What the Republican Party could be

The dull, purblind folly of the very rich men; their greed and arrogance…and the corruption in business and politics, have tended to produce a very unhealthy condition of excitement and irritation in the popular mind which shows itself in the great increase in the socialistic propaganda.

Teddy Roosevelt, 1906

The Republican Party is the party of commerce and markets. Across generations, stretching back to an age before Republicans were organized under that name, Republicans have channeled the political will of ambitious tradesmen, merchants and professionals. Whatever else the party has come to represent or has represented during various periods, our understanding that commerce is the engine of a successful civilization has always been its core, its heart.

Republicans have forgotten what it means to protect that heart. Swamped beneath a hopeful, but sometimes disorienting tide of social and economic change we are confronting an accelerating world with a fear often dipping into paranoia. You can win an election on the power of paranoia, but it will not let you govern. Building a more relevant, more successful Republican Party which can thrive in these conditions begins with a fundamental refocus on a simple core value.

America best achieves its promise when all of us have a fair opportunity to develop, capitalize and reap the rewards of our talents and efforts in the marketplace. We do not guarantee outcomes, but we must leverage every ounce of our energy to pry open and hold open the gates of opportunity. Regaining our grip on these values amidst endless shiny distractions will help the party recalibrate the rest of its message and its policy agenda to fit America’s rapidly evolving needs.

A commitment to free markets comes with contradictions which constantly demand balance. Adam Smith himself repeatedly warned of the dangerous tendency of unrestrained markets to descend into monopoly, corrupt influence, and then collapse. Preserving the power of markets requires constant, careful regulation; never so much as to destroy the ability of participants to make free judgments and never so little that a few powerful people might pervert them entirely, destroying the capacity of those markets to reward merit and effort.

Markets do not survive under weak or inept government. The Republican Party was originally organized to thwart powerful interests who, unhindered by a government too weak and ineffectual to provide justice, violently stole the labor and resources of an enslaved people. It took the force of a muscular, determined central government to end slavery. A century later it took a muscular, determined central government to enforce the rights of the formerly enslaved to participate freely in markets.

That battle for justice has not ended and may never end. Republicans will not regain our balance until we recognize one essential reality – government is not our enemy and it not the enemy of markets.

Why are Americans so pessimistic about our future? The profits generated by our economy are higher than they have ever been. We are living through an unprecedented run of stock market success. Only a few years after a catastrophic economic collapse, unemployment is approaching Reagan-era lows. Yet, something about this environment has Americans on edge.

We are living through a wrenching economic transformation that has ended the middle class as we knew it, upset old notions of the purpose and rewards of employment, severely undermined the value of labor, and concentrated power, wealth and opportunity in fewer and fewer hands. Government has a critical role to play in adapting our society to this emerging reality, yet both Democrats and Republicans continue to peddle 20th century explanations and solutions while neither has any continuing relevance. Democrats are gaining ground, but only by being less frightening than Republicans. Neither party has built a persuasive agenda. Our political future is wide open, waiting for leaders who can deliver a compelling, hopeful, sensible vision.

Few today remember that Republicans were in the vanguard of every constructive effort to use government to protect the integrity of markets. A century ago President Taft signed the country’s first Federal law attempting to regulate child labor. In that era Republicans led the fight against lynching, supported women’s right to vote, pressed for Federal laws mandating equal pay for women, and passed the nation’s first conservation and environmental protection laws.

A generation ago it was a Republican President who created the Environmental Protection Agency. President Nixon also became the first President to propose replacing our complex welfare state bureaucracy with a Federal minimum income. He created new agencies to protect workers from dangerous and exploitative conditions. He came very close to passing a taxpayer-funded national health care plan that would have covered everyone.

The challenges we face today are in many ways unique, but the same commitment to limited, but intelligent government holds the key to solving them. A willingness to look honestly at the inconvenient realities around us combined with a careful refocus on core Republican values would yield new positions on these key issues and push the Republican Party back into national leadership for this generation:

Health care – Cutting edge technology and research-driven healthcare cannot be financed by bartering chickens for doctor visits. On the other hand, a centralized command economy will be a constant drag on innovation. What Republicans knew forty years ago, what a Republican Governor recognized in Massachusetts just a decade ago, and what Americans are increasingly coming to understand, is that there can be no free, just access to markets so long as a simple illness can destroy everything one has earned. Republicans must propose a simpler, less bureaucratic alternative to the Affordable Care Act which offers universal, private, tax-subsidized access to health care for all Americans.

Cultural values – A potent, persuasive, humane social conservatism is not based on religious sectarianism. It is premised on the notion that some values are too important to be commoditized. Capitalism is mankind’s greatest force for prosperity, but without constraints it will reduce every valuable thing to the price it can command in a marketplace. From parenthood, to health, to our most intimate values, social conservatism means placing intangible human values above profit.

Social conservatism based on the authoritarian imposition of sectarian religious values will fail and should fail. Social conservatism based on compassion, evidence, and the pursuit of humane values will be more modest in extent, but vastly more successful.

Safety net – A party of commerce is a party of work, struggle and achievement. Under the pressure of an increasingly automated economy, the basic shape of a successful career is changing. America today generates more profit than ever before with less demand for labor than ever before. For people who lack the family resources to support many years of fantastically expensive post-high school education, many years of career experimentation, and the economic jolts of often unplanned or unintended career changes, the rewards of this new economy are simply out of reach.

The purpose of the safety net is to hold open the doors of opportunity for everyone, regardless of poor luck, illness, or other disadvantage. Instead of demonizing the poor, we need to refocus our resources on addressing the greater investment required to access the bottom rungs of the economic ladder and reducing the bureaucracy that burdens the current system. A shift away from the welfare state toward a basic or minimum income, as first proposed by Nixon era Republicans, should be a priority.

Climate change and the environment – Climate change is real. It is driven by human carbon emissions. If ignored it promises a threat to civilization unmatched by any challenge we have ever confronted. Denial is a humiliating scandal that undermines our credibility on every other issue. Republicans should be on the leading edge of carbon reduction and climate mitigation strategies that preserve the influence of market forces and preserve the potential of carbon reduction technology to stimulate prosperity and employment.

America in the wider world – If markets bring freedom and prosperity, then those who would subvert markets with violence cannot be tolerated. In our era, no organized national military offers a meaningful challenge to our security. Our security and the continuing spread of our values abroad are most potently challenged by localized chaos. From disease, to terrorism to unrestrained immigration, it is chaos more than any organized deliberate enemy that threatens us.

America should use its influence to build a new series of international alliances with countries who share our values. Those alliances should aim to tackle the civilian challenges that so frequently drag us into military engagements. Image if the resources and energy we pour into the Peace Corps came anywhere close to what we devote to the military, and image that a force of that kind of were combined with the resources and talents of other free nations.

Immigration – Across our history one of the greatest drivers of our success is our constant influx of ambitious new immigrants. One of the more depressingly self-defeating themes of our history is our consistent fear and suspicion of these new arrivals. Our current immigration policy makes elective immigration to the US nearly impossible for almost everyone who desires it. That is costing us enormously.

Our counter-productive fear of the cultural changes these new migrants bring continues to hobble our efforts to incorporate these new neighbors and open the doors of opportunity to their contributions. Republicans, as the party of commerce, are the natural allies of immigrants. We must end our opposition to legalization and take the initiative on drawing up new, rational, enforceable laws that will make orderly, legal immigration a practical possibility for far more people from around the world.

Drug prohibition – Prohibition is a catastrophic failure which grows more expensive every day in terms of money, deaths, and political instability in neighboring countries. We must find a more intelligent way to limit the damage of drug addiction without a blanket prohibition.

Rationalizing the tax code – America imposes one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. When combined with state and local taxes many businesses face rates that approach half their earnings. Meanwhile, wealthy hedge fund managers who in many cases are involved in no productive activity can earn million dollar salaries while paying taxes on a capital gains rate, allowing them an effective tax rate often lower than middle-income workers.

Money we give in tax breaks to homeowners for their property taxes and mortgage interest, even on multiple homes, is significantly greater than what we spend on food stamps each year. Exceptions, exemptions, loopholes and their accompanying complexity are an invitation to mischief and a punishment to honest taxpayers. We have less need for lower taxes or higher taxes than for a clearer, simpler, more honest tax code.

Needless to say, none of these items are on currently the Republican policy agenda. Worse, it is entirely unclear what the Republican policy agenda actually consists of apart from opposition to a template of Democratic proposals and pandering to paranoids.

A garden must be tended. Republican hero Teddy Roosevelt, like generations of Republicans since, recognized that restraining the excesses and failures of capitalism is essential to preserving the power of markets. Commerce depends on competition, and competition is weakened when fewer and fewer of us are allowed in the ring. These policy shifts will be essential to a new generation of Republican dominance, but we cannot begin to put concrete reality behind any coherent, practical vision while clinging to the soft comfort of denial. Before any slate of potential policy goals can receive any useful treatment, Republicans must collectively gather the courage to participate in a world of facts.

When that happens, when Republicans rejoin the debate over America’s future with eyes wide open, the party will once again be positioned to lead the way toward a wealthier, freer, most just America. The way is open, at least for now, if we are ready to take it.

No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed, and lodged.

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Ch. VIII

contact at gopliferchicago at gmail

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 Republican Party
489 comments on “What the Republican Party could be
  1. […] What would that agenda look like? For starters, it would reflect a willingness to look at the world in realistic terms, stripped of the blinders of ideology and open to the Four Inescapable Realities. It would replace a focus on white cultural fears with an emphasis on markets, fiscal responsibility, and effective, rather than merely smaller, government. […]

  2. FormerRepublican says:

    Nice , thoughtful post, Chris. Thanks.

    If there was any room in the Republican delegations in the House, Senate, state legislatures………. If there was any room in the GOP for Teddy Roosevelt, for Ike, for Lincoln, for those who believe in capitalism and, like Adam Smith, realize that entrenched interests will seek & abuse monopoly power unless constrained (& will lead to dire consequences)…….. If there was still room in delegations of elected Republicans for thinkers like you…………… I’d still be a Republican.

  3. fiftyohm says:

    Talk to you all on Tuesday. The three of us are beginning the southward migration back to Houston. It snowed last night – we’re ready.

  4. kabuzz61 says:

    A very interesting article and explanation of why conservatives don’t believe the alarmists.

    http://wizbangblog.com/2014/11/14/ipcc-vs-mother-nature/

    • texan5142 says:

      So you will not read anything that is posted from a news site that you do not like, and then you post a link from someones blog calling it an article.

      You tea party guys are worried about our children’s financial future do to the deficit, but could care less about our children’s future when it comes to climate change. So tell me what good is a balanced budget and little or no deficit if our planet is unlivable? Serious answer please. If the 97% of scientist are correct, what happens then if we do not prepare?

      Sternn,

      “Whats the matter with me doctor?”

      97% of doctors,

      “You have a condition that requires immediate attention or you could die.”

      Sternn,

      Well I got a second opinion from 3% of the doctors and they say you are wrong and I am going with the 3%.

      Sternn dies because of his he knows better than the 97% consensus of those who are trained experts at what they do.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The 97% lie has been debunked. But as we see with the PPACA and other lies, they are all you have.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The “debunking” is so shoddy it’s only believed by those idiots who demand coddling for their unscientific emotional needs.

        Like you.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Actually nitwit, our childrens future can be financially ruined by the alarmist with rising cost to just about every thing. Gosh! Are you off you meds? Nevermind.

    • Crogged says:

      Conservatives don’t believe the alarmists because beliefs are immune to evidence. This is true for everyone, not just conservatives.

      • dowripple says:

        Indeed. This is why it is next to impossible to have a meaningful discussion about “our children’s future” with someone who thinks the rapture is going to happen in their lifetime.
        And, in their defense, what is the point? Jesus will take care of everything…

        This of course applies to me as well. My “belief” that I could have a friendly beer with kabuzz is immune to the evidence that he thinks I’m a “nitwit” and that we have nothing in common (except “whiteness”).

        On a side note, I think the Capt and I could have a beer. Unless he doesn’t like beer, and in that case he’s dead to me. 🙂

      • Crogged says:

        I’m seeing a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, like Magnolia, in which unbeknownst to everyone writing here, we all really have had a beer with each other in the virtual world and could know to whom we are speaking, except we don’t.

    • Crogged says:

      One can ask a molecular biologist about climate science, but what you get is an ‘opinion’ and not ‘science’.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      kabuzz, if conservatives rely on badly-written blog posts for their beliefs, it’s no wonder you come across as fact-free idiots.

      When you have twice as many partisan cartoons as you do displays of data, you look like a biased hack.

      When you rely on the same old, tired argument of “scientists are in it for the money,” you reveal yourself as an utter ignoramus regarding the scientific process.

      When you use a graph displaying nine years of data to try to “disprove” results measured over centuries, you make it clear you’re either a statistical buffoon or a rank liar.

      You may or may not on your own be an idiot, hack, ignoramus, buffoon, and/or liar, kabuzz. But apparently you’re also so intellectually lazy and poorly educated that you unquestioningly follow such asshats, solely because they tell you what you want to hear and you can’t be bothered to exert the effort to learn whether you’re being lied to or not.

  5. texan5142 says:

    kabuzz61 says:
    November 13, 2014 at 10:06 am
    Actually it is known that Bush intended to or Obama could at a later time reason (money) with the Iraq government to keep troops in country until a more stable control can happen. Obama refused.

    Ironic and sad that some one like the cat who just the other day complained about being forced to join the service is now advocating to keep troops in an endless war who volunteered to serve.

    Yep! It is all Obama’s fault,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.%E2%80%93Iraq_Status_of_Forces_Agreement

    • CaptSternn says:

      Bush43 got the agreement to keep forces in Iraq after he left office. It was up to Obama to keep them there later, but he failed. He took all the credit for getting troops out and the left sang his praises. Now we have ISIS, al Qaeda has made a comeback and the Muslim Brotherhood is on the rise.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Yay! Phase 2 of the same old shiat. Now time to ramp it up for phase 3, then complain about a lack of meaningful dialog to bring it home!

        Asperger’s must be a biatch.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The bird already achieved that, Turtles. Though I didn’t know about the bird having Asperger’s and I don’t think that is something you should be making fun of.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, from his ass: “Bush43 got the agreement to keep forces in Iraq after he left office. It was up to Obama to keep them there later, but he failed.”

        Reality, from Turtle’s link: “a status of forces agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by President George W. Bush in 2008… established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.”

        As usual, reality skull-fucks Sternn. He just doesn’t have anything there, so he doesn’t really notice.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, bird, it was up to Obama to keep troops there so that something like ISIS would not happen. He failed.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So you believe that Obama should have violated the status-of-forces agreement which Bush negotiated and signed?

        Yeah, I’m *sure* you and kabuzz would have supported him on that.

        What tripe.

  6. Turtles Run says:

    Chris wrote: Climate change is real. It is driven by human carbon emissions. If ignored it promises a threat to civilization unmatched by any challenge we have ever confronted.

    Often times we here how from the right wing “What about China”. Well it seems that China is getting serious about their role in global warming. It may be for self-serving reasons but it seems the issue is going to be addressed.

    Of course the usual cast of characters will not be happy.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/11/china-obama-climate-deal-pollution-crisis-politics

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Come on. A very far left leaning source? Forget about it.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Here you go

        Try not to eat the chalk

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Not a binding deal anyway nitwit. We are again coming face to face with losers grasping. You idea’s have been rejected by the voting public. You just have to get used to it.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Exactly how does an election mitigate the damage from global warning and pollution? Are you so ignorant that you refuse to even acknowledge the damage and the consequences of global warming despite the overwhelming evidence of proof and the example out there?

        Never mind I already know your answer.

      • CaptSternn says:

        U.S. will cut emissions by almost 30% by 2025, while China will continue to increase until at least 2030.

        Try not to eat the chalk, Texan and Turtles.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Can you look in that crystal ball of yours and give me the lottery numbers too? Obviously, you did not read the article because you made that stoopid comment. China has for years been trying ween itself off coal so this article just confirms their commitment to that goal.

        The US is not going to wait till Dec 31, 2029 to make start checking if China has kept their promise. That country has already set up pollution targets for 2017 and so on. It will be real easy to monitor their progress.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Read the article. China will peak in 2030, which means it will increase until then.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        It is not a treaty or agreement. It is a deal only and one that will need funding which won’t happen. Turtles, you make it so easy to skewer you.

      • texan5142 says:

        You tea party guys are worried about our children’s financial future do to the deficit, but could care less about our children’s future when it comes to climate change. So tell me what good is a balanced budget and little or no deficit if our planet is unlivable? Serious answer please. If the 97% of scientist are correct, what happens then if we do not prepare?

        Sternn,

        “Whats the matter with me doctor?”

        97% of doctors,

        “You have a condition that requires immediate attention or you could die.”

        Sternn,

        Well I got a second opinion from 3% of the doctors and they say you are wrong and I am going with the 3%.

        Sternn dies because of his he knows better than the 97% consensus of those who are trained experts at what they do.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Yes, they peak in 2030, did you think they could possibly lower their emissions in one day or a single year? Why do they think it they used 2030? Maybe because that is the point in which they believe their pollution situation will start seeing offsets in a range that counter their emission levels. If you read the next sentence they hope to get 20% of their power from alternative energy sources.

        Our country has had a hundred years head start on them and we still are not at those levels. So I think a 16 year period to build up their green power is reasonable.

  7. Owl of Bellaire says:

    kabuzz or Sternn, please explain:

    Is Obama to the left of Clinton? If so, how?

    Is Obama to the left or right of Carter? How, specifically?

    Is Obama to the left or right of Johnson? Please offer examples.

    For that matter, is Obama to the left or right of Nixon?

    And how do your answers coincide with your constant claims that the Democratic Party has lurched leftward while Republicans remained in the center?

    Or do you just not care about actually dealing with reality?

    • CaptSternn says:

      Republicans didn’t remain in the center, they moved left. Some of us are working to pull them back to the right of center.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I notice you didn’t have the brains or the balls to actually offer a serious answer.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Obamacare. ‘Nuff said.

      • johngalt says:

        A health plan that relies heavily on private insurance companies, which is exactly what the GOP proposed 20 years ago when it still had use of its faculties. Not exactly Marxism.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The GOP never put forth any such legislation, John, so you can drop that lie.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        What about Republican President Nixon’s plan for nationalized health-care?

        Oh, right. That would require confronting reality — which burns Tea Partiers in much the same way as sunlight does vampires.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Show us the legislation and how the members of congress voted, bird.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Do your own research, Sternn. I won’t waste my time, since your favorite tactic is to discount inconvenient facts in favor of your own lies.

      • johngalt says:

        In 1993, to counteract Clinton’s health care proposals, 19 GOP Senators introduced a bill that included insurance exchanges, individual mandates, and subsidies for the poor to obtain insurance. Conceptually, it was quite similar to the ACA, though there were obviously differences. It was introduced, but never brought to a vote.

        History. It happened Sternn. Not much point in denying it but, of course, you’ve been told this before and continue to deny it, so I guess you have your own sense (or lack thereof) of history.
        http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/gop-1993-health-reform-bill/

    • Crogged says:

      This is “Obamacare”.

      “we’re going to give subsidies to the working poor to get private health insurance and force insurers to take anyone regardless of pre-existing conditions. We’re going to make this affordable for the insurance companies by mandating that everyone get insurance, thereby including more young, healthy people in the risk pool to offset the costs of the sick. And we’re going to make sure that insurance is better than in the past, and is not subject to lifetime caps or getting booted off the minute you get sick.”

