Patterico's Pontifications

2/22/2012

Rick Santorum, Food Stamps and Big-Government Conservatism

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 7:18 am

[Posted by Karl]

Like other candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, Rick Santorum does not have kind words for food stamps:

Santorum told the group [in Le Mars, IA] he would cut the food stamp program, describing it as one of the fastest growing programs in Washington, D.C.

Forty-eight million people are on food stamps in a country with 300-million people, said Santorum.

“If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.

Indeed, Santorum has described the food stamp program as part of a culture of dependency not unlike Mussolini’s fascist Italy:

One wants to talk about raising taxes on people who have been successful and redistributing money, increasing dependency in this country, promoting more Medicaid and food stamps and all sorts of social welfare programs and passing Obamacare to provide even more government subsidies. More and more dependency, more and more government — exactly what my grandfather left in 1925.

Yesterday, Santorum suggested an approach to such programs not unlike the welfare reform of the 1990s:

We need to take everything from food stamps to Medicaid to housing programs to education training programs, we need to cut them, cap them, freeze them, send them to the states, saying that there has to be a time limit and a work requirement.

However, Santorum’s record on food stamps does not quite match his rhetoric.  At Verum Serum, Morgen details how then-Sen. Santorum blocked a 2005 attempt by the Bush Administration to close a loophole that allowed states to confer automatic eligibility for food stamps by simply handing out an informational pamphlet to potential beneficiaries, bypassing the means testing required under normal program rules.  The change would have resulted in a reduction in spending of only three tenths of one percent — but a $574 million reduction over five years  would have set an important precedent.  Santorum, then a member of the Agricultural Committee, not only helped block this reform, but bragged about it.  Apparently, magically making people eligible for food stamps by handing them a pamphlet was much less fascist and did not breed dependency just a few short years ago.

As is so often the case in life, timing is important.  Folks like the Weekly Standard’s Jeffrey Anderson have contested the claim made by Mitt Romney (among others) that Santorum was a big-spending, big-government conservative in the Senate.  Anderson’s case rests on ratings issued by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) of Santorum’s two-term tenure in the Senate:

Across the 12 years in question, only 6 of the 50 senators [who served the entire period] got A’s in more than half the years.  Santorum was one of them.  He was also one of only 7 senators who never got less than a B.  ***  Moreover, while much of the Republican party lost its fiscal footing after George W. Bush took office — although it would be erroneous to say that the Republicans were nearly as profligate as the Democrats — Santorum was the only senator who got A’s in every year of Bush’s first term.  None of the other 49 senators could match Santorum’s 4.0 GPA over that span.

Anderson highlights the period of Bush’s first term, ending in 2004-05.  However, as the Club For Growth notes in its white paper on Santorum:

An examination of his scores in the NTU rating of Congress shows that Santorum compiled a very strong record on taxes and spending in the first four years of each of his two Senate terms, then a sharp swing to below the Senate Republican average in the Congress before his reelection campaign.  In the 2003-2004 session of Congress, Santorum sponsored or cosponsored 51 bills to increase spending, and failed to sponsor or co-sponsor even one spending cut proposal.  In his last Congress (2005-2006), he had one of the biggest spending agendas of any Republican — sponsoring more spending increases than Republicans Lisa Murkowski, Lincoln Chafee and Thad Cochran or Democrats Herb Kohl, Evan Bayh and Ron Wyden.

It was during this latter period that Santorum championed creeping food stamp fascism.

Granted, this is not as sexy a story as Santorum’s 2008 claim that America is under attack by Satan.  However, Santorum probably really believes that America is under attack by Satan.  Would that we could say the same about his food stamp rhetoric.

–Karl

110 Responses to “Rick Santorum, Food Stamps and Big-Government Conservatism”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (f07e38)

  2. We’re down to a Santorum/Gingrich vs. Romney/Paul battle to the tape.

    gary gulrud (1de2db)

  3. Meanwhile, back at Rancho ObamaNation, Obama raises everyone’s taxes, hits seniors hard (nearly a 45% rate on dividends) and goes after the overseas profits of corporations.

    But watch how Obama’s stenographers in the MSM talk about Obama’s tax cut for business.

    Colonel Haiku (f638f0)

  4. It is impossible for me to defend Santorum’s record on spending. He was ok for a while, then he changed. This is only worse in degree to Romney, not in type.

    Because of Texas’s litigation for redistricting, I haven’t received the renewal card I’m due. I guess they don’t know what district I’m in right now.

    I have to admit, the more I look at Romney and Santorum, the less I care about whether I’ll get that card.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  5. (I meant my voter registration renewal)

    And just to avoid creating an urban legend, you can still vote with the expired one if you don’t get the new one.

    But who cares? A contest between Santorum and Romney? Who cares?

    Dustin (401f3a)

  6. Tony. Stewart.

    Colonel Haiku (f638f0)

  7. “Granted, this is not as sexy a story as Santorum’s 2008 claim that America is under attack by Satan.”

    Karl – Remember the stories of Obama keeping the Oval Office at hot house temperatures? Coincidence?

    You decide.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. cut them, cap them, freeze them, send them to the states,

    which means, now matter how you reform eligibility (and remember that there are already plenty of people who both work and receive food stamps legitimately, and would continue to do so even if means-testing was made stricter) that the burden would be shifted from the federal government to the state and local government.

    This is rather like saying that because the wife or teenage kids pay some of the bills from their own paychecks, instead of the husband/father, the family spends less.

    JBS (1b86f1)

  9. JBS, what we need are honest leaders who say “you’re going to have to live without the government at any level ensuring you have food or health care, so get a job”.

