Rand Paul shows why Cruz is winning

Remember when Rand Paul was a “libertarian?” Sure, it was always a stretch, but he tried to carry that banner for a while. Paul’s great mission was to somehow meld traditional libertarianism with religious fundamentalism, building a new Neo-Confederate appeal. The problem with that strategy was always the libertarian part. Now Paul is dropping the pretense and kneeling at the cross of Republican Jesus.

At a prayer breakfast this week in Washington Paul abandoned his relatively friendly stance on gay marriage, calling it a “moral crisis,” but he didn’t stop there. After explaining that “religion is part of our government,” he went on to deliver this whopper:

“We need a revival in the country. We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying reform or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform.”

For anyone who used to like Rand Paul, this must be a stomach-churning moment. As a former McCain volunteer, I can relate to your pain.

In fairness, these were not prepared remarks and they were delivered in a relatively private meeting. No one seriously thinks this represents Paul’s personal views, not even the people he was pandering to. This does not represent an official, deliberate policy flip for Paul, at least not yet. However, the fact that he could deliver that speech without vomiting in his mouth a little says a lot about him and about the emerging shape of this nominating campaign.

What you are seeing in that video snippet is the long shadow of Ted Cruz. Candidates are no longer calculating how to position themselves to beat Jeb Bush.

For the next eight months every minimally credible Republican candidate will be racing to carve out real estate in a territory Ted Cruz already owns and militantly defends. Already, this is shaping up as a contest in which Cruz faces off against umpteen other people, each of whom insist that they are just like Ted Cruz on all of the issues Republican primary voters care about. They will be forced to distinguish themselves from Cruz on matters that Republican voters do not care about, like electability, willingness to compromise, likeability, experience, and basic sanity. Every other candidate will be pretending to be what Ted Cruz has proven his is.

Get ready to hear Jeb Bush’s awkward and unconvincing conversion experience. Get ready to hear Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson explain that they are even more like Ted Cruz than Cruz himself. There isn’t a single issue on which Cruz will have to dodge and weave the way Paul just did on gay marriage and theocracy. Being Ted Cruz means never having to apologize.

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.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Election 2016
326 comments on “Rand Paul shows why Cruz is winning
  1. 1mime says:

    As I stated in an earlier post, Cruz wins even if he loses. To counter this will require a sea-change in not only voting numbers but in a \n acceptance of the true end game of the TP – eliminate the New Deal and all that “The Great Society” was premised upon, and move all governance to the states. Salon has yet another insightful treatise on this subject which those who think Cruz will never achieve his goals, should read carefully. His goals are nothing less than the re-making of the structure of America. Cruz is a dangerous threat not only to America as we know it but to an America of his vision.

    “Cruz does not have to win the White House to win the war. So long as he can grab headlines and whip up voters, Movement Conservatives can continue to hold enough congressional seats to continue to block legislation and defund the government. Then they can do as Buckley hoped: stand athwart history and make it stop.”

    Cruz deeply believes in Bozell’s philosophy as spelled out in his (and Wm Buckley’s) “The Conscience of a Conservative,”…(that)… American freedom depends on states’ rights. There must be no civil rights legislation, no federal oversight of education, no unions, no taxation for domestic spending. Any government intervention in any of these areas was a collectivism that destroyed freedom.”

    http://www.salon.com/2015/04/05/ted_cruzs_demented_strategy_he_doesnt_need_to_win_the_white_house_to_push_america_rightward/

  2. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Corporate entities may stand up for the progress of homosexuals, but NYT’s Gail Collins says:

    But heterosexual women are being pushed further and further back. The good old Guttmacher Institute recently reported that during the first three months of the year, nearly 800 proposals relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights were introduced in state legislatures.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/opinion/gail-collins-and-now-political-virgins.html

    800

    That’s a lot.

    One of Gail’s commenters says that 60% of Texas women voted Republican. There’s no explanation for that except the Salon article RobA links to.

    • objv says:

      Bobo, I recently read the following WaPo article:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/04/02/the-equal-pay-day-factoid-that-women-make-78-cents-for-every-dollar-earned-by-men/

      Unless more women decide to become engineers and more men decide to become teachers and sociologists, there will always be unequal pay.

      A good strategy for a woman is to enter a field that is majority male. My daughter, a geologist, earns a comparable salary to a male counterpart. Assuming that she is able to avoid the upcoming layoffs, her future looks bright.

      Silicon Valley, is quite a liberal place when it comes to gay rights, but it has an abysmal record on hiring women and minorities. Lately, there has been a focus on how disproportionately few women, African-Americans, and Hispanics there are in those high paying jobs. Right now, there is a great opportunity for qualified women to get a job working for a tech company. I hope many bright, young women jump at the chance!

      As far as voting in Texas, I’d gladly vote Republican if I were still there. What liberal women don’t seem to understand, is that Democrats don’t offer much to women besides free contraceptives and less restrictions on abortions. I firmly believe that women are worth more than their reproductive organs.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Nice deflect. Not much else.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        OV, what did the great philosopher, F. Gump say? Stupid is as stupid does”. Thank you for offering yourself up as Exhibit A to RobA’s point below regarding wingnut cognitive dissonance and total disdain and disregard for facts as the only basis to “justify” their nonsensical and fact challenged positions.

        From YOUR OWN source:

        “We do not want to suggest there is no pay gap; in fact, just about every example above reported that there was some sort of gap in wages. A report by the American Association of University Women found that, after accounting for a variety of factors, including college major and occupation, there was an unexplained 7 percent gap one year after graduation. The gap then grew to 12 percent after 10 years.”

        And,

        “A 2004 study for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, by Stephen J. Rose and Heidi I. Hartmann, calculated that across 15 years, prime age women earned just 38 percent of what prime age men earned – an apparent wage gap of 62 percent.”

        That TOTALLY debunked your crap theory that the wage gap is based entirely on the different positions men and women work in.

        And the whole point of the article was NOT to quibble that there wasn’t a gender wage gap, but on the actual numerical value of that difference.

        “But the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the gap is 18 cents when looking at weekly wages. The gap is even smaller when you look at hourly wages — 13 cents — but then not every wage earner is paid on an hourly basis, so that statistic excludes salaried workers.”

        So professional women get only 18 cents less per dollar than men, and not 22 cents. Woo hoo!

        And women working crappy hourly pay jobs only get “a little less” than men working crappy hourly pay jobs. Double woo hoo!

        Thank for demonstrating you are a typical ignorant fact challenged “conservative” (with reading comprehension problems to boot) yet again OV.

      • objv says:

        Bubba: The article presents a fair balance of information and represents both sides of the issue. However, the intent of the article was to fact check assertions made by Democrats about women making 78 cents of a dollar earned by men. I do not mean to assert that there is absolutely no wage inequality. I simply meant to say that statistics used by Democrats are incorrect and that now is a good time for women to make inroads against inequality by moving into tech, science, and engineering jobs.

        “The Facts

        Few experts dispute that there is a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women — such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children — make it difficult to make simple comparisons. That’s what’s so facile about repeatedly citing “78 cents” or “77 cents.”

        Democrats are relying on a simple calculation from the Census Bureau: a ratio of the difference between women’s median earnings and men’s median earnings. (The median is the middle value, with an equal number of full-time workers earning more and earning less.) That leaves a pay gap of 22 cents.

        But the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the gap is 18 cents when looking at weekly wages. The gap is even smaller when you look at hourly wages — 13 cents — but then not every wage earner is paid on an hourly basis, so that statistic excludes salaried workers.

        Annual wage figures do not take into account the fact that teachers — many of whom are women — have a primary job that fills nine months out of the year. The weekly wage is more of an apples-to-apples comparison, but it does not include as many income categories. (Still, we should note that the wage gap likely would increase if part-time workers were included in the statistics, as is done in Canada.)

        June O’Neill, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who has been a critic of the 77-cent statistic, has noted that the wage gap is affected by a number of factors, including that the average woman has less work experience than the average man and that more of the weeks worked by women are part-time rather than full-time. Women also tend to leave the workforce for periods to raise children, seek jobs that may have more flexible hours but lower pay, and choose careers that tend to have lower pay.

        Indeed, BLS data show that women who do not get married have virtually no wage gap; they earn 95 cents for every dollar a man makes.”

      • 1mime says:

        Ob – Your statement that, “What liberal women don’t seem to understand, is that Democrats don’t offer much to women besides free contraceptives and less restrictions on abortions. I firmly believe that women are worth more than their reproductive organs.” What a pathetic and condescending and untrue accusation.

        There are many scholarly researchers who have documented the pay gap for women doing the same job as their male equivalents, as well as not having the same advancement opportunities – not driven by ability, but by gender. I won’t bother to recount them.

        Let’s take a look at how well Republicans are rewarding their female colleagues in the current 114th Congress since you’re casting stones at the Democrats.

        NYT: “There are no women in the elected Republican leadership, and still so few overall that of the 20 committees, five — including Banking and Finance — lack a single Republican woman. In the House, while women hold five of the 10 elected Republican Party leadership spots, only one woman — Representative Candice S. Miller of Michigan — leads a committee, House Administration.”

        And for a comparison between Democratic and Republican Female leadership in the House and Senate in the 114th and 113th Congresses, the numbers speak for themselves.

        http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/levels_of_office/documents/conglead.pdf

        There are some fine Republican members of Congress. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, to name just two. These women and others are being denied leadership by their male colleagues. Ask yourself, why?

        And, this is just Congress. The Democratic Party has helped promote programs that assist women with jobs training, child care, equal pay, wage increases, greater access to education and training, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and, yes, women’s health in the broadest terms including health and family planning – which involves far more than abortion access as you well know. And women increasingly vote Democrat. Do you think that’s because Democrats are seen by them as ignoring or helping them with their needs and concerns?

        You seem to take perverse pleasure in making unfounded, untrue, absurd statements. It diminishes you in being taken seriously by those here who are trying to elevate the discussion on the basis of fact. You really disappoint me Ob.

        That was a cheap shot.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        April 4, 2015 at 1:04 pm

        “Unless more women decide to become engineers and more men decide to become teachers and sociologists, there will always be unequal pay.”

        YOUR OWN DAMN WORDS.

        You INCORRECTLY derided and dismissed the gender wage gap based on gender differences in the type of jobs they take. You said NOTHING about acknowledging the gender wage gap for doing the same work with the same experience.

        You are a typical lying wingnut like your leaders OV.

        And everyone knows it.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…we looking at the data in detail and with the appropriate methodology, the general conclusion is that there is a 7% to 10% difference in pay for women when similarly situated (education, experience, marital/child status, etc).

        While not as dramatic at 78 cents for every dollar, it essentially represents a 7% tax on income for having a vagina.

        That 7% to 10% is generally stable across industries, and is only reduced to 7% when controlling for all of the other factors that folks seem to think explain the differences in pay.

        You may say that at 5%, there is “virtually no wage gap”, yet it is folks on your side that freak the heck out on suggestions of raising the top marginal tax rate by 3%, so it certainly does seem like kind of a big deal.

        I think folks generally think it is a pretty big deal when they get a 5% merit pay increase compared to a 0% merit increase.

        Even were we all to agree that 5% is not a big deal, I’m pretty sure folks making 5% less would like for that gap to not exist.

      • 1mime says:

        Homer – and many of those who would fall into the 5% “wish we had it” pay differential, are also probably part of the stagnant middle income earners whose wages have experienced a net decline over the past 30 years once inflation is factored in. Until business accepts the fact that people who don’t earn a living wage aren’t able to participate in the broader economy and thus their bottom lines are negatively impacted, the wage increase naysayers will continue with the pap. Forget that paying people adequately is the “right” thing to do, it is also a long term smart thing to do. Focusing always on the immediate bottom line is fraught with error, whether it is the whole bogus “balanced budget” thing or business profitability.

      • objv says:

        Homer, We’ve been on and off this merry-go-round numerous times. I never wrote that there was NO wage gap – just that the gap was much less than Democrats claim.

        Even the White House has its problems:

        http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/013014-688310-obama-equal-pay-for-equal-work.htm

        Would you say Obama discriminates? The is a huge wage gap between male and female staffers.

        I still maintain that this is a great time for women to move into male dominated jobs. The young women my daughter knows have done extremely well.

      • 1mime says:

        And, the President (Obama) continues to work on this problem. The nitty gritty is not as simple, however, as a pure gender/job pay difference, as pointed out by Huffpost:

        “The numbers reveal a gender pay gap, but not because men were paid more than women for the same jobs performed. Rather, it was because men occupied upper-level (higher-paying) positions more often than women and, according to the Obama administration, because the administration was trying to bring in more women at the junior level — in lesser-paying jobs — to help them move up eventually.”

        Analysis of female employment and pay in prior administrations shows a fairly consistent gender pay gap. That’s no excuse given Obama’s commitment to hiring more women and focus on equal pay for equal work. But, at least he’s trying to correct the problem.

        As many have noted, we want more women to have equal access to good paying jobs, and to be paid the same with the same qualifications and the same position. There’s no argument there. High schools can do a better job of identifying and encouraging girls with mathematical ability to pursue more complex, formerly male-dominated careers. That’s where the best opportunity is and the work place will respond, eventually.

      • objv says:

        Mime, you write as though Republicans don’t care about things like job training and other services for women. That is simply not true.

        The states Republicans control have comparable services. They have job training, Medicare, Social Security and free yearly physicals for low income women.

        In Texas, low income women have many benefits. A woman has to be only at 185% of the poverty level to qualify for WIC. The last time I checked over 50% of births in Texas were free. That is not to say that poor women don’t have a rough time, but Texas has some good benefits for women as well as educational and job opportunities. Not only men move to Texas.

        Most of the services provided by Planned Parenthood (except abortion) are charged to the government. Planned Parenthood is not all that necessary (except for abortions) since low income women can see a doctor on their own and still have the visit covered.

        It’s true that Republicans are not as vocal as Democrats, but I know from experience that Republicans care about women. I’m not surprised that 60% of women vote Republican in Texas.

        I have many friends in Texas who have done so much to help other women. One friend is involved with rescuing young women who are victims of human trafficking. A few friends volunteered at Pregnancy Help Centers. The church I went to in Texas helped with an enrichment program for minority kids and had lots of outreach opportunities. Some friends adopted minority kids to give them a future. Others would sponsor a family to help them with their needs.

        Here in New Mexico there are also many opportunities for service. Our church tries to help as many people as possible with benevolent funds. An organization I’ve joined provides a duffle bag filled with toys, a handmade fleece blanket, and toiletries for kids that have to removed from homes due to abuse. Some kids taken from meth homes have to leave wearing only their underwear. Navajo Ministries exists to take care of children who have no place to go.

        I’m more than a little frustrated when Democrats claim that Republicans (especially Christians) don’t care about women when I know so many Republicans who have spent innumerable hours volunteering and donating money and goods out of their own pocket.

        Basically, it all does come down to abortion.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, you threw down the gauntlet by flatly stating that liberals don’t offer much to women besides abortion and contraceptives – patently untrue and deserving of a response. The statement I made about Republicans related to their track record of giving elected women in Congress a fair opportunity for leadership. Dems record IS much better in this regard. I did not make broad assertions about Republicans not caring about women, Christian or otherwise, only that women vote in greater numbers nationally for Democratic candidates. There is a reason for this and you can spin it any way you like, but you cannot deny it.

        Texas, as a state, has an appalling record of health coverage for its citizens, women included. It leads the nation in uninsured statistics, (24% vs. 15% nationally). Doubtless, there are good people here in both parties that reach out to women and children, but that doesn’t deny the fundamental truth that the poor in TX are looked upon as lazy and undeserving by many Texans. Here are some telling statistics on the subject if you care to read them.

        http://www.texmed.org/uninsured_in_texas/

        It doesn’t come down to only abortion, though that is certainly a legitimate area of complaint. Last time I checked, Roe v Wade was still the law of the land, although one would hardly know it from the intensely focused efforts of the GOP to strip women’s rights in this regard. When TX raises it Medicaid income eligibility cap above $4K a year, then we can have another discussion about how Texas cares for the poor. Volunteering and donating goods and money is nice but doesn’t replace affordable access to healthcare, clinics that are located where the poor and elderly can get to them reasonably, and educational and vocational opportunity.

        I’m afraid you suffer from tunnel vision, Ob, and I doubt anything I say will convince you of a different reality.

  3. RobA says:

    Now this is an interesting article, and it really explains the chasm between right and left. We just aren’t experiencing the same realities.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/09/10/why_i_left_the_gop/

    It also explains why those on the right seem to be increasingly willfully blind. In order to continue believing the world exists as they think it does, they need to tell themselves more and more lies, disbelieve more and more scientists, and limit their media consumption to less and less sources. Basically, it’s the only way to make sure their worldview squares with their experiences.

    Growing up in an intensely religious household, I can sympathize. And I also Remer vividly the very strong, very strange sense of cognitive dissonance I experienced around the ages of 18-20 when my critical thinking mechanisms kicked in and I realized that pretty much everytjing I’d been told about God was almost certainly false.

    It was a painful experience, but eventually your mind adjusts. I can remember around 20 it literally felt like a curtain had been pulled back. Now, of course, I’m much happier. Life is so much more freeing and enjoyable when you rid yourself of the guilt and shame and fear that comes from a belief in an angry and vengeful sky daddy who watches your every move and knows your every thought and – even though he “loves you” – is willing to swnd you to the worst place imaginable to burn forever and ever if you don’t happen to love him back. (It always puzzled me why God seemingly has the emotional maturity of a 6 year old).

    And I feel my sense of morals and ethicsuch stronger. I now realize that our lives on this planet are short, and if there is a “point to life” then it is to enrich the lives of those we love, and to be good stewards of the Earth for those that come after us.

    I no longer feel I need to be “good” simply because I’m terrified of never ending torment.

    In my experience (and ive got an awful lot of experiwnce with religious folks) it seems to me that humanists/secularists /atheists what have you are inherently more moral then religious folks.

    The only atheists who have ever murdered, tortured and killed anyone did so because they were inherently evil people, of whice i belive is rare. Whereas millions of otherwise good and decent people thought human history have done evil, despicable and disgraceful things (and probably were happy to do so) because of their twisted and misguided belief that some God wanted them too.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      RobA, I’ve never been a Republican, but the liberal-minded can inhabit narrow slices of life, too.

      I have no experience with being arrested or going to jail or anything like that. When I would hear that some arrested person was claiming ‘police brutality’, I was certain it was just a ploy to shift blame. No cop issuing me a traffic ticket had ever acted like that.

      Then I saw the Rodney King video.

      Ya never know when reality is going to strike.

