Why Jeb will probably lose

Jeb Bush is being treated as though he is the presumptive frontrunner for the GOP Presidential nomination, a semi-official title that all GOP nominees take on about two years out from the election. In fact, it looks as though it will be nearly impossible for him to win. Here’s why.

This is what it takes to win the Republican nomination, ranked in order of importance:


Republicans have a significantly thinner presence on the ground than Democrats. That leaves Republican candidates woefully stretched as they search for bodies to help man the primary process. Ask Rick Santorum how difficult it is to find a local nominee who can qualify to serve as your delegate in every district of Illinois. Win all the primaries you want. They don’t matter unless you can get delegates sent to the convention.

Every state has its own arcane rules for assigning delegates. How do make sure your voters know polling places, dates, and procedures that vary all over the country? How do you make sure they show up and understand the procedures that determine a caucus outcome?

Winning means mastering those rules nationally. Mastering those rules requires more than lawyers. You need an organized presence on the ground – everywhere. That’s probably the single largest reason that Republicans always nominate the guy who finished second in the previous primary – he’s the guy who has built the most capable organization.

No one will go into the 2016 with a powerful organizational advantage and no one has enough money to buy all the ground organization needed for a national campaign. Having a committed following, even if it’s a motley bunch, makes a big impact. That’s why Ron Paul outperformed in 2012. Bush cannot draw an enthusiastic grassroots following. He will have whatever organizational support he can purchase which will leave him desperately short. That brings us to the second most important resource in the campaign.


It costs a lot to run a successful national nominating campaign. Romney spent about $75m to win the nomination in 2012. Romney spent a lot more in ’08 to lose.

A particularly weak field in ’12 combined with a mature organization made for a cheaper campaign. Also, an assumptive front-runner benefits from a battery of dark money contributions by supporters outside the official campaign structure. Not all of that spending is even counted.

Bush will certainly raise more money than the Wacko Birds, but it remains to be see whether he’ll out raise the other Gray Round contenders. With no existing organization and no presumptive frontrunner, the cost of buying this election outright would be stellar. Fundraising advantages will not be enough to sew this up. Without a strong organization in place and with the price of victory far too high to be simply bought with a check, a fundraising edge cannot save him from his worst weakness – his absence of grassroots support.

Grassroots support

Since the Bush I campaign in 1992, the gap between minimally competent candidates and candidates that the base will support has been growing. In ’16 it promises to open into a yawning chasm.

We have always assumed that a candidate with sufficient money and organization can take the votes for granted. Historically, the nominating race is generally over by the third contest in South Carolina, leaving too little time for a dark horse candidate to build the support and recognition needed to establish himself. The outcome of the 2012 race broke that assumption.

Unlike ’08 & ’12, no one enters the ’16 race with a decisive combination of money and organization. For the first time in decades the preferences of the party base actually matter in a way likely to determine the outcome.

Jeb Bush has zero support among the Republican base. In fact, with his comments and legislative achievements on subjects like immigration and education, he has put himself more painfully at odds with the base than Romney did. This bit of bad news for the Bush & Romney campaigns becomes truly serious when considered in light of the final criteria.


The last bolthole of the establishment candidate in Republican primaries is the assurance that the Wacko Birds will self-destruct. Romney trailed a litany of weirdoes in ’12 without every really facing a threat. Each one choked on their words and actions in steady, drum-beat succession. Dr. Ben Carson’s goofy campaign is already melting and the race hasn’t even warmed up.

It is not easy to operate a national political campaign. No other race compares. If you want to know what the demands of a Presidential campaign do to a person of moderate intellect who is otherwise minimally qualified to be a Congressman, or Senator or Governor, go ask Sarah Palin or Rick Perry.

Neither McCain nor Romney faced any minimally competent competition. Mike Huckabee’s Hee Haw act had broad base appeal, but he was never going to master the basic administrative demands of a national campaign.

Jeb Bush is facing a very different field than his brother confronted in 2000 or that Romney faced the last time around. The Wacko Bird Caucus is stronger than it has ever been. Yes, this field will include a sizable collection of Fox News contributors and talk radio jerks, but they are not the core.

Ted Cruz is dangerous and extreme, but he is no Michele Bachmann. Figures like Cruz, Paul and Walker may be ideologically batty but they are absolutely competent operators.

This year’s clown car primary is likely to produce an ideologically bizarre figure otherwise fully capable of meeting the administrative and organizational demands of a national campaign. That’s a deadly combination we’ve not seen since Goldwater. Figures like Cruz, Paul and Walker are unlikely to disqualify themselves in a way that would matter to Republican primary voters. They may be crazy, but they are not crazy enough to hand Bush the nomination.

When these factors are weighed out, the only Gray Round figure with a shadow of a chance is actually Mitt Romney, and only because he has some administrative experience with a national campaign and a skeleton of an organization remaining in place. And yes, unless everyone else implodes he can’t win.

The person who comes out of this analysis with the best odds is Ted Cruz. He’s crazy enough to line up with every passionately irrational priority of the current GOP base. He’s as well known among Republican primary voters as any other candidate. As ideologically batty as he is, he is a ruthlessly savvy operator who is unlikely to make stupid mistakes. No other wacko bird can stack up the same dark list of qualifications.

Jeb Bush will probably lose because he’s using a well-worn playbook whose relevance has expired. Could he adapt? Yes, but probably the only way a sane, rational Republican candidate can win the nomination in 2016 is to use the 2000 playbook – the other one. McCain’s 2000 campaign would be a blockbuster today.

The atmosphere is absolutely ripe for a Republican candidate willing to unapologetically embrace the four inescapable realities that the base insists on denying. By doing so, a candidate could expand the Republican primary pool in ways that would not only change the outcome, but potentially challenge the assumptions behind the Blue Wall.

Jeb Bush is not that guy. He’s going into this race using the wrong 2000 playbook. We’ll all have to wait for a Republican figure that can finally change the map.

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 Election 2016, Republican Party
262 comments on “Why Jeb will probably lose
  1. […] Jeb! campaign will flame out Date: January, 2015 How does it look: So far, so […]

  2. UG says:


    I came across your excellent blog a couple of days ago and have been reading several posts relating to the 2016 election. This one particularly interested me because Jeb remains the only minimally credible candidate after Romney decided not to run.

    And the analysis in this post seems pretty spot on, except for the possibility that the money could coalesce around Bush early on.

    With a potential wacko candidate, there could realistically be a repeat of ’64. This could happen despite Hillary being a distinctly underwhelming ‘check-the-box’ leader.

    As a neutral party (I’m an Indian who follows American politics), I believe that might not be a bad thing. It may knock some sense into the party and bring them closer to the 21st century.

    Would appreciate your thoughts, on the updated field of candidates.


  3. unarmedandunafraid says:

    As a noob, I would like to say, this is a very energizing community. I was only in Texas once, and loved San Antonio. Houston seemed like an endless suburb. Driving past housing development, then strip mall, strip mall, junk yard, strip mall under construction, housing development, NEW strip mall with signs for fantastic anchor store, housing development, older strip mall with anchor store converted into antique mall, and so on.

    I had a friend from Texas that was hard to talk to because everything reverted to how big and wonderful the subject of conversation is in Texas, whatever the subject. And he seemed oblivious to this, even when I would stop the conversation and bring his attention to this phenomenon. His response would be “yeh, it is bigger and/or better. I’m not apologizing.”

    Of course, Texas politics is fascinating. Molly Ivins was so smart. I remember when she said “don’t look left and right, look up and down”.

    Anyway the point of this comment is to move the gif of that guy dancing down.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Thank yew unarmed for your public service despite Turtles best attempts at visual pollution! 😉

      And thank you for joining the conversation!

    • rightonrush says:

      Well now, we might not be too purity here in Houston but we are Texas friendly and welcoming. However, we don’t drive too friendly, bet you noticed that too. Anyway, welcome unarmedandunafraid I think you will enjoy one of, if not the best blog in cyber space.

    • johngalt says:

      “I had a friend from Texas that was hard to talk to because everything reverted to how big and wonderful the subject of conversation is in Texas, whatever the subject. And he seemed oblivious to this, even when I would stop the conversation and bring his attention to this phenomenon. His response would be “yeh, it is bigger and/or better. I’m not apologizing.””

      And you’ve just described why Rick Perry will not be the GOP presidential nominee. He doesn’t understand why this braggadocio plays poorly outside of Texas.

      Anyway, welcome. Houston can be ugly (though the part in which I live, luckily, is lovely), but it’s also a diverse, tolerant, thriving city that’s quite a nice place to live.

    • flypusher says:

      ‘I had a friend from Texas that was hard to talk to because everything reverted to how big and wonderful the subject of conversation is in Texas, whatever the subject. And he seemed oblivious to this, even when I would stop the conversation and bring his attention to this phenomenon. His response would be “yeh, it is bigger and/or better. I’m not apologizing.”’

      One of my nieces has a variant of this shirt:


      I’d wear it, it a self-mocking manner.

  4. Turtles Run says:

    I would like to say that the past couple of days have been filled with excellent comments. The new members here have really brought a positive tone and good knowledge with them. The comment count has been good and we did not need bomb throwers to drive the comments.

    Excellent Now it is time to PARTY!!!

  5. 1mime says:

    Owl, I couldn’t reply directly under your posts, so here are several responses. The reason I asked about Prop 13 (correctly identified as CA ballot measure), was its precedence for using state-wide referendum to change the state constitution without having to go through the legislature, since that’s such a dead end. It’s application may not lend itself to your single transferable vote, but what other means exist for getting it on the ballot?

    I agree with your definition of a third party being grounded in organization and viable candidates, but I also think there is a place for independent, small, transient parties that focus limited resources on a single issue, ex. carbon tax, transferable vote, gun control, etc. It’s tough to do this from within the existing two-party system unless you have mega $$ like the Kochs and Cuomo.

    Finally, I still think Obama should have been in Paris, but, since he didn’t go, agree someone at the VP or Sec State level should have shown up.

    • way2gosassy says:

      What difference would it have made if he had gone to Paris? There still would have been the same criticisms. This man is damned if does and damned if he doesn’t. Would have made a great photo op but assistance in fighting terrorism is much more substantive. The French did not seem to be too upset about the no show, maybe they know something we don’t.

  6. johngalt says:

    I received a link earlier today that outlines the burden of state and local taxes broken down by income levels – how much does each quintile pay as a percent of their household income on local taxes. Here it is for Texas:

    Lowest 20% 0-$20,000 12.5%
    20-40% $20,001-35,000 10.4%
    40-60% $35,001-56,000 8.7%
    60-80% $56,001-99,000 7.4%
    80-95% $99,001-206,000 6.1%
    95-99% $201k-511k 4.7%
    upper 1% $511k + 2.9%

    So a household making 15,000 pays on average one-eighth of its income in state and local taxes. The household making a million pays on average one-thirtieth of its income. Some of this disparity is probably made up in federal income taxes, but this is pretty disgusting.


    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Disgusting indeed.

    • 1mime says:

      Business leaders and wall street talking heads seem puzzled as to why December sales didn’t meet expectations. I’m neither a tax lawyer nor an accountant, but surely those who profess to be all knowing can connect the dots between income disparity and purchasing ability (hardly “power”). It is a conundrum: when unemployment levels were at their zenith beginning in late 2008/early 2009, business had their pick of employees while racking up some serious profit to their bottom lines while expecting (and getting) tremendously high productivity.