    Socialism is running out of money. Look at MA or Cali.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  10. All politicians trim their sails going into any seriously contested campaign. If they do not, they soon enter what is known as the “private sector.”

    Anyone who does not understand this has no business voting.

    Roland (5ff18d)

  11. Yes, and he was blown out by the apparatchik Casey, regardless, but there is no end to what can be promised.

    narciso (87e966)

  12. All politicians trim their sails going into any seriously contested campaign.

    We get the government we deserve. I think the country needs to wake up to the BS, but indeed these liberals are merely reflections of the population. That’s the reason conservatives can’t beat liberals even in the GOP primary.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  13. Santorum around the beginning of January 2012:

    More and more dependency, more and more government — exactly what my grandfather left in 1925.

    Was Mussolini noted for his welfare programs??

    Santorum’s grandfather left Italy in 1923, not 1925. Indeed, he could not have gone to the United States in 1925. Although National Origins quotas existed starting in July 1921, they were further reduced as of July 1924, and also I think based on the 1890 instead of the 1910 census, so immigration was only really unrestricted after that from Ireland (where the quota was higher than the demand) and from independent countries in the western hemisphere, like Cuba and Mexico. Furthermore, during that three year period, the quota was applied monthly and ships use to race each other across the Atlantic trying to time their arrival as early in the month as possible, but not before the first of the month. So anyway, if somebody knew what they were doing they could probably arrive fro from most European countries with a history of immigration to the United States.

    The fact that Santorum got the date wrong shows he doesn’t know anything at all about this subject because if you knew the significance of the years 1921 and 1924 in the history of immigration to the United States, you couldn’t make a mistake like that. By the way Santorum’s father arrived later, I think in 1928, because his grandfather followed the pattern of a lot of early 20th century immigration to the United States. He probably could only afford a ship ticket for one person. He came alone and then earned enough money to bring along the rest of his family. Usually I think the absence was about one year. It could be legal restrictions and the waiting list made it 5 years.

    Santorum has since corrected his error. It is not as serious as the one Marco Rubio (born 1971) made, having his parents arrive in the United States after Castro took power in Cuba, rather than before. (Till 1968 there was no quota, and visiting had no visa I think, so it was only a matter of getting on a plane until 1961 or 1962. Later they were all refugees and still later we had the wet foot/dry foot policy where refugees from Cuba are intercepted and sent back to Castro – and Castro acts and is treated by the state Department like he’s doing the United States a favor – but once here they get refugee status.)

    President Harding wanted to repeal much or all of the 1921 law, but was dissuaded on the grounds that immigration had caused the depression of 1920/1. Also known as the Great Deflation, when prices dropped in half. I bet you never heard of the Great Deflation.

    So immigration was tightly restricted and that kept unemployment low all throughout the 1930s. Not! It’s a fallacy.

    Presidents have always been more liberal than Congress on immigration.

    Obama has actually been the most restrictive (for the most of the first 3 years of his term increasing deportations) and in some ways the most liberal (deciding practically to eliminate deportations except under rules that limit it) If you get a president who didn’t want to ease the law, this would be a first.

    Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1)

  14. Dustin: I guess they don’t know what district I’m in right now.

    I don’t think anybody does. They haven’t drawn the lines yet in Texas – or have they?

    Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1)

  15. I don’t think anybody does. They haven’t drawn the lines yet in Texas – or have they?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman

    If someone has, it hasn’t finished litigation yet anyway.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  16. “If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.

    this sounds like something a stupid person might say

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  17. look at her – she’s so thin and beautiful what’s her secret?

    food stamps!

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  18. Happyfeet, I disagree. I think hunger problems in this country are limited and getting cheap food isn’t that difficult for all but extreme cases.

    I think some of Santorum’s rhetoric is fine. But his record doesn’t measure the rhetoric, and when that happens, I look at the record alone.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  19. I think food stamps are for slutty single moms who dropped the aspirin

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  20. In 1996, in 2001, in 2006 how many American people (percentage wise of population) were on food stamps? How many many more are on food stamps now? How have the requirements/eligibility changed over that time for getting on food stamps? How much more fraud is there now? How many “college students” are using food stamps for snacks while still technically being supported by their parents as compared to the past?

    Times change. Circumstances change and sometimes (quite necessarily) political rhetoric changes. I’m not much of a Santorum fan, but as far as I am concerned everyone constantly looking for hypocrisy over things people said in years previous is getting old. What are the rules for that and where can I find them? What *must* we voters consider to be gratuitous flip flopping or pandering, versus what can be considered to be allowed as a candidate’s legitimately changing his mind after seeing the light? Anybody know??

    elissa (a01764)

  21. What *must* we voters consider to be gratuitous flip flopping or pandering, versus what can be considered to be allowed as a candidate’s legitimately changing his mind after seeing the light?

    Flip flopping is what McCain does every sixth year, pretending to be a conservative so he can fool conservatives into electing (or reelecting) him.

    Wise and pragmatic trimming of his political sails is what Santorum did in order to try to get Big Labor voters to elect him.

    Hypocritical flip flopping is what Romney did, becoming more conservative as his understanding grows, thus alienating his mostly leftwing constituents so that he cannot possibly get reelected, so he has to prematurely (with only four years in government) compete on the national level in order to have any chance of continuing in politics.

    Roland (5ff18d)

  22. “The fact that Santorum got the date wrong shows he doesn’t know anything at all about this subject because if you knew the significance of the years 1921 and 1924 in the history of immigration to the United States, you couldn’t make a mistake like that.”

    Sammy – Is it a critical mistake to get the year wrong in which one’s grandparent’s emigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century? Does it affect the substance of Santorum’s comments?

