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Member since: Sat Jan 5, 2008, 08:45 PM
Number of posts: 43,406

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The other freedom.

Many people who are focused on their '2nd amendment rights' are focused on the ability to responsibly own and use a firearm.

When I was younger I was 100% against it and joined the anti-gun lobbies at the time, which in retrospect only helped the NRA get millions more single issue voters and contributors.

Here at DU and other places I have met many very responsible gun owners and am frankly quite impressed with how responsible most of them are. In my work I have daily contact with law enforcement officers who also are very responsible about securing their weapons.

I lived overseas for 2 decades and lived and visited almost all of the main countries in Asia and Western Europe. In these countries individuals generally don't have guns and if they do they are never visible and virtually never apart of the daily life of the average citizen. In many countries even the police don't always carry fire arms.

Americans are consumed with their litany of freedoms but it blinds them to other freedoms.

In this case the ability to walk around Tokyo, Singapore, Berlin or London, or most of the other cities of the world at 2 in the morning and simply not have to worry about violence, especially about guns.

Very very few Americans can ever experience this because we carry around a blanket of apprehension that is always with us. If you are in a foreign country for a few days you can't shed this blanket, but Americans who have lived overseas for prolonged periods of time know what I am talking about. Frankly it feels great. You can go anywhere any hour of the day and never have to look over your shoulder and worry about walking up the wrong street.

I have grown somewhat more sympathetic to the responsible gun owner. I know that there are too many people who have made this their only political issue to change it and I even suspect that when the NRA suggests that the current laws are not being enforced well and that if they were (which a fully functional database would assist) then a lot of gun violence would be eliminated. I also have traveled to see relatives that live in remote areas and pass by isolated farm houses in the country that have no neighbors for miles around and I think that if I lived in one of these houses I would want a weapon because no law authority is ever going to arrive in time.

But the bottom line is that having the right for everyone to have a gun is not an expansion of freedom, it is a trade off. You lose the freedom to go anywhere at anytime and not have to worry about someone showing up with a gun. If you haven't lived in one of those countries for an extended period of time you can never experience how liberating that is, and some Americans who do live in those countries never are able to experience the feeling of being able to walk around without any tinge of fear.

The 2nd amendment isn't a one way street to greater freedom, its a two way street and we lose that other freedom. For those of us that have experienced the freedom to walk around not have to worry about meeting up with the wrong guy who happens to have a gun, we know that it is a very high price to pay to give up that other freedom.

Paul forces hand Romney another massive defeat in Minnesota GOP convention.

How many states has this happened in already? How many other states have stealth Paul delegates masquerading as Romney delegates? If Paul can control 5 state delegations he can get things on the floor. I don't know if Romney has any idea of the chaos that is coming to the convention.


ST. CLOUD - After years of quiet, relentless organizing, followers of libertarian-leaning GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul have exploded inside the Minnesota Republican Party, becoming its most potent army.

"This is one of the greatest states that I have witnessed, where I have seen the transition, where the enthusiasm's there," the grinning Texas congressman told hundreds of exuberant activists Saturday at the state party's convention in St. Cloud, where he won 12 of 13 open delegate spots to the GOP national convention in Tampa, Fla., in August. The 13th went to former presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann -- and only after a Paul supporter dropped out to let her have that spot.

In Minnesota, more than almost any other state, Paul forces have completed a historic party takeover. They proved their might Saturday, but also firmly established Minnesota as a remote GOP outpost nationally.

Now state GOP activists will march to the national convention firmly backing Paul rather than presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

. . .

Despite those doubts, Paul power floored longtime Republican powers. Romney forces feared its power so much they sent a cadre of high-powered backers to Minnesota to push the Romney brand. It didn't matter. Paul nearly swept the field in every contest.

Shocking results of Vanderbilt U. poll must be giving Romney nightmares.

News item:


The poll of 1,002 Tennessee residents who are 18 and older found 42 percent would vote for Romney and 41 percent for Obama if the election were held now. The survey, conducted May 2-9 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for Vanderbilt, had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

McCain won Tennessee by 12 points.

Republicans reacted by saying that the poll was unreliable but a careful examination of the results show that all of the other results were quite unremarkable.

The Republican Governor is popular, a majority disapprove of Obama as President, and so on.

