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Friday Talking Points [347] -- Spinning Straw (Polls) Into Gold

[ Posted Friday, May 22nd, 2015 – 17:03 PDT ]

It's one of those rare weeks in Washington where Congress deigns to actually do their job and vote on some stuff... before lapsing back into their default status, which is of course: "taking weeks and weeks off, on vacation."

Most of the attention was focused on two big issues this week, authorizing fast-track trade authority and re-authorizing sections of the USA PATRIOT Act. As this is being written, neither one has actually passed the Senate, but it's looking like at least the fast-track bill will probably pass tonight.

In the midst of all this, Rand Paul got a little confused. He staged another "fauxlibuster," speaking for over ten hours in the Senate on his opposition to the N.S.A. metadata collection renewal, but (oddly enough) he spoke not while the Senate was debating the USA PATRIOT Act bill, but instead on the fast-track bill. Meaning the whole exercise was rather pointless. Except for the press coverage, which (of course) was actually the whole point. Rand Paul still looked kind of like a hapless student who gave a long-winded oral report on the wrong subject, though.

In other Republican campaign news, two major candidates have now announced they're skipping the Iowa straw poll. Both Jeb Bush and (now) Mike Huckabee will not attend. The only one who may have committed to attending, at this point, is Donald Trump -- if he runs, of course. The entire event is nothing more than a shakedown by the Iowa Republican Party, forcing candidates to spend a whopping amount of money on a meaningless vote, and both Bush and Huckabee smartly decided to say "No, thanks" to the whole idea.

Think "shakedown" is too strong a word? Well, the way the straw poll used to operate is that the Republican Party actually auctioned off choice tent locations to the various candidates -- best spot goes to the highest bidder! Tens of thousands of dollars paid to the party machine just to secure a choice spot for your tent. Candidates also had to pay for such things as electrical hookups, and other extras. But the real scam was that a "ticket" to vote in the straw poll costs $30, which the candidates are free to buy and hand out to their supporters.

The party, stung by such criticism, has reformed the operation so that tent sites are randomly assigned and will cost nothing. Likewise, all the extra fees will be waived. However, they're still sticking with the whole thirty-bucks-per-vote thing, because after all that's the American way. Or something. Call it the fairy tale of "spinning the straw (poll) into gold for our coffers," we suppose.

The moral of the story is that this is a pointless and stupid waste of time and resources for any candidate -- which Huckabee even pointed out in his announcement. After all, let's all reflect on how big a boost the straw poll gave to the last person who won it: Michele Bachmann. Nothing else really needs be said on the importance of the Iowa straw poll, really.

Moving right along, the frenzy over Jeb Bush's answer to whether he'd still have invaded Iraq knowing what he knows now seemed to die away this week. The media has plenty of other valid questions to be asking Republican (and Democratic, for that matter) candidates on the issue of foreign policy, but so far they haven't actually been asking any such questions (more on this later in the talking points segment of our program). In a related topic, the Washington Post ran an interesting graphic this week where you can see exactly how much of your own life has passed while America has been at war. It certainly puts things in perspective.

Barack Obama made a splash this week, when he opened an official "POTUS" Twitter account. Note that this account won't follow him when he leaves the White House, it will always be the official presidential account no matter who is in the Oval Office (much like the whitehouse.gov web page). He immediately set a record on Twitter for "fastest to 1,000,000 followers," which isn't all that surprising. Sadly, it was also not very surprising that he began receiving racist and hateful tweets. But the joke may be on the people sending those tweets, because since the account is an official White House one, it means that all tweets are archived as they come in. So those nasty tweets may come back to haunt quite a few people in the future (say, when they're applying for a job).

The Republic of Ireland has just (as this is being written) finished voting on what could be a historic referendum on marriage equality. If the measure passes, it will be the first time any country on Earth has approved gay marriage at the ballot box (rather than through a legislature or the courts). The votes won't be counted until tomorrow, so we'll all have to wait to see how it did. Turnout was notably high, for whatever that's worth. I wrote about this earlier in the week, and how the arguments for the changing nature of marriage are a bit different in Ireland, where citizens weren't even allowed to get divorced until 1995. In any case, check the news tomorrow to see how Ireland voted.

What else? Marijuana was featured on the cover of the staid National Geographic magazine this week, which has to signify some sort of turning point.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

We're going to be even-handed here, we've decided, and hand out two awards on the same issue.

First, it's now undeniable that President Barack Obama wants a trade deal. Whether you personally think the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a good deal or not, it's hard to dispute that Obama obviously really, really wants to see it enacted.

Obama won a crucial vote this week in the Senate, which moved a "fast-track" authority bill forward. This bill will only allow an up-or-down vote on trade deals in Congress, making it easier to pass the T.P.P. (and other trade deals). It means Congress won't be able to amend any trade negotiations, just vote on them as written.

