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South Carolina Message (Thomas Sowell)
Creators Syndicate ^ | January 24, 2012 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 01/23/2012 1:00:39 PM PST by jazusamo

Just days before the South Carolina primary, polls showed Mitt Romney leading Newt Gingrich. Then came the debates and the question about Gingrich's private life, which brought a devastating response from the former Speaker of the House — and a standing ovation from the audience.

Apparently the television audience felt the same way, judging by the huge turnaround in the support for Gingrich. The stunning victory in South Carolina brought Newt's candidacy back to life.

But the message from South Carolina was about more than a reaction to how Gingrich dealt with a cheap shot question from the media. Nor was it simply the Republican voters' response to Newt's mastery as a debater.

The more fundamental message is that the Republican primary voters do not want Mitt Romney, even if the Republican establishment does — and it is just a question of which particular conservative alternative the voters prefer.

The successive boomlets for Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain showed the Republican voter's constant search for somebody — anybody — as an alternative to Romney. The splintering of the conservative vote among numerous conservative candidates allowed Romney to be the "front-runner," but he never ran far enough in front to get a majority.

Mitt Romney's supposed "electability" — his acceptability to moderates and independents — has been his biggest selling point. Moreover, he is just the kind of candidate that the Republican establishment has preferred for years: a nice, bland, moderate who offends nobody.

This is the kind of candidate that is supposed to be the key to victory, no matter how many such candidates have gone down to defeat. If the bland and inoffensive moderate was in fact the key to victory, Dewey would have won a landslide victory over Truman in 1948, and John McCain would have beaten Barack Obama in 2008.

Whomever the Republicans choose as their candidate is going to have to run against both Barack Obama and the pro-Obama media. Newt Gingrich has shown that he can do that. Romney? Not so much. Mitt Romney's fumbling when trying to answer the simple question of whether he would or would not release his income tax records is the kind of indecisiveness that is not going to cut it in a nationally televised debate with President Obama.

Gingrich is not just a guy who is fast and feisty on his feet. He has a depth of understanding of what issues are crucial, experience in how to deal with them and — almost equally important — experience in how to shoot down the petty, irrelevant and "gotcha" distractions of the media.

Does Gingrich have negative qualities? More than most. Wild statements, alienation of colleagues, reckless gambits. His use of the rhetoric of the left in attacking Bain Capital was a recent faux pas, though one that he quickly backed away from.

But if we are serious — and there has seldom, if ever, been a time in the history of this nation when it was more necessary to be serious — then we cannot simply add up talking points for or against a candidate. What matters is how that candidate stands on issues that can make or break the future of this country.

Polls show the public as a whole with more negative attitudes toward Gingrich than toward Romney. But negative opinions, like other opinions, are not set in stone.

If the election campaign changes the opinions of a significant minority of the anti-Gingrich voters — when the alternative is Obama — it will not matter how much the remainder may hate Newt.

Is this a gamble? The painful reality is that everyone in this year's field of Republican candidates is a gamble. And re-electing Barack Obama is an even bigger gamble.

Whichever candidate the Republican voters finally choose from this year's field, they are bound to have reservations, if not fears. Gingrich's worst could be worse than Romney's worst, both as a candidate and as a president. But Gingrich's best is much better than Romney's best.

Sometimes caution can be carried to the point where it is dangerous. When the Super Bowl is on the line, you don't go with the quarterback who is least likely to throw an interception. You go with the one most likely to throw a touchdown pass.



TOPICS: Editorial; Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: Florida; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: 2012; 2012election; elections; florida; gingrich; newt2012; nobama2012; noromney2012; obama; romney; romneytruthfile; sc2012; sowell; thomassowell; votenewt

1 posted on 01/23/2012 1:00:46 PM PST by jazusamo
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To: abigail2; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; Battle Axe; ...
*PING*
Thomas Sowell

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Recent columns
An Ignored ‘Disparity’: Part IV
An Ignored ‘Disparity’: Part III
An Ignored ‘Disparity’: Part II
An Ignored ‘Disparity’

Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to or removed from the Thomas Sowell ping list…

2 posted on 01/23/2012 1:05:19 PM PST by jazusamo (If you don't like growing older, don't worry. You may not be growing older much longer: T. Sowell)
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To: jazusamo; kingattax

The South Carolina Message:

Myth Rino sleeps with the fishes!


