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August 1, 2015

Quote of the Day

As Tyler Durden explains at ZeroHedge.com, policies imposed from Washington must shoulder a big part of the blame for [Puerto Rican insolvency]: the wizards on the Potomac encouraged debt and deficit spending, priced hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans out of entry-level jobs with a punishing minimum wage, taxed and regulated commerce and investment to a crawl, and showered the island with debilitating welfare. The place would be a showcase of government-induced prosperity except for one sticking point: government. -- Lawrence Reed

July 31, 2015

Oh, yes!

Amazon signs Clarkson/May/Hammond for Prime content.

Jeremy Clarkson has found his post-punch project: Alongside fellow ex-Top Gear hosts James May and Richard Hammond, the irascible Clarkson has signed on to host a new automotive series on Amazon Prime, which will start streaming sometime next year. It's a savvy move, contractually: The non-compete clause in the trio's old BBC contract apparently only forbade them from signing with a competing British channel for two years, and said absolutely nothing about working with the content-producing arm of an American logistics company.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Heh. Somebody's lawyer who wrote that non-compete clause is going to be cutting a rug dance very soon.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2015 7:01 PM


That other light haired woman at the WSJ Ed Page...

Finally, Mrs. Clinton has very good friends in the corporate world. This newspaper reported Thursday that while serving as secretary of state, she took the unusual step of intervening to fix a problem that Swiss banking titan UBS was having with the IRS. In the years that followed, UBS donated $600,000 to the Clinton Foundation, anted up another $32 million in loans via foundation programs, and dropped $1.5 million on Bill for a series of speaking events. Both sides deny any quid pro quo. But the pattern is clear: More than 60 major firms that lobbied the State Department during Mrs. Clinton's tenure also donated some $26 million to her family's foundation. -- Kim Strassel

But johngalt thinks:

And add to this the two months of deleted emails covering the time of the Benghazi attack. Woodward and Bernstein could not be reached for comment.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2015 2:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Richard Nixon, however, did have a comment.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2015 3:04 PM
But jk thinks:

How quickly we inure to Clintonian tactics. Strassel's column talks about "Mrs. Clinton’s former spokesman, Philippe Reines, turned over 20 boxes of work-related emails taken in part from a personal email account."

I sit on an HOA board for le condo d'Amour. I was told the first day to get a dedicated account for HOA business and that I was never to delete anything in it. I routinely provide opposing lawyers permission to download the whole thing from Google. Were I to print out and submit boxes of emails that I chose not to lose, I would be in trouble.

But I lack Sec. Clinton's friends in high places.

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2015 3:12 PM

Quote of the Day

I'm cherry-picking more for humor than appeal to authority. Our Margaret has a very measured and interesting look at Trump's Candidacy from the Upper West Side.

His rise is not due to his supporters' anger at government. It is a gesture of contempt for government, for the men and women in Congress, the White House, the agencies. It is precisely because people have lost their awe for the presidency that they imagine Mr. Trump as a viable president. American political establishment, take note: In the past 20 years you have turned America into a nation a third of whose people would make Donald Trump their president. Look on your wonders and despair. -- Peggy Noonan

But Keith Arnold thinks:

We're already a nation 51.7% of whose people made Barack Hussein Obama their president. Unless there's a helluvalotta overlap in that Venn diagram, then it means that five out of six voters fall into the Low Information category who will elect a leader on the basis of either celebrity, race, or free stuff.

A nation like that is already suicidal.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2015 12:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Congratulations are in order to Mister Obama, who has managed, simultaneously, to both increase the power and decrease the prestige of the office of President of the United States.

NED help us.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2015 2:57 PM

Whither GOP?

Ben Domenich asks Why does the Republican Party exist?

It's a damning indictment of Senate Majority Leader McConnell (I just don't know anymore -- KY)'s decision to reauthorize the ex-Ex-Im bank in a highway bill, which Domenich says "is a thousand page tax and pork-laden monstrosity which does not deserve to pass in the first place, and whose failure would be greeted as a positive development for any fiscal conservative."

I have defended leadership on these pages. In fact, I think I deserve a medal or a nice office in the old building or a cookie or something. Yet I'm now ready to pull the plug on my support of McConnell.

Blog-friend TG posted the Rod Dreher column "Fusion Fizzles" to my Facebook timeline and asked "Is Fusionism Dead?" I'm not sure whether he is a Monty Python fan, but my first thought was "it was coughing up blood last night!"

