61 comments

    • hannah says:

      ROFLMA
      Candidate promotion is obviously a growth industry. We don’t hear complaints about the “constant campaign” any more. Now that lobbying in D. C. is somewhat constrained, it makes sense to try to get in at the candidate selection level and the grassroots have proved fertile ground (Bill Halter in the Arkansas primary for U.S. Senate has just topped $2 million in donations from the “internets”). Also, the extension of the work week makes it harder for incumbents to do fund-raising back home. So, more opportunity for middlemen.

    • B Balz says:

      @ Tyler and Erick

      I want that 5:32 minutes of my life back as I tried to meet Ms. Hicks, yet I look forward to learning the outcome of your quest to unseat Rep. Marshall.

      I predict the legacy of your quest will either be a dubious notch in the GOP belt for unseating one very solid, Dem Blue Dog. In the alternative, if Ms. Hicks doesn’t prevail, you will both come up looking like opportunistic Party hacks.

      I would prefer that you spent your time resolving issues and providing voters facts, than undoing the few decent lawmakers we have out there based on your perception of their ‘vulnerability’.

      Hint: Next time you try to promote a candidate, do so. This was false advertising. No offense and best luck to Ms. Hicks, I am sure she is a delightful person.

      • Tyler says:

        I’ll just say, see below at my other response. This is less about vulnerability, more about getting people in office that will actually shrink the behemoth that is DC. Marshall is a Democrat. At the end of the day, he’ll fall in line behind closed doors and make sure that their interests pass. Don’t be naive to the two-party system. This is how it works, this is how it has always worked.

        • hannah says:

          Once upon a time, not so long ago, Republicans were the party of “government of the people” and Democrats were the party of “government for the people.” One side aimed to control the population and distribute our public assets and resources for exploitation by and benefit of the few, while the other side aimed to control the population by distributing a modicum of public assets to the many. Neither side was committed to “government by the people” in which the representatives are merely agents or servants of the people. That has got to change. The reason it’s got to change is because it hasn’t worked.
          Evidence for that conclusion can be found in our depleted natural resources, our polluted air, land and waters, the decreasing vitality of the human population and the increasing virulence of pest.
          It seems fair to suggest that population explosions are typically a response to environmental stress and that, in this case, the stress has been produced by the stressed population itself. The question now is whether humans are smart enough to reverse the despoilation.

        • ByteMe says:

          more about getting people in office that will actually shrink the behemoth that is DC.

          Ok, I’m going to start calling BS on people until they are specific how their party is actually going to eliminate $500 billion or more from the budget while maintaining tax revenues so that we can shrink the debt.

          So, Tyler: BS unless you have real numbers to back up a plan that your Party actually believes in implementing.

          • Tyler says:

            Cut. If we actually started to use the accounting equation properly, we’d know that our debits and credits need to match. It’s fine if you want to maintain current revenue figures but we need to shrink the gov’t by cutting out excess fat. End “No Child Left Behind”, eliminate pork barrel projects, cut discretionary spending, and start cutting from Executive Branch departments. What we don’t need is continued increases in the reach of the Federal government. No more bailouts, no more handouts, and no more buyouts.

            • ByteMe says:

              If you cut every single discretionary item and leave military in place to run two wars… you STILL cannot balance the budget without additional revenues. #FAIL.

              All that “waste” and “excess fat” is just codeword for “things I don’t like that other people do”, so try again, because you can sell it, but it won’t work in real life.

              Oh, and the bailouts: someone was going to get bailed out, either the FDIC (because the fund couldn’t handle a bank like Citi failing) or the banks themselves. The way it was done for the banks actually appears to have worked out with only some of the money for AIG and probably all of the money for GM not paid back with interest. GM is the only bailout that was marginal and it might still work if they can keep it alive long enough to sell off the pieces like they’ve been doing.

              So I continue to call “BS” on the premise.

              • Tyler says:

                I’ll address the military issue with my philosophy on this war and all wars. You only have 2 options:

                1) Let the generals and officers on the ground run the war, not the bureaucrats in DC, and give them the resources they need to win,

                or

                2) Get out.

                Perpetual wars do nothing but drain a country of its finest men and women, its resources, and its prosperity. A country can’t be healthy when it’s at war.

                • ByteMe says:

                  Define “win” in a country like Afghanistan. Our goal was to prevent a future attack by terrorists based there. What exactly does a “win” look like and what does it take to get there so that we don’t have to go back in 5 years and do it again?