      Unemployment is now 5.6% and falling; therefore, one would think wages would better align with a strong economy. The mystery is why it hasn’t happened. CNBC had pundit after pundit on bemoaning why profits aren’t meeting analysts’ predictions. Maybe they need to do a “stand on the street corner and talk to the average Joe” survey, instead. It ain’t rocket science. When every dollar earned is earmarked with little or no discretion, you don’t buy things you don’t need or do need. Old Henry Ford understood that if he paid his workers a living wage, they would not only be good employees; they would be potential customers. I miss this simple logic and feel for those who are struggling to make ends meet.

      Ironically, even Tiffany’s missed projections… could a trickle-up environment be happening?

      • johngalt says:

        The missing link in trickle down economics is that there are only so many things a rich person can buy. How many houses, how many cars? Going from a net worth of $2 billion to $4 billion does not double the amount of stuff one buys. In a consumer economy, that’s a problem. Increasing wealth disparity, on the other hand, does affect the consumer economy. Proctor & Gamble can make a Super-Ultra-Platinum Tide with Fairy Dust for the super rich (who don’t do their own shopping anyway), but their profits come from persuading the masses to switch from store brands to Tide. Kellogg’s, General Mills, Unilever, all these companies want you in their family. Ford wants to sell you new F150 every four years rather than every eight. For the consumer product companies in the economy to grow – and this makes up a pretty big part of the economy – then there needs to be a growing number of people who can afford to move beyond the cheapest generic product to the mid-range, move beyond the laundromat to your own washer-dryer, move beyond beans-and-rice to burgers and steaks. Greater equality would be highly beneficial to our macroeconomic performance.

      • 1mime says:

        JG, I was being sarcastic…”trickle up”….not “trickle down”, meaning, maybe we’re all starting to feel some pain? Otherwise, you and I are on the same page!

      • johngalt says:

        I realize that 1mime. I was agreeing with you, even if I started that diatribe ineloquently.

    • Turtles Run says:

      What surprised me was that the state of Washington has one of the worse disparities in tax rates.

      Bottom 20% pay 16.8% of income
      Top 1% pay 2.4%

      I always pictured that state as a more progressive area.

      • 1mime says:

        That is surprising, Turtle! Our son lived in Seattle for a bit and said it was a great place (he’s a greenie) to be but tres cher, even tho their minimum wage is one of the highest in the nation (behind D.C.). He found it very progressive in other respects.

        BTW, where DO you find all the entertaining videos! And, a bomb every now and then is good to shake things up….as long as it isn’t about E.W’s Indian great, great…….(-: That got old.

      • Turtles Run says:


        Usually I just Google for different images or I find good ones on Fark.com.

        As for Washington, it is a very progressive state but its tax system seems to be quite regressive. In fact doing a quick survey I found it to be the most regressive tax state, but since i did not view every state I cannot make the claim it is the most regressive. Of course there may be details I am missing.

        Great meeting you on the boards here and you are a great addition to the group.

    • BigWilly says:

      Straight up regressive taxation scheme, sold with the smooth deception of large numbers. 20,000*12.5%=2,500 while 511,000*2.9%=14,819, 14,819/2,500=5.93 or 593% which everyone can see objectively. Of course if you can’t interpret the information allow me to do it for you.

      Actually I won’t. I can’t expect you to understand the mathematical basis for progressive taxation.

      Appeal to emotions. It’s not fair. Look at how much I pay in comparison with that slacker/bum community college student. Then you nudge the guy one rung down. He’s getting one over on you too, buddy. I shouldn’t be singled out for doing so well, you’re punishing success. Why don’t you let the slacker go down the tubes?

      Pigs appeal to dogs.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t subscribe to the philosophy of dinging the rich, but I do think income disparity is real and it is hurting our economy and our working people. It’s been a seller’s market out there for employers for a long time. My concern is that it has desensitized management to the needs of low wage/middle class employees, people who may need the social safety net programs that get so much criticism. People should be rewarded but when they start shipping money out to offshore accounts or avail themselves of fancy accounting in order to avoid taxes, that’s a whole nuther ballgame.

  7. rightonrush says:

    Here comes the GOP debates. Does it seem it’s starting early to anybody else?
    The nine debates and their locations are listed below, from the RNC’s release:

    1. Fox News
    August 2015

    2. CNN
    September 2015

    3. CNBC
    October 2015

    4. Fox Business
    November 2015

    5. CNN
    December 2015

    6. Fox News
    January 2016

    7. ABC News
    February 2016
    New Hampshire

    8. CBS News
    February 2016
    South Carolina

    9. NBC/Telemundo
    February 2016

    • Crogged says:

      Program your DVR now! I wonder if I can set my new Google Translate app for Republican?

      • texan5142 says:

        It is not an app, but a pretty good starter list.

        DEMOCRAT – – – – – – – – – – REPUBLICAN

        Arsenal of Weapons – – – – – – – – – -Gun Collection
        Delicate Wetlands – – – – – – – – – – – – Swamps
        Undocumented Worker – – – – – – – – Illegal Alien
        Cruelty-Free Materials – – – – – – – – – Synthetic Fiber
        Assault and Battery – – – – – – – – – – – Attitude Adjustment
        Heavily Armed – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Well Protected
        Narrow-minded – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -Righteous
        Taxes or Your Fair Share – – – – – – – – Coerced Theft
        Commonsense Gun Control – – – – – – – Gun Confiscation Plot
        Illegal Hazardous Explosives – – – – – – -Fireworks or Stump Removal
        Non-viable Tissue Mass – – – – – – – – – – Unborn Baby
        Equal Access to Opportunity – – – – – – – – Socialism
        Multicultural Community – – – – – – – – – – -High Crime Area
        Fairness or Social Progress – – – – – – – – Marxism
        Upper Class or “The Rich ” – – – – – – – – – Self-Employed
        Progressive, Change – – – – – – – – – – – – – -Big Government Scheme
        Homeless or Disadvantaged – – – – – – – – – Bums or Welfare Leeches
        Sniper Rifle – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Scoped Deer Rifle
        Investment For the Future – – – – – – – – – – – Higher Taxes
        Healthcare Reform – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Socialized Medicine
        Extremist, Judgmental, or Hater – – – – – – – Conservative
        Truants – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Homeschoolers
        Victim or Oppressed – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Criminal or Lazy Good-For-Nothing
        High Capacity Magazine – – – – – – – – – – – – – Standard Capacity Magazine
        Religious Zealot – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Church-going
        Reintroduced Wolves – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Sheep and Elk Killers
        Fair Trade Coffee – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Overpriced Yuppie Coffee
        Exploiters or “The Rich ” – – – – – – – – – – – – – Employed or Land Owner
        The Gun Lobby – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -NRA Members
        Assault Weapon – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Semi-Auto (Grandpa’s M1 Carbine)
        Fiscal Stimulus – – – – – – – – – – – – – – New Taxes and Higher Taxes
        Same Sex Marriage – – – – – – – – – – – – – Legalized Perversion
        Mandated Eco-Friendly Lighting – – – – – – – Chinese Mercury-Laden Light Bulbs

      • rightonrush says:

        I’m gonna start now laying in a good supply of beer. Wonder if the Dems are gonna just let Hillary have the nomination without any opposition.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Now that’s funny!

    • rightonrush says:

      Tex, can I steal that list from you?

    • 1mime says:

      Hmm, no MSNBC debate?

  8. Turtles Run says:

    OT but still severely conservative

    The ammosexual Pro-Open Carry group carried out a dozen simulations of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. They wanted to to to prove that if the staff had been armed the famed “good guy with a gun” scenario would finally prove to all us libby libs that they are correct in their Wolverines fantasies.

    The test was carried out with two armed attackers invading the office but this time with 12 armed good guys (obviously expecting the attack. The scene runs pretty much as expected. In a dozen simulations only twice did at least one attacker get killed. One victim survives but only because he ran away

    One participant claimed:

    “Parks Matthews, 37, of Wylie was the first person placed in the scenario. He fired at the gunmen but was shot in the finger, forearm and back of the head.

    “Problem was, I ran out of ammunition, and they kept coming. I wasn’t smart enough to get out of the way and take cover,” said Matthews, who has undergone firearm training. “But I did better than I thought.””

    Mr Matthews was killed in this simulation – how much worse did he think he was going to do?

    Open Carry has provided evidence to me that safety is not the real issue at stake but only an attempt to enable the gun fantasies of a bunch of Rambo wannabes.


    • flypusher says:

      I see the “good guys with guns” as a break even AT BEST. If the cops respond to an incident in progress, how do they tell the good guys with guns from the bad guys with guns? I don’t dispute that sometimes the good guys do successfully use a gun in self-defense. But those incidents have to be measured against those like the recent one with the toddler shooting his mother with her own gun.

      The open carry folks who bullied people so much that reps were requesting panic buttons in their offices make the best case AGAINST their version of open carry. So you want people to be able to carry guns openly WITHOUT any training and license requirements?? Really? People who are as immature as you are, with the power of life and death in their hands? Really? What could possibly go right?

      • texan5142 says:

        Glad I sold my handgun and do not carry, tried it and felt stupid, do not want to go through life being so paranoid that I can’t or won’t leave the house without a gun. I feel safer not carrying then I ever did when I carried. To each his/her own.

      • Crogged says:

        And there’s an easy and better way to deal with this nonsense. Anyone who drives a car on public roads must have insurance.

        It’s time we start pricing some risk around these here parts, let the actuarial’s do their job and let’s see exactly what the cost of this freedom will be. Freedom ain’t free, but surely this will be just a small price to pay for this precious gift given to us by our Founding Fathers.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I have been around firearms all my life and own several. My Uncle accidently killed himself with a shotgun when he was 10 back in the early 50’s. Respect of firearms was taught but kids are fascinated with guns and as any parent will tell you children do not always do as they are told.

        My firearms are kept at my Father’s home and I have no desire to get them anytime soon.

      • flypusher says:

        “And there’s an easy and better way to deal with this nonsense. Anyone who drives a car on public roads must have insurance.”

        I’d say insurance AND training AND licensing/certification if you want to own a gun. Rights come with responsibilities.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I seems to often that many think the 2nd Amendment is the only right that carries no burden of responsibility on the part of those exercising it.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Irresponsibility is a Republican value.

        See: gun ownership, personal tax burden, federal budgets, foreign wars, corporate regulation, attitude toward the environment, etc.

    • Crogged says:

      When I watch ‘Westerns” from Hollywood I notice a curious thing, but, as usual, this is probably just because Hollywood has always been a hotbed of crazy liberal nonsense.

      Most Westerns are about the cowboy-the cowboy always has his gun. The cowboy goes to the city. Each of the citizens will have a gun, the storekeeper, the saloon owner, the barber: but they aren’t wearing one. Sure one is always close, but the barber doesn’t walk over to the saloon with his gun. Only the cowboy, a visitor to the city, carries his tool for dealing with wolves, rattlesnakes, grizzly bears and that guy in the black hat.