      The objection(s), as I understand it, are to the ‘mandating’ and to having the insurance requirements the ‘same’ but differentiated by tiers. There are other objections which are less about evidence-the description of ‘working poor’ becomes ‘freeloader’ but..can’t do anything about that. That and the idea that because something is complicated, well, throw your hands up in the air and bitch about federal leviathans…..can’t solve that prejudice either.

      • Crogged says:

        And objections to the ‘subsidies’ too, which for the working poor come out of the tax refund checks they usually get. Not a prejudice so much, and harder to do if we do the right thing and make our federal taxation policy simpler.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And now many of the “working poor” that had insurance benefits are losing them because of the PPACA. Great job.

      • Crogged says:

        Thank you for your opinion regarding the net effect of how many Americans have insurance coverage now versus prior to the PPCA. The value of an opinion to an individual is tied to the validity and authority of the person making it, so I’ll think about yours.

  8. texan5142 says:

    CaptSternn says:
    November 12, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “The world is much better off without the Hussein regime.”

    Keep reading that script Sternn, rational people understand that the problems in Iraq today are a direct result of the misguided invasion orchestrated by Bush and Cheney. Don’t believe me, listen to Cheney himself. They are responsible for the rise of ISIS.

    • CaptSternn says:

      The current problems in Iraq exist because Obama failed. And it is still better than the Hussein regime.

      • texan5142 says:

        It is right there in front of you and yet you still deny it., even Bush himself admitted that the rise in ISIS was a direct result of the Iraq invasion.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The current problems in Iraq exist because of the nature of Iraq. Blame Churchill, perhaps, for cobbling together nations based on colonialism rather than common sense.

        But that would require you to actually have a knowledge of history, the willingness to see beyond your childish partisan horse-blinders, and the ability to think.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        You have no understanding of that area Texan. You have no idea what a cease fire is so how can you understand war? You can’t. But keep posting your out of context video’s and cut and paste your liberal sites if it makes you feel better, but you act like your picture.

        I may have to agree with Buzzard to a point on this one. The British made a mess that festered for some time which I believe is the starting point of the hatred of the West.

        But still, Obama pulled the troops out too soon. When there is a vacuum of leadership, someone will fill it.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Actually, kitling, in the real world, rather than your fervid Tea Party fantasies, it was George W. Bush who was unable to negotiate a status-of-forces agreement, without which we couldn’t leave troops in Iraq.

        Or perhaps you’re suggesting we should have invaded and occupied the friendly government we ourselves had set up?

        Typical Tea Party stupidity.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Actually it is known that Bush intended to or Obama could at a later time reason (money) with the Iraq government to keep troops in country until a more stable control can happen. Obama refused.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – It is known to who? Your cabal of conspiracy-minded, paranoid brain addled litter dwelling idiots.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “It is known”?

        That’s one of those bits of FOXesque fantastical fact-free feces.

        Par for the course for the reality-denying Tea Party.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – Lets pretend President McCain negotiated a treaty where our troops could stay in Iraq. Then what? The Senior Commander there admitted that we would have to be there decades. Is that what you are advocating is that we keep a force of 100,000 soldiers plus contractors there in that nation for decades and utilize resources there that could be used in this nations in terms of men, materials, and treasure?

        At some time the Iraqis and their neighbors also need to become involved. If ISIS is such a threat then have the ME countries fight them.

      • texan5142 says:

        kabuzz61 says:
        November 13, 2014 at 9:45 am
        You have no understanding of that area

        Says the arm chair quarter back, and your pic of a pissed off old pussy is a perfect representation of you. Tell me how the video is out of context please. He was asked a question and he answered it, how is that out of context.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        The general cannot predict the length of a war and I defy you to show one commander that ever did. But he did say we needed to stay there. I am using your own source to show you your folly. Tee-hee.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, Turtles, we needed to keep troops in Iraq just as we kept them in Japan and Germany. Obama didn’t, and now we and many others are dealing with the consequences. That’s one of the big problems of the left, they never consider the consequences of their actions, policies or legislation. And then when the consequences slap everybody upside the head, the liberals end up looking like deer in the headlights and try to blame somebody else.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Still on about attacking the sovereignty of a government that we set up. The Iraqi government did not want us there or they would signed the Status of forces agreement. Germany and Japan did sign those agreements plus there was that whole Cold War shaite going on.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Iraq started a war with the U.S. and our allies. Keeping troops there is not attacking them, that was happening from 1991 to 2003 due to the war Iraq started and kept on waging. But it’s alrighyt, Turtles, we understand you cheering for al Qaeda, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood.

      • CaptSternn says:

        By the way, the government we set up in Iraq was replaced by the government the Iraqis elected. Just more of that reality you reject.

      • johngalt says:

        “But it’s alrighyt [sic], Turtles, we understand you cheering for al Qaeda, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

        That’s offensive. Decrying the mess that is Iraq and Syria (I like Jon Stewart’s appellation, “Mess’o’potamia”) is not the same as rooting for the enemy. While a common tactic of the right, questioning the patriotism of those who oppose constant belligerence is ridiculous and offensive.

      • CaptSternn says:

        You mean like when Turtles bashes people that answered to the call of being drafted, John?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, it cracks me up you get ‘offended’ only when a conservative does what you liberals do constantly.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, the Iraqi governmental system is the same we set up; it’s just gone through elections.

        Are you claiming we would have the right under international law to re-occupy Germany or Japan if they had electoral results or made decisions which we didn’t like?

        You really are a barking mad, American-jingoist idiot.

      • johngalt says:

        Amusing you is a large part of why I post here, Kabuzz. I’m glad it’s working.

      • Hussein was preferable to the government the U.S. installed AND to ISIL. There was peace under Hussein, after we kicked his ass in the Gulf War. He kept the country from splitting into sectarian war. He wasn’t a good guy, but he did provide free college(young Iraqis are incredibly educated) and free healthcare to the country. There was a reason no one dared to overthrow him, he was popular enough to remain dictator.

    • Turtles Run says:

      General Daniel P. Bolger, the senior commander in Iraq and Afghanistan wrote a piece in the NY Times addressing the myths about the wars of the prior decade. One concerns the success of the surge (reinforcements in the old days) and how many supporters of the war claim that was a point of victory but politicians let it slip away. The wars were not there to be won in the traditional since of what we associate as VICTORY. There was never going to be a signing of unconditional surrender to our forces. No these were going to be decades long conflicts and victory would always allude us.

      Here’s a legend that’s going around these days. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and toppled a dictator. We botched the follow-through, and a vicious insurgency erupted. Four years later, we surged in fresh troops, adopted improved counterinsurgency tactics and won the war. And then dithering American politicians squandered the gains. It’s a compelling story. But it’s just that — a story.

      I am sure the this will not change the minds of the blind partisans (Cappy & kitling).

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/opinion/the-truth-about-the-wars-in-iraq-and-afghanistan.html?_r=0

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        The Tea Party have more than a little in common with those who invented the propaganda of the Dolchstoßlegende.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Owl – I made my way to Conservapedia just for giggles and I looked up ObamaCare. In the section describing the “Death Panels” the authors write that Obamacare has already been responsible for the deaths of at least two people. They describes these two as victims of the new rationing requirements of the law. Of course the two people that were used as examples dies a coupe of years before the law was enacted, we all know that Obama and his magic time machine went back to kill these people. Much like when Cappy claimed the 2010 ACA law caused the 2007 financial collapse.

        Reality is not their friend misinformation and plain old fashioned stupidity is their enablers.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Reality is not their friend, misinformation and plain old fashioned stupidity is their enabler.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Turtles, you are so used to just making stuff up other people said. But to your ‘proof’.

        You left out the part in the article where this general is responsible for the length of the war. He recommended, supported and wanted to keep on. GW Bush has always said he will listen to the generals on the ground. But this general did give a shout out to you and other liberals stating “some americans didn’t have the stomache for a long war.”

        So, what exactly are you trying to prove with this article?

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – Generals do not decide how long wars last nor do they start them. The civilian leadership makes those decisions. He was tasked to fight a war and to him the war did not end after the surge. He is dispelling any belief that the war was ever won or even close to being won.

        Yes, I have no stomach for endless and pointless wars. Too bad you RWNJs do not share that view.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Turtles, we are able to see the bigger picture and we have the ability to learn from the past and deal with reality. Somethings you and the rerst of the left are incapable of.

    • Crogged says:

      Let’s make Iraq a state of the Union. Everyone can get a gun, they are faithful, religious people and there’s precious little of overly strong central government and their dated, mind numbing regulations, holding the people back from creating heaven on earth. I mean if your business customer doesn’t share your beliefs, not only do you not have to provide a service, you can kill him too!

  9. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    There has been an interesting (or at least I think it is interesting) line of discussion not really explored.

    Some of our more conservative commenters have expressed happiness that Texas (and other states) is turning even more GOP/TP and voting for more conservative, and that Democrats are getting whitewashed.

    Some of our more liberal commenters have expressed a desire for a more moderate GOP (particularly on social issues) so that there would be more options for their votes.

    Some would call these more moderate Republicans “Democrat-lite” while others would describe them as the rational middle.

    Although 50 would suggest that abortion and gay marriage are noise not worthy of argument, I would suggest if he were a college sophomore in Alabama with an unintended pregnancy or a gay person wanting to fight about china patterns with another gay person, those issues might not be noise.

    Aside from the social issues, I don’t think it would be hard to get me to vote for some members of the GOP. However, if there is the chance that they line up behind a GOP/TP based abortion or gay marriage initiative (even if they didn’t personally believe in it), there is no way I would want to send them to congress.

    Not that I think the GOP/TP would run the economy any better, but even if they could, I would take a slightly higher tax rate and a slightly lower GDP in order to keep the social conservatives from attempting to codify their gospel into law.

    • CaptSternn says:

      The problem is that the far left thinks moderate, center or middle means something between a socialist and a communist. What you want is for republicans to go along with the liberal agenda, and for quite some time they have been doing just that, moving more and more to the left. The democrats ended up going off the left end of sanity, and many of their supporters are still not satisfied, even suggesting Obama is a moderate and not far left enough.

      I could do without most of the stuff like not having same sex marriage being recognized by the state, but I would rather deal with that instead destroying actual liberty and rights. Aborting is a different matter as that is the deliberate killing of innocent human beings. They are not being denied privileges, they are being denied basic human rights.

      But back to the point, we have many here that say they would like to vote for republicans, but the days after the last round of elections shows that is not exactly true. Those of us on the right do not say we would like to have democrats we could vote for, we are not that foolish to either vote for that platform, those beliefs or to expect that anybody would actually believe such nonsense.

      Why would we believe any of you would vote for the republican platform? Rather, you would want republicans that would violate the platform and try to make both partiers so similar it wouldn’t matter which had the majority. Nor do we bother telling the left what they can do to win elections after they lose. Why would we do that? They aren’t going to move to the right of center and we don’t want them in positions to push their socialist agenda.

      We don’t even bother to show up on DNC blogs to attempt to persuade them. The minute Lifer becomes a democrat and a DNCLifer we will abandon his blog and leave all of you to your insanity.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…you realize that many folks would suggest that it is the GOP that has moved farther to the right to the point where the Democrats are the only ones in the middle.

        I’m not suggesting that the GOP give up their core beliefs, I’m suggesting that gay marriage and abortion shouldn’t be those core beliefs.

        You say tomato, I say Buick.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Crap…is it “further to the right” or “farther to the right”…I always get those mixed up.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Hmmm, not sure, but maybe further or farther would both work in this case.

        Anyway, you still can’t wrap your head around the reality of what killing innocent people for convenience really is.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, I am sure you voted for McCain the most moderate GOPer in the senate. No? Oh! I know, because Palin was VP. Well did you vote for Obama because you think (chuckle) Biden would make a good president?

        I don’t believe for a minute that you or any other liberal commenters would vote for any candidate with an R next to their name. Ain’t going to happen.

        The left of your party has drifted so far left you couldn’t find the center. This last election showed the GOP presents the fairer path. And after the election, we find out that Obama and his administration willfully lied to the people and rigged the Obamacare law to fool the CBO.

        That is the party you stand for.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Now the idea that the GOP has moved more to the right, do you think the tea party movement supported things like Bush43’s Medicare reform? Do you think we supported the bailouts? Really? Proposed social security reform? Yes, that was a good idea, but the republicans in congress wouldn’t even bite on that one. Calling for more regulation on banks and mortgage companies? Good idea, it didn’t fly.

        He had a good foriegn policy, but most of the domestic issues Bush43 and republicans under him had were more to the left than the right, which is why democrats went along with those things.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “Now the idea that the GOP has moved more to the right, do you think the tea party movement supported things like Bush43’s Medicare reform? ”

        First, the tea party movement did not exist prior to Jan 20, 2009 so they could not protest such actions but if they did exist then I am sure they would have supported all the GOP actions because they are by far the most loyal Republican voter out there.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…I, and the vast majority of the people in the US, do not view abortion as the killing of innocent people, so there is nothing around which to wrap my head.

        Your belief in something does not necessarily make it so.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…buddy…if McCain in 2008 was the “most moderate” GOP, then your idea of moderate is interesting.

        Candidate McCain stated he believes Roe v. Wade was a bad decision and should be overturned and said he would support a nationwide ban on abortion.

        Candidate McCain also supported the California proposition to ban gay marriage and a similar proposition in Arizona.

        Now, in his heart of hearts, I do not believe McCain actually supports those things (I don’t believe anything but loons actually supports these things), but he cowardly bowed to the fringe of his party and voted that way.

        Initially (before I knew anything about her), I thought putting Palin on the ticket was brilliant. I thought it was a great way to shift attention and momentum in the race.

        However, with more information available, clearly she had no business being on the ticket, but McCain had already drifted to the dark side long before then.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Turtles, the tea party movement started in 2004. That is reality, and reality is that which you reject.

        HT, many people didn’t believe b;acks were the same sepcies as humans either. They were as wrong as you are now.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Nice try homer but I don’t buy it. You of all people know the difference between what a candidate says and what they can do. So no, you’re not telling the truth. You would never vote for a candidate with an R next to his or her name.

        Also, the abortion issue is about split down the middle, so again you have about the same vast majority as we do.

        Having a republcian move to the far left is like asking Obama to move to the right. Ain’t going to happen. Why would the GOP take advice from liberals especially after the drubbing your side got.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kitling mewls, “Also, the abortion issue is about split down the middle.”

        That’s false, and verifiably so. But Tea Party types always ignore reality in order to salve their own fragile egos.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz or Sternn, please explain:

        Is Obama to the left of Clinton? If so, how?

        Is Obama to the left or right of Carter? How, specifically?

        Is Obama to the left or right of Johnson? How, specifically?

        To those of us who actually pay attention to reality, Obama pretty clearly stands further right than Clinton, who tended to be rightwards of Carter, who was pretty definitely rightward of Johnson.

        But history and facts don’t matter when the Tea Party’s relentless need for self-comforting epistemological closure is at stake. Children often act that way.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        No turtles people get married for love. The state wants the contract so they know who will owe what if one passes and such.

      • johngalt says:

        The present day GOP is well to the right of every Republican president ever elected. There has never been a nationally elected candidate in the US ever to the right of where the present GOP is.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Oh, please, kitling. Could you do more to further expose yourself for the sycophantic suck-up that you are?

        First of all, Rasmussen is a conservative polling firm which tilts conservatives in almost every issue they measure. Second, your poll is a ridiculous piece of tripe, because it’s poorly designed. Perhaps you didn’t have the intellectual endurance to click through and actually see the wording of the poll: “Generally speaking, on the issue of abortion, do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?” So it’s entirely up to the person answering how they interpret those terms.

        Now, we could look at a more responsible polling organization with a better-designed poll.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

        Here we see that, despite the near-parity of those who self-identify as “pro-choice” or “pro-life”, only 21% of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances. A greater percentage, 28%, believe abortion should be legal under *any* circumstances. And 50% believe abortion should be legal under “certain circumstances” (with 11% of that total going on to say it should be “most circumstances”). As usual, any admission of nuance utterly explodes simplistic Tea Party thinking.

        Since Gallup actually bothers to measure reality rather than generate simplistic talking points like Rasmussen, we can also see measures for popular support of pro-life demands like repealing Roe v. Wade. And, guess what? 53% of Americans *oppose* the overturn, compared to 29% who support it. That’s not parity by any stretch of the imagination, kitling.

        61% of Americans polled believe abortion should generally be legal during the first three months of pregnancy, compared to only 31% demanding it be illegal. The balance of opinion shifts for the second and third trimesters, but that pretty much just mirrors what Roe v. Wade set up.

        Again, the “pro-life” hacks pretend to a majority of opinion they simply don’t possess.

      • dowripple says:

        ” but I would rather deal with that instead destroying actual liberty and rights. ”

        Of course you would, you’re not gay (and probably don’t have close friends or relatives that are gay) and the issue doesn’t affect you. And, this is very real “liberty” and “rights” for gays we are talking about.

        I’m not saying you are a racist, but I’m sure there are a few white people who would have “rather dealt” with segregation, since it didn’t really affect them either.

        And yes, I used to vote for more Republicans. This was the first year I didn’t vote for any.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Buzzard:

        First of all, Gallup is a left leaning polling firm which tilts liberal in almost every issue they measure. Second, your poll is a ridiculous piece of tripe, because it’s poorly designed. Perhaps you didn’t have the intellectual endurance to click through and actually see the wording of the poll.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        And the kitling, as usual, reveals the snide elementary-school child lurking within the crabby old man.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Dow, most of those things can be dealt with through other means, such as wills and power of attorney. They are not being denied any rights, they are not being fined, jailed, sent to prison or stripped of their citizenship.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        And as long as those things don’t happen, Stern is A-OK with states having the ability to deny marriage licenses to inter-racial couples.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And HT is fine with denying a license to polygamous and group marriages.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…I’ve certainly never taken that position. I try really hard not to get involved in relationships that don’t involve me.

        But hey, if it makes you feel better to be ok with states denying marriage licenses to interracial couples, get on with your bad self.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That’s odd, I thought you said that you “try really hard not to get involved in relationships that don’t involve” you.

    • shinerboy says:

      HT – I suggest the issues are ‘ noise’, only because their final adjudication is fait accompli – not because I don’t care about the result. I’m certain you recognize I in fact do, and also would not vote for any Neanderthal supporting bans on either gay marriage or abortion.

      But really HT – China patterns??? 😉

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        While I concur that the final verdicts are written with our youth.

        All is over but the shouting. Sadly, that shouting has to be making life suck for a fair number of people for the next several years.

      • fiftyohm says:

        HT – I don’t disagree, other than to say that, at least in the case of gay marriage, and in the vast majority or circumstances, not being married should not, in and of itself, make your entire life “suck”. If it does, there are other issues in play, IMHO.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        As a married man…I concur that the inability to get married would not necessarily make your life suck.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I see a bromance brewing.

      • Crogged says:

        One doesn’t get married solely for ‘love’ but also because of legal rights regarding descent and distribution of property, rights of family members regarding health care and other legal and economic benefits both statutory and common which all are bestowed on the couple. So this isn’t a minor pittance to throw at the sodomites, but constitutional rights that real people with real issues will apparently have to wait for years to get unless the Supreme Court makes them happen or for the damn Baptists in Texas to chill the f__k out…………

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, don’t be an abject idiot.

        We use the word “marriage” for both a religious ceremony and a state-recognized contract.

