Free Forum Friday April 22 Edition

Ensign Resigns

Another lively week.

Senator John Ensign resigned today (see our Senate Seat Series article on the NV Race).

The DOW hit another post-crash high this week.

It was the anniversary of Columbine, Waco, Oklahoma City, and Deepwater Horizon.

Alabama’s Judge Moore announced a Presidential exploratory committee.

Donald Trump has been getting blowback for his birtherism.

Paul Ryan has been getting blowback for his proposal to use Medicare vouchers to pay for another high-end tax cut.

President Obama hit the campaign trail.

Tell us what you think. It’s open mic night.

Free Forum Fridays are an open discussion where commenters are invited to bring up topics that may not have been covered in the previous week. Got something on your mind? Throw your opinion out there.

About dcpetterson

D. C. Petterson is a novelist and a software consultant in Minnesota who has been writing science fiction since the age of six. He lives with his wife, a seriously affectionate pit bull, a cat, and a bearded dragon, and insists that grandchildren are the reward for having survived teenagers. When not writing stories or software, he plays guitar, engages in political debate, and reads a lot of history and physics texts for fun.
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95 Responses to Free Forum Friday April 22 Edition

  1. filistro (on behalf of drfunguy) says:

    drfunguy says:
    April 22, 2011 at 08:21 (Edit)

    Several NYT articles caught my attention this morning.
    “A New York Times/CBS News Poll released on Thursday found that 45 percent of Republicans think that Mr. Obama was born in another country, while 33 percent said he was born in America.” Do the other 22 percent think he is Satan?

    “Poll Finds Lack of Passion for Republican [Presidential] Candidates”
    Well, we knew that already. Ms former Gov. Quitterpants and Huckabee are most favorably viewed by Republicans, but Qp has the highest negatives as well.

    “Cash Crunch for G.O.P. Freshmen in Tough Districts”

    In summary, delusional Republicans await their messiah before opening their wallets.

  2. filistro says:

    These are all Doc’s FFF topics, not mine (though I love ’em all! 🙂 I moved his post up from the thread below but couldn’t move the avatar.

    Doc… weigh in here!

  3. filistro says:

    @Doc…. Do the other 22 percent think he is Satan?

    Actually, yes. There are always lengthy posts over at Freeperville solemnly listing all the signs and portents indicating that Barack Obama is the Antichrist.

    That’s why he occasionally feels the need to mention, from the podium, that he “doesn’t have horns.”

  4. drfunguy says:

    Thanks for moving those over.
    I think that all of these article point to weaknesses on the R side in 2012.
    Pushing the birther meme is a requirement for the wingnut brigade that often dominates the primaries. You can see this in both Huckabee and Trump’s use of it. If they can’t excite their base about their presidential candidates turnout will go against them in the elections. And of course money drives the whole thing, even more since the Citizens United ruling. It may be early to tell who is winning the money race but the in case cited the Congressman has raised only 1/2 what he did during the same reporting period in 2010.

  5. drfunguy says:

    One point of clarification:
    I think that being a birther (or at least giving it a wink and a nod) will be a requirement for winning the Republican presidential nomination but will make it much harder to win over moderates and independants in the general election.
    Trump-Palin 2012!

  6. filistro says:

    The birther meme has been so destructive to the GOP, and has spread like a foul odor so quickly since Trump exposed it, that I almost suspect dirty tricks from our side. It’s like somebody is giving Donald money under the table to do this. Rahm? Carville&Begala?

    It really does have a “war room” feel to it.

    Whatever the provenance, they couldn’t have come up with a better strategy to turn off Indies and make the GOP look batshit crazy, hideously racist and REALLY SCARY.

    No wonder rove et al are having fits. Half a billion dollars in campaign ads will not be able to counter this. Pure gold for the Dems.

  7. dcpetterson says:

    Interesting NYT poll out today.

    Rising gas prices and persistent unemployment have pushed American pessimism to levels not seen since President Barack Obama took office. The number of Americans who think the economy is getting worse jumped 13 percent in just one month, The New York Times/CBS News poll showed.

    The public blame for the state of the economy has not spared the Republican led Congress. Some 75 percent of those polled disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job. By comparison, 57 percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, the poll showed.

    As usual, though, the pollsters didn’t ask why people felt the way they did. Instead, they assume the reasons are what the pollster wants us to think.

