Blogito, ergo sum (with apologies to Descartes).  This mostly-for-fun blog is written in a freeform stream-of-consciousness manner (a polite way of saying "uncoordinated, unstructured and unedited") and represents a dialogue between Yhos and the quasi-holy triumvirate of me, myself and I (making just enough for bridge) while we are reading the newspapers and the blogs in the order they are encountered during the day.  It touches base on just about anything and everything that catches my interest...yes, even those things out in left field.  And, okay, sometimes I get too serious, although I try to avoid that whenever I can.  Everything you see expressed herein is the current opinion of the four of us (although some civilizing effort by my wife is acknowledged) and subject to change upon sober reflection, however unlikely some friends tell me that seems to be going to happen.  Guiding editorial philosophy: what you do should be fun.  Guiding investigative reporter philosophy: cui bono?  My best advice for you folks out there: caveat lector.  Also keep in mind Mama Docia's warning: "Why, they'll just tell you anything!"

For comments, address: gregg@blogitoergosum.net.  I am not accepting blind posts from the general public at this time because four unmedicated idiots already posting here are sufficient.  However, if you do choose to write me an interesting letter, it is hereby understood that I am free to edit and publish and respond to it in an appropriate manner.  Good ones may or may not appear in a future "Letters To 'Gregg Who?' Column".  Maybe it will be called "The Ether Vibrates"...and maybe it won't.

 
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_____________

 

April 2012

 

04-25 thru 27-12

04-28-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28 April 2012, a Saturday

Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012
Subject: Re: Blogito 25-17 Apr 2012
From: Gregory Benfor
To: gregg_calkins@hotmail.com

 
Yes, severability clause-- how could they leave it out?!
In my opinion, hubris. They were so confident in themselves that their overconfidence led them to their own downfall, just like the Greeks warned. It happens, and I'm not immune to it, either. I got caught just yesterday in a situation for which I had no preparation because I has simply assumed that I wasn't going to need any. I didn't see it coming because I failed to open my eyes wide enough, not because it wasn't possible to anticipate. The press laughed at Rumsfeld's description of the "unknown unknowns" as if he had said something stupid rather than profound, clearly defining their own intellectual abilities, but I thought it was one of his more insightful statements.

I too think Obama will get clobbered by USSC + slowing economy. Hope it's enough.
I regret the slowing economy part, but since I think it is inevitable with him in office I don't feel hoping he doesn't pay the price for it along with everyone else is being unfair.

Here's from my Lilapa entry:

We had a fine trip to the Florida everglades and the Keys, then flew to Panama to meet a Lindstrom group. Aboard a small ship we sailed through the canal, a century old wonder that still impresses mightily. The next week we went snorkeling and bird watching on islands and coastal parks, headed north on the Pacific.

But then Elisabeth found by email that her father Karl was failing. When we reached Costa Rica we separated, Elisabeth flying back to California. Karl died while she was in flight. The next week she stayed in Palo Alto, managing the residue of Karl’s life, estate, belongings etc; he was 99, and wanted to hang on till 100.

My goal for my Dad...as well as for myself...was and is 100, seems like a nice round number. He didn't make it either, alas. I still have hopes.

I continued on the planned trip to Monteverde, Arenal and other national parks. It was delightful but less without Elisabeth’s insights into the tropical world. Howler monkeys indeed have a growling call that must’ve frightened those Spaniards who first heard it.

In the early morning you can hear howlers from our house, they are over along the river about half a mile away.

In Arenal I visited Gregg Calkins, who gave me directions to their home, since Costa Rica doesn’t use street names or addresses. Mail gets delivered thus: Señor Jean Carol Calkins, Costa Rica, Alajuela, San Carlos, La Fortuna, 300 sur y 200 este de la plaza de toros. I used this on a taxi driver, who wandered around the area, then called Gregg with the number I gave him. “How often do you have to find places with a call?” He shrugged. “About half.”

Gregg of course exaggerates, for he too is a versatile, insightful man who has set up living in Costa Rica in fine fashion, his many interests in display around their comfortable home. Indeed, his words are good describers of himself!

