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Monday Open Thread

104 comments to Monday Open Thread

  • Texacalirose

    Mamet. Yep.

  • Tracy,txmom2many

    Not meaning to spam yall, (and thanks TCR for responding already on the Sunday Open Thread) but I know a few were praying for Micah and I wanted to make sure everyone knew:

    Our friend Micah (15 year old with aggressive bone cancer)is DONE WITH CHEMO!!! He had his last scheduled dose Thursday and is home tonight in his own bed with his family. He wasn’t done before Christmas, as hoped, but pretty damn close. His family is selling the ranch to pay off the medical bills, but they’ve got another smaller property to go to, so while it’s not exactly sunshine and lollypops, they are together, alive, and provided for.

  • -fritz-

    Happy Monday after New Years and welcome back to the grind. Coffee will be served in the anteroom, and krullers at your favorite donut shop. :-)

    Meet the Senator Ms. Gay. Sorry, but I’m not impressed. Just further proof that America derailed somewhere in a desert wasteland, and it’s a long lonesome road out there!

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/meet-america-first-openly-gay-senator-121640393.html

    The spirit of Bawney Frank salutes you! Or something!

  • JimmyC

    Any scene from The Spanish Prisoner would be worth posting. Frigging love that movie.

  • Kit

    New Post from Commentarama. Makes some statements that might be controversial in some conservative circles but it is worth a look.

    And, while I don’t agree with all his conclusions there is something there. Something that some conservatives have been pointing out: We have an image problem.
    Andrew argues some of it is our own fault.

    An idea I have is for the GOP to start with the theme of “Freedom” and tie every issue to it.

    • Kit… if voters really think the way Andrew thinks they do, then perhaps we need to revisit the 19th Amendment and literacy tests.

    • Daniel Crandall

      I’ve had the displeasure of reading some real dumb-*ss articles, in my time on this earth and the one you linked, Kit, stands in the top 10. I’ll directly respond to three points instead of just lambasting this nitwit for swallowing every Liberal/Progressive attack against Republicans/conservatives, and regurgitating them as if they were gospel truth.

      1. “Republicans … want to protect the rich from a 3% tax hike.” WRONG. They tried to protect EVERYONE from a tax hike. It was Democrats who were forcing a tax hike on everyone if they didn’t get their “tax hike on the rich” passed. A tax hike that, by the way, increased taxes on EVERYONE by not keeping the FICA tax reduction in place.

      2. “And what about the conservative plan on jobs?” There isn’t one?!? You mean giving the market the freedom to … you know … actually work and thereby making it feasible for the private sector to hire more people isn’t a plan?!?

      3. “The Republicans send the signal loudly and clearly that they hate gays.” PROVE IT! Give me one Republican politician who has declared “loudly and clearly” that he or she hates homosexuals. And don’t give me ‘they won’t support same-sex so-called marriage as your proof. Republicans don’t want brothers marrying their sisters, cousins marrying their cousins, sisters marrying their sisters, and they don’t want a man marrying three women or a woman marrying three men (or whatever combination you can think of) – so does that mean Republicans hate families? Standing up for the traditional definition of marriage and standing against the radical redefinition of this institution does not mean someone hates another person.

      Like I said, this foolish writer has swallowed every liberal/progressive attack against Republicans/conservatives and blamed Republicans/conservatives for the amount of hate leveled against them. If I spoke and wrote and made television shows and movies and music making this writer, and people like him, out to be a child-molester and people would start to believe the lie is the truth. Would I show an ounce of wisdom or intelligence to then blame this writer for having such a bad P.R. machine that he’s let people believe he’s a child molester? NO! I’d be an idiot for propagating such stupidity.

      If what this writer says is true then I guess it was the Jews fault for having such an image problem and for people believing such antisemitic crap about them spread by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

      I don’t blame liberals/progressives for believing the lies spread about Republicans and conservatives in general. It really gets my dander up, however, when someone who might claim those latter descriptors believes those lies as well.

      • Texacalirose

        This. Bravo, Crandall.