Now, it's not even guaranteed that the House is going to pass the fast-track bill. The bill stumbled going through the Senate as well, but it appears it will make it in the end (they may have voted on it by the time you read this). Part of the reason for this success was Obama and the White House doing a full-court press on Congress, lobbying like mad. Several senators mentioned that this is the biggest lobbying effort they've ever seen out of this president.

Which is why we're giving Obama a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. Not only did he overcome an initial vote that went against him, but he actively engaged with individuals in Congress -- a skill he's not exactly known for. Now, many Democrats are against the trade deal itself, so please allow us to split hairs on this award. We're giving it to Obama not for the content of the fast-track bill, but for the way he got it passed. We realize that six years in is rather late, but this is indeed the way bills are supposed to be championed by the White House. We sincerely hope Obama will expend this much energy on other (perhaps more palatable) deals with Congress. This is a fancy way of saying "better late than never," really.

But we did say we were going to be even-handed, so our second Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes to Bernie Sanders, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president.

Sanders is against the T.P.P. deal. How do I know this? Because he wrote his position down and published it for all to see. He titles his essay "The T.P.P. Must Be Defeated," which is pretty clear and unequivocal.

Now, it is unfair to compare Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton on the issue, at the present time (Hillary finally said something about it, but it was basically that she's going to wait and see what's in the deal). The reason it's currently unfair to hold the two candidates to the same standard is that Sanders is still a sitting senator. Clinton is not. This means Sanders has access to the secret draft of the deal, and Clinton does not. So the only way to compare their stances on the deal is to wait until the text of the deal is public, when Clinton can read it and make her mind up whether she supports it or not.

Still, Bernie Sanders has to be applauded for strongly stating his own position. Candidates across the political spectrum should emulate such clarity, in fact. Rather than ducking the issue or using weasel words, Sanders wants the public to know precisely why he is against the deal. He has taken a stand.

For fulfilling what should be a basic requirement for anyone running for the highest office in the land -- clearly taking a position and defending it -- Bernie Sanders is indeed worthy of a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week. He's showing the rest of the field (not just Hillary, but also all the Republicans) what true leadership looks like. Agree with him or not, it is crystal clear where Bernie stands. These days, that has to be seen as impressive.

[Congratulate President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, and Senator Bernie Sanders on his Senate contact page, to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Our first inclination when considering who should be a candidate for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week was to revisit the story of Joseph Morrissey, former Democratic state delegate in Virginia. He got sentenced earlier for having sex with an underage aide, and is now not only publicly claiming paternity for her baby, but actually posting a cringeworthy "period piece" photo of the new family (this is Virginia, after all).

But then we decided to take him at his word -- he was essentially kicked out of the Democratic Party and is now a political Independent. Which means he is ineligible for our prizes, for better or worse.

But the cringeworthiness doesn't stop there. This week's MDDOTW goes out to Loretta Sanchez, current House member from California (who has announced she'll be competing with state attorney general Kamala Harris for the U.S. Senate seat Barbara Boxer is vacating). The Sanchez campaign, shall we say, is not off to a great start.

Last weekend, the Sacramento Bee posted a video online (which is sideways, for some reason) in which Sanchez tells what she clearly thinks is a delightful story about how she got a call from someone in the "Indian-American" community, but when she actually met with the man, he turned out to be not the type of Indian-American she was expecting. In her own words:

"I am going to his office, thinking that I am going to meet with a..." [at this point, she makes a "woo woo" noise with her mouth while patting it with her hand, the way ignorant schoolchildren do, to portray Native Americans] "Right? Because he said 'Indian-American'!"

As I said, she clearly thinks this is a funny story, both from her tone of voice and her big smile (she's even telling this to the Indian-American Caucus in a steakhouse). The word "cringeworthy" doesn't even really do it justice (if you don't believe me, watch the clip).

To say that Kamala Harris just got my vote is an understatement. I will never vote for a grown adult in 2015 who still thinks making "woo woo" noises is not an incredibly racist and offensive thing to do. Most of us left this sort of idiocy behind when we moved on from elementary school. Sanchez did apologize for the slur, I should mention.

But even apologizing isn't enough for Loretta Sanchez to avoid being awarded this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. Racial stereotyping (especially egregiously offensive stereotyping) is simply not acceptable in the Democratic Party, in this day and age.

[Contact Representative Loretta Sanchez on her House contact page, to let her know what you think of her actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 347 (5/22/15)

Kind of a mixed bag this week. In the middle section, we have three questions I'd dearly love to hear some presidential candidates answer which deal with the past, present, and future of warmaking by the United States, but there's no overall theme to all the talking points this week.

Let's just dive in and get on with it, shall we?