                  • Tyler says:

                    I’d have to trust our generals’ judgment on how to win in Afghanistan because, to me, the outcome doesn’t look good; especially if we continue along our current track. We can’t afford to be there much longer, another decade is one decade too long.

                    To bring some levity to this dark topic:

                    John Stewart covered this topic on the Daily Show back in September. I know, I’ll be labeled a heretic and excommunicated from the GOP for watching/linking the Daily Show. That’s a risk I’ll have to take.

              • Tyler says:

                I’m not for bailouts b/c the hogs never know when to stop coming to the trough. Call it a domino effect. Let’s just provide for the common defense, implement proper infrastructure, and leave most of the rest to the states and the people. I know, wacky ideas…

                • ByteMe says:

                  I’m not thrilled with the bailouts either, but the alternative was worse and no one can reasonably dispute that once they have the facts in hand about the specific downsides — like the FDIC liability or 1 million additional people out of work or several European countries defaulting on their debt — to not doing the bailouts.

                  The bailouts were short-term and likely won’t cost us more than about $100 billion. That’s not where the big problem is. It’s a distraction for sure, but it’s not a structural problem with the budget.

                  We have structural deficits that will approach $800 billion in less than a decade because the money collected in the past for Baby Boomers’ Social Security and Medicare needs must start getting paid out now and that money has been spent on tax cuts without commensurate spending cuts. What you talk about in savings is less than that, so you need to go back to the drawing board and get over the idea that you’ll find enough savings in “waste” and “earmarks” and “programs I don’t like”.

                  “I want to cut waste” is just BS for “I don’t really have the answers either”.

                  • Tyler says:

                    I believe that most fiscal-minded folks want to do something about the 800-pound gorilla in the room (Medicare and Social Security) but most rant and rave once you touch that third rail in politics. One thing is glaringly obvious, we are in a mess and finding the solution is going to be very difficult.

                    • ByteMe says:

                      On this we totally agree. It’s why I’m calling “BS” on the “cut waste” meme. It’s a distraction from the main event and if we can find politicians to pay attention to the main event, we’ll be better off.

                    • Tyler says:

                      I’m agreeing with Byte? Holy cow I’m just waiting for the “gods of the Right” to rain fire down upon me. Oh, wait…that’s right, common sense isn’t just a right or left issue.

                    • B Balz says:

                      Tyler I am very pleased that you had this exchange with Byte. Do not allow the intoxicating attention of Partisanship guide you away from common sense and logic.

                      I have copied a response to my comments, from another blog, that generally paralleled your own comments about ‘cutting’ waste in DC.
                      The author shall remain nameless, but here are the comments:

                      “Per the Treasury department (2010) we have $37 TRILLION of UN-funded liabilities in Medicare and Social Security.

                      Per Richard Fisher, Dallas Federal Reserve Board Chairman, we have $99 TRILLION (Feb 23, 2009) of UN-funded liabilities of which 85% are tied to Medicare.

                      All leaders of all parties over the past 20 years have ignored the demographers who were screaming that the Baby Boomers are going to wreck everything.

                      MIT Press published a book by Laurence Kotlikoff called β€˜The Coming Generational Storm’ (2004) which highlights this known and easily predictable problem.

                    • Tyler says:

                      B Balz,

                      I’ve never been a partisan hack and don’t ever claim to fall completely in-line with the Republican Party. Sure, I put on the R hat every now and then, but it’s in areas where I feel they can make an impact. We live in a two-party system (cue the Ls coming in to argue), so we have to find ways to further small gov’t (or Big Gov’t, depending on ideology) through the 2 vehicles. I’ve butt heads with several Republicans over the past year, most likely will again. That’s one reason I got out of Party politics. I’d rather work for candidates than within the Party structure. But, for those that choose the Party route, it’s what makes them happy/tick. Kudos for anyone wanting to get involved in the dirty game of politics. My only word of advice to anyone is to keep a level head and stay true to your core beliefs and yourself. Many, on BOTH sides of the aisle never heed that advice.

    • GabrielSterling says:

      Melvin has raised $45,255 but hasn’t been allowed to raise money for over 3 months. Angela has raised $67,000. Of course the leading fundraiser among GOP candidates facing a Dem is Mike Keown in SW GA. He’s raised $243K, which is more than the other 18 GOP candidates running against sitting Dem Congressmen in the state combined.