      • RobA says:

        Indeed, Bobo. Willful ignorance exists on both sides of the spectrum, especially the extreme ends.

        I do think it’s accurate to say, however, that at this point in our society, the right is more guilty of this then the left.

        I can’t think of one major issue that the typical leftie would refute even when the overwhelming majority of scientists (I. E. The experts ) says otherwise. And yet, in the right, it’s standard fare. Climate change (how is that even a partisan issue, btw? Why is it so highly correlated to evangelical Christians ). Evolution. The age of the earth. The big bang.

        Etc etc.

      • 1mime says:

        Reality, Tx style (sorry for script – hope image appears)

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I think you’re right. Contrary to the old saw, I become more liberal every day.

    • 1mime says:

      RobA, I hope everyone who posts here reads your Salon link on “why I left the GOP”. It is profound in its heartfelt sincerity and understanding of the core conservative disconnect with reality. I am going to share it with my email list (those who will read it). I’ll bet Lifer connected immediately with the story of the author.

      This statement among so many others, struck home: “The more I learned about reality, the more I started to care about people as people, and my values shifted.” This tells me that there is hope for many if they are exposed to a view that is contrary to their original beliefs.

      This is the core of the problem as Mother Theresa’s stated, “we are all one people”….some just don’t see it because their lives are so ordered and their experiences and views so narrow. I am grateful each and every day that I have had a different experience despite my middle class, white upbringing. Getting outside one’s comfort zone does wonders for expanding one’s sense of reality, and, if they are receptive, their sense of humility and compassion – both essential to the development of moral good within us – if we open our minds and hearts.

      Thanks for a great post. Despite the difference in our ages, Rob (I am a “feisty” 71 (-: ), we are great bookends in this important debate and through our common beliefs have the opportunity to help others grow in their awareness. I am glad we’ve met through this wonderful internet medium and I will continue to speak out as long as I am able.

  4. 1mime says:

    Lifer: Your boy Cruz is racking up some impressive stats…..this may be one area that his presidential opponents won’t let him get away with. Cruz is such a joke.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/31/ted_cruzs_worst_excuse_ever_this_explanation_of_why_he_misses_committee_hearings_is_a_doozy/

  5. 1mime says:

    IN and other red states have found a new way to punish women: feticide & personhood laws. Women across America are under attack.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/04/03/religious_rights_next_crusade_what_they_want_to_throw_women_in_jail_for_now/

    “Since 1973, many states have passed feticide measures and laws restricting access to safe abortion care that, like so-called “personhood” measures, encourage state actors to treat eggs, embryos, and fetuses as if they are legally separate from the pregnant woman. We found that these laws have been used as the basis for a disturbing range of punitive state actions in every region of the country and against women of every race, though disproportionately against women in the South, low-income women and African-American women.”

    The real life examples cited will appall you. Here’s one example:

    “A woman in Utah gave birth to twins. When one was stillborn, she was arrested and charged with criminal homicide based on the claim that her decision to delay cesarean surgery was the cause of the stillbirth.”

    How can anyone be so demented. The RoevWade wall is very thin protection.

    • 1mime says:

      One more closing quote from Salon that says it all:

      ” If one didn’t know better one might think this whole thing stems not from a beautiful love of life in all its glory but rather from a deep and abiding hostility toward women themselves, especially when they’re pregnant. Why else would anyone want to treat them so cruelly?”

      Can any conservative on this blog accept these actions as rational? If not, what are you doing about it?

      • Doug says:

        I don’t think there are any conservatives on this blog.

      • 1mime says:

        Hmmmm….”no conservatives on this blog…” You surprise me Doug. Next thing I know OBjv will be claiming to be a Democrat (-:

        Guess technically there could also be Libertarians and Independents posting, although I’m not real clear on what being an Independent means these days.

      • texan5142 says:

        Ahhhh! The purity test again Doug? What makes one a conservative? Flat earth science, aversion to science? Must be Christian? Please do tell, are you saying that the posters here on this blog do not meet your expectation of what a true conservative is? Enquiring minds want to know.

      • Doug says:

        Maybe objv. If I had to label myself it would be libertarian, or classical liberal. My abortion, foreign relations, drug, and religious opinions don’t square with what most think of a conservative today. A better label might be “man without a home.” 🙂

      • Doug says:

        Texan, I don’t see political beliefs at two-dimensional. There are a lot of options besides liberal and conservative. Just because I may share some opinions doesn’t make me one. Check out my comments on the Iran thread…a conservative would never say stuff like that.

      • 1mime says:

        Dang it Doug! I think we are agreeing again! I am a Democrat through and through as it relates to equality, tolerance, inclusion, choice, diplomacy not war, a strong federal government and a smaller, but effective defense organization. I also believe in individual responsibility and bi-partisan governance along with a strong separation of church and state ethic, and I believe in being more responsible about caring for our environment. I want government to be cost-effective and responsive to the needs of the poor and elderly, and I want our elected officials to work across the aisle for the common good of the nation and all its citizens.

        Pretty “pie in the sky” but that’s what I believe…and it probably crosses over into lots of “ideologies” just as your beliefs do.

      • texan5142 says:

        Agreed Doug, it is more complicated than simple labels.

    • RobA says:

      That whole story is equal parts terrifying and repugnant.

  6. 1mime says:

    Two pieces of news heard today on NPR that are pertinent to our discussion here.

    1. Iran will uphold its promises in the multi-nation nuclear agreement as long as the other nations uphold their promises. Time will tell but at least the Ayatollah is giving clear notice as to intentions to its people and the nations participating in the agreement.

    Give peace a chance.

    2. A TX legislator has introduced a bill that would require publishment of a judge’s name if he/she allowed a minor to have an abortion due to rape or incest. The law presently allows the minor to appeal either to family (who are often the perpetrators of the rape) or to a family court to be heard by a judge. In the past, due to minor status, the names have been kept private, so this enterprising bigoted legislator is going to publish the judge’s name if they rule for the minor’s request. Will be interesting to see this one play out.

    Wow, just a big wow!

  7. rightonrush says:

    Sent this to our son’s father-in-law in Haifa. Wishing all ya’ll a great passover.

  8. RobA says:

    Meanwhile, in Canada

    http://www.torontosun.com/2015/04/02/bill-to-ban-conversion-therapy-passes-second-reading

    Full support from all parties (and yes, there is a conservative party in Canada. They have a majority in Parliament right now actually).

  9. Turtles Run says:

    Looks like Tehran Tom Cotton (R-etarded) decided he needed to inject some perspective on the Indiana pro-discrimination law. You see folks at least we do not kill gay people in this country like they do in Iran. Please see for yourself.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/04/sen-tom-cotton-says-indianas-anti-lgbt-law-could-be-worse-iran-executes-their-gays/

    • flypusher says:

      So many righties bitch and moan about the decline of standards, yet they feel no cognitive dissonance when they want to hold America to the very low standard of “not as bad as Iran”. Hey Cotton, go read what Madison and Jefferson and Hamilton and Franklin et al had to say about the proper standard for America.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “…..hold America to the very low standard of “not as bad as Iran”.”

        Agreed. This image pops in my mind when I read comments like Tom’s

    • 1mime says:

      Cotton has his moment of infamy, now it’s time for him to crawl back under the rock. No, in America, we don’t hang gays, we treat them to death by a thousand cuts – We did hang blacks by the thousands and for a lot less cause than Iran.

      If the people of Arkansas return this prima donna to office, I will lump them in with the people of Kansas – fools. It’s just too bad that people like Cotton can do so much damage with so little reason and be applauded for it by colleagues and the Senate GOP leader, McConnell.

      Take a deep breath, breatheeeeee, exhaleeee. These people cannot continue to their destruction of America’s democracy.

    • way2gosassy says:

      He just can’t seem to keep from insulting someone from his oh so high perch. What a damn fool.

    • way2gosassy says:

      Well apparently Michelle Bachman is trying to out do Tom Cotton. You have to read this to believe it.

      http://www.abc-7.com/story/28702151/michelle-bachman-compares-president-obama-to-the-co-pilot-of-doomed-germanwings-flight

  10. RobA says:

    The Iran deal looks like a winner.

    I do believe when all is said and done, Obama will go down as one of the greatest president’s in recent memory.

    Of course, Cruz and his ilk will reflexively dismiss it.

    I don’t see too much bad abkut it.

    Centrifuges go from 19000 to 6000. Most robust nuclear inspections in history. Re engineer reactor so it cannot produce fissile materiel. All waste shipped out of country. Eliminate ability to produce plutonium and a reduction of enrichment by 98%.

    I’m impressed.

    • 1mime says:

      RobA, I’ve been out of pocket all day (health issue) – what happened with Iran deal?

      • 1mime says:

        You may be right about Iran’s mistrust of US intentions – let me ask you, why should they trust the US when 47 US senators and the leader of the Senate and several GOP presidential candidates poison the well before the first bucket of water is hoisted? Why wouldn’t all of America’s leaders pull together for diplomacy rather than war?

        As for the Washington Free Beacon, here’s more about their news ideology….I’ll want to hear from other sources as well.

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

      • RobA says:

        Doug, could that article be any more partisan?

        It’s heavy on rhetoric and light on substance. There was no “lashing out”. The link that is used as a source goes to a other one of the authors articles (that one with no direct Iranian quotes)

        The only thing there from Iran is the lead negotiators tweets, where he says “the deal is good, there is no need for fact sheets”.

        Iran has politicians and elections too right? They also need to appear to have won, and they need to exert themselves thusly.

        There is absolutely nothing in that article that even implies that Obama is “lying”.

        Do you think that he would lie about something so easily verifiable? You realize there are 5 other countries negotiating too, right? If Obama is lying, don’t you think one of them would say “uh, actually, that’s not the deal”.

        When you get your news information from such trashy sources as this, it’s no wonder you’re out of touch.

      • Doug says:

        I expect the end result will be similar to North Korea. And Pakistan before that. Anyone who thinks this deal will prevent Iran from getting nukes is naive. But whatever. I don’t believe that a bunch of countries with nuclear weapons have the moral authority to prevent another country from building nuclear weapons.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t believe a country that has nuclear weapons has the moral authority to sanction others for wanting them.

        Maybe the difference is how they would use the nuclear weapons?

      • RobA says:

        Here’s a look from a little more reputable news source.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32172256

        Note the part about “nuclear and security experts overwhelmingly” agree this is a good result.

        As you say, it might still result in them getting the bomb. But it’s better then the alternative (another mid eastern war that nobody wants) and cutting off negotiations all but guarantees they get it. At least this way we get inspectors, so even if they DO get the bomb we won’t be taken by surprise.

      • Doug says:

        “I don’t believe a country that has nuclear weapons has the moral authority to sanction others for wanting them.”

        Again we agree. While I’m not an Obama fan by any stretch, I have no problem with lifting the sanctions. Just don’t pretend that Iran is going to do a 180.

        Sanctions in general are pointless. They harm the citizens of the country while giving the leader an enemy to point to for their suffering. Have sanctions ever worked? I’m not aware of an instance. No, we should be trading as much as possible.

        “Maybe the difference is how they would use the nuclear weapons?”
        Using them would mean instant annihilation. I suppose it’s possible, but certainly wouldn’t be rational. Having them, however, brings a country respect and changes the dynamics.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Fact deficient, basic math deficient, afraid of your own shadow so you pack a penis compensation pistol Debby Downer. Is that what it take to maintain your conservative viewpoint Doug?

      You must be the life of the cocktail parties you get invited to, Dour Doug.

      • Doug says:

        Obviously I have lots of problems. It’s amazing that I don’t have a driving need to build myself up by constantly insulting those I disagree with.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Don’t want to be called out for blatantly distorting facts or screwing up basic 2nd grade math to “support” your unsupportable positions Doug? Then don’t it.

      • Doug says:

        How old are you, bubba? I’m going to guess twelve.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        At least I get my facts and math correct Doug.

    • flypusher says:

      So for all the righties who are thumbs down on this, I’d like to know what they would have done differently that would have made things turn out better, and more importantly, if any of those scenarios have any basis in reality.

      Me, I’m not counting any chickens yet, but negotiations continuing are better than negotiations breaking down.

      Also hope you’re doing OK 1mime.

      • 1mime says:

        TU, Fly. A work in progress. Should know all in about 4 weeks after more testing. Staying positive and grateful for Medicare (-:

      • Doug says:

        Stuxnet was a nice touch. 🙂

        Iran is going to have nukes at some point. It’s inevitable. Every time I hear someone on “my side” propose military action I shudder. I can’t think of anything worse.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug” Everytime I hear someone on my side advocate war, I shudder….”

        Way to go, Doug! Point is, “your side” and “my side” are both screwed if America gets embroiled in another Mid-East war. The most positive thing I’ve heard is the Saudi coalition that has been formed to go after ISIS. That’s who should be addressing regional problems, not America. Goodness knows, we have enough problems here at home with all those gay pizza and gay cake issues (-:

        Bottom line, as Rob said, no one else has proposed anything else that offers any progress. Limited as this evolving “deal” may be, it gives us more than we had, and, I’ll take that. Always knowing, as your bud Reagan said, “Trust but verify”. Can’t do that if country won’t let you inspect…so, why not see if diplomacy can work?

      • flypusher says:

        We’re in agreement. I also think that Iran is inevitably going to be a major player in the ME (just as there was inevitable that Germany would be the main power in Europe) and we need a plan to deal with that. Iran has a whole lot of young adults in their population, and many of them are could be courted by the West. Military action makes them rally to their current theocratic gov’t, despite any differences.

  11. flypusher says:

    An update on the saga of the Memories Pizza joint in Indiana:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/01/indiana-pizza-gay-couples_n_6985208.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics

    Trolling the Yelp page was funny. Threatening to torch the place? Not cool. Totally not cool.

  12. bubbabobcat says:

    At least wingnuttery is apparently a choice and not genetic. Asa Hutchinson’s (Governor of Arkansas) son grew up a decent, compassionate human being (and a liberal) despite having been raised in a household of indoctrinated right wing hate and selfishness.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/arkansas-governors-son-thurst-into-spotlight-over-religious-freedom-bill.html?action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      In the larger context, the firestorm and subsequent backtracking of Republicans proves that they are still stuck in their own insulated myopic wingnut bubble and JUST. DON’T. GET. IT.

      And probably never will.

      Even purported “moderates” (yeah, right) as Jeb Bush still pandered to the wingnut base and initially supported Mike Pence and the Indiana discrimination law…until they realized that was not going to help them get elected to, or retain whatever positions of power they aspired to or hoped to retain.

      Other posters have noted it already below and in previous blogs that Jeb Bush is no moderate. Terry Schiavo, “stand your ground”, his behavior and actions in the 2000 “hanging chad” elections to throw Florida for his brother, etc.

      Establishment Republican yes, moderate, HELL NO.

  13. objv says:

    Well, this is hard to say, but my conscience has been bothering me, I’ve decided not to support Ted Cruz. He’s just too divisive. And, yeah, the Indiana law is terrible and unions are wonderful.

    I’ve also become convicted that I need to apologize to bubba.

    Bubba, I’m sincerely sorry that I told you not to be a schmuck on numerous occasions. Will you forgive me?

  14. flypusher says:

    Of necessity, discussing this topic has meant exposure to a whole lot of derp. As an antidote, something completely cool, ants in space!

    http://www.vox.com/2015/4/1/8325391/ants-space-station

  15. Crogged says:

    Some things for my liberal fellow travelers in the reality conspiracy to comprehend. We can post every link from every wildeyed crank (who win elections and complain about the perverse effect of liberal comments on blogs)–but the ‘average’ American is the issue.

    Barely half of the average Americans think evolution is a fact. It doesn’t make them bad people, but shows the disconnect from acceptance of reality in impacting your own personal life. Your dentist doesn’t have to believe in evolution, the married voter without children doesn’t have to worry about the impact of sexually transmitted or communicable diseases. With enough money you can damn sure get an abortion for your daughter (with just pills) and then spend weeks in confession and therapy salving your soul. You can not vote in elections and it does not immediately change your job or neighborhood and if it does, just move to the good school district or go to ‘private’ school.

    It’s not the legislator in Indiana or Texas, it’s the neighbor to your right and your left, but the guy across the street agrees with you. And like you, why vote, Revelations is incomprehensible nonsense and nothing to worry about from the guys who actually debate its ‘truth’, they are good people with beliefs in pure nonsense which never has any corrosive effect on other empirically proven facts.

    You can say you will run government, “like a business” and then NEVER say what you would change if your damn business could PRINT ITS OWN MONEY. Doesn’t matter, I have principles of business, right side of ledger, left side of ledger, don’t confuse me with your fancy MBA speak.

    There isn’t any ‘messaging’ the Dems can do which will change this, it’s pure human nature to watch the show and think it won’t happen to you. Look at all this knowledge and facts at my fingertips. We are the richest Stone Age culture which has ever come to prominence.

    • BigWilly says:

      As long as you hold that my deeply held beliefs are what you say they are then I would say compromise is out of the question.

      I don’t believe in evolution. I don’t believe that gay marriage is a right, or that it is right. I know that doesn’t fly in your homodoxy. What are you going to do about it?

      • Crogged says:

        Make you and I vote about it, in secret, as what we do here is share anonymously. Every two years. All of us. Every time. Amen.

      • Crogged says:

        Because I don’t know if I believe in this thing called ‘compromise’?

        We have gay marriage because a gay foreigner, who dared called himself a ‘conservative’, was willing to write books and debate anyone willing to discuss it. He changed beliefs, even as liberal gay people scoffed at him for even discussing what seemed an impossible dream.

        To some degree all people are a Trinity which is one: a mind, a reality and mysterious hope for something better. I wonder who today is willing to eat the meat sacrificed to Mammon, even with Paul saying, “No problem, chow down.”

        Ted Cruz is one percent milk and I was raised deep and well in this stuff BW. I believe my doubt and can be as Biblicanical as anyone……..

      • RobA says:

        We’re going to vote, big willy, to ensure that people with the same views as you stay as far away from power as possible.

        I’m sure you’re a great person, and you’re more then entitled to your own opinions. I know my peer group hasn’t had the best voter participation rate. But believe me, based on the people I know and that are on my Facebook, that is going to change.

        I’m seeing people my age much more politically aware then I’ve ever seen them, and it’s because the majority of people under a certain age (let’s say 35) disagree with you, and guys like ted cruz even sniffing the white house scares the crap out of us.

        It’s basically going to be a numbers game. A war of attrition, if you will. We know we can’t change your minds, and most of us won’t even try. And since every major demographic trend is in our favor (America is quickly becoming more secular, more liberal) I like our chances.

