A Republican Future: Libertarianism for the Reality-Based Community

Marijuana“[Liberty is] that condition of men in which coercion of some by others is reduced as much as is possible in society”
F.A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty

A minimum income, Obamacare. Charter schools. Marijuana decriminalization. Cap and trade. These ideas have something in common. They are policy solutions formulated by libertarian economists.

Beneath the roiling surface of American partisan rivalry is an emerging consensus informed largely by libertarian ideas. The left often borrows from libertarians on social policy while the right is drawn to its emphasis on free enterprise, but neither side is seizing the opportunity to bridge traditional partisan boundaries with libertarian proposals.

Potential exists for that kernel of common interest to form the basis of a new political block, one which would obliterate traditional ideological boundaries and dominate politics for a generation. What’s missing from libertarian politics is a willingness to adapt to real world conditions. If libertarians on the right and left of our policy spectrum ever learn how to compromise to produce concrete, effective policy they could tap into an emerging public consensus, unleashing a revolution in American politics which could bring us a radically more prosperous, free, and peaceful world.

This developing consensus is centered on the notion of personal liberty, but not the fantasy-based “liberty” of the conspiracy kooks that have come to dominate “Libertarian” politainment. The Alex Jones’s and Mark Levins of the world are not about to lead a centrist political revolution. We cannot build an effective policy consensus on a shared suspicion of the Federal Reserve or rejection of the Illuminati.

The libertarianism represented by Ron and Rand Paul has developed into an obstacle blocking efforts to build a consensus that can work. Under the influence of the Pauls, particularly Rand Paul, the libertarian brand has been co-opted by Southern religious fundamentalists and paranoid conspiracy theorists, refashioning the movement into a strange, Neo-Confederate monster.

In an ironic twist, libertarian politics has been deployed as a screen for white nationalists who will accept no political compromise that fails to cripple the ability of a central government to remedy racial and ethnic injustices. The term “libertarian” has become synonymous with “weirdo,” creating serious problems for those who would use libertarian ideas to develop credible policy.

The old Chicago-School libertarianism of Hayek and Friedman was dominated by some very serious thinkers. They were willing to wrestle with the real world to in order to move abstract ideas into practical, workable policies. Hayek’s definition of liberty quoted at the head of this piece speaks volumes. First, he recognizes that threats to liberty do not come exclusively from government. More importantly, his definition is relative, not absolute. He acknowledged that some degree of coercion is inevitable in order to maintain civilized society. Early Chicago School scholars sought to make freedom real under the constraints of the world as we experience it.

What made that older generation of libertarian thinkers particularly potent was their willingness tackle the hard-cases; scenarios like pollution control and poverty which resist obvious libertarian solutions. Ironically, those are the fields where libertarian thought has, over time, had the most influence on policy.

Hayek endorsed labor regulations and the minimum wage.  Decades before anyone had imagined Agenda 21 he advocated regulation to insure environmental sustainability. Friedman helped craft legislation that would have created a basic income. For them, ideology informed rather than dictated policy. That kind of pragmatism will be critical if the GOP will once again be more than a support group for resentful aging white men.

Americans recognize that we need the organizing power of government to harness our collective will into action. Without it we would not have schools, roads, airports, a power grid, or the Internet. We would not have police, national defense, or courts. More than that, we are coming to realize that absent the organizing force of government, we will not have a health care system that is reasonably effective or affordable.

At the same time, we want as much freedom to make decisions for ourselves as we can obtain without sacrificing those goals. We want government pushed to the margins of the economy, limited to only the most necessary roles, leaving the widest possible latitude for individuals to control their own lives and own their own fate.

A large majority of Americans, especially among the young, want libertarian social policies paired with a market-capitalist economy that also delivers first-class infrastructure, a robust social safety net and universal health insurance. We can satisfy those seemingly contradictory demands, but it will require us to step outside traditional ideological lines and weaken older political alliances.

Imagine if libertarians actually had to govern and face real world consequences. No more gold standard fantasies or relying on the hand-waving magic of “perfect” markets that do not exist. What policies would libertarians embrace if they were forced to deliver outcomes without excuses?

The best place to observe America’s nascent, cross-partisan libertarian consensus is in Colorado’s experiment in marijuana decriminalization. Colorado’s plan is interesting for the ways it incorporates liberal and conservative priorities over the surface of a fundamentally libertarian policy.

Colorado has not deregulated marijuana. No one is free to simply grow, sell, and consume it without interference. A “liberty” interest in using whatever chemicals one chooses has been limited by Colorado’s government. Conservative social priorities are respected by restrictions on public use and the sale or possession by minors. Liberal interests in health and safety are demonstrated by the close regulation of sale and distribution channels.

Marijuana markets in Colorado are heavily regulated and taxed, not exactly a libertarian textbook strategy. This compromise, however, has the overall effect of expanding personal freedom while protecting the public.

Marijuana decriminalization may or may not prove to be a success in and of itself, but it forms a model for how core libertarian ideas can make their way from imagination to policy. More than that, the cross-partisan consensus developing around this model may form the genesis of a new political block that could disrupt traditional politics.

The civilization that will win the 21st Century is the one that unleashes the creative power of personal liberty to the greatest possible extent while maintaining the core effectiveness of its government institutions. Pragmatic libertarianism, built to expand personal liberty while still respecting the need for government as an organizing and mediating force, may form the core around which a massive new consensus could develop. When the dust settles and the internal fights are over, that is the core around which a potent new Republican majority could be built.

About

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He is a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago.

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Posted in Economics, Republican Party
365 comments on “A Republican Future: Libertarianism for the Reality-Based Community
  1. Crogged says:

    What is it with libertarians and their ‘coercion’? I’ll have to read the book I mentioned comments ago.

    I did notice the other dude TThor mentions is a French farmer, which might explain more the point of coercive society than his book.

    Of course you see a ‘reality’, when will you respect that those who disagree with you are in the same world, with the same ability to create their own ‘reality’ and sometimes one should try to understand their perspective.

    In 1972ish, after the first Arab oil embargo, the mayor of Detroit could have said, “Listen, this is the beginning of a complete change in the industry which is the primary driver of economic activity in this town. In order to deal with this we are going to begin to cut future pension benefits to you and lower your current pay, we need you to chip in. If more people leave, or the industry doesn’t return strongly, we’ll cut them some more so and charge you more. Stay positive and focused, only guys who don’t know how to fish will be leaving Detroit!”

    Nobody said anything and Detroit STILL lost half its population. Sometimes people are smarter than either of us give them credit.

    Teachers are usually state employees, a city employee is the guy who picks up your trash, puts your fire out or chases the guy who tried to break in your car. Yes, there’s a big building downtown with a lot of time wasters in it

    • CaptSternn says:

      Teachers are employees of their school districts, not state employees. Just FYI.

    • DanMan says:

      You may call me libertarian but I don’t call myself that. Right up until a judge told them otherwise the pensioners in Detroit expected first the state then Obama to bail them out. Residents in places like Mackinac and Obama himself didn’t feel obligated to honor those promises did they? Do you understand why?

  2. Crogged says:

    “Until Americans have to face the consequences of their decisions there’s not much we can do.”

    Really? All we have to do is ‘face consequences’ and you have the gall to drag Fly into this? If we need bile, contempt and sarcasm for a solution, everyone writing here knows where to go.

    Which teachers are going to your city when you promise you will be looking at their pensions every year? Which policeman is going to work the double shift knowing you want to make a pocket book decision because, twenty years from now!

    • DanMan says:

      Drag fly into it? That was her take the other day about lying politicians too.

      Look at your last paragraph of your response at 9:33. Do you believe that is sustainable? What about the people that need teachers and police in 20 years? They will be paying for the pensions of the retired teachers and police of today as the article I linked explains plus the salaries of those they use at the moment.

      “Yes, governments over promise benefits,…blah blah deblah, blah, blah” They over promise as a vote buying scheme. Nothing more. The people that take the bait aren’t getting anything today but a promise for tomorrow. Why should the people of tomorrow feel obligated to pay for promises they didn’t make? It is the exact same logic. It is happening in many places already. Does it hurt to be so ignorant of these facts?

    • Crogged says:

      Dan
      Everyone ‘lies’-including yourself and even fiscally responsible people . Everyone, even Sarah and Ted.

      So? Everyone is ‘biased’. All media is people so all media is biased and lying? Right–follow your own logic. All is doom, there is never any grey except for the time spent imagining oneself in your world.

      Do I think my last paragraph is sustainable? Of course I do, why not? Some of those receiving pensions from Detroit are going to get less than promised. Some bondholders won’t all get their money back. So? We deal with the problem at hand, not twenty years from now. You are going to die owing money, if you simply saw this as a problem rather than a moral issue you might be a happier person.

    • DanMan says:

      I see it as reality. We have time as our only true possession. Most people realize this and it explains human nature. If you have no control over your time, you have lost your most valuable asset. Why should future generations obligate their time to the past? Ultimately the only way for that to happen is by coercion.

      Are you going to be coerced by promises? Sure, many people are for as long as they don’t feel any imposition on their assets. When their only asset is squandered by others they would rightly feel imposed upon. But as long as they are not being imposed upon their tolerance has no bounds.

      All those pensioners that are getting reduced or eliminated benefits squandered their time because they allowed others to spend what they believed were their financial resources. They were promises. They voted for those that made the promises because they believed the lies they were told. Imagine waking up to that reality.

    • DanMan says:

      You tell me Crogged. Until Americans have to face the consequences of their decisions there’s not much we can do. That’s why I lamented earlier about having trusted our society to always get it right until I saw we as a nation continue to run towards the financial abyss as demonstrated by the results of the 2012 election.

      I have no faith in our society any longer. It is all about getting what we can at the expense of others instead of helping where we can with our wealth. We no longer have wealth. We have the capacity for it but its already been spent for the near future yet both parties, and especially the dems as exhibited by Reid and Obama as leaders, there is no consequence to the largesse we squander.

      We will continue on our glidepath, doing our daily routine, blathering on blogs and working and raising kids and burying grandparents but the day is coming. I’ll be in the same boat y’all are. There will be no satisfaction is saying ‘I told you so”, but we’ll all be there eventually. All I can do is enjoy the ride I’m on while I’m on it.

      But endorsing dishonesty is for imbeciles and thieves. That I don’t have to be a part of.

    • Crogged says:

      Dan
      If we keep the same pensions and actuary ‘guesses’ regarding the future BUT (a) the population of Houston decreases by some fifty percent AND (b) fossil fuel extraction unexpectedly faces competition from a better cheaper energy source THEN…..DETROIT!

      Moody’s ‘slashed’ Chicago’s debt rating-or they lowered it from unimpeachable to highly bloody unlikely something terrible will happen as long as I’m employed by Moody’s………

      Ronald Reagan’s clone as mayor of Detroit from 1968 until 1985 may have diminished the scale of the problem in Detroit, but in economic and political terms, shit happens and you don’t govern for the voter in the next decade, no matter which political party you belong too.

      Yes, governments over promise benefits, in part because of the fact a government worker usually isn’t going to make up in salary what they could receive in the public and in part because I worked for a big energy company which ain’t no more in this city. Overpromising pensions, planning for the future thirty years from now, isn’t only a problem for Democratic mayors of large cities.

    • DanMan says:

      ah the old flypusher mentality…they all do it. Problems solved!

    • Texan5142 says:

      DanMan, I don’t know how to say this without sounding crass, but in all sincerity, you might want to talk to your doctor about some antidepressants, that last post of yours says a lot.

    • DanMan says:

      Truth is typically brutal for libs isn’t it? Yeah, I do have a thing for crushing your rainbows. Does that make me a bad person?

    • Texan5142 says:

      Nothing wrong with my rainbow Dan, just pointing out that maybe you could use some help because this quote from you sounds like a cry for help.

      “We will continue on our glidepath, doing our daily routine, blathering on blogs and working and raising kids and burying grandparents but the day is coming. I’ll be in the same boat y’all are”

      Did you just bury a grandparent? I ask this because that is not part of most peoples “daily routine” and if so, sorry for your loss.

    • DanMan says:

      Thanks for the concern Texan but no. It was more of a cycle of life statement relating to our routines that concern us in the present and blind us to the realities we ignore related to our futures.

      No cries for help here. Family is healthy, house is solid, garden is planted, debts are paid. All’s good.

    • Crogged says:

      Tell me what you understand about the abstraction you call ‘pensioners in Detroit’. Are they victims or criminals? Is it just an abstraction of thought to make it easier to grind a political axe? Do you know that some of them were hard working, more respectful of you than you of them, plain ol’ ordinary people who made the best decisions they could by using their best intentions?

    • Texan5142 says:

      Good to hear DanMan.

      Sigh, been a long hard winter here, started some herbs in my AreoGarden, can’t wait to put plow to earth and get my garden going outside. It is good for the heart and soul to work with the earth, and nothing like the taste of that first fresh picked, home grown vegetable or fruit out of one’s own garden. My wife always says I should wash the veggies first before eating them, I say a little rabbit piddle is ten times better than anything from Monsanto on it. I use no insecticides or pesticides, I like to till in a load of composts every spring and that is about it.

    • DanMan says:

      Me too Texan. In 2011 we had a drought, 2012 was almost as bad. Last year was a lot of work around the homestead. This is the year I’m back huge. I too make my own compost and my bin was overflowing.

      When a neighbor of mine moved to Mexico he gave a whole lot of large tools. I ended up Craigslisting some of them and a guy came over and bought everything he could get his hands on. My big mistake was letting him buy my tiller that had not been used since the drought hit. Der!

      Crogged, I have a response but I’m letting it stew. Suffice it say, I don’t have much sympathy for the municipal union’s plight. To me they are the blight FDR predicted they would be.

  3. kabuzz61 says:

    If a mother runs off and desserts her kids, she is usually looked upon with scorn. But Wendy Davis is applauded for it by the left. When she files for divorce from the man that paid her way through college, that is good behavior to the left. When this same woman wants to kill children in the womb any time the woman wants, she is lauded by the left.

    Sarah Palin was criticized for having a career. Mrs. Romney was criticized for being a stay at home mom. All by the left.

    But I figured the disconnect. When the left thinks the constitution is 400 years old, well then, you kind of give them a pass on the other contrarian stands. Democratic leader SJL said on the House floor the constitution is 400 years old. That should reverberate through all 57 states.

    • Crogged says:

      Yep, I got that Facebook post too.

      You and Dan are partisans, which isn’t an insult or a value judgment. I read your posts and your links and sometimes get down in the muck of Charlie Sheen like ‘winning’ the oneupsmanship game of forum postings. But I would never conflate JG or HT or Rucas as ‘the left’, despite their nearly unanimous non-agreement with just about anything you say. To say SJL is a ‘leader’, well, ok. “Politician says something stupid”–how shocking.

      • flypusher says:

        The next time I read a posting on this blog that says anything in praise of SJL will be the first time. Yet the righties here want to keep bashing all the non-righties over the head with her. Memo to righties- nobody here likes her. As far as I know, nobody here lives in her district (so no one here would have ever voted for her). The gerrymander is what keeps her seat safe. I’m reasonably sure that every non-righty here would be just fine with her getting voted out of office.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Fly, how many times have we witnessed the left on this blog going on and on about what some republican or conservative said, then applying it to all on the right? Answer is … daily, constantly. “Oh, look what this person said. Oh, look at what that person said.” That makes y’all owen what SJL said. Stop doing that and maybe you can disown SJL.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        What Captain said. Until you stop, then SJL is your spokesperson.

      • Crogged says:

        I let ya’ll speak for yourselves, for good or ill.

      • flypusher says:

        “Fly, how many times have we witnessed the left on this blog going on and on about what some republican or conservative said, then applying it to all on the right? ”

        And all a righty need do is say “that person is a nut job, and I don’t agree with him/her” and that would pretty much end it. But I don’t recall any of you wanting to take that stand about Stockman in the last thread featuring him.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Nice try fly. Goose meet gander.

    • Texan5142 says:

      I see you are off of your meds again. Mighty christian of you to attack Wendy Davis, I must of missed that part of the Bible. Is it somewhere between judge not and love thy neighbor?