    What’s the excitement about?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  23. What *must* we voters consider to be gratuitous flip flopping or pandering, versus what can be considered to be allowed as a candidate’s legitimately changing his mind after seeing the light? Anybody know??

    Sometimes a little common sense goes a long way here. For Santorum it is certainly very plausible, given his commentary, that he simply became a lot squishier on spending. Other politicians, however, are obviously liars.

    I think folks should ignore the rhetoric if there’s a record, anyway. If someone is inconsistent about this urgent issue of spending and limited government, they do not deserve support. The only reason to support them is simply to oppose someone worse, which is exactly how both parties have managed to become fairly ineffective.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  24. as far as I am concerned everyone constantly looking for hypocrisy over things people said in years previous is getting old.

    I bet it is, given that most of the GOP’s politicians, and certainly the three remaining, are very inconsistent.

    Having standards can be pleasing when they are met. When they aren’t met, of course that’s frustrating instead. One solution is to stick our heads in the sand.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  25. JBS,

    The “cap it and send it to the states” approach probably has some merit. Allow the laboratories of democracies to take a crack at making the programs more efficient, as the feds seem incapable.

    elissa,

    About 11 million people were added to the food stamp program under Bush43. Roughly the same amount have been added under Obama. That’s obviously a higher rate, but just as obviously the economy tanked at the end of the Bush43 admin. Santorum’s comments are salient precisely because times were better in 2005 and because the loophole at issue promotes fraud.

    Karl (f07e38)

  26. how many food stamps does it take to pull off a fabulous dinner party for yourself and 3 other couples?

    Satan!

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  27. I guess this is Santorum doing what he’s been asked to do… focus on economic and fiscal issues. And it plays to the strength in his background (the Welfare reform).

    However, these guys in the GOP in particular who pushed left in years past are very responsible for our current fiscal situation.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  28. However, these guys in the GOP in particular who pushed left in years past are very responsible for our current fiscal situation.

    The people primarily responsible for our current fiscal situation are the Democrats who have been buying votes from the idiot masses for many decades.

    Also, anyone who ever lets the Democrats off the hook even a little bit are also to blame.

    If it were not for the existence of the Democrats and the people who vote for them, squishy Republicans couldn’t sell us out to them.

    Never forget who the real enemy is, and never forget that they really are our enemies.

    Roland (5ff18d)

  29. this goofball makes no sense Mr. Dustin first Santorum says

    “Government has gotten bigger and bigger and people have gotten smaller and smaller.”

    then he says

    “If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked.

    so which is it? Are people getting smaller or are they getting fatter? And if hunger is not a problem in America why should we have these “food stamps” at all?

    You know who isn’t obese is that Mitt Romney. He could be a catalog model for JC Penney’s if it weren’t for them being in league with evil sinner Ellen Degenerate.

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  30. The people primarily responsible for our current fiscal situation are the Democrats who have been buying votes from the idiot masses for many decades.

    Also, anyone who ever lets the Democrats off the hook even a little bit are also to blame.

    The GOP represents the conservative political party. When they agree to move left, it’s guaranteed we shall go left.

    The democrats are naturally going to push to go as far left as they can manage, so when Romney proposes a massive 10% hike in MA’s budget, it’s going to be at least that much (and likely more). The excuse offered is that Romney at least only asked for a 10% increase… the democrats wanted more. But of course they wanted more. That’s how negotiations work.

    Granted, from 2006 to 2010, the Democrats had so much power in DC that there was little the GOP could do. One big reason the democrats got so much power is that the GOP lost its way. Had they spent their time from 2000-2006 doing the hard work of balancing the budget, the economy would have been much healthier and there would have been more interest in supporting them.

    But when Republicans collaborate on spending increases, they own the inevitable lurch left. The GOP was most effective in the late 90s because they did not get that kind of lenience.

    Sure, the democrats are generally more liberal (not always, though). But both parties share blame.

    In fact, it seems to me that constantly noting ‘well, at least the GOP isn’t as bad as the democrats’ gets liberal spenders off the hook. If the only argument for Republicans is fear of democrats, then it’s unlikely we’re ever going to have a balanced budget, as all the GOP needs to aspire for is to be better than awful to get support.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  31. You know, if Republicans wanted this kind of candidate they should have nominated Huckabee the last time around–having him be squashed by Obama would have gotten it out of their systems.

    MSE (a1f9c3)

  32. the Democrats who have been buying votes from the idiot masses

    Such as

    There’s only one person I know of who has cut Medicare. That is the president of the United States. He cut it by $500 billion and put it into Obama Care, and I will turn that around. That is wrong. So when you see your friends with signs that say keep your hands off our Medicare, they are absolutely right.

    and

    This would mean that the Perry position to kill Social Security as a federal program would become the Republican position. That means everyone running for the House, everyone running for the Senate, they’re going to have to define themselves against the Perry plan to kill Social Security. That is a frightening thought.

    (which was based on hysterical lying).

    and

    By redirecting federal funds for Medicaid, inducing healthy uninsured people to buy health insurance (thus enlarging the insurance pool with better risks) and by a state subsidy for the very poor to help them to buy coverage according to their means, and by tax incentives on employers and employees the state was able to achieve nearly universal coverage at a cost of approximately $350 million to the taxpayer

    and

    “I support the subsidy of ethanol. I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for this country,”

    The fact is we don’t have enough money for such entitlements to be “preserved”, and it’s not just democrats who try to buy votes by pandering to the “idiot masses”.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  33. But when Republicans collaborate on spending increases, they own the inevitable lurch left.

