October 31, 2010

Insight into the American Liberal Psyche

The Refugee is not in the habit of clipping articles, but this one is a keeper. A recent op-ed piece in the WSJ by Shelby Steele does a better job of clarifying the liberal psyche than any he has seen to date. Mr. Steele describes the obvious reasons for Obama agenda's sinking popularity, but then really gets at the heart of liberal idiology and, to my mind, what spawned the Tea Party Movement.

But Barack Obama is not an "other" so much as he is a child of the 1960s. His coming of age paralleled exactly the unfolding of a new "counterculture" American identity. And this new American identity—and the post-1960s liberalism it spawned—is grounded in a remarkable irony: bad faith in America as virtue itself, bad faith in the classic American identity of constitutional freedom and capitalism as the way to a better America. So Mr. Obama is very definitely an American, and he has a broad American constituency. He is simply the first president we have seen grounded in this counterculture American identity.


Bad faith in America became virtuous in the '60s when America finally acknowledged so many of its flagrant hypocrisies: the segregation of blacks, the suppression of women, the exploitation of other minorities, the "imperialism" of the Vietnam War, the indifference to the environment, the hypocrisy of puritanical sexual mores and so on. The compounding of all these hypocrisies added up to the crowning idea of the '60s: that America was characterologically evil. Thus the only way back to decency and moral authority was through bad faith in America and its institutions, through the presumption that evil was America's natural default position.

My conclusion from Mr. Steele's logic is that while the TPM expresses itself in term of fiscal discipline and liberty, it is at least as much a reaction to the "America is evil" precept of the modern liberal. TPM members are standing up for the basic goodness of the country. While acknowleding its imperfections, America has been an unalloyed good for freedom and humanity.

Some of the best parts have not been excerpted, to it is worth the whole read.You don't even have to pay Rupert 20 pieces of silver.

Obama Administration Posted by Boulder Refugee at 12:31 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Good article. Well reasoned and thought provoking. I agree with BR's assessment and will add to it that a contributing factor to the suddeness and magnitude of the TPM backlash is the doctrine of political correctness that prevented so many from speaking up for so long. But now that the stakes are so high, and now that leftist politicians in particular don't even bother pretending to be honest, Americans feel freshly liberated to speak their minds.

Posted by: johngalt at November 1, 2010 3:02 PM

October 30, 2010

And It's Not Even April

Charles Krauthammer sees my quoting T.S. Eliot and just can't help himself:

This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends -- not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution.

Happy Halloween!

Now That's Scary!


Seriously, I think it is major cool. The artist is Ray Villafane (Audio at the link)

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 12:39 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Unfortunately, the flag is displayed backwards.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 1, 2010 3:56 PM

October 29, 2010

The Tea Party and the Fringe

One of the most agitating things about the current political climate are discussions about the Tea Party. I do not consider myself a member, but I clearly favor less government. In a roundabout way we are in agreement. Nonetheless, I do not like the populist streak that runs through the group.

Despite my disagreements, I have found it particularly amusing how Democrats have tried to paint the Tea Party as fringe. The reason that it is amusing is that, at least to my mind, the Tea Party does not seem like a group, but rather a movement. There is no leader. It's merely a group of people fed up with the government and, likely, the state of the economy.

The fact that the Tea Party is not a group is what makes it so hard for the accusations about its members positions and sanity to stick. The latest attempt to do so is that of Robert Reich in this morning's Wall Street Journal. Reich argues that the Tea Party's "idiocy" is going to create more uncertainty among businesses because they want to abolish the Fed, get rid of the IRS, are against free trade, and opposed TARP.

Of course, according to Reich's own article 45% of the American public want to abolish the Fed. Does that qualify as a fringe position? And besides, how likely is it that President Obama would sign such a bill? I don't need to consult Vegas to know that probability is zero. In addition, mainstream Republic folks like Steve Forbes have run for POTUS arguing for a flat tax and the elimination of the IRS -- a plan that would be much more desirable to what we currently have. Similarly, it is not clear to me -- or many others -- that TARP was a winner. Even those who believe it was a necessary short-run solution have to acknowledge that it generates long-run problems. Finally, while I similarly oppose the Tea Party's stance toward free trade, I also see such opposition in the Democratic legislature and the in the Oval Office.

My point here is not necessarily to defend the Tea Party, but to point out a larger point. Suppose that we take for granted that the Tea Party is a bunch of fringe wackos with crazy ideas. What does it say about the opposition candidates that the Democrats are running? Are the American people just too blind to see that the so-called Tea Party candidates are psychopathic idiots? Or is it that the American public recognizes that those in office of all party affiliations, who are supposed to be beholden to the people, have abandoned them to push through an unpopular agenda?

2010 Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:16 AM | What do you think? [8]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'll join with you on this, jk. My sense is that the "TEA Party" is not a party at all, but a general movement. It does not have a hierarchy or a nominating process, the way the Reps and the Dems do. That's why I laugh when someone is described as a "TEA Party candidate." Do candidates emerge as the leaders of the TEA Party, or do they attach themselves to the movement after it was already moving and present themselves as their candidate?

You wrote "...the tea partiers left an opening by nominating weaker candidates..." and there's a lot of hidden truth there. There is no mechanism in place for vetting candidates in the movement other than candidates volunteering and making some profession of adherence to ideals.

So in a sense, we are put off by the machinations of party politics and the nominating process, and unsatisfied by the TEA Party's lack of one. Any ideas for a working alternative?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 29, 2010 1:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The other thing that makes it hard for attacks on individual TEA Partiers to stick is that these are ordinary Americans who share most of the same extraordinary ideas as most other ordinary Americans: liberty, morality, happiness, and perhaps most of these is liberty - the liberty to decide the specific form of those others to which we choose to abide. When Americans see their neighbors standing up to say "let me represent you" it is difficult for "community organizers" to lead them in a different direction with their pretty-sounding flute music.

There are many ideas and principles not to like in the popular revolt known as the TEA Party movement but we must not let those detract from its most powerful exponent: That they are Americans and they are moving; forward, actively, amateurishly, progressing but with honesty and determination to protect and defend, for themselves and their posterity, the individual liberties given them by their forebears.

The greatest danger to the movement's success is not, in my mind, what conglomeration of ideas it chooses to advance at any point in time, but that it might stop advancing ideas at all.

I believe and hope that it represents a civic renaissance, aided and enabled by mobile phones and the internet, which is better informed and acts more precisely in its self-interest.

Posted by: johngalt at October 29, 2010 3:18 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

An article I sent to JK earlier this week may have some relevance to the conversation at hand.

The Tea Party's Other Half
David Kirby. CATO@Liberty. 28 October 2010.

While the Tea Party is united on economic issues, there is a split virtually right down the middle between traditional social conservatives and those who think government should altogether stay out of the business of “promoting traditional values.” Candidates and representatives hoping to appeal to the Tea Party, we argue, need to focus on a unifying economic agenda that takes into account this strong libertarian undercurrent.

These findings help refute the assumption that the Tea Party is just another conservative group, both fiscally and socially. The data should also caution Republicans not to over-interpret potential midterm gains in the House and Senate as a mandate for social as well as fiscal conservatism.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 29, 2010 7:05 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Darn, tg: that says so elegantly what I said like a babbling, gibbering idiot.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 29, 2010 7:19 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

And they have empirical data to prove the point as well.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 30, 2010 1:40 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I agree with TG's David Kirby excerpt. Yet I still contend that the TPM is bigger than just social and secular conservatives. It also includes Democrats who are fed up with the takeover of their party by the Progressive left. And I think there is empirical data to also prove this point but I haven't yet found it online.

What I'm referring to is a poll of union rank-and-file that found a 2 to 1 split who: opposed using union dues to support incumbent Democrats; called such spending "a wasteful and unnecessary use" of their dues money; wanted those dues used to "throw the bums out." [Frank Luntz presented these data on 'Cavuto on Business' this morning citing a "National Right to Work" poll of 760 union members.]

More evidence that, across the full spectrum of American thought, a majority know it is both unsustainable and morally wrong to "Demand the Unearned."

Posted by: johngalt at October 30, 2010 11:12 AM

October 28, 2010

When You've Lost Dana Milbank and Jon Stewart...

Okay, even I am getting tired of that joke, but all the same...

It is telling that Dana Milbank is writing about Stewart's thrashing of the President.

But when Stewart moved, politely, to point out weaknesses in the health-care legislation, Obama pointed at him again. "Not true!" the president argued.

Obama wore a displeased grin as Stewart diagnosed, with high accuracy, the administration's condition: "The expectation, I think, was audacity going in there and really rooting out a corrupt system, and so the sense is, has [the] reality of what hit you in the face when you first stepped in caused you to back down from some of the more visionary things?"

"My attitude is if we're making progress, step by step, inch by inch, day by day," Obama said, "that we are being true to the spirit of that campaign."

"You wouldn't say you'd run this time as a pragmatist? It wouldn't be, 'Yes we can, given certain conditions?'"

"I think what I would say is yes we can, but -- "

Stewart, and the audience, laughed at the "but."

Obama didn't laugh

Right and Wrong in a Mixed Economy

I haven't yet quoted enough of Ragnar Danneskjold for the unfamiliar to know that he robs from looters and statists and returns the wealth to those from whom it was taken, by force, in the form of govenment taxes. Here he explains the balance due to Dagny Taggart.

Part III, Chapter 2 - The Utopia of Greed

"Your account, however, is not as large as some of the others, even though huge sums were extorted from you by force in the past twelve years. You will find - as it is marked on the copies of your income-tax returns which Mulligan will hand over to you - that I have refunded only those taxes which you paid on the salary you earned as Operating Vice-President, but not the taxes you paid on your income from your Taggart Transcontinental stock. You deserved every penny of that stock, and in the days of your father I would have refunded every penny of your profit - but under your brother's management, Taggart Transcontinental has taken its share of the looting, it has made profits by force, by means of government favors, subsidies, moratoriums, directives. You were not responsible for it, you were, in fact, the greatest victim of that policy - but I refunded only the money which was made by pure productive ability, not the money any part of which was loot taken by force."

When liberals denounce "corporate welfare" I agree with them to the extent they refer to such "government favors, subsidies, moratoriums, directives" no matter what corporation may be the beneficiary. Yet what do those same liberals then resort to when they want to foist their "new energy economy" upon us? Government favors (green energy use in government buildings) subsidies (tax rebates for "green" producers and consumers) moratoriums (outlawed light bulbs and artificial carbon caps) and directives (mandates for "renewable" energy production.)


But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at October 28, 2010 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The first ten stickers arrived today. Now we need to disuss a marketing plan...

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2010 11:11 PM

Junk Science

I have heard this one. The plastic from water bottles is making you fat, giving you cancer, giving you diabetes. (Evian Belly?)

The back to the caves crowd holds a particular enmity for bottled water. It's a sure sign of the curse of affluence. Easier to make fun of than to defend, you can attack it for frugality, environmentalism, and brands' identification as status symbol. Brother jg has contributed to a lengthy Facebook dialogue with a friend espousing "voluntary simplicity." Bottling and transporting Norwegian glacier water strikes him as the apogee of environmental arrogance.

Our sainted betters up North (no, not Norway-- Canada!) have declared prohibition on plastic. John Stossel points out that not even the lame-ass FDA (my description, he calls them "notoriously risk-averse") sees the link to danger that have caused Canada, Connecticut and Minnesota to legislate.

Nonsense. Not only is there no good evidence that BPA locked into plastic can hurt people, it actually saves lives by stopping botulism.

"Since BPA became commonplace in the lining of canned goods, food-borne illness from canned foods--including botulism--has virtually disappeared," says the American Council of Science and Health.

You never hear the good news about BPA in the mainstream media. Fear-mongering gets better ratings.

When bottles are outlawed...

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Oh, it's the plastic in water bottles that makes me fat? And all this time, I thought it was the pizza, pasta, soda, beer, and potato chips I pack into my well-muscled gullet, along with so many millions of free Americans. Good to know.

Really, is there some double-blinded, government-funded scientific study that found several dozen people subsisting on tofu and collard greens but are still obese, and determined that it was their bottled water intake that was fattening them up?

And now I'm sorry for all those times I said the most dangerous place in the world was to stand between Michael Moore and an all-you-can-eat Krispy Kreme buffet. Clearly, it's the Evian.

Spell "Evian" backwards, and I think you'll find how I view people who buy into that.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 28, 2010 2:03 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

We should all feel guilty that we can drink clean, safe water on demand when millions of Africans are drinking dung tea. If even one person does not have clean water, then no one should have it!

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 28, 2010 2:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I take your comment sarcastically as intended BR, but mine is a "Face Without Pain or Fear or Guilt." [Part II, Chapter 9]

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2010 3:58 PM

Bringing the Fun In!

Byron York lets us all share in the joy that was the Alexi Giannoulias rally in Chicago:

The event began like any other Clinton appearance: he was late, first a half-hour, then an hour, then 90 minutes. As a crowd of several hundred party activists, volunteers, and labor organizers milled around a ballroom at the posh Palmer House Hotel, a woman in the audience tried to breathe a little life into a group that had nothing to do but wait.

"Fired up!" she shouted. "Ready to go!"

A few people scattered around the room joined in. "Fired up! Ready to go!" After several more turns, perhaps half the crowd was chanting. But the enthusiasm never spread all around.

Dissatisfied, the woman tried again a few moments later. "Yes we can!" she yelled. "Yes we can!"

This time, maybe a half-dozen people joined in before it fizzled out altogether. Nobody cared; they were too busy with other things.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

2010 Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

A radio report this morning claimed that mail in and early voting in Colorado thus far represents the votes of 280,000 R's and less than 240,000 D's. That's an enthusiasm gap of more than 16 percent.

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2010 3:10 PM

Quote of the Day

Our 47th Vice President gets the honors today:

"Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive," he said. "In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States. ... No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years." -- VP Joe Biden

...and VP Gore invented the Internet!

VP Biden Posted by John Kranz at 11:28 AM | What do you think? [4]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If I honestly believed that Slow Joe Biden possessed two brain cells to rub together, I'd nod quietly and think "he's referring to patent and copyright protection that allow innovators to benefit from their creativity, and the free-market system that rewards them. That's what he's thinking." But Joe is not entitled to the benefit of the doubt. He honestly believes in government's role at the center of a command economy.

Or perhaps he was thinking of how Al Gore's Council of Scholars gave us candles, thereby eliminating our dependence on torches.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 28, 2010 12:05 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

By the way, the new picture's pretty cool.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 28, 2010 12:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I could be mistaken but I thought Al Gore's candles eliminated our dependence on electric lightbulbs.

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2010 3:08 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

You're right, jg - the torches are reserved for use with pitchforks, and tar. The revolution is on, and if there is still electricity, it will be televised...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 28, 2010 3:58 PM




"Happy Halloween!"

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

But jk thinks:

I stole this thumbnail for my Facebook profile pic. I think that's Brother Keith's allusion. Thanks, man!

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2010 12:52 PM

October 27, 2010

Out-Ponziing Charles?

PIMCO's Bill Gross is. let's say, not a fan of QE2:

I ask you: Has there ever been a Ponzi scheme so brazen? There has not. This one is so unique that it requires a new name. I call it a Sammy scheme, in honor of Uncle Sam and the politicians (as well as its citizens) who have brought us to this critical moment in time. It is not a Bernanke scheme, because this is his only alternative and he shares no responsibility for its origin. It is a Sammy scheme – you and I, and the politicians that we elect every two years – deserve all the blame.

Courtesy of James Pethokoukis who shares more of the letter and commentary.


What Would Milton Friedman Do?

Not sure the answer is correct, but the Wall Street Journal tries (and has the decency to hedge its assertions).

Friedman believed in the power of money: the more money, the more income and, eventually, the more inflation. He didn't think the Fed could deliver full employment. He regarded interest rates as a misleading measure of whether the Fed was loose or tight. He favored flexible exchange rates, and would have lectured China against pegging its yuan to the dollar.

He didn't trust central bankers. He blamed the Bank of Japan for the deflation of the 1990s and the Fed for the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Inflation of the 1970s. He would, if his sharp-tongued co-author Anna Schwartz is any clue, have condemned the bank bailouts of recent years. "They should not be recapitalizing firms that should be shut down," she told the Journal in October 2008.

David Wessel looks at what would Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago champion of monetary discipline, do now? Would he approve of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's move to buy more U.S. Treasury bonds to put more money into the economy?
.Friedman would have scoffed at the notion that the Fed is out of ammunition. He believed in the potency of "quantitative easing," or QE—printing money to buy bonds.

But johngalt thinks:

From what I've read so far in Friedman and Friedman's 'Free to Choose' I concur that he "didn't trust central bankers" and "he favored flexible exchange rates." These seem somewhat incompatible, but nonetheless true. In fact, Friedman's views on the money supply have tempered my fears of hyperinflation in coming years.

But over the first two years of the O-ministration a more illustrative question than "what would Milton Friedman do" is what would he NOT do. I can't think of a single policy in the past two years that Friedman would endorse.

Posted by: johngalt at October 28, 2010 3:05 PM

Barney Isn't Frank

Does anybody remember when politicians used to at least pretend to tell the truth? Now they just deny there is such a thing as truth.

Fast forward now to 2008, after the risky mortgages had led to huge numbers of defaults, dragging down Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the financial markets in general -- and with them the whole economy.

Barney Frank was all over the media, pointing the finger of blame at everybody else. When financial analyst Maria Bartiromo asked Congressman Frank who was responsible for the financial crisis, he said, "right-wing Republicans." It so happens that conservatives were the loudest critics who had warned for years against the policies that Barney Frank pushed, but why let facts get in the way?

Ms. Bartiromo did not just accept whatever Barney Frank said. She said: "With all due respect, congressman, I saw videotapes of you saying in the past: 'Oh, let's open up the lending. The housing market is fine.'" His reply? "No, you didn't see any such tapes."

But jk thinks:

Clearly, we have always been at war with Eurasia.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2010 3:28 PM

Quote of the Day

The ne plus ultra of the government's friendly-fire warfare on itself is the prospect of Fannie and Freddie, which Washington bailed out, now trying to shift their housing losses to the banks, which Washington bailed out. -- Holman Jenkins, WSJ Ed Page
Part of a smart piece on the rush to cast borrowers as victims and banks as villains in the foreclosure crisis. Jenkins also points out that "in the absence of the snafu, we'd have a faster, smoother-working foreclosure process, in which more Americans would more quickly be shoved out into the street in perfect compliance with the law."
Posted by John Kranz at 11:49 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

"The problem with bogeyman politics is that eventually you run out of bogeymen."

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2010 2:29 PM

October 26, 2010

Headline of the Day

Set Tivos to Stun: Nick Gillespie on Fox News' Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld Tonight! -- Reason.com

But, what if it does?

I may have embedded this before, but it's in vogue thanks to the upcoming "Government Doesn't Suck" Rally:

Government Posted by John Kranz at 12:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

October 25, 2010

When Governments make Guitars

Anyone who doubts the free market's superiority will be forced to play a couple sets using the Jolana Star guitar, "made in Czechoslovakia during the Iron Curtain days."


Kinda makes their cars and dowdy overcoats look good by comparison...

Hat-tip: JustStrings.com (Great content on Facebook)

UPDATE: Okay, but can we all agree this is bad?


Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 6:37 PM | What do you think? [5]
But sugarchuck thinks:

Dude, where can we get one of those. That guitar looks awesome! (no sarcasm)

Posted by: sugarchuck at October 25, 2010 8:14 PM
But jk thinks:

I've known this guy since the 5th Grade. I had no idea he was a Communist!

Okay, man, to each his own but promise me you'll use it for slide, I see the fret wires' shredding hands.

(And, yes, I almost said "put a few Jason Lollars on it..." but I think I'll pass.) I don't know where you buy one: yugoguitars.com?

Posted by: jk at October 26, 2010 10:55 AM
But jk thinks:

In Brother sc's defense, the comments on FB are running 3-1 in favor.

Posted by: jk at October 26, 2010 11:01 AM
But sugarchuck thinks:

Are you kidding...think David Lindley or Jimmy Reed or heaven's to Betsy, but you've got to love that guitar. For those interested, Eastwood guitars has made reissues of lots of old, oddball axes and they are supposed to be excellent. Harmony guitars are also back and reissuing the old models. One of the very best guitars I've ever had was a Harmony Meteor I bought for $100 because it looked funky and junky. I love funky and junky so wrap it up hoss. I'll take it.

Posted by: sugarchuck at October 26, 2010 11:08 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I can only say, based on appearance, that I didn't see what was so objectionable in the first place. It doesn't have exposed rivet heads or anything like that.

Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2010 2:34 PM

What "free trade" looks like

Now we are in Part III of Atlas Shrugged, entitled "A is A"

Chapter 1 - Atlantis

She smiled and asked, pointing at the machinery, "Shale oil?"


"That's the process which you were working to develop while you were on earth?" She said it involuntarily and she gasped a little at her own words.

He laughed. "While I was in hell--yes. I'm on earth now."

"How much do you produce?"

"Two hundred barrels a day."

A note of sadness came back into her voice: "It's the process by which you once intended to fill five tank-trains a day."

"Dagny," he said earnestly, pointing at his tank, "one gallon of it is worth more than a trainful back there in hell--because this is mine, all of it, every single drop of it, to be spent on nothing but myself." He raised his smudged hand, displaying the greasy stains as a treasure, and a black drop on the tip of his finger flashed like a gem in the sun. "Mine," he said. "Have you let them beat you into forgetting what that word means, what it feels like? You should give yourself a chance to relearn it."

"You're hidden in a hole in the wilderness," she said bleakly, "and you're producing two hundred barrels of oil, when you could have flooded the world with it."

"What for? To feed the looters?"

"No! To earn the fortune you deserve."

"But I'm richer now than I was in the world. What's wealth but the means of expanding one's life? There's two ways one can do it: either by producing more or by producing it faster. And that's what I'm doing: I'm manufacturing time."

Quote of the Day

If Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is humming any tune these days, it might be: "I fought the law, and the law won." That sums up the Obama Administration's record trying to defend its response to the BP oil spill in court. -- WSJ Ed Page
And less poetic, but expository:
Federal Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans last week unceremoniously dumped the 10 safety regulations Mr. Salazar slapped on the drilling industry in June in the wake of the spill. The judge found Interior had ignored clear rule-making requirements. Public "notice and comment were required by law. The government did not comply," and so the rules are void, declared Judge Feldman, who is the same judge who previously threw out the Administration's deep water drilling moratorium as unjustified by either science or safety.
But johngalt thinks:

Wha-uh... can't the Administration get the case remanded to the Ninth Circuit? The judges in Louisiana are so obviously part of the "backward thinking" crowd.

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2010 3:46 PM

"It's Only a Flesh Wound"

As I said not long ago, [10th comment] I'm glad I can still laugh about this.

Somebody has found what they consider to be a perfect metaphor for Colorado's 2010 Gubernatorial election - Monty Python's "Quest for the Holy Grail."

Dan Maes as the Black Night is believable but I'm having trouble with Tom Tancredo as King Arthur. And this portrayal incorrectly casts the battle as 'mano a mano' but Tancredo had the might of the state GOP establishment pulling ropes and levers for him. Nonetheless, quite humorous.

If we agree to "call it a draw" between the Liberty Movement and Republican Establishment I think I could live with a Tancredo vote on my conscience. On to round two!

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Well, I knew I had the chance to make both JG and JK mad with a single act - getting Dagny, too, is just a bonus.

Seriously, any other vote is one for Hick directly or indirectly. Four or eight years of his rule will further institutionalize liberalism in this state. We may never be able to turn back the clock.

I disagree with Tancredo on immigration and the way he has handled this whole situation. At the end of the day, I had to ask whether Hick or Tanc would best promote may positions. On balance, for better or worse, it's Tanc.

I'm mostly sorry that the Republicans could not have put forth a better candidate (and McInnis was not it either).

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 25, 2010 10:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Dagny has not processed through as many of the stages of grief as I have - yet.

I have many reasons to pull the T lever:

1) A Hickenlooper administration will ignore free-market voices just like the White House and Congress have done for two years. We'll be reduced to "pounding on the gates" and I've seen enough of policies favoring companies who promise abundant energy from "magical unicorn farts" while proven industries and businesses are throttled.

2) Despite what some have said on Dan Maes' Facebook page, although Tancredo is many undesirable things he is NOT a Progressive. Hickenlooper most definitely IS.

3) Choosing a governor is like choosing a spouse - their family is part of the deal and I don't want anything to do with Hickenlooper's political "family."

4) A Hickenlooper victory in this pro-liberty, anti-tax "TEA Party" climate will be hailed as a vindication of the Progressive ideology. As BR aluded, this entails far greater threats to liberty than whatever bombs Tancredo may throw from the governor's mansion.

5) Redistricting.

6) Judicial appointments.

7) I and the majority of the rural residents of Colorado and every other western state are not "backward thinking" and I resent the Denver Mayor's unguarded and unrepentent boast of his and his fellow travelers' superiority.

Mayor Hickenlooper, you may SHOVE IT.

Posted by: johngalt at October 26, 2010 10:52 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The day I put up this post I tried adding a comment but apparently it didn't stick. Thusly:

"Another fit between this metaphor and reality is that the Black Knight's injuries were NOT self-inflicted." Well, at least not totally. Both Maes and the Black Knight did fail to adequately defend themselves.

Dagny still balks at voting for the "slimy scum" Tancredo. "Are there shades of slimy scum," I asked? "Is Hickenlooper slimier and scummier?"

I asked her and I ask JK, "If we agree with Tancredo on almost every position and hold the opposite view of Hickenlooper, is it not 'adherence to principle' to vote for Tancredo?" As Maes supporters we must choose the candidate who can carry out his agenda. We must concentrate on the ideas and not the personalities of the candidates.

Clearly this conclusion is based on the assumption that "Dan Maes can't win." Having hoped against the polls when H. Ross Perot had 22 points I find it unconscionable to do so again when Maes has 5.

So where am I wrong?

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2010 11:08 AM
But jk thinks:

I enjoyed Dagny's enthusiasm, but I can't tell anybody his/her vote is right or wrong.

I voted for Mayor Hickenlooper.
-- I actually thought he did well in the debate. He's got some goofy Democrat ideas but he is a moderate with a great private sector resume.
-- I overlap with Rep. Tancredo on spending and the Drug War, but I'm with Hick on immigration, gay rights, and reproductive rights. It is not a 90/10 split like Obama-McCain.
-- I know you and I do not see eye-to-eye on immigration, but a Gov Tancredo might push for draconian, anti-business immigration "purges."
-- I will not reward a Murkowski who will not allow the levers of power to be wrestled from an effete, establishment state party apparatus. We picked a poor candidate but I have no desire to go back to letting the State GOP pick them for me.

I literally stayed up a couple nights. But I marked my ballot and am quite at peace. As would you, if you followed your conscience and voted for Dan Maes.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2010 11:26 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sounds like JG and I are of a mind.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 27, 2010 12:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, since I see spending as 80% of government's problem that makes it a 90/10 split for me.

Yes, I am confident I would be at peace with a Maes vote before election day, but if Tancredo loses narrowly I will have regrets. Not just for witholding my individual vote, but my advocacy as well.

Posted by: johngalt at October 27, 2010 2:27 PM

I'm sorry. Really, I am.

The Refugee took the window of opportunity between rides in a crowded silver tube to cast his 2010 ballot. All of the decisions were easy, except for the governor's contest.

At the final moment of truth, with a patina of sweat across his brow, knowing that he may be forever ridiculed on ThreeSources and branded with a scarlet 'T', he furtively glanced over his shoulder to avoid on-lookers and pulled the methaphorical lever for Tancredo. Yes, he feels soiled. But it's done and can't be taken back.

In the end, he realized that a vote for Maes was merely a vote for respecting the process. Maes has no shot - zero - and a vote for him is a vote for Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper will appoint another generation of liberal judges and facilitate Democratically gerrymandered districts to assure at least another decade of liberal Democrat representation in Congress for what is fundamentally a center-right state. A Governor Tancredo might prove embarassing at times, but there are worse outcomes than a deadlocked executive vs. legislative session. Getting nothing done would be a step in the right direction. Tancredo will at least appoint decent judges (presumably) and prevent the worst of the gerrymandering.

So, process be damned. But if you'll excuse him, The Refugee now needs to go take a shower.

CO Governor Posted by Boulder Refugee at 3:05 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

The Refugee cast a thoughtful vote for which this ThreeSourcer will not fault him (well, until Governor Tancredo does something really stupid!)

I have been sweating over the vote for days and it is clear that I will cancel yours and cast my first Democrat vote in remembered history.

Posted by: jk at October 25, 2010 4:02 PM

Carter Versus Obama

Professor Reynolds keeps saying that the comparison of President Obama to President Carter is a best-case scenario. The good Prof also links today to Ann Althouse's destruction of the President's (Obama's) vacation plans. The Internet Segue Machine is clipping along at full throttle.

I'm halfway through Carter's White House Diaries. Now #39 is a difficult guy for me to like. He seethes contempt for Israel on every page and he is gifted with a conscience that sees the very best in every tyrannical dictator. But one compares him, naturally somehow, to our current Chief Executive and I have to suggest that Professor Reynolds is dreaming.

President Carter was a ruthless enemy of his Democratic Congress because he held their feet to the fire on spending. There was a separation of powers that did not exist under Clinton and the 103rd, George W Bush, or Obama. He cared about spending and his record is good when compared to other administrations having their party in power in Congress.

One thing that hit me yesterday, and I thank Professor Althouse for the segue, was his family vacations. They sailed down the river in Georgia, visited national parks, and hung out at Camp David. In his diaries, these are great memories for the whole family. Clearly, he makes himself look good in his diaries, and his one-of-us-ness is jealously protected. But there is a genuine joy of family vacations that any one of us might take.

I was comparing it to the First Lady's "Fantastic Spanish Riviera Adventure" earlier this year, and the golfing excursions to Nantucket. But POTUS himself provides the gold standard. "Why don't we take a little time and go see the Taj Mahal?"

Obama's post-election escape to Mumbai: Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets.

There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President's convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.

To ensure fool-proof security, the President's team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.

Althouse is pointing out the hypocrisy of carbon footprints, but it made me sadly nostalgic for a President, a bunny rabbit, and a raft.

October 24, 2010

Response to Message #127368:

Response to Message #127368 (npr_response@npr.org):

Dear John,
Late Wednesday evening we gave Juan Williams notice that we've terminated his contract as a Senior News Analyst for NPR News. We didn't make this decision lightly or without regret. Juan has been a valuable contributor to NPR and public radio for many years.

However, his remarks on The O'Reilly Factor this past Monday violated our ethics guidelines. Unfortunately, this has occurred several times in other media. Our decision to end our contractual relationship with Juan has come after repeated conversations and warnings about some of his public comments. This was a difficult, but principled decision.

We've been contacted by listeners who have passionately agreed with our decision, as well as those who have disagreed with it, with equal conviction. We hear you both and respect your perspectives. At the same time, we believe that the public is better served by NPR holding firm to the values and standards that have guided us for many years.

As some listeners have also asked for more details about our funding, you can find a detailed overview of our funding on our website in our "About" section: http://www.npr.org/about/aboutnpr/ Of note, and as is explained in that site, NPR, Inc. has received no direct operating support from the federal government since 1983.

I recognize that this decision has sparked a strong debate in the blogosphere and elsewhere, and that you have a firm position on the matter. While we stand by our policy, we also regret that we were compelled to take the actions that we did.

Dana Davis Rehm
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications, and External Relations

But Keith Arnold thinks:

(1) No *direct" operating support from the Federal government. Technically true. See: http://www.npr.org/about/support/ Money quote: "The greatest portion of our funding comes from our stations, who in turn rely on support from their local corporate sponsors, CPB, their licensees, and others." So tax dollars go to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting first, who launders the money for NPR.

(2) Didn't make the decision without regret? Yeah, that psychiatrist-or-publicist comment was just oozing regret.

(3) NPR ethics guidelines? I'd love to see those in print. Assuming for a moment they actually exist, I'd love even more to see them applied equitably on the remainder of their on-air "talent," and I use that word very, very loosely.

(4) "Principled"? To quote Inigo Montoya: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Overall? Bloviating.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 25, 2010 12:20 AM
But jk thinks:

Yup, proud to be on "Team Red" this week (it's been a while since that was true).

RE: #3, I b'lieve they have volumes of Ethics Guidelines at NPR. Probably seven to ten indirectly funded workers maintain them. The problem is prosecutorial discretion -- the blogosphere is loaded with YouTube clips of outrageous comments from his peers, most of whom seem to have escaped the great ethics purge of 2010.

I got a little verklempt-in-the-gennuctozoink watching Williams on FOX News Sunday (even before your curs-ed Raiders shellacked my Broncos).

It was sad to see how truly hurt he was at the defamation and touching to see the respect and affection he engenders from the wicked, evil, child-munching, puppy-snuffing analysts at Fox.

Posted by: jk at October 25, 2010 11:09 AM
But dagny thinks:

P.S. Mostly non-sequitor: Josh McDaniels is a pinhead.

Posted by: dagny at October 25, 2010 7:06 PM

October 23, 2010

Review Corner

If it’s illegal for a man to fend for himself, how can he be a man in his own right?
Yeah, I know I am the last one to the party. Netflix rocks as an entertainment choice but it has sidelined me from the film critique biz.

I'm giving a fulsome 4.2 stars to Ridley Scott / Russell Crowe's "Robin Hood." And I'll suggest that those of you who enjoyed it at the theatre rent it and watch the director's cut. I usually do not indulge myself with watching two versions, but the lovely bride and I both enjoyed the theatrical release enough to want to see both. They give a bit more detail without being self indulgent. It is well worth it. If you watch only one on a rental: "go long."

For all the good points, I'd direct you to brother jg's review or David Boaz's Yet I withhold 1.8 stars in comparison. What gives?

First, this is a law and order blog and you cannot give six stars out of five. You may certainly engage in hyperbole to show your admiration, but it is treated as 5.0 when you're doing math. The 0.8 is from the distracting allusions/homages whatever you wish to call them. This was not "Scary Movie XVII;" it was a serious movie and they ranged from the almost cute ("don't go for the pretty one" from Beautiful Mind or the weapon toss from Brave heart) to the disturbing (the "Private Ryan" landing of the French (on the North side of the channel 750 years early). Each distracted from a serious film, "showing the penny" so that you were suddenly watching a film and not in it. Who thought that was clever?

And yet, the rest of it keeps it over four. Crowe hits his usual greatness and Cate Blanchet completely redefines the Marion role for all time. Composition, texture, and artistry are sock-removing. The animation on the final credits is prettier than most whole moves.

And a tea party manifesto to boot.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:10 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

I only hope I may be forgiven a bit of hyperbole for a breath of freedom in this Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. (And from Hollywood, no less.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2010 2:52 PM

Quote of the Day

Instead, this latest incident with Williams centers around a collision of values: NPR’s values emphasizing fact-based, objective journalism versus the tendency in some parts of the news media, notably Fox News, to promote only one side of the ideological spectrum. -- NPR ombudsman
Your tax dollars at work! Hat-tip: Frank J. Fleming

October 22, 2010

Dear NPR

Blog friend SugarChuck shares his letter to NPR and asks "overly harsh?" Like I'm going to counsel caution? I asked permission to post.

Way to go NPR! Thanks for getting rid of that uber nazi Juan Williams. I knew he was a racist the second he popped up on Fox Noise. I know, those facists are all claiming that Fox Noise viewers are more tolerant of diversity than we are but why should we tolerate the wrong opinions when they are so dangerous and so un-american. Now if you could just find a reason to get rid of Maura Lyingson we could go back to have a clean, listenable network. I don't pay my tax dollars to hear people from my network jumping the fence and saying any darn thing they want to. If they aren't going to represent me and my opinions then why am I getting taxed for NPR in the first place. Kudos to your CEO for holding her fire until she saw the WHITES of Williams eyes and then letting him have it. I know she's been wanting to boot him all along. Thank the Goddess she finally found an opportunity. You NPR, are my rock, my monolith and my mirror. You are where I can go to see myself, and nothing but myself. Thank you NPR. Thank you. Now get rid of that other Fox whore.

But johngalt thinks:

I just hope he included the disclaimer "sarcasm" else they'll put it in the "approve" pile. I'm sure it's tame by comparison to the rest of the love letters.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2010 11:26 PM

Denver Mayor's "I don't want to be Governor" Moment

(Or as my brother-in-law suggested, "I'm too sexy for this job.")

Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.

I realize that all of you outta-staters must get pretty bored with the detailed coverage we've been giving the Colorado governor's race. I appreciate the effort it must take to have any interest whatsoever. But this time, this story, will be worth it - trust me. Not since candidate Obama was caught on tape telling a sympathetic audience that rural Pennysylvania voters "bitterly cling to their guns and religion" have I seen such a self-inflicted smoking gun of political idiocy. And to make it that much better, this time we have video.

For those who don't have time to watch at the moment (and because I'm such a sadistic bastard I want this Democrat's words repeated as many times as possible) here is the money quote:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper: "I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico."

I can hear his poll numbers crashing in every non-metro precinct in the state. If ours was a 2-party race between fully supported candidates of the 2 major parties I'd be dancing a jig right now. Alas.

[Credit for transcribing the quote to NRO, linked through CompleteColorado.]

UPDATE: I thought the money quote needed more emphasis - MUCH more emphasis.

But jk thinks:

I saw that. Curious if that will come up in the debate tonight (TiVoing now).

Cui bono? Tancredo. I had decided to vote for Maes May have to bail out Hick after all.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2010 10:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I thought of that. My original intro line was going to be "JK might have to vote Hickenlooper after all" but the last minute quip by my B-in-L was funnier.

This race is so insane it's hard to fault the reasoning for just about any vote. I'm just reverting to core principles: Won't vote for a statist; won't reward an insider hack hypocrite's highjacking of an election; this year's Republican nominee is a TPD - I'm votin' for him.

I feel even more strongly that way having watched tonight's debate. Maes ideas and policy goals are just head and shoulders above the other two guys from a free-market perspective.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2010 11:22 PM
But jk thinks:

The debate was indeed disturbing. I'll agree on Maes's positions (mostly) but he and Rep. Tancredo sniped at each other like three year olds, making Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper look like an elder statesman. I agree with Maes that Tancredo should have honered the party process, but that's not very convincing in a debate. The three guys he had clapping for him was truly sad.

I went from disliking Tancredo to out and out fear. He is not stable enough to run our state.

Then, at the end, he provodes an eloquent assessment of the drug war.

Posted by: jk at October 23, 2010 10:54 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Friend. Pragmatist. I think you may want to start thinking about the bright side of "Governor Tancredo." [Maes- 5 points?!?!] I am. (His stance on the drug war seems like a very solid seed kernel.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 25, 2010 2:04 PM

Those Vicious Brits

While on assignment in London this past week, The Refugee took a careful look at the fine print in the immigration passport stamp:

"Employment and recourse to public funds prohibited."

Racist bastards.

Immigration Posted by Boulder Refugee at 9:19 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

Well yeah, if you're going to go in the front door with a passport...

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2010 9:40 PM


I think Andy Warhol once said "in the future, everybody will be Speaker of the House for 15 minutes." Proving the perspicacity of the pop icon, we have Speaker Robert Livingston. Some of you were not old enough to remember his tenure, but I do. I had a very delicious hot dog, and some Mrs. Fields cookies. Great times.

He's back today showing his gift for timing with a defense of earmarks. Did I mention that he's a lobbyist now?

Tea partiers have adopted a mantra that all earmarks are bad, that they are the sole reason the country is in deep trouble. I love the tea parties, have attended two of them, and believe that they are energizing America. But many in the movement misunderstand the importance and benefits of good earmarks.

Yes, I said "good" earmarks. There are indeed bad earmarks that waste tax dollars and bloat the budget. But many are very much in the public interest.

I'm contrarian enough to admit that he's probably correct on some level about earmarking as a protection of the House's control of the purse against Executive Power. But the tea partiers are proof that people see the backroom deals and sausage-making of the legislative process as corrupt. To get a "Blue Poodle's" vote to nationalize health care, just build a new hospital in his district.

So into this wave of anti-corruption sentiment wades Speaker Livingston, GOP Champion!

"Hey, aren't you John Kranz, the famous comedian?"

"Yes, Timing!"

"To what do you attribute your success?"

Don't forget to tip ypur waitress and bartender...

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 1:45 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Point The First: if the item being earmarked were a "good" earmark, it should be able to stand on its own two feet as an independent spending bill, and shouldn't need to be hidden in a larger enactment.

Point the Second: I defy the legislators' ability to identify the spot in the Constitution giving them the just power for said spending. F'egzample, the hospital. If there's a need, the private sector can invest and build it.

Here endeth the lesson, Mr. Livingston.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 22, 2010 3:29 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Livingston: "C'mon man, just a little taste of that crack. I kin handle it."

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2010 7:10 PM

GOP Rock Star

Why Governor Christie of course! Kim Strassel:

"I want to be the Chris Christie of Connecticut," declares GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley. "Chris Christie is the primo example of how you turn around government," says Scott Walker, vying to run Wisconsin. Mr. Christie's reforms are a "road map" for California, pronounces Meg Whitman. "He tells it like it is, and it's time for that," says Iowa's gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad.

In one long year, Mr. Christie, the governor of New Jersey, has gone from little-known prosecutor to GOP rock star. The Newark native won last November on a blunt promise to fix a "failed state." He'd stop the "madness" of tax hikes and chronic overspending. He'd demand New Jersey "live within its means," tackling the rich public-employee benefits driving the state off the cliff. He'd be straight-up with voters.

The promises won him election; it's the follow-through that's won him acclaim. Democrats were appalled when he impounded $2.2 billion in spending; taxpayers cheered. The liberal class gasped when he vetoed a "millionaire's tax"; business owners hurrahed. He's demanding government unions help close $46 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. He's tough-talking but common-sense, and his approval rating keeps going up.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 1:40 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Rick Star? I've got your rick star right here:


Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 22, 2010 3:17 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

But seriously, folks - if Meg Whitman counts herself a Christie disciple, I'd be willing to stop calling her a RINO. Up to this point, I've taken the stance that she's not a perfect candidate by any stretch, but a doctrinaire conservative and free-marketer isn't going to be electable in California, and besides, look what she's running against.

If she were to not just talk it, but put it into practice, that would be worth the price of admission. Heck, just watching the Democrat base's collective heads exploding would be worth the price of admission.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 22, 2010 3:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah, yeah, typing is my gift.

GOP Rick Star headline has been corrected. ThreeSources apologizes for any inconvenience.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2010 4:35 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And I apologize for the link. I don't see it as a typo, so much as for an opportunity to give in to an irresistible impulse. Perhaps in the future, my irresistable impulses will be kept between me and my psychiatrist or my publicist.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 22, 2010 4:47 PM

Quote of the Day

Reading between the lines of Juan’s statement and those of NPR officials, it’s apparent that NPR was moved to fire Juan because he irritates so many people in its audience. An interesting contrast: while many NPR listeners apparently could not stomach that Williams also appeared on Fox News. But it doesn’t seem that any perceptible number of Fox News viewers had any complaints that Williams also worked for NPR. The Fox audience seems to be more tolerant of diversity than the NPR audience. -- Michael Barone

The Barney Shuffle

Oh please oh please oh please can this guy win?

October 21, 2010

jk's Thought for the Day

Oh thank NED! I can go back to listening to NPR now that they have that bigoted Juan Williams off it. Catch you on Saturday, Garrison...
I went to the NPR website to complain (if Prof Reynolds is right and 538 angry emails can get somebody fired, I suggest firing the person who fired Williams) and saw this jewel:
Update at 3:30 p.m. ET. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller just released this statement:

"I spoke hastily and I apologize to Juan and others for my thoughtless remark."

That follows, as you'll see below, her comment earlier today that now-former NPR news analyst Juan Williams should have kept his feelings about Muslims between himself and "his psychiatrist or his publicist."

Our original post:

Fired NPR news analyst Juan Williams should have kept his feeling about Muslims between himself and "his psychiatrist or his publicist," the network's CEO told an audience at the Atlanta Press Club earlier today.

Your tax dollars at work, America!

70 MPG Mazda

Lemme get this straight.

If I buy a Chevy Volt -- like any patriotic American would do -- that gets a bit under 50 MPG when not using electricity from 1920s-era coal-fired power plants, I will be gifted with a $7500 tax credit.

If I buy, however, the new Mazda2, that gets 70 MPG, does not require a $2500 charger, and does not use gigacoulombs of coal produced charged particles, I get, um, nothing.

Mazda, which has no hybrid engine systems of its own, has taken to vastly improving its line of gas and diesel engines to compete with hybrids. If these rumors are true, not only are they competing, but completely blowing the competition out of the water. A 70 mpg gas-only car would outdo every hybrid on the planet.

Sorry, Mazda, the US Senate has already decided how to make fuel efficient, earth-friendly vehicles. And it requires two power trains, lots of extra weight and complexity, and hundreds of pounds of batteries with toxic heavy metals. Your silly scheme of making cars more efficient is of no interest to us in the good old USA. Thanks for trying.

But johngalt thinks:

Apparently you don't understand, JK. </sarcasm> The $7500 of other people's money that hybrid buyers are awarded with serves to pay for that $2500 charger and a $5000 share of the unnecessarily complex powertrain's higher cost. (Of course this "incentive" award is only temporary, until the hybrid hipness hype fades away all cars are hybrids and high volume brings costs down to a par with current car prices.)

But then, the Mazda 2 still has things that hybrids don't: It gets 70 mpg and "it certainly is a cute car."

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2010 12:09 AM

"His name was John Galt"

As ending to the previous entry...

"But what about John Galt?" she asked.

"Oh …" he said, remembering. "Oh, yes …"


Gerald Starnes, who was chairman, kept hammering his gavel for order, and we quieted down some, but not much, and you could see the whole place moving restlessly from side to side, like water in a pan that's being rocked. 'This is a crucial moment in the history of mankind!' Gerald Starnes yelled through the noise. 'Remember that none of us may now leave this place, for each of us belongs to all the others by the moral law which we all accept!' 'I don't,' said one man and stood up. He was one of the young engineers. Nobody knew much about him. He'd always kept mostly by himself. When he stood up, we suddenly turned dead-still. It was the way he held his head. He was tall and slim - and I remember thinking that any two of us could have broken his neck without trouble - but what we all felt was fear. He stood like a man who knew that he was right. 'I will put an end to this, once and for all,' he said. His voice was clear and without any feeling. That was all he said and started to walk out. He walked down the length of the place, in the white light, not hurrying and not noticing any of us. Nobody moved to stop him. Gerald Starnes cried suddenly after him, 'How?' He turned and answered, 'I will stop the motor of the world.' Then he walked out. We never saw him again. We never heard what became of him.


We began to think of him whenever we saw another collapse in the world, which nobody could explain, whenever we took another blow, whenever we lost another hope, whenever we felt caught in this dead, gray fog that's descending all over the earth. Perhaps people heard us crying that question and they did not know what we meant, but they knew too well the feeling that made us cry it. They, too, felt that something had gone from the world. Perhaps this was why they began to say it, whenever they felt that there was no hope. I'd like to think that I am wrong, that those words mean nothing, that there's no conscious intention and no avenger behind the ending of the human race. But when I hear them repeating that question, I feel afraid. I think of the man who said that he would stop the motor of the world. You see, his name was John Galt."

Damning with Faint Praise

James Pethokoukis:

Me: I think Geithner has it about right on China trade, and he certainly takes the budget deficit seriously. He is even sounding better on "King Dollar," as my friend Larry Kudlow puts it. It's really no joke that he could have comfortably been a member of John McCain's cabinet. On tax policy, he and the rest of Team Obama have it totally wrong. Raising the U.S. tax burden in the current system is anti-growth and thus terrible for the nation’s long-run solvency.

A lot of mean things are said in an election season, but " he could have comfortably been a member of John McCain's cabinet?" That's just mean.

Three Sources' first bumper sticker!

Here are some new design efforts, presented in order of creation.

1) coexist1.jpg

2) coexist2.jpg

3) coexist3b.jpg

1 & 2 are 3" x 10", 3 is 4" x 6". 1 and 3 include URL. (I know which one is my favorite.)

But jk thinks:

Virginia Postrel call your office!

I confess I was not that into this project with the first design but I like all three of these a lot. I guess I vote 3, 1, 2 (isn't that Chicago?)

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2010 10:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, the designs have improved, and the abuses of those demanding the unearned have only intensified. Beside this, most of us will need some new stickers for our cars on November 3rd.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2010 10:40 AM

October 20, 2010

Money in Politics

George Will does my favorite riff -- and as you can imagine, does it pretty well. Much Strum & Drang about FOUR BILLION DOLLARS spent on politics, not much comparison.

Total spending, by all parties, campaigns and issue-advocacy groups, concerning every office from county clerks to US senators, may reach a record $4.2 billion in this two-year cycle. That is about what Americans spend in one year on yogurt, but less than they spend on candy in two Halloween seasons.

Those who are determined to reduce the quantity of political speech to what they consider the proper amount are the sort of people who know exactly how much water should come through our shower heads (no more than 2.5 gallons per minute, as stipulated by a 1992 law). Is it, however, really worrisome that Americans spend on political advocacy much less than they spend on potato chips ($7.1 billion a year)?

Hat-tip: Terri

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 6:22 PM | What do you think? [7]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Consider: where do political groups get their money, but from individuals?

The comparison is apt because while not everyone donates money to PACs or whatever, not everyone buys Halloween candy. For example, I haven't had to worry about trick-or-treaters since 1999 (just another virtue of where I've chosen to live). Thus comparing one aggregate with another is a valid way of showing what "Americans" as a whole value more.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 21, 2010 1:16 PM
But jk thinks:

Most fulsomely disagree, tg. If you can afford $20 candy every year, you can afford $50 in the mideterms or $100 in the presidential. (Yeah, I round up; I was in Marketing...)

My distress is those who flatly state $4.2 Billion is too much to choose between the California and Texas models. $14Trillion at stake plus all our liberty.

We could all be happy. If government did not try to run everything, people and businesses would spend a lot less to direct it.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2010 1:53 PM
But T. Greer thinks:


But how much of the average campaign chest comes from $50-100 donations? While some of the Tea Party candidates seem to be turning the Whale-donor model on its head, most candidates get little money from 'average' Americans. (EX: Only 12% Sen. Harry Reid's war chest comes from donations below $200.)

The majority of donations come from a small subset of the population - namely, those with lots of money and lots more to gain from government intrusion and interference int he private sector. America is not spending that $4 billion - just the fat cats up top trying to game the system. As long as you have groups that stand to profit from the government "running anything" money will be spent to try and get it to do so.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 21, 2010 4:02 PM
But jk thinks:

And that's how I'd really like to attack campaign finance reform. Get gub'mint doing less and we'd see a lot less money.

Where we disagree is your assertion of "false equivalence." The total level of spending is interesting irrespective of the individual amounts. Your difference illuminates but does not contradict.

And, no I don't mind whale donors. I hate the rent-seeking of unions and big corporations, but worry more about Beck v Communication Workers than FEC v Citizen's United. If the evil Chamber of Commerce or a Union (with members' consent) want to push an ideological agenda, that's free speech.

Again, I don't know if $4.2 billion is good or bad. But it is presented with no comparison (1/3 of potato chips) by those who seek to restrict it.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2010 4:19 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Ah, JK, you misread me. There will always be bigwigs ready to pay for corporatism. We could eliminate every government body and program invented since the New Deal and this would still be a problem. As long as Lockheed Martin and Goldman Sachs exist, paring down government programs cannot be anything more than a stop gap measure.

Limited government is not enough. We need to institutional safeguards to help ensure that the government remains limited. I suggested a few here (and at my place) before (turning the election of the Senate back to the States, enlarging the House, providing more explicit institutional protection to the States, ect.) and do so again. Without such protections it will only be a matter of time before the government stops "doing less."

Posted by: T. Greer at October 22, 2010 12:58 AM
But T. Greer thinks:

Another thought-

My problem with Whale donors is not so much the pernicious influence they may or may not have on legislation as it is the pernicious influence they have on legislators. One of the common themes that keeps cropping up in the new "Why is the Senate so Screwed Up" genre is that most legislators spend more time campaigning than anything else. So much time must be spent with the donors (and to a lesser extant, media managers) that statesmanship proper is lost art.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 22, 2010 1:12 AM

Harsanyi: Three Cheers for TEA Party's "Stupid Stupidity"

Catching JK napping a bit...

Do I wish there were more articulate and intellectual free-market candidates? Sure, I do. But, alas, Americans are in no mood for know-it-alls who think sailing is a sport.

Do I wish that science-challenged believers would resist the urge to raise their hands when asked if they believe the world is 5,000 years old? God, yes. But an election offers limited choices. Take Delaware, where voters can pick a candidate who had a youthful flirtation with witchcraft or one who dabbled in collectivist economic theory.

Only one of these faiths has gained traction in Washington the past few years. And as far as I can tell, there is no pagan lobby.

Plenty more good zingers for those who click through.

But jk thinks:

Not sleeping; I was just resting my eyes...

Awesome on stilts in high heels, David.

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2010 3:42 PM

Statism on the March in Colorado

JK recently wondered aloud why the job creation success in Texas doesn't constitute "Game, Set, Match for pro-growth policies" over the tax and spend statism models of Michigan, New York and California. The answer, of course, is that leftists don't want growth.

Today a radio ad tipped me to the existence of a website that explains the historical accomplishments of a Liberal Cabal in Colorado and warned of what they have in mind for the future. Not only do they oppose the tax limiting Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101, they plan to hike future taxes by $1.5 to over $5 billion in our state... anually. They call their three models, "Go Medium, Go Long, or Go California."

The impetus for the Colorado Reform Roundtable’s formation is the state’s mounting structural spending shortfall: in round numbers, Colorado government has about $1 billion more in permanent programs than it does in permanent revenues.

[Keep in mind that this is a recent phenomenon. See the graphs here, particularly state debt since 2000.]

From this sending off point, many of the left-leaning organizations that make up the Colorado Reform Roundtable contend that there is no way to balance the budget without significant tax increases. While many argue that the state should reduce spending to align its budgets, liberal advocacy groups scoff at the notion that spending cuts are the answer.

The fundamental belief that state government is starved forms the foundation for the formal tax hike plan that will likely emerge from the Colorado Reform Roundtable sometime in the months after the November 2010 election.

Now where have we heard this before?

Law by Fiat

Starting to wonder whether this big health care reform package was a good idea...

The WSJ digs into the waivers that HHS has been handing out. The President said "if you like your plan, you can keep it." The legislation did not comply, so for "some" employers, exemption waivers (papal indulgences?) have been disbursed. We discussed that.

Over the last several weeks the Health and Human Services Department has granted dozens of temporary waivers to certain ObamaCare mandates so that insurers and businesses won't drop or cancel coverage. The most conspicuous went to McDonald's to protect the "mini-med" plans for some 30,000 hourly workers from a rule that prohibits annual restrictions on benefits. Mini-med policies offer modest coverage at low premiums and other low-wage fast-food chains like Jack in the Box and Denny's have been granted waivers as well.

Cigna, Aetna and a few other insurers have been given hall passes to continue selling mini-meds. Another went to the United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund. The New York union offers city teachers supplemental drug coverage that would have been banned under the new rules.

At least this sudden regulatory flexibility is protecting the coverage that people have today, as President Obama promised. But it isn't much of an improvement if HHS retreats only after a national political blow-up. After all, the essential point of the regulations was to destroy mini-med plans and other types of coverage that Democrats claim are insufficiently generous. Democrats from Mr. Obama on down call these rules "the patients' bill of rights," but people don't regularly need exemptions from a bill of rights.

In short, if you've got a Senator on speed-dial, or gave a pile to the Democrats, you don't need to follow the rules.

And. of course, these exemptions will make the Administration's already iffy figures less likely to balance. And McDonalds employees will be tempted to quit and get gub'mint care that covers more.

But that's just numbers. The real problem is that we've taken another step to Venezuelan rule: freedom for the connected.

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 12:06 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

COEXIST: Don't demand the unearned.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2010 3:15 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

We need our own bumper sticker, jg. Like this: ¢o£¥i$t

Best I could do on short notice - I'll bet someone who knows currency better than I do could improve on it.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 20, 2010 3:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Agreed. Did you follow the link in my comment? I'd have ordered them by now if I could find a way to add the blog address at the bottom. I'm going to have to contact them about that.

I was thinking COEXI$T was best. The international currency symbols will just confuse some people.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2010 5:45 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

jg: Yes, I did - and I think I prefer your version, for the reason you give - don't want to go over the heads of the viewing public. For an alternative subtitle: "Chapter 20: The Sign Of The Dollar."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 20, 2010 6:38 PM

Quote of the Day

I do not agree with the ranking of the Presidents, but this ruthless swipe at #44 is worth the price of admission:

Saying the Berlin Wall fell when the world "stood as one" is naive and delusional. Thinking a man will be a great leader because of one speech, two books, and the crease in his pants is a sign of poor judgment. -- Noemie Emery

October 19, 2010

The Common "Good"

This one is rather long for "quote" status, but every word is worth the effort to read it. Part II, Chapter 10 - The Sign of the Dollar.

And when you saw it, you saw the real motive of any person who's ever preached the slogan: 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.'

"This was the whole secret of it. At first, I kept wondering how it could be possible that the educated, the cultured, the famous men of the world could make a mistake of this size and preach, as righteousness, this sort of abomination - when five minutes of that should have told them what would happen if somebody tried to practice what they preached. Now I know that they didn't do it by any kind of mistake. Mistakes of this size are never made innocently. If men fall for some vicious piece of insanity, when they have no way to make it work and no possible reason to explain their choice - it's because they have a reason that they do not wish to tell. And we weren't so innocent either, when we voted for the plan at the first meeting. We didn't do it just because we believed that the drippy old guff they spewed was good. We had another reason, but the guff helped us to hide it from our neighbors and from ourselves. The guff gave us a chance to pass off as virtue something that we'd be ashamed to admit otherwise. There wasn't a man voting for it who didn't think that under a setup of this kind he'd muscle in on the profits of the men abler than himself. There wasn't a man rich and smart enough but that he didn't think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him a share of his better's wealth and brain. But while he was thinking that he'd get unearned benefits from the men above, he forgot about the men below who'd get unearned benefits, too. He forgot about all his inferiors who'd rush to drain him just as he hoped to drain his superiors. The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a limousine like his boss's, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his own. That was our real motive when we voted - that was the truth of it - but we didn't like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we yelled about our love for the common good.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

"It's for the common good." Second only to "it's for the children" as a specious BS rationale for taking from producers and redistributing to the have-nots based on their imputed victim status.

Need alone does not ever endow entitlement. I have a right to keep what I earn, benefit from what I produce, and profit by what I put effort into. Those things - not need, not want - entitle me to my possessions.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 19, 2010 5:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You are welcome in the valley brother.

Posted by: johngalt at October 20, 2010 5:46 PM

Hail Mankiw!

Awesome! There's only four seconds out of 11:12 ThreeSourcers won't like. (And a half minute on on QE2 we might split on...)

Word of the Day

The nanotitanium implant was developed as part of a partnership between Los Alamos National Lab, several Russian institutes and Manhattan Scientifics, which is based in New Mexico. "It is the first dental implant made with nanotitanium that has been approved by the FDA," the NNSA said. -- Frank Munger, Hat-tip Insty
The globalization angle is cool. But "Nanotitanium?" It makes me want to write a comic book.
Posted by John Kranz at 3:18 PM | What do you think? [0]

More fallout from the Dr. Hal Lewis Resignation

One of the Update links at the linked article in the Dr. Hal Lewis resignation story was a copy of the APS's public response with rebuttal by Dr. Lewis and two others interspersed in context. While the resignation letter itself is scathing evidence of Global Warming as hoax, it doesn't directly address the issue of "well-funded people believing" and thus, it "not going away." This does: [First the APS' statement, then Lewis' rebuttal.]

Dr. Lewis’ specific charge that APS as an organization is benefitting financially from climate change funding is equally false. Neither the operating officers nor the elected leaders of the Society have a monetary stake in such funding.
The chair of the Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) that re-endorsed the 2007 APS Statement on Climate Change sits on the science advisory board of a large international bank http://annualreport.deutsche-bank.com/2009/ar/supplementaryinformation/advisoryboards.html The bank has a $60+ billion Green portfolio, which it wishes to assure investors is safe…not to mention their income from carbon trading. Other members of this board include current IPCC chief Pachauri and Lord Oxburgh, of Climategate exoneration fame. The viability of these banks activities depends on continued concern over CO2 emissions. Then there is the member of the Kleppner Committee (that reviewed the APS 2007 Statement prior to POPA) who served on that committee while under consideration for the position of Chief Scientist at BP. The position had been vacated when Steve Koonin left to take a post in the administration at DOE. Soon after the Kleppner Committee report in late 2009, this committee member took the BP job. BP had previously funded the new Energy Laboratory at Berkeley, which was headed by current Energy Secretary Steve Chu.

UPDATE: Reformatted for clarity and bolded text for emphasis.

"Tell that hypocritical, draft dodging, TARP voting, pot endorsing, thug to get out of the race and let the people's choice win this thing for real conservatives!"

A Dan Maes supporter claims to have been the conduit for up to three different overtures of a deal, on behalf of the Tancredo campaign, for Maes to withdraw from the governor's race. The supporter characterizes the offers as "at their core illegal."

From the Facebook page of Joe Harrington, of Tancredo ACP Lawsuit fame:

Over the past three weeks I have approached or been approached by many people regarding making a deal with the Tancredo campaign. I spoke to a well-known blogger, two Metro-Denver area GOP county chairs, two senior operatives for Tom Tancredo, a former senior officer of the state GOP, and directly with Tom Tancredo. In three of the discussion threads, deals were conveyed from an un-known source that were at their core illegal: Dan Maes was to be offered a bunch of money in a 501c)4 non-profit foundation, in exchange for getting out of the race - with the money coming from some un-named wealthy donor. Several of the people who conveyed the offers to me commented that they found the offer repulsive but felt it their duty to pass the offer along. In each instance, I did my best to repeat the deal offered, as carefully as I could state the deal, directly to Dan Maes. In each case, he never batted an eye and, after making sure he understood the deal, rejected the deal outright.

The obvious question is, "What did Tom Tancredo know and when did he know it?"

The other obvious conclusion is that if this story becomes state-wide news then "Tom Tancredo Can't Win."

(For remainder of Facebook post click 'continue reading.')

I proposed instead a poll to all of them: the poll was to be only of Assembly delegates or GOP primary voters, and it would ask them what they wanted Dan and Tom to do. Dan's body language was that the only deal he would accept was one clearly selected by the voters who asked him to be where he is today - as the Nominee of his Party. Dan was willing to accept the outcome of such a poll - specifically targeted to the audience that voted him in. Tom was not willing to accept the outcome of the poll, rather Tom and his emissaries pointed to the media-touted and in my view generally rigged polls which include Dem's, independents and R's in proportions not indicative of the actual voter turnout in a wave-Republican year.

When the last deal fell through last night, Dan's response was priceless, and I copy it here exactly as he emailed to me:

"Here is my offer to them:

Tell that hypocritical, draft dodging, TARP voting, pot endorsing, thug to get out of the race and let the people’s choice win this thing for real conservatives!"

In all my dealings with Dan Maes he has never come close to taking the bait on anything immoral or illegal. A deal similar to "Musings on Water" is not interesting to him and if all he was after was money or a job he would have taken one of these deals.

I mailed in my ballot this morning - For DAN MAES for Governor! I hope you will too.

PS: I agree with about 90% of what Ross wrote at www.rossputin.com although he presents it selectively to emphasize what he wants to emphasize (it's his blog and he can do what he will there). He confirms that someone (not Tancredo, but the best way to find them is to talk to someone close to Tom) was conveying the idea to several people that the best deal to get Maes out of the race was to offer him employment at a privately funded Commission. Well - that is what I said. You could call it a foundation but it is someone out there offering a deal "of value" to Maes. Maes was willing to do a deal that would involve voter feedback driving the decision and Tancredo couldn't accept that. Maes has abided by the will of the voters expressed in 4 separate events (the caucus, the county assembly, the state convention, and the primary). Tom Tancredo does not trust the voters enough to place his future in the hands of the voters. He short-circuited the process to get a small party to put him on the ballot and didn't even use their assembly process to do so - rather he bought off their Executive committee to make the deal happen after their voters had picked a different candidate. Tom doesn't trust the voters who pay attention, rather he wants the general election voters to decide based on populist pleas and red-meat shoveled off the back of the campaign wagon in the last month of the election cycle. Dan Maes might be flawed in many ways, but he trusted the voters to decide his fate.

Joseph G Harrington
Highlands Ranch, Douglas County Colorado

But jk thinks:

I have been enjoying this on FB. I must admit, the "Pot Endorsing" clause ameliorates my antipathy a bit.

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2010 3:15 PM

Senatorial Courtesy

I know Senator John McCain has few friends around here, but this is beautiful. He goes to San Diego to campaign, forcefully, for Sen. Boxer's opponent.

Ms. Fiorina "will never wave the white flag of surrender the way that Barbara Boxer has tried to do every single time we have been in a conflict," Mr. McCain told an audience at the Veterans Museum in San Diego. "Barbara Boxer is the most bitterly partisan, the most anti-defense Senator in the U.S. Senate today. I know that because I have had the unpleasant experience of having to serve with her."

But johngalt thinks:

Oooh, poor form Senator. You should have said, "I know that because I have had the unpleasant experience of having to serve with the gentlelady from California." One can never underestimate the importance of protocol (as you rip one's throat out.)

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2010 2:39 PM
But jk thinks:

I did not know that is actually a Senate Rule, not just a charming custom. Robert Caro discusses it in "Master of the Senate." You may not address a member of the Senate by name on the Senate Floor.

Bitchin' in front of some Marines, however...

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2010 3:41 PM

Quote of the Day

So how much money do Americans spend buying and renting adult movies? The answer: Nobody knows. The mega-billion-dollar numbers you see repeated in the mainstream media come from Adult Video News, the porn industry’s trade magazine, well-known for its propensity to exaggerate pretty much everything having to do with porn. -- Susannah Breslin
Posted by John Kranz at 1:27 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Not to mention the high market value for personal privacy. (What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.)

What happens in D.C., on the other hand, eventually worms its way into both your bedroom and your wallet.

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2010 2:42 PM

Mai Non!

Velveeta Socialism® update.

If the US is becoming France, is that so bad? Well:

PARIS – Masked youths clashed with police and set fires in cities across France on Tuesday as protests against a proposed hike in the retirement age took an increasingly radical turn. Hundreds of flights were canceled, long lines formed at gas stations and train service in many regions was cut in half.

President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to crack down on "troublemakers" and guarantee public order, raising the possibility of more confrontations with young rioters after a week of disruptive but largely nonviolent demonstrations.

This is, of course, a response to President Sarkozy's plan to make workers retiring in 2018 work until they're 62 -- Mon Dieu!

Importing their economic model does not give us 700 year old castles, fields of lavender and sunflowers, world-class cuisine, cheese or chocolate. Just the double-digit unemployment and riots.

How Much for Your Vote?

I'm putting this under "Media and Blogging" because even the Associated Press leads with what a transparent vote buying attempt this is:

WASHINGTON – Democrats are making a pre-election pitch to give Social Security recipients a one-time payment of $250, part of a larger effort to convince senior voters that their party, and not Republicans, will best look out for the 58 million people who get the government retirement and disability benefits.

Maybe if they throw in a pack of cigarettes...

October 18, 2010

Global Warming takes another body blow -

- This time from a renowned nuclear scientist.

Last November 20 I posted this first news of Climategate, which included James Delingpole's headline: Climategate: The final nail in the coffin of 'antropogenic global warming?'

JK was more circumspect but by December 1 admitted that the scandal was a "game changer." Yet, he still hedged: "But it does not expose a hoax as some have claimed. The believers truly believe. As long as well funded people believe, it is not going away."

Today, or rather October 8, the hoax is exposed.

Harold Lewis - Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board - resigned from the American Physical Society over events that have transpired since Climategate.

In discussing the publicly released resignation letter Anthony Watts says,

This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.

From the letter:

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

He then goes on to expose the calculated lengths that APS management went to defeat his efforts to establish a Topic Group on Climate Change within the APS. Sharp, smart and irretrievably damaging to APS and the Climate Change movement.

But jk thinks:

Put me down as still hedging, brother. The letter you link says "What I would really like to see though, is this public resignation letter given the same editorial space as Michael Mann in today’s Washington Post." I fear this sermon will be heard only by the choir.

It's "Green Week!" at work. Thankfully, as a remote worker, I am impervious to all but eye rolling. Onsite workers went without lights for some time today and were told to shut off and unplug computers overnight for baseline current measurements.

This is from a private company, headed by a CEO who doesn't generally buy in to such nonsense. I guess they are buying off the earnest young employees. Whatever the case, we ain't won yet.

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2010 6:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I included your complete original "hedge" on purpose, to show it's a step-by-step process.

The believers do still believe, and as long as well funded people believe it is not going to go away. BUT, this does expose a hoax.

Posted by: johngalt at October 19, 2010 2:44 PM
But JC thinks:

No hoaxes here just a bunch of horses blowing hot air out their tail pipes! I have been studying this issue for several years. Based on the recent increase in reputable scientific organizations that accept "antropogenic global warming" as fact, Harold Lewis' single resignation letter fails to provide "an important moment in science history". The one and only effect of his resignation letter is that of providing fuel for the bloggers and non-believers.

Posted by: JC at April 1, 2011 9:47 PM

More Trouble in Green Paradise

Jason Bieber Murphy! What are we gonna do with all this Ethanol?

There is so much of this unwanted crap, they've had to increase the amount that can be blended with gasoline -- to try and get rid of it.

So the EPA decided that more ethanol should be mixed with less gas, lifting the cap to 15% for model years 2007 and later, or about one out of seven cars and light trucks currently on the road. The decision came in the nick of time for the ethanol industry, which is at market saturation and producing a glut that the government is not requiring anyone to buy. "We have lots of gallons of ethanol chasing too few gallons of gasoline," Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen told the New York Times in May.

Mr. Dinneen was displeased by the EPA's ruling, even though it is an opening wedge for his larger demands. In a statement, he complained that "ethanol producers are hitting an artificial blend wall today." You've got to love that "artificial"--for a fuel that is more expensive than gas, gets worse mileage than gas, increases carbon emissions more than gas does, and that few consumers would willingly buy unless required by law.

This will require new pumps, and warning labels to ensure drivers do not harm their older vehicles (kinda glad to be driving the '04, now that you mention it).

In other news, "Shares in Archer Daniels Midland, the second largest U.S. ethanol maker, rose to a near 28-month high." Oh. No. Wait. That's in the same editorial.

But johngalt thinks:

Here are some suggestions for the economic planners to reduce nationwide stocks of ethanol:

1. Lower CAFE standards, thus increasing gasoline consumption and ethanol along with it.
2. Tax ethanol producers.
3. Get out of the fuel business and let the market take over.

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2010 2:18 PM
But jk thinks:

Are You Joking?

ADM stock would plummet!

Think, man. Think.

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2010 3:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Though number one would work...

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2010 3:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Here are some suggestions of my own:

1. Eliminate CAFE standards; let the market forces drive what cars will be built and what fuels will be desired by the buying public.
2. Reduce taxes on fuel producers, and place gasoline, ethanol, and all other fuel producers on equal footing.
3. Eliminate the Department of Transportation, and deed all roads and highways back to the states in which they exist.
4. Eliminate economic planners.

I might also point out, brethren, that there is one very minor correction I'd like to point one in jg's comment: ethanol producers are quite heavily taxed - unless they're producing it for your gas tank. As the good folks at Jack Daniels how big a cut of the take the revenuers collect...

When I become President, my items 1-4 will be in my first hundred days' agenda. Count on it.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 18, 2010 3:41 PM

Trouble in Green Paradise

Governor Ritter touted the benefits of the "new energy economy" as including not just new jobs, but clean jobs in clean energy. Alas, it seems that reality still exists. Fort Collins Coloradoan: Vestas Using Potentially Harmful Chemicals

A two-month investigation by the Coloradoan shows that a handful of employees working at the Vestas facility, 11140 Eastman Park Drive, have been injured by an epoxy resin used in the blade manufacturing process.


OSHA fined Vestas $1,500 and cited the company twice with eight separate violations for failure to train employees how to properly use respirators as well as a failure to complete incident report forms for injuries at the facility.

Vestas has had similar problems in Europe.

More than a year ago across the Atlantic, Vestas found itself in a similar situation. In June 2009, the Isle of Wight County Press newspaper in the U.K. reported that Vestas Blades Newport turbine factory, which has since closed, was fined almost $800,000 for health and safety violations pertaining to 13 employees who suffered dermatitis after exposure to epoxy resin between 2005 and 2007.
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahhahahahahahaha! That's the greatest thing I ever read. If only some children had contracted cancer working 15 hour days, it would be truly perfect.

The only thing close is Penn & Teller's show on Recycling. Everybody is touting "all the great jobs" created. P&T go to a sorting facility and stand in waste deep trash crying "why oh why do we have to be Las Vegas entertainers when there are great jobs like this?"

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2010 12:12 PM

Viva Libertario!

This is good for a 10 day moratorium on big-L lib bashing:

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 11:31 AM | What do you think? [0]

T for Texas...

At bottom, the struggle between national Republicans and Democrats is over whether the country will adopt a version of the Texas model, or of the Michigan, New York, or California model. Will government allow the private sector to thrive, or stifle growth with its hyperactivity and favoritism for anti-business interests? If migration were a referendum, the Texas model would be winning in a rout -- more than 1,300 people a day moved there between their 2007 and 2008 tax filings, according to Internal Revenue Service data.
That's Rich Lowry wrapping the stunning news that "More than half of the net new jobs in the U.S. during the past 12 months were created in the Lone Star State."

I try to be fair. But why is this not Game, Set, Match for pro-growth policies?

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

A big state, but flyover country nonetheless.

Even before this story, this is one of the two reasons I've been rooting for Texas over the Yankees in the ALCS. The other is Clint Hurdle.

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2010 11:04 AM
But jk thinks:

Yup. Two more: Barbara and Jenna.

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2010 11:12 AM
But T. Greer thinks:

Why does the fed have to adopt any model? Can't we let Texas run with the Texas model and California run the California model? We don't need national policies where state ones will do.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 18, 2010 6:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Then we would have chattel slavery again, tg.

I'm not a big Lowry fan, but I think he makes a good point that - looking to the States as Brandeisian Laboratories -- the Federal government is choosing to emulate the blue state model of high taxes and public employment. I would prefer that they recognize that the more lasseiz faire model is proving itself more effective.

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2010 6:44 PM

October 15, 2010

Rasmussen: CO Guv race a "toss-up"

JK's worst nightmare seems to be coming to pass: Hickenlooper 42, Tancredo 38

Less than two weeks ago, Tancredo earned 35% of the vote to Hickenlooper's 43% and Maes' 16%. That shifted the race from Solid Democrat to Leans Democrat in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard. Now the race moves to a Toss-Up.

I'd be far more comfortable with a Tancredo administration than Hickenlooper's. I just don't think I can bring myself to vote for him. Still sticking with the 12 percenters.

But jk thinks:

Isn't that the same theory of the RINOs? I'm guessing yes because I think I used most of those on you...

For four years, yes, we'd getter better laws and possibly better judges. Yet I look at what the media has done to Arizona Gov Jan Brewer. She is far more reasonable that Rep. T, and unlike him, I don't think she was spoiling for a fight.

Every stupid thing he says in Four years will be front page news and will be tied to the GOP. That's not worth it.

I also consider Hick as a centrist and pragmatic Dem. He was making a payroll in a private business when the President was Community Organizing (don't look that up for accuracy, it's a good line). I can see a Gov. Tancredo passing regulations against imports and draconian checks of private businesses to find undocumented workers. These would possibly be more destructive than a few Green Energy boondoggles and some Commie, pinko, UN, bike paths.

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2010 12:06 PM
But Terri thinks:

I am leaning towards JK's stance. And I'm a big believer in either doing something about illegal immigration or else opening the boarders but not leaving things as they are.
Tancredo is an embarrassment and he's been feeding at the trough of his fans so much that he thinks it's great.

Posted by: Terri at October 16, 2010 9:11 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Man, this is a toughie. JG is absolutely right about the judges and the gerrymandering.

In actuality, a governor has very little say on the issue of international trade - probably less than a Congressman. He can also ask ICE to enforce immigration laws, but can otherwise do little if the Legislature doesn't go along.

I'd still like to vote for Maes, but I'm well aware that it would be a wasted ballot and he's probably not worth such a waste. In contemplating what it would be like to vote for Tancredo, I think I know what waterboarding feels like.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 17, 2010 12:24 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm glad I can still laugh about all of this.

I see voting for Hickenlooper or Tancredo as manipulations of my vote. The Colorado Democratic Party is mailing postcards to registered Republicans saying, "Don't vote for Doug Aden. He's on the Constitution Party ballot with Tom Tancredo. He wants to end all spending that's not in the Constitution!" And, "Don't vote for Cory Gardener. Tom Tancredo says he hasn't shown enough 'spine.'" Dems are eager for as much conservative vote splitting as they can get. Driving some of us to the Democrat candidate in any given race would just be that much the better, as far as they're concerned.

My Maes sign is still up and my Maes bumper stickers aren't going anywhere either.

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2010 11:17 AM
But jk thinks:

I'm sure there are high fives every day at CentennialStateDonkies.com. The hapless Republicans have muffed it.

But I will not blame the loyal opposition. The fault lies squarely, 100%, totally-dude on the thick megalomaniac head of Rep. Tom Tancredo. The state party has done quite a bit for him and he should have swallowed hard and supported Dan Maes. Some simple arithmetic applied to the poll shows he would be quite competitive in a two way race with Tancredo's support.

If Mayor Hickenlooper prevails, I would certainly like to have added to Maes's totals, thereby making it clear what an ass Tancredo is. Perhaps I'm not cut out for strategic voting.

Posted by: jk at October 17, 2010 12:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My point wasn't to blame the loyal opposition, but to call out Tancredo for the opening he's given to them. His presence in the governor's race is hurting Republicans up and down the ticket.

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2010 11:49 AM

Bashing Business

Ken Langone, one of the founders of Home Depot, writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Although I was glad that you answered a question of mine at the Sept. 20 town-hall meeting you hosted in Washington, D.C., Mr. President, I must say that the event seemed more like a lecture than a dialogue. For more than two years the country has listened to your sharp rhetoric about how American businesses are short-changing workers, fleecing customers, cheating borrowers, and generally "driving the economy into a ditch," to borrow your oft-repeated phrase.

My question to you was why, during a time when investment and dynamism are so critical to our country, was it necessary to vilify the very people who deliver that growth? Instead of offering a straight answer, you informed me that I was part of a "reckless" group that had made "bad decisions" and now required your guidance, if only I'd stop "resisting" it.

I'm sure that kind of argument draws cheers from the partisan faithful. But to my ears it sounded patronizing. Of course, one of the chief conceits of centralized economic planning is that the planners know better than everybody else.


A little more than 30 years ago, Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, Pat Farrah and I got together and founded The Home Depot. Our dream was to create (memo to DNC activists: that's build, not take or coerce) a new kind of home-improvement center catering to do-it-yourselfers. The concept was to have a wide assortment, a high level of service, and the lowest pricing possible.

We opened the front door in 1979, also a time of severe economic slowdown. Yet today, Home Depot is staffed by more than 325,000 dedicated, well-trained, and highly motivated people offering outstanding service and knowledge to millions of consumers.

If we tried to start Home Depot today, under the kind of onerous regulatory controls that you have advocated, it's a stone cold certainty that our business would never get off the ground, much less thrive.

Langone also addresses taxing "the rich":

Meantime, you seem obsessed with repealing tax cuts for "millionaires and billionaires." Contrary to what you might assume, I didn't start with any advantages and neither did most of the successful people I know. I am the grandson of immigrants who came to this country seeking basic economic and personal liberty. My parents worked tirelessly to build on that opportunity. My first job was as a day laborer on the construction of the Long Island Expressway more than 50 years ago. The wealth that was created by my investments wasn't put into a giant swimming pool as so many elected demagogues seem to imagine. Instead it benefitted our employees, their families and our community at large.

(I can't believe I beat jk to this.)

Politics Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 3:08 PM | What do you think? [3]
But jk thinks:

I just know you have my back, hb.

This guy is great. He was delivering some of this on Kudlow last week.

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2010 11:30 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Good stuff! Thanks for excerpting for we non-subscribers. I like seeing this kind of talk out in the open, publicly, and without shame. Capitalism is becoming "cool" while socialists bristle when you refer to them by that title.

I'll take this opportunity to thank JK for sharing "The Case for Legalizing Capitalism" with us. I recommended it to my dad who bought it and is, for the first time, learning about the banking system. Huzzah! I read the chapter on environmentalism, which led me to sing its praises on my Facebook page.

Posted by: johngalt at October 16, 2010 12:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Glad to serve -- I liked the excerpts but must confess I didn't buy it. I did score a classic: Henry Hazlitt's Economics in one Lesson. That would not disappoint.

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2010 7:10 PM

Produce or Perish

An intentional play on the academic mantra "publish or perish." Here Francisco explains to Dagny that production - that which is necessary for human life in any state of technological progress - does not come from material, or labor, but from man's intellect.

Moving on to Part II, Chapter 8 - By Our Love:

Dagny, learn to understand the nature of your own power and you'll understand the paradox you now see around you. You do not have to depend on any material possessions, they depend on you, you create them, you own the one and only tool of production. Wherever you are, you will always be able to produce. But the looters - by their own stated theory - are in desperate, permanent, congenital need and at the blind mercy of matter.

Do you want "progress?" Then concentrate on production, not redistribution or "equality" or the "rights" of every living creature except man.

Et tu, Tunku?

Okay. That's my best headline in seven years of blogging. Dig it before it rolls off the page.

Tunku Varadarajan looks down his elitist, Libertarian nose at the Tea Party candidates. I have expressed concern -- right here on ThreeSources -- that in our moment of extreme zeal, we may have chosen some less than stellar candidates. But never, ever, once, for a moment, did I ever question whether I wanted them to win. Varadarajan has thought it over very carefully, and decided that Sharron Angle may win, but not the witch and the homophobe:

But there is a delicate, almost aesthetic question that remains: Do we back candidates like Carl Paladino and Christine O'Donnell--people we wouldn't ask home to dinner, except in a Dinner for Schmucks sense? Put another way: Is our thirst for a resounding defeat for the statist Democrats so great that some of us would be prepared to swallow a mouthful of "Paladonnell" rotgut along with the premier cru of a GOP victory in the House, the Senate, and elsewhere?

Personally, I would love to see Paladino and O'Donnell lose, since they've distracted attention from the small-government message by adding in their own social conservatism and cultural weirdness. Republican primary voters need to be reminded to be more grownup, and practical. But there are, of course, many libertarians who would tend to think that anything is better--yes, even Paladino and O’Donnell--than Democrats endorsed by public-employee unions.

Cultural weirdness? O'Donnell's great sin is that she is not rich enough to be a Senator. I have donated more to her quixotic candidacy than any other, because I think everybody else is abandoning her.

I suppose she has no chance, but she is not helped by a respected former WSL Ed Page staffer's sudden self-promotion to be the arbiter of Cultural Weirdness.

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 11:29 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Lisa M thinks:

One moment please while I dig that headline.

Ok I'm back. What's disappointing about Tunku's analysis is that the very "cultural weirdness" he disdains as "distracting" from the issues are distracting simply because that is the very strategy that the left is using against them. Most of O'Donnell's "cultural weirdness" has been thrown into high relief by lefty hacks like Bill Maher and SNL; shame on Tunku for falling for it. My reservations about O'Donnell stemmed far more from the ethical baggage she carried (lying about college, tax problems, rent problems, etc.) but all of that has fallen to the wayside in favor of a throwawy comment about her practicing witchcraft in high school. I haven't been following Paladino's campaign as closely, but I must say, I'm terribly disappointed that Tunku has swallowed the liberal bait so easily.

Posted by: Lisa M at October 15, 2010 7:46 PM

Quote of the Day

"I did not have a mechanical connection with that drive wheel!" For an unconvincing pro-GM attempt to maintain the claim that the Volt isn't just another hybrid, see here. . . . -- Mickey Kaus
Oil and Energy Posted by John Kranz at 10:48 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

From the link within the link: "That got me thinking: What exactly is the definition of a hybrid?"

A: Dual power sources in the same vehicle. If you want an electric car with the ability to get back home again you have to add an IC engine to recharge it. Hybrid.

Posted by: johngalt at October 15, 2010 2:45 PM

October 14, 2010

Bridging the Partisan Divide

I have had an idea in my head for some time. I hope the wicked evil Democrats don't steal it, but it is a chance I will take.

Kate Grandju blogs her disappointment with DNC email content:

Dear DNC:

Let me get right to the point: you need a better marketing-communications strategist. Whomever you have handling your email marketing campaign is really, really bad at his/her job.

You see, I am a Democrat. I am your base. I am also someone who is very comfortable with email and other types of digital outreach made directly to me. I should be your holy grail target for your email campaigning. Yet, your email outreach is so clumsy and spammy that I find myself increasingly irritated every time one of your missives shows up in my inbox (which is far too often, period, even if the content were more strategic and smart).

Dear Kate:

Life in Michael Steele land is not a whole lot better.


Here's my idea. I pony up -- I don't know -- $500 to be in the GOP "Strategists" Club (or "Strategery Club" if George P runs...) and the benefit is grown up emails (and junk mail) from the party and some participating candidates. No more "do you what those liber-als in Congress and Nancy Pel-oh-si are going to do?" Nope, you get elevated tone that accepts your knowledge of politics and current issues.

It's not going to clean out your box, but If I got something intelligent every once in a while from the party, it would be a big deal.

Shhh, don't tell the other guys...

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 1:39 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

jk: I'm not much worried about the other guys finding out. You're not going to get "something intelligent" from them anytime soon. Slow Joe just announced Obama has asked him to be his 2012 running mate.


Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 14, 2010 3:02 PM
But jk thinks:

Somewhere, Keith, there has to be some higher grade stuff that what my buddy Michael Steele sends me.

I guess I don't expect "Kubla Khan" from a political party, but they should recognize that some of there supporters would appreciate noty being treated like a three-year-old.

Posted by: jk at October 14, 2010 3:36 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

No argument from me on that point, jk - I routinely ignore most of the party-establishment missive in my mail. I was just pointing out that the other party doesn't exactly have the market on intellectual firepower cornered. Absolutely, I'd appreciate the occasional mailing that aims at a higher target audience (I'm assuming you get the same ones I do: "Do you approve of the way Nancy Pelosi is driving the economy off a cliff? Yes - No - Send Money; Do you approve of Chuck Schumer's plan to kick down your door in the dead of night and confiscate your legal firearms? Yes - No - Send Money..."). But, with an eye to the character of the general voting public, let me ask a few free-market questions:

We all know that television advertising time costs serious money, and infomercials really insult our intelligence. Agreed? However, informercials continue to exist. Would not market forces drive them out of existence, if they did not work? Paging Zombie Billy Mays...

The odds are with the house in gambling. We all know this! And yet money flows into Las Vegas. Intelligent people know that Las Vegas grows nothing, produces nothing, builds nothing, exports nothing, and yet all that money flows into Vegas to light the pretty lights and make the fountains flow. If the consumers of their product (such as it is) were convinced of this, market forces would result in the end of casino gambling. And yet, the roulette wheels continue to spin.

Now let's apply these principles to campaign e-mail. If it didn't work, wouldn't market forces cause it to stop? Ergo, it must be working on a sufficient number of somebodies for it to continue.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 14, 2010 5:18 PM
But jk thinks:

No argument, Brother Keith. The idea is that this works parallel with the current mindless pabulum. Everybody else still gets the two-digit IQ messages you capture brilliantly.

But we, the ThreeSourcers, the flower and elite of the intelligencia, get to opt in for some more serious communications that will include policy statements, some polling data, "races to watch," fundraising stats, and other non-proprietary items of greater interest. Possibly some polls among this leadership group.

And, it is at heart an additional fundraising mechanism as pretentious fools like me have to pay to be included in this erzatzly exclusive club.

Posted by: jk at October 14, 2010 6:30 PM

Capitalism Saved the Miners

Dan Henninger expands his video from yesterday in an editorial today.

Twenty five years ago, he asserts, anywhere on Earth, those miners would have died. What changed?

Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit.

This is the miracle bit that drilled down to the trapped miners. Center Rock Inc. is a private company in Berlin, Pa. It has 74 employees. The drill's rig came from Schramm Inc. in West Chester, Pa. Seeing the disaster, Center Rock's president, Brandon Fisher, called the Chileans to offer his drill. Chile accepted. The miners are alive.

Longer answer: The Center Rock drill, heretofore not featured on websites like Engadget or Gizmodo, is in fact a piece of tough technology developed by a small company in it for the money, for profit. That's why they innovated down-the-hole hammer drilling. If they make money, they can do more innovation.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

Government: "Hey, that thing got all its approvals in order? Any chemicals known to cause cancer in the state of California used in its manufacture? Sorry, can't use it."

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2010 2:38 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Yeah, and the EPA would have demanded an environmental impact statement. The Sierra Club would be suing for an injunction to send the miners back down until the study could be completed in about 2014. President Obama would be demanding that the drill be run with alternative fuels to stop global warming. You just can't be too safe.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 14, 2010 4:31 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

One other thing, if it's not obvious: the mine collapse was George Bush's fault.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 14, 2010 4:33 PM
But jk thinks:

The capsule clearly could not accomodate a wheelchair. I'm filing an ADA suit. How long can guys like me be kept out of the mines by 19th Century bogorty?

Posted by: jk at October 14, 2010 6:34 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Allow me to recommend this interesting post on the Corner:

Posted by: Lisa M at October 15, 2010 7:39 PM

October 13, 2010

Tweet of the Day

One Chile miner maybe should stay underground: Both his wife AND mistress are waiting topside -- @latimestot (Top of Ticket)
UPDATE: On a roll! Read T-O-T's proof that the US Congress deserves the credit.
Posted by John Kranz at 6:04 PM | What do you think? [0]

Revisiting Ohio

More on the Kent State shooting and the forensic examination of the audio tape, from Robert F. Turner who served two tours in Vietnam.

The tape captures one voice saying: "They got somebody," and a few seconds later, male voices shout: "Kill him!" Kill him!" There is then the sound of a .38 caliber revolver shot, followed by a female voice: "Whack that [expletive]!" Three more handgun shots ring out at about five-second intervals, and soon thereafter - in just 13 tragic seconds - 29 of the 77 guardsmen fire a total of 67 rifle shots that are to help seal the fate of the non-communist people of Indochina.

Poor little flower children. Mean old Governor. Bad guns.

But more important than ridiculing Neil Young, Turner puts it into the larger context of the US's abandoning South Vietnam. I have held two extreme positions on Vietnam in my life. I was brought up in Neilyoungland, and if all the cute hippie chicks thought we should leave, then clearly we should.

Later, realizing the menace of Communism, seriously appraising the aftermath, and speaking with those who escaped, I later became ashamed of the abandonment of a noble cause.

Reading Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, I think they were screwed after the Diem coup. I'm not sure there were any good answers left. And nobody can accuse me of reflexively defending LBJ or RMN. Hard damn times.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 1:38 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hard damn times? While so many people were mad at Nixon for Watergate, I was mad at him for his wage and price controls and for abandoning our friends in Taiwan. Fast forward to a more recent administration, while the nutty left was flipping out at W for Iraq, Halliburton, and being what they called a raging right-wing fascist, I was taking issue with the first bailout and for pre-socializing the economy. Presidents are sooooooo misunderstood.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 13, 2010 3:01 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm starting to think we are the same person. Funny how you never see us together...

That's my line: "Don't hate Nixon for Watergate; hate Nixon for the EPA and wage/price controls!"

I was surprised to read in Chris Matthews's "Kennedy and Nixon" (4.5 stars no matter who wrote it) that Democrat-Gov-SecTreas John Connally is to blame. Commanding Heights seems to agree:

Further reinforcement of the pressures toward control came with the recruitment of former Texas Democratic governor John Connally to fill the critical slot of Treasury secretary. The forceful Connally had no philosophical aversion to controls. Indeed he did not seem to have strong feelings one way or the other on economic policy. "I can play it round or I can play it flat," he would say. "Just tell me how to play it." What Connally did like was the dramatic gesture, the big play; and grabbing inflation by the neck and shaking it out of the system would be such a move.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2010 4:34 PM

Arizona Does Produce Great GOP Senators

Not picking a fight, just highlighting Jon Kyl. If I may paraphrase my pal Sugarchuck, six letters and the truth.

Kyl has a clear and compelling guest editorial in the WSJ today. Holler if you'd like it emailed (maybe it's on Kyl's site ungated). It's brief, punchy, and clearly hits the important flaws in our tax system and how to fix them. He does accept progressive taxation (as would I) but he hits all the right points hard.

What, then, encourages growth? For one, it turns out that savings, much-maligned by the president and the press, actually help our economy grow. Money saved is invested. Adam Smith, in his famed "Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations," and later economists, including Jean-Baptiste Say and Friedrich Hayek, all noted that an economy grows through increased production, which is financed by capital (savings); increased consumption follows--it does not lead--economic growth.

The best way for us to encourage production is through pro-growth tax reform. And it just so happens that events are shaping up to achieve the kind of tax reform that could put our economy on a path of long-term growth.

Gotta read it all.

Joe Biden, Salesman

Democrats aren't running on the administration's accomplishments like health-care and financial-regulatory overhaul and the stimulus because "it's just too hard to explain," Biden said. (Link.)

There is so much great material in this one sentence. I will let fellow ThreeSourcers provide the comments.

2010 Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 12:26 PM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

In the election, I was appalled at the free-pass the media gave then Senator Biden. Even the evil FOX guys had such a good personal relationship with the long-tenured DC denizen that he got away with factual and rhetorical murder.

I'm starting to come around. Dan Henninger at the WSJ points out that without him the entire Administration is dour, over-serious, and hectoring (think U2 without the nice bass riffs...) Without the scrappy kid from Scranton Pee-Ay there would be no joy at all.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2010 2:06 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Riiiiight. Joe Biden is such an intellectual powerhouse that he understands what we common proles are too stupid to figger out.

Democrats aren't running on those "accomplishments" because we understand all too well. We hate them, we want them repealed, and they're running away from those issues like vampires from sunlight.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 13, 2010 3:08 PM

The Taxman

As long as we are posting political ads, I enjoyed this one:

2010 Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 12:22 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at October 13, 2010 2:09 PM

October 12, 2010

Good Political Ad

Rand Paul says "this'll make you laugh." Worked for me!

He'd enjoy a little money to run it...

It Can't Be Done

Part II, Chapter 7 - The Moratorium on Brains:

"But Christ Almighty, how do they expect us to move trains without engines?"

"Miss Taggart didn't," said the road foreman. "Mr. Locey does."

Candidate Needs Cash!

Yeah, I know. Stop the presses.

Club for Growth is quickly becoming one of the few political institutions I feel is worthy of my largesse (or, in my case, smallesse...) Chris Chocola writes that the Alaska Senate race is neck-and-neck-and-neck. I find Joe Miller to be my favorite of the Class of '10 tea party candidates, and feel strongly that he would be one of the best voices for ThreeSources values in the 112th Congress.

If any of you could join me, I think it's money well spent: http://www.clubforgrowth.org/action/

Bubble? No Bubble Here

Brother jg's alma mater and program get good marks from a just-slightly-biased source:

Engineering grads receive top salary offers; CU-Boulder students high on employers' lists

Education Posted by John Kranz at 11:59 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

"We work really hard," she said of engineering students. "And that opens a lot of doorways."

No mention of how many engineering students have prescriptions in their names for medical marijuana.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2010 2:29 PM

Hailing Harsanyi

And it's not even me this time.

Blog friend tg shares a link in a continuing effort to get me riled about the dispatching of Anwar Awlaki, a US Citizen who was deprived of his 5th Amendment right to life without due process.

At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I have to wonder: If a president -- any president -- has the authority to order the assassination of a U.S. citizen without oversight, what exactly can't a president do?

Now, as a matter of foreign policy, I am quite comfortable when Islamic extremists, militants and terrorists meet their atomized ends through the work of unmanned flying contraptions operated remotely by the U.S. government.

Then again, I can also unequivocally state that the thought of an American citizen being placed on one of these terrorist hit lists without due process of law or any oversight is a precedent that I find disconcerting.

It's a fair cop to ask why I can wax poetic about Chrysler's preferred debt holders yet am silent in the face of execution without trial.

My answer was that we each pick our own battles. I don't disagree with my great blog friend, but if I could restore respect for the Constitution on domestic issues, that there would be a foundation for using Constitutional principles to restrain government on other fronts.

War on Terror Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

I read the Harsanyi piece differently: If killing enemy combatants made our last president "Bushitler" then why do the same acts not make the current one "Obamitler?"

At least this is the clear implication of his closing paragraphs.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2010 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

He clearly wonders where all the moral preeners on the left have gone, but I don't think that takes away from the piece as a clear refutation of the Awlaki assassination.

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2010 5:36 PM

October 11, 2010

A Couple Things Neil Young left Out...

Richard Cohen's amazing boomer revisionism has sparked several good blog posts.

I'm giving the prize to Shannon Love at ChicagoBoyz. Love shines a little reality on Che Guevara's Wikipedia entry before taking on "Richard Cohen’s vile little diatribe attempting to link the Tea Party to the 1970 Kent State shooting"

In the leftists’ hagiography, the Kent State protesters were completely peaceful. They “performed a sit-in” in college campus buildings and were singing and putting flowers in the barrels of the Guardsmen’s guns when the Guardmen’s ideological hatred of the pure and noble leftists finally overwhelmed the Guardmen’s humanity and they brutally opened fire. All those killed at Kent State are martyrs to the evil of the American right. Therefore, Cohen argues by implication, since the left is so good, wonderful and infallible in all things, anyone who argues with leftists today is just as evil and hate filled as the governor and the Guardsmen were back in 1970.

Unfortunately for Cohen and his hagiography, the shootings at Kent State were preceded by a month of increasing violence. The “peaceful sit-in” of the ROTC building was violent with doors kicked in, desks and filing cabinets destroyed, burned or tossed through windows. ROTC officers and students as well as school officials were physically attacked. All this culminated in a riot the night before the shootings in downtown Kent, that resulted in broken windows, arson, stonings and beatings that overwhelmed the Kent police force. That pattern of increasing violence and destruction, not the governor’s ideological opposition to the protesters’ support of communist goals, caused the governor to call out the National Guard. The violence continued the day of the shootings with rock throwing and shouts of “kill, kill, kill”. The Guardsmen were on edge because of the violence, not the ideology.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:06 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I can't resist saying it, and y'all will have to indulge me on this: well, I hope Neil Young will remember a Southern Man don't need him around, anyhow. And I guess, an honest historian don't much need him either.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 12, 2010 1:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

And someone in the crowd almost certainly fired first.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2010 2:47 PM
But jk thinks:

How can you run when you know?

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2010 3:12 PM

Don't Call Her Ma'am...

WOW! While we were wondering about NRA endorsements -- how do you think yer average VFW supporter feels about this?

The VFW has a history of tilting towards liberals, but this seems rather stunning. Barbara Boxer, who dressed down a general in a Senate hearing for calling her "ma'am," won the endorsement of VFW's political-action committee yesterday. The move also comes despite Boxer’s votes to curtail military spending -- or perhaps because of them:

Don't know they'll be quiet about that at eleven...

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 6:43 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Terri thinks:

They aren't happy at all.
Keep watching those membership rolls. There's a lot going on there.

Posted by: Terri at October 12, 2010 9:02 AM

Lonely Lives of Liberty Lovers

Felicia Sonmez on the WaPo blog, The Fix, gives a long and lugubrious recap of efforts to restore Madisonian principles to the upper chamber.

As most candidates who have at floated the idea of repealing the 17th Amendment have acknowledged, the issue is not likely to be at the top of most members of Congress' lists after November. The fact that it has lit up so many campaigns, however, is one of the hallmarks of this cycle's more unusual races, as well as a testament to voters' dissatisfaction with the current state of government and the growing power of the tea party movement.

Readers know I'd prefer repeal. But any situation where it became close would bring out the decades of delay that "The Solid South" used in the Senate, through Rule 22 (the filibuster) to delay civil rights legislation. Like states rights and federalism, it will be always tainted by its use to table emancipation and civil rights.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 5:01 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

All told, my thinking is that if a repeal is going to come, it will come from the states and not from Congress. States will have to realize that the 17th transmogrified them from being sovereign states of a sovereign nation into being counties of the overarching Federal leviathan. Were I to be in charge of strategy, I'd be recommending to various States' Rights groups to make this a plank of their platform.

Understand, of course, that as a denizen of California, I live in a state where the government is totally happy being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Federal welfare state. Rugged individualism is rarer here than Oakland Raiders touchdowns.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 11, 2010 6:26 PM
But jk thinks:

They beat the Chargers. I hereby take back most of the nasty things I've said about them.

Agree that your way is more plausible, as in "it's more plausible that the Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl this year than the Oakland Raiders."

I will not give up on my beloved Broncos but think we better give up on repealing the 17th. California is in no way alone enjoying a nice nipple on the federal teat. (The football metaphor is officially over). There are not many states that want the power back -- not 3/4s of them.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2010 6:38 PM

Mankiw on Marginal Benefit

He's lucky enough to know one of those $250K+ folks, so he can run the numbers on taxes' effect on production. He shows the reduced incentive for him to write, consult or teach more.

Now you might not care if I supply less of my services to the marketplace -- although, because you are reading this article, you are one of my customers. But I bet there are some high-income taxpayers whose services you enjoy.

Maybe you are looking forward to a particular actor's next movie or a particular novelist's next book. Perhaps you wish that your favorite singer would have a concert near where you live. Or, someday, you may need treatment from a highly trained surgeon, or your child may need braces from the local orthodontist. Like me, these individuals respond to incentives. (Indeed, some studies report that high-income taxpayers are particularly responsive to taxes.) As they face higher tax rates, their services will be in shorter supply.

Reasonable people can disagree about whether and how much the government should redistribute income. And, to be sure, the looming budget deficits require hard choices about spending and taxes. But don't let anyone fool you into thinking that when the government taxes the rich, only the rich bear the burden.

But jk thinks:

Got a nice but sad letter about somebody who has just started taking every other Friday off. I won't do details but this is a net loss to humanity, if a wash to a ThreeSourcer's personal balance sheet.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2010 6:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I think we need a better definition for what he means by "reasonable people."

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2010 2:35 PM

Discard Columbus Day

Although I'd miss the annual panties-in-a-wad torture of my political opponents, Columbus Day is not appropriate for a large American celebration (viz. a holiday).

I won't get into genocide or indigenous peoples' rights nor the glories of the Iroquois Constitution. I seem to defend modernity and enlightenment values full time on Facebook. But what makes our nation special is not geography -- and Columbus Day is a celebration of geography.

What makes this nation special is its devotion to liberty through law, as that great American Robin Hood says in the trailer to his film. Martin Luther King deserved a holiday. Although I held the racist thought that it would be better for schoolchildren to learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott rather than go to the Mall, but whatever. Madison lacks, nobody buys a discount mattress on Gouvenier Morris Day. Armistice Day morphed into Veteran's Day and is generally a Mattress Sale occasion.

I know the holiday is a source of pride to Italian Americans (like Dana Perigno and Rep. Susan Molinari), but we should focus our estimation on those who contributed to the uniqueness of American rights and law.

Besides, I never worked anywhere where I got the day off...

Posted by John Kranz at 11:02 AM | What do you think? [3]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I agree with the sentiment but disagree with a couple of specifics: "liberty through law...Martin Luther King deserved a holiday."

Jefferson never had one, though he set forth our ideals of liberty more than anyone else. George Washington lost his holiday, in favor of one honoring the likes of Jimmy Carter and now Obama.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 11, 2010 2:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If we discard all federal holidays then yes, this one can go with them. Otherwise, abolishing one makes the others more important. And worse, leaves a vacuum for another new Progressive federal holiday - think May Day.

Columbus Day isn't principally a celebration of geography, but ancestry: "Hey you Catholic-hating Klansmen, don't forget that you couldn't live in this country if one of our countrymen hadn't discovered it!"

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2010 2:47 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm seeing an ad in my head: "Ken Buck wants to abolish all Federal holidays! Do you want to work on Christmas? If not, vote for Michael Bennet..."


Posted by: jk at October 11, 2010 3:25 PM

October 10, 2010

Headline of the Day

If Obama is so Gung-Ho About Fixing Education, Why the Hell Won't He do the Smallest Goddamn Thing to Change the Status Quo? -- Nick Gillespie
Education Posted by John Kranz at 1:10 PM | What do you think? [0]

Happy Ten-Ten-Ten

Brother ac points out

101010 base 2 = 42 base 10

Then, when some Facebook freinds don't get it, he says "[I]t's like a dog whistle for dorks"


Posted by John Kranz at 1:04 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Oh. My. Gosh. I am confronted by incontravertable evidence that I am a dork. As soon as I saw that, I mentally jumped to Deep Thought. 101010 is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 10, 2010 5:38 PM
But dagny thinks:

Then I must coach a whole team of dorks as one of my vaulter families walked into the barn today announcing, "Happy Hitchhiker's Guide Day." I sentiment I pass on. Happy Hitchhiker's Guide day to all.

Posted by: dagny at October 10, 2010 10:37 PM

October 8, 2010

Quote of the Day

It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed? -- Publius, Federalist #62
"It poisons the blessing of liberty itself" Read the whole thing if you can keep from weeping. Madison knew; we just did not listen.

Hat-tip: Clayton Cramer via Instapundit

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 10:44 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

The founders had an advantage - in their day there was but one Alexander Hamilton. Today our government is rife with his clones, and they've been exposed to the same gamma rays as Dr. Bruce Banner.

Posted by: johngalt at October 8, 2010 4:40 PM

October 7, 2010


Okay, I've been rough on the Reason folk of late. So I must admit that the November 2010 issue has a good story: How to Slash the State: 14 ways to dismantle a monstrous government, one program at a time.

I'd sing "Boomer Sooner" in my underwear to make any of 13 of them a reality. It's a great list, and represents a serious libertarian manifesto. But --

[but you don't know the lyrics?]

No, but -- it is one thing to write a magazine article and another to enact legislation through a populace that is somewhat enamored with government, and a system that has been tuned to respond to populist emotions.

As a registered Republican, I am supposed to be having the time of my life in a run up to a Tsunami of GOP victories. As a little-l libertarian, I'm supposed to enjoy a focus on Constitutional issues and the championing of limited government. Yet the demagoguery I witness on TV every day has convinced me that nothing I believe in will be championed.

Certainly nothing on Reason's Top 14 has a chance. Any candidate in any district who called for any of that would be pilloried. I guess it's happening everywhere, but the commercials against Ken Buck for Senate are astonishing. We are frequently reminded that he's "Too Extreme for Colorado!" For items that would not get an eye bat on ThreeSources. Sadly, he's not running on repealing the 17th Amendment or consumption tax (not that I've seen). Yet "He's going to slash the corporate tax to zero -- and add 23% to everything you buy!" and "He's going to REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION and take away your right to vote!!"

I just imagine the ads if a candidate came out against Davis-Bacon (Number 10 with a bullet!) or said we should abolish the Department of Energy (#9) or Erase Federal Education Spending (#3). We're never ever ever going to have an intelligent discussion on any of those.

Swell party, but I'm crying in my Plymouth martini.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 5:24 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

While knocking on doors yesterday to sign up Republican voters for mail-in ballots I met and talked to a Democrat couple. Mostly listened to the man, getting a low tax, pro-market comment in whenever he paused. Then the woman walked up and, in response to my Ken Buck T-shirt, said, "Buck sucks." To disarm her I said, "On abortion I agree with you." Then she said, "What about Social Security? He wants to abolish that too, doesn't he?" So Buck's opponents have been effective at villifying the man. I gave her a packet of Republican propaganda and suggested she read what he says about himself then she could throw it away.

I don't worry as much about the Reason guys not being happy with the GOP agenda as I do about polls [click "government services" category] that show "all adults" polled are evenly split on the more/less government services question but over 70% believe that Medicare, Social Security and federal school aid are "very important."

Stop demanding the unearned, people!

Posted by: johngalt at October 10, 2010 12:10 PM
But jk thinks:

NED bless your fine efforts.

RRRRR! All the anti-Buck commercials are awful (how could anbody possibly craft a pro-Bebbet spot?). But the Social Security one deserves a Dante-ring of its own.

I have heard a ton of SS reform proposals but I have yet to hear of one that cuts present benefits a single dime. An old lady worries on the DNSC spot that her income will be "CUT IN HALF!" if Ken Buck is elected. And an old guysays "I don't see how anybody over 65 could think of voting for Ken Buck."

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2010 1:37 PM

Executive Genius, and Lack Therof

Part II, Chapter 7 - The Moratorium on Brains

When things go well—which is never longer than half an hour - Mr. Locey makes it a point to remind us that 'these are not the days of Miss Taggart.' At the first sign of trouble, he calls me into his office and asks me - casually, in the midst of the most irrelevant drivel - what Miss Taggart used to do in such an emergency.



I'm in the Mood for Love

"Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields's "I'm in the Mood for Love" from 1935.

Short and sweet."

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

Old Testament Style Justice

Bedbugs at the IRS:

Get some locusts swarming at the FDA and I'm in!

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 10:13 AM | What do you think? [1]
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Begs the question: why are there beds at the IRS? Naps for the employees? Actually, that would probably be preferable to what they actually do while working.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 8, 2010 3:33 PM

October 6, 2010

Now He Thinks He's AlexC!

The reviews are a little mixed. but I am enthralled with the AppleTV.

I guess one has to ask what a hundred dollar box is expected to do. No, it does not iron your underwear or provide permanent storage for media. It provides access to your Apple content, with Netflix and YouTube thrown in.

The streaming Netflix was a primary feature. We have been using this on our TiVo® for a long time. Frankly, if the AppleTV were to take that function over, our TiVo will likely be dropped for the cheaper cable DVR.

The AppleTV provides a much richer experience. The TiVo lists items you have placed on your "Instant Queue." The AppleTV allows you to browse the entire Netflix repository. Each movie or episode brings up a detailed search screen to browse.

The hardware is Apple-cool, a bit smaller than a hockey puck, A sleek joystick + 2 button remote, very pretty and intuitive navigation and graphics. Tonight we will be setting up the lovely bride's iPad as a super-remote.

Five stars from me -- and I'm a PC!

But AlexC thinks:

You've gone and lost your mind!

But yes, the iPad remote is sexy as hell.... I can't wait until Comcast gets the DVR and iPad talking.

Posted by: AlexC at October 6, 2010 8:52 PM

Dusty bookshelves, Dead Writers.

Those wacky tea partiers! Reading Bastiat and Hayek -- what is the matter with them?

The Tea Party is a thoroughly modern movement, organizing on Twitter and Facebook to become the most dynamic force of the midterm elections.

But when it comes to ideology, it has reached back to dusty bookshelves for long-dormant ideas.

It has resurrected once-obscure texts by dead writers — in some cases elevating them to best-seller status — to form a kind of Tea Party canon.

This from a NYTimes piece by Kate Zernike that is raising a bit of a stir.
If their arguments can be out there (like getting rid of the 17th Amendment, which established the direct election of senators by popular vote) or out of date (Bastiat warned that if government taxed wine and tobacco, “beggars and vagabonds will demand the right to vote”), the works have provided intellectual ballast for a segment of the electorate angry or frustrated about the economy and the growing reach of government.

Brother Keith pointed me at this through a NewsBusters piece. Jonah Goldberg takes a nice whack at her dismissal of the rule of law.

But I would suggest reading the NYTimes piece first. It is stunning.

Tea Party Posted by John Kranz at 5:15 PM | What do you think? [0]

Find Your Favorite US Rep. Seat Takeover

This handy scorecard from National Journal shows the 60 most likely Republican takeovers of Democratic House seats. My favorites are:

8. CO-4, Cory Gardner's "strong campaign ... likely enough" to defeat incumbent Betsy Markey.
22. FL-8, Dan Webster's "got the advantage" over Alan "holocaust" Grayson.
24. VA-5, Robert Hurt "is still looking like the big favorite" over Tom "tie our hands" Perriello.
41. CO-3, "If the election were held today" Scott Tipton "would win" over John Salazar.
54. CA-47, Loretta Sanchez "was fortunate" to get Bill Clinton to campaign with her.
56. CO-7, $500K in PAC money gives Ryan Frazier "a good shot" against Ed Perlmutter.

In addition to these 60 they list 19 more who are "knocking on the door."

2010 Posted by JohnGalt at 2:47 PM | What do you think? [0]

Justice: When Man is Free to Profit

Part II, Chapter 7 - The Moratorium on Brains:
[Continuation of yesterday's AS QOTD]

"Why should you be shocked, Mr. Rearden? I am merely complying with the system which my fellow men have established. If they believe that force is the proper means to deal with one another, I am giving them what they ask for. If they believe that the purpose of my life is to serve them, let them try to enforce their creed. If they believe that my mind is their property - let them come and get it."

"But what sort of life have you chosen? To what purpose are you giving your mind?"

"To the cause of my love."

"Which is what?"


"Served by being a pirate?"

"By working for the day when I won't have to be a pirate any longer."

"Which day is that?"

"The day when you'll be free to make a profit on Rearden Metal."


Professor Eugene Volkh explains incorporation so that even dim bulbs like me can get it.

A very interesting post: Eugene Volkh answers five questions for Britannica. HT: Insty

SCOTUS Posted by John Kranz at 1:37 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Thanks for the gift: In my hunt for the correct first link (which I never found) I came across this: Atlas Snickers.

Posted by: johngalt at October 6, 2010 2:26 PM
But jk thinks:
But johngalt thinks:

My bad.

Posted by: johngalt at October 7, 2010 2:44 AM

If He's Lost Cesar Milan...

...then he's lost Canine America!

The Dog Whisperer is not impressed with POTUS's leadership skills.

Milan recalled pictures of President Barack Obama on Bo's first day at the White House. (See: Bo's first day at the White House)

"Day one was not a good scene," said Milan. "The dog always in front of the president of the United States."

Not a partisan, Milan says President Bush did not do any better with Barney.

Hat-tip: my lovely bride, via email.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 9:49 AM | What do you think? [0]

October 5, 2010

Looter, Victim, or ...

Part II, Chapter 7 - The Moratorium on Brains:

"Ragnar Danneskjöld …" said Rearden, as if he were seeing the whole of the past decade, as if he were looking at the enormity of a crime spread through ten years and held within two words.

"Look more carefully, Mr. Rearden. There are only two modes of living left to us today: to be a looter who robs disarmed victims or to be a victim who works for the benefit of his own despoilers. I did not choose to be either."

"You chose to live by means of force, like the rest of them."

"Yes—openly. Honestly, if you will. I do not rob men who are tied and gagged, I do not demand that my victims help me, I do not tell them that I am acting for their own good. I stake my life in every encounter with men, and they have a chance to match their guns and their brains against mine in fair battle. Fair? It's I against the organized strength, the guns, the planes, the battleships of five continents. If it's a moral judgment that you wish to pronounce, Mr. Rearden, then who is the man of higher morality: I or Wesley Mouch?"

"I have no answer to give you," said Rearden, his voice low.

Quote of the Day

Witness the scene on a recent Friday night in front of a Loews multiplex in New York City, where some 50 protestors blasted the film [Waiting for Superman] as propaganda for charter schools. "Klein, Rhee and Duncan better switch us jobs, so we can put an end to those hedge fund hogs," went one of their anti-charter cheers, referring to school reform chancellors Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The odd complaint is that donors to charter schools include some hedge fund managers. -- WSJ Ed Page
The Poetry Union Local #52: "Klein, Rhee and Duncan better switch us jobs, so we can put an end to those hedge fund hogs!"
Education Posted by John Kranz at 3:23 PM | What do you think? [0]

She Blinded Me with Context

With all respect/apologies to Thomas Dolby...

Veronique de Rugy has the temerity to look at the $700 Billion giveaway to the rich! in relation to Federal spending:


Here is President Obama, talking on September 29 in Richmond, Virginia:

"Now, I'm not a math teacher. But I know a little bit about math. They're proposing about $4 trillion worth of tax cuts. About $700 billion of those tax cuts are for people who typically are millionaires and billionaires, and on average would get $100,000 in tax relief—$700 billion that we don't have, we'd have to borrow in order to provide these tax cuts. And 98 percent of Americans wouldn't see any benefit from it. And keep in mind that because we don't have it, it would actually end up costing more than $700 billion, because we'd end up having—since we're borrowing it, we'd have to pay interest on it. . . So when you add it all up, essentially their proposal would drastically expand the deficit instead of shrinking it."

This is very misleading. Very likely for effect, the president is using aggregate numbers to talk about the tax cuts rather than annual numbers.

Rich People Want Higher Taxes

Art Laffer has a great op-ed in the Journal this morning. Here is a taste:

Framed on a wall in my office is a personal letter to me from Bill Gates the elder. "I am a fan of progressive taxation," he wrote. "I would say our country has prospered from using such a system--even at 70% rates to say nothing of 90%."

It's one thing to believe in bad policy. It's quite another to push it on others. But Mr. Gates Sr.--an accomplished lawyer, now retire--and his illustrious son are now trying to have their way with the people of the state of Washington.

Mr. Gates Sr. has personally contributed $500,000 to promote a statewide proposition on Washington's November ballot that would impose a brand new 5% tax on individuals earning over $200,000 per year and couples earning over $400,000 per year. An additional 4% surcharge would be levied on individuals and couples earning more than $500,000 and $1 million, respectively.


If Mr. Gates Sr. and his son feel so strongly about taxing the rich, they should simply give the state a chunk of their own money and be done with it. Leave the rest of Washington's taxpayers alone.


2010 Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:55 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

I have a new hero and I don't know his name. But I will find it.

The Journal Editorial Report on FOXNews closes with "Hits and Misses." Kim Strassel offered a "hit" to a Chinese Businessman who told Gates (fils) and Warren Buffett that he could do more good investing his money than joining them in their little -- well quite large, actually -- PR philanthropy project.

The future of liberty seems more and more in China's hands.

Posted by: jk at October 5, 2010 11:18 AM

Et Tu, Stossel?

I have made no secret of my appreciation for John Stossel. Looking for public figures whose philosophy most closely matches my own, Stossel would be in the top five. While his philosophy is pure, I have always sensed an underlying pragmatism.

He sadly left that under the covers at home when he posted Another Useless Republican.

The "UR" is Linda McMahon, WWE doyenne and GOP Senate candidate in the Nutmeg State. Stossel is right to be saddened by McMahon's backtracking on the minimum wage. She came out against, the Democrat Demagogue Machine shifted into gear, and she was forced to proffer one of those mealy-mouthed retractions we've all come to dislike. "I'm sorry I offered good economic theory in the public sphere and I PROMISE it won't happen again!"

Disappointing, yes. But that does not make her useless. She is running against The Devil Incarnate, Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal. Eliot Spitzer without the charm. And at least Spitzer approved of prostitution, Blumenthal has yet to find a business he likes.

So McMahon runs a largely self financed campaign in one of the most heavily blue states in the union against a well known incumbent Attorney General. Guessing here, but I bet AG Blumenthal would vote to double the minimum wage. Because Ms. McMahon will not stake her campaign on lowering it, I am not going to toss her over the edge.

Naive waif that I am, I have been simply-stuperfied at the level of demagoguery in the Colorado Senate Race. Buck once mentioned opposition to the 17th Amendment (page four of the libertarian hymnal). This warranted a frequently run "KEN BUCK WANTS TO REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION! TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!" spot in the "TOO EXTREME FOR COLORADO!" DNSC series.

They drove you out of ABC Mister Stossel. Our ideas are not going to get a fair hearing in the media. Even Rand Paul seemed "neutered" in his FOX News Sunday interview. Not fair to dump on McMahon for backing out of a battle she cannot win.

October 4, 2010

Boids of a Featheh...

Two of my favorites have found each other. He spotted her across the room, taking candy from an illegal immigrant baby. She caught his gaze as he was deporting a high school valedictorian.

Michelle and Tommy,
Sitting in a tree

It seems Ms. Malkin has decided that that election-primary-thingy is not so important. She has decided that Rep Tancredo is the man for Colorado. And you thought the Post's endorsement was a shocker!

Hat-tip: Brother Keith, on Facebook. I guess he thought I didn't have enough things to cheese me off today.

CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 2:10 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

To quote that great American philosopher, Maxwell Smart: "Sorry about that, Chief."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 4, 2010 2:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In the "understandable but unexpected" department, what say ye about this?

Tancredo, who is best-known for his staunch position against illegal immigration, also leads Hickenlooper among Hispanic voters, 42 percent to 40 percent.
Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2010 3:38 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, then, you're in luck! Dan Maes has just received the ringing endorsement of... wait for it... RNC Chairman Michael Steele, that bastion of support for genuine conservatives

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 5, 2010 9:55 AM
But jk thinks:

Maes put some pictures up on Facebook. Steele's finest hour since his Senate Race.

Posted by: jk at October 5, 2010 11:23 AM

Quote of the Day

"There will be no more tax-funded bailouts--period," said President Obama on July 21, the day he signed the Dodd-Frank financial reform into law. This week, the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will use the new powers it received under Dodd-Frank to decide which bank creditors will receive . . . tax-funded bailouts. -- WSJ Ed Page
Color me shocked.
But johngalt thinks:

Once again illustrating George's Maxim: "Always remove the word 'no' or 'never' from any statement by a politician in order to know the truth."

And when there's a point of emphasis - "period" or "absolutely" or "let me be clear" - then you can expect what they're denying to happen expeditiously.

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2010 3:42 PM

Go Buffaloes!

Colorado Higher Ed warrants a direct blast from the bubble-diviner:

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: CU tuition plan: 9.5% hike next year, up to 9% for four more years. At a time when inflation is reported as negligible, can the market continue to absorb increases like this? Or will people seek lower-cost alternatives?

Reader emails point out that the freshman class is the smallest since 2005 and that Colorado School of Mines is raising tuition far less. I hate to wade into almae matres but the school -- as currently run -- seems emblematic of the higher cost/lower value. Reader One:
The best part was that CU’s financial chief, Ric Porreca, told the Board of Regents it was due to glitches in the online student management system which frustrated students so they enrolled elsewhere. Certainly couldn’t have been the rapidly increasing tuition and/or tenured Professors like Ward Churchill…


Education Posted by John Kranz at 9:42 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

But hey, at least the Buffs are 3-1.

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2010 3:50 PM

October 3, 2010

Quote of the Day

Doug Ross publishes "15 Pictures You Won't See" of the OneNation Rally: the SEIU setup, pro-Socialism signs and the devastating wake of trash on the National Mall as they left (a jobs program of sorts, he points out).

It's times like this that I miss J. Edgar Hoover.

I can't say I agree, but I laughed.

On the web Posted by John Kranz at 10:21 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

SOCIALISM - Ideas that don't work for people who don't either

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2010 3:56 PM

October 2, 2010

No Respect

I've enjoyed a pretty overwhelming supply of presidential biographies. Even some of the lower lights like Buchanan and Pierce had a selection of interesting books. I enjoyed the gilded age by having a few public domain volumes about and frequently by each Chief Executive.

Ordered Mister Ford today. Nothing on Kindle. essentially nothing on Google Books. I went to Amazon and searched for "President Ford." First was the Schlesinger Series (one thin CW book on each), then an 8x10 picture. A Kindle "Facts of" that comes up for any of them, and the fourth item was:

Mr. Gasket 2470S Domestic ThermoCap 13 PSI-SLVR

I lived through the Ford Years, wore a leisure suit to the Freshman dance, and am not lobbying for a revival. But he entered the House in '48 worked his way to Minority Leader and remains the only VP to take office under the 25th Amendment, and the only unelected president.

You'd think some Michigan folks would put out a few favorite son books so that you could go a whole page before seeing Mister Gasket. Harsh.

UPDATE: Saved by Shelfari: a fun site I use as a virtual bookshelf to track eBooks and paper together. It has a rotten user experience, but it is free and useful. If you join let me know so we can share lists and things. I had not used it for searches but it had several better selections. Ended up with the interesting-looking Write It When I'm Gone. Apparently, GRF allowed a press man to collect personal incidents with the agreement that they not be published while our 38th was on the Earthly plane. And it's on Kindle. Life is so awesome.

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 4:10 PM | What do you think? [0]

We Misheard the President

Actually, what the President said was "If WE like your current health insurance plan, you can keep it."

Joseph Antos suggests, in the American, that the government is regulating a business that it does not understand (viz. "Duh!") and will take away the limited care option that is the only plan some workers at McDonalds, Home Depot and Disney can afford.

McDonald’s warned that it might have to drop its health insurance plan for some 30,000 restaurant workers because of new rules imposed by ObamaCare. McDonald’s insurer spends too much money on administrative costs and not enough on health services to fit the federal standard. So in the name of consumer protection, thousands of low-wage hamburger cooks are likely to lose their health insurance starting next year. That’s the genius of healthcare reform

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 11:25 AM | What do you think? [0]

Get Outta Town!

Post formally endorses Hickenlooper for Governor.

Damn, who could've seen that coming?

But jk thinks:

I didn't see Intrade numbers on it...

Posted by: jk at October 2, 2010 11:08 AM

Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into, Tom!

Heard the first anti-Tancredo ad on radio this morning, paid for by "Our Community Votes" - an issue advocacy group that looks like an ACORN fragment, judging by the rhetoric on its website.

"There's a new political party in this year's election. The American Constitution Party. Its candidates, Tom Tancredo and Doug Aden, are too extreme to represent us. Both want to make English the official language of the United States, which threatens our diverse culture, and eliminate congressional pensions, which would make it harder for people who want to serve in congress as a career."

I paraphrased from memory but this was the gist of the message. Yes, I know I'm a weirdo but those particular criticisms just make me like these two guys more. If they wanted to expose these guys' bad ideas they should have talked about Tancredo getting in the race out of last minute spite or Aden's advocacy of new international trade tariffs to "keep jobs in the US." [I heard him say this at Friday's Longmont Chamber forum.] But it appears they don't actually want to discourage voting for them. Fort Collins Coloradoan:

But the content of the ad seems designed to promote Aden's candidacy with conservative voters who might cast ballots for him rather than Republican Party nominee Cory Gardner.


Kyle Saunders, a political scientist at Colorado State University, said the ad by a Democratic-affiliated group aimed at boosting Aden was "not at all surprising."
"Every vote Aden gets from a disenchanted or confused Republican voter is very likely a vote that is taken away from Gardner," he said.

Fair enough, but why mention Tancredo? Because Tancredo has wide name recognition and Doug Aden is an insect, politically speaking. Link them together and Aden's vote count goes up by a factor of ten. And their mention of the American Constitution Party? Nobody had heard of them either until Tom and his antics made them front page news. All of this is calculated to siphon support from the GOP. Tom Tancredo must be very, very proud of himself.

Stand Up Economist

Happy Saturday!

October 1, 2010

Great Posts I Missed Working

Not gonna spoil it. If you missed this one from blog friend Terri this week (as I did), click here.

But johngalt thinks:

Damn, do I miss Firefly...

Posted by: johngalt at October 2, 2010 9:17 AM
But terri thinks:

I haven't ordered it myself yet, but this fan movie has Joss's seal of approval.

Posted by: terri at October 3, 2010 9:19 AM

Libertario Delenda Est!

The Boys at Reason are at it again. They want to be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that nobody ever mistakes them for Republicans (do Republicans wear leather jackets? Yves St Laurent eyeglasses?)

Ergo, the pre-election GOP bashing is here:

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman speaks repeatedly about offering "grown-up" solutions to the Golden State's fiscal problems. But after reading her new campaign book MEG 2010, Tim Cavanaugh says Whitman's proposals are pre-pubescent. If you think extreme times call for meager measures, Cavanaugh writes, then Whitman is the governor for you.

Yeah! Pull no punches my cool Libertarian brothers! Let's not sit still for timidity! We could have the free market nirvana of a Golden State under Jerry Brown!

2010 Posted by John Kranz at 6:06 PM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

Libertarians will refuse the toast and water.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2010 7:17 PM
But jk thinks:

No, I take that back. Libertarians will kill the guy with toast so we all get rocks.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2010 7:23 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

The libertarian would kill? Leave him to freely die, perhaps, depending solely on his own ability to survive, but kill him? And they say naked capitalism is harsh...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 1, 2010 7:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Clearly you've caught me on a bad analogy day, so I'll have to crowdsource it.

The libertarian, in a zeal for a robust Argentinian Malbec and Filet Mignon, is going to ___________ the toast and water man, not only demying himself nourishment and hydration, but all of us as well.

Maybe not kill, but if you buy a copy of Matt Welch's "Myth of a Maverick" you'll see that a severe maiming is on the menu.

I saw Ms. Whitman on Kudlow awhile back and was pretty keen on her. She has a tough road in überprogressive California and this will hurt her chances. Was Tim Cavenaugh working the primaries to find a better candidate? Nope.

Damned Libertoids.

Posted by: jk at October 1, 2010 8:07 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I voted for Tom McClintock when he ran for the officed, and I'd do it again. He'd have made a great governor. I did my fair share. http://www.tommcclintock.com

Dang it, sooner or later I'm going to have to run for governor myself if I want this state rescued.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 1, 2010 11:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Curtis Harris is the Libertarian candidate opposing Democrat Jared Polis in CO-2. I heard him for the first time at the Longmont Chamber forum [see link in "Another fine mess" post above] on Thursday night. I was extremely impressed by him. He had good ideas without any of the typical Libertarian wackiness (at least in what he chose to talk about.) The Republican in the race, Stephen Bailey, also has good ideas and is intelligent and likeable but answered every debate question with a haltingly read prepared statement. It was painful to watch, knowing how much more he's capable of. As I listened to them speak I wished that Harris had challenged for the Republican nomination instead. I think he could have won it in the district encompassing uber-progressive Boulder.

After the debate I approached Harris in the hall and expressed that sentiment. His response was, "We don't have enough time to reform the Republican party." To which I answered, "We may not be able to reform it as fast as necessary, but that approach would still be faster than using a third party. The two party system is just a fact of life in this country." He didn't argue. My parting suggestion was to consider my suggestion a mere two years from now.

Posted by: johngalt at October 2, 2010 10:31 AM

Robocall from my pal Tommy.

Rep Tom Tancredo (RACP, White) just called to invite me to a rally. He told me how bad Democrats have been for business (then why are you helping elect one?) and ended by saying "I'll make Colorado a welcome place for business and an unwelcome place for illegal aliens."

No thanks.

CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 5:02 PM | What do you think? [0]

Blowing up Children

Un. Bee. Leave. Able.

It's okay. It's for the environment. It's "edgy" to splatter a roomful of schoolchildren with the blood and particulate remains of their less green classmates.

Hat-tip: Telegraph.uk via Instapundit who says "It always ends up as mass murder, real or fantasized, with these people. That’s what they do. Treat them with all the respect they deserve."

Environment Posted by John Kranz at 1:58 PM | What do you think? [8]
But T. Greer thinks:

Blogger Fabius Maximus, no friend of conservatives, hit the nail on the head with this one:

This belief in curative value of spilling blood is a commonplace in history (especially in the last century), a bleak backdrop to this film. Many on the Left would go berserk at something similar if produced by the Tea Party or evangelicals. And rightly so. The “just kidding” defense doesn’t work when the writers so obviously wish their fantasy were true.
Posted by: T. Greer at October 1, 2010 5:06 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Shannon Love, over at Chicago Boyz, also had a good post on this matter.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 3, 2010 12:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks, tg. This is my monthly Facebook Political post and I passed that link along to a good friend who claims "there are extremists in every bunch..." That this was a high-budget production by BBC's biggest director, with A-list celebrities and football stars from France and the UK did not faze.

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2010 6:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

James Delingpole writes, Eco-fascism jumps the shark: massive, epic fail!

"With No Pressure, the environmental movement has revealed the snarling, wicked, homicidal misanthropy beneath its cloak of gentle, bunny-hugging righteousness."
Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2010 11:38 AM
But jk thinks:

Yet paid no price, whatsoever. It angered some of its enemies but none of its friends. I don't think there is any chatter about this. When you bring it up to somebody in a month, they will stare at you blankly, having never seen it.

If a tea partier had... oh. nevermind!

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2010 11:49 AM
But Mr. Xyz thinks:

Here's a new No Pressure video

Using multiple short parody clips it tells the story backward.

"Was This Originally A Prank? (gore obscured)"


Posted by: Mr. Xyz at October 21, 2010 12:55 PM

When You've Lost Jon Stewart

I'll credit Stewart for being willing to have a little fun with this president before anybody else did. This is savage (and very funny!):

The Night Jon Stewart Turned on President Obama

2010 Posted by John Kranz at 1:28 PM | What do you think? [0]

Like hearing your song on the radio...

The bad news is that I misattributed a quote on Facebook today.

The good news, when I went hunting, is that a ThreeSources post comes up fourth in Yahoo when you search for "when goods don't cross borders armies will." Pretty funny.

Not Bastiat and I think I knew that.

Maybe a small donation?

The NRA recently spent its own money to send Ken Buck bumper stickers to its Colorado members.


Perhaps JG would now consider a small donation?

Gun Rights Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:04 AM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Actually, I believe all of the NRAPVF money comes from donations so it's not really "its own money." Talk to me when, after endorsing and donating to the Markey campaign, they donate twice as much to the Cory Gardner campaign to defeat her.

Posted by: johngalt at October 1, 2010 2:38 PM

Princess Lisa

Rather snarky, somewhat juvenile and pretty funny.

Senate Posted by Boulder Refugee at 10:51 AM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at October 1, 2010 11:20 AM

Is This a Sick Joke?

While on assignment recently in Chicago, The Refugee had the occassion to drive on I-88 in the western suburbs. This would be unworthy of mention except that upon entering the highway he was greeted with a large sign proclaiming, "RONALD REAGAN MEMORIAL TOLLWAY." Seriously?!? Is this some Democrat pols idea of a joke? It's hard to imagine that The Gipper, who's signature issues were lower taxes and getting government out of the way, would want to be immortalized with a tax collection mechanism that impedes traffic.

Rant Posted by Boulder Refugee at 10:33 AM | What do you think? [0]

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