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Friday Talking Points [370] -- A Knee-Jerk Week

[ Posted Friday, November 20th, 2015 – 17:58 PST ]

It's been a knee-jerk week in politics, and with the news of another terrorist attack (this one in Mali), the forecast is for more knees to be jerking hard next week, too.

Republicans, of course, do the whole fear thing very well. Democrats cannot hope to ever stoke the public's fear as effectively as Republicans. This is a well-known fact, but this week it was on display more than usual, because there are still 14 Republicans running for their party's presidential nomination. So what we witnessed was a race to the bottom, as each candidate tried to top the lunacy emanating from all the other campaigns.

As usual, the focus has been on a problem which doesn't exist yet, which is much easier to demagogue than all those pesky problems which do exist. This time, the imaginary problem is terrorists sneaking into America as Syrian refugees. Again, there is zero evidence that this is happening, and the idea is frankly ludicrous. In the first place, the Paris terrorists were all European. Europeans can enter America freely, most of them without visas, as tourists. This takes precisely no time and no effort on the part of the person entering America. The ridiculousness was summed up best in a Facebook post by Darren Cunningham, who is "an expert on the Middle East who works with a think tank in Washington." [We should also mention that we saw this story in a Washington Post article, to give credit where it is due.] Cunningham writes, pretending to get inside the minds of ISIS:

"Hmm, we want to attack the United States. I know! Let's go in as refugees! First, we have to hope that the UN High Commission for Refugees or another official entity places us in that lucky 1% that’s eligible for resettlement, which will take 4-10 months to determine. Then we'll hopefully be referred to the Resettlement Support Center and pass that extensive background check and in-person interview with the Department of Homeland Security, in addition to further security clearance processes from the Consular Lookout and Support System and potentially the Security Advisory Opinion. If all of these bodies say we're clear and then we pass the medical screening, are matched with a sponsor agency, and then pass an additional security check to see if anything new has developed, then we might be admitted! It will only take us at lowest a year and a half, but probably two years or maybe even three. It's probably the toughest way to come in to the US -- pretty much every other way is easier -- but we must do this refugee route!" -- ISIS, apparently.

But none of that stopped the knees from jerking. Because knee-jerkism ignores facts. How else to explain why Republicans are now the champions of brotherhood with France? Remember all that "Freedom fries" nonsense and dumping French wine in the gutters? They don't, apparently.

It was hard to pick the most jaw-dropping bit of idiocy this week, because there was such a bumper crop of it. David Vitter, who is running for governor in Louisiana, might just get the prize for demagoguery, since he's running far behind and the election is tomorrow. He tried campaigning on the fear of Syrian refugees, momentarily forgetting that his own wife is general counsel for the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, "the organization hosting most of the 14 Syrian refugees who have landed in Louisiana since January 2015." Vitter failed to mention this in his demagoguery, preferring instead to warn: "We can't allow Obama to turn Louisiana into a dangerous refugee zone." Get that -- "Obama," not "my wife." And Vitter's just running for governor, not president.

The supposedly-reasonable John Kasich, whom centrist journalists love to dream about (he's this year's Jon Huntsman, in other words), came up with his own jaw-droppingly stupid idea. See, the problem of the Islamic State could be solved by setting up some sort of "Radio Free Christianity" which would "beam messages around the world about what it means to have a Western ethic, to be a part of a Christian-Judeo society." He'd create a new federal agency (an astonishing thing for a Republican to propose, right there) which would have a "clear mandate to promote core Judeo-Christian, Western values that we and our friends and allies share." Yeah, that's the ticket! Let's just try to convert all of the Middle East to Judeo-Christian values! That'll surely stop all the fighting in Syria and elsewhere! And he's supposed to be the sane and reasonable one in the Republican pack. Sheesh.

The United States Army is doing its bit on this front, too. It recently had to hastily take down a sign for a "Warrior Training Center" that had, as its logo, a Christian Crusader knight. How this got approved in the first place is disturbing, but at least they took it down. After it appeared in a newspaper and some people noticed, but still....

Down in Texas, one Republican lawmaker warns that we shouldn't let in terrorists to his state, because it is so easy for them to buy guns there. He actually brings up a good point, the fact that over 2,000 people on the terrorist watch list have purchased guns in America in the last ten years. The answer to this lunacy? Well, we certainly can't change any gun laws, like the ones that allow suspected terrorists to buy any gun they wish! 'Cause that'd be un-Amurrican!

There was also plenty of looney-tunes quotes from Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and the rest of the clown parade that is the Republican presidential race, but frankly, there's just too much of it to even try to list, so we're throwing in the towel and just punting. If you'd like to see any of this stuff, we would direct you to the entire rest of the Internet. Only one of these caught our eye, when CNN asked Ted Cruz what he would have thought if his father had been refused entry because Americans were wetting their pants over Cuban immigrants. Which is still a valid issue, as 2,000 Cubans are trying to enter America through the Mexican border right now. Even if the media has largely been ignoring it. As they've also been ignoring the fact that more Mexicans are now leaving America than are coming in. Facts are so inconvenient to a story line, aren't they?

This is not an abstract thing -- Americans pretty much always wet their pants in fear over the dastardly immigrant, infiltrating America to destroy us from within. Here are a few examples from Huffington Post, including a truly frightening (in many ways) cartoon from 1942 showing smiling Japanese being issued bundles of TNT, to wreak havoc on America's West Coast. It was drawn by Dr. Seuss. Americans have always been good at knee-jerkism, stretching all the way back to the Alien and Sedition Acts of the 1790s. 'Twas always thus, in other words.

Of course, Republicans are gleefully stoking fears of Syrian immigrants because they basically have no clue what to do about the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. It's a lot easier to fearmonger than it is to come up with a war plan. Far better to just spout bromides and clichés, or to just blather incoherently about what you'd do as president, as Ben Carson did this week.

Plenty of other things went on this week, from a Democratic presidential debate (with only three people on the stage!) to Congress voting to approve racial discrimination in car loans (more on this in a moment). What else? Salt Lake City elected a gay mayor, Sarah Palin's apparently OK with legalized marijuana in her state ("absolutely no big deal"), and a state representative seat in Mississippi will be determined by two candidates drawing straws, after a perfect tie in the voting.

And finally, a story to warm everyone's heart: Bobby Jindal dropped out of the presidential race. No, wait, it gets better! Jindal's kids -- even though he didn't win -- will be getting their own dog after all! Jindal promised them a dog in the bizarre hidden video of his kids he used to launch his campaign -- but only if he won. Now, he seems ready to give in and just say yes to a new doggie. So there was some good news this week from the Republican campaign trail after all.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

President Obama's been doing his best to stem the tide of xenophobia this week, with many "this is not who we as Americans are" statements, so we're going to give him an Honorable Mention for being the adult in the room, as usual.

Hillary Clinton gave an interesting speech which laid out what she'd do about the war against the Islamic State (I wrote about this yesterday in more detail). She did leave a few details out, and her plan is pretty optimistic about what can be done on the diplomatic front with the other players in the region, but still we have to salute her for actually putting some cards on the table on the foreign policy front. Bernie Sanders also spoke about what he'd do, war-wise, but the Bernie speech everyone's talking about was on the subject of socialism in American history (more on this in the talking points). Both candidates deserve Honorable Mentions for, again, showing America what a serious candidate for the office of president should sound like.

The Senate Democrats seem to be using an interesting strategy on the whole "let's close our borders to Syrian refugees" thing, after the House passed its bill. Senate Democrats want to focus instead on the visa waiver program that actually could be a threat if terrorists decided to exploit it. They're also trying to focus on those 2,000 guns bought by people on the terrorism watch list, so it'll be interesting to see this strategy play out in the next few weeks.

But our winner of the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week is John Bel Edwards -- and we truly hope we're not jinxing him in any way by this premature award. Edwards is the Democrat running against David Vitter for the Louisiana governor's office, and all the polling seems to indicate he'll win handily in tomorrow's election. The polling could be wrong, of course, as Louisiana Republicans are pretty good at getting out the vote, but even to have come this far is pretty impressive for any Pelican State Democrat. There are currently zero Democrats in statewide office in Baton Rouge, after all.

Edwards is a Blue Dog Democrat, and is pro-gun and pro-life. He had a military career and has family ties to Louisiana that reach back many generations. The rest of his politics are pretty standard Democratic stuff. But what's most impressive about Edwards is that he went after his opponent David Vitter so brutally and so effectively. Edwards dredged up Vitter's notorious prostitution (and diaper-wearing) scandal, and put an even more damning spin on it by running an ad that pointed out David Vitter had missed a vote on a veterans' bill to take a call from the "D.C. Madam." Edwards ran the ad during the LSU-Alabama football game.

That's some pretty bare-knuckle campaigning. But Vitter entirely deserved such treatment. Vitter thought he'd skate into office easily, but the abject failure of Bobby Jindal (who has destroyed Louisiana's budget in fealty to Grover Norquist) made that a much harder proposition than it should have been in this red state. With Jindal's popularity in the deep freeze, Vitter was hobbled from the start.

Edwards campaign didn't shy away from attacking his opponents' glaring weakness. There aren't many current politicians with such disturbing scandals in their past (mostly because voters tend not to reward such people with re-election), so these tactics might not work for many other Democrats out there. But when your opponent's a true sleazebag, calling it out can do wonders for your campaign, even in a deep red state.

We wish Edwards the best of luck tomorrow night. We'll be watching the returns come in ourselves. Because nabbing a governor's seat from Republicans has been a rare event in recent years, so we do hope this will end in victory for Edwards, as we award him the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[We do not, as a rule, provide contact information for candidates' websites, so you'll have to search John Bel Edwards on your own, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

There were quite a few House Democrats worthy of consideration for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week, starting with the ones who voted with the Republicans on the "let's add some more layers of bureaucracy to Syrian refugees" bill.

What disappointed us far more than getting swept up in the knee-jerkism, however, were the 88 Democrats (check the list to see if your representative is on it) who voted to continue what can only be described as legal racial discrimination against buyers of automobiles. Black and brown customers get charged a higher interest rate, and that's apparently fine with these Democrats. The whole story is a shameful one of putting auto dealers' and banks' profits above equal treatment for all races. I mean, getting caught up in knee-jerkism is one thing, but this is a cold and calculated vote in favor of legal racial discrimination -- a far more disturbing thing, at least to us.

But even with all that going on, we have to look beyond Washington and national politicians this week. Our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week is the mayor of the Virginia town of Roanoke, a name rich in the history of immigrants arriving on American shores (and then disappearing, never to be heard from again). Maybe that's what happened -- the "Lost Colony" became the "First Internment Camp," or something. But we're getting ahead of ourselves, here.

Mayor David Bowers jumped into the frenzy of knees jerking this week, offering up his opinion that all assistance to Syrian refugees should cease:

...until these serious hostilities and atrocities end, or at the very least until regarded as under control by U.S. authorities, and normalcy is restored. I'm reminded that President Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS is now just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.

Wow. Japanese internment camps being cited favorably, by a Democrat, in the year 2015. That's pretty stunning. Jaw-droppingly stunning, in fact.

Bowers did finally apologize, after being amazed that people actually paid attention to what he said about concentration camps being a good thing. People like Representative Mike Honda and Star Trek icon George Takei -- who both spent some time in the Japanese internment camps themselves, a long time ago.

But this is the type of statement that an apology is never going to erase. So while it's rare that we reach all the way down the ranks of politicians to the mayoral level for our awards, due to the shocking historical ignorance displayed, we hereby award David Bowers this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

[Contact Roanoke Mayor David Bowers on his official contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 370 (11/20/15)

Before we begin, one program note is in order. Thanksgiving is next week, which means that we'll be taking next Friday off. This column will return the following week, on December 4th. Hope everyone has a happy turkey day!

We have rather a mixed lot this week, with a few taken directly from politicians. Since one aspect of getting together with one's family for the holidays is putting up with your conservative drunk uncle, it's best to be prepared with a few talking points of your own.

 

1
   Obama's biggest lesson

This is something a lot of us have been saying for a long time now (since his first year in office, actually), so it's good to see the president is self-reflective enough to have learned his lesson. How, we all wondered at the time, could the greatest Democratic orator of the age have such an enormous problem with communicating his own agenda, after he was elected? From an interview in GQ magazine, here is Obama on the hardest lesson he learned as president:

You can't separate good policy from the need to bring the American people along and make sure that they know why you're doing what you're doing. And that's particularly true now in this new communications era. [In Obama's first few years in office] a certain arrogance crept in, in the sense of thinking as long as we get the policy ready, we didn't have to sell it.

 

2
   To quote Douglas Adams: "Don't panic!"

This is the main talking point of the week, as it is every single week something like this happens.

"Why are Republicans so quick to panic over fears of scenarios that have not yet happened? Whether its a mosque in New York City or a bunch of children from Central America or the threat of Ebola, the first thing Republicans do is completely freak out. They're always the first to wet their pants in stark fear over things that competent professionals are already dealing with. How do they get so easily distracted? When radicalized Europeans attack Paris, they fear not other radicalized Europeans coming here to attack us, but instead refugees who -- unlike tourists -- must wait years before ever setting foot on American soil. Instead of soberly analyzing a perceived problem in the hopes of finding a solution before disaster strikes, Republicans routinely leap to conclusions that are simply not supported by any evidence, and start demagoguing and fearmongering about complete distractions from solving the real problem. Why are they such cowards? Why is their first reaction always to panic about problems that don't exist? It's a mystery to me."

 

3
   2,000 guns sold

This is the best example to use.

"After 9/11, politicians were awfully quick to restrict Americans' civil liberties. The USA PATRIOT Act flew through Congress, as I recall. But the one civil liberty that Republicans refused to even address was the ownership of firearms. 'Maybe we should do something so terrorists who sneak into America can't get guns,' Democrats proposed, but the answer was a flat: 'Nope, we're not gonna do that,' from the Republicans. Well, in the past ten years two thousand guns were bought by people on the official government terrorist watch list. Doesn't that concern Republicans even a tiny little bit? Don't you think this is a bigger danger than some three-year-old Syrian who is going to have to wait two or three years to become an official refugee? This is what I mean about Republicans getting distracted from real, tangible, and downright dangerous loopholes in America's laws -- loopholes that have allowed thousands of guns to get in the hands of suspected terrorists."

 

4
   Convert the heathens!

This one is just the essence of stupidity, really. Remember, too: he's supposed to be the sane Republican running.

"Republican presidential candidate John Kasich -- a supposed moderate -- had his own brilliant idea for how to win the hearts and minds of Middle Eastern terrorists. He's going to create a new Department of Judeo-Christian Propaganda, and beam Judeo-Christian messages into the conflict zone. Boy! What a great idea! Let's try to convert the heathens! I'm surprised someone hasn't come up with such a brilliant idea before -- to travel to the Holy Land and either convert or kill everyone there. You could even come up with a snappy title for the program, something along the lines of 'The American Crusade' -- because that'll be the ticket to solving the religious conflicts in the Middle East! And this is from the moderate Republican candidate, mind you."

 

5
   Someone might want to tell Trump

Not that Trump pays any attention to reality, but still....

"Has anyone asked Donald Trump about the new numbers of Mexican immigrants? For the five years starting when Barack Obama took office -- 2009 to 2014 -- the net number of immigrants from Mexico was lower than zero. In fact, 140,000 more Mexicans returned to Mexico than immigrated to this country. There's a reason why the phrase '11 million illegal immigrants' has been used for so long, in fact -- because it is not going up. If it had been, it would have morphed over time to '13 million... 14 million...' and beyond. It hasn't. Because no matter how much Trump likes to talk about his beautiful wall, he's largely trying to solve a problem that doesn't even really exist anymore. More Mexicans are going home than coming here. Someone should really mention this to Donald, don't you think?"

 

6
   A history lesson from Bernie

Bernie Sanders schooled a whole lot of people on what "socialist" means and has meant in American politics during a very impressive speech. He helpfully pointed out what socialism is and what it is not -- and the way the term has been used by demagogues of the past. Here's one key passage, where Bernie discusses Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

Almost everything [FDR] proposed was called "socialist." Social Security, which transformed life for the elderly in this country was "socialist." The concept of the "minimum wage" was seen as a radical intrusion into the marketplace and was described as "socialist." Unemployment insurance, abolishing child labor, the 40-hour work week, collective bargaining, strong banking regulations, deposit insurance, and job programs that put millions of people to work were all described, in one way or another, as "socialist." Yet these programs have become the fabric of our nation and the foundation of the middle class.

 

7
   And, sadly, they have

When life imitates satire, you know something's wrong. The following is from a satirical "point/counterpoint" editorial from The Onion, a fake news outlet. It was published under the title "This War Will Destabilize The Entire Mideast Region And Set Off A Global Shockwave Of Anti-Americanism vs. No It Won't," back in March of 2003, when we were marching off to war in Iraq. It has proved, sadly, quite prophetic:

If you thought Osama bin Laden was bad, just wait until the countless children who become orphaned by U.S. bombs in the coming weeks are all grown up. Do you think they will forget what country dropped the bombs that killed their parents? In 10 or 15 years, we will look back fondly on the days when there were only a few thousand Middle Easterners dedicated to destroying the U.S. and willing to die for the fundamentalist cause. From this war, a million bin Ladens will bloom.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

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

 

194 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [370] -- A Knee-Jerk Week”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    It's actually been pretty depressing this week. Horrible to see how quickly people panic and how despicably they are encouraged to do so by so many feckless "leaders".

    President Obama gets big points in my book for just remaining cool. Hillary gets big points for putting out the plan you covered yesterday. Both are actually working the problem, unlike the absolute zeros sniping from the sidelines.

    The Clown Car meanwhile -- really, there's no words. Every time you think they've hit bottom in irresponsible rhetoric they start a new hole.

  2. [2] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#1]

    If it makes you feel better, @The Stig mentioned the blog GOPLifer a little while back as an example of a thoughtful Republican blog. Both the articles and comments about the events this week have been calm and reasonable throughout. A nice contrast to the hysteria in the domestic news recently.

    With the grandstanding and media sensationalism, it's easy to lose sight that most of use, left or right, want reasonable answers. This (CW's) blog and that one make nice bookends for political reading.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republicans, of course, do the whole fear thing very well.

    "THE SKY IS FALLING!!! THE WORLDS IS GOING TO END!!! WE HAVE TO GIVE MORE MILLIONS TO AL GORE!!"

    It ain't just the Republicans who do the fear thing well...

    Democrats cannot hope to ever stoke the public's fear as effectively as Republicans.

    There's a reason for that..

    Because the public knows that the Democrat's fear mongering is total BS...

    The GOP's "fear mongering" has more than a tinge of reality to it.

    Don't believe me?? Let's ask the over 470 innocent people killed and wounded in Paris...

    You go on and on about how the Republicans are saying this crazy thing about terrorists or the Republicans are blaa blaa blaa blaa..

    But you neglect to mention that DEMOCRATS are also on board with stopping Syrian "refugees" from entering the United States...

    The House just passed a **BI PARTISAN** bill to stop Obama's Mint New Voters program...

    Say what you want about the GOP..

    But THEIR efforts are *BI PARTISAN*...

    Can't say the same thing about Democrats and their agenda...

    :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bowers did finally apologize, after being amazed that people actually paid attention to what he said about concentration camps being a good thing.

    In keeping with my bi partisan attitude by defending Democrats when warranted..