    You could not have this more completely wrong, and your thinking could not be more completely wrongheaded.

    You are dealing with the two parties as though Republicans are the ‘responsible party,’ like adults, and the Democrats are the ‘irresponsible party,’ like children, from whom we should not be expecting any better, and therefore we hold the responsible party responsible.

    That is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

    It gets you insane electoral results like we got in 2006 and 2008 where the voters elected Democrats to ‘punish’ the Republicans for their fiscal profligacy.

    If you have not figured out just how insane that was, you need to stop voting.

    Roland (5ff18d)

  34. If you have not figured out just how insane that was, you need to stop voting.

    OK, you keep saying insane and wrong ten times in a roe.

    Perhaps you should explain yourself instead.

    You are dealing with the two parties as though Republicans are the ‘responsible party,’ like adults, and the Democrats are the ‘irresponsible party,’ like children, from whom we should not be expecting any better, and therefore we hold the responsible party responsible.

    That is not an accurate synopsis of my view.

    But I don’t expect the democrats not to seek a bigger government. I’m not really worried about blaming one party more than the other. Clearly the democrats are generally going to constantly seek a more liberal government… close to as liberal as they can get. I’m not saying ‘well, then we can’t blame them’.

    It gets you insane electoral results like we got in 2006 and 2008 where the voters elected Democrats to ‘punish’ the Republicans for their fiscal profligacy.

    What’s your point? That I’m right? Yes, the GOP is more electable if it caters to these “insane” people who get to vote whether or not Roland deems they can vote. You need a GOP that handles politics in such a way that these people want to volunteer, donate, and vote for the GOP.

    I see a lot of people insult these principled patriots as idiots, which reminds me so much of 2008.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  35. Actually, Roland, I don’t see any give and take to your comments, and no effort to explain your view. You’re responding to examples and arguments with insults.

    I see that a lot from those trying to defend the GOP’s more liberal candidates, and I won’t speculate as to why, but it’s not persuading anyone so it’s a waste of time.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  36. Dustin, you are making the Republicans responsible for when they cave in to Democrats. Saying you are not doing it does not make it that you are not doing it.

    I am not defending liberal Republicans. I am not defending them in any little tiny way whatsoever, but that is all you can imagine I must be doing because you cannot grasp the only rational way to allocate responsibility.

    I am attacking the Democrats. You are defending them. I am attacking you for defending them.

    Roland (5ff18d)

  37. FWIW, I think I heard Romney talk about making the 1% pay their fair share.

    Republican candidate joining in class warfare rhetoric??

    Please correct if I’m wrong.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  38. FWIW, I think I heard Romney talk about making the 1% pay their fair share.

    I’ve year to hear that one, but one problem for a certain kind of wealthy politician is defensiveness on class warfare. It take spine for a middle class Republican to lead the fight for low taxes for employers and investors. It takes even more spine for someone who benefits directly from such policies to stand up and explain that these policies get government off the back of prosperity.

    Some politicians will simply put the (R) stamp of approval on this kind of rhetoric. When that happens, even things that are quite wrong become “True”.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  39. I come to see about Rick Santorum and food stamps and I get someone complaining about what district to vote in even though they appear to not like any candidates. Go Figure.

    Andy (b63f79)

  40. I meant to type…. “yet to hear that one”.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  41. what district you vote in can a lot influence your take-out choices on the way home

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  42. True, Happyfeet. That could be the most consequential aspect of my primary vote.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  43. Attacking women’s birth control, forcing probes into their vaginas, and attacking the Girl Scouts… not the way to get women’s votes.

    Insisting that America is under attack from Satan is not the way the get rational people to vote for you… (but don’t tell that to Santorum).

    Face it, your party is dominated by religious fundamentalists that as a rule, are moronic one issue voters, easily manipulated away from important issues (jobs, the economy) by extreme social agendas framed as religious imperatives. You’ve always coddled these religious extremists – your mainstream – now you’re paying the price.

    Even RIGHT-leaning pollster Rasmussen found that a majority of likely voters see the GOP as too extreme.

    RP12 (f36cd5)

  44. I come to see about Rick Santorum and food stamps and I get someone complaining about what district to vote in even though they appear to not like any candidates.

    Yeah, that’s about right.

    Tell me why I’m wrong, by all means. If your answer is Newt, I guess you’re more right than wrong.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  45. Face it, your party is dominated by religious fundamentalists that as a rule, are moronic one issue voters, easily manipulated away from important issues (jobs, the economy) by extreme social agendas framed as religious imperatives. You’ve always coddled these religious extremists – your mainstream – now you’re paying the price.

    maybe not dominated by so much as “infested with” I think

    but that’s just quibbling

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  46. Comment by daleyrocks — 2/22/2012 @ 9:43 am

    Sammy – Is it a critical mistake to get the year wrong in which one’s grandparent’s emigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century? Does it affect the substance of Santorum’s comments?

    What it does do is that it shows he knows almost nothing about is grandfather’s life, or about the circumstances under which he emigrated. This is not a minor error. It’s almost like mixing up 1913 and 1915 (before World War I and after World War I started)

    I thought a little. While I don’t think Mussolini (who had come to power about a year before, although it didn’t become a real dictatorship till after the assassination of Giacomo Matteotti in 1924) established any social welfare programs.

    I think old age pensions may have existed in some form in Italy already. The United States was an outlier. So you could say maybe that his grandfather went from a country with the equivalent of Social Security to a country without Social Security. But Italy was poor and the economy had collapsed around the end of the war or something like that. Before World war I, about 750,000 Italians had been laving the country a year.I don’t know the facts but I don’t think Santorum does either.

