The Washington Post on Cruz’s chances

Journalists are starting to recognize the overall weakness of the GOP field and the potential of a Cruz candidacy. From the Washington Post this morning, Chris Cillizza, quoting a friend:

He said that Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) had about the same odds of becoming the Republican presidential nominee as former Florida governor Jeb Bush….Think of the Republican field as a series of lanes. In this race, there are four of them: establishment, tea party, social conservative and libertarian. The four lanes are not of equal size: Establishment is the biggest, followed by tea party, social conservative and then libertarian.

Where have you heard this before? I think there are really only two lanes, the establishment primary and the base primary. I’m pretty convinced that Cruz has the best odds in the pack. We’ll see.

 

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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193 comments on “The Washington Post on Cruz’s chances
  1. 1mime says:

    This relates to the Judge Moore post, but it is so interesting that I wanted to share it. Here’s a snippet which underscores Lifer’s theory about Southern politics and religion.

    Salon: “Christian Right theorist Gary North, a prolific and influential Christian Reconstructionist writer, has long recognized that the problem theocrats have (and he does not shy away from the word or the idea) is that the Constitution of the United States and those who authored it and the states that ratified it were explicitly rejecting theocracy….”

    But the wily North believes that the theocrats can prevail in what he thinks will be “an escalating religious war.” He thinks that the answer for theocrats is very much like what Whitney prescribed. He thinks that the Constitution can be amended to limit citizenship to members of the correct sect, and that, “The long term national goal has to be the substitution of a Trinitarian national oath for the present prohibition against religious test oaths.”

    Here’s a link to the article in case you want to read it in full. Notice the reference to a different, even more radical fundamentalist organization (League of the South – a group that is very much alive and involved in the political structure whose belief is that the wrong side won the Civil War) and its financial links to Judge Moore. When we hear people who seem to have radical points of view that are religion-based, it doesn’t take much more to understand how these people go off the deep end.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/02/21/the_souths_true_face_of_hate_oozing_nonsense_from_demented_and_influential_corners_of_religious_right/

  2. objv says:

    Creepy!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/02/17/joe-biden-takes-being-biden-to-new-heights-or-lows/

    I’m afraid if Hillary get’s elected, things will only change from Biden being Biden, to Bill being Bill.

    • 1mime says:

      Objv, just for one minute, I want you to think of what a VP Palin would mean for the U.S. Biden is a fine man, has served our country with distinction, and is guilty of talking at times without thinking.

      I have a very strong feeling that when Hillary is elected President, she will know just how to keep Bill in his place.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I agree OBJV. Bill will be a stark reminder of the dark days of the 1990’s with all that peace and prosperity. I do not know how we made it.

        ~eyes rolling so far back they go stuck~

      • 1mime says:

        (-: Here’s to stuck eyeballs, Turtle! I will say, Bill did have his peccadillos….as have many in politics (remember Trent Lott? Newt Ginguich? Jack Kennedy? to name some of the more prominent politicians…a loooong list. Have to keep that male ego shored up!

      • Turtles Run says:

        1mime – Do not forget David Vitter who will be running for Louisiana Governor soon. He was a client of the DC Madam. Vitter is also famous for standing up for Louisiana morals.

        Ole’ Slick Willie can’t hold a candle to these GOTP clowns, of course objv’s deflector shields are set on maximum so she will never notice these actions.

        in other words

        IOKIYAR

      • 1mime says:

        Know the Vitter story well. He is planning to run for gov, succeeding Jindal. List is so long I just didn’t want to get started.

    • texan5142 says:

      At least it was not a world leader.

    • texan5142 says:

      VP Palin…………shudder!!!!!!!!!!!

      • objv says:

        Palin is water under the bridge. Biden is now. Bill might be the future. *shudder.*

        Note: Unlike the photos of Cruz, there was no need to Photoshop anything. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, lighten up! Palin might be “history” but there are plenty of Republlican wingnuts out there right now. And, they are spewing hate.

      • texan5142 says:

        Case in point 1mime,

        http://www.rawstory.com/

        “Louisiana elected official accused of sexually assaulting his former wife watched pornography on his government computer and left a threatening note to his alleged victim, prosecutors said.”

      • 1mime says:

        Yup, kinda makes Biden look like a teddy bear…..Bet he attends church every Sunday, too….

      • Crogged says:

        My favorites (from you know where)

        “The President of Vice: The Autobiography of Joe Biden”

        and

        “Biden Has Guy Named Worm Sit In For Him At Cabinet Meeting”

        He’s a natural, what you see is what you get and more power to him. His physical presence is a little ‘forward’, kind of like a lot of old guy’s who think they still have that magnetism…….

        The autobiography is a hoot btw……….

      • objv says:

        Mime, the same could be said for liberal wingnuts.

        Texan: Again,do you ever read anything besides Raw Story? The piece they did on Nationwide was full of inaccuracies. I could be posting stuff from far right wing sites but I don’t because I don’t trust their information. Raw Story is trash reporting.

      • 1mime says:

        Any liberal wingnuts would be in the same category for me, Ob. But, I’m not hearing much about them….please share as I want to be an “equal opportunity wingnut antagonist”. I read fairly widely but probably different sources. Share some of the conservative sites you think are credible and I’ll add them to my reading list. I wouldn’t imagine you’d recommend any that were “out there”.

      • texan5142 says:

        Is it still trash reporting if the facts are true? Did or din not the “St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta was indicted in April on sexual battery charges in connection with an October 2013 attack on his then-wife, who is accused of handcuffing, tying to the ceiling, beating, and sexually assaulting”. Some would say that the Washington post is trash reporting. Is not a piece about Biden and his awkward moments just a fluffy trash story one could find in the National Enquirer?

      • 1mime says:

        Believe me, as one who lived in LA for a great part of my life, you don’t want to start a list of crazies from there. And, many of them are in office with aspirations for higher office.

        Ob, I don’t follow Raw Story but what TX is saying is true, sadly. LA has a great culture but some really strange people. Starting with the guv…….WTF Jindal

      • texan5142 says:

        You know the difference between a coon ass and a jack ass…….. the Sabin river. By the way, and am half coon ass and half jack ass. My mom is from Houston and my dad is from New Orleans.

      • Turtles Run says:

        objv – Texan: Again,do you ever read anything besides Raw Story? The piece they did on Nationwide was full of inaccuracies. I could be posting stuff from far right wing sites but I don’t because I don’t trust their information. Raw Story is trash reporting.

        This from the person that posts articles from Brietbart. The same organization that gave us the doctored O’Keefe Acorn videos, claimed community organizers pray to President Obama, and the infamous “Friends of Hamas” articles.

        Now you have the “gall” to talk trash about Raw Story. At least they can support their stories.

    • dowripple says:

      He sure is “handsy” isn’t he? Bill probably still is a dawg, but I don’t really care. I don’t vote for politicians because I think they, or their spouses, are *perfect*.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Obj…by all accounts, Biden is a gregarious, touchy-feely (in the physical and emotional sense), people person. He is physically affectionate with his adult sons. Many, many people respond positively to that, and it seems like older women just love kissing that man.

      With that said, it is NOT OK to unsolicitedly touch other people in an overly familiar manner, and when it is across genders, you are bringing in a whole slew of other issues.

      There are a few hundred pictures of Biden hugging men, but probably a few thousand pictures of Biden hugging, touching, or whispering in the ear of women.

      For people you do not know well, this is NOT OK.

      Some people do not like to be touched and coming up behind someone and putting your hands on their shoulders while whispering in their ear is NOT OK.

      Maybe with Biden there is never an ill thought about it, but you just do not invade the physical space of another person without that person’s permission.

      Just don’t do it.

      • Crogged says:

        HST I agree with your assessment, but if there were fire, wouldn’t we also have smoke? Meaning rumors and stuff other than awkward photos?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I don’t think there is “fire” with Biden. Heck, this is a man who kisses his adult sons on the mouth. He may just very well be super-duper affectionate and highly tactile.