 

1
   Conservative hypocrisy (part 1)

It's always worth pointing out when conservatives break their own bedrock tenets.

"I always thought that conservative Republicans believed that 'local control is always best' when it comes to lawmaking. States making laws is always better than the federal government, by this reasoning, and local laws are even better than state laws. Except that recently some localities have been passing laws that are more liberal than the state governments. Texas, for instance, just passed a state law which forbids local towns and cities from enacting laws which ban fracking. So local control is only best when the localities in question are more conservative than the state, is that what conservatives now believe? Sounds an awful lot like blatant hypocrisy to me."

 

2
   Conservative hypocrisy (part 2)

Conservative hypocrisy isn't limited to the legislative branch, however.

"When President Obama acted with the power of the executive branch to change immigration policy, conservatives howled that he was 'breaking the law.' Remember that? Here's what Bobby Jindal had to say about it, at the time: 'If the president wants to make the case that the law should be changed, he should go make the case to Congress and our people. This is an arrogant, cynical political move by the president, and it’s why so many Americans no longer trust this president to solve the problems we face.' Jindal also said: 'President Obama did this on his own because he knows the American people reject the idea and he couldn't pass it in Congress. Fortunately, the rule of law is something President Obama cannot sidestep.' Sure sounds like Bobby was against executive orders, doesn't it? Well then how does he explain the fact that when the Louisiana state legislature refused to pass a 'turn the gays away' law which would sanction discrimination, Jindal just went ahead and issued his own executive order instead? Jindal went to his statehouse and the people and made his case. They refused to change the law. So Jindal just went ahead and changed it on his own. This is nothing short of flaming hypocrisy, folks. Jindal is condemned by his own words on the subject, in fact."

 

3
   One person at a time

It's always good to see a mind being opened.

"When a South Carolina man faced economic doom over the fact that he didn't have health insurance, he initially blamed Obamacare for his plight. But when he got the actual facts, it turns out that he falls into the hole where he would have been covered if his state had expanded Medicaid, but because it didn't, he got screwed. Here's what he now has to say about his situation: 'Now that I'm looking at what each party represents, my wife and I are both saying -- hey, we're not Republicans! I put the blame on everyone, Republican and Democrat. But I do mainly blame Republicans for their pigheadedness. They're blocking policies that could help everyone. I'm in the situation I'm in because they chose not to expand Medicaid for political reasons. And I know I'm not the only one.' He's right -- he isn't the only one being screwed by a pigheaded Republican governor. Maybe this is why Republicans are so terrified of Obamacare in the first place -- because when people see how it helps them, they become Democrats!"

 

4
   Would you have let the inspectors finish?

These next three deal with the aftermath of Jeb Bush's floundering on the Iraq War question. These are important questions from the past, the present, and the future of American warmaking. The first comes from a great Huffington Post article by Paul Abrams.

"Republicans are complaining that the question of whether they would have invaded Iraq knowing what they know now is an impossible hypothetical question. OK, fair enough. So let's ask a question that is fair, instead. If you had been president at the time, and knowing only what you did at the time, would you have rushed to invade Iraq or would you have allowed the inspectors to finish their work before launching a war? There's a certain amount of selective amnesia over this issue, and many Americans falsely believe that 'Saddam kicked the inspectors out.' In fact, the inspectors had to leave because of the invasion. If the invasion had been delayed to allow the inspectors time to finish their work, then we might have known back then that there were no weapons of mass destruction. So, would you have allowed the inspectors to finish their work, or not?"

 

5
   Where's your ISIS bill?

Congress has left this question unanswered for almost a year now.

"Democratic Senator Tim Kaine has raised an interesting question. After pointing out that Congress has done absolutely nothing about declaring war on the Islamic State, Kaine states bluntly: 'We [in Congress] really haven't earned the right to be critics as long as we stand back and don't do the one thing that Congress is supposed to do.' So to every critic of Obama's war effort against the Islamic State who is a sitting member of Congress -- especially those who are also currently running for president -- here's a simple question: Where's your ISIS war bill? Where is your bill that lays out exactly what America should be doing against the Islamic State, right now? If you disagree with Obama's war strategy, then where is your own? You've had almost a year to come up with one, after all."

 

6
   How many more wars?

I wrote a rant on this subject earlier this week, if anyone wants to read the long version. There's also an article over at Salon which raises similar questions about the Republicans' confusion on the subject.

"If you are elected president, what would it take for you to commit American military forces to combat in any given situation? There are plenty of situations right now that some might argue necessitate America waging war. Would you send troops in to Syria, to Iraq, to Iran, to Yemen, to Libya, to sub-Saharan Africa? Should these be ground troops on the front lines, bombing raids by American pilots or American drones, or something else? Where in the world would you send the troops if you were in office at this very moment? If you are running for the job of commander in chief, don't you think the American people deserve an answer to the question of how many more wars we can expect during your term?"