    If Santorum”s grandfather had waited until 1925 to leave, he would probably have gone to Argentina

    Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1)

  47. Insisting that America is under attack from Satan

    Do you think people who have that religious view and talk about it in churches are somehow too extreme to be president? I think this is positively boring and obvious compared to Rev Wright’s church.

    I take exception to the term “insisting”. No one was arguing against Rick at the time. He was in a church of the like minded. He wasn’t “insisting”. He was preaching to the choir.

    I take exception to calling this “the way the get rational people to vote” Rick is talking about food stamps and energy policy. That’s why you have to dig into stuff he hasn’t said on the campaign trail to paint him as extreme. It is decidedly *not* his argument for your vote.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  48. 43. “Even [Republican] pollster Rasmussen found that a majority of likely voters see the GOP as too extreme.”

    Gosh, I wonder what Scottie thinks we should think about that?

    I’m thinking we need state of residence and district after our tagname. Who cares what a resident of Pete Stark’s 13th thinks. Their opinion has no electoral consequence, their constituency invisible.

    gary gulrud(MN#6) (d88477)

  49. Yes, indeed. Too extreme for America, who prefer presidents in favor of infanticide, spreading the wealth (elsewhere called socialism), and willing to quote from the Bible to justify what they want to do anyway. That, and politicians that for some reason like to claim they are Catholic, or Mormon, or whatever, but also really believe whatever they want.

    So, when you find a person who actually believes what the others pretend to believe, they seem like an extremist.

    Once upon a time people who said they were something (like Catholic) but who lived differently were called hypocrites and looked down upon for it.

    But, as much of Europe is “post-Christian”, I guess looking down upon people who are serious about faith goes along with remaking the US like socialist Europe.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  50. Wanting to actually pay the government’s debts and read bills before passed into law…indeed, what in the world could they be thinking?????

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  51. 49. Good point. Let’s also in commentary on religion post our religious affiliation.

    Materialist, secular humanist, Gaia worshipper, agnostic, nominal mailine christiany seeming, are all quick to smear with the charge of bigotry but never forthcoming about their own nonconformities.

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477)

  52. Yes, indeed. Too extreme for America, who prefer presidents in favor of infanticide, spreading the wealth (elsewhere called socialism), and willing to quote from the Bible to justify what they want to do anyway.

    That last part there is particularly annoying from democrats. It’s as though they think it’s OK to base politics on religion if you’re lying.

    Dustin (TX #?, Xenu) (401f3a)

  53. Insisting that America is under attack from Satan is not the way the get rational people to vote for you…

    Sure it is. It’s just not the way to get “well educated” people to vote for you. Thorough indoctrination in leftist modes of thinking about society, philosophy, religion and the nature of being releases the indoctrinated from having to deal rationally with any real issues of morality. GIGO. When you’ve got your moral relativism, everyone who doesn’t is an ignorant, irrational hick.

    Roland (5ff18d)

  54. I think Gen. Patton and others liberating nazi camps believed in the devil.

    So did observers in Rwanda during the genocide. One person said you couldn’t find any demons in hell because they were all in Rwanda.

    People don’t need to believe in a devil to explain evil, but then there is really evil and it’s hard not to.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  55. People don’t need to believe in a devil to explain evil, but then there is really evil and it’s hard not to.

    There may be no devil, but there is evil, and humans have great difficulty comprehending the workings of greatly complex, poorly understood things without anthropomorphizing them, so it is perfectly rational to construct an entity to attach to the evil, whether or not that entity really “exists.”

    It is irrational to avoid utilizing a concept that assists overall comprehension, even if the concept is suspected to be a useful fiction. Rational people work with it until we can find something better.

    After all, what is “existence,” anyway?

    Roland (5ff18d)

  56. BTW, a poll indicates Chris Christie would be the preferred outcome of a brokered convention.

    That’s not so bad.

    Dustin (TX #?, Talos) (401f3a)

  57. Comment by RP12 — 2/22/2012 @ 11:32 am

    Insisting that America is under attack from Satan is not the way the get rational people to vote for you… (but don’t tell that to Santorum)

    It doesn’t help Ayatollah Khameini either.

    But Santorum was speaking to a Catholic audience, who may have some ideas under which this is comprehensible. The concept is something different, than the simple English meaning but I am not really sure what it means. I mean I think he still holds to free will and he’s not supposing people are getting messages, encouraging them to do this, that, or the other thing, so how?

    Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1)

  58. “This is not a minor error. It’s almost like mixing up 1913 and 1915″

    Sammy – I know a lot of the basic history of my grandparents’ lives on both sides. I both sets passed more than 30 years ago. I no longer remember exact dates of birth, but I know I have it written down somewhere. I’ll grant you that immigration is a big deal, but who cares whether it was 86 0r 88 years ago when it is not the grandparent running for election?

    Was Santorum trying to lie or cover something up? Sure doesn’t sound like it from what you said.

    Does it matter to me which year Santorum’s grandparent’s came to the U.S.? Not a bit.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. “forcing probes into their vaginas”

    RP12 – Hahahaha!!!!!!!!!

    Except nobody is doing that.

    If the Virginia ultrasound law is equivalent to rape, what is abortion?

    The power of Christ compels you to tell the TRUTH!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  60. is there an ounce of goddamned scientific proof that ultrasound laws have any effect whatsoever on someone’s decision to abort an unwanted fetus?

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  61. 55. “what is “existence,” anyway?”

    Amateur philosophy or comparative religion or just a WAG?

    Wittgenstein: “I say that this is my hand. Could I be wrong about that?.”

