July 30, 2010

Tweet of the Day

The Volt is the Emperor's new car. --@terraM

Doesn't the Eighth Amendment Pertain to Congressfolk?

Rep. Charles Rangel might have to face...a rebuke.

WASHINGTON – The panel that charged New York Democrat Charles Rangel with 13 counts of ethical misdeeds recommended he receive a relatively mild rebuke by the full House, one of the investigators said Friday.

The House ethics committee has a range of punishments it can administer or recommend to the full House. A reprimand is simply a vote by the House to express displeasure with a member's conduct, and would follow a finding of guilt in a trial.

Poke her with the soft cushions!!!!!

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Two steps below as strongly-worded letter from the United Nations. Somebody owes Adam Clayton Powell an apology.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2010 5:39 PM
But jk thinks:

Merciful Zeus, Powell and Rangel have held that seat since 1945.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2010 6:12 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Let me just double down on that one: Rangel's main challenger in the upcoming primary? Adam Clayton Powell IV. To quote Alan Rickman in Dogma: "It never ends!"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2010 6:54 PM

It Might Make You Fat!

Sleep easy tonight, parents, the children are now safe!

Last night the United States Senate voted to double the penalties for the nation’s newest existential threat: brownies made with marijuana!

The Senate unanimously passed Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)’s “Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act of 2009″ (S. 258) that targets pot brownies and other marijuana edibles preferred by some medical marijuana patients. The bill next moves to the House; if it passes that chamber, anyone making pot brownies or similar products could be subject to double the fines and jail time for regular marijuana.

Senator Feinstein (Grassley's in too, maybe if they used corn sweetener instead of sugar...) is afraid this will lead to "candy flavored meth."

Hat-tip: NRO Corner. Andrew Stuttaford gets a Headline-of-the-Day for Another Fine Meth

War on Drugs Posted by John Kranz at 4:16 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Right, this is for the children. "Careful the things you say - children will listen..."

The penalty for Alice B. Toklas Brownies is doubled; the penalty for thirteen separate charges of corruption in the Senate is barely a scolding. Definitely convenient seeking this is two consecutive posts.

What will the children learn from this, huh?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 30, 2010 5:43 PM

Jobs Diverted or Destroyed

The Obama administration loves to tout wholly ficticious "jobs created or saved" statistics for its $1.1 trillion stimulous. Warren Meyer, in a Forbes.com article, absolutely destroys the notion that government stimulus is an investment. ThreeSourcer's homework this weekend is to read this article and forward it to three moonbat friends. It will not be news to any Three Sources regulars, but it is the most resonating argument to date. The section about government regulation stifling small business especially hits home as The Refugee has lived that one.

Meyer's concluding paragraph:

To every one of the supporters of these government projects who claim to have created some number of jobs, I encourage the reader to ask a simple question--who was using the money before the government diverted it, and how many jobs were they creating?

Beautiful. One must ask: "How many jobs has Obama diverted or destroyed?" I think we're up to about eight million. For those keeping score at home, that means it has cost the taxpayer only $137,500 for every job diverted or destroyed.

Economics and Markets Posted by Boulder Refugee at 2:40 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

He gets an A today. Would have been an A+ if he had mentioned Bastiat, who he definitely has read, but he was probably constrained for space. :)

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 30, 2010 3:19 PM
But jk thinks:

When Professor Refugee gave us all weekend for the assignment, I feared it was 100 pages. Nope, it is brief and readable and punchy. Awesome.

(I did change your link to point at page one instead of two.)

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2010 3:49 PM

Proud to be a Republican

We're the party of thought and ideas and ideals. And the ONLY thing that can mess it up is when we win majorities and have to govern.

Rep. Paul Ryan has superb plans for entitlements, Rep Tom Price has an excellent plan for budget and Federal discretionary spending.

Now Kim Strassel shares California Rep. Devin Nunes's Energy Roadmap. And it strikes me as a thing of beauty.

Mr. Nunes's interest is how to answer these concerns in a more free-market way. The Californian's road map is the product of years of work, most recently with Mr. Ryan and a handful of Republicans with energy expertise—Illinois's John Shimkus, Utah's Rob Bishop, and Idaho's Mike Simpson. It's a bill designed to produce energy, not restrict it. It returns government to the role of energy facilitator, not energy boss. It costs nothing and contains no freebies. It instead offers a competitive twist to government support of renewable energy.

Both Strassel and I would prefer that renewals "sink or swim" ("...and swim just left town...") but Nunes funds them with royalties from extraction and introduces a pricing mechanism, and -- gasp! -- competition and scoring.
It would divert all the federal resource royalties into a fund. Companies or individuals with proven renewable technology would take part in a reverse auction. They'd bid for government bucks; those that can produce the most megawatts for the least money win. Auction winners forego other federal handouts. And consider this: The more fossil fuel extraction, the more royalties (potentially hundreds of billions of dollars) available to boost alternative energy.

Noocyulur power would not be subsidized, but regulatory hurdles would be dealt with. Like the Green Lobby, it would be put up or shut up time for the denizens of deuterium:
Rather than throw federal loan guarantees at uncertain nuclear plants, the legislation attacks the true problem: bureaucratic roadblocks. It streamlines a creaky regulatory process, requires the timely up-or-down approval of 200 plants over 30 years, and offers new flexibility for dealing with nuclear waste. Mr. Nunes likes to point out that his nuclear provision alone would do more to reduce carbon emissions than any Democratic proposal in existence. And it would in fact create, ahem, green jobs. Imagine that.

Now if we can just do something to keep the GOP out of power for a few more years so that these great ideas keep coming.

UPDATE: And then there's Senator John Thune:

He is best known for being the man who retired Democratic Minority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004, but GOP Senator John Thune of South Dakota is now striving for some policy and political visibility. He's just made a sweeping proposal to reform the clearly broken Congressional budget process.

Last year, Mr. Thune became head of the Republican Policy Committee, a leadership post that puts him in charge of generating the party's position on key issues. He's also being talked about as a dark horse presidential candidate by Republican strategists who aren't enamored by any of the likely 2012 contenders.

Minus ten points for "line item veto." Conservatives have got to jump off that train if they want to keep any Constitutional cred. Love the idea of President Christie stripping pork but I'm less keen on President Obama stripping out the tax cuts and pocketing the spending increases.

Going Cold Turkey

The Refugee has noted that Coffeehousin' is conspicuous by its absense this week. Guess he'll just have to dig into the archives for a "Best of..." fix.

Music Posted by Boulder Refugee at 12:29 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Always touched to be missed -- thanks.

I just put up a "remastered" version of You're not Sick (You're Just in Love) Our first three-digit hit.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2010 1:03 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

A classic!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 30, 2010 2:17 PM

Yet Some Still Doubt Government's Investing Prowess

Below, the Wall Street Journal suggests that that the Feds might not make $1.1 Billion the CBO projected with their scheme to invest in banks and funnel loans to small businesses. Well that's the WSJ Ed Page -- whaddya expect?

Now their right-wing buddies at the New York Times Opinion page carry a guest editorial by Edward Neidermeyer which calls the Government Motors Chevy Volt "a vehicle that costs $41,000 but offers the performance and interior space of a $15,000 economy car."

Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.

In the end, making the bailout work — whatever the cost — is the only good reason for buying a Volt. The car is not just an environmental hair shirt (a charge leveled at the Prius early in its existence), it is an act of political self-denial as well.

If G.M. were honest, it would market the car as a personal donation for, and vote of confidence in, the auto bailout. Unfortunately, that’s not the kind of cross-branding that will make the Volt a runaway success.

Effing Nascar Retards...

Hat-tip: Jonathan Last

Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 12:05 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

How's this for great minds thinking alike? JK just got the category wrong.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 30, 2010 12:28 PM
But jk thinks:

And six minutes late! It's nice of you guys to let me play with you.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2010 12:37 PM


The New York Times published an OpEd by Edward Niedermeyer that takes to task the amount of taxpayer money pumped into GM's Volt electric vehicle. (Separately, The Refugee is furiously seaching the Web weather reports for confirmation that hell has indeed frozen over. It's gonna be a bad year for oranges.) Here's the "money" paragraph:

Quantifying just how much taxpayer money will have been wasted on the hastily developed Volt is no easy feat. Start with the $50 billion bailout (without which none of this would have been necessary), add $240 million in Energy Department grants doled out to G.M. last summer, $150 million in federal money to the Volt’s Korean battery supplier, up to $1.5 billion in tax breaks for purchasers and other consumer incentives, and some significant portion of the $14 billion loan G.M. got in 2008 for “retooling” its plants, and you’ve got some idea of how much taxpayer cash is built into every Volt.

If you arbitrarily take about 20% of this total and allocate it to the Volt, then taxpayers have ponied up about $11 billion. That's enough to produce 268, 292 Volts at the $41,000 sticker. But wait, only 10,000 are being produced. So, it's costing the taxpayer about $1.1 million per unit. (Don't like The Refugee's numbers? Insert your own. They're horrifying no matter what assumptions you use.)

Here's a marketing idea that would make Bob Barker look like a piker: give every net-taxpayer a new Volt under the notion that they've already paid for them. Under this plan, net tax receivers need not apply, for obvious reasons. Of course, Obama would turn that on its head and give them to the poor and disavantaged in the name of Social Justice. But at least they wouldn't have an excuse for not getting to work.

Economics and Markets Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:59 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Don't think so? How 'bout, "My electricity was shut off and I couldn't charge my new free car."

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2010 5:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Of course we'd give them electricity, too jg. Man you think we're completely heartless?

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2010 5:33 PM

Son of TARP

We discussed the small business bill the other day around my attempt to actually post humor on ThreeSources. On purpose and all.

The WSL Ed Page is a little slower, but they get to it today. They note that the savvy will look at any business legislation from this administration and ask "What's the catch?"

And sure enough, most of the tax cuts are so narrowly targeted as to be economically trivial. The list includes bonus depreciation, small business expensing and a temporary zero capital gains tax rate for small business start-ups. These would be in place for a year or two and then vanish, which means they'll do little to change business behavior. Only a small fraction of America's 40 million or so small businesses would even qualify for the capital gains cut. But at least all of this would do little harm.

The same can't be said for the most expensive provision of the bill, which creates a new Small Business Lending Fund. Hard as it is to believe, the fund would operate as a new TARP program in which Uncle Sam would take an ownership stake in small banks.

The bill authorizes Treasury to purchase up to $30 billion of stock in small, community banks across the country. The banks in turn would agree to issue as much as $300 billion in loans to small businesses that they wouldn't otherwise lend to. You can bet that many businesses that get the loans will be engaged in not very profitable, but politically correct activities, such as diversity investing and renewable energy. Sound at all like subprime mortgage loans?

Here's the best part: The whiz kids at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that this program will raise $1.1 billion for the federal government. So there really is a free lunch.

The assumption is that these banks will make such wise loans that they'll make a bundle and the Treasury will get its money back in dividends on its preferred stock. But then why not have Treasury invest $100 billion to leverage $1 trillion in new loans? Or why not $2 trillion? If government-directed investment and lending can conjure such returns, the deficit should vanish in no time.

The government is going to make billions loaning to small business! What a great idea! It is a pity that nobody in the private sector ever considered this lucrative line of work.

Think I'll go back to bed now...

But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"The bill authorizes Treasury to purchase up to $30 billion of stock in small, community banks across the country. The banks in turn would agree to issue as much as $300 billion in loans to small businesses that they wouldn't otherwise lend to."

I forget where else I heard this called "leveraging." This, and I cannot emphasize this enough, is not leveraging. You can borrow to acquire assets, and loans can be extended to companies already in debt, but you cannot lend money that you don't already have. You cannot turn $30 million into $300 million.

And as I've pointed out before, if these were such good loans in the first place, why aren't the banks already loaning?

The real story is this: these are banks that are not necessarily in trouble, but the FDIC will shut them down if they don't take this $30 million and lend out the other 90%. Ever since this federally engineered crisis began, the FDIC has been shutting down banks so that they can be sold to competitors. Political connections are all-important now. And the FDIC can use mark-to-market and any other accounting trick to declare a bank insolvent when it's still fine. One of my friends had an account at a "failed" bank yet had no problem with his money.

This is like Tony Soprano taking a stake in a bank, allowing him to share in the profits, and telling the bank to loan to all these friends of his. If his friends' ventures fail, no doubt it's to cover all the gambling they did with the loans (q.v. the HUD episodes). When the bank goes bankrupt, then as a holder of preferred stock, Tony will be among the first to get paid out. (The feds always deal in preferred stock, which ordinarily have no voting rights, but the threat of the FDIC shutting down banks gives feds the ultimate voting rights.) If the bank makes a profit, Tony will share in it.

The beauty of it is that it isn't Tony's money in the first place. It's all shakedown money from local businesses, just like the feds can loan out money that isn't theirs, yet have every ability to spend the profits.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 30, 2010 2:16 PM

July 29, 2010

That Wouldn't Be a Keynesian Multiplier...

Deepest congrats to ThreeSources friend The Everyday Economist:

Blogging will be light of the next couple of days as Mrs. Economist and I welcomed our second little boy into the world yesterday. Baby and mom are doing great.

Five days later, however, he posts an awesome and highly recommended exegesis on whether unemployment benefits are stimulative

But johngalt thinks:

One more free-market protege. Keep 'em comin'!

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2010 12:44 AM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:


Posted by: mdmhvonpa at July 30, 2010 11:02 AM

Sneek Peek

Thanks to Instapunit and Reason.tv:

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 4:02 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

"He doesn't owe you shit."

Works for me.

I note that he says "Part 1" is "only 127 pages." I'd like to see Part I be the first 10 chapters, followed by parts 2 and 3 with 10 more chapters each. I hope he's only referring to screenplay pages.

Posted by: johngalt at August 4, 2010 3:06 PM

Mazel Tov, Chelsea!

Quelle horreur ! Chelsea Clinton is reportedly spending $2 Million on her wedding! Shouldn't she give that money to the homeless? Hell no. Her parents have money and her guest list will be large and let's say "high end."

I hope for a lovely day and offer the best of wishes. There is life beyond politics and I'm not churlish enough to begrudge her a nice wedding. I'm also something of a fan because Jenna Bush has said that Chelsea was always nice and helpful to the twins.

So get over it! A nice young lady is going to have a nice wedding.

However, about the song list...

Music: TMZ reported this week that they had a copy of the playlist Clinton and her fiancé gave to the live band playing at the wedding. The songs are a mix of oldies and pop hits, including several Michael Jackson songs (“Billie Jean” "The Way You Make Me Feel," “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Rock With You”). Also on the playlist: “Wild World” by Cat Stevens, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, “Think” by Aretha Franklin, U2’s “Beautiful Day,” and ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” others. One of the newer songs: “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. (We’re taking this tidbit with a grain of salt.)

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 3:42 PM | What do you think? [0]

Riddle of the day

I'm going to have to paraphrase, but Larry Kudlow had a discussion last night with Kristie Arslan, Executive Director of the National Association for the Self-Employed and Peter Navarro, business school professor at UC Irvine.

Arslan praises the current small business bill as providing valuable benefits for her members: increased expensing, tax cuts, SBA loans. Navarro suggests -- and I agree -- that broad based tax cuts and less spending would be better than making business jump through hoops for targeted programs. But he opens his talk, after a serous show of support from the Executive Director of the National Association for the Self-Employed with:

Q: How do you create a small business during the Obama Administration?
A: Start with a big one!

Larry winced but the lovely bride and I laughed out loud and clicked back the TiVo to see it again.

But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Good lord, they miss the point, when all it takes is asking a simple question:

Where does that money coming from?

This "bill" may stimulate businesses, but at the expense of taxpayers (now if paying with current tax revenues, later if paying with deficit spending). Taxpayers would otherwise spend that money on something else, or save it so the private sector could lend it to someone worthy. Bastiat and broken windows FTW.

But more important is this sheer immorality of forcing taxpayers to invest in businesses that they otherwise would not, that they're already capable of investing in should they so desire. If a local bank thought a shop could do well, they'd be happy to extend a line of credit. When a small business can't get a loan from the private sector, there's a good and eminently logical reason: the private sector considers the business too risky, or the private sector doesn't know about it (in which case it's not lenders' fault, but the borrower's fault for not making enough effort).

The SBA loan default rate hit 12% in 2009. That was possible only because government forces people to "lend" their money to others they don't trust. No bank would ever think of taking such risks. Yet the feds, hypocritically harping for 22 months on how banks took too many risks, have no problem throwing our tax money into businesses that flatly don't deserve to get the loans.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 29, 2010 4:36 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"broad based tax cuts and less spending would be better than making business jump through hoops for targeted programs."

Oh by the way, this is correct. What a novel concept that individuals can succeed when allowed to keep the fruits of their labor!

