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By Tom Cushing

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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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Brothers in Arms

Uploaded: Nov 6, 2014
I discovered this morning that I am related to a war hero ? and as of today, a Medal of Honor recipient. I should add that our common ancestor was one Matthew, the first Cushing to inhabit this continent, twelve generations ago. That fact probably accounts for why the Prez did not see fit to invite me to the ceremony, despite all those nice things I've said about him here. Truth be told, I am pretty far behind in answering my correspondence from Mr. Obama.

Lt. Alonzo Cushing's history was indeed harrowing. A first-born, he was a studious, exemplary graduate of West Point who seemed bound for glory. He had seen much action during the Civil War, beginning with the Battles of Bull Run, Antietam Creek and Fredericksburg. He was twenty-two years old when he commanded a battery of artillery on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg in 1863. During the first days of that epic struggle, his battery and the Rebs a mile away exchanged a few ineffectual barrages.

Day three, however, dawned with a heavy Confederate bombardment, intended to soften the Union lines for the infantry assault, in what is now known as Pickett's Charge. Cushing's men were in disarray ? he had to order them back to post at the point of his pistol. They fought back furiously as 12,000 southerners advanced on "The Angle" a fence line that was to be the 'high water mark' of the Confederacy ? its furthest advance north. After losing several cannon, Cushing re-positioned his remaining firepower in The Angle, at the epicenter of the most furious, desperate fighting of that war.

The battery switched to canister ammunition ? pellets and miscellany that cut a wide swath into advancing troops in this dawn of industrial warfare, read 'human slaughter.' They eventually resorted to "double canisters" ? meaning that the opposing troops were so close that aim came in second to a maximum cloud of destruction. One soldier recalled two cannons firing simultaneously, whereupon the rebels bearing down on them "just disappeared."

The Lt. stayed on post, despite serious wounds to his shoulder and abdomen. It is said that he was killed by a bullet to his head, as he screamed and fired-off one last charge. His battery was breached, but there was no one left to hold it. Pickett's men retreated. Fully half their number had been killed or wounded, and the Army of Northern Virginia did not rise again. Cushing is buried at West Point.

Alonzo's younger brother William was arguably the more famous for his war exploits, at least until now. He was his brother's mirror image: a prankster, adrenaline junkie and academic under-achiever, he was booted from the Naval Academy just prior to graduation. The fall of Fort Sumter, however, pressed him back into service.

Known variously as "Lincoln's Commando" or "the first Navy Seal," his derring-do was suddenly useful to the Union cause, in behind-the-lines exploits and missions. Most famously, he destroyed the Confederate ironclad Albemarle as she lay at-anchor up the Roanoke River in Virginia. The Albemarle was the sister ship to the Merrimac, and wrought havoc on Union shipping.

He was built for the moment. In a likely suicide mission that others had refused, he steamed up the Roanoke accompanied by a few men in a skiff with a bomb tied to a spar at the bow. All he had to do was get close without detection, weather gunfire from the ship's guardians, ram the ironclad below the waterline (where it was wooden), leap out of the boat and light the fuse on the bomb. Then he was on his own. Miraculously, it worked. He was able to escape the carnage, swim into the current, hide on-shore and get away.

His exploits were much celebrated. He was awarded the high honor of the Thanks of Congress for the Albemarle raid, but his restless soul was not built for peacetime. He died at 32, leaving a widow and two young daughters. His cause of death was kindly referred to as complications from tuberculosis. We would call it acute alcoholism. They let him back into Annapolis for burial; five different navy ships have borne his name.

Two brothers who could not have been more different from each other, raised by a resolute mother whose last words to each as he deployed: "death before dishonor." Quite a woman; quite a horrible war. They didn't disappoint her.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Lt. Alonzo Cushing: Web Link

Very interesting indeed!

ps I know lots of residents in the US who are here illegally!

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Cholo: viva NPR! Viva cousin 'Zo!! Brother Bill, too. Viva!

Actually, Matthew Cushing arrived at a time (1638) when the original inhabitants were notably lax in defending their borders. And Just Look what's happened as a result!

I have this great heirloom Genealogy of my family. About Matthew, it deadpans: "Matthew Cushing arrived with his family, among 133 passengers aboard the 'Diligent.' The immediate occasion of their departure from England seems to have been trouble in ecclesiastical matters." Apparently, they had rearranged their local church so that the pulpit and altar were on the level with the congregation. For that, they just had to go!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

More detail re: Lt. Alonzo Cushing - Web Link

There's lots of published data.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 6, 2014 at 4:04 pm

DareDevilCushing: ships at war...i think that you need to buy yourself a new hat...something with dignity...maybe a red velvet top hat?