3 posted on 01/23/2012 1:11:50 PM PST by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: jazusamo

-——and the pro-Obama media-——

The Messiah has lost already.

The MSM presstitutes will make the difference and a campaign.

This is the week I have been predicting the seven gray heads will go to the white house to deliver the message........ end the campaign for the good of the party, for the future of the chilrun.


4 posted on 01/23/2012 1:12:11 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: jazusamo

—Moreover, he is just the kind of candidate that the Republican establishment has preferred for years: a nice, bland, moderate who offends nobody. —

I started saying, with the 2000 election that politicians are like beer: Really good beer is loved by those who appreciate it, but because it will have a strong flavor, it is not appreciated by “the masses”. That’s why you sell more Coors or Bud than Newcastle Nut Brown Ale, Alaskan Amber, or BBC Star Stout, or Goose Island, or Mac & Jack.

So every four years we get to choose between Bud and Coors for the “best” beer, because they are bland enough to not offend too many people. Meanwhile, the Mac & Jack, Alaskan Amber, etc. are loved by their followers, while never reaching real market saturation.


5 posted on 01/23/2012 1:14:52 PM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: jazusamo
Really, really good column. I wish the rest of the "elites" would consider this.

Is this a gamble? The painful reality is that everyone in this year's field of Republican candidates is a gamble. And re-electing Barack Obama is an even bigger gamble.

Whichever candidate the Republican voters finally choose from this year's field, they are bound to have reservations, if not fears. Gingrich's worst could be worse than Romney's worst, both as a candidate and as a president. But Gingrich's best is much better than Romney's best.

Sometimes caution can be carried to the point where it is dangerous. When the Super Bowl is on the line, you don't go with the quarterback who is least likely to throw an interception. You go with the one most likely to throw a touchdown pass.

All of that is just dead-on, and it even applies to Romney. As bad as Romney could be, he's not going to be worse than Obama, and the mere fact that he depends on the GOP for support would push him further to the right that Obama.

But the overall point is right -- Gingrich has a slugger's chance of beating Obama, and that might be the best we're going to get.

6 posted on 01/23/2012 1:16:15 PM PST by Bruce Campbells Chin
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To: jazusamo
Whomever the Republicans choose as their candidate is going to have to run against both Barack Obama and the pro-Obama media. Newt Gingrich has shown that he can do that. Romney? Not so much. Mitt Romney's fumbling when trying to answer the simple question of whether he would or would not release his income tax records is the kind of indecisiveness that is not going to cut it in a nationally televised debate with President Obama.

BINGO!!!

7 posted on 01/23/2012 1:16:15 PM PST by stillonaroll (Nominate a non-RINO in 2012!)
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To: jazusamo

—When the Super Bowl is on the line, you don’t go with the quarterback who is least likely to throw an interception. You go with the one most likely to throw a touchdown pass. —

That one sentence sums up the whole thing.

It is along the lines of what Brian Tracy teaches: People are motivated by two things - fear of failure and desire for success. The winners are the ones that allow the latter to overrule the former.


8 posted on 01/23/2012 1:18:44 PM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: jazusamo

Dr. Sowell is right again. Mitt will not score any touchdowns, and he’s trying to kneecap his competition for the starting job.


9 posted on 01/23/2012 1:21:20 PM PST by CASchack
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To: stillonaroll

Methinks Dr Sowell is on to something... And with the folks in talk radio, like Hugh Hewitt who uses trained lawyer-spin to cast doubts on Newt. Hewitt is in such a cocoon, that he has NO IDEA how to be anti-Newt, and come across as not being in full spin mode.


10 posted on 01/23/2012 1:23:21 PM PST by BigEdLB (Now there ARE 1,000,000 regrets - but it may be too late.)
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To: jazusamo

“...a nice, bland, moderate who offends nobody.”

I don’t want someone who will offend nobody. I want someone who will kick butt and take names.


11 posted on 01/23/2012 1:24:06 PM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: ops33
I don’t want someone who will offend nobody. I want someone who will kick butt and take names.

