Northern states are not turning purple

Dave Weigel posted an excellent piece this morning explaining one of the red herrings from the ’14 election results – victories by Republican Gubernatorial candidates in solidly blue states. He focuses in on Larry Hogan’s win in Maryland, but the same analysis works for Illinois and Massachusetts.

Hogan’s win does nothing to open up new opportunities at the Federal level. Weigel explains:

Hogan was able to run as a candidate who cared nothing about social issues, a reformer who’d undo some of outgoing Governor Martin O’Malley’s most hated taxes. Any Republican running for Senate in Maryland will be asking—probably—for a chance to Change Washington. Functionally, he’d be asking a Democratic-leaning electorate to help him join Mitch McConnell’s Senate.

The case gets even more persuasive with a look at the numbers. The apathy of an off-year electorate was critical to Hogan’s success.

884,400: The number of votes won by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in his upset 2014 win over former Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown.

51 percent to 47 percent: Hogan’s margin of victory over Brown.

971,869: The number of votes won by Mitt Romney in Maryland in the 2012 presidential race.

62 percent to 36 percent: President Barack Obama’s victory margin over Romney.

The Blue Wall is solid. The only thing that will dent it is a major shift in Republican politics away from religious fundamentalism and toward urban concerns. Neither of those trends is apparent anywhere at this point.

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
333 comments on “Northern states are not turning purple
  1. Turtles Run says:

    The Republican minority outreach is still in full swing. The GOP leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy or Majority Whip Steve Scalise have decided to skip the 50th anniversary of the Selma March.

    Majority Whip Steve Scalise claimed to be unable to make the event due to a scheduling conflict (another White Nationalist event????).

    Read more:

    • 1mime says:

      Netanyahu pay-back? (Many black Congressmen didn’t attend the speech.) It’s worse than the GOP leadership not attending. ONLY 23 GOP Congressmen/women do plan to attend. There are 245 /Republican members of Congress. This is an extremely important event for the Black community. The insult is deliberate and noted. I guess the GOP has dedeuced that Hispanic numbers are greater than Black numbers so they’re hedging their bets accordingly.

      This will not do Republicans anything but harm.

  2. 1mime says:

    The new GOP health care plan proposal (Burr, Coburn, Hatch), has some good ideas in it (mostly borrowed from the ACA – which is understandable since it was originally a GOP concept before it wasn’t when Obama endorsed it), but there are problems with it that a cursory reading finds (I will continue to research and report.)

    It proposes a one-time open enrollment period, after which medical underwriting would be required. Should people fall outside this defined period due to income problems or other life exigencies, they are SOL in so far as guaranteed pre-existing coverage. It proposes plan subsidy (government provided…what’s the diff with ACA, doc?) that is income-related but is absolutely silent in how it will be paid for! It caps medical expense limits for HSA or aggregate health insurance costs for those who don’t have access/qualify for HSA, after which these expenses are treated as “regular” income. So, if a family or individual experienced a major health issue, the cost over the cap would be treated as regular income.

    It doesn’t require individuals to purchase health insurance but is silent on what the exposure to hospitals would be if they are indigent and need health care. Same old, same old problem with no improvement from existing circumstances, but without the subsidies hospitals are currently receiving under ACA. Since people are not required to purchase health insurance, and since the open enrollment period is a one-time thing, all who opt out will be on the government dole once more when, not if, they experience a health crisis.

    Stay tuned for more GOP health care alternatives to the ACA. My question is, why not work with what is operating – ACA – and improve it rather than replace it? As Doug noted, it’s purely polititics.

  3. GG says:

    Well, someone just emailed me this and I just had to share. Adopting kids and passing them around is about as low as you can get and I’ll bet this guy is opposed to abortion and cheap, easy birth control too.

    • GG says:

      The comments below the article were quite informative too. I had no idea there was a “gray market” for adopted children.

  4. way2gosassy says:

    Because the ATF has proposed a ban on armor piercing bullets for the AR-15 they are introducing a bill to dismantle a Department that has been in existance for over a hundred years and has been used by every political party to further their agendas on domestic policy.

    By the way those bullets defeat the bullet proof vests our law enforcement officers use for personal protection nationwide.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Well you know Sassy, it’s the 2nd Amendment right that God put in the Constitution to shoot paper targets with armor piercing bullets.

      The “logic” of insecure, fearful, wingnuts.

    • Doug says:

      “By the way those bullets defeat the bullet proof vests our law enforcement officers use for personal protection nationwide.”

      Pretty much ANY rifle bullet will defeat soft body armor. There is nothing special about these bullets, they do not meet the legal definition of armor piercing, and there is no record of any LEO anywhere being shot with one from an AR pistol. This is pure politics.

      • Turtles Run says:

        These SS109 and M855 cartridges that the ATF proposes to ban were originally listed as “for sporting purposes” but as Doug pointed out these bullets are capable of being fired from an AR pistol. Because of their metal content and these bullets now capable of being fired from weapons other than for hunting purposes they now are categorized as “armor-piercing”.

        The statue defining armor piercing bullets is as follows:


        (B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
        (i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
        (ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

        WITHIN THE MEANING OF 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(C)

        Click to access atf_framework_for_determining_whether_certain_projectiles_are_primarily_intended_for_sporting_purposes.pdf

      • Doug says:

        “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium”

        Right. And the core of the M855 mostly lead with a steel tip. It doesn’t fit the definition, yet they pretend it does. Even if you hate guns, this type of “rule making” should concern you.

      • 1mime says:

        You are correct, Doug! I’d much rather focus on: registration of ALL gun sales, open carry proposals on college campuses and everywhere else, greater vigilance in gun sales to mentally unstable persons, greater gun safety in the home (2 children died this past week in TX due to gun access), smaller ammunition clips, prohibition of assault weapon sales except for military use.

        Can’t wait for your reply.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug – I am impressed with your knowledge of the composition of the M855 and your concern about “rule making.”

        \\ Just Kidding
        \\\\ I am not impressed at all

      • vikinghou says:

        Parents allowing children to have unsupervised access to guns (which has resulted in three shooting incidents in the past week) should be a felony with mandatory jail time.

      • Doug says:

        Turtles – Yes, I have a little knowledge and a few opinions on firearms. But are you saying you’re OK with federal agencies implementing rules that have no basis in law?

      • Doug says:

        1mime, I don’t have time right now for a detailed reply, so I’ll just say “Chicago”.

      • johngalt says:

        To which I’ll reply: Australia.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug, “I’ll just say Chicago”. I have absolutely no idea what you mean. Awaiting your reply.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “But are you saying you’re OK with federal agencies implementing rules that have no basis in law?”

        Nope, I did not make such a claim nor did I even hint of such a claim. The ATF has made their decision concerning these rounds public. Excuse me if I take their detailed reasoning over your conspiracy-laced claims.

        Click to access atf_framework_for_determining_whether_certain_projectiles_are_primarily_intended_for_sporting_purposes.pdf

      • Turtles Run says:

        1mime – I have to agree with you. I do not know what Doug means by mentioning the musical Chicago.

      • 1mime says:

        I was a little slow on my uptake with “Chicago” (liked your version better!). But, I think what Doug was referring to was the high crime rate in Chicago – which, BTW, has gone down a lot, but is still way too high. I’d like to think Chicago is the apex of gun crime rather than typical of all urban areas. So, my comments about guns stand.

      • GG says:

        I don’t hunt but many in my family do, however, am I to understand that they want to make us think that armor-piercing bullets are needed to hunt game? Has there been a sudden increase in game animals evolving to have body armor instead of fur besides the armadillo, of course? If I am misunderstanding this please say so.

      • Turtles Run says:

        GG – These rounds have been around for years and have been exempt from the “armor piecing” category because they were considered “for sporting purposes”. These rounds can now be fired from AR pistols and with their metal makeup mean they are not solely for hunting or recreation, hence the new definition.

      • GG says:

        I’ll never understand the fascination of guns. I can see someone owning a hunting rifle but the stockpiling of weaponry that goes on is bizarre to me. I’d say it’s almost a fetish and, quite possibly, a psychological crutch of some sort. Penis extension?

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Doug – So you are a knowledgeable person. You know calibres, grains, muzzle velocity, etc. You probably know how much kinetic energy is transferred to soft tissue and bone when hit with a 223.

        But do you have any, I say any, idea how to keep that bullet from hitting the soft tissue in a child in his/hers parents bedroom?

        Is that a cost we must pay to live in our society?

      • johngalt says:

        What Doug is referring to is that Chicago had some of the strictest gun control laws in the U.S. and has a high murder rate relative to other large cities. Because correlation equals causation, the pro-gun lobby has linked these two together. Of course, this being the U.S., the gun control laws were not particularly strict (a ban on handgun ownership was struck down five years ago and replaced with an ineffectual ban on sales within city limited) and have been largely dismantled in the last few years without much change to the rates of violent crime.

        Largely Chicago is used as a proxy for all that is wrong with the world, since Obama came from there.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Since Doug is busy, I’ll continue the conversation.

        Q-Since we know that most of the guns used in Chicago are bought outside the city limits, shouldn’t we impose stricter straw purchase rules and make them nationwide or at least statewide?
        A-No. That would infringe on my rights.
        Q-Could we at least make all gun sales go through a Licensed gun dealer to control who winds up with these guns? At least try to track the seller and buyer of the guns that kill our kids?
        A- No. That is a slippery slope to complete gun control.
        Q- Are you not afraid that by opposing all sensible gun control that the public will one day tire of the useless killing and do more to control guns than if you accepted some reasonable controls now?
        A- No. We will use our guns to oppose all gun control. Some of us are looking forward to this. Then we will be a free country like Honduras.

      • 1mime says:

        (-: Good repartee, Doug – oops, Unarmed!

      • Doug says:

        “But do you have any, I say any, idea how to keep that bullet from hitting the soft tissue in a child in his/hers parents bedroom?”

        Yes, education. We all know that “just say no” doesn’t work, right?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Doug, your wingnut stances are hypocritically duplicitous. You want “secure borders” for human “illegals” but NOT secure borders for gun control laws?

        “More than a quarter of the firearms seized on the streets here by the Chicago Police Department over the past five years were bought just outside city limits in Cook County suburbs, according to an analysis by the University of Chicago Crime Lab. Others came from stores around Illinois and from other states, like Indiana, less than an hour’s drive away. Since 2008, more than 1,300 of the confiscated guns, the analysis showed, were bought from just one store, Chuck’s Gun Shop in Riverdale, Ill., within a few miles of Chicago’s city limits.”

        But then if you weren’t able to cling to your hypocrisy, you don’t have a point do you?

        Okaaaay. Gotcha.

        Chicago! Benghazi!

        Mindless, illogical, and disingenuous catchphrases are easier on the brain than using it to think rationally. I get it Doug.

      • Doug says:

        I’ll never understand the fascination of shoes. I can see a woman owning some sneakers, work shoes, and a pair of heels, but the stockpiling of shoes that goes on is bizarre to me. I’d say it’s almost a fetish and, quite possibly, a psychological crutch of some sort. 🙂

        However, live and let live is my motto. If you want a closet full, knock yourself out.

      • 1mime says:

        Shoes? Well, you would approve ? of mine….not too many and all comfortable. Not sure what that says about me, but at least my feet don’t hurt!

      • Doug says:

        Bubba, this may be a difficult concept, but a gun is not the same as a person. One is a inanimate object, the other is capable of acting (and killing) on its own. If this were not true, the outlying areas that are supplying all the guns would have a higher crime rate, right? Outlawing objects — whether it’s guns, drug, alcohol, whatever — doesn’t get you to where you want to be. People do stuff, objects don’t.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        I say – “But do you have any, I say any, idea how to keep that bullet from hitting the soft tissue in a child in his/hers parents bedroom?”

        Doug says- Yes, education. We all know that “just say no” doesn’t work, right?

        Ok we can work with that. OK, so who does the gun safety education? Isn’t it the NRA? So can we fault them for their failure here?

        I assume then you don’t have a problem with mandated gun education. Do you know whether all persons buying a gun to leave loaded in their bedroom is “educated” ?

        So I’m with you on this. We mandate that all gun owners take a gun safety course. We educate them that they and their children will be less safe with the gun in the house. We tell them they must keep the gun locked away from the children even if it is not handy to shoot the home invaders that frightens them. Then we tell them if their child shoots someone they will be prosecuted as if they pulled the trigger.

        I think you are on to something here.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So Doug, this may be a difficult concept for you to understand, but the availability of guns exacerbates the “people problem”. To JG’s point, are you claiming that Australia, a former prison colony has more well mannered and less violent people than the US? Or maybe the lack of availability of guns has something to do with it?

        And I have no issue with a collection of shoes. Don’t know when the last time a bunch of children were accidentally killed playing with some shoes that were found. Or 20 school children killed by shoes, however many you wish to possess.

        Nice try Doug. Keep digging that logic hole with false equivalencies.

      • Doug says:

        unarmed, are you concerned about all child accidental deaths or just those from firearms? Because if the answer is “all” you could more productively spend your time elsewhere. Perhaps outlawing pools would be a good start. When you get all the way down to mandatory training before purchasing a five gallon bucket, get back to me.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Again Doug, I think we are simpatico. I have seen a warning on a 5 gallon bucket about drowning death. Are you saying we should have some warnings on guns about the dangers of children and guns? That would help.

        How about plastic bags? And toys with small parts that children can choke on? I do see warnings about those, but if you think we should go further, hey, more info couldn’t hurt.

        Where I’m from pools are heavily regulated. You must have fences and gates and they must be inspected for them. And guess what, if your neighbor’s kid drowns in your pool, you get prosecuted and probably sued. Is that what you are saying, we should at least be able to sue the owner of a gun or the manufacturer? I’m with you on that but I think we should work on your education thing first.

    • Crogged says:

      Want to have a gun, fine, it’s always an insurable risk, like driving a car, especially since the expression ‘gun safety’ is the definition of the word ‘oxymoron’.

    • 1mime says:

      Sassy – Republicans have been after the ATF for years. The agency operated without a director for 6 years! Not to mention budget cuts and commensurate staffing cuts so that they couldn’t do their jobs effectively! Congress was doing the NRA bidding. Now they are going to nail the coffin shut. Shame.

  5. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    The GOP is such a well-stocked pond of goofiness, it is awfully easy to go fishing for things to bash Republicans. The last two or three posts have lead us to do that.

    I think one of the points of the blog is to make a better GOP, so let’s come to praise Caesar rather than to bury him.

    GOP good – reducing regulation
    Romney (and even Perry) recommended Sarbanes-Oxley accounting reforms that would exempt smaller firms and spare them loads of paperwork they often lack the staff to complete. Similarly, Dodd-Frank has similar burdens on companies that had nothing to do with the 2008 financial crisis. Romney has proposed a set of reforms including deadlines for the approval of various types of business permits and a fast-track process when safety or public health aren’t an issue. When both federal and state agencies claim jurisdiction, streamline the process so that there’s only one layer of rules that local businesses have to deal with.

    GOP good – corporate income tax
    This is a tough one for a liberal like me to swallow, but enough smart people indicate our corporate income tax rates are too high. Lower rates coupled with fewer loopholes might encourage a few companies to park money here rather than off-shore. Romney proposed 25% compared to the existing 35%.

    GOP good – fewer gov’t agencies
    While often too zealous in the desire to cut (e.g., Rand would like to get rid of HUD, Interior, Energy, Commerce, and Education), it is true that big institutions tend to grow and never cut back unless someone brings a chain saw. We’ve added five cabinet level positions since the 1940s. Undoubtedly there is some redundancy and some lack of need for at least a few offices in a few of these departments.

    GOP good – simplify the tax code
    I’m no fan of a flat tax. Any plan that makes my taxes go down means the taxes on poor folks are going to go up, and that just isn’t right. However, the tax system is a mess and way too complicated. We may never get our tax returns down to a post card, but any game where the player with the best accountant wins, is not a good game for anyone.

    GOP good – STEM work visas
    From the generally bad GOP Platform: Grant more work visas to holders of advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math from other nations … foreign students who graduate from an American university with an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering or math should be encouraged to remain here and contribute to economic prosperity and job creation.”

    GOP good – sometimes it might be better at the state level
    Consolidate federal job training programs into State block grants so that training can be coordinated with local schools and employers. The training that workers in Texas and Louisiana may need is probably a bit different than the training that the folks in Vermont might need. [note – this does not necessarily hold for primary and secondary education]

    GOP good – not everyone needs (or can handle) a house
    Homeownership is an important goal, but public policy must be balanced to reflect the needs of Americans who choose to rent. A comprehensive housing policy should address the demand for apartments and multi-family housing. Bush/Clinton/Bush’s initiatives to increase home ownership certainly could have merit, but many people have situations where renting is a more prudent option, and we’ve spent little time focusing on renting with our policies.

    Sure, the GOP probably isn’t going to do much to help make your life better if you are poor, and being a woman who likes to control what happens to your body may not fit well within the party, and being gay means that a whole lot of folks really do not like you, but some of their ideas are not horrible.

    • flypusher says:

      “Sure, the GOP probably isn’t going to do much to help make your life better if you are poor, and being a woman who likes to control what happens to your body may not fit well within the party, and being gay means that a whole lot of folks really do not like you, but some of their ideas are not horrible.”

      Also the anti-science bent of a good chunk of the base turns off those of us who can see your list has merit. When you have the likes of Inhofe chairing The Tech committee, you have grounds for questing judgment in the party.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer – Your effort to acknowledge some positive achievements about the GOP is noble but I take issue with some on your list. I will acknowledge that the GOP isn’t “all” bad, but in the past decade, they are sure testing my ability to be positive about their actions. I will, therefore, play the devil’s advocate in a soft rebuttal of your listed achievements.

      GOP good – reducing regulation – Sarbanes-Oxley has merit but it is no replacement for Glass-Steagall. Enter Dodd-Frank as an effort to restore at least the more egregious loss of control over business’ risky derivatives investments with investor’s private funds, as well as other areas of regulation. If anything, D-F was diluted way below where it needed to be – by the GOP. So, no pass on regulation reduction when it is so selectively focused on benefitting one side at the expense of the other. Note what is happening to worker’s compensation, as an example of changing regulation that is hurting labor to benefit management. Then, think about the suppression of voting rights and all the laws and policies/regulations that have been instituted to that end.