 

7
   The straw that broke the Iowa poll's back

This one is pure snark, I freely admit.

"To anyone who argues that the Iowa straw poll is anything more than a meaningless shakedown by the Iowa Republican Party, I have three words in response. These three words show the pointlessness of the Iowa straw poll more than anything else possibly could. Because last time around the winner proved what a joke the entire process truly is. My three words? President Michele Bachmann. We all remember how Bachmann vaulted from winning the Iowa straw poll right into the Oval Office, don't we? Oh, wait -- that didn't actually happen, did it?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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

 

36 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [347] -- Spinning Straw (Polls) Into Gold”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    8 Cancervative hypocrisy (part 3)

    Reality TV star and admitted serial child molester Josh Duggar has reigned from his position with Republican anti-gay hate group Family Research Council. His super Republican baby-mill parents apparently thought it was best to hide his crimes from the authorities and pray away the incest. Josh has repented so all is forgiven. Huckabilly is good with Josh because hating gay people is what really matters. It will be interesting to watch the GOP field now that Hickabee has thrown down the gauntlet. Who else will defend the Sex Offender for Jesus and good christian family values?

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    9 Cancervative hypocrisy (part 4)

    Will Hypocrite Nation rally around 19 and Counting like they did for the Swamp Thing Dynasty or will the Duggars go the way of Honey Boo Boo? Do home-schooling snake-handlers get a pass while trailer park divas get the shaft?

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    In the midst of all this, Rand Paul got a little confused. He staged another "fauxlibuster," speaking for over ten hours in the Senate on his opposition to the N.S.A. metadata collection renewal, but (oddly enough) he spoke not while the Senate was debating the USA PATRIOT Act bill, but instead on the fast-track bill. Meaning the whole exercise was rather pointless.

    It's funny..

    When a GOP does it, it's "pointless"..

    When a Dem does it, it's "principled".. :D

    Get to the TPs later..

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am curious..

    Doesn't anyone else around here see the folly in giving Obama Fast Track authority on a Trade Deal that no one knows what's in it and Democrats resoundingly oppose??

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhh, the TPs.. The wild and wonderful TPs... :D

    Conservative hypocrisy (part 1)

    Do you REALLY want to go shot for shot on Progressive v Conservative hypocrisy?? :D

    So Jindal just went ahead and changed it on his own. This is nothing short of flaming hypocrisy, folks. Jindal is condemned by his own words on the subject, in fact."

    Just so we're clear.. Yer slamming Jindal for his hypocrisy, NOT that he issued the executive order, right??

    I would have to agree with you..

    As you have laid it out here, it's completely hypocritical.

    One person at a time

    Once again, we can compare the number of those who have left the Democrat Party vs those who have left the GOP...

    And, considering how many TrainWreckCare exchanges are going bankrupt (Hawaii was the latest) and considering the HUGE TWC rate increases that are coming down the pipe....

    I honestly don't think the Left should be crowing about ANYTHING to do with TrainWreckCare... :D

    I'm just sayin'...

    . So let's ask a question that is fair, instead. If you had been president at the time, and knowing only what you did at the time, would you have rushed to invade Iraq or would you have allowed the inspectors to finish their work before launching a war?

    You say your question is "fair"... Then you use pejorative terminology like "rushed to invade"...

    So, would you have allowed the inspectors to finish their work, or not?"

    By the inspectors own reports, they were "finished". There are numerous reports from inspectors which stated that their efforts were stymied by Hussein (Saddam, not the Hussein in the White House :D) and that they could do no more...

    If we're going to re-write recent history let's re-write it somewhat accurately.. :D

    Irregardless of all that...

    What has the Dem Candidate said on this issue??

    Hmmmm... If I recall, she said, Mistakes were made... Or words to that effect...

    I guess it's only GOP'ers who get slammed when they make obvious statements such as that, eh?? :D

    If you are running for the job of commander in chief, don't you think the American people deserve an answer to the question of how many more wars we can expect during your term?"

    I completely agree...

    So, let's hear from the Dem Candidate for POTUS.. How does SHE answer the question?? :D

    Seriously, though.. At least the GOP candidates are OUT there, talking to REAL people (not pre-selected stooges) and taking questions from the press...

    They deserve credit for that..

    Especially since the coronated Dem Candidate continues to hide in her bubble...

    Even if I ignored the multitude and skeletons and baggage Hillary drags around with here, I would not vote for her for POTUS, simply based on the fact that she can't campaign with real people, answering real un-scripted questions..

    If the Queen Wannabee can't mingle with the common folk, then I don't want her representing my interests...

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    If you really want to talk about Iraq, here is the complete and relevant fact of the issue..

