Rand Paul almost embraces a winning strategy

With an audience of black children as a backdrop, Senator Rand Paul continued his effort to brand himself as the “outreach” Republican with a speech at a school in Chicago. His appearance was a maddening blend of everything right and wrong about Republican urban politics. While it is refreshing to find that someone in the GOP can actually find Chicago on a map, this effort continues to say more about the party’s problems than its promise. The party has a long road to travel before it can regain relevance in America’s economic powerhouses – her cities.

What was good about Paul’s visit? The fact that he showed up at all is exciting. As miserable a statement as it is, few Republicans ever show their faces in the country’s major urban areas. Paul is also showing a willingness to appear in front of minority audiences. That doesn’t sound like much and God knows it shouldn’t be, but precious few serious Republican figures can enter a room full of black people without hyperventilating. If nothing else, Paul is getting used to the experience.

Most promising of all was the message Paul chose as his centerpiece. When he went to Howard University last year he endeavored to lecture a room full of black grad students on America’s racial history. It was an unfortunate choice. In this Chicago visit he focused on the issue most likely to resonate with an urban minority audience – school choice.

For all that was right about this visit and Paul’s previous efforts, so much remains frustrating. The African American kids Paul addressed were little more than decoration. Paul was visiting a Catholic school in relatively affluent, majority-white Wicker Park on the north side. His visit was arranged and staged by a libertarian group. There was no listening, no question and answer, no engagement whatsoever.

This was outreach by photo-op. For all the good it did, he could have saved some time and money and done it by photo-shop instead. Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and the rest of the small cadre of Republicans who claim to care about outreach remain terminally convinced that expanding GOP appeal in urban areas means more energetically white-splaining their existing policy positions. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone that urban voters already understand their positions and do not like them – for some good reasons.

More to the point, they lack any shred of recognition that Americans in the cities have some ideas about politics that might benefit the Republican Party. For some reason, they are unwilling to actually listen to anything emerging from the regions of America that are growing the fastest and producing the overwhelming bulk of our wealth.

Senator Paul deserves some appreciation for coming to Chicago and sharing his ideas. Sadly, just having him visit represents progress for the Republican Party. Next time, perhaps he will consider staying an extra hour to listen.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Cities, Race, Republican Party
98 comments on “Rand Paul almost embraces a winning strategy
  1. Crogged says:

    Just for dumb ol’ me, someone please reconcile these two issues?

    Here is the education mandate from the Texas constitution.

    A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.

    Here is Mr. Paul’s thought.

    “We have to figure out as Republicans how to get our message to the people who favor charter schools and favor choice in schools and say: ‘Look, we do care about your kids. And, frankly, the other side cares more about the status quo.’”

    The ‘status quo’ isn’t just the moldy old idea of every kid getting the summer off because the farm has to be worked. The American Revolution (and the Texas Revolution) was about equality of opportunity, of shirking ‘royalty’ and inherited status. How does worrying about those who can afford to supplement the ‘efficient system’ upgrade the ‘efficient system’? In Houston you will have a choice, what about the parent in Hutto?

    • DanMan says:

      My hunch is the parents in Hutto are much closer to their schools than many parents in Houston choose to be. Your status quo reads like a well worn talking point from decades ago while Paul’s is likely referencing the current condition of education policies being driven by unaccounted unions, top heavy administrations and federal mandates.

      I note you rail against charter schools a lot. Are you in any way associated with public education? I am for anything that works and I believe public education is deteriorating. Other than paying taxes to support it and buying over priced candy from my neighbor’s kids fund raisers I am out of the public education arena for the most part.

    • CaptSternn says:

      What is it with you and charter schools? How do you come to the conclusion that they violate the Texas Constitution? Seems to me that they better fill the role of an efficient system of public education than most school districts, especially when districts like Beaumont are exposed for their corruption.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Exactly Captain. Charter schools and vouchers are available to all Texan’s.

  2. geoff1968 says:

    Sen. Paul seems like a well bred guy, but he shows no capacity for empathy. When he makes policy pronouncements about the US’s inner cities (code term for black folk) it comes across as being hollow and perhaps deceptive. How would he know what I’ve been through? He says one thing but the policy is completely in opposition to what he says.

    Is it that he really cares about education, or is it about hatred for the teacher’s unions?

    At this point in time I remain highly suspicious of the GOP.

  3. way2gosassy says:


    Half of single mother families have an annual income less than $25,000. Median income for single mother families ($25,353) is only one third the median for married couple families ($78,699).7

    Only one third of single mothers receive any child support, and the average amount these mothers receive is only about $300 a month.8

    Update: According to The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, the annual earnings single-parent families plummet 20% between 2007 and 2010, compared to only 5% for two-parent families.9


    Single mothers are more likely to be poor than married couples. The poverty rate for single-mother families in 2011 was 40.9%, nearly five times more than the rate (8.8%) for married-couple families.10

    Poverty rates were about one in two for Black (47.3%), Hispanic (49.1%), White (33.0%), and Asian (26.3%). Among all other ethnic groups, Native American female-headed families with children have the highest poverty rate (53.8%).

    Nearly one in five children (21.9%), some 16.1 million, were poor with 47.6% of them now living in single-mother families, up from 46.6% in 2010. In contrast, among children living in married-couple families, 10.9% were poor, down from 11.6% in 2010.11


    Two fifths of single mother families are “food insecure,”12 one seventh use food pantries, one third spend more than half their income on housing, which is generally considered the threshold for “severe housing cost burden.”

    Single-parent families are among the poorest in the nation and as such, are extremely vulnerable to homelessness. Among all homeless families, 8 out of 10 are headed by single women with children; two fifths are African Americans (43%).13

    Welfare & Food Stamp Receipt

    Two fifths of all single mothers receive Food Stamps. Among children with single mothers, 41% get food stamps and 59% don’t.14

    Although two fifths of all single mothers are poor, only one tenth of all single mothers receive TANF. Though a small percentage, they represent more than 90% of all TANF families.

