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Could Obama Have Been the American Mandela (and What Went Wrong)?

December 15, 2013

obama mandela 2

Barack Obama had to be searching his bruised soul in Johannesburg last week at the memorial service for the late, great Nelson Mandela. Nestled between First Lady Michelle and eyecatching Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the embattled U.S. president must have watched the deification of the South African liberator with a twinge of bittersweet regret.

I wish they’d eulogize ME like that, I can imagine him thinking. While I’m still alive, preferably. Damn, even the WHITE South Africans love Mandela. I mean, come on… I can’t believe Americans are more racist than the Afrikaners. What more do I have to do to prove that I’m not a socialist Muslim black supremacist who was born in Kenya? I’m smart. Well educated. Not bad looking for a middle-aged guy. Keep in shape, shoot hoops, good family man, got Osama bin Laden, helped avert a catastrophic worldwide financial collapse, didn’t try to nationalize the health insurance companies. What do they want from me?

You couldn’t blame Obama if he ruefully compared and contrasted his own career with that of the beloved elder statesman. After all, Mandela had been his idol, his inspiration for launching an ambitious career in American politics. The young community organizer in Chicago envisioned a noble trajectory for himself, and his fellow Democrats reciprocated by grooming him for the presidency before he had even scored a seat in the Senate.

Obama inspired enough voters to win the ultimate prize. From the outset, he promised to be one of those transformational presidents who come along perhaps once every half century. He was ready to become the American Mandela, a conciliatory leader who would soothe our lingering racial resentments and smooth the path to a long-overdue postracial society. He even won the Nobel Peace Prize just for getting himself elected to the highest office in a country with a long history of racial discord. (Mandela had to work a little harder for his prize.)

In fact, the parallels between Obama and Mandela were striking.

Both men were tall, slender, dignified and black, but with hints of racial ambiguity. (Obama’s mother was white; Mandela displayed the tawny-brown skin and “Asiatic” eyes of the original Cape tribes.) Both men stood ramrod-straight but carried themselves with ease and grace. Both could command affection as well as respect, a too-rare trait among political leaders. Their personal charm, beguiling humor and engaging smiles only added to the aura of magnetism that made them glow as if lit from within.

Mandela came from an elite family; Obama attended elite universities. Mandela lost his father when he was a boy; Obama was abandoned by his. Both were equally comfortable in the company of whites and blacks. If either of them harbored any residual bitterness toward whites, they managed to conceal and even transcend it. And finally, with minimal experience in political office and against overwhelming historical odds, both men became the first black president of their respective republics.

Mandela (shown with then-President F.W. de Klerk) emerged from his 27-year ordeal without bitterness.

Mandela (shown with then-President F.W. de Klerk) emerged from his 27-year ordeal without bitterness.

Do the similarities end here? Not really. Both Mandela and Obama started out as doctrinaire leftists and wisely moved toward the center as they matured. Neither man promoted policies that would discriminate against whites. And, for better or worse, neither was a hands-on policy wonk in the tradition of Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton. After the hard work of winning public confidence and ascending to the presidency, both men largely delegated the nuts and bolts of governing to their trusted advisors. They were all about vision and symbolism.

It worked out beautifully for Mandela: here he was, lionized by legions of adoring whites and blacks in death as in life, revered as one of the great men of the twentieth century, even of all time. Obama? Not so much. His approval rating had recently dropped south of 40 percent, and his popularity was waning even among his formerly ardent supporters.

I still can’t believe how my presidency has imploded, I can imagine Obama musing as he listened to the endless tributes that day in Johannesburg. The Republicans were out to stop me from Day One. Damn birthers, they just couldn’t accept a black man as their president… did everything their little brains could to strip me of legitimacy. How did Madiba do it? How did he win the hearts of the white racists? Really, what did he have that I haven’t got? Was it because he was a nonthreatening, grandfatherly old man, while I was young and virile? Come on, I’m not some angry ghetto dude. I’m not Malcolm X. I’m not even Kanye West. There’s gotta be more to it.

There is. It probably didn’t help that most of us expected Obama to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or that he took office during the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. It also wasn’t his fault that he faced a screeching chorus of haters who would have opposed and undermined him even if he had single-handedly revived the economy like a man with jumper cables.

For Obama, the dream has crashed to earth.

For Obama, the dream has crashed to earth.

And yet the fault lies not only with the Obama-deranged Republicans but within himself. I’ve noticed that the president tends to say all the right things in his public addresses, but that his deeds rarely measure up to his words. He promised to close Gitmo, solve the illegal immigrant conundrum, even acknowledge the Turkish genocide against the Armenians after 90-plus years of systematic denial. No deal.

Worse yet, he famously pledged that “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.” What was he thinking? Either the man was seriously misinformed about his own healthcare reform, or he was lying through his teeth. And if he was lying about his most important domestic achievement, we have to wonder what else he’s been hiding from us. Credibility is like a necklace: break it in one place and all the beads go scattering to the four corners of the room.

I think Obama likes the idea of being president more than he likes the actual duties that go with the job. He’s a dynamo on the campaign trail and at public rallies. When he speaks, he can be cool and witty or appropriately impassioned as the situation demands. But he seems to lack the vital leadership gene that converts thought into action and consensus. He has no taste for the visceral give-and-take of politics; he’s not a happy warrior like FDR or a skilled behind-the-scenes arm-twister like LBJ. Obama is essentially a cerebral introvert in an extrovert’s profession.

Here’s where Obama and Mandela part company. By all accounts, the late Madiba loved to mingle with his countrymen — black, white, and all shades in between. He was disarmingly humble and devoid of ego. He’d meet face-to-face with his adversaries and encourage an atmosphere of mutual respect. Reports of his warm and affectionate nature were almost universal — all the more extraordinary coming on the heels of a brutal 27-year incarceration. He entered prison an angry militant and miraculously emerged with a loving heart.

Mandela had been tested like no other national leader in memory, with the possible exception of the polio-ravaged FDR. Obama’s life was cushy by comparison; once he got his head straight in college, the world seemed to roll out the red carpet for him. The obstacles he suddenly faced as president must have shocked him to the core.

I’ve taken more than my fair share of abuse, Obama might have thought as he sat there in Johannesburg. I still don’t get it. Clinton was a compulsive womanizer, and everybody loves him. Bush 43 took a lot of heat, but he deserved it. Heck, even Nixon didn’t have it this bad until midway through Watergate. I could have been another Mandela, and look at my presidency now. Smoking ruins. Man, I could use a break.

So Helle Thorning-Schmidt nudged him and held up her smartphone.

A selfie with Helle and David Cameron? Sure, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.


258 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2013 2:21 pm

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but if we could get 28 yrs in jail for Obama, it would make the comparison much more legitimate. I am all for that.

    • December 15, 2013 2:45 pm

      LOL… seems like a logical move, right? Well, maybe a few years in the military might have done Obama more good. Somehow I don’t think he would have emerged from prison smiling like Mandela.

  2. December 15, 2013 2:23 pm

    Let us not get too carried away with our eulogy of Mandela.

    • December 15, 2013 2:55 pm

      Mandela was definitely a militant revolutionary, right up until de Klerk’s presidency. And I can understand his militancy, especially after the Sharpesville massacre of peaceful demonstrators.

      I don’t think de Klerk gets enough credit (even though he shared the Nobel Prize with Mandela). He was the one who ended apartheid and released Mandela from prison. Anyway, whatever happened to Mandela in prison, he emerged a changed and better man. He could have been a tyrant like Robert Mugabe when he took power, but (for me, anyway) he proved his greatness by tempering the bitterness and making South Africa a livable democracy for both whites and blacks.

      It remains to be seen what kind of country South Africa will be in the years following Mandela’s death. I’ve heard reports of increasing black-on-white violence there — scattered, but still unsettling. Sort of like life in American cities.

  3. December 15, 2013 4:23 pm

    I will agree that Mandela post-prison did some impressive things. That said, we don’t need to white wash his past (pun intended) and elevate him to Saint status. And, Obama couldn’t carry his jock strap on his best days.

  4. Ron P permalink
    December 15, 2013 5:03 pm

    Rick, I love your attempt at humor in the article/
    “Do the similarities end here? Not really. Both Mandela and Obama started out as doctrinaire leftists and wisely moved toward the center as they matured”.
    This had to be humor as I have seen little to make me beleive Obama is anything toward the center. Everything that man does is far left of center. He started there and has stayed there. How else could we have ended up with a healthcare program that will have over 60% of the enrollees on Medicaid or receiving some form of rebate from the government coming from the 40% who pay there freight plus the indirect tax for the free riders.

    And even a mention of Obama and Mandela in the same breath is a joke. Comparing King to Mandela is reasonable.

    But then you did write this from the perspective of Obama talking to himself and one as self centered and egotistical as Obama, the article does come across portraying him in a natural manner. It is mentioned that Clinton, 43 and Nixon did not have it as bad as Obama. Many of the things they did could be overlooked because they knew how to govern. Obama is like the company president that is runnign the company into the ground and anyone that so much as questions his decisions finds themsleves on the street looking for a job. That is why no one will “tell the emperior he has no cloths” or let him know about all the problems at the IRS, the ATF, the NSA or DHHS.

    • December 15, 2013 6:08 pm

      One of the many reasons that I admire MLK was his apparently massive willpower to reject violence as a means to an end. It is my understanding that the pressure to become “more aggressive” was fairly consistent towards the end of his life and yet he held firm.

      If we are to place someone up on a pedestal, MLK and Lincoln seem to belong there. Both died most likely due to their moral stance in the face of great resistance.

      Obama is a joke; the man never met a crisis he didn’t deny was of his own making. He knows or knew, nothing about any of this, or, better yet, GWB did it.

      The divider in chief will hopefully go down in history as such.

      • December 17, 2013 1:50 pm

        Don’t worry… I wouldn’t classify Obama as a moral giant. This was a compare-and-contrast exercise, after all. Lots of similarities, but some fundamental differences, too.

    • December 17, 2013 1:49 pm

      Ron: In terms of his actual domestic policies, Obama is to the right of Nixon. The Republican scale of what is tolerable has shifted so far to the right that Obama only seems like a leftist. Einstein’s theory of relativity should be relevant here (if only I knew a little more about physics).

      • Ron P permalink
        December 17, 2013 2:30 pm

        Rick, I am so glad you used Richard Nixon as a comparison for Obama. Both were or are aloof in their administrations, both have/had little contact with congressional representatives, both failed to lead the country out of an economic mess (Nixon:wage and price controls that did not work and never will, Obama; stimulus on wasted projects/companies), and both favored big government over smaller government (Obama, we know about, Nixon; EPA, OSHA, Medicaid based national health insurance for all for a few).

        But the most comparative issue is how truthful they were to the citizens.
        Nixon “I am not a crook”
        Obama ” If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”.

        And remember, Nixon was not and never was a conservative nor a moderate conservative. To win over that wing of the party , he had to pick Spiro Agnew as his VP to attract enough voters based on many southern conservatives voting for George Wallace. One of his major competitors for the nomination was Ronald Reagan, then governor of California. That is before CA moved so far left that is almost broke off from the mainland.

        But since you did mention how the GOP has moved so much farther right, it might be good to look at JFK and Bill clinton and their policies and compare them to present day liberals. I beleive you will find that much the same as with the GOP has taken place with the Donkeys.

      • December 17, 2013 8:22 pm

        Indeed. If you took Kennedy’s policies and took his name off of them, floated them out today, they would likely call him a right wing terrorist.

      • December 17, 2013 8:20 pm

        Nonsense, pure and simple. Obama would nationalize anything he could if allowed to do so.

        Gun control, Pipeline, EPA, NSA, Obamacare, the guy is a statist, pure and simple.

        I expect better of you Rick.

      • April 19, 2014 4:46 pm

        You are correct – Obama is likely to the right of Nixon.
        Nixon is probably the most liberal president since FDR.

  5. Roby L permalink
    December 15, 2013 7:42 pm

    We have had two eight year presidencies in a row, both very sour ones, both with few success stories. I think they are very connected presidencies. I doubt history will be kind to either man. I believe that the whole era is connected with the twin catastrophes, 911 and the financial crisis, these still dominate our national psyche, even today, we are much more worried than we ever were before in my lifetime about the American destiny. Throw in baby boomer retirement entitlement crises, free trade with China, global warming… Its a dismal era. Its completely significant that these catastrophes took place in the brand new internet era in which every person chooses their news from a nearly infinite range of sources and designs and reinforces their own worldview ad nauseum. Goodbye Walter Cronkite, David Jennings, and David Brinkley, hello 10000 channels. This new internet news culture is a breeding ground for extremism. We have really lost the American feeling of a central American culture in this period, Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio, (ABC, CBS and NBC)?

    The USA and W Bush had the goodwill of every decent corner of the world the day after 911, by the end of his presidency he had lost that nearly completely with his unilateral statesmanship that could not have been more opposite to that of his father, which was based on diplomacy and consultation. He simply is a far less talented man than his father, but he got two terms anyhow.

    Obama, in a similar way has not had any instinct for negotiation or compromise or consultation with the opposition. I believe this most of all because the clearly sane and moderate Olympia Snowe noted it with disgust when she chose to leave the Senate. I speak most of all of his first several years before the opposition had become too nutty to negotiate with. And I think Obama and the over reaching democrats deserve a good share of the blame for that fact as well.

    Mandela’s life was a series of historical accidents, like anyone’s life, but the accidents turned out to work on his behalf in his time and part of the world. His style of leadership once he was freed from his decades in prison was conciliatory in the extreme. This alleged Marxist socialized nothing and defended his political opponents. A very deep and moderate man. That kind of history cannot really happen in the US, oppressed minority to activist lawyer to radical revolutionary to prisoner for decades to unifying political leader. It would take three lifetimes here for an entire people to go through that chain.

    As to history, it is not stupid (or fast). History will not validate the opinions of the ideological comentariate, professional or internet. It will not record that W Bush was a stupid, dishonorable, or evil man. He just was not intelligent enough to be president or a good enough speaker or diplomat. He was a simple man when a giant was needed. History will not conclude that W was a right winger, he was a obviously moderate conservative, or that he invented reasons from nowhere to invade Iraq. He just fell for Saddam Hussein’s attempt to make the world believe he was a very big fish, as did the intelligence community in general.

    History is also not going to record that Obama is some kind of left winger, the actual left disdains him and with reason, his chosen candidate for the Fed Chair was Larry Summers, his picks for the courts have been regarded as moderates, he has kept the US out of holy wars, he got Bin Laden, etc.. The health care reform crusade was in democratic DNA and Obama could not have avoided his party’s central wish for how to spend their 2008 political capital. Clearly they squandered that capital Obama has always far over stated the potential outcomes of his policies to the point of absurdity. I remember listening to his promises in 2007 and saying to myself that he was out of his mind to overstate the potential for his plans to such an extent. So. I am not upset when conservatives criticize him from that angle, that is fair play. It has been almost impossible for me to take conservative seriously in the last 4 years, there may be some sane reasonable voices and points of view in there but it has been drowned out by the ugly lunatic noise.

    There you have it: Sixteen years of two presidents who just were not large enough to lead the country through a very bad and polarizing patch in our history. That is what I believe history will record in the fullness of time. I hope that history will also record that this period was followed by one dominated by a more talented leader. Can anyone see one on the horizon?

    • Ron P permalink
      December 15, 2013 10:56 pm

      Roby, I must agree with much you have said. But I do have to mention that those of us that were born shortly after the war have lived through much more trying times. The asination of JFK began a period in this country that no one wants to live through again. Growing up in a era where duck and cover in school was a regular excercse due to the cold war, the treat of nuclear warfare was on everyones mind 9Cuban missle crisis) and the deaths of JFK, MLK, RFK and others killed during that period of time were much more problematic than todays problems. There was good that came from this period, but the riots in various cities left many homeless and without businesses, let alone a fealing of hopelessness. Top that off with the Viet Nam war that was fought from Washington and not by field commanders left the young men in this country torn between fighting and standing up for their beliefs. Many went to jail and some to Canada to avoid a situation everyone today knows was an unnecessary war. The country was more split than ever and violent demonstrations took place defending positions that people believed in. And if you were male and did not participate, you went home each day and opened the mail box with great fear that the letter from Uncle Sam was waiting demanding you to report for selective service to fight in the war you were against. If you or your family was not impacted by those issues, then add in the Nixon resignation, the impact of gas shortages, the financial crisis of “stagflation”, 18% interest rates on mortgages and finally topped off by the Iranian hostage crisis.

      So for those today that never lived during that time, we are divided. But most of the division is in Washington and most of the heated debates are on the internet (e-mails, blogs, etc) or in congress. Individuals are not part of those debates and demonstrations as was normal in the 60’s. The uncertainty that exist in the country today, many have some control over how it impacts them personally. In the 60’s, you had little control over the draft and fighting in Viet Nam. If you were black, you had little control over racism that was much more widespread than today. Many today that have been hit the hardest by the financial crisis are those that over extended themselves by buying homes that they would not have been able to afford under traditional mortgages (20% down and payments not over a specific percent of income), bought new cars when they had used cars that did not need replacing, attended colleges that left them with 6 digit loans when state schools would have allowd the same education, filled homes with every electronic gadget available and have monthy payments equal to their monthly food bills for internet, cable and other subscription services that they could live without if their budgets did not allow for those expenses.

      Today, if you are wise, you can mitigate some financial downfalls in the country. You can plan your future for when a financial crisis happens again. But the key is being wise, much like those that came out of the depression in 32 with some financial security due to their planning. Not many did it and today, with the self centered, what’s-in-it-for-me society,. not many will do it in the future. But that is their choice. In the 60’s and early 70’s, for a male, their was little choice if you were not well connected to be able to join the reserves or national guard. You went to war! As one financial advisor on radio says “live today like no one else so tomorrow you can live like no one else”. Saving today. not spending money on unecessary items and planning for the future will provide you with a future like few others will have and then you can spend for all those things you want and not go in debt to get them. And not having debt will provide you the security to continue to live like no one else when the next financial crisis occurs and when you do not have social security as the only income for retirement

      So yes, we have had 16 years of two presidents not large enough to lead this country. But compare that to the same time period beginning in 1963, and I believe you will find that period much more difficult for the average American.

      • Roby L permalink
        December 16, 2013 1:13 am

        Yes Ron, I grew up in those times, I remember. All you said and said beautifully is true. I was 17 when the Vietnam draft ended, just missed But we also had that post WWII confidence, America was the worlds first super power we were economically flying while our competitors in Europe were still trying to dig out from rubble. Seemed we were the world leader in Everything. We put a man on the moon in ten years of work. The possibilities seemed endless. Maybe its just silly nostalgia, but we had rock and roll, T-birds and Life Magazine along with the war and Nixon and the arms race. Plus I was just a kid, someone a little older may have more realized the gravity of the situation more. We also had the Huntley-Brinkley report and Ed Sullivan and in some sense everyone was on the same page watched the same shows read the same news, which was directed at the average person or center of the spectrum. Now….

        Now the world has rebuilt itself and caught up and American poor people (and not just poor people) compete with poor people in third world nations for jobs. We are still a super power but that is getting to be a very onerous job, long ago already. We are fractured polarized and beset from all sides. That is how it seems to me. As well, the Carter years were economically bad, but today’s economic problems are worse I think, debt, balance of trade, etc.

      • December 16, 2013 9:24 am

        “That is how it seems to me. As well, the Carter years were economically bad, but today’s economic problems are worse I think, debt, balance of trade, etc.””

        Roby and Ron. Well said, mates. I would differ just a bit on the last point and award a tie in terms of economics. Indeed, the term “misery index” was coined during the Cater years (brief but very painful by my memory). Imagine if old Jimmy had had more than four years in office.

        Anyway, it is clear to most that we need a “reset” in terms of leadership. The current bunch (POTUS and Congress) are certainly not doing the job.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 16, 2013 12:29 pm

        Jb…”Anyway, it is clear to most that we need a “reset” in terms of leadership. The current bunch (POTUS and Congress) are certainly not doing the job.”

        Amen to that, Ak someone about congress and 90% (plus or minus a couple points) disapprove, but ask them about their representatives and that number goes into the approval category. It’s the others that are bad.

        Given these circumstances, a “reset” is not likely anytime soon.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 16, 2013 12:21 pm

        I think the age difference between you and I have alot to do with how we view that period of time. While you were still in high school, I was just finishing up 4 years in the Navy. That means when I was looking into that mail box each day coming home from college (went to one close to home to save money), you most likely were still in midle school or just start HS. I also lived in southern CA. during the Watts riot. So those few years difference most likely allowed you to grow up hearing more about the good (moon landings) and paying attention to the positives, while others were more effected by the negative.

        I agree we are divided, but that is no different than other times we have been divided. We experienced the Goldwater republicans take control of that party. We experienced the McGoverns and Mondales take control of the democrat party. In both cases, the independant and moderate voters held enough influence that both moved back to the center.

        Will that happen today? We can only hope and wait to see if the more self centered younger generation holds enough influence today (much like the Reagan Democrats) to make that move back to the center happen again and bring the country back together. If they do not, most likely we are destined for 4-8 years of Hillary Clinton as president. If the GOP runs someone from the Ted Cruz wing of the party, few moderates or independants will swing in that direction.

        And if Hillary wins, what’s the chances that the great divide we experience today will be eliminated?

      • December 16, 2013 1:46 pm

        I think there is no chance that Hilliary Clinton will act as someone who brings us together. I believe she is much more galvanizing than her husband and is more of an idealogue.

