Weekend Open Thread, Additional…

Because today I found some really amazing things about America, 2016.

Childless woman wants maternity leave – and if you don’t give it to her you’re just a sexist upholder of the patriarchy!

As for me, I did eventually give notice at my job and take a “meternity” of my own. I may not have been changing diapers, but I grappled with self-doubt for the year and a half that I spent away from the corporate world. And I grieved the loss of my dad, who had just died after a long illness. But a “meternity” done right should be challenging. It should be about digging into your whole life and emerging from it more confident in who you are.

Because women with babies never have to grapple with self-doubt, or something.

Anti-Trump protestors in the United States wave Mexican flags – because the sure-fire way to defuse the Trump movement is to wave foreign flags on American soil.

Fight the Man! In this case by stiffing your waitress for a tip.

Huma Abedin – once nearly burst into tears when she discovered that Her Majesty once carried her own bag. I don’t want to go all Godwin’s Law here, but once upon a time Martin Bormann overheard Hitler idly ask what was in a dish he was eating and a couple hours later Bormann got the recipe and recited it to Hitler. This isn’t being a servant – this is being a thrall. You wonder: what order of Hillary’s would Huma refuse to carry out?

Susan Sarandon – yes, that Susan Sarandon – is more worried about Hillary than Trump.

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16 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread, Additional…

  1. Cluster April 30, 2016 / 9:18 am

    Referring back to the previous post on David Limbaugh and Amazona’s comment:

    I like this column partly because he is saying what I have been saying—that we were FINALLY in a position to bring a tried-and-true, competent, knowledgeable and committed Conservative to the White House,

    I think what a lot of conservatives are not understanding here is that our brand of conservatism is in the minority. For years I think conservatives have been convinced that they occupy the majority and that millions of “tried and true” conservatives simply stayed home because the candidate was too moderate. We need to change that thinking. This election cycle has convinced me that on a national stage this country has become center left and if we are to stem the tide and reverse course, we had better play the game better. Conservatives need to focus on continuing to win at the county and state level while formulating a national game plan of immersing ourselves into education, the media, and going into precincts where we have seldom ventured before. If I were Ted Cruz, I would have held press conferences and speeches in Harlem, downtown Baltimore, south side Chicago, etc., and I would have pointed out how progressive policies have failed these communities and how a conservative approach can uplift and improve their life. I have not seen any GOP candidate, outside of Rand Paul, venture into enemy territory, preferring instead to play it safe and unless and until we do, we will continue to lose on the national stage. We need to be much more aggressive and bold in selling the conservative brand, but what I see too often is that many conservatives shrink when confronted with the Alinsky tactics of shaming. If anyone deserves shame, it is the Democrats.

    • Amazona April 30, 2016 / 10:33 am

      I think a lot of the problem has been the failure to define conservatism, which means that everyone has simply defined it for himself. Unfortunately, this has meant defining what should be a purely political philosophy solely in terms of issues.

      We are seeing this unfold now, as millions who call themselves “conservatives” are falling in line behind someone whose policies are very Liberal, in that they ignore Constitutional governance and depend on the perception of and allegiance to an infinitely powerful (and to some “charismatic”) individual, because he has cleverly identified himself with those issues.

      This has resulted in conservatism being shattered into discrete segments, one of which still yearns for a leader who is smart, focused, knowledgeable about the Constitution and with a history of not only defending it but defending it successfully. The other segment apparently does not care about this, but demands a candidate whose appeal is more visceral than intellectual, who satisfies emotional needs more than merely (boringly) offering rational solutions to real problems.

      Very few issues have their roots in a desire for Constitutional governance. I suppose that in and of itself can be called an issue but the ones that get the blood boiling and draw people to arenas where they can howl at the moon and emote to their hearts’ content because of the nearly orgasmic thrill of feeling at one with someone who has connected with them on an emotional level are what are referred to as “social” issues.