      Many people who like the abstractions of guns now get to face the real consequence of ‘everyone’ wearing a gun and just like the automobile, rules of civilization will take precedence. I have no problem with citizens owning guns, but keep your goddamn rifle in the pickup truck and take your fucking hat off when you go inside.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      The First Amendment comes with limitations for personal and societal safety.

      The Second Amendment should be no different.

      Second-Amendment absolutists are dangerous loons.

    • therequimen says:

      Nice job getting most of the facts wrong. Yes, there were twelve people in each run, but only one of them was armed.

      Furthermore, they specifically asked for people without firearms training, so the majority of those “defenders” had zero training whatsoever. In addition to all of this, the majority of the defenders had very little knowledge about the layout of the office, while the two terrorists had the layout down pat.

      Oh, and it wasn’t a he who ran away, it was a she.

  9. Manhattan says:


    I wanted to ask you a question. How can Republicans build a new base of voters because the current one isn’t winning them the White House? I’m curious.

    The RNC Autospy after the 2012 election was saying things that people have been saying for decades in the newspapers and pundits.

    • 1mime says:

      Goplifer addressed that ailment in his Four Inescapable Realities post (link above). Apparently, mega donors can’t do it by themselves, and neither can Fox News. Is it possible that the American people are smarter than they’re given credit for being? Republicans need to come clean. Immigration is not gonna happen on their watch – it has nothing to do with Obama over-reaching (except that he really pissed them off with his audacity). Same with the environment, women’s issues, jobs (for whom, is the question)voting…..DIVERSITY?!

      I will say this for the GOP. Their base votes. Now, if they would just be content to let other Americans vote, that would be mighty nice (-: Heck, we might really find out how people think then!

      • 1mime says:

        I read that post, and, you nailed it. It boils down to this (IMO): being honest, aka “coming clean”. I’ll give Paul Ryan credit for being honest, even if I don’t agree with his solution. I’d be willing to work with someone like this from across the aisle because at least they are issue-focused. Maybe I’m wrong about Ryan, and maybe Rauner will surprise us and “go big”. But, and that’s a big “but”, it has to be going big honestly; by which I mean, for the right reason(s). Confuse goal with gain and you’re screwed. That’s what’s wrong with politics today. Courage in public service is on life support. Why? Because (IMO, again), serving becomes its own endgame and people forget that public service requires making hard choices which aren’t always easy to explain or sel. If one is not focused on constantly positioning for the next election, it makes it so much easier to tell the truth. And, it may even build trust. Which gets votes. And, gets my respect.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Do you really think he has it in him to do it?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        After Paul Ryan’s 2012-vintage claims for fixing the federal budget, can he really be described as “honest”?

      • 1mime says:

        Owl, I said I didn’t agree with Ryan’s plan, but at least he put it out there so there could be something substantive to critique. It’s like all the criticism for the Affordable Care Act. You got a better way to help more Americans afford quality health care? Let’s see it. Show me the money!!!

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “If one is not focused on constantly positioning for the next election, it makes it so much easier to tell the truth.”

        And our current system of campaign financing and elections makes that absolutely impossible.

        From literally their first day in office, members of Congress are “dialing for dollars” to get funders for the next election cycle, often for as much of the day as they’re expected to actually spend in their legislative offices. It’s a sick system which encourages dysfunction and rapidly transforms protestant politicians into political prostitutes.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree the system requires non-stop campaigning/fund-raising, but, if people aren’t looking for a career in politics, telling the truth won’t be as hard. And, therein lies the problem. I don’t think we’ll see Congressional term changes in our lifetimes, but I am starting to get real interested in term limits. I know…..the vote is supposed to take care of political geriatrics….but, with gerrymandering, 501C4 paks and uninformed voters, it ain’t hapnin. Give em a longer term and then let em go back home, or, wherever. Experience IS valuable but 5 terms!!!! Come on. Doesn’t everyone dread the non-stop phone calls, emails and tv ads during campaigns? It’s enough to make you go read a book for a change (-:

      • Manhattan says:

        I remember reading that one lifer. It would be good for a Republican to admit that racism has caused damage to communities and would make them realize it’s still a problem and people who suffer from discrimination just aren’t playing the “race card” like what some conservatives would have you believe. I never really liked that term, to me it just means “I don’t care what you’ve been through”. It would ruffle the feathers of some Republicans who follow Pat Buchanan more than Jack Kemp but there needs to be a change.

        Do you think progressives or moderates could ever have a place in the party’s future? I know conservatives have been running the show for a while, but couldn’t the moderates have a say too? They’ve been getting purged out over half a century through RINO hunts and litmus tests. They either retired as Republicans (i.e. Charles Mathias) or forced to become Democrats (i.e. Arlen Specter and Lincoln Chafee) to survive.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Manhattan, I love your insight!

        “I never really liked that term [race card], to me it just means ‘I don’t care what you’ve been through’ ”.

        I will be stealing that! 😉

        And “RINO hunt”…

  10. dowripple says:

    Sorry, going OT…

    If we listen to the Pope, then freedom of expression should have limitations when it comes to insulting religious beliefs. (Whether he meant by law or by public opinion wasn’t clear). As an agnostic, it is hard enough for me to distinguish a “religion” from any other unfounded belief, much less know what that belief’s followers consider an insult. Personally, I’ve been told that simply saying “Jesus was a normal dude, and wasn’t the first (or last) to claim to be the messiah” was offensive (although, proselytizing is perfectly legal). Others shit a brick at the thought of having to sell flowers to a gay wedding (and claim “freedom of religion” while doing so). We now have corporations that can be circumcised, ok maybe not, but at least they can have religion, which provides special protected rights.

    I don’t ever see this happening here, but if we were to add some “sacred cow” law that limits our freedom of expression when dealing with religion, how would the courts know the following?
    – The religion of the offended is a real religion
    – The very definition of something “offensive”
    – Damage of the offense (in dollars)
    – etc.

    I think this would all be much simpler if we just developed thicker skin when it comes down to a personal [choice] belief.

    Oh, and je suis Charlie!

    • flypusher says:

      This isn’t a 100% exact comparison, but some Americans have a reaction to flag burning that is similar to those of Muslims who don’t like other people creating images of Mohammed. Yes, no American ever went out and murdered anyone because of it, but there are constant attempts to outlaw it just because a certain segment of the population is offended.

      • dowripple says:

        Good point Fly, nationalism is very similar to religion. Another parallel in your example might be the extreme patriot’s belief in an idealistic (and often untrue) national history. And maybe listening to a sermon is just as spiritually moving as watching jet-fighters fly overhead to the tune of “Rock You Like a Hurricane”*. 🙂

        *Don’t get me wrong, I love Air Force museums…

    • johngalt says:

      There is no constitutional right to not be offended. If you can’t defend your beliefs or they are not strong enough to withstand some cartoons, then they weren’t worthy of much respect in the first place.

      • flypusher says:

        No argument from me on that. To quote Dr. Jill Carrol:” Freedom requires a thick skin.”

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      In my opinion, religious beliefs held by some should have absolutely no rule over people who don’t share those same beliefs.

      We should have no laws about speech, unless that speech endangers others. (Calling fire, not calling fire, etc….) Lives are important, beliefs less so.

      I have an old Time-Life series of books that covers aspects of the art and architecture of a few religions.

      Yes, the book on Islam includes images of Mohammad, paintings created a long time ago in the geographies where the teachings of Mohammad have made a big impact.

      Should I throw that book from my library? If I do, shall I just throw it in the trash? Or is some special treatment required? You know, like when you’re retiring a flag.

      Slippery slope is too mild to describe the direction enforced religious expression can take us.

    • 1mime says:

      Yeah, I read that in today’s H. Chronicle. Couldn’t help wondering if we taxpayers couldn’t be better served by an enterprising “beeper” salesman. Aren’t there security staff in the capital? Isn’t there an outer office for our legislators? They absolutely need to be safe, just like our schools do. But, we’ve learned, guns in the hands of crazy people are, well, dangerous. I guess there’s plenty of state money to go around…..and, around……

    • GG says:

      A bunch of bullying redneck assholes. I used to live in a small community in Kemah and the police there had some of these types come in to the station with their guns and threaten the staff, mostly women at that time of day. Apparently one of them had gotten a ticket for some reason and this group felt that the laws of the state shouldn’t apply to them so were going to try and have it waived by force. That’s when we found out that a group of anti-government secessionist types were living on boats over at the marina.

      • flypusher says:

        There goes the neighborhood!!

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Anybody else see the delightful article about the Bitcoin entrepreneur who renounced his American citizenship to live in the Caribbean, and now is annoyed that the U.S. won’t grant him a visa to come speak at U.S. tech conferences? (I’d post a link, but don’t have it to hand.)

      • GG says:

        Yes. Makes me wonder how their non-crazy neighbors on the other boats like them there.

      • flypusher says:

        “……Bitcoin entrepreneur who renounced his American citizenship to live in the Caribbean, and now is annoyed that the U.S. won’t grant him a visa to come speak at U.S. tech conferences.”

        I can’t quote you and post a link at the same time since I’m on the iPhone, but picture that internet meme of a white cat walking on a deck railing towards a large bald eagle, with the caption “You obviously didn’t think your cunning plan all the way through.”

        Zero sympathy for this guy. You take advantage of the benefits our society provides to get rich, but you don’t want to pay dues to help maintain all that? Buh-bye!

      • flypusher says:

        Here’s a link:


        I can just picture the lecture he could give on the finer points of douchebaggery.

      • 1mime says:

        Hmm, and these boats never developed leaks or engine trouble (-:

      • flypusher says:

        Here’s the pic:


        Different caption, but still applicable.

  11. lomamonster says:

    Looks like it’s fantasy list time again! It has already started out there, and it’s title is “IF MITT WERE PRESIDENT”

    So far, I have seen that there would be no ISIS, Putin would know his place, and some other inane thing about the economy.

    So be concise and let’s see what we can come up with, eh?

    1) ???

  12. Xeranar says:

    They aren’t going to accept the ‘4 truths’ because right now the GOP is made up of two competing wings, the evangelical social conservatives and the libertarian/corporate moderates. Mitt & Jeb come from the latter, Huckabee and most of the TP from the former. Accepting the things they need to win would make them essentially center-right democrats and then it would reframe the argument between the Manchin faction vs. Warren’s faction. Something that the Mitt Romney’s of the world simply aren’t ready for.

    So instead they’ll spend the next 3-6 elections burning out their aging electorate with a dwindling base until the center-right democrats finally subsume the whole GOP party and rebuild it into a center-right party again and let the Democrats move further to the left and establish a more pressing liberal agenda in the US.

    It’s a time bomb they’re facing and they’ve already blown off their hands trying to diffuse the last one.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      “It’s a time bomb they’re facing and they’ve already blown off their hands trying to diffuse the last one.”

      Now that is one viscerally stunning (and apt) metaphor!

