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Friday Talking Points [345] -- Giggles The Pig For Mayor!

[ Posted Friday, May 8th, 2015 – 18:01 PDT ]

When it comes to the 2016 field of Republican presidential candidates, the rule of thumb this time around is obviously going to be "the more, the merrier!" The number of officially-announced Republican candidates actually doubled this week (from three to six), as Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee all tossed their hats into the ring.

Perhaps we should hold a contest to see who can guess closest to the total number of official Republican presidential candidates there will be on the 2016 primary ballot? Hmmm... I'd have to go pretty big on that, and guess somewhere in the range of 14-to-16, personally. Whatever the final number, the first debates will doubtless be pretty crowded (hope they can find enough podiums!).

Of course, there was a hilarious reaction to Fiorina's announcement online, since she had apparently forgotten to buy up all the internet domains containing her own name. So head on over to carlyfiorina.org to see how many people she laid off during her term as the head of Hewlett-Packard! So much for being some sort of tech genius, eh?

In other amusing news of online shenanigans, the anti-drug organization DARE got taken in by a fake news site, and credulously posted an article warning of the horrors of marijuana. Among other shocking (but completely fictional) "facts" in the article was the claim that "for every one joint of marijuana, four teenagers become burdened with pregnancy." Wow, I mean that's just... wow. One joint equals four pregnant teenagers? Dang, sounds like those kids of today are just completely out of control! I mean, even on prom night, that's a pretty unbelievable statistic -- to anyone with an ounce of common sense. Which, of course, was why DARE jumped on board and posted it on their site. That's the funny part -- the unfunny part is that even though study after study shows that DARE is completely ineffectual and does "little or nothing to combat drug use," we still fund it with our federal tax dollars.

At the state level, an important reform seems to be gathering momentum, as Montana becomes the latest state to reform their asset forfeiture laws. These are programs where the cops basically legally commit highway robbery, and then you have to sue them to get your money or property back. Think that's hyperbole? You decide -- here's the explanation from the article:

Civil asset forfeiture is a controversial legal tool that allows police to seize property they suspect of being related to criminal activity, without first obtaining a conviction or even charging its owner with a crime. Property -- including cash, jewelry, cars and houses -- is then turned for a profit, part of which flows back to the department that made the seizure. This process often forces owners to wage costly court battles to prove their property was obtained legally. Critics also claim it has created a system of "policing for profit" that leads officers to prioritize seizures so they can use the resulting funds to pad their budgets.

Montana is changing their laws so that the person involved has to be convicted of a crime before their assets can be seized. What a radical idea! However, the real change that needs to come is at the federal level, since the D.E.A. still thinks asset seizure is a dandy idea. Here's just one case in point, that of a 22-year-old who had saved up enough money to produce a music video in Hollywood, and was traveling to California to realize his dream:

[Joseph] Rivers changed trains at the Amtrak station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 15, with bags containing his clothes, other possessions and an envelope filled with the $16,000 in cash he had raised with the help of his family, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration got on after him and began looking for people who might be trafficking drugs.

Rivers said the agents questioned passengers at random, asking for their destination and reason for travel. When one of the agents got to Rivers, who was the only black person in his car, according to witnesses, the agent took the interrogation further, asking to search his bags. Rivers complied. The agent found the cash -- still in a bank envelope -- and decided to seize it on suspicion that it may be tied to narcotics. River pleaded with the agents, explaining his situation and even putting his mother on the phone to verify the story.

No luck.

"These officers took everything that I had worked so hard to save and even money that was given to me by family that believed in me," Rivers told the Journal. "I told (the D.E.A. agents) I had no money and no means to survive in Los Angeles if they took my money. They informed me that it was my responsibility to figure out how I was going to do that."

In other words, they've taken the program to new lows -- now they're not just committing blatant highway robbery, they have moved on to train robbery as well. Welcome to the wild, wild West.

In other news of epic fleecing, we have the Iowa straw poll. This is a quadrennial contest where Republican presidential candidates vie with each other to see who is best at the outright purchasing of votes. The entire thing is a scam, designed to redistribute cash from the candidates' campaigns into the coffers of the Iowa Republican Party, and always has been. But they seem to be worried now that nobody's going to take them seriously any more, so they have decided to change some of their money-grubbing ways. Of course, this has nothing to do (perish the thought!) with the fact that the entire thing is a pointless and meaningless waste of time, effort, and money for all the candidates concerned. Need proof? Last time around, the winner of the straw poll was Michele Bachmann. 'Nuff said.

Which is a good segue (as good as any) into discussing corruption in high places. The Republican leader in the New York state senate, Dean Skelos, is about to be arrested (with his son) on federal corruption charges, which are expected to include conspiracy, extortion, and solicitation of bribes. Democrats, however, shouldn't be even the tiniest bit smug about hearing this news, since it was precluded by New York state assembly speaker Sheldon Silver being arrested in January on similar charges. The U.S. Attorney digging out all this calls New York's "one of the most corrupt governments in the nation." Will more indictments follow? Is Governor Andrew Cuomo getting nervous yet?