There are two factors that are having an impact on Tennessee voters;

1) The radical agenda of Republican legislators is turning off the public.

2) It appears that with Romney at the head of the ticket that a lot of right leaning voters are not planning on voting. The President is 7 points behind Romney among registered voters but tied among people who have said that they are likely to vote.

With all of the other results showing that the poll accurately represents the Tennessee electorate's tendency to vote right of center the fact that Romney is running in a tie with the President shows, with the other results, that the radical Republican agenda in state legislatures isn't just turning people off its suppressing interest in the election among the right but energizing the left. And if they were feeling a little less inclined to go to the polls the Romney nomination, which had high negatives in the poll, is further depressing the right and energizing the left.

Now the likelihood that Tennessee will be this close a month ahead of the election is not great, but if the trend in this poll also reflects what is happening in other states like Ohio and Missouri then Romney is in bigger trouble than expected. Even if Obama doesn't win Tennessee but Romney has to spend time and resources to defend it, it is a tactical loss for Romney.

The Romney campaign now, it appears, not only has to fight a successful Presidency a charismatic and energetic campaigner, a vacuous platform, a duplicitous record and a terrible campaigner, it now also has to fight against the negative effect that all of the radical Republican state legislatures are having on the electorate.

Romney issues new ad. Problems of the unemployed. Featured guy with a long rap sheet

One of the big differences between Obama and Romney is the professional character of the campaigns.

If he can't get a video done right how is he going to lead a country.

What a putz.


Jason Clausen, a Mason City, Iowa man featured in Mitt Romney's new video featuring unemployed people has a lengthy rap sheet and served ten days in jail for "assault on a peace officer," public records show.

Clause is seen in the video "A few of the 23 million" saying, "When the economy went bad a month after my divorce, I lost my job, I lost my house." He and his wife filed for a dissolution of their marriage, records show, in January 2009, months after the economy started tanking.

According to public records, a Jason Clausen with his birth date was found guilty of "assault on peace officers and others" on Feb. 28, 2005. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, with 110 of those days suspended. He was given 730 days probation and paid $845 in fines, records show. Iowa Dept. of Corrections records show he was on probation for "a serious misdemeanor" until April 3, 2006.

The records show Clausen had nearly 20 busts, tickets or fines, a number of them traffic infractions related to things like driving while intoxicated, or with a suspended license. Some were related to accidents, others to driving without seat belts.

Jason Clausen, a Mason City, Iowa man featured in Mitt Romney's new video featuring unemployed people has a lengthy rap sheet and served ten days in jail for "assault on a peace officer," public records show.

. . .


Romney's backstory is disassembling. Friend says Romney was like "Lord of the Flies".

Romney's classmates from Cranbook are not rushing to his defense.

The guy who introduced Mitt and Ann is passing on rushing to Romney's defense.
White, in an interview with ABC News, said that he is “still debating” whether he will help the campaign, remarking, “It’s been a long time since we’ve been pals.”


According to White, he knows of several other classmates that have also been approached by the campaign to counter the article. White declined to name the fellow classmates.

Romney often mentions White on the campaign trail as the friend who threw the party where Romney met his wife Ann, whom he has now been married to for more than 43 years.

One former classmate and old friend of Romney’s – who refused to be identified by name – said there are “a lot of guys” who went to Cranbrook who have “really negative memories” of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as “like Lord of the Flies.”

The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember it.

“It makes these fellows [who have owned up to it] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn’t ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?” the former classmate said.

One of the things that I pointed out at the beginning of Romney's campaign that he didn't really have a lot of close friends, either from the past or in the Republican Party. Alot of Republicans are going to enjoy letting him strangle in the wind because he while he has been writing big checks to the Mormon Church he hasn't been writing checks to help get Congressman and Senators elected, and he hasn't been running around the past 4 years getting people elected.

Dogs, Esteemed Blind Teacher, Vulnerable Gay Student

The Romney Trifecta.

Letterman and the rest of them will be hammering the shit out of Romney all the way to November.

What does Romney have?

Obama is a Superstar Celebrity.

Prediction: in the next 72 hours Romney will make a scripted courageous statement at a town hall mtg

Romney is the guy who never stood up an challenged anything. Not his Church, his country, his party.