    Even for those who did receive assistance, the amount was far less than the minimum they’d need to to stave off hardship – like hunger, homelessness, and utility cut-offs.

    TANF benefit levels for a family of three, as of 2010, were less than 30% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in all but eight states — and above 50% in none.15

    Access to Health Care

    Across all income levels, single parents are the group who are least likely to have life insurance, says a recent study by Genworth Financial and the University of Virginia.16

    The study concludes that single parents with children living at home — majority of whom are headed by a woman — comprise the highest percentage of uninsured Americans (69%) compared to married parents with children living at home (45%).

    Child Care Affordability

    Nationally, the annual cost of center-based infant care averaged 38% of the state median income for a single mother. About 31% for a 4-year-old child.

    In New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts, a single mother of an infant ages 0-3 would have to pay more than half of her income for day care at a center.17


    Single mothers often spend over half of their income on housing expenses and a third on child care, leaving them with less money for educational expenses.

    Nearly two thirds (62%) have an expected family contribution (EFC) of zero compared to 20% of postsecondary students without children and 18% of married student parents.18

    Without generous financial aid, single mother students – a total of 1.5 million – have little or no means to contribute financially to their educational expenses.

    Compared to Single Mothers in Peer Countries

    The majority of single mothers in the United States are separated, divorced or widowed; and they work more hours and yet have higher poverty rates than single mothers in other high-income countries.19

    This is due to the fact that many employed single mothers are earning poverty wages. About 40% of U.S. single parents were employed in low-wage jobs — exceptionally high compared to single parents in peer countries.

    If a single mother in the U.S. loses her job, she will find an unemployment insurance (UI) system that is less generous and more difficult to qualify for than it is in peer countries.

    In 2010, only 24% of unemployed single mothers in the United States received unemployment benefits.20

    These along with less generous “safety net programs” and wage inequality among women help explain the exceptionally high poverty rate for single mother families in the U.S.”


    • kabuzz61 says:

      What are you trying to prove??? You can look up statistic’s?

    • CaptSternn says:

      I am kind of with Kabuzz here, Way. What is your point? I mean other than proving his point about the rise of single parent households and the negative consequences?

      Your copy and paste references the times from 2007 and on, but the minimum wage was raised in 2007. How has that worked out? Not well according to your copy and paste. Democrats want to do that again. According to your copy and paste, that is a negative and oppressive thing to do, especially for single parent households.

      Add to that, those single parents are now forced to spend even more on health insurance or fines. Not one single republican, RINO or otherwise, voted for that. It is all on democrats, republicans, RINOs or otherwise, opposed it.

      So, are you changing sides and supporting the tea party movement, or are you advocating for more of what you copied and pasted?

      • CaptSternn says:

        “It is all on democrats. Republicans, RINOs or otherwise, opposed it.”

        Darn puncuation issues.

    • John Galt says:

      While Kabuzz and Sternn apparently don’t like unpleasant statistics, they show that our present social welfare system does a poor job of targeting aid to those who most need it. Despite Sternn’s broken record of thinking that these families will be paying more for health care, they should be eligible for Medicaid or heavily subsidized policies (unless, of course, they live in a state with a Republican governor who rejected the expanded Medicaid). He also appears to persist in the insulting position that these single mothers with children do not want health insurance. I’m waiting for Dan to pipe in that they knew there were consequences for having children and they shouldn’t have done so if they couldn’t afford them.

      These statistics tell us we could do a better job. They do not say we’d have to spend more money to do it. The unwillingness to even discuss this issue is a frustrating sign of our present political polarization.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Can a single mother afford 3-400 per month. No.

        Over the years, the dems keep throwing more and more money into a failed idea. Face it, until it is greatly modified, the dem’s are just keeping the poor, poor.

      • DanMan says:

        All this talk about stats and desperate toddies is a nice segue into this weekend’s activities, that being the drags in Baytown! Beer, babes and top fuelers are on tap!

        I bet the odds are high there won’t be many whiny-ass liberals out there either.

        Hey Way, you have any data that makes the comparisons of the gains made in your many categories since the dems vaunted war on poverty began 50 years ago? Every two years its your party’s biggest campaign issue so surely the numbers are available.

        How about breaking it down by race in that same time period? My hunch is the figures for minorities, especially blacks that now vote at about 95% dem won’t be favorable for your cause.

        Make opportunities equal and things sort themselves out. Let g’ment pick winners and losers and you get the outcomes you complain about. Same as it ever was.

    • way2gosassy says:

      Sorry I got called away before I could make my point with this information.

      We know that many of the safety net programs today began in response to economic downturns that the country has experienced since the Great Depression. It seems that many believe that the greatest numbers of the poor or marginal folks that receive some kind of assistance are minorities which in fact is not true. While it is true that poor minorities tend to migrate toward urban areas it gives a false impression that they are greater in number.

      So if single motherhood is the greatest problem why aren’t we doing something about it?
      Are we teaching young girls what the true costs are for raising a child? Are we doing enough to actually encourage girls to stay in school? Everyone seems to know what the root cause is but absolutely no one is doing anything to fix the problem from the bottom up they prefer instead to throw money and resources from the top down. We will do everything we can to prop up the male of the species and very damned little to make sure that they are fulfilling their responsibilities to the children they help create. There is more than enough blame to go around for the fiscal position we are currently in as it pertains to “welfare” but there is no one willing to expend the political capitol it takes to address the real issue here.

      Sternn there is absolutely not enough money in the world for me to become a tea party member, nor any other party for that matter and while I am not advocating more of the same I also do not believe children should be left to their own devices because their parents have made unfortunate choices.

      • John Galt says:

        Well said, Sassy.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Thanks John.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        First off, women have to quit patting themselves on the back and playing the victim in this scenario and others.

        To say young girls or women are not aware of the downside of birthing a child is naïve. They do however have all the single movie stars and idol’s glamorizing it. But it comes down to love. They girl or woman thinks giving birth will keep the boy or man they love in their life. A very immature conclusion but accurate. The old adage ‘women give sex for love and men give love for sex’ holds true.

