Open Thread

Seems that in districts where Trump won, he won overwhelmingly – and in districts where Hillary won, she won overwhelmingly. I can’t help but be reminded of something I read once upon a time – political operatives, reading the results of some local elections prior to the 1860 Presidential election (we didn’t vote for Congress all in one day back then), said, “these are Civil War returns”…meaning, the nation was so divided that it was as if two different nations existed. Trump’s primary job over the next four years is to find a way to change that…to get us back into a place where we aren’t so divided from one another. Of course, with the left calling him Hitler II, that is difficult…but, then again, the over-the-top rhetoric might also make the left so toxic that people turn to Trump as the reasonable alternative. It can happen – Britain’s Labour Party picked a leader so far-left that there is a chance that in the next British elections, the Tory party could win an outright majority of votes…something no party in Britain has done since 1931.

Some EPA bureaucrats are quitting. Good.

Careful, Democrats – you may get what you wish for. AG Sessions open to a special prosecutor. Hate to break it to you, Democrats, but for the previous 8 years it was your guys in charge and that means the chances that they were breaking laws is vastly higher than any chance Trump did.

Hatch to seek another term in 2018: with Trump’s backing. People are still saying that Trump is thin skinned, doesn’t know how to do politics, is kinda dumb…people will continue to be shocked by his winning, too.

Alleged super-genius Stephen Hawking says that without a world government, technology will destroy us. This is why people shouldn’t stray out of their area of expertise…and in all of Hawking’s super-geniusing, he apparently has yet to crack open 1984 or The Gulag Archipelago. Technology is just a tool, Mr Hawking – it is what people do with the tool which is good or bad. And handing all the tools to a few people who must necessarily have a limited connection with the needs of everyday folks is a recipe for ensuring the tools will be used for evil.

Progressive guy goes on a rant about how great Blue America is compared to Red America…fails to notice, among many other things, that California can’t build a high speed rail without federal subsidies…and the one they are trying to build is already way over budget and behind schedule. Sorry, Proggies, you think it is your side of the country making all the swell stuff and supporting everyone else but the reality is that your wealth is based upon trade…which would flow through your blue port cities whether you are Progressive, or not. Take away the trade (and the massive federal subsidies for higher education), and just what, exactly, does San Francisco provide for us? Food? No. Water? No. Steel? No. Lumber? No. Oil? No. Natural Gas? No. Anything?

Too good to check: Russian hackers have the goods on Progressive groups and are holding them up for ransom.

Victor Davis Hanson notices the bizarre disconnect in the minds of our Progressive leaders:

We have become an arrogant generation that virtue-signals that we can change the universe when in reality we cannot even run an awards ceremony, plow snow, fix potholes, build a road or dam, or stop inner-city youths from murdering one another.

Do our smug politicians promise utopia because they cannot cope with reality? Do lectures compensate for inaction? Do we fault past generations of Americans — who drank too many Cokes and smoked too many cigarettes — because we are ashamed that we lack their vision, confidence, and ability to build another Oroville Dam or a six-lane freeway, or to stop criminals from turning urban weekends into the Wild West?

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22 thoughts on “Open Thread

    • M. Noonan March 11, 2017 / 2:13 am

      There is much to investigate that happened over the past eight years and for the first time, we may have an Administration willing to do that…

  1. simoneee9 March 10, 2017 / 7:18 pm

    As for this debacle of a healthcare plan…

    My guess is that none of these GOP replacement plans will work. There’s a significant chunk of moderate GOP senators who will only vote for a replacement bill that’s a watered down version of Obamacare and keeps the big parts of the bill such as: not denying pre-existing conditions, staying on your insurance til age 26, the Medicaid expansion, etc. because otherwise they’ll get voted out. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins are perfect examples.

    On the flip side you have the Ted Cruz types, the Ben Shapiro kool aid drinkers who will only settle for a bill that repeals every single word of Obamacare.

    The result? Nothing will happen. These two groups won’t be able to agree on anything except maybe renaming the bill American Freedom Jesus Trump Care Act of 2017. Maybe some minor tweaks at best, and that’s not even a given with this GOP congress.