        He should just stop doing it because there is the very, very high likelihood that some people don’t like it.

        There is a certain amount of ego (or asshole-ness if you want to take it to an extreme or cluelessness if you want to be kind) to think, “hey, it is OK that I go up to this person who I’ve never met before, touch her on the shoulders from behind, lean into her back, and whisper into her ear”.

        You just don’t do that.

        Plus, if you are more likely to do that to a woman than to a man, well, then we have something going on there. For Biden however, he is an equal opportunity offender.

    • RobA says:

      I’d rather have the biggest sleazeball in the world as PreZ (or VP) if his policies include social equality, bridging wealth inequality, support for science and rational thought and ensuring the poorest members of society don’t die from preventable medical issues then someone who is the antithesis of all that but is the best, most faithful husband in the world.

  3. way2gosassy says:

    I am speechless, I absolutely cannot articulate what I think about what this idiot had to say. Worse was the reaction by the other Republican hopefuls. So disgusting!

    http://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/Democrats-criticize-Giuliani-comments-on-Obama-s-6089727.php

  4. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    This is why we cannot have nice things:

    Rudy Giuliani to GOP donors: “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

    Yes. The President does not love the country, and then for the capper, “he wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country”.

    What the fuck is that?

    Maybe this isn’t racist dog-whistle, “Obama as the other” crap. Given his audience of GOP donors, Rudy is probably right. Obama wasn’t brought up as a rich, White, asshat.

    Then, for fun, we have an idiot Tea Party/GOP state rep in South Dakota who no one has ever heard of posting things like, “Planned Parenthood worse than ISIS and lying about it.”

    I do not want to hold these two idiots out as examples of what the GOP/TP stand for, but when things like this appeal to your followers, you have to wonder where the heck you are leading them.

    • flypusher says:

      ‘Yes. The President does not love the country, and then for the capper, “he wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country”. ‘

      It’s the right wing version of snobbish elitism. The only “Real Americans” [TM], are White, conservative, and Christian.

      And the ISIS hyperbole, yeah that’s way over the top stupid. “Worse than ISIS” would only make sense when describing something like boko haram.

    • lomamonster says:

      Giuliani has sadly lost perspective of what century he pretends to be from.

    • way2gosassy says:

      I am not at all surprised,sad but true. Probably saddest of all is this is only going to get worse.

    • GG says:

      It’s a racist dog-whistle alright. It’s like I heard one white trash person say about black people “they’s just different, they have diseases we don’t and they’s dirty”. This coming from a toothless 40-year old hag, who looked 80, standing in front of a trailer littered with trash and old car parts. She was being interviewed for a segment on racism and the KKK.

      That’s what he means by “he wasn’t brought up like you were brought up”.

  5. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Until Nate Silver and the gang at 538 get something wrong, I’m not going to go against them.

    Even though they state that predictions at this stage are silly and provide ample evidence of massive flameouts (Giuliani, Edwards, Hart) and surprises (Bill Clinton) that contradicted early conventional wisdom, the 538 folks don’t miss much.

    Using admittedly subjective odds, they’ve got Bush and Walker both around a 20%-25% to get the nomination. No one gives Cruz more than a 1% chance.

    While possessing the necessary megalomaniac characteristics needed to believe oneself worthy of being considered the most powerful person on the planet, Cruz is not generally stupid.

    He recognizes that people do not like him. He’s polling in the single digits outside of Texas. He only pulled in 35% of the Latino vote in Texas, compared to 29% for Mitt Romney (Mr. Diversity), so he knows he’s not going to move huge chunks of Hispanic voters to the GOP.

    He does, however, have a massively strong appeal to the Tea Party GOP and super-duper social conservatives who want a Hispanic friend.

    So, my totally subjective (and normally wrong) prediction is that Mr. Cruz starts to fancy himself as a king-maker with the promise to bring the TP to support the eventual GOP candidate, whose feet he “will hold to the conservative fire” in exchange for concessions and some power within the GOP.

    The flaw in my thinking is that I cannot figure out what power Ted wants that could be given to him by a GOP candidate that is going to lose the general election or by the party powers behind that nominee.

    I don’t think the ego stroking of “you can’t be the GOP candidate unless I endorse you” is enough for Ted, and no one is going to make him Senate Majority leader. A committee chair is not a big enough prize.

    I cannot imagine making him a VP candidate. He brings no state with him (Texas is voting GOP no matter what), and he’s so annoying that he would drive the Presidential candidate crazier than Palin drove McCain. If you want a VP to bring the Hispanic vote, it would be Rubio, not Cruz.

    Incidentally, Walker-Rubio is an interesting pairing. The democrats don’t need Florida to win, but Rubio would give the GOP Florida and make the Democrats defend a few places it might not normally need to defend. It wouldn’t be Bush-Rubio since no one wants a Florida double dip.

    Rubio has consistently sputtered, but he is the GOP candidate that has worried me for the past few years (I thought it would be Romney-Rubio). He’s got enough broad appeal and Hispanic support that he could challenge Democrats, but he’s not strong enough to break away from the social conservative nuttiness that is the GOP. So, if he were to win something big, he would cater to the backwards social conservatives.

    • flypusher says:

      “The flaw in my thinking is that I cannot figure out what power Ted wants that could be given to him by a GOP candidate that is going to lose the general election or by the party powers behind that nominee.”

      I’m thinking of the old adage “beware of what you wish for, you might get it.” Cruz looks like he’s reveling in the gadfly role. I think he’d love running for President, but being President means you have to do the work of actually governing.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Cruz has hired staff in the early primary states, so signs are pointing to him running (but hey, its not his money so wasting it on hiring staff that will never be used is not a huge deal).

        I think he will run, but I think he knows he can’t win (at least he can’t win in 2016). So, he’ll try to position himself as the key player to throw his weight and his supporters to one candidate or another.

    • mary says:

      Very thoughtful, Homer. I have noted that Rubio seems to be carving out his place as the “adult in the room”….stepping up on Homeland Security clean bill for one. He still seems too young yet- maybe a little petulant, but agree he has an interesting future…..I can’t bear the idea of a Walker as a Pres. candidate with any combination. Agree on Cruz. He is everyone’s nightmare in the GOP center – I am more interested in who Hillary picks as a VP candidate. I’m concerned about the reported dearth of Senatorial candidates for Dems in areas where we have a shot of winning. That will be an interesting situation to watch.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I believe Hillary should pick Julian Castro for her VP pick (if she runs). Mayor of a major city, HUD secretary, and very educated make him a rising star in the Democratic Party. He would also blunt any strides a Rubio VP pick would garner.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, I am pretty sure Julian Castro is being “credentialled” (if that’s a word!) with the HUD appointment. He still seems young but he does have interesting and successful political experience and….of course, he’s a very likable Hispanic as well. From TX, to boot! (pardon the pun…)

        Today’s post by Larry Sabato on 2016 is pretty interesting. He looks at the money side of the election equation and breaks down the election map. It’s interesting.

        Here’s the link. http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/

      • way2gosassy says:

        I agree Turtles and I really like Julian Castro but I think Hillary not putting all her eggs in one basket. Looks like she might be vetting Elizabeth Warren as well.

      • 1mime says:

        Hillary may be vetting Warren but there is no way that two women will be on the ticket. I see Warren in a leadership role but the Hillary team won’t take take that kind of risk.

    • johngalt says:

      I think you’ve got the right question, Homer, and the right answer as far as the GOP is concerned. They want to ride Cruz’s popularity with the Tea Party faction but want absolutely nothing to do with him in any serious leadership position. What Cruz’s end game is, though, I’ve got no idea. I am tempted to write it off as world-class narcissism, but I think he’s got something else in mind.

    • RobA says:

      Very good summation of the situation. Similar to what I’ve thought, I don’t think Cruz will want or get the prez nod. I think the king maker idea makes a lot of sense, and I think he’s going to want a lot in return.