        But the latter is what the fuss is all about. Your deliberate and obstinate ignorance is merely your own fault.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Fifty, it’s not about “not being married” versus being married, about one being preferable to the other — that’s a personal preference — it’s about not having ACCESS to marriage or to the CHOICE to be married.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Cap, the absence of a judge prevents them from getting married.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Tutt, they had the ceremony and they got married, so they are married even if the state doesn’t recognize it as a legal contract.

    • fiftyohm says:

      OK – My brilliant Abyssinian Shiner is now posting my comments! Yes – I am this person ‘shinerboy’. I don’t know how he did it, but I’m gonna find out!

      This might be the last straw. He sleeps so peacefully now in front of the wood stove. I might dump a beer on him. Nahhhhh…

  10. texan5142 says:

    OMG!

    Discussing his new book 41: A Portrait of My Father, which touches on his father’s legacy, Bush was asked on NPR Wednesday morning whether he thought Iraq is safer now compared with when Saddam Hussein was in power. The answer that followed was a vague “hypothetical” of Hussein’s capabilities had the U.S. not intervened — under what many believe to be false pretenses.

    “One could envision a nuclear arms race between Iran and Iraq. The man, Saddam Hussein, would have a lot of revenue as a result of high prices of oil,” Bush said. “And even though there wasn’t, you know, a — we found a dirty bomb, for example — he had the capacity to make chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. And so there’s — you know, it’s all very hypothetical.”

    “I could argue that we’re much safer without Saddam,” he added. “And I would argue that the people of Iraq have a better shot at living in a peaceful — a peaceful state.”

    • CaptSternn says:

      Good for him, and he is right. Iraq started a war that lasted over a decade, well, another war that involved the U.S. and our allies after the war they started with Iran. In 1991, when we got into Iraq after Desert Storm, we found that Iraq was much, much closer to having a nuclear weapon than anybody thought, a year away at most rather than a decade or more.

      We also know from the Clinton administration that Iraq and al Qaeda were working together on chemical weapons. We know that Iraq had a larged stockpile of weaponized anthrax, which we don’t know what happened to it.

      The world is much better off without the Hussein regime.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I wonder what the annual “innocent Iraqis killed” rate is pre- and post-Saddam

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern: “In 1991, when we got into Iraq after Desert Storm, we found that Iraq was much, much closer to having a nuclear weapon than anybody thought, a year away at most rather than a decade or more.”

        Your extensive research into the Iraqi situation is interesting in that you manage to find things that are well beyond what others have found.

        The general conclusion was and is that they were at least a few years away unless they crashed everything and planned to be a one-hit low-yield wonder. They yes, maybe they could have done it in less than a year, but they still had no good delivery mechanism, and even Iraqi scientists didn’t think they would be able to pull it off 1993.

        But sure…if all the stars aligned, the Iraqis might maybe have been able to develop a crude, low-yield nuclear weapon within a year of our invasion, and that crude, low-yield nuclear weapon conceivably could have been fired from a yet unmade and untested really really big gun to land in a big desert doing moderately little harm, which would have resulted in hellfire raining down on Iraq from Israel and the US.

        You see so many boogeymen that it is just not even funny.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Again Stern, your extensive research uncovered: “We also know from the Clinton administration that Iraq and al Qaeda were working together on chemical weapons. ”

        I don’t think we know what you think we know.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer presents that liberal snooty nose that says ‘the americans are too stupid to know’. Are you always the smartest man in the room? You must be a boar at parties.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        HT, here are some statistics about Iraqi casualties.

        http://www.npr.org/news/specials/tollofwar/tollofwarmain.html

        There appears to be no official tally, but there are organizations that try to keep count.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz malapropizes, “You must be a boar at parties.”

        No, kabuzz. Despite your avatar, you’re the pig.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…in fairness, I do like to eat a lot.

        Buzz…I notice your game is slipping a bit lately. You are not offering any argument beyond, snide, one-line, “you all are lying”, “you all know better”, “not buying it” stuff.

        I hope things are going well for you and you are not feeling under the weather.

        If you are going to engage, step up the game. This is just kind of embarrassing.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, thanks for your caring for my well being but I am fine.

        Do I really need to go over the same facts with the same subjects over and over again? Tedious and wasteful.

        Chris posts a subject, you post a comment on homosexual/sodomy marriage. You are for. I am against, yada, yada, yada. It never changes.

        With Iraq, the same thing.

        With abortion the same thing.

        The goodnews is americans want a new path other then the one the dem’s have had us on.

        Obama is now polling lower approvals then the GOP in congress.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Dear lord man…you are against sodomy?

        I don’t even know what to do with that.

  11. Anse says:

    Reading up on the still-emerging net neutrality debate. Ted Cruz is doing his thing on it, opposing net neutrality. Somebody is calling the idea “socialist.” Kind of hard to understand why anybody would oppose net neutrality. It’s a basic public good, isn’t it?

    • johngalt says:

      It depends. Net neutrality is good for consumers and good for innovation. It’s not good for politicians who have their coffers filled by Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T.

    • Crogged says:

      An interesting way to look at it relates to an issue below-regulation of interstate natural gas pipelines. To say “moving all data on all lines should be the same price” may lead to uneconomic results and you may want people to pay for ‘greater’ access, then the actual data transmission reflects true costs and no one subsidizes anyone else. Or “Obamacare!”, which I suppose constitutes thinking about the results too……

      Your local gas company pays ‘more’ to the interstate natural gas pipeline for access to the transmission and has greater access to the network. Your local fertilizer company pays less because it isn’t trying to keep grandma warm-but does have the risk of having gas curtailed or cut off.

    • Crogged says:

      Further, you need economic signals as reasons to increase the capability of the network. The provider of the wire has to make money, or there will be no more new wires. We are exponentially creating more data to be put through the wire. Streaming itself isn’t always necessary, since much of the data is capable of being stored. All this points to a ‘free’ market consisting of rules, like any commodity exchange in those horrible Northern cities.

    • Crogged says:

      Anse
      I’m glad you asked this as I generally just let ‘net neutrality’ kind of fly across the eyes without digging into it. You can regulate in order to create competition, which it appears is the discussion we need to be having, and are not.

      http://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/executive-insights-and-innovation/broadband-pain-less-drama-more-facts-please/a/d-id/1278704

  12. johnofgaunt75 says:

    Wow. This got a little out of control.

    Anyway, I do hope that the Republican Party becomes a national, broad-based party again that is based on logic and reasoned problem solving. Although I have recently tended to vote Democratic more than Republican (especially after moving to Texas), I am really not a partisan person and I think it is a very, very bad thing when one party (from either side), gains a strangle hold on power.

    I would love to see the emergence (again) of a Rockefeller faction of the Republican Party.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I would think you would desire Obama to seek compromise also.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Only if compromise is possible.

        Which is difficult when, for example, the Senate Majority Leader declares that the paramount priority for the Republicans is to make him a “one-term president”.

        Luckily, modern Republicans tend to be long-term failures like that.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        I would like to see a deal. A deal means a win-win, i.e. both sides get a little of what they want. Read “Getting to Yes” if you want to learn more. Deals happen in business, law, diplomacy…the real world everyday. They used to happen in politics in this country a lot.

        A deal is not “Agree with everything I want or else.”

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I agree John75. When you have a signature piece of proposed legislation and one side locks the other out of the process, it does do anyone any good. In fact it makes it worse.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Deals happened in federal politics until Obama won and the democrats gained a super majority, then democrats thought they had a permenant majority and locked republicans out. After republicans won back the house and some senate seats in 2010, Harry Reid vowed that bills passed by the house would never reach the senate floor, no deals, no compromise, no debate. He and senate democrats were so determined to refuse deals they shut down the government. Somehow I doubt Obama will even be open to make deals now in his last two years. He is part of the party of “NO”, the party of obstruction, the party of petulant hateful spoiled brats.

    • Anse says:

      I haven’t followed the conversation much…but one thing that gets me is how many Republicans will tell me that they aren’t against government regulation of the economy or the social safety net. They say this to me like I’m crazy for suggesting they oppose those things out of principle.

    • dowripple says:

      I agree with you 75, but It would be interesting to see if Congress and the Prez could even pass a “2+2=4” bill the way things currently are.

      – Dem response1: “We need to pass this to see what’s in it”
      – Dem response2: [backpedals] “Of course anyone who is math-challenged is exempted, and churches too, just in case.”
      – Repub response1: “nay”
      – Repub response2: “We’ve repackaged this bill with the repealing of the ACA, or as we call it, ‘Jobs Bill #682’.”
      – TP response1: “Why is the government forcing their math on us? We have the freedom to believe that 2+2=5. In fact, this is an attack on the religion of ‘Stupid’!”
      – TP response2: [filibusters by reading “Green Eggs and Ham”]

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        I think there are deals to be had out there. One would be in taxes. Perhaps reducing the corporate tax rate with a carbon tax to address climate change and encourage the further development of alternative energy. Just a thought.

  13. Owl of Bellaire says:

    I just did a little spreadsheet work on the Texas electoral results. Is this really what democracy looks like?

    In elections for Texas’ 36 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives:
    Republicans cast 59.6% of the votes statewide, yet received 66.7% of the seats;
    Democrats cast 34.2% of the vote statewide, and received 33.3% of the seats;
    Libertarians cast 4.6% of the votes statewide, yet received 0% of the seats.
    A statistically fair allotment of Texas’ 36 representatives would seat 21 (not 24) Republicans, 12 Democrats, 2 Libertarians, and 1 Green.
    Of course, 13 of the 36 contests (36%) were missing a candidate from one or the other major party, which is bound to distort the results.
    Oh, and incumbents won 97% of their contests.

    In elections for the 14 available positions in the Texas State Senate:
    Republicans cast 61.3% of the votes statewide, yet received 78.6% of the seats;
    Democrats cast 31.2% of the votes statewide, yet received only 21.4% of the seats;
    Libertarians cast 7.4% of the vote statewide, yet received no seats.
    For true representation, we’d see 9 (not 11) Republicans, 4 (not 3) Democrats, and 1 Libertarian.
    However, 6 of the 14 elections (43%) entirely lacked a candidate from one or the other major party, which calls the accuracy of the representation into question.
    Oh, and 100% of incumbents were re-elected.

    In elections for the 81 available positions in the Texas State House, surprisingly, the basic electoral math works out about right, with 60 Republican and 21 Democratic seats accurately representing statewide vote totals. (The 6.5% of the Libertarian vote isn’t enough to receive any.) But 36 of those 81 elections (44%) didn’t offer a choice from one or the other major party, which calls into question the accurate representation of the popular will.
    And 97% of incumbents (Republicans and Democrats) won their re-election.

    The gerrymandering seems pretty obvious.

  14. rightonrush says:

    During the holidays season we are inundated with calls to help certain charities. Here is one that I will not be helping. http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/investigates/2014/11/06/helping-a-hero-accused-of-misleading-and-exploiting-veterans/18627319/

    This charity is ripping off wounded warriors with a little help from G. W. Bush.

    • dowripple says:

      Saw that story last night, disgusting. At the very least, G-Dubs should have spoken for free, and $20k to go from Houston to Dallas is ridiculous.

    • texan5142 says:

      Paying a man for charity work who is directly responsible for the wounded solders injuries is so vile I am at a loss for words, it is just sick and twisted beyond belief.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I am going to need proof that Bush charged to talk with veterans charities. I call BS. It will have to take more that ‘I found out later that…”. This goes against GW who loves the military. Goes frequently to VA hospitals and such. He doesn’t loathe the military like liberals do.

      • rightonrush says:

        Nobody said GW “loathes” the military….he’s just loves $$$$$ more than he loves them. Frankly, I could give a shit if you believe it or not. I do find it ironic that a big bad Tea Party Patriot like youself is accusing our wounded warriors of lying.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “Loves the military”

        Maybe loves to use the military but any man that starts unneeded wars has bolo edit those in the military.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Didn’t call him a liar. He just reported something he heard. I would prefer the source sited but then again, I know I’m right because this would be on national news ad nauseum.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bush43 didn’t start any wars. He inherited two wars already in progress.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “He doesn’t loathe the military like liberals do.”

        We liberals loathe it so much that many of us volunteered to serve. You admitted that you had to be forced to serve. Most likely it was cowardice that kept you from volunteering.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Turtles where do you get your BS? I joined the Navy. Learn boy, the Navy didn’t draft in the 60’s and 70’s.

      • Turtles Run says:

        But you admitted you were forced to join? Please explain? Plus as a person advocating war why did you not do your part in the infantry?

  15. kabuzz61 says:

    I have to amend the Big Lie. Liberals don’t think the american people are stupid. They believe democrats are stupid. Everyone else knew it was all BS.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Kabuzz serves the Father of Lies.

      Or, rather, services him, and then serves him.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Buzzard, I know you’re trying to get a rise out of me, but I am really chuckling at your antics. Your demonstrated knowledge of the subject at hand is why it is so funny. You earned my pity though.

  16. kabuzz61 says:

    And so it goes. A bill that had to be passed in the dead of night, with many democratic senators being bribed to pass it and it turns out to sell it they had to lie about it all because the people are too stupid to realize what’s good for them. But yet, the rapid left wing nut jobs actually don’t mind.

    Also, another GOP senator has been elected. Now Louisiana will be easy due to her participation in the Big Lie.

    Prattle on my friends. Prattle on. It won’t change a thing but if it makes you feel good, do it.

    Oh, and Texan and The Buzzard actualy trying to explain Christian behavior. Priceless I tell you. Priceless.

    update: Another commented that ALL bills are based on lies. Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere. Now we know this person’s baseline of understanding for future reference.

    ALL bills are lies. Love it.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      SOMEONE needs to explain Christian behavior to you, kitling.

      Apparently you’re such a fucking incompetent that you can’t handle it yourself. Or you just really LIKE being pegged by Mephistopheles.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Please explain it to me. I would love to hear it from you. Come on.

  17. texan5142 says:

    Well here is a prime example of the tea party only being about budget and deficit issues.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/tea-party-texas-legislator-wants-to-enshrine-anti-lgbt-license-to-discriminate-into-state-constitution/

    What say you Sternn.

    • dowripple says:

      Anyone that supports that bill is an asshole, plain and simple. No way that passes.

      • dowripple says:

        “[…] Texans to refuse to provide goods and services to individuals or groups if they feel that to do otherwise would violate their religious beliefs.”

        What if religious a-holes who discriminate against LGBTs violate my religious beliefs? Can I refuse them service too?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Yes. You are already a documented hater of the TEA Party.

      • texan5142 says:

        So you are ok with the tea party lies kabuzz? I figured as much.

    • dowripple says:

      So it’s safe to assume that Kabuzz would like to see “No Gays” signs in establishment windows, and to add a disclaimer to his e-books: “This book is for non-gays only. I will not accept gay money.”

      And sorry Kabuzz, but we are only accepting non-ahole comments. We also have to protect our religious freedom.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        This is what happens when two ‘rights’ collide.

        I guess according to you I can go to a kosher butcher and demand he sell me none kosher meat. How about demanding Muslim woman take their head cover off? How about forcing native americans not to use marajuana in their religious cerimonies? How about we force Inuit to not hunt seals or whales? There is a long history of compromise in religious and laws. You just hate this horse.

      • dowripple says:

        This is what happens when you can’t think for yourself.

        “I guess according to you I can go to a kosher butcher and demand he sell me none kosher meat.”

        No, that is nothing like what I said. Now if the butcher said, “sorry, I only sell to Jewish people”, then that would be different.

        ” How about demanding Muslim woman take their head cover off?”

        Go for it, although that possibly violates the CRA (religion). I’m not sure where the dress-code free-religion line is.

        “How about forcing native americans not to use marajuana in their religious cerimonies?”

        What does this have to do with discriminating in public accommodations? Are there stores that won’t sell to Indiians who smoke pot?

        ” How about we force Inuit to not hunt seals or whales?”

        Again, this has nothing to do with discrimination by businesses open to the public.

        Do you even understand that part of the CRA?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        My point my friend is we are already allowed to exclude people due to religious preference. The kosher butcher shop is open to the public but doesn’t carry gentile meat. I am not allowed to hunt seal or whale but Inuit is. Again, when rights collide, it gets messy but it has to be ironed out. So if a business, due to their faith does not recognize homosexuality as nothing but a sin, they can’t be forced to do business with them. (Though if they are running a business, they probably will do busines) I see there point. I will also say, HERO ordinance has done much damage to ‘the cause’ as they are now viewed as bullies.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…goodness man…I did not realize you were down this rabbit hole with Stern.

        I thought it was just Stern and Rand Paul longing for the good old days when businesses could refuse to let Black folks eat or to rent hotel rooms to Black folks, but I see now that there are three of you in that wagon.

        I tell you, your conventions are going to be lonely endeavors and the food is going to suck.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, HT, we support the civil rights of all and oppose involuntary servitude.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, I can’t believe you don’t see the official discrimination for religious beliefs. It is happening around us daily. It is just your pet peeve that your favorite subject is being discussed that way. You’re personalizing it.

        Again, when rights collide, or when amendments collide it will be messy.

        Then you have affirmative action which was really official discrimination by law.

      • dowripple says:

        So Kabbuz doesn’t like HERO. Can you explain for us why it would be a good idea to fire somebody just because they are gay? Because, that is what you are fighting for by opposing it. Also know that Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio have the same stupid ordinance.

        I still can’t believe you don’t understand the difference between a kosher piece of meat and a potential paying customer. But, it’s not for me to make your life easier! 🙂

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I don’t believe a person’s sexual procllivities should be discussed in an interview for a job. What anyone does on their own time is none of the employers business except in the area of drug use.

        A majority of american’s view homosexuality as a deviant behavior and an abomination to God. Believers cannot be a believer and disagree with God. You are either in or out. If you can’t grasp that, there is no hope. No one is hating. No one is threatening. People are just following God’s lead.

      • dowripple says:

        You can’t answer the question, just as I thought. So you don’t necessarily agree with anti-HERO, but you will fight so that people can retain the right to fire someone because of their sexuality. Real nice dude.

        Don’t include me in your “abomination” discussions, as I don’t give two shits about it. Civil rights (in general) are not for the “majority” only, and gay rights are not about making people rethink “sin”. This is about equality and nothing else. If you want to believe that gay people are demons from hell who are after your soul, go right ahead. But, if you want to kick them out of a store open to the public, fire them (just for being gay), or deny them the same right to marital status, then we have a problem…

  18. kabuzz61 says:

    And so it goes. A bill that had to be passed in the dead of night, with many democratic senators being bribed to pass it and it turns out to sell it they had to lie about it all because the people are too stupid to realize what’s good for them. But yet, the rapid left wing nut jobs actually don’t mind.

    Also, another GOP senator has been elected. Now Louisiana will be easy due to her participation in the Big Lie.

    Prattle on my friends. Prattle on. It won’t change a thing but if it makes you feel good, do it.

    Oh, and Texan and The Buzzard actualy trying to explain Christian behavior. Priceless I tell you. Priceless.

    • Crogged says:

      Right, dead of night, several Supreme Court decisions, only one Presidential election and three congressional elections have now gone by since this illegal what happens with every f—-g bill which becomes law goes through. I hear that there’s a new challenge to the Louisiana Purchase in the Fifth Circuit, so what if real people get hurt, limited government!

