Friday Talking Points [461] -- "Berenstain Bear Democrats" Win The Day

[ Posted Friday, November 10th, 2017 – 18:29 UTC ]

Democrats just had the first very good week they've had in an entire year. Tuesday night, they absolutely swept the board in the few elections that were held. Now, granted, this was an off-off-year election, so it's too soon to say whether this presages a Democratic wave (or even a Democratic tsunami) in next year's midterm elections, but that doesn't detract from the gains Democratic candidates made all over the map this week. Michael Murphy, a Republican political strategist, summed up the impact of Tuesday night thusly: "Donald Trump is an anchor for the GOP. We got that message in loud volume in Virginia. The canary in the coal mine didn't just pass out; its head exploded."

But the best quote of the week came from a Virginia voter, marketing executive Toren Beasley. Quoted exiting a D.C. suburb's Starbucks, Beasley explained this year's motivation to vote:

It could have been Dr. Seuss or the Berenstain Bears on the ballot and I would have voted for them if they were a Democrat. I might do more analyses in other years. But in this case, no. No one else gets any consideration because what's going on with the Republicans -- I'm talking about Trump and his cast of characters -- is stupid, stupid, stupid. I can't say "stupid" enough times.

Hence our column's headline today. In the history of animal-themed Democratic groups, originally there were "Yellow Dog Democrats," as in: "I'll vote for a yaller dog 'long as he's a Democrat." This was back when anti-segregationist Democrats dominated the South, prior to the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s. Later, once most of these had switched over to the Republican Party, the remaining conservative or moderate Democrats became the "Blue Dog Democrats," who were responsible for such things as killing the public option in the Obamacare debate.

Now, however, what Republicans need to fear are these new "Berenstain Bear Democrats," which we are defining as those who are willing to vote Democratic simply to send a message about Donald Trump, Trumpism, and the capitulation of the Republican Party to all that that stands for. On Tuesday, the voters sent this message loud and clear. It didn't matter if the Democratic candidate was a neophyte, it didn't matter if they were a person of color or a transgender candidate, all that mattered was sending that clear message.

A quick recap of what Democrats managed to do Tuesday night: retain the governorship of Virginia, and flip the governors' office in New Jersey. Gain full control (both chambers of the statehouse and the governor's office) in two more states (New Jersey and Washington, where a special state senate election tipped the balance). Vote overwhelmingly, in the first time the issue has ever been on a state ballot initiative, to expand Medicaid in Maine. Flip many local seats in down-ballot races (especially in suburban districts), many of which came as a complete surprise to everyone. And, most notably, almost wrest control of the Virginia House of Delegates away from Republicans, by flipping a whopping 15 seats and counting (three races are still outstanding, but Democrats need two more wins to gain control of the chamber). It's been since 2007 since Democrats even picked up more than one of these seats in a single election, and even then they only flipped four. Oh, and Bill de Blasio overwhelmingly won re-election as New York City's mayor, the first time any Democrat had done so since Ed Koch in 1985.

It was also a historic election, for many reasons. Virginia elected an African-American to the lieutenant governor's office, only the second time that has happened. Danica Roem became the first openly transgender state legislator in the country, and she did so by defeating a self-admitted virulent homophobe who drafted a "bathroom bill" for Virginia. Virginia also elected several other "firsts" to the House of Delegates: the first open lesbian, the first Asian-American woman, and the first two Latinas. They also elected the boyfriend of a television news anchor who was gunned down on live television, even though a million bucks was spent against him in the race. Of 14 seats definitively flipped, all were previously held by Republican men. Ten of their replacements will be women.

Ralph Northam won the governor's race against Ed Gillespie, who had run a full-on Trump-style campaign, full of race-baiting and fearmongering. Northam beat all expectations with his nine-point margin of victory. Hillary Clinton won the state a year ago, but only by five points. Polling before the election only put Northam up by (at the most) six or seven points. His victory was no close call -- it was resounding.

It wasn't just Virginia, either. Democrats picked up three state legislature seats in Georgia, mayors in Manchester, New Hampshire, St. Petersburg, Florida, and in both Fayetteville and Charlotte, North Carolina. Seattle elected its first openly lesbian mayor, St. Paul, Minnesota elected its first black mayor, and in Minneapolis a black transgender woman won a seat on the city council.

The results were so decisive, both sides of the aisle emerged absolutely stunned from seeing Tuesday night's returns. Virginia's outgoing governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, admitted (after the fact): "in my mind I was thinking six to eight [seats gained in the House of Delegates] would have been a great night for the Democrats." Former Republican state attorney general of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli was more blunt: "Trump is Trump. Let's not kid ourselves that he's going to make any changes. It's up to the Republicans in Congress. If they can’t deliver to their voters, those voters simply won't come out, and that should scare the bejesus out of the Republicans in Washington." Well, that and the Berenstain Bear Democrats, we'd have to add.

Tom Angell pointed out one interesting aspect of the Democratic victory as well, over at Forbes -- that Democrats won even close races by openly and enthusiastically supporting marijuana legalization and decriminalization. This has long been a political issue that many Democrats have shied away from, but supporting marijuana reform always seems to help candidates these days, not hurt them. This is a message other Democratic candidates should really consider taking to heart, in other words.

The overall attitude of the voters was pretty plain to see, from the exit polling. In Virginia, when asked what their most important issue was, the biggest category by far (more than twice the size of the number two answer, "gun policy") was healthcare. Of the 39 percent of voters who gave this response, a whopping 77 percent of them voted for the Democrats. Looks like the days of demonizing Obamacare may finally be coming to an end (especially considering that Maine voted to expand Medicaid by a 20-point margin).

A whopping 34 percent of the voters agreed that they were voting Democratic to "send Donald Trump a message." Half as many (only 17 percent) said they were voting Republican in support of Trump. The most notable change in voting patterns was that Democrats turned out in droves to the polls, especially in suburban districts. Voting was up in these areas among pretty much all demographic groups. Democrats didn't make much in the way of inroads among rural counties, but then again Republicans didn't motivate their base sufficiently here either (their voting patterns were similar to the last election).

Or maybe they had been watching Donald Trump Jr.'s Twitter feed. Don Jr. tweeted more than once early on Tuesday that Republicans really needed to get out to vote "tomorrow." When he finally figured his mistake out, he didn't exactly clear things up when he tweeted that voters should go to the polls [sic] "tody."