This is a dandy occasion, once again, to plug a very deserving project, the push to create an Albany Museum of Political Corruption. What better place than Albany, after all, to open the first political corruption museum in the country?

From the "you can't make this stuff up, folks" file, we find the story this week of Giggles the Pig, who is running for mayor of Flint, Michigan. The owner of the pig, Michael Ewing, is running Giggles as a protest about the quality of the other candidates on the ballot, which include not only a convicted murderer but also someone convicted of driving drunk "with three flat tires -- while driving the wrong direction on the highway." Ewing made a statement for his pig:

So, yes, I am running Giggles the Pig for Mayor of Flint. I hope that you will vote for her as a mayoral candidate who has never murdered a human. She has never placed citizens in harm by driving drunk on the highway, and has never interrupted public business and public meetings. She is a sweet and intelligent animal -- which is more than can be said for some candidates.

Now, porky candidates are nothing new in American politics. The most famous pig candidate (ham-didate?) of all time was, of course, Pigasus, whom the Yippie Party nominated for president in 1968. But Giggles seems to have a better chance of actually winning than any previous candidate from the porcine-American community. The article amusingly ends with: "due to a recent ballot slip-up, all candidates must run as write-ins. Meaning, Giggles could conceivably win."

More power to Giggles the Pig. Run, piggy, run! Heh.

But finally, we have to end on a somber note. We know it's not political, but recently there was some sad news from the world of science fiction. Grace Lee Whitney, the actress who portrayed Yeoman Janice Rand on the original Star Trek television series, passed away this week. To anyone who grew up watching Star Trek reruns, this is indeed a loss. An astounding piece of trivia: Yeoman Rand only appeared in seven episodes (out of a total of over 70) of the original series, which has to be seen as a measure of her outsized impact. Live long and prosper, Yeoman Rand!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

If we knew who was behind it, we would gladly award an Honorable Mention to the creators of carlyfiorina.org, for ruining her announcement that she's running for president. The only rationale for nominating Carly Fiorina (other than her gender) is that she knows the business world and knows the tech world. The inability to see the need to purchase all the correct domain names for her candidacy has to be seen as an epic failure on both counts. Indeed, we hope the site will be up for the entire election season, as a reminder of this failure.

But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week goes out to a Democratic candidate for president, Hillary Clinton. One of the fears from some Democrats about Hillary is that she would be "too timid" and too centered on focus groups and triangulation rather than standing up for what is right. An immediate criticism (from the media) over Clinton was that she hadn't laid out her entire campaign platform on Day One of her run. Since then, Clinton has given two major policy speeches, on sentencing reform and (this week) on immigration reform. In both of them, she clearly laid out what she believes and staked out a position that went farther than many had predicted. In both cases, she is painting a clear contrast between herself and virtually the entire Republican field. That's a pretty impressive beginning, we have to say.

To be scrupulously fair, just as we didn't jump on board the conventional wisdom of "Hillary should lay out all her positions right now!" we're not going to likewise jump on board the "Republicans have no reaction to Hillary's new immigration position!" bandwagon either. The presidential race is just beginning, folks. There'll be time for all candidates to flesh out their positions, never fear. However, there was one interesting reaction to report, from a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party: "Republicans' intransigence has created an obvious opportunity for Hillary to rip off our arms and beat us with the bloody ends. She's expertly exploiting our party's internal problems." That is exactly right, and exactly what she's going to continue to do.

Hillary is now on record with a position on immigration reform that is even more sweeping than what Obama has already announced. The only Republicans even close to her position would be Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, but both of them are terrified to call for any sort of "path to citizenship" because they know what all the other GOP candidates in the race are going to be saying about such an idea. So while the rest of the Republican field will be screaming "amnesty!' at the top of their lungs, Clinton has increased the pressure on both Bush and Rubio to clarify their own positions. Rubio, especially, wants to have it both ways on the subject. Clinton has signaled she won't let him get away with such waffling.

That's pretty impressive, for only her second major speech. Clinton notoriously waffled on the issue herself (specifically: driver's licenses for illegal immigrants) in 2008, but she's now put that behind her. For her strong stance on immigration reform and citizenship, and for forcefully stating her position in her speech, Hillary Clinton is this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week.

[Our standing policy is to not provide links to any official campaign websites, so you'll have to search out Hillary Clinton's contact info yourself, sorry.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

For the second week in a row, we really don't have any candidate who qualifies for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. We only even came up with two possibilities, neither of which merited the full MDDOTW award.

Kamala Harris, California's attorney general who is now running for U.S. Senate, was in the news in a bizarre way after an aide was arrested for "impersonating a police officer after he claimed that he belonged to a secret police force that has existed for over 3,000 years and has jurisdiction over 33 states and Mexico City." Um, OK.

We also considered Michael Moore (famously from Flint, Michigan), since he has yet to throw his full support behind Giggles the Pig's candidacy, but we decided that that was too cheap a shot.