      I think a VP bid is entirely realistic. The GOP will think he’ll bring in the hispanic vote (he won’t) AND keep the TP in line.

      And, just like the idiotic McCain-Palin ticket, it will blow up in their face. I think the GOP views the VP slot primarily as a way to reach voters that the Prez is out of touch with, and that the rest of the country also sees it that way.

      While obviously, it DOES do that to some extent, but I do believe that most people view the VP job primarily as what it actually is: Next in line for the throne. And I don’t think any ticket an win with a VP that would be unelectable as a president as well. That’s what killed McCain so bad. People couldn’t bring themselves to vote for him if it meant that we’re a heart attack away from Palin as Prez.

      If a candidate cannot be elected as Prez (and Cruz certainly can’t) then they should not be added to the ticket, no matter how far right of how Hispanic they are.

      Incidentally, couldn’t we consider Cruz a HIGO? (Hispanic In Genetics Only?)

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cruz is Hispanic. He is a narcissistic, opportunistic d-bag Hispanic but a Hispanic none the less.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t think the GOP will put Cruz in VP slot knowing he, like Palin, would always be trying to outshine the Pres. candidate and also because his unfavorables would damage the ticket as has already been aluded to. Who among us would sleep well at night knowing VP Cruz was a breath away from being president?

      • way2gosassy says:

        I’d have to go out and get a gun and protect the president myself if that were the case. ; )

  6. 1mime says:

    Tracking Rauner – I wonder if the voters of IL thought they’d get with a Republican Gov? Lifer is right that the state is a mess, but is Rauners solution the answer?

    http://www.salon.com/2015/02/18/this_is_what_republican_governance_looks_like_bruce_rauners_frightening_agenda/?source=newsletter

    • way2gosassy says:

      “In Rauner’s Illinois, the poor, the sick, students, and ordinary wage-earners constitute “the special interests.” Putting people first, meanwhile, requires gutting social services and ending hard-fought worker protections. This, in all its cruel Orwellianism, is what Republican governance looks like.” Does not seem very centrist or moderate to me at all. Looks like he has taken many pages out of the Koch brothers playbook.

      • Doug says:

        How much is the Illinois budget, and what is the shortfall? How much of the budget goes toward social services? How big are his proposed social service cuts? How much money should be spent on social services? If that number is bigger than the current amount, where does the extra come from?

        As for “ending hard-fought worker protections” he is merely proposing that people should not be forced BY LAW to contribute to unions. Seems to me that if people see a value in the union they will pay to support it. If not, they won’t, and it goes away. Are you saying that people are too stupid to understand what is in their own best interest? Is a union worthwhile if the only way it survives is if the people it “serves” are forced by law to support it?

      • 1mime says:

        Doug, I posted a link earlier in this blog that outlines Rauner’s proposed cuts. I have not studied the IL budget. Have you? The cuts that are listed seem to impact the poor and working class significantly. If the state’s budget is in dire circumstances, cuts will be needed. However, process may be as important as identification of the cuts themselves. If Rauner is able to bring together the critical people he needs not only to identify savings but also to develop a reasonable plan for implementation – including educating the citizenry, he has a greater chance of making the budgetary changes that are needed. Otherwise, he won’t have a prayer of making the changes he’s outlined. A $1.5 billion cut to Medicaid seems extraordinarily high, to pluck one cut from the list.

        “…he is merely proposing that people should not be forced BY LAW to contribute to unions. Seems to me that if people see a value in the union they will pay to support it. If not, they won’t, and it goes away. …Is a union worthwhile if the only way it survives is if the people it “serves” are forced by law to support it?”

        The state comptroller did not implement his executive order because it had already been litigated and determined to be constitutional by the state and supreme court….for non-union dues participation resulting from benefits they received so long as no political activity was associated with said dues. That’s settled law, so he can’t legally take that step and may have received some bad advice in that regard….or, maybe he has another plan in mind for legal appeal?

        ” Are you saying that people are too stupid to understand what is in their own best interest?”

        Damn straight they are. Look at the monolithic South. REad Lifer’s blog on that very issue. He explains it very clearly so I won’t repeat.

      • Doug says:

        Q: ” Are you saying that people are too stupid to understand what is in their own best interest?”
        A: “Damn straight they are.”

        Wow. Just wow.

        I have about a dozen different argumentative paths to go here, but I think I’ll just let this stand on its own.

    • texan5142 says:

      Like Walker, Rauner is going to leave the police and firefighter union alone. Guess he does not want to piss of the one’s that protect him as he pisses off everyone else.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, TX, it worked for Walker, and you know how Repubs like to replicate success.

      • 1mime says:

        Doesn’t that piss you off when the governors exempt two classes of unions and go after all the others? If it were a “principled” move, all unions would be dealt with. By leaving two untouched, it makes the action look exactly like what it was – a “Divide and conquer” strategy. That should make everyone suspicious of their rationale for cuts.

      • Crogged says:

        The real goal-educators and teachers, who predominately make up most states ‘government’ employees. We know what a terrible job they do, it’s written here every day.

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged….And, teachers are mostly women; whereas, majority of police/fire personnel are male. Wonder if that has any bearing?

        Either way, if union pension reform is the “problem”, why not go after all? I’ll tell you why. They would never be successful. They have to divide and conquer. I’d have more respect for them if they took on all of the unions.

      • Crogged says:

        Yes, true, but I think that’s a red herring. Police and fire employees are a tiny fraction of the real issue–so this is more symbolic about ‘keeping order’ than anything else. I don’t believe there’s any real animus towards ‘women’, just those book learnin time wasters who don’t work hard like fire fighters and cops, who put their lives on the line etc etc etc. You won’t know how to read the numbers on the phone, but somebody is getting paid to put your house fire out if you do………

    • Turtles Run says:

      Seems like the Illinois Comptroller is disobeying Rauner’s order.

      “Illinois’ comptroller will not implement an anti-union executive order issued by the state’s new Republican governor earlier this week, the state’s attorney general’s office said on Friday.

      Leslie Munger, a fellow Republican who was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner, is following current law in not enforcing Rauner’s order to eliminate “fair share” fees for about 6,500 state employees, said a spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.”

      http://news.yahoo.com/illinois-comptroller-refuses-implement-anti-union-order-231206557–sector.html

      • 1mime says:

        That’s interesting, Turtles! Rauner was on shaky ground with his executive action on “fair share” as it is protected by the state constitution – a step which public unions have taken in many states – NJ being one example. Guess the Comptroller is betting Rauner won’t get a favorable ruling and wants to protect her own position. She can count.

        As Lifer pointed out, tough choices are going to have to be made in IL just as they will have to be made in other states facing similar budgetary problems. How and what is cut is the nexus of the problem. Rauner may have over-stepped on this particular decision but cuts will be needed. The 1.5B cut to medicaid is a slug, however, and will hurt lots of people and the hospital and nursing home industries as well. I don’t think Rauner really cares about being re-elected and he is independently wealthy, so he doesn’t have much to lose.

        Ah, executive actions….so intriguing….so opportunistic…so terrible when it’s the other team using it…(-:

      • way2gosassy says:

        Actually Mime the executive order is against Federal law not State law. The Supreme Court decision separated dues to the Unions. Dues cannot be used for political speech or initiatives. In the USW money for political activism is voluntary as it is for all unions.

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, I re-read the article link and it appears that both state law and then federal law protect the “fair share” rule for non-union workers, with the prohibition on using any of these dues for political purposes. Thanks for the clarification.

        Net result – Comptroller read the law right, Rauner is running up a flag. Wonder if his plan is to be really drastic knowing he will probably not be successful in getting the majority of it implemented? Something has to give in IL but I agree, Sassy, the poor and working middle class appear to be bearing the brunt of the cuts. $1.5 Billion cut to Medicaid?! Cutting millions to colleges? Amtrak? It’s easy to pick his proposals apart from here but wish he could have developed his plan with greater input from those who are targeted.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I still have a lot of family living in Ill. most of them are elderly. His cuts to public transportation isn’t just affecting Amtrak it is also cutting transportation programs that help the elderly and disabled get to and from their Dr.’s appointments and shopping for groceries. The Medicaid cuts are hitting the elderly particularly hard if they have the bad luck to be living in a nursing home.

