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Why the GOP Will Continue to Win the Independent Vote and Thus Win Elections

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Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy. — George Washington, Farewell Address

With a couple of big elections coming up in the near future, everyone is wondering whether the shortcomings of the Bush administration are enough to drive voters away and give the Democrats a chance to regain power. As with every election, victory largely comes down to who can win over the independent voters who make up about a third of the electorate. As elected officials from both parties underperform and disappoint the voters the number of independents has been growing as disaffected members drift away from the parties. These alienated voters are the key to winning more and more elections.

While both parties can count on their partisans fairly reliably, the independents can go either way, so most campaign efforts are directed at winning them over. Although their core constituency is slightly smaller, in recent elections the Republicans have won over more of the independent vote and that has given them victory after victory. To reverse that trend the Democrats need to find a way to appeal to those independents more than the Republicans do.

[ADBLOCKHERE] As has been demonstrated again and again since campaigns started heavily ‘going negative’ in the 1980s, voters find it a lot easier to focus on the negative than the positive. It’s easier to win votes by smearing your opponent than by promoting your own ideas and it’s easier to lose an election by committing a faux pas than it is to win an election by doing good works.

In this negative atmosphere both parties tend to be judged by their most extreme elements. And both parties certainly contain some wacky extremists whose views are shared by only a fraction of their own party, much less the general population. Independents are mostly relatively moderate politically, so they often face the unpleasant challenge of figuring out which party’s radicals hold positions they find least unacceptable.

It is this dynamic which has paid off for the Republicans and will likely continue to do so in the future unless the Democrats find some way to control or eliminate their ideologically unappealing fringe. The problem for the Democrats is that the key to the independent voter is that they tend to vote based on their obvious self-interest. They’re alienated from politics, hostile to government and to both parties and they mostly want to be left alone. They vote their pocketbooks, on the basis of their family’s welfare and on what is likely to be best for their friends and neighbors. You might call them selfish, but basically they’re realists who know that the best kind of government is one which does the least harm. They’ve gone beyond expecting a government that looks out for their interests and are willing to settle for a government that isn’t trying to screw them at every turn.

Independent voters want to protect their interests and protect their rights. They know that the activist extremes of the two major parties have agendas that involve whittling away their rights in all sorts of areas, in service of religious, moral and political ideologies. They also understand that the parties have to cater to these extremes in order to turn out reliable, core votes. But above all, they have a simple agenda of their own. They want to be left alone and to protect their families, their property and their wallets. In picking how they will vote, independents have to decide which party’s extreme agitators are more threatening to them.

This is where the Republicans tend to win out. While the radicals of both parties want to limit liberty and impose intrusive restrictions on people to further their marginal causes, the general threat level of the Republican extremists is more acceptable, however reprehensible their specific issue positions may be. Most of the ways that extreme Republican factions want to persecute people and take away their rights apply primarily to small groups who are relatively politically unpopular and to rights which many people see as being of secondary importance. In contrast, the radical elements of the Democratic party tend to promote policies that impact very fundamental rights and that would affect much larger portions of the population. In grade-school terms, the Republicans are like playground bullies who are going to take lunch money away from the whiney unpopular child who picks his nose in class, while the Democrats are the crusading parent who wants to ban recess for everyone because someone could get hurt on the playground.

The main bugaboo of the Republican party is the religious right. They’re mostly out to get homosexuals and to ban abortion. Both of these issues target relatively small and unpopular segments of the population. Homosexuals are everywhere, but they’re less than 10% of the population and they’re out of the mainstream by definition. They are seen as alien, threatening and objects of derision by a lot of people, even though they may know better. Everyone knows that unplanned pregnancies are a problem, but underlying the surface sympathy is a resentment of the mother and a condemnation of the presumed promiscuousness that created the situation. Again, women seeking abortions are a small and powerless group and one which doesn’t evoke a lot of genuine sympathy. In both of these examples most independent voters can easily say “what do I care, I’m not gay and I’m not going to get knocked up with an unwanted baby.”

The same holds true with the issues of the extreme ‘law and order’ Republicans. Most people don’t plan to commit a murder so they don’t mind the death penalty. Most look down on drug-users, so they put up with the War on Drugs. Most can even look at infringements of privacy rights under the 4th Amendment and not worry because they aren’t criminals or terrorists and therefore have nothing to hide. Restrictions on social service programs are an acceptable evil because those people should work harder and provide for thesmelves. This attitude even extends to some degree to situations like the War in Iraq. It mostly afflicts people in a foreign country, and a very small number of US soldiers who volunteered to be there in the first place. In all these cases the independent, self-centered voter can frown and say, “What does it matter to me? I’m not really directly hurt by any of this.”

The independent voter may not like any of these programs. They may be nominally pro-gay and pro-choice and anti-war and pro-drugs, etc. But when it comes down to making a choice most of them ultimately decide that if it doesn’t hurt them directly it’s an acceptable compromise.

In contrast, the more radical elements of the Democratic Party promote policies which independent voters find much more generally threatening. These are generally political objectives which go against the three most basic rights of life, liberty and property and which apply to the majority of people in the society.

Social reformers on the left want to implement ‘economic justice’, which to the independent voter means higher taxes to pay for more social welfare programs. That hits most voting citizens directly in the wallet. They aren’t targeting some small and isolated group. They’re threatening to take money away from everyone and give it to someone less deserving. That’s very troubling to someone who votes mostly based on the interests of themself and their family. Social Security is a perfect example of this. It’s a Democrat program which takes money from every citizen and eventually pays back a terrible return, while creating massive debt that may eventually cause it to fail alltogether and make your money just disappear. That’s a lot to answer for and the Democrats are answerable for it to every single taxpayer.

There are many other issues as well. Many Democrats want to restrict gun rights. To the independent voter — who may not be a gun nut at all — that still adds up to restricting the right of every citizen to defend their property, their family and their own life. The internationalism which is popular with many Democrats falls under the same umbrella. There’s a constant fear that if we give up some sovereignty to the United Nations or international courts, those bodies will take the rights we’re guaranteed under our Constitution.

Environmentalism is another threat. While independent voters understand the desirability of the longterm goal of protecting the environment, like most people they’re short-sighted and they see the loss of their SUVs and other aspects of their consumer lifestyles as a much more immediate and serious threat. The same pattern of widespread threat is demonstrated in the education system, which is largely a product of the policies of the left and their enslavement to special interests like the NEA. Schools are clearly failing and thus threatening every child and alienating every parent.

The same pattern shows up in other areas as well. The Democrats like to tackle big issues and provide blanket solutions which end up drawing everyone into the problem one way or another. Even if these policies of the left are intended to be positive for society and individuals, they are easy for their opponents to convincingly paint in a negative light and then point to every voter and tell them that they will be directly harmed. It’s a believable argument, because education and taxation and public safety are of concern to everyone regardless of party or lack of party.

It’s not a pretty picture, but we’re a country built on self-interest and the rights of the individual. If you ignore those interests and threaten individual rights on a broad basis, you pay the price at the ballot box. If you just threaten small and marginal groups it’s an acceptable political risk. Deny gays the right to marry and you lose 100,000 independent voters. Make SUVs more expensive and you take money out of the pockets of 1,000,000 independent voters and their votes go with their money.

When it comes down to it, the moderate elements of both parties are willing to take away people’s rights to pander to their extreme wings and thereby advance their power and achieve their objectives. The rights which Republican extremists target are less fundamental and do less harm to fewer people than the rights which the Democrats target. That being the case, the person in the middle, owing no hard allegiance to either party, will decide in his own best interest, and for more of these independent voters that means siding reluctantly with the Republicans, even when that means putting up with some extreme policies which they disagree with but, more importantly, aren’t the target of.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    Dave, nice thought-provoking article, though I question some of your premises. As an example, I’d say that it’s Conservatives, not Independents, that are “hostile to government.” I would describe Independents more as “indifferent to government.” I think they’re interested in the end result, and don’t care about ideology; therefore, whether government or private enterprise works better in a given area, they want the one that works better.