    When Obama took office, Iraq was stable... Iran was feeling the bite of punishing sanctions and ISIS did not exist...

    The way things are today are completely 1000% the fault of the current administration..

    "Dems da facts, JACK!!!"
    -Bill Murray, STRIPES

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Insiders: The Islamic State is entirely a creation of Obama’s policies
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/05/22/the-insiders-the-islamic-state-is-entirely-a-creation-of-obamas-policies/

    Don't take my word for it..

    Take Obama's word...

    "The United States is leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government.”
    -President Barack Obama
    Fort Bragg, NC
    Dec 2011

    Obama is completely, unequivocally and directly responsible for the rise of the "JV" ISIS....

    This is fact...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Weary of Relativity
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-weary-of-relativity.html?_r=1

    Sums things up so perfectly, it's scary...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    And what would an FTP be without the obligatory SNL Youtube savaging a politician.. :D

    http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/hillary-clinton-cold-open/2851620

    She really nails the voice... :D

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The Iowa Straw Poll is the WalMart of politics. Where else can you buy political influence for a mere 30 bucks and still have enough left to treat your whole family to fried Twinkies on site?

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    to treat your whole family to fried Twinkies on site?

    Don't tease me.... :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    dsws wrote:

    ... home-schooling snake-handlers ... trailer park divas ...

    A rousing chorus of "let us now denigrate the rural poor" may play well with an audience of one's Facebook friends, but it's not exactly good politics, nor does it really tend to make one a better person. Handling snakes in the name of ye olde fairy-tale guy in the sky makes pretty much the same amount of sense as respectable mainline Protestantism does.

  13. [13] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "Handling snakes in the name of ye olde fairy-tale guy in the sky makes pretty much the same amount of sense as respectable mainline Protestantism does."

    I've been to a Presbyterian church and nobody engaged in any death-defying theatrics. They were definitely more sensible than rattlesnake-handlers.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    A rousing chorus of "let us now denigrate the rural poor" may play well with an audience of one's Facebook friends, but it's not exactly good politics, nor does it really tend to make one a better person.

    Here, here...

    People tend to get upset with snobs and elitists who talk down to people who cling to guns and religion..

    I've been to a Presbyterian church and nobody engaged in any death-defying theatrics. They were definitely more sensible than rattlesnake-handlers.

    They are praying to a fantasy father-figure akin to Santa Claus and/or Spiderman..

    "sensible" is not a word I would use, eh? :D

    NOW look who is being snobbish! heh

    Seriously, though.. I know many religious people. One guy loves to ride his crotch-rocket at speeds exceeding 100mph.. His attitude is likely similar to the attitudes snake handlers have..

    I am also constrained to point out that "death-defying theatrics" is not the sole province of the ultra-religious..

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Republic of Ireland has just (as this is being written) finished voting on what could be a historic referendum on marriage equality. If the measure passes, it will be the first time any country on Earth has approved gay marriage at the ballot box (rather than through a legislature or the courts). The votes won't be counted until tomorrow, so we'll all have to wait to see how it did. Turnout was notably high, for whatever that's worth. I wrote about this earlier in the week, and how the arguments for the changing nature of marriage are a bit different in Ireland, where citizens weren't even allowed to get divorced until 1995. In any case, check the news tomorrow to see how Ireland voted.

    Ireland has gone gay...

    But let's look at what is happening in Canada...

    Seems a lesbian couple went to a christian jeweler to can custom wedding rings made..

    I know what you are thinking. You are thinking another case of a scumbag bigot who wouldn't provide service to a gay couple and ya'all are about to get all hot and bothered and rain righteous indignation upon us all..

    Well, hold the rain..

    Seems this christian business owner did not have a problem with providing excellent and respectful service to this gay couple. This couple was very happy with the service and their rings..

    Right up to the point that they found out that this christian did not SUPPORT gay marriage!

    What a shock, eh?? The found out that this christian, being true to his values did not support gay marriage..

    So, these lesbians felt that this jeweler had "tainted" their wedding rings and, by extension, "tainted" their union so they demanded their money back...

    ??????

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

    A christian business owner is attacked and vilified by the gay bullies/activists because he would not serve a gay couple....

    Another christian business owner is attacked and vilified by the gay bullies/activists because he DID serve a gay couple...

    The message from the gay bullies/activists is clear..

    It's not about keeping your feelings to yourself and just complete a commercial transaction as a commercial transaction period.

    You MUST fully believe as this vocal minority wants you to believe OR ELSE!!!

    At first this jeweler declined to refund the couple.. He did the work, he put out the expense, why should he refund??

    Of course, the gay bullies/activists went apeshit. They mounted a campaign to shut down this business owner. The guy received threats and such until he finally gave in and refunded the lesbian couple..

