Help Wanted

I said I wasn’t going to post on the political conventions and I plan on sticking to that. However, I’ve got to say that I’m baffled by the commentary about the Republican National Convention. The blogosphere and media outlets are absolutely full of posts, articles, columns, etc. debunking Paul Ryan’s speech of last night.

I haven’t hear any of it but I have read snippets of the prepared text as well as some of the criticisms. Outside of the mendacity that I’d associate with any political speech but especially political speeches giving during national conventions I didn’t see anything particularly outrageous. What’s all the hub-bub, bub?

To my ear the reactions sound a bit desperate. Can somebody please interpret this stuff for me? I really don’t get it.


Let me expand on my remarks above a little. According to the RealClearPolitics average, a composite of polls, President Obama leads by 1.1%. That’s not a very big lead for a sitting president.

Now, maybe Mitt Romney will completely fall on his face when he gives his acceptance speech tonight. Maybe President Obama will completely knock the ball out of the park when he gives his next week. I don’t expect either of those things to happen. I expect Mitt Romney to get a small bounce from the RNC and President Obama to get not much of anything from the DNC. He’s not exactly underexposed to the American people.

What does that mean? To me it means that the presidential election is too close to call, there’s still a slight likelihood that the Republicans will get a majority in the Senate, and, although it looks like it might be possible that Democrats will narrow the Republican lead in the House slightly, the Republicans are likely to hold the House. Which is, essentially, what I’ve been saying for the last year.

Partisans of both parties have unenviable chores ahead of them. Democrats must defend the indefensible. President Obama has gotten nearly everything he’s asked for and the economy is still in the toilet. We’re still in Afghanistan, bleeding lives and dollars every day. Pakistan destabilizes a bit more every day and our drone attacks are contributing to that, at least at the margins. Guantanamo is still open. The president continues to repeat that Iran’s getting nuclear weapons is “unacceptable”, whatever that means. The Holder Justice Department and the Geithner Treasury are just about as horrible as any of my memory.

Republicans must embrace the incoherent. Gov. Romney wants to shrink federal spending but he wants to expand defense spending. His tax reform plan, even if it were to be adopted, would not of itself heal the problems with our economy, at least not in the near term. And that it would suddenly produce 4% real GDP growth is beyond understanding.

56 comments… add one
  • Icepick Link

    I’ve told you that I think the Democratic internal polls are showing them to be in deep doodoo. That’s why we’ve had all these outrageous claims in recent months. This is just more of the same by the President and his henchmen in the media.

    (I loved the fuck-up with the ABC News webcast the best. How long did it take Yahoo! to fire that reporter, about 90 minutes? The best part of that one is that no one else on the set seemed to think the guy had said anything all that incredible from what I can tell.)

  • Icepick Link

    Also, watch out mentioning any mendacity by Drew’s Golden Boy. Drew might drive by your house with his stereo system blaring and challenge you to a golf match!

  • Andy Link

    I didn’t and won’t listen to the speeches either, but I did notice the same reaction as you did. I don’t really get it either and frankly, I don’t really want to get it.

    If you dare, wade into the OTB comments on James Joyner’s piece on the GM plant closing “controversy” from Ryan’s speech. It’s a mess and the whole controversy is largely pointless bickering about who was or wasn’t President when this plant was/wasn’t closed or whatever – as if who was President mattered. James attempted a nuanced take on a pointless issue and gets taken to task and called all sorts of names for not sufficiently criticizing Ryan. John Personna is actually one of the more reasonable voices in the thread.

    After the last few days I think I’m going to unplug from commenting on any site except here and the more arcane places I visit. Wading into the mess that is OTB, to say nothing of the really partisan joints, is a complete waste of time.

  • Drew Link


    It’s unfortunate, but I think a lot of people have arrived at your conclusion. I certainly have, commenting there only very infrequently. It’s a shame. I have a lot of time for James, Doug and, when he posts, Dodd. And although I’ll never see eye to eye with them, I had a lot of time for Alex Knapp and Bernard Finel on certain subjects where they had insights.

    Now?? Infested with ticks is how I phrase it. Too bad.

  • Drew Link


    What would be your preference? Zep, Stones, AC/DC, Van Halen…….or maybe you prefer The Captain and Tenile?