I plan on excerpting part of this for the current Blogito in progress, thanks in advance for your generous permission. And thanks for the excessive compliment which is still very much appreciated.

I returned home April 14 to find Elisabeth tired from her emotionally draining experiences. So life goes. We have a month until we venture east to DC & NYC.

G

On Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 8:30 AM, Gregg Calkins <gregg_calkins@hotmail.com> wrote:
 
Thanks, I always appreciate your comments, especially after I visit your site and come away feeling inept and incompetent. Good interview, by the way. I have rather high hopes for the USSC this summer, perhaps too high for my own comfort. I think they'll do a better job on immigration than on health care, but still I hope for progress on both fronts. I hope Romney's team has the sense to recognize that his best allies on the immigration front are the LEGAL immigrants, since it's really their ox being gored and if they are convinced of that then they'll help him. Our problem is the knee-jerk people who see ANY sensible easing of unfair situations as "amnesty" and overreact. But I think this issue is small potatoes compared with the health care tab and I hope the USSC simply says it is unconstitutional, go back and start over and leave those parts out and try again. I think the Obamoids outsmarted themselves or else outdumbed themselves when they left out/forgot the severability clause and I hope the USSC points that out.

 
I think with those losses in hand we might see Obama overreact with his executive powers and once again I hope Romney is prepared to scream IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY every single chance he gets. I'm not sure how smart I think his team is, though...
 

 

“And when Thyself with shining Foot shall pass Among the Guests Star-scatter’d on the Grass, And in thy joyous Errand reach the Spot where I made one—turn down an empty glass.”

Omar Khayyam, the astronomer-poet of Persia

25-27 April 2012, a Wednesday through Friday

Two widely-separated parts in an article on immigration:

Gaby Pacheco, a vocal immigrant activist, accepted a tantalizing invitation last week from an unlikely source: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio wanted her to help craft a bill that could legalize the children of some illegal immigrants.

Two hours later, Pacheco and other activists got a different pitch from their more familiar White House allies. Be wary of Rubio and his plan, two of President Obama’s top advisers told them in a meeting. It wouldn’t go far enough and wasn’t likely to succeed.

A White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity…said that the president welcomed any serious effort from Republicans to forge a bipartisan approach but that it was impossible to fully judge Rubio’s plan until it appears in writing as a bill.

But they still knew enough to warn Pacheco to be wary because it wouldn’t go far enough? What’s their real problem here?

The plan puts Obama in a box. Democrats are reluctant to see Rubio’s efforts as anything other than a political gambit to repair his party’s tarnished image with Hispanics and boost his own profile as a potential vice-presidential pick or future White House contender.

Uh huh…simply politics. They aren’t really worried about helping immigrants, they’re worried about who is actually perceived as helping immigrants.

I have a dog in this hunt because I have a would-be-immigrant son currently being denied admission. I also have two immigrant daughters-in-law, for those of you who don’t know about my interest in the immigration question. But they are legal and my son will be, too, assuming that we win that battle. And legality makes all the difference to me.

The item gets more wryly amusing as it continues:

Last week, Rubio sat at a dinner party beside Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, one of the country’s most prominent Hispanic advocacy groups, and the two discussed ways to work together on policy.

“It’s clear that there wouldn’t be an effort to be talking about this right now if it weren’t for Senator Rubio engaging on this,” Murguia said. “We need to know whether the president can use this as an opportunity.”

Rubio’s outreach to Pacheco — who was brought to the United States illegally when she was 8 — and other young undocumented immigrants came after they had been asking for months without success for a chance to meet with Obama.

Now, all of a sudden, he hears them? Or does he really?

…senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett (said) that the president would use his clout to push an immigration plan next year.

Yeah, just not during an election, people…get in like with the Russian president, please. Remember my platform of “hope”? You’d better hope I get reelected and then you’d also better hope I keep my promises better than I did in my first term. I hope you understand.

One brave soul stood up and raised his hand. Mr President, what about the rest of your platform? Change?

You can keep the change as a tip, Obama said. And so you should.