      • texan5142 says:

        It is not his fault he does not own a mirror, or that the mirror he has shows no refection, or that the refection shown leaves him in confusion as to which end to wipe after taking a dump, after all, it is the same substance coming out either ends.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        UM! Do you watch the news? Do you know Obamacare lost the majority in congress you all had??? You are aware? Have you caught up on what’s happening?

      • johngalt says:

        How did Obamacare lose the majority? There were many driving factors, the most important of which was historical trends.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Again JG, prattle on. “There is no doubt that my policies are on the ballot this November.”-Obama.

        Most candidates ran on Obamacare. I have a question for you JG. You consider yourself the smartest man here along with Homer and Buzzard. Have congress always changed to the opposition party of the president in mid terms?

  19. Owl of Bellaire says:

    Okay, they had me from the Pyrrhus reference. Bonus points for using the word “perfervid,” too. That’s even better than the “purblind” usage by Roosevelt that starts Chris’ blog entry.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-republicans-will-now-taste-their-bitter-harvest/2014/11/11/eb4c640e-6906-11e4-a31c-77759fc1eacc_story.html

    “In the early 3rd century B.C., after King Pyrrhus of Epirus again took brutal casualties in defeating the Romans, he told one person who offered congratulations, ‘If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.’ In his more sober moments, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), about to achieve his lifelong ambition of becoming Senate majority leader, may wonder whether he, too, has achieved a pyrrhic victory….

    “Republicans have no mandate because they offered no agenda. Republicans reaped the rewards of McConnell’s scorched-earth strategy, obstructing President Obama relentlessly, helping to create the failure that voters would pin on the party in power. But the collateral damage is that the ‘party of “no”‘ has no agreement on what is yes. Instead of using the years in the wilderness to develop new ideas and a clear vision, Republicans have used them only to sharpen their tongues, grow their claws and practice their backhands….

    “McConnell won his majority by brilliantly waging a partisan, dishonest, unrelenting policy of obstruction. But now, the absence of any ideas or of any clue will be exposed. And next time, when voters sensibly want to throw the bums out, they may have a far clearer view of just who the bums are.”

  20. Owl of Bellaire says:

    It is useless to hold discussions with people like comic-boy and kitling, who do not acknowledge objective reality.

    Really all one can do is say “Fuck ’em.”

  21. texan5142 says:

    kabuzz61 says:
    November 12, 2014 at 7:26 am

    My personal belief is it is up to them that want to sin to sin. We all have to face our maker one day and explain our unrepentent sins.

    You got some explaining to do when you come before your God, that gonna take some time, I hope God is up for it.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      The kitling is going to Hell, no doubt about it.

      Unless, of course, his facile ideas about God are just as stupid as the rest of his nonsense.

      • texan5142 says:

        Yep! These guys talk about FREEDOM, but live their life in fear of going to hell. Living ones life according to a poorly written book is not my idea being free.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Texan, as I’ve often said, this blog is hell, like Sartre’s play NO EXIT, which takes place in hell. Repetitive, circular conversations. Wanting to leave but not able to resist the pull of this place. No mirrors, dependent on the views of others to tell us what we look like and how we appear. As the title of this blog says: “Because leaving isn’t exactly an option.”

        You were right when you said someone was reading from a script. Ironically, YOU are also reading from a script, just like the rest of us.

        As the line from the play says, “Hell is other people.”

      • Crogged says:

        For some hell appears to be whatever they are doing besides here. For the better of the worse others, hell is the second sentence of the first of three paragraphs.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Crogged, using your logic, then, this blog is heaven?

      • Crogged says:

        One sentence, one heaven.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Crogged: I think C.S. Lewis wrote that hell is nonstop noise and clatter. This blog is nonstop clatter through chatter.

        I believe silence is heaven.

      • texan5142 says:

        Agreed Tutt, but it depends on what one considers noise.

        Heaven to me is the silence of external, artificial sound so that I might enjoy the natural sound of nature around me. Throw that in with the pit smoking some food with a cold beer on a hot summer day and I am in heaven. The silence in the middle of the night when I can hear the snow fall is also heavenly and beautiful.

      • Crogged says:

        I was going to say “Don’t read out loud”, but someday I will give a toast —“Hey erbody, watcha eatin and who’s fellatin’ Satan?!”

  22. texan5142 says:

    kabuzz61 says:
    . So many lies have been told by this adminstration but yet he still bows down at the altar.

    I am not happy about the lies, but at least this lie resulted in my fellow Americans who could not get insurance before having it now. It is not like he lied and took us to war and got a bunch of brave volunteer solders killed.

  23. texan5142 says:

    kabuzz61 says:
    November 12, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Liberals think the american people are stupid.

    You are right kabuzz, republicans would never think the American people are stupid.

    …and yes it is cut and paste.

    1. Michelle Nunn Is Pro-Terrorist Because She Worked With A Muslim Charity: In Georgia’s remarkably close Senate race, GOP nominee David Perdue ran a smear commercial claiming her charity was linked to terrorists because of its work with the Islamic Relief USA. Poltifact found the claim so outlandish it gave it one of its coveted “Pants on Fire” ratings.

    2. Obama Cut A Secret Deal To Bring Ebola To The United States: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) had this revelation on Sean Hannity’s radio show:“I can’t help but believe, just based on the way we’ve got all these nebulous excuses why not to have a travel ban, this president, I guarantee you, we’re going to find out, he has cut a deal with African leaders. They’re going to bring people in.”

    3. ISIS Is Coming Over The Border Due To Discovered Prayer Rugs That Are Actually Adidas Jerseys: Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst claimed that ISIS prayer rugs were recently found at the border, signaling a possible invasion. The prayer rugs turned out to be Adidas jerseys.

    4. Sexual Assault Is A Result Of Taking The Bible Out Of Schools: Jody Hice, the GOP nominee for Georgia’s 10th congressional district, which is currently represented by extremist Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), warned that if we don’t stop taking prayer out of public school, we’ll see more of the kind of sexual assault that took place at Penn State.

    5. ISIS Will Send Ebola-Infected Fighters To The U.S.: Topping Gohmert and Dewhurst, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) went as far as to say that ISIS will weaponize Ebola suicide bombs. “Think about the job they could do, the harm they could inflict on the American people by bringing this deadly disease into our cities, into schools, into our towns, and into our homes. Horrible, horrible,” he said.

    6. Arm Yourself, Just In case The Government Tries To Take Away Your Guns: Iowa Senate GOP candidate Joni Ernst warned that she carries her pistol just in case the government tries to confiscate it:“I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere. But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”

    7. If You Vote For Democrats, They’ll Let Loose Violent African-American Inmates: In Nebraska’s second congressional district, Republicans are running a Willie Horton-esque ad that implies Democrats were responsible for a mentally ill violent inmate being released and then going on a murder spree. The ad juxtaposes the Democratic candidate with the African American inmate.

    8. Obama Is Going To Import Terrorists Into Our Neighborhoods: The RNC cut an ad warning of Obama’s “plans to bring terrorists from Guantanamo to our country,” implying that under any successful executive action somehow terrorist suspects will be walking American neighborhoods rather than be sitting in maximum-security prisons.

    9. Equal Pay Laws Would Scare Employers And Put Women Out Of Work:Monica Wehby, running for Oregon’s Senate seat, said that she opposed equal pay laws for women because it would “make it more difficult to hire women, because of the fear of lawsuits. They would tend to steer away.”

    10. Social Programs Are Leading To Suicide: Rep. Don Young (R-AK) said that government social programs are leading to a rise in suicides due to corresponding decline in support from family and friends. He eventually apologized.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Let me translate: Whimper, sniff, ‘leave me alone’. It’s not fair. I want my mommy. You lost white man in white state.

    • texan5142 says:

      You lost trying to be a good christian. How are you going to answer God when he/she ask about bearing false witness and some of the thing you have said here?

      What no comment on all the lies that your GOP brethren tell? You only find fault in the lies that the democrats tell? You say you are an independent, but you only find fault in one party that tells lies?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        How about you tell me all you know about the Christian faith. You seem so sure about my behavior and where I’m going so enlighten us Rev. Tex.

      • texan5142 says:

        If you can’t see that your words and slander here are against the teachings in the bible, then I can’t help you.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Kabuzz has lost the ability to tell truth from falsehood, perhaps.

        It’s like Tea Party advocacy bestows an Edenic state of ignorant bliss.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I knew you couldn’t do it. All talk. No action.

  24. kabuzz61 says:

    Texan is a prime example of the Obama messiah complex. He cannot bring himself to admit his god lied to his and considered him stupid. So many lies have been told by this adminstration but yet he still bows down at the altar.

    Notice that no one addressed the lie, only the messenger. Telling.

  25. texan5142 says:

    CaptSternn says:
    November 12, 2014 at 7:21 am
    Democratic politician to the people: You are too stupid t be allowed to make your own choics in life.

    You mean like the choics (sic) of having a pre existing condition, or being laid off and loosing health insurance, or having insurance and the insurance company not covering your illness.

    “I was unconscious when I was taken to the hospital,” she pointed out. “Unfortunately, I was taken to the wrong hospital for my insurance.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/wisc-woman-dies-comes-back-to-life-but-faces-bankruptcy-after-insurance-wont-pay-wrong-hospital/

    • dowripple says:

      Tsk, tsk, she should have saved more money instead of buying silly things like food/rent/utilities. She made her bed, to the poor house!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Texan wrote: “having insurance and the insurance company not covering your illness.”
        ******************************
        Now we have more insurance than ever. Does that mean we will have even more cases of an insurance company not covering an illness?

        I don’t trust “insurance.” They call the shots.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        The insurance company calls the shots — we put our lives in their hands.

    • CaptSternn says:

      You still lose your employer provided health insurance if you are fired, laid off or quit.

  26. texan5142 says:

    CaptSternn says:
    November 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm
    Of course, with that being said, I could rattle off a list of our liberty and rights that the left has infringed upon. So even now we have lost much freedom.

    Rattle off cartoon boy, rattle off, provide examples please.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Let’s go with the most obvious since I am working with the phone, involuntary servitude, property rights, prohibition, health insurance and for some all basic human rights.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Since Sternn bleats so frequently about his need for specific examples of, say, conservative bastardization of educational standards, one would think he’d be industrious, independent, and honest enough to offer at least thumbnail examples for these other “infringements”.

        Except that industry, independence, and honesty have nothing to do with comic-boy’s outlook or capabilities.

        Hypocrisy is a Tea Party value.

    • texan5142 says:

      Well I guess I should just take your word for all those things being the fault of the “left” without and documentation or actual examples.

      The only thing you listed that you may be correct is that you have lost the right to not have health insurance, that means I have gained the right to not have to supplement your lack of personal responsibility for not having insurance when you get ill.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        My goodness you are ignorant. A majority to Obamacare insured receive money from the taxpayers to pay their premium. So yea, you are still paying for their responsibility.

  27. CaptSternn says:

    Democratic politician to the people: You are too stupid t be allowed to make your own choics in life.

    Liberl: Yes, I am too stupid for all that freedom nonsense.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      I was just going to post the same thing. Obama’s signature bill, Obamacare, was presented as a lie to get it to pass. Even Pelosi said “You have to pass the bill to see what’s in it.” Now I understand where she is coming from. She was a part of the big lie.

      Liberals think the american people are stupid. To stupid to understand their healthcare. Too stupid to figure out how to get and I.D..

      (Getting popcorn) Can’t wait when SCOTUS reviews this ‘law’ again.

  28. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    The GOP doesn’t even have to get all these issues right to sway the electorate.

    Even if they kept most of their fiscal positions (even the really bad ideas) but simply came out and said:

    “As long as I’m in government, I’m going to work to make it so that people who love and care for each other can have their marriage recognized, regardless of their gender. If there is a bill in any state banning same sex marriage, I’m going to be frequent visitor to that state campaigning against that bill. It is the right thing to do.

    Also, I trust women. I trust women to make the best decisions they can for themselves and for their families. The government has no business getting in the way of a decision reached by a woman and her doctor. If an abortion restriction bill comes across my desk, I’m going to veto it unless it has 90% bipartisan support.”

    If Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, or Chris Christie strings together those two paragraphs, he is the next President of the United States…if he could ever escape the GOP primary season.

    • HH, you are spot on. The GOP purports to be the party of individual liberty, but suffers intense cognitive dissonance on these two issues. It would take *extraordinary* political courage to buck the GOP status quo on these two items, but the person who successfully does so will ultimately be remembered as the greatest political leader of our time.

      Note that with respect to abortion, the Dems suffer equally intense cognitive dissonance. Claiming to be the party that comes to aid of the helpless, the Dems nontheless ignore the most helpless of all, the unborn.

      Imagine a world in which the GOP stops fighting the legality of abortion, and the Democrats do everything in their power to eliminate the practice, rather than encouraging it. What in interesting place *that* would be.

      Unfortunately our political parties are products of political history as much as political philosophy, so it’s no surprise that both parties maintain planks that are incongruous with their putative raison d’être.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        TT…for lots of people, there is no compromise on abortion, and compromise is probably not the right frame of reference. It is hard to compromise if you believe abortion is murder or if you believe women should have the right to control their bodies.

        Rather than compromise, it is making the best of a bad situation, and if both parties did that, we would see the number of abortions drop and almost all that did occur would occur in the first term.

        Alas, ifs and buts and candy and nuts and all that.

      • Crogged says:

        Ugh, TThor and HHT get all optimistic and hopey regarding pragmatic policy from each party, which might lead to dangerous changes of attitude, fewer personal attacks and assumptions of motivation: what’s the fun in that? One side of the aisle could stop viewing businessmen and corporations as heartless conspiratorial opportunists and the other side might lose the pov of ‘makers and takers’. Work together–COMMUNISTOCITY!

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Homer assumes as he is want to do that there are no democrat’s that are pro life or against homosexual marriage. The majority of americans do not want homosexual marriage and the country is equally split on the abortion issue.

      My personal belief is it is up to them that want to sin to sin. We all have to face our maker one day and explain our unrepentent sins.

      On Obamacare, I find it interesting the the SCOTUS is taking another look at Obamacare. Hm? Wonder what’s up?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I swear your reading comprehension skills are so greatly overshadowed by your political positions that it is wonder you can drive through town without mistaking Stop signs for a Stop Abortion poster and getting angry over communists and the Chinese being represented in our traffic lights (think about it).

        With regard to your personal beliefs, you don’t seem to make them all that personal. You have said that your religious convictions would make you vote against allowing homosexual marriage, and it does seem like that personal beliefs lead you to want to elect representatives that will make those beliefs laws and not just personally affecting you.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “The majority of americans do not want homosexual marriage.” Wrong, and verifiably so.

        “The country is equally split on the abortion issue.” Wrong, and verifiably so.

        May your God damn your soul for your ignorance and lies.

        Of course, being purely a product of your putrid and puerile imagination, He won’t.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Owl- I don’t think what percentage wants or doesn’t want this or that is even the real issue. Fortunately, we do not govern by simple majority – or at least shouldn’t.

        Gay marriage and abortion are and have been dealt with by the courts, (properly, I think), based on interpretation of fundamental documents. The people *really, really* need to want or not want a thing to change those. This is as it should be.

        Frankly, talk regarding banning abortion, or gay marriage for that matter, is just so much gas. Let Cap and Buzz tilt at those windmills. The reality is that it’s game over.

      • Crogged says:

        In some places it’s getting harder to decipher the math we use in figuring ‘representation’ ……….

        http://macombpolitics.blogspot.com/2014/11/gop-wins-on-tuesday-largely-due-to.html

      • fiftyohm says:

        crogged – Here’s a broader study regarding gerrymandering. (Note the source!)
        http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/01/who-gerrymanders-more-democrats-or-republicans

        Also note the situation in Texas in the piece above.

        The notion that congressional districts will all be a perfect representation of the mean insofar as political views is concerned is pretty utopian. Whenever any sort of anomaly occurs, someone is going to scream. I say, do it by zip-code. But they are not all the same size. What do you propose? Is the US senate ‘gerrymandered’? By what definition is it not?

      • Crogged says:

        Since the Mother Jones article written in January 2013 we get further evidence that this gerrymandering (and ‘protecting the integrity of the process’) is apparently having even worse effects in turnout and representation and this is……..comforting or something we can’t do anything about?

        The Senate was designed to be ‘undemocratic’ (which is why the members were appointed for many years) and I’m not arguing for law via vote at all.

        Suppose this had happened in Texas after a Republican drive to register more voters.

        https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/07/voter-suppression/

        Of course the above is from a ‘liberal’ rag and I’m not in a position to verify each and every point it makes. But ‘principled’ Republican’s would take this seriously and vow to have some way to make voting as important as the right to own semi-automatic weapons with affordable untaxed ammunition, wouldn’t they?

      • fiftyohm says:

        crogged – With all due respect, I don’t believe there has been any redistricting in Michigan since 2013. So rather than suggesting that gerrymandering was in large part responsible for the election results, the effect of any change in that regard was at best, zero – at least if you believe the MJ piece. Many things affect election results. Frankly, suggestions that the midterm results were *dominated* by gerrymandering, ‘disenfranchisement’ by whatever means, or really anything else other than who voted for whom, is whistling in the dark.

        It was a midterm election, and the party in the White House lost seats. (It nearly always happens.) Also in play were the facts that the president is not popular, the economic recovery is perceived as less than robust, the ACA is having gestational problems, congressional approval ratings are near historical lows, and a host of other factors.

      • Crogged says:

        I’m not making the suggestion ‘gerrymandering’ had any impact on any Texas election or generally (I’m not bothered by the results of Owl’s spreadsheet-if x number of voters believe Elvis is alive should they have ‘representation’) but obviously it played a role in Michigan!

    • CaptSternn says:

      Ok, HT, so you think Andrea Yates had the right to make the best decision for her family and she should never have been charfed with a crime. Can you be equal in your opinon, that Scott Peterson had the right to make the best decision for his family and shoul not have been charged with a crime?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        And Stern shows why it is so darn hard to make things better…in his world, the abortion of a one-day old fertilized egg is the same as murdering a child, so no candy and nuts for anyone.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Yes, HT, killing an innocent human being is killing an innocent human being. The color of their skin doesn’t matter, their religion or lack of doesn’t matter, their age doesn’t matter, their sex doesn’t matter, their country of origin doesn’t matter. But much like the slave owners of old that refused to hear that black people wre actually human, you can’t accept that about another group of people, the most defensless group.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        OK….who had 35 minutes in the pool for how long it would take Stern to go from zero to slavery on the abortion topic?

        I had 13 seconds, so I’m out.

        Who’s the lucky one today that gets the year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat?

      • Crogged says:

        Every morning my wife and I stop and consider how we will protect the half of a life we have in addition to ourselves. “We three”, we say, and it keeps us in the moment as a meditative practice. Like prayer, but sillier.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Right behind your claim that “those people” are not to be considered equal or even human.

      • texan5142 says:

        What people? Go ahead and outlaw abortion of any kind Cap, then when Tutt has that special time and possibly some fertilized eggs are discharged you can lead her to the gallows personally and pull the rope, after all, it is murder in your eyes.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – for a person obsessed with protecting the lives of children it is strange that you consider rescuing children from torture and death is a terrorist action.

  29. texan5142 says:

    Megan gets something right for once.

  30. Anse says:

    What we have in this country, and what Chris, I believe, has done a pretty good job of pointing out, is that a lot of people have very demented definitions of “freedom.”

    Not having health care is not freedom. Having a job is freedom, but not if it’s a job that you hate and must keep because you’ve got no other options. And yes, there are a lot of people in that predicament.

