This GOP Primary is Horrible and Wonderful

The amount of ugliness and snarkiness between candidates and their supporters is pretty intense. Some of that is a factor of our age and social media – we’re mean to people we don’t actually see or know. Some of it is because there’s an actual CONTEST to determine the person who will represent the GOP, and thus conservatism, for the near future.

We haven’t had that in AGES. For a huge percent of the population, we’ve never had that, not really. Much of my recollection is spotty because I wasn’t hugely into politics, but it’s how I remember things…

In 1988 – Bush was elected to continue being Reagan. Not a whole lot of philosophical battle going on.

In 1992 there was a significant battle – the Republican / populist battle was really fought between Bush and Perot. Constitutional conservatives seemed to be a complacent part of the GOP. That’s when I started paying attention to politics a bit.

In 1996, it was Dole’s turn, but no one was gonna beat Clinton

In 2000, Bush v. McCain – not a real ideological struggle. More of a battle of…whose turn is it? Which legacy wins?

In 2004 – Bush again, of course

In 2008 – it was McCain’s turn. It was a battle of campaign tactics, who was going to fight hardest because they wanted it most.  Who would be the last one standing, the one who had “lost the least”.

In 2012 – Romney again was the “last one standing”. It was a bit of an ideological struggle, the not-Romney’s versus Romney, but it was also Romney’s turn.

And all along, the polls could predict what was going to happen, and we could tell which tactics were going to work and which would not – in a general sense. The voters were predictable, the candidates were predictable. It all kind of made sense and flowed along.

Now? It’s no one’s turn. It’s crazy. It’s unexpected. They’re all trying all the different campaign tactics that have been used before, and no one knows what’s really going to happen.

This is absolutely the chaos election. And it’s delightful, and horrible, and exhilarating and disgusting.

Source: Politics – Collections – Google+

WHY is it so hard to reduce government spending?

Because those who get gov’t money are more motivated to KEEP getting their money than those of us who want to stop giving it to them.

Everyone attending the Cruz town hall was greeted by an employee of America’s Renewable Future, an ethanol lobby headed by Eric Branstad, the son of Republican governor Terry Branstad. The ARF aide handed out glossy fliers giving all Democrats and most Republicans a green light on their support for ethanol. Only Rand Paul and Ted Cruz got failing grades.

The fearmongering is quick to do and easy for children to understand “Ted Cruz wants to hurt you –  he wants to shut down Iowa Corn”

The truth takes time to hear, and adult minds to understand:

He pointed out towards the ethanol-lobby’s “You Cruz You Lose” truck in the parking lot and said, “As you all are aware, there are a bunch of lobbyists and a bunch of Democrats spending millions of dollars trying to convince the people that I am somehow opposed to ethanol. It is complete and utter nonsense. I very much support ethanol, I just oppose Washington.”

Cruz then explained his policy proposal — phase out the mandate, eliminate blending caps, and kill favors for oil and gas. Then he made his real argument:

“There is a reason that the lobbyists want the men and women of Iowa to focus on the RFS. Because it keeps Iowa dependent on Washington. It means that every year Iowa has to go back to Washington to maintain the mandate, and what that means is the lobbyists get paid every year. Every year they get paid. Every year the politicians get paid. As long as Iowa is dependent on Washington, that keeps the power in Washington.”

One attendee named David had come to the town hall with a list of eight questions he wanted asked. Ethanol was No. 3. He said Cruz’s explanation had convinced him.

That’s an excellent sign. Not just for the Cruz campaign, but for our nation’s economy. We CAN stop some of the subsidies, if we explain why, and get past the fearmongering and the clickbait.

Will we? Who knows.

Source: Cruz defends himself in Ethanol Country | Washington Examiner

I LOVE WAL-MART

I LOVE WAL-MART

+Walmart  and Coke, Pepsi, and Nestle have all cooperated to provide safe drinking water to the kids in Flint Michigan.

My buddy +Pradheep Shanker shared that story in his post
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PradheepShanker/posts/dpByoYXphaT

+Joe Hansen said:
Walmart does a LOT of good for communities all across America.

I had to reply, going even further about the GREAT THINGS that Walmart does. This was my reply:

Yes they do – both as charitable work, as as a free market employer of a LOT of people and a provider of goods and services in a clean, safe, convenient environment.

A family of modest means can make ONE trip, at whatever time of day works for them, and get pretty much everything they need at a good price.

Thanks to Wal Mart, the poor and middle class all over the WORLD have access to things that they could only ever have dreamed of before.

I’m a HUGE fan of Walmart and the positive change that they have brought.
————-
Thank you Walmart
I’m happy to “go public” with my appreciation for you!

Source: I LOVE WAL-MART +Walmart  and Coke, Pepsi, and Nestle have all cooperated to…

PicPick: The Screenshot, image manipulation, most useful image toolkit I’ve ever used.

I take a lot of screenshots, sometimes I need to annotate them, usually not. I am NOT good with graphic programs, in fact they usually make me cry.

It used to be pretty annoying to deal with screenshots – not the taking of one, the reusing of it, the tiny little manipulations I might want to make, the ability to share it with someone, the need to resize it just a bit. Then I found PicPick.

Seriously, I use it all the time and I don’t even THINK about it anymore. It’s there when I need it, and works invisibly on my most-used things, and is there in the tray with the fancy stuff when I need it.

I set it up to automatically save the screenshot to a dropbox folder. So I can then use that image from desktop, laptop, wherever. And a public link to it is just a right click away.

And it’s the only screenshot tool I’ve found that reliably takes a scrolling page screenshot. It really does capture the whole page, with no seams in it. Nice!

If I want to annotate it, PicPick’s image editor is EASY and lets me do whatever I need to do. I use it to create stuff that has nothing to do with screenshots, too.

I didn’t want a Chrome Extension – I need to take screenshots that aren’t web pages. So I needed an actual program – this is a fast one, and it does everything I need. And it does it well.

Other utilities? It has those too! A ruler, a color picker, a magnifies, a protractor, things you rarely need, but when you need them, you don’t want to have to install some other app for it. It’s just there with PicPick.

Downside? It’s a bit pricey. No wait…it’s free for personal use, and less than $25 for business.

Still using the Win7 clipping tool? Some other solution? Try PicPick. You’ll like it.