      BTW, in O’s first year, he instructed his staff to comb through federal regulations and identify those which were duplicative, harmful, or redundant. To my knowledge, such an effort has not occurred under any other president. I don’t have a list of actions taken but it would be a good research project because it did happen, though smart regulatory control is an on-going endeavor.

      GOP good – corporate income tax – The real reason tax reform hasn’t happened is big business doesn’t want to give up their extremely generous tax loopholes in exchange for lower tax rates. President Obama has spoken positively about his desire to work with Congress to lower business tax rates but not without closing loopholes. The “quid-pro-quo” that the GOP wants to exact is not reasonable or fair.

      GOP good – fewer gov’t agencies – You cite the addition of 5 cabinet positions since the 1940s. Actually, since 1953, 8 cabinet positions have been added. They are:Health & Human Services(1953), Housing & Urban Dev.(’65), Transportation(’66), Energy(67), Education(79, Veterans Affairs(87), Environmental Protection Agency(90), and Homeland Affairs (- the last new federal agency, (2002). Obviously, from the creation dates, many different presidents were involved.

      Which of these eight “new” agencies is not needed? U.S. population changes alone dictated the addition of new, different government controls. In the decade of the 1940s, America’s population average was 140 million citizens; in 2013, the last year for which official population figures are available, the U.S. population exceeds 317 million people. Of greater significance have been the societal, industrial, technological, commercial changes these agencies were created to manage.

      GOP good – STEM work visas – This is a good thing, but not in isolation from comprehensive immigration reform.

      GOP good – sometimes it might be better at the state level – Once America goes to independently developed voting districts, which are not the result of gerrymandering, I will have a lot more confidence in states’ rights. Look at what is happening with the ACA and how states have opted out of Medicaid despite a crying need from their population. (TX is a prime example of willful ignorance health care neglect.) Given responsible, balanced, accountable state leadership that isn’t obsessing over traditional marriage, right to work, and other issues, I agree that the closer decision-making is to the people it impacts, the better. That is not the case now. We have seen women’s rights vis a vis choice get trampled in red states. We are not at a place now where the system of checks and balances is working sensibly or fairly.

      GOP good – not everyone needs (or can handle) a house – Of course not! But people shouldn’t be priced out of a home, or “red-lined” (discretely or overtly) from qualifying. What good do low interest rates achieve if people are out of work and if banks mismanage the loan process, leading millions to lose their homes. But, I concur, rental is a valid, necessary housing choice.

      In summary, your list is thoughtful and welcome. I’m sure others can add GOP achievements as well as negatives. I have to say that there was not much to laud in George W. Bush’s terms and Obama has been obstructed to the point of practical impotence from implementing his agenda. But, thank you for your effort to be positive. We all want the GOP to be a positive, viable party. Sadly, for the last decade or two, that has not been the case, IMHO.

    • johngalt says:

      With some exceptions this is a good list and a candidate who focused on these things would likely get my vote. Taxes are too complicated and the corporate tax rate is too high (simplifying personal taxes would not necessarily mean a flat tax). Cost-benefit analyses of regulations would be rational.

      The knee-jerk urge to cut is less obvious to me. OK, so we want to eliminate the department of the Interior. But that department manages national parks and natural resources on federal land. These are, in my opinion, necessary functions, so they would have to be moved to some other department. Is that wise? Maybe. The Dept. of Energy manages the nuclear arsenal (really) and the national labs in various places (Brookhaven, Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Hanford, etc). It also funds a fair amount of physics research. It’s not cutting if you are simply reorganizing the furniture.

      • 1mime says:

        The only problem with the GOP “good” list (other those things I already commented on) is the absolute GOP antipathy and hemophobia and attacks on social programs. Surely, the attacks on these things in exchange for fairly one-sided business reforms is not commensurate.

        The DOE’s mission is significant. Per Wiki:

        The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a Cabinet-level department of the United States Government concerned with the United States’ policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation’s nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production. It also directs research in genomics; the Human Genome Project originated in a DOE initiative.[2] DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U. S. federal agency, the majority of which is conducted through its system of National Laboratories.[3]

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        JG…it is a moderately universal truism that big institutions continue to grow bigger unless something drastic occurs.

        The knee-jerk reaction to cut is stupid, and the chainsaw rather than scalpel approach by the GOP is insane, but it is not a stretch to assume we have some redundancy and some obsolescence here or there.

        I’m a fan of national parks and the Dept. of Interior, but could some of the essential functions of one department or another fold (with obviously some rational thought involved) into other departments? Re-arranging furniture is not worth the effort, but I would think there undoubtedly are some administrative/management/leadership functions that could be reduced with a bit more streamlined organizational structure. We can see some silos/kingdoms of people who do not talk much to each other even if they are working on ostensibly similar issues.

        Are we looking at reducing the size and cost of gov’t by 10% with this? No way, but I think it would send a decent message to folks that we need to manage the gov’t while having the ancillary benefit of probably saving some number of dollars.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer, here’s something “good” about Democratic leadership. (want to start a Dem “good” list?)

      The Hill/U.S. Dept. of Labor: “Employers added a better-than-expected 295,000 jobs in February, as the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent, the lowest level in nearly seven years, according to numbers out Friday.

      Unemployment hit a high of 10 percent in October 2009, and the current level is the lowest since May 2008.” (Nice departure present, W.)

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      Homer – Good list to at least consider. How do you feel about ending the tax break on home mortgages? Especially on second homes?

  6. 1mime says:

    And, my evening love note for the group on one of our favorite subjects, Pandering. It seems that several Republican Presidential candidates are, well, having second thoughts about, you guessed it, Immigration! What is their problem! It’s kind of pathetic, really. Of course they’ve got it all figured out: illegals CAN’T vote; legal immigrants DON’T vote; and Dems can’t seem to get young voters and minorities TO vote. So, what’s the risk of changing one’s mind a few times? It’s all about keeping one’s base happy, and we know how they feel!

    • RobA says:

      GOP candidates are really in a pretty serious catch 22.

      To win primaries, they likely need to go so far right that they’re unelectable in the general.

  7. 1mime says:

    And, finally, on topic, for those who REALLY like statistical analysis, this post by Larry Sabato of the Center for Politics, U. of VA, has a lot to say about 2016 and turning states purple.

  8. bubbabobcat says:

    Doubling down on the anti-gay hate and bias:

    “States rights” my ass!

    “The L.G.B.T. movement is the main thing, the primary thing that’s going to be challenging religious liberties [re: hate] and the freedom to live out religious convictions [re: to discriminate and hate as I please],” said State Senator Joseph Silk, an Oklahoma Republican and the sponsor of a bill in that state. “And I say that sensitively, because I have homosexual friends.”

    Oh my hate is soooo “sensitive”. When you have to preface something by saying “I have friends who are…” you know they are about to launch into a diatribe that is hateful and discriminatory towards their “friends”.

    Another Republican. Just shocked, shocked I say.

    And Texas is already ahead of the hate curve and doubling down further:

    “In Texas, which already has such a [free pass to discriminate against gays] law, lawmakers are considering a constitutional amendment that would make it even easier for religious people who feel aggrieved by government policy to win their cases in court.

    Substitute “Black”, “Hispanic”, etc. for any and all mention of “gay” above if you just can’t get it. You know who you are.


    • 1mime says:

      Ah, Texas! I listened yesterday to a TX representative who is trying once more to get the Legislature to adopt “Equal Pay for Equal Work”. It passed in the last session, only to be vetoed by Gov. Perry. His justification? The federal Lily Ledbetter Act which , he said, does the same thing.

      Only problem, is that it is horrendously expensive to file in federal court and making the state laws comply with federal law would allow ladies to file in TX district courts.

      Will it pass again only to be vetoed by our new Repub Gov, Abbott? Probably. But he’s gonna try anyway and I am proud that he’s not giving up. How can any father of daughters want them to ever earn less than a male for doing the same work? Talk about a no-brainer!

    • dowripple says:

      It is hard for me contemplate that one’s faith can be so inexorably intertwined with homosexuality. Listening to people like Silk, you would think that at least 80% of the Bible maligns gay sex and that the #1 Commandment is “Thou shall not be fabulous”. It also makes me wonder what they are compensating for. Is it just because gays are a minority, and they were easy to pick on for so long? Moreover, why do they fight the equal rights ordinances? Churches are always exempt! Catholics may not welcome divorcees to receive the Host, but as citizens, they would never ask them to leave the store they run or fire an employee because they got divorced. I guess people are free to have anti-gayness as the main pillar in their spiritual quest, but it is just so *damn* weird to me.

      • 1mime says:

        Down, The reason you’re having trouble reconciling religious conservatives fixation on the homosexual issue is because you’re using logic to understand illogical decisions. Either the belief is very shallowly explored, intellectually, or very deeply felt, from a values standpoint with no intellectual grounding. The difficult thing for me to grasp is how do people who profess to be Christians deliberately villify their fellow man just because he/she is different? Logic, again, right?

  9. 1mime says:

    For those who like deep studies by smart people on the subject of different approaches to politics and life, read this piece from Salon by Dr. John Jost, psychologist at NYU, who has been studying “system justification theory”.

    Before you read the Salon link, take time to view the 2007 you tube link of Jost’s presentation on the Project on Law and Mind Sciences (PLMS) Conference at Harvard, which focuses on the question, “Why do people so often tolerate injustice and exploitation rather than doing everything to make a change?” It is a timely question for today’s posts on the injustices we are witnessing in America and feel so impotent in changing.

    Here’s a teaser: “…there is long tradition of theory and research on social justice—going all the way back to Aristotle—that involves a rich, complex, nuanced analysis of ethical dilemmas that goes well beyond the assumption that fairness is simply about positive and negative reciprocity.

    It is provocative.

  10. unarmedandunafraid says:

    There are exceptions, but for the most part, criminal cannot blame victim, parent cannot blame child, government cannot blame governed, and management cannot blame unions.

  11. objv says:

    Homer, I almost missed your comment, I don’t always check older threads. You’re welcome to post at the top with a quote if you’re not sure I will see a comment down below.

    I don’t think information regarding school policies regarding sexual assault will necessarily be taken out of orientation. It just won’t be required by the state. Colleges will still have to meet federal requirements.

    My daughter went to college in Texas. I’m not sure if there were any state laws in place, but it seems like they complied with the Clery Act – and then some. The university had an excellent website with a link reporting all crime on campus. There were also flyers posted all over the place regarding sexual assault – including on the inside of bathroom stalls on campus. Interesting reading while sitting on a toilet!

  12. johngalt says:

    The DOJ decision to not pursue further charges against Ferguson, MO, officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown was probably the right one, based on the limited concrete evidence. But the report they issued about the behavior of the police and courts in that town is so shocking, it makes Fly’s disturbing worker’s comp article look like child’s play. They basically operated a shakedown operation the mob would be proud of, targeted almost entirely against African-American residents. The sheer magnitude of illegal actions is breathtaking.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Wanna guess the percentages of cities in the US where similar things are happening on a daily basis with DOJ or media coverage?

      But hey, the true racists are the folks who point out racism.

      • johngalt says:

        Yes, sadly, I don’t think Ferguson is the only place in which things like this are happening. Not by a long shot.

      • 1mime says:

        So, ALL, what are WE going to do about these issues? How do we stand with those who are being so horribly wronged? There are so many Fergusons out there as well as Muslim abuse. When I read about things like this, I have started sending the links to that segment of my email list that I normally don’t share this stuff with – because they get “offended” by these kind of articles. I simply am not going to allow them to ignore the atrocities that are going on by not doing my part to make them stare it in the face. They have a choice, of course. They can delete every email I send or they can read it and weep – or, not. At least I am doing what I can to make them see the real world happening around them. I have gotten to the point in life where I really don’t give a %h*$ about playing the “friendly we can only talk about Downton Abby” crap. It’s amazing how small one’s circle can become when you stand up for atrocities like these and don’t allow others to pretend they don’t exist. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        But, the long term solution is not to waste time trying to change the minds of people who obsess over Fox News, it’s to GOTV. Making sure that you do all you can to encourage, facilitate, and motivate registered and unregistered citizens to vote. Helping them understand why it is so important – for all elections. Lifer’s blog is great as an exchange of concerns and thoughts with intelligent people from all over, but I want more. I want sane decision-making by elected officials, I want fairness for our poor and minority, and I want the wingnuts isolated. I want more compassion and inclusion and fairness in how we treat one another.

        Wow. I guess I want a lot, don’t I? Well, I’m gonna keep after it because it matters.

        Thanks guys and gals for your support and great exchanges. It helps.

      • flypusher says:

        I’m getting a vision of many e-mail purges in many communities across the country.

      • 1mime says:

        No kidding.

      • flypusher says:

        Having just had the chance to look at the article, I must revise my previously stated opinion. High level heads rolling isn’t even a start. There are people who need to be tried, convicted, and go to prison to make a start.

        That the police chief hasn’t resigned is some HoF level chutzpah.

      • 1mime says:

        I couldn’t agree more, Fly. What do you think the chances are that anyone involved in this police department will go to jail?

        Thought so.

    • flypusher says:

      I think the term mob shakedown operation is spot on. There are a whole lot of high up heads that need to roll over this. Sacking low level types for stupid racist e-mails isn’t even a start.

      Were I a Dem operative type, I would be organizing some massive voter registration drives, because poor voter turnout is part of the Black Community’s problem there.

      Also I would add that while “Hands up, don’t shoot!!” made for a very sexy protest chant, if it’s not supported by the evidence, it’s going to do more harm than good. You should never give the reactionaries convenient straws to clutch. Make them go to outrageous as possible lengths to find straws.

      • 1mime says:

        I also believe, someday, that someday the Supreme Court will view the removal of the ACA as “coercive” as it viewed the removal of traditional Medicaid just a few years ago.

        The “someday” is significant. NOT THIS Supreme Court! The four justices who agreed to hear the case but remanded it back for the minor technical language adjustment it needed.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I read this yesterday and it really shines a new light on the fight to get everyone access to good quality health care and the means to pay for it.

      • 1mime says:

        Sorry, my post got jumbled. It should have read:

        The “someday” is significant. NOT THIS Supreme Court! The four justices who agreed to hear the case should have simply remanded it back for the minor technical language adjustment it needed.

    • johngalt says:

      So his “Health Care Choices Act” would basically remove everyone’s choices, except the one to be uninsured.

      • 1mime says:

        Mr. “slash and burn” just can’t stand not being in the spotlight. Lest anyone have any doubts about what the GOP ACA replacement will be…..000000000000

      • Crogged says:

        Right now an insurance company CAN sell insurance in every state, but has to abide by that state’s laws, so Mr. Cruz is advocating that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should decide the issue of regulating health insurance. Ffffnnnn communist……..

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged, I was not aware that insurance companies could sell in all states. I thought there was some sort of state control. My reason for believing this is that many of the Repubs I have discussed (and, that’s a loose term) the ACA with always come up with “why not just allow people to buy health insurance from anywhere?” So, guess they’re wrong – it’s the insurance company;s decision to limit their market.

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged, here is more on selling/buying health insurance across state lines. A little history before the link.

        “A day after voting to repeal the federal health law, a group of more than 60 House Republicans introduced a bill reviving an idea long popular with conservatives: allowing consumers to buy health insurance across state lines so that residents of a state with expensive health plans could find cheaper options…..”

        But, we find out that Dems didn’t dismiss GOP interest in expanding health insurance across state lines.

        “When they were writing the new health law, Democrats said they heard the GOP and they included a way to sell insurance across state boundaries. They put in language allowing states to establish “health care choice compacts.” Republicans say that the compacts won’t bring the same benefits.”

        There’s no pleasing some people when what they really wanted wasn’t to broaden access for all people but to appease and expand health insurance companies reach with more of the same coverage and its limitations.

        Here’s the link:

      • Crogged says:

        Each state sets the ‘rules’ for insurance companies in its state-because each state has different risks. We have hurricane’s, not so many in Iowa. Mr. Cruz is invoking the ‘free market fairy’, a time honored response, like the ‘tax credit fairy’ and the “OMG INFLATION demon’. Tea Partier’s have a pretty good robust mythical world set up, but then you walk away from the television or computer and that dang 3d real world insists on being honored.

        Mr. Obama made the fatal mistake of adopting a good idea from the other side of the aisle. Worse it seems to have made its opponents stark raving mad and incapable of even internal consistency in their mythical script defining what is plainly in front of one’s nose.

        As smart as Mr. Cruz may be, his ambition won’t let him use his noodle.

    • way2gosassy says:

      They got nothing but the same old crap they tried to get into Ocare. Portability (states right issues) No mandates, no help for the poor to obtain insurance, no controls on insurance companies, tort reform, malpractice limits, and my most favorite is “tax free health savings accounts”. Big deal, how are those at or below the poverty level supposed to “save”.

  13. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Follow up to workers’ comp story:

    With employers not bearing the full costs, which OSHA characterizes as a subsidy, the incentive to provide a safe workplace is undermined.

    • 1mime says:

      Bobo, I simply am blown away by these reports on injured workers rights. It may be the “quiet” attack by the GOP we’ve not realized was going on – evidently for a long time, sadly. Even those who hate unions must feel this is wrong.

      What these attacks will do, mark my words, is not only create a resurgence in union membership, but exacerbate the income divide, as your link described. This creates even more drag on the taxpayer and further distances those who want to work from real income equality and security. I hope the Dems make a big push to get this out into the public. It’s wrong. It’s un-American. It’s inhuman.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I hope you’re right about the Dems. Me, I’m not so sure. They’re as corporate as the Rs these days.

      • 1mime says:

        “….they’re as corporate as the Repubs these days”.

        They’re all we’ve got, Bobo. And they are a far sight more focused on the needs of minorities, women, gays, workers, the elderly than the GOP. So, work with what you got.

  14. unarmedandunafraid says:

    Off topic smoff topic, I believe there is racial profiling, that certain police are bigoted, and that the whole justice system is slanted in a racial way.

    But I read the Justice department report on the Ferguson shooting and I believe Officer Wilson is due a heavy duty apology from many people. Starting with Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC.