    It’s interesting to me that The Public has a lower view of the Republicans’ handling of the economy than of Obama’s,and that The Public is significantly more pessimistic now than it was a month ago. In the last month, the Republicans in the House have been flexing their muscle. I suspect The Public doesn’t like what it’s been seeing — the silliness over threatening to shut down the gubmint, the attempt to kill Big Bird, the desire to dismantle Medicare. All of it instead of trying to create jobs like the Republicans promised to do.

    Perhaps what The Public doesn’t like about Obama is that he’s perceived as caving in to some of the Republican senseless rhetoric — that a recession is the time to cut off stimulus spending, and that the way to cut is to enact a right-wing social agenda. Obama’s popularity numbers drop whenever he makes a deal with the Republicans. You’d think someone would catch on.

  8. rgbact says:


    Problem is, alot of independents question the birth certificate. Fox Poll had 41% of independents saying their is “cause to wonder” about the BC. I’m not saying its a winning issue–but not sure its exactly death for someone with the independents . I doubt Trump would jump on it if he thought it would kill him with moderates.

  9. filistro says:

    @ DC, regarding public mood…

    The Republicans have been offering the country a pretty stark choice.

    We can either:

    1.) make Grandma eat dog food


    2.) become Greece

    No wonder everybody is bummed. Apparently they overwhelmingly want Option 3… “make millionaires shoulder a bit more of the burden.”

    As soon as that becomes the new tax policy (and it surely will, the voters are simply not going to tolerate anything else) then everybody is going to cheer up A LOT.

  10. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact –

    Was FOX polling actual independents? or Republican voters who are too embarrassed to admit they always vote Republican?

    In any case, point taken — low-information voters are always a problem, aren’t they?

  11. filistro says:

    @rgb… but not sure its exactly death for someone with the independents .

    Yes. It is.

    It is DEATH.

    And Trump has “jumped on it” for the publicity… not the electoral boost. What does he care that he is ruining GOP chances up and down ballot in 2012? He’s accomplishing his goal… getting eyeballs for “Celebrity Apprentice.”

    But it’s not Trump’s fault. It’s the fault of all those ugly racists who simply cannot accept that a black man can be a legitimate president. They’re getting exactly what they deserve. And I’m LOVING it.

  12. dcpetterson says:


    Here’s something to cheer you up

    Patriotic Millionaires: Patriotic is the act of being loyal to or fostering positive and supportive attitudes towards one’s country. A millionaire is a person whose material wealth is valued at more than a million dollars. Patriotic Millionaires are the millionaires who devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country and national loyalty. Patriotic Millionaires are unselfishly devoted to the service of country.

    USA’s wealthiest taxpayers have appealed to President Obama not to renew the Bush tax cuts for anyone earning more than $1 million per year. Calling themselves as Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength. The 40-plus signers launched a website and started Fiscal Strength campaign that they hope will draw support from others who agree that fiscal responsibility should begin with those who can best afford it.

  13. filistro says:

    DC… Patriotic Millionaires

    You know, that DOES cheer me up. It’s actually quite wonderful.

    Thank you 🙂

  14. rgbact,

    I doubt Trump would jump on it if he thought it would kill him with moderates.

    I don’t. I doubt he wants the job. His behavior says he’s chasing dollars, not running for office.

  15. Max aka Birdpilot says:


    It is death!

    40% of the voters go for one party or the other. Elections are ALWAYS a fight over the remaining 20%. (Give or take a couple percentage points either way)

    So, if even as many as 41% of the indies go the GOP side, that leaves 59% who most probably think those guys are nuts! With 6 out of 10 indies then going Dem in 2012, that means a 52-48 spread IN FAVOR of Obama and the Dems, not far off the 53-46 results in 2008.

  16. rgbact says:


    Where’s the list of millionare names? I saw a site cluttered with ads that it appears some one wrote something that may or may not be true in order to drive traffic to their ads. Did I miss something? Btw, having a net worth of $1M is far different than having income of $1M.

  17. filistro says:

    New NYT CBS poll… “which of the possible Republican candidates are you excited about?”

    No One… 56%

    Next highest: Mitt Romney… 9%

  18. rgbact says:


    I’ll be happy if in 2012 we get a “capable” president, not an “exciting” one. But given “excitement” and “coolness” is literally all Obama has going for him….I’m not surprised you focus on that quality.