  1. Tyler says:

    I attended this event yesterday. Erick gave his intro in the video and then Angela spoke. I have to be honest, I was impressed with first meeting her. I’m sure that her opponents are going to try and paint her as a newbie candidate who jumped into a race that she has no business in. They’ll try to play off of inexperience and stir up the “fact” that Marshall is unbeatable.

    How wrong they are.

    Angela laid out her platform before everyone without fear of criticism; in fact, she welcomes it. She stated at the beginning that there was no real need to support her if you didn’t agree with her. She spoke at first on conservative issues, such as limited gov’t, lower taxes, etc. But where she really impressed me was her attention to her district’s issues. As many of you know, Warner Robins AFB is an asset, not only to the 8th District, but to Georgia. Angela explained its importance as the Air Force’s tech hub; a place where America really sets itself apart from the rest of the world through aero technology. War Room has always been Marshall’s “safe house”. He claims that he brings home the funding for it time and time again, but I’d argue it’s more of Westmoreland and Chambliss that help out there. We’ll see the specifics as the race goes on, but Angela was dead on target when she spoke of the strain our fighting men and women are under with a perpetual war going on, and improper funding from DC. National Defense is huge in the 8th District, and I think Angela is one to keep it strong.

    I’m most impressed with the fact that she’s a real person. She has driven a truck for years and knows small business. A candidate of her nature doesn’t come around very often. A breath of fresh air amongst the filth currently that has piled up in DC. She has my support and, frankly, Marshall has a lot of cash, but I think he’s vulnerable.

    • kyleinatl says:

      Tyler
      How can she claim to be a supporter of limited government when she is already against a woman’s right to choose what she wants to do with her body? (via her website) I’m curious what else she might be okay with advocating against as it relates to the private lives of those in Macon and such…

      I find it very hypocritical when conservatives go on and on about limited government, but are okay with intrusion into the bedroom when it lines up with their own ethical viewpoints.

      • Tyler says:

        kyle,

        There are Libertarians who are pro-life. They defend their position by saying that it is government’s job to make sure that the citizens are protected; ALL citizens. If you believe that life begins at conception, then you have to protect that life.

        Sort of a weak argument there.

        • kyleinatl says:

          But didn’t Ms Hicks file as a Republican? Not sure where the libertarian stuff comes in at all. Correct me if I’m wrong. And you’re okay with governmental intrusion as long as it agrees with your moral compass? Kinda having your cake isn’t it?

          • Tyler says:

            I was negating your argument that pro-life=big gov’t by using a political philosophy that is totally committed to one of the smallest forms of gov’t. I was not saying Hicks is Libertarian. She is a Republican. Republicans tend to be pro-life.

            I would argue that killing a baby via abortion is an intrusion on the child’s rights, but I realize that you don’t view the same way. I can, however, see areas where total bans on abortion become hazy (rape, incest, mother’s life is at stake).

            All that being said, throwing the abortion debate into this mix to try and paint Angela as a big gov’t candidate is more than just a stretch, it’s downright laughable.

            • kyleinatl says:

              But most Libertarians I know are pro-choice…so I’m not really sure what you’re going with that…

              Hey, I’m not throwing the abortion debate into the mix, it’s right there on her website for all to see. If it’s a principle she stands by, then it’s a principle that is fair game to question. If she holds that pro-life belief, what else might she believe is the government’s purvue?
              These are questions that should be asked of any candidate really…
              You can’t believe in concepts like liberty and freedom (the favorite Repub buzz words) if you can only apply them in select circumstances.

              • Tyler says:

                So you’re trying to prop up Jim Marshall by claiming that Angela Hicks isn’t really conservative b/c she’s pro-life? I’m not quite sure I understand your angle here. And if you have a problem with pro-lifers, why are you defending Marshall? That’s one of the few areas that he differs with Dems on, he has a 100% NRLC ranking making him pro-life.

                My argument is that Marshall is too wishy-washy in various areas. And in the ones where he has a supposedly “fiscal conservative” record, he’s working behind-the-scenes to make sure the Dem measures can pass w/o his vote. He’s a politician, a “good” one. He’s having his cake and eating it too, but dessert time is over.

                • kyleinatl says:

                  At what point did I try to “prop-up” Marshall? I questioned your candidate…I have no great love for Rep. Marshall. Don’t confuse the issue.

