Out and About on a Thursday

Ok, so a third or so of Wisconsin GOPers won’t vote GOP if Trump is the nominee…that is understandable…but about the same number won’t vote GOP if Cruz is the nominee. That makes no sense even in 100 parallel universes. I get it that Cruz has likeability issues. I get that he’s a bit far right for some even in the GOP. But this concept that “well, I’ll stay home or vote third party which ensures that Hillary is President if Cruz is the nominee” is just, well, absurd. Part of it is, I think, just passion-of-the-moment thing. There are still plenty of Rubio voters who feel betrayed their guy lost, and plenty of Kasich voters who are just officially sticking with their man to the bitter end. The balance would be made up of Trumpsters who simply won’t vote GOP, at all, if Trump isn’t the nominee. Most of the #NeverCruz people will, I think, come home in November.

Cruz does have a very high hurdle to jump – first getting the nomination; then uniting the party; then facing off against Hillary and figuring out a way to poach enough Rare Voters and disaffected blue collar Democrats. I figure his chances of beating Hillary are significantly less than 50/50…but he will have one magnificent asset in the quest: Hillary. She’s just terrible.

Related: Democrats shouldn’t underestimate Cruz.

So, a Dominican priest walked across a college campus – and the kiddies went into a panic thinking his white Dominican robe was a KKK outfit. College – it just doesn’t make any sense.

The Panama Papers scandal continues to cause a stir. If you ever wonder why rich and powerful people act like the laws don’t apply to them there is a simple reason for this: generally, the laws don’t apply to them. Certainly not like they apply to a poor or middle class person. If you’ve got enough money and enough pull, you can avoid prosecution; get sweet heart deals if prosecution is unavoidable; tie up the law in endless appeals if you can’t get a sweet heart deal; provide donations in return for an executive pardon if all else fails. But, mostly, you don’t even have to worry about that – Hillary isn’t the only easily indictable person out there walking around free, after all. The love of money is the root of all evil and power corrupts…people with lots of money tend to love money (otherwise, in almost all cases, they wouldn’t have made quite so much of it – and by “lots” I mean once you start getting into the billions of dollars of net wealth); people in power are always at risk of being corrupted by it and the longer a person has power, the more chance they’ll be corrupted. I have my solution for these problems – a wealth tax and term limits. Yeah, maybe not the best…but let’s hear yours.

The natural response to a $15 minimum wage. Spoiler alert: those making a minimum wage won’t like it.

State writes a confusing medical marijuana law. Small business owners decide to set up a marijuana dispensary which they believe has obeyed the law. Police disagree. Raid the place. Take everything they own. Charges get dropped. Small business owners still rather out in the cold. The biggest issue here is the asset forfeiture law – Michigan’s appears to be one of the worst, but all around the nation this sort of thing goes on…and one can’t help but feel that some of the incentive for the police to get a bit over-aggressive is the fact that many asset forfeiture laws allow law enforcement to keep the goods even if no conviction ever results. My solution: no seizure of assets until after conviction. And rather, period, end of story. Yep, this does mean some real criminals will be able to hide some of their ill-gotten gains, but that risk is worth it to me in order to ensure that innocent people don’t have their property seized.

Related: Juries should curb out of control prosecutors.

Merle Haggard, RIP

23 thoughts on “Out and About on a Thursday

  1. Retired Spook April 7, 2016 / 8:06 am

    I get it that Cruz has likeability issues.

    Cruz’s likability issues pale in comparison to Hillary’s. Ironically, most of the anti-Cruz rhetoric I hear is from people who say they don’t trust him. Based on his performance as AG of Texas and in the Senate, he’s the ONLY one I trust to do what he says he will do. He’s also the only one talking about allegiance to the Constitution. Now if that scares a significant number of people, well then we might as well just throw in the towel right now

    In terms of voters staying home, what do you think all the Millennials who support Bernie are going to do when Hillary steals the nomination from him? I’d bet a helluva lot of them will not only stay home but get completely turned off by politics for a long time. Regardless how this election turns out, it’s going to be one for the history books, at least until the Left re-writes those books.