      • Kit

        First, he’ll be writing further articles outlining his idea of a platform for the GOP.
        And, given other evidence I’ve seen, his article points to a larger problem the GOP has -an image problem
        And, I’m sorry, it does. If the GOP can’t break out from it then it will fail. And continue to fail.

        Why aren’t we fighting for college students? Are we attacking the Democratic party for setting up in the college loan system a repeat of the housing crisis? No, we are calling them whiners. Even JohnFNWayne understood this.
        Same on the housing crisis: The people who bought homes, if what I know about the Housing market is true, were following the incentives created by the government.
        I remember Milton Friedman saying on welfare “I don’t blame the poor, I blame us for creating such a system in the first place.”

        Jindal has a point when he calls us “the stupid party”.

        • Daniel Crandall

          Tell Young Republicans, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Heritage Foundation, Young America’s Foundation, et al, that conservatives aren’t “fighting for college students”. What are these groups supposed to do, hold students hostage and force them to listen to recordings of books by Hayek, Milton Friedman, Russell Kirk, William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, etc.?

          And to this: ” The people who bought homes, if what I know about the Housing market is true, were following the incentives created by the government.” – that was a system created by Democrats. And because of that Republicans need to change their “image” to make them seem less … mean? I don’t get it.

          Bobby Jindal isn’t the first one to call Republicans the “Stupid Party”.

      • Kit

        And you don’t have to agree with his all of proposed solutions to see his larger point: The GOP has an image problem.

        • goozer

          The GOP has an “image problem” in much the same way someone would have an image problem by asking Picasso to paint their portrait instead of Rembrandt. When the image is framed by the bias and flawed vision that has subsumed our media and press culture, it is no wonder that otherwise ‘right’ thinking people get the wrong picture. As long as they remain the filter, our message will never be palatable.

        • The image problem is that establishment GOP types aren’t conservative, but are sycophants seeking to fit in. I won’t use language like Daniel’s because I like Andrew and his blog, but I disagree with his article and the sample of women. He’s a smart guy, but we all make mistakes. :-)

        • Is it that the GOP has an image problem or people aren’t that educated, or they want to believe what someone else says about Republicans?

          How can you fight a phantom? Are the so-called leaders of the party supposed to go around and plead with people telling them “we really aren’t that way?”

          The main reason the Republicans lost is that they didn’t have a candidate that presented an alternative that was attractive to the voters. If there was a candidate that said this is what I am going to do, and I will fix things and it was measurably different from the SCOAMF, not just Obama-light he would have won.

          Abortion, Gay Marriage etc. are fringe issues that people toss out when they need a reason why they don’t “like” Republicans. Could Republicans manage themselves better in those respects, yeah. But I would take the bet that I could talk with 50 women in the DFW area about the same issues and get an entirely different set of answers.

          Andrew said they weren’t necessarily looking for the government to solve their issues, but then he says that the Republicans didn’t have a plan to get them a job, or that they want to raise taxes on the common man so the rich guy can get a tax break. The first complaint seems to be asking for some kind of government intervention and the second definitely requires some law making…so I would say that yes they are looking to Uncle Sugar to solve things. The complaint about taxes are right out of the DNC talking point book, so how many times do the Republicans have to say that’s not right until someone will believe it?

          There is in this society a responsibility of the individual to educate themselves in regards to politics. We get the government we deserve and if our voters are ignorant of the truth of the various candidates positions who’s fault is it? I’d say it both the candidate and the individual.

          Where would Republicans go as to be able to correct this obviously false view of their positions on things? By and large Republicans don’t hate gays, don’t advocate raising taxes of poor people so they can give rich guys a tax break and believe that states should decide abortion and gay marriage law. This has been stated fairly regularly on all sorts of media outlets…apparently to no avail. So what new plan to kowtow to these ladies who hold ignorant views of the positions held by the Republican party would possibly work?