Now a two bit radio jockey and addle brained Republican nutjob have exposed Romney for the truly shallow gutless ass he really is.

McCain didn't just stand up to a few nutjobs at a town hall meeting he refused to leave the Hanoi Hilton ahead of the others even though his health was ebbing and he might not have meant it. When Cindy came home with a Bangladeshi daughter McCain adopted her sight unseen.

You cannot imagine Romney doing anything like that. The unremarked strange part of the Seamus story actually was the mentality of a father that would plan only 2 pit stops for 5 boys for a 12 hour drive.

So as the country is beginning to see that Romney may be Nominee in modern history most unsuited to be Commander in Chief because he is completely and totally gutless I predict that the campaign will:

Within the next three days expect to see somebody at a town hall event say something not just beyond the pale but completely insane. Ideally it won't even mention the President's name but be an assault on Democrats in general. Something along the lines of "Don't you agree that all Democrats are Communists?"

Then by script Romney will put his palms up and do his best Ronald Reagen impression "Whoa there, let's just hold up there for a minute. We may disagree with them and their policies may be 100% wrong for this great American but not ALL Democrats are communists."

Then cue the idiot squad of Romney surrogates praising the brave courage of Romney, his 'Sister Souljah' movement and a wave of nauseous contrived bullshit about how Romney defends Democrats and will bring this country together.

The MSM will slap him on the back, David Gregory will pronounce him vetted and ready to command the United States Armed Forces.

You know they are writing the script and finding a patsy for the town hall. There will be a few run thrus and then it will be coming to a town hall meeting in the next few days.

Well time finally ran out.

She had an iron constitution and entered her last year of life 10 years ago at the age of 86.

She was one of those strong willed women from the depression that wasn't going to let her body tell her when she was going to come or go.

A few years ago when she agonized about her condition (blind and bed ridden and in constant pain) her conscious mind joined her body in wanting to end the ordeal.

Her iron constitution wasn't going to let either her body or her mind tell her when she was going to come or go either and she continued on eating a few bites of ice cream a day and a couple of months ago she entered into her last "24 hours".

The doctors however never knew her like we did. When she stopped eating a week ago and they told us to start making final arrangements we knew that we still had plenty of time.

A month ago we took our Golden Retriever and put him to sleep. It took 2 minutes and it was so gentle.

I can still hear my mother coming home from visiting a cousin who lingered the same way she did. This was 40 years ago.

She made us all promise to never let her linger like that.

She hated it. We all agreed and we all promised but there was nothing we could do.

If there was it was doubtful that anyone would have done anything, we learned in childhood that you never argued with her constitution.

She was a stern and distant mother and yet to her friends was a great and supportive friend. We could never understand the dichotomy and all of her friends thought she was the model mother. She proved it by ouliving all of her friends. Even her care giver grew old and needed a care giver.

It was a different time and they just don't make them like that anymore.

Is Karl Rove (and the Bush Establishment) cutting Mitt Romney loose?

You may have seen Karl Rove's latest electoral map. It is non partisan (and maybe even a little generous with South Carolina as a toss up) and pretty accurate.


Obama starts with 220 solid (double digit or much much more) and Romney with 92. Leaning Obama 64 and Romney 79.

Basically Romney has to run the table with his leans and toss ups and has to turn atleast one Obama lean..

Obama takes his solids and leans and wins. if he wins AZ, FL or VA there is virtually no way for Romney to get close with all of the rest of the leans without turning a couple of leans from Obama to Romeny.

So what is the twice divorced college drop out Machievellian political hackmeister up to?

Some at DU have speculated that he is trying to scare Republicans to start donating real money.

If that was his agenda then he wouldn't have used this map, this one makes it look like a lost cause. This is the map you use if your trying to convince people not to waste good money after bad on Romney and spend the money on Senate and Congressional states/districts.

So here is an alternate theory. The Bush/Republican establishment are leaving Romney to his own devices. Team Romney isn't hiring a bunch of traditional Republican campaign staffers but his own gang. In the meantime Rove and the rest of them use their PAC funds to help Republicans run Congressional candidates in key Republican districts and States where the President is thought to have a possible impact.

Romney goes down to a historic landslide and cannot run again in 2016.