TG describes the Republican coalition as "hawks, preachers, and libertarians:" pejorative but accurate. I suggested that hawks and preachers overlap pretty well, that fusionism was required only to keep peace between preachers in libertarians. He suggests that hawk/libertarian split requires more focus. Is the GOP the party of Sen. Lindsey Graham or Sen. Rand Paul?

Wherever one stands, Domenich points out -- you got totally screwed by your party. Hawks: the President just made a treaty which facilitates Iran's nuclear ambitions without the "Advice and Consent" of the Senate, and rammed it through the UN. That cool with you? Preachers: Planned Parenthood gets almost half its funding from government. They got caught harvesting body parts. Any problem with that? Libertarians: the Ex-Im bank is back. The one victory for the Senate majority you worked to elect had a shelf-life measured in weeks. Problemo?

Yes, they're an antidote to the all out collectivism of the modern Democrats. But Rod Dreher, Ben Domenich, and David Harsanyi all ask "Why is there a party?" "What is its purpose?"

I got nothin'

But johngalt thinks:

Oh happy day! I'm dying to read the Domenich piece (already read Harsanyi's) but let me say right now, I am overjoyed that McCrony's duplicitous self-dealing has become so naked that even jk has jumped ship.

The purpose of the Republican party, if you were to ask, say, Abraham Lincoln or Ben Franklin, is to keep the American federal government as a republic (not a democracy.) Hawks can dig that. So can preachers. And even, or maybe especially, so can libertarians. The problem comes when hawks try to make the party hawkish, and preachers try to make it preachy.

The republic uber alles, brothers and sisters.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2015 12:14 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Yet I'm now ready to pull the plug on my support of McConnell." To quote John McClane from my favorite Christmas movie: "Welcome to the party, pal!"

Someone is another blog I frequent now refers to the GOP as the DOP - the Democrats' Other Party.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2015 12:17 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm depressed but not suicidal, Keith. Sen. Sanders called for full-on Socialized medicine, and the Democratic portion of my Facebook feed is "Buggy for Bernie!"

I think the first argument I ever had with jg was over his appreciation for Pat Buchannan 2000's bon mot "two wings of the same bird of prey."

Maybe all the GOP is capable of is slowing down the inexorable progressive slide toward democracy from republicanism. Still worth $500 if you ask me.

But I'll accept the razzing for tardiness. I'll let leadership play the game to some extent, but stand for something.

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2015 12:39 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm depressed but not suicidal, Keith. Sen. Sanders called for full-on Socialized medicine, and the Democratic portion of my Facebook feed is "Buggy for Bernie!"

I think the first argument I ever had with jg was over his appreciation for Pat Buchannan 2000's bon mot "two wings of the same bird of prey."

Maybe all the GOP is capable of is slowing down the inexorable progressive slide toward democracy from republicanism. Still worth $500 if you ask me.

But I'll accept the razzing for tardiness. I'll let leadership play the game to some extent, but stand for something.

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2015 12:39 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

You have my sympathy. If it's any comfort, I'm neither depressed nor suicidal.

Perhaps my problem - and the reason for my hopefulness - is that I don't believe in the no-win scenario (what's with all the pop-culture references lately, Arnold? Eleanor Rigby, Die Hard, and a 1999 paperback book? http://bit.ly/1fPEYQK ). I'm not willing to concede that the progressive slide is inexorable - or inevitable; I'm just giving vent to the growing belief that the GOP has ceased to be the vehicle for stopping it.

I'm just undecided on whether at Article Five convention, secession, or revolution is the correct answer.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2015 1:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"The Republican party exists" says Domenech, to serve "the corporatist constituency." That's why its leadership used legislative tactics reminiscent of PPACAof2010 passage to ram through Highway Pork and the Export-Import "bank" reauthorization. This, despite those things "are not a priority at all for Republican voters."

Who else is reminded of the public education teachers union leadership, who says "When students start paying the dues, we'll do what's in their interest instead of the teachers'."

But in the present case, Republican voters, the taxpayers, are paying the dues. The ones whose interests are being served are not paying at all - they are making calculated investments in a government-managed equity market. Their returns on investment are as certain as death and taxes, one of which is the very source of those returns!