So, unless anyone's got any suggestions in the comments, for the second straight week we're left with no candidates for this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. Feel free to nominate whomever you think is worthy.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 345 (5/8/15)

Before we begin, we thought we'd highlight an opinion piece written for the Washington Post by Senator Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. It is well worth a read for any Democrat interested in the future of the party.

They provide a laundry list of issues that Democrats should be concentrating upon in the upcoming campaign season. In fact, we would go further and suggest that this should be the core framework for the official 2016 platform of the Democratic Party.

They're not exactly talking points, but the article is definitely worth reading in full, to see the scope of their ideas. In fact, even though we didn't mention it previously, we'd like to award an Honorable Mention to both Warren and de Blasio.

With that out of the way, let's get right to this week's talking points.

 

1
   Second-class status is unacceptable

This first one is specifically designed to reinforce Hillary Clinton's bold stand on immigration reform. One phrase, in particular.

"Hillary Clinton is right. Even the most moderate Republicans can only bring themselves to supporting some sort of watered down 'legal status' for undocumented immigrants, at best. There are two real differences between a green card holder and a citizen: eligibility to serve on juries, and the right to vote. Guess which one Republicans are afraid of? They're terrified of more Latinos becoming citizens (even though it would take them over a decade under the Senate bill), and the best they can manage is mealy-mouthed support for second-class status. I think that's wrong, and I'm glad to agree with Clinton. Second-class status is not good enough. Immigration reform has to offer a path to citizenship or else it is not true reform. I refuse to accept that second-class status is the best we can do."

 

2
   Unemployment down, again

If you don't point it out, people don't pay attention.

"I see that the unemployment rate continues to go down, and now stands at 5.4 percent. This is approaching the milestone of being half what it was at the depths of the Great Recession. As President Obama took office, we were losing 750,000 jobs per month and the unemployment rate hit 10.0 percent. We just added over 220,000 jobs last month and the rate should be around 5.0 percent within a few months. That's a pretty impressive turnaround, even if it did take longer than expected. Barack Obama is on track to creating more than 10 million private-sector jobs during his term in office. So much for all that 'job-killer' nonsense from Republicans, eh?"

 

3
   Snowden was right

This was a big story, and since Congress is considering what to do right now (the USA PATRIOT Act expires soon, and will turn into a pumpkin if Congress doesn't act), it's a point well-worth making.

"Edward Snowden was right, as an appellate court just unanimously ruled that the National Security Agency is illegally collecting massive amounts of phone data. Without any legal justification for the program, it should be allowed to expire. For all the detractors of Snowden, if he hadn't leaked what he leaked, we never would have gotten to the point where federal appeals judges are striking down the mass retention of data on American citizens' phone usage in such a fashion. At the risk of repeating myself: Edward Snowden was right. This unconstitutional program needs to end, and civil rights need to be restored to all Americans."

 

4
   McConnell follows Reid's playbook

The Republicans in the Senate showed some hypocrisy this week, so it'd be helpful to point it out.

"Republicans have been complaining for years about how Harry Reid didn't allow them to vote on their poison-pill amendments to vital bills, in an effort to kill them. Which makes it notable how this week Mitch McConnell used exactly the same tactic as Harry Reid to quash all kinds of amendments from his own party. By doing so, he got a near-unanimous vote on the deal worked out to let Congress have a say in the Iran nuclear agreement. But it certainly was amusing to see McConnell channel his inner Reid this week. It'll be interesting to see if John Boehner has to do the same thing over in the House, won't it?"

 

5
   Not supporting the troops

Over in the House, we have some more Republican hypocrisy to expose.

"Republican House members all love to swear that they 'support the troops' out on the campaign trail, but when it comes down to actually supporting the troops, they are much happier to support the right of predatory lenders to rip the troops off. Instead of 'listening to the generals' (as they also love to swear to always do), the House Republicans tried this week to delay new rules from the Department of Defense to protect American servicemen and servicewomen from payday lenders who charge rates that would make a loan shark blush. Democrats voted to implement these protections, because they actually mean it when they say they support the troops. Republicans -- shamefully -- voted to gut the new rules for another year, so that extortionate leeches can make millions in profits off our brave men and women in uniform. This is an absolute disgrace, and any Republican who voted for it should never again be allowed to get away with uttering the words 'support our troops,' because they should be exposed for the flaming hypocrites they truly are."

 

6
   Texas invasion!

This one is just ridiculous.

"A bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorists are quaking in their boots because they think the United States military is somehow going to invade Texas. Or declare martial law. Or something. The truth of the matter is the military is performing a training exercise called Jade Helm, with no nefarious intent whatsoever. But it sure seems to be bringing out the whack jobs down in Texas. I call upon every Texas Republican to repeat after me: 'The military is not invading Texas. It just ain't happening. To believe otherwise is sheer lunacy.' There -- that wasn't so hard, was it?"

 

7
   So how, exactly, would he know?

Freudian slip? You decide....