    • 1mime says:

      America is a stronger Democracy by virtue of having two viable parties. Having said that, I also favor divided representation, i.e., not having one party in control of both the House and Senate and certainly not including the Presidency. It’s alarming that POTUS has gotten into legislating, aiding and abetting their personal political agendas rather than staying neutral, which they should do. This really does stack the deck in a way that removes the incentive for legislative compromise. Congress’ll just kick the can down the road to the Supremes who will work their magic. Then, there are the lobbyists, large/anonymous donors and activist foundations mixing things up, Like others in this blog, I am still digesting the last election and, though I find politics fascinating, it has also become tedious and discouraging. And, I’m not even a GOP precinct chairman in blue Chicago (-:

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        America would be even stronger if we had MORE than two viable parties. Forcing every issue to sort into a duopoly results in really strange politics and in distortions of the popular will.

        The Founding Fathers were babes in the woods as far as representative government goes. Much development in political science happened after they’d cobbled together our version-1.0 Constitution.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Owl – I (finally) got back to you on the other thread. Sorry…

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Owl, I was contemplating bringing up a third party. Not one the undermines one of the other two, at least not one that pulls votes from my side. ;>) Interested to hear comments on this.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        If we were to use some rational, modern voting method like single transferable vote, rather than our current clumsy “first past the post” metric, then third parties could participate in elections without generating a “spoiler effect” that would serve as negative feedback for potential supporters.

      • 1mime says:

        OK. Tell me more about the transferable vote. What do you think of the “none of the above” option and Prop 13?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        You’re going to have to explain your proposals (to me at least) in more detail to clarify nullifying the spoiler effect of 3rd party candidates Owl..

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sure. Let’s assume we have an election between Sheila Jackson Lee for the Democrats and Louie Gohmert for the Republicans, with johngalt standing in as an independent candidate.

        Now, plenty of folks might be roundly horrified by both of the major-party candidates. (I know I am!) But, under our current electoral system, you vote for a single candidate as an absolute, with no deeper expression of your political philosophy. Maybe I’m really, really afraid of Gohmert, and less so of Jackson Lee, but I rather like johngalt: my preferences run galt -> Lee -> Gohmert.

        However, if I vote for johngalt, who I surmise is far less likely to win since he’s not attached to either of the two major parties, then I’ve not only “thrown away” my vote on an unsuccessful candidate, I’ve also strengthened Gohmert’s chances of winning by denying Jackson Lee that vote (Gohmert voters, presumably, being extra-partisan and loyal). That’s the well-known “spoiler effect” in which a third-party candidate actually helps the party ideologically furthest from her or him. So there’s never ANY point in voting for a weaker, third-party candidate, because I’m better off voting for an establishment candidate in the duopoly, even if that person isn’t really my first choice, just to avoid handing the election over to my last choice.

        However, under single-transferable vote, I still have my single vote, but it is (duh) transferable. On my ballot, I mark the candidates in order of preference: as we’ve posited, galt -> Lee -> Gohmert. When ballots are tallied, we add up all the first choices; presumably Jackson Lee and Gohmert come out handily over johngalt. BUT… then we take all the ballots which listed johngalt as their first choice, and apply the second choice from those ballots to the appropriate candidates. So even though I cast my ballot in good conscience for johngalt, I also still get counted as a Jackson Lee supporter (blech) over Gohmert (urgh!) when it’s clear johngalt isn’t going to win. We continue this process of winnowing ballots for last-place candidates through third choices, fourth choices, etc. until the race reduces to a two-candidate contest, and whichever one has accumulated the most votes (first-choice and transferred) thus wins.

        So elections transform from a simplistic, artificial choice for voters into a way to express their actual preferences *without* throwing away votes. And, once voters notice that, hey, johngalt actually got 20% of the vote despite being supposedly unpopular and “unable to win”, perhaps he or his nascent party will do better in the next election rather than being written off as a useless distraction for hopeless idealists. Moreover, particularly in multi-person contests, we end up with voters able to collectively elect the candidate who is least objectionable / most acceptable to all of them… even if that candidate is an independent moderate rather than an extremist partisan who ran to the fringes (left or right) in order to win a primary election!

        The existing major parties hate the idea, obviously, because it removes their institutional lock on power through familiarity and inertia, and it legitimizes dissenters, and it offers more attention and influence to smaller parties. So, despite the method having been used in many other elections (in foreign countries, and in lower-level contests in this country), it’s simply not going to happen absent a groundswell of popular demand for a method whereby voters can better communicate their desires at the polls and vote for the person they WANT without indirectly helping the candidate they despise.

        So, yeah, I’m being a little quixotic. As all too often, our country is stuck with what doesn’t work just because “we’ve always done it that way.”

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I despise the idea of “none of the above.” It’s the electoral equivalent of the teenage goth who complains about everything without offering a solution. If you’re really that unhappy, then offer a write-in candidate rather than just complaining that nobody is any good. (Or agitate for an electoral system that offers better and, potentially, more candidates!)

        By “Prop 13”, do you mean the 1978 California ballot measure, or is there something more closely related to voting systems that I’ve missed out on?

      • Crogged says:

        Owl, I love this idea. No chance of happening now, but getting the well written thought out there is the first step.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Thanks Owl. I never head the “single transferable vote” name for this system. I believe they implemented that in some local race in California in the last election cycle. Was it called “proportional voting” there?

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        If you run as an independent, remember independants are the largest “group” now in the voting pool. You can forge your candidacy to suite your voters wants and needs.

        If you win, as an independent you won’t owe votes to either party and can essentially be the swing vote in any closely contested issue.

        Of course all of this depends on winning as an independent candidate. It seems that this is more likely than as a third party candidate.

  13. johngalt says:

    As terrifying as this sounds to me, I don’t think the GOP has much to lose by nominating Cruz, and they may gain something from it. Barring some catastrophe on the other side, Bush has no chance to win. He’s not that charismatic and voters in swing states aren’t going to go for an uncharismatic legacy (again) for president. Romney is old news. He lost last time and Americans don’t vote for losers as president. The last of those was Nixon, and that didn’t turn out that well. As The Onion put it, Romney “is betting that the U.S. electorate is ready for bold leadership from someone on his knees begging to be president.” Ron Paul had a dedicated core of Paulistas, but this was only 11% of the 2012 GOP primary voters. Rand’s perm might bump that to 20%, but that’s a very long way from the Oval Office. Jindal? Santorum? Graham? Huckabee? Please.

    Of the relatively sane moderates, Christie is the only one with a prayer. After 24 years of bumbling good luck (Clinton), paranoid incompetence (Bush), and ineffective idealism (Obama), voters will be willing to buy Christie’s image as a no-bullshit, get-things-done, manager. He’s obviously proven he can win a blue state. But he’s badly damaged by his own scandals and may not sell that well in the South.

    So what do they have to lose? Carry this Tea Party experiment to its logical conclusion and ask national voters whether they want Ted Cruz in the White House. Cruz is clever, but it will take more than that to sell him to swing voters. The risk is a Democratic implosion for some external reason and a President Cruz.

    • flypusher says:

      “The risk is a Democratic implosion for some external reason and a President Cruz.”

      Which is why I never, ever, EVER, go into a primary and vote for the weakest or craziest option on the ballot in a bid to help another party.

      I don’t know yet which primary I will vote in next year. The amount of choice offered is a major determining factor for me.

      • 1mime says:

        You know what I wonder, how is it that Republicans feel they have all the answers yet are such complete mess ups at fielding competent candidates for President? I mean, for six years, all we’ve seen is obstruct, distort, harangue. Can they actually RUN government for a nation as diverse as ours? Oh, we’re supposed to be seeing that now – I forgot. Looking at Lifer’s Four Inescapable Truths, what are the risks of having all three branches of government in the hands of one party? Worries me, regardless of party.

        Belize is gonna get real crowded, I can see it now.

      • johngalt says:

        Look at the GOP “Final Four” from two years ago:
        Mitt Romney: Successful capitalist, savior of an Olympic games, GOP governor of one of the bluest states, cuts a handsome profile in a dark suit or yacht club whites. He was forced to tack far, far right to win the nomination and between that and letting out what he really thought about the unwashed masses, doomed himself.
        Newt Gingrich: Sloppy, arrogant, academic with a mess of a personal life, but happened to orchestrate the most brilliant national campaigns (in ’94) in recent memory. Mostly center right, but with equal shares of hard right intolerance and willingness to compromise.
        Ron Paul: Hard core libertarian. Isolationist. Small government fetishist.
        Rick Santorum: American Taliban. Would happily use government power to enforce religious-social mores. Cared far less about the economy than about what “the gays” were doing.

        These are four people who shouldn’t be in the same room, yet were on debate stages together. When the GOP figures out how to marginalize the pure crazy (Santorum and Paul) so their stink does not contaminate the mainstreamers, they’ll have figured out how to nominate a candidate that can win.

      • Crogged says:

        But the 2012 Republican primary debates were awesome television and adding quicker on their feet people like Rand (just a hunch he won’t be the curmudgeon his father was), Cruz and Huckabee make it required viewing. I heard the Republican ‘powers’ don’t want as many televised debates, we need more and I’m hoping for some good ones on the Dem side.

    • Crogged says:

      Running away from what you term as ‘ineffective idealism’ (there’s an ‘effective idealism’?) will not help any Democratic candidate in 2016.

      Right now there’s the ‘fact’ of “President Obama should have gone to France.” and the usual litany of apologies coming from the Administration. Yeah, huge mistake. Maybe.

      There is limited ‘free speech’ in France. Many are going to jail and getting arrested now for speaking ‘in favor’ of what happened in Paris (as determined by whom?) and there are laws on the books regarding ‘anti-Semitism’ and speech. I know the historical reasons-so what? What is ‘freedom of expression’?

      The same is true of Britain, in many advanced European nations there is teeth being added to laws regarding LIMITING freedom of expression because feelings get hurt.

      So let France be France and the French figure it out.

      After Libya wasn’t it a good thing that Syria is Russia’s problem, not ours? The mighty ISIS isn’t getting as good press now days, solely because of our response?

      Any Democratic candidate who ‘apologizes’ for what happened in the last eight years is surely doomed, let the Republican’s tell the citizen’s of New York and California how bad it’s been and flip those states.

      • flypusher says:

        “The same is true of Britain, in many advanced European nations there is teeth being added to laws regarding LIMITING freedom of expression because feelings get hurt.”

        We have our version, not on the books as laws, but when public pressure cancels speeches by controversial people (especially on college campuses).

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        But public opinion is a very different force than formal law: both weaker and stronger, in different avenues and circumstances.

        Public opinion is also impossible to eliminate as a factor, so long as we remain emotional human beings. But the First Amendment, despite the occasional hiccup, has done a pretty good job for our country as of late.

      • Crogged says:

        I don’t agree with colleges and universities (of all places) allowing ‘public pressure’ to stifle speech and thinking based on preconceptions of established truth. This is the ‘log in the eye’ of many progressives.

      • flypusher says:

        I’m with you Crogged. UH had some controversy last spring when Charles Murray came by to speak (wasn’t there, had a schedule conflict). Lot’s of students don’t see eye to eye with him, which is their right. Some wanted the university to not invite speakers like him. I think they’re missing out on an educational opportunity. What would be ideal is to allow controversial people from all over the political spectrum in to speak, and also have a separate event where student groups with opposing views could have a formal (and adult) debate with these guest speakers.

      • 1mime says:

        Obama should have been on the first plane to Paris. No excuses.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Nonsense. The attack was horrific, no doubt. But random terrorist attacks killing a handful of journalists and bystanders at a fringe foreign newspaper don’t automatically rate the undivided attention of the “leader of the free world.” He has other things to do.

