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Right-Wing Militias and the Perils of Polarization

January 5, 2016

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Just when you thought America couldn’t slip any farther down the slope from which no civilization ever returns, it seems we’ve just slipped a little deeper. If you hoped, as I did, that the new year would see us rebound from the atrocities of 2015 (mass shootings, police brutality, two-way racial animosities, totalitarian PC warriors on campus, Donald Trump), forget it. The ugliness abides and increases.

In the cold, arid wilds of southeastern Oregon, the belligerent Bundy Gang has occupied a federal compound in the appropriately named Malheur (French for “trouble”) National Wildlife Refuge. Their ostensible reason: to protest the imprisonment of a father-and-son ranching duo who set fire to federal land bordering their property, and to assert their belief that federal land rightfully belongs to “the people.” (Yes, it does — all the people, as opposed to a select group of cowboys and landowners.)

What struck me about the occupying militia was that it seemed like a picture-perfect caricature of today’s far-right wingnut fringe. White? Check. Male? Check. Angry? Check. Rural? Check. Gun-crazy? Emphatic check. Obamaphobic? No doubt. “Patriotic”? So they tell us. Defiantly anti-government? But of course! The more polarized we become, the more extreme the extremists look — a cartoonist’s parody of what used to be reasonably sensible conservative or liberal viewpoints.

Right-wing extremists like the Bundy militiamen are easy targets for the mockery that emanates from our sniffish left-of-center elite, and of course their pundits wasted no time painting the occupiers as “Y’all Qaeda”: inbred redneck jihadists who reeked of fried squirrel and white privilege. (Never mind that poor rural whites are among the least privileged members of society: they don’t benefit from affirmative action, and everyone is free to insult them without consequence.)

If the occupiers had been people of color, the progressive pundits tell us, they would have been tagged as thugs and terrorists… and they would have been set upon by the National Guard faster than you can say “Ferguson.” I can understand the outcry over double standards, but in fact the Bundy militiamen have yet to harm people or property. They’re not disrupting traffic or otherwise creating a public nuisance in a densely populated setting. What they’ve done is to hunker down in a potentially lethal game of chicken with the federal government.

The Bundy Bunch is dangerous, and their occupation of a federal building — no matter how remote or unimportant — is not only illegal but an outrage against the very patriotism they claim to embrace. I’d stop short of calling them terrorists at this point, because they haven’t terrorized anyone. But it’s not a stretch to label them as insurrectionists, comparable to the rural Pennsylvanians who launched the Whiskey Rebellion during George Washington’s presidency. If they take up arms against the government, they need to be put down — simple as that. (Federal agents could start by cutting off their access to food and supplies… the bold militiamen reportedly whined that they forgot to bring snacks.)

The feds don’t want another Waco on their hands, so they’re exercising caution in Oregon. An armed confrontation would be more deadly than Waco, because it would ripple across the republic. We’re not talking about evicting a flaky religious cult with minimal ties to the real world. The polarized climate of the country has raised the stakes, and any bloodshed could easily trigger a wider rebellion among the anti-government faction of the far right — the same people who flip out whenever Obama talks about expanding background checks for potential gun owners.

Back in 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimated that the United States was home to over 1,300 right-wing militias and radical anti-government groups, an eightfold increase in just the three years since Obama took office. Call it Obama Derangement Syndrome, or Second Amendment fetishism, or cultural solidarity among embattled rural whites — it amounts to collective paranoia, and it poses a very real threat to a nation already under siege by all manner of irate extremists.

Extremists to the right of us, extremists to the left of us — and their numbers just keep growing. It used to be that the bulk of Americans occupied the center of the political spectrum — a bulging bell curve that tapered off to the right and left. Today the curve looks more like a slanted line: conservatives constitute the biggest group, followed by moderates and liberals in that order. But — and it’s an ominous “but” — the ranks of both liberals and conservatives have been growing while the moderate population is shrinking. Eventually the center could look like a valley between two contentious hills.

How did it happen? Why are the extremes exerting such a powerful magnetic pull while the center languishes? I’ll venture a few educated guesses. Because Americans are angrier than they used to be, and angry people lack the patience for dealing with nuanced ideas. They need to express their anger or rely on like-minded souls to articulate that anger. They need to form factions in the time-honored tradition of our species — to bond with kindred spirits who feel angry about the same issues. They want to live in their own sequestered corner of the Internet, shouting “Amen!” every time a fellow extremist ratchets up the rhetoric.

Ideological purity is paramount in such a world. The extremists keep raising the bar for what constitutes purity — whether it takes shape as militant right-wing militias or leftist PC police who exile renegade thinkers for “microaggressions” against selected minorities. And of course, moderate politicians no longer stand a chance of winning their party’s primaries.

How does the sensible center survive in such an inflammatory environment? How does it become a mountain instead of a valley? I wish I knew. But I do know that the center is more indispensable than ever. We’re the last link between the warring factions, the best hope for civility and fairness in American politics.

Our mission, if we choose to accept it (and I think we must), is to convince the extremists that there are at least two legitimate sides to almost every issue: abortion, race relations, the size of government, the distribution of wealth, and — yes — the meaning of the Second Amendment. Once the extremists can see the world through their enemies’ eyes, their enemies won’t seem like enemies. They’d simply be honorable opponents, and neither side would feel the need to man the barricades in defense of their ideologies. If they decide to become moderates themselves, so much the better.

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.

 

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423 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2016 12:06 pm

    I don’t disagree with anything here, Rick. As always, you’ve presented a hot-button topic in about as balanced a way as it can be presented.

    Just a question to throw into the discussion: If the Bundy’s are right-wing terrorists – and, certainly the mainstream media presents them as such – why not label Al Sharpton a left-wing terrorist? After all, he flies around to places like Ferguson, inciting riots and threatening law-enforcement, no? Why is BLM not a “terrorist” organization, and their collective paranoia that America is a racist society not a derangement syndrome of political making?

    Don’t get me wrong – your essay is all about extremism on both sides, and you are as in your judgment of the left as of the right. But, the thing that bothers me these days, in a world of true terrorism, perpetrated on the Western world by followers of a medieval ideology, is that we are so politically fragmented and deranged as a society, that there is a constant effort to equate “domestic terrorism” (which is really lawlessness and rebellion, not terrorism) with what is the greatest external threat of our times. Seems to me that it is a gargantuan failure of our national leadership – not just on the part of Obama, but I certainly do not exempt him – that has brought us to this sorry and ineffectual place.

    You have it exactly right (and by that I mean correct, lol!) that opponents are not enemies. Collectively, our leaders need to identify the difference.

    • January 5, 2016 12:09 pm

      “you are as **harsh** in your judgment of the left as of the right.” Girl types too fast….

    • January 7, 2016 3:01 pm

      Thanks, Priscilla. The difference between Sharpton and the Bundy gang is that the latter are armed — not to mention occupying federal property. I still wouldn’t call them terrorists unless they actually open fire. Both Sharpton and the Bundy gang do incite lawlessness, though. What would we call them? Dante reserved a special place in hell for “sowers of discord” — maybe that’s the label we should give them.

      • January 9, 2016 12:04 pm

        Insurgents, mutineers, dissidents, rioters, etc…… I do think that language is important, and it still surprises me (although I suppose. by now. it shouldn’t) that our news and info media doesn’t seem to care to draw distinctions among the different types of violent “sowers of discord” (nicely turned phrase, btw).

        Terrorism and rebellion have different goals and use different strategies. The Oregon rebels are seditious, but their actions are aimed at the government and not at civilians. They are guilty of criminal behavior, even conspiracy, but not terrorism. They should be arrested and charged.

        Islamic terrorists, on the other hand, DO target civilians, as well as uniformed law enforcement, for the express purpose of of inflicting death and damage in the name of their radical religion. They’re not protesting anything. They’re fighting a war and America itself, not just the American government, is the enemy.

        The distinction is important, because, while we may disagree with the Bundy’s and believe that they should have their sorry asses thrown in jail (same as Al Sharpton, and the BLM idiots), we are presumably all on the same side when it comes to jihad; namely, Islamists want to kill us all, left. right, liberal conservative, white, black or brown.

        Strong leadership would focus on unifying us at this particular time, and leaving our national political squabbles for later. This is my overarching criticism of Obama, and I think it explains why presidential politics has become so confused.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 9, 2016 2:56 pm

        Good post Priscilla.

  2. January 5, 2016 12:18 pm

    This is the best commentary I’ve seen in a good while from The New Moderate. It’s balanced, and that’s what would be “new” about moderation! Many of the past ones I’ve read have seemed to be tilted a bit more to the right.

    I agree entirely about the polarization. I have long been more of a leftist, socially, with more conservative notions regarding economics. So some folk I chat with have a hard time putting me in a box. I can see how the extremes actually give rise to more extremism, and one must be very vigilant to become aware of one’s own blind spots. I have been peeling off the layers of blindness I’ve had to the absurdities of the left–my own particular blind spot–and it’s been a very illuminating effort. Very few people, it seems, really do understand the value of moderation. Take, for example, the current Democrat battle between the Sanders crowd and the Clinton crowd. The Sanders crowd speaks of Clinton’s ability to seek middle ground as a weakness, which I find very disturbing. A local man who is a rabid Bernie supporter actually calls compromise “wishy-washy,” and expressed scorn for it. And yet, he cannot see that he has a “My way or the highway” approach that is every bit as inflexible as approach of the local Tea Party extremists.

    Then again, we have a different kind of blindness on the right. Look at the Trump supporters. I find it unlikely that people who lean in his direction cannot see his shortcomings, or hear the vileness and callousness of many of his opinions, but because the right is so desperate for a winner, they’ll jump on board anything that looks like it might possibly win, if only by virtue of the fact that it has enough money in the bank to buy the campaign…and hopefully, they think, the election. It’s a complete sell-out of any of the more virtuous right-wing values to a twisted mockery of them.

    Just last night I was talking with one of my left-leaning friends about this event in Oregon, and several of us were expressing our disgust at the situation. But his right-wing friends weighted in too, most of whom seem to ascribe to the notion that Obama is going to take their guns away. One particularly fearful fellow compared this Oregon group with Occupy Wall Street, and tried to make the case that they were no different. That kind of blindness is totally amazing to me. If someone were to take over my property with signs and sit-ins, and I called the sheriff, I imagine that law enforcement would receive the situation differently than if the would-be occupiers were carrying guns and saying they were willing to die for my land. I know I would feel more threatened by the latter style of occupier, and I think that most of us would. But his blind spot, his entrenchment in his ideology, wouldn’t allow him to see this.

    It’s a pity when we fall into these traps. Democracy loses when we can’t even have open discussions…when everything is a “debate”, with no interest in finding common ground, much less compromise.

    • January 5, 2016 3:16 pm

      Funny, I was just thinking today that the Oregon standoff had similarities to the OWS “occupations”. I consider both to be lawless…certainly the violence, threats and destruction of public and private property that occurred during the OWS demonstrations could not possibly be classified as civil disobedience.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 6, 2016 1:39 pm

        Yes, Priscilla, down with lawlessness. This will get us both on the wrong side of Dave when he arrives. Adult people living in the modern world are willing to sacrifice some potential rights in order to receive some level of stability in return.

        Ideology is the poison that affects those ranchers, they remind me of the MOVE movement in Philly, down with the government, my people have the constitutional right to do whatever we want, we are being oppressed, and the government should butt out. Well, that is just childish, I have no patience with anarchists, whether they are ranchers or black panthers. Their arsonist deer-poaching friends were convicted by a jury composed, not of hipsters from Manhattan but of local rancher-culture people. The should accept that jury’s decision and get back to work and stop acting like asses. Build a wall around their compound and blast the stones “You can’t always get what you want” at them 24/7 until they crack. There are a lot of people on the left and right I would do that to if I had the power. Better keep me away from power!

      • January 7, 2016 3:19 pm

        Jimi: I like your Stones solution. It’ll probably make the extremists even crazier, but it’s what they need to hear.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 12:56 pm

        When government behaves lawlessly – there is no law.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 1:06 pm

        jimi888

        This is not about a “jury verdict”.
        The Hammonds faced something like 39 federal charges,
        The jury only returned two.
        While the jury was still deliberating the government and Hammond reached a deal. That deal barred sentencing appeals. When the federal judge sentenced the Hammond far less severely than the government had hoped – the government reneged and appealed the sentence. And ultimately won.

        The Hammonds are well regarded in their community.
        Much of the “spin” in the media about these events is false or distorted.
        The fact that the federal government lost on most of the charges it filed is damning, that the federal judge imposed a below minimum sentence because she felt the facts did not warrant, all point to overstepping, lawlessness and beligerance on the part of the federal government not the hammonds.

        The Hammonds had already served a sentence that was probably eggregious for a crime they did not really commit.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 1:19 pm

        It is not so simple as crawling into your own hole.

        If you bother to learn something about what has been going on out there,
        the federal government has been seizing land by eminiment domain.
        It has been flooding private property to make it worthless, or cutting off water to it. There are claims that the fire bugs are in the BLM not the ranchers.

        One of the so called “arson” incidents was a backfire set to protect homes from a natural fire on federal land that was not controlled.

        That local jurry aquitted them of something like 37 charges.

        Further if you are paying attention in washington. There is a war over federal crimes such as this. An enormous percentage of federal crimes to no require mens rea – intent.

        It does not matter whether you intended arson (or terrorism), all that matters is that a fire you started damages federal land.

        Both Hammond fires started on private land. Neither did more than 1,000 dollars of damage to federal land, the 2nd did not do $100.

        These idiotic statutory offenses deprive juries of their right to fairly adjudicate.
        The jury is (falsely) told, that if the letter of the law is broken – a fire is deliberately started and accidentally or otherwise harms even one blade of federal grass – then it is arson. No lawyer – not in Oregon, not in Manhattan. can ask a jury to nullify a bad law – something even the british never barred colonists from doing, and despite the fact that it is an absolute legal right of juries.

        If you are going to place your faith in juries – then you need to allow them to actually do their job.

        You need to elimate all crimes that do not require intent, and allow lawyers to argue for jury nullification.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 1:50 pm

        jimi88

        Why do you presume that everyone who wants government to behave is an anrachist ?

    • January 7, 2016 3:14 pm

      Cougrrl: Thanks. I tend to be a congenital boat-balancer: I thought the BLM movement got carried away and was being treated too deferentially by the mainstream press, so I felt a need to “right” the boat. In the past I’ve lashed out against plutocrats, the growing wealth gap and the destruction of the middle class, which to some folks here made me sound like a raving lefty… but again, I just felt that the boat was leaning ominously and needed to be righted.

      As for the entrenched views of the far left and right, I don’t know the best way to “unentrench” them. Challenge them and they just dig in more stubbornly… tolerate them and they just keep dominating the political scene. I think we need to keep generating balanced opinions and hope they draw the more sensible partisans away from the extremist fringes.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 2:01 pm

        Rick;

        If BLM was carried away – that is the end.
        If government can not behave any hope of the rest of us doing so is shot.

        How is it that you propose to deal with reckless, beligerant, lawless government ?

        In the case of the Hammonds, the federal judge found the required sentence eggregious – and for doing so she was pummelled.

        The hammonds received procedural due process – the letter of the law was followed – maybe. They did not receive and had no hope of receiving substantive due process – the intent of the law was followed.

        I have problems with the misbehavior of groups like BLM.
        I have problems that they exagerate, and overstate,
        I have problems because police violence is actually trending down.

        BUT they still speak to a very real problem – even if they do so innaccurately an inarticulatley.

        The Bundies are no different.

        You write about polarization – where do you go when government is lawless ?

        You value moderation as a principle (it is at best a value, and a tool).
        Regardless, how can you maintain moderation, when the other side is willing and able to use force. When the other side is government, when the otherside is not constrained by rules or law. When the only hope you have is resorting to force.

        Our founders did not start looking to form a new nation.
        They were english and proud of that.
        They wanted the rights they felt all englishmen were entitled to.
        They were treated as wacko’s and numbutzes. As second class citizens.

        And eventually they took up arms and revolted.

        King George’s government was far more benign that that today.

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 12:55 pm

      The oregon group is first and foremost concerned that the federal government is seeking to take away their property.

      While these people may hold strongly right wing values they are not acting in response to PPACA, or ARRA or the bailouts. They are nto even acting out of fear that “obama is goign to take their guns away”.

      They are acting because the federal government – and they could care less which party is running it, is actively seeking to take their ranches and their homes from them.

  3. January 5, 2016 1:35 pm

    Thanks for the balanced well articulated article, Rick. It was well worth waiting for. The model of the middle shrinking like a valley between two contentious hills is depressingly accurate. The extremes in both parties continue to conquer and vanquish the reasonable middle. This is most evident presently in the Republican presidential race, where the moderate candidates are cursed and disparaged (as Rinos and Establishment Sell Outs) and those centrist politicians can’t garner double digits in any of the popularity polls.

    I think what we are seeing now is the fatal flaw in our two party governing system come to fruition. Obviously, there are MORE than two sides to every story. When the arguments and issues are reduced and filtered through the same liberal-conservative media seive, the brew is tasteless to a majority of the population. That’s why so few Americans bother to vote: like flat Coke or equally flat Pepsi, the difference is not worth an effort of choice.

    • January 5, 2016 2:03 pm

      Let us not forget the lurch to the Left on the part of the presumptive Democratic nominee, HRC, and the derision of moderate Democrats like Jim Webb. While center-right politicians flounder in the GOP race, center-left politicians have virtually disappeared from the Democrat one.

      I’m not sure that I agree with you that a multi-party system would be any better (and could likely be worse), although our society’s recent love affair with multiculturalism over assimilation, as well as our political fragmentation, does lead me to believe that it’s probably going to happen……

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 2:06 pm

        The breadth of political positions stems from the extent of government power.

        Many of the issues we fight over today are issues government would not have touched for a century and a half after our founding.

        Why is multiculturalism vs. assimilation a government issue ?

        The Hammonds lost control (mildly) of two fires on their land.
        That is a tort, not a crime. They should have paid damages – which government stated in their charges were less than 1,000/fire.

    • January 7, 2016 3:30 pm

      Jay: I appreciate the moral support. The trend toward a hill-valley-hill political spectrum is dangerous and can only lead to conflict.

      I’ve gone back and forth on the need for a centrist party; I was hoping the tea partiers might break from the GOP and form their own splinter party, but that ain’t gonna happen; they’re the mainstream Republicans now, and their takeover is pretty much a done deal. As Priscilla said, the Democrats have lurched left as well. So maybe we do need a third party after all. It’s unfortunate that the last new party with any staying power was launched before the Civil War. (You guessed it: the Republicans.)

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 2:07 pm

        If there is a “need” for another party it will form.

  4. January 5, 2016 2:48 pm

    “How did it happen? Why are the extremes exerting such a powerful magnetic pull while the center languishes?”

    You might consider the advent of instant and complete news coverage since the mid 90’s. Until that time, did the bulk of Americans follow the actions of law makers like they do today? How many more people today know what happens shortly after it happens compared to those in the 90’s and before?

    Could it be that many more people before the 90’s thought things were happening and did not follow congress and the actions of congress like they do today. And since nothing really gets done that does not benefit some special interest group in congress today, could that be the reason that those interested in politics have become so much more left or right of center?

    How many people knew about the community redevelopment act that created the basis for the 2008 economic downturn when Clinton signed that into law. How many knew about the end of Glass Steagall that benefited only the large banks that also contributed to the downturn in 2008 when Clinton signed into law? How many knew of billionaires like the Koch Brothers, Warren Buffett and others that have been blamed for the economic problems we face today compared to the 1%ers that dominated government actions before the 90’s. And would Sears, Penneys, Macy’s and other retail outlets been attacked and demonized for low wages like Walmart is today since access to the internet has made it so much easier to communicate hate and discontent today.

    I offer that the movement away from the center is due to both the truth and lies that one finds on the internet. The desire of those people that want something done by our government has moved them further to the fringes trying to find those same thinkers, that as a group, may be able to accomplish what they find out of their reach today. And we find them voting for individuals that have moved in the same directions since those interested in governing have been motivated by the extremes, while those in the center have found that position to be neutered and of no importance today.

    We have always had militias, and extreme groups from socialist to the likes the KKK, but too many main stream people are moving to accept some of the positions of those groups and that is scary.

    • January 7, 2016 3:45 pm

      Interesting points, Ron. Yes, we now have access to more information — and MISinformation — than ever. I don’t know of a single news outlet with a balanced approach today. I used to count on CNN, but in their quest to reverse their slipping ratings, they seem to have become the unofficial BLM network. Any time a cop shoots a black victim, you can count on exhaustive coverage for a week or more. You’d never know from watching CNN that whites are ever shot by cops.

      Anyway, I think the real damage is being done by the polarized amen corners on the Internet. People are now free to read only the news that reinforces their prejudices. I have Facebook friends (retired, presumably) who seem to spend the entire day posting inflammatory, divisive (and invariably distorted) second-hand stories. They have all their like-minded friends shouting “Amen!” — and their extremist views grow ever more extreme.

      • January 7, 2016 4:12 pm

        “Anyway, I think the real damage is being done by the polarized amen corners on the Internet. People are now free to read only the news that reinforces their prejudices”

        I have a politically incorrect strategy to confront that amen polarization, Rick:

        Moderate Truth Trolling.

        If we had a core group of a dozen ‘special force’ moderates picking out particular MISinformation blogs on the left and the right, and we focused on one at a time, say for a week, and confronted posts there that peaked our ire, FORCEFULLY expressing our moderate views in concert, wouldn’t that be a FUN way to temporarily at least rebalance the scales of reason?

        We’d be kinda like Zoro, with stealth keyboards instead of swords 🗡🗡🗡

      • January 7, 2016 7:27 pm

        Sounds like fun, but we’d be outnumbered and the fanatics would probably gang up on us… and reinforce their own fanaticism. I like the Zorro angle, though… mild-mannered moderates by day, swashbuckling outlaws by night.

      • January 7, 2016 10:41 pm

        Take this, you extremist political fops!

      • January 7, 2016 9:36 pm

        Jay, re: Moderate Truth Trolling, I actually am already doing that. Not on right wing sites…I gave that effort up about a year and a half ago because I found that anything other than “you’re right” with them was a heated battle. The left wing folk, in my experience, are less heated and more reasonable, and more willing to listen and dialogue. I’ve been having some good conversations this week with some folk about the lies on some left memes, and half-truths. I’m challenging folk to do better. I’m hearing some agreement and others who are disturbed about it as well. So, there’s hope, I think.

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 2:13 pm

      Please do some checking on politics at the time of our founders.

      Or remember what things were like earlier in your own life.

      You say things went to hell in the 90’s.

      Is this your idea of a tame civil political advertisement ?

      Apparently you can not remember the political nastyness of the 70’s and 80’s.

      Glass-stegal was a bad idea in the 30’s, its repeal actually mitigated rather than agrevated the financial crisis, and it has not been re-instated because even todays politicians know it was idiocy.

  5. January 5, 2016 8:14 pm

    Top Shelf, RB

    “Once the extremists can see the world through their enemies’ eyes, their enemies won’t seem like enemies. They’d simply be honorable opponents …”

    That has been my experience as well.

    Thanks for taking the time.

    • January 7, 2016 3:33 pm

      You’re welcome, KP. Yes, conciliation beats confrontation, if only we can get the extremists to respect each other enough to let that happen.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 2:14 pm

        So when are you going to try to see the world through the eyes of the militias ?

  6. January 6, 2016 12:56 pm

    Interesting piece in the NR on how conservative Marco Rubio has been re-defined as an “establishment” Republican, because he is not sufficiently purist/extreme on the immigration issue. It has happened to virtually every reasonable moderate in both parties over the last few years. And, by moderate, I don’t even mean centrist, but someone who may not be a 100% hardliner on the litmus test issues of the left or right….someone who is looking for compromise or consensus solutions is now a “squish”. Hillary has been protected somewhat on this, by not having been pressed on certain issues that might cause the left to turn on her, although she has clearly disavowed a number of moderate positions that she once held (on taxes, free trade, education, law enforcement, etc).

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/429262/marco-rubio-establishment-tea-party-conservative

    It’s as if Bush derangement radicalized the left and now Obama derangement has done the same to the right……..We need the “radical moderates” to step up.

    • jimi888 permalink
      January 6, 2016 1:32 pm

      “It’s as if Bush derangement radicalized the left and now Obama derangement has done the same to the right……..We need the “radical moderates” to step up.”

      “We have always had militias, and extreme groups from socialist to the likes the KKK, but too many main stream people are moving to accept some of the positions of those groups and that is scary.”

      “When the arguments and issues are reduced and filtered through the same liberal-conservative media seive, the brew is tasteless to a majority of the population. That’s why so few Americans bother to vote: like flat Coke or equally flat Pepsi, the difference is not worth an effort of choice.”

      “I can see how the extremes actually give rise to more extremism, and one must be very vigilant to become aware of one’s own blind spots. I have been peeling off the layers of blindness I’ve had to the absurdities of the left–my own particular blind spot–and it’s been a very illuminating effort. Very few people, it seems, really do understand the value of moderation. ”

      “Our mission, if we choose to accept it (and I think we must), is to convince the extremists that there are at least two legitimate sides to almost every issue: abortion, race relations, the size of government, the distribution of wealth, and — yes — the meaning of the Second Amendment. Once the extremists can see the world through their enemies’ eyes, their enemies won’t seem like enemies. They’d simply be honorable opponents, and neither side would feel the need to man the barricades in defense of their ideologies. If they decide to become moderates themselves, so much the better.”

      Bravo to all! So, common sense and common decency are not actually dead everywhere. There is a lot to like in all of these comments.

      Moderation to me does not mean being in the middle necessarily, or being indecisive. It means being objective, taking the time to understand the nuances and to attempt to balance them. It means not closing one’s mind to the fact that there are sincere, intelligent, and decent people on both the right and left who care about issues that are important to them, given where they live, who their parents were, and what American subculture surrounds them. It means accepting that there is some kernel of reasonable truth to the core concerns of both right and left. It means not swallowing the left or right ideologies hook line and sinker and asking politicians what solutions they have that would actually work in practice given the ideological center of gravity of the USA. Complaining about how society works is super easy, Marx did a great job of that. But his general solution has been proven wrong, both as Marx heavy and Marx light. Back to the drawing board.

      Unfortunately, there are also plenty on the right and left who are miserable, selfish, childish, and far from intelligent, at least when ideology is involved. These people who are making our country worse, technology has given these dratted nuts a tool to multiply and spread their disease. I see my political position as an angry activist moderate who is sick of the ideologues on both sides, they have no workable solutions, just anger.

    • January 6, 2016 4:59 pm

      Are you peeking over my shoulder, Priscilla?

      I was just note taking to myself about ‘Radical Moderates’ as a term to give the singular descriptive ‘moderate’ some oomph. When I tell people I’m politically a moderate or a centrist they tend to patronize me with the smile of pity reserved for pacifists during wartime.

      Fist shaking radical moderates has panache, don’t you think? We’ll give those extreme lefties and righties hell!

    • January 6, 2016 9:50 pm

      “We need the ‘radical moderates’ to step up.” Indeed. But, do we really have any? It almost seems that the biggest problems moderates have is a kind of passivity, or at least, what passion we have is being drowned out by the extremes who are shouting so loudly at one another, we in the middle are drowned out. And moderation doesn’t make good press; it’s not sexy enough; no money to be made on that! The last time I tried to talk to someone about the need for balance, and the dangers of increasing polarization, I was called “wishy washy.” It seems that most everyone these days sees everything in terms of black or white. I wish it were that simple, but it’s not. Most times we don’t need a black or white response or plan or point of view; though, sometimes, we do. So, even moderates need to get the message: moderation in all things…above all, in moderation.

      • January 6, 2016 10:53 pm

        “what passion we have is being drowned out by the extremes who are shouting so loudly at one another, we in the middle are drowned out.”

        Drowned out and censored.

        I’ve been expelled from more blogs then you can count on your fingers and toes, for expressing moderate views and disagreeing with the consensus opinions expressed there – both conservative and politically correct liberal. When you contradict extremists, they don’t like it. And if you deviate from their extreme position, by default you are considered their extreme opposite enemy.

        The cumulative hostility moderates are subjected to are double that faced by purest extremists. We don’t get any damn respect from either entrenched liberals or tea party conservatives. I’ve come to the conclusion we can’t bring them together, to see each others point of view, as optimistically (read that as ‘naively’) suggested here; both extreme sides need to be knocked on their asses (read that ‘disenfranchised’) by the centrist majority (us).

        We need to be more forcefull with our radical moderate opinions, and get in their faces as they continually get in ours. Onward Moderart Soldiers, as if to war… 🙂

      • January 7, 2016 9:40 pm

        “We need to be more forceful with our radical moderate opinions…” I posted you in another part of this thread that I’m having some success with that, on-line. Face-to-face, in my small community, it’s too polarized for me. Though I am clearly left leaning, I am moderate, and every liberal folk here I’ve met is a raving lunatic Sanders supporter…the “My way or the highway” type who are either going to vote 3rd party or write in Sanders if he doesn’t win the D nomination. God; they remind me of spoiled tantruming kids. I don’t mix with folk face to face on this; I have more success online.

      • January 8, 2016 12:36 am

        I remember my grandfather telling me many moons ago that there are two thing to never discuss with anyone but family, and then to make sure they are close family.

        Religion and politics!

        If you want to lose a good friend or make an enemy, discussing one of these were a good way to achieve that goal. Sounds like that is good advice in your small community.

        But I would have to risk the chances that would happen and ask if they did not get Saunders, who on a third party would be as left as he is or even further left. Maybe the Green Party could get Governor Brown from California, but other than that, not sure who would qualify.Now I do agree with their position to not vote for Hillary since I do not support any politician with the close ties to Wall Street that she has and that is where he gets so much support.

        Now I will say if the Democrats would ever offer a ticket of Joe Manchin (WVa)/Mark Warner (Va) I would be the first one in the booth voting Democrat, something I have not done since I first voted in 1968.

        But no party would ever offer a ticket so down the middle as that one would be.

    • January 7, 2016 1:49 pm

      “Radical Moderates”. Now that is something to picture. Thousands standing in the National Mall or Occupying Wall Street demonstrating for compromise positions to cut the deficit, pay down the debt, reduce the number of government programs, return rights to the states and work to eliminate divisive politics in the country today.

      Never gona happen. No money funding moderate positions. Money flows where someone has a financial interest in a specific issue. Anyone see any Political Action committees made up of moderate billionaires demanding compromise in government to get something done?

      And when a speak of compromise, I mean “real compromise”, not the pseudo-compromise we get in today congress where the middle class people get screwed and congress tries to paint a rosy picture when only the special interests have benefited, I mean real deficit reduction, real tax reform, real……..(fill in the blank).

    • January 7, 2016 4:08 pm

      You know, when I was about to launch this blog and was thinking of an appropriate name, I considered both The Raving Moderate and The Radical Moderate. Both were taken, so I went with the bland (but respectable-sounding) The New Moderate. The idea was to light a fire under our apathetic moderates and give them a cause to believe in while fighting the excesses of the extremists. Look at the little quote below the New Moderate banner, written in my best 18th century style: “Too long have we been tyranniz’d by the militant dogmatizing of Right and Left. Let the Rebellion of the Center commence here!” (I think that’s how it goes.)

      Well, I haven’t started a rebellion, unfortunately. My dream of becoming a centrist Patrick Henry hasn’t exactly materialized. But we’re right when we reject the namby-pamby image of traditional moderates in favor of a more aggressive approach. I’ve had fun knocking the follies of the extremists, and you can bet that I’ll continue to do so — but it’s probably even more important to build bridges between the two factions. Their current contempt for each other is not only unproductive… it’s downright dangerous.

      I don’t think we’ll ever light a fire under apathetic moderates or change the minds of the ideologues, but maybe we can lure reasonable, concerned conservatives and liberals who are growing disenchanted with the outlandish rhetoric emanating from both sides. (I also need to start submitting columns for wider publication, if I can get them past the censors.)

      • January 7, 2016 9:42 pm

        “I’ve had fun knocking the follies of the extremists, and you can bet that I’ll continue to do so — but it’s probably even more important to build bridges between the two factions. Their current contempt for each other is not only unproductive… it’s downright dangerous. ” BINGO. That’s what concerns me. It’s explosive and hurts all of us.

      • January 8, 2016 1:07 am

        The reason there is so much contempt for each other on each end of the spectrum is due to the lack of moderates in the middle. And that is due to the lack of interest in the moderates in having a voice as to who their candidate will be for each election. Both parties have a small minority (but growing) fringe element, with the largest numbers in the left of center or right of center in their ideology. But over the period from 1980, the number voting in primaries has decreased significantly, leading to a much more conservative or liberal member within the house and growing numbers in the senate This decline in primary voters actually began in the 60’s when primary voting was near an all time high.

        What this has produced are candidates much more aligned with the primary voters showing up at the polls. And that has made it possible for the fringes to have a much louder voice and feel they are to be heard and not questioned. You get “Primaried” if you do not toe the line of the far left or far right and those voters vote. It was recently reported that Paul Ryan was going to face a primary candidate much more to the liking of the Tea Party do to his introducing legislation that was prepared by the previous leadership of the house.

        When you have the power in the hands of 10-15% of each party membership, there is only one thing that can happen. Parties that do not represent the will of the people.

        But then when only 10-15% of each party shows up in primary elections, few people really “give a damn”

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 2:21 pm

      I think it is a mistake to view this election as about politics and policies.

      I can not stomache Trump. I could not vote for him. But I understand his appeal.
      Those who support him do not for the most part care about his policies.
      They do not care whether he is right or wrong.

      What they care about is that he is outside the system.

      This election is not about immigration, or taxes, or walls, or socialism.
      It is not about moderation vs, extremism. Politically Trump most resembles a blue dog democrat.

      It is about insiders vs. outsiders.

      Trump is viewed as an outsider, Sanders is an outsider, HRC is an insider.

      On either side the most damning insult right not is “insider”.

      We do not care if Trumps policies are wrong. Who beleives that any politician is going to actually do what they promise – even Trump ? If you do not beleive them, then why do you care what they promise ?

  7. January 6, 2016 1:56 pm

    NOW THAT THIS WAS TAKEN CARE OF —

    IT’S TIME TO PUT A STOP TO GOVERNMENT TYRANNY —

    WE’RE GONNA TAKE OVER A BIRD SANCTUARY!

    • January 6, 2016 2:05 pm

      Just my snide take on the bird sanctuary takeover.

      The Searchers is one of my all time favorite John Ford films. A visual western classic, made more endearing to me for its present politically incorrect stance on Cowboy Privilege 🙂

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 8, 2016 5:31 pm

        I _love_ “The Searchers”.

      • January 8, 2016 10:36 pm

        Great minds, etc…😇

  8. January 9, 2016 12:24 am

    It is nice to know that there are still individuals that read and understand the provisions in the constitution. Many of the states may not agree with some of his recommendations, but just hearing someone propose this is a step in the right direction. I may not agree with everything he wants in amendments, but the first steps are always the hardest.

    Maybe with another 5-8 years of nothing getting done in congress, this might become a reality and then we may see the states stepping up and retaking control of the federal government that they have allowed to slip away over the 200+ years since independence.

    http://news.yahoo.com/texas-governor-abbott-calls-amendments-u-constitution-203900672.html

    • January 9, 2016 8:55 pm

      Abbot’s plan lays out nine specific proposed amendments that would:

      Prohibit congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.
      Require Congress to balance its budget.
      Prohibit administrative agencies from creating federal law.
      Prohibit administrative agencies from pre-empting state law.
      Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
      Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law
      Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
      Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
      Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation.

      Some sound reasonable; some sound nutty.
      And none of it will be incorporated into law in our lifetimes.

      • January 10, 2016 2:53 am

        Yes maybe you are right. None of these may become law in our lifetime. But it is nice to hear someone proposing a constitutional convention since our elected Washington leaders will not do anything that infringes on their party or personal electability.

        I just say it really sucks when the vast majority of people know they have a limited amount of money they can spend before they have to file for bankruptcy, but that same understanding does not apply to the federal government. Money only grows on trees when financing federal government spending.

        I just hope I live long enough to see the day the federal government is forced to make changes, but I doubt that will happen either.

  9. January 10, 2016 3:17 am

    This has nothing to do with the article posted by Rick, but I decided to share this anyway.

    We give them billions and they send jobs to China. Maybe I will vote for trump after all.

    http://news.yahoo.com/gm-bets-americans-buy-cars-made-china-052846718.html

  10. January 11, 2016 4:51 pm

    I worry about this. A lot. Anger sells, it sells products and it sells more anger. Reason, on the other hand, is rather dry and boring.

    I think the answer is to do what you’re doing here, Rick. Talk to people, write, try to grab the moderates who haven’t gone too far to one side or the other.

    Or, the ones like me, who began to realize that both extremes resemble one another too much.

    • January 11, 2016 9:23 pm

      My image of the Left-Right extremes is a serpent with fanged heads at each end, trying to scar and swallow each other, oblivious of the fact they’re damaging the same body in the process.

    • jimi888 permalink
      January 13, 2016 12:47 pm

      Joseph, Rick’s latest column marks a sort of high point in the relations between posters on the New Moderate, we are all more or less on the same page and no one is having at anyone else, agreement and common ground have been found, along with appreciation of other’s opinions. So, the traffic is also down to next to nothing.

      Moral: Agreement and common ground aren’t sexy.

      Corollary, Anger is sexy.

      • Ron P permalink
        January 13, 2016 1:39 pm

        Ah never fear, Rick will post something in the future and the gates will open once again for the differences to become all too apparent. Even degrees of “moderate” can lead to lengthy discussions.

        I am waiting for the BIG ONE. “Who is the lessor of two evils, Hillary or The Donald”. What a fantastic article that will make for Rick to write and for his readers to comment on. Someone could write a book on that and still leave enough out for future releases.

      • January 13, 2016 3:08 pm

        Let’s start with who is the GREATER of two evils: Trump or Cruz?

      • Ron P permalink
        January 13, 2016 6:08 pm

        OK I will join this game. I pick Donald Trump as the greater of two evils you provide as choices.

        Not only is he an embarrassment to most every parent in the country when they have to explain to their kids why his actions and words are not acceptable in a society where the majority of people are trying to teach kids the golden rule, he is also an embarrassment to America in his positions on foreigners. And add to that his numerous positions on most every pertinent issue that has faced the county in the last 20 years and we have another untrustworthy individual running for the highest office in the world. As for Cruz, although I do not agree with his intrusive social positions, I can see myself voting for him against Hillary. I can not say the same for Trump.

        Other than Rob Ford, i am not sure what politcian would get more negative foreign press than Trump

      • January 13, 2016 7:52 pm

        The moderate conservative NY Times columnist David Brooks has this to say about Cruz:
        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/opinion/the-brutalism-of-ted-cruz.html?src=me&_r=0

        My instincts (infallible 😺) determined months ago that Cruz is a mean spirited cruel little dickhead, an heir to the narrow right wing instincts of Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon (he resembles both, physically and politically). He’s a sneaky little prick ( the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and he’s the only Republican candidate who would force me to back Hillary for prez (but I’d only vote for her if the polls show a neck and neck finish.

      • January 13, 2016 9:15 pm

        Jay, I saw that article. I’ve been watching Cruz off and on for a few years. As much as I detest Trump, I will *not* vote for a Dominionist. Fundamentalists are the worst regarding upholding basic American value of freedom. As a woman, that goes doubly.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 13, 2016 7:23 pm

        I agree with Ron and his reasoning, but if the choice is Hillary or Cruz, I just won’t vote.

      • January 14, 2016 12:34 am

        I find it really makes no difference if you vote for president or not if congress did what it is allowed to do in the constitution and the president was limited to their duties as allowed by the constitution. The main legislation is suppose to come out of the house, with the senate and President agreeing or not. But neither party wants to limit “their” president when they get into office, so no one does anything to take back the powers the presidents have taken over the years since they want their leader to be able to govern by E.O. The opposition party will complain a lot, but that is it. I will vote for senate and house and determine what to do about President when the time comes.

        I started out as a Carson supporter and would still like to see him get into office. It has been said that “he lacks any experience in government”. Well, if you take all the elected members of congress and add up their experience in legislating and then add Obama’s experience, their cumulative experience represents over 4,800 years of experience in legislating.

        So how’s the experience working out? As long as Ben is in, then I’m in for Ben. I will worry about the others once they survive the first round of primaries.