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 29, 2010 4:38 PM
But jk thinks:

Look on the bright side, Perry. The defender of non-confiscatory taxation teaches school at UC-Irvine. That's gotta lift your heart a little.

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2010 4:57 PM

Ding Dong the DAWG is Dead

I've read a dozen of these and generally find them too optimistic. But Shikha Dalmia says

Future historians will pinpoint Democratic Sen. Harry Reid's energy legislation, released Tuesday, as the moment that the political movement of global warming entered an irreversible death spiral. It is kaput! Finito! Done!

Unlike predecessors, Dalmia admits the back-to-the-cavers will not give up soon and will cause a bit more havoc before they do. Another big private-jetfest is in the works, and they will try to use Executive power and state initiatives. But dead is dead.
The global warming warriors will likely have to go through the five stages of grief before accepting that their moment has passed and the movement is dead. Thinkers more sophisticated than Krugman will no doubt point to many proximate causes for its demise beyond evil Republicans such as lack of engagement by President Obama, bad economic timing, filibuster rules, what have you.

The reality is, however, that the crusade was doomed from the start because of its own inherent weaknesses. RIP

Standing on Horses

Starting tomorrow in sunny (and chilly) Santa Barbara, California is the American Vaulting Association 2010 National Championships. The event is also recognized by the United States Equestrian Federation. Clubs from all over the USA and Canada send vaulters to compete in individual and team classes, including from... Fort Lupton, Colorado!

Yours truly will be competing this year in individual, team and a pairs class with my 5 year-old. Said pairs event is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:55 Pacific Time (actual time can vary, early or late from the schedule, and the schedule can also change.)

And, believe it or not, events will be webcast live. We're in "Red Arena" which I believe will be "Arena 2" on the broadcast site. There's also a schedule page that might be updated to have us listed by name sometime tomorrow. (Eric & Zoe). Our class is called "Trot Pas de Deux" or "Trot Pairs." Wish us luck!

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Good for her! I'll be that little 5-year old is excited. Good stuff.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 30, 2010 10:56 AM
But johngalt thinks:

It's all over but the crying...

Our trot team finished 3rd, which we are happy with but expected better. Some judging "peculiarities" as they say. Oh well.

Personally I came in fourth of four trot men ... sniff ... but one of the two judges had me third in freestyle!! (Little bits of hope keep me goin'. Honestly, those other three guys were pretty good, and under 18 yrs., but I can still do better next time.)

And two members of our team won prestigious "Zone Award" jackets for having the highest average score from three or more regional competitions in the Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma region. Woo Hoo!

Now the 18 hour odyssey begins to get back home. See you in a couple days. -JG

Posted by: johngalt at August 2, 2010 10:21 AM
But jk thinks:

Congrats and safe travels, bro!

Posted by: jk at August 2, 2010 12:16 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Way to go! The vagueries of subjective scoring systems always add an interesting and unpredictable dimension to the competition.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at August 2, 2010 6:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Was it the Russian judges again? If it was Russians, say Russians!

Posted by: jk at August 2, 2010 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

We're Back! (to Atlantis Farm.)

Of course, if the judging is subjective then so is the reaction to said judging. In the judges' favor, there were two of them and both apparently had similar scores.

But more importantly, in my rush to click "post" and get out of the motel lobby and on the road I forgot to also include what a great joy it was to meet Brother KA and his lovely bride in person on Saturday! They took the time to come and see what vaulting is all about and to chat for a while with yours truly. [It took us a while to find each other. I was advised that we may have had a KA sighting since someone came to our paddocks and asked for "John Galt, the blogger" only to be met with bewilderment by the solitary parent who was holding down the fort. KA later recognized me by my club T-shirt.] It was more than a bit chaotic, with horses and schedules and children swirling about us, but we did get a chance to talk about a few things that might make it onto these pages soon. One of them was a 3Sources meet-up some time, some where. Only an idea at this point. Nonetheless, I was very pleased to have finally met (and learned about their budding small-business venture.)

Posted by: johngalt at August 4, 2010 2:58 PM

July 28, 2010

The Sire's new digs

I mentioned it in a hat-tip, but this is post-worthy!

The Galley Slaves is now Jonathan Last Online

Looks good. I will update the blogroll.

Metaphorical Defenestration

Matt Labash metaphorically puts JournoLister Spencer Ackerman through a metaphoric plate glass window.

WAIT! If, like me, you know Ackerman only through his loony ravings on paper, prep yourself by getting to know the real man himself. Click on over to my sire's new digs and view a not-quite-brief-enough encounter with the real Spense.

Now, onto La Bash

The glass alley symbolizes what Hackerman will put your head through, just as soon as he’s done tweeting about one of his favorite bands, Burzum, because they are BAD ASS. They’re kind of like the Attackermans of Norweigan black metal, showing early Tolkien influences since as their Facebook page stipulates, “Burzum” means “darkness” in the black speech of Mordor. The fact that Attackerman is pants-less means he’s flashing you his knob. Because that’s what knobs do: put their dickhood on display.

I’m not a dream interpretation expert, of course. You might want to run this by Hackerman himself. Though he doesn’t seem to be answering many questions lately, not since his Journolist bleatings were released.

Ow. That has gotta hurt.

Change the Blog Name?

I hate to abandon Sharansky, but look what is available:


UPDATE: I bought it. I am not certain what to do with it (I will point it toward ThreeSources for now) but I can see some great logo designs... Anybody wants an email account let me know.

But T. Greer thinks:

I am curious as to how you came across the domain name in the first place.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 28, 2010 7:11 PM
But jk thinks:

From the JournoList archives:
LAURA ROZEN: People we no longer have to listen to: would it be unwise to start a thread of people we are grateful we no longer have to listen to? If not, I’ll start off: Michael Rubin.

MICHAEL COHEN, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Mark Penn and Bob Shrum. Anyone who uses the expression “Real America.” We should send there ass to Gitmo!

JESSE TAYLOR, PANDAGON.NET: Michael Barone? Please?

LAURA ROZEN: Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich (afraid it’s not true), Drill Here Drill Now, And David Addington, John Yoo, we’ll see you in court?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, THE NEW YORKER: As a side note, does anyone know what prompted Michael Barone to go insane?


SPENCER ACKERMAN: Let’s just throw Ledeen against a wall. Or, pace Dr. Alterman, throw him through a plate glass window. I’ll bet a little spot of violence would shut him right the fuck up, as with most bullies.

JOE KLEIN, TIME: Pete Wehner…these sort of things always end badly.

I just thought it would be a good blog name. Maybe I hould get out more...

Posted by: jk at July 28, 2010 7:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Y not "f******nascarretards.com?" Hey, if respected journalists can say it...

Can you even imagine the self loathing it requires to define your intelligence by how stupid you think "the other" is?

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2010 10:31 AM
But jk thinks:

I think all those stars would mess up DNS, jg.

Is this a lot worse than Ann Coulter or Glenn Beck?

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2010 12:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Or me going after the Dalai Lama?

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2010 12:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In public discourse (yes, even in limited distribution like 'Journolist') using the F-bomb is the equivalent of invoking Hitler - your argument is lost.(IMHO)

I don't recall hearing or reading a single F-bomb from Beck or Coulter (or you.)

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2010 12:46 PM

Dear Tea Party Patriots: No. Love, jk

The Tea Party Patriots send an email (web version here) that asks "Will you stand with AZ tomorrow?"

I accept that a populist movement will exhibit a bit of populism, but frozen-illegals-on-a-stick, man, this is a dilution of the message. I'll stand toe-to-toe with the enforcement first folk in a battle for Constitutional rule. But to hijack the name and the mailing list for the conservative cause du jour is disturbing.

For another side, Patriots, let me suggest a guest editorial today by Alex Nowrasteh of the CEI. Nowrasteh is not bleeding hearts for the poor migrants. He makes a startling and substantive case for the interests of business, law enforcement and liberty.

The problems begin in Section 2 of the law, which grants all legal residents the power to sue any state agency or official that they believe is failing to enforce immigration laws. This provision will funnel millions of dollars to trial lawyers and put Arizona police officers in a no-win situation.

As 19-year Phoenix Police Department veteran David Salgado has said, enforcing the law could get him sued by the federal government for violating civil-rights protections, while failing to enforce the law could get him sued by anti-immigration activists. Two county sheriffs in Arizona have already created funds to cover their departments against the lawsuits that will inevitably come, undermining law enforcement and enriching trial lawyers along the way.

Awesome piece -- let me know if you'd like me to mail it to you.

Immigration Posted by John Kranz at 3:38 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

I agree that I'd rather not see the TEA Party devolve into issues other than taxes and spending, but when you get the hard working, tax paying citizenry riled up enough to become political activists you can't be surprised when they tell you EVERYTHING that pisses them off.

Illegal immigration is a complicated issue but the common themes I see among those who actively oppose it are: illegals steal identities in order to get jobs, illegals demand the unearned via emergency rooms, welfare, etc., and to a lesser extent they take jobs in a time of high unemployment. I'd rather see them focus on social security reform, welfare reform, healthcare reform, and as I said, TAX and SPENDING reform to achieve their goals. But how do you put that on a sign and wave it at an intersection?

Posted by: johngalt at July 29, 2010 12:35 PM
But jk thinks:

I think I have a great answer for this. Disabuse if I am wrong:

The good folks, once riled up may march for their own positions on immigration, abortion, gay marriage, or the infield fly rule. It's a free country.

But I encourage them to use the Tea Party name ONLY in issues where the Federal government has exceeded its Constitutional authority. That is what the tea party stands for.

This site proves you can have different opinions of immigration. Even all the wrong ones you mention above (tee hee). But nobody can claim an expansion from the Constitutional purview. It is an enumerated power. If you go for irony, all the sign wavers are mad that the government has refrained from using its authority.

The Tea Party is our last chance to avoid Velveeta Socialism. If the message is diffused it will fail.

Posted by: jk at July 29, 2010 12:46 PM

Get Out the Book of Bokonon

Instapundit says "as long as it's not Ice IX"

And yet, Vonnegut fans may start looking for a final place:

Artificially controlling water condensation leads to 'room-temperature ice'
July 27, 2010 Earth's climate is strongly influenced by the presence of particles of different shapes and origins -- in the form of dust, ice and pollutants -- that find their way into the lowest portion of the atmosphere, the troposphere. There, water adsorbed on the surface of these particles can freeze at higher temperatures than pure water droplets, triggering rain and snow.

If the allusion passes you by, you have missed one the greatest English language novels, Cat's Cradle.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:40 PM | What do you think? [0]

July 27, 2010

This should be good.

Writing off $9.9 Billion of losses related to the oil spill.

So, the clean-up of BP’s Gulf oil spill may cost U.S. taxpayers after all.

President Obama has insisted BP would bare the entire cost of cleaning up the spill and making the injured business and wildlife whole again. And yet BP said today it plans to claim $9.9 billion in U.S. tax credits based on the $32.2 billion charge it reported related to costs for the Gulf oil spill. That means that $9.9 billion that might have been going into the federal government’s general fund will be used to cut BP’s spill costs by a third.

I'm sure they're probably entitled. And I'll not complain. But Lawd o'Mercy, I don't think this will go very well.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:22 PM | What do you think? [9]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Less money STOLEN from BP? Not as much for the feds to dole out to those who live off the sweat of others?

Sounds fine to me. Let's all stop acting like the feds were entitled to a goddamn penny of that money in the first place.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 28, 2010 12:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Go Alex C! Go Alex C!

Go Perry E! Go Perry E!

And BR isn't wrong, he's just not "take your tax bill and shove it" enough to warrant some blog cheerleading.

Posted by: johngalt at July 28, 2010 9:09 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

That was good for a laugh, JG!

Lemme try again: "If those %@!$*& in Congress would eliminate the corporate income tax, corporations would stop gaming the system with loopholes, off-shore accounts, loss carry-forward, double declining balance amortization and every other trick in the book!! In addition, it would repatriate massive amounts of working capital that would be used to put Americans to work and drive the unemployment rate from 9.5% to 4% in 24 months!! Get your tax laws off of my corporate entity!! #&$^@* morons!

How'm I doin'?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 29, 2010 12:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Just imagine all the tax accountants who'd be left jobless. But yes, Go B R! ;)

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2010 12:42 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

As much as I like my tax accountant as a person, I would not mind seeing them-that's-like-her having to team up with the trial lawyers to start a hot dog stand.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 30, 2010 10:58 AM
But jk thinks:

Like a tax accountant and a trial lawyer could run a hot dog stand...

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2010 11:11 AM

Politics of the Second Amendment

Foxnew.com carries a interesting piece today about the politics of the Second Amendment and its impact on Democrats. In an earlier post, The Refugee had pointed out that many union members own guns; this article puts some numbers to that claim.

The whole articles is worth the read and excerpting it is difficult. Nevertheless:

"Gun ownership in the country amid labor unions folks runs from a low of 48% in California to a high of 60, 70, 80% in states like Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia. In the 2000 election, half of those union members had a firearm in their home voted for George Bush over Al Gore based on the gun issue and that cost Al Gore the presidency." [according to Wayle LaPierre, CEO of the NRA]

According to the center for responsive politics, a non-partisan group that tracks political spending, during the 2002 election cycle the NRA put 8% of their federal campaign contributions toward Democrats. This election cycle, they've received 26% percent.

This is no reason for most of us to vote for a Dem. However, to the extent that Democrats embrace the Second Amendment and we can put it into the - ahem - "safe" category, it is to the unalloyed good. The NRA's job is get pro-gun politicians elected. If both the Republican and the Democrat in a race are pro-gun, then they can't lose. After that, it allows the rest of us to focus our energy on fighting for other liberty-related issues.

Gun Rights Posted by Boulder Refugee at 10:44 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

But if they can endorse a statist like Harry Reid because he carried their water then they're powerful enough that they don't need my wimpy contributions any longer.

Posted by: johngalt at July 28, 2010 9:50 PM

The Ruling Class

"America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution"

I suspect the more libertarian Sourcers will like this. Interesting and provocative nonetheless.

Government Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:38 AM | What do you think? [6]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This is a very good piece. However, the dangers of group-think apply more to the media than the politicians, IMHO. Journolist defenders have called it no big deal, but when the media conspires (literally) to push a agenda and cover up the truth, our liberty is in greater peril than when Democrats and Republicans agree on an issue.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 27, 2010 11:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, hb. I had heard a lot of discussion about this article but needed a little push to read it. (The font and margins of the Spectator are nearly impossible for me somehow.)

Much to love in it

The 2010 medical law is a template for the ruling class's economic modus operandi: the government taxes citizens to pay for medical care and requires citizens to purchase health insurance. The money thus taken and directed is money that the citizens themselves might have used to pay for medical care. In exchange for the money, the government promises to provide care through its "system." But then all the boards, commissions, guidelines, procedures, and "best practices" that constitute "the system" become the arbiters of what any citizen ends up getting. The citizen might end up dissatisfied with what "the system" offers. But when he gave up his money, he gave up the power to choose, and became dependent on all the boards and commissions that his money also pays for and that raise the cost of care. Similarly, in 2008 the House Ways and Means Committee began considering a plan to force citizens who own Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to transfer those funds into government-run "guaranteed retirement accounts." If the government may force citizens to buy health insurance, by what logic can it not force them to trade private ownership and control of retirement money for a guarantee as sound as the government itself? Is it not clear that the government knows more about managing retirement income than individuals?

Yet -- and maybe it's anti Spectator bias that goes well beyond graphic design -- I am disturbed by a wrapper of fierce social conservatism. The pragmatist of the blog will join in the fight for liberty shoulder-to-shoulder with Codevilla, but the "more libertarian Sourcer" in me bristles at the call to defend God and family values.

Perhaps that is not a fair critique. I cheered though most of it as he put fact against all the established wisdom I have to read in my Presidential biographies. I am in the middle of Robert Caro's awesome "Master of the Senate" (the 1400 pg Vol III of his LBJ bio. It is great but there is no way I am touching I, II, or IV). Caro asserts that intransigent Senators like Lodge and Harding are to blame for WWII because they obstructed Wilson's League of Nations. Codevilla takes a nice whack directly at that.

Next time copy and paste it into an email and tell me it ran in Reason. We'll see if I approve.

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2010 4:14 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

This article has been popping up all over my feed as well. Yet despite my well documented belief that America is ruled by a rentier elite I have some serious reservations concerning it. Codevilla lets his rhetoric get ahead of him, and his claim that Texas oil men and their comrades are not part of this elite or that the GOP are but junior partners strikes me as quite silly. One cannot simply make a list of all the people one doesn't like and then call them a tyrannous elite.


I imagine I shall have to devote a post to the article.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 27, 2010 6:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Of course not, tg, you make a list of the people you don't like and call them racists -- it's the American way.