    The religious right does attempt to infringe upon small groups–gays and women seeking abortions–but I don’t know that independents say “what do I care?” I suggest instead that they question government interfering in a woman’s decision to have an abortion–which in some cases they deem less important than the fetus’ right to life–and may question intolerance toward gays, while not necessarily supporting “gay marriage.”

    I disagree with “most people don’t plan to commit a murder so they don’t mind the death penalty.” People have mixed views on the death penalty–those in the middle acknowledge its barbarism but perhaps see it as an effective deterrent. I have never met anyone who says the death penalty is OK because THEY aren’t going to commit murder.

    On guns, the independent understands the right to bear arms but is genuinely concerned about the level of gun crime, so he may be open to background checks and other reasonable compromises.

    In the end your conclusion may be somewhat valid, but I question your analysis of some of the issues confronted by the independent voter.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, nice thought-provoking article, though I question some of your premises. As an example, I’d say that it’s Conservatives, not Independents, that are “hostile to government.” I would describe Independents more as “indifferent to government.”

    In my experience everyone except for a portion of the democratic party is basically negative and distrusting about government, though I can see how that would appear as indifference when the government isn’t directly harassing someone.

    I think they’re interested in the end result, and don’t care about ideology; therefore, whether government or private enterprise works better in a given area, they want the one that works better.

    Which in almost every case means private enterprise.

    The religious right does attempt to infringe upon small groups–gays and women seeking abortions–but I don’t know that independents say “what do I care?” I suggest instead that they question government interfering in a woman’s decision to have an abortion–which in some cases they deem less important than the fetus’ right to life–and may question intolerance toward gays, while not necessarily supporting “gay marriage.”

    I agree that most independents probably favor abortion and gay rights. But at the same time, when offered the choice between voting for those small groups they support on a moral basis and voting for their own self-interest they go for what’s best for them.

    I disagree with “most people don’t plan to commit a murder so they don’t mind the death penalty.” People have mixed views on the death penalty–those in the middle acknowledge its barbarism but perhaps see it as an effective deterrent. I have never met anyone who says the death penalty is OK because THEY aren’t going to commit murder.

    I agree that most people aren’t likely to SAY that’s why they are willing to accept the death penalty, but I think it’s part of the underlying reasoning. Murderers are bad people. I’m not a bad person. Since I’m not a bad person I don’t much care what happens to bad people.

    On guns, the independent understands the right to bear arms but is genuinely concerned about the level of gun crime, so he may be open to background checks and other reasonable compromises.

    This is certainly one which is harder to analyze. It’s certainly not clear if the average voter understands that gun control has no deterrent effect on gun crime. But at the same time the basic suspicion of government comes into play. If you’ve ever bought a gun – and most Americans and therefore most independent voters have – you know that the registration process involves some very intrusive and questionable paperwork.

    In the end your conclusion may be somewhat valid, but I question your analysis of some of the issues confronted by the independent voter.

    I may have erred slighty in the direction of making issues more clearcut and absolute than they always are, but that’s the nature of making a point.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    of course there is always stuff like this…

    and Abramhoff etc…

    i also find it quite amusing an avowed partisan tries to delineate the thoughts and positions of Independants

    but a decent read, overall…for what it is…more campaign content

    Excelsior!

  • Geo

    Good article. You forgot the part about customer service. American’s generally like good customer service. We like to walk into a store and be greeted and helped, in a professional, geneial manner. The Democrats I’ve seen lately are complainers, shouters, hatefilled, snarling dogs. Hardly the genial customer service representative that I like to see helping me. I really don’t want a miserable, hateful, screaming, cursing representative as my selection on the ballet. So there is going to have to be some radical change in those representing the DNC, if they really want my vote.

    I’m not really into those who want to fight-fight-fight or to squash the opposition. I want the public servants in this country to get things done, as a team whose goal is to keep the ship of state running smoothly, effectively and efficiently.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Tell me sonething Dave? What exactly is that donkey doing to that elephant in your graphic there?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    i also find it quite amusing an avowed partisan tries to delineate the thoughts and positions of Independants

    There’s no one more independent than me, Gonzo. Keep in mind that I was a Libertarian party activist for almost 30 years and only went Republican when it became clear that the LP was going nowhere. I’ve voted for candidates from three parties and for independents, so I do have some idea what I’m talking about. And even you should be familiar enough with my writing to know that I’m hardly a GOP main-liner.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    We like to walk into a store and be greeted and helped, in a professional, geneial manner.

    Up to a point I suppose. I really hate the customer service you get at some places – Radio Shack comes to mind – where they’re in your face before you even have a chance to look around and basically follow you around the store desperate to help -in other words to earn a commission.

    dave

  • gonzo marx

    and, as you well know …i defend many of your positions, and argue against others…

    but i still stand by my statement that you are a member of the GOP

    and an apologist for this Administration

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Tell me sonething Dave? What exactly is that donkey doing to that elephant in your graphic there?

    Not what you think, you twisted man. They’re merging together and becoming a single two-headed being I’ve dubbed the “Elephonkey”.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Oh, okay, that’s what I thought

    It was a joke-a ha ha

    never assume.

    by the way I just endorsed you on your Iraq string

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    and, as you well know …i defend many of your positions, and argue against others…

    but i still stand by my statement that you are a member of the GOP

    and an apologist for this Administration

    I make excuses – or at least explain and justify things – for more than just this administration. When people are unreasoningly hostile to something I find myself compelled to make them see from a different point of view. I’ve done it for Bill Clinton and for other non-gop figures.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    to comment #11…

    i can and will only speak about what i have read/experienced first hand…

    but i do know i have read you defend some of the Slick Willie shyte…and that you and i have often agreed on many “social” Issues

    you say…
    *I make excuses – or at least explain and justify things *

    the very definition of an Apologist…

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Now kids play nice, or I’ll have to get the leather out!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, gonzo, but the point is that i’m an apologist for everyone. I just don’t like to see people blowing off any perspective but their own.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    perspective i can hold Respect for…

    bullshit and excuses i have less patience for

    Personal Responsibility….silly of me, i know

    if they at least admit when they fucked up, and then do their best to fix a problem, i can get behind them…no matter who

    but fucking up and then shouting “stay the course” is horseshit…

    and those who would be an apologist for such offend my sense of Ethics on a visceral level

    i don’t expect such from anyone else but myself, and don’t care if any Agree….it is my own Position and Choice, and i take full Responsibility for it

    out of Respect , i offer it as elucidation and explanation for why i hold some of the positions i do

    i am quite capable of Honoring a Foe, even while contesting against what i think of as something inherently Wrong

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I can’t disagree with you on most of that, gonzo. I agree that accountability matters as does admitting responsibility. I disagree on where we should draw the line as far as which actions demand that they be addressed and which ones are excusable when looked at in the proper light.