    • Texan5142 says:

      Fly,
      The Captain lives in her district.

      • CaptSternn says:

        What captain would that be? Ted Poe is my representative.

      • Texan5142 says:

        Sorry, my mistake, I could of swore you said that she was your rep a while back, my apologies.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Texan, maybe I said I would be living in her district in the not-so-far-off future. I expect to be moving to Houston soon, but I will still have my property outside of Houston. We talk about having our city home and our country home. Both Tutt and I own our properties outright, and neither of us expects to sell. No apologies necessary.

    • John Galt says:

      You have no party, you say. Who was the last Democrat for whom you voted?

    • bubbabobcat says:

      kabuzz61 says:
      March 13, 2014 at 7:29 am

      “If a mother runs off and desserts her kids, she is usually looked upon with scorn.”

      I would hope a cannibal that eats her kids for dessert is looked upon with scorn.

  4. way2gosassy says:

    Here is a nice little article written by David Jenkins, just for you all so called conservatives.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-jenkins/ted-cruz-bob-dole_b_4946245.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

    • John Galt says:

      Bob Dole and John McCain have served this country at a level almost unparalleled. Both fought in wars for this country and were crippled because of it, then continued to serve as decent representatives of the people for at least most of their careers. If they are on one side and Cruz is on the other, then it seems like a pretty easy choice to me.

      I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Dole some years ago. He was the exact opposite of his campaign persona – he was charming, funny, and extemporaneous. This country could (and has) done worse than a President Dole.

      • flypusher says:

        If Cruz wants to disagree with them on matters politics, that’s his right. But to say that they have don’t stand for any principals is veering towards slander.

        If Cruz is so convinced that Romney and Dole and McCain weren’t conservative enough, then he shouldn’t mind telling us all what states he would win that they couldn’t.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I completely agree JG. The people I posted this for are strangely quiet on this subject. I guess “The Danman Posse” isn’t such a principled bunch either.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        I think the idea is that a “true conservative” as a candidate would open the eyes of a wide range of Americans who otherwise never hear the real message of conservatism, and then those folks would flock to vote for the GOP.

        This flies in the face of every bit of polling and public opinion data, but I think that is the theory.

        Now, when it does not work, and that candidate goes down in flames in any national election, it will not be because the country has rejected those opinions and positions. It will be because the liberal, lame-stream media and the dastardly dems controlled and distorted the message.

    • Crogged says:

      John McCain gave us Sarah Palin and only an election defeat spares him from worse judgment.

    • CaptSternn says:

      That article is almost funny, as are y’all. How many of you voted for McCain over Obama because of his service? Oh, right, none. If I had a penny for every time somebody on the internet has said, “Well, I talked to a veteran, and he/she said …” I would be retired by now. Want to know the opinion of a veteran and hold that opinion higher than all others? Just read my comments. You’re welcome.

      Their service is appreciated, but it doesn’t make them automatically right or give their opinions any more weight than the next person. And no, McCain and Dole are not conservatives. They are DNC Lite. The author of that article doesn’t have a clue. Libertarian leaning conservatives are not anti-government anarchists.

      Something else that is a bit funny, many leftists, and even the author of the linked article, call us libertarians. How does that fit in with what Lifer calls libertarian? He keeps using that word. I don’t think it means what he thinks it means. Maybe time for a new entry to try and wipe this one away?

      • John Galt says:

        According to you, every Republican ever elected to national office is “DNC lite”.

        My decision to in the McCain-Obama election was going to have been a difficult one, until he nominated Palin. In fact, I was initially pretty enthusiastic about it, until she started opening her mouth, and that pretty much sealed it.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, John. I kind of like Ted Cruz as our senator, and Tedf Poe as my representative. I think they are under the GOP ticket, or am I wrong on that one?

      • John Galt says:

        I meant national to mean president; I suppose I could have been more clear. Congress is elected on state- and district-based lines. But, yes, I knew you thought Ted Cruz to be a model Republican.

      • flypusher says:

        Palin sank that ticket, there is no doubt in my mind about that. I’d love to hear the whole story about how that choice was made. I’ve heard that McCain wanted to go with Lieberman as a running mate. THAT would have been maverick-y.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Correct Dan. The lefties totally like McCain simply because he gives in to democrats, caves and is a media whore. I wasn’t going to vote for him until Palin energized the base. But of course, since she is a woman, the left attacked viciously her AND her family. Who is that coming? Hillary. Our turn.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Why yes buzz…it is “your turn” with Hillary because up until this point, no GOP has ever said a cross word about Hillary.

  5. rucasdad says:

    Wow…where are my manners!

    Even though it may be the death of us, without it, we wouldn’t be able to communicate with positive, kind and happy spirits like Dan and Kabuzz. Without it, people like them wouldn’t be able to brighten our day and let us know that in comparison, our problems aren’t that bad and our lives will be ok.

    Happy 25th to the internet.

  6. DanMan says:

    Man that was easy call! Yesterday I guessed a dem would go to Dr. Suess during their weather scold session on Monday night.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/03/11/Not-A-Bedtime-Story-Dem-Senator-Reads-Dr-Suess-The-Lorax-As-An-Actual-Political-Statement

    Let’s see if the media excoriates him like they did Cruz for reading to his daughters during his little discussion on Obamacare funding.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Was it filler during a fake and useless filibuster? No.

      Did it actually have some relevance to the topic at hand? Yes.

      Wow, modern Republicans sure do seem bad at seeing obvious distinctions.

      • DanMan says:

        as relayed by the guy that supports the law that was being filibustered then and is now on hold by edict from Obama

        Wow, modern democrats sure do seem bad at seeing obvious similarities.

      • Crogged says:

        DanMan, it really kills you to admit quoting Suess for policy is a bad idea for Democrats AND Republicans. Just do like the good Captain and claim it doesn’t make sense without pointing out any inconsistency or error.

      • DanMan says:

        hey goober, Ted Kennedy read the phone book in a filibuster once. Ted Cruz was trying to bring attention to an issue he correctly predicted was a disaster. None of you libs have acknowledged that and none of you have pointed out any inconsistency in the law as written and Obama picking and choosing what he wants to apply. Get over yourself on getting me to give you any cover for hypocrisy.

        The only thing the media reported was Cruz’s Quixotic effort was waste and his reading Dr. Seuss proving that assertion.

        Nobody but the democrat base gives a dang about your compounding lies about man-made climate change being anything other than a scheme to raise taxes. The issue I pointed isn’t Dr. Seuss. It is your parties hypocrisy and the media that promotes it.

      • rucasdad says:

        Consistency goes such a long way….

      • rucasdad says:

        “Ted Cruz was trying to bring attention to an issue he correctly predicted was a disaster.”

        Yes, but the fact that the law wasn’t fully implemented yet and the point of the book that he was reading was far too ironic for anyone not to notice or laugh at.

        “None of you libs have acknowledged that and none of you have pointed out any inconsistency in the law as written and Obama picking and choosing what he wants to apply.”

        Please post where anyone on this blog has said that they like and or agree with the law 100%. Let me save you the time….they didn’t. They have showed consistency in their criticisms. Unlike you.

        As pointed out, hypocrisy lives and breeds on both sides of the aisle. You seem to be the only one who doesn’t understand this.

      • Crogged says:

        You win, again, Dan Not Sam. Not Happy, No Dem. Just Dan again and again.

      • DanMan says:

        the law STILL isn’t fully implemented and it is still a disaster rucas, only the distraction of Dr. Seuss was isolated as newsworthy.

        I am going to ask again, because to date not one of you have answered my question.

        Did you know Obama was lying when he campaigned for the law or do you just accept the lies were necessary to pass it? I do not know how you can answer that question honestly without either endorsing the lies, whether known or unknown.

        That is the reality.

      • DanMan says:

        uh-oh, lib down on aisle 3! Crogged’s out of gas

      • DanMan says:

        I note the rucas posse hasn’t addressed the issue of lies spewing forth from their precedent. Telling.

    • John Galt says:

      The media may not, but I will. That was just as stupid and pointless a political stunt as what Cruz did. They weren’t even talking about actual legislation, so it was a complete sop to their base.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Disingenuous Danny asks “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” and DEMANDS an answer.

      Why don’t you hold your breath little Danny and see if that will work?

  7. DanMan says:

    ruh-roh…more bad news for the rucas posse and like minded liberals

    Wisconsin has another $1 billion dollar budget surplus and Scott Walker is going to reduce property and income taxes again to give it back to those one percenters that paid in.

    Word is unions are still mad and still tanking up there. The horror! What if that happens to Michigan?

  8. Owl of Bellaire says:

    So, from what DanMan and kabuzz and Sternn seem to be saying, we need to ensure that welfare does not create luxury. (Never mind that Sternn’s favorite study only supports his point if you witlessly ignore regional differences in cost of living. Houston-blinkered Sternn apparently has no clue that a dollar here, whether gained by labor or welfare, goes much further than in, say, Honolulu or San Francisco.)

    DanMan has proposed that welfare recipients eat only “items marked in drab green packages on the bottom shelves of the store.” So, are you going to require stores to carry those items? Some may not do so on their own, because they don’t want to “attract” that kind of clientele, or prefer to stock items with a higher profit margin. So perhaps the government will need to establish stores for such welfare products. (Much like the — Republican! — government in Virginia allows only state-run liquor stores.)

    I suppose the same could apply to clothing: a standardized “welfare wear” made cheaply and designed to clearly identify those suckers at the public teat for all to see. Of course, again, no reasonable store in a free economy is going to want to stock such stuff.

    Undoubtedly the way to prevent welfare recipients from living in McMansions with large-screen TVs is to have government-owned housing blocks with room enough for all welfare recipients and force them to live there rather than offering rent vouchers. (Yes, Chris, I too can hear Jack Kemp spinning rapidly in his grave.)

    So, you’ve got the government involved as the maker and vendor of food, clothing, and shelter to all welfare recipients.

    Congratulations: you’ve just advocated socialism!

    Of course, this really just shows the utter hypocrisy of Republicans. Given a scenario like the one I’ve painted above, they’ll scream about socialism. Given a situation like our current welfare structure, involving payments to enable participation in the public marketplace, they’ll scream about seafood and Cadillacs. When asked what they’d like to do instead, they mumble some sort of ineffectual Randian pabulum about ending governmental welfare and relying on private charity (never mind that Ayn Rand herself scorned altruism and charity and believed only in self-interest, at least until she herself started cashing her government benefit checks).

    Modern Republicans are a deeply silly and unserious party.

    • CaptSternn says:

      How in the world could anybody be such a contortionist to come up with all that mumbo-jumbo and blame it on conservatives? Kind of like trying to blame Obamacare on republicans when none voted for it.

      How about we get the federal government out of welfare, leave it to states, conties and cities? The more local the better. And only for tose that actually need it, not for those that simply do not want to work. And none of this minimum income for everybody so they can do nothing and live comfortably (which you now calim is living large in luxurey).

      Yes, studies have been done that show people living on welfare live better than many people that are working for a living. And it isn;t just in Houston, but even in high-cost places like Hawaii.

      Yoyr claim that stores won;t sell food to people on food stamps? Well, where there is a demand, there is a supply. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Mobile-grocers-key-in-to-Lone-Star-card-market-3764557.php

    • DanMan says:

      Hey Owl, that was the way it was done until about 1985. You make up scenarios and then argue against them. Just like bubba, just like Homer, just like most of the rucas posse.

      Welfare used to accommodate subsistence and has morphed into a fraud scheme so widespread it is bankrupting the nation. Of course you don’t consider that, you are too busy buying votes with the concept.

    • Crogged says:

      Brilliant post. “Somebody is getting away with something for nothing.” saith Cain.

    • Intrigue says:

      Owl you are so right! Very similiar to their rants about how State’s should be the regulating authority on everyhting but then praising politicians for opting out of State Healthcare marketplaces. They create their own madness.

      According to http://www.tanf-benefits.com/state/TX “The maximum benefit for a family of three consisting of one parent and two children is $260 per month.” So apparently, according to some commentors these people are living the life of luxury on $3120 a year. Why in the world would someone chose to work when they can make so much money living the luxurious life of welfare? We must create expensive beaureaucracy to police this extraordinary amount of tax dollars these evil people are recieving.

  9. DanMan says:

    well well well, the first referendum on Obamacare is in. Looking good so far.

    I don’t much care for polls since most of them are generated by our democrat sponsored press but an interesting one from the most democrat owned one of them all puts Obama at 41% approval. And Hillary dropped from her 56/21 to 41/34 in a year.

    What could possibly be causing this? Let’s see what the liars club sez…

    • rucasdad says:

      “I don’t much care for polls…”

      We know you don’t, you silly little man! But I’ll play your little game. Take those approval rating numbers, look at them real hard….like REALLY hard. Contemplate them. Ponder them. Now, compare those same exact numbers to people you support. Come up with a proper analysis and get back to us. Ok? Thanks!

      • DanMan says:

        how’s this? Obama’s an anchor.

      • rucasdad says:

        Yea, I expected a reply like that. Good job.

      • DanMan says:

        How’s the weather in Chicago today? Yeah, I’m laughing my ass off again.

      • rucasdad says:

        “How’s the weather in Chicago today?”

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how%27s+the+weather+in+Chicago+today

        Dan, let’s let what you said sink in for a moment…

        The only way you can experience joy or laughter is through other peoples’ possible discomfort. For some reason, I’m totally ok with this and really feel as though the joke is on you. Not that I would because even I’m better than thinking we have control over our local climate, but I’ll try not and rub it into too much when we’re experiencing nice cool weather for the next 6-7 months. Ok?

      • DanMan says:

        rucas I have never gotten used to the heat in Houston. That’s why I have air conditioning and a swimming pool. Scroll down and read my excerpt from John Wright. It applies to just about every post your posse puts out. The whole article is all about y’all and it is spot on.

      • John Galt says:

        So, we don’t like polls, but cite them anyway when convenient. Here are the results from a FoxNews poll taken last week. Note that they seem to assume Hillary is the Dem nominee.
        President, 2016 election
        Clinton v. Christie Clinton +11
        Clinton v. Jeb Bush Clinton +13
        Clinton v. Cruz Clinton +16

        Hillary tops 50% in each poll except v. Christie, where she gets 49%

        “Please tell me if you think that person would make a good president or not” (% saying yes)
        Clinton 50%
        Rand Paul 28% (highest GOP)
        Ted Cruz 20% (lowest GOP)

        Obviously, it so early as to be absurd, but given the overall poll numbers for this administration, which are very weak, this is a surprising lead. I would interpret this as voters not liking Obama, but finding GOP alternatives worse than the presumptive Dem nominee. Also note that FoxNews generally overstates GOP support in polls, at least according to Nate Silver.

        Raw poll data:

        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/interactive/2014/03/05/fox-news-poll-obama-popularity-dips-more-believe-christie-wouldnt-make-good/

      • DanMan says:

        Just pointing out an anomaly JG.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      “I don’t care much for polls”…except when they support what I believe in. Every single other damn poll is just left wing spin and propaganda.

      Mirrors still cracked I see. Amongst other “stuff” in Delusional Dan’s household.

      • DanMan says:

        kind of missed the mark again didn’t you? My interest was that a reliable left leaning polling team is reporting bad results for their guy. The poll results are one thing, that they deflate the narrative and are being reported by demedia is another.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Still doesn’t change the accuracy of the original premise of your entire life.

      • DanMan says:

        keep me posted on my life if it helps you through your day

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Makes for great entertainment value and provides perspective to make me more appreciative of mine. So thanks Danny.

      • DanMan says:

        yer welcome

  10. GG says:

    Well, looks like I missed a lot. When I saw the title of this blog I thought of this which I saw the other day. Granted, I’m leery of polls for the most part but I found this interesting in relation to the future of the GOP.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/national/poll-millennials-tend-be-less-religious-patriotic/nd8JS/

    It certainly is true of my 26 year old son.

    • Crogged says:

      You have been voted chairman of Committee of Controlling Dan’s Life (“CCDL”) and your first order of business is finding that book explaining how everything went to hell in a handbasket after Andrew Jackson’s presidency.

