Election open thread

When I went to bed last night, it was looking iffy; I awoke this morning to a great election result!

The talking heads were telling us that Kay Hagan, even though she was behind, was in a decent position because votes from traditionally Democratic areas hadn’t been reported yet; she lost. When I went to bed, the Democrat was ahead in Iowa; Jodi Ernst won big. When I went to bed, Georgia was still undecided; David Perdue won by a surprisingly large margin. When I went to bed, Pat Roberts was leading in Kansas, but no one would call the race; he won by 6½%.

I am particularly happy that Mitch McConnell won, and by such a large margin. Now is the time for Kentucky Republicans to look for a good GOP candidate for 2020, when Senator McConnell will be 78 years old and (hopefully) won’t run again. By then, I’ll be a Kentucky voter again!

I’m pretty busy this morning, too busy to write much now, so consider this an election open thread. But am I the only one who noticed; it seems that the Republicans outperformed the polls.

The honesty of the Delaware Liberal

Jason Scott, the owner and primary blogger on the Delaware Liberal, posted:

I’ve still got $50.00 that says Republican economics are full of shit… any takers?
Filed in National by  on October 31, 2014 • 30 Comments

With all the recent talk about how the Republicans want to “fix” the economy by cutting taxes, I feel the need to reintroduce everyone with my standing bet.

Granted, the line between “Republican economics” and “generally accepted economics” has been blurred by crappy Democrats like Tom Carper and John Carney. Never-the-less, the GOP continues to associate itself with utterly failed policies of tax cuts for the wealthiest and service cuts for everyone else. Furthermore, they continue to claim that this combination can “fix” the economy. If by “fix” they mean to “destroy” I guess they have a point.

This is what I wrote about this a year or so ago.

I’m pretty sick of Republicans spouting economic bullshit and being taken seriously. Again today, the clownish head of the DE GOP, for example, said the path to economic growth is, “…keeping regulation and taxes low.” Really? When has that actually worked?

He also brazenly asserts that the utterly failed trickle down policies “of small government and low regulation” are “tried and true” ways to grow the economy. To that I say – enough already with the bullshit. Where is the evidence?

The fact is – Republicans like Sigler and Laffer are full of shit. The GOP’s economic policies are entirely faith-based, and I am at zero risk of losing my $50.00. But here is the official bet in case any wingnut wants to try and man up:

If anyone can present any evidence that the “tried and true policies of small government and low regulation” actually created any broad based, long term, durable economic growth …ever – I will give the person providing the evidence a crisp new $50.00 bill.

This bet is open to any GOPer who believes the nonsense at the heart of your philosophy, and any Democratic officer holder who has succumbed to the siren song of this absolute, totally discredited bullshit.

That is the entire post. I have slightly changed the formatting — basically, the positioning of the $50 bill image — but have made no changes to the text.

I ignored this post the first time I saw it, but had some spare time earlier this afternoon, and I posted three comments:

Dana says:
November 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

California and Texas, our first and second largest states by population, and third and second by land area, both with long coastlines, and both with significant minority populations, primarily Hispanic. Both have significant, though dissimilar, natural resources. One is one of our “bluest” states, completely controlled by the Democrats, with a slight pause for a moderate Republican governor, while the other has been run by conservative Republicans, with some influence by conservative Democrats in the state legislature, for twenty years.

California has, by far, the nation’s highest level of poverty under an alternative method devised by the Census Bureau that takes into account both broader measures of income and the cost of living.

When it comes to taxes, WalletHub ranked the fifty states and the District of Columbia, and the Pyrite State, with an average annual state and local tax burden of $9,509, 36% above the national average, was number 50, with only New York’s $9,718 rate being worse. Major companies are fleeing California, with not a few of them winding up in Texas, taking good jobs with them.

I’ll do this in three comments, because of the large number of hyperlinks.

The second comment:

Dana says:
November 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Texas, home to the former President that the left blame for everything, and home to a conservative economic approach of lower taxes and fewer regulations, has not only been leading the nation in job growth, but the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported that the Lone Star State has been leading the nation in job creation at all pay levels.

And the third:

Dana says:
November 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm

As for “liberal” economics, states that emphasize redistribution above growth have a wider gap between lower and higher incomes.

Of course, both Texas and California are under the federal government, and both are impacted by the economic policies of the Obama Administration, but at least as far as they are able to have different economic rules, they have had rather different economic results. At least as far as Texas is concerned, it appears that what the Republican economics are full of is prosperity.

Texas isn’t perfect, by any means; no place is. But unless you wish to argue that government policies have no impact at all on economic results, then you would have to concede that Texas’ Republican economic policies have had better results for their people than California’s Democratic ones.

