The Watering Hole – Saturday May 26th – We Don’t Need Grover Norquist

One of the most powerful people in this country isn’t an elected official, has never been an elected official, and will never be an elected official. It shouldn’t be surprising that he’s never been a public servant because he knows nothing about what’s in the best interest of the People, and only operates to serve himself and his rich friends. His one claim to fame is based on an idea that he had when he was twelve years old. His name is Grover Norquist and if you haven’t heard of him by now, well, you haven’t been to our blog before, that’s for sure.

In addition to a pledge he requires Republicans to sign promising not to raise tax rates, and not to close tax loopholes without a matching reduction in spending, Norquist has a fairly simplistic idea of what he’s looking for in a candidate for President of the United States.

All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

. As David Frum put it, “His requirement for president?

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.

Now, Norquist is always quick to point out that his pledge isn’t to him, personally, but to the American people. The thing is, he’s the only one trying to enforce it. We never asked Norquist to make candidates sign a pledge conceived by a twelve-year-old. Norquist appointed himself head of Americans for Tax Reform; he wasn’t elected to the position. And yet it’s because of him that our country faced a debt crisis for so long that it resulted in our nation’s credit-rating being downgraded.

We don’t need people like Grover Norquist in this country. We need people who don’t think like twelve-years-olds.

And here’s a tweet I sent him last night. His figures are, as usual, wrong.

Later, when someone tweeted that the pledge was losing its power in Washington, Grover tried to say that his pledge was gaining strength. If you actually read the article (the link in the tweet works), you’ll find that HE was the one saying that the pledge is strengthening.

I love getting snarky with Grover. Especially when he fights back. I wish he would again. He did before, and if he responds to me, I’ll add his reply to this post.

This is our daily open thread — feel free to discuss this topic, or whatever’s on your mind!

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120 thoughts on “The Watering Hole – Saturday May 26th – We Don’t Need Grover Norquist

  1. You’ll have to read the longer tweet to know why I wrote the ones below

    • I did the math a while back and, on a per-pupil per-hour basis, we’re paying babysitting rates to educate our children. We get what we pay for. Class size doesn’t matter if all you want to do is warehouse children for several hours a day and turn out an indoctrinated citizenry barely literate and incapable of analytical thinking.

      Rhetorical question: What job requires one to do nothing but fill in bubbles on answer sheets?

      You can tell what someone really values by what he or she spends money on. This same principle applies to countries. Applying this principle, USA values using physical force, and economic wealth to coerce others into doing its bidding. The least “moral” are the most “successful.” We value wealth over caring for our fellow man, raising our children and caring for our environment.

  2. Zooey, can wait until when ever for the Nook cover. I better get one of those big dog blankets at the same time since somebody just dug a hole in one of my couch cushions.

  3. I saw Laffer on Maher last night. There was a comment about slices of the pie, with Maher saying there is a finite number of slices, and Laffer believing there’s an infinite number of slices.

    In a way, I agree with Laffer. After all, in Geometry, we learned that between Point A and Point B is always a Midpoint C. Thus slices may become infinitely small. But as long as the Government can print money, there will be more and more “slices” available.

    But have you ever ordered a pizza for the family, only to find out that some slices are larger than others? While everyone may get one slice, some get more than others.

    In a Republican economy, the fattest get the biggest slices, those that are starving get the smallest slices. And the fattest are always scheming different ways to make the smallest slices even smaller.

    • Bush used to liken it to a pie, rather than a pizza. But instead of saying they should make the pie “bigger,” he used to say they want to make the pie “higher.”

    • I think I mentioned recently having read Stephen Budiansky’s “Perilous Fight”, a brilliant, informative and highly entertaining book about the War of 1812 and the rise of the American Navy. Much of what makes his work fascinating to me is is use of original sources, particularly the logs and journals of common sailors and junior officers. I won’t say that everything I knew previously about the war was wrong, just that I knew pathetically little.

    • It’s when we left the GOP at the door, and let the door hit them in the ass!

      To be honest, we aren’t as hype hype hype as the US when it comes to our own history. There are going to be some celebrations but I can’t say as I have seen many adverts for them.

  4. Taylor said something about there being a new Dr. Who on tonight. Anybody know about it? Anybody else watching Doc Martin on PBS?