  19. Kylopod says:

    “Independent” is not the same thing as “swing voter.” Studies have shown that most independents are closet partisans. It is possible to win a presidential election while losing the indie vote: W. did in ’04, as did Carter in ’76.

  20. rgbact says:


    Now its just >$1M income rates? Any estimates on how much that will raise? I heard that if we confiscated all the income of millionares….we’d still have deficit? Anyway, given we spent 70% more than we took in last year, simple deduction implies its gonna take alot more than gouging 1% of the populace to solve our deficit.

  21. filistro says:

    rgb… people who are not excited do not go to the polls. Nor do they volunteer for campaigning and GOTV efforts. Most of all… they don’t send money.

    Lack of excitement is a big, BIG problem for any political party.

    Nevertheless, rgb, I do have to admire your fighting spirit. You are just indomitable, aren’t you?

    I wish you were on our side 😉

  22. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact, you’re welcome to argue your points with the Patriotic Millionaires. I can’t speak for them.

  23. rgbact says:


    Ah, so that explains Harry Reid’s success last Nov. He had people off the hook excited. I can name many blah politicians that got people out to vote. Again, I think you’re fousing on the quality you think Obama has—and making it a crucial one.

    Doesn’t help if you also “excite” the other side either. Gonna me alot of Dem leaners that say “meh, Romney’s not so bad” that decide to sit 2012 out.

  24. NotImpressed says:

    On “excitement.” A year ago, conservatives were all over the “enthusiasm gap.” It was gonna gives us that tsunami of Biblical proportions. Now, “excitement” doesn’t matter. Hmmm….

  25. rgbact says:


    I think when you’re massively in the minority, there will tend to be an enthusiasm gap. Now both sides are pretty even so its time to govern—which isn’t nearly as exciting.

    On the state level, you may be right. The GOP’s major advantages in many states will likely lead to an enthusiam gap which plays well for the Dems in 2012. I guess until jobs start coming back—politicians can expect very short careers.

    Were people excited by Hillary in 2010?

  26. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Were people excited by Hillary in 2010?

    Damn right, they were. That was a pretty tight nomination process.

    Had her idiot of a political strategist competed everywhere, she may well have won the nomination. I see that Penn, just recently, had been sticking his head above ground for the first time in two years. 🙂

  27. WA7th says:

    Here is an interesting stat I’ve been following off and on for the past year, ever since Nate posted his “Is Obama more famous than Paris Hilton?” story on the old FiveThirtyEight.

    One thing I find worth noting is that, according to Google, Nate received no “NYT bounce” in popularity by moving to NYT. One would expect the doldrums to set in after election day 2010,but not quite as much as they actually did.

  28. WA7th says:

    “Were people excited by Hillary in 2010?”

    The most negative reaction I ever received on FiveThirtyEight to one of my comments was after Obama’s first big primary victory in ’08. I snarked an I-told-u-so something like “Looks like ‘anyone but Hillary’ might just win after all.” The reaction I got was similar to the reactions that Pete Kent, Mule Rider, and Bart were regularly getting.

  29. WA7th, the one thing that will really confuse the comment editor on this site is having a tag that you intended to close, but was closed with the slash after the code. It ends up having a double-open, but the auto-closer only closes one of ’em. That’s what you did.

    No big deal. At least this one is better about closing the tags than the previous version of 538 Refugees.

  30. filistro says:

    Off-topic… (oh wait, it’s FFF… there IS no topic)… but I was researching something the other day and wandered into Firedoglake. Good grief, what a fever swamp that place is! Their hatred for Obama is so visceral and ferocious, they make the Freepers look lovingly benign.

    So my question for any of you who are Firedoggers… what’s the genesis of this intense loathing? Did you guys just get this way because of various disappointments? Is it all about the public option? Or are you all PUMA’s who’ve hated Obama right from the beginning?

  31. WA7th says:


    The only time I went to FDL was to read “kill the bill” comments during the height of the healthcare debate when FDL and FiveThirtyEight were arguing back-and-forth with one another. The Obama loathing was at full froth then, and appeared to me to be 99% PUMAism, so I would bet that it still is all about Hillary with them.

  32. filistro says:

    WA7th… I would bet that it still is all about Hillary with them.