Mr Scott then replied:

Jason330 says:
November 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Do you know who owns the Wall Street Journal? Probably not. You are an idiot. I’ll probably ban your ass for stupidity again pretty soon.

Enjoy talking to yoursf here in the meantime.

So I left the following:

Dana says:
November 2, 2014 at 6:41 pm

The links I provided were to the Dallas News, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Sacramento Bee, Wallet Hub, and The Wall Street Journal. Rather than discuss statistics which dispute your belief, you attack the ownership of one (very well-respected) source, and threaten to ban me (again.)

How, I wonder, is your $50 bet supposed to be taken seriously if you won’t discuss the actual numbers?

I figured that I’d better save the comments now, because they are likely to disappear; as the site owner, Mr Scott certainly has the right to decline to publish any comment he chooses.

But it indicates the honesty of liberals, or at least one liberal in particular, who, upon making an open challenge to “any GOPer,” to “any wingnut wants to try and man up,” won’t discuss the actual statistics, and states that he’ll “probably ban” the “GOPer,” the “wingnut” who actually took up his challenge, with actual numbers.

Admittedly, this didn’t take a lot of new research on my part; I had published it before, on the 19th of October.

Count on President Obama to claim the credit for this

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Marine veteran freed from Mexican jail
By Sandra Dibble | 4:55 P.M.OCT. 31, 2014 | Updated 10:38 P.M.

Former Marine Andrew Tahmooressi waves as he boards a private jet at Brown Field in San Diego on Friday night after being released from prison in Tijuana, Mexico. — Hayne Palmour IV / U-T San Diego

TIJUANA — A Mexican federal district judge in Tijuana on Friday ordered the immediate release of a U.S. Marine veteran being held in Baja California on federal weapons charges.

Andrew Tahmooressi, who was on trial for crossing the border with ammunition and three loaded weapons on March 31, returned to the United States Friday night and flew to his family’s home in Florida.

The decision by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office to cease its prosecution of Tahmooressi brings to a close a high-profile case that has resounded far beyond the border.

In the United States, it prompted calls for Tahmooressi’s release from politicians, veterans groups and conservative talk show hosts. But for months there had been an impasse, as Mexican federal prosecutors insisted that the case be resolved through the courts — not through diplomatic or political pressure.

Tahmooressi, 25, claims he drove into Tijuana by mistake on a Monday night after taking a wrong turn near the Mexican border in San Ysidro. He had recently moved to San Diego from Florida, and says that he was driving out of a parking lot, intending to head north. But instead he drove into the El Chaparral Port of Entry, where Mexican customs inspectors examined his pickup truck and found more 400 rounds of ammunition and three loaded firearms: a .45-caliber pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 5.56 mm assault rifle.

His release was ordered by Judge Victor Octavio Luna Escobedo of the Sixth Federal District Court in Tijuana. Had Tahmooressi been convicted, he would have faced seven to 21 years behind bars.

Luna Escobedo declined to comment. A statement from Mexico’s Federal Judicial Council said the judge ordered dismissal of the case after federal prosecutors withdrew their accusation in closing arguments. The judge ordered Tahmooressi’s “immediate and absolute liberty.”

There’s more at the link. But let me be clear about his: the Obama Administration didn’t care about Sgt Tahmooressi being jailed in Mexico because they think that is exactly what ought to happen to American citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights. Oh, I can’t prove that, they’ll never say that, and I’m almost certain that they will claim the credit for his release, citing “confidential, quiet diplomacy,” but you can count on it: I’m dead-on right about this.1

Just one word from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto would have been enough to get prosecutors to have dropped the charges months ago, and all that President Obama would have had to have done was asked him.

The Administration has already claimed that they have been working hard on the case:

“Quite frankly, Mr. Tahmooressi’s case has gotten a tremendous amount of attention from the State Department,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State John D. Feeley, the No. 2 official in the department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and former Marine Corps officer. “This is a case we have raised repeatedly and at high levels with the Mexicans. Secretary [John F.] Kerry did it in May. I have raised the case with the Mexican ambassador in Washington, our ambassador in Mexico has raised it with the [Mexican] foreign secretary and we have had excellent cooperation in that we have had access to him on a regular basis.”

But this Administration lies through its collective scummy teeth;2 if they had really been concerned, President Obama would have raised the issue directly with President Peña Nieto; he never did, despite a summit meeting which occurred during Sgt Tahmooressi’s incarceration. That would have resulted in Sgt Tahmooressi’s release months ago, because it really didn’t gain Mexico anything to continue to hold him. Instead, our good and noble President gives a free pass to illegal immigrants crossing into the United States from Mexico, but remained wholly unconcerned about the imprisonment of an American Marine Corps veteran, who had honorably served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

President Obama and his Administration went all out to ransom captured soldier Bowe Bergdahl, a probable deserter, releasing five top Taliban leaders, even though the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff admitted, just a few days ago, that some of the released Guantanamo detainees have returned to the battlefield, but didn’t seem to be willing to do much of anything to get Sgt Tahmooressi out of jail.3 So much for not leaving any soldier behind!