Web Link

photo galleries of battle scenes...

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm

My last post: President Obama praises the American Hero, Lt. Cushing -

Web Link

Felicidades! VIVA Lt. Cushing! VIVA!

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm

If I were a Liberal, I?d talk about something like this Civil War guy too. I wouldn?t want to talk about the election. If you don?t like what people are saying, change the subject. That?s smart.

I hate self analysis and introspection. Especially after I lose. It makes me feel yucky.

Oh, BTW, you saw today that the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Obamacare tax credit issue, right? Told you so. I love when I'm right--which is usually always. Looks like someone owes me a beer.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I'll be happy to buy you a beer if you'll drink it. What was the bet? And by the way, you have No Idea what you'd do if you were truly a Liberal.

Besides, if your something-something cousin, however many times removed, was getting the Medal of Honor, wouldn't you rather bask in that reflected glory? Anyway, we have brother Tim happily musing away on his blog -- go bother him.

I figure I'll wait 'til the chortling has died-down, which is not-yet. Once you sober up we can go get that beer -- it'd be wasted on you now.

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Cast your memory back to July 24, when you wrote about the DC Circuit ruling in the Halbig case that Obamacare tax credits are available only when insurance is purchased on state exchanges, not the federal exchange.

Back then, I said, ?There's a good chance this issue will make it up to the Supreme Court eventually. It will be interesting to see how they decide this.?

You said, ?As to the outcome: bet you a beer at Pete's??

I said, ?If you win the bet, I promise you this: If you like your beer, you can keep it.?

You said, ?I really doubt that the current timid bunch of Supremes is eager to stir-up yet another health care hornet's nest if they can duck it?

I said, ?I think Scalia will convince the other three conservative justices to stand up to Obama. And when they take the case, I think liberals like you will actually need to read these cases and realize that your arguments blow.?

You said, ?We'll see -- keep that beer on ice for me, would you? It's likely to be a while.?

Well, here we are, less than four months later, and the Supreme Court has agreed to address the issue, just as I said they would.

You haven?t read the cases yet, have you? Didn?t think so.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Okay, even if my bet was with somebody named spcwt, and you're somebody named Glates, I'm game. Bring the assignment papers. Or we could go double-or-nothing on the actual case outcome.

What time will you be at Pete's to collect? And then you can buy me one, 'cuz my cousin's a war hero, after all. I'm pretty sure Cholo would.

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm

I?ll be there real soon. Just finishing up reading Obamacare legislation and regs. I?m on page 9,321. I?m sure it won?t take much longer. You go ahead and get started without me.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 7, 2014 at 5:45 pm

alls i can say is that it's my desire that others do not use my name in vain...

i rest my case...

Posted by Tom Cishing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 8, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Just got back from Pete's -- Glates was a no-show. I am beginning to think he doesn't really exist, and boy is downtown Danville dead after midnight. Anyway, I drank his beer. Thanks, Glates -- it was a good bet to lose.

And cholo -- no VIVA cervesa?

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Don Garate (deceased) was a Basque American historian. He CONFIRMED that I am a descendant of Juan Bautista de Anza. yup...Cholo Pololo Mololo has famous kin! tee hee hee...

A ship that sailed from Malaga, Spain was under the command of my kin.
It sailed to South America and eventually to Mexico. Some distant relatives remained in South America and others eventually made their way to Mexico and the good ole US.

One non-American family member led the first mining strike against an abusive American mining company in what is Arizona. tee hee hee...

the rest is history...

nota bene: Juan Bautista de Anza was born in the Basque Country, Spain.


Posted by Cholo Pololo Mololo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Web Link tee hee hee...tee hee hee...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Photo of Historian Donald Garate:

Web Link

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 9, 2014 at 8:47 am

Maybe I?m like all those voters who didn?t show up for the Democrats this election.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm's generally referred to as Anti-Social behavior.

case closed...tee hee

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm

It doesn't matter if you label yourself a "liberal" or not.

That you didn't show up says it all! You behavior gives a clearer picture of who you are...your behavior is quite suggestive...revealing.

Did you enjoy misleading a trusting adult? Please describe how you felt about not showing detail. What did you tell yourself? Have you misled others in the pass? Please describe what happened.