    This yahoo didn't say "concentration camps"... That's a whole 'nother kettle of fish than "internment camps" as I am sure you would agree...

    People like Representative Mike Honda and Star Trek icon George Takei -- who both spent some time in the Japanese internment camps themselves, a long time ago.

    As much as it pains me to admit, I lost all respect for Takei when he went after Justice Clarence Thomas in such a profane and racist manner...

    What he says doesn't matter much anymore...

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bernie Sanders schooled a whole lot of people on what "socialist" means and has meant in American politics during a very impressive speech. He helpfully pointed out what socialism is and what it is not -- and the way the term has been used by demagogues of the past. Here's one key passage, where Bernie discusses Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

    Roosevelt??? Wasn't he that Democrat who created the previously mentioned internment camps?? :D

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Why are Republicans so quick to panic over fears of scenarios that have not yet happened? Whether its a mosque in New York City or a bunch of children from Central America or the threat of Ebola, the first thing Republicans do is completely freak out.

    Yea.. And Democrats would NEVER "completely freak out", right?? :D

    Do I have to post all the END OF THE WORLD scenarios that Democrats have pushed for the last couple decades??

    Scenarios, I might add, that have NEVER come to pass?? :D

    Please do say I have to... It would be a long long LONG list...

    At least the GOP's "freak out" has the benefit of, yunno, being an ACTUAL and REAL and TANGIBLE threat...

    Kinda the difference that makes all the difference.. :D

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    You go on and on about how the Republicans are saying this crazy thing about terrorists or the Republicans are blaa blaa blaa blaa..

    But you neglect to mention that DEMOCRATS are also on board with stopping Syrian "refugees" from entering the United States...

    There were quite a few House Democrats worthy of consideration for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week, starting with the ones who voted with the Republicans on the "let's add some more layers of bureaucracy to Syrian refugees" bill.

    I stand corrected.. :D

    But seriously... ALL the legislation does is require that the head of the FBI or the head of the DHS certify that ALL refugees entering the United States do NOT have terrorist affiliations..

    Are ya'all REALLY against that??

    SERIOUSLY!???

    How could ANYONE be against that??

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Please do say I have to... It would be a long long LONG list...

    That should read "Please don't say I have to... It would be a long long LONG list..."

    My bust...

    Freudian slip?? :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    With the grandstanding and media sensationalism, it's easy to lose sight that most of use, left or right, want reasonable answers.

    The problem is that the definition of "reasonable" varies... And varies GREATLY...

    For many on the Left (majority of Weigantians included) "reasonable" translates as "do everything OUR way!!"

    And the same for many on the Right..

    And therein lies the problem...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Only one of these caught our eye, when CNN asked Ted Cruz what he would have thought if his father had been refused entry because Americans were wetting their pants over Cuban immigrants. Which is still a valid issue, as 2,000 Cubans are trying to enter America through the Mexican border right now. Even if the media has largely been ignoring it.

    That's because the Cubans aren't trying to enter America.. Or, more accurately, the problem isn't with Cubans entering America.. The problem you cite is with Cubans trying to enter Nicaragua and the Nicaragua government not letting them..

    Has absolutely NOTHING to do with America or Republicans...

    I'm just saying.... :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    I recall the Great Ebola Scare of 2014. Wow! Republicans really freaked out about that! Let's see now, there were:

    * Republicans screaming to stop planes arriving in the U.S. from the affected African countries (because elected Republicans are too stupid to check if there are any direct flights from those countries - there aren't of course).
    * Republicans demanding an ebola czar (but refusing to confirm the new Surgeon General because ooops, he doesn't like guns and Republicans are terrified by people without guns!)
    * Republicans wrongly claiming that ebola was now airborn and going to kill millions - as I recall you were convinced of this one too, Michale :-)
    * kids infected with ebola streaming over the border with Daesh terrorists - lots of Republicans onto this one including space cadets Steve King and Louie Gohmert.

    But there was a sudden miracle cure for ebola in America - the midterm election! No-one in the U.S. media mentioned it again after election day. Hallelujah - a Republican miracle.

    So go ahead, Michale, and give us your list. It should be entertaining.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    I recall the Great Ebola Scare of 2014. Wow! Republicans really freaked out about that!

    And Democrats were freaking out right along with them...

    That's the point you just don't get..

    Every attack you can level at the Right can ALSO be leveled at the Left...

    But there was a sudden miracle cure for ebola in America - the midterm election! No-one in the U.S. media mentioned it again after election day. Hallelujah - a Republican miracle.

    Sour grapes much??

    Ya'all lost the mid-terms.. SPECTACULARLY lost the mid-terms..

    Get over it.. :D

    The problem with ya'all is you confuse "prudence" with fear-mongering...

    I recall the Great Ebola Scare of 2014.

    And *I* recall the Great Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Marketing Schtick of the last 20+ years that still continues to this day...

    What's yer point?? :D

    At least, with the GOP's "fear mongering" there is a REAL and FACTUAL and IMMEDIATE threat..

    The Democrat's fear mongering is nothing but hot air...

    Get it?? Global Warming?? "Hot Air"?? Get it???

    Wow... Tough room... :D

    So go ahead, Michale, and give us your list. It should be entertaining.

    But thank you for the honorable mentions.. It's nice ta be needed.. :D

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Despite a week of asking, not ONE SINGLE PERSON can give me a logical, rational and NON EMOTIONAL reason why we should bring in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees into this country...

    On the other hand, I can give ya'all over 470 VERY good, logical and rational reasons why we should take more time and vet the refugees more thoroughly...

    But ya'all don't want to do that because these refugees have to get here in time to vote Democrat in the upcoming elections..

    The Left Wingery doesn't give a rat's ass about the refugees...

    They are safe where they are, away from the war torn ravages of their country...

    But the Left Wingery needs those refugees HERE in the US in time to vote...

    That is what it's all about..

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Hahahahaha!

    At least, with the GOP's "fear mongering" there is a REAL and FACTUAL and IMMEDIATE threat..

    Oh really! So where are the millions dead from ebola that you Republicans were screaming about? Where are all the Daesh terrorists that came over the border with ebola-infected children? Where are they Michale? You're the one claiming your Republican buddies were whipping up fear and loathing because of a REAL threat - what happened to that ebola threat, eh? How many Americans died of ebola, Michale in your REAL (SCAM), FACTUAL (MADE-UP), IMMEDIATE (NON-EXISTANT) threat?

    I'll tell you: NONE, NADA, NIX. No Americans died of ebola in your Great Ebola Scare. It was a scam. The actual facts were ignored because the made-up stories spread by Republican propaganda were so much more exciting for you! Yep, you fell for it along with your Republican buddies and, it must be said, a lot of very clueless Democrats who, like screaming teenage girls at a rock concert, just can't resist the latest drama. They get off on it. In their dull little lives the drama of fear is a high for them. It's even better than going to a horror movie!

    The threat posed by children crossing the border was not what Republicans said it was either - they weren't infected with ebola; they weren't Daesh terrorists - and magically that threat went away on election day 2014 too! Because it was all bullshit GOP propaganda. Americans fall for it every time. You never learn.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh really! So where are the millions dead from ebola that you Republicans were screaming about?

    That was Republican *AND* Democrat fear mongering.. As I pointed out..

    You never learn.

    Paris, 13 Nov 2015

    Who "never learns"???

    Don't worry, I'll be around to remind you of your words when (not IF but WHEN) a terrorist attack hits US or Aussie soil...

    Your hollow and hysterical screams of "fear mongering" is just a cover..

    What ya'all are REALLY afraid of is that the tens of thousands of muslim voters... I mean refugees.. won't be in country in time to vote Democrat...

    THAT is what really scares the crap outta ya'all.. :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have noticed also that you continue to ignore the hysterical Democrat fear mongering over the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Marketing Schtick con...

    I mean, if the subject is "Fear Mongering", surely that deserves mention.. No??

    Tell ya what, Mopshell..

    I completely agree.. Republicans go overboard with ginning up tragedies and potential threats to further their political agenda..

    You are absolutely right in that..

    But what you don't get, what you REFUSE to admit is that Democrats do THE EXACT SAME THINGS... FOR THE EXACT SAME REASONS..

    And you yell and scream hysterically about Republicans doing it, but you give the Democrats a pass..

    So, I axe ya..

    WHO really is the hypocrite here??? Who really suffers from political bigotry here??

    I'll give you a hint...

    It ain't me.. :D

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    John M wrote:

    Paula wrote:

    "It's actually been pretty depressing this week. Horrible to see how quickly people panic and how despicably they are encouraged to do so by so many feckless "leaders"."

    And so history is in danger of repeating itself....

    Quoting from Padmé Amidala in "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith" watching as Emperor Palpatine tells a cheering Senate that he had taken all power away from them in order to provide them with greater security...

    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause."

    OR, if you prefer Benjamin Franklin....

    “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.”

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    What "essential" liberty have ya'all given up??

    {{ccchhhiirrrrrrpppp}} {{chirrrrrpppp}}

    Yea, that's what I thought..

    As far as "temporary" safety??

    14 years without a terrorist attack on US Proper??

    That's a helluva lot more than "temporary"...

    Especially when one considers that we are as free right now as we were on 10 Sep 2001...

    But if you REALLY want to complain, why not hold Obama's feet to the fire over the HUGE increase in domestic surveillance???

    Why not hold Obama responsible for the THOUSANDS of innocent civilians that have been killed by Obama's drone strikes??

    Yea, that's what I thought.. You whine and cry about Republicans when it's your OWN guy who is being more Bush than Bush.. Bush on steroids..

    Pure unadulterated HYPOCRISY...

    Come talk to me when ya'all want to actually address issues.. Not just play petty partisan politics...

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Come talk to me when ya'all want to actually address issues.. Not just play petty partisan politics...

    Irony knows no bounds.

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Irony knows no bounds.

    My bi-partisan bona fides are well established...

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2015/10/28/program-note-53/#comment-65775

    When anyone here can slam Obama and/or Democrats as I do Republicans, then come talk to me..

    Until that time, I am the most NPA'er in Weigantia...

    This is fact whether you want to admit it or not..

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Did anyone read Super christian Rant Paul's anti-muslim refugee assistance amendment? He listed 34 nationalities in it, but hilariously left the door wide open for India's 100+ million muslims. There'll probably be a terrist or two, but we might need those STEM workers.

    I love it when the faithers say that they believe every word of the Big Book of Multiple Choice! It fits well with their fact-free approach to just about everything. The book says they're going to Hell with all the homos and baby killers and muslims.

    "Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Then they will go away to eternal punishment

    God hates them.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    And that is why no one here has any clue on how to deal with me.. :D

    Because the usual rules of Party Loyalty do not apply to me because I HAVE no Party Loyalty...

    I can easily concede that the Republican Party is a bunch of greedy and corrupt arseholes because I am not enslaved by the Republican Party.. Just like I did above in comment #16..

    But NONE of ya'all can concede that the Democrat Party is a bunch of greedy and corrupt arseholes because ya'all *ARE* enslaved by the Democrat Party. NONE of ya'all can admit to the Party's faults or Obama's faults.. Ya'all are good little Democrats who toe the line and squack the Party rhetoric by rote..

    So ya'all TRY and apply your partisan Party slavery to me.. But it just don't fit...

    And if it don't fit..??? something something... :D

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Quoting from Padmé Amidala in "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith" watching as Emperor Palpatine tells a cheering Senate that he had taken all power away from them in order to provide them with greater security...

    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause."

    Kudos on the apropos Movie quote...

    I don't agree with your point, but it is undeniable that you made the point perfectly...

    Well done...

    But keep in mind one thing...

    That "thunderous applause" comes from Democrats for President Obama...

    Think about it...

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    Well, admittedly it's not the criticism you're looking for, but I did just write (#7) "Its also another example of how poor the Obama administration has been in making their successes and efforts visible..."

    So... Basically, what you are saying is that Obama hasn't made clear to the American people how actually awesome he really is.. :D

    That's yer idea of criticism?? :D heh

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    It is my fervent hope that you accept the previous comment in the joshin' manner it was intended.. :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Paula wrote:

    [2] rdnewman -- It's nice to know reasonable Republicans exist. Their problem, I think, is that they're caught between a rock and hard place. They have their antipathies to Democratic Party planks so won't come over. But their party has reached a truly heinous place. What to do?

    John M (17) -- Exactly.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's your Left Wingery, people..

    First Amendment under siege: Government should ban speech that offends minorities, millennials say
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/21/millennials-government-should-ban-speech-offends-m/

    Ya'all must be SOOOO proud....

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    More ridiculousness from the Left Wingery...

    'Cartoonish' trans character leads to call for Zoolander 2 boycott
    http://www.ew.com/article/2015/11/20/zoolander-2-transphobia-boycott

    Does ANYONE really want to have a debate about Left v Right "cry babies"???

    Seriously!!!????

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "What "essential" liberty have ya'all given up??

    But if you REALLY want to complain, why not hold Obama's feet to the fire over the HUGE increase in domestic surveillance???

    Why not hold Obama responsible for the THOUSANDS of innocent civilians that have been killed by Obama's drone strikes??"

    I actually am quite disgusted with BOTH of those Obama policies. I equally condemn both Republican and Democratic threats to liberty, from: FDR's internment of Japanese Americans in WWII, to the House Un-American Activities Committee of the 1950's, to Bush's "Patriot Act" and waterboarding is not torture rationalization, to the huge increase in domestic surveillance of thousands of American's telephone calls under Obama, to Trump's idea of tracking Muslim Americans through a national database register. I condemn them one and all.

    Liberty can die just as easily by a thousand little cuts over time that you may not be aware of until it is too late. That's the "essential" liberty we give up. And yes, I would even include political correctness sensitivity when it goes too far and starts to impinge on free speech. I can hate the KKK and defend their right to march in a white sheet at the same time. You have the right to not have to endure a hostile environment on a college campus, i.e. having a racial epithet written on a dorm wall in excrement, but you don't have the right to be free from being merely or simply offended, i.e. a student passing out pamphlets saying all gay people are going to hell because my religion says so.

  30. [30] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Millennials should at least allow for Free Speech Zones where conservatives can still say the n-word inside of a chain-link fence.

  31. [31] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Kudos on the apropos Movie quote...

    I don't agree with your point, but it is undeniable that you made the point perfectly...

    Well done..."

    Thank you, I appreciate that.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    I actually am quite disgusted with BOTH of those Obama policies.

    And yet, you STILL support Obama...

    So only one of two conclusions are possible..

    Either those issues really don't mean much to you...

    Or your loyalty to Obama means more..

    I condemn them one and all.

    Yes, you condemn the ACTS..

    But you only condemn the people who COMMIT the acts if they have a '-R- after their name..

    The people who have a '-D' after their name get a pass..

    THAT's my point...

    Look to Glenn Greenwald for an example of what I am talking about...

    He is on record as being totally against the domestic surveillance issue...

    He was passionately against it when BUSH was POTUS and he is *JUST AS PASSIONATE* against it when Obama did...

    THAT's the kind of integrity I am talking about..

    And THAT kind of integrity is sorely lacking from the Left Wingery... The Left CLAIMS to be against Domestic Surveillance, but, since it's Obama who is doing it, they remain silent..

    You see my point???

    If something is bad and heinously wrong, then it should be that way regardless of whether the POTUS has a '-D' or a '-R' after his name...

    But Bush is demonized and Obama gets a pass..

    That is my point and it is an undeniable fact...

    Thank you, I appreciate that

    Hay, credit where credit is due..

    Anyone that can tie a modern issue to a SciFi analogy can't be ALL bad! :D

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Look, I am not trying to be an asshole.. Well, not much anyways.. :D

    I am just trying to explain my perspective...

    It's like:

    OH MY GOD!!!! THIS REPUBLICAN POTUS IS OUT OF CONTROL!!! IT'S A POLICE STATE!!! ALL THE SURVEILLANCE!!! NO PRIVACY!!! IT'S GESTAPO!!!! DRONE STRIKES BY THE HUNDREDS!!!! THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS KILLED!!! THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT IS A WAR CRIMINAL!!! HE'S A HITLER!!!!..... what??? The President is a Democrat???...... oh..... hehehe my bad... Never mind...

    You see my point???

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, one the humorous side..

    Facebook has, on more than one occasion, banned an Australian man...

    Reason??

    He signed up with his real name...

    Bich Phuc Dat

    :D heh

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me give you a perfect example of the disconnect that emphasizes the Democrat Party Agenda...

    26 Children and adults were brutally murdered by a psycho with a gun at Sandy Hook Elementary School..
    OH MY GOD!! WE HAVE TO CHANGE THINGS!!! THIS IS REPREHENSIBLE!!! WE HAVE TO CHANGE!!!!
    -Democrat Party

    9 Men and women shot to death at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon..
    OH GODS!!! NOT AGAIN!!! WE HAVE TO CHANGE THINGS!!! THIS CANNOT STAND!!! WE MUST CHANGE!!!!
    -Democrat Party

    Over 470 innocent people brutally murdered and wounded in Paris France
    Eh... We don't have to change anything.. If we change, if we're prudent, then the terrorists win.. Everything is awesome. Everything is just fine.. Everything is cool.. Don't have to change a thing.. YAAAAWWWNNNN What's on TV tonight??
    -Democrat Party

    And ya'all REALLY have the unmitigated gall to slam the GOP for "fear mongering"???

    REALLY!!???

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#25]

    Well, I was rather serving it up on a silver platter for you. If you hadn't called me out on that, I'd've been disappointed.

    Richard

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, I was rather serving it up on a silver platter for you. If you hadn't called me out on that, I'd've been disappointed.

    heh

    OK I feel better now.. :D

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Paula wrote:

    John M (29):

    Yep.

  39. [39] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Kasich walked back his Department of Judeo-Christian Values almost immediately realizing he really stepped in it.

    He alienated the Libertarians with a "big government" proposal.

    And he alienated the Christians by trying to pander to them.

    And this is one of the establishment guys who's supposed to be stepping up to take out the complete nut jobs.

    -David

  40. [40] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    If you thought Osama bin Laden was bad, just wait until the countless children who become orphaned by U.S. bombs in the coming weeks are all grown up.

    @cw,

    what's really scary is that it's only been TWELVE years. Six more and we'll have an entire generation of ISIS types trying to do their thing the world over. a boy from my wife's home town got shot dead this week volunteering in israel.

    i've always believed that it takes about 15 years before we start seeing the long-term impact of a policy (often whomever's in charge at that time wrongly gets the credit or the blame). hawks for the iraq war, democrats and republicans both, have a lot to answer for already, and likely much more to come.

    JL

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    On an unrelated note, can you guess who looks like the biggest winner from Citizens United based dark money? Remember, nearly anonymous massive political donations are permitted by a court decision that president Obama said "has caused real harm to our democracy." can anyone here guess who the biggest beneficiary of this is?

    JL

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    On an unrelated note, can you guess who looks like the biggest winner from Citizens United based dark money? Remember, nearly anonymous massive political donations are permitted by a court decision that president Obama said "has caused real harm to our democracy." can anyone here guess who the biggest beneficiary of this is?

    I'll give you a hint..

    Hillary C....

    No, no no... That's too easy...

    H Clinton.....