    Thanks… I find that comforting. I find it hard to imagine what the president could have done to inspire such intense hatred from people on his own side… but if they’ve ALWAYS hated him, it explains a lot.

    I can’t recall any on the right ever hating Bush with that kind of fervency. Even though they really disliked his views on immigration, the prescription drug bill, the “Islam is a religion of peace” stuff, etc, etc, they still remained essentially loyal.

    But then… we’re Dems, aren’t we? Divisions R Us.

  33. rgbact says:


    Looks like Sun News…a Fox News wannabee….started broadcasting in Canada this week. Has their been angst among the Canadian liberal media over this development? Or are Canadians so much more refined than hick Americans that RW racist hate media has no future up there?

  34. Mr. Universe says:

    RE: Former Alabama Justice Roy Moore’s exploratory committee.

    Shortest expedition ever.

  35. filistro says:

    @rgb.. Or are Canadians so much more refined than hick Americans that RW racist hate media has no future up there?

    Yup, they are 🙂

    Seriously, Canadians don’t have much taste for sensationalism or extreme views. I have to get my fill of FOX when I’m at my place in Vegas because most markets don’t even carry it up here…. not enough demand.

    Years ago we had a vicious serial killer named Paul Bernardo, a handsome yuppie guy who worked with his equally attractive wife to lure, rape torture and murder teenaged girls. The story would have been front page news for years in the US.. but in Canada all pre-trial details were under a publication ban and the public LIKED it that way. When Bernardo and his wife finally went to trial, newspapers and TV stations were required by law to report the court proceedings, but readers and viewers across the country were outraged by the ugliness of the crimes and the distress caused to the families of victims. They threatened en masse to cancel their subscriptions if details of the crimes were published, so news outlets had to tiptoe around and use the sketchiest of reporting.

    Folks are just really different up here.

  36. shiloh says:

    Harry Reid’s success last Nov.

    Harry won because he was running against a loon 😀 ie no competition and the liberal/moderate Latino minority did not stay home in a low turn-out mid-term.

    Thank you TP’ers! 😛

    It’s that basic ie you can’t beat an incumbent something w/nothing, ask John Kerry.

    And speaking of “beating something w/nothing” lol ie the 2012 presidential election ~ When your conservative, wingnut, TP’er opposition is imploding all around you, get the hell out of the way …

    When you find yourself in the majority ie Paul Ryan, it’s time to pause and reflect! ~ Mark Twain

    Again, how did Barack Hussein O’bama get soooo damn lucky …

  37. dcpetterson says:

    Barack Hussein O’bama

    Are you claiming he’s secretly i>Irish? We gotta see his birth certificate…

    Anyway, he’s not lucky. The time is right. An African American could never have gotten elected President before now.

    And whenever one did, now or a hundred years from now, the utterly batsh!t reactionary racist regressives were bound to come out, and to reveal the discomforting underside of America that hasn’t accepted the end of slavery, and that still views black people as sub-human. And this lurking ugliness is so offensive to the soul of America that, when it came out, America would recoil in horror.

    The ugliness can’t help but lash out — so we have the Tea Party. But it must put on a cute and pretty face, or the horror will be too obvious. So we have Sharon Angle, and Michele Bachmann, and Saran Palin. And we have Mike Huckabee, who tries to hide this ugliness with a charismatic and friendly exterior. But also we have that nutcase Koran-burner. And the birthers, who begat Donald Trump. And the reationaries are such a powerful force, like a subconscious Freudian anal compulsion, that it would inevitably take over the opposition party. So even someone of the stature of John McCain, who made his name as a moderate maverick, had to succumb to their pressure, and turn into a right wing ideologue just to survive as a Republican.

    It wasn’t luck. It was inevitable.

  38. drfunguy says:

    “Canadians don’t have much taste for sensationalism or extreme views. ”
    I thought that the issue was the prohibition on presenting lies as news; my understanding is that is illegal up here. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  39. Armchair Warlord says:

    Canada is north of the liberal northern US, so it kind of stands to reason that it is itself super-liberal.

    What I’ve never understood is why Canadians complain about American politics being so conservative when if they joined the Union their votes would condemn the Republicans to the status of a permanent, persecuted minority in American government. And we could adopt their healthcare system and our troubles would be o-vah. But I don’t understand a lot of things about Canadian politics, so I guess it shows.