      I have noticed the emergence of the acceptance of “anti-Establishment” as an absolute condition of candidacy. But this has morphed from a desire for someone who is not part of the Same Old Same Old policy of governing from the Left while wearing a big R badge into some kind of drooling mob determination to “take on” anyone who can be branded as “Establishment” and scorning anyone who has tried to work within this “Establishment” to achieve change. It’s shifted from analyzing the problems of a GOP which is not Constitutionally oriented and which has shifted toward the Left to simply wanting to tear the whole GOP down, wallow in the blood lust of watching it burn, and dismissing anyone who is not equally committed to the carnage.

      Conservatism was for a long long time the territory of the thinker. It required learning about the Constitution, what it says and why, how a Constitutionally governed nation works and why. It demanded setting aside raw emotion in favor of reasoned analysis. It was the antithesis of the emotion-driven Left, which has always been so dependent on raw feelings and desires for intangibles such as “fairness” and “equality” that made it so easily manipulated by hard-eyed leaders at the top.

      Now the lines are blurred, so blurred that there is little or no difference between the two, as both are equally badly defined, both are equally dependent on emotional appeal, and both are equally susceptible to the mob mentality. From a distance, and not too great a distance at that, there is little difference between the Hillary or Bernie mobs and the Trump mobs. They are both focused on the perception of a PERSON who represents what they want, the issues that get them worked up, and the desire to have this INDIVIDUAL IN CHARGE.

      The Trump mob will pull out an issue such as immigration, wave it around, and say “See? My passion for this issue proves my conservative credibility.” But no, conservatism is about the entire concept of making sure we are not governed by a king, no matter what his official title may be, that we are not under the thumb of a massively powerful Central Authority, that our states make all but a few decisions which are delegated to the federal government, that our laws are applied equally to all and are enforced, etc. It is NOT about having an issue cleverly dangled as bait to get people to shift their political focus from a system to an individual. When this happens, conservatism as a political philosophy is out the window and from there on out the only way to discern among the mobs is to look at their badges.

      • Cluster April 30, 2016 / 10:49 am

        Exactly. You have recognized the problem and now we have to identify and apply a new strategy to win. We simply can not continue the same approach and expect different results. Knowing that so many people now are issue oriented, we must attach the issues to the ideology and explain how those issues play out when applied constitutionally, and we must take that message to enemy territory. We need a new game plan and someone who can articulate the message to those we have not reached before and someone who has the backbone to turn the Alinsky tactics around and shame the Democrats for the abysmal results of their policies over the last few decades.

      • Amazona April 30, 2016 / 11:37 am

        A year ago, we were in a position to do this. On one hand we had a weakened, demoralized Democrat Party whose former idol was turning out to be a haggard harridan whose crimes and misdeeds were catching up to her, a president who was not only clearly a failure but whose policies had negatively impacted millions who had supported him, and a nation in danger on many fronts. On the other hand, we had a strong, principled man who was clearly qualified to be a true leader, in every sense of the word, rising through the ranks of the Right. He had the qualifications to lead the Conservative Movement—he not only had a spotless record of fighting for conservative causes, he had a record of winning. He had gone up against RINOs and won. He had a clear vision of conservatism, and what’s more he had the ability to articulate his beliefs. He had the talent to make coherent arguments for his positions. and to make those positions understandable and appealing. The only people who hated him were those who had butted heads with him and lost.

        We were finally poised to move forward, to take our message to the people. We had someone who could, and would, put any issue into context and explain how best to address it while at the same time returning to our Constitutional roots. There was a pretty general understanding of the need to articulate the foundations of conservatism and relate them to the issues of the day and we had another great communicator who could do just that. That, of course, was Ted Cruz.

        And then there was Trump, who not only came barreling in from Left field trumpeting his superficial populist emotionally appealing calls to follow him because he was Superman, he focused on undermining the true voice of the Conservative Movement. In his typical thug fashion, he did not put his ideas up against Cruz’s, but instead wallowed in his favorite environment, the gutter, where he simply maligned Cruz on a personal level. He employed the Left’s Politics of Personal Destruction and was to a great extent very successful.