I'm tempted to defend Codevilla on that. His point was that neither income nor wealth define the tyrannical elite. Perhaps T. Boone Pickens is in, but there are some oilmen who are not as close to the levers of power as the 100 college [professors they could buy and sell.

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2010 6:43 PM
But T. Greer thinks:


Let us pull up the paragraph in question:

Other explanations are counterintuitive. Wealth? The heads of the class do live in our big cities' priciest enclaves and suburbs, from Montgomery County, Maryland, to Palo Alto, California, to Boston's Beacon Hill as well as in opulent university towns from Princeton to Boulder. But they are no wealthier than many Texas oilmen or California farmers, or than neighbors with whom they do not associate -- just as the social science and humanities class that rules universities seldom associates with physicians and physicists.

Now you may be right, with this he might just be trying to point out that wealth isn't the real deciding factor - government crutches are. However, if this is true he chose three horrible examples to make the point. That California farmer? He is nothing but the beneficiary of one of the largest - and long standing - subsidies the U.S. government gives out. The Texas oil man is hardly better; the oil industry gets some of the biggest royalty reliefs offered by the federal government. And those evil humanities professors? Show me one university in this nation whose humanities and social science departments have not been downsized in favor business, science, and tech - and look, their funding comes from the government too!

This comes to the crux of my problem with Mr. Codevilla. His piece does not give us a clear picture of our rentier elite. All he has done is collect the traditional conservative target list and declared these to be enemies of the "country class." This gets us no where. I cry for an America whose people cannot defend their liberties without first shoe-horning every challenge and threat through the lens of social conservatism.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 27, 2010 11:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Agreed and well said. I guess that I am more comfortable considering the enemies of social conservatism as enemies of liberty. A year's immersion in the output of Slessingerian history profs has made me wonder how we'll ever be free.

Posted by: jk at July 28, 2010 11:13 AM

July 26, 2010

Tweet of the Day

So, Tom Tancredo wants to be Charlie Crist. Who knew? -- @baseballcrank
CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 5:52 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I'm fuming so much I can't say it in the third person.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 27, 2010 10:37 AM
But jk thinks:

I have read this comment ten times and laughed on each occasion. The Refugee should consider himself thanked for the entertainment.

Posted by: jk at July 27, 2010 3:01 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

The pleasure is all his.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 27, 2010 5:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yep. Mondo HEH. Six stars BR.

Posted by: johngalt at July 28, 2010 9:18 PM

Quote of the Day

One of Brother Keith's two favorite Senators gets today's honor. You know, it's like being in the military. Or firefighting. Or in Congress...

“We know that if you have veterans in one place where they can befriend each other and talk to each other. You know when you’ve gone through similar things you need to share it. I don’t care whether you are a policeman or a fireman or a veteran or by chance a member of Congress,” the California senator said. “[Democratic Rep.] Maxine [Waters] and I could look at each other and roll our eyes. We know what we are up against. And it is hard for people who are not there to understand the pressure and the great things that go along with it and the tough things that go along with it.” -- Senator Barbara Boxer

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 4:19 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, that must be why Californians keep re-electing her - because we can relate to her so much. You see, every time she opens her mouth, most of us roll our eyes too.

And she is one of my favorite Senators! If it ever comes to armed resistance, Boxer is going to be one of its primary causes. If she were to get beat in November, we'd have to draw our inspiration from some lesser light - Waters, Waxman, Pelosi...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 26, 2010 4:28 PM

Jane Austen's Fight Club

What wonder that we are privileged to live in the age of YouTube:

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 3:36 PM | What do you think? [0]

Ethanol Country!

I drove to Ft. Collins today. For our foreign readers, that's a 40 mile drive up I-25. It's not urban, but it is the heart of what we call the Front Range -- you're never more than a dozen miles from a decent sized town.

I grew up here and Colorado is "wheat country." You see a little corn now and then, but it's unusual.

Every. Single. Field was planted fence to fence with Corn. My lovely bride asked why there was so much. I remembered Sugarchuck saying that all the farmers in his township were planting corn for ethanol subsidies and figured that might be it. But that was years ago, before the whole ethanol idea had been completely discredited. Right?

Enter the Internet Segue Machine® The WSJ Ed Page suggests that government might move a bit more slowly that the private sector, because ethanol subsidies are still somewhat large:

The best refutation of the theory of the survival of the fittest is probably the corn ethanol lobby, whose annual $6 billion in federal subsidies have managed to outlive both its record of failure and all evidence and argument. So while we doubt another devastating study will result in any natural selection, recent findings from the Congressional Budget Office deserve more attention all the same.

CBO reveals that it costs taxpayers $1.78 in ethanol "incentives" to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by one gallon—or nearly two-thirds of the current average retail gas price. CBO also estimates that cutting carbon emissions by one metric ton via ethanol runs to $754. To put that number in perspective, the budget gnomes estimate that the price for a ton of carbon under the cap-and-tax program that the House passed last summer would be about $26 in 2019.
CBO is also honest enough to mention that in reality $754 may be purchasing a net carbon emissions increase. "Because the production of ethanol draws so much energy from coal and natural gas," the authors write, "it can be thought of as a method for converting natural gas or coal to a liquid fuel that can be used for transportation." Meanwhile, the assumptions of their model also exclude indirect land-use changes toward energy-intensive crops that also tend to boost overall CO2.

Given these realities, the only mystery is how an industry that produces a fuel that no one would willingly buy has managed to be subsidized over four decades at costs that are higher than anyone ever imagined. But then, maybe it merely illustrates the theory of the politically fittest.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:19 PM | What do you think? [5]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

What we need to counteract this is a Federal subsidy of Postum - ostensibly because the nannystate has decided that caffeine is baaaaaaad for us in the vassal class. The wheat fields will come back like magic.

You know what else would do that, though? Getting the government out of the marketplace, and then farmers, ranchers, and consumers might determine equitable prices based on simple supply and demand. It's a novel idea. They really should try it sometime.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 26, 2010 3:48 PM
But jk thinks:

The same trip, conversing with the same lovely bride, ka, I am reminded of the rarified air of ThreeSources. "Why can't they see that it is not fair?" referring to some usufruct or tax-the-rich scheme. I replied that almost everyone we know would think it completely fair. Almost all of both our families, almost everyone I work with, almost everyone I socialize with would have no problem with "taxing the rich."

Only at this blessed bubble of reason. Thank you, my brothers and sisters. To show my appreciation, I will not link to Francis Fukuyama's WSJ guest editorial on immigration. I like Fukuyama a lot and agree completely. But it was a little smarmy even for me.

Posted by: jk at July 26, 2010 4:16 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And it's probably only in this blessed bubble of reason that the fallacy of my modest proposal is revealed: it would take more than a subsidy to get me to drink wretched Postum.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 26, 2010 4:32 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

What these subsidy schemes really are is political money laundering. Politician to rent-seeker: "I'll give you a subsidy with taxpayer money. You send a third of it back to me in the form of campaign contributions to help me get re-elected so that we can do it again next year."

And the best part? The taxpayer pays for it all - the subsidy, the campaign money and the higher product price! As a added bonus, they get to brag to the very people who got fleeced about how the brought home the bacon!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 26, 2010 5:01 PM
But jk thinks:

I do not believe I've ever sampled Postum. I think I remember my Mom complaining about having to drink it in the war years.

Wikipedia sez it was not discontinued until 2k7.

Organichealthforlife.com offers a Postum substitute called Dandy Blend. But a Postum substitute is too meta for me. Well, it's not real margarine...

Posted by: jk at July 26, 2010 5:40 PM

July 24, 2010

Headline of the Day

Where's that 2004 category when you need it? Oh, the old blog.

Sen. John Kerry Skips Town on Sails Tax

Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.

Another man of the people. My friend used to license his Chevette at his family's Park County cabin to avoid the emissions sticker requirement. But I don't think the interior was teak.

UPDATE: Dan Mitchell at Cato is not pleased (HT Insty)

In the future, dictionary publishers should get rid of their existing definitions for “hypocrisy” and replace them with a photo of Massachusetts Sen.ator John Kerry. He’s just been caught committing the horrible sin of saving his family more than $500,000 by domiciling his new yacht in Rhode Island (which is a tax haven for such luxuries) rather than his home state. Or at least Senator Kerry says that tax planning is a horrible sin when conducted by “Benedict Arnold” companies and facilitated by those wicked tax havens. But I guess that it’s not such a bad thing when Senator Kerry is protecting his wealth. For the rest of us peasants, it’s our job to meekly get in line and submit to whatever taxes Senator Kerry graciously decides to impose.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:01 AM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Now, now, jk - we mustn't be too hard on Mr. Kerry. We already know he has difficulties with geography, as evidenced by his Christmas-in-Cambodia-1968 memories that never happened. He gets confused about borders. Who are you to judge whether he believes he crossed a border into Cambodia, or Rhode Island, or just whose territorial waters he thinks he's in?

Maps and boats are complicated.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 25, 2010 1:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

It's that doggone wealthy wife of his. If she wouldn't indulge in such a spendthrift, lavish lifestyle then John wouldn't have to take such unseemly measures to conserve the riches he earned err inherited err married that were earned inherited by Teresa.

Posted by: johngalt at July 25, 2010 9:03 AM

Quote of the Day

Take it away, Jimmy P:

OK, let me get this straight: President Obama says he wants to build a New Foundation for the U.S. economy based on savings and investment, not debt. So the government borrows billions to prop up General Motors. And now General Motors uses that money to go out and buy AmeriCredit for $3.5 billion so it can more easily lend money to subprime borrowers. -- James Pethokoukis

As a certain Tennessean is wont to say: "What could possibly go wrong?"

But johngalt thinks:

If anyone knows that debt is a bad idea it's President Obama. But that's not the real focus here. He says he wants to reduce debt (deficits) by increasing investment (government spending) and savings (tax revenue). The result will just be more of what we now have - debt and despair.

"We need to make them stay where they are... to stand still!" Wesley Mouch

Posted by: johngalt at July 25, 2010 9:12 AM

July 23, 2010

Why the TEA Party Gamble Matters

Dear blog brother JK just cautioned, vis-a-vis the Colorado candidacies of Ken Buck and Dan Maes-

But My Pragmatic Heart (spleen at least) is becoming more concerned that our rush to put forward non-professional candidates might have us nominating a lot of wolf-fodder to wolf-like, professional, Democratic candidates in the fall.

I replied that "Voters are tired of status-quo Republicans. There needs to be a difference between them and the Dems." But someone else long ago said this with greater power and eloquence.

"Just get up off the ground, that's all I ask. Get up there with that lady that's up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won't just see scenery; you'll see the whole parade of what Man's carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting. Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so's he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed. That's what you'd see. There's no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties. And, uh, if that's what the grownups have done with this world that was given to them, then we'd better get those boys' camps started fast and see what the kids can do. And it's not too late, because this country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don't get lost once they come to light. They're right here; you just have to see them again!" - Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

As Smith also said, "EITHER I'M DEAD RIGHT OR I'M CRAZY."

But johngalt thinks:

Only because not enough 'mericans are displaying my Bumper Sticker. Pipe up folks - I'm serious about printing this one and will send you as many as you'd like for cost.

Posted by: johngalt at July 24, 2010 10:39 AM
But jk thinks:

RE: Bumper Sticker

My vote would be neither the bang nor a question mark, and I like the declarative "Don't demand the unearned." I'm not a bumper-sticker guy but I would send some cash to defray printing if you would add www.threesources.com to the bottom. Then we could pass them out at political meetings. Might be just the schwag we've been looking for.

The other option is the CafePress type of place where you can print them onsey-twosey and people can order online.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2010 10:57 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, I disagree with the premise that Buck is unelectable, but wonder what lead you to that conclusion?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 26, 2010 11:49 AM
But jk thinks:

I do not find Buck unelectable. I'm deeply concerned with Sharron Angle and a bit with Rand Paul. Hearing the "high heels" comment made me worry that he might be a Sharron Angle with excrement on his boots.

My suggestion was that a new class of candidates to which DA Buck belongs has a higher than normal number of unelectable candidates. Not that he is one. Fair?

Posted by: jk at July 26, 2010 2:33 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I guess if you're suggesting that a number of these candidates have not learned (and may never learn) how to conduct themselves and watch their words on the national stage, I would agree. It's not 100% necessary, case in point being Joe "Gaffe-a-Minute" Biden who's done pretty well for himself. That said, neither Buck nor Angle have Biden's charisma to pull them through in a pinch.

On the plus side, their opponents are far from perfect, either. WRT to Harry Reid, 'nuff said. The Nevada election is a referendum on him, provided Angle does not commit political suicide. WRT Colorado Dems, Bennet has the spine of an earthworm and Romanoff is a political suicide bomber. I've also got to say that I just don't trust Norton to stand on conservative principles. I could be wrong, but she just has the slimy politician feel to me

In the governor's race, the GOP is in big trouble. McInnis' goose is likely cooked and Maes is admittedly a long shot. We should probably cross our fingers that the GOP gets control of the legislature. There were some pretty good years with pro-business, moderate Democrats in the governer's mansion coupled with a Republican legislature.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 26, 2010 4:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm in sunny and cold southern (coastal) California this week for the AVA National Competition. (More on that later.) Local teevee has local political ads. I just saw one for Meg Whitman that showed some pro-Jerry Brown stuff and then explained, "the special interests have chosen their candidate. How about you?" It looked very persuasive to me without being overtly negative or populist. These are the kinds of political messaging that can overcome "gaffes." Restless natives can become enamored of amatueurism in politics.

Posted by: johngalt at July 28, 2010 9:29 PM

Headline of the Day

I fought the urge to link for well over a minute. But a) I think that is "Our Mrs. Reynolds" pictured in the black dress, and b) as I closed the window, I saw the headline for this Sydney Morning Herald article on the trend toward larger bust sizes in young women.

Boom and Bust

I link. It don't say nowhere that you have to click.

Hat-tip: Instapundit, what a perv. I can't believe he links to stuff like this...

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 12:21 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

IMBD confirms that this is our Saffron:


I think I can also confirm this means you noticed her face...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 23, 2010 2:14 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Interestingly, there is a close correlation between expanding bust sizes and global warming. One might say that's why a boob like Al Gore got involved... or why the science is such a bust... or why it's become a weighty issues... or it has such broad appeal...

Hmmm, must be Friday.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 23, 2010 2:14 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Yes, br, but you have to take into account the offsetting effect that results from inflation like this.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 23, 2010 2:22 PM

The Best and the Brightest

I once praised President Bush (remember him? the guy from Texas?) for making what I called CEO-style appointments as opposed to the more political appointments I would have expected from a President Gore.

Well the data are in, and #43 had some winners and some losers (as I mentioned seven years ago). But I think they compare pretty favorably with the überpolitical appointments of the current administration.

1. The only good thing I can about Dr. Donald "I love the NHS" Berwick is that he is liked by Dr, Mark McClellan, whom I praised in the linked essay. I still don't know what was said or where or why, but that is his only plus. This guy who sees Britain's NHS as a good model for the US will be put in charge of Medicare and Medicaid: in a recess appointment to avoid that "Advice and Consent of the Senate" nonsense that is on some old parchment somewhere.

2. The next pointy-headed academic that is going to be running your life is rumored to be Elizabeth Warren. She is going to dictate what products banks can and cannot offer their customers (Sorry, Mister Madison, we tried...)

My pal Megan McArdle -- an Obama supporter of sorts -- posts the first part of a two-part demolition of Dr. Warren. She revisits some criticisms of Warren's paper on Medical bankruptcies that was used to advance the need of government subsidized medicine.

Does this persistent tendency to choose odd metrics that inflate the case for some left wing cause matter? If Warren worked at a think tank, you'd say, "Ah, well, that's the genre." On the other hand, you'd also tend to regard her stuff with a rather beady eye. It's unlikely to have been splashed across the headline of every newspaper in the United States. Her work gets so much attention because it comes from a Harvard professor. And this isn't Harvard caliber material--not even Harvard undergraduate.

It is a long post but you will not be bored. She demolishes any scholarly integrity the paper may claim, showing how at every point, data is selected or manipulated to advance an argument that is not borne out by the underlying research.

UPDATE: Another McArdle whack at Warren

July 22, 2010

Don't Tell Ginger Rogers!

State Senator Nancy Spense emails to solicit funds for she-who-must-not-be named (but her old job rhymes with "Blue Tenant Governor").

Dear Friends,

Have you heard Ken Buck’s latest attack on Jane Norton?

I was appalled to hear Ken’s latest and most ridiculous comment. When he was asked about why voters should support him, Mr. Buck replied “because I don’t wear high heels.”

Really, Ken?

Now Jane Norton is fighting back, just like she’ll fight Barack Obama and the liberals in Washington, D.C. Check out her latest ad that is airing across Colorado.

I am honored to support Jane Norton and her candidacy for the United States Senate.