    Your inclination in dealing with the administration is to never cut them any slack. I cut them as much slack as I’d give anyone else to be a bit venal, a bit arrogant and a bit machiavellian. I think it’s to be expected. IMO my standard is realistic and yours is idealistic. Where I draw the line is at the intent to do harm, and I just don’t see much of that in this administration for all their myriad flaws.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    i understand you point..and still reject it

    i DO hold our elected Representatives to a high standard…

    the Standard is basically the Rule of fucking Law and to uphold the Oath of Office the miserable bastards have taken

    know..i am realistic enough to know that such is a rarity…yet i find it inexcusable to NOT point out the shortcomings when they are blatantly obvious…and to forment and incite ridicule and Prosecution when warranted

    we differ on this Administration’s violation of FISA, as an example…

    i want the Law to be upheld, you consider it a minor thing to so blatantly violate the 4th and possibly 5th amendments

    this is a singular example, but shows the vast rift between out thoughts

    you might wonder why i sometimes become vehement in my opposition to some of your writing…the Answer is simple enough

    i do think you have a decent Mind, and a firm Understanding of the Principles involved…yet, for partisan purposes…you bash one side and act the apologist for another

    and tho i belong to neither side nor gang…the laissez faire attitude of folks such as yourself makes the vile corruption of our elected Representatives, if not possible, at least more rampant

    and so…i remain a Foe…call me Idealistic if you like, i care not…

    but i’ll not relent a single iota, my own Ethics will not allow such

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Dave Nalle

    the Standard is basically the Rule of fucking Law and to uphold the Oath of Office the miserable bastards have taken

    I think you have a naive belief in the absolute nature of law in America. Law is constantly rewritten and reinterpreted, and some actions which appear to you to violate the law may fit with the spirit of it or not violate it in a literal way despite your beliefs. You’re very intolerant on this issue and don’t admit to any possibility of any perspective but one of absolute rigidity when in fact the situation is a lot grayer than your black and white perception.

    we differ on this Administration’s violation of FISA, as an example…

    Hell, I question whether FISA is even constitutional.

    i want the Law to be upheld, you consider it a minor thing to so blatantly violate the 4th and possibly 5th amendments

    I do believe in those amendments, but I think whether they were violated is entirely a matter of opinion. The law’s just not clear enough and for that matter, I don’t see FISA as very good law in the first place. I adhere to higher principles which include the belief that you can’t really violate a badly made law. Such laws need to be rewritten when they don’t work, and FISA is a perfect example.

    i do think you have a decent Mind, and a firm Understanding of the Principles involved…yet, for partisan purposes…you bash one side and act the apologist for another

    and tho i belong to neither side nor gang…the laissez faire attitude of folks such as yourself makes the vile corruption of our elected Representatives, if not possible, at least more rampant

    And I think corruption is the basic coin of the system and has to be acknowledged and accepted up to the point where it leads to oppression. I think that’s just realistic.

    but i’ll not relent a single iota, my own Ethics will not allow such

    Then get elected and head off for Washington. The Maine voters are quirky and they might put you in office. Hell, if you run I’ll legally change my residence to Maine, pay the ridiculous income tax for a year, and vote for you. I’m all for uncorrupt politicians, but I also understand that most of our politicians are just human and doing the best they can.

    Dave

  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    If you’ve ever bought a gun – and most Americans and therefore most independent voters have – you know that the registration process involves some very intrusive and questionable paperwork.

    I’d like to think that’s balanced by the “do I really want felons running around with guns” angle–on this and the death penalty issue, your perspective is a highly self-interest oriented one. That reasoning (I’m not bad, so I don’t care–let me have my gun) is why the NRA is sometimes guilty of stepping way over the line, IMO.

    I may have erred slighty in the direction of making issues more clearcut and absolute than they always are, but that’s the nature of making a point.

    That’s fair.

    I do agree with you completely about the Radio Shack example of customer service. And for your amusement, your Elephonkey reminds me of a centrist site I’ve been reading, DonkElephant.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    JP, the realistic depiction of the Donkey/Elephant hybrid is somewhat horrific and may trouble my dreams.

    I’d like to think that’s balanced by the “do I really want felons running around with guns” angle

    The reality is that felons can get guns no matter what we do to check peoples backgrounds. Felons aren’t buying their guns at the local gun show or in the local gun shop.

    –on this and the death penalty issue, your perspective is a highly self-interest oriented one.

    IMO self-interest is what it’s all about for most voters, and one of the few motives which you can trust and count on reliably.

    That reasoning (I’m not bad, so I don’t care–let me have my gun) is why the NRA is sometimes guilty of stepping way over the line, IMO.

    When the alternative is don’t let people have their guns I’m willing to put up with the excesses of the NRA.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    false postulate…

    the alternative is to require folks to register their guns in the same manner that they register their cars…

    and then enforce the fucking Law…

    just a Thought

    Excelsior!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    While you have a good point there Gonzo, it’s a lot easier to hid an registered gun than it is a car…

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    and gonzo – what happens when the criminals that are commiting gun crimes don’t register their guns? I mean, come on, the law says everyone is required to have insurance on a vehicle, but for some reason, I still have to carry uninsured motorists insurance…you mean someone’s not obeying the law??? There is that old saying…when they outlaw guns…only outlaws will have guns…

    I understand this registration thing…and I don’t really think it’s all that bad a thing…but if anyone really believes that the people that are commiting gun crimes are gonna register their weapons…wanna buy a bridge???

    Does the constitution say that I have the right to bear arms…or does it say I have the right to bear arms with the proper permit?

    And don’t get your panties in a wad here…I’m asking questions…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Um, Andy… how do you know that Mr. Marx wears panties? No don’t answer that

  • gonzo marx

    well now Andy….ya know i have stated tat i have NO problems with folks having guns…

    it is my thought that registering them , like we do our dogs or cars…is a good thing

    this way, if a cop shakes down a bad guy and finds an unregistered gun….he gets popped for the mandatory minimum..

    if nothing else

    it also adds a fixxed charge to any crime committed with a firearm

    all in all, a win-win

    and i don’t see ANY reason to have any objection to registering a firearm purchased legally….none what so ever

    please to point out in the Constitution the discrepency with registering your firearm and the “well regulated militia” portion of the Second Amendment…

    nobody has ever answered that one for me, including NRA reps

    Excelsior!

  • Nancy

    I am caught in a terrible quandry, because I have come to loathe the Dems for their supine spinelessness & fecklessness, but at the same time I utterly despise the GOP with their incessant lies, arrogance, & innate corruption. I refuse to even consider voting for a Republican; but I won’t consider voting for anyone in the current Dem Party, either: if they haven’t been able to make hash out of the GOP by now, they sure as hell won’t be able to run a government. Jesus! Does this mean my only choice is Lyndon LaRouche?! By law we should be able to have a “None of the Above” write-in & if it wins, hold another election barring those who just ran, but open to anyone else. Or something. Anything.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    gonzo – you can’t answer a question with a question…I asked if it says I have to register for my right to bear arms…you turned it around on me…not fair…but I guess well regulated could equate to registration.

    But, like I said, you don’t really belive that requiring registration will get all the weapons registered, do you?

    If a criminal is being charged with murder…do you really think he gives a fuck if you charge him with murder with an unregistered handgun? Maybe we should change the punishment to just plain death penalty for murder with a registered handgun and slow painful death penalty for murder with an unregistered handgun?

  • gonzo marx

    oh Andy..check again, there’s no Question mark in my entire comment

    {8^P~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    but you do seem to get the point that i am solid on the right to bear arms, but also want the gun advocates to remember the “well regulated militia” part that they ALWAYS leave out when quoting the second amendment

    fair enough…

    so…did ya watch the Judas Gospel special last night? (now that IS a question)

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    You know what I find amazing about you Nancy: you seem to have an immovable, irrefutable hatred for all politicans, company CEOs, basically anyone who wears a tie to work and can vacation on a lake named after an Indian chief. I mean, it seems like it goes beyond a vendetta or an annoyance and goes straight to the core of these people.

    Crimony, I don’t even have that kind of hatred for the dude who stole my high school girlfriend.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I missed the one last night. I did see one last week…abc I believe…gotta get that DVR…damn! Looking forward to the book.

    I still like my idea about just plain death penalty and slow painful death penalty…

    Sorry about the girl Matt…but she really wasn’t all that!!! j/k….

  • Arch Conservative

    You noticed that about Nancy too huh Matthew?

