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What the GOP Can Learn From a Pizza Chain
Townhall.com ^ | January 8, 2010 | Jonah goldberg

Posted on 01/08/2010 4:34:30 AM PST by Kaslin

This is one of those rare moments when the conventional wisdom in Washington is right. The Democrats are poised to have a bad year; the only argument is over how bad it will be. And that question rests on whether or not the Republican Party crafts an agenda voters will support

So far the GOP has shrewdly been the "party of no." Since I disagree with so much of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda, I happen to think that "no" is the correct position on the merits. But that's not the point. Saying "no" has worked because that's what most Americans say, too.

The trick for the GOP is to figure out what it will say yes to. Republicans are a bit like the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Americans were sick of Bush and the Republicans back then, so they threw their support behind the Democrats by default. The Democrats over-read this support as a sweeping mandate for their agenda.

This has given the GOP an opportunity many Republicans feared just a year ago might not come for a generation.

Now comes the hard part: seizing the opportunity. Fortunately, I'm not a political consultant. But if I were giving my two cents -- and whaddya know? I am! -- I'd tell the GOP to look not to Reagan in 1980 or Gingrich in 1994, as so many pundits suggest.

I'd look to Domino's in 2010.

You may have seen the commercials or the four-minute YouTube video touting the iconic pizza-delivery chain's reinvention. But if you haven't, Domino's new campaign can be summed up easily enough: "We blew it."

Focus groups and consumer surveys revealed something pretty much everyone outside of Domino's has known for years: Their pizza stinks. It tastes as if aliens tried to copy real pizza but just couldn't capture its essence.

In their four-minute video (search YouTube for "the Pizza Turnaround") executives, employees and chefs at the company confront their harshest reviews head-on. They talk about how much it hurts to hear that their product "tastes like cardboard" and is worse than microwave pizza. But they admit the truth and commit themselves to starting over with more flavor, better crusts, and cheese that doesn't taste like discount weather caulking. Domino's says that the American palate has improved, and they want to update their recipe to take account of that fact.

The appeal of the campaign should be obvious: honesty. Domino's admits they lost their way, and they want a second chance. They're confronting the criticism head-on rather than denying it.

Obviously, the analogy to the GOP isn't perfect. For example, last I checked, Domino's didn't get bogged down in an unpopular war.

But the GOP's troubles over the last decade have a lot to do with the fact that Americans didn't stop liking what the Republican Party is supposed to deliver. They stopped liking what the GOP actually delivered.

As a conservative who cares more about policies than partisan success, I would hate to see the GOP abandon conservative policies in order to be more popular. That would be like Domino's listening to critics and then deciding to get into the Chinese food business. Indeed, by my lights, that's what George W. Bush tried to do with his "compassionate conservatism." He surrendered to liberal arguments about the role, size and scope of government on too many fronts. In effect, he said you can have your pizza and Kung Pao chicken all in the same dish. That's not a good meal, it's a bad mess.

Moreover, abandoning conservatism would be silly. According to Gallup, Americans identify themselves as conservative over liberal by a margin of 2-1, the same proportion as just after 9/11.

So what would a GOP-turnaround recipe look like? That's a subject for any number of other columns. But for starters, I'd look to young political chefs like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). He's been the leader in attacking "crony capitalism" -- the corrupt merger of big business and big government, a hallmark of the Obama administration. For too long Republicans confused supporting big business with supporting free markets, when big business is often the biggest impediment to fair competition. Other fresh new ingredients would almost surely include pro-family tax policies and the de-linking of legal and illegal immigration as interchangeable terms.

But first, the GOP needs to admit it screwed up. That's what Democrats did with Bill Clinton, and it gave the "New Democratic Party" a new lease on life.

F. Scott Fitzgerald couldn't have been more wrong when he said there are "no second acts in American lives." More than any nation on earth, America is about second acts. We love contrition and redemption. We love it in pizza companies and politicians alike.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: gop; lessons; pizza; rebuilding
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1 posted on 01/08/2010 4:34:31 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
In their four-minute video (search YouTube for "the Pizza Turnaround") executives, employees and chefs at the company confront their harshest reviews head-on. They talk about how much it hurts to hear that their product "tastes like cardboard" and is worse than microwave pizza. But they admit the truth and commit themselves to starting over with more flavor, better crusts, and cheese that doesn't taste like discount weather caulking. Domino's says that the American palate has improved, and they want to update their recipe to take account of that fact.