    BJ: “Well, I guess that depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”

    Believing only a few practice philosophy or religion is a slight of hand useful in waving off hypocrisy and unexamined assumptions.

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477)

  62. 56. The MN redistricting map came out at 1PM local time. Seems I get to vote Bachmann again and there’s already talk my state assemblyman will retire rather than get axed by his newly Republican constituents. He’s a good guy but the DFL whip.

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477)

  63. There is nothing I like about Santorum. Rather have Ron Paul, and I despise Ron Paul.

    How about Romney/Gingrich? Pretty sure a Gingrich exit about now and endorsement of Romney would close that deal.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  64. The MN redistricting map came out at 1PM local time

    The CA map came out last month: I get to vote against Maxine Waters again. Apparently the CA Citizen’s Redistricting Commission that was supposed to fix the gerrymander was filled by airheads and shills. The gerrymander actually got worse.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  65. How about Romney/Gingrich? Pretty sure a Gingrich exit about now and endorsement of Romney would close that deal.

    Comment by Kevin M

    That seems unlikely to happen, and I also doubt it would help Romney. We’ve all heard from a million people how awesome Romney is, and we also have seen him explain why he should be nominated for the past many years.

    It’s probably for the best we don’t nominate the guy who, with every advantage, can’t beat a rather weak candidate.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  66. Santorum up 16 in WI.

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477)

  67. Oh frabjous joy,

    narciso (FL 20th, Baptist) (87e966)

  68. This just adds more fuel to the Santorum ‘he can’t win in November’ fire. Ultimately, the GOP electorate will embrace The Buckley Rule and nominate the most conservative candidate that is electable, making the choice this year easy. Depressingly easy maybe, but easy nonetheless … http://bit.ly/qVdDUt

    ombdz (2a81ef)

  69. Really Nelson Rockefeller was the best deal, in ’68,

    narciso (FL 20th, Baptist) (87e966)

  70. everyone knows Santorum can’t get elected but I don’t think that’s what it’s about anymore

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  71. Santorum lapping the field in OK.

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477)

  72. if Satan walked streets
    would he not be big fan of
    The Kardashians?

    Colonel Haiku (b74f69)

  73. Coulter is on fiyah!

    COULTER: WHAT’S THEIR PROBLEM WITH ROMNEY?

    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2012-02-22.html

    Colonel Haiku (b74f69)

  74. Send Ace flowers and a get well card. He’s now certain the GOP is throwing the contest.

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477)

  75. Some folks know how to take charge…

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/326897.php

    Colonel Haiku (b74f69)

  76. 73. What’s Annie’s problem with Thorazine?

    gary gulrud(MN#6, Anabaptist) (d88477)

  77. 76)I suspect there are pods in the backyard in Palm Beach

    narciso (FL 20th, Baptist) (87e966)

  78. do you have any proof of these “pods” Mr. narciso or are they, as I suspect, merely a fanciful conjecture?

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  79. reasonable inference, pikachu,

    narciso (FL 20th, Baptist) (87e966)

  80. Satan may be at work on the elusive “GOP Establishment.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  81. “This strange new version of right-wing populism comes down to reveling in the feeling that you are being dissed, hoodwinked or manipulated by the Establishment (most of which happens to oppose Romney) the same way liberals want to believe that “the rich,” the “right-wing media” and Wall Street Republicans (there are three) are victimizing them.

    It’s as if scoring points in intra-Republican squabbles is more important than beating Obama. Instead of talking about the candidates’ positions — which would be confusing inasmuch as Romney is the most conservative of the four remaining candidates — the only issue seems to be whether “They” are showing respect for “Us.”

    Striking a pose as the only true fighter for real Americans may be fun, but this is no way to win elections. This is Sharron Angle on a national level.

    The obsession with sticking it to the Establishment (which includes Christine O’Donnell, but excludes Bill Kristol) by voting for a loose cannon demagogue or a crusading Catholic who can’t seem to move the conversation past contraception is as pie-in-the-sky delusional as anything dished by Democrats carrying on about “green jobs.”

    If saving the environment is the best way to create new jobs, then it could be true that being a hard-core environmentalist nutcase is the best way to appeal to the mass of independent voters.

    Similarly, if reducing contraception use, lobbying for Freddie Mac and promoting huge government programs such as moon colonies and No Child Left Behind are the best ways to create jobs, then it could be true that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are our strongest candidates in a general election.

    Of course, it might also be true that dousing yourself in fairy dust does not guarantee that you will find the perfect mate and get the perfect job.

    We’re being asked to hand Obama another four years in the White House in order to “send a message.” To whom? And what message? That we’re morons? Message received!”

    – Ann Coulter

    Colonel Haiku (b74f69)

  82. I was just wondering what does Ann Coulter think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  83. Don’t be hating the Coulter, happy. She’s amusing even when you don’t agree.

    Colonel Haiku (b74f69)

  84. _____________________________________________

    Face it, your party is dominated by religious fundamentalists that as a rule, are moronic one issue voters, easily manipulated away from important issues (jobs, the economy) by extreme social agendas framed as religious imperatives.

    Compared with all the people in the Democrat Party who pray at the altar of secular liberalism? The folks who observe the idiosyncrasies of President “Goddamn America,” then smile and say, “oh, my!–he’s so stimulating!,” then shrug it off?

    But I do observe societies along the lines of Greece, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, France and Spain — with their electorate often embracing mindless leftism (because liberalism is such a humane, wonderful, generous, sophisticated and tolerant way of thinking and feeling!) — and then observe societies in the Middle East (particularly the recent example of Egypt), with their electorate giving big hugs to pro-Sharia-Law Islamists, and I can’t help but think the two sides deserve one another.