        I don’t know if we can come back from this. Cruz, being Cruz, will not roll over and go away, but will continue to fight for his cause no matter how much mud and slime the slimy Donald throws at him, but the battle has become a much more difficult one. But we now have millions of people who have accepted the redefinition of “conservative” as any of the bastardized forms represented by Trumpery. It will be a lot harder to redefine conservatism than it would have been to simply define it. Now millions believe that if they claim an issue that they define as “conservative” that is all it takes, even though they are enamored of Identity Politics instead of a political system, and basically advocating a continuation of Obama’s policies of ruling as a de facto king from the Oval Office but just replacing him with a paler, pudgier, peroxided, less articulate guy who happens to have a brand new “R” on his chest. (Velcroed on, so it can come off with ease and be slapped back on when necessary to fool a few more of the gullible.)

        Millions will now refuse to accept anything Cruz says, because they believe he is a “liar”. They believe this because Trump has told them Cruz is a liar, employing the tried and true marketing technique of simply repeating something so many times it takes on a life of its own.

        The message of conservatism should be that no matter what issues are important to you, if you understand that they have to resolved by the People, at the state or local level, and are not in the realm of federal authority, you are a Conservative. Period. That is the political philosophy. That is the political system.

        We now not only face the daunting task of relating constitutional governance to how issues can and should be resolved, we have to first overcome the massive pile of BS deposited by Trump, stinking up the process. Personally, I am ready to just give up. I have never been more discouraged about the future of this nation than I have been watching people line up to help Trump drag it down, because they want to see a good filthy bloody fight and he is the gutter fighter to give it to them, with no thought of what will come after.

        I sat in a big bar in Las Vegas not long ago, watching the UFC championships among hundreds of people, and as I watched the hooting and cheering and, to put it bluntly, blood lust, I thought it was disgusting. I have told people that my thought at the time was “These are not my people.” But the truth is, what I thought was “These are Trump’s people”. Because that is the way his people view politics. As brutal, dirty, anything goes, it’s more fun if there is blood on the floor, and the strong guy is our champion. That’s not so bad if people volunteer to be part of it. When a whole nation is the prize, and has to suffer, I get a little ticked off.

      • Cluster April 30, 2016 / 1:40 pm

        The problem for Cruz is the GOP. The GOP establishment won’t even back him which shows you just how far left they have moved. In fact both parties have moved left, the Democrats of course are entering into a Central American brand of leftist despotism while the GOP is moving much more to the center, if not center left. I think the other problem for Cruz is that he never did try and win the hearts and minds, and that is essential in politics. You have to be likable, and that is what made Reagan so great. Reagan could not only articulate the conservative message better than anyone, he was a good spirited, optimistic, jovial guy and people really liked him. I disagree with you when you say Cruz made his positions appealing. Maybe appealing to the base, but not to the larger constituency. While I like both of them, looking at Cruz/Fiorina through a different lens when they are on stage I see a sourness in their message, not a message of optimism, and Cruz’s cadence of speaking is almost dictatorial. The other thing that has just killed Cruz in my opinion is Glenn Beck and his own father who have recently come out and proclaimed Cruz to be the “second coming of (fill in the blank)”, in a religious context and I don’t believe that plays well in our increasingly secular society. We have to play the cards that are dealt, so whatever happens this Fall, the GOP had better start recruiting and grooming likable conservatives who will go into tough precincts and sell the conservative message and who will not back down, but actually rise up and fight in the Alinsky mode. That’s what needs to be done.

        On a side note and thinking that Trump will probably be the nominee, my hope is that he selects Condi Rice as his running mate and after four years, steps down to go back into the private sector and Condi takes over. Condi is one conservative who will go into unchartered precincts and who can fight back just as hard as the left does. Condi Rice 2020 !!!