      • January 14, 2016 12:52 am

        Just another reason to dislike this guy. And they said Truman had a foul mouth. He makes Truman look like an angel.
        http://finance.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-rips-son-b-025535531.html

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 13, 2016 8:23 pm

        Actually I think I just won’t vote period, for president this time. None of them that I can stomach and my state has already cast its 3 electoral votes for the democrat.

        About the choice between Cruz and Trump, (betting markets and Nate Silver still have belief in Rubio): given a choice of a pilot on my flight I will choose the one who is a jerk, a jackass, and a general sonofabitch over someone who has no idea at all how to fly a plane but has delusions of grandeur and is dying to try.

      • January 13, 2016 11:33 pm

        No doubt for me on these. Trump over Hillary, Cruz over Trump.

        I could never vote for Hillary. Trump may be a bombastic jerk and Cruz may be a prick, but Hillary has no soul. Plus she’s an incompetent to boot. All of these years building up her resume, and she really has never accomplished a thing.

        I’m reading that Michael Bloomberg is thinking of getting in……..

      • January 14, 2016 12:18 am

        Eh, I’m not a huge Cruz fan, but that is such a typical, ho-hum, hit piece on a Republican by the NYT. The loan was discovered on Cruz’s own financial disclosure forms, so how deceptive could it be. Certainly not as deceptive as the foreign mega-millions to the Clinton Foundation that never even made it into the financial disclosures. http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-29/clinton-foundation-failed-to-disclose-1-100-foreign-donations

        I have to say, when this stuff comes up, I start to see why Trump appeals to so many voters………

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 14, 2016 8:10 am

        No Republican at all in this field for me…I see them all as extreme right wingers. There *is* no moderation in the R party these days. It’s beginning to look to me what this blog is all about…a home for the R moderates who’ve been shoved into the basement by the extremists.

        I’ll probably just vote for Sanders. It’s time for big change, and that’s what he’s advocating. It’s time to change up the status quo, methinks.

      • January 14, 2016 2:23 pm

        “It’s beginning to look to me what this blog is all about…a home for the R moderates who’ve been shoved into the basement by the extremists.”

        Whoever you are, I would encourage you to continue to comment from your perspective as there will be times you will find others will agree with your positions if you are what you say you are, left side of moderate. There really is not much difference between a left of center or right of center moderate. The problems we have here is the positions we are being placed, debating and picking between extreme positions that many of us may not fully support.

        The problems exist when those in the middle are forced to choose between extremes on both sides. And that is caused by the influence of a small number of voters on the extremes that get out and vote in the primaries, while the center rights and lefts stay home and bitch about the choices they have when the nominees are chosen. Only about 15% of each parties voters actually participate in the primaries, so the 85% are stuck with the 15% choices. Maybe if that 85% participated, we would not have to choose between Trump, Cruz, Clinton or Sanders. Maybe the Democrats would choose someone more in line with a Joe Manchin or the Republicans more in line with a Rob Portman from Ohio if the party participation was more closely aligned with the general election voters and not the active participants we have today.

        Now if you take the stances of a Sanders , then a true divide will show and there will be a definite pull to the right by those that do not support the policies of Obama, Clinton or Sanders.

      • January 14, 2016 11:09 am

        I believe that the only moderate Republican who currently comments regularly on this blog is me. Ron P leans toward some Republicans, but he’s already said that he would vote for Hillary over Trump ( I suppose you could make the case that Trump is not a Republican, but that’s another issue). And there are certainly a good number of moderate GOP candidates – Rubio, Bush, Christie, Kasich, etc. Like ’em or hate ’em, none of them are extremists of any sort.

        In fact , Bernie Sanders may be the only legitimate “extremist” in either party that is currently running for president- and even then, that’s mostly because he is an avowed socialist/pacifist running for the presidency of the most powerful capitalist nation in the world. Even so, his policy views seem more stupid than radical to me…..

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 14, 2016 12:59 pm

        “Eh, I’m not a huge Cruz fan, but that is such a typical, ho-hum, hit piece on a Republican by the NYT. ”

        Priscilla it really isn’t a piece by the NYT, its a piece by David Brooks. I really think that he writes what he thinks and is free to say anything he wants. I saw him once answering questions in front of a live audience and he has never even met most of the other Times columnists employees, he works, independently from home. The Times editors do not call him up and say do a hit piece on X. If you are disappointed its with Brooks himself not the dreaded “liberal media.” I don’t consider Brooks and conservative, he is a former conservative turned moderate. like I am a former liberal turned moderate. He for me is one of very, very few bright points in opinion journalism.

        Ironically, say what you will about the liberal NYT but the Times has better and more respectable opinion writers on the moderate and right of center side than the left, where Krugman and Dowd are simply bad jokes and caricatures of the liberal world outside of the the NY metropolitan area and maybe San Francisco.

      • January 14, 2016 1:44 pm

        I think Prisilla was referring to the NY Times news article there, J888, about Cruz’s failure to report the Goldman Sachs loan, and not Brook’s column about Cruz.

        The news story reinforces my negative impression of Cruz as a sneaky operative not to be trusted with the reins of political power, especially not during a presidency that will be recommending new SCOTUS members.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 14, 2016 1:39 pm

        “No doubt for me on these. Trump over Hillary, Cruz over Trump.” That’s not a moderate stance. Cruz clearly is not moderate, he’s a Dominionist, and he’d just as soon have a theocracy as a democracy.

        Bush, Kasich, and Christie, yes, those would be moderates, who do not have a chance of winning the nomination, if you believe the polls.

        Hillary is probably the most middle of the road candidate that is currently running with a good shot at her party’s nomination. If I don’t decide to support Sanders, it would have to be Hillary, for moderation.

      • January 15, 2016 6:17 pm

        Let’s see how far her moderation shifts leftward once the campaign hits the urban states, when she needs to activate the minority/black/female base. But you’re right, for now she’s the most moderate candidate.

      • http://Bookscrounger.com permalink
        January 15, 2016 6:48 pm

        Jay, the two headed serpent is a good metaphor. I would add that for me, you go too far to the right, it’s down the rabbit hole and you come out on the left. Both are intolerant and arrogant.

        jim888, I appreciate that people aren’t fighting, but the last thing I want is people who agree; If everyone thinks the same way, who’s thinking? What I’m looking for is people who think there is learning to be had in listening as well as talking.

        Trump or Cruz? Ouch. I try to be moderate, but right now there aren’t many people on the right I’m comfortable with (not crazy about the left either, mind you). I would probably go with Trump, because a) he’s politically not as savvy, and would be moderated by Congress, and b) I’m not altogether sure he’s not still on The Apprentice, saying whatever he thinks will sell.

        “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction.

        “Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

        ― Woody Allen

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 2:23 pm

        Or maybe the moral is that you are off on your own tangent that no one cares about.

  11. jimi888 permalink
    January 13, 2016 8:35 pm

    Reminds me of my wife, much to her amusement and approval. Just in case any one is getting depressing thinking about politics!

  12. jimi888 permalink
    January 13, 2016 9:21 pm

    I’m not not kidding this is my wife dancing

    She and the worlds happiest penguin are as one.

    Much better than presidential misery.

    • January 13, 2016 11:28 pm

      Your wife personifies a joyous spirit! Thanks for posting that again- I can’t watch it and not smile….

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 14, 2016 12:04 pm

        Or the Penguins! I watched that over and over last night when I should have been working and then remembered Lena’s dance to Roll over Beethoven. I am going to learn to do some video editing/manipulation just so I can make a video that is split screen with Lena on one side and the dancing penguin on the other. As well, I will substitute Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing, Sing for my band playing roll over Beethoven.

    • January 13, 2016 11:58 pm

      That was great!
      Makes me wonder if we ever had a president or VP who could dance?

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 14, 2016 12:05 pm

        I’ll bet that Bill Clinton could dance, at least he had the fire down below.

  13. jimi888 permalink
    January 14, 2016 12:48 pm

    As we become more and more polarized into cultural warfare, our national mood is terrible, no surprise. There is so little in the news that gives us any joy, pride, hope, optimism about life in the US. And life in the US is still quite good actually in most places on most days. But we collectively feel nearly doomed. Nothing about this election is going to change that. Sanders supporters are full of good spirits, but they are poised to turn to dismay and probably conspiracy thinking.

    Sanders is not a socialist by the way, although I have called him that, because he calls himself that. Socialists believe that the state should own the means of production. Sweden and Denmark are not socialist countries, they are countries with a very large welfare state apparatus, which is not meant as a derogatory term but rather as a technical one. That is what democratic socialists are about, growing the welfare state. It really cannot fly here. Sanders voters believe that by some magic the people in all of the red states (which nearly cover the map of the US) will suddenly accept Sweden with 50% taxation as their model society. Sweden is relatively small and has little cultural diversity compared to the US. The US is huge and has, according to a recent book, 11 distinct regional subcultures. I have not met a Sanders supporter who acknowledges that issue.

    Cruz is certainly a bonafide right winger. Trump is an enigma, empty of anything but the knowledge of how to harness anger. There are relatively moderate republicans but none that have a chance of being elected. Rubio is only moderate when you compare him to Cruz. His views on quite a few social issues are prehistoric, not that he would be able to repeal Roe.

    So, why won’t I vote for Hillary? She is from approximately my area of the political spectrum, moderate to liberal. I just can’t stand her, which is a reflection from the original problem that I just can’t stand Bill. I thought I could vote for her, but I keep seeing her on TV in public places and that cured me. They are so far beyond the behavioral standards of us dweeb voters. Rape, pillage, and conquer, entitled, like Cosby or Woody Allen or Polanski to get away with anything. (and I don’t mean Benghazi, in my world that is a non issue.) As well, and worst of all, she will be just another entirely divisive president in a bad string of them. We all here agree I think that we want more than any other thing a president who will unite us to face American problems with common sense and common decency. Almost all of politics today is about offering remedies that have been proven not to work and about refighting battles that are long over. The politicians do it because that is the market, a downward political spiral of voters and politicians caught in a negative feedback loop leading to finally, Donald Trump.

    This is my depressive moderate post. I’ll try to write a separate one on hope.

    • January 14, 2016 8:36 pm

      Excellent comment, j888. And depressing as hell, but, really, things have probably been worse – and certainly ARE worse in other places.

      I still don’t think that Trump is going to be the Republican nominee, but, if he is, I still think that we could do worse. We certainly could do a hell of a lot better, for sure, but when you actually listen to what he says, as opposed to the way he says it and the way that it’s interpreted by both mainstream reporters and politicians on both sides, it’s not really “end of the world” kind of stuff. He’s not owned by donors, he’s not a religious extremist of any type, he has no history of evil behavior (as opposed to bad behavior), all of his ex-wives seem to like him fine, his children appear to adore him and vice-versa (better than Reagan could do on that score), and, for those who hate Republicans because they are too conservative, he is really not conservative at all!

    • http://Bookscrounger.com permalink
      January 15, 2016 6:53 pm

      jimi888, the socialist comments are good. You’re right, they won’t sell here. If we could get people to calm down and work together, I would really like to see if, rather than design the solutions, government could design free market incentives to solve the problems. And I ain’t talkin’ charter schools or for-profit prisons, not at least the way we’re doing them.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 16, 2016 1:58 pm

        “If we could get people to calm down and work together, I would really like to see if, rather than design the solutions, government could design free market incentives to solve the problems.”

        Nice. Get people to calm down and work together. First, I fear that we would have to turn off the internet. I’m not advocating that, just observing.

      • http://Bookscrounger.com permalink
        January 18, 2016 6:52 am

        No, no, no. I’m thinking more along the lines of Valium in the water…
        😉

      • January 18, 2016 8:49 am

        Could be more successful than fluoride. Drink water, get less cavities and less agita……

        Bookscrounger, I checked out your blog, and found it very interesting and thought-provoking. Further down in the comments here, I linked to your post on Edmund Burke, whose philosophy I admire greatly. Without orderly change, there really is no way to conserve those things that we value. Your post was very successful in putting that in the context of today’s politics.

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 2:26 pm

      In the 1800 election the Jefferson camp described Adams as

      “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

      In return, Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

      So you think politics has gotten worse ?

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 2:40 pm

      Socialist systems include those where government excercises broad control of the means of production.

      Further there are no bright lines. IF Socialsist systems where government litterally owns the means of production fail – and not even in the USSR and PRC was that completely true, then why should we beleive that magically those schemes in which government merely has a great deal of control over the economy will work swimmingly ?

      Real world data tells us that increasing standard of living correlates strongly to several things.

      The rule of law – that is the principle that the actions and decisions of government are not discretionary, arbitrary or capricious. That our laws dictate, not people. That those laws are normative – having supermajority support among the people.

      Freedom.

      Scale of government.

      None of these are binary.

      Various different “isms” fail to the extent they are at odds with these.

      Whatever ism you might ascribe to Sanders, he does not beleive in the rule of law – prefering government free to make determinations based on the whim of politics and bureaucrats, rather than being bound by law. He certainly does nto beleive in freedom. You should have less choices in deoderant and snealers – because that will magically make the less fortunate prosper. And he beleives in large scale govenrment that has never worked well anywhere.

      Call him a socialist as he does himself – or any other label you want. All that matters is that he is selling failure.

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 3:03 pm

      Why all this nonsense about Hillary and Bill ?

      Who cares if they genuinely care for each other ?

      It is unlikely that Hillary would actually be a worse president than Obama – whether she cares for Bill or not.

      And despite the rantings on the left, what Republican contender do you really think would turn the world on end ?

      Even Rand Paul – probably the most actually extremist of all republicans, is at best a tepid libertarian. He is certainly not going to dismantle the federal government – even if he tried.

      Even Trump as president is not going to be able to do 99.99% of what he campaigns to do.
      Nor is the house or senate – regardless of the election outcome likely to advance any of these agenda’s from Sanders through Trump.

      This election matters – but only as a small step hopefully towards being able to eventually impliment the real changes we actually need.

      It matters not at all whether Bill genuinely cares about Hillary.
      I hope he does. I hope they are happy together.
      That should have no effect on how you vote.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 3:20 pm

        “And despite the rantings on the left, what Republican contender do you really think would turn the world on end ?”

        For me that would be Cruz. If we have a R congress and Cruz and POTUS, I fear a dangerous shift toward theocracy, loosely speaking.

  14. jimi888 permalink
    January 14, 2016 1:26 pm

    There is a huge niche out there for any news or cultural organization that will make Americans feel better, cheerful, optimistic, proud. I guess that is what facebook does, my wife uses it constantly and its nearly all positive things, its a little positive world full of amazing dancers, musicians, funny kittens and exuberant penguins, dogs romping with fawns, altruistic pit bulls, its the good news network. We need that.

    That is my impulse for posting the non-political things I post, the gloom of politics needs to be balanced with the signs that Life is Beautiful, that a sense of humor is still a defense that works against both politics and cancer and lesser evils.

    My wife has had the hardest life of anyone I ever met. Dad drank and beat mom, her first husband was blown up in an ordinance explosion in the Soviet Union when she was 19, leaving her a widow with a baby. Available men were uniformly alcoholics and abusers, her society was falling apart, really falling apart, their life savings turned to dust in 91. When she landed in the US with no English, none whatsoever, she was working in retail, dealing with customers, within 6 months, English on the fly. And they loved her. If she can survive and keep the ability for joy intact then we Americans with our “first world problems” (outside of the inner cities where they have real 3rd-world problems) can also stay positive and face our issues with common sense and common decency and win.

    America needs a good therapist; depressive people get better, so can a depressed society. There is still a lot of about America that is good and even great, we need balanced rational self belief and unity and our politics is destroying that. Which is the reason I guess that this is the year of Trump and Sanders, people want to blow politics up and start over. I don’t think they are the guys to do it, but part of the impulse is healthy.

    • January 15, 2016 9:25 am

      “Which is the reason I guess that this is the year of Trump and Sanders, people want to blow politics up and start over. I don’t think they are the guys to do it, but part of the impulse is healthy.”

      Good lord, I think we agree again. This has to stop 😉

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 15, 2016 10:24 am

        OK, “I still don’t think that Trump is going to be the Republican nominee, but, if he is, I still think that we could do worse.”

        Good lord how, bring George Wallace back to life? Aside from the fact that he has a fair chance of actually putting an end to the GOP as a presidential party what could any moderate see in him?

      • January 15, 2016 10:34 am

        Well, I don’t believe that Trump is a racist, so I totally disagree on the Wallace thing. I think that he is politically incorrect, but that is not the same thing. I agree with you that he would pretty much end the GOP, as we know it. I’m not a fan of populists in general, but, as populists go, there could be worse. Bernie, for example, who strikes me as an idiot, who thinks we can tax our way out of our economic problems.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 15, 2016 11:48 am

        I don’t think that Trump is a 1950-1960s southern style blatant racist, hell by the end of his life even Wallace had repented. But he channels the same forces and the result is very similar. As you know I have come to really change my opinion of the danger posed by PC, but that is NOT the same as having any sympathy with the people who childishly poke the understandable sentiments behind PC in the eye, that just gives the moral authority Back to PC.

        Could Bernie be worse? Yes, not because there is any danger that he would bring about a left wing revolution, but because of the danger that he would bring about a right wing revolution and also have a nearly isolationist foreign policy. For all the atrocious and idiotic mistakes we make in the thankless position of world cop, when I do the thought experiment where the US tells the world, “we’ve had it, this job sucks, do it yourself” the fear centers of my brain say that WWIII is a possible result at worst, and that forces of totalitarianism, including the Islamic form would make huge gains at best.

        On the other hand, macho man Trump could thoroughly overplay his cards and have the US involved in all sorts of military adventures, which would backfire in a bloody and expensive way and lead to the same as Sanders isolationism. There is some kind of a zone for not too much and not too little US policing and Sanders and Trump are not likely to be able to find that zone.

        As well, the loss of respect the US would suffer worldwide, deservedly, for electing Trump would be immense. We would be idiocracy in the worlds eyes, Berlusconi’s Italy, a clown nation. No I do not think the world sees us that way because of Obama.

      • January 15, 2016 3:50 pm

        Priscilla, I watched the debate last night (first one other than parts of the previous ones) and I wonder if anyone saw what I saw last night.

        A mellowing of Trump.

        Now he did say he wanted to stop Muslims from coming into the country, but he gave the reasons and said multiple times it was temporary.

        But he also agreed with the question about anger. And he said multiple times that he was angry. And he gave reasons for that anger and what he wanted to do for the country. And he said it in a much more calm manner than previous debates.

        With this debate, I see someone that has read the “tea leaves” of the public and has awakened the sleeping giant that just may get him elected president. And I now find myself thinking even Donald is better than Hillary.

        I also now believe his followers will be unhappy with some things that take place if he should take office. When he begins “The Art of the Deal” with the democrats and decides that most of the loaf is better than none of the loaf, conservatives will be unhappy and the extremist that vote for him will be livid.

        But I also find that China may be up against an adversary that will make it much more difficult for companies like GM from producing cars in China and importing them to the USA as domestic cars.

        His ability to read people in business has allowed him to read people in politics that has proven to be an almost unbeatable combination.

        I am mellowing toward Trump, even though he is not my first choice.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 16, 2016 2:10 pm

        “His ability to read people in business has allowed him to read people in politics that has proven to be an almost unbeatable combination.”

        Ron, read people in business? His actual business is seedy casinos that go bankrupt. How he has parlayed that into a reputation as a savvy business man I don’t get. Also he tends to sue people a lot and generally loses those suits because he is just bullying.

        I am sure that I am oversimplifying and clearly I’m not objective, I hate the man, I hate him personally, I hate what he stands for. Honestly, I wish he would choke on something. But that would not remove the harm he has done to my image of our country by actually attracting millions of followers.

        I guess the most cathartic thing that could happen is that he wins the nomination and gets so soundly and historically beaten in the general that the entire GOP presidential apparatus is itself destroyed for the time and has to be rebuilt by sane people of the Bob Dole-Bush I model.

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 2:42 pm

      “There is a huge niche out there for any news or cultural organization that will make Americans feel better, cheerful, optimistic, proud.”

      If that is so – go create it. You will not only perform a tremendous service, but get fabulously wealthy in the process.

      Or you will fail – meaning that you are wrong.

  15. January 14, 2016 2:44 pm

    Priscilla, for some reason WordPress is not notifying me of all the comments, so I can not link to your comment concerning who I would vote for that you posted today at 11:09.

    I want to make this perfectly clear for all to see. When I said I would never vote for Trump, that does not mean I would vote for the Queen Bitch the Democrats are offering as a choice. I have disliked her from the day Bill Clinton became the nominee and I like her less today since she has used her fake marriage to gain public attention to achieve the position she is in today. If she really believed in women’s rights and equal rights for women, she would have left Bill years before his run for the presidency and surely after the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. She has had a negative impact on many levels for women’s equality when she stayed with Bill (not in the same house for many years and certainly not in the same bedroom) just for her own political gains. How can women say she supports equal rights when she says privately she can not attain the highest office in the world without staying married to her philandering husband.

    What I will do is vote for senate and house and pray the republicans retain control

    • January 14, 2016 8:21 pm

      Ron, I misread your earlier comment to mean that you would vote for Hillary, when really you were just weighing in on the lesser of the two evils….sorry about that!

      And the whole women’s rights thing that you bring up is something that never ceases to flabbergast me when it comes to Hillary. Here is a woman who has participated in a clearly phony marriage to a serial sexual philanderer and probable abuser, has helped to cover up and defend him, and has, most likely, been part of attempts to silence and intimidate the women who have come forward with accusations. And she has the gall to present herself as a advocate and role model for women??!! Ugh. This is a woman who, as a an attorney back in the 70’s, laughed about the guilt of a pedophile rapist that she helped get off with a light sentence. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/20/exclusive-hillary-clinton-took-me-through-hell-rape-victim-says.html

      And, the idea that there is an active FBI investigation of her for her actions as SecState, as well as an ongoing FBI probe of the Clinton Foundation, either of which could end up with indictments against her and or Bill?

      Let’s just say that a perfectly legal margin loan taken out to finance a Senate bid doesn’t seem to measure up as a scandal…….

      • January 15, 2016 8:32 pm

        Priscilla & Ron –

        Hill and Bill sincerely care for each other, always have. Their affection seems genuine, verified by numerous friends and acquaintences who have known them for years. Mary Steenbergen the actress, a close friend of Hillary, is quoted in interviews remarking how Hillary’s face lights up when he joins them at private gatherings. Others have made similar observations. And I spent an hour online this morning scanning photos of them that turned up with a Google search for “candid photos bill and Hillary Clinton.” Among them were long shot ‘spy’ photos taken by the English tabloid Daily Mail at the yearly vacation they take together in the Hamptons. They’re shown walking their dogs together. People who own dogs together don’t hate each other, Ron. Dozens of other photos catching them in private moments show them touching, embracing, smiling at each other. Their body language doesn’t lie: a bond of affection continues to exist between them.

        You two of course judge them through the lens of a long time animosity. And you will continue to negatively interpret anything the Clintons say or do to fit your already formulated negative preconceptions.

        Your link for example, Priscilla, to a 40 year old legal case Hillary was assigned, and the spurious account of it in the anti Clinton Daily Beast, relying on an unverified account decades later by an unreliable ‘victim’ and second hand reports of a radio interview never produced. But nevertheless you accepted the Daily Beast’s assertion Hillary was laughing inappropriately about the guilt of a pedofile rapist because a staff wrote it. You understand my point? You uncritically accepted and spread that negative narrative here because you want to believe it. That’s not a moderate’s inclination; it’s right wing rumor mongering.

        I’m not a Hillary supporter for president. Although I do think she ( with Bill hovering at her elbow ) is the most qualified to be president, but like Jimi888 I’m still gagging over the PC policies of the Democrats on racial matters and open borders and policing, and demoting English as our official national language. And I think it’s a good idea to temporarily bann/restrict Muslims from nations with high ISIS support from entering the US. So I’d support Trump unless he gets stupider then he is now (I’m assuming he’d be a one term (or less) president). Or support one of the more centrist Republicans (wait – there aren’t any viable ones with a chance to be nominated).

        But if Cruz is the Republican nominee, Hill-Bill definitely gets the nod.

      • January 16, 2016 12:44 am

        Jay, there is one reason I will not vote for Hillary, or any Democrat other than one like Joe Manchin, which I would prefer to most any candidates now running. Or a Rob Portman for the GOP. I do not like the extremes of either party, so right now its hold your nose and punch the ticket..

        But if I have to make a choice, I will vote for someone who is more likely to appoint SCOTUS justices like a Kennedy than a Sotomayor. I will vote for someone that will appoint a Scalia than a Kagan or another Roberts.

        We can live for 8 years under a President that overspends, guts our military, gives away corporate welfare money’s and raises taxes. What we can not survive are 3-4 SCOTUS appointments that will insure that privacy is infringed upon in the name of national security. We can not survive SCOTUS appointments that will redefine “militia” and take away individual rights to guns when the founding fathers defined “militia” when private individuals with guns made up militias, meaning the individual had the right to gun ownership. We can not survive with SCOTUS appointments that will continue to find ways to remove God from our society. Progressives accept eminent domain, while those more conservative believe in property rights, so we can not survive appointments that would expand eminent domain and the taking of private property for corporations in the name of community benefit. And States rights would all but disappear with more liberal judges.

        The reason I say we can not survive is due to the fact SCOTUS appointments can be for 30 years (or more) and the policies of the president will live on long after an incompetent boob like Bush (43) or Obama has left office. And others could probably find many other examples of liberal actions that would take place, like imposition of labor union policies on workers in right to work states.

        I will not live long enough to see the end of the next 3-4 SCOTUS reigns, but I am voting for my grandkids on this one.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 16, 2016 2:38 am

        Ron, it’s hard to take you seriously when you say you’d vote for Bill again, while essentially slamming his *wife* for…staying in the marriage after his cheating? That’s a special kind of logic, now, you gotta admit. This one leaves me scratching my head. So what if she has stayed with him? Consider that she is modeling commitment and forgiveness, if nothing else. You can imagine it to be something much, much worse than that if you choose. You can equate the relationship of “Hill and Bill” to domestic violence if you wish, in your own way of looking at things. In the end, whether any of us like it or not, it is Hillary’s call on what it is to her, and no one else has to agree with that, or even like it. You’ve devoted a lot of time to elaborating your passion about it. That is your choice, of course.

        I admit that I laughed at “…I pray that women will wake up and see what is really happening.” That is *rich!* Ron, consider that it is possible that they already are awake. That they already are aware. Look at the history of this nation. Women are quite adept at compromising to survive. Maybe they see Hillary as the one chance to break the cycle of power hungry men in the White House. God knows we have had more than our share of power hungry men as POTUS. And how *dare* a woman share that same desire! She surely must be a lesbian bitch. 😉

        This is an historic moment. We have running for the POTUS a highly competent, experienced…woman. It is not that there have never before been any competent women who might have done quite well, but now we have finally come to that time. Does Hillary have flaws? Yes. *All* of these candidates have them aplenty. And it is impossible to assert that any of them are even close to being as qualified for the office as Hillary is. Yet, there’s this fixation on her marital life and relationship with Bill, and the example that you imagine that she is, in your white male thoughts, to women in general. You think that because some women can look past some of the flaws she has in this field of highly flawed candidates to see that she is *the best qualified candidate*, that they might somehow all be of the mindset of a domestic violence victim? That’s quite a leap. I think you are lost in your own musings, Ron. Might want to stop worrying about how all of the poor sleeping women are being hoodwinked by Victim-of-violence Hillary, and refocus on the issues, where you shine. Jay said it well in one of his posts:

        “You two of course judge them through the lens of a long time animosity. And you will continue to negatively interpret anything the Clintons say or do to fit your already formulated negative preconceptions.”

        That’s patently obvious to me, and probably to others out there reading this thread who are looking for discussion of the *qualifications* among the candidates. There are plenty of people who will find reasons to overlook the obvious: Hillary is far and away the best qualified candidate in this field of candidates for the POTUS. (A shout out to Jay: “You nailed it, dude.”)

        For some reason, the option exists to be able to post anonymously here, and I just chose to do that (thank you…don’t mind if I do.) Ron, I considered your request to fill out my email and name field so you could know who is commenting, as you said, but then I thought, why do any of us need to know who any of us are? This after-blog discussion is just an exploration of thoughts and ideas, isn’t it? “Anonymous” seems as good a screen name as “bookscrounger” or any of the other names, to me. For all I know, “Ron” is an Hispanic transvestite, with a fake name and picture, but that doesn’t really matter to me. Is anyone else bothered by someone choosing to post as “anonymous”, when it is an available option. If so, it would be interesting to hear why.

      • January 16, 2016 9:29 am

        It is interesting that an extreme partisan like “anon” will continue to make “arguments” against positions that exist only in his/her mind …that “everyone in this discussion assumes that Hillary doesn’t like sex, ” for example. Exactly one person in this discussion has suggested that, and it was Jay, who suggested it as a “defense” of Hillary : ” Maybe she doesn’t like sex, and was happy not to be bothered with it from Bill”.

        So, you are essentially arguing with the one person that agrees with you. We get it…you like the Clinton’s and you hate Cruz. It’s a fairly common position, usually argued from a place of fact-free emotion. We can move on, now……..

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 16, 2016 1:27 pm

        “We can move on, now……..”

        My point exactly. Let’s.

      • January 16, 2016 1:00 pm

        Thanks for the agreements.

        The only good reason I can think of for you using a screen name is that there would be some confusion if others started posting anonymously as well.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 16, 2016 1:54 pm

        Jay, your clarity on this issue is commendable. The sexuality focus is mostly a red herring. I remember with the Barack Obama run, it was about his lack of experience, remember that? Now we have someone running who is probably the most thoroughly qualified candidate that has ever existed for this position, and it’s all about her husband’s infidelity. Yep. Red herring.

        And when it comes to moderation, Hillary is clearly the most moderate of all of the candidates. There is no one from the Republican field who is even close to moderate. That party has been so corrupted by the ultra-conservatives that even folk who want to make more sense, because their intellectual ability demands it, have quite been tainted by them. I take no pleasure in seeing one of two political parties completely self-destruct. It’s very troubling.

        Now we see that the Democrats have their own version of extremes: Sanders. From the beginning of this particular race I have said that Sanders is to the left what Trump is to the right: they say what people feel as their most raw emotion. Emotional appeal feels good, but it is not the best litmus test for assessing qualifications for the job.

        Thank you for your thoughts on anonymous posters. Good point, about the confusion that could result if there are many who use that option. If that occurs, I’ll do my part to reduce the confusion.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 15, 2016 10:32 pm

        “Hill and Bill sincerely care for each other, always have. ” That’s it! That is the problem! Ron may dislike Hillary because he suspects that the marriage is a fake. I, on the other hand, dislike her because the marriage is real. She is to Bill what Camille is to Cosby, the well-satisfied and adoring wife of a lifelong obvious sexual predator, who cannot fail to know the truth. What do Cosby and Bill Clinton have in common? Colossal levels of arrogance, hubris, the feeling of being above the law. And bad taste. A sort of sleazy, seedy, tasteless arrogance that makes one’s teeth itch..

        I agree with your basic point, people do accept way too much dirt reflexively, but think of how you feel about Cruz (the same as I feel about Cruz). Noxious, but it is not easy to put your finger on exactly how we know that, we just don’t like them or trust them or want to hear about them every day for at least 4 years or have them represent the US in the world. We would not want Cruz or Trump or anyone like them to date our daughters. Or Bill Clinton.

        I wish someone of the Clinton’s moderate to liberal ideology without their noxious characters would be in the running. Its a terrible set of candidates, mind bogglingly bad. In the end we will be left with something like “Vote for the Crook, Its Important!” a la Edwin Edwards in Louisiana.

      • January 16, 2016 12:55 am

        For some reason I am having a problem communicating my exact position. Priscilla has said it better than i have, so please use her comments as support for my dislike of Hillary.

        I could care less if they love each other or not. Had my father done to my mother what Bill did to Hillary, he would have been out on the street with all his belongings in a heartbeat. And I would do everything I could to make sure my daughters did not stay with a man if they were ever caught in a situation like Hillary. Legal help, money, moral support or anything they would need to kick the bum out.

        And in addition, we had months of congress investigating Bill and trying to impeach him. If Hillary is elected, we will have months, if not years, of investigations into her activities while secretary of state. Can we survive years of this taking place with nothing else getting done?

        Good grief, the more I comment the more depressed I get thinking about the choices we have and what will happen with any of them getting elected.

      • January 16, 2016 12:59 am

        Jay, when a politician like Hillary Clinton claims to be an advocate for women, which she does, her history is fair game. So is mentioning the fact that she accepts millions of dollars in donations from countries that brutally oppress and suppress women. So is bringing up the fact that she is under investigation by the FBI. I cannot think of one way in which she has furthered the cause of women’s equality, other than through lip service. Talk is cheap.

        A few comments up, you went after Ted Cruz as sneaky and deceptive for financing his own Senate campaign through a margin loan, taken against his own assets and disclosing it only in personal filings. You called him a “mean-spirited, cruel little dickhead,” without any particular justification or evidence other than your own intense animosity toward him.

        You understand my point? You uncritically accepted and spread that negative narrative here because you want to believe it. That’s not a moderate’s inclination; it’s left wing rumor mongering.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 16, 2016 2:30 pm

        I could care less about Bill’s infidelities. Its that raping part, the sexual predator part, quite non-consensual. While there is no evidence that could be used to take him to court, he is a Cosby type, above the law, royal powers. Not taken to court when it could have been done because he had too much power to tangle with, same story as with Cosby’s victims. It disgusts me, the entire power-abusing sexual-predator type disgusts me. That is NOT about simply minding one’s own business about sexual preference, I’m all for that. As this race goes on you are going to find a lot of people like me who have not forgotten who Bill is, from all parts of the political spectrum. Its not about ideology or prudery, its about rape.

        I LIKE Clinton the politician. I like that he found the political center of America and worked with that and was financially prudent. I wish someone who is not a really shitty human would find the same road.

        We may not have the right to judge Cosby or Clinton I am told that this tendency is a witch hunt. But we do it, its human. When it comes to voting we have a right to judge character. Maureen Dowd (I’m not a fan) who as far as I can understand her stuff is a liberal feminist at the NYT, positively despises the Clintons and has written about it continuously, its not a right-wing preserve, its a fairly natural reaction to Bill’s way of life, which involves his wife who appears to be OK with his habits.

        I’m ranting. I’ve let it out. I’m done. Sorry about that.

    • January 14, 2016 8:23 pm

      “I have disliked her from the day Bill Clinton became the nominee”

      Why? And what does equal rights for women have to do with Bill’s promiscuity? And what’s wrong with staying with a philandering husband? Maybe she doesn’t like sex, and was happy not to be bothered with it from Bill.

      • January 14, 2016 9:16 pm

        Jay, I know you posed your question to Ron, but let me jump in here…..I don’t dislike Hillary because she’s married to a philanderer, or because she’s chosen to stay with him, despite his philandering, pervy ways. I dislike her because she puts herself out there as a role model and an icon for women, when she has clearly gotten everywhere she has gotten on the coattails of said philandering, pervy husband. There have actually been rumors for years that Hillary is gay, and that Huma Abedin is her real partner (which would at least explain why Huma stays with her own philandering, pervy husband, Anthony Weiner!), but either way, the idea that women should follow her greedy, corrupt and essentially accomplishment and ethics-free career path and/or reward it by making her the first woman president is just….icky.

      • January 15, 2016 1:39 am

        Well here you go. And some of the reasons I disliked her from the beginning I have forgotten.

        1. There are some people that offer a sincere personality and one that someone can say, “I like that person”. Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush were three first ladies that one could say that about. There are others that portray an aloof personality. Nancy Reagan would fall into that category. And then there are others that portray an obnoxious, stuck up, know it all attitude and that is how I categorized Hillary at first.

        2. Then she played “The Good Wife” sitting next to Bill saying “I am not Tammy Wynette standing by my man” when he was accused of sexual misconduct. Everyone that did not swoon over her could see right through her lies, but the reason at the time was not apparent. It is now.

        3. Bills promiscuity has nothing to do with equal rights. But a woman that would place herself into a situation where she was using her husband position to achieve her own goals when she and Bill had not really been husband and wife other than on a piece of paper is showing women they can not achieve their own goals without a man providing the impetus to get that done. So to many that are not Hillary supporters, if you are an unmarried woman and not using a husbands position in society, then as a women the only way to get ahead is to sleep with the man that can get you what you want. This is not the story I think needs to be told to women today. Only liberals and uninformed people would accept the positions she has placed herself to get ahead.

        4. Not only degrading yourself in trying to get ahead, she is also defending someone that should have been brought up on charges for rape, but due to his political position in society, he made the accusations go away and she defended him at the same time. That is called “being an accessory to crimes”.

        5. Maybe she WAS like many other women after they have the children they want and was not interested in sex. Or it could be she knew that he was a rapist and philanderer and decided she wanted no part of him. Most strong women would have left him in a heart beat, but again she knew her desired career would have ended with that action.

        She lies about Bill, she lies about her marriage, he plays the “Good Husband” like Julianne Margulies plays the “Good Wife”, hugging a kissing at public meetings and campaign stops, all the time hating each other, she lies about e-mails, Benghazi and lord knows what else she has lied about.

        Does this cover it well enough? Oh, and by the way, if what Priscilla said about rumors of her sexuality, then she is lying about this also. She should come out, but again that is not good for her career.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 15, 2016 12:19 pm

        Sex, sexuality, rumors of sex, and of sexuality. All clap-trap, for the most part. A person’s sexual life is basically none of the public’s business, unless they are pedophiles, or rapists. If any of us have ever had anal sex, and decided to run for office, would we keep that to ourselves? If any of us had ever had a sexual experience with a member of the same sex, would we keep that to ourselves? Yes, and why not? Clearly, from the history of sexual philandering of world leaders through history, a person’s sex life doesn’t have any direct relevance to the job they’ll do in office. My thoughts are to leave all that alone and focus on the issues.

      • January 15, 2016 12:50 pm

        Yes, and, although I think you have missed the point entirely as it regards Hillary, your comment underscores something that I think has become obvious in many ways; namely, anyone who has been able to overlook Hillary’s hypocrisy, corruption, lies and political ineptitude up until now, is not going to be convinced to consider those things at this stage of the game…….

      • January 15, 2016 2:45 pm

        Anonymous, I usually do not comment on statements made by someone who will not identify themselves in some manner, even a screen name. But since this is in response to an earlier comment I made and maybe a followup to one of yours earlier, I will do so now. But could you at least fill out the bottom of the commenting page where there is an e-mail and name field so we can have some idea who is commenting. Thanks

        You have missed the point in my comment about Hillary. I could care less about Bills philandering, rape accusations, oral sex with an intern and anything else that goes with it. I could care less about rumors that Hillary is a closet lesbian. That plays no part in the job they can or did. In fact, I believer Bill will be rated as one of the better presidents since he was the last one that was able to work with congress on legislation, and that accomplished the impossible, a balanced budget. And I suspect if he ran again (which he can not) I would vote for him.

        My point should be obvious, but i guess it is not, so I will try to say it in a different manner. Hillary preaches equal pay for women. Hillary wants the glass ceiling broken for women. Hillary wants the same achievements available for women that are available for men. That is all good!! I agree also.

        But it is how you go about achieving those goals. Do you want a daughter in a sham marriage just so she can attain a level in her career that she may have attained without the marriage? Do you want her telling other young ladies that the only way to achieve your goals is pretending (lying) to the public and that a man is the only catalyst to make that happen?

        You may find this acceptable. I do not. Her staying with Bill with all his faults and not forgiving him, but living apart for the most part and only meeting up on the campaign trail and then playing lovey dovey smoochy husband and wife is the same as telling young women the only way to make it to the top is to allow men to use you until you have attained your goals, then live the life you desire.

        That may be what America has become. And if it is, I pray that women will wake up and see what is really happening. But I doubt that will happen as there are too many that are victims of domestic violence and then allow those men back into their lives. I suspect the same mentality exist in women that accept a life like Hillary promotes for women today.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 16, 2016 2:54 am

        It seems that everyone in this discussion assumes that Hillary “doesn’t like sex” because she stayed with Bill after he cheated (many times.) For all any of us know, those two have a ravishing sex life, and maybe his affairs feed it in some way. We all see this in very different ways, but for me, it is like getting side-tracked in the tabloids. I’m much more interested, for example, in the story that recently broke about the failure of Ted Cruz to disclose the loan he took out from Goldman-Sachs, where his wife worked. “It was a paperwork error.” Yeah. Right. That kind of “error” from someone running for the office of POTUS seems much more pertinent to me than the “error” of, say, him tolerating his wife for being a serial cheater. (I’m not saying that she is–let’s not start any rumors!)

