there's a really good extended metaphor in here somewhere. Default was the face-melting ark, but we looked away at the last minute. Or defunding Obamacare was the Holy Grail, or something like that. But I want to get back to why I feel pretty good about how things worked out.

Obamacare: The Horror

While I think the notion that we wouldn't be talking about Obamacare were it not for Ted Cruz's filibuster is simply untrue, the fact that he laid down that marker, and forced everyone in the party to do likewise, will almost certainly work to the Right's advantage down the road. We can all argue about how unpopular the shutdown really was and how damaged the party brand is, but my guess is that the worst of it has to be behind us. The shutdown will fade from memory while the Obamanation of Obamacare will grow. If you read the Wall Street Journal story today alongside Yuval's post in the Corner, it's becoming ever more clear that this is kind of an M. C. Escher drawing of failure. The error pages literally have errors in them. Jonathan Cohn -- a passionate Obamacare booster -- has a relatively balanced piece about the rollout problems, but he goes back to boosterism when it comes to the issue of premiums. He simply asserts that competition is working and delivering lower premiums. I am at a loss as to how he can know that given that all the reporting I've seen suggests that if you're healthy and middle class, your premiums will likely go up. It even happened to a Daily Kos blogger whose tears are delicious!

Imagine going to Target the day after Thanksgiving for the "Black Friday" sale. You wait for hours or days for the doors to open. You rush in like O. J. Simpson in the old Hertz ads, leaping over pyramids of GI Joes with the Kung Fu Grip, sidestepping the giant Justin Bieber cardboard displays. It's complete chaos. Some woman who wants the same George Foreman Grill you do punches you in the uvula. You kill a guy with a trident when he tries to get the last Bluetooth beer helmet. Finally, because you kept your head on a swivel, you get your cart to the check-out line and the cashier tells you everything in your cart isn't on sale, but it's actually twice as expensive as it would be on a normal day. Why? Because in order to buy the things you want, you have to buy a bunch of stuff you don't want; a DVD of Bridges of Madison County, a cornucopia of indecipherable feminine products, a top-of-the-line salad spinner, and a twelve-pack of Ensure.

That's Obamacare for you.

And the fact that the GOP caused a huge fuss that briefly annoyed some people to protest this mess is really not such a bad thing.

It's Obamacare All the Way Down

Look, it's always possible that eventually they'll get all the kinks out and make this thing work well enough to avoid a total disaster. But every day it looks more and more like this thing is a Big Government onion. Liberals think the outer layer is bad but that if they just peel that away it'll be great. But the thing about onions is they're onions all the way down. You can peel all you want, you'll never find a prize in the center, but you just might find yourself crying in the middle of a big mess.

Consider this from the Sunlight Foundation:

All but one of the 47 contractors who won contracts to carry out work on the Affordable Care Act worked for the government prior to its passage. Many -- like the Rand Corporation and the MITRE Corporation -- have done so for decades. And some, like Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, are among the biggest wielders of influence in Washington. Some 17 ACA contract winners reported spending more than $128 million on lobbying in 2011 and 2012, while 29 had employees or political action committees or both that contributed $32 million to federal candidates and parties in the same period. Of that amount, President Barack Obama collected $3.9 million.

Arnold Kling responds:

I don't hold it against the contractors that they had prior government experience. I don't hold it against them that they lobby or contribute to campaigns.

To me, the scandal is that there are 47 different organizations involved in building the site. I cannot imagine that any sane project executive would want it that way. I am just guessing, but it seems more likely to me that this many contractors were imposed on the project executive because there was a requirement to "spread the work out" to keep all these companies in the politicians' pockets.

The Limits of the Moral Equivalent of War

Don't worry, I'm not going to wear my sandwich board and ring my bell about William James again. But I do feel like making one point. Whenever I make the argument that government is very bad at doing things like Obamacare, the liberal response is invariably to offer counter-examples. "The military is awesome! Are you saying SEAL Team 6 is bad at what it does?" or "We sent a man to the moon!" Other counter-examples are pretty rare, but there are some. The NIH does some great things. The Coast Guard, the Peace Corps, etc.

What liberals never appreciate is that in all of these counter-examples there's something else going on. The institutional cultures that won World War II or put a man on the moon or that discover some new protein are not strictly speaking government cultures. While none of them are immune from bureaucratic stupidity and inefficiency, ultimately higher motivations win out.

How the Marines' esprit de corps differs from the post office's esprit de corps should be pretty obvious. But even in the other examples, the cultural core of excellent government institutions is driven by something greater than a mere paycheck and significantly different from simple "public service." The NASA that sent men to the moon was imbued with a culture not just of excellence and patriotism but the kind of awe and wonder that cannot be replicated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Moreover, for scientists passionate about space and the race to get there, there was simply no place else to be. That meant the very best people were attracted to NASA. Even if, for some strange reason, you're passionate about writing billions of lines of code for a website and managing health-insurance data, there are still better things to do with your time than work on Obamacare.

I want to be fair to government workers. Many individuals who work for government are dedicated to doing excellent work for the public good. But I'm talking about culture here. President Obama talks as if, absent a war or other national crisis, the entire government can still be imbued with the spirit of sacrifice and excellence that won World War II or put a man on the moon. And that's just crazy talk.

Obama, the permanent campaigner, believes that governing should be more like campaigning. Everyone unified towards a single -- Obamacentric -- purpose. Everyone loyal to his needs. Everyone in agreement with his agenda. In 2008, when asked what management experience he had, he said that running his campaign proved he was ready for the presidency. That should have been the moment when we all heard the record-scratch sound effect and said "What's that now!?" Even if Obama deserved all of the credit for his campaign's successes, campaigning and governing are fundamentally different things. Campaign culture allows for people to be fired. It also rewards excellence, which is why some very young people rise very quickly in the campaign world, while it's far more rare in civil service. Campaigns have a deadline-driven, crisis-junky energy and sense of team loyalty that is at least somewhat analogous to a war or some other crisis. That's why the Obama campaign website was great. It's also why the Obamacare website's error page has an error page.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #966 on: October 26, 2013, 08:31:14 AM »

He may be a bit overblown in claiming that delaying the penalty is a big deal, but the instinct is right.