This all bodes very well indeed for Democrats' chances in next year's midterm elections. The resistance is real. The anger has been sustained. People didn't just sit on their behinds on Election Day, they got out and voted in full force. They wanted to send a message, and they did so in astoundingly clear fashion. The Berenstain Bear Democrats carried the day.

While Democrats are rallying around anyone who calls themselves a Democrat, Republicans are not shy of doing so on their side of the aisle as well. Their only problem is that they are now in the position of: "I'll vote for a child molester and pedophile as long as he's a Republican." The next election for a seat in Congress will be a special election in Alabama on December 12. Roy Moore is the Republican candidate, and he is currently vigorously denying that he not only dated underage teenage girls when he was in his 30s, but that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old around the same time.

The "party of family values," of course, has now been painted into a corner by these allegations. So far, you can count the number of prominent Republicans on three fingers who have unequivocally denounced Moore. Here are their three tweets:

John McCain: "The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of."

John Kasich: "I've long opposed Roy Moore & his divisive viewpoints. The actions described make him unfit for office. The GOP must not support him. He should step aside."

Mitt Romney: "Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside."

Every other Republican who has been asked has fallen back on "if it is true, he should step down," without explaining what other proof they'd need than the already-extensive proof laid out in the original bombshell Washington Post article. Translated, this means: "As long as the child molester and pedophile votes for tax cuts, we'll continue to support his candidacy." Profiles in cowardice!

Astonishingly, there are even Republicans who are attempting to brush the whole thing under the rug, including Alabama's state auditor, who was actually quoted saying the following: "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual." Hoo boy. Actually, sexual relations with a 14-year-old is indeed illegal -- even in Alabama.

Roy Moore denied all the allegations, and immediately began a fundraising effort as a result of the story. You just can't make this stuff up, folks.

An editor at the Washington Post pointed out the irony by tweeting: "Here's what I don't get: Even if your logic is purely partisan and your politics purely tribal, denouncing Weinstein while defending Roy Moore means you're basically taking the word of the famous Hollywood women but not the small-town Republican women." Good point.

This brings up the previously-unthinkable prospect of a Democrat actually winning a Senate race in Alabama -- a state that went for Donald Trump by almost 30 points last year. This would reduce the Republican majority to only 51-49, and whoever wins will be there until the 2020 elections.

In unrelated news (well, you be the judge), Trump supporters gathered in several cities to celebrate the anniversary of his electoral win in a rather unusual way: "The idea was self-explanatory, as people came to public gathering places, looked to the sky and let out a yell." Next year, one can only assume, they'll gather again to howl at the moon?

In other bizarre news, Senator Rand Paul was attacked while riding his lawnmower, by a neighbor of his. Nobody so far has admitted what the fight was even about. Paul suffered multiple cracked ribs from the attack, and his neighbor is facing increasingly-severe charges.

There was some good news for political protest this week, and some bad news. The woman who laughed out loud during the confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions (reacting to the statement that Sessions had a "clear and well-documented" record on "treating all Americans equally under the law" -- which is, indeed, a laughable statement to make) has now been freed of her legal nightmare, as the Department of Justice suddenly dropped all charges against her (after failing to convict her in their first court case).

However, the bad news came for Juli Briskman, who was the woman famously caught on camera flipping Donald Trump's motorcade the bird, from her bicycle. When she gave her employer, a government contracting firm, a heads-up that the flipper-off-er was indeed her, she was immediately fired and escorted to the door. So much for political free speech -- Briskman was not wearing anything which identified her employer, and she was on her own time when it happened, but she was summarily canned anyway.

And we have to finally end with some really sad news. Two weeks ago, we celebrated the ascension of Paddles the cat to the rank of "First Cat of New Zealand," after its owner Jacinda Ardern was elected prime minister. If for no reason other than: "Ms Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford recently said the cat interrupted Ms Ardern's phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump in late October," we thought this would be a fun cat to follow on social media for years to come. But alas, we have to report that Paddles the cat has died unexpectedly, in an untimely car accident. Anyone wishing to memorialize Paddles is being asked to donate to the S.P.C.A., where Paddles was a rescue cat. And you can also use the hashtag we close on today, as well: #PrrpForever.

Requiescat In Pace, First Cat of New Zealand Paddles. You will be missed. Prrrrp!


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

There were so many impressive Democrats this week that we're going to have to just punt and issue a group award. Otherwise the task of measuring all the victorious candidates' records and margins of victory would just be overwhelming. So this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week goes to each and every Democrat who participated in this year's election cycle in any way.

This includes -- first and foremost -- the voters. Democratic voters showed up. They turned out. They did not shrug and say: "It's raining, so maybe I won't go vote after all." Whether traditional Democratic voters, or first-time Democratic voters, or independent voters who were fed up with Republican tactics, or suburban voters, or women voters, or college-educated voters, or the newly-christened Berenstain Bear Democrat voters, the voters showed up by the thousands. You can't win elections without voters, and you don't win elections when the voters are uninspired. Whether sending a message to Donald Trump or sending a message about the importance of healthcare or sending a message of inclusivity and diversity, Democratic voters definitely made the political world sit up and take notice this Tuesday. The resistance is real, and it just delivered what will hopefully be the first of many victories.

This also includes all the Democrats who were brave enough to throw their hats in the ring and run for office. Recruiting good candidates can be a problem at times, but not so this year. Women candidates were motivated by the Women's March on Washington, candidates of color were inspired to take on the creeping white nationalism prevalent in the Republican Party, and transgender candidates were motivated by the sheer disrespect shown by the other side. And they all won, and won big.

Democrats everywhere in this country owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all of these candidates and all of these voters. Heading into the midterm election season, Democrats are now fully on offense and Republicans are reduced to a defensive crouch. Voters in other places in the country -- especially those living in suburbs currently represented in the House by a Republican -- have now seen that it is indeed possible to wrest these seats away from the GOP. A sense of real optimism prevails now, for the first time in an entire year. Which is, as we said, why Democrats everywhere owe their thanks to each and every person who participated in the 2017 Democratic blowout election.

So instead of trying to come up with who was more impressive this week, we're just throwing up our hands and awarding the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week to everyone who made it happen. And we'd like to offer our personal thanks as well. It's a new day for Democrats, that's for sure.


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Of course, to be morally unambiguous, we have to admit that Roy Moore certainly isn't the only politician who has been compromised by child molestation charges. Sadly, these things happen on both sides of the aisle.