    Having to take a job you don’t want because you can’t afford health insurance on your own is not freedom; I know many people in that boat, too. Getting food stamps to help you buy food for your family is not slavery; it is feeding your family.

    It’s been said many times before: you cannot have freedom without private property. Property is freedom. The freedom to own–to have wealth–is freedom. By extension, having more wealth means having more freedom. Having little or no wealth means you are not free.

    The government’s role in all of this has to be understood within this context.

    • CaptSternn says:

      Slavery is freedom and freedom is slavery, so says those on the left.

    • CaptSternn says:

      A dead horsefly? That’s interesting.

      Freedom is having the ability to improve and succeed, or fail. You talk like a person’s only reason to have a job is for health isurance, Anse. Ever think that maybe the paycheck to buy food and pay for housing and other things is a much more important reason to have a job?

      I have had many jobs that I hated, Anse, but never have I been tied to a job for paid vacations, paid holidays, paid sick days, much less health insurance. I have had decent jobs I thought I wanted that had benefits but were terrible. I have had jobs I hated and never wanted but stayed there for almost ten years for the paycheck and because I wasn’t motivated enough to leave.

      I have had jobs I liked but lost due to the company being bought out or other reasons. I have taken time off and just doing handyman work because the last job was so bad. And I was free.

      I have had good paying jobs, I habe been broke and living at ppoverty levels. I have had jobs with benefits, jobs without benefits, and even owned my own business for a while. That is freedom

      In fact, the only time in my life I was not free (after turning 18) was my time in the military. And when I was not free, I could go to the doctor anytime I wanted and not pay a dime. Of course I was sent to whatever doctor without any choice of what doctor I wanted to see. I wasn’t ever even presented with a choice of doctors or what office I might like. Just an assembly line. Put on a bus, carted around like cattle, put through the line and sent away.

      I didn’t have freedom of speech, I couldn’t just take a day off, I certainly couldn’t just up and quit, I had no choice of where I wanted to live, even in what country I wanted to live, and I could have been sent to kill or die at any time. But hey, I had “free” health care. Maybe you should look into military life if you think that is what freedom is all about.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Of course, with that being said, I could rattle off a list of our liberty and rights that the left has infringed upon. So even now we have lost much freedom. Lifer even hit on that with the prohibition part.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Did someone force you to join the military? Did you somehow not understand the environment you volunteered to enter. Military life has to be more regimented because of the requirements of the job.

        No one is suggesting that type of health care system for the nation so again you are full of shaite.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Suuuuure, Turtles, nobody has ever called for a “single payer health care system.” Riiiight.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Yes Turtules, I was forced into the military. How soon they forget?

      • CaptSternn says:

        That’s going to mess up his day, Kabuzz.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – surprise the military medical system is not single payer system, it is a government controlled and operated service.

        Buzzy – you were forced? As a person that claims to stump port military action to resolve our issues I figured you volunteered. Infantry duty at that. But you were forced to join when it can time for you to do your time. Maybe you should be made at all the other chicken Hawks for taking the deferments? Too bad You didn’t have a butt boil like Limbaugh to worm your way out.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That’s what single payer would be, Turtles, government run health care.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – you can call it a biscuit but that does not make it so.

    • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
      You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
      You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
      You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
      You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
      You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
      You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
      You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
      You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
      You cannot help men by permanently doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
      – Rev. William Boetcker

      The government’s role in all of this has to be understood within this context.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Exactly, who is promoting such things? Because most of us here are in agreement that government should create an environment where all have the opportunity to suceed. How it accomplishes that goal is up for debate but that is a good thing.

        I could counter that people not governments do such things. Weak government allowed apartheid to flourish in this nation for over a hundred years. It was only when the federal government asserted itself that freedom and opportunity came for millions in this nation. For decades those same people have argued that the old life was true freedom.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        You and your party does Turtles, frequently and loudly.

      • Crogged says:

        There’s nothing wrong with putting this up in the kitchen and useful as a daily affirmation regarding individual responsibility and making yourself feel better in individual moral superiority.

        But for a political philosophy for a loose conglomeration of disparate economic and social interests-not so much, unless you have a particular affinity for the Bronze Age.

        How many Americans have ‘sound security’ on ‘borrowed money’-only every single f___g one of us.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Why should the utterly obscure William Boetcker be given any regard at all?

        There’s a reason why so many conservative shills still ignorantly attribute that quote to President Lincoln.

        Moreover, it’s the same kind of infantile bimodal crap that comic-boy and kitling still spew ever-more-increasingly on these forums, the facile belief that the universal always consists of opposites with no gray areas in-between. One would think you’d be better than that, Thor. But obviously not.

  31. texan5142 says:

    CaptSternn says:
    November 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm
    Why did you come back with such an idiotic question in the first place?

    ladies and gentlemen, I give you a prime example of cognitive dissonance wrapped up with a little obtuse and narcissism all rolled up in one little gut wrenching burrito called Sternn.

    • CaptSternn says:

      I remember when democrats were trying to get just one republican to vote for Obamacare in either the house or senate so they could claim it was a bipartisan bill. They failed at even that.

      • texan5142 says:

        Boehner jobs bills are nothing but deregulation bills. What do you have against clean air and water Sternn?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Why do you want to bring down our economy and keep people out of good jobs?

      • texan5142 says:

        CaptSternn says:
        November 11, 2014 at 11:06 am
        Why do you want to bring down our economy and keep people out of good jobs?

        How do you square it with your God when you lie and say things like this. How can you be a self professed christian and put words in peoples mouth that they never said.

        Deregulation will do nothing but put more money in the polluters pocket, it won’t trickle down. What do you have against clean air and water?

      • texan5142 says:

        Show me empirical proof that polluting the environment by deregulation will create good paying jobs? Maybe in the cleanup pf toxic spills?

      • texan5142 says:

        How do you extrapolate wanting clean air and water into “Why do you want to bring down our economy”? Please explain because all of us here would like to know where you come up with this bullshit.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Why did you come back with such an idiotic question in the first place?

      • texan5142 says:

        Idiotic question for an idiot seemed about right.

    • texan5142 says:

      Dance little puppet, dance.

  32. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Alternative Reality – President Romney campaigning for mid-term candidates in October 2014:

    When I took office in 2013 and the Senate moved from the Democrats to the Republicans, the country was in a difficult situation. Unemployment was too high at 7.9%, the stock market was limping along at 13,900, and gas prices were over $3.30 a gallon.

    Thanks to good government and the hard work of the American people, unemployment has been drastically reduced to 5.8%, and it continues to fall.

    Companies are trusting our strong leadership, and the stock market has risen to 17,500, providing wealth and stability only found in America.

    Gas prices are now down below $3.00 a gallon, providing welcome relief for hard working Americans.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, that is a 27% reduction in unemployment, an 11% reduction in gasoline prices, and a 26% rise in the stock market in two years.

    These are the results you get when you have strong leadership and government working for the people. As we go into these important elections, we need to remember who led this remarkable turnaround.

    Actual Reality – Candidates campaigning in October 2014:

    Obama sucks and the country is falling apart.

    • CaptSternn says:

      That might fly with people that rely on headflines, soundbites and bumper stickers, that have short attention spans and short memories, and that have never heard of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Russia or al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS or things like the PPACA, being told that having people inemployed and on welfare is good for the economy, the goal to make energy prices skyrocket, $18 trillion in debt, massive deficits …

      But those people stayed home.

      • Crogged says:

        But several of the things you mentioned have not occurred? Energy prices are lower, despite the, ahem, goal, and there are fewer people unemployed. Absolute levels of the deficit have come down from where they were. Why say things which by any objective standard are simply not true. By doing this it appears you have an ax to grind or a conclusion which always must lead your premises. You mislead people by saying these things and it doesn’t help your cause, whatever that may be.

      • texan5142 says:

        He reads from a script Crogged.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Energy prices are down in spite of Obama’s best efforts, the deficit is up a lot from $161 billion. The percentage of people in the workforce is at historic lows.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…”The percentage of people in the workforce is at historic lows.”

        Buddy…be sure to keep repeating that for the next few decades.

        I’m really sorry that math was mean to you and stole your lunch money in elementary school, but at some point you should realize that math can be your friend now.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, some people make friends with numbers, others with words.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…undoubtedly that is true, but there is no reason to make math your enemy.

      • flypusher says:

        The problem with math is that it’s not going to say “Dems bad, GOP good” if the numbers aren’t shaking out in that direction.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I used to assign human characteristics to numbers when I was little. The number 8 was a big, bad bully. I felt sorry for the number 3.

        So, some numbers were my friends, others were my enemies.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ah, but which number was the Democrat, and which was the Republican??

        Maybe the world is “divided” into 8’s and 3’s. Which number are you??

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Actually it is “dem’s very bad and we’ll see if the GOP is good.” We aren’t party loyalists like you goosesteppers.

      • flypusher says:

        Right buzzy, because no way there could be any indies here who might say something like- Dems spineless jellyfish, GOP fighting an infection of batshit crazy.

        How dare anyone bring shades of grey or even colors into your pristine uncomplicated little black and white world!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Goosesteppers? Really?

        Buzz, you’ve been mad at “liberals” since some dirty hippies were mean to you in the 70s. You are a bought and sold component of the GOP strategy, and they have absolutely no worry about your vote. At a minimum, you just won’t vote or toss your vote to a goofy libertarian. You cannot imagine a scenario where you would vote for the Democrats.

        Yet, many of the more liberal folks here wish we could find a relatively pragmatic Republican for which to vote without the fear that he/she would turn into one more GOP congressperson voting to ban gay marriage at Planned Parenthood.

        I see your goose and raise you a gander.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – goosesteppers? You have no room to talk especially when you once said that whatever the party’s beliefs are you make them your own. When you admit to allowing other to do your thinking you have zero room to talk when it comes to goosestepping.

        By the way your wool is coming in real nice. You are going to make some fine sweaters.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Turtles, my clueless friend, I said whatever person is close to my belief get’s my vote. Locally, that can be either party, state, sometimes and if neither, I don’t for that position. It is called responsibility. And Homer, a liberal will NEVER vote for a republican.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “And Homer, a liberal will NEVER vote for a republican.”

        And another lie.

        May God damn you yet again, kabuzz. Your incessant and reflexive flattery for Republican falseness destines you for the Eighth Circle of Hell, where you may be steeped in human excrement. Or maybe, as a self-acknowledged troll, you can end up in the Bolgia for the sowers of discord, to be hacked apart for eternity by sword-wielding demons. Or maybe you belong with the falsifiers, to be afflicted by disease. Perhaps lots of FOX newscasters will join you there, with Ebola.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Buzzy – I am the libbiest lib that ever libbed and there are Republicans I would surely vote for but in Texas these creatures do not exist. New York, Illinois, or Vermont maybe, here no. That is a heck of a lot more than I can say for you. You goosestep with the best of them.

  33. Chris, you may find this surprising, but I agree in principle with most of what you have written here. Although most do not credit me for it when I write it, I do believe that prudent, clear, fair regulation is both necessary and beneficial. Dittos for a functioning social safety net. Government has three primary functions: 1) Protecting the citizenry from external threats, 2) ensuring that citizens do not encroach on the rights of their neighbors’ in the exercise of their own, and 3) ensuring that all citizens have as unobstructed a field as possible in their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Effective regulation and adequate social safeguards are necessary to achieve these ends.

    Sadly, the federal government in its current incarnation does not adequately address *any* of these functional requirements. The federal Leviathan exists primarily to further *itself*. Crony capitalism, bureaucratic corruption and fiscal irresponsibility are rampant. Individual liberty and free market commerce as pursued by the small business owner suffers as a result. The “profits generated by our economy” are for the most part enjoyed by a small minority of financiers and investors, and the more savvy among this crowd are fully (and in many cases rather cynically) aware that these “profits” are in effect a crack cocaine fiscal high induced by QE. The proles don’t see any of it, and those who do understand that its not “real” (as in produced by an actual increase in true value).

    Sadly, both parties are grossly complicit in this mess. Last Tuesday’s results were a repudiation of this state of affairs, certainly not an indicator of public confidence in the GOP’s ability (or even desire) to correct the situation. My guess is that the majority of the populace has lost faith in the ability of either party to right the ship of state. Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are both expressions of this disaffection, albeit from different ends of the political spectrum. Insomuch as Tuesday was a victory for the establishment GOP, it’s rather unlikely that those who already feel politically alienated (at either end of the political spectrum) are going to feel any better about the nation’s prospects anytime soon.

    And BTW, if the results of the Mark “Uterus” Udall and Michelle “Ferguson-bait” Nunn campaigns are any indication, sometimes you can’t even win elections on the “power of paranoia.” 😉

  34. Anse says:

    What I’d like to know is how the unregulated capitalism that Republicans today embrace will result in prosperity for more Americans, and a rebounding middle class. And upon what historical precedent is this argument based? Thanks.

    • CaptSternn says:

      We have never had unregulated capitalism in this state or nation and nobody is suggesting such a thing. You’re welcome.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        It’s nice to see everyone so polite for a change.

      • Turtles Run says:

        You are right Cappy. You guys just seek to create an regulatory environment in which corporations and businesses can operate unimpeded while at the same time only just appear that some sort of restraint is being kept on them. No real consequences or control will be actually done but there will be regulations, sort of.

      • Anse says:

        It is a truth confirmed in your own musings, Sternn, that conservatives loathe regulation. You have yourself characterized government as “evil” in so many ways. I’m not making a large leap in characterizing the Republican position as one that embraces a capitalist economy that is essentially free of regulation.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Captain, it is amazing to watch these liberals pull their ‘facts’ out of their butts. They love accusing us of things we didn’t say or believe but bottom line, they are angry because they are not in a position of power anymore. Probably for quite awhile.

      • Turtles Run says:

        The GOTP has announced their war on the EPA will be a top priority in the upcoming sessions. Among their goals:

        “Republican lawmakers are planning an all-out assault on Obama’s environmental agenda, including rules on mercury and other air toxics from power plants, limits on ground-level ozone that causes smog, mountaintop mining restrictions and the EPA’s attempt to redefine its jurisdiction over streams and ponds.”

        Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-etarded.) is set to become chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Senator Inhofe has “compared the EPA to Nazi Germany’s Gestapo”.

        Cappy – When your party makes people like Inhofe chairman of a committee that deals with environmental issues especially when he has made such claims, your comments that no one wants no regulation rings entirely hollow.

        http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/e2-wire/223398-senate-gop-steeling-for-battle-against-the-epa

      • Anse says:

        Sternn is attempting a sort of rhetorical trick in which he tries to appear to be somewhat supportive of regulation in theory, then turns around and makes the outrageously nonsensical claim that we have too much regulation today. He’ll probably follow with some complaint about how long Congressional bills are.

        The recession of 2008 was not a result of too much regulation. It was a result of regulators not doing their jobs, which is the same as having no regulation at all.

        But this is the problem. In a country in which only a third of the population bothers to vote, and in which most of those are certainly not the poor and marginalized, what we have is a system in which those with much write laws to benefit themselves and are empowered to use regulatory agencies to their advantage. The recession is a case in point. Government insurance regulators were essentially in the back pockets of the companies they were regulating, in part because agency rules meant to encourage efficiency ended up creating an environment in which regulatory agencies were competing for clients to regulate. Ever wonder how Connecticut, of all the states in the union, became the center of the insurance industry? It’s an odd thing, isn’t it? New York is right there, a short drive away. So is Rhode Island and Massachusetts and a number of other states. You could imagine New York drawing the heavies of the insurance industry if for no other reason than it is New York. But no, it’s Connecticut. And the reason is that in the industry, it was well-known that the federal regulators based in Connecticut were the most friendly to the companies they were charged with regulating. There is no need for a company to move the bulk of its operations to Connecticut; all they have to do is open an office there and register that office as the corporate headquarters, and the agency office for that district becomes that company’s regulator. Agency offices in every district/state received funding based on how many companies they had to regulate, which created a competition for clients.

        Meanwhile, the private sector regulators–Moody’s and S&P–did just as badly. As they would because of the inherent conflict of interest that summarizes a relationship in which the client to be regulated pays the fees of the regulator.

        That should not happen in government agencies, but in America, it happens all the time. We have a revolving door between Wall Street, industry and the government. The Democrats haven’t changed that, and you can be sure the Republicans won’t. They’ll just make it worse. Consider McConnell’s declaration that the EPA is the first in their crosshairs.

      • texan5142 says:

        Turtles, that is the GOP idea of a jobs plan, cut regulation that protects the health of citizens and the jobs come from the medical field from the health problems associated with those cuts.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Well, the EPA is using some severe enforcements tactics to be sure but a nazi reference is bad but so is retarded. Shame on you turtles.

        Again, show where we have said we are against regulation. Waiting!

      • Turtles Run says:

        Texan – The problem is that many of these people affected by under-regulated power plants or suffer mercury poisoning will not have health care coverage if GOTP has its way.

      • texan5142 says:

        Mom always said ya don’t shit where you eat…… they want us to shit where we eat, sleep, and raise our kids.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy snorted: Shame on you turtles.

        No, no shame here when it comes to these d-bags that seek to foul our air and water. Plus I find it ironic that a serial liar and race baiter tells me I should be ashamed.

        In the wise words of Homey D. Klown

        Turtles Don’t Play ‘Dat (Bop)

      • Anse says:

        Kabuzz, the “severe enforcement tactics” the EPA is using include what, exactly? I think they ought to use the same tactics that cops use on unconvicted and uncharged suspects. Why not? A nightstick to the skull, a Taser to the manager in charge, a door-busting SWAT team assault on the corporate offices. And if they don’t find anything, they can claim they were just doing their jobs.

      • johngalt says:

        “…they want us to shit where we eat, sleep, and raise our kids.”

        Not quite, Anse. They want to shit where the poor people across town eat, sleep, and raise their kids. They have no interest in polluting their own neighborhood. Like Denton, which is happy to enjoy the fruits of the fracking boom, as long as it takes place somewhere else.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz and Stern…not sure if you are making a strawperson argument or if you’ve just not bothered to read what your GOP/TP brethren and sisteren are doing.

        Why yes, no one (at least publicly) is calling for absolutely no regulation on anything, but if that is your point, then please, grow up and join folks at the adults’ table.

        Would you like to look at a few of the “jobs bills” that the GOP/TP (and you and Stern) so often rant about being blocked by the Senate? Of the 14 or 15 “jobs bills” touted by you folks, almost all are about regulations, a fair chunk of them mention the Keystone Pipeline.

        If you think Keystone, allowing more coal ash, and allowing more pollution in the cement industry are the keys to job growth, well then you might as well go back to the kids’ table.

        H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
        The bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to clarify that the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a state may not require a permit under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act for the application of pesticides regulated under FIFRA. The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act would ensure that pesticide users are not faced with unnecessary regulations that harm job growth

        H.R. 2018, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act
        The bill would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to preserve the authority of each State to make determinations relating to the State’s water quality standards. This would reduce the federal government’s power over individual state’s water quality standards to help increase job growth.

        H.R. 2681, Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act
        The bill would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations from coming into effect which would place burdensome regulations on the cement industry. The cement industry estimates that the rule could destroy as many as 4,000 jobs. The Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act would stop the unnecessary cement MACT rule which will cost thousands of jobs and hamper economic growth.

        H.R. 2250, EPA Regulatory Relief Act
        The bill would help to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Boiler MACT regulations on boilers and industrial incinerators. The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners estimates that the regulations will cost 244,000 jobs. The EPA Regulatory Relief Act would help to roll back unreasonable regulations and save thousands of American jobs.

