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December 20, 2014

Advent Reading Complete

All the flags have to be scanned and OCR-ed. Looks like work:


It was very interesting, and if I complete the scanning will do some sort of review corner. But it is pretty good to get back on my regular beat. Reason sent me a hardcopy of Damon Root's new one. "Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court" I love the TOC:


Posted by John Kranz at 6:56 PM | What do you think? [0 comments]

jk Solves the GOP Immigration Dilemna

Who better to wed pragmatic politics to smart policy? Wait -- don't answer that. But do give this a spin:

I applaud my blog brother for a well thought out outline of a plan to move forward. Curiously, I would be all in but do not think it will be accepted by my opponents. There is not a great amount of good faith between both sides. Any path to citizenship generally gets called "amnesty;" and the first time I hear "amnesty" I shut down respectful engagement.

But I have a suggestion. I recommended this month's Reason magazine for the Ted Cruz cover story. I also just finished Shikha Dalmia's excellent story on immigration. Dalmia -- and indeed most everybody at Reason and me -- decries the limited number of legal opportunities for immigration. "Get in line!" say opponents of illegal immigration. They skipped the line, make the ones currently here get back in line &c. I -- and Reason -- counter that there is no line.

There is not. There is a lottery and a lottery is not a line. If there are 50 spots and you are #51 -- you are not first next year. Any place there is a semblance of an orderly queue, it is like the Boulder Gun Club which has a 310 year waiting list. Yes Mr. Kranz, sign right there -- we'll call you or use whatever form of communication is common in 2315.

THE NEW GOP IMMIGRATION PLAN: create and enforce orderly queues for H1-B, Farm workers, family reunification, hardship cases, and I'd hope to add a guest worker queue. This will allow Congress to raise or lower quotas as needed. If they are too small as they are now, there is a risk that illegal crossings will continue. But I am willing to think those on the other side of the disagreement are better. Some Union guys and some protectionists will want to shut it down, but most people who see respect for law and sovereignty would not object. And the powerful Chamber of Commerce wing of the party would push the quotas up.

With a legal path, my team would loosen up on allowing enforcement. If a line is indeed extant, you can punish those who jump it.

Still 11 million unresolved issues, but the legislature would need to devise a method to get the current undocumented in line. Make them return to their home country to apply if you must. I disagree strongly but won't have this shot down with the A-word. You would think many would do what it takes to get legal status. Worst case it leaves them hear but at least moves us to an orderly system going forward.

But johngalt thinks:

It seems so simple!

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2014 3:38 AM

December 19, 2014

Quote of the Day II

We can argue about such things. But such arguments are a privilege -- and an obligation -- of free people. We get to decide where the public good takes precedence over the private. We get to debate the trade-offs between order and liberty, virtue and freedom. Us. Not them.

This is particularly true when the "them" in question is a crapulent pajama-wearing psychopathic dictator who starves his own people while cramming caviar down his gullet. When the Pillsbury Doughboy from Hell tries to tell us what kind of movies we can make or see, the only honorable response is "Go f**k yourself." -- Jonah Golberg [subscribe]

I can go "all-in" defending our rights to watch a terrible movie, but I do not want to look foolish when this is all exposed as a product of the SONY Pictures' PR Department.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

I saw this morning that a patriot group is planning on airdropping thousands of DVDs of "The Interview" into North Korea as a counteraction. I don't know if they realize their plan won't work; viewing a DVD requires electricity.

It seems to me North Korean paranoia has just raised the bar. Your national defense is pretty shaky if you feel threatened by a Seth Rogen movie.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 20, 2014 12:09 PM
But Jk thinks:

I fear they'll try to eat them, Keith.

Posted by: Jk at December 20, 2014 10:54 PM

Timely Cover

Who's on the cover of Reason? Why it is Senator Ted Cruz. Inside is a measured and generally complimentary article. My Google ninja skills were unable to find an online picture or the author's name.

I read it on Kindle® -- I also get a paper copy because Reason Foundation enjoys a little piece of my gargantuan philanthropy empire. If somebody would like the hardcopy, give a holler.

Quote of the Day

"Ce qu'il y a de redoubtable dans la realite de la vie, ce n'est pas la juxtaposition du bien et du mal: c'est leur interpenetration, c'est leur mutuelle incorporation, leur nourriture mutuelle, et parfois leur étrange, leur mysterieuse parente." (What is formidable in the reality of life is not the juxtaposition of good and evil; rather it is their interpenetration, their mutual incorporation, their mutual sustenance, and sometimes their strange and mysterious kinship.) -- Charles Pégue quoted in Charles Taylor A Secular Age ©2007 p750

December 18, 2014

Gene Simmons for President

This one hasn't filtered through to the #3src widget yet, despite preceding the one that did (with the misspelled "Deuche" critique.) But I was very impressed by the insights of the KISS bassist on FNC's 'Outnumbered' show today. The tweet was about his views on normalizing relations with Cuba but he was great on everything.