  2. Tyler says:

    And for those calling Marshall a fiscal conservative:

    From OnTheIssues.org:

    Voted YES on $192B additional anti-recession stimulus spending. (Jul 2009)

    Voted YES on additional $825 billion for economic recovery package. (Jan 2009)

    Voted YES on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy. (Sep 2008)

    Voted YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Nov 2007)

    Voted YES on overriding veto on expansion of Medicare. (Jul 2008)

    Voted YES on overriding presidential veto of Farm Bill. (Jun 2008)

    I’m a fiscal conservative. Marshall? Give me a break.

    • B Balz says:

      Via: OnTheIssues.org, same page, and for the rest of the story:

      * Retire half the public debt by 2006. (May 2001)

      * Voted YES on modifying bankruptcy rules to avoid mortgage foreclosures. (Mar 2009)

      * Voted NO on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)

      * Voted YES on defining “energy emergency” on federal gas prices. (Jun 2008)

      * Voted YES on regulating the subprime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007)

      * Voted NO on restricting bankruptcy rules. (Jan 2004)

      * Retire half the public debt by 2006. (May 2001)

      • Tyler says:

        Well done, you put up some examples of when Marshall may have been fiscally responsible. The problem? He hasn’t been consistent with them. What we are seeing is that Marshall only practices what he preaches part of the time. Heck, look at ontheissues.org and check out the different sections. On over half of them it says that Marshall has a mixed record.

        Marshall is a political hack. He’s smart in that he knows what it takes to get re-elected, but all he does is vote on issues that are window-dressing. The guy is working behind the scenes to make sure that Democrat-agenda items pass. The Congressman can’t make up his mind. You’d have to be out of your mind to respect the guy for waffling on nearly ever subject. Here’s a challenge for the Congressman from the 8th District: stand strong on all issues one way or the other. The definition of a moderate shouldn’t be “no backbone”, but more times than not, it is. Vote how you will Bballz, it’s your tax dollars at work, but it’s my country that the Ds are screwing with.

        • Being a congressman is public service, not self service. He hasn’t been tremendously effective. Heck Govtrack says he somewhere between a leader and a follower. I’m sure he’s an honest and upright guy, but it’s time to move on (IMHO). Congress is not an entitlement, contrary to the elected elitists opinions. Time for some new blood!

          Angela is quite capable. She knows the issues, knows the people and is working it hard. I’ve been helping one of her opponents, but am thrilled to see the hard work and enthusiasm these folks are taking to the race. She’s giving everyone a run for their money and is garnering the much needed support of the grassroots, and this truly is a grassroots campaign.

        • B Balz says:

          Says Tyler: “… Vote how you will Bballz, it’s your tax dollars at work, but it’s my country that the Ds are screwing with. … ”

          Since neither of us vote in Rep. Marshall’s District, your comment, in that regard, is moot.

          May I remind you that the R’s screwed with your Country for the last dozen or so years using heavy spending coupled with tax reductions for the wealthy. The concept of ‘trickle down’ has not panned out very well, we are spending other people’s money to fund our lifestyle. The piper shall be paid.

          Since we kind of know each other, I hope you know that I agree with much of what you are saying, yet am compelled to call BS on your effort to unseat Rep. Marshall.

          Admit it, this is an exercise by you for Partisan reasons. Don’t be fooled Tyler, these are real people you are screwing with. And saying a guy like Jim Marshall has no backbone, when he was off bleeding in Vietnam, while you and I were playing safely back home is pretty egregious.

          Rep. Marshall is not your Rep, why else would you care?

          • Tyler says:

            I was under the impression that you were from the 8th, my apologies there.

            I have never called Marshall’s bravery and service to our country into question. Anyone who lays their life on the line for their country is to be commended.

            That said, a backbone on the battlefield is much different than a backbone in DC. I am referring to his vague stances on things like spending. I thank Marshall for his service to our country, but, as we saw with McCain, it is not a guarantee or requirement for office. John Kerry fought in Nam too, but I’d never want him to represent me in any office.

            I’ve never called Marshall a coward or hinted at it. A backbone in DC means hard-line stances on important issues. Don’t accuse me of hinting that one of our men or women who fought for the US is cowardly.

            • B Balz says:

              * Retire half the public debt by 2006. (May 2001)

              What about that vote lacks backbone?