  • Andy Link


    I don’t think most people are interested in coherent policy. Citizens today are, to borrow a phrase from a strategic theorist I know, “a mass of atomized, propagandized pulp.”

    For the campaigns, coherence is a distant second to getting elected, which requires pandering to the politically important demographic tranches. Incoherence is inevitable.

  • PD Shaw Link

    From my p.o.v., people generally have a poor ability to differentiate facts, from conclusions drawn from facts, from impressions left by the presentation of facts or conclusions, from analysis/opinions derived from facts and conclusions. Invariably the tendency in the blogosphere when emotions are heightened is to reduce anything one does not like to falsehood. The devolution of the MSM as a provider of sustenance to the blogosphere is making the problem worse.

  • Icepick Link

    The Holder Justice Department and the Geithner Treasury are just about as horrible as any of my memory.

    DAMN, homie! That’s about the strongest statement from you I’ve ever read on your blog! Are you old enough to remember Nixon’s Presidency? (Just to get a gauge on how strong this comment is.)

  • Are you old enough to remember Nixon’s Presidency?

    I’m old enough to remember Ike’s first term. Truman’s presidency if I work on it a little. I can certainly remember Ike’s first presidential campaign. I remember seeing Macarthur’s farewell address to Congress on TV.

    I honestly don’t think that Kennedy’s, Connally’s, or Schultz’s Treasuries were anywhere near as bad as the current one. I can’t blame any of those SoT’s for Nixon’s wage and price controls, certainly right up there for the worst economic policies of my lifetime.

  • John Personna is actually one of the more reasonable voices in the thread.

    Holy mother bleep bleep bleep. Seriously?!?!

  • Icepick Link

    Drew, you want to try that in my neighborhood? In that case, make it Captain and Tenile! It will go well with the Jamaican gangsta rappers that are favored around here.

    But if you’re asking for my preference? Then, in order:

    1. Roth-era Van Halen (Diver Down is my favorite; despite all the bitching about the cover songs I think it was their best from a standpoint of soul and musicianship)
    2. Rolling Stones (anything up to and including Undercover)
    3. AC/DC up to and including Back in Black (haven’t heard the last couple of albums), but Highway to Hell or High Voltage would be for choice
    4. Led Zepplin Yeah, they’re better than AC/DC, but they’re nowhere near as much fun.

    But if you really want to get me going trying playing No Remorse (get the tape version with the three extra songs, especially Louie Louie) or Sacrifice from Motorhead, A Matter of Life and Death from Iron Maiden or The System Has Failed from Megadeth. Man, we haven’t had real heavy metal blasting in this neighborhoods since …. probably since me and my buddies were a bunch of snot-nosed kids being reprobates. Ah, good times! I can’t believe no one kicked our asses back then like they should have. Well, that’s probably because everyone else was either already deaf or listening to the same stuff.

  • Icepick Link

    Holy mother bleep bleep bleep. Seriously?!?

    He’s probably explaining how they do it in Denmark. (And really, who wouldn’t want to do it in Denmark? Did you SEE their Olympic team walk out in London?!?)

    Schuler, I didn’t think you were that old – I put you in your late 50s.

    And I wasn’t thinking of Nixon’s Treasury so much as his Justice Department. But then the rot was really at the top there, so maybe I shouldn’t hold it against the rank and file….

  • Oh, hell, no, Ice.

    He wrote the software for the Data General I used in when I was about 24. And it was an old machine (in computer term). I’m 55.

  • Speaking of Holder, he did do one thing right, issuing that document about the rights of photographers. I don’t how many here like to go and take pictures of stuff, but it is something I like to do, nothing fantastic just pictures of stuff I find interesting. Anyhow taking picture of cops…in most places that will get you arrested. Is it illegal? Not at all, but most cops are clueless about the rights of photographers. Same with security people at various places. They think that taking pictures of the outside of buildings is not allowed as a way of preventing terrorism (hint to any security morons reading this, google has all the pictures of buildings a terrorist could ever want, no go empty your drool cups). But Holder’s DoJ issued a statement of interest regarding photography of cops while in public.

    The right to record police officers while performing duties in a public place, as well as the right to be protected from the warrantless seizure and destruction of those recordings, are not only required by the Constitution. They are consistent with our fundamental notions of liberty, promote the accountability of our governmental officers, and instill public confidence in the police officers who serve us daily.

    So maybe not quite that bad.

