Jim Hacker: I’ve been talking to Eric and Duncan. I think I promised to support Eric’s candidature. [for prime minister]
Bernard: I see.
Jim Hacker: Then I think I promised to support Duncan’s.
Bernard: Well that seems rather even handed Minister
Jim Hacker: The problem is I can’t keep my promise to both, Sherry?
Bernard: Well they were only political promises, weren’t they?
Jim Hacker: Yes [pause] What do you mean?
Bernard: I mean Like your manifesto promises people understand.

Yes Minister Party Games 1984

Mr Scott: Do you mind a little advice? Starfleet captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their way, but the secret is to give them only what they need, not what they want.

Star Trek TNG Relics 1992

There is a famous scene in the Spencer Tracy film the Last Hurrah that illustrates one part of the political equation that always comes into play for pols but doesn’t really get a lot of press it deserves.

In the scene Tracy notes to his nephew that he promised two different  groups a statue in a park however as they wanted different people on the statue there was no way possible to please them both so he tells his nephew his plan to make the statue one of Mother Cabrini which would not only appeal to the members of both groups but that neither could oppose.

And that is part of the great secret of how politics works.

In the old days before TV and before the internet of course it was much easier you could send your surrogates to different parts of the country and promise completely different things and nobody would call you on it as long as you gave them a job. Today of course it’s quite different, every single pronouncement made by any candidate and/or is surrogate on any platform from twitter to a supposedly “private” event get in the hands of the general public.

Even so the temptation to make a promise that one can’t keep is great when there is a voter in front of you to please, not all can resist it but it’s not just a problem of what a candidate does it’s what a person perceives.

We have for example seen republicans promise for five years to repeal Obmamcare, to stop the president’s agenda  etc etc etc but are unable to deliver, it’s been a classic case of overpromising.

Without a republican president or a 2/3 majority in both houses there is no possibility to repeal obamacare, zip zero nada.

However that doesn’t mean things can’t be done, the power of the purse gives leverage and the willingness to use this leverage to make a fight:

But House and Senate appropriators will need to pass an omnibus spending bill to prevent a government shutdown by Dec. 11. That’s when a stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution, is set to expire.

Obama and Democrats are insisting on a clean spending bill, free of controversial policy riders or “poison pills.” But conservatives will be pressing their GOP leaders to attach a slew of amendments, including one to defund Planned Parenthood.

And this is where the golden rule of politics comes in.

If Paul Ryan promised to provide a bill that defunds planned parenthood, defunds obamacare etc etc etc aloud he would be making two mistakes.

He’s be giving the democrats a specific target

He’d be setting expectation beyond his ability to deliver.

But by being vague, by allowing amendments and riders as normal and then letting the Senate pass their own version he sets up the normal give and take that comes with a bill getting part of what he and the base wants while not putting the Democrats in a position where they have an incentive to drop the bomb.

By this method it is possible to keep the ball moving and that’s what we really need, keep moving the ball. We may WANT democrats totally defeated and demoralized, but what we really need is move forward rational policies so conservatism on spending becomes the new norm.

of course if that fails for Speaker Ryan there is plan B

I’d send Obama a lot of separate spending bills, and put the riders on legislation that his constituents need to pass. Go ahead, veto welfare spending or Department of Education funding. Make my day!

And remember these are spending bills, we can use reconciliation to get them to the President’s desk.

by baldilocks

Originally posted February 17, 2007. Slight edited.

The reason I think that the majority of bloggers begin their endeavors is a very simple one: most of us want to transmit ideas without interruption. That certainly was one of my reasons for starting a blog. Conversely, those of us who allow comments realize that feedback allows uninterrupted transmission of ideas for our readers as well. This simple exchange of ideas is called communication. And, unfortunately, the art of face-to-face communication is nearly a lost one–listening and responding to what one has heard, rather than listening one’s own inner conversation with self about the person speaking and/or ideas being expressed. People don’t want to do the most important part of communication–active listening–nor do they want to make it easier for the other person to do so.

Think about the last time you tried to have a conversation about important things–especially one in which the other participant didn’t agree with you. Several impediments to the transmission of and response to the verbally-expressed ideas likely occurred, coming from both parties. Continue reading “The Art of Communication”

The questions that have been asked so far in this debate, illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. This is not a cage match. And if you look at the questions, Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do the math? John Kasich, can you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don’t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues —

Ted Cruz CNBC Debate Oct 29th 2015

Last week Ted Cruz has his single biggest moment in the GOP race to this point when during the CNBC debate he called out the bias of the MSM against the GOP contrasting it with how Democrats have been treated by said media and suggested that perhaps the people asking the questions of the person seeking the GOP nomination should have voted in such a primary at least once.