        H.R. 2273, Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
        The bill would prohibit the EPA from regulating coal ash as a toxic waste in any state which prefers to develop its own plans in that regard. This bill would further slow the EPA’s Regulatory Trainwreck and could save thousands of jobs in coal-rich states such as West Virginia and Ohio.

        I can’t imagine why folks would assume the GOP/TP has a bit of a focus on weakening regulations.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “The recession of 2008 was not a result of too much regulation.”

        Indeed, Clinton got the regulations erased and pushed banks and mortgage companies to make loans to people that could not afford them. Bush called for more regulation in 2003, but democrats said nothing was wrong and blocked it.

        The EPA does need to be pulled back from the extreme. There is a proper amount of regulation, democrats don’t know what it is. Obama set out to create policies that would cause energy prices to skyrocket. Since he didn’t get the legislation, he is trying to be a dictator and to things by drecee and speeches. That needs to be stopped.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Bless your heart Stern…you are like one of four people who believe poor people getting a mortgage were the cause of the economic downfall. I do sometimes wonder if you have that paragraph marked as a shortcut key so that you don’t always have to re-type it.

        Obama is a crappy President, no doubt. He attempted to ruin the economy and skyrocket energy prices, and yet the stock market is robust and folks are paying less than $3.00 a gallon in gas and my electricity bill last month was the lowest it has been for a summer month in years.

        Damn Obama!

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy wrote: Indeed, Clinton got the regulations erased and pushed banks and mortgage companies to make loans to people that could not afford them.

        Despite the obvious bullcarp, I guess Cappy is to have us believe the Republican congress in charge had nothing to do with passing these laws. Nope just the Democrat President.

        Flash forward to 2003

        Cappy writes: Bush called for more regulation in 2003, but democrats said nothing was wrong and blocked it.

        Apparently, even when Republicans control the White House, the Senate, and the House the Democrats apparently with their Ninja skills prevented the Republicans from taking action concerning financial regulations. Of course the fact that the GOTP did not even bother to try to pass any bills related to financial regulations does not mean anything to Cappy its the Democrats fault plain and simple. Just like Cappy, plain and simple

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok, HT, you still have over 300 more bills to cover that died on Harry Reid’s desk. And it is noted that you don’t believe the housing bubble had anything to do with the crash, which would mean it had nothing to do with a lack of regulation and pushing banks and mortgage industries to make bad loans as, according to you, the loans are being paid off and there was a wave of foreclosures.

        Turtles, you jumped right up there and took the bait, hook, line and sinker. Yes the republican congress had to write and pass the legislation. Good for you for finally come to admit that democrats have been running the show for the past eight years. How have those eight years been for the nation? But even in 2003, the republicans didn’t have a super majority and the democrats blocked the regulations in committee. Need the link again?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        How have the past 8 years been for the nation?

        I think it would take a true masochist with no 401k to prefer 2000-2008 to 2009-2014.

        Historic stock market, unfailingly reduced unemployment numbers, and gas under $3.00 a gallon while rebounding from a near economic collapse?

        Not that folks let their politics warp their perspectives, but if Romney had won in 2012, the GOP would have been touting these numbers as the greatest things in the world.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Try again, HT. Republicans pretty much ran things from January 1995 until January 2007, though a democrat had the oval office for six of those years and democrats held the senate for two nof those years. By the end of that run, they had almost balanced to budget, though they kind of messed that up under the Bush administration, and they left with a final deficit of $161 billion, economy growing at 4% and unemployment at 4.6%.

        Now you are going to try to convice us that things have gotten even better since then and never got worse? No, I think you are just trying to convince yourself and other far left extremnists, but anybody with a lick of common sense and a minimum amount of knowledge knows that is pure nonsense and garbage being spewed out.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “Need the link again?”

        Will it be like that you tube video you gave us that showed two ships next to each other and apparently we were supposed to make the mental leap that those two ships meant FDR promised King Saud that we would protect him for all time and every President since then has been forced to honor that pledge by the ghost of FDR.

        There was jack done by the Republicans and your sheep mentality refuses to admit any sort of wrong by the GOTP. The GOTP did nothing and they will do nothing to regulate banks and polluters now like they have always promised.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Turtles, seems you have a real hatred of history and facts. That;s probably because reality doesn’t fit your fantasy world and doesn’t have a liberal bias.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Again, bless your heart Stern.

        Your reading comprehension skills continue to be…uh…let’s just go with “interesting”.

        Somehow you read my comment and came up with, “And it is noted that you don’t believe the housing bubble had anything to do with the crash, which would mean it had nothing to do with a lack of regulation and pushing banks and mortgage industries to make bad loans as, according to you, the loans are being paid off and there was a wave of foreclosures.”

        I’ve mentioned before that you could be the second coming of Bob Beamon with those leaping abilities.

        Now, on to your more interesting points. It seems that your conclusion is sometime akin to, “everything good is because of Republicans and everything bad is because of Democrats”. No one has this little intellectual curiosity or this closed of a mind. People on TV say stuff like this because they are running for office or are trying to make entertaining news, but no one believes this stuff.

        However, I’ll play the game. What exactly did the darn dastardly democrats do (nice alliteration) in 2006 that turned the economy to hell?

        Clearly, a switch was flipped because in your world, they inherited nothing but a spinning wheel turning straw into gold.

        I would think that to be fair, if the darn dastardly democrats did dumb things to ruin the economy, do they not get at least a tiny bit of credit for the incredibly steady improvement since 2009?

      • kabuzz61 says:

        HT, we may be at the children’s table but you and turtules are firmly ensconced at the mentally challenged table.

        Again, you lost, don’t like it and are making up facts to use for excuses.

        Even though you have said the president has nothing to do with gas prices. And when the stock market takes a hit like 9/11 and the recessions, even the mentally challenged would know it could go only one way:up.

        Tsk! Tsk!

      • CaptSternn says:

        Democrats were in the minority in 2006, HT. But let us have a look at what has happened since they took over on 2007. The economy crashed, people lost their jobs, more people are dependent on welfare, The Muslim Brotherhood is on the rise, al Qaeda is coming back strong, ISIS has formed and is on the move, the stock market (the 1% as your side likes to say) is being propped up with the QE’s and is set to crash again, the deficits have exploded, the debt has increased by $10 trillion, the percentage of people working is down, more of our liberty and rights have been destroyed, freedom of religion has been attacked, oil production on fedeal lands is down …

        Oh, right, nevermind. You see these things as good. You are falling in with Turtles, Owl and John, calling for outright socialism and the destruction of the private sector because you trust Ted Cruz more than you trust yourself.

        And no, many of us were not and are not happy with the GOP, which is why the tea party formed back around 2004. But you have your Coffee Party, your No Labels Party and finally the OWS movement, raping people, murdering, stealing and defecating on police cars.

      • Turtles, I invite you to peruse CFR Title 49, Subtitle B, Chapter I, Subchapter D, Part 192, §192.619 – Maximum allowable operating pressure: Steel or plastic pipelines. (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=05bf9bd25fb92e7852a707591b506bd8&node=pt49.3.192&rgn=div5#se49.3.192_1619) Please make sure to peruse as well the referenced sections, especially §192.611, Subparts C,D,J, K and O, not to mention ASME B31.8 (which will cost you $15-20K). Needless to say, this impenetrable morass would be largely incomprehensible on its own, so make sure to also study the *hundreds* of Department of Transportation and PHMSA Advisory Bulletins, Letters of Interpretation, Rule Makings, and Recommendations (http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/regs). (And if, at the end of your studies, you conclude that all of this federal legalese is internally consistent and non-contradictory, why, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.)

        All of this is the *actual* regulatory environment of natural gas pipeline operators. It’s a ***NIGHTMARE***. This in not rule of law, it’s rule by bureaucratic diktat. No single person or entity can possibly hope to completely comply with this godawful mess. The end result is that questions of law are decided by bureaucratic whim. If an auditor *wants* to find something wrong with an operator’s practices, he/she *will* find something wrong. Nobody can gainsay this unelected bureaucrat, and should an operator dare challenge their oppressor in court they quickly discover that the legal process *IS* the punishment.

        Now, this is just a narrow window into a *tiny* portion of the wide, wild world of federal regulation. It just happens to be the tiny slice with which I am passingly familiar. Now, I understand there is some chance that *all* of the problems with the federal regulatory bureaucracy are confined to pipeline regulation. But somehow I doubt it.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…I think you must have missed the question. If you glance upwards, you’ll see that I asked what the darn dastardly democrats did that crashed the economy, turning all that gold into straw?

        You are not one of those correlation/causation kind of guys. I guess it is possible that you believe increased ice cream consumption leads to more tire blowouts (incredibly robust correlation without much cause).

        Most folks look at a big issue and recognize that there are 83 influencing factors. You see the housing crisis and believe it is because “banks were forced to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them”.

        There just is no discussion with stuff like that.

      • Turtles Run says:

        TTHOR

        I got my start on Natural Gas Pipelines, I am all too familiar with the regulations that govern them from federal to state to local agencies.

        These pipes carry some very explosive gas that forces the operation of these pipes to require extensive regulations to protect the safety of the public especially in populated areas.

        When I use to develop the 5 year strategic planning for this pipeline company (specifically operations & maintenance) it is amazing how maintenance of facilities budgets would be cut or pushed back because the IRR was not where we needed to be. As long as companies put profit over safety then some entity must force them to comply at least to some bare minimum standard.

        http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=96090

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        TT, I will not pretend to have nearly sufficient knowledge of the morass of pipeline regulations, but as someone who does a bit of training and assessment for pipeliners, I’m pretty confident that the google results for “pipeline leaks” and “pipeline explosions” would be a big more extensive were it not for regulations.

        I’m moderately confident that we could rationally trim 50% of some sets of regulations without necessarily impacting safety, but I’m also moderately confident that I don’t want my colleagues at oil and gas companies deciding which 50% get cut. I want them to have plenty of input, but I’d rather not leave them to their own devices.

      • HH, while my other (gruesomely longer) comment awaits moderation, I’ll simply say that eliminating 50% of regulation might or might not do the trick. If we eliminate the portion that is ambiguous, internally inconsistent and self-contradictory, that would be a good thing. Of course, there’s a good chance we’d throw out the regulatory baby with the regulatory bath water.

        For my part, I’d rather scrap the existing pipeline reg.s and rewrite them. Start fresh and do it right. (Or at least as right as we know how at present. A big problem with existing regulation is all the patching we’ve done over the years. It’s unreasonable to think that the patching process won’t begin anew after a rewrite.)

        In my view, one of the biggest problems with the federal leviathan is the degree to which it suffers from regulatory sclerosis. We’re long past due for a quadruple bypass. We’ve done it before (e.g., Reagan’s tax reforms and Clinton’s welfare reforms) and the results were salutary. It’s time to do it again.

    • Doug says:

      Anse, please provide us your theory on how the US went from nothing to the world’s largest economy in such a short span. I’m sure it’s a good one.

    • Turtles, we are in violent agreement that we don’t want pipeline operators conducting impromptu barbecues of people or property. (Indeed, I make a living helping operators avoid such unpleasantness.) That’s not the question. The question is whether existing federal regulation is a viable means to that end. The answer is, quite simply, ‘No.’

      Since you are familiar with pipeline regulation, you are no doubt quite familiar with the code defining Class Locations (§192.5 – http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=4672acb687cb5ab44c8be50306f3d0ee&node=pt49.3.192&rgn=div5#se49.3.192_15) (For those of you in the peanut gallery, class location is a semi-quantitative description of population density along the pipeline – class 1 is rural, class 4 is urban.)

      Part of my company’s business is to provide industry with software capable of calculating class location. Despite the *literally* hundreds of pages of documentation on the subject, nowhere does PHMSA ever define the terms “cluster” (§192.5(c)(2)) or “prevalent” (§192.5(b)(4)). This means, effectively, that the bounds of a class 3 or class 4 location are pretty much whatever an overzealous PHMSA auditor wants them to be. Or, conversely, whatever a devious or dishonest operator can get away with. This is simply **BAD** regulation. It’s very ambiguity makes it impossible for honest operators to comply, makes it possible for dishonest operators to game the system, and, in the end, places the public at risk.

      Conversely, the newer regulations defining method 2 for determining High Consequence Areas (§192.903(2)-(4) – http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=4672acb687cb5ab44c8be50306f3d0ee&node=pt49.3.192&rgn=div5#se49.3.192_1903) are simple, unambiguous, fully quantitative, and relatively easy to calculate by computer. This is *GOOD* regulation. There is no room for misinterpretation by either the operator or the auditor. Sadly, the clarity of method 2 HCA determintation is undone by method 1 HCA determination, which rests on class location and the entire can of catch-22 worms that goes with it.

      Existing pipeline regulations are an ugly agglomeration of layer upon layer and patch upon patch of inconsistent rules and methodologies tracing back over 80+ years. It’s a giant, stinking pile of canine excrement. In a sane world unmarred by regulatory capture and special interests in both industry and the federal bureaucracy, we’d simply scrap the whole mess and start with a fresh sheet of paper. And, in truth, we have a much better notion of how to safely build and manage pipelines today than we did 80 or even 40 years ago. Alas, that’s not likely to happen. Instead we live with a steaming pile of regulatory excrement that serves no one but the bureaucracy that oversees it, and that places the public at unnecessary risk. It’s a helluva way to run a country.

  35. kabuzz61 says:

    The comments from the left wing nut jobs are trying to wrap their head around the fact that a majority of America wanted a new path and rejected the Obama and dem path. Not only that, but a majority of dem’s stayed home because they had no one to vote for they thought worthy of their time.

    But instead of contemplating the reason, they try to justify the loss AND actually give advice to the GOP who won and won big.

    Denial is a sickness people. Not many people like your ideas.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Since when is less than 36.4% of voters a “majority of America”?

      kabuzz, you really are a blind shill.

      • Don’t you get it, Owl? “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, [Obama and his party lost].”

        If you don’t vote, you don’t count. Of course, if somebody had pointed that out to all the disgruntled GOP voters who stayed home in 2012, the Dems probably wouldn’t be in the mess they are in now. I suppose it’s a karmic justice sort of thing.

    • Anse says:

      What’s really amazing about it is that the GOP doesn’t really have any ideas, except to be different-than-Obama. Which is funny, because in so many ways, Obama has been pretty much like the Republican presidents who came before him.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Anse – I was listening to Morning Joe this morning and even Scarborough admitted that the GOP ran an agenda free campaign. Their message was simply “We do not like Obama.” Unfortunately, the idiots on the Democrats side ran on “we don’t like him either.”

        Crooks and Liars had a good piece on how the Democrats should have addressed Republicans. They used a short clip from Rosanne to illustrate they point.

      • texan5142 says:

        They preach the same shit today don’t they Turtles.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I got money down that says they will preach it tomorrow as well.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I knew you got your talking points from MSNBC turtles. Figures.

    • johngalt says:

      You are amongst the diehards that look at the final numbers and conclude, “GOP! Fuck Yeah!” Those of us with more than two neurons to rub together see a more nuanced picture. The Dems were defending seats primarily in states that voted against Obama, making them more challenging to hold. The president’s party always loses seats in the second midterm. A lot of Dem-leaning ballot initiatives passed, even in red states. Finally, there is polling like the ones in the link, in which generic Democrats lead on certain questions and generic Republicans on others. But keep doing your victory dance.

      http://www.pollingreport.com/dvsr.htm

      • kabuzz61 says:

        No need for a victory dance. Just watching you guys trying so hard, so very hard to figure out why the loss was so big. In 2006, all the dem’s ran against GW Bush. The GOP uses the same play twice and it worked even better. But still, the excuses and accusations when all you need to say is ‘Obama’s ineptitude killed the dem’s.’ That is the bottom line. And you can tell from Obama’s press conference that he still is arrogant as ever. Going to be fun watching Obama be the party of no for two years.

      • johngalt says:

        What we’re telling you Buzz, is that most rational people knew this was coming. We didn’t know the details, but Nate Silver gave the GOP a >75% chance of retaking the Senate. Just imagine the landslide that could have been had the GOP actually been popular.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        When kabuzz calls Obama “arrogant”…

        …what he really means to say is “uppity”.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…who didn’t see this coming? Aside from maybe one person on this blog who saw something mystic in tea leaves and voter registration in Texas, everyone here would have predicted these results within a race or two.

        Seriously, Buzz…were you surprised at these results? If so, man, grab a history book or fire up the google machine and take a look around.

        You must have been an absolutely shell of a person after 2008 and 2012 if you are projecting this much angst onto the Democrats for something that was a surprise to absolutely no one. After 2008 and 2012, I can only imagine you managed to be both on a ledge and in a fetal position. I’m just glad someone talked you off whatever ledge on which you found yourself.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Good try Homer. When Obama was elected, I always knew he was an empty suit that brought nothing to the table but you all fell for his rhetoric and some of you operate under white guilt. I got exactly what I predicted with him. It is you and your left wing nuts that were taken. The country woke up. They voted against Obama and the dem party. And the sad thing is most of the moderate dem’s stayed home. They couldn’t back their party this election cycle.

        For reference, Captain and I parted ways with GW Bush’s after 2006.

      • CaptSternn says:

        “For reference, Captain and I parted ways with GW Bush’s after 2006.”

        Summer of 2001 for me, Kabuzz. That’s how long it took me to realize zI stepped in something very unpleasant and started working to get the stink off my shoes. Still, better than having Gore as president at the time. But much like in 2008 and 2012, couldn’t we have done better to get better candidates nominated? Too bad Condi Rice didn’t run. But then again, she didn’t, and if she had, I may not have agreed with her any more than Bush43.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…it is true…after all the white guilt of 2008, the country woke up and recognized the error of its ways, and re-elected the empty suit without him breaking a sweat.

        I believe it was you who once mentioned you were a bit of a studier of history, but you seem to have missed the chapter about elections since just about forever.

        Buzz…buddy, you can spin this red state teapot all you want (and the fact that you are trying so very hard is a bit telling), but you are not going to turn it into a tempest.

        I sure do hope your GOP/TP can save us from this high stock market, low unemployment, and cheap energy.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Homer, I know you and your liberals wing nuts consider yourselves the smartest people on this site and even the country, but I beg to differ. I am a conservative but mostly on the fiscal side. I understand election cycles and the whys and why not’s. The usually is a change in the congress during mid terms but the telling of the significance is in the number of seats lost by a party. That is the historical side I’m coming down on. This was a huge shift. Representatives for the most part usually hold on to their seats but when the shift is this high, it is an indicator of the peoples dislike and/or distrust of the party so they would rather have the other party in or not vote at all. That is where you will find your party at this time. Very much disliked and distrusted.

        Clinton will run, but she can easily be painted as ‘another Obama’. Interesting times ahead.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I believe something similar was said after the 2010 elections and the shellacking (or bloodbath) taken by the Democrats.

        Yet, in 2012, Obama wasn’t seriously challenged, and the Blue Wall Chris mentioned just become stronger. Even catastrophic midterm election of 2014 had no movement behind this pretty Blue Wall.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Buzz…I’m glad you are well versed in election history. With that more historical viewpoint, you can put the 2010 and 2014 elections in some context.

        With that in mind, far be it from me to suggest your perspective regarding this historic and unprecedented event looks a bit…hmmm…what is the word…let’s go with you are just trying too darn hard here.