  • Icepick Link

    Steve V, just because they got one thing right doesn’t mean they aren’t terrible. Although it should be pointed out that the most egregious stuff (that I’m aware of) also has “buy-in” from Congress.

  • Icepick Link

    And since we’re all sawing off legs to count the rings, I’m 44.

  • TastyBits Link


    What would be your preference? Zep, Stones, AC/DC, Van Halen…….or maybe you prefer The Captain and Tenile?

    Is anybody supposed to be impressed? You are a worthless piece of shit, and your choice of music does not make you any less a bitch. Stray outside the country club, and you might find it difficult to listen to anything with a pair of hands on your ears holding their dick down your windpipe.

  • Steve V, just because they got one thing right doesn’t mean they aren’t terrible. Although it should be pointed out that the most egregious stuff (that I’m aware of) also has “buy-in” from Congress.

    No, the Obama DoJ is pretty bad, but I’d rate it a hair or two above Clinton’s and, probably a bit more than that above Bush’s. But that isn’t saying anything great.

    Is anybody supposed to be impressed? You are a worthless…..

    Wow….did I miss something while on vacation?

  • TastyBits Link

    @Steve Verdon

    Wow….did I miss something while on vacation?

    See @Drew’s comment from Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

  • TastyBits Link


    Drew, you want to try that in my neighborhood? …
    (link added)

    If you take away monkey spunk’s money, it would get bitch slapped at its country club. An asshole is an asshole, and its “friends” have little use for it other than its money.

  • Andy Link

    Steve V,

    Holy mother bleep bleep bleep.

    In a thread where most of the comments are accusing James of carrying water or outright lying, JP says this:

    I appreciate the hard work at fact-checking, James. I think you are right though that the big picture is about something else.

    Maybe I’m a cynic, but I think they are going for the inference that the auto industry, without bailouts, would be healthier. It is a “everything does better without government” story line.


    I read James fairly carefully and critically. I know he often buries his lede, etc. Even as a skeptic I didn’t find much objectionable here. He was not friendly to Ryan. He damned him with faint criticism, or something.

    So, I guess you thought this was a way for big criticism?

    Anyway, if I were to challenge James on anything (maybe tomorrow) it would be a question about that closing paragraph. Has Obama really “picked winners” in the economy, or is that more the brush with which he is painted?

    Seems pretty reasonable to me, especially compared to most everyone else. Credit when due and all that….

    Speaking of Holder, he did do one thing right, issuing that document about the rights of photographers.

    Yeah, I had forgotten about that. I’ve been to a lot of foreign countries where photographing near any kind of security/military installation will get you arrested.

    One other thing, the President did, I think, make a good faith effort to close Gitmo, but Congress prevented it. Both the house and Senate passed amendments to the defense bill which specifically prevented the use of any funds to close the facility or transfer prisoners to the US. A classic “power of the purse” move by Congress. Pretty much everyone abandoned him when it came time for a vote – the tally was 90-6 in the Senate and 282-131 in the house.

  • jan Link


    James, over at OTB, made the mistake of being too candid, in saying he was probably going to vote for Romney. It’s like stitching a scarlet letter ‘R’ on one’s chest to lean towards the R/R side of this race. Doug has been fairly neutral. But, even he gets guff because he doesn’t hammer Romney enough. Of course, I’m beloved over there…. not!

    As for the Ryan static today. I think it is almost a psych-ops going on. His speech was very well received. Even some of the fact-checking going on, has been doubly fact-checked to Ryan’s benefit. The convention itself, was buzzing with excitement after his speech, as people spilled out of the venue. I think the whole event has gone off better than anticipated, and the dems are worried.

    Also, they are planning much of their convention around a ‘war on women’ thesis. But, when you compare that to some of the serious republican women, talking economics, who have taken to the stage, it kind of makes their side of the feminine aisle look superficial and shallow.

    BTW, Ryan’s speech comes off much better upon his delivery versus the written script. The intonations, body language, references to his family, Mom, his humor all made him likable and real.

  • jan Link

    Oh, what I’ve come to realize over at OTB, is that when there is no good or glib response to a post with another political POV, the swarm over there defaults to insults and just calling a person a liar.

    It effectively shuts people up, and lately there seems to be fewer and fewer people with different POVs. It’s a great recipe in creating nothing but an echo chamber for a blog.