      • Amazona April 30, 2016 / 2:33 pm

        I agree that the “anointed” meme is not helpful. In a big-picture kind of way, I can see it, if you consider that the emergence of a Ted Cruz is proof that things will work out well if you only have faith, but the whole Anointed Hand Of God thing is off-putting.

        I don’t have the visceral reaction to Cruz, or Fiorina, that you do. I LIKE their measured cadences, their precision, their focus on the message rather than trying to win a personality contest. We can’t have it both ways, decryng the Identity Politics, American Idol concept of choosing our leaders and then saying we can’t support anyone who does not fit into that concept.

        Without Trump in the picture, neither Cruz nor Fiorina would be seen so negatively. If their only opposition was Hillary Clinton, they would shine by comparison as not only vastly smarter, vastly more appealing but vastly more desirable as leaders of the nation. The enemy of Cruz, or Cruz/Fiorina, is not the Dem nominee, whoever that might be. It is the splintering of the support for a conservative by a showman who is sneering at the vegetables-and-lean-meat diet of a grown-up slate of candidates and instead pimping his own brand of cotton candy and never-ending corn dogs.

        Seriously—imagine what the debates would have been like without Trump in them, steering them into the choice of defensiveness or fighting back and therefore contributing to the lowering of the bar. Imagine a primary cycle consisting of people pitting their skills and accomplishments and ideas against those of the other hopefuls, using complete sentences and actual coherent ideas to ask people to choose them over their opponents, instead of the schoolyard taunting and bullying and name-calling and character assassination style of Trump. Even now, imagine the impact of Cruz addressing a claim by Trump about an actual idea or policy of Cruz’s, instead of Cruz merely having to stand there under an unending barrage of the machine-gun fire of the word “LIAR!!”

        You’re right—we do have to play the cards we’re dealt. But I disagree with your assessment that we have to follow the herd and go for “likability”. Bill Clinton was, by all accounts, absolutely charming and is still considered the most likable president we have had in a long long time if not ever. We may very well have to lower out standards to looking at the swoon factor instead of actual credentials. I hate to think it, but it may be so.

        Or we may have to gird our loins, so to speak, run a tightly focused campaign to not only beat Hillary Clinton but to elect a Congress that is openly focused on reining in the excesses of Mr. Excess Himself, and spend the next four years thumping the daylights out of Donald every time he veers away from the Constitutional path while pointing out, day in and day out, this is only necessary because so many people demanded that we sacrifice the greater good so they could see a thug beat up the ephemeral “establishment”. I think we need to focus on educating all these people who may very well be well-meaning and sincere, but who have fallen for the hype and easy way out instead of the less thrilling but more productive orderly and coherent path to change.

        But you know what? This is all predicated on a few examples of Magical Thinking actually turning out to be reality. One is that this eeeevil ESTABLISHMENT will let Trump take the nomination. But the big one is that the national loathing for Trump will not energize Dems and others who might have been inclined to sit this one out because they don’t like Hillary, resulting in a better turnout just to defeat him. The big thing the Trumpsters are missing is that while a polarizing figure within your own party might be fun, and offer some instant gratification for the general sense of resentment and frustration, it can and probably will backfire on you in a general election. When you have a horrible candidate like Hillary, who turns off so many in your own party, you are a lot better off with a candidate of your own who does not inspire fear or hatred, because those are feelings that will bring out the opposition in numbers big enough to crush you.

        It is the Rule Of Holes so often mentioned by Spook. Rule Number Two is that when your opponent is in a hole, hand him a shovel. Nominating Trump will be handing Hillary a ladder.

        Elections are won in two ways. One is by getting an electorate energized to vote FOR someone—the Obama Syndrome. One is to get that electorate energized to vote AGAINST someone—what made the Bush elections such nail-biters, as Dems didn’t vote FOR Gore or Kerry so much as AGAINST George W.

