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Gender: Male
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 12,554

Journal Archives

Persuading Mr. Hyde on Medicaid Expansion

Rick Perry is turning down billions in Medicaid Expansion money to score Republican political points. And once again, our Dem and Progressive advocates miss half of the argument. We keep giving the goody-goody, Dr. Jekyll arguments for everything, and we forget to target Mr. Hyde.

You can't say to the largely "conservative" (so they like to think of themselves) people of Texas that they should expand Medicaid to help poor kids in their state. That is exactly the opposite of what they really want to do deep down. The Republican sentiment is to let those poor kids go without care completely. Maybe if a few of them die from medical neglect in Texas their parents will move to some other state or "back to Mexico" or whatever. Kids dying on the sidewalk would be "sad" of course, but maybe it is the only way those people can be dealt with...

If, unlike the majority of Texans, you want to help poor kids, you can't do it by trying to guilt Republicans. Telling a Republican they are heartless only makes them feel better about themselves. Even Rick Perry knows that. No, to help those poor kids and their poor parents, you have to talk to Mr. Hyde in Mr. Hyde's language.

"Mr. Hyde, Texas should accept billions in Medicaid Expansion money. The downside of helping the poor and sick, is far outweighed by the upside, thousands of good-paying healthcare jobs for Texans. We aren't going to let those poor people die anyway (more's the pity), so we might as well take the jobs. Otherwise our federal tax dollars are going to end up going to create jobs in San Francisco. The poor, worthless people will stay (they always do), and a bunch of good doctor and nurse types will leave and go to San Fracisco to chase the jobs we handed over to the Commie states."

"Mr. Hyde, Rick Perry just thinks you are really stupid. He'll let you fork over tax dollars to the leftists, because he thinks he can play on your mean, nasty, stupid side. But Mr. Hyde, we all know you are really smart. You are way too smart to let Rick Perry take billions away from you just so he can get up there and make a fool of himself again in the next presidential primary. Take the money and move on. And let's dump Rick Perry. Sure he's a good guy. But he doesn't have the brains of a George W. Bush. You need a Tea Party version of George W. Bush."

"Mr. Old Hyde, I can't believe that Rick Perry is turning down Medicare (sic) Expansion money. Texas retirees earned that money. Why is Rick Perry turning it down? And your glasses are probably on the nightstand or by the TV."

Why we lost. Why we didn't.

We fixated on Newtown, and that was never a good idea. Too many eggs in one basket. We should have included the safety and effectiveness of our police force, outgunned by unknown, unchecked people wielding assault weapons. We should have brought in the Texas prosecutors case, for example.

But we even though we fixated on Newtown, we failed to marshal even that argument well. You can't make the argument "Newtown, ergo background checks." That is feeble and a non sequitur on its face. The Nancy Lanzas of this world pass background checks.

You can make the argument "Newtown, ergo magazine capacity limits," and that argument wasn't made enough. It would have been more focused. We buried the lede. We took the polls that said what was most popular (background checks) and tried to duct tape it to a Newtown foundation.

Most importantly, we forgot the subtext, to make every NRA member and every assault weapon owner a suspected Nancy Lanza. The villain was left out of the story. If we don't want more Newtowns, one of the best ways is to have no more Nancy Lanzas. To have no more Nancy Lanzas, her foolishness and nuttiness need to be straightforwardly and loudly condemned. Then anyone who has any passing resemblance to her would be shaking in their boots and throwing their assault weapon in the river.

It's not over. People no longer look at these assault weapon, special magazine funny boys the way they used to. Society is starting to hate them. A very good sign. That's a win for sanity.

And it's not even over for gun control laws. People just need to sense their own danger and the ugly, barbarian nature of a gun-infested society. It's coming. There is a difference between a duck hunter or someone who wants to protect their home and an anonymous, Nancy Lanza-esque, assault weapon fondler. We'll sort it out.

To all the Republicans who get laid off in the Sequester

How long are you going to keep doing this to yourself, Bunky? Mitt Romney gets to keep his special deductions. You are out of a job. And you voted for it.

Bunky, I'm very sorry. Republicans aren't fighting for democracy, freedom or virtue. That's just what they put on their T-shirts. Watch a few of them on TV now that you have lost your job. Watch Fox News carefully. You will see it.

Let this be a tipping point.

Why aren't the Republicans trying to repeal the Sequester?

