Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. James, Rob, and Peter: I want to discuss the “Establishment” with you.

 

food-prices-breadGentlemen,

I took a short vacation with my wife to Portland, OR, this past weekend, and on the flight back I was soothed by the latest Ricochet podcast featuring Rick Wilson. For what it’s worth, I am petrified of flying because I find it to be like playing craps with your life – eventually you will roll “snake eyes.” Anyway, during the podcast, I was struck by many of replies to the things Rick was saying by you guys, and it struck me: I want to discuss with you gentlemen why the average American who makes up the Republican Party base is so outraged, and why guys like Rick Wilson do not and never will understand it.

First off, I am not a Trump supporter. Let me restate that for the record – I am not a Trump supporter. If you go through the archives, you will see that I started out as a Scott Walker supporter. Well, it seems that I have to find a new horse in this race. I am torn between Senator Ted Cruz – Wilson’s Trump Mini Me (what a condescending depiction) – and Carly Fiorina.

Second, I am a normal guy. I make roughly 67K a year and, combined with my wife, bring in about 135–140K a year. Now before you start saying that is not “normal guy pay,” I also live in the DC suburbs in Prince George’s County Maryland, so that 135–140K a year is probably about 80–90K when you factor in the cost of living in this area. We aren’t hurting, but that’s because we both worked very hard to be able to enjoy those wages. And we are also expecting our first child in March. We have a mortgage, a car payment, credit card debt (though this is manageable because we do not have entire books of credit cards), and my wife has student loan debt -– my education was part of the trade off I made with the Navy. And while we enjoy our neighborhood now, we know that when little Sprout comes -– we do not know the sex yet of our little one so we say Sprout -– the school system we are in is not going to cut it, so we have to explore saving for private school.

In short, I think that the things my wife and I have to contemplate and deal with in the current political and social environment are things that people like Rick and the rest of the GOP Leadership do not necessarily understand. That is not to say that they have not had to go through the same things in their lives, but that is to say as of now, in the year 2015, they do not have to deal with them in the current situation of Obamacare, $18 trillion in debt, rampant energy costs due to EPA radicalism, constant threats of raising the gas tax because the price is so low, increased grocery prices, empowered criminals because what they do is society’s fault and not their own, etc. To make these issues worse, there is no political push back from the Republicans against any of this; and when there is, the lone Republicans who stand up and try to call it for what it is are called “wacko birds” and “hobbits” by some, and “jackasses” by others.

So I challenge you three, if you truly want to get a sense for why Conservatives might be fed up with the Republican Party and mistakenly looking to Trump as the answer, to have a little discussion. I understand that what you are going to tell me is that the issues my family has to deal with are issues that families have dealt with for eternity, and that continuous harping on folks like McConnell and Beohner to change things when the GOP does not have the White House – the John Podhoretz line – is foolhardy. But I pose to you three that you – and the folks here at Ricochet who hold similar sentiments – do not understand where folks like me are coming from, because on some level you – especially people like Rick, Mitch, and John – are protected or insulated from the concerns that we have.

I eagerly await your reply.

Sincerely,

Robert A. McReynolds

There are 172 comments.

  1. E. Kent Golding Member

    Well stated. I would add Appliances that do not clean because they are designed for energy and water efficiency rather than cleaning, mandated expensive light bulbs that give off funny light, censorship of non PC ideas. The Church of Climate Change ( is anything in nature static?).

    • #1
    • September 30, 2015, at 2:41 AM PDT
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  2. PsychLynne Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:I am a normal guy. I make roughly 67K a year and, combined with my wife, bring in about 135 – 140K a year. Now before you start saying that is not “normal guy pay” I also live in the DC suburbs in Prince George’s County Maryland, so that 135 – 140K a year is probably about 80 – 90K when you factor in the cost of living in this area.

    I live in the DC suburbs of Northern VA and you have accurately described the the cost of living. We keep discussing taking my DC paycheck back to Atlanta (where my company is based).