    • flypusher says:

      There is a legit case against the police here. But all the false narratives detract from it, unfortunately.

      • 1mime says:

        Maybe people just got pushed over the edge, Fly. We’ve all been in difficult situations where finally, “enough was enough” and we just couldn’t take it any more. I abhor the destruction of property that occurred in Ferguson. The optics and acts hurt not only the perpetrators but also innocent people’s properties. This damaged rather than helped the black community there. BUT, from what I have read and seen reported about the Justice report on YEARS of sustained discrimination and outright abuse that the F. police have inflicted on the black people there, I honestly don’t know that I wouldn’t have wanted to kick in a door myself.

        My experience (positive) with black leadership is that they are tolerant, forgiving and accepting and genuinely want to peacefully live with other races. There are always exceptions, of course.

        So, here’s where America is under the GOP stealth attack:

        labor is getting screwed in every possible way – workers comp, right to work, wage stagnation

        women are getting screwed (-: in every possible way – choice, unequal pay for equal work

        minorities are getting screwed – blacks and Muslim discrimination and hate crimes

        poor and unhealthy American citizens are getting screwed – attacks on ACA, workers comp

        working class is getting screwed – wage stagnation, benefits, health care access

        the elderly are about to get screwed – P.Ryan’s plans to voucherize Medicare, apply different COL formula to social security benefits, block grant Medicaid to states (more Red control)

        kids are getting screwed – poor quality of education, vouchers seining off critical tax revenue, cuts to education budgets,

        our infrastructure is getting screwed

        taxpayers are getting screwed – tax reform not gaining traction because big business wants more tax cuts without giving up tax loopholes

        pensions are under attack

        My head is tired. Others can add to the list. This is how Republicans govern.

      • 1mime says:

        Oh, had to add two more to my list then I’ll rest. Thanks

        immigrants – are getting screwed

        gays – are getting screwed

  15. 1mime says:

    Heard on NPR today that the TX Legislature has got itself into a little bind. Turns out that all those campaign promises about tax cuts for business and homeowners is running into a bit of a buzz saw.

    First, County tax authorities are crying foul because they’ve been picking up the slack all along for previous state cuts and need the anticipated revenues from property taxes as planned, and no one bothered to talk to them before they made these terrific tax cut promises….

    But the real biggy are the business tax cuts which all the TX Republicans lauded (except wonderful Sen. Eltife from Tyler who stood opposed to the cuts on the basis of……COMMON SENSE…and his own research, t u very much Senator for doing your job and not jumping on the bandwagon with 3 wheels!) – Now the legislature finally has a price tag for what these promised cuts for business will cost the state treasury….drumroll…….$9Billion! Shock and awe! Where will they find the money to keep these promises…….watch out TX taxpayers, you’re fixin’ to get a real thumpin’!

    And, this is how Republicans govern?

  16. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Obj….I think you live in New Mexico, and since you mentioned the Jezebel website, I noted today that there is a story there about the new GOP majority in New Mexico is trying to implement abortion restrictions.

    I enjoyed a few lines in the article.

    “A little background here: New Mexico is a deeply Catholic place and many people are personally opposed to abortion. (If you visit El Santuario de Chimayó, an important shrine in northern New Mexico, you’ll find a large “Memorial to the Unborn.”) But abortion restrictions don’t tend to work in New Mexico because people also believe, just as deeply, in minding their own damn business. ”

    They were smart enough to put in exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the woman, but they left in this little nugget, “The woman must present to the special hospital board an affidavit that she has been raped and that the rape has been or will be reported to an appropriated law enforcement official.”

    This caused such a ruckus that they pulled that out.

    However, the party of science claims, “For the purposes of this section, there shall be a legal presumption that viability occurs at the twentieth week of pregnancy.”

    Not sure they are going to get a lot of scientific support for that, especially since they are defining the 20th week in gestational age (time since last period) rather than the time of conception, so that is really the 18th week of fetal development (for which there is no record of survival).

    Obj…aside from your odd love of Ted Cruz…you seem a moderately sane person. You have some ties to the energy industry and that undoubtedly influences some of your political leanings in favor of the GOP.

    However, the GOP comes with just a whole lot of other, really unpleasant baggage.

    Aside from my Ted Cruz snark, I’m not being snarky here.

    Are issues like abortion and gay rights issues about which you just hold your nose and ignore the GOP’s positions (like most of us do with some Democrat positions), letting other factors influence your favor for the GOP or are you in favor of restricting abortion and not letting gay folks get married?

    • 1mime says:

      Homer, Just a thought here – so, now Republicans are all-knowing about when conception occurs? Wow, and i thought it couldn’t get worse. 18 weeks, huh? Actually, this legislation tracks other red state bills on the subject of abortion. ALEC is working overtime.

      It’s going to be a rough two years for choice proponents, so, hang on, donate and help as you can to those who are fighting in the trenches, and make sure your legislators know where you stand on the issue. The right wing fundamentalists in the Republican Party are hell-bent (in more ways than one) on gutting Roe. Gotta keep up the fight and GOTV in ’16.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        To be fair, gestational age is what most docs use when talking about pregnancy, but no doctor is going to say you have a viable fetus at 20 weeks gestational age.

        This is all window dressing on a house of stupidity. The number of abortions after 20 weeks is extremely low, and almost all of those are because something is going very wrong with the mother or the fetus. These prohibitions do nothing but make an incredibly difficult time more difficult.

        In a perversion of logic, the restrictions on early term abortion (e.g., waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds, two visits to the doctor, closing down clinics) make early term abortions more difficult and more costly. So, poor women have to take longer to raise the money and find time off from work, which causes people to move the abortion from a simple early pregnancy abortion into a not-quite-so-simple mid-term abortion.

  17. RobA says:

    OT just more of the GOP GOPing around.

    Doc Carson says being gay is “absolutely” a choice, his proof? Look at prisons.

    Putting aside the sheer idiocy on it’s face (is there any studies that show this, or is he going by cable tv as his source? Is someone who chooses sex with a man in a female free environment ‘gay’? And of course, how do rape and power dynamics play into it) one thing that’s always struck me about the ridiculousness of the “is gay a choice?” thing is:

    Even if it is, WHY DOES IT MATTER?

    America is a free country last time I checked. The far right uses the word ;freedom’ to justify so many of their policies and ideals so you’d think they’d be the ffirst to support a persons freedom. Even the freedom to be gay, if they so choose. It’s hilarious that the GOP’s reason for denying rights to homosexuals is that “it’s a choice”. So what, basic human rights should be denied by government based on that persons choice? Ludacris.

    And this of course ignores for a moment the overwhelming evidence that homosexuality is not in fact a choice. Just that even if it were, it does not make the denial of rights any more valid

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      The nice thing about having Be Carson in our lives is that we now all get to say that we are smarter than at least one neurosurgeon.

      To your point regarding whether homosexuality is a choice or not (its not), the anti-gay (’cause, really, that is what they are) folks like to say that if it is a choice, we should not be making special protections for gay folks.

      These anti-gay folks also tend to be kinda religious. Religion is a choice (no matter what your Catholic/Mormon/Jewish mother might have told you), and we have built all kinds of protections against discriminating based on religion.

      So, even if these folks were right (and they are not), they are wrong in their conclusions (which shouldn’t surprise anyone).

      • johngalt says:

        “It’s not brain surgery” is a cliche people use to refer to things that are not particularly difficult. And neurosurgery is, indeed, very difficult and it takes a careful and very technically skilled individual. It does not necessarily require intellectual genius, and Dr. Carson appears to be demonstrating this daily.

        There is a medical school joke: A surgeon is someone who knows nothing, but does everything, an internist is someone who knows everything and does nothing, and a pathologist is someone who knows everything and does everything, just a day too late.

      • 1mime says:


      • 1mime says:

        Maybe Dr. Carson ought to spend a week in prison and see if he comes out gay….to test his hypothesis (-:

      • 1mime says:

        Carson just released a written public apology for his remarks about people coming out of prison as gays. Says he spoke too quickly and really is very supportive of gay rights. Guess his neurons kicked in a little too slowly…..At least he apologized, that’s something.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        1mime….I’m not so sure it was an “apology” like normal people define an apology.

        Carson’s “apology”: ” … I realized that my choice of language does not reflect fully my heart on gay issues. I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended….I am not a politician and I answered a question without really thinking about it thoroughly. No excuses. I deeply regret my statement and I promise you, on this journey, I may err again, but unlike politicians when I make an error I will take full responsibility and never hide or parse words.”

        So…he says that he apologizes to those he offended, that he answered without really thinking, he regrets his statement, and that his choice of language does not reflect his heart on gay issues.

        So, a classic non-apology apology. No where does he say that his statement was wrong.

        So, what does Dr. Carson feel about gay issues when he has maybe given it a little more thought?

        Let’s go to an interview in 2013. CARSON: Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition. ”

        So, the tired tropes of pedophilia and bestiality when talking about gay marriage. Doesn’t seem like his heart is in a good place with regard to gay folks.

        But hey, that too was an interview, and maybe he didn’t think before answering that question. I wonder if there is some record of him somewhere, where maybe he had more time to reflect on the issue and maybe jot a few words down?

        Well, lo and behold, the good doctor wrote a book in 2012. In his book, “[I]f we can redefine marriage as between two men or two women or any other way based on social pressures as opposed to between a man and a woman, we will continue to redefine it in any way that we wish, which is a slippery slope with a disastrous ending, as witnessed in the dramatic fall of the Roman Empire.”

        So yeah, maybe his words this week did not reflect what is truly in his heart (because what is in his heart is worse) and maybe he does regret his statement (because it hurts him and the GOP politically).

      • 1mime says:

        Good research, Homer. There was more to his public statement than you included, in which (whether he really means it is another question, as your historical research suggests), but he clearly stated he supported gay rights and gay marriage (with state approval/no SCOTUS determination). I agree with your assessment that he is probably just walking back another controversial statement. More of the same GOP equal rights flim flam.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Supporting states’ rights for issues like gay marriage is akin to supporting states’ rights on allowing interracial marriage.

        We went down that path with states getting to decide who could get married, and it wasn’t a scenic path.

        Loving v. Virginia is not ancient history. Many of were alive and Ben Carson was a teenager when that ruling occurred.

        Hiding behind states’ rights on this issue is nothing more than throwing a not-so-subtle bone to the southern states the GOP needs.

      • 1mime says:

        Dr. Carson ought to focus on fixing his own brain. Then he can start working on his mouth – but that may be harder (-:

  18. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Regarding Fly’s class warfare link, a very difficult thing for me to understand is how the people who run corporations do so with a conscience.

    I doubt any of them would rush across the street to punch a little kid in the stomach, yet they may do the equivalent by letting their companies create air pollution that causes asthma attacks. They fight for the right to pollute.

    The workman’s comp scheme described in the article is in the same category. Use politicians to create policy that crushes workers, express sympathy should you ever run into someone in the bad circumstances because of it, then return to your gilded age cronies.

    CEOs and very rich people are celebrated in a mindless sort of way. Every time someone is identified as a billionaire the accompanying article should include what the rest of paid in dirty air, dirty water, low wages, etc to make him so. Then watch the commenters on scream ‘Class warfare!”

    • RobA says:

      Bobo – I think you’d be surprised how many people would punch kids in the stomach if they were rewarded with wealth, admiration, and respect for it.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        RobA, hard to imagine, but you may be even more cynical than I. 🙂

      • flypusher says:

        CEOs don’t have to live near Superfund sites, nor do they have any risk beyond microscopic and none of getting killed or maimed on the job. The same goes for their lawyers and lobbyists. It’s very easy to ignore the little people’s plights were you don’t have to be anywhere near them.

      • johngalt says:

        Fly – do you not know how many people are killed on golf courses by lightning strikes every year? Have some compassion.

      • objv says:

        JG, are you implying that Obama has beaten the odds of being struck by lightning?

        Interesting facts: More people are struck by lightning while fishing than while playing golf. (Beware ROR, beware.) 82% of people killed by lightning are male.

  19. flypusher says:

    The phrase “class warfare” gets tosses around very casually in the online political discussions. Here’s what it really looks like:

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      This story is simply horrible. Why would anyone trust a Republican anything — legislature, agency — to be equitable.

      That proud lawyer and lobbyist in Oklahoma must be soulless. Do you think they have trouble sleeping at night? Probably not. They’re Republicans.

      My heart is breaking here.

      • Creigh says:

        Personally, I’d vote for #3 above. Both decline of unions and decline of the middle class are due to third factor(s). Not CO2, but policies purposely enacted by conservatives. Right To Work, for example.

      • Creigh says:

        Sorry, my replies keep landing in the wrong spots…

    • 1mime says:

      Fly, this is an astonishing article. The American working class is under attack in more ways than wage stagnation. Those who think unions no longer have relevance need to read this, not that they may care. Preventing this type of abuse is one of the reasons I am a Democrat, yet there are a few blue states on the chart mixed in with the majority red ones.

      I cannot believe that decent people wouldn’t be horrified upon reading this. It makes me sick. I am going to send the link to everyone on my email list as well as make certain my elected officials know where I stand on this subject. This should get national attention and should be a legislative and congressional priority.

      • RobA says:

        Unions are responsible for basically creating the middle class.

        For sure, they can be negative, a la the near strangulation of the auto industry by excessive union benefits. Much of that needs to be blamed on the companies though who agreed to such ridiculous deals at the time. It’s the unions job to ask for the moon. It’s the companies job to not agree to Benefits/wages that are unsustainable.

        What really changed my mind was the following link.

        The article is ok but what really caught my eye was the data chart at the bottom of the page. Union membership is extremely highly correlated with the middle classes share of the national income pie.

        I don’t think that just because something is used excessively it can be a negative that we should totally abandon the thing in question if it provides a clear benefit. No one would argue we should eliminate police officer because, when taken to the extreme, they can be responsible fr wrongful deaths. likewise with unions. They are needed as the voice of the middle class

      • Doug says:

        Rob, plot atmospheric CO2 on that graph and you’ll see that union membership and share of wealth both fall as CO2 rises. Obviously CO2 is the source of the problem.

      • 1mime says:

        Do the work to inform as most who post here try to do. Cheap shots don’t count.

      • texan5142 says:

        Doug your post made me think of this,

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug – Do you live in Ohio?

      • objv says:

        Doug is right correlation does equal causation.

        There is more than one cause for the decrease in middle class income. Union jobs declined with the loss of manufacturing jobs.

        Where I grew up in Ohio (Hi Turtles), huge numbers of union jobs were lost when cheaper Japanese cars became popular. The union’s inflexibility was part of the reason car manufacturers couldn’t lower prices on their cars to compete with the imports.

        Turtles, sorry to say, the old guy clearing snow’s attitude is fairly typical (for an union member).

      • objv says:

        Sorry, my bad. Correlation does NOT equal causation.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “The union’s inflexibility was part of the reason car manufacturers couldn’t lower prices on their cars to compete with the imports.”

        The reason the US automakers could not compete was A) their crappy product and 2) Japanese were selling the types of cars Americans wanted. No matter how cheap the Gremlin was sold for, the public was not going to by one.

        The UAW in 1979 and during the 1980s agreed to wage concessions and decreases in benefits to help the automakers. Even in the past few years the unions have worked with automakers because they understand that if factories close no one wins.

      • 1mime says:

        Turtles, Anyone with half a brain knows unions caused many of their own problems. Thing is, they did a lot of good before they got greedy. Just like big business. Now, unions are needed again in order to help re-balance the system.

      • Creigh says:

        Doug, you’re basically making the point that correlation is not proof of causation. But correlation is also not proof of no causation. There are four possibilities: decline in unions caused decline in middle class; decline in middle class caused decline in unions; a third factor caused both declines; and fourth, it’s a coincidence. Which seems more plausible? And why?

      • objv says:

        Turtles, I don’t understand why you posted that link. The conclusions don’t coincide with anything we are discussing. I said that unions were PART of the problem – not the whole problem.

        There is no doubt that union inflexibility contributed to the struggles of car manufacturers. By 1979 and the 1980s, Japanese cars had already encroached on American auto industry dominance. The imports were cheaper, more reliable, and got many more miles to the gallon. Yes, American manufacturers were far behind on design and quality, but obligations to the unions played a part in the inability of the US to build cars to compete in price with imports.

      • 1mime says:

        Objv, Would you agree that workers income has declined while their productivity has increased? What do you like about unions? What do you fear about unions? How can workers today, in this business dominated market, bring about fair changes? Do you agree that the working class in America is in trouble? What is your solution? Supply and demand? Will they live long enough?

        These are serious questions I’m asking, Ob, and I hope you’ll respond.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I replied to previous comment to you in a different place. Sorry. I’ll copy it here if you have trouble finding it.

        To answer a couople of your questions, I believe that productivity has increased, but that it is not due to unions. Some of their rules decrease productivity. For example, one worker often can’t do the job of another worker even if the first worker is capable of doing the job. This can cause delays if the missing worker can’t be immediately replaced.

        Here’s an example of nonunion workers being paid more than union workers:

        Unions need to agree with companies rewarding productive workers instead of basing rewards mostly on seniority. They also need to realize that companies sometimes need to take action on employees who do not do their jobs. When it becomes almost impossible to discipline or fire workers, and when salary is based on seniority, much of the motivation to do a good job is taken away.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, unions need to support advancement by contribution/ability vs seniority…Works well in business, doesn’t It? You’ve worked in the private health industry, did you see this system of rewarding employees based on ability work? It certainly doesn’t work for women – who, when more capable, may still not get the promotion or job or pay, commensurate with their skills.

        Bottom line for me is that unions can be useful, good partners. If they are adversaries alone, then their value is more limited. I think they have learned where their highest and best use lies. We probably have a fundamental difference of opinion vis a vis unions, but the argument that unions support advancement by seniority only is not that different from business practices.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        March 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm
        “The imports were cheaper, more reliable, and got many more miles to the gallon.”

        Speaking of correlation vs causation, practice what you preach OV. Unions had nothing to do with American car manufacturer designers and executives deciding to make crappy cars as Turtles noted, behind the curve of the oil embargo and energy crisis. That falls squarely on the American manufacturers who continued to make higher priced gas guzzlers that broke down in the short sighted pursuit of the almighty $$.