        I also believe that there’s a really good chance that you and people like you will eventually come around. Attitudes change with the times. There are lots of people who were outright racist in the 60’s who looked back in the 90’s and thought “what was I thinking back then?”

        Just like most churches today think nothing if embracing blacks and other races (even though these same churches used scripture to justify racism several decades ago) I’m sure in 30 years or so, it will be absurd to think that churches were one day as homophobic as they are now.

        As for evolution, if the overweight scientific evidence and the overwhelming majority (think 95%+) of scientists can’t convince you, nothing I can say will.

      • BigWilly says:

        It might be in your best interests…….hey, I just told you what I believed not what I intend to do or not do. You wrote the rest in out of yourself.

      • 1mime says:

        Compromise is out of the question.

        And, that, BW, is why we are in the mess we’re in today in America. Deeply held beliefs are a Democratic right. Imposing those rights on others is not. THAT is the problem I have with the religious right.

        What am I going to do about it? Respect your right to your beliefs and vote my own. I can understand your belief on gay marriage, even as I disagree. But, how can anyone living in the 21st century NOT believe in evolution? You lost me completely there.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        There is a really, really good chance that BW is yanking some chains here with regard to his personal beliefs (yet likely accurately reflecting the personal beliefs of others).

        To some extent, “we’ll just wait for most of you folks to die” or “eventually you’ll be too embarrassed to say this stuff out loud” are not the wrong answers.

      • 1mime says:

        Good to know. Sometimes the more cerebral posters fly right over the top of my head (-:
        (Doesn’t take much, evidently!)

        Really, how can anyone NOT believe in evolution!

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Was about to note what Houston said also. I can’t understand BW half the time anyway, but when I do, I think he is channeling a Colbertesque sarcastic Devil’s Advocate interpretation of the right.

      • Crogged says:

        When BW said it I took it as more provoking than personally revealing, his tone when previously discussing Revelations wasn’t about figuring out who Agent 666 is………

      • BigWilly says:

        I’m pursuing my own understanding of these matters and not relying on any particular (or is it peculiar) dogma. Right vs Left is outside of what I’m contemplating because I think they are both wrong.

        Have you not considered Francis’ Crick’s Directed Pan Spermia?

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

        I find it chilling that you believe that you have no souls. I also think you’re about half as scientific as you claim to be, because you have obviously not been following the massive breakthroughs that are occurring in Quantum Physics.

        In another dimension, in a universe of infinite dimensions and infinite universes. Fucking infinite! I would’ve punched you in the mouth a la Buckley. Does this mean that I’ve really punched you in the mouth?

        Don’t let your intellect get too puffy!

      • Crogged says:

        I believe in souls and James Brown. But Prometheus sucked, even with sperm………

      • texan5142 says:

        Crogged………..nice references , put a smile on my face.

      • RobA says:

        Big Willy – Interesting that you bring up quantum mechanics. I am by no means a scientist, but physics have been almost an obsession to me. I doubt there are ttoo many lay people who are knowledgable about it as I am. And I’m not bragging. There’s all kinds of things I don’t know (how to fix my car, for example). Just that physics has been my lifelong hobby. I do keep up with QM, and I’m interested to know about what specifically you’re referring too. I’m not being snarky, I’m geniuinely interested.

        I know that recently, researchers have decided the infamous debate between Einstein and Bohr re: “spooky action at a distance”. In favour of Bohr, actually. It has some very interesting ramifications, specifically that it seems that the very act of observing elementary particles changes them. This is very interesting, but I don’t see how it applies to theology.

        The only thing I can think of that physics points to something of a creator is when scientists discovered the value for dark matter. Apparently, it’s highly, incredibly, amazing finely tuned. As in, it’s a specific number (I don’t know what that number is) and it NEEDS to be that number, if it were even minisculely weaker or minisucley stronger, the universe would not exist. The odds that it were randlomly set at this value is something like 1 in a trillion trillion trillion trillion. For real.

        So it’s not at all reasonable that the value is random. If one were so inclined, it could certainly point to a creator. Someone to specifically set this value.

        I don’t subscribe to that belief (although I wouldn’t bet my firsts born on it). This is what gave rise to the concept of the multi verse. The thinking goes, if there are trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions of universes out there, it’s all of a sudden not that surprising that one of thhem has that precise value. And the trillions and trillions and trillions of OTHER universes that cannot support life becuase they’re NOT at that specific value never gave rise to life to even ask the question.

        We don’t know. That’s the beauty of science. It’s ok to say “we just don’t have enough data to know one way or another”. Although in the case of evolution, we absoutely DO have enough data.

        Take the eye, for example. The lens eye (that we have, and many other animals) has evolved at least six SEPERATE times. This is proven by the fossil record. When the common ancestor we share with dolphins went back into the water, for example, that ancestor did not have eyes. So while we stayed on loand, and that ancestor went in the water, neither of us had the eye. Cut to present day, and we both have an eye that is almost identical. The compound eye has evolved seperately at least 5 times. This leads us to believe that “the eye” is inevitable. Something in the laws of nature basically ensure that it happenns. So if we ever find alien life on another planet, it’s very likely that whatever looks back on us, looks with an eye very similar to ours. This is called divergent evolution, and there are several other traits that have evolved completely independently of each other.

        The science is out there Doug, you just have to look for it. Don’t listen to Rish Limbaugh, or your pastor. Hell, even just watch the show Cosmos. They break a lot of the science down into easily understandable concepts.

        I’d be curious to know what new developments from QM imply a God.

        I should note, I’m not 100% there isn’t a creator. Maybe or universe is the quantum level of another, and we’re just in a tiny portion of some huge beings petri dish. What I whole heartedly reject though, is that there is a God that knows us personally, and cares whether we have sex before marriage, or homosexual sex or any of that other foolishness. That’s religion, and it is 100% a man made construct. We created it housands of uyyears ago as a way to explain the unexplainable. It then morphed as a way to control people.

        But as we learn more and more about the universe around us, more and more of use are realizing the age old myths are just that…….myths.

      • 1mime says:

        Fascinating, RobA! I’ll take it a little further….if there is a God (and I agree he/she/it) doesn’t watch our every move….but I can envision a being that wants its people to be good, not destructive. Since I am more secular in my views, I don’t get caught up in the whole original sin thingy, but I do believe that how one lives is far more important than what they believe.

      • RobA says:

        Definitely 1mime. And I wholeheartedly disagree the common idea that atheists are somehow amoral. To the contrary, the humanist (my preferred term over atheist) that is moral and ethical does so simply because they believe that that is the way our society should be. Not because a vengeful God up in the sky will send us to hell if we are not.

        I do believe that humans are inherently good. Just like all animals. Any species that was inherently bad (i.e. a creature who seeks out the destruction of others) probably wouldn’t last nearlly long enough to survive. That, plus my experience in my 30 years on this planet. Most people ARE ehtical and moral. And it has nothing to do with religion.

      • 1mime says:

        Most people area inherently good….nothing to do with religion…

        I’m becoming so jaded where religious abuse is concerned that I think many times it’s in spite of religion. Think of Black people who are deeply religious despite the horrendous treatment they have suffered. Then, think of the right wing evangelicals who proclaim their religious beliefs but live lives filled with hate for others who differ from them. Amazing.

      • Doug says:

        “Does this mean that I’ve really punched you in the mouth?”

        Yes. And no. Depends on which one of you is asking.

      • BigWilly says:

        Mr. Aldous Huxley also wrote “The Perennial Philosophy” which I generally subscribe to.

    • lomamonster says:

      It’s somewhat amazing and gratifying to see that the business world is becoming our ultimate guard against discriminatory legislation that the evangelicals want so desperately. The attempt to return society to an exclusionary view of things just won’t make the grade in this modern world, and I am somewhat astonished to be relieved by the existence of this heretofore unknown cadre of justice emerging from the big business community in defense of justice. A real big “wow!”

      • 1mime says:

        Loma – I’m always happy when businesses speak out against absurd actions, but I confess to being cynical about their motivation. I believe business is tired of Washington gridlock and the time spent on divisive social issues that don’t speak to the nation’s business. Think of what could be accomplished.

        However, I’ll take support when and how it comes. Standing up to religious fanatics and ill conceived legislation has to be broad-based or change won’t occur. It is past time that Republicans are called to task for allowing the wing nuts in their midst to dictate policy. We saw two governors retreat on an abusive law. That’s a good start. The GOP refuses to see what Lifer keeps telling us: the nation is becoming more tolerant and inclusive and the party that doesn’t recognize and heed this change will not survive.

      • 1mime says:

        One of my favorite writers and columnists, Timothy Egan (The Worst Hard Times, about the Dust Bowl), and NYT columnist) is succinct and thoughtful and doesn’t hesitate to tell it like he sees it. This piece is especially on point regarding the religious right and America’s corporate response.

        “… the free market in tandem with the First Amendment has worked pretty well in a clamorous democracy such as ours. It’s only when activist judges — thy names are Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts — have tried to broaden the intent of the founders that we’ve gotten into trouble.”

        It gets better as he nails corporations for their “convenient” social consciences.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/03/opinion/timothy-egan-the-conscience-of-a-corporation.html?emc=edit_ty_20150403&nl=opinion&nlid=41048410&_r=0

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      I am a non religious believer. I am believe the sun is going to grow and then blink out at some time in the future. I believe the universe is going to go cold. That human life or life of any kind will not last forever. These beliefs make me sad.

      But I also believe that the past is so grand and so long that it may as well be forever. The future will last for millions or billions of years. Future generations will see amazing things. The future may as well be infinity compared to my short life. So I feel better considering myself cushioned in the middle of infinity.

      I also believe if Buckley and Vidal had fought, it would have been the gayest slap fight in TV history.

  16. flypusher says:

    These are some very crazy (and interesting) times we’re living in. I can only hope all this caterwauling is the growing pains associated with going from the old “but of course everyone is Christian” mindset to a truly pluralistic society.

    • Crogged says:

      You can’t have a ‘pluralistic’ society with elections in which 2/3rds (or greater) don’t participate. The most immediate change would be to make elections a holiday or several days long, or on the weekend, or ‘mandatory’ voting (no vote, no income tax refund or drivers license)-anything short of gun barrels to foreheads. If we are going to really follow through on this grand experiment based on the premise of ‘all men are created equal’ we require equal participation. Hang together or separately, I’m tired of blaming unaware Stone Age primitives in three piece suits for ‘problems’, when it’s me and the guy across the street who are really not seeking solutions.

      • 1mime says:

        Amen, Crogged. I used to hear “people get the government they deserve”. Well, I don’t deserve this government and you are correct, make voting mandatory, mail in, whatever….but in America, instead, the GOP wants shorter early voting, more identification than the CIA, and throws a wrench into every voter drive out there in minority neighborhoods.

        And, this is Democracy?

      • RobA says:

        what about a small incentive……say a $100 tax rebate for voting. Might cost the gov a few billion every four years (i.e. a rounding error compared to, say, the pentagons budget) and you’d get much higher turnout.

        I get that it’s slightly unseemly, but I believe the ends justifies the means, and a society where the majority of people vote is going to be the healthier for it.

      • 1mime says:

        Better yet, overturn C.U., make contributions to federal elections mandatory (could be flat fee or means tested), and offer tax credit for voting which would, of course, be cross checked. Voting in a democracy should be mandatory but it must also be easy to do. Working people have a tough time taking off work to vote esp. with the efforts by the GOP to shorten early voting and other gimmicks. People should be able to vote in many places…with computerization, that shouldn’t be impossible. Mail out/in ballots should be for all, not just seniors or disabled.

        But, you do realize that the more people who vote, the less control the conservative establishment has on the outcome.

      • Doug says:

        “Voting in a democracy should be mandatory”

        I can’t think of anything worse. We have too many people now who vote based on sound bites and attack ads as it is. Why would you want to force people who know and/or care less?

        In my opinion voting should be more difficult, not less. Not qualification, but the actual voting. Remove party affiliation from the names. Remove the straight ticket option. Throw in a couple of fictitious names like William James (Billy-Bob) Johnson to suck out stupid, ill-informed Righties and Julie Hope Greenearth for the other side. Heck, maybe make the whole ballot mix & match.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug: “voting should be more difficult, not less”

        Well, you fit right in with the GOP. I couldn’t disagree with you more. In this age of technology, why can’t the voting process be computer driven so that people could vote closer to home or work? Mail in ballots (CO does this), voting hours/days that enable working people to more easily, quickly cast their votes.

        We make people do things for the common good all the time: driver’s licenses, auto and home insurance, 911 phone access, etc. Why not voting? I don’t really know what’s worse, a voter who takes time to come out and vote but is not well informed, or an “informed” mis-guided voter who votes whoever Fox or Limbaugh tell them to.

        Otherwise, I like your other ideas – and would include a “none of the above”. I want more people to vote and I don’t expect them to be as interested and/or well informed as we are. I want them to be able to exercise their right and responsibility to select the people who govern our cities, states, and federal government. The current system is pitiful in terms of what percentage of eligible voters actually vote. Wouldn’t Democracy be improved if more people felt they had a say in their governance?

      • Doug says:

        I don’t believe it would. I remember one of the comedy shows interviewing people before the election in ’08. One of the questions was, “What do you think of Obama’s choice of Sarah Palin for his running mate?” They also did it with McCain/Biden. Or maybe McCain/Pelosi. Pretty funny watching Obama fans gush over Palin, but I don’t see the value of forcing these people to vote. Why would the outcome be better?

        Texas has 12 days of early voting, which includes a Saturday. You can vote anywhere in your county, so unless you’re bedridden or live out in the sticks you probably pass within a hundred yards of an open polling location a dozen times. We also have mail-in ballots which anyone can use. It’s not difficult to vote.

        Online voting…spoken like a true elitist. Do you realize how many poor minorities don’t own a computer? If it’s racist to require an ID, surely this idea is more so. Yes, I suppose they could vote at the library, but a polling place almost always is more convenient.

        I do like the “none of the above” option.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug, “online voting idea is ‘elitist'”

        Be careful how you throw that “elitist” term around, Doug.

        I didn’t recommend online voting as the only option, just one of several which purpose is to make it easier for ALL who can vote to vote. Democracy should reflect a far higher voter participation than it now does and anything, anything, that can be done to improve that, should be done. And, yes, I realize Dems voting ratio is below Repubs, and, that’s a damn shame. These people become part of the problem as has been noted.

        I don’t know where you live in TX, but in my county the voting precincts are prescribed. Only once can I recall voting out of precinct and this was a result of a county mix up, not ours. Early voting is usually one week, but we vote usually by mail ballot so I may not be current on that. I would prefer ballots be mailed to all. as is done in CO. Our friends who live there love the ease of the mail in ballot. Why isn’t this a viable option everywhere? We know the answer to that – it would encourage more people to vote and that is a GOP no no. It is a boon to elderly, disabled people but also to those who commute long distances to work and those whose jobs (plural) leave few hours in the day.

        I would like voting hours extended and weekends included – every election, as a standard. The point is: encourage more voting by making it more convenient, not less. The whole greater voter ID requirement is bunk as has been documented. It’s all about making voting harder.

        “None of the above” is on some state ballots. I think it is an interesting tho sad option to place on a ballot.

      • Creigh says:

        Aaak! Not 100% sure, but might have to agree with Doug here. I have this utopian view where most people can go about their lives not worrying about politics. It’s not the world we live in, but on the other hand mandatory voting doesn’t seem to be a practical solution.

      • Crogged says:

        I agree that voting is relatively ‘easy’, why not ‘easier’? Really, what’s the danger?

        I’m under no illusions of ‘winning’ in Texas and note that many of the nation’s esteemed founders in no way trusted the vision of the ‘common’ man-(I’m sure in 1790 you could have found citizens who would have said, “We aren’t in the Commonwealth anymore-how did that happen?”). Senators appointed et al……..

        Then emphasis and the arc of social justice in our society went from “All MEN (insert asterisk here) are created equal” to “ALL men are created equal……” and we arrive in the 21st century, “ALL ___ are created equal”. ……..

        There are some ideas from our past we need to constantly recall, one of my favorites is this line from the Texas Constitution regarding public education.

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

        What if we insisted that our legislators follow up on this? Does either party in Texas really have a plan to do this? In what way do ‘vouchers’ or ‘private’ education meet the goals written above?

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug wrote: In my opinion voting should be more difficult, not less. Not qualification, but the actual voting.

        From your prior comments it also seems you favor making it especially harder for those that vote against your candidates.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So Doug, who’s the elitist here decrying voter expansion and dismissively claiming how “easy” it is (for YOU) to vote so let’s restrict it. As mime already noted, mail in ballots have to be requested. What’s wrong with mailing it to everyone registered as Colorado does? And it didn’t even change the balance of voting to make it more Democratic so there goes your elitist concerns.

    • RobA says:

      I think its the dying, last gasp of a culture.

      Change is always rough, and I bet that in a few decades, we will look at this time as the crossroads, the time when old handed off the baton to the new.

      Kind of like the early 60’s was a similar crossroads.

    • 1mime says:

      Fly….moving from everyone is Christian to pluralism…

      This Salon article does a good job in explaining the mission of the TP, and it is eerily believable.

      http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/tea_partys_secret_advantage_why_the_far_right_is_stronger_than_everyone_thinks/

      the Tea Party, properly understood, is a term that describes the heart of the modern Republican base – people with similar cultural anxieties and economic grievances and the same deep distrust of Washington and hostility toward entrenched power.”

      We get so focused on the TP candidates and antics that we are overlooking one very important danger: ideology trumps all.

  17. texan5142 says:

    For your entertainment……..are you not entertained?……..these people vote……that should scare the shit of everyone.

    • Turtles Run says:

      That host must have the emotional control of a Vulcan because I would have laughed in that fools face.

    • flypusher says:

      So how do you “make more homosexuals”? Seriously, as a biologist I have a professional interest in their techniques.

      My evil plan for population reduction- equal rights for all women. Muahahahaha!

      • fiftyohm says:

        So how do you “make more homosexuals”?

        Why, you just send straight people to prison! Everybody knows that! 😉

      • 1mime says:

        Make more gays by sending em to prison…..Ha!

        Then conservatives who never saw a profit they didn’t like…build a cottage industry to “straighten these gays out”…..They got it coming and going, Fifty!

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        50…I could kiss you on the mouth for that!

      • texan5142 says:

        Yup I

      • RobA says:

        “how do you make more homosexuals?”

        That should be obvious. The Illuminati does it. That and the LAME stream media turns us all gay.