    I think that the things my wife and I have to contemplate and deal with in the current political and social environment are things that people like Rick and the rest of the GOP “Leadership” do not necessarily understand.

    But I pose to you three that you–and the folks here at Ricochet who hold similar sentiments–do not understand where folks like me are coming from because on some level you–especially people like Rich, Mitch, and John–are protected or insulated from the concerns that we have. I eagerly await your reply.

    From my perspective, it’s that they view the same information but come to a different conclusion given a different set of priorities or values…which isn’t quite the same thing as not understanding. I’m also a little confused as to how they are insulated from the same concerns.

    • #2
    • September 30, 2015, at 3:21 AM PDT
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  3. Mate De Coolidge

    PsychLynne:

    I live in the DC suburbs of Northern VA and you have accurately described the the cost of living. We keep discussing taking my DC paycheck back to Atlanta (where my company is based).

    I live in Southeastern Connecticut, it’s worse here. But I so agree with your post. When listening to the Glop podcast JPod said that Boehner had to lie about what he could accomplish in order to get elected and if we didn’t like being lied to then tough toenails.

    We have been told “once we get control of the house things will be different”, “once we get control of the senate we will take it to the president”. It’s always, “lets give in now but just wait until the next thing amd we’ll smack them back so hard they won’t know what hit them”. Well we’ve been lied to once to many times and we see the institutions that we used to be able to trust in being corrupted by the left and no one in power will do anything about it. This is one of the reasons for the rise of Trump, those who support him (not me) know that he isn’t conservative but they want a fighter and they know Trump will fight.

    • #3
    • September 30, 2015, at 3:40 AM PDT
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  4. Al Kennedy Member
    Al Kennedy Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Robert, thanks very much for sharing your perspective.

    I agree that the situations that families face today are similar to those faced by earlier generations, but the difference is that there are more obstacles put in the way of today’s families, and they are receiving no help from the politicians we elect to remove or obviate those obstacles.

    Political correctness prevents us from describing the problem in terms that everyone understands. Multiculturalism is diametrically opposed to meritocracy, which keeps us from criticizing ideas and behaviors that don’t benefit the society we want our children to grow up in. The growth in the federal bureaucracy has created a straight jacket of regulations that reduce our choices of how to deal with situations that occur by people who “know” how our lives should be lived instead of how we want to live them.

    Historically, our response to these kinds of situations is to punish the politicians who have allowed this to happen. That used to cause things to change. However, today when we punish them with a lack of support, they just keep on doing what they were doing before.

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs may account for some of this as we become more affluent, but we don’t educate the next generation in civics. However our government was designed as one that the people control, and we feel we have lost any control over it or the ability to reorient it.

    • #4
    • September 30, 2015, at 4:15 AM PDT
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  5. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    PsychLynne:From my perspective, it’s that they view the same information but come to a different conclusion given a different set of priorities or values…which isn’t quite the same thing as not understanding. I’m also a little confused as to how they are insulated from the same concerns.

    What I am trying to say here is that the GOP Leadership does not feel the effects of the policies that they do not fight. Mitch and Johnny Boy are never going to feel the pinch of increased gas prices if/when they cave and agree to a gas tax increase. They do not know what it is like to have to worry about their progeny living in a Europeanized America because their future generations are never going to have to deal with it. You listen to Charles Murray describe what has become of “Fish Town” since 1964 in his book Coming Apart and ask yourself if you think that Mitch, John, Rick, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, John Podhoretz, or anyone who is calling people like me the probelm, will ever have to deal with the social destruction described there. They are insulated from the destruction of Left wing policies and thus do not think that the straights are as dire as they actually are and therefore do not see the need to fight them for fear of losing chairmanships in the House and Senate.

    • #5
    • September 30, 2015, at 4:29 AM PDT
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  6. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There seems to be an issue of perspective when rehashing the whole ‘establishment-base’ argument. Those working in govt or ‘near it’ have a greater tolerance of it. The myriad “Think Tanks: Heritage, AEI, Hoover, Pacific Research, Heartland Institute – all are part of and reliant on many of those same big donor benefactors that the RNC and politicians are.