        Maybe our perspective would be different if we consider FDR losing 70+ and 55+ House seats and 15 Senate seats in two midterms. Truman lost 45 and 30 House seats and 18 Senate seats. Ike lost 60+ House and 14 Senate seats across two elections. LBJ and Ford lost 45+ House seats in a single election. Clinton lost over 50.

        If you want to consider the “mood of the country” rather than the mood of people who think and vote like you, you might want to consider why your folks didn’t win many races in “Blue” states.

  36. RightonRush says:

    Guess that’s a big “Screw You” to the voters of Denton. Big Oil and Gas has spoken and what you want doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
    Craddick: Railroad Commission will continue permitting in Denton, not ruling out action against ban
    http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/craddick-railroad-commission-will-continue-permitting-in-denton-not-ruling-out-action-against-ban.html/

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      So national mandates are terrible when you disagree with them, because local control is supposedly best. But national mandates are vital when you *do* agree with them, such as to prevent California from implementing its own standards for chicken eggs, pollution levels, or whatever.

      And state mandates are apparently vital for enforcement on constituent communities in cases like Denton’s. Local control is only for issues unimportant to the dark, behind-the-scenes controllers of political funding.

      Yes, hypocrisy is a Tea Party value.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Speaking of California, how about that Prop. 8.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Yes Prop 8. As a guardian and renowned Constitutional scholar I am sure you know that the 14th Amendment guarantees the equal treatment under the law for everyone. Surely you realize the constitution does not allow people to vote away the constitutional rights of other people.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Prop. 8 was a vote to amend the constitution, and it passed. No rights were voted away. FYI, it was not overturned based on the 14th amendment, but you would have to do some reading and use some critical thinking skills to understand that.

  37. Turtles Run says:

    Another issue the GOP needs to face and control. Across the nation the far right wing is attempting to rewrite history books that give a historical perspective more in-line with their ideological beliefs versus relying on true historians to author the lessons students lare learning.

    In Colorado the RWNJs are rewriting history books to avoid encouragement of civil disobedience. Students and teachers are employing the very civil disobedience the right wing is discouraging because they refuse to allow themselves to be taught that the leaders in charge are not to be questioned.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/colorado-students-employ-civil-disobedience-that-school-board-sought-to-censor/

    • texan5142 says:

      Just finished reading that also, looks like the school board is taking a play from the fascist in Texas.

    • Anse says:

      Republicans/Tea Partiers have tried to portray themselves as the party of civil disobedience, but the truth has always been there, plain and transparent. They glorify military service to a degree that is unnecessary for the proper respect any society should give those who serve; they never, ever dare question the actions of police; and they revile educational institutions, not only because they often have liberals in their faculty but also because universities in a free society are not the friend of power and authority. Same goes with the press, which of course they hate with even more intensity.

      The history revisionists are particularly amusing. Whenever I hear a Republican attempt to claim Martin Luther King as one of theirs, I ask if he/she also supports reparations for slavery and economic equality–two issues King embraced and defended publicly.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        No example will be forthcoming because, as always they talk out their ar*e. But no matter what the liberals are complaining about it all comes down to them losing big time and america rejecting their path. All the whining and sobbing won’t change that. I am trying to be a good winner, but with all these sore losers it is getting hard. 😉

      • Anse says:

        One party rejects the teaching of critical thinking skills. Guess which one!

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        For kitling to understand that, he’d have to use critical thinking skills.

        And at this point his cranium is more full of anal-gland fluid than of any actual gray matter.

      • flypusher says:

        MLK Sr was registered as a GOPer, not MLK Jr , AFAIK.

    • CaptSternn says:

      How about some actual examples of the changes being made?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, why do you demand answers from others that you refuse to offer yourself?

        Oh, right. Because hypocrisy is a Tea Party value.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – What the heck do you want support for? You have never bothered to provide support for your bat-shaite crazy comments and whenever someone provides you support for their documents we can rest assured that:

        You will ignore it
        or You will warp the support into fitting your preconceived beliefs

        It is kind of like your claim the you studied the constitution then turn around and make the most baseless fact-free statements concerning its meaning.

        So quit asking us to waste our time.

      • CaptSternn says:

        In other words, none of you have any idea of what the actual changes are. You just repeat talking points that you think sound good.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – The article discusses the changes but thanks for proving my point about you.

      • CaptSternn says:

        So still no examples of actual changes, like what it said before and what they propose to have it say in the future. Just repeating talking points because you think they sound good. Maybe you should learn to use critical thinking skills.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, it’s a marvel you can still speak.

        The thunderous rush of air trying to fill the vacuum in your brain should slam your mouth shut so hard you’d end up as toothless as kabuzz.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And still no actual examples. Seems that after a few quick searches during the day, there are no examples, no changes have even been proposed that I can find. The left wing nut jobs are all up in arms over imaginary things these days, and they think that is “critical thinking”.

      • Turtles Run says:

        The examples are right next to your examples that the Democratic Congress of 2007 cause the financial meltdown of 2007/2008.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Raising the minimum wage sure didn’t help, Turtles. And democrats have done a lot to keep the economy down and people out of work.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Minimum wage did not cause the Financial Crisis. Notice I said Financial Crisis not economic crisis. That is because that is what it was. Your comment might make a tiny bit of sense if it was an economic crisis and since you have admitted that you know little about economic it is even harder to believe you when you discuss about such issues.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Pretty sure the massive loss of jobs played quite a role in the matter, Turtles. Or do “those people” not matter to you?

        Anyway, HT says there was no financial crisis, the housing bubble and crash didn’t happen. And even if it did, it played no part.

        Maybe you guys should go off in a corner somewhere and get your stories straight. Right now y’all are looking like fish flopping around on the shore.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…I really do not understand why you do stuff like that comment above.

        I guess if it is “funny” to you, I could possibly understand it, but it seems as though you are using stuff like that as some form of a rhetorical argument, and it is just kind of goofy.

        Seriously, what is the point of stuff like that?

    • flypusher says:

      “In Colorado the RWNJs are rewriting history books to avoid encouragement of civil disobedience.”

      So any lessons about the Boston Tea Party would be right out.

      /pauses to savor the sweet, sweet irony.

  38. Anse says:

    I can’t see how this platform would be intolerable to any sensible person of moderate political views. Which is why it could never be implemented, I guess.

  39. Thoughtful, eloquent, comprehensive post, Chris. I don’t agree with every single part of your platform, but you articulate your vision very well and are persuasive in your overarching message. I still don’t understand why you don’t run for some kind of political office. I’d vote for you.

  40. texan5142 says:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/fcking-btch-gop-supporters-assault-reporters-for-broadcasting-during-texas-campaign-prayer/

    Is that you in the tan jacket cat, sounds like something a good christian like you would do.

    • RightonRush says:

      Dan Patrick and his followers are trash in my opinion. Texas has scrapped the bottom of the barrel and elected a certified nut to the most important position in the Texas Gov.

      • flypusher says:

        I heard the rumor that some people (GOPers and Dems) in the TX lege were looking at ways to limit the Lt. Guv’s powers, because of the likelihood of Patrick getting elected. Seems more like the whole barn-door-horse-gone thing. It would have been better to actually work more towards getting Patrick defeated in the polls, and encourage people to split their tickets.

        As I’ve said, I really hope this is going to be that OMG-I’ve-woken-up-in-the-gutter moment for the TX GOP. It will certainly be a Thank-you-Jesus!!! moment for the comedy writers.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        And what will Tea Party hacks do if someone starts mulling “Second Amendment solutions” to the Patrick problem in the way their own fetid brethren have proposed for Obama?

        Oh, right. Hypocrisy is a Tea Party value.

    • Turtles Run says:

      I just painted a hoodie on Mr. Tan Jacket and……………

    • texan5142 says:

      Chris you have layed out many of the attributes of why I live in Minnesota, the state is doing quite well. You have been to the twin cities I believe and the beauty of the region is a love hate relationship, just like Chicago.

      Big winter storm headed in, first one is the funnest for me being from Texas. I still look in awe of amazement at every first snow.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I think your main reason is the huge percentage of white people that live there. You are the loudest racist caller here, so it is on your mind.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz, if someone moves to a place where there are no mountains, does that make them an automatic mountain-hater? If someone moves to a place with lots of deserts, does that make them a water-hater?

        You are so full of shit I sometimes suspect you’re a sewerage catchment basin.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        That would depend on whether you’re fleeing from a mountainous region or a humid environment. It’s not just about destination — it’s about point of origin.

        Maybe Texan has a problem with Texas.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        He did threaten to change his name once.

      • texan5142 says:

        Not Texas Tutt, Texas politics and the stranglehold the christian right have in the state.They preach about freedom from tyranny and yet use tyranny to legislate based on their biblical views.

        …….and then there is this,

  41. RightonRush says:

    IF I lived in the northern part of the country I most likely would vote Rep. However, living in Texas all I see from the GOP is rampant ignorance and willful objection to the most basic of human needs. For me it’s getting close to the nut cutting stage of my life. I have built a very lucrative international business that I am now seriously considering moving out of Texas. My employees are open to moving either internationally or perhaps to Illinois, or points North. This year is going to prove pivotal and to say the least interesting as to what our decisions are going to be.

    • goplifer says:

      $.02

      If any of your employees are in the middle income range and own a home, they might be shocked by the decline in their tax burden by moving to Illinois. Yes, the home price will be marginally higher (though less than you might expect), but look carefully at the monthly payment w/ escrow included. The additional income tax, compared to the decline in property taxes, not only compares favorably overall, but creates a longer term wealth effect that has been a pleasant surprise.

      On the other hand, corporate taxes here are high, 9.5%. They aren’t as weird and hard to interpret as the franchise tax in Texas, but they are high. There is some hope that the Assembly may cut corporate taxes soon, but probably not until after the 2016 election.

      The matrix of dumb, annoying little rules scattered all up and down through the different layers of government can be maddening. It’s a problem for business and the public here is largely unsympathetic to that problem.

      Winters are horrible. Summers are breathtakingly beautiful. Just like Houston but in reverse.

      Schools here have been absolutely amazing.Didn’t know this sort of thing existed. Even better, I’m discovering that our schools, while very good, are still nothing compared to some of the other neighborhoods we could have chosen. Never been in a place where school is a such a huge deal all up and down nearly every community, even in the city. Still find it a little strange.

      And on a related note, the experience of hiring here has been incomparably better than in Houston, with one caveat. Like everything else here it is insanely competitive. The talent pool is amazing, but everyone of any real size has an operation of some scale in Chicago. You’re competing against everyone for talent.

      Unemployment is marginally higher here than in Texas, but it doesn’t provide any recruiting advantage. The unemployment is just a function of the dying old manufacturing base. Everywhere else in the economy it’s full employment and beyond and that makes recruiting pretty tough.

      Lifestyle is fun. On a lazy weekend we walk to the train and go downtown. Hang out at the beach, go a to museum, play in the park, take a boat ride on the river. Libraries, parks, community centers unlike anything in the south. We walk to the movie theater, shops, grocery store, schools. O’Hare is a 15min drive/cab from where I live.

      It’s crowded and expensive. Traffic is tough, but still better than Houston and there are lots of public transport options that let you avoid it altogether.

      The food sucks. It’s a function of the pragmatic, no-nonsense culture. They just don’t care about food and they do not realize that they don’t care about it. Chicagoans think they have great food. What they have is A LOT of food. It’s pathetic and sad. There may be no better place in the world for mid-range dining than Houston. Chicago doesn’t come close. Move here, learn to cook. It’s worked for me.

      Overall, living here is relatively hard. It’s crowded, fast, busy, dizzyingly competitive and aggressive. It’s also incredibly exciting and rewarding. The people generally are smart, sharp, quick-witted, and insightful. Living in Chicago, like living in Boston or NYC is a no-nonsense existence. This is no place to enjoy a relaxed, laid-back existence. This is no place to retire, but an amazing place for a career.

      I’m very glad that my kids are getting the experience of keeping pace in a culture like this while still knowing and loving Texas. Feels like they’ll be ready for anything.

      It’s still my ambition to start easing back toward Texas when the kids are little older, with a goal of living there part of the year by the time they’re in college. That said, I’m not sure how realistic that’s going to be. Don’t know when I’ll be ready to give up the electric pace of this place. We’ll see.

      • RightonRush says:

        Thanks Chris. You have quite a following with my employees, they trust you as I do. Charlie Baker in Mass has assured us he isn’t going to run Mass like a Southern GOP state. Matter of fact, he isn’t a big GOP (as identified at this time) supporter which is heartening. It’s up to the employees, but Illinois is looking very good. For me and my wife, we need to decide on Southern Illinois, Europe, or Israel. At least we have options, most folks aren’t as lucky.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Bye. I wish I could say Texas will miss you but…not.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Asshole pseudo-Christians like you don’t speak for Texas, kitling.

      • Chris, in my experience every place you find yourself in becomes what you make of it. It’s obvious that you have made a good home for yourself and your family in Chicago, and I commend you for it.

        I spent ten years of my life in New Orleans and *loved* it. All cities have their problems. All cities offer wonders. All you have to do is *seek them out*.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Chicago’s a great city. Winters are a little tough for me (I’m more of a Mid-Atlantic person) but I like the feel. Sort of like a smaller, more manageable New York with just as many intelligent, driven individuals and all the benefits of a major city (good transit, walkable, sports, parks, museums, etc.).

    • texan5142 says:

      Chris you have layed out many of the attributes of why I live in Minnesota, the state is doing quite well. You have been to the twin cities I believe and the beauty of the region is a love hate relationship, just like Chicago.

      Big winter storm headed in, first one is the funnest for me being from Texas. I still look in awe of amazement at every first snow.

  42. lomamonster says:

    I fear that the prevailing GOP retort to Chris’s ideas will be – – “This is not the time for us to appear to be reasonable, for it would rob us of our exclusionary hold upon the Federal Government, and would diminish our authority to further ransom the citizenry in the name of plutocracy.”

  43. CaptSternn says:

    Government is a necessary evil. Much like fire, it can be a very useful tool, and it can be very destructive if allowed to get out of control. There is a quote about that often attributed to Geordge Washington, though I don’t think it is verified that he ever said such a thing. Either way, the quote is quite correct.

    Thde tea party moveent is portrayed as being anti-government anarchists, which is a lie spread by those that fear a constitutionally limited government, part of that “… great increase in the socialistic propaganda.” The Confederacy failed and the founding fathers needed to come up with a better form of government, the result being our Constitional Republic.

    The U.S. Constitution is the highest law of the land and the federal government needs to be held accountable to it. There are a few examples of violations early on, but overall it did well until the socialist movement came into power in the 1930’s. The FDR administration and democrats alike went on the attack against the constitution, but the courts held out against the attacks and defended it, until FDR beat them down with threats.

    Since then the courts have ruled against it more often than in favor of it, illegally expanding federal powers by amending the constitution without the amendment process and legislating from the bench, powers not granted to the courts.

    The concept is one of individual liberty and rights, private property which allows for free commerce between individuals. That doesn’t mean unregulated, and we have never had unregulated commerce or capitalism in this nation. Sometimes we have had too little regulation, and now we often have too much. Over the past few decades we have had some civil rights come to be enforced, and others destroyed.

    So, before I get too long winded (is is that now to long “keyboarded?), and with the concept of capitalism based on individual liberty and rights, let us have a look at some of your suggestions …

    Health care – No, especially at the federal level as no part of the U.S. Constitution grants the federal government that kind of power over our private lives and commerce among private entities. If a person wants to purchase health care, they are free to do so when another is willing to sell their time, services and goods. If a person wants to buy services such as health insurance, it is between the private entities to decide on what to sell, what to buy, and at what levels, or none at all. The federal government only has the legitimate power to regulaate commerce among the several states, between the nations and with the Indian Tribes. State and local governments are free to establish state and county hospitals, if their constitutions and charters grant those powers, and best run on a sales tax.

    Cultural values – Government has no place in this matter, at any level. We get back to the idea of theocracy that Turtles proposed under your last entry, that the Bible commands us to take care of the poor and watch out for our neighbors. That is an individual choice, where people like Turtles complain that some will choose to turn away so they must be forced to do as the Bible commands. Same with things like same-sex marriage, group marriages and polygamous marriages, have states recognize legal contracts among consenting adults. Do not legislate morality at any level.

    Safety net – Again, should be run at no higher than the state level, best at the county or city level. That way abuse is more likely to be contained. And no, no “minimum income” where people can retire at the age of 18. That idea is socialism, communism, or just plain stiupidity. A person that has all their needs and many wants met without having to ework will do just that. Then the government has to force people to work to provide for that minimum income, and it becomes, :From each according his ability, to each according his need.”

    Climate change and the environment – Climate change is real, it has been happening for billions of years. Human beings have no control over it. To suggest otherwise is foolish. Might as well have suggested that all Texans get out their window fans and aim them at the Gulf to blow Hurricane Ike back out to sea. Would have had about the same impact on the hurricane as the leftist suggestions that shutting down top economies in favor of promoting Indian and China and redistrubiting wealth so other nations coud build coal-fired power plants. Their “solutions” show that it is nothing more than alarmists wanting global communism.

    America in the wider world – Free markets bring freedom and prosperity, not just markets. The U.S subverts free markets with tariffs and subsidies. Those things should come to an end. Our military is funded to preserve our way of life, defend the U.S. Constitution and secure free markets around the world as much as possible. Cuba is an excellent example, we should end that embargo and that would bring the communist regime to a crashing halt. Other examples are using our Navy to keep free trade on the move.

    Immigration – Enforce the laws. Lawds can be changed and they should be changed to allow more people to come here and work to become citizens, or simply grant more work visas and more student visas. But for those that have disrespected our laws and our nation, send them away, kick them out. We want and need people to come here that respect our laws and our nation, not the other way around.

    Drug prohibition – End it. End it all. This gets back to individual liberty and rights, not to mention supporting bigger and more intrusive federal government and control over our private lives. I think we are in agreement here.

    Rationalizing the tax code – Do away with income tax and replace with a national sales tax, repeal the 16th amendment (among some other amendments), or just go with a flat income tax rate for all with no deductions if not doing away with income tax. And do away with taxing gains on investments as that is double taxation. But your fallacy is that allowing deductions under the current system is some kind of handout or government expense. That is the view of a socialist or communist that believes all property rightfully belongs to the federal government, and allowing a person to keep any of what they earn or own is a government expense. That goes against the very concept of civil rights, of individual liberty and rights, against the concept of equal rights.

    You closing quote by Adam Smith is one that supports the concept of servitude and slavery of those that work by the “1%”, as the left likes to call them. Or if not that, it is that government can control and micro-manage peoples lives because the people are forced to support others.

    That is the design of things like the PPACA, if we are forced to support you by being forced to buy government approved insurance at government approved levels, then we can control your personal life. That means supporting even larger amounts of prohibition and control, not less. That means less freedom, not more. That means less capitalism, not more. That means less free market, not more.

    Bottom line from reading and replying to your latest entry: You are coming across as a socialist/communist that supports the right to use drugs and get stoned for free, and then get free health care to deal with those bad choices, and never have to work a day after the age of 18 to have those things. But then the question is, who will provide those things?

    You can say the government will provide and/or pay for those things, but where will the government get the money to pay or the people to do the work? That means people will have to be required to work for the government and provide those things, which comes back to, “From each according his ability, to each according his need.” Is that what you really what the Republican Party to stand for, to be as far left as democrats, or even more so?