        And your statement about conservatives thinking more minorities are on assistance then anyone is just stupid.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Advocating more of the same is exactly what you and john are both doing. The system the leftists, the democrats, have created encourages women to become single parents, encourages men to stay away from supporting their children. That way the women get more benefits/handouts, and so can the men.

        You say, “Do it for the CHILDREN. Oh God! The CHILDREN! They are just CHILDREN!” Well guess what, you are not doing it FOR them, you are doing it TO them. Teaching them how to live off the government, to use the system to get the maximum handouts, generational welfare and poverty, only they aren’t in poverty with the handouts. They are quite a bit better off.

        Hasn’t your side done enough damage already? It is staring you in the face and you not only want more of it, you want to expand it to heath insurance and health care. It is sold as helping people, and maybe you have lied to yourself enough to believe that, but the reality is that it is done to oppress and control people. To keep them down and dependent.

      • John Galt says:

        My statement: “These statistics tell us we could do a better job. They do not say we’d have to spend more money to do it.”

        Sternn reads this and thinks, “Advocating more of the same is exactly what you and john are both doing.”

        Ummm…no, that is not what either of us are doing. Designing a better way to help those who need it is possible but anytime any – and I mean any – idea is thrown out, even for discussion, the right wing, epitomized here by our social Darwinists Dan, Sternn, and Kabuzz, close their ears and shout about liberal socialists ruining their country.

      • Intrigued says:

        Buzz, we get it. You have no respect for women, as you view us all as a bunch of self pitying victims who use our reproductive abilities to trap men.

        So Buzz if I ignore the hatred for women part of your comment and try to focus on your point, I believe you think the problem is women are having babies to attain love from men who only show love for sex. If you think that is the problem, what would be the best solution from the bottom up? Should we raise our daughters to be confident, self reliant, and strong women so they do not feel the need to search for love from undeserving men? Do we provide them with the knowledge and capability of birth control so they can choose when they are ready to have children? Do you really think calling them immature victims who need to stop patting themselves on the back for their ability to reproduce is the right way to address the problem?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Just the opposite intrigued. I have enormous respect for women who DON’T play the victim. I have worked with many women over the years, some CEO’s and I never noticed them blaming others for their behavior or decisions. I have no respect for women or men that always look for the person to blame for their actions but at the same time pat each other on the back like they are a class unto themselves. “You go girl.”

        The dem’s have never wanted to change the system. When Michigan instituted the welfare to work program, the dem’s came crying about how it will hurt everyone and the children will starve. When Clinton reluctantly went with the GOP to modify the welfare system, the dem’s went nuts.

        The democratic party refuses change, wants to throw money at any program instead of fix it and creates policy that I view as racist.

        JG, I believe you and the left want change like N. Korea leadership does.

      • Intrigued says:

        “I have worked with many women over the years, some CEO’s and I never noticed them blaming others for their behavior or decisions.”

        Buzz I can guarantee those successful women you mention climbed to the top by demanding the respect, compensation, and advancement they rightfully earned all of which was made possible by the anti-discrimination laws you probably consider racist.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Intrigued asked: Should we raise our daughters to be confident, self reliant, and strong women so they do not feel the need to search for love from undeserving men? Do we provide them with the knowledge and capability of birth control so they can choose when they are ready to have children?
        Intrigued, it’s commendable that you think that way, because you have a good heart, but I have to ask who “we” is. That should be the parents, and there’s only so much we outsiders can do, or else we are overstepping parental authority, into something that’s really not our business. The problem is, once government benefits are involved, everyone feels the need to opine about other people’s affairs, which makes sense, because it involves peoples’s taxes, but it’s unfortunate.

        IF I had a daughter, and reading the conversation between you and Kabuzz, I’d say, it’s really no business of either one of you what my daughter does — whether she has sex for love or lust, marries at 17 or 37, what she chooses to study, or not study, or whatever. I would raise her not to be dependent on ANY man, NOR on the government, and especially not on peer pressure, and that way NO ONE has the right to talk, even though, they will, human nature being what it is. The world is fully of busybodies, but in the meantime, the rest of us go about our business, unaffected.

        Many of the conversations here have a certain gossipy, busybody nature to them, with discussions about such private matters as women’s virtue, people’s purchasing habits, etc.
        You know what they say about opinions — everybody’s got one — but sometimes it’s best to just let people live their lives. In any case, there’s something rather off kilter about being so consumed by other’s people’s affairs, 24/7, on some of these blogs.

      • way2gosassy says:

        You know I have read and reread my comment and I don’t see where I used the term “conservative” or RWNJ or “right”, left, liberal or damn sideways. Some of you are simply projecting something that is not there. Is the truth so uncomfortable that you can do nothing more than read for dog whistles rather than comprehension?

        Please show me how getting to and fixing the root of the problem is advocating more of the same. I would have thought that stopping a problem at it’s core would be a primary conservative principal. Yet, once again, the misogynist monster rears it’s ugly head yelling it’s their own fault, they are playing the victim, this wouldn’t happen if they made better choices, bullshit! it takes two to tango but I rarely ever hear you guys telling men and boys to keep it zipped. I never hear you guys shaming a man for creating a baby out of wedlock, no it is much easier for the man to play the “victim” to a scheming woman who’s only purpose is rack up as many baby daddy’s as they can for all that welfare money.

        Where the hell did I advocate for more of the same? I didn’t, it is only in your fevered mind that I suggested such a thing. For the mentally impaired let me say this a different way…
        throwing money at it doesn’t fix it! You don’t wait until the dandelion goes to seed to mow the lawn and then expect the dandelions to go away. You put down weed killer before it has a chance to bloom if you ever expect to have a lawn free of dandelions.

        Now get the hell off my lawn!

      • CaptSternn says:

        Tutt, you hit that one out of the park. I think that is what many can’t understand or simply won’t accept.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Way, are you really suggesting that we cut off welfare? Because that is what created the problem and what causes it to continue to grow. The dandelion has already gone to seed a long time ago. The government created the problem, the government is the problem. Calling for more government is calling for more of the same in larger amounts.