        And guess who reversed and gutted the increased EPA gas mileage requirements that Jimmy Carter implemented? Why none other than Repub wingnut demi god Ronald Reagan. Talk about false idol worship. Oh yeah, Reagan also ripped out the solar panels Carter had installed in the White House. Quite the “visionary” there.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I still have some more of your questions to answer, but my husband and daughter have come home, and I need to figure out what to make for our dinner. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        One thing we can agree upon without dispute, family comes first! Get thy to the stove, woman!

      • objv says:

        Yes, Ma’m! I made a delicious salmon dinner. I was feeling kinda guilty since my husband had already brought home lunch yesterday. (His office is less than 10 minutes away from home.) And with my daughter making cherry cobbler for desert, I knew I had to get off my rear end and do some work. 🙂

      • Turtles Run says:

        I would blame the oil crisis and the recession before the unions. The Japanese made better designed cars with higher gas mileage that lasted much longer. Dropping the price of American cars was not going to change those metrics. The US auto makers kept producing aircraft carrier sized vehicles and the public wanted more Honda civics. The unions did not design the Pinto, Vega, and AMC pacer. Bad management did these companies in. The prices on these vehicles were comparable to foreign makers.

        Chevrolet Chevette $3,644 1978

        Honda Civic $3,999 1979

        Like 1mime said the unions created a lot of their problems but the US automakers have mainly themselves to blame for their issues. Management just used the unions as an effective scapegoat to cover up their failures.

      • 1mime says:

        So true, Turtles. Sort of like blaming O for the 2008 recession, no?

      • objv says:

        Turtles, interestingly, the Chevette was the best selling small car in the US in 1979.

        I never claimed that unions were responsible for ALL the problems in the auto industry. There were multiple factors including the ones you and I mentioned.

        Unions DID play a part in the travails of the auto industry. I grew up in Ohio and lived there during the 60s and 70s. My father was a union member and worked as a die maker for a manufacturer that supplied auto parts to the Big 3 automakers. I read the Cleveland Plain Dealer from an early age. I knew what was happening in the car industry. Union inflexibly was a problem at the time.

        Being the daughter of a union member whose income depended on American cars, I was not allowed to buy anything else. My first car was a Mercury Bobcat. (I did not call it bubba.)

      • bubbabobcat says:

        OV, you willfully refused to acknowledge or “understand” that Turtles refuted your unsubstantiated personal opinions with hard facts. You claimed unions were inflexible with no supporting data. and Turtles noted that unions negotiated did indeed agree to wage and benefits concessions with that “confusing” link as supporting proof.

        What is to not understand?

      • Creigh says:

        I’d argue for #3 above; both decline of unions and decline of the middle class are a result of a third factor (or factors). No, not CO2, but policies purposely implemented by conservatives. Like Right To Work.

      • Crogged says:

        What tha fuuu….Why is there a “union”? Because it relates to “working”, which directly relates to “income”. You are right, correlation is not causation, but it is a hell of a lot stronger than “coincidence” of the composition of the atmosphere????? Why can’t self identified conservatives adopt an eigth grade level of logic?

      • dowripple says:

        “2) Japanese were selling the types of cars Americans wanted”

        Because of frozen chickens:

        (Sorry for the blast from the past)

      • bubbabobcat says:

        OV, you keep resorting to anecdotal unsubstantiated generalities in claiming unions were even “part of” the downfall of the US auto industry. That may suffice for Fox blind partisan acolytes but not anyone with a modicum of intellectual curiosity.

        Here is a Popular Mechanics (re: technical) analysis of the crap that GM designed that had nothing to do with unions that led to their economic downfall. And if you would read through all the examples, you see a recurring theme of cutting corners and non focus on quality design and engineering (i.e. non union GM white collar employees) in the short sighted pursuit of “cost savings” (re: increased profits). As I already noted earlier.

      • objv says:

        Bubba, Riddle me this … If unions were good for profits why would foreign car manufacturers set up non-union manufacturing plants in southern states?

        Of course UAW benefit and wage obligations contributed to foreign cars gaining market share.

        Again, there were many factors involved, but there is no doubt that the troubles in the 70s and 80s were due to car manufacturers AND unions’ reluctance to change.

        More recent news regarding profits:

        Again, I’m not totally opposed to unions, but their inability to adjust to a different financial climate during the 70s was a big gift to foreign car manufacturers.

      • 1mime says:

        Can we please get past the “who was most to blame” between unions and management argument? Can we agree that workers are in a really bad place right now even with union membership at very low levels? You read the article about changes in worker’s comp laws. Surely, a compassionate conservative can see the injustices being done to our disabled workers? Surely, as well read as you are, you know that the income divide in America is real, and that the working class has seen real wages decline over thirty years.

        Let’s move on and focus on making things work, making things better for hard working Americans – ALL Americans. Let’s focus on solving real problems for real people.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I never said who was most to blame. I said unions played a part. There is plenty of blame to go around. Yes, I do think that that the middle class is in a bad place. I’ve mentioned I come from a blue collar background. In my own experience, unions have cost more jobs than they have preserved.

        As far as disabled workers, here’s a different spin on the subject:

        Each state requires the same amount of workers compensation for union and non-union employees.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, maybe you and I read Fly’s link and came to a different conclusion. The workers comp changes that are occurring that are impacting severely injured workers is wrong, I don’t care if they are in a union, or not! Public unions represent approximately 11% whereas private unions fall to about 6% of workers. Do the math. That leaves 83% of workers outside unions who should also be covered appropriately, not minimally. That’s my point. Sure there have been abuses of workers comp laws, but over-correction seems to be the way the GOP solves problems. As Homer said, use a scalpel, not a chainsaw and more harm than good won’t happen. I have never been in a union and the only ones I ever had to deal with were teacher unions. I have to say, my experience was positive. Maybe it was the union, maybe it was the times, maybe I was perceived as a fair person. Whatever it was, we worked to solve common problems in a positive way. That is what colors my personal experience though I recognize the spectrum is much wider.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, maybe you and I read Fly’s link and came to a different conclusion. The workers comp changes that are occurring that are impacting severely injured workers are wrong, I don’t care if they are in a union, or not! Public unions represent approximately 11% whereas private unions about 6% of workers. Do the math. That leaves 83% of workers outside unions who should also be covered appropriately, not minimally, as should union members. That’s my point. Sure there have been abuses of workers comp laws, but over-correction seems to be the way the GOP solves problems.

        As Homer said, use a scalpel, not a chainsaw and more harm than good won’t happen. I have never been in a union and the only ones I ever had to deal with were teacher unions. I have to say, my experience was positive. Maybe it was the union, maybe it was the times, maybe it was the state (LA), maybe I was perceived as a fair person. Regardless, we worked together to solve common problems in a positive way. That is what colors my personal experience though I recognize the experience spectrum is much wider.

        As to how we differ on solving union problems, you’ll have to tell me what your solutions are before I know if I find them fair. I do know this, there are big problems in America and not too many of them involve unions. Why not address the problems that are impacting the majority?

      • objv says:

        Mime, I agree that we need to come up with solutions The crux of the matter is that you and I differ on what changes need to be brought about. I’ve mentioned several things that unions should change.

        I’d also add that the US immigration system is screwed up. If Democrats were truly concerned for the US worker, they wouldn’t support Obama’s executive action. They would work with Republicans to secure the border, put in place harsh penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants and work on a measure to allow some hardworking, non-criminal aliens to eventually have a path to citizenship. Unfortunately, Obama has poisoned the well. His executive action does nothing to prevent future illegal immigration and it contributes to lower wages for middle class workers.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, Where to begin. You said:

        “the US immigration system is screwed up – Agree.

        If Democrats were truly concerned for the US worker, they wouldn’t support Obama’s executive action.

        *(Dems)They would work with Republicans to secure the border – There is a net decline in border crossings. How much better do you want it to get? Obama has sent additional resources to border control, but this is not the only priority in America. The “border” as a barrier is not really the issue; the issue is illegal immigrants who are sponging off America. Yet study after study documents that many (not all) immigrants (even illegal) pay taxes and don’t get anything back in return. They pay sales taxes and many pay social security taxes, which benefits they do not qualify for. I can cite statistical studies that document the dollar value immigrants provide if you don’t believe me.

        *put in place harsh penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants and work on a measure to allow some hardworking, non-criminal aliens to eventually have a path to citizenship. OMG, Ob, why are you ignoring fact here? The U.S. Senate on a bi-partisan basis, developed and passed a comprehensive immigration bill….15 months ago! The House refused to even schedule it for a vote, probably because it would have passed.

        As for harsh penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants, boy do you need to hit the books. Going all the way back to Reagan’s Amnesty of 4million illegal immigrants, the main opponent of reporting requirements (w/penalties) for employers who hired illegal immigrants was, ta da, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce! They killed Reagan’s first bill, then supported its replacement when the reporting requirements were lifted!!!! Ironically, the contemporary U.S. Chamber of Commerce now is begging Congress for a comprehensive immigration bill!

        The existing Senate bill provides a pathway to citizenship. So, too, do O’s XO. His XO are not amnesty orders. I posted a great summary from the WaPo days ago as to just what O’s Xo does and doesn’t do. Please read it.

        Unfortunately, Obama has poisoned the well. His executive action does nothing to prevent future illegal immigration and it contributes to lower wages for middle class workers. BS!

        Growers in the Southern states of FL, GA, AL and CA cannot hire white field workers for the jobs Hispanics are doing! That is fact. Look at your roofers, road builders,framers – they are mostly Hispanic. These people are skilled in these areas and work very cheaply, which businesses take full advantage of. Business is all too willing to look the other way when it’s their bottom line being lined.

        As for O poisoning the well. If the man has said it once, he has said it 100 times: send me a bi-partisan, comprehensive immigration bill (such as the Senate bill) AND I WILL SIGN IT. What he is not willing to do is wait forever. The XO were levied out of total frustration and awareness of unmet needs that were hurting not only millions of people, but America. If anyone has poisoned the well, it is the Republican Party. That is what Lifer is trying to educate us and them about. If the GOP doesn’t start dealing with reality, it is doomed. I don’t want that to happen but I am not going to give Republicans a pass on a piss-poor attitude and total obstruction, either.

        Nope – you are not going to ever convince me that the GOP wants to create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Did you read the article I posted earlier from The Hill in which 5 GOP Presidential candidates are walking back their support for Immigration reform as fast as their little legs will take them? Guess they changed their minds.

        You are right about one thing, we do not see the issue of unions or immigration in the same way but you have failed to convincingly make your case that I am wrong. You may not like my position, but you are not entitled to your own facts, just your own opinion.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I personally would want a path to citizenship. I know other Republicans might disagree. However, as I remember it, the measure couldn’t pass the house because the issue of the border and enforcement provisions. Also, Americans let their congressmen know how they felt about legalizing people who had broken the law. In the last election, Republicans won so many offices because many felt the current administration had let them down.

        Well, I’ve got to get going … We might not agree, but a wish you a great weekend. 🙂

      • objv says:

        Crogged wrote: Why can’t self identified conservatives adopt an eigth grade level of logic?

        Answer: Crogged, my friend, it’s because it IS an eighth grade level of logic. Relying on correlation alone can cause major mistakes. Part of the reason Americans currently look like Goodyear blimps is because population studies were misinterpreted and high carb diets became the norm. Not to say that other factors such as lack of exercise didn’t play a part, but one always has to allow that there may be other variables at work.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Forgot the multiple link barrier.

        Part 1:
        OV everything you have posted here indicates you ARE 100% opposed to unions despite your disingenuously weak claims to the contrary. And inaccurate opposition at that. And twisting people’s words to somehow come to some convoluted below an eight grader’s logic to support your view not supported by facts. As you willfully ignore the facts posted.

        Unions represent the blue collar workers that would otherwise not have a collective voice in negotiating wages and benefits with the manufacturers. NO ONE here is making the distorted claim as “good for profits” or bad for that matter as you incessantly regurgitate without substantiation. That is YOUR own twisted and convoluted construct. As is your wildly baseless assertion that “Of course UAW benefit and wage obligations contributed to foreign cars gaining market share.” And ironically your link was a total non sequitur to your point without even a correlation, much less causation.

        And to further FACTUALLY debunk the fallacy you are spinning that “foreign auto manufacturers are anti-union” (and “successful” because of their stance), German corporate Volkswagen supported and advocated for unionization of a Tennessee manufacturing plant because that is their SUCCESSFUL structure in their home country and market, but were voted down due to REPUBLICAN (surprise!) illegal political intimidation and blackmailing threats.

        “The U.A.W. asserted that Gov. Bill Haslam had poisoned the atmosphere for a fair election by threatening to withhold additional subsidies to the assembly plant if the workers voted to unionize. In addition, the union asserted that Senator Bob Corker had improperly sought to influence the election by saying that VW officials had told him that they would bring a second production line to the plant if the workers voted against unionizing. Both Mr. Haslam and Mr. Corker are Republicans.”

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Part 2:

        “But then, in the final days before the vote, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said that he had been “assured” that the Chattanooga plant would be awarded a new vehicle model to build only if its workers rejected the UAW. According to the UAW, Corker’s statement scared off enough union supporters to doom the vote.”

        So much for those horrible “thuggy” unions huh OV? Sounds like the typical Republican skullduggery tactics in the South to disenfranchise minorities applied to unions or whatever decency and fairness measures they are perpetually opposed to and hell bent on oppressing.

        And this is telling ironic commentary from the German executive of Volkswagen:

        “We never realized that it [unionization] would be a problem in the land of democracy.”

        And after the union vote failed due to the illegal Republican shenanigans:

        “Stumpf says his colleagues back in Germany were puzzled about what had happened in Chattanooga, unfamiliar with the fierce politics surrounding unions in the American South. ‘It was hard to understand,’ he says . ‘I would understand it being in North Korea.’ ”

        Keep nonsensically beating that dead horse again OV. That’s what you do. And all you have. Hence the comment by Crogged regarding the right wing’s inability to even achieve 8th grade basic reasonable logic.

      • objv says:

        Bubba, Volkswagen could have set up production in Detroit if it was so keen on American unions. It’s true that Germans are generally pro-union in their own country. However, the evidence is overwhelming that companies almost always set up manufacturing where it will cost them the least.

        My dad was union and worked for a company in Cleveland. He liked the owners and worked hard for them. They were nice people and they arranged for enough scholarship money for my youngest brother and sister to cover almost all of their college costs. They did not have any obligation to do that. It was out of the goodness of their hearts.

        To be able to survive in business, they split the company in two and moved most of their manufacturing to Tennessee (hi Sassy) and Mexico. What happened to union jobs? They went bye-bye.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        OV, this is why you engender no respect. What part of the supporting FACTS that the Volkswagen OWNERS and MANAGEMENT supported and pushed/lobbied FOR unionization of their plant do you not understand?

        They didn’t want to relocate to Detroit. So what? That is their choice for their economic reasons. And how is that interpreted as anti union when they actively and openly campaigned and advocated for unionization of THEIR plant? And continued to find a way to unionize even after it was narrowly voted down. Due to REPUBLICAN intimidation, LIES, and other sundry dirty tactics.

        Again, as Crogged noted, not even a modicum of 8th grade logic. Just a wall of willful ignorance.

      • objv says:

        LOL, bubba, tell me how you really feel – well, maybe not. You might get banned. 🙂

        Don’t you read the articles you link?

        From your WP source:

        “United Auto Workers had been working to organize foreign-owned auto plants that settled in right-to-work states during the 1980s and 1990s — undercutting Ford, Chevrolet and General Motors on labor costs.”

        Volkswagen was the first plant which had any chance of organizing in Tennessee since the 1980s. The Volkswagen plant was built around 2010.

        My statement about foreign car manufacturers moving to the south to save in costs is perfectly true, since I was speaking of a time decades ago – not 2014 when the article was written!

      • bubbabobcat says:

        OV again, I see you beating the same dead horse. You claim that unions were not “most” of the cause of the decline of American auto manufactures and only “part” yet all you post are links which you subsequently twist and misconstrue into “unions were instrumental in bringing down the fortunes of the American carmakers”. I’ve already posted a link demonstrating all the severe engineering and management missteps that dragged GM down in the 70’s and 80’s which you ignore and didn’t even bother to dispute or even read.

        And yet you have not posted one single source that supported your contention that unions were the major cause of the downfall of American car manufacturers.

        And as for the foreign manufacturers moving to the South, yes labor costs factored into the decision. But then you make the tremendous leap in logic to lay blame at the feet o the unions despite your transparently disingenuous and insincere claims to the contrary as you provide one generalized ANECDOTAL vague personal example after another about how horrible unions were in YOUR sample of one.

        And since you won’t read the source links other than to cherry pick out of context, look at all the other reasons foreign manufacturers were ENTICED to open plants in the South that had nothing to do with lack of unions:

        “In 1986, Toyota—lured in part by nearly $150 million in tax breaks and other incentives—built a massive manufacturing plant here [Kentucky]”.

        “There is no doubt the state’s investment in Toyota has repaid itself many times over,” says state Sen. Damon Thayer, a Republican who represents Georgetown in the Kentucky General Assembly.”.

        “While [Mitch] McConnell & Co. oppose federal subsidies for the Big Three at the federal level, the states from which they hail have generously extended billions of dollars in subsidies to foreign automakers.”

        And in the same paragraph that does describe how lack of union labor improves their profitability (which is not in dispute), here is a comment from a Southern politician with a foreign plant explaining why the foreign automakers were performing better: “Foreign automakers have been operating at gas prices being four, five, six dollars a gallon for years,” he says. “The motivation to build fuel-efficient cars has really been around for more than two decades. But the U.S. manufacturers never supported that.”

        And “German engineering and Japanese models of continuous improvement, and they can speak chapter and verse on how these new plants are designed with flexibility—i.e., they can adjust production of models depending on consumer tastes and market conditions, whereas Detroit’s plants, by and large, can’t be retooled as easily to produce different models.’

        Foreign ENGINEERING superiority. Hmmmm, where have we heard THAT before OV?