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 2:55 pm

      This election matters far less than the hype.

      Whatever this nations needs to do to confront our most critical problems, this election is not going to significantly alter the fact that we are pushing them all further and further down the road.

      Which presidential candidate would substantially alter the immediate future ?
      While it would take a miracle to return democrats to the power they had in 2009, even given that little of consequence will be accomplished.
      To the extent that republicans might do better – it will be very little better.

      This election may be a peak in political anger. But it is unlikely to represent a meaningful sea change in direction. It is not going to motivate us to confront and fix our most serious problems – we are not even talking about those.

  16. jimi888 permalink
    January 16, 2016 10:04 am

    “There have actually been rumors for years that Hillary is gay, and that Huma Abedin is her real partner (which would at least explain why Huma stays with her own philandering, pervy husband, Anthony Weiner!), but either way, the idea that women should follow her greedy, corrupt and essentially accomplishment and ethics-free career path and/or reward it by making her the first woman president is just….icky.”

    Priscilla, good god, this post itself is icky. WAY over the top and malicious gossip to boot.

    When there is a good sized part of the population that has just lost any semblance of rational objectivity about a politician then It Becomes Impossible to Evaluate their Real Faults. That is really a disaster for democracy and the internet has accelerated it tremendously.

    W Bush and Obama have real faults that affected their presidencies and our country. It took me forever to understand what they were because of the lunatic reaction to them. That is being repeated with Hillary. For me its a nightmare. I don’t care about malicious speculation about her sex life. I do care about something that has been well documented, her husband who she adores is a sexual predator, which is an entirely different issue than being a philanderer. If Bill Clinton had been a high school principle when he got caught doing what he was doing he would have been fired and been under criminal investigation.

  17. jimi888 permalink
    January 16, 2016 10:34 am

    Anonymous (Cougirl?) I could not care less about Hilary’s desires or lack of them. Unknowable and irrelevant. But there is a related area that I do care about. Hillary is the closest in this race to being of my own ideological leanings. I would love to be all for her, if ideology was all that was concerned.

    A slight tangent but… I have become a slightly obsessive observer of some of the more loony members of the Sanders world, most specifically one HA Goodman who has a pro Sanders-anti-Hillary blog on Huffington. God, how he hates Hillary and he has written essentially the same column over and over every 2-3 days trashing her and promoting himself. It ain’t journalism. His columns inevitably are praised by a dedicated group of fanatical Bernie or Bust people, who also hate Hillary and sound in many of their criticisms about her character like the right wing critics. Its not a group I admire to say the least. Unfortunately, while the topic of the Clinton’s morality has become a wild thing done as part of total war in the political sense, it is not as if there is absolutely no kernel of truth underneath all the wild hyperbole. There is as much legally admissible evidence of Clinton’s predatory behaviors as there is of Bill Cosby’s and I have long ago come down on the side of believing both large sets of accusers.

    Below is an excerpt from the Wiki article on Juanita Broadderick, I find it, unfortunately, very believable given the many other things that came out about Bill’s non consensual, breast and ass grabbing on all possible opportunities behavior. Its wretched treatment of women, often even criminal. Women are not a monolithic group and far from it, but this male person believes that women should be appalled by anyone who abuses their political power to prey on women. Instead many liberal women seemed to adore Clinton all the more and bent over backwards to rationalize his behavior. Just a woman loving man, how nice, how flattering to women. We need women-loving men in power. Stop the witchhunt. That may be the somewhat indescribable hypocritical issue that Ron is trying to explain. It reeks, many of us have not forgotten.

    “Broaddrick first met Clinton when he made a visit to her nursing home during his 1978 gubernatorial campaign. Broaddrick wanted to volunteer for the campaign, and says Clinton invited her to stop by the campaign office in Little Rock.[3] She contacted the office a few weeks later while in the area for a nursing home conference. Clinton said he would not be in the campaign office that day and suggested they meet at her hotel’s coffee shop instead. Upon his arrival, however, he allegedly requested that they instead have coffee in her room to avoid a crowd of reporters in the lobby. Broaddrick agreed.[2]
    Broaddrick says the two spoke briefly in her room, with Clinton describing plans to renovate a prison visible from her window if he became governor. Then, according to Broaddrick, Clinton suddenly kissed her.[2] Broaddrick says she pushed Clinton away and told him she was married and not interested, but he persisted. As recounted in the NBC interview:[2]
    Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip … He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him ‘No,’ that I didn’t want this to happen but he wouldn’t listen to me. … It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to ‘Please stop.’ And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip. … When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door he says ‘You better get some ice on that.’ And he turned and went out the door.”
    When asked if there was any way Clinton could have thought it was consensual, Broaddrick said “No, not with what I told him and with how I tried to push him away. It was not consensual.”[2]
    Broaddrick shared the hotel room with her friend and employee Norma Rodgers. Rodgers attended a conference seminar that morning, and says she returned to their room to find Broaddrick on the bed “in a state of shock,” her pantyhose torn in the crotch and her lip swollen as though she had been hit.[3] Rogers says Broaddrick told her Clinton had “forced himself on her.”[3] Rogers helped Broaddrick ice her lip, and then the women left Little Rock. Rogers said that Broaddrick was very upset on the way home and blamed herself for letting Clinton in the room.[2]
    Broaddrick says she did not tell her then-husband, Gary Hickey, about the incident, and told him she accidentally injured her lip. He told NBC he did not remember the injury or her excuse.[2][4]
    At the time, she was having an affair with her eventual second husband, David Broaddrick. He says he noticed her injured lip, and she told him that Clinton had raped her when he asked about it.[2] Three other friends confirmed that Broaddrick had told them about the incident at the time: Susan Lewis, Louis Ma, and Jean Darden, Norma Rogers’ sister.[2]
    Broaddrick did not recall the date of the alleged incident, but said it was spring of 1978 and that she had stayed in the Camelot Hotel. Records show Broaddrick attended a nursing home meeting at the Camelot Hotel in Little Rock on April 25, 1978.[2][4] The Clinton White House would not respond to requests for Clinton’s official schedule for the date,[5] but news reports suggest that he was in Little Rock that day, with no official commitments in the morning.[2]
    Three weeks after the alleged assault, Broaddrick participated in a small Clinton fundraiser at the home of a local dentist.[2] Broaddrick said she was “in denial,” and felt guilty, thinking that she had given Clinton the wrong idea by letting him into her room.[2] When she arrived at the event, she says, her friend who had picked the Clintons up from the airport told her that Hillary Clinton had asked if she would be at the event.[6][broken citation] Broaddrick says Clinton did not speak to her at the event, but his wife Hillary approached her, took her hand, and said ‘I just want you to know how much Bill and I appreciate what you do for him.”[6][broken citation] When Broaddrick moved her hand away, she says, Mrs. Clinton held on to her and said, “Do you understand? Everything that you do.”[6][broken citation] Broaddrick says she felt nauseated and left the gathering. Broaddrick says she interpreted the incident as Mrs. Clinton thanking her for keeping quiet.[6][broken citation]”

    The “broken citation” is from a Hannity section of Fox news, so lets regard that as being dubious lacking any respectable corroboration. There is still a real issue here of character, both of their characters. It will come up in the general election. I feel very sorry for Juanita.

  18. Anonymous permalink
    January 16, 2016 3:19 pm

    ” I could not care less about Hilary’s desires or lack of them. Unknowable and irrelevant.” We agree about that, with regard to her qualifications as POTUS.

    The Juanita Broaddrick story as related in this Hannnity section of the Fox News source material is of course intriguing, and disturbing. From what I’ve read about Bill Clinton, his charisma is so powerful that he can make just about anyone feel like s/he is the most important person in the room at the time. I believe that he has taken advantage of both men, and women, for various kinds of things, including satisfying his sexual addiction. Like you, I tend to fall down on the side of listening to the purported victims, particularly if there are many of them. Yet, I also know, from my past professional work, that victims sometimes lie, too, or misrepresent elements of an event. There is a lot of muddy water in this testimony, with her own lie/affair in the mix, and her returning to a fundraiser for him after the event that purportedly so stunned her. There’s also the “reading between the lines” of what Hillary’s comments meant to her…if in fact she actually said them.

    For the purpose of this discussion though, let’s give this story the benefit of the doubt. Let’s accept that it went down pretty much the way Hannity’s piece says it did. Given what I understand about the intensity of Bill’s charisma, we do have some support for Ron’s supposition that Hillary too is a victim of Bill. That idea has been posited before, and it squares with the title of the David Brock book, “The Seduction of Hillary Rodham”, a good read, by the way. It reveals her strong suits and her human frailties, both.

    For those who are not of Hillary’s political ilk, and who value different goals in our nation’s politics, she’s easily cast as an all-powerful evil-doing enabler of a predator. Open and shut, end of discussion. Why? Well, because she is a highly intelligent woman. She should know better. The problem with that is that is it’s too much like blaming Bill’s victims. It demands that Hillary “should have been” beyond Bill’s charismatic appeal, while being married to the man. “If only these women had been stronger, they would not have been seduced.” The argument becomes that Hillary is either asleep and weak, or as perverted as Bill. No middle ground. We’ve seen that POV articulated a good deal so far in this thread. I just don’t buy it, based on my understanding about human nature.

    And more importantly, from what I have read about Hillary, she was the woman behind the man. Bill could not made it as far as he did without her. One could well argue that she might have done better for herself, professionally, by not marrying him. His behavior has for sure tainted her image with many, particularly with those who have a political need to see her as tainted, and that is a shame, because she’s a very capable leader in her own right. It is ironic to me that just as American history takes a baby step toward daring to consider a woman for the office of POTUS, the most moderate person in the race, and the one with the best qualifications and experience for the office of probably anyone else in the land, could be shoved aside over her husband’s sexual predation, or her reaction to it.

    By all means, let’s do that. Let’s consider a spoiled rich man who needs no one but his bank account and who hates anyone who doesn’t look like him. Or a Dominionist who would move the USA toward a fundamentalist Christian theocracy over a secular democracy. Or a Democratic Socialist who, as you have so eloquently pointed out, believes that the Red States are somehow just going to go along with the high degree of change that he proposes. It’s all nutty. We’re living in dangerous times. I’ve leaned toward Sanders some because of my desire to just change this all up, and hopefully kill the theocratic movement that will place women and minorities back into the 19th century or so. But thanks to your posts, and Ron’s, it’s become more clear to me that Hillary is the best qualified candidate for the POTUS at this time. We’re all going to have to overlook some nastiness in any of these candidates if we actually vote. Hillary’s shortcomings are more forgivable for me, given my values. But, to each their own.

    • jimi888 permalink
      January 16, 2016 3:44 pm

      Anonymous: That was a very serious and thoughtful reply, you did not simply try to dismiss my viewpoint, well done and thank you for taking the time.
      If my vote actually mattered and would decide anything I would make the same choice you will. Fear not, Vermont will give its electoral votes to the most liberal candidate, even without me. I am dead set against Trump or Cruz, and think (as I have very obsessively and repetitively said) that Bernie would produce a right-wing backlash that would cause long term devastation and be the salvation of the kooky right, not to mention that while I would like to believe in his proposals, for the most part I do not believe they would work.

      Sanders is not a socialist, I know that, he is a proponent of a yuge welfare state. I’m not for that, I do believe that moral hazard is a real thing. I also do believe that the government should run a game changing level of job training in the inner cities, damn the cost, teach people to rebuild the infrastructure, so that the absurd level of poverty in the inner cities, which is really intolerable in a great country, can be fought. Its probably my own number one wish for a government program. My number two, as a person of science, is a real worldwide global warming program. So, I sound like a real liberal right?

      I call myself a moderate liberal. I certainly was of the left of center all my life, although it was becoming much milder, especially after taking quite a few college economic courses. The political situation in Vermont then went so far to the left that I rebelled and became mildly conservative, at least regarding Vermont issues. I agree much more with liberals about what the problems are, I just just don’t have much belief in most of their solutions. Plus, I meet a lot of liberals here and have spent far too much time working in academia and there are no small number of lefties who are nuts and smug and shallow thinkers convinced that they know everything. So, that keeps me moderate, much as my heart might yearn to be liberal. Clinton ought to be perfect for me, if only ideology was the only factor.

      While I have no enthusiasm for Clinton, I am glad someone does, because I am dead set against Trump, Cruz, or Sanders. So, thank you for that and good luck!

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 16, 2016 4:29 pm

        jimi888, it’s a pleasure to discuss with you. Makes it easier perhaps to find that I agree with most all of what you said, and you seem to have described me a good bit, too. Kindred spirits for the most part, politically speaking? I totally agree with you about Bernie and the backlash. Think of it as the pendulum continuing to swing, though, because Bernie is a backlash to the fundamentalist right and the Citizens United crowd. Those loonies came first.

        “If my vote mattered….” I saw an interesting meme on Facebook the other day about that. It said something about all of the people who say their vote doesn’t matter yet they buy lottery tickets. 🙂 Don’t let the bastards get you down; get out and vote!

        FYI, I sympathize with you about the Bernie supporters. Many of them are a real turn off, aren’t they? What caused me to see them as wacked was the rabid assertion by some of them that if Bernie didn’t win the D nomination, then, they’d just….just…vote for Trump! Or…or…write Bernie in! Absurd, foolish, and totally non-productive in a democratic republic if they are indeed left wing. Are we saying that some Bernie supporters have tainted Bernie? 😉

        Like you, I once considered myself to be, simply, “liberal.” Now that I have given myself permission to see the things I don’t like about a stereotypical liberal, I feel a freedom to think in ways that I didn’t reralize I was missing. Am I a moderate liberal? Or an Independent? I am mostly of the left leaning sort, but come down on the right, or close to it, sometimes.

        Loosely speaking, at this point in the evolution of my political thinking, I think of Bernie as the Vision Statement…the lofty goal that we’d all like to reach someday, but that we figure we likely never will given our nation’s diversity and freedom of thought and values. Hillary is the Mission Statement…moving us toward that vision, but with practical feet. She works within a strong capitalistic structure and accepts its place in our society, but wants to prevent its more predatory nature from dehumanizing us as a society with regard to our social issues. (And what better person to work with a predatory economic approach than one who has lived with a predator, right? 😉 )

        We all seem to have our own ideas of what “moderate” means. Come to think of it, that’s the next discussion we need to have: “What does it mean to you to be a moderate? Define what you think a moderate is.”

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 4:34 pm

      Forget all the Bill nonsense.
      Forget whether she may or may not be gay.
      Forget whether she is male or female,
      historic or not.
      Forget anything that is not directly related to her character, accomplishements, or policies.

      What has she actually done that would make anyone vote for her ?
      We can ignore all the scandals, where is the substance ?

      As to her character – do you trust her ?
      Is she the person you want deciding whether you get help when you are in crisis ?

      With respect to her policies.
      What are they ? What is she committed to besides getting elected ?

      She has swung pretty far left recently. I am not sure that is where I beleive she is, though she is farther left than Bill. Regardless, if you really beleive in left wing nonsense – why would you vote for hillary ? And if you do not, why would you vote for hillary ?

      She is a bland version of Trump. I have no clue what Trump actually beleives – I do not think he does either. The big difference between Trump and Hillary is that Trump is atleast having fun stirring things up.

      • January 18, 2016 6:26 pm

        The overlooked question: who will get to nominate the next two, or maybe three, Supreme Court Judges.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 6:56 pm

        Why vote for Hillary? For me, after all the details are hashed and rehashed, it can be reduced to the fact that I will not vote for any candidate who cannot be trusted not to further erode women’s reproductive freedom, including access to abortion, which is currently legal. There is no viable R candidate who does not profess to be opposed to abortion. Of the viable D candidates, I don’t feel confident that Sanders can win in the general election. I trust Hillary as much as any of the other candidates to be who she is and not to be cruel to women and minorities. Sanders can be trusted that way, I think, but again, I don’t have faith that he can win.

        As far as my values and voting go, the worst thing that the R party ever did was adopt an anti-abortion plank in their platform. To me, it is not the business of the government, short of insuring that clinics operate up to appropriate medical standards. As long as R candidates take the anti-choice stance, I shall not vote for them. That’s the single largest factor for me.

  19. January 16, 2016 4:35 pm

    Now that we have a good idea where everyone stands on the leading candidates for President. how about another topic. How about finding out just how liberal/moderate/conservative everyone is with their political positions. How about everyone listing what their top 5 agenda items would be if YOU were elected president. So here are mine.
    1.A complete overhaul of our vetting of immigrants, tracking of immigrants so they do not overstay their allowed time and other VISA’s that could allow terrorist like San Bernadino to be in the USA. (While the transition from current to new administration took place, a small commission of muslim, christian and political leaders would meet to provide direction so this program would be ready day one to implement.
    2. A complete overhaul of our immigration policies that would modernize those to allow for the needs of technology, medicine, agriculture and other industries needing specific forms of employees. Once completed, a commission of leaders from government, business and communities would be in place to work up plans for how to address the current illegal immigrant issues taking into account all the different situations that may be in play with these groups. However, E-verify would be included with the immigration overhaul plan to come first.
    3. A complete overhaul of our tax system to eliminate ALL forms of exemptions and deductions except for charitable donations. It would also eliminate the deduction for home mortgages, although care must be taken to insure that there would not be any hidden “gotcha’s” when that took place. Included in this overhaul would be trade issues that allow companies like GM to produce cars in china like the new Buick Envision that cost jobs in America due to the currency manipulation and government subsidies.
    4. A program to fund the military that would provide the necessary modern equipment needed for the security of our country as well as the troop strength needed to address all the security issues we face.
    5. A balance budget amendment to require a balanced budget, except during times of declared war, that would take place within 5 years of passage by the various state legislatures.

    I have others, but these are the top 5. How about yours?

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 4:56 pm

      Immigration:
      “Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”

      Open the boarders. That will require dismantling the social welfare state – but fine we kill two sick birds with one stone

      It is not governments business to determine what agriculture, medicine, …. need.
      Further government is abysmally bad at it.

      Taxes:

      Flat tax, one standard deduction – no taxes on the first 15,000 of income.
      No corporate taxes at all, and tax capital gains as income.

      No other deductions of any kind. No child exemption, no mortgage exemption, no charitable deductions, no deductions of any kind.

      As to your “gotcha’s”.
      No government subsidies of any kind at all.

      The entire trade, jobs currency argument is total nonsense.

      a). If china sells something to us – we are more wealthy, we have whatever they sold us.
      They have lots of slips of green paper (money).
      What can they do with those green slips of paper that is harmful to us ?
      All the idiocy about “unfair trade” is economic nonsense.
      b). Currency, currency games are at best zero sum and more often negative sum.
      What nation has ever created prosperity by gaming its currency ?
      Why are so many on the left and right fixated on this economic nonsense.
      Actually read Adam Smith’s WON. Spain spent centuries gobbling up all the gold and silver in the world. England focused on trade. Spain went from the worlds only superpower to an economic backwater, while England did the reverse. It is the wealth a nation produces that matter, not currency games.

      Military.

      The military is actually one of few legitimate roles of government. But it is not carte blanche to involve ourselves in every skirmish in the world or to interfere in whatever evil other nations do to their own people.
      We need a military capable of defending our shores from those real threats to our actual nation. We do not need to be the biggest bully on the block. We do not need to be policeman for the world – and we are quite bad at it. The US Civil War was fought on 3% of GDP.
      We certainly do not need that much today.

      Fiscal.

      A balanced budget is one of myriads of fiscal measures we need.
      Any measure raising taxes on anything should require a supermajority.
      Congress may not delegate its legislative power – PERIOD.
      All laws should sunset.

      • January 18, 2016 10:32 pm

        “Open the boarders. That will require dismantling the social welfare state – but fine we kill two sick birds with one stone”

        If we have 25 million illegals here now, how many more do you think would flood into the US? 50 million, most across our southern border?

        If we haven’t been able to absorb all the non-English speaking immigrants here now, what do you think is going to happen to our economy, and our English based culture, when that happens?

        What if 5 million Arabic speaking Muslims show up, from Islamic nations hostile to us? How do you propose vetting them? Or an even seemingly beneficial immigration component of 10 thousand highly educated Chinese engineers and technicians – would that be fair to American born citizens to face severe competition for jobs from open border foreigners?

        And What part of the social welfare state are you suggesting we dismantle? The millions who come across our southern border will by and large be poor and destitute. Do we ignore them? No free social benefits at all? No food, no translators, no assistance finding shelter? Do we feed their hungry children or not? Do we provide medicine and other health services to those with diseases? If open border immigrants are injured in automobile accidents, do we refuse to provide free ambulance or hospital care?

        And all those hungry huddled masses yearning for full bellies and sheltered heads, won’t they be joining with our own poor citizens, now disenfranchised from social assistance, who will have to fend for themselves to survive? All of them competing for dead end poverty level jobs? How long do you think it would be before our cities go up in flames?

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 19, 2016 11:33 am

        “How long do you think it would be before our cities go up in flames?”

        I think the operative word in this sentence is “think.” 😉

        Thanks for your thoughtful thinkinig, Jay.

      • January 19, 2016 1:16 pm

        And even though I consider myself Libertarian, that is only due to my positions on social issues like drug enforcement, abortion, property rights and other issues that impact peoples personal actions or possessions. As for those issues that are indirectly affecting people, I am much more conservative and this issue with open borders is one that I can not accept as a feasible alternative.

        Yes, out immigration laws are antiquated and need revision. The issue with a cap on immigrants from each country and totals each year need to be revisited. Since 1942, there have been 7 different amendments to the immigration laws, but none have changed the basic issues with country of origin. We need a complete rewrite based on the needs of the country and not on the needs of the immigrants.

        Open borders combined with our current social welfare and healthcare laws would be a nightmare for the country and if we though the deficit was bad now, it would be dwarfed by the rise in spending with the influx of immigrants looking for a low income work that would qualify for assistance.

      • January 19, 2016 1:35 pm

        I’m in total agreement with you on this comment, Ron.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 19, 2016 3:33 pm

        I see this the way you do, Ron. Well said.

        I’m curious about how you see issues of the environment. I believe that we need laws regulating the wise use of natural resources and efforts to regulate profit generations that result in pollution of the common goods that we all need, mainly, air and water. I’ve generally understood the Libertarian platform to be “anti-regulation” regarding environmental protections. What are your thoughts about that?

      • January 19, 2016 4:53 pm

        OK here they are.
        Global warming. I believe the earths warming. It has warmed and cooled over many billions of years. I am not convinced that man is causing this to happen, but I am also not convinced man is not causing it. What I do know is the air is everyone’s lifeline and I lived in California when they had smog alerts and kids could not play outside. I also remember driving to and from college and needing to pull over because my eyes were watering so bad I could not see because the smog was burning my eyes ( before most cars were air conditioned). So I think reasonable controls on pollution is needed and California placed those controls and cleaned up their air. I also know that China produces 53% or more of the CO2 and India and 18% or so. That is almost 75% of all CO2 going into the air. I do not support unilateral environmental laws to be placed on our country without more stringent laws being placed on China and India. I could care less about them being a developing country or not. We can cut our pollution and it would be like peeing into a swimming pool compared to China and India creating a cesspool in the air. I have no problems with controls on coal burning industries because acid rain is real and what is discharged in Ohio falls in Pennsylvanian. That is not global warming, it is screwing with the air in a neighboring state.

        Water..No industry should be able to pollute the water of any lake, river or stream. Period. Any cities that discharge sewage from their sewage plants should be required to discharge that above the cities water intake which would mean the water used for that cities drinking would be impacted by their operation of the sewer treat plant. Town B should not have to put up with town A’s incompetence. However, insignificant fish, turtles, rabbits and other wildlife should not preclude a land owner from doing what they want with their own land. Water ponds on ranchers land should not be classified as wetlands that create EPA nightmares for the rancher. Dry stream beds that only have water in them during a rain should not be considered “wet”. A farmer should be able to plow and not be fined by the EPA.

        Fracking. No significant studies showing detrimental impacts have come out that convince me that fracking is bad. However, knowing how some industries operate, sensible regulations can be in place where the fluids they use to force the oil out should be available to insure liquids detrimental the environment is not used. And again, this can be on a 2 page document, not 500 pages that require a team of lawyers to insure compliance.

        I have never said I was 100% Libertarian. I have never said I am 100% conservative. I am screwed up politically as no candidate has ever fit my mold for governing. I believe there is a need for limited government to control issues at a certain level, but our current government is way past that point on many issues. I believe we need individuals insuring the environment is not damaged, but I am not sure we need a complete agency to do that. One only needs to read the news to find overreach daily into environmental regulation.

        I’ll stop now.

      • January 19, 2016 8:46 pm

        Ron, believe it or not, I am in accord with most everything you said in your comment.

        But I do like fracking – the word that is, as a substitute for the F word and its derivatives that doesn’t usually get censored or raise eyebrows in polite conversations: like in ‘are you fracking crazy?’ Or ‘frack you and the donkey you rode in on!”

        As a aside, I’m binge viewing the first season of The Flash on Netflick. Pure escapist viewing. Highly recommended if you can park your inner skeptic at the curb. And slowly sip your favorite alcoholic beverage through the episodes.

      • January 19, 2016 1:54 pm

        Totally agree. We have to impose immigration limits, despite the beautiful sentiments inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. As it is, our way of life looks unsustainable: shrinking middle class, tax-averse upper class, corporate outsourcing of jobs, expanding ranks of poor and aged who don’t contribute to the tax base. How many more dependents can we absorb?

        Then there’s the problem of non-assimilation. The recent wave of Hispanics is the first major immigrant group to resist learning English (probably because we make it so damned easy for them to get by in Spanish). We’re already a de facto bilingual nation. Even within the ranks of English speakers, we’re already “boutiquified” according to our special identities. In short, a fragmented country with little remaining sense of national identity, gradually headed for Third World status.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 19, 2016 4:10 pm

        It seems obvious to me that we need an overhaul in our immigration thinking, and system. For one thing, there are a helluva lot more people here than there were when we received the Statue of Liberty, and the world is a little more dangerous place for the USA than it was then. We have done our own part to create the monsters who now seek us. But until that dynamic is corrected, we’ve got to use some common sense about immigration.

        This issue is one in which I differ from the status quo on left leaning. We need a common language for obvious reasons, not the least of which is Rick’s point about a sense of national identity. We already have a common language. Why not build on that by providing support for those who need and wish to learn it, vs. encourage everyone else to learn Spanish? While there is value in respecting the language and culture of others, I guess I’m pretty ingrained with the sentiment, “When in Rome.”

  20. jimi888 permalink
    January 16, 2016 5:15 pm

    Oh, I am a sucker for a compliment, I wish I had a more modest ego, but no, I don’t, compliment me and I will be pleased and purr. I can happily return your compliment; its a pleasure to discuss Hillary for example with someone who disagrees with my take on her while first of all conceding that my issues with her and Bill have real substance. Now, that is a rare art, disagreeing while first agreeing and taking the opposing view seriously.

    This has been a right/libertarian leaning blog in the comments aspect for a long time, I have generally been its left most member, at times I have just thrown in the towel and left in a snit. Recently it has begun to swing to a much more balanced state according to my ideas and I relish it. Jay is a big pleasure, while I totally disagree with him on one or two things. Priscilla and I have a long history and have settled into comfortable friendly exchanges, which involved her forgiving me for moments of very sharp tongued rude remarks I made in the past. Heh, I’ve even changed my name a few times to try to escape my reputation, but they always see right through me, first of all Priscilla.

    About Ron, since you are tangling with him a bit, I can tell you he is one of those libertarians and is, by the way one of my favorite posters, he has one or two issues that I just shake my head about in wonder, but he is a highly principled and actually consistent libertarian who is strongly opposed to religious conservatives shoving their theology down others throats. A very fiscally conservative fellow, but a very thoughtful decent fact-respecting poster. I heartily agree with many things he says. He has made me respect what libertarians can be, unlike some other much more extreme and dogmatic examples of libertarians here. I don’t know how long you have been observing things here, but if Ron is pissed about the Clintons and how they relate to women’s issues, its because he actually has deep old school respect for women. You can’t fit him into the liberal-conservative framework, he doesn’t fit it.

    What is a moderate? The opposite of an ideologue. Someone of real common sense and common decency who applies those qualities to issues rather than rigid ideological dogma. Someone who likes a factual basis, who wants to understand the history behind things.

    Anyhow that is one kind of moderate, the one who can see the valid parts of the right and left tendencies and can balance them without making a caricature based on the worst examples of right and left ideologues. Then there are no small number of wishy-washy moderates who just don’t have almost any convictions or thoughts or deep passion about public policy. I’m an angry moderate, I’m willing to go to war over it with the left and right ideologues.

    I honestly wish that moderates could organize and grow their influence. One consolation for the lack of a coherent moderate organization is that even the most extreme sounding candidates usually become more moderate once in office, with a few exceptions, because the nonsense that they tell to voters is a red meat ideological fairy tale and once they actually have power they are more in the world of reality about budgets and who are actually the beneficiaries of social programs etc. They can’t actually repeal the New Deal or create Sweden in Nebraska.

    • January 17, 2016 1:35 am

      Jimi888, thank you for the kind comments you made about me. Sometimes one needs to see or hear others say things like this to stay mentally healthy as there are so many that attack what one says to the point you begin questioning yourself.

      Yes I am Libertarian, mostly on social issues and yes I am a fiscal conservative. But I am fiscally conservative from the point that I strongly believe we can maintain the current spending over the next 10 years or cut it now and let it increase with inflation over that same period of time. I am not one like so many that accept the fact the federal government can not cut spending without cutting needed services. I strongly believe if you made each government agency document their mission and zero base their budget, then run these mission statements through an analytical program, you would find many that duplicate services or have missions that have completed their original reason for existence. I also believe there are many dollars that could be cut that would have less impact on services than dropping a pebble in a lake would have on creating a ripple in the water. and through those savings, better healthcare could be provided to the veterans, mentally ill, truely poor and disabled and others that deserve better care, but due to waste, those services go underfunded.

      So when I say I support a zero based budget and a balanced budget amendment, these positions are based on the fact that the current federal budget is the current rate of expenses plus inflation and new services. And then when the inflation rate is cut or new services are not approved, the reduction is a cut to the federal budget, even though that budget had not been approved to begin with. So a zero based budget or balance budget amendment would be forcing congress to do something they refuse to do today on their own because of “pork” that they still provide even though the way it is provided has changed. For instance, how many times do we hear the military does not want a weapons system, but due to the manufacturer being in some influential senators state, the money is included int he budget. (ie F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that the F-16, a 40 year old plane outperforms)

      There are different degrees of Libertarian and Conservatism. I hope I fall somewhere right of center on fiscal issues and liberal on individual freedoms (based completely on a strict reading of the constitution and not someones “interpretation”)

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 17, 2016 10:10 am

        Ron, highly principled people suffer from their involvement in politics but feel compelled to do it because they are, well, highly principled people who are not able to say, the hell with it, I’m just going to enjoy my own life and not worry about the common good. My son is another such person, he is of the Bernie Sanders point of view, and feels the injustices of the capitalist world keenly. He wants to see the paradise Bernie has promised. I am a little bit sore with Bernia about that. I am going very hard to try to move him (my son , not Bernie) towards the center this year, we are going to read a discuss a few books on history politics and economics of his choice and mine. His political idealism is causing him mental anguish.

        Not to embarrass you but I can add to the praise, you have always been unfailingly sincere, polite, patient, and constructive here. The last person to lose your temper. Also, believe it or not, your description of the pleasures of a life without credit cards was among the factors that got me to change my habits this year. I have buried my credit cards in a box, along with my wife’s and we have a realistic plan to be debt free by the end of the year and add to our savings. Earn more, spend less, and no credit.

        On fiscal conservatism, you are much more conservative than I am, but I see nothing the slightest bit irrational or extreme in principle about wishing for a balanced budget. That balanced budget would come into collision with the ideas of someone like myself who wants a massive rebuilding of the inner cities and training of their residents to do that rebuilding. A balanced budget is a beautiful and highly tempting goal, after all, balancing my own budget has already greatly improved my own life. However, letting the inner cities rot and their residents live in misery by the tens of millions is just shameful for the richest and most powerful nation on earth, its a cancer that will kill us. So, choices, choices.

      • January 17, 2016 1:19 pm

        AH and this is where we differ somewhat.”That balanced budget would come into collision with the ideas of someone like myself who wants a massive rebuilding of the inner cities and training of their residents to do that rebuilding.”

        I say we can do both by insuring every dollar that is spent by the government is spent wisely and tax reform to eliminate corporate welfare and to encourage companies to come back to America. The other night, people were up in arms because Trump would dare to suggest a tariff on cheap Chinese crap coming into this country. I say fine, I will pay 45% more for CFL light bulbs made in America. Why? because they most likely would last 45% longer since the qualify would be American and not Chinese. I really got pissed off when I read the article about GM saying they thought Americans would be fine buying the new Buick Envision that is going to be produced in China. Cheap labor, currency imbalance, American bailout allows GM to sell that crap in America and cost jobs. Some may say I sound delusional, but isn’t it true that people that buy most everything at Walmart are delusional because the quality of the merchandise is so poor they end up buying stuff 2 or 3 times, where American made would last longer?

        And then look at tools at Lowes or Home Depot. Chinese stuff that you can not get parts for after something small breaks after using a few hours. Or any good ones made in Mexico due to NAFTA. (Along with all Ford cars built in Mexico). And those are made by most companies still considered American. That does not even take into account the mergers with foreign companies due to tax rules that have moved home base to other countries.

        Tax reform and zero based budgets to insure effective spending may not achieve everything you want, but I think it sure would be a huge step in the right direction as a start.

        And finally, it is great to hear one talk about debt and what you and your wife are doing.
        ======REMEMBER ONE THING====RETIREMENT IS NOT AN AGE, IT IS A NUMBER===
        Live within your means today, save for the future and one can retire at 55, 60 or maybe even before if investments go the right way over the long term. Spend and run up debt, and social security will not be enough at 67, so the husband, and even the wife, may be working part time to make ends meet well into their 70’s. Too many people have heard 65 is the age of retirement, but no one plans for that time to come.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 17, 2016 3:19 pm

        Thanks Ron, I’d love to agree with you that we can both have what we want, my massive spending on inner city job training and your balanced budget. Perhaps in a world of really sensible politicians that could happen.

        About retirement, I’ve been working from home (scientific translation) for 8 years now. I don’t make a huge amount of money, but I also don’t work all that many hours and I make extra and its seems growing income from various kinds of music that I have time to play. So, it feels like I am sort of semi retired. I really enjoy most of what I do, so perhaps I am nearly totally retired. About to turn 60. It will be great to be debt free. I built my own house 25 years back, got a fantastic price on 6 secluded acres and thus I have a rather modest mortgage on a property that I really love. That has been a tremendous plus in my financial life as well.

      • January 17, 2016 4:48 pm

        OK, clarify “built my own house”, contracted it out yourself or actually built it. Will let you know why I ask after you answer

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 17, 2016 5:31 pm

        Built it my self, everything was framed and sheathed in a month done by myself and a small and very angry woman. Build a house destroy a marriage, that is a well known combination. I did everything other than the foundation and the shingling. I did the electricity and the plumbing and designed it. It was my second house, the first one was a large A frame, a sort of a camp. This one is a cape 1800 sq. ft and a nice porch. I am not a finish carpenter too ADD to be good at detail work. but its a very nice house if you blur your eyes a little regarding the finishing work. The property is fantastic. I paid 17,000 for 6 acres with all the engineering and permitting done, you can’t do that any longer.

      • January 18, 2016 12:27 am

        Will I’ll be danged. Did the same thing myself except the foundation, cement in the basement, brick on the back basement wall and electrical and plumbing. Even 30 years ago, the local inspection department was hell to deal with on electrical and plumbing, so I decided not to go through that fight. Took 5 years from start to finish working nights and weekends along with help from my wife, who also had three children during that time. To this day she will not touch a piece of dry wall and finish work if I am working on any projects. Had income that would support a certain level mortgage at the time and our wants exceeded our financing, so the only way to do it was self construction. Walton style farm house my wife designed inside. I told her she could do anything she wanted inside as long as it fit into a square two story farm house design.

        Where else would two people find each other that built their own homes. And what stories we have to tell even to today.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 17, 2016 2:44 pm

      jimi888, thank you in turn for your compliment. I can’t think of a nicer “public” compliment that I’ve received lately. But again, it is easy to respond that way to you because your tone is one of equanimity, and from the posts of yours that I have read in this particular blog post chat, that trait seems to be genuine. You imply that you have not always been that way; said you were “snippy” to Priscilla in the past. Maybe you’ve done a lot of work on that, and if so, you’ve made progress.

      Interesting tidbit you added, that you’ve changed your name a few times in this forum. That’s why you asked if am Cougrrl, perhaps? Ron and Priscilla seem to have a problem with the anonymous posting; that’s mildly amusing to me. Maybe that’s because of the history with you and your name changes. If this is a forum to discuss ideas, then egos don’t matter. Might get further without them. But “anonymous” is as much a name as “jimi888”. “Bookscrounger.” First names only…they could be fake. So, what does any one tell you about someone that the other does not?

      I have observed Ron’s blog postings for some time. I find them to be mostly “moderately right”, vs. “moderate.” Most of them seem to have a right leaning slant in that they primarily diss the extremities on the left. This last one, though, on the right-wing militias, was a refreshing change, because the “militia monster” is indeed a right-wing phenomenon, and as I understand it, born largely of the Libertarian camp. So, for Ron to be a Libertarian, and write this blog, is something to be applauded. It’s past time we had this conversation.

      I too enjoy Jay’s posts; the one where he called out Ron and Priscilla on their obvious rigid Hillary bias was stellar. And, I do appreciate Ron’s. With Priscilla, so far it has struck me that there isn’t much “moderate” in her appraisal of the candidates–and not much appreciation of left concerns–and so I found it interesting that she claimed to be probably the only moderate in this discussion. To me, no one who is truly moderate could give a Dominionist like Ted Cruz a passing glance. There’s nothing moderate about the man. I’d vote for Trump over Cruz if I had to simply because Trump doesn’t think he’s on a mission from God. I’m much more concerned about the Christian fundamentalists on our own soil than I am about ISIS on our own soil. They’d destroy the democracy for a theocracy and plutocracy all at the same time…the antithesis of a Christ-like value system.

      Are Ron and I tangling? I don’t see it that way. Heated discussions and disagreements do not necessarily mean that one is “tangling”, or, not in the way that I think of that. I think of tangling as “fighting”, which to me generally results to anger and insults. I appreciate his attempts to see both sides of an issue. Respect for women I always appreciate, being one myself. It’s the “deep old school” part that ruffles. “Old school respect” for women generally translates to seeing us as confused, needing help with anything physical, and not being able to make wise choices for ourselves. I have zero tolerance for that. Women do indeed need help: to be freed of men’s attempts to control our bodies and limit our potential. The reproductive rights issue is the most glaringly obvious arena in which that struggle is played out these day, but the last time I checked, Libertarians believe that the government should stay out of it. I totally line up with them on that issue.

      I like your thinking about “what is a moderate.” The opposite of an ideologue. It seems to me that the reason “we moderates” don’t seem to have much of a voice is because, well, we aren’t a clearly defined body of values for a platform. My vision is that we eliminate parties altogether. If people were free to compose a campaign platform based on free thinking, we’d be able to solve our problems better, I think. The old “divide and conquer” technique works pretty well to keep folks from moving to the middle, and we all seem to fall for it to one degree or another. If we could eliminate the perceived need for political parties, we might be able to better cultivate moderation. Another approach is to have a mulit-party system, with more than 2 parties, for sure, and probably more than 3. I’d like to see both the R’s and the D’s somehow be able to eject the extremists; let them have their own parties. The one thing about the Tea Party that I liked was that it gave me hope that they would actually leave the R party and take their extremism with them. Now, *that* would be progress!

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 17, 2016 4:17 pm

        Hello again Anonymous. “That’s why you asked if am Cougrrl, perhaps?”

        No, I’ve just actually never heard the word dominionist used before and cougrrl used it the first time and you the second. So, just a guess, but it does not matter.

