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April 30, 2009

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Junior is a smart guy but he's trapped in a base that is culturally conservative, yet that base and his dad's name rec was the only reason he coasted to the governorship of the most conservative state in the country. I wouldn't say it is the craziest though. OK is hard to top if you go by elected officials.

I think he will be dogged by the empty suit critique- why does he exactly want to run for president? I don't know anyone that can explain this simple question. I would love it for him to stand up to the Huckabees and the Giulianis. The most interesting dynamic will be with Romney. Romney has nurtured his specific cultural base by extreme pandering- what is it gonna look like when Junior and Romney fight for the home state crowd? (I know Utah is only one of Romney's many states)


The problem is that Gov. Huntsman is too stupid to be in charge of anything. He is another idiot like McCain that the U.S. can maintain open borders and unlimited immigration while trying to limit the size of the government or limiting taxes.

Huntsman is another visionless politicain with zero leadership ability like McCain who would succeed at alienating conservatives while gaining zero moderates or Democratic voters.

For those of you playing at home, "open borders and unlimited immigration" means "doesn't want to round up and deport millions of gainfully employed people".

JP,

Considering the current unemployment rate in California, I doubt that many of them are still employed. Open borders means everyone who gets to the U.S. gets to stay no matter the situation. That is what the U.S. has had for years and what the Obama Adminsitraiton wants to normalize. Everyone can come to the U.S., stay for a while, and eventually become a citizen so that they can automatically vote for the Democrats and demand government services that will be paid by others.

sd,

I shouldn't mock you, because you are in fact the authentic voice of the GOP base. If you believe your fellow, um, superdestroyers (apt name!) will hate Huntsman, then I bow to your superior knowledge.

But publius has a point. Huntsman may very well win the nomination on the backs of unaffiliated moderates in open primaries with winner-take-all delegate apportionment rules. If that's the case, then he'll face the same problem McCain faced: a convention dominated by superdestroyers who don't like him. He'll also be forced to rely on the same solution: choose a running mate that the superdestroyers like but the rest of the country finds appalling like, say, Glenn Beck.

We can't write off the GOP yet.

They have a plan.

we shouldn't discount the fact that McCain did, in fact, win the GOP primaries, quite handily. the die-hard crazy and ill-tempered wingnut base aren't the only people who vote in presidential primaries.

and more importantly, it's only April 2009. everything can change in three years.

and can we please have more than 6 months without worrying about a fncking presidential horse race ?

and can we please have more than 6 months without worrying about a fncking presidential horse race?

No.

SA2SQ

I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I voted for Huntsman this past year and have been more pleasantly surprised by his rational positioning. I don't know how we'll he will translate to the rest of the country, but his dogged defense of education spending against a wingnutty legislature has made a huge difference for thousands in the state. His leadership in getting the most bizarre of our liquor laws repealed was impressive. (I never thought it would happen in this lifetime, much less this quickly.)

But I also think the criticism is apt that he largely rode to success as the famous son of a more famous father. He wouldn't be governor otherwise. But his success in keeping the reactionaries at bay has made me respect him. I don't agree with probably 70% of the things he does, but even in our disagreements, he doesn't strike me as so fundamentally wrongheaded as even the GOP "moderates" often seem to be.

superdestroyer,

Don't forget that the current immigration law that seems to offend you so strongly was a product of Saint Ronnie's administration. This is just another piece of evidence that it's easiest to worship Reagan if you have no idea what he did.

Specter, however, has jarred them.

Yeah, like the abusive husband is jarred when he comes home to find his wife's gone and her stuff's all cleared out.

They thought they could routinely crap all over Specter and Snowe and Collins as RINOs, but continue taking their status as Republicans, and their votes, for granted.

Specter's not exactly a great pickup for the Dems, but his loss shakes the GOP because there just aren't enough crazies in the U.S. to be a viable opposition party. They need to hang onto those Republicans whose sky is still blue on sunny days, no matter how much the base derides them. Until now, they hadn't been served notice that they might actually have to work to hang onto them. Now they have.

what cleek said.

[I end up thinking that a lot actually. The Force has a powerful influence on the weak minded, and for some reason I can never seem to find those droids I'm looking for]

"we shouldn't discount the fact that McCain did, in fact, win the GOP primaries, quite handily. the die-hard crazy and ill-tempered wingnut base aren't the only people who vote in presidential primaries."