      • DanMan says:

        Way you seem to see problems in almost everything that isn’t regulated and many of us believe the problem is not allowing consequences to influence behavior. You brought fourth all of your statistics showing what you consider problems that need to be solved and we see the results of the “solutions” that were tried that have not worked to correct them.

        What are you suggesting be done to correct the problems that doesn’t further diminish our nation? You are obviously on the left, to what degree isn’t germane. There are two parties. The dem party divides society into segments in order to identify their ‘needs’ and exploits that to offer their solutions. War on women, war on minorities, war of poverty, war on gays, war on handicapped and so on. Any pushback on the constant drive to the left is met with the usual insults of misogyny, wealthy out of touch, homophobic, mean, etc. so that discussion becomes distorted, by design. And amplified, again by design.

        Dems have blown through $8 trillion without offering budgets and have nothing but debt to show for it. At some point economic reality will have to impact the ability to provide the basics and from where I sit you and every other democrat has no concern with the issue of that reality. Heck I don’t think a third of the GOP house and half the GOP senate thinks any differently than dems.

        If you think the solution is basic income say so. Explain how it will work. Explain how It gets funded. The left has not changed course in over 100 years. It is absolutely practical for anybody not on the left to observe that every problem the left identifies has its only solution in more government.

      • DanMan says:

        Tutt, that was a great post at 9:48 (10:48). Your third paragraph really nails it.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Intrigued, just to be clear, I’m not singling you out as a busybody, or being unnaturally interested in other’s people’s business.

        There’s just something unbecoming and tacky about all of us sitting around all day discussing other people’s personal, private matters. We are better than this.

      • Intrigued says:

        “Intrigued, it’s commendable that you think that way, because you have a good heart, but I have to ask who “we” is. That should be the parents, and there’s only so much we outsiders can do, or else we are overstepping parental authority, into something that’s really not our business. The problem is, once government benefits are involved, everyone feels the need to opine about other people’s affairs, which makes sense, because it involves peoples’s taxes, but it’s unfortunate.”

        Tutt, by “we” I mean society as a whole. Yes raising strong girls must start at home but this mentality has to be culturally reinforced in order to be effective. When my daughter was 6 she told me she was sad because she would never be able to be president of the United States. I can tell her over and over that if she works hard she has the opportunity to be anything she wants but if society does not accept this mentality then my words of encouragement are meaningless in the form of opportunity.

        How do we change this mentality if we do not discuss it?

        You see me as contributing to this nonsense chatter but I see it as I’m fighting for my daughter’s rights and future opportunities. Tutt, I think if you had a daughter you would raise her to be a strong independent women as it sounds like your mother raised you to be. I also believe you would fight for her rights and I mean that as a compliment in the highest regards.

      • Intrigued says:

        Tutt, one more thing, please stop scalding me for what irritates you about other people on this blog. There are only a few that actually sit around all day spouting off opinions about everyone and everything and I am not one of them.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Intrigued, you’re right. I apologize for lumping you in with others. I often do have particular people in mind, but I try to soften it by using the “we,” which includes myself, but that’s not fair to you, or anyone else who gets caught in the crossfire just by being present.

  4. fiftyohm says:

    “For some reason, they are unwilling to actually listen to anything emerging from the regions of America that are growing the fastest and producing the overwhelming bulk of our wealth.”

    Whoa! Based on those criteria, it’s amazing Paul stopped in Chicago at all! Chris – old buddy – the objective reality is that Chicago is a basket case. Forbes ranked it #4 on the Most Miserable Cities list in 2013. http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mli45lmhg/4-chicago-ill/
    And productivity? As the third largest city in America – the most productive industrial nation on earth – Chicago doesn’t rank in the top 20 cities in the world. There is a debt crisis looming for both the city and the state. Unfunded pension liabilities are off the charts. Crime is through the roof, the babbling of Rahm Emanual and his henchmen notwithstanding. Corruption has caused the Second City and the state to be a national laughing stock. And much of this is driven directly by machine politics and the pernicious influence of organized labor that has enabled it for most of a century.

    Yes Chris, there are cities that deserve more attention from the GOP. Maybe Chicago does as well, but certainly not for the reasons you mentioned. I hope the cold hasn’t caused lasting inhibition of your objectivity.

    • DanMan says:

      hell and heck yes! new look at fiftyohm…this I can comprehend. My wife wants to name her next goat Sylvia btw.

    • goplifer says:

      Half of the US’s economic output is generated in the top 23 metro areas. Chicago ranks third behind New York and Los Angeles.

      Out of that list of the top 23, Chicago, LA & NYC generate over a third. One sixth of our total economic output comes from those three megacities (basket cases) by themselves.

      Take that map of GDP and lay it onto a map of partisan voting patterns, then watch what happens to the makers/takers narrative.

      I think the GOP needs to pay more attention to cities. If they need work (oh, they do), then come explain what that is. And do it with a touch of humility, because these places are still where the majority of what needs to get done in this country, gets done.


      • DanMan says:

        a good way to deflect facts about local issues is to introduce macro level statistics to mask the relationships

        Hey Chris, how does the collective impressive Chicago GDP (which we should note Chris has often denigrated as an imprecise measure whenever it is brought up) positively impact the crime rate, educational standards measurements, local personal income rate and employment rate in Chicago?

      • Tuttabella says:

        Humility? It’s hard to be humble when you’re from Humble.

      • CaptSternn says:

        LOL Tutt. Amen to that.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Tutt – Yet you and the neocon three stooges (cappy, danny-boy, and buzzy) will once again be unable to prove GOPlifer wrong. I am sure there will be a lot of screeching about non relevant things but no substance.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Here’s a better, forward-looking map: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/09/where-americas-economic-output-growing/6921/

        The statistics you cite are pretty much like saying, “economic output is generated by people.” When it comes to growth, and the more appropriate parameter GDP per capita, Chicago isn’t even in the same league as Buffalo!