        And did unions have any impact on this:
        “In the early 1990s, competition escalated into a new war between the states—only this time the weapons were tax abatements, worker-training grants, and promises to build roads. Alabama, for one, has forked over nearly $1 billion over the past decade and a half on such incentives. (Much of that sum has been spent on worker training.)”
        “In the early ’90s, the state [Alabama] was starving for investment and high-paying jobs, and so it pulled out all the stops to attract Mercedes-Benz, offering a $253 million incentive package in exchange for a plant that would employ about 1,500 people.”

        And actions of American automakers:
        “And while the Big Three frequently exhibit an air of entitlement when dealing with the state and federal governments—remember the disastrous private-jet caravan when the CEOs came to cry poverty in Washington?—the foreign automakers have gone out of their way to ingratiate themselves with their new hosts. BMW has endowed professorships at Clemson University’s new automotive-engineering program. And when Alabama and Louisiana were competing to attract German steel giant ThyssenKrupp, Mercedes-Benz U.S. CEO Bill Taylor flew to Germany on his own dime to make the successful case.”

        Didn’t see any mention of unions. Did you OV?

        Nice try OV. But work towards that 8th grade logic a little better ok?

      • objv says:

        objv wrote: I never claimed that unions were responsible for ALL the problems in the auto industry. There were multiple factors including the ones you and I mentioned.

        bubba: I’ve said over and over and over and over again that unions played only a part. Go back and read my comments.Your own link proved I was right.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And speaking of not reading your own links OV, your worker’s compensation red herring you are talking yourself in circles to prove a point that doesn’t exist. You rail against the purported abuses and inappropriate and noncompetitive demands and “privileges” unions extract, and then you hypocritically flip 180 degrees and criticize unions for not violating state and Federal worker’s compensation laws and somehow NOT getting more benefits for equivalent situations/injuries than non union workers? Workers compensation should be fair and appropriate whether you are in a union or not. Which was the point YOUR link was making. And NOT what you were making.

        YOUR OWN LINK in unbiasedly talking about the pros and cons of union activities states what unions can do to FAIRLY support and advocate for workers that non union workers have no leverage whatsoever to do.

        YOUR own link also highlights the NEED for unions and BENEFITS a union can provide in advocating (with authority) for the employees’ basic rights:

        “In the states where the employers do not have to hold open a job for an injured employee [re: the Southern “right to work” states where workers have no rights], unions can make a difference. Often the union will have a labor agreement requiring the employers to hold open the injured employee’s job until the employee can return to work. In addition, the union can track workplace accidents and make recommendations to reduce the number of accidents.”

        That is YOUR link OV you attempted (and failed) to use to criticize and paint unions in a bad light.

        As a matter of fact, your source even OPPOSES unions attempting to getting an unfair and disparately higher worker’s compensation than a non union employee might have.

        But then ethics, justice, and fairness have never been a priority or concern for right wingers eh OV?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        March 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm
        “objv wrote: I never claimed that unions were responsible for ALL the problems in the auto industry. There were multiple factors including the ones you and I mentioned.

        bubba: I’ve said over and over and over and over again that unions played only a part. Go back and read my comments.Your own link proved I was right.”

        Go back and read MY comments. You talk out of two sides of your mouth. You claim that you proscribe “only part” of the American automakers’ decline to unions, yet ALL you have posted are how bad the unions are despite all the FACTS I have posted of the poor quality of American automaker engineering and management and executive leadership AND Republican lawmakers giving away millions of taxpayer dollars in incentives and tax concessions to lure them to their states.

        Not ONCE have you even acknowledged those facts as you incessantly rail against the unions based on your own personal biased sample of ONE.

        Again your lack of 8th grade logic precludes your being accepted at face value. We’d rather believe our lying eyes than you OV. You have proven time and again that is the more accurate and safer bet.

    • flypusher says:

      I’ve heard some conservatives justify this type of “reform” with the excuse that some people fake disabilities. That’s quite true, but if your response to it is causing people with lost limbs to get screwed over, then you’re doing reform wrong. The proper way is to work more on reviewing the individual cases, and yes that would mean hiring more people, and yes that would initially cost more. But isn’t justice supposed to be worth it? Why shouldn’t Mr. Whedbee have the best possible prothesis to replace the arm he lost through no fault of his own? That’s one of the reasons we pay taxes.

    • texan5142 says:

      I heard that as I was driving to work this morning. Once again privatizing the profits while the tax payers pick up the human cost.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      And that whole mantra, “We need this ‘reform’ to attract business to the state.” Bullcrap.

      It’s like saying, “Yes, some will be sacrificed. We just don’t know who. It could be you. But it’s worth it so that insurance companies and corporations can continue their very high rates of return. Whisper: You, you don’t matter so much to your elected officials.”

      States should be attractive based upon their education systems and the quality of the environments offered. Stacking the regs against workers is despicable.

    • RobA says:

      I believe that capitalism is best economic system possible (with healthy regulation from gov’t to ensure fairness and provide a social safety net for the people). That said, I also really enjoy reading about other concepts and ideas.

      Whatever you may think about Karl Marx, the communist manifesto, Shows he has a clear grasp of how deep this problem goes. The opening 2 paragraphs recognize that ALL of human struggles can be boiled down, at their most fundamental, as class warfare. to wit:

      “The history of all hitherto existing society(2) is the history of class struggles.
      Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master(3) and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”

      And it goes from there. It’s quite a good read, I would recommend it.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, one of the flaws of contemporary capitalism is that the system of checks and balance is broken. Many at the top have absorbed an “entitlement” mindset and are focused constantly on the bottom line. They fail to understand that to be profitable and successful, they should treat their employees and their customers well. Having been small business owners, my husband and I have learned a lot about what makes a business successful.

        Hitler may have started out with a clear understanding of the struggle between classes, but he used this premise as a political weapon, rather than a principle to help others. It’s like what frequently happens in the political process where people campaign with a genuine desire to help others but upon being elected, quickly gravitate towards power consolidation, job perpetuation and self-gratification – principles be damned.

      • flypusher says:

        ” They fail to understand that to be profitable and successful, they should treat their employees and their customers well. ”

        I firmly believe that businesses have obligations beyond making $ for their owners/ shareholders. They need to be good citizens too, and one of the aspects of good citizenship is to help preserve the society that enables you to do business. It should be obvious that you don’t pollute, or skimp on safety or worker benefits. That’s the bare minimum to be a good citizen.

      • johngalt says:

        Henry Ford didn’t get rich selling cars to the wealthy. He got rich by paying his workers enough money to buy his cars.

        Today, Proctor and Gamble doesn’t make money selling Tide Titanium to the 1%, they do so convincing the middle class to switch from store brands to Tide. They only do that when they feel comfortable with their family finances to spend a few extra bucks on something they think will work a bit better.

      • RobA says:

        good points flt and 1mime. It’s become a very adverserial relationship between business and labor, and that’s bad for both. Companies need to look at their employees as an investment (like they used too) then as expense that needs to be cut to the bare bones like any other expense. But humans are not things. You can’t cut any OTHER investments to the bone and expect results.

        And only part of it is being a good citizen. Part of it is total self interest (and that’s ok. Classical capitalism is SUPPOSED to work that each actor will behave “according to their enlightened self interest” and thus benefitting the whole). for example, Henry Ford paid his workers more then double what anyone else was paying their workers for similar work. When asked why, he said “I want my men to be able to afford my cars”

        To me, THAT’S how capitalism is supposed to work. We’re all in this together. By paying people more, you create entire new markets for your business and others. It becomes a positive feedback loop. Obviously, a balance need be struck. You cannot pay employees so much that the copmany goes under. That benefits no one. But there IS a balance, and although no one knows exactly where that balance lies, I think most agree we are below it.

        It’s not all doom and gloom though, I am noticing a change that businesses are starting to realize paying more actually MAKES them money. Costco you could say was the test case. They made it a point to pay really good wages, especially for the type of unskillled labor they use. Employees started at $11.50/hr and the average employee made $21/hr. Crazy right? Instead, sales have gone up over 30% since 2012. Some of that is employees spending more there. But most of it is regular people wishing to patronize businesses that pay their employees a living wage. In my ccase, I went out of my way to shop at Costco whenever possible for exactly that reason, and many people I know did the same.

        Here’s a good article about it, as well as some eye opening facts about business in general that pay above average wages (companies in the top quartile of wages show productivity and profitibility numbers 20-22% higher then the other companies)

        Walmart recently announced that by next year, the internal minimum wage will be around $10. That’s around a $3/hr raise for the majority of their customers. And many economists are predicting that there will be a strong “wal mart” effect in the near future because of it. As the biggest US employer, they pretty much set the benchmark for every other company. If wal marts paying $10/hr, you’d better be paying at least that much if you want to attract employees with even the tiniest sliver of desirability.

        Companies used to look at their empliyeees as partners. Then they became liabilities. I have hope that the pendulum may be swinging back the other way now.

      • RobA says:

        oops, forgot the link. and I also meant to say “Fly” and not “fit” in the above comment.

      • 1mime says:

        I understood your shorthand, Rob. BTW, one of the problems with the WMart pay increase is that they are limiting the number of people they allow to be full time. It’s a benefits thing. That’s why the ACA stipulated 30 hr work week in an attempt to force business to do the right thing by their employees. The jury is out as to whether or not that will work as intended.

        It’s just sad to me that we live in a time where there is so much focus on one’s self and so little of shared responsibility. Money is important but it should not be all important. I mean, how much is enough?

      • 1mime says:

        JohnG, “Henry Ford didn’t get rich selling cars to the wealthy. He got rich by paying his workers enough money to buy his cars.”

        And, that is capitalism at its smartest AND best. But, at least his workers had the choice because they had the income. COSTCO is a great example tracking the same business philosophy. BTW, I have read that they also offer health benefits to part time workers.

        These are very materialistic times.

      • johngalt says:

        On the other end of the employment spectrum from Walmart, we in Houston have heard volumes over the last few years about how hard it was for oil and gas companies to find qualified workers, whether in the skilled trades or on the science/engineering side. I joked with my father-in-law that he better not admit he was a retired engineer when he visited or someone would offer him a job.

        Now, oil is half what it was a year ago and tens of thousands of people are being laid off. Eventually, the good ones will be hired back, when oil goes back up, but what loyalty will they have to a company that won’t stick with them in the bad times? Why wouldn’t they jump at any better offer that comes in the door in the next boom? How is this a good long-term business strategy?

      • 1mime says:

        John G, “How do businesses expect to keep good employees when they lay them off during hard times…(from memory so not exact quote)…j

        The oil and gas industry was where we made our living. It is a cyclical industry, in fact, if you check ratings on say Schwab, many aren’t rated unless they are broadly diversified, precisely because they are so volatile.

        My husband used to call it: a “chicken and feathers” business. I don’t think I need to explain it. But, people running these companies did/do have problems trying to be prudent business people and fair to their employees. It’s tough. And, layoffs happen, but like football, you win some, you lose some. That’s how the game is played.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        RobA, Its amazing. Every way you look at it, doing the right thing pays.

    • Turtles Run says:

      “All the while, employers have found someone else to foot the bill for workplace accidents: American taxpayers, who shell out tens of billions of dollars a year through Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid for lost wages and medical costs not covered by workers’ comp.”

      The GOP war on Medicare and Medicaid are well documented but Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recently came under attack by Republicans. They claim that this program is unsustainable so they are seeking ways to bankrupt the fund. They cause the financial difficulties for these programs and then turn around and complain that these funds cannot sustain themselves.

      Problem is the public is so clueless that they buy into the arguments. Especially when they have the far right defending each of their destructive actions.

      • 1mime says:

        You know what Turtle? I’m not going to give these clueless, insensitive people a pass. Each of us has a responsibility to make informed decisions. We may come to different conclusions, but we should at least make the effort to understand what we are talking about before we open our mouths. Not just regurgitate a talking point.

    • objv says:

      Mime, good comment. I am not totally opposed to unions but they have lost their way. Union bosses’ salaries can approach that of a few CEOs.

      I remember a recent chron article where a union worker complained of paying almost $2000 in dues each year.

      I’d be more sympathetic if unions stopped trying to line their own pockets and truly tried to work with employers so that both they and their employees are given the chance to prosper.

      • 1mime says:

        “You’d have more respect for unions if they stopped trying to line their pockets and worked with management….” (from memory, so may have missed a word or two)

        They have! With the great recession of 2008, the car industry almost folded. Union leaders and their members stepped up to the plate and offered concessions to help the business survive. It was in everyone’s interest to do so, but, the important thing is – they did.

        What other examples do you know of where today’s unions “generally” (as opposed to an isolated example), are out to line their own pockets at the expense of management?

      • 1mime says:

        Objv, I’m glad you posted the salary link for union leaders. It was really interesting that the top group were all in sports-related activities where, as you surely know, it is not uncommon for players to command multi-million dollar annual salaries, and coaches even more. Plus, something you may not be aware of but which I personally think is an outrage, is that the NFL operates tax free as a 501-C3. Amazing, don’t u think?

        For the size of the professional organizations these union directors represented, and the major cities in which they work, and the incomes of the players and the team management, their salaries do not seem out of line. In fact, they appear reasonable. Now, the $2K dues required of a union member that you cited, that sounds out of line, but without seeing the post, I really can’t be certain.

        I think unions can serve a valuable purpose in large companies – especially now – when workers’ wages and working conditions are under attack via “right to work” legislation and the incredible changes in workers’ comp laws. Frankly, business is asking for unions to surge by their greed. They have gone too far.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Maybe, just maybe we should consider buying a bunch of calendars for the state of Alabama. That way they realize it is not 1955 anymore.

      • 1mime says:

        Turtle, maybe you could scare up a few “pin up” calendars for the good AL lawmakers. They need to “lighten up”!

      • Turtles Run says:

        1mime – Here is the Michelle Bachmann/John Boehner calendar I am sending.

      • 1mime says:

        Knew you’d come up with something great, Turtle! Of course (whispering here), they’ll have to hang it on the inside back of their closet as these are some seriously uptight people!

  20. 1mime says:

    This from another blog (liberal perspective) that I follow, “The Weekly Sift”, on the fundamental difference between Dems and Repubs:

    “…there is one key difference between the two: Democrats believe that government can change people’s lives for the better, and that we can do things together that we can’t do for ourselves. Together, we can have parks and libraries and public schools and clean air. We can soften the dog-eat-dog aspects of the capitalist system so that ordinary people have a chance. We can insure each other against disasters from hurricanes to cancer.

    Republicans believe that government can only screw things up.

    So when Republicans govern well, they refute themselves.”

    So, that’s what’s going on here!

    • lomamonster says:

      Even more succinct, “When Republicans govern, well… They refute themselves.”

    • johngalt says:

      The GOP has been recently behaving in a manner that would lend itself to this description, but I don’t agree with this in the end. Democrats do believe that government is a force for good, but too many of their policies work by transferring some part of my income to other people. This is often done inefficiently and with insufficient thought about consequences and disincentives, which often plague social policies. A rational conservative argument can be made that these can do more harm than good and that there are more effective ways to promote social welfare that cost less. That, mind you, is not what the current GOP is doing, but there used to exist Republicans that made that argument effectively.

      • 1mime says:

        JG, we can agree that there is inefficiency in government administration of social programs (remember, we’re talking about program administration for millions of people when you add in military, government and private citizens), but I’d very much like to see a cogent explanation explaining how these programs do more harm than good – in general as opposed to the exception. Of course the first nail involves those who cheat, the second on government error/waste (that one deserves a separate discussion), the third on the whole concept of redistribution, which is what you primarily focused on in your statement.

        I believe redistribution of income is necessary in a civilized society. Not wasteful, or irrational, but appropriate to the need, the promise, the age, and the means. (Yes, I believe in means testing for all aid.) But the fundamental disagreement for most conservatives is that they don’t believe in social programs if it involves redistribution at all, unless maybe for the military. You and I seem to agree that the GOP’s track record of support for the elderly, infirm, young is mired in lots of mumbo jumbo about inefficiency, but it’s really all about keeping more money in one’s pocket.

        If that had been the attitude of the Greatest Generation, our generation who enjoy the fruit of their labor and sacrifices, wouldn’t have it as good as we do.

        Taxes need to be fair. People need to be responsible. Government needs to be efficient. But, as you get older and witness how much money business and government wastes on other less important needs than caring for its people, the redistribution argument begins to sound shallow. We were in business when interest rates were in their high teens, and it was a big deal to borrow money, but we had to in order to be competitive. There was no 401k, no IRA, no higher ed savings credit, no health care savings deduction to shelter health care expenses, no child care credit, heck, few credit cards. Cash, checks, or loans were how one paid for things. Credit either revolved or cost a lot as high interest rates persisted for a decade. Women earned even less then then they do now (about $0.55 vs $0.77/ $1.00 now)for doing the same job as a man – IF – they had the opportunity to even apply for and get such a job. (Some day I’ll share the story of the WASP program during WWII, and how woman were treated during and after their service. It’s a fascinating story.)

        Yet, somehow, families managed to not only educate their children (and many times care for their parents) but also to try to set aside something for retirement. So, how did they do it? – They sacrificed, scrimped, managed well, worked hard, lived simply, everyone helped at home. But I do not ever recall hearing the adult providers of those times complain about paying taxes so government could help people, like I hear today. The concept of “shared responsibility” meant more.

        Times have indeed changed and so have values.

        End of rant (-:

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        JG, I am not sure we know what is a real disincentive or not. Have you looked at labor rates here.

        Sometimes we get a gut feeling that when inspected closely does not stand.

        Some states applied a rule about welfare that required there not to be a man in the house. And because it means fathers are not allowed, then this liberal policy is anti family. And there are unintended consequences.

        But the exclusion of a father figure or a “fornicating male that we are paying for with out hard earned tax dollars”.. is this a liberal or a conservative thought.

      • 1mime says:

        Unarmed: “But the exclusion of a father figure or a “fornicating male that we are paying for with out hard earned tax dollars”.. is this a liberal or a conservative thought.”

        1MIME: Depends. On if you get caught (-:

  21. bubbabobcat says:

    More Off Topic:

    3 Repubs in Idaho state government walk out of state sponsored Hindu prayer.

    One (falsely) claims “we are a Christian nation” and “Hindu is a false faith with false gods”.

    But a previous guest Rabbi didn’t ruffle their feathers or their “Christian nation”.