    Now, if anyone can indulge me and explain the logic of this, I would be VERY happy to hear it..

    But the message from the gay bullies/activists is clear...

    There is no room for ANY beliefs, values and principles other than the beliefs, values and principles of the gay bullies/activists..

    You MUST completely and unequivocally believe as THEY believe....

    OR ELSE!!!!

    It's EXACTLY as I have said it is..

    It's not about equality or equal treatment.. This lesbian couple got that.. Completely and unequivocally..

    It's about vilifying one belief and FORCING a different belief on people who do not want it..

    It's about acceptance... Pure and simple..

    "Accept us or we will destroy you! Believe as we believe or we will destroy you!!"

    And ya'all wonder why I feel the way I do about gay bullies/activists..

    My reasoning and logic is clear.. At least it's clear to those who do not have an ideological agenda...

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Visualize the afore mentioned scenario with Eric Idle one of the gay couple and John Cleese as the jeweler..

    Idle: "We are a gay couple who would like you to make us a wedding ring."

    Cleese: "Okay. I do not support gay marriage, but I will serve you as anybody else. This, I understand, is how it works."

    Idle: "You can’t deny me service simply because you hold different views from mine."

    Cleese: "Indeed. I have no intention of doing so. Society is better off when our differences remain private."

    Idle: "Okay, let’s do business."

    Cleese: "Great."

    Idle: "Your private views are disgusting. You can’t make me do business with you. Give me my money back or I’ll unleash the kraken."

  17. [17] 
    dsws wrote:

    Gratuitously insulting customers is within a business-owner's rights. But the business-owner isn't entitled to have them continue to shop there afterward.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Gratuitously insulting customers is within a business-owner's rights. But the business-owner isn't entitled to have them continue to shop there afterward.

    Exactly...

    And, conversely, gratuitously attacking, demonizing and vilifying a business owner for their values and beliefs is ALSO within a customer's rights..

    But the customer isn't entitled to continue to patronize the business..

    A business owner has the right to refuse service.. So says a gay hairdresser in Sante Fe, New Mexico....

    As with many things ideologically-based.... It cuts both ways..

    I dream of the day someone like that lesbian couple comes into my shop and tries to make a stink along ideological lines..

    They will be shown the door so fast it will make their heads spin. And I am sufficiently well-known and respected within my community, that any threats of boycott etc etc will be met with a hearty full bore belly laugh..

    And, with MY belly it will be hearty indeed... :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Gratuitously insulting customers is within a business-owner's rights. But the business-owner isn't entitled to have them continue to shop there afterward.

    I also must point out that the jeweler in the above case did NOT insult his customers. In fact, the lesbian couple complimented the business owner on his service..

    “They were great to work with. They seemed to have no issues. They knew the two of us were a same-sex couple. I referred some of my friends to them, just because I did get some good customer service and they had good prices.”

    So there was no insult on the part of the business owner..

    There WERE insults, threats and coercion on the part of the lesbian couple and the gay bullies/activists.. Blatant and hysterical intolerance...

    And yet, the general consensus around here is that the business owner MUST put up with that in the name of tolerance..

    Like I said, it's not about tolerance or equality..

    It's about acceptance... Acceptance and power...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    M - 6

    "Iraq was stable"

    If Iraq was stable, than why did it collapse when the US combat troops were removed?
    A stable state would have carried on. Push a stable system and it reverts to the stable equilibrium. That's the definition of stability.

    Iraq + US occupation was stable. However, US occuptation + US politics proved very unstable.....ask Dubya..

    Iraq + Saddam was very stable. It survived two very hard pushes, both self inflicted: war with Iran and The Gulf War. Push any system hard enough, and it wll fall fall over (Phud's Law). Dubya and Dick pushed hard enough.

    P.S. Disabling autocorrect makes the Ipad keyboard work properly. Scrolls top to bottom, no need to rotate the device to access hidden patches of text. No more bizarre word substitutions completely altering the sense of the text, although Apple may have considered this a humorous feature, not a flaw. Once again, thanks for the cure.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    <I.If Iraq was stable, than why did it collapse when the US combat troops were removed?

    Why ya asking me??

    OBAMA was the one who said it was stable...

    OK, OK... I said it was stable as well.. I guess me and Obama are on the same page regarding the stability of Iraq... :D

    But it is simply inarguable that Iraq was more stable when Obama came into office than it will be when Obama leaves office..

    And that simply CANNOT be blamed on Bush...

    Iraq + Saddam was very stable.

    If you were to ask the women and small boys who were yanked from the street and used as Hussein's (Saddam, not the Hussein in the White House) sexual playthings, I think they would object to the term "stable"...

    Stability is not the end all.. Nazi Germany was "stable"...

    Until it wasn't...