    I thought I was the only one.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Personally, I thought she hated everything…but Matthew seems to have boiled it down to a short list…good job Matthew!

  • Nancy

    No, not everyone; just those who ought to – and DO – know better because they ARE the creme de la creme, well educated, and from people who have all the advantages and therefore no excuse for bad, greedy, corrupt, or other degenerate behavior. What’s that old bible verse about ‘to whom more is given, more is expected’.

  • gonzo marx

    bah…Nancy tend to rant about mch the same things i do….

    they are called Ethics

    when folks violate them, they deserve to get knocked around….i don’t give a fuck who they are

    when folks at least TRY and adhere to them, and/or admit their mistakes and try to correct them…then they get some tolerance , praise, understanding and a little help from most folks

    now, Nancy and i differ in many way on this…both in observation and expectation as well as focus and style of diatribes…but it still tends to come down to Ethics

    if you can’t see the difference, then i can’t really help you

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Well, that’s true — there’s a lot of rich lazy people, and one day I hope to be one of them. But what I was getting at is: is that really any justification (or even a good reason) for what seems to be a deep-seated loathsome attitude toward all men in suits?

  • gonzo marx

    Suss…might i suggest that you are overgeneraizing to some extent

    yer perogative, of course

    just my one sixth billionths of the world’s Opinion

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Well, that was more an observation and a question for Nancy and her sentiments on the $100,000+/year population.

    You, Gonzo, we all know doesn’t belong to a “gang” and thinks independently, outside the box, values morals, equality, liberty, and the Bill of Rights.

    In other words, you think differently, just like everybody else.

    {8^P~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    That’s some mighty nice ASCII art.

  • Nancy

    Men AND women in suits … or whatever they wear while abusing the advantages they were given. Both genders, both parties. Gonzo has it right: it’s ethics (or lack thereof). For example: I have no beef w/Bill Gates or Bill Johnson (founder of BET). They earned their money fairly, worked hard, and kept their ethics. They treat other people (even “the little people”) decently & w/respect. They aren’t out to steal the fillings out of people’s teeth to line their own pockets or aggrandize their position. They got where they are without lying, cheating, stealing, selling out their fellows, or adopting fake good-ol’-Texas-boy accents. Contrast them with such opposite exemplars as Ken Lay, Karl Rove, Bernie Ebbers, Jack Abramoff, Rich Cunningham, Tom DeLay, or the executives of the energy cartels that got together to rip off the entire state of California.

    It seems to me the question is not why am I ranting, but why are YOU not ranting?! What’s wrong with YOU? Are you saying you approve of the maaners, morals, & utter lack of ethics of these assholes? You want to emulate them? You think these should be the people who set the standards & examples of how things should be done? If so, the one who’s sick, who has a real problem, is not me, but YOU.

  • Arch Conservative

    Nancy there are some who might object to your characterization of Bill Gates as such an ethical guy.

    In fact some might say that Microsoft uses very unethical tactics.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Oh dear me. This got fun quick.

    The truth is, Nancy, that I love corruption and scandal. I love stealing. I love taking advantage of people. I’m a kleptomaniaCEO wannabee. Oh, and for dinner I eat babies.

    Stay tuned for my dead serious answer later.

    Ex¢e£$ior!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    MATTHEW!!! I didn’t know you were a republican????

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    the alternative is to require folks to register their guns in the same manner that they register their cars…

    Which a lot of people see as nothing but a way to keep track of guns so that the government can seize them when it’s ready to crack down and institute real oppression.

    and then enforce the fucking Law…

    So now you’re for making new draconian laws and enforcing them rigidly as well. You’re coming off more and more totalitarian with this love of merciless enforcement of bad law.

    this way, if a cop shakes down a bad guy and finds an unregistered gun….he gets popped for the mandatory minimum..

    Even better, you’re also for mandatory minimum sentencing. So the ‘bad guy’ happens to be a kid who’s afraid of getting beaten up by gang-bangers on his way to school – say he’s a small 16 year old – and he borrows his grandfathers gun that’s not registered to him. The school cops shake him down and get the gun and it’s off to sing sing for what, 5 years minimum? Great plan.

    Nice to see that the mask is off on your authoritarian tendancies.

    How about we CHANGE the fucking law?

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    oh nice try at twisting my poorly expressed thoughts…

    so…i’ll attempt to clarify…

    #42 sez…
    *Which a lot of people see as nothing but a way to keep track of guns so that the government can seize them when it’s ready to crack down and institute real oppression.*

    see the Second Amendment and the “well regulated militia part again…

    and then
    *So now you’re for making new draconian laws and enforcing them rigidly as well. You’re coming off more and more totalitarian with this love of merciless enforcement of bad law.*

    actually…i am advocating the Rule of Law…even if registration is NOT required, it is still a crime for a felon to possess a firearm…as well as many other laws on state books …what i ask is that the Law be enforced and not ignored…

    far from draconian or totalitarian…but thanks for attempting to paint me as such…

    and then
    *Even better, you’re also for mandatory minimum sentencing.*

    actually…no..i dislike the entire GOP written mandatory minimums..i was merely expressing the fact of their existance, and showing how a registration law/ordinance can aid law enforcement from removing some of the bad guys from the steets…a much more probable scenario than your hypothetical

    nice to see you removing your “mask” of even a semblance of rationality…

    as fo changing the Law…that IS what i am proposing…that ANY american citizen over the age of 18 be able to purchase and register a firearm

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Nancy

    Then obviously there’s a lot I missed concerning Bill Gates. If he has been unethical, mean-spirited, and greedy, then he joins the Damned; however, I understand his lack of ethics (or Microsoft’s) has been oriented more towards trying to impose his product on everyone else’s lines. I don’t know…some toe-to-toe against competitors is legit. My fine-tuned criteria are that he hasn’t been unethical, mean-spirited, greedy, or nasty to the individuals who work for him or to persons in general. For example, having all the money in the world, he hasn’t (to my knowledge) tried to screw over his own employees just to garner the additional dime for his own bank account by cutting their retirement, like the airlines honchos – and then added insult to injury by awarding himself a big, fat, obscenely generous bonus for screwing them.

    I don’t object to people making a FAIR salary, including bonuses, etc., and especially when thru their own inventiveness or entrepreneurial skills they make it big. It’s when they get greedy & start nailing those under them or without power to object (like small stockholders or the general public) thru greed or sheer meanness, just because they can get away with it, that I object. It’s when they already have millions & billions, and yet they go out of their way to screw others out of their last dime, or their lifes’ savings, to add to their own already-unjustifiable wealth that I object. There’s a difference between “honest” wealth, and just plain greed & meanness of spirit & intent. If you can’t understand what I’m getting at, then there’s no way I can explain.

    I hate corruption, because it invaribly means innocent people are the ones taking it on the chops while the greedy & unprincipled walk away relatively if not generally entirely unscathed. Kind of like drunk drivers: y’ever notice it’s always the drunk who walks away unharmed, while the innocent schmoes in the other car get creamed unto death or mass mutilation?

    Maybe I come from a too-civil upbringing of right & wrong, but I was brought up to believe that you took what was your rightful share, let others have theirs, and under NO circumstances did you try to hog it all while others starve, and certainly not thru tactics that are immoral, unethical or illegal – even if you CAN get away with it. As I said earlier, I believe the more you’re given to work with, the more is expected of you – and the more you’d better perform to standard at minimum, and if you value your soul & honor,with some extra. For those who have more than their fair share and insist on conniving, stealing, lying, cheating, etc. in order to get everyone else’s as well there is no excuse, no justification, and should be no pardon or toleration.

    I now return the soapbox to Gonzo & Co. Thank you for listening.