    • johngalt says:

      Ah, yes. The pragmatism of Chris’s ideas runs straight into the wall of intransigence. The party of “no” should stay as the party of “no”. The first thing a revitalized national GOP should do is to gently tell TPers like Sternn that it welcomes their votes but, no, we’re not going to listen to you.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Go ask Dewhurst how well that works out, John.

      • johngalt says:

        In how many states besides Texas would a huckster with no real-life accomplishments to speak of like Dan Goeb, er, Patrick, be elected Lt. Governor? Seriously, I’m trying to think of whether that could happen even in Mississippi or South Carolina. Florida, maybe, because that place is nuts, too, but that’s about it.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Well, the nation elected “a huckster with no real-life accomplishments to speak of” as president back in 2008, and then decided to keep him in 2012. I guess you have no problem with that because he is advancing the socialist agenda rather than freedom.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, are you ignorant of your actions. You fell for a supported Obama with less, much less experience that Dan Patrick but I guess you are smarter then Texas citizens? You democrats used up the ‘lack of experience’ line big time.

      • flypusher says:

        “You refuse to acknowledge that a majority of people who find themselves in bad situations put themselves in it. ”

        Got some actual data to back that up? Or is that just one of your standard delusions leaking out of your keyboard?

      • flypusher says:

        I have no problem with idiots Darwinning themselves, which is exactly what my “plan” would allow.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Of course, flypusher, your plan would also allow “Darwining” someone else.

        If someone released, say, poisonously radioactive rabid armadillos onto Sternn’s land and, rather than developing powers as Armadillo-Man from a bite, he instead contracted acute radiation poisoning and/or acute leprosy, such a person might be able to drive an uninsured person into bankruptcy and/or death.

        And, yes, one would of course always arrange for already-bankrupt armadillo wranglers, to avoid any plush legal settlements from pre-empting such a fiscal and physical fate.

    • johngalt says:

      A scenario for you, Sternn:

      You do not have health insurance because you are a rugged individualist who believes in negotiating for the lowest rates and arranging payment plans while in the ambulance. You have (take your pick)
      a. Been injured in a car accident with severe, life-threatening trauma
      b. Been diagnosed with severe liver damage because of a hepatitis C infection and require a liver transplant.
      c. Been diagnosed with brain cancer

      None of these are really the product of bad decisions or bad behavior, just bad luck. For any given person, being afflicted with one of these is a simply a matter of statistical probability. The treatment of any of these could run to a million dollars or more. Most of us do not have assets of this magnitude and for the average person, paying this off would be a decades-long prospect. Hence the value of insurance. The only real recourse for many people would be to declare bankruptcy, which transfer their costs onto the other patients of those doctors/hospitals. In other words, the self-serving decision of our “rugged individualist” has imposed real costs on others. You rail against leeches on society all the time and here your are indignantly demanding your right to be a leech on society.

      So, how about this: an any year in which you demonstrate more than a million dollars in assets that can be liquidated to cover a catastrophic illness, then you can avoid paying a couple thousand bucks for health insurance. Otherwise, be a responsible citizen and call Aetna.

      • CaptSternn says:

        In the case of a car accident, car insurance would cover it.

        I doubt I would opt for an organ transplant as I don’t want that kind of invasive treatment.

        I had an uncle die of brain cancer. They gave him 11 months to live. If he refused treatment, he would just sleep more and more until he didn’t wake up. There would be no real suffering. If he got treatment, there would be much pain and suffering, and he would still die in 11 months. He went with treatment and it went just as predicted.

        Generally, if you can afford the insurance, you could afford to make payments. For the vast majority of people, they pay in more than they ever get out. For a very few, they get more out than they pay in. It’s gambling, John, and everybody has the right to decide how they will gamble and how much they want to invest in that gamble. That is what those on the left fear, accepting responsibility for tehir own choices, and they can’t stand the thought of not being able to control and micromanage others. Freedom frightens the left, both their own freedom and the freedom of others.

      • johngalt says:

        The idea that most people pay more than they get back is the entire concept of insurance. That’s how it works. You buy insurance for your house, car, health in case you are the unlucky statistical victim.

        Car insurance does not pay for injuries except through the liability portion of the other guy’s policy if he was at fault. If you are at fault, your car policy is not going to cover your injuries.

        And I am wildly unimpressed by your cavalier claims that you’d choose to die instead of being treated.

        Finally, you say that, “generally, if you can afford the insurance, you could afford to make payments,” which is, of course, nonsense. My insurance is about $225/month or $2,700/year. A $1 million medical debt paid off in installments at 5% interest is $5,000 in interest payments alone. To pay that debt off in 30 years would require payments of $64,400 a year. Making the wildly implausible assumption of 0% interest it would take 370 years to pay off $1 million at $2,700/year.

      • Crogged says:

        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 – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong… Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken,” – The Road To Serfdom (Chapter 9).

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Well, JG, you did say ‘no fault of their own’. Now you are changing the goal posts as ‘they caused the accident.’

      • johngalt says:

        Weak, Buzz, really weak. Accidents happen. You hit a deer in the road, a tree falls in front of your car, a tire blows out. You know, accidents.

      • CaptSternn says:

        John, your claims of $1 million for health care is nonsense. Triple bypass surgery runs to a total of between $100k and $150k, a whole lot less than most people spend on their home, not to mention new cars, big screen TVs and other things. You are just making things up as you go because you think they sound good.

        It depends on the level of car insurance a person decides to get as to what is covered. And I do not have homeowner’s insurance. Not to mention what people expect from their insurance. Do you think car insurance should pay 80% of the cost to fill the tank up with gas? Do you think it should cover changing the air in the tires as well? Does homeowner’s insurance pay 80% of the utilities?

        Really weak and lame arguments to destroy our liberty and rights to install a socialist government that has control over all aspects of our lives.

      • johngalt says:

        More than 3,000 people in northern California had hospital bills over $1 million in 2010 (link below). Before you go off on a rant about California, there were many such examples, this was simply the first Google came up with. Many of these, admittedly, will be negotiated down, but so what? Is $250,000 all that much different for a median income family? In my example, paying that sum off in 30 years takes $1,300/month. How many families can afford a mortgage payment and a mortgage payment-worth of health payments?

        You don’t have home insurance, because you call yourself a rugged individualist gambler. I call it mind-bogglingly stupid. It is a triumph of wishful thinking over experience. Good luck after the next hurricane, tornado, or fire. Tutt seems like a practical woman and I can’t believe she lets you get away with that nonsense.

        Your constant manufactured indignation about being forced to be a responsible citizen has long been tiresome. If you think this is socialism, then you haven’t the slightest idea what socialism is. Most Americans think that having health insurance, which was largely impossible for many people before the ACA, actually increases their freedom. It’s only RWNJs like you who thinks it takes it away.

        http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article2574268.html

      • CaptSternn says:

        Excuse me? Tutt does not dictate what I do any more than I dictate what she does. We are equals in our relationship. She has homeowner’s insurance for her property, and I think that is a good idea, not that I have any say in the matter. Her property is significanntly worth much more than mine.

        You have no concept of personal responsibility. Sure, it is a good idea to heave some health insurance for most people, but it is a violation of our rights to have the federal government dictate that we must have it and what it must cover.

        Personal responsibility is making decisions and reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences, not socialist policies that deny the ability to take responsibility and freedom to make those choices.

        You have the need to be coddled, cared for and to be told to make your bed, brush your teeth, wash behind your ears and clean your room. Many of the rest of us behave and act like adults and be responsible for our choices. That is something else you don;t seem able to accept, that others are adults and are not only willing, but demand the right to be adults and make our own choices.

        The left has the need to be up in everybody else’s business. I think that is more of the envy. They are afraid of that level of responsibility and they are afraid that others accept it and end up being successful.

        Those are the fundamental differences between the right and left.

      • johngalt says:

        “You have no concept of personal responsibility. ”

        That’s a laugh coming from someone insisting on his right to be irresponsible. Could you cover a $250,000, even a $100k hospital bill? Could you arrange a payment plan that still allows you to subsist? I doubt it. Insurance IS personal responsibility.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That’s a laugh coming from someone insisting on his right to be irresponsible. Could you cover a $250,000, even a $100k mortgage bill? Could you arrange a payment plan that still allows you to subsist? I doubt it. Insurance IS personal responsibility.

        Guess you need public housing and food stamps.

      • johngalt says:

        Been drinking tonight? Because that makes no sense.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – Doctors like to be paid for their services. Hospitals also, like to be paid for the use of their equipment and employees. They use the payments from the use of their facilities to invest in better equipment and develop new ways to treat people. Your method would bankrupt the medical community. They are not in the financial services business. They cannot afford to finance millions of dollars because their costs occur today not thirty or forty years from now.

        Your method of health care payments is unsustainable. What if a patient dies or is permanently incapacitated then the doctor and medical facility has no method of reimbursement.

        There is a reason no health care economist has ever recommended your method of dealing with health care costs. Because it is truly your most idiotic idea.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, you and other liberals are just enablers. You refuse to acknowledge that a majority of people who find themselves in bad situations put themselves in it. All you are doing it hurting people by acting that way. You can’t treat people as if they aren’t smart enough to take care of themselves. That’s stupid.

      • flypusher says:

        JG and TR, perhaps we can give those whiney, “bootstrappy” types like Sternn what they want, without messing things up for others. If somebody thinks they can pay out of pocket and wants to opt out, then fine. But if they get cancer or hit a deer with their car, they can’t suddenly get insurance. If they ever want to opt in, even without a catastrophe, they have to pass a physical- the no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions wouldn’t apply in this case.

      • flypusher says:

        “You refuse to acknowledge that a majority of people who find themselves in bad situations put themselves in it. ”

        Got some actual data to back that up? Or is that just one of your standard delusions leaking out of your keyboard?

      • CaptSternn says:

        Doctors want to be paid for services rendered, Turtles? Well, that’s just an amazing concept. Who would have thought.

        Let me tell you a secret, when you go to the grocery store and try to leave with a basket full of groceries, the store wants to be paid for them. When you fill your vehicle up with gas, the gas station wants to be paid for that fuel. The electric company wants to be paid for the electricity you use,

        Now here is where it gets really interesting, some of us have discovered the ability to pay the grocery store out of our own pocket from the money we earn through having a job. We can also pay the gas station directly, as well as the electric company Can you believen it? What an amazing concept, actually paying the vendor directly instead of paying somebody else to pay the vendor.

        And you know what else we have discovered? It’s really amazing, and don’t go around telling everybody the secret, but we have discovered that we can pay the doctor the $65 or so for the office visit directlt, from our own pocket, from our own earnings, and the doctor will actually accept it. They will even give discounted prices for not having to deal with a third party.

        It is such an amazing discovery, the ability to pay the provider directly. Now don’t tell anybody else, it must remain a secret, or more people might be paying the grocery store for the groceries rather than paying somebody else to pay for the groceries.

      • flypusher says:

        “Now here is where it gets really interesting, some of us have discovered the ability to pay the grocery store out of our own pocket from the money we earn through having a job. We can also pay the gas station directly, as well as the electric company Can you believen it? What an amazing concept, actually paying the vendor directly instead of paying somebody else to pay the vendor.”

        Wow. Your bullshit and bad logic actually don’t shock me any more. Those are PLANNED expenses, and they are very small in comparison to what a major healthcare crisis would cost. Most people don’t make enough $ to have “pay out of pocket for child’s kidney transplant” factored into their budgets with things like food, utilities, gas, rent/mortgage, etc. Hence insurance.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That is a great idea, Fly, but the far left extremists will never buy into it. It means people would be free to make thier own choices and they would be responisble for those choices. The far left extremists cannot stand freedom, for themselves or for anybody else. And they cannot accept responsibility for anything they do. They must be cared for and told what to do like little children, and they demand that everybody else be brought down to the same level.

      • flypusher says:

        I have no problem with idiots Darwinning themselves, which is exactly what my “plan” would allow.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Obamacare insurance average deductible is $5K, usuall higher if they go with the cheap plans. That means the person has to pay out of pocket to meet the deductible before co-pays kick in. That is really helping the ‘struggling’ person. Oh! Wait! Taxpayers will pay most their premium also. What a wonderful plan. The only people that have to struggle and worry are the taxpayers that pay their insurance premiums themselves. What a scam.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Professor Run: OK class time for our morning math lesson.

        Class: Yes, professor

        Professor Run: $5,000 is LESS than $250,000

        Class: $5,000 is less

        Professor Run: OK class if you are paying medical bills which number would you rather pay?

        Class: Well teacher most of us say the lower amount teacher only an idiot would want to pay the $250,000.

        Professor Run: Great, it seems everyone agrees they rather pay the lower amount. Well everyone except that kid in the hoodie and the other one dressed like a cartoon character, as usual they are in the corner eating the lead paint chips their parents packed for them

      • CaptSternn says:

        Ok Turtles, here is one for your class. How do you feel about being forced to pay $10,000 a year for 40 years for something you don’t need and won’t use?

      • johngalt says:

        Buzz, your logic is heading you to a dangerous end. People shouldn’t be forced to buy insurance, but if they are forced to through the dreaded ACA, then the deductibles are so high that it doesn’t help people who are struggling. Some poor people’s premiums are subsidized while other (richer) people’s are not. What’s a plan for which wealthier people pay more than poorer ones, where there are very low or no deductibles for those struggling people, and which covers the most people most efficiently. Ding! It’s a single payer. Thanks for helping arrive at that conclusion.

      • CaptSternn says:

        And John finally comes right out with it. Destroy the private sector and freedom and put the politicians in charge of our lives, socialism. No surprise in the end as it is the goal and agenda of the left.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, when last I saw, Europeans, Australians, and the residents of EVERY OTHER MAJOR INDUSTRIALIZED DEMOCRACY ON THE PLANET had not succumbed to an abject tyranny in which every liberty was denied and they shuffled in shackles from their concentration-camp barracks to government-run work-farms.

        But you and kabuzz are so busy eating lead paint chips that, perhaps, that’s your current delusion.

      • johngalt says:

        This is the logical conclusion to Buzz’s moving the goalposts in trying to find things to whine about. The ACA is an attempt to provide greater coverage using the existing public-private system, hand-deliver clients to private companies, and wring some efficiencies from a terribly inefficient system. It has been roundly decried on the right as freedom-destroying socialism (as have new banking regulations, NSA surveillance, immigration reform, stimulus programs, and essentially every other thing done by the current president). Frankly, if you are (clearly) not going to be satisfied with this public-private model, essentially identical to those crafted by Republicans in the ’90s, then screw you. We might as well go with the single payer system that, as Owl points out, is used by essentially all other developed economies – all of which spend vastly less on health care than do we. It’s not like you’re going to get even more pissed off than you are now.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Lil’ Cappy: How do you feel about being forced to pay $10,000 a year for 40 years for something you don’t need and won’t use?

        Class: Great, because for those 40 years we knew we were protected from major medical bills and our families were protected as well. We did not force our families to make financially devastating decisions concerning health care costs and the financial well-being of our families because we acted in a responsible manner.

        Class: Professor Run

        Professor Run: Yes class

        Class: Wouldn’t health care insurance pay to remove cartoon character and the hooded one’s head out of their rear ends.

        Professor Run: Yes class. Also, the mental health provisions would cover their sociopath personalities.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Owl – To be fair Cappy did point out that Germany does not have free speech because people are not allowed to fly the Nazi flag. Nothing spells freedom like the flying of a facist flag responsible for genocide or like the Confederate battle flag a symbol of oppression for African-Americans.

        Frankly, I do not mind seeing the south represented by the flag they last flew.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Obama’s stated goals, as well of those ofhis supporters, are to destroy the private system, John. Insurance companies have been turned into government agents at this point. And no, republicans never put forth any such legislation, not in the 1990’s, not ever.

        I do respect that you have finally joined the bird and stopped denying wanting socialism. I find it strange the y’all actually trust people like Ted Cruz more than you trust yourself.

    • Crogged says:

      And where do we have “markets and money” without government?

    • flypusher says:

      “Climate change and the environment – Climate change is real, it has been happening for billions of years. Human beings have no control over it. To suggest otherwise is foolish. Might as well have suggested that all Texans get out their window fans and aim them at the Gulf to blow Hurricane Ike back out to sea. Would have had about the same impact on the hurricane as the leftist suggestions that shutting down top economies in favor of promoting Indian and China and redistrubiting wealth so other nations coud build coal-fired power plants. Their “solutions” show that it is nothing more than alarmists wanting global communism.”

      The same conspiracy theory bullshit. Fortunately there are smart, reality based conservatives like Inglis to fight that dangerous ignorance.

    • Anse says:

      You hang onto the Constitution like it is a religious text that is never to be questioned, like its writers are gods to whom we must show eternal reverence. You’re committing all the same mistakes that fundamentalist Christians make when talking about the Bible. You, Sternn, have become the Pharisee.

      • CaptSternn says:

        The U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times, Anse. Most for the better, and it can be amended again in the future. The amendment process is written into it.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Amendments also happen through societal change and interpretation.

        “Arms” in the Colonial era referred solely to black-powder weapons. Now it doesn’t. But we have, perforce, a more nuanced view than the Founders.

        Except Tea Party shitheads don’t believe in nuance. Or can’t handle it. Or both.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        The first amendment was only for newpapers not radio, television and internet. Ban it I say. Ban it.

        Freedom of religion was mainly for Christian denominations, not Wickens, Jews or Muslims. Ban it I say. Ban it.

        The buzzard is close to being the most stupid person I have ever met.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Buzz, given your profound and apparently permanent cranio-rectal inversion, I count it as a compliment when you foam and fuss and call me stupid.

        YES, the First Amendment was only for newspapers rather than those more modern means of communication, because they didn’t exist. We re-interpreted the Constitution to include them. But we don’t tend to scream loudly about violations of free speech in, say, billboard restrictions, since we agree that construction of commercial signage is an area distinct from whatever speech might appear on it.

        The world is complicated. This is, apparently, infuriating to Tea Party arsehats like yourself.

      • CaptSternn says:

        No, bird, it did not have to be “reinterpreted” to include other forms of media, including the internet. The 1st amendment grants no rights, nor does it grant congress any additional powers. The same goes for the 2nd amendment. As usual, you have everything upside down. But that is how you want it, for the people to be serfs and slaves to the ruling class.

  44. Owl of Bellaire says:

    “Needless to say, none of these items are on currently the Republican policy agenda. Worse, it is entirely unclear what the Republican policy agenda actually consists of apart from opposition to a template of Democratic proposals and pandering to paranoids.”

    Indeed. I’d drop support for Democratic politicians in a flash if the Republican Party had goals and offered solutions like Chris describes.

    Comic-boy, kitling, and the rest of the callow conservative claque will no doubt claim that such policies are those of RINOs and Democrats in Republican clothing (DIRCs?). Actually, as Chris points out, they are rational solutions for those actually intending to solve America’s problems.

    Whichever party offers such solutions will get my vote. I’d have no problem with it being the Republicans.

  45. BigWilly says:

    I agree with you, but you know that we face a formidable challenge in engaging the GOP in a manner that is inconsistent with the core ideology of the party as it is currently understood.

    Driving around Houston I’ve seen some colossal billboards advertising the “If My People” conference.

    http://www.second.org/ifmypeople.aspx

    This very real event will feature speakers who will directly refute, point by point, any argument that would move the Christian Conservative in any other direction than the direction they are currently proceeding in.

    Please observe that this event is organized by the same people who’ve given us both Lt Gov. Patrick and Sen. Cruz.

    In my opinion those that accuse are often the perpetrators of the acts they accuse others of perpetrating.

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