==================================

Dear Friends,
 
This nation has gone through 18 government shutdowns in the last 37 years. Fifteen of those 18 shutdowns occurred when Democrats controlled the House. In those 15 shutdowns, the Democrats demanded increased abortion services and labor and environmental policy concessions.

Perhaps the reason we don’t remember those shutdowns as vividly is because in those days, presidents negotiated around the clock to resolve the disputes that caused them and did everything they could to minimize the public’s inconvenience and suffering.

This time was different. This time, the President refused to negotiate and took unprecedented steps to amplify the pain and suffering that the public endured.

Why would the administration do this? They told us why – because they were winning politically. 

What was the outrageous Republican demand that Democrats refused even to discuss during the 16-day shutdown while they ordered our public servants to make life as difficult as possible for people?

On September 30th, with the deadline just hours away, House Republicans had dropped all conditions to fund the entire government with one substantive exception: delay the individual mandate that forces people to buy policies against their will. Democrats summarily rejected this proposal and for 16 days refused to negotiate on this single point, while literally accusing Republicans of sedition.

Then this past Monday, the President’s Press Secretary made this stunning admission: the Obama administration may itself seek to delay the individual mandate by dropping the penalty for non-compliance.

They’ve got to be kidding.

For the 16 days of the shutdown, the only substantive dispute was the Republican plea to delay the individual mandate for the millions of Americans who couldn’t find or afford Obamacare policies.

Doing so could have ended the impasse instantly. During those 16 days, it was clear to everyone that the exchanges weren’t working. Yet the President and Congressional Democrats refused even to discuss the matter, while they turned their formidable propaganda machine to the task of winning politically.

These facts speak for themselves and need no embellishment from me. John Adams once observed that “Facts are stubborn things.” As passions cool and reason resumes its rightful place in the nation’s discourse, these facts will speak eloquently and stubbornly of what happens when politics trumps policy and propaganda trumps reality.
 
Sincerely,
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DougMacG
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« Reply #967 on: October 26, 2013, 12:11:17 PM »

McClintock makes a valid point. 

Just a sidenote here, the whole 'shutdown' question is another case of liberals owning our language and the rest of us allowing them to do that.  The Affordable Care Act isn't about affordable care and the shutdown wasn't a shutdown.

We had a partial shutdown, a 17% shutdown, a non-essential pause, a 16 day, partial, 17% non-essential paid vacation, but we didn't have a shutdown.

Imagine if we did have a shutdown.  Shut down the airports, close the military bases, lock up the Courts and the White House, end food inspection, turn off the missile defense, etc etc.  Disaster, disease, famine, that isn't what happened.  The effect I saw was that rush hour traffic moved a little bit better.

Let the pollsters ask, who do you blame for the 16 day paid pause of 17% non-essential federal functions.  51% or more should say who cares.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #968 on: October 26, 2013, 02:00:28 PM »

This is a 3 part video of 30 minutes, especially good for me to see because I don't watch cable tv where these characters hang out.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/10/24/krauthammer_jon_stewart_clash_over_conservatism_politics_on_daily_show.html

  At times CK is brilliant, but also he validates some of the points liberals are making and misses some opportunities.  Stewart gets called out in part but is quite persuasive with many of his points.  Important questions perhaps for 'the way forward', how to answer the liberal take on all of this more effectively and how do you get conservatives to be more on the same page in order to do that.
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« Reply #969 on: October 26, 2013, 07:02:32 PM »

I agree that I disagree with CK on some important points, but that was an excellent conversation.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #970 on: October 31, 2013, 10:57:23 AM »

An interesting and well articulated point made by Sean Trende on Real Clear Politics that also relates to our discussion on 'the way forward':


"Cuccinelli’s problem in a nutshell is this: The Old Dominion would probably vote for a candidate who had sued a professor at the University of Virginia over his climate science research. It would probably vote for a candidate who referred to homosexuality as unnatural. It would probably vote for a candidate who tried to limit no-fault divorce. It would probably vote for a candidate who covered up an exposed breast on the state seal. It would probably vote for a candidate who wasn’t sure if the president was born in the United States. It would probably vote for a candidate who told colleges and universities to strip protections for gays and lesbians.

What it won’t typically do is vote for a candidate who holds all of these positions, and is unapologetic in them. Truth be told, Virginia hasn’t been particularly fond of strident social conservatives for quite some time; Oliver North, Michael Farris, Mark Earley, and a host of other similar Republicans have met similar fates. The mold of a successful statewide Republican here has been John Warner, Jim Gilmore, and Bob McDonnell, all of whom would check most of the boxes on a conservative scorecard, but who also knew how to communicate those stances to your average suburban voter in a non-threatening way."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/31/factors_that_will_determine_the_va_governors_race_120521.html#ixzz2jJd0vA5J

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #971 on: November 02, 2013, 12:27:00 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/01/tennessee-state-senator-presents-kathleen-sebelius-with-really-embarrassing-gift-and-she-doesnt-look-very-happy-about-it/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #972 on: November 05, 2013, 08:40:05 AM »

Republican former governor Charlie Crist is now a Dem running for his old seat.  Gov. Scott has approval number challenges.  Crist has his own baggage:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303936904579177722792888680?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLESecond

 Mr. Scott can run on the state's robust economic recovery. He can point to the 500,000 jobs that Florida has added during his tenure compared to the 632,000 lost over Mr. Crist's four years in office. Meanwhile, the jobless rate has fallen to 7.0% from 10.9% since Scott entered office.