EJ Dionne is almost always good for a laugh and he doesn’t disappoint as he points out Romney’s fatal weakness:

Here’s Romney’s problem. His best strategy is to cast President Obama as a failure because the economy has not come all the way back from the implosion of 2008. The most effective passages in his well-reviewed speech after his primary victories Tuesday were about the shortcomings of the status quo.

“Is it easier to make ends meet?” Romney asked. “Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more at your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Are you paying less at the pump?”

And there was the line pundits were bound to love that played off James Carville’s memorable utterance from Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. “It’s still about the economy,” Romney said, clearly relishing the moment, “and we’re not stupid.”

But Romney, unlike Clinton, is not offering a program through which government would take specific steps to solve the problems he catalogues.

Let’s see…Romney is running against Obama now, right? And Obama’s specific steps to solve the current economic problem are…?

What’s that? Step number one is to blame Bush for everything? Okay, right, got that part. And what specific steps has Obama taken during the past 3 years and 3 months that have made things specifically better?

Remember: at one point Obama had control of both houses of congress with a majority large enough to pass any bill he chose without any threat of filibuster. What, specifically, did he do that fixed anything?

If Bush could do so much damage with Democrats in control of half of his government, why couldn’t Obama undo it after he gained complete control?

In fact, didn’t Obama quite recently, giving himself an excuse, tell the American people that he had no power to influence gasoline prices? He can greatly reduce drilling permits on federal lands, to be sure, and he can stop new pipelines from bringing crude oil to domestic refineries, but none of those have any effect on gasoline prices? Oh, sure. On a related front the Easter Bunny said he had no control over the price of eggs and we could believe him because what he said was imaginary and, besides, he didn’t actually lay any himself.

I have a friend who assured me that since oil was priced on the world market there was no difference for Americans if we bought a billion barrels a day from a West Texas producer or a Saudi prince. Uh huh. Sure.

But, really, isn’t it kind of pathetic to blame Bush for being the cause of something you say that you are powerless to affect?

If the Republicans in control of the House are the problem, why weren’t Democrats in charge of the House as well as the Senate the solution?

I thought this line even more amusing:

Romney’s philosophical inclinations give the president ample room to speak to non-ideological, non-utopian voters, the 10 percent or 15 percent who will decide this election.

And we all remember Obama’s philosophical advice from 2008: HOPE for a CHANGE! Obama made sweeping, glowing promises of what he would produce in his first four years, Utopia was only a beginning of the things he told us he would produce after he lowered sea levels, but which now he’s saying will have to wait until his second four because American citizens were so stupid that they voted for too many Republicans in 2010, it’s their fault and not his.

Oh, well, what big game-changing economic maneuver can Obama’s government do now that the non-ideological people will applaud?

They may not like government very much, but they are also wary about what capitalism does when the watchdogs fall asleep. They don’t cotton to further tax cuts for the wealthy. They reject the idea that worrying about how unequal the rewards in our society have become is the same thing as being “envious” of those who have done well. They are fully onboard that opportunity and not “entitlement” is the American way. But they rather welcome the help — low-interest student loans, for example — that government can offer to those looking to rise and prosper.

Student loans…that’s the ticket to financial success! Of course, those low-interest student loans were there in 2008 and did not prevent the crash, and they’ve been present all along and haven’t done anything to help the big job picture, because graduating with a nice shiny degree doesn’t guarantee you a job and there won’t be one offered to you if there is not a capitalist American business able to offer one.

What Obama doesn’t get is what EJ also doesn’t get: namely, where do jobs COME from whether the employees have college educations or not? Who does the actual hiring across America…and why? What does Dionne think is necessary for things to improve? What things are needed today?

…the trust-busting of the Progressive Era, the social legislation of the New Deal, the health programs of the Great Society…

And those created jobs in what manner?

Worrying about what happens when watch-dogs fall asleep may protect against abuses, certainly, and that’s a fine goal, but create jobs? Taxing the wealthy out of more money will keep the government from running as large a deficit as it does, but how will that create jobs? The government can hire more government employees, of course, but is that any kind of permanent solution? Where do the taxes come from in order to pay them? If your answer is “the wealthy” then how did they get wealthy in the first place…via their low-cost college loans? Social legislation and health programs made them wealthy?