  40. WA7th says:

    The ugliness can’t help but lash out

    Had we been blessed instead with the first female President, we would have spent the past two years deflecting the “Why do you hate cookies, Motherhood, and therefore Freedom?” question, at the very least.

  41. filistro says:

    @doc.. I thought that the issue was the prohibition on presenting lies as news; my understanding is that is illegal up here.

    Actually that’s true, but Canada doesn’t look on FOX as news; they view it as entertainment. They just don’t find it that entertaining.

    @ Armchair Warlord… Canadians would be very miffed to learn that anybody thinks the influence of the liberal northern US spreads upward. Since the vast majority of Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border, they like to think their positive influence seeps downward. 😉

  42. WA7th says:

    I don’t understand a lot of things about Canadian politics

    No kidding, it’s like they think they’re, like, a separate country or something. Like, how stuck-up is that?

  43. WA7th says:

    Like, how many people ever even heard of Canaidia anyway?

  44. shortchain says:


    Actually, in a truly liberal country, there wouldn’t be any “persecuted minority”.

  45. filistro says:

    shortchain… there will always be a persecuted minority. If there isn’t one, we humans will create one.

    It’s how we roll.

  46. shortchain says:


    And, of course, there’s always that group of people for whom the inability to control other people’s lives makes them feel persecuted…

  47. filistro says:

    shortchain.. LOL.

    For some people, life just isn’t worth living if they can’t push others around.

    Studies show it’s a mindset that develops in pre-school and (for certain individuals) persists throughout life.

  48. Canada is north of the liberal northern US

    Right. Those liberal states of Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. Not to mention sharing a huge border with that leftist Alaska. Even the portion of the border that’s shared with Washington is shared primarily with the very conservative part of the state (which has more in common with Idaho than with Seattle).

  49. teevagirl says:

    I watched Cspan this am and ?Mr. Roth from the Club for Growth was on. What is the feedback for this group?

  50. shiloh says:

    Are you claiming he’s secretly Irish?

    lol as I’ve done that a couple times the past (3) years. Actually, Obama’s great great grandfather came from County Offaly. Barack Obama is IRISH!

    My mom, Catherine Rose is 100% shanty 😛 Irish: Conroy/Brady/Harty/O’Halloran. Her mom was Catherine Rose Brady and hated being called Katie Brady, so no one could call my mom Katie. My mom’s ancestors were from County Clare, down the road a piece from County Offaly. ~ I digress.


    What’s the difference between an Irish wake and Irish wedding? ~ One less drunk!

    May you live as long as you want,
    And never want as long as you live.

  51. Todd Dugdale says:

    MR wrote:
    This time we’ll burn the whole sum-bitch to the ground to where no one will claim victory. There will be no surrender nor no quarter offered.

    Hey, isn’t there supposed to some kind of obligatory hand-wringing and whining when these kind of statements are made? Or is that only when someone on the Left makes a comment that is remotely confrontational? For example, sticking up for union rights is something that poses grave dangers to our democracy, but threatening to destroy the entire country is something worth shrugging off.

  52. drfunguy says:

    @Todd Dugdale
    That’s just Mule Rider when he’s off his meds.
    Displaying the finest Christian tradition of tolerance and humility.

  53. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Off his meds and halfway through another bottle of courage.

  54. Todd Dugdale says:

    Okay, got it. Talking about peaceful demonstrations, voter organising, and using electoral means to advance a cause is worrisome and divisive.
    Massive nationwide violence and the use of extra-judicial and extra-legal means to eliminate political opposition, however, is something that we laugh off.

    There are about 250k “sovereign citizens” in the U.S. who reject the authority of law, the Courts, the President, and Congress. They openly talk of armed rebellion, and have been caught with caches of arms and plans to carry out violence. They have established their own parallel government. But all of that is just humorous, too.

  55. Mule Rider says:

    “Massive nationwide violence and the use of extra-judicial and extra-legal means to eliminate political opposition, however, is something that we laugh off.”

    Need I remind you, shit-for-brains, that AW was the first to talk about making conservatives part of a “persecuted minority.”

    And I’m/we’re supposed to shrug/laugh that off?

    You need to come off it…

  56. Mule Rider says:

    Kudos to shortchain for being the only one to step in and chide AW’s original comment as being antithetical to a true liberal democracy.