  18. bubbabobcat says:

    Arkansas Governor backtracking on his support for the gay discrimination bill.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/arkansas-indiana-religious-freedom-hutchinson-pence.html?rref=homepage&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Home%20Page&pgtype=article

    As 1mime noted, Wally World carries a big stick, especially in the state of their corporate headquarters.

    One more time, you’re on the wrong side of history, idjits. And doubling down on your discrimination and bigotry ain’t doing the trick either. You know who you are.

  19. rightonrush says:

    Texas Republican not wanting to be outdone by the ignorance running a muck in Indiana passed this:

    Tense Debate as House Shifts HIV Funding to Abstinence
    “Seven hours into Tuesday’s debate on the House’s $210 billion two-year budget, things got first heated and then uncomfortable as state Rep. Stuart Spitzer, R-Kaufman, successfully pushed an amendment to move $3 million from HIV and STD prevention programs to pay for abstinence education.

    A line of opponents gathered behind the podium as Spitzer laid out his amendment and proceeded to grill, quiz and challenge the lawmaker on his motives”

    Spitzer’s amendment ultimately passed 97 to 47.

    https://www.texastribune.org/2015/03/31/abstinence-funding-devolves-uncomfortable-debate/

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      That is the kind of stuff that just makes angels weep.

      As a non-religious person, I have no strong feelings about God, but it is times like this that I really hope (pray even) that there is a very vengeful God that has very little tolerance for asshats so that these folks get a day of reckoning with a very pissed off deity.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      OK…I just read the article…there are no words for this level of idiocy.

      Keep in mind, we have Representative Spitzer and some conservative posters below who would say they want small gov’t with limited involvement in personal lives.

      Yet, and I’m quoting here, Dr. Spitzer (yep, the dude is a doctor), saying:
      “My goal is for everyone to be abstinent until they are married,”

      I generally do not like to cuss, but holy fuck!

      • rightonrush says:

        I was a kid once with raging hormones and yes, I did have sex before I married. Hell I’d wager 99.9% of my graduating class did the deed and this was back when getting a girl pregnant was strictly taboo. Kids are gonna do the “deed” and I honestly found that some of the ladies most apt to do the deed were from some of the most religious (church going) families in the area.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Rush…we are not talking just kids. The average age of marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men.

        I think we could have a rational discussion of whether or not it is a good thing for high school kids of have sex (even though our rational discussion won’t stop them from having sex – just like abstinence education doesn’t stop them), but this is a person actually elected to office by people who were at least smart enough to find the building in which to vote, and he says his goal is that no one has sex before they are married.

        At this point, I’m not even mad. I’m impressed with that level of idiocy.

      • rightonrush says:

        HH, you cannot have a rational discussion with idiots.

      • 1mime says:

        Spitzer is a surgeon. You’d think he would be able to prioritize spreadable diseases like STD and HIV Aids over abstinence.

        Lifer, can you believe these people who call themselves conservatives? It’s one thing to fund abstinence education, but at the expense of communicable sexually transmitted diseases?

        Wouldn’t want this guy cutting on me or my loved ones and I have communicated that to him on his website.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Someone needs to bang a few heads together…just gander at this exchange:

      Spitzer, a doctor, then addressed questions brought by Alfonso “Poncho” Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, who asked whether his position was representative of the medical community.

      “You feel as a medical doctor that the position you are taking, not just from a fiscal standpoint, is prudent for the medical community?” Nevarez asked.

      “I do,” Spitzer responded.

      State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, pointed out that the state currently has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country, and the single-highest rate of repeat teen pregnancy.

      “It may not be working well,” said Spitzer, in reference to the current abstinence education program. “But abstinence education is HIV prevention. They are essentially the same thing.”

      Our good doctor believes abstinence education is the same thing as HIV prevention. He might want to talk to our friend, Governor Pence, who had to declare an emergency and change a GOP policy not to support needle exchanges in the wake of an HIV breakout. Of course, this was after closing down some Planned Parenthood clinics that did HIV testing.

      It must be noted, that our Texas legislature approved the amendment to shift HIV and STP prevention funding to abstinence funding. Want to guess the party breakdown on that vote?

    • Crogged says:

      Just some of the usual facts regarding Texas House District 4. According to census there were about 100,000 people between 18 and 64. The current rep won received about 8,000 votes in the Republican primary, as did his opponent. I didn’t check to see if his opponent accused Mr. Spitzer of being a “RINO” or ‘liberal’ so that we can at least know if we got the lesser of two absences of good…….

    • johngalt says:

      Abstinence-only educational programs are complete and utter failures. They do not work, have never worked, and will never work. The data on their (lack of) effectiveness is crystal clear. Money spent on these programs is wasted as surely as if it were stacked in a pile and burned.

      • Crogged says:

        No way, I’m much too Keynesian to follow that–money is never wasted. The money went to people and paid for goods and services. It’s just like paying people to dig holes in the ground, except I grant you, abstinence education is more of a useless gesture than that…..

      • 1mime says:

        Agree. One only has to look at the problems with celibacy to know that even holy abstinence doesn’t work for all of the people all of the time.

        Think of all the self-adulation Spitzer got from his brief gaudy moment of Abstinence fame.

        But, then I think about the fact that this stupid ass legislation passed and know the problem is far deeper.

    • 1mime says:

      Geez. Texas is an abomination. I hope one day to move. CAn’t stand the intolerance.

    • RobA says:

      Mind boggling.

      “Education” is effective to change behaviors that are unhealthy that the person may not know. Smoking is a great example.

      People today are extremely familiar with sex. were incredibly educated about it already. And the vast majority of us rather enjoy it.

      Trying to “educate” someone away from a familiar, much enjoyable behavior is the kind of realism denial foolishness that exists almost exclusively in extreme right wing world.

      That’s like spending money educating people to stop going to their favorite teams baseball games.

      It’s nonsensical.

      • Crogged says:

        People are familiar with sex, but in Texas they are not particularly educated about it.

      • 1mime says:

        People in TX are not particularly educated about sex.

        But, to solve that problem, Rep/Dr Spitzer is going to spend $3 million dollars to teach abstinence. That’s sad but even more sad is that a $210 Billion dollar state budget was amended to include this crap. Spitzer proposed it Cruz-style at the last minute, and sadly got enough votes to pass it out.

        Hard to understand thinking like this. Teach your own children. Don’t mess with mine.

      • Crogged says:

        Welcome to Texas.

        Several (many) years ago, at a family gathering we were watching a movie–some stupid sci-fi action flick about humans battling space insects. We blew them to pieces, they impaled us. Our children were watching, no comments made. The filmmaker seemed to be making vague allegory to propaganda and American militarism, but blowing crap up and death was more important.

        Then Denise Richards took her shirt off. OMG–WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        And there were several big arguments about not only my allowing “Simpsons” viewing but occasionally MANDATING it………..

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Ah yes Paul Verhoven’s nihilistic “Starship Trooper”. I found that movie just abjectly depressing as hell in addition to being too gratuitously violent. Not that I’m concerned about violent movies in general. And I’m a fan of the dystopian future Mad Max movies (the first two at least). Yeah, I think the boobies were the least of concern for young minds and eyes in that movie.

    • way2gosassy says:

      OMFG! Pence has declared a health emergency in Indiana because one small town has recently had 75 new cases of HIV. In every case the cause was injectible pain meds. I guess they won’t be able to blame this on gays.

      • 1mime says:

        Pence is desperate to prove he is in charge – of “something”…even if that “something” was a result of another poor decision. Pence made his bed, he can lay in it.

        I’m more concerned about what is happening to rational thought in TX….a doctor transferring funds from STD/HIV to abstinence education? And, this crap piece of legislation passed!

  20. Turtles Run says:

    Well it seems that Governor Pence’s Religious law is actually being used to discriminate against homosexuals despite his ostrich like denials. The owners of a pizza company in Indiana announced that they support Pence and they will not cater homosexuals events like weddings ( who the f*** serves pizza at a wedding).

    “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no,” Crystal said as she stood in the restaurant, which is festooned with Christian paraphernalia.

    “We’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief and anyone has the right to believe in anything,” she added. “I do not think it’s targeting gays. I don’t think it’s discrimination. It’s supposed to help people that have a religious belief.”

    Thanks Governor Pence for making America just a little bit uglier.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/04/backlash-is-swift-and-furious-after-indiana-pizza-restaurant-owner-brags-about-no-gays-policy/comments/#disqus

    • RobA says:

      Jesus, do these people even listen to themselves? Have they done ANY reading of history, specifically the civil rights era in the south? They are basically taking, very batim, the exact same words used to justify racist discrimination.

      I guess being that much of a religious fanatic basically precludes self reflection or a desire for deeper understanding of issues.

      • texan5142 says:

        You know how the saying goes………..she must be one blissful person.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Rob – You have to understand that these same people defending this law are the same d-bags that defended Jim Crow laws.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Rob – I think I found the perfect image for you concerning history and this type of action.

      • 1mime says:

        Ha! Good one, Turtles! Of course we all know who is the problem….and it’s not just the wingnuts themselves, it’s voters who vote them into office.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Well, at least their bigotry is not focused solely on gays. They also would refuse to cater events for “non-Christians”.

        Phone rings
        Crystal: Hello, Memories Pizza, this is Crystal, how can I help you have a blessed day?
        Customer: Uh…Yes, I’d like to order 10 pizzas please, 5 large cheese pizzas and 5 large veggie pizzas
        Crystal: Great, we are having a special on our pepperoni pizzas today. Would you be interested…
        Customer: No thank you. Some of our group are vegetarian, so they cannot eat meat.
        Crystal: I didn’t know that veterinarians couldn’t eat meat. Are you sure? I guess they love animals so much, maybe they don’t eat them?
        Customer: No, they are vegetarian not veternarians, they don’t eat meat. We just need five cheese and five veggie pizzas, all large.
        Crystal: OK, is this pickup or delivery
        Customer: Delivery
        Crystal: And what is the address?
        Customer: 666 S. Atan St.
        Crystal: OK, I think that is in our delivery area. Any instructions for the delivery driver?
        Customer: Yes, when he gets to the front desk, please ask for the meeting room for Gay Jews for Religious and Social Learning meeting.
        Crystal: [sound of head exploding]

      • 1mime says:

        Ha ha ha ha ha Homer!

      • Turtles Run says:

        Homer – LOL

        I wonder how many fake pizza orders they are going to be taking in the next few weeks? Hopefully either the owners reconsider their position or Memories becomes just a memory.

      • 1mime says:

        Brilliant, Turtles! Don’t get mad; get even! Love it!

      • 1mime says:

        Does anyone know which pizza business this is?

    • flypusher says:

      When religion is even a topic in the business of selling pizzas, you’re not just off the deep end, you’re so far away from the deep end that you can’t even see the deep end any more.

      I cannot grok these people.

  21. rightonrush says:

    And Indiana wonders why it has a HIV epidemic on it’s hands.

    “Indiana’s GOP-led state legislature was one of the first to declare war against Planned Parenthood in 2011, when it passed a bill that defunded the family planning provider because some of its clinics offer abortion services. A federal judge later blocked that law from going into effect, but the state has continued to slash various sources of funding to Planned Parenthood at a time when the cost of operating a medical facility continues to rise.

    In 2005, Planned Parenthood of Indiana received a total of $3.3 million in funding from government contracts and grants. By 2014, that funding had dropped to $1.9 million. Five of Planned Parenthood’s smaller clinics in the state — the health centers in Scottsburg, Madison, Richmond, Bedford and Warsaw — were unable to keep up with the growing technology costs that were necessary to remain competitive as a medical provider. All five clinics that were forced to close had offered HIV testing. None had offered abortions.

    Even without five of its clinics, Planned Parenthood’s HIV testing in Indiana has been increasing each year. Overall, the provider’s 25 remaining clinics in Kentucky and Indiana gave more than 8,000 HIV tests in 2014, about 1,000 more than the previous year. And the numbers would certainly be higher if the five shuttered clinics in Indiana had been able to continue to operate.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/31/indiana-planned-parenthood_n_6977232.html

    • 1mime says:

      “Numerous HIV cases resulting from closure of Planned Parenthood clinics in IN. ”

      Unintended consequences? Or the Pat Robertson Katrina Gay Theory (God sent a natural disaster to rid New Orleans of all the gay people….)

      As for the idea of an ideological general, can you imagine the vetting process for the holy seer? Can you imagine this group of wingnuts agreeing on THE person? Can you imagine an America where this could happen?

      WHEN are Americans going to wake up and speak out strongly enough against religious extremism to put this group of religious bullies to rest? They will not be satisfied, their appetite will never be quelled until they dominate. Is this what Jesus taught? Domination? Submission? Intolerance? Violence? Hate? Hurt?

      • Crogged says:

        WHEN? See below, from Wikipedia and the answer is, not soon.

        Religious Differences on the Question of Evolution (United States)
        Percentage who agree that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of human life on earth


        54%
        Mainline Protestant

        39%
        Evang. Protestant

        23%
        Mormon

        22%
        Jehovah’s Witnesses

  22. RobA says:

    Eloquent and devastating takedown of Ted Cruz and GOP politics in general.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/04/01/ted_cruz_and_our_cynical_walking_dead_politics_hes_a_complete_charlatan_you_know/

    There are lots of people who are willing to overlook Cruz ‘s severe moral and character deficits as long as he pays lip service to their conservative values.

    How scary is that?

    • texan5142 says:

      Beautiful!

    • Turtles Run says:

      “They did so at peril to the country itself. This is where Cruz comes in. We went to Princeton together, overlapping by one year. I didn’t know him, but people said the same things about the national champion college debater that they say today: that he was slick, arrogant, ambitious and insincere. The problem with debate, unmoored from conviction, is that it’s just a contest for points.”

      Emphasis mine. For some this is exactly why they support Cruz. He stands for only the worse parts of human nature.

  23. Griffin says:

    While I usually think of such thoughts as hyperbolic but I’m actually beginning to wonder what percentage of the Republican base would be cool with a dictatorship so long as it was patriotic and religious. While it would obviously never actually happen I am growing curious as to whether the GOP base would support a military general who coup’d Obama and paid lip-service to far-right ideas given how fanatical they’ve become. They need a survey for this specifically but not worded in an obvious fashion such as “Do you want a fascist dictatship?” but instead “Would you be supportive of a strong military general who threw out Obama and made himself president for life if he was a strong patriot who wanted to save Christian values?” 20 percent of the base? 30? Maybe over 40? Not trying to come across as a dick, I really want to know.

    • RobA says:

      I believe they would consider that God “taking back his country” for them and all the faithful.

      Seriously.

      You hear it all the time in the rhetoric about “by ballot or by revolution” crap.

      Basically, they’re willing to change things democratically. But if that doesn’t work, they’re willing to take it by force. To then, the end justifies the means.

    • objv says:

      Griffen, I would say that the percentage of conservatives willing to overthrow the government is close to zero. That is not to say that there aren’t a few unstable crazies out there, but I would not categorize them as “conservative.” I would say they are just nuts.

      As far as Christian conservatives are concerned, to overthrow the government is to go against Biblical teaching. The Bible says Christians are to obey laws. They are commanded to pray for the leaders in government. The church I go to even has praying for President Obama in the bulletin each week – even though I would guess that most in the congregation never voted for him.

      Another reason conservatives would never set up a military leader is that conservatives generally want less intrusive government and they definitely don’t want a dictatorship. The key here is that conservatives want smaller government and less control over their day to day lives – not more.

      • RobA says:

        I’ll grant you, obvj, that violent overthrow is likely not a common dream, even of tea parties. But it certainly is not just a few “crazies”.

        I mean, yeah, they’re crazy, but they’re also in leadership positions. And when a leader takes a position for a group and still retains legitimacy, it’s logical to assume they speak fo said group.

        http://aattp.org/d-c-armed-march-organizer-now-calling-for-violent-overthrow-of-federal-government-video/

        This guy had a 5000+ person March.

        http://www.teaparty.org/obamas-ignoring-laws-may-lead-govt-overthrow-31420/

        This guy is head of a right wing think tank and policy group, and is “legit” enough that he spoke in front of Congress.

        And how many times have we seen signs from TP marches like “we came unarmed…this time”

        I don’t think they would actually try it, of course. Biiiig difference between violent overthrow in 1777 and violent overthrow in 2015. Back then, both sides had roughly the same technology (muskets and cannons). Until the tea party gets hold of a few thousand armored vehicles, fighter jets, and troops, I would highly recommend against. But they sure act like they’d love to try.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        It’s a fine line from wingnuttery to (attempted) violent overthrow.

        Especially with all the gun nuts (mis) citing the 2nd Amendment and claiming to be “defending” themselves from an “oppressive government” re: when a Black guy is in charge.

        And if you thing it is just empty words, my do we suffer from Reaganesque early Alzheimer’s.

        Cliven Bundy anyone? Ruby Ridge? Etc, etc, etc…

      • Griffin says:

        “The key here is that conservatives want smaller government and less control over their day to day lives – not more.”

        Then why do they want a massive military, oppose gay marriage, support hardline anti-drug laws, want to ban abortion, support the death penalty, support use of torture during war, etc. It seems they only want small government in the sense that they oppose entitilement spending but when it comes to people’s social lives they really want the government to get in there.

      • 1mime says:

        Conservatives want small government, then why…..

        Your list is just the beginning….It’s sort of like the Medicare Doc Fix, it isn’t paid for but somehow conservatives are ok with smoke and mirrors revenue calculations. The Republican Party are hypocrites where government size is concerned.

        I have openly asked conservatives who post here to tell me exactly what government functions they want and specifically, what services they don’t want. Then I would simply like to ask them how they think a major industrialized nation can run on their model.

  24. 1mime says:

    TT:
    Guns and gay marriage…….I’m not clear that you answered my question as to what lefties are advocating. You kind of danced around with “free association” comments but seemed to cede the issue of gay marriage as an extension of free association. Is this it? The only area of Utopian advocacy you ascribe to lefties?

    Now, it is obvious that you are passionate about guns – “Would you outlaw my hunting rifle, you ask?” No, because you seem to be a responsible gun owner. Are you typical in this regard, I ask? I admit I have limited knowledge about guns, but I do favor sensible gun laws that offer greater protections. My father and brothers hunted (primarily waterfowl and deer) but I never saw the point of it except that I liked baked duck so at least we ate what they shot. It wasn’t killing for the sake of killing. My husband doesn’t hunt and our two sons don’t either. However, my grandson is training to become a Navy Seal so I expect he’ll carry the family gun banner. I am not afraid of guns except those which careless owners don’t use safely or store properly to protect kids’ access. I do not accept the need for multi-round magazines for the average hunter or gun owner. I understand the thrill of marksmanship as a skill but can’t relate to the sport of hunting.