        Biden? Sure. Kerry? Fine (though he’d probably do something stupid, even more so than Biden). Ambassador Hartley certainly ought to (and presumably did) make a prominent appearance.

        Obama should express his condolences, as he did, and carry on with his job, as he did.

      • flypusher says:

        Seems to me that’s a suitable task for a VP.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I’m not offended he didn’t go Owl, but I think it would have been a nice gesture of solidarity. And we could use some French goodwill towards Americans. Not on the same horrific scale, but I’m sure the French were greatly traumatized as their version of 9-11.

        To quote/paraphrase Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, “social protocol states when a friend is upset, you offer them a hot beverage, such as tea.”

        France could use some hot tea from us also.

    • 1mime says:

      Let’s talk about who the Dems might offer. Why not Hillary and Julian Castro? He’s southern, hispanic, has experience running a large city plus his HUD experience (however nascent), is very popular in his home state with loads of charisma and can be in two places at once (he’s a twin!)….Talk about the American “dream”…and, he certainly has immigration experience. Maybe we’re looking in all the wrong places here. Whadda ya think?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Well 1mime, I personally like Julian and think he is a real up and comer. Question is, does Hillary think she needs him? If for some strange reason the Hispanic vote is a tossup, she will need him and pick him to get her over the hump. My guess is the polling data will show she has a solid core of the Hispanic constituency in her corner so she will be hunting elsewhere for a dog and pony show running mate that will shore up a constituency/demographic she is weak on. And per my commentary elsewhere, it will most likely be some not too old White dude slightly right of center.

      • rightonrush says:

        I think Hillary would be smart to run with Julian. Lets face it, she needs a young vibrant running mate and one that can pull in the Latino vote.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I like Julian as well. He would be only 42 when the next election begins. His age may be a factor. Though running a large city and working in the Cabinet does bring some strong credentials.

        He definitely would add excitement to the ticket. Clinton is many things but she is no Clinton.

    • 1mime says:

      Owl and Unarmed – Let’s do have a serious discussion about third parties. I’m sure we have some serious pundits in this group who can tell us where this concept works well (or, works at all). What constitutes a “third” party in your view? Are we talking permanent third party or transient (a better organized/funded version of We, the People) or the Tea Party? Do you consider the Tea Party a legitimate third party? So is it ideological or what is the defining characteristic? I’d like to hear what you think.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        1mime – I too would like to hear other thoughts on this. There was a group, and I can’t remember the name that proposed backing just a few Independents could break the logjam by brokering deals with the two poles. This would be better than a third party that would syphon votes from one or the other party. IMO. Of course more than a few would have to be elected now that both houses are controlled by the Republicans.

        In my opinion The Tea Party is not a third party. At least not yet. I wonder what Republicans that are more moderate think about the TP.

        When I imagine a system of three Parties, I wonder if it would marginalize those on either end of the political spectrum. And feeling marginalized, become dangerous.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        To me, a “political party” is an organized, independent group which is coherent enough to express its own beliefs in a platform statement (and in which, one would hope, candidates actually can support that platform rather than ignoring it as an inconvenient embarrassment!), and which runs its own candidates for offices at a variety of levels.

        So, sure, the Reform Party was a third party — and, nominally, still exists, since it had candidates for the 2012 presidential contest, though I don’t know if it ran for any lower offices in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, or Texas, where it still has active state affiliates. Most of the rest of us would probably view the Reform Party as “transient”, since their day in the sun is long past.

        The Tea Party is not a “legitimate” third party. Rather, it’s a malignant cancer eating at the body of the Republican Party. To be more formal, it’s a dissident group trying to take over the machinery of the Republican Party from within — but it has no formalized platform (a factor Sternn used to take regular advantage of in avoiding difficult challenges) and does not “officially” anoint candidates of its own, rather trying to promote or sway candidates within the existing system.

        So, to me, the defining characteristic of a political party is actually not ideology, but organization.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        unwarmedandunafraid — I seem to remember a group like the one you state, which proposed running a mixed ticket of one Republican and one Democrat as a sort of “unity party” in a fairly recent election. As I recall, it was never more than a pipe-dream, since no rational candidate from either party would have been willing to burn bridges by joining such a “spoiler” effort, they simply didn’t have the infrastructure necessary to generate or run a fifty-state campaign, and they were doomed to failure since the battle over who was “on top” and who settled for the bucket of warm spit would have destroyed any false “unity” anyway.

        I can’t even find their name with a quick web search. That’s a spectacular kind of oblivion in the modern era. 🙂

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        It’s unarmed not unwarmed dadgumit!!! ;<)

  14. flypusher says:

    An interesting poll, with the story focusing on this question: “Do you hope to see a female US President in your lifetime?”

    Respondes broken down by party (D/ R/ I) and gender:


    What piques my curiosity (and isn’t included) would be the answers to “why yes?” or “why no?”

    So in my case (female Indy) the answer is yes. It is yes because the glass ceiling is still there, and events like 1st female “_______” are the blows that help destroy it.

    • johngalt says:

      I hope to live to see an effective president again. I think we’ll see a female president in the near future, maybe the very near future.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        To live to see an effective president, you’ll have to live to see a responsible Congress.

        And that’s simply not going to happen under our current system of funding, campaigns, and elections.

      • texan5142 says:

        Huntsman would make a good potus.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Warren/Huntsman! There’s the ticket!

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I know we like to dream here, but realistically, Hillary (if she is the Democratic nominee as presumed) will pick a running mate based on cold hard calculations to maximize and suck in as many of the 65 – 80% of the non wingnut vote and to entice the oh so elusive (and clueless) ADHD addled bi-polar shallow “swing vote”. So a Clinton-Warren ticket is too “librul” and not “mainstream” enough to be viable. And too estrogen rich for the electorate even in 2016.

        Hillary will cookie cutter it and parade a “fresh faced” (no retreads), middle aged, White, center-right, pro-military running mate from a Southern state if possible, trophy running mate. Jim Webb? If she is possibly bold enough, she may even choose a moderate Republican. Rob Portman?

        Though since we are dreaming, I propose a Hillary/Michelle (Obama, of course!) ticket just for the Schadenfreudian pleasure of seeing wingnut heads explode en masse everywhere in unison upon announcement.

      • johngalt says:

        You’ve got it right, bubba, though she won’t pick a Southerner unless he’s from Florida or Virginia (maybe NC), because the VP might make a little difference in his home state, but not enough to make up those kinds of margins.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So, again, Clinton/Webb looks likely. We’ll see how prescient this computer-clatsch is in 18 months or so.

      • Turtles Run says:

        If Cruz is the GOP POTUS nominee how likely would it be that a Clinton or any other Democratic ticket tries to pick up a Hispanic VP choice?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Turltes, I’m not sure if Hillary or any Democrat is too worried about Cruz capturing a significant percentage of the Hispanic vote. Far right wing American Cubans are not representative of the majority of the American Hispanic voting bloc and they are a very small percentage of the American Hispanic population. I give Hispanics more credit for not blindly supporting a Hispanic sounding surname. Just like Blacks having no stomach for a teabagging Allen West or a conservative Herman Cain. It’s been the issues and policies and not the ethnic affinity. I guess your first hand experience you recounted with Mormons and their support for Romney has you a little nervous/soured/cynical?

    • rightonrush says:

      Perhaps because Republican ladies follow in the footsteps of Phyllis Schlafy? “Distraught that women are outpacing men in college enrollments, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly took to WorldNetDaily this week to float the idea that colleges should enforce a gender quota to even out admissions to the benefit of men. Responding to a 2010 New York Times article, Schlafly wondered if colleges should set male admissions quotas to ensure that student bodies are “half women and half men.” – See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/phyllis-schlafly-introduce-male-quotas-and-end-student-loans-reduce-female-college-enrollmen#sthash.Ao4kvwwb.dpuf

      • flypusher says:

        If you’re going to have a gender quota for college, then to be fair you should have one for corporate boardrooms, legislative bodies, etc.

        Somehow I don’t think she’d be down with that.

      • rightonrush says:

        No, I don’t think Miss Phyllis would be down with that at all.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Hypocrisy is a Republican value.

      • TheSteelGeneral says:

        I would be okay with a 50-50 college population if it was equally enforced across ALL schools, including MIT, all med schools, B-schools, engineering and of course …. West Point and Annapolis. Bet Phyllis wouldn’t agree to that neither.

    • 1mime says:

      And, my question would be, ‘why not:?

  15. rightonrush says:

    What about Bob Corker. He seems extremely sane and a moderate. I remember hearing some talk about him running 2016.

  16. bubbabobcat says:

    Wingnut clown car filling up fast already. With the usual suspects. Mike Huckabee who is ok with his son torturing and strangling a stray dog and then trying to cover it up, (surprise) is hypocritically not too enamored of powerful influential Black people.

    “Huckabee describes the Grammy Award-winning Beyoncé’s lyrics as ‘obnoxious and toxic mental poison.’ ”


    Yup, those “obnoxious and toxic mental poison” lyrics by Beyoncé that promote sex in a stable marriage. That nasty Beyoncé! Eye roll.

    “Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it.”

    From “All the Single Ladies”.

    • BigWilly says:

      I think that Huck’s selection of who to criticize is worth criticism, however I agree with his criticism of popular culture. Criticism of Huck begins with him standing shoulder to shoulder with Ted “Wang Dang, Sweet Poontang” Nugent.

      A bleeding hypocrite.

      Can anyone find a melody in that “solo?”

      • rightonrush says:

        Yep, old shitty britches draft dodging Ted and Huck are cut from the same trashy cloth.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yeppers BW. Excellent point.

        Crappy (pun intended) music and lyrics (if you want to call that “music” or “lyrics”) from the guy who openly admitted he crapped in his pants and pretended to be mentally unbalanced to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War and is now somehow a darling of the right and a “patriot” who “supports the military”?

        And THAT is not “obnoxious and toxic mental poison”?

        Hypocritical cognitive dissonance at its finest.

      • easyfortytwo says:

        There is also a video out there that shows Huckabee performing “Cat Scratch Fever” with Nugent on Huckabee’s nationally broadcast tv show. The song begins “Well, I make the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand,” and then gets more explicit. They are not singing about a cat.

      • flypusher says:

        Nice double standard. There’s lots of vulgarity in pop culture, and I choose not to partake of it. But it’s very hypocritical to call out hip hop (or however you classify Bey) and give some of the sleazier elements of rock a pass.

      • TheSteelGeneral says:

        Thanks for that one about Toxic Ted. Perhaps you could make an Attack Video about it?

    • dowripple says:

      Well, I absolutely have to get my hands on “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy”. That sounds exactly like what this country needs. 🙂

      • rightonrush says:

        I think Huck is just out to sell more books. I look for Sarah to jump in at any time. Surely the free money she bilks from the goobers is getting low.