      • Crogged says:

        And I’m not merely implying a conspiracy, I’m definitely alleging a possibility of uncertainty regarding the absence of one, said the Breitbart contributor.

      • flypusher says:

        IOW there’s a firm possibility of a definite “maybe”.

    • rucasdad says:

      I’m lucky enough to work with a lot of younger people (early to late twenties). Politics in general is something they don’t particularly find interesting. They will never claim a party but when it comes down to it, they will always vote democratic or liberally. A lot of this is due to the extremity of what the GOP has become.

      Also, there would be so much more criticism of Obama had the Tea people not screwed the pooch on that one. Because no matter what you are, nothing is more unpopular than a TP darling at the moment. Like, hipsters couldn’t even make the Tea Party cool…not even ironically.

      • DanMan says:

        I voted for dems when I didn’t know any better too. Where does that leave you?

        If only those rotten Tea Partiers hadn’t ever shown up everything would be perfect right rucas? Obamacare would work as designed, the economy would be humming along and deficits would be a thing of the past.

        The Tea Party is living rent free in your head. Breaking furniture and tearing up the place. But at least it’s nice and roomy in there.

      • rucasdad says:

        You know, it’s funny that you say that, Dan. Because it’s actually the opposite of that now. Before I actually started to read things and get informed, I too use to lean to the right and was pissed/confused all the time. I was emotional and reactive. I too had the bumpersticker mentality. But once I started to get informed and read more than the headlines, to dig deep into the details, I started to see that the right was over exaggerating and hyperventilating over nothing at all or over things they too were guilty of doing in the past. The extreme anti-Obama mentality on the right is what has left you guys even less popular than hemorrhoids and head lice (this is not opinion but stated fact) and will cripple you on the national stage indefinitely.

        Of course things wouldn’t be perfect, I don’t believe they ever were. But yes, once a certain illogical, uncooperative and narrow minded group comes a long and refused to do even the bare essentials to keep this country running, yes, they have humiliated themselves and everyone associated with it. This is all self inflicted so you really can’t blame anyone or anything besides your own misguided obsession and hatred for the current President.

      • DanMan says:

        meh, so you bumped your head and have yet to recover, maybe time will heal that wound. I merely hate his intentions and policies to attain his stated goals. He is absolutely fabu in some circles and that doesn’t bother me at all.

      • rucasdad says:

        And here’s the thing. I barely slide into the Millennial generation and believe it or not, I’m somewhat moderate. But this new crowd, this new generation, man…you guys have lost all interest with them and will probably never gain them back since your pride is greater than your survival. Libertarianism now, is another thing. It’s somewhat attractive to the younger crowd until you start to get into details. This is why a lot of you guys (at least the ones who can read the writing on the wall) are starting to jump off the TP train and onto the Rand Paul train. At least those who are interested in surviving and creating relevancy where there was none.

      • DanMan says:

        uh-huh, sure thing rucas…I choose not to believe you since you endorse a liar. Rand Paul ain’t running from Tea party concepts last I heard as well. His endorsement of Mitch McConnell is causing him problems though but that no big deal right now.

      • rucasdad says:

        Dan, listen, I don’t gain anything by you believing me. It’s happening and going to happen rather you want to acknowledge it or not. Might as well suck it up now and adapt. Either that or you are more than welcomed to get out of the way.

        That or Somalia has some pretty friendly libertarian views. I have the hook up on flight benefits so let me know if you need help with a one way ticket.

      • DanMan says:

        let’s see, rucas kindly offered three choices..adapt (forego principals), get out of the way (why would I? but I am glad to know I’m in your way) or move to Somalia. I’ll gladly ignore your options rucas.

      • rucasdad says:

        Or there’s always option 4. Bitch about it all day on the internet. That seems to be pretty successful thus far.

        Come on Dan, you know I don’t want you to go anywhere just like I’m certain the cons telling those who disagreed with W to leave the country didn’t really mean it. Right?

      • rucasdad says:

        You know I’m kidding, Dan. At least I hope so. But earlier you asked how Chicago was today and so I thought I would answer your question with a picture.

        I didn’t take that but it’s a pretty accurate depiction.

      • DanMan says:

        amazing that tree in the middle can hold that much ice without breaking

  11. Owl of Bellaire says:

    Sternn demands “What is the motivation for people to work?” That’s an excellent question, and sounds a lot like the title of a blog entry we might see Chris post someday.

    In ancient times, the motivation for work was to eat and thus survive, because work was directly and visibly connected to food. After the invention of settlements and specialization, and even more so after the Industrial Revolution, the motivation was to get money and thus survive, because work yielded payments, which purchased housing and food and all the other pleasant impedimenta of civilized life.

    But not all work produces payment. Raising a child is a hell of a lot of work, but mothers don’t typically receive a paycheck for that labor, vital as it is to maintaining society and civilization. Maintaining a household has been and is similar unpaid trouble for many women and a few house-husbands (unless you’re paid as a domestic worker, which many of the wealthy employ nowadays rather than subject themselves to such unpaid demands). Republicans often cheer volunteerism as a worthy endeavor, yet it exists totally outside of (and, indeed, in some ways contrary to) the capitalist ethos. I know amateur actors who struggle in rehearsals for months for no pay, or a pittance; I heard a story on NPR the other day about women who laboriously and exhaustively decorate cookies for no recompense other than positive comments on a website.

    So it’s quite clear that many people will *willingly* work extremely hard without the prospect of pay. And, as the sad history of industry makes clear, sometimes people work extremely hard in a pay environment and still receive only a pittance, with the majority of the benefits going to those who didn’t actually do much of the work. Is a corporate executive *really* worth thousands of times as much per hour as the laborers who enable his fortune?

    We live in an era of exploding abundance, unlike any other in human history. And the technological curve seems to point to ever-increasing abundance, if we can ride it properly without falling to either those who fear technology or those who fear change. Technologies like orbital solar or nuclear fusion promise near-boundless energy; nanotechnology and computers promise near-boundless access to materials and information. Will a pure capitalist ethos forged in an environment of want really function properly in an environment of abundance? I don’t think so.

    So, sooner or later, the motivation for work may well boil down to, “Because they want to.” That will enrage the Puritans, who see work as a curse to which everyone must be subjected (and which, perhaps, partially explains their hatred of stay-at-home mothers and housewives, particularly as leisure has increased). That will enrage those driven only by meaningless competition, who insist that if they manage by luck and pluck and some grit to amass the largest pile of toys, no-one must ever think of taking from the superfluity to give to those who have less.

    But such a world is coming. Unless we all perish on the way there.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Yes, people do some types of work that they don;t get aid for. Parents raise their children. In two parent homes, both parents put forth the effort, not just the mother. Some of us own homes, so we clean them, do yardwork, laundry, cook, and we don;t exactly get paid. It’s called being responsible.

      There is volunteer work as well. I ran the sound and light system at my church for 13 years, only occasionally got paid for working the sound and lights at weddings. That was outside my 60 hour per week job that I held to pay my bills. And no, I don;t care about amassing the biggest pile of toys or having the fanciest house.

      I have no idea where you come up with the claim that I would hate stay-at-home mothers or fathers. That is generally a decision the parents make. But the left showed how they felt about it with Mitt Romney’s wife.

      And still you avoid the question I posed: Why would people, young people, be motivated to work if they can live comfortably without needing to work? Is this whee you and Pelosi come in and suggest people haht do work should simply surrender their money so others can run off and play all the time?

      I don’t see us ever living life in such luxurey that nobody has to do any work, where everything is automated and people are shuffled around like those in Wall-E. We have abundance in the U.S.. Not so much everywhere in the world. Maybe you think you would be living like those people on the space station while those below suffer and do all the labor?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Owly as usual avoids the question. Of course the next generation will have the choice of working for a certain amount or getting your needs taken care of by staying at home. HM? What to choose?

        The usual patting women on the back for raising children gets old. Most mothers now delegate that responsibility to day care workers earning minimum wage. The mothers who do stay at home to nurture their children even though they are derided by the left, I say bravo. You are indeed a hero and are providing our society with a well grounded citizen.

        It is past time to get real about the state our country is in. The attitude that is growing in this country. Too many people are in the wagon and fewer pulling it by the day.

      • desperado says:

        Typical conservative bullshit. If you guys ever wonder why you keep getting your ass kicked in presidential elections, you might start with this attitude that your fellow citizens are a bunch of lazy bums who would rather sit on their ass than go to work. Except for you, of course. You’re all hard-working, industrious, patriotic Americans who would never take a handout. Even the cranky, old geezers who sit on their ass and collect Social Security checks while they grumble about bums on the government dole. Why do people want to work? How about pride, self-respect, the satisfaction of a job well done. Ever hear of those?

      • John Galt says:

        “Why would people, young people, be motivated to work if they can live comfortably without needing to work?”

        I don’t recall anyone saying that this minimum income was intended to allow people to live comfortably. Just to subsist. The right seems to have this fetish for extrapolating from welfare abuse cases, some of which are egregious and some probably exaggerated, to an impression that all, or even many, recipients are living the high life on the public dole. That is not what is being proposed; instead, it is a minimum subsistence existence that keeps someone off the streets. We are already providing it in the form of dozens of confusing, overlapping, and bureaucratic programs. Combining them offers great scope for efficiency (e.g., eliminating waste).

      • CaptSternn says:

        Desperado. some of us were young once. I know how I was when I got out of high school, even though I had already been working for four years. I remember how my friends were as well, in fact, the general attitude of the school population. Oh, and those cranky old geezers are entitled to their benefits for having been forced to participate all their lives.

        John, the minimum income that is offered now gives enough for people to live as decently as the middle class, only without actually earning it.

      • flypusher says:

        “I don’t recall anyone saying that this minimum income was intended to allow people to live comfortably. Just to subsist.”

        No, no, no, they all have fancy cars and expensive jewelry and flat screen TVs. That’s what I’m always reading on the Internet!

      • Turtles Run says:

        “John, the minimum income that is offered now gives enough for people to live as decently as the middle class, only without actually earning it.”

        More horse carp. No one is living a middle class life style on public assistance. This is more right wing fantasies that are used to trick the weak minded. It helps relieve the guilt of advocating for the removal of programs that allow people to put a little food on the table or keep off the streets.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “No, no, no, they all have fancy cars and expensive jewelry and flat screen TVs. That’s what I’m always reading on the Internet!”

        They all drive Caddies as well.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        You hit a nerve Captain, good job. Of course isn’t it amazing that Unemployment Benefits used by people who actually worked but were laid off runs out of money but welfare benefits and food stamps never do. Amazing that. I think the working men and women are being played for suckers.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Wrong, Turtles. I have known people living off the government that had it better than I did while working 60 hours a week in a factory. Whole communities of such people. Looks like you and others are in denial because you can’t accept exactly what you advocate when the reality is exposed. I have even posted links to studies that showed welfare often pays better than working.

      • DanMan says:

        allow a person to subsist? it seems the other day I caused a howl when I said food stamps should only be for items marked in drab green packages on the bottom shelves of the store.

        So are y’all okay with that now? That’s how it used to be, let’s go back that today. If you don’t want g’ment cheese and beans get a job and buy your steak. Works for me.

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      Stern…is it really any different than the reasons people work now?

      You, yourself, have said many times that we essentially provide a minimum income for people today, yet folks still get up every day and go to work.

      ExxonMobil posts for a job in Baytown, and they get 1,000 applicants in two days. According to you, these folks could easily live a middle class lifestyle on public assistance. Why would they apply to a difficult job, with rotating shifts, in Baytown?

      All those refineries and chemical plants along the ship channel are full of folks working hard, when evidently, they could all be home smoking weed on the government’s dime.

      There are downtown buildings full of ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron engineers, geologists, physicists, accountants, and commercial folks who probably could have found other work to make enough money to “get by”, but they went to school, incurred debt, and work long hours.

      Do you think that a minimum income is going to change all that (even though you say we essentially have a minimum income already)?

      I’m not sure you are seeing a ton of folks jumping on the minimum income bandwagon. I’ve not fully wrapped my head around it (what happens when the person takes their minimum income to Vegas each month – do we still have to feed them after they lose it all?), but it is a very interesting thing to think about.

      I don’t think most people work out of fear of being destitute. Most people want more than the lowest livable wage and life experience.

      Heck, if anything, we probably need to figure out if there is any reasonable way we will have enough actual jobs to keep full employment as we have more and more technological advancements.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, I was not even really aware of how people could live middle class lifestyles until I was almost 30 years old. Granted, I did see people driving Cadillacs, new, and buying food with food stamps as a teenager working as a sacker and carry-out at a grocery store, but I also saw the homes they lived in, with roofs caving in and front porches falling off, so I did not associate welfare with a middle class lifestyle. I am guessing most people don’t realize how well people can do living on welfare. We certainly see that the left here doesn’t have a clue, or is in complete denial.

        People that live well on welfare learned the system or were taught the system as they grew up, generational welfare. Now extend that to teenagers just getting out of high school without having to learn the system. It wouldn’t even be frowned on because everybody would be getting it.

        Or would they? Just had a thought, a question … Would all of us be getting those government paychecks even if we do work? Our work would just increase our pay, or would we sacrifice our government handouts? Many people on welfare now avoid work because it reduces their benefits. Imaging if that was the way with everybody.

        Yes, we do still have people working, climbing the ladder and trying to earn a comfortable living, but mainly because they know of no other way, were never taught the other way, and that other way is mostly unknown to them.

        Anyway, question still stands. Suddenly all will be granted a middle class lifestyle fresh out of high school without having to lift a finger or learn the system of welfare. Where is the motivation to find a job, start at the bottom, low pay, few benefits and work their way up? So far nobody here has even attempted to answer that question.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        OK Stern…since we are designing this from scratch, let’s make it so that the minimum income is set at a level that is not a middle-class lifestyle. Let’s set it as a basic livable level.

        We simplify the morass of different programs and different requirements, thus making it more difficult to “game” the system to produce a middle-class existence.

        Your position still is rests on the foundation of two somewhat contradictory legs.
        1) What is the motivation to work if a minimum income exists
        2) A minimum income already exists and people know how to game the system

        Is there some that that the engineers at CenterPoint are not smart enough to figure out how to game the existing welfare system in order to produce a “middle class income”. Surely they are smart enough to figure it out, yet they still get up every day and go to work.

        Is the fear that if we remove the “shame” of the welfare system, people will automatically become lazy and unmotivated. Undoubtedly, some folks would happily stay home and play video games, but I think the number of those people is very different that the number you think.

        I don’t think people on “the left” here do not believe someone can game the welfare system or that fraud does not exist. I think folks do not believe it is nearly as ubiquitous as your side might, and we generally do not think the solution to such fraud is to end welfare. Few people would argue that the system needs fixing. The arguments come on how to fix it.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, you are all over the place with that one. You say scrap welfare and start over, then you say you dont want to scrap welfare. But you want to extend it to all, automatically, to kids fresh out of high school. People that have not yet, for the most part, entered the workforce or have even gone to college. You want to provide them with a livable wage. Or do you now say no to that livable wage the left is constantly calling for? And yet the left never defines what a livable wage is.

        Now, you want a minimum income for people that don’t work. Do people that decide to work also get that minimum income, and only add to it what they earn? Or do they sacrifice that minimum income if they decide to work for your livable wage, which would be the same if they didn’t work for it?

        Seems to me that none of you have really thought any of this out, nor have you considered the likely consequences at all. Y’all sound off on what you think sounds good, promising people free stuff, but no clue as to how it would work, how to pay for it or how to motivate people to turn it down, work and have their earnings taken to provide for the people that would rather stay home and play video games and cook frozen pizzas.

        The other thing y’all haven’t addressed is that we are not talking about the people in the generations already out working, but this would apply to kids fresh out of high school. Or would it only be provided for people ages 30 and up? Or 40 and up? Or only married people? Only married people with kids?

        Use your noggin and explain how it would all work, how it is paid for and how you would convince people that it is wrong and that they should work anyway.