"For some, Obama Derangement Syndrome just keeps getting worse. After President Obama made a joke at the White House Correspondents' Dinner this year at the expense of Michele Bachmann, a Christian radio host proclaimed his readiness to take the president to task, while using a rather unusual phrase. Rick Wiles said, and I quote: 'I realize most American pastors and evangelists are afraid to denounce the uncircumcised philistine in the White House, but I'm not afraid of him.' Um... OK. This begs the question, of course. How, exactly, does Wiles know the circumcision status of President Obama's penis?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

48 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [345] -- Giggles The Pig For Mayor!”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Edward Snowden is a hero. Good God ...

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm beginning to think, finally and at long last, that the US may very well be in a sad state of decline ...

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, if America has lost me, then good night and good luck ...

  4. [4] 
    Paula wrote:

    It has been a rather good week for Dems. I'm liking Hillary's speeches, stated positions and tactics. So far so good!

    I agree Edward Snowden was right. He should be pardoned and allowed to come home. If Petraus gets a slap on the wrist, Snowden can get a pardon. Snowden acted out of conscience whereas it appears Petraus was betrayed by his libido. But then Snowden defied the powers-that-be and Petraus was their poster-boy.

    The repub refusal to protect veterans from predatory lenders is a perfect illustration of their true values.

  5. [5] 
    Paula wrote:

    Didn't mean to italicize the whole post. Must not have closed the -- o0ps.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, they've taken the program to new lows -- now they're not just committing blatant highway robbery, they have moved on to train robbery as well. Welcome to the wild, wild West.

    Do you know who has spearheaded civil forfeiture laws??

    AG Loretta Lynch...

    I'm just sayin'....

    But finally, we have to end on a somber note. We know it's not political, but recently there was some sad news from the world of science fiction. Grace Lee Whitney, the actress who portrayed Yeoman Janice Rand on the original Star Trek television series, passed away this week. To anyone who grew up watching Star Trek reruns, this is indeed a loss. An astounding piece of trivia: Yeoman Rand only appeared in seven episodes (out of a total of over 70) of the original series, which has to be seen as a measure of her outsized impact. Live long and prosper, Yeoman Rand!

    Here, here... Well said...

    The only rationale for nominating Carly Fiorina (other than her gender) is that she knows the business world and knows the tech world. The inability to see the need to purchase all the correct domain names for her candidacy has to be seen as an epic failure on both counts. Indeed, we hope the site will be up for the entire election season, as a reminder of this failure.

    But our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week goes out to a Democratic candidate for president, Hillary Clinton.

    And the only rationale for Hillary running is her gender..

    She hasn't accomplished jack squat.. The ONLY reason she is a viable candidate is because of her gender and her name..

    Unemployment down, again

    Actually, when one considers ALL the factors rather than just cherry picking, unemployment has risen to about 11%..

    McConnell follows Reid's playbook

    No fun being on the receiving end of such antics, eh? :D

    "A bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorists are quaking in their boots because they think the United States military is somehow going to invade Texas. Or declare martial law. Or something. The truth of the matter is the military is performing a training exercise called Jade Helm, with no nefarious intent whatsoever. But it sure seems to be bringing out the whack jobs down in Texas. I call upon every Texas Republican to repeat after me: 'The military is not invading Texas. It just ain't happening. To believe otherwise is sheer lunacy.' There -- that wasn't so hard, was it?"

    The exercise has declared GOP areas as hostile territory...

    Who is the moron in the Obama Administration who thought THAT would be a good idea??

    I am guessing the moron is Obama himself..

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Edward Snowden is a hero. Good God ...

    I am actually torn on Snowden...

    On the one hand, anyone that shows up Obama for the liar and hypocrite he is can't be all bad...

    On the other hand, Snowden has done incalculable harm to our intelligence apparatus and made protecting this country, a Herculean task to begin with, all the more hard...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [1] -

    Without commenting on the hero question, without Snowden, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Surely that's of some value?

    Paula [5] -

    Closed the tag where I thought you'd want it. Apologies if I got it wrong...

    [4] -

    EXCELLENT point vis à vis Snowden and Petraeus and relative penalties. Just had to say that...

    Michale [6] -

    Loretta Lynch must have been in high school when the whole asset forfeiture thing got going in the 1980s. Nice try, though. You can lay this at the feet of Nancy and Ronald Reagan. That's when it got going, after all.

    On a somber note, I thought you'd agree with the Yeoman Rand honors...

    As for Hillary, want to bet some quatloos as to how she'll do as opposed to Fiorina's chances? Heh. Didn't think so....

    I remember you complaining about the U6 rate when it was like 17%... so are you ready to admit it's come down to 11% now? Heh.

    As for McConnell's antics, the only ones on the receiving end of that were the hardliner Republicans, so I have no idea what you're talking aobut. McConnell used the same tactics as Reid to get something done in the face of Tea Party intransigence. Hard to pin that on Dems, really.