EJ and Obama are both socialists who do not really believe in a free-market economy and their problem is that Romney does. And they are oblivious to the fact that if the free-market economy did not work then neither one of them would have a job today.

Dana Milbank is upset at rough and uncivilized conservative USSC justices, as he points out their grievous faults. Scalia, in particular, he says “left no doubt from the start that he … would verbally lacerate anybody who felt otherwise.” Here are some examples provided by the impartial Milbank:

“What does ‘sovereignty’ mean if it does not include the ability to defend your borders?” “The state has no power to close its borders to people who have no right to be there?” “We have to enforce our laws in a manner that will please Mexico?” – Examples of verbally lacerating question by Justice Scalia.

Dana says: “…at best the queries were rhetorical.”

If you think those questions aren’t examples of ill temper, what about THIS brutish behavior?

Scalia wasn’t the only ill-tempered justice in the chamber. Samuel Alito rolled his eyes to the ceiling and shook his head in objection when two liberal justices spoke.

Well, I know how my wife hates it when I roll my eyes up and shake my head. Well, compare these bad actors with Sotomayor, whom Dana says was “scrupulous about challenging both sides.”

Sotomayor informed Verrilli at one point that she was “terribly confused by your answer”and let him know that “it’s not selling very well.”

If you see a challenge in that one then of course you will find Scalia’s questions lacerating. But Sotomaor sounds more like she was like trying to give him some coaching rather than questioning him…you aren’t selling very well, she warned, presumably telling him he’d have to do better in order for her to be able to defend her vote. If she’s unbiased then why would she warn one counsel that way?

Patiently, Verrilli explained that the Arizona law is forcing federal authorities to take their emphasis away from the most dangerous illegal immigrants, that it is merely shifting the problem to other states, and that mass incarceration risks upsetting foreign relations.

“Well, can’t you avoid that particular foreign-relations problem by simply deporting these people?” Scalia retorted. “Look, free them from the jails and send them back to the countries that are objecting. What’s the problem with that?”

The demonstrators on the sidewalk outside — with their tea party signs proclaiming “We Are a Nation of USA Citizens” and their lyrics demanding “What part of the word ‘illegal’ don’t they understand?” — made precisely the same point.

As well they should, but which Dana doesn’t like, obviously. He thinks we should put up with illegals if the alternative is upsetting foreign relations with Mexico…or anyone else who sends them. As Scalia intemperately asked…we have to enforce our laws in a manner that will please Mexico?

I have a suggestion for Dana, though…why don’t we pattern our immigration laws on Mexico’s? Then they couldn’t possibly be upset with us.

Do you think Milbank has even the tiniest notion of how harsh and restrictive Mexico’s immigration laws are? This is the nation we’re worried about upsetting?

Yeah, I know…rhetorical questions Dana has no intention of even thinking about, much less answering.

This is highly amusing as liberals plot strategy and compare with Republican mistakes:

Kevin Drum comments:

The actual policy content is short and pro forma, so no need to pay attention to that. Mainly, it’s just a reminder that Obama is awfully, um, hip. He’s, you know, young and savvy....in an....urban kind of way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I assume this is all just part of the mud-against-the-wall phase of the campaign, as the Rovesters try to get a bead on exactly which message makes Obama the least palatable to their heartland target audience. Unfortunately for them, this one makes Obama look a little too much like Will Smith, and I don’t think the heartland really has anything against Will Smith.

Uh, does that mean you’re going to drop the argument that those white folks are all racists?

Even Joe Scarborough knows better:

The interesting thing that’s happened in the last week, I think, is the way in which the Obama campaign has shifted away from the consistent argument that they’ve made over the course of the last year, really, about Mitt Romney, which is that he is a flip flopping phony, away from that argument to the argument he is a right-wing nut. And, you know, with David Plouffe coming out and saying that he is the most radical conservative since Barry Goldwater. You can’t kind of have it both ways. Barry Goldwater was not a flip flopping phony. And so, if you’re going to say that Romney is a flip flopping phony, you can’t say that he’s a hard right conservative.

I think they are shifting in that direction and that is, I think, part of their trying to adapt to a new environment where they think Romney might be able to get to the middle, and they want to try and keep him over there on the far right.