      • DanMan says:

        “And, finally, Perhaps, like me, you have wondered why it is that these people who are otherwise civil nonetheless can neither explain their positions nor stop talking, and their talk consists of nothing, nothing, nothing aside from childish personal attacks, slanders, sneers, and accusation, accusation, accusation. Why are they so angry? Why are they so noisy? Why are they so blissfully unaware of the vice, injustice, ugliness and evil they support?”

        John C. Wright

        http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/02/restless-heart-of-darkness-part-four/

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      Buzz…did your momma leave you at home for the dog to take care of?

      “The mothers who do stay at home to nurture their children even though they are derided by the left, I say bravo. You are indeed a hero and are providing our society with a well grounded citizen.”

      I won’t even take the time to point to the absurdity of “derided by the left”, but I will take the time to point out that there are lots and lots of mixed up folks, far from well grounded citizens, who had a mom (or dad) at home rather than working.

      I would also point out that a minimum income would allow more of these “heroes” to stay at home with the children and provide society with more well-grounded citizens.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I can’t speak for Kabuzz, but as already stated, we saw how the left went after Mrs. Romney for staying at home and not having a job. Then saying that Palin should have done exactly that instead of having a career.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Captain, that is exactly what I was going to say. Seems the left always forgets what they say and believe. HT, you are better than that.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Buzz…did you miss the second part of the comment above?

        I do not believe even you two think “the left” derides stay at home moms and that is why Romney and Palin received criticism. Surely, you would not suggest that “the right” derides working moms based on criticism of Hillary Clinton.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, the right doesn’t say it is wrong for a parent to be a stay at home parent or that it is wrong for a parent to have a career. The left has done both, especially in regards to women. The left owns that.

      • desperado says:

        “the right doesn’t say it is wrong for a parent to be a stay at home parent or that it is wrong for a parent to have a career.”

        Wendy Davis?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Desperado, Wendy Davis is all about late term abortions. Parents killing their own offspring. I don;t see how that has anything at all to do with responsible parents.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn: “I don’t see….”

        And that’s really all that has to be said.

        Wendy Davis has been thoroughly attacked by Texas Republicans for her supposed lack of family values in having a career. Sternn’s blithely ignorant reply shows either partisanly craven or witlessly uninformed avoidance of the facts.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Davis has been attacked for being a stay-at-home mom? I hadn’t heard that. I did hear that she left her kids behind, then divorced a man after he put her through college and raised her kids. Was that not true?

      • DanMan says:

        Served him divorce papers the day he paid her last tuition bill even. That there’s klassy with a K!

    • fiftyohm says:

      “So, sooner or later, the motivation for work may well boil down to, “Because they want to.” -Owl

      Here’s an old pilot’s joke: A guy tirelessly and reliably shows up to work on the ramp cleaning out the aircraft lavs, pumping out the holding tanks, and driving the honey wagon. On a brief turn in Houston, the captain recognizes the lav guy and says to him, “Man, you’ve been at this job as long as I can remember! If I were you I quit and find another job. It’s disgusting!”

      The lav guy looks at the pilot quizzically and says, “What? And get out of aviation?”

      Owl, your post was well-written, reasoned, and totally wrong. The hapless lav guy doesn’t exist. Nobody’s going to do any of the thousands of jobs that will be required for an orderly livable society “Because they want to.” Human behavior has been forged in the unforgiving crucible of survival for about 500,000 years. We’ve been marginally ‘civilized’ for about 1% of that time.

      Charity is a really poor example. It happens when there is an oversupply of resources in time or money on an individual level. Extremely few do it ‘full time’, and I can guarantee numbered among the few that do, you’ll not find a single honey wagon driver.

      Social policies that do not face the absolute reality of human nature are absolutely doomed. (They’ve been tried, don;t you know, and met with resounding failure.) Worse than being pollyanna in the extreme, they’re destructive of human productivity.

  12. flypusher says:

    “I believe you reply was all politicians lie to justify your slavish devotion to Obama’s methods. Read it however you like lightweight.”- DanTroll

    My reply that all politicains lie was to point out that anyone who pins too much hope on anything a politician says isn’t being realistic. It’s about having the appropriate level of expectations. Just like when you attempt to have an adult conversion with a known troll, you shouldn’t be shocked if they crap all over you. But hey, I can learn from mistakes.

    • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

      Man…I am guilty as charged for my actions yesterday My goofy attempts to engage in debate were misguided and unfruitful. I know it going in, and yet, sometimes I just cannot help it.

      This will teach me not to agree to multi-hour conference calls in which my participation is not vital. Boredom while trapped in front of a computer can have poor consequences.

      Of course, when the Committee of Controlling Dan’s Life wants to have a conference call, it is really hard to turn them down.

      • DanMan says:

        You goofy attempts yesterday don’t stand out from your goofy attempts any other day Homer. Don’t worry about it, I don’t think anybody noticed anything.

      • flypusher says:

        “Of course, when the Committee of Controlling Dan’s Life wants to have a conference call, it is really hard to turn them down.”

        The Committee got a nice chuckle, and applaudes your effort.

      • DanMan says:

        and well y’all should, I’m churning out golden nuggets of wisdom after all

    • DanMan says:

      Pin to much hope!?! I long for the day I don’t have to care what politicians are doing. I recall those days. They are over apparently. Your precedent peddled the biggest political lie known to America to get his signature legislation passed, has changed it at his whim 28 times since HE SIGNED IT, has doubled the national debt in 5 years, picks winners and losers like a despot and I’m supposed to lump that into some misguided hope?

      You are one duped individual.

  13. John Galt says:

    We’ve gone off the rails on this topic – totally in keeping with our tradition – but I wanted to make a couple of comments on Chris’s post, which was about a trend to increased personal liberty. We keep coming back to health care, because it is in the news a lot and is quite personal to many people. There are many reasons not to like the PPACA, particularly the incompetence with which it is being implemented, but at its heart its goal is to increase access to health care for people who did not have realistic options before. I understand – to a point – why they see this as creeping federal power, far more people will see this as a godsend, reducing the risks of a crippling financial and emotional burden from accidents or illnesses they cannot control. In this instance, the access to insurance substantially increases their personal liberty.

    We’ve briefly touched on this in the past, but the access to information is an amazing contributor to personal liberty. As a teenager, I spent summers shuttling back and forth between metro Atlanta and rural north Georgia, where my family had a cabin. The contrast could not be more stark. The rural area had one Winn-Dixie (a grocery) and a 5-and-dime, a small hardware store and the ever-present feed-and-seed. Residents bought what was sold in those stores or drove (2 hours) to Atlanta. If there was a library or bookstore, I never saw them. Today, their cell phones and internet connections provide them anything that can be shipped. School kids can do research using something other than the dated World Book encyclopedia that their grandmother bought one volume at a time. They get TV without ginormous aerials on their roofs pulling in grainy broadcast channels. The contrasts in more urban areas are less stark, but there nonetheless.

    What was one’s choice of news source in 1970? You watched Walter Cronkite, read the one (sometimes two) papers in your town, and maybe got Time or Life once per week. The adventurous learned about the rest of the world through National Geographic. This imposes a sort of conformity that has been blown away.

    And, regardless of what you think about racial issues today or how we got here, the increases in personal liberties, in choosing one’s own path, over the last 50 years for everyone other than white males is inarguable.

    • CaptSternn says:

      “… but at its heart its goal is to increase access to health care for people who did not have realistic options before.”

      No, it isn’t. Requiring people to have government approved insurance in government approved amounts has nothing at all to do with health care. The stated goal is to destroy the private sector insurance, and that as a means to destroy the private sector health care. The stated goal is to have government run health care with politicians deciding who gets what. The only thing that has to do with liberty is the destruction of it and expanding government control over the people.

      • DanMan says:

        Stern nails it. Again.

        When we were downsizing my parents house a few years ago I found a book titled The Roosevelt Myth written in 1946 by a journalist named James T Flynn. It was extremely interesting and insightful. He found that Roosevelt’s administration streamlined the efforts tried under Woodrow Wilson to control the economy but they figured out if they could control but about 25-30% they would have control of it all.

        They targeted food and health care. Thus were born the concepts of destroying crops and livestock to raise food prices in order to stimulate the economy.

        There are so many parallels from that book to todays administration. Even the vacationing at the tax payers expense was over the top while they scolded everyone to conserve. Business pleaded with the administration to tell them what the rules were. They didn’t really care if the economy were capitalist or central command they wanted to know what the rules were to operate under. Roosevelt himself was an economic lightweight and had no concern other than maintaining one party dominance. He was totally agnostic on the economy and left it to his staff. Ultimately it was the policies of Jesse Jones that emerged post war and were credited with bringing order.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Everyone had access to insurance plans before Obamacare. All congress had to do was remove the existing conditions rule and a guarantee that the premiums will be paid the first year through. That is all. So, why this thousand plus page bill that Pelosi had to pass before they could know what was in it? Stern is correct.

        Our citizens are losing more and more of our freedoms/liberty. But you liberals whistle pass the graveyard.

      • John Galt says:

        “The stated goal is to destroy the private sector insurance, and that as a means to destroy the private sector health care.”

        If that is the case, designing a system that for 35 of the last 40 years has been a GOP brainchild relying on private health insurance is an awful strange way to go. Perhaps you can post a link to a real quote from a top administration official stating that the goal is what you say it is.

      • John Galt says:

        The inability of individuals with pre-existing conditions to get health insurance had nothing to do with Congress. Congress, remember, has little to do with the actions of insurance companies. These are rules put into place by the insurers themselves, with approval from state insurance commissions, to lower costs by excluding actual sick people from health care coverage. Had Congress acted to ban this practice, these pages would be filled with comments from Sternn, Kabuzz, and Dan about how this was a horrible overreach of the federal government intruding into private business matters to destroy our insurance system. And you know it.

      • flypusher says:

        Everyone had access to insurance plans before Obamacare. All congress had to do was remove the existing conditions rule and a guarantee that the premiums will be paid the first year through.”

        Speaking of destroying private insurance- there’s a great way to do it.

        Risk pools, how do they work?

    • rucasdad says:

      “…reducing the risks of a crippling financial and emotional burden from accidents or illnesses they cannot control. In this instance, the access to insurance substantially increases their personal liberty.”

      Exactly.

    • rucasdad says:

      In a nutshell. People like Capt and Dan, who wouldn’t benefit from the PPACA, don’t want other people to benefit from it because they believe it expands government control over those same people. Never mind the actual benefits. No, it’s all about opinions from people who have a long track history of being wrong.

      • DanMan says:

        If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Forcing people to spend money on something they can’t afford, don’t want or need and threatening them with fines or even prison is now a benefit?

      • DanMan says:

        The average family will pay $2,500 less for their policy. Period.

      • DanMan says:

        No, it’s all about lies from people who have a long track record of legislating on feelings and not facts.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Rucas, have you checked out the plans? Almost $400.00 per month for a medical plan that has a 6K deductible. The plan will pay for nothing until that deductible is paid. The only exception is a wellness x-ray and blood work once a year. So for the plan to pay off the participant would have to pay out of pocket within one year 10.5K. Oh yea! You call it the AFFORDABLE care act. There is a sliding scale on tax deduction but again, that is after the year is up.

  14. Austin says:

    AHHHahahaha! Libertarianism? SERIOUSLY? I can see someone needs to take this quiz:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/09/12/11_questions_to_see_if_libertarians_are_hypocrites/

    • CaptSternn says:

      More nonsense from people that don’t know what libetarianism is. Here is a hint, it is not anti-government or pro-anarchy.

      • rucasdad says:

        Why is Libertarianism the life raft for disenfranchised Republicans? Especially of the Tea Party/Conservative persuasion (at least those who are smart enough to read the writing on the wall).

        Why is that, Capt?

      • DanMan says:

        Why can’t liberals deal with reality?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        You have reached a conclusion from inaccurate data Rucas.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Life raft, Rucas? Don’t follow that line of thought. But libertarianism is based on individual liberty and rights, personal responsibility, capitalism, limited constitutional government, local and state governments governing the people, follows closely with federalism.

        When the two major parties moved away from those beliefs, values, I couldn’t vote for them. Well, couldn’t vote for the republicans the way they were behaving, I wouldn’t vote for democrats because I do not support even their written platform, much less what they do and want to do. I started following what the LP was saying, reading their platform, listening to people like Badnarik were saying, and learned that I have more in common with the libertarians than any others. Some things I don’t agree with, but I do most of it. That’s why I am with the tea party movement, libertarian leaning conservatives.

      • rucasdad says:

        Capt, it’s called “survival”. I can understand though. Two years ago, all you would talk about was the TP and how strong they are and that it’s only a matter of time before they’ve taking over. Now, not so much. I’m just happy that you’ve finally wised up about the Tea Party’s inevitable outcome.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Don’t worry Rucas, this year is looking very good for the tea party movement. We are looking to gain seats in the house and a strong probability of the republicans winning the majority in the senate.

      • rucasdad says:

        Capt, the only people who can be wrong at least half the time and still get away with it are meteorologists.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Cappy, you teabuggers couldn’t even make any headway in Teabag Nirvana Central. The Texas Repub primaries.

        Delusional as always.

      • rucasdad says:

        I truly admire the sense of condescension and superiority that Capt has built on a sea of inaccuracies, misguided beliefs and incredible claims.

      • DanMan says:

        bubba proves he knows nothing about Texas politics. again.

      • rucasdad says:

        Well, at least the TP folks in Texas know how to go out with a bang (sort of).

        http://gawker.com/congressman-ended-cpac-by-drinking-with-young-republica-1540952925

      • CaptSternn says:

        Forgot about not being able to have more than one link. Anyway, even the Brits have learned that the tea party movement isn’t dead. We did pretty good in texas and some other places.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-26460068

      • kabuzz61 says:

        The echo chamber WISHES the TEA Party was diminishing but it isn’t. Why do they want that? I have no idea. Maybe because we don’t crap on cop cars, or smash windows or rape women when we gather.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Nice delusional interpretation of your own links Cappy. Verbatim quote:

        “Just two weeks ago, Erick Erickson, the editor of the prominent conservative blog RedState, was calling Cornyn a ‘coward.’ But on Tuesday, Erickson tweeted his approval of Cornyn’s win: ‘Well, conservatives dodged a bullet in Texas,’ he wrote. ‘Some Senators are not worth primarying.’ ”

        Bwahahahahah. Never read Aesop’s Fables about the fox and the sour grapes huh Cappy?

        The article is about how teabagger Stockman wasn’t even close to unseating Cornyn whom you claim “wasn’t conservative enough” and a few ads attacking Obama and the real teabagger gets pounded and you are kissing all over Cornyn’s RINO ass?

        Yet you claim liberals will believe anything?

        Oh yeah, Pete Sessions beat a teabagger.

        Jared Woodfill lost his Harris County Republican chair seat to someone who “doesn’t want to wast time focusing on extreme social issues”.

        Hated RINO House Speaker Joe Straus defeated his teabagger challenger.

        RINO George P Bush easily won his primary.

        The only significant teabgging “victory” is perennial tea punching bag David Dewhurst is in a runoff with Dan Patrick.

        If that is your “victory” then you have small…aspirations.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You should work on your reading comprehension, Bubba. Stockman wasn’t backed by the tea party movement.

        “Tea Party candidates won big on the local and state level, and while the tea party lost one congressional race, there was no serious primary challenge in the Senate race,” she told CNN. “Also, Ted Cruz endorsed five candidates, with four of them winning and one heavily favoured in a runoff. With that, Texas didn’t let us down.”

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Cherry picking again Cappy? There you go again with your alternate reality.

        Stockman NOT a teabagger? REALLY?

        Please prove all those primary winners I noted were NOT your hated “RINO’s” and please prove their loser opponents were not teabaggers or wearing teabagger facepaint to sucker your far right votes?

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Stockman NOT a teabagger? REALLY?”

        I do not know nor do I care about such things as that. But as far as the tea party movement goes, Stockman was not backed by it.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/03/05/steve-stockman-tells-us-absolutely-nothing-about-the-strength-of-the-tea-party/

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Stern…maybe you can help me here.

        Half the time, you tell us that the tea party is not a “thing” and it has no leaders, just grass roots folks looking to do good for the country.