  7. Turtles Run says:

    I guess another myth has died a horrible death. At a tea party rally a speaker is discussing immigration reform invoke images of “racial purity.” It is a good thing the tea party is only focused on fiscal issues.

    http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/archive/segment/51e9559878c90a156700034d?cps=gravity_3831_-92218197511716294

  8. 1mime says:

    Two links that I think relate to 2016 Presidential election in terms of philosophy of significant parties (1) Koch Influence, ( Salon) and (2) impact of Islamic extremism on world stability. (This one from Atlantic Magazine is very long but incredibly well researched. It is concerning, informative and seriously not to be ignored.)

    http://www.salon.com/2015/02/18/thats_something_that_should_make_libertarians_nervous_inside_the_tumultuous_rise_of_an_american_ideology/?source=newsletter

    http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

  9. bubbabobcat says:

    Off Topic: College dropout Scott Walker dumbs it down and slashes higher education budget in Wisconsin to appeal to the conservative base for his Presidential run.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/us/politics/scott-walker-university-wisconsin.html?contentCollection=us&action=click&module=NextInCollection&region=Footer&pgtype=article

    Stupid, ignorant, and uneducated is the new conservative Republican. Oh yay.

    • 1mime says:

      Isn’t Walker still under investigation?

    • Crogged says:

      Is America’s biggest problem collective spending on higher education and keeping people healthy?

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged, if American students keep piling on tens of thousands of dollars in education debt, there will be a new health problem. These student loans NEVER go away. No way to discharge them except die, then I assume debt will fall on families if they co-signed.

        As for America’s health problem generally? Yes, America doesn’t make health care access a national priority like other nations. In America, health care is a privilege, not a right.

      • Crogged says:

        I agree-but to what degree do we make ‘users’ of services pay for them? –a great debate which has no right answer…..

      • 1mime says:

        It’s not as if there aren’t other civilized nations out there who can’t help us devise a single payer system. The real key is: first the country has to make insuring all a priority. Then, figure out the best way to get it done. Everyone who can, should pay something. Right now, it’s stealth health insurance….over charging those who have private insurance to support those with none. And, through property taxes for hospital districts. Lots of little “hidden” taxes/fees.

        I’ve heard all the stories about the horrors of single payer and I am ready to test that system. What could be worse than what we’ve got? Millions with no insurance? That’s an acceptable health care situation in America? No Way.

    • 1mime says:

      Smoke and mirrors, Walker style…..http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-02-18/wisconsin-to-skip-debt-payments-to-make-up-for-walker-s-tax-cuts?cmpid=yhoo

      Another Republican Gov. cuts taxes for short-term political gain – to show they can, damn the consequences! Then, there’s the mighty bastion of Texas, where citizens voted for dedicated tax revenue to go to roads, cancer research, schools, and emergency rooms….only to find those funds being held in order to crow about TX’ balanced budget, and its Rainey Day Fund…..while school districts, hospital districts, transportation needs wait for these dedicated revenues to be released….someday? What a crock!

      http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/medical/article/Memorial-Hermann-chief-warns-health-care-safety-6086244.php

    • GG says:

      Someone just sent me this link. I’ve never understood this “American Exceptionalism” thing and don’t really remember being indoctrinated with the idea that we were somehow oh so special. To me it just sounds like an excuse to do anything we want with no regard to anyone else. Kind of like the old British Imperialism.

      • 1mime says:

        I have a somewhat jaded perspective of “American Exceptionalism”, GG. America is a great nation, but it is not best in the world in all things despite Americans who say we are…because, we just are? In the broader world (there are other developed land masses other than the N. American Continent), this “mantra” that some Americans spout that our country exceeds all others, is perceived with humor and irritation. This young nation, as compared with older civilizations, has much to offer the world, but it is not “The World”.

        I read the decision by OK on AP History courses. The reasoning was pathetic. I feel sorry for the kids and the teachers who have to put up with this. How sad. Another “red” state hits the dust.

      • flypusher says:

        ” I’ve never understood this “American Exceptionalism” thing and don’t really remember being indoctrinated with the idea that we were somehow oh so special. ”

        We do have the longest running current republic streak going, I believe, so there is that. But the anti-intellectualism that saturates our socio-political fabric is downright embarrassing.

        IMO, that recent torture report should have made anyone with even a shred of honesty and self reflection conclude that we screwed up any claim to exceptionalism.

    • GG says:

      “The group attacks the “false wall of separation of church and state.” The Black Robe Regiment claims that a “growing tide of special interest groups indoctrinating our youth at the exclusion of the Christian perspective.”

      I won’t even remark on the stupidity of this comment.

      Doesn’t the Black Robe Regiment sound like a bunch of Inquisitionists?

      • flypusher says:

        ‘ “The group attacks the “false wall of separation of church and state.” ‘

        Methinks Madison would disagree with them. I wonder if any of them could tell us anything about, for example, Roger Williams off the tops of their heads.

      • texan5142 says:

        Had to look him up, I did not know about this man.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Williams

        Almost immediately upon the Williams’ arrival at Boston on February 5, 1631, the Boston church invited Rev. Williams to become its Teacher minister, to officiate while Rev. John Wilson returned to England to fetch his wife. However, Williams declined the position on grounds that it was “…an unseparated church.” In addition, Williams asserted that civil magistrates must not punish any sort of “…breach of the first table [of the Ten Commandments]”, such as idolatry, Sabbath-breaking, false worship, and blasphemy—and that individuals should be free to follow their own convictions in religious matters. These three principles became central to Williams’ subsequent career: separatism, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state.

      • flypusher says:

        Williams had an exceptional amount of moral courage. The man practiced what he preached, sometimes to his detriment. He was a devout Christian, and would do his best to persuade a non-Christian to his point of view, but would just as energetically advocate on that person’s right to be “wrong” (from a Christian’s POV) if that person’s freedom of individual conscience lead them to reject Christianity.

      • johngalt says:

        “Methinks Madison would disagree with them.”

        Indeed. The primary author of the Constitution and First Amendment spent his entire political career arguing against any intertwining of government and religion, even fighting (unsuccessfully) against the Congressional chaplain. He was probably a Deist and, like all of the first six presidents, would not today be considered an orthodox Christian.

    • Crogged says:

      The representative at the top of this article, Dan Fisher, is a Baptist minister in a redrawn Oklahoma District 60.

      He serves because he won the Republican primary in 2012 with 1,295 votes. He won the general election with a little over 7,000 votes.

      There was no opposition in 2014 in either the Republican primary or the general election.

      He will be ‘term limited’–in 2024.

      In 2014 there were 36,000 “civilians” in his district, according to Ballotpedia.

      It would seem only the Baptists of Oklahoma District 60 care to participate in democracy, every once in a while. This same trend occurs in Texas, as the author of this blog has pointed out once or twice or 1,295 times……

      • 1mime says:

        When the only people who know how important it is to vote are the same people who are suppressing the vote by any means possible, you got a problem.

        People – it’s the vote! People like Fisher should never get on the ballot even as a Republican.

    • Doug says:

      “For example, an effective analysis of the significance of the Civil War
      might consider both long-term and proximate causes as well as short- and long-
      term effects. So, discussing the long-term impact of growing economic divergence
      between the North and South could be weighed against the relatively short-term
      Congressional gridlock leading up to the outbreak of hostilities. Citing multiple
      contributing causes may also provide students with more compelling evidence to
      support larger investigations than focusing on a single cause. ”

      The Civil War had multiple causes? We can’t be teaching our kids that.

      • 1mime says:

        What would you teach our kids about the Civil War, Doug?

      • Doug says:

        “What would you teach our kids about the Civil War, Doug?”