BTTT

12 posted on 01/23/2012 1:25:19 PM PST by going hot (Happiness is a momma deuce)
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To: jazusamo

If only we could elect a true decent genius like Sowell. Oh, yeah, he can’t debate because he has a speech impediment. Hate the focus on that auperficial crap. Let him debate Obama with a keyboard. He’d slaughter him.

For conservatives, this is Newt’s to lose... But hang on to Santy because Newt just might blow it.


13 posted on 01/23/2012 1:26:15 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: bert
I have been predicting the seven gray heads will go to the white house to deliver the message........ end the campaign for the good of the party, for the future of the chilrun.

Are you serious?

To do so would be to admit that 2008 was a big freakin' mistake.

Who are these "gray heads" who will admit that?

Does anybody (D or R) really think that O'bama really gives a flying fickle finger about the "good of the party" ?

Or the "good of the children" either?

14 posted on 01/23/2012 1:27:03 PM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

15 posted on 01/23/2012 1:28:09 PM PST by jazusamo (If you don't like growing older, don't worry. You may not be growing older much longer: T. Sowell)
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To: ops33
I don’t want someone who will offend nobody. I want someone who will kick butt and take names.

Exactly!

16 posted on 01/23/2012 1:30:34 PM PST by jazusamo (If you don't like growing older, don't worry. You may not be growing older much longer: T. Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Good one, but all of Dr. Sowell articles are. Thanks for the ping jaz.


17 posted on 01/23/2012 1:33:37 PM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

-——Who are these “gray heads” who will admit that?-——

Pat Caddel is one. He has buddies of a like mind.

I see him on Cavuto and he is very unhappy and not at all afraid to be quite vocal

I left out it needs to be soon and that I might actually be wrong


18 posted on 01/23/2012 1:37:44 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: jazusamo

“When the Super Bowl is on the line, you don’t go with the quarterback who is least likely to throw an interception. You go with the one most likely to throw a touchdown pass.”

That’s a really good line. Campaign ad good.


19 posted on 01/23/2012 1:46:00 PM PST by order66.exe
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To: bert; Izzy Dunne
Caddell and Doug Schoen wrote and opinion piece in the WSJ titled:

The Hillary Moment-
President Obama can't win by running a constructive campaign, and he won't be able to govern if he does win a second term.

Obama simply ignores them. They're pollsters.

Caddell worked for Carter. Schoen worked for Clinton. They're has-beens. They sit on the outside of the Democratic Party, looking in.

20 posted on 01/23/2012 1:49:46 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife ("Real solidarity means coming together for the common good."-Sarah Palin)
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To: jazusamo

Since National Review will no longer listen to the hayseeds that oppose Romney (based on the unanimity of opinion on “The Corner”, and the fact that they disallow/delete anti-Romney comments), perhaps they will listen to Dr. Sowell.

Or, is he just another callow idealist unwilling to give an inch to capture the brain-dead political center?


21 posted on 01/23/2012 1:50:01 PM PST by oblomov
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To: DarthVader

I love it! Watch now as these idiots in the Republican party who now attack Gingrich and call him ‘Crazy’. I saw it all over yesterday on the Sunday shows. Christie, Coulter all of them are trying now to play the American people by calling Gingrich ‘crazy’ and ‘unelectable’ . Well to hell with the establishment. Newt will take on and win against Obama so all of you moderate idiots can go to hell.

We the people are going to choose Gingrich and if the establishment and Obama do not like it too damn bad.

This nation is about to go under and if we don’t get someone in there who can fight we might see a real revolution in a second Obama tyrannical administration.

Go Newt and never surrender. The people are with you as long as you do not give up.


22 posted on 01/23/2012 1:52:12 PM PST by DebraAI
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To: jazusamo
Isn't it reassuring that one can trust the intellect, wisdom, and understanding of Thomas Sowell to see beyond the armchair pundits and politicians to the heart of the Gingrich appeal in South Carolina?

Brit Hume's always wise-sounding, but this time shallow, "analysis" concluded that it was just the points in the "debates" and that "debating" won't carry the day in the November elections. Others, who clearly are trying to mold our minds to their wills, say it's just that Newt expresses our "anger," and that his "negatives" make him undesirable as a candidate.

Yes, the so-called "progressives" and their domination of education's failures have succeeded in "dumbing us down"--but not that far down.