        I’m not one to cling to the takers/makers narrative, as you well know. I’m just saying that Chicago is a really, really crappy example of a ‘fast-growing, wealth-producing powerhouse’. It’s a basket case amongst basket cases.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Prove him wrong at what, Turtles? The idea that Paul was “hyperventilating” in fear of people with darker skin than his? I see no proof of that claim. The fact that major cities are economic powerhouses? Of course they are, many of those places have major ports and refineries.

        How about the fact that Texas alone is a growing economic force, people moving hear and Texas gaining four seats in te U.S. House? How about all the new technology in the oil and gas business are increasing our energy sources and output in spite of the efforts of Obama and the democrats, creating high paying jobs in the process?

        Can you be more specific? Or was that just a knee-jerk comment?

      • DanMan says:

        it was a turtle jerk comment Cap

      • fiftyohm says:

        Chris- First off, I said nothing about Houston, nor did I intend any comparison to Chicago or its rust-belt cousins. (I’m now ensconced in the libertarian bastion of Ontario, looking out over a freaking frozen lake.) But to your points:

        New cities like Houston never grow in an orderly fashion. Mass transit, (and by this I mean real mass transit like Metra), isn’t really an option. On the other hand, largely self-sufficient suburbs are likely the new model. Centralized businesses with large headquarter buildings in a downtown core is probably an obsolete paradigm.

        Next, while I take your point regarding growth in economies with virtually no inertia, comparing anywhere in the US economically to South Sudan is sorta silly. Referring to Houston as ‘economically under-developed’, similarly so.

        In the same vein, I did try to overlay the growth and privy maps. I was completely unconvinced. Pottyless portions seem to conform far better to areas of low population density.

        Regarding San Francisco, I suggest your data is defective. Growth within the city limits of San Francisco is about nil. Look – I understand you didn’t gather the statistics, but lumping the lovely and looney City by the Bay (pop. 825,000), with the far less looney, (and far less lovely), economic powerhouse of the South Bay, (pop. ~4,000,000), is nonsense in this context.

        The question of investment capital is more to the point. I do have a theory, however. While we like to think of capital as completely free to distribute itself anywhere and everywhere throughout the country, going only where it makes purely economic sense, this is likely a flawed notion. Vast sums of capital were accumulated by the dot.com-ers and other techies before the crash. Having little incentive to relocate, I think they mostly stayed put, perhaps building larger houses to slide down the mountain sides. Most people invest in the familiar – both in people and industries. This suggests their capital pretty much stayed in their own back yards.

        Finally, I generally agree with JG. Politicians, (as usual), have not been much responsible for growth. I do suspect however that they could well be responsible for the lack thereof in the future.

      • DanMan says:

        Chris mentions SF as an economic bastion to be envied, here’s a different take


    • goplifer says:

      Ah, statistics…

      Engaging in the whole “my city rocks and yours doesn’t” exercise is always a little futile, but it’s fun. Besides, when one entire political party is consumed with arguing that half the country is mooching, its a bit amusing to turn that stupid narrative on its head.

      So Houston is growing. Congratulations. If the question is “Where in America does the overwhelming bulk of its economic activity occur?” The answer is – in its old metros. That answer is likely to remain the same for many years to come.

      Chicago’s problems are trivial. It’s math. Want to see a miserable problem? Try to design, finance, and construct a transit system that will prevent Houston from smothering under its growth. Enjoy.

      Growth tends to be fastest in under-developed areas, places like North Dakota, Wyoming, and Houston. Globally, the places with the highest levels of economic growth are pretty broadly miserable. South Sudan, Liberia, Laos, Moldova, and so on (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_real_GDP_growth_rate).

      Try this exercise. Overlay that growth map with a map of the places in the US that still have the highest percentage of homes with no flush toilets. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/23/1-6-million-americans-dont-have-indoor-plumbing-heres-where-they-live/). See what I mean? Rapid growth is what happens right after a war ends, or your home becomes part of a larger, already successful economic entity, or you discover oil.


      Another interesting exercise – look where the investment capital is going. It has little bearing on the ‘Chicago vs. Houston’ argument, but it’s really interesting. Capitalists are supposed to be drawn to places with low taxes and regulation, but the money is telling a different story. The overwhelming winner, by miles and miles, is San Francisco. Not even close.

      If capital today is the key to telling where wealth will be tomorrow, we should all be looking west. California is getting half of all new US venture investment. Boston and New York are doing quite well too as runner-ups. Nobody else is even in the ballpark. None of America’s low-tax, low-reg “growth miracles” are among the top five capital magnets.

      Chicago and Austin at least rank. Houston and Dallas don’t even make the top 20. Cleveland gets more venture capital than Houston. Dallas is outranked by Detroit and Baltimore. Hmmm…


      • John Galt says:

        I’m reminded of Twain’s quote, “lies, damned lies and statistics.”

        Venture investment is a measure of money flowing in to exactly two sectors: internet/IT/apps and biotech. It is true that Houston does not fare well in this. It does not measure large company investment, which Houston does quite well in. Venture money is not a measure of overall economic performance or outlook.

        I’m struck by the lack of ideological consistency in the map 50 posted. “Liberal” cities in liberal states (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, MSP, Boston) are doing well. Other liberal cities in liberal states are not (Hartford, parts of the NYC metro). Conservative cities in conservative states are doing well (Dallas, Salt Lake, Nashville), but so are mixed (Houston) or more liberal parts of conservative states (Austin, Laredo). Some conservative areas are doing poorly (most of Florida), while the liberal parts are doing fine (Miami). Chicago is doing OK, Gary is not. Upstate NY (more conservative than you’d think) is continuing its five decade decline, conservative Charlotte is booming. There’s just no pattern, politically at least. In the end, I think the politicians deserve neither the credit nor the blame for economic performance.