Jane is a conservative.
Jane is a leader.
Jane is strong.
And yes, she does it all in high heels!

I didn't hear the original remark and will accept any context anybody wants to provide.

But My Pragmatic Heart (spleen at least) is becoming more concerned that our rush to put forward non-professional candidates might have us nominating a lot of wolf-fodder to wolf-like, professional, Democratic candidates in the fall.

CO Senate Posted by John Kranz at 7:07 PM | What do you think? [5]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

You're getting some vinegar in that race.

Norton makes a comment that Buck "is not man enough;" Buck counters later that he wears boots, ones that get real bulls**t on them - direct context is that his manhood is secure. Later still, he's asked why he deserves to be voted for, and he references the previous footwear comment and that he doesn't wear high heels.

Seems to me, as an outsider, that yeah, the high heels comment was ill-advised. On the other hand, it also seems that Norton raised the gender-role issue first with the "not man enough" thing. You can't raise the gender sniping issue and then hide behind gender later down the line.

Small potatoes. Yeah, it's a bad case of "physician, heal thyself" for a Californian to recommend that another state's candidates stop the dumb comments and stick to the issues. Nonetheless - oh, why bother trying to educate them?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 22, 2010 8:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Brother Keith's got it about right, and from out of state no less. That reassures me that this is not going to spin out of control. And why should it? It was a joke! Don't forget that these offhand remarks were made at a Jon Caldera fundraiser (for his own organization) called the "Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Party." If a guy can't be politically incorrect there then where can he be? I think Jane Norton might actually be a little embarrassed over this and her repeated attacks on Ken's character and judgment if she weren't so worried about her poor polling performance.

The Greeley Tribune has a fairly thorough accounting of the whole saga at this single handy little link.

Posted by: johngalt at July 23, 2010 1:40 AM
But jk thinks:

Well, tea partiers, it is just a reminder of the costs of insurgency. A primary challenge feels good but it opens the doors to a party loss.

Pace our gubernatorial thread below, I loathe the establishment Colorado GOP's hold on candidates. Something has gotta be done and if we endure a decade of Democrat rule but really fix it, it's probably worth it.

But my queasiness from day one on Buck has always been "is he worth it?" For the differential in purity, should we risk the costs in prestige, unity and campaign funds?

I think Dan Maes is worth it. I'll pull the lever for my County DA in the primary but if I had a time machine, I'd try and talk him out of it. Ms. Norton is not perfect, but she is a solid candidate who deserved a little better than she got.

Posted by: jk at July 23, 2010 11:14 AM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the link, jg, I had missed the first couple of chapters. Politics Daily has an interesting overview of the race as well.

Posted by: jk at July 23, 2010 11:19 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I told a McInnis supporter at State Assembly that I thought Maes actually had a better chance to beat Hick than McInnis did. "Voters are tired of status-quo Republicans. There needs to be a difference between them and the Dems."

The same sentiment applies to Buck/Norton. I actually think an underfunded, undermanaged, underpackaged, maybe even gaffe-prone everyday person has an advantage over said Professional Democratic Candidates.

The TEA Party began as a snowball and became an avalanche. Ken Buck's poll numbers started around about where my own would then grew rapidly and consistently. When the general election comes down the stretch we will all see whether Coloradoans still want to be Americans, or Europeans instead. I think those outside the Colorado Beltway are poised to remind the rest of us why Colorado was historically a Red State.

If I'm wrong ... we'll just shrug and sip latte until the end comes.

Posted by: johngalt at July 23, 2010 2:34 PM

ThreeSourcers for Hickenlooper!

A third party run by Rep Tom Tancredo! Oh joy!

Denver Post:

Former Congressman — and perhaps former Republican — Tom Tancredo is considering running for Colorado governor as an unaffiliated or a third-party candidate.

"I'm not ruling it out," he said Wednesday. "I have a lot of things going on. I'm trying to figure out legal issues."

He added, "I will have more (to say) in the next 24 hours."

Tancredo cannot appear on the general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate because he hasn't been a registered unaffiliated long enough, said Rich Coolidge, spokesman for the Colorado secretary of state's office.

UPDATE: Tancredo tells Maes and McInnis to bow out or he's in!
If they don’t, he said he will run for governor as an American Constitution Candidate, a move likely to split the Republican Party in November’s general election.

“There’s nothing left to split. The reality is that with the two candidates we have, we will lose the general election,” Tancredo said in an interview.

CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 4:31 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Wayne Gretzky famously said, "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." The supposed conservative talking heads I referenced in the prior post keep saying, "Dan, don't shoot, don't shoot!" This thing gets crazier by the day.

My read is Tancredo is playing chicken, mostly with Dan Maes. He can't think he could win in a normal race, much less as a minor party entry. He's trying to shake the tree so the "bad" apples fall out, to be replaced later by the 24 person executive committee. Trouble is, what does Maes have to lose? And if Tom really does follow through he'll just give Dan a ready excuse for not losing.

Is the GOP establishment in this state so afraid to lose control of its franchise to an insurgent like Dan Maes that they'd sabotage his candidacy even if it means a Democrat in the governor's mansion for another four years - and critically important years at that? Stunts like this one demonstrate that the answer is "yes."

Posted by: johngalt at July 23, 2010 1:17 AM

On Back-Rooms and TEA Parties

The third Harsanyi post of the day here on ThreeSources...

A week ago David wrote a nice expose on the "kingmakers" in Colorado GOP politics. [Nobody ever mentions any names but the ones that come to my mind are Bill Armstrong, maybe Coors and Monfort? Anybody?]

Republicans around the country are energized by a diverse group of candidates from a variety of backgrounds: from youthful political veterans like Marco Rubio in Florida to political neophytes like former eBay CEO Meg Whitman in California, the establishment and the grass roots have often found palatable choices ready for an ideological debate.

Yet, in Colorado, the tin-earned Republican kingmakers dampen enthusiasm with their stale picks and then hire the same campaign staffs to lose one election after the next. One day, perhaps these guys will realize that name recognition isn't very important if no one likes your name.

This came to a head when the GOP establishment candidate Scott McInnis "Blew a tire" and left a clear path for TPD Dan Maes. But for some reason Dave doesn't like him either. Why? "Trust me" he seems to be saying.

What else can they do? They're stuck with Dan Maes. No credible candidate will expend the energy to compete in a primary against the establishment.

But Maes will be unacceptable to business donors, to national donors, and he will be unacceptable to most voters — not because he's an insurgent or because he has wild ideas, but because he is strikingly unprepared for the role of governor. It won't take long before this fact becomes apparent to anyone who watches a debate.

While the prevailing national anxiety about Washington might save some flawed Republican candidates, it's unlikely to happen in the governor's race constituted as is.

I don't get it. Call me an optimist. Call me Pollyana. I think the talking heads in this town give way to much credit to Hickenlooper "The Invincible" and way too little to TEA Party fever. I also think, after much pondering, that all this "Dan can't win" talk is actually helpful coming from the establishment. It helps to lower expectations. I've heard these guys bellyache day after day and I still don't cringe at the thought of Maes and Hick standing side by side and asking voters to choose between a no-nonsense "nobody" and the aw-shucks darling of the Downtown Denver illuminati. Cross over that 470 beltway and your more likely to find people asking, Hicken-what-er? (In El Paso County they call him "Sanctuary City Johnny.")

Harsanyi Reports on "Strip it Down"

Our favorite columnist excerpts from an interview of the operator of "Denver's iconic topless bar" and we learn that she is, surprise, a conservative (OK, an economic conservative.)

BH: Books?

Matthews: I love to read. I have a Kindle, and I love it. We have a book club for the staff called Strip It Down. We meet once a week. It's a conservative reading group.

BH: Well. What do you read?

Matthews: Friedrich Hayek’s "The Fatal Conceit," "Super Freakonomics," the Federalist Papers. We talk about the prisoner's dilemma (a philosophical question about human behavior).

I couldn't resist linking this. It brings together three things we love at ThreeSources: David Harsanyi and free-market books.

Colorado Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

Now there's a club I would join!

Maybe they'd tell me what the third thing is...

Posted by: jk at July 22, 2010 4:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If we want to join I think it'll cost us about 20 bucks per chapter. (Cash)

Posted by: johngalt at July 23, 2010 2:12 PM

Quote of the Day

If there had been no Earl Butz, the organic and sustainable food movement would have had to invent him. -- Blake Hurst

Hurst is a Missouri farmer and he pens a great column in the American today. The back-to-the-cave types would not only have us freeze in the dark, they'd have us starve.

All Hail Harsanyi

Dude is on a roll at Reason today. President Obama accuses the Mean Ol' Republicans of having a "lack of faith in the American people." (Because they want to pay for second year employment benefits out of TARP funds). My favorite MSM columnist runs with the riff:

Was it the administration's faith in the wisdom of the American parent that persuaded it to shut down the voucher program in Washington, D.C., and continue the left's decades-long campaign denying school choice for kids and parents? Or was that just faith in public-sector unions?

Was faith in American industry behind the Democrats' support of a stimulus bill that was predicated almost entirely on preserving swollen government spending at the expense of private-sector growth?

Is this hallowed faith in the citizenry also what compels the administration to dictate what kind of car we will be driving in the future, what kind of energy we will be filling these "cars" with, and what amounts of that energy will be acceptable?

Is faith in American know-how why Washington funnels billions of tax dollars each year to its hand-picked industry favorites rather than allow the best and brightest to—please pardon the pun—organically figure out what the most sensible energy policy is, as we have in every other sector?



Polka Dots and Moonbeams

"Jimmy Van Huesen and Johnny Burke"

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com


I had to go searching for the President Bush categories. Ahh, happy times (by comparison at least).

Professor Reynolds gets ten points for a TS Elliot reference: "BUSH-ERA “SCANDAL” OVER FIRED U.S. ATTORNEYS ends with a whimper."

Well, guess what - the Obama-Holder Justice Department has, according to AP, decided not to file any charges against any Bush appointees in connection with the DA firings. Now that the news is breaking, however, don't be surprised if somebody decides to reverse the decision, go after different charges, or otherwise seek to bring some sort of legal opprobrium on the former Bush appointees.

Unfortunate -- as with so much of this era and administration -- that the New Black Panther contretemps ended up as a racial discussion. But the real question is the level of political control exercised over the DOJ.

July 21, 2010

Quote of the Day

so many of you still seem tied down to your old ideological moorings. on the early evidence obama is not similarly tied down on any level, whether diplomatically or economically (or politically: note his big-tent approach to joe lieberman). a post-ideological presidency — what a novelty, and what a relief! but this new obamian world view, i fear, also puts many of you who are part of this group in danger of imminent irrelevance. cheers, mike hirsh -- Michael Hirsh, Newsweek

Journolist -- Christmas pales in comparison...

Criminalized Production

Under stifling taxes and regulation, industry is in widespread collapse. Unemployment is the spirit of the day. Cold and hungry Americans are told that "privations strenghten a people's spirit." And yet, government only continues to pile on more of the poison that brought them here.


Part II, Chapter 5 - Account Overdrawn:

Rearden, that evening, his coat collar raised, his hat slanted low over his eyes, the snow drifts rising to his knees, was tramping through an abandoned open-pit coal mine, in a forsaken corner of Pennsylvania, supervising the loading of pirated coal upon the trucks which he had provided. Nobody owned the mine, nobody could afford the cost of working it. But a young man with a brusque voice and dark, angry eyes, who came from a starving settlement, had organized a gang of the unemployed and made a deal with Rearden to deliver the coal. They mined it at night, they stored it in hidden culverts, they were paid in cash, with no questions asked or answered. Guilty of a fierce desire to remain alive, they and Rearden traded like savages, without rights, titles, contracts or protection, with nothing but mutual understanding and a ruthlessly absolute observance of one's given word. Rearden did not even know the name of the young leader. Watching him at the job of loading the trucks, Rearden thought that this boy, if born a generation earlier, would have become a great industrialist; now, he would probably end his brief life as a plain criminal in a few more years.

July 20, 2010

Two Great Looks at Taxes

First James Pethokoukis brings some bone-numbingly-pessimistic but important facts. Trying to solve the budget deficit through increasing taxes is no problem, providing you do one of the following:

  • •Enact a 25% VAT (Greece is still a mess with a 19% VAT);

  • Take 130% of the taxable profits earned by U.S. companies this year (that’s what you call net operating losses);

  • Raise the top three tax brackets (28%, 33%, and 35%) to 100%. Actually, this would still not raise enough money to erase the deficit – of course, assuming all the wealthy taxpayers didn’t flee to Switzerland.

  • Take 100% of the business income earned by individual taxpayers in 2008

Martin Feldstein wants to remove some social-engineering deductions that he claims are really spending. The master is President Obama, who claims he cut taxes because he gave clunker and caulker rebates.

But Feldstein makes a powerful case against even popular and long-standing deductions. Supply-siders may have to bite on a piece of leather, but in tough times, his arguments are very convincing. And liberty lovers should be circumspect about government choosing good (buying) versus bad (renting) behavior through the tax code.

But eliminating tax expenditures does not increase marginal tax rates or reduce the reward for saving, investment or risk-taking. It would also increase overall economic efficiency by removing incentives that distort private spending decisions. And eliminating or consolidating the large number of overlapping tax-based subsidies would also greatly simplify tax filing. In short, cutting tax expenditures is not at all like other ways of raising revenue.

If tax expenditures are not cut, taxes on households and businesses will have to rise to prevent an explosion of the national debt, which is now projected to increase to 90% of GDP by 2020 from today's 63%. When benefits for Social Security and Medicare are set aside, the rest of the outlay side of the budget is too small—7.5% of GDP—to provide much scope for reducing annual budget deficits that are now projected to average 5% of GDP for the rest of this decade. In contrast, total tax expenditures are now 6.4% of GDP.

Holler if you want me to email around Rupert's cruel pay wall. It bears careful consideration.

Then Again, Let's not forget Gov Perry in 2012

Coyotes like to attack the little ones, human or otherwise. That was the case for one unfortunate coyote that attacked a puppy out for a jog with his master in Travis County, Texas, in the suburbs of Austin, where coyotes have it a little rougher than they do in suburban New York. That particular coyote had the bad luck to set his gaze on a puppy owned by Gov. Rick Perry, who produced a laser-sighted .380-caliber automatic pistol, loaded with hollowpoints, and sent it to the Happy Hunting Grounds.
From a must read Kevin Williamson piece in NRO, comparing Texas to Westchester County, NY where, Williams suggests, they ask "Why do the coyotes hate us?"

Hat-tip: Instapundit

UPDATE: I undersold the column. I did not see that it streched to three pages and gets even better.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 3:22 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

Two thumbs up. A good reminder of how full the glass of liberty is.

Posted by: johngalt at July 21, 2010 3:36 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

For a moment I missed the "Gov."

As far as the Texas guy...to hell with him. Don't you remember that he signed a governor's order requiring young girls to be vaccinated against HPV? It's just pure coincidence that Merck, the creator of the vaccine, contributed heavily to his campaigns, of course. Just coincidence.

When I have a daughter, he can try that personally if he has the balls. He'd find himself facing much larger than a .38.

He can try to sound good all he wants, he can talk about secession, but he's no believer in real liberty. Give me Rand Paul any day. As great a name as Perry is (if I do say so myself), Rand is even better.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 22, 2010 11:20 AM
But jk thinks:

I had forgotten the vaccinations. Whether precipitated by contributions or not, that's an odd damn view of proper governmental purview.

I was expecting the ThreeSources cognoscenti to chortle at the .380. Preemptively, I have a .380 and while I bought it for my wife, the old "9mm-short" is not a bad round. With hollow points a laser sight, it's certainly a match for your average KY-yote.

Posted by: jk at July 22, 2010 11:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

There are some good carry guns chambered in .380 auto. Smaller and lighter guns are good as a backup piece or, as in this case, while jogging.

One question: Did he call the coyote "punk?"

Posted by: johngalt at July 22, 2010 2:22 PM
But jk thinks:

Makin' me think I better order the laser sights. I do hear the Coyotes at night yippin' across the golf course.

Posted by: jk at July 22, 2010 2:51 PM

Merle Hazzard Explains the Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis

Hat-tip: Mankiw

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 12:24 PM | What do you think? [0]


During an interview on The Today Show, Newt Gingrich had this to say:

The fact is, President Obama is like a teenager with a credit card.
Quote of the Day Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:08 AM | What do you think? [6]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

A teenager with a credit card is likely to get only himself in trouble (yes, I know Newt is alluding to the out-of-control spending, but his metaphor dodges the issue of "who's going to pay it when the bill comes due?"). To plagiarize from a more colorful writer, Obama is like a teenager turned loose with a bottle of Wild Turkey and the keys to the Hemi. Everyone in town is going to wind up taking a hit.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 20, 2010 11:56 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Not to cut too fine of a line, but with the teenager, the kid runs up the tab and the parents pay. In this case, Obama runs up the tab and the public pays. Sounds apropos to me. The hemi analogy works, too.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 20, 2010 12:09 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Noted and agreed, br -- but if I'm daddy, I'm not giving him the AmEx in the first place. The visual of a flaming, twisted wreck on the side of the road just seemed a little more to the point...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 20, 2010 12:36 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Daddy didn't want to, but Mommy did. (Remember that just under half of U.S. workers don't pay federal income taxes, and it's worse when you consider how many Americans might pay some taxes but get far more back from the government.)