              Since many GOP mavens predict that Blue Dog Dems are ‘vulnerable’ it is helpful to the Party for you to go after them. You even recognize this by saying you are beholden to “… the gods of the Right” to rain fire down upon me.”.

              Unseating Blue Dogs is a pretty unhelpful stance, I mean moderate Dems ought to be closer allies to GOP problem solvers than say, Maxine Waters.

              That’s all for now, I am just cranky knowing that everything I have ever worked for, through no fault of my own, is in jeopardy.

              • Tyler says:

                Take that vote mentioned above and match it against the government expansion ones that I mentioned in this very thread. When you increase Federal spending by the $Billions it’s hard to say that you are fiscally responsible b/c of 1 vote back in 2001. Did Marshall change his mind? My thing is that he has waffled over the years. He needs to take a hard-line vote on fiscal matters, i.e. vote against any new spending.

                The “gods of the Right” comment was completely facetious. I don’t answer to the Republican Party. I am beholden to no one but Jesus Christ, but that’s between myself and my Savior.

                If Marshall is as disconnected from the Democrats as you are claiming he is, why doesn’t he run as an Independent like Lieberman? Notice I didn’t say “switch parties”…how non-conformist of me. πŸ™‚

                • ByteMe says:

                  Maybe Marshall voted for those things because he understands better what his constituents want and need than a blogger commenting from afar who doesn’t have run for election. Just sayin’.

                    • ByteMe says:

                      And you’re looking at those votes through your limited prism (as I am through mine), and it’s the same as people banging on Saxby for voting for every farm bill under the sun that will “help” farmers in the state. You can certainly bang on him, but you aren’t going to unseat him for it.

                      You’re better off finding a different reason to unseat him other than “he didn’t vote against all federal spending that might have helped his district”, because that’s a non-starter in his district.

                    • B Balz says:

                      Why do you hate Hugh Hefner?

                      Its’ all good Tyler, you have a ton of respect from me by just getting involved!

                    • kyleinatl says:

                      Dude! That’s exactly what I was thinking when we met with him the other day, all he needed was a pipe and a bathrobe.

                    • ByteMe says:

                      That could actually be a net-positive for the old ladies who vote for him.

                      At least it’s a better reason πŸ™‚

  3. hannah says:

    Being fiscally conservative in the sense of not wasting money is one of those non-issues legislators, who don’t spend but only approve and appropriate, love to talk about. Promising to do or not do something that’s not in your bailiwick is easy and not something you can be held accountable for. “Failure by design.” It’s become a Republican staple.
    How did the federal government arrive at having money left over at the end of the fiscal year? By having an executive during Clinton/Gore who didn’t spend all that was authorized. How did Bush/Cheney arrive at a deficit? By spending more than was approved to begin with.
    If you’re only going to look at the plan and ignore the actual results, then your concern about how much is spent and for what is not serious.
    It’s a damned shame that because our troops are all volunteer, some political leaders think it’s OK to deprive them of gear and safe living quarters. It’s a shame that Rumsfeld was able to assert, the “troops are fungible” but military hardware is hard to replace, without being called out for it.

  4. Ludwig Von Beachbum says:

    Land hannah, you are all over the radar screen.

    BTW, Clinton handed Bush a deficit. Please tell me you are not one of those that think he left a surplus. That would be laughable.

    The Clinton administration reported a surplus of $559 billion in its final four budget years. The audited numbers showed a deficit of $484 billion. USA TODAY 2007

    • hannah says:

      There was no actual surplus because the national debt had not been reduced. However, Greenspan was already nattering about the dangers of having a surplus. There can only be one explanation for that. If the U.S. doesn’t have to borrow money, there is no guaranteed income for lenders who rely on a steady trickle from bonds. Our financial sector is not happy when the Treasury is a lender, rather than a borrower. It isn’t just that borrowers have to let lenders inspect their books; it’s also that lenders claim a right to check how the money is used, as the recipients of TARP quickly discovered and, those who could (Goldman Sachs), paid the money back right quick. Which suggests that the money wasn’t needed in the first place and the flow of money to Main Street was restricted for other reasons.
      Finally, considering that Florida collected over $292 billion in federal flood insurance assistance in 2007 alone, a national short-fall of $484 billion over four years is hardly significant. $430 billion of that could have been covered by Florida and Georgia declining to receive any assistance at all for just that one year.

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