    • fieldingclaymore April 7, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      Once the democrat primary is over and Hillary wins. Most of those Bernie voting kids will vote for Hillary if she is not indicted. When Rafael wins the nomination in Cleveland we will see if a true conservative can win a national election. I doubt he can. Nevertheless, we will have the answer to the question that grassroots movement conservatives have been asking for the past two cycles.

      • Retired Spook April 7, 2016 / 5:29 pm

        Once the democrat primary is over and Hillary wins. Most of those Bernie voting kids will vote for Hillary

        According to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll 25% say they will not and 69% say they will. Not sure about the 6% difference. Maybe they got sidetracked in a gender neutral bathroom.

        if she is not indicted.

        The fact that we are halfway through the primary season and we’re still saying that has got to be cause for concern among the non-brain-dead Donkeys.

      • Amazona April 7, 2016 / 7:20 pm

        If you can get the Sandernistas to the ballot box, they will probably vote for Hillary. Ditto for the Republican side, voting for Cruz. That is not the point. The point is all about motivation.

        It is not very likely that a large number of politically illiterate youngsters who have never given a hoot about politics and still don’t, hooting not about politics as such but about a demagogue who promises them eternal childhood in the arms of a paternal and doting government, is going to go to the trouble to go to the polls if their guy is not on the ticket. It is the getting there that is the problem. It is the motivation to go to the trouble when you are already sad and sulking and never did think much of the one choice you have left. For Republicans, it is the motivation to go to the trouble when you have become giddy over a candidate who didn’t make the cut, who has spent nearly a year savaging his opponent in the most vile, slanderous, libelous, vitriolic and dishonest way possible. It’s the lack of energy in those who were so emotionally pumped up, and then deflated.

        A year ago, the Right was highly motivated to elect a conservative. If, at that time, our one true conservative, Ted Cruz, had simply entered a normal primary cycle and moved forward and upward in the polls, there would have been no problem. But what happened was that a ringer came blasting in out of Left field—-and I do mean LEFT field—driven by narcissism run amok, and he has splintered the conservative movement. Now it appears that if he does not get the nomination he will continue to go all Godzilla on the election, out of petulance and malice, and do everything he can to make sure Cruz does not win the election.

        So it is silly to wonder, at this point, if a true conservative can win. I think we have shown that one can, if not blindsided by someone posturing as another conservative and focused on the Politics of Destruction, as Trump is.

        And what is this “Rafael” stuff?

      • Amazona April 8, 2016 / 8:41 am

        From an article about what seems like a rather tepid endorsement of Ted Cruz by Senator Jim Risch:

        ”It’s no coincidence that about a third of supporters of every candidate left in the race say now that they won’t support anyone but their own candidate; they don’t have to make that choice now, and so they won’t.

        When the choice is down to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, voters will want to be part of that decision even if it’s to block the least acceptable candidate. Some may sit out, but it won’t be a third of voters who would otherwise engage, or even close to it. And some of those will even manage to sound a wee bit more enthusiastic than Senator Risch by that time, too.”


      • fieldingclaymore April 8, 2016 / 10:27 am

        The poll you cite may be accurate now but when the general is on that will change. You remember PUMA during ’08? Those people voted for BHO.

        I just put the indicted thing in there because it may happen. That is also doubtful.

      • Amazona April 8, 2016 / 11:40 am

        Any candidate has to gain a lot of undecideds, “moderates”, independents, whatever you want to call them. While the hard-core Dems will vote for Hillary come hell or high water, and many of the vague and directionless Dems will, too, because this is just what they have always done, I think that large middle ground looks at what is going on and makes its choices after that.

        The same thing is true, for the most part, on the Republican side as well. There is a slight difference, as most on the Right side of the equation are there because of at least some understanding of the need for Constitutional governance and a desire to get back to that, while on the Left side there seems to be massive ignorance of the actual political system they are supporting. In the most general terms, on the Right most are voting FOR something and on the Left most are voting AGAINST something—-from what we have seen, against an invented but demonic cartoonish “Republican”.

        But having said that, there are those on either side who will vote party line no matter what, no matter why. So the question has to be, who will be most attractive to that large middle ground?