    :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mrs. Clinton’s windfalls from Wall Street banks and other financial services firms — $3 million in paid speeches and $17 million in campaign contributions over the years — have become a major vulnerability in states with early nomination contests. Some party officials who remain undecided in the 2016 presidential race see her as overly cozy with big banks and other special interests. At a time when liberals are ascendant in the party, many Democrats believe her merely having “represented Wall Street as a senator from New York,” as Mrs. Clinton reminded viewers in an October debate, is bad enough.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/us/politics/wall-st-ties-linger-as-image-issue-for-hillary-clinton.html?_r=0

    If ya'all are REALLY supportive of "income equality" there is absolutely NO WAY in hell ya'all could justify a vote for Clinton..

    NO... WAY....

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/us/politics/wall-st-ties-linger-as-image-issue-for-hillary-clinton.html?_r=0

    If ya'all are REALLY supportive of "income equality" there is absolutely NO WAY in hell ya'all could justify a vote for Clinton..

    NO... WAY....

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "And yet, you STILL support Obama...
    So only one of two conclusions are possible..
    Either those issues really don't mean much to you...
    Or your loyalty to Obama means more.."

    OR, a third conclusion is possible: That I saw no alternative that was BETTER than Obama, and I see any of the Republican alternatives as being MUCH worse.

    "If something is bad and heinously wrong, then it should be that way regardless of whether the POTUS has a '-D' or a '-R' after his name..."

    I totally agree, so please do not lump me in with the people who think otherwise.

    "But you only condemn the people who COMMIT the acts if they have a '-R- after their name..
    The people who have a '-D' after their name get a pass.."

    I would make the distinction of the lesser of two evils.... I would rather continue to support someone who at least espouses (let's say) 75% of what I think are good ideas that I could get behind them on, and continue to call them out on the remaining 25% that I think they are just flat out wrong on... and condemn the people where I disagree with 100 percent of their agenda that they want to pursue and implement. The latter just only happen to be mostly Republicans. :-)

  46. [46] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Look, I am not trying to be an asshole.. Well, not much anyways.. :D

    I am just trying to explain my perspective..."

    Michale, let me see if I can give you a complement in return, if I can explain this correctly. I really appreciate having you here to engage in discussions. We all may disagree passionately sometimes, but I think that is a very good thing. For one, it would be a lot less fun otherwise. For another, I really don't think it does anybody very much good to simply be talking to a mirror all of the time, if you know what I mean. That would be like surrounding a President who is making policy, any President, with only a bunch of yes men. That kind of thing never leads to a good outcome.

  47. [47] 
    John M wrote:

    Ooops! I meant "compliment" damn spell check auto correct sometimes! :-)

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    OR, a third conclusion is possible: That I saw no alternative that was BETTER than Obama, and I see any of the Republican alternatives as being MUCH worse.

    OK.. Fine.. He's the best of a bad lot.. I don't agree, but OK..

    But just because he is the best of a bad lot, DOESN'T PRECLUDE YOU from taking him to task when he fraks up..

    Put another way.. Ya'all attack Republicans at the drop of a dime for every real or imagined slight..

    Yet, you DON'T attack Obama when he fraks up..

    So, what's a logical person to conclude??

    I totally agree, so please do not lump me in with the people who think otherwise.

    When was the last time you took Obama to task for anything unprompted??

    Put another way.. If you go on and on and on about how Republicans lie but you don't say boo about Obama's lies....

    Again, what's a logical person to conclude??

    I would make the distinction of the lesser of two evils....

    But you DON'T make that distinction. NO ONE here does.

    And THAT's my point...

    It's simple..

    "Republicans lie their asses off.. Now, granted, Obama and truth are not really acquainted either, but REPUBLICANS blaa blaaa blaaa blaaa"

    You see how easy it would be???

    But no one here can DO that. Because it would be disloyal to Obama..

    Michale, let me see if I can give you a complement in return, if I can explain this correctly. I really appreciate having you here to engage in discussions. We all may disagree passionately sometimes, but I think that is a very good thing. For one, it would be a lot less fun otherwise. For another, I really don't think it does anybody very much good to simply be talking to a mirror all of the time, if you know what I mean.

    Thank you. Sincerely.. It's nice to hear.. :D

    That would be like surrounding a President who is making policy, any President, with only a bunch of yes men. That kind of thing never leads to a good outcome.

    EXACTLY...

    I could NOT possibly agree more with you than I do right now..

    Group hug!! :D

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Edwards is a Blue Dog Democrat, and is pro-gun and pro-life. He had a military career and has family ties to Louisiana that reach back many generations. The rest of his politics are pretty standard Democratic stuff.

    Really??

    Edwards backs a state ban on Syrian Refugees...

    If Edwards had a '-R' after his name, ya'all would hate him.. :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    It's interesting how you always boil things down to emotional responses like hatred. No one else around here does that.

    As for Edwards, if he backs a state ban on Syrian refugees, then he belongs to the group of Americans who resort to fear-mongering based on misinformation and who may say they defend the ideals of American but who actually have no idea what those ideals mean.

    And, just as importantly, Edwards is apparently unable to judge a situation dispassionately and take his own ego out of the situation and therefore is in no position to lead.

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I just read that Chris handed this guy the MIDOTW award. Now, I can't imagine that Chris would have done that if this guy was backing a ban on Syrian refugees.

    Are you sure Edwards backs such a ban or is this just another tid bit you've picked up from your "reliable" sources?

  52. [52] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I do believe that Edwards backs The Pause. Does that qualify as a "ban"?

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's interesting how you always boil things down to emotional responses like hatred. No one else around here does that.

    Yer kidding, right???

    Are you sure Edwards backs such a ban or is this just another tid bit you've picked up from your "reliable" sources?

    Largely unknown outside the State Capitol and his House district until a few months ago, Edwards, 49, is anti-abortion, pro-gun and supports a state ban on incoming Syrian refugees.
    http://theadvocate.com/news/14047824-184/plenty-of-cash-spending-mud

    As for Edwards, if he backs a state ban on Syrian refugees, then he belongs to the group of Americans who resort to fear-mongering based on misinformation and who may say they defend the ideals of American but who actually have no idea what those ideals mean.

    Like I said.. If he had a '-R' after his name, ya'all would hate him..

    But because he has a '-D' after his name, he's the Big Kahuna and the most recent MIDOTW awardee...

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, John, I believe that qualifies as a ban.

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ...the most recent MIDOTW awardee...

    Unbelievable.

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    I do believe that Edwards backs The Pause. Does that qualify as a "ban"?

    Ya see???

    Edwards has a '-D' after his name so yer bending over backwards to mitigate or excuse his position..

    If he had a '-R', ya'all would be tearing him a new arsehole...

    :D

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Like I said.. If he had a '-R' after his name, ya'all would hate him..But because he has a '-D' after his name, he's the Big Kahuna and the most recent MIDOTW awardee...

    In this context, you can replace your favourite "ya'all" with CW.

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    ...the most recent MIDOTW awardee...

    Unbelievable.

    Apparently Edwards puts the safety of his citizens before Party Loyalty..

    Just like New Hampshire's governor as well...

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Edwards has a '-D' after his name so yer bending over backwards to mitigate or excuse his position..

    WHAT!!?? C A N Y O U R E A D !!!???

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not only am I not bending over backwards to defend Edwards, I am not bending over backwards to excuse Chris's poor judgement.

    I'M NOT PART OF YOUR "YA'LL"!

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    And for another comic interlude...

    http://sjfm.us/temp/HungerGames.jpg

    HUNGER GAMES at Michale's House... :D

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, furthermore, until you understand that much, Michale, there is nothing we can discuss.

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Doesn't even interest me.

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    In other words, that's the last thing I'm going to click on ...

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Edwards has a '-D' after his name so yer bending over backwards to mitigate or excuse his position..

    WHAT!!?? C A N Y O U R E A D !!!???

    "Enhance your calm."
    -Demolition Man

    :D

    That was directed at JFC... :D

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh.

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    As for Edwards, if he backs a state ban on Syrian refugees, then he belongs to the group of Americans who resort to fear-mongering based on misinformation and who may say they defend the ideals of American but who actually have no idea what those ideals mean.

    So, it CAN'T be that Edwards is just concerned about the citizens of Louisiana??

    It HAS to be he is a scum-bag or a moron or both??

    Is there no room in your "enlightened world" for sincere disagreement??

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I sincerely disagree with Edwards and others like him who would also ban Syrian refugees - because Syrian refugees ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!

    Either these people know that and they are fear-mongering for political purposes OR they truly are ignorant individuals who don't understand the problems we face, much less what the solutions are.

    So, to use your words, not mine, Edwards is NOT a "scum-bag or moron or both" he is a political opportunist or unaware of the facts of this issue and, I would suspect, of a number of other issues as well.

    How's that?

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, by the way, I don't give a damn what letter follows his name.

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    Once again, my NPA shines thru..

    I am DEFENDING a Democrat... :D

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, by the way, I don't give a damn what letter follows his name.

    That's great... :D

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, it's not your NPA that's shining through ...

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ... it's your tendency to defend the unworthy.

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Regardless of what letter follows their name, I might add.

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    ... it's your tendency to defend the unworthy.

    Again, how is it "unworthy" to care for one's fellow Americans??

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, that's not unworthy at all.

    Am I confusing you?

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yea.. Partisanship is always confusing...

    Michale

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Wrap your mind around this, Michale ...

    Not only is it unworthy but, it is un-American to care ONLY for one's fellow Americans while a good portion of the rest of humanity suffers, especially when much of the suffering directly related to American foreign policies.

    If Edwards and others really care about the security of their fellow citizens, then they might want to focus on the real solutions to real problems.

  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yea.. Partisanship is always confusing...

    You should try it without partisanship, Michale ... you might like it.

  81. [81] 
    Michale wrote:

    You should try it without partisanship, Michale ... you might like it.

    All it is, is partisanship.. The ONLY reason Democrats want the refugees is to mint fresh new Democrat voters....

    Nothing but pure unadulterated partisanship..

    Give me ONE, just ONE, rational, logical objective and NON-EMOTIONAL reason why the US should have Syrian refugees??

    Put another way...

    If the US bans Syrian refugees and there are no terrorists in their midst, what's the worse that can happen??? The refugees stay a little longer in the Eastern Europe containment zones and then go to a country that actually WANTS them there...

    If the US allows Syrian refugees and there ARE terrorists in their midst, what's the worse that can happen??

    Hundreds, perhaps THOUSANDS of innocent men, women and children brutally murdered....

    To me, it's a no-brainer..

    But then again, I am not thinking like a Party ideologue...

    I am thinking like a rational, logical and objective person with over two and a half decades in the field..

    Michale

  82. [82] 
    Michale wrote:

    The latest recipient of the Most Impressive Democrat of the Week award should heed the message in this photo essay ...

    Pure unadulterated EMOTIONALISM...

    Any decision based on emotion is, more often than not, the WRONG decision to make..

    ISIS is counting on that hysterical emotionalism to get their operators in place...

    Michale

  83. [83] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Edwards and others really care about the security of their fellow citizens, then they might want to focus on the real solutions to real problems.

    Terrorism IS a real problem.

    That's what you just don't get...

    Michale

  84. [84] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I'll give you a hint..

    Hillary C....

    No, no no... That's too easy...

    H Clinton.....

    yup. although the majority of the dark money has gone to republican candidates, it's been much more dispersed because there are so darn many of them; leaving HC as the biggest winner in superPAC money. funny that most citizens united supporters have been conservatives, yet it's backfiring a bit by giving their most hated rival her biggest advantage.

    i'm not quite sure whether to condemn all of the above for naked plutocracy or engage in partisan snark about what's good for the gander being good for the goose. i admit to pro-clinton bias, mainly because i think in spite of her ethical issues she'll get the best results, like nixon and johnson before her. nonetheless, the flood of superpac funding can't be anything but bad for democracy.

    JL

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    But take heart Liz...

    Edwards probably made the BAN REFUGEES FROM THE STATE promise just to get elected..

    Now that he's won, he will probably back pedal and flip flop...

    He *IS* a Democrat, after all.. :D

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    funny that most citizens united supporters have been conservatives, yet it's backfiring a bit by giving their most hated rival her biggest advantage.

    But gives conservatives a WHOLE LOTTA ammunition to use against Hillary..

    It's funny how the Left Wingery was apoplectic about Citizens United..

    At the time, I said that the Left will whine and cry about it, but will be out there with their hands out for all the CU generated money...

    Blatant, unadulterated hypocrisy...

    Once again, I was proven dead on ballz accurate...

    Not that I would ever stoop so low as to brag about it.. :D

    Michale

  87. [87] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But gives conservatives a WHOLE LOTTA ammunition to use against Hillary..

    which conservatives? the only republican candidate who hasn't done the exact same thing himself is donald trump.

    JL

  88. [88] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    furthermore, conservatives were the ones who brought this monster to bear in the first place, so it's just as hypocritical of them to criticize clinton for using superPAC money as it is for her supporters to criticize them for making those funds available.

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I am thinking like a rational, logical and objective person with over two and a half decades in the field..

    You're not thinking at all, Michale - that's the problem and why no one can have an enlightened discussion with you.

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    which conservatives? the only republican candidate who hasn't done the exact same thing himself is donald trump.

    No one has done what Hillary has done...

    Decried and demonized SuperPAC funds, but then turned around and took them...

    furthermore, conservatives were the ones who brought this monster to bear in the first place, so it's just as hypocritical of them to criticize clinton for using superPAC money as it is for her supporters to criticize them for making those funds available.

    Hillary's crime is not taking the SuperPAC funds...

    Her crime is castigating and demonizing the SuperPAC funds and THEN taking the funds..

    Her crime is hypocrisy...

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Let's be accurate..

    I AM thinking..

    I am just nothing thinking the way you THINK I should be thinking..

    I am thinking clearly and objectively..

    You are thinking emotionally...

    It's the "OH MY GODS THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!" mentality...

    Objectively speaking, the threat is real.. Paris proved that..

    Michale

  92. [92] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Terrorism IS a real problem. That's what you just don't get...

    Very good. Yes, terrorism is a real problem. Syrian refugees are not.

    Before you post any more nonsense here, take your years of field work and do your homework. Find out who the terrorists are and how they are getting into the US. This is how you discover what the problem is and how to solve it.

    And, while you're at it, bonus point will be awarded if you can come up with a rationale as to why it is in the national interest of the US to accept as many refugees from Syria and the region as it can safely vet and resettle

  93. [93] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    All it is, is partisanship.. The ONLY reason Democrats want the refugees is to mint fresh new Democrat voters....

    Is that why you want to turn them away? Because you're afraid the Democrats might win an election or two? Seriously?

    You're in a worse place than I thought, Michale.

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Give me ONE, just ONE, rational, logical objective and NON-EMOTIONAL reason why the US should have Syrian refugees??

    Have you heard of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty?

    Do these places have any meaning for you?

  95. [95] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I almost hate to ask but, what does it mean to you to be an American?

  96. [96] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Her crime is castigating and demonizing the SuperPAC funds and THEN taking the funds..
    Her crime is hypocrisy...

    perhaps unsurprisingly, i don't see it that way. just because you don't like the rules of the game doesn't mean it's your sacred duty to avoid exploiting them, lest you be labeled a hypocrite. in sports terms, let's say you're an AL manager who thinks the designated hitter is the worst rule in the history of baseball (in real life i bet there's more than one). does that mean you let your pitchers hit on principle, irrespective of that decision's outcome on the games you manage? does it mean that on principle you must refuse any managing job unless it's in the NL? please explain to me how hillary accepting superPAC money is any different.

    JL

  97. [97] 
    John M wrote:

    Michale wrote:

    "Give me ONE, just ONE, rational, logical objective and NON-EMOTIONAL reason why the US should have Syrian refugees??"

    I can't. But I can give you this: From Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home:

    UHURA: He is not expected to survive.
    McCOY: Jim, you've got to let me go in there! Don't leave him in the hands of twentieth century medicine.
    SPOCK: Admiral, may I suggest that Doctor McCoy is correct. We must help Chekov.
    KIRK: Is that the logical thing to do, Spock?
    SPOCK: No, but is the human thing to do.

  98. [98] 
    John M wrote:

    OR, from Star Trek: The Next Generation...

    PICARD: How about a war? If generations of conflict is killing millions, do we interfere? Ah, well, now we're all a little less secure in our moral certitude. And what if it's not just killings. If an oppressive government is enslaving millions? You see, the Prime Directive has many different functions, not the least of which is to protect us. To prevent us from allowing our emotions to overwhelm our judgement.

    DATA: We are going to allow her to die, are we not?
    PICARD: Data, I want you to sever the contact with Drema Four.
    (Data goes to a wall panel and taps in commands)
    COMPUTER: Isolating frequency.
    SARJENKA [OC]: Data. Data, where are you? Why won't you answer? Are you angry me? Please, please, I'm so afraid. Data, Data, where are you?

    But in the end...

    PICARD: Wait. Oh, Data. Your whisper from the dark has now become a plea. We cannot turn our backs.

  99. [99] 
    Michale wrote:

    Very good. Yes, terrorism is a real problem. Syrian refugees are not.

    Then explain why a dead terrorist was carrying a "phony" Syrian passport that was used in a refugee wave that came thru Greece..

    You can't...

    Is that why you want to turn them away? Because you're afraid the Democrats might win an election or two? Seriously?

    Is THAT why Democrats WON'T protect Americans? Becuase they are afraid of losing an election or two??

    Seriously??

    It works both ways, my friend.. :D

    Have you heard of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty?

    Do these places have any meaning for you?

    So, there is NO logical, rational or objective reason. All you have is an emotional reason...

    On the other hand, putting hundreds or thousands of American's lives at risk based on emotionalism and the desire to win an election is not logical...

    Michale

  100. [100] 
    Michale wrote:

    perhaps unsurprisingly, i don't see it that way. just because you don't like the rules of the game doesn't mean it's your sacred duty to avoid exploiting them, lest you be labeled a hypocrite.

    On the other hand, if you are steadfastly against the rules and yet you still use them, doesn't that call your integrity into question??

    Do you want a POTUS that has no integrity??

    Michale

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    JM,

    Well played.. :D

    "You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses, would ya?? {BAASH!} You hit a guy WITH glasses.. he he he Well played.."
    -King Candy, WRECK IT RALPH

    :D

    So, we are all in agreement.

    There aren't any logical, rational or objective reasons to bring in Syrian refugees... Well, unless you count minting fresh new Democrat voters.. I am sure that seems very logical and rational... To Democrats...

    But there ARE very logical and rational and valid reasons for preventing Syrian Refugees from entering the United States until they can be properly vetted....

    Logic wins the day...

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    Michale wrote:

    The entire reason for the existence of the Federal Government, it's VERY FIRST DUTY, is to safe guard and protect the lives of it's citizens...

    Based on that alone, bringing in un-vetted refugees where terrorists are likely mixed in violates the Federal Government's most basic function and most sacred duty...

    If there wasn't any evidence of terrorists within the midst of the Syrian refugees, then ya'all would have a decent argument..

    But there is so ya'all don't...

    Michale

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    Is that why you want to turn them away? Because you're afraid the Democrats might win an election or two? Seriously?

    And, just for the record, I don't want to turn them away just because they might win the election for Democrats..

    I want to turn them away because they are a threat to the safety and security of Americans..

    I merely point out that Democrats would rather Americans be at risk of death rather than take a chance on a FAIR election..

    Democrats know that they can't win if it's just legal AMERICANS who are voting..