Always pay attention to what they claim the other party is doing so you won’t look too hard at themselves. I’m sure you’ve been reading about how the Republicans are moving hard to the right, right?

In 2010, 34 House Democrats voted against ObamaCare. By the end of this election cycle, only four of those may still be in the House. Blue Dogs have become an endangered species as the Democratic Party has moved sharply to its Left under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

Peggy Noonan fell for Obama from the beginning:

I listen to him closely and find myself daydreaming: This is the best-tailored president since JFK. His suits, shirts and ties are beautifully cut from fine material. This is an elegant man.

But even so, she says…

There is a growing air of incompetence around Mr. Obama's White House. It was seen again this week in Supreme Court arguments over the administration's challenge to Arizona's attempted crackdown on illegal immigration. As Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News wrote, the court seemed to be disagreeing with the administration's understanding of federal power: "Solicitor General Donald Verrilli . . . met resistance across ideological lines. . . . Even Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court's only Hispanic and an Obama appointee, told Verrilli his argument is 'not selling very well.' " This follows last month's embarrassing showing over the constitutionality of parts of ObamaCare.

All of this looks so bush league, so scattered. Add it to the General Services Administration, to Solyndra, to the other scandals, and you get a growing sense that no one's in charge, that the administration is paying attention to politics but not day-to-day governance.

One wonders if it would have taken Peggy so long if she had not thought Obama was such an elegant man.

While Dana Milbank was most upset over Scalia, Roberts actually made the telling point, I think, because the federal government’s basic argument has been that the Arizona law preempts federal authority. How’s that, asked Roberts?

Chief Justice John Roberts repeatedly said federal officials would make the final call about whether a person should be deported or prosecuted for violating federal law.

“All it does is notify the federal government, ‘Here is someone who is here illegally,’” Roberts said. “The discretion to prosecute for federal immigration offenses rests entirely with the attorney general.”

Said Roberts, “It seems to me that the federal government just doesn’t want to know who is here illegally or not.”

Ay, there’s the rub. The feds, who have had their share of embarrassment recently, don’t want to be embarrassed by the states pointing out how poorly they are doing their job when it comes to enforcing immigration policy. If it weren’t for turf wars they would be thanking the states for their assistance.

Instead, they are suing them! If that wasn’t bad enough, Mexico has joined with the federal government in the lawsuits against the states!

I think that’s disgusting! Mexico joining the federal government in a lawsuit against one of the members of the United States should be a travesty and their offer rejected out of hand, no matter WHAT the issue was.

Eugene Robinson reports from his dream world:

Perhaps this week’s most significant news was a report from the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center showing that net migration from Mexico to the United States as slowed to a halt and may actually have reversed. That’s right: There may be more people leaving this country to live in Mexico than leaving Mexico to live here.

End of the “crisis” — which wasn’t really a crisis at all, except in overwhelmed border-state cities such as Phoenix. There’s no longer the slightest excuse for histrionics about the alleged threat to our way of life from invading hordes intent on — shudder — working hard and raising their families. …

Now that the immigration “crisis” has solved itself…

In Eugene’s dream world all of those illegal immigrants are otherwise honest and hardworking people interested only in working hard to raise their families, which of course all of them have…legally married, too, with all children legitimate and above average, just like in Lake Woebegone.

Being otherwise law-abiding citizens of good character and reputation, none of them felons in Mexico or drug dealers (all of whom remained behind in Mexico since they knew that dealing drugs was illegal in the United States and intended to break no laws in a generous host country) they would all have been welcome through the legal immigration process but, well, you know how they hate to stand in line with all of the other hard-working Mexican families…so boring, don’t cha know? So, hey, why not just skip the line that the squares are patiently waiting in?