    • Amazona March 10, 2017 / 7:58 pm

      I see our little speed bump is back. Just another Liberal troll who never brings anything to the table, never has an idea, just exists to lurk around until his betters come up with ideas or plans or policies and then snipes at them. Just moaning and groaning and whining and sniveling, wallowing in his sour negativity.

      Notice he never answers my question: Simoneek, why are you here? What is your interest? Do you even have a dog in this hunt?

      Why should anyone care what you post?

  2. Cluster March 11, 2017 / 7:56 am

    I am curious as to what y’all think of the health care legislation. Without knowing a whole lot of detail, I have to think that three stage process of dismantling and replacing the ACA makes sense. The ACA is so intrusive, and stacked on top of 50 years of other Medicaid/Medicare bills that repealing and replacing it with one piece of legislation seems impractical. I thought Ryan sold it pretty well, yet when I hear Jim Jordan or Rand Paul talk about it, it is as if they are not understanding the three step process. Frustrating. I wish they would get on the same page.

    And Simon, just FYI. No one cares what you have to say anymore. In fact considering the intellectual heft on that side of aisle including people like Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, and Al Franken, no one really cares what Democrats have to say anymore. You’re party has officially become a joke.

    • Amazona March 11, 2017 / 10:38 am

      While the hard Left is still working to regain power, the bulk of the Left is reduced to nothing more than theater—meaningless “protests” , riots, and mindlessly “resisting” anything productive. The Left does not fear that a new administration and new policies will fail, they are terrified that they will succeed. So their goal is to block, interfere, sabotage and generally do anything they can to hinder the efforts of the Right. The fact that the efforts of the Right are all about solving problems and making the nation strong again is of no matter to them. They have never had the welfare of the entity of the United States as a goal, but instead have been willing/eager to diminish this country, weaken it and make it impotent and ineffectual, putting their policies and agendas ahead of what is best for the country.

      When the Democrat Party officially considered nominating a hard-core admitted Socialist whose loyalties to Russia are deep and ideological in nature, and then narrowly chose a known criminal who had put the security of the nation at risk and used her position of authority and trust to line her own pockets, getting Americans killed in the process, they defined themselves. They are not only not trying to redeem themselves, they are digging themselves in deeper, openly declaring their intent to be nothing but speed bumps on the road to recovery.

      I don’t watch Steven Colbert, but I see promos for his shows sometimes, and he absolutely REEKS of desperation, frantically trying to gain traction with his nonstop slams against the new president and his administration but merely narrowing his audience to fellow travelers. Now I see panic in his eyes as he amps up to a nearly manic energy, trying oh so hard to be relevant and more to the point to be effective.

      They have moved from being the Opposition Party to the Oppositional Party—that is, automatically and mindlessly rejecting everything the Right says or does in knee-jerk “resistance”. And yes, in so doing they have become a joke. They are reduced to having sham marches and “protests” and are so desperate that they are starting to blurt out the ugly truths they have tried to hide behind their rhetoric. So now they are admitting that they see the role of the press as telling people what they should think, admitting that their goal is to hamstring the new administration, openly inciting insurrection within the ranks of agencies, coming right out and saying they will just stall and try to block any nomination made by Trump, and in general telling the nation they are exactly what we have been saying they are.

      • Amazona March 11, 2017 / 1:28 pm

        BTW, I have a feeling that Simoneek is a plant. He refuses to take a stand on anything or explain why he has a dog in this hunt. He is clearly here only to vent his sad and toxic viewpoint, and it doesn’t really matter whether this is on behalf of some larger entity or just a manifestation of his personal pathology. Without context he is just noise, like a fingernail on a blackboard—but at least fingernails and blackboards both have legitimate purposes and are annoying only when in juxtaposition to each other, It appears that “Simon” has no purpose, just a need to express his negativity.

      • Cluster March 11, 2017 / 1:51 pm

        Simon is simply a contrarian to anything conservative, which is about as interesting as watching paint dry.