          Reading all this hand wringing crap makes me glad I’m not within arms reach of any of y’all doing the hand wringing. Take a chill pill or a month or so, relax, contemplate what needs to be done then get back to work. The first step is to get rid of those who are ineffective…like the Speaker of the House. Sucking up…which this hang wringing stuff really is, is a short term solution to a greater problem, involving education and the society in general…and in the end leads to more of the same.

      • goozer

        Well stated, Daniel.

      • Kit

        ” WRONG. They tried to protect EVERYONE from a tax hike. It was Democrats who were forcing a tax hike on everyone if they didn’t get their “tax hike on the rich” passed. A tax hike that, by the way, increased taxes on EVERYONE by not keeping the FICA tax reduction in place.”

        But that is not what the public SAW. You could argue they saw the GOP willing to let a massive tax hike hit just to keep a tax on 3%. Kevin D. Williamson saw the insanity in this saying it was “not a hill worth dying on.”
        http://www.nationalreview.com/exchequer/335075/crisis-fiscal-leadership

        The Dems have come out of this looking like the Party of Tax-Cutters and Republicans looking like the Party of the Rich.

        And yes, I know, as does every other thinking conservative (including Price) know that the “rich” hit by the tax are not the uber-rich but that was the public perception.

        • Daniel Crandall

          So Republicans / conservatives are supposed to be worried about what the public “SAW” but at the same time, according to the article you linked that began this discussion, those same Republicans / conservatives aren’t supposed to be look at the Legacy Media that has created what the public sees which is results in “image problem” for those same Republicans / conservatives. … Again, I don’t get it.

          • Kit

            I don’t see how you “don’t get it”. Its quite simple.

            They need to be careful about how they appear to the country, especially given the fact that the public BLAMES THE GRIDLOCK ON THEM!!!
            And the FIscal Crisis Fiasco.

            Does that mean they need to fold up like a table? NO!
            (Though picking your battles is important. Read the Kevin D. Williamson article I linked)

            They need to fight, but they must put forth CONCRETE IDEAS. Ideas that you can connect to your principles.
            And also fight wisely.

            The problem is NOT that the GOP is run by a bunch of liberals or big gov moderates. Its that its run by people who are too easily cowed or outmaneuvered/outsmarted by Obama. Reid and Obama ran political rings around him and Boehner was unable to fight back.
            Also, I want to note that at the state level the GOP has been surprisingly robust, producing people like Walker and Jindal who have cut spending, cut taxes, and, in Walker’s case, taken on a powerful machine.

            • I think it’s less that Boehner was outmaneuvered and/or had rings run around him by Reid and Obama than Obama and Reid merely let Boehner hang himself with his own rope. Then again, considering how God-awfully their anti-productivity and counter-constructive policies have run the car beyond the breach, I guess that’s the only strategy the left has these days.

      • Kit

        “PROVE IT! Give me one Republican politician who has declared “loudly and clearly” that he or she hates homosexuals. And don’t give me ‘they won’t support same-sex so-called marriage as your proof. Republicans don’t want brothers marrying their sisters, cousins marrying their cousins, sisters marrying their sisters, and they don’t want a man marrying three women or a woman marrying three men (or whatever combination you can think of) – so does that mean Republicans hate families? Standing up for the traditional definition of marriage and standing against the radical redefinition of this institution does not mean someone hates another person.”

        Well, something like this doesn’t help.
        Utah County GOP cancelling Glenn Reynolds’ speech at one of their events over his views on gay marriage -even though he was going to speak on internet activism (which he is well acquainted with). http://twitchy.com/2013/01/06/utah-gop-group-disinvites-glenn-reynolds-from-speech-because-of-reynolds-support-for-gay-rights/

      • Kit

        “There isn’t one?!? You mean giving the market the freedom to … you know … actually work and thereby making it feasible for the private sector to hire more people isn’t a plan?!?”

        Ok, translate that into the big issues for Americans such as single women. Like: College tuition.
        Oh, that’s right, no need because they are a bunch of WHINERS about College tuition. Yep, that attitude got us votes.

        I keep hammering on college because, as a college student, I know the people who will be in this problem. And Obama is the only one offering a solution about it.

