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Off topic

Today there are caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota, and a non-delegate/non-binding election in Missouri in which Newt is not on the ballot.

Can we all agree that caucuses stink and should be done away with?

I’ll post some links as the day goes on, and maybe update tonight.

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Comments

It is pretty obvious that the “good news” about the economy is just BLS BS.

Look around you. Are more of your neighbors finding jobs? Are they making as much, or more than last year?

It is not even debatable that inflation has increased the costs of transportation and living. With that much not even contestable anyone NOT doing better than last year is doing worse.

But the Democrats know they can’t run on “Yeah, we know we ignored what you said about not going deeper into debt, Obamacare, stimulus spending and lied our butts off about how we would keep unemployment down, but you should vote for us!”

So we have to have more lies being told about the economy and anyone engaged in telling you those lies should be remembered. Do not trust them again, ever.

i·ro·ny
   [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-]
noun, plural -nies.
1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning

I’m sure that Un-FairCampaign.org missed the irony of their sign.

it’s hard to see racism when you’re white

Beck is such a huge, sad disappointment because of all the good things he’s done. But I’ve backed away from him since his last days at Fox. I don’t even surf over to The Blaze. It’s like he’s become unhinged or something. Very sad.

    Neo in reply to Kitty. | February 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Beck seemed to find and partake of that “Flask of Hubris” that is used so often by Presidents, politicians and pundits in DC.

    Wrella in reply to Kitty. | February 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I questioned Eddie Scarry on Twitter, did he stand by what he wrote on The Blaze and Twitter? I asked again. He insulted, then blocked me.

    The Blaze is disappointing after a promising start – the comment section has always been an embarrassment. I’d hoped it and GBTV overall would be another story-breaker ala the “Big” sites. There’ve been too many sloppy mistakes in reporting to use The Blaze/GBTV as a primary or even secondary source.

    After having been the impetus for my involvement with 912/Tea Party/politics, I’ll bid Glenn Beck a fond ‘farewell and good luck’ when my GBTV subscription runs out.

    La-la-la and life goes on…

Yeah, Missouri’s “non-binding, random waste of cash” primary is a bit of a joke. I’m not even going out to bother, I haven’t decided if I’m going to Caucus yet.
In any case, the local news is focusing on the cost, presumably to make the repblicans look bad for holding a non-binding primary (they gloss over the fact that it’s state law that the primaries be held today, and the democrat governer vetoed a bill that would have moved them to March.)
I don’t get Santorum’s campaigning here at all, I’m not sure if he didn’t get the memo or if he figures he can effectively cheat a win out of our messed up system.

    Windy City Commentary in reply to tsrblke. | February 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I read the Krauthammer said that if Santorum wins Missouri, he can make the case that he is the not-Romney candidate and overtake Newt. So, let me get this straight; Santorum wins Iowa by 30 votes, a place he camped out in for months. Then, he wins Missouri (no delegates), where Newt is not even on the ballot. Newt wins South Carolina in a landslide, where everyone is on the ballot. Newt leads Santorum in delegates and money, yet somehow Santorum becomes the great not-Romney? I don’t think so.

“Dear Newt, you are great but…”

Missing the public appearance with the Nevada governor was the last straw for me. The post-caucus presser with the media (instead of with his supporters!) was very revealing in more ways than one; in retrospect I suspect that decision was yet another organizational snafu.

It’s not as if you haven’t had plenty of time in your life to surround yourself with the most capable managers and lay the groundwork for an effective presidential campaign.

Bottom line — If you can’t be a competent campaign CEO, then you are not qualified to be an Oval Office CEO.

[Newt, if you were a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, you’d be fired.
Oh, wait, you were fired!]

Sorry, Newt, I have moved you down on my list to a lowly third place.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to MerryCarol. | February 7, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Only people who have not been reading your comments for the past several weeks will fall for this. You have been a Romney supporter consistently, so no concern trolling please.