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2015 2:44 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

He missed it; I think Steve Hayward is much closer to the mark:

McConnell likely knew that the House would kill the Ex-Im Bank, meaning that the vote was mostly symbolic and helpful to a few endangered Republicans

Which I do believe, even as I decry the back-room nature of the shenanigans. And hat's off to Sen. Cruz for exposing this! Since Ex-Im Bank is indeed dead in the real world, where does that leave Mr. Domenech? With a gutted (or to be more charitable, outdated) story if you ask me, but hey, he got published!

Now, to his point

Senate Republicans completely ceded their Constitutional duty regarding the Iran deal

This indeed was a situation where the GOP got outflanked by (a) the reality of a POTUS (and Sec. St.) who won't play ANY part of this game honestly, and (b) a media that will not stop to expose their every peccadillo as if it were a felony. I read a very compelling response (direct response by eMail) from Sen. Gardner that held up the honest, good parts of this play.

I can't really blame them for not coming up with a bill that had 100% mendacity rejection.... but that's why I don't bet published in the big pages, I guess.

Highway Bill.... which does not deserve to pass in the first place
which ... it.... didn't ... am I correct?!?

Shoot, he missed defunding or defanging the ACA, the putting a white tornado thru the IRS and closing NEA!

That all being said, I believe what he said is 75-80% true of the GOP leadership... but it's a bit broad to paint the entire party this way. One look at Tom Cotton or Trey Gaudy put the rest of this specious argument to rest, IMO.

Mr. Domenech needs to cool his jets and play the long, steady game, IMO.

Posted by: nanobrewer at August 1, 2015 12:23 AM

July 30, 2015

All Hail Insty


Otequay of the Ayday

About that lion...

Alas, the truth about Cecil's links to the patriarchy is all on YouTube for the world to see: the roaring and biting at those born without male privilege; the casual, utter disregard for female lion self-esteem; the skulking around like a half-hungry Marlon Brando trapped in a Mafia pizza parlor. This is because he was a wild animal, of course, and not a cartoon character. Regardless, let's move on.

RCP's Heather Wilhelm - Cecil the Lion and America's Broken Outrage Meter

But Keith Arnold thinks:

"'What lion?' was the response of [Zimbabwe's] acting Information Minister Prisca Mupfumira, after being asked about the death of Cecil." http://bit.ly/1DVYqRD

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2015 12:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Information Minister Prisca Mupfumira apparently hasn't met Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe's environment, water and climate minister, who told a news conference: "We are appealing to the responsible authorities for his extradition to Zimbabwe so that he be made accountable."

At least that's what AP is reporting.

"There has been an outcry," Muchinguri said. "Almost 500,000 people are calling for his extradition and we need this support. We want him tried in Zimbabwe because he violated our laws.

"I have already consulted with the authorities within the police force who are responsible for arresting the criminal. We have certain processes we have to follow. Police should take the first step to approach the prosecutor general who will approach the Americans. The processes have already started."

If Muchinguri's 500,000 people was meant to include Zimbabwe's Information Minister, I suppose it's really only about 499,999 people.

Posted by: johngalt at July 31, 2015 2:54 PM


Judge Andrew Napolitano does not mince words at Reason.

I have not seen the emails the inspectors general sent to the FBI, but I have seen the Clinton emails, which are now in the public domain. They show Clinton sending or receiving emails to and from her confidante Sid Blumenthal and one of her State Department colleagues using her husband's foundation's server, and not a secure government server. These emails address the location of French jets approaching Libya, the location of no-fly zones over Libya and the location of Stevens in Libya. It is inconceivable that an American secretary of state failed to protect and secure this information.

But it is not inconceivable that she would lie about it.

But some dentist shot a lion.

2016 Posted by John Kranz at 1:49 PM | What do you think? [0 comments]

What about Carly?

She gave a powerful speech at the RR library last week, and she'll be able to dish it out to the Dowager Empress with both her pump-shod shoes (can we have a category for First Pit Bull?).

On my first day in the Oval Office, I will make two phone calls. The first will be to my friend Bibi Netanyahu. I will reassure him that the United States will always stand with the State of Israel. My second call will be to the Supreme Leader of Iran. He might not take the call, but he will get the message

She speaks powerfully about "America" but it so-so on the liberty front, IIRC. Discuss?

2016 Posted by nanobrewer at 12:53 AM | What do you think? [10 comments]
But jk thinks:

I watched the whole thing yesterday, and the lovely bride and I agree:

-- She is the best think-on-his|her-feet candidate in many moons. It was so frustrating to watch Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney flail when asked a simple question about freedom or capitalism. Ms. Fiorina does not flail.