The Republican governor will also be able to exploit Democrats' former criticisms of Mr. Crist. A new ad cut for the governor features Democrat Alex Sink, the state's former CFO and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, slamming Mr. Crist for failing "to lay out a business plan to get Florida out of its worst recession" and Democratic chair Karen Thurman noting that "his only core belief is personal ambition."
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« Reply #973 on: November 06, 2013, 09:37:10 AM »

FOUNDER'S QUOTE DAILY
"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?" --Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801

TODAY'S 'TOP TEN' FROM RIGHT HOOK

BO's Pulitzer for Fiction!
Our friend, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), offered a few words on Obama's presidential achievements: "You know, the president already has a Nobel Prize for peace; I think he's shooting for one in fiction." Indeed, if he wins a Pulitzer for fiction, it will have been earned, unlike his meaningless Nobel.

Comment | Share

October Saw Near-Record Debt
Despite the government being "shut down" for half the month of October, the federal debt increased by $409 billion -- the second biggest one-month leap in history. The biggest leap was October 2008, which featured the bank bailout. According to CNS News, "At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2013, the last day of fiscal 2013, the federal debt subject to limit stood at $16,699,396,000,000. At the close of business on Oct. 31, 2013, the first month of fiscal 2014, the debt subject to limit stood at approximately $17,108,378,000,000." Those GOP "anarchists" weren't as successful as Democrats would have us believe.
Comment | Share

O'Care Not a Federal Program?
According to HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, ObamaCare isn't considered a federal health care program, therefore it doesn't have to play by the same rules as other entitlement programs. The New York Times reports, "the Obama administration has ruled that neither the federal insurance exchange nor the federal subsidies paid to insurance companies on behalf of low-income people are 'federal health care programs.'" As a result, the decree "exempts subsidized health insurance from a law that bans rebates, kickbacks, bribes and certain other financial arrangements in federal health programs, stripping law enforcement of a powerful tool used to fight fraud in other health care programs, like Medicare." Unsurprisingly, Sebelius offered no legal reasoning, just simply an opinion of the law. Then again, this entire administration adheres to the rule of men.


Demos Duck and Dodge Disaster

Yet another key ObamaCare supporter in the Senate is looking for a place to hide. Dianne Feinstein is now insisting, "I said this directly to the president's chief of staff -- they ought to take down the website until it's right." That's not what she said to House Republicans when they tried to delay the ACA!
 

ABC 'Recreates' LAX Shooter

How intent is the media into scaremongering folks on the dangers of "assault" weapons? Following the LAX shooting, ABC's Good Morning America chalked up an animation of the shooter with several, eh, inaccuracies. The alleged perpetrator, Paul Ciancia, used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle. But ABC's graphic depicts Paul Ciancia holding a M16 selective-fire rifle -- which does meet the qualifications for an assault weapon -- along with a m-203 40mm grenade launcher. Yes, a grenade launcher. The weapon Ciancia used is legal for civilians to own. The weapon ABC depicted is not. Learn the truth about assault weapons.
 
Inquiring Minds Want to Know...
Burt Prelutsky asks, "How is it that in civilian life, people are always being arrested and charged as accessories to various crimes, but when every senior officer at Fort Hood turned a blind eye to the fact that Major Nidal Hassan openly proclaimed his allegiance to Osama bin Laden and jihadism, not one of them has been indicted as an accessory to mass murder?"
 
New Lies About Old Lies!
Obama's oft-repeated lie -- "If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period." -- got a new twist this week. Obama now claims what he really said was: "Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you could keep it if it hasn't changed since the law passed." And he's now repeating that lie across the nation. Except he did not ever qualify his initial promise, which was the key to getting ObamaCare passed. He is wrapping the new lies in this assertion: "If we had allowed these old plans [to continue] then we would have broken an even more important promise -- making sure that Americans gain access to health care that doesn't leave them one illness away from financial ruin." Right -- have you seen the deductibles for the O'Care plans? Memo to BO: Two lies don't make it right.
 
Next Crisis? Doctor Shortage
The ObamaCare enrollment debacle is just a small glimpse at the frustration millions of Americans will experience by receiving subpar health care. America already has a shortage of around 20,000 primary care physicians, but a new report from CBS reveals that by 2025, that number will jump to about 52,000 -- likely a conservative estimate. BO promised that if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, but O'Care is helping push older physicians toward retirement -- a startling dilemma considering almost 50% of doctors are older than 50. Demand and compliance with mandates will simply become too burdensome for private practice, meaning it will become difficult to retain or obtain a private physician. This train wreck's just getting started.
 
Mass Cancellations Aren't New?
On top of explaining that he didn't really mean you could keep insurance you liked if your insurance company changed it (due to ObamaCare regulations), he said that people receiving cancellation letters is nothing new. "We did this to put to end the days when the individual market had no standards, when every year, thousands of Americans would be dropped from their coverage. People are acting like this is some new phenomenon." Millions of Americans losing their insurance due to ObamaCare absolutely is new. What chutzpah.
 
Obama's Country Blues
Country music star Larry Gatlin offered up this tribute to Obama:
They're goin' to mind your own business
They're goin' to mind your own health
Goin' to recreate everybody equal
Goin' to redistribute all the wealth
They're goin' to put a tax on everything standing still
And everything that moves
And the beatings will continue
Until morale improves
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bigdog
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« Reply #974 on: November 11, 2013, 04:48:52 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2013/11/11/why-so-many-americans-believe-kennedy-assassination-conspiracy-theories/?wpisrc=nl_cage

From the article:

Conspiracy theories are conquering the country, leading us into a dark age of cynicism.  Americans are bombarded by a growing barrage of outlandish tales, aided and abetted by a polarizing media, and amplified by the echo chamber of the Internet.  While all sides indulge in conspiracy theories, Republicans and conservatives are particularly prone to them.  Such inflamed rhetoric divides nations and destroys deliberative democracy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #975 on: November 12, 2013, 09:05:56 AM »

In the case of the Kennedy assassination there are plenty of reasons to question the official version.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #976 on: November 12, 2013, 10:46:34 AM »

In the case of the Kennedy assassination there are plenty of reasons to question the official version.