One of my inlaws ran a Dominos...he said that the ingredients for a typical pizza were about 25 cents cost. This is one of the reasons that I don't eat at McDonalds anymore....their meat does not taste like meat..their french fries seem like it's just compacted processed 'buds' of some sort approximating a potato.....about the only thing they haven't 'improved' is the coke...

2 posted on 01/08/2010 4:39:53 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Kaslin

We don’t want the ‘Party of No’ — we want the ‘Party of HELL NO!!’...

(I don’t know who came up with that first, or I’d attribute the quote — but it captures the mood out here pretty darned accurately...)


3 posted on 01/08/2010 4:43:08 AM PST by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: Gaffer

Coming from NY I had never had a taste of a Domino’s pizza until I was 18. A friend and recent transplant from Denver ordered one. I took one bite and could not even believe how BAD it tasted.


4 posted on 01/08/2010 4:45:26 AM PST by riri (Resistance-It's the New Black)
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To: Gaffer
I'm a huge Digiorno fan.

That said I think it's a stupid idea. Fool me once and all that. This would work for Dummercrats and Rhino's but not Conservatives.

5 posted on 01/08/2010 4:49:43 AM PST by liberty or death
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To: riri

I grew up I NJ and didn’t have Domino’s until I was at Ft Campbell. Funny that the first American food I had when I got back from Korea in 84 was Domino’s. We didn’t have a ride to McDonalds.


6 posted on 01/08/2010 5:03:04 AM PST by ebshumidors (vet, rifleman, 'nuff said.)
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To: Kaslin

The airlines tried this in the 90’s. ‘Nuff said.


7 posted on 01/08/2010 5:05:05 AM PST by ebshumidors (vet, rifleman, 'nuff said.)
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To: Kaslin

Good article. However, the Dems may have confessed their screwup with Clinton; but they went back and did the same thing with Obama which is worse. They don’t pick winners. They pick frauds because they are frauds.

The GOP should get with the program. They have an opportunity to join the people. Let’s see if they do.

Dominos Pizza does stink.


8 posted on 01/08/2010 5:05:12 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Kaslin
For the Republicans to say we screwed up is one thing, but to get some discipline on earmarks and pork barrel spending is something else. The American people are mad about a lot of things but especially the orgy of spending coming from Congress. Far too many members of our party have gotten earmarks and special interest projects for their districts and are little better than Democrats. Then there is the issue of RINOs.

What the Republican party desperately needs is leadership and a tough no nonsense fiscal policy. That will mean giving up those earmarks and pork for the good of the country

9 posted on 01/08/2010 5:07:34 AM PST by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." M. Thatcher)
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To: Kaslin

I tried a new Domino’s pizza earlier this week. It’s a big change from the prior product but nothing to write home about.


10 posted on 01/08/2010 5:14:20 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Kaslin
Republicans are a bit like the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Americans were sick of Bush and the Republicans back then, so they threw their support behind the Democrats by default.

As with virtually all things, I'm reminded of a scene from "The Simpsons". The Springfield crowd is rallied to support a neighborhood watch. Ned seems to be the man for the job after everyone was chanting his name, and he humbly begins to say that he doesn't have much experience, so Moe impatiently interjects "Someone Else!"... and the crowd begins chanting, "Someone Else! Someone Else!" (Homer then realizes aloud, "Hey, I'm Someone Else!")

That basically sums up the wisdom used by the majority of swing voters... and often, the GOP candidates

11 posted on 01/08/2010 5:15:17 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: freekitty
However, the Dems may have confessed their screwup with Clinton; but they went back and did the same thing with Obama which is worse.

Doesn't this show you that they don't learn from their mistakes? The problem though is, they expect everyone else to make the same mistakes

12 posted on 01/08/2010 5:17:34 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for 0bama: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Uncle Ike
But the GOP's troubles over the last decade have a lot to do with the fact that Americans didn't stop liking what the Republican Party is supposed to deliver. They stopped liking what the GOP actually delivered.