        I really should let Priscilla and Ron explain their positions themselves, but they are by now to me old buddies in the blog world and I have had lots of great and civil and interesting conversations with both of them and found our areas of overlap. Priscilla and I used to tangle (mostly my fault) about who was moderate, who was liberal etc. how conservative she is, whether I am a liberal. I believe its called the most Scottish Scot syndrome, I have at times claimed to be the most moderate moderate here. There were perhaps years of small wars spent on that theme here with many participants .

        There is one poster (actually two) who has not been around lately who insisted on perpetually calling me a progressive or liberal, and I don’t know whether its just for irritation value or because he believes that anyone he disagrees with must be a raving lefty or that he has a terrible need to have a raving lefty in his life to argue with, but it really pisses me off. Priscilla and I have a truce on this account. I don’t think that Cruz is anything but a far righty myself, but I can find moderate aspects to Priscilla and I think that adult intelligent and quite educated people ought to be able to self identify where they lie ideologically. At the very least aspiring to be a moderate and seeing that as a good adjective is a healthy thing.

        This (TNM) was exclusively a world of rather strong Obamaphobes (and I am NOT trying to tweak anyone here!) other than myself and Rick until recently, and yes, both Ron and Priscilla have extremely little use for Obama or Hillary, and while I do also find some rather large faults with these two politicians, I do not go nearly as far in my dislike. So, of course I understand what you are saying.

        I think that the best thing that could happen to this country is that people would reverse the terrible level of ideological polarization and be able to routinely enjoy people with very different political views. Let that get started somehow in our culture and we may start actually working constructively on our problems.

        To me the strongest influence on a person, and one they can only override with tremendous effort, is the subculture that they are surrounded by. People of different generations, cultural backgrounds, income levels, etc. are just naturally going to have highly different experiences and habits. By my age most of us are pretty well solidly programmed. My parents were (are) highly educated liberals tied to academia. My father, who has a Ph.D in civil war history and was very involved in the civil rights movement just hates southerners, thinks they are all racists (I’m exaggerating) and many is the time when I have argued with him that people born in Mississippi are not inherently bad people, they just don’t have his attitudes to many thing, naturally because they come from a different American subculture. Hate the sin but not the sinner.

        What if we could all try to imagine that we did not have these different subculture programs running in our heads that completely color the way we think and see every event? Be born in a different time and place and you will think differently than you do. Lets try to find the common ground and not let the divisive right and left journalism and politicians program us to their level of black and white thinking.

        On the power of culture, an example: One of our closest friends, a really amazing woman, is a Russian lady who was very, very successful in the Russian system in the world of Ice skating, circus acts, dancing, choreography, etc. and then when she no longer performed herself choreographing different types of entertainment programs. There is hardly a major star in Russia she has not worked with or for. She is one of the kindest people you could meet, superintelligent, has a stellar educational level, has lived for years in the west and she absolutely Loves Putin and can forgive or deny almost any atrocity that was committed by the Soviets, because she herself was very successful in that system and experienced the best of it. She won’t believe a single bad word about Russia. Culture. Entirely culture. With her characteristics, her intelligence, her kindness, had she been born in the west she would be a severe critic of government, up in arms. She was raised to believe that its unpatriotic to criticize her government. Culture is stronger than almost anything. I really try to remember that when I disagree with people about ideology, much as I hate, hate, hate ideologues. There are many people who are really disagreeably nuts about politics and/or religion who are fine if you can meet them in some other arena. They sincerely believe whatever nasty stuff they believe. Its all programming. I try to start by deprogramming myself and noting the BS of my own native subculture, there is no shortage of it either.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 17, 2016 6:12 pm

        “No, I’ve just actually never heard the word dominionist used before and cougrrl used it the first time and you the second. So, just a guess, but it does not matter. ”

        Well, it was a good guess. I am Cougrrl. 🙂 I didn’t intentionally post as anonymous. It happened accidentally…and twice, actually. Some issue with the logon. By that time, the requests to post my name began, and I found it curious that anyone gave a darn about that. It really amused me, the manner in which Priscilla took exception to it. Had a tone of condescension about it. That didn’t really surprise me though; I figure it’s the psychological impact of the very word, “anonymous” on a mostly right-winger. That said, I stand by my thoughts about it all. What difference does it make if I post under Cougrrl or GodIsMyCoPilot or GetALife, or what have you. It’s the thoughts and the exchange of ideas that matters most here…isn’t it? If anyone else wants to talk about it, they can, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s largely a non-issue.

        Regarding Dominionism, you might want to check that out, if you haven’t already. I’ve learned that those who are Dominionist don’t advertise it, and those who support Dominionst political candidates usually lapse into silence when you mention it, or try to discuss it. From my point of view, that is also not surprising. I react to Dominionism the way most folks react to the KKK.

        Why do you take exception to being called a liberal or a progressive? You have many progressive traits. You see that as an insult? Is that because or your dislike of Sanders?

        “To me the strongest influence on a person, and one they can only override with tremendous effort, is the subculture that they are surrounded by. ” You get it. That’s why it is so problematic when we only read the POV that supports the one we currently hold. It’s important to read what others think and feel; that’s one reason why I continue to follow the New Moderate. That, and you can have a discussion here with others without someone trying to take your face off. I have had that experience in right wing sites. My moderate pleas have been much better received by the left wingers.

        Your father is wrong about racisim. I was born and raised in the South and I know many natives who are not racist. It’s a sterotype, and a liberal academician should know better. I realize that’s blunt, but it needs to be said. That said, there’s generally some truth to stereotypes, otherwise, they wouldn’t arise. My first mother-in-law was a wonderful, kind, loving, caring person, but from time to time she’d lapse into a tirade about blacks that was totally off the wall and not at all consistent with how she treated them. Again, I think it’s the “old tapes” that play from our upbringing. She was raised in the South in the 1920’s and 30’s. You have to take that into consideration before judging a person’s prejudices. Also, I’ve met some racist blacks and Hispanics. One stereotype that needs to die is that only white Southerners have racial prejudices. This is one of the areas that contributes to my “moderate” claim. I’m largely left wing but PC about race gags me; it’s overdone.

        “She was raised to believe that its unpatriotic to criticize her government.” I was not. My father raised me to “Question Authority”, and I am forever grateful for that, though it has caused me some grief from time to time. He was largely Libertarian. My mother, mostly apolitical and in love with Jesus, except when she started listening to right-wing Christian radio, and then she adopted a very narrow-minded and angry countenance about Democrats. I have seen up close how the right-wing propaganda machine works by distorting Christian values to those who are vulnerable (less education.) The way my cultural background has translated into my values is a strong draw toward Spirituality, but a loathing for religions-of-authority and an independence in my spiritual orientation. Trusting the gov’t is a mixed bag with me. I know, know, know that the gov’t has and will continue to lie to it’s citizens, and that this often takes on a life of its own in secret sectors, to the point that our elected officials don’t know what’s going on. OTOH, for goodness sake, everything is not a conspiracy, and government is necessary on many levels. “Smaller gov’t” sounds good until you start asking which areas to cut. Then we’re all fighting one another again.

        What you said about your Russian woman friend: “…can forgive or deny almost any atrocity that was committed by the Soviets.” That is powerful, and we should discuss this much more: the concept of forgiveness. That is a huge contributor to the polarization in politics, in my way of thinking. We expect our politicians to be perfect…certainly more perfect than ourselves…and when one with whom we do not agree screws up, there is *no forgiveness ever.* However, if it’s our guy/gal, then forgiveness is easy. It’s why R’s can overlook the lying about weapons of mass destruction, but remember the name of every woman that Bill Clinton ever approached, for example.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 17, 2016 4:34 pm

        Ah, Anon I just realized, I think you have confused Ron and Rick. RIck writes the blog, he is not a libertarian, he is a bit bemused by his ability to attract a libertarian audience.

        Ron is Ron P, the green icon, a libertarian.

        Ricks posts are more to the right of center, in my opinion, regarding cultural events, more to the left of center regarding economics. His take on the cultural wars comes from his dislike of separation of Americans into clans, hyphenated Americans. I find him not to have much overlap with my opinions on racial events and this has been a year of a lot of racial things in the news. He is (or perhaps was?) a big Obama supporter. But again, he is not a libertarian, just a lightening rod for them.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 17, 2016 6:19 pm

        Yes, I did confuse Ron and Rick. Thank you, jimi888, for the clarification. That’s the downside of arguing What’s in a name, huh? 😉

        “Ricks posts are more to the right of center, in my opinion, regarding cultural events, more to the left of center regarding economics.”

        Yes, that’s been my take on his blogs.

        “His take on the cultural wars comes from his dislike of separation of Americans into clans, hyphenated Americans.”

        I agree with this. I suppose it’s at the root of my wish to eliminate a party system, or find a more workable version of it. It’s also in synch with your observation that our subculture shapes our thinking more powerfully than any other factor.

        “I find him not to have much overlap with my opinions on racial events and this has been a year of a lot of racial things in the news.”

        How so.

        “He is (or perhaps was?) a big Obama supporter.”

        Meh. I voted for Hilllary, not Obama, but when he won the general election, I voted for him. To me, when Obama won over HRC, that was when I had to face head on the truth that America is even more misogynist than it is racist. I don’t think of Obama as extreme left, and the way this R Congress has reacted to him has been way out of bounds, to me.

      • January 17, 2016 4:45 pm

        “Respect for women I always appreciate, being one myself. It’s the “deep old school” part that ruffles. “Old school respect” for women generally translates to seeing us as confused, needing help with anything physical, and not being able to make wise choices for ourselves.”

        I will just say I have to agree with you 100% when you say you have no tolerance for this type of woman or the people around her. This is coming from a man whose grandmother was featured in the June 1943 edition of Ladys Home Journal and their coverage of women working to support the war effort. She was a welder in the west costs ship yards welding keels of war ships along side my grandfather who was too old at the time to serve in the armed forces. She needed no one to be her caretaker. My mother, her daughter, was raised in the same manner. Men found early they did not screw with her. M<y mother and father were equals in the family, much different than what you might find in the 50's and what you might find today in the south where many women are still considered "barefoot and pregnant" ( And I live here, see it all the time and wonder how these poor souls would survive without a man telling them what to do).

        And that is why I view Hillary in the way I do. neither my mother nor my grandfather would have put up with Bills shenanigans. Short of killing him, they may have turned out like Lorena Bobbitt's husband. No woman should ever have to go through what she went through and then "stand by her man". But that was her decision, but I, and many others do not need to respect that decision nor the person making it.

        And last, I do not see this as a heated discussion. If a debate is heated, then maybe it is so. but what we are doing in my mind is debating issues from a different perspective, much different than the personal attacks we see in political debates like we are seeing now in this campaign.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 17, 2016 6:52 pm

        “And that is why I view Hillary in the way I do. neither my mother nor my grandfather would have put up with Bills shenanigans.”

        That explains a lot; thanks for sharing that, Ron P. What this says to me is that you “got it” that women are not weaklings, but you’ve missed the part that we are not all the same…and that we are complex, as all human beings are…and that we, just as men, have the right to self-determination. Hillary cannot be expected to react to Bill, and their marriage, in the same way that your mother or grandmother might have. There were many, many factors at play in Hillary’s situation. She has the right to self-determination…should not have to live up to yours, or my, expectations about how she should have handled Bill.

        But…have you done any research into their situation? There’s a lot known about it. Hillary did struggle with it. Bill at one point asked for a divorce, when he fell in love with another woman, but Hillary did not want one. Her reasons had to do with her commitment to the marriage and her values as a Methodist, and modeling that she’s seen in her family with troubled relationships that avoided divorce. She was also very concerned about the impact on Chelsea, and so was Bill. They went to counseling about these issues, and included members of his family of origin in that therapy. Bill ultimately decided to remain in the marriage, though it was a hard decision for him. So…that’s quite a “family values” model that any good right winger should respect, I’d think, but they pick and choose how they apply that.

        My basic argument about it is that it’s up to her what she will tolerate, and she should have the freedom to determine that without others levying judgement on it. Sexual relationships and marital issues are private, to me. Or, should be. I realize that our society will not generally not live up to that value, where politicians are concerned, but it’s something to shoot for. We like to say that when someone enters the public arena, it’s all up for grabs, but I’m not so inclined to see it that way when it comes to a person’s marriage and sex life…unless we’ve got pedophilia or rape involved.

        Anyway, it’s curious to me that anyone would see a Hillary’s choices about her personal relationship with her husband as a reason to *totally discount* her experience, wisdom, and talents in this presidential race, particularly when there are so many in this race who cannot hold a candle to her experience. If you’ve read about her life at all, she has always been a strong, independent woman, a “force to be reckoned with”, and frankly, was likely more influential on Bill than he would ever be on her, regarding politics. So, I don’t totally trust your reasons for discounting her, though I do believe that you are being honest about what you think they are. From my experience, most men who are as passionate about dissing Hillary as you have been have some deep-seated misogyny going on, or at the very least, a fear of having a powerfully influential woman at the helm. I acknowledge that that this may not be the case with you.

        It’s good to hear that you don’t see us as any kind of crosswise, Ron. I don’t either. You have not been insulting or demeaning, and I appreciate that. I hope that you have not found me to be that way; it hasn’t been my intention to be so.

      • January 18, 2016 12:46 am

        Thank you for the information concerning the Clinton’s. Maybe if more people knew some of these details she would appear “more normal” to the average person on the street. Even though this could change my opinion of her on a personal level, it does not change my perception of her on a professional level. And that is where progressives, libertarians and conservatives will continue to debate the issues that face this country.

        My greatest fear is Hillary will get elected, congress will continue to be controlled by the GOP, Obama will try to sweep the Benghazi issues and home email server issues under the rug and once Hillary takes office, we will have years of investigations that will take all the steam out of any agenda that she develops. Even if the Senate flips, there is no way the House will flip and they will continue to block any good compromise legislation that might do some good for the country.

        I am not a Sanders supporter either, but I would rather see him in office than Hillary as the differences that would be debated would be on a policy level and not a personal level like we would have with Hillary unless Obama lets the FBI do what they need to do.

        They will prepare a report of findings and recommendations and that will be sent to the Attorney General. If Obama squelches any actions that the report my contain, you can rest assured there will be some FBI agent with access to that report who will leak it to the press. Might be someone with a copy who retires and then releases it, but if that happens we will have years of fighting and nothing good happening for the country.

        Politicians do nothing for the country first. It is my career, my party and then my country in that order.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 3:11 am

        Ron, I’m only just learning the details about Hillary’s marriage myself. But it’s not like the information isn’t out there…you just have to look for it. And if you’re only reading material with a right wing bias, you will *not* see this kind of information there. There are actually quite a few books about the Clintons. My husband and I decided to research them for ourselves, and tried to find books that didn’t seem to have an axe to grind either way. What’s come of that, with me, is that my respect for her as a capable leader has deepened. Oh, she’s made mistakes, but I see that as a plus, because I believe she’s learned from them. And I like that she admits it openly. I’m much more concerned about a Sanders win, at this point in time, because as jimi888 notes, I don’t care for his economic plan. Addressing the growing plutocracy and the shrinking middle class is critical, but I don’t care for the way he wants to go about it. It will not fly, anyway; it will never get past Congress. So, it will not be a productive presidency, I think. But, who knows? We’re all just speculating.

        My greatest fear is any R in office. I don’t see a moderate bone in the body of any of the top contenders at this point. More extremism in a party that is full of almost nothing but extremists these days. Re: your fear about the lawsuits and emails and on and on and on…yes, we’ll have that, if we continue with a R Congress. If it is one thing I have learned from watching both parties, it is that the R’s will not let an issue die, even if it has become clear that it is a non-issue. And they don’t respect the voters. With Bill, for example…the public knew about his affairs on the front end, and voted for him anyway. They re-elected him after tons of money lost on Whitewater, because, I believe, they saw it as a non-issue, just like the emails are. They’ll spend taxpayer money with impunity to kill any opposition. I wish it were different. In the past, I have voted both parties. I haven’t been able to vote R in many years now, since Reagan invited the fundamentalists to bed.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 17, 2016 7:34 pm

        Ron, there was something else you said that I meant to comment on:

        “M<y mother and father were equals in the family, much different than what you might find in the 50's and what you might find today in the south where many women are still considered "barefoot and pregnant" ( And I live here, see it all the time and wonder how these poor souls would survive without a man telling them what to do)."

        Sounds like we may be about the same age. And, I was born and raised in the South, and still live there, though not in my native state. Were you born and raised in the South, or just live there now? Regarding the reality of the "barefoot and pregnant" situation….

        I hope that you read what jimi888 had to say about the influence of the subculture that we live in. It's a very insightful commentary and has direct application to this situation. If you are indeed familiar with Southern culture, especially with poor Southern culture, you have to be aware of how misogynist and patriarchal it can be, but to be fair, it's not just Southern culture that has this unfortunate propensity. My thinking, without hard data in front of me at the moment, is that's more of a function of lower class or poverty situations, and those exist outside of the South, as well.

        Barefoot is hard enough. Not having access to birth control of all sorts, including abortion, is another problem altogether, and one of my very biggest concerns about the direction that the American political scene is taking these days. The aggressive action on the part of conservatives to restrict a woman's access to family planning, including abortion, and to frame any woman who wants or needs one as a "murderer", is of deep concern to me. It is also a litmus test item, to me, of anyone's claim to be "moderate." Opposition to a woman's right to choose abortion is not a moderate stance. That's just one of the reasons why I will not vote for any Republican; this plank has gotta be removed from their platform to ever entice me to seriously consider voting for one of them again.

      • January 18, 2016 1:06 am

        Well after the house question to Jimi and discussing that issue now comes the personal bio. Born and raised in Southern California (when CA was still “normal”) and they accepted Republicans as well as Democrats in their government. RR elected Governor while I was in college. Left CA in 1968 after entering military and stayed in Virginia after discharge where I met my future wife until 1977 when we moved back to her hometown in central NC. Have been here since, so I consider myself “southern” after 40+ years in Virginia and NC.

        You are right about the southern heritage and women. Today most are much more independent, but there are still many who the husbands have total control. My daughters are not one of them as they were raised like their mother, also very independent. I still remember going into a fast food market asking for directions to an interstate and the young lady said “your asking me, I’m a girl”, then turned to the man in back and asked him to tell me. Reminded me of the Beverley Hillbillies.

        And yes, someone like Cruz who makes abortion a priority is one I would not want to vote for. Christie is also one I don’t want to have to vote for due to his positions on marijuana. To me that is a states rights issue and not a federal issue and there are many people in need of that product, both kids (medical MJ) and adults with cancer and other medical issues. Ronald Reagan did not support abortion, but it was not high on his things to change when he was in office, nor was it when 41 and 43 were in office. It can be a plank in the parties platform, but the nominee does not have to make it a priority.

        Many of my friends think I am totally messed up since I hold positions from the far left( drug war is a bust) to the far right (limits on gun control) with hopefully most in the middle right. I;ll just keep people guessing.

      • January 17, 2016 7:50 pm

        Did I claim to be the only moderate?

      • January 17, 2016 7:56 pm

        Oh, I see- when I said that I was the “only moderate Republican”, you thought that I was claiming to be the only moderate. Good lord, I would get clobbered here, if I seriously claimed that, and rightfully so!

        To clarify, I am the only commenter here who – currently – claims to be a Republican. And I am a moderate Republican, although it may not seem to some that there is any such animal.

        I was in no way impugning the moderate bona fides of any of the other commenters…..and, I am not the “most moderate” of the moderates here, that’s for sure. That mantle belongs to Rick, without a doubt.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 17, 2016 11:30 pm

        Priscilla, I just don’t see how anyone claiming to have moderate values could prefer Cruz over anybody in this race. He is so *not* moderate, and basically thinks he’s on a mission from God. That’s just plain scary, to me.

      • January 18, 2016 12:53 am

        Canadian Cruz is quite liberal when it comes to the constitutional interpretation of eligibility for the office of president.

        He may be in for a big shock when the question of his eligibility gets to the Supreme Court. It’s impossible to predict how they will define ‘natural born’ citizen. Are you a natural born American if you were born in Canada, and your father became a Canadian citizen, and you lived in Canada the first five years of your life, and you didn’t renounce your Canadian citizenship for most of the rest of your life? The court could find that ‘unnatural born.’

        And if Toronto Ted gets the Republican nomination, I can’t wait to hear the Democrats singing a version of Bruce Springsteen’s song with altered lyrics: “He was Unnaturally Born, and not in the USA”

      • January 18, 2016 1:29 am

        There have been different ideas as to who is a natural born citizen and who is not. Since the beginning of the country, natural born citizen has been defined as one who does not need to go through the “naturalization process” to become a citizen. That is why anyone born to a parent who is a citizen of America, either inside the USA or in a foreign country becomes a citizen by birth and has been considered “natural born” for years.

        Trump is not a fool. He is in a win-win situation. He brings up the issue hoping that someone will file suit against Cruz before the nomination takes place.(Currently one in Texas) The first win is he undercuts Cruz as a competitor if he gets a ruling that Cruz is not a citizen. The second win would be if Cruz is ruled natural born and goes on to win the nomination. Once the ruling has come down, Democrats could not use it against him in a general election.

        That’s what I call “the Art of the Deal”.

      • January 18, 2016 2:37 pm

        Another opinion. Ron, on natural born:
        http://triblive.com/opinion/featuredcommentary/9786330-74/born-law-natural#axzz3xcdi8WBw

      • January 18, 2016 7:15 pm

        Kay..Going to be an interesting election. I don’t know how something can be sent to the Supreme court without someone being impacted by the actions of the law or regulation. maybe Cruz could take something to the court and get a ruling before the election. Maybe a voter could. Or maybe it would have to wait until the election were over and then someone claims “harm” from the elected individual becoming president when they are not “natural born”. Lets hoe it does not come to that as we might have another Bush/Gore split decision based on party lines and not actual law.

      • January 18, 2016 9:40 am

        Re: Dominionism…..I have seen the accusation used against several right-wing politicians: Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and now, apparently, Ted Cruz, whose father is an evangelical preacher. I’m not religious, but I have no particular problem with evangelicals, as long as they obey the law. If they were going to take over the country, or even the GOP, I figure they’ve had plenty of opportunity and failed pretty miserably. If and when there is some hard evidence that Ted Cruz is a believer in theocracy, I’ll certainly be an opponent. As it is, I just don’t like him all that much, but his policy positions are what I try and look at.

        Re: Trump and the natural-born argument….I agree with you, Ron about this being a wiley move by Trump. Cruz has been “drafting” off of Trump for months now, hoping to peel off his supporters when Trump imploded. Except that Trump hasn’t imploded, and now he’s punching back.

        We live in interesting times……

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 2:45 pm

        Priscilla, re: Dominionism. If you’ve seen references to this, and looked no further, then you wouldn’t be aware of Cruz’s affiliation with this movement. It’s not being discussed much yet in major media. I’ve taken the time to research it a bit because of the situation with my mother, as I described to jimi888. I’ve seen her mood and thinking altered by the right-wing Christian radio talk shows, from open-minded and kind, to an angry parrot of far-right sound bytes mixed with talk about God’s will. I’ve also see it change back to a more balanced manner when she got into a situation where she couldn’t hear that propaganda anymore. It’s poison, in my opinion, in a nation like America, with a Constitution like ours.

        There’s a lot of info out there if you take the time to look for it. I don’t know how high you’d set the bar for the information to classify as “hard evidence” for you. But if you read enough about the movement, and see the family history, and watch any of the videos of his father’s speeches at conferences, referring to Ted as a prophet, it all adds up. No one has yet to do a piece that connects all the dots for a reader, but if he becomes the R candidate for the general election, I think we can count on it. Whomever his opponent will be would be totally remiss in not educating the public about it. The majority of the public are not fundamentalist Christians, and would likely not take to hearing about the plans of the Dominionist movement to bring Christianity into all sectors of the public arena, including government. For myself, I’m convinced that such is afoot with a Cruz administration. I’ve briefly entertained the notion of forgoing voting in the Democrat primary to vote for Trump in the Republican primary, just to help keep Cruz off the ticket in the general election.

      • January 18, 2016 6:10 pm

        I repeat: like father like son.

        Papa Pastor Cruz is a sneaky SOB, with a disreputable history of self interest and family abandonment, and slippery notions of truth telling. He was a dead-beat dad, who abandoned his first American wife and two young daughters, to marry and impregnate Ted Cruz’s mother, whereupon he ditched them both in Canada, leaving them there nearly destitute.

        Then, as the story goes, he found Jesus in Texas (hallaulah – a profitable way of supporting himself), but some years went by before his wife, back in the US with her now 5 or 6 year old son, agreed to a reconciliation. Apparently religion and love didn’t conquer all. Eventually she divorced him. Not a Sunday sermon for traditional family values.

        And there’s no published news accounts I could find that Pastor Cruz helped the daughters of his first marriage when they were growing up, financially or emotionally: one died from drug abuse; the other became a doctor, but so far has refused to be interviewed to discuss her father or her half brother.

        Here’s additional background about Pappa Cruz’s supposed bio:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/10/us/politics/cuban-peers-dispute-ted-cruzs-fathers-story-of-fighting-for-castro.html

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 8:26 pm

        Jay, it’s worse than that. Papa Cruz believes that his son is sent by God on a mission to restore the church to its proper function in society…embedded in every aspect, including the government. For myself, I don’t care if Papa left his family or not. I’m concerned, though, that his son, Ted, will try to realize the dream of fusing the church–their version of it–with the government. This disturbs me greatly.

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 5:03 pm

      The New Deal, Great Society and all that progressive nonsense, is failing.
      That is ultimately the nastiest political battle of the next couple of decades.

      You are right it can not be repealed – atleast not easily.
      But the alternative is far worse.

      “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”
      It just does not work.

      Every 10% of GDP that government spends costs us 1% in yearly improvement in standard of living. Over the course of a single generation that growth would do more good for the least than all social safetynet programs ever.

      It is not the wealthy you are stealing from – it is the poor.

      • January 18, 2016 6:18 pm

        “problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”
        It just does not work.”

        Right. Pure socialism doesn’t work.
        Neither does pure capitalism.
        You need a brew of the two, in proper balance.
        The key, now, is to determine the proportionate mix.

  21. January 17, 2016 7:37 pm

    Ah, a few references my ideology and opinions…..I don’t know where to begin!

    Let me start by offering an olive branch to cougrrl. If I seemed condescending in my response to your anonymous comment, I assure you that it was not intended. Fact is, I think that we have all inadvertently posted as “anonymous” at one point or another (with me it usually happens when I try and post from my phone) and have subsequently declared our “true identities” for clarification’s sake.

    If I seemed irked at all – and I don’t know that I was irked, exactly, more like frustrated at not being able to make my point – it was because I could not understand why you seemingly insisted that my problem with Hillary as a politician had to do with her sexuality, her love or lack of love for Bill, or anything personal about her. I actually met her years ago, at my sister’s house in NY, because my sis was hosting a fundraiser for Hillary’s Senate campaign. She was charming and funny, actually~ I was impressed. I was a supporter back then, I’d voted for Bill and considered him a fairly good president. But everything that I have learned about the Clintons in general, and Hillary in particular, have convinced me that she is very machiavellian, moderate only when it’s politically expedient to be so, and that she is even more dishonest and corrupt than the average politician. So, at any rate, after the second or third time that you implied that I was getting side-tracked by the Clinton sex scandals and not focusing on matters of importance, I may have responded in a less than cordial manner, and I apologize for that.

    As far as my being a crazy right-winger, an Obamaphobe (not a fan, that’s for sure),or even a Cruz supporter….well, I’m not any of those things , but I’ve long passed the point where I get upset when others label me. J888 graciously accepts blame for our head-butting over stuff like this in the past, but, trust me, it was as much me losing my cool over being called an extremist. Extremism often seems to be in the eyes of the beholder these days, and it often seems a pointless argument over who is and who is not……I have friends who think that any Republican is an extremist and ones that think that anyone who voted for Obama is one. So, there ya go. Pointless.

    Anyway, enough about me. I clicked on bookscroungers link in his comment, and read an excellent post by him, which I highly recommend to all of you: http://bookscrounger.com/2016/01/06/conservative-and-liberal/

    ( Bookscrounger (I almost abbreviated your name to “bs” but thought better of it), if you are still around, I’ve read a bunch of your posts and find them very thought-provoking and insightful)

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 17, 2016 11:10 pm

      Priscilla, thanks for the olive branch. I’ll accept; no need in carrying grudges. But there’s value in clearing the air a bit, I think. So….

      It’s good of you to accept your part for the tensions between you and jimi888 in the past. You said that you get defensive about someone labeling you. Well…do you realize that you called me “an extreme partisan”, and said that I only argue from “a place of fact-free emotion”? That kind of talk sounds so much like a dog-eat-dog argument forum, angry and accusatory and designed to inflame, not to understand. I like the way you’re sounding in this post…much more relaxed and approachable.

      About me thinking that you were focusing on the sexual aspect at one point, actually, you were. I realize *now*, because you’ve explained your POV more clearly, that it’s likely not your primary objection to Hillary as a candidate, but you and Ron P. were rather focused on that at one point…with the link to the smear article, for example…. I totally agree with Jay’s post back to you about all that,and his reaction to it indicates that I’m not the only person reading your and Ron P’s posts who thought the focus on sex and sexual orientation rumors was , shall we say, off key and unrelated to her qualifications for the office? But I’m content to let it stand at that. He said what needed to be said much more eloquently than I ever could, and I respect him for how he went about it. Haven’t heard from him since, and that’s a shame, because I think he’s got a lot of useful things to say.

      I’m posting as “anonymous” now, and not likely to change it in this particular blog dialogue, because *now*, there’s an automatic default to that when I reply to a post. I’ve had some issues with logging on with Word Press…it makes me do a double log-in. The first time it posted as “anonymous”, I’d logged on twice, it hiccupped, and then posted that way. I thought “What just happened here?” but didn’t think it mattered that much. Then it happened again. Then, I got a kick out of the reaction to it, so I got a little mileage out of it…for the lulz. Maybe in future blog posts, if I chime in, I can get that straightened out, but I don’t think it’s all that important, and certainly not now.

      I’ve never met the Clintons, but my husband has met Hillary: his daughter went to daycare with Chelsea. He worked in state government, in the Division of Mental Health, while Arkansas was under one of Bill’s state governorship. I can say more about that later if anyone is interested in hearing about it.

      • January 18, 2016 1:15 am

        I’m still here and have been posting. I thought the issue with Hillary had been discussed and completed. Let me know if there was something else to discuss.

  22. jimi888 permalink
    January 17, 2016 7:40 pm

    Fascinating Anon, I can see we are going to have the pleasure of telling quite a few stories. Right now I have to get some work done but I’ll answer this one:

    “Why do you take exception to being called a liberal or a progressive? You have many progressive traits. You see that as an insult? Is that because or your dislike of Sanders?”

    Its because my dislike of people who have not progressive traits, but the entire progressive package. Those people are all too often really mean, narrow-minded, bigoted, and ideologically blinded to the point of reducing their natural IQs by 50 points. Very often they are also miserable and humorless. Way too often. I’ve met Howard Zinn, he gave me the creeps. He would have been Lenin and used terror if he could have.

    I do have liberal genes and inclinations and values, yes, its in my cultural DNA and I admit that openly and with no shame. But I am proud that I evolved into a moderate and shed the tendency to see just the one side. Show my any progressive who actually has any understanding whatsoever of the valid points that honest conservatives hold. I’m proud that I took the time and had the ability to understand basic economics, show me a progressive who understands economics. I encountered way too many progressives in academia they ranged from foolish to mean. Bleh!

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 17, 2016 11:23 pm

      “Fascinating Anon, I can see we are going to have the pleasure of telling quite a few stories.”

      Jimi888, I look foward to sharing stories with you. I’m sure you’ve got some! I have a only a few. 😉

      In response to the rest of this post…”What he said.” 🙂 I mean it. We have very similar feelings about a lot of this. I laughed out loud. You know, about Bernie… I really do like the guy. I think we need him in the Senate. I think that’s where we need him *the most*, not as POTUS. We need folk like Bernie to point out issues that are very valid and most definately need to be addressed, but his supporters…! They are the ones who turned me against him, and now, I’m struggling to not let my reaction to them become my total reaction to *him.*

      Good on you, that you brushed up on economics. I need to do that, re: macro economics. Household economics I understand quite well, and I figure the same gross principals apply to the nation as well: live within your means, don’t live on credit, and get your priorities straight. It has worked well for me. I retired at the age of 54, though my husband was still working, and we had a very modest retirement planned. It’s panned out better than we thought for a couple of reasons, but, I have always been able to manage on a small amount of income. The first place we need to cut, IMO, is in Congress: their salaries and benefit packages need to come in line with where the average American is. “By the People, for the People”, means they need to stay one of the People…not part of the elite.

  23. dhlii permalink
    January 18, 2016 12:19 pm

    The concept that property belong to “all the people” has a name – it is called communism.

    It does nto matter whether we are talking the peice of dirt your home sits on, your car or even your body, the default position is NOT communal ownership.

    Aside from the philosophical there is good practical reasons for this.

    We care for things to the extent we value them – we therefore want various property to have an appropriate value so that it will be cared for.

    Governments are notoriously bad stewards of their possessions.
    Many of the western issues with forest fires today arise from idiotic conceptions of land and forest management that the federal government has practiced for a century.

    The Bundy’s are less than optimal heros. That does nto mean there is not some truth in their complaints.

    Our founders deliberately did not intend large federal government land holdings – and they did enshrine that in the constitution, which is why you will find little significant federal land holding in the vast majority of this country.

    Beyond some very limited purposes the federal government can not hold land within a state without that states permission. We bulldozed this impediment in the late 19th century by requiring western states to cede much of their land to the federal government as part of statehood.

    For the past several decades the governments bullying use of eminent domain to pillage people is infamous.

    Kelo is one of the more reviled supreme court decisions in the past 50 years.

    The Bundy’s may not be quite so appealing as Susette Kelo, but many of the issues here are the same.

    Not only does the federal government own enormous portions of the west, but it has been actively seizing what it does not already own.

    Malheur was not crafted out of wholely federally owned land – but from the homes and property of many small farmers and ranchers.

    The Hammonds have distanced themselves from the Bundies, but there story is more complex than the spin in the media. This story is not about arson. It is about the federal government trying to get their land.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 18, 2016 3:11 pm

      Hello dhlii. I was thinking just last night that I’d like to see the chat get back to the original blog topic. And here you are! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

      “Governments are notoriously bad stewards of their possessions.
      Many of the western issues with forest fires today arise from idiotic conceptions of land and forest management that the federal government has practiced for a century. ”

      I’m familiar with that contention; it’s decidedly Libertarian. But, I think it’s a sweeping generalization that has an agenda behind it. The government has managed some lands quite well, and others not so well. Along the way, they’ve learned a few things, and they are still learning. Forest fires is one of those. Another one is leasing the land for a pittance of what it is worth to ranchers who benefit from that at the expense land management. There’s been a lot of damage to the natural ecosystem with cattle grazing on it. I’ve seen the damage from over-grazing, and how long it takes the land to recover, on both public and private lands. So, I don’t buy that tbad stewardship wouldn’t be an issue if the land were privately owned…there are already examples galore to the contrary. I have seen overgrazing on many pieces of private property, and illegal dumps, and other manners of land abuse. Private owners are just as likely to be bad stewards of the land as is the government.

      “Malheur was not crafted out of wholely federally owned land – but from the homes and property of many small farmers and ranchers. ”

      Another great example of that is the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. I’ve visited there many times. I totally love the Cataloochee Valley; it’s my favorite part of the park. I’ve read about the history of the park, and how it impacted the families who live there. For myself, though I fully understand how the families felt at the time, all Americans have benefited from holding it in public trust, so to speak, so that many could enjoy it, and it can remain unspoiled. If private ownership were to prevail unchecked, we’d have Dollywoods and parking lots and no old growth forests, where we now have mountains, glades, and streams, for wildlife, and people, to visit and renew their spirit. There is value in holding lands for the benefit of the many, at the expense of the few. I support a strong national park system, myself.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 5:41 pm

        The contention that government is a poor steward is not decidedly libertarian.
        It is just a fact.

        For a century the forest service has pushed this nonsense that forest fires are primarily human in cause, and preventable, and that is a good idea.
        It is nonsense. Forest fires are natural. The regular small fires that nature produces are good for the environment and radically reduce the probability of these gargantuan monster fires we see today.
        Even the forest service has grasped that zero tolerance for forest fires is actually dangerous nonsense.
        Nor is this the only area that we have found purported conservationist policies actually proving destructive. Desertification throughout africa and much of the rest of the world is the result of purportedly conservationist policies – not the predations of man they were supposed to prevent.

        We fixate on pollution today – two of the top three sources of water polution are government. All or nearly all of the superfund sites are government.

        No the federal government should not be leasing land for a pittance – though I would note that most of this land is pretty crappy. Regardless, it should be selling it. For what sane reason does the federal government need to own hundred of millions of acres of cattle grazing land ?
        These are not national parks, and they are not well managed.
        If a rancher can not afford to buy that land for what it is worth – likely very little, then they can not afford their ranch and the land should be used for some more valuable purpose.
        Which is actually the point – private land tends to get used for its most valueable purpose – whatever that is. Public land gets used for whatever powerful interests can lobby government to acheive.

        Before cattle grazed on this land – buffalo did. There is little difference.
        And as they have discovered in africa, trying to preserve the land undamaged from various grazing animals wild and domestic – actually damages the land over the long run.

        Counter to the conservationist nonsense the environment is not static.
        Nature swells and dies, flourishes and collapses, these natural cycles are essential. Forestall them and the land slowly dies.
        Much of what we have concocted as conservation over the past hundred years is actually destruction.

        And again govenrments have destroyed far more than private owners.

        I have no idea what an “illegal dump” is.
        I know that the left fixates on love canal and hooker chemical.
        Lets see. Hooker burried barrels of waste in an era that was pretty normal.
        No one labeled and recorded those things then.
        But Hooker knew what it had done and refused to sell or develop that land.
        Finally the local government took over the land by eminent domain.
        Hooker supplied them with notice that there was unknown toxic waste dumped in various places. The government ignored them and later resold the land to private developers – and that is how we got love canal.
        But all you here about is the evil hooker chemical.

        Yes, private entities destroy the value of land on occasion – but it is relatively rare. By whatever measure you want there is far more government toxic waste dumps than anything private actors have ever done.

        The federal government owns more than 28% of all land. It owns more than 50% of the western states, In some states it owns 80-90%.

        So you want national parks. I do not particularly understand why these need to be provided by the federal government. But even so, in the east the federal government owns a very small portion of the land – and still assorted parks are in abundance. I can easily get to private, local, state, and national parks within a 20 minute drive. I see no sane reason why 28% of the country needs to be government property, why more than 50% of the west, why nearly 90% of some states, especially when most of the land we are talking about is 100’s of millions of acres of grass land or worse.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 8:12 pm

        It’s not black or white. Sometimes the gov’t is a good steward of the land. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes a private landowner is. Sometimes s/he isn’t.

        You don’t know what an illegal dump is?

        Most of this land is “pretty crappy”? Why do ranchers want it, then, I wonder?

        Yes, the forest service has grasped that fires are natural. And that predators are too. Ranchers don’t care about what is natural; they care about what they alone want. Poison many species to kill one to protect the cow, which is not natural.

        Yes, the land has a natural process that if interfered with, results in the death of the land and natural things. This is why we need government lands and national parks. Private ownership is generally not concerned with the natural flow of things.

        How do you draw the conclusion that private land ownership is used for its most valuable purpose? What is the definition of “most valuable”? According to who? Long-term gains, or short term gains? Material gains, or ecological gains? Who decides?

        Some studies I have read indicate that there is a difference between cattle and bison. Their grazing habits are different. These different habits impact the natural processes of the land differently.

        I don’t know what you’re referring to when you say that conservationists believe the land an environment are static. I’ve never seen a conservationist make this claim.

        I’ve never understood that most superfund sites were created by the government.

        I see no reason why the government needs to relinquish lands from its holding to private ownership. Maybe some. Maybe not. Who decides? What’s the agenda for changing it? Who benefits? Who loses? If we decide that this is the best course of action, then we may as well relinquish it to the original inhabitants, who were relegated to reservations. I see no sane reason to sell it to ranchers or housing developers.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 5:49 pm

        Old Growth forests are quite unusual. Very very few trees and very very few places support forests that can live for hundreds of years.

        These are not forests that used to cover the entire west.
        Even today 50% of the old growth forests in the pacific northwest are private.
        Apparently private actors are as able to protect them as government.