        I don’t think the things that bother you about Cruz—what you see as, basically, him being boring—will generate nearly as much panic and subsequent impetus to be sure he isn’t elected, as Candidate Trump will do. You can focus on who will get our side the most charged up, or on who will get the other side least threatened and reactionary. I think in this case boring is good. Cruz can appeal on an intellectual level, winning people over a few at a time, and plodding along working within the rules and boundaries of the law and Constitution to get things done in a linear, orderly and legal fashion, but he is not a lightning rod like Trump is. Aside from the plaintive bleats about him not being LIKABLE he doesn’t generate much passion, and I contend that when it comes to the general election that would be a very good thing. The people who get it will vote for him. A lot of Trumpsters will vote for him just because he is not Hillary. But I don’t think he will scare the Dems who don’t like Hillary enough to get them out to vote for her anyway.

        The Dems have a weak candidate. We can play to that and capitalize on it, or we can come up with a candidate who is at best just as weak and is probably more so.

      • Amazona April 30, 2016 / 2:36 pm

        Condi doesn’t want to be president. Not everyone with good ideas would make a good president—if that were the case we should support Dennis Prager or Thomas Sowell. She has already said she would not run, and I doubt that she would change her mind.

        No, we need to keep looking at our younger talent—and quit championing the cannibals, like Trump.

      • M. Noonan May 1, 2016 / 12:40 am

        When General Mattis announced he didn’t want to be President, he shot up very high in my estimation…

      • Amazona April 30, 2016 / 7:43 pm

        “…I see a sourness in their message, not a message of optimism..”

        Sourness?

        “We are great because we are good. Because over and over again we have chosen courage in the moments of crisis; freedom in the face of compromise; and hope in the face of challenges that everyone told us could not be overcome.”

        http://www.dailywire.com/news/5111/cruz-gave-terrific-speech-philadelphia-last-night-hank-berrien

        Sourness? Lack of optimism?

        “Yes we can” was a recognition of the hope that we can and should recover. The problem was that Barack Obama’s prescriptions only led to more elitist control from Washington. Less freedom for the People.

        But now is the time, as Americans, to once again reclaim that hope. To take another giant leap for mankind. To speak the words with all the power and might that we can muster and use the words that have changed the world time and again:

        The words that the slaves yearned to hear from the American people and Abraham Lincoln when they cried out for freedom. The words, that Europe and Britain heard when they cried out for help defeating totalitarian evil in the 1940’s. The words that led two men in North Carolina to be the first in flight. And half a century later the first man to reach the moon. And decades later, two men in their garage to come up with Apple. They are the words that will repair our tattered spirit, lift up our economy and those who are barely making it, they are the words that will vanquish the evil of ISIS. and return the rule of law.

        They are the words that when Americans come together and say with conviction – they change the world.

        They are the vision of this campaign:

        Not yes we can, but now: Yes we will.
        We will restore our spirit;
        We will free our minds and imagination;
        We will create a new and better world;
        We will bring back jobs, freedom, and security;
        We will find new ways to ignite an energy revolution with more jobs and greater choices;
        We will defeat the evil of Islamists and ISIS;
        We will live as neighbors, friends, and family in peace once again;
        We will heal the sick, feed the poor, and defend the defenseless;
        We will restore our rightful place in the world.
        We will do what Americans do best.
        We will live for others – we will change the world through the hope of freedom’s enduring promise. And our unrelenting spirit.
        You can be empowered, and in a digital age it is all the easier for your voice to be heard. Your choices to govern your work, your education, your future. If only Washington will get out of the way.

        Read more: http://thehayride.com/2016/04/the-media-will-obsess-about-trumps-expected-victory-in-ny-but-cruz-owned-the-night-with-his-speech-in-philly/#ixzz47M8dTUSU

        Not more of I WILL but a hopeful optimistic vision of what WE, as Americans, can and will do if government just gets out of our way.

        Sour? I don’t see it. Of course, it is a coherent message, and it won’t fit on a ball cap or a bumper sticker. It’s the way grownups talk.