    Regardless, when the Left slams and attacks Bush incessantly for Iraq, they seem to forget the people whose lives were BETTER by the removal of Saddam...

    Put another way... In hindsight, would anyone have minded if the US had removed Hitler from power? Perhaps Bush had prevented another world war with another Hitler..

    I know ideology prevents the Left from conceding that point, but it IS a valid point nonetheless..

    "And another thing! 'Furthertheless" is NOT a word!! Stop using it!!"
    -Charlie Sheen, SPIN CITY

    :D

    P.S. Disabling autocorrect makes the Ipad keyboard work properly. Scrolls top to bottom, no need to rotate the device to access hidden patches of text. No more bizarre word substitutions completely altering the sense of the text, although Apple may have considered this a humorous feature, not a flaw.

    Have you read some of the AutoCorrect funnies?? Some of them can be REALLY hilarious.. :D

    Once again, thanks for the cure.

    Once in a while, I get a win... :D

    Seriously, though...

    "One is honored to be of service.."
    -Robin Williams, BICENTENNIAL MAN

    :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Regardless, when the Left slams and attacks Bush incessantly for Iraq, they seem to forget the people whose lives were BETTER by the removal of Saddam...

    AND the Left also forgets that Democrats were as much for the invasion of Iraq as Bush was...

    A never-acknowledged fact that completely negates the "moral" outrage of the Left...

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/05/25/the_latest_proof_that_clinton_cant_stop_the_sleaze_126716.html

    Again, the question has to be asked..

    Is THIS the best the Democrat Party can offer???

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Moral outrage is fine and dandy, but does not a policy make.

    People wondering why the "Iraqi" troops in Ramadi folded should review this ethnographic map:

    http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/images/maps/Iraq_Ethnic_sm.png

    95% of the military situation can be understood by ethnicity superimposed upon arable land which is largely determined by where water flows.

    Ramadi is 75 miles inside Sunni territory, AKA "The Sunni Triangle" where ISSL has roamed more or less freely for months. Ramadi is the capital of a province it does not control and contains a road leading into territory it does not occupy.

    Iraq is a fiction. Planning should deal with reality.

  25. [25] 
    dsws wrote:

    Suppose Michale's neighborhood grocer displayed the following sign in the store window: Michale is an abomination. He is worthy only to be thrown on a dung-heap, and left to rot there forever. But suppose further that some employees there had treated Michale well on a previous visit. Would the latter fact mean that the former wasn't an insult?

    Apparently. But only because Michale is a special case.

  26. [26] 
    dsws wrote:

    Hey, what happened to my italics? Italics do still work, don't they?

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Suppose Michale's neighborhood grocer displayed the following sign in the store window: Michale is an abomination. He is worthy only to be thrown on a dung-heap, and left to rot there forever. But suppose further that some employees there had treated Michale well on a previous visit. Would the latter fact mean that the former wasn't an insult?

    So, now we're vilifying and demonizing people and destroying their lives for insults??

    What are we?? Islamists?? :D

    Please show me the part of the Constitution that insulates and protects people from insults??

    Irregardless of that, where exactly is the "insult" if someone says "I support the sanctity of marriage as it is currently defined"...

    I don't see no stinkin' insult.. :D

    And, irregardless of THAT.... The lesbian couple got respectful and polite service.. They had no complaints..

    RIGHT up to the point that they learned how the shopkeeper FEELS.. What the shopkeeper THINKS...

    Then they vilified and demonized and boycott'ed...

    So, obviously, we're now in the realm of Thought Police coupled with a whole heaping helping of Political Correctness..

    Seriously, you support this lesbian couple in their actions???

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Irregardless of that, where exactly is the "insult" if someone says "I support the sanctity of marriage as it is currently defined"...

    I don't see no stinkin' insult.. :D

    To put it simply..

    "I don't like who you are" could be construed as an insult..

    "I don't like what you do" is no insult in any way, shape or form...

    Even taking that a step further..

    "What you do is an abomination before god" is a much stronger statement, but it is still not an insult...

    To put it into a readily understandable context...

    "Michale is a homophobic scumbag!"

    THAT is an insult..

    "I don't like Michale's opinions on just about every subject!"

    That is NOT an insult... Just a statement of ( I assume) fact.. :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    What it all boils down to is this..

    Several Weigantians (ya'all know who you are.. :D) are on the record as stating a business owner doesn't have to AGREE with the gay bullies/activists...

    Business owners just can't discriminate against gay couples..

    OK, so here we have a business owner who DOESN'T discriminate against gay couples. A business owner who gives courteous and respectful service to a gay couple..

    And yet..

    IT'S STILL NOT ENOUGH!!!

    NOW, not only can't a business owner discriminate against a gay couple..... NOW a business owner *MUST BELIEVE* as the gay couple believes....