  17. stephen says:

    Cruz scares the hell out of me. If he wins the nomination then I will vote Democrat in the general election for sure. He is a master flim flam artist and with out any scruples in my opinion. Very dangerous and predicable that he will always do what is best for him and the heck with anything or anyone else. Wing nut politics has not won on the national level. I think the GOPLifer’s idea of trying to tell the truth is worth a try. But he is probably right that none of the current potential candidates have the macho to stand up to the nut brigade in the GOP.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Cruz seems to me the guy vying most successfully to fulfill journalist Harrison Salisbury’s 1971 comment: “Sinclair Lewis aptly predicted in It Can’t Happen Here that if fascism came to America it would come wrapped in the flag and whistling ‘The Star Spangled Banner.'” (No, Sinclair Lewis never said “wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”, alas.)

  18. johnofgaunt75 says:

    Given the number of “base” candidates we are likely to see in 2016, don’t you think that will split the right-wing vote and allow the more moderate, traditional candidate to unite the traditional Republican vote and take the nomination? Isn’t that what essentially happened in 2008 and 2012?

    This, of course, assume that traditional Republican wing of the party unites early under a single candidate.

    • goplifer says:

      That’s what the Gray Round candidates are counting on and it could theoretically happen, I just think it won’t this time. Here’s why.

      Among the Wacko Birds, there are really only two candidates who possess these three traits:

      1) Full compliance with the base’s wildest demands
      2) Reasonable ability to raise money
      3) Intellectual capacity/discipline to avoid self-immolation

      That’s Cruz and Walker. Paul comes close, but he is too near to being a real Libertarian for the Tea Party’s “libertarians” to accept him.

      As a contrast, Huckabee, Perry, Carson, Jindal etc etc etc can all be expected to commit rhetorical seppuku before Christmas rolls around. Whichever of them hasn’t officially quit will be polling single digits by the time we get to New Hampshire.

      By the way, the last GOP primary contender who met those three characteristics was Barry Goldwater in ’64. That’s what makes this a really interesting and unique primary race.

      Best guess is that Cruz outpolls Walker among the base. They both love white Protestant suburban Jesus super-much and they both deeply believe all the crazy shit on FoxNews. However, Cruz has better name recognition, he’s smarter, and he’s far more clever. Cruz has also built a much more rabid and organized following across more of the country.

  19. lomamonster says:

    Against a Clinton/Warren ticket, all GOP bets are off anyway. And that will happen if the GOP starts to gain any appreciable momentum. The girls will rock the boat for another 16 years!

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Much like the faithless elector who voted for a Bentsen/Dukakis ticket, I’d far rather flip that to a Warren/Clinton pairing, though that’s obviously not going to happen as an actual offering.

      I’d salivate over a Warren/Webb pairing, though. Warren/Franken would be another unlikely fantasy. Warren/Manchin?

      Warren/Clooney would be hilarious for the press attention.

      • objv says:

        You’ll have to pass a Warren candidacy by ROR since he tends to get especially irate about people making false assertions.. Warren claimed Native American ancestry at least twice. First, she had herself listed as a woman of color on a minority law teacher list in the faculty directory of the Association of American Law Schools.This directory was often referred to when making hiring decisions. Secondly, she told Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania that she was Native American. This led to both universities making federal filings regarding faculty diversity.

        Warren had no claim to Native American ancestry besides family lore. Unfortunately, it turned out that her great grandfather was not a American Indian. Newspaper reports that her great grandfather shot and killed an Indian. I see how it was easy for her to get confused.


      • desperado says:

        You do realize that the only people who care about that are the loonies who still obsess over Obama’s birth certificate, don’t you?

      • objv says:

        Oops, I made a mistake. Warren’s great grandfather did not kill the American Indian; he only shot and wounded him. The great grandfather was described as “white” in the newspaper article.

      • texan5142 says:

        You need to check your sources ,

        “Jacobson is author of the law blog, .[16] As of January 2011, Legal Insurrection was ranked number 24 in politics and number 67 overall by Technorati[17] and number 7 for top legal blogs by Avvo.[18]

        Jacobson’s writing on Legal Insurrection has been referenced by The Atlantic Wire,[19] The National Review,[20] The Hill,[21] New York Magazine’s “Daily Intel”,[22] The Christian Science Monitor,[23] The Boston Herald,[24] Rush Limbaugh,[25] The New York Times,[26] Gothamist,[27] CBS News,[28] The Wall Street Journal,[29] Investor’s Business Daily,[30] The Washington Times,[31] AOL News,[32] The Week,[33] and others.”

        Your information is coming from a hard right wing blog Legal Insurection that happens to run your source link, and that 19 of the source material are opinion pieces from their main source Legal Insurrection. 10 or so of the source material links are non existent (Thoughts From Polly’s Granddaughter). The links to Boston Globe are about half columnist that are expressing their opinion with no source links to their information. I could go on, but I think you might get the picture now.

      • texan5142 says:

        WTF is your hang up with Warren. My Mom told us that our Great Great Grandfather was a doctor married to a full blooded Cherokee, I can not prove it and I have never known my Mom to be a liar. Let it go, you are acting like a fool. Warren probably truly believed the stories she was told by her loved ones. Much like most Christians believe the lie of indoctrination that is religion because Mommy and Daddy said it was true.

      • Crogged says:

        I told my daughter she is “French African” and got in trouble when she proudly told her junior high friends. Everyone writing here seems whole, then we describe politicians as if the die was cast back when their parents lied to them about how special they are………….

      • rightonrush says:

        Actually OV I’m fine with Warren. She just repeated a story she was told growing up. I seriously doubt that being an Indian was in vogue while she was growing up, so she had no reason to believe she was being told a tall tale. Lots of kids are told family legends whether they are true or not.

      • objv says:

        Desp, You must have missed the fireworks a couple days ago. ROR blew a fuse over Cap’s claim to have Native American ancestry. Someone supposedly dug up Cap’s birth certificate which listed white parents. ROR made some nasty allegations on the basis of information some stalker had posted in the past and called Cap a liar among other things.

        Cap, in turn, became extremely angry. (That post has been removed.) Cap explained that an adoption agency had given his adoptive parents information about his biological parents and grandparents. This information listed Native American, Irish, Dutch and English as ancestry.

        The long and short of it is that Cap and Tutt have decided to leave this blog. I don’t blame them. Digging up information about birth certificates and posting information leading to a street view of Cap’s house meets the definition of stalking. Cap and Tutt are not public figures. They did not deserve this. What next? Someone calling Cap’s parents or employer? Someone showing up at Tutt’s door?

        I thought the whole point of this blog was to have sane political discussions. Creepy stalking behavior shouldn’t be part of this.

      • objv says:

        ROR, If you don’t see the hypocrisy in your treatment of Warren vs. Cap, heaven help you.Warren used unsubstantiated rumors which Harvard used in federal filings and to advertise diversity in its faculty.

        Cap used written information provided by an adoption agency. He was making the claim on a blog – not to the federal government.

        For crying out loud, RoR, you stepped in your own doodoo and are not even trying to clean it off your shoe. The smell is overwhelming.

      • rightonrush says:

        No dear, ROR did not blow a fuse, I just called Sternn out on a lie and HE blew his fuse. Funny thing about liars, when they are caught it makes them rabid. Nobody threatened Sternn’s family or “stalked” Sternn. You are really quiet the drama queen.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        objv, if you say something that you believe is true but is not, then are you lying?

        And how does that relate to complaints about George W. Bush and his statements about “weapons of mass destruction” in the Iraq War?

        I confess to a sick sort of curiosity about whether you will go full conspiracy-theorist on us about WMDs, make false and finicky distinctions by over-parsing a bunch of political statements, or just run away from the question entirely.

      • johngalt says:

        Not a single person who cares about Warren’s “transgression” here would vote for her for any reason, so it is a non-entity. It’s like asking birthers whether that was the issue that kept them from voting for Obama.

      • johngalt says:

        Owl, you’re really suggesting Al Franken as the VP would be desirable? Really?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        I called it an unlikely fantasy, didn’t I? I do like Franken in many ways, though I’m sure I don’t know as much about him as I ought. And I’ll confess part of it came over looking at a list of likely contenders and pondering which combinations sounded good, in the sense of euphony as much as of practicality.

      • johngalt says:

        Well, he is good enough, he is smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.

      • objv says:

        ROR wrote: Actually OV I’m fine with Warren. She just repeated a story she was told growing up.

        ROR, Texan, bubba, and Owl: Warren did not just repeat a story; she used a family rumor in order to list herself as a “woman of color” in a directory used by universities for hiring purposes. Even if family lore had been correct, Warren would not have met the criteria needed to qualify as a Native American. At best, she could have only claimed a distant ancestor; she did not belong to any tribe and had no cultural experience as an American Indian.

        ROR, if you are fine with Warren repeating a story she heard while growing up, why are you calling Cap a liar for relying on information he received from an adoption agency?

      • objv says:

        As far as adoptions are concerned, a friend who had been adopted gave me some useful information about birth certificates.

        Here is a link:

        Here is what happens during the adoption:

        “The adoption certificate will be used by the Registrar to create a new birth record. This will list the new adopted information, i.e. the names and information of the adoptive parent(s) as the legal parents of the child. The child’s birth date and other details may or may not remain as listed, depending on the circumstances of the birth. Information about the biological parents will be removed from the official record, and the new information regarding the adoptive parents will officially replace the original birth records, if any.”

        Thus, Cap’s parents would have been listed as white on his birth certificate even though they were not the biological parents.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So, objv, you’re opting for the coward’s solution?

      • objv says:

        Owl, Cowards solution? I don’t understand. Please explain.

        Btw, I figured out what you played in Macbeth. It had to have been one of the witches. Am I right?

        “Double, double toil and trouble;
        Fire burn, and caldron bubble.”

      • Xeranar says:

        Every time somebody brings up the ‘Elizabeth Warren claimed to be a native’ they fail to ever actually bring something of serious substance. Just a series of quasi-substantiated claims made by right-wing individuals putting forward stories that tie loosely into any factual position.

        In other words: Keep riding that rumor train as long as hard as you can. It didn’t work when she was elected senator, it won’t work if she runs for the presidency.

      • Turtles Run says:


        I think Franken would do a very good job as a VP. He is intelligent (Harvard Grad – Poli Sci) and as far as I know he has not done or said anything controversial. The people in his state chose to re-elect him and his stance on issues is one I agree with.

        He would never fly because he is a true liberal and his comic career would be used against him. Why do you think he would not be a good addition to any ticket?

      • johngalt says:

        “He would never fly because he is a true liberal and his comic career would be used against him. Why do you think he would not be a good addition to any ticket?”

        Did you need more reasons? He lacks gravitas, barely won his Senate election in Minnesota, is from Minnesota (a safe Dem state), brings no geographic or demographic diversity, spent a lot of years on a late night TV show, and was sodomized by a gorilla in Trading Places.

      • objv says:

        Xeranar, oh dear, unfortunately you have arrived in the midst of a family squabble. Believe it or not, I am not all that concerned about Warren’s purported Cherokee heritage. Hypocrisy is the main issue here.

        ROR who plays the role of our resident cantankerous, old codger called another contributor a d*** liar for claiming Native American heritage. As it turns out, Elizabeth Warren’s claim to being an American Indian were much more tenuous.

        There is no doubt that Elizabeth Warren misrepresented herself when she should have known better in the occasions I mentioned above.

        I would gladly put this matter to rest if only ROR would write a note of sincere apology to the aggrieved party. I suspect that I might as well wait until h*** freezes over. So, I am in the process of girding up my loins, battening down the hatches and preparing for the long haul. When Warren’s name is mentioned, I plan on bringing up her sneaky, lying ways.

