How do y’all like my sticker?

This post is just to solicit feedback on the latest look at the top of my main page.Wnew_copy2

It sure took me long enough to do such a simple thing. First, I thought
I could do it in Paintbrush, then I tried it in Word, and was about to
give up when my son asked me why I didn’t try Photoshop. Well, that
worked. Made me feel kinda dumb. But I was happy with the result.

So, what do you think?

I’m wondering which side I’ll infuriate the more: Democrats who take this "homage" as proof positive of my "Republican allegiance," or Republicans who will decry this "base mockery" of a revered logo that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt my "Democratic enthrallment."

DemarcomugMostly, though, I’m hoping to whip up the spirits of the Unparty faithful, to whom no party icon is sacred. I haven’t heard much from those folks lately. Well, maybe Spencer Gantt, but he hasn’t been talking much like an Unpartisan lately. As Paul Simon sang, "Where have you gone, Paul DeMa-ar-co?"

Think of this as the first idea I’m running up the flag pole in preparation for my exploratory run as the Unparty nominee for governor — what with the alternatives being so dismal and all. I’m thinking of starting the Uncampaign right after these primaries are done. Maybe. So I need to start smoking out any potential supporters that exist.

52 thoughts on “How do y’all like my sticker?

  1. Dave

    Brad, I like it, subliminal support for W. Don’t tell the liberals though, shushhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  2. Randy E

    Dave, subliminal means “below the threshold of conscious perception” which would, in effect, indicate that we don’t realize that we see the Bush W. Brad’s intentions are that fascists actually see it as the Bush W, find it to be heresy and post many fanatical replies.
    Brad, your humor is lost on some of us. You need to ask yourself that famous W question before using such intelligent humor: “Is our children learning?”

  3. Capital A

    I like the circa 1987 pinstriped, Saddlebred brand, oxford shirt from your original blog photo better. And that’s saying a lot…

  4. Randy E

    CapA, Brad’s plot was foiled. The neocons didn’t recognize his iconoclasm. To incite them, Brad should try something more explicit.
    Maybe he can put Tom Delay’s mug shot on the front of the blog with the title America’s Most Wanted.
    How about posting Girls Gone Wild over that picture of Ann Coulter. Call it the Princess of Darkness Edition.

  5. mark_glfr

    I prefer the watchdog theme mentioned on one of the earlier posts. That’s how I like to think of the fourth estate– enterprising journalists; holding elected officials accountable; standing up for the common man. And house broken.
    So if “W” stands for “Watchdog,” what kind of watch dog would Brad be?

  6. Randy E

    The neocons believe he’s full of bull. Shall we say he’s a bull dog. Which brings to mind the old joke, what do you get when you cross a bull dog and a shiatzu?

  7. Paul DeMarco

    I’m still around, following the blog when I can. Although I must say, your regular bloggers are getting terminally predictable.
    My interest in the blog has waned since it has become clear that many (most?) of you participants are here for the sport of it (ie arguing for the sake of arguing and reveling in bashing the idiot on the other side of the aisle.)
    For me, blogging as sport diverts us from the real potential of this blog as a collaborative effort to sovle our state’s problems.
    I’d like an increase in posts like one near the end of the discussion of “Attention All Teachers” about the editorial by Sally Huguley. In it Doug lists 5 proposals to improve the education of “low SES students who score below basic.”
    This blog could function to honestly debate such proposals and try to craft solutions. Unfortunately, in my intermittent reading this rarely happens.
    And therein lies my desire for a new party. I believe each party has some good ideas but invests far too much time ranting at the other side. As a centrist party, we would get it from both sides-Lee to the right of us, Mary Rosh to the left of us-but we could ignore their vitriol and spend our time trying to solve problems.

  8. Aaron

    “liberals” are not leftists, and I take offense to that sort of simplified thinking.
    What America needs is a genuine left wing party, not a center-right and hard-right party. Like choosing between being kicked in the nuts or punched in the face.

  9. Randy E

    FREAKIN A!!! Doug bashed the crap out of schools with broad sweeping disparaging comments (e.g. Palmetto’s Finest Award is no better than a rec league trophy). He also made fun of Sally’s glasses with a cheap sophmoric comment. I duke it out with him, pushing to have meaningful dialogue about reform and take him to task for the glasses comment. He FINALLY relents and offers, for the first time, some specific non-attacking suggestions then he gets credit for being so sensible!?!?!?