But jk thinks:

Going to watch it now. First, point of order -- DMs do not show on the widget. a .@genesimmons would have got you there.

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2014 6:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Ummm, I got "Study: Men tune out their partners when discussing feelings." His tongueness was interesting, but I don't think that was the clip you were recommending.

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2014 6:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

They only chose a few bits to post video of and the segment on Cuba was outrageously not one of them. Nincompoops.

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2014 3:38 AM

"The Terrorists Have Won"

In the wake of Sony Pictures decision to mothball their movie "The Interview" in the wake of terror-like threats against movie theaters, even so far as invoking the images of 9/11 (what, are they going to fly jetliners into the Cineplex?) the punditry today has turned to criticism of Sony for "backing down" or "caving in" to terrorists.

Let's think about that for a moment...

Has this happened before?

And did it work then too?

Um hmm.

So those who lecture Sony that their decision will have a chilling effect on the movie industry should look in the mirror and ask themselves, "Did I feel the same way about Muhammad cartoons?"

Weakness in the face of those terror threats was arguably the foundation for the Sony hacking, and for the strategy the state-worshipping North Koreans chose for spiking the film about their "Dear Leader."

But Keith Arnold thinks:

They may have won, but the terrorists have at least given the incomparable David Burge some choice material for tweeting:


Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 18, 2014 7:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at December 18, 2014 9:16 PM


I guess I opened the season around ThreeSources with remarks highly critical of Sen. Ted Cruz (All Around Good Guy - TX). But as my father used to say "hell, we can't dance."

Cruz stoked the fire of populist rage with parliamentary tricks to document just how opposed he is to "amnesty." Senator Rand Paul (jk crush - KY), conversely, leads by explaining how a less popular position is better.

Paul criticized the trade and travel embargo on Cuba as ineffective, separating himself from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who have criticized Obama and backed the embargo.

All four men are considered likely contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

"In the end, I think opening up Cuba is probably a good idea," Paul told Tom Roten of WVHU radio in West Virginia, The Associated Press reports.


2016 Posted by John Kranz at 2:53 PM | What do you think? [2 comments]
But johngalt thinks:

Rubio answered this last night on the Kelly File. He basically said that the so-called embargo is not the issue. Legitimizing the Dictatorial regime is the issue.

My problem with POTUS is not the normalization of relations, but that the dictators gave up virtually nothing to get it. Despite an existential threat to their regime in the form of oil price normalization.

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2014 1:47 PM
But jk thinks:

I cannot be completely pleased that the President has found application for his phone and his pen. (Somebody on the Internet remarked the other day that "they used to say Bush was the cowboy going it alone?") Think of how great were a real leader to choose this as a priority and work with Congress to relax or rescind Helms-Burton while his State Department negotiated for normalized relationships and -- oh ha ha ha who am I kidding?

But, I will give the President broken clock props on this. This is a great thing. I credit Sen. Paul with magnanimity in recognizing it. I do not chide Sen. Rubio -- that is deeply wired into the Cuban ex-Pat community and don't expect him to hop on board. (The first HuffPo article looked like Sen. Rubio was on board, and I thought President Obama [perhaps really was a genius after all.)

The President is a poor negotiator and the US will always have to give too much in prisoner exchanges. I do not dispute your objection. Yet I am a free trader and an advocate of bottom up liberty. On a trade deal, there is always focus on what concessions one gets, but the win is the trade; it is always and everywhere a good deal to import more, export more.

So I am in that head space. Is it a suck ass deal? Yeah, prob'ly. But there is no deal worse than what we have.

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2014 5:59 PM

December 17, 2014

All Hail Taranto!



In his own words

My last comment on the Ted Cruz "hate-fest" entry featured an excerpt suggesting that the negativity surrounding the Senator is a result of the media filter. Here he is without that filter, talking about the vote in question.

But nanobrewer thinks:

I am unmoved if the entire FNC crowd piles on Cruz in a vast swooping "Me too!" moment; they don't impress me much** I am also not much recently moved to George's Will (seems to be taking the road to padded cell oblivion so well trod by K. Parker, W.Safire....).

Unless any of them had anything substantive to say. Now, I am a huge fan of Dr. Krauthammer, so I should find that post; I've yet to find him insubstantial.

On the whole issue, there's been no THERE there... just a pissy group of Dem's, a ever-disgustingly malfeasant media and a smaller group of pissy GOP'ers (most of whom would most willingly You=know-what on the TP).

