Tag Archives: Democrats

Democrats, Republicans, and Chickweed

”The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.”

—P.J. O’Rourke

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Fiscal Cliff Alert Status for 2012.12.05: Condition Red

When it comes to the Fiscal Cliff, we all have much to lose.

The CBO projects that going over the cliff means that the economy takes a nosedive during 2Q 2013 and unemployment will easily break 9% by early 3Q 2013.

Should we go down the Fiscal Cliff path then 2013 will be a year of random misery as different parts of the economy adjust to magical movement of money, or lack thereof, in the marketplace. Ours is a marketplace addicted to subsidized money on both the left and the right, whether it be cheap credit cards, zero percent loans to large banks, defense spending or social spending, grants, shared underwriting of public programs or tax credits and deductibles for private investments.

Neither side is close to blinking. Neither side is close to have a ‘deal’ that their own party can support.

Negotiation on avoiding the Fiscal Cliff will go all the way to the 11th hour … and perhaps no deal will come about. More probable than just being possible at the moment.

President Obama has a strong hand for shooting down many aspects of what the GOP wants, although the GOP does not have any actual plan that is supported both within the House and the Senate as of yet. So criticism that Obama has rejected the GOP plan are largely empty words — there is no GOP plan that the GOP itself has endorsed that can provide a guaranteed 51%+ supportive vote in either the House or in the Senate.

And yet President Obama’s challenge is that he needs a deal that the GOP House will approve, and so far there is no real Democratic plan on the table that can provide a guaranteed 51%+ supportive vote in either the House or in the Senate.

The only two people that have a written plan are Simpson-and-Bowles … and neither the Dems nor the Reps are embracing it.

Today’s Risk Level of going over the edge: Condition Red

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Left or Right – Paper or Plastic – Heart or Brain? … Life is better without talkingpoints.

I’ve come to accept me for me.

The left side of my brain seems to be Democratic. The right side seems to be Republican. Where it all meets in the middle I tend to pick and choose those ideas that seem appropriate for the situation.

Am hopelessly Independent … but happy that both sides are feeding me constant thoughts and ideas.

Heart and Brain - I am with stupid

The Heart and Brain image was found while reading Sarcastic Mama on Facebook.

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Americans abandon Democratic and Republican Brands – U.S. Political Party Identification as of September 2012

U.S. Political Party Identification

For the first time since polls began asking the question ‘Do you consider yourself a ______’, both the Democrats and Republicans have significantly lost brand association with Americans.

I consider myself ‘an Independent’ overtook both Democratic and Republican brand identification in early-2011 and has held its #1 identification spot ever since.

Voter Identification by Party as of 2012.09.30

Voter Identification by Party as of 2012.09.30 PollTracker

The biggest loser appears to be the GOP.

Loss of identification with being ‘Republican’ is strange since the the percentage of Americans that consider themselves ‘conservative’ remains a strongly dominating 46% over the 20% that identify as ‘liberal’. The Conservative brand has remained strong since 1980, never once dropping below 40% per Gallup.

Voter ideologic identification - 2012 0900

Voter ideologic identification per Gallup.com

One response from some Republicans is that loss of identification with the GOP just represents those conservatives unhappy with the party itself, and thus they declare themselves to be independent.

HOWEVER, when Independents are asked which party they lean towards then the Democrats have consistently come out ahead (Gallup Sep 2012) which can only be interpreted as a significant number of center-right Americans find it difficult to sympathisze with the Republican Party itself as the better choice over the Democratic Party.

Party Identification as of 2012 0900 per Gallup.com

Party Identification as of September 2012 per Gallup.com

Sources: http://polltracker.talkingpointsmemo.com/contests/us-party-identification and http://www.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx


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Bill4DogCatcher endorses ___ for president in 2012.

Someone asked, and for a week now the GOP has put the question out there for you and me to think about: Are we better off than 4 years ago?

Life has been challenging. Business has been challenging — and I say that as a CEO of a small but global company.

I’ve always considered myself a conservative, a Reagan Democrat … a Blue Dog if you like that term. You can call me a RINO too — I don’t really care. I’ve become rather fond of the term RINO (Really Independent & Not Obnoxious).

Bottomline: I generally vote Republican 70-80% of the time … although my last three votes for governor and senator in Virginia have been for Democrats, but Republicans at the local level. As to that nagging question: are we better off as a nation than 4 years ago? YES, yes, yes. … We are a bit bruised, have low expectations for more than minimal jobs growth in the foreseeable future, and know that our world has fundamentally changed and it will never be 2007 again. There is nothing to take our country back to — back four years ago — that was better than today … not that I’m so crazy about today as to think life is just grand.