        Let’s hope we don’t to test this hypoethesis.

      • December 18, 2013 12:16 pm

        I am not looking forward to a Hillary presidency, and she seems like the odds-on favorite at this point. I think she combines the worst of Democrat social engineering and Republican allegiance to the financial-corporate establishment.

  6. Priscilla permalink
    December 15, 2013 9:37 pm

    Roby, you sound more and more like our old friend Ian….could it be?

    Rick, I liked this post a lot, and ,while you and I have different personal attitudes toward Obama (as in, you mostly think he’s a good guy who’s made mistakes, and I mostly think he’s an arrogant poser) I do mostly agree with your portrayal of the President here. I do believe that he is an introvert of sorts, and if not exactly an introvert, certainly an insular man, who does not enjoy the people side of politics, and prefers to associate with those who think and act and live like he does. I mean, we all are like that, to a degree, but his obvious distaste for those who oppose him on policy, and his tendency to portray himself as their victim, rather than to try and persuade and cajole them over to his side is a real weakness when you are the political leader of a large and diverse nation.

    I also agree that nothing in Obama’s past has prepared him for the level of failure and disapproval that he is experiencing now. One has to experience failure to learn from it, and Obama has pretty much been shielded from failure, not only by his own risk-averse, indecisive personality, but by the many powerful people and forces that have allowed him to become wildly successful, rich, and powerful (beyond, I am sure, his wildest dreams), without his ever having had to do anything other than give a halfway decent speech. His presidency arose from a cult of personality that was constructed around him, not from anything that he had achieved. Obama himself, in the autobiography ( that was likely written by Bill Ayres) refers to his appeal as that of someone upon whom others project their own hopes and dreams, not necessarily someone who has earned their trust or loyalty.

    While I have no doubt that Obama himself believes that he is the American Mandela, by virtue of being the first African-American president, the very fact that he doesn’t grasp the huge differences between them is telling. On the other hand, it’s understandable…..he’s been elected President, he has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and millions idolize him. And he has never had to overcome any real adversity – other than some deranged Republican opposition 😉

    • Roby L permalink
      December 16, 2013 12:51 am

      I would have thought I sounded like him from the get go, just not quite as much of a windbag till this time.

      Roby L stands for Roby Lakatos, an amazing musician I discovered this year. If curious you can look him up on youtube, he plays classical jazz, gypsy and Hungarian music and a mixture of all that together at times. So he was on my mind when I choose a name this time. I was trying to escape from some of the worst Rude habits that went with being Ian.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 16, 2013 9:40 am

        Wow, that is some seriously fine fiddle playing!

      • December 18, 2013 12:13 pm

        Ian, you old rascal… I had no idea that Roby was you. (Priscilla, you’re a better sleuth than I am.) Welcome back to the one place where liberals and conservatives disagree on everything but still like each other.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 18, 2013 1:39 pm

        Rick it is not all the time conservatives and liberals disagree at this site. I think there would be alot of agreement concering this issue.
        Wonder how many agree that there is not money in some other entitlement or tax loophole that could have been targeted instead of this.

      • December 18, 2013 2:54 pm

        What, and give up the illegal alien vote?

    • December 18, 2013 12:10 pm

      Priscilla: Good analysis of Obama’s “failed messiah” presidency. I think he suffered as a result of his premature grooming by zealous Democrat operatives; he eagerly bought the story they wrote for him (who wouldn’t have, in his position?), and then he had to cover for the gaps in his political education by bluffing now and then.

      He could have benefited from a full term in the Senate, which would either have shaped him into a better leader or revealed his weaknesses enough so that he wouldn’t have made a successful run for president. I don’t see him as a fraud, just unseasoned and unprepared (as you said) for all the bruising challenges of his presidency — especially after everyone had rolled out the red carpet for him in advance.

      • December 18, 2013 12:39 pm

        It is ironic that the POTUS who promised the “most transparent administration in history has his records sealed and has presided over the NSA debacle.

        In wonder if the NSA knows what Barry’s GPA was at Columbia? I sure don’t, even though I pay his salary.

  7. December 15, 2013 10:22 pm

    In the end, I believe that Obama’s main character flaw is that he is lazy. He is not a deep thinker, not does he seem to have any real work ethic. Whatever his upbringing, I doubt he needed to every really dig deep to get by. He seems to glide from day to day, waiting for someone to write him a speech and point him to the venue and the teleprompter.

    Think about it. Has there ever been a US President in recent memory who has accomplished so little and been elected POTUS? Perhaps this is the legacy of affirmative action and perhaps Joe Biden was dead on (for once) in his assessment of Barak Obama.

    In any event, the US is much poorer for this episode of affirmative action. Let’s hope he has not poisoned the well for anyone else who has a darker pigment that we can see.

    In the end, MLK was right. Let’s judge a man by the content of his character.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 16, 2013 9:30 am

      I do think that there is an element of laziness in Obama….more often he appears, to me, as someone who tries to get it right, but simply doesn’t get this whole “president thing.” In his few – and mostly pretty lame -attempts to launch what the media referred to as “charm offensives,” or outreach, to Republicans, he invited them to dinner, or to lunch to chat, rather than to go to Capitol hill or to work the phones furiously in an effort to persuade, influence, or even threaten lawmakers to reach a workable compromise. It’s almost as if he believes that, merely by associating with him, opponents will see the light and fall in line with his agenda.

      Then, when it doesn’t work (and it always worked before!), he becomes angry and wants revenge for their “obstructionism,” as if opposing that agenda is, ipso facto, evidence of a desire to destroy him personally.

      It’s happened enough now, that he just wants to go play golf, or shoot hoops, or hang with some other “cool world leaders, like Cameron and that pretty Danish PM, rather than play the dirty game of politics that he signed on for and doesn’t understand how to play.

      • December 16, 2013 9:51 am

        Well, he does want host Sports Center when he is finished as POTUS;. Perhaps we can speed this along?

  8. December 15, 2013 10:23 pm

    As an aside, don’t you love it when a person is one-half African and decides he is an African American. Why is that the default setting?

    • December 18, 2013 11:58 am

      I’m guessing that Obama thinks of himself as black (rather than half-and-half) because most people regarded him as black during his formative years. As it is, most children of mixed marriages look more black than white — the black genes tend to be dominant because they’re probably the “default” genes of our species, going back to our origins in Africa.

      In the old South, of course, you were considered black if you had “one drop” of black blood. Those who looked reasonably white would try to pass as white. Obama wouldn’t have been able to “pass” based on his looks, even though you can see evidence of his white ancestry.

  9. Roby L permalink
    December 16, 2013 11:38 am

    My son got me going on learning the fifth Hungarian dance, from there I went to youtube and looked up various performances, that’s how I stumbled on Roby. He is a fully schooled classical player, graduated from the Budapest conservatory with honors, records classical music with straight out classical musicians which I found and bought. His fiddle is a Guarnieri he inherited from his grandfather, who was the “king of the gypsy devil violinists.” Actually its his jazz playing that most of all knocks me down, he has those virtuosic classical chops, that deep gypsy vibrato, a priceless instrument and his jazz feel is just amazing. People who have met him in Europe playing at birthday parties and such say he is the nicest and friendliest person on earth. Ah, there is a life to envy.

    Mark O’Connor was my previous high water mark for crossover violinists, (my wife turned me on to Vanessa Mae years ago, another amazing crossover classical musician).

    Look up Leonid Kogin, on Youtube playing Paganini, that is another find my wife led me to last year. The piece is difficult beyond imagination and Kogin is clam and flawless. A sort of hidden Soviet treasure.

    YouTube is the best thing about the brave new world of technology.

  10. Roby L permalink
    December 16, 2013 11:57 am

    While I’m on a musical kick, here is another song for our times, beautifully played::

  11. Roby L permalink
    December 16, 2013 2:47 pm

    I can never put a reply in the correct place. Ron P, again I think you are right on the money in many ways, I guess the divide is a bit subjective and depends on experience. I also was close to riots, in Newark NJ, they burned the place down, in my early teen years, I think. My father taught civil war history at Rutgers in Newark. So it was close to us.

    As to Presidents, I really strongly disliked that would be Nixon and his carpet bombings and napalmings in all of southeast Asia and Clinton, who’s face and voice I never wanted to hear again long be fore he exited ungracefully. I do not have hopes for Hillary as a great or unifying experience.

    Funny to find common ground here with my old er, something, JBastiat. Miracles do happen sometimes!

    • December 16, 2013 3:23 pm

      Especially at Christmas!

    • Ron P permalink
      December 16, 2013 5:34 pm

      Finding common ground is why this is “the new moderate”. It may take some time but moderates do find a way to agree on some things. Jbastiat and I had a debate sometime ago on a subject and found where we did agree on some of the issues, but not all. But it took a few days and many comments before finding that common ground.

      And as you said about the division in the country today, that is why we can not get anything done as there are not enough moderates that can agree on 1/2 a loaf, so no one gets any part of the loaf and we end up with the mess we have today in DC.

      Jb…as for Hillary Clinton solvig the divide, I hope I did not leave the impression I thought she could. Can you imagine anyone attempting to question her decisions? Thats what is wrong with Obama today and that is what we need in the white house. Someone who ask for all the alternatives, weights the possible outcomes and then makes a decision. Not someone with all the answers, right or wrong unwilling to compromise.

      • December 16, 2013 6:59 pm

        No, Ron, I was pretty clear what you thought. You know, the irony of all this is that when Romney was governor in MA, I was living there. He was actually a good compromiser (had to be) while he was Gov. Being in private equity, you actually learn that flexibility is required, virtually all the time.

    • December 18, 2013 11:49 am

      “The New Moderate: Bringing Us Together Through Heated Political Squabbling Since 2009.” I don’t know, it might need some work. But it’s a nice concept. Glad to be doing my job.

  12. Priscilla permalink
    December 17, 2013 11:07 am

    I didn’t listen to Obama’s speech at the Mandela memorial, but I did read that, in the speech, he compared Mandela to Lincoln, which I believe, is a far more meaningful comparison.

    As Rick points out, Mandela has been lionized, in great part, because he was able to overcome the anger and bitterness that he held toward his enemies, who, unlike Obama’s political opponents, who merely vote differently than he wants them to, put Mandela in prison for almost 30 years. No doubt the man had tremendous anger, but he let it go, and he forgave and moved on in the interest of uniting his country. This was certainly Lincoln’s plan for Reconstruction- forgive, unite and move on.

    The Obama administration has been characterized by division, anger and revenge. Think about it: there has been the “99% vs the 1%”, the “war on women,” the refusal to support immigration laws in border states, references to the opposing political party as “terrorists” and “traitors,” etc. I recall that, during the final days of the 2012 campaign, he said that “voting was the best revenge” against the GOP….not “vote your conscience,” not “vote for me, because I am the best candidate.” Vote for revenge.

    This will be Obama’s legacy, such as it is……

    (Thanks for the links, Roby. I loved “Brother Can You Spare A Dime.” Heartbreakingly beautiful performance.)

    • December 18, 2013 11:43 am

      Priscilla: All true about Mandela, but I still don’t see Obama as divisive. His opponents portray him that way, and after a while some of us (cough, cough) start to believe it. Let’s face it: we live in polarized times. The anti-Obama invective I’ve seen is at least as vicious as the lefty “war on women” and “one-percenter” rhetoric, none of which has been generated by Obama himself.

      I do think Obama needed to offer a more balanced perspective on race during the Henry Louis Gates and George Zimmerman affairs. His sins are sins of omission: he could have used his bully pulpit to bring us together, and he seems to have shrunk from the task.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 19, 2013 1:45 am

        I agree that much of the divisiveness has been generated by those around Obama, and not specifically by him. On the other hand, are we supposed to give him a pass for being so detached from and uninvolved with his own presidency, that he doesn’t see the damage that this sort of rhetoric has done? Just because his sins are of omission doesn’t make them any less sins (no religious intent here!).

        This whole ObamaCare debacle is a perfect example. Now that it is imploding, in exactly the way that opponents of the law have been warning for 3 years (granted, I don’t think anyone ever imagined that the website would be such a disaster, but the millions of lost policies, the huge spike in costs, the elimination of choice, etc, were pretty much boilerplate), we are supposed to accept the explanation that Obama was “unaware” that these things were going to happen. That, in his words, people would “find themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me.”

        Seriously? Is he a spectator, or, worse, a victim, of his own administration?? And the poor people who, come 1/1/2014 will become ill or injured, and not have insurance are NOT the victims? Just people finding themselves in an unfortunate “situation”?

        This is why I understand anti-Obama invective…it is not racist or hateful. Well, some of it is…..but most of it is based on fear and loathing of a failed messiah who seems to care not a whit for the suffering that his failures have caused…..

      • December 19, 2013 6:59 am

        The soft bigotry of low expectations.

    • Roby L permalink
      December 18, 2013 12:07 pm

      Thanks for the thanks Priscilla. Strangely enough the guitarist is actually a Belgian Shopkeeper/amateur musician.

      My mom (well, both parents) grew up in the depression and her family went from well to do to busted. Her father was in engineering, worked for the railroad, that all disappeared, nothing else available, went from a nice house and life to a pitiful trailer in Canada. I saw it once. She and her sisters were great beauties and somehow they all escaped to Miami and were chased around by millionaires with airplanes (to hear her tell it). But boy, is she cheap, even today, the fallout from her depression experience. So, the song makes me think of my grandfather (who took to drink and disappeared). This relates a bit to what RonP was talking about with managing money and generations.

      Since music is a safe common ground, have some Rostropovich, this is just amazing:

      • December 18, 2013 12:37 pm

        Growing up with Depression era parents and grandparents was fascinating. I don’t think they ever recovered fully from the experience. In many ways, this type of upbringing was probably a good thing, net/net.

  13. December 17, 2013 1:45 pm

    Sorry I’ve been neglecting you guys. I was in the middle of writing my Christmas cards, and then I made the mistake of commenting about the Megyn Kelly race controversy on my Facebook page. 45 comments later, it’s still going strong.

    • Anonymous permalink
      December 17, 2013 2:10 pm

      So I saw…I actually went to and read the article that Megyn was originally responding to. It was not, as some on the thread have suggested, an ironic piece, rather it seriously suggested that Santa Claus henceforth be portrayed as a penquin, so as not to make non- white kids feel bad that a white guy was giving them presents. God forbid that children of color should love an old white guy.

      Your rant was epic, and right on the money.

      • December 18, 2013 11:36 am

        Anon: Thanks… it was about time for me to let off an “epic rant.” It’s hard to say just how serious the columnist was. Her tone was actually charmingly flip, but she revealed some serious prejudice against whites. What’s with the idea that black people can only relate to other blacks? Or that a bird is preferable to an old white guy?

      • December 18, 2013 11:49 am

        It is always nice to have a fall guy. Then, when you fail, you have an easy out to blame someone else. We are that fall guy.

    • Ron P permalink
      December 17, 2013 2:48 pm

      Well you started this one!! Why is this even issue? Santa Claus is a mythical figure that began in Europe well before the 19th century. The current European Santa is based on the Dutch Sinterklass. That white, bearded figure was brought to the US and became popular in the 19th century through books and stories. Did anyone in Africa create an image of Santa or any other mythical individual that bought presents to the children? Maybe the African American community needs to begin creating their own icons and stop trying to commander ones already created by others in the name of political correctness.

      Maybe it is time to accept what Christmas is and alwyas has been. And that is not “Present Day” that so many have come to know it to be.

      • December 17, 2013 8:24 pm

        Dead on. Santa Claus is a nice legend and the history on him is pretty clear. If Kwanza can be created out of nothing, why not go with it.

        Ah, this division based on skin color. Will it ever go away?

      • Ron P permalink
        December 18, 2013 12:42 am

        Jb..I doubt that division based on skin color will ever go away. Someone will always be able to find something to blame the others for some perceived wrong. Next I suspect they will say Donald Duck was not really a white duck, but a mallard duck of dark color or Mickey Mouse was not a black mouse with a light colored face, but a gray mouse.

        I have no problem with the black or hispanic community having their own imaginary figures, but when one is conceived and brought to this country when the Europeans immigrated, then it is not anyones position to try to change that image. Americans have done enough to change the original image of a bearded tall thin individual and made him a fat jolly man. Even that should not have happened unless the story introduced in this country about St Nick de[eicted him as being overweight.

        I also suspect someone will bring up the issue of St Nick in Africa or Latin America. That is not what this debate started out being. It was about what St. Nick looked like in this country.

        And finally, how many Chris Cringes will you find in the African American communities anyway. Not many I suspect.

      • December 18, 2013 2:46 am

        Ron: Yeah, if blacks don’t like the idea of the traditional white Santa Claus, they can create their own “Father Kwanzaa” or whatever would satisfy them. But alas, it would be another step toward racial separatism… and we’ve already gone too far in that direction.

  14. Priscilla permalink
    December 18, 2013 1:20 am

    I actually think that white liberals are more at fault for this bullshit than black people are. Granted, the “Santa should be a penguin” lady is black, but most of the people attacking Megyn Kelly for pointing out the obvious are Fox News-hating white liberals, who just want to make a big freaking deal about it, in order to discredit a rising Fox star.

    It’s just so monumentally stupid, and sad, really. MLK must be spinning in his grave. We are debating skin color and ignoring the content of character.

    • December 18, 2013 2:37 am

      I agree with you (up to a point), Priscilla. Some white liberals just have a knee-jerk “black good, white bad” reflex, probably from a combination of half a century of racial propaganda, fear of being tagged as racist (so they go to the opposite extreme), and a need to be accepted by their liberal friends (can’t go off the reservation on race issues). I think some of them also have an unconsciously patronizing attitude toward black people; it makes them feel noble to be assisting these poor benighted souls (as they perceive them).

      That said, I know some smart, educated black people who push this same agenda… who seem to view the world through a lens of perpetual racial resentment (black good, white bad). They grumble about “white privilege,” knowing full well that there’s nothing we can do about being white. (They also ignore the fact that the average working-class white is less privileged than the average middle-class black.) The boundaries they set on what constitutes acceptable white attitudes give them a degree of control over us, which has to be satisfying after 400 years of forced subservience.

      What also confounds me is that these same black chauvinists will insist that race is an artificial construct on the one hand… while they self-segregate, demand quotas and celebrate their blackness on the other hand. (Sorry, but you guys can’t have it both ways.)

      • December 18, 2013 8:54 am

        I work from the premise that my grandfather taught me: “If you have met one human being, you have met one human.” Each person really is quite a unique character, so assuming anything about them (good or bad) is simply silly.

        All of this “cultural competency” nonsense gives me a headache. Deal with the person standing right in front of you.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 19, 2013 2:10 am

        Seriously, JB, if only……

  15. December 18, 2013 9:26 am

    This is off-topic, but it is contains so many economic and behavioral fallacies that I can’t actually believe it.

  16. December 18, 2013 11:51 am

    If I had a son, he would have looked like Trayvon Martin. I could go on but you get the point.
    Hey, don’t be so hard on those black students!

  17. December 18, 2013 12:40 pm

    It is ironic that the POTUS who promised the “most transparent administration in history has his records sealed and has presided over the NSA debacle.

    In wonder if the NSA knows what Barry’s GPA was at Columbia? I sure don’t, even though I pay his salary.

  18. Priscilla permalink
    December 19, 2013 2:08 am

    Ugh. So, I just read about the Duck Dynasty guy who was suspended from the show for saying that he personally believes that homosexuality is a sin.

    Full disclosure: I have never seen “Duck Dynasty,” I am not religious, and I am not a particular fan of homophobic rednecks. On the other hand, are we now going to friggin’ FREAK OUT every time someone says something that offends some protected minority??

    If this Duck Dynasty guy was a Muslim, would he have been suspended?

    • December 19, 2013 7:04 am

      I read his comments, all of them. I didn’t see anything that was “offensive” in any way. Many people read the Bible in the way that he does and many people believe that gay behavior is a sin.

      So what? Are gay (in this case) folks so weak and sensitive that they need to have everyone fired because they are not in love with their lifestyle? Really? Do they crave approval that badly?

      I am a libertarian. Many folks don’t like that and tell me quite directly. Shall they all be fired. I drink red wine with dinner. Many folks believe ingesting alcohol is a sin. Shall they be fired for this belief.

      It is time for Americans to move on. If someone doesn’t like what you are up to, why is that an issue?

    • December 19, 2013 7:19 am

      Now, on the other hand, it is apparently OK to liken the GOP to a mass murdering cult leader?

      • Roby L permalink
        December 19, 2013 9:31 am

        Er, you do see the irony in your comment right? (Obama, Hitler?)

        I think the guy should be fired in this case. its the government that pays him, not a private company, and his idiot comments indicate an inability to do his job and be paid by taxpayers, and are insulting to 40% of the country.

        About 10 years back one of the three actual, literal, loudly publicly communist members of the UVM English Department, as part of their attacks on the USA following 911, met a conservative member of the polysci department on an elevator and asked him in front of students why he did not stop “being such a nazi.” In that period of my life I was involved, believe it or not, in a sort of activism against the over the top liberals and lefties in Vermont and I had an old friend who had been the head of the Vermont GOP who had a weekly newsletter that went out to about 1000 lawmakers and political people, as well as anyone else who wanted to see it online and I was one of the writers. My beat was the left wing wackiness at UVM. It actually mattered to UVM what coverage they got because they depended heavily on money from the legislature and the legislature actually was not amused by the extreme leftwing stuff that happened regularly at UVM. So I went after her for quite a few weeks in articles and she did apologize. Had tenure of course, so that was it.