      Sorry, Professor, you are off base. Newt was at the top of my list for a very long time. Unfortunately, my hopes for him as the best presidential candidate have been dashed.

      At least I have the ability to recognize when my candidate is failing.

      My comments have merely been fair and balanced, not “concern trolling.”

      I have been objective and will remain objective until my primary ballot is in front of me.

      Here’s my list as of today:

      #1 Santorum
      #2 Romney
      #3 Gingrich
      #4 Paul

      Do you have a list? Or is Newt your only option?

      Why Vote for Rick Santorum?

      1.He championed the 1996 Welfare Reform Act
      2.He served 8 yrs on Senate Armed Services Committee
      3. He is for a strong stand against radical Islam, terrorism and Iran.
      4. He is for a strong stand for human rights in the world.
      5. He is the most socially conservative candidate: a long record on pro-life legislation; he promotes the importance of marriage and family as the foundation of our nation and a strong economy.
      6.He is for the Keystone pipeline; for eliminating job-killing energy policies and regulations that inhibit energy independence.
      7. He is for the elimination of all energy subsidies and tax credits and most agricultural subsidies.
      8.He is for a balanced budget amendment.
      9. He has been consistently opposed to a healthcare mandate and is for the repeal of ObamaCare.
      10.He is for the reduction of personal and corporate income tax rates and tax code reform that marriage and families.
      11.He is for the Ryan Plan Medicare reforms.
      12. He is for returning federal aid programs to the states.
      13. He is for securing the border and has a detailed plan for reforming immigration policies to discourage illegal immigrants; he is against amnesty.
      14. He is for confronting judicial activism and opposes legislation from the bench.
      15. He is for strengthening our nation’s world leadership through free markets, humanitarianism, a strong human-intelligence component, and championing freedom, equality and democracy.

      And possibly the best reason: Santorum rates particularly high on personal character, on sincerity, and on steadfastness of principle.

      The Case For Santorum

        tsrblke in reply to MerryCarol. | February 7, 2012 at 11:39 am

        Your #7 is well outweighed by the defacto subsidy he wants to give manufactoring with the 0% tax rate. That’s just another form of picking and choosing winners and losers at a federal level (not to mention a tax loophole accountants will drive a truck through).
        That alone is enough to make me turn tail and run from Santorum at the fastest pace possible.

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to MerryCarol. | February 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm

        You are boring.

    Raquel Pinkbullet in reply to MerryCarol. | February 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Just yesterday you were shilling for Mittens. Are you schizophrenic or just lying?

Recall, please, the reason that Minnesota ended the practice of having primaries for presidential candidates!

Back in the 1952 GOP presidential primary, Ike came in second, as a write-in candidate. And that moral victory gave him the impetus to go on and “deny” Senator Taft his INEVITABLE victory as the GOP nominee. My recollection is that 5-years later, both major party establishments kind of said “Never again” and thus Minnesota went to caucuses for the whole caboodle. The Hoi Polloi needed to be forceably reminded of who had the power, and wisdom, to run things.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Doug Wright. | February 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    A friendly reminder – Hoi Polloi is from the Greek -The masses . Its English usage meaning the ‘rabble’ dates from 1837.

    It is a common mistake . I have the Shorter Oxford dictionary -actually it is 2500 pages long & includes known dates of first use. of every known word in English.

    Cheers.

Beck did some good things on FOX with exposing Obama’s roots and some of the radicals in his administration. Beck had his successful rally in DC, but it almost turned into being just about him.

When he asked that we all pledge our fortunes, lives and sacred honor in pursuit of what the founders fought for, that could have been a seminal moment for a growing movement. But he instead turned it into “Beck Industry”, where you had to pay him to go to his web site.