    You state that the bad guys don’t register guns. True, but, abuses do occur with gun sales and this is where the laws could be responsibly tightened. (http://smartgunlaws.org/model-gun-laws/). I do not support harassment and inconveniencing law abiding gun owners any more than I would harass machete owners, but I don’t want to be around either in my daily life. America leads the world in gun ownership and too many innocent people are hurt by them. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/gun-homicides-ownership/table/)

    Guns are important to you but they are not to me. I have been going to stores and movie theaters for a long time and never felt the need to carry a gun to protect myself or my loved ones….my credit card, yes! Don’t worry about me, I find it really sad that you feel you need to carry a concealed weapon with you all the time. If you are typical in this regard, that is very sad for our nation. Open carry or concealed carry on college campuses does not seem very wise to me given the maturity level of many students. Designated adults, yes, students, no.

    We obviously have polar views on guns but I do respect your right to own and use guns responsibly. I march to a different drummer on this issue(-:

    • RobA says:

      Well said 1mime. As I mentioned before, I grew up in Canada. The eaas of access to gun and just saturation of guns in the culture was the thing that I found most jarring and took the most getting used too. Still not sure I am.

      And I’m a hunter. I’m all for responsible gun ownership. I see no reason why anyone need conceal carry, or automatic assault weapons.

      Seems to me that nobody considers the context the 2nd amendment was written in. America had just won their independence in a bloody war of attention with a major foreign power. It was imperative and a matter of national security to have an armed populace. That is clearly no longer the case.

      I enjoy guns a lot myself, but I agree that it is a sad state of affairs if someone feels they need to walk around with one in order to feel safe.

      There is a lot of fear in America, and I’m not sure Americans realize it. I think they think everyone lives like that, and that is very far from the truth.

      • Doug says:

        “I see no reason why anyone need conceal carry…”

        Please explain. Clearly there are thousands of muggings, robberies, assaults, and rapes every year. Do you believe that the victim should submit without a fight? Or do you just like to blank that out and pretend that stuff just happens to “other people” but you’re somehow immune?

      • BigWilly says:

        It’s those bloody wars for attention that I hate most.

      • RobA says:

        Doug, those things are so rare. I could list many, ma y things that are negative, but which we don’t actively protect ourselves. I mean, sure, it’s possible. But do you really want to live your life like that? Always in fear?

        That’s like insisting on flying with a parachute as your carry on every time you take a commercial flight. Sure, the plane could go down. And if it did, that would suck. But life is full of risks. Risk is everywhere.

        But We are constantly balancing risk vs. Lifestyle and frankly, risk shouldn’t win every time.

        The ironic thing is, even if some people are saved from harm by carrying a concealed weapon, on th overall, the average American is much less safe because of being awash in guns then the alternative.

        Do you think it’d a coincidence that gun crimes/deaths (even per capita) are far, far higher in the country with the most lax gun laws? (talking about developed countries here)

        People who are consumed by fear are trapped by it.

        and im no tryong to sibgle you out, many Americans ive met are like you. When I go home to Canada, there is no fear of being mugged or raped or killed when simply walking out and about. Does it happen? Sure. But we need to keep things in perspective. Plane crashes happen too, and yet most people can fly without debilitating fear.

      • Doug says:

        I agree with balancing risk, but I don’t find carrying onerous. It’s no big deal, like wearing a seat belt or insuring your house. I don’t live in fear… just have an understanding that not everyone is a fine, upstanding citizen.

        Rare? Maybe. But I have been robbed at gunpoint. It’s not a lot of fun.

      • RobA says:

        I understand that. We all look at life through the prism of our experiences.

        We’re to have been mugged, I may feel differently.

      • Crogged says:

        Rob, there were bears and Indians, and still are-get your M16 and armor piercing ammunition NOW.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug wrote: It’s no big deal, like wearing a seat belt or insuring your house.

        Except when people see you armed with a firearm it makes for an unsettling environment. See a good guy with a gun looks just like a bad guy with a gun. Then there is the ample evidence that these good guys with guns end up using those weapons to threaten those around them. More guns do not make society safer and the research supports that claim.

      • Crogged says:

        Tax the everlovin’ shit out of ammunition and require anyone who feels the need to carry a gun on his person in public to carry insurance-let the actuaries of the insurance companies do their jobs.

  25. BigWilly says:

    Correction: The correct Scriptural reference is Matthew 15:14. I don’t know how I came up with the Mark reference, it’s not even close to 15:14. Oh well.

    Beyond that I think you could probably look at any person and find Pharisee-like characteristics, not just Republicans and conservatives.

  26. goplifer says:

    Key sponsors backing out of Big Data event in Indianapolis in May. Without Salesforce, EMC and Cloudera it’s not clear why they should bother having the show. Will be interesting to see if Amazon and IBM participate.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it cancels. Ouch.

    http://www.information-management.com/news/Indy-Big-Data-10026729-1.html

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      When you are less progressive than Nascar, you might want to re-think your worldview.

      Here is the statement from NASCAR:
      “NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race.”

      Of course, it is Nascar, so I’m sure they went around, and around, and around, and around in circles on this issue for a long time, but as always, managed to turn left to a more progressive position.

    • 1mime says:

      Just heard on news that Walmart has asked Arkansas Gov Hutchinson to veto the RF law just passed by the Legislature. Last I heard, Wally was a pretty big tax payer in Arkansas. It will be interesting to see what happens.

      Is conservative politics getting too conservative for conservative business owners?

    • RobA says:

      The schadenfreude is thick on this one

  27. rightonrush says:

    I seriously doubt that anyone is surprised by this:

    “Key Republican presidential hopefuls are backing Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act amid growing concern over possible discrimination against gays and lesbians when the law takes effect.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in an interview on conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show today, expressed support for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and the legislation.

    “I think Governor Pence has done the right thing,” Bush said, according to the New York Times. “I think once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all.

    “There are many cases where people acting on their conscience have been castigated by the government,” Bush said, according to the newspaper. “This is really an important value for our country, in a diverse country,where you can be tolerant of people’s lifestyles but allow people of faith to exercise theirs.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/gop-presidential-hopefuls-back-indiana-religious-freedom-law/story?id=30020917

    • 1mime says:

      Believe me, Pence isn’t recommending changes based upon appeasing gays and lesbians. He’s under fire from business interests as well as the left. Zee handwriting is on da wall….and poor pence placed his bet early and lost. It’s time to pay up.

  28. rightonrush says:

    “Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) and state Republican leaders have been playing damage control this week, claiming that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not a law that enables anti-LGBT discrimination. Meanwhile, however, the conservatives who advocated for the bill have been spurning this attempted walkback, asserting in the process that the goal was ensuring discrimination all along.

    At the forefront of the conservative reaction is Micah Clark, who serves as executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana and who stood right behind Pence as he signed the bill. Speaking Monday to Tim Wildmon, head of the national American Family Association, Clark explained that conservatives should oppose any effort to clarify that the law does not legalize discrimination. “That could totally destroy this bill,” he explained.

    Clark has been publicly advocating for the bill as a means for allowing anti-LGBT discrimination since December, long before the legislation was even drafted. This directly contradicts the claims made Monday by House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R) that the legislation never had anything to do with discrimination.

    Eric Miller, Executive Director of Advance America, is another anti-LGBT activist who stood by Pence as he signed the bill. Advance America praised Pence for signing the bill last week, openly stating that it would allow wedding vendors to refuse to serve same-sex couples and allow Christian businesses to refuse transgender people access to restrooms. Miller was quoted as saying, “It is vitally important to protect religious freedom in Indiana. It’s the right thing to do. It was therefore important to pass Senate Bill 101 in 2015 in order to help protect churches, Christian businesses and individuals from those who want to punish them because of their Biblical beliefs!” Pence and Miller, it turns out, go way back”

    More here:
    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/03/31/3640801/conservatives-indiana-discrimination/

    • flypusher says:

      Nothing glorifies God more than denying bathroom access-amirite?????

    • 1mime says:

      Is there anyone who posts on this blog who actually believes that the IN (and GA) Religious Freedom Laws DON’T discriminate against gays and lesbians?!

      Why does it take so much effort to grasp that these people and their laws are expressly written to enable discrimination? Why do so many even give these bigoted lawmakers the benefit of the doubt?!

      Come on, get real. The GOP is not changing its agenda, it is just beginning to lose the PR battle. It’s about time. Fool me once……

      • The POINT of the legislation was to enshrine discrimination; otherwise, we have the First Amendment. That should do it for religious freedom.

        What I don’t get is the outrage over bakers and florists. What about doctors and pharmacists? I’ll get over having someone deny baking me a cake, but if I’m a woman in need of a life-saving abortion or a gay male in need of dire help at the ER, this law would have allowed medical personnel to deny care due to their “religious convictions.” That to me is a much scarier proposition.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        There are those folks (Rand Paul being one and at least one or two current and certainly some former posters) that believe a private business should have the right to deny service to anyone for any reason, including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

        Those folks believe that the Civil Rights Acts of ’64 and ’91 should not have covered private businesses. Businesses should be allowed to discriminate in hiring people and/or the customers they serve. Barry Goldwater pitched an absolute fit over Title II and Title VII, and he was not alone.

        City, State, and Federal governments should not be allowed to discriminate, but a private business is exactly that, private, and the government does not have the right to control those private behaviors.

        The Interstate Commerce Clause had to be absolutely tortured and made into a pretzel to fit what proponents of civil rights legislation wanted it to fit.

        Of course, all those people are wrong.

        In my rarely humble opinion, when it is possible for a community to willfully, blatantly, and legally work together to essentially deny the liberty of a particular group of people (race, gender, national origin, religion, etc.), then protections must be implemented.

        Small town East Texas decides that they do not want/need any additional colored folks in town, they could legally not serve the new comers in a restaurant, refuse to rent or sell an apartment or house to them, and deny service at a pharmacy, then the community has denied that person liberty (and freedom to move to a new city is not liberty). All those things sound incredibly unrealistic in a city like Houston, but there are lots of places in the country that are not like Houston.

        Those protections are not perfect, and certainly aspects of liberty are frequently denied to members of some groups, but it is not legal, and there is potentially recourse available.

      • 1mime says:

        “It is not legal”

        But, it is always wrong.

      • Doug says:

        “if I’m a woman in need of a life-saving abortion or a gay male in need of dire help at the ER, this law would have allowed medical personnel to deny care due to their “religious convictions.”

        Rest easy. If you’re a lesbians in dire need of a life-saving abortion (really?) you probably won’t find religious types running the local Abortomart. If you do, just yell, “Look at me! Do I look gay to you?” That should do it.

        At for the ER, federal law covers that. If they can’t turn down illegals with no insurance, the gay guy is going to be fine.

      • objv says:

        mime, I believe there are conflicting interests here. None of the bakers or florists refused to serve gay and lesbian people. They just refused to provide a particular product or service.

        This is not like a business owner refusing to serve African-Americans based on skin color. It is like an owner of a company who got a request from a black person to print T-shirt logos with the F-word. In this case, it’s all about the message – not the person’s skin color.

        If you owned a company that printed materials would you do posters of aborted babies for a pro-life group? Would you print anti-gay materials? Would you agree to brochures with a picture of Hillary wearing a Hitler mustache? Would you print lots and lots of paper confederate flags for a white supremacist organization?

        If you say that you wouldn’t serve those customers due to your “core beliefs” what difference would there be between you and the cake decorator who also has her own “core beliefs.”

        The next example is of a florist who had a regular gay customer. In her words:

        “when Rob came in and — and told me he was getting married, and I told him the reason I couldn’t do his wedding, we talked about how he got engaged, and we talked about his mom and maybe his mom could walk him down the aisle and he asked me if I had any other florist that I could recommend, and I did recommend three because I knew they’d do a good job for him, and I knew he wanted something special. And we hugged each other and he left.”

        In this case the gay couple did not initially decide to bring a court case. The attorney general decided to pursue charges after reading media reports.

        http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2015/02/24/exclusive-florist-who-refuses-to-do-gay-wedding-speaks-out/

        If the attorney general hadn’t gotten involved, the situation would have healed itself. When people can give each other space to live their lives according to their beliefs, they can usually resolve issues on their own.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, you can’t spin yourself around this one. People way smarter than I am on both sides of the aisle have stepped up. Discrimination is wrong. Period. Read the links to this issue and stop making excuses.

      • objv says:

        Mime, no spin intended. The subject of gay marriage has become so controversial that people are swayed by emotions not facts.

        I certainly do not oppose gay marriage, but some people have a firm belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman because of their religious beliefs.

        There should be enough tolerance to go around to make accommodations for both sides.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…I think we already covered this.

        It was not an issue of wanting particular words on a cake or bad words printed on a t-shirt.

        Gay folks are not being refused service for wanting “God is Gay” on their cake. They are being refused service because they are gay

        Black folks were not being denied service in restaurants because they ordered ham in a kosher deli or ordered steak at a vegan restaurant. They were being denied service because they were Black.

        It wasn’t illegal back in the day, but it is and should be illegal now.

      • objv says:

        Homer, In the case of the florist above, the man who wanted her to provide flowers for the wedding was a longstanding customer. She knew he was gay and had always provided flowers for him in the past.

        She did not refuse service because the man was gay. She declined because of her beliefs in traditional marriage.

      • 1mime says:

        “she denied him because of her belief in traditional marriage”

        You just don’t get it, Ob.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Doug, your life-saving abortion is not going to be conducted at an abort-mart, and yes, lesbian folks do get pregnant (even though that was not the scenario presented in mime’s case).

        While your EMT is required to provide service to gay folks, your pharmacist in Indiana is now not required to provide legally prescribed birth control pills to single women (or married women if the pharmacist wants women to be fruitful and multiple) or to sell condoms to gay men or nervous teenagers.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        March 31, 2015 at 8:12 pm
        “The subject of gay marriage has become so controversial that people are swayed by emotions not facts.”

        If fairness and common decency and compassion are characterized as “emotions”, then guilty as charged. And you OV are wholly unqualified to expound on the dearth of “facts” in any debate unless you are proffering yourself as Exhibit A.

        As Houston has already noted, you have beaten yet another horse to death again. Your discrimination and hate is unjustifiable and no amount of your pathetic bleating will change that.

        And for one who claims to not rely exclusively on Fox distortions, you seem to rely on them quite frequently and nearly exclusively as your source “facts”. Thank you for self exposing your lying hypocrisy yet again OV.

      • objv says:

        bubba, Don’t be a schmuck. I provided a transcript of an interview. The words were exactly what the florist had said. They would have been the same on CNN or any other news outlet.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        And speaking of fact challenged, ignorant schmucks, OV did you read the transcript or watch the video with comprehension? Or do you prefer to continue to double down on your blatant, ignorant, hateful bias? This is one hateful person’s interpretation (and being led by a biased wingnut host and her wingnut lawyer) on an openly biased wingnut network. Let’s hear from her gay “friend” If he’s even willing to subject himself to Fox hate.

        I’d say don’t be a schmuck yourself OV, but it’s already too late.

    • 1mime says:

      All the hogwash from Pence about how IN’s law mirrors the federal Religious Freedom Law signed by Pres. (Bill) Clinton is laid bare in this WaPo research shared through Think Progress. For any conservative to give Pence or the other GOP Presidential candidates a pass on this illustrates (1) they aren’t smart enough to figure out the differences, or, (2) don’t care and think they can “bluff” their way through this, or, (3) haven’t read the two laws and are simply pandering to the religious right. Either way, this ought to send a big fat message to any who thought any of these cowboys might be a rational, careful contender and not just another GOP in religious drag. (pun intended)

      http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/03/30/3640374/big-lie-media-tells-indianas-new-religious-freedom-law/

      The Indiana law differs substantially from the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by President Clinton in 1993, and all other state RFRAs.

      There are several important differences in the Indiana bill but the most striking is Section 9. Under that section, a “person” (which under the law includes not only an individual but also any organization, partnership, LLC, corporation, company, firm, church, religious society, or other entity) whose “exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened” can use the law as “a claim or defense… regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.”

      Every other Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to disputes between a person or entity and a government. Indiana’s is the only law that explicitly applies to disputes between private citizens.*

  29. way2gosassy says:

    Going on right now is a very long press conference with Gov. Pence defending his law and the people of Indiana while at the same time blaming the national media and praising the local media for all the blow back. He says SCOTUS agrees with him based on the Hobby Lobby decision. While chewing bubble gum and whistling Dixie he makes claims that he does not support discrimination in any form. Wash, rinse and repeat.

    • Anse says:

      If there is a more reprehensible force in state-level politics than the GOP, I don’t know what it is. Somehow these people need to be voted out of office. The Democrats are doing a terrible job of mobilizing people.

      • flypusher says:

        The mayor of Indy wants an exemption to that law for his city, but I doubt there’s a legal basis for it.

    • flypusher says:

      I suspect Pence and his cohorts thought this would fly under the radar. It is true that other states have similarly worded religious protection laws. However many of them also have separate statues that forbid discrimination against gays. Also public opinion has shifted a whole lot since the first of those measures passed, and part of the required skill set for a politician is sensitivity to such changes. Your shock at the backlash is the consequence of your failure to pay attention, Indiana GOP.

      • 1mime says:

        “It is true that other states have similarly worded religious protection laws.”

        Has anyone seen research as to what other states have religious protection laws and, specifically, which have no protections against gay discrimination?

        We all know how this works in the GOP dominated states. You get a draft of a law (T U ALEC), you pass it in the friendliest red state first, then pass it down the line. It’s the old GOP political playbook and it’s worked up til now. I think what is happening is that average citizens are finally figuring out what is going on. Even businesses are stepping up (not totally out of a deeply held belief against discrimination, but often as a PR gesture to protect their bottom lines).

        We on this blog are paying attention. If the media starts crying “foul” and starts to pin these religious caterwauls down for a change, the public’s interest will be better protected. That is what happened in IN and what is needed throughout America – with both parties. The GOP has largely gotten a pass for their absurd politics. That has to change.

  30. Having been around the block a few times, this is just typical early primary season pandering. As we get close to the nomination the field will tack towards the center. Same thing will happen in the Dem primaries, assuming ‘She’ has an opponent. (And, yes, that is a H. Rider Haggard reference.)

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      TT…given your earlier comments about not enjoying some to Cruz’s tactics, do you currently have a personal favorite in the field? I realize I’m asking this a year and a half before the election, so it is perfectly fine to say, that you don’t currently have a favorite.