    Sad, sad, sad to see such open and unrepentant instances of bigoted hate and insular provincialism.

    • 1mime says:

      And, they’re all Repubs. ‘Nuff said.

    • RobA says:

      That’s because most Christians know next to nothing about any other religion then their own. They prob think that Jews worship Jesus.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, ignorance of other faiths is no excuse to disrespect them, especially in a state-sponsored event when those walking out are elected officials. Either don’t attend, or attend and respect the event. It’s all for show. These Repubs obviously don’t know very much about Christianity, either, or they wouldn’t have acted this way.

      • RobA says:

        Oh, no doubt. Not offering an excuse, just a reason.

        I think the vast majority of Southern Baptist type Christians would probably be shocked if they actually knew how similar Islam and the Koran are to Christianity and the Bible.

        All your favourites are in there: Noah’s Ark, Abraham and Isaac. They even revere Jesus as one of the major prophets (of course, no prophet is on par with Muhammed)

        Muslims are not nearly as much of The Other as many Christians seem to think.

  22. RobA says:

    So, since the only policy drivimg the GOP is: “Embarrass Obama at all costs!!!!!!” can I assume now that the DHS fiasco is winding down (assuming it passes) next up will be a month of gridlock as the GOP attempts to pass a bill that will force Congress to approve any Iranian deal?

    Which of course, Obama will veto, which will send it back to the House and again, nothing will get done.

    It appears to me that the strategy of the Dems is to give the GOP enough rope to hang themselves. I can see another pointless battle brewing about the Iran deal that will eat up another chunk of time with no real results. And then when that’s done, thhere will be another manufactured crisis that the GOP can deal with and on and on until one day we wake up and 2016 is 6 months away and the GOP looks back and realize they’ve been had.

  23. flypusher says:

    OT, but something everybody wants, another chance to point a finger at WBC and laugh at them:

    Anti-Semitism AND homophobia- nice mix. All you needed was some racial slur, and you could have had a bigot trifecta!

    /So glad the Nimoy family was spared seeing those idgits.

  24. 1mime says:

    It’s time to look indepth at O’s Executive Orders on Immigration. Rather than post the orders themselves, I think this WaPo summary offers the clearest explanation of what it DOES and, even more importantly, what it DOESN’T do. There’s so much BS out there on the topic that we need to be sure we’re at least all talking about what’s “real” vs hyped.


  25. vikinghou says:

    Somewhat related to the blue wall:

    I am stunned by the revelation that Hillary Clinton apparently used private e-mail accounts to conduct official business during her tenure at the State Department. It seems inconceivable that she would be operating (or allowed to operate) outside of the State Department firewall. That’s basic IT security stuff. Perhaps there’s more to the story that we haven’t been told, but it sure seems to be amateur hour. While the GOP is looking for ammunition to use against Mrs. Clinton, she seems to be supplying the bullets.

    • RobA says:

      I think the context of this is what will make it relevent or not. If the information was of classified type or otherwise sensitive, that’s a pretty big lapse of judgment which should rightfully be investigated.

      If she used it to discuss what decorations where going to be at her table at the Correspondence Ball (also technically “official business”) I’m not too worried about it.

    • 1mime says:

      She has to explain it, and, if she can’t, maybe we’ll get E. Warren to run. Not a bad default candidate for Dems.

      • RobA says:

        I think E. Warren is incredible.

        I was looking for her to play king maker for Hillary and maybe get a cabinet post. Can you.imagine her as Sec of Treasury?

        I’d have to hear more about her entire platform before I know how I felt about her as Prez. But she’s sane, rational, very smart and not bought and paid fo by special interest. That’s 90% of the battle right there.

    • johngalt says:

      The first report I saw on this said that she never had a address. That’s pretty mystifying.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      This is very disconcerting. She apparently willfully and knowingly flouted record keeping laws so that her emails in official duty as SoS cannot be publicly released.

      Very sneaky and dirty. Not good at all. Even if she had nothing to hide, this only leads people to reasonably believe she did have something to hide. Wingnuts will be all over this. Deservedly so this time.

      Stupid, stupid, stupid. And arrogant and hubristic.

      Break glass and crank up the designated emergency Democratic Presidential understudy.

      • vikinghou says:

        You’re right Bubba. Once again the Clintons’ true colors are visible in high relief. What slays me is that apparently, for four years, no one seemed to notice that her e-mails were not from a .gov address. It’s time for the Dems to stop this coronation while there’s still time.

        That being said, if she becomes the nominee, she’s still better than anyone the GOP has put forward so far. Sad, isn’t it?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Damn! It gets worse. She knew exactly what she was doing and even set up her own damn email server in her home.

        Nasty, nasty, nasty.

        I was very lukewarm about her candidacy and considered her quite imperialistic in her demeanor and actions in whatever position she was in. This kind of smoking gun proves it.

        Having said that, viking is right. Who the hell is the “better alternative to Hillary, warts and all? None whatsoever in the Republican Party. Unless Jon Huntsman is willing to throw his hat in the ring again and survives the wingnut circular firing squad that masquerades for a Republican primary.

        I’m not too enamored of Warren either. Maybe it’s naiveté, or it’s easier to firebomb from the sidelines when you don’t have to make decisions (a la the oxymoronically unguided Cruz missile), but she comes across to me as too much of a left wing ideologue unwilling to compromise. I can maybe charitably characterize her as “idealistic” but don’t trust her (yet) to compromise when needed to get something done and govern responsibly.

    • 1mime says:

      Just learned this while watching MSNBC. Turns out, Jeb Bush did the very same thing Hillary did when he was Governor of FL, setting up his own server and using private email. This doesn’t excuse Hillary for doing so as Sec. of State, but it should be an interesting counterpoint to the attacks on her that we’ve seen today.

      Meanwhile, I haven’t read anything or heard anything about Jeb’s parallel email moves. Maybe this also falls outside the Fox “hard news” schedule – (not that I’m watching so how would I know?) But, I haven’t given up hope. Poor guy, Jeb’s treading money – oops – water, drowning in all the donations he’s receiving. But he’s trying hard to be just a normal Republican Presidential candidate and has asked that no donations exceed $1M so as to broaden his donor image.


  26. bubbabobcat says:

    Off Topic:

    Wow, Boehner miraculously grew a pair. Or at least a substantial vestige of one at least.

    This should make for some more good histrionic Tea Party Theatre.

    • vikinghou says:

      It’s interesting that the vote is taking place in the shadow of Netanyahu’s speech. Bury the story under more compelling headlines.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Good point viking. Confirms my cautionary acknowledgement Boehner of possibly possessing only a maximum of one teste.

    • 1mime says:

      If Boehner had a “pair”, he would have passed a clean funding bill for Homeland Security from the get-go. No, pressure from without was intense and Boehner found sufficient votes within the House to make his “bold” stand….finally. Dems saved his butt again and I am proud of how the Dem minority handled themselves…with quiet steadfastness and none of the hysteria and vitriol of their GOP counterparts. Congrats Nancy on your leadership.

      Nope, not even going to give B credit for his “bold” stand today. Leadership rarely comes from behind. It leads. B wanted to placate rather than control the wingnut House members who obsess over anything O does. He and the GOP paid a price for that, as they should. Belatedly, they caved in full realization that they need to keep their focus on winning in ’16. They’re off to a poor start – in many ways. The Netanyahu fiasco is an even more heinous breach of leadership in my opinion. The other action was more of the same.

    • RobA says:

      Boehner (and other establishment GOPS) doesn’t acquicise to the tea party because he’s personally a coward (perhaps ethically, but that’s another discussion) or because they have pics of him dressed in stocking and garters.

      It’s purely a political calculation. He and the establishment calculate (wrongly) that on the aggregate, appeasing the lunatic fringe is a net political gain.

      The absolute SECOND that calculation changes for the GOP – the moment that appeasing the tea party becomes a net liability politcally – they will do an about face quicker then currently seems possible and shut those clowns out, forcing then to leave and create their own unique party of idiocy. Only then will we be able to tease about how stupid the GOP is vs. How stupid they appear, because right now it’s impossible to tell.

      I had estimated this would be after massive landslide in 2016, but in reality it could happen anytime between now and then.

      Maybe Boehner feels the calculation has changed.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, we need to get Turtle looking for a Boehner photo in garters and stockings! What an image! Good one!

        If I am following Lifer’s educational process in his posts, the GOP is years late in dealing with the TP and in appealing to the rational members of their base. Much like a spoiled child, they’ve indulged rather than controlled the TP faction, calculating as you surmise, the short term benefits. Still, the GOP wins in ’10 and ’14 reinforced that strategy so it’s easy to see how the GOP could get stuck on short term thinking. Of course, to control the TP faction, B would have had to have Democratic support, which he lacks sufficient humility or wisdom to do except when his back is against the wall (Homeland Security vote anyone?)


      • johngalt says:

        Chris has posted in the past an analysis of exactly how important the TP has been electorally and the answer was not much. If I recall, he analyzed how Romney did in 2012 in the general election in states in which a TP-affiliated candidate was running for Senate and in every case Romney outpolled the TP candidate by some margin. In other words, a lot of people who voted for Romney did not, for whatever reason, vote for the TP senator.

    • 1mime says:

      Bubba – Of significance in the NYT article reporting the House passage of a “clean” Homeland Security Funding bill is that it passed with only 75 GOP votes. There are 245 Republicans in the House, so, that means, once again, the level-headed Democratic Party saved the day. I haven’t seen the roll call vote but maybe someone will do that homework for us.

      I doubt this fact will be the lead on Fox News (guess it depends on whether they’re in their “hard news cycle” or “right leaning cycle ), but I hope somehow, America gets the word that Dems made this happen – not Boehner – not the GOP – DEMS!

      SO, There!

  27. flypusher says:

    Some follow up Vox pessimism ( although a bit less pessimistic):

    I can certainly see the trend towards more power to the Executive branch. Some reform to Congress could at least slow if not halt that trend, I think. They are wasting far too much time making statements with measures/ unrelated riders that have zero chance of passing, and that hastens the flow of power.

    • RobA says:

      I too can see a clear trend towards executive power. And while I personally am in favor of the most recent usage of it, I am somewhat sympathetic to the concerns that it is too much power for one man.

      without too much imagination, I can easily envision some pretty negative end states as the trend continues.

      But it’s pretty hypocritical to act like Obamas the antichrist Here. The precedents that started this trend were set long before Obama came on to the scene. He’s actually used far less XO’s them any recent president.

      I would be in favor of Congress limiting it through legislation.

      • flypusher says:

        Lots of political jitterbug being danced around this issue. It’s never an problem with the partisans when it’s THEIR guy in the Oval Office. The OTHER guy though…….

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, all good points, but let’s take your thought about potential abuse of executive orders and expand it to the exceptional abuse of authority by House Speaker John Boehner regarding his invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress. Boehner: broke diplomatic protocol by not going through the White House or State Department; interfered in an on-going U.S. major diplomatic effort with Iran due to the diplomatic deadline; and inappropriately engaged in the Israeli Prime Minister election by openly displaying partisanship for one of the candidates. How would America like it if the reverse situation occurred during a tight Presidential Election with a major American Allie? What would happen to U.S.- Israel relations if Netanyahu were to lose? It’s not probable but it is possible.

        Of course the magnitude of O’s XO on immigration far exceeds Boehner’s overreach (heinous that it is), but America has a lot invested in the diplomatic effort with Iran. We should all hope that it can succeed, not sabotage it from within our own country! From the “you lie” to “applause at the SOTU address when O said he wouldn’t seek another office, to his being called “boy” and the “birther” crap, I am more than amazed at the President’s class in showing restraint. It is all bulls$%t and hypocrisy and I’m sick of it.

        Sorry, Rob, just had to vent a little (-:

      • RobA says:

        1mime good points.

        I’ve always entertained the thought that perhaps Big Ben has overplayed his hand and this visit may LOSE him the election.

        The Israeli media is far from being blindly supportive of him, and it seems to me that Israelis are much more perceptive abkut the power games of politics then over here.

        There’s a significant amount of Israelis who are horrified that Ben is risking hurting the critical US-Israeli relationship in order to reap personal political game.

        since foreign policy is controlled by the executive branch and nit congress, Bens visit will serve no practical purpose. Obama will still sign the deal he wants to sign, and it is one that Benny won’t like.

        But he’s calculati ng that the speech will boost his credentials as a Washington insider and thus bump him in the polls. But the finely tuned bullshit detector may punish him if they think he is putting his political career ahead of Israeli security. To he fair, I don’t think he THINKS he is. I do believe he firmly believes what he says, that the evil Persians are just rubbing their hands with glee and laughing maniacally as we speak, counting down the days when they can level Tel Aviv.

        But there’s the very real chance that Israelis have enough of the war mongering Netanyahu, and see him as a loose cannon after this un comfortable visit.

        In any case, even if he loses, I’m quite sure there will be no strain with the incoming guy. It’s been made quote clear that Obama wanted nothing to do with Ben. If anything, relations would likely be improved.

        Benny and the Prez hate each other.

      • 1mime says:

        Ben and Obama hate each other – Well, I can see why O would hate Ben…..Actually, I would love it if Net. got canned. It’s time for new leadership. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict might actually have a better chance of resolution if he were gone. At some point, the U.S. has got to get more from their investment and support of Israel than we’re getting….about $123Billion/yr.

        Our treaty with Israel puts America is a very dangerous place, yet we seem to have very little real influence on affairs that directly impact our pocketbook and national security. It’s insane.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, correction on American aide to Israel – The $123 Billion is an aggregate, annually the aide is valued at approximately $3 Billion in dollars and in military aide. Bet that would be an interesting spreadsheet to study!

    • 1mime says:

      Fly, in any organization, be it private sector, military, or governance, the absence of rational leadership will ultimately require that someone step up – because it must in order for business to function. Obama has tried for six years to get immigration reform done with the help of Congress, to no avail. So now he is trying to kick-start those programs/regulations/laws that have languished due to GOP obstruction and inaction. If one studies the history of XO over several presidents, O’s been very conservative in his use of them in comparison. But, immigration reform simply cannot be put off any longer. To O’s credit, he has found a way to try to get something done, and, even if he is ultimately unsuccessful, he at least is focusing America’s attention on the cost of Republican blockage of key needs in America.

      I am certain that Obama would have preferred to sign the comprehensive, bi-partisan Senate bill on Immigration Reform into law, as he indicated he would do. Absent House action, he did what he could do. Bully for him. What is worse, NO action at all on immigration reform, or, limited action via XO? We may not like the way the tourniquet is being applied, but he is trying to save the life of the patient.

      Where the focus should be is on the House and why they refuse to reform immigration. Gutless wonders all.

  28. flypusher says:

    Speaking of politicians and how they might impress voters, here’s America’s infrastructure report card:

    • 1mime says:

      Fly, the infrastructure report card is too sad for words. It is just a matter of time before there is a major failure of one of our bridges, roads, etc. and tremendous, avoidable, loss of innocent lives. IMHO, the failure of the Repub to work across the aisle with Dems to address these bi-partisan, serious needs, is one of the most unforgivable breaches of governing responsibility in the past 6 years.

  29. MassDem says:

    Greetings from Massachusetts, bluest of the blue states.
    Yes, we elected Charlie Baker, but no, we are not turning purple any time soon. We have elected Republican governors before, and it has turned out ok for us. The result of the last gubernatorial election was no surprise to anyone. A socially moderate Republican who had learned to rein in his abrasiveness versus a lackluster Democrat who has still not been forgiven for losing that Senate race- you know the one.

    On another note, I am truly loving this blog. The political history is fascinating, and the absence of scorched-earth battles in the comments section is refreshing. Thank you Chris!

    • flypusher says:

      When you had Romney he certainly looked like a rational being.

      I hope you guys don’t get any more snow this year.

      • MassDem says:

        I’m not Mitt Romney’s most ardent fan, but certainly he deserves enormous props for RomneyCare.

        It would be wicked awesome if we could gift our surplus frozen water to the West, but as someone wrote somewhere, God had money on the Seahawks.

      • 1mime says:

        What I’ve read is that Romney doesn’t get credit for initiating “Romneycare”. That was the result of a long, deliberate commitment and effort by the Mass. Legislature. He did come through once the Legislature passed it as he saw the handwriting on the wall. So, I’ll give him that, but he sure backed away from “his” (disputed) signature health care achievement when he was running for President. More pandering to the conservative elements in the Repub base.

    • RobA says:

      I tend to think that at the state level, the colour is far less important then the individual, and I think that voters recognize this. Politicians certainly do. Most GOP governors and judges today would have happily been Dem a few decades ago. It’s a matter of practicality. In many states, if you want to be a politician, you simply join the party that is required in that state, otherwise you’re SoL.

      And it also makes a certain amount of sense. The major issues that divide the parties are more relevent on the national stage, for the most part.

      I see it more as pragmatism then anything else.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, Local politics is only as “color-blind” as the districts are balanced. Throw gerrymandering into the mix and the voters have little real choice as to outcome.

    • RobA says:

      agreed about the blog comments.

      I came for the prose. I stayed for the comments.

      • 1mime says:

        Great comment….came for the prose, stayed for the comments. They are inspiring, educational and funny, occasionally. The links and thoughts broaden our viewpoints (when rationally stated and civil.)

    • johngalt says:

      In a fact that will surprise many, Massachusetts often elects Republican governors. Since 1991, it has had five GOP governors versus only one Democrat. And they’ve been pretty reasonable, too – I was happy to vote GOP when I lived there because it was the Dems who were a little crazy.

      • 1mime says:

        JG, In Mass., the system of checks and balance appears to be working well. Here in TX, not so much. It is precisely this balance that should be in place with the three divisions of federal government. Of course, now, the only “checks” we have (as Dems) is the current Dem Pres and the filibuster, which, when not abused, is an important tool for the minority party. I hope Dems use it carefully and seldom, not prodigiously as Republicans did.

        One of the lingering thoughts I had as I re-read Fly’s Vox link, is that the system of checks and balance designed by our FF really can work well for Democracy, if it is allowed to.