      • goplifer says:

        ***Venture investment is a measure of money flowing in to exactly two sectors: internet/IT/apps and biotech***

        That’s not the case. Venture capital is just an investment style, the one most popular for new, small ventures that have hopes of becoming large ventures. It is only coincidentally true that these are dominated right now by tech ventures, as the technology business has come to be driver for most of our rags to billionaire stories.

        I can tell you from experience that at least until recently (and probably still) the overwhelming bulk of venture funding in Houston and Dallas goes to small energy companies. Sometimes there is a tie-in to technology, but venture capital has started seeping into the realm of wildcatters.

        That said, you’re right in that most of the capital going into Texas businesses is “big” capital, large companies making investments in ventures.

        And I agree, government policies are only marginally connected to the varying degrees of success in those different metros.

      • DanMan says:

        I didn’t make any comparisons. Houston is dominated politically by liberals. Has been for about 16 years now. Our debt rivals any of the worst in the nation and it began under Lee. P. Brown in 2003 and is growing under our liberal lesbian mermaid Anise Parker. I fell for her schtick about being a conservative financial analyst for an energy firm knowing full well she was gay. That was back about 1998 or so. She has won every election since and has been along as a council man, financial controller and now mayor. We have a strong mayor form of government and it has been the last three mayors that built the problem. I can give very meager credit to Bill White for at least slowing it down a bit.

        The Houston Metro region is busting at the seams with growth. Houston proper is not and until about a year ago was averaging about 1% growth/year. I believe as the rest of the nation is mired in worse economic shape than Texas, we are seeing an influx of people looking for better futures much like we saw in the late 70s and early 80s. That influx of motivated people helped turn our state red by about 1990. I hope the new denizens of this city have the same impact as their predecessors had on the state.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Sorry – please see above. I screwed up the posting position again…

  5. way2gosassy says:

    Double damn hockey pucks!!! Some of you guys are so stuck in that little bitty box that you have built for yourselves there is only room for you, and you only. Throw open the windows, let some fresh air in it’ll do ya a world of good. You also might want to think beyond all that crap you stuffed into that little box. There is a whole world out there, lots of people and all manner of wonderful and awe inspiring things and they aren’t dependent on you to exist.

    As for the poster who “added” to my comment, he did not, no one speaks for me but me. I suggest they get the poop out of their eyes before making that assumption in the future.

    • DanMan says:

      duly noted, hey Kabuzz your embellishment to a certain poster’s work has been rescinded and must stand on its own. That it diminishes the original work is merely an unfortunate circumstance.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Ouch! I guess you are going to want a fight at a local Whataburger also. What’s the left’s deal? I guess they smell the odor of loss coming in November.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        No buzzy that odor is from your brain rotting from atrophy and all your hate and inbred isolationism.

  6. DanMan says:

    Speaking of winning strategies. Y’all know how Harry Reid is still yelling at the sky over those evil Koch Bros. donating $30 million for the 2014 cycle while Obama mollifies his enviro weenie base by blocking Keystone thanks to Tom Steyer’s $100 million gift to dems.

    Turns out Steyer made and still makes huge bank through his Farallon Capital Management company. Farallon is a big player in over seas coal development projects. Read the article to find his opposition to Keystone is his play on the competing Kinder Morgan networks.

  7. kabuzz61 says:

    Who wants to bet if Obama relaxes the deportation rules for the election? Anyone?

  8. DanMan says:

    Now we’re talkin’!!! There’s that good ‘ol racial demagoguery dripping in sarcasm that we’ve come to know with our stalwart Chicago GOP representative!

    Hey Chris, how long until you digest and write about the latest liberal craze out of France known as Thomas Piketty? Today’s article must be a filler.

  9. CaptSternn says:

    I think we again see a major difference between the tea party conservative type and the GOP establishment type. Establishment republicans, much like democrats, focus on race. Lifer projects the idea that a republican would hyperventilate if confronted with any person other than a white male and that republicans must cater to people based on the color of their skin. Tea party conservatives, on the other hand, don’t freak out when seeing a person other than a white male and we think citizens should be treated as citizens regardless of race, ethnic backgrounds, religion, sex, etc..

    • goplifer says:

      It should not be surprising that the GOP is consistently losing ground outside it’s white heartland while it stubbornly, categorically denies that any unique interests or needs exist outside of those it has already absorbed in its appeal to rural and exurban whites.

      Come and join us, black, white, brown and purple Americans in cities, suburbs or countryside, so long as you do not pretend you have any needs we haven’t already talked about. We are willing to accept anyone as long as they shut the hell up.

      We are utterly, deliberately, and unrelentingly colorblind – we are blind to any issues related to race and we are determined to remain that way. Deafness is attractive too.

      Everyone is entitled to a government that respects the needs of rural white citizens. That’s pretty inspiring.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Why woudl we want people to shut up? That’s what people on the left want, especially when anybody that is not a white male expresses conservative values. Is it only white males in riral areas that should have individual liberty and rights? It only white males in rural areas that might want to be free to live their lives as they see fit and have the federal governemnt butt out of trying to micromanage their lives?

        All too often when somebody on the left starts talking about special needs based on skin color or sex, they are really trying to buy votes by promising free stuff. That isn’t what most people need at all. A lot of times it keeps people down and dependent, a form of control.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Captain, Chris is part of the past GOP that lived in racism, according to him anyway.

        If we can’t see beyond color, we will always have racism. Chris can’t see past color.

  10. kabuzz61 says:

    I will add to Way2’s comment. Democratic policies to help minorities and the poor in cities over the decades is all hat and no cattle. Poverty worse. Education worse. Job opportunities worse. Crime worse. Single parent homes growing. The list is endless. This is what happens when you have policies that state minorities cannot compete with white people so white people have to dumb down the system for them. Why minorities continue to follow democrats today I have no idea.

    And as an aside, I believe both sides of the racial conversation has an equally important thing to say. Unlike Chris who again states it can only be one sided. That is of course why we are having problems with race, only one side is being heard and even that conversation is incorrect.

    Chris, you jumped back on the petty ship.