    I am not charging that their opinions are bought and paid for – but, existing in that environment, giving paid speeches, soliciting contributions may soften or temper those views. The latest with Boehner and McConnell and the condescension we seem to be held in, like we don’t realize Obama will veto something or that they need 60 votes to take a dump. We get it, we rubes grasp that.

    But, how many judges and appointees have been confirmed since exec. amnesty? How many other appointments (Loretta Lynch)? They want to filibuster? Fine’ make then stand and talk-good old fashioned way-till they faint at the podium, then vote. No bonuses for any agency dragging it’s feet on FOIA requests or involved in wrong doing. ‘Shut things down’ in ways more than just the now annual CR kabuki theater.

    DC is a company town. Like Detroit in the 70’s & 80’s, it’s cranking out Gremlins, Fairmounts, Aztecs, Chevets, K-cars and think they’re doing great! That the customers just don’t appreciate the selection & there won’t ever be any competition.

    • #6
    • September 30, 2015, at 4:37 AM PDT
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  7. Al Kennedy Member
    Al Kennedy Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    WI Con:

    DC is a company town. Like Detroit in the 70′s & 80′s, it’s cranking out Gremlins, Fairmounts, Aztecs, Chevets, K-cars and think they’re doing great! That the customers just don’t appreciate the selection & there won’t ever be any competition.

    I wish I could like this twice. This Town by Mark Lebovich is an excellent introduction to Washington today.

    • #7
    • September 30, 2015, at 4:58 AM PDT
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  8. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    WI Con:There seems to be an issue of perspective when rehashing the whole ‘establishment-base’ argument. Those working in govt or ‘near it’ have a greater tolerance of it. The myriad “Think Tanks: Heritage, AEI, Hoover, Pacific Research, Heartland Institute – all are part of and reliant on many of those same big donor benefactors that the RNC and politicians are.

    I couldn’t disagree more–at least when it comes to my wife and me. I am a defense contractor and she is a govy working for the National Endowment for the Humanities–yes, Congressional support of the arts and sciences is one of the 8 specified powers–and we both understand (me more than her) that if it wasn’t for the Left wing policies and Obama’s use of Cloward-Piven spending plans to bankrupt the US to destroy it, our respective professions would have more money to use and at a lesser burden to tax payers. Since having been in the navy, become a contractor, and seen how the bureaucracy functions, I have become even more willing to take a chainsaw to the federal government. Paul Ryan attempts to balance the budget in 10 to 15 years when we are staring an $18 trillion debt in the face do little to bolster my confidence that the party of limited government actually cares about that anymore. The fact that they won’t make the rhetorical case for cutting $500 mill from Planned Parenthood is also frustrating.

    • #8
    • September 30, 2015, at 5:06 AM PDT
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  9. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Careful, Paul. The establishment enforcers may swing by to accuse you of tawdry class-warfare neo-Marxist rhetoric.

    • #9
    • September 30, 2015, at 6:00 AM PDT
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  10. David Knights Member

    Is it possible to like an entire thread? All of this a thousand times!

    likes

    • #10
    • September 30, 2015, at 6:17 AM PDT
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  11. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    Ball Diamond Ball:Careful, Paul. The establishment enforcers may swing by to accuse you of tawdry class-warfare neo-Marxist rhetoric.

    Who?

    • #11
    • September 30, 2015, at 6:39 AM PDT
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  12. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    Ball Diamond Ball:Careful, Paul. The establishment enforcers may swing by to accuse you of tawdry class-warfare neo-Marxist rhetoric.

    It’s funny because I don’t think anyone is asking the government to punish the wealthy. All we are asking is that the wealthy stop influencing policy makers toward a political structure that punishes the Middle Class.