        Welcome to the blog, Xeranar.

      • johngalt says:

        objv, if you need a couple of paragraphs to explain why you’re harping on Warren, then it’s time to put it to rest. Nobody else cares. ROR got his panties in a bunch and Sternn, ever the victim, took his ball and went home. It’s done.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Yes, objv, the coward’s solution. I thought I was pretty damn clear, but you’re assiduously ducking what should be easy questions. Here, let me repeat, though I doubt that’ll make it any easier for you to read or harder for you to dodge.

        objv, if you say something that you believe is true but is not, then are you lying?

        And how does that relate to complaints about George W. Bush and his statements about “weapons of mass destruction” in the Iraq War?

        I confess to a sick sort of curiosity about whether you will go full conspiracy-theorist on us about WMDs, make false and finicky distinctions by over-parsing a bunch of political statements, or just run away from the question entirely. (That, of course, being “the coward’s solution”. Gonna try it again?)

      • objv says:

        Owl, I thought I was being perfectly clear.

        Rulmors of a distant Native American ancestor did not entitle Warren to claim that she was a “woman of color” or an American Indian. She had absolutely no documented proof of any ancestor being a Native American and even if she did have a trace of NA blood, it would not have been enough to meet criteria for belonging to any tribe.

        To be blunt, either she lied or she was too stupid to realize that claiming minority status should be based on more than her Aunt Bea’s tales of high cheekbones. We know Warren, as a lawyer, was not lacking in intelligence to process information. Admit it. She lied.

      • johngalt says:

        objv, Who’s your father? You know this how? Because that’s what they’ve always told you? Maybe you kind of look like your dad? Did you research it? Ask for genetic tests?

        It’s not an esoteric question. Somewhere between 5-10% of people were not fathered by the person they think is their dad. That’s a heck of a lot of people “lying” about their origins.

        (For the record, I was not surprised when genetic testing, done out of curiosity as a geneticist, demonstrated that I am, in fact, my father’s son.)

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Keep beating that dead horse OV. You’re good at that.

      • objv says:

        JG: Ha! You made me laugh. I know I am my father’s child, because unfortunately, I inherited his distinctive, large nose. I also inherited my pretty blue eye color from his side of the family, so it’s rather a wash.:)

        I’d love to get DNA testing done at some point, Although church records show my father’s family lived in the same area of East Prussia since births started being recorded in the 1600’s, people had moved there from many different areas of Europe after the Prussian pagans were conquered by the Teutonic knights in the thirteenth century. I might find quite a few surprises.

        That brings me to my husband’s heritage. Like Warren, large parts of his genealogy are unknown. Some of his ancestors came to this continent before the Revolutionary War. It’s quite possible that he has some Native American ancestry given all the blanks on his family tree. There are also family rumors regarding American Indians and a story about a girl/young woman being kidnapped by Indians.My husband has been asked if he is part Native American because his facial bones and eyes resemble those of American Indians more than a typical Caucasian.

        My son is in the process of applying to grad schools and he checking the “White” box on his online applications. Given that his family history on my husband’s is much like Warren’s, should he be checking the “Native American” box instead?

      • objv says:

        bubba, I admit that I dislike you, but not even I would call you a “dead horse.” 😉

      • objv says:

        bubba, this may come as quite a shock to you since you are convinced that I do not understand sarcasm, but I was kidding ConfederateRose.

        ConfederateRose made it plain that she was liberal. When she asked who DanMan was, I said that she would like him when I plainly knew that she would not. I used the ridiculous wording of “like a breath of fresh air in a stale refrigerator” to make it obvious that I was joking. I thought everyone would understand that I was being sarcastic.

        Apparently not.

      • objv says:

        bubba, I see that I ;have hurt your feelings and have made you feel left out.

        Bubba, you are like a breath of fresh air in a stale refrigerator.

        There. Does that make you feel better? You’re welcome.

      • johngalt says:

        Your son’s choice is for him and his conscious. If the rumors are credible and your family believes them, then I don’t see what you shouldn’t, if self-declaration is all that’s required. If you think Grandma hit the sauce a little too much and was prone to tall tales, then don’t. A coworker’s brother filled all his college applications out saying he was a native American because he was born here (not the brightest bulb on the tree).

        My wife and I (and later my parents) did 23-and-me. It characterizes your genome by using a large number of polymorphic sites in DNA (that is, a specific site in the genome where differences between two individuals are common). Some of these are in disease-causing genes, so it will give you some sense of whether there is a genetic disorder lurking. This can be challenging to interpret for laypeople because there is rarely an all or nothing – different changes are often correlated with increased risks rather than causative and they express risks in terms of an Odd’s ratio, which few non-scientists will know about.

        They do allow some genealogy, though, and connect you (should you wish to do so) with other users who are likely related to you. Most of these are 3rd cousin or more distant, but it was amusing to get the email saying that they had found a new relative of mine with a predicted relationship of “Mother”. They can also, for men, trace the maternal and paternal lineages geographically using bits that are passed down exclusively from the mother (mitochondrial DNA) or exclusively from the father (Y chromosome). Women don’t get the Y, so they can only trace the maternal lineage (but if you had a brother or father willing to do it, their Y would tell you your paternal origin).

        I am the ultimate Caucasian: both my lineages trace back to early populations of humans in the Caucasus. Fortunately, no dread diseases popped up either. My wife discovered that what she had expected, which that she’s Ashkenazi on her father’s side. I’m a geneticist so I found this fascinating.

        I do not hold stock in 23-and-me! But it’s pretty cheap and easy to do. $99, spit into a tube and send it in, wait a few weeks.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        objv, are you a coward, an incompetent, or both?

        You’re still either missing or dodging the actual question I posed.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        johngalt — My spouse used 23andme, and found some great information. Alas, since that time they’ve had to radically curtail the health information they provide, due to some ridiculous FDA dust-up about whether or not they’re selling a properly certified “medical test”. So all you get now is the ancestry material, unless and until they work the situation out.

      • objv says:

        JG, Thank you for the information! I told my daughter about the testing, and she said she was interested enough to pay for both my husband’s and my tests. Perhaps, I can order a DNA test for one of my three brothers to get information on the Y chromosome. Unfortunately, none of them seems to be at all interested in our family background.

        It is too bad that 23andMe no longer offers health related genetic reports. Still, the data about ancestry would be intriguing enough to make it worthwhile. Thanks for writing in such detail. I found the information fascinating.

      • objv says:

        Owl wrote: objv, if you say something that you believe is true but is not, then are you lying?

        Owl, does unsubstantiated rumor equal truth?

        If someone believes something is true, they are not lying.However, as a researcher and a lawyer, Warren knew that rumors of distant Native American ancestry were not proven. I see nothing wrong with speculating about Indian ancestry among friends. However, to me, it is lying when someone claims to be a minority without any proof to gain an advantage over other applicants for employment purposes.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Wow, objv, it’s like you’ve got this giant partisan blind spot that moves around on the screen to keep you from having to confront any ideologically inconvenient content.

        So I guess I’ll repeat for, what, the third time now? And how does that relate to complaints about George W. Bush and his statements about “weapons of mass destruction” in the Iraq War?

        You ask “does unsubstantiated rumor equal truth?” and that’s like asking whether a telephone line equals an academic publication: one is a method for conveying information, the other the information itself. So I’m wondering, again, whether you’re simply not thinking or whether you’re frantically dissembling.

        Unsubstantiated rumors can be true; they can also be false. The fact that they are unsubstantiated and the fact that they are rumors has nothing to do with whether they represent the actual state of reality. When did you get yourself so confused? Is it because you’re getting desperate, and all the partisans nuttier than you, who might once have been counted upon as distractions to save your illogical ass, have finally fled the forum?

        As johngalt pointed out long ago, but which you have also pointedly (frantically?) ignored, race in the U.S. is an artificial construct, and has steadily moved from an absolute legal definition (with “octaroons” and such nonsense) toward a statement of personal identity. Someone with one White parent and one Black can identify on forms as White, Black, none-of-the-above, mixed-race, or just about whatever they feel like. Someone up-thread mentioned a friend who identifies as “Native American” because he was born here. I’ve occasionally identified as “European-American” since I’m far more pink than white and I’ve never been anywhere near the Caucasus.

        In other words, that slightly greasy spot where you’re still frantically kicking at the cobblestones is all that remains of a once-dead and now thoroughly obliterated horse.

      • objv says:

        Instead of being as wise as an owl, you’re as blind as a bat (and stubborn as a mule). You, too, see issues through a clouded partisan lens. I’ve read parts of Kahneman’s book “Thinking Fast and Slow.” When I read your posts, I often note how quickly you jump to conclusions without even trying to see the other side of an issue. You are one of the worst offenders here.

        My reason for bringing up the issue of Warren’s nonexistent Native American heritage was to point out the hypocrisy of ROR’s temper tantrum in regards to Cap’s claim of Native American heritage. I believe that some of the behavior you and ROR have engaged in verges on stalking.

        See: http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/stalking/Pages/welcome.aspx

        “Although cyberstalking does not involve physical contact with a victim, it is still a serious crime. The increasing ubiquity of the Internet and the ease with which it allows others unusual access to personal information, have made this form of stalking ever more accessible. Potential stalkers may find it easier to stalk via a remote device such as the Internet rather than to confront an actual person. Conduct that falls short of the legal definition of stalking may in fact be a precursor to stalking and must be taken seriously.”

        Are you really so dense as to think that Cap and Tutt would not feel threatened by what you have done? If someone were to post information found on my birth certificate or provide a way to see my house on google street view to people on this blog, I would definitely feel insecure and wonder how I would be targeted next.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Could you possibly be any more ridiculous or pitiable, objv? Now you’re dumping the issue entirely, investing even further in the coward’s way out to engage in further distraction and deception. And here I thought you might be smarter than kabuzz (though that’s damning with faint praise).

        So, having pointed out your woeful inadequacy in failing to keep to the topic at hand, let’s look at your idiotic distraction.

        Have I posted information found on Sternn’s birth certificate? Why, no.

        Did I “provide a way to see [his] house on [G]oogle [S]treet [V]iew”? Why, no.

        I certainly mentioned the Confederate flag that could be seen flying in front of Sternn’s home on Google Street View — but it was up to others to find and enter the address and see for themselves. I have never provided that information. In fact, I’ve never seen Sternn’s address posted on this blog; the only place I know how to find it is by querying the Internet domain name Sternn has publicly bragged about, where the information is presented because he himself made it publicly available there.

        Quit your bitching and do something productive. With Sternn and kabuzz thankfully gone, you really don’t have to take up the mantle of the village idiot around here.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Muchos gracias Owl.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      From OV’s own source on the previous blog:

      “Warren has never attempted to join a tribe and had no documentation of her Native ancestry claim before the controversy broke, Harney told William A. Jacobson, a Cornell Law School professor, in late April. Instead, Warren has cited the sayings of her Aunt Bea, who was given to complaining that Warren’s maternal grandfather who “had high cheekbones like all of the Indians do” had not passed them on to her.