How do you think it happened?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #977 on: November 12, 2013, 10:59:15 AM »

I don't know, all the theories seem to have problems with them , , ,
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bigdog
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« Reply #978 on: November 14, 2013, 02:02:49 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/the-splitting-of-the-senate--now-in-convenient-gif-form-213908185.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #979 on: November 14, 2013, 02:42:52 PM »

Please post in the Congress thread as well. TIA.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #980 on: November 17, 2013, 10:11:15 AM »

Meanwhile, outside of Seattle...

Americans are more conservative than they have been in decades

James Stimson knows as much about public opinion as anyone in America. He has been tracking the nation’s policy preferences for more than 20 years using a “policy mood” index derived from responses to a wide variety of opinion surveys involving hundreds of specific policy questions on topics ranging from taxes and spending to environmental regulation to gun control.

The latest update of Stimson’s policy mood series suggests that the American public in 2012 was more conservative than at any point since 1952. (Actually, since mood in each year is estimated with some error, it seems safer to say that the current level of conservatism roughly equals the previous highs recorded in 1980 and 1952.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2013/09/30/americans-are-more-conservative-than-they-have-been-in-decades/
http://www.unc.edu/~jstimson/Welcome.html
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« Reply #981 on: December 16, 2013, 01:45:54 PM »

Includes a few from our side:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2013/12/16/the-biggest-pinocchios-of-2013/
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ccp
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« Reply #982 on: December 17, 2013, 07:16:09 AM »

Good post.  It goes to show us how very difficult it is to know what is true and what is not true.  OTOH I don't even know if the conclusions in this fact checker are true.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #983 on: December 18, 2013, 09:00:27 AM »


Pretty amazing that even the WashPost confirms Pres Obama is the Liar of the Year.  Mis-speaks by a few lowly Republicans hardly compare.  Michele Bachmann, leaving office, with her facts wrong is hardly news and there was no accompanying bill to slash food stamps by 70%.  We are closing the Vatican embassy, but the out of office Jeb Bush implied false blame.  Lamar Alexander connected two 'unrelated' spending items.  That one could go under 'opinion' check.  NRA said armed guards at Obama's children's school.  If wrong, they are protected by armed guards every other minute of the day.  Hardly a big deal or the basis of a public policy decision.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) charged that then- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in April of 2012 “signed” a cable directing a drawdown for security assets for the U.S. Embassy in Libya.  In fact the cable had her signature but the Post says they all do...

Kerry's statement that “I opposed the invasion of Iraq” would be as meaningless as a Michele Bachmann statement - even we had not chosen people like Biden and Kerry for the highest positions in the administration!

The 'keep your policy' doozy was an obvious one, but good for the Post to publish this one by the President:

“The day after Benghazi happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”

Hard to believe a journalist wasn't fired over that one.

The day after Benghazi the President gave a speech in Las Vegas ripping Republicans.  He was on-time and looked well-rested!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #984 on: December 22, 2013, 03:53:11 PM »

Winston Churchill's famous distinction between the Left and Right —

"The left favors the line of dependency while the right favors the ladder of opportunity."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/06/27/the_end_of_the_american_dream_119003.html
http://www.americanexperiment.org/publications/newsletters/thinking-minnesota-fall-2013
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ccp
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« Reply #985 on: December 29, 2013, 12:32:10 PM »

Yet as Levin aptly points out.  He was only the chosen front man of a huge political/business/criminal enterprise called the progressive movement.  There are many more where he comes from.   I think the only way to temporarily sweep their propaganda/philosophy under the rug for a generation is to hope that it will fail while offering the superior alternative.   

http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/28/dnc-sends-email-defending-obama-from-impeachment-possibility/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #986 on: January 02, 2014, 09:34:28 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-the-price-of-political-ignorance/2014/01/01/7dbe2936-7311-11e3-9389-09ef9944065e_story.html

By George F. Will, Published: January 1, 2014

It was naughty of Winston Churchill to say, if he really did, that “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Nevertheless, many voters’ paucity of information about politics and government, although arguably rational, raises awkward questions about concepts central to democratic theory, including consent, representation, public opinion, electoral mandates and officials’ accountability.

In “Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter” (Stanford University Press), Ilya Somin of George Mason University law school argues that an individual’s ignorance of public affairs is rational because the likelihood of his or her vote being decisive in an election is vanishingly small. The small incentives to become informed include reducing one’s susceptibility to deceptions, misinformation and propaganda. And if remaining ignorant is rational individual behavior, it has likely destructive collective outcomes.

Somin says that during the Cold War in 1964, two years after the Cuban missile crisis, only 38 percent of Americans knew the Soviet Union was not a member of NATO. In 2003, about 70 percent was unaware of enactment of the prescription drug entitlement, then the largest welfare-state expansion since Medicare (1965). In a 2006 Zogby poll, only 42 percent could name the three branches of the federal government.

Voters cannot hold officials responsible if they do not know what government is doing, or which parts of government are doing what. Given that 20 percent thinks the sun revolves around the Earth, it is unsurprising that a majority is unable to locate major states such as New York on a map. Usually only 30 percent of Americans can name their two senators. The average American expends more time becoming informed about choosing a car than choosing a candidate. But, then, the consequences of the former choice are immediate and discernible.

Many people, says Somin, acquire political knowledge for the reason people acquire sports knowledge — because it interests them, not because it will alter the outcome of any contest. And with “confirmation bias,” many people use political information to reinforce their preexisting views. Committed partisans are generally the most knowledgeable voters, independents the least. And the more political knowledge people have, the more apt they are to discuss politics with people who agree with, and reinforce, them.