        Now, we are talking about tea party backed candidates like it is a “thing” that can throw support behind a candidate.

        You have disavowed some candidates that speak at Tea Party rallies as well as those in the Congressional Tea Party caucus also are not part of the tea, so those are not the criteria.

        How can we tell who is a “tea party candidate” and who is not?

        I would hate it to boil down to every Republican that wins is a tea party candidate and those that lose were not tea party candidates.

        Stern..I agree that 2014 will be a fine year for the GOP (as mid-term elections generally are fine for the party not holding the Presidency). You claim it will be a fine year for the Tea Party, but that just seems to be the same thing as saying it will be fine for the GOP.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, the tea party movement is a thing, a grass roots movement. But there is no Tea Party. Many groups have become organized, but no single group represents the movement. Most of us don’t belong to any group.

        No, it isn’t whomever wins is tea party backs and the losers aren’t. Cornyn isn’t exactly backed by the movement, but there was no ted Cruz challenging him in the primaries. Should be obvious that Dewhurst isn’t backed by the movement.

        The left has never managed to get their head around the movement, to grasp the concept, much less to come up with their own answer, though they have tried the latter on several occasions.

        We are libertarian leaning conservatives, so we look for that in the candidates. We won;t win every primary or every election, but those in the GOP establishment know we are serious about challenging them and holding their feet to the fires. Even that helps our goal of pulling the GOP back to the right of center and to stop being the DNC Lite.

      • DanMan says:

        bubba proves he’s losing when gets hysterical with the name calling, happens every time

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Wow, all the mirrors cracked in Danny’s household. That’s the only explanation.

        One more time, please prove all those primary winners I noted were NOT your hated “RINO’s” and please prove their loser opponents were not teabaggers or wearing teabagger facepaint to sucker your far right votes? Can’t do it so you pull the “oooh look, donuts!” distraction. Pathetique.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The denial from the left on several points is amazing today. You already have the links, Bubba.

  15. Owl of Bellaire says:

    It’s hilarious to me how the conservative claque of commentators seem desperate, in this article, to talk about almost anything BUT the premise. And so we get desperate clouds of rhetorical chaff about Obama’s accomplishments, tanning beds, and whether or not ten amendments in the Bill of Rights correspond to the Ten Commandments (which, self-evidently, they don’t).

    Human liberty is enhanced when you know there’s a basic floor of income below which you will not be able to fall. Such support gives you the freedom to start a business which might fail, or quit a job to care for a dying parent, or change jobs if your current one has deficiencies without worrying that you’ll be left in the lurch.

    Human liberty is enhanced when you know that your savings and possessions will not be wiped out by unforeseen health events and their costs. Universal health care gives you the freedom to concentrate on other things, and avoids putting anyone into debt slavery for decades due to purely chance occurrences like a diagnosis of serious cancer.

    That’s the sort of liberty for which Chris advocates: a positive, progressive vision of liberty, one which actually GIVES people freedom, rather than the negative, retreating vision which says that liberty is only for those who can afford it.

    • DanMan says:

      Chris advocates for socialism. Freedom as you want it is servitude to me. I don’t want my time and energy to be wasted on your follies Owl. I don’t want my children’s future ruined by the debt you and your party can’t discuss without resorting to charges of racism, etc.

      Chris, like Obama, you and all dem protagonists constantly forward false assertions and motives of your political opposites. But you see them as enemies to be controlled, not fellow citizens to persuade. You tried to do so with lies. Now you merely declare that’s how politics works so accept the lies as facts.

      Human liberty is advanced when opportunities are equal. Human slavery is advanced when outcomes are equal.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Just because I’m on a boring conference call that has little to do with me;

        Let’s go to the video to see Danny in Action:

        Dan says, “Chris, like Obama, you and all dem protagonists constantly forward false assertions and motives of your political opposites. “

        Now, the irony is not lost that the very next sentence is: “But you see them as enemies to be controlled, not fellow citizens to persuade.”

        Then, in just a quick perusal of the page, Danny is not anywhere near constantly forwarding false assertions and motives of his political opposites. Nope, not at all:

        Dan: We had the finest health care treatment capabilities in the world and that is being destroyed by your democrat party. And you approve of it

        Dan: You have already told us you laugh at Christianity, the teachings of which are enmumerated in our Bill of Rights and Constitution. You and you democrat buddies hate that fact.

        Dan: Idiots of your ilk endorse the concept as defended by flypusher on Friday. Own it.

        Dan: The whole plan is for control of people’s lives.

        Dan: to all the blacks reading this, isn’t wonderful to have John Galt speak for you? He knows what’s best for you after all. All of you.

        Dan: every member of the rucas posse speaks for all minorities with your constant bleatings about how anybody that disagrees with the insanity we find ourselves in are racist, homophobic, wimmin hatin whatever.

        Dan: Admit it, all y’all have is division in your political arsenal.

        Dan: so turtle, who declares minorities, and only minorities can’t seem to get their act together to produce an ID and that shows requiring IDs is racist? you and your party do.

        Dan: Democrats only make those claims and we are witnessing the destruction of race relations because of it. You have words that have been declared so offensive they can’t be uttered…except by members of your race.

        Someone left the irony on.

        I’ve missed Dan over the course of the past year or so, and I’m still not sure if he is a “True Believer”, a troll, or a tremendous performance artist (or possibly all three).

      • DanMan says:

        hey Homer, I’ll ask again, where does Christianity accommodate taqiy’ya as a tactic to forward their agenda? Who you conferencing with? OFA is my hunch.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Taxes are neither theft nor slavery: they are the dues we pay for belonging to a civilized society.

        And if you think that “folly” is someone else getting cancer, or someone taking the risk to become one of the small-business entrepreneurs the Republican Party supposedly celebrates, then there’s little to be said for your morals or your outlook on life.

        Debt is a serious problem, and one we must address. But the modern Republican insistence on always lowering taxes and then complaining when deficits occur is part and parcel of the madness that creates such a situation.

        Americans clearly *want* lots of government programs, but have been told for decades (by both parties, to be honest) that they don’t actually have to pay for them. That must stop. But restoring fiscal sanity will involve putting back the higher tax brackets that Reagan abolished, as well as increasing taxes or reducing benefits for the middle class, and neither party in our current duopoly seems interested in such painful honesty.

        No-one is advocating equal outcomes. Putting a trampoline under the high-wire walker is not the same as pushing everyone off-balance so that they fall and use it.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Bravo Owl. I regret that I can only like this comment once.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Dan buddy…you are one highly paranoid dude.

        I had to google OFA just to figure out what the heck you are talking about.

        Of course, that is EXACTLY what an Obama minion would say.

        I think it is just safest for you to assume we really are out to get you.

        Keep up the good fight buddy.

      • DanMan says:

        You guys have goal posts on wheels that you move at your whim. Owl declares debt is a serious problem and sits happily by as it doubles under his precedent while declaring repubs only want to cut taxes. Bub, we had pretty good data on what levels of taxation can be imposed without having a negative impact on collections and dems disregard as they spend at a rate that is 7 points higher than current collections. So the 18% of GDP that used to be spent is now 25%. Where is that discussed? hell dems don’t even require budgets any more.

        Homer, I’m not worried about you getting me. Your merely pitiful and nothing more. An envious little member of the rucas posse.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Who said I “sit happily by”? I’ve advocated many times in this forum for both tax increases and spending cuts. Perhaps your partisan blinders prevent you from paying attention to the real world around you.

        And I don’t think your supposed “data” on taxation actually exists or actually says what you think it does. The Laffer Curve is, well, laughable. There’s a reason it began its life as a scrawl on a cocktail napkin.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Dan…seriously, we are all trying to control your life. Really, we are.

        Since I’m in a googling mood and need to figure out from whom I’m taking my orders, I figured out what OFA is, but I’m stumped on Rucus Posse.

        Google changes that to “ruckus pizza”, which sounds tasty or it links to your own rantings on this blog.

        Is this some Acorn or Communist Party reference only you get?

      • Crogged says:

        taqiy’ya=tacos yeah?

        Not white guy, funny name, must have weird religion so please sir, help us understand where this nation has gone off the rails………..

      • flypusher says:

        That must be one painfully boring conference call!!!

      • rucasdad says:

        “…help us understand where this nation has gone off the rails………..”

        “Well, you see, back in January of 2009….” – Dan

      • rucasdad says:

        Just kidding Dan, not really trying to put words in your mouth but I think the mentality is spot on. Don’t you agree?

      • DanMan says:

        Gotta admit rucas the specter of Obama himself is pretty bad. The much larger problem is the people that voted for him though. The stuff he said leading up to the election in 2008 was fantasy on stilts but I got the Bush fatigue. Heck I was very disappointed in the guy myself because even then I was pretty shocked at the spending that was occurring. I completely disagreed with his amnesty push and made it known. But the two big things then and now were debt and open borders.

        Until 2012 I had always put my faith in the American people figuring they would get it right once the consequences of their vote became apparent. That didn’t happen. A majority of our citizenry think like the Greeks did before they collapsed. They (you) believe there are no consequences to our debt.

        I liked Romney much more than McCain but even I knew he had a very moderate bent to him. I was looking for fiscal corrections through pro-growth policies and spending discipline, which I thought were his strengths. All the other stuff was a distant thought to be pondered.

        I’m left with two scenarios. Either the majority is intent on bankrupting the country out of the spite democrats have been fomenting for all these years or the elections were pretty well rigged in the supposed swing states. Either way I’m pretty sure we’re done as a country I recognize. It will be interesting to see if you guys get what you wanted out of this disaster.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Owl- ” The Laffer Curve is, well, laughable. There’s a reason it began its life as a scrawl on a cocktail napkin.”

        Well, so did Southwest Airlines, if memory serves.

        Here’s a thought experiment: If all wages are taken as tax by the state, there is no reason to work, ergo no taxes are collected. At the other extreme, no taxes are collected for work performed, and again, no taxes are collected. In the middle, between these extremes, is a curve or function, of total taxes collected vs. tax rate. That’s the so-called Laffer curve. You may not like what it indicates. You may not think it’s useful. You may not believe it can be accurately described mathematically. You cannot question its existence.

      • rucasdad says:

        Damn it Dan, I don’t rather to shed a tear or to say a prayer for you…. However, since I’m not emotional nor religious, I’ll do neither. Sounded good for a second though.

      • DanMan says:

        well except you word out…get it?, how’s the weather today in Chicago?

      • rucasdad says:

        “..how’s the weather today in Chicago?”

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=what%27s+the+weather+like+in+chicago+today

      • DanMan says:

        laughing at you and not with you rucas…all’s good in sunny Chicago

      • rucasdad says:

        Dan, I wouldn’t expect for you to laugh at that since it was at your expense.

      • DanMan says:

        what ever makes you smile rucas…3 degrees and more snow on you does it for me right now. Hey, speaking of weather, anybody tune in to the all night global warming haranguing the dems put on last night? I’m sure one of you libs can give us the highlites.

        I haven’t even investigated but I’m wondering if one of them did a riff on Dr. Suess.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Fifty — Sure, the Laffer Curve theoretically *exists*. But pretending you can know where we sit on that curve, and use that for effective policy prescriptions, is the ridiculous step. There’s too much fuzziness in the system from outside economic actors and effects for anyone to claim a unique and undeniable contribution from changes in tax rates.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Owl, can we get a little common sense from you on this, some honest views and answers?

      Let us start with the most basic point, a person gets out of high school, graduates or drops out, and is or soon turns 18. Now they are guaranteed a home, food, clothing, health care, electricity, water and an income without lifting a finger to earn it. They are “free” of any actual responsibilities. They can sit at home, play video games, eat pizza, smoke weed and hang out with friends all day, every day. What is their motivation to find a job and work for that same income?

      Say they would actually earn less, but the difference would still be given to them to meet that minimum income. Maybe they would earn more, but then they wouldn’t be able to play video games, eat pizza, smoke weed and hang out with friends all day, every day?

      Ok, so maybe a person simply wants to work, to be responsible, to earn their own way. Now they are going to work every day while their friends stay home and party. They have to pass drug tests, they spend 40+ hours per week busting their butts. Then they get that paycheck, which is the same or a little more than their friends are getting. Only wait, they see all those taxes taken out, reducing their take home pay. They ask, where is that money going? Oh, right, it is being taken out to be given to their friends so those friends can sit at home, play video games, eat pizza and hang out with friends all day, every day.

      Maybe they decide to go to college and become doctors. Now they are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Then they are told they can’t earn much of a profit, they have to accept government approved wages from government run insurance, or they become government employees with low pay because the private sector has been destroyed (stated goal of Obamacare). And they see their old friends sitting at home playing video games, smoking weed, eating pizza and hanging out with friends all day, every day.

      Remember, we are talking about kids fresh out of high school, kids that haven’t paid rent, worked, that have sat around playing video games, smoking weed, eating pizza and hanging out with friends all day. Only now they don;t have to go to school or deal with their parents. They are “free”.

      Explain to me, to us, how this system works. What is the motivation for people to work and support such a system? Not just today, but a decade from now, a generation from now, two, three, four generations from now?

      Can you or anybody else here that advocates this system give an honest explanation of how such a system would or even could work?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Very well put. I would love to read an answer from our liberal brethren.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I am thinking th9s probably won;t get a serious response, Kabuzz. That is if it gets any response at all. They don;t want to think about the consequences, they never do.

      • John Galt says:

        There would be people whose response is exactly as you describe. They would, indeed, choose a life of pizza and video games. But let’s imagine that a large portion of people do this. They would need their pizza made and delivered. The game shop needs retail clerks (or Amazon needs UPS drivers). The garbage still has to be collected. If lots of people did as you suggest, then the resulting reduction in the labor pool would, quite inevitably, push wages, even for unskilled labor, up. This would increase the gap between the lifestyle earned by work versus not. I’m not at all sold on the minimum income plan, but for it to not distort the economics of the labor force, it would need to be set at a level that would be survivable, but not entirely comfortable so that there would remain a distinct incentive to work, particularly for single individuals or couples without children.

      • Crogged says:

        Well if we get beyond the paranoia (there is NO stated goal of any US political party of any consequence to ‘destroy the private sector’) and the wish pie of developing multi generational systems of economics and politics which will never have to change; we can find some truth in your concerns –look at England in the 1970s.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17703483

      • DanMan says:

        Heard a nice little scenario being used to get those sweet g’ment bennies this morning. A guy that is a stay at home dad who does some work from home while his wife is the major bread winner figured out a nice option.

        He divorces his wife and they agree he keeps the kids. He rents out a room at her house and applies for every hand-out he can find for a single parent with three kids while she gets to write off her rental space upkeep costs. He gets rent, food, medical and transportation subsidies. They reap thousands in annual benefits while not changing one iota of their lifestyle and its all available through our welfare system.

        Think it doesn’t happen?

      • rucasdad says:

        “Remember, we are talking about kids fresh out of high school, kids that haven’t paid rent, worked, that have sat around playing video games, smoking weed, eating pizza and hanging out with friends all day. Only now they don;t have to go to school or deal with their parents. They are “free”.”

        Wow. If you think any and all teenagers are like this, then it’s no wonder why you guys either don’t know or don’t care about the youth of today. That’s a shame.

      • Crogged says:

        Yes, prosperity causes terrible problems. Why don’t we just undo the Industrial Revolution and find the REAL men and women in America!

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, problem with your idea of pushing wages up is that more has to be taken from those wages to support the people that won;t work, again resulting in the same or less pay than those that choose not to work. Yes, what happens when there are too few workers to tax, garbage starts to pile up, pizza isn;t getting delivered, etc.? Those are more of the consequences. As it is, collecting welfare already establishes a minimum income that often pays better than a decent job. Thankfully most people haven’t taken to it, but make it universal instead of having to learn the system and it would be most people.

        Crogged, again, Obama’s stated goal of Obamacare, the PPACA, is to destroy private insurance and health care. It was never a hidden agenda, it was all made very public. Do you not even know what is going on around you, what you are supporting? Or is it that you do know, but you want to keep the agenda hidden, keep the uninformed voters uninformed so you can get their votes by promising them more things?