        Remember, they are in the middle precisely because they have not taken a firm stance on any candidate. That means they have to be energized, and enticed. These are the people who are most likely to look at someone like Hillary, facing indictment and carrying the baggage that she should be indicted even if she is not, as an undesirable candidate. She not only represents corruption, she represents instability, as the ugly facts about her will not go away even if the current administration blocks prosecution. These are not characteristics that are likely to energize or entice undecided voters to swing to the Dem side of the ballot. The thing is, on the putative Right (as Trump has only occupied space here for a short time and seems to have no long-term lease) Trump represents instability as well—even more so, on some levels. He is, himself, a poster boy for instability, and his positions are so vague and shaky and evidently based not on solid foundations but on what pops into his head at any given moment, Trump represents several kinds of instability.

        The self perception of these middle-grounders is that they are above partisan politics, are more “intellectual”, that they think things through and make informed decisions. Whether or not that is true, that is how they see themselves. So, if my analysis is correct, these people need to be wooed by a pragmatic and coherent argument and by a candidate who does not have massive negative baggage and a cloud over her head that could result in prosecution for various crimes and will definitely shadow her reputation and effectiveness, or by a persona so wildly fluctuating among so many positions while admitting that he is not seriously committed to any of them

        Cruz’s big negative is lack of charisma, though that may be matched by the false perception Trump has been trying so hard to create of him as a “liar”. But I think that when it comes to wooing the undecideds, his pragmatic and linear approach to problems, his ability to explain things so clearly, and his lack of anything substantive regarding negative baggage in his past will all make him more attractive to those in the middle who are looking for someone who will appeal to their self-defined process of choosing, as so many like to brag, “the person not the party”.

        There are some big questions. One is, as I and others have pointed out, the lack of energy that may keep some from voting at all. On the Left, the Sandernistas are for the most part young people giddy with the excitement of finding a voice that appeals to their fears of real independence and personal responsibility. They flat-out LOVE Bernie, and if he loses the nomination they are going to feel betrayed and ticked off, and unless Hillary can sway a lot of them over to her side they are probably not going to vote at all. This is a demographic defined to a great degree by petulance and a sense of entitlement, and these are not traits that lend themselves to accepting disappointment gracefully

        On the Right, we have almost the same dynamic. Instead of a candidate appealing to a desire to remain in a protective cocoon coddled by a paternalistic government, we have appeal to frustration and a promise to DO SOMETHING about whatever represents what bothers these people the most. Trump is a canvas upon which anyone wanting SOMETHING DONE can paint his or her personal frustrations and goals. But the end result will be the same, as these people, and Trump most of all, are like the Sandernistas in that they are so emotionally invested in their PERSON rather than in an actual political model they are very likely to react the same way when they don’t get what they want. They are just as likely to feel slighted, betrayed, and from what we have seen totally pissed off.

        Both of these fringe groups have been primed by their adored leaders to feel victimized, cheated and badly treated if they don’t get their own way. Both are likely to feel so angry and mistreated, convinced that the only reason they lost is because some big bad bully cheated them and stole what was theirs, that they are likely to react either with violence or with lethargy and withdrawal.

        So I keep coming back to the question of whether or not Candidate Cruz can then concentrate on going head to head with the Dem nominee, or if he will have to deal with being savaged on another front as well by a surly, whiny, poor loser Trump and his mobs.

      • Bob Eisenhower April 8, 2016 / 11:59 am


        I don’t know that there is a “large middle ground.” I think Romney had the numbers about right, 47% will vote one way, say Hillary, and 47% will vote the other, TBD, and only a thin swath of 5% are actually in play.

      • Amazona April 8, 2016 / 1:11 pm

        Actually, it is impossible to know the number of people who are truly undecided.


        ”In Gallup’s most recent analysis, 42 percent of Americans identify as independent, compared with 29 percent who say they are Democrats and 26 percent who say they are Republicans.” But the article goes on to say that most “independents” lean toward one party or another so their vote is not really free-floating. Their poll still shows about 12% who do not lean one way or another. I still suggest that anyone who merely “leans” toward one party or another is still more open to change than one who is strongly identified as either Democrat or Republican.

        Then there is the label “moderate” which may have more meaning than the vague “independent”.