        In the US we completely eviscerated the forests of the south.
        Today they are back.
        There is more mature forest in New England than there was at the time of the pilgrims.
        The national park system is less than 1/2 of all federal lands.
        While itself far too large, you could still shed half od all federal land and not have any impact on any national park.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 8:23 pm

        Old forests are quite unusual, because we’ve cut them all down…not because they demised on their own. Remember that natural order you mentioned earlier? Old growth forests are examples of allowing nature to be. Undisturbed. There is value in that.

        We did eviscerate many of the old growth forests. Forests have returned, but they are no longer old growth. There are differences between old growth forests and new forests, maybe not to the average ignorant human, but to other life forms who don’t live inside of stick-built houses. The fields of ecology and conservation have taught us much about this.

        I still see no need for our government to “shed” government lands to a private sector, who would love nothing more than to eviscerate more lands.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 6:01 pm

        It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.

        Adam Smith

        The benefit of the many is accomplished by the pursuit of the benefit of the few. It is that way with everything else. Why do you assume that in one area – land government somehow manages to perform competently what it has been abysmal at otherwise.

        You presume that absent government ownership everything will turn into parkinglots and Dollywood.

        The driving force behind parking lots – is government.
        I worked as an architect for 25 years. Parking regulations were one of the worst problems we had. Go to almost any reasonably modern parking lot anywhere – they are typically only about 1/2 full. The rest is their to meet government regulations. We know how to handle rare overflow conditions without acres of asphalt. We know how to effectively use the land we have privately. When we do not have the parking we need we find a valuable use that does not require parking. But we usually can not do that. We must create the parking government wants – no matter how destructive it is.

        So long as people go to Dollywood what business is it of yours ?
        Why are you entitled to say that you should have swamps, but others can not have what they want ?

        The way free markets work is to optimize the use of our resources such that
        we get a mixes of uses that fairly accurately reflects our values. We will get very nearly the forests and parks that on the whole we want. When government steps in getting more of what you personally want – presuming that you have the ear of your congressmen, and more likely their ears are not going to be listening to you, comes at the expense of someone else getting what they want.

  24. dhlii permalink
    January 18, 2016 12:43 pm

    In 1773 the sons of liberty dressed up as indians and dumped loads of tea into the british harbor.
    In 1775 the legitimate government of the colonies sent soldiers to lexington and concord to confiscate the weapons of “militias”.

    What is it that makes the bundies right wing loons, but Adams and Revere hero’s?

    In both instances we have government thousands of miles away trying to dicate the to the people who have lived there often for generations.

    I honestly can not make sense of most of your arguments and positions.

    While I like you, I can not find much principle underpinning your arguments.

    When government acts beligerantly and lawless – there is no law. Another reason for limited government, but that is another argument.

    Whether it is Kelo in Connecticut, Garner in New York, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, or …
    do we only see government out of control when they are using force against unarmed black men ?

    Randy Weaver was not some apealling hero. He broke the law, he illegally altered a shotgun.
    As punishment the federal government conducted a swat raid on his property without a warrant, murders his dog, his son, is friend and his wife.

    David Koresch was even less appealing, but he could have been questioned even arrested on the streets of waco anytime the federal government wanted.
    Instead they botched another swat raid, ultimately using tanks and murdering his followers – to save them.

    It is uncommon that people with silver tongues and the skills and resources to successfully thwart government efforts to steal from them end up being the spokes persons for government opposition

    Of course circumstances are polarized. Confrontation with government is highly polarizing.

    Government is force, and if you do not capitulate, you will ultimately be imprisoned or killed.

    Powerful people, people with the resources and skils to deal with government, are more often than not those benefitting from government abuse of power, not its victims.

    • January 18, 2016 5:41 pm

      “What is it that makes the bundies right wing loons, but Adams and Revere hero’s?”

      Time. Place. Situation. Citizenship. Law. Consensus.

      Think about the differences, not the skimpy similarities, and maybe your narrow focus will widen enough for you to understand why they’re not equivalent.

      350 years ago the Colonists didn’t have a vote in Parliment, or has the revolutionary slogan “No taxation without representation” slipped your mind? They were governed by foreigners. They wanted to make and enforce their own laws – self governance. And the majority of American colonists agreed with that position.

      The bozos who took over the bird sanctuary are citizens with the right to vote. They are represented in the Federal Government by members of their state government. If they don’t like the laws like everyone else they have the right to legally try to change them. If they feel strongly the laws are up just, like conscientious objectors they can peacefully sit down and sing protest songs and submit to arrest. But armed takeover of government property deserves armed response.

      That’s the consensus of most Americans. The residents (mostly Republican) in the town adjacent to the National Park the ‘bundles’ took over – local US citizens – are nearly unanimous in their criticism of the take over. It was a dopey takeover by dopey Americans with dopey objectives. Your defense is equally dopey.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 6:12 pm

        Do you read what you write before posting it ?

        350 years ago colonists had no vote in parliment – but most had a vote in local legislatures. And those votes represented more political power then than today.
        Today a US representative is elected by 650,000 constituents.
        There were 2.4M people in the 13 colonies in 1775.
        Each signer of the declaration of independence represented less than 50,000 people.
        Our founders were far better represented under King George than we are today.
        At the time of the revolution colonists paid less than 1% of GDP in taxes. They paid an order of magnitude less than their english cousins accross the sea. They paid nearly 2 orders of magnitude less than we do today.

        The majority of laws that effected colonists were passed by colonial legislatures.

        Support for the american revolution never exceeded 1/3 of the population at the time. About 1/3 were loyalist and the remainder held no strong position.
        The american revolution was never a democratic movement.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 6:21 pm

        So laws enacted democratically are inherently legitimate ?

        That makes the Nazi’s jewish laws legitimate.

        In the US slavery was enacted democratically and part of our constitution.
        Does that make it legitimate.
        That “bird sancturary” was created by confiscating the land of hundreds of private landowners – is that legitimate ?

        Only unarmed protest is legitimate ? Again tell that to the minutemen.

        There are a number of fundimental reasons why those on the left are less likely to engage in armed protest – that have nothing to to with legitimacy.

        No one will pay any attention to an unarmed takeover of a federal building hundreds of miles from nowhere by those seeking their land back.

        Every media outlet in the country will pay immediate attention if one person on the left handcuffs themselves to a tree.

        uarmed protest is totally ineffective if you can not call attention to yourself.

        BTW these militias have for the most part been “non-violent”
        They have repeatedly stated they will not attack, only defend themselves.

      • January 19, 2016 2:06 pm

        Agree that not all laws are inherently just… But do you know for a fact that the wildlife refuge land was actually confiscated from the owners (other than the Native Americans, because of course we basically confiscated all their land)? Did they receive compensation?

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 6:34 pm

        I will agree that the Bundies are the wrong leaders for these issues.

        So what ? Do we only recognize government overreach when confronted by Martin Luther King ?

        Which matters rhetoric or principles ?

        You are also correct that both Ammon and Cliven Bundy have managed to alenate lots of people.

        But their opposition is not the same as support of the lawless behavior of the federal government.

        Opposition to the massive federal land ownership in the region and the horrible land management practices imposed by government are substantial.
        The differences with the Bundies are about means not ends.

        I expect this particular incident will eventually fizzle.
        But there is broad resentment of government overreach.
        Our respect for government is unbeleiveably low.

        Our perception of government as failed is incredibly high.
        The Bundies might not be the right voice and the incompetence and maliciousness of BLM might not be the most important issue,
        but this undercurrent of anger is strong.

        Trump has successfully tapped it – and frankly politically he is more crazy and off than the Bundies.

        Regardless, those backing government should be deeply afraid because whatever the reasons a large portion of us are very very angry with our government today.

  25. jimi888 permalink
    January 18, 2016 2:36 pm

    I’m too busy with deadlines to post anything big for the next few days but I Hope Jay is well. Usually Dave’s posts rouses him to do battle reliably.

    Commies! We have Commies in the Bureau of Land Management. The National Park system is a Communist plot!

    If that does not rouse Jay I’m going to start to worry.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 18, 2016 2:51 pm

      I love the national park system. I’d like to divert a lot more of my tax dollars away from the M-I complex, to the park system.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 6:39 pm

        Why not divert nearly all your tax dollars away from both, and then spend them as you please.
        If what you wish to spend them on is parks, I can assure you that parks reflecting exactly what you are willing to spend for will be there.

        Free markets do not deprive you of what you want. They deliver to you and everyone else what they want as proportionate to the numbers and extent that they want it as possible.

        Government delivers what some people want, and charges all of us for it.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 8:35 pm

        “Why not divert nearly all your tax dollars away from both, and then spend them as you please.”

        I do not have enough money to buy enough land to create and maintain a park such as our lovely national parks. Many of us want them. Together we can accomplish what separately we cannot. I am happy with the national park system. I would like to see it receive a bigger cut of the tax pie. I do not mind paying taxes to pool my funds with others. I’d like more say in how my taxes are spent.

        “Free markets do not deprive you of what you want. They deliver to you and everyone else what they want as proportionate to the numbers and extent that they want it as possible. ”

        I’ve never met a free market that provided what a national park can provide. I like national parks. I am happy with the way they have been created, and funding, except that I’d like for them to receive a bigger cut of the tax pie.

      • dhlii permalink
        January 18, 2016 6:42 pm

        Do you love the “national” parks, because they are run by the federal govenrment or because of their attributes ?

        If it is merely the former, I am sure we can put up a few national park signs at EPA superfund sites and you can enjoy national parks.

        If what you value is the experience of visiting them – then that experience will be provided by the market to the exact extent that you and others value it – because you and others value it.
        That is how free markets work.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 18, 2016 8:39 pm

        Do you actually read what you write before you press “send”?

        If you do not like paying taxes, then you could just stop paying them. I have read some people who assure us that taxes are illegal. I am happy to pay taxes and to have my taxes fund national parks.

        If you cannot understand why anyone might like a national park, then there is no point in continuing this particular “conversation” with you.

      • January 19, 2016 1:55 pm

        Right on, Anonymous!

      • January 19, 2016 1:35 pm

        Are you kidding, Dave? Left to the whims of private enterprise, privately owned “national parks” would be strewn with motels, chain restaurants, multiplexes, gift shops and even shopping malls.

      • January 19, 2016 1:41 pm

        Yeah, like the Trump Grand Canyon, featuring exclusive penthouse views, and pack-mules for trail rides dressed in bellhop uniforms.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 19, 2016 3:34 pm

        “Yeah, like the Trump Grand Canyon, featuring exclusive penthouse views, and pack-mules for trail rides dressed in bellhop uniforms.”

        Yeah. Like, they aren’t “natural.” 😉

    • dhlii permalink
      January 18, 2016 6:36 pm

      To my knowledge BLM is not overrun by communists.
      Just incompetents, who beleive they are entitled to impose their will on others by force.

      • January 19, 2016 2:02 pm

        I don’t think they’re necessarily communists, either. But they’re smarter than you think. Not very organized, but they have an agenda: to shame liberal and moderate whites into siding with their demands for quotas, reparations and other forms of special treatment… not to mention pummeling us daily with propaganda that casts whites as perpetual oppressors.

      • January 19, 2016 3:00 pm

        Yes, agreed, and now we have disgruntled blacks calling for other blacks to boycott the Academy Awards because no blacks were nominated for the premier catagories. They’re going to try to guilt the Academy into changing the way people are nominated.

        I find an ironic politically correct boomerang in these demands: nominees are chosen by the people who work in the film business, qualified members of the academy in good standing: actors, directors, writers, cinematographers, stunt coordinators, costume and set designers, etc. Those members are generally decidedly politically liberal – now they’re charged with being racist!

        To be a member of the Academy you need to have been previously nominated for an award, or be recommended for high competence by two members in the same discipline. Now the push is going to be to force the Academy to admit significiently more blacks, using other scales of ‘merit.’ This quota jamming assumes Blacks will objectively ‘identify’ with films and participants of their color and thereby counteract white bias – which is another way of saying they will vote race first and quality second for future award nominations.

        My answer to a black boycott (politically incorrect tho it will be) is my own white boycott: I won’t watch films or tv shows with black themes, and I will stop watching professional basketball, where while players are as rare as nuns in bikinis.

  26. dhlii permalink
    January 18, 2016 6:53 pm

    I used to have Southern Poverty Law Center listed as one of the groups that I would leave my wealth to when I died.

    No more.
    That vast expansion of “hate groups” by SPL is not so much the consequence of an increase in violent radical right wing groups – neo-nazi’s and the KKK, but by SPL expanding their definition of a hate group to include nearly any group on the right they disagree with.

    I am concerned about those groups right or life that are prepared to advocate for actual violence to acheive their objectives.

    Neo-Nazi’s and the KKK would certainly meet that criteria.

    I am not particularly concerned about groups that do not engage in or advocate for violence regardless of how heinous their views might be.
    SDL disagrees and has extended their net to include most any group uncomfortable with homosexuality – surprisingly the catholoci church was not labeled a hate group.
    But many other groups whose sole offense was to hold the same views on issues like homosexuality and abortion as those of the catholic church are defined by SPL as hate groups.

    If an SPL hate group is any group that SPL disagrees with – then the term has lost meaning.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 19, 2016 12:04 pm

      jimi888 –

      It’s a sad commentary about our political polarization. That Gallup poll … the top 3 candidates in the R party are Cruz, Carson, and Rubio. All three are struck by what Salon refers to as the “faith derangement syndrome.” I’m not anti-faith, not at all, but I have a serious problem with people who bring their personal religion into a political forum and expect that *their* religious notions will be a part of the *nations* aspirations. The religious right has an agenda, and it’s in serious opposition to the First Amendment.

      I’d like to feel better reading this article, but I have to wonder, how will Trump become the R party nominee with Gallup polls like this one?

      I’d still rather have a Trump over any of the Dominionist ilk.

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 19, 2016 12:20 pm

        Hi Anon, For me I’d have Trump last of all. Its one thing to have the “other side” in power, its another thing to have someone who truly has no capacity to run the government in power.

        The GOP may have that anti-abortion plank, and the top GOP candidates may be religiously opposed to abortion, but there is no threat to the basic Roe decision at all, in my opinion. If the GOP even seriously tries to undo the basic right to an abortion in actual fact rather than empty campaign rhetoric they will be out of congress very quickly. Its a thing they promise the religious voters but they themselves know it would be suicide to attempt. And, even if they don’t know, it would still be the end of them.

        If I remember planned parenthood has about a 75% popularity level. That 25% of Americans think differently, religiously is no surprise but little threat. Actually this issue is a threat, its a threat to the GOP.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 19, 2016 12:50 pm

        Easy things for you to say, jimi888. If you were a woman, needing an abortion, you’d see another side of my concerns.

      • January 19, 2016 1:43 pm

        We argue over the right of an individual to terminate a pregnancy, but we do not argue over the right of government to continue to spend money it does not have.

        We just went through a minor downturn in the economy in 2008 compared to anything that IS going to happen in the next 20 to 30 years if we keep spending the way we are.

        I would hope the people wake up soon and decide it is just as important to leave our kids a country that is as well off as it is now that we live in and stop debating one persons right to terminate a pregnancy. That is a personal choice and if they believe terminating a life is acceptable before birth, that is a choice they will have to live with.

        I believe the lives of the 4 million+ babies born today in America are more important than those terminated. But too few accept that position, so we are headed down the sewer pipe financially, leaving our kids and grandkids a cesspool of debt and a crappy life in the future.

      • January 19, 2016 1:11 pm

        “there is no threat to the basic Roe decision at all,”

        I do have concerns about Roe being overturned if Cruz is elected president, J888.

        According to the birthdates listed on the Supreme Court website, the court’s nine current justices will have an average age of 75 by the time the next presidential term ends on Jan. 20, 2021.

        When the next presidential term ends Ginsberg will be 88, Scalia and Kennedy will be approaching 85, Breyer will be 82. Cruz, who well knows the leanings of federal judges and legal scholars in the US, could stack the court with right leaning Justices. Then, you’d see a slew of legal challenges to Roe initiated by the anti abortion Republican establishment.

        Don’t underestimate Cruz’s willingness or ability to undermine legal abortions in th US. He’s a devious SOB (that’s not rumor, Priscilla; its character assessment) who will do whatever he can to circumvent abortion rights here. To my mind, he’d be the most untrustworthy president to hold office since Nixon: a dubious transition from Tricky Dick to Sneaky Ted.

        This is a face that belongs on a Wanted poster:

        https://www.google.com/search?q=ted+cruz&rlz=1C9BKJA_enUS672US672&hl=en-US&prmd=niv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwih5pDyrbbKAhUE4mMKHdTGCpUQ_AUICCgC#imgrc=WjAKgMZAXuPJEM%3A

        Or on a dart board.

      • January 19, 2016 1:42 pm

        Agreed. I think Cruz is the most dangerous of the GOP contenders because he’s 1) smarter than the average wingnut, 2) a theocrat, 3) hyperpartisan to the point of indifference (or even contempt) toward nonconservatives, and 4) yes, at least as devious as Nixon (or Hillary).

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 19, 2016 3:39 pm

        Agreed. Cruz is the most dangerous. I’ve even considered voting for Trump in the R primary to do my part to keep him out of the race. Though I’d much rather have HRC as a D candidate, at this point, than Sanders, I can live with Sanders if he wins. The man has a heart. How much damage could he do to the economy, anyway, as POTUS? He’s more likely to create the changes he desires from his seat in the Senate, I think.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 19, 2016 3:44 pm

        Jay, I share your concerns about the attack on Roe v. Wade.

        To me, Roe v. Wade is a very moderate position and a stellar piece of judicial work on this hot-button issue. The trimester delineation, and the logic behind it, is thoughtful, measured, and sensible.

        The extreme right fails to acknowledge the connections between their rigid, unyielding stance on women’s reproductive health rights and their angst about a “welfare state”, especially when you throw in their stance on the minimum wage and gender disparity in pay. Their failed logic is absolutely astounding.

      • January 19, 2016 5:07 pm

        The debate concerning abortion should not be one about the impact on the welfare state. It should be a debate on life, when it occurs and when it is OK to terminate that life. And if murder is covered by laws of each state, then each state should be creating laws covering abortion. The federal government should not be funding abortions and the federal government should not be making laws covering abortion rights in each state. If one more liberal state wants a 26 week limit with few regulations of abortion clinics, while another more conservative state wants a 20 week limit with abortion clinics required to meet outpatient surgery center regulations, that is up to the states, not the feds. That is why Cruz is down my list of acceptable candidates because he wants to impose his religious beliefs on others and that is not right.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 19, 2016 10:29 pm

        Abortion naturally falls into place with concerns about population, in general, though of course it isn’t the primary concern. When we look at services provided by a government to any of its members, it naturally comes into play with that issue, albeit indirectly. There are those who complain about providing any kind of united (government) support to those who are the most challenged or needy. So, the issues that arise related to unwanted/unneeded offspring naturally finds itself in the welfare discussion. We’ve all seen the meme about those who claim to care about human life from conception until birth, and after that, you’re on your own. I tend to see the religious right in this light on this issue.

        I don’t see abortion as murder. Even if I thought it so, I’d have a quandary, because war is also murder. And, more civilians are killed in war than are military combatants, as I understand it. To me, if one opposes abortion due to the belief that it is murder, and one is opposed to murder, then one should oppose all forms of murder. Once we begin to pick and choose which murders are OK and which are not, then we’re no longer so much concerned about murder, are we? There’s something else at play.

        That something else, to me, is religion. We have a First Amendment right to freedom of religion. My spiritual beliefs do not regard abortion as murder. My next door neighbor may have a different take on that. Each of us who are pregnant should have the right under the First Amendment to decide this issue for herself. It’s for this reason that I support a federal protection for the legality of abortion, covering all of the United States. The First Amendment applies to all of us…not just to some of us, or partially, depending upon which state we live in.

        If Roe v. Wade should be challenged further by the extreme religious right-wing, then I hope to see the right to abortion defended as a First Amendment right. The extreme-right wingers want to push the issue of First Amendment rights to claim they need to be free to discriminate against others based on their religion. Quid pro quo. Every woman should have the First Amendment right to decide about this professed religious issue for herself…with no restrictions in any state, because we are the United States.

      • January 20, 2016 1:06 am

        I think I agree with most of what you said. However, I view the First Amendment to guarantee the freedom from religion and the free exercising to worship as one see fit. When this amendment was written, the main reason was due to the demands of the English to promote a national church or “Church of England” and the founding fathers wanted nothing to do with that. (I could be way off, but that’s my take on the issue).

        Also, I have never understood ones position that they are against abortion because it is taking a life, even unborn, while they are hell bent on capital punishment. There have been too many people exonerated after years on death row for crimes they never committed. How many that were executed were also innocent, but they did not have the money or innocent commissions support to get the verdict overturned. So innocent lives have been taken by this form of punishment, but in the eyes of those supporting capital punishment that is fine.

        As for war, that is a completely different issue. During the Viet Nam war, hundreds of thousands of Americans were drafted into the armed forces for a war they did not support. These men were sent to war and it was kill or be killed. So when it comes to war killing another individual is self defense and is a completely different situation from abortion and capital punishment. Even with all volunteer services, soldiers, marines, sailors and others are sent to protect the country and the citizens. It is up to the politicians to determine what is a just war or not get involved. And once they do that, the objective should be massive destruction of the enemy with minimum casualties. Bush (41) did that and stopped when the job was done. Bush (43) got us into a war that totally screwed up the middle east and we are paying for that to this day. Obama has been a disaster along with Bush 43 since he plays games with the war efforts and once we were there, we needed to finish the job. He reduces troop strength to where those left are in a much more dangerous situation, then increases troops to offset the enemies strength, then reduces it once again letting the enemy know when the troop levels will be where they have an equal chance of victory in each skirmish. That is where we are today.

        I wonder what the opposition to Roe v Wade would use to try to overturn that decision. It was based on the right to privacy and was supported by a 7-2 decision where 4 republican appointments sided with the liberals on the court to reach that decision. I suspect this would be a 5-4 decision today with Roberts and Kennedy ruling the same as the Republicans did in 1973. And when Hillary appoints the next 3-4 justices, liberal progressive legislation will take off from the Presidents office as well as SCOTUS.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 20, 2016 2:56 pm

        “…I view the First Amendment to guarantee the freedom from religion and the free exercising to worship as one see fit.”

        So do I. To me, “freedom of religion” implies “freedom FROM religion.” I don’t think the framers wanted a society free from religion, necessarily, but they were intent upon insuring that every citizen had the freedom to decide that for themselves. That is what *choice* is all about. To have choice in a free society, we have to accept that there will be people making choices that we would not make for ourselves.

        I see the capital punishment situation the same as you. Too many wrongly convicted folk on death row. Again…if it is “murder” that one is opposed to, and that is the basis for opposing a woman’s right to choose to abort, because one also sees a fetus the same as a birthed infant, then how can they not possibly see criminal adults as being murdered when they are put to death? It’s hypocrisy. Though the hypocrisy itself is not the main thing that I object to, the hypocrisy needs to be noted, because it seriously undermines a “pro-life” argument. The “pro-life” tag is simply a religious right version of “political correctness.” Really, they are “anti-choice”, or “anti-abortion.’

        I’ve heard the “war is an exception” argument from many, when we talk about what “murder” is. There’s lots to be said about this one. For starters, if it’s about defense of the nation, then bring the boys home, so to speak. We have no business in Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever. Keep our military home for our nation’s defense. And then there is the point that you made: the draft, and how it forces a political decision involving a form of murder onto one who may not choose to murder.

        For the sake of the majority argument–that war is an exception to what we’ll call “murder”– we can consider that it is one of those Vision Statement things, that we will work towards a world where war is not chosen as a solution to conflict, but we accept that while getting there, we’ll continue to kill via a war machine. Okay. We are doing that. On that note, though, how can we say that it is murder if one woman chooses to abort her own fetus, but an army of mostly men can kill non-combatant citizens caught in the crossfire, and we’ll just call those unfortunate souls “collateral damage”? And basically write them off.

        Women are producing so many children that in spite of war, in spite of abortions, the world population is climbing to what some fear is an unsustainable level, and it will be that, if everyone on the earth is brought up to the standard of living that we enjoy in the USA (and we make no changes in our energy sources, land use policies, agri practices, pesticide use, water management practices, etc.)

        We need to accept that abortion is sometimes as necessary an option in our human civilization as is…well….war. Otherwise, we’re going to have to change a heckuva lot in how we operate as a species on this planet, to earn a claim to being “pro-life.”

      • January 20, 2016 9:21 pm

        I’m in agreement with you and Ron on abortion.

        I see a double standard hypocracy as you do in the ‘pro-life’ anti abortionists pro death penalty stance.

        But I’m in favor of abortion rights, AND the death penalty for heinous murderers.

        While it’s true there are occasional miscarriages of justice, including executions, they’re few and far between. And modern forensics is narrowing that number greatly. Accurate DNA and fingerprint testing has greatly reduced the number of suspects falsely charged or tried.

        For me, there is poetic justice in executing certain classes of evil people. Serial killers, paid assassins, cartel killers, thrill killers like the Manson brood, domestic terrorists who murder multiple victims, career criminals who kill when committing a felony – swift death for them. I’d like to see a two year maximum for appeals in those murder convictions, and then lights out. And I’d like to see a portion of the money saved (big bucks 💰 $$$) for not having to incarcerate them past that two year limit put into a fund for the families of their victims.

        And I’d like to have extensive public coverage of those executions, like public hanging of yore, with Munchkins singing celebratory songs to note that wickedness has been flushed down the toilet into eternity. 🚽

        Is pro capital punishment not moderate?

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 20, 2016 10:24 pm

        Thanks for your post, Jay. I got a good laugh out of that one! 🙂

        I have found myself feeling the same as you do about capital punishment, but only in cases where there is *no doubt* that the perp was the perp. The case of the West Memphis 3 comes to mind. That was clearly a case of false accusation, and I’m so glad to see that those three young men’s lives were spared. What a botched “investigation.” And the real killer is still out there, somewhere.

        I remember a point made by one of my political science professors, many years ago. He said, “Why kill them when we can study them and figure out what drives this kind of behavior? Why not learn from them?” He’s got a point, but how to actualize that would be the challenge, and as you say, it costs a lot of money.

      • January 19, 2016 1:33 pm

        …”All three are struck by what Salon refers to as the “faith derangement syndrome.” I’m not anti-faith, not at all, but I have a serious problem with people who bring their personal religion into a political forum and expect that *their* religious”

        And this is what we get when 80%+ of the voters do not vote in the primaries.

        The moderates, independents and others with more centrist positions can not bitch about the choices they have in a general election when they don’t care during the primaries. Some will say that they participate at the same level as the extremes of each party. If that were true, when viable candidates like Cruz, Trump and Rubio were running against viable candidates like Bush, Christie and possibly Kasich, there would not be the overwhelming support for the ones now leading. The only reason Romney was picked last time was due to the weak candidates running for the nomination. Michele Bachmann, John Huntsman, Rick Perry (the Oops guy), B. Roemer (who was he?), Rick Santorum (retired by Penn. Voters in earlier election), Newt Gingrich (out of government for 15+ years), and Ron Paul (elderly Libertarian, not GOP) were anything but a strong group for president.

        So when voters get out an exercise their rights, maybe we will have better choices to pick from.

  27. jimi888 permalink
    January 20, 2016 1:10 pm

    I’m not a constitutional scholar and I know that nothing in life is absolute, but my superficial understanding of supreme court decisions is that they do not get revisited directly. Once they decide that is it. They can be clarified, with may at times result is some partial reversal, but they do not just blunt get undone.

    It is not out of the question that with premature babies now surviving much earlier the time issue could get revisited and that is fine by me.

    Looking up dominionist it seems to me that its clear that there is something there with Cruz, his father is a aggressive christian nut and I easily believe that it runs in the family. Choosing between Trump and Cruz is like choosing whether you want to be in a terrible car accident or have cancer.

    As to Rubio, I am not as clear. Obviously he is very seriously Christian and doesn’t not mind mixing that with his politics. Obviously I do not agree with his positions on social issues. Whether he is as extreme as Cruz in that arena I am not sure of. I did a search for articles linking Rubio to dominionism and found really nothing in the mainstream media, it was all progressive media. When I start to see the NYTimes and Washington post go after that, they have higher standards than the progressive media and I will start to pay attention. I accept that there are evangelical christians in the world and that they like anyone else have the desire to impose their views of how things ought to be. I count on the Supreme Court to be the ultimate defence against that, and the voters to be the primary defence. Jefferson notably and explicitly extended his ideas of religious freedom to every possible religion, he even explicitly mention muslims.

    I certainly do not want an evangelical Christian as president trying to turn the US into a Christian enterprise. I believe that will blow up in the face of anyone who tries it at the presidential level. As time goes by the US will become less and less prone to old time religion and its impacts on politics. We are seeing the angry death throes of the evangelicals as a political force, but it may take 50-100 years before the death of that is undeniable.

    I would love to see both parties blow up and fragment into 2 at their conventions. I would love to see us get a right, a left, and a middle party as a result. It a bit far fetched judging by history and Congress has been sort of wired to be 2 party. As it is neither party can really afford to piss off their radical elements, they need every vote in a nation that is split 45-45. Many democrats shake their heads at the idea of free college to everyone and a $15 minimum wage. Many republicans shake their heads at the primitive social religious positions of the religious right. But neither party can afford to outright repudiate those ideological extremes.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 20, 2016 1:45 pm

      “I certainly do not want an evangelical Christian as president trying to turn the US into a Christian enterprise. ”

      Nor do any of us who value freedom as Americans understand it.

      “I accept that there are evangelical christians in the world and that they like anyone else have the desire to impose their views of how things ought to be. I count on the Supreme Court to be the ultimate defence against that, and the voters to be the primary defence.”

      If you’re counting on the Supreme Court to be the ultimate defense in this way, then you need to realize that the next POTUS will likely appoint two judges to the SC. Be very, very careful who you vote for in this election. For myself, I believe that the threat of the radical right Christians, and the Dominionists in particular, are a threat to be taken very seriously.

      “I did a search for articles linking Rubio to dominionism and found really nothing in the mainstream media, it was all progressive media. When I start to see the NYTimes and Washington post go after that, they have higher standards than the progressive media and I will start to pay attention. ”

      This is not the only issue in the world that is not being covered adequately by the mainstream media. Just because it’s only being covered by the left at this time doesn’t mean it’s not a real phenomenon. I believe that if one of these extremists wins the R nomination, you will see it in the mainstream media, because any opposing candidate who values our First Amendment rights will certainly be able to use this to his or her advantage. I know I’ll do my best to make sure it gets on the radar screen to the general public. I’m glad to see that you’ve made the effort to research it for yourself, jimi888. I have refrained from posting links–and I have some good ones–because I wanted to see who would be the first to actually do so. You win the prize. 🙂

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 20, 2016 2:06 pm

        I certainly understand about the supreme court and have made that argument over and over on Pro Sanders sites to the fanatics who will only vote for Bernie. BTW, have you heard of the BernieorBust Petition? Its was a brainchild of the same sorts of loony Nader people who were gleeful about torpedoing Gore and giving us Bush because “they are all just the same>” They were aiming at getting a million signers to leverage (blackmail) the democrats to choose Bernie. Its been a hilarious (oooh, there’s a political pun in that) colossal failure, last I looked there are only 36000 signers out of the entire Sanders nation. I point that out to them at, for example, HA Goodmans biweekly Huffpost Sanders propaganda nonsense every chance I get. Oh the mighty 36000 voters who will only vote for Bernie. Well, no big loss, they were never going to vote for a democrat anyhow. Off with them to form their own far left party and good riddance.

        As to my own vote, you do understand that I live in Vermont? Its 100% guaranteed that no Republican is going to get our mighty 3 electoral votes. My vote is a purely theoretical exercise. In the primary I will vote for either Hillary to say no to Sanders or for Rubio to combat the Trump Cruz horror.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 20, 2016 3:38 pm

        Yes, I have heard of the petition. I learned about it from one of those who have signed it. I’ll never forget the tone of that post: haughty. The poster informed me that if Sanders doesn’t win the D nomination, they’ll all just write him in. Even the host page, endorsing Sanders, pointed out to the poster, “You do realize that you might as well be voting for the Republican candidate, don’t you?” I agree, it’s like trying to hold HRC supporters hostage. Fools, that’s about all I can say for them. Frankly, it’s one of the reasons why Sanders lost any shine at all for me. His supporters…! I hope they do form their own party, and I’ve suggested as much to some of them. Same with the Tea Party. I realize that one doesn’t just go right out and “form a party”, like going shopping. I don’t even know the complexities of it. But the point is, if you want the benefits of a team sponsorship, be a team player. This is why I wish we had no parties…or if parties, then many of them. Two schools of thought don’t capture it all. Don’t all of us in this blog forum know it?!

        Good on you for researching Dominionism! I hope everyone here does that. It’s disturbing but it is “need to know” information.

        Before you get too excited about Rubio, though, you might want to read this article. I realize that Huff Post is left leaning, but it has credibility. This article appears to be well researched.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-wilson/marco-rubio-david-barton_b_7070914.html

      • jimi888 permalink
        January 20, 2016 3:52 pm

        As far as Bernie’s supporters go, he has tens of millions, including my mother and son (but not my daughters). 36000 have signed that pledge, those are the ones who are nuts, not the millions. So lets not have at everyone, just the crazies and good riddance to them and I think they are not such a large group as they would like to sound. Its the usual campus radical nonsense, a small group making a big noise.

  28. jimi888 permalink
    January 20, 2016 1:17 pm

    There is one wonderful thing I can attribute to Trump, in his honor (to puncture him with humor) Berk Breathed once more has dusted off Bloom County and publishes it when he feels like it on his facebook page. Its not syndicated, which means that he can get pretty politically incorrect or mature audience directed. I loved the old Bloom County, it was something looked forward to every day.

  29. January 20, 2016 5:35 pm

    There were a number of comments left since noon where I wanted to comment, but did not want to leave 5 or six, so started a new comment.

    In response to Rubio and Cruz and their religion as to how it would impact their governing. In most all cases, IMO ,evangelical Christians are much more likely to try and impose their beliefs on others to try to get them to be “born again” and accept the evangelical way of life. I describe that as being very conservative, unmovable in their beliefs and “witnessing” to others whenever and wherever they have a chance. And that is Cruz. Rubio, on the other hand, is a Catholic. In most individuals that are catholic, their religion is much more a private issue with them, although they will support the beliefs of the catholic church in most cases. But where you see Rubio questioning the Popes position on global warming and some other social issues, that would never happen in the case of Cruz and an evangelical position put forth by an evangelical leader. And this “dominionism” crap about Rubio is just some made up issues because Jeanette Rubio is not in the public eye as much as other candidates wives. It could also be that Colombian culture is different than American culture and her mother raised her in that manner and her relationship with Marco is different than what many have in a marriage. Just being a full time at home mother and not having an outside job is unique to American culture today. How many people can relate to that?

    As for the supreme court, some day 2 judges. I suspect more like 4 due to their ages now. I am all in favor of moderate judges, either moderate right or moderate left. But given a choice between appointments that would rule on the progressive side, being much more aligned with labor unions where right to work laws most likely would be overturned, more favorable rulings as it pertains to environmental laws impacting private property owners, decisions more favorable to minority workers (like the right for prayer breaks for muslims due to their religious requirements) and other laws upheld that would be too far left, I will choose the more right wing judges and positions they may have on issues. No laws will ever be 100% acceptable to everyone when they have to be upheld by SCOTUS, but fewer laws being upheld is better than more laws being upheld. Many of the laws today can not be enforced already. For instance, rob a grocery store with a gun. Two crimes. One state, robbery and one federal with a minimum sentence of 5 years in a federal pokey in addition to the state time in prison, use of a firearm in commission of a crime. How many of those are enforced?

    We see what happens with a liberal court and the rulings that have come down on Obamacare. Roberts stated “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them .If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.” In this ruling, they did not enforce the law based on the language in the law, they interpreted the legislation using a liberal point of view and in my mind that is not right. SCOTUS was never intended to legislate or try to get into someones mind. It is there to interpret what is on paper and if it were “tax or fine” written into the legislation, that is what the ruling should have been bases upon.

    As for a Huffington Post article. I put as much credence into their comments as I do a Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh or The Blaze. 5% truth and 95% crap.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 20, 2016 10:16 pm

      I realized when I posted that Huff post article that someone would slam it. I’ve not found Huff Post to be that erroneous, but I’m open to hearing a good example of such. Maybe it’s just that I don’t read it all that much anymore. However, this particular article brought up some connections between Rubio and David Barton that speak for themselves, whether or not you go for Huff Post in general. Maybe this one article is in the 5% truth.

      David Barton is a well known Christian evangelist who is an advocate of eliminating the long-held separation between church and state, and he cites early American history to make his claim. Look him up; you’ll see what he’s all about. He’s not well respected as an historian. He’s written a book that his publisher stopped publishing because it was full of errors and false claims. But he is passionate in his belief that the founding fathers intended for America to be founded on a conservative Christian interpretation of God and what God’s will is and that it has a front-row place in politics. That’s a big part of what Dominionism is all about.

      David Barton endorsed Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate. I don’t know if he’s endorsing him now for the POTUS, but the fact that he endorsed him for any political office, and the grounds on which he endorsed him, are smoking gun enough for me to see a link between Rubio and Dominionism. In essence, Barton said that Rubio was the best man for the job because he supports a right to life, in the anti-abortion sense, that is. And he took great license with the Constitution’s wording to suit the anti-abortion stance…that the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness means “right to life” as in no abortions. He’s got a twist to things that to me, is out of bounds and disturbing. Further, in the video I’ve seen, he jumped to the conclusion that because Rubio acknowledges we’re under God’s law, and understands “right to life”, that he will automatically make the “right” decisions about economic issues. That may not sound dangerous to you, but it does to me. You can hear what he has to say about Rubio for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClkYK3Ehiak

      I don’t care if Rubio is Catholic; I don’t see how that makes him immune from a conservative religious agenda to put fundamentalist Christians in political office. Rubio wants to be POTUS. If he can get some traction from this group, he will, I think.

  30. January 21, 2016 1:44 pm

    Heard an interesting analysis of the polarized GOP. based on their take, the GOP has a triangular shape and not polarized with two yet. 35% of the GOP supporters are totally pissed with the government and supporting Trump. 33% are evangelicals and supporting Cruz, with a few supporting Carson. The remaining 33% are main stream GOP and supporting multiple candidate. The problem being with the large number of March primaries, few of the weaker candidate splitting the mainstream vote will be eliminated and that group will not be able to rally around one candidate, so Trump and Cruz will march into the convention with most of the delegates. Hard for any more moderate GOP to get the nomination.

    I can’t wait for the general. Can you imagine how this countries political process will be mocked by foreign countries if Hillary is knocked out due to the continuing e-mail problems and we have a Sanders/Trump campaign.

    By the way Anonymous, the Huff Post has an article today saying how insignificant this latest secrecy of the e-mail release by Clinton is after the inspector general for the State Department, an appointment by the Obama administration, has said how bad the release was because many exceeded top secret. That is what i meant by 95% crap.

    • January 21, 2016 2:06 pm

      If Hillary is indicted or disqualified or the consensus among democratic leadership is she’s been electorally wounded beyond repair – she’ll be convinced to drop out, and Biden will be drafted to replace her.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 21, 2016 6:09 pm

        Biden doesn’t want to run. There is no “draft” in the campaign…he can say No. What are they going to do…take away his retirement package?

      • January 21, 2016 7:21 pm

        Biden’s been quoted in several news sources earlier this month saying he regrets not running for president every day, though it was the right decision for him and his family at the time.

        But if push comes to shove (Hillary has to be pushed aside; and Bernie has to be shoved away) I think Biden slips in. Especially if Obama says Biden will have his backing. Again, that’s worse case scenario, Hillary neutralized by the fickle middle finger of fate, and Bernie fatally flawed by the socialist cement poll ceilings.

        Biden could then rustle up Elizebeth Warren for VP to corral in the Bernie vote and the women’s vote, or that former black governor of Mass, Devel Patrick, to really solidify the black vote, and the Dems would be in decent shape to win.

        Of course I would only be backing them with Patrick or Warren on the ticket if Creepy Cruz is theRepublican candidate; if Trump is the candidate I’d sit out the election (assuming Trump doesn’t get progressively nuttier as the race chugs along) and proportionately increase my intake of Jack Daniels.