Just before the Roy Moore news broke came this little footnote to a long and sordid story:

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) reported to prison Monday morning to begin serving a 21-month sentence for sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl.

Weiner will serve his sentence at Federal Medical Center, Devens, a federal prison in Massachusetts.

The ex-lawmaker pleaded guilty in May to sending a North Carolina high school student explicit messages in early 2016, acknowledging he was aware of the girl's age when he messaged her.

We certainly don't need to go into any detail on Anthony Weiner, except to remind everyone that his antics may have been a large contributory factor in Hillary Clinton's election loss a year ago, since when he was arrested his laptop was seized -- and this was the reason F.B.I. Director James Comey reopened the Clinton email investigation mere days before the election happened. If Weiner hadn't been caught, that would not have happened. So his sordid tale had an outsized impact.

For now, we'll just hand Weiner his ninth Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week and let it go at that.

[Anthony Weiner is no longer a public figure, so as a rule we don't provide contact information. If you really want to contact him to let him know what you think of his actions, we'd suggest getting in touch with him through that federal prison listed above.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 461 (11/10/17)

Once again, due to its importance, we are devoting the entire talking points section to fighting hard against the Republican tax plan. It's hard to even call it a "tax cut" anymore, as more and more information becomes available about how many people's taxes will actually rise due to this ill-conceived giveaway to the ultra-wealthy.

Now, designing tax reform so that everyone gets at least a small tax cut is usually pretty easy for Republicans to do. What normally happens is that the people on the bottom get a tiny, meager scrap of a tax cut, those up the income scale see bigger benefits, and those at the top reap the big bucks. Republicans have sold these plans as "tax cuts for all," and it has usually worked for them.

This time around, for some inexplicable reason, they chose not to do that. Instead, they threw so many curveballs into the mix that many Americans are even now unsure whether their taxes will go up, down, or sideways under the GOP plan. But because they introduced so many complexities, it is assured to create a whole lot of losers under the new system.

Democrats need to feed this uncertainty by pointing out how many people will actually get hit by higher taxes. Most people, even towards the upper end of the income scale, are actually fine with paying a little more in taxes if (and it's a big if) they believe that the money raised is going to a good and worthy purpose -- like lowering taxes on the working class, or like reducing the national debt. However, when told that they have to feel some economic pain in order to provide a trillion-dollar giveaway to the wealthiest few and big business and Wall Street, it becomes an entirely different political equation.

Democrats really need to forcefully be making this case. Public outrage is what stopped the "repeal and replace Obamacare" bills, and it can do the same for the tax bill -- but only if enough people hear about it. So, this week, it would behoove all Democrats to begin making some of the following arguments.


   Hand $1,000 to a hedge fund manager

Bill de Blasio had a good week at the ballot box, as previously mentioned. But that didn't stop him from fighting the Republican tax plan, with an excellent opinion piece he wrote for Business Insider. In it, he makes the best analogy we've yet heard to describe the GOP tax plan.

In New York City nearly 700,000 families earning less than $200,000 would see their taxes increase under the proposed bill, with their average tax hike exceeding $1,000.

The Republicans might as well ask hardworking New Yorkers to withdraw $1,000 from the bank machine and find a hedge fund manager to give it to. Meanwhile, losing that money will force families to make terrible choices between food and medicine or rent and tutoring for a child.


   Fix inequality, don't exacerbate it

De Blasio's entire piece is really worth reading in full. Because he is calling for the type of tax reform which would actually be popular with a majority of Americans, unlike the Republican plan which is currently almost as unpopular as their "repeal and replace Obamacare" bills were.

I agree with the president on one thing: We need to reform our tax code. But I think we should be taking that reform in exactly the opposite direction. Our tax code should address our country's runaway inequality. It should ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share, so that all Americans can reap the rewards of their drive, skill and spirit, which have built our economy.

Let's start by closing loopholes that unreasonably benefit the 1%. Let's end the carried-interest loophole, which allows hedge-fund billionaires to pay a lower rate of taxes on their income than the salaries their secretaries pay. Let's increase, rather than eliminate, the estate tax, which is paid only by the heirs and heiresses of multi-million dollar fortunes.


   Driving the suburbanites into the arms of the Democrats

This one should be the most fearsome to Republicans, at least those who were paying attention on Tuesday night.

"You know who just elected a Democratic governor of Virginia? Suburban counties, full of middle-class and even upper-middle-class Americans. These are the swing counties nationwide. And as if Tuesday weren't punishment enough for Republicans, their tax plan seems designed specifically to raise taxes on exactly the same demographic. These are people who know full well the details of how the tax system works, and they're going to be some of the hardest-hit under the Republican tax plan. The GOP is removing many of the deductions the middle-class uses, rather than targeting how the truly wealthy make their money. So the middle class will be subsidizing a trillion-dollar tax cut for Wall Street and the one percent. And they're already not too happy about it -- what are they going to think in a year's time, when it comes time to vote? Republicans seem bent on driving away the very voters they really should be courting right now. It's like they actually want to see a Democratic wave election wipe the GOP majorities out in 2018 or something."


   100 million households

Of course, it's always better to provide some facts and figures in your talking points.

"The numbers are out, and they are terrible for millions of Americans who will see their taxes rise under the Republican plan. Of the middle fifth of the income scale -- those with an average income of $72,000 -- a full 21 percent will be paying higher taxes if the Republicans get their way. In the next highest fifth (average income $115,900), almost one-quarter will be hit with higher taxes. And a full third of families making an average of $207,000 will get socked with a higher tax bill. This is a so-called 'middle-class tax cut'? Hardly. In fact, by one calculation, this will mean a whopping 100 million households will either be paying higher taxes or will see no tax cut at all. And it's all to shower trillions on big business and Donald Trump's children after he dies."


   Lyin' Ryan

The Washington Post "Fact-Checker" column (the one that hands out Pinocchios) got Paul Ryan to admit he was lying, this week. So point it out!

"Earlier this week, Paul Ryan was making promises that were just flat-out lies about the GOP tax plan. Ryan was confidently repeating, and I quote: 'every single person, every rate payer, every bracket person gets a rate cut.' Now, I'm not sure what a 'bracket person' is myself, but this statement is laughable for other reasons as well. Because it's just plain false. Republicans could have easily designed a tax plan that would actually have achieved this goal -- by merely raising the standard deduction a bit, or by raising the personal exemption -- but they chose not to do so. When it was pointed out to his office that he was lying his face off, he quickly pivoted to a much more parsed answer: 'what the analysis shows us, the average taxpayer in all income levels gets a tax cut' -- which is nowhere near what he had originally been claiming. I will give Ryan credit, though, because most Republicans are out there just ignoring the facts and continuing to lie their faces off about their 'middle-class tax cut' that actually raises taxes on the middle class."