  30. 1mime says:

    Somewhat OT, but just watched a MSNBC Rachel Maddow segment where she presented the first of seven guests on their “Genius” series. He was: Chris Jankowski, leader of the Republican Red State Leadership Committee. Turns out he and his team were significant to the GOP wins in targeted blue districts using fairly small amounts of money that was very carefully allocated. Their focus, he explained, was to select states and districts in which they might oust Dem incumbents and increase Repub majorities important to re-districting.

    Ha! Micro-management at its political best! (If you are Republican (-:)

    They were very successful and Maddow congratulated him on an outstanding, innovative political effort. Since we talk about the “art of politics” here…it’s easy to obsess over the loud, ugly, crazy things that are going on and ignore hard work that goes on behind the scene – the gnomes who work quietly in the background to make the process accomplish certain ends. People like Liker, no doubt. It’s nice to see an avowed liberal publicly interview and praise a colleague who works in the same field, albeit for the other party.

    They even smiled a lot and shook hands.

    I thought this was neat and wanted to share it with you guys.

    • rightonrush says:

      I watched the interview also. Chris Jankowsi impressed me as a man that did his job and did it well. Not any BS about the young man, he seemed honest and up front with Rachel.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Obj…From your link,

      “His [Attorney General] office told The Daily Beast in a statement that the Attorney General “is concerned about some of the provisions in the budget that may reduce information provided to college students and take away reporting requirements. He will work with representatives from UW and the Governor’s office to determine what prompted these changes and to ensure that we provide all of the protection we reasonably can for our college students.” It is unclear if Schimel’s office was aware of the stated purpose of the provision in question. ”

      The issue was not that they were going to stop reporting to the Federales, the Clery provisions require it unless they want to give up all whole boatload of Federal dollars. Walker also nixed the requirement that the University report sexual assaults to current and incoming students.

      Given the history of Universities not handling sexual assault cases properly, it seems a bit reckless to eliminate those provisions without putting something in place, and the “It is unclear if Schimel’s office was aware of the stated purpose of the provision in question” should make no one feel better. How do you not know something like this? Even if you don’t know, someone on your staff should say, “hey guys, this might be a problem.”

      • 1mime says:

        Good points, Homer. I guess with Walker’s profile, someone will delve further into this.

      • objv says:

        Homer: Both The Daily Beast and Jezebel had to issue corrections. Here’s the first part of the retraction:

        “Jezebel incorrectly reported parts of the budget from Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on Friday, accusing the presumed candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 of suppressing the reporting of college rape statistics at the University of Wisconsin. A Daily Beast college columnist at the university based an article off Jezebel’s post.”

        You know as well as I do that The Daily Beast article made it seem that Scott Walker wanted to end the reporting of rapes at Wisconsin colleges. The result was inflammatory.

        The University of Wisconsin stated goal was to end redundancies. The changes in reporting were not requested by Scott Walker.

        It’s not clear if other states require reporting. It is clear the federal government does and the records are not only available to the state, they are available to the public.

        “The institution’s police department or security departments are required to maintain a public log of all crimes reported to them, or those of which they are made aware. The log is required to have the most recent 60 days’ worth of information. Each entry in the log must contain the nature, date, time and general location of each crime and disposition of the complaint, if known. Information in the log older than 60 days must be made available within two business days. Crime logs must be kept for seven years, three years following the publication of the last annual security report…

        “The Clery Act requires institutions to give timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees.”

        Another federal requirement:

        “By October 1 of each year, institutions must publish and distribute their Annual Campus Security Report to current and prospective students and employees.”

        Walker did not “nix” the requirement that the University report sexual assaults to current and incoming students. Federal laws already covered it.

      • Turtles Run says:

        objv – It does seem that the press and public over reacted. But I also find it amusing when you somehow miss the inaccuracies from the right side of the aisle. For instance I have yet to hear take the right wing media, pundits, and politicians to task for calling Comprehensive Immigration Reform “amnesty”. We all know it isn’t yet you have remained silent on this incorrect description.

        or is it more


        from you

      • objv says:

        Turtles, The press didn’t overreact; only a few far left news sites did. The public didn’t overreact; only the readers of the lefty news sites did.

        If this story would have had any validity, it would have been big news, and the major new organizations’ coverage would have been extensive.

        Below, Texan was critical of an aunt who treated the stuff from right wing sources as gospel truth. Are you guys any better? You seem to fall for this kind of garbage hook, line and sinker.

        I don’t follow far right or far left news. I usually read The Washington Post (free on my Kindle), my local paper, and an assortment of sites like, CNN, FoxNews, CBSnews for breaking news stories. If I stumble upon a far right or left site it’s because I searched for a topic and it was in my search results.

        I did post some links from Breitbart, but that was only because Sassy had written that Breitbart had nasty things to say about Kayla Mueller. I provided the links to show that that was not true. Bubba found some vile posts in the comment section, but there was not anything in the actual articles about Mueller. (I once went to the comments in a Raw Story article and those comments were equally offensive.)

        I do not go to the Breitbart site unless there is a cause to research it, like above. I realize that their news is slanted and one-sided – just like Raw Story, Jezebel and some of the other sites far lefties are so fond of.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…sorry this is so far down. I’ve been away from my computer for a while.

        With the original posting about this, I mentioned that surely there was something about reporting inefficiencies that caused this and that Walker’s staff was just slow to get that part of the story out.

        It was sent to me by one of our former interns who teaches at UW in Madison (so she doesn’t love Walker at all), and she indicated that there was no way to really get around Clery on this (even though UW does not have a good history of handling sexual assault well). She couldn’t understand the provisions for taking it out of orientation, and that really still has not been addressed. They are required to give the information to incoming students, but no real specification on how to do it. Given the microscope now, you would assume the school would do a good job of communicating, but I’m not sure anyone really trusts universities to handle those things well any more.

        However, I do appreciate the mention of the Jezebel website. It has been a while since I visited them, and they are always an interesting read, even if they goofed up this story.

    • 1mime says:

      Fair is fair. We have to assume that Walker was not involved in the nitty gritty changes in the state budget as it relates to campus rape reporting requirements other than those which would remove redundancy with the Cleary.

      Good catch, objv. Walker is by far my least favorite (well maybe he’s even with Ted Cruz) Republican Presidential candidate but for reasons other than the budget/rape issue. But, if his hands are clean on this point, it needs to be acknowledged and reported. Thank you for doing so.

      • objv says:

        Walker is not my favorite either. I’m not all that thrilled with any of the candidates that have a good chance of getting the nomination. I LOVE Ted Cruz but realize that he would be a long shot – and perhaps a bit too polarizing. 🙂

      • objv says:

        Mime, Thank you, too, for being a better man than me. (I hope the compliment counts, even if I’m a woman.) I’m glad you decided to contribute to this blog.

      • 1mime says:

        Thanks for the compliment, Ob, but I’m a ”

        I still can’t stand Walker, however, so I’m not all good (-:

      • 1mime says:

        Objv – I was thinking maybe we might one day find some common ground until you stated you LOVE Ted Cruz. But, I will admit you had me fooled. In all my years of watching politics, Ted Cruz is one of the most despicable of the lot. But, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion.

      • objv says:

        Mime, Ooops! Then, you’re a better woman than me! 🙂 However, I do think we have some common ground. We both love the US and we both have family members who belong to different political parties. We’ve learned to “agree to disagree” while still having respect for those we disagree with.

  31. Turtles Run says:

    Kory Watkins elected Republican precinct chairman in Mansfield and the face of open-carry advocates in the state seems to have another reason for wanting open carry laws without a licences. Under current TX law Watkins cannot get a get a handgun licence due to past criminal behavior. I knew there had to be another reason why this guy was so gung ho about losing the background checks to carry a hand gun, other than suffering from a wicked case of micro-penis.

  32. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    So, what would it take to introduce a bit more purple into the blue states?

    I propose that it is moderately easy. Of course, I’m often wrong.

    Abortion is a tough topic. Valid points on both sides, and the whole situation is unfortunate at best and gut wrenching at worse. The woman gets to decide what happens to her body, but even the most liberal among us recognize that it is a tough issue.

    Gay marriage? Man, that is so easy it should have been done two years ago. I would venture to say that a loud, public, and widespread endorsement of gay marriage by the mainstream GOP would start to crack the perception folks have of the GOP.

    Sure, we may still have some kinda racist folks, sure we may still have people who view women as less than equal, and sure our fiscal policies do seem to favor the wealthy over the poor, but at least we are no longer being asshats to the nice gay couple that just wants to get married.

    The people that pisses off are never going to vote for the Democrats anyway, so at worst they just stay at home and don’t vote.

    You can have legitimate differences of opinion on fiscal policies (and maybe even abortion), but not wanting gay folks to get married is just mean and spiteful. It cements in the perception that the GOP is old, bigoted, and out of touch.

    • texan5142 says:

      I beg to differ on one point only, it should have been done twenty years ago.

    • 1mime says:

      You got it, Homer! But, you forgot immigration? How are you going to get the GOP to tango with that little Chiquita?

      • texan5142 says:

        Hehe !

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Sure….1mime (at some point you will have to let us in on the origin of the screen name), immigration would help, and it does seem like there is a logical conclusion to be found with immigration.

        With that said, immigration is still a tough issue. We probably don’t want a completely open border, and while illegal immigration is still likely an overall net positive for the country, it does cause a host of problems. We would be rewarding some inappropriate behavior while still having a system that makes it a nightmare to get into the country legally.

        There just are no legitimately difficult issues with gay marriage.

        Folks are simply being mean.

        There was a story last week about it being 10 years ago that Texas passed an amendment outlawing gay marriage. These nice, Christian folks, threw a big party in Austin with a big wedding cake to celebrate 10 years of not allowing gay folks to get married. There is no way around that other than these folks are just simply mean spirited.

      • 1mime says:

        I have said it before and it bears repeating: One of the finest efforts of the George W. Bush administration was his proposal “Pathway to Citizenship”. It may have had flaws but it was definitely a good place to begiin with a difficult issue. There are many immigration templates out there, including the bi-partisan Senate bill passed over a year ago. What’s lacking is GOP will in the House. Congressmen have convinced their base that illegal immigrants are vile aliens (a despicable and inaccurate term) and want them all expelled, period! Now that the GOP has so thoroughly brainwashed their base, they will have some ‘splainin’ to do. Their fear-mongering leaves them in a tough place, politically.

        Meanwhile, the TX Legislature is poised to spend $600 million dollars on border security while education, roads, pensions, water and other infrastructure needs go unmet. It is paranoia and it is stupid.

        At the same time, the Governor, LT Gov, and others are climbing onto the Tax-Cut bandwagon, to “help” TX business (thought it was doing great but guess there’s greater yet!) and property tax relief to homeowners which will result in about $200 per household. Didn’t “W” do this at the beginning of his administration to share the budget surplus Clinton handed off to him? That certainly turned out well, didn’t it?

        But, there is an admirable, lone Republican, Kevin Eltife, who is showing other TX senators what a statesman looks like as reported in today’s Houston Chronicle when asked why he opposed the popular tax cut plan.

        “If you are going to say, ‘Well, I’m not quite sure that we’re ready for property tax cuts,’ that’s a strong dose of medicine for people to try to get down,” said Fleming (TX TP organizer). “That’s some icky-tasting medicine.”

        Eltife said he doesn’t think about elections when he’s doing his work of the session, which possibly would make him unique among lawmakers.

        “I don’t know why anybody would worry about elections right now in the middle of session when we are trying to solve the state’s problems,” Eltife said. “If this is the end of my political career, so be it. It’s not going to keep me from talking about the problems of the state.”


    • 1mime says:

      The problem, Homer, is that the wingnuts of the GOP DON”T stay home. They vote and god they seem to live a long life despite our fervent wishes that they would meet their maker a little sooner than they planned. In the meantime, the younger, meaner ones (jury out on who’s the craziest!) are getting elected in their gerrymandered districts and they not only believe this crap but they take it a step further!

      If we could all accept the fact that it’s ok to have different views on the issues you listed, we might make headway. But, that ain’t the case with the fundamentalists. It’s their way or bust. So, bust it is!

    • RobA says:

      I think you’re right.

      If the GOP does nothing else except for come out and say “it’s GOP policy to unequivocally support marriage equality from here on out and we were wrong in the past” and changed NOTHING else abkuttheir platfom, that would go along, long, long way towards changing the perception of the party of ignorance and bigotry.

      Sure, the lunatic fringe would revolt, almost certainly leave and form their own party (good riddance) and the GOP would get more voters back then they lose.

      Their are literally TONS of people who prefer traditional conservative fiscal responsibility over traditional liberal spending but absolutely cannot square themselves with the repressive social policies.

      I’m 30, and the “I’m a fiscal conservative/social liberal” meme happens so often in my age group it’s become cliche.

      There are tons and tons of people who want the GOP to make it ok to vote Republican.

      • 1mime says:

        I’ve given the “social liberal/fiscal conservative” handle a great deal of thought. In fact, I used to perceive myself in that manner – until – I realized that social programs that benefit millions require money. I’m speaking of social security, medicare, medicaid, SNAP, welfare, CHIP, Disability Programs, Meals on Wheels, FEMA, NIH, VA Health Care, and many others. Should/could these programs be more efficiently run? You Betcha, and they should! But, there is a need and a place for industrial, civilized nations to care for its citizens, and that’s where the “either or argument” begins to get dicey.

        We tend to focus our arguments about fiscal waste on programs that principally benefit the poor, elderly, young, or injured. And I will be the first to concede there is abuse here. But,
        what about the fiscal waste for federal aid to big business? Ethanol? Tobacco subsidy for years and years – too many to recall. Military bases that dot the planet and are unnecessary; fighter jets that the Pentagon doesn’t want but gets anyway. So many tax breaks and loopholes for business that you could drive a MAC truck through them.

        So, I’m not so sure it’s possible to have it both ways. I’d love to hear your take on this as I enjoy your comments. For me, regardless of all the fiscal issues, however, social issues dominate. If that makes me a flaming liberal, so be it. I can handle the fiscal criticism because I like myself better when I help others.

      • RobA says:

        Not letting me reply to you 1mime but those are excellent points you brought up. I never thought of it like that.

        At the end of the day, I’d rather pay a few more percentage points in taxes and live in a society where the poorest are not literally living in the streets or dying of completely preventable medical issues.

        Because you never know. That may be you someday needing a hand. And yes there’s abuse of social programs. Of course there Is. I truly believe that the vast majority of ppl on welfare don’t want to be on it. If not, then everything I know about human beings is wrong.

        I think on a whole, far greater good comes from social programs then bad.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, you are one nice young man, and, you are right on target. It’s complicated to separate out social issues from cost but I agree, the benefits are more important to mankind than the savings ever are. Witness this latest publicity gimmick in the TX Legislature where there is a clamor to climb aboard the tax cut wagon. Now, I don’t oppose taxes but I get really pissed when I am conned into supporting a tax which is sold on the basis of “x” beneficiary (usually a ‘feel good’ one at that) and then we find out those agencies aren’t getting the money! It’s being used to balance the state’s budget!!!! Meanwhile, Taub ER is drowning in medical crises and the tax money that is being levied on DWI offenses etc that is supposed to go to hospitals, isn’t. This is what I hate.

        So, for me, the important thing is what you do with your life, not how much money you make or keep. At the end of my life, I want to feel I gave more back than I ever took. I have a feeling you share my view.

      • Creigh says:

        I don’t have a problem with social liberalism, but my objection to ‘fiscal conservatism’ — that the budget must be balanced whatever the cost in human misery or to society at large — was encapsulated long ago by the economist J. M. Keynes: “The Conservative belief that there is some law of nature which prevents men from being employed, that it is ‘rash’ to employ men, and that it is financially ‘sound’ to maintain a tenth of the population in idleness for an indefinite period, is crazily improbable — the sort of thing which no man could believe who had not had his head fuddled with nonsense for years and years.”

        The economic cost of unemployment, in terms of lost output and lost wealth, is staggering. Mostly due to the nonsense of fiscal conservatism and “There Is No Alternative.”

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        On this fiscal conservative business. 1mime says: “I’m speaking of social security, medicare, medicaid, SNAP, welfare, CHIP, Disability Programs, Meals on Wheels, FEMA, NIH, VA Health Care, and many others.”

        It seems the more we know about programs that get cut back usually cost us money. It seems that every couple of days I see a study about spending that pays long term. In real money, not just making us feel better about looking out for our fellow humans.

      • Cpl. Cam says:

        Man! “Fiscal conservative/social liberal?” Talk about a construct that can’t die soon enough. This is what reasonable people who don’t pay attention to politics say when they want people to think they’re “serious.” I have been paying pretty close attention for about the last fifteen years and near as I can figure a “fiscal conservative” is someone who believes the deficit is the most important consideration when it comes to feeding poor brown people in America and doesn’t matter at all when it comes to bombing poor brown people in foreign countries…

      • RobA says:

        Yes 1mime, I think we share a similar worldview.

        I firmly believe as a society we are only as strong as our weakest. There are obscenely rich people everywhere, even the poorest countries. The true measure of a societies health is its lowest tier, not it’s top.

        and when viewed like that, America compares unfavorably with most developed countries.

        I was born and raised in Canada so I’ve lived in bith systems. and since I’m solidly middle class, I’m sure I see it through that lens (I.e. I’ve never been rich and don’t have that viewpoint on society) . But in my opinion, Canada has a much healthier society. Yes, the wealthiest there can’t even compare to the wealthiest here. But the poorest there are much better off then the poorest here.

        I guess thats why I find the outrage ti Obamacare such a head scratcher. In my native country, universal healthcare is one of our most loved institutions. The father of it, Tommy Douglas, was recently voted as The Greatest Canadian. We put him on the same pedestal a native American puts George Washington ton.

        it is not perfect, of course, but if you did a poll asking “would you rather keep Healthcare and lower the HST (harmonized sales tax, added to everything bought and sold except groceries and other exemptions, roughly 13%) by 3% or keep it as is” I think the overwhelming majority would wish to keep it. The reason for that is its a truly re distributive program. The benefits to MOST ppl outweigh what the costs would be for equivalent insurance. For sure, if you’re a wealthy consumer and spend upwards of tens of thousands/year on goods, you’d be saving more by buying insurance and NOT paying the 2% HST. But for th e lower and middle class, no way the 2% savings would be worth more then paying for your own health care. So you’d get a situation like in America where millions of the poorest simply wouldn’t get it. And a sick society cannot be a productive one.