    AS for Jade Helm, didn't it also declare parts of California "enemy territory"? Seriously, dude, drop this tinfoil-hat idiocy now, you'll thank me later....

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    As promised

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    -The First Amendment Of The Constitution Of The United States of America

    A while ago, when CW was arguing for the freedom of the press, he made the point that Freedom Of The Press was part of the VERY first amendment... In the Bill Of Rights, freedom of the press comes first.

    That, so the reasoning went, illustrates how important the founding fathers placed in freedom of the press..

    I agree with that reasoning..

    Now let's apply that reasoning to the First Amendment itself..

    What do you notice about it??

    Before Freedom Of The Press, before Freedom of Assembly, even before Free Speech...

    The ONE thing mentioned first and foremost in our US Constitution...

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

    Using the established and valid reasoning, the only logical conclusion is that our founding fathers placed freedom of religion **AND** prohibiting laws that prevent the free exercise thereof to be THE most important freedom we have...

    "Simple logic."
    -Admiral James T Kirk

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Loretta Lynch must have been in high school when the whole asset forfeiture thing got going in the 1980s.

    That doesn't mean she didn't spear head and use the civil forfeiture laws in her area...

    Would you like links?? :D

    I remember you complaining about the U6 rate when it was like 17%... so are you ready to admit it's come down to 11% now? Heh.,

    It was actually down to 9% but it has gone back up to 11%....

    But the REAL test on the economy is to ask Joe and Jane Sixpack if their lives are any better..

    Wanna bet the answer?? :D

    AS for Jade Helm, didn't it also declare parts of California "enemy territory"? Seriously, dude, drop this tinfoil-hat idiocy now, you'll thank me later....

    Nope, Utah and Texas are "enemy areas"...

    Ya gotta admit, that is totally moronic.. It's like using the IRS to discriminate against Tea Party groups...

    On another note, what about that election in Britian, eh?? :D

    First Israel now the UK... The Left get's all their hopes up and then reality sets in and Lefty leaders are resigning all over the place!! :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    AS for Jade Helm, didn't it also declare parts of California "enemy territory"? Seriously, dude, drop this tinfoil-hat idiocy now, you'll thank me later....

    Nope, Utah and Texas are "enemy areas"...

    Ya gotta admit, that is totally moronic.. It's like using the IRS to discriminate against Tea Party groups...

    There is an "Insurgent Pocket" in San Diego & Imperial Counties which is just... insulting as San Diego is my home town..

    But, other than that....

    https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2015/03/JADE-Helm-15.jpg&w=1484

    Now, I don't think for a minute that the Obama Administration is "invading" Texas or Utah...

    But it's just like our little boy King to designate his political enemies as "Enemy Areas"....

    Strictly from a PR standpoint, it's moronic...

    But it's just another indication that Obama was totally lying when he said there is no Red State or Blue State only a United States...

    Obama has been one of the biggest divisive Presidents of our time..

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for Hillary, want to bet some quatloos as to how she'll do as opposed to Fiorina's chances? Heh. Didn't think so....

    "They can't go anywhere else. I'm the only caterer in town!!"
    -The Flintstones

    Let's see, on the Left, there is an old white rich lady with zero leadership experience.. Except for maybe dodging snipers in Bosnia...

    On the Right, we have white guys and black guys, men and women, millionaires and those from humble beginnings..

    I saids it befores and I'll says it agains...

    When it comes to diversity, the GOP is takin' the Dem Party to school! :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    AS for Jade Helm, didn't it also declare parts of California "enemy territory"? Seriously, dude, drop this tinfoil-hat idiocy now, you'll thank me later....

    How would the Left react if President Dick Cheney had instigated a massive three month exercise, using military members disguised as civilians and declared Oregon and California as "enemy areas"???

    I would imagine the reaction from the Left would be exactly the same...

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    he "Christian" bakers would be a lot better off if they went by the Ferengi Rule Of Acquisition #57 from Deep Space 9: "Good customers are almost as rare as latinum...treasure them."

    So, let me see if I have this straight...

    Ya'all demonize Corporations when they act like Ferengi... Putting profits before principles & values......

    AND...

    Ya'all demonize christians when they DON'T act like Ferengi. When they put principles and values BEFORE profits...

    Once again... Does not compute... :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I think that Huckabilly's defense of SSI and Medicare should earn him a Most Impressive Clown Car Passenger Of The Week award. I seriously doubt that he'll win the nomination, but I'm pulling for him to hang in there as long as possible. He's pushing the GOP in the direction of the socialism while simultaneously sliming them with lots of Jesusy knuckle-dragging. Win-win!

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Without commenting on the hero question, without Snowden, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Surely that's of some value?

    What has been the value of the conversation, thus far?

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Have you ever noticed that Tom Brady and Hillary Clinton are very much alike..

    They both think they can do what they want and the rules don't apply to them...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Stay tuned for the further radio adventures of Dick Wiles, conservative penis inspector.....

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Stay tuned for the further radio adventures of Dick Wiles, conservative penis inspector.....