  • Andy Link


    Yeah, I think we are in full-on tribal mode with regard to partisan politics right now. If it’s not crystal clear that you’re “with us” then you’re an enemy or, at best, a useful idiot. It’s about impossible to actually discuss anything in that environment.

  • the swarm over there defaults to insults and just calling a person a liar

    Believe it or not that’s a well-known rhetorical device. It’s called “clearing the field”. You just beat your opponent down. It doesn’t matter how.

  • jan Link

    Andy and Dave,

    Yeah, I’m starting to get that about this election. ‘Tribal mode” and “clearing the field’ are good descriptions of partisan tools being currently applied.

  • TastyBits Link


    When commenting at OTB, keep in mind that many people will read your comments, and some will find them useful. You probably will not change any minds, but you may help someone’s argument. I had a discussion going for 10 days, and it may have enlightened some people reading the thread.

  • Icepick Link

    Is anybody supposed to be impressed? [snipped the rest]

    Wooooooooow. And they say _I_ have a bad attitude. I salute you, sir!

  • Icepick Link

    Yeah, I think we are in full-on tribal mode with regard to partisan politics right now.

    The nice thing about being completely on the fringes is that I’ve got a target rich environment.

  • Drew Link


    Valium may be of assistance with your psychological issues and personality disorder.

  • Icepick Link

    Another data point on why I think it is Romney’s to lose:

    Majority of New Jobs Pay Low Wages, Study Finds

    I doubt this is new to anyone here, but it is important to keep these things in mind.

    Additionally Romney managed to make Obama look small today by forcing the President into changing his itinerary to accommodate Romney’s action in going to NOLA. It’s a semi-pointless exercise for either of them to do it, but there it is. According to the Demorrhoids it’s all about who cares, and Obama has been made to look like a clueless dipshit by the Repulsicon nominee. They’re losing on their own turf to the heartless capitalist!

    I heard of some rather startling survey results from Carville’s folks today, too, but I haven’t looked that up yet. I go back to something I said late in the 2008 contest: Just look at which side is acting like a winner.

  • steve Link

    @Drew- No Classic Southern rock? You are missing an entire genre. Given your political proclivities, shouldnt you include some Allman Brothers or some such?

    “Outside of the mendacity that I’d associate with any political speech but especially political speeches giving during national conventions I didn’t see anything particularly outrageous.”

    Ryan attacking Obama for cutting Medicare was a bit much for me. This is the guy who is, supposedly, serious about budget reform.


  • Ryan attacking Obama for cutting Medicare was a bit much for me. This is the guy who is, supposedly, serious about budget reform.

    It is this kind of thing that just makes me so apathetic about the future. Is reducing the growth rate of medicare important? Sure. But as soon as one side does it, the other side exploits it as a talking point.

    If the roles were reversed (a Republican had just cut Medicare expenditures) is there any doubt the Democratic nominee wouldn’t be using it as a talking point to beat on the Republican?

    I find all politicians to be despicable people.

  • PD Shaw Link

    Steve V, it was reversed. When Ryan was announced as the VP, the Obama team started (or actually resumed) campaigning against Ryan-Wyden Medicare reform plan as ending Medicare as we know it, allowing Medicare to whither on the vine, and shortening the life of Medicare.

    The Romney people responded with an attack that it was Obama who had actually taken money out of Medicare. The point of the attack as I see it is to insulate Ryan from the original charges and call into question the charachter of the President’s accusations. There is not a substantive discussion going on about Medicare, that’s fearmongering from last December.

  • Icepick Link

    steve, on the other side we have Dems saying that only THEY can save Medicare, as though they hadn’t just promised hundreds of billions in cuts.

    Steve V., I’m not apathetic, I’m scared.

    And I don’t believe in the cuts any of them are making if they’re (a) back-loading them so that a future Congress and President have to make them and (b) STILL show expenditures going up every single year under their plans.

    Romney’s campaign spent a lot of time telling us what a caring guy he is last night. So what? I’d rather vote for Attila the Hun if I thought he’d keep his word and do what he says. I think that’ll be my new political party, the Scourge Party.

  • steve Link

    @PD- This is the Hatfields and McCoys. I dont think you can really say who started what. The 2010 election was won by the GOP with a 21% margin from elderly voters, largely because they attacked Obama’s Medicare cuts while, again, claiming they cared about the debt. Go further back and you find attacks from the Dems.