        They were going to have Ward Churchill, the author of a repulsive diatribe against the people in the twin towers who were killed on 911 speak after 911 (look him up if you want to see the real far left of modern America), we embarrassed them to the point where they retracted that invitation, Howard Zinn did come and speak, every hippy from a 300 mile radius came to hear him conduct a “democratic meeting” chaired by another English Department Marxist, when he asked the crowd rhetorically whether anyone there supported the military response to 911 in Afghanistan, mine was the only hand that went up…. I covered that one too.
        After a year of our coverage we did succeed in embarrassing the university into balancing its political climate.

        I am no McCarthy and marxists have every right to be marxists and keep their jobs, but the attacks from the faculty at the state funded public university on America were nauseating and Vermonters, liberal as they may be, are not that far to the left to tolerate that right after 911. We taxpayers did not have an obligation to fund UVM if it was going to be little Cuba by the lake and they got that message.

        So, see what a funny gray thing free speech is?

      • December 19, 2013 11:17 am

        Not ironic at all. As far as I know, no one in the House of Rep or Senate likened Obama to Hitler; I did that.

        So far, no one has tried to get me fired, but it is a possibility. After all, I work at a University and there is nothing more PC than a University.

        The irony here is a WH that asserts it is trying to build new bridges to get deals done with the GOP and has the stupidity to bring this guy in to do it.

        Now, to take a page out of the Clinton playbook (Bill) he (Obama) should have found a moderate GOP’er who is well respected and hired THAT person. Maybe then, he would have a prayer.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 19, 2013 1:20 pm

        Jb..I don’t think you could find a well respected moderate GOP’er willing to kill a career that would accept that job. There may be some, but once the seach began and the word was out, most would have been running for the hills trying to avoid their names from being connected in anyway with the Obama administration.

      • December 19, 2013 1:54 pm

        You might be right there.

    • Roby L permalink
      December 19, 2013 9:02 am

      I understand your point, its just his opinion, why can’t he have it and state it? However he is employed by a company that is in the entertainment business and they have a right to protect their economic interests as they see them. He may have the right to sue them. So many grey areas in “free speech.

      • December 19, 2013 9:06 am

        Yes, I wasn’t referring to his employer’s actions (wimpy as they may be). That is between the two entities and their lawyers.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 19, 2013 10:23 am

        Roby, I do agree that A&E can suspend him from the show….he is under contract to the network, after all. But, my understanding is that “Duck Dynasty” is a hugely popular show, and it would seem to run counter to the network’s best economic interests to suspend this fellow for remarks that likely reflect the views of many of the show’s viewers. He didn’t use any offensive slurs and he was clear that he would never discriminate or treat anyone with disrespect because of their lifestyle. Apparently, A&E is more afraid of a backlash from the gay community than they are of hurting the ratings of a popular show.

        Just a few years ago, every politician, including Obama, publicly stated their opposition to gay marriage. Now, we’ve reached a point where expressing that opinion can get you fired from a job. It’s just nuts.

  19. Roby L permalink
    December 19, 2013 12:04 pm

    They really should change their software to allow replies right below comments.

    I think JBastiat that we mostly agree this time. I would expect your university to be embarrassed by your Hitler comparison if it were a very public comment, say, in front of students, but I would not expect that you can be legally fired for it. (Still, the irony here is directed at the idea that this comment would offend you once you have the habit of making similar ones yourself. Maybe everyone should lay off comparing anyone other than mass murderers to other mass murderers, just to keep the political conversations within the bounds of what peoples actual faults are?)

    But all that aside, this is for me the low point in the Obama time, I think that Podesta should have been fired immediately, not defended by Obama and so in this case the opinion that you Priscilla and RonP have of Obama seems validated, this is beyond disappointing, its just not acceptable, Podesta cannot now do his job and he has already harmed Obama’s credibility to do his and this gives credibility to complaints such as the ones you guys make. Just stupid, stupid, stupid, there is so much stupid in the world, apparently the mind is a terrible thing to control. I just finally lost my remaining sympathy with this administration.

    Now, I know that I myself have used words such as “lunatics” to describe some parts of the GOP/ conservative movement, but there is a difference between a lunatic and an infamous mass murderer. I might think that one of my neighbors is a lunatic, but If I suspected he was a mass murderer that would be a different problem. Scale is important.

    • Ron P permalink
      December 19, 2013 1:15 pm

      Roby, do not feel as though calling some parts of the GOP “lunatics” is bad. One definition of a lunatic is:
      “a person whose actions and manner are marked with extreme eccentricity or recklessness”

      Using that definition, I would say that it could apply to some in both parties that have allowed the debt a deficits to reach the levels they have today. In my mind, that is “extreme recklessness.

      Insanity has been defined as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Here again, members of both parties continue to vote for budget deals that they expect will reduce the deficits long term, but never do. They keep doing the same thing over and over.

      So I agree with you we have some lunatics in congress.

    • December 19, 2013 1:52 pm

      I think it is fair to say that Obama has difficulty in firing his folks. Sadly, that is also part of the job.

  20. Ron P permalink
    December 19, 2013 1:41 pm

    Change of direction. “We need to read the bill to know what’s in the bill……”

    Please read, but pay particular attention about 2/3rd’s the way down concerning homes and assets.

    Might want to share with anyone you know that could be impacted by this issue.

    For some reason, as intellegent a man that Mandela was, I doubt he would have ever allowed something as bad as Obamacare to hit the market. For some reason, after spending 25+ years in prison and reading as much as he read, I suspect he would have known most of what was in that bill before backing it.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 19, 2013 2:26 pm

      Ron, There are some aspects of Obamacare that are just frightening, and this is definitely one of them. The idea that people are being forced into Medicaid, and, as a result, could lose their assets if they become ill is just appalling. And it is apparently true, as I read a similar article the other day, in a mainstream newspaper.

      I have a friend whose daughter is in med school in the Caribbean. My friend has been an enthusiastic supporter of Obamacare, and so, early on, went to the website to get insurance for the daughter, who recently turned 27, so is ineligible to stay on her parents’ plan. The daughter has no real income,and is being financially supported by her parents, who are also paying her tuition. They are very well-off and are happy to do this….but they are not mega-rich. Anyway, after actually getting through the site, the daughter was placed on Medicaid, and they have not been able to get her off, even though they are willing to foot the bill for her premiums. Apparently, it is now “in the system” that the daughter is poor, because of her lack of income, and she will not be offered any ACA plan- she must accept Medicaid.

      Talk about insanity…..

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 19, 2013 2:53 pm

      Tying this back to Rick’s post….all of these topics bring up possibilities for Obama to be a true unifier and leader.

      For example, he could, any day, announce in one of his big speeches that he is calling upon Congress to pass legislative fixes to Obamacare, right away, before they go home for the holidays, and before any American citizens have to face the New Year not knowing what will happen if they need to go to a doctor or hospital.

      He could also hold a press conference, and make one of his off-the-cuff remarks about a hot-button current topic (e.g. Gates, Zimmerman, the Redskins, etc), and say “Listen, I’m a Christian and I don’t agree with Phil Robertson, but this is America and he is free to believe what he wants, as long as he does not infringe upon anyone’s rights.”

      Of course, we know he will not do either of these things…..but, somehow, I think that a POTUS of Mandela’s caliber would have figured out a way to do both.

  21. December 20, 2013 8:56 am

    Apparently, the word “law” means something in Barry land. I thought this was “established law?”

    • Ron P permalink
      December 20, 2013 3:32 pm

      I believe there are too many “the secretary of health will….” or “the administration will….” in the bill that allows for huge loopholes for the administration to jump through. Remember this was written by Pelosi and a handful of underlings that made sure the administration would have full lattitude in administering the law and not have its hands tied with specific requirements included in the legislation.

      If it is not this wording throughout the law, then why would at least the house not intoduce legislation that would take some of this power away from Obama. But I have asked this question many times before when he has governed by proclamation on other things and have never got a good answer from anyone other than the GOP wants their president to have these same powers if and when they capture the white house.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 20, 2013 6:24 pm

        I guess another reason is that the Senate would never pass it. I believe the House has passed several Obamacare “repeals”, but they were essentially show votes, and Harry Reid never even brought them to the Senate floor.

        But, I agree with your larger point, which is that GOP leaders in Washington always have an eye to the time when they will regain the White House and be able to claim precedent for the same executive powers that Obama has wielded. Neither party has tried very hard to rein him in…certainly we heard much more about “the imperial presidency” during the Bush administration, although Obama has been far more expansive in almost every way: war powers, executive privilege, selective enforcement, recess appointments, etc

      • Ron P permalink
        December 21, 2013 12:21 am

        Priscilla, I agree that the senate would not pass anything that was seen as anti-obamacare. But as you note in your other comments, executive power is something each party wants to keep. I found this information and wonder why it seems as though Obama is seen as abusing this power given these numbers.

        Before I say this, I am not defending Obama or any of his policies. But given these numbers, is he using some other form of orders to circumvent the monitoring of excutive orders? Is the latest directive concerning the delay in the enforcement of the mandate not considered an excutive order? If that has occurred, then many of his directives were also not counted as excutive orders through July which is when this count ended for Obama.

        If so, mybe they need to start counting directives not considered executive ordwers.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 21, 2013 10:50 am

        Ron, I think that the number of exec orders is less important that the intent. According to McClatchy, Obama has used executive orders to bypass Congress, with the excuse that gridlock is preventing necessary legislation :

        “He delayed the deportation of young illegal immigrants when Congress wouldn’t agree. He ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence, which Congress halted nearly 15 years ago. He told the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, deciding that the 1996 law defining marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional. He’s vowed to act on his own if Congress didn’t pass policies to prepare for climate change.

        Arguably more than any other president in modern history, he’s using executive actions, primarily orders, to bypass or pressure a Congress where the opposition Republicans can block any proposal.

        In essence, these are not executive orders so much as they are edicts. And certainly, Obama’s supporters can claim that a subsequent Republican president could reverse them, but in these examples, that would certainly be shutting the barn door after the horse is long gone.

      • December 21, 2013 12:40 pm

        This is what fascists do, they simply ignore laws, rules, and regs, when it suits their purposes. After all, they are “gifted” with knowing what everyone needs and wants.

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 21, 2013 11:09 am

        By comparison, many of Bush’s orders had to do with the aggressive war powers he claimed for commander-in-chief. And, to my knowledge, he never said anything like “I won’t wait for Congress to act”, or “If Congress won’t do it, I will.”

        I am not necessarily defending Bush’s expansion of presidential power, by the way, simply noting that he at least made an attempt to justify it under the Constitution.

        I am extremely perplexed by Obama’s latest “fix” to the health care law. Apparently, those who have had their policies cancelled will be exempt from the mandate for at least a year How does a president unilaterally exempt a group of people from a duly enacted federal tax (as defined by SCOTUS), lawfully enacted by Congress and signed by…..ummm, him?

      • Ron P permalink
        December 21, 2013 12:13 pm

        Priscilla, thanks for the good information concerning Obama directives compared to other presidents. I guess I did not follow the types of things past presidents did in the arena and did not have a good comparison for Obama. As for the obamacare mandates, I don’t think the GOP will touch anything that Obama does to try to fix a sinking ship. Maybe it is illegal for him to issue these mandates, but if no one questions his actions in court, then is it illegal until stated by the courts that it is?

        I think the GOP has hitched its wagon to the natural collapse of Obamacare and if it happens, then 2014 and possibly 2016 are GOP years. If it happens to right itself and become a benefitial law of the land between now and Oct 2014, then most likely the Dems will continue to control those offices.

  22. December 25, 2013 11:22 am

    Sweden: What you won’t read in the NY TImes:

  23. Priscilla permalink
    December 27, 2013 6:04 pm

    “Obama cannot be held solely culpable for the lack of legislative progress. Republicans played their part in that, too. But, even within the White House, there is a recognition that mistakes were made.”

    This is the kind of nonsensical analysis that drives me nuts. How do Republicans, a minority party holding only 1/2 of the Congress, and faced with a majority leader in the Senate who refuses to even bring House bills to the floor for debate, have culpability in Obama’s lack of progress? If the President and his Senate majority want legislation passed, isn’t it incumbent upon them to craft bills that can gain sufficient support from the opposition party?

    I am genuinely curious about this. Other than press bias, is there any reason to blame Obama’s bad year on the GOP?

    • Ron P permalink
      December 27, 2013 6:59 pm

      Priscilla, many will not agree with my accessment of Obama or any president, but I believe you have identified an issue that will take years to change. The problem? Just like the quarterback on a team, the president gets too much glory or too much blame. A team can win 40-37 and all the talk is about how great the QB did. If they lose 40-37, all the talk is about how he could not bring them back and win. No one says a thing about the 37 to 40 points the defense gave up when the average around the league is say 25. So when the President proposes something and delivers, he is a great leader. When he does not, he is a bad leader.

      If you look at the origin of our government, our founding leaders never wanted a president with power. The power rested in the house and some in the senate. The house was responsible for origination of bills, the senate concurred and the president signed it into law. The Presidents role was more in foreign policy where he could make treaties with the senate ratification. And he could also make appointments to key positions, with the senates approval such as SCOTUS.

      And remember, we have today exactly what the founding fathers designed. Split government so no one can have complete control, as we witnessed during the ACA approval procedure. If that one bill and the way it was approved does not prove that the founding fathers knew what they were doing, nothing does.

      However, we also have another issue at play. A united democrat party and a split GOP. The GOP has one wing of the party interested in governing and another that is interested in social engineering. Those interested in governing will compromise to get something accomplihed, if even only 50% of what they want, while those intersted in social engineering will not compromise their positions on issues like abortion, even if it means candidate that can not win in national elections. That is what happened with the Whig Party, they would not compromise their positions on slavery, so members of that party broke off and formed the Republican Party that stood for the end of slavery. We can only hope that we may see the rise of another moderate party and the end of the right wing extreme in the GOP that turn sure wins into democrat wins.

  24. Priscilla permalink
    December 28, 2013 2:14 pm

    I agree with you, Ron, that the right wing of the GOP has really screwed up this year….I tend to think that the tea party movement attracted its share of right-wing nutcases, just as the anti-war, environmentalist, feminist and gay-rights movements have spawned a large number of left-wing nutcases. Ideological movements do that, and, somehow, the tea party movement morphed into something more ideological than its grass-roots base anticipated.

    On the other hand, I think that the Democrats have screwed up worse….they have had plenty of opportunities to work with the GOP on fixing Obamacare, before it became the chaotic debacle that it is now, but there was no interest in doing so, as long as the media was willing to play along with the “party of no” narrative that Obama has been pushing on the GOP since 2010. I think that this Forbes piece hit the nail squarely:

    “This exemption also shows Obama is not interested in bipartisanship. Just as Republicans would have worked with him to delay the employer mandate, they would have happily worked with him to craft an exemption to the individual mandate. In both cases, the president took drastic, and possibly illegal, action to avoid working with Republicans. (It may yet dawn on Obama that he is the reason we don’t have a “normal political environment.”)”

    • December 28, 2013 6:16 pm

      I will disgree. The TP was dead on about Obamacare and everything they predicted about that law has happened, so far.

      I think the mainstream GOP is simply the Democrat lite party. More owes ahead for “moderates” IMHO.

      Obama is a narcicist of the highest order. He will not compromise even if he is getting most of what he wants. He wants it all, and it is all about his ego.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 28, 2013 7:32 pm

        Jb..I agree with Priscilla and her assessment of the TP and also on the Leftist democrats. I also agree with you on your assessment of the TP concerning Obamacare.

        But remeber the TP started out as an activist movement to control spending and control taxes. Look at the candidates they now put forward and none of them are moderates on social issues. They also want to stick their noses into personal choices that need to be left to the states. That is why they will not capture the senate and Hillary will be President. in Jan 2017.

    • Ron P permalink
      December 28, 2013 7:26 pm

      This is going to be a very interesting election along with 2016 in a number of races. Voters in races where the GOP candidates are more intersted in social issues, and as many younger moderate individuals believe, where they want to control personal behaviors more than govern the country’s financial situation running against the democrats that screwed up individuals personal lives with this Obamacare mess have a difficult decision to make. Both are viewed as interferring with personal choices, even though health insurance is not as personal as gay rights and womens choice.

      I fear two things happening. One, the moderate voters in those states where these candidate appear will chose not to vote as they will see there is not much difference between them, just the manner in which they present their positions or two, they will once again vote for the democrat as the screwed up Obamacare will be viewed as less intrusive than the GOP candidates positions on social issues.

      What we need in the GOP is candidates that beleive in less government, which in turn allows states to decide what to do in most social issues that come up. Then if we can keep the activist judges from screwing up that process (like Utah and gay marriage), then we may end up with a government more interested in fiscal issues and less on personal issues.

  25. Priscilla permalink
    December 28, 2013 11:23 pm

    JB, I agree, the TP has certainly been dead-on about Obamacare all along….but then, so has the entire GOP, tea party or not. Where I see the Tea Party screwing up is not in their stand against Obamacare, but in their refusal to be strategic about it, and in their “my way or the highway” attitude toward moderate Republicans who acknowledge the limitations of being a minority party, and believe that the only real way to get rid of O-Care is to win back control of the Congress and the Presidency. And, the only way to do that is to stop walking willingly into political traps like the shutdown, which was engineered by the Democrats, but hurt the GOP, because it created the perception of the party as extreme.

    Yes, there are some Republicans who are Dem-lites. But not a single Republican voted for the ACA, and I believe that every single one would vote to repeal. They should get this done and then go back to fighting among themselves… the big fights.

  26. Priscilla permalink
    December 29, 2013 9:26 am

    Just read a piece in “Salon” ( I know, I know… but it is a very popular site on the left) titled “Welcome to the New Civil War.” I cannot see how a moderate of any sort could not not see it as hateful and divisive. A couple of selected quotes:

    “…now we face a new Civil War, one focused on divisive political issues of the 21st century – most notably the rights and liberties of women and LGBT people – but rooted in toxic rhetoric and ideas inherited from the 19th century.”

    “…the activist core of the Republican Party is neo-Confederate, whether it thinks of itself that way or not. It isn’t interested in common cause with Mexicans or turning down the moral thermostat. Just ask Rick Santorum: What it wants is war.”

    Or how about this gem? ” Even making allowances for Bobby Jindal and Allen West, the neo-Confederate forces are perhaps 99 percent white, in a nation whose fastest-growing demographic groups are neither white nor black. ” ( I suppose Tim Scott, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, and, God forbid, Ted Cruz, are now “white?”).

    I’m wondering what Roby and Rick think of this article….I know that I have my biases against writers like this, but do either of you see anything of merit in this piece? Because I’m trying, but I don’t get it. First of all, why do we need to find common cause with Mexicans? Does turning down the “moral thermostat” mean that we should be less moral? Or just less moralistic? And, for goodness sake, let’s keep Rick freaking Santorum out of this……

  27. December 29, 2013 11:12 am

    Priscilla: I’m pretty sure I saw that column when it first appeared. Not my cup of tea, but the premise was interesting: that 150 years after the Civil War, our country still tends to split ideologically and culturally along the old Union-Confederate lines. Sometimes I think we really are two separate and irreconcilable nations, and that Lincoln just should have let the Rebels go their own way. (I wonder how much longer slavery would have survived, though.)

    The author, by using Civil War hyperbole, was “ratcheting up the rhetoric” far more than necessary. But of course the Tea Partiers have been doing this all along, with the more extremist elements essentially calling for a jihad against the “socialist-in-chief” and all his minions. Some of the right-wing articles and comments (especially the comments) I see online are pretty scary. So both extremes must plead guilty to overwrought rhetoric.

    You know me: I’m heartily sick of the special-interest mentality that prevails on the left. They’ve broken down the country into narcissistic mini-nations based on gender, race and sexuality, each of them conscious only of its own agenda. They’re dividing the country at least as much as the “Neo-Confederates” are accused of doing.

    In discussing the unfortunate outcome of Reconstruction, the author places all the blame on the Jim Crow Southerners without mentioning the brutal impositions by the radical Reconstructionists from the North. This omission reveals a willful lack of balance. If Lincoln had lived, Reconstruction would have progressed along more conciliatory lines, and Jim Crow might never have reared its ugly head.

    Are the “Neo-Confederates” 99% white? No, but they’re probably 95% white. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Ted Cruz and Rubio are white Hispanics, by the way. Sort of like Desi Arnaz and Ricardo Montalban. And I think Cruz is half Irish or something, isn’t he?

    As for “common cause with Mexico,” I have no idea what the author had in mind there. Open borders? A future union between the two countries? Weird.

    • Priscilla permalink
      December 29, 2013 9:19 pm

      Rick, you bring up an interesting point about “white Hispanics,” given that all three of the current Hispanic members of the Senate (Cruz, Rubio, and Bob Menendez of NJ) are of Cuban descent and are white. So, are Mexicans non- white? I know we agree on the ridiculousness of this skin color thing, but, if brown skin tone is what the writer of the Salon piece is looking for, there is an up and coming Bush – George P., Jeb’s son, whose mother is Mexican, and he “looks” Mexican – who would fit the bill. Imagine that – a non-white Bush! Somehow, I think that Salon would find a way to lump young Mr. Bush into the “allowances for Jindal and West” group, along with the many minority Republicans that he cavalierly dismisses as neo-Confederates.

      I guess my view is that articles like this, which purport to be analytical, are really just a examples of today’s yellow journalism. There is no greater understanding or good that can be gleaned from this writer’s view of the GOP; it’s just a propaganda piece meant to create fear and division.