Thank you.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Correction: Have you misled others in the past? By the way, do you enjoy harming small animals? just curious...

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


How are you related to Lt. Cushing? Are you descended from the brother, who had two daughters? So why are you named "Cushing?"

Thanks for the links, Cholo. I don't see much resemblance between Tom and Alonzo, but the 40 year age difference might be a reason why.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 9, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Roz: If you go back 12 generations from me, and then forward 8 generations from our common ancestor Matthew who was thrown out of England, you get to the 'Zo and William Cushing brothers. Actually even those two brothers don't look much alike: 'Zo: Web Link and William Web Link If there is a Cushing look, William has more of it.

William's two daughters did not have children, nor apparently did the other two brothers to Zo and William. So it was tough to find direct descendants to attend the ceremony. They did find several somebodies significantly closer than I.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 12:08 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


So you (Tom) are descended from a common ancestor in England? Is that it? I read somewhere that all Europeans share a common ancestor from 1000 years ago.

Web Link

Read the comments too. Some are very funny.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 7:13 am

Yup -- a smidge of Genghis Khan in all of us. I blame him whenever I ban somebody from my blog.

For the record, common ancestor Matthew and his family were kicked out of England for lowering the pulpit and altar on their church in Hingham, to make them less exalted and closer to congregation-level. Those were the 'ecclesiastical troubles' to which my Genealogy book refers. He was prosecuted and chose to try his luck in Massachusetts. The genealogy bio adds, with some sinful pride, that the church remains so arranged "to this day." (at least in 1905 when the book was published). I'm descended from his son John, and 'Zo from his son Daniel.

And now you know the Rest, of the story.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 8:19 am

British & Basque are cousins: Web Link

Thank you MOTHER AFRICA for having given us the gift of LIFE!


It'a becoming clearer the area in Africa from which the Basque descend.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 8:28 am

The Basque came out of East Africa: Web Link

The history of the British/Irish/Welsh, etc. is quite similar...Mother Africa fits into your genetics.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 8:49 am

Lt. Cushing History: Web Link

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 10:54 am

Glatesy: more reading materials for you -- Krugman says it so I don't have to. Web Link

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 10:57 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Mr. Cushing deserves kudos for honoring two American war heroes. We all benefit from those who have given their lives so that we are able to enjoy ours. Tomorrow is Veterans Day. May we all take a moment to remember the sacrifice of our veterans.

While a sort of winced in his use of the word ?I? twice in the first six words of his article, I cringed when he talked about how he was basking in the ?reflected glow? of a distant relative?s ultimate sacrifice. In my view, ?reflected glow? is a distant cousin to ?stolen valor?.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 11:30 am

For Doug and anyone else who suffers from humor impairment and reading comprehension challenges, that introductory paragraph is there to demonstrate two things -- 1 -- that there is only a very distant linkage between those brothers Cushing and your humble scribe who obviously shares their name, and --2-- to do so in a self-deprecating way. That's a difficult to do without using the letter 'I.'

The same is true of the phrase "reflected glory" (not 'glow') in the comments. It is there precisely to disavow any personal credit . To call that phrase "stolen valor" is not only a misinterpretation of the text, it is also a gratuitous, baseless and nasty-ass personal affront. It is tantamount to fightin' words. If you have any evidence of the cowardice implied in that phrase, then bring it. Otherwise, I invite you to go perform a physically impossible act.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Doug, I knew your condolences. Nice guy.

Posted by Pololo Mololo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Video honoring Lt. Cushing! Web Link

This story is getting so interesting, hell, I was mostly likely related...hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

No doubt there will be lots of jealous bugs coming out of the woodwork today!

tee hee...

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Thanks for the correction, "glory" not "glow". Otherwise I wouldn't change a word.

Have come to appreciate and expect the insults. Would hope that the newspaper would consider your last sentence as objectionable content.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Ah, so no evidence to back your slur, just a perceived license to fling just about any old semi-solid -- and find it objectionable when you're called on it.

Nice to have a license like that, and maybe you do, elsewhere. If so, you'll want to continue posting there.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


Since you have allowed this topic go off-thread I'd like to chime in on your recent ACA banter with Glates.

How do you square Krugmans op-ed with (ACA architect) Jonathon Grubers view regarding how they wrote the bill? Web Link

Krugman says its a clerical error and Gruber says it was "lack of transparency" adding ?And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.?