        That it was all about slavery, of course. You’re a racist if you believe anything else.

      • 1mime says:

        “That it was all about slavery….You’re a racist if you believe anything else…” Said Doug with tongue firmly planted in cheek

      • Turtles Run says:

        ““What would you teach our kids about the Civil War, Doug?”

        That it was all about slavery, of course. You’re a racist if you believe anything else.”

        Exactly, who stated that? No one here claims that there were various reasons for the Civil War but we also do not pretend that it was not the biggest reason for the Civil War. That is the neo-confederates that make up the right wing.

  10. johngalt says:

    Provocative idea: Ted Cruz is the Manchurian Candidate.

    Discuss.

    • flypusher says:

      Cruz as Iselin, I’ll presume. So who would be Marco and Shaw?

    • johngalt says:

      I suppose I meant that largely metaphorically – a politically connected sleeper agent who appeals to some part of the populace. I wonder sometimes because his apparent strategies seem so intentionally destructive. It’s not an exact analogy, of course, but with hope Cruz’s Marco (if Sinatra was the original Marco, perhaps today’s could be similarly iconic, like Oprah or Beyonce) will reprogram him.

      • 1mime says:

        Cruz is on the prowl for anything that he can disrupt, at any cost, in order to not only thrust himself into the spotlight (he has an maniacal need for attention), but to continously roil the playing field. Total, unbearable narcissist. I almost feel sorry for McConnell.

    • Crogged says:

      Of course, why didn’t we see this all along! Whitewater, Community Reinvestment Act, then Cruz, the perfect candidate to sabotage any Republican effort to capture the presidency.

      All you have to do is mention the word “Constitution” at the final Presidential debate and the candidate self destructs, then too late we realize……….

      Say it, like Seinfeld’s sotte voce, “HIllary”, the true Queen of diamonds.

  11. Griffin says:

    It’s unlikely any of the current Republican nominees will beat the Democrats (espescially if the centrist if opportunistic Hillary Clinton is nominated) anyways. The 2016 Republican nomination is really not going to determine who the next president will be but it will decide the future of the GOP. Maybe if they run Cruz and he fails epically it could encourage the Republicans to tone it down, as opposed to giving his faction more power? Maybe? I remember Ross Douthat wanted to nominate Dick Cheney for that very reason but then again Ross Douthat is an idiot who’s been wrong about virtually everything so maybe I should rethink this…

    • texan5142 says:

      Get used to saying Madam President, Lol! I want a woman president, if the GOP had sense and forward thinking, they would find a woman candidate worthy of consideration to introduce to the American public. I admit that I have not done the research, who is out there that the republican party can put forward?

      • Doug says:

        “I want a woman president”
        Why?

      • johngalt says:

        They couldn’t screw things up any more than the men who have occupied that office generally have.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Because we seem to have had a noticeable under-representation of the female population in the Presidency for the past few years, decades, centuries?

        I guess one could try to argue that in all that time, there has never been a woman more qualified to be President than there was a man, but that would be such an absurd position to take that you could hold a meeting of like minds in a very sad conference room at a Holiday Inn.

        Douglas, I suspect you are trying to be provocative, so I’m eager for your retort.

      • Doug says:

        No, just curious why someone would prefer a trait that had nothing to do with qualification for the job. “Just because we never have” doesn’t seem like a very good reason to me. We’ve also never had a red-haired paraplegic Hispanic tranny as president, but I’ve not sure I would go looking for one on that basis.

      • texan5142 says:

        Doug says:
        February 17, 2015 at 8:01 am
        No, just curious why someone would prefer a trait that had nothing to do with qualification for the job.

        Do you mean like the color of someones’s skin kind of trait ? or do you mean the trait that some men still have that women should be subservient so much so that their own misogyny keeps them from voting because of “a trait that had nothing to do with qualification for the job.”

      • flypusher says:

        Given the 2nd class (or worse) status inflicted on women for most of human history, seeing one elected to the most powerful position on the planet would be a sign of progress.

      • johngalt says:

        “I guess one could try to argue that in all that time, there has never been a woman more qualified to be President than there was a man, but that would be such an absurd position to take that you could hold a meeting of like minds in a very sad conference room at a Holiday Inn.”

        I don’t think that is an absurd position. We expect our presidents to have significant, high-level political experience. As has been often pointed out, Obama was one of the least-experienced politicians to be elected. We want presidents who have been senators for years, secretaries of state, governors, and for most of our history women were not elected to those positions. Of course, we know why that is and was, but it has only been in the last 25 years or so that society has been willing to elect women to high level positions (a fact which says more about our society than it does about the inherent ability of women in general).

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Ah…Doug…always nice when you come to play.

        You seem to be the only one saying, “because we have never had one”.

        Heck, look at it as untapped talent. I would think we would all agree that we want the most talented person in that role, and it seems to be about time we tap into the 50% of our population to find the best talent.

        If you want to expand the potential benefits a bit, thanks to Hillary and Palin, 16 year old girls across the country now believe having a woman running for President is a perfectly normal, thus making them more likely to pursue such an endeavor in the future.

        And Doug, please try not to hide your objectivity for “tranny’s” and such.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        JG…I do not disagree, but I think you could go back to 1992, 1996, and 2000 and find at least one or two women (maybe not a whole binder full of women) who would have been qualified to be President.

        A failed Governor (with little power in the hands of the Governor) with a history of failed business endeavors doesn’t seem to be too high of a standard. By those standards, Ann Richards was as qualified in 1992 as was W.

        Romney was a one-term governor of a small state a decade before he ran for President.

        Carter was a one-term governor and in the GA state senate prior to that. Woodrow Wilson was a two-year governor of New Jersey. Harding a one-term senator. Obama was an unimpressive junior senator.

        I think we could find at least a small manilla envelop of women that met those requirements.

        Your broader point is valid. Let’s set up a system that systematically excludes large groups of people from getting the exposure, experience, and expertise needed for a role, and then point out, “Hey, we’d love to have more of you in the process, but you just aren’t qualified”.

        Interestingly, Gallop did a poll on Hillary, and the #1 reason people gave for not voting for Hillary is that she is “not qualified enough”, despite easily being one of the most qualified to run for President since at least George H. W. Bush, and before that, probably Nixon.

        So, even if women are qualified, folks like to not believe it.

      • objv says:

        Fly wrote: Given the 2nd class (or worse) status inflicted on women for most of human history, seeing one elected to the most powerful position on the planet would be a sign of progress.

        Agreed, but Hilary would not be the best choice. She had no real accomplishments as Secretary of State. More importantly,Benghazi will come back to bite her. What was she doing on that night? Who can forget her deranged testimony?

        “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”

        Clinton tried to cover up the fact that the attack was not spontaneous. It was planned. Can Americans be comfortable with a president who has lied repeatedly for political purposes? Brian Williams may be out of a job because he lied. Should Clinton be given a break for her remarks about encountering sniper fire?

        http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/020615-738419-hillary-clinton-dodged-bosnia-sniper-fire.htm

        I’d like Susana Martinez to eventually run for president. She deserves the honor. Hillary does not.

      • 1mime says:

        Susana Martinez – a better Presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton?…..Martinez was a Democrat before she became a Republican in 1996. Did you know that? Opportunistic move, wouldn’t you say? How you can compare the two ladies and think Martinez would be a better choice than Hillary is pure nonsense. She is a good governor and she may develop into a more formidable talent for the GOP with time and experience, but she is NOT in the same league as Hillary Clinton, who you obviously don’t think much of. Hillary’s smart, experienced in the White House machinations, and is respected throughout the world. Furthermore, she wouldn’t be quite as naive as Obama was about trying to work with the GOP, which cost him and the Democratic agenda tremendously.

        How do you judge the job done by a Secretary of State? Wars avoided? Attacks on America’s soil? What are your requisites? Hillary worked very hard and did a good job and represented America’s interests with dignity and good judgment. We can debate her job performance til the cows come home but no way is Gov. Susana Martinez in the same league.