The problem of ignorance is unlikely to be ameliorated by increasing voter knowledge because demand for information, not the supply of it, is the major constraint on political knowledge. Despite dramatic expansions of education and information sources, abundant evidence shows the scope of political ignorance is remarkably persistent over time. New information technologies have served primarily to increase the knowledge of the already well-informed, which increases the ability of some to engage in “rent-seeking” from the regulatory state, manipulating its power in order to transfer wealth to themselves. And if political knowledge is measured relative to government’s expanding scope, ignorance is increasing rapidly: There is so much more to be uninformed about.

A better ameliorative measure would be to reduce the risks of ignorance by reducing government’s consequences — its complexity, centralization and intrusiveness. In the 19th century, voters’ information burdens were much lighter because important federal issues — the expansion of slavery, the disposition of public lands, tariffs, banking, infrastructure spending — were much fewer.

Political ignorance helps explain Americans’ perpetual disappointment with politicians generally, and presidents especially, to whom voters unrealistically attribute abilities to control events. The elections of 1932 and 1980 dramatically illustrated how voters primarily control politicians — by “retrospective voting,” refusing to reelect them.

Some people vote because it gives them pleasure — the satisfaction of expressive behavior — and because they feel duty-bound to cast a ballot that, by itself, makes virtually no difference, but affirms a process that does. And although many people deplore the fact that U.S. parties have become more ideologically homogenous, they now confer more informative “brands” on their candidates.

Political ignorance, Somin argues, strengthens the case for judicial review by weakening the supposed “countermajoritarian difficulty” with it. If much of the electorate is unaware of the substance or even existence of policies adopted by the sprawling regulatory state, the policies’ democratic pedigrees are weak. Hence Somin’s suggestion that the extension of government’s reach “undercuts democracy more than it furthers it.”

An engaged judiciary that enforced the Framers’ idea of government’s “few and defined” enumerated powers (Madison, Federalist 45), leaving decisions to markets and civil society, would, Somin thinks, make the “will of the people” more meaningful by reducing voters’ knowledge burdens. Somin’s evidence and arguments usefully dilute the unwholesome democratic sentimentality and romanticism that encourage government’s pretensions, ambitions and failures.
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« Reply #987 on: January 04, 2014, 11:13:50 AM »

This is a fairly long and very good, scholarly article that contends no one since Reagan correctly understood how to position and communicate conservatism to the people.  I find he is very, very close to nailing the real problem of the struggling conservative movement and is not right on but very close to nailing the solution or 'the way forward'.  However I find that he cherry picks his facts and examples in the attempt to prove his point.

Link: http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/conservatism-for-the-people  (Read it all.)

Olsen contends that conservatives lately have advanced liberalism by constantly being against something instead of for something, and thus losing elections or winning by surrendering to their view.

Reagan OTOH had " profound respect for the aspirations of the common person".

"conservatives will not be given an opportunity to implement their vision until they show they understand and respect the average person's life."
...
Excerpt: Reagan's heirs have misunderstood his legacy because they have taken it to be largely a political legacy rather than an intellectual one. The political legacy was supposedly simple: Run against the liberals. As a result, for 30 years conservative campaigns have been run against the liberals, with liberals defined as people who opposed tax cuts and supported welfare expansion. In doing so, modern conservatives have fallen into the pre-Reagan trap of emphasizing what they are against rather than what they are for. This allowed them to avoid touching the core, expensive programs of the entitlement-welfare state, which have remained widely popular. Unfortunately, however, it also left conservatives powerless to change the course of those programs, leaving them powerless to change the course of our government more broadly.

This simple fact explains why we keep getting bigger government when we elect people who are running against liberals. This has happened time and again throughout the post-Reagan era. A revealing moment in the first presidential debate in 2012 helps us see why. In that debate, President Obama tried to pin Governor Romney down on how he would pay for his tax cuts by alleging that Romney would cut education spending. Romney responded, "No, I'm not going to cut education spending," thereby taking $91 billion in federal spending off the table.

Why would he do that? If you haven't thought about what government's role in education is — if your campaign is based on what you are not instead of on what you are — you get trapped in trying to explain what you're going to cut and what you're not going to cut. Because you're not offering any coherent, compelling vision for how the federal government can help improve education, the cut-or-fund question stands in for the question of whether you care about the issue. When this happens, by the time the campaign is over you have nothing left to cut or reform — and government grows. The post-Reagan era has thus resulted in an anti-liberal public consensus, but not a pro-conservative one.
...
The sense that the average person has a moral life that is worth leading and pursuing — and that he sometimes needs government to help him on his way — is central to American political identity but is disconnected from much of today's conservative thought. The Obama campaign created its majority by exposing this disconnection relentlessly.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #988 on: January 04, 2014, 11:57:23 AM »

I picture this thread as being for more transient matters and the piece you post belonging better in "The Way Forward" thread.  May I ask you to post it there please?
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« Reply #989 on: January 08, 2014, 03:02:50 PM »

Compromise GOP Can Accept
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on January 7, 2014

President Obama's mission as 2014 starts is simple: He has to distract attention from the healthcare debacle. Healthcare reform isn't working and won't work. So he needs to create a diversion.

With his poll numbers lagging around 40 percent, the president naturally wants to stop the erosion of his base, so he is resorting to hot-button class warfare issues to build his support back up.  None has more of a potential political edge than the extension of unemployment benefits.

The Republican Party should not let Obama depict this issue as a heartless caricature of capitalism by giving him a free ride. Yes, the GOP advocates an extension as long as it's paid for in the budget. Yes, the Democrats are resisting a deal to pay for the extension just to make a political issue. In any case, Republicans cannot afford to be the party of no when it comes to aiding those out of work.

One can only sympathize with GOP concerns that extending benefits in the face of a dropping jobless rate is tantamount to creating a new entitlement, a federal welfare system, to subsidize unemployment.

But the answer is to compromise.