His explanation for his profiteering was “hey, I’m a capitalist”. So his parading in front of his paintings of the founders was just a sales gimmick. He didn’t pledge or risk anything, he was MAKING his fortune off the movement. I don’t begrudge him his money, but the “pledge our fortunes” for thee but not for me, exposed him as a phony, or at least as a dishonest opportunist that used the Tea party vigor to sell his wares. (Perhaps it teaches that the Tea party has to remain largely grass roots, 200 million internet connected points of light)

Gingrich and Palin seem much closer to taking us back to the constitution than Romney, yet Beck seems intent on smearing them. Every day or two Beck would warn us that he’s an alcoholic, so perhaps that was some sort of “tell” or warning. But when he wasn’t too preachy or emotional, he did some good things on his FOX show.

Agree with Judson Phillips letter. Relate the positive message he’s running on at CPAC, appeal in particular to legislators, those running, and activists to join him in the message and agenda… day after CPAC, meet with those who will and get going. New campaign manager and consultants.

The historian in him seems to want the “Team of Rivals”. Rivals just don’t want to be on his team, because he is a reformer. He needs a “Team of Reformers”.

Come on Newt, you have the message, record and communication skills. Use CPAC as your strategic shift. Your last chance, I think.

StrangernFiction | February 7, 2012 at 11:14 am

“His [Santorum’s] approach was not effective and, frankly, I happen to believe if we’re going to change Washington we can’t just keep on sending the same people there in different chairs.”

So the guy that has the full backing of the GOP establishment is the outsider?

You really can’t make this stuff up. You really can’t. Romney reminds me more and more of Obama every day. He is a complete scumbag. A really deceitful SOB.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to StrangernFiction. | February 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    That is a direct rip off from Palin’s Indianola speech.

    To me it seems like The Republican Bureau deemed this the last straw & blocked her from any potential run.

    To see Romney use these sentiments is Twilight Zone.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | February 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

The Gov Christie link is not working for me, maybe double check it?

Raquel Pinkbullet | February 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

It’s ABR for me too. I can’t stress enough the importance of appointing strict constitutionalists to all the Courts, including of course the SCOTUS. The Left uses judicial nominations to legislate from the bench and further their agenda. Mittens judicial nominations in MA are VERY VERY troubling:

In First Two And A Half Years Of His Term, Romney Picked Democrats & Independents 75% Of The Time July 2005: Romney “Passed Over GOP Lawyers For Three-Quarters Of The 36 Judicial Vacancies” He Had Faced At That Time. “Governor Mitt Romney, who touts his conservative credentials to out-of-state Republicans, has passed over GOP lawyers for three-quarters of the 36 judicial vacancies he has faced, instead tapping registered Democrats or independents including two gay lawyers who have supported expanded same-sex rights, a Globe review of the nominations has found.”
 Romney’s Picks By The Numbers: “Of the 36 people Romney named to be judges or clerk magistrates, 23 are either registered Democrats or unenrolled voters who have made multiple contributions to Democratic politicians or who voted in Democratic primaries, state and local records show. In all, he has nominated nine registered Republicans, 13 unenrolled voters, and 14 registered Democrats.”
During His Full Term, Romney Chose Left-Leaning Jurists At Least 50% Of The Time At Least 46 Registered Democrats Or Democrat Donors: A study of Romney’s 80 nominations to the bench shows that Romney chose at least 46 nominees who were registered Democrats or independent voters who had contributed to Democratic campaigns.

Wow. I mean WOW!

Highly recommend following the link listed as “What in the World is Rick Santorum Thinking?”

It links to an article by Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator that reviews a lesser remembered (evidently) aspect of Reagan’s presidency, that being his space legacy.

A somewhat extended excerpt (But read the whole thing. Really):

[The Resolute Desk] gets its name because it was made from the timbers of a British ship, the HMS Resolute. Why were these timbers now the desk of the President of the United States?

The Resolute had been a ship meant for exploration. In this case, the 19th century exploration of the Arctic. In the middle of an 1853 expedition, the Resolute had become trapped, locked in the Arctic ice. By 1854, still locked in the ice, the Resolute was sealed up tight and abandoned, eventually floating free when it was discovered by an American whaler. The ship was saved by the Americans — and returned to the Royal Navy. Some 23 years later, with the Resolute decommissioned, as a show of gratitude Queen Victoria had timbers from the ship famous for exploring the mysteries of the Arctic made into a desk and presented as a gift from the British people to President Rutherford B. Hayes.