    But I love how the rest of you swarmed to my retaliatory comment – which was just meant to stick up for my “side” over the wishful thinking of making us a “persecuted minority” – like flies to shit.

  57. Mule Rider says:

    “Displaying the finest Christian tradition of tolerance and humility.”

    I love how someone takes a grossly intolerant view towards Christians/conservatives/Republicans/etc. and nary a word is said but when one of ’em responds with a little bark to make it known they won’t go down without a fight, the accusations come flying that they’re the one who is intolerant.

    Give me a freakin’ break….

    This is real simple….don’t use language that would insinuate you’re going to make me part of a persecuted class and I won’t use language to insinuate that I’d burn the country down before letting it happen….

  58. drfunguy says:

    “I love how someone takes a grossly intolerant view towards Christians”
    What intolerant view towards Christians?
    I am intolerant of your hateful and bile-filled garbage.
    You are capable of reasoned discourse but sometimes choose to be nothing more than a potty-mouth.

  59. rgbact says:


    Canada has a whole province that wants to secede. Good luck with them corraling America into a grand socialist “super government” and keeping everyone together. I wouldn’t mind if they let say the Northeast secede to Canada though. Then let California go alone. May be better for everyone at this point.

  60. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Yeah, kinda like Perry’s secessionist mumblings here in Texas.

    Then he takes $5+ billion in stimulus money so he can balance the state budget.

    Now he’s asking for federal emergency money to help pay for the wildfires.

    Smarmy, lying hypocrite.

  61. Mr. Universe says:

    Ha! Caller on Stephanie Miller’s show regarding Palin, Romney, and Trump,

    “I quit, I’m Mitt, and I’m full of (it)”

  62. Mule Rider says:

    “What intolerant view towards Christians?”

    AW made a comment wishing to see Republicans as part of a persecuted minority – his very words – if Canada was grafted into the Union as part of the American government. It doesn’t take much of a stretch to see that as intolerance towards the groups that make up the majority of the Republican voting base…..Christians/conservatives.

    “I wouldn’t mind if they let say the Northeast secede to Canada though. Then let California go alone. May be better for everyone at this point.”

    Yeah, no kidding. I’d gladly let them and a few more go their merry way if they’d just nut up and do it.

  63. shortchain says:


    a) AW’s comment was clearly more in the nature of painting a snarky scenario rather than a wish. I’m pretty sure that AW would regard such an outcome with a degree of loathing significantly higher than you might think.

    b) My reply was not a defense of “liberal democracy” so much as a snark in defense of democracy with a “liberal” majority. And besides, although I like Canadians, especially filistro, there are aspects of Canadian democracy I don’t really care for. This “royalty” stuff. I’m a diehard republican in that sense of the term, and I have no time for hereditary nobility — or hereditary wealth, for that matter.

    Your snark detector, at least, is out of whack. See if you can get it calibrated, comrade.

  64. dcpetterson says:

    After the Tuscon shooting, we were told, quite firmly, that conservatives don’t intend any of their rhetoric about revolution and secession and totin’ guns to be taken seriously.

    It’s all just sort of fun noises they make with their mouths, like a kid going “Brrrrrr!” while he sits in a wagon and pretends he’s driving a race car. Conservatives never intend to appear that they’re actually advocating violence, or even that they are aware that the sounds they’re making have actual, you know, meaning.

    So, when a conservative makes those kinds of mouth sounds, just smile paternally and wait for him to go back to playing with the dolls with tricorn hats and Confederate flags.

  65. Armchair Warlord says:


    The conservative zone in the Great Plains is generally understood to extend into the Canadian Great Plains. There are versions of the Jesusland map including Alberta as a red state. 😉

    Furthermore, the human terrain of the West Coast is dominated by the coastal regions of the West Coast states. I’ve driven through eastern Oregon and eastern California – there is literally nothing there. It’s a colossal desert, suitable only for ranching and artillery live-fires.


    I am a Christian and a conservative. One can make a statement of fact without necessarily wishing for it to happen – conservatism in America would be stone-cold dead if Canada joined the Union.

  66. rgbact says:


    You youself said you don’t know much about Canadian politics. Given Stephen Harper has been PM for 5 years, yet we have the most liberal president in 40 years in the US–I find all this talk about Canadian liberal utopia pretty devoid of reality. Also, your intstinct to suggest a “mega-government” to have a “persecuted minority” is gonna rub many the wrong way.