    • Crogged says:

      YOUR ASSERTIONS AREN’T TRUE! To simply say ‘poverty is worse’, ‘education is worse’ and ‘crime is worse’ is based on your assumptions not of facts. Maybe it’s an age thing which afflicts all of us, but merely trotting out pessimistic assumptions is one of the ‘problems’ many conservatives have when discussing the planet with other inhabitants.

      • DanMan says:

        Chicago specifically is worse in the areas of education and crime when it comes to minority neighborhoods. Listen to Rahm Emanuel or his police chief every Monday when one of them gets asked about the previous weekends crime report. Their comments are national news fodder almost every week.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Your right crogged. Public education is exceptional, crime rates have come way down, there are hardly any single parent households, and there are more jobs then candidates. Cheesh! And you vote?

      • Crogged says:

        You guys don’t think these things are measurable in any way? Of course, it’s all terrible, I mean, Obummber.

        And Danman, is your observation about ‘minority’ neighborhoods or of ‘poorer’ neighborhoods-because the long drive up to Longview on Highway 59 is a good tour in our own state.

      • DanMan says:

        I just got back from Kenedy, what are you talking about? My reference was to the Monday morning news casts we get almost every week of either a news reader or talk show host listing the 35 shootings, 10 deaths and other assorted mayhem that pours out of Chicago.

        My reference also includes that crazy leader of the Chicago teacher’s union that is about 150 lbs over weight screaming about poverty in her districts and her demands to keep failing and half empty schools open so kids from a rival schools don’t have to mingle with each other. Heck they can’t cross each other’s paths without fights breaking out.

        What has Obama done to improve education? Nothing. What has he done to hold it down? Look at the actions of his AG Eric Holder to eliminate charter schools, force kids to remain in failing schools and inject every tactic and resource he has at his disposal to maintain the status quo in order to prop up his union allies.

        My hunch is Obama and Holder have attempted Fast & Furious tactics to create chaos in cities to try to bolster their contention that loose gun laws are creating the violence.

        There are plenty of current articles out showing the biggest winners in Obama’s economy are the 1% he uses as a foil. Look at who he favors with grants, subsidies and appointments. From top to bottom they are very wealthy donors and bundlers who are profiting handsomely from the $8 trillion in debt Obama brought us.

        You don’t have to admit being a community organizer is a woefully inadequate preparation as leader of our nation but that truth remains evident by looking at the results of his initiatives.

        What are his accomplishments Crogged? Tell us in your own words.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Crogged will not answer, because he and they simply can’t.

        Obama is everything we conservatives has said about him. A cheap, inexperienced empty suit.

      • Crogged says:

        Oh yes, you have humbled me and the evil bumbling overlord failure always screws up his incredible intricate plot to destroy free markets and our morals with his foolish amateurish actions.

        What has Obama ‘done’ for education–which is a local initiative run by the states? In my own local school district he seems to have driven Republican’s out of their minds, since they can’t seem to find a coherent theory of governance or history.

        In one of your old stomping grounds on the Chron is a particularly happy piece of writing and logic regarding a local school district bond election. The writing lays out the case that we are over testing our students because we are over reliant on test results (which I agree with) hence, vote against the local bonds because….Detroit, phones for teachers and unfunded liabilities.

        So, charter schools and f…… the Texas constitution.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Crogged, would that be the story on the Beaumont ISD where crooked board members have been stealing money, and where the Obama administration won’t allow them to be voted out? Voter suppression by the Obama administration to protect theives? Is that what you call a success story?

        Not quite sure what that has to do with the Texas Constitution though. Care to explain?

      • Crogged says:

        Obummber’s bumbling conspiracy reaches Chambers county. I try to give you guys credit, but the endless regurgitation of ten cent talking points combined with this bleary eyed view of the world of ‘left’ and ‘right’ really makes it difficult sometimes.

        No, that unhappy situation in Chambers county is not what I’m speaking of–it’s from one of the readers blog on the Chron site.

        Any Texas legislator voting to set up charter schools is violating his/her duty to uphold the Texas constitution when it speaks of public education.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That would be false, Crogged. There is nothing in the Texas Constitution prohibiting charter schools.

      • Crogged says:

        I didn’t say there was a prohibition-I’m more of an optimist than you. I was speaking to the DUTY of a real legislator to uphold the below-any time wasted on ‘charters’ is in defiance of the oath to uphold the Constitution of this State.

        SECTION 1. A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Texas has lots of free public schools that are well funded. Sometimes they are not properly maintained, as in Beaumont. That’s why the state occasionally steps in. But the people should have been allowed to vote the corrupt members of the school administration out. The Obama administration was and is wrong in denying the voters their right to vote. And they blame republicans on wanting voter suppression.

      • DanMan says:

        We’re still waiting for Superman. Crogged is referencing the Cy-Fair $1.2 billion bond sale. Cy-Fair built the $60 million stadium next to the Berry Center on Barker and is the poster district for lavish spending in the Houston area.

        Cap is talking about the Beaumont ISD scandal where black board members were caught stealing from the district. To shake things up BISD attempted to run two of their 7 members in at-large positions. Eric Holder will not allow that because he believes a town that is 45% black, has voted in a black mayor and has two black city council members cannot be trusted to assure two blacks will be elected to the school board seats.

        I bet Crogged doesn’t even want to acknowledge Holder won’t allow Louisiana to allow minority kids in failing schools to transfer to better schools. His reasoning in that case is he doesn’t want the racial imbalance of predominately black schools to be diminished by having their kids move to better schools. Race trumps education, even when the parents are pushing for it. Pretty much exactly like his successful efforts to close the DC charter schools when Obama first appointed him.

        Local issues right Crogged? and Crogged ‘ol buddy, I wrote that stuff from memory so go set about Googling and get the minutiae you need to dispel what I said. This ought to be good.

      • Crogged says:

        Captain, you find any bit of evidence that the executive office of the President of the US is involved in the mess that is Chambers county then I’ll respond. Otherwise this is a dispute that the Justice Department is handling and at the same time we will get the usual ham fisted, evidence free, conspiratorial talk that will keep Solyndra and Fast and Furious alive until January 22, 2016. Now about ‘lots of well funded public schools’… really–that standard meets the words of the Texas constitution?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, it does. And Holder is part of the Obama administration.