      To be sure, the absence of readily located evidence of Native ancestry outside the oral tradition does not mean that Warren has no Native American ancestry. Genealogy is a complicated field, where firm answers are hard to come by quickly. Proof of distant Native American ancestry could yet surface, were Warren to hire a genealogist to do a thorough dive into her own background while she works on riding out the political storm.

      But a lack of Native ancestry despite the family stories she’s heard all her life would also be consistent with one of the most common genealogical myths in the United States.

      “Many more Americans believe they have Native ancestry than actually do (we always suspected this, but can now confirm it through genetic testing),” said Smolenyak in an email. “In fact, in terms of wide-spread ancestral myths, this is one of the top two (the other being those who think their names were changed at Ellis Island). And someone who hails from Oklahoma would be even more prone to accept a tale of Native heritage than most.”

      She added: “There’s also a tendency to accept what our relatives (especially our elders) tell us.”

      As for Warren, “I can’t confirm or refute Cherokee heritage without extensive research,” she said. “All I can say is that Ms. Warren’s scenario is a wildly common one — minus the public scrutiny, of course.”


      Elizabeth Warren made an honest and COMMON mistake based on faith in information provided to her by her family elders.

      Give it a rest.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Muchos gracias Owl.

  20. M Simon says:

    2016 is an anti-Prohibition election for me. My choices are Paul or the Democrat in the general.

    Why? Cannabinoid medicine full exploited has the possibility of saving $1 trillion a year in medical expenses. Look up – cannabis NIH cancer – for one. Or – cannabis NIH diabetes – for another. There are many more.

    No one but Paul could bring such a race home for the Republicans.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Are you proclaiming yourself to be a single-issue voter?

      Are you sure that’s wise?

    • rightonrush says:

      Paul has some good ideas but he seems to float anyway the wind carries him.

    • johngalt says:

      A trillion dollars a year? So you think, and are going to vote, based on the idea that legalized pot can cut health care spending by a third? You must be high now.

      There are plenty of reasons to legalize it, and it’s probably medically effective for some people in some circumstances, but this is a bizarre claim.

  21. 1mime says:

    It was Romney’s choice(going far right) even if it required pandering. The “master of flip flop”, Mitt thought he ran the perfect campaign and was somehow shocked when he lost. You know who I felt sorry for in that mix? His wife, Ann. She left it all on the field. It was obvious, and I admire her for her honesty and effort even as I abhor the thought of Mitt as President.

    Now, to Ted Cruz. It would be a sad day if he became the Presidential nominee for the GOP. Sad for the GOP and frightening for everyone else. Let’s hope that America sees him for who and what he is.

  22. Markk says:

    While I thought that several good points were made in this post, the recent rumors that Romney is exploring another run renders a good chunk of it moot. Jeb may have a famous last name, but if Romney does decide that the third time is the charm it’s hard to see how Jeb competes successfully with an organization and fundraising network as recently established as Romney’s.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      He may have the fundraising network — but will he have the funders?

      Will those small donors who snarled that Romney lost because he wasn’t conservative *enough* be willing to open their pocketbooks to fund yet another tilt at the windmill? Will the wealthy donors who actually support Republican candidates be willing to dole out large amounts of cash to someone who ran such a feckless previous campaign and can’t adequately express how this one would be different?

    • lomamonster says:

      Let’s not forget that it’s not really time for a Mormon president – no matter how many times Romney comes back. It is surprising that people have forgotten how frequently that man threw away his beliefs in the last campaign, and that many of those beliefs were bedrock to his faith. Not a good thing to consider in any case, and his lies became gut wrenching affronts to his own purpose.

      If he runs again, Ann Coulter will ruin him anyway!

      • Turtles Run says:

        I cannot handle another Romney POTUS run. I wanted to pull my ears off listening to everyone from church talking about Romney was going to have all these new converts join the church because he was going to proudly display the LDS religion to America.

        Then I had to listen to them byatch about how the “Blacks” only will vote for Obama because he is Black, completely immune to the fact they were only voting for Romney because he was LDS.

        In short – Cruz 201 .

        I need the chuckles.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cruz 2016. Daggomeit

      • TheSteelGeneral says:

        Byatch? 🙂 nice post about the Mormons. To add, racists also never see how they only voted for Akin, Angle, Gohmert, Bachmann, Walker, etc. because they’re racists.

    • goplifer says:

      Romney has an advantage in only one area, organization, and that advantage is slim. Unlike after the ’08, his organization was disbanded after ’12. No one had any expectation that there would be another run.

      Still, he has more ground presence than Bush or anyone else, but most of it has already peeled away to other campaigns.

      He’ll have trouble with the donors, though unlike Bush he may be able to fund himself sufficiently to run on his own up to about Iowa.

      The candidate who gains the most from Romney or Christie or someone posing a serious challenge to Bush in the Gray Round is Cruz.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, if Cruz makes his run for President, maybe he’ll spend more time on the road than in D.C. I’m with the speech therapist who posted several Lifer blogs ago, that his nasal whine would turn off a lot of voters…and, that’s just those who won’t be looking at his sneering, preening visage..

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Hillary Clinton has some annoying vocal traits as well (particularly, I suspect, for men already inclined to view her negatively).

        Actually, I was shocked at how awful Wendy Davis came across in her live political debates. I’d heard her speak to small groups, and seen her writing, and enjoyed those. So I was really surprised that Texas Democrats put up someone who sounded that bad in a debate scenario.

      • Crogged says:

        I completely agree with you about Wendy Davis and her debate performance.

      • TheSteelGeneral says:

        Cruz is a joke, he’s also neutered, and not so prominent now, the novelty wore off. I forgive you for thinking he has a chance, you live in Texas.

        Romney is also a joke, ………. with lots of videos STILL on youtube.
        I give you a work of art:

      • 1mime says:

        There was an interesting update on Romney in today’s post by Larry Sabato. Here’s the link: http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/three-peat-mitt-romneys-new-rating/

  23. flypusher says:

    Realistically speaking, anyone who seriously wants a shot at the White House should have been getting things started as the 2012 campaign ended, but seriously, BLEEEAAHH! I’m already sick of 2016, and the shiny isn’t off 2015 yet.

    The notion a one six year Presidential term looks better and better.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Or federally funded campaigns, coupled with a requirement that holders of commercial broadcast licenses offer free prime-time ad slots to federal candidates.

      • Xeranar says:

        This is probably the most realistic direction we’re headed. I don’t think we’ll see it until the modern Koch Bros/GOP war machine peters out. But the problem is that for all that vast spending the GOP return on their dollar in terms of votes is abysmal. Democrats get a far better return for their investment simply because they have a base that will put them over the top in almost every race that they push a viable candidate into. The blue wall in presidential elections was the inevitable reality.

        But they’ll continue to spend indefinitely as long as they have the deep pockets because at the end of the day the Koch Bros don’t really want to win elections so much as set the agenda for the GOP. You just need to hold congress and state legislatures hostage using these agendas to keep salvaging the system they want.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        First we’ll have to establish that money isn’t speech.

      • TheSteelGeneral says:

        “Koch Bros don’t really want to win elections so much as set the agenda for the GOP”

        Insightful. thanks.

  24. Cpl. Cam says:

    I’m blocked by an immovable popup menu from viewing the blog at the chron site, is there anyway you could re-post your “4 inescapable realities” and “healthcare for the ownership society” pieces here at GOPLifer? I’d really like to read them…

    • 1mime says:

      I had the same problem. Simply go to the web with http://www.chron.com and you’ll find Lifer. Also, if you click on the blue highlighted link for the “four inescapable realities”, it will bring you to the blog.

    • lomamonster says:

      Cpl. – Use the latest Firefox browser and install Adblock Plus as an extension, and your popup worries will cease to exist… I have used it for years and it is easy to manipulate for sites on which you do have to enable popup windows as well. It doesn’t lock you into irretrievable morasses! Adblock Plus is included when you install it in the normal “Tools” menu on Firefox. Easy to find, easy to customize!

    • stephen says:

      Try Add Block software. I use Add Block Plus. If you use Fire Fox or Chrome it is a simple add on.

  25. bubbabobcat says:

    So Chris, in other words, you are saying the Clinton II Coronation is a lock already? That’s disappointing.

    As entertaining and car wreck fascinating as a Cruz Circus Circus campaign in the general election would be, I don’t have the stomach to see him achieve the satisfaction and the associated new found legitimacy in knowing he could fool up to 40% of 100 million+ voters in the entire country and not just the easy low hanging fruit in the wingnut caliphate of Texas.

  26. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I’m still a pie in the sky optimist.

    Even though money may not be able to buy you happiness, I still have to believe that it can buy you a nomination to be President.

    If the big money lines up behind Bush, it makes life very hard for others.

    I do agree, however, that we rarely are treated with the special mix of crazy and competent that we get with Cruz and Paul. That makes for some scary folks.

    However, I see that crazy being harnessed with a Bush-Walker ticket.

    Rand Paul will never be president. The country can handle a Black, Muslim, Communist/Socialist, from Kenya, but no one the country votes for a man with a perm.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      “Bush-Walker” might appeal to the hunting and survivalist crowd, it’s true.

      If elected, it would probably be about as successful as the somewhat similar, earlier “Bush-Quayle” attempt.

      (I’m not sure what “Reagan-Bush” sounds like to people who shoot animals for fun, but it did seem to perform better in the long run.)

    • TheSteelGeneral says:

      Don’t forget, Obama is also a baby eating Nazi, who was both Muslim AND a black liberation theology Christian. Can you imagine the mendacious nature of someone with so many contradictions in his skull. Then he insulted us all by winning the Nobel Peace Prize! We, the most warlike nation on Earth! How could he do that to us!
      And he didn’t even apologize for it.

  27. BigWilly says:

    Even if IRS were dissolved the US would still need to collect some form of taxation which would necessitate some form of agency to collect. There would still be contention regarding the amount owed. Etc. etc. etc. Abolishing the IRS is a longtime right/libertarian fantasy, and that’s all it is.

    Right now the GOP and I aren’t on the same page. They’re not appealing to “voters like me” and I can’t see any reason why they would. I’m a minority of a minority of a minority in the population, and it’s not due to my enormous wealth.

    Can Jeb cater to the rubes and give us a knowing wink? We’ll see. He’s already admitted that he has to “lose the primaries in order to win.”

    Probably not coincidentally I’m reviewing economic elasticity at the moment. Elasticity is something that needs to be determined quickly. Can the winner run a comfortably conservative campaign without alienating the rest of the country in the process? We’ll see. It could be fun.

  28. Crogged says:

    During the 2012 Republican primary election I read (or thought I read, I’m prone to imagining things when it comes to shocking things which might support my world view) a writing which put out there the percentage of campaign money coming from very few individuals. Such as Gingrich got 97 percent of his money from one man (Adelson?). I don’t care about the money, I do care that full disclosure(s) be prominently made, as in cigarette warnings. “This advertisement made possible by a generous grant from someone who was really good at making money from widgets, which ability means nothing with regards to public administration, macro economics or foreign policy”

  29. rightonrush says:

    IMO, the smartest thing Paul Ryan has done is to declare he will not be running for Pres. 2016. It’s gonna be another round of the nutty TeaParty against sane Conservatives. Mitt Romney was pulled so far to the right that he didn’t stand a chance.

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