Better than four years ago? Yes. We are no longer hemorraging hundreds of thousands of jobs every month, month after month. We are no longer losing our savings and retirement funds to trying to save our homes and our businesses. We are not doing great, our income is a bit lower, but we are stable … and that fiscal cliff scares me. 2013 could be a real bitch of a year, and 2014 as well.

Are we better off four years later?

All recessions eventually work themselves out. But are we better off than 4 years ago? Things are fragile but stable … which beats the alternative of losing jobs every month.

As to that fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama did not bring or lead us to this point. If you want to point fingers we should all start with ourselves and the political leaders of both parties, past and present, that won’t make the hard choices and be truthful about 1+1=2 and deficits, and …

Bill4DogCatcher.com endorses ____.

I have endorsed Gary Johnson, Libertarian. I may well vote Libertarian in November. I have said I would and I am usually pretty dogged about doing what I say.

>> However, should it come to picking just between President Obama and Governor Romney then my choice would be to vote Obama.

There, I’ve said it. Hate me. Call me a RINO … I don’t really care.

I’m just going to sit here with my cup of coffee in my McCain 2008 coffee mug thinking to myself: what a bunch of nutcases the GOP has become. Call me when sanity knocks again at the door.

Best regards,
Bill G

Corporate profit growth since Great Recession

Profits have been hard to come by for small businesses, which did the great majority of hiring of workers, but the last four years have been very good for someone … just not the American workforce.

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President Obama – the most Frugal Government Spender in 60 years?

Politifact.com recently examined an extraordinary claim that President Obama has had the lowest spending record of any recent president.

Can that be right?

Politifact says that such a claim is ‘mostly true’.

I encourage you to read the Politifact numbers analysis for yourself: read it here.


The Politifact story is a good read for many reasons.

One good reason being that much of what people believe that they know is often without basis.

It is always good to have around a calculator and some real numbers. Politifact tries to provide the numbers and calculations for you.

Secondly, another good reason to read the article is that if you argue to replace something with something ‘better’ then better should be better. Better should have a metric that we can calculate.

I am not always so happy with President Obama but as compared with whom? Certainly not I know how to create jobs Romney, whose state dropped from #37 in jobs growth to #47 during his term as governor.

If you wish to argue that Romney had to deal with a Democratic legislature then so be it. However, please accept that since 2010 President Obama has had to work with a Republican House; yes, Democrats demurred from proposing their own budget so that the Republican budgets could be judged on its own merits (and also true that Democrat are not so hot at using calculators either so it saved them a lot of time and effort.)

Thirdly, the last good reason to read the Politifact article is that we have many tough choices ahead and not a lot of folks want to do critical thinking.

2013 will be a very tough year. The CBO has effectively said that whatever course we take we will cause us to fall back into official recession during 2013. The CBO analysis says that 2013 represents a fiscal cliff that we are about to run off.

For those that say we need austerity and no new increase in the debt limit, you can’t get there from here. You certainly cannot get to there (balanced budgets, decreased national debt, and economic growth) by protecting current levels of defense spending or increasing it.

Just to maintain current spending levels will require an increase in our national debt level. Soon. Even if you were to cancel out almost all social spending you still could not cover defense spending without borrowing more money. Quixotic to me that that the ‘more defense spending’ crowd is quite often the same choir as the ‘no new debt’ crowd and the ‘no new taxes’ crowd. Those same folks recently proposed in the House draft budget an 8% increase in defense spending.

For those that want to pay down the national debt, there appears to be three groups with a view and a following.

—- Group #1 wants to let all tax cuts expire (except for folks that vote for them). The CBO says that letting the tax cuts expire would indeed dramatically decrease our national debt … and do so in as little as the first 12 months. BUT that would also suck so much money out of the economy that it would probably dry up consumer spending and … great ungood would happen.  As for those that would let the tax cuts expire, except for those that vote for them — grab a calculator. How is that a balanced plan. Some, primarily Democrats, are arguing to protect tax cuts for the first $1 million of income and to protect the social security pay day tax cut.

—– Group #2: Keep the tax cuts, create more tax cuts or breaks + increase defense spending. This will supposedly cause the economy to grow. This is a revisit of rhetorical Reaganomics: just ain’t happening. Buy a calculator. Hire a consulting firm. Your numbers are on drugs. I am a fan of President Reagan (no one is perfect) but his administration didn’t grow the economy so much from tax breaks as growing the economy from a  massive infusion of government cash that left massive debt in its spending wake.