      • CaptSternn says:

        That made no sense, Crogged. The industrial revolution was driven by capitalism and the private sector, not by communism and the government.

      • John Galt says:

        “Think it doesn’t happen?”

        I know it happens. The question is how badly do you want to screw people in actual need to prevent people like this from gaming the system? Do you burn down a building to evict the squatter in Apt. 32C?

      • DanMan says:

        How much would you tolerate before it became a problem? Care to quantify?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, can we expect a little nuance from you, or is that too much to ask?

        All homes are not the same. If you are guaranteed a home, it should not be an idyllic one.

        All food is not the same. If you are guaranteed sustenance, it should not consist of delivery pizza every night.

        Video games and marijuana both cost money (particularly the high initial cost for the game console), and a free supply of unlimited money at any time is not a component of any welfare plan I’ve ever seen.

        Why do so many conservatives equate *simple survival* with *abject luxury*? Again, it seems like a fatuous insistence on a black-and-white worldview, where something is always at one extreme or the other, with no appreciation of the spectrum between the two.

        *Might* some people decide to “hang out” all day in the plaza outside their government-funded apartment (probably because the air-conditioning doesn’t work so well in the middle of the day), chatting with friends, and perhaps pooling their meager excess funds into the occasional pizza party? Sure. You cannot legislate virtue. But most (not all) people want to climb up Maslow’s Pyramid. We’re providing the floor to allow those people a reasonable base station from which to start their climb, even if a few people will tend to stay.

        Again, we’ve got this silly black-and-white thinking. Apparently, for conservatives, either life must be so miserable that everyone suffers and only the fit survive, or life becomes so cushy that everyone lives in luxury and even the fittest decide not to bother with anything. I assure you, there is a middle ground — in fact, SEVERAL middle grounds — between those two extremes.

        - – - -

        Medical-school debt exists in part due to the profit drive from medical schools, and also to the ongoing earthquakes in technology and pedagogy caused by the information revolution. There are many suggestions for solving the problem, involving both private and public action. Yes, Baumol’s Cost Disease is also part of the problem, but that doesn’t mean we need to give up and roll over.

        If “Obamacare” is designed to destroy the private sector, it has an odd way of going about it. After all, it relies on the existing private-health-insurance sector of the market, and in fact drives more customers toward those private businesses. Many liberals advocated for a single-payer system, or even the “government option”, and were roundly defeated by their fellow Democrats during the construction of the Affordable Care Act. So your mendacious screams about the capitalist sky falling don’t bear any actual resemblance to reality.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Owl, you seem to be caught up in a black-and-white world where people either live in luxurey or in poverty. Either very rich or very poor. Most of us don’t live at either end, but comfortably in the middle. Many people have no desire for all the toys.

        But you really didn’t address the question. The floor is having parents or a parent that raises their child. Then when the child is grown, they get a job so they can have their own home, food, clothing and eventually raise their own children. But if they don’t need to work to have those things, why would they?

        You also seem to assume that government funded housing is miserable. I have witnessed otherwise, people living off the government living better than people working for a living, better housing and more liquid income as well as food stamps, medicaid and other things. People that know the system live qute well. But they either have to learn it or they are taught it through generational welfare. The idea of just handing it out without even that effort would put a whole lot more people on it, meaning fewer workers paying higher taxes to support them.

      • DanMan says:

        ” After all, it relies on the existing private-health-insurance sector of the market, and in fact drives more customers toward those private businesses.”

        Owl bounces another curveball 10′ in front of the plate. There are now 6 health insurance companies that got into bed with Obama. He chose them. They were required to offer the same policies with the mandated benefits. Everybody has to be channeled through those 6 insurance companies eventually or pay fines.

        Where is the choice that will hone the costs through competition? Gone, that’s where. That’s one reason why the Obama administrations claims of a cost curve reduction are false. The original estimate of not adding one cent to the cost of health care has ballooned to over $2 trillion dollars according to the CBO. Name a federal program that has come in under 3 times the original estimate if you can.

    • rucasdad says:

      “what ever makes you smile rucas…3 degrees and more snow on you does it for me right now.”

      Who gave you permission to be so mean to me!? Lol. You spiteful little critter, you!

      Since we’ve scraped the bottom of the barrel of your intellectual arsenal, should we also compare our weight? I bet I can bench press more than you….(rolls eyes).

      • DanMan says:

        Bet you can’t. What was your time in the last marathon you ran?

      • rucasdad says:

        “Under 3 hours.”

      • DanMan says:

        wow! that’s a good time for a weightlifter. Which one was it and when? You’d dang sure beat me running, that’s for sure.

      • DanMan says:

        I had a friend run the Chicago marathon several years ago. It was so hot they called the race. She shrugged it off and went ahead and finished it anyway. Another example of a Texan fading heat.

  16. DanMan says:

    Craig is out of his league with this question so I’ll ask the entire rucas posse. What is Obama’s greatest achievement so far? If getting re-elected is it just say so.

    • Crogged says:

      Nah, the first election win was more impressive, beating Hilary and the Clinton machine.

      • DanMan says:

        So far this is it, duping enough people to vote for him or at least cheat well enough to say they did. In ten years Obama will be like Carter. No one will cop to voting for him. But it is amazing to watch Carter’s stock rise as Obama fills the basement.

      • Crogged says:

        It’s not that strange of a phenomenon, I get Facebook posts from people missing the last President Bush.

      • DanMan says:

        Yeah, compared to Obama, I can feature people missing Bush as well. My comparison was to Carter. He is no longer considered the worst president of our era, Obama is.

    • geoff1968 says:

      Hey, lay off Jimmy. He’s good man and he did the right thing at the right time as POTUS.

      • DanMan says:

        Name some please. This ought to be good.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        You’re (willfully) not paying attention, are you Danny? Jimmy Carter attempted to wean us off volatile Arab oil in the 70′s which Reagan promptly undid. He increased EPA standards and initiated conservation and renewable energy initiatives. Reagan took out the solar panels on the White House. Yes I know wingnuts derided Carter wearing a sweater in the WH in winter but do you deny keeping the thermostat low in winter and high in summer doesn’t conserve energy or save money?

        Defense initiative, Carter canceled the useless when built B-1 bomber to focus funds and resources on the Stealth B-2 bomber. Reagan of course uncanceled the B-1 and never used it. Not even to bomb Libya which he did with ancient B-111’s. Imagine having the B-2 years earlier if Reagan hadn’t squandered billions on the paper B-1.

        And out of the fiasco of Desert One in Iran, Delta Force was born. And if you want to deride Carter for that failure, look up the SS Mayaguez “rescue” under Ford.

        Shall I continue Danny?

      • geoff1968 says:

        Should I place a call into Jimmy?

      • DanMan says:

        aw yeah…Jimma’s push at EPA gave his famous NEPA rules edict. If any federal money was going to be used to fund a project it had to have every aspect of the project washed through the regulatory spin cycle. It was Keystone writ large and it took several lawsuits to beat it back. It also slowed the economy

        Carter’s Department of Energy. Never contributed to any improvement in our energy infrastructure at all yet still exists. Remember odd-even? Classic Jimma.

        The best thing Carter gave us was Ronald Reagan. Jimma is the reason Texas went from all democrat to all repub in about 10 years. I still have one remaining can of Billy Beer.

        Remember the misery index? Inflation + Interest + unemployment wasn’t it? Sweet, sweet Carter era measuring index that hopefully never gets repeated. Of course with the way unemployment and inflation are charted now it likely never will be.

        I never blamed him for the failure in the desert though. A president can’t be expected to tell the navy to put air filters back on the helicopters before flying into the sand.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Okay. Jimmy put more EPA regulations on the oil industry and at the same time cut back on oil imports which tanked the Houston and surrounding area. Good job.

        Navy seals were around before Carter even thought of the WH. Look it up. The Army merely duplicated the Navy’s operation.

        Carter can’t cancel anything since he has no attachment to appropriations. He can recommend. Read your constitution.

        Bubba, you are an amazingly ignorant man.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bubba, it was the private oil companies that tried to increase production in response to the embargos. They were having success, and people were making money. That last part rubbed Carter and the democrats the wrong way, so they imposed windfall profit taxes on the oil companies which shut them down and kept us dependent on foriegn sources. Those policies are still keeping us in the Middle East and the driving force behind things like the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Great policies democrats have, if you like war and supporting terrorists.

      • John Galt says:

        More revisionist history, Sternn? Production was down for technical reasons in the U.S. because the oil became increasingly uneconomic to recover. With a sustained $100/bbl price and technical improvements, this becomes economic again. Now, we’ll see if the powerful interests on both sides agree to remove legal barriers (such as the crude oil export ban, passed by Dems in Congress and signed by a GOP president).

        Jimmy may not have been a great president (I’ll concede he did some good things, but it was not a success overall), but he’s been a heck of an ex-President. Amongst other things, the Carter Center has spearheaded a campaign to eliminate a ghastly and very painful parasitic infection called Guinea worm. There were 3.5 million cases in Africa in 1986. Last year, there were fewer than 150. http://www.cartercenter.org/health/guinea_worm/index.html

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yup, as Chris noted wingnuts always with their alternate reality and conspiracy theories. And that is why you have only won one Presidential election in that last 6.

        Keep on dreaming and thanks for all your help in ensuring a Democrat in the White House and continuing on the path for the future.

        Keep doing what you’re doing guys. Don’change a thing.

        We don’ need no stinking high MPG cars did we?

        And buzzy, life isn’t all about Texas. What happened to country first? Blame Houston for being a greedy short sighted one hit wonder in the 80′s. You reap what you sow.

        At least Danny gets credit for not attributing a totally dysfunctional post Vietnam hungover military in shambles solely on Carter.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Oh yeah, the Israel-Egypt peace treaty that Carter brokered and lasts to this day.

        Imagine the Israel and Lebanon wars and Hezbollah/Hamas terrorism extending to Egypt for the past 30 years? We’d either be drawn into their wars directly or in even more debt propping up their military with gift toys of war. No complaints from the wingnuts on that facet of the deficit? More selective hissy fits. But of course.

      • geoff1968 says:

        Jimmy’s disco and roller skates. He’s the bicentennial year and Billy Beer. What’s not to love about James Earl?

        TR, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and finally Obama. If there was a pick which President you’d be survey I’d go with TR.

        I think President Obama has been competent. Not too far to the right and not too far to the left. Germany’s had national heath since Bismark. It’s time for the US to follow suit.

        If we can nominate a Christie or a Huntsman that would be ideal. If we nominate Cruz I’m going to have to support Clinton.

      • DanMan says:

        ‘ol Rough Rider. Did you know every outdoors picture of TR was shot in a studio in New York? He did enjoy his western abode but his national image was as fake as FDR’s stamina.

        Clinton is your type. She lies as well as Obama.

      • geoff1968 says:

        I still think TR was straight, for a rich boy. I’ll take a Yankee boy over a turncoat southern Democrat any day.

  17. “…a robust social safety net and universal health insurance.” Libertarianism. Apparently, Chris, you are unclear on the concept. The former is incompatible with the latter, primarily because the cost to liberty is too great. The government that owns your health own you.

    As for the “organizing force of government” in healthcare, we have witnessed the pernicious interference of government in the healthcare market for decades, until the world of healthcare no longer resembles a market in any meaningful sense. It’s been a parade of progressively (love that word) increasing brokenness, with Obamacare as the culmination of a decades-long exercise in needless government intrusion. If you think anybody with libertarian leanings is going to support this sort of nonsense, you are sadly deluded.

    Regarding the “tightly” regulated marijuana business in CO: These shops operate on a cash basis. (Banks won’t do business with those operating illegally under still-standing federal law. Gee, do you suppose these folks are accurately reporting their income?) As a convenience to their patrons, ATMs are to be found in these shops, which are in turn accessible to those accessing the cash benefits of their EBT cards (http://www.chieftain.com/news/breaking/2197212-120/marijuana-public-assistance-colorado). You just gotta love watching that “robust social safety net” at work. ;-)

    • Crogged says:

      I never studied libertarianism but there is a quote of Mr. Hyek’s I want you to address, in any manner you wish. If he disavowed it or changed his mind, that’s ok. If this is misquoted, let me know.

      Just respond to the meat of what he is saying. To me he is saying despite an individual having agency in his life, it is error to say that this is ‘freedom’.

      I’m sorry for not finding the direct language–I hate the ellipses in the below.

      “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance…the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong….
      To the same category belongs also the increase of security through the state’s rendering assistance to the victims of such “acts of God” as earthquakes and floods. Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.”

      • Crogged, there’s no reason to disavow Hayek’s statement. Hayek was a product of his time, a time in which the state was ascendant. Even so, you can be quite sure that Hayek would choose to minimize the role of the state wherever possible, and to forego participation of the state entirely if feasible.

        The problem with folks like yourself is that you seem to think the state is the only mechanism by which communal action may be carried out. That’s ridiculous, prima facie. Perhaps you might pause for just a moment to consider non-state mechanisms by which communal action may be (and historically has been) conducted. In many (or most) cases, these alternatives are preferable to government involvement.

        The chief obstacle to the use of the state for the provision of social services is it’s ineffable taint of coercion. We (properly) assign to the state a monopoly on the power of coercion. For well or ill, coercion permeates *every* activity of the state. Any time we assign some activity or service to the state, we should first consider whether coercion is required or even desirable. If not, then the state should be excluded from such activity or service. It’s really as simple as that.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Hey Crogged- I think Hayek was referencing and justifying the social safety net. Modern libertarians seldom suggest its dismantling. In general, the disagreement is where it should be located, how wide it should be, but not whether it should exist at all. Just my take.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Tracy, what has changed between Hayek’s time and now to make the state *not* “ascendant”? Or are you claiming that corporations now outweigh many governments, so *they* should, for some reason, be given oversight of the public weal?

        The bald-faced assertion that “these alternatives are preferable to government involvement” really can’t serve as the summation of your argument, since it is the actual statement under contention. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of insufferable self-satisfaction, or of yet another attempt at rhetorical chaff to hide the hollowness of the underlying argument.

      • Crogged says:

        I’m much too fat to be anyone’s straw man for “the state is the only mechanism” (but I don’t find too many people looking for a market based solution for the military, because, you know, ‘free markets’).

        The problem I find is labeling government meddling, I mean legislation, in how we pay for medical services as ‘coercion’. Obamacare is a floor, not a ceiling, those with means can certainly pay cash or just buy more expensive insurance. If you don’t want to participate you will pay a tax penalty, if you don’t pay your taxes……dictatorship.

        It will need to be changed, as does everything else a man ever wrote.

        So is NYMEX a ‘coercion’ or a free market? I’ll try to read Mr. Hayek’s tome for his words, but will probably completely give up.

      • Crogged, you should read every bit of Hayek you possibly can as a matter of general principle.

        You seem to be under the impression I believe free markets are the best way to solve every problem. They are not. Markets only work where a profit is to be realized; in many instances where we call on the social safety net, any profit to be had is so far down the line as to be irrelevant to the problem at hand.

        Humans are social beasts, and have come up with a wide array of social constructs, some of which, IMHO, are superior to either government or free markets for solving social safety net challenges. Take coercion and profit out of the picture, and there is still a range of human motivations upon which to build social constructs. Perhaps, were you will to expand you thinking just a bit, you might come up with one, or two, yourself.

  18. DanMan says:

    “More than that, we are coming to realize that absent the organizing force of government, we will not have a health care system that is reasonably effective or affordable.”

    Hey Chris, can you show where the government gives a damn about the individual? The fact you Picked health care as the example for government control sure flies in the face of the 40 year scream from the left of keeping a woman’s health care decisions between her and her doctor. We had the finest health care treatment capabilities in the world and that is being destroyed by your democrat party. And you approve of it.