        These are surely the times that try men’s (women too) stomach linings and whisky bills.

      • January 21, 2016 6:47 pm

        Boy. Biden getting the establishment fix over Sanders who might have higher support level from voters will sure tick off many on the liberal side of things. Just like the establishment side of the GOP trying some hanky panky getting someone else but Trump nominated if he has the majority of the support.

        All I have to say is the United States could and should be able to do better in both parties with nominees that are qualified to provide leadership, both domestically and internationally. The current list of candidates would not even be able to carry JFK’s or RR’s underwear, let alone sit in the same office as those two. And they are not always considered in the top ten by historians. The current group of candidates for both parties might even make Warren Hardy and Herbert Hoover look like presidential scholars.

        We can do better, we deserve better and we should get better. But we get the best money can buy.

    • January 21, 2016 4:21 pm

      “the inspector general for the State Department, …”

      Ron, I can’t find the HuffPost article for this, you have a link to it? Or explain more precisely what he said?

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 21, 2016 6:00 pm

        Jay, I looked for the Huff Post article too, and couldn’t find it. But HP did have a link to this article, from NBC: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/officials-new-top-secret-clinton-emails-innocuous-n500586

        Ron, is this the one you’re referring to? What are you doing reading HP, BTW? 😉

      • January 21, 2016 6:40 pm

        Thanks for the link, Anonytrix (thought I’d give you a suffix with a touch of feminine ‘anonymousness’). 😇.

        That article needs more distribution. I haven’t heard any mention of it elsewhere.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 21, 2016 7:14 pm

        “Thanks for the link, Anonytrix (thought I’d give you a suffix with a touch of feminine ‘anonymousness’). 😇.’

        Hey, I kinda like that! Maybe I’ll set up a new Word Press ID and that’ll be my new screen name.

        “That article needs more distribution. I haven’t heard any mention of it elsewhere.”

        Thank you, Huff Post, huh? 😉

      • January 21, 2016 7:13 pm

        This was not the specific article, but it is much the same and since it is NBC, I would not expect them to agree with the IG’s findings either.

        The question that I want answered before she runs is did she or did she not violate the law by having secret information on her home computer. Yes or No. I don’t care if some people say the information is a little secret, somewhat secret or a lot secret. The law does not say that Top secret information should be looked at from different perspectives or levels of top secret. It just says it is illegal to have secret data on an unsecured server anywhere.

        I don’t want another president sitting in the White House spending their time defending attacks from the opposition party like Clinton did with Monika. The level of discourse in Washington today is at a level which means anything the opposing party can begin investigating, they will. And that goes for both parties, although the GOP is perfecting that operation.

        We need attention on issues, not personal attacks

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 21, 2016 9:11 pm

        The email issue hit me wrong the first time I heard about it. My thoughts were, “For God’s sake, why’d you do this? You should have known it would be controversial.” By history, she’s been very possessive of her work, communications, etc. I imagine that this is an extension of that.

        Re: if what she did was legal or not. I don’t understand why there isn’t a clear-cut answer to this. That’s what’s most confusing to me.

        “We need attention on issues, not personal attacks.”

        It’s up to the opposing party to refrain from personal attacks; it’s not about the candidate or elected official, necessarily. Parties get a lot of traction from personal attacks on their opponents, because we let them. I agree that the R party will be the greatest pot stirrer on this level. Witness the birther issue with Obama, and the accusations of him being a Muslim…as if it is illegal to be a Muslim. There’s always some kind of accusation of lying. Yet, on the concern about whether or not Cruz’s Canadian birth makes him ineligible for the office, so far there’s no equal concern from the birther R’s about that. Maybe we ought to elect Sanders, if we want to avoid personal attacks. He’s probably the least susceptible to those.

        Why can’t these “mystery questions” would be resolved *now* ? That’s the real question. Was what she did illegal, or not? Is Ted Cruz eligible to serve as POTUS, or not? Either of these two candidates will have issues hanging over their heads if they are elected until the questions are answered.

      • January 22, 2016 12:38 am

        “Why can’t these “mystery questions” would be resolved *now* ? That’s the real question. Was what she did illegal, or not? Is Ted Cruz eligible to serve as POTUS, or not? Either of these two candidates will have issues hanging over their heads if they are elected until the questions are answered.”

        They won’t be addressed. I have come to the conclusion no politician wants to address the real issues facing this country.
        1)Debt reduction
        2)Deficit eliminated
        3)Real, true constructive immigration reform
        4)Real, massive tax reform eliminating all deductions and exemptions
        5) By-partisan review of Obamacare and addressing the true negative impacts this has had on individuals. (ie huge increase in deductible where people still can not afford medical care, even with insurance coverage)
        6) Revision to the Social Security program to insure people get what they paid in (plus the computed rate of interest income based on historical stock market returns) over their working lifetime. (It is not an entitlement, but a mismanaged investment program that many investment managers have gone to jail over when mismanaging private investments this poorly)
        7) Revision to the Medicare program to insure those that need medical coverage receive it, while those that do not, are not covered (means testing)
        8) Zero based budget for all government programs.
        9) Trade programs that protect American industries so companies like GM can not take government handouts or tax loopholes and then move operation to foreign countries where cost are less and profits are increased at the cost of taxpayers.

        None of this will be address, none of it will be discussed and all we will hear is the 30-40 year old arguments we have heard over and over because that is what they want to discuss so they do not have to do anything constructive.

        As for Hillary and e-mails, I doubt anything will come of it and it most likely will not be found illegal under the secrecy laws. But one has to wonder about her common sense in using a private server to receive and store classified material. What does this say about her decision making processes when it would come to something much bigger.

      • January 22, 2016 1:12 am

        “What does this say about her decision making processes when it would come to something much bigger.”

        Yeah it was a dumb move, but the kind of techno_dumbness I’d equate with using your birthdate for a password to your bank accounts. And I think she hired a tech company to provide security for the info flowing through it. Unless you’re tech savvy, it probably wouldn’t occur to her the system was vulnerable to hacking (this was pre Snowdon and wiki leaks, etc).

        And so I’d say it doesn’t say much at all about the serious decision making a president has to make, like on all those problem issues you listed. And she does have a shrewd former president there to advise her., hubby Bill. And she is a very smart woman when it comes to assimilating policy issues. Last week I heard her being pointedly quizzed on one of the news shows about various issues, and she was in command of her answers with dates and citations and statistics that showed a supple understanding of processes and potentials. She’d be a match for Cruz in a policy debate.

        None of that means I want her as president, but the options on the other side are proving less attractive each day. It’s like watching a TV with no off switch and only two operable channels: Fox and MSNBC.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 22, 2016 1:48 am

        “And so I’d say it doesn’t say much at all about the serious decision making a president has to make, like on all those problem issues you listed. ”

        I have to agree with you on this one.

        And look at the other choices we have…and *their* issues. Those folk who think they are on a mission from God to make the nation a fundamentalist Christian one, they’re the ones who scare me.

        That said, the right wing fears HRC as much as I fear the Dominionists. Hillary is a strong, capable woman, and has the most experience, hands down, of any of them. How can you beat 8 years in the White House, 8 years in the Senate, and 4 years as Secretary of State? So, we can try to imprison her over her bad judgement over the emails, or we can give her a chance to bring some moderation into play. She’s the closest viable alternative there is to moderate, that I can see.

      • January 22, 2016 1:09 pm

        “or we can give her a chance to bring some moderation into play.”

        OH thank you, I was sitting here getting more aggravated with the miserable weather and the fact I will not be able to get outside and do much for the next few days when you posted this “funny” that made my day.

      • January 21, 2016 11:34 pm

        “The United States government classification system is established under Executive Order 13526, the latest in a long series of executive orders on the topic.[1] Issued by President Barack Obama in 2009, Executive Order 13526 replaced earlier executive orders on the topic and modified the regulations codified to 32 C.F.R. 2001. It lays out the system of classification, declassification, and handling of national security information generated by the U.S. government and its employees and contractors, as well as information received from other governments.[2]”

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classified_information_in_the_United_States

        If Obama lays out the system of classification, can he retroactively Exempt his Sec of State from being bound by protocols limiting how he/she accesses the info? If there’s no evidence Hillary’s server was breached, or any classified info stolen, and she and her staff had clearance to access those documents, and there was some due diligence in securing her private server, where’s the criminal negligence?

      • January 22, 2016 12:19 am

        Thanks for that info. It then led me to this site.
        http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/04/02/396823014/fact-check-hillary-clinton-those-emails-and-the-law

        Section 1924 is the one that would be the one that would cause the most problems. Based on this article and the comments made by Grassley, it appears all the GOP and right wing news coverage is hyperbole and it won’t go anywhere.

        So I guess we hear another 10 months of GOP missnews all while the real issues facing the country goes uncovered.

      • January 21, 2016 7:01 pm

        Well I find this very interesting. It was on the Yahoo home page where different articles are listed. It had some title like ” Inspector generals findings questioned by ???, but I don’t remember the name. I clicked on it, it has some individual I had never heard of talking about the IG’s finding and when it was apparent to me this was a political party argument and not an independent talking about the findings, I closed the link. I can’t find it now, either on Yahoo home page or HuffPost, so it appears they have deleted the post. Sorry.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 21, 2016 6:05 pm

      “Can you imagine how this countries political process will be mocked by foreign countries if Hillary is knocked out due to the continuing e-mail problems and we have a Sanders/Trump campaign.”

      I imagine that they are already mocking us. I’ve got a friend who lives in Canada, and she’s astounded at the religious right influence on the one hand, and the fact that Sanders has gotten as far as he has, as well. We’re something to see, apparently.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 22, 2016 11:40 pm

        Dear Anonymous,

        I can understand you thinking that the U.S. is mocked by some people in foreign countries because of Trump (as he is a dangerous narcissist and below the office of the POTUS, etc.) Let’s not talk more about the Casino owner please.

        But let’s see why you think Bernie Sanders invites mockery. If it is because of the “S” word, consider this: a healthy capitalist system will out-perform a socialist system, but we no longer have a healthy capitalist system.

        Nothing wrong with creating wealth, but the widening Wealth Gap is another story. Our system has been hijacked, bought, and sold. You shouldn’t need much more proof than the widening Wealth Gap and examples of decay such as the water crisis in Flint, MI., but plenty more proof exists.

        Of the available candidates, I believe Sanders is our best chance of stopping a runaway train and starting back to a government by the People and for the People. And I’ve been a registered Republican for decades.

        This election is going to turn into more and more of a populist movement, and many already see HC as an establishment candidate posing as a Democrat, much like Barak. Despite the electoral college, Sanders has a good chance of beating HC. One or two events will sway the media and the people and then enough electors of this insane country. We will see in the coming months.

        After Sanders is the Dem nominee, and after Trump is understood to be a narcissistic loose cannon too dangerous for this world, then it will be populist candidate vs big money establishment Republican, and all is pointing to a REAL populist to win, whether his hair is messy or not!.

      • January 23, 2016 1:18 am

        One has to wonder when America and Americans will stop drinking the cool-aide fed to them by politicians and media with an agenda and begin to try to understand the issues that exist today and why.

        Do we have a growing income inequality? Yes. Are there a small number of individuals getting richer the income for the mass is flat? Yes. But one has to look at the actual reasons and resist buying into the “Wall Street hate speech.

        Look at any chart from the early days of this country to today. You will find that income inequality had a growing divide for most of the history of this country until the depression of the 30’s when it became smaller. After the depression this divide did not grow much until the last 29 years or so due to the increasing industrial output of the country. A manufacturing company required highly skilled labor that paid a good wage. Machinist, tool and die makers and other skilled labor positions were widely available and men could go to high school, get introduced to skill and then either go to a community college or to a company as an apprentice and work themselves into good paying jobs. Demand for American products created more jobs because the people had a good income. People were able to buy new cars every 3-5 years. They purchased homes and as their families grew, they sold smaller homes and purchased larger homes. And in most cases, what they owned was paid for except the car or home and the car usually was paid for in 3 years.

        Now we live in a country where little is manufactured internally. Most everything we buy is made in a foreign country. Car production, except some foreign car labels, are produced in Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Australia and other foreign countries. That has cost thousands of jobs and billions in wages. Furniture is no longer made in America, most comes from China. That has resulted in the loss of thousands of craftsmen jobs and billions in wages. And you can go to any store, turn over the item and find a “made in” label that will show anywhere but “USA”.

        So there are a couple of issues that have accelerated the division even more. Along with the fact that the younger generation is now living in a service society where incomes are generally less than in a manufacturing society where skill needs are greater, we have two other issues that have created income inequality. One is the fact that the older generation was able to build wealth during the 50’s through the 90’s due to good paying manufacturing jobs and home asset appreciation. This allow many to invest in the stock market and again build wealth through investment income. The other was the technical grow that took place in the 90’s when small startups attracted investors and their companies exploded and billions were added to a small number of individuals incomes.

        We can not solve the income inequities through political actions like those supported by Bernie. It will have to come the same way that the inequality was created. Slow and through a movement from a service based economy back to a manufacturing economy. You can not redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor and create a strong economy. That is a subject for a different time.

        As for flint and its water problems. That is not due to inequalities in wealth. That is due to two things. One, the constant pollution of the river, with much of it coming from chemicals used on roads for ice removal that corrodes the pipes and leaches out lead and the financial problems from liberal mismanagement of the cities finances that resulted in emergency efforts to meet the debt demands without filing bankruptcy. One of the first actions were to switch from the Detroit water system to the Flint river to reduce cost. And that was created since the cities budget was 7 million in the whole and had to pay back 8 million borrowed the year before to meet liabilities from various needs.

  31. jimi888 permalink
    January 22, 2016 11:15 am

    Oh, for god’s sake, Hillary is not going to jail. Just another non-issue.

    As well, Ron very sensibly characterized the religious implications of evangelists vs. Catholics. JFK was a Catholic and the world did not come to an end. 70-80% of Americans are Christian, we are likely to have presidents who are Protestant or Catholic for the rest of my life and I am OK with that if they are not a Dominionist nut like Cruz, and there are other equally nutty Christian righties among the GOP candidates, but they have no traction. If Cruz becomes the GOP nominee his extreme religious views will be a very heavy burden and will work mightily against him. If Rubio becomes the candidate religion will not be a very huge issue. I would say that that this is already reflected in the polling. Cruz loses to Hillary, while Rubio is tied. (I believe that all those polls will be tremendously different after the conventions. )

    The fact that some religious nut job endorsed Rubio does not greatly worry me either, Rev. Wright endorsed Obama, and I don’t think that there is any real resemblance between Obama’s politics and actions and the extreme things Rev Wright says and believes. Its like the stuff that some (by no means all) Sanders supporters throw at Hillary, she is the Monsanto candidate, the private prison candidate, the wall street candidate, the neo con foreign policy candidate. To me that is all just a load of rubbish. There is some small grain of truth in these accusations but its exaggerated beyond all proportion. Rubio’s religion is a valid question but I think that if he becomes the nominee he will be examined and mostly pass, while his extreme positions on social issues will work against him with moderates and women and hurt him.

    It is so difficult to filter the real concerning issues from the hyperbole and nonsense.

    Unless Sanders pulls off some miracle or the Dem convention explodes the party then I think that Hillary is our next president. It will be another divisive term and the GOP will run endless investigations that will very likely get nowhere. I’m not looking forward to it.

    • January 22, 2016 12:40 pm

      So no matter who wins, I’ll be disappointed.

  32. Roby permalink
    January 22, 2016 11:30 pm

    I know this is sort of low, but it hits the nail on the head:

    • January 23, 2016 12:21 am

      What a great picture.

      • Roby permalink
        January 23, 2016 9:15 am

        In a terribly terribly sad way. I could not watch the movie and I cannot watch this election.

  33. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 12:25 am

    Bernie Sanders surges to 1st Place in Iowa in latest CNN poll Thursday, 1/21/16.

    With less than 2 weeks until the Iowa Caucus, Sanders has opened up an 8 point lead.

    This new polling data from Iowa comes on the heels of another CNN poll released earlier this week showing Sanders taking a commanding 27 point lead in New Hampshire, where he currently leads 60% to 33% over Clinton.

    These early victories will create a buzz.

    People don’t trust HC. They do trust Sanders. Is Sanders the Messiah? NO. Do I like everything about Sanders? NO. Is he going to get elected? I think so.

    • January 23, 2016 12:56 am

      Hey Pat! I think Bernie Sanders would be a disaster as POTUS, but I do see him as genuine.
      Hillary, aside from being 110% corrupt, doesn’t appear to even have the average politician’s talent for pretending to be genuine. I get Bernie’s appeal, for sure. I may not feel the bern, but if he beats Hillary in the early primary states, things will certainly get much more interesting, and that will be fun.

  34. Roby permalink
    January 23, 2016 9:05 am

    Huff post, meh, But Nate Silver, I do believe:

    fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-arent-republican-leaders-rallying-behind-marco-rubio/

    Guess Rubio fooled me a bit, or I fooled myself.

    • January 23, 2016 10:36 am

      I don’t think so, Roby (you’re Roby again, yay!). I could be wrong (it would be a first 😉 ) but I think that you have some latent conservative tendencies….compassionate conservative tendencies, of course

      Rubio is a pretty standard “establishment conservative,” whatever the heck that means. Nothing scary or revolutionary, just not sufficiently “in with the in-crowd” yet. I also think that he is considered by many GOP establishmentarians to be a wet-behind-the-ears usurper of Jeb Bush’s dynastic ambitions. I don’t know about where you are, but I see dozens of anti- Rubio ads by Jeb’s super PAC, all accusing him of being a flip-flopper, not conservative enough, etc. Why not attack Trump or Cruz, since they are presumably the front’runners? But Bush and Christie seem intent on destroying Rubio, most likely for their own political advantage, as someone has to be the “establishment choice.

      If I had to pick among the so-called establishment guys, I think I might go with Kasich. I originally couldn’t stand him, but he’s growing on me. For now anyway, I’ve given up on Cruz ~ mostly just because I don’t like him or trust him, not because I think he’d be some kind of crazy Christian mullah or something. So, I amend my forced choice to be”Trump pver Hillary/ Trump over Cruz. Lord help me.

      • Roby permalink
        January 23, 2016 10:54 am

        Yes, I have changed my name again, this time deliberately. My icon didn’t match Jimi and I am too lazy to take a photo of my psychedelic strat (courtesy of my artist younger daughter) and turn it into an icon that matches the spirit of Jimi. It was easier to get Roby back again.

        I have pretty strong belief in Silver he knows his shit, super competent like Larry Summers wasn’t.

        My best possible hope is that at the GOP convention there is a successful draft Romney movement.

        Buckley said that conservatives are sitting astride history screaming Stop!

        I think that is actually moderates. Conservatives are screaming Go Back! I am at the vanguard of nothing (unless its the mighty non-existent moderate party). I am a coward and freely admit it (as I did loudly in Moscow when my 80+ father in law was driving his decrepit nearly brakeless Lada at 120 KPH on the Sadovoye Koltso.) I don’t want interesting times. I’m no historian but I have read Some history, it sounds nasty (brutish and short).

      • January 23, 2016 3:04 pm

        Priscilla, the reason Bush is attacking Rubio is due to the lineup the GOP has. 1/3rd of the voters are pissed off with anything the GOP does, so they have aligned with Trump. 1/3rd are evangelical voters, so they are aligned with Cruz. That leaves 1/3rd that are the establishment GOP voters and they are split between 5-6 candidates. Each of those candidates believes if they can get the majority of those voters behind them, then they can begin to take some of the Trump voters that are not solidly behind Trump and also pull a few from Cruz and gain momentum to capture the nomination. But first they have to destroy the other 4-5 running in that track to even make a dent and gain a few percentage points in the polls. That is why you see all the negative crap between them and not attacking Trump or Cruz.

  35. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 10:10 am

    Hi Priscilla,

    I agree with your post above, even TO AN EXTENT about a Sanders’ Presidency being a disaster ( ! ) …

    but I see it as a necessary, last-chance, rough and bumpy RE-BOOT that is a better desperate option than where our un-sustainability is taking us, which is increased Oligarchy and…I’ll stop there. I wouldn’t want to scrape my nails down a blackboard and startle any middle-class folks with decent careers and decent families who are managing their own lives fairly well but are shielded from how artificially our economy is propped up with the Fed’s printing of money and our military used as global thug to preserve certain…arrangements.

    OK, so I didn’t completely stop. Roby will be calling me a conspiracy theorist and posting videos of violinists playing soothing music (oh, like on the Titanic, couldn’t resist!)

    I think Rand Paul could push some needed changes more gradually and more in line with my Republican, “personal responsibility, no free ride” beliefs, but unfortunately there are too many Republicans running and too much media control, and too much narcissistic Trump, for Rand to be elected. That brash young Kentucky son of a doctor can’t ride the populist wave like the messy-haired activist grandpa can!

    Fasten your seatbelts, People!

    • Roby permalink
      January 23, 2016 10:27 am

      Here is your soothing music Pat!

  36. Roby permalink
    January 23, 2016 10:41 am

    They had a revolution in Ukraine a while back, they wanted to join Europe and live like the Poles. Judging by the conversations I have with people in different regions of Ukraine with different political views who I talk to on skype it has not quite turned out that way and most people want their Old Life back; their present one is much, much worse. Partly because of Russia and Putin but also partly because Europe was not as committed to the relationship as some wanted to believe. And there are always such impediments and complications.

    I’m going to make a fortune, I’m going to set up a crash course Swedish language website for disgruntled progressives after about April when all has been made clear about Bernie’s real chances.

    Moral: sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. If John Lennon didn’t want an actual revolution, then I am certainly not brave enough. And a revolution is what you will get if the 5% of the country who want a Swedish 50% tax welfare state get power and try to force people in Nebraska and Idaho, to say nothing of those in Texas or South Carolina into that direction. Nope, not me, revolutions give me a rash.

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world

    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know that you can count me out

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We’re all doing what we can

    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright, al…

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You’d better free your mind instead

    But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

    Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright

    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright

  37. Roby permalink
    January 23, 2016 11:13 am

    Now here is plain speaking, why can’t she run for president and replace Trump?

    • January 23, 2016 1:45 pm

      Ah, the Fruit Cake Lady, Truman Capote’s outspoken aunt.What an outraged out-pour of hostility she’d engender from present day feminists. I heard a handful of them badmouthing Hillary on CNN the other day, claiming Hillary is out of touch with the goals and aspirations of their generation of young woman. Those Ms were supporting Bernie, who the said was more in touch with issues affecting them.

      The FC Lady couldn’t run of course, unless her ghost could be raised – she passed away some years back. But if Hillary evoked some of the FC Lady’s beligerent anti PC forthrightness into her utterances it would gain her more support than it would lose among the disgruntled electorate.

      Wouldn’t it be refreshing, for instance, if someone in the audience at one of her appearances asked her why she thought Trump was so obnoxious and insulting to opponents, and Hillary said, “That’s typical behavior of men with small penises, overcompensating with aggression is typical of those with Teeny Weenie syndrome.”

    • January 23, 2016 8:35 pm

  38. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 12:18 pm

    A hint as to why I want fellow Republicans to leave their orbits, shed their very skin, and re-consider Bernie Sanders: (I’m sorry for the length. I don’t know how else to try to reach hard-working, good Americans who have built themselves a good life…)

    As I’ve said before on TNM, I’ve been a card-carrying Republican for decades, even when I was living check-to-check, which was also for decades, because I’ll be damned if I want my hard-earned tax dollars going to any lazy or irresponsible son-of-a-bitch (other than a very temporary safety net, because it’s actually cheaper to retrain someone in the short term than let them drag down society for the long haul…but that’s another discussion…)

    So, fellow TNMers, please know I believe deeply in personal responsibility, private property, capitalism, merit-based society, “what YOU can do for your country, rather than what your country can do for you,” pull yourself up by your boot straps and grab a broom if you gotta,—all that. (My wedding reception in 1984 was in a gym (basketball court) and my first row house in Philadelphia didn’t have a front door (no door, just a hole) so I know about starting out lean and working up for the American Dream!)

    I think it helpful to understand I’m a few notches left of the Ayn Rand “constructivism” level of capitalism worship, or dhliii-Dave free market religion—because some regulation is needed—By the People—not bought from the very top, as we are now witnessing with our Oligarchy siphoning the U.S into bankruptcy and out of existence…

    Please, fellow middle-class Americans, people who have worked for what they have, if it helps picture a dozen or so giant suction machines with hoses to every town, sucking out the wealth, the dollars, the power, the freedom…oh, there goes another U.S. municipality in bankruptcy, oh there go more millennials living in their parents’ basement, water debacle in Flint, storefronts on Mains Streets in State capitals boarded up, people losing it and shooting innocent people, people losing it and shooting cops…etc. etc. et cetera

    You see, it used to be that breakdowns and failures were somewhat local because of bad decisions in the context of an otherwise thriving nation. So, as a hard-working person you would shake your head and think “those people should have gotten their act together, reap what you sow,” etc. But now it’s different. It’s systematic and ACCELERATING. It’s an Unprecedented Consolidation sucking away the very infrastructure and institutions of our society, and whatever comfortable situation you may be in is not secure. It’s harder for many people who are still in the last vestiges of the middle class to see how our once-great nation has jumped the shark, and how important it is to turn off the suction machines.

    Even if you are a 1%-er at the top, what type of society will you live in?

    At least the election of Bernie Sanders will send a strong message before the CIA maybe takes him out. Hopefully there will be enough of a team in place to carry on the process of what? Dismantling capitalism? No. Of steering corrupt trillions into a temporary federal jobs program to build us back up, ALONGSIDE the private sector, which everyone with a brain knows is more efficient than government when it is free enough to compete and thrive.

    I am too long already for this platform, and can’t cover so much…Sorry if this sounds conspiratorial or extreme. It’s what I truly see with my honest heart.

    Someone try and tell me how all the other Presidential options do not lead to a continued, increasingly powerful Oligarchy, and what will that lead to? Sporadic bloody rebellions squashed, eventually an absorption of our U.S. into a North American Union which facilitates Global Commerce. Whatever middle class reality you might be in is not far from decline if the Unprecedented Consolidation suction machines continue collapsing our nation at increased rate.

    Don’t worry about ISIS. We have a Star Trek military.

    I think I’ve been fair and reasonable for enough years on TNM to at least pour out my heart here. I cling to hope that enough people will come out of their comfort zones in time.

    • January 23, 2016 1:18 pm

      How woul you feel about this moderate republican entering the race, Ron?

      Bloomberg seriously considering White House bid, source says
      http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/23/politics/michael-bloomberg-president-2016/index.html

      • January 23, 2016 1:20 pm

        Sorry, that was for you Pat R.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 23, 2016 1:54 pm

        I’d say Bloomberg is intelligent, distinguished, and “presidential.” I think he’s fiscally conservative enough to control spending somewhat, but I think he’s too much of a nanny-state progressive. He lost me when he attempted to outlaw large soft drinks. It’s easy to think Bernie Sanders is a big government Statist, but I believe Grandpa is for The People and wants to steer money back to The People in order to save the Republic, to give bottom-up a chance with some help from the top. Even if all of Bloomberg’s fortune is legit, he’s from the financial sector. I don’t think he relates to the common man or woman in the same solar system with activist Bernie.

      • January 23, 2016 2:01 pm

        The story said he run as an Independent 3rd party candidate, only if Bernie and Dinald were the two opposition candidates.

        Think he has a chance of sucking votes away from both of them and winning?

      • January 23, 2016 2:30 pm

        Bloomberg is an interesting choice, because of his total independence from donors, his strong emphasis on fiscal management and public safety (he continued all of Guiliani’s policies, most significantly “stop-and-frisk” which DiBlasio has discontinued), added to his nanny-statism (outlawing the 16 oz soda, trans-fats, etc in NYC and his strong anti-gun profile. He has been a Democrat, a Republican and an Independent, depending upon which offered him the best political opportunity. He’s clearly a smart, competent guy, with significant executive and business experience, and has always been willing to put his almost unlimited money where his mouth is. He strikes me as principled and relatively honest, although, who knows with any of these guys?

        If Trump were to be the GOP nominee, I could see myself voting for Bloomberg…. it would depend on his foreign policy positions, how extreme he is in his opposition to the 2nd amendment, and, well, I don’t know, lol. Events would have to play out….but I think that, if a moderately conservative voter like me is willing to consider voting for someone like Bloomie, there are probably others…….

      • January 23, 2016 2:31 pm

        By the way, sorry, I know that you were interested in Pat’s opinion, but again, I just jumped in!

      • January 23, 2016 2:57 pm

        No problem, Priscilla; like conversations at the neighborhood pub, anyone can pipe in anytime.🍻🍷🍸🍹

      • Ron P permalink
        January 23, 2016 3:54 pm

        Jay, since I do not know anything about Bloomberg other than he was a Democrat turned Republican turned independent I really can’t say. All I have heard about is his gun control initiatives and his cup control initiatives and all of that came from more right wing news and that is all one sided. If he runs and his positions on national issues aligned with mine, I would seriously consider voting for him. The one very important issue would be what type of SCOTUS appointments will he make as that is #1 in my mind this election.

    • January 23, 2016 3:31 pm

      This is what is wrong with Americans today. They believe we have a president that is a king or queen who can spread their wand and things will happen. They believe that Bernie Sanders will be elected president and he will be able to change the tax code so the 1% are paying 90% tax and that money will then go to “a temporary federal jobs program to build us back up”. Two things are wrong with that statement. One, even Nancy Pelosi would not support such a thing as she is in the 1% and do you believe she would do that to her and her husband. I do not. The second thing is that word “temporary. When was the last time you found anything temporary? To do this program, thousands would have to be hired by the feds to administer it and once hired, they never leave employment. And if that temporary program was put in place, what job training would you provide. All the skilled labor jobs are overseas. Just look at what Government Motors is doing with their new Envision model.

      As for the decline in the cities. “oh, there goes another U.S. municipality in bankruptcy, oh there go more millennials living in their parents’ basement, water debacle in Flint, storefronts on Mains Streets in State capitals boarded up, people losing it and shooting innocent people, people losing it and shooting cops…etc. etc. et cetera”. Two comments..What cities are showing the most decline? Is it the likes of Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Phoenix, Charlotte NC, etc or is it the likes of Baltimore, Detroit, Flint, Chicago, etc,etc? And what does the first group have in common and what does the second group have in common? I see the first group in states with a much higher governance by the GOP than in the second group. What does that say about democrats and their ability to manage? They are also in states with higher tax rates, so many of their businesses are moving out to the prosperous states. Toyota is not in Michigan (Detroit, Flint, Pontiac), it is in Tennessee. Where did BMW build? In South Carolina

      We need people to wake up. It is congress, state and local governments that control the prosperity of America. congress is doing nothing to help, either GOP or Democrat since they are only interested in their party and their career futures. And local governments are doing little other than to fund the bare minimum of needs, borrowing from the future to fund current projects, leaving billions in debt that will end up in bankruptcy or in a condition like Flint.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 23, 2016 4:46 pm

        Ron, you’re right about some people out there thinking a President or other elected official will be able to “wave a magic wand.” I sure don’t. Nonetheless, when “city hall” is corrupt and full of cronyism, you send in fresh blood to clean the place out. You don’t let the corrupt establishment put another one of their guys or gals in to pick up where their predecessor left off, obviously. Sanders could at least slow down the runaway train and put some “change agents” in place, wake some people up…

        As for “Congress, state and local governments controlling the prosperity of America,” holy moly you’ve got to factor in the private sector, the real job creators, especially the big corporations squeezing out the middle size and small size private-sector job creators, and the Big Money influence with lobbyists that helps them squeeze. You know when you’re playing Monopoly and your town only owns Baltic Avenue…tough for rust belt areas for example to gain traction when industry is gone, no matter what good intentions the public officials may have. That’s a big topic and I’m getting snowed-in in PA at the moment. Gotta run…

      • January 23, 2016 5:17 pm

        “You don’t let the corrupt establishment put another one of their guys or gals in to pick up where their predecessor left off, obviously. Sanders could at least slow down the runaway train and put some “change agents” in place, wake some people up…”

        I guess I am so negative on our government that I do not think there are many people that Sanders could pick to slow anything down. And with our current congress hell bent on party politics, he would get nothing past a GOP house and just a little more past a democrat senate if it flips this election. Neither party wants him. Now maybe he will mellow and compromise some positions to get a few of his ideas passed, but that is a long shot.

        “Nonetheless, when “city hall” is corrupt and full of cronyism, you send in fresh blood to clean the place out”. …….That’s the problem with major cities today. They elect and reelect people like Emanuel in Chicago and Daniel Williamson in Flint (2003-2009). He served two terms after being convicted of criminal business scams, serving 3 years in prison in the 60’s. He was reelected after telling voters the city had a 4 million dollar surplus, which was then found to be an 8 million dollar deficit leading the the appointment of a state financial manager to run the cities finances. He was accused before the election of bribing voters because he gave out more than $20,000 to customers at his wife’s car dealerships at the same time distributing election information. So who is cleaning out city hall? It sure is not the voters!

        And then these jokers run for the state legislative houses, winning election and go on to the federal positions in the house and senate. You can not fix stupid and we have too many stupid voters. Others are not stupid, they just know which side their bread is buttered on.

        I will agree with one thing and that is the large mega businesses choking out the small businesses. One only needs to look at towns where Walmart has opened to see that impact. But then, we also have to look at the stupidity of the American consumer. As I have said over and over, they buy cheap Chinese shit from Walmart and then complain because their employer laid off workers because sales were down. And then look to the financial markets where bailouts were required for all the major banks because they were too big and federal policies over the past 8 years have only made them bigger.

      • January 23, 2016 8:44 pm

        Ron, I agree with you that Bernie would have little leverage over Congress…he certainly would have more leverage that he’s had in all of his years in the Senate, but I can see the two parties uniting in their opposition to any positive changes that he would propose, and supporting him only in passing more spending programs. Great.

        And here is where I can understand where Cruz’s support comes from…for the most part, it’s not evangelicals who have propelled his candidacy. It’s frustrated tea party conservative types, who have wanted to see someone that they elected to the Congress actually try and change the way business is done there. He represents, to them anyway, a fighter who has gone up against the establishment of both parties, to try and fix big government problems. It’s why he is so hated in the GOP – he has gone up against the Republicans as well, and back stabbed his own party leadership. The shutdown was a perfect example.

        I think that he is a huge grand stander, who hasn’t really accomplished anything, other than to enhance his own reputation as an anti-establishmentarian. On the other hand, I have to concede Pat’s point that it’s looking damn near impossible to change things in Washington without a pretty anti-establishment guy.

  39. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 12:55 pm

    Roby I own the Beatles box set. My favorite albums are Rubber Soul, Revolver, and the White Album. I was thinking of displaying all the Beatles CDs on a wall on those skinny shelves that are “in” these days. Wouldn’t it be BOSS to display all the artwork of all the Beatles’ CDs rather than have them hidden away in a box?

    Anyway, it’s a different world now, a different reality. Don’t live in the past, Roby. We need you!

    • Roby permalink
      January 23, 2016 2:05 pm

      Actually, reality has always been much the same, gravity, economics, taxes, death, human nature. Some things are universal in time. I’m going to be in the mood for a revolution when pigs fly, old buddy, (with actual wings).

      • January 23, 2016 2:29 pm

        The landing may be bumpy, but this pig flies:

  40. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 2:51 pm

    Jay, I’m guessing if HC were now dominating we wouldn’t be hearing about Bloomberg peeking his head out? With Bloomberg or HC I believe the Elites/Globals, whatever you want to call them, would have their player in position, as they’ve had with Obama and Bush. And I’ll lose some in the Rebel Camp when I interject that I don’t think the Elites/Globals are ALL BAD and all evil. I’m not automatically anti-establishment, and I’ll even look the other way at some residual corruption. We’re imperfect humans. Anyway, it’s been a while since I pondered how an independent ticket would play out. Thoughts?

    • January 23, 2016 3:21 pm

      Conventional wisdom is that 3rd party candidates always fizzle and lose. But these are odd times, with the goofiest most unpredictable elecorate ever, all of it in an equally unpredictable media/internet vortex of opinion manipulation, so I could see a close three candidate race. I haven’t a clue who would win. But I think VP choices could be more crucial in a 3-way contest, and possibly could determine the outcome.

      These are my political gender PC picks:
      I’m pretty sure Trump will chose a woman running ‘mate.’
      Bernie will go one better and chose a black woman running mate.
      Bloomberg likely will chose an Hispanic woman.

      (But if no black VPs are selected, will we see blacks threatening to boycott the election?)

  41. Roby permalink
    January 23, 2016 3:08 pm

    The last time I Really liked a candidate it was John Anderson. I guess that gives some hint how long if been in the moderate camp.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 23, 2016 3:22 pm

      Jon Anderson, the lead singer from YES? Just kidding. I suppose not out of the question. Brave New World.

      • Roby permalink
        January 23, 2016 4:31 pm

        The Yes of Fragile, the Yes album and Close to the edge was nearly my religion. Steve Howe I play a lot of his stuff, including Clap and Mood for a day. You into that era of Yes Pat? Also the earlier stuff I like, but NOT the later albums except Relayer.

  42. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 3:11 pm

    haha just about everything is online! At least Roby-Jimi has now joined the Revolution!

  43. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 3:20 pm

    Actually, reality has never been more altered. It would take Hannibal a good long time to reach me by elephant. Now twenty-somethings in Nevada can rain down bombs with a joystick. That’s relatively new. Splitting the atom kinda new. Paul McCartney is a Knight. The guy from the Wheaties box is now supposedly a woman. The likes of Donald Trump ahead in polls. I’ve heard that Newton’s theory of gravity is an illusion. My brain hurts.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 23, 2016 3:25 pm

      Virtual drinks all around, on me!

  44. January 23, 2016 4:22 pm

    Pat, as usual, you’re giving me a lot to think about! (Stop already!!)

    I forgot all about the SCOTUS appointment thing! Super important, but wouldn’t Sanders likely nominate leftists that would shred the Constitution?

  45. Roby permalink
    January 23, 2016 5:36 pm

    I am beginning to realize that there are actually 5 political types in the US: Conservative, Liberal, Moderate, Libertarian, and Populist. Clearly, any person can be a mixture of these depending on the issue, but each one is a distinctive lens through which to interpret events. I’m not sure I have any populist in me, which is why my good online buddy Pat and I are often living in different perceived universes.

  46. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 5:55 pm

    Argh, Priscilla. Your question about Sanders and the Constitution leads me to one of the things I like LEAST about Grandpa. He’s so pro human rights and pro-U.S. Constitution that I say he’s way too soft on immigration. Here he is below talking in support of our Constitution, but my view is that there are MANY reasons why Syrian Refugees should NOT come all the way the hell over here!!!! We also need to set some new boundaries on “religious freedom”. I’ve been so focused on halting the financial destruction of the middle class (by the Monopoly Men who own too much of the board) that I forgot how much I disagree with him here on taking in refugees. All the people who want and can afford to help the refugees should chip in and help move them to all those empty buildings in Dubai, or somewhere, but here???? Thanks a lot, Priscilla. Let’s just all go to Roby’s house and listen to music.

  47. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 6:03 pm

    Ug. Why not take in the poor from India and Pakistan while we’re at it, and more from Ethiopia and the Sudan and Somalia, and if the Inuit up in the Arctic region are cold let’s bring them down to Florida.

  48. Pat Riot permalink
    January 23, 2016 6:07 pm

    Can we please just take care of ourselves, our current citizens please???? Maybe that’s all I want. I need to take a break. I need to put on some headphones and listen to some glorious YES albums. Pat out!

  49. Roby permalink
    January 23, 2016 8:52 pm

    Which Yes era Pat? For me, its anything prior to Steve Howe joining and anything during the Stove Howe era, but nothing after he left. I’ve seen them countless times, always amazing, no matter who else was in the band with Squire (god rest his soul) and Howe. I saw them at Hampton beach 5? years back I had the best seat in the house. Howe aged badly but played just the same as when I saw them so many times in the 70s.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      January 24, 2016 12:14 am

      Roby, Oh man, same era. All the 70’s albums. Did not care for the 80s big pop sound, but still felt loyal to the band because I loved them so much. Still am a huge YES lover. Sometimes nothing else will do. “Awaken” from Going For the One cranked up on good speakers filling the house so loud that the dog has to retreat to the basement! Goosebumps. Chills.