Well, we’re stuck with our utter disgrace of a President for another 810 days. After that, perhaps our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will have someone with actual honor as their Commander-in-Chief.

  1. I’d guess that it won’t be long before there are efforts to strip Sgt Tahmooressi of his Second Amendment rights, since his release was based on a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  2. President Obama has accomplished the seemingly impossible; he has made Richard Nixon look like an honest man!
  3. SGT Bergdahl was, and remains, on active duty, while Sgt Tahmooressi was a reservist prior to his mistaken border crossing into Mexico.

Rule 5 Blogging: the Kurdish Yekîneyên Parastina Jinê

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Megan Fox in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week, we get really serious, featuring the soldiers of the Kurdish Yekîneyên Parastina Jinê, or YPJ, or People’s Protection Units, women’s brigade. The YPG and YPJ are offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Turkish-Kurdish guerrilla group designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union because of its three-decade insurgency against NATO ally Turkey, but the Kurds are fighting for their own independence, from Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and are now fighting the Islamist ISIS forces; these women are actually in combat, and some have given their lives.

Kurdish YPG Fighters. Click to enlarge. Story from The New Republic.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: the Kurdish Yekîneyên Parastina Jinê’ »

From Around the Blogroll

From the Delaware Liberal:

Halloween Open Thread [10.31.14]
Filed in National by  on October 31, 2014 •

“Democratic efforts to turn out the young and nonwhite voters who sat out the 2010 midterm elections appear to be paying off in several Senate battleground states. More than 20 percent of the nearly three million votes already tabulated in Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa have come from people who did not vote in the last midterm election,” according to an analysis of early-voting data by The Upshot.

I have felt all along that this election was not going to play out according to the normal media’s Republican Landslide/Obama/Democrats Repudiated narrative. The reason why is 1) the Democrats were going to do a presidential level GOTV operation to make up for the embarrassing loss in 2010, and 2) like in 1998, I felt like there was going to be GOP overreach and a pushback from the public. In 1998, the result of that was the Dems breaking even in the Senate and winning 5 seats in the House. In 2014, it will be the Dems holding onto the Senate. I will be releasing my full predictions of how the Dems will do that on Monday.

I am optimistic, cautiously optimistic, that the Republicans will do well in next Tuesday’s election, well enough to take control of the Senate, but it doesn’t matter what the opinion polls say; the only poll that actually counts for anything happens on Tuesday, and not before. I am worried that a few too many people are counting as-yet-unhatched chickens.

If the Democrats lose only five Senate seats, they’ll call it a great victory, and the professional media will cheer them on.

And now, on to the blogroll!

When it’s all you’ve got left, play the Race Card!

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was elected by the voters thrice before:

Mary Landrieu: Obama and I Are Unpopular in Louisiana Because the South Is Racist and Sexist
By: Washington Free Beacon Staff | October 30, 2014 6:21 pm

Senator Mary Landrieu said Thursday she thinks one of the reasons she is losing her campaign for re-election is that the state that voted her into office is sexist. Landrieu also said that President Obama is unpopular in her state because of his race.

Speaking with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Landrieu said, “I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.”

Pointing to herself Landrieu continued, “It’s not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place.”

Landrieu oddly didn’t mention that her low approval might stem from the fact she was the deciding vote for Obamacare. The senator also didn’t note in the interview that President Obama’s approval ratings are dismal in northern states as well as southern.

So, despite the fact that Louisianans elected Mrs Landrieu three times, and despite the fact that they twice elected Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American, to be governor, the voters in Louisiana are sexist and racist for not supporting President Obama and Senator Landrieu in the upcoming election. It’s not like it could have anything to do with actual policy differences, or the uncomfortable fact that Senator Landrieu listed her home as Washington, DC, not anyplace in the state she represents, and her “home” address is actually her parents’ basement. No, it has to be evil sexism!

Or raaaaacism, that’s always a good card to play, too, when you’ve got nothing else . . . and Mrs Landrieu figured that, with time running short, she’d better play them both.

The only question is: do the Democrats actually believe the stuff they say?

Can I?

I just got a Kentucky voter guide from the insurance company which covers La Casa del Rio; does that mean I can vote for Senator McConnell even though I live in Pennsylvania?

Reducing Moving Costs

Reducing Moving Costs

If you’re a typical military family, then you’ve probably moved twice in the last three years. Even with your branch of the service chipping in, it’s expensive. Chances are, you’ve gotten moving down to a science, but if you haven’t? There are a lot of ways to save money and time during your upcoming move.