-- She is pugilistic, yet respectful. Her answer on abortion was the best ever. We disagree but I do not feel threatened by her position.

-- Yes, the joy of sending a candidate with two XX chromosomes against the Dowager Empress of Chappaqua would be a glorious thing.

But. Can she really? I have a hopeless-idealist streak, but I just don't know. A non-politician, a female, an unknown (not to me, I follow tech leadership, but... ) just seems too many hurdles. I know she hates it and I understand, but she is the VP or I will leave the party.

I had decided to sit out the primaries from a funding perspective, but I think I will break that and give her the modest amount I can afford.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2015 9:49 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I find it fascinating that it is the two candidates who are not career politicians, and who have actually run a business to earn their livelihood - who are making some of the boldest statements during this campaign season.

By "bold," let me clarify that I don't apply that adjective to the prevarications that issue forth out of Hillary's ugly liehole, or the outlandish statist ravings being spewed from Bernie Sanders' head. I was meaning that word in the positive sense.

I'm going to admit that, after having lived through what happened when Carly Fiorina ran for Senator here, I didn't expect much from her. She is much better this go-round, I'm pleased to say.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2015 2:59 PM
But jk thinks:

I was concerned that her sole political experience was a losing Senatorial race, but y'all are crazy out there! She can compete in 45 of the remaining 49.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2015 3:03 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, we elected a Governator with no prior political experience either. Of course, look how that turned out, so that might be a bad example.

Of course, when you see who our next US Senator is going to be, you're going to pine for one being replaced. I'm not kidding about that, either.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2015 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

Kamala? Yes, I was wondering when to begin needling you about that.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2015 4:04 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

There's not a thing you can say about Harris that will move my needle off the rage peg with her. A watchdog group collects evidence and confessions about the Mengelesque ghouls at Planned Parenthood and their baby-parts chop-shop, and Harris announces an investigation... of the whistleblowers. Planned Parenthood, in the meantime, gets a complete pass. No matter which side of the abortion debate you're on, these revelations should make your skin crawl. I kinda went all vein-popping ragey last night on Facebook about it. And Harris is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the California far-left. In a righteous society, she and her ilk would be shunned -- or worse.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2015 4:33 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

For the record: http://bit.ly/1M0gF0b

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2015 4:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

dagny and I would be overjoyed with Carly as the nominee. Or the veep, but top of the ticket is better.

Only problem I see with it is if Hilary craters and it's her against a handsome young Democrat male. The Democrats are much better at the "War on Women" than Republicans ever were.

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 5:19 PM
But Jk thinks:

I wouldn't call Gov. Hickenlooper "handsome." Maybe a certain rugged good looks...

Posted by: Jk at July 30, 2015 11:35 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Ah, what a fresh take with nary a word wafted about that wanton self-promoter.

Yes, she'd be a dynamite VP selection - she won't be "handled" by anyone! - and is indeed "pugilistic, but respectful" and does not flail. She's been flaying the political talk show circuit (look up her schooling of Jake Tapper), and like the now-dormant Sen. Rand and the live-n-kicking Sen. from TX, been throwing back the media caca right down their righteous throats.

I for one, am soooo happy that the leading lights of the GOP are not accepting the media narrative on just about anything (hear that, Jeb?).

PowerLine's Scott Johnson was powerfully impressed by her appearance in Norwalk:

She described the roles of Lady Liberty and Lady Justice in American symbolism. The listener can conclude that Carly is both. The female listener can think, “And it is about time a woman is in charge.” But she didn’t say either thing directly. A conclusion that a listener reaches by herself is more strongly held. That was a masterful touch of persuasion.

Posted by: nanobrewer at July 31, 2015 12:49 AM

July 29, 2015

Quote of the Day

Gut-wrenching to pick one - The Read Thing Whole!

I think [Jon] Stewart's show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark. Comedy, to me, is one of the major modern genres, and the big influences on my generation were Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl. Then Joan Rivers had an enormous impact on me--she's one of my major role models. It's the old caustic, confrontational style of Jewish comedy. It was Jewish comedians who turned stand-up from the old gag-meister shtick of vaudeville into a biting analysis of current social issues, and they really pushed the envelope. Lenny Bruce used stand-up to produce gasps and silence from the audience. And that's my standard--a comedy of personal risk. And by that standard, I'm sorry, but Jon Stewart is not a major figure. He's certainly a highly successful T.V. personality, but I think he has debased political discourse. I find nothing incisive in his work. As for his influence, if he helped produce the hackneyed polarization of moral liberals versus evil conservatives, then he's partly at fault for the political stalemate in the United States. -- Camille Paglia

But nanobrewer thinks:

Ms. Paglia is one of those atheists for whom Christians should thank the Lord.