He does have a flashy style and an annoyingly bad sense of timing (and zero strategic sense, or so it seems). Still, one has to admit that lately, when 3 senators can agree on anything, it's bad news for Main Street.

I register that JK and many others do not like TC's style. I'm waiting to move the ball forward, is all.

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 18, 2014 12:04 AM
But jk thinks:

At first glance, it appears we have entered another dimension when jk uses FOX News in an appeal to authority. But I Stand by George Will on all things baseball and most everything politics. He has taken a nice libertarian slant since joining FOX. For teevee punditry, he's probably the top of my list.

Four years ago, I was quite taken with a certain Utah governor (rhymes with bunts, man) who launched his presidential campaign by attacking the party from within. He and Sen. Cruz are different but the tactic did not end well. I'm suggesting that the WSJ Ed Page, Charles Krauthammer, and George Will represent three different wings of the party and it is an inauspicious start to "micturate them off."

Posted by: jk at December 18, 2014 10:05 AM
But jk thinks:

Basically accepting your "no there there" but ride with me a bit.

I have a very uneasy relationship with the populist strain of the Tea Party wing. Its core belief remains to me adherence to the Tenth Amendment and limited government.

But it is a populist movement, and its adherents can quickly devolve into popular conservative sub-interests. High on the list is anti-immigration fervor. Perhaps, more than my objection to Sen. Cruz's grandstanding, is his choice of topic. This will play very well with "the base" but I consider that pandering.

I compare this to Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster on drone strikes or his principled stances on privacy and find Cruz's display wanting.

Posted by: jk at December 18, 2014 11:30 AM
But johngalt thinks:

It seems that some hairsplitting is required to place Krauthammer, Will and the WSJ Editors in separate GOP wings. Even so they would all be sub-wings of the dominant wing called "establishment."

Your unease with the TEA Party Hoi Polloi is understandable, but not dispositive that they are wrong.

My personal appraisal is that "the folks" are not reflexively anti-immigration because of xenophobia, or even to prevent dilution of wages. They simply see a large, rapid influx of other folks as a demographic threat to a nation they are already proud of. And to the extent those immigrants are encouraged to delay integration into the American way of life, I tend to agree with them. Where Fidel Castro purportedly shot people who engaged in capitalism, I want all the world's capitalists to come here and be Americans - or at least be free to do so if they choose.

But these are big issues affecting vast swaths of our social fabric, and they will take time to work out. My pals of all stripes in the TEA Party/Liberty wing of the GOP are rightly reluctant to let Washington do the working out all by its lonesome.

Can we agree that election season is the time for coming together, but when it comes to governing we should expect our representatives to say and do what best reflects our priorities, not Washington's?

Posted by: johngalt at December 18, 2014 2:06 PM
But jk thinks:

I would not put the new improved, FOXNews' George Will in the establishment wing. He has raised some heck on that very panel -- bringing in a much more libertarian pov. Perhaps the pro-immigration position is "establishment;" the more protectionist is a new strain. I'd bring up guns, drugs, prostitution and immigration and see if there are no differences in the group you suggest.

I could be wrong on immigration; you could be wrong on imminent, catastrophic global warming. Should our representatives follow the will of the people on both? The $15 minimum wage is popular.

As Grumpy Cat would say, No. When the people are wrong they should be told. Keeping populist pressures at bay is an important facet of republican government. President Arthur vetoed a bill restricting Chinese immigration brought by folks who match your description. Michael Barone highlights in "The New Americans" the exact sentiments we hear today being directed at UIrish, Polish, and Italian immigrants.

When Cruz uses the issue for electoral gain he is playing with fire.

Posted by: jk at December 18, 2014 2:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The people are wrong to distrust Washington? That was my chief assertion on the people's behalf, though I realize it may not have filtered through my tortured prose. They want immigration changes to be done slowly, in the light of day, so we see what happens and can make changes as needed. Instead, Washington does everything with thousand-page bills passed the day after first reading. C'mon, man!

Posted by: johngalt at December 18, 2014 3:07 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm neither making friends nor believing that we are really communicating. We're obviously not that different on restraining Washington.

I remain disappointed with Sen. Cruz. Out of all the abuses, he latches onto immigration which gives him a cheap win with a large part of the base. Many are true believers and perhaps they have Cruz to be their advocate. And I should smile and choose another. Let me highlight ways I am affected.

1. Sen. Cruz does not say "I have this position and others have theirs;" Sen. Cruz says "I represent the people and the others have been swallowed by the Establishment." His positions are far holier than thou's.

2. I have been a thin reed against the tsunami of CRomnibus complaints. It is both a "libertario delenda est" issue and it a :don't jump off the ledge, Republicans!" issue. He profits from that anger (he's the only one listening to you) and he stokes it. You'll concede verisimilitude in the accusation that "he doesn't know politics is a team sport?"