      • objv says:

        Mme, So, Martinez is a Dixiecrat? Who knew? Martinez explained why she switched. From wiki:

        On August 29, 2012, Martinez gave a speech to the Republican National Convention, where she spoke right before vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, and described her decision to switch parties. She told the story that she was taken to lunch by Republican friends who wanted her to switch parties. She stated that she was going just to be polite, but when she left the luncheon with her husband, she had changed her mind. She told the convention, “When we left that lunch, we got in the car and I looked over at Chuck and said, ‘I’ll be damned – we’re Republicans.”

      • 1mime says:

        Well, that was a political decision that was well thought out! Must have been one hell of a speaker….or, maybe she liked the menu better? Either way, I think she made a calculated decision as to her best political chances and seized the moment (opportunity is not as on point due to the fact that it took only the length of the meal to change her mind….)

      • objv says:

        Mime, call me crazy, but I don’t see what Martinez would have to gain by becomming a Republican. New Mexico is a blue state and being a Rebublican would be a disadvantage.

      • 1mime says:

        The GOP badly needs women – especially Hispanic women (not wants, notice) to wear the Repub banner. It’s their subtle way of trying to show women everywhere that their values appeal to smart, capable women. I can only assume Martinez was offered the moon and the stars as changing your mind over the course of a luncheon doesn’t sound like a carefully considered position to me. When the political dominoes fall vis a vis the overwhelming numbers of Hispanic voters, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ms. Martrinez changed parties again. It seems she’s very comfortable with that process.

        Nevertheless, I hope she does do a good job as Gov. for the sake of the large poor Hispanic population of NM. I understand the southern part of NM is conservative and the north is liberal. Is that correct?

      • objv says:

        Mime, as I understand it, most of NM’s population is concentrated around Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Santa Fe is very liberal, but many in Albuquerque have connections to the military so they can sometimes swing the vote to a Republican candidate. The rest of the state is sparsely populated with Las Cruces (pop. of 101,000) being the next largest city after Albuquerque.

        I live in the north-west corner of the state. It is reliably Republican because of the energy jobs from natural gas and coal.

      • texan5142 says:

        objv says:
        February 17, 2015 at 10:40 am
        Fly wrote: Given the 2nd class (or worse) status inflicted on women for most of human history, seeing one elected to the most powerful position on the planet would be a sign of progress.

        Agreed, but Hilary would not be the best choice. She had no real accomplishments as Secretary of State. More importantly,Benghazi will come back to bite her. What was she doing on that night? Who can forget her deranged testimony?

        “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”

        The deranged will not forget, that is why people like you keep bringing it up. Now lets put in context shall we.

        JOHNSON: Madam Secretary, do you disagree that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determined what happened would have ascertained immediately there was no protest? That was a piece of information that could have been easily, easily obtained. within hours if not days.
        CLINTON: Senator, you know, when you’re in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process.
        JOHNSON: I realize that. I realize it’s a good excuse.
        CLINTON: No it’s a fact. […]
        JOHNSON: Again, we were mislead there was supposedly protests and something spraying out of that, assault spraying out of that. That was easily ascertained that was not the fact and the american people could have known that within days and didn’t know that.
        CLINTON: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans?! What difference at this point does it make?! It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.

      • texan5142 says:

        objv says:
        February 17, 2015 at 10:40 am
        Can Americans be comfortable with a president who has lied repeatedly for political purposes?

        I guess that excludes Cruz, you know, the guy that instigated a government shut down, then goes on national TV to say it was not him.

        http://www.politifact.com/personalities/ted-cruz/

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Objv…so, all of the reports and investigations (by the GOP) not finding anything with Benghazi has not been enough to sway you and the folks you know? You might think this is going to bite Hillary, but I’m not sure how hard of a bite that it is going to be. The folks who see the scandal, were not going to be voting for a Democrat anyway.

        What accomplishments as a SOS would you expect? Are there accomplishments that Rice, Powell, or Albright might point to?

        I like that you objectively describe Hillary’s testimony as “deranged” and assert that she does not deserve the honor.

        I have no idea for whom you voted in 2004, but if you think Benghazi is enough to disqualify Hillary, lots of folks might suggest that Iraq and WMDs were enough to disqualify GW Bush (at least if viewing the situation objectively).

      • johngalt says:

        Of course I agree with you, Homer. There are quite a lot of women with the innate ability to lead this country. We’ve only found three willing to put a serious effort at becoming president. Unfortunately, two of those are nut jobs, but I’m sure a qualified, moderately sane one will emerge and there will be a female president soon, if not Hillary in 2016, then soon after.

      • johngalt says:

        Objv, nobody – and I mean nobody – who actually cares about Benghazi as a scandal would vote for Hillary in a million years. The nonsense about whether it was a protest or a organized attack is ultimately meaningless: there was no coverup, it was a mild case of administrative incompetence. Four Americans, posted by their country to a war-torn and dangerous Middle Eastern nation, were killed. They should have had better security. The Obama administration should have called it a terrorist attack right away instead of 4 days later, though this is largely semantics. Christopher Stevens was the seventh U.S. Ambassador assassinated in the last 50 years. Honor his service, learn the right lessons, move on.

      • flypusher says:

        “Can Americans be comfortable with a president who has lied repeatedly for political purposes? ”

        I’m hard pressed to think of a single President within my lifetime who DIDN’T lie for political purposes, so I’m thinking most voters hold their noses and accept that they have to pick among flawed candidates.

        Hillary in 2016 would be better qualified than either Obama in 2008 or Bush in 2000.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Benghazi, really? REALLY?

        And taking Hillary’s comments totally out of context and leaving the last sentence off as Texan already noted?

        And although Hillary was pretty pathetic in lying and claiming she had to dodge sniper fire in Bosnia, how come no complaint from YOU when Reagan falsely claimed he personally witnessed and videotaped the victims of the Holocaust at a liberation of a Nazi concentration camp when he NEVER left stateside making propaganda videos during World War II?

        OV, you have proven yet again you are a totally biased, hypocritical, and irrational partisan hack beating yet another irrelevant dead horse for pure partisan poo flinging as Sassy ACCURATELY noted that is all you do here.

        And we will keep noting that until you actually have any insightful (or factually correct) point to make.

      • objv says:

        Homer wrote: I have no idea for whom you voted in 2004, but if you think Benghazi is enough to disqualify Hillary, lots of folks might suggest that Iraq and WMDs were enough to disqualify GW Bush (at least if viewing the situation objectively).

        Homer, I’m not sure I voted in 2004 and I have to confess that I’m not knowledgeable about WMDs in Iraq. Owl tried to corner me once, but I don’t know enough to form an opinion. I’d have to do a lot of reading since there is so much information out there.

        My family moved to Venezuela shortly after 911 and we didn’t return until July 2004. We had a lot of work to do moving into a new home and helping our kids get stated at school. In the days before the election, my husband had a biopsy done which turned out to be cancer that had already metastasized. unfortunately, the election and WMDs were not foremost in mind during that time.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So OV SINCE 2004 you have not the curiosity, time, nor inclination to research the non existent WMD’s in Iraq (except for those WE helped procure prior to 1990) or the false reasons that UNNECESSARILY killed OVER 4,000 American military men and women and countless tens of thousands or possibly hundreds of thousands Iraqis?And screwed up the war in Afghanistan unnecessarily killing over 2,000 Americans and wasting countless Billions of dollars?

        And yet you continue to harp about Benghazi that killed 4 Americans?

        Clueless, willfully ignorant, uninformed ,shrill, obsessive partisan right wing hack.

        Thank you for continuing to post and confirming that assessment OV.

      • objv says:

        ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

      • 1mime says:

        Objv, I realize this was a difficult time in your life, but you do need to take the time to learn more about the incidents you comment on since you admittedly were out of touch then. The weapons of mass destruction issue has been well documented as a political excuse to give Bush the justification to enter Iraq. That decision cost America many precious lives and revenue and the war’s cost was entirely “off the books”.