    Why??? :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [9] -

    You're putting words in my mouth. I've argued that the press is unique because it is the only PROFESSION mentioned at all in the Constitution. The whole "first amendment is most important" is a silly argument, in my mind. First, I think it was actually the third amendment when the bill of rights was proposed (originally 12 amendments, 2 didn't make the cut). Second, I think all the BOR amendments have equal weight and importance.

    I mean, I get what you're saying, but what I'm saying is you didn't get that argument from me, that's all.

    It was actually down to 9% but it has gone back up to 11%....

    BZZZZT!!! Thanks for playing... here's a nice chart to see why you are completely wrong:

    http://www.macrotrends.net/1377/u6-unemployment-rate

    Note that steady trend downwards for all lines. U6 was 8-10% under Bush, that's another thing worth noting.

    [11] -

    You really think President Obama busted into a Pentagon meeting and said "here's where the enemy areas for your training drill will be!"

    Hoooooo-kay.

    [13] -

    Um, no. I bet there were lots of training exercises under Cheney/Bush (hint: the recent one is called "Jade Helm 15" so I assume 14 others preceded it...). And the left didn't care, because the left doesn't go bonkers over such silliness. It wasn't the left warning of black helicopters back in the 1990s, for instance...

    John From Censornati [15] -

    The Huckster's campaign certainly is going to be interesting, that's for sure!

    LizM [16] -

    The conversation has begun a movement towards restoring the 4th Amendment and our civil right not to be spied upon by our government. That's Snowden's value, at least to me. Absent Snowden, we simply would not be where we are now.

    -CW

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, I get what you're saying, but what I'm saying is you didn't get that argument from me, that's all.

    Fair enough. That may not have been the argument you were making but it's a good argument to make...

    You really think President Obama busted into a Pentagon meeting and said "here's where the enemy areas for your training drill will be!"

    Of course not..

    But if you think that Obama didn't have anything to do with Jade Helm 15, I have some swampland down here abouts I want to sell ya :D

    Um, no. I bet there were lots of training exercises under Cheney/Bush (hint: the recent one is called "Jade Helm 15" so I assume 14 others preceded it...).

    Where Liberal strongholds were designated "enemy areas"??? You'll have to prove that to me..

    And the left didn't care, because the left doesn't go bonkers over such silliness.

    Yea... The Left never accused Bush of working with MOSSAD in orchestrating 9/11.. :^/

    Remember. AT night.. Not LAST night.. :D

    It wasn't the left warning of black helicopters back in the 1990s, for instance...

    It wasn't??? :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The conversation has begun a movement towards restoring the 4th Amendment and our civil right not to be spied upon by our government. That's Snowden's value, at least to me. Absent Snowden, we simply would not be where we are now.

    Except that no one was being spied upon without a court-ordered warrant.

    What wrongdoing has Snowden uncovered?

    Given the world we live in, there was a better way to do this than the way Snowden chose to operate.

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Given the world we live in, there was a better way to do this than the way Snowden chose to operate.

    Hooooraaaaa!

    Truer words were never spoken...

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Um, no. I bet there were lots of training exercises under Cheney/Bush (hint: the recent one is called "Jade Helm 15" so I assume 14 others preceded it...).

    The problem here is one of trust...

    The majority of Americans simply do not trust Obama any more..

    And because of that trust deficit, conspiracy theories are given a LOT more credence than would normally.

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Hawk Owl wrote:

    I didn't see anyone else commenting on "Talking Point Number 5" so I will weigh in on it. I retired many years ago from a position wherein I provided counseling to sailors, marines, airmen/women, and soldiers. The most disturbing reality I dealt with often was their vulnerability to unscrupulous loan sharks who preyed upon them with deceptive language masking their loan-shark tactics from young, inexperienced recruits just out of high-school.
    There was talk of ending such practices with tough regulations but, years & years later, NOTHING has been done. This is a true scandal which Congress has shied away from for a long time. Now just who do you think has been pressuring (read $) them for this inactivity? I'm not sure either party's solely responsible, but both of them have ignored this problem forever.

  26. [26] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 9

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

    Using the established and valid reasoning, the only logical conclusion is that our founding fathers placed freedom of religion **AND** prohibiting laws that prevent the free exercise thereof to be THE most important freedom we have...

    "Simple logic."
    -Admiral James T Kirk

    Except, the Supreme Court disagreed with you, and your simple logic, in Reynolds vs US 1870.

    The Court wrote "Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices." The court also note that failure to make this distinction and "would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself."

    As in human sacrifice, all you passionate worshipers of Baal. Or crashing airliners into the World Trade Center on account of your sincerely held religious beliefs about infidels, green carpets and virgins.

    This decision has been elaborated on by later Court Decisions, but never overturned. I find the modestly more complicated logic of the Supreme Court superior.

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Truer words were never spoken...

    That is precisely why I am not conflicted about Snowden ... not in the least.