    Michale

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    Finley: Obama fiddling while terror threat grows

    France got the wake-up call. Its left-wing President Francois Hollande has transformed into a war hawk, at least for the moment, declaring the terrorism an act of war and pledging a “pitiless war” in return. Immediately he ordered an escalation in bombing runs on Islamic State strongholds, taking out key targets within hours of the Paris carnage.

    Russia’s Vladimir Putin, too, has stepped up. After confirming ISIS was responsible for the bomb that brought down a Russian plane, it unleashed a relentless aerial assault against Islamic State targets in Syria, flying more than 2,000 sorties over the past week.

    And the United States? President Barack Obama blustered a bit about the unacceptability of terrorism and then hung a Do Not Disturb sign on the Oval Office door. While other world leaders ramp up for the unavoidable showdown with ISIS, Obama is busy plotting the war on global warming.

    The president’s behavior in the week since Paris confirms the words of one commentator, who described Obama as “living in a world of denial and naivete.”
    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/nolan-finley/2015/11/21/opinion-obama-terrorism/76177722/

    You see, Obama's ego won't LET him admit that he was wrong about ISIS being "the JV"...

    So, he would rather see Americans at risk rather than admit he was wrong and take the proper steps to safeguard Americans..

    Michale

  105. [105] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, speaking of Trek....

    http://sjfm.us/temp/cw2.jpg

    I hate it when my grandkids leave their toys out.. :D

    Michale

  106. [106] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, there is NO logical, rational or objective reason. All you have is an emotional reason...

    So, American ideals mean nothing to you and have no place in the struggle to defeat the violently deranged Islamist extremists and the destructive ideology that underpins their barbaric behavior?

    That's what I was afraid of but never really believed about you, until now.

    What's emotional is the insistence on portraying the Syrian refugees as terrorists when there is no logical reason to do so.

    ?

    ?

    ?

  107. [107] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Not sure why those question marks are there ... I pretty much understand precisely where you're coming from Michale.

  108. [108] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale, you keep talking about Obama's ego, no matter the issue we are trying to discuss.

    That sounds a lot like a classic case of projection...in reality, you are the one who cannot take his ego out of the equation and judge the situation dispassionately, often relying on emotionally charged arguments that have no factual basis.

  109. [109] 
    Michale wrote:

    What's emotional is the insistence on portraying the Syrian refugees as terrorists when there is no logical reason to do so.

    You mean, no logical reason other than the Syrian passport found on the dead body of one of the Paris terrorists.

    Other than that, right. No logical reason.. :^/

    That sounds a lot like a classic case of projection...in reality, you are the one who cannot take his ego out of the equation and judge the situation dispassionately, often relying on emotionally charged arguments that have no factual basis.

    Talk about projection!! :D

    I have a logical and factual basis for my Syrian refugee concerns.. it's a basis that you continue to ignore and refuse to address.

    It's ya'all who have no logical or factual basis to admit the Syrian voters... I mean refugees into the US...

    As ya'all have already admitted..

    Michale

  110. [110] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Every now and then I post how the various Presidential Contenders are faring in the Prediction Markets. Without further ado, or even permission:

    Over at Camp Republican:

    Marco Rubio is still the clear favorite, and trending upwards past a 40% chance of securing the nomination.

    The ever volatile Donald Trump had a good week, with a sharp uptick past 20%, an all time high, but Our Dark Lord has fallen off a bit today to a still impressive 18%. The Force is strong in that one, but you have to pound on his box now and then.

    Ted Cruise continues his steady trend upward, at an all time high of about 13%.

    Ben Carson has nosed over again, to under 4%. Skilled hands, dubious mind? This is Jeb! Territory. Actually, it's lower than Jeb! Move towards the light Ben.

    That's right, Jeb! is back in the number 4 slot!
    Which he achieved by merely flat lining at 10%! The family is huddled around his political bedside, trying to decide who will broach the touchy subject of "pulling the plug."

    On the other side of the lake at Camp Democrat

    Hillary Clinton is at an all time high of just under 90% - which is as high as the graphs go at Betfair. Her coronation rolls unvexed to the sea.

    Bernie Sanders continued his rapid declne and has gone below 8%. Fans of Bernie, you may want to curb your enthusiasm.

  111. [111] 
    Michale wrote:

    As I said (and as ya'all ignored) if ya'all are right about there being no terrorists amongst the Syrian refugees, what's the worse that happens??

    The refugees say in an Eastern Europe processing center longer..

    But if ya'all are WRONG... If there ARE terrorists hiding amongst the refugees, then the worse that can happen is hundreds or even thousands of dead and wounded Americans..

    If ya'all quit being so hysterically emotional about the issue and look at it calmly, rationally, logically and above all else, OBJECTIVELY you will see that the clearest and most logical course of action is to vet the incoming refugees more vigorously...

    Ya'all are reacting emotionally... Ya'all are more Commodore Decker and less Commander Spock..

    And that's why ya'all are wrong...

    Michale

  112. [112] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hillary Clinton is at an all time high of just under 90% - which is as high as the graphs go at Betfair. Her coronation rolls unvexed to the sea.

    You nailed it..

    Hillary is not being chosen..

    She is being coronated...

    Michale

  113. [113] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all are always so fond of quoting "experts"...

    Why Paris Could Happen Here
    The elements of an attack are available, including the weapons, manpower and a ‘permissive environment.’

    http://www.wsj.com/article_email/why-paris-could-happen-here-1448231559-lMyQjAxMTA1NjI2MzcyNjMzWj

    The problem is ya'all only quote the "experts" that support the agenda and ignore the experts that don't...

    Michale

  114. [114] 
    Michale wrote:

    “I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault: Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed, and we’re with you.”
    -Hillary Clinton

    Does ANYONE see the incongruity here??? :D

    Michale

  115. [115] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    Hi @Paula

    I replied to your post #42 under "Clinton's War Plan", but it's not through whatever comment guard @CW has.

    Richard

  116. [116] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @John M [#43]

    I totally agree, so please do not lump me in with the people who think otherwise.

    There's a comment coming from me where I gave @John From Censorati credit for calling out the broad brush, but was thinking of your comment. Sorry, apparently I'm mixing my Johns up. I'm told that can cause trouble.

    [#44]

    We all may disagree passionately sometimes, but I think that is a very good thing. For one, it would be a lot less fun otherwise. For another, I really don't think it does anybody very much good to simply be talking to a mirror all of the time, if you know what I mean.

    Second!

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    Look at this Twit­ter feed from Ron Klain, a lead­ing Demo­crat­ic con­sult­ant who served as Obama’s Ebola czar. He re­calls the ir­ra­tion­al, polit­ic­ally charged calls to close U.S. bor­ders to people from na­tions stricken by the dis­ease—a pan­ic not un­like the one over Syr­i­an refugees today. “Ebola ex­per­i­ence of­fers three les­sons for man­aging fears,” Klain writes.

    1. Ac­know­ledge and ad­dress the pub­lic’s fear. Don’t dis­miss it as il­le­git­im­ate. “That only ex­acer­bates fears and fuels doubts about lead­ers’ candor.”

    2. Ex­plain the dangers of “giv­ing in­to fears.” In­ac­tion is ris­ki­er than ac­tion.

    3. “Show that gov­ern­ment has a plan to man­age the risk—not ig­nor­ing the risk, but tak­ing act­ive, ser­i­ous steps to re­duce it.”

    Klain didn’t say this but I will: On IS­IS, Obama breaks every rule. He min­im­izes the threat and dis­misses our fears, which raises doubts about his candor and cap­ab­il­ity. An over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans dis­ap­prove of his hand­ling of IS­IS, a new poll shows, and 81 per­cent think IS­IS will strike the United States.
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/s/111254/leaderless

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    Michale wrote:

    State Department issues worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens, cites terror threats

    The State Department has released a worldwide travel alert for Americans, citing increased terrorism threats worldwide and advising U.S. citizens to “avoid large crowds or crowed places,” especially during the holiday season.

    The Monday alert, which also warned Americans of the risks of using public transportation and attending theater and sporting events, is effective for three months and only expires on Feb. 24, the State Department said.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/23/state-department-issues-worldwide-travel-alert-us-/

    Don't tell me.. Lemme guess..

    The Obama Administration is just being prudent, right???

    :^/

    Michale

  119. [119] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    The biggest threat to Americans is their own countrymen ginned up on the drug of drama. There's nothing so alluring to the drama addict as fear and panic. By their very definitions "fear" and "panic" are irrational so you cannot reason with these terror addicts who can work themselves up into near hysteria or heightened anger.

    They quickly get angry too, especially with anyone who points out that there is no reason for fear - they're addicts and desperate for that fear high so they vehemently oppose anyone trying to take their high from them. The best thing about anger for them is that it further fuels their emotional high.

    If they are posting comments on a blog, the addict will be the person who posts more comments than anyone else because every post helps to stoke their anger and give them the illusion of "being on top of it". All addicts kid themselves in this way. It's very sad but a very typical symptom of addiction.

    They can't abide calm and collected people because they see these people as wanting to take their fear and anger high away from them. They aren't aware of this consciously. It is another symptom of addiction that most addicts deny they are addicts. They will try to claim that their particular addiction isn't a real addiction - addicts always lie to themselves and other people. They have to believe whatever fuels their addiction and are incapable of considering alternatives though they inevitably fool themselves into believing the opposite is true.

    Of course drama addicts are instantly attracted to any media entity or politician who stokes their fear and loathing because they really need their high. They turn to the least credible sources, particular Murdoch media which has the worst reputation worldwide for accuracy and truth. Deep down, where they don't need to think, they are compelled to seek out whatever rhetoric fuels their fear and anger addiction.

    Sad sad people.

  120. [120] 
    Paula wrote:

    Richard (113): Thanks for trying. Unless I'm misunderstanding, you posted a reply and it got eaten, right? So -- I just checked -- it hasn't appeared, right.?Interested in your response if it eventually appears.

    I forget sometimes but I've gotten in the habit of copying my posts before submitting because they just seem to get eaten periodically.

  121. [121] 
    Michale wrote:

    The biggest threat to Americans is their own countrymen ginned up on the drug of drama.

    Yea... Many people said the same thing on 10 Sep 2001..

    There are none so blind as those who will not see..

    The threat is real...

    Pretending it's all just drama and fear mongering doesn't change the reality of the threat..

    Michale

  122. [122] 
    Michale wrote:

    I forget sometimes but I've gotten in the habit of copying my posts before submitting because they just seem to get eaten periodically.

    I am not sure what you are posting on, but on a Windows PC using CHROME, if you post your comment and it doesn't appear, you can use the BACK BUTTON on your browser (or the BACKSPACE key on your keyboard) and your comment will still be in the COMMENT box...

    Michale

  123. [123] 
    Michale wrote:

    In completely unrelated news that fits the whole POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RUN AMOK meme...

    http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/30532415/controversy-over-local-high-school-students-tweet

    A high school girl in Boston was banned from cheerleading because she made an offensive tweet...

    Now, the tweet was incoherent.. I have absolutely no idea what it means, but some high school kids got offended and complained..

    But the important part is the quote from the district official..

    Revere Superintendent Dianne Kelly says the district believes in freedom of speech, but cannot support what she calls insensitive language.

    Miss Kelly needs to study her Constitution...

    The First Amendment was DESIGNED to protect "insensitive" speech and "offensive" speech and "hurtful" speech..

    That's it's SOLE REASON for existence...

    Somewhere along the way, the Left Wingery inserted an invisible section into the First Amendment..

    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE NOT OFFENDED

    Political Correctness.. One of THE most moronic things to come out of the Left Wingery...

    But what's even MORE galling than that is that it's *ONLY* the Left Wingery who has a right to be not offended..

    Left Wingers can say or do anything and tough titty to those who don't like it.. But let someone of the Left Wingery get offended??

    All hell breaks loose...

    Michale

  124. [124] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Go ahead and yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, Michale. Use your First Amendment rights to protect you. You can always shoot harmlessly at the ceiling or floor and invoke your Second Amendment rights while you're at it.

    Incidentally, how many of the 774,000 refugees allowed into the U.S. since 9/11, have committed acts of terror? I mean, you should have some supporting evidence to back up your claim that your Chicken Little hysteria is real.

  125. [125] 
    Michale wrote:

    Incidentally, how many of the 774,000 refugees allowed into the U.S. since 9/11, have committed acts of terror? I mean, you should have some supporting evidence to back up your claim that your Chicken Little hysteria is real.

    Past performance in NO WAY indicates future activity...

    NONE of you have addressed the one piece of evidence that has PUT the Syrian refugee issue on the front burner.

    How come??

    I understand and compliment you that you are willing to risk your life to be "nice" to refugees that are already in a safe place..

    But you have NO RIGHT to risk OTHER people's lives to further your own agenda...

    Michale

  126. [126] 
    Michale wrote:

    Go ahead and yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, Michale.

    Apparenlty, the Obama Administration is ALSO "yelling FIRE in a crowded theater"...

    State Department issues worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens, cites terror threats
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/23/state-department-issues-worldwide-travel-alert-us-/

    Funny how ya don't comment on that, eh? :D

    Michale

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's actually quite hilarious..

    The Left Wingery is willing to destroy the world's economy when there is absolutely NO hard facts or incontrovertible proof of Human Caused Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Marketing Schtick..

    But we DO have hard facts AND incontrovertible proof that there are ISIS terrorists mixed in with Syrian refugees..

    And the Left Wingery wants to do NOTHING... Wants to do WORSE than nothing..

    Now, what's the common denominator in those two widely varied issues..

    The Democrat Party agenda..

    To hell with people's lives and livelyhoods..

    PUSH THE AGENDA AT ANY COST!!!!

    PARTY UBER ALLES!!!

    It's so blatantly transparent, it's ill-inducing...

    Michale

  128. [128] 
    Michale wrote:
  129. [129] 
    Michale wrote:

    Have ya'all noticed how the whining and screaming about FEAR MONGERING has ceased??

    It coincides with the Obama Administration issuing a TRAVEL ALERT for ALL Americans worldwide...

    Once again, my assessment of the threat turns out to be dead on ballz accurate...

    'S OK.. I don't expect any acknowledgement.. I am happy to know that I was proven right once again.. :D

    Michale

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:

    In the past 7 days, Obama's approval rating has took a nosedive..

    Apparently, Americans don't like the way Obama tells everyone to "Chill out" when the threat of terrorism is a REAL threat...

    Especially since Obama himself flip flop'ed and said, "Ok, there IS something to worry about"...

    Whatta marroon...

    Michale

  131. [131] 
    Michale wrote:

    The pub­lic over­whelm­ingly be­lieves the coun­try is headed in the wrong dir­ec­tion (23/69, a his­tor­ic low in Bloomberg’s na­tion­al poll). Pres­id­ent Obama’s job-ap­prov­al rat­ing has been con­sist­ently un­der­wa­ter, with the op­pos­i­tion in­tensely re­ject­ing his policies. Any eco­nom­ic growth has been un­even, with more Amer­ic­ans pess­im­ist­ic than op­tim­ist­ic about the fu­ture. The pub­lic’s nat­ur­al de­sire for change after eight years of Demo­crats in the White House be­ne­fits the op­pos­i­tion. Mean­while, the party’s likely stand­ard-bear­er has been saddled with weak fa­vor­ab­il­ity rat­ings of her own, with her email scan­dal drag­ging down her trust­wor­thi­ness in the minds of voters. This is not the en­vir­on­ment in which the party in power typ­ic­ally pre­vails.
    That was all true even be­fore the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Par­is rat­cheted up na­tion­al se­cur­ity as a dom­in­ant is­sue head­ing in­to the pres­id­en­tial elec­tion. Obama, who dis­missed IS­IS ter­ror­ists this week as “a bunch of killers with good so­cial me­dia,” is badly out of step with Amer­ic­an pub­lic opin­ion on the cru­cial is­sue. This week’s ABC News/Wash­ing­ton Post sur­vey showed 59 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans be­lieve the U.S. is “at war with rad­ic­al Is­lam”—a phrase most Demo­crats res­ist us­ing. A siz­able 60 per­cent ma­jor­ity sup­ports send­ing ground troops in­to Syr­ia and Ir­aq to fight IS­IS. Even on the is­sue of hous­ing Syr­i­an refugees, on which lead­ing Demo­crats have ral­lied be­hind the pres­id­ent, polls show a clear ma­jor­ity of voters—along with about one-third of the House Demo­crat­ic caucus—now op­pose such meas­ures.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/s/111314/republicans-hold-edge-2016-presidential-race?mref=mostread

    Ya'all can argue until the cows come home..

    But the facts are clear...

    Michale

  132. [132] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#118], @Michale [#120]

    Thanks, I often tried that, but the last couple of times it resulted in double postings so didn't attempt it this time.

    It's too bad too. It was wonderfully written, astonishingly insightful, and would have brought all the nations, not to mention @Michale and @Altohone, to a place of rapturous togetherness the world has never before experienced. Women would have rallied and men would have wept upon reading those words.

    There. That last should assure it shows up now just to prove me wrong (it's the same way I find things I've misplaced -- I accuse someone of stealing it).

  133. [133] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    See *that* one made it.

  134. [134] 
    Michale wrote:

    (it's the same way I find things I've misplaced -- I accuse someone of stealing it).

    You do that too!!???

    I hate that about myself! I have all sorts of visions of my friends and customers stabbing me in the back, taking my favorite flashlight or thumb drive only to come across it in some totally inane place with the thought, "Oh, yea.. That's where I put it"

    I have gone on a tear, mentally yelling and cursing that someone stole my ladder only to review the surveillance footage and learn that it was ME that took it!!

    True stories!! heh

    It's too bad too. It was wonderfully written, astonishingly insightful, and would have brought all the nations, not to mention @Michale and @Altohone, to a place of rapturous togetherness the world has never before experienced. Women would have rallied and men would have wept upon reading those words.

    Maybe entire societies and civilizations would have based their entire existence on those words!! :D

    Michale

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yep.. Just happened to me.. :D heh

    http://sjfm.us/temp/cw-commentary9.jpg

    Michale

  136. [136] 
    Paula wrote:

    Richard (130) -- I hear you, but I really would like to hear what you had to say. My premise is that the Republican Party -- in terms of it's office-holders, consultants, major donors and media outlets -- have embraced dishonesty on a foundational level as a means of manipulating and convincing people to vote for them or against Democrats. It isn't merely a matter of individual Pols or media figures lying here or there. Individuals do lie to protect themselves, and, while the % is higher on the Repub side, certainly individual Dems have been guilty of lying. This is much bigger. Dishonesty permeates the Republican Party apparatus now -- people lie blatantly, constantly, without hesitation, without remorse. It is a VERY BAD THING. It has happened gradually and as the result of the slow coming-together of the party machine: the party structure itself, FOX, hate radio, ALEC, The Fedaralist Society, the Kochs and their ilk, etc. Like the proverbial frog in the pan of water, people have become so used to Republican dishonesty they don't really see it as unusual anymore. That's where it's really, really damaging, because it destroys trust in government -- and rightly so. But on a societal level that is not a good thing.

    The experiment in Democracy that is the United States is imperfect but has a fundamental positiveness that deserves to be honored and worked with, not destroyed by liars and opportunists. To me, that is what has been happening. If you have a counter-point I'd like to hear it. (I'm asking you, btw, because I feel it's possible you could actually put up some real arguments -- unlike Michale who just instantly moves the goalpost or changes the subject.)