        While the piece starts with the statement that: ” A new poll finds that just 5 percent of voters are truly “independent” – ideologically centrist and unaffiliated with either political party.“ the category of “moderate” may be more accurate as well as more significant.

        ”About half (51 percent) of voters rate Congressional Democrats as more liberal than they are, while about half (53 percent) rate Republicans as more conservative than they are. The overlap – those who see Democrats as more liberal and Republicans as more conservative – i.e., those who make up the actual middle – make up just 20 percent of likely voters. Another 20 percent of voters place themselves in line with one of the parties, while 43 percent consider themselves more liberal or more conservative than they view the Congressional parties.”

        This, to me, is the more fertile field to plow, as it depends to such a great degree on effective and coherent communication of what the terms “liberal” and “conservative” mean, and a good communicator can make all the difference in this demographic. If we can successfully shift the discourse to defining the terms “liberal” and “conservative” in POLITICAL terms instead of cultural terms, we can gain a lot of ground. That means moving away from issues and into rational discussions of the best blueprint for how to govern the country.

  2. Amazona April 7, 2016 / 11:22 am

    Just my opinion, but I think the anti-Trump bias is a LOT stronger, and deeper, than the anti-Cruz feelings.

    People don’t want Trump as president for many solid, verified, documented, reasons, including his inherent dishonesty and his recklessness. People truly feel he would pose a danger to the nation and to the presidency. Those who don’t like Cruz, however, don’t like the way he looks or talks, and some have a perception that he is a liar—a false perception created and constantly reinforced by Trump. While I hear all sorts of superficial reasons for not liking Cruz—yesterday I talked with a man who says he doesn’t like Cruz because of the way he talks—-I haven’t yet heard anyone say he or she thinks Cruz would pose a danger to the nation, or to the Constitution. But those are very real concerns for those who are actually truly AFRAID of what a Trump presidency would mean.

    I think that when push comes to shove, it will be a lot easier to vote for someone you don’t really like because, well, you just don’t LIKE him, than it will be to pull the lever for someone you think is Loony Tunes on steroids and more than a loose cannon, a loose freight train with dozens of cars, each with its own dangerous cargo, with no brakes.

    If Cruz is the nominee, then he can work on addressing the lies fomented by Trump, and his opponent will be a radical Leftist Democrat. It will be a lot easier for him to win over Trumpsters—unless Donald goes off on a scorched-earth policy and decides to punish the GOP for being “unfair” to him. The biggest danger I can see is a rabid Trump carrying on his campaign against Cruz right up until the general election in November.

  3. Amazona April 7, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Newest entry in the “Just How Clueless IS He?” category—-Bill O’Reilly explains the antipathy toward Trump as “…..some Republican bigwigs are just as frightened, worried that he may actually shake up Washington in a way that politicians have promised for decades. “

    It looks like Bill has hopped the Coulter train, leaving his brain behind.

    No, Bill, that is not the problem. No one is seriously “…worried that he may actually shake up Washington…” How fatuous. How stupid.

    Trump IS Washington. He is trumpeting an anti-Washington tune because that is what he has to do, to gin up an adoring fan club willing/eager to ignore his entire history up until the very moment he decided to don the garb of a conservative, and he is already telegraphing the actual truth—-that he doesn’t really believe what he says. His disingenuous phrasing is that he says outrageous things to “open up negotiations” and that after that point “everything is negotiable”. Let’s strip off that thin veneer of imitation gold plate and look at what he is really saying, which is he says what he has to say to get what he wants (adoration, votes) but that once he has the brass ring nothing he has said is binding. He didn’t mean it when he said it, and he is already starting to back off on a lot of it.

    And if we look at the real Trump, the pre-2016-election-cycle Trump, what we see is classic crony capitalism, with a lot of money and support going to the very people and politics Bill is now claiming he will, if elected, “shake up”. What utter nonsense. If he is elected, it will be Business As Usual, Trump Style, which is by the way Clinton Style and Schumer Style and Pelosi Style and Reid Style, just as it always has been.

    If “Republican bigwigs” are actually “frightened” it is because while a true conservative would have shaken up their cozy little arrangements, at least he would not have broken the party, dragged it into the gutter, made it a laughingstock, and splintered it so badly a third party may be the only resolution to the problem. There is a difference between facing some changes one might not like very much and facing disintegration of the whole enchilada, and THAT is what Trump represents.