    I do find it interesting, ironic and amusing that various liberals in the Western World frequently appear to be less bothered by the truly extremist religiosity throughout the Middle East than the theological/political forces in the US or Europe that are merely garden-variety traditional Christianity or Judaism—particularly in the context of over 50 years ago (when no less than even the Hollywood community chastised actresses for having kids out of wedlock!).

    Again, the secular leftists of the West and the religious fanatics of the Middle East are a match made in, er, uh, heaven. As for how this story will play out — Palestine or not, Israel or not, Iran or not, Egypt or not, etc — is anyone’s guess.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  85. I had a book of hers for awhile it was red and black so I put it on my bathroom table and bought a red and black candle and set it next to it

    but you know once something like that loses its shock value you have to move on so now an onyx turtle sits there where ann coulter’s book was

    sometimes when I have my for reals turtles in the bathtub I put the onyx one in just to mess with their heads

    but if ann coulter wanted to take a bath I’d have to take the for reals turtles out and the onyx turtle too and also their rock and make a show of splashing a bit of bleach about

    girls think turtles are dirty

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  86. _____________________________________________

    BTW, a poll indicates Chris Christie would be the preferred outcome of a brokered convention.

    That’s not so bad.

    But he’s no less squishy than Romney, and he’s certainly more socially-culturally squishy than Santorum. However, from a standpoint of pure persona or speaking ability, that’s another matter.

    BTW, for anyone who thinks the various Republican candidates — or certainly Romney or Gingrich, or Santorum, or Christie — are too moderate or ideologically lukewarm, I do think post #43 (from a person, or from a screen name, I’ve never seen here before) is worth keeping in mind. If there is too much squishiness in a politician, or a person in general, that merely reflects a good percentage of the populace. I factor that aspect of human nature into my opinion and judgment of a situation and person.

    Who is voted into the White House or other various political offices are no more than a reflection of a good percentage of the electorate, both good and bad. That’s why it’s hard for me to sympathize with perennially screwed-up places like, say, Detroit, Michigan, or, farther from home, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico or Greece. In such instances, humans do get what they deserve — no more, no less — and when they’re assigning blame, they better be standing in front of a mirror.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  87. But he’s no less squishy than Romney

    I don’t think he’s right on all issues, for example my gun rights, but I specifically disagree on this squishiness itself.

    he’s certainly more socially-culturally squishy

    You are right.

    But as you suggest (to some extent) Christie is not a pandering weakling who starts every issue by collaborating with the left. He doesn’t flip flop all the time, either.

    I would prefer Newt to Christie, but Christie has executive experience and he’s a fighter.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  88. Ask Bret Schundler about that, but take care in the
    tire tracks from when Christie threw him under the Bus, in order to curry favor with the unions,

    narciso (FL 20th, Baptist) (87e966)

  89. “She’s amusing even when you don’t agree.”

    Insouciant even.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  90. Beggars can’t be choosy, Narciso.

    Some may have the impression I have some kind of incredibly high standards for Republicans because of how critical I am of a few, but actually, my standards are embarrassingly low.

    If I think there is a plausible chance of the guy managing the government well and fighting hard for serious spending cuts, I am OK with them. Even if they drive a PT Cruiser and eat dog pudding with their three gay husbands.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  91. Drudge has become something of an embarrassment himself lately. You have to wonder if the headline will be a deification of Romney again or a black and white sob story about how crazy one of Romney’s foes is.

    He’s just another MSM hack.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  92. Drudge is awesome when he’s kicking people you don’t like in the teeth

    otherwise not so much

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  93. That’s a great way to put it. Interesting how often I find myself realizing that I had a blind eye for hackery when it happened to agree with me. That’s happened a few times recently.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  94. Dustin, yes on Drudge,

    narciso (FL 20th, Baptist) (87e966)

  95. That was true about Rick Sanchez, before he went off the deep end some years ago.

    narciso (87e966)

  96. Unfortunately, it seems even folks with solid conservative records can tend to go off to the left. Perhaps it’s what happens when you’re in DC with all that power… you want to solve everything and suddenly you’re making government more bloated when you set out to make it less.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  97. even folks with solid conservative records can tend to go off to the left

    Sarah Palin loudly rah rah’d Orrin Hatch last year

    personally i found that less than endearing, and I sighed audibly

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  98. ______________________________________________

    it seems even folks with solid conservative records can tend to go off to the left.

    I well remember two commentators of generally rightist bent on KABC radio back in 2008 speaking quite confidentially, if not happily, about how they voted for Obama. One of them was a libertarian conservative who was open about his bouts with alcoholism, the other was a Republican who was open about his homosexuality.

    I often wonder if such non-mainstream quirks may make a person more likely to lean left. I ask that not to slam or be sarcastic, but because I truly wonder if there’s a connection between one and the other. I know Matt Drudge’s sexuality has been a matter of some discussion through the years, and I observe the Sybil-like conflicts — or ideological schizophrenia — in one of this forum’s own regulars.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  99. “Santorum’s record on food stamps does not quite match his rhetoric. At Verum Serum, Morgen details how then-Sen. Santorum blocked a 2005 attempt by the Bush Administration to close a loophole that allowed states to confer automatic eligibility for food stamps by simply handing out an informational pamphlet to potential beneficiaries, bypassing the means testing required under normal program rules.”