      Too bad they don’t hire writers like you……

  28. Roby L permalink
    December 29, 2013 12:38 pm

    Priscilla, no time to read the article itself but the quotes you posted seem to be left rhetoric of course, but are more or less objectively true for the part of the base, which I guess is on the order of 10 million people, who listen to Rush Limbaugh et al, now that is really hate-based rhetoric and there is an endless appetite for it by a significant part of the activist core of the GOP. Until Rush’s movement is thoroughly repudiated by the GOP and GOP moderates I will have a very negative opinion of the GOP and will have some sympathy for descriptions of the GOP base like that you posted. The writer should have not branded all of the GOP base with the same brush, but at the same time, even the non ditto head portion of the base does not speak out nearly enough against the disgusting tripe that excites Rush Nation so they get rolled together in the minds of many.

    Look, my favorite presidents of my lifetime where Gerry Ford, and Bush I. The last democrat that really excited me was John Glenn. I’ll vote for Christy if he does not chose some total nut job as VP. I nearly ran for the Vermont Senate as a Republican a decade back as part of my backlash against an over the top class warfare based state property tax (which still exists and benefits me personally by the way). I’m not the far left in any form. The far left are well known and repulsive to me, but they constitute a much smaller portion of the base of the Democratic party than the far right do of the GOP. The real far left have nothing to do with democrats most of the time, Like Ralph Nadar, they delight in tormenting them. But on the right side of the equation a large part of the far right is very comfortable with the GOP. They hunt Rinos and see them everywhere of course, but the GOP is still their party.

    Lots of people on the far right who hold repulsive political opinions are not otherwise repulsive people, as long as I don’t talk about politics with them they are just hard working people much of the time. But that right wing radio hate machine is a national disease. I am not going to get into an argument with anyone here trying to prove that it is hateful, one sees it or doesn’t, its the lens thing.

    By the way I and mine had a truly beautiful Christmas and I hope all here did too.

    • Roby L permalink
      December 29, 2013 12:46 pm

      One more thing, actually every member of the far left I have met or seen somewhere, WAS a repulsive human and rarely hard working. So in that sense I have more sympathy with the right nuts or at least some of them.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 29, 2013 1:55 pm

        I have read many times that the US is a nation where a larger percentage of people are moderate right than anywhere else on the political scale.

        If that is a fact, why does the largest percentage of voters have to pick from candidates that do not represent their points of view, but just a small part of their views?

        Could that be why there are 35% or thereabouts that do not vote at all? Why vote when what you support is being ignored by both parties?

        And why do they believe in silence being better than rising up and asking for something better like the original Tea Party activist before the social activist took control of that wing of the GOP?

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 29, 2013 9:42 pm

        Roby, I do agree with you about leftists. And, Ron, while I share your frustration with the TP’s evolution into a purist right-wing faction of the GOP, I guess I am constantly underestimating the importance of the social stuff. I roll my eyes at the stupidity of a Todd What’s-his-name and his dumb “legitimate rape” comment, but a lot of politicians are stupid and we all know what he meant by his statement, which was idiotic and incorrect, but, in the scheme of things, far less stupid than Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson saying that Guam would tip over and capsize, if it became overpopulated. (For my money, an Onion-worthy real life moment, lol).

        But, you seem to have a better handle on how this kind of stuff hurts the GOP. I just hope you’re wrong about Hillary!

      • Ron P permalink
        December 30, 2013 1:29 am have one of the 50-50 senate seats that were lost when they picked Todd Akin over other candidates and he lost to Claire McCaskill in 2012, then there was Sharon Angle who only ran becasue the Reid campaign poored millions into negative ads against Sue Lowden, a more attractive candidate to moderates until a stupid remark made off the cuff about bartering for healthcare. But the one person the national campaign wanted to run bowed out and he was the one considered the best bet to defeat Reid. Even Sue Lowden was more popular to independants than Reid or Angle. Last was the 2008 race in Deleware where a more centrist Republican Tim Smith lost in the promary to the Tea Party candidate ODonnell. That was a sure win for the GOP until she bagan talking about witchs and being part of that movement when she was in college. There are others like Alaska that would have resulted in a democrat in the senate had it not been for the fact the GOP incumbant ran as an independant and defeated both the other party candidates.

        To anyone over 40 to 45, the social issues are not as important as the fiscal issues. But ask a young unaffiliated voter to rate immigration, gay rights, womens choice and the other social issues alog with fiscal issues like lower taxes, debt, deficits control etc and you will find that most will place the social issues above the fiscal issues. And for the GOP to become a party for voters other than old white guys, they need to understand younger voters are much more liberal on social issues even if they are fiscal conservatives.;

  29. Ron P permalink
    December 30, 2013 1:48 am

    Priscilla..A timely article. Talks about past GOP problem candidates.–election.html

    Of all the races going today, I can only comment on North Carolina. If Tillis can keep his mouth shut about social issues, which he is very conservative, but not to the liking of the Tea Party, then that one can be had since Hagan only defeated the GOP candidate by a couple points due to Obama’s coattails. But run one of the other two and I would bet on Hagan with a double digit win since NC is a moderate right state due to all the industry coming in from the northeast and bringing the northern liberals with them.

    • December 30, 2013 11:06 am

      Of course, this guy is not seen as “extreme!” in any way. God bless NYC, they will need it.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 30, 2013 1:42 pm

        Local elections and federal elections for house members can result to far left or right candidates winning their respective races. Moving to state wide elections where the smaller districts that elect extreme candidates are mixed with moderate or opposing party districts, it takes a much more centrist candidate to win. That is why much of the senate is more moderate on both sides of the isle. Many of the Tea Party supported senators got there before there was ever a Tea Party and they have been adopted by the Tea Party until someone much more right wing comes along that has the money to challenge the incumbant.

        Since most of the Democrat party candidates have been viewed as more moderate when it came to the senate races, they have been able to win against what is viewed as the extreme Tea Pary candidates by the GOP challanging incumbant democrat senators.

        If the GOP keeps running unelectible candidates, one can only hope the Democrats will flame out and begin running candidates 180 degrees opposite (like DiBlassio) the GOP so the only choices are extreme on either side. Maybe then the moderate centrist voters in this country will get off the behinds and support a Tea Party type movement to get third party or independant centrist candidates elected.

        As for the NYC mayor, I want to see him try to screw the charter school system they have in place and when thousands of underprivilaged minority kids are sent back to under performing city schools they spent years trying to get out from under, then you will see the minority liberal population rebel. Thats when demonstrations will show up. Liberal policies are fine until they impact the liberals negatively, then they reject those policies just like the moderates and conservatives. The only difference, they make their views known and make demands publically where the conservatives sit on the butts and complain.

      • jbastiat permalink
        December 30, 2013 4:36 pm

        There are many challenges ahead. Since August of 2007, the Fed has increased the money supply by about 56% during a time where the overall GDP rose just 5% or so. Federal deficits are up over 6T since that time, With all of this artificial stimulus, where is the recovery? The middle class is right to ask all of the incumbents what exactly has happened.

        Wall street is pretty much having a field day, the stock market is booming but actual employment has been a bomb. The question for the policy makers is why?

        Why isn’t the economy booming? What would the dead Keynes say about all this. The feds have had their way and the result the crony capitalists have had a freaking field day. The Tea Party has been dead on in my opinion and it IS time to take back this country from corrupt pols that can be bought and sold like a cheap suit.

        If you are a moderate in the midst of all this, I think you are clueless or very naïve in deed. The next bubble coming up? Stock prices. Be very careful out there.

  30. Ron P permalink
    December 30, 2013 5:40 pm my mind there are degrees of being a moderate. One is being in the middle on everything and not really having an opinion. Another is being a liberal on social issues and a conservative on fiscal issues. Or maybe that is someone suffering from schizophrenia. But if that is the case, then I have a couple daughters and two soniin-laws that are like me and schizo.

    So using my liberal/conservative definition of a moderate, which I beleive is more common than not, the Tea Party has been dead on in the fiscal issues. But in elections, they can’t keep their noses out of personal issues that are important to the younger voter.

    So here are some issues that I keep hearing about from my kids and their friends.
    Why can’t congress agree on tax reform, increasing revenues through elimination of tax loophole and restucturing entitlement programs. (Fiscal Issue)
    Why can’t congress place some restrictions on the federal reseerve to control some of their QE activities? (Fiscal Issue)
    What difference does it make if two gay people want to marry?( Social issue)
    Why should those in Washington decide if a woman has a choice. Isn’t that a state issue? (Social Issue)
    If a child is brought into America under the age of 5 and is educated in America through college, why should that person be deported (sent home) when the only home they know is America?(Social Issue)
    If an Illegal alien marries an American and has children over a number of years of marriage and the kids are still in school, why should that person be deported? If the father is the illegal alien, isn’t the government going to have to support the family since the bread winner is not present? (Social Issue)

    So what kind of candidate is going to appeal to individuals with those beliefs? Rubio may fill part of the bill due to his immigration positions, but what about the choice and gay rights issues. And I have said it many times and no one has provided any response to the contrary, most younger voters will vote social issues before fiscal issue at this point in time.

    • December 30, 2013 6:07 pm

      Ron, Well thought through. I don’t have time for a reasoned response right now. I will tell you that it is clear to me that it is not a “choice” but a child. Ask any woman who has had a miscarriage after 4 weeks. They will tell you first hand that this is a life, not a blob of cells.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 31, 2013 12:32 am

        JB..And that is the difference between the Democrats and most centrist compared to the right. The democrats and centrist accept that each individual has a completely different moral code and they should be able to make their own decisions. The GOP believes they know best and want to make that decision for everyone else. I have made my decision as to what I believe, but I am not arrogant enough to beleave I have a right to impose my beliefs on others through laws. I can talk about those issues and try to convince people in believing the way I do, but that is as far as it goes.

        This arguement will never be solved due to religious and moral differences between individuals. We no longer live in a society that walks lock step in christian beliefs and have become a society that accepts many moral issues much different than in years past.

        Many will argue this has led to the moral decay of the nation just as many would argue that welfare programs have led to a generation of children who believe society owes them a living for doing nothing. And both arguements will continue for years to come and may never be answered.

      • December 31, 2013 11:03 am


        I guess I don’t understand your logic on abortion. One does not have to have a “Christian belief” to decide that murder is morally wrong and unacceptable. If I murdered your wife, would you accept that it was “OK” because my belief system told me so.

        No, I don’t think you would. If one looks at a “fetus” and at the data about what a fetus can feel at even 4 weeks of life, one can easily draw that conclusion that one is ending a life when an abortion is performed. Many former abortion MDs have made that exact statement and many MDs who don’t perform abortions are not relying on their religious beliefs to make that decision. They simply know they are taking a life.

        People who espouse that this life is a clump of cells are simply choosing to remain numb to the idea that our society allows woman to kill their children as long as they have not emerged from the womb.

        One does not have to be a “Christian” to see this clearly. That is why it is called “choice” or a woman’s right to control her body and all the other terminology to avoid acknowledging the real act. If you read the procedures for the various kinds of abortions, they all start with the killing of the fetus followed by removal from the womb.

        I don’t know about you, but that is clearly immoral and unacceptable in a “civilized” society. We are all supposed to walk around on egg shells so as not to offend? I find abortion about as offensive an act as I can think of.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 31, 2013 1:57 pm

        Jb..You and I agree on 99% of the abortion issue. The 1% is what you are willing to forgo compared to what I am willing to forgo.

        I want a GOP candidate that can win in statewide and national elections. If that means a more moderate position on abortion to get that candidate elected so the fiscal house of the US can be cleaned up, then I am willing to vote for that candidate regardless of their less conservative socail positions.

        My first criteria is fiscal matters. All energies need to be directed at that issue and not until that issue is fixed should we dwell on anything else.

      • December 31, 2013 3:29 pm

        Agreed. I would not apply an acid test on the issue. Life is full of compromises, even those I don’t like one bit.

  31. Priscilla permalink
    December 30, 2013 8:07 pm

    Hey, who you callin’ clueless, JB?

    Seriously, I agree that the TP has been dead-on when it comes to the economic issues that you articulate….in general, I agree, in principle, with the TP probably 90% of the time.
    But agreeing in principle and $2.50 will buy me a medium coffee at Dunkin Donuts ( I think!). My problem with the current state of the TP is that it is strategically incompetent.

    My anger at the TP over the shutdown had nothing to do with the actual government ‘shutting down’ (seriously, what a joke)… was anger at the utter stupidity of pursuing a “strategy” that played right into the Democrat narrative. The problem as I see it, was that the TP seemed to believe that it could manipulate and pressure Democrats in the same way that it had been successful in forcing the Republican leadership to go along with the futile shutdown strategy in the first place. The GOP leadership was left between a rock and a hard place – they could 1) defy the TP caucus and lose what little bargaining leverage they had in the CR fight or 2) they could march with the TP over the cliff and into the river and lose what little bargaining leverage they had in the CR fight. Clearly, either way, as long as the TP faction refused to go along with the party leadership, the Republicans were gonna lose.

    And the Democrats knew it…the Dems may not be principled (Obamacare has shown us that) but they are VERY strategic. It’s only because they are so utterly wrong on policy and incompetent at governing that the GOP has even a fighting chance to get back control of the Congress.

    So, I agree with both you and Ron. But I do think the TP needs to stop fighting its own party and win some battles.

    • December 30, 2013 10:49 pm

      “So, I agree with both you and Ron. But I do think the TP needs to stop fighting its own party and win some battles.”

      You may be right, Priscilla ( as you often are) but then again, we want to win the war, not some battles. When I look at the mainstream GOP with the likes of McConnell, McCain, et al, I will take Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and even Marco Rubio any day of the week.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 31, 2013 12:41 am

        Rand Paul is a Libertarian. What is his positions on social issues and do they align with the right wing TP positions? Marco Rubio aligns well with the TP on fiscal issues, but does he on immigration, gay rights, etc. We all know where Ted Cruz stand. He will take the GOP into oblivion before negotiating anything.

        But remeber, unless we used the atomic bomb in a war, each war was won by winning a series of individual battles. Reagan did that and many believe he was one of the top president ever. Would his compromising be acceptible today?

      • Priscilla permalink
        December 31, 2013 9:53 am

        I like all 3 of those guys (Paul, Rubio and Cruz), although I have become somewhat distrustful of Marco Rubio – not because he is not “conservative enough,” but because he is just ever -so-slick, and I’m sometimes afraid that we’re being “had” in the same way many were “had” with Obama – and I think that Cruz, although incredibly brilliant and politically courageous, has to rebuild too many political bridges, after his misstep on the budget filibuster (he was right, but the press was successfully able to portray him as an extremist firebrand). Rand Paul I like a great deal, although, when it comes to 2014, I am hopeful that a governor will win the nomination for POTUS .

        McCain and McConnell are entrenched, bought and paid for pols, just like Reid and Schumer. McCain, in particular, has made a career out of betraying his own party….and I’m not nearly as negative on McConnell as most conservatives are, but I certainly think that all four of the above-mentioned Senators personify the argument for term-limits.

      • Ron P permalink
        December 31, 2013 2:33 pm

        JB..This is good news. Especially for ones with views like mine. Reason being, the clinics are closing because of state laws and not Washington laws!!!!! Governing from the lowest level of government.

      • December 31, 2013 3:35 pm


  32. December 31, 2013 11:05 am

    “Reagan did that and many believe he was one of the top president ever. Would his compromising be acceptible today?”

    Reagan was the POTUS, and the GOP, as you may know, does not hold the WH. Do you really think Reagan could have found common ground with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi? Likely not. The Reagan comparison is more fairly placed on Obama’s shoulders. That dimwit won’t compromise not matter what the issue is.

  33. December 31, 2013 11:08 am

    “and I think that Cruz, although incredibly brilliant and politically courageous, has to rebuild too many political bridges, after his misstep on the budget filibuster (he was right, but the press was successfully able to portray him as an extremist firebrand). ”

    Well said. Cruz will never get a fair shake from the press. Neither will any other “radical” GOP member. Only the fake GOP guys like Christie and his ilk will every get a moment of piece from the lib press. That is why I laugh at the talk about “weak” GOP candidates. Really, should I remind us of the “credentials” of one Barack Obama when he ran for POTUS?

    Strong candidates? What GOP candidate can survive an corrupt press?

  34. December 31, 2013 11:11 am

    “Many will argue this has led to the moral decay of the nation just as many would argue that welfare programs have led to a generation of children who believe society owes them a living for doing nothing. And both arguements will continue for years to come and may never be answered.”

    There is no argument here as the data is clear to those who are willing to see it. The deniers have a horse in the race so no logic will ever convince them otherwise. Welfare? More money in, more poverty out.

    Any questions?

  35. December 31, 2013 11:22 am

    “The democrats and centrist accept that each individual has a completely different moral code and they should be able to make their own decisions.”

    That is one of the many possibilities. Let us not forget that democrats love to be elected and one of their core interest groups are “feminists” and the abortion industry. I doubt many Dems pols would remotely challenge the “choice” orthodoxy.

    PS-We enforce “moral code” decisions ALL THE TIME. The left believes that it is morally indefensible that everyone is not covered by health insurance. I don’t agree with that in any way. Why is it OK to force me to pay for health insurance and for others HI if I am morally opposed to such an action?

    Well, then, what shall we do? Can the centrist and dems respect that we have these moral differences? Oh, I see,. that is different. When it comes to money, it seems that these moral decisions are NOT left to the individual.

    You apparently can have it both ways if you are a Democrat (or a centrist)?

    • Ron P permalink
      December 31, 2013 2:26 pm

      The problem with the political landscape today is too many individuals have been pulled to one end of the scale or the other. That is why we have Pelosi, Reid, Cruz, and others of their thinking in congress. That is why we have the problems we have today.

      Could Eisenhower get elected today? Could Nixon get elected today? And even Reagan without moving farther right than he was? I doubt any would get elected as they probably would not even get the nomination.
      As an esample of how far right the GOP has moved, read the following.

      Had it not been for the watergate scandal, we most likely would have had Obamacare in 1976. Would the GOP have called it Nixoncare? I doubt it.

      I don’t like the healthcare program any better than you do. In fact, I like government in my life less than you do given your positions on some other social issues. But lets be sensible in our arguements concerning social issues. Can you really argue that aborting a fetus is the same as murdering someones wife? Next when I argue the LGBT crowd should be able to marry, will you argue those that want to should be able to marry a horse or cow?

      We most likely will never agree on our political positions. Mine is government should come from the least powerful level of government as possible. If local government can control the issue, then that is where the laws should come from. Washington DC should be the choice of last resort, providing a federal government that intrudes in peoples fiscal and social lives as least as possible. That is not happening today. Power has been relinguished by the states to the federal government, making it way to powerful which is what happens in socialist and communist countries around the world.

      • December 31, 2013 3:34 pm

        I agree in principle. That said, I would suggest that LGBT marrying is a much more complex topic than we let on. As far as these folks entering into a marriage contract and relating to whomever they want, I could care less.

        The social implications of these marriages (specific to family issues) is a more concerning topic, one that we can leave alone for a minute.

        I DO think one can equate a late term abortion with the murder of your wife. Moreover, there is simply no excuse for a late-term abortion. Period. What has the woman been up to for 24 weeks, doing her hair?

      • Ron P permalink
        December 31, 2013 5:44 pm

        OK we have discussed the late term abortion issue before and we both agreed this should not be allowed. But then when the morning after pill was brought up, the discussion got more murkey.
        But I believe that the efforts to control when abortions can be allowed should be placed within the states that need laws changed, not from the federal level. But hell, that the Libertarian in me that thinks most every power rest with the states and the federal government should be as weak as possible. Seem like that was the original intent of the founding fathers, but what did they know anyway?

      • December 31, 2013 5:58 pm

        I am with you on Federalism. I was at the drug store today picking up an Rx and the morning after pill was staring me right in the face. Now, I don’t like looking at that crap but it gave me pause:

        What in the hell is wrong with people that they actually wait until 25 weeks to make up their mind about having a child? With all of the BC and other aids we have, this is simply a result of being too stupid for words. If don’t want to have a child, use birth control you dummies (both of you).

        I have zero sympathy for women who “find themselves” having to have a late term abortion (assumes no late developing medical problems of course).

  36. Roby L permalink
    December 31, 2013 3:48 pm

    JB right you are, about the stock market. I would not touch it with a pole. I invest in real estate and lumber. Want money earn it with sweat equity. Anything else is just gambling. I know many people who had their retirement situations completely changed by the stock market, for the worse.

    My oldest daughter told me she wants to invest in stocks the other night, Oh boy did I give my opinion.

  37. Roby L permalink
    December 31, 2013 4:13 pm

    Its funny, sad, but funny, McCain is the one and only person in politics I actually like, whose personal integrity I can believe in, and whose hand I would find it a sincere pleasure to shake. He is a Senator representing the people of his state, all of them, not his party. That is just as true of a senator as a president. Independence from slavish obedience to the party line is a good thing, in fact its a great thing. Those are the heros. Listening to anyone with any hint of actual moderation or independence from their party get shot down here just reinforces all my usual ideas about where the center of ideological gravity lies in New Moderate discussions but they are so well known I won’t bore anyone stating them.

    I take it that Christy most like is unsuitably impure and disobedient as well. I might like to shake his hand for that as well.

    I’m afraid that no matter how much people like RonP try, thee are not enough of them who are “on fire” and the purity pole of the GOP will always have the upper hand, that’s where all the energy and boiling passion is located.