3. He is becoming the face of the party and further associating the GOP with a hardline position.

Posted by: jk at December 18, 2014 6:34 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

> I remain disappointed with Sen. Cruz.

Put me down as shocked... SHOCKED! ;-)

> he latches onto immigration

That, and spending are the two biggies, IMO. That he chose the one that could catch fire is a positive sign in my book. Oh, and we should note that spending does not break any law....

Sen. Cruz says "I represent the people and the others have been swallowed by the Establishment."

Well, you gotta admit he's got polling data and the letter of the law on his side.

"he doesn't know politics is a team sport?"
This is where the venerable Mr. Will has lost his way in the DC swamps: he missed the qualifier BAD POLITICS is ...

Good politics is nearly always a lonely bluff (think of a geological feature, not poker). Ask RR's ghost, who was vastly unpopular for a long time. Shoot, so was Honest Abe....

He is becoming the face of the party and further associating the GOP with a hardline position. Mainly by the liberal media and RINO's who are desperately trying to hide their lack of principle, knowledge and backbone. I don't know that the TP are flocking to his banner, but I'm pretty disconnected.

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 19, 2014 12:43 AM
But Jk thinks:

My gripe about immigration is not priority, my gripe is that I think him wrong -- and he prioritized it. He hinges on the "unconstitutional amnesty" and I appreciate the unconstitutional part. The A-word is a dog whistle to the populist right. I'll listen to any point on immigration, but when I hear the word amnesty, you've lost my serious consideration.

Ronald Reagan was a pretty good party man. Even through disappointing primary losses, he was there from Goldwater to his own nomination. I can't recall his undercutting party leadership in the manner of Cruz.

Posted by: Jk at December 19, 2014 10:57 PM
But Jk thinks:

... And check out thus month's Reason. You'll like their take on Sen. Cruz.

Posted by: Jk at December 19, 2014 11:13 PM

The Segue Master™

Kids, don't try this at home, this is a 12-year blogger.

Social media is rightly abuzz with the first lady's brave tale of pico-aggression. She was in Target (like Jane Goodall seeking understanding of lower primates) and was asked by another shopper to help get some detergent from a high shelf.

"The Humanity" was, of course, my comment but that works anywhere. Many thought it did not happen at all. Some pointed out that the same tale was shared on David Letterman as hilarious relief of non-recognition. Tom Maguire chimes in:

A different explanation is that somebody mistook Michelle for someone who was tall, athletic, and happy to help. And hey, two out of three ain't bad. I throw out that theory, bizarre as it may seem to some, because from time to time women ask me to help them get something down from a tall shelf in a store. Hmm, maybe I look Irish and they think there is a railroad track I ought to be putting down somewhere?

But I have come up with the worst thing about this and the one which puts FLOTUS in the worst possible light. The real comparison is with President George HW Bush (#41 for those playing the home version). He went to a grocery store -- likely on just as political a stunt mission -- and famously remarked in the late 20th Century how amazing the scanner technology was. This was translated by the leftist media as wonder. He's so out of touch -- he's never even seen a scanner! Patrician slob has never been in a store before.

Well, I am going to be so bold as to suggest that the first lady does not shop at Target a lot. If she had, the experience would be more familiar and less demeaning.

The same of course happens to me all the time. "Enschuldigung, mien Herr! Gross Weiss Mann!" Would you grab the detergent off that "hoch" shelf, Bitte?

But do I get upset?

Hasanyi Hailed. Cruz & Warren, Stewed

FOXNews panel on l'Affaire Cruz -- with a bonus David Hanyi reference!

Hat-tip: Umm, David Harsanyi. (Shameless.)

But johngalt thinks:

My comment to this is posted above.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2014 3:48 PM

Is This For Real?

If this is true. maybe I am a Senator Marco Rubio guy after all.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States and Cuba will start talks on normalizing full diplomatic relations, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades, American officials said Wednesday. The announcement comes amid a series of new confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American Alan Gross and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.

Talk about a failed policy: the Cuban embargo is anti-trade, anti-human-rights, and a multi-decadal failure. I am highly supportive of the ex-pat community in S. Florida and know they have supported it, but you gotta know when to fold 'em, amigos.

Anybody seen this in a non-HuffPo source?

Cuba Posted by John Kranz at 11:47 AM | What do you think? [1 comments]
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah man, it's all over FNC. The President gave a speech about it this morning. It seems that much of the barriers are legislative, so Congress will have to act before those come down. Mostly he traded a few Cuban spies for one of ours and Cuba released some political prisoners, including one Jewish American.

I don't get the Marco Rubio reference. He and Robert Menendez are savaging the move.