        The left-wing, progressive solution is “build a national score card” and toss a bunch of money into the colleges.
        What is the conservative response? It could potentially have something to do w/ the free market but we haven’t articulated one, yet.

        We can oppose his bad ideas but the only we to defeat an idea is with another idea.

    • JimmyC

      Kit, the problem with the GOP trying to position themselves as the party of Freedom is that the Democrats see themselves the same way. They believe in the freedom of gays to get married, of women to get abortions, of people to use drugs and so on, and that Republicans are the tyrants for trying to restrict those freedoms. And since they’ve got Hollywood, the media and academia propagandizing for them 24/7, they’re in a stronger position. So that’s not IMHO an argument the Republicans are going to win.

      If Republicans really want to turn things around, they need to take some pages out of the Democrats’ playbook. It’s not enough to simply say no to liberal ideas, they need to embrace some big ideas of their own. They need to get proactive and start pushing small-government, free-market solutions, and pushing them hard. The flat tax, school choice, a market-based bill that would reduce health care costs by allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines, and so on.

      For example, a voucher program would do amazing things for our school system. It would give low-income parents the freedom to pick a higher-quality education for their children and create opportunities their parents could only dream of, and it would force failing public schools to improve the quality of their teaching or risk losing their funds. Yet the Democrats oppose it because they’re a bunch of lapdogs for the teacher’s union. So Republicans should be pushing for a school choice bill right now, loudly, and they should be accusing any Democrat who opposes it of being anti-education and anti-freedom. Conservatives should follow the example of citizen journalists like James O’Keefe and John Ziegler; they should ambush Democrats who are against school choice with video cameras and flat out ask them, “why don’t you want low-income children to get a better education?” Conservative groups should protest at the Department of Education and at every teacher’s union meeting, holding signs in favor of school vouchers. Democrats do this kind of stuff all the time, and it gets things done. Republicans should do the same.

      • Kit

        “If Republicans really want to turn things around, they need to take some pages out of the Democrats’ playbook. It’s not enough to simply say no to liberal ideas, they need to embrace some big ideas of their own. They need to get proactive and start pushing small-government, free-market solutions, and pushing them hard. The flat tax, school choice, a market-based bill that would reduce health care costs by allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines, and so on.”

        All good ideas. Great ones, in fact.

        Exactly! But what is the GOP’s response to issues like, say, rising college tuitions (which will become a problem). Only Obama and the Dems are offering solutions to that. Granted, those solutions (throw more money) will make the problem worse and we can show how they will but then students and their parents are going to ask “Well, what’s your plan?”

        And the GOP doesn’t really have one.

        Regarding freedom, my idea was “Freedom to attend the school of your choice”, “Freedom to build a business”, etc.
        It’s an idea.

        You have to also argue that these ideas will make their lives better.

        • JimmyC

          “Only Obama and the Dems are offering solutions to that.”

          Exactly, and that’s why they win. The movie The American President, while a disgusting bit of liberal propaganda, nevertheless had a great line about this: “[Americans] want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”

          In other words, the party that offers solutions is the party that people will support, even if the solutions suck. Conservatives have the right solutions, but they’ve become so vilified by the culture that stockholm-syndrome Republicans are afraid to come out in favor of them. But until that changes, they’ll continue to be labeled “the party of no” and they’ll continue to lose. We need to start putting forth our ideas, with confidence. We need to lead the discussion, and make the Dems the party of no.

          • Kit

            This is why I like Bobby Jindal coming out with his Birth control OTC idea. Its a bad one, yes. But at least its an idea.

            Now, we need more ideas.

            But Bobby Jindal is the only Republican out there putting out ideas (Paul Ryan is sort of in seclusion right now, though I don’t blame him. But he’ll need to come back out eventually.)