Another factor - assuming the Obama administration doesn't run onto the rocks ala Jimmy Carter and thus trigger a strong challenge within the Democratic Party, the Democratic nomination contest in 2012 will be as boring as the 2008 contest was dramatic. I expect Indys will flock to the GOP primaries in droves out of sheer boredom with the Dem contest. In states with closed primaries we will probably see many Indys and even some Dems registering as Republicans just so they can cast a meaningful vote rather than merely ratify Obama on the Dem side. Sort of like PA in 2008 only in the reverse direction.

So the ideological and demographic composition of the GOP primary electorate in 2012 may shift significantly compared with where it is today.

"we shouldn't discount the fact that McCain did, in fact, win the GOP primaries, quite handily. the die-hard crazy and ill-tempered wingnut base aren't the only people who vote in presidential primaries."

Yeah, the klepto-crat old boy's network have a lot of say there, too.

Yeah, the klepto-crat old boy's network have a lot of say there, too.

Brett,

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that since 1964 the GOP nomination has worked pretty consistently on the basis of "take a number, get in line, wait your turn". How else does one explain Dole in 1996? Granted that W in 2000 cut the line, but I've been given to understand that Barbara Bush's Christmas Card list may have had something to do with that. In this light it would have been pretty surprising if McCain had not been the candiate in 2008, and extrapolating forward either Rommney or Huckabee would have to be prohibitive favorites in 2012.

Of course it seems to me that Reagan's 11th Commandmant might have something to do with this senority system, so if "thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican" has been sent to the dustbin of history, then perhaps the seniority system is living on borrowed time as well.

I expect Indys will flock to the GOP
primaries in droves out of sheer boredom
with the Dem contest.

Just to monkeywrench with them, I hope, because voting for a GOP candidate in the general out of boredom would be can-you-dress-without-assistance level dumb.

Playing the GOP primaries just for grins and giggles is fine, as long as the indies don't actually elect a GOP President.

"How else does one explain Dole in 1996?"

The klepto-crat good old boy network believes in seniority.

Granted, the Republican big money boys believe in seniority. Who's on top of that pecking order now?

That's the big problem for the GOP. No designated leader. (Again, as with so much else, it's George W. Bush's fault. Why put Darth Cheney on the ticket in 2004? He should have anointed a successor.)

"(Again, as with so much else, it's George W. Bush's fault. Why put Darth Cheney on the ticket in 2004? He should have anointed a successor.)"

The flaw in this theory is that it presumes that Bush gave a bucket of warm spit for the prospects of the Republican party after he left office. You can explain an awful lot of the things he did if you just assume his attitude towards the GOP was "Après moi le déluge."

"we shouldn't discount the fact that McCain did, in fact, win the GOP primaries, quite handily. the die-hard crazy and ill-tempered wingnut base aren't the only people who vote in presidential primaries."
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that since 1964 the GOP nomination has worked pretty consistently on the basis of "take a number, get in line, wait your turn". How else does one explain Dole in 1996? Granted that W in 2000 cut the line, but I've been given to understand that Barbara Bush's Christmas Card list may have had something to do with that. In this light it would have been pretty surprising if McCain had not been the candiate in 2008, and extrapolating forward either Rommney or Huckabee would have to be prohibitive favorites in 2012.

These two comments actually reinforce each other. People always vote for a mix of reasons, pragmatic and idealistic, tactically, strategically, logistically. In this case, my wild and unsubstantiated guess is that McCain did well in the primaries because he was thought to be more electable in a general race. Why? Because a lot of people equate being a blooded, tried-and-true war horse who has paid his dues (have I mixed enough metaphors yet?) with being 'electable' - otherwise he/she wouldn't have made it this far, would they? And indeed, the terms often employed by the myrmidons of the Republican media wing to describe people like Romney were phrases like 'unknown quantity' or 'untried'. I'm sure there were a lot of relatively unhinged delegates who were unabashed Huckabee fans but who nevertheless held their noses and voted for McCain on the purely strategic issue of 'electability'.