Calling Hitch's writing juvenile; outstanding!

The best reply to the anti-God (but for God's sake, never anti-Muhmmed!) Sneering-snark ("a disease that started with David Letterman and jumped to Jon Stewart"):

Exactly what are these people offering in place of religion? In my system, I offer art–and the whole history of spiritual commentary on the universe. There’s a tremendous body of nondenominational insight into human life that used to be called cosmic consciousness.

Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true! Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells.
Posted by: nanobrewer at July 30, 2015 12:25 AM
But johngalt thinks:

There's a political stalemate in the United States? Oddly enough, Leviathan government seems to keep lumbering along regardless.

I hold Stewart at fault for something far worse than "political stalemate." He contributes to something one might call 'political eugenics.'

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 2:37 PM
But jk thinks:

I wonder if my blog brother reads "stalemate" and equates it with "gridlock" (blessed, blessed, gridlock!)

I do not know whether stalemate is the right word. But Stewart is all about the "We're smart, but those stupid bumpkins that watch FOX News are evil and stupid and have bad hygiene practices." I'm rather tired of that and I cannot think of many who have contributed more to that (well, there is that POTUS fellow...)

She even dares to defend the Eeevil FOX News right after.

I must also leave a nice word for a deeply flawed hero of mine. Christopher Hitchens practiced that evangelistic atheism which I find off-putting, and I suspect Paglia is correct that his too-cool-for-God books were under-researched.

But one must bifurcate between those and a corpus which includes his deeply courageous and lively journalism and thoughtful historical commentary. I never read a word of his atheism books (and I am an atheist), but he wrote several great books and was honest enough to take on his left against President Clinton and militant Islamism.

A few pouty, adolescent indulgences can be forgiven.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2015 2:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If "I don't demonize Fox News" counts as defending it, then yes she did. But it was only in response to the interviewer's statement:

And that he [Jon Stewart] did the work of critiquing and fact-checking Fox and others on the right who helped create this debased media culture?

Esqueeze me?! Myopic much?

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 3:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Game. Set. Match: jk.

Again, your quote is from the Salondotcom question. Allow me to provide a little more context on Professor Paglia's answer:

I don't demonize Fox News. At what point will liberals wake up to realize the stranglehold that they had on the media for so long? They controlled the major newspapers and weekly newsmagazines and T.V. networks. It's no coincidence that all of the great liberal forums have been slowly fading. They once had such incredible power.

Where I come from, that's purdy good for a gay, atheist, art professor.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2015 4:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Grading on that curve, you are correct. I just thought it was a long way from, "You know, the stuff they report is factually correct, even if you don't like to hear it."

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 5:15 PM
But jk thinks:

I took that as the subtext. Had she said it aloud, all of Stewart's fans' heads would have exploded --I abhor violence.

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2015 9:52 AM

July 28, 2015


I hate to risk opening a new front in l'Affaire Trump. But from a pure political-game-theory perspective, I have been bucking conventional wisdom sub rosa -- and am now ready to come out.

I do not accept that a third party run from Trump would guarantee a Democrat victory. In fact, depending on the final tickets, the difference could be minimal-to-perhaps positive. There will be no shortage of disaffected Democrats if Sec. Clinton, Sen. Warren or Sen. Sanders leads the ticket. Perhaps a Sec. Jon Kerry, VP Joe Biden, or Gov. Hickenlooper (dammit, the country needs him!) could hold the Scots-Irish-Straight-White-Guy-Working-class vote. But if they nominate a commie or affirmative action candidate, Trump might look pretty good to that segment.

I don't know if it is backup or not, but Paul Gigot ends the Potomac Watch podcast [mp3] with a good story of then Sen. Al Gore's (No Controlling Authority - TN) misjudging Ross Perot's effect. No guarantee what it would do -- and it certainly depends on the other nominees.