We still, as South Carolinians proved, can think for ourselves, and we can "get" the difference between someone who can articulate the great ideas of America's Founders' Constitution and someone who has to rely on memorized phrases like "private sector," "hope of the earth," and verses from "America, the Beautiful," to fill in what should be thoughtul, substantive debate on how to defeat the ideology of Obama and save American liberty, in all its dimensions.

What American voters need between now and November is a clear articulation of the first principles underlying freedom for individuals in a society. If that can happen, then the ideas of Marx and other sources of redistribution and oppression will be exposed and rejected. Florida voters now may help to decide who has displayed a likely ability to accomplish that task.

South Carolinians decided already.

As Dr. Sowell indicates, it is a "make or break" decision for "the future of this country."

23 posted on 01/23/2012 1:55:36 PM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Jim Robinson

Ping


24 posted on 01/23/2012 1:56:58 PM PST by EdReform (Oath Keepers - Guardians of the Republic - Honor your oath - Join us: www.oathkeepers.org)
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To: jazusamo

The successive boomlets for Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain showed the Republican voter’s constant search for somebody — anybody — as an alternative to Romney. The splintering of the conservative vote among numerous conservative candidates allowed Romney to be the “front-runner,” but he never ran far enough in front to get a majority.

Spot On!!!


25 posted on 01/23/2012 1:58:45 PM PST by CPT Clay (Pick up your weapon and follow me.)
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To: loveliberty2

Well said.

Yes it is reassuring to have Dr. Sowell speak out on this wisely as he always does. I also agree with your assessment of Brit Hume, I’m very disappointed with him.


26 posted on 01/23/2012 2:04:14 PM PST by jazusamo (If you don't like growing older, don't worry. You may not be growing older much longer: T. Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
Mitt Romney's supposed "electability" — his acceptability to moderates and independents — has been his biggest selling point. Moreover, he is just the kind of candidate that the Republican establishment has preferred for years: a nice, bland, moderate who offends nobody.

I'll have to disagree with Dr. Sowell's statement. Mitt Romney offends the crap out of me with his robotic tone and his bland spewings.

27 posted on 01/23/2012 2:05:52 PM PST by Fledermaus (I can't fiddle so I'll just open a cold beer as I watch America burn.)
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To: cuban leaf

Good analogy.


28 posted on 01/23/2012 2:06:55 PM PST by CPT Clay (Pick up your weapon and follow me.)
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To: DebraAI

Vote Newt, boycott Coulter. Newt becomes president and Ann becomes broke. Win-win!


29 posted on 01/23/2012 2:09:40 PM PST by Fledermaus (I can't fiddle so I'll just open a cold beer as I watch America burn.)
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To: jazusamo; onyx; trisham; TheOldLady; DJ MacWoW; JoeProBono; RedMDer; musicman; Lady Jag; MEG33; ...

Woo hoo!!

No Romney, no way!!

Go, Newt!!

Rebellion is on!!


30 posted on 01/23/2012 2:11:20 PM PST by Jim Robinson (Rebellion is not just brewing, rebellion is here!!)
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To: jazusamo
Moreover, he is just the kind of candidate that the Republican establishment has preferred for years: a nice, bland, moderate who offends nobody.

In other words, the complete antithesis of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

31 posted on 01/23/2012 2:11:26 PM PST by Thane_Banquo
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To: Bruce Campbells Chin
All of that is just dead-on, and it even applies to Romney. As bad as Romney could be, he's not going to be worse than Obama, and the mere fact that he depends on the GOP for support would push him further to the right that Obama.

The problem is that we've gone too far down the road to economic destruction. Any attempt to roll back the Obama agenda will be met by massive protests and marches, if not rioting and killing. We will need a president who will do what's needed, not what's not too unpopular. Mitt is not the kind of person who will hold the line in the face of violent attack. Newt might.

The kind of person I would really want is Wisconsin gov Scott Walker, but he's not running.

32 posted on 01/23/2012 2:12:24 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.)
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To: CASchack

“Mitt will not score any touchdowns, and he’s trying to kneecap his competition for the starting job.”

****

IF he becomes the GOP nominee, Mitt is hoping that opposing QB Obama fumbles the ball in the end zone for a safety so that Mitt can win by two points he didn’t create. Mitt doesn’t have a clue how to drive the field for a score.