  137. [137] 
    Paula wrote:

    Shoot -- I guess I didn't close the italics. I just wanted to italicize the word "do".

  138. [138] 
    Paula wrote:

    Trying again:

    Richard (130) -- I hear you, but I really would like to hear what you had to say. My premise is that the Republican Party -- in terms of it's office-holders, consultants, major donors and media outlets -- have embraced dishonesty on a foundational level as a means of manipulating and convincing people to vote for them or against Democrats. It isn't merely a matter of individual Pols or media figures lying here or there. Individuals do lie to protect themselves, and, while the % is higher on the Repub side, certainly individual Dems have been guilty of lying. This is much bigger. Dishonesty permeates the Republican Party apparatus now -- people lie blatantly, constantly, without hesitation, without remorse. It is a VERY BAD THING. It has happened gradually and as the result of the slow coming-together of the party machine: the party structure itself, FOX, hate radio, ALEC, The Fedaralist Society, the Kochs and their ilk, etc. Like the proverbial frog in the pan of water, people have become so used to Republican dishonesty they don't really see it as unusual anymore. That's where it's really, really damaging, because it destroys trust in government -- and rightly so. But on a societal level that is not a good thing.

    The experiment in Democracy that is the United States is imperfect but has a fundamental positiveness that deserves to be honored and worked with, not destroyed by liars and opportunists. To me, that is what has been happening. If you have a counter-point I'd like to hear it. (I'm asking you, btw, because I feel it's possible you could actually put up some real arguments -- unlike Michale who just instantly moves the goalpost or changes the subject.)

  139. [139] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#134]

    Ok, wow, thanks. I'll take another run at it late this afternoon/tonight. Actually, you've given me more to consider from my earlier reply, so thanks for that.

    @Michale [#132]

    Actually, I just now tell people that I'm preemptively accusing them so that we just get through the whole embarrassment that much sooner. Just rotate who you're going to accuse, let them use you the same way when they need to, and it all seems to work out and lost things are found that much sooner.

    And yes, entire societies and civilizations would have! Alas, I doubt I can channel but a pale imitation in my next attempt... :D

  140. [140] 
    akadjian wrote:

    the flood of superpac funding can't be anything but bad for democracy.

    Indeed. This is the big thing to overcome.

    Maybe this would be a good question for Hillary? How would you reform campaign financing?

    -David

  141. [141] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Btw, Michale. President Obama asked Congress for permission to go to war against ISIS in February.

    Even after Paris, Congress still won't authorize it.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/11/politics/isis-aumf-white-house-congress/

    Yunno why?

    Because they love playing politics and blaming things on Obama.

    Republicans have just decided they will sit on their ass until we elect more Republicans. What a bunch of douchebags.

    -David

  142. [142] 
    Michale wrote:

    Because they love playing politics and blaming things on Obama.

    And Democrats love playing politics and blaming things on Republicans..

    What's yer point??

    Republicans have just decided they will sit on their ass until we elect more Republicans. What a bunch of douchebags.

    Democrats are the same way... As you well know...

    It makes no logical sense to blame one side and give the other side a pass..

    Michale

  143. [143] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It makes no logical sense to blame one side and give the other side a pass.

    It does when one side is responsible.

    Remember the budget compromise where Republicans would have gotten 90% of what they wanted that they vetoed?

    Just to play politics.

    Remember the government shutdowns. The tricks with raising the deficit ceiling.

    Just to play politics.

    Three years of Benghazi hearings.

    Just to play politics.

    I'm pretty sure one party is the party of assholes. Should we just call them the Trumpublican Party?

    -David

  144. [144] 
    Michale wrote:

    It does when one side is responsible.

    Apparently, "responsible" is like beauty... The eye of the beholder..

    I don't consider calling political opponents "terrorists" solely because of a political disagreement "responsible"..

    I guess I am silly that way...

    Just to play politics.

    Remember when Democrats sided with Al Qaeda against President Bush? Just to play politics??

    See how Democrats want to invite terrorists into our midst...

    Just to play politics..

    It works both ways, my friend..

    I'm pretty sure one party is the party of assholes.

    Does Paula know you are using her broad brush?? :D

    Michale

  145. [145] 
    Paula wrote:

    David: (137 and 140): Yep.

    Michale's response is basically: "Nuh uh." He's like the Monty Python sketch: we're looking for "Argumentation" and he's behind the desk in "Contradiction" (wasn't that how it went?) Dems have never shut down the Government, or impeached a President for sexual misconduct (especially while themselves engaging in same) or hammered someone for eleven hours over bogus charges or ran endless and ongoing investigations of made-up scandals. (When they do investigations they get convictions.) But Michale will never, ever admit that there is any asymmetry between the two parties. Much easier for him to just say "anything we do, you do, so there! We may be bad (which he occasionally admits) but if we are, you are too!"

    "Responsible is in the eye of the beholder?" Dodge, dodge, dodge. He can't respond to allegations so he dodges.

    And to say Dems sided with Al Qaeda against Bush? A. that's a lie; B. it's bullshit. C. It's the kind of things MIchale throws out when he's up against the wall. He NEVER actually addresses points made he just repeats lies or changes the subject. Repubs HAVE shut down the government as a political stunt, and threaten to do so again and again. He's got nuthin' for that so it's "what incendiary allegation can I make now?"

  146. [146] 
    Paula wrote:

    rdnewman (139) -- Look forward to your response!

  147. [147] 
    Paula wrote:

    rdnewman (139) -- your original response to me came through in the previous thread after Chris cleaned the filter. I will wait for your addendum before responding -- if you still plan to post more thoughts. Let me know -- Thanks!

  148. [148] 
    Michale wrote:

    And to say Dems sided with Al Qaeda against Bush? A. that's a lie; B. it's bullshit. C. It's the kind of things MIchale throws out when he's up against the wall.

    Did Democrats oppose Bush's counter terrorism policies??

    Yes they did...

    Did Al Qaeda oppose Bush's counter terrorism policies??

    Yes they did..

    Ergo, Democrats sided with Al Qaeda against Bush..

    And Democrats did it for COMPLETELY partisan reasons to serve the Democrat agenda..

    How do we know this??

    Because Democrats supported AN ESCALATION of this EXACT SAME POLICIES under Obama...

    You have been taken to school...

    Class dismissed.. :D

    Michale

  149. [149] 
    Michale wrote:

    "After 9/11, politicians were awfully quick to restrict Americans' civil liberties. The USA PATRIOT Act flew through Congress, as I recall. But the one civil liberty that Republicans refused to even address was the ownership of firearms. 'Maybe we should do something so terrorists who sneak into America can't get guns,' Democrats proposed, but the answer was a flat: 'Nope, we're not gonna do that,' from the Republicans. Well, in the past ten years two thousand guns were bought by people on the official government terrorist watch list. Doesn't that concern Republicans even a tiny little bit? Don't you think this is a bigger danger than some three-year-old Syrian who is going to have to wait two or three years to become an official refugee? This is what I mean about Republicans getting distracted from real, tangible, and downright dangerous loopholes in America's laws -- loopholes that have allowed thousands of guns to get in the hands of suspected terrorists."

    First... Yes.. It's ridiculous that those guns were sold to people on the terrorist watch list..

    Completely and utterly ridiculous..

    NOW...

    If you want to talk about 2,000 guns, let's talk about the 2,000 guns that the Obama Administration sold to drug cartels... Guns that were used to kill American LEO personnel..

    Do ya'all want to discuss THOSE 2,000 guns??

    No??

    Didn't think so... :^/

    Michale

  150. [150] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mopshell,

    Incidentally, how many of the 774,000 refugees allowed into the U.S. since 9/11, have committed acts of terror? I mean, you should have some supporting evidence to back up your claim that your Chicken Little hysteria is real.

    On January 29, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, a federal warrant was unsealed for the arrest of Liban Haji Mohamed – a native of Somalia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – for allegedly providing material support to Harakat Shabaab Al-Mujahidin, also known as Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda. Mohamed is believed to have left the U.S. on July 5, 2012, with the intent to join Al-Shabaab in East Africa. Mohamed previously lived in the metro D.C. area and worked as a cab driver, and is believed to have snuck across the border to Mexico after being placed on the no-fly list. Carl Ghattas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office emphasized the importance of locating Mohamed, “because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings . . . [t]his makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.” Arrest Warrant

    That's one...

    On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Abdinassir Mohamud Ibrahim – a native of Somalia who came to the United States as a refugee in 2007 at the age of 22 and subsequently adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status – was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for conspiring to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and for making a false statement in his immigration paperwork. Ibrahim knowingly lied in his application for citizenship, and previously lied on his request for refugee status, by falsely claiming that he was of a member of the minority Awer clan in Somalia and subject to persecution by the majority Hawiye clan. However, Ibrahim was actually a member of the Hawiye clan and not subject to persecution. In fact, according to the Complaint, “Ibrahim’s family was famous . . . [and] [t]hrough his clan lineage, Ibrahim was related to known Somali terrorists[.]” Ibrahim also admitted he had lied on his citizenship application by having previously lied on his refugee application by falsely claiming that he had not provided material support to a terrorist group, when he had in fact provided material support in the form of cash to an Al-Shabaab member. Criminal Complaint Indictment

    That's 2...

    On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Abdullah Ramo Pazara – a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship in 2013 – was named in an indictment against six individuals listed below. Pazara was not charged because, purportedly, he is believed to be dead. According to the Indictment, the others listed provided material support to Pazara, who left the United States to go to Syria and fight with ISIS just eleven days after becoming a citizen. Among other things, Pazara allegedly told an individual about a mission where they “captured a large area, killed even individuals, captured one, and added that they intended to slaughter the prisoner the follow[ing] day.” According to press accounts, at the time Pazara was purportedly killed in Syria, he was a deputy to one of the top ISIS commanders. Indictment

    There's another....

    On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic – a native of Bosnia, and a purported Bosnian war hero who came to the United States as a refugee – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, with providing material support to terrorists, and conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. According to the indictment, among other things, Hodzic obtained money that he used to “purchase materials and supplies including: United States military uniforms, tactical combat boots, military surplus goods, tactical gear and clothing, firearms accessories, optical equipment and range finders, rifle scopes, equipment, and supplies . . . intending that the materials and supplies would thereafter be transferred to, and used to support” Abdullah Ramo Pazara and ISIS. Indictment

    And another....

    On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Sedina Unkic Hodzic – the wife of Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, and a native of Bosnia who came to the United States as a refugee – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. According to the indictment, Sedina, along with her husband, collected money from third parties and wired it to terrorists abroad. Also according to the indictment, Sedina shipped six boxes of U.S. military uniforms, combat boots, tactical clothing and gear, military surplus items, firearms accessories, rifle scopes, optical equipment, first aid supplies, and other equipment to terrorists abroad. Indictment
    On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Armin Harcevic – a native of Bosnia who came to the United States as a refugee, and subsequently adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and with providing material support to terrorists. According to the Indictment, Harcevic collected money from third parties and wired it and his own funds to terrorists abroad. Indictment

    ... and another...

    On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Nihad Rosic – a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists, and conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. According to the indictment, Rosic sent funds to terrorists abroad, and attempted to travel to Syria to join terrorists in Syria and Iraq. According to press accounts, Rosic was a truck driver and former mixed martial arts fighter who had previously been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after punching a woman in the face while she held a child, and in a separate incident, was charged with assault after allegedly beating his girlfriend with a belt. Indictment
    On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Mediha Medy Salkicevic – a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. According to press accounts, Salkicevic was formerly an employee with a cargo company that deals with items coming in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. According to the indictment, Salkicevic collected money from third parties and wired it and her own funds to terrorists abroad. Indictment

    ... and still another...

    On February 5, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jasminka Ramic – a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. According to the indictment, Ramic collected money from third parties and wired it and her own funds to terrorists abroad. Indictment
    On April 20, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Abdurahman Yasin Daud – who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, came to the United States as a refugee when he was a child, and subsequently adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status – was charged (along with six others) with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Daud and another individual drove from Minnesota to San Diego to attempt to get passports, cross the border into Mexico, and fly to Syria in an attempt to join ISIS. Criminal Complaint Indictment
    On April 20, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, Guled Ali Omar – who was also born in a Kenyan refugee camp, and sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee when he was a child, adjusted to Lawful Permanent Resident status, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship – was charged with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Omar is the younger brother of another indicted fugitive, Ahmed Ali Omar, who left the United States in 2007 to fight for Al-Shabaab. Another one of his brothers, Mohamed Ali Omar, was convicted in March of threatening federal agents when they came to the family’s residence to interview Guled Omar. During a press conference, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Andy Luger, said that Omar “never stopped plotting,” and had previously attempted to leave the United States. Criminal Complaint Indictment

    Looky here.. Another one..

    On August 12, 2015, in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, Fazliddin Kurbanov – a native of Uzbekistan who came to the United States as a refugee in 2009 – was found guilty on charges that he conspired and attempted to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessed an unregistered destructive device. U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin stated that he “conspired to provide material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and procured bomb-making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on American soil.” According to press reports, Kurbanov began his life as a Muslim, but faced persecution after his family converted to Orthodox Christianity. After coming to the United States with his family as a refugee, Kurbanov is said to have converted back to Islam and radicalized. Superseding Indictment Original Indictment (Idaho) Original Indictment (Utah)

    And still another one..

    There are hundreds of examples just like this one..

    So, do you want to tell me again how NO REFUGEEs ever committed terrorism against the US??

    Michale

  151. [151] 
    Michale wrote:

    In regards to the bullshit PC culture being forced-fed under threats of violence at America's universities??

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/427567/princeton-student-group-no-politically-correct-intimidation

    There is the PROPER way to address change...

    The CIVILIZED way..

    Michale

  152. [152] 
    Michale wrote:

    In regards to the bullshit PC culture being forced-fed under threats of violence at America's universities??

    Princeton Student Group: We Stand for Academic Freedom and Open Dialogue

    There is the PROPER way to address change...

    The CIVILIZED way..

    Michale

  153. [153] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#147]

    Yes, I see that now. Been stacked at work, but should be able to add additional thoughts here today based on your added remarks. Thanks for hanging in there and pls. don't feel like you have to wait to reply if I'm taking too long.

    Oh, and told you that my bragging undeservedly would cause it appear. I'm sure that's what prompted Chris...

  154. [154] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, and told you that my bragging undeservedly would cause it appear. I'm sure that's what prompted Chris...

    heh...

    Maybe I am going blind (a distinct possibility) but I still can't find yer comment..

    #??

    Michale

  155. [155] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Remember when Democrats sided with Al Qaeda against President Bush?

    No.

    Because this never happened. No matter how loudly you say it.

    -David

  156. [156] 
    Michale wrote:

    Because this never happened. No matter how loudly you say it.

    It did happen.. This is fact..

    Democrats, like Al Qaeda, opposed Bush's counter terrorism policies...

    Which I could understand and respect, if they were taking that position out of a sense of morality..

    But, as we came to find out, Democrats DIDN'T take that stance out of any sense of ethics or morality..

    Democrats took that position SOLELY and COMPLETELY to oppose Bush and serve a political agenda...

    That I can never forgive nor forget...

    But I understand why ya'all would want to deny this..

    Because the facts totally decimate ya'alls argument..

    Michale

  157. [157] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Because the facts totally decimate ya'alls argument..

    Or the Hypocrisy decimates yours. You are trying to link the Democrats to terrorists because they did not agree with your political bias. There was someone around here complaining about that very subject. Now who could that be...

  158. [158] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, hay...

    I'll be yer Huckleberry... :D

    Why did Democrats oppose Bush's CT policies??

    Michale

  159. [159] 
    Michale wrote:

    Or the Hypocrisy decimates yours. You are trying to link the Democrats to terrorists because they did not agree with your political bias.

    First off, I ain't "TRYING" anything.. I am DOING it..

    Second of all, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with my political bias.. It has everything to do with the FACTS..

    Democrats opposed Bush's CT policies.. FACT...

    Al Qaeda opposed Bush's CT policies... FACT..

    The link is well established.. At least for those who are not enslaved by Party ideology and dogma...

    Michale

  160. [160] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sheriff's 'politically incorrect' sign draws strong reaction

    "WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you… LEAVE!"
    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article46241055.html

    Now THAT's what I'm talking about!!! :D

    We're Americans.. Those who don't like it?? Shag yer ass home... :D

    Michale

  161. [161] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why can't ya'all forego Party Loyalty and forget "PARTY UBER ALLES" and just admit the facts..

    Democrats opposed Bush's CT policies solely, unequivocally and utterly to serve their Party agenda...

    This is fact whether ya'all can admit it or not..

    Michale

  162. [162] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    First off, I ain't "TRYING" anything.. I am DOING it..

    Yup, the hypocrisy is strong with this one...

    The link is well established.. At least for those who are not enslaved by Party ideology and dogma...

    Or lack of logic in argument skills? Bush's CT policies infringed on personal freedom and privacy. Al Qaeda hates personal freedom and privacy. You supported Bush's CT policies. Therefore you agree with the terrorists!

    Democrats opposed Bush's CT policies solely, unequivocally and utterly to serve their Party agenda...

    According to you...

    This is fact whether ya'all can admit it or not..

    Actually it's purely an opinion. Which by definition is not fact...

  163. [163] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats opposed Bush's CT policies solely, unequivocally and utterly to serve their Party agenda...

    According to you...

    Then explain why Democrats SUPPORT an ENHANCED version of those policies under Obama??

    Pelosi SAVED the NSA fer christ's sake!!

    If Democrats opposed Bush's CT policies but support Obama's CT policies (which are the same policies) then the ONLY logical conclusion is that Democrats opposed Bush solely for political reasons...

    Like I said, if ya'all could forget Party loyalty/enslavement ya'all would have to admit the facts....

    But ya'all can't so ya'all don't...

    Bush's CT policies infringed on personal freedom and privacy.

    But under Obama those policies DON'T infringe on personal freedom and privacy???

    You prove my point for me...

    Michale

    Michale

  164. [164] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pizza

    Pizza

    :D

  165. [165] 
    Michale wrote:

    Al Qaeda hates personal freedom and privacy. You supported Bush's CT policies. Therefore you agree with the terrorists!

    Al Qaeda hates personal freedom and privacy.. You support Obama's CT policies which are MUCH MORE invasive than Bush's.. Therefore you agree with the terrorists!!

    :D

    Funny how it works both ways, eh my friend?? :D

    Michale

  166. [166] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula

    [You saw my earlier response at http://www.chrisweigant.com/2015/11/19/clintons-war-plan/#comments #52 that was written before but only visible to you after your response at #136/#138 in this post. The following is my reply to your last remarks at #136/#138; sorry again for taking so long.]

    Individuals do lie to protect themselves, and, while the % is higher on the Repub side, certainly individual Dems have been guilty of lying.

    Whether or not is to protect themselves (a reasonable motivation to at least suspect), I definitely agree about your claim with regard to % of falsehoods told per party -- the evidence bears that claim out (at least as I see it; see my previous comment on that).

    As you no doubt appreciate now, my main objection to your earlier comment was blanket labeling when in debate as it perpetuates an obstacle to reasonable people from opposing sides in working together and establishing trust.

    Dishonesty permeates the Republican Party apparatus now -- people lie blatantly, constantly, without hesitation, without remorse.