2016 Posted by John Kranz at 3:51 PM | What do you think? [7 comments]
But nanobrewer thinks:

?? Perot ?? Nader ran in 2000... here's a hopeful and interesting tidbit from the NBC/Marist poll

Sanders +3 (30 percent/27 percent)
Rubio -1 (31 percent/32 percent)
Walker -1 (30 percent/31 percent)
Bush -12 (34 percent/46 percent)
Clinton -19 (37/56 percent)
Trump -28 (32 percent/60 percent)

They hate HRC and despise the Trumpeter. Guess they didn't talk to Gallup :-)

Posted by: nanobrewer at July 28, 2015 6:17 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

This far in front of the elections, polls are fairly useless, not much more than popularity contests in a high-school slam book. That being said, if an NBC/Marist poll told me it was dark outside, I'd still go to the window to check.

Trump is riding a popularity wave right now because he's saying things, and saying them passionately, that people wish their preferred candidate would say. He's not PC and can't be bought by the donor class. If other candidates who are better qualified were saying these things, Trump's ratings would vaporize. But their not. Except for Ted Cruz' exhibition in the Senate calling McConnell a liar, most of the candidates are being inoffensive, polite, and subdued.

Trump (dare I say this?) is a lot like Ron Paul. Ron Paul may be a head case, but sixty percent of what he said resonated with people, and other candidates weren't saying it. People want their candidate to have some fire in the belly, and show it. For example, on illegal immigration by violent criminals - it got revealed that nearly 3,000 homicides just in Texas (cite: http://bit.ly/1HZYp2Y). And there's the Steinle murder. People are pissed off. They want a candidate to be pissed off about it. They don't want a candidate who is sorta concerned but can take it in stride and remain civil. Good God, man, 3,000 homicides! If someone isn't angry to his core over that, the people want to know why not!

Trump is demagogue enough and showman enough to put it out there that he's royally pissed off. He's giving people red meat, and people don't want tofurkey and quinoa right now. Tokurkey and quinoa aren't going to pull this nation back from the brink.

Truth: a decade ago, Trump said he idenified more with Democrats than with Republicans. Truth: Trump has gone on record favoring a single-payor federalized medical system, like England's or Canada's. Truth: Trump has been a big Hildebeest supporter. People who aren't political junkies like us don't know that. What they know is that Trump is angry about the things they're angry about. There are LIVs on the right, just like there are on the left. If there weren't, Mike Huckabee would be off in a parsonage somewhere right now like Father Mackenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear.

I got posed a question this morning. How would I vote if next November, my choices were limited to this:

* DEM: Hillary!
* GOP: ¡Jeb!
* THIRD PARTY: The Donald

I had to think about it. Right now, I'd be torn between pulling the handle for Trump, if for no other reason than to give a giant middle finger to the GOP Establishment, and just sitting it out and hoping the nation would survive.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 28, 2015 7:30 PM
But jk thinks:

@nb: I am suggesting this is different than 2000. Aside from some old ladies in Palm Beach who couldn't understand the butterfly ballots, Nader pulled overwhelmingly from Gore and, the election being close, gave the win to GW Bush.

In '92, Perot probably pulled from both sides, but disproportionately from GHWB, giving us "The Clinton Years." (The lovely bride is a remorseful Perotista.)

I'm claiming that a 3rd-party Trump run would not pull as disproportionately from the GOP as claimed. He speaks (as my blog brother jg loves to remind me) to disaffection in the GOP base. In a general, I think he would find a lot of disaffection on both sides.

@ka: Nossir, I am a fusionist whether it is in fashion or not. I'll do what I can to have the party choose somebody more liberty-leaning than Gov. Bush (Common Core - FL), but if that's who we get, I am in. Likewise, I would ask supporters of Gov. Huckabee (No gag in spirit of teamwork - AR) to swallow hard and pull the lever for Rand Paul.

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2015 9:32 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The Trump effect is already working. I attribute Cruz's throwdown with McRulingClass and Huckabee's "lead them to the ovens" comment to a recognition in professional political circles that the people really can "handle the truth!" In fact, they're starved for it.

And we can thump for party unity all we want... voters have shown that they'll stay home if the candidate is a RINO (2008) or a lillypad (2012.) Like them, I can't see myself voting for Bush. Not that I have any issue with the man, but the cabal he is in thrall to is the greatest cause of "the brink" to which br'er KA refers. (Hillary is too, but again - at least the party of socialism will get the credit/blame for whatever happens.)

The thing I admire about the Trump candidacy is that he is a businessman, not a politician. I want to see more businessmen run for political office. I want to see the big money donors put their own names on the ticket, not merely prop up a Manchurian Candidate whom everyone knows, or suspects, is his puppet.