   SALT in your wounds

This one should sting, but only if you rub it in.

"If anyone has any doubt about who this tax proposal was written to help, you need look no further than what Republicans are doing on the state and local taxes (or 'SALT,' as some call them). Individuals will either, under the House plan, have their SALT deduction heavily limited, or, under the Senate plan, see their SALT deduction disappear completely. But this pain doesn't apply equally to all, because businesses will continue to be allowed to deduct state and local taxes -- it is only individuals who will get hit by this change. Right there is the best example of who will get hurt by the Republican tax plan, and who it is designed to help. You pay more, Middle America, so that Wall Street can give themselves bigger million-dollar bonuses next year."


   Seth finds a great example

Nicely done, Seth. Kudos to his writing and researching team, as well, for digging this one out.

"Seth Meyers, a late-night comedian, pointed out what is probably the most egregious example of how Donald Trump's tax plans benefit one very particular demographic of society. Meyers asked us all to 'think of the most Donald-Trump-friendly tax break you could possibly imagine,' before revealing that the Republican tax cut includes a freakin' tax break for golf course owners. That's right, Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class -- you are going to have to buckle down and fork over more tax dollars so that Trump can rake in millions of dollars in breaks because he owns golf courses. Maybe that's what he meant when he promised everyone we'd get tired of all the 'winning'?"

-- Chris Weigant


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Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

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


69 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [461] -- "Berenstain Bear Democrats" Win The Day”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    I swear, the news about Paddles was the only dark spot in an otherwise stellar week.

    I'm still really bummed at the news of the untimely demise of the @FirstCatofNZ...



  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:



  3. [3] 
    TheStig wrote:

    This week revealed Trump has lost the "Gullibles" leaving him with just his core "Deplorables" a warehouse full of unsold Red Hats. Orders for more Red Hats were probably canceled during the visit to China.

    To summarize in his own seedy vernacular: Trump has been royally "cucked." Not for the first time in his life mind you - Trump is serial cuck-up. This time, to paraphrase Truman: The Cuck Stops Here.*

    * I Googled this phrase - it has been "a thing" for a while now. Cuck-up Googles up nil.

  4. [4] 
    TheStig wrote:

    But wait..There's Moore! If you hate date rape, just consider Moore's Law - by which I mean the flouting of Civil Law in favor of his own half-assed, Kracker Kristian, Krazy Sharia Law, not the doubling time of computer chip speed. Roy Moore is Alabama's Drunk Uncle-twice removed (from the bench).

  5. [5] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    So, does the Democratic off-year mini-sweep indicate that Putin has switched political parties, or that the folks who gave him all the credit for inflicting Trump on us, may have been overrating his influence??

  6. [6] 
    John M wrote:

    [8] C. R. Stucki

    All it indicates is the the Russians were primarily interested in the U.S. Presidential election and in gaining power and influence in Washington and the White House.

    Turn the question around.

    If you were Americans, would you be interested in influencing the leadership in the Kremlin? Or in some local province out in Siberia?

  7. [7] 
    John M wrote:

    C.W. wrote: Their only problem is that they are now in the position of: "I'll vote for a child molester and pedophile as long as he's a Republican.

    Sadly, this actually seems to be the case of many average Republican voters in Alabama. Of the interviews done and reporter's comments that I have seen, they don't care that he's now an accused child molester, they will vote for him anyway because they still see a Democrat as the bigger enemy. To me, that's totally shocking and I can't understand that mindset at all. One can only hope that enough of Moore's supporters will lose their enthusiasm and stay home and not vote at all on election day to give Doug Jones just enough of an edge to squeak out a victory.

  8. [8] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CRS 8. Very unlikely. Are you implying American voters are too dumb to catch on to a scam? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on you....fool me N times, shame on you? Is that the best you've got on the ranch? If so, small ranch!

  9. [9] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    CR: if the Republicans want to believe that the surge in Democratic voters in Virginia was a Russian-inspired fluke, who am I to disabuse you of that notion? All the better for us down the road.

    Never mind Putin's anger-bots and troll farms - they've got nothin' on Fox News and right wing radio for whippin up discord and base emotion.

    Didya see how friendly Putin & Trump were to each other at the summit? I'd bet that a few of Trump's wives, past and present, were feeling just a bit jealous. But then, if Donald wants to hold hands, Putin won't slap his away like Melania does.

  10. [10] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH -13

    If, as you say, Americans are too dumb to catch on to a scam, what is the point of your OneDemand Concept/Crusade? If the voting public is too dumb to recognize the big money contribution scam, then you have cut through the plank of your own hobby horse. OD is doomed to fail. Maybe you should move on to a new project?

  11. [11] 
    MHorton wrote:


    We're tired of hearing your repeated bashing of anyone who doesn't kow-tow to your specific demands.

    It's not worth debating with you because you don't listen.

  12. [12] 
    MHorton wrote:

    You're trying to start the Democrat Tea Party.

    Have you seen how that's working out for the Republicans?

  13. [13] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Trump says that Putin again denied 'meddling' in the American election. "Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it." said Trump.

    Well that settles it.

    Trump also dissed the heads of the intelligence agencies under Obama. "They're hacks," says the President who appointed a bartender to be Asst. Secretary of Agriculture.

    Trump has lately been pushing an alternative theory that Clinton hacked the DNC, in a desperate attempt to make herself lose the election. Last week it was reported that Trump sent the head of the CIA to interview an author who claims to have discovered the incredible plot, and swears to Alex Jones that he didn't make the whole thing up.

    Meanwhile, Gary Cohn, the leading White House economic adviser and former chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs, says the super-rich are super-psyched about the new GOP tax plan: “The most excited group out there are big CEOs,” Cohn bragged to CNBC. Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), himself a millionaire, said on Tuesday that the rich are even getting pushy about it. “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’” said Collins, who will definitely call again.

    Oh to be a fly on the wall when they tell all this to someone just waking up from a four year coma.

  14. [14] 
    dsws wrote:

    Pluralities of voters in states sufficient to constitute a majority of electoral votes did vote for Trump. Sure, some votes were lost to voter-suppression laws, but probably not enough to turn the election. It is -- well, never say "impossible" --- it's very difficult to imagine a worse prospective president than Trump. If they'll vote for Trump, it's very difficult to imagine any candidate too horrible for them to vote for.