    Last presidential election was settled by moderates, I read the exit poles carefully, (not independents, moderates). Nor was it an anomaly. As a group, moderates ain’t gonna go for a candidate that has the approval of the purity wing of the GOP. As JB has expressed clearly, his part of the spectrum has no use for moderates and no interest in worrying about how we vote, he is out to somehow win a war without worrying about battles.

    I’m sorry Ron P, your ideas are powerful as ideas, but I doubt that they are powerful enough to overcome political realities in the GOP.

    • December 31, 2013 5:26 pm

      Christie lost me when he approved in-state tuition for illegals. Stupid and immoral IMHO. Has anyone ever heard of the rule of law?

    • December 31, 2013 5:34 pm

      Interesting data I just reviewed.

      In the five years that BO has been POTUS, the number of Americans on SS Disability increased 30% to just under 11M people. Hmmm, it might be me, but doesn’t this look just a BIT out of whack with reality.

      Perhaps, its the economy. Add in food stamps and unemployment and one can conclude Socialism has arrived in its full glory. I wonder why I keep working?

    • Ron P permalink
      December 31, 2013 5:55 pm

      “I’m sorry Ron P, your ideas are powerful as ideas, but I doubt that they are powerful enough to overcome political realities in the GOP.”

      Well Roby, one can dream that someday there will be another “Reagan Democrat movement” in this country where the left of center, center and right of center voter will get off their butts and vote in primaries so more electible candidates will be on the ticket.

      If NC picks anyone but Thom Tillis to challenge Kay Hagan, I will be wasting my vote on the Libertarian as I can not vote for anyone that is in the catagory of a Sharon Angle, Christine O’Donnell or the nut case from Missouri. And that is why we have split government and may continue with split government.

  38. December 31, 2013 5:24 pm

    In different times, I would be much happier with “moderates” as we have discussed here. But, I do see the country headed “over a cliff” and I don’t think the moderate candidates get that at all.

    $9T, 16T, what is a little debt. More people on foods stamps, business as usual. Extend unemployment benefits, if it will get us some votes.

    Amnesty for illegals, well you need the Latino vote.

    McCain is the best candidate for term limits I have ever seen. I do believe he is senile and in past years, I would not have said that.

    Wacko birds? Really, from a US Senator?

  39. Priscilla permalink
    January 1, 2014 10:32 am

    Roby, I have tremendous respect for the life of service that John McCain has led, and for his myriad accomplishments. And having the courage to defy your party is, if based on principle and conviction, a good thing. Similarly, bipartisan compromise is to be desired as a means to resolving difficult issues.

    I think that John McCain may have once been a great senator, but he has become the epitome of a crony capitalist, beholden to lobbyists for a long time now, his “maverick” brand more of a PR gimmick than anything else. He’s been in Washington for decades, he ‘s lost touch with the people in Arizona that elected him, and I think that it’s time for him to go.

    I agree with you that the last election was decided by moderates, but I still think that the real moderate candidate was Romney, mischaracterized by the media as some sort of far right wing fat cat. It is a great irony of Obama’s administration that he is considered moderate by many, despite his staunch adherence to liberal and left wing policies. Only in foreign policy does he ever break with his base, and that is usually more in deed than in word.

    As far as Ron’s ideas, I do think that libertarianism is rising….not in the “all government is bad” sense, which is how the left portrays it, but in the “stop taking all of my money and telling me how to live my life” sense. Rand Paul’s rapid rise in the GOP has been no accident – I think he would be even more popular with the Republican base if it weren’t so wary of his being too much like his father…….

    • Priscilla permalink
      January 1, 2014 10:50 am

      By the way, Happy New Year!

    • January 1, 2014 11:11 am

      Nicely said. I think you are spot on Priscilla. I do think that Rand Paul is more politically adept than his Dad and as such, is more electable to many.

      PS-as a libertarian, I do NOT think that all government is bad. But, all government has that potential. Thus, we must be diligent because power corrupts.

  40. Ron P permalink
    January 1, 2014 1:58 pm

    To all my “message friends” at “TNM” Happy New Year. We may not agree all the time on issues, but I find that those writing in response to Ricks articles to be open minded and willing to discuss issues in a civil manner, unlike so many other sites where people of opposite views are branded idiots and other names much worse.

    Throwing out some information and wonder where everyone thinks we are headed in 2014 and beyond.
    In the 30’s, the following were illegal. Alcohol, marijuana, prostitution, numbers game, marriage between races, gay marriage, abortion and many more, but these are some of the more important.
    Today, alcohol is legal in maost all parts of the country, marijuana is now legal in two states and becoming legal in more, prostitution is legal when advertised as escort services, the numbers game is now legal when called the “education Lottery” or some other “lottery” name, marriage between races is legal, gay marriage is legal in many states and abortion is legal, but changing in most localities.
    Can these changes be compared to the changes that occurred from 1830 to 1930, of which women became “equal” to men, slavery was ended and many other puritanical laws were ended. Or are we moving in a direction in 2014 that makes us a less moral nation than in the past?

    • January 1, 2014 2:08 pm

      One vote for significantly less moral.

    • January 1, 2014 2:15 pm

      To wit:

      As 2014 is just a day away, new laws have been crafted for Californians to adhere to. Here are just a few blessed laws and regulations that will come into effect in 2014:

      Transgender Rights: We will all sleep a little better at night knowing that students in grades K-12 who identify as transgender will be able to use the school bathrooms of their choosing as long as it is “consistent with their gender identity,” even if it is different than their gender at birth. Students will also be able to select whether they want to be on the boys team or the girls team based on their “gender identity.”

      On Campus Smoking: Men wearing dresses to class with earrings in their noses is no problem, but don’t get caught inhaling a Camel walking to your next exam. All 10 University of California campuses will be smoke-free starting Jan. 1, 2014. The ban includes all tobacco products. Sorry, e-cigarettes count; they are also banned.

      More Room for Bicyclists: This one doesn’t become law until Sept. 16, 2014. Driving a car and passing too close to a bicyclist could result in a fine for the driver, whether there was a crash or not. Drivers must be at least three feet from the cyclist while passing.

      Minimum Wage: Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by state California is ranked 46th in the nation in unemployment rates, weighing in at 8.5%. This has not deterred the state from increasing the minimum wage by one dollar to $9.00/hr, which will kick in on July 1, 2014. Critics argue that raising the minimum wage often prompts employers to reduce staff to keep up with labor overhead.

      Search Warrants: This might be renamed the vampire law: A driver suspected of DUI who refuses to submit to or fails to complete a blood test can be served a search warrant to draw blood in a “reasonable, medically approved manner.” This law went into effect Sept. 20.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 1, 2014 4:00 pm

        JB..had a very interesting conversation with one of my liberal friends I went all through school with including college when living in CA. He still lives in CA while I left before it really became the liberal capital of the country. (My college diploma was signed by Ronald Reagan, then governor of CA.)

        Even though he is of liberal teachings, he does not support the transgender laws that have been signed in that state. His comment “you use the bathroom, the locker room and play on the teams that match your equipment”. So if you have internal equipment, you use the female facilities and if you have external equipment, you use the male facilities. He asked the question, “what is going to happen when Joe, who still has male equpiment, says he is transgender and decides to use the female locker room and bathroom”? Is Joe really transgender, or is he just trying to get a peak at some female bodies?

        As for the minimum wage, other than the illegal aliens tha stand outside the Home Depot or Lowes looking for day work, how many other employees really make less than $9.00 per hour. I would think that Obamacare has done more to impact negatively on workers in that category than minimum wage. My son manages resturants for a large national chain of resturants and corporate eliminated all full time hourly positions months ago and put all the hourly workers on 24 hours per week, not 30 so if they work any hours over their schedule, they still don’t count for FT.

        Bicyclist..maybe not a bad law, but they also need to make riders stay close to the edge and not in groups in the middle of the road. I have been behind 5-10 riders and they hog the road, making it impossible to pass without getting closer than 3 ft.

        Search Warrant..Isn’t this law already in other parts of the country?

      • January 1, 2014 4:52 pm

        Between the MW and Obamacare, there won’t be any jobs left for unskilled labor or anyone who is very young and needs to build some form of work history.

        So, if I am Micky D’s, I am already figuring out how to eliminate the wait staff in the front counter. How hard could that be? All they do is punch numbers and swipe credit/debit cards. So, they will start like Home Depot, where you can check yourself out if you want.

        After a while, we will see NO ONE in the front, only cooking in the back.

        Oh, and to bus tables.

        I hope these libs are happy wrecking the workplace for their so-called friends.

        PS-the local fast food/sitdown restaurants are experimenting with tablets placed at each table. You order from the tablets and some smuck from the back brings your food for you. How much of a tip is that poor guy going to earn? So, it goes. You raise the cost of one form of capital, the money moves to the smarter form of capital.

        Labor or machine, which one would you like to “manage?”

      • Ron P permalink
        January 2, 2014 12:38 am

        JB..there is alot of inefficiencies in any fast food resurant. All of them could cut staff by almost 50%, raise salaries and still produce the food they do. And I say that from experience since I worked at jack-in-the-box while going to college. A hamburger, fries and a coke was 70 to 75 cents. On Friday and Saturday dinner hours we did close to $1000 per hour which is a hell of alot of hamburger dinners per minute at 75 cents per hamburger dinner. Our expected turnover was 3 minutes from the time the order was placed to the time the car left the drive through. There were 3 cars in line before that order so that order was number 4 and we had three minutes to complete the order or get written up by the “shoppers” that came through monitoring our service.

        We did this with 5 employees. Grill, deepfry, drinks, cash register and the person bagging the orders.

        Go into any fast food resturant today and they have people falling all over themselves because they have too many working and not doing one specific job. Do away with the excess labor, be efficient and then they can pay $18.00 an hour and still save money.

        So $9.00 is only needed because our society does not expect anyone to work for their money, they expect someone else to do a job and they want a wage that accepts the fact people don’t work efficiently. Why else would McDonnalds have 20 people working when less than 10 would do the job without any reduction in service.

    • Priscilla permalink
      January 1, 2014 9:27 pm

      Interesting question, Ron. The whole emphasis on social legislation is one that disturbs me, though, because, even when I am in favor of it – as I have become with gay marriage – I don’t like the kind of divisiveness that it inevitably encourages, and I hate the intellectual laziness with which these things are generally argued, as well as the never-ceasing ad hominem used against anyone on the “wrong” side (that is to say, the politically incorrect side) of the arguments.

      So, as far as gay marriage….. I would prefer that gay people enter into civil unions that are virtually identical to state-enforced marriage contracts, so that the definition of marriage would remain clear. The fact that gay activist groups oppose this indicates to me that it is not a civil rights issue, but something else. It is OFFENSIVE to many gay people that their unions are not considered “marriages” in the true sense of the word. I get that, and, if I were gay, maybe I would be offended too. But being offensive is not a civil rights violation.

      So, my evolution on gay marriage has not been to go from anti-gay rights to pro-gay rights ( I have always been pro)….it has been to go from trying to have a reasonable intellectual discussion of the legal and constitutional issues involved to saying “oh screw it, let them call it “marriage” already, if it’s so damn important.”

      I don’t think attitudes about gay people have changed so much…..but I think that the campaign to promote the idea that anyone who is not in favor of gay marriage is puritanical and anti-gay has been successful.

      • January 1, 2014 10:15 pm

        Spot on as usual,, my dear Priscilla.

        To me, the gay marriage and rights issue is not about gays fighting for legal and civil rights. What I think they are fighting for is social approval. They want to be loved, while they want to be very different.

        In that regard, they have a long road ahead. It is sad to me, that they need that, but such as it is.

        Rock on.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 2, 2014 1:14 am

        Jb… you claim to be a Libertarian in some of your comments. But in other comments you stake out positions that are far from a Libertarian point of view.

        You comment “To me, the gay marriage and rights issue is not about gays fighting for legal and civil rights. What I think they are fighting for is social approval. They want to be loved, while they want to be very different”.

        Can you explain the opposite views that a true Libertarian would have towards government interferrence in marriage and your comment above.

        Is it really the LGBT crowd that wants all the press coverage or is it the liberal press that is making this a national news story.? Who invites the press to their marriage? Is it the couple or is it the liberal press making a big deal when a state allows this to happen? I offer most LGBT couples would prefer a private gathering when the marriage take place.

      • January 2, 2014 8:57 am

        I don’t see any conflict with my statements and the libertarian point of view. Libertarians (as I understand I) do not per se, confer approval status simply because they believe the government should leave people alone.

        There are a myriad of behaviors that I find personally abhorrent and would not engage in that I still feel should be legal.

        On your other point, I won’t generalize on the LGTB crowd, as I don’t have a ton of personal experience with them. I will say the vocal minority I find to be quite annoying indeed. I candidly don’t care what your “sexuality” is.

        Get a room and keep it to yourself. No one cares!

      • Ron P permalink
        January 2, 2014 1:03 am

        The thing that bothers me is we went for almost 200 years before there were laws in all states where the government issued marriage licenses. Not until 1935 did all states require a government issued marriage license. even the federal government did not require a license until 1923 when the Uniform Marriage and marriage license act was passed.

        So were all the people that were married before 1923 really not married? Not really, but the fact is they wanted to control interracial marriages which they defined as “miscegenation”. And that is what is going on today with the government allowing you to marry another person by licensing this marriage.

        When the government passes a law it does so to restrict activities of individuals participating in those activities. There is no reason for a marriage license issued by any government agency other than to restrict some people from marriage.

        Church’s, Justice of the Peace and other designated individual should be given the authority to marry people, they complete a certificate of marriage and that is used as the document the marriiage took place. All benefits result form that document. Some overpaid government worker in BoDunk USA should not have the right to “allor” anyone to marry and issue a license.

        But then, here again I don’t believe in government when it is designed to restrict freedoms for no reason other than to get in the way of those freedoms. If two LGBT individuals want to marry, fine. Who am I, the state, the federal government or anyone else to tell those two people they can’t get married if they do so before someone authorized in administering the right of marriage.

      • January 2, 2014 8:53 am

        It isn’t the marriage contract per se that creates issues. It is the differential rights and privileges that marriage conveys in our society that are more of an issue. As I indicated before, who gives a hoot if two people decide to cohabit and to bind themselves contractually. However, the benefits and privileges that are conferred assume a certain social benefit to marriage and as importantly, the family structure and values they convey.

        Perhaps we can take a look at whether these are still valid?

      • Ron P permalink
        January 2, 2014 1:22 pm

        “It isn’t the marriage contract per se that creates issues. It is the differential rights and privileges that marriage conveys in our society that are more of an issue.”

        Like I said in a previously, there are ways to recognize marriage without a license. I have a problem with the government “allowing” me to marry when they issue a license.

        Use the model of a will. You go to an individual that is trained in preparation of a will, the will is drawn up and after signing a copy is filed with a local government office to be used upon your death. (That’s the model in most states). So the same thing could be done with marriage as I stated previously. Go to an individual authorized to marry people, the marriage takes place and they file that information with the appropriate agency for future reference should any questions arise concerning the marriage. No government official has allowed you to marry through the issuance of a license.

        The definition of license is:
        “formal permission from a governmental or other constituted authority to do something”.

        Sorry, but I don’t like the government permitting me to marry whoever I want to marry within acceptible sociatal standards. I want the government restricted to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and to the bill of rights. Over 200+ years government has infringed on rights little by little until no one knows what governmental limits exist.

      • January 2, 2014 4:36 pm

        You could be the first persons to marry a sheep.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 2, 2014 5:08 pm

        Well a expected the animal response at some point. That is what I get when the other party begins losing the debate and runs out of ideas.

        I don’t equate LBGT marriage to anything other than one human to another human getting married. Do you agree that anyone in the LGBT movement is still human or are they some subhuman DNA strain?

        But to argue your point about human to animal marriage, the control would be on the “authorized individual” performing the ceremony and filing the papers with the local office handling marriages, death certificates and wills. It would not rest with Joe Dumbass at the county government office that gives you permission to marry.

      • January 2, 2014 7:16 pm

        Just kidding you. That said, there are people agitating that pedophilia is OK as long as the child consents. What the fuck?

        And, oddly, I have heard people suggest we should take a look at the laws around sexual predators. Perhaps we are being too harsh on those who make this “choice!”


      • Ron P permalink
        January 3, 2014 12:26 am

        How about getting rid of most all laws that do nothing to protect you or I, infringe on freedoms, cost you and I money with no return (like Obamacare) and then put some real teeth in the laws that remain so pedophiles and sexual predators are locked up long enough to make a difference.There are too many in jail for minor crimes and not enough for major crimes. And this would stop the early release due to overcrowding of the jails.

      • January 3, 2014 9:07 am

        All for getting rid of useless laws.

        Like mandating bathroom access for trans genders in process.

      • January 2, 2014 7:20 pm

        “I don’t equate LBGT marriage to anything other than one human to another human getting married. Do you agree that anyone in the LGBT movement is still human or are they some subhuman DNA strain?”

        I would have to think about the whole transgender issue (again, whigging me out) but of course they are human in every sense of the word.

        I still wonder if we want to encourage gay families with children. I has witnessed a few of these unions and have been impressed. Anecdote, I know, but if you check out the data on children who are requesting sex changes, I bet you would find a terrific correlation there.

      • Priscilla permalink
        January 2, 2014 9:00 am

        Ron, it’s true that the government relatively recently got into the “marriage sanctioning business,” but I am under the impression that it has to do with all of the hundreds of laws and regulations – tax and estate codes, mostly – that refer to “spouses.” The traditional old idea that marriage was a contract between two people or two families would make it difficult if not impossible to enforce these laws, so it has become a legal contract.

        But, who am I or you , or the state, the federal government, or anyone else, to tell someone that their religion’s definition of marriage is a violation of civil rights, because it does not grant same-sex couples the imprimatur of religious acceptance?

        As I said, I am now in favor of SSM….but then, again, I am not a particularly religious person, and it does not personally violate any deeply held convictions of mine. But if all of the major religions of the world hold to the doctrine that marriage is between a man and a woman, why not just call the legal union of same sex couples in the US something else? I am perplexed as to why GLAAD and other groups are willing to go to the mats over what is essentially a religious and/or semantic issue, and it strikes me as a manufactured culture war.

      • January 2, 2014 9:07 am

        Indeed, this goes back to the issue of “acceptance” in my mind. In France, they have a dual system which requires that you be married by a legal official. The religious marriage is optional. Even there, gay marriage is a controversial issue.

        I do think that the LG et all folks that I meet do crave social acceptance and they see this marriage issue as conferring this. I do not agree.

        By that I mean that the grudging acceptance of marriage does not mean the vast majority of people think the gay/bi life is “normal.” Logically, it is far from that and candidly, it kind of gives me the creeps. That said, it is there life so have at it.

        I think they have become so annoying about the whole thing that many are simply not willing to keep fighting on the issue. This is the way many social barriers are broken.

        Pedophilia and polygamy are next.

        How can be “discriminate” against those?

      • Ron P permalink
        January 2, 2014 1:06 pm

        JB.. It already exist and legal now.

        Now ask yourself. What difference does it make if a man has 1 wife or 3? Does it really impact how you live or I live? I can’t come up with any good reasons other than the christian reason that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman.

        Am I a nut case for asking this? I don’t think so since I look at the marriage vows that years ago said “until death due us part”. That no longer exist. More people are married multiple times than those that are only married once. So is a man with 3 concurrent wives that stays married to those wives better for society than the man with 3 consecutive wives that may or may not provide for the previous family?

        And I am not speaking of the “Jeff’s” of the world that take pre-teen girls that have been indoctrinated into accepting they will become the “leaders” wife when they get to a certain age, I comment from the point of view that all individuals oare of legal age and making decisions on their own.

      • January 2, 2014 4:34 pm

        I know that gay marriage is legal in France and yes, it is very controversial. There were protests there before the first marriages that totalled over a million people. I would not overstate the acceptance of “gay marriage” around the world and yes, the creep factor enters into the equation, either as a stand-alone issue or with religious overtones.

        If you are being honest, most of these “alternate lifestyles” are more than a little unsettling.

        As to polygomy, again the creep factor is there, front and center. Not to mention the legal issues. How do all of the laws that govern marriage/spousal rights get divied up when these “families” move through society. Social security benefits, ah, well let’s see….

        Custody of the children? You see my point, I hope.

        Let’s be real here. It is one thing to noodle around in your head about how polygomy is fine and dandy and another to start another interesting social experiment. One can never assume what will transpire once you sunset social structures. BTW-I predict the whole marijuana experiment will have some very negative social outcomes that will have us scratching our head.

        Have you ever hung out with a long-term stoner? I have and it is not a pretty sight.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 2, 2014 4:56 pm

        Jb..I do see your point, but what happens to SS benefits when one woman was married to a man for 20 years and then another for another period of time. I have no idea, but to be fair, both should get 50% if the man was married for 40 years during his lifetime. But I bet that is not the way it works.

        As for your comment concerning marijuana. I suspect you are correct, just as there are many whose life has been ruined by cigarettes and alcohol. One fries their brain, one fries their lungs and heart and the other fries their liver and brain. All have negative outcomes. It seems to me that what is happening with marijuana is the same as happened with the oterh two as well as the numbers game. Government sees all the tax revenues they can generate (Colorado legal pot is $400.00 per ounce, with 36% being taxes). so they decide to let people fry anything they want so they can generate the revenues available. I just wonder how many pot heads buying it legally are the same ones buying it from a cartel based distributor in the past.