      • Kit

        “For example, a voucher program would do amazing things for our school system. It would give low-income parents the freedom to pick a higher-quality education for their children and create opportunities their parents could only dream of, and it would force failing public schools to improve the quality of their teaching or risk losing their funds. Yet the Democrats oppose it because they’re a bunch of lapdogs for the teacher’s union. So Republicans should be pushing for a school choice bill right now, loudly, and they should be accusing any Democrat who opposes it of being anti-education and anti-freedom. Conservatives should follow the example of citizen journalists like James O’Keefe and John Ziegler; they should ambush Democrats who are against school choice with video cameras and flat out ask them, “why don’t you want low-income children to get a better education?” Conservative groups should protest at the Department of Education and at every teacher’s union meeting, holding signs in favor of school vouchers. Democrats do this kind of stuff all the time, and it gets things done. Republicans should do the same.”

        AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

      • Daniel Crandall

        “They need to get proactive and start pushing small-government, free-market solutions, and pushing them hard. The flat tax, school choice, a market-based bill that would reduce health care costs by allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines, and so on.”

        Could have sworn I’ve heard all this before. And guess what? Republicans/conservatives still get tagged as the folks with the “no ideas”.

        But that “image problem” is the fault of Republicans/conservatives.

        I no I keep repeating it, but … I don’t get it.

        A couple of things:

        I never like discussions about “image” because images are generally devoid of ideas. They tend to appeal strictly on emotional level. And on that level in public policy & political debates liberals/progressives will almost always beat conservatives.

        I’ve been writing “Republicans/conservatives” but no one should confuse the two. I am no longer convinced (not certain I was to begin with) that the GOP is a conservative political party. They seem to be the ones who want to argue, “We can manage big government better than Democrats.” Well, there’s nothing sexy about being a good manager. And when everything in the culture – arts, entertainment, education, news media – paints your management system as being just this side of something created by Adolf Hitler, it’s not surprising that people -ignorantly – hate the GOP.

        If you want to win the image war you better start playing the Long Game, which David has posted about in the Open Thread com-boxes. The culture needs to be infiltrated and conservative ideas must be disseminated through arts, entertainment, education, news media, not through trying to out-emotionalize the Democrats on government policies.

        America is not a center-Right nation. Might have been at one time. But no longer. At best it’s center-Left if not outright Leftist. Conservatives are a minority. Oh, sure people will point to this Gallup survey and say, “Hogwash, conservatives are 40% of the country.” Maybe, but liberals and moderates combined are 55% of the country. “But,” those same folks might respond, “Look at those large swaths of America that was “red” in the last few elections.” Uh, huh… A lot of that part of the country, I hate to remind you, is empty land. No one lives there. And the ones that do are good, hard-working conservative folks who want what we all want.

        Furthermore, I would bet you a week’s salary (which wouldn’t get you far, if you’re wondering) that if someone breathed a conservative idea those moderates would line up with liberals faster than Joey “Jaws” Chestnut can down a Nathan’s. I’m convinced, listening to people who claim to be “moderate” that there’s barely a dimes worth of difference between moderates and liberals in that Gallup survey. The culture has people believing that being liberal/progressive is equivalent of being moderate. How many times do you hear about the “extreme Right” in radio, television, or cable news? But the “extreme Left”? How often are the fascistic, theocratic, freedom-of-speech squashing, homosexual killing, tyrants in the Middle East describes as “conservative” in news media? Almost daily.

        It isn’t an “image problem”. It’s a culture problem. Conservatives lost the culture a long time ago (oh, heck maybe they haven’t had it since the Church was the primary force behind the Arts and Education or since ‘the sun never set on the British Empire’), and have been living in denial ever since.

        • JimmyC

          Oh, sure people will point to this Gallup survey and say, “Hogwash, conservatives are 40% of the country.” Maybe, but liberals and moderates combined are 55% of the country.

          You’re leaving out the most important part of that poll: that only 20% identify themselves as liberal. Meaning that 80% of the country is not liberal (40% conservative and 40% up for grabs by either party). That’s a center-right country by any stretch of the imagination.

          • Kit

            “You’re leaving out the most important part of that poll: that only 20% identify themselves as liberal. Meaning that 80% of the country is not liberal (40% conservative and 40% up for grabs by either party). That’s a center-right country by any stretch of the imagination.”