    I don't know. I think we see it more blatantly, constantly and without hesitation at the national level, though I couldn't speak to remorse since I don't know the individuals personally (for instance, Trump may genuinely believe what he says -- we typically don't call that lying, just mistaken). This obviously distancing statement is less about willful ignorance/sympathies on my part than a potential recognition of an alternative point of view:

    If my job is to sell homes and I truly believe that my homes are much safer and better for families than those of my competitors, then I have a potential moral imperative to push the limits on how I attract and persuade prospective buyers. I'm trying to save them.

    So I don't necessarily disagree with you at the high levels -- I think the pressure to win may be overriding every other consideration. "I need to do whatever it takes to win, because my winning (or my philosophy winning) is so important to the future success of the US, that the ends justify the means." I rather doubt the Republican party national leaders all sat in a room one day back in early 2000s and said "let's lie" as a strategic marketing strategy. They probably said "what do we have to do to win and prevent bad things from happening to this country."

    So welcome to the Boiler Room, where one sells any way one can, a kind of pump-and-dump bubble of truthiness designed to assure the best (i.e., "my own") philosophy prevails. But would they be more remorseful if they lost because then they didn't try hard enough to win and have the opportunity to do what they saw as right?

    If one genuinely believes that gay marriage, abortion, allowing Syrian refugees to immigrate, ACA, etc. are all materially, profoundly, and irrevocably bad for America, then wouldn't it be a moral/ethical imperative to win so as to prevent catastrophe? The lesser of two evils maybe to stretch the truth, etc., to prevent a worse outcome.

    Without regard to whether such a conclusion is right or wrong, what is said might be genuinely believed by those that say it (regardless of any rational basis that I might accept as worthy) or may be genuinely seen as appropriate in response to greater dangers. In other words, one's opponent may not have bad intentions at heart or intends to mislead, but rather merely sees the dangers differently. Once we demonize based on some assumption of moral superiority (stupid, lying, etc.), we've made the other side less worthy of our respect and consideration.

    Look at difficult it is now for two people to have a rational conversation about gun control, about climate change, hell, about damn near anything. It used to be said that one can make up their own opinions but one cannot make up their own facts. That is no longer true. How many times have we watched one source of information dismissed as an unreliable and biased source? You and I might trust one media outlet only to be told by an opponent that that outlet's reported facts have a liberal or conservative bias and so are suspect and worthy of skepticism.

    The people that then follow the facts and positions shared by others that they respect, believe, and trust are not then liars, but rather responding genuinely to the world as they see it. And this includes many politicians on both sides of the aisle. I've met state and local, even national, politicians that I know I disagree with, but I've rarely gotten the sense that they weren't genuinely following what they thought was right even if they had to compromise what they'd prefer to make a larger gain possible. I'm sure my personal judgement of them wasn't always right on (I'm a pretty optimistic guy at heart) and I know there are exceptions I haven't met, but they all, to a person, appeared sincere even when I vehemently opposed their agenda.

    This is not to debate climate change, but to point out the difficulties in discussing a subject like it. I think it is perfectly legitimate, rational, and thoughtful for the average person regardless of political bent to not have a solitary clue as to whether climate change is real or is caused by humans. If one is not a scientist and one has not studied the topic directly, one is left to look left and look right and determine who they will believe. Referring to Aristotle's rhetorics, one is convinced by reason, by emotion, or by authority. If one isn't close enough to the subject to reason, doesn't have an emotional bias, then all they have left is authority to follow. And whatever emotional bias I do have is to listen more to the folks I already trust than the ones I tend to disagree with.

    Mind you, I'm not advocating a POV on climate change, but I'm not going to call my moderately-educated-in-science-during-my-freshman-year friend who listens to Fox News a liar or stupid when she says climate change is not caused by humans when I know full well she leans conservative and those are the people she trusts more. I don't know if a Republican politician is expressing the same doubt because of corruption in accepting campaign donations from big oil or from a potentially legitimate fear that regulations may be futile and just cause market inflation. I don't know and saying one or the other is the reason is just prejudice on my part without evidence.

    And if I didn't go to college or have seen biased college professors act like their opinion is fact when it is really mere opinion, then I'd be reasonably forgiven for being skeptical of some PhD that claims that something is true even when it can't be readily demonstrated. In fact, a parallel can be made in the current police troubles: we've seen cases where police have protected their own inappropriately to preserve their perceived legitimacy -- why shouldn't a skeptic suspect that researchers might not be doing the same? My long-winded point is that doubt can be, and often is, the most rational place to start. It need not come from an intention to be willfully ignorant or mislead.

    Like the proverbial frog in the pan of water, people have become so used to Republican dishonesty they don't really see it as unusual anymore. That's where it's really, really damaging, because it destroys trust in government -- and rightly so. But on a societal level that is not a good thing.

    What is not unusual anymore is that there is no way for the average-information voter to know what to believe. Dishonest implies a deliberate intent to mislead -- not willful ignorance, not mistaken conclusions, not intellectual negligence -- but outright deliberate ethical failings.

    It just won't work to call Republicans (or Democrats) liars. You'll simply have the people that do listen to you, but don't agree with you, stop listening to you. More likely, you'll get defensive posturing and accusations that you are the liar.

    Instead, let's start over. Let's assume that we can't put the genie back in the bottle: that everyone is going to get their information from different sources than we do, that those sources may be biased and have an agenda that may be antithetical to our own (just as ours may be to them). How do you have a civil conversation and really hear the underlying interests, concerns, and perspectives so you can respond and be heard? Not doing that is what really destroys trust -- not just in our government but in our countrymen and neighbors.

    So how do you persuade a skeptic when they see this?

    (reason) Skeptic: your conclusions don't seem to follow the facts as I understand them or seem to involve assumptions I don't share.

    (authority) Skeptic: you get your facts or assumptions from places I don't trust and whose motives I suspect.

    (emotion) Skeptic: you think I'm stupid and a liar.

    We can probably work through the first two parts if we don't have that third one working against us.

    Finally (and please if you're still reading, your patience is remarkable and I'm grateful), realize that reason is often the least effective persuasion rhetoric. Multiple studies have shown that people (regardless of bent) are not likely to change their mind when emotionally or culturally invested in a belief regardless of how rigorous the data is. Emotion and tribal aspects are far more powerful. Be someone your opponent can trust and respect. Start that by trusting and respecting them. Not because its nice, but because it is an effective way to change the direction things are going.

    Thanks for listening.

  167. [167] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    Hey, that one made it!

  168. [168] 
    Michale wrote:

    Whether or not is to protect themselves (a reasonable motivation to at least suspect), I definitely agree about your claim with regard to % of falsehoods told per party -- the evidence bears that claim out (at least as I see it; see my previous comment on that).

    Oh that's felgercarp!!!

    "I was under sniper fire in Bosnia"

    "If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan"

    "I welcome the debate on domestic surveillance"

    Republicans tell no more higher percentage of lies than Democrats tell...

    They are ALL politicians..

    Lying is a job requirement..

    It's only partisan bigotry to say that one Party does politicking more than the other Party...

    Michale

  169. [169] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't know. I think we see it more blatantly, constantly and without hesitation at the national level, though I couldn't speak to remorse since I don't know the individuals personally (for instance, Trump may genuinely believe what he says -- we typically don't call that lying, just mistaken).

    No... The Left Wingery calls it "lying" when Republicans are "mistaken"... The Left calls it "mistaken" when the Left does it..

    And, versie vicie, of course..

    If you think of Republican and Democrat as races, then it all makes sense...

    Michale

  170. [170] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#168]

    Oh that's felgercarp!!!

    While not familiar with that particular fish (is that a Florida thang?), you gave back anecdotal claims of Democratic lies and I made no claim that Democrats do not lie. I concede that national Democratic office holders and candidates do lie from time to time; indeed, more than I'd like.

    Republicans tell no more higher percentage of lies than Democrats tell..

    I specifically bounded (or attempted to) my claim to national Republican office holders or candidates based on research made in my http://www.chrisweigant.com/2015/11/19/clintons-war-plan/#comments #52 comment. I gave a link to the numbers I had pulled. That data demonstrated, at least with regard to the specific people included, that the Republican office holders and candidates lied more, as a percentage, than Democratic office holders and candidates.

    Are you disputing my figures, my methodology, or my reasoning to the conclusion I wrote?

    And if you are, do you have a counter set of data (anecdotal is hardly convincing) that offers some objective metric to show that "Republicans tell no more higher percentage of lies than Democrats tell..."?

  171. [171] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#169]

    No... The Left Wingery calls it "lying" when Republicans are "mistaken"... The Left calls it "mistaken" when the Left does it..

    In my reply, wasn't I allowing that a Republican may be mistaken instead of lying? You know, @Michale, as fun as it is, you don't have to disagree with me just cuz. I mean, feel free to and not that I was trying for it, but I kinda thought you'd see some things in there you'd agree with.

    If you think of Republican and Democrat as races, then it all makes sense...

    Whoa, dude, that is a rather impressive rhetorical bomb you've made yourself there... are you sure you should be showing that around?

  172. [172] 
    Paula wrote:

    Richard (166); Appreciate your reply!

    First, I agree that attacking opponents pretty much closes off discussion -- i.e. "you're an idiot" is not likely to convince the idiot :-) to agree with me. I know the whole tribal thing and that people will actually react to facts that counter their points of view by digging their heels in and refusing to listen. But sometimes I just want to vent and am not attempting to persuade.

    On to your points.

    You bring in the question of whether individuals are actually "lying" if they are repeating falsehoods they believe to be true. Related to that is the question of whether it is acceptable to lie in order to advance something you believe to be important or to stop something you believe to be very bad. You also bring up a point -- which I think is extremely important and not sufficiently appreciated -- that I describe as there no longer being any agreed-upon frame of reference or Media/Authority source/figure that everyone agrees can be trusted. Rightwingers look to their sources, (few and narrow) and everyone else looks to different sources than rightwingers. Always important to keep in mind is the vast majority of people who are apolitical and minimally informed about politics/current events -- they pay little attention to any sources.

    All of which, while interesting, are not what I was talking about.

    My contention is that the Republican Party, as an institution, through its politcal office-holders, consultants, Media Outlets, donors and etal, has embraced dishonesty as a tactic. I do not believe some cabal sat down 30 years ago and planned this. I think it evolved over time, reaching critical mass when various groups began to intersect -- FOX News, The Moral Majority, Anti-Choice groups, Evangelical groups, politicians, Hate Radio personalities, ALEC, The Federalist Society, Koch Brothers and similar, etc. These people/groups began piggybacking on each other, reinforcing each other, working together directly and indirectly. We now have what I refer to as the Republican Machine, the constellation of these groups and the Tea Party and FOX News watchers, who both create and live within the rightwing bubble, characterized by "epistemic closure" --- a complete rejection of any data that contradicts their worldview.

    I contend that the LEADERS, movers and shakers, consultants, media figures, politicians etc. are, in fact, deliberately and willfully pedaling lies to their constituents. I gave you a list in my initial post to you and could write literally pages of more lies/deceptions/misinformation. They not only pedal the lies, they work together on them, they repeat each others', they share them, spread them, etc.

    I am not talking about the rank and file who believe the lies. You spent some time discussing the whys and hows of that and you are accurate. No disagreement there. But you did not really, directly address my primary contention: that the "party" (or the machine) has embraced dishonesty as a tactic and uses dishonesty constantly and deliberately.

    My first example about the Planned Parenthood falsehood is a perfect example. The lie was started by an anti-choice group which produced a misleading video. Republicans nationwide glommed onto it and, rather than admitting that it is false and misleading, used it to appeal to a portion of their base. They have been operating on a state as well as federal level. States have introduced legislations to defund PP. Repubs in congress have started "investigations" even though it's already been proven that PP has done nothing wrong and nothing that was alleged in the video, but is doesn't matter. Repubs in power are using their power to try to defund PP based on a series of lies.

    Now, the fact that there are people out in the country who believe the lies is not my point. The fact that they have been deliberately lead to believe those lies is my point.

    I do not find these tactics to be defensible. I do accept the idea that some people may not know they're lying because they are simply repeating falsehoods they have accepted from the Authority Figures they trust. But while I can forgive the FOX News watcher (grudgingly) I cannot forgive the Media Personalities that sell the lies, the pundits that repeat them, the consultants that invented them, or, most especially, the officeholders who then make/change public policy as a result of them. Those are all people who should do the homework; many hold positions of trust and are extremely derelict in their duty when they fail to confirm the validity of their information.

    I also do not accept the premise that it is morally acceptable/forgivable for people to lie to advance a cause because they believe it is critical. If you cannot support a position you hold honestly then something is wrong with the position. If you find yourself needing to lie then you should ask yourself why and if you can't find a way to make your case honestly you should stop making that case.

    If you lie simply because it's easier and gets you want you want, you are a liar. That is what players in the Republican Machine do -- they lie because its easy and achieves desirable results for them (as opposed to rank and file Repubs who are often actively screwed -- example -- Kentuckians who may lose their healthcare because they voted for a Repub who plans to cance/repeal it).

    The fact that so many rank and file Republicans are demonstrably misinformed is a direct result of the massive, ongoing misinformation campaign that characterizes the Republican machine. Epistemic closure has been manufactured; the extreme levels of political polarization current today is a direct outgrowth of the demonization practiced by Republican operatives and politicians towards Democrats and Liberals. Hate radio serves the Republican party -- Liberals have nothing like it. Rush Limbaugh and Steven Colbert are not comparable. The dishonesty on the right comes from the top; unlike money it trickles down.

    When a Republican tells a lie and a Democrat points out the lie, they are not engaged in the same activity. The fact that the Repub can respond by accusing the Democrat of lying doesn't make the Repub honest or the Dem a liar.

    So - to wrap up - you didn't really address my main point. I'd love it if you did! (After the holiday :-)

    But meanwhile, Happy Thanksgiving!

  173. [173] 
    Paula wrote:

    "peddle" not "pedal". Oops.

  174. [174] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    While not familiar with that particular fish (is that a Florida thang?),

    Not a sci-fi geek, eh?? :D

    I guess it would help if I actually spelled it right.. :D

    FELGERCARB!! :D

    Are you disputing my figures, my methodology, or my reasoning to the conclusion I wrote?

    I am disputing your conclusion because, as you state in comment #52 on the other commentary, politifact's methodology is variable and incomplete...

    As a whole, Republicans don't lie any more or any less than Democrats...

    For the record, I am in complete agreement with you on comment #52...

    In my reply, wasn't I allowing that a Republican may be mistaken instead of lying? You know, @Michale, as fun as it is, you don't have to disagree with me just cuz. I mean, feel free to and not that I was trying for it, but I kinda thought you'd see some things in there you'd agree with.

    Oh, I agree with you for the most part..

    I was just trying to explain why someone on the Left would think that Republicans lie more than Democrats. Because every mistake a Republican makes is automagically a lie... You DO remember the "BUSH LIED" mantra that is STILL with us today, right??

    That's what I am referring to...

    Whoa, dude, that is a rather impressive rhetorical bomb you've made yourself there... are you sure you should be showing that around?

    I love showing it around because it explains a great deal regarding the Left/Right dynamic.

    It's a point you yourself seem to be making in comment #52...

    Michale

  175. [175] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    So call out each lie by a Republican. Be like CW, and call out the disappointments among Democrats. Do so relentlessly and hold individuals accountable. But until regular people, like you and me, stop the political tribalism, we can't expect it to change.

    Couldn't have said it better myself..

    Although, gods know I've tried...

    Ad nasuem... :D

    Michale

  176. [176] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    Re: #166

    Very well put..

    You get at the heart of the matter perfectly, especially using the Climate Change example.. It's exactly what I have been saying... In one looks at ALL the science, rather than just the science that supports the specific agenda, then one MUST conclude that more study is needed to come to a logical conclusion..

    No other position is possible..

    Granted you say it a lot more "rationally" than I do.. :D

    But, in my defense, I have been making the argument here in Weigantia for going on 10 years now... It's understandable that I would be a bit.. er... "testy" about it.. :D

    Michale

  177. [177] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#172]

    First, I agree that attacking opponents pretty much closes off discussion -- i.e. "you're an idiot" is not likely to convince the idiot :-) to agree with me. I know the whole tribal thing and that people will actually react to facts that counter their points of view by digging their heels in and refusing to listen.

    Great!

    But sometimes I just want to vent and am not attempting to persuade.

    I certainly appreciate that. In a public square, the people sympathetic to your point of view will indeed be, well, sympathetic. But skeptics will likely view the original comment of "Republicans lie" that I responded to as a personal or broad-brushed attack.

    And that was really how we got onto this discussion in the first place. I was just calling out a broad brush characterization like I try (at least occasionally) to with @Michale and others. If we turn channels of discussions into venting outlets, then how are we different than Fox News and the like?

    Just so that it's said out loud: it wasn't you per se or your political persuasion that I was calling out, just the use of a broad brush. So thank you for responding so thoughtfully to it.

    I'll respond to the remainder of your specific points in #172 in a separate comment shortly...

  178. [178] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#172]

    My contention is that the Republican Party, as an institution, through its politcal office-holders, consultants, Media Outlets, donors and etal, has embraced dishonesty as a tactic... I think it evolved over time, reaching critical mass when various groups began to intersect... We now have what I refer to as the Republican Machine, the constellation of these groups and the Tea Party and FOX News watchers, who both create and live within the rightwing bubble, characterized by "epistemic closure" --- a complete rejection of any data that contradicts their worldview...

    I contend that the LEADERS, movers and shakers, consultants, media figures, politicians etc. are, in fact, deliberately and willfully pedaling lies to their constituents... They not only pedal the lies, they work together on them, they repeat each others', they share them, spread them, etc.

    ...But you did not really, directly address my primary contention: that the "party" (or the machine) has embraced dishonesty as a tactic and uses dishonesty constantly and deliberately...

    My first example about the Planned Parenthood falsehood is a perfect example. The lie was started by an anti-choice group which produced a misleading video. Republicans nationwide glommed onto it and, rather than admitting that it is false and misleading, used it to appeal to a portion of their base. They have been operating on a state as well as federal level. States have introduced legislations to defund PP. Repubs in congress have started "investigations" even though it's already been proven that PP has done nothing wrong and nothing that was alleged in the video, but is doesn't matter. Repubs in power are using their power to try to defund PP based on a series of lies.

    I'm going to respond to two things: (1) the notion that national Republican leadership (however constituted) has "embraced dishonesty" and "uses dishonesty constantly and deliberately, and (2) join you in examining the Planned Parenthood case with regard to (1).

    Before I do, I just gotta tell you that I love your writing... "epistemic closure" and "constellation"... (sigh, gazing admiringly).

    (1) Your hypothesis that the claims made by the national Republican leadership compose a tactic of deliberate dishonest is just that, a hypothesis. Mind you, it is a serious allegation: a description of corrupt plutocrats and ideologues that intend to distort and subjugate the reasonableness of the citizenry for their own specific and personal aims and have conspired to actively do so.

    Just for the record, I too disagree with many of the claims made by the Republican national leadership and their sympathetic media outlets that you cited. But I don't have evidence to suggest the level of deliberate and tactical intention you assert. It may be so, I just don't think the evidence is sufficiently there.