"Know when to fold 'em" is convenient advice for the Castro brothers, who are both in their golden years or beyond. Word is this was prompted by a letter from the socialist Pope. Kumbaya, and pass the grits comrade.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2014 3:37 PM

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like CRomnibus!

Another nugget unearthed from the 1600 page CRomnibus "a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy."

More important, from the standpoint of activists, Congress' action marked the emergence of a new alliance in marijuana politics: Republicans are taking a prominent role in backing states' right to allow use of a drug the federal government still officially classifies as more dangerous than cocaine.

"This is a victory for so many," said the measure's coauthor, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa. The measure's approval, he said, represents "the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana."

I realize this is not uncontroversial around ThreeSources. For the record, I think the medical benefits of Marijuana are wildly overstated. I like "medical" marijuana as a stepping stone to decriminalization. And I like it as recognition of what Randy Barnett calls our "inalienable right to property in one's person." A sick person (or even a well person on planet jk) should be able to try what they want.

But I'll ask those who do not approve to see this as a step toward 10th Amendment Federalism.

But johngalt thinks:

Today, Kim Strassel brings word of even more GOP policy wins in the Cromnibus:

The omnibus as a result contained more conservative policy progress—from blocking a sage grouse listing, to trucking rules, to EPA authority—than Republicans had gained in the previous four years.

This will be the model for most GOP policy victories. Every spending bill it creates will contain dozens of policy riders, and Mr. Obama will have to choose the ones over which he’ll threaten a veto. The rest, presumably, will pass. Mr. Boehner recently said that he may attach GOP border-security priorities to the Homeland Security funding bill that is due in February. Republicans may not be able to force the president to rescind his immigration executive order, but they might end up with a start to immigration reform.

That sage grouse listing is a big deal in the Rocky Mountain west, as it had the potential to derail oil production in multiple states.

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2014 5:11 PM

December 16, 2014

RINO Sighting

Jeb - "I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States."

He would enter the 2016 race as a top-tier GOP candidate with a perhaps unparalleled fundraising apparatus -- but also with views in support of comprehensive immigration reform and the Common Core educational standards that are deeply out of step with much of the party base.

Instead of modifying his positions, however, Bush has indicated that he will work to persuade fellow Republicans to come around on these hot-button issues.

I'm home today with a case of the mutant flu so I got to watch extended coverage of this on Fox News Channel. Nicole Petalides described the morning DOW rally as a "Bush Bounce" on the news that the Wall Street favorite was announcing for President. "Rilly" thought I? Not the rebound in oil prices? Okay, you're the expert. By the closing bell, however, all of the markets closed down slightly despite a 350 point DOW swing. So much for the "bounce." Now, what about the Bush?

I found myself eerily taken with the news. Here is a temperate man with good hair and fluency in the Spanish tongue. His electability is almost unquestioned (except by dagny who said America won't elect another Bush) but The Independents' Kennedy, for one, offered [on #Outnumbered] an easy solution to that minor handicap: "I believe he is going to change his last name to Reagan. Then he won't have to convince people he is the next Reagan, he can just say, 'I'm Jeb Reagan." As the linked article says, "Jeb Bush served two terms in Tallahassee between 1999 and 2007, during which he developed a deeply conservative record on a wide range of issues." And I've always regarded him higher than his little brother George. I believe he could be a far different President than his brother or father were. So I asked dagny, "Other than perceptions of electability, what issues hurt Jeb with the conservative, or TEA Party, or Liberty wing of the GOP? The pull quote names two of them - immigration and Common Core. I think I could live with his position on immigration. Common Core, however, belies a willingness to concentrate more power in Washington. NOOOOOOO! Has the establishment learned nothing? Maybe, and maybe not. The good thing is, we're about to find out.

But Jk thinks:

Well, Peyton Manning had it and threw for 300 yards and a TD. Just sayin'

This is accepted as proof of end days, but I don't get it of course he was going to run. Probably Govs. Romney and Christie. There will be a pri-mar-y. Where we'll decide. For the record, I'm with dagny.

I am not yelling at ThreeSourcers, but I saw a few "That's it! I'm leaving the Republicans." Umm, stay and help me nominate somebody else.

Mostly, I'm surprised that people are surprised. But next time, I think I'll short the "Bush a Bounce."

Posted by: Jk at December 16, 2014 4:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Other discussions throughout the day suggested that, with Jeb in, Romney is definitely out and Christie may as well not bother. So it will be Jeb and the "Kooky Kids." Other RINOs need not apply.

I don't see this as entirely analogous to the CO Guv race. Beauprez' record in congress was not particularly distinguished and he lost a previous run at the same office, neither of which is true of Jeb. But one parallel is unmistakable: The appearance of "party insiders" hand picking their guy who, somehow, manages to get past all of the grassroots outsiders. With Beauprez my sober opinion is that statewide primary voters went with the name they recognized over some better choices, because they're not paying much attention. In the '16 GOP primary the same dynamic will be in play, but with the added bonus of Jeb knowing what in the h--- he is doing.