            Agreed, but we are at a tipping point. The next few years will determine many things.

            Conservatism has to be a center of ideas. Ideas that flow naturally from its principles.

            And we either need a new Speaker or at least a pair of balls attached to the one we currently have. He is the de facto leader of the GOP and Obama and Reid are running rings around him.

          • Daniel Crandall

            Where’s your evidence, Jimmy? You’re presuming that moderate means some aspect of being on the “Right” when it comes to public policy or politics. I am in no way convinced one can come to that conclusion.

            My evidence: November 2012 national election results. Almost 50% of the population didn’t care enough to show up. And of those that did, most of them went for the radical Leftist because the media convinced them he’s “moderate”.

            If that’s how a Center-Right people behave, then to hell with them. If they don’t care enough to show up or are so foolish as to believe lies over their very own eyes, then they aren’t “center-right”. They’re liberals disguising themselves as “moderate”.

          • Daniel Crandall

            Jimmy, check out CNN’s exit poll data for the 2012 election.

            56% of self-identified “Moderates” voted FOR Obama. Center-Right? I don’t think so.

            And it isn’t Center-Right because the Right lost the culture – a long, long time ago.

            And isn’t doing diddly-squat to get it back.

  • Scott M.

    Why they call you a coach,Shanahan

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/robert-griffin-iii-shows-us-the-best-and-worst-of-the-nfl/2013/01/06/aff425c6-5860-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html

    You keep a rookie QB on the field(who was already wearing a nice big brace on his leg)into the FOURTH QUARTER,when he was already shown to be hurt in the first quarter.Disgraceful.If I ever hear the NFL talk about “player safety” again,I’ll puke.The Redskins put their future on the line for this guy,and they want to risk him being maimed over a ultra long shot at the Super Bowl.Absolutely crazy.

    • Points taken and even agreed to a certain degree, Scott M., but curious as to where you stood when Jay Cutler didn’t go back into a playoff game in the last few years when while he was banged/bruised, his warrior spirit merely had him pouting on the sidelines by his choice, not his coach’s.

  • Scott M.

    Your point taken as well,Eric.What I’m tired of is hearing these ex football players on ESPN saying,”Well,these guys want to play on two broken legs!”.Well,that shouldn’t be their decision.That decision is up to the coach and not the player.

  • Matt Helm

    Today was the first day back for students and I noticed that one of my classroom windows had been shot through during Christmas break.

  • Scott M.

    A Life Penalty

    http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_4_snd-punitive-segregation.html

    Sounds good to me…take the worst crapastic criminals and make them eventually wish for death,and then deny it to them.

  • JimmyC

    Former Marine writes a letter to Dianne Feinstein and shows, once again, that our troops understand our freedoms better than our elected officials. I know that’s not exactly an Earth-shattering revelation for most of us here, but the letter (and accompanying FNC video interview) is well worth checking out.

    • Texacalirose

      Kit, you started an excellent debate. I was just now able to read it through. Great points all around. Being of the weaker sex myself, I am dumbfounded by the ignorance that women like those Andrew interviewed expound. We can see and hear the same candidates, the same polls, the same stats, we live in the same country and listen to the same speeches, so how can they be so stupid? How is it that I can see through the false image of the Democrats and they can’t. I have or have had all the same “women’s issues” as they, but my solutions are so different.

      I don’t have the answer, so I go to work everyday like you do, withdraw from the R party (not a significant act in California, btw), and keep talking and listening.

      Thanks for the chat. Keep at it. We’ve got to figure this out.

      And P.S. – the way to get tuition costs down is to get the government out of the loan/grant business and let the colleges and universities compete for students’ money in the market.

    • Texacalirose

      Oh, yeah. One more thing. I hope God isn’t too angry about tonight’s game. ;)

  • Texacalirose

    Cherche la femme.

  • Kit

    Notre Dame,

    A few years ago you, a Catholic University, gave Obama an honorary degree despite his staunch pro-choice position.
    And now you have gotten thoroughly curb-stomped by Alabama. Maybe God is trying to tell you something. . .

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