      • January 2, 2014 7:13 pm

        Hard to know about the MJ. I think there are a rash of social issues about to be released on an unwary society. As a libertarian, I could care less if the local pothead ruins his life. BUT, the “caring society” will attempt to rehab him with you and I carrying the cost.90 day reahab plans covered by Medicaid.

        The local pothead’s family goes on welfare, etc, etc,. etc.

        If we had a society that was a little less caring, these things might sort themselves out. People would stay away from the local pothead and he might die in the gutter. That is regrettable but another sees him die in the gutter and decides pot is not such a great deal.

        Now, when the local pothead drives his car into my children, then I REALLY care.

        See where I am going?

      • Ron P permalink
        January 2, 2014 5:16 pm state “I am under the impression that it has to do with all of the hundreds of laws and regulations – tax and estate codes, mostly – that refer to “spouses.” The traditional old idea that marriage was a contract between two people or two families would make it difficult if not impossible to enforce these laws, so it has become a legal contract.”

        As I stated to JB, the only issue I have is the government permission to marry through a licensing agreement. A license does nothing other than allow you do do something, from owning a dog, hunting, fishing, carrying a concealed weapon, operating a business, etc. And the marriage license is a direct result of the government controlling the races from marriage years ago. It grew into the way they applied it to benefits.

        And as I stated earlie, the marriage could be recorded at a local government office without the government giving two people permission to marry. That is where I beleive government has gone too far in the marriage business. If Joe and Jack want to marry, they get married and it is recorded. When one dies, the other has the same benefits and a man or woman in a marriage.

  41. Priscilla permalink
    January 2, 2014 8:57 pm

    Hmmm…..I don’t know, Ron. While I would like to say, yeah, get government out of the marriage business, I’m not sure it is realistically possible. Marriage is about love and family, for sure, but it is also about legal rights and responsibilities. Spouses have special legal standing and often need to appeal to government courts for enforcement of that standing. Divorces have become very complex legal procedures, and I shudder to think how a court would enforce alimony, custody, child support, division of property, etc. if married couple just filed a paper with the town clerk. Also how would you deal with proof of identity, citizenship, eligibility for entitlement programs and benefits, etc?

    I would prefer that churches have the term ‘marriage,’ while distinguishing that from the legal (civil) state of union. Religious marriage would take place in a church; civil union – which could be a same sex union – would happen at the county clerks office. In short, separate the legal framework from the social/religious contract… it is now, Catholics can be legally divorced, while remaining married in the eyes of the church, right? Simply sever the last remaining ties and stop allowing religious marriage to, by default, create a civil union.

    • January 2, 2014 10:37 pm

      Well said, Priscilla.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 3, 2014 12:34 am

      Priscilla..You are too practical. What a good idea.

      ” Religious marriage would take place in a church; civil union – which could be a same sex union – would happen at the county clerks office”.

      Then no one is singled out as being different.

      And no license is required. The marriage or union could be recorded in the local clerk of courts or office just like a will and government is out of the marriage business all together other than recording the union between two people for future benefit reasons.

  42. Roby L permalink
    January 3, 2014 11:18 am

    Happy New Year to all!

    Family time now, will reappear someday.

  43. Priscilla permalink
    January 4, 2014 10:28 am

    So, now that we at TNM have come to some agreement on SSM, let’s discuss the immigration issue. This morning, I read that the California Bar has admitted an illegal Mexican immigrant to practice law in the state. The NYT is very approving (natch!) but upset because……well, because the dude can’t get a job, due to the pesky laws that make it illegal for a firm to hire him. Boo hoo.

    So, wait – this guy should be allowed to argue a case in a court where he would be ineligible to serve on the jury, because exactly why? He says that he’s been waiting for a green card since his “parents brought him here 20 years ago,” which, at first gave me pause, because I thought he had been raised from infancy or toddlerhood thinking that he was an American citizen. But, no, he is 36, which means that he was a totally aware, presumably quite intelligent, adolescent who participated in violation of US law.

    My understanding is that the big “L” libertarian position on immigration is to remove all restrictions at the border and to grant amnesty to those who are here. Is this an area where libertarians align more with Democrats?

    Hopefully, Rick won’t think me too horrible for going off topic (will you, RIck?). Obama has said that immigration reform is one of his top priorities this year, so we can kind of tie it back to him at some point!

    • January 4, 2014 10:44 am

      There is nothing in the Libertarian view that mandates open borders. Indeed, personally, I think we need to have fewer laws and laws that make sense. Immigration laws SHOULD make sense and be enforced.

      If one wants to become a legal citizen of a country, then one must follow the law of that country. If not, one cannot become a legal citizen.

      Moreover, if laws of that country proscribe penalties for entering that country in the wrong manner, then the illegal entry brings with it those penalties and of course, denial of privileges.

      With reference to the “lawyer” in CA, a lawyer admitted to the bar is an “officer of the court.” One can be disbarred for violating the law. So, if this guy is an illegal alien, how in the Frickin’ world can the state justify given this ass clown a right to be a lawyer? Clearly, when he went to Law School, he knew he could not be licensed as a lawyer? How stupid can one man be? Then again, he does live in CA, and I can tell you from experience, that place is simply insane.

      Makes no sense whatsoever but we have entered the Twilight Zone with this administration, which picks and chooses which laws it feels like enforcing. States will soon follow suit.

      I despair for the Republic and the damage the libs are doing to this fine nation.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 4, 2014 1:53 pm

      Priscilla, in response to your comment concerning Libertarians wanting to open the borders and grant amnesty to everyone, I have accessed the Libertarian party website and posted some of their positions.
      1. They beleive the laws should reflect societal changes and be updated for the current environment. They support changes to the laws to make access to the US easier since their are many jobs available that our current citizens refuse to do. In their positions they state:
      “We’ve faced this choice on immigration before. In the early 1950s, federal agents were making a million arrests a year along the Mexican border. In response, Congress ramped up enforcement, but it also dramatically increased the number of visas available through the Bracero guest worker program. As a result, apprehensions at the border dropped 95 percent. By changing the law, we transformed an illegal inflow of workers into a legal flow.”

      Libertarians do not believe in amnesty, but do support a road to being legally in the country. They state:
      “For those workers already in the United States illegally, we can avoid “amnesty” and still offer a pathway out of the underground economy. Newly legalized workers can be assessed fines and back taxes and serve probation befitting the misdemeanor they’ve committed. They can be required to take their place at the back of the line should they eventually apply for permanent residency.”

      As for previous immigration laws, the following supports the need for changes in visa laws and other laws that make it 10-15 years before someone can legally enter the country. Whatever those red tape raodblocks, they need to be changed. They state:
      “The fatal flaw of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was not that it offered legal status to workers already here but that it made no provision for future workers to enter legally.”

      As for the lawyer in CA, that state will reap what is sows.The conservatives will keep leaving the state for Utah, Idaho and Texas, leaving the state with few workers and many takers.

      • January 4, 2014 2:37 pm

        This is the problem with “party politics. The Libertarian Party purports to represent the Libertarian point of view. Yet, it makes these broad assertions that have no basis in fact, nor in theory.

        The statement that we need more workers to do jobs Americans won’t or can’t do is false on its face. This statement simply trumpets the crony capitalists point of view that seeks to keep wages as low as they can by importing people from anywhere in the world. In an economy with the level of unemployment and such that this country has is simply ludicrous.

        It is times like these when I might ask the libertarians who don’t think very hard to take their collective heads out of their ass.

        PS-take away all of the social giveaways that enable some Americans to wait for the “right job” and you will see them more than willing to do all manner of jobs. The myth that all Americans should go to college and allow others to do the crap jobs is simply Santa Claus applied to the rest of the year.

        Reality may bite, but it bites less often when you come to grips with it.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 4, 2014 4:23 pm

        Jb..On this one I have to disagree.
        “The statement that we need more workers to do jobs Americans won’t or can’t do is false on its face. ”

        Is this not true? Supports my position but it could be propaganda by the lame stream media.

        Over the years (and too many to count) I have seen people turn down jobs becasue they were “too hard” or some other reason. And this goes back to when Reagan tried to do away with the Braserro program in California in the 60’s. The theory was reduced mexican immigrants would lead to more jobs for younger workers to work in the summer. I knew a number of people, including my cousin that hired for a few days and quit. The work was too hard. Look today at most any southern construction worker like brick masons. Are they white or black, or are they hispanic? And if there are whites, which ones are laying bricks in the direct sun and which ones are working on the shady side of the building?

        Your comment concerning paying enough:
        You state: “This statement simply trumpets the crony capitalists point of view that seeks to keep wages as low as they can by importing people from anywhere in the world. In an economy with the level of unemployment and such that this country has is simply ludicrous”

        Well I guess we could be paying $20.00 an hour to make government support less attractive, but are you willing to pay $5.00 per quart for strawberrys, $4.00 a head for lettuce, etc. And even then, would there be enough workers. And how will you attract whites and blacks to constuction when the weather is 90 degrees, humidity of 70 percent and they are comfortable in their air conditioned house and air conditioned car. It won’t happen.

        There is a need for immigrants. But as you said, get rid of the government supports and maybe that will eliminate some of the needs for immigrants, but it will not sove all the problems.

      • January 4, 2014 5:51 pm

        You missed the point entirely. The “going rate” for any good or service is determined by the market (in a free economy). If it really took $5.00 to buy strawberries, people either would or would not pay it. If they don’t the demand for strawberries falls as does the price. Fewer strawberries are consumed, then planted, etc.

        Can I live without strawberries? I already do that at whatever price we now pay for them.

        This as basic as one can get.

        Now, IF there were not price supports on the price of labor (minimum wage, food stamps, welfare, Medicaid,) and marginally skilled workers had to work, they would work or they would pay the price for that, which would be to live a very crappy life indeed.

        Once, they got tired of working in those jobs, they would either obtain more skills or stay in their crappy jobs.

        The fact is that the US government has established the very dynamic that allows folks to turn down crappy jobs and sit on their ass at home. Then, the employers whine and lobby for cheap labor to replace them.

        BTW-I can tell you there are virtually no illegals in the Iowa farm industry. Why? Because labor has been replaced by machinery.

        If indeed, you are a libertarian, you would see this quite clearly. The reality is that the current immigration laws are ignored because it allows labor to be bought on the black market and hence, the lower prices. Capitalists will always seek away around laws that bother them. That is why they have the lobby in DC.

        My prediction. Wholesale amnesty is on the way, for the third time.

        Question: How many immigrants DOES the US need and how did you arrive at that number?

      • January 4, 2014 2:53 pm

        I thought this was highly amusing. We should all be careful with those stereotypes of “parties.”

  44. Priscilla permalink
    January 4, 2014 4:04 pm

    Ron, thanks for the info – not sure where I got the impression that the Libertarian Party was open-borders.

    What’s interesting to me is that all of the political players in this debate claim that we need massive immigration reform, yet there appears to be next to no enforcement of the laws already on the books. I think that a lot of people (me, for one) would be much more amenable to reforming laws that were actually not working, as opposed to laws that are merely being ignored. It doesn’t inspire much confidence to see federal officials refusing to secure the border in Arizona, and then hearing those very same people claiming that border security will be their #1 priority under a comprehensive reform act.

    It doesn’t help, of course, that politicians from both parties have pocketed wads of cash from lobbying groups and corporations that have vested interests in the issue…..none of these interests being necessarily what is best for the country as a whole.

    The erosion of trust in government has all kinds of repercussions….I wonder if it is fixable?

    • Ron P permalink
      January 4, 2014 4:45 pm

      Some interesting information, especially the number of border patrol agents and the growth in their budget. This appears to be more factual reporting and not left or right reporting.

      The other interesting info reported by the Wall Street Journal in April 2013 is 40% of the 11 million illegal aliens are not from the souther border. About 4.5 million or the 11 million are individuals that obtained a visa for one reason or another and they did not leave when that visa expired. These are more highly educated individuals than what is generally thought of when illegal is mentioned.

      Much of the cable news reporting is skewed highly to the left or right and one needs to be careful in how they accept that reporting.

      • January 4, 2014 5:59 pm

        First off, let’s not kid ourselves about our knowledge of illegal aliens in the US. Any data is a potshot for obvious reasons. My prediction is that when amnesty arrives, the numbers applying will be MUCH higher than any media clown is touting. The bias to make the number look low is quite real and I think you would be naïve to believe them.

        Secondly, why do you assume that the VISA over stayers are desirable in any sense. Given your statement about needing illegals to do the crap work, now you are telling us we need “skilled immigrants” as well. Says who?

        I may be incorrect but several of the 911 bombers had overstayed their VISAs. I will check that out. If so, does that change your mind any because is sure changes mine.

        Moreover, are we so needy of new residents that we need to legalize those who knowingly broke the law and have done so for years? If we really need more immigrants (if we do) I would much rather send the illegals packing and open it up to those who actually follow the law and immigrate the correct way

        (BTW-I work with many immigrants turned citizens who apparently figured out a way to do this as they are indeed, here and here legally). Must have been their PhDs or something.

        Amazing that can happen, given the media’s side of the story.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 5, 2014 12:48 am

        Jb..I can tell you that when I was at the health system, our health system and the others in the area worked with the various nursing associations to bring nurses to the US to fill positions we could not fill. 11-7 shifts as well as weekend shifts. We had a number of immigrants from Latvia working as do many health systems. Even though they may be RN’s or better from a foreign country, we used ours in a LPN position until they passed the test that qualified them as an RN.
        “Given your statement about needing illegals to do the crap work, now you are telling us we need “skilled immigrants” as well. Says who?”
        I do based on personal knowledge where skilled professional labor was (and still is) required.

      • January 5, 2014 10:10 am

        Actually, I am well versed in this ‘problem” which was and is created by the professional associations (in this case nurses) who get laws passed to insure their will be insufficient supply to AND no ability to substitute one professional for another (union rules).

        Crony capitalism works this way too.

    • January 4, 2014 5:41 pm

      We know our pols are whores and we are starting to figure out the going rate.

      This is not encouraging, to say the least.

      I had no hope for the Dems and a bit for the GOP. That is gone, alas.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 5, 2014 12:57 am

      How about looking for kids that get into alcohol? If that is legal, then so should marijuana. If marijuana is illegal, then alcohol should be also. They are both drugs and dangerious, but since the white middle class America enjoys their beer, wine and hard liquor, thats fine that it is legal. Both will rot your brain and other organs if used to excess.

      But should I preach against alcohol, I will be labeled a bible thumping out of main stream christian trying to impose my will on others.

      • January 5, 2014 10:18 am

        Ah, to live in a binary world, with clear yes and no answers. We clearly have tried to outlaw alcohol once before. That did not work out.. Given that, should we simply say, well, any drug is OK if alcohol is?

        Sure. let’s go all the way and let’s legalize cocaine, hashish, morphine, and all manner of drugs. I can’t see any problems created here, can you?

        The point I am making here is that many libertarians and some liberals cannot fathom a world where they can’t do anything they want AND to not have any consequences visit them. More addicts? Society should pay for rehab and to clean up after their broken lives.

        Perhaps those of us that are not addicted to any substance might object to paying for a openly refer society?

        So, will there be unintended consequences from these experiments? You bet there will be. The question is who pays for them (and I just don’t mean money).

        Soon, the stories will spread about accidents/deaths caused by stoned drivers.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 5, 2014 1:40 pm

        Jb..I guess I live in that world you descibe as “The point I am making here is that many libertarians and some liberals cannot fathom a world where they can’t do anything they want AND to not have any consequences visit them”. But in my Libertarian world the outcomes are different.

        As you say “We clearly have tried to outlaw alcohol once before. That did not work out..” And yes, when alcohol became legal, but marijuana remained illegal, outlawing marijuana did not work either. It then becomes a question as to how much money are we willing to put into enforcement of laws that have little impact on usage and how much we are willing to let the cartels benefit from our laws we can’t enforce.

        I believe there is a model in place that can be used for this issue. That is the tobacco model. Before the education began on the health risk of tobacco, more than 50% of America smoked. Now it is around 20%. This same model can be used to educate people on the risk of marijuana to hold down usage, while at the same time eliminating the huge profits the cartels are making in latin America.

        This is not a perfect model, but it sure beats anything we have tried in the past.

      • January 5, 2014 2:35 pm

        I will utter the words “maybe” on the tobacco front. We shall see, but the problem is that the bias FOR MJ on the part of the media and many liberal researchers will make this a very tough experiment to carry out with integrity.

        The media is already agog with glee about this “trend.”

      • January 5, 2014 10:42 am

        So, now you are paying for dopers to get high. Feeling good about that?

      • Ron P permalink
        January 5, 2014 1:49 pm

        Jb..Please know I do not approve of this at all even with my positions on marijuana. But that seems to be the way this country does things. There is no middle position.

      • January 5, 2014 2:36 pm

        Indeed. I predict that the substance abuse treatment industry is simply drooling at the windfall they are in for. Hey, you have to help these dopers, they are sick, right?

  45. Ron P permalink
    January 5, 2014 12:40 am

    Who is going to step up? Will you?

    • January 5, 2014 10:08 am

      I guess I am not understanding the question?

      • Ron P permalink
        January 5, 2014 1:27 pm

        Jb…I must have caught you at a bad time. At the end of this news segment about this woman that has 15 kids and most of them with a man that is now in prison, she motions to all her kids and she says “somebody gotta pay for all this” after they have already reported somebody is paying the rent on her home or apartment.

        I was sarcastically asking who is going to pay? I support a collection to pay for her operation to tie her tubes and one to castrate her “sex toy” so when he gets out of prison he can not impregnate anyone else and leave another kid society will have to pay for.

      • January 5, 2014 2:33 pm

        I am with you all the way, Ron.

        There is nothing that prevents us from making assistance contingent upon avoiding the need for further assistance.

  46. January 5, 2014 10:39 am

    And, speaking of crony capitalism, I just posted this on Facebook. Any thoughts?

    “Remember the Keystone pipeline project and the POTUS’s promise to get right on that decision? Well, we are all still waiting. In the meantime, how is that oil getting transported while we wait for the pipeline? AH, by rail, through the Burlington/Santé Fe railroad. Who owns that railroad? Mr. Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.

    Any questions?”

  47. January 5, 2014 10:43 am

    I am sure that having access to MJ is out next “basic human right!”

  48. Roby L permalink
    January 9, 2014 12:05 pm

    Well, fool that I was I liked Christy. It hurts.

    Very tempting today to just say the political class are all the worst kind of thugs and jackasses drunk on power, irresponsible, oblivious to the consequences of their actions. I’m sure there must be some exceptions somewhere, but the entire system just seems to be corrupt and rotten to the core. Port Authority commissioners appointed by the Gov who claim they did not even know until three days later that there was a massive traffic jam on their largest bridge caused by a non existent traffic study, the amount of balls it takes to make such claims is staggering. Hi press and voters, sorry I am not actually corrupt, I am just completely oblivious and out of the loop and was probably in one of my drunken stupors during the incident. (Ooops, wrong fat angry guy, but they are all beginning to blend together in my mind).

    If we were to fill congressional and political seats by the same system as jury duty, random people off the streets, it might actually be an improvement because even if they had low capabilities they at least would not be venal, corrupt, and viscous to the last (wo)man.

    If Christy knew, and there is something wrong and incompetent with him if he did not, he should be impeached and everyone involved should be charged with manslaughter for the death of the woman whose ambulance was caught in traffic. Grrrrr.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 9, 2014 1:33 pm

      Roby, I have to agree with everything you said. I too had a very positive view of Christy until this happened. There is no reason why someone in his position would not have monitors in place to identify these type of actions. I did not hear the news conference other than his apology(while having a tooth extracted) so I was preoccupied. But apologies do not cut it when peoples lives have been lost for any reason.

      So we now have a president that sent 30,000 additional troops into a war he did not believe in or support, 75% of the troops killed in that war have been on his watch and we have what is considered one of the front runners for the opposition party responsible for closing bridges and costing a woman her life. Both, based on reports were totally due to politics.

      But remember, Americans are the ones that have accepted the politics we have in place. They only support one of two candidates, ignoring anyone else that is not part of the “system” except for a handful of elections where independants or Libertarians do get elected. The only way this will ever change is at the grass roots level where people elect state representatives that will vote in state houses for an amendment to limit federal positions. I would recommend one 6 year presidential term, two senate terms and 2-3 house terms. The states can amend the constitution without it starting at the federal level. But what’s the chances that will ever happen?.

  49. Roby L permalink
    January 9, 2014 4:53 pm

    Sorry about that tooth! It leads to a bit of humor I guess: which pain was worse, the tooth extraction or yet another disappointing politician?

    It sounds like the port authority is broken, a political tool, and not worthy of the public trust. I grew up in NJ, and even now still go to or through NYC so the idea of shutting down three of four lanes for a week, well, it touches a nerve and it seems like a miracle there were only four emergencies, did they even think at all of fires and medical emergencies?

    I saw Christie’s apology, he is Good, I felt sorry for him, then I read that he has a staff member follow him around in public with a camera and when he jumps all over some citizen they post it on youtube for laughs. (I did not know that, its an idiotic idea Governor as chief bully.) So, he created that culture, he is right. he is to blame for what happened. I hope he is through, even as I really admire the model of actual bipartisan compromises he followed.

    This is why I am not a supporter of conspiracy theories though, this is how conspiracies wind up: the risk far out weighs the profit. Now the criminal system should through the book at these numbskulls and make an example of them. The purpose of the Port Authority is not to create a GD mess of the road at the request of the governors office as revenge.