Posted by: johngalt at December 16, 2014 5:05 PM
But Jk thinks:

He might soak up all the establishment dough and it all plays out as you say. I don't know if Gov. Christie knows it's over.

Won't I be in my own special circle of hell if he wins because your kool kids all take him on on immigration? The Prosperitarians might rally to the Bush flag.

Posted by: Jk at December 16, 2014 5:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

This is as good a place and time as any to lobby for splitting up the package deal that is collectively known as "immigration."

In the "yes" column:

- Nearly unlimited work visas
- Criminal background checks and medical certificates for visa recipients
- "Illegal" immigrants eligible for work visa without leaving the country
- Deport "illegals" who don't apply for a visa
- Path to citizenship (and voting status) without leaving the country
- Nationwide requirement for voter ID

In the "no" column:

- Government services without a visa
- Safety net programs for non-citizens
- Voting by non-citizens
- Protection of US labor from fair competition

Chances that Jeb's candidacy will shed light on these details? Less than 50%, but still non-zero!

Posted by: johngalt at December 16, 2014 6:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Let me be the first: AMNESTY!!!

Sorry, man, I love it -- every line -- but these hollowed pages are the last place it can be discussed.

Posted by: jk at December 16, 2014 6:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Do you mean, the only place it can be discussed?

Calling what I've outlined "amnesty" is like saying bootleggers should be kept in jail after the repeal of prohibition.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2014 11:52 AM
But jk thinks:

My comment was not well written. Yes, the only place.

And III am not calling it "Amnesty," but all the people at all the places I used to be able to discuss immigration will call anything amnesty if it does not start with border security first and offer any path to residency or citizenship that does not include return to home country. There is no room for negotiation with a large part of the conservative base.

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2014 12:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, that's how I took it - that others would reflexively call it amnesty. And that was why I broke it down: To show that opposing immigration of workers is bald labor protectionism, and is the agenda of labor unions, first and foremost. I believe Laura Ingraham is the worst example of this and I pull my hair out every time I hear her harping about "American workers quality of life." Shall we raise the minimum wage too, Laura?

My premise is that voting and government cheese for non-citizens are the chief concerns of most conservatives, so my plan addressed those concerns.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2014 12:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Let me put me cheerful face on. I have been accused of bad faith in immigration discussions -- and I'll accept some culpability.

But, boy howdy, the Tancredo wing does not follow the rational tack you adumbrate. Let me share a favorite phrase: "What part of illegal don't you understand?" They want these people punished for a crime. They want the border militarized to prevent its ever happening again.

You'll wince by my alluding to Jonathan Haidt / Arnold Kling again, but Conservatives per Kling operate on the order-barbarianism access; the rule of law means more than an economic cost/effect.

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2014 12:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I meant to tell you that I talked to Tancredo about this subject on live radio. His resistance to any change in the status quo comes from a steadfast belief that the political pressure to allow immigrants to vote will be so overwhelming that eventually they'll get the franchise.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2014 3:31 PM

December 15, 2014

Otequay of the Ayday

"An understanding that altruism can produce great evil as well as good is crucial to the defense of human freedom and dignity."

-James Taranto, in last year's essay on Pathological Altruism

All Hail Taranto!


But johngalt thinks:

The first story at the Eunice the Uterus link above is about the role that "Pathological Altruism" played in yesterday's Sydney hostage taking. That was also the subject or my post on saving people or saving the so-called "safety net" 2 weeks ago. I just read, and "Otequayed" an excellent Taranto article on the topic.

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2014 6:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Point of Order: the post is an image and clicking anywhere takes you to James's column. You can scroll to find the individual links to find the items that look like links.

I had hoped you would see the lead story and recommend it to others. (I did not remember last year's posted above). The "benefit of the doubt" afforded the Sydney Terrorist (or misguided Raider Fan) is pretty stunning.

Posted by: jk at December 15, 2014 7:08 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The BOTW article is behind the filthy capitalist pay wall so I wasn't able to read about the Raiders fan and other terrorists. But I did find this video of Taranto talking about the issue. And at the very end he links pathological altruism to the Senate Democrats and their so-called "torture" report.

Posted by: johngalt at December 16, 2014 2:36 PM

Match. Fuse. jk.

I'm off the Ted Cruz (Presidential Candidate - TX) bandwagon.

To be fair, I was never 100% comfortably seated. He has a compelling biography and I enjoyed his speech at the 2012 GOP convention. But, while he can be a principled voice for liberty, I have always found it mixed in equal parts with self-aggrandizement.