Daddy's the one parent who's working himself to the bone, wondering how he'll ever make enough to pay for all the household's spending and steadily accelerating debt. Mommy works part-time but keeps it all for herself. She doesn't pay for any part of the household expenses because she says Daddy should earn enough to pay for everyone. Then she decided little Barry should be deciding the household budget -- which is principally what to spend on Mommy.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 20, 2010 1:31 PM
But jk thinks:

The Analogy Police called. They're willing to let us off with a warning this time.

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2010 3:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Related: Yesterday on FNC's 'America's Newsroom' ex-CIA analyst Michael Scheuer said of the Washington Post CIA expose-

"It seems to me that the Administration and the Washington Post are being managed by a bunch of adolescents." [I had to paraphrase, not having access to the transcript.]

Posted by: johngalt at July 20, 2010 3:17 PM

Quote of the Day

I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically. -- Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent

This from a stunning expose of JournoList's complicity in orchestrating an Obama victory in 2008 that runs in The Daily Caller today.

Hat-tip: Andrew Breitbart who says "American journalism died a long time ago; today Tucker Carlson got around to running the obituary."

But johngalt thinks:

So this is how we got "Hope and Change" -

“Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”

It's hard to imagine a bone-fide racist actually managing to survive in today's GOP, but their ranks in the Democrat party are legion. "Warmongers and criminals?" Both parties are pretty much guilty on those.

I also liked Kevin Drum's [Washington Monthly] observation on attacking the right as "racists:"

"After all, why vote for him if it turns out he’s not going change the way politics works?"

Posted by: johngalt at July 21, 2010 2:53 PM

July 19, 2010

Longmont Makes National News

And it's not even a sex offender or anything.

Lesley Hollywood, director of the Northern Colorado Tea Party, is profiled and the popularity of the Tea Party in Colorado is discussed.

ThreeSources Heartthrob Ken Buck gets good coverage and his spectacular polls are documented. But the accompanying picture is not one his mom selected, I'll tell you that.

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 7:29 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Photo deliberately selected to depict an angry white guy.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 20, 2010 10:18 AM
But jk thinks:

My sentiments exactly. I think the writer wrote a fair assessment and the editor grabbed an AWG (Angry White Guy) photo.

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2010 12:29 PM
But jk thinks:

To be fair, there are some anti-Norton ads running on TV that use photos even less flattering to the LtGov. There is a cost to insurgency and I hope this one os worth it.

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2010 12:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I don't think the writer wrote a fair assessment. For example:

"...Tea Party Patriots, leading some of the had-it-up-to-here conservatives..." [TPPs are not all conservatives.]

"...a state like Colorado, not the most natural Tea Party territory." [Colorado has become the swingiest of swing states and has a highly educated population. It's prototypical TEA Party territory.]

"Buck outlines positions he calls more "nuanced" than those attributed to him in the past, when he said his views had been "distilled" and shorthanded by reporters." [Why the scare quotes?]

"...he was hired by then-congressman Dick Cheney..." [You mean, that Dick Cheney?]

"A half-hour later, however, his tone is sharper, his voice louder and his emphasis different when he stands on a makeshift stage to address the crowd. (...) "People are sick and tired of the answer coming out of Washington, D.C., always being more government," Buck shouts into the hand-held microphone.

Posted by: johngalt at July 20, 2010 2:49 PM

No Brad Pitt...

Atlas Shrugged (2011)

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 7:09 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

I'd meant to comment on this before now...

This was the first I'd heard of this latest effort. Thanks bro! A brief examination of the casting looks like faces I'd expect for most of the characters. Dad was surprised this was in production. "Hollywood? Hollywood?!"

It looks like a project of a brand new production company established specifically for the purpose: The Strike Productions. This bodes well.

Posted by: johngalt at July 22, 2010 8:22 PM

The ThreeSources Enemies List

Hey, it worked pretty well for President Nixon!

I love to focus on the positive as much as anybody, but I think some lovers of liberty would do well to enumerate the people and policies that brought us here. Santayana would not want us doomed to repeat Majority Leader Trent Lott.

Senator Helmet Hair is featured in a Washington Examiner Editorial by Mark Tapscott

"We don't need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples. As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them," Lott told The Washington Post in an incredibly revealing story.

Tea Partiers prove their "street-cred" by lambasting President Bush at every opportunity. I won't say #43 deserves a marble bust in the Cato lobby, but I have long felt that the GOP brand was despoiled more by Lott, Speaker Hastert, Rep. Tom DeLay, Rep Jerry Lewis, and the general trends of the 108th and 109th Congresses.

My blog brother jg calls for the extirpation of "progressive Republicans." And I wouldn't miss them a lot (they always eat all the good appetizers...) but I am far more concerned with Republicans who want to continue corrupt business-as-usual patronage. Better a dozen McCains than a couple Trent Lotts.

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 10:26 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Wow. What a quote. While I rank the Progressives and the patronage pull-peddlers equally evil you are completely right - these guys have got to go too. Since the ones still in office, unlike lobbyist (naturally) Trent Lott, won't make it so easy to ID them it is up to primary voters in the several states to root these parasites out of the federal government.

Speaking for Colorado, we're actively engaged in doing so right now. I've maintained that Jane Norton is of the Progressive stripe, having been "encouraged to run" in a phone call from John McCain. But I've also said she'll become a McCain puppet, meaning she'll willingly allow herself to be co-opted by the strongest of the powers-that-be.

Fortunately, Norton's opponent Ken Buck leads her in the polls by 16 points. Buck actually leads her in every category except, interestingly, the 17% of those polled who have a "neutral" opinion on the TEA Party Movement. (He leads her by 22 points among those Favorable to the TEA Party (79% of the sample) and 25 points among those who are Unfavorable (7%.)) In other words, the TEA Party is NOT a handicap for Buck, at least in the Primary.

Against his likely Dem challenger, Michael Bennet, the numbers are about 80/10 for Buck among TEA Party favorables (37% of sample) and 80/10 against him among unfavorables (27%). In the neutral and no opinion categories however (21% and 15% respectively), Buck trails by 8 and by 24 points. This will be the challenge to overcome, although by most other demographic splits Buck leads or trails narrowly. Bennet's strength appears to be among white moderate-to-conservative females aged 50-64.

Posted by: johngalt at July 19, 2010 3:24 PM
But jk thinks:

I hope you're right. I have only your word on Buck vs. Norton, powerful as it may be.

I think we know who they are. Jerry Lewis (CA 41) is still there. I go back and and forth on Leader Boehner. Mister Pragmatist doesn't really suggest a purge. I'm happy to have Lewis's and McCain's votes for leadership. (I bristle at the juxtaposition, we'd do very well to expel Lewis, but a GOP that cannot find room for Senator McCain is too small.)

What annoys me is the RNC (and House and Senate election committees). In a creep out contest, Michael Steele and Trent Lott would fight to a draw. We need to launch somebody soon into the "civilian leadership" segment of the party who understands a little bit about liberty.

Posted by: jk at July 19, 2010 4:35 PM

July 18, 2010

But jk thinks:

Awesome on stilts!

Posted by: jk at July 18, 2010 12:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Or how about: ESCHEW USUFRUCT!

Posted by: jk at July 18, 2010 12:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Is that German? ;)

Posted by: johngalt at July 19, 2010 2:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Nein. A legal term describing a situation wherein a person or company has a temporary right to use and derive income from someone else's property (provided that it isn't damaged).

My internal definition does not include the "not damnaged" clause.

Posted by: jk at July 19, 2010 2:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm thinking of changing the exclaimation point to a question mark and changing "don't demand" to "stop demanding."

And if I could I'd add, at the bottom in small type, "(and practicing human sacrifice.)"

Posted by: johngalt at July 22, 2010 3:38 PM

My Life in Ruins

We're going to share a post between "Review Corner" and "Quote of the Day" to reduce our Carbon Footprint.

I watched My Life in Ruins with Nia Vardalos and Richard Dreyfuss last night. If, like me, you have a high tolerance for chick flicks (or unlike me you perhaps are actually a chick). I'd recommend it. It had an honest feel about it that is usually missing from the Romantic Comedy genre. Dreyfuss may be king of the moonbats, but he is a superb actor and really knocks this one out of the park.

There is one great line that all ThreeSourcers might appreciate. Georgia (Vardalos) is an American who moved to Greece for an academic position. When it fell through, she took a job as tour guide, guiding tourists through ruins with professorial disquisitions when they would rather be at the beach or souvenir stands. Hilarity ensues, yadda yadda.

Early on, she is complaining about the general clutter, disorganization and lack of repair in a culture that prefers comfort to achievement (even before the sovereign debt crisis). She enumerates Grecians' contributions to politics, philosophy, science, astronomy, mathematics and art until: "until they invented 'the nap.'" That captures Europe (The South especially) so perfectly. They gave us so much until they invented the nap.

Four stars with a warning that if you can't stand the genre this one will not win you over. ("Elizabethtown" might).

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 11:43 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 17, 2010

Little Weekend Fun

Hat-tip: Instapundit. This is badly needed in Boulder County, but I don't think most are ready to scrape yet.

BTW: This is really available.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 3:22 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Anecdotally, I don't see nearly as many O stickers as I did before the Stimulus bill. (And I commute to Boulder daily.) ((Yes, in a car. By myself. With the A/C running.))

Posted by: johngalt at July 18, 2010 11:10 AM

"A Gaiasend"

Quote of the Day for Jonah:

And yet none of these rules seem to be applying; at least not too strongly. Big government seems more unpopular today than ever. The Gulf oil spill should be a Gaiasend for environmentalists, and yet three quarters of the American people oppose Obama's drilling ban. Sixty percent of likely voters want their newly minted right to health care repealed. Unlike Europe, where protestors take to the streets to save their cushy perks and protect a large welfare state, the Tea Party protestors have been taking to the streets to trim back government. -- Jonah Glodberg

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 2:42 PM | What do you think? [0]

July 16, 2010

GOP Not Completely Clueless

Really. John Fund brings word of a serious, principled budget suggestion. And it's from the GOP!

In one of the most fiscally inept stunts in many years on Capitol Hill, Congressional Democrats have taken a pass on enacting a budget this year. Legislators will just wing it and let the $3.6 trillion fall where it may and hope the public doesn't notice a $1.5 trillion dollar deficit. But the minority Republicans have just presented their own budget plan and it's a remarkably bold and honest document that involves big cuts in government spending over the next decade and a balanced budget by 2019. The GOP budget would be a Tea Partier's dream come true if it ever were enacted.

The plan, fashioned by Tom Price of Georgia, head of the conservative Republican Study Committee, reduces federal borrowing from the Obama baseline by a gargantuan $6.4 trillion over the next decade. Not bad considering that it also lowers taxes by $1.7 trillion more than the Obama budget by making the Bush tax cuts permanent. Spending reductions start with what Mr. Price calls a "reset" on spending for discretionary programs back to 2008 levels. That insures that "temporary" stimulus funding doesn't get continued year after year. The plan also instructs the President and Congress to dedicate every penny of bailout money repaid to the federal government by the banks to debt retirement.

But johngalt thinks:

Let's start the voting now:


Posted by: johngalt at July 16, 2010 10:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Aye. This is a thing of beauty.

Posted by: jk at July 17, 2010 11:43 AM

jk Jobs Program

A Constitutional Amendment to take the Census every month. Jobs, jobs, jobs!

Posted by John Kranz at 5:54 PM | What do you think? [0]


This, on the other hand, might fit on a bumper sticker:

"I hold that there is no clash of interests among men who do not demand the unearned and do not practice human sacrifices." -Hank Reardon

UPDATE (7/18): There's already a "COEXIST" bumper sticker. The world needs one of these too.


But jk thinks:

...well, except immigration, drug legalization, abortion, World Cup soccer, the designated hitter, President Theodore Rooselvelt...

Posted by: jk at July 16, 2010 6:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Brother, the operative word is "clash" not "diversity."

Posted by: johngalt at July 16, 2010 8:30 PM

The "greatness" of sacrifice

I'm endeavoring to be more succinct. From Part II, Chapter 5 - 'Account Overdrawn':

"Privations strengthen a people's spirit," wrote Bertram Scudder, "and forge the fine steel of social discipline. Sacrifice is the cement which unites human bricks into the great edifice of society."

"The nation which had once held the creed that greatness is achieved by production, is now told that it is achieved by squalor," said Francisco d'Anconia in a press interview. But this was not printed.

Alas, it's probably still too long to print on a T-shirt.

This philosophical point, counter-point comes after a brief description of the results of central planning:

"Storms are an act of God," wrote Bertram Scudder, "and nobody can be held socially responsible for the weather." The rations of coal, established by Wesley Mouch, permitted the heating of homes for three hours a day. There was no wood to burn, no metal to make new stoves, no tools to pierce the walls of the houses for new installations. In makeshift contraptions of bricks and oil cans, professors were burning the books of their libraries, and fruit-growers were burning the trees of their orchards.

BP Spill - Tale of the Tape

Over the previous 87 days of the oil spill "disaster" every attempt to plug the leak had the dominant liberal establishment mass media looking over BP's shoulder and then rushing out with breathless reports of "another failure." It's curious that now, with flow stopped for the moment, they all find it within themselves to counsel caution. Better late than never I suppose.

But what is the total damage done by the leak? The linked story cites a leaked volume of four million barrels of raw crude oil. Alright, let's put that in perspective. 4 million barrels is 22458333 cubic feet. From a well head located roughly 5,000 feet below the water's surface this amounts to a column of oil extending from the well to the surface that is about 23 meters (about 75 feet) in diameter. For a geological feature measured in nautical miles this really does amount to a "drop."

Dilution is the pollution solution.

Clause of the Day

"...and for many patients and their physicians the benefits of controlling blood sugar levels outweigh the risks. "
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page has long been a beacon for responsible access to pharmaceuticals. If you want to read or share just one editorial that captures the problems of political control over medicines, I recommend today's on Avandia.

Sorry Rupert, I respect your property rights but I am going to steal the whole text after the jump. The FDA was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt foisted it upon us, but it is far worse today as pharmaceuticals become more individualized.

Critics of the pharmaceutical industry were frustrated this week as an FDA review panel voted to allow Avandia to remain on the U.S. market, despite concerns that the diabetes drug may increase heart attacks. Those who thought Avandia should remain a patient-doctor option were frustrated too, as the panel also voted for severe new restrictions. And for once, both groups may have a point.

GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia—once among the world's best-selling medicines—has been chased by claims that it increases cardiovascular risks and that the drug maker concealed clinical evidence from the Food and Drug Administration. Yet nearly 9% of the U.S. population suffers from Type 2 diabetes, and for many patients and their physicians the benefits of controlling blood sugar levels outweigh the risks.

With a final regulatory decision imminent, the episode is a useful lesson in the complexities and uncertainties of modern medicine. Not to mention, ahem, the inability of the political class to behave responsibly when it is looking for corporate villains.

The 33-member advisory committee delivered a more nuanced verdict. In a contentious sequence of votes over two days, a 20-12 majority recommended that Avandia remain available, albeit with new restrictions beyond the stringent "black box" warning that the drug already carries. At the same time, a majority also decided that Avandia increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes (but not the risk of death), with 12 members voting to pull it from the market altogether.

Such ambiguities have rarely been conceded in the political fracas, with its relentless prosecutorial tone. The Cleveland Clinic cardiologist and pharma scourge Steven Nissen fired the starting pistol in 2007 with a "meta analysis" that showed cardiac risks that weren't reflected in any of the many data from separate clinical trials he analyzed.

Hoping for a replay of the Vioxx panic that Dr. Nissen also helped to touch off, Avandia's opponents came to include the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Senate Finance Committee with Chuck Grassley at the prow.

The reporters transcribing the Iowa Republican's charges were aided by internal Glaxo documents allegedly showing that adverse data had been concealed from regulators and by the accusations of an FDA drug investigator who believed his superiors had papered over safety concerns.

It would be an obvious problem if Glaxo really did manipulate the evidence, though the company claims that the leaks are a misleading selection of the 14 million pages of documents it has turned over to plaintiffs lawyers in multiple liability suits. This would not be the first time reporters took selective dictation from the lawsuit industry.

The larger Avandia debate is really over statistical techniques and the design of randomized clinical trials, like so many other FDA debates. Meta analyses like Dr. Nissen's are themselves often unreliable or misleading because they merge into one data set many different studies with different levels of quality and size and which are meant to measure different outcomes.

The large average probabilities captured by such analysis also don't allow for the possibility that some drugs work best for some patients but not for others. Health care has advanced far beyond definitive answers that must apply everywhere and always to everyone, even if ObamaCare will turn U.S. policy toward standardized medicine and fewer individual choices.

In any case, the FDA is now under intense political pressure to withdraw Avandia amid the panel's public feud and its mixed finding. We hear FDA Commissioner Peggy Hamburg's chief deputy Josh Sharfstein, a former Henry Waxman aide, is lobbying intensely for that outcome, and we hope Ms. Hamburg shows better judgment in preserving patient access to Avandia, even if as a second-line treatment.

Yes, banning Avandia would give Washington another political scalp. It would also send a terrible signal about drug approvals, while depriving the two million Americans who continued to take Avandia last year despite the risks of a drug that meets their needs.

Pharmaceuticals Posted by John Kranz at 11:19 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Schumer is about as execrable as a politician can get. I call him two things: "Chuck the Schmuck" and another one very similar.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 16, 2010 2:26 PM

Headline of the Day

Senator Chuck Schumer writes open letter to Steve Jobs, world is officially doomed -- engadget

Hat-tip: Instapundit, who adds " With his vast expertise in antenna design, and shouting at companies, he’ll have the problem solved in no time. Or at least milk it for a little pointless, cheap publicity."

111th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 10:35 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 15, 2010



The Deal

"Can't have a coffeehouse with no Dead tunes, it's in the rules. This is one of my favorites."

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

The crowd burst into applause.

In a recent article linked by JK Matt Kibbe said that TEA Party values represents the majority of Americans, and at the center of the political spectrum.

The Tea Party movement, if sustained, has the potential to take America back from an entrenched establishment of big spenders, political careerists, and rent-seeking corporations. The values that animate us all—lower taxes, less government, and more freedom—is a big philosophical tent set at the very center of American politics.

This reminded me of a sentiment I've expressed, though I couldn't find the instance on these pages, that individualism is Americanism. At the base of the moral code of most Americans is the idea that each of us is entitled to choose our own path, without permission from any master, and to dispose of our earnings as we see fit. All of this is segue to today's 'Atlas Shrugged' QOTD.

Part II, Chapter 4: The Sanction of the Victim- [Henry Reardon at his trial before the judges of the "Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources."]

It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own—I would refuse. I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being's right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"

The crowd burst into applause.

Rearden whirled around, more startled than his judges. He saw faces that laughed in violent excitement, and faces that pleaded for help; he saw their silent despair breaking out into the open; he saw the same anger and indignation as his own, finding release in the wild defiance of their cheering; he saw the looks of admiration and the looks of hope. There were also the faces of loose-mouthed young men and maliciously unkempt females, the kind who led the booing in newsreel theaters at any appearance of a businessman on the screen; they did not attempt a counter-demonstration; they were silent.

Naturally Grouchy.

Like Veronique de Rugy, I like Steve Pearlstein. He's a frequent guest on Larry Kudlow's show, and while we do not see eye-to-eye, he's a sharp guy and usually open to other viewpoints.

Several people link to an NPR interview where, ensconced in the ideologically safety of gub'ment media, he lets his freak flag fly a bit:

Steven Pearlstein is a business columnist for The Washington Post. I asked him what he makes of the argument heard often these days from big business that $1.8 trillion is a measure of their uncertainty about taxes or regulations to come from Washington.

Mr. STEVEN PEARLSTEIN (Business Columnist, The Washington Post): I don't make much of it. There's no doubt that in the last year and a half things have changed for business. After really more than a decade of essentially writing their own regulatory rules and after a decade of declining corporate taxes as a share of GDP, things are going in the other direction. So they are naturally a grouchy bunch right now.

This is one of those instances where you have lost the war if you let your opponent define terms. Pearlstein describes a natural oscillation between "becoming grouchy" when regulation and taxes go up, followed by good cheer when the mean old Republicans let you do whatever you want.

Absent from the clip -- and the interview as near as I can tell -- is any consideration of liberty. It is not a natural state, Mr. Pearlstein, to have your property confiscated in a free society. Regulation is not supposed to be a pendulum. You are free to run your business as you see fit without harming others or you are not.

Never. Another. Dime.

Got my National MS Society Newsletter in my inbox. Usually, I delete it before it has the opportunity to anger me, but there are a few interesting things. There have been a few new drugs approved lately, and this letter brings news of a new FDA Fast Track. Fast Track is where the FDA behaves as it should. They only do this in extreme circumstances, mind you, but I guess it's better than never.

But the second item was "Changes in access to health insurance and new health insurance rules are starting now with more to come this fall and next January. What does this mean to you? Our Health Care Reform team has created concise answers to the FAQs of people affected by MS."

Against my better judgment, I clicked. It's not awful, but it is a press release from the White House, repeating every lie and not questioning anything.

Q: I have MS and am uninsured. Can I now buy an individual health insurance policy?
A: Yes, if you have been without insurance for six months or more Uninsured people with pre-existing conditions will be able to buy a health plan through temporary high risk pools. In most states, they opened July 1, 2010. These pools will provide insurance until 2014. Although the temporary high risk pools are government financed, the premiums may still be high until more significant federal subsidies take effect through the National Health Benefit Exchanges in 2014. Still, these temporary pools mean no one can be refused insurance because of MS or any other condition.

Yup, it's got a lot more government -- which is better -- but over time we'll add more and more government and it will be better still.

I will plug, again, a non-Communist organization that raises money to help get equipment and care to patients that need it:The 2010 Wild West MS Walkabout.

Sadly, it is the last year they will be doing this but it is a pretty good crew. A few nurses associated with my drug trial are walking. I'll suggest supporting the "Advanced Neurology of Colorado" team. If you wanna.

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 AM | What do you think? [1]
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

I've been tossing away the paper mag they have been dumping in my snail-mail box for years now. They habitually take the path of least resistance.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at July 15, 2010 11:58 AM

Career Advice

Professor Reynolds links to "ANOTHER DOCTOR running for Congress in response to ObamaCare."

I don't know. Maybe some ThreeSourcers or their spouses are looking for cheap laughs. If so, I'm all in.

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 10:34 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

A: "Yes ma'am."
Q: "The one who's gonna cut the spending and cut the debt and repeal Obamacare, right?"

The doctor, not the mustard. Well done! A name recognition amplifier.

Posted by: johngalt at July 15, 2010 2:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Another thing: There is a recurring theme for Republicans to label themselves Conservative Republican. This has become necessary in the age of "Progressive" Republicans.

Posted by: johngalt at July 15, 2010 2:31 PM


A picture from Nate Beeler being worth 1000 words or so:


111th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 10:22 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Actually, it's that Congress forced the financial industry to use cracked pillars, and now it's forcing them to use paper piles. But that would have been hard to capture in just one frame...

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 15, 2010 10:53 AM

July 14, 2010

No limit on these?

Man, I love Amazon! Professor Reynolds links to Deals at the Amazon Outlet Store, and baby I'm there.

And yet:


On the web Posted by John Kranz at 7:34 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

"Better the worst Stalinist terror," he declares, "than the most liberal capitalist democracy." If Stalinism was indeed a negative development, it was because it was too capitalistic: "Stalinist ‘totalitarianism" was the capitalist logic of self-propelling productivity liberated from its capitalist form, which is why it failed: Stalinism was the symptom of capitalism." -- Slavoj Zizek considered "an academic rock star" by the New York Times.

In CO GOP Guv primary race, McInnis blows a tire

The "TEA Party Darling" for Colorado Governor, Dan Maes, was handed an engraved invitation to the GOP nomination with yesterday's revelation that his much better funded establishment rival, Scott McInnis, collected a six-figure payday for unoriginal, some say "plagarized" work.

As a Maes supporter before, during and after the State Assembly I shed no tears for Congressman McInnis. The news is consistent with my gut feeling about the man. I do worry, however, that Dan Maes loses more credibility with each day that passes before his promised revelation [12:20-23:40] that was supposed to take him off the defensive on alleged campaign finance rule violations.

"This has not been resolved. It's still being discussed, and we're just going to ask everyone to be patient and let the truth come out. (...) I ask everybody, be patient. 24 to 48 hours this thing's going to work itself out, the truth will be revealed, and I'm not afraid to admit - we made a couple, you know, clerical errors. We made simple mistakes that can really add up in this world and I think people will see that and they'll go, OK, we see that and we understand this happened and now let's get back to business as usual and get back on course."

Don Johnson at People's Press Collective is breathlessly annointing Democrat John Hickenlooper "Governor-elect" to which I say, keep your britches on Don. You [Don] give Dan Maes so little credit you've probably never met him. I have, and his honesty and directness won my support. Make Dan the nominee and put the party muscle behind him (like Hick will have) and watch the man work. I've seen him several times now, perused his campaign calendar, and I think the man is a Hoss.

UPDATE (15:00 MDT): How does JK say it exactly ... Mea Maxima Culpa?

Dan issued a press release explaining the campaign finance fines 2 days ago. [Facebook login required for link.] All emphasis mine.

Maes Campaign Finance Matter Closed - No Misuse of Funds Occurred.

Evergreen, CO- July 12, 2010 - On May 5th 2010 Grand Junction resident Christopher Klitzke, with his attorney Erik Groves also of Grand Junction, filed a citizens complaint alleging that Dan Maes, Republican Designee for Governor in Colorado, had violated campaign finance guidelines. The complaint made allegations that would result in approximately $25,000.00 in fines for various alleged violations. After Maes had agreed to not contest the matter on July 2, 2010 and pay the fine Groves re-approached Maes' attorney, Steve Jones, with a proposal to reduce the fine amount. After days of negotiating, the matter was closed today. Maes agreed to a lower amount of $17,500.00 reflecting fines for four violations. The fine was assessed for failing to disclose expenditures of over $20.00 in a timely manner though no specific finance laws dictate what timely is. It also included failure to properly record the occupation of 9 contributors and incorrectly listing a non-monetary (in kind) contribution as corporate instead of personal. Allegations of improper payments to Dan Maes by the campaign account proved untrue.

"Our campaign grew very quickly and the demands on it exceeded the resources we had for professional accounting staff. After our contract accountant left our campaign abruptly after our Q4 2009 report was due, we were left to use an inexperienced volunteer to complete the report. We made some clerical mistakes that we regret", stated Maes. "Our campaign must take responsibility for these mistakes. We have taken steps to insure these mistakes do not happen again. It is important that our supporters and other Colorado voters understand that there were no illegal contributions nor expenditures and every reimbursement made by the campaign to Dan Maes was a completely legal and appropriate reimbursement of resources loaned to the campaign throughout 2009," Maes continued. “Do the math, 80,000 miles over 16 months at a combination of .555 and.505/mile equals over $40,000.00. Many people do not understand the work load and travel involved in a statewide campaign.”

The release concludes with this, my favorite part:

"It is, however, obvious that this complaint was a politically motivated assault on our campaign and the grass roots voters, with the goal to drain our human and financial resources just as the primary season begins. It is a distraction from the serious issues facing the state of Colorado," Maes added. "We are ready to move forward and get to the real issues facing Colorado voters, and especially registered Republicans who deserve a debate between my Republican opponent and me. To date he has refused such a debate. The primary voters deserve to know the differences between us and he is denying them that privilege." Maes concluded.

Another example of Dan's willingness to tell it like it is in plain English. Imagine a governor with this quality. Actually, you don't have to imagine it. His name is Chris Christie.

But jk thinks:

It's almost enough to make a feller doubt the wisdom of Campaign Finance Reform...

Laws like these ensure a lifetime of establishment candidates on both sides -- nobody but the pros can navigate them.

Posted by: jk at July 14, 2010 7:44 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Campaign Finance "Reform"? It's code for "full-employment bill for lawyers."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 14, 2010 9:09 PM

July 13, 2010


A random sampling of Toyota "black boxes" selected by the NTSA suggests operator error.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of data recorders from Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration and found that at the time of the crashes, throttles were wide open and the brakes were not engaged, people familiar with the findings said.

The results suggest that some drivers who said their Toyota and Lexus vehicles surged out of control were mistakenly flooring the accelerator when they intended to jam on the brakes. But the findings don't exonerate Toyota from two known issues blamed for sudden acceleration in its vehicles: sticky accelerator pedals and floor mats that can trap accelerator pedals to the floor.

So there may be a floor mat issue, or a sticky gas pedal -- not that there is any evidence of that. But claims of software defects, transmission lines, sunspots and the like seem to be inflated.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:44 PM | What do you think? [5]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Driver error, huh? So I am allowed now to go back to my original hypothesis - that most Prius owners in Southern California are stupid? (The Hopenchange bumperstickers are, in my eyes anyway, satisfactory empirical evidence.)

Will this go down in history as yet another automotive fraud committed in the name of "public interest," taking its rightful place next to the Corvair, the Explorer, and the Audi?

Since the drivers in question can't be expected to 'fess up, which do you think we'll see first - a rash of lawsuits against floormat manufacturers, or a public outcry that the NTSA is in thrall to Diebold and Halliburton?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 13, 2010 4:29 PM
But jk thinks:
Will this go down in history as yet another automotive fraud committed in the name of "public interest," taking its rightful place next to the Corvair, the Explorer, and the Audi?
Nope. I don't think the retraction will get much publicity. I think a better comparison is President GHWBush and the supermarket scanner. Posted by: jk at July 13, 2010 5:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think I said that the lack of a mechanical clutch between the motor and wheels made me fearful of software defects, or short-circuit failures. I'm not sure I'd feel safe in one yet but yes, the brakes are strong enough to stop an engine. Question is, which gives out first - overheated brakes or overheated electric motors. Still some doubt there.

Posted by: johngalt at July 14, 2010 5:51 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair. And I suggested that additional safety features, especially a throttle cutoff when the brakes are applied seem like a good idea. But this is not about idle engineering speculation. The world's largest producer of motorcars was accused of misfeasance, malfeasance and a blatant disregard for customer safety.

The accusations came from US Government agencies which now own a competitive firm and were fueled by irresponsible media (I repeat myself) who cannot appreciate statistics.

I come not to praise the hybrid (too complex a design for me) but to take well deserved whacks at media and the US Dept of Transportation and Secretary Ray LaHood.

Posted by: jk at July 15, 2010 10:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You are right and I fully agree with everything you said. I just felt a need to close the thought on my off-topic commentary.

Posted by: johngalt at July 15, 2010 2:34 PM

Quote of the Day

I for one hope we maintain our difference from Europe in continuing to live by the radical principles of individual rights and limits on collective government power. Is that trite? If so, I got my triteness from a guy named Howard Roark: “Our country, the noblest country in the history of men, was based on the principle of individualism, the principle of man’s ‘inalienable rights.’ It was a country where a man was free to seek his own happiness, to gain and produce, not to give up and renounce; to prosper, not to starve; to achieve, not to plunder; to hold as his highest possession a sense of his personal value, and as his highest virtue his self-respect.” -- Matt Kibbe
This is as the end of a very interesting discussion of libertarianism and tea partiers.

UPDATE: Internet Segue Machine is set on 11: Ilya Somin summarizes and expounds on the discussion. Nicely, of course.

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 3:31 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Matt Kibbe expresses my perspective on the TEA Party movement with precision. I didn't bother reading the other two guys. (5 pages?!?)

Posted by: johngalt at July 15, 2010 2:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Jonah Goldberg's (page 3) was brief and worth a read. Most of three pages is for Brink Lindsey's effete, elitist, pointy-head Libertarian thrashing of the TEA partiers. I can't say it is a pleasant read, but it is a good foundation of "Libertario Delenda Est."

Posted by: jk at July 15, 2010 3:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Several good takeaways from Goldberg's two pages:

"Isn’t libertarianism about freedom, including the freedom to live conservatively if that’s what people choose? Secularism in politics is a perfectly admirable and libertarian value, but using the state to impose secularism on society is not." Amen.

"Even if the majority of people who (accurately) describe themselves as libertarians favor legalized abortion, it is quite clearly not the case that most care about the issue very much." This libertarian [I] cares about it first for its repulsive effect on unaffiliated voters and second for its proper place in the sphere of the individual. But I must admit that every one of the TPD Republicans I support is publicly pro-life.

"As for social conservatism, I think the real way to deal with Lindsey’s disdain for it is to pursue a more plausible and principled solution to the problems affecting both libertarianism and the country: federalism. As Thomas Jefferson knew, big cities will always be cosmopolitan. But there’s no reason why one narrow definition of cosmopolitanism needs to be imposed across the land. Social conservatives and libertine libertarians—and some practical progressives—should be able to find common cause in a campaign that allows people to live the way they want to live in communities that reflect their values." This reinforces my assertion "At the base of the moral code of most Americans is the idea that each of us is entitled to choose our own path, without permission from any master, and to dispose of our earnings as we see fit."

Posted by: johngalt at July 16, 2010 2:55 PM

"The only man I ever loved"

Lest anyone think I had given up on regular quotations from my favorite tome ... note the new subcategory.

"The only man I ever loved." It came from Ken Danagger, who had never expressed anything more personal than "Look here, Rearden." He thought: Why had we let it go? Why had we both been condemned—in the hours away from our desks—to an exile among dreary strangers who had made us give up all desire for rest, for friendship, for the sound of human voices? Could I now reclaim a single hour spent listening to my brother Philip and give it to Ken Danagger? Who made it our duty to accept, as the only reward for our work, the gray torture of pretending love for those who roused us to nothing but contempt? We who were able to melt rock and metal for our purpose, why had we never sought that which we wanted from men?

No, Keith, It's Not Just You

Keith Hennessey wonders if he is "making too big a deal out of one phrase?"

If he is, I am too. President Obama's latest locution to deflect culpability is "over the last decade..."

Hennessey is displeased with "A decade of spiraling deficits." He provides a graph that really is not a "spiral:"


Before the crash of late 2008 President Bush’s budget deficits were 0.6 percentage points smaller than the historic average. Deficits did not “spiral” during the Bush presidency or the decade. The bumped around the historic average, then spiked up in the last year.

Yeah, but what about that horrible 8.3% in 2009 when President Bush left office? That figure is a combination of a severe decline in federal revenues as the economy tanked, plus the projected costs of TARP for fiscal year 2009. If we include that terrible ninth year in the Bush average (as we should), then the average Bush deficit is still only 2.7%, one tenth of a percentage point above the average over the past four decades. (All data are from CBO’s historic tables.)

Yes, that last year sucked. Yes, when President Obama took office he faced an enormous projected budget deficit for his first year in office (which jumped from 8.3% when President Bush left in January to 9.9% at the end of that fiscal year). But it is inaccurate and misleading to characterize the previous decade as “a decade of spiraling deficits.”

But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, was he not? So Bush was not entirely to blame for 2009, and Obama is hardly blameless. A new president's first year involves a budget plan set in his predecessor's last year. But as much as Bush accelerated the "stimulus" and bailout crap, Obama floored the pedal by adding even more.

Oh, and it seems to me that Obama was serving as United States senator in 2008...

I'm really sick of these "Bush turned surpluses into deficits" lies. The only reason the surpluses existed weren't because Clinton was somehow fiscally responsible, and only in part because of tax cuts. It was a technology boom that happens once in a generation, which brought in more tax revenue than D.C. planned to spend. Once the bubble burst, the surpluses weren't going to last.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 13, 2010 4:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Hennessey has a sublink to a post that explains his call for a "nine year" analysis. I didn't click through but it seems, as you say, legit on some level.

My problems with the Clinton worship are:
-- they forget about the GOP controlled Congress (blessed gridlock!)
-- they forget he cut capital gains taxes
-- they forget he supported free trade.

Score me among those who would love to see another Democrat like William J Clinton.

Posted by: jk at July 13, 2010 5:26 PM
But HB thinks:

Two points:

-- As Perry notes, the "Bush turned surpluses into deficits" line is tired and ignorant. For example, I might be wrong, but didn't Al Gore suggest tax rebates in the 2000 campaign? Regardless, we lack a counterfactual and cannot make any corresponding judgment.

-- "Over the last decade..." now includes over a year and a half of his own term. He does realize this, correct?

For an excellent breakdown of Bush v. Obama deficits, see Veronique de Rugy's analysis here:


Posted by: HB at July 14, 2010 10:31 AM

Good Commencement address

In my ThreeSources bio, I discuss Moss Hart's "You Can't Take it With You" as describing my accidental introduction to blogging. Another thing I remember from the play is that Grandpa likes to attend graduation ceremonies to hear the addresses.

Insty links to Jeff Bezos's Baccalaureate address to Princeton this year. It's pretty good. If you like that sort of thing.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:04 AM | What do you think? [0]

July 12, 2010

Jefferson, Rand ... Friedman

I consider myself fairly well read in science and philosophy but economics and its jargon have always managed to keep me at arms length. As a result, and despite JK's repeated efforts, I never truly grasped the magnificent greatness of Milton Friedman.

Last weekend dagny and I drove the horses to New Mexico for a vaulting competition and engaged in our beloved "read to the driver" tradition. We finished the first few chapters of 'Free to Choose' and I was blown away. Not long ago I proclaimed that 'Robin Hood' is the TEA-Party "must see" movie of 2010. I'll now add that this book is the "must read" book for Republican candidates in '10 and '12. In particular, an ambitious presidential candidate could build an entire campaign around just the ideas in Chapters 2 and 3. Imagine if the citizens who inherited the greatest economy on Earth finally pulled enough of their heads from dark places and followed the lead of Albania. [And having now read these chapters I better understand the genesis of Prime Minister Laar's strategy.] Can you say, "zero deficit?" Of course, a few people might actually become more wealthy than the average pipefitter or schoolteacher, perhaps even obscenely so, but you've got to break a few eggs to make an omlette.

As dagny read I experienced the same reaction that I had on first reading 'Atlas Shrugged.' Friedman's explanations of causes and effects with historical perspective formed a perfect fit between my observations of reality and the integrated whole of my belief system in the realm of political economy. "I should have read this ages ago!" I lamented.

I made a mental note of some passages I wanted to quote here but don't have the book with me now. Until then, if you haven't already read it then put it on your list. You won't be disappointed.

UPDATE (7/13): Remembered the book today...

From Chapter 2 - 'The Tyranny of Controls (The Economic Case for Free Trade)'

"We are a great nation, the leader of the free world. It ill behooves us to require Hong Kong and Taiwan to impose export quotas on textiles to "protect" our textile industry at the expense of U.S. consumers and of Chinese workers in Hong Kong and Taiwan. We speak glowingly of the virtues of free trade, while we use our political and economic power to induce Japan to restrict exports of steel and TV sets. We should move unilaterally to free trade, not instantaneously, but over a period of, say, five years, at a pace announced in advance.

Few measures that we could take would do more to promote the cause of freedom at home and abroad than complete free trade. Instead of making grants to foreign governments in the name of economic aid - thereby promoting socialism - while at the same time imposing restrictions on the products they produce - thereby hindering free enterprise - we could assume a consistent and principled stance. We could say to the rest of the world: we believe in freedom and intend to practice it. We cannot force you to be free. But we can offer full cooperation on equal terms to all. Our market is open to you without tariffs or other restrictions. Sell here what you can and wish to. Buy whatever you can and wish to. In that way cooperation among individuals can be worldwide and free."

This is my definition of utopia. This is also the main idea I suggested an ambitious Republican presidential candidate could build a movement upon. He (or she) would be dubbed "the next Reagan." If he or she succeeded she would become the new standard by which future presidents are judged.

But jk thinks:

I weep tears of joy (of course, I've been on IV streroids and experimental immunosupressants all day, so I might be emotional).

PBS (yes, PBS) did a nice series on Free to Choose that is widley available. John Stossel just had a show on it (I think it was a repeat so it might be on Hulu already).

Stossel showed footage of his being hectorred as he was accepting his (Friedman's) Nobel Prize.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2010 8:16 PM

July 9, 2010

Six Month Moratorium on Your Job

Reason's John Basil Utley produces a deafening destruction of the Administration's missteps on handling the oil spill.

Being in Reason, it is clearly not Republican propaganda to hurt a Democratic president. It also fits quite nicely into a libertarian framework that does not expect the Federal government to always swoop in when needed and make everything perfect.

Being Reason, he catalogs the ways that government response has made it worse. The rejected skimmers, the Jones Act -- it's all there. Plus a serious denunciation of the drilling moratoria. Utley likens it to shutting down all flights after a plane crash.

I would like to offer my own thought to those who find a drilling moratorium prudent: LET'S SHUT DOWN YOUR PLACE OF BUSINESS FOR SIX MONTHS. Nobody gets paid, not the rent not the receptionist not the janitor not the gardener, and certainly not you. If the government decides -- in January of 2011, after the election -- that you are okay, then you can reopen.

And if you think that your business is somehow more difficult to switch on and off that a deep water oil drilling rig, with billions and tons of capital equipment and hundreds of engineers and highly skilled workers, then I want to hear about it.


Quote of the Day

Even economist John Maynard Keynes noticed the damage to utilities, asking [President Franklin] Roosevelt, "what's the use of chasing them around the lot every other week?"-- Amity Schlaes
The whole piece is superb.

July 8, 2010

Speaking of Professor Ferguson...

The man who can sell Rep Paul Ryan's economics to Babs must be an interesting man. Thankfully, the Internet Segue Machine is running at top speed this week.

Notorious gamer, superjournalist and my Buffy-sire, Jonathan V Last, says he'd "give just about anything to sit across the board from Niall Ferguson"

Prof. Ferguson, author of "The War of the World," says that he spent a lot of time playing World War II games over the years. But he often found these games lacking.

"What drove me crazy was the way economic resources were so arbitrarily allocated to countries," he explains. "Rather in the same way that Monopoly is economically unrealistic (there ought to be a central bank with the power to vary short-term interest rates) all these early strategy games would greatly exaggerate the resources of countries like Japan and Italy, and underestimate the vast wealth of the U.S. so one had a completely false impression of the odds against the Axis."

So Mr. Ferguson worked with the developers at Muzzy Lane to realistically map material resources and economic frameworks. As such, Making History II may be the apogee of a breed which has been quietly beloved of boys and men for half a century: the war-strategy game. While computers have added a level of mathematical sophistication to the genre, the older, hands-on war-strategy games retain an elegant charm.

Depressing, but fantastic. So exciting. Wonderful, Mind-blowing.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 7:27 PM | What do you think? [2]
But T. Greer thinks:

The reason Axis & Allies and other such games have such lasting resonance is that they teach a subject which is no longer fashionable: the mechanics of military history. Playing as Japan in Axis & Allies, for instance, you see that, as a tactical matter, you must attack Hawaii as soon as possible. Play as Russia and you can conduct What-If? experiments with variations on Stalin's strategic retreat.

The author lies. The last time I played that game I ignored Hawaii completely and invaded India. By the time I had won I was earning more than Russia and America combined!

Incidentally, (and before I had read this article) I picked up Mr. Ferguson's War of the World at Barnes and Nobles yesterday. Only 40 pages in (out of 640!), but it is a solid read so far.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 11, 2010 9:33 PM
But jk thinks:

My brothers were big on all the Avalon Hill games. I confess I never played any. I was the guy in the corner with the long hair singing "Give Peace a Chance" while you were occupying the subcontinent.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2010 8:23 PM

I should leave more often.

Unless I am badly misreading this Daily Beast post, the Aspen glitterati were treated to a denunciation of administration policies including a call "'for radical fiscal reform to restore the incentives for work and remove the incentives for idleness.' [Dashing Brit Niall Ferguson] praised 'really radical reform of the sort that, for example, Paul Ryan has outlined in his wonderful ‘Roadmap’ for radical, root-and-branch reform not only of the tax system but of the entitlement system' and 'unleash entrepreneurial innovation.'"

“Depressing, but fantastic,” Streisand told me afterward, rendering her verdict on the session. "So exciting. Wonderful!"

Brolin's assessment: "Mind-blowing."

Three Rabbis. Paul Ryan and Barbra Streisand walk into a bar...

Hat-tip: Instapundit

UPDATE: he professor's first name is Niall, not Niel (since corrected). ThreeSources regrets any inconvenience.

But johngalt thinks:

Only an intellect as muddled as Barbara Streisand's could use the adjectives "depressing" and "exciting" to describe the same thing, and in the same breath.

What we see in the linked article is two things: Liberal elitists coming to grips with just exactly what it means for the masses to live off the spoils of the rich, for they are the rich; and establishment (white) leftists lamenting that their "golden goose fleecing system" is being wrecked by the impatient "social justice" folks who really do believe that Ayn Rand's "Starnesville" can work if it is just big enough to encompass the whole country. Problem is, none of them ever read Atlas Shrugged in the first place.

But ... a glimmer of hope was found. Michael Splinter gave a clue as to how America's corporate tax rates may one day have to come down. It's called, competition. "Our corporate tax rate, on a worldwide competitive basis, is just not competitive. Taiwan is lowering their rate to 20 to 15 percent in order to stay competitive with Singapore. These countries have made it their job to attract industry." One of these days, some really smart politician will float this idea in a campaign as a jobs strategy. 'Tis better to be lucky than intelligent, especially if you're a politician. But the rest of us will still be the beneficiaries. (Until the cycle repeats.)

Posted by: johngalt at July 8, 2010 2:44 PM
But Terri thinks:

Mind-blowing? Mind-blowing??

This must be a good example of like minded people only discussing ideas with like minded people and never realizing there are uh other ideas out there. Ideas that have some common sense in them.

Posted by: Terri at July 8, 2010 3:30 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

All together: "People... people who need people..."

The Refugee has long maintained that if you want to see employment explode, eliminate the corporate income tax entirely. Art Laffer has an interesting piece in today's WSJ that basically says the same thing, though he goes even further than The Refugee in advocating a complete tax holiday. Read the non-subscription version here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704862404575351301788376276.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 8, 2010 4:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Limbaugh covered this story on his show today. He echoed my analysis that these rich people suddenly see their accumulated wealth on the Administration's menu. He also made a connection I never considered, but that makes perfect sense in retrospect. All of these people offering sudden criticism of Obama are who we once recognized as Bill Clinton's base. The thought is that the Clinton's are gradually, piece by piece, orchestrating a Democrat party mutiny against their own incumbent president. Hard to argue against it.

Posted by: johngalt at July 9, 2010 1:29 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I just love a good conspiracy theory!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 9, 2010 9:06 AM
But jk thinks:

I'm an Occam's Razor guy myself, but I will point out that überClintonista James Carville releases a poll today that does not reflect well on the President.

Posted by: jk at July 9, 2010 1:10 PM




"Erroll Garner's classic -- our song"

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm ashamed I haven't commented before, but I'm so heart-warmed at all this real music.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 8, 2010 9:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, Man -- you're very kind.

Posted by: jk at July 9, 2010 10:24 AM

Awesome piece in HuffPo Today

Holy two day performance seminar, Batman! I'm gone for 48 hours and the world has gotten all catawampus.

Prof Reynolds links to a superb piece in the Huffing Post today. Based on the lede paragraph, I'm guessing Matt Ridley is about my age:

When I was a student, in the 1970s, the world was coming to an end. The adults told me so. They said the population explosion was unstoppable, mass famine was imminent, a cancer epidemic caused by chemicals in the environment was beginning, the Sahara desert was advancing by a mile a year, the ice age was retuning, oil was running out, air pollution was choking us and nuclear winter would finish us off. There did not seem to be much point in planning for the future. I remember a fantasy I had - that I would make my way to the Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland, and live off the land so I could survive these holocausts at least till the cancer got me.

Ridley has written a book suggesting that if 180 years of gloom and doomers have not been right, perhaps today's crew might be mistaken as well:
I got back to 1830 and still the sentiment was being used. In fact, the poet and historian Thomas Macaulay was already sick of it then: `We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason.' He continued: `On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us.'


I guess I will go read the Nation and Utne Reader now. I'll get back to you with all their keen insights.

UPDATE: Linkee fixee much patience for appreciation.is.

But johngalt thinks:

Broken is link. Please is to be fixed it.

Posted by: johngalt at July 8, 2010 2:09 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Oh, thankyouThankYouTHXU!! I've been trying to state this for years... now if I can just remember to whom.... hmmm...


Posted by: nanobrewer at July 11, 2010 10:56 AM
But jk thinks:

Yes, nb, The Huffington Post is just chock full'o keen isights...

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2010 8:20 PM

July 7, 2010

Sanctuary to the extreme

We've seen news stories posted here to criticize police for excessive force in drug cases. Here's a news story that shows poorly on America's metropolitan District Attorneys, or at least the one in Jefferson County wherin Wheatridge, CO is located.

The Jefferson County DA's office said that neither Torres nor Cardona have been charged with anything at this point, even though Torres confessed to the crime. However, the homeowner, Wallace is facing twelve felony counts, including four counts of attempted first degree murder. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Four counts? Two bullets and two fleeing larcenists, I suppose. Attempted first-degree murder? Doesn't that require premeditation, and the absence of self-defense? And not even an illegal lane change ticket for the "immigrants?" Hey, what's that smell? Smells like ... sanctuary.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Smells like someone in the DA's office is auditioning for a job in the US Department of Justice.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 7, 2010 4:02 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

God help me, I haven't been this incensed since the trespassers at that general counsel's home. Every cop and magistrate who contributed to this tragedy of justice should have a .45 shoved up their assholes, and the triggers pulled to the cheers of everyone who cherishes justice. The two thieves should be strung up by their wrists and turned into human piñatas for their victims.

Putting every last one of these criminals to death is guaranteed to save lives and property in the future.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 8, 2010 9:11 PM

One for the Ages

Last night the Colorado Rockies accomplished a feat not seen since 1901, when both the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers did it - they scored nine or more runs in the bottom of the ninth to rally for the most improbable of wins. (See all nine runs in 85 seconds here.) Catcher Miguel Olivo scored twice. Chris Ianetta and Seth Smith both hit 3-run home runs. Smith's came after lining out to first for the first out of the inning. Eight hits and a walk lead to nine runs, five of them charged against the Cardinals' closer.

I told dagny somewhere around the 7th, "This game isn't over. Those guys in the St. Louis dugout look like they're starting to relax but they'd better not." The score was 9-3 at the time. I won't claim to have predictive powers. I've just seen a lot of summer baseball at Coors Field.

A large fraction of the 32,922 in attendance, and likely of whatever television audience there was, never saw it. I don't feel so bad for the fair-weather Rockies fans though. The ones I really feel for are the Cardinals faithful, one time zone behind us, who went to bed thinking it was a win. Oops.

But jk thinks:

Oh man, that's nothing. There was this soccer game and a team was down 0-2 and they came back to tie!!!

Man, nobody has ever seen anything like that...

If I can tag along your sports post. Seriously, folks, the Tour de France has all the international cred and european pretension of the World Cup -- and it is honestly fun to watch.

Posted by: jk at July 7, 2010 3:22 PM
But HB thinks:


I am really getting concerned about your hatred of the World Cup. And please tell me you were not serious about the Tour de France.

Posted by: HB at July 7, 2010 11:21 PM
But jk thinks:

As "Deep Thoughts" would say, I think it goes back to the time a soccer player shot and killed my Dad. Maybe I should look into therapy.

About the Tour, however, no compromise. It is one of the great sporting events. I came out two years ago today.

But I would like to direct my friend HB to this post in which I claim:

I admitted that I enjoyed watching the Tour for the excitement of sport, the beauty of the French countryside, and the preternatural athleticism of the riders. This all holds. But I am going to add that Le Tour de France represents classical liberal economics and individualist values better than any other sport.

Posted by: jk at July 8, 2010 10:35 AM
But jk thinks:

And another ninth inning comeback for the Rocks.

Posted by: jk at July 8, 2010 10:37 AM

July 5, 2010

Et Tu NRA?

Two weeks ago JK lambasted, and I defended, [here and here] the NRA for their political calculus. This time even I say they're going too far. Word is, the NRA may soon endorse Nevada's Senator Harry Reid over his TPD Republican challenger, Sharron Angle.

Conservative Examiner reported previously that Wayne LaPierre's endorsement of Reid is a signal that the NRA as an organization is on the same page. And unless NRA members inundate the central offices of the organization to protest the pending endorsement, then the thing is a done deal.

Here's the text of my letter to the NRA this morning:

I have been an NRA member for at least 10 years. I have donated to NRA-ILA instead of to individual candidates. I have, several times, considered Life Membership. I heard a report today that the NRA is considering a "calculated" endorsement of Harry Reid over Sharron Angle in Nevada. I am vehmently opposed to such a calculation. The American people are tired of "holding their nose" to support candidates they don't like for some Machiavellian purpose. Sharron Angle stands for freedom and the Constitution, while Harry Reid is the opposite. If the NRA endorses Harry Reid then I will not renew my overdue membership. Respectfully, Eric Rinard.
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I will agree with JG on another issue, however. That is, the NRA must not make Faustian bargains about the First Amendment. Tacit support for selective enforcement of the Constitution is exactly what the Left needs to bring down the Second Amendment. The NRA must stand by the Constitution, in whole and in part, in order to most effectively protect the Second Amendment.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 6, 2010 7:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Two days of all-day seminar. Man, I hate to miss the fun.

I still suggest that the LP remake itself based on the NRA. I did not educate myself with jg's link, but if Sen. Reid were good on guns, it would be appropriate and important to ignore party,

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2010 10:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, BR, it is the Faustian bargain of endorsing Reid to remain on his good side and "help the organization to remain viable and strong" that I object to, on the basis that Reid is a proven enemy to the Constitution and most of the other amendments.

What good is an individual right to own guns when the very concept of individuality is at risk?

Posted by: johngalt at July 7, 2010 2:37 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Endorsing Reid to remain on his good side? Sounds a lot like being nice to a hungry wolf, in hopes that he'll eat you last. Chamberlain's tactic at Munich, seen through to the end, might have ensured Britain would be the last to be annexed into the Reich - but in the end, annexed nonetheless.

I duly repent of my comment on single-issue groups. What I should have written was "therein lies the danger in *slavishly following* single-issue advocacy groups to tell me how to vote."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 7, 2010 2:58 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I certainly would not support the move, but I don't think it has nearly the sinister motives that you guys seem to imply.

JG, you're position seems similar to the one Reason magazine took in bashing McCain by 3:1 compared to Obama because McCain was not Libertarian enough. Now, we have Obama, Obamacare, Sotamayor and Kagen (soon). If you oppose the NRA, or fail to support it as Reason did McCain, then the next time there is a Columbine-like shooting (and there will be one, humans beings what they are) you're going to get Handgun Control Inc. calling shots [sorry].

The NRA is going to endorse hundreds of conservative Republicans from local to national races and spend millions to get them elected. Yes, they may endorse a few Dems (and maybe ones we don't like), but on balance gun ownership will not survive without them.

BTW, my Faustian deal referred to their First Amendment compromise with Chuck Schumer, not the endorsement of Reid. The Schumer deal troubles me far more than the Reid situation.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 7, 2010 8:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good perspectives, BR. I'll think them over. I suspect a lot of what the NRA does falls under the heading "sausage making" which is difficult work for idealists. I'm just not sure that opposing Harry Reid, lock stock and barrel, is an idealistic venture.

Posted by: johngalt at July 8, 2010 11:54 AM

Happy Dependence Day!

Rush Limbaugh was the first I heard use the construction 'Happy Dependence Day' as a celebration of the Fourth of July under President Obama and the Democrat Congress. It's a fitting title for sharing the words of a more contemporary version of the song 'God Bless America' which I started last night and put the finishing touches on this morning. "Enjoy."

Gaia, bless America,
Land I assume;
Stand astride her,
And guide her,
Through the night,
With your might,
From D.C.

Where's my bailout;
Where's my health care;
Where's my solar,
Powered A/C;
Gaia, bless America,
My patriarch;
Gaia, bless America,
My patriarch.

Copyright holder 'johngalt' in the year of "Tbe One We've Been Waiting For" II (2010) and licensed for public use.

Instrument vs. Institution

I have not read Carroll Quigley's "The Evolution of Civilizations" but blog friend tg has turned me onto one theme from it that has changed my life: the idea that organizations begin as "instruments" with a fixed purpose but morph into "institutions" devoted to their own self-preservation. Again, I am paraphrasing a paraphrase (tg's was quite good, maybe he'll provide a link?) I'm certain to be missing much nuance.

But I am struck by its application to government agencies. It provides a very good reason not to create them.

Instapundit, Breitbart, and PowerLine talk about and embed an interview with Charles Bolden of NASA. Bolden tells Al-Jazeera (Tagline: hey, we're better than CNN!) that the President tasked him "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering." Aww, isn't that sweet.

Paul at PowerLine notices that space exploration does not make the top three in President Obama's ToDo list. "The other two are 're-inspire children to want to get into science and math' and 'expand our international relationships,'" Man, I'm just feeling better about myself by the minute.

I'd suggest that no Federal agency has a clearer aegis than NASA. And yet, it is just one more honey pot of money that the current occupant of the White House can use for whatever pleases. President Huckabee will probably develop some great tasting Diet Tang®.

But T. Greer thinks:

I introduced the institution/instrument thing on my post Death of a Nation. You have not misrepresented it in any way here. Like the best of ideas, it is both simple and powerful. No nuance need apply.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 5, 2010 7:37 PM

July 2, 2010

Talk Amongst Yourselves...

My personal box has been killed by virus. I think it was the link provided by Giggle T. Hope nobody else clicked it. If you did and it was benign, let me know and I will clear his good name.

Funny that one would generate an on-topic comment and enter the bitmap password. I almost gave up blogging because of the spambots, but our comparative if underserved obscurity and the stupid bitmap password thing I wrote seems to have worked.

I'm hoping to restore the OS, grab a few videos that I have recorded but not posted, and then format and restore the whole thing.

And I hope y'all have a happy Fourth as well!

Posted by John Kranz at 2:09 PM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

She's dead, Jim. I think I should rescind my accusation against commenter Giggle T. It appears I have a hardware problem.

Dang. Usually when a computer dies I am jonesing for a new one anyway. Not the case, this was a nice quad-core.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2010 10:45 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Hardware failure - unless it's the hard drive, such a rarity. (And these days, even the drives are tough as nails.) Any diagnosis as to a specific component?

Posted by: johngalt at July 5, 2010 10:14 AM
But jk thinks:

Rare? With that led-free solder?

Actually, I am wondering about the power supply. The first failures were disappearing video: the screen went grey or vertical stripes.

Through rebuilding attempts, I would have to cycle the power three or four times to make it try to boot. This got more and more frequent. Then it started shutting down (power indicator, fans and all) at random points in recovery. I was suspicious that perhaps I was losing power to the motherboard in the first stages and all power now.

Open to other ideas and suggestions.

Posted by: jk at July 5, 2010 10:55 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

A power supply can take a motherboard and/or CPU with it when it blows. If it's a quad core, I'd look at swapping in only a power supply to see if the motherboard and CPU are still working. If the computer still won't POST, then do you know someone with an appropriate machine to swap your CPU into? If it works then, then you know the motherboard is bad.

For all your parts needs, if you can wait for delivery, get thee to Newegg. I make no endorsement except to say that their prices are great and their service excellent. I receive no compensation for this.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 6, 2010 12:11 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Oops, I messed up the link. www.newegg.com -- that's all you need to know.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 6, 2010 12:16 PM

July 1, 2010

Obama Blames GOP

Wow, that's twice, is it not?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hoping to breathe new life into the stalled immigration effort, President Barack Obama on Thursday blamed the delay on recalcitrant Republicans whom he said had given in to the "pressures of partisanship and election-year politics."
Immigration Posted by John Kranz at 6:24 PM | What do you think? [0]

"Who is destroying the world?"

Here's what comes after JK's quote from the first of the year. From Part 2, Chapter II: The Aristocracy of Pull

"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.

And here was a good answer for Sharron Angle to give the questioner about her reference to "Second Amendment remedies."

"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are.

This was the sentiment she was describing, even if she couldn't have explained why.

It also explains why we're not seeing economic recovery anywhere on the horizon.

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another - their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.
"But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich - will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt - and of his life, as he deserves.
"Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard - the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money - the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law - men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims - then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: 'Account overdrawn.'
"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are.

But jk thinks:

The word "prescient" seems too weak. No wonder she is climbing the charts again.

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2010 4:17 PM

Western Conservative Summit 2010

Will ThreeSources give me expenses and per diem to cover this?

Truth be told, I'd shell out my own dough to hear Michele Bachmann.

2010 Colorado Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 PM | What do you think? [5]
But jk thinks:

How much extra for no Rep. Tancredo?

The first time I saw Ms. Bachmann was on a YouTube my moonbat niece sent me. Bachman was on the floor of the house demanding the Ten Commandments and prayer time in public schools or such*. I replied "oh, she is clearly a nutjob."

That YouTube is gone (we've always been at war with Eurasia!) but I have not forgotten it. I have eyed her advances pretty warily since.

*I wish I could remember exactly what was said. I realize this is unfair. But I am not bashing religion here -- it was way over the top for a secular nation.

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2010 4:16 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Michelle Bachman is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. I honestly have no idea how she was ever elected. Her seat always goes to Republicans, of course, but you'd think they would choose somebody capable to represent them. It is one of the richest areas in Minnesota - they have to have somebody better suited for governance than she.

Posted by: T. Greer at July 2, 2010 3:01 PM
But jk thinks:

At the risk of throwing a low blow, you boys did send Mister Franken to the Senate (corruption and theft are not allowed as a defense in such a "clean" State).

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2010 4:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If Rep. Bachmann has ever embarassed her party I haven't seen it. Every time I've heard her speak she's sounded reasonable and mainstream. Yes I know she's a Christian but who isn't, Republican OR Democrat?

I did some searching today for the YouTube video JK mentioned. I didn't find anything on the house floor but I found many left wing blogs villifying the bejeesus out of her. There was one video of her leading a prayer for repeal of Obamacare (as likely to work as any other impediment to bigger government) where she was calm and reasonable and some guy who, maybe it was his gathering she attended, started in with the whoopin' and hollerin' and hallalujah business. THAT guy was an embarassment - to humanity. Michele is still A-OK in my book. And I believe there is no God.

Posted by: johngalt at July 2, 2010 7:35 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm laughing, jg, as I went through the same process. I asked my niece if she still had the link. She found my reply and the link but the video was no longer available.

Trying to help (sweet girl) she sent me several of the ones you mention. Two minutes of Rep. Bachmann looking no stupider than your average Congressperson, wrapped in seething lefty "See!"

I don't expect you to take my word (I would not t'were our positions reversed) but it was bad enough that Mister Pragmatist called a rising GOP star a "nutjob" to a lefty.

Amusing, too, that the topic was religion in the public square, about which I am much more lenient than you. I wish I could see it again even if I could not share it.

Posted by: jk at July 3, 2010 10:42 AM

JK's Dark Thought of the Day

No doubt I will run out of these items soon. Surely this won't be a daily feature!

Those wild eyed lib-er-alls at the New York Times take some whacks at Tea Party darling Sharron Angle for avoiding unfriendly press:

Ms. Angle, a Nevada Senate candidate and Tea Party darling, has steadfastly refused to talk to reporters here, leading to some unusually aggressive behavior by local television stations. In a segment fit for TMZ, one intrepid reporter chased her on foot outside a restaurant this month, repeatedly asking why she had once said that “if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.” She ignored the questioner and tried to outpace him, in a video clip replayed across the state.

My dark thought of the day is that this might be a good strategy. She was weak in the friendly environs of a Larry Kudlow interview last night.

Kudlow started the interview with a softball: what would she do, were she elected, to restore growth. (Hint: lady, this is Larry Kudlow's show, maybe something about lower taxes or less regulation or something...) Ms. Angle gets rabidly partisan: Well, Larry the first thing to do is unseat Harry Reid! He's a job killer, we have 17% unemployment! And...

And Larry breaks in. Yes, but if you win, which might be your first legislative goals?


[Deer in the headlights]


"Repeal ObamaCare!" [Good answer, Would've been better 24 seconds ago, but we can edit that out on YouTube, Show some cute kittens playing with a toy for a while...]

I am being a bit harsh but it was not a good interview. And this was not Katie Couric or Charlie Gibson trying to trip her, this was Larry Kudlow.

I sent her $50 way back when she started. She was a tea party candidate who knocked off a "conventional GOPer" in the primary. Was that a mistake? And how many times did/will this happen this cycle?

But johngalt thinks:

Okay, this one is easy. Not all "TEA Party darlings" will be Mister Smith, and oh by the way, Mister Smith had Frank Capra, a Hollywood script, and as many takes as it ... took ... to get it right. But the plot still works:

"A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down."

Hopefully Sharon and other TPDs will take a page from Ken Buck who said, "I'm not sure I will win but I am who I am." Voters are looking for more of that these days.

Posted by: johngalt at July 1, 2010 2:51 PM
But T. Greer thinks:


Is it too early for a "told you so"?

Posted by: T. Greer at July 1, 2010 3:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Not a function of time, tg. You said they would be ineffectual and I have been waiting for a "TYS" on efficacy.

If all the Tea Party candidates win their primaries and are so ill fitted to politics that hey lose the generals, then I will serve one up with whipped cream, chocolate chips and a cherry.

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2010 4:07 PM


Jazz, Schmazz, how 'bout a little blues scarecrow?

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

Speaking of coffee: Devil Dog Brew, the official coffee of LiveAtTheCoffeehouse.com, is having a Fourth of July sale.

As a salute to Independence Day we're offering you a 5% discount on our coffee, just enter code FOURTH at checkout!

Semper Fi, Hank!

But Boulder Refugee thinks:


Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 2, 2010 2:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, man!

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2010 2:09 PM

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