    In a minimally sane and decent country, no candidate even remotely resembling Trump would be able to get double digits in the primaries of any significant party, let alone actually win a major-party nomination. Certainly, in no country capable of democratic self-rule could such a candidate come close enough to actually winning for the peculiarities of the electoral college combined with a feasible level of voter suppression to tip the election to him.

    The voters -- the people actually to blame for Trump -- haven't been thrown out of office in the past two years. And until they are, democracy is not an option.

  15. [15] 
    dsws wrote:

    Have you seen how that's working out for the Republicans?

    They've got one-party hegemony, in all branches, both at the federal level and in most states.

  16. [16] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I don't like that I have to hate Louis CK now even as the Republicans send Chester the Molester to the senate while they have an Orange Pussy Grabber in the White House. What family did their values come from? Sad.

  17. [17] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Any question about whether Americans are, or are not, "too dumb to detect a scam" was resolved in 1964, when they rejected Goldwater, a true statesman, because they were told he would take us into war, and then elected LBJ, who DID take us into war.

    But it's the old story of some people being capable of being fooled "all of the time", and all people capable of being fooled "some of the time".

    Well, 1964 and 2016 turned out to be instances where the "some of the timers" were in the majority.

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    JFC -23

    "What family did their values come from?"


    The Republicans have chosen to treat this as a public relations problem. It will come back to bite them. WAPO stumbled upon the story only because it was common knowledge among the locals. More details are sure to surface.

    "The chair recognizes the Pedophile from the great State of Alabama." Say it loud wear it proud, see where it gets you.

  19. [19] 
    John M wrote:


    I think a few things need clearing up.

    1.) LBJ didn't start the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war, John Kennedy did that.

    2.) It was Congress which passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution giving the President the power to wage unlimited war.

    3.) It was LBJ who supported and pushed Civil Rights legislation through Congress, and America is better for it. Barry Goldwater never would have done that. Goldwater was all about states rights.

    4.) The "statesman" Goldwater was opposed to both the nuclear test ban treaty and the Hot Line between the White House and the Kremlin, both of which made the world infinitely safer.

    5.) It was Nixon who vastly expanded and escalated the war after running on a platform to end it.

    But I agree, there are a lot of Americans out there who are very gullible. (Hillary Clinton should have used that term, instead of the unfortunate "deplorable" comment.) Do they constitute a plurality? Unfortunately yes, a lot of the time. Are they a majority? Thankfully no. I just happen to disagree somewhat about just when, where, and who exemplifies they have fallen victim to a carnival barker con man. But at least we can apparently agree that Trump definitely fits the bill.

  20. [20] 
    John M wrote:

    [21] dsws

    I think that unfairly singles out the United States. It's really a problem for the whole Western World. After all, Le Pen garnered 34 percent of the vote in France, and the far right Freedom party managed to secure 27 percent of the vote in Austria, as just two examples. It's only because of the peculiar nature of the American electoral college system that Trump became President while getting only 46 percent of the popular vote.

    Historically, Hitler never got more than 44 percent of the vote in Germany.

  21. [21] 
    John M wrote:

    [28] Don Harris

    Don, while I totally agree with what you are saying, I think that is trying to pigeonhole it into too stark of a black vs white terms.

    If my "realistic" choice is voting for the big money Democrat, or voting for the Republican pedophile, and I vote for a third party small donor candidate instead, and because of my vote, the Republican pedophile gets into office when I could have prevented that by changing my vote, than I am just as complicit that he got into office as they people who voted for him in the first place. So you can better believe that, at least in the short run, I am going to vote for the big money Democrat in order to prevent that from happening, with the complete knowledge of what I am doing.

    Sometimes the lesser of two evils is the better choice.

  22. [22] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M

    It's true that a helluva lot of the Vietnam insanity happened before LBJ took it over. You can go clear back to the French involvement while spreading blame, but bottom line, likely 85,000 of the total 86,000 American lives wasted in that hell hole over there were his doing. Goldwater never would have been that dumb, in spite of being against outlawing nukes, or whatever.

  23. [23] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    C.R. [30] Sorry Stucki, but the Dems and the Reps have almost equal responsibility for Vietnam war deaths, as about half occurred before 1968, when Nixon (who, like Trump, claimed to have a 'secret' plan) was elected. Google "US Vietnam deaths by year" if you don't believe me.

    The GOP can't claim, either, that the problem was 'inherited' from the Democrats as it's now well-established that Nixon threw a wrench into an imminent Peace Deal even before he took office in 1968, convincing the South Vietnamese that they could get a better deal from a Nixon administration/

  24. [24] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    pardon the odd punctuation at the end of that.

  25. [25] 
    MHorton wrote:

    " So if we can achieve the same with the Democratic Party establishment then we have a chance to take them both out while they are down."

    You do understand that the fall of the GOP establishment has led to a revival in the right-wing extremism, and is a large part of why our government is shutting down?

    You're assuming that getting rid of the "big money Democrats" is in and of itself a good thing.

    This is predicated upon the assumption that their replacements will be better.

    With something the size of the US government, changes should occur gradually.

    Otherwise you get erratic swings as people react and over-react to increasingly large changes in how things work.

    Absolutism has no place in democracies.

  26. [26] 
    MHorton wrote:

    Honestly, I don't care how much lobbyist money they pocket, so long as they make the right decisions for the people of the United States.

    There will always be some amount of corruption and self-dealing; the key is that they need to be effective.

    And no, you don't listen.

    You're acting just like the crazy people on Redstate in their comments who insist Mitch McConnell is trying to bring down the GOP because he's in the pocket of Soros.

    "Big Money" is not a pure binary decision, and people here don't "defend" them; we would ALL like a decrease in lobbyist and campaign contributions.

    When we point out the flaws in your reasoning, we're not "defending" them, we're pointing out the flaws in your reasoning and trying to explain the reasons we think it's both a bad idea to push it, and doomed to failure.

    If there's a ship full of people and the boat is on fire, and you want to swim out there by yourself with no equipment, I'll tell you "That's a terrible idea, and all you're going to do is get yourself killed without helping accomplishing anything productive"

    It's the same here. We agree with your goals; but your tactics, methods and expectations just are unrealistic.