    I’m not sure that is entirely accurate. “Categorical eligibility” is part of the SNAP (food stamp) program. What it means is that a State can, if is so chooses, use eligibility for certain other programs as a substitute test for SNAP elgibility. The notion being that if a person is certified as being eligible for the other program, then they are also eligible for SNAP. It isn’t as if the State can simply hand out a brochure to every inhabitant, and thereby qualify all of them, regardless of income, for SNAP. In what I think is the typical case, SNAP ends up piggy backing on full TANF (“welfare,” formerly AFDC), SSI (disability) assistance, housing assistance, or heating assistance eligibility. In some cases, SNAP eligibility does piggyback on the receipt of TANF “services,” as opposed to receipt of a TANF check. And, yes, in some of those cases, receipt of a brochure from the relevant State agency can be that TANF “service.” But, then again, the brochure is only sent out to low income persons in the first place. And there is still an income restriction, even with “categorical eligibility,” although it can be higher than the “normal” Federal limit. I believe the “normal” Federal limit is 130 per cent of the “poverty” line income, while under categorical eligibility the limit can be up to 200 per cent (although most States use a lower limit). And, of course, folks with higher incomes do get less in food stamps than those with lower incomes, some as little as five to ten dollars a month. The States are also given the flexibility to raise or eliminate entirely the asset limit (which, at the Federal level, hasn’t been raised or adjusted for inflation in decades). Thus, I don’t think it is quite true that the means testing is “bypassed,” if by that you mean there is no means test at all. Yeah, there might be a horror stoy out there of a guy who owns a yacht in a State that has eliminated the asset requirment entirely, but that guy can’t have made more than, in the most generous State, 200 per cent of the Federal poverty income. How many yacht owners fit that bill? The overwhelming majority of SNAP recipients, including those who only qualify under categorical eligibility, are leading life styles nothing like that. The folks who qualify in this way are almost all still quite poor, and most of them have unusually high health care, child care or housing costs that drive down their net incomes, even if their gross incomes exceed the 130 per cent Federal limit.

    The idea behind this flexibility was to give more control to the States, something that most Republicans and conservatives were on board with. It was part of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, trumpeted not only by Santorum but by Gingrich and most other conservative Republicans as a great accomplishment.

    Many of the States report lower administrative costs and other savings by using categorical eligibility. A person qualifies for TANF, so they are also qualify for SNAP, thereby eliminating the need for a separate interview, investigation, etc. Error rates are down, as is the need to deal with recoupment cases.

    And, given all of the above, I think this comment:

    “Apparently, magically making people eligible for food stamps by handing them a pamphlet was much less fascist and did not breed dependency just a few short years ago.”

    is right over the top. People are not “magically” made eligible by the mere reciept of a pamphlet. Rather, the fact that they were sent the pamphlet is indicative of their poverty.

    freemansfarm (0e46ac)

  100. A lot of people pontificating on the myth of Satan. Santorum would have us substitute the ‘daddy’ state—one where the religious elders of the right-wing mandate our morals—for the nanny state.

    tadcf (ead2bd)

  101. You are kind of a moron, tadcf.

    JD (516dcc)

  102. sometimes when I have my for reals turtles in the bathtub I put the onyx one in just to mess with their heads

    feets- we have a ceramic turtle (about 6″ ‘shell’) in a little flower garden area by our front porch. Several years ago I looked down and thought, “Hey, who moved the turtle?” But it was really a live box turtle of about the same size (apparently messing with my head). A friend of #1 son had a huge terrarium to keep such things as pets and we gave it to him.

    No idea where it came from. Think it probably belonged to someone and wandered away. We have lots of raccoons, opossums, even an occasional ground hog and red fox (we are in Philly proper, some areas have trees and grass and bushes).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  103. Popping in here late, but in Santorum’s defense–I don’t know the exact years in which any of my grandparents arrived in the USA–I know my mother’s parents were married on 4 July 1911 in Boston, but that’s the earliest specific date other than their birth years that I know of; my father’s father apparently left Russia just before WWI broke out, spent the war years in Paris, and then went on to the US, but I don’t know exactly when, and after a couple more years sent for my grandmother, whom he had married in Russia the year before leaving (it was an arranged marriage, and never a happy one).

    In fact, I’d say it’s pretty surprising Santorum should have anything more than the roughest idea, especially if (like me) all he has to go on is whatever family stories happened to have been passed on to him.

    And like Narciso, I get to vote for whoever is running against Debbie W-S.

    [note: released from moderation. --Stashiu]

    JBS (FL 20, Jewish) (38f6c3)

  104. My last comment doesn’t seem to be showing up. Does adding to the screen name prompt moderation or something?

    JBS (38f6c3)

  105. My last comment doesn’t seem to be showing up. Does adding to the screen name prompt moderation or something?

    Comment by JBS

    It’s not changing the screen name. The spam filter is sensitive and unpredictable. I find if I use g ambling metaphors or discuss some medications, that’s often a problem, as is some cussing.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  106. turtles are fun so full of mischief

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  107. I recently saw a snapping turtle in the center of the street (2244 in Austin). Damn thing wanted to murder me when I picked it up to put it in a safer place.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  108. Comment by Dustin — 2/23/2012 @ 8:21 am
    I gave the very limited details I know about my grandparent’s immigration histories by way of a defense of Santorum. Can’t see what would have triggered the spaminator in that.

    (Sends up SOS flare for Stashiu’s benefit).

    Comment by Dustin — 2/23/2012 @ 8:27 am
    There’s a reason they’re called snapping turtles.
    Down here, we have land crabs rustling around at nesting time, and of course no lights at night on the beach for much of the year because of sea turtle nesting, and the python takeover of the Everglades. Has been a while since I’ve heard any mention of walking catfishes, however.

    JBS (FL 20, Judaism) (38f6c3)


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