    How totally frak'ed up is THAT!??

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The issue is a little more complicated than asking for your money back due to philosophical differences. That was a BIG sign. I think it's not so much that the store owner didn't agree with the rights of same-sex couples to marry, it's that they posted that disagreement publicly in their place of business, after the fact. It might be a bit silly to demand one's money back if you're satisfied with the purchase, but marriage is something very deeply personal and meaningful. We're talking about a wedding ring, not a television set.

    I got married nine months ago and bought our wedding rings. It's one thing if I found out the jeweler who sold me my wedding ring thought privately that my wife and I shouldn't have the right to marry, and something slightly different if they put a picture in their store window post hoc, essentially telling the world that they wish I didn't have that right. It would change my opinion not only about the jeweler, but also about my ring.

    Am I saying that massive public pressure was the correct response? Maybe, maybe not. Truth be told Michale, I'm really not sure. But in any case it's not as cut and dried an issue as you're making it out to be.

    JL

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Am I saying that massive public pressure was the correct response? Maybe, maybe not. Truth be told Michale, I'm really not sure. But in any case it's not as cut and dried an issue as you're making it out to be.

    I would say that it is and I bet you I can prove that to your satisfaction...

    I think it's not so much that the store owner didn't agree with the rights of same-sex couples to marry, it's that they posted that disagreement publicly in their place of business, after the fact.

    How is that any different than a business posting a GAY PRIDE sign or a Anti-Discrimination Sign in their place of business??

    I understand what you are saying, JL and it's a good point... But I submit that if a shopkeeper gave you a good deal and was respectful, then his private personal feelings don't have ANYTHING to do with anything...

    It's too close to "Thought Crimes" for my liking...

    All I am saying is the argument to date has been, "You don't have to LIKE gay couples and you don't have to APPROVE of their lifestyle.. But you CAN'T discriminate against them.."

    With this Canadian incident, the rules have changed..

    NOW it's, "Not only can't you discriminate against gay couples, NOW you HAVE to approve of gay couples and their lifestyle or else you will be persecuted and demonized and boycott'ed as if you discriminated against them!!"

    No more freedom of thought at all..

    If you want to open a business, you MUST not have ANY feelings or values or principles whatsoever..

    Where is the tolerance that the gay activists demand so much from others??

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, for Obama, the hits just keep on coming...

    A federal appeals court upheld an injunction against President Obama’s new deportation in a ruling Tuesday that marks the second major legal setback for an administration that had insisted its actions were legal.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of Texas, which had sued to stop the amnesty, on all key points, finding that Mr. Obama’s amnesty likely broke the law governing how big policies are to be written.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/26/appeals-court-deals-blow-obama-amnesty/#ixzz3bGsBut6i

    Sorry, Democrats.. No millions of fresh newly minted Dem voters for you...

    :D

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    JL,

    I guess what I am asking is why is the onus on the jeweler to show tolerance??

    Why can't the lesbian couple show tolerance??

    As Sarek Of Vulcan so wisely said...

    "There can be no offense where none is taken.."

    I'm just sayin'...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    I got married nine months ago and bought our wedding rings. It's one thing if I found out the jeweler who sold me my wedding ring thought privately that my wife and I shouldn't have the right to marry, and something slightly different if they put a picture in their store window post hoc, essentially telling the world that they wish I didn't have that right. It would change my opinion not only about the jeweler, but also about my ring.

    Why??

    Honestly.. I don't mean to tread on your feelings and your values and such. You KNOW I would never do that..

    But the argument from JM and other Weigantians has been, "It's a commercial transaction, pure and simple.. And feelings should not be part and parcel to the transaction. It's BUSINESS and that's it.."

    But NOW, once the "feelings" and "values" and "principles" are on the other foot, once it's the activists who are arguing "feelings" and "values" and "principles", NOW those aspects are suddenly important????

    As I said, I understand where you are coming from and I actually agree with you...

    My point is that the jeweler has already shown tolerance by providing service to a couple that he morally disagrees with..

    Shouldn't it be up to the couple to ALSO show tolerance??

    Why is it that those who so vocally and bully'ingly demand tolerance from others are utterly incapable of showing ANY tolerance themselves??

    And what does it say about us as a society that we allow such bully'ing and intolerance to take place???

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    And what does it say about us as a society that we allow such bully'ing and intolerance to take place???

    Ironic, iddn't it... :D

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    My point is that the jeweler has already shown tolerance by providing service to a couple that he morally disagrees with..

    Shouldn't it be up to the couple to ALSO show tolerance??

    Why is it that those who so vocally and bully'ingly demand tolerance from others are utterly incapable of showing ANY tolerance themselves??

    These are rational, logical and legitimate questions that deserve an answer...

    Michale

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