    So Billy Boy can soothe his feelings by pretending that his championing of a charlatan like Trump is really justified and that opposition to Trump is based on a desire to maintain the GOP establishment status quo, but the fact is, O’Reilly, and Coulter, and Hannity, have damaged their credentials as conservative pundits, and they will never fully recover.

    The one person who could have actually reformed the GOP, without destroying it, the one person who really IS a threat to the establishment status quo of the party, is Cruz. Trump is a threat on a wholly different level, for completely different reasons. Where Cruz couid have, and still might (though with the huge handicap of having to fight his own movement as well as the Left) do is deal with the problems of the GOP Establishment and its coziness with the Left surgically, efficiently, with a coherent plan and a reasonable alternative for every problem. Any changes made by Trump are likely to be along the lines of a wrecking ball instead of a scalpel, leaving a huge pile of rubble in his wake for someone else to clean up, with no assurance that the rebuild will be any better than what was already there.

    • M. Noonan April 7, 2016 / 11:33 pm

      I think what people like O’Reilly believe is that “shaking things up” means “getting government to work”. As if government isn’t working precisely as desired by those who run it and profit off it. Trump, in such a view, is just gonna get in there and get the wheels grinding…you know, get the trains to run on time. As if a late train is worse than a corrupt bureaucracy…

      • Amazona April 8, 2016 / 12:31 am

        I think there is what is really, to put it bluntly, a rather simple-minded concept that there is a big conspiracy in “government” or the dreaded “Establishment” which is threatened by the advent of someone who will not only not be part of this conspiracy but will do something to threaten it or unbalance it. And there seems to be the perception, in some minds, that Donald Trump is not only just the guy to do this, but is really the only guy who can or will. And because unbalancing it,or threatening it, or even destroying it, is seen as a desirable thing, he gets points for coming across as the heroic basher-in of this evil conspiracy.

        I personally don’t see the Republican establishment as evil, or a conspiracy with malignant intent. Rather I see it as a comfort zone for some people in politics. Yes, it is uncomfortable to have a comfort zone jostled or changed, and most people are resistant to change anyway. I don’t see this dreaded “Republican Establishment” as some huge malignant entity with its own survival as its primary goal nearly as much as I see a group of mostly advanced middle-aged people who are settled in their ways, who have become accustomed to doing things a certain way, who have gradually accommodated themselves to their political environment and whose comfort level depends on not very much being challenged or changed. A degree of tunnel vision accompanies this calcification of attitude and custom–“This is the way we have always done it, this is the way it has always worked, so this is the way it has to keep on working”.

        To me, this is a system which might have to be kicked in the butt to get some new blood in, but after that it just needs to be tweaked to make it work better. I’m a remodeler more than a tear-it-down-and-start-over kind of person, if at all possible. But what I am seeing is a political version of Kill Them All And Let God Sort It Out, and I think it is destructive and even dangerous. The GOP does need some fresh ideas, it does need some new blood, it does need a kick start, and most of all it needs to be reminded of its origins and its original goals. But it doesn’t need to be destroyed.

        Let me give you a rancher analogy. In general, it is productive to burn off a field. The fire sweeps across on the surface, taking the dead material with it, and the new growth afterward is stronger and better for it. But if you have a situation like I used to have, a glacial moraine of gravel and boulders with several inches of organic matter laid down over it for a few million years, resulting in what is basically compacted peat moss, a fire burns too hot and too deep, destroying the root systems and making the field barren unless it is completely reseeded, and even then it takes years to get back to normal

        My fear is that Trump and his riled-up rabid followers want to burn the whole thing down, and don’t really care how deep the damage is. I think that is foolish and will just pave the way for a total Leftist takeover while a New Right is rebuilding in the ashes. Back to the simple-minded comment—-it is simple-minded to just dismiss the entire Republican Party as useless and counterproductive, and it is simple-minded to just support the idea of swinging wildly at anything in the party that moves. on the assumption that any damage done is damage that needed to be done.