      I have such fond memories of being in my friend’s beach house in the early 80s, by myself, with all the Yes vinyl to date, and an expensive “stack” stereo and good, padded headphones, and just going through album sides with my eyes closed.

      Several of my core group of childhood friends were all into the band (a few became musicians and I flirted with the keyboard for awhile) but anyway that meant we’d have a YES FEST playing in the car on our various outings during high school and after.

      We saw Jon and the boys “in the round” two different years (essentially level with the stage) in early 70s. One year they went straight through the Yessongs album so I guess that was 73 or 74. I am impressed that you can play like Steve Howe. You have great taste. I’m not a celebrity gawker at all, but I was sad when Squire passed. They were more than a progressive rock band. I can’t really express how appreciative I am that their music exists.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 24, 2016 12:26 am

        Actually I think the year they played the Yessongs album straight through was 1977 or 1978. I would have been too young in 73 or 74. Man I’m way down memory lane right now, and it’s good… 🙂

      • Roby permalink
        January 24, 2016 12:34 pm

        Close to the Edge was the height of it for me. The Yes Album, Fragile, Tales, Relayer, that was the genius period. Steve Howe is a genius when he plays with Chris Squire, not a genius when he plays with anyone else (Asia, how could that have been such a terrible failure?). But he is a very complete guitarist like Jimi Page, both can be just as amazing on an unamplified acoustic guitar as on an electric one. My favorite guitarists are Jimi, Carlos, Johnny Winter, Steve Howe, or Terry Kath, depending on who I am listening to. Love Harrison as well, so clean, so tasteful.

        Steve Howe created a unique style, which by the 70s was nearly impossible, John Mclaughlin is the only other guitarist I can think of who did that by that time.

        I hated Yes when I first heard them, they were so different from the Hendrix and Allman Brothers I was into, choppy, not bluesy or conventionally melodic, weird rhythms… One day I was listening to Allison Steel’s night owl program and she was always playing Yes and in the middle of Close to the Edge I went from hating Yes to being awe struck in a split second, I suddenly got it and what had been weird and annoying a second previously was suddenly utterly amazing. That never happened to me so strongly with any other music in my life that my mind turned inside out in a split second.

        The progressive rock phase came along after Jimi died and the Beatles dissolved and the 60s were over just like that. The Allman Bros and then Fusion Jazz, it was another rich period, fantastic musicianship. It seemed like good music would continue forever, one great phase after another. Then, boom it was over and its been Disco, Rap, boy bands, girls bands, Madonna, and generally wretched crap that few adult people will listen to and history will not remember.

        So sad, from the time that electricity and phonographs and radio came along, there was such great American popular music, say from the 1920s to the 70s and then it was over and popular music is now some junk for 14 year olds. Its not because people have changed or no one is born these days with musical genius, pop music is just a bleak exhausted industry in a society that has lost its optimism and most of its joy. There is a soundtrack to the 40s, to the 50s, to the 60s, what is the sound track of the 90s, the whatever you call the next decade or this one, the teens? There is no soundtrack to our joint lives, its a huge loss.

      • Roby permalink
        January 24, 2016 12:42 pm

        That would be Jimmy not Jimi Page, as distinct from the eternal genius Jimi Hendrix.
        Bach and Hendrix are the most impressive musicians of all to me.

      • January 24, 2016 2:10 pm

        My vote for most stylish musician, one with style, class, timing, and verve:

      • Roby permalink
        January 24, 2016 2:44 pm

        Neat Jay! Try this one:

      • January 24, 2016 2:52 pm

        Ha! Great!!

  50. January 23, 2016 9:20 pm

    The only way to have serious changes in government is after serious crippling damage to the economy or an overt act of war like Pearl Harbor or 9/11. Unless the nation’s survival is at stake in those two areas, lasting significientl change will not take place.

    • January 24, 2016 10:58 am

      Generally, I agree with you, Jay. But I do think that many Americans feel that the nation’s survival IS at stake right now, and that’s what driving the incredible anger and populism of this presidential cycle. Fury at the 1% on one side, fear of big government on the other. And a general acknowledgement on both sides that the 1% and the government are becoming a single, all-powerful entity, intent on maintaining its power at all costs, regardless of the will of the “little” people.

      Accurate or not, there is the belief out there that we are truly at a tipping point, that our government has failed to right things, and has, in fact, made things worse. And, we have Europe, right in front of our eyes, struggling to maintain its cultural norms and laws in the face of what can only be seen as an invasion of Middle Easterners intent on changing them.

      In a sense, it’s comparable to what happened to Native Americans when Europeans “invaded” North America…..I get that that analogy is pretty weak on many levels, but I think that, as a general perspective it works.

      • January 24, 2016 11:09 am

        And, no sooner did I type that response, than I clicked over to see this:
        http://news.yahoo.com/panic-europe-faces-demise-over-refugees-top-officials-213820366.html

      • Pat Riot permalink
        January 25, 2016 10:58 am

        Yes, Priscilla, a gradual supplanting and displacement can have more devastating long-term effects than a highly-visible event. Your “invasion” of North America analogy is an analogy, but a good one.

        I say too many casual observers look at refugees (and many issues) from a distance with a somewhat juvenile, emotional, “false humanitarianism”. Of course good people want to help, but there are serious, practical considerations.

    • Roby permalink
      January 24, 2016 12:38 pm

      A very shrewd comment, likely correct, Jay.

    • January 25, 2016 9:50 am

      Ok, so, assuming Cruz’s candidacy has been derailed, what do you think happens next? Trump runs the table? One of the “establishment” candidates moves up in the polls?

      It will be interesting to see how the first 2 primaries actually turn out~ polling in general has been less than totally accurate in recent years……..

      • January 25, 2016 1:47 pm

        Very interesting question. That is one that has not been addressed by the media yet. If Trump gets out his votes in Iowa and “trumps’ Cruz, then walks through NH. would it not seem reasonable to think Trump will sweep the next few states? He has a 19% advantage in SC, a 19% advantage in FL, (Bush + Rubio at 22%, tied with Cruz) and 10% advantage in Georgia.

        I think the GOP needs to get use to the idea that Trump is going to be the nominee and then hope that the democrats lose their minds also and nominate Sanders so the GOP has some shot at winning.

        And my hope is that this will be the crack in the two party armor that will allow a third party to emerge as a viable alternative or too bring the two parties back to the center as happened after Goldwater or McGovern nominations.

  51. Roby permalink
    January 25, 2016 11:57 am

    This is a very interesting piece:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2016/0124/How-Trump-is-forcing-Republicans-to-rethink-poverty

    Imagine, Paul Ryan and Obama working together on saving the lower middle class. I guess that Would get Ryan called a RINO. It seems that the GOP may fragment into establishment, populist, evangelical and tea party groups like a uranium nucleus undergoing radioactive decay, stuff flying out wildly and then wacking into other stuff.

    But tongue out of cheek, what this election and Trump and Sanders seem to be showing is a tremendous working class anger against the elite (well, Duh) that arises from everything that has gone the wrong way for blue collar America for decades, most of all free trade agreements and “efficiency” based on competing with the Chinese etc. Work more and harder (if you are lucky enough to have a job) and make less, not a nice combo. Meanwhile those dratted elites are becoming richer and richer by investing, often overseas and the wealth is getting more and more concentrated. So, American politics are being restructured and the Trump and Sanders campaigns do overlap.

    I should be a populist I guess, since the problem affects me and my wife and my children too. Why am I not a populist myself? Probably because I have had much more exposure than the average American to what a proletarian revolution really looks like and who loses and how badly and tragically they lose that has removed all my enthusiasm for worker’s revolutions.

    With all the competing interests how can anyone fashion a real politically feasible economic blueprint that actually reverses this situation? OK, say that the problem really is that the elite that are screwing us and we need to wrest power from them as Trump, Sanders and their supports wish. How? Absent an actual plan all you have is anger and empty promises. Who would be actually qualified to brainstorm such a working plan? Economists. They disagree tremendously with each other, don’t explain things in English to the rest of us, and are not even anything approaching a hard or exact science. I’d love to think that out of the Trump and Sanders movements a real transfer of economic leverage will occur that reinflates the prospects of the lower and maybe even the middle part of the middle class and gives me and mine a better economic deal.

    Show me the plan.

    Show me a large number of rational, non ideologically extreme economists who will say that it could work.

  52. January 25, 2016 8:51 pm

    Two Creepy Crawlies on The Highway of Life.
    They Look Alike, and what is more they Think Alike:

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2015/aug/12/republican-presidential-candidate-lookalikes-in-pictures#img-13

  53. Roby permalink
    January 25, 2016 10:07 pm

    Here you go, a case where all my sympathy lies with republican lawmakers and none with anyone involved in the running or teaching at the university of Missouri who has spoken up, since none have spoken up for the students constitutional rights. This is mind bogglingly (is that a word?) stupid and PC. Bleh.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/01/25/assault-charge-filed-against-mizzou-professor-who-called-some-muscle/79298692/

    • January 26, 2016 1:22 pm

      Fed-up inhabitants of the wildlife preserve rise up in wide-spread protest against the Bundy take-over!

  54. Anonymous permalink
    January 26, 2016 11:04 pm

    Whoa! Things have finally blown up, it seems: http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/01/bundys_in_custody_one_militant.html#incart_story_package

    • January 27, 2016 1:09 am

      What next?
      More delay or an armed charge by police?

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 27, 2016 11:40 am

        It’s a sticky wicket. The militia-minded folk I’ve spoken with in the past, and their mantra, has always been not to fire the first shot. They want to be seen as victims. Gamey and somewhat passive-aggressive, walking around with guns and taking over a government building and trying to say “We come in peace.” Making demands about who must be released from prison…but they argue that they are not as terrorists. It doesn’t fly with me, and I suspect it doesn’t with the majority of the American public.

        I’m looking forward to seeing comments in the news from Second Amendment rights folks who do *not* support the militias. But I’m also wondering how many of them will be terrorized for doing so. I read a disturbing article last night about how the sheriff of Harney County and his family have been stalked by the militia.

      • January 27, 2016 12:31 pm

        The militia screwballs commenting at Conservative Treehouse are all in an uproar, condemning the Feds for murdering a true patriot, etc.

        http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/01/27/wednesday-open-thread-january-27th/comment-page-1/#comment-1982138

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 27, 2016 12:46 pm

        Interesting blog site, Jay. This comment in particular jumped out at me:

        “Scary news when you realize what the Muslims and Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter Groups get away with.”

        If anyone can cite any instances in our country where Muslims have taken over a federal building, armed, and stated that they are willing to die for their agenda, please share it here; I really would like to see it. Same as with Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter groups. I don’t support the one-sided “white man bashing” about police violence by race–and some data show that it’s not all that clear-cut. But to date, I don’t think I’ve seen those 3 groups do what these folk in Oregon have done. The San Bernardino incident is a notable exception.

  55. Roby permalink
    January 27, 2016 12:56 pm

    I hope that the law enforcement side were wearing cameras.

    If the last years have shown anything its that law enforcement should use the available technology to justify their use of deadly force. They will certainly shoot anyone who is armed or might be armed who resists them. That is often times understandable but the number of videos of force being used out by police of all proportion is also not small.

    I hope it will be possible to show that the Bundy group did something clear to provoke a justifiable deadly response. If not, this whole thing is going to get out of hand. As of now absolutely no information is forthcoming and so people will comment without have sufficient basis. It would be absolutely idiotic to do what the Bundies are claiming happened, shoot a cooperative person. It does not mean that could not have happened we will have to wait and see.

    Literally the top of my fears is that we are slowly moving to a real, not metaphorical, civil war. Its been fear number 1 for some time. Whether that war is a year away a decade away or not going to happen, I cannot tell. Different days it seems the odds change.

    • Roby permalink
      January 27, 2016 1:01 pm

      Finally after reading quite a few articles I found this. If there is video to back it up and forensic evidence then this should be the end of it. If not….

      :The FBI and state police staked out a spot along the route to John Day to stop the caravan. At first, both vehicles complied with an order to pull over, but then the lead vehicle took off, the law enforcement official said.

      It didn’t get very far, hitting a snow bank. Finicum, the official said, jumped out of that vehicle “brandishing a firearm.” He was shot and killed.”

      If this is what happened then the Bundys are lying. I hope that can be shown pretty quickly, for everyones sake.

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/feds-intercepted-oregon-occupation-leaders-highway-n505126

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 27, 2016 1:10 pm

      Can’t disagree with what you’ve said here. I too hope that this was justified…for all the right reasons. Even if it were justified, the militia folk will cry foul…that’s to be expected. But what’s important is that the rest of the nation see it was justified.

      “Literally the top of my fears is that we are slowly moving to a real, not metaphorical, civil war. Its been fear number 1 for some time. Whether that war is a year away a decade away or not going to happen, I cannot tell. Different days it seems the odds change.”

      My fear, also. My father was a Mason, and a Libertarian. He was also deeply involved in what I call “gun culture.” In spite of the oddity of some of his thinking, he was also ahead of his time regarding his vision of what was to unfold in our nation, and I see signs that he might have been right about some of the darker predictions. He once said to me, “There will be a revolution in your lifetime.” This is not my idea of the best way to make change, but there are well-armed folk out there who see differently.

      I found this article interesting from a Paiute point of view on the situation:

      http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/01/26/burns-paiute-tribe-responds-oregon-militia-nuts-video-163198

      • Roby permalink
        January 27, 2016 1:41 pm

        Hi Anon, nice to see you posting again. Your family history is really fascinating, very real and unedited, its very honest to share it. what you have taken from all of that is even more fascinating.

        Have you by any chance ever read Loren Eisleys autobiography, All the Strange Hours? He was a fascinating genius of a man and there are elements of his family history that may strike a chord with you. What he became, what he made of his life, is completely inspiring. His family was poor and wiped out by the depression, he had TB, was expected to die, became a hobo, rode the rails, somehow he survived got an education in the end he became the Chairman of the Anthropology department at Penn State and a brilliant writer.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 27, 2016 8:56 pm

        Hi Roby. I don’t think we’ve chatted at one another directly. Nice to meet you! 🙂

        I’d be interested in hearing from others who’ve grown up around or as part of the “gun culture” , both those who are still in it, and those who have never bought into it, or have gotten out of it. Just for discussion, not for debate. We would all learn a lot from that, I think.

        “Have you by any chance ever read Loren Eisleys autobiography, All the Strange Hours?”

        No, I haven’t, but thank you for the suggestion. I’ve been looking for something different to sink my teeth into, and this may be it.

      • Roby permalink
        January 27, 2016 9:16 pm

        Anon, oh Roby is just Jimi returning to his intended name after having been accidentally switched to jimi888 which was suppossed to be a login and not a screen name. Anyhow, I hope you will read lots of Eisley, starting with all the strange hours!

  56. Roby permalink
    January 27, 2016 1:32 pm

    Ranching is a business and has a balance sheet. If you own enough land to graze your cattle, great. You can make that happen by having the number of cattle that matches the acreage you own. Otherwise, you are going to have to rent some land. The owner of that land is likely to have some rules and conditions. The Bundy’s have their own private interpretation of the Constitution that is self serving, We the people own the land and we the people should be free to use it without fees or conditions. They really were not saying that everyone jointly owns the land they were saying the nearby ranchers own the land, a monumental difference. They are squatters pure and simple. If their version the Constitution has merit, then they can hire a lawyer and argue it in court. I have not heard that they have tried to do that, argue that the BLM has no right to tell them not to run their cattle on US land.

    Having one’s own private (not to mention rigid) view of the Constitution is like having ones own private unified field theory. Its the province of nuts. The Constitution is a unifying document, in the end we all agree to be adults and accept that there is a process and sometimes it goes our way and sometimes it doesn’t.

    Those ranchers seem like adult people in many ways with many very respectable sides of their character that Americans can relate to with pride. This matter of having their own private Constitution that tells them that they should able to own more cattle than they have land to graze, is unfortunately a fatal exception. I think that they will not get much sympathy. in fact even the locals and other ranchers do not take this extreme and stupidly self serving point of view and are sick of them. Yes, the far right will be up in arms, perhaps literally.

    • Anonymous permalink
      January 27, 2016 8:52 pm

      “The Bundy’s have their own private interpretation of the Constitution that is self serving, We the people own the land and we the people should be free to use it without fees or conditions.”

      This is pretty much how I view them. While I am interested in hearing their viewpoint, I have no interest in me or anyone else having it shoved down my throat–or, our collective throats–with armed occupations, lists of demands, and proclamations that one is willing to die for one’s beliefs. Not to mention, crying foul when that happens, in the course of defying an order by a law enforcement official to stand down. It’s just hard to have sympathy for this. *I* don’t think they are doing *me* any favors by taking over the wildlife refuge.

      I’ve been to eastern Oregon. It’s lovely there, unique landscape, very different from the western coast but very special and wild. The wildness is what appeals most to me. There is a town out there that I wanted to move to, but had to accept that it wasn’t a good plan, because I needed work, and there is limited work there. I’ve read that the folk there are frustrated with the fact that there is not much work available, and that this plays into a grievance over federal government ownership. Well, that’s a big part of what makes it what it is. If this land were opened up the to capitalists, it too would be ravaged, and over-populated, and despoiled…like so many other special places have been. If I were to make the choice to move there, it would be with the understanding that there wasn’t much of a way to earn a livelihood there, and I’d accept that either I need to learn to live closer to the bone, or go elsewhere for living, until I could retire there. For myself…I’m glad the government owns so much of it, and I hope it remains that way.

  57. January 27, 2016 4:14 pm

    Don’t the Bundyites know whose land they’ve been holding hostage?

  58. January 27, 2016 4:58 pm

    What if a Republican had said this? What if a right of center reported had said this? Double standard?
    http://news.yahoo.com/chris-matthews-implied-no-one-170700631.html

    • January 27, 2016 6:21 pm

      It sounds like something Trump would say.

      And now maybe he will.

      And it’s a point I’ve brought up elsewhere.

      Doesn’t it seem ironic that the Republican Party, noted for its America First slogan, has two Republican wanna be presidents who are first generation citizens of Cuban descent?

      Have any first generation US citizens ever been president?

      • January 27, 2016 8:18 pm

        It sounds like “something Trump would say”, but Chris Matthews said it, which, I believe prompted Ron’s question.

        And the answer is, the media would go nuts if Trump, or basically any Republican said it, and they ignore it when a liberal or one of their own (but I repeat myself) says it. Just the way that they ignore your girl Hillary’s problem with the truth (“I never sent any classified material over my private server”) and go nuts over whether or not Ben Carson was told by a general, at a ROTC dinner 50 years ago, that he would be admitted to West Point.

        Far be it from me to defend Trump. You’re right, he would say something like that (although he’s probably call Cruz a Canadian) But, as it happens, he didn’t.

      • January 28, 2016 12:59 am

        First of all, I do not consider Trump a Republican any more than I consider Bloomberg a republican. Never have, never will. He is a Democrat and always will be a Democrat. There is no way I could ever put that man in the same classification as Ronald Reagan who was a Democrat before becoming a republican before the California governorship. He had at least 15 years supporting conservative issues before being elected. Trumps conversion seem to have taken place over the past few years, but one can not be sure if those are beliefs he supports or beliefs he says he supports until elected.

        Had anyone in conservative news said what Mathrew’s said, they would have been tarred and feathered by the liberal media.

        As for firth generation presidents, there have been none. There have been 7 presidents where one of the parents was foreign borne. Jefferson, Jackson, Buchanan, Arthur, Wilson, Hoover and Obama. If Rubio is elected, he would be the first true 1st generation president where both were born out of the country. Cruz would be the 8th with one parent foreign borne if he should become president.

        McCain was the first to run where the candidate was not born on America soil or what would become American soil. Eight presidents were technically born outside the United States, but was when it was a colony of the British government before the revolution.

      • January 28, 2016 1:07 am

        For clarification before I get called out on it.Reagan did not have 15 years as a conservative before running for governor, but he did have that time when he ran for president amd was elected.

      • January 28, 2016 12:21 pm

        Would be nice to have a candidate with a self-deprecating sense of humor….

      • January 28, 2016 2:10 pm

        Yes, definitely likable, but does that equate to presidential?

      • January 28, 2016 4:18 pm

        If people followed news on a daily basis and listened to Rubio when he spoke on the Senate floor or talked about issues of security when there was not a campaign, I think they would find someone that was very presidential. Problem is now all they hear are sound bites and position speeches, not real issue oriented off the cuff comments like one makes when elections are not happening.

        The problem with Rubio is he is too moderate for the Republican electorate. Intelligence wise, I think he could be another JFK. Personality wise, I believe he could be another Ronald Reagan. He understands the issues and he will make deals to try to solve problems. JFK and RR were two of the best in these facets of presidential responsibilities.

        The electorate that will choose a candidate to run for the GOP do not want another politician that will compromise. I personally think much of what Rubio and 7 other members of congress designed for immigration reforms was a step in the right direction, but those choosing a candidate do not want anyone that will make any compromises going forward. They want someone like Cruz who will close down the government before giving an inch to the opposition.(I also wonder if that wouldn’t be a bad idea. I would like to see just how well this country could get along without Washington D.C. operating).

        And then I look at Trump, the deal maker. And that throws my thinking right out the window. To make a deal, there are compromises, give and take.

        Trump is anything but presidential. (Little bratty kid. I can’t get my way, so I am not playing in your game.(Fox Debate)) Rubio is very presidential, but too moderate.

      • January 28, 2016 7:16 pm

        I agree, of those running, Rubio is the most moderate – the most moderate right-tilting conservative that is. The lesser of eight evils so to speak. But from my moderate independent point of view, he’s far right of center:

        He’s not interested in ANY weapon possession restrictions; no limits on ownership, not even for nutso mental cases; no limits on sales of massacre-style automatic weapons or the amount of ammunition sold for them.

        Vocally anti-abortion, he wants to further restrict them to the first twenty weeks of pregnancy; and his vociferous pro-life pronouncements worry me that if elected president he will try to salt SCOTUS with justices who would overturn Roe if possible.

        And he keeps interjecting his Christain faith at political gatherings, which is offensive to my agnostic beliefs. Religion injected into political discourse is like salt on eggs: a small sprinkle can add a bit of savor; but pouring it on like he does (and Cruz and Carson) ruins the omelette.

        Still, he’s preferable to the other Republicans running, but as you stated, the party core voters don’t seem to be taking him seriously. And unless Cruz and Trump self-destruct soon, the only way he gets nominated is at a stalled Republican convention with no clear leader where the RINO insiders will be able to wheel and deal.

      • January 28, 2016 8:17 pm

        I still think that there is a lot that can happen on both sides that can shape the eventual outcomes. Everyone wants to make the GOP primary race a two-man showdown between Trump and Cruz, but if Cruz doesn’t win Iowa, and Rubio comes in a strong third, well, then maybe it’s three-man showdown. Then, if someone else, say Kasich, who has been as high as 2nd in the NH polls, should make a strong showing there, well then it changes again. I’m not resigned to Trump winning the nomination, although it has to be considered a strong possibility. If Cruz can’t win Iowa, it’s gonna be tough for him to pretend that this is a 2 man contest.

        And the DOJ may continue to stonewall an indictment against Hillary, but even if they do, what if Bernie beats her in Iowa and NH? Or even one of those states? Can a “draft Biden ” movement be too far behind? Will the Democrats consider nominating Bernie? I can’t even imagine that, but this is the weirdest year ever.

        Could a third party candidate (like Trump, if the GOP doesn’t nominate him) force the election into the House of Representatives , which will likely still be controlled by the Republicans?

      • January 28, 2016 8:44 pm

        “I still think that there is a lot that can happen on both sides that can shape the eventual outcomes. ”

        I agree.

        Didn’t the last 5 Iowa caucus winners fail to get the Republican nomination?

        The Iowa hoopla tends to fizzle because Iowa doesn’t really represent the majority of Republican final voter opinion. The Iowa caucus voter turnout is generally around 16%of the population, and usually represents those with the most partisan views, not necessarily representative of the overall US voter population. Also, I think Iowa only has about 25 nomination votes at the convention; California and New York, more moderate in their views, each have four or five times as many votes, if I remember correctly,

        So yes, the picture could change as other states step in, and other marginal candidates drop out.

      • January 29, 2016 2:23 am

        Will be interesting to see what impact Trump not attending tonight’s debate will have on the Iowa vote. His support comes from very unreliable caucus voters and if he loses many to other candidates that do go, he could come in 3rd.

        Will also be interesting the next 4-5 months. Reports say that James Comey ,FBI Director, will resign if the Obama administration stonewalls any indictment. He was the acting Attorney General when John Ashcroft was hospitalized during the Bush administration. That was when the NSA wanted expanded surveillance and he refused to sign the certification so NSA could expand their programs. Andrew Card, Chief of Staff went to the hospital to try to get Ashcroft to sign the order and Comey threatened to resign since he found this to be illegal as Ashcroft apparently was not medically able to sign any legal document. Bush backed down. And when Obama appointed Comey, he used this as an example of the independence he wanted in an FBI director.

        So if Comey resigns after an announcement that Hillary will not be indicted if the evidence supports it, then there will be many others that resign and leaks like rivers flowing through the canyons will be streaming out of the FBI about evidence found in their review. This will be as damaging, if not more so because of a cover-up than allowing an indictment to occur.

        The only way for Hillary is to escape the e-mail mess is for the FBI to not find anything and I doubt that will happen.

        And if your theory about a third party sending the election to the house come to be, then it will be a Republican House because it will be the current House member, not the ones taking office in January 2017. The senate will select the Vice President before inauguration day.

      • January 29, 2016 10:18 am

        “Reports say that James Comey ,FBI Director, will resign if the Obama administration stonewalls any indictment.”

        Reports from who?
        Links?

      • January 29, 2016 1:45 pm

        Best you do a google search on “could comey resign”. There will be multiple articles that appear. Some very right wing, some not so far right, but no MSNBC or Huff Post. I would not expect those sites to publish anything detrimental to Hillary’s campaign.

        You might also read about Comey’s background and his career to see that he is “law enforcement” first and the “administration second”. When you have over 100 FBI agents reportedly working on an issue, it is not some little investigation that will just “go away”. It is big and there is something there to investigate.

        Will it make much difference to the 45% of voters that will vote Democrat regardless. No. But it could just cut into that independent vote that gets her the remaining 5% so she ends up under 50% of the electoral votes needed.

      • January 30, 2016 12:37 am

        Ron, I did the Google search on “could Comey resign.”

        Investigating the origin of the story, I found It was initiated in the National Review, and based on hearsay supposition of political observers like Judge Andrew Napolitano, Roger Stone, Charles Krauthammer, and on comments attributed by Ken Cuccinelli the conservative former attorney general of Virginia, (present supporter of Ted Cruz) who was pronouncing Clinton guilty in various conservative venues months ago.

        All the other news links I checked from the Google search had based their stories regarding Comey and the FBI’s intentions regarding Clinton on the same unverified ‘expert’ talking points from the National Review article and Cuccinelli’s comments.

        I didn’t find any independent verification from ANY other government or legal or journalistic officials that the FBI is considering recommending charges be filed against Clinton. Or that Comey will resign in protest, or that other high-level FBI officials could follow him out the door, if Hillary isn’t indicted.

        Statements like “Is Comey still prepared to give up the job rather than be part of something he feels is fundamentally wrong?” are based on their wishful thinking from conservative pundits who assume Comey has concluded she did something fundamentally wrong – guilt through wishful projection – and that he wants to prosecute her. All of that is unconfirmed rumor. As is the claim that over 100 agents are now actively assigned to the Clinton investigation, which was reported by Fox News from unspecified sources, a number that wasn’t confirmed by even the newspeak cloak of ‘reliable source.’

      • January 30, 2016 1:20 am

        OK will give you this one. And due to the fact that the government worked out a deal with Petraeus just pleading guilty of a misdemeanor while allowing his mistress to see the classified information, I agree that this is probably all smoke and no fire. But even then there was many FBI agents upset with that decision but no leaks. Now when it covers Clinton, will the same wall of silence be retained and if not, what harm will it bring if it is leaked?

        But one thing for sure, we can bet some money on the House continuing to investigate and all the energies that a new president has will be sucked up in this issue. Wonder what the odds would be if Las Vegas set odds on that happening.

        And yes I am a real Hillary hater. I am a hater of all “stupid”. I can forgive ignorance, mental disabilities and even a lack of common sense. But stupid is not one of these. She was involved with the Nixon investigation. She has been involved with politics 40+ years. She has no excuse for lack of good judgement. Stupid does not belong in the White House.

      • January 30, 2016 1:15 pm

        “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
        ― Albert Einstein

      • January 28, 2016 6:33 pm

        I think that Rubio is at least if not more presidential than any of the others. He does have a baby face, but he and Cruz are the same age and if either one of them were elected POTUS, they would only be slightly younger than Obama when he was elected and older than JFK was.

        If looking “too young” counts, then looking “too old” should count too, lol. That would help Martin O’Malley against Hill and the Bern. On second thought, I don’t think anything will help poor Martin O’Malley…..at the last debate, he wan’t even in the frame half the time. And there were only 3 of them!

      • Roby permalink
        January 28, 2016 12:39 pm

        Beyond any doubt Rubio wins the likability contest. Even the Jon Stewart took a liking.

      • Roby permalink
        January 30, 2016 9:37 am

        http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/01/30/us/politics/ap-us-clinton-emails.html?_r=0

        “The FBI also is looking into Clinton’s email setup, but has said nothing about the nature of its probe. Independent experts say it’s unlikely Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing, based on details that have surfaced so far and the lack of indications she intended to break laws.

        “What I would hope comes out of all of this is a bit of humility” and Clinton’s acknowledgement that “I made some serious mistakes,” said Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer specializing in security clearance matters.

        Legal questions aside, it’s the potential political costs that probably more concern Clinton. She has struggled in surveys measuring perceived trustworthiness and any investigation, buoyed by evidence of top secret material coursing through her account, could negate a main selling point for her becoming commander in chief: her national security resume.”

        I have a long term allergy to both Clintons, Guess I am a Bill hater, Hillary I merely strongly dislike. I have to say that I really haven’t had my opinion changed for the better or worse by either Behghazi or the e-mails. She is not going to jail or being charged, that is a feeble hope cooked up by left and right opponents, She is still the most moderate candidate with a chance of winning. I don’t have to live with her, she is running to be president not my mistress. I think Putin and similar bad eggs may respect her for her dark side, that is important.

        If somehow Rubio gets elected the upside for me will be that he is likable and won’t start with any controversies. I’d have Hillary over Trump or Cruz in a heartbeat, either one of those would totally sicken me and half of America from day 1. Of course if Rubio gets nominated he will probably pick a VP who I can’t stand. But, he’s young, so keep him safe.

  59. Roby permalink
    January 28, 2016 12:53 pm

    A prize to the person who can find the entire Rubio-Stewart interchange. I know it exists, I saw it, it went well for Rubio. Imagine Cruz showing up to the daily show to joke with Jon Stewart? Alas too late. This was all I can find of it, 21 seconds.

  60. Roby permalink
    January 29, 2016 12:45 pm

    Nate Silver is a man who knows his craft and can explain it too:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/its-rubio-or-bust-for-republicans-who-want-to-win/

    • January 29, 2016 2:12 pm

      Nate Silver, or David Wasserman?

      • Roby permalink
        January 30, 2016 10:25 am

        Heh, got me. But its Silvers store, Wasserman just works there. 538 is rock solid. I was a math major, prob and stats is a low level math course at most colleges but its not a low level discipline, its full of complexity. Really good actuaries, which is what Silver and Co. are, are really smart and valuable people. 538 is the closest thing I know to a dependable source in the area of predictions.

        Silver himself gives Sanders 1 in 20 odds by the way and 538 is generally positive on Rubio’s chances, at least gives him higher odds than the present polls.

      • January 30, 2016 11:06 am

        It wasn’t a ‘gotcha’ Roby; I thought there must be a connection between them; thanks for the clarification.

    • January 29, 2016 2:13 pm

      Thanks for that article. Very good info and right up with my thinking about Trump, Cruz and Rubio. Nice to know I am not “out to lunch” in all of my thinking.

      This election really scares me for one main reason. SCOTUS. As i have said before, we can survive another 4-8 years of Democrat presidency. But can we survive 20-30 years of liberal activist supreme court justices? Even if Trump or Cruz cost the GOP the senate, the house is still the buffer to far left legislation.

      But, can we survive a judge that writes his own laws now without going through congress?
      http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hillary-clinton-appointing-president-obama-supreme-court/story?id=36534796

      Could democracy survive as we know it today with liberal activist judges making decisions in place of the judges that will be retiring. It only takes one conservative to retire to flip the script where much more liberal rulings could happen. Rulings like eliminating right-to-work laws, increased EPA regulations on private land owners, less states-rights in state laws such as abortion, voting , gun ownership and more federal involvement of companies being allowed to move from one state to another such as the Boeing issues with South Carolina and Washington.

      We have had liberal courts before, but those liberals were no where near the flakes that the liberals are today. One only needs to read about JFK and his positions on issues to see how more mainstream liberals were not so long ago.

  61. January 29, 2016 8:37 pm

    Anyone there that has more legal training than I do that can answer this question and the one I am going to send links to following this one. (Two links, two post to avoid moderation).
    One.
    How is this any different than Hillary having classified material on he personal computer?
    http://www.jdnews.com/article/20150921/NEWS/150929863

    Two.
    Can someone be elected president and immediately after being sworn in, issue a pardon to themself and stay in office?

    • January 29, 2016 11:54 pm

      Well, the Marine intentionally sent classified info to people who did not have the required security clearance. And he knew it was marked as secret when he shared the information.

      Clinton, and those who sent her the email material, had clearance to handle classified information. And so far as I know, there’s no proof Hillary knew she was receiving classified intelligence, or that she was intentionally alerting anyone to restricted information..

      The charges against her are based on sloppy negligence
      The charges against the Marineis based on willful breach of the law.

      The same difference applies for General Petraeus, who knowingly shared classified top secret info with his mistress-reporter who also didn’t have security clearance,

      • January 30, 2016 12:02 am

        And outgoing presidents often commute sentences and offer pardons of various kinds, like Ford did for Nixon. Obama could clear any charges against her.

      • January 30, 2016 12:56 am

        So Ford pardoned Nixon of any crimes he committed while in office before he was actually convicted of any. If Obama pardons Clinton, she is never convicted of a “high crime or misdemeanor” . So is she still able to set as president?

      • January 30, 2016 12:58 pm

        If elected, sure she can sit, or stand, or pace.

        If she murdered someone, and was convicted of it, but was nevertheless elected President, I think the only way to unseat her is through the impeachment process.

        And if Obama pardoned any email charges against her, 2/3 of Congress would have to vote to impeach, and that would never happen.

        But if Trump is elected and does something stupid to rile up both parties, and the VP isn’t as obnoxious to them as Trump is, there’s a good chance they unite and tell him “YOU’RE FIRED!” And send him packing.

      • January 30, 2016 12:46 am

        Check out page 2, para 1 concerning what he was to be charged with.

        As for Hillary, US code 793 section (f) states concerning defense documents “Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
        Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both”

        The latest are e-mails between Obama and Clinton considered Top Secret that they will not even black out critical parts since it is way to sensitive. So when she “knowingly” removed those state department documents from their proper place of custody and placed them on her server, she broke the law.

        And I suspect there are other laws that cover this subject that could apply.

        But to Democrats she does no wrong so most likely she will weasel out of this like all rich people buy their way out of convictions.

      • January 30, 2016 12:39 pm

        “So when she “knowingly” removed those state department documents from their proper place of custody and placed them on her server, she broke the law.”

        Where’s proof of the ‘knowingly?’
        And how many of the ‘Top Secret’ documents were only recently upgraded to top secret?
        And if they were correspondences between Obama and Clinton, and Obama and Clinton say they don’t consider them top secret, does some bureaucrat get to decide they are?

        And BTW, the NY Times doesn’t consider the email controversy much of an impediment: today they endorsed her candidacy. The liberal Times picked the moderate Hillary.

        But don’t worry Ron. I’m not voting for her. I’ll write in my own name for president. Or if I’m feeling sprightly, maybe I’ll write in yours.

      • January 30, 2016 2:03 pm

        Jay, it’s hard to make a case for Hillary, but I give you credit for doing a decent job at it.

        The smoking gun that incriminates her is the unsecured private server. Whether or not she transmitted classified documents on it – and there seems to be a mountain of evidence that she did, but, for the sake of argument, let’s say she did not – she definitely conducted business on it. Just today, the State Department said that it would withhold several emails between Hillary and Obama that were sent via her private server, because they would be too sensitive, i.e. top secret. I’ll link CNN, since they are very pro-Hillary, and you wou won’t accuse me of getting too much info from Fox or NR 😉 In fact< CNN refers to this as a problem, NOT because of any national security or ethical concerns, but as a POLITICAL problem:

        "The decision, coming three days before the Iowa caucuses, could provide fodder for Clinton's political opponents, especially Republicans, who are likely to make note of the emails' "top secret" designation. Clinton's email use has haunted her on the campaign trail since it became public early last year that she maintained a private server while leading the State Department."
        http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/29/politics/state-department-to-release-clinton-emails/

        Everything is political with Obama and Hillary. It was a flagrant violation for her to communicate anything, much less anything top secret, over a non secured server. David Petraeus did much less, But Democrats will continue to make this about a vast right-wing conspiracy, as long as that works.

      • January 31, 2016 2:34 pm

        Of course the Republicans will distort the facts and make a big deal about it.

        The Democrats will do the same thing if the opportunity presents itself, and engage in the same kind of partisan distortions.

        But we are the Truth Troll Moderates, Priscilla. Guardians of Rectitude! We are obligated to present the facts in full, not skewed for partisan effect. And so (to a fanfare of trumpets) I include this factoid from today’s NYTimes:

        “The emails were not marked as classified when they passed through Mrs. Clinton’s server; in reviewing them more recently, officials determined their content should be kept from the public.”

        Ta da! They were marked Classified recently; there’s no evidence H. Clinton knew they were classified thusly when her staff sent them to her.

        Was she stupid to use an ‘unsecured’ personal email server for government communications? You betcha. Paranoia can produce dumb decisions. I’m guessing after her husband’s tenure as president she thought her emails would be safer from prying eyes if snoops inside the government didn’t have direct access to them (later NSA Snowden leaks may have proved her suspicions prescient).

        I’m guessing she didn’t understand the hacking vulnerability of computer servers when she was appointed Sec of State – ‘Person Of Interest” didn’t hit the tv airways until threes years later. If Hillary was aware of the sophistication of hacking technology back when she set up her system, her privacy oar anoxia paranoid would undoubtedly have alerted her to take more care to insure server security. Remember, all her personal email was on it as well, and you can bet she wouldn’t have wanted that to be hacked.

        But using personal servers was NOT illegal when she put her server online.

        And if her staff knowingly stripped off classified headings from the email she received, they may be guilty of subverting the law, not Clinton. And something like 70% of Democrats don’t give a rat’s tuchis about the emails. And 70% of Republicans will continue hating her, with or without the emails.

        And there’s no Sunday Football games to watch ☹️😖😫!

      • February 1, 2016 1:23 am

        Jay I think we are in for another minimum of 4 years of “it depends on what the definition of “Is” is. “There was nothing on my server that was marked classified at the time it was received”…… is as twisted as Bill Clinton’s answer when ask about lying to the the grand jury and he gave this answer that became a game of word between “was” and “is”. Was there a sexual relationship between Monica and you…”yes”. “Is” there a sexual relationship between you and Monica “no”. Because there had been and there was not one when they ask the question he skated on the lying to the grand jury issue.

        So she will slide since she or one of her delegates at the state department had not classified anything before she received it. Nor had any other department or President classified it. So she told the truth like Bill did and now we seem to be headed for another Clinton administration. Instead of “slick Willy”, we get “Slime Hillary” and her way with words.

        The question that everyone should ask, but won’t is “When does communication of any kind become “classified” material. Is it when the document is prepared and it falls into categories predetermined to require classification, or is it after the document has been shared with multiple people and someone decides the information is sensitive and needs to be classified. Apparently all information is not classified material until someone with authority reads it and classifies it, so when she says she received no classified material no one with her authority or delegated authority had read the documents. And she was not smart enough to recognize something might be sensitive material and should be classified, so she did not classify it herself..

        However, when she is elected, I would hope her stupidity would lead to at least one executive order, that being all material will be screened prior to circulation by someone in authority to determine if it should be classified or not based on predetermine subjects and if one can not determine if it should be classified or not , then classification will take place and future removal would take place if it is found to be harmless.