Oh, and - another phrase I dislike - the exception that proves the rule was Bush the Lesser, a man who was nominated because of name recognition. I'm sure there are party insiders who are still grumbling about this being a strong case against 'line jumping'.

Brett, you read my mind.

"You can explain an awful lot of the things he did if you just assume his attitude towards the GOP was "Après moi le déluge.""

For "the GOP" here, I think you can read "everything".

Nope, I try to be charitable. I don't think, for instance, that Obama is deliberately setting out to run the country into the ground, for all that it will probably be the result of his policies.

The flaw in this theory is that it presumes that Bush gave a bucket of warm spit for the prospects of the Republican party after he left office.

true.

yet up until it looked like Bush was going to turn out to be an unpopular failure, his supporters liked that Critics-Be-Damned attitude.

also, what russell said.

Way off topic:

Our lovely congress and president have recently (February) passed a law that obligates me to pay 65% of cobra continuation of health insurance for laid off employees for nine months after termination. They made the law retroactive to layoffs as far back as September, 2008. Wasn't that nice of them? The problem for me is that I knew the guy I laid off was in a tight spot so I gave him 6 months worth of severence pay to give him time to land on his feet. NOW, (I just found out today), I get to pay him via Cobra an extra $9,000. BUT THAT'S WHAT THE SIX MONTHS SEVERENCE WAS FOR. $%#*&& president and congress. This is the payback a guy gets for trying to do the right thing by an employee. No good deed goes unpunished.

Again we get hit with the consequences of the courts refusing to admit that retroactive legislation is by definition "ex post facto"; Can't get the courts to admit a bill violates the ex post facto clause unless they freaking title it "The ex post facto Act of 2009".

Our lovely congress and president have recently (February) passed a law that obligates me to pay 65% of cobra continuation of health insurance for laid off employees for nine months after termination.

That whole socialized medicine universal health care thing must be sounding a whole lot better these days.

This is the payback a guy gets for trying to do the right thing by an employee. No good deed goes unpunished.

Yeah dude, you got hosed.

The rain falls alike on the just and the unjust.

If you think you got hosed so badly, try being the dude laid off.

Count your blessings, d'd'd'...

Come on – play nice guys. 6 Months severance is almost unheard of these days. And realize that there is no legal obligation for severance at all. Good on you Dave for doing it. Consider it paying it forward…

Again we get hit with the consequences of the courts refusing to admit that retroactive legislation is by definition "ex post facto"; Can't get the courts to admit a bill violates the ex post facto clause unless they freaking title it "The ex post facto Act of 2009".

The ex post facto clause applies only to criminal penalties for law violations, at least, IIRC from law school.

I do give Dave credit for giving the severance. However, it should be noticed that he will be reimbursed for that 65% by the government through a tax credit and that the actual subsudy did not go back to September. It began in February.

So this really doesn't cost him anything.

Come on – play nice guys.

I was. There was no snark in my comment.

Obama et al are trying to address a problem. The solution helps some folks, maybe hurts some other folks. Big problems get big solutions, big solutions can be like that.

So, could be dave ends up holding the short end of the stick in this particular case.

The rain falls on the just and unjust. Some day the bear eats you, some days vice versa.

I'm not piling on dave. He's got a point. So do the 600K+ people a month who are losing their jobs.

It's not dave's fault all those folks are getting laid off. It's not your fault the investment banks sold a promise to pay all the money in the freaking world to their creditors. It's not my fault the auto companies are going belly up.

But when the crap hits the fan, ain't nobody gets away clean. That's why it's useful if we can prevent the crap hitting the fan.

In the meantime, we'll all get to pony up in one form or another. It does, in fact, suck. But we'll get through it.

With respect to D'd'd'd'd'd's recent comment:

Assuming John Miller's comment is correct (although I'm a bit confused by its phrasing: the subsidy didn't go back past February, but the obligation went back to September? or am I just confused), it was very wrong of D'! to omit the slight detail that he's getting paid back in full, although even if he gets the full COBRA cost refunded in his taxes John Miller also overlooks the increased burden of what looks like an interest-free loan (until receives gets the tax refund), which isn't nothing.

More importantly, what Catsy said: if we had national health care in this country, this wouldn't have happened.

And, of course, most of what OCSteve said, in that 6 months severance is absurdly generous (unless there was some accumulated sick or vacation time involved) - although I had thought some severance was mandatory when you had to let people go without prejudice or notice, at least in some locales?