During the week that followed we heard all kinds of snark suggesting that if the GOP couldn’t handle CNBC they couldn’t handle the white house, they were called whiners, complainers and attacked by press from CNN MSNBC and even Megyn Kelly of Fox news.

However on Friday we had a 24 hour period where the Media did their best to make his point for him.

Item 1.  The only way a Black Man escapes the Democrat Plantation is Death

Months ago just after he announced I covered a Ben Carson Q & A in NH and ask him about the media 180 on him since he critiqued the president at the Prayer Breakfast.

at the time Carson’s prospects were considered slim and none and slim was not in town. Well a few weeks after he finished 2nd in the 603 alliance caucus of confirmed NH voters and just a few days after a Quinnipiac poll showed that he was drawing nearly 20% of te black vote, enough to make a Democrat victory impossible in a general election. The media decided to go after him in a Big way.

Politico put out hit piece on Carson claiming he was lying about some childhood & teenage stories. Before you knew it every single media outlet was piling on as illustrated by this image via the Rush Limbaugh site:


and this statement

See? From the moment I told you about this, this is exactly what I told you The Politico’s purpose was. They want you to think that Carson never went to West Point but that he says he did. “Politico published a piece Friday claiming Carson’s campaign ‘admits fabricating’ the fact that he applied and was admitted to West Point.” So they go to the West Point spokesbabe today and she says, “No, we had no application. He didn’t apply, and he certainly didn’t attend here.”

So they clearly want ignorant, impressionable, uninformed readers to think that Ben Carson’s out there writing in his book that he went to West Point and that The Politico today has uncovered the fact that he didn’t. And do you want to know how successful this is? I’m not gonna mention any names here. In the opening segment of this program, I’m going through exactly what I just told you here, and somebody on the other side of the glass shouted to me, “It doesn’t matter, he’s toast! The truth doesn’t matter. He’s toast.”

And this might be true if Carson was a regular pol but if you think a fellow who has spent hours fighting for the lives of kids considered doomed was going to just give up they were quite mistaken. Carson called the story “an outright lie” American Elephant put it well

and lo and behold within a few hours Politico had already edited their story (without mentioning the edits) and CNN was putting out a story titled “Where Politico’s Ben Carson ‘Scoop’ Went Wrong

The rewritten article did not initially include a correction or editor’s note, although a note was later added on Friday. Politico again said it “stands by its reporting.”

Of course by the time these corrections were promulgated the low info voters who don’t follow the news or see the corrections will have the background noise of “Ben Carson Lied” added into things “everybody knows.”

Take a look at the press conference below

And remember the primary subject of these questions are concerning a dinner he attended at age 18.

Now some might say, hey this guy is running for president of the United States, this isn’t softball, he’s got to demonstrate that he can stand up and take it.

However that very evening we saw a very different press event for Democrats…

2. MSNBC invites the Hillary Clinton & Co over to play  softball

At 8 PM Friday evening MSNBC broadcast the First in the south Democrat forum featuring Martin O’Malley, BErnie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

The Contrast was quite striking.

Unlike the combative CNBC, Fox & CNN Debates the Democrat Candidates appeared one at a time without worrying about being challenged by their opponents

Unlike the CNBC debate and the Scrum around Ben Carson earlier in the day. Rather than facing confrontational questions from political opponents like Ben Carson and the GOP CNBC debaters did the Democrat Candidates faced questions from Rachel Maddow the most liberal of hosts on MSNBC all based on affirming their worldview rather than challenging it.

And while Mr. Carson’s words at a dinner at age 18 were considered relevant neither this story which broke this morning:

A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information.

Experts have guessed that Clinton signed such an agreement, but a copy of her specific contract, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute through an open records request and shared with the Washington Free Beacon, reveals for the first time the exact language of the NDA.

Nor he contradictory explanations concerning the cause of the Benghazi attack.

An email released by the House Select Committee on Benghazi Saturday suggests Hillary Clinton’s State Department was advised to tell two different stories about what sparked the 2012 Benghazi terror attack: one to the U.S., and another in Libya.

Both which took place while secretary of state in this administration were not newsworthy enough to elicit a question on the topic from Miss Maddow. Here is one of the questions


Now you might say that it’s the job of the press to examine the words of a top tier GOP candidate like Ben Carson and you might also say that at the Democrat Forum Rachel Maddow asked some questions of real substance, particularly the one on the tech industry & in both cases you would be right…

…HOWEVER if I was a candidate like Ted Cruz, who was roundly attacked for contrasting the way Democrats and Republicans are treated by the press and ridiculed by Megyn Kelly for suggesting that perhaps the GOP should have it’s debates moderated by people who actually vote in GOP elections the next time someone questioned either of these statements and asked why he’s spending his time talking about media coverage I’d hand them a DVD of the Media coverage of November 6th 2015 and answer:

THIS is why.


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