    • #12
    • September 30, 2015, at 6:41 AM PDT
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  13. PsychLynne Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:

    PsychLynne:From my perspective, it’s that they view the same information but come to a different conclusion given a different set of priorities or values…which isn’t quite the same thing as not understanding. I’m also a little confused as to how they are insulated from the same concerns.

    What I am trying to say here is that the GOP Leadership does not feel the effects of the policies that they do not fight…. They are insulated from the destruction of Left wing policies and thus do not think that the straights are as dire as they actually are and therefore do not see the need to fight them for fear of losing chairmanships in the House and Senate.

    Got it. I’m not sure that I buy that they are insulated from the destruction of their policies. After all, they will feel the increased gas prices and their kids and grandkids will be paying the tax burden that is inevitable and suffer from increased crime rates. Now, income provides some insulation against all this, is it that they are wealthy? do you think that is driving their decision-making?

    • #13
    • September 30, 2015, at 6:48 AM PDT
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  14. PsychLynne Inactive

    Al Kennedy:

    WI Con:

    DC is a company town. Like Detroit in the 70′s & 80′s, it’s cranking out Gremlins, Fairmounts, Aztecs, Chevets, K-cars and think they’re doing great! That the customers just don’t appreciate the selection & there won’t ever be any competition.

    I wish I could like this twice. This Town by Mark Lebovich is an excellent introduction to Washington today.

    I was depressed for weeks after I read it. Ok, more like a combo of irritable and despondent…

    Definitely worth reading.

    • #14
    • September 30, 2015, at 6:50 AM PDT
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  15. BrentB67 Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:

    WI Con:There seems to be an issue of perspective when rehashing the whole ‘establishment-base’ argument. Those working in govt or ‘near it’ have a greater tolerance of it. The myriad “Think Tanks: Heritage, AEI, Hoover, Pacific Research, Heartland Institute – all are part of and reliant on many of those same big donor benefactors that the RNC and politicians are.

    I couldn’t disagree more–at least when it comes to my wife and me. I am a defense contractor and she is a govy working for the National Endowment for the Humanities–yes, Congressional support of the arts and sciences is one of the 8 specified powers.

    Robert, can you please specify what power you are referring that mandates federal spending on arts and science?

    • #15
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:00 AM PDT
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  16. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:

    Ball Diamond Ball:Careful, Paul. The establishment enforcers may swing by to accuse you of tawdry class-warfare neo-Marxist rhetoric.

    Who?

    Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor, not a — oh right. Nurse, gauze!

    • #16
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:01 AM PDT
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  17. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    PsychLynne:Got it. I’m not sure that I buy that they are insulated from the destruction of their policies. After all, they will feel the increased gas prices and their kids and grandkids will be paying the tax burden that is inevitable and suffer from increased crime rates. Now, income provides some insulation against all this, is it that they are wealthy? do you think that is driving their decision-making?

    No I think they are legitimately insulated, particularly the longtime elected officials. Their kids are never going to have to go to a private school that resembles anything like what you would find in Suitland, Maryland or Oxon Hill, Maryland. Their kids and their grandkids are never going to have to worry about student loans for college and the never ending increase in college tuition. And they are never going to feel the pain of crime rates because they are going to live in neighborhoods like Great Falls, VA or Potomac, MD.

    Yeah to some extent the wealth they have is what insulates them, but I think it is deeper than that. I think on many levels these people think that they actually know better than I do how to manage my affairs and the affairs of 320 million Americans. I think on some level they have bought into the Democrat notion that we serfs in the field need DC or we will wither and die.

    • #17
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:03 AM PDT
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  18. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    BrentB67:

    Robert McReynolds:

    WI Con:There seems to be an issue of perspective when rehashing the whole ‘establishment-base’ argument. Those working in govt or ‘near it’ have a greater tolerance of it. The myriad “Think Tanks: Heritage, AEI, Hoover, Pacific Research, Heartland Institute – all are part of and reliant on many of those same big donor benefactors that the RNC and politicians are.