        I wonder what NeverTrumpers, Democrats, etc., will start saying if, and hopefully when, Trump’s policies begin to produce positive results. When the economy grows at 3%+ GDP, when the real measure of unemployment drops, when wages rise, when employers expand, when ISIS declines, when inner cities see a revitalization, when the illegal immigration drops, when healthcare prices drop, when personal taxes are cut, etc., etc., and many people begin to realize that maybe Trump isn’t the maniacal overlord the media is painting him to be. What then?

      • Amazona March 11, 2017 / 4:06 pm

        What then?

        They will probably have more “marches” with harridans shrieking that they are marching for things they already have—equal pay for equal work, the vote, the ability to legally butcher their children up to a certain age, the things they say matter most to them—-while shredding the dignity they used to demand be acknowledged.

        They will have to keep inventing “crises” that stridently call for immediate Leftist intervention.

        They will have to keep finding ways to divide Americans into disparate demographics so they can then turn them against each other.

        They will have to develop more approaches to the Politics of Personal Destruction, Identity Politics and character assassination, but it’s hard to generate an “eeuww” factor about any conservative’s actions while strutting around dressed as a vagina and dropping the F-bomb every couple of seconds.

        They won’t give up, but their support will erode and they will become increasingly less relevant.

      • M. Noonan March 12, 2017 / 2:57 am

        Keep seeing on Twitter “Latinos/Latinas for Trump” and “Blacks for Trump” and “Immigrants for Trump”. Could all be fake, but I’m seeing it so often that I’m starting to think that maybe it isn’t all fake…and, just maybe, there is still enough of the “melting pot” ethic in the United States to overcome, ultimately, the left’s efforts to divide us into mutually-hating groups.

        We on the right also have to wary of this – some of our people are getting rather tribalistic. I understand the reason – when the left is just completely ’round the bend, you pull up the draw bridge. But, OTOH, I have seen several formerly left people move right since Trump was elected…they just can’t take it any longer: the mindless requirement to hate in spite of facts. We have to have a weather eye out for that…because anyone who really does want peace, justice, mercy, liberty…all the good things…will have to come over to our side, eventually. Had a small interaction with a former lefty and I pointed out that once the left is gone, the “right” will then break up into competing groups…it is really rather hard to cobble together a Libertarian and someone who is paleo-Con, after all…only an understanding that both the Libertarian and the paleo-Con are to be destroyed in the Progressive Utopia keeps them together. Once that battle is done, if our side wins, then the natural divisions will happen. But, that will be fine – it’ll be people arguing over the best means of getting to an agreed upon end. That isn’t how it is right now – the left wants an end that no non-leftist could tolerate…so, we must unite in the fight.

      • Amazona March 12, 2017 / 1:36 pm

        I am both intrigued and confused by the apparent need for categories in political nomenclature. I never thought the term “alt-right” made the least bit of sense, as it would literally mean an alternative to the Right, which would be the Left. (It’s like “alternative rock”—I once asked a couple of girls “alternative to what?” and just got blank looks.) Now we have “paleo-con”. Well, according to Wikipedia the term has been around for a while, but I see it as just more divisiveness, more splitting into what you call “tribes”. When I looked it up I found Wikipedia, as happens so often, a mishmash of information and twaddle.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoconservatism

        Information: The prefix paleo derives from the Greek root palaeo- meaning “ancient” or “old”. It is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and refers to the paleocons’ claim to represent a more historic, authentic conservative tradition than that found in neoconservatism. Adherents of paleoconservatism often describe themselves simply as “paleo-.”

        Twaddle: Rich Lowry of National Review claims the prefix “is designed to obscure the fact that it is a recent ideological creation of post-Cold War politics.” Nonsense. If it is about being a Constitutional originalist, then it goes back before WW II to objections to Social Security, and long before that to Madison’s objection to using federal funds for charitable purposes because this was not a delegated duty of the federal government. It goes back to the 10th Amendment.