  67. shortchain says:


    I’m just wondering: are we supposed to accept that “we have the most liberal president in 40 years ” as fact, or is there some basis upon which you can pin such an outrageous statement? (Note: “studies” by the Heritage Foundation and statements by John Kyl not accepted in evidence.)

  68. Armchair Warlord says:


    Also, your intstinct to suggest a “mega-government” to have a “persecuted minority” is gonna rub many the wrong way.

    Are you trying to imply something here?

    If you have something to say, how about you come out and say it.

    I think your reply on this issue will illuminate much of the thinking of the modern conservative movement regarding where they see themselves in American society. I think I, quite by accident, hit a very sensitive nerve indeed.

  69. rgbact says:


    New HC plan plus biggest jump in domestic spending in 40 years. Who’s more liberal than that? Reagan?


    You made a statement about Canada joining the Union to ram thru liberal policies. I “implied” that is pretty crazy given we are close to rebellion just over PPACA and there are better “remedies” to getting your beloved liberalism enacted. Your statement struck me as not all “conservative” and more “one-world government” type stuff.

  70. filistro says:

    Jeez, people! CONTEXT!!!

    Here’s what AW said: What I’ve never understood is why Canadians complain about American politics being so conservative when if they joined the Union their votes would condemn the Republicans to the status of a permanent, persecuted minority in American government.

    Is he saying this is what HE wants? NO.

    Is he saying he hates conservatives? NO.

    Is he saying conservatives deserve to be a persecuted minority? NO

    Is he dissing Christians? NO. (good grief)

    Is he dissing the South? NO.

    He’s saying that joining the US should appeal to liberal Canadians because then they would get to dilute the conservative majority in the US.

    Armchair Warlord is a staunch conservative, and a Christian, and a huge booster of the military. And a very smart guy.

    And unlike his critics on this thread… he’s actually able to read.

  71. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Now THAT’S one pissed off Canuck!

  72. filistro says:

    @Max… damn straight.

    And you really don’t want to mess with a pissed off Canuck!

  73. filistro says:

    PS.. Max, that’s a very interesting new avatar. You’re a deep guy, aren’t you? 😉

  74. filistro says:

    And BTW… Canada is really not all that liberal. Americans THINK Canadians are liberal because of their stance on social issues, but that’s not really true. Canadians are just very much “mind your own business” kind of people, and simply feel social issues like abortion, religion and gay marriage are no business of the government, they are a personal individual choice.

    OTOH Canadians are keenly interested in fiscal matters and they vote for politicians who are good money managers. The election currently underway up here is being fought almost entirely in the arena of taxing and spending, and the conservatives are going to win again on those issues alone.

  75. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    In a cubic foot, Rodin, as simply as possible, expresses a defining moment.

    Funny, it’s only 3rd favorite on my Rodin list, behind Idole Eternelle (have) and #1 La Belle Heaulmiere (cannot find anywhere!).

    Thought it would be better than either of my Remingtons.

  76. rgbact says:


    I get a bit peeved about people making the assumption that the rest of the world is one big socialist utopia and the US is essentially isolated with its crazed freepers. Given the leader of Canada for 5 years now is a conservative “nerd” with an MS in economics while we have a charismatic community organizer from the South Side of Chicago in the US….it all just doesn’t pass the smell test. But, I admit to being a typical American thats ignorant about Canada and many other countires. I’m plan to watch the Canada campaign though to inform myself.

  77. drfunguy says:

    “the leader of Canada for 5 years now is a conservative ”
    Other than being from the (Canadian) conservative party how does Harper meet your criteria for promoting conservative policies?
    He is against Universal single payer Healthcare? Nope
    In favor of banking deregulation? Nope
    Death Penalty? Nope
    Restricting abortion rights? Nope (not that he’ll admit).
    Tell me in what way you see Harper as conservative by US standards.

  78. filistro says:

    rgb… the problem in the States is that the Republicans have succeeded in making “conservative” be all about the views of a group primarily motivated by religious zeal… so much so that people don’t really think about it much anymore, they just accept it. In actual fact, “conservative” should be about a party’s approach to fiscal policy… and yet George Bush was considered a very “conservative” president while spending more than any previous administration ever and virtually never vetoing any spending bill. His conservatism lay in the fact the he “accepted Jesus as his savior.” That’s why when Armchair Warlord jokes about “conservatives,” Muley construes it as an attack on Christians.