    Both sides know they need to reduce Medicare spending. Both sides use it to garner votes. I was just responding to Dave wondering what the fuss was over Ryan. The guy is supposedly a serious politician. Looks like a regular old flim-flam guy to me.


  • jan Link


    What’s going to be your litmus test that a politician will keep their word? The key to that sentence is ‘word,’ as it is all words, from everybody until someone actually assumes office. That’s when the so-called rubber meets the road, and actions/deeds come into play.

    Absent anything but words and rhetoric…then what?

  • Icepick Link

    jan, it’s pretty simple. [Herein follows over 1,100 words.] The pols make promises about what they are going to attempt to do. They then make proposals. Do the proposals match the rhetoric? That’s the first test.

    I’ve looked at Ryan’s proposed plan, actually looked at the numbers. Spending goes up every year. He is promising to cut taxes as well. So, spending goes up, revenue targets come down. He tells me he is going to cut the deficit by this approach. This is magical thinking. He is planning on growth of ~3.35% (on average) in federal spending over the next decade. The deficit can only be cut under this scenario if GDP grows significantly faster than that ~3.35%. How is that supposed to happen? That pretty much only happens after a sharp rebound from a sharp, short recession and then only briefly, or from a bubble.

    I would also point out that a lot of Ryan’s savings are well down the line, which means future Congresses and Presidents will have to buy into these proposals. Given that both sides are promising to cut Medicare (to choose the most egregious example) while simultaneously claiming that they will save Medicare from the devastating cuts proposed by the other side, I’m finding these proposed future cuts/savings to be hogwash. Both sides are talking out of both sides of their asses, which is a neat if disgusting trick. Both sides are also promising that someone else, somewhere, sometime down the line will actually do the hard work that they’re too fucking gutless to attempt. As Drew might say, they’ve got no balls and their sticks are short and flaccid. (I’m not even going to tell you what TB would say, but I’m laughing just thinking about THAT!)

    Now to Romney. He has also talked about cutting the deficit. He has more or less endorsed Ryan’s proposals. But he has also stated that he wants to up defense spending and cut taxes more deeply. So Romney wants even more spending and even less revenue, which means he will need even higher levels of growth than Ryan envisioned.

    jan, this is all hogwash. Several posts back I looked at a recent (but probably not current) version of the 2012 Federal Budget. Given the statements Mittens and Roid Boi have made, the best I could see them doing is cutting spending by 10%. I had cuts to Medicaid being offset by increases to Defense, and the 10% came from cutting all education spending, slashing about 25% from welfare (meaning food stamps and such) and cutting a big chunk out of basic government services – FBI and Secret Service to SEC and FEC to Border Patrol (or whatever damned acronym they go by these days.) There’s just nothing else they could cut, given their stated preferences. That still left a deficit of almost a trillion dollars, and that’s BEFORE the tax cuts they want to make.

    How does that cut the deficit in anything other than a token manner?

    There are two things the pols can easily do to reduce the deficit, two things within their purview that they can tackle with some ease – cutting defense spending and raising taxes. Because yes, raising taxes will be a lot easier than cutting Medicare or Social Security, and none of them are going to let debt payments slide. And frankly Defense IS bloated. But R/R want to raise the one and lower the other. That’s fine, but don’t tell me that AND tell me you are interested in reining in DC’s profligate spending and reducing the deficit. As Michael Corleone would say, “It insults my intelligence.”

    So, jan, R/R’s plans lack internal consistency with their stated goals. That is pure bullshit. (And mind you, Ryan’s proposal from last year included NO SPENDING ON OBAMACARE, and he STILL had government spending going up an average of 3.35% a year.)

    Let me give you another example of such bullshit. In 2008, Obama promised he would halve the federal deficit in his first term in office. He said that he would also ramp down spending on Iraq (on Bush’s timeline, though he of course took credit for it) while ramping spending up on Afghanistan (as Schuler has pointed out until he’s blue in the face, keeping one “pair of boots on the ground” in A is much more expensive than doing so in I), so Barry Half-White was proposing to increase defense spending. He was also planning on passing about a trillion dollars worth of stimulus. He was also planning to increase government spending on healthcare by at least $100B a year. He was also promising tax cuts for the middle class. He WAS planning on raising taxes on the rich, but the numbers were such that he was essentially promising a tax cut on the whole. (This was prior to increases to be worked into the eventual PPACA bill.) He was also planning on increasing education spending, environmental spending, increasing business regulations so that there would be LESS business activity, increase funding for green energy, etc.