      I think I recall earlier conversations about some pretty strong religious convictions on your side, but I’m not sure I see much Huckabee/Santorum in you.

      I’m not sure Hillary will need to tack too far to the left. If she does, it will seem as disingenuous as Job Bush talking about his salvation. I don’t know that she’ll have a viable enough opponent to warrant a whole lot of liberal politicking.

      • HH, I do have strong religious convictions. I have equally strong convictions regarding freedom, and for that reason do not think it would be appropriate to utilize the coercive might of the state to foist my religious convictions upon you, or anybody else. I just wish the Huckabee/Santorum wing of the party could grok that particular concept – the world would be a happier place for it. (Of course, the same could be said for all those well-meaning utopians on the left who are convinced they know how we should lead our lives better than we do.)

        I don’t have a favorite yet. I prefer candidates with an actual resume of executive experience. That pretty much rules out 1- and 2-term senators. I actually favor most of the Cruz policy elements (excepting those discussed in the prior post); I just think he’s the wrong vessel to carry them. I respect Walker’s ability to get things done, but I need to learn quite a bit more about him. I wish Pence and Kasich would at least throw their hats into the ring. I’m a westerner through and through, so I have zero use for the New Jersey blowhard.

        I haven’t voted for a Democrat for president since Clinton in his first term, and am rather unlikely to do so in 2016. That said, I wish Jim Webb would jump in. At this stage, the more, the merrier.

      • 1mime says:

        TT:
        “the same could be said for all those well-meaning utopians on the left who are convinced they know how we should lead our lives better than we do.”

        I’d like to hear more about what you think the lefty utopians are advocating.

      • johngalt says:

        Mike Pence is done. You can stick a fork in him. This “religious freedom” bill has become so toxic, even the less than enlightened members of the Georgia legislature have dropped a similar bill. Pence’s clueless but widely televised defenses of the bill make him look like an idiot.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Me, too, 1mime.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        JG…I think you are right about Pence. He might have been able to survive that bill had he not spent the weekend trying to defend the bill.

        It may take a couple of more election cycles, but sooner or later, the goofballs will learn that going out of your way to be mean to gay people is not a good campaign strategy.

      • 1mime says:

        Americans have had enough of the right wing religious craziness.

        WE JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! YES, YES, YES!

        Bring it on, babeee!

      • 1mime says:

        TT: “I actually favor most of the Cruz policy elements ”

        I’d be interested in what policies of Cruz you support.

      • 1mime, Cruz has expressed support for both a balanced budget amendment and the Flat Tax, both of which I support (the latter in a modified form; essentially a two-bracket tax system where the first bracket has a 0 % tax rate up to some appropriate multiplier of the poverty level).

        As for “lefty utopian” social planning, I’ll address one example, but first, let us set the stage. As you may recall from our discussion in Chris’ previous post, my support for gay marriage is predicated on my support for the *natural right* to free association. ‘Natural’ has a special meaning to the classical liberals of Locke and Jefferson’s era, namely referring to those “certain unalienable Rights” with which we are all “endowed by [our] Creator” that precede any rights granted by any government. I hew to this definition, but for the agnostics and atheists among us, one could just as easily construe ‘natural’ to mean those rights which are exercised in nature by virtually all living organisms. For instance, when it comes to free association, we are no different in kind from your average slime mold: like seeks out and clings to like. For my part, I abhor *any* infringement by government on our natural rights, regardless of which party instigates such infringement.

        When it comes to natural rights, free association is at the top of the list. Right behind it is the right to self defense. (The ordering of the Bill of Rights is in no way accidental.) All living organisms, from the humble Paramecium to Homo sapiens sapiens, exercise the right to self defense in the state of nature. Every organism will seek to preserve its existence when confronted by an existential threat. Humans, being tool-using primates, mostly rely on tools of one sort or another for self defense. Such tools are commonly referred to as ‘Arms.’ It’s no secret that many on the left seek to drastically restrict or eliminate access to the most common and utilitarian arms of our time, specifically, firearms.

        As a staunch advocate of personal liberty, I’ll gladly uphold anybody’s right to *not* own a firearm (regardless of how ill-advised I deem such behavior). However, in the same way I will not tolerate government infringement on the right of two people to pledge their lives to each other, I will not tolerate government infringement on my natural right to self defense, i.e., my right to keep and bear arms.

        On the face of it, it might not appear that gay marriage and gun rights have much in common. In fact, they have a great deal in common, touching upon fundamental, natural rights that preexist any form of government, rights that speak to our deepest natures.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t believe that “balanced” budgets are responsible governance in an industrialized nation. However, I do believe the federal budget should be reasonably constrained by the nation’s ability to repay within a reasonable time period – whether it’s defense, unfunded mandates, entitlement programs (ALL) – VA, Medicare, federal pensions, program subsidies, tax loopholes, etc etc). I liken it to a family that buys a home and takes out a mortgage – you should buy what you can afford and one that meets your family’s needs. Few young families would be able to purchase a home if they had to pay cash for it, but neither should they make an irresponsible purchase. For the sake of discussion, say a family bought a home that met their income guidelines, were employed, and then an outlier event happened – serious illness, accident, national financial crisis, death, divorce….they – then, as would a nation, would be faced with a different set of circumstances than careful planning envisioned. War, 9/11, the Great Recession of 2008, the Depression, a BP Gulf disaster, Katrina. These intervening issues must be dealt with by the functioning federal structure and are all “off budget” until they occur. This is the problem with balanced budgets. Sounds good, isn’t rational from a functional standpoint. Fiscal prudence, YES, balanced budgets, cannot happen on a sustained basis for precisely the unforeseen problems that are facts of life.

        The House Medicare Doc fix that just passed relies upon a ten year revenue assumption that miraculously “finds” revenues to zero out the losses. Call it what you want, it is not paid for and adds to the budget deficit. But I guess it’s alright if it’s the GOP budget. I call it “voodoo economics”. Sure, to some extent, any ten year projection is just that, a projection, but it should be tied to a discrete form of funding, not simply changing assumptions such as Paul Ryan is proposing or making them up to make the numbers work.

        As for guns. Don’t have one, don’t want one. Fine with you having personal protection and hunting equipment. Not fine with AK47 for anything other than military or law enforcement. Not ok with large round ammo. Not ok with NRA fighting reasonable expansion of background checks. Not ok with open carry on college campuses especially when this becomes an unfunded mandate for higher ed to provide basic campus protection due to the change in law. Otherwise, I’m good with guns just don’t want you carrying one into my neighborhood grocery store or movie theater where kids and families gather. We may simply be too far apart on this one if my gun concerns appear unreasonable to you. They are not unreasonable to me. (For that matter, I wouldn’t want someone carrying a machete onto a campus or into a place of business either…..)

        Good dialogue TT even if we disagree. At least we’re communicating.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Tracy, In your comment about Cruz, you list a few topics with which you agree.

        Your mention of the balanced budget amendment is the idea I cannot let pass. Unless you have exemptions and exceptions in mind, a balanced budget in every circumstance will aggravate business cycles and cause great harm. IMHO.

        If you want to limit spending, OK. Make government more efficient, I’m in. Look at benchmarks and best practices, definately.

        But, a scheme to reduce government spending overall does not have the same dangerous effect as limiting the government to deficit spend in a down cycle.

      • 1mime, let’s take those gun concerns one at a time:

        “Not fine with AK47 for anything other than military or law enforcement.” – I hunt with a semi-automatic Remington 7400 hunting rifle that fires a round considerably more effective (.30-06) than that fired by an AK-47. I submit perhaps you don’t like the AK because, a) certain cosmetic features of that rifle make you uncomfortable, or b) you may have inadvertently bought into some disinformation, or maybe both. The effectiveness of a particular firearm is based solely on the physics of its cartridge and its rate of fire. *All* semi-automatic firearms fire one round per pull of the trigger. Semi-automatic firearms have been around for over 100 years, and have been used for sporting purposes for that long, too. Would you outlaw my hunting rifle?

        “Not ok with large round ammo.” – I presume you are referring to standard capacity magazines. According to my split times, on average it takes me a hair shy of 2 seconds to exchange a magazine and resume firing. That’s one-thousand-one, one-thousand-BANG. In a mass shooting situation in a gun-free zone with no armed resistance, do you honestly believe there’s *any* significant difference in outcome based on magazine capacity? Perhaps the goal of such measures is simply to harass and inconvenience law abiding gun owners. (And force them to incur unnecessary costs – magazines aren’t free.)

        “Not ok with NRA fighting reasonable expansion of background checks.” – 1mime, if you ponder for just a moment, common sense will suggest criminals don’t do background checks. They don’t follow the law. That’s why they’re called criminals. Expansion of background checks would have no significant effect on crime deterrence. Perhaps the goal of such measures is simply to harass and inconvenience law abiding gun owners. (And force them to incur unnecessary costs – FFL transfers with background checks aren’t free.)

        “Not ok with open carry on college campuses especially when this becomes an unfunded mandate for higher ed to provide basic campus protection due to the change in law.” – Interesting. BTW, campus carry as proposed in the current Texas legislative session is not “open carry;” it merely allows Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders to carry on campus as they lawfully carry in other public places. I’m a CHL holder. I also teach at a local college. Allowing CHL holders like myself to carry on campus is a form of “increasing campus protection.” Or do you believe that my conduct while carrying on campus would be somehow different than it is *everywhere else* I lawfully carry my firearm?

        “Otherwise, I’m good with guns just don’t want you carrying one into my neighborhood grocery store or movie theater where kids and families gather.” – I kinda hate to break this to you, 1mime, but hundreds of thousands of law abiding TX CHL holders like me *are* carrying firearms around you in your “neighborhood grocery store or movie theater where kids and families gather” every single day. It’s a *CONCEALED* handgun license. And those concealed weapons are carried for the *sole* purpose of protecting our families, kids and loved ones. BTW, your neighborhood felons are carrying, too; they just don’t bother with a CHL, and their motives are (how to put this?) somewhat different than your average CHL holder.

        I wouldn’t characterize your concerns as unreasonable, 1mime. Rather, they touch me as stemming from a lack of information and education. We all tend to fear the unknown and the unfamiliar, and when then that happens we become all too susceptible to curtailing the freedoms of others as a result. That’s what’s driving the religious right’s treatment of the GLBT community, is it not? – Discrimination resulting from unreasoning fear stemming from a lack of familiarity, a lack of understanding, and perhaps a little misinformation, to boot. (And your average religious right homophobe would be happy to produce a list of “concerns” not all that different in substance from your gun concerns.)

        We’re all just people, 1mime, trying to make our way in the world. Most of us are trying to do the right thing, and do right by our neighbors. In this your friendly neighborhood gun owner / CHL holder is no different than your friendly neighborhood gay couple. Try not to confuse the good guys with the bad guys.

        BTW, if you would ever like an introduction to the shooting sports and safe, responsible gun handling in a safe, structured, friendly environment, I’d be delighted help make that happen. The shooting sports are one of my great enjoyments in life, and it always makes me happy to share that joy with others.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Tracy, you didn’t say why you hunt with a Remington 7400 rather than a Chinese type 56. You seem very knowledgeable, why did Patrick Purdy used a Chinese version of the AK47 to kill school kids instead of a Remington 4700? Are you sure about “The effectiveness of a particular firearm is based solely on the physics of its cartridge and its rate of fire”? You say your 30-.06 is more effective than the 7.62 and 223. Why is it not used by the military instead of the shorter, lighter AR which has a lighter recoil? Is the AK or AR more effective on deer or school kids?

        Large capacity magazines. Why are large capacity magazines important to you? I forget. I do remember shooters being stopped when changing magazines. And I have never heard of a mass shooting being stopped after the good guy emptied his 50 round magazine. But if there is a utility for it?

        Utility: fitness for some purpose or worth to some end

        Background checks. So you are not for them? None? Whether or not the person has a criminal record? Or a protection from abuse order? Or escaped from the Institution for the Criminally Insane?Are you sure that nobody has been turned down because of a background check? This guy doesn’t have to make some shady connection and buy from the black market he can just walk in to a retail store and buy a gun, no questions asked? Yikes!

        It looks like our public life will be spent meekly begging pardon to everyone in public life because we will not know where their draw and shoot point will be. Even if I carried a gun, it would probably ruin my life to know that I took another’s. But if there is a shoot out at the grocery store every time someone with 13 items goes into the 12 or less line, I guess I’ll have to participate. Maybe I could just wing’em.

        I sincerely think that the pro-gun people have not thought this completely through. People are buying AR style rifles that truly are not even good at their intended purpose of bringing down a human in combat. And buying multiples because they may not be able to buy next year because Obama is going to stop them somehow. It’s as if someone is whipping them into a gun and ammo buying frenzy. And they call those that disagree with them, sheep.

        Most gun owners are responsible and not a danger to the public. Notice that we can’t say “all”. Fill in the blank- more people with guns means ____(more/less) crazy people with guns. And by crazy I don’t only mean schizophrenic but, just broke up with wife/girlfriend, lost job, foreclosure, bankruptcy, or just depression.

        And I haven’t touched on accidental shooting by young kids.

        And you know it would end here.
        http://www.vox.com/2015/3/24/8283199/gun-control-comedy-jefferies

        and here

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Wow, in the comment above I was trying to leave a link to John Olivers Gun control Trilogy.

      • Unarmed, sorry to be tardy for getting back to you. In answer to your cartridge question, the .30-06 Springfield, 7.62×51 NATO and 5.56 NATO rounds all have their origin as military cartridges. They are listed in order of decreasing muzzle energy, and age. The .30-06 (developed in 1906) was our primary infantry round in both WWI, WWII and still saw extensive use in the Korean war. In terms of anti-personnel performance, the .30-06 excelled. However, the cartridge is long and heavy, and was fired from long, heavy infantry rifles. Infantry firepower is limited by what an infantryman can carry; an infantryman carrying an M1 Garand rifle could only carry a limited number of rounds.

        The .30-06’s military replacement, the 7.62 (developed in 1954 for NATO use), achieved nearly the same muzzle energy in a significantly shorter, lighter cartridge. The 7.62 was designed to be readily accommodated by the rifle and machine gun actions in use by NATO countries at the time; that was its primary advantage over the .30-06. An infantryman carrying an M14 rifle really couldn’t carry significantly more rounds than his M1 Garand-equipped predecessor, but unlike his predecessor, the M14 gave him full-auto firepower, if needed.

        Somewhere along the line the bright lights at the Pentagon figured out that most rounds fired in battle are actually fired for suppression purposes, i.e. to force the other side to keep their heads down while your guys are maneuvering. In battle, tens of thousands of rounds are fired for every soldier actually killed by small arms fire. Thus, the 5.56×45 NATO round was born. An infantryman armed with an M-16 firing the 5.56 NATO could carry nearly *3 times* the number of rounds as his M14-toting predecessor. The 5.56 NATO is essentially a force multiplier.

        Force multiplication is all well and good, but the problem with the 5.56 NATO cartridge is that it’s actually a varmint round. It’s great for putting down gophers and coyotes, but it’s not the best choice for human-sized critters. In many states it’s actually illegal for use on larger game like deer. Infantry complaints about the *inability* of the 5.56 NATO to actually put down enemy combatants *abound*. In most American combat units, designated marksmen are therefore equipped with rifles that fire the 7.62 NATO round. The job of the designated marksmen is not to lay down suppressive fire; it’s to actually shoot bad guys. For this purpose the 7.62 is a *much* better choice than the 5.56.

        So, unarmed, were I a crazed nutball intent on killing a whole lot of people in a crowded venue (like a movie theater), I’m definitely going to choose my .30-06 Remington 7400 over my 5.56 Sig 556. I’m not an infantryman lugging a 100+ pounds of gear, and I’m probably not going to last long enough to shoot *all* my ammo, so carry weight is not a factor, and rate of fire is exactly the same. I might as well make sure every round fired does maximum damage to my packed human targets. If that’s the goal, the .30-06 is the best choice. Fortunately for us, crazed nutballs apparently spend more time playing video games than actually shooting real firearms. For that we should be grateful, for the tolls of mass shootings could easily be more horrific than they already are.

        Now, don’t get me wrong, I do really enjoy my Sig 556. 5.56 ammo is considerably less expensive to buy (or reload) than 7.62 or .30-06 ammo, so I can afford to shoot a lot more of it. It’s a great rifle for shooing “tater” hogs (the little 100-pounders that are so very tasty on the grill). It’s just the ticket for varmint elimination. It is a low recoil gun, so it’s great from new shooters and young people to learn on. For a lot of reasons, it’s a nice rifle to have in the collection.

        Why are smaller magazines important to you? Magazine capacity is essentially a matter of form following function. Handgun magazines are generally sized to fit into a pistol grip that’s comfortable for the average male hand. With smaller cartridges like the 9 mm, magazines that meet the above criteria typically have 15-18 round capacities. There’s no magic to it. Similarly, rifle magazines are generally sized to be no longer than can readily be accommodated by a prone rifle shooter. For an AR firing the 5.56, that works out to 30 rounds. Again, no magic. To reduce magazine capacity in a handgun you actually have to do additional engineering to come up with a method to keep the magazine from accepting the number of rounds it would otherwise accommodate. What’s the point? Similarly, I can generally buy shorter rifle magazines that hold fewer rounds, but they are no more or less comfortable to shoot prone than the standard 30-round magazine. So why bother? I usually shoot around 150 rounds in a range session. Multiple magazines for a shooting session are just one more thing to misplace. Why would I want to keep track of 30 five round magazines rather 5 thirty round magazines? (Or waste my range time reloading magazines on-the-fly.) That’s just silly. Reducing magazine capacity does *nothing* to improve safety; it’s just harassment.

        I’m fine with the current background check laws, where I’m subjected to a background check when I buy from a licensed dealer. The current laws do make acquiring firearms somewhat inconvenient for prohibited persons, but let’s not pretend it actually stops them from obtaining guns. They are criminals, after all. “Universal background check,” on the other hand, means that if I want to sell (or even just swap) a gun to my hunting buddy of 25 years, I have to go to a dealer and get him checked to avoid committing a felony. That’s just plain *STUPID*, and if you think your average criminal is going to go get that background check, you are just plain nuts. So-called universal background check laws are designed to harass law abiding gun owners, and nothing else.

        Yes, you should always be polite, because that’s how people in civil society *should* interact with each other. For myself, I’m no more or less polite when carrying than when not. I just try to be polite to everybody I meet, all the time. Are you telling me that’s not how you conduct yourself? Hmmm.