  • gonzo marx

    nicely put Nancy…

    but no need to “return the soapbox”

    i’ve got that nasty taste in my mouth and am Questioning why i bother here again…

    we will see…

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    actually…i am advocating the Rule of Law…even if registration is NOT required, it is still a crime for a felon to possess a firearm…as well as many other laws on state books …what i ask is that the Law be enforced and not ignored…

    The problem is that you’re for enforcing the law regardless of whether it’s a well written law, violates people more basic rights, or makes no sense at all. The law is a creation of society, and as such it can be changed. One of the signs that it needs to be changed is when in practice it is not enforced or regularly violated with no consequences. In most cases the response to that should not be to enforce the bad law, but to CHANGE it.

    If we started enforcing all the laws on the books, it would be illegal for women to go braless in Pennsylvania, unmarried people – regardless of gender – would not be allowed to live in the same house in Texas, and the president wouldn’t be able to have a computer system sort through phonecalls to identify which ones came from the phones of suspected terrorists.

    There are lots of bad laws which don’t get enforced. Let’s change them rather than slavishly enforcing them.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    last response to this particular individual…

    #46…
    i can agree that there are bad laws that are enforced, and there are good laws that are not enforced

    if we live under the Rule of Law…then they should all be enforced until ratified or changed…by definition

    who decides?

    /end

    Excelsior!

  • Nancy

    This president holds he’s above the law anyway, so what’s the diff? But then, he DID once make a slip & say God give him special missions. I wuz right: W is an absolutely, totally, fucking insane maniac.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Ooh, there it is again. It’s the same kind of thrill as finding Waldo.

    “W is an absolutely, totally, fucking insane maniac”

    Even his majesty’s royal opposition doesn’t consider him an insane maniac. In fact a lot of politicans who know him but disagree with him believe he’s a very kind individual when he’s not creating public policy.

    This is the type of statement that galvanizes voters (ooh, look at me, I’m tying this back to the article above the Amazon belt) to vote Republican.

    Nobody I’ve heard of would ever postulate that a Democrat is an absolulte, total, fucking insane maniac. Sure, they smear the same kind of unnecessary feces on their opponents but it never resorts to the rant of the red-eyed, steam-out-of-the-ears rally crier.

    You wanna say he made a mistake going to war? OK, probably true, what do I know about war. You want to say his resources are all tied up overseas and leaving little to tend to stuff like education and the environment? OK. All valid points.

    But to try and hit a grand slam with the bases empty when all you need is a base knock and call someone beyond what he really is — well, that’s the kind of steadfast ire you and other who represent the “clear thinkers” may need to re-evaluate.

    I’ll gladly vote for the Democrat who respectfully challenges the current administration.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman
  • Dave Nalle

    Nobody I’ve heard of would ever postulate that a Democrat is an absolulte, total, fucking insane maniac.

    You forgot about Cynthia McKinney, Matt.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Not to mention Arch Conservative?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Even she could control her anger if she simply repeated over and over: “goose fraba”

  • Nancy

    Matt, there are plenty on BOTH sides I consider to be maniacs, but they aren’t in charge of the country, and haven’t the power to unilaterally take this country to war, beggar the economy, and condemn to senseless death thousands of our troops (not to mention others) in order to fulfill their program of self-aggrandizement & macho shitheadedness.

  • Nancy

    As to being ‘kind’, etc., I suspect even the most amoral of political butchers has had their sweet moments chirping at canaries & puppies as well.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    See, even extending that perception to both sides of the aisle doesn’t help your cause much. Usage of the term “bipartisan” doesn’t automatically make an argument OK.

    I’m taking a wild guess (not implying, just guessing) that you actually hate politicans. A lot of them. These are people who have no direct impact in your life. Not one. Unless one of them slapped you around as a little girl, pushed you in the mud, and stole your bike, I can’t believe you could perceive white dudes in empty suits — as cold and inept as they may be at their jobs — to be maniacal, diabolical, heartless, soulless, shitheads.

    Like I said before, I don’t even hold that kind of description to people who have wronged me in my life before.

    That’s a problem with this whole politics thing — I think people just genuinely hate certain candidates. And to think I learned in third grade that hate is a bad thing. Now it’s a tool to justify which hole you punch in the voting booth. Amazing.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Having known a few politicians, I can assure you that they aren’t deserving of the hatred often directed at them by such as Nancy. They’re just human beings trying to do the best job they can while being pulled in 20 different directions by advisors, constituents, colleagues and lobbyists, all of whom they need to try to satisfy in some way, with the result that they do a pretty crappy job of pursuing any principle or fighting for a cause, or even maintaining ethical integrity. And the key thing is that even Nancy would likely end up just as mendacious if she ended up in a major public office.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    I could never get elected in the first place, since I refuse to sell myself to the highest bidder or compromise my values just to win a popularity contest. IMO, no HONEST person is going to be either happy or successful in politics; you have to be an inherent sleazebag, untroubled by ethical concerns or honesty to be either successful or able to live with yourself. I do personally know someone who is in big-name politics. I’ve watched this person, who started off being a nice, honest person, gradually start down the slippery slope of compromise, so gradually it wasn’t until he was fairly well down it that he even realized what had happened: a whole mess of little things here & there, but they add up to a major selling of the soul & betrayal of standards. The higher the office, the greater the betrayals, OR the more inherent the sleaziness of the incumbent to begin with. You see, the problem is, I DO know firsthand people in politics, both the officeholder & the hordes of staffers & camp followers, not to mention the lobbyists. It’s a very nasty environment, peopled by (generally) very nasty characters. “West Wing” is IMO an extremely cleaned-up, benign version of reality. My attitude is not just pulled out of thin air or some hat. What are your credentials in firsthand knowledge of politics or politicians? If I remember correctly, Dave, didn’t you run for office once, at least? Were you aware of the dreck involved, or was it a personal & cultural shock? I stuck with my friend until I couldn’t stand the compromises & changes any more, and the endless justifications to himself of why he was doing these things before I finally just left; the surrounding cloud of those intent on corruption, deliberate or un-, was just too much to put up with.

  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    Dave:

    Which a lot of people see as nothing but a way to keep track of guns so that the government can seize them when it’s ready to crack down and institute real oppression.

    This is where we part ways, and where I think gun fanatics lose touch with reason. I would simply point out that the 2nd amendment grants the right to “keep and bear arms,” not to “keep and bear arms ANONYMOUSLY.”

    I won’t even get into whether the “well-regulated militia” clause since that is contentious and beyond my point–I don’t argue people shouldn’t be able to purchase guns, but in the interest of making it more difficult for criminals to obtain them, why allow unregulated access?

    I’ll even grant you that a criminal will get his hands on one regardless. Doesn’t it follow that a criminal would purchase a weapon at a gun shop if he KNEW there were no background check and no registration, since he would not have to pay a black-market markup on top of that price?

  • Bliffle

    “…I refuse to sell myself to the highest bidder or compromise my values…”

    I’d do it! I’d sell myself to the highest bidder, and/or compromise my values! Either one or both in a twofer! Then I’d hire Daniel Webster, with my ill gotten gains, to go up against Old Scratch himself and save my soul. And I’d win, too. One thing I’ve learned from my years in business and observing politics and religion: reneging is more powerful than a contract!

    Unfortunatley, there are already too many offers of souls and values. They’ve both been discounted down badly with the flood of applications. It’s hardly worth the effort. So I, like most of us, am doomed to the hard work of finding some other path to fame and riches. *Gloom*. Another get-rich-quick scheme founders on the rocks. It all sounded so simple, too.

  • Nancy

    Yeah, Blif, but you’re obviously a lot smarter than I am or I’d be less addicted to my bad “good” habits!

  • Bliffle

    You should abandon your attempts at “good” habits forthwith. Modern man is so inured to viewing everything as entertainment and acting that everyone around you already thinks that it is mere pretense and posturing, and the thought is so pervasive that you will come to think the same in time. Listen to the Voice Of Experience.