    So Obama was promising to increase spending, cut taxes, make energy more expensive and make it more difficult to do business and still promising to cut the deficit in half in four years.

    That was some pretty audacious bullshit, wasn’t it? And how did that work out? And why should I assume it will work out better for Turn Around Till You’re Dizzy Man and his trusty sidekick Roid Boi? Oh, the BUSINESS experience.

    I will grant that Romney will probably be much better on the regulatory front. He will probably make a couple of decent decisions on taxes (although he isn’t promising to do anywhere near enough), and that he will be less a catastrophe than Obama. (Assuming he doesn’t decide to go to war with Iran and its supporters China and Russia. He must love dying children a lot, because he’s promising to make a whole helluva lot more of them.) But even at that he will need sustained GDP growth of 4% or more for several years to make his plans work as stated. That will not happen, and he knows it. He’s lying, jan, it is as simple as that, and he’s lying about the biggest domestic policy proposals he can make. It’s all right there in what he has said.

    I can understand voting ABO, but I cannot understand this need to believe in lollypop-farting unicorns and budget fairies (Frank’s retiring, so I don’t know where you plan to get one of those) who will magically fix everything. Romney & Ryan can’t even pass an internal consistency check, so there’s no need in even looking at other assumptions and proposals. I don’t even need to look at their past records, or more deeply examine their positions. Jan, if they get everything they want, they will fail by the standards they set forth. Why am I supposed to reward that?

  • jan Link


    I didn’t major in econ, but do have a working knowledge of business through my own experience of being self-employed. While I won’t get into the weeds with your well-reasoned essay of why none of R/R’s proposals will work, the dilemma of how to interact with the upcoming election remains.

    We basically have 2 viable candidates to choose from — Obama or Romney. For me, Obama is a non-starter. Besides not fulfilling fiscal promises, he has enlarged government, created more red tape for business insuring that job creation will be more difficult, and only addresses unsustainable entitlements when he is in rebuttal mode to R/R.

    The other choice, R/R, have ideas which don’t compute, according to your analysis — magical thinking is how you term it. However, I’m one of those people who believe that cutting back on bureaucracy, fast-tracting bills or options that might help the economy, consolidating departments/layers of government, putting constraints on the runaway powers of the EPA, expanding avenues of energy sources, creating more stable tax policies with incentives built in for savings as well as investment, you could at least take our country off of life supports.

    Besides a growing dependency being fostered under the Obama rule, on one hand, we have less confidence felt by those who are considered producers/investors. Put the two groups together, and what you get is non-movement in a country — stagnation. You have people holding their hands out, along with people putting their hands behind their backs. That kind of cooperation and demoralization won’t help a country grow. And, growth is what we need.

    So, despite what your numbers bottom line out to, I continue to believe that with R/R we at least have a chance of getting out of our economic paralysis, which is a promising starting point, albeit with no attached guarantees of anything. But, I am used to life being that way….whether it’s getting married, having children, even going on an ordinary road trip, there are no guarentees of what the outcome will really hold.

  • TastyBits Link


    Maybe I went too far, but some things really piss me off. Years ago, I used to take apart liberals/progressives, but it is really too easy. The years have mellowed me.

    Usually, a politician cannot please 51+% of the voters, and therefore, they must stretch the truth.

    I am more concerned with Congress. As you have noted House Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell will rubber stamp anything R/R sends them. Contrary to popular opinion, the Tea Party was anti-Bush first, anti-Republican second, and anti-Obama last. A Tea Party heavy Congress may be able to begin cleaning up the mess. Otherwise, I am all for gridlock.

  • TastyBits Link


    I have a problem with the Republicans. The Democrats want larger government, and they will do anything to accomplish that goal. The Republicans want smaller government, but they will do nothing to accomplish that goal.

    I have a bigger issue with the Democratic and Republican supporters. Most are apologists for their side. “Bush was a big spender, but …” “Obama uses the Constitution for toilet paper, but …” Pick an issue, and they will flip-flop as needed.

    For the Republicans, I want to see the 12 steps of AA. R/R will be better than O/B, but I do not expect much. The real difference is the rate of federal government growth. We are headed off the cliff. One side denies the cliff exists, and the other will get us there slower.