There's your money quote right there. Hammer, meet nail!

13 posted on 01/08/2010 5:19:52 AM PST by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: Kaslin

I tried one of Dominos pizzas after I saw the new commercial.

It still sucks.


14 posted on 01/08/2010 5:22:53 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Bush at his worst was still better than Obama at his best.)
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To: Kaslin

Avoid the Noid!

Avoid the RINOs!


15 posted on 01/08/2010 5:28:16 AM PST by Buckeye Battle Cry (Enjoy nature - eat meat, wear fur and drive your car!)
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To: Kaslin

Even if the GOP were to do as Jonah suggests, they would only be pretending to be conservative. The same people would be in charge and the same big donors would still be pulling their strings.


16 posted on 01/08/2010 5:29:21 AM PST by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: Uncle Ike; All

The GOP, like a stern, but caring parent, has to be “The Party of No” (or “HELL NO”, if one prefers) because the Democratic Party, like spoled, self-indulgent children, is “The Party of Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee”.

The Jackass party has “boundary issues”.


17 posted on 01/08/2010 5:30:22 AM PST by conservativeharleyguy (Democrats: Over 60 million fooled daily!)
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To: conservativeharleyguy

That would be “spoiled”. Sorry.......


18 posted on 01/08/2010 5:31:34 AM PST by conservativeharleyguy (Democrats: Over 60 million fooled daily!)
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To: Kaslin
But the GOP's troubles over the last decade have a lot to do with the fact that Americans didn't stop liking what the Republican Party is supposed to deliver. They stopped liking what the GOP actually delivered.

No matter how complicated you try to make it, it really is that simple.

19 posted on 01/08/2010 5:35:03 AM PST by spodefly (I have posted nothing but BTTT over 1000 times!!!)
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To: Kaslin; rabscuttle385; mkjessup; AuntB; stephenjohnbanker; GOP_Lady; Liz; 1776 Reborn; ...
RE:” The trick for the GOP is to figure out what it will say yes to. Republicans are a bit like the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. Americans were sick of Bush and the Republicans back then, so they threw their support behind the Democrats by default. The Democrats over-read this support as a sweeping mandate for their agenda.....For too long Republicans confused supporting big business with supporting free markets, when big business is often the biggest impediment to fair competition. Other fresh new ingredients would almost surely include pro-family tax policies and the de-linking of legal and illegal immigration as interchangeable terms. But first, the GOP needs to admit it screwed up.(amen sol comment)

I agree with much of this (see bold)it is sad and ironic that while the R party may look anti-legal-immigration over illegal immigration/amnesty, there was a massive historical wave of new legal immigrants to this country under Bush's eight years. It fed the housing boom on the east coast eating up every plot of open space in many areas . So what do we have now? Unemployment and immigrants voting Democrat (at least the past 6 years.) Did we really need them?

20 posted on 01/08/2010 5:39:12 AM PST by sickoflibs ( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is spending you demand stupid")
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To: freekitty

Oddly, the hapless GOP believes that the Clinton and Obama models are the prototypes to winning elections. They do understand the socialist tendencies of the American people and therefore ignore their own base of constitutionalists.


21 posted on 01/08/2010 5:42:17 AM PST by Theodore R. (...)
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To: sickoflibs

No we didn’t.


22 posted on 01/08/2010 5:43:51 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: Gaffer

I don’t recall eating a Domino’s pizza but I swore off McDonald’s long ago. I always considered a Mac burger as something that would prevent starvation in a pinch but was only to be used in an emergency to stop that gnawing under the belt feeling.

I used to hear how the great success of McDonald’s was attributed to their perfect “quality control” and shake my head in wonder. I seem to remember that their coffee was alright though and their breakfast was reasonably good.


23 posted on 01/08/2010 5:46:41 AM PST by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: Kaslin

Step One: Get rid of Michael Steele now.