Lies and deception were used to pass this bill, and it came straight from the architects mouth.

Oh, and I find it funny that Krugman can remark about how well the ACA is doing when the government itself has said they will not provide metrics on performance.

Again, since you brought it up...

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

No cowardice was implied. But when you start an article about a military hero by first talking about yourself, well, one begins to be a little suspicious. Not only did you use the word "I" twice in the first sentence, you referred to yourself seven time in the first paragraph. So one has to wonder what the real intent is in your article.

When you later comment about this hero's "reflected glory", the logical conclusion is that it is reflecting on you. Thus my comment about stolen valor. Not the same thing. Just a distant cousin.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Nothing much has changed since we last all discussed this issue last summer. So far, the intent of Congress point is ahead 4 -2 at the appellate level. We'll see what happens, but a drafter's original idea and Congressional intent are, of course, not synonymous.

As to how it's doing, you cite no source for your dark claim of government secrecy, and I haven't seen much evidence of it. Here's what (nobody's shill) published a few weeks ago as an update going into the new open enrollment period:

"Last year, after a near disastrous start that included massive website failures, the Marketplaces rebounded to a surprising success. Just over 8 million people signed up for Marketplace plans and 7.3 million paid their premiums, making them officially enrolled in health insurance coverage. These enrollment levels were almost exactly on target with what the Congressional Budget Office had predicted for 2014. Since the rollout of the Marketplaces and other policies included in the ACA both federal and independent surveys have pointed to a marked reduction in uninsurance in the United States. According to a recent analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 10.3 million people became newly insured between September 2013 and April 2014, causing the uninsurance rate for adults age 18 to 64 in the United States to drop from 21.0 to 16.3 percent." Web Link

Other sources also indicate that the age profile is a more than adequate balance. So much for those who'd prefer to claim secrecy over examining the facts that are clearly known, and clearly reflect a successful first year. Why do you think the GOP candidates shut up about repeal until after they were safely elected (as they did)? Web Link

Because it's working and it's popular with the general electorate, that's why. Now they're back to playing to their base.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Speaking of Herman's my impression that the mysterious "H" may have personality Axis II Dx? justing wondering...

No doubt that the "H" has a style that has my curiosity up, can anybody provide more nifty details? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

I may as well just axe: Herman G., Doug M., and DC Dan - are they one and the same? like in 3 persons in one G? Seems to me that somebody person is angry angry angry and behaving inappropriately on this blog and it ain't me!

Me have a hunch that 3 persons in one "G" are trying to sucker punch Tom and make him eat crow? hmmmmmmmmmmmm...tee hee hee...B U S T E D!

sucker punch somebody they don't really know...tee hee a way, this squabble is most about SIZE, if you catch my drift...



Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


"Here's what (nobody's shill) published a few weeks ago as an update going into the new open enrollment period: "

It's interesting. While perusing your links I noticed that the sources and statistics don't seem to come from the Fed Gov. Instead, they come from 3rd parties.

Wouldn't it have been easier for you to say that the Fed Gov has not released any performance metrics instead of defaulting to a third party?

Btw there's no "dark claim" here, just a question on how the government is performing.

And nothing from you on Gruber' comments on using lies and deceptions eh?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

be mindful...somebody is in competition with an imaginary somebody else...the three persons in one are engaged in a life/death struggle to be chosen as the Prom Queen!


ps I speak from the heart!

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Cholo: I'm generally not a fan of conspiracy theories, and I don't think these three, or any two, are the same individual, unless s/he's named Sybil. I can't say that about everybody who posts here, but Glates is a self-described gleeful troll, Dan just wants to argue like somebody's younger sib, and Doug is very serious, remarkably. Anyway, woods are full of folks who disagree on the merits of ideas, and that's just fine.

I did not sign up for the barnyard muffinery, however, like willful misinterpretations (counting I's instead of reading for meaning? Give me a break) .and insults with weasel room built-in, just in case you're called on them and need to fall back on a weasel. Poor weasel.

Dan: still no source, but the same fixation. Do you not know who Rand Corp is? Are you really challenging that leading think tank's numbers, or just refusing to acknowledge them in favor of some silly opacity theory? Fact is -- it's working.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


1. Yes, I am younger than you.
2. Thanks for finally acknowledging that there is no source.
3. Yes I know Rand quite well.
4. I can't acknowledge something for which there is no source data. Maybe I like to make decisions by seeing, you know, evidence.
5. Still not going to opine on Krugman/Gruber huh? Why's that?