What’s even sillier is Eugene’s notion that the immigration crisis solved itself…the case before the Supreme Court at this moment, featuring the terrible Arizona law, has apparently had no effect on the exodus, leading one to believe why anyone would complain about the law in the first place, but you know liberal logic. They have trouble with cause-and-effect, probably because they’re still agonizing which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Ah, well, if you remember previous liberal wails about how the unfair immigration laws of several states were causing immigrants to flee in such numbers that the local farmers were having trouble bringing in their crops without their help…what’s that, you sort of remember those tear-jerking stories now that I mention them?—then you know damn well, even if Eugene would have you believe otherwise, that it was the actual stirrings of LAW ENFORCEMENT which caused illegals to think twice about trying to stay. As long as there was no penalty to be paid for being in the US illegally then of course they were going to stay…even the few who got tossed back across the border only had to move a few miles to the east and cross back again.

So, my dear Mr Robinson, to begin with the immigration influx was not entirely composed of hard-working Mexicans seeking only to feed their families and the crisis would still be continuing to grow if states like Arizona had not decided it was time to fight back.

And, yes, we remember the liberals wailing about how long-time illegal immigrant families were deciding to move out of family homes in Arizona because of the state’s horrible new law. In this case we know which came first: the law was the egg and the immigrants turned chicken.

Liberals unwilling to recognize that law enforcement works are trying to argue that the poor economy in the US is causing the illegals to go back to Mexico voluntarily. Again, they hope you will take them at their word and not even glance at the news about what you hear the economy and life are like in Mexico for ordinary middle-class families. The US economy could plunge into full-fledged depression and Mexican immigrants would still be economically better off in the US, and anyone with a lick of common sense could figure that out if they weren’t being baffled by non-stop liberal bullshit.

Remember earlier liberal news stories about how immigrants were even facing death, death, do you hear, crossing the deserts, etc, because conditions in Mexico were so INTOLERABLE! Mexico was hell, then, according to the pro-immigrant press, and somehow I suspect that it still is.

No, they’re not going home because economic conditions are now better there than they are in the US, they’ve going home because a few of the states have said they’ve had enough of letting a do-nothing federal immigration agency do just that: nothing.

As Chief Justice Roberts pointed out to the US attorney…hey, Arizona’s law still doesn’t force you to do anything, what’s your complaint exactly?

Uh, well, judge, you see, it’s like this…now it will become TOO DAMN OBVIOUS TO THE ORDINARY VOTERS IF WE FOLLOW OUR OLD DO-NOTHING WAYS. And we object to that.

What’s that? If the liberal complaint that the illegals are fleeing because of the poor USeconomy is true, why is it continuing in a time when Obama tells us the US economy is recovering, thanks to his policies? Hmmm…maybe because he doesn’t speak Spanish?


28 April 2012, a Saturday

Washington Post Opinion piece:

OPINION | Let’s just say it: The core of the problem with Washington politics lies with Republican Party.

Blogito Opinion piece:

Let’s just say it. The core of the problem with the United States today lies with Barack Obama.

Now what?

Even more amusing is this pundit who opines about Five myths about conservative voters and says:

I study what Americans think and how they communicate. And I can tell you firsthand that there are widespread misconceptions about conservative voters — what they believe in and what they are looking for from their leaders. Let’s look closer at this key demographic and debunk some of the biggest whoppers.

But before we get started, let’s remind ourselves about what he did NOT say: namely, who actually held these false beliefs? For whom were they myths that needed his correction? I’m writing this as I’m reading the item so I’m prepared to be surprised if he doesn’t mean the myths are held by liberals, Democrats, and the MSM, presuming they are separable. Well, what are they?

1. Conservatives care most about the size of government.

They may have rallied around President Ronald Reagan’s call for smaller government three decades ago — but it’s not the 1980s anymore. Today, conservatives don’t want a reduced government so much as one that works better and wastes less.

In a poll we completed among self-identified conservatives just before the 2010 elections, “efficient” and “effective” government clearly beat “less” and“smaller” government. For conservatives, this debate is less about size than about results, along with a demand that elected officials demonstrate accountability and respect for the taxpayer, regardless of whether they’re spending $1 million or $1 trillion. They are rallying behind the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) not simply because it cuts the size of government, but because it cultivates accountability.

That this is a discovery by this pollster kind of amuses me, so clearly he is informing the MSM et al. One point he misses, though, so I highlighted the words in red. Caring less about size doesn’t mean not caring at all about size. In general we believe that the smaller the government can be while still doing the same job, the better. That’s called efficiency, and we conservatives admire that.