        Information with an element of confusion: The paleoconservatives use the term conservative somewhat differently from some US opponents of leftism. Paleocons may reject attempts by Rush Limbaugh and others to graft short-term policy goals—such as school choice, enterprise zones, and faith-based initiatives—into the core of conservatism. This is mainly due to the paleoconservatives’ desire to see these incorporated as long-term institutional goals, rather than short-term victories for the movement itself. In this way, paleocons are generally regarded as taking the “long view” toward US conservatism, willing to suffer temporary setbacks while never taking their aim off the goal of establishing the primacy of conservative thought into US politics.

        Lots of twaddle: Moreover, Samuel T. Francis, Thomas Fleming and some other paleocons de-emphasized the “conservative” part of the “paleoconservative” label, saying that they do not want the status quo preserved.

        Here we get back to the conflation of political conservatism with the dictionary definition of “conservative” as meaning “to conserve, or protect”. Francis in particular seems focused on societal conservatism instead of political conservatism.

        Fleming and Paul Gottfried called such thinking “stupid tenacity” and described it as “a series of trenches dug in defense of last year’s revolution.” Francis defined authentic conservatism as “the survival and enhancement of a particular people and its institutionalized cultural expressions.”

        Slightly less twaddle, but still conflating political philosophy with issues instead of being focused on a blueprint for governance. He said of the paleoconservative movement:
        What paleoconservatism tries to tell Americans is that the dominant forces in their society are no longer committed to conserving the traditions, institutions, and values that created and formed it, and, therefore, that those who are really conservative in any serious sense and wish to live under those traditions, institutions, and values need to oppose the dominant forces and form new ones.
        This might fall into the category of political conservatism if he had gone on to describe POLITICAL values, but as he left it the word can relate to all sorts of societal values.

        This meandering all over the semantic landscape makes it hard if not impossible to have a coherent political conversation, because the “experts” can’t even agree on how to define terms. Clearly the Left does not have exclusive ownership of “intellectuals”—people who produce nothing but ideas, even when those ideas are wrong.

        So the division of “conservatives” into different tribes—“paleoconservatives” and “neoconservatives” and their on-again off-again cousins, Libertarians—-is still vague and pretty meaningless. If “neoconservative” means expanding the size, scope and power of the federal government then it is not conservative at all. If it doesn’t, then there is no reason to develop all these cutsie little names.

        I think it is just going along with the Leftist tactic of “divide and then conquer”.

      • Amazona March 12, 2017 / 1:37 pm

        “..it is really rather hard to cobble together a Libertarian and someone who is paleo-Con,..”

        Why?

      • Amazona March 12, 2017 / 1:47 pm

        I have seen several formerly left people move right since Trump was elected…they just can’t take it any longer: the mindless requirement to hate in spite of facts.

        Yet they have not come over to the Political Right, just the superficial Social Right. If we don’t take advantage of their movement away from the Left to start to explain the reason we are the Right in the first place—-at least those of us who base our political allegiance on actual politics instead of issues—–they will drift right back once the Left figures out it has to stop being an ugly place to be.

        We have to have a weather eye out for that…because anyone who really does want peace, justice, mercy, liberty…all the good things…will have to come over to our side, eventually. Yes, and I will happily accept the support of people who just want to get away from the ugliness and toxicity and insanity of today’s Left. But if we don’t educate them on actual POLITICS, on the reasons Constitutional governance leads to “…peace, justice, …… liberty..” (mercy is a personal virtue) we will lose them the next time a Leftist movement focuses more on posturing as representing those things. That is how the Left suckered these people in in the first place, because those are FEELINGS the Left exploited, and once they figure out they need to get back to the warm fuzzies or lose their base they will start in peddling these emotions again.

        This is why issues based political allegiance is so dangerous—it is dependent on how someone FEELS instead of on how he THINKS.

      • M. Noonan March 13, 2017 / 12:42 am

        Yep – it has to be an education process. Don’t go full barrel on them right out the gate, but start inserting into the conversations the why of it all. On both ends of it – why the left is mindless hatred; why the right defends things like freedom of speech.