        It would not at all surprise me if Obamacare goes down as one of the most important pieces of legislation since the New Deal, once people start seeing the actual benefits in action and the fear mongering by the elite has no more power.

        And please don’t misunderstand my criticism. I love America as much as my native country and consider it my country just as much as Canada is. There are many issues in which America is ahead of Canada. Just that health care and social programs are not one of them.

      • RobA says:

        Just re read my last comment and it may come off as anti American, just watch to clarify that’s not at all the case.

        I’ve spent about 16 of my 30 years here, my wife is American, my kids were born here and I was a dual citizen by virtue of my Mother ever since I was born.

        Just didn’t want it to be thought that I was a johnny come lately whose only been in the country 6 months and decided to criticize. I believe I have as much stake as any other citizen in the future of this great country and that is the position my criticism comes from. Not to tear down but to build up.

      • flypusher says:

        “it is not perfect, of course, but if you did a poll asking “would you rather keep Healthcare and lower the HST (harmonized sales tax, added to everything bought and sold except groceries and other exemptions, roughly 13%) by 3% or keep it as is” I think the overwhelming majority would wish to keep it. ”

        In my previous job a couple of my labmates hailed from Belgium. They were quite upfront about the fact that they paid a lot of taxes, but they also got a lot of services for said taxes. The social safety net worked for their family when one of their nieces got a leukemia diagnosis at 6 months.

        Whether we want to go as far as some European countries is a legit topic for debate, but I have to wonder how many of the righties who scream “Socialism” and “Communism” have been to Europe or even talked to someone from there.

      • johngalt says:

        Like Fly, I have a lot of colleagues from other countries, particularly in Europe. They may gripe about the health care systems in their home countries (it’s a national sport for the English), but none of them would trade it for our system. If we were bolder, we could see these various iterations as grand experiments, learn from them, and design something efficient and effective. Instead, we got Obamacare, and we’re fighting to the death (pun somewhat intended) even about that incremental advance.

      • RobA says:

        Fly – That is my experience too. When you grow up in a universal health care system, eventually either you or someone you love is going to need it for a serious medical procedure. And that will go a long way towards acceptance and (perhaps even) cherishment of such a system. It changes the benficiary of the program from “The Other” to a living breathing face that you love, and all of a sudden, the extra 2% you pay in taxes every year is worth it.

        It is like every type of inusrance really. You might be annoyed that you’ve paid thousands into your car insurance throughout your life if you’ve never made a claim. But if/when the day comes when you need too, you”re awfully glad it’s there

        It will take time for those kinds of experiences to filter down to the the average American. But with every life saving surgery, or every procedure done that improves the quality of life of us or loved ones, the ACA will become more and more ingrained in the American psyche until one day, we may look incredulosly at the people who fear mongered against it. I don’t knokw enough about the debate that happened when Tommy Douglas first instituted UHC in his province of Saskatchewan, but I would not in the least be surprised if you saw the exact same arguments. Would be an interesting research project.

        The reason I framed the question of my hypothetical poll as I did was for a specific reason. I was reading a gallup poll not long ago where they polled people from countries with UHC but they asked “are you satisfied with the health care in your country”. The results gave a slight advantage to UHC countries, something like 78% were satisfied compared to 75% in AMerica. But I think that’s the wrong question. “satisfaction” is a fickle thing that can be changed with something as easily as a long wait in the ER or a rude doctor. I think the question:

        “would you get rid of the UHC in your country if you’re taxes were lowered by the requisite amount?” (which, btw, wouldn’t be much more then a % or two, as even the most robust health care system spread out over the entire population is relatively easily funded)

        is a much more relevent one. People will always find something to bitch about or be “unsatisfied”. As JG mentions, complaining about something as universal as health care is almost a national sport. But when asked to put up or shut up, I think you’d find that a huge majority (likely into the 85%+) would strongly wish to keep the status quo.

        I think it would be very telling if a poll came out with such broad support across a number of differnt societies for such a program.

      • johngalt says:

        One nitpick, Rob: you suggest posing a choice to people: universal health care or a reduction in taxes. I think you’re underestimating the cost of universal systems. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Care/Institut Canadien d’information sur la santé (to be properly Canadian), health care spending in Canada is 11% of GDP and costs C$6,045 per person. While this is substantially lower than in the U.S., there’s a pretty big chunk of taxes that pay for this. In fact, the HST can’t pay for it all, because 13% on all consumption would be about $130 billion when total health care spending is $215 billion). The difference must either come from private spending or other government revenues.

      • 1mime says:

        JohnG – Re: health costs in Canada. Looking at it a little differently here….more of an “investment” in social capital, quality of life….but there’s also the unavoidable fact of longevity. Peruse this chart to see where the U.S. and Canada fall as well as other countries at the top – the majority of which (if not all…I haven’t dug for that info) have socialized health care or some rendition thereof. In short, there are lots of ways to measure health care cost. IMO, health care should be a right, not a privilege, so I’m starting from that basis.

      • RobA says:

        John – yes, please don’t think I am trying to speak of facts here, I’m def not an economist. I simply play one on TV!

        (Ill see myself out)

        But srsly, I see what you’re saying, but I think that doesn’t encapsulate the entire equation. That’s simply the monetary cost. It doesn’t include the financial benefits of UHC. A fully covered nation will be more productive, miss less work, have less stress and overall have an improved quality of life.

        I know it’s hard (if not inpossible) to quantify the actual monetary benefits of this, but my gut feeling is that it’s huge.

      • johngalt says:

        You misunderstand me, Rob. I’m not opposed to some kind of universal health care; in fact I am in favor of it. But it’s a lot more expensive than you implied, so it is not a tradeoff between UHC and a few percent of a sales tax. Unless my numbers are wrong, Canadian health care spending runs about $210 billion/year. I assume the majority of this is government spending. The total federal and provincial spending is a bit over $600 billion, so a full third of spending is on health care. If you asked people whether they’d trade the universal health system in exchange for a tax cut of one-third, the answer might be different.

        In both the U.S. and Canada, health expenditures are largely hidden from most of us. If you asked what my health insurance costs per year, I’d have to look it up because it is mostly paid as a benefit by my employer. Health care at $0.13 on the dollar in a sales tax is also a bit esoteric. From an economic perspective, when consumers bear no or little cost for a product (and have little or no choice), then it is rarely used efficiently. Health care is not a normal good, but the general principle applies.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, Just saw this and thought it pertinent on the gay marriage /GOP hypocrisy subject.

        It’s like all those Town Hall meetings where Obamacare was fodder for the GOP. I’ll never forget the lady that stood up and said she couldn’t stand Obamacare and she wants government to keep your hands off my medicare!

        THAT, my friend, is what we’re dealing with (-:

    • GG says:

      Speaking of gay marriage I saw this link posted on another blog. If true, just wow… obsessed do you have to be to display this much hate or even be that interested in gay people? Like Fred Phelps, I think someone has some deeply suppressed issues. Supposedly this was started by an attorney too.

  33. 1mime says:

    TX, don’t get me started on O’Reilly. There has not been one glimmer of criticism that I have heard from Fox on the numerous serious claims disputing his reporting veracity…despite all their criticism of MSNBC, at least NBC acknowledged the fabrications of Williams and at least he is on a lengthy sabbatical. Meanwhile, O’Reilly continues his smug, self-serving, vitriolic journalism without consequence.

    • vikinghou says:

      Concerning veracity, one person on MSNBC I respect is Rachel Maddow. She researches things very thoroughly, but when she gets something wrong she’s the first to admit it. On several occasions I’ve seen her spend a lot of time explaining what she had said and why it was wrong.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree. And, when she thinks Dems do something wrong, she nails ’em for it. Good journalism and an unabashed liberal point of view. She works hard and it shows.

    • rightonrush says:

      Fox comes with basic cable hence their high viewer ratings. MSNBC is not basic, hence their rating of course are not at par with Fox.

      • 1mime says:

        I did not know that Right on. Another smart move by Fox, tho. You have to given that to them. (and that’s all I’ll ever give them)

    • flypusher says:

      I’m working when the networks do their national news broadcasts, so I’m only familiar with Brain Williams from the video cut-n-pastes Jimmy Fallon did to make it look like Williams was covering rap songs ( not a fan of rap, but those were funny). However, I have no problem with his “sabbatical”, “leave of absense” “trip to the woodshed” “beginning of the end”. A big part of that job is the appearance of being trustworthy, and he blew it there.

      I also have no issue with O’Reilly coming under the same microscope.

      • 1mime says:

        Problem is, Fly, that the only microscope that works at Fox news are ratings. Say anything you want as long as it strokes their base. Outrage is their mantra. I’m betting nothing happens to O’R.

    • Crogged says:

      O’Reilly, Maddow, Stewart et al are ‘entertainers’ and while one can find a great deal of truth in entertainment, facts and context are better delivered in writing. Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address, he didn’t speak off the cuff.

      Prior to O’Reilly the demons were the Hearst Corporation (or Gannet), prior to that ‘yellow journalism’ and all of it blended with people listening to facts which support their beliefs since we wandered away from the fire in the cave. The viewer ratings for “Fox” are much higher than MSNBC, sometimes they nearly equal the rerun of a TV sitcom which last aired 5 years ago.

      Always, human nature prevails despite our protestations of the need for neutrality and ‘balance’. The role in journalistic enterprises which has disappeared the most is called the ‘ombudsman’. Some organizations still have one, many sites on the internet do not. Why wouldn’t they is a pretty good question.

      Recently there was a post about a couple of Baptists in Idaho who wanted some sort of idiotic thing enacted regarding (education? something) in that state. We ‘talked’ about it here. What if we really did start showing up at local party precinct meetings in Houston and daring to speak, we might become heroes in Idaho (insert B-52’s song here).

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged, Kronkite is dead. And, there aren’t any newbies filling his shoes. Is the difference in the personal ethics of the newman/woman, or, the station and/or its sponsors? I also thought Tim Russert was good and liked Tom Brokaw as well. PBS news does a decent job without all the bells and whistles. I think independent, non-partisan journalism today is a relic, sadly.

        What object to is outright distortions. O’Reilly’s colleagues are calling him out. Where’s the “fair and balanced” standard when you need it, right? Present the news from whatever slant you wish, but don’t lie and don’t grandstand. Hmm, that just about does the whole shootin’ match in, doesn’t it!

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        facts and context are better delivered in writing. Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address, he didn’t speak off the cuff.

        Nice rejoinder, Crogged, but you don’t get to choose which medium others respond to. Nobody does. That’s why those seeking to persuade others often use more than one.

    • GG says:

      The thing with O’Reilly is that anyone with a modicum of sense knows that he’s full of shit and always has been. He is NOT a journalist at all just a hack screaming his opinion. I especially how they get people on from the “left” and his way of dealing with them is to scream over them and cut them off. He never actually lets them talk. Fox viewers lap it up instead of thinking “why doesn’t this loudmouth Neanderthal let them speak?”

      • johngalt says:

        I agree, GG. Why the outrage about “reporting inconsistencies”? Given his position as a blowhard pretend journalist how could he not be exaggerating and distorting?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        I think this lets the blowhards off too easily and then it becomes the new double standard norm. Those wingnuts BELIEVE that crap to be the truth. It needs to be debunked. And the whole controversy is about O”Reilly’s reporting as a CBS news correspondent and not a Fox propagandist.

        It does matter.

      • 1mime says:

        Agree, Bubba. It would be nice if the media industry had some way of sanctioning news journalists who lie and distort, but it’s hard enough to get the Medical Boards to sanction doctors who are killing people or performing unnecessary procedures while lining their pockets. O’R may have been employed by CBS when he said his lies, but he is a multi-million dollar Fox journalist and one would hope the agency would have a high bar, but, then, we are talking Fox News here……

  34. rightonrush says:

    Speaking of religious Republican fanatics: Brother Pat Robertson doesn’t want his religious fruit cakes addicted to veggies.

    • flypusher says:

      If he were actually drinking or smoking weed, then he’d a least have a good excuse for spewing such nonsense.

    • texan5142 says:

      Speaking of fanatics, this thing called Andrea Shea King wants to hang members of congress if they boycotted Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday speech to Congress.

      From the things radio show,

      “Listen, I would like to think that these guys could pay with their lives, hanging from a noose in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.”

      “most of those members who are opting out of attending the speech are members of the Congressional Black Caucus

      • rightonrush says:

        Yep, they believe you are going to hell if you don’t kiss Bibi’s big butt and bomb Iran. They are in a hurry for their Armageddon .

      • flypusher says:

        “Listen, I would like to think that these guys could pay with their lives, hanging from a noose in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.”

        Wow! That’s both feet in the mouth, up to the hips.

        I do not subscribe to the absurd notion that Isreal is never to be critized for anything it does.

      • 1mime says:

        Fly, neither do I. The Palestinians have their side of things. I have never respected Net. and this latest stunt nailed his coffin shut for me. He perpetuates his leadership (yuk) by keeping hostilities alive, not by being part of the solution.

        The stats I saw were 42 Dems not attending. The GOP plans to have aides sit in their seats so the House will be full (only thing is “full of ‘what'”!)

        Oh, the other thing about Net besides his “up yours O.” ….. Don’t forget to send money……..

    • Turtles Run says:

      WTF!!! Are you telling me my Mom was trying to get me hooked on the cocaine by making me eat broccoli. I am going to have a talk to that woman.

    • GG says:

      This guy is ready for the Golden Acres rest home. I swear he’s senile. He was on about yoga the other day. Something about if you practice yoga you are praying to a Hindu god. I’ve done yoga before and nothing religious has ever been said. It’s all stretching and balance.

    • 1mime says:

      BTW, on the matter of B. O’R’s annual income….Couldn’t come up with an exact number except that it’s in 8 figures and his net worth is around $70 M.

      His ego, priceless.

      “…O’Reilly boasted about his power, about his intimidating ability to threaten politicians and policymakers into doing his bidding, and mused about what “President O’Reilly” would have done about this or that troublesome development.

      The armed and violent Sunni Muslim insurrectionists making their way toward Shiite-ruled Baghdad?

      “Bomb them!” O’Reilly declared, to raucous applause—never mind that, by most accounts, members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, when not executing government soldiers, have tended to melt into the general population.

      In a counterintuitive moment, O’Reilly, who earns an annual income well into eight figures, said he’d be willing to pay a flat tax of 33 percent to the U.S. Treasury and 10 percent to New York state without deductions in the service of fairer, simpler regulations that would also require corporations to pay similarly robust rates.

      “Why don’t you run [for office]?” Rivera asked.

      “Because I don’t want to get involved in a system where I have to promise people stuff for money. It’s as simple as that,” O’Reilly answered. Anyhow, as things stand, “I have more power than everybody except the president. I can get things done.”

  35. 1mime says:

    Viking….We’re all on probation! (-: Not sure what that means unless Lifer has some of us “flagged” for a reason. Would be interesting to know Lifer what that means.

    I’m hoping for more than the blue wall “holding”. I want to drive the pilings deeper and strengthen the wall with greater and more diverse voter participation. Even though it would benefit the Democratic agenda for there to be further deterioration of Repubs credibility, that really is not in the best interests of America. I’d much prefer that the party return to reason and governing via consensus. Everyone wins when the system works like it’s supposed to.

  36. vikinghou says:

    I hope you’re correct.

    For entertainment, read Jonah Goldberg’s latest screed about how conservative America is becoming.

    A few nuggets to ponder:

    “MSNBC had thought it could mimic Fox News’ success from the left. The problem is that it never understood what Fox News is. MSNBC’s execs saw it through the prism of their own ideological bias and so ended up offering a left-wing caricature of a caricature. Contrary to myth, Fox (where I am a contributor) is in fact an actual news network, albeit with prime-time opinion shows.”

    “Barack Obama has successfully moved his party to the left but has failed utterly to bring the rest of the country with him. In 2012, James Stimson, arguably America’s leading expert on U.S. public opinion, found that the country was more conservative than at any time since 1952.”

    More on Stimson can be seen here:

    • vikinghou says:

      I see that my earlier comment is awaiting moderation. Am I on probation?

      • flypusher says:

        No, it’s having more than one link in your post, I believe. It confused me too the first time I tried it. I asked for Chris’ help, and some of the trolls who used to be here started spinning conspiracy theories about how I was the one getting their posts zapped.

    • texan5142 says:

      “Contrary to myth, Fox (where I am a contributor) is in fact an actual news network, albeit with prime-time opinion shows.”

      Hahahahahaha! That made me laugh.

      • 1mime says:

        TX, I did a little research on Fox News as a credible news source. Ailes is slick and he knows how to package his “bent” effectively. What they do is (their claim) “hard news” from 9am-4pm, after which they report the news with a “rightward” commentary (their words, not mine). They carefully calibrated their programming to earn a Pew positive nod. But the story doesn’t stop there.

        In another story (link below), an in depth 7 hr close monitoring of their “hard news” segment which they claim to be “fair and reasonable” (Fox trademarked the slogan, BTW) – gave a slightly different assessment. They are extremely clever, as the author points out, although I submit, getting less cautious in their hue to their 9-4 hard news criteria. I loved the final point of the WaPo link in which the author found:

        “Cable news can give its viewers 40 minutes of coverage on a given issue, yet never attain more than two minutes of depth.” (link goes into more detail, but, you get the point)

        I daresay that the quality of the posts on Lifer’s blog are far more substantive – on both sides of the spectrum, and I appreciate that most all make a serious effort to document their viewpoints (and the comic relief from Turtle & TX’s images and the pithy comments from Right on and Lifer and others). The WaPo story is interesting, though and it is important to understand what they are doing here. Their politics becomes more obvious depending upon when one watches their network (-: and how one’s political leaning colors what and they watch and what they choose to hear.

    • Crogged says:

      ___, where I am a contributor, is heaven on Earth as long as the paychecks don’t bounce and I keep up with the public _sskissing.

      • texan5142 says:

        You got that right Crogged. The problem with the prime-time opinion shows is that the average viewer of those opinion shows will regurgitate the opinions as fact, never bothering to check the details of those opinions. I have and 83 year old aunt who loves Bill O’Rielly and takes every word he says at face value.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Goldberg is an icky writer.

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