    • John Galt says:

      The idea that we have the finest health care system in the world is unsupported by any rational data. If you have a rare disease, you’re probably better off in the US, but we’re not that great on other measures. In infant mortality, the US trails most European countries, including Greece and Hungary and the rate is 2.5 times that of Japan. Ditto for life expectancy, where we are tied with Costa Rica and trail Japan by five years. Five year survival rates for most cancers are not significantly different between the US, Canada and Western Europe (there are some exceptions). And we pay twice as much per capita as anyone else. So I think the idea of fighting to defend the “finest health care treatment capabilities in the world” is a little groundless.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Other countries do not report infant mortality the same as the U.S.. In most cases, what we report as infant mortality they report as fetal death or still-born.

        Life expectancy has more to do with life style than with health care. The U.S. is at the top where cancer survival rates are concerned.

        We spend more on health care, including things like tanning beds and pedicures, because we are free to do so. We usually pay less than people in other nations for the same care, but we use a whole lot more of it because the government is not yet empowered to deny such care, though democrats are working hard to make that happen.

        Apples to oranges, John.

      • DanMan says:

        yeah what evs JG. You have already told us you laugh at Christianity, the teachings of which are enmumerated in our Bill of Rights and Constitution. You and you democrat buddies hate that fact. What is your moral compass based on? Whatever you say it is. Comparing our infant mortality rate with any other country ignores the fact those countries recognize and defend their borders while we offer incentives to minimize ours.

        Regarding cancers, your take is BS. Where do people come for cancer treatment over any other country? Peddle your fabrications to the rucas posse. You have company there.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Dan, your pictures of Democrats are comically straw-peopled (hey 50!).

        “You have already told us you laugh at Christianity, the teachings of which are enmumerated in our Bill of Rights and Constitution. You and you democrat buddies hate that fact.”

        It is interesting that you think that Christianity’s teachings are enumerated in the Constitution and BOR. I (and most of my democrat buddies) have assumed that Hindu, Muslim, Satanism, Buddhist, Wiccan, and any number of other religions’ principles are pretty well laid out in the Constitution and BOR.

        I think what folks of my ilk generally hate is that some idiots believe Christians invented being nice to one another, following rules, and being a decent citizen.

      • DanMan says:

        yeah right Homer. Where does Christianity provide for taqiy’ya as a tactic to control others?

        Idiots of your ilk endorse the concept as defended by flypusher on Friday. Own it.

      • Crogged says:

        Captain and Dan.

        I said I would never do this but the only proper thing to say to your attempts to rebut JG…..

        Bullsomething

        Tanning beds and nail salon spending isn’t ‘health care’, but if it is reported as such anywhere, please provide a link.

        “We pay less for the same care”… a little evidence please.

        Moral compasses? YOU, Danman, asking someone for a moral compass because all your writings comport with some sort of, kind of, “Christianity” and thus deserve higher standing? This is really a contemptible argument when we are discussing a government program that at its very bottom, gets some people who don’t have the means for health care, a way to get some health care.

        I get it that you guys ‘feel’ things but can’t you make even a decent attempt at a logical argument for your position(s) regarding health care?

      • John Galt says:

        “You have already told us you laugh at Christianity, the teachings of which are enmumerated in our Bill of Rights and Constitution”

        I laugh at this, too. What’s amazing is that you probably believe it. There are 10 amendments in the BOR and 10 Commandments, but that’s about where the similarities end. Could you perhaps comment on how Christian teaching informed, say, Article 3 (about quartering soldiers during peacetime)? Or, frankly, any of the rest of them?

        It is true that people come to the US to be treated for cancer. Generally wealthy people from less developed countries and not so many Germans and French. Have you ever wondered why MD Anderson has a Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy? This doesn’t really change the argument that European countries achieve roughly the same outcomes for drastically less cost.

        Sternn – The infant mortality numbers do not use a different scale. The US numbers came from the CDC, which defines it as number of child deaths under 1 year per 1,000 life births. Stillborns or fetal deaths are not included. But, hey, why let facts get in the way?

      • DanMan says:

        Estimates are less than 10% of the uninsured have been able to sign up since Obamacare started, Obama has delayed or changed the law for select groups for the 28th time.

        If your argument for changing health care is the same as Obama’s, why don’t you explain what it is? He pushed his law through with zero input from the other side, bribed members of his own party and lied to you to get you to go along with him. If anybody needs to defend anything it you but you won’t because you can’t. I’m sure you believe that of course we had to go through this BS to get to single payer. Your party could not get the basics of this program functional after 4 years and trillions of dollars. Defend away.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Crogged, tanning beds are taxed as part of health care under tyhe PPACA. Remember what Pelosi said, they had to pass it so we could find out what was in it. That was in it.

        John, I understand how the U.S. counts infant mortality. But other nations do not use the same standards. Apples and oranges again.

      • John Galt says:

        “But other nations do not use the same standards.”

        YES. THEY. DO.

      • Crogged says:

        Yes Captain, ‘tanning beds” are sources of light, which can be part of the treatment for psoriasis, which I know too well. If all tanning beds are taxed this way, oh well, the government gets every type of alcohol, including all my favorites.

      • John Galt says:

        ” tanning beds are taxed as part of health care under tyhe PPACA. ”

        Yes. Cigarettes are taxed because of the costs their use imposes on the health care system. Alcohol is taxed because of the costs its use imposes on the health care system. Frying oneself under UV lights will be taxed because of the costs it imposes on the health care system. For better or worse, the desire for orange skin seems to be fairly price inelastic.

      • John Galt says:

        “He pushed his law through with zero input from the other side”

        Dan, it is so tiresome to have to continually repost this, but the backbone of the ACA (the individual mandate) was based on Republican proposals, even introduced to Congress in the early 90s, and supported by some right-leaning think tanks. It is much as implemented by your last presidential nominee when a governor and the enacted ACA contains hundreds of accepted amendments proposed by the GOP.

        There are no realistic solutions to the problems of health care delivery in this country that do not involve increasing coverage. The system is badly broken, horribly inequitable, and extremely expensive. Not fixing it is and was simply not an option. If you do not agree with this conclusion then, I’m sorry, you’re wrong. I would have thought that a solution other than single-payer, one that uses an existing framework of private insurers and a combination of public and private delivery, would have been up your alley.

      • DanMan says:

        What utter BS to say this was a republican plan and therefore I should embrace it. Don’t ever think you can speak for me lightweight. It is no such thing and even if it was as wonderful as you describe it why is it being delayed until after the November 2016 election? Politics is the only answer and you know it. The whole plan is for control of people’s lives.

      • fiftyohm says:

        JG- On healthcare in the US:

        Cross-cultural comparisons, particularly between a diverse population like the US, and the monoculture of Japan. are well nigh useless if we’re speaking of infant mortality.

        Cancer survival rates are not significantly different throughout the developed world – that much is true. What goes unsaid here is just how much better *could* they be? Fact is that, for the cancers that kill the most people, no one is that great at treating them.

        That we spend twice as much on healthcare really is incontrovertible, though. While in no attempt to justify this fact, another country’s system you mentioned with which I have current and direct experience is, by about any measure save for its cost, far inferior.

        I guess my message here is not to focus on everyone else, either by saying we’re the best or we’re the worst, but get on with fixing the problem. To deny its existence is ludicrous.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Danny says: “The whole plan is for control of people’s lives.”

        My first reaction was to respond to this with a sigh and a lamentation that it is an example of where rational discussion goes to die.

        However, I must confess that sadly, Dan has figured out our master plan. I wake up each day, wondering how I can control Dan and the choices he makes with his life. I’ve already forced him to flush twice with low flow toilets in the harsh, unforgiving glare of curly lightbulbs, and my next objective is to control his choice of breakfast cereals.

        No, there was no thought of trying to get health insurance to some folks in some tough positions, no thought of dealing with pre-existing conditions or the lack of mobility that ties people to jobs. Nope, it was all just to mess with Dan.

        It is important to know, that even for really paranoid, someone delusional people, sometimes we really are out to get you.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I have to laugh every time I see people on the left attempting to blame the PPACA on republicans. How many republicans voted for it again? Right, not a single one. Republicans never introduced it in the past, only to have it defeated by democrats. And if the left thought it was a good law, a good idea, they would be using the fact that no republicans voted for it to beat the republicans, taking credit all for themselves and cheering the fact that republicans had nothing at all to do with it. But they are running away from it as fast as they can. Even Obama is running away from it, vindicating Cruz and the rest of the tea party backed republicans.

        Oh, and I like the way y’all shook your heads about the tanning beds as part of health care, then had to spin around and say, “of course they are part of health care”.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “I have to laugh every time I see people on the left attempting to blame the PPACA on republicans.”

        The GOP may not have voted for Obamacare but that does not mean they did not provide input to the plan, input which was adapted.

        -Includes personal responsibility incentives: Allows health insurance premium to vary based on participation in proven employer wellness programs

        -Advances medical liability reform through grants to States: Provides grants to States to jump-start and evaluate promising medical liability reform ideas to put patient safety first, prevent medical errors, and reduce liability premiums.

        http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting/republican-ideas

        http://www.salon.com/2010/02/23/hcr_amendments/

      • DanMan says:

        Looks like Homer isn’t aware of the growing list of formerly insured cancer patients that can’t keep their treatments due to Obamacare. Hey Homer, if you’re waiting on me to list all the reasons Obama has changed or delayed his law you’re out of luck. That fact he has done it is all the evidence necessary. Well that and the fact dems want to talk about anything but Obamacare.

      • John Galt says:

        “While in no attempt to justify this fact, another country’s system you mentioned with which I have current and direct experience is, by about any measure save for its cost, far inferior.”

        Unless you are uninsured and therefore cannot realistically participate in the U.S. system except under emergency situations. Then I think Canadian healthcare would seem pretty good.

      • John Galt says:

        So, Dan, what is your plan? What is today’s GOP plan? Is it simply to continue to spend ever-increasing and unaffordable sums on healthcare? Do you have any conception of the problems in health care? Or would you just rather bleat about death panels and socialism because that’s what the pretty people on TV were talking about?

      • way2gosassy says:

        Danman, You said “If your argument for changing health care is the same as Obama’s, why don’t you explain what it is? He pushed his law through with zero input from the other side, bribed members of his own party and lied to you to get you to go along with him.”

        I’m going to have to call a big bull hockey on that statement!

        The basis for the law came from the Heritage Foundation and was modeled after the healthcare law instituted in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney. 170 amendments from the Republicans were included in the law before it went to final passage. It was then that Republicans refused to vote for the law to show this upstart that he would not get a single piece of legislation passed if there was any way to stop it. Currently there have been 50 votes and a government shutdown to try and repeal this law.

        Personally I would have preferred a single payer solution to the healthcare problem or at the very least reforms to the insurance industry and healthcare delivery systems.

        I have been fortunate to have had a good job that provided good insurance for myself and my family but over the last decade or two I watched my share of premiums skyrocket along with the cost of services and medicine. Deductibles and out of pocket expenses have more than tripled.

      • fiftyohm says:

        If by ‘pretty good’, you mean ‘better than nothing’, I agree.

        But the level provided to all Canadians is actually piss-poor if you need a host of commonly needed procedures. Need a cardiac cath lab? 6 – 9 months, unless your condition worsens significantly, (as it often does.) Need a specialist? Get in line.

        Break a leg, have a baby, get a vaccination, you’re good. So – it’s really not a simple question.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Way, Obamacare is not based on what the Heritage Foundation put out. They suggested encouraging people to get catastrophic plans by granting tax deductions. They pulled that suggestion quickly after they did some research.

        It may have been largely based on Romneycare, but even that was written and passed mainly by democrats. The left owns it, and y’all know it is bad, are ashamed of it, run away from it and still try to blame republicans.

      • John Galt says:

        Here’s the basis of a presidential health care proposal…

        “Early last year, I directed the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to prepare a new and improved plan for comprehensive health insurance. That plan, as I indicated in my State of the Union message, has been developed and I am presenting it to the Congress today. I urge its enactment as soon as possible.

        The plan is organized around seven principles:

        First, it offers every American an opportunity to obtain a balanced, comprehensive range of health insurance benefits;

        Second, it will cost no American more than he can afford to pay;
        Third, it builds on the strength and diversity of our existing public and private systems of health financing and harmonizes them into an overall system;

        Fourth, it uses public funds only where needed and requires no new Federal taxes;

        Fifth, it would maintain freedom of choice by patients and ensure that doctors work for their patient, not for the Federal Government.

        Sixth, it encourages more effective use of our health care resources;

        And finally, it is organized so that all parties would have a direct stake in making the system work–consumer, provider, insurer, State governments and the Federal Government.”

        Care to guess? Richard Nixon, 1974

        http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2009/september/03/nixon-proposal.aspx

      • CaptSternn says:

        I didn’t vote for Nixon either, John.

      • John Galt says:

        Nor did I, Sternn, but it appears that GOP figures have been promoting health care reforms that appear to presage the PPACA since before either of us could vote. They did so out of a desire to avoid a single payer system in which everyone had medicaid. Now that the left is supporting a private insurance scheme, the right has moved the goalposts.

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, not all republicans are conservatives, especialy not conservatives with strong libertarian leanings. And notice, republicans never passed anything of the sort. One or two here and there mentioned something like it, but it is the socialist democrats, desiring to micromanage everybody, that put it on us without a single vote from the republicans.

        As for private insurance companies, they are virtually no more. Just governemnt agents that are about to be bailed out by that government. It is a step, admitted even by Obama, to destroy the private sector in health insurance and eventually health care. Destroy freedom, replace with the servitude of socialism and welfare.

      • DanMan says:

        So if Obama copied a Nixon plan he never followed through on then Obama is 0-fer on every point.

        What else ya got?

  19. DanMan says:

    As stated by flypusher, on Friday, who cares? They all lie so what difference does it make?

  20. CaptSternn says:

    Lifer, it is clear that you have no concept of libertarian ideas or libertarianism. In short, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” It is not much different than some on the left saying that a private business in a private market is socialism.

    Libertarians are not anarchists. They firmly believe in a constitutional republic and government, limited government, but not anti-government. They do not believe in the welfare state, or minimum income as you call it. They do not support socialism, government run health care or mandates, or cap and trade for that matter.

    Maybe it would do many here some good to do a little reading to help understand what libertarianism really is. http://www.lp.org/platform

    You will see that actual libertarians do not oppose abortion, which I find odd that considering they advocate the right to life. Abortion and foriegn policy are really the only areas that keep me from being a full fledged libertarian. I end up being a conservative with strong libertarian leanings, part of the tea party movement.

    And do we need to repeat the fact that we already have a minimum income? I guess we do since you keep bringing it up.

    • goplifer says:

      I don’t like playing this card, Stern, but I didn’t get my education in libertarian economics from a website.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Lifer, I didn’t learn libertarian policies from a web site either, but it would do you good to read and understand the libertarian platform for a beginning in understanding what libertrainism is, what libertarian policies and ideas really are.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Stern (and Buzz), I think you could find many examples of how the LP (and that specific platform) diverge from older libertarian (classic libertarian) thought.

        The platform has no pragmatism for how to make things work (not unlike Republicans or Democrats) other than the loving, invisible hand of the free market and rational human making decisions.

        Unregulated banking industry? Pollution handled by the free market? Home owner associations deciding they don’t want Jews living in the neighborhood?

        To Chris’ point, if the libertarian-leaning folks on the left and the right figured out a way to work with either the left or the right, they could be a force in politics and a force for good in the world.

        Sticking with an ideology that says, “sure, it would be bad if restaurants decided not to serve food to Black people, but the free market will resolve that issue” is going to have a hard time finding a pragmatic path forward.

      • CaptSternn says:

        HT, libertarian leaning folk are the classic liberals, or Jefferson liberals. Socialism and welfare play no part in any libertarian ideas or views, especially not at the federal level.

        Why is it that we have people here telling us libertarian leaning folk what libertrainism is when they are preaching socialism? It is like when atheists try to tell Christians what it means to be Christian.

      • DanMan says:

        exactly Stern.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Then we are going to have to go with Hayek and Friedman as socialists.

        Is this going to be another of those “No true Scotsman” things.

        Sure, the rest of the world recognizes them as libertarian in thought, but since they had a few pragmatic ideas that do not conform to today’s view of libertarianism, they are socialists?

      • DanMan says:

        $9 trillion in new debt since y’all brought forth Obama less that 5 years ago. What do Hayak and Friedman have to say about that?