Republicans should look for the answer by treating states differently, depending on their levels of unemployment. While national joblessness averages 7.1 percent, the range among states is enormous. At the low end, North Dakota is blessed with a paltry 2.6 percent unemployment rate, while Rhode Island and Nevada suffer with a rate of 9 percent.

There are 28 states, housing one-third of the nation's population, with jobless rates of 6.5 percent or below. With unemployment this low, they cannot make a compelling case for extended benefits. But that should not stop the Republicans from extending benefits to states with higher unemployment rates.

The state with rates below the 6.5 percent threshold are the following: North Dakota (2.6); South Dakota (3.6); Nebraska (3.7); Utah (4.3); Hawaii (4.4); Iowa (4.4); Vermont (4.4); Wyoming (4.4); Minnesota (4.6); Kansas (5.1); New Hampshire (5.1); Montana (5.2); Oklahoma (5.4); Virginia (5.4); Idaho (6.1); Missouri (6.1); Texas (6.1); West Virginia (6.1); Alabama (6.2); Louisiana (6.3); Wisconsin (6.3); Florida (6.4); Maine (6.4); Maryland (6.4); New Mexico (6.4); Alaska (6.5); Colorado (6.5); and Delaware (6.5).

The legislation extending the benefits should include a trigger terminating the extension for any state whose jobless rate drops below 6.5 percent, so as the nation recovers from the recession, the 99-week or 52-week unemployment benefit will fade into history.

Most of the politically potent Democratic states are above the 6.5 percent level, however. These include New York, Massachusetts, California, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey and, of course, Nevada.

If Republicans offer benefit extensions to these states, the Senate Democrats could hardly refuse and kill the bill because it won't extend benefits in Texas or Florida or other red states. The Democrats will huff and puff, but they will have to bow to the will of the House. Their own constituents will demand it. Let the red states fend for themselves, they will insist. Get us the extension we need.

Republicans will then have legislatively reinforced the principle that jobless benefits are primarily for high unemployment periods, where one arguably cannot find work. Once work becomes available, jobless benefits deter employment and drive up wage rates to unaffordable levels. The positive national trend in jobless data will give the Congressional Budget Office a basis for a favorable scoring of the future cost of the compromise.

After all, unemployment insurance is basically a state, not a federal, program. So why should Washington, D.C., set its terms on a one-size-fits-all basis? Economic conditions vary, and so should jobless benefit time periods.

Give the Democrats half a loaf -- their half. It will be an offer they can't refuse.
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« Reply #990 on: January 10, 2014, 04:08:39 PM »

The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg
January 10, 2014

Dear Reader (Including those of you reading this while ensnared in a traffic study),

I don't know how long this G-File will be as I am on a plane from Tampa with a low battery. Every percentage point it drops rings in my ears like the countdown from 24. The pressure is making me sweat like Chris Christie reading the Bergen County Record.

The Christie scandal is an odd thing. Outside the peculiar context of Christie's presidential ambitions, the idea that this should be front-page news across the country is somewhat baffling. Quick: Show of hands. Who is surprised that New Jersey politicians play hardball with other New Jersey politicians at the expense of voters and taxpayers?

Oh, sorry. I didn't realize it would be that many of you. Okay, just out of curiosity, for those of you who are legitimately shocked, I'd like to ask some control questions. Are you also shocked that bears use our national forests for toilets? Are you shocked that dogs lick their nether regions without much concern about who might be watching? Does it blow your mind that the Pope is Catholic? When you smash your thumb with a ball peen hammer are you taken off guard by the throbbing pain?

I see.

Now I am not condoning or even trying to minimize the significance of "Bridgegate" — an idiotic term by the way. What these bozos did was bozo-rific. But come on. Do you think Rahm Emanuel hasn't played games with which streets get plowed first after a snow storm? Do you think that the Cuomos have issued every business permit and license on a first-come, first-serve basis? Wait you do? Oh man, that is adorable. Bless your heart.

Like pretty much everyone else, I think that if Christie is lying about being out of the loop, he's done for. Fair or not, he set the standard by which he wants people to judge him. I grew tired of his constant boasting of his straight-talking a long time ago. But he's the self-declared exemplar of straight-talking. (I like the straight talk, mind you. I just don't like all the allegedly straight talk about his straight talking. It's a bit like Christie's odd way of being arrogant about how humble he is. Just give me the straight talk; don't give me a lot of hot air about how straight the straight talk is, ya get me? I love it when my waiter brings a great steak. But when he hangs around selling me on each morsel as it goes into my mouth, it really creeps me out. "Great steak, huh!? Man, you are lucky to be eating that. Take another bite. I bet it's even better.")

Also, I'm not a huge fan of career politicians talking about how they're not really politicians. It's like a salesman insisting he's not like any other salesman. Maybe that's true in some ways (maybe he has three nipples and a neon orange unibrow; what do I know?) but at the end of the day he's still trying to make a sale which means — tah dah! — he's a salesman. Christie's claim to be above politics-as-usual always struck me as incredibly hackneyed and forced. He's the governor of frick'n New Jersey. Being above politics there is about as possible as cleaning out a stable by hand without getting your white gloves dirty. The fact that voters want to hear that stuff doesn't make it true. It makes it pandering.

Anyway, Christie set the standard for his straight talking. He set the standard of being better than petty politics. And, yesterday, he laid down a marker for what he knew and didn't know. If that marker is proven phony, it will profoundly undermine the criteria by which he asks voters to judge him. And that wound will be entirely self-inflicted.

Upside Down and Backwards

But come on! You have to wonder how some of the folks in the media can look at themselves in the mirror. The three network news shows have devoted orders of magnitude more coverage to a story about closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge than they have to the IRS scandal. I know this is not a new insight, but WHAT THE HELL!?