Your little brother.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 10, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Asked and answered sprout -- last summer. July, I think. Go find it yourself.

The rest is just nonsense. You have no intention of independent verification -- you would simply prefer to ignore the fact that the system is working. There were similar rear-guard actions fought by the opponents of Social Security and Medicare. You are headed for a similar dustbin.

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm

The crux of the matter is that the ACA says tax credits are available for insurance purchased on "an Exchange established by the State." It doesn?t say established by the State or Federal government.

Liberals claim this was a drafting error. So what if it is? That doesn?t matter. The Supreme Court said, ?It is up to Congress rather than the court to fix [a statute] even if it may have been an unintentional drafting gap.? See Exxon v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546,565 (2005). Web Link

Tom talks about ?intent of Congress? in writing Obamacare. But when interpreting a statute, you only look at Congressional intent when the plain language of the statute is unclear. The Supreme Court has said, ?If the statute is clear and unambiguous that is the end of the matter, for the court, as well as the [IRS].? See Chevron U.S. A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842 -843 (1984). Web Link

To give an example: Suppose I sold you my house and the contract read, ?I hereby sell you my house.? Then you come back a few years later and say, ?but you promised me a house and a free pony.? I would say, I?m sorry, the contract language is quite clear: I sold you my house. That?s all you get. It doesn?t matter if I promised you a free pony when we were discussing the sale. Similarly, if the Supreme Court finds that the words, "an Exchange established by the State" literally mean just that, that is the end of the inquiry. It doesn?t matter how may ponies you were promised.

But let?s play devil?s advocate and say that it is unclear what the words "an Exchange established by the State" mean. In that case, the Supreme Court says you look at legislative history to determine Congress? intent as to what the words in the statute mean. The problem is, as the DC Circuit noted, the ACA basically has no legislative history, so it?s not much help. It doesn?t matter what the ACA?s authors say now. The only thing that matters is what is actually contained in the legislative history itself when the law was written.

To me, I align with the opinion offered by the DC Circuit court: "an Exchange established by the State" means just that. The words are not vague. Therefore, they should be given their plain meaning. Whatever may or may not have been intended is beside the point. You do not get a free pony.

The liberal justices, on the other hand say the words, "an Exchange established by the State" do not mean what they say. They say those words are ?vague.? They say "an Exchange established by the State" could mean "an Exchange established by the State or Federal Government.? In other words, the word ?house? could actually mean ?house and free pony.?

I think the Liberals are dreamers, but it?s anyone?s guess how the Supreme Court will rule on this. If you look on the blogosphere, Liberals sure sound nervous about it.

Democrats used every trick in the book to enact Obamacare. It would be such a shame if Obama?s ?Signature Achievement? came crumbling down because of a typo. HA HA!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm


I suppose you must not be a fan of Pope's old idiom "to err is human(e), to forgive, divine" but let's not force you to show a humane trait when clearly you prefer otherwise.

One perspective to consider as we arm-chair quarterback to fall and demise of the current administration's accomplishments, IF the SCOTUS was to find and invalidate the current Federal interpretation of the ACA's nuanced text, would we not primarily see a principal impact in the so-called 'Red' states? Virtually all of the similarly so-called 'Blue' states have enacted intrastate exchanges and would be unaffected. As such, the impact to the citizen who has come to depend upon the ACA to cover their cancer treatments (e.g.) would occur outside of those states that comprise the 2016 'Blue Wall'. Republicans (i.e. conservatives and similar tax hating individuals) are surely counting on the independents in those Red states to bolster their fervent base in the next presidential election. Akin to the Johnson v. Goldwater commercial of 'a little girl in the field, followed by a mushroom cloud metaphor', you can already see the imagery of a well dress 'Repub' with a congressional pin on their lapel walking into the cancer suite to remove the IV-drip line from a helpless patient. Again, imagery with impact upon an election. Consider this just 'dreaming' as it's anyone's guess on how this will turn out.

It would be such a shame if the Republican mantra to bring down Obama's "Signature Achievement" brought down the national electability of even a moderate Republican because of a SCOTUS (think Roberts) ruling. HA HA!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 12, 2014 at 7:42 am

Not sure if you?re up on current events, but Republicans did okay in last week?s congressional elections. Every single one ran on repealing Obamacare, so voters might likely cheer its demise.