  10. Brad Warthen

    Paul, welcome back!
    You realize that if YOU and a handful of others go away, you’re surrendering the field to the extremes. Stay with us. Shape the conversation. Let’s see if we can create a new rhetorical space where we can define issues in terms of what works to build a better South Carolina, instead of what helps one “side” or the other “win.”
    The worst thing is for good, reasonable people to give up on the public conversation.

  11. Randy E

    The issue of education has been debated largely along party lines (hence party rhetoric) because the superintendent campaign was simplified to a referendum on choice. I believe that as long as this issue is unresolved, the right will continue to use it (and wasteful spending) as their primary strategy for reform.
    At the forum, there was a passing mention of the disparity between suburban and rural schools. The inequity of education for whites and minorities was absent completely. It’s no wonder the faithful bloggers here are not addressing these issues.
    Speaking of which, I’d like to throw in this statistical tid-bit. Out of the 2000+ AP exams taken by private school students in SC last year only 54 exams were taken by minority students! Assuming half these students took two exams, we had around 36 minority students at private schools take AP exams. Comparing public and private schools is truely apples and oranges.
    BTW, wasn’t this post composed with the intent of sport?

  12. Dave

    Brad, you are coaching Democrat voters how to make sure the anti-voucher anti-schoolchoice “side” stays in power and then you are preaching about tactics regarding one side or the other winning. That’s good Machiavellian strategy, kudos.

  13. bud

    Paul, don’t be such a killjoy. We can have fun poking the other side a bit while making good, sound intellectual points.
    I guess I just don’t get what the problem is with education. Based on what I see and hear from my children they’re getting exposed to a far better education than I was in the 70s. Perhaps a bit less testing and a bit more ability for administrators to kick out disruptive kids would help. Otherwise it’s mostly up to the kids and their parents to make the most of what is offered in the schools. If a child fails to learn it’s probably not because of some failure by the school.

  14. Randy E

    Distorting Brad’s suggestion that voting in the republican primary as trickery is below the intellectual level of a 6th grade social studies student.
    If Brad wanted to sabotage Republican candidates, that would be an issue. To do that, he would support Floyd because Rex has a much better chance of defeating her.
    Brad’s lobbying is to defeat a concept. The neocons in here that are so up in arms seem to value perceived party loyalty over the ideals of citizenship of our country.
    There’s a big difference and it actually takes some thought and analysis for discernment which is apparently asking too much of some individuals.

  15. Dave

    Paul, why dont we just get the government to outlaw ALL parties and appoint a dictator? Then, like in Cuba, we would all get along and be happy smoking cigars and drinking cheap rum together. Hey Paul, stop being so self righteous or simply put on your classical music and listen to your NPR in a room by yourself. This is the real world out here, not Cuba.

  16. Ready to Hurl

    Randy please don’t call Lee and Dave “neocons.” The word isn’t a synonym for gullible, reactionary, dolts. The true neocons have some intellectual capability.
    Unfortunately, the true neocons use their intellectual capabilities towards nefarious and un-American purposes with Machiavellian tactics.
    To the extent that L&D sound like neocons, they are just dumbly parroting neocon propaganda. They’ll do the same for any other regressive faction of the Republican Party.

  17. Ready to Hurl

    Wow, as if on cue, Dave posts a message that could have come from a John Birch Society meeting in 1960. Next he’ll be alleging Communists in the State Department.

  18. Ready to Hurl

    At one time I thought that “fascist” was a good term for the Bush Administration but I seem to remember that it’s not technally accurate.
    As for L&D, four words spring to mind: stupid, ignorant, regressive and reactionary.
    To be clear, I don’t automatically consider every self-identified conservative as stupid, ignorant, regressive or reactionary.

  19. Paul DeMarco

    Randy E,
    Sorry if I overlooked you as an example of productive blogging-I must admit I only skimmed that thread and Doug’s post on “below basic” students stood out to me.
    Your point regarding the miniscule number of AP exams taken by minority students is beautifully made. There is an unspoken racial sub-text to much of the “parental choice” rhetoric. Most people know that the vast majority of poor (ie black) and special needs students would not or could not avail themselves of school choice. The hope seems to be to resegregate schools (along class lines as much as racial lines) and leave public schools to deal with the difficult students.
    No killjoy here. I have laughed out loud at some posts. However, RTH’s most recent post is an example of what makes this blog so tedious. She’s said the same dozens of times. It was not clever, humorous or helpful the first time.
    …I’m not really sure how to respond to that. Is it really self-righteous to want people to address each other civilly? I come to this blog to learn and contribute what I can. Most of the participants seem to know more about the issues than I do, so mostly I just listen and try to broaden my perpsective. I don’t know how they talk to one another in Cuba but in the real world I live in, not too many coversations include statements like “Hey Lee and Dave, you are stupid, ignorant, regressive and reactionary!”
    (see RTH above).