The sheer passion the New York Times-MSNBC mob is bringing to a partial road closure is a wonder to behold. What about the children! The chiiiiillllldrennnn!!!!!
But using the IRS to harass political opponents — one of the charges in the articles of impeachment for Richard Nixon — well, that's complicated. The president didn't know. The government is so vast. I had a flat tire! A flood! Locusts! It wasn't his fault! Besides Chris Christie joked about putting down the cones himself! The cones, man! The cones!

But forget about the IRS scandal. Obama's whole shtick is to pretend that he's above politics while being rankly political about everything, including his stated desire to "punish our enemies." By comparison, Chris Christie looks like Diogenes and Cincinnatus rolled into one. From inauguration day forward, this whole crew has behaved like Chicago goons dressed in Olympian garb, and the press has fallen for it. 

We don't need to recycle the whole sordid history of the sequester and the shutdown to remember that this White House sincerely, deliberately, and with malice aforethought sought to make things as painful as possible for millions of Americans. Traffic cones on the George Washington Bridge are a stain on the honor of New Jersey. (Stop laughing!) But deliberately pulling air-traffic controllers to screw with millions of people is just fine? Shafting World War II vets and vacationing families at National Parks is something only crazy right-wingers on Twitter would have a problem with? And keep in mind, it is at least plausible Christie didn't know what his staff was doing. It is entirely implausible that the president didn't know about the WWII memorial closure, after the news appeared in the president's daily briefing (a.k.a. the New York Times).

I'd say I just don't get it, but I do get it. For the mainstream media, skepticism comes naturally when a Republican is in the crosshairs. It comes reluctantly, slowly, and painfully — if at all — when it's a Democrat.
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« Reply #991 on: January 14, 2014, 05:39:13 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579318424278865180?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop
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« Reply #992 on: January 21, 2014, 09:12:20 AM »

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/01/21/millennials_unhappy_with_obamas_war_on_the_young___121297.html

What do young Americans want? Something different from what they've been getting from the president they voted for by such large margins.  Evidence comes in from various polls. Voters under 30, the millennial generation, produced numbers for Barack Obama 13 percentage points above the national average in 2008 and 9 points above in 2012.

But in recent polls, Obama approval among those under 30 has been higher than the national average by only 1 percentage point (Quinnipiac), 2 points (ABC/Washington Post) and 3 points (YouGov/Economist).  Those differences are statistically significant. And that's politically significant, since a higher percentage of millennials than of the general population are Hispanic or black.

The reasons for Millennials' decreased approval of Obama become clear from a Harvard Institute of Politics poll of 18- to 29-year-olds conducted in November.  That poll shows Obama's job approval dipping to 41 percent, down from 52 percent in April 2013 and the lowest rating in any HIOP survey.

One reason for the decline is Obamacare. Only 38 percent approved of Obamacare (39 percent approved of "the Affordable Care Act"). Only 29 percent of those who were uninsured said they would definitely or probably enroll in the health insurance exchanges.  Those results were registered five to nine weeks after the Oct. 1 healthcare.gov rollout. Tech-savvy millennials must have been astonished that government produced a website that didn't work.  They also perceived, accurately, that Obamacare health insurance would cost them a lot. The law passed by Democrats elected in large part with millennial votes was designed to have people under 30 subsidize the insurance premiums of those older, less healthy people over 50.

The old tend to have significant net worth, and the young -- with credit card and student loan debt -- tend to owe more than they own. Evidently, the Obama Democrats think it's progressive for the young to subsidize the working-age old.  That, after all, is the essence of Social Security, whose benefits some left-wing Democrats want to increase.

But millennials, whose penchant for volunteering is admirably high, are not being simply selfish. The Harvard survey also finds that they tend to believe, by a 44- to 17-percent margin, that the quality of their health care will get worse under Obamacare.  That's speculation, of course. But it suggests a healthy skepticism about the ability of a government, a government that lied about whether you could keep your insurance and your doctor, and couldn't construct a workable website, to produce a system that will improve service delivery.

That skepticism may owe something to young Americans' experience with student loans. Some 57 percent of the Harvard study millennials say that student loan debt is a major problem for young people. The responses don't vary much by political party identification.

Once again, the millennials have a point. The Obama administration did not initiate government student loans, but it continues to speak of them approvingly.  Yet it's obvious that the vast sums government-subsidized student loans have pumped into higher education over the last three decades have been largely captured by colleges and universities and transformed into administrative bloat.

Economics blogger Timothy Taylor notes that if you count prices in 1982-84 as 100, the average cost of all items in the consumer price index increased to 231 in September 2012. Energy, housing and transportation all increased about that much.

But college and tuition fees increased to 706 -- seven times the level when the government started pumping money into higher ed. Medical care increased to more than 400.

Some things that young people buy increased much less -- apparel (127), toys (53) and televisions (5, thanks to quality improvement).

But suddenly, in their early adult years, millennials find themselves socked with the inflated costs of higher education and, thanks to Obamacare, those of older people's health care.

In the meantime, in the Obama new normal economy, they aren't finding jobs -- and may be giving up on looking for them.  Labor force participation among those 55 and over has held steady since 2009. But labor force participation among those younger has been declining, as have earnings of college graduates.  The combination of higher education and health care costs and the new normal economy amount to what analyst Walter Russell Mead calls "the war on the young."

No wonder they're unhappy with the president who promised hope and change. Maybe they're in the market for an alternative.
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« Reply #993 on: January 21, 2014, 10:56:49 AM »

Enjoy the results of your stupidity, millenials.
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« Reply #994 on: January 22, 2014, 09:53:32 AM »

Sowell points out a fact I often remind leftists/liberals of when they accuse conservatives of being "haters."


Leftists: For the ‘People’?

Posted By Thomas Sowell On January 22, 2014

One of the things that attracted me to the political left, as a young man, was a belief that leftists were for “the people.” Fortunately, I was also very interested in the history of ideas — and years of research in that field repeatedly brought out the inescapable fact that many leading thinkers on the left had only contempt for “the people.”