24 posted on 01/08/2010 5:50:50 AM PST by AdaGray (uw)
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To: sickoflibs; stephenjohnbanker

I think if the Republicans were smart they would revise the
immigration work permits policy and immigration after the 2010 elections to be a lot more reasonable. If they did this and sat on making the existing illegals legal these people would flow into the legal channels and defuse the illegal amnesty issue. Many of these people go home every year or they just come here to work. When they return to the U.S. they would choose to use a legal route if it made any sense and they might actually give the Republicans credit it.


25 posted on 01/08/2010 5:51:54 AM PST by 1776 Reborn
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To: 1776 Reborn

“. Many of these people go home every year or they just come here to work.”

No, they come here, and STAY here for the 20,000+ per year(family of 4) welfare benefits. This is one of the reasons California is bankrupt. They not only stay, they bring their relatives over here, once they are settled in.


26 posted on 01/08/2010 5:57:09 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: Rebelbase

I suspected they did change their pizza, but my wife and I do not like the brushed garlic stuff they put on the edge of the crust. It soaks through and really detracts from the taste.

Of course the best pizza is the one my wife makes, IMO.


27 posted on 01/08/2010 5:57:44 AM PST by Crolis ("Nemo me impune lacessit!" - "No one provokes me with impunity!")
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To: stephenjohnbanker; sickoflibs
No we didn’t.

But we GOT 'em!

And now they are creating LEGAL US Citizens faster than the rest of us!

28 posted on 01/08/2010 6:00:15 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

That is what I used to think, but I can tell you in the Carolinas when a large chunk of these people lost their jobs they went home according to official reports and
my unofficial observations. (I was a bit surprized by
this to be honest with you.)


29 posted on 01/08/2010 6:04:22 AM PST by 1776 Reborn
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To: Kaslin

Domino’s *is* bad pizza, but like McDonald’s, you get what you pay for. I think the best bang-for-the-buck pizzas are the fresh bake-yer-own pizzas.


30 posted on 01/08/2010 6:05:05 AM PST by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: reagan_fanatic

It still sucks.
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I actually prefer a Digiorno’s cooked according to directions in a good oven over almost any chain pizza outlet in my area. Of course there is nothing here that approaches what was available in Chicago the last time I was there back in 1982.


31 posted on 01/08/2010 6:11:41 AM PST by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: 1776 Reborn; sickoflibs

We passed a law in Arizona that you must PROVE that you are eligable to work in the USA. In the past 18 months, we have lost almost half of our illegal immigrants. If the whole country did this, they would self deport. Neither party has the balls to do it.


32 posted on 01/08/2010 6:19:13 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: Elsie

“And now they are creating LEGAL US Citizens faster than the rest of us! “

Of course they are. The more kids, the more welfare money.

And YOU AND I are paying for it!


33 posted on 01/08/2010 6:21:54 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: 1776 Reborn

“That is what I used to think, but I can tell you in the Carolinas when a large chunk of these people lost their jobs they went home according to official reports and
my unofficial observations. “

Many just went to illegal immigrant friendly states, like California.


34 posted on 01/08/2010 6:23:50 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: stephenjohnbanker
Yeah, I had heard that was working well for your state.

In the Carolinas if they don't have a job the young ones go home to live off their relatives like our kids would do here. Now if a guy is married with kids that might be a little different because they might be able to get government benefits. The young guys live with a bunch of their buddies. If they can't pay their way they are ousted from the nest pretty quick and they generally go home. With the drop in building and landscaping their ranks have really thinned out over the last coupe of years.

35 posted on 01/08/2010 6:30:07 AM PST by 1776 Reborn
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To: Kaslin
"For too long Republicans confused supporting big business with supporting free markets, when big business is often the biggest impediment to fair competition."

Bingo! Being "pro-business" has hurt the GOP for decades. They never learn. They need to be "pro-free enterprise" and tell people, if big business stops serving Americans well, they deserve to go out of business and be replaced by businesses that ARE producing and serving the American People.

36 posted on 01/08/2010 6:30:21 AM PST by Jabba the Nutt (Are they insane, stupid or just evil?)
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To: Oberon
The GOP should go with a "small" agenda. Less of everything. Empowering individuals, families and small businesses to make their own choices. The government should help them do that and then get out of the way. While the Democrats attempt to re-run the "New Deal", the GOP can offer a fresh political approach to the 21st Century. Not big government, not compassionate government but a small government that does a few things well.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus

37 posted on 01/08/2010 6:30:44 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: 1776 Reborn

I know illegals swamped Charlotte in recent years due to the real estate construction boom, but that is over now.