      • Crogged says:

        I don’t know Dan–you said ‘Louisiana’ and in my minds eye I saw a grainy tape of a Republican elected official groping anyone but their wife……..

        I’m not in Louisiana (or Chambers County), for reasons beyond the ridiculously, hypocritical nature of its politics.

      • DanMan says:

        I’d like to know what you are talking about in Chambers County. Heck, you’d probably like to know what your talking about in Chambers County as well.

      • Crogged says:

        True that Dan, I meant Jefferson County.

      • DanMan says:

        And to be clear, the county has no administrative control over the Beaumont school district. I don’t think there are any county school districts in Texas.

    • John Galt says:

      The depth of Kabuzz’s analysis, as usual, lacks something, such as any sense that this just might be a complex issue. Listen, we can’t go back to 1965 and run a control experiment in which we pass the CRA and in one world leave minorities to fend for themselves and in another do all the horrible things Kabuzz lays at the Democrats’ feet.

      During that time, the country became increasingly urbanized, and this was especially notable for the black population. City populations also exploded. Drugs, virtually non-existent in 1965, became an enormous health and crime problem. The availability of middle class-enabling manufacturing jobs to high school graduates dropped dramatically. The cities themselves struggled to adjust to all of these things, and the Great Society programs had little to do with their creation.

      My own feeling is that these programs have helped (the black population is better off than it could have been) but were inefficient and poorly targeted such that they accomplished far less than they could and should have.

      • DanMan says:

        no way we can go back and do what worked for years, uh-uh no way. What this new modern world needs is more money thrown at failed policies. And more unions accountable to no one. And if still doesn’t work the only solution is more money. Right Cuffy?

      • John Galt says:

        What worked for years? For whom? White male Protestant plantation and factory owners? Yeah, I agree, the 1850s were a paradise for them, largely built on a privilege systematically denied to everyone else. Getting over 300+ years of institutional racial and gender bias might take more than snapping one’s fingers and declaring the playing field to be level.

      • DanMan says:

        If I didn’t know three black families that are my neighbors that are/did not send their kids to public schools…and all of the fathers a two of the mothers did attend public schools in New Jersey and Houston all the way back in the…wait for it…1970’s! OMG!!!

        And guess what Cuffy… the blacks in my public high school got the same exact lessons I did!! OMG again! Want to guess when the Department of Education was formed at the federal level?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, conservatives are viewed by you and the left as unwilling to change but yet we have all these policies in place for 50+ years ago that have never really gone under a rewrite or evaluation in regards to whether it works. The dem’s are the ones that refuse to change. You guys still think blacks can’t achieve without whites help.

        Also, for the record, our country is a little over two hundred years, not 300+.

      • DanMan says:

        I think its a liberal thing buzz. I recall flypusher lamenting 400 years of slavery in America in a previous post. I guess they figure if you’re going to lie go big or go home.

      • John Galt says:

        Are we or are we not in America? The United States may have begun in 1776, but there were 150+ years of European settlement before this. The first African slaves were imported to Jamestown in 1617. Almost 300,000 were brought to the colonies before 1776. Seems like a relevant part of history to include.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I believed you intimated our countries institutional slavery practices. Again, do the math. The USA is directly responsible for less then 100 years of slavery. But go ahead, use your bigger numbers if it makes you feel better.

      • DanMan says:

        Cuffy can cling to an excuse in Clive Bundy now. Him asking the question if blacks are really better off under a subsidized existence that brings them high abortion, poverty and incarceration rates than they were under slavery is causing the political class to suffer the vapors today.

  11. way2gosassy says:

    I believe the phrase in Texas that describes Rand Paul best is “the man is all hat and no cattle”. I will give him one thing though, as you said, he did show up but you are absolutely correct that he needs to stop long enough to listen. Paul also has some “splainin” to do about his ties to his fathers racist newsletter and his “Southern Avenger” connection. His policy positions on things that are of the greatest concern to African Americans and Hispanics are sadly lacking.

    • Manhattan says:

      You know, way2gosassy, I have to give Rand some credit as least he’s trying to reach out but poorly. Unfortunately, the Republicans that won in urban areas over the years got purged out or were forced to become Independents or Democrats like Michael Bloomberg. Most of the Republicans that could appeal to urban areas were from the moderate-to-progressive wing which has diminished over time since 1964.

      Republicans are on and off here in the nearby city of Buffalo (I live in Western New York). The city hasn’t elected one for mayor since 1961, the challenger to the incumbent in 2005 gave off a code word speech, lost and then Republicans didn’t bother to run a candidate instead the race was the Democratic primary in 2009. They tried last year, but the candidate wasn’t reachable to voters so Byron Brown has won a third term in 2013. It’s made some progress, but there’s still a lot of issues going in the city.

      All that inbreeding from the RINO hunts and litmus hasn’t helped the party at all during the time when Tom Delay and his friends ran the party.

      Honestly, when it comes to speaking on black issues, the Republican Party has ZERO credibility with the black community. It was lost when Goldwater got nominated (most because of his vote against the 1964 CRA). The code words, Katrina, Obama becoming president and some of the racist Obama bashing from some (but not all Republicans) afterwards for about 50 years is just a ton of salt pouring on an old wound and has hurt the relationship between Republicans and the black community to lower than rock bottom. Oh and if anyone complains about the bigots in the party or a black Republican tries to put issues into a platform, they’re seen as “playing the race card”.

      It has come to the point where Black America says “No consideration to Republicans ever” and the GOP is “Ignore them, they’ll never vote for us again” in election time. Some credibility can be brought back if the GOP is willing to listen. Bruce Bartlett suggested in an article to provide reparations in exchange for affirmative action ending. Why not provide reparations to fund the Historically Black Colleges and Universities? I read somewhere they weren’t doing so well financially. It would be a step towards getting back crediblity.

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