  27. [27] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I am offering citizens the opportunity to expand their choices

    You are actually, in a forum that includes mostly Democrats, trying to encourage democrats to only support candidates that can't compete financially.

    Moreover, you only ever say "Big Money Democrats" and not "Big Money Democrats and Republicans". Truth is, if I ever find a Republican that can't be called a 'Big Money Republican' I'll kiss you square on the mouth, because such a thing exists in nature in about the same quantity as obsidian colored red polka-dotted bunny rabbits.

    We have wasted enough time discussing and dissecting your hopeless and counter-productive plan. Well, I have.

  28. [28] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Don H

    You sure your name isn't really Don Q (as in Quixote)? Your quest for getting big money out of politics is beyond Utopian, somewhere into unreality.

    Your only (slim) hope would be to have congress enact public campaign funding, while simultaneously outlawing private campaign donations (aka bribes). Obvious problem is, politicians don't go into politics to serve their fellow men, they go into politics to GET RICH, and the current system best achieves that goal.

  29. [29] 
    TheStig wrote:


    "That's a terrible idea, and all you're going to do is get yourself killed without helping accomplishing anything productive"

    AKA "committing suicide to avoid being killed."

    Just ignore the one note mating call of the Crankus domesticus.

  30. [30] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Don Q

    BOTH statements are 100% true, and there ain't neither "more" true, 'cause 100% is as true as you can get!

    But you ARE doing my stmt, and I am NOT doing yours.

    I do NOT expect them to "stop representing big money interests", I fully expect that they WONT stop! And I don't necessarily condemn all 'big money interests', many of them are legitimate, and I have to hope that most of the illegitimate ones don't get enacted.

    Definitely not the most nearly ideal situation, but a totally realistic one!

    And I question the legitimacy of your 'evidence' that it is possible to make a go of it with only small money. You have to be talking about Bernie Sanders, and I think his type would be even worse for the country than the "big money" guys.

  31. [31] 
    TheStig wrote:


    Your "I am rubber you are glue" argument doesn't cut it past the 4th grade.

    Here is something that might change my mind: a list of people who have endorsed your idea - with links to their endorsements. Good ideas tend to get gather support. You - not so much.

  32. [32] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    What is your definition of "Big Money"? If a candidate runs their campaign on $300 or $500 or $2000 donations are they still "Big Money"? How about candidates that run their campaigns on large individual donations that are not connected to business?

    Secondly you toss out "proven" and "evidence clearly suggests" when it really doesn't. Bernie lost. Your other candidate who actually ran a $100 donation campaign not only lost but got beaten by "no preference" in the Iowa Caucus.

    There is a mountain of difference between polls indicating that big money is a problem and taking your idea as the only answer. You need to prove that your idea is the right one instead of getting definitive. Show me the money trail between "big money" politicians and the legislation it paid for. Show me evidence that the lower the level of money in the campaign, the better the candidates participating. These are not "bullshit" questions. They are what you have to answers for if you want CW to take you seriously. If you want to go beyond ten supporters and ZERO participating candidates...

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH 45 and 46

    RE your web page

    I have none of the credentials normally listed in a bio. No degrees, no years of running a successful business and no experience in political campaigns or activism. I am simply an average person that has been working and living at survival mode. But I have the only credentials that I believe really matters. I am a citizen and I have an idea that may improve our political system.

    Not much of an endorsement....there hundreds of millions of US citizens in survival mode with ideas...some of which are downright scary.

    Total Participants 10

    A groundswell of 10 participants! A typical Girl Scout sells more boxes of cookies than this! Would I recognize any of your supporter's names...or does their bio read much like your bio.

    Money Pledged to Candidates in 2018 $465

    Not a lot of investors.

    You have been going to the public since roughly 2015. Your idea is not catching on. A normal, rational, person would think, "hmm...this is not going anywhere...there MUST be something wrong with my idea.. or at the very least, my something is wrong with how I am pitching it. Perhaps I should step out of the limelight and do some retooling."

  34. [34] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH- One more thing! Your website is a stub..mostly out of date and non-functional. It does not inform or impress. At best, it makes you worst makes you look like a scam artist. I'll settle for a more neutral "crank" diagnosis.

  35. [35] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    The limit for One Demand is 200 dollars per person per campaign (200 primary, 200 general).

    So, if a candidate is funded by $201 donations, does that make them "Big Money"? I'm just trying to narrow down your definition of big money. Do you have one?

    Those are bullshit questions because I have already provided proof that One Demand can work that you refuse to accept and try to dispute with conventional political wisdom that is no longer valid. And because you can't dispute the evidence you resort to avoiding the thirty years of evidence with a demand for proof that is unattainable.

    I can't dispute what you have yet to provide...

    Just like a demand for absolute proof of climate change.

    Not that I am asking for such, but considering you are taking an absolutist approach to big money, I think absolute proof is close to what you should provide.

    And maybe CW has not provided his reasons/excuses for not writing about One Demand because he has seen how spectacularly you have all failed using the arguments that he would use.

    A true a legend in your own mind...

  36. [36] 
    Paula wrote:

    The new accuser against Roy Moore's allegations are explosive. She's saying he threatened her about telling anyone about their encounter. The details of the encounter are nasty. And he signed her HS yearbook in 1977 -- he's not going to be able to claim he didn't know her. She's willing to testify under oath.

    And she voted for Trump.

  37. [37] 
    Paula wrote:

    [57] The point being she's not a Dem with a grudge.

    Establishment GOP is already running from Moore, but then they never liked him. It's going to be a deplorable vs. establishment fight, of sorts. But if yet more women come forward -- which I expect -- I don't think Moore will survive it.

    Go Doug Jones!

  38. [38] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I'm going to have to demand absolute proof that she voted for Trump.

    Why Don? How does that make her story any more or less credible? There were thirty corroborating statements given to the Washington Post the first time. Is that not enough smoke to suspect fire?

    Moreover, other statements have been given to Huffpo and other outlets that it was 'well known' that Moore had a predilection for dating teenagers at the time. Then there's Moore's own damning statement that some of his dates were young enough that he had to ask the permission of their parents to take them out.

    It doesn't matter whether he's actually Chester the Molester or not; the point is that he's a rank hypocrite who judges and lambasts others for their supposed moral failings while excusing and covering up his own. That alone should disqualify him.

  39. [39] 
    Paula wrote:

    Meanwhile, big story on The Atlantic:

    I don't know precisely when wikileaks went bad, but it went bad.