  20. Randy E

    I get the feeling that we are mice in a maze and Paul is looking over us shaking his head.
    In partial defense of RtH, Lee and Dave have made a number of absurd comments (I take it Lee’s bedwetting revelation was the fake Lee). I find most bloggers in here do want a meaningful exchange of ideas and not ideas based on fabricated facts and evidence.
    My suggestion for myself, RtH, David, Aaron, CapA, Bud, et al to simply ignore such absurd posts.

  21. Randy E

    Paul, a BIG point I was making about educaton is that the focus has been on private school choice which side tracks us from the major issues, like disparity between races.
    I have been screaming from the mountain top to no avail. Brad does an excellent job overall, I believe, in sparking debate on important issues. But, I believe he’s dropped the ball on the state super race.
    Milwaukee, the pioneer district in choice, is topped out at 15% student enrollment of their program. What about the issues that involve the other 85%? Ohio started their own program and have a 5% participation participation rate. The SCETV forum and the only recent post on education on this blog site has been focused primarily on choice.
    As long as choice is made the primary issue, the 24% passing rate of black students on the AP exam (vs 54% white) in SC and the US Dept of Ed’s consideration of standardized testing of college students because many lack the “basics” and other such issues will not be priorities.

  22. Dave

    Paul, I agree with you on some of the nastiness and silliness that ends up on posts. Most observers know that the left (at least the radical faction) is in a constant state of hysteria because they have lost control of the government and their water carrying mainstream media has been decimated and discredited. So what do they have left, the laughable and invisible Air America, so their plight is actually understandable.

    I think listening is great but why not put your opinions on the table. You may even convince people to believe what you believe. I look at the most nasty comments as a form of levity for the most part. Some of the insults can be fairly creative. If we were all in a room speaking directly to each other and Brad filmed us, he would have the makings of a hilarious sitcom. I shouldn’t give Brad any ideas.. hahahahha Anyway, forget my Cuba comment, I could have substituted the Republic of Massachusetts.

  23. bud

    Paul, in the spirit of offering solutions to problems I’ll take a stab at what I consider a huge problem, nationally and in SC – stagnant wages. The problem as I see it is articulated clearly in this article:
    What’s wrong with the economy?
    by EPI President Lawrence Mishel and Policy Director Ross Eisenbrey
    Basically the wealthy in this country are taking a greater and greater share of the economic pie in the form of profits and executive salaries. As the article notes, productivity has increased since the end of the Bush recession but wage growth has declined while consumer debt has increased sharply. The problem as I see it is the tax structure both nationally and in SC.
    Republicans pushing for elimination of the estate tax at the national level and a huge reduction of property taxes in SC. Both measures would come at the expense of the working class while the middle class would only benefit slightly from the property tax/sales tax tradeoff. This would further exacerbate the situation.
    So here’s what I would do:
    1) Provide low cost, basic health care to everyone. It doesn’t have to be entirely free, but just at a reduced price.
    2) Maintain the estate tax at the current level.
    3) Increase property taxes on second homes.
    4) Elimate the $300 limit on vehicle sales taxes.
    5) Increase the gasoline tax.
    6) Eliminate the sales tax on food items.
    7) Increase the marginal tax rate for the very wealthy.
    8) Tax dividends and capital gains at the same rate as wages.
    9) Raise the wage thresshold for the SS tax.
    10) Raise the minimum wage to $7/hour.

  24. Dave

    Bud, you forgot the tobacco tax. You must be a smoker. Your list has some good points but it is primarily a sure fire way to put the US into a recession.

  25. bud

    Dave, the average American worker couldn’t tell the difference between what we have now and a recession. Let’s have your plan.

  26. Randy E

    Bud, there’s a book out called The Betrayal of Work which highlights a major problem in the US. There is an increasing number of “working poor.” The fabric of our country was woven by the opportunity to get ahead in life with hard work. The betrayal is that there are wage earners that work 40+ hours but are still poor – they can’t get ahead.
    I’ll go ahead and address some routine scripted responses some will sure offer in reply:
    The notion that they should get additional training to get better training jobs is a “pie in the sky” perspective. SOMEONE has to do these jobs; maids in motels, restaurant workers, manual labor etc.
    Defending reduced heath coverage because of the strain on businesses is valid, but you can’t ignore the effect on the workers. If a 40 hour/week employee doesn’t have adequate coverage, they go to the emergency rooms for health issues. As a result of serving those without coverage, the hospitals charge those with coverage more. AND, when those with coverage have to go the emergency room, there are greater crowds.
    The fiscal conservatives, in effect, want to put off the consequences for this problem. But make no mistake, it effects us all sooner or later.