  • Dave Nalle

    This is where we part ways, and where I think gun fanatics lose touch with reason. I would simply point out that the 2nd amendment grants the right to “keep and bear arms,” not to “keep and bear arms ANONYMOUSLY.”

    The right to keep and bear arms is meaningless if it can be taken away easily by the government. Not knowing where the guns are and who has what guns is one of the few protections that right has. As the law exists now the government theoretically has no record on the federal level of gun ownership. The paperwork you do now is only for a background check. And that check is all you need to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane – registration wouldn’t be any more effective. The only purpose registration serves is to make it easier to take the guns away.

    I won’t even get into whether the “well-regulated militia” clause since that is contentious and beyond my point–I don’t argue people shouldn’t be able to purchase guns, but in the interest of making it more difficult for criminals to obtain them, why allow unregulated access?

    Because it’s a right. Do we regulate peoples right to buy land or food or breathe air? As for the well regulated militia, indeed best to not bring that up, since that clause is violated by things like the assault weapons ban.

    I’ll even grant you that a criminal will get his hands on one regardless. Doesn’t it follow that a criminal would purchase a weapon at a gun shop if he KNEW there were no background check and no registration, since he would not have to pay a black-market markup on top of that price

    Well sure. But the point is that even with a background check and just as much with registration the criminals can get guns if they want them.

    Dave

  • RedTard

    “Do we regulate peoples right to buy land or food or breathe air?”

    You can buy whatever land you want, you just better hope you’re in good with the local bureacrat if you ever want to be able to build on it or do anything with it. Also, it can be taken away very easily if you don’t pay the required government rent (taxes) or if a richer person wants it.

    As for food, there’s a whole fucked up, bloated government agency to regulate that and eventual taxation of ‘bad’ food is on the horizon. (note to liberal professors: indoctrinate more on this!) Air is still in the clear, for now.

  • Dave Nalle

    You can buy whatever land you want, you just better hope you’re in good with the local bureacrat if you ever want to be able to build on it or do anything with it. Also, it can be taken away very easily if you don’t pay the required government rent (taxes) or if a richer person wants it.

    Sadly true, and all things which should be at the top of the ‘fix it’ list for our government.

    As for food, there’s a whole fucked up, bloated government agency to regulate that and eventual taxation of ‘bad’ food is on the horizon. (note to liberal professors: indoctrinate more on this!) Air is still in the clear, for now.

    Ah, but they just regulate the quality of food. I don’t mind if the government makes sure my guns can shoot straight.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    To return to the original topic for a moment: “Why the GOP Will Continue to Win the Independent Vote and Thus Win Elections”. (Sorry about that)

    I think independents will vote GOP for a while, until they see their interests forfeited. Independents are largely middleclass middlemanagement folk who perceive their interests as allied with Top Management (I believe they are deluded in this perception, and that vanity causes them to eagerly think themselves to be on the same team as Top Management, which they are not. They are easily expendable.)

    But when the Top Guys exhaust the possibilities of ransacking the forfeited promises made to GM assembly line workers, etc., they will turn their attention to middlemanagers and other hitherto protected white-collar workers. This will be the next step in the progression of business piracy, against which there are only a few inhibitions.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, the middle class you talk about bears no resemblance to today’s middle class, which is way more diverse than the corporate white collar paper-pusher model you suggest. That’s the middle class of the 1960s. Today we’re talking about unionized workers, no-collar high tech workers, engineers, entrepreneurs and contract workers. Those groups have expanded enormously while your traditional white collar workers have been scaled back. Most businesses have already done the middle-management reduction you suggest is coming, because it’s been clear for years that multiple levels of management make businesses inefficient.

    Dave

  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    Dave, I see where you’re coming from, though I don’t perceive a desire to canvass the country and take away all the guns. A small minority perhaps, but I’m thinking more about a sensible solution.

    I don’t think registration merely provides, as you suggest, a database of gun owners for confiscation purposes–in my opinion, if a firearm is sold and registered to Joe Gunowner, Joe’s far less likely to give or sell it to his buddy who he knows has a drug habit. He’ll be more careful with the weapon because he knows his name is linked to it somewhere. Of course it doesn’t eliminate criminals getting weapons, but it does help the problem and it does not prevent anyone from legally owning a firearm for protection.

    Bliffle, I’m inclined to give your point some credibility, as I seem to remember a survey in the last few years that showed 30% or more of Americans think they’re in the top 5% of wage-earners. However as Dave pointed out, the middle class is much more varied than you illustrate.

  • Dave Nalle

    JP, with registration joe citizen would be unlikely to sell his gun to his friend at all, regardless of that friend’s personal character. It makes the gun effectively the property of the state, loaned to the citizen at their discretion and taken away the moment a truly abusive government gets into power. I’m just uneasy with installing the mechanisms which make tyrrany easier to implement when we have no assurance our government will always be our friend.

    Dave

  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    See but Dave, that’s the point.. making sure the gun doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. If used for common purposes, i.e. hunting, no harm no foul. But in case it’s not, it’s easier to find out who’s responsible.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Regardless of whether the gun originally belonged to someone else, it’s still the person who used it in the crime who’s responsible.

    I think our efforts would be far better served by increasing the felony level and sentencing standards for any crime committed with a gun.

    Dave

  • Dawn

    I actually think Nancy rocks.

    Dave, you did a very good analysis, but the broad spectrum of independents can’t be generalized as neatly as you have done.

    I am an independent – in that I don’t vote on party lines. I tend to vote for the best candidate for the job, that person may be from any party.

    What I would like is a candidate who’s hard on violent criminals, enforces the death penalty and decriminalizes pot, but lays a vicious smackdown on those who distribute meth, crack, and peddle prescription drugs. I want a candidate who supports a women’s right to choose, but crushes the very soul of terrorists and upholds the foundations of democracy and human rights around the world. Not just in countries that have resources we like.

    I want a candidate who doesn’t mind blowing up the bad guy, but helps mothers and children in war torn countries.

    I want a candidate who could care less about the gender of the person you wish to marry and share your life with.

    I want a candidate who could care less about Janet’s nipple, but goes psycho on sexual predators and gets rid of spam and cybercrimes.

    What I want doesn’t exist, never will and that just sucks.

    What I want is me for president, but I have way too much common sense for this country to understand.

  • Maurice

    Interesting points, Dawn. Although I’m not sure about your comment about Nancy. Have you heard of David Duke?

    Dave, your analogy to the playground was spot on and brilliant.

  • Bliffle

    Dave: “Today we’re talking about unionized workers, no-collar high tech workers, engineers, entrepreneurs and contract workers.”

    Doesn’t matter what the details of their work mode, they all occupy the same relative powerlessness position but mistakenly believe themselves allied with the powerful. I’ve been all the things you mention and in each came to realize that my superiors simply used misdirection to attempt to deceive me. For example, when first employed by HAL (let us call it) as a young EE, I already had several years entrepeneurship as a contract layout draftsman and ME, so when they attempted to dazzle me with the pension program, etc., I asked for a copy of the signed contract, which they refused (in feigned shock) so I knew they were insincere and I wasn’t surprised a few years later when they reneged (unlike some of my cohorts who wept openly at the betrayal).

    Even in my current operations as a smalltime capitalist/entrepeneur I know I am susceptible to being crushed by Big Boys (I know many of them and even have socialized extensively with them, and I know they view some of my highly profitable small nut ventures with open envy, and they’d shoot me down if they could get a bead on me, but I’m too elusive: my self-confidence does not trick me into foolish moves).

    The big fish eat the little fish. And all your whining and all your cries for justice won’t change a bit of it. Be prepared. And don’t buy any wooden nickels.

  • Maurice

    Blif

    you are a EE/ME that did layout design? Semiconductors or PC boards?