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2015 2:45 PM
But jk thinks:

And the light on Hwy 7 and Lowell was just green -- that's because Trump is not afraid to tell people what is what!


Posted by: jk at July 29, 2015 4:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I find your "confirmation-bias" charge to be thinly supported.

What about the businessman thing? Any comment on that?

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 2:10 PM
But Jk thinks:

A business background with some political experience is a big plus on a candidate's resume. Mr. Trump -- and my new favorite, Ms. Florida -- have too little political experience. I wouldn't refrain from voting for either on that basis, but it is uphill.

We have been extremely critical of politicians, candidates, authors, pundits, filmmakers, and entertainers on these pages when they've dared deviate from ideological purity. We're not quite libertarians who make perfect the enemy of the good, but it's a tough room. And I like it like that.

Trump is a Bill O'Reilly candidate who shouts whatever pops into his head. I see zero connection to Liberty or any cohesive governing philosophy. And he pulls the media spotlight from those who have it.

Posted by: Jk at July 31, 2015 8:20 AM

July 27, 2015

Headline of the Day

Dowager Empress of Chappaqua's 'Campaign' Gets More Bad Polling News -- Michael Walsh
2016 Posted by John Kranz at 5:57 PM | What do you think? [0 comments]

Quote of the Day

I don't usually hand out dedications on QOTD, but Brother Bryan heads off to GMU tomorrow to start his Economics PhD (say goodbye at Liberty On The Rocks -- Flatirons tonight!). Bryan Caplan compiles statistics on PhD completion -- and I got a kick out of this digression:

Of course, if you're contemplating a Ph.D. in economics, you won't be satisfied with simple bivariate results. What happens if you regress completion probabilities on a wide range of traits? The results are extremely messy.

Safe travels, brah!

Arthur Brooks, Call Your Office!

All those smarty-pants, free-market economists thought they foresaw all the deleterious consequences of Seattle's $15 minimum wage law. But did'ja see this? Did'ja?

The wage, to be phased in over several years, is needed, say proponents, because so many workers who have full-time jobs are on public assistance.

Many companies raised their employees' wages beyond the $11 an hour mandated by the law, which has led to some curious results. Employees are begging their bosses to cut their hours so they can keep their food stamps, housing assistance, and other welfare benefits.

Arthur Brooks [Review Corner] compares the brutal poverty of Dharavi India with American slums, and the small Austrian village of Marienthal. As you follow that list to the right, more government benefits cushion the privation poor citizens feel. (The factory closed in Marienthal and the city lived on as a welfare town and social experiment.) But, Brooks points out, industry and dynamism head the other way. Dharavi is unimaginable to an American -- but bustles. A few years on the dole in Marienthal, and people stopped being able to accomplish anything -- even with 99% free time.

But johngalt thinks:

Miranda, Austria?

"When the Alliance recording was discovered, it became the perfect example of what would happen if the Alliance sought to interfere with self-determination."
Posted by: johngalt at July 27, 2015 4:09 PM


I am really diggin' some of the anti-junk science Facebook sites. Perfect complement to Ronald Bailey's The End of Doom (Don't wait for Review Corner, buy it today).

I enjoyed this troll skirmish. Obviously, the pro-GMO folks are paid shills because: grammar.


July 26, 2015

Review Corner

While we sometimes express ourselves poorly, ours is not a worldview that sees poor people as liabilities to be managed. Conservatives fundamentally view poor people as dormant assets to be enlivened. The poor are not a burden on society in need only of charity. They are an untapped source of strength and growth, so long as we have the optimism and confidence to help them as they build their lives. Charity is important, but what poor men and women really need is investment.
AEI Chief Arthur Brooks's The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America is a healthy dose of conservatism. If America lacks a big-C Conservative party, it is no fault of Brooks.

But first a digression: blog friend SC sent a link to Kristen Bell's Mary Poppins paean to an increased minimum wage. It looked familiar and I found this link. One year ago tomorrow we asked the age old question: how do we counter the collectivist left's visceral, intuitive appeal to emotion with a 90-minute disquisition on some economist who died 150 years ago?

Brooks has an answer. I don't know if it is the answer, but an answer. In Conservative Heart, he develops and presents it. We're the folks who actually care.

Here's what a truly uncompassionate worldview would look like: It would throw in the towel on people and whole communities. It would lazily presume that a certain segment of the population simply cant make it, that they require an unending stream of unsatisfying government support to grind along at subsistence levels. A movement built on free enterprise, real hope, and earned success sees right through this lazy nihilism-- and rejects it.