That has been true from the 18th century to the present moment. Even more surprising, I discovered over the years that leading thinkers on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum had more respect for ordinary people than people on the left who spoke in their name.

Leftists like Rousseau, Condorcet or William Godwin in the 18th century, Karl Marx in the 19th century or Fabian socialists like George Bernard Shaw in England and American Progressives in the 20th century saw the people in a role much like that of sheep, and saw themselves as their shepherds.

Another disturbing pattern turned up that is also with us to the present moment. From the 18th century to today, many leading thinkers on the left have regarded those who disagree with them as being not merely factually wrong but morally repugnant. And again, this pattern is far less often found among those on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum.

The visceral hostility toward Sarah Palin by present day liberals, and the gutter level to which some descend in expressing it, is just one sign of a mindset on the left that goes back more than two centuries.

T.R. Malthus was the target of such hostility in the 18th and early 19th centuries. When replying to his critics, Malthus said, “I cannot doubt the talents of such men as Godwin and Condorcet. I am unwilling to doubt their candor.”

But William Godwin’s vision of Malthus was very different. He called Malthus “malignant,” questioned “the humanity of the man,” and said “I profess myself at a loss to conceive of what earth the man was made.”

This asymmetry in responses to people with different opinions has been too persistent, for too many years, to be just a matter of individual personality differences.

Although Charles Murray has been a major critic of the welfare state and of the assumptions behind it, he recalled that before writing his landmark book, “Losing Ground,” he had been “working for years with people who ran social programs at street level, and knew the overwhelming majority of them to be good people trying hard to help.”

Can you think of anyone on the left who has described Charles Murray as “a good person trying hard to help”? He has been repeatedly denounced as virtually the devil incarnate — far more often than anyone has tried seriously to refute his facts.

Such treatment is not reserved solely for Murray.

Liberal writer Andrew Hacker spoke more sweepingly when he said, “conservatives don’t really care whether black Americans are happy or unhappy.”

Even in the midst of an election campaign against the British Labour Party, when Winston Churchill said that there would be dire consequences if his opponents won, he said that this was because “they do not see where their theories are leading them.”

But, in an earlier campaign, Churchill’s opponent said that he looked upon Churchill “as such a personal force for evil that I would take up the fight against him with a whole heart.”

Examples of this asymmetry between those on opposite sides of the ideological divide could be multiplied almost without limit. It is not solely a matter of individual personality differences.

The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves — a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalting vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues — and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 09:56:49 AM by objectivist1 » Logged

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
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« Reply #995 on: January 22, 2014, 10:12:17 AM »

Good post.  This is precisely why the left, including Democrat Blacks will go after any Blacks like Sowell, like Carson, or recently like that NAACP guy went after Senator Scott with a vengeance and with putrid virulence.   They fear they are right.  In their hearts they cannot bear the truth.  Unfortunately the left controls most of the education system AND the media.   And of course it is easy to buy off voters with the "Christmas gifts".

Why cannot the right come up with their Barack Obama?  Let them call him or her an Uncle or Aunt Tom.   The message needs to get out and wake some people up.

As for history it truly is remarkable how fast people forget.   Within a single generation lessons are lost into the sunset of time. 
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objectivist1
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« Reply #996 on: January 22, 2014, 11:29:45 AM »

"Why can't the Right come up with their Barack Obama?"

There have been plenty of these candidates, but they are targeted for destruction by both the Democrat establishment and the media, and even establishment Republicans - because these groups cannot tolerate their message.  Think Allen West, Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice - need I go on?
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
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« Reply #997 on: January 22, 2014, 12:19:11 PM »

"they are targeted for destruction by both the Democrat establishment and the media, and even establishment Republicans"

Yup.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #998 on: January 22, 2014, 12:23:11 PM »

I love Allen West, but he is not of the depth to go further than Congressman.

Herman Cain had a moment in the sun, but has done little WORK since then and appears to have been a johhny-one-note

Ben Carson has our attention, but has ZERO political experience, and essentially no executive experience, and is a cipher on foreign affairs.

Clarence Thomas is a Justice, not a political figure.

Condaleeza Rice was not a Secretary of State of note.  Other than that she is pure academic; she lacks political experience, executive experience, etc.

Of course I agree that all have been treated quite unfairly, but IMHO we need to keep looking.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #999 on: January 22, 2014, 04:59:27 PM »

I love Allen West, but he is not of the depth to go further than Congressman.
Herman Cain had a moment in the sun, but has done little WORK since then and appears to have been a johhny-one-note
Ben Carson has our attention, but has ZERO political experience, and essentially no executive experience, and is a cipher on foreign affairs.
Clarence Thomas is a Justice, not a political figure.
Condaleeza Rice was not a Secretary of State of note.  Other than that she is pure academic; she lacks political experience, executive experience, etc.
Of course I agree that all have been treated quite unfairly, but IMHO we need to keep looking.

I agree with the shortcomings presented but predict Ben Carson will be a contender if he runs.  He can make a valuable contribution to the debates.  

I prefer someone who served at least two terms as governor, a solid congressional record and an extensive foreign policy background.  And speaks English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian.  )   Mostly the job entails communication and decision making and I hope we pick the very best.

My first choice is still Marco Rubio.  Given Carson's limited political and foreign policy experience, he may be better suited to start as VP on the ticket, serving ambassador and spokesman for freedom seeking policies and breaking ties in the Senate.

"we need to keep looking"   - If the list provided offers no hope, we may be looking at a very narrow list.  The candidates with solid Governor-level executive experience mostly have no foreign policy experience.  The ones with foreign policy experience have mostly never run anything like state or nation.  Yet we will pick one candidate, and that one person will be the last person left to stand up to the Democrats and Candy Crowleys of the final stretch, and to stand up to congress, the federal bureacracy, the tax code, welfare system, Chi-comms, Putins, terror networks and other challenges of leading and governing the USA.
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