    In America, “conservative” means “Christian” and “liberal” means “secular.”

    In Canada, religion is not in any way a part of politics. I live here much of the time and pay pretty close attention, , and I honestly don’t know what religion any of the major party leaders follow. An atheist would have no problem being elected in Canada. Nobody would care. They’d just want to know his/her plans for the deficit and the tax rates, and keeping health care solvent.

    You probably don’t consider me very conservative, but I have been voting in Canadian elections for a good long time, and I have never once, not ever, cast a vote for any candidate other than a Conservative.

  79. shortchain says:


    Sorry, passing a Republican HC plan isn’t “liberal”.

    And as far as “biggest jump in domestic spending in 40 years” — in y2000 dollars, the percentage increase in nondefense spending 2004-2008: 11.4 percent. In y2000 dollars, the percentage increase in nondefense spending 2008-2010: 2.9 percent.

    I conclude that you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Not that “nondefense spending” is necessarily the mark of a “liberal”. Bush and his fellow Republicans, after all, did get that Medicare drug benefit passed, which was a huge spending increase (most of which went to the drug companies, thanks to that “can’t bargain clause” they stuck in).

  80. Whatevs says:

    given we are close to rebellion just over PPACA

    That’s a big pantload. The disagreement over PPACA is between the majority of the nation and a hanful of conservatives who want to privatize everything under the sun and a following of boobs who believe anything they’re told about health care reform.

  81. shortchain says:

    Michael, or MR, if you are still here, I came across this. What do you think?

  82. shortchain, I agreed with everything in that article, except one. I’m not home, though, and writing on a phone is too hard for something that detailed…so I’ll be back with more.

    Off to dinner.

  83. Mr. Universe says:

    Ohhhhh. Rodin. I see it now. Been meaning to ask about that.

    Favourite Rodin is the Martyrs in Paris.

  84. Max aka Birdpilot says:


    I presume you are speaking of The Burghers?

  85. Mr. Universe says:


    I thought it was called the Martyrs of Calais? I last visited it many years ago. Memory failing, got a case of CRS.

  86. drfunguy says:

    I believe that is the Burghers of Calais
    I got to see an large travelling exhibit of Rodin at the East Wing of the National Gallery once, about 1982-3; awesome.
    My favorite is the Kiss but I am a lustful romantic at heart.

  87. Mr. Universe says:

    That’s my next favourite. He so captured the essence. It’s like medieval soft porn. Only tasteful. That’s how someone oughta be kissed.

  88. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Unlike Iris, which is REAL porn.

  89. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I’ve had the opportunity to view the Cantor Rodin Collection. I understand that “Cantor” is now the 2nd largest private collection behind that of Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire. Not too long ago Slim opened a museum in Cancun that houses the Rodin’s as well as his other “stuff”, something over 60,000 pieces.

    Musee Rodin in France, of course, is top dog.

  90. Max aka Birdpilot says:


    You may want to peek atthis .

  91. filistro says:

    Max, you ARE an interesting guy. That’s a pretty eclectic display… love the Remingtons! And the Faberge egg….

    All I can say is… that must be some sailboat you live on ! 🙂

  92. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Primary reason why I HAVEN’T become a full-time liveaboard. What the heck to do with all the STUFF???

  93. Almost forgot to come back to this. The thing I disagree with is the premise that banks aren’t lending just because the economy sucks. There’s far more to it. Lending decisions are ultimately made by people, and people are gunshy after major bad things happen. Right now, lending is very tight because people are afraid of 2008 happening all over again. So they’re being overly cautious, in the same way that they were not cautious enough in 2006.

    Loosening those purse strings will take a while of good times.

    Oh, one other thing…inflation can be caused by increased money supply, but that’s hardly the only cause. I think Mule’s motivation for disbelieving any possible deflation is the degree to which everything in the economy is dependent on petroleum in one way or another. A decreased money supply can push things toward deflation, but a decreased petroleum supply has the opposite effect. Right now, it looks like the oil effect will be more significant.

  94. shortchain says:


    Thanks very much. I especially agree about the petroleum.

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