The House Republicans cry about the Sequester and try to blame Obama for it, but they haven't tried to repeal it. That tells you everything you need to know. Republicans know a repeal would be signed by Obama. They think the American people are so stupid that they will blame Obama for something that he would gladly sign out of law.

If the Republicans don't try to repeal, we will know for sure that the Sequester is the Republicans' fault. We will know for sure that they really wanted it to happen.

Winning over Republicans with the Seven Deadly Sins

An easy trick to remember when trying to persuade Republicans (who may also hide under the name "conservatives" of anything is to pepper your argument with appeals to the Seven Deadly Sins: wrath, greed, laziness, pride, lust, gluttony, and envy. Try it. It's fun.

Here is an example. Let's say you want to turn a Republican against mountaintop mining. And let's say you personally care about natural beauty, animal and fish habitat, and the health of residents who live along the rivers and streams near the mountaintops.

If you try to talk about those things directly with the Republican, you will fail. They have a completely different view of the mountaintops, fish, and people. The mountaintops have money under them. There are fish everywhere, so who cares about the fish near the mountaintops. And the people are people they don't know. Case closed. Blow up the mountain.

So instead, base your argument on sin.

(Greed and Envy) If we blow up that mountaintop, it will hurt our tourism. Other places nearby will get more of our rightful tourism dollars than they already are. (Envy) And you can just bet that all the money will end up in the pockets of bunch of fat cats in their mansions.

(Pride) We are better than that. We don't need that pittance of mining business like that other place or state we always tell jokes about. (Greed, Sloth/Laziness, and Anger) That mining company thinks it can take our resources and leave a mess for us to clean up later with our tax money. They've got another think coming.

(Lust) Besides, that area is a great place for parking. The view sets the perfect mood. (Gluttony) And I don't care if there are other places to park. You can't have too many.

Does your neighbor having an AR-15 in his house make you feel safer?

I don't mind people having pistols and hunting rifles in my neighborhood. But if one of these assault weapon weirdos lived in my neighborhood, I would feel a lot less safe. And I would also be angry as hell.

Their kind is simply not needed. I don't want my property values dropping because I have some half-wack numbskull in my neighborhood who "wants" an AR-15. I would be petitioning my property owner's association to get the guy's gun banned in the bylaws.

I feel sorry for people who have to live near these types, and especially sorry for their friends and family. These types think they set themselves apart in some way by having a special weapon. I mean, it's so impressive that they know about muzzle velocities and ammo calibers. My goodness, they even know the names of the parts of the gun!

I think the good news is that most reasonable folks are starting to get the proper perspective on the assault weapons weirdos in their midst. It won't be long before AR-15-type owners will have to leave that phase of their life behind or find themselves shunned and unemployable.

We need an excise tax on the wealthy to pay for the wars.

We should continue undoing George W. Bush's effect on the country. Every step we take in that direction is healthy. And one thing the Republicans need to understand is that they still have a long way to go on paying for the damage they and their leader, George W. Bush, caused us. There is the little matter of the wars, for example. That piper still hasn't been paid.

Bush and the Republicans put us into an unnecessary, ruinously costly war in Iraq. Then that huge Bush/Republican mistake lengthened and grossly inflated the cost of the arguably more necessary Afghanistan War. Unfortunately, the Republicans put all that cost on America's credit card. They gave George W. Bush our plastic, and he wore it out.

Republicans can't be allowed to skate on that. They need to make good on their debt to the American people. Someone besides the middle class American taxpayer needs to cough up some money. I think it should be the wealthy backers of the Republicans and their hero, George W. Bush.

If the Republicans aren't punished in some way for Bush's war folly, they have every incentive to repeat it. Republican backers like Halliburton directly profited from the wars. U.S. taxpayer money is still sloshing around in those Republican pockets.

Moreover, testing the limits of Guinness Book chutzpah, Republicans now use the war debt they saddled the country with as an excuse to cut infrastructure and social spending. The Bush/Republican incompetence is actually paying off for them. They think they get to waste all of the country's money on war mistakes and then juggle the books to take money out of programs they oppose politically.

That can't be allowed. We remember where our money went, and we remember who spent it. Bush's bill is still not paid and that it's a Republican bill. The people who made the mistakes are the ones who should be paying for them.

Your post is complete nonsense.

You seem to have heard someone make an argument that "passing stringent anti-firearm laws will persuade the law breakers to turn in their weapons" and that there are serious (non-fringe) calls for "abolishing the 2nd amendment." By itself this says that your bullshit and reality detectors are miscalibrated...or you think ours are.