  27. bud

    What the conservative right ignores is the fact that we already have socialized medicine. It’s just distributed in such an awkward, inefficent manner. The free-market-health-care ship sailed long ago. And yes, I would increase the tobacco tax (no I’m not a smoker) and perhaps the alcohol tax (yes I do occassionaly drink) to help cover the cost of my universal medical plan.

  28. Randy E

    Bud, your point about socialized medicine is seen in our emergency rooms. The taxpayers are going to pay up front or later on down the road.
    My friend is a fiscal conservative who supports businesses slashing health care for employees. He also happened to mention that he took his wife to the emergency room for a nonlife threatening incident. They had to wait hours because of all the patients in there, many of who didn’t have the means to go elsewhere. Either the businesses will have to cover the costs or the taxpayers will.
    There has to be a balance which is where the government has to intervene. Like it or not, the money will be spent on these health issues.

  29. Paul DeMarco

    Could we do polling on the blog to come up with blog consensus? Bud has taken the time to put forward his ten-point plan to increase stagnant wages. Do you have the power (O Master of the Blog) to post such lists in poll form and allow us to vote on them.
    I don’t know if we want to be that formal but it might be interesting. Of course, we’d be on our honor to vote just once. But what blogger would forsake his honor just to score points on a poll…?
    I like your idea of putting all the blog regulars in the same room. There was a brief discussion awhile back about a blog party. It might make a great reality series. Or then again, it might degenerate into a WWF smackdown. Then we could go the pay-per-view route. I would certainly pay to see a tag team match between you and Lee vs. Mary and RTH. Mary, of couse, would be wearing a mask to conceal her(his) identity and gender.

  30. Randy E

    Crossfire meets Hulk Hogan
    We need a location with wireless connection so Brad can be the fact checker. I’d like some people (ok, person) to have his or her (ok, his) claims verified.
    Also set us up with mute buttons like they have on ESPN’s Around the Horn.
    On a serious note, I like the idea because sharing ideas is always a good thing and this can maginify the effects. Maybe this could be good material for W the writer.

  31. Ready to Hurl

    Paul, one thing that I’ve learned from the Rethuglicans: never fight by the rules. I will bring my 50 caliber.

  32. Capital A

    Just make sure you invite the other W, of the strange Folks variety. I want another chance at cracking him over the head with a tennis racket, Jim Cornette-style.

  33. Ready to Hurl

    Nah, Randy, the suiciders were the Dems who thought that they could compromise with the Rethuglicans.
    If you haven’t noticed the underlying message from Lee and Dave is that people who don’t agree with them politically are traitors and should be exterminated.
    L&D simply reflect the mindset of the rightwing in this country. There’s no more civilized discussion and assuming that the opponent may actually have a differing POV out of a legit concern for the welfare of Americans and America.
    For evidence, all you have to look at is the Swiftboating of Kerry and the slander of Max Cleland.
    Dems are re-organizing from the grassroots to dump hacks like Joe Lieberman, Bush’s favorite Dem. Soon enough, the days of Dems fighting by Marquis de Queensbury rules and Rethugs bringing knives and brass knuckles should be over.
    Good luck, Paul, on your civics-minded discourse.

  34. Randy E

    Lieberman put his beliefs above his party. When the other dems went running after Dean to the left, Joe kept his integrity.
    Having said that, I agree with you about the liberal faction gaining traction. They have a set of ideals that they are willing to follow. That’s largely what has helped the conservatives. They stuck to their guns.
    I honestly believe the elections in 00 and 04 were Gore and Kerry’s to lose. But they were hammered on their lack of integrity to stick to a set of beliefs. Gore hired a consultant to create an image and Kerry flip flopped. Only Clinton had the skill to create an image and flip flop effectively.
    I won’t buy into a candidate that goes “negative.” I’m sick of putting party above country. I duke it out with some people on here, but on ideas not stereotypes…except the group (L&D)that blindly follows an extreme fringe set of beliefs.