In the meantime the Bush machine has quietly been working hard to get people elected.

Over the next 4 years Obama is saddled with fixing the deficit, fixing the entitlement funding problems and getting the economy back on track. In 2016 the Jeb Bush comes back to reunite the Republican Party and they run on a whole list of social agenda items and cutting back the size of the government and reducing taxes.

With a whole fistful of IOUs in his pocket Jeb is able to lock up Iowa, NH and S. Carolina and a grateful party is reunited behind Jeb Bush and the Bushes finally get to run the 'smart son' who makes the Republicans giddy at the possibility that Jeb's Mexican born wife will be able to undo the damage of the Republican anti-Hispanic campaign.

So is Karl Rove trying to undermine support to Romney?

Don't know but this map sure isn't going to help Romney raise money?

21,090,766 and a couple of other numbers you really need to have on the tip of your tongue.

Briefly surfacing from an extended road trip and bracing for another long one I normally don't have but a few minutes to check in with the Greatest, LBN but wanted to offer a couple of big picture numbers that are useful to remind other Democrats, persuade uncommitteds and shut down right wing talkers:

1) Four out of the last five US Presidential Elections have been won by Democrats.

Without getting into the contentious questions of 2000 and 2004 it is a simple fact that over the past 20 years the US people have voted for Democratic Nominees in all elections except 2004 which was the middle of a hot war and no American electorate has ever switched administrations in the middle of a hot war. If somebody refers to 2000 you can remind them that the election was won by a Democrat but the electoral college was won by Bush, these facts are not in dispute.

The whole meme that this is a conservative leaning country is not sustained by electoral facts.

2) The combined total of votes for Democratic nominees over Republican nominees in the last 20 years is 271,837,637 versus 250,746,871 for a difference of 21,090,766, not a small number.

So when the Republicans try and frame the discussion by stating they are going to "take back the country" or that the Democratic Party is somehow outside of the mainstream of America, simply say "21,090,766". They will ask what you are talking about and you can tell them that in the last 20 years the Democrats have 21,090,766 votes than Republicans and that there point is nonsense.

3) The polls are showing a close election. They are only if you think that 2 + 2 is closer to 22 than 4.

We have two sets of widely reported facts;

Set One;

1) Obama has a 70+ solid lead among non white (African Americans/Hispanics) which account for roughly 20% of the population.

Obama has a 20 point lead among women.

Obama has a 20 point lead among young.

Obama is slightly behind Romney in angry white males that don't fit the above categories.

If you take the first two (1. 70% of 20 is `14+)(2. 20% of the remaining 80% is 16+) then all of the relevent polls show that Obama has a 30 point advantage and Romney would have to be ahead of all white males 65-35 for the total polling to be even close.

And yet while national tracking polls all show a tight race individual state polls don't.

Set Two

Obama is showing big leads in Blue states, leads in Purple and closer than you would think in some Red States.

A sampling from Real Clear Politics http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

NH Obama 51- 42 (UNH) Remember this is Romney's 'home state'

AZ Romney 42-40 (AZSt.)

OH Obama 45-38 (FOX)

NY Obama 57-35 (Marist) 60-35 (Siena 60-35)

NJ Obama 49-40 (Quinnipiac)

NC Obama 49-44 (PPP)

NM Obama 52-46 (Ras)

CO Obama 53-40 (PPP)

VA Romney 46-41 (Roanoke)

I didn't cherry pick these polls but included all of the polls from the last 2 weeks including blatant Republican pollsters like FOX and Rasmussen.

What accounts for the discrepancy between two radical sets of numbers, one from national polls and the other from combining the aggregate of states or various groups?

You could talk about how minorities, Democrats and the young are more under reported in landline national polls and local polls take greater care to be more representative.

Or you could point out that there is an entire industry of pollsters and broadcasters who have a great deal to make if the election is a close horse race. If it is basically seen as a done deal contributions to both sides will be done and that will mean as much as a billion dollars of lost advertising. Only a fraction of the polls will be done. So a close national race generates hundreds of millions of dollars in broadcast advertising and millions of dollars in additional polling revenues.

4) Finally a number with teeth in it 60-38

Intrade the political futures market where people put money up the President has been absolutely steady at 58-61 and Romney has been stuck on 38 for months.


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