2. Conservatives want to deport all illegal immigrants.

Conservatives don’t want to round up all the illegal immigrants and deport them. They believe in the American dream and understand that immigrants built our country. That’s why conservatives embrace legal immigration. A solid majority believe that there should be an eventual path to earned legal status.

According to our polling in November, seven in 10 conservatives agree with the following statement: “ America ’s immigration policy should consist of tall fences and wide gates. We need to aggressively prevent illegal immigration, but let those stay that have worked hard and demonstrated a real, measurable commitment to this country through military or public service.”

Yes, conservatives want effective border control right away. And more than 80 percent are dissatisfied with America ’s immigration system. But only a tiny fraction would support a shortsighted (and fiscally unfeasible) blanket policy of deporting the illegal immigrants already here.

Nothing new for conservatives to learn there, so he’s definitely trying to inform the liberals. The basic complaint we have is that you cannot repair a hole in a dam at the same time you keep pumping water into the dam and can’t do an effective repair job while the water is still rushing through.

As I pointed out before: I have two immigrant daughters-in-law, some very good immigrant friends (hi, Chrissie) and a would-be immigrant son. And I’m a conservative, so to imagine that I’m somehow anti-immigrant is simply unrealistically foolish.

3. They worship Wall Street.

While the left may perceive and portray the right as a bunch of greedy Gordon Gekkos, the truth is that conservatives are highly critical of Wall Street and wholeheartedly celebrate Main Street . The business leaders that conservatives respect most are entrepreneurs, not chief executives; conservatives value small-business owners above big bankers.

In a poll I conducted early this year, I asked conservatives whom they most trusted to get our country on the right economic track. By nearly two to one, they chose small-business owners over corporate America (only “political leaders”did worse).

This does not mean, however, that we demonize Big Business solely on the grounds that those businesses are Big…go back and see what he wrote about how we feel about Big Government. It isn’t the absolute size we care about, it’s the efficiency and the honesty of their business practices. For liberals, it seems to us, Big equates with Bad with no thinking involved. But many more conservatives are small businessmen who belong to the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Lions, et al, and recite the pledge of allegiance before every meeting is convened. How many liberal groups do you know who do that?

4. Conservatives want to slash Social Security and Medicare.

This charge is at the heart of the Democrats’ campaign against the GOP. Take Florida , a key swing state full of conservative seniors. According to an AARP poll there last year, 70 percent of them oppose cuts to Medicare. They want the program strengthened, not dismantled. They know Medicare needs reform, but they want changes to be effective and reasonable. …

When it comes to government retirement programs, conservatives are pragmatic, not ideological. More than anything, they want programs such as Medicare and Social Security to work. Plain and simple.

Duhhh…I’m on Social Security. Do I want it to work? Don’t be a dunce, of course I do. Could it be fixed to work better than it does today? Don’t be a dunce: of course it could.

5. Conservatives don’t care about inequality.

Fully 66 percent of conservatives consider the growing gap between the rich and the poor a “problem,” according to a poll I conducted in January, while 21 percent call it a “crisis.”

So, if everyone is concerned about the income gap, what’s the big difference between left and right? It’s the difference between opportunity and outcome. Conservatives want to increase opportunity, giving everyone the freedom and tools to prosper, so that the poor may someday become rich. Liberals want to redistribute income, making the rich — quite simply — less rich.

One of the things I’ve always felt to be unfair about thoroughbred horse racing is the fact that the better horses and jockeys are actually penalized by having to carry extra weight in a race in order to give the other horses and riders a “fair” chance to win. What happens if the weights get too heavy—and who can tell in advance?—is that the winner is not always the best horse and rider.

Where’s the problem in that? Come on, don’t be innocent…if you get to influence the amount of weight each horse has to carry, or if you know someone who has that ability, then you have a gigantic edge over the rest of the crowd at the race track. You can pick winners and make money because you already know which other saps are going to lose it. This is how corruption begins when people attempt to create an artificially “fair” system based upon someone’s concept of fairness. People immediately begin rigging the system, simply because it’s there for that purpose and because they can.