    I couldn’t disagree more–at least when it comes to my wife and me. I am a defense contractor and she is a govy working for the National Endowment for the Humanities–yes, Congressional support of the arts and sciences is one of the 8 specified powers.

    Robert, can you please specify what power you are referring that mandates federal spending on arts and science?

    Article One, section 8:

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    • #18
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:05 AM PDT
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  19. BrentB67 Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:

    BrentB67:

    Robert McReynolds:

    WI Con:There seems to be an issue of perspective when rehashing the whole ‘establishment-base’ argument. Those working in govt or ‘near it’ have a greater tolerance of it. The myriad “Think Tanks: Heritage, AEI, Hoover, Pacific Research, Heartland Institute – all are part of and reliant on many of those same big donor benefactors that the RNC and politicians are.

    I couldn’t disagree more–at least when it comes to my wife and me. I am a defense contractor and she is a govy working for the National Endowment for the Humanities–yes, Congressional support of the arts and sciences is one of the 8 specified powers.

    Robert, can you please specify what power you are referring that mandates federal spending on arts and science?

    Article One, section 8:

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    That provision deals promoting progress by helping secure copyright and patents. That doesn’t specify spending on a mindless bureaucracy like Humanities.

    • #19
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:22 AM PDT
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  20. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    I’m willingly admit that the folks certainly push a specific agenda through the Humanities, but the notion that Congress cannot spend money on promoting “useful Arts” is not accurate. I am with you that the bulk of what comes out of the Humanities is anti-American–I make that case to my wife all the time–but surely, you are not going to argue that the US Congress does not have the authority to provide for the people the ability to tell the American story? Whether they actually do that through a historically accurate lens is one thing, I grant you.

    • #20
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:28 AM PDT
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  21. BrentB67 Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:I’m willingly admit that the folks certainly push a specific agenda through the Humanities, but the notion that Congress cannot spend money on promoting “useful Arts” is not accurate. I am with you that the bulk of what comes out of the Humanities is anti-American–I make that case to my wife all the time–but surely, you are not going to argue that the US Congress does not have the authority to provide for the people the ability to tell the American story? Whether they actually do that through a historically accurate lens is one thing, I grant you.

    I will absolutely argue that there is no such enumerated power mandating Congress fund Humanities or any similar nonsensical bureaucracy. There is nothing in Article One – Section 8 that empowers Congress to spend money on Humanities.

    We’ve taken to talking points that ‘promote’ as used in the Constitution now = pay for another bureaucracy.

    • #21
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:32 AM PDT
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  22. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    I don’t want to take the thread off of the overall topic here, but I will just explain to you that the portion of the executive that my wife works in only manages the money that is granted to states for promoting the Humanities. The states have their own humanities councils and they apply for the grants. Her office determines if those application should be funded or not. I am not too sure how the rest of the National Endowment for the Humanities function, but I would suspect it is similar. The essence here is that the government sets aside a block of money that can be applied for by individuals or states to promote the arts and sciences. As I have stated before, the decisions made to determine who gets the money can be questioned, but I don’t think the practice of the US government setting aside a block of money for the use of educating the People through the arts is something that the Founders would object to.

    Sometimes the bureaucracy just needs to be cleaned out, not gotten rid of.

    • #22
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:43 AM PDT
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  23. BrentB67 Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:I don’t want to take the thread off of the overall topic here,…, but I don’t think the practice of the US government setting aside a block of money for the use of educating the People through the arts is something that the Founders would object to.

    Sometimes the bureaucracy just needs to be cleaned out, not gotten rid of.

    You wrote a post about the ‘establishment’ and the lack of pushback by the Republican party. This is very much on the topic.

    The founders were specific in drafting the Constitution that it limits the power of the central government and that it has no powers outside of those specifically enumerated to it of which confiscating funds from individuals and returning it in block grants to states for indoctrination is clearly not enumerated. The founders didn’t just object to the practice they specifically prohibited it.