        JG succinctly responded to the Benghazi event so I won’t repeat that other than to say I agree with his assessment.

        The GOP has cried “wolf” so often and with such animus that it’s hard to believe anything they say. And, that’s a real shame.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Yep OV she is doing a bang up job as Governor. With these numbers I don’t think she qualifies to be a dog catcher.

        http://www.spotlightonpoverty.org/map-detail.aspx?state=New-Mexico

        I would hate to think what this country would look like under her tender mercies.

      • objv says:

        Sassy, I find it more than a little amusing that I ended up in a blue state and you ended up in a very red state – yet we both love where we live. 🙂

        New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics in the country and the second highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska. Yes, there are huge problems with poverty. Also, drug and alcohol abuse are prevalent. Since I live in a small city, I am not shielded like I was when living in a sprawling Houston subdivision.

        Here’s the point. previous Democrat governors haven’t been able to overcome NM’s problems either. The principle drivers of the NM economy are energy and federal jobs (numerous military bases). EPA restrictions have made it much harder to make money from coal and the price of natural gas has been very low. Recent cuts to the military have cost jobs as well.

        People in NM realize that Gov. Martinez has been doing the best she can under the circumstances. She won her last election by a quite healthy margin.

        Martinez has been trying to get businesses to move to NM. She is used to living in a blue state and working across party lines. She didn’t fight Obamacare and instituted Common Core. She is also working to end social promotion in school. She is not a hard core Republican.

        I went to a rally for Gov. Martinez (with Gov. Christie in tow) before the last election. She is a beautiful woman with a calm, peaceful aura about her. I expected that most of the people at the rally would have been there because Christie was in the news so much. But no, most seemed to be focused on Martinez. A wide variety of people showed up – including a few kids that may have skipped school. It was nice to see Martinez posing for photos with veterans (many Native Americans in our area have been in the military) and families. As you can see I managed a photo op myself.

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, Thanks for the great link to a great resource (Spotlight on Poverty). I took time to look at TX, LA, MS, AL, GA poverty stats as well. Actually, they were pretty similar to NM…which says a whole lot about Lifer’s posts on people voting against their economic interests. There is a ton of useful info in this website, including the fact that LA and MS have no minimum wage law, but the data indicating percentage of children living in single parent households was striking to me. Also look at the percentage of home ownership and renters.

        My point is, the “deep” south has a long way to go to lift up its people but doesn’t seem to be in any hurry. Could the Repub philosophy be to keep ’em dumb and poor? We need to fire these citizens up, get them registered and get them to the polls. Dems will not be successful motivating the hard right – poor or fundamentalist – but we do have a shot at the rest. Of course this means we will see voter suppression ramped up because Repubs have to reduce Democratic votes as their numbers are peaking.

      • johngalt says:

        “Martinez has been trying to get businesses to move to NM. She is used to living in a blue state and working across party lines. She didn’t fight Obamacare and instituted Common Core. She is also working to end social promotion in school. She is not a hard core Republican.”

        In other words, she’s a fine governor who has no prayer of winning GOP presidential primary.

      • objv says:

        JG: Don’t crush my dreams! Maybe someday ….

      • johngalt says:

        Objv – if Martinez could win the primary in today’s GOP, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I dare say Chris wouldn’t write this blog. It’s precisely because centrist, practical, common sense ideas, and the pols who espouse them, are marginalized in the GOP that many of us no longer affiliate, even informally with the party.

      • 1mime says:

        To your point, JG, about the problems moderate Republicans face, this article from today’s Daily Beast points out:

        “…the result of past GOP brinkmanship is that Republicans are likely to bear the burden of the blame for any shutdown.

        It also creates peculiar consequences in the 2016 presidential race as well.

        It combines two delicate political issues of immigration reform and a government shutdown into one package and places more moderate GOP hopefuls in a bind….”

        Combine the threat of another government shutdown with Walker’s budget flim-flam, Rauner’s cuts to basic services, Brownback’s disastrous tax cuts, and all the noise about immigration and women’s rights….I’ll bet there are some voters out there scratching their heads…

        Governing is hard. Working across the aisle to get things done? M.I.A.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        February 20, 2015 at 9:03 am

        “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ”

        Thank you OV for continuing to post and reconfirming the assessment that you are a consummate willfully clueless, and willfully ignorant, and willfully uninformed ,shrill, obsessive partisan right wing hack.

    • Anse says:

      I’m hoping the Democrat wins, of course, but I’m not totally convinced that Hillary can’t be beat. She’s got quite a bit of baggage just for being associated with Obama (voters have shown a tendency to tire of presidents) and because she’s a Clinton. On the other hand, if she goes up against Jeb Bush, that’s one dynasty against another, and the Bushes have quite a bit more to live down if you ask me. Jeb’s brother didn’t exactly leave the country in a very good state.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      At this point, I have little faith that Hillary is unbeatable.

      Her unfavorability rating hovers around 40%, and it is rare to have a Presidential candidate that polls that unfavorably at this stage. Granted, she is a rare candidate in that she is completely known by everyone at this stage (2% have never heard of her, and 7% have no opinion of her).

      Granted, the 40% that view her unfavorably are somewhat unlikely to vote for any Democrat, but Hillary’s upside potential is lower than that of most candidate.

      In contrast, Ted Cruz has only a 23% unfavorable rating. 36% haven’t heard of him and 15% have no opinion. I’d like to believe what once folks get to know Mr. Cruz that he is going to get viewed more and more unfavorably, but then a “moderate” like Walker looks better in comparison.

      Hillary is not known as a great campaigner. Losing to Obama, an untested and at least somewhat unprepared candidate, was not good. By the time her campaign realized it was slipping, it was too late, and their responses were a bit less than savory at times. We assume she has learned from the last experience, but we won’t know that until we see it.

      There is a chunk of the population that won’t vote for a woman as President. Granted, most of those folks wouldn’t vote for a Democrat anyway. Get ready for the word “bitch” to be floating through the subconscious (or conscious) of lots of folks.

      If the GOP candidate wants to make the contest wide open: Let me offer my speech writing skills.

      “You know, the issue is same sex marriage is generally settled. If not yet settled in our court system, it is settled in the hearts and minds of our young people. Our younger generations have embraced a broader definition of marriage, and in this case, they are right. I understand that it makes people uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable. However, the courts are ruling that gay people deserve the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by others, and more and more people in this great country are moving in that direction. While I understand the opposing sides, as President, I am not going to oppose the recognition of same sex marriage.”

      “I want abortion to be as rare as possible and as safe as possible. I’m going to do everything I can to make both of those things happen. I am pro-life, but I do not have near enough hubris to think my opinion on this issue should be a factor when a woman, her family, and her doctor are making these decisions. I trust women to make these decisions, and I am not going to seek to restrict the ability of women to make those decisions.”

      With that, the general election is much more a contest.

      • vikinghou says:

        Speech #1 seems feasible, but I can’t imagine a GOP candidate being nominated after uttering Speech #2.

        I agree that Hillary is not invincible. Among Democrats, I don’t think she has been completely forgiven for her vote in favor of the Iraq War. I believe this was a major factor in her 2008 loss to Obama. The Democratic base may not be as enthusiastic in 2016.

      • flypusher says:

        Viking, I have to wonder if Cruz being the GOP nominee might up their motivation a bit.

      • Firebug2006 says:

        “I agree that Hillary is not invincible. Among Democrats, I don’t think she has been completely forgiven for her vote in favor of the Iraq War. I believe this was a major factor in her 2008 loss to Obama. The Democratic base may not be as enthusiastic in 2016.”

        I don’t personally know any Democrats who give a flying flip that Hillary voted “yea” on Iraq. I think the only reason it mattered in 2008 was because her main opponent had not. Now that we’re another eight years removed from the issue, and no similar opponent to call her out on it, I just don’t see it mattering. I mean, it’s not like the Republican nominee is going to bring it up, right? Except possibly Rand Paul, in which case the GOP is screwed regardless.