    I guess the process and the culture of politics just corrupt everyone who gets involved in it. WHich is one reason I’m glad I did not choose in the end to run for the Vt Senate years ago. Its a bizarre thing but the actions and thoughts and wishes of huge numbers of basically decent and intelligent people come out in the end as a very poor product via the political system. Its a wonder we survive at all.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 9, 2014 6:55 pm

      Roby, your comment “I guess the process and the culture of politics just corrupt everyone who gets involved in it. WHich is one reason I’m glad I did not choose in the end to run for the Vt Senate years ago”
      reminds me of a situation with my cousin’s husband in Idaho in the early 90’s. He owned a cattle ranch in western Idaho where he raise prise steers and sold their “services” for thousands of dollars. Needless to say he was one of the mosre well off Idaho ranchers. they wanted him to run for the senate for Idaho and he basically said the same thing about corruption in politics, the same as you.

      Both you and he just seem to confirm my beliefs that few individuals will get into politics unless they are already corrupt. And the ones that do get out before it happens to them. One that comes to mind is Tom Coburn from Oklahoma who has said a number of times he will not seek reelection after 2 terms. Even the local town councils elected representatives are corrupt in many cases.

      As for Christie, one should not be surprised if he is involved. This is New Jersey for heavens sake. Nothing in Jersey is “clean”.

  50. Roby L permalink
    January 10, 2014 11:20 am

    This is just sad. We are not a healthy society. Maybe we never were. I don’t know. Somehow we survive but is that guaranteed? Better not to even read abut political stories and just go about my happy life than wallow in this **** What can I or anyone do to influence the sad vicious trajectory of the American blood spot of politics? Once a culture has a tradition that is ingrained that cultural momentum is practically unstoppable. Democrat vs republican is like Israeli vs Palestinian. No hope for peace just an endless bloody war with no heros.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 10, 2014 1:37 pm

      Roby….”Better not to even read abut political stories and just go about my happy life than wallow in this **** ”

      Maybe that is the answer as so many people in this country have adopted that philosophy. Ask most anyone about current events, especially those under 30 and they have no idea what you are talking about if it can’t be tweated. Thats why we have the government that we have today.

      Hard to say if anything different can happen. In the anti war movement that changed the course of the war and elections, that movement had one objective. No one co-opted that movement for some other reason. Recently, we had the TEA Party movement that was designed to cut government spending, taxes and waste in government. That movement was co-opted by the extreme right wing of the GOP to include many social issues as well as fiscal issues, causing many to view that movement and supporters as being well outside the beliefs acceptible by most of the centrist voters. I would find it extremely hard to vote for a Tea Party supported candidate given those positions today even though I beleive in the original concept that created that movement. What we need today is a movement and a party with one objective and that is limited government.

  51. Ron P permalink
    January 10, 2014 1:22 pm!

    How much power is to much power in the hands of the feds and when do people begin to rebell?

  52. Roby L permalink
    January 10, 2014 8:57 pm

    Sorry Ron, Those of us who turn partisan politics off as being beneath us (or try to) may at least be helping by being a buffer, if we got involved we would have to gravitate to one side or the other and then there would BE no middle. At that point I guess both sides could just separate completely into their camps, arm themselves and start studying the tactics used in the former Yugoslavia. But who would step in with UN peace keepers?

    I think the middle does good by being too grossed out to play. Once one has joined one of the sides nothing your own side does seems unjustifiable in the face of what the enemy did last week and is planning to do next week if not stopped.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 11, 2014 12:30 am

      “if we got involved we would have to gravitate to one side or the other ”

      And that is the problem in America today. Did the anti-war activist believe they had to gravitate to one side or the other to get involved. HELL NO!!! They started their own movement, got involved and changed the direction this country was moving.

      Do I agree with all their positions? Did I use LSD? Did I support the use of hullicingenics? No I did not, but their movement was not one based solely on that culture, it was anti-establishment and they could have cared less who and what they pissed off. Once that movement began to catch on with a few of the “establishment” and the liberals began to migrate to the anti war effort, the war came to an end.

      What do we have today? One, the extreme left that could be decribed as the Occupy Wall St crowd. Two, the extreme right that can be described as the “new” Tea Party crowd that celieve they know what is best for everyones life. Both have the chance of a knat in an elephants ass to accomplish anything. Then we have the silent majority in the middle that “turn politics off as being beneath us, trying to be a buffer”.

      A buffer for what? More Presidential decrees? More social control by the right wing GOP? More welfare for those that have no idea what a days work involves? More educational systems that give kids passing grades because the “teachers’ did not teach the subject right and the kids did not learn? More illigitimate kids supported by the government (taxpayers)?

      We are headed in the wrong direction because the middle will not make their voices known, will accept what the extreme wings of the two parties gives them and then tunes out politics because it interfers with their personal time and lives to try to make a difference. We can’t even get young adults with kids to get involved with the PTA to improve education, let alone be involved with political change.

      I am in the last quarter of my lifetime, so it probably does not make much difference where this countries goes to me. And the younger crowd could care less now, so they can live with the life they sow today when their crop matures in 20 years or so. And then when the light comes on and they see what has happened, it will be too late.

      But what the hell, they were a “buffer” between the two extremes, even though they did nothing while in that position.

      • Roby L permalink
        January 11, 2014 11:28 am

        All of us here are in that last quarter I think and its our kids and the world in general we worry about. For me, its global warming that is the largest threat, not government and taxes. Since I have done my research I know that the problem is much larger that just everyone being thoughtful about how we use energy. Human GHG emissions are a vast impersonal force I cannot change.

        That anti war movement embraced the entire spectrum of liberal left politics and issues along with the antiwar ideology. I am afraid you have that one a bit fuzzy. That was a full blown leftwing movement, and I should know because I was its young member.

        I really am not trying to irritate you, I just have that effect it seems. Peace!

      • Ron P permalink
        January 11, 2014 1:18 pm

        Roby, it is not you that irritates me. You make some good points. What irritates me is the lack of concern for what is happening in our country today by the vast number of young people. Maybe the answer to this problem is a requirement that all young people serve in some form of military or civilian service to their country for a period of 2 years. And this is both men and women. Exposure to real life and not some form of life based on the college liberal views,the religious uiniversities conservative views or from very limited social economic viewpoints.. I do know that the anti-war movement that was present where I went to school began as just that. It did not have anything to do with a womans right to choose, contraceptives in insurance policies, rich getting richer while the poor got poorer, etc. The equal rights movement was separate for the most part and other social movements were separate. As you stated it did embrace all liberal viepoints. This movement then morphed into acceptance for all liberal left positions and that is why McGovern was the presidential candidate in 72. Just like the Tea Party movement has morphed into a much broader social conservative movement and not just lower taxes and lower spending.

        So to expand on your climate change and global warming comment. I agree that the climate is changing. I agree that humans are having an impact on this change. But I also accept the fact that millions of years ago the climate was much warmer than it is today and there have been changes over the life of the planet where the climate was much cooler. So in addition to human activity, other factors have to be taken into consideration, which the left wing wackos never acknowledge when addressing global warming.

        And lastly, why is it America’s problem? Why is it that American’s are responsible? Is it not a fact that China is one of the major contibutors to this problem? How about India and their contribution? I think this problem would have been much more openly discussed and addressed by the scientific community if all the world was involved and there was much less “Al Gore inputs” into the problem. Once he became involved and blamed America for this problem, wanting Americans to make all the sacrifices to control the problem, it then became political and nothing can improve once that happens. One thing we might want to consider is a huge import tax on cheap chinese crap coming into this country that could damage their economy and shut down a good portion of their industrial complex, thus reducing their needs for pollution generating plants. But that will not happen since the same people that want to reduce greehouse gases also want their Chinese produced big screen TV’s. hand held communication devices and large American built $45,000 SUV’s. The SUV’s are needed because Americans also want families with 2 kids, want to live in the suburbs miles from work and kids activities, want to take vacation hundreds of miles from home and need the space since Honda Civics, Chevy Cruzes and Mini Coopers don’t have the room required for these activities. And the only thing GM can build to reduce greenhouse gases is a $45,000 car that goes 35 miles on an electric charge which is good for a very limited number of people living inside large city limits.

      • January 11, 2014 5:05 pm

        I find it strange that a so-called libertarian who seeks to have limited government and rejected my notion that the government should intrude on a woman’s right to “choose” would consider a government that conscripts people into “service” of one’s country. I guess I am confused.

        The failure of young people to “appreciate” their country and fight for what is right just might be laid at the footsteps of those who preach that government owes them a living, guarantees them all kinds of rights, and is the answer to all manner of things.

        Yes, young people might indeed be “socially liberal” when it comes to making sure government stays out of their business. And they may certainly want a government that does not tax them to death. Whether they want to actually do anything productive on a personal basis? When have they actually had to do that?

      • January 11, 2014 5:31 pm

        For the record, this is the Tea Party’s core values, directly from their website:

        1. Illegal aliens are here illegally.
        2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.
        3. A strong military is essential.
        4. Special interests must be eliminated.
        5. Gun ownership is sacred.
        6. Government must be downsized.
        7. The national budget must be balanced.
        8. Deficit spending must end. 9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.
        10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must.
        11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.
        12. Political offices must be available to average citizens.
        13. Intrusive government must be stopped.
        14. English as our core language is required.
        15. Traditional family values are encouraged

        . – See more at:

      • Ron P permalink
        January 11, 2014 6:30 pm

        I find nothing wrong with these positions. And personally I find nothing wrong with Tea Party supported candidates that have very conservative social values and promote those positions. What I have said many times is those people will have a very hard time getting elected in most state wide elections since they have to attract the majority of the statewide voters. And when the younger voters have to make a choice, they will vote social issues first and fiscal issues second. And then look at some past elections and see what the Tea Party supported candidate ouitcome has been in statewide elections. How many won and how many lost and in those that lost, what was the anticipated vote percentage before and after that candidate was chosen to run for that party. The house is different because it is districts and districts are much more conservative or liberal than statewide elections

        As for my comment concerning “conscription” and my position on Libertarianism, you got me there. Guess I was just thinking how to wake up these younger people and get them off their butts since many parents have never provided the needed education so they can make a decision on what to do other than mindless endless communication on a cell.

      • January 11, 2014 6:39 pm

        Yes, it would be nice if parents actually gave a damn half the time and put their f’n phones down.

  53. Roby L permalink
    January 11, 2014 11:35 am

    As well, as little as the middle/moderates do, at least every four years we decide the presidency and in between lead productive lives. If there were a middle party we might do more, but that is a chicken and egg question that no one in the US has been able to get out of the wish it were so stage, unfortunately there are structural reasons a nascent middle party cannot get oxygen. Its heartbreaking, yes.

  54. Roby L permalink
    January 11, 2014 1:47 pm

    Ron, the global warming problem is not solvable, I’ve done the calculations and they are not difficult. Its not left wing wackos that are at fault in this case. This is a prediction of science and as such has a good probability of having some validity to it. I take the predictions of the majority of climate scientists as something to be respected. Yes there are dissenting views, rather few in number, and this is the case of every field of science, every accepted theory has dissenters, who are wrong in the vast majority of cases. This just is not public knowledge because other scientific controversies do not have a political angle.

    According to the generally accepted view as of ten years ago we needed to cut our GG emissions in half in order for the earths natural sinks to absorb the excess human CO2 in a 100 year period. And that was ten years ago, I do not know what the number is now, 60%? Because GG emissions are increasing exponentially, (although the financial crisis actually led to a brief decrease). So, the only meaningful target is that 50-60% decrease, failing that we will just hit the same atmospheric CO2 concentrations a bit more slowly if we decrease by 10, 20, 30 % etc. The USA produced 25% of the worldwide supply of GHGs as of 10 years ago. I don’t know what the number is now, China as you mention is coming up fast. But as of 10 years ago if the USA had flat out disappeared that would have cut GHGs by 25%, or only half of what is needed to have an actual impact of reversing global warming. Energy production other than a few hypothetical sources and hydro, solar and nuclear always produces CO2 (those other clean sources do as well during construction, transportation etc.) so energy use is pretty much proportional to GHG production. You will cut human GHG production in half by cutting human energy use in half, and that ain’t nearly gonna happen. Its a vast impersonal force, the human population expands, energy use expands with it and even faster. There is no reasonable cure for it. To my thinking its a hopeless situation, if the scientists are correct, and the probability is that they are, then we face a dismal future and there ain’t a damn thing we can do.

    The right denies the science, the left thinks we will be cured when we all have solar homes and drive tiny cars. The right irritates me more, as usual, but the left have no clue either.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 11, 2014 3:18 pm

      Yes the right denies the problem exist and yes the left balmes it all on America with our large homes and large cars.

      But even you, in this writeup seem to blame it on energy consumption. Yes a large part of the problem is energy consumption, but there is also close to 20% of the buildup of gases caused by the deforestration around the world. Trees remove a large amount of gases and release a large amount of water vapor. As we lose the forest, the vapors are reduced and the rain fall is also reduced, resulting in large amounts of barren land that does nothing to improve the climate.

      And guess what. you say “To my thinking its a hopeless situation, if the scientists are correct, and the probability is that they are, then we face a dismal future and there ain’t a damn thing we can do. ”

      Wonder how many “under 30’s” there are that are worried about this problem and doing anything other than tweating political garbage if even that? I bet there are few that have actually even read any scientific articles that provide actual data and not political statements.

      And again I am on my soap box about the lack of interest by those with the most to lose.

  55. January 11, 2014 5:16 pm

    Given that virtually every “prediction” generated by climate models has been wrong, I am quite amused by all the hand wringing on climate change. Indeed, I would suggest you read reputable scientists who suggest that:

    1-The climate has warmed mildly since 1800.

    2-Co’2s impact on climate has not been anywhere near what has been predicted by the models.

    3-The models do not deal correctly with variations in solar output.

    4-The models do not deal correctly with variations in clouds and water vapor.

    5-Politicians have monkeyed with the IPCC summary since its first issuance.

    6-Several very well known “climate scientists” have fudged and/or gotten their data wrong.

    7-Climate scientists have been undone by a stall in warming going on 10 years or more.

    8-The polar ice caps are not behaving like the models predict.

    9-The US is setting all-time records for cold temps over the past 2 years.

    I could go on but what is the point. I am just in denial, right?

    Regarding the loss of “forests” this is actually not happened in the US at all, Far from it. Indeed, in 1900, most of the entire state of Vermont was farmed land. As of this writing, over 90% is covered by trees.

    You are correct that other nations have reduced forests for “development.” Many have the nerve to believe they have the right to feed themselves.

    Imagine that!

    Here is a site if you care read more:

    • Ron P permalink
      January 11, 2014 6:41 pm

      When I mentioned the forest, I was not talking about the US. I think we do a good job in reforestration compared to other countries,. I was addressing the actions taken in the rain forest where they have been cut, they have tried growing crops and for whatever reason, much of that land is useless for crops. So now it is just barren land doing nothing, while the thousands of acres of tree were helping to clean the air.

      But my other point in this was the study of the climate and actions needed (if any) are not the job of the USA. It is a world wide problem and needs a world wide buy in (including the USA, not just the USA) from everyone or nothing is going to change (if needed).

      • January 11, 2014 7:28 pm

        Both good points, though one wonders what blockhead decided to chop down a nice rainforest (so not cheap to do) when they were not SURE they could grow food.

        And yes, to the degree that anything can and/or should be done about CO2, it is very much a global issue.

        Well done.

  56. January 11, 2014 5:18 pm

    Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo comments: ‘The United States has cooled for what will be 18 years this winter. Every one of the 9 climate regions has a downtrend. We have broken all snow records. See the story on how this decade is already the snowiest ever for high impact east coast snows. The cooling will accelerate as the Atlantic joins the Pacific and as the German and Russian scientists predict, the sun continues its dive into a Maunder or at least Dalton like Minimum. This cooling is related entirely to the cooling Pacific and occurring despite the fact we have not had major volcanic activity since Pinatubo in 1991.As the other dominos fall and if a major volcano occurs, the cold we saw this past week will be commonplace and even more severe. The government’s energy policy threatens to create great pain as we found in the EU where the renewable energy push has ben much greater and energy prices skyrocketed. They have had more severe winters the past 5 years with many pushed into energy poverty and a heavy death toll. The elderly living on a fixed budget and the poor will suffer the most. Seth, you and Jeff Masters, Andrew Dessler, Katharine Hayhoe and Jennifer Francis can take the blame when that happens.’

  57. January 11, 2014 5:33 pm

    Maybe this is the root cause of today’s young people apathy?

  58. Roby L permalink
    January 11, 2014 7:43 pm

    A. I don’t jump up and down asking the US to do some unilateral economically destructive thing thing nor do the climate treaties excite me since they do not come close to having any real affect. The problem could, I think, be technically solved if every major government made it a major priority. That ain’t gonna happen until there is such clear and real damage that people have no choice. By then the predicted feedbacks will most likely be in place.

    Denialist nonsense puts the day of accepting and acting off but in the end it most likely does not matter, we are going to be too late to act no matter what. This is an example of what Ron P talks of, at some point in the not very far future our children or theirs will reap what we sowed and think we were irresponsible idiots.

    B As to denialist climatologists, no, I do not spend too much time reading their nonsense. The data show the world over all warming, I highly doubt Daleo’s comments would stand up to scrutiny (“we have broken all snow records” is a fail on its face, that is clearly rhetoric and hype) but even if they did US winters are not global temp. When it is winter in one place it is summer somewhere else and bloody hot there when its bloody cold here. More severe winters are a prediction of the models you mock.

    Nor am I interested in the almost universally right-wing private citizens who think that climate science is some kind of liberal hoax. A large majority of climate scientists worldwide, including those in decidedly non liberal countries, even countries such as Russia that have economies dependent on selling fossil fuels and whose interests sharply disagree with recognizing human caused climate change, are still in agreement on human caused climate change and the danger it presents.

    You think you know better that the vast majority of climate scientists, that is laughable, (perhaps you also have your own personal unified-field theory, the right-wing community would come up with one I’m sure if there were a political need for it.) I wish it were true, I really do. I pray that you and your denialist sources are correct, but my money if I were betting would be on the large majority of actual scientists and not right wingers adn a small number of dissenting scientists, most of whom are not big fish and clearly are taking advantage of the opportunity to achieve notoriety.

    I see no point in arguing this with you JB, you belong your conservative political, religious, and scientific subculture and I belong to a different subculture and they are utterly at odds on this question. We believe in different Gods, or ideals as it were.

  59. January 11, 2014 10:56 pm

    “More severe winters are a prediction of the models you mock.”

    Yes, models predict that as the world warms, it will get colder.

    Good science, got all your bases covered. Up is down and sideways is over there.

    You guys are hilarious.

    PS-the polar ice caps are still very firmly in place. Call your buddy Al Gore and let him know.

    And Jim Hansen too!

  60. January 11, 2014 11:02 pm

    In 1989, the Associate Press reported: ‘Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide 2 degrees by 2010.’

    But according to NASA global temperature has increased by less than half that — about 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit — from 1989 to 2010.

    In 1972, Christian Science Monitor predicted that the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free by the year 2000. That was also wrong

  61. Roby L permalink
    January 12, 2014 12:18 pm

    JB, glad I gave you a good laugh, my day is complete, I made a child laugh. But exactly how did I free your inner child to let loose the F bomb? Was that a win for your point of view? Is a new Hitler comparison on its heels?

    No, science does not prove that is an error you have. Mathematicians prove. Science comes up with evidence to support theories, it never proves them. You can find some evidence that is consistent with any theory, even wrong or crazy ones. There is a cottage industry that feeds the conservative hunger for this on climate. Almost all of it is rather easily knocked down if I person wishes to look a little bit deeply and take some time to do that and has a basic respect for science.

    If you look for evidence that supports the theory that W Bush was behind 911 you can find it. Of course there is a million times more evidence that supports the contrary theory.

    Every branch of science has its theories and textbooks on biology, chemistry, and physics describe all these theories more or less as facts with out dwelling on the theory part. But behind the scenes for any mechanism of biology or chemistry in a text book there are people who still support the ideas that long ago were competing with the theories that won out over time by consensus. Every once in very long while one of these theories gets overturned at least partially by a dissenter, but ifs very very rare.

    The scientific consensus on climate change is real and impressive. If it were not a political question no one would get worked up about it.

    Libertarianism is a root an economic philosophy. Why libertarians should feel capable of knocking down a consensus scientific opinion based on over a hundred years of research and millions of person-years of labor is beyond me, its ludicrous. Its the kind of thing old Dave was so good at, “I am an expert on everything, this is nothing difficult, any person as smart as myself can have an opinion that is as good or better than the experts on any issue.” Yep, that is Davism, its no wonder he fell head over heals with libertarianism, its a philosophy with no boundaries on its self belief.

    The arguments against the climate change consensus come down to Scientists are pretty stupid and Scientists are all corrupt and part of a conspiracy. I don’t believe either is true, and since I spent a good chunk of my life’s energy earning a doctorate in biology and then doing two post docs, I find the idea completely offensive.

    I call bullshit.

    I don’t know Al Gore JB, but why don’t you give your ideological mentor, Rush Limbaugh, a big fat kiss on his big fat ass.

  62. Roby L permalink
    January 12, 2014 12:31 pm

    Ron, as to your questions about previous changes in CO2 I am sure you realize that climate scientists have considered that. IN FACT they are the ones who produced the data in the first place. If we are all about being skeptical about science than you have to doubt that data as well along with the consensus. That way you quickly have nothing at all to stand on. Science does not progress that way.