  • jan Link


    I was saying that in my post above, that there are no guarantees to the bottom line of R/R. But, I do believe simply implementing some of their conservative philosophies, that are less collectively oriented, policies will at least be less restrictive, aimed at pro-growth, ultimately impeding the government from rapidly getting even larger.

    However, in the back of mind (with no evidence to prove anything), I think R/R will do much better than most people expect of them.

  • Drew Link


    Slow day. Raining here, so no golf. I just saw your post. Apologize.

    As for the Allmen Brothers, it has absolutely nothing to do with any political leanings. I’ve loved them since I was a teenager. A very nice blend do rock and southern.

    More importantly, since I’m a guitarist junkie. Duane was perhaps one of the top five guitarists ever, certainly in his genre.

    I’m pretty eclectic, so I also love, for example, Julian Breem. But give me a night with Jimmy Page, Edge, Keith, Clapton, and of course……suffering from insomnia as I do these days…..I woke up and came down in the office and just started serial YouTube inquiries, the great, great Stevie Ray Vaughan. Who I unfortunately saw the night of his death in Wisconsin….kind of creepy. These guys are just awesome.

    I’ve gotten myself into some trouble recently talking about golf. Golf is an exotic sport and requires extraordinary hand eye coordination, not to mention intestinal fortitude. Some here are in denial. (now im sunk)

    But playing the guitar seems to me to be an extraordinary talent. It’s a difficult instrument. At 4 AM the other morning watching SRV in his twenties just effortlessly working that axe, I just shook my head in disbelief, and wished that I could even dream of that talent. He seemed to be so happy as he just let his emotions drive right through that instrument. Real genius.

    It was a terrible loss for the music world.

  • Drew Link

    Uh, Allman.

  • Drew Link

    Well, well, well. So you are a music buff, Janis? In an alternative universe…..

    That’s good stuff. If I’m correct, you are in Texas. We had a company we owned outside of Austin, so I became familiar with the Austin music scene. I actually met Willy Nelson at the American Club airport there.

    Reproduction of high quality music is key. I listen to everything from opera to symphony to blues to rock to Mile Davis classic jazz. This is my equipment list, you can look it up on the Internet: speakers- Sonus Faber Stratavari…..amplification….Hovland line
    stage and Hovland amp, the solid state Radia. The turntable is SME with a Lyra Titan II cartridge. Devine. Digital input is the current state of the art Esoteric, but not with the atomic clock. But it gives analog a run for its money. All cabling is Kubala Sosna.

    If you enjoy music as much as I do, this will wet your whistle. As Pink Floyd noted…….wish you were here.

  • steve Link

    Drew- Dont move to New Hampshire.


  • Wrong again, Drew. I’m in Louisiana.

  • Drew Link

    Louisiana, eh?

    Well, I hope you are out of the path. My cousin lives in Baton Rouge. My brother in law is from New Orleans, and once showed me unbelievable pictures after Katrina. I understand the historical significance of NO. But it flummoxes me that an important port is well below sea level, and this has not been rectified in over a hundred years.

  • Drew Link


    Heh. Well, what are you going to do. Play Muscrat Love, or blast away? You know my preference.

  • Drew Link


    Some of the crescendos in Beethovens s Ninth? the violins? Now that’s jamming.

  • and this has not been rectified in over a hundred years.

    That’s the genius of the Army Corps of Engineers.

  • We were on the fringe of the path. Lots of small twigs and limbs down, two potted plants knocked over. The Norfolk pine blows over in any old wind, though.

    The fellow up the street had some medium limbs down, but his trees often shed during thunderstorms.

    Here’s a picture:

    And Drew, I was reared in Dallas, Texas, but I’ve lived here for nineteen years.

  • And those overrun beds are my next project, to prepare them for fall planting. The garden was thriving before my husband took ill.

  • Help Wanted, indeed.

  • TastyBits Link


    … But it flummoxes me that an important port is well below sea level, and this has not been rectified in over a hundred years.

    Geography. Getting ocean going ships much further up the river is costly at best. Between NO and the Gulf, some dredging needs to be done, but the river is not as deep further up the river. New Orleans is the natural spot where you would build a port, but with the coastal erosion, Baton Rouge may be an alternate choice.

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