33 posted on 01/23/2012 2:15:02 PM PST by peyton randolph (Mitt has more views on an issue than he has pairs of magic underpants)
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To: jazusamo
a nice, bland, moderate

Add "predictable" to that.

34 posted on 01/23/2012 2:17:39 PM PST by cornelis
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To: oblomov
Since National Review will no longer listen to the hayseeds that oppose Romney (based on the unanimity of opinion on “The Corner”, and the fact that they disallow/delete anti-Romney comments)

It does appear that way.

35 posted on 01/23/2012 2:19:59 PM PST by cornelis
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To: jazusamo
Thanks!

A revisit to your "about" page brought a new appreciation for all the sacrifices that have been made across the centuries on behalf of America's founding ideas of Creator-endowed, therefore unalienable, individual liberty.

The final verse of your "Flanders Field" posting on the page should remind all of us of the dire seriousness of the Year 2012 election.

From the challenge of that lovely verse to the following quotation from John Quincy Adams, we are reminded of our own duty to understand the essential nature of liberty, of the "Blessings of Liberty" our Constitution was to protect, and of the fact that we are to be "watchmen on the walls" on behalf of future generations.

"Posterity!(that's us) You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." - John Quincy Adams

Almost certainly, we can conclude that not one of the millions who have died for our freedom risked their own lives and liberties for the sake of an overgrown, overspending coercive group of imperfect politicians in government who believe they can make better decisions for us than we can make for ourselves.

36 posted on 01/23/2012 2:28:02 PM PST by loveliberty2
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To: PapaBear3625
Excellent point. At age 68, there is a fairly decent chance that Newt will not allow his lack of schlong control to push him out of the field as he did in 1998.

Not a 100% chance, not even a 90% or 80% chance. But still a better chance that Mitt finding the courage to do what is unpopular but necessary to turn this country around.

37 posted on 01/23/2012 2:40:45 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: loveliberty2

Well said, loveliberty2.

By both John Quincy Adams and yourself.


38 posted on 01/23/2012 2:42:24 PM PST by jazusamo (If you don't like growing older, don't worry. You may not be growing older much longer: T. Sowell)
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To: Vigilanteman
At age 68, there is a fairly decent chance that Newt will not allow his lack of schlong control to push him out of the field as he did in 1998.

Callista probably understands the importance of keeping Newt's schlong under tight control.

39 posted on 01/23/2012 3:15:53 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.)
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To: cuban leaf

Back in the sixties one beer was the standout favorite at roadside dives in the Carolinas, that beer sold more than all the other brands put together, in some places maybe two or three times as much as all the others together, second place was probably Budweiser and the others were “fringe candidates”. That beer was Pabst Blue Ribbon which is little known today. Playboy magazine did an article on American beers one year way back then and they selected as the best American made beer...Pabst Blue Ribbon. Did the rednecks have good taste in beer or did the Playboy judges pick the big seller? Maybe they were paid to endorse it?

I know a young man who thinks Icehouse is great beer and Budweiser is awful. I don’t get it, I think it is just considered “cool” now to knock Budweiser, the last time I checked Budweiser was something like the second most valuable brand name in the whole world. O course I pretty much quit drinking beer twenty years or so back, has something happened to Budweiser, is it different now?


40 posted on 01/23/2012 5:59:45 PM PST by RipSawyer (This does not end well!)
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To: jazusamo

This is the Thomas Sowell that I remember from DECADES ago. He just cuts through it all, and lays the facts out for all to see.

Simply one of the most brilliant men to ever live.


41 posted on 01/23/2012 6:19:39 PM PST by BobL ("Heartless" and "Inhumane" FReepers for Cain - we've HAD ENOUGH)
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To: cuban leaf; MestaMachine

People are motivated by two things - fear of failure and desire for success. The winners are the ones that allow the latter to overrule the former.

***

This is the kind of comment I come here for.

Thank you.


42 posted on 01/23/2012 8:05:34 PM PST by ROTB (Christian sin breeds enemies for the USA. If you're a Christian, stop sinning, and spread the Word..)
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To: Fledermaus

Exactly.


43 posted on 01/23/2012 8:16:16 PM PST by TwoSwords (Romney is Crassus. Newt is Parthian.)
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To: Jim Robinson

Bump!


44 posted on 01/23/2012 9:47:34 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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