    There were so many ways he could have gone about this, the way the Obama admin has treated "whistleblowers", notwithstanding.

    In my not so humble opinion, Snowden is a coward who does not believe in what he says are his principles and convictions. And, the only way he can redeem himself, in my mind, is to come back to the US and defend his actions. That he does not do that tells me everything I need to know about him.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    TS,

    As in human sacrifice, all you passionate worshipers of Baal. Or crashing airliners into the World Trade Center on account of your sincerely held religious beliefs about infidels, green carpets and virgins.

    And, if we were talking about christian business owners wanting to sacrifice gay couples on the altar of their religion, then you would have a point.

    But we're not, so you don't.. :D

    I think the doctrine of the bigger evil is applicable here..

    What's the bigger evil??

    A gay couple has to go down the block to a different business??

    OR...

    A christian must totally violate their beliefs, values and principles??

    The answer is self-evident..

    By forcing christians (but not muslims or any other religion) to violate their beliefs simply for the convenience of a small minority of people is passing a law preventing the free exercise of religion.

    Something the VERY first part of the VERY first amendment prohibits..

    As I have said, I am as religiously agnostic as they come.. But, christians DO have a good argument... An argument that far FAR outweighs the argument of the gay activists..

    Liz,

    In my not so humble opinion, Snowden is a coward who does not believe in what he says are his principles and convictions. And, the only way he can redeem himself, in my mind, is to come back to the US and defend his actions. That he does not do that tells me everything I need to know about him.

    Yer preaching to the choir on that point.

    The simple fact that he had to do what he did via China and Russia proves he's not the patriot he claims to be..

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Elizabeth (Warren) is a politician just like everybody else.”
    -President Barack Obama

    Oooooooo, and the ref takes a point a way!!

    The dirty name-calling commences!!

    It will be interesting to see which hero the hysterical Left backs... :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M-28

    The Constitution may fit in your pocket but constitutional law does not. Legal opinion does not agree with your absolutist interpretation of the 1st amendment. The Supreme Court has decided that doing something does not imply you believe in what you doing. The law cannot make you believe (I cite you as evidence) or stop you from complaining (again, you), but it can, in principle and in fact, make you do, or damn well wish you had done. Including cake, whether there is another shop down the block or not.

    It's not a Christian thing. Jews don't believe you should eat or associate with pigs. Big Pork gets big Federal subsidies but Jews do not get a Pork Subsidy deduction or refund. Jews are effectively forced, yes forced, to subsidize pork. They live with it without changing their beliefs. You can't always get what you want, and that includes majorities.

    The order of the Bill of Rights has no legal implications, that's just grasping-at-straws- nonsense (and I believe the Grand Poobah hizself has already called you out on that one).

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's not a Christian thing.

    Not according to the law, you're right..

    But it IS a "christian thing" as far as the Left is concerned.. There is incontrovertible evidence to prove that...

    The order of the Bill of Rights has no legal implications, that's just grasping-at-straws- nonsense (and I believe the Grand Poobah hizself has already called you out on that one).

    No one said it has any legal implications..

    But it's a pretty good indication of the thoughts and intentions of the founding fathers..

    As the Grand Poobah hizself stated when they included Freedom of The Press, the ONLY profession mentioned, within the BoR...

    Obviously, the FFs felt that it was an important enough profession to carve out protections for it in the BoR...

    The fact that it was mentioned is a good indication of how the FFs felt about it.

    The fact that freedom of religion is mentioned first and foremost before ANY other freedom is ALSO a good indication of how the FFs felt about it..

    Do you think I LIKE that!?? Do you think I enjoy saying that the Founding Fathers placed Freedom Of Religion before ANY freedom, INCLUDING Freedom Of Speech..

    Hell no.. I hate it... Religion is crutch for people who can't handle reality..

    But the facts are the facts...

    And the FACT that FoR is mentioned as THE very first freedom is a good indication of the importance the founding fathers placed on it..

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it..

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hell no.. I hate it... Religion is crutch for people who can't handle reality..

    Which isn't to say that crutches aren't important to people..

    Some have a god...

    I have my beer.. :D

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    or stop you from complaining (again, you),

    Or stop gay people from complaining when they can't get their lifestyle accepted by the Christian Club...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:
  35. [35] 
    Paula wrote:

    TheStig (30): Yep!

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    TheStig (30): Yep!

    Actually, I already showed how wrong TS is... :D

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, in other news..

    What if Obama gave a WE ALL SHOULD LOVE IRAN party and nobody came??

    America's Collapsing Alliances
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/americas-collapsing-alliances_943617.html

    4 of the 6 Gulf leaders slated to attend Obama's Camp David shin-dig have told Obama, "Thanx, but no thanx.. We're too busy to listen how Iran is such an honorable country."

    Obama's foreign policy legacy is in the toilet...