    Hanlon's Razor comes to mind (don't assume brilliant malevolence when ordinary foolishness will do). You allowed for this and then assumed the national Republican leadership found themselves in this place and then decided to deliberately perpetuate dishonesty. Wouldn't it be just as likely that the individuals involved are opportunists, are attracted to certain and simple conclusions, and don't ever want to admit they may be wrong? Wouldn't just egotistical foolishness in the face of others who will castigate them for showing doubt be just as likely an explanation as a deliberate intent to lie?

    Each of the players in this scenario have something to gain by not examining the claims while participating them and to never disavow them, but still without intending to deliberately lie (whether by commission or omission).

    Indeed, for it to be deliberate dishonesty, they would have to believe what you might posit as a truth and then intentionally and with premeditation, say something that they didn't believe to be true -- that is, to lie. What if instead they did believe the things they say? One can only believe what one finds plausible and confirmation bias is especially powerful if someone embraces the comfort of certainty over doubt and examination. I suggest instead that these strident voices making what seem to be absurd claims actually believe those claims because they want to believe them, refuse to rigorously examine them, and who risk castigation by those they depend on not just for power but for acceptance if they do otherwise.

    You know, kind of how faith in general works (not any particular faith, but the general notion of "I believe" that is not falsifiable to the believer).

    So, to your point, I agree with your statement that their approach is ...a complete rejection of any data that contradicts their worldview... Yes, I think that is happening and is consistent with the current far-right subculture -- I consider a kind of non-falsifiable ideological faith (with or without a deity involved).

    In fairness, I think my hypothesis is just as bad if not worse. While I don't accuse the national Republican leadership of the moral evil of dishonesty, it's just as ugly to suggest they are egotistical fools bouncing from one bright light to the next in hopes of never having to say they are wrong. Lying would suggest they know better.

    Still, based on my premise, I don't get to make a normative judgement of "me good, they bad" (like I could if I thought they deliberately lie). They just have a different set of beliefs and faith that guide their behavior differently than mine. Nonetheless, I don't want it become the majority view or behavior and frankly I don't think we're in danger of that.

    Case in point: look how the older guard "establishment" doesn't often repeat these claims and occasionally, usually privately, bemoans them. This suggests that some know better (or at least are more intellectually open).

    Note too that while many of the more moderate members have either quit running or have left the Republican party. Republicans also still have the Tuesday Group and the Main Street Partnership. Neither gets much press because they're not exciting. They're Republican and in many cases would be conservative by historical standards, but don't subscribe to the closed culture you pointed out. These Republicans don't necessarily lie.

    (2) The Planned Parenthood example can be explained by my hypothesis. First, the video comes out. It feeds into the already held view that Planned Parenthood is evil and a blight on America, so confirmation bias is fed. Without examining it further, the vocal adherents to that view, the far right we're typically referring to here, start spouting off "see! see!" as loud as they can to anyone who will listen (Fox News, perhaps?). The media pundits of course react because that's how you sell ratings and attract viewers/readers. In an era of 24/7 news, there is no time to examine meaningfully nor will one be at all rewarded in their subscribing culture for doing so.

    Some legislators, who either also subscribe to that world view or at least are sympathetic to it, react to this terrible confirmation of the real evil in America that must be corrected. I'm not mocking -- if you thought babies were being torn apart and sold for parts and profit, I doubt you'd be any more supportive regardless of your politics. They don't wait, they are people of action and were elected to stop this very thing. So bills are written and then the news cycle is fed. The confirmation bias feedback loop, this flywheel of outrage, is now in full rotation (and as you acknowledged).

    More deliberate journalists found evidence that the video is not real or is at least suspect. But the legislators who first reacted don't have time to look at that: they're too busy doing something about it! In fact, aren't these journalists sympathetic to Planned Parenthood and the liberal media conspiracy? Isn't that just what they'd say anyway? Besides, Planned Parenthood is a blight anyway, even if the video is suspect, we're doing something worthwhile and it's right to go after PP anyway.

    Finally, at some point, conventional wisdom more broadly starts to support the premise that video is indeed suspect. One becomes at danger of being seen by their constituents as foolish to keep doubling down on it. If one of the early rabble rousers go there, they're likely just to shut up -- not admit they're wrong, though, because that is culturally not acceptable -- but just stop digging deeper and let it fade away using their opponents as cover for not keeping up the fight.

    It may be foolishness, it may be mob mentality, it may be willful negligence, but it is not necessarily deliberate dishonesty or deliberately and willfully pedaling lies to their constituents. It's the deliberate part I'm pushing against -- I see very little that suggests deliberation. It's more a casual and thin relationship with what they believe/expect/suspect/hope is true.

    Some individuals have deliberately taken advantage of the situation in a corrupt and dishonest manner. For instance, the people who first produced the video that started the Planned Parenthood issue. That was deliberate. That was outright dishonest by any accepted standard. But the video producers aren't LEADERS per se as I understood you meant it. I perceive that the far-right caucus decided that it was urgent to use the video, before it was discredited, as a reason to go after Planned Parenthood, but I don't know that the larger national Republican leadership necessarily wanted to go there (and if so, mostly before it was discredited).

    So, as frustrated as one might become with their behaviors, I don't think you have grounds to claim that it is a deliberate tactic of the national Republican leadership to deliberately lie to their constituents or in media outlets or to start or perpetuate falsehoods they know to be false, even in the Planned Parenthood example.

    For those that create all this far-right drama, it's just mob mentality and (small-r) religious fervor: "Lies?! I don't need no stinking lies! I'm right! The truth is on my side!"

  179. [179] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#174]

    Not a sci-fi geek, eh?? :D ... FELGERCARB!! :D

    Ah, just not Battlestar Galactica. Star Trek (esp. TOS) over Star Wars kind of sci-fi geek. Loved Firefly. Used to read a lot of sci-fi in the 70s and 80s (and comic books). But not really a geek though, though I have my moments.

  180. [180] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#174]

    I am disputing your conclusion because, as you state in comment #52 on the other commentary, politifact's methodology is variable and incomplete...

    As a whole, Republicans don't lie any more or any less than Democrats...

    What I said in #52 was that a skeptic could raise the question; I didn't say I thought it was a demonstrated flaw.

    You however made the claim that Republicans don't lie any more or any less than Democrats. I don't think you have evidence for that assertion, while I've offered evidence that the Republicans I examined in my study have said much more false things than their Democratic counterparts, which could in turn be extrapolated to say that Republicans do lie more than Democrats (the latter extrapolation I am far less willing to defend). So do you have a counter study to support your assertion or do you just want to believe that's true?

  181. [181] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#174]

    WRT: Whoa, dude, that is a rather impressive rhetorical bomb you've made yourself there... are you sure you should be showing that around?

    I love showing it around because it explains a great deal regarding the Left/Right dynamic. It's a point you yourself seem to be making in comment #52...

    Once I understood your reference to the Star Trek episode, I withdrew my concern. So yes, you and I are on the same page here now. I tend to use a sports fan metaphor -- blue vs red jerseys -- since it seems that's how we often behave.

  182. [182] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#176]

    It's exactly what I have been saying... In one looks at ALL the science, rather than just the science that supports the specific agenda, then one MUST conclude that more study is needed to come to a logical conclusion...

    I didn't exactly say that. What I said is that I could understand my average-information conservative friends not knowing what to believe if they didn't spend more time trying to find out. Most people don't have the time or inclination to suss it out for themselves so they default to the information sources they trust more.

    For me, it's pretty clear that sufficient evidence supports that climate change is occurring and that human activities contribute to its existence and its acceleration. My personal outlook is that we need to, as soon as possible and either unilaterally or with other nations, put the brakes on it the best we know how.

    Some businesses may be impacted economically by that decision, but there will also be economic growth from it too (environmental technology startups, etc.), so I'm not that concerned by the economic impact of reasonably increasing environmental regulations to slow or reverse harms from any climate change where humans have contributed (i.e., greenhouse gas emissions).

    We don't need to fear-monger or unreasonably oppose it. We just need to work the problem. I'm fine with doing more studies (in fact, I wouldn't be fine with not doing more), but not as a reason to delay action now.

    Finally, I also admit to not looking at "all the science". I consider myself average-information with regard to environmental topics, albeit politically sympathetic in general to avoiding man-made harms.

  183. [183] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#172]

    I didn't respond well to this part of your post:

    I cannot forgive the Media Personalities that sell the lies, the pundits that repeat them, the consultants that invented them, or, most especially, the officeholders who then make/change public policy as a result of them. Those are all people who should do the homework; many hold positions of trust and are extremely derelict in their duty when they fail to confirm the validity of their information.

    Now this I agree with -- "derelict in their duty". Though that's a stance that embraces skepticism as an intellectual modus operandi. If you subscribe to a world view that instead embraces that faith and certainty are good and doubt is a lack of character, perhaps that approach is seen as apostasy. What if doubt or skepticism is seen as "derelict in their duty"?Of course, now I'm being so morally relativistic as to remove any normative values. I guess that I'm agreeing with you because personally I share your view, but I still don't think it's deliberate lying as much as it is being deliberately unyielding in one's belief in a particular world view.

    I also do not accept the premise that it is morally acceptable/forgivable for people to lie to advance a cause because they believe it is critical. If you cannot support a position you hold honestly then something is wrong with the position. If you find yourself needing to lie then you should ask yourself why and if you can't find a way to make your case honestly you should stop making that case.

    While I could see various exceptions to the ethic you say (they are situational corner cases for people lacking power in egregious circumstances), in general I agree that the ends do not justify the means. Usually what happens in practice is that one crosses that line without meaning too and artificially justifying it without realizing they have. Generally, good people make bad moral decisions because they believe themselves to be good: "it's okay, because I'm a good person". That was closer to the dynamic I think I had in mind when I wrote the original text. IOW, they weren't trying to be deliberately dishonest.

    If you lie simply because it's easier and gets you want you want, you are a liar. That is what players in the Republican Machine do -- they lie because its easy and achieves desirable results for them (as opposed to rank and file Repubs who are often actively screwed -- example -- Kentuckians who may lose their healthcare because they voted for a Repub who plans to cance/repeal it).

    Again, I'm just questioning that it's deliberately lying as a intentional group tactic. It's not that I don't think some Republican leaders say falsehoods at a greater rate than Democrats (clearly they do from the Politifact data), but I'm rather closer to your derelict claim -- the factual truth is less relevant because the truth of one's convictions is more trustworthy than what the so-called main stream media says.

    Where I don't think you have a case, is talking about what the players in the so-called "Republican Machine" intend to do. What if they really think ACA is unconstitutional and bad for the constituents they hear from? I'm not debating whether they have reason to (personally I'm glad for the ACA but I have many criticisms of it), but whether the belief is genuinely held.

    Maybe I'm naive. Maybe you're right. But if it is deliberate as you say, then a major party and half of our congress and political leadership is morally corrupt or at least implicit in their tolerance of said corruption. Is that what you're saying? Would you say this to each of their faces individually?

    See, I don't think you can make the case though the modern national Republican party leadership is morally corrupt. Misguided and perhaps feverish, but not so corrupt that they outright lie for gain as a deliberate tactic. I think you can say that some high-profile individuals and some news commentators have been casual with the truth and derelict in their responsibilities to know for themselves. Frankly, I think the real dereliction is with the average citizen. We get the democracy we deserve.

    Please don't just say Republicans lie. Say which Republicans or which specific individuals in news organizations are being derelict. Otherwise, we're just outwardly behaving like the Republicans you want to accuse to someone that is skeptical of your motives or only casually interested in politics.

  184. [184] 
    Paula wrote:

    Richard: Thanks for your replies! Hope you had a nice holiday -- I did! I'm enjoying this exchange very much!

    Onward:

    But if it is deliberate as you say, then a major party and half of our congress and political leadership is morally corrupt or at least implicit in their tolerance of said corruption. Is that what you're saying? Would you say this to each of their faces individually?

    Yes, that is what I am saying and Yes, I would say it to their faces if given the opportunity. Some are morally corrupt, some are tolerant of the corruption.

    Frankly I think the real dereliction is with the average citizen. We get the democracy we deserve.

    I think those two comments bookend this discussion.

    Basically your argument boils down to: they're either stupid (uninformed, lazy, stubborn) or they're liars. I (meaning you) am more comfortable with stupid, stubborn, lazy, etc.

    I, meanwhile, while believing there's a lot of stupidity and laziness, etc. going on, attribute much of what comes out of the Republican leadership to deliberate dishonesty. Do I believe they rationalize their dishonesty? Sure. Do they find ways to justify their misinformation? Sure. Does that excuse them? No.

    When Republican Leaders go on television and talk about "Death Panels" they are talking about something that doesn't exist. They were involved in the legislation. They have access to every word of the ACA. They participated in the debates of the legislation. When they repeat the Death Panel falsehood they are lying. Do you think Mitch McConnell really believes in Death Panels? Really? Does John Boehner?

    When Republicans go on television and say that President Obama is a Muslim, they are lying. When the other Republicans around them remain silent, they are enabling the lie.

    When Republicans run Benghazi Committees after 7 other high-level bipartisan investigations have exhaustively investigated events, made their reports and recommendations, and concluded there was no "malice aforethought" by President Obama (the original target) or Hillary Clinton (the new target) -- you are stretching credulity to believe their motives are pure. When Trey Gowdy actually alters a document to try to damage Hillary Clinton we are in clear deception territory.

    Some Repubs have decried the hearings -- now. Since Hillary made mincemeat of the Repubs on the committee. She made them look bad and suddenly Repubs are coming out of the woodwork saying it's time to move on. They are perfectly aware of the political effects of their actions and were willing to tolerate the abuses of power these hearings have represented for as long as there was a payoff or the potential for a payoff.

    When Republicans go on television and use massaged or untrue unemployment figures, statistics about the deficit, statistics about crime or any other statistics, they are either uninformed or they are lying. If they are corrected -- which they are over and over -- and they continue to repeat the false statistic -- what would you call it? How many passes do you give them for "confirmation bias" and general stubbornness?

    Every prominent Republican uses FOX News -- they appear there, they invite FOX personalities to their events, etc. Are you suggesting, seriously, that they don't know about FOX and it's deplorable record and it's creation of a sub-class of completely misinformed citizens? When John McCain was running and he confronted someone at one of his Town Halls who'd repeated one of the canards about Obama (either the Muslim thing or the birth certificate thing, can't recall offhand) -- he did so because he knew it wasn't true. Do you think he was surprised by it? Do you think he was unaware that a huge swathe of rank and file Republicans apparently believed this stuff? Do you think the people around him, working on his campaign, writing his speeches, were unaware of this?

    I think there are distinct groups on the right involved in all of this. The Tea Party is mostly composed of the "believers" who are inside the bubble, need certainty and can't abide nuance, and who live on a steady diet of FOX/Hate-Radio infused resentment. Some of their elected Reps are just like them -- they believe a lot of objectively nonsensical stuff and act upon it. But they gained power because they were encouraged and supported by "establishment Republicans" who used them for votes. Only now, after years of brainwashing these people have become almost unreachable and the establishment Republicans can no longer control them. All the stuff you say about how these folks "think" and justify their emotional responses and reject stuff from those they don't trust -- all true. But that didn't just happen -- it happened because Republican Leaders accepted/endorsed/excused/ignored all sorts of dishonesty on the part of other Repubs, media outlets, pundits, "intellectuals", consultants, etc. If they didn't dream up the lies themselves, they passed them on, repeated them, supported them or, at minimum, refused to challenge them. Senate Repubs are not idiots. They aren't stupid. They are highly educated and talented people who have made choices every step of the way. They are not the same as FOX News watchers -- OK, maybe they are. I don't know them personally. But I highly doubt it.

    The current crop of Republican Candidates are notable for the casualness with which they present falsehoods. They're all over the place, they are unrepentantly (until a lie starts to hurt them) even aggressively (Donald Trump) dishonest.

    Why?

    I would contend that they lie easily because they have learned that they can get away with lying. They are sloppy with facts because they've learned they can be. They can play fast a loose with the truth because it has become "the norm" for them to be that way. And how does that happen? It happens because others have gone before them, lied, and gotten away with it. We can have a whole different set of discussions about the "how" and "why" they've gotten away with it, but bottom line, they have.

    Re: Planned Parenthood -- did the Repub leadership want to go there? You say no. You lay the focus on the far-right caucus in the House. But how is it they had no compunction about starting investigations and legislation about something with no fact-checking first? Tea Partiers are the new kids in town -- who taught them how to gin up fake scandals in order to achieve objectives? How many Repubs are coming out against the PP legislation and on what basis? How many are just trying to stay out of it?

    The saying is "with great power comes great responsibility". That's what I think the Republican Party Leadership has breached.

    Your comment re: the average citizen is derelict, shifts responsibility from those who hold power to those who don't. It excuses the abuses of the leadership. That is the point of power -- those holding it control the lives of those who don't. In my view it is far worse to be the person who states the lie on FOX than to be the person who watches FOX and believes the lie. Worse still is to tell the lie because you know the people who watch FOX or vote for you are predisposed to believe it.

    In all this I am not excusing enabling by Democrats. I have been extremely critical of the way Democrats, as a party, responded to Republican dishonesty over the last 20 or so years. We can have that discussion, but it is a different discussion.

    I can appreciate your disinclination to accept my position on this and your preference for believing Republican misdeeds are anything other than deliberate. I agree, too, that it is arguably worse to believe key people in the party are either stupid, stubborn, egotistical, blind, etc. rather than simply dishonest. And I'm sure some of them are. But I really think, if you take a look at the consistency and breadth and cooperative nature of established Republican falsehoods -- the things they All repeat in the face of countervailing evidence -- you'd have to believe some of them know what they are saying is false and they say it anyway. Otherwise you must accept that they're ALL fools or tools or delusional. But, funnily enough, the foolish and delusional stuff they do and say just happens to result in suppressed votes for Democrats, and tax breaks for rich people and corporations, and gun sales for gun manufacturers, etc. You'd think fools wouldn't achieve such very specifically targeted outcomes for very specifically favored groups and yet they do.

    To your final point: Please don't just say Republicans lie. Shall I say "Many Republicans lie?" "Key figures throughout the Republican Universe lie?" Those imply a lack of coordination and creates the impression of individual misdeeds rather than collective misdeeds.

    More accurate would be: "Many Republican Leaders, Pundits, Media figures and Consultants tell the same lies (where do the lies originate?) and many of their constituents believe and then spread the lies and some Republican Leaders, figures etc. don't lie but stay quiet when others do and some have left the party because they don't like the lying." It's hard to reduce that to shorthand for purposes of discussions.

    I doubt I'll convince you and you certainly won't convince me. But here's one last shot.

    Republicans have been notable for their loyalty and consistency for several years now. The word "lockstep" has been used to describe them -- widely. Many, many people have discussed how Dems are always all over the place but Repubs "stick together". You don't have to believe me -- you can follow this yourself -- it has been noted that when Rush Limbaugh and FOX News start a "meme" it will suddenly be on the lips of Republican figures all over the country, top to bottom. They all use the same words and phrases. They introduce legislation with the exact same language (often courtesy of ALEC). They make the same arguments. IOW they coordinate.

    So when they collectively participate in a falsehood, what do you call that?

  185. [185] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula [#184]

    Awesome rebuttal! Yes, am enjoying this too.

    I doubt I'll convince you and you certainly won't convince me.