You confuse yourself by not separating normal gun owners from the flakes who have assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. You seem to believe these J. Random Numbskulls, law-abiding though they may be, actually counterbalance violent criminals in some meaningful way. But be serious. How can anyone possibly believe that? I'll need links to your fact base I'm afraid, because I can't remember a single case where any of these weapon flake bozos ever did anything but harm. School me though. Show me a weapon flake hero law enforcement benefit statistic.

Then where do you get the notion that the responsible citizens (gun owners and not) who don't own nut-level flake weapons are somehow "disarmed?" Far from it. Some of us have normal gun owner type guns. Some of us have dogs. But nearly all of us are protected by trained, well-armed professional police, and the country itself is protected by invincible levels of trained military forces. Your flake "good guys with guns" just get in the way. Your flakes make things worse. Your flakes actually create threats.

Say my house gets burglarized. I come home and find the door kicked in. Do you think I want my wide-eyed, sweaty neighbor from across the street to come running over with his AR-15 to shoot my cat (and probably himself and me)? Nope. I don't need your good guy. I'll take a cop, thanks.

Law-abiding flakes with ultra-powerful weapons and/or stockpiles of ammo are not "good guys." Law-abiding, permit-packing flakes who carry concealed weapons but face no realistic threats are not "good guys." They are just sad flakes ranging from eccentric to sick, and their hobby rates no protection whatsoever. The country is sick of them and, laws or not, it won't be long before these types can't get jobs or keep friends any more. Justifiably so and high time. It's just not funny any more.

I have no doubt that most are generally good people with a touch of eccentricity who don't see the connection between a burgeoning super-gun industry and a society choking on gun pollution. They don't see themselves as pathetic, knot-headed, or touched, but that is what they really are in real reality. And other people do know.

Your baseless assertion that gun flakes are good guys holds no water. They actually range from annoying nobodies to monsters and (intentional or through incompetence) monster weapon-suppliers. That being the case, and since you admit that these "good guys" are law-abiding, why not pass laws? Strangle the "soldier-of-fortune" assault weapon industry with laws. Industry obeys laws. Gun stores obey laws. Even gun shows obey laws. Pass the laws.

Then, for good measure, ostracize, expose, divorce, abandon, fire, and expel the people who continue to hold these weapons, regardless of their legality. You like assault weapons; we don't like you. Get a job somewhere else. That is the way it is heading, and that is a good thing. The last thing we need is for these poor weirdos to think the government is the only one "oppressing" them. They need to know that people no longer like or respect them. They aren't cool. They can shove their assault weapons.

Hunters, target shooters, and those who have legitimate self-defense concerns would actually gain respect if they didn't have soldier/cop wannabes, macho poseurs, fad-boys, and fetishists screwing things up for everyone. Wayne LaPierre can get a new job representing just the weirdos. He's a perfect fit.

Any grandfathered or hidden banned weapons that remain will be harder and harder for criminals to get as time goes by. And the warped monsters won't be able to get them from Walmart or on-line with a few mouse-clicks any more. While we can't make all of those weapons disappear overnight, I'll bet we can quickly make them much harder to get, much riskier, far less cool, and through scarcity, much, much more expensive.

Tolerance of "weapon flakes" is coming to an end.

The big turning point I see is that more and more people are starting to get a simple fact: people who possess assault weapons or carry concealed weapons are nearly always flakes. The cool factor is evaporating. Owning an AR-15, for example, or carrying a concealed weapon now means you and your family deserve to be suspected and shunned. If employers find out about it, you and your family deserve to be unemployed. You deserve to be divorced by your spouse. You deserve to have your children disown you. You deserve to be kicked out of your parents' house.

That's gun control.

People who own these weapons, these high-capacity magazines, this "special" ammunition...you are starting to be viewed more and more like the people who have kiddie porn. No one is buying your "defense of freedom" bullshit any more. No one thinks you are cool.

What about outing people who have flake weapons?

What if there were a place you could go to simply post the full name and other information about people with flake weapons, weapons caches, and so forth? Then employers could search for the names of prospective employees and rule out the ones who might be weapon flakes. Parents could find out if their kids were going to a home with a weapon flake in it. It might even help law enforcement identify criminals.

I'm thinking most of these people with AR-15s and AKs wouldn't want everyone to know about it. The impracticality of it would outweigh the cool pretty fast.

Here you go, Julian Assange.
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