The night of the Challenger tragedy, a tragedy of space exploration, Ronald Reagan sat down at the Resolute desk, a desk that was itself the literal symbol of man’s quest for exploration over 100 years earlier. Reagan looked Americans in the eye, and, with an assist from his speechwriter Peggy Noonan, he said, in part this:

And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s take-off. I know it’s hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them…

We’ll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue…

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to OCBill. | February 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I remember that well.

    I also remember the trashing of the MIR space programs if it were a bit of rubbish falling around in space. Serial stories about it falling apart & being held to gether by men climbing out & tightening screws & hammering .

    In fact The USSR Mir space platform has been the blueprint for space since Reagen & the Challenger episodes. By going down that path the USSR had all the long term space habitation models.

    When the programs merged in the mid 90s American astronauts could not go because the USSR/Russian modules only allowed for those under 5’7′.

    BTW there are pics of Obama with his shoed feet up on the Resolute DEsk.

Ginrich is spot on. Get biblical on your own and let the president get us back to the constitution.

Jeffrey Lord’s piece is great. Here’s a link to Reagan’s speech. http://youtu.be/Qa7icmqgsow

Funny how Peggy Noonan forgets the speeches she wrote for Reagan like this one. Her recent column comments on the Florida primary has not a word about Reagan’s positive, expansive vision for America in space. Like this sweet section from Reagan’s speech:

“We’ve grown used to wonders in this century. It’s hard to dazzle us, but for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that.”

Reagan believed in wonders and dazzle because he believed in touching the face of God and American exceptionalism. With Gov. Romney wanting to fire people with a vision for space and Sen. Santorum who, though admitting that space is critical to national security, finding even national defense a luxury we can’t afford in today’s economy, Speaker Gingrich is the only candidate running who shares Reagan’s positive vision for America.

Cacuses are terrible. My father went to one in Las Vegas on Saturday, and it seemed conducive to only the most devoted individuals in the party. You were locked in a room for two hours with people you don’t know and forced to talk about your position and listen to others talk about theirs. While it sounded like a situation I would enjoy, I know plenty of people who simply wouldn’t vote if that was their only option, and we shouldn’t be disenfranchising those members of society. People can inform themselves fairly well since the advent of the internet (of course, access to the internet doesn’t exactly mean you’ll accept the most reasonable argument), so the purpose of the caucus seems out-dated.

No, I don’t agree that caucuses should be done away with. I do think that generally primaries are better but political parties should be free to make decisions as they wish (including by conventions), and caucuses in smaller states serve a useful purpose, allow lesser candidates to gain a foothold, and cost the candidates, parties and states a lot less.

    A caucus is fundamental to the concept called “Responsible Political Parties” (an actual term, not a commentary on how they act). The purpose of a caucus is to have motivated members of the political party in question choose its own candidates. People get to give their side but are also required to hear the other side. A primary is easier and seems more democratic (little ‘d’), but it also turns the decision over to people who may have only the foggiest notion who they’re voting for and little if any knowledge of what the political party should stand for. In a primary, voters may never hear that the negative ads they’ve been inundated with may in fact be false. In a caucus, they might get the chance to hear the truth. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but it’s supposed to be.

    The goal from the Party’s point of view is to weed out the beauty contest types and focus on selecting someone who actually represents the interests of the party itself.

    Of course, that was before people like McGovern learned they could flood the caucuses with young volunteers to skew the results in their favor. Hence McGovern got the Democratic nomination in 1972, and he didn’t actually represent the Democratic party, or much of anyone else it turned out.

Jeffrey Lord’s “Santorum Rejects Reagan Space Legacy” is well wort a few minutes of your time.