I accept that not a lot of humble people run for President. I laugh that -- when I really pinned them down-- what really bothered my progressive friends about President George W. Bush was "arrogance." And I'll concede there was some frat-boy bravado behind the legendary "smirk." I laugh because the new occupant of 1600 Penn is a messianic megalomaniac, but the same crowd is not so much disturbed.

I relate the partisan nature because I must also admit that my preferred candidate, Rand Paul (Presidential Candidate - KY), shares some of the same faults. Yet I assert that Sen. Paul is "doing what it takes to be elected as a 'pragmatic' libertarian."

We'll have plenty of time to sort it out before 2016, but Sen. Cruz's unfortunate stunt cost the cause of liberty dearly.

But Cruz's last-minute procedural maneuver to demand a vote on immigration scuttled that deal and forced senators to stay in Washington for the weekend. Not only did the immigration vote fail by a wide margin, 74-22, but the maneuver allowed Democrats to advance a slate of two dozen Obama nominees to executive branch positions faster than they otherwise would have proceeded.

The nominations include Tony Blinken as deputy secretary of state, Dr. Vivek Murthy as surgeon general, Sarah Saldana as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Carolyn Colvin to lead the Social Security Administration. These, in addition to several judicial appointments, are expected to begin processing on Monday.

"It will have the end result of causing nominees who I think are not well qualified to be confirmed, so I don't understand the approach that he is taking," Republican Susan Collins of Maine told The New York Times. "And I think it's very unfortunate and counterproductive."

Bluto: "This calls for a pointless gesture!" Exactly that for which my Facebook Feed cries. Had he done it over overspending, I might have a bit more sympathy. No, it is over the red-meat, base-firing-up issue of "amnesty!"

So screw it -- he can't even be Vice President now.

UPDATE: "fart-boy corrected to "frat-boy;" ThreeSources apologizes...

But Keith Arnold thinks:

I DO believe I, just minutes ago, made reference to being in "the company of good people" here at ThreeSources. No impunification of any kind was intended.

Let me share a dream here if I may. Imagine if you will taking those eight luminaries I mentioned, and add to them such other names as you might also nominate as fitting in. Imagine all of them issuing a statement that says:

"Together, we all agree on the basic tenets of personal individual liberty. Politically, we agree on all the fundamentals, and about 85% of the rest. We all agree that we'd be happy with any of us being elected President. We want to tell you, together, why America should elect one of us, and in the process, we'll also be sharing our distinctive as to why each of us wants to be the one you pick. Give us a listen."

What a road tour that could be! It's a bad metaphor, but think of it as the Traveling Wilburys of political thought. Imagine them re-selling America, together, on the ideals of individual and economic liberty.

My take is that the best way to get a liberty-minded candidate the nomination instead of a RINO is to sell America on liberty first, and the candidate second.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 15, 2014 4:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh yes, I do like that strategy. We need to centrally-plan our campaign against central planning! [Pun intended, but my approbation is sincere - the fake nicey-nice teamwork that comes along with collective thought is a powerful selling point to moderates, unaffiliateds and other squishes.

Defend Ted Cruz' grandstanding? No real hope of doing anything good? How about showing all the "this is 'merica, dammit!" activists that the frontal approach will never work? If they could come around to your more measured modus operandi, as you have helped me to adopt, and we won more elections with better candidates as a result, THAT would be something good.

I'm not saying that is definitely Ted's endgame, but he's a smart enough dude that it could be so.

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2014 4:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Too big a hurry to start my next thought and didn't finish the first...

A little bit of SINCERE teamwork would go a long way to impress the electorate that, if enough "right-wing nutjobs" can agree on something, maybe that something isn't so nutty?

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2014 4:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Well, I did try to start a fight. I can't very well get offended at disagreement.

Brother Keith, I do like the shared principles plan -- a lot. It would be great to have each candidate continually reaffirm the shared values: "While I agree with my colleague that property rights are sacrosanct, I feel the best approach is..." I would add the step of controlling the debates. Are we to trust Candy Crowley and George Stephanopoulos to tease out the nuance between Bobby Jindal and Carly Fiorina?

Brother jg brings up a good point -- a wicked bastard of a good point as Rowan Atkinson says in "Bernard & the Genie."* Viz. comity brought us Mister E. Edward Establishment III in Colorado's Gubernatorial GOP race. If people are too nicey-nicey, there may be a yearning for a familiar name or proven fundraising prowess.

But I am still choosing. And Sen. Cruz lost points this week. Not just for a misstep, but one that plays into a long held concern. The quintuple-meta 16-dimensional chess move jg describes could be true but is not my first assumption.

* [Seriously, consider this allusion a 5-star recommendation]

Posted by: jk at December 15, 2014 5:26 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"... Are we to trust Candy Crowley and George Stephanopoulos..."