  40. [40] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Paula, Balthasar

    Moore has never categorically denied the pedo accusations, he just uses legalese to assert that he can't recall his committing inconveniently criminal behavior.

    Mooreover, he is inconsistent about assessing the credibility of individual witnesses, credible when it helps him, not credible when they don't. Works on TV, but wouldn't hold up as well in court with cross examination etc. Moore seems to know Alabama political sensibilities very well*.

    To borrow from an Addams Family flick:

    "You're a lady killer Judge!"

    "Not convicted!"

  41. [41] 
    Paula wrote:

    [62] TheStig: Yep. But I don't think his half-assed efforts are going to fly against this new accusation - the yearbook is damning.

  42. [42] 
    TheStig wrote:


    If it ever gets to court. Moore is playing his cards very close to his drugstore cowboy vest.

    You've got to know when to hold 'em*
    Know when to fold 'em
    Know when to walk away
    Know when to run
    You never count your money
    When you're sittin' at the table
    There'll be time enough for countin'
    When the dealin's done

    * Earl Haffler (confusion) "We're talking about people, right?" - Seinfeld

  43. [43] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Moore looks moore like an Old West gambler than a cowboy.

    See photo:

  44. [44] 
    Paula wrote:

    This wikileaks thing is gaining steam. The writer of the piece tweeted:

    We've now updated the story with @ByronTau's great catch: @realDonaldTrump tweeted about the release of Podesta's emails *15 minutes* after @Wikileaks wrote to @DonaldJTrumpJr about it.

    Pence denied anyone in the campaign was in contact with wikileaks. The emails in this story put an end to that claim.

  45. [45] 
    Paula wrote:

    Interesting article -- basically has "off the record" recollections by several people that Roy Moore had been banned from the local mall because he was known to hang around there trying to pick up teenaged girls. Not PROOF but appears to have been something lots of people knew or believed -- this was back in the 1980's. Also notes Moore was not popular in this town -- Gadsden, where he grew up and was Assistant DA for awhile -- during the primary.

  46. [46] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    ..and an article about how healthy rich folks are driving up healthcare costs in Colorado!

    Just when they thought this would all get easier...

  47. [47] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Don [68] would rather discuss Moore anyway.

  48. [48] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Paula - 67

    The New Yorker article about the Gadsden ban has been independently corroborated by other news sources. Additiional common knowedge. In the 80's, Moore was the Maurice Chevaliar of Alabama! I think his Senate bid is about to implode. There seems to be an awful lot of common knowledge making a break for freedom of information. Time for Moore to make sure the old passport is valid and to Google "countries with weak US extradition treaties"

  49. [49] 
    Kick wrote:


    Spot on, TS.

  50. [50] 
    TheStig wrote:

    In Birmingham, the statue of Vulcan, God of Manufacturing, is pleased that he is no longer regarded as Alabama's biggest ass.

  51. [51] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    Bernie did not win the primary but came close enough to show it's possible.

    No, Don. Bernie didn't even remotely come close. He got his ass blown out on Super Tuesday and stayed in the race with almost no chance of winning it; that is a statistical FACT. I blame the California primary and that rich delegate count sitting at the end of primary season for this quite predictable conundrum, same as happened with HRC and BHO with the exception that they were actually neck and neck until the end.

    The great State of California making their move to early in the primary cycle circa March 2020 should nip that utter nonsense right square in the bud, and that would also be an interesting column for CW to ponder and offer his thoughts {please, CW... hint, hint}. :)

  52. [52] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    And maybe CW has not provided his reasons/excuses for not writing about One Demand because he has seen how spectacularly you have all failed using the arguments that he would use.

    Have you perchance considered that CW saw how spectacularly you failed when you stated that Buddy Roemer had won multiple elections to Congress and LA governor as a Democrat and Repulican when a quick search of FEC records that a child could perform proved that this was untrue, that you didn't do your homework and just believed the rhetoric versus the easily searchable reality, and that Buddy Roemer actually ran only one campaign using that type formula and failed spectacularly in the doing it?

    Or maybe CW has not provided his "reasons/excuses" because he quite simply is smarter than the rest of us and simply abstained from feeding a once decent poster who decided to turn troll.

    Maybe. :)

  53. [53] 
    MHorton wrote:

    I would actually like to see some evidence that "Big Money" is what moved them to the right.

    I'm pretty sure it was Clinton and his economic policies that leaned to the right (designed to capture upper middle class white voters and to undercut the GOP's main talking point)

    With the economic ground cut out from under them, the GOP combined fantasy economics (the only place they could go after Democrats basically agreed with them) and red-meat social issues.

    But all of this started in the 90's.

    When exactly did "Big Money Democrats" begin? Who was the first?

    I'm pretty sure Senators have basically always been "Big Money" especially considering popular election of Senators is relatively new.

    Again, you don't actually listen. YOU have decided that "Big Money" is the MAIN issue.

    It's just not.

    You, in your own words, call yourself an average person.

    Consider this; perhaps your idea is merely average, and needs to be refined with thoughts from others.

    You never once responded to the IMPORTANT parts of my argument; that there's no proof that "Big Money Democrats" would be replaced with anything better.

  54. [54] 
    MHorton wrote:


    If you look at Bernie's Senate campaigns, I bet you'd call him a "Big Money Independent"

    Also, you didn't respond to my point about it being the decisions they make, not the money they take, that matters.

    I would vote for a politician in a second if they took a million dollars from some CEO and then voted directly against them, says "I'll take your money, but I vote how I vote."

  55. [55] 
    TheStig wrote:


    It is not an average idea. It is a poorly reasoned bad idea that will not supress big money influence. Small donor money is a tiny fraction of the total. Most voters never donate a dime to to anybody. They have no decisive financial hold on the parties their only decisive power is showing up to vote. Big money will be delighted if they stay home and don't vote, or cast a protest vote. If you had bothered to do some elementary research you would know this and factor it into your model. If you knew enough or bothered to game your idea with real data you would conclude your concept not merely flawed, but dangerous. Who are holding hostage? The average voters you pretend to protect. Your idea is similar to holding your breath if you don't get ice cream. Mom knows you are going to breath. Holding your breath is dramatic but not decisive.

    Get your own blog. Oh, right you have one, but hardly anybody goes there. So, you use piggy back on this blog. Free advertising for your web site, which solicits donations. There is a rank odor to that.