38 posted on 01/08/2010 6:35:28 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: Jabba the Nutt

I want to make the point that this article makes a great suggestion. Right now, the Democrats from Obama to Reid to Pelosi are the party of “We don’t listen to you, because WE know better.” The GOP should reform itself into the party of “We listen to you, we respect you.” Then go on to explain what their hearing and what they are going to do about it.


39 posted on 01/08/2010 6:35:52 AM PST by Jabba the Nutt (Are they insane, stupid or just evil?)
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To: stephenjohnbanker

The best thing to deal with the immigration problem has been this incredibly cold winter so far. Their potential
job market must be falling faster than the temps.


40 posted on 01/08/2010 6:37:12 AM PST by 1776 Reborn
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To: Kaslin

The connection is that Domino’s and the Democrat’s target market is children who don’t know better.


41 posted on 01/08/2010 6:39:39 AM PST by Last Dakotan
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To: 1776 Reborn

LOL!


42 posted on 01/08/2010 6:40:29 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops, and vote out the RINO's!)
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To: stephenjohnbanker
Yep, all over the Carolinas. Roofing, landscaping, and new construction are all down to dirt. The states have also raided the meat packing plants and prosecuted the owners so that has been cleaned up for the time being too.
43 posted on 01/08/2010 6:41:08 AM PST by 1776 Reborn
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To: goldstategop

You’re preaching to the choir, gs.


44 posted on 01/08/2010 6:43:18 AM PST by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: Kaslin

The ‘Pubs might consider creating a fund to buy TV time after the election to (bypass the media and) explain to the American people directly what policies they are promoting and why. I know that it’s quite expensive but otherwise the mainstream media will skew the message.


45 posted on 01/08/2010 7:19:58 AM PST by Inwoodian
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To: Kaslin

I tend to agree with this author. I used to complain that the Dems just hated everything the Repubs were trying to accomplish, but had no real suggestions of their own to solve the problems addressed. Now I see the party of “no” doing the same thing. The GOP needs to be putting intelligent plans together to solve the problems the Democrats are addressing.

Examples:

The GOP did nothing to address the rising cost of health care when they had the floor.

The same could be said for illegal immigration.

Both are being addressed by the liberal govt recently installed. They are taking control of the health care system the way their party would handle it by making the govt even bigger and taking more liberty away from its citizenry. They are making “illegal immigration” an oxymoron.


46 posted on 01/08/2010 7:22:31 AM PST by Blue Collar Christian (A "teabagger"? Say it to my face. ><BCC>)
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To: RipSawyer
Quality control for McDonalds must obviously mean rigorous control of the cardboard particles, miscellaneous meat by products (e.g., various & sundry critter content), etc....

I worked for them many decades ago back in the early 60s when they had the old stores...the meat was real, the bread was flour, the cheese had real milk in it, the fries came from store cut 100 lb sacks of potatoes that had to be carried up from the basement.....THAT food was excellent, because it was real...I don't know what they have now.

47 posted on 01/08/2010 7:24:42 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: 1776 Reborn

I second your observation. There is a noticeable decline in their numbers in the past couple of years.


48 posted on 01/08/2010 7:42:51 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: Kaslin
Here's some suggestions on things the Pubs can say yes to:

Domestic & offshore oil drilling
Nuclear power plants
Fair Tax
A return to ethical & open gov’t, which we haven't had in a very long time
Spending & deficit reduction
smaller gov’t
a proactive, “get them before they get us” strategy in the WOT

More suggestions welcome!

49 posted on 01/08/2010 9:54:54 AM PST by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: Kaslin
But the GOP's troubles over the last decade have a lot to do with the fact that Americans didn't stop liking what the Republican Party is supposed to deliver. They stopped liking what the GOP actually delivered.

Well said, Jonah.

50 posted on 01/08/2010 10:45:56 AM PST by RJL
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