Hell, no.

"Well, I did try to start a fight..."

Didn't take it as such; like the favored candidates I named, I think all of us here agree on a lot more than not. What distinguishes us doesn't divide us. Huh; maybe a lot of people in politics could learn something from us. We may have significant differences on guns, religion, drugs, or immigration that make us all interesting. I know I've changed since I first started participated here, and I'm the better for it.

"But I am still choosing."

If history is any teacher, I will likely have to change my choices somewhere along the way as mine fall by the wayside. We've had some interesting conversations on these pages about the relative ranking of past presidents, and I wouldn't be averse to doing the same to the field of candidates. Besides the ones already named in the comments up to this point, are there any I've missed that we might want to include at this point?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 15, 2014 7:53 PM
But Jk thinks:

Condoleeza Rice.

Posted by: Jk at December 15, 2014 8:46 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

So this story from a lefty journal (as did one in WaPo that PowerLine cited) notes the following as confirmed:

a deputy Sec. of State, Surgeon Gen'l (disliked by the NRA for some social media posts), the head of SSC, the lead of ICE... what, maybe 2-3 weeks earlier than they would have otherwise been?

Talk about a tempest in a teapot. And why hold fire on Sen. Lee? B/c he's not targeted by the liberal media, is all I can see.

Mostly importantly, is there any doubt dingy Harry would have gotten these appt's confirmed before the GOP wave washed in? The media avoided that little detail, as apparently everyone here did. Lastly, I'll say these stories are working on GOP fratricide the way Sharpton worked the crowds in Ferguson. Put down the matches, my fellow walkers.

Cruz is not likely to get very far in GOP primary land b/c he is so principled, well-spoken and would rather "Fight, than switch" (to cite an old death-stick schtick from the ole' days)...oh, and such a target for liberal bile.

If we're going to pile on one of our best and brightest, can it be over something real, and not just "annoying Republicans" or giving the liberal media an inviting target?

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 15, 2014 11:34 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Doubling down on Nanobrewer's: Twitchy weighs in on whether this is Cruz' fault: http://bit.ly/1A0WN5B

Money quote: "Thanks to Ted Cruz, Mike Lee & the other conservatives who are being smeared for doing what the whole GOP should be doing."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 16, 2014 12:04 AM
But jk thinks:

I wondered if I would get a full throated defense of Sen. Cruz. Well played!

Senate rules and procedures are such witchery that it is hard to say who is right. My understanding was that Cruz's tactic forced the session to last over the weekend and that this gave Sen. Reid an extra few days' tenure as Majority Leader. Without Cruz, he would have had to convince his caucus to stay an extra weekend -- and we are not talking about men and women with Peyton Manning's work ethic.

I consider another three days of the 113th Senate an unalloyed bad. I don't agree with Sen. Lindsey Graham (FOXNews - SC) everyday, but I join him in desire to close the book on 113 and -- as the great political philosopher Bob Segar said -- turn the page.

Posted by: jk at December 16, 2014 10:26 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's an interesting article on Cruz' strategy, suggesting that "it seems all but a given that [he] will mount a bid for the White House."

The assumption from one Cruz adviser is that it is the filter of the media that has generated the negativity surrounding Cruz and fueled the misperceptions about him. If he runs for president, the idea is that voters will see him unfiltered, and that he will succeed in persuading them. He will first have to win a primary, and another senior adviser tells me that there, he expects most of the contenders to offer poor imitations of Cruz's anti-Washington shtick. "Do you think anybody's going to out-anti-Washington Ted Cruz?" he asks. "Good luck."
Posted by: johngalt at December 16, 2014 3:59 PM

Quote of the Day

Jim Geraghty [subscribe], helping the media discover underlying motivation:

Guys. Guys. If an armed perpetrator brings a black flag with Islamic writing to a hostage situation, and makes the hostages hold it up in the windows so the media can see it . . . it isn't to protest against the Islamic State or Islamic extremism. He's not a confused Oakland Raider fan who really likes cursive writing.

Maybe the guy couldn't stop by the Islamic State Merchandising Shop on his way to the hostage site. Maybe he's not detail-oriented. But Occam's Razor would suggest that a guy who makes hostages hold up an Islamic flag so the media can see it is acting in the name of an Islamist agenda.

Extra points, as always, for an AFC West reference

December 14, 2014

Remember at the Tea Party Rallies?

When we printed rules for how African American participants were supposed to behave?

Yeah, me neither.

Just. Wow.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:23 PM | What do you think? [1 comments]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I think the last time we had printed rules for African-American participants, it was called the Dred Scott Decision.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 15, 2014 1:05 PM

Don't click this. Comments (2)