He opens with a few chapters of redemption through work and trade. Truly tear-worthy tales of gang-bangers in New York City picking up trash and monstrously poor Indian (sub-continent, not Tonto) villagers sorting used plastic toothbrushes for recycling. Thaddeus Russell [Review Corner] speaks compellingly against it, but a little Calvinist appreciation for work has always animated me. Brooks wants to offer the dignity of work and achievement, giving all Americans the shot Dallas Davis found, entering into the (private, and revenue-generating) "Men in Blue" Doe Fund program after release from prison.
That winter, New York was hit by a huge snowstorm that paralyzed the city. While most were huddled in their homes, Dallas and his fellow Men in Blue ventured out into the frozen city. They swapped their brooms for shovels and started clearing the streets. Dallas could not believe how far he had come. "We were out there making paths for the elderly, for the children, for people to get to work. Here we were, people who had slept in the garbage, in train stations, under bridges-- those who society once thought couldn't accomplish anything. We were the ones bringing the city back to life."

Those big moments started piling up. He had always put on a macho facade, but as he held the first paycheck of his entire life in his hands, Dallas began to cry. The Doe Fund pays more than the minimum wage, but the amount on the check was not what moved Dallas to tears. It was what the check represented. "Someone really believed I could do something-- and that it was worth paying me to do it." That had never happened to him before.
Economics are just a small part of this, but the data are well worth looking at. Since its founding, the Doe Funds social enterprises have generated more than $ 750 million in revenue. Thats nearly a billion dollars in "dead capital" brought to life by a bunch of homeless men because one couple saw them as assets to empower and not liabilities to manage.

That's the free market view. A person as a resource. Capital. The soi disant compassionate?
One of my colleagues tells an instructive story. One afternoon, as he toiled at his PhD dissertation in a top university's poverty research center, an actual poor person walked in. He had seen the signs on the building and thought they could do something to help him. The expert researchers had no idea what to do. Their instinct was to call security.

It's powerful stuff. It's well written. It presents a very shareable, kind worldview. Brooks sees it as a platform free market folks could get behind and ride to electoral victory. And, to be fair, if Brooks ran the world, it would be a pretty good world and I'd be happy (AEI scholar Jonah Goldberg could be vice-dictator). But we cannot ignore the philosophical disparity between Brooks and the prevailing winds at ThreeSources.

He distances himself from "Compassionate Conservatism," but he does not hold up the crucifix to keep it contained in the corner. As a devout Catholic, he has one. He embraces the safety net and makes a strong case for limiting outside nonsense to ensure we can keep it solvent. He invokes some heroes in its defense:

Hayek and Reagan recognized the moral truth that a real social safety net is one of the great achievements of our free market system. Free enterprise has made America so prosperous that, as a society, we can afford to take care of our brothers and sisters who simply cannot take care of themselves-- and to provide temporary help to those who are down on their luck and need a hand up. Hayek and Reagan also easily distinguished between "some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing"-- a core safety net for the truly indigent-- and the sprawling, rent-seeking tangle that is todays welfare state. This is why the right must champion a true, sustainable safety net while condemning an ever-expanding system for redistributing income more broadly and establishing greater state control over the economy.

Here we start to see problems. I hear Yaron Brook's Israeli accent as I read this. I like the safety net too. But once you accept it, how do you say no to "Obamaphones?" I entertain no illusions of rolling back the safety net to private concerns, so I spend little time even deciding if that's something I would truly support. But I'm not being outlandish and doctrinaire to suggest that Brooks is a little too accepting. He denies "Compassionate Conservatism" but I hear strains of President Bush's "When people are hurting, government has to step in to help."
Our nation has a great deal of need that goes unmet. This is only exacerbated by years of misguided policies and a materialistic culture. The social justice agenda outlined above can restart us on a path toward our best selves and toward our privilege to help the vulnerable.

Yes, did I mention he wants to coopt the term "Social Justice?" He might be right, but it fills me with dread.

It's a superb neocon manifesto. And I don't use the modifier as drippingly condescending as some others 'round these parts. If we had to all get behind one big idea to win, this one would not be bad. Not my first choice, but compared to Sec. Clinton's proposed changes to capital gains rates -- I like it a lot.

Philosophical questions for a dozen nights out with ThreeSourcers. But a superbly written and thoughtful book of ideas and tactics that would benefit any body on the right. Four and a half stars.

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