    You are a species of troll. I don't know why you bother. Do you crave attention? Is this some bizzaro performance art? A bar bet? Mental illness? Doesn't matter. Go away. You clutter the comments. I usually block you, but that leaves all the comments to your comments that make for a lot of scrolling on a small screen . This cheapens my morning coffee ritual, which is a damn shame, but nothing more.

    I leave you with a piece of wisdom from my late mother: "What the hell is wrong with you. Straighten up and fly right."

  56. [56] 
    MHorton wrote:

    So you are basically saying you're going to spam these comments until CW responds, and then MAYBE you'll stop?

    So, you're admitting you're a troll then.

  57. [57] 
    MHorton wrote:

    Also, dismissing questions is not responding.

    You have NO evidence that 'Big money" is the source of the problem.

    You have NO evidence that "Small Money" candidates would be any better.

    Without evidence to show those things, "Big Money" is a bad metric to judge a candidate on.

    Their voting record is literally the only thing that should matter.

  58. [58] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    TheStig [7] -

    Wow, I hadn't even though of "Moore's Law." Man, we could have all kinds of fun with that!

    Let's see... Moore's Law: the acceptibility of previoiusly-disqualifying (and downright dehumanizing) qualities of a Republican candidate will double with every 300 days Trump spends in office.

    Heh. Man, there's all kinds of ways to have fun with that!

    [Note: for non-computer-geek types, here is the real Moore's Law]



  59. [59] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    C. R. Stucki [8] -

    No, no, it means the gentrification of the Russian influence on our elections... (heh)... that's why all those tony borscht restaurants have been popping up in all the high-end suburbs all of a sudden!

    (couldn't resist... heh)


    Don Harris [13] -

    When it comes to voting for Big Money Democrats and Republicans it has been thirty years of fool me once, shame on the people that weren't fooled and I will keep voting for you no matter how many times you fool me.

    You're slipping, dude. Only 30 years? Really? Here's some things to look up to bolster your own case:

    trust-busting, Teddy Roosevelt
    railroad barons, eg. Leland Stanford
    the original Progressive movement
    The Grange movement
    the origin (related to above) of ballot initiatives
    Boss Tweed, Tammany Hall
    The DFL Party (still active in upper midwest)
    the "patronage" system (pre-dates the civil service system)

    Money's been corrupting our politics for a LOT longer than three decades, that's for sure. It is only (temporarily, in limited fashion) overcome when the people have truly had enough. That's where you and I probably see 100% eye-to-eye, I'd bet.


  60. [60] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Balthasar [17] -

    Did you see this, about a (different?) Gary Cohn speech?

    President Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, looked out from the stage at a sea of CEOs and top executives in the audience Tuesday for the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council meeting. As Cohn sat comfortably onstage, a Journal editor asked the crowd to raise their hands if their company plans to invest more if the tax reform bill passes.

    Very few hands went up.

    Cohn looked surprised. “Why aren't the other hands up?” he said.

    He laughed a little to lighten the mood, but it didn't cause many more hands to rise. Maybe the CEOs were tired. Maybe they didn't hear the question. It was a casual poll, but the lukewarm response seemed in tension with much of the public enthusiasm among corporations for a tax overhaul.

    The president and his senior team have kept saying that the tax plan would unleash business investment in the United States — new factories, more equipment and more jobs. But, perhaps as the informal poll suggested, there are reasons to be doubtful that a great business investment boom would materialize.

    This is an audience of freakin' CEOs, and even they are not that excited about the tax cuts!


  61. [61] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    C. R. Stucki [24] -

    Wow... a Goldwater fan here? So I have to ask, what did you think about Jeff Flake ripping off Goldwater's book's title?



  62. [62] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M [26] -

    Nice rebuttal. Although Goldwater, in his declining years, did come out for legalization of marijuana and laid out a purely conservative case for doing so (getting the gubmint outta people's lives!), so I have to at least minimally give him credit for that (this was in the 1980s, when NOBODY else was standing up for marijuana legalization).

    But you're right, on everything else, he was pretty cringeworthy.



  63. [63] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M [27] -

    You bring up a good point. Bill Clinton was hounded -- after both elections -- in the media for "not having a mandate" because he didn't manage to get over 50% of the vote. Obama did manage to do so, so he never got the question.

    But why hasn't anyone made this case about Trump? "You have no real mandate, Mr. President!"

    Hadn't really thought about it before seeing your comment.


  64. [64] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [28] (et al) -

    The Who put it best, I think:

    We'll be fighting in the streets
    With our children at our feet
    And the morals that they worship will be gone
    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgment of all wrong
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song

    I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I'll get on my knees and pray
    We don't get fooled again

    The whole song is a post-revolutionary prayer that the same mistakes don't get made once again... "the parting on the left / is now parting on the right"... the lyrics hold up as a universal statement, much like Pink Floyd's "Us And Them," really.


  65. [65] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    John M [29] -

    Excellent point, because while perhaps not as severe as the Moore example, this is indeed the type of choice many face in each and every election.


  66. [66] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, gotta run, Colbert's on...

    More later...



  67. [67] 
    MHorton wrote:

    CW Nobody is talking mandates because we all know the Republicans clearly don't care.

    With the slimmest of majorities, they are trying to ram through the most partisan agenda in recent history, openly abusing procedures for their own political gain.

    "You don't have a mandate" is something you say to reasonable people.

    We all know they didn't intend to be reasonable.

  68. [68] 
    MHorton wrote:

    Here's something real interesting from the One Demand page.

    "I left my job to make this a priority and will be working as a volunteer for the next few months. If Voucher Vendetta is growing or successful by then I will need to draw a survival sized salary ( a few hundred dollars per week ) or return to my old job. Please don’t make me return to my old job. I would much prefer working for you. While I don’t expect to ever approach this amount, I will never take more than 100 thousand dollars per year ( peanuts by political consultant compensation ) even if Voucher Vendetta were to receive hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in contributions because I want your money to be used for Voucher Vendetta. ( If Voucher Vendetta is successful I expect I may have the opportunity to cash in personally on the back end with a book deal or something along those lines."

    It sounds to me like not only is your idea bad, but before it's even off the ground you quit your job? Already talking about how YOU might get rich off the idea?

    Come on.

  69. [69] 
    MHorton wrote:

    It's wrong for you to be thinking of how you're going to get rich before you've even got the idea off the ground.

    Maybe you shouldn't be talking about "billions of dollars in donations" when you have.... $500.


    You don't have any of them.

    Still waiting for you to point out to me when "Big Money" started EXACTLY.

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