Besides, it?s an easy fix. If states want Obamacare, all they have to do is set up an exchange.

My guess is, if the Supreme Court invalidates tax credits from the Federal exchange, I think that will give Republicans the leverage they need to force Obama to the table.

I think Republicans will relish the thought of running against Obamacare for years to come. They?ll trot it out to scare voters against voting for Democrats.

Obama himself is a gift to Republicans. They?ll use him to turn off voters, just like they used President Carter. Democrat presidential candidates will have to assure voters that they?re not Obama Part II.

Republicans lost the White House in 2012 because they nominated a Mormon. No offense to Mormons, they?re great people, but 25% of REPUBLICANS said they wouldn?t vote for a Mormon. 65% of Democrats said they wouldn?t vote for a Mormon either. That?s tough to overcome.

If the same number of people who voted for McCain in 2008 had voted for Romney in 2012, Romney would?ve won.

Minorities won the White House for Obama. I don?t think they?re going to try as hard for Hillary, given the bad blood between the Clintons and Obama. Many will be demoralized and stay home.

Republicans can win the White House if they nominate a white male Protestant, who loves Jesus (but not too much) who can play to the middle (e.g. Scott Walker) and nominate a Latino for VP (e.g. Marc Rubio) to take away some of the Latino vote.

Posted by Conservator, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 12, 2014 at 10:12 am


You bring up some good points. I guess it must be time to adjust the rabbit ears on the old CRT so as to bring in some current news and such. Thank-you.

I won't touch your unique but certainly rancorous assessment of a candidate from the Mormon faith but you are due your own opinion. While your assessment of the public's viewpoint was certainly true for the candidacy of Al Smith (Catholic) in '28, something in your theory didn't quite play out in '60 for Kennedy (also Catholic). As the old adage goes, if the data doesn't fit the theory, change the data?.

One perspective that I'll offer to you is a link (see I'm not so far removed) to the opposing 'Perfect Storm' (think Sebastian Junger storyline) that the next wave of senatorial elections in 2016 will present to Republican incumbents in the same manner that was handed to Democratic ones this past election (Web Link Again, not since the days of good-ole Dixiecratic Democrats and 'Carpetbagging' Republican New Englanders can one really see such clean and clear Red and Blue lines (i.e. societal divisions). One never knows but with such an emotional electorate, the traditional outpouring of non-Caucasian voters during presidential election years, the R-heavy incumbent landscape up for reelection and the surely hyperdrive campaign machines that will spring to action sometime next year, the same rising tide that swept the Republicans in may take them back out to a cold, watery end. One may want to also study up on the age demographic that dominated this past mid-term (45 to 64 predominate). Few political junkies on either side of the aisle believe this specific age demographic and racial make-up (mostly Caucasian) will stay the same for the upcoming presidential election.

One social demographic that you may want to further educate yourself on, Counselor, is the perceived natural draw of the various cultures that comprise the Latino community. While much, much to broad a topic to address in a blurb, please recall that the moderate, middle of road Protestant (think Osteen and not Roberts aligned), Caucasian male that you perceive may arise to lead us out of the apparently 2nd Dark Ages that our current POTUS commands, has TWO second-gen Cubans to chose from. One may even bring some Canadian allegiance as well. However, if you study what happened during the Crist-Scott battle for Florida, you'll find that the South Florida Latinos (mostly Cuban) and the vastly growing Latino populations in Central Florida (Web Link cannot be characterized as 'homogenous'. Seems the only cultural ties are the Spanish or Portuguese conquests of their ancestral lands.

BTW, if your firm has influence on certain parties and who they pick for their slates, in my reading of the tea leaves, I believe that the last Cubano that was considered by mostly Caucasian society to broadly represent the Latino heritage left the national spotlight when CBS cancelled the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour in 1960. Again, just opinion in of what the tea leaves offer.

So, while I agree with you that Carter was to Republicans in 1979 as Reagan was a kind of Spartacus figure to the capitalistically oppressed, ready to be filthy rich, suburban, too-young for Vietnam 'kid', I would argue that Pandora's socio-economic diversity box has been opened so broadly in the last 30 plus years such that your guess and mine as to what will happen are just fool's folly. Perhaps if the Giants win WS in EVEN years, perhaps it's destiny for a Bush protege to win ODD presidential slots (41, 43, ? next one is 45)? Awe?speculation is Fool's Folly for sure.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


After saying on MSNBC on 11/10 that his remarks regarding the stupidity of the American voter (regarding the ACA) were off-the-cuff and untrue, it appears that Jonathon Gruber - architect of the ACA - repeated the same off-the-cuff remarks 3 separate times.