        I hear very little from the Trumperies about wanting to make government work better. I hear that they want to rip it to shreds and put Donald in charge, and don’t care what is done to the slow and careful building-up of the Conservative Movement if it doesn’t play by their rules.

        I expect professionals like O’Reilly to know better. I’ve never thought Hannity was all that bright, so he doesn’t surprise me. I did think Coulter was sharp, and now I see her just being crazy, so impressed by her sharpness of tongue that she, too, is happy to use it to kill a lot of valuable and possibly irreplaceable roots because she is just so blinded by the glory that is Trump.

        Which leads me to something else. I have noticed that the big names who are on the Trump bandwagon all have a personal relationship with him. And I have heard, many times, that the Trump we see in public is not the Trump his friends see in private. OK, that’s fine, and although it’s hard to believe he is really capable of charm I am willing to accept that. What these people don’t get, though, is that they are supporting the Trump they know in private, as if that is the Real Trump, oblivious to the fact that the public Trump is just as real. What those of us not in the inner circle see, the lying and the bragging and the incoherence and the rudeness and the crudeness, etc., is just as much a part of Donald Trump as whatever face he shows in private. They act as if their perception is the only real one, when in fact it is just one of many, all of which are valid and dependent on context and whatever brain cells are spinning in what direction under the peroxide mullet at any given time.

      • M. Noonan April 8, 2016 / 10:54 pm

        I think the prospect of burning things down is what got a lot of people on the Trump Train to begin with…though some, faced with the stark reality of the it all, have jumped off. Most won’t because the last thing most people want to do is admit error. A curious way this is shown is in current polls of people who support the 2003 Iraq campaign…back then it was rising far above 60% support…now you can barely get 40% to admit they once upon a time backed it. Five years from now, if we poll the GOP electorate, I bet we don’t find even 10% who admit they backed Trump in 2016…but they won’t jump off right now, because they fear ridicule for falling for it in the first place (that, plus I think some of them have really convinced themselves, in spite of all evidence, that Trump is still headed for victory).

      • Amazona April 8, 2016 / 8:52 am

        If you read this article (and I suggest that you do…) remember that I said much the same thing yesterday. In part: emphasis mine

        From the author: ” I constantly hear that only Donald Trump supporters can understand the Trump phenomenon, as if it were inaccessible to nonbelievers, like the secret knowledge of ancient Gnostics. But I don’t believe it’s a matter of comprehension.

        Trump supporters are so tired of the ruling class and are so adamant about a handful of issues that they seem willing to overlook even monumental flaws in their candidate, so long as he will carry the torch against Washington — at least on those major issues. They aren’t just willing to ignore flaws; they don’t care about them, because things are so bad that only a rogue-like character will have the guts and wherewithal to shake things up.

        I believe that these Trump supporters present a false choice. I do understand and share their frustration, but I reject the notion that only a virtual misfit can lead us out of this mess. I disagree that we have to burn the house down to rebuild it. Human nature and human history tell us that mob rule is a reckless path to correct governmental abuses.


        He goes on to say: ” Please don’t misunderstand Ted Cruz supporters, either. We are hardly complacent about what has transpired over the past 30 years — and especially the past eight. We are outraged, as well, and don’t believe we are going to work ourselves out of this hellhole with mere baby steps. But we don’t want to give in to the seductive temptation to lose our heads and betray the Founding Fathers’ vision in the process. We will not recapture America’s greatness through powerful determination alone. We must discipline ourselves to work within the constitutional framework, or we will forfeit the system that has made us unique in history.”

        It’s a good piece.

      • Retired Spook April 8, 2016 / 9:56 am

        I personally don’t see the Republican establishment as evil, or a conspiracy with malignant intent

        I don’t either, but I do see them men and women who have lost their sense of honor. They mirror the attitude of the regional recruiting commanders that our Oath Keepers group is trying to convince to either allow recruiters to be armed or to help prioritize the security upgrades to the recruiting center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where we have been standing guard since the domestic terrorist attack on a recruiting center and a reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last July.