    You are an intelligent decent thoughtful person and it is a pleasure to discuss questions with you. But you are the exception to the rule in political discussions and JB is the usual example. He is a conservative angry man but there is no trouble finding his liberal equivalent. Nobody is ever going to have an intelligent or productive disagreement with this type of mentality. This is exactly why so many people leave the area of politics alone.

    Politics is a war between two sides, it brings people down to the level of howling at each other online or at demonstrations or makes them think its OK to do something heartless and brainless like shutting down the GW bridge for 4 days at the beginning of the school year. In war the heart and brain shut off and one just attacks mindlessly at the soldier level out of loyalty to ones side. That is why moderates and so many young people leave this field to the JBs of the world. I salute that decision, people should not submerge themselves in crap, its undignified and make a person miserable.

    If you were the standard in political discussions it might be otherwise, but you are just one voice of reason in a forest of political fanatics who have no boundaries on how low they will go.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 12, 2014 5:54 pm

        JB..Agree with some of this article, but also have a debate. They also state the same thing I have said a couple times in previous post and that is the temperature fluctuations where the earth was warmer in very early years.

        But I don’t hink they should be using the USA as an example for temperatures going down like they did. One only needs to look to Australia and their record breaking heat wave is offsetting anything hat is happening in the USA.

        But they are doing the same thing as the global warmist are doing. Global warmist want Americans to pay the price for CO2 reduction and only blame us. Real Clear Politics is using the same game, just using America as the example that the globe is not warming.

        Since I do claim to be moderate in many respects, I do have to call out both sides when using just pieces of data to support a position.

      • January 12, 2014 6:12 pm

        To the degree that you can believe the data, there appears to have been some moderate warming in global temps up to about 13 years ago. Then, a stall.

        I think Dick Lindzen at MIT is about right. Mild warming, but not nearly as much as many seem to claim. Also, the relationship between CO2 and temps is not at all as clear, direct, and impactful as once claimed.

        In other words, there is a lot we don’t know about how climate works and the impacts of the variables on mean temps.. That squares with the failure of the models to be remotely accurate.

        Lastly, warming produces some benefits, which the warmists will never acknowledge. In this regard, they look a lot like religious fanatics.

        Given the number of human deaths directly attributed to the severe cold weather, I find this last position to be quite curious. Isn’t fewer human deaths a good thing?

      • January 12, 2014 6:18 pm

        On another front, markets work:

    • Ron P permalink
      January 12, 2014 5:40 pm

      Roby, I don’t disagree with what you say about politics. And I do try to keep an open mind when it comes to others point of view. That is what I have found to be attractive at this website compared to others. In most instances, the back and forth has been reasonable arguements and debate, but then there are a few times the disagreements get somewhat personal as in any political debate. But at least we don’t kill off our enemies like in so many countries.

      But I do take exception to one arguement you put forward. You state ” If we are all about being skeptical about science than you have to doubt that data as well along with the consensus. That way you quickly have nothing at all to stand on. Science does not progress that way.”

      I always thought scientist wanted someone questioning their theories and have someone trying to poke holes in their thoughts and when the opposing side could not find adequate information to refute their theories, then the science became more acceptible to all involved. I do beleive that the climate is changing, but I still question why the global termperature rise a fall during years well before man ever became an issue. I have not seen any information provided that can explain why the earth started warming in the 1600’s and has been warming ever since when in the 1600’s man was still a minor interference and animals populated the earth at a much higher rate.

      And for your comment “Politics is a war between two sides, it brings people down to the level of howling at each other online or at demonstrations or makes them think its OK to do something heartless and brainless like shutting down the GW bridge for 4 days at the beginning of the school year”. You forgot to be fair and balanced (since this is a moderate website) and mention how politics makes people think it is OK to target them through the IRS and use a government agency for political reasons. Again, we don’t kill off our enemies, we just try to make life more difficult.

      • January 12, 2014 6:01 pm

        A real scientist does not go off the deep end when you question his/her theory. If they are confident in the theory and their method, that is. If the “scientist” starts to denigrate the questioner with personal attacks (see Rory’s post about me above) then you know you have hit a nerve.

        The “settled science” on MMGW is in effect, a political process that has attempted to silence real scientists like Dyson, Spencer, Christy, Curry, Soon, and Lindtzin and others.. All of these “deniers” have real doctorates in their fields and several have been lead authors in various IPCC reports. The minute they stepped out of line, they were then labeled as “deniers” and a conscious effort was made to marginalize them.

        That is the way politics works, not science.

        I will not directly engage with Rory anymore, as he cannot refrain from personal attack. I will post references to the Warmists and their failed predictions. In a “model” has no predictive value, why would you believe the “theory” that it claims to demonstrate?

        If so, I have a number of stocks I would like to sell you.

  63. January 12, 2014 5:28 pm

    There were more record lows than highs in the United States last year, for the first time since 1993. For the 17th consecutive year, global temperatures were lower than in 1998. Arctic sea ice expanded by about 50 percent, confounding predictions the Arctic would be ice-free by the summer of 2013.

    Warming in the Arctic could have caused the polar vortex, alarmists claimed. But no evidence supports them.

    “Polar vortices have been around forever,” said Princeton physicist Will Happer. “They have almost nothing to do with more CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    “How can anyone claim that a rapidly warming Arctic would produce record cold air?” asked Steven Goddard, publisher of the RealScience blog, who notes the Arctic is colder now than it was 70 years ago

    See reference above!

  64. January 12, 2014 5:30 pm

    2013 Blew Away The Record For Fewest US Tornadoes

    Posted on January 12, 2014 by stevengoddard

    2012 was the first year to have less than 1,000 US tornadoes, and 2013 had even fewer with 900.

  65. January 12, 2014 5:36 pm

    This is fun. Once could spend all day posting about failed predictions and phony “scientists” like Jim Hansen.

  66. January 12, 2014 5:45 pm

    How “science” is modified by political processes.

  67. January 12, 2014 6:03 pm

    Wise teachings

    Don’t misunderstand me.

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase due to the undisputed benefits that carbon-based energy brings to humanity. This increase will have some climate impact through CO2’s radiation properties.

    However, fundamental knowledge is meagre here, and our own research indicates that alarming changes in the key observations are not occurring.

    The best advice regarding scientific knowledge, which certainly applies to climate, came to me from Mr Mallory, my high school physics teacher.

    He proposed that we should always begin our scientific pronouncements with this statement: “At our present level of ignorance, we think we know…”

    Good advice for the IPCC, and all of us.

    John R Christy is Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, US

  68. Roby L permalink
    January 12, 2014 10:32 pm

    Ron, constructive criticism is part of science yes, but the position of the political critics of climate change is that the work of these scientists is a fraud and that the scientist are incompetents and liars. Would you take that as constructive criticism or as abuse if it were applied to your work?

    Never did I say I think the question of climate change is settled, instead I said that the probabilities are that the consensus view camp are onto something that we should worry about and that they are more reputable than the ideological skeptics. Nor have I called for any unilateral US reaction to the situation. In fact just the opposite I have said that none of the proposed reactions has any chance of making a significant different and therefor I am reduced to praying that the skeptics are correct, which I highly doubt based on the methods used by most of them. The only hope I offered (but do not expect) was exactly a combined response by every major government.

    The reaction of conservatives to the Christy scandal has been to talk about other things, mostly Benghazi, which is just flat out unconnected in any way. We all get tired of that tactic of saying that some ugly situation does not stand on its own and is not as rotten as what the other side did some other time. The IRS scandal, I will admit has a certain equivalence or similarity that I can understand being mentioned to the bridge scandal, not that each situation does not need to considered on its own. THe IRS scandal was grossly idiotic and a violation of the rights of its targets. I felt sick when I first read about it.

    Note that at no point did I say anything that would imply that I consider that the Bridge scandal was something that was uniquely republican or conservative. It is a part of the disease of politics and both parties and ideologies do disgusting things and rationalize them. I’m sick of the lot of them and the entire subject of politics.

    • Ron P permalink
      January 13, 2014 12:40 am

      Roby, you hit the nail on the head.
      “but the position of the political critics of climate change is that the work of these scientists is a fraud and that the scientist are incompetents and liars”.
      Maybe you were unaware that you did, but once politics came into the arguement, then anyone right of middle sided with the “incompetent” camp and anyone left of center sisded with the other side. I believe if Al Gore had left this to the scientific community and let that group work together to come up with some recommendations once they had a united front, this issue would not be the “Greens v Browns” like it is today. I wonder if the true scientist will ever be able to get something positive accomplished once the politicians got involved.

      You also say “Never did I say I think the question of climate change is settled, ” and I did not mean to represent your positions in this manner. I was not.

      As for Bridgegate, IRS scandal etc, this is just another example of right wing/left wing media shaping stories to fit their political agenda. I watched most all of the news talk shows this morning and all of them were covering the Christy issue. Then the 6 Oclock news was also covering the bridge scandal. Comparing a local state issue that impact only a few people in northern Jersay and southern NYC seems to be small compared to an IRS targeting scandal that impacts people and organizations nationwide. But the national press has given much less press to fast and furious, Benghazi, IRS and any other issue that the Obama administration has faced. To me, if Christy knew about this (and I doubt he did not), he is not presidential material, nor is Obama fit to govern given his “I did not know” positions on fast and furious, Bengahzi and the IRS issue. If you are the President, you should be beuyond reproach and you should have a staff that tells you anything that is abnormal and then let you make the decision if it is important or not.

      But I live in a dream world and nothing I think will ever come true. If christy’s bridgegate is the worst he has ever done, then he is far better than most that will run for that office.

  69. Roby L permalink
    January 12, 2014 10:53 pm

    JB I do not know which lost person you think you are going to get to declare you the victim of this exchange. Anyone whose reading skills are so poor that they would believe that, ah, what a waste of time this is.

    You mangled my statements on climate change and my thoughts on reacting to it, either its a thing you do for fun just to be an irritant, or you really have a reading disability. As well, I stated several posts back that I have no wish to discuss this with you at all, the cultural chasm between us makes that a senseless waste of time. But you insisted, got sore when I disagreed with your sources, and lost control and dropped the F bomb. Now you are howling that you are the victim. I think you are just plain nuts and a great crybaby as well. You seem to want attention and like our ol buddy Dave, have methods of continuing to get it ad nauseum.

  70. January 13, 2014 10:16 am

    I posted this:

    Given that virtually every “prediction” generated by climate models has been wrong, I am quite amused by all the hand wringing on climate change. Indeed, I would suggest you read reputable scientists who suggest that:
    1-The climate has warmed mildly since 1800.
    2-Co’2s impact on climate has not been anywhere near what has been predicted by the models.
    3-The models do not deal correctly with variations in solar output.
    4-The models do not deal correctly with variations in clouds and water vapor.
    5-Politicians have monkeyed with the IPCC summary since its first issuance.
    6-Several very well known “climate scientists” have fudged and/or gotten their data wrong.
    7-Climate scientists have been undone by a stall in warming going on 10 years or more.
    8-The polar ice caps are not behaving like the models predict.
    9-The US is setting all-time records for cold temps over the past 2 years.

    I could go on but what is the point. I am just in denial, right?
    Regarding the loss of “forests” this is actually not happened in the US at all, Far from it. Indeed, in 1900, most of the entire state of Vermont was farmed land. As of this writing, over 90% is covered by trees.

    You are correct that other nations have reduced forests for “development.” Many have the nerve to believe they have the right to feed themselves.
    Imagine that!

    Here is a site if you care read more:

    You responded with this:

    You think you know better that the vast majority of climate scientists, that is laughable, (perhaps you also have your own personal unified-field theory, the right-wing community would come up with one I’m sure if there were a political need for it.) I wish it were true, I really do. I pray that you and your denialist sources are correct, but my money if I were betting would be on the large majority of actual scientists and not right wingers adn a small number of dissenting scientists, most of whom are not big fish and clearly are taking advantage of the opportunity to achieve notoriety.

    I see no point in arguing this with you JB, you belong your conservative political, religious, and scientific subculture and I belong to a different subculture and they are utterly at odds on this question. We believe in different Gods, or ideals as it were.

  71. January 13, 2014 10:23 am

    Some of your more “reasoned dialog.” All comments made by you in this exchange:

    JB, glad I gave you a good laugh, my day is complete, I made a child laugh. But exactly how did I free your inner child to let loose the F bomb? Was that a win for your point of view? Is a new Hitler comparison on its heels?

    I don’t know Al Gore JB, but why don’t you give your ideological mentor, Rush Limbaugh, a big fat kiss on his big fat ass.

    But you are the exception to the rule in political discussions and JB is the usual example. He is a conservative angry man but there is no trouble finding his liberal equivalent. Nobody is ever going to have an intelligent or productive disagreement with this type of mentality. This is exactly why so many people leave the area of politics alone.

    In war the heart and brain shut off and one just attacks mindlessly at the soldier level out of loyalty to ones side. That is why moderates and so many young people leave this field to the JBs of the world.

    Now you are howling that you are the victim. I think you are just plain nuts and a great crybaby as well. You seem to want attention and like our ol buddy Dave, have methods of continuing to get it ad nauseum.

  72. January 13, 2014 10:42 am

    As a side note, I do love the way that many people label others. For example, if one is morally opposed to say, abortion, you are assigned to the “religious right” (read extremist) position. Clearly we cannot consider your point of view, especially if we label is as just your religion talking.

    I am opposed to abortion on moral grounds, I don’t consider myself particularly religious and haven’t been to church in several years. I am not a member of any church and don’t consider it necessary to equate the termination of a child in the womb as morally repugnant, with a religious position. It is simply my position based on moral grounds (you know, taking a life is immoral).

    I also find it morally indefensible when physical attacks are made on abortion clinics (also unlawful in most cases). Is that a religious belief also?

    Can’t morality and religious co-exist without and remains distinct?

    This kind of nonsense goes on all the time in political discussions. “You consider yourself a libertarian? Well, here is the acid test of beliefs.” If you don’t lock-step on these, you cannot be in our club.

    Feel that the government should not spy on you? You are soft on defense and therefore cannot be in this camp. I might call this the John McCain/Peter King camp.

    You point out flaws in climate model predictions? You must listen to Rush Limbaugh.
    In fact, I have NEVER listened to Rush Limbaugh and my car radio is always tuned to NPR.

    NPR???? You must be a left wing tree hugger! No, not that either.

    You don’t like Obama (racist). You question his academic credentials being held secret (birther and conspiracy theorist).

    Hate crony capitalism? Socialist!

    It does on and on and it is very annoying.

  73. Roby L permalink
    January 13, 2014 5:17 pm

    Ron, I don’t quite understand the heat Al Gore gets, he did not politicize the process, it was already long politicized by the time he got in. By its nature it is a political question, a true response to the threat would require huge societal changes with sizable economic consequences. On the one side you have the credible threat of a human and ecological disaster, on the other side you have the tremendous economic challenges of meeting a credible but unproven (and not provable) threat. Its understandably a political and economic as well as a scientific issue. I can understand the fears of those who argue against doing what is needed if the scientific consensus is correct, I can understand why they demand a high level of confidence that a catastrophe will occur, I can also understand that by the time the situation is so clear that no sane person could deny it, reinforcing mechanisms may accelerate the process and make it beyond solution. SO, we are between a rock and a hard place, great costs and changes are needed to avoid a potential disaster and our economy is fragile enough. In the end the economic interests outweigh the potential for disaster and we will just have to be fatalistic and wait.
    I can admit that there is some possibility that the threat is overstated, but the opponents of making a response need to utterly deny that anything serious could happen or else they would have to admit that something substantial should be done given the gravity of the threat. Politics being what it is, the question lands in the hands of propagandists on both sides, who despise each other and feed the flames of the faithful. Right and left ideological groups declare on a near daily basis that the latest piece of evidence has produced total victory for their side.

    John Christy, btw is fine with me, he is both a participant and a strong critic of the IPAC, which he calls the worst way to approach climate change, except for all the rest. He makes lots of good points, and I sure as HELL hope his take on climate change turns out to be correct. But given that he is in a small minority that is not a good bet. For every intelligent principled skeptic like Christy there are 20 equally intelligent principled climate scientists who believe the data predict a potential catastrophe.

    Christy’s comments are critical but by comparison with the red meat in the denialist literature, they are mild, measured, thoughtful, and intelligent. If the type of comments Christy makes on the process were the standard for criticism of the consensus then we would be having a much different debate. Denialists as a group get their daily charges not from thoughtful scientists such as Christy but from right-wing columnists and political operatives who take the words of people like Christy and mix them with lies, half truths, and omissions to make a profitable propaganda business.

  74. Roby L permalink
    January 13, 2014 5:29 pm

    “As a side note, I do love the way that many people label others. ”

    You do realize that you have pounded your mockery of “libs” and what they must think so far into the ground over the years here that if I had a dime for every time you labeled someone a “lib” or “prog”, If not retire, I could at least buy a nice Gibson. You don’t listen to Limbaugh, so what makes you think I know Al Gore? If you don’t like heated insults, Don’t throw Fuck You and Hitler around.

    If you have this belief that labeling is bad, then stop.

    • January 15, 2014 8:18 am

      Refer to the above post wherein I pointed out the failures of the climate models to accurately predict climate. You responded with personal attacks on me.

      You threw the first punch and then couldn’t take the heat. Not my bad, yours. Deal with it.

      I do think you have some issue with Hitler. I suggest a therapist.

  75. January 15, 2014 11:37 am

    BOSTON (CBS) — A new proposal on climate change focuses on public health, energy, transportation and basic infrastructure.
    Under the plan unveiled Tuesday, $40 million will go to help cities and towns in Massachusetts shore up the power supply and keep the lights on.
    Ten million will be earmarked for the coast, to protect it from rising sea levels.
    But will it work?
    While Gov. Deval Patrick and others painted a dire picture of what global warming might do to us, others are more skeptical.
    MIT Professor Richard Lindzen is a leading international expert on climate change.
    “The changes that have occurred due to global warning are too small to account for,” he told WBZ-TV. “It has nothing to do with global warming, it has to do with where we live.”
    Lindzen endorses sensible preparedness and environmental protection, but sees what he terms “catastrophism” in the climate change horror stories.
    “Global warming, climate change, all these things are just a dream come true for politicians. The opportunities for taxation, for policies, for control, for crony capitalism are just immense, you can see their eyes bulge,” he says.
    “Even many of the people who are supportive of sounding the global warning alarm, back off from catastophism,” Lindzen said. “It’s the politicians and the green movement that like to portray catastrophe.”

  76. April 19, 2014 5:07 pm

    When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, I prayed hard for this nation, and for my children that I was wrong. I desparately wanted to be wrong about him in many ways.

    I wanted to be wrong in my beleif that he was just another chicago politician – albeit an eloquent one.

    I wanted to be wrong about what he would do as president. He could have done as Mandela did and healed this nation. He could have sacrificed his political values for the interests of the country and brought about a quick strong recovery.

    I wanted to be wrong about my values. If Pres. Obama was not going to do what I beleived needed to be done to heal the country and restore prosperity, then I prayed that my beleifs would prove wrong and that what he did would work even though I knew otherwise.

    Contrary to progressive memes my prayers were those of most of the nation – even those on the right. The 2010 Tea Party revolt occurred AFTER it was already clear that neither President Obama nor the democratic party were making any pretence of healing the country. Had the president successfully focused on the immediate needs of the nation in 2009, today he could have a single payer national health care system, a carbon tax, and every other progressive wet dream.

    Instead he sought to be devisive immediately, and he has reaped what he has sown.

    Now what I must pray for is that the failures of a president my children identified with do not poison their view of people and this country.

    Pres. Obama has proven to be a small relatively petty leader whose understanding of the country is limited to what is necessary to get elected. He was elected at a time where there was an oportunity for greatness. He failed and has no one to blame but himself.

    • April 19, 2014 5:53 pm

      Petty is the most apt descriptor of this little tyrant. Be gone, the sooner the better!

    • Ron P permalink
      April 20, 2014 12:28 pm

      asmith..How well you make the point about the opportunities for anyone elected in 2008. This same opportunity exist for 2014, but again one has to look at the candidates and wonder who will be the one to unite the country. clinton and Biden are tied to Obama’s policies and legacy while Paul and Cruz seem to be caught up in the obstuctionist congress legacy. One can only pray once again that two governors will run that will offer and new beginning, much like Reagan in 1980. Whatever your views of Reagan, he did bring a very positive atmosphere to Washaington and that is what is dearly needed again.

      • April 20, 2014 12:33 pm

        It is interesting how you classify Paul and Cruz as obstructionist. Why do you say that? What have they obstructed lately?

      • Ron P permalink
        April 20, 2014 1:19 pm

        JB..What I said is Paul and Cruz seem to be caught up in the obstructionist congress legacy. I did not say they were obstructionist themselves. Many different polls show Americans believing congress is the problem and it is due to the GOP not passing any progressive legislation in the house. They do not blame Reid and the Democrats for not passing any conservative legislation in the senate.

        Point is if Clinton, Biden, Cruz or Paul (and you can add many other current congressional officals to the list) are elected President, they come with baggage. (And mabe not of their own making) How do they get around the opposing party trying to make their presidency dead on arrival? That is why I say any new leadership needs to come from outside DC. And then even then it is a crap shoot if the opposing party will support anything they propose.

      • April 20, 2014 2:29 pm

        Agreed, That said, if Mother Teresa had run for office, the other party would paint her as Hitler. If they didn’t have any data, they would make it up.

        It is a lousy system all around. No integrity in the slightest.

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