  3. Cluster March 11, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    And here is already one huge swing and a miss by the Democrats to get Trump:

    Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) has retreated from his claim that there’s solid evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence agencies. Now, his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee also concede that there may be zero evidence of such activity after a month into their investigation

  4. Cluster March 12, 2017 / 10:28 am

    So Meet The Press, Chick Todd and NBC remained true to their leftist colors this morning when their segment on the GOP healthcare bill included critique from….. wait for it ……. Kathleen Sebelius. The former HHS Sec who did such a great job on the ACA roll out and implementation. Too funny.

  5. simoneee9 March 12, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”

    • Amazona March 12, 2017 / 11:56 pm

      Awww, ain’t you just the cleverest little parrot. What’s your point? Got one? Ready to answer some questions?

      Why do you care? Do you have a coherent political philosophy or just a goal of being a speed bump? Why are you here?

  6. Cluster March 13, 2017 / 8:35 am

    Simon, I will remind you that Obama is still hailed as a hero from people like you for expanding tax payer funded medicaid, causing millions of individual insurers to lose their healthcare, for premiums skyrocketing more than 90% in some areas, for an increase in deductibles, for decline in access to actual care, and for still leaving millions without a plan, so you really only have people such as yourself to thank for what is going on now. Ever thought about that Chief?

    Yesterday on Meet The Press, Chuck Todd (who is a complete tool of the left), asked HHS Sec Price this question – “can you guarantee that no one will be financially worse off with your new health care plan”. Really? That’s the standard now. How many people are worse off now Chucky due to Obamacare? What a complete ass.

    After watching the news over the last several weeks and the antics of the left, who in the most recent article I read are now destroying personal property in their adolescent rage against Trump, I can only conclude that it is about time conservatives accelerate their demise. Leftists are simply not worthy people.

  7. Cluster March 13, 2017 / 9:29 am

    And here again is another example of the hostility of the left:

    Students from one Iowan high school recently apologized to the principal of another Iowan high school when people found their choice of red, white and blue attire offensive. Supporters of the Des Moines North High School basketball team, many of whose players are from refugee families, were offended when fans of Valley High School’s basketball team wore red, white and blue last week

    When confronted with people like this, verbally put them down and if they #resist, physically destroy them. These are the people that are tearing apart the fabric of this country. Just a side note, as many of you can probably tell, I have completely run out of patience with these people.

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/12/students-denounced-as-racist-for-wearing-us-flag-colors/#ixzz4bDDCONpx

    • Amazona March 13, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      Let me see if I get this right. “Refugees” chose to come to this country because they think it is better than living in their own. The national colors of this country are red, white and blue. And they are “offended” by the sight of people wearing red, white and blue?

      This is a very easy problem to fix. Anyone offended by the sight of the national colors of this nation is free to choose to live somewhere else.

      As far as I am concerned, no “refugee” should be allowed into this country without first declaring respect for the country, its laws and its culture. Period. We have no obligation to welcome people who disrespect us. We should interview them and make it clear that this is what they can expect, living here, and if they aren’t comfortable with that they can stay where they are or find a country that will let them dictate what the citizens can and can’t wear.

      If the students from Valley High felt like apologizing for anything, they should have apologized for the failure of whoever approved the admittance of these “refugees” for failing to inform them that the colors of the nation they CHOSE to live in are red, white and blue, and that Americans are proud of their country and their flag and often wear these colors. Sorry, “refugees”, but there is still time to catch up.

      But my question is whether the hissy fit was thrown by the refugee families themselves, or by those “supporters” who claim to speaking for the refugees. I have a feeling the refugees were not the instigators of this faux outrage, but a few rabid Lefties. We are being tested, to see how far we can be pushed.

      • Cluster March 13, 2017 / 5:58 pm

        My sentiments exactly. We did not ask the refugees to come here and if they feel offended, well then I will personally pay for their airfare back home. And you are probably right. The leftists simply seized another opportunity to tear at the fabric of the country.

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