Lightening the Load

Be ruthless in what you donate or throw away or sell in a yard sale. If you haven’t worn it in three years, out it goes, to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or into a pile for friends and neighbors. A library card takes less space than a box of books, so donate the ones you’ve read or don’t intend to. Think about space you’re moving to and its climate. You may want to get rid of garden tools, power tools, hot or cold weather clothing and furniture that may be too big.

Packing Materials

Wrap breakables (carefully) in sweaters, towels, sheets and blankets. Tube socks are great for small breakables. Large picture frames can be bundled into a blanket. Just be sure to put heavier things in the bottom of the box, lighter things on top. You’ll save a bundle on bubble wrap, paper and styrofoam pellets, and you’ll use fewer boxes. Speaking of boxes, they’re expensive, especially when they come from a moving company. Ask around the neighborhood for boxes, check with big box retailers and warehouse clubs. You can find a great many boxes for free.

Packing the Truck Up

Make the most of the truck’s size and volume. Take the legs off tables and tape the hardware to the underside. Take beds apart and use chair cushions to keep hard surfaces from scratching each other. Nestle sofa cushions around large electronics. The more creative you get with stacking, the more room you’ll find inside the truck. You can’t create more space, but you can use what you’ve got, efficiently!

Packing Parties

The most important part of savings when you move is your time. Ask friends and relatives to chip in. You’ll be surprised how many people will want to help, and many will have more tips that will save you money. Be sure to feed them while they’re working to show your appreciation, and turn this transition into a celebration of family and friends. Good luck, and click here for more hints and ideas!

“Anonymous” Obama Administration official calls a special forces soldier and combat veteran a chickenshit

On Truth Before Dishonor, John Hitchcock noted that an Obama Administration official let The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg know that they considered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit.” Mr Netanyahu pretty much put the Obamabots in their place:

From Mr Goldberg’s article:

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”

I ran this notion by another senior official who deals with the Israel file regularly. This official agreed that Netanyahu is a “chickenshit” on matters related to the comatose peace process, but added that he’s also a “coward” on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Hussein Obama, when they were younger.

Well, here is the “chickenshit” Mr Netanyahu, and our brave and noble President, when they were younger. Mr Netanyahu. After being graduated from Cheltenham High School, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, in 1967, Mr Netanyahu returned to Israel to enlist in the Israel Defense Force, something he did not have to do; living in the United States, he was not drafted. He trained as a combat soldier and became a team leader in an elite special forces unit of the IDF, Sayeret Matkal. He took part in numerous cross-border assault raids during the 1969–70 War of Attrition. He was involved in many other missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), and the rescue of the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in May 1972 in which he was shot in the shoulder.

After his army service, he returned to the United States in late 1972 to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He returned to Israel in October 1973 to serve in the Yom Kippur War for a 40-day period. While there, he fought in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, as well as leading a commando team deep into Syrian territory.1

Yet, the minions of our brave and noble President, who never risked more than a paper cut, think that a former Israeli special forces soldier is a chickenshit.

Of course, the White House is in damage control mode now, but let’s be honest here: when people have to apologize for something that they have said, they are tying to dampen the criticism arising from them having told the truth about what they believe.

If we could trade Barack Hussein Obama for Benjamin Netanyahu, straight up as our countries’ leaders, I’d absolutely support that! Of course, the Islamists would like that, too, because they’d know that they could then attack Israel any time they wanted, and Mr Obama would then whine to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, but he wouldn’t actually fight back.

  1. Previous two paragraphs are not quite direct quotes, but were largely taken from the linked article.

Those oh-so-independent Democratic senators!

Barack Obama not being exactly the most popular President in states like Arkansas and Louisiana and North Carolina and Alaska, the incumbent Democratic senators have been very busy telling their constituents how independent they are, how they aren’t just party drones but think for themselves. But, alas! they have something called a record, and conservatives have been all too happy to point it out. Via The Pirate’s Cove, where William Teach entitled his article The Democrat Rubber Stamp Club 2014:

Of course, Kentucky’s Alison Grimes isn’t an incumbent, and doesn’t have that kind of record, and she tells her hoped-to-be constituents that she opposes President Obama’s positions on the Second Amendment, the Environmental Protection Agency, and on the use of coal, but even her supporters think that she’s just saying that stuff to get elected, and I’m guessing that, if she actually is elected [shudder!] she’ll vote against the President’s policies about as much as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, a whopping 3.6% of the time . . . if that often.

Let’s be honest here: when the Democratic senatorial candidates say that they aren’t going to be reliable, toady votes for President Obama and his positions, they are lying to you! Their records prove it.