    BTW I have been in the industry for 24 years and have never been offered any kind of pension. I thought pensions were a thing of the past and that we were all saving for our own retirements now….

  • Bliffle

    Maurice (the Canuck, i assume, since he’s antagonistic to Roquefort): “BTW I have been in the industry for 24 years and have never been offered any kind of pension. I thought pensions were a thing of the past and that we were all saving for our own retirements now….”

    I’ve been there much longer. Pension offers were a common sop to deflect salary demands, then.

    I advise against savings plans, since they get wiped out easily by inflation. Invest. And marry a spouse who can really contribute.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Bliff, I think your perspective is unreasonably negative. The big boys may be interested in using you, but they aren’t particularly interested in crushing you just for sport. So long as you have somehting to offer they are going to throw work and money and opportunities your way. I’m not at all convinced that this is a bad thing.

    There’s no question that everyone has a responsibility to look out for themselves first. Some of us realize this already, and I think eventually it will sink in for everyone in the middle class. Once you come to that realization and take the necessary measures to insulate yourself and prepare for the futrue, you can live a productive and successful life.

    BTW, I had a pension plan when I was teaching, and cashed it in when I quit and put it in an IRA and have managed to increase its value more in 3 years than it increased in 15 while they were managing it. That’s the kind of opportunity which controlling your own resources and future gives you.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    A case could also be made that having guns means you are able to go out & enforce your own justice when the courts refuse to do so for you? I’m torn about gun registration, because it does make it too easy for some future totalitarian government to suddenly round up all registered guns or jail & harrass gun owners – meanwhile criminals have all the guns they want, no problem, because they don’t bother to register them. I do think gun sellers (especially ‘professionals’) who not only run actual stores but also vend out of gun shows, etc. should be heavily supervised, altho most of them are honest. We recently had one asshole arrested here in MD who supplied most of the MD/Baltimore/DC area with illegal weapons, etc. – out of all the dozens of honest gun dealers in the area.

    Don’t know what the solution to that one is. The problem is, too many people who have guns are terminally stupid and/or careless & leave them lying around loaded, or ‘loan’ them to buddies with criminal records, etc. – like the guy with a criminal record whose mental 8-yr-old shot another daycare kid in the arm with his gun – which he in turn got from an equally brain-dead, stupid, and callous friend. I’m pleased to report all 3 – the father, the friend, and the kid – are in various levels of the clutches of the law, altho nowhere near as much as they should be.

  • Bliffle

    Maurice: “you are a EE/ME that did layout design? Semiconductors or PC boards?”

    Hah ha ha. Neither existed when I worked my way thru university. Mostly I designed and drew mechanical apparatus for manufacturing. I’m so old that the first computer I designed and built employed dual triode vacuum tubes (12AU7s discarded by Honeywell) as flipflops and played Nims Game. It radiated plenty heat.

  • Maurice

    Wow. Printed circuit boards were around in 1936. That would mean you were born around 1916 making you about 90 years old. Discrete components replaced vacuum tubes in the late 40s. You are a fossil.

    Oddly enough 12AU7s are still used in high end audio amplifiers.

  • Bliffle

    But until transistors dominated electronics, radios and such were still soldered together with wires underneath a metal chassis. The first circuit I breadboarded together on my mothers soft pine breadboard using small finishing nails as pins. Boy was she mad!

    Tubes are still useful. Tube amps sound better than transistor amps because they produce odd harmonics, predominantly, rather than even harmonics, and the symmetry is less grating on the ear. I bought an old McIntosh MR70 for my bro-inlaw (he cherishes old tube gear) a couple years ago and ran it at home for a few days before gifting him and it outperformed any of the modern receivers I could compare it with. Pulled in more stations, easily, and what a great sound. Must be the superior symmetry of that old Foster-Seely discriminator.

  • Bliffle

    “Discrete components replaced vacuum tubes in the late 40s.”

    Who told you that? You couldn’t have been there. PC boards started appearing in consumer equipment in the 60s. Very rare even in the 50s. The first transistor available to hobbyists was the Raytheon CK722 in ca. 1954. Had a big gain-bandwidth of about 20k, cost about $3 and available only by mailorder.

  • Maurice

    Bliffle

    I am an engineer not a hobbyist. I have been actively designing semiconductors since 1982.

    Wikipedia lists pc boards as being invented in 1936 and being widely used by 1943.

    Perhaps you are confusing discrete components with Jack Kilbys first monolithic design in 1958? That would be a common error for non-engineers.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I’m not an engineer, but I know that long ago we had some stereo equipment which had printed circuit boards into which tubes were inserted at key locations. Perhaps that’s what they’re talking about.

    Dave

  • Maurice

    Dave

    you get a ‘A’ for participation. You must be really bored to make a comment on this thread that has strayed so far off topic!

    As long as you are that bored please read this.

  • Bliffle

    “I am an engineer not a hobbyist. I have been actively designing semiconductors since 1982.”

    Too bad you’re not a hobbyist. Most of the really good engineers I’ve known started as hobbyists. And they continue their hobbys even when working as engineers.

    “Wikipedia lists pc boards as being invented in 1936 and being widely used by 1943.”

    Haha. Another strike against wikipedia, which has been getting dinged a lot lately.

  • Maurice

    Blif,

    I have been taking measurements of your last few comments with my BullShitometer and right now the needle is peggged! I am going to assume you are a draftsman since I never got a straight answer.

    Dave,

    did you get a chance to check out the link? I thought the following was pure genius:

    In 2005, taxes came to a little over $3.5 trillion and GDP was close to $12.5 trillion, for an effective tax rate of 28.5 percent.

  • Bliffle

    To return to the topic for a moment: “Why the GOP Will Continue to Win the Independent Vote and Thus Win Elections”

    I find the sports-like tone sorta troubling. Are we now just spectators on the sidelines with only a rooting interest in a couple professional teams? Are we just ticket holders who pay for everything but get no personal benefit?

    Sorry about that diversion from the diversion.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I did check out the link, Maurice. That estimate of effective tax rate is low, of course. It doesn’t take into account all the other federal taxes and fees we pay on things like gas and phone lines, or the corporate taxes passed on to consumers in the price of goods, or our state and local property and sales taxes. I’ve seen estimates of total tax burden as high as 70%.

    Dave

  • Maurice

    Dave, as I read the article it is only concerned with the Federal tax rate. The way Bruce arrives at his rate is very effective. The main point to me is that most people believe the rate is too high.

    Certainly your statement is true:

    28% – Federal tax rate
    8% – State tax rate
    6% – Sales tax
    15% – SS tax (employer match)
    4% – Property tax
    61% – Total

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dave, living here in Ohio (and remember we have a Rebublican governor) I’ve found that when the republican congress lowers taxes on the federal level-usually for the upper percentile and corporationsl-by the time it funnels down to us, the State of Ohio has raised its rates so that we’re either paying a total higher percent with fed and State taxes or the same as we were before the federal cuts.

    I have no problem with paying higher taxes. Under Clinton as we were close to paying off the deficit (which the republican congress bragged about and took credit for) most americans polled said they’d be happy to pay higher taxes in order to pay the higer deficit down.

    By the way it’s not only the higher deficit that Bush has run into the trillions “on his watch” but it’s the INTEREST we’re paying to China and others on the deficit.

    In my view, it’s just another case of the rich complaining about getting over taxed, but after their accountants have come up with a lot of republican “loophole” deductions, in reality the upper percentile of income pays less in actual percentages than the rest of us-if any at all. And as you can see by companies like General Motors, it definately hasn’t “trickled down”.

    I generally don’t quote George Bush Sr. but he himself refered to it as “VooDoo economics” and he was right.

  • http://chantalstone.blogspot.com chantal stone

    sorry for going off-topic here….