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/02/07/santorum-rejects-reagan-space/

I liked Lords piece. Good reminders and something we all wonder about even in non political terms. I keep asking myself “What have we become?”. Have we become so politically correct we no longer just dream things? Let alone share those dreams? Are there any real live explorer types at NASA anymore? Or are we content to do things “the safe way” and let private companies do the dangerous stuff.
Were over lawyered and over regulated to the point that its hard to believe the old “cowboys” were actually American.
Instead weve become a nation of sterile nitpickers who have seemingly nothing better to ponder than the imagined citizenship rights of Orca’s who we now think perhaps are held in a slave like relationshi at Seaworld.. Whats worse? Some imbecile of a Judge is actually going to entertain this bong induced fantasy in Court…a court we pay for.
Newt has his shortcommings but sheesh at least he still remembers a time when things were more sane.

Subotai Bahadur | February 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Sorry this took so long, but after I saw this this morning, I had to go out and shovel 6” of wet snow, and then do a bunch of things before getting ready for Caucus here in Colorado.

No, I don’t agree that Caucuses are awful, unless you believe that machine politics is the superior form of organization.

I don’t know how other states do it, but for us Caucus takes ½ to 1 hour [which is about what it takes to go vote in the primary or general election] once every two years. There are no real hoops to jump through. All you have to be is a registered Republican in the precinct you are caucusing in. They check your name off with the voter rolls as you come in. You are either in public venue [church, school, etc.] or at a private home. The most I have seen attend is 3 dozen. Mostly it is between 10 and 20.

If you want to have your say, this is the place. After the Pledge of Allegiance, and the reading of the agenda; what you do is elect two precinct committee persons for the next two years from those who attend. If you want to get active you can right there. If you want to change the direction of the party in the county, this is where you can do it; either by running or by voting. My county is largely TEA Party, because starting last Caucus, TEA Party supporters showed up. Mind you, the State Party is pure Institutional, but we are fighting that battle one county at a time.

You then elect delegates and alternates to the County Assembly and Convention. The number allocated is based on what percentage of registered Republicans in the precinct voted in the last general election. If you want to go, getting a slot to County is almost automatic if you are willing to go. Here in Colorado, the delegates to County sort out who gets on the primary ballot for all county offices [you need the votes of 20% of the delegates] AND if you are a delegate or alternate you can run to attend the higher Assemblies and Conventions that your County is part of. Such as State House District, State Senate District, District Attorney, Congressional District, and the State Assembly and Convention. Each higher Assembly and Convention sorts out who gets on the primary election ballot for their Assembly. The State Convention also elects delegates to the National convention from amongst its delegates. This sort of bottom up arrangement keeps the professional politicians and activists in line.

In primary states, the members of the party have no real voice in the selection of either candidates at all levels or who runs the party at all levels. Those in back rooms decide who runs the precinct and counties, who the candidates who get on the primary ballots are, and who gets supported.

The Caucus system is closer to the New England Town Meeting. It is a counterweight to the machine. I want a voice in choosing my local, state, and national candidates. Not the Institutionals who really do not care about our concerns because they have a good gig, and in a primary state cannot be ousted.

It means that once every two years, you have to actually show up and express your opinions ….. if you want to. If you don’t, then don’t come. But then do not complain that you did not have a chance. That hour gives you the right to complain and be heard.

Personal story. Up until 1980, I was an active Democrat. Including caucus and convention. By 1980, I had figured out that 4 more years of Carter would destroy the country. In those days, you did not run a campaign [like Romney] out of an advertising agency. You had to convince the locals to get out and work for you. In 1980 George HW Bush put an ad in the paper in Denver saying he would meet with anyone about running for president. I, and about 3 dozen others attended. For 3 hours we all talked, and he convinced some of us to work for him. Not an ad agency. Not a directive from Karl Rove. He had to prove himself worthy.

I changed registration the next day. Because I was willing to do so, I was able to go all the way to state convention for him. In a Caucus system, you are not blocked out by the powers that be. We need more retail politics, not wholesale from a national HQ that neither knows nor cares about anything in Flyover Country.

Subotai Bahadur

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