    • Doc Martin is available on streaming Netflix (and disc) through Season 4, and they have Season 5 on disc. New season of Dr Who doesn’t start until August.

  5. Danica was only able to qualify third at Charlotte for the Nationwide race later this afternoon. She was beaten by Austin Dillon, who is third in points, and full-time Cup driver Joey Logano. She’s fast today, only 02 of a second off Logano’s pole lap. It’s on ABC at 2:30pm eastern.

  6. Okay, it’s a little long, but here’s a column that I wrote back in January on Grover Norquist:

    “One Man = 279 Votes?”

    Just how is it that one man who has never been elected to public office controls so many Constitutionally-elected, so-called “public servants”? Well, when that one man is Grover Norquist, founder of the group “Americans for Tax Reform”, apparently it’s fairly easy.
    Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) is described on its website as a “non-profit lobbying organization”, which “…opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle.” Although the name of the organization may not be so familiar, the “Norquist Pledge” is famous, or infamous depending on one’s outlook, in the political world.

    Grover Norquist founded ATR in 1985. Their website states that Norquist did so “at the request of President Reagan”, but I have not yet found verification of this statement. (It is noteworthy that President Reagan, after reducing taxes dramatically upon entering office, ended up having to raise taxes several times throughout the rest of his Presidency in order to counter a growing deficit.) In 1986 ATR began having Congresspersons and politicians running for Congress sign Norquist’s “no tax increases” pledge. The pledge reads as follows:

    Taxpayer Protection Pledge: I, (name), pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ district of the state of__________, and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. (Pledges must be signed, dated, witnessed and returned to: AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM [address, etc.]”

    One of Norquist’s most famous quotes is “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” One has to wonder, though, how realistic is the idea that such a drastically smaller government can effectively govern a country whose population has grown from approximately 225 million in 1985 to approximately 300 million people today? One also has to wonder how, despite so many politicians having signed the Norquist Pledge – including George W. Bush in 1999 – the size of the government, the amount of spending, and the deficit ALL increased since 2000, while tax rates are at their lowest in decades?

    ATR states that 238 current members of the House, along with 41 Senators, have signed the “Norquist Pledge.” Except for three Democrats, all signatories are Republicans. Since Norquist’s group either supports, through campaign assistance, etc., the complying signatories, or criticizes and withdraws funding from the non-complying signatories, this one pledge has had an enormous amount of influence over the years on elections, legislation, and the overall economy. Recently, some of the few more-pragmatic Republicans (Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, and Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA), in view of the current state of the economy, have been disassociating themselves from the Norquist Pledge. They are apparently doing so at their own peril, since, as Norquist has boasted, “I spent $7.5 million in the 2010 election season talking about who has and hasn’t taken the pledge.”

    Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution states: “All bills for raising Revenues shall originate in the House of Representatives.” Neither Mr. Norquist nor his group ATR is a member of the House of Representatives. Contrariwise, the 238 members of the House who have signed the Norquist Pledge have first and foremost sworn an Oath of Office to “Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    Therefore, I have to ask: do YOU think that it’s more important that your Representative swear an oath to Grover Norquist, or to our Constitution?

  7. It’s Saturday so it must be cooking day. Seven Steak, tasso and okra gumbo sounds good.

          • After 5 1/2 days Gawd looked down at all he had created, and said, “Not a bad effort, but I need to fuck a little with the humans. I know I’ll take a banana slug and turn it into a vile vegetable. Jesus, who’s coming, won’t that be a gas, bwahahahahahahah, dummmies.”

            • Careful, you’re talking to someone (moi!) who can’t wait till the fresh okra comes into the Farmers Market! I love the stuff, plus it’s a nutritiously loaded! Okra, onions, cornmeal, mushrooms, all mixed with a whipped egg or two and sauteed gently in butter and coconut oil — magnificent! Delicious! Delight! Grand!

              Jeez, why am I hungry all of a sudden? :grin:

            • Being a socialist/commie/birkenstock/vovlo/tennisshoewearingmisfit, I gadly give you my portion at anytime Frug. ;)

            • Yeah, I’m one of them too, so I’ll take it! I did wear out my Birkenstocks, though, so am currently sandal-less. Hope that doesn’t negate the okra deal! :)

    • Still deciding which to go with tonight: Korean-style short ribs or big fat pork chops “Normandy style”. (And I would love to try your gumbo some day.)