Free Lunch,

The support of open borders by the Reagan-ites is one of the reasons that the Republican Party will not be around much longer. Open borders is why the Republican Party is irrelevant in California and will soon be irrelevant in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and even Texas. The Republicans failed to understand that millions of poor Mexicans will eventually become millions of automatic Democratic voters who will support higher taxes, more government, or race based programs, and less freedom.

As was shown during the Bush Administraiton, the power structure of the Republicans seem incapable of understanding the long term consequences of their policies even when their supporters keep telling them.

Warren, you are correct about the interest given up, but is not going to be that much.

The difference between September and February is that a pereson had to lose their job after 9/1/2008 to qualify for the subsidy, although the subsidy only applied to COBRA payments after the February date. It is limited to 9 months, and if the individual becomes employed prior to that period, the subsidy ends. There are other factors which can limit the extent of the subsidy, but they are not as much in play as the others.

And again, I do give Dave credit for the severance. I don't know about all areas, but I know a severance is not always required.

Catsy://That whole socialized medicine universal health care thing must be sounding a whole lot better these days.//

BS. It'll be the same thing multiplied by 10. What makes you think there's going to be a free lunch then. There won't be - employers will be stuck with even heavier costs.

xanax: //If you think you got hosed so badly, try being the dude laid off.//

The guy had two years notice. He had an opportunity to qualify for another job in the company and ample time to prepare. He just wasn't interested. He didn't get hosed at all. Why do you assume he got hosed?

John Miller://However, it should be noticed that he will be reimbursed for that 65% by the government through a tax credit and that the actual subsudy did not go back to September. It began in February.

So this really doesn't cost him anything.//

BS again. Are you going to write me a check for the credit? The entity that he worked for is losing money. It has no estimated payments due and will have no tax due at the end of the year. Are you telling me that I can get a refundable credit right now for $9,000? I would be very surprised to see that. Do you have a reference. I'll try to suspend my disbelief but I expect this to be one more time that the tax theory doesn't match up with the reality: "Don't worry people, D'd'd'dave won't pay anything."

Russell:///In the meantime, we'll all get to pony up in one form or another. It does, in fact, suck. But we'll get through it.//

Where's your pony? And tell me how this is stimulus.


xanax: Why do you assume he got hosed?

Projection on my part and inappropriate. Sorry. In my case, the company I worked for/with for over 20 years (a major RV dealer) went from 640 employees to 200 in the space of about 4 weeks. No severance packages, no cobra, or lateral employment opportunities within the company. Just one day we had a jobs with reasonable benefits (health care plan, 401k, etc) the next we didn't and the company was in Chapter 11. That was in July and the pickings have been insanely slim since then.

So, just bitter, and, frankly, with a wife and two elementary-school-aged kids to provide for, more than a little scared. Sorry again for the snark.

BS. It'll be the same thing multiplied by 10. What makes you think there's going to be a free lunch then. There won't be - employers will be stuck with even heavier costs.

Because if D' says so, it must be true.

I note a distinct lack of explanation as to how universal health care automatically means worse costs for employers, especially absent any other context such as what kind of state health care gets enacted and what the details of the program are.

Okay. I did some research. Apparently I do get a refundable credit on my quarterly 941 form. So, i'm only loaning the money to Uncle for a short time. How nice of Uncle to force me to make a short term loan to him. It's very stimulating.

Whew. This whole thing, both the subsidy and the refund, were news to me today.

Where's your pony? And tell me how this is stimulus.

I feed the pony every payday. I've been feeding the pony for about 35 years, and I'll be feeding the pony for years and years to come, no worries there.

It's not stimulus. It's helping the 600K+ people who get laid off every month go to the doctor.

An unexpected $9K hit is nobody's idea of a good time. I'm not saying you have no reason to be unhappy about it, I'm just saying everybody's taking a hit in one form or another.

Times are tough.

It's not stimulus. It's helping the 600K+ people who get laid off every month go to the doctor.

Remember, folks, the only valid function of government is the protection of private property. Everything else is socialism.

Okay. I did some research.

I guess that's why I will never be good in business, I wouldn't just toss out money without first doing some research....

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