        I think the base is going to get excited about Hillary, and the party is doing its best to make sure of it. 2014 was just the kind of ass-whooping they needed. Unlike the GOP, they seemed to have gotten the message. Otherwise, why make their first order of post-election business the creation of an official leadership position for Warren. POTUS is doing his part with his vigorous end-of-term progressive assault. And Hillary is doing her part–she won’t be repeating the 2008 mistakes. She’s reassembling Obama’s team, and just this week has publicly reached out for Warren’s help (“publicly” being the operative word). She’s letting the party push her toward a progressive platform, somewhere she could not credibly arrive on her own.

      • 1mime says:

        Good (and, I believe accurate) observations, Firebug. One additional point. If Repubs continue to “govern” up to 2016 as they have in their first couple of months, Independents will throw in the towel and abandon them. Our nation is tired of obstructionism and continual threats and vitriol. We know the GOP will push hard on its base to vote; however, Independents who represent less than 10% of voters, usually do vote and if Dems GOTV from their base, Indepts can shore up the margins. One thing you can take to the bank. This will be the ugliest Presidential race in a long, long time given the amount of money dedicated to the effort on both sides and what’s at stake for both parties. This is the GOP’s last hurrah as demographics are passing them by, and Dems cannot afford to lose in 2016.

      • Firebug2006 says:

        Ugly, indeed. Perhaps it will be just ugly enough to tip the scales on the Citizens United sentiment.

        I think that viking makes a crucial point re Speech #2. No Republican candidate can go there. Especially in light of the fury with which a majority of state houses are renewing the war on women—100+ bills already introduced/passed in 2015. Combine that with the fact that the party is on the wrong side of almost every other issue, and you’ve got the makings for the Dems to pitch a shut-out with the younger demographic. Unlike my pathetic generation (X), these guys are all about the issues and don’t buy into the GOP values-driven platform. They’ve seen the Bush recession eat their/their friends parents alive, so they sure don’t believe that trickle-down bullshit. And every dumb, hateful, myopic thing Republicans do or say for the next 18 months, will have a meme and a hashtag and an audience of millions. Thank goodness there was one thing they* didn’t foresee when they put this plan in motion decades ago—social media.

        *I don’t mean to sound paranoid. It’s just that I read an expose on ALEC’s role in the creation/perpetuation of our scandalous for-profit prison system, and I haven’t been the same since. The breadth and depth of the sociopathy that it entails is horrifying. http://www.thenation.com/article/162478/hidden-history-alec-and-prison-labor#

      • Firebug2006 says:

        100+ anti-choice/contraception bills, I should have specified.

      • 1mime says:

        Firebug, I just had time to read your link about ALEC and using prisoners for cheap labor. And to think all this time we believed it was to help train prisoners with job skills upon discharge! Slick, and sad. It doesn’t seem to be on any ones radar that I can see. Do you keep up with this issue?

  12. Crogged says:

    The Chron ran a Krugman piece regarding the Federal Reserve and the Republican Party. The title is apt, “Money makes Crazy”, and the comments begin with deranged. Are their secret meetings between the Chamber of Commerce and Mr.Cruz a la Dr. Strangelove?

  13. way2gosassy says:

    He may win the nomination, he will never win the general and his nomination would most likely marginalize the Republican Party in national elections for a very long time.

  14. texan5142 says:

    Cruz reminds me of Martin Sheen running for POTUS in the Dead Zone.

    Also it looks like this guy is crazy.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/arkansas-state-senator-suggests-us-nuke-allies-in-order-to-deal-with-isis-threat/

    “I believe,” Rapert continued, “it is time to annihilate the strongholds and pursue the rest till we have them all captured or killed. A strategically placed nuclear weapon would save the lives of our soldiers and quickly turn things around.”

    “It is time for the insanity to be stopped.”

    Get that, he wants to stop the insanity with the insanity of using nuclear weapons.

  15. Turtles Run says:

    Here is the rankings of potential GOP nominees from a Republican site in Virginia. On their evaluation of Ted Cruz, I quote:

    9. Texas Senator Ted Cruz

    Cruz is barely about the Bachmann line and not likely to gain much traction. He does not come across well on TV or radio. In other words, Cruz has a face for radio and voice for email. It’s hard to see him connecting. The other night while watching the news, my wife looked at Cruz and said, “Eww…who’s that? He looks sleazy.” Ted might need some eyeglasses.

    http://bearingdrift.com/2015/02/12/gop-potus-nomination-power-rankings/

    • Anse says:

      I suspect that being president is not Cruz’s goal. I could be wrong. But there’s a career to be made out of political bomb-throwing.

      • 1mime says:

        What I think of Cruz is that he enjoys being the “spoiler”. He will throw America under the bus if it elevates his profile. He doesn’t care who or what he hurts in the process. He likes to game the system….Evidently he doesn’t care if anyone likes him as a person. How does someone like that ever get close to the Presidency? And, if they do, what does that say about the state of affairs of the American Democracy? You could never trust Cruz to labor over decisions for the good of the nation. It would always be “all about him”. It saddens me to think he even has a following.

      • Doug says:

        1mime, I think what your missing is that Cruz has principles, and stands by them even to his own detriment. Can’t fault you for your bad analysis, though. You’ve probably never seen that before.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug “…what your missing is that Cruz has principles, and stands by them even to his own detriment. Can’t fault you for your bad analysis, though. You’ve probably never seen that before.”

        Well, Doug, I’ll fault your bad analysis. Cruz is narcissistic, he panders, and if he has principles, he can keep them. He is divisive and one of the most disliked members of Congress. Don’t take my word for it. Look it up. Just because he relishes being able to shut down the entire American government doesn’t make him a bad person; it makes him irresponsible. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposed his theatrics. So, spare me the lecture about my bad analysis of Sen. Cruz’ principles.

      • Creigh says:

        Pretty much what Anse said. Other than nominating some really bad Supreme Court justices, a Cruz presidency wouldn’t likely accomplish much besides tantrum-throwing. He’s not a politician, and non-politicians typically don’t accomplish much.

  16. bubbabobcat says:

    No kidding Chris. Don’t know what the difference or distinction is from Tea Party to “social conservative” and to a certain extent “libertarian”. They all fall under the whackadoodle lane in my mind.

    • Turtles Run says:

      I would say there is a big difference between tea party and libertarian. The libertarian ideals espoused by the tea party are based on Ayn Rand (is all about me) social view versus the more traditional classic libertarian version of old. I do believe that current John Birch, Moral Majority, tea party activists are seeking to co-op the libertarian name much like they did with the term conservative. It lends an air of credibility to their politics of modern day feudalism.

  17. Anse says:

    I do hope that his rivals can ding Cruz hard on his stupid attempt to default the nation. If nothing else, the campaign ought to be a real spectacle.

    • 1mime says:

      Lifer, If you are correct, I would be concerned for America. I have tried to understand Cruz’ belief system, but findamentally, I simply don’t trust the sincerity of his belifs nor do I believe he is a good person. Anyone who is as self-absorbed as Cruz is, should never be President. I cannot imagine America under his leadership.

      • Doug says:

        ” I have tried to understand Cruz’ belief system”

        It’s pretty simple, really. We have a Constitution, and we should follow it.

      • Creigh says:

        I donno, Doug. The idea that “following the Constitution” is simple seems naive. There are inevitable conflicts between various inalienable rights that have to be negotiated. Chemerinsky’s Con Law textbook goes on for 1300 pages on this.

      • flypusher says:

        And nothing sets the example of following the Constitution better than shutting down the government because you don’t have the votes to overturn the ACA, threatening the credit rating of the country, and thereby playing chicken with the world’s economy. Just the sort and sober and thoughtful governance we all crave!

      • Firebug2006 says:

        His belief system is Dominionism, he’s simply shrouding it in Constitutionalism.

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