    You are frustrated that the current leadership hasn’t done enough to stop the Obama agenda and I agree they can do more.

    Then you claim non existent enumerated powers for spending on bureaucracy and defend its existence. All I am getting from this post is that you think Boehner, McConnell et al should be doing more to push back on the overreach of the federal government just so long as they don’t push back on the overreach that pays a portion of our household income.

    The problem isn’t who runs the bureaucracy. The problem is its existence.

    • #23
    • September 30, 2015, at 7:53 AM PDT
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  24. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds

    Not at all. First you haven’t convinced me that the Founders would be against the notion of Federal money going to support science and arts. Sure you point to the idea that this particular article speaks only to patents and making sure those are secured so that the intellectual property of the creators is protected, but you haven’t yet convinced me that this article only pertains to patents or copyright.

    Second, let’s say you are correct that this only speaks to patents and copyright. How much money is appropriated to the entire NEH by Congress? It’s barely $150 million. If you think that this is one of the items that we should be attacking the GOP Establishment over as opposed to Obamacare (roughly $1 trillion), amnesty (God knows how much that will actually cost), various welfare programs for people who don’t work (certainly in the billions, I didn’t feel like looking it up), and the various other ways that the government controls society, then your priorities are a bit skewed.

    I noticed you wearing flight gear in your picture. How about we take a look at that F-35 POS that the DoD has been dinking around with for nearly ten years? That’s an expenditure that certainly dwarfs the NEH. ($400 billion)

    • #24
    • September 30, 2015, at 8:25 AM PDT
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  25. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    Robert, it’s nothing personal, but the article cited pretty clearly limits the means by which those good things are to be promoted, and that is through patents and copyright. If you are empowered “to accomplish X goal through Y means” then Y limits your pursuit of X. We are not free to interpret any clause as though another did not exist, except in pursuing partial definitions for reintegration — some care required.

    • #25
    • September 30, 2015, at 8:26 AM PDT
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  26. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive

    My guess is Brent has no love for the F-35, the main competence of which is budget superiority.

    • #26
    • September 30, 2015, at 8:27 AM PDT
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  27. Victor Tango Kilo Member

    PsychLynne: I live in the DC suburbs of Northern VA and you have accurately described the the cost of living. We keep discussing taking my DC paycheck back to Atlanta (where my company is based).

    I lived in the DC suburbs of Maryland for 12 years. I recently took a job with a company in Ohio that pays my DC salary. It goes a lot farther. Also, I no longer work for the kind of narcissistic sociopath the DC culture tends to promote to positions of authority.

    • #27
    • September 30, 2015, at 8:28 AM PDT
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  28. Jamie Lockett Inactive

    Robert McReynolds: I noticed you wearing flight gear in your picture. How about we take a look at that F-35 POS that the DoD has been dinking around with for nearly ten years? That’s an expenditure that certainly dwarfs the NEH. ($400 billion)

    The effectiveness of the weapons system has no bearing on the constitutional authority by which it was authorized.

    • #28
    • September 30, 2015, at 8:30 AM PDT
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  29. KiminWI Inactive

    Robert McReynolds:

    Article One, section 8:

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    A question for the constitutional scholars, what is the meaning of the word “Arts,” or more specifically “useful Arts” at the time of writing? I suspect it referenced industrial technology or craft, not curated exhibits and poetry readings in community centers.

    The study of humanities should never ever ever ever come under so much government influence. I would go so far as to say that public education corrupts the study of humanities and art and should (under my magic wand) be approached entirely differently. NO federal funding, and no government inducements to school minors with money that the family does not direct.

    • #29
    • September 30, 2015, at 8:32 AM PDT
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  30. BrentB67 Inactive

    Ball Diamond Ball:My guess is Brent has no love for the F-35, the main competence of which is budget superiority.

    F-35: a coffin with a small radar signature and I don’t care if it was free.

    • #30
    • September 30, 2015, at 8:32 AM PDT
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