        This just shows if a politician promises enough people enough free stuff, then they can be elected regardless of their qualifications. Trump is promising the sky to right wing extremist and they buy the bull that 12 million illegals will be sent home, Mexico will pay for the wall, they buy the bull that he will place 45% tariffs on imports and they buy his position that any Muslim will be banned from entering America. They buy Bernies bull about taxing the rich and middle class to pay for one payor health care, but people will have more money because they won’t be paying for health insurance, they buy his bull that he can break up the huge banks and they buy Hillary’s bull that she will redistribute income so the divide between the rich and middle class will be reduced. Promise them the moon and they will buy any crap you communicate.

        But don’t communicate anything that will fix our problems like social security, the debt and deficit, trade policies and other issues since those will cause sacrifices by many and no one wants to sacrifice to fix problems, they want someone else to sacrifice for them.

      • Roby permalink
        February 1, 2016 10:37 am

        Ron, much as I respect your common sense and common decency I have to part company over Slime Hillary. Keeping things in proportion is what has Not happened in our politics for at least 16 years. Its been a terrible wound on the country, we have lost all proportion, we are degenerating visibly.

        I don’t like Hillary, I do like W. Does it matter who is likable (within reason)?

        W lied about the costs of his 2 wars, spent trillions of dollars to get thousands of American soldiers killed or maimed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, converted the US from a country that had the world’s sympathy to a country that had most of the worlds contempt in a few short years following 9/11. As well he allowed the banks to use far more leverage in lending, greatly contributing to the worst economic crisis since the depression.

        Hillary kept some e-mails on a home computer, no one has been harmed.

        I’m sorry, I don’t get it and I’m not going to get it. I don’t like Hillary, even deeply don’t like her. But when this computer thing gets blown out of all proportion by the opposition, that is not a win for anyone, first of all, the opposition. But mostly, the country. She did a dumb thing. Let it go.

        I want a unified, more or less, country. I will agree with those who say that Obama has failed to do that, too dry, too odd, and too partisan. He is the president he should have served everyone.

        But at the same time how has the “loyal opposition” behaved? Anyone who thinks that they have behaved well and have not not contributed mightily to the terrible polarization of the US is living in a completely different universe than I am.

        If Hillary gets elected and the conservative/GOP playbook is all about dragging the country through years and years of pointless scandal mongering, I and many moderates will take Clinton’s side. Its small, its petty, its destructive and whats more the GOP is now wishing they had worked with Bill instead of scandalized impeachment. They are repeating that. Its STUPID.

        I thought Christians were supposed to be forgiving. Perhaps the right, as the more Christian side, should take that idea out and dust it off and try it on and see if it helps us to let go of this e-mail scandal nonsense.

      • February 1, 2016 3:06 pm

        You summed it up right!

        Partisan hatred is the national pastime.

        And I don’t see it getting any better as long as political discord remains a profit center for media.

      • February 1, 2016 3:12 pm

        My point in all my posts concerning Clinton is not that she may or may not have broken the law, but it is the play on words and the fact she is following in her husbands footsteps. I agree with you concerning “w” and his position on the Iraqi war. Most right wing voters will not agree that he lied about WMD’s, just like most left wing voters will not agree she lied about her knowing she had classified material on her computer. If she sat in the bunker with Obama, Biden, the Secretary of defense and all the brass that watched OBL being taken out, she knew what constituted sensitive and classified material. That is why she used the term “marked classified” when ask the question. One can not receive data concerning operational information that includes assets names and places without knowing it was classified.

        I think the fallout from this is going to be difficult for either Clinton should the justice department bring charges or for Obama and his legacy should his administration decide to pass on charges. Many people are going to look at this just like many blacks look at our justice system when white guys are not indicted for murder or manslaughter when the evidence does not support the indictment.

        This country deserves a leader as President. FDR, JFK and Reagan are individuals that provided the type of leadership this country needed so that we all came together as a nation to accomplish difficult goals. People may not agree with what they stood for, but they can’t say much negative about their impact on the mental outlook of Americans when they were in office.

        Trump, Cruz, Clinton, Sanders do not provide the leadership to unite this country. Of this group, I respect Sanders because he will not get into the mud with the rest of them and projects a positive campaign. I do not agree with his positions, but I agree with the way he does it. Jesse Helms was a senator from North Carolina that people hated or loved. Little in between. But even his ardent enemies said they always respected Jesse because he told the truth and always practiced what he preached.

        So they will find another adjective to stick to Hillary to match “Slick” given the Bill. I did not spend much time looking for one that was a synonym to slick for her, but someone will come up with a better one once she is elected.

      • February 1, 2016 7:01 pm

        “So they will find another adjective to stick to Hillary to match “Slick” given the Bill.”

        If it’s a pejorative to do with the emails, how about Grandma Hill? Because her dithering grasp of server security would match your grandmother’s.

        I agree with you, Ron, that she knew some the emails she was receiving through her private server had been stripped of their ‘secret confidential’ heading by her staff. But those emails were intended to reach her eyes; they were probably time sensitive, and she was the direct receipent for most of them. Sending them directly to her was the most expeditious way to do that, avoiding time wasting red tape of routing them roundabout through proper channels. If she and/or her staff believed her server was secure enough to keep the information flowing through it safe, that could explain them rationalizing sending the info directly as justifiable rule bending. But as we know, the road to political hell is paved with good intentions; and they should have been savvy enough to know better.

        As to Slick Willy: when I was growing up as a ne’er do well teenager in Upper Manhattan, hanging out in a smoke filled neighborhood pool hall, the parlor hustler was named ‘Slick.’ He was a gaunt guy in his early 20s with a cigarette always dangling from the corner on his mouth, and a devious glint in his eyes. To us, that knickname signified someone who was sly, clever in a conniving way, and successful – as testified by my frequent empty pockets after being maneuvered into various tactical bets on which I always ended up holding the losing pool stick. This by way of explaining that when I first head the ‘Slick Willy’ appellation tagged onto Clinton I took it as a positive description of a wiley politician with a box full of tricks up his sleeve who would get things done. And overall I thought Clinton was a pretty good president; when he was president the country did well economically, and so did I; the nation didn’t collapse, the trains and planes kept running, the Seinfeld show was on TV throughout the decade, food was better, restaurants were better, technology was better – In fact, the 1990s may have been the ‘slickest’ decade in the US since the 1950s, in the positive sense of the word: smooth, efficient, and better.

        That was a halcyon decade, and yes, Bill Clinton, Oval Office blow job and all, was da Prez. And I don’t have any problem with his personal life, or overall with Hillary’s either. That doesn’t mean I’m thrilled she’s running for president. I have problems with Democratic double-standard PC correctness, Black reverse racism capitulation, over-the-top excess immigration, wasteful international aid to hostile Middle East nations and entities – and other jerky policies Hillary will inherit and embrace.

      • February 1, 2016 10:05 pm

        Hillary is the likely subject of a criminal investigation by the FBI- that’s the FBI, not the GOP. Yes, she was “stupid” to use a private server, instead of the required State Department server, but the fact that she did that, and then had the server wiped, when she was court-ordered to turn it over, goes way past stupid, right into illegal. The federal crimes that she may have committed include the theft and destruction of federal property, espionage ( by diverting classified info to an unprotected, nongovernmental server and again by emailing those secrets to other unprotected and nongovernmental venues) and perjury, for signing a document on her first day as SecState, that stated that she understood that, marked or not, the content of classified information is what makes it classified, not its markings.

        Although the FBI can recommend an indictment, it cannot indict. That’s up to Loretta Lynch, Obama’s AG, who was appointed US Attorney in NY by Bill Clinton. Lynch not only has a potential conflict with the Clinton appointment, but would certainly not indict unless Obama wants her to, which he obviously doesn’t. If this were a Republican administration, there would already be a huge outcry from the media, demanding a special prosecutor. That is one of the advantages of having a Republican President; the media actually does its job and demands accountability when there are clear signs of corruption.

        Ron, I believe that Hillary could actually pardon herself, if she were to become President. If and when that happens, we will essentially have become the world’s biggest banana republic.

      • February 2, 2016 1:13 am

        I said it earlier and with the information that you have provided concerning Lynch, one has to wonder just what that backlash will be when they decide not to indict. And how will that play with the few percentage points of key voters in Ohio, Florida and a couple other swing states that will determine the next president. Depending on what state you ask voters, from 55% to 65% in most states say Hillary is dishonest and untrustworthy. If the indictment does not materialize, will this increase these negatives and cause her defeat in the general election. We will just have to wait and see.

        And then if Obama does not indict, does he want this as the latest big story that dominates much of the news over his last few months in office? And if anyone in the FBI resigns and then leaks the evidence that was used to recommend an indictment, would that be enough to fan even the fires in media outlets like CNN and other more moderate media companies. Again, only time will tell.

        One thing for sure, there were two losers in Iowa tonight. Trump and Clinton. Clinton is tied with Sanders, so she comes out of Iowa damaged. If Sanders walks away with the vote in New Hampshire, what happens next in Nevada in their caucus. And Iowa showed Trump he can not dominate the news and win. It also showed he does not have the people behind him that provides the leadership in a campaign to capture the vote they need. Some have said his campaign manager is not up to the job. (Just now on Charlie Rose, PBS) Does that provide a glimpse into the type of “yes” men he will place in his cabinet even though he says they will be “winners” Tonight they were anything but winners.

        So on the New Hampshire and wait for that outcome. Thank god for the super bowl. “Keep pounding, Go Panthers!!!!!”

  62. January 29, 2016 8:40 pm

    Second link and comparison to Hillary obtaining an possessing classified material.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3173842/U-S-sailor-charged-taking-photos-inside-nuclear-submarine.html

    The first one is closer to Clintons issue as both had it on computers and tried to cover it up. This one is slightly different, but it still covers classified material.

    This is going to get very interesting.

    • January 30, 2016 12:10 am

      Now you’re starting to sound irrational, Ron.

  63. Anonymous permalink
    January 29, 2016 8:58 pm

    Roby, that fits…you and jimi. Your posts sounded much the same. 🙂

    Re: the religious aspect we’ve discussed here, I saw this article today. For me, it hits the nail on the head. Today we have “Christianity in the political sense.” Like radical Islam…two sides of the same coin. I keep wondering when the true-to-the-Word Christians are going to stand up and speak out, particularly the evangelicals. Anyway, ‘ll be interested to hear what you think about the sentiment in this article.

    http://theboeskool.com/2016/01/27/if-this-is-christianity-count-me-out/

  64. January 30, 2016 12:27 am

    For me, to mix metaphors, the entire Hillary Clinton email imbroglio is a red herring in a teapot. In retrospect it certainly wasn’t savvy to set up a private server for both private and government emails, as techno dumb as using your phone number or birth date as passwords for computer security. I see that as stupidly negligent, but not criminally negligent –
    Same for the Restricted ‘secret’ documents. Most of them weren’t that secret it turns out; and there’s no evidence yet, only supposition, that she knew they were classified and knowingly received or sent them elsewhere.

    If she ‘unknowingly’ mishandled classified documents when she was Sec of State, she’s not in violation of the spirit of the law, which requires willful retaining or transmitting classified information to people not authorized to receive it.

    You really have to be a confirmed Hillary hater to want to prosecute her on wishy-washy sloppiness technicalities. If Sarah Palin was Sec of State and had done the same thing (it’s a hypothetical) would there be the same outrage from the Right? I doubt it.

  65. January 30, 2016 1:10 pm

    An interesting take on Trump by Tucker Carlson:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-is-shocking-vulgar-and-right-213572

  66. Roby permalink
    January 31, 2016 10:11 am

    If this comes out correctly it will be today’s bloom county campaign spoof in color. If it does not come out correctly it could be god knows what. Refinding the national sense of humor would be a great start on saving us for extremes.

  67. Roby permalink
    January 31, 2016 11:18 am

    This is a comment from an empty WasPost analysis of Trumps chances. Priceless! Should be a bumper sticker:

    “The untold story is that blue collar democrats have been left behind by the hand-wringing progressive wing of the democratic party. They want jobs and security, not transgender bathrooms. ”

    I gotta agree with this one.

    • January 31, 2016 7:09 pm

      Yeah. Let’s shrink it down, and print them up:

      Blue Collar Democrats
      Want Jobs And Security 💰
      Not Transgender Restrooms! 🚽

  68. Roby permalink
    February 1, 2016 4:03 pm

    Ron, W did not lie about WMDs. He was wrong, but that is not the same as lying. He believed that Saddam had them because Saddam wanted everyone to believe he had them. If fact it goes beyond that, he Could Have claimed that stuff we did find was the WMD, but he didn’t.

    What he lied about and covered up was the cost. That is a proven fact.

    I would give a lot to have a non divisive leader with a really positive attitude, perhaps Rubio will somehow get in and provide that. His politics and religion are in disagreement with my b ideas, but if he gets in I will give him a chance to be a leader and I would be strongly opposed to dems fighting his programs using the methods that the GOP has used to fight Obama and Hillary.

    About spying and classified info, every one is spying like crazy and feigning outrage publically when their own side gets caught. I’m going to say that spying is a generally good thing, a necessary evil, that’s why everyone does it. I wish that spying were 100% effective, if it were we would not, for example, have invaded Iraq. The more everyone knows about what cards the other sides are holding the fewer dreadful mistakes will occur. Saddams invasion of Kuwait is such an example, he did not understand our cards, if he had he would not have invaded Kuwait. I believe that if the European Union and Russia had truly understood each other’s cards then the whole mess that is truly destroying the lives of people I personally know in Ukraine would not have happened.

    Obviously, there are actual harms that can come from spying, if for example, one makes the names of sources who are secretly helping us in Afghanistan public then those people could pay with their lives. I do not believe that anything of the kind happened with Hillary’s e-mails, if I am proven wrong I will humbly eat my words. She herself wants all of it make public. I really don’t think anyone’s safety was compromised. If not then this is just a relatively small deal, 100% political, that I wish would be dropped. I also wish that she learns her lesson.

  69. February 1, 2016 10:15 pm

    Is it just me, or is the sound of the voices of the news commenters on all the MSM stations talking about the Iowa caucuses driving you nuts? The screech of annoying chalk on blackboards would be more tolerable!

    I’ve channel skipped from CNN to FOX to MSNBC to CBS to ABC – and haven’t been able to tolerate the commentators for even 60 seconds.

    Have I developed an allergy to commentator cadence?

    • February 1, 2016 11:08 pm

      They all say the same things, in the same way, and say them over and over again.

      • http://Bookscrounger.com permalink
        February 2, 2016 6:25 am

        Theys ain’t much new in the news…

      • Roby permalink
        February 2, 2016 9:16 am

        Here is an picture of the news coverage of slow moving events from my favorite social commentators:

        Announcer: And now (fanfare) for the first time ever on record (fanfare) we proudly present the 1972 Eclipse of the sun! (fanfare)

        Brian: (John Cleese) Well, here we are at Lords, waiting for the eclipse of the sun. Peter.

        Peter: (Eric Idle) Yes, the ground’s in tip-top condition and I think we can expect some first rate eclipsing this morning Brian.

        Brian: Well, we’re certainly all looking forward to it very much up here. Jim.

        Jim: (Graham Chapman) And to look at the eclipse of the sun through…

        Peter: Of the sun through?

        Jim: Yes, to look at the eclipse of the sun through…

        Brian: I don’t understand.

        Jim: To look through, at the eclipse of the sun…

        Brian: What?

        Jim: I haven’t finished. We have this, ooh, surely, magnificent…

        Brian: Absolutely.

        Jim: …quite superb…

        Brian: Here, here.

        Jim: Quite agree.

        Peter: What?

        Jim: Eh… piece of smoked glass.

        Brian: Absolutely.

        Jim: Which must be fully… ooh…

        Brian: easily…

        Peter: Must be!

        Brian: Absolutely.

        Jim: No question.

        Peter: Jolly good!

        Terry: Start again!

        Jim: Well, here we are at Lord’s with this piece of smoked trout…

        Peter: …glass!

        Jim: Oh, please? Oh, oh, glass! Waiting quite superbly for the eclipse of the sunlike object.

        Brian: And here, if I’m very much mistaken, comes the eclipse.

        Jim: Yes, you are very much mistaken. Here it comes. Peter.

        Peter: Yes, I can’t see anyone stopping it now!

        Brian: No, it’s all over bar the shouting.

        Jim: The sands of time must surely be drawing to a close for this plucky solar… (thunder) …oh!?

        Brian: Oh!?

        Peter: Oh!?

        Jim: Oh.

        Brian: Rain!

        Peter: Rain!

        Jim: Rain. Uh-hmm. Well, what a shame, the rain is beginning to come down now here at Lord’s.

        Brian: Light’s going, too.

        Peter: Yes, going really quite fast.

        Jim: Mind you, it’s getting quite murky up here now.

        Brian: You can hardly see your glass in front of your face.

        Jim: What a shame. Well, that’s it from Lord’s then, I’m afraid, but we’ll be back here again the moment there is any sign of improvement.

        Narrator: (Michael Palin) Well, while we’re waiting to take you back to Lord’s, we play you a recording of Alistair Cook being attacked by a duck.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      February 1, 2016 11:39 pm

      Agreed, Jay, “commentator cadence” is excruciatingly revolting. They are so often caught up in trying to make something out of nothing. During the recent snow storm here in PA, an overly excited newscaster seriously said “as you can see, our reporter _______ is practically buried in the snow…” The snow was well below the reporter’s knees. “Practically buried”????? Give us a break!

  70. Roby permalink
    February 1, 2016 10:48 pm

    “If this were a Republican administration, there would already be a huge outcry from the media, demanding a special prosecutor. That is one of the advantages of having a Republican President; the media actually does its job and demands accountability when there are clear signs of corruption.”

    My obsessive side has taken to reading Sanders support blogs. I hear the same stuff, everything the media does is unfair to progressives. Its a conspiracy. My heart is failing to break.

    By the time an ideological group has decided nearly en mass that they are the victims of the media they have already lost… and deserve to lose. Bleh.

    Ironically, there is no viewpoint that is not fully covered in todays online media, 2000 channels every point of view.

    I just tried to read the Wiki article on the Clinton E-mails. A long, long article. I could find parts that made it seem that perhaps she has done something serious other seemed to make that quite doubtful. Best I can figure is there are two separate universes and in the middle between them lies a political fog machine. I just cannot bring myself to care about this unless someone shows me that some real damage has been done to someone.

    It sounds to me like someone needs to do the constructive thing, worry about the future and define what should be the clear law about such communicatins in in the future so clearly that we don’t have to hear about this again.

    • February 1, 2016 11:12 pm

      There is very clear law regarding these communications. Many people, including David Petraeus have ruined their careers for less than what our former top diplomat is accused of.

      It’s not the law that is unclear – it’s whether the law applies differently to some that to others, whether there is sufficient evidence to determine that the law was broken, and whether those who are entrusted with enforcing the law do so.

  71. Roby permalink
    February 2, 2016 12:00 am

    Ha, Trump in second Rubio much stronger than predicted almost equal to Trump. Let this be the beginning of the end of trump. I bet he goes out cackling insanely like the wicked with of the west when the air goes out of his run!

    • February 2, 2016 1:08 am

      Creepy Crud came in first. Good. Iowa will jinx him like it did Huckabee in 2008. The Huxter won 41% of the caucus vote, and McCain was in fourth place and only pulled 15%, but went on to kick butt in the larger states. Cruz is going to get his ass bruised going forward in New Hampshire, where Trump has a solid lead.

      • February 3, 2016 6:50 pm

        Interesting situation with Cruz campaign telling people that Carson had suspended his campaign and were telling this to people at the caucuses. His wife walked into a meeting when the Cruz campaign member was saying this and although she was not slated to talk, she was asked and she told them they were not suspending the campaign. Carson won that caucus site. (Fox News 2/3/16) So one has to wonder could he have taken enough away from Cruz to get Trump and Rubio up one position, coming in third himself.

        And the interesting thing is they can say this, even if they know it is not rue and it is not illegal. We can not screw with investment information on wall street, but we can lie through our teeth with our politics and nothing happens.

      • February 3, 2016 8:57 pm

        Carson was on Fox demanding that Cruz fire the staffer or staffers responsible, insinuating that Cruz is a sleepy operator. And on The Five show at least two of the panalists were sayin the doctored campaign letter they sent to voters in Iowa broke a misdemeanor law for false election statements. That was not about the Carson falsity, but some Mickey Mouse gimmick they used to get people to read the letter. So far I haven’t been able to dig up more on it, nut here’s a link that mentions it:
        http://national.suntimes.com/national-world-news/7/72/2537501/donald-trump-ted-cruz-dirty

      • February 4, 2016 12:33 am

        Jay I saw the interview and did not see what you saw that had anything that supports his “demanding” a staffer be fired. What I saw was him accepting Cruz’s apology, but also saying that he wanted those responsible for the incorrect information to also apologize to him and if that did not happen, then he would know Ted Cruz’s apology was just empty words (not his exact words, but that was his meaning).

        I will say they said he was “extremely mad”,”fuming” and a couple other adjectives on different promo’s and when he came on he was just as laid back as he usually is. He does make a great character for SNL to develop skits around.

      • February 4, 2016 2:00 am

        Maybe ‘demand’ was too strong a description.

        Here’s the quote:

        Carson “said if Cruz didn’t know this was going on, then he needs to fire some people.”

        http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/02/02/carson-bashes-cruz-iowa-dirty-tricks-never-more-tainted-victory-iowa

      • February 4, 2016 12:04 pm

        Yep, that’s what I heard. But you know what, I view this the same way I view Clinton’s e-mail issue with “marked” classifications. No one will be able to convince me he did not know this was going to happen and he let it go just like Clinton knew those operational e-mails were classified when she had them on an unauthorized server.

        The only thing worse than a liar (Clinton) is a liar that cloaks themselves in religion and makes people think they lead a Christian life, but lie and cheat behind peoples back and go to church every Sunday and pray for forgiveness for the same sin(Cruz).

  72. http://Bookscrounger.com permalink
    February 2, 2016 6:23 am

    Rick, I like much of what you say here, but I have to object — on your own grounds.

    You are right, people are angry, and I invite you to look at your opening paragraph. I worry that we tend to take our current problems and conclude that the world is coming to an end instead of simply seeing them as normal problems (I tell my patients, “When your problems stop, they bury you.”) Your opening paragraph is pretty much how radical media whips people into a highly profitable frenzy: tell them everything is falling apart and give them an enemy to hate. (Shameless self-promotion: Yelling ‘Firetrap’ in a Crowded Theatre, http://bookscrounger.com/2016/01/23/yelling-firetrap/ ).

    And from that grows the unpleasant fruit of the broad brush. “It’s those people” who are the source of our problems: blacks, intellectuals, gays, immigrants.

    Or in this case, gun-toting rednecks. Because Rick, here we’re treating the people in the standoff exactly as they treat others. They say it’s us. So we respond and say it’s them. (The answer is, we’re all nuts.) Look at the stereotypes and assumptions in the article.

    We definitely can’t ignore the squatters, and my fear is that by trying to avoid another Waco, we may be encouraging more such actions like this. On the other hand, by denying them the reaction that they seek, the bilious, explosive, incautious reaction that anger-mongering requires, cooler heads and cooler heels may prevail. Eventually they simply leave, exhausted, and their lack of results discourages others from trying it again.

    We can hope.

    • February 2, 2016 12:02 pm

      Good point, Bookscrounger. My opening paragraph does make me sound a bit like Chicken Little. That’s probably a consequence of 1) having majored in world history, with special attention paid to the rise and fall of civilizations, 2) having observed the accelerating polarization of American politics and culture, especially since 9/11.

      Americans are angrier than ever for a number of reasons, most of them valid, but that anger generally leads to bad choices. Yes, we need sensible heads to prevail. I also think we need “radical” moderates (like me, of course) to rouse the center and point out the dangers of extremism. We’re a “house divided” right now, and we all know where that led us back in Lincoln’s day.

    • February 2, 2016 12:06 pm

      As for the Malheur militiamen, I think the Feds simply should have cut off utilities to the compound and let nature take its course. Obama should have been more assertive, too, making it clear that armed occupations are totally unacceptable as a means of dealing with grievances.

  73. Roby permalink
    February 2, 2016 10:00 am

    That was beautifully said. Thanks.

    “I worry that we tend to take our current problems and conclude that the world is coming to an end instead of simply seeing them as normal problems (I tell my patients, “When your problems stop, they bury you.”) Your opening paragraph is pretty much how radical media whips people into a highly profitable frenzy: tell them everything is falling apart and give them an enemy to hate.”

    Its good to put things in perspective and stop mass hyperventilation for a moment but I am not sure how “normal” some of our problems are, right now the earth, for example appears to be at the first stages of a dangerous overheating, mass extinctions and human catastrophes are a very possible result. Our children and grandchildren will live in a world where our present debate about whether this change in climate is actually happening will seem idiotic, suicidal, incompetent. Yes, we normally have problems, but..

    Well, for me the obvious recent low point was the school shooting (oh, which one? I mean the first grade class) and the reaction to it. I think things are bad, worse than usual, not acceptable. Not as bad as 1938 perhaps but 2015 was a sick year for people I know in Ukraine whose country fell apart underneath them not leaving the promising future the majority expected when they overthrew their kleptocrat and sent him home to his masters and bringing despair instead, one of the world’s two superpowers invaded its neighbor, shot down a civilian aircraft, lied shamelessly about it and its populace Love their strong leader/quasi dictator. Heads rolled all over the place, executions were carried out by small children, parents watched their children be beheaded on TV, another brave women who went to Syria to help the poor was raped repeatedly by the leader of the death cult that wishes to rule the world. We have not been able to much stop that cult. Here in America a casino owner made a hostile takeover of the GOP based on ramping up the levels of xenophobia to new heights, and he too is full of praise for Russia’s lying dictator and for the Korean system as well. This has proven to be a popular way of behaving with about 25% of the country, who believe its just what we need. The culture wars in the US have reached a new level of divisiveness and a far left and a far right candidate both have large followings and are admired and considered as the new normal state and not at all radical by many outside of even their followers. Our election is sure to produce a result that 49% of the country will find unacceptable.

    Sorry, bookscounger, it was beautifully said and I agree with your main underlying point about perspective, and yet you too are wrong. A rational person could believe that things are worse than usual and not looking like they will change that downward trend.

    The enemy to hate is ideological and religious extremes. I do hate them, they are killing us. Normal decent intelligent people everywhere are accepting utterly useless and often disgusting ways of thinking as the new norm. Its been building like global warming or like Altzheimers for a considerable period, the symptoms are now becoming louder, we have passed the stage were the system can compensate and hide the disease. This is all feeding off vast impersonal forces more than particular evil persons and cannot be stopped by removing the most obviously nasty little people.

    Well, I have to go, my wife and I are going to a spa for the day to relax in various hot waters and steam rooms and eat some great food. I hope I did not depress anyone.

    • February 4, 2016 10:57 am

      Wretched behavior is a feature, not a bug, of politics. It’s the rare politician who can be successful without compromising on his/her principles along the way. I think that most people factor that in to the equation, and decide what it is that constitutes an acceptable level of political compromise. I don’t care for Ted Cruz, and think that his campaign flyer and rumor mongering about Carson was dirty politics. It makes me like him even less. But I think that Hillary is a politician that would stop at nothing to get elected, even if it means violating the law and putting American secrets at risk, in order to protect her own reputation. Much worse in my opinion.

      Pandering to evangelicals in Iowa has become a necessity to Republicans running for the nomination, and there are plenty of other voter groups that get pandered to by both parties….it’s part of the process, unfortunately.

      • Roby permalink
        February 4, 2016 11:33 am

        “I don’t care for Ted Cruz, and think that his campaign flyer and rumor mongering about Carson was dirty politics. It makes me like him even less.”

        Well, that is a clear and unequivocal statement. I am relieved to hear that. some of your comments have at times sounded like you may admire him.

        “But I think that Hillary is a politician that would stop at nothing to get elected, even if it means violating the law and putting American secrets at risk, in order to protect her own reputation. Much worse in my opinion.”

        My dislike for Hillary matches yours of Cruz. But I don’t see the connection between being careless about her computer choice and getting elected. Did it somehow help her campaign to use a computer at home? What exactly would her motivation be for exposing secrets? I cannot see any intent here or political profit. I just see carelessness. I have many years of reasons for disliking her, I am so far not finding much in the computer situation that makes me like her even less.

        For me, what a wretched set of choices, lucky that my vote is not needed in Vermont to change anything so I simply try to see the outcomes objectively for how much harm each potential president will do to my world. I don’t see any of them who are likely to net improve it for me or my family, just different flavors of harm.

        My mom supports Sanders, does not think he will win but hopes that his candidacy will send a message to the overly influential power brokers. I guess perhaps Trumps sends that message too. Perhaps this cycle will somehow shift behaviors and patterns of money influencing politics? Wish I were more hopeful.

        I don’t get why there simply isn’t an effective drive to have a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United. Everyone hates it, across ideological lines.

  74. Roby permalink
    February 3, 2016 10:21 pm

    From the New Yorker:

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/ted-cruzs-iowa-mailers-are-more-fraudulent-than-everyone-thinks

    “…..Given its obsession with political science, it’s no surprise that the Cruz campaign decided to adopt the “social pressure” techniques to turn out voters in Iowa for Monday night’s caucuses. On Saturday, Twitter came alive with pictures from voters in the state who received mailers from the Cruz campaign. At the top of the mailers, in a bold red box, are the words “VOTING VIOLATION.” Below that warning is an explanation:

    You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.
    Below that, a chart appears with the names of the recipient of the mailing as well as his neighbors and their voting “grade” and “score.”

    A further explanation appears below the chart:

    Voter registration and voter history records are public records distributed by the Iowa Secretary of State and/or county election clerks. This data is not available for use for commercial purposes – use is limited by law. Scores reflect participation in recent elections. [Emphasis added.]
    After seeing the mailers, Iowa’s secretary of state, Paul Pate, issued a statement condemning Cruz’s tactic:

    “Today I was shown a piece of literature from the Cruz for President campaign that misrepresents the role of my office, and worse, misrepresents Iowa election law. Accusing citizens of Iowa of a “voting violation” based on Iowa Caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act. There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses.
    Additionally, the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office never “grades” voters. Nor does the Secretary of State maintain records related to Iowa Caucus participation. Caucuses are organized and directed by the state political parties, not the Secretary of State, nor local elections officials. Also, the Iowa Secretary of State does not “distribute” voter records. They are available for purchase for political purposes only, under Iowa Code.”

    On Saturday night, Cruz responded. “I will apologize to no one for using every tool we can to encourage Iowa voters to come out and vote,” he told reporters during a campaign stop in Sioux City.”…..

    Good Grief. What a freak show.

    • February 3, 2016 10:36 pm

      When I first laid eyes on Cruz I experienced Shakespeare’s Witches premonition from Macbeth:

      “By the pricking of my thumbs,
      Something wicked this way comes. “

    • February 4, 2016 12:24 am

      I think I will pull a page from the Clinton play book.

      Had this been a state sanctioned election, then maybe it would have been a misdemeanor However, (according to info I have heard) the caucuses that take place in Iowa are not state sponsored. They are a meeting of individuals that take place that allow others to make speeches at the meeting and to try and sway others to support their candidate. Then they either move to one side of the room or the other (democrats) or write down the candidate they support (republicans) and the names are tallied. They ever flip coins in some locations to decide the winners (Dem’s). So this social gathering sponsored by the two parties follow party rules and not state rules. in addition, all of the correspondence does not have any state logo’s or any other state identifications. so I put this mailer into the same category as those beige yellow envelops marked “Important Tax Information” that appear to be from the IRS, but are really advertising for tax preparation or other services.

      As for Cruz and his notification that Carson was suspending his campaign, guess he will attend church this Sunday, pray for forgiveness and come up with some other underhanded way to get votes in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

      • Roby permalink
        February 4, 2016 10:11 am

        Many people would sniff this mailer out, you would, I would. But, many people won’t, they will actually believe that the state is watching them vote, grading them, and reporting them to their neighbors. And, those are the people Cruz wished to reach and scare into voting. Its just nasty, really, nasty, even by the standards of politics. That is not a man I could tolerate as president. On top of all else, its stupid, its not even a winner, in the end it will be a very effective TV ad against him if he gets further. A nasty stupid man, it will be a sincere pleasure to watch him fail.

      • February 4, 2016 12:23 pm

        Some of the most underhanded individuals are those that are bible waving, fire and brimstone, pseudo born again Christians that are anything but Christian. They are more closely aligned with the likes of the KKK than God. Cruz keeps moving in that direction to me as I see more of him campaigning. (Not that he would do what the KKK did in the past, but in his unchristian behaviors)

  75. Roby permalink
    February 4, 2016 9:46 am

    This year I read about a Christian couple who watched the video of their son being beheaded by ISIS. They were asked if they were going to forgive those people. They said “not now but Yes, in time we will, we are Christians, we have to.” That amazed me, those people took their faith so deeply, I could not even imagine it. Truly sincere Christians making an incredible effort to follow their principles.

    Unfortunately there is another type of Christian, lying, cheating, and swindling while mentioning God, their deep religious beliefs, and Christ at every opportunity. Now, if there really is a Christian God I would be interested to know what happens to both types of Christians in the afterlife? Perhaps the 2nd type gets about the same reward as fundamentalist muslims who massacre civilians while yelling God is great? I realize that there is a difference in the scale of the bad behavior between people like Cruz and radical islamic terrorists, but staggering blindness to one’s own wretched behavior while expecting to actually be eternally rewarded for it in the end is always nauseating to watch.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      February 5, 2016 2:31 pm

      There’s this thing, this tendency, that’s been floating around regarding Christianity and religion in general for, oh, centuries…

      Oh no,it’s another analogy, this time a college course and a professor in which some of the students do the assignments, earn an A or a 3.0 or whatever, go on to graduate the school, and get a wonderful job. Well then there are others who don’t do the assignments, fail the course, and drop out of school.

      Should the reputation of the course and the Professor suffer because of those who didn’t do the assignments, etc.?

      Unfortunately, illogically, Christianity and other religions are too often pooh-poohed, mocked, or otherwise blamed for those who didn’t apply the principles or live an exemplary life, as if the religion or spirituality is supposed to work like magic. Just because someone is registered in college doesn’t mean they’ll do well. Similar for baptism. Anyway, Ron and Roby, I’m not saying you were knocking Christianity and religion, but hopefully we’re not judging religion by the flunkies, fools, and imperfect humans.

      Sophisticated Trump is the funniest thing I’ve seen in many days!

      • February 5, 2016 5:40 pm

        It sure would be nice to know why some comments go to my e-mail and others do not. Hopefully no one, even Rick, has to pay for word press software.

        Pat, I am sorry of anyone took my comments the wrong way. I am not knocking religion at all. But I do have two positions that many people do not agree with. One, religion should not play a part in any election. If one is an atheist, they could be much more qualified for that job than a extremely religious individual such as Carter.

        Two, if you do wrap yourself with the bible and its Christian teachings, then act like a religious individual. Don’t go to church on Sunday and pray for forgiveness and then walk out the door and an hour later commit the same sin, knowing that in seven days you will be praying for forgiveness again. No one can convince me that Ted Cruz did not know what was happening with the Carson lies. He has a smart device, he receives the same messages that all the precinct captains received. He could have responded to leave that info alone and if it had been shared to let everyone know it was incorrect. But he did not, he allowed the lie to go on and then he compounds the lie with another lie that he did not know. Sorry, I can’t buy that. If you are running for President, you know everything of significance that is happening. You do not want any surprise questions that make you look bad and he knew about this because he was ready for the question when ask.

        So in summary, leave religion out of the election and if you do bring it up, make sure you reflect the religious teachings in your actions and words. Seems like Kasich might be the closet thing to this than any of them.

      • February 5, 2016 5:49 pm

        Here’s my analogy for organized religion: it’s like a roulette wheel, with alternate slots of good and bad, of altruism, charity, benevolence, self-sacrifice, love – alternating with venality, crime, violence, intolerance, hatred. The duality of good and evil is inherent in the wheel, because religion is a reflection of the extremities of human character.

        The Gods are fiction, religions merely different versions of the play in which they act out the contradictory elements of the human drama. With or without the religion wheel, humans will continue to exhibit the same contradictory behaviors. We will continue to love and succor our fellow creatures one day, and hate and slaughter them the next –

  76. February 4, 2016 2:26 pm

    It’s not what you say, but the way you say it, lol?

    • February 4, 2016 3:13 pm

      Ha! Exactly!

      • Pat Riot permalink
        February 6, 2016 10:00 pm

        “With or without the religion wheel, humans will continue to exhibit the same contradictory behaviors.”

        This is primarily a political forum, so I won’t get too involved in too much back and forth debate about religion, but the above statement is defeatist and belies a static view of human beings, i.e. humans are such and such and therefore will always be such and such. Bleh! I don’t agree.

        Why is it that parents can’t hop out of the stands at little league and bat for their sons and daughters? Of course because the kids have to do it themselves. We humans experience, hopefully learn, and become something NEW. It’s a process of BECOMING. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s validating. None of us adults are the same creatures we were when we were young. (If only we could go back to our youthful bodies with what we know now, right?)

        Also, your statement suggests that religion won’t have any effects–the same behaviors will exist. Disagree again, and so would most of the Founding Fathers and my Uncle Frank and Aunt Mildred…threw that in so I didn’t sound too intensely serious or offended or hostile. I wish the best for all you agnostics and atheists out there coldly worshiping science and thinking the Big Bang is an explanation! (I believe what most atheists reject are the childish notions of “God” and the annoying “provincials” (overzealous or sluggish) who lean on religious dogma in lieu of thinking and reasoning.

        Anyway, are medical doctors more likely to become proficient in practicing medicine with training than without training? Of course the training is crucial.
        Is it possible to have good character development and a moral compass without religious training? Possible. Is good character development and a strong moral compass more likely to occur through intelligent religious training (not extremism) than without? I say yes, yes, yes!! Come into the light you heathens!

      • February 7, 2016 1:02 pm

        “This is primarily a political forum, so I won’t get too involved in too much back and forth debate about religion, ”

        But our politics are infused with religion, Pat-Riot, therefore it’s impossible to separate them when discussing politics. Republicans specifically infuse God into the political debate and interject religion as rationale for policy that effects all of us – abortion, gay marriage, homosexuality in general, school prayer, intelligent design, stem-cell research, contraception, pornography and censorship, etc. If those views are based on a false assumption – an invisible entity whose existence cannot be proved – why should pointing that out be excluded from the discourse?

  77. Pat Riot permalink
    February 7, 2016 3:57 pm

    Yes, Jay, I agree with you there–we should not exclude religion from political discourse, and also agree that it’s especially appropriate since a few Republican Presidential candidates have been invoking Jesus Christ and God in speeches and debates. I meant that I would refrain from a prolonged debate about the existence of “God” and the benefits of religion, etc.

    My guess is that Cruz and Rubio are pandering to the 70 to 80% of the American population who identify as Christian. If these candidates had a devout Christian faith they wouldn’t come across as so “merciless” or cocky about carpet bombing or wiping out ISIS. There would be more of an element of sadness, disappointment, and regret that such a thing was necessary with people on earth, etc.

    • Anonymous permalink
      February 10, 2016 1:30 pm

      Pat Riot, and Roby….

      I’m assuming that neither of you have heard of The Christian Left. I love their message and work. Here’s a link to their page; they also have a page on FB. Be aware that they are promoting Bernie Sanders for POTUS, and their rationale, from a “spirit of the Word” POV, is hard to argue with.

      http://www.thechristianleft.org/

  78. Roby permalink
    February 7, 2016 6:14 pm

    “If these candidates had a devout Christian faith they wouldn’t come across as so “merciless” or cocky about carpet bombing or wiping out ISIS. There would be more of an element of sadness, disappointment, and regret that such a thing was necessary with people on earth, etc.”

    Very Profound. Actually, its a rather original thought, I have not heard it stated much if at all, where is the solemnity about using brutal force, carpet bombing is intended kills everything, like a nuke without the radiation or William the Conqueror after he lost patience. I’ve been reading your discussion with Jay, both of you make very thoughtful arguments. My hat is off to you.

  79. Mikke Spech permalink
    June 30, 2016 1:12 am

    Good comments – For my two cents , if anyone requires a WV DoR IT-140 , my friend saw a fillable version here http://goo.gl/nwxiV8

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