  35. Dave

    Paul, I like that idea. Mary could fool us all and be an “it”. Before the match started, however, the left would be given a chance to surrender, with sanctions, and I am sure they would take it. hahahhahahah

    Randy, I am not on the fringe at all, what 51% of the country joined me in voting for Bush, how is that fringe? I do appreciate hearing everyone’s perspectives and points of view, no matter how much I disagree with some, even Mary. I also like RTH. He is kind of a sympathetic figure because he admitted he has NEVER backed a winning politician. Quite a record, and that is really fringe.

    Quoting Rodney, Can’t we all just get along?

  36. Ready to Hurl

    Randy, which belief did Lieberman “put above his party?” His approval of appointing as AG the legal facilitor of government-sanctioned torture? His willingness to gut Social Security? His flirting with becoming Sec. of Defense in order to continue Bush’s tragic misadventure in Iraq? His vote for a Supreme Court Justice who believes that “Commander and Chief” is really just another title for dictator? His vote for the corporate welfare plan commonly mislabeled as Bush’s energy policy?
    Wouldn’t Lieberman really be more at home in the GOP, anyway? After all, Dear Leader doesn’t go around kissing just any senator in public.

  37. Ready to Hurl

    Dave, your sympathy is misplaced. Actually, I have backed winning candidates. I back the candidates that I think would be better for the people of SC.
    They’re the victims who’re currently suffering from the governance of your office-holding losers– cough Sanford cough Bauer.

  38. Randy E

    Dave, voting for the republican candidate is evidence your are not on the right wing fringe?
    Repeatedly, people have referred to Lee and Dave together for their consistent position on the FAR right. Lee is also a racist so I don’t find that good company.

  39. Dave

    OK Randy, now you are joining the “You’re a racist” club. What a joke? I don’t see anything that Lee expounds that is actually racist. And me, I could produce black ministers who will vouch personally for me for having helped them. I have built with my own hands handicapped ramps for crippled and poor blacks, and yet you infer I am a racist. Look in the mirror Randy and let us all know what you have done for minorities. And passing kids who can’t pass the tests you give out doesnt count as a charitable act. In fact, that is a disgrace and disservice to those kids and all teachers.

  40. Randy E

    Lee stated “the chances are the Hispanics you meet are illegals.” Statistics were posted that show this was clearly wrong. BTW Dave, I asked my wife, her mother, my mother, the Spanish teachers at my school, the Colombian priest at Brad’s church and they all atleast had green cards.
    Lee stated “70% of black kids live in single parent homes or homes with no parents. I know those parents don’t care about their kids.”
    Dave, why don’t you ask those black ministers what they think of that remark. Lee also stated that these kids suffer “child abuse” and the single parents were drunk or high. He related these problems specifically to the black population.
    “Look in the mirror…what you have done for minorities. And passing kids who can’t pass the tests …”
    Back to those broad brush statements eh? So you know for a fact that that’s my contribution? I won’t get into a good works pissing contest with you.
    I never stated nor implied you were racist. You ask those black ministers what they think of Lee’s QUOTES then think about my statement about the “company you keep.”

  41. Dave

    Randy, The Hispanic population has grown dramatically in the past 5 years. I know that from Catholic diocese figures alone. YOu can’t be serious to think this population growth is from legal immigration. If you do, Mary Rosh has some fairies to give you. There is no question these people, at least the vast majority of them, are illegals. I am friendly with a handful of them and I can take you to a rundown section of my town where they are living with 12 guys in a 2 bedroom shack. They literally sleep in shifts.

    As to comments about blacks, I would defer to Bill Cosby and what he says. There is avoice of reason and he deplores the abandonment of children by their black fathers. Lee is saying the same things and these are not racist.

    The funny thing about this blog, other than Brad, any one of us could be black, yellow, red, or white. So Lee could be Chinese for all I know or you know. His last name may be Lee, as in Hop-sing Lee, who knows.

  42. Randy E

    So Dave, you agree with the assertion “single black parents don’t care about their kids?”
    Using Lee’s stats, 18 out of 42.7 million Hispancis are illegal. You agree with his assertion that the majority are illegal when that contradicts the stats?
    I’m not overlooking the serious nature of these problems. I am taking issue with Lee’s SUBJECTIVE conclusions based on these statistics. “don’t care” is NOT a conclusion that statistically be drawn from this data.
    Again Dave, ask those black ministers what they think.

  43. Dave

    Lee really inferred that “single black parents (who abuse and neglect their kids) do not care about those kids” . That I can agree with and you can substitute white for black and it is universally true. For once I agree with RTH, racists come in all colors. So, can this end the racist accusations, it is really getting old.


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