—– Group #3: Target ALL government programs for decreased spending over time (mandate an agency-neutral percentage-based budget cut each year for 10 years), pay as you go congressional budget spending — even if that requires some tax increase (but sunset the tax increase), flatten taxes and remove most exceptions, limit the dollar or percentage value of exemptions, don’t rob from the rich but don’t penalize the working poor either.

So about this article, it offers some good points for thought and debate. One interpretation can also be that much of the fiscal rancor against Obama is hot air. Yes, President Obama has failed to use the leadership power of his office to describe and to outline a path towards fiscal stablity for our country. Yet neither has President Obama been the tax and spend ogre that many have made him out to be.

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Pragmatic Conservatives Exist? How I see 2012.

Question – a reader in a discussion group on Facebook asked: “William – just for a matter of perspective, my understanding is that you consider yourself a conservative, is that correct?”

Hmmm… could be a trap.

The author had not really identified their own perspective. Earlier in the day I had gotten a broadside from another Facebooker when I posted the picture below.

Election 2012 - Republicans for Obama

The broadside writer wanted to know: “Why do you post crap like this? There are no real “Republicans for Obama” – only pretend Republicans trying to give an extremist legitimacy.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

My purpose wasn’t to support either Obama or to support these Republicans.

There seems to be no discussion these days that isn’t a bit dangerous to one’s reputation.


Back to the question:

“William – just for a matter of perspective, my understanding is that you consider yourself a conservative, is that correct?”

Yes. I do consider myself a conservative.

What passes for conservatism these days is mostly a reactionary push back against a world that has changed and some folks know that their days are numbered. Their days are numbered because they have chosen to embrace a political ideology that is at the same time just as much exclusionary as it is generational. Except for Ron Paul’s fans, the Republican Party is older, overwhelmingly a party of caucasian America, and seemingly tone deaf as to how others see America.

I myself am a caucasian so the issue is not with that as a cause. The cause of the numbering of the GOP’s days is that Republicans have played so long to themes embraced by those that have enjoyed white privilege that its tone deafness just feels normal for it. What? Problems? No, the average GOPer sees the rest of the world as having problems but not it. Maybe not. Except for RINOs. RINOs see things in a multitude of colors – ergo they have got to go too. They are a cancer in the Republican Party. You either see things as black and white, good or bad, evil or our way.

Election 2012 - "The Plan"

Election 2012 - "The Plan"

Until 2009 I considered myself a Republican. I considered myself a conservative Republican.

I was active in the Tea Party at the very beginning. Met many fine people. Met many strange ones, too. Most of the strange ones are still there but the pragmatic conservatives have moved on.

The Tea Party very quickly attracted a different sort of conservative: those full of anger. There are those that say such a depiction is full of bull droppings. But it is not. Perhaps they were mad at themselves — hopefully they were because they had won almost total control of U.S. national government and they botched it. They did such  a poor job that conservatives like myself no longer wanted to be associated with the party.

Reality is that you don’t have to be Republican to be a conservative. It is a good thing too as many conservatives in the Republican Party are what I consider wingers: they’ll do and say whatever they believe it takes to get the party back into power.

There is no real home for pragmatic conservatives at this time. Most still cling to calling themselves ‘Republicans’ but I don’t think that such will survive the election of 2012.

In 2010 it appeared that the conservatives surged back to power. What I saw was that our country was still very much in the depths of economic downturn. There was no good news with Obama’s name on it, and a very angry 24/7 campaign to attack Obama and to demonize Democrats paid off. (It didn’t hurt that most Democrats jumped at seeing their own shadow. That was extremely helpful to the 2010 GOP election efforts).

However, a recent study of policy positions rated Obama THE most moderate president of any Democrat since FDR’s day. His positions (except for health care) are scarcely different that President Bush’s. There are conservatives and libertarians that realize that. (Outside of the party we conservatives don’t think in talking points.) Add in just a tad of good economic news and people will come to  stop and to think about that. People think much clearer when their homes aren’t being repossessed.

So as a pragmatic conservative I spend much of my time battling to save what little good remains of the ‘conservative’ bumper sticker.

Liberals aren’t evil. Neither are philosophical conservatives that believe that we are all in this together.

My prediction for 2012 — although it is still early in the game: Obama wins reelection courtesy of the GOP and many of the angry nutters that have the loudest voices. Democrats retain the Senate. And as for the House of Representatives … the Dems get it back by 10 seats.

Yes, I am conservative. But that doesn’t make me blind and tone deaf. Although, you just never know.


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