      • M. Noonan May 1, 2016 / 12:40 am

        Exactly – mindless drivel seems to be the “best” politics, these days…

  2. Amazona April 30, 2016 / 9:56 am

    “Anti-Trump protestors in the United States wave Mexican flags – because the sure-fire way to defuse the Trump movement is to wave foreign flags on American soil.”

    You might be missing the point here, which is that it is not mainstream Republicans engaging in this mob mentality but illegal aliens and their supporters. Yet the media never mention this, and allow the perception to continue, even foster the perception, that the violence is from American Republicans so out of control at the very thought of a Trump candidacy that they/we riot.

    It would not be difficult for stories covering these “protests” to point out that the rioters are people supporting amnesty who are outraged by Trump’s old promise to deport them all. It would actually make for better stories, as they could go over the fact that this promise has been altered, walked back, and nearly withdrawn, and therefore poses no real threat to the illegal community as Trump now admits he never meant it in the first place and was just trying to be outrageous to “start negotiations”. You know, engage in real journalism for a change.

    But this would not play into the Complicit Agenda Media playbook, which includes getting Trump nominated so Hillary can crush him and the whole Conservative Movement at once, which includes sucking up to illegals so the Dems can eventually get their vote, and which includes portraying conservatives as racists.

    So the rioters are merely described as “anti-Trump protesters” while Trump sycophants pen screeds about how anyone not on the Trumpmobile is a “hater”.

  3. Amazona April 30, 2016 / 10:40 am

    If you read the article on the “meternity” you can see that the whole thing was, to put it bluntly, a fraud. This woman did not just say she felt entitled to the same benefits that a new mother has, she actually engaged in a complex fraud in which she pretended to be pregnant. In other words, she invented a pregnancy, lied for months, and set up an elaborate hoax by which she gained what was essentially a paid vacation. I thought this took place in the UK but I didn’t care enough to pay attention to all the details.

  4. casper3031 April 30, 2016 / 8:07 pm

    My true hope and I mean this without snark, is that Cruz gets the nomination and Trump endorses him. That way the American people would have a choice between a true conservative and someone who isn’t. If they picked your way then so be it.

    • Amazona April 30, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Hallelujah!!!! Casper and I are in agreement! Who says Cruz can’t bring people together?

      And I also mean this without snark.

    • Amazona May 1, 2016 / 12:20 pm

      OK, it’s cold here for May 1, but not enough for hell to freeze over.

      Yet here, in the space of two days, I find myself in agreement with both Casper and Michael Bloomberg. From a commencement speech by Bloomberg:

      Bloomberg continued, saying, “The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure groups, and shield students from these ideas through safe spaces, code words, and trigger warnings, is in my view a terrible mistake,” as the crowd cheered. “The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations, not to run away from them.”

      But some of the students offered a different response to his words as Bloomberg continued addressing the topic.

      “A microaggression is exactly that, micro. But in a macro sense, one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is the so-called safe space, because it creates a false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views,” Bloomberg said. “We can’t, and we shouldn’t try. Not in politics, not in the workplace.”

      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2016/04/30/michael-bloomberg-blasts-safe-spaces-code-words-and-trigger-warnings-in-commencement-speech-listen-to-how-some-students-react/

      He also decried the demagoguery he sees in both the Republican and Democrat candidates. Perhaps we really are nearing a tipping point where insanity is clearly insanity no matter who looks at it.

      • Amazona May 1, 2016 / 12:24 pm

        But we are quickly yanked back to the reality of today.

        News Flash: Donald Trump is screeching that he was robbed in the Arizona primary.

        Oh, wait—that is not a news flash, that is a ho-hum, yawn, here we go again. I guess it must be a day that ends with Y

        You know what we never did see? Ted Cruz, or as we know him now, Lion Ted Cruz, carrying on about Democrats winning open primaries for Trump. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, but the rules that allow non-Republicans to pick the Republican candidate seem pretty dumb, don’t they? Yet they work out well for Donald, as the Dems really REALLY want him to be our nominee, so he is fine with this system of primary voting.

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