Here's the latest: Web Link

I guess "off-the-cuff" is synonymous with "typo" now?

You just can't make this stuff up!

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

The discussion has shifted to Obamacare because??? Because LT Alonzo Cushing didn't get good healthcare during the Civil War?

Others are talking about presidential candidates, why? Because all of the potential candidates should be compared to Abraham Lincoln since we are at war today?

These tangential discussions make no sense given the original article about the Cushing family.

Even the blogger has lost interest. It would be even better if the blogger ruthlessly enforced some common sense rules for those who like to opine:

Stay on topic.
Be concise.
Avoid personal attacks.

In my opinion, more readers would be attracted. And only a very few would be lost.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Nov 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Doug: Your comment that Lt. Alonzo Cushing is "Just a distant cousin." is bitchy.

I enjoy reading American history. I also delighted in tracking down more info and learning more about Lt. Cushing. That Tom is a distant relative is great to know...wonderful!

You seem mean spirited and controlling. I wouldn't want to know you.

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

My post does not say that Mr. Cushing is "Just a distant cousin." Please go back and read my post again. I didn't write those words in that order. Using quotation marks suggest that you have used my words exactly as written. Worse, you have completely missed the meaning of my comment.

I liked the fact that some of your posts were on topic and added information to the original note. But others were not and wasted time and space.

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Oops. I see that I used those words in a later post, but not in the context you seem to understand. I was talking about "basking in the reflected glory" as being a distant cousin to "stolen valor.

My apology on that.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm

The rebels convened a death panel for cousin 'Zo.

It's interesting -- if humble scribes regulate the content of comments, we are accused of squelching dissent and violating illusory constitutional protections of the trollery. If we do not, the trollery exults, sometimes reprising conversations that occurred 5 months previously.

Mr. Doug is right, this time. I Have lost interest in this thread -- and would much prefer it if, instead of raining cats and dogs in these comments, they were related to the animal welfare blog that succeeds it. I recognize that it's of most immediate interest to Contra Costans, but the East County shelter in Dublin is not much better.

Alternatively, check out the blog on civil forfeiture, which never really gained the traction I think it deserves. Scary stuff! 'Zo and Billy would approve.

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 13, 2014 at 8:22 am

I didn?t realize the Girl Scouts have a new leader. So gracious of you to stop by and explain what we can and cannot discuss on this freaking website.

Let explain how this works. Week after week, Tom blabs about how great liberals are. In response, some of us post comments with the hope that it might help Tom and other Liberals extricate their craniums out of their orifices.

Last week, Liberals got their asps kicked by the American electorate. And then the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that will likely result in the collapse of Obamacare.

So what does Tom decide to talk about? The Civil War and puppy dogs.

What a cop out.

Tom deserves the humiliation that is coming to him. And it is my constitutional right as a Troll to see that he gets his ?fair share.?

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Nov 13, 2014 at 8:34 am

That's why you really should have your own blog, Glates, so You can decide the topics, instead of whining like a little puppy dog. You spend more time here than I do, anyway. At least consider writing on the Town Square. There are many kindred cra -- souls who fulminate there. Say, maybe if we got you a shelter dog, your demeanor would improve? Worth a try, methinks.

BTW, are you 'in' for a double-or-nothin' beer on that case outcome by the Supremes?

And BTW2, trolls have no rights, public or private. They live under bridges and exist solely by leave of the Moderator.

Posted by Herman Glates, a resident of Danville,
on Nov 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

I would take that bet, but that wussie Roberts might pull some bulls hit out of his asp like he did last time. So I will just have to wait with crossed fingers.

Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Nov 13, 2014 at 10:18 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

In time, no doubt, Mr. Cushing will succumb to his political instincts and write about the election. And then all of us right wing-nuts can have our way.

In the meantime, comments that stay on topic will attract more readers and provide for a more interesting blog. I would also urge Mr. Cushing to react less frequently to comments that are posted. It is sort of a quality vs. quantity issue.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Nov 13, 2014 at 11:24 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

"..comments that stay on topic will attract more readers and provide for a more interesting blog."

In this particular instance that doesn't appear to be the case, Doug.

And did I mention Jonathon Gruber' remarks? Just kidding :)

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