Let’s face reality. I could be a champion golfer, quarterback, baseball player, PhD scholar, or anything else, presuming I could add penalty weights to those competitors who had abilities which were actually superior to mine. It wouldn’t be about what I could do any more, only about what extra burdens I could saddle the others with in the name of “equality” for me.

And how do I determine when equality has been reached? Why, when I win, of course. There’s your proof.

Conservatives also believe that we need better enforcement of the regulations we already have, not more rules. Like all Americans, they are outraged that there hasn’t been a single prosecution by the Obama administration for the corporate abuses that led to the economic meltdown. As a focus group participant once asked: “If Martha Stewart was convicted, why no one from Goldman Sachs?” Or, as I’d put it, “Why are they working in the White House, not doing time in the big house?”

I get particularly incensed every time I read about someone proposing a new gun law. Holy crap! as a favorite TV character used to say, there are so many gun laws now that no one can read all of them, any more than anyone—including the IRS—knows all of the tax laws. This is because rather than enforce the simple laws our legislators have chosen to PRETEND to be responding by looking like they are actually doing something…let’s write a new law, spend endless hours debating it, and then once it’s passed we can congratulate ourselves all around. Every time one of those laws is promoted it is billed as the one which will solve the problem.

If these laws worked, and were enforced, why would we keep needing more and more new laws all the time?

Yes, conservatives are most upset about the fact that the regulations we already have are not being enforced before we create a new one which will most-likely suffer the same fate.

Mark Steyn on the failure of the Democrat Dog-and-What-Else Show:

For their next exploding cigar, the Democrats chose polygamy. Brian Schweitzer, the Democratic governor of Montana , remarked that Romney was unlikely to appeal to women because his father was “born on a polygamy commune.” Eighty-six percent of women, noted Governor Schweitzer with a keenly forensic demographic eye, are “not great fans of polygamy.” You can understand the 86 percent’s ickiness at the whole freaky-weirdy idea of a president descended from someone who had multiple wives. Eww.

Just for the record, Romney’s father was not a polygamist; Romney’s grandfather was not a polygamist; his great-grandfather was a polygamist. Miles Park Romney died in 1904, so one can see why this would weigh heavy on 86 percent of female voters 108 years later.

Meanwhile, back in the female-friendly party, Obama’s father was a polygamist; his grandfather was a polygamist; and his great-grandfather was a polygamist who had one more wife (five in total) than Romney’s great-grandfather. It seems President Obama is the first male in his line not to be a polygamist.

I think that might have been a good subject not to bring up. My next suggest would be skip the racism and the slaves shtick…Obama’s family had slave-owners, Romney’s did not.

What’s that? You aren’t responsible for what your ancestors did? Yeah, that’s what I always thought before Schweitzer brought up Romney’s great-grandfather.

More Liberal Logic by Jay Nordlinger:

In the current National Review, I have a piece on North Dakota and its oil boom. There are some who would like to kill off the goose that is laying golden eggs. And the main would-be killer is the Obama EPA. Along with the rest of the administration.

Last year, the Justice Department brought suit against several oil companies operating in North Dakota ’s Bakken formation. What had they done? Well, a tiny handful of birds had died in “reserve pits.” The companies were prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Company officials faced prison.

With dispatch, a sane district-court judge threw out the suit. As he did so, he listed some of the ways in which birds die: including flying into wind turbines. That kills something like 33,000 a year. But the Left never picks on wind power; only oil.

Will the Justice Department ever prosecute airlines, for the death of geese?

If you were honestly worried about birds and bats you’d never allow a single wind turbine to be built. Yet they do.

Here’s an interesting note on the immigration argument:

The Pew analysts hesitate to say so, but their numbers make a strong case that we will never again see the flow of Mexicans into this country that we saw between 1970, when there were fewer than 1 million Mexican-born people in the U.S. , and 2007, when there were 12.7 million.

One reason is that Mexico ’s population growth has slowed way down. Its fertility rate fell from 7.3 children per woman in 1970 to 2.4 in 2009, which is just above replacement level.

Demographics explain everything. When they are barely above replacement kevels then obviously there are not left over to export.


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