        On November 25, 2016, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, one of the provisions of which was to allow military recruiting personnel to be armed at the discretion of their respective commanders. To date those commanders have continued to refuse to use that discretion, and our appeals to them via certified letters have gone unanswered. The regional Air Force recruiting commander actually went so far as to refuse to sign for our letter. We tried to appeal to their sense of honor without questioning their honor, but, in the end, their actions, or rather inactions, cannot be construed as anything but dishonorable. My guess is that they are simply men who are either trying to advance their careers or make it to retirement without anything controversial on their record. It’s become clear that the possibility of having to make or ordering subordinates to make death notifications and sign off on millions of dollars of death benefits is seen by them as a more acceptable and politically correct option than doing whatever it takes to protect the people under their command.

      • M. Noonan April 8, 2016 / 10:49 pm

        Obama had to sign the NDAA – but you can rely on it that no commander whom Obama can block promotion on will dare defy the clear Presidential wish…that the troops remain unarmed. Especially once an officer gets above the Lt. Colonel/Commander grade, his or her future is entirely in the hands of the President…because there are very limited slots above that and the President can just quietly say, “no”.

      • Amazona April 8, 2016 / 11:53 am

        I think one of the biggest challenges to all of us is to not be lured by the easy road. When one thing is so much easier, requires so much less effort, is comfortable in its ease and predictability, it is hard to take the other route. This is how I see most of the Republican “establishment”. They are comfortable with the way things are, and it is going to be hard to shift them.

        It is so funny to me, in a sad and frustrating kind of funny, to see people identifying go-along-to-get-along Crony Capitalist “sure I participated in government corruption, it’s how you get things done” Trump touted as the guy who “threatens” the status quo, when the biggest gripe about Cruz is that no one in the Senate likes him. OK, why don’t they like him? Because he went against the status quo, challenged them on their own turf, and made them uncomfortable, that’s why.

        But the biggest thing that is being ignored is the fact that the very things that bother Spook (and so many of the rest of us) such as the systemic weakening of our military, are due not to the Republican Establishment but to the efforts and successes of the International Left and its gradual but effective takeover of American politics and government.

        It’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the political version.

      • M. Noonan April 8, 2016 / 11:01 pm

        The left just never stops – even on gun control, which they’ve lost decisively, they are still steadily plugging away at it and doing everything they can to throw up roadblocks to gun ownership. We laughing in scorn at the concept that the gun makers can be held liable for a murderer’s actions, but we laughed in scorn at the concept that the tobacco companies could be held responsible for people choosing to smoke and/or not choosing to quit…but they kept at it and in court after court just kept hammering it home until they go the decision they wanted. They will continually sue gun makers until some jury, somewhere, holds a gun maker liable. They’ll also try things like regulating ammunition out of existence and such to make gun rights moot. They want the guns of the American people gone and they won’t let up until they’ve got their way.

        The problem with Republican and Conservative leadership is that they don’t seem to fully understand this – that we can’t just win one battle here or there; we have to win it all, and for good. The left has to go if the America we love is to stay – it is really that simple. Governor Walker showed the way – and hit upon something I’ve been talking about for years: de-funding the left. Cut at the sources of leftwing money and you destroy the left. Not right away, to be sure (in fact, a recent court case in Wisconsin found a liberal judge deciding that forced union dues were “property” of the unions and thus Wisconsin’s Right to Work law “took” union property without compensation and is thus null and void…that judge will be overturned on appeal, but it shows, once again, that the left doesn’t quit…). But over time as we take away their money (which is mostly taxpayer money to one extent or another) then they’ll lack the resources to continually pester the United States into taking the leftwing line. But it has to be fought for – as Walker fought for it; and as the overall GOP leadership doesn’t fight for it.

  4. Amazona April 7, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    A wealth tax is economically unsound, inherently unfair, and represents class warfare and the ugly sin of envy much more than it does a fiscally responsible solution to financial woes.

    • M. Noonan April 7, 2016 / 11:31 pm

      I’m coming more and more to the conclusion, however, that any concentration of power – even purely economic power – is deadly to a free people. How are we to ensure that everyone is subject to all the laws, all the time? If a billionaire can buy himself influence then how is he just as subject to the laws as some poor slob? Of course, concentration of political power is even worse – but either is baleful. Both eventually seek their own ends, rather than what is best in general.

      • Amazona April 8, 2016 / 12:35 am

        But the problem is that sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

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