      • Please elaborate on the pork chops. I make something called chicken Normandy with onions, apples, and celery.

        • Pan-fried chops, which are then treated to a pan sauce made with onion, apple, hard cider, calvados, Dijon mustard and cream. From Bruce Aidells. I grew up with my mother ruining pork chops and I’ve tended to shy away from them until now. Starting with 1-1/2 inch loin chops should help.

          • Sounds similar to the chicken recipe, minus the mustard . Thanks gummitch, I’m going to try my chicken recipe with the pork chops. My mother used Shake-n-Bake on the pork chops.

  8. I think we’re going to cook some steaks on the BBQ later. We haven’t had steak in a while, but with all the overtime Jane and I have been working leading up to our company’s move next week, we have a couple of extra bucks to treat ourselves. :)

  9. Well, there’s the damned wind. Again. We left the mtns early because of it; also, the smell of smoke this morning from the New Mexico fire in the Gila NF a few hundred miles away was more than a bit disconcerting … reminded of last year when AZ was on fire in early June.

    Raven can’t be too far from this blaze. If it’s keeping him busy, hope he also stays far enough away and upwind to remain safe. Almost 90,000 acres had burnt, last I heard. That’s about 140 square miles. Nasty, nasty, nasty.

    Sure am glad that global warning and climate change are nothing more than a hoax by lying scientists looking for a handout. Imagine how shitty things could get if it was really real.

    • frugal, last night for the first time in my life, I saw a massive dust cloud here. It preceded a front that brought lots of wind and tornadic activity but the dust cloud covered several counties.

  10. Going to make my world famous, well 5th St famous, errr my house famous chimichurri sauce, made with fresh mint instead of parsley, and a heart stopping amount of garlic, drizzeled over some Alaskan wild caught salmon I picked up yesterday; with a side of Dutch Baby yellow potatoes, and spring walla walla onions from the local Farmers Market to be dipped in a romesco sauce of my making.

  11. Well I’m boring…I’m just making roast chicken, biscuits, and broccoli.

    • I envy you, Outstanding. My grandkids won’t eat chicken on the bone and I have several recipes for just that.

      • My son won’t eat chicken off the bone. Even at two he wouldn’t touch a chicken nugget, he wants it to look like chicken.

        • I think your son has it right, considering what off the bone can mean.

          • No doubt that’s true. I find it interesting that this is not something I taught him, just his own preference. He was fixated on chickens when he came to this country. I figure the chicken (live ones that is) was the only thing that seemed familiar to him. It’s hard to tell though, he couldn’t talk until he was 3.

        • My kids used to be that way, too. Then they became teenagers, and could barely wait until the chicken was dead. Thank goodness we didn’t live around live chickens. :lol:

  12. Glad you all switched to chicken. For a while I thought we were going to have the Great Okra War of 2012.

  13. Making preparations for Beryl’s visit tomorrow. Do PetCo or PetSmart have Mae Wests for cats?

    • I think they make absolutely everything for pets these days. Is there such thing as high ground around there?

    • PFDs (personal flotation devices) have come a long way, baby.
      I like the ones with all the cool pockets to put stuff in.
      Like the little waterproof cases for lighters, and even smaller ones for the, well, you know, stuff…..

        • Apos for the tardy reply frugal, I had to come down the mountain for some vittles.
          Whitewater/Baldy Complex is a bad one. Sustained high winds have driven it into the big time. Nearing my district, the crews are out wrapping buildings in tin foil, I’m running meals out to them on the fireline.
          Sustained crown runs and long range spotting is going to make this one tough.

  14. Taking a cat on a boat trip? Did I tell you about the time I accidentally was holding the kitten over the pool cleaning out the filter when I could feel his little heart going a mile a minute? Never once wanted to go outside after that.

  15. Taylor made it to the semi-final round today in the Classical Singers Competition. Down to 40 from 200 in today’s round. She is so excited.

  16. Something Italian Il Tutti something something by Mozart & Love’s Philosophy. I’m not exactly a music expert.

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