    So what would convince you? Are you saying your proposition "Republicans lie" is unfalsifiable? I mean if for instance, the RNC were to have a strategy document leaked that explicitly corroborated your points, I'd have no option but to concede (and, yes, I realize there are several reasons why that wouldn't happen even if it were to exist). Doesn't such a possibility exist for you?

    Your comment re: the average citizen is derelict, shifts responsibility from those who hold power to those who don't.

    Okay... but if the people continue to elect leaders that behave this way, I'd say "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". The leaders I perceive you're mostly referring to are often populists, elected because they say what the people want to hear and reinforce their constituents' beliefs.

    And some of the Republican leaders don't abide these tactics. You brought up Sen. McCain and that he pushed back against one of the supports. Wasn't his response a rebuttal to your point of a coordinated effort to lie -- he attempted to correct the questioner.

    But when a more moderate Republican is in danger of being voted out of office because of they might be primaried out -- that is, the voters will decide they aren't conservative enough -- what incentive is there to push back against those that take advantage of falsehoods (whether lies or mistaken claims)? Many of the ones who did are now out of office -- it's a natural selection process.

    So, while Edmund Burke might well agree with your premise, I'll argue that while the elected have the responsibility to know the issues upon which they are to vote on (and are derelict if they don't attempt to), the electorate has a greater responsibility to elect those that will vote well -- that is, to be an informed citizenry, to educate themselves and to be skeptical of their leaders. I can certainly tell when those leaders I might otherwise be biased to follow have taken it too far or are behaving dishonestly -- why can't/won't they?

    So if a small portion of the electorate has decided to cause natural selection to occur that prefers more extreme candidates who believe or perpetuate false tropes and pressures less extreme candidates to at minimum not be vocal about dissent against that extremism, some good portion of the failure must be apportioned to those who would champion more truthful reporting and more moderate candidates but who won't be bothered to show up and vote.

    But I digress...

    They all use the same words and phrases. They introduce legislation with the exact same language (often courtesy of ALEC). They make the same arguments. IOW they coordinate.

    Yes, of course they do. But that can be because they believe what they've said (or what others say) to be true, not because they conspire to perpetuate something they know not to be true. You yourself commented on a Republican "epistemic closure" (a phrase I am stealing from you, shamelessly and without credit or attribution in the future!): "a complete rejection of any data that contradicts their worldview." Doesn't that suggest that the coordination is a genuine effort to do what they think is right and in the best interest of the country and their constituents? It's actually that epistemic closure that best supports my rejection that "Republicans lie" deliberately.

    As an aside, my perception is that Fox News and AM talk radio work less by disseminating direct lies as they sow distrust and outrage through innuendo and allusions. Less "he beat his wife" or "when did he stop beating his wife" and more "ya know, we don't *actually* know that he didn't beat his wife when you come to think about it".

    "Death panels", as popularized by then-Gov. Palin, as you know referred to panels from the legislation to review end-of-life issues. The phrase was a negative connotation to be sure, but such end-of-life-issue panels were in the legislation and are a part of the ACA. Now you and I might see those as very appropriate and thoughtful inclusions, but to a part of the population that is scared of government invention in personal affairs it could be frightening. The fact that Fox News or AM talk radio fanned the flames would only work if people were open to having their flames fanned (and it sure didn't help that Pres. Obama and other Democrats did such a poor, poor job of promoting and defending the ACA then -- they basically abdicated any marketing or promotion of the ACA and so left a knowledge vacuum that the far-right were able to fill).

    But you also brought up the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, a great case in point. The national party doesn't really have much control over who declares and runs. Indeed, the three outsiders, Messrs. Trump and Carson and Ms. Fiorina, are not supported by the establishment, an establishment that is actively preparing to work against at least Mr. Trump. Sen. Ted Cruz, another high-polling favorite, is also not well liked by the establishment (I also get no vibe from Sen. Cruz that he is intending to be dishonest, not that my vibes are empirically rigorous). I presume that those are the very figures you're holding up to support your argument that Republicans lie. Yet I think the establishment's response shows that they don't want this kind of reckless rhetoric and outright lies to be the face of the party. The reason that they are leading the field is the polling of the voters themselves.

    ***

    But let's say you do convince me and that I now support your premise that Republicans deliberately lie (at least enough to dominate the overall party behavior). Now what?

    You've conceded that not all Republican leaders lie and that the rank and file voter may well believe falsehoods to be true (i.e., not dishonest per se, merely mistaken). I've already conceded that some Republican leaders do lie or otherwise take advantage of others' lies. We've both agreed that too many people do not appear to be rigorously critical of the facts presented to them. So at this point, we're just arguing degrees and intention.

    How do we move forward? By calling them liars and awaiting a penance that will not come? Are you going to win the hearts and minds of those who identify with the Republican party by calling those that are emotionally invested in the party dishonest? By me calling them fools?

    I'm a long time Democrat and a somewhat-moderate liberal-libertarian in my views, but I live in a deep Red state. Where I've had success in engaging friends and others on discussions on topics like gun control, or refugee immigration, or religion in the government (examples of potentially emotional topics) is talking it through non-judgmentally. Being willing to try to understand why the rhetoric of a Fox News commentator or a Rush Limbaugh might be enticing. Most people that I know that identify as Republican, whether leaders or average citizens, genuinely want what is best and genuinely try to express the truth as they see it. Even when they start by running off media-supplied talking points (and remember liberals sure aren't immune to that either), the best thing to ask is "what would change your mind if you knew it to be true" and get to the heart of the conversation. I don't try to convince them of my point-of-view as much as I try to convince that I'm reasonable to work with.

    I don't think lying is inherit in being a Republican. Most people would not be Republicans, leaders or otherwise, were they to think their party was based on lying. A good many -- most -- of them see the world as they see it. Republicans get the leaders they have (or at least that they allow to be voted in) because voters voted them in. And most of those voters would be genuinely offended to be termed a liar and so will push away any moderate or liberal that calls them one.

    I've said it before: in some ways that Donald Trump being a candidate is good for us as a nation. He casts a kind of unavoidable spotlight on absurdity that disrupts the flow of how things are talked about -- I mean the guy is too much even for Fox News and cuts across party orthodoxy. I don't think his candidacy will implode as much as he'll find a ceiling of those who would support him. He sets an outer limit of what can be said and accepted we can start to come back from. What really scares me is that if he's leading, will the more intellectually-responsible Republicans show up to say no or will only his supporters show up (primary or general)?

    One last thing: I don't think Republicans are stupid in general. I assume they represent a regular, normal-distribution swath of the population and vary normally in terms of intelligence, political interest, and conscientiousness (though a Big 5 personality markers study between party adherents would be interesting...). It's more that I generally assume there is that closed world-view aspect for many of the more extreme ones in leadership that values faith in one's beliefs over open questioning, values trust in one's own leaders over public criticism, and values loyalty to one's tribe more than intellectual curiosity (some studies have examined these kind of differences between conservatives and liberals, but I don't have cite right now). Their values may be somewhat different than mine, but that doesn't mean I think they're stupid.

    (Ok, it's clear at this point that I simply cannot write a short reply.)

  186. [186] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Paula,

    I replied, but it's probably being indexed and collated in that thar filter thingy.

    Richard

  187. [187] 
    Paula wrote:

    Richard: Hopefully Chris will rescue it! Looking forward to it -

  188. [188] 
    Michale wrote:

    For me, it's pretty clear that sufficient evidence supports that climate change is occurring and that human activities contribute to its existence and its acceleration. My personal outlook is that we need to, as soon as possible and either unilaterally or with other nations, put the brakes on it the best we know how.

    But then....

    Finally, I also admit to not looking at "all the science". I consider myself average-information with regard to environmental topics, albeit politically sympathetic in general to avoiding man-made harms.

    And that is exactly my point..

    If one looks at ALL the science, rather than just the science that supports a pre-determined conclusion, then one MUST come away with the feeling that we don't know enough..

    Imagine if the "GLOBAL COOLING" scientists of the 70s had been believed to the point that action was taken..

    One would also have to predicate that humans actually COULD control the climate of the planet.. (THAT is a whole 'nother debate)..

    But let's say that humans CAN control the climate of the planet and, back in the 70s started a process to WARM the planet to combat Global Cooling..

    Where would be be today??

    Hell, we don't even have to travel back 50 years for an example..

    Scientists are predicting a 10 year mini ice age starting in the next 5 years...

    Once again, pre-suppose that we actually CAN control the planet's climate (we can't) and we start right now on a crash program to cool the planet.. And, in 5 years, the predicted mini ice age commences...

    What's my point??

    We don't have enough information to start frakin' around with the planet's climate, even if we COULD frak around with the planet's climate.

    In high school science, we are taught to:

    1. Form a hypothesis

    2. Conduct experiments to test the hypothesis. These days we also create computer models to test hypothesiss (hypothesisii?? hypothesisium??)

    3. Examine the data from the experiments (and models)

    4. Adjust the hypothesis to fit the data

    5. Repeat until such time as the hypothesis is confirmed.

    But with this new "science", step 4 becomes a POLITICAL step...

    Adjust the data to fit the hypothesis..

    It is simply inconceivable to me that someone who values science exclusively could buy into the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Schtick...

    It's the same incredulousness I experience when I meet a "scientist" who believes in god...

    You have FAITH and you have SCIENCE..

    God and the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Schtick ALL belong in to the venue of faith...

    Michale

  189. [189] 
    Michale wrote:

    Finally, I also admit to not looking at "all the science". I consider myself average-information with regard to environmental topics, albeit politically sympathetic in general to avoiding man-made harms.

    Well, then... Allow me to expose you to some of the other science....

    Scientists questioning the accuracy of IPCC climate projections

    These scientists have said that it is not possible to project global climate accurately enough to justify the ranges projected for temperature and sea-level rise over the next century. They may not conclude specifically that the current IPCC projections are either too high or too low, but that the projections are likely to be inaccurate due to inadequacies of current global climate modeling.

    David Bellamy, botanist.[14][15][16][17]

    Lennart Bengtsson, meteorologist, Reading University.[18][unreliable source?][19]

    Judith Curry, Professor and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.[20][21][22][23]

    Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus of the School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study; Fellow of the Royal Society [24][25]

    Steven E. Koonin, theoretical physicist and director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University[26][27]

    Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan emeritus professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences[28][29][30][31]

    Craig Loehle, ecologist and chief scientist at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38]

    Patrick Moore, former president of Greenpeace Canada[39][40][41]

    Nils-Axel Mörner, retired head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University, former chairman of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution (1999–2003)[42][43]

    Garth Paltridge, retired chief research scientist, CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research and retired director of the Institute of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre, visiting fellow Australian National University[44][45]

    Denis Rancourt, former professor of physics at University of Ottawa, research scientist in condensed matter physics, and in environmental and soil science[46][47][48][49]

    Harrison Schmitt, geologist, Apollo 17 Astronaut, former U.S. Senator.[50]

    Peter Stilbs, professor of physical chemistry at Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm[51][52]

    Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London[53][54]

    Hendrik Tennekes, retired director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute [55][56]

    Anastasios Tsonis, distinguished professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee[57][58]

    Fritz Vahrenholt, German politician and energy executive with a doctorate in chemistry[59][60]

    Scientists arguing that global warming is primarily caused by natural processes

    These scientists have said that the observed warming is more likely to be attributable to natural causes than to human activities. Their views on climate change are usually described in more detail in their biographical articles.

    Khabibullo Abdusamatov, astrophysicist at Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences[62][63]

    Sallie Baliunas, retired astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics[64][65][66]

    Timothy Ball, historical climatologist, and retired professor of geography at the University of Winnipeg[67][68][69]

    Robert M. Carter, former head of the school of earth sciences at James Cook University[70][71]

    Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa[72][73]

    Chris de Freitas, associate professor, School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland[74][75]

    David Douglass, solid-state physicist, professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester[76][77]

    Don Easterbrook, emeritus professor of geology, Western Washington University[78][79]

    William M. Gray, professor emeritus and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University[80][81]

    William Happer, physicist specializing in optics and spectroscopy; emeritus professor, Princeton University[82][83]

    Ole Humlum, professor of geology at the University of Oslo[84][85]

    Wibjörn Karlén, professor emeritus of geography and geology at the University of Stockholm.[86][87]
    William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology[88][89]

    David Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware[90][91]

    Anthony Lupo, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Missouri[92][93]

    Tad Murty, oceanographer; adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa[94][95]

    Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist and professor of geology at Carleton University in Canada.[96][97][98]

    Ian Plimer, professor emeritus of mining geology, the University of Adelaide.[99][100]

    Arthur B. Robinson, American politician, biochemist and former faculty member at the University of California, San Diego[101][102]

    Murry Salby, atmospheric scientist, former professor at Macquarie University and University of Colorado[103][104]

    Nicola Scafetta, research scientist in the physics department at Duke University[105][106][107]

    Tom Segalstad, geologist; associate professor at University of Oslo[108][109]
    Nir Shaviv, professor of physics focusing on astrophysics and climate science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem[110][111]

    Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia[112][113][114][115]

    Willie Soon, astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics[116][117]

    Roy Spencer, meteorologist; principal research scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville[118][119]

    Henrik Svensmark, physicist, Danish National Space Center[120][121]

    George H. Taylor, retired director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University[122][123]

    Jan Veizer, environmental geochemist, professor emeritus from University of Ottawa[124][125]

    Scientists arguing that the cause of global warming is unknown
    These scientists have said that no principal cause can be ascribed to the observed rising temperatures, whether man-made or natural.

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu, retired professor of geophysics and founding director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.[126][127]

    Claude Allègre, French politician; geochemist, emeritus professor at Institute of Geophysics (Paris).[128][129]

    Robert Balling, a professor of geography at Arizona State University.[130][131]

    Pål Brekke, solar astrophycisist, senior advisor Norwegian Space Centre.[132][133]

    John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, contributor to several IPCC reports.[134][135][136]

    Petr Chylek, space and remote sensing sciences researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory.[137][138]

    David Deming, geology professor at the University of Oklahoma.[139][140]

    Ivar Giaever, professor emeritus of physics at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Nobel laureate.[141][142]

    Vincent R. Gray, New Zealand physical chemist with expertise in coal ashes[143][144]

    Keith E. Idso, botanist, former adjunct professor of biology at Maricopa County Community College District and the vice president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change[145][146]

    Antonino Zichichi, emeritus professor of nuclear physics at the University of Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists.[147][148]

    Scientists arguing that global warming will have few negative consequences
    These scientists have said that projected rising temperatures will be of little impact or a net positive for society or the environment.

    Indur M. Goklany, science and technology policy analyst for the United States Department of the Interior[149][150][151]

    Craig D. Idso, faculty researcher, Office of Climatology, Arizona State University and founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change [152][153]

    Sherwood B. Idso, former research physicist, USDA Water Conservation Laboratory, and adjunct professor, Arizona State University[154][155]

    Patrick Michaels, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and retired research professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia[156][157]

    Dead scientists
    This section includes deceased scientists who would otherwise be listed in the prior sections.

    August H. "Augie" Auer Jr. (1940–2007), retired New Zealand MetService Meteorologist and past professor of atmospheric science at the University of Wyoming[158]

    Reid Bryson (1920–2008), Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in a 2007 magazine interview that he believed global warming was primarily caused by natural processes:[159]

    Robert Jastrow (1925–2008), American astronomer, physicist and cosmologist. He was a leading NASA scientist. Together with Fred Seitz and William Nierenberg he established the George C. Marshall Institute[159] to counter the scientists who were arguing against Reagan's Starwars Initiative, arguing for equal time in the media. This institute later took the view that tobacco was having no effect, that acid rain was not caused by human emissions, that ozone was not depleted by CFCs, that pesticides were not environmentally harmful and it was also critical of the consensus view of anthropogenic global warming.[160] Jastrow acknowledged the Earth was experiencing a warming trend, but claimed that the cause was likely to be natural variation.[161]

    Harold ("Hal") Warren Lewis (1923-2011), Emeritus Professor of Physics and former department chairman at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2010, after 67 years of membership, Lewis resigned from the American Physical Society, writing in a letter about the "corruption" from "the money flood" of government grants.[162]

    Frederick Seitz (1911–2008), solid-state physicist and former president of the National Academy of Sciences and co-founder of the George C. Marshall Institute in 1984.[159][163]

    The "97% of Scientists agree" is a myth....

    There is no consensus amongst scientists...

    But there IS a group who is trying to censure and even PROSECUTE scientists who don't toe the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Schtick line...

    That alone should convince you of the so-called "validity" (or in this case, lack thereof) of the claims of the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Schtick group...

    Michale
    064

  190. [190] 
    Michale wrote:

    Consider two more points..

    1. Weather is not climate.. Climate is so far above weather as to be on a different planet...

    2. Weather control is the holy grail of the atmospheric studies field...

    We both know that, in the here and now, weather control is a pipe dream..

    Yet, what the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Schtick group is wanting to achieve is CLIMATE CONTROL...

    Humans have as much chance of controlling the planet's climate as they have of controlling the planet's orbit..

    It is simply NOT within the realm of possibility that humans can control the planet's climate..

    I am sure that's a point we can ALL agree on...

    Michale
    065

  191. [191] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem with Paula's assertions regarding the Republican Party is that the same assertions, the EXACT same assertions, can be EQUALLY applied to the Democrat Party...

    That's the point that practically every Weigantian misses...

    Democrats are NO different, NO better than Republicans..

    These are the facts.. And they are indisputable..

    Michale

  192. [192] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, if I thought it would make a difference, I would list all the hundreds of lies that have been told by Democrats and have been ALLOWED to be told by Democrats and how the entire Democrat Party facilitated and supported the lies..

    I could list HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of examples of this... Very similar to Paula's lists...

    But I know for a fact that it would not make a bit of difference..

    I have as much chance of convincing ya'all that the Democrat Party and the Republican Party are simply two different sides of the same corrupt coin as I do of convincing a devout christian that there is no god or no heaven..

    In other words, there is no difference between a devout christian and a devout Democrat/Republican..

    Both the fanatical Dem and the fanatical Rep operate under the premise that THEY are the chosen ones, that THEY are all goodness and light and that the other side is evil incarnate and the root of all evil..

    Michale
    067

  193. [193] 
    Michale wrote:

    But sometimes I just want to vent and am not attempting to persuade.

    "Please don't make me smile..
    I just want to be mad for a while.."

    -Terri Clarke

    :D

    But it's funny you should say that... In my reading of all the crap going on at Universities, one of the coddled crybabies said very much the same thing..

    "I don't want to find solutions!! I want you to feel my pain!!"
    -Coddled Crybaby

    That sums up, quite nicely, the majority of the Democrat Party platform.

    Democrats don't want to find solutions. They just want everyone to be as miserable as they are...

    OK, who'se next for the broad brush?? :D heh

    Michale
    068

  194. [194] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yet, what the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Schtick group is wanting to achieve is CLIMATE CONTROL...

    Let me amend that to say, "Yet, what the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption/Next Big Schtick group is PROFESSING TO WANT to achieve is CLIMATE CONTROL..."

    Anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together knows that controlling the planet's climate is simply not possible..

    So, under the guise of wanting to control the planet's climate, this group actually wants to control the planet's economies and give that control to the UN..

    Giving control of the world economy over to the UN is like giving control of the US's nuclear arsenal to Iran or North Korea..

    Of all the possible STOOPIDIST moves that exist in the world today, THAT is THE mostest stoopidist...

    Michale
    071

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