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    "A bunch of paranoid conspiracy theorists are quaking in their boots because they think the United States military is somehow going to invade Texas. Or declare martial law. Or something. The truth of the matter is the military is performing a training exercise called Jade Helm, with no nefarious intent whatsoever. But it sure seems to be bringing out the whack jobs down in Texas. I call upon every Texas Republican to repeat after me: 'The military is not invading Texas. It just ain't happening. To believe otherwise is sheer lunacy.' There -- that wasn't so hard, was it?"

    I am constrained to point out that, in a 2006 poll a majority.. A MAJORITY of Democrats thought it was VERY Likely or SOMEWHAT Likely that Bush was complicit in the 9/11 attacks..

    A.... MAJORITY....

    So, do you REALLY want to point the finger at GOP nuttery??

    Forget politics and partisanship and look at things objectively..

    Imagine a President Cruz becomes POTUS in 2017... President Cruz lists La Raza, MoveOn.org, and the Southern Poverty Law Center as extremist groups.

    Cruz's IRS starts to crack down on Progressive groups...

    Cruz purges a LOT of Military leaders who don't support his agenda...

    Cruz states that those who support amnesty for illegal immigrants are "terrorists" and "arsonists" etc etc...

    THEN, in this environment, a far reaching military exercise is announced that designates listed deep-blue locations such as Manhattan, the Bay Area, and Cambridge, Mass., as “hostile,” while conservative suburban communities were all listed as “friendly.”

    Again, being objective and dispassionate... Wouldn't the EXACT same reaction come from the Left as is coming from the Right in the here and now?

    Of course it would...

    The idea that Obama's Administration would attack Texas is ridiculous...

    The facts that lead people to this type of belief are not...

    It all comes down to a question of trust...

    The American people don't trust Obama..

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course, there was a hilarious reaction to Fiorina's announcement online, since she had apparently forgotten to buy up all the internet domains containing her own name. So head on over to carlyfiorina.org to see how many people she laid off during her term as the head of Hewlett-Packard!

    Yea??

    Go check out chucktodd.org and sethmeyers.org

    These guys are in the BUSINESS of selling themselves... :D

    So, ya see, it's easy to see how to make a simple mistake...

    Check yer email, CW... :D

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    What if Obama gave a WE ALL SHOULD LOVE IRAN party and nobody came??

    There are two reasons for the boycott.

    The first is that the “key Arab allies” already know that Obama, who genuinely believes he is always right, does not listen to anybody.
    The Camp David exercise, therefore, is designed only as an occasion to admire Obama’s strategy and celebrate his “historic achievement” in accepting Iran’s position as a “threshold nuclear power.”
    The second reason is that Arabs already know what Obama is going to say.
    “Obama made it clear he wanted an accord with Iran under any circumstances,” a senior Arab official recently told me, on condition of anonymity.

    -Obama’s lonely ‘Arab Summit’
    http://nypost.com/2015/05/11/obamas-lonely-arab-summit/

    No one but Obama and his supporters believes that the Iran deal is a good deal...

    NO.... ONE.....

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other words, they've taken the program to new lows -- now they're not just committing blatant highway robbery, they have moved on to train robbery as well. Welcome to the wild, wild West.

    Do you know who has spearheaded civil forfeiture laws??

    AG Loretta Lynch...

    I'm just sayin'....

    Obama's IRS is STILL doing civil forfeiture when there is no evidence of criminality...

    The IRS Seized $107,000 From This North Carolina Man’s Bank Account. Now, He’s Fighting to Get It Back.
    http://dailysignal.com/2015/05/11/the-irs-seized-107000-from-this-north-carolina-mans-bank-account-now-hes-fighting-to-get-it-back/

    Where's the outrage, Weigantians???

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Want to see a sci-fi geek's head explode??

    "These aren't the Toasters you are looking for..."
    -Daniel Jackson

    :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm sorry, I just HAD to do it... :D

  44. [44] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Hell no.. I hate it... Religion is crutch for people who can't handle reality...

    my wife would love you for saying that. my reply to her when she says much the same: assuming we live in a godless universe, what freedom of religion ultimately amounts to is freedom of imagination - you can't tell people what to believe or not believe in, because even if most of the ridiculous beliefs will never be true, someday a few of them might.

    JL

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    my wife would love you for saying that.

    She's obviously a very intelligent, insightful and wonderful person... :D

    assuming we live in a godless universe, what freedom of religion ultimately amounts to is freedom of imagination - you can't tell people what to believe or not believe in, because even if most of the ridiculous beliefs will never be true, someday a few of them might.

    "I will compare and confess Jesus Christ and Spiderman"
    -Robin Williams, LIVE AT THE MET

    I have no problem with people believing in whatever they wish to..

    My dander only gets up when they claim that THEIR belief is sacrosanct and all other beliefs are horse shit..

    Hence all the intense ...er.. "discussions" we have here in Weigantia... :D

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    My dander only gets up when they claim that THEIR belief is sacrosanct and all other beliefs are horse shit..

    Present company excepted, of course.. :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    She's obviously a very intelligent, insightful and wonderful person... :D

    on this we agree!

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    Good answer... :D

    Michale

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