    Jet…do you ever do any volunteer work for the Ohio DP?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    As a matter of fact I did distribute Kerry bumper stickers last time.

    I also won a $100 bet that I couldn’t put a Kerry bumpersticker on the briefcase of James Rhodes’ statue (the republican govenor of Ohio during the Kent State riots) that stands outside of the Rhode State Office tower across from the capital.

    Can you believe a statue of a man carrying a briefcase?

    I think it stayed there for a whole day, because everyone thought someone would think it was them if they approached it.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    ve, living here in Ohio (and remember we have a Rebublican governor) I’ve found that when the republican congress lowers taxes on the federal level-usually for the upper percentile and corporationsl-by the time it funnels down to us,

    Out of curiosity, are you aware that in fact under Bush taxes have been raised more on the rich than on any other group and corporate tax receipts are higher than they have ever been before?

    This whole “tax cuts for the rich” thing the left keeps spouting is complete BS.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    As taxes were raised for the rich, more loopholes were also created for them to get around them too.

    Under this administration companies such as K-mart and all three major auto corps have lost jobs and as a result the government has lost tax revinues not only in wage taxes, but state sales taxes.

    I’ve noticed that when Congress and Bush pass tax-cut legislation, the rich get theirs right away, but it takes SEVERAL YEARS, usually not before Bush is out of office, for the middle class to get theirs, enough time for the next congress to strike them down in cost-cutting measures, but enough to brag about middle class tax cuts for the next election.

  • Dave Nalle

    No no a thousand times no. Nothing you post in #95 is correct, Jet. The flat tax rate cut which took place in 2003 went into effect for all tax brackets simultaneously, and loopholes were reduced not increased.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I have no idea what I’m talking about.

    sometimes I wonder why I bother.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dave, you should stop denying that the Bush tax cuts favor the wealthy. I know that administration number-crunchers have produced calculations purporting to show that the tax cuts were tilted toward the middle class. But using the right measure — the effect of the tax cuts on after-tax income — the bias toward the haves and have-mores is unmistakable.

    According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, once the Bush tax cuts are fully phased in, they will raise the after-tax income of middle-income families by 2.3 percent. But they will raise the after-tax income of people like wealthy Republicans, with incomes of more than $1 million, by more than 7.3 percent.

    And those calculations don’t take into account the indirect effects of tax cuts. If the tax cuts are made permanent, they’ll eventually have to be offset by large spending cuts. In practical terms, that means cuts where the money is: in Social Security and Medicare benefits. And middle-income Americans will feel the brunt of these cuts.

    But what do I know

  • Nancy

    Like his idol & Fearless Leader, W, Dave figures if he keeps babbling the same mantra over & over – “trickle down economics works! Trickle down economics works!” – it will be true, all non-theoretical evidence to the contrary.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    On March 16, in Washington, the Republican lead U.S. Senate voted 52-48 to increase the ceiling on the national debt, by $781 billion, to $9 trillion or roughly $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the country — thus avoiding the first-ever default on U.S. debt. The Republican led House of Representatives then approved another $92 billion in federal spending to support the war effort in the Middle East.

    That night, Gallup wrapped up its latest opinion poll on Americans’ attitudes toward the White House, showing just 37 per cent approve of the President’s performance, versus 59 per cent who disapprove a drop of five percentage points in a month one of the worst scores of any president in the modern era.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Dear Nancy, as I said elsewhere here…

    generally don’t quote George Bush Sr. but he himself refered to it as “VooDoo economics” and he was right.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    When the Japanese stopped financing the Bush deficit in 2004, a combination of China and assorted oil states came to the rescue. Because of its growing trade surplus, China is awash in dollars; because of high energy prices, oil exporters such as Russia are drowning in dollars, too. So the Russians and the Chinese, not exactly the coziest of U.S. allies, are now financing the Bush deficit, including that part of the deficit that’s driven by the Pentagon’s determination to contain China.

    Again, there’s nothing inevitable about the Russian or Chinese decisions. They could take their oil earnings and export earnings and park them entirely in euros. But in order to make Bush look good, the Europeans have done their best to drive loose savings elsewhere. Their economies offer few opportunities for investors, and the Franco-Dutch rejection of the European constitution has shaken business confidence in the euro.

    So thanks to testy Asian central bankers, rich oil states and European voters, Bush has escaped the consequences of his spend now-pay later attitude, and now, because the economy is growing, the budget deficit is coming down.
    In the long term, to be sure, Bush has put the federal government on an unsustainable financial glide path, and one day the foreigners will refuse to keep us airborne. But there’s no justice in politics. The comedown may not happen on Bush’s presidential watch.

  • Nancy

    I’m surprised W’s ratings are that high, since it means that just over 1 in 3 people still do think he’s doing a heckuva job, which to me is a lot of folks who are either very stupid or very naive or very venal.

  • Nancy

    Is/are there any results that break the approvals into age/educational level/regional/etc. factors? I’d be interested to see who & where those who do support him are.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    My god, if I had a nickle for every time I googled something….

  • Lumpy

    There’s so much misinformation here I don’t know where to start. First, the actual percent of the tax cut was 3% for those under $150000 and 2% for those over, so there is no need for special math or spin.

    Then the debt. It’s actually more than half financed by banks and private investors inside the US. And anyone can buy a bond. If u don’t like the Chinese buy a bond yourself. Think of it as a war bond in the fight against terrorism.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Just because you say it’s misinformation, doesn’t mean it is, read again

    According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, once the Bush tax cuts are fully phased in, they will raise the after-tax income of middle-income families by 2.3 percent. But they will raise the after-tax income of people like wealthy Republicans, with incomes of more than $1 million, by more than 7.3 percent.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Speaking of special math Lumpy, what’s over half of 9 billion, and what’s the interest payment on $4,500,000,000.00 that’s going outside of the U.S. on it?

    You talk like it’s a drop in the bucket (which to a republican, I guess it is)

    If every man woman and child bought one of your fantasy bonds, it wouldn’t make a dent in it, and it’d wind up in Haliburton’s or one of Bush’s oil buddies’ pocket 10 seconds later for god knows what inflated item, or to restock our Stategic Oil Reserves.

  • Dave Nalle

    That’s nine TRILLION, Jet. Not billion. A hell of a lot more money. Yet at the same time completely irrelevant. Lumpy’s points are correct. But even moreso, that’s just people investing in America. Inherently good for the country and good for the economy unless you’re some sort of head-in-the-sand protectionist/isolationist whacko.

    According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, once the Bush tax cuts are fully phased in, they will raise the after-tax income of middle-income families by 2.3 percent. But they will raise the after-tax income of people like wealthy Republicans, with incomes of more than $1 million, by more than 7.3 percent.

    That’s after figuring in the second round of cuts AND capital gains and inhereitance tax cuts, which have nothing at all to do with income tax, which is the real issue here. Screwing the middle class on the income tax to soak the rich to make up for their inheritances and capital gains – which are a function of just being rich – makes no sense at all.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    As a head-in-the-sand protectionist/isolationist whacko, with no sense at all, and no plausible figures except those I’ve already presented, I shall now concede defeat.

    I’m wrong
    This has been a recorded announcement.

  • Maurice

    I was going to point out that Jet confused deficit with debt several times. Has he left the building…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Maurice #111 Thanks for catching that.

    I was wrong: this has been a recorded announcement.

    However it’s expressed, it’s one hell of a debt that we’re paying interest on-that’s money needlessly leaving the country, even if it’s only on 4.9 Trillion (excuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!)

    All this under Bush’s watch.

    Hello boys and girls, can you say Bush deficit, versus Clinton Surplus (and don’t make me google all the news articles regarding the republican held congress taking credit for a budget surplus) after you deny there was one!
    Please…

    See you next week after the funeral…