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Captain, Chris wrote this post to focus on two paragraphs. The usual hit piece. Here they are: “The libertarianism represented by Ron and Rand Paul has developed into an obstacle blocking efforts to build a consensus that can work. Under the influence of the Pauls, particularly Rand Paul, the libertarian brand has been co-opted by Southern religious fundamentalists and paranoid conspiracy theorists, refashioning the movement into a strange, Neo-Confederate monster.

      In an ironic twist, libertarian politics has been deployed as a screen for white nationalists who will accept no political compromise that fails to cripple the ability of a central government to remedy racial and ethnic injustices. The term “libertarian” has become synonymous with “weirdo,” creating serious problems for those who would use libertarian ideas to develop credible policy”

      It is a shame that every post comes back to the same annoying, untrue character assassination, but it does.

      I also believe Edison and Tesla invented two different types of electricity, on their own, then sold it to cities. As usual you give government much to much credit. No pun intended.

      • John Galt says:

        The GOP Southern strategy was laid out by Lee Atwater 30 years ago. The nakedness of the racial aspect is shockingly blunt in his now infamous interview. It was intended to appeal to rural southern whites through sweet smelling policies (low taxes! freedom!) that had as an intended consequence the maintenance of economic (and thus social) disparities. Y’all might just accept that this has happened and get over it rather than constantly protesting that there is not a racial legacy in this. You could see what denial gets you in the response to Rand Paul’s visit to Howard and, of course, in several decades of minority voting statistics. The first step in overcoming a problem is to admit that it exists.

        “You start out in 1954 by saying, “N*****, n*****, n*****.” By 1968 you can’t say “n*****”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N*****, n*****.””

      • DanMan says:

        to all the blacks reading this, isn’t wonderful to have John Galt speak for you? He knows what’s best for you after all. All of you.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Dan, in the unlikely event that you are not just rate baiting, I’m curious, how does a review of history and quotes from Lee Atwater represent speaking for Black folks.

      • DanMan says:

        every member of the rucas posse speaks for all minorities with your constant bleatings about how anybody that disagrees with the insanity we find ourselves in are racist, homophobic, wimmin hatin whatever. JG’s discussion is just more of the same.

        ” The first step in overcoming a problem is to admit that it exists.” Admit it, all y’all have is division in your political arsenal.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Can those of us that are actual minorities speak? The division comes from those that marginalize minority groups then have the absolute gall to turn around and claim that it is Democrats that are the race instigators. It is not the left that is pushing for an end to civil rights laws and voter protections. It is not the left that makes back handed defense claims like “Democrats believe minorities cannot compete with whites” or “Democrats thinks minorities are not capable of getting IDs”. Since Democrats never make such claims it points to the condescending attitude the right has towards minorities.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Lee Atwater is one man, one opinion and one outlook. So, I guess it is fair to use Jesse Jackson’s view of blacks as the dem strategy. Silly folk.

        We all know who the racists are by their constant counting of faces with color and the policies they impose. That lies at the feet of democrats. To this day you think minorities can’t compete with whitey. They are not able to. You can’t even believe they can figure out how to get a state ID. Conservatives believe ALL people are capable given the opportunity and taking it. Big difference.

        So you hang onto your ‘Southern Strategy’ myth and the real world will continue to SEE the policies the dem’s institute.

        And Turtles, I have said this many times. Why do you assume I am white?

      • Turtles Run says:

        Did I say that? I do not know you are if you really believe what you write. For all I know you are some teenage Korean satanic transvestite that get his rocks off making the tea party look like a bunch of dumb a$$es.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Should be:
        I do not know who you are or if you really believe what you write.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Buzz…let’s take your point about Voter ID and explore it a bit.

        You seem to believe (as you have stated a few hundred times) that folks on my side do not believe “they” (minorities) can’t figure out (or are too stupid to figure out) how to get IDs.

        Now, of course, no one on my side ever says that, and it is just your fevered mind coming up with that string of words, but let’s not get too side tracked on that.

        I think you would agree that minorities are disproportionately represented in the group of people who do not have a valid ID. If you do not agree with this, then the big media conspiracy must be very strong in your world.

        Your side seems to be saying, “So what? They can get one now”.

        My side seems to be saying, “It is odd that you are focusing all this time and attention on in-person voter fraud by putting into practice a mechanism that disproportionately affects minorities who, oddly enough, tend to vote for Democrats while ignoring the much easier voter fraud that occurs with mail in ballots, which oddly enough, tends to favor Republicans”.

        Then, folks on my side will point out that there are some pretty substantial hurdles to getting appropriate ID, particularly if you are poor and living in many counties in Texas.

        Your side seems to be saying, “So what? If they really want one, they can get one, just look at all the White folks who have one”.

        Most (not all) folks on my side are all in favor of Voter ID. Just pair it with a massive outreach into those communities where lack of ID is more likely to be a problem, and we’ll be good to go.

        That is how folks got it done in the nice examples of states the got Voter ID and found an increase in the minority voter turnout in the next election.

        I’m sure the Texas GOP is in favor of significantly increasing voter turnout of newly ID’d voters, so I’m not sure why the GOP ignored that part of the process.

      • DanMan says:

        so turtle, who declares minorities, and only minorities can’t seem to get their act together to produce an ID and that shows requiring IDs is racist? you and your party do. A black man was elected in a country that has a black population of 13% yet we are told we must enforce affirmative action to level the playing field. If you had any idea how that holds back blacks today it would blow your mind. You want to know why that same scenario doesn’t hold back Hispanics? Most don’t pay attention to their race baiting leaders and set about taking care of themselves. same with Asians, Indians, Pakis and many Africans and Arabs that haven’t bought into the American Race Industry as promoted by democrats.

        In my work if we see a firm touting their HUB credentials that is a kiss of death unless we know them and their work.

        Democrats only make those claims and we are witnessing the destruction of race relations because of it. You have words that have been declared so offensive they can’t be uttered…except by members of your race. We are laughing at you over this. You have entertainment that glorifies your struggles on the street. They are your struggles because you glorify them. Again, we avoid at your insistence the issues of your self created crisis because to do or say anything brands us as out of touch with your culture.

      • DanMan says:

        Hey Homer, ever heard of the phenomena of blacks not wanting IDs because they don’t want to serve on juries, don’t want to have an address listed for warrant round-ups and other such reasons? Want to claim it doesn’t happen or would you rather accommodate that slice of Americana because it does exist.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Dan…interesting that you specifically noted Black folks and these particular issues.

        By “interesting”, I mean racist.

        I’m sure White folks love getting on jury duty and White criminals would like to make it easy for law enforcement to serve warrants.

        Hey, my massive voter ID out reach program would get to those people too, regardless of race.

        However, at least in Texas, I think Hispanic citizens are somewhat less likely to have valid IDs than are Black citizens.

      • DanMan says:

        well yeehaw, another democrat calls me a racist. Big effin’ deal.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “Can those of us that are actual minorities speak?”

        Only if they say what you want them to say. We see what happens when some speak of conservative values, they get kickwed in the teeth, called Uncle Toms and much worse.

      • geoff1968 says:

        If you find yourself in insanity you are probably insane.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, Homer, Homer, nice dodge. Offers were made to ‘help’ those that couldn’t afford it or couldn’t make it to a center. Now be honest. Just as soon as the bill was announced, the democrats IMMEDIATELY cried racism without even seeing the bill. Good try though buddy.

        I firmly stand by my assertion that democratic policies are racist. And thus that is why the authors of the policies are racist. I think there was just another set aside for black youth. Not brown, white or yellow, black only. Another democratic program.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Buzz…I rarely dodge. I often have to step over piles of stuff, but rarely do I move fast enough to dodge.

        Of course folks immediately identified the racism because it is immediately identifiable and so obvious. The new laws did not provide for any significant outreach to make anything productive happen.

        When you want to propose something that disproportionately impacts some historically kinda oppressed people when it comes to voting, you might want to put in some things to maybe not make that happen again.

        Your side did not bother to do that while many other states did.

        We may also be a little more “forgiving” of your motives if you target more common and easier mail in ballot fraud.

        The fact that you targeted the one type, that just happens to more than likely affect Democrats while ignoring the other type that coincidentally happens to more likely affect Republicans suggests nothing but a purity in your motives.

        Hey, I’m not saying that thousands and thousands of darn libs are not driving from one voting place to another in a concerted attempt to sway elections, all centrally supported by a massive data management operations to identify people who are not going to vote in the second, third, and fourth locations thus allowing these darn libs to vote in their place. All of which is done with massive secrecy and incredible logistical control by group of people who you generally find to be too stupid to function in modern society.

        I’m not saying we don’t do that, because, obviously, we do, but I’m surprised you were able to figure it out.

        If it weren’t for you meddling kids…

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Again HT, you dodge. Mail In ballots are miniscule compared to early voting and election day voting at the polls. Almost negligible. But keep harping. You know deep in your heart you think ‘they’ can’t handle the burden.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Come on buzz…I know you can type more than 16 words at a time…actually talk through this.

        I’d love to hear someone actually walk through this.

        Mail in voting might be minuscule, but clearly in-person voting fraud is teeny-tiny if anything, but we wail and gnash teeth over one but not the other.

        Why no outreach like other states that implemented Voter ID?

        I’d love to just understand how you think in-person voter fraud happens? I vote in my neighborhood, find the list of people living in River Oaks, drive over to River Oaks and vote as Peabody McHugePockets (while hoping like heck that Mr. McHugePockets hasn’t already voted or doesn’t vote later in the day – which would show me for a fraud), then drive over to Montrose and do the whole process over again, exposing myself to greater and greater risk of being found a fraud?

        For this to make sense, we would have to get thousands and thousands of folks to do this in, which would take a pretty concerted and organized effort. All of which has manged to be done without anyone ever finding out?

        Seriously? This is what you think is happening?

      • DanMan says:

        when over 100% of registered voters vote 100% for a democrat in Philly, Cleveland, Dayton, Dade County, and several other dem precincts we tend to notice Homer.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Dan…very sincere question (mixed with a lot of snark).

        Do you not know the actual facts or are you intentionally trying to share, let’s just call them “unfacts”?

        Seriously…you can google this stuff. Even Republicans back away from this stuff now.

      • DanMan says:

        sure they are, that’s why they are passing voter ID laws all over the place

  21. flypusher says:

    “What is happening in Colorado is good example of what can happen, it is a crying shame that we have not seen this kind of co-operation on a National level.”

    We can hope they manage it well, it’s successful, and other states will copy it. I would have thought CA would try it before CO, but Gov. Brown is watching CO ‘s experiment closely.

    I have no intention of partaking, but I don’t see it as any different than my social drinking.

  22. way2gosassy says:

    What would be wonderful would be if all these different interests could define their policies that are clear and concise. Stand up for what you stand for and not what you think your “base” wants you to stand for.

    There are no utopias but there are real world problems that everyone seems to be afraid to address for fear that they may offend someone on the outer fringes of their particular group.

    Show me a centrist politician that can and will tackle the problems we have that can build a consensus across political boundaries and that can convince the majority that compromise is not a bad word and that is a politician that I could vote for.

    What is happening in Colorado is good example of what can happen, it is a crying shame that we have not seen this kind of co-operation on a National level.

    • desperado says:

      Contrary to the rantings of the right, we have a centrist in the White House now who was willing to build consensus across political boundaries. Too willing for some of his supporters, in fact. If Republicans were motivated by working towards the good of the country instead of their blind, unyielding obstructionism, much more could have been accomplished in the last 5 years.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Des,- You can call the administration centrist, and blame the Right for simple obstructionism all day. The polls tell a different story. Look at Clinton’s approval ratings Over his time in office. Now look at Obama’s. Now pick the centrist.

      • desperado says:

        Show me where Obama is to the left of Clinton?

      • DanMan says:

        Can you identify Obama’s greatest achievement to date?

      • desperado says:

        I wouldn’t waste my time on you, Dan.

      • DanMan says:

        I’m not surprised that stumped you Craig.

      • DanMan says:

        Looky here, RoR linked a new article out of Chicago that piles on the lies that you guys embrace…” Virtually all Americans are now required to get covered or risk fines.”

        That was supposed to start October 1st 2013. In his 28th change to the law Obama relaxed that little morsel until after the vote in November 2016 last week. So now we can keep those horrible policies we had and bail out those evil insurance companies that provided them. Stupid link RoR, perfect for LIVs though.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Des- Spending, taxation, (CG in particular), income/wealth disparity “problem”, to name a few. But that’s really not my point. The United States is a centrist nation. Where the perception of a president is located with regard to the center of mass is reflected in the polls. Move to the left or right very far, and your numbers drop. I don’t see this as much of an arguable point, really.

      • desperado says:

        I’ll take a shot at arguing the inarguable. I would assert that the ability to win 2 presidential elections, both with over 50% of the vote and both electoral landslides–a percentage Clinton failed to achieve in 2 tries– is a much more accurate gauge of whether or not a president is in the center than an approval rating poll which is just a snapshot of a particular period of time.

      • fiftyohm says:

        RoR- I read carefully the piece you posted that’s generating all the ink here. Here’s my take on it:
        First, the margin of error is, *at best* 2% total, (+/-1%). Keep this in mind. Nest, using the articles own data, the *total* drop in the uninsured rate was 1.2%. (Well within the error margin.) Next, the artical, while more than a bit unclear on actual numbers, indicated , (arm waved really), that the drop among Blacks was large, I really couldn’t discern whether that was only for a certain income group, or that population at large. Considering the population distribution, the error margin for Blacks as a group must be on the order of 10% or so. Finally, after the passage of the ACA in 2010, we’ve just now reached the level we were in 2008, with the ‘mandate’ looming?

        If you ask me, this piece was a pretty good stab at trying to ferret out any good news at all, (no matter how statistically insignificant), from a steaming pile of bad.

      • fiftyohm says:

        C’mon Des. I was referring not to any single poll, but suggested a look at the historical polling data over the term of both presidents. I’d also suggest that electoral results in this context are of no value at all. After all, we’re talking about opinions without regard to geographical boundaries.

      • desperado says:

        C;mon, fifty. Do you think presidential approval numbers are better when the economy is good instead of trying to come out of the worst recession since the 30′s?

      • DanMan says:

        so that’s your answer after 3 hours Craig? He won two elections? Not a single policy initiative? The smartest man ever elected can only count being elected as his greatest achievement?

        And it will take a long time to clean up what y’all have destroyed.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Des- It’s a fair question. Here’s a piece from the NYT. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/us/politics/obamas-puzzle-economy-rarely-better-approval-rarely-worse.html?_r=0 For some reason or another, there seems to be little correlation.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        DanMan says:
        March 10, 2014 at 8:10 am
        “Can you identify Obama’s greatest achievement to date?”

        Yes, getting your panties all bunched up with a massive pucker just because a Black man has the legal, Constitutional, and popularly elected authority to tell you to do things. Twice.

        I enjoy the resulting apoplectic sideshow for all of history to record for posterity and your grandchildren’s eternal shame and embarrassment.

      • DanMan says:

        I knew you couldn’t answer it either lightweight. Thanks for proving it.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Yea! The old “Do it my way or the highway” style. Very productive. Cheesh! And desp votes.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Danny boy we know better than to provide any real facts that you refuse to acknowledge, digest, or even penetrate your veil of hate in your thick skull.

      You really enjoy your self induced wedgies don’t you Danny? Whatever rocks your boat and doesn’t hurt anyone else. Never mind the lagniappe bonus of entertainment value at your expense.

      • DanMan says:

        You have no answers. Period.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Continue to live in your own feeble reality Danny.

      • DanMan says:

        Hey gay don’t worry about that. I will do that without your permission.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Think you can “insult” a liberal by casting aspersions about sexual orientation? I couldn’t care less if you or anyone else thinks I’m gay or not. Libs or more secure than you Danny Boy.

        Therapy will be some well spent funds for you Danny.

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Because leaving isn't exactly an option

Anthony Bourdain

Because leaving isn't exactly an option

Hip Hop Republican

Because leaving isn't exactly an option

The Big Picture

Because leaving isn't exactly an option

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