        I’m glad you understand that most gun owners “are responsible and not a danger to the public.” The same can be said of most, but not *all*, non-gun owners. As for those who are unable to govern their emotions, keeping guns out of their hands would be great, if we could figure out how to do that effectively without unduly burdening everybody else. Of course, we’d also have to confiscate their automobiles, cutlery, baseball bats, croquet mallets, power tools, garden tools, hand tools, etc. And for the big ‘uns, well, we’d probably just have to keep them permanently locked up. Better safe than sorry, right? Sounds like paradise… BTW, if you think I’m kidding, it turns out you are more than twice as likely to be *beaten to death* by an assailant than shot to death by an AR-wielding evil doer: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2009-2013.xls

        Regarding accidental shootings by young kids, I’ll give you the flip answer such a comment deserves. If you are a gun owner with youngsters in the house, and you don’t secure your firearms responsibly, you should not complain when tragedy ensues. From a Darwinian standpoint you should probably just do the species a favor and stay out of the gene pool altogether, thus sparing everybody some heartache.

      • 1mime says:

        Good answer, Tracy, except for a couple of areas of disagreement. You state: ” If you are a gun owner with youngsters in the house, and you don’t secure your firearms responsibly, you should not complain when tragedy ensues.”

        Surely a man as eloquent as you are recognizes that the problem is not complaining when tragedy ensues, but the death/injury that results.

        Second, one of the areas of gun sales abuse I have read about deals with private sales. Evidently this can happen at “public” gun shows and the whole registration process as well as specifics of what is sold and how many, is lost. Are you aware of this being utilized?

        I’m curious about your teaching. What subject?

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Tracy – no problem with delay.

        I wasn’t going to reply to the gun part of your original comment. Was only concerned with your and Senator Cruzs opinion on a balanced budget amendment.

        Then you replied to 1mime, educating her and others why guns and gays are related.

        Usually the gun safety person says something like “why do you need large magazines or why do you need – whatever ” and the anti gun safety person says “there is nothing in the second amendment about need”. In other words, utility is not required so don’t bring it up. However, you say right from the start, “It’s no secret that many on the left seek to drastically restrict or eliminate access to the most common and utilitarian arms of our time, specifically, firearms.” You see you said, utilitarian,utility,need. That allows me to talk about stuff like magazine capacity. See you mentioned varmint hunting. When I was interested the 223 was a flat trajectory slug you could take a ground hog, from a heavy barrelled, bolt action. One shot, no magazine at all.

        You would have been better off, as Jim Jefferies reccomends, saying “F.k You, I like my guns”.

        Thanks for your long reply to me. I’m sorry if you thought I needed or deserved such a long answer.

        Getting back to utility. I did ask why mass murderers don’t use your hunting rifle. I would have settled for “it is too long and heavy to swing quickly in a classroom or a office and has more recoil, the other weapons, designed for modern warfare are more efficient killing devices in close quarters with scurrying… err… quarry.”

        I’ll skip to your retort to my comment on accidental shooting of young children. It reads that you are saying the child deserves to die (or be injured) because of the mental deficiencies of the adult. I’m concerned about these deaths. I think you are too. I argue for solutions and wonder why someone as bright as you would not.

        I don’t want to take your hunting rifle either.

    • Anse says:

      The problem with Cruz is that this is NOT just primary pandering…he’s got a track record of this sort of thing even while holding office. He has not shown a willingness to support centrist views. He’s been a flame-thrower since the beginning. If he attempts to change that persona during this campaign, I have to believe people are going to see through it. And surely his most ardent supporters in the Tea Party will not allow him to do that.

      • 1mime says:

        As I am on record stating: core beliefs don’t change. As much as I dislike Cruz as a candidate for President, at least we know exactly how big an ass he really is. The fact that he is so self absorbed and so narrowly focused is beside the point. He is exactly how he portrays himself. The others are still trying to “kiss up” and have it both ways. As to what’s worse – the jerk or the panderers? That’s a hard one for conservatives. As a Dem, that’s one I don’t have to grapple with. How hard can it be for conservatives to walk away from the zoo?

    • johngalt says:

      “As we get close to the nomination the field will tack towards the center.”

      That’s a reasonable prediction based on past history, but do you believe that Ted Cruz would “tack towards the center” if he were the nominee? We’ve always been able to count on politicians, once elected, would not pursue the most extreme things they promised in their campaigns. I have every expectation that Cruz (and, indeed, a few other hard righties) would attempt to do exactly what they said in the campaign, and that is not a comforting thought.

      • 1mime says:

        The GOP still doesn’t get it. From Kaiser Health News:

        “Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed a law on Monday that requires doctors to tell women that drug-induced abortions can be reversed and that blocks the purchase of insurance on the Obamacare health exchange that includes abortion coverage. The requirement that patients be told that the effects of abortion pills may be undone by using high doses of a hormone was the most hotly contested provision during legislative debate. (Schwartz, 3/30)”

        So much for Roe vs Wade….

        I hope women across America are paying attention.

      • 1mime says:

        “and that is not a comforting thought”

        To put it mildly. Surely the past six years has demonstrated in spades exactly how far the religious extremists will go. THAT is all you can count on – what has and is happening. To “hope” for a tack to the center is to believe in tinkerbell.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Generally, candidates track to the center when they know they won their nomination but this is not always the case. Romney did not track to the center till way late in the general election but by then it was too late.

        Jeb Bush has just stated that he supports the Indiana law. This is his appeal to the RWNJs that Cruz seems to have a lock on.

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/jeb-bush-pence-indiana-religious-freedom

        I understand the need to appeal to the base but at some point a person needs to make an ethical decision concerning issues such as this religious law. If a candidate needs to win the votes of those that are open to publicly discriminate against a segment of society then they are not much of a candidate? I would think such action would alienate more voters than it gains.

      • 1mime says:

        “At some point people need to make decisions …. about their positions.

        That is the problem. Core beliefs shouldn’t change. To politicize them by “tacking” or fancy language is insulting to me. For an office as significant as the Presidency, the platform should be clear and consistent. We seem to be living in a time when ones’ positions/beliefs are of the Baskin Robbins variety….what’s selling best?

        Don’t American voters deserve to hear the truth? Don’t candidates have a responsibility to be truthful? Given the GOP requirement for all candidates to hew the party line, how can there be any doubt as to what party one chooses? You either agree with the party’s platform, or you don’t. I, for one, prefer to know the core beliefs, and applaud a serious candidate who doesn’t dance around the issues “Pence-style”.

        My hope is that in 2016 American voters will be so thoroughly disgusted with all the pandering that they will vote for the steady, sensible one vs the one that is selling the current elixir. That is the challenge for party leadership, especially the Dems who have a messaging problem. I harbor no illusions about who stands for equal rights in this dogfight.

      • johngalt says:

        So Jeb’s comment is the hedge that separates the true believers from the politicians trying to appeal to the base. He states that he supports the religious freedom bill. He did not pass one and, in his case if elected, I would believe that he would not work very hard to pass one. Indeed, I suspect he would work hard behind the scenes to make sure a Pence-style bill never crossed his desk.

      • 1mime says:

        JG – “….Bush would not pass a religious freedom bill and would work behind the scenes…

        Come on, JG! More smoke and mirrors? More pandering? Aren’t you tired of it?

      • Turtles Run says:

        JG ~ Indeed, I suspect he would work hard behind the scenes to make sure a Pence-style bill never crossed his desk.

        I do not know. He would want to seek re-election and this could be his Terri Schiavo moment. So he would want something to prove his conservative street-cred.

        I would also point out that Jeb behind the scenes a few months after Schiavo died had her husband investigated for possible wrong doing with her initial collapse.

        “Three months after Schiavo died, the governor asked State Attorney Bernie McCabe to look at the circumstances of her collapse in 1990, chiefly how long it took before Michael Schiavo called 911. McCabe did the review and concluded there was no evidence of wrongdoing.”

        That does not sound like the actions of a moderate or centralist politician.

        http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/the-audacity-of-jeb-bush-a-governor-goes-all-in-on-the-terri-schiavo-case/2213997

      • 1mime says:

        JG, I don’t know if you’ve been following the conservative attacks on the Ex-Im Bank re-authorization, which runs out in June. In this case, traditional business interests are aligned with Democrats and the TP and Heritage Foundation are opposed aleging government welfare to business interests. Small business has benefitted from loans through the Ex-Im Bank when they are unable to obtain loans through traditional banking sources.

        http://thehill.com/policy/finance/237906-2016-politics-stir-up-ex-im-debate

        “The issue has also reversed typical political allegiances, nearly all Democrats are aligned with the business community (U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Assn of Manufacturers, and support re-authorization. GOP presidential hopefuls, Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Carly Fiorino, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have all attacked Ex-Im, bucking powerful business groups with whom they are traditionally alligned in opposing re-authorization of the Bank. They are joined by Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Hensarling, who chairs the House Appropriations committee through which the matter would have to be scheduled for debate. ”

        Strange times, strange bedfellows.

    • objv says:

      Tracy! It’s good to see your comments again. I’ve been trying to catch up on what I’ve missed during the past few days. Your example of the Nazi cake with the swastika and blood-red icing saying, “Death to Jews” was particularly apt.

      Coincidentally, I got the results from a DNA test JG recommended. A tiny bit of ancestry was labeled Ashkenazi. That, and the fact that 76% of my DNA was Eastern European (and only 1% identifiably German) would preclude me from any Nazi celebrations. Sadly, I’m not master race material. (But, everyone knew that.)

      I’m also part Scandinavian. Perhaps some of my ancestors and yours were buds a couple thousand years ago. 🙂

      I remember reading a case where pro-gay bakeries refused to make a cake for a pro-traditional marriage event.

      http://illinoisfamily.org/homosexuality/pro-gay-bakeries-refuse-to-make-marriage-cake-for-christian/

      • Good Lord, we must be distantly related. Maybe our political predilections are genetic. Gee, I just can’t wait for the Obamacare-sponsored gene therapy to deal with that! 😉

        BTW, has it never struck you as curious that the same genetic pool that produced Ragnar Lodbrok also produced ABBA? (OTH, which is worse torture, the Blood Eagle, or “Dancing Queen”? And now “Dancing Queen” is stuck in your skull. Gaaah! Now that’s scary!!!)

      • objv says:

        Oy vey, Tracy. (Am I allowed Jewish expressions now?)

        Now that I know you are mishpocheh, I don’t want any ACA gene therapy messing with your predilections!

        My mtDNA indicates that my maternal line goes back to Paleolithic hunters and gatherers. Hunting and weapons are just fine with me. 😉

    • 1mime, unarmed, my reply on accidental shootings involving children was, as I wrote, flip. I am, of course, simply horrified when I see such items in the news. In my circle of friends there is no such thing as an accidental discharge; there are only *negligent* discharges. For the record, there is *ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, NO EXCUSE TO NOT SECURE YOUR FIREARMS RESPONSIBLY*. I hope that’s clear enough. Every major gun manufacturer provides free gun locks with their guns. Every major manufacturer supports Project Child Safe (http://www.projectchildsafe.org/), a program funded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (nssf.org). These folks will point you to a local provider who will give you a safe storage kit for *FREE*. I personally use a GunSafe key code gun vault to store my home defense and carry guns. I can open it in under two seconds, so it’s about as convenient as a gun in the nightstand. I recently saw a Harbor Freight ad where it’s on sale for $79.95. That’s three boxes of ammo. So, come on people, get with the program. There is no reason for any child to *ever* be injured or killed by a firearm they got their hands on due to the ungodly negligence of an adult.

      1mime, as you might imagine, I attend gun shows on a regular basis. The *overwhelming* majority of guns sold at gun shows are sold by dealers, complete with a background check. You will see a small number of individuals with a gun (or several) for sale wandering the aisles; most of these folks are collectors of one sort or another. I have personally taken part in one such transaction. Several years ago Springfield Armory came out with a new carry pistol, the XD-s. I had a chance to shoot one at the range, and liked it so much that I decided to trade in my trusty Para Ordnance Carry LDA for one. I took the Para to a show at the GRB, intending to trade it in at one of the dealer tables. As I was walking the floor, I noticed a fellow with a sign saying he had a Colt Python for sale (a very collectible gun). I approached him and we got to dickering. We couldn’t come to agreement on the Python, but he liked my Para and offered me a better price than I would get in trade with a dealer. We consummated the transaction, and I promptly bought the XD-s at a dealer table (complete with background check). I still carry the XD-s daily.

      I spent several minutes talking to the Python guy; he was obviously a gun guy like myself. Had I gotten any bad vibes, I would have walked. Had there been a table at the show offering background checks as a free service, or even as a fee-based service, I might have taken advantage of it. Unfortunately, FFL dealers cannot currently offer such services, because they must actually take any firearm for which a background check is subsequently performed into inventory, and are then responsible for keeping records on it. It places an undue liability burden on them. It would actually make a great deal of sense to make a minor alteration to existing law to allow FFL dealers to provide background checks on demand for 3rd parties, without any liability issues. That would make background checks a voluntary activity, and many folks like myself *would* likely take advantage of such a service, were it available. Note that such a voluntary program is worlds away from the highly coercive “universal background check” bills being introduced by the anti-gun crowd.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Well, I did learn something during our back and forth. One, accidental child shootings hits close to home for you. http://www.click2houston.com/news/sheriffs-office-reminds-gun-owners-about-importance-of-gun-safety/31568444 Two, in Texas, it is unlawful to leave a gun so a child can *negligently* shoot someone. It is mentioned in the link but doesn’t say whether it is a misdemeanor or felony. A related link says people are rarely punished. I’m sure its a tough call to punish a parent that has lost a child.

        “For the record, there is *ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, NO EXCUSE TO NOT SECURE YOUR FIREARMS RESPONSIBLY*”. So, there you go that fixes it. No, I’m thinking that next year the child shooting count will be approximately what is was last year. Maybe slightly lower. But that is price we have pay for freedom I guess.

        I don’t want to take your guns, but I have to admit, I do want to inconvenience you. I want to reduce the amount of untraceable guns washing around. Guns being sold without training or education. Being sold to people that run them to areas and resell them to gangbangers and petty criminals. Stop used guns being sold by the widows of responsible gun owners to the irresponsible neighbor. Stop straw sales in the Carolinas and Georgia that feed the illegal gun trade in New York. Stop the straw sales just outside of Chicago. To fix these problems, it will inconvenience you and other responsible gun owners. But the trade off will be a safer country for the rest of us.

        I’ve always thought that a pro-gun organization could do what others could not. Take the lead on gun safety and guide us to a position comfortable to the gun user. The alternative is waiting for the general public to impose more onerous regulations.

      • Well, unarmed, probably time to move on to newer posts. But as I pointed out, manufacturers and pro-gun groups have take the lead on gun safety, and these voluntary measures have actually produced positive results: http://www.nssf.org/PDF/research/IIR_InjuryStatistics2014.pdf

        For my part, I believe such measures to be far more effective than the coercive approach that is the only tool government effectively wields. (E.g., charging parents with a felony for failing to secure a firearm after their child is already *dead*. Brilliant.) I’m all for measures that actually work; the proposals of the anti-gun left, as I’ve pointed out above, do not generally fall in that category. Your fellow travelers are already inconveniencing me; further infringement passes over into harassment and discrimination. Your want to do a number of fine things; no doubt you want a unicorn for a pet, too. The problem is that in chasing unicorns you trample on the rights of others. Sorry, can’t go with you there.

  31. Wah Wong says:

    Maybe I’m being overly dismissive, but I see the clown car candidates tilting to the far right as signs of desperation; gravitating towards the easier low hanging fruit pickings (to outwingnut Cruz) to stay relevant in the Repub nominating process as long as possible, rather than to take Jeb’s Establishment money and machine head on. It’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (literally and figuratively). They are all vying to be the long shot last dwarf standing. With no long term strategy or end game other than to be the last survivor in the Bible Belt early southern primaries.

    And we actually want these short sighted self centered clueless attention whore poseurs to run this country?

  32. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    In 2012, I hopped up on my soapbox and warned people not to misunderestimate the Perry campaign. At the time, all the man did was win elections. He spoke fluent religious-nutbaggery, big-business folks loved the, “sure, you can have a tax cut” approach, and the dude shot coyote while jogging so the good old boys who might look askance at someone jogging could like him because carries a gun while jogging.

    Well, it turns out, winning elections in Texas is a whole different ballgame than winning national elections or elections in other states.

    While Cruz is smarter (and probably even more Machiavellian) than Perry, I just do not think he is ready for prime time.

    Rand Paul spouting off at a prayer breakfast last week is no more a sign that Cruz is winning than was Rand Paul’s 2013 speech at Liberty University where he said:

    “I believe that America is in a full-blown spiritual crisis. The problem, as Os Guinness puts it, ‘is not the wolves at the door, but the termites in the floor,’” …I think we’ve arrived at a day of reckoning. … America has much greatness left in her if we believe in ourselves, believe in our founding documents, believe that our rights come from our Creator, believe in an economic system that has made us the richest and the most humanitarian nation ever. But we must realize that freedom needs virtue. What America needs is not another politician. What America needs is a revival.”

    Which, not shockingly, was not a whole lot different than Papa Ron Paul’s 2008 speech at Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell claiming that Liberty students helped Paul win that primary.

    The GOP has been doing this “stations of the cross” exercise with the religious wing of the party for a long time. They used to do it at Bob Jones University until the inter-racial dating ban made that too politically toxic (even though Alan Keyes campaigned there). Now, it is Liberty University and a few dozen other “prayer breakfasts” and “prayer meetings”, but all of them do it. Cruz may do it better than most, but this is not a new thing.

    Lifer probably has more insight into the GOP than do I, but I’m going to disagree on the viability of Cruz. There may be a lot of crazies (e.g., the “not Romney” votes in 2012) in the GOP, but it is hard to herd a bunch of crazies, and there will be plenty of candidates that will draw bits and pieces from that crazy pool.

    With that said, if Cruz can manage to create a truly grassroots campaign that manages to David the GOP’smoneyed Goliath, it will be one of the truly remarkable campaigns in many years, and someone that could pull that off is someone the Democrats would have to take seriously in 2016, no matter how nutty he may appear.

    • Anse says:

      I’m taking Cruz very seriously. Maybe because of late I’ve lost some confidence in Hillary. I’m worried she’s got way too much baggage. Our best hope is for a very large turnout.

      Realistically, I don’t think Cruz’s style will resonate nationwide. But he’s enough of a concern to not take lightly.

      • RobA says:

        I’d actually prefer a moderate establishment repub (a McCain type) to Hill.

        I’m still hoping a Warren candidacy tho.

      • 1mime says:

        Even with her baggage, Hillary is still head and shoulders above the pick of the GOP litter. What is more important is how well Hillary will govern, and I believe she has the intelligence and skills to be an effective President. She probably would have been a better choice than Obama 8 years ago but he had charisma and momentum. She was solid, steady, and less charming. 8 years later, those traits look mighty sane in comparison to the GOP field. I’ll take my chances with Hillary.

      • RobA says:

        Good insight 1mime.

        That’s a good point. Hillarys “boring steadyness” hurt her back then but it will likely help her now.

        I guess the bug thing that’s turning me off about Hill is the inevitably of it. I know that’s just be being silly, but I also think it’s not good for ANY candidate to just cruise through the nomination. Espevilly in a vote where the Dem will likely cruise ti the Oval Office.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, boring may turn out to be just the RX America needs. We’ve sure seen what paranoia looks like.

        I agree that candidates are strengthened by a serious primary process, unless there are so many candidates on the stage that the answers are 30 seconds in length, and so many that people stop watching.

        And, I don’t think it is a slam dunk for Hillary at all. Too much money, too many smart operatives, too many egos on stage and in Congress trotting out all the dirty laundry. Hillary can handle it and I believe will do so with calm and steady resolve, but it’s going to be a fight. Key is the GOTV. Democrats have to become engaged enough to rally the troops and you can bet that the GOP is going to be pulling their voter tricks at every turn. To me, the biggest procedural threat is still going to be the electoral process, which I expect the GOP to mess with as it provides the deep pilings for the Blue Wall.

  33. Anse says:

    I’m waiting for the fever dream that is the Tea Party Era to find its nadir so it can recede into memory. Where is our “Have you no shame?!” moment? When’s it going to happen? It’s got to happen.

    • RobA says:

      I think it’s happening now. The GOP is starting to really over play their hand and are losing their touch on reality/the average American.

      I think they’re firmly convinced that the majority if America s actually think like they do. High profile GOP moves are clearly being miscalculated. Seems like lately, they do something, get surprised by the blowback, and then scramble to backtrack.

      I’m thinking specifically of the Cotton letter and now the Indiana law. I expect more in the future.

      • 1mime says:

        RobA,
        You did see my post from the Weekly Sifter about the Georgia bill legislating a Religious Freedom bill there? You know how red states operate, ALEC writes the bill, one state passes it, then another, then another…The irony in the GA bill was an amendment was proposed that would have clarified Non-Discrimination but was excluded because it would “gut the intent of the bill”!!!

        Not an aberration, Rob, business as usual.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I hope you’re right, RobA.

      • 1mime says:

        I think it’s more than overplaying their hand. People are done with all the wingnut crapola and instead of ignoring it, they’re speaking out. And, FINALLY, the media is actually reporting the news instead of glorifying or ignoring the GOP tactics.

        From the WeeklySift, Democratic Blogger Doug Muder really expressed his sentiment about the Indiana Religious Freedom debacle well:

        “What I find most discouraging is my own reaction: The bigots are wearing me down. When Arizona was about to do it, I was outraged. Now it’s just “Oh, not this shit again.” And how the heck am I going to boycott Indiana, when I was never planning to go there anyway?

        I include the quote at the top to point out that we’ve heard all these points in favor of religiously-mandated discrimination before. Then it was discrimination against blacks rather than discrimination against gays, but the arguments are exactly the same.”

        GOP packaging of religious extremism, gay hating, racism, union bashing, welfare moochers, income inequality and womens’ rights just keeps mutating. I thought the GOP in 2008 got it, and then, in 2012, they said they got it. We’ve seen how that has worked out.

        Well, folks, I guess we’re gonna have to kick some serious ass in 2016 to make SURE they get it this time. No more “they don’t know what they don’t know”. It’s showtime!

  34. 1mime says:

    Here’s a thoughtful analysis on the Republican presidential primary process from The Weekly Sift. It is on topic.

    http://weeklysift.com/2015/03/30/2016-understanding-the-republican-process/

  35. johngalt says:

    This strategy also presents a great opportunity for a relatively sane candidate. If many (most) of them are going to try to co-opt Cruz’s far-right positions, they’ll end up diluting each other. Cruz has huge negative poll numbers, even from Republicans, so plenty of primary voters will seek other options. A candidate that stood out as different from this rabble might rise to the top by virtue of being somewhat less extreme, collecting support from the money men and from the voters who are not impressed by empty promises to close down government agencies.

    • flypusher says:

      I haven’t decided which primary I’ll be voting in come next spring, but the main determining factor for me is the amount of choice offered. If there is no competition in the Dem primary (which is very probable), then I’m likely walking to the other side of the room to vote in the GOP primary. I wouldn’t be on a mission of destruction to vote for a whacko bird in hopes that he would lose to the Dem. I’d be looking for someone sane to vote for, based on the notion of even if I vote Dem or 3rd party in the general, who would be the best choice out of the GOP if that party gets the White House.

      • 1mime says:

        likely to vote in GOP primary if no competition in Dem Primary.

        Gov O’Malley has announced his desire to be the Dem nominee but whether he makes it down the stretch is dubious.

        I do the very same thing in TX. Vote for GOP primary so I can at least have “some” voice and then vote Democratic in general. I used to try to vote the candidate, meaning I would have some of both parties reflected in my choices, but that’s gotten harder.

      • 1mime says:

        “Looking for someone sane to vote for…”

        Cast a long line, Fly. IN’s law is getting a lot of attention on financial news shows (CNBC, this am) due to the huge protest from both the very conservative business leaders as well as those from the left. That makes the outcry pretty bi-partisan. Pence et al are can explain til Sunday but the truth in this as well as the Georgia bill is self-evident. The GOP finally got their hands caught in the cookie jar. It’s about damn time.

        Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are among the potential and declared Republican presidential candidates arguing that, rather than providing cover to those who would discriminate, the law protects the rights of those seeking to freely exercise their religious beliefs.

        http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/237435-gop-contenders-back-indiana-religious-freedom-law

  36. Doug says:

    Rand Paul never had a chance. It’s been over 150 years since a white guy with curly hair was elected.

    • texan5142 says:

      LoL

      • Doug says:

        I’m only half joking. I believe we’re shallow enough as a country that his hair would be an issue. It is not presidential hair.

      • 1mime says:

        You mean it’s not black and kinky enough?

      • Doug says:

        “You mean it’s not black and kinky enough?”
        No, that’s not what I mean at all.

      • 1mime says:

        Just messin’ with ya… Lighten up, it’s just the internet!

      • Doug says:

        Now that you mention it, though, imagine Obama had a ‘fro in 08. Still electable?

      • 1mime says:

        Yep, imagine the nerve of a skinny black man with a “fro” morphing into a Prez…..guess that means anything could happen, right? Even a cuban with a nasal twine and an attitude out the wazoo….and a bald spot above his pointed nose….

        Not that I have anything against Cruz’ looks (-:

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Doug, you and I rarely agree, but Rand’s permanent perm makes him unelectable in a Presidential race.

  37. Chris, I’m curious to get your take on Cruz’ recent admission that he will be using Obamacare once his wife leaves GS. How much does this affect his credibility (or does it)?

    • goplifer says:

      I doubt it’s going to matter. Here’s the statement from his spokesman, via the LA Times:

      “Every plan, no matter what provider, is required to comply with the Obamacare law,” she said. “Obamacare isn’t a plan in and of itself; it dictates what plans have to provide. All plans operate under Obamacare.”

      “Any American that wants a healthcare plan, including Sen. Cruz, has no choice but to utilize Obamacare — either the Obamacare exchange or much more expensive private coverage that must be Obamacare-compliant,” she said.

      http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0329-mcmanus-cruz-20150329-column.html

      That allows him to claim that most of his competitors are also essentially on the ACA. A dodge, sure, but a clever one.

      Of course, it’s a hell of an opportunity for Clinton in the fall, but that’s another story.

      I think it’s unlikely to dent him in the primary and frankly, by the time he sorts it all out, he’ll probably decide to suck it up and write a check for a high-deductible private insurance plan.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m curious about Cruz’s claim that he is joining the ACA. Here’s the “skinny” on Cruz’ pitiful choice of health coverage:

        “…Cruz, as an employee of the government, will use the exchange to choose his employer-provided insurance. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley pushed through an amendment on the Affordable Care Act that requires members of Congress to obtain their coverage via the exchanges. Congress pays most of the premium.”

        (Congress – BULL – you and me – taxpayers one and all – pay that 72-75% of the premium on their health plans!)

        But Cruz won’t be getting any extra benefit under the Affordable Care Act that a member of Congress wouldn’t have gotten before the ACA became law (those plans were the same as the federal employee plan, known as: FEHBP – a really sweet health plan….also subsidized by the taxpayer. Also, as members of Congress, they (not their families) are eligible for “free” care at D.C. hospitals and limited services of a Congressional physician.

        I submit that there aren’t too many private health plans offered by businesses to employees with a 72-75% premium subsidy.

        It is disingenuous of Sen. Cruz to state he is on an ACA health care plan like all other Americans when the exchange used by Congress is a much more generous and is subsidized substantially by you and me. I hope he gets nailed to the wall for his grandstanding.

        http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/health-care-for-members-of-congress/

        http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/2015/03/24/ted-cruz-government-health-care/

      • Doug says:

        “I submit that there aren’t too many private health plans offered by businesses to employees with a 72-75% premium subsidy. ”

        According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, that’s close to the average. http://kff.org/private-insurance/report/2014-employer-health-benefits-survey/ CNN reported that Cruz will not take the subsidy.

      • 1mime says:

        Employee/Employer Health Insurance Premium Contributions:

        Excellent resouce, Doug. The report offered a wide range of information about workplace contributions for health care.

        It’s a little more complicated than stating employers also contribute 72-75% of premiums, as noted in the Kaiser report. The devil is in the details – size of business, number insured, co-pays, deductibles, single vs family…. Insurance is a complicated business and the one thing you and I can probably agree upon, is that health care in the United States is too costly as compared to other industrialized countries and health outcomes. That’s another subject for later.

        Plus, The FREE care available to members of Congress in all Washington DC hospitals as well as the services of staff doctors certainly helps with the co-pay, ($0.00), no? Convenience and ease of appointments are given priority so our esteemed Congressional members don’t have to miss any votes, especially on their favorite which requires, well, lots of votes (-:

        Needless to say, there are millions of people who live in states where their earnings are too high for Medicaid eligibility (TX- $4K/yr) or an ACA subsidy, or live in a state which has refused to expand Medicaid. The resulting average $335/mo premium for ACA is simply out of reach for working class people. Health care in the U.S. is and has been for a very long time, a mess.

        Here is a little more detail from the Kaiser Report to flesh out how contributions are distributed. Quite a smorgasbord, it turns out.

        “Most often, employers require that workers make a contribution towards the cost of the premium. Covered workers contribute on average 18% of the premium for single coverage and 29% of the premium for family coverage, the same percentages as 2013. Workers in small firms (3 – 199 workers) contribute a lower average percentage for single coverage compared to workers in larger firms (16% vs. 19%), but they contribute a higher average percentage for family coverage (35% vs. 27%). Workers in firms with a higher percentage of lower-wage workers (at least 35% of workers earn $23,000 or less) contribute higher percentages of the premium for single coverage (27% vs. 18%) and for family coverage (44% vs. 28%) than workers in firms with a smaller share of lower-wage workers.

        As with total premiums, the share of the premium contributed by workers varies considerably among firms. For single coverage, 57% of covered workers are in plans that require them to make a contribution of less than or equal to a quarter of the total premium, 2% are in plans that require a contribution of more than half of the premium, and 14% are in plans that require no contribution at all. For family coverage, 42% of covered workers are in plans that require them to make a contribution of less than or equal to a quarter of the total premium and 15% are in plans that require more than half of the premium, while only 5% are in plans that require no contribution at all for family coverage (Exhibit D).”

        Thanks for the great, informative link. Kaiser is an outstanding resource for health care information in our country.

      • johngalt says:

        My employer covers 75% of my premium (actually 100% of my premium and about 50% for my kids). I view this as part of my total compensation. As Doug posted, that’s pretty standard for the kind of jobs for which health insurance is an expected benefit.

  38. 1mime says:

    OT but important as yet another disingenuous budget from Republicans. From Kaiser Health News and Fact check. Liars often figure, but figures never lie……

    http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-gop-budgets-rely-higher-taxes-balance-122028143–politics.html;_ylt=AwrBJR_V.g1VSmIA..jQtDMD

    http://kaiserhealthnews.org/morning-breakout/report-health-insurance-industry-doing-well-under-aca/

  39. lomamonster says:

    Yes, by all means plan on registering to vote, but also renew your passport just in case the GOP ups the ID ante at the last moment. I wouldn’t put it past them…

  40. flypusher says:

    While the lyrics are about the music industry, it’s not hard to adapt them to politics:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AEKbFMvkLIc

  41. BigWilly says:

    Mark’s Gospel, from Ch 7-23

    “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

    • way2gosassy says:

      I hope it’s a really deep ditch.

      • flypusher says:

        With a few gators??

      • 1mime says:

        Democrats have been gifted with some really dumb moves by the Republicans. If 2016 is going to return the Senate and keep the Presidency in Democratic control, we are going to have to have a better game plan than conservatives. We should not count on them to self-destruct. Remember: Dems lost big in the House and Senate in recent elections. The GOP is working steadily behind the scenes to marshal millions of dollars to control air time and spread their message – however flawed. Further, they will continue to stifle voter registration and turn out and I’m betting the Electoral College delegate process will be finessed for every vote it can turn. In short, don’t count out the Republicans just because their candidates are weird – Democrats have to WIN this election. It is not a gimme and it is not going to be easy.

        Truthfully, it never has been nor should it be. Democracy is worth fighting for.

  42. 1mime says:

    Being Ted Cruz means never having to apologize.

    And that, dear friends, says it all.

  43. rightonrush says:

    It’s gonna be interesting to see if Jeb climbs on board the crazy train.

    • flypusher says:

      I really hope not because if I had to pick one of the GOP hopefuls, he’s one I would consider (despite my low opinion of his brother). But I won’t be shocked if he does.

      I also don’t care for his neocon advisors.

      • vikinghou says:

        I also remember and won’t forgive what he did during the Terri Schaivo affair. This is not a reasonable man.

      • flypusher says:

        I’d forgotten about Jeb’s role in that travesty. Yes, that’s a huge strike against him.

        Needless to say, I got an advanced directive notarized. But it’s my understanding that it’s not necessarily iron-clad in all places- a family member could override the person’s wishes against life support.

      • 1mime says:

        Jeb….might consider him….

        His neo-con advisers tell the truth about Jeb, even as he is having trouble making up his mind. Do you really want someone who is a strong proponent for Stand Your Ground, and is flip flopping on immigration and any number of previous positions? How can one believe anything he says as a guarantee for what he will do?

    • way2gosassy says:

      Just my opinion but if Jeb stays center right and gets the nomination he may be the only R on the roster to give Hillary a run for the money. Then again I would like to see more Dems going for the big job.

  44. frank nostril says:

    We on the democratic side can only hope for a Cruz / Carson ticket

  45. stephen says:

    The Democratic Party is salivating hoping that Cruz wins the nomination. His voters are in the minority. But show up during primaries. Just a reminder not all Christian voters are extremist. Most are moderate to progressive. The guy is poisoning the well for any other candidate also as I agree they will go loony toon to win over the primary voter who tends to be rigid right. Cruz’s strategy while might work in the Republican primary will be death in the general election. I think more and more that unless Hilary suffers some catastrophe we will soon be saying Madam President. No wonder the GOP’s establishment hates Cruz so much. I will vote Jeb in the primary if he is still in the race when my state votes. If not I might not even vote in the primary for the President nominee.

    • vikinghou says:

      If Cruz becomes the nominee I’m afraid many Democrats would become complacent and skip the vote.

      • 1mime says:

        You know, this is one time I don’t think that will happen. I believe Ted Cruz will piss off so many people that voting against him (as opposed to “for” someone else) will be more compelling than apathy. He is certain to step in it and if he doesn’t, the crazies who support him, will.

        For this reason alone, I believe Dems (and disenchanted others) will vote. If not now, when?

      • vikinghou says:

        You may be right. In any case, despite Chris’ good arguments to the contrary, I’m having a tough time imagining a GOP self-immolation via a Cruz nomination. We’ll see…

    • EJ says:

      Chris – if Ted Cruz wins the GOP primary, for whom will you vote?

      • goplifer says:

        Doesn’t matter who wins the primary. I’m through sending Republicans to Washington for the foreseeable future. https://goplifer.com/2015/03/21/the-mark-kirk-dilemma/

      • 1mime says:

        Chris, you’re one of the good guys. I know you make that statement with regret for what could have been but isn’t in the cards in the foreseeable future. I oont know of anyone who posts here that doesn’t want a viable, rational Republican Party. The two-party system is critical to America’s democratic process but things have simply become out of control for the GOP.

        Thank you for always being honest and intelligent in your views.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        With the latest developments of wounded combat veteran and triple amputee Democrat Tammy Duckworth announcing her candidacy to run against Mark Kirk, would you be inclined to throw your support her way or just decline to choose a candidate in that race?

      • 1mime says:

        As much as all of us respect Chris’ knowledge about politics and related issues, I don’t think it’s fair to ask him to share his personal voting decisions unless he chooses to. I know how much we all value his opinions but I want to respect his privacy, too.

        Some day maybe the Republican Party will make Chris proud again. It’s not only important for reasonable conservatives, it’s desperately needed for America’s betterment.

      • 1mime says:

        I often criticize (with justification) the extremists and irrational members of the Republican Party. I am a Democrat by registration and by beliefs, but my eyes are wide open to the fact that just as the GOP is becoming too far right, there are forces at work within the Democratic Party that are pulling in opposite directions. There are those who favor greater inclusion and equality and there are those who are hewing to a more fiscally conservative viewpoint. Both are right, IMHO. It will be interesting to see how the Dems work out these differences. It may well be that both parties, Repub and Dem have some work to do in order to be relevant. I’m good with that. It’s healthy and necessary to evolve and respond to the needs of the people.

        http://www.salon.com/2015/04/02/wall_street_democrats_are_on_notice_andrew_cuomo_rahm_emanuel_and_the_partys_new_civil_war_partner/

  46. flypusher says:

    “We need a revival in the country. We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying reform or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform.”

    I vote for “don’t reform”. I see absolutely nothing from the Great Awakening that appeals to me and plenty to give me